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MAGAZINE 


WESTERN  HISTORY 

ILLUSTRATED. 


EDITED  BY  WILLIAM  W.  WILLIAMS . 


VOL.  V. 

November,  1886 — April,  1887. 


145  ST.  CLAIR  STREET,  CLEVELAND,  OHIO. 


Copyright,  1886. 

By  Magazine  of  Western  History  Co. 


CONTENTS 


VOL.  V. 


Some  Features  of  the  Old  South B.  A.  Hinsdale. 

Some  Observations  U pon  the  Histoiy  and  Laws  of  Political  Parties  in  the 

United  States . A.  G.  Riddle. 

The  Black  Hawk  War Reuben  G.  Thwaites. 

History  of  Ohio— III Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

Detroit  During  Cadillac’s  Administration T.  St.  Pierre. 

Pioneer  Medicine  on  the  Western  Reserve — IX Dudley  P.  Allen. 

Modern  Mexico E.  P.  Allen. 

Sketches  of  Western  Congressmen — III. — General  Charles  H.  Grosvenor Henry  K.  James. 

Fifty  Years  of  Wisconsin  History — II C.  W.  Butterfield. 

The  Municipal  Growth  of  Cleveland — V.— J.  Milton  Curtiss J.  H.  Kennedy. 

The  Bench  and  the  Bar  of  Toronto,  and  the  Act  of  1791 D.  B.  Read,  Q.  C. 

The  Michigan  Lumber  Interest  as  Told  by  Sketches  of  its  Leading  Men — 

II. — Ammi  Willard  Wright Rev.  T.  C.  Gardner  and  Hon.  John  Moore. 

III.  — Newell  Avery Walter  Buell. 

Michigan  Jurists — III. — Augustus  C.  Baldwin Hon.  Henry  M.  Look. 

Edgar  Cowan C.  W.  Butterfield. 

Reprints 

Editorial  Notes 

Correspondence 

History  of  Ohio — IV Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

The  Black  Hawk  War — II Reuben  G.  Thwaites. 

The  Beginnings  of  Constitutional  Construction  in  the  United 

States Ethelbert  D.  Warfield. 

General  Washington  and  a Westminster  Abbey  in  America Frank  G.  Carpenter. 

The  History  of  Boycotting Arthur  Dudley  Vinton. 

University  of  Michigan,  with  Sketches  of  James  Burrill  Angeil,  Corydon  L. 

Ford,  M.  D.,  LL.  D.,  Henry  Simmons  Frieze,  George  Edward  Froth- 

ingham C.  W.  Butterfield  and  A.  B.  Palmer. 

The  Father  of  Waters v Ray  Haddock. 

Alaska F.  C.  Sessions. 

The  Refugee  Lands  in  Ohio A.  A.  Graham. 


PAGE. 

1 

18 

32 

46 

62 

7i 

79 

94 

100 

“3 

118 

126 

133 

130 

144 

157 

160 

166 

167 
181 

196 

209 

211 


224 

269 

270 
283 


IV 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


Western  Congressmen — IV. —Colonel  William  C.  Cooper Seelye  A.  Willson. 

William  J.  Gordon J-  H.  Kennedy. 

Horace  Gillette  Cleveland Wilson  M.  Day, 

Colonel  William  P.  Thompson W.  M.  Day. 

H.  J.  Webb J.  H.  K. 


The  Bench  and  the  Bar  of  Toronto — II. — Chief-Justice  Osgoode D.  B.  Read,  Q.  C. 


Original  Documents 

Editorial  Notes 

Correspondence 

Lyman  C.  Draper— The  Western  Plutarch Reuben  G.  Thwaites. 

Pioneers  Once  and  Now  in  the  United  States Rev.  W.  Barrows,  D.  D. 

General  William  Campbell,  the  Hero  of  King’s  Mountain Ethelbert  D.  Warfield. 

The  Bench  and  the  Bar  of  Toronto — III. — The  Hon.  William  Dummer 

Powell,  Chief-Justice  of  Upper  Canada .D.  B.  Read,  Q.  C. 

Alaska— II F.  C.  Sessions. 

James  Tillinghast D.  W.  Manchester. 

General  Charles  M.  Read James  Sill. 

John  Teagle J.  H.  Kennedy. 

H.  H.  Hofmann.  M.  D 

Benjamin  Rouse lw.  M.  Day. 

Edwin  Coolidge  Rouse J 

Mortimer  Melville  Jackson Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

Reprints 

Editorial  Notes 

Correspondence 

The  Mound  Builders E.  B.  Finley. 

The  Original  Notes  of  Mason  and  Dixon's  Survey. . George  A.  Robertson. 

Fourierism  in  Wisconsin Frank  A.  Flower. 

Celoron’s  Voyage  Down  the  Allegheny T.  J.  Chapman. 

Milwaukee — I Consul  Willshire  Bmtterfield. 

General  Lucius  Fairchild Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

A Mythical  Ohio  Metropolis Wilson  M.  Day. 

History  of  Ohio— V Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

Pioneers  of  Homoeopathy  in  Southern  Ohio D.  H.  Beckwith. 

The  Bench  and  the  Bar  of  Toronto — IV. — The  Hon.  John  Elmsley,  Chief- 

Justice  of  Upper  Canada D.  B.  Read,  Q.  C. 

Colonel  Charles  Whittlesey C.  C.  Baldwin. 

General  David  Atwood Reuben  G.  Thwaites. 

Pittsburgh— II.— J.  H.  McClelland,  M.  D J.  H.  Kennedy. 

Patrick  Smith J.  H.  K. 

Original  Documents 

Editorial  Notes 

Correspondence 

Legislation  on  Compensation  of  Members  of  Congress B.  A.  Hinsdale. 

Captain  Glazier’s  Claim  to  the  Discovery  of  the  Source  of  the  Mississippi 

River .Alfred  J.  Hill. 

Opening  of  the  Upper  Mississippi  and  the  Siege  of  Vicksburg S.  Chamberlain. 

Voyages  and  Explorations  Leading  to  the  Discovery  of  California J 

Milwaukee — II >-  C.  W.  Butterfield. 

Jeremiah  McLain  Rusk J 

The  Underground  Railroad,  with  Biography  of  Hon.  Leicester  King John  Hutchins. 


page 

289 

292 

302 

30S 

3i3 

3X7 

325 

328 

334 

335 
35x 
362 


375 

384 

39i 

400 

410 

414 

4X5 

418 

421 

429 

43x 

435 

439 

452 

458 

462 

468 

483 

494 

500 

523 


528 

534 

549 

565 

568 

571 

572 
579 
583 

602 

609 

624 

630 

643 

672 


CONTENTS. 


v 


Robert  Mitchell,  Esq  , of  Cincinnati,  and  the  Robert  Mitchell  Furniture 

Company Henry  Dudley  Teetor. 

The  Bench  and  Bar  of  Ohio — I. — General  Manning  Ferguson  Force  ; 

Timothy  Danielson  Lincoln,  Esq Henry  Dudley  Teetor. 

The  Bench  and  Bar  of  Milwaukee C.  W.  Butterfield. 

Buffalo — Rufus  L.  Howard D.  W.  Manchester. 

Reprints 

Editorial  Notes 

Correspondence 

Burr's  Western  Expedition Harvey  Rice. 

The  Bench  and  the  Bar  of  Toronto— V. — The  Hon.  Henry  Alcock,  Chief- 

Justice  of  Upper  Canada D.  B.  Read,  Q.  C. 

The  Bench  and  Bar  of  Buffalo — I. — James  Murdock  Smith George  Gorham. 

Milwaukee— III Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

Right  Reverend  Louis  Amadeus  Rappe,  First  Bishop  of  the  Diocese  of 

Cleveland D.  W.  Manchester. 

Judge  James  M'Clintick,  Pioneer  Merchant  of  the  Scioto  Valley. . . .Henry  Dudley  Teetor. 
The  Bench  and  Bar  of  Ohio — II. — Hon.  William  Trimble  M‘Clintick  ; 

Judge  Jackson  A.  Jordan  of  the  Cincinnati  Bar Henry  Dudley  Teetor. 

Buffalo — II. — Andrew  Langdon Francis  F.  Fargo. 

Banks  and  Bankers  of  Buffalo 

Hon.  Elbridge  Gerry  Spaulding \ D.  w.  Manchester. 

Stephen  M.  Clement J 

Gibson  T.  Williams George  Gorham. 

Pascal  Paoli  Pratt James  Sheldon. 

The  Bench  and  Bar  of  Milwaukee — II Consul  Willshire  Butterfield. 

Edward  George  Ryan \ C . W.  Butterfield. 

William  Penn  Lyon J 

The  Discovery  of  Henry  Ward  Beecher Hon.  A.  G.  Riddle. 

Index 


PAGE 

683 

68  7 
695 
707 
712 
716 
721 
727 

747 

753 

75 

771 

777 

780 

785 

794 

795 
802 
808 
811 
817 
830 
846 
854 
859 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


PAGE. 

Edgar  Cowan facing  i 

General  Charles  H.  Grosvenor facing  94 

J.  Milton  Curtiss facing  113 

Ammi  Willard  Wright facing  126 

Newell  Avery facing  133 

Augustus  C.  Baldwin facing  139 

James  B.  Angell facing  167 

Law  Department — University  of  Michigan „ 244 

Corydon  L.  Ford facing  248 

Chemical  Laboratory — University  of  Michigan 249 

Henry  S.  Frieze 255 

University  Hall — University  of  Michigan 257 

G.  E.  Frothingham facing  261 

University  Building — University  of  Michigan 262 

W.  C.  Cooper ....facing  289 

W.  J.  Gordon facing  292 

H.  G.  Cleveland facing  302 

W.  P.  Thompson facing  305 

H.  J.  Webb facing  313 

Lyman  C.  Draper facing  335 

James  Tillinghast facing  391 

Charles  M.  Reed facing  400 

John  Teagle facing  410 

H.  H.  Hofmann,  M.  D .facing  414 

Benjamin  Rouse facing  4x5 

Edwin  Coolidge  Rouse facing  418 

Mortimer  Melville  Jackson facing  421 

Lucius  Fairchild facing  439 

Colonel  Charles  Whittlesey 536 

General  David  Atwood facing  549 

J.  H.  McClelland,  M.  D facing  565 

Patrick  Smith facing  568 

J.  M.  Rusk facing  583 

Leicester  King facing  680 

Robert  Mitchell facing  683 


ILL  USTRA  TIOMS.  vii 

PAGE 

General  Manning  F.  Force facing  687 

T.  D.  Lincoln facing  690 

R.  L.  Howard facing  707 

James  Murdock  Smith facing  753 

Right  Reverend  Louis  Amadeus  Rappe . facing  771 

Judge  James  M'Clintick facing  777 

Hon.  William  Trimble  M'Clintick facing  780 

J udge  J ackson  A . J ordan facing  782 

Andrew  Langdon facing  785 

Hon.  Elbridge  Gerry  Spaulding facing  795 

Stephen  M.  Clement facing  802 

Gibson  T.  Williams facing  808 

Pascal  Paoli  Pratt facing  81 1 

Edward  George  Ryan facing  830 

William  Penn  Lyon facing  846 


Scvnvus&l' 


CD&J&zi ne  of  western  ®Hi$topy. 


Vol.  V.  NOVEMBER,  1 886.  No.  i. 


SOME  FEATURES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


“ The  South”  is  an  old  political  des- 
ignation. Formerly  it  was  the  name  of 
all  those  facts  and  forces  that  charac- 
terized the  geographical  south,  particu- 
larly as  moulded  by  the  institution  of 
slavery.  It  is  a political  designation 
to-day  with  much  of  the  old  meaning, 
and  will  no  doubt  continue  such  for 
years  to  come  ; but  even  the  most  in- 
veterate conservatives  and  strongest 
partisans,  north  and  south,  are  com- 
pelled to  recognize  a change,  and  to 
acknowledge  that  the  south  of  1886  is 
not  the  south  of  1850,  1863,  or  even  of 
1870.  In  the  old  sense  “ the  south  ” is 
passing  into  history,  following  “ the 
north”  that  has  become  almost  wholly 
historical.  Even  men  little  observant 
of  such  changes  have  seen  that,  for  some 
years  past,  careful  writers  and  speakers, 
especially  when  viewing  things  from  a 
sociological  standpoint,  are  using  the 
phrases  “ old  south  ” and  “ new  south  ;” 
phrases  the  appearance  of  which  in  cur- 


rent speech,  the  future  historian  will 
say  marks  the  beginning  and  progress 
of  the  greatest  sociological  change  of  our 
history,  at  least  to  the  Close  of  the  nine- 
teenth century.  The  rapidity  with 
which  the  “ old  south”  is  receding  is 
the  reason  for  this  attempt  to  delineate 
some  of  its  features.  If  successful,  the 
attempt  will  have  an  interest  and  value 
in  itself,  and,  moreover,  will  throw  a 
strong  light  on  the  causes  of  the  south- 
ern rebellion,  and  on  some  of  the 
elements  involved  in  the  problems  of 
reconstruction. 


At  the  opening  of  the  civil  war,  the 
nation  was  divided  into  two  great  and 
plainly  marked  societies.  Minor  divis- 
ions were  easily  recognizable,  as  New 
England,  the  Middle  States,  and  the 
West,  the  Seacoast,  Gulf,  and  Missis- 
sippi states  ; but  these  were  all  lost,  as 
well  as  the  sections  shading  into  each 
other  along  Mason  and  Dixon’s  line, 


2 


MAGA2TNE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


in  those  bolder  reature.j  that  made  up 
the  north  and  th : south.  Tha  ther 
were  two  such  c-ocieties,  ad  Americans 
acknowledged,  and  all  foreigners  dis- 
covered as  soon  as  their  feet  touched 
our  shores. 

What  was  the  cause  of  their  character- 
istic differences  is  a matter  of  disputeo 
Some  have  said  it  is  race  ; the  Puri- 
tan made  the  north  and  the  Cavalier 
the  south.  Even  admitting  that  the 
north  was  Puritan  and  the  south  Cava- 
lier, this  theory  is  inadequate.  I am  not, 
indeed,  prepared  to  say  that,  had  Cap- 
tain John  Smith  landed  at  Plymouth  and 
Governor  Carver  at  Jamestown,  Amer- 
ican history  would  have  been  just  what 
it  is.  Race  and  character  stand  for 
something  in  history.  Perhaps  the  Pur- 
itan and  the  Cavalier  was  each  well 
adapted  to  his  new  home ; but  if  we 
believe  with  J.  S.  Mill,  that,  “of  all 
the  vulgar  modes  of  escaping  from  the 
consideration  of  the  effects  of  social  and 
moral  influences  on  the  human  mind,  the 
most  vulgar  is  that  of  attributing  the  di- 
versities of-  conduct  and  character  to 
inherent  natural  differences,”  we  shall 
see  in  the  final  antagonism  of  the  south 
and  north  something  very  different  from 
a prolongation  of  the  struggle  between 
the  Stuarts  and  their  parliaments. 
Others  say  that  race  itself  is  a product  ; 
that  the  southern  man  and  the  northern 
man,  and  the  south  and  north  them- 
selves are  the  results  ultimately  of  phys- 
ical causes.  How  far  this  view  may 
answer  the  ends  of  philosophy,  I do  not 
here  inquire,  but  dismiss  it  with  the  re- 
mark that  it  is  too  remote  and  too 
refined  for  the  present  purpose.  Let 


it  be  said,  then,  once  for  all,  that  the 
pr  ximate  and  efficient  cause  of  the 
social  and  historical  differentiation  of  the 
American  nation  into  two  great  socie- 
ties was  SLAVERYc 

Negroes  were  first  landed  at  James- 
town in  1620.  Ten  years  later  they 
appeared  in  New  England.  Whether 
they  were  more  warmly  welcomed  in 
Virginia  than  in  Massachusetts,  is  not 
here  a pertinent  question.  Certainly 
slavery  found  a foothold  stronger  or 
weaker  in  all  the  colonies.  However, 
for  some  cause,  slaves  were  always  more 
numerous  toward  the  south  and  less 
numerous  toward  the  north.  This  every- 
body noticed.  By  and  by,  too,  it  was 
seen  this  was  not  an  isolated  fact.  In 
the  perspicuous  language  of  De  Toc- 
queville  : 

A century  had  scarcely  elapsed  since  the  founda- 
tion of  the  colonies,  when  the  attention  of  the  plan- 
ters was  struck  by  the  extraordinary  fact,  that  the 
provinces  which  were  comparatively  destitute  of 
slaves,  increased  in  population,  in  wealth  and 
in  prosperity,  more  rapidly  than  those  which 
contained  the  greatest  number  of  negroes.  In 
the  former,  however,  the  inhabitants  were  obliged 
to  cultivate  the  soil  themselves,  or  hire  laborers  ; in 
the  latter,  they  were  furnished  with  hands  for  which 
they  paid  no  wages ; yet,  although  labor  and  ex- 
pense were  on  the  one  side,  and  ease  with  economy 
on  the  other,  the  former  were  in  possession  of  the 
most  advantageous  system.  This  consequence 
seemed  to  be  the  moi-e  difficult  to  explain,  since  the 
settlers,  who  all  belonged  to  the  same  European 
race,  had  the  same  habits,  the  same  civilization,  the 
same  laws,  and  their  shades  of  difference  were  ex- 
tremely slight.* 

The  march  of  American  civilization 
has  been  mainly  westward.  By  the 
time  that  the  head  of  the  column  had 
reached  the  Ohio  river,  it  was  clear  that 

* ‘Democracy in  America.’ Part  I.  Chapter  xviii. 


SOME  FEATURES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


3 


slavery  would  wholly  disappear  from 
the  north,  and  it  was  an  open  question 
whether  it  would  last  at  the  south. 
Moving  forward  a half  century,  we  find 
that  it  has  disappeared  from  the  one 
section,  while  it  has  taken  firmer  root 
than  ever  in  the  other.  Again  we  seek 
for  a cause  and  again  we  are  met  by  a 
troop  of  answers.  The  Puritan-Cavalier 
theory  again  confronts  us.  What  the 
Puritan  would  have  done  at  the  south, 
and  the  Cavalier  at  the  north  we  can 
only  conjecture.  Perhaps  the  Calvinistic 
theology  and  the  middle-class  habits  of 
the  first  fitted  him  for  a home  at  the 
north,  and  predisposed  him  to  free  labor. 
Perhaps,  too,  the  easy-going  ways  and 
manners  of  the  other  fitted  him  for  a 
home  at  the  south, and  predisposed  him  to 
slave  labor.  But  it  cannot  be  doubted, 
that  had  Captain  Smith  gone  to  Massa- 
chusetts Bay  and  Governor  Carver  to 
James  river,  we  should  have  had  a north 
and  south  all  the  same.  The  Cavalier 
would  have  given  us  a different  north, 
perhaps,  but  if  would  have  been  free; 
the  Puritan  have  given  us  a different 
south,  but  it  would  have  been  slave. 
The  race  theory  does  not  account  for 
the  death  of  slavery  in  the  one  society 
and  its  growth  in  the  other,  nor  need 
we  seek  out  those  remote  and  refined 
influences  of  nature  on  man  of  which 
the  philosophers  of  environment  make 
so  much.  The  answer  lies  on  the  very 
surface  of  the  subject,  and  yet  it  seems 
never  to  have  been  clearly  discerned,  at 
all  events  it  was  never  clearly  and  fully 
stated,  until  in  1862  the  late  Professor 
J.  E.  Cairnes  published  his  work  en- 
titled ‘ The  Slave  Power.' 


“ The  true  causes  of  the  phenome- 
non,” he  says,  “ will  appear  if  we  reflect 
on  the  advantages  and  disadvantages 
which  attach  respectively  to  slavery  and 
free  labor,  as  productive  instruments,  in 
connection  with  the  external  conditions 
under  which  these  forms  of  industry 
came  into  competition  in  North  Amer- 
ica.” The  great  economic  advantages 
of  slavery  are  these  : “ The  employer 

of  slaves  has  absolute  power  over  his 
workmen  and  enjoys  the  disposal  of  the 
whole  fruit  of  their  labors.  Slave  labor, 
therefore,  admits  of  the  most  complete 
organization ; that  is  to  say,  it  may  be 
combined  on  an  extensive  scale,  and  di- 
rected by  a controlling  mind  to  a single 
end,  and  its  cost  can  never  rise  above 
that  which  is  necessary  to  maintain  the 
slave  in  health  and  strength.”  The 
serious  economical  defects  of  slave  labor 
are  these  : “It  is  given  reluctantly  ; it 

is  unskillful ; it  is  lacking  in  versa- 
tility.” Since  the  slave  works  reluct- 
antly, he  must  be  constantly  watched  ; 
since  he  is  unskillful,  he  must  be  put  at 
the  coarsest  employment ; and  since  he 
is  wanting  in  versatility,  he  must  be  con- 
fined within  a narrow  range  of  pro- 
duction. Freedom,  on  the  other  hand, 
tends  to  develop  willingness,  skill,  and 
versatility.  By  necessity,  therefore, 
commerce  and  manufactures  are  ex- 
cluded from  the  list  of  slave  occupa- 
tions. Nor  is  the  field  of  agriculture 
all  open  to  slavery.  “ The  line  divid- 
ing the  slave  from  the  free  states,”  says 
Professor  Cairnes,  “marks  also  an  im- 
portant division  in  the  agricultural 
capabilities  of  North  America.  North 
of  this  line  the  products  for  which  the 


4 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


soil  and  climate  are  best  adapted  are 
cereal  crops,  while  south  of  it  the  pre- 
vailing crops  are  tobacco,  rice,  cotton, 
and  sugar  ; and  these  two  classes  of 
crops  are  broadly  distinguished  in  the 
methods  of  culture  suitable  to  each. 
The  cultivation  of  the  one  class,  of 
which  cotton  may  be  taken  as  the  type, 
requires  for  its  efficient  conduct  that 
labor  should  be  combined  and  organized 
on  an  extensive  scale.  On  the  other 
hand,  for  the  raising  of  cereal  crops  this 
condition  is  not  so  essential.”  He  then 
proceeds  to  show  that  the  south  met  the 
great  economical  conditions  of  slave 
industry,  while  the  north  failed  to  meet 
them.  Thus  between  north  and  south 
it  was  not  a matter  of  race  at  all,  or  of 
morals,  as  some  have  said,  but  a plain 
question  of  economic  conditions.* 

And  it  so  turned  out  that  the  north 
was  freedom,  the  south  slavery.  That 
everybody  knows  : but  few  realize  what 
the  words  mean.  They  mean  far  more 
than  that  the  south  raised  cotton  while 
the  north  raised  corn,  far  more  than 
that  the  south  bought  her  laborers,  while 
the  north  hired  hers;  for  there  were 
certain  powerful  tendencies  in  freedom 
and  in  slavery  that  wrought  out  the  car- 
dinal features  of  the  two  great  societies. 
Some  of  the  features  of  the  south  will 
well  repay  our  study. 

Slavery  divided  the  south  socially 
into  three  plainly  marked  classes.  First, 
there  were  the  slaveholders  and  their 
families,  clients,  and  retainers.  These 
made  up  the  slave  power,  and  were  in  a 
sense  “ the  south.”  Secondly,  the  non- 


slaveholding whites.  These  may  be  di- 
vided into  two  groups — the  small  farmers 
and  “the  poor  whites”  ; the  first  shading 
up  to  the  slaveholding  class,  and  the 
second  shading  down  to  the  “ sand 
hillers”  and  “ corn  crackers  ” found  in 
the  mountains  of  Carolina  and  Georgia. 
Sometimes  the  poor  whites  were  worse 
off  than  the  slaves  themselves.  The 
southern  states  made  no  adequate  pro- 
vision for  schools ; education,  for  the 
most  part,  was  a class  privilege,  and 
the  poor  whites  were  as  ignorant  as 
they  were  poor.  Ignorant,  coarsely 
fed,  roughly  clothed,  inferiority  often 
stamped  on  their  very  faces  and  bear- 
ing, living  often  in  bye-places,  they 
hung  upon  the  skirts  of  southern  civiliza- 
tion in  ever-increasing  numbers.  They 
devotedly  followed  the  slaveholders. 
Practically,  they  were  unknown  in 
southern  opinion ; they  wielded  no 
influence  in  politics,  but  on  election 
days  came  forth  to  ratify  by  their  votes 
the  work  already  done  by  the  ruling 
caste,  and  then  retired  for  a year  to 
their  wonted  obscurity.*  Thirdly,  the 

* Formerly  it  was  the  fashion  at  the  north  to  divide 
the  southern  whites  into  two  classes,  the  slaveholders 
and  their  clients , and  ' ‘ the  poor  white  trash.  ’ ’ This 
is  too  broad.  Sir  George  Campbell  thus  recorded 
what  he  found  at  the  south  a few  years  ago.  (‘White 
and  Black, ’pp.  162-164)  : 

‘ ‘ I think  the  idea  prevalent  in  Europe  was  that  the 
southern  whites  were  composed  of  an  aristocracy  of 
slave-owning  gentlemen,  refined  and  polished,  with 
their  dependent  slave-drivers,  and  a large  number  of 
very  inferior  whites,  known  as  ‘mean  whites,’  ‘white 
trash,’ and  so  on.  . . . It  seems  to  me  this  view 

is  not  justified.  The  population  was  very  much  di-= 
vided  geographically  ; there  was  the  great  black  belt 
on  the  lower  lands,  where  a few  whites  ruled  over  a 
large  slave  population  ; and  there  was  a broad  upper 
belt  in  the  hilly  country,  where  the  great  bulk  of  the 


* ‘ The  Slave  Power,’  Chap.  ii. 


SOME  FEATURES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


5 


slaves.  Remembering  the  condition  of 
the  negro  in  Africa,  we  need  not  hesi- 
tate to  say  that  slavery  in  America  car- 
ried him  a certain  distance  on  the  road 
of  progress.  Nor  should  we  fail  to  re- 
mark that  to  the  purposes  of  the  mod- 
ern slave  masters  no  race  was  ever 
better  adapted  than  the  African  race. 
Physically  strong,  confiding,  obedient, 
and  tractable,  the  negro  was  the  very 
man  the  southerner  wanted.  His  trust- 
fulness and  tractability  were  more  than 
an  economical  element  in  the  southern 
economy  ; a race  that  was  full  of  spirit 
and  self-assertion  would  have  given 
their  masters  far  more  trouble  while 
slavery  lasted,  and  they  would  have 
submitted  much  less  easily  to  later  out- 
rages. 

The  economical  results  of  the  two 
systems  of  labor  were  most  marked  and 
most  important.  The  north  evolved  a 
highly  differentiated  industry  and  grew 
rich  in  consequence  ; but  the  industrial 

population  was  white,  mostly  small  farmers  owning 
their  land.  . . . There  is  no  doubt  in  all 

these  southern  states  a large  intermediate  zone  in 
which  white  and  black  are  much  intermixed  ; but 
even  there  they  are  a good  deal  aggregated  in  patch- 
work  fashion,  the  general  rule  apparently  being  that 
the  rich  slaveowners  have  occupied  the  best  lands, 
and  the  poorer  independent  whites  the  poorer  lands, 
especially  what  are  called  pine  barrens,  though  they 
are  not  so  barren  after  all.  . . In  truth,  then,  I 

gather,  that  the  population  of  very  inferior  whites 
without  property  never  was  very  large.  There  were 
very  many  without  slave  property,  but  most  had 
more  or  less  land.  The  chief  justification  for  attrib- 
uting lowness  and  meanness  to  the  poorer  whites 
seems  to  be,  that  some  of  the  inferior  central  tracts 
are  occupied  by  a set  of  people  said  to  be  descended 
from  the  convicts  sent  out  in  former  days,  and  to 
this  day  very  unthrifty.  They  are  called  sand-hillers 
in  South  Carolina,  and  really  do  seem  to  be  an  inferior 
people." 


development  of  the  south  was  prema- 
turely arrested,  and  she  remained  poor. 
Naturally  the  contrast  caught  the  quick 
eye  of  De  Tocqueville,  who  visited  us 
fifty  years  ago. 

Thus  the  traveler  who  floats  down  the  current 
the  Ohio,  to  the  spot  where  that  river  falls  into  the 
Mississippi,  may  be  said  to  sail  between  liberty  and 
servitude,  and  a transient  inspection  of  the  sur- 
rounding objects  will  convince  him  which  of  the  two 
is  most  favorable  to  mankind. 

Upon  the  left  bank  of  the  stream  population  is 
rare  ; from  time  to  time  one  descries  a troop  of 
slaves  loitering  in  the  half-desert  fields  ; the  primeval 
forest  recurs  at  every  turn  ; society  seems  to  be  asleep, 
man  to  be  idle,  and  nature  alone  offers  a scene  of 
activity  and  of  life. 

From  the  right  bank,  on  the  contrary,  a confused 
hum  is  heard,  which  proclaims  the  presence  of  in- 
dustry ; the  fields  are  covered  with  abundant  har- 
vests ; the  elegance  of  the  dwellings  announces  the 
taste  and  activity  of  the  labourer,  and  man  appears 
to  be  in  the  enjoyment  of  that  wealth  and  content- 
ment which  are  the  reward  of  labour.* 

But  more  was  involved  in  the  matter 
than  thrift  and  unthrift.  Freedom  and 
slavery  begot  different  states  of  mind 
with  regard  both  to  labor  and  property. 
This  the  French  philosopher  also  saw. 

Upon  the  left  bank  of  the  Ohio  labour  is  con- 
founded with  the  idea  of  slavery,  uf5bn  the  right 
bank  it  is  identified  with  that  of  prosperity  and  im- 
provement ; on  the  one  side  it  is  degraded,  on  the 
other  it  is  honoured  ; on  the  former  territory  no 
white  labourers  can  be  found,  for  they  would  be 
afraid  cf  assimilating  themselves  to  the  negroes  ; on 
the  latter  no  one  is  idle,  for  the  white  population  ex- 
tends its  activity  and  its  intelligence  to  every  kind 
of  employment.  Thus  the  men  whose  task  it  is  to 
cultivate  the  rich  soil  of  Kentucky  are  ignorant  and 
lukewarm,  while  those  who  are  active  and  en- 
lightened either  do  nothing  or  pass  over  into  the 
state  of  Ohio,  where  they  may  work  without  dis- 
honour. 

The  influence  of  slavery  extends  still  farther  ; it 
affects  the  character  of  the  master  and  imparts  a 
peculiar  tendency  to  his  ideas  and  his  tastes.  Upon 

* ‘Democracy  in  America,’  Part  I.,  Chap,  xviii. 


6 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


both  banks  of  the  Ohio  the  character  of  the  inhabit- 
ants is  enterprising  and  energetic  ; but  this  vigor  is 
very  differently  exercised  in  the  two  states.  The 
white  inhabitant  of  Ohio,  who  is  obliged  to  subsist 
by  his  own  exertions,  regards  temporal  prosperity  as 
the  principal  aim  of  his  existence  ; and,  as  the  coun- 
try which  he  occupies  presents  inexhaustible  re- 
sources to  his  industry,  and  ever-varying  lures  to  his 
activity,  his  acquisitive  ardour  surpasses  the  ordin- 
ary limits  of  human  cupidity  ; he  is  tormented  by  the 
desire  of  wealth,  and  he  boldly,  enters  upon  every 
path  which  fortune  opens  to  him  ; he  becomes  a 
sailor,  pioneer,  an  artisan  or  a labourer,  with  the 
same  indifference,  and  he  supports,  with  equal  con- 
stancy, the  fatigue  and  the  dangers  incidental  to 
these  various  professions  ; the  resources  of  his  intel- 
ligence are  astonishing,  and  his  avidity  in  the  pursuit 
of  gain  amounts  to  a species  of  heroism. 

But  the  Kentuckian  scorns  not  only  labour  but  all 
undertakings  which  labour  promotes  ; as  he  lives  in 
an  idle  independence,  his  tastes  are  those  of  an  idle 
man  ; money  loses  a portion  of  its  value  in  his  eyes  ; 
he  covets  wealth  much  less  than  pleasure  and  excite- 
ment, and  the  energy  which  his  neighbour  devotes  to 
gain,  turns  him  to  a passionate  love  for  field  sports 
and  military  exercises  ; he  delights  in  violent  bodily 
exertion  ; he  is  familiar  with  the  use  of  arms,  and  is 
accustomed  from  a very  early  age  to  expose  his  life  to 
single  combat.  Thus  slavery  not  only  prevents  the 
whites  from  becoming  opulent,  but  even  from  desir- 
ing to  become  so. 

As  the  same  causes  have  been  continually  produc- 
ing opposite  effects  for  the  last  two  centuries  in  the 
British  colonies  of  North  America,  they  have  estab- 
lished a very  striking  difference  between  the  com- 
mercial capacity  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  south  and 
those  of  the  north.  At  the  present  day  it  is  only 
the  northern  states  which  are  in  possession  of 
shipping,  manufactures,  railroads  and  canals.  This 
difference  is  perceptible  not  only  in  comparing  the 
north  w’ith  the  south  but  in  comparing  the  several 
southern  states.  Almost  all  the  individuals  who 
carry  on  commercial  operations,  or  who  endeavor  to 
turn  slave  labour  to  account  in  the  most  southern 
districts  of  the  Union,  have  emigrated  from  the 
north.  The  natives  of  the  northern  states  are  con- 
stantly spreading  over  that  portion  of  the  American 
territory,  where  they  have  less  to  fear  from  competi- 
tion ; they  discover  resources  there  which  escaped 
the  notice  of  the  inhabitants  ; and,  as  they  comply 
with  a system  which  they  do  not  approve,  they  suc- 


ceed in  turning  it  to  better  advantage  than  those 
who  first  founded  and  who  still  maintain  it.* 

All  this  is  well  said,  but  what  is  it, 
after  all,  but  an  expansion  of  the  two 
propositions:  The  north  was  industrial 

and  commercial,  in  fact  modern ; the 
south  feudal  and  mediaeval.  De  Tocque- 
ville  dismissed  his  parallel  with  the 
remark,  “ I could  easily  prove  that  al- 
most all  the  differences  which  may  be 
remarked  between  the  character  of  the 
Americans  in  the  southern  and  in  the 
northern  states  have  originated  in  slav- 
ery.” Freedom  begot  the  amazing  push 
and  thrift  of  the  north,  and  gave  her 
that  wonderous  material  development 
which  is  one  of  the  most  striking  facts 
of  recent  history.  Slavery  begot  the 
languor  and  unthrift  of  the  south,  and 
gave  her  mental  and  material  “ bour- 
bonism.”  Three  zones  extend  from  the 
Atlantic  ocean  to  and  beyond  the  Mis- 
sissippi river;  a northern,  a southern  and 
an  intermediate  zone,  in  which  last  the 
two  former  shade  into  each  other.  The 
southern  parts  of  Ohio,  Indiana,  and 
Illinois  were  largely  settled  from  the 
south,  and  slavery  cast  a shadow  on 
the  southern  parts  of  the  old  free  states 
that  abutted  upon  the  slave  states.  In 
turn  northern  influences  reached  a cer- 
tain distance  beyond  Mason  and  Dixon’s 
line.  Hence  “ southern”  communities 
are  found  north,  and  “ northern  ” com- 
munities south  of  the  old  slave  line. 

The  south  had  a plainly  marked  mili- 
tary aspect.  Partly  this  was  necessity, 
for  the  presence  of  slaves  in  large  num- 

* ‘ Democracy  in  America, ’ Part  I.,  Chap,  xviii. 


SOME  FEATURES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


7 


bers  perpetually  suggests  servile  insur- 
rection with  all  its  horrors,  and  com- 
monly leads  to  some  precautionary 
measures.  But  more  than  this,  the 
southerner  needed  a channel  of  dis- 
charge for  that  energy  which  slavery 
prevented  his  devoting  to  production 
and  to  trade.  We  are  not  surprised, 
therefore,  when  De  Tocqueville  speaks 
of  the  southerner’s  passionate  love  of 
field  sports  and  military  exercises,  his 
delight  in  violent  bodily  exertion,  his 
familiarity  with  the  use  of  arms,  and  his 
habit  of  exposing  his  life  in  rough  com- 
bats. The  southern  states,  as  a rule, 
kept  their  militia  in  a much  better  state 
of  organization  and  training  than  the 
northern.  What  is  more,  they  took 
much  more  interest  in  the  national 
army.  From  1836  to  1874,  inclusive, 
there  reported  at  the  National  Military 
Academy,  2,180  candidates  for  ad- 
mission, including  the  candidates  “at 
large.”  Of  the  2,180,  1,254  came 

from  the  slave  states,  and  954  from  the 
free  states.  The  free  states  were  en- 
titled to  send  up  from  twenty  per  cent, 
to  fifty  per  cent,  more  students  than  the 
slave  states  ; as  a matter  of- fact,  they 
sent  nearly  twenty-five  per  cent,  fewer. 
But  still  farther,  of  the  954  free  state 
candidates,  291  were  rejected  ; of  the 
1,254  slave  state,  only  251.  That  is, 
one  southern  candidate  in  five  was  re- 
jected, and  one  northern  candidate  in 
three  and  a quarter.  How  are  we  to 
explain  the  discrepancy  of  these  ratios  ? 
No  doubt  a part  of  the  explanation  is 
this  : The  army  stood  much  higher  in 

public  estimation  south  than  north,  and 
as  a result  it  drew  within  its  circle  a 


larger  relative  number  of  the  ablest  and 
most  enterprising  boys.  At  the  north 
such  boys  were  drawn  into  business  and 
the  professions.  The  south  was  feudal 
and  military,  the  north  industrial  and 
commercial.  It  is  well  known  that  the 
secession  leaders  took  all  these  things 
into  consideration  as  factors  in  the  se- 
cession problem.  They  knew  that  there 
was  less  military  preparation  and  mili- 
tary spirit  at  the  north  than  at  the  south. 
They  believed  that  the  north  was  too 
much  absorbed  in  making  money  to 
fight.  In  fact,  they  looked  upon  north- 
ern men  much  as  the  Spaniards  looked 
upon  the  Dutch  at  the  beginning  of  the 
eighty  years’  war,  as  “men  of  butter” 
who  would  either  offer  no  resistance  to 
their  plans  or  would  fall  an  easy  prey 
to  their  superior  military  virtues.  It 
may  be  said  that  the  south  cultivated 
military  habits  that  she  might  be  ready 
for  nullification  or  secession.  Towards 
the  last  this  was  probably  the  case,  but 
a much  larger  share  of  the  explanation  is 
found  in  the  nature  and  tendencies  of  a 
slaveholding  society. 

The  dominant  southern  class  evinced 
a superior  capacity  and  taste  for  poli- 
tics. It  must  indeed  be  admitted  that 
at  the  last  their  leading  ideas  were 
false,  and  their  great  aims  destructive ; 
but  it  must  be  admitted,  also,  that 
they  knew  what  they  wanted,  and  that 
they  worked  for  its  attainment  with 
singular  persistence  and  ability.  The 
following  facts  will  explain  this  political 
capacity  and  taste. 

Southern  men  did  not  find  an  opening 
for  their  ability  and  energy  in  the  pur- 
suits of  a commercial  society,  hence  they 


8 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


naturally  looked  to  politics  for  employ- 
ment and  activity.  Slavery  gave  them 
leisure  for  studying  and  practicing  the 
art  of  governing,  and  its  related  arts 
— law  and  oratory.  Then  the  slave- 
holding habit  begets  a love  of  power  and 
a zest  for  ruling.  Further,  the  political 
interests  of  the  slave  power  called  for 
sleepless  attention.  In  1790,  the  popu- 
lations of  the  free  and  of  the  slave  states 
were  nearly  equal;  in  political  power  the 
north  and  the  south  did  not  greatly  differ. 
But  soon  the  slave  line  began  to  stand 
out  with  new  prominence  in  politics. 
In  population  and  resources  the  north 
shot  far  ahead  of  the  south.  Hence, 
the  slave  power  had  two  points  to 
watch : first,  to  maintain  its  ascend- 
ancy in  its  own  states,  which  was  not 
difficult;  secondly,  so  to  arrange  and 
combine  political  elements  as  to  neu- 
tralize the  superior  weight  of  the  north. 
Accordingly,  they  looked  carefully  after 
their  party  affiliations  at  the  north.  As 
the  contest  of  force  drew  near  the  whole 
south,  Democrats  and  Whigs  alike, 
became  blended  in  one  party.  From 
the  very  beginning  they  had  striven  to 
preserve  the  balance  of  states  in  the  na- 
tional senate.  Slavery  was  a consoli- 
dated pecuniary  interest  amounting  to 
hundreds  of  millions  of  dollars.  No 
other  pecuniary  interest  in  the  nation 
began  to  exert  such  a political  influ- 
ence. This  was  partly  because  no 
other  interest  depended  so  directly  on 
politics;  partly  because  no  other  inter- 
est gave  the  same  opportunity  and  zest 
for  political  activity. 

The  above  considerations,  taken  in 
connection  with  the  habits  and  the  tem- 


per of  the  northern  people,  substan- 
tially account  for  the  superior  weight 
of  the  south  in  national  politics  from 
1789  to  i860.  It  was  not  an  accident 
that  Virginia  filled  the  presidential 
chair  thirty-two  out  of  thirty-six  years, 
closing  with  1825.  It  was  not  an  acci- 
dent that  of  the  eighteen  presidential 
terms  closing  in  1861,  twelve  terms  were 
filled  by  southern  men.  However,  the 
explanation  does  not  lie  wholly  in  the 
conscious  purpose  of  the  south  to  have 
it  so,  but  very  largely  in  the  fact  that 
the  south  was  more  “political”  than 
the  north.  This  difference  has  out- 
lasted the  war 


But  slavery  did  much  more  than 
make  the  south  political  : it  gave  her  a 
peculiar  kind  of  politics.  Early  in 
Washington’s  first  administration  two 
political  parties  appeared  in  embryo ; 
before  he  left  the  chair,  in  1797,  they 
had  become  fully  developed.  They 
divided  on  many  questions,  but  these 
generally  rooted  in  a larger  question  : 
“ How  much  power  does  the  constitu- 
tion confer  on  the  central  government  ?” 
or,  “ How  shall  the  constitution  be  con- 
strued ?”  In  the  days  of  Washington 
“loose-construction”  was  Federalism 
and  “ strict-construction  ” Republican- 
ism. These  two  methods  of  interpret- 
ing the  constitution  have  lived  on  to 
this  day.  The  student  of  our  political 
history  will  find  that  the  so-called 
strict-construction  party  has  often  done 
loose-construction  things,  and  the  loose- 
construction  party  strict-construction 
things,  as  when  the  Republican-Demo- 
crats of  1803  favored,  and  the  Federal- 


SOME  FEAT URES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


9 


ists  opposed  the  Louisiana  purchase  ; 
but  he  will  always  find  two  such  parties 
in  existence,  though  never  bearing  those 
names,  each  holding  to  its  chosen  views 
with  more  or  less  of  consistency.  In 
fact,  this  is  the  proper  standpoint  from 
which  to  study  the  history  of  our  politi- 
cal parties.  “ This  question  of  a strict 
or  a loose  construction  of  the  constitu- 
tion,” says  Mr.  Alexander  Johnston, 
“ has  always  been  at  the  root  of  legiti- 
mate national  party  differences  in  the 
United  States.”* 

It  is  interesting  to  note  where  the 
strength  of  the  two  parties  originally 
lay ; also  to  observe  certain  of  their 
marked  tendencies.  No  one,  to  my 
knowledge,  has  told  this  so  well  as 
Hildreth. 

From  the  first  moment  that  party  lines  had  been 
distinctly  drawn,  the  opposition  had  possessed  a 
numerical  majority  against  which  nothing  but  the 
superior  energy,  intelligence,  and  practical  skill  of 
the  Federalists,  backed  by  the  great  and  venerable 
name  and  towering  influence  of  Washington,  had 
enabled  them  to  maintain  for  eight  years  past  an 
arduous  and  doubtful  struggle.  The  Federal  party, 
with  Washington  and  Hamilton  at  its  head,  repre- 
sented the  experience,  the  prudence,  the  practical 
wisdom,  the  discipline,  the  conservative  reason  and 
instincts  of  the  country.  The  opposition,  headed  by 
Jefferson,  expressed  its  hopes,  wishes,  theories,  many 
of  them  enthusiastic  and  impracticable,  more  especi- 
ally its  passions,  its  sympathies  and  antipathies,  its 
impatience  of  restraint.  The  Federalists  had  their 
strength  in  those  narrow  districts  where  a concen- 
trated population  had  produced  and  contributed  to 
maintain  that  complexity  of  institutions,  and  that 
reverence  for  social  order,  which,  in  proportion  as 
men  are  brought  into  contiguity,  become  more  abso- 
lutely necessaries  of  existence.  The  ultra-democrat- 
ical  ideas  of  the  opposition  prevailed  in  all  that  more 
extensive  region  in  which  the  dispersion  of  popula- 
tion, and  the  despotic  authority  vested  in  individuals 
over  families  of  slaves,  kept  society  in  a state  of  im- 

* ‘History  of  American  Politics.’  Introduction. 


maturity,  and  made  legal  restraints  the  more  irksome 
in  proportion  as  their  necessity  was  the  less  felt. 
Massachusetts  and  Connecticut  stood  at  the  head  of 
the  one  party,  supported,  though  not  always  without 
some  wavering,  by  the  rest  of  New  England.  The 
other  party  was  led  by  Virginia,  by  whose  finger  all 
the  states  south  and  west  of  the  Potomac  might  be 
considered  to  be  guided.  The  only  exception  was 
South  Carolina,  in  the  tidewater  district  of  which 
state  a certain  number  of  the  wealthier  and  more  in- 
telligent planters,  led  by  a few  men  of  talents  and 
probity  who  had  received  their  education  in  Eng- 
land, were  inclined  to  support  the  Federal  policy 
so  ably  upheld  in  congress  by  Smith,  Harper,  Pinck- 
ney and  Rutledge.  But  even  in  South  Carolina  the 
mass  of  the  voting  population  felt  and  thought  other- 
wise ; nor  could  the  influence  of  a few  individuals 
long  resist  a numerical  preponderancy  so  decided. 
As  for  the  states  of  Georgia,  Tennessee  and  Ken- 
tucky, and,  except  for  a brief  moment,  North  Caro- 
lina, they  followed,  without  doubt  or  hesitation,  in 
the  wake  of  Virginia,  and  the  rapidly-increasing 
backwoods  settlements  of  all  these  states  constantly 
added  new  strength  to  the  opposition.  Of  the  five 
states  intervening  between  Virginia  and  New  Eng- 
land, little  Delaware  alone  adhered  with  unflinching 
firmness  to  the  Federal  side.  Maryland  and  New 
Jersey,  though  wavering  and  undecided,  inclined  also 
the  same  way.  The  decision  between  Federalism 
and  the  so-called  Republican  party  depended  on  the 
two  great  and  growing  states  of  Pennsylvania  and 
New  York  ; and  from  the  very  fact  that  they  were 
growing,  that  both  of  them  had  an  extensive  back- 
woods  frontier,  and  that  both  were  constantly 
receiving  accessions  of  political  enthusiasts  from 
Europe,  they  both  inclined  more  and  more  to  the 
Republican  side.* 

Naturally  and  easily  the  south  grav- 
itated to  the  school  founded  by  Jefferson. 
For  a time  Federalism  had  a vigorous 
root  in  certain  regions  of  the  south,  but 
the  natural  affiliation  of  a slave  society 
and  strict  construction  was  too  strong 
for  southern  Federalism.  Later,  the 
Whig  party  took  a strong  hold  of  some 
of  the  southern  states  ; but  the  Whigs  of 
the  south  were  nearly  all  ready  to  em- 

* ‘History  of  the  United  States,’  V.  pp.  415-16. 


10 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


brace  the  Calhoun  doctrines  when  they 
thought  them  necessary  to  the  prosper- 
ity of  slavery.  However,  it  was  no  ac- 
cident that  made  the  south  the  home  of 
nullification  and  secession.  Jefferson 
himself  pushed  his  strict  construction 
method  to  the  extent  of  nullification,  in 
the  originals  of  the  celebrated  “ Ken- 
tucky Resolutions”  of  1798,  though  it 
was  Calhoun  who  fully  elaborated  the 
nullification  doctrine  and  made  ready 
the  “ constitutional”  way  for  secession. 


In  some  of  its  features,  southern  soci- 
ety was  a reproduction  of  feudalism. 
Like  feudalism,  it  called  for  great  estates 
or  plantations  ; like  feudalism,  it  raised 
the  proprietor  high  above  both  the  slave 
and  the  common  freeman  ; like  feudal- 
ism, it  stripped  the  many  of  political 
power  and  made  a real  democracy  im- 
possible. John  Randolph  bitterly  de- 
nounced Jefferson  and  his  compeers  for 
abolishing  primogeniture  in  Virginia, 
and  he  loved  to  call  his  Roanoke  plan- 
tation his  “ Barony.” 

The  boasted  democracy  of  the  south 
was  akin  to  the  feudal  aristocracy.  The 
most  complete  despotism  in  the  baron 
over  the  serf,  or  in  the  plantation-owner 
over  the  slave,  was  compatible  with  the 
loftiest  self-assertion — in  fact,  rather 
necessitated  it.  Each  led  to  as  marked 
an  egotism  as  the  world  has  seen. 
In  his  famous  “ Speech  on  concili- 
ation with  America,”  delivered  in  the 
house  of  commons,  March  22,  1775, 
Edmund  Burke  said  there  was  one  cir- 
cumstance attending  the  southern  colo- 
nies which  “made  the  spirit  of  liberty 


still  more  high  and  haughty  there  than 
in  those  to  the  northward.” 

It  is  that  in  Virginia  and  the  Carolinas  they  have 
a vast  multitude  of  slaves.  Where  this  is  the  case 
in  any  part  of  the  world,  those  who  are  free  are  by 
far  the  most  proud  and  jealous  of  their  freedom. 
Freedom  is  to  them  not  only  an  enjoyment,  but  a 
kind  of  rank  and  privilege.  Not  seeing  there  that 
freedom,  as  in  countries  where  it  is  a common  bless- 
ing, and  as  broad  and  general  as  the  air,  may  be 
united  with  much  abject  toil,  with  great  misery,  with 
all  the  exteriors  of  servitude,  liberty  looks,  amongst 
them,  like  something  that  is  more  noble  and  liberal. 

I do  not  mean,  sir,  to  commend  the  superior  morality 
of  this  sentiment,  which  has  at  least  as  much  pride 
as  virtue  in  it ; but  I cannot  alter  the  nature  of  man. 
The  fact  is  so  ; and  these  people  of  the  southern  col- 
onies are  much  more  strongly,  and  with  an  higher 
and  more  stubborn  spirit,  attached  to  liberty  than 
those  to  the  northward.  Such  were  all  the  ancient 
commonwealths  ; such  were  our  Gothic  ancestors ; 
such  in  our  days  were  the  Poles  ; and  such  will  be 
all  masters  of  slaves,  who  are  not  slaves  themselves. 
In  such  a people  the  haughtiness  of  domination  corn- 
bins  with  the  spirit  of  freedom,  fortifies  it  and  ren- 
ders it  invincible. 

But  this  was  only  the  spirit  of  liberty 
in  the  slaveholding  class. 

The  most  marked  political  product  of 
feudalism  was  its  pronounced  opposition 
to  a strong  central  authority.  The  most 
inveterate  enemy  of  the  middle-age  king 
was  the  middle-age  baron ; the  most 
inveterate  enemy  of  American  nation- 
alism was  the  slaveholder.  Both  the 
baron  and  the  slaveholder  was  true  to 
his  class  and  to  his  interests.  The 
baron  knew  that  he  and  a real  king 
could  not  both  exist  at  the  same  time  ; 
so  he  arrogated  all  the  power  and  dig- 
nity that  he  could  to  his  own  order  and 
played  the  fief  off  against  the  realm. 
The  slaveholder  disliked  the  sentiment 
of  nationality  and  feared  the  nation. 
The  changed  conditions  of  life  made  it 
impossible  to  place  the  plantation  in 


SOME  FEATURES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


11 


opposition  to  the  nation.  But  the  state 
might  take  that  place,  and  to  that  end 
he  bent  his  energies.  The  state  he 
could  control,  but  he  did  not  know 
what  might  happen  if  the  national  gov- 
ernment should  fall  into  the  hands  of 
men  opposed  to  slavery.  Hence,  one 
cause  of  his  fondness  for  the  extreme 
state  rights  doctrine.  What  is  more? 
he  and  his  establishment  were  much 
more  prominent  in  Virginia  or  Georgia 
than  they  could  be  in  the  United  States. 
His  interest  lay,  first,  in  his  own  plan- 
tation ; secondly,  in  the  state  controlled 
by  himself  and  his  class  ; thirdly,  in 
the  south;  and  fourthly  in  the  Union. 
True,  he  was  more  than  willing  to  use 
the  power  of  the  Union  for  the  procure- 
ment of  more  slave  territory,  or  for 
hunting  down  fugitive  slaves  upon  land 
or  sea  ; but  he  never  ceased  to  keep  a 
jealous  eye  upon  the  central  govern- 
ment. The  prospect  of  free  speech  and 
and  free  labor  getting  the  upper  hand 
at  Washington  filled  him  with  anxious 
alarm ; and  the  near  approach  of  that 
hour  drove  him  into  rebellion  in  1861. 
He  constantly  berated  the  north  for  being 
“ narrow-minded  ” and  “ intolerant,”  but 
at  home  he  suppressed,  at  whatever  cost, 
all  discussion  of  unwelcome  topics.  He 
constantly  inveighed  against  “ section- 
alism,” and  was  perpetually  talking 
about  “ the  south.”  To  be  called  “ an 
American  ” was  less  honorable  than  to 
be  called  “ a Carolinian,”  “ a Virgin- 
ian,” or  “ a Georgian.”  Accordingly, 
when  he  visited  London  or  Paris,  he 
registered  himself  at  the  hotels  as  from 
“ South  Carolina”  or  from  “Virginia,” 
and  not  from  the  United  States  of  Amer- 


ica. When  the  war  was  over,  and  the 
Confederacy  for  which  he  had  risked 
and  lost  so  much  had  been  destroyed, 
“ the  south”  became  more  to  him  than 
his  state.  It  was  hallowed  to  his  mem- 
ory and  invested  with  the  charms  of 
poetic  sentiment.* 


Slavery  moulded  the  tempers  of  men 
and  their  social  manners.  Plow  it  in- 
tensified the  slaveholder’s  sense  of  per- 
sonal independence  has  been  illustrated. 
I may  again  revert  to  the  analogy  of 
slavery  and  feudalism. 

In  his  lecture  on  the  feudal  system, 
Guizot  points  out  the  influence  of 
feudal  life  on  the  disposition  and  tem- 
per of  the  baron  and  his  family.  He 
speaks  of  “ the  great  importance  with 
which  the  possessor  of  the  fief  must 
have  been  regarded,  not  only  by  him- 

* The  following  contrast  (‘Bricks  Without  Straw,’ 
p.  382)  is  both  strictly  just  and  largely  significant : 

“ She  might  have  known  this  had  she  but  noted  how 
the  word  ‘ southern  ’ leaps  into  prominence  as  soon 
as  the  old  ‘ Mason  and  Dixon’s  line ' is  crossed. 
There  are * * *  4 southern  ’ hotels  and  4 southern  ’ rail- 
roads, 4 southern  ’ steamboats,  4 southern  ’ stage 
Goaches,  4 southern  ’ express  companies,  4 southern  ’ 
books,  4 southern  ’ newspapers,  4 southern  ’ patent 
medicines,  4 southern  ’ churches,  4 southern  ’ man- 
ners, 4 southern  ’ gentlemen,  4 southern  ’ ladies, 

4 southern  ’ restaurants,  4 southern  ’ bar-rooms, 

4 southern  ’ whiskey,  4 southern  ’ gambling-hells, 
‘southern’  principles,  ‘southern’  everything!  Big 
or  little,  good  or  bad,  everything  that  courts  popu- 
larity, patronage  or  applause,  makes  haste  to  brand 
itself  as  distinctly  and  especially  4 southern.  ’ 

“Then  she  might  have  remembered  that  in  all 
the  north — the  great,  busy,  hustling,  over-confident, 
giantly  great  heart  of  the  continent — there  is  not  to 
be  found  a single  4 northern  ’ hotel,  steamer,  railway, 
stage  coach,  bar-room,  restaurant,  school,  uni- 
versity, school  book,  or  any  other  4 northern  ’ in- 
stitution.” 


12 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TERN  HISTORY. 


self  but  by  all  around  him.’’  “ It  was 
the  importance  of  the  proprietor,  of 
the  head  of  the  family,  of  the  master.” 
“ His  greatness  belonged  to  himself 
alone,  he  held  nothing  of  any  one  ; all 
his  rights,  all  his  power  centered  in  him- 
self.” “What  a vast  influence  must  a 
situation  like  this  have  exercised  over 
him  who  enjoyed  it ; what  haughtiness, 
what  pride  must  it  have  engendered  ! 
Above  him,  no  superior  of  whom  he  was 
but  the  representative  and  the  interpre- 
ter ; near  him  no  equals  ; no  general 
and  powerful  law  to  restrain  him  ; no 
exterior  force  to  control  him  ; his 
will  suffered  no  check  but  from  the 
limits  of  his  power  and  the  presence  of 
danger.”  In  nearly  every  particular 
this  will  do  for  an  account  of  the  dispo- 
sition that  slavery  engendered  in  the 
slavemaster.  Look  for  a moment  at 
the  great  planter’s  position.  Most  of 
the  surrounding  population  are  slaves. 
Besides,  they  belong  to  an  inferior  and 
despised  race.  Again,  a large  ma- 
jority of  his  own  race  about  him  are 
poor  and  ignorant,  and  little  more 
thought  of,  in  their  present  condition, 
than  the  negroes  themselves.  He  and 
his  family  live  in  the  mansion  (or 
“ Great  House  ”)  ; around  them  are, 
say,  one  thousand  slaves ; few  or  no 
whites  are  within  several  miles.  As 
respects  their  relations  to  their  depend- 
ents, this  plantation  family  are  laws 
unto  themselves.  The  proprietor  knows 
first,  that  he  is  the  master  of  the  thou- 
sand human  chattels  about  him  ; and 
secondly,  that  as  such  master  he  has  in 
the  American  congress  as  much  power 
as  a New  England  or  an  Ohio  village 


of  six  hundred  people.  Such  condi- 
tions as  these  cannot  fail  powerfully  to 
mould  both  the  individual  man  and 
society.  The  slaveholder’s  arrogance 
may  sleep  in  his  own  home,  in  the  fond- 
ness of  social  intercourse  ; but  on  the 
plantation,  at  the  hustings,  or  in  the 
forum  it  is  liable  at  any  moment  to  as- 
sert itself.  His  pride  makes  him  im- 
pervious to  modern  ideas  ; his  isolation 
prevents  his  seeing  in  what  direction 
society  is  moving  ; his  autocracy  ren- 
ders him  intolerant ; and,  although  the 
most  dependent  of  men,  since  he  has 
to  subsist  upon  one  or  two  agricultural 
staples,  he  fancies  himself  the  king  of  the 
industrial  world.  All  this  is  well  illus- 
trated in  the  famous  speech  of  Hon.  J. 
H.  Hammond  of  South  Carolina,  de- 
livered in  the  national  senate,  March  4, 
1858,  entitled,  “Kansas-Lecompton  Con- 
stitution,” which  made  so  profound  an 
impression  upon  the  whole  north  at  the 
time  of  its  delivery,  that  it  is  not  yet 
forgotten.  After  devoting  a third  of  his 
speech  to  the  Lecompton  constitution, 
paying  especial  attention  to  the  argu- 
ments of  Mr.  Douglas,  the  senator 
takes  up  the  slavery  question. 

I think  it  is  not  improper,  he  says,  that  I should 
bring  the  north  and  south  face  to  face,  and  see  what 
resources  each  of  us  might  have  in  the  contingency 
of  separate  organization,  (He  then  goes  on  to  com- 
pare the  two  sections  in  territory,  in  resources,  in 
products,  and  in  social  features.)  The  sway  of  that 
valley  (the  Mississippi)  will  be  as  great  as  ever 
the  Nile  knew  in  the  earlier  ages  of  mankind.  We 
own  the  most  of  that  valley.  The  most  valuable  part 
of  it  belongs  to  us  ; and,  although  those  who  have 
settled  above  us  are  now  opposed  to  us,  another  gen- 
eration will  tell  a different  tale.  They  are  ours  by 
all  the  laws  of  nature  ; slave  labor  will  go  over 
every  foot  of  this  great  valley  where  it  will  be  found 
profitable  to  use  it.  . . . What  would  happen  if 


SOME  FE AT URES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


13 


no  cotton  was  furnished  for  three  years  ? I will  not 
stop  to  depict  what  everyone  can  imagine,  but  this  is 
certain.  Old  England  would  topple  headlong  and 
carry  the  whole  civilized  world  with  her.  No  sir, 
you  dare  not  make  war  on  cotton.  No  power 
on  earth  dares  to  make  war  upon  it.  Cotton  is 
king.  . . The  greatest  strength  of  the  south  arises 

from  the  harmony  of  her  political  and  social 
institutions.  This  harmony  gives  her  a frame  ol 
society,  the  best  in  the  w'orld,  and  an  extent  of  po- 
litical freedom,  combintd  with  entire  security,  such 
as  no  other  people  ever  enjoyed  upon  the  face  of  the 
earth.  ...  In  all  social  systems  there  must  be 
a class  to  do  the  mean  duties,  to  perform  the 
drudgery  of  life — that  is,  a class  requiring  but  a low 
order  of  intellect  and  but  little  skill.  Its  requisites 
are  vigor,  docility,  fidelity.  Such  a class  you  must 
have,  or  you  would  not  have  that  other  class  which 
leads  progress,  refinement  and  civilization.  It  consti- 
tutes the  very  mud-sills  of  society  and  of  political 
government ; and  you  might  as  well  attempt  to  build 
a house  in  the  air  as  to  build  either  the  one  or  the 
other,  exeept  on  the  mud-sills.  Fortunately  for  the 
south,  she  found  a race  adapted  to  this  purpose  to 
her  hand — a race  inferior  to  herself,  but  eminently 
qualified  in  temper,  in  vigor,  in  docility,  in  capacity, 
to  stand  the  climate,  to  answer  all  her  purposes.  We 
use  them  for  the  purpose  and  call  them  slaves.  We 
are  old-fashioned  at  the  south  yet  : it  is  a word  dis- 
carded now  by  “ears  polite.”  I will  not  characterize 
that  class  of  the  north  with  the  term ; but  you  have  it: 
it  is  there,  it  is  everywhere,  it  is  eternal.  The  sen- 
ator from  New  York  said  yesterday  that  the  whole 
world  had  abolished  slavery.  Aye,  the  name , but 
not  the  thing;  and  all  the  powers  of  the  earth  cannot 
abolish  it.  God  only  can  do  it  when  he  repeals  the 
fiat , “ The  poor  ye  always  have  with  you  for  the 

man  who  lives  by  daily  labor,  and  scarcely  lives  at 
that,  and  who  has  to  put  out  his  labor  in  the  market 
and  take  the  best  he  can  get  for  it,  in  short, 
your  whole  class  of  manual  laborers  and  opera- 
tives, as  you  call  them,  are  slaves.  The  differ- 
ence between  us  is  that  our  slaves  are  hired  for 
life  and  well  compensated  ; there  is  no  starvation, 
no  begging,  no  want  of  employment  among  our 
people,  and  not  too  much  employment  either. 
Yours  are  hired  by  the  day,  not  cared  for,  and 
scarcely  compensated.  . . . 

The  south  have  sustained  you  in  great  measure  ; 
you  are  our  factors  ; you  bring  and  carry  for  us  ; 
one  hundred  and  fifty  million  dollars  of  our  money 
passes  annually  through  your  hands  ; much  of  it 


sticks  ; all  of  it  assists  in  keeping  your  machinery 
together  and  in  motion.  Suppose  we  were  to  dis- 
charge you  ; suppose  we  were  to  take  our  business 
out  of  your  hands,  we  should  consign  you  to  an- 
archy and  poverty. 

How  strange  these  passages  read 
at  the  distance  of  twenty-eight  years  ! 
They  bring  before  us  a world  that  has 
passed  forever  away.  Let  it  not  be 
supposed  that  their  author  was  a brag- 
gadocio. Mr.  Hammond  was  a man  of 
ability  and  education,  of  calmness  and 
sincerity,  an  excellent  representative 
of  the  class  to  which  he  belonged  ; yet 
the  peculiar  institution  of  the  south 
had  so  blinded  his  eyes  to  the  move- 
ments of  the  modern  world  that  he  could 
assert  slavery  to  be  an  eternal  fact,  and 
proclaim  cotton  king. 

But  slavery  was  more  than  a school 
of  pride  and  arrogance.  It  was  a school 
of  passion  and  violence  as  well.  This 
has  never  been  better  told  than  by  Mr. 
Jefferson  in  the  once  much-quoted  pas- 
sage from  the  ‘ Notes  on  Virginia 

The  whole  commerce  between  master  and  slave  is 
a perpetual  exercise  of  the  most  boistrous  passions, 
the  most  unremitting  despotism  on  the  one  part,  and 
degrading  submissions  on  the  other.  Our  children 
see  this  and  learn  to  imitate  it  ; for  man  is  an  imi 
tative  animal.  This  quality  is  the  germ  of  all  educa- 
tion in  him.  From  his  cradle  to  his  grave  he  i 
learning  to  do  what  he  sees  others  do.  If  a parents 
could  find  no  motive  either  in  his  philanthropy  or  his 
self-love,  for  restraining  the  intemperance  of  pas- 
sion toward  his  slave,  it  should  always  be  a sufficient 
one  that  his  child  is  present.  But  generally  it  is  not 
sufficient.  The  parent  storms,  the  child  looks  on , 
atches  the  lineaments  of  wrath,  puts  on  the  same 
cairs  in  the  circle  of  smaller  slaves,  gives  a loose  rein 
to  the  worst  of  passions,  and  thus  nursed,  educated, 
and  daily  exercised  in  tyranny,  cannot  but  be 
stamped  by  it  with  odious  peculiarities.  The  man 
must  be  a prodigy  who  can  retain  his  manners  and 

* Works  VIII,  p.  403. 


14 


MAGAZINE  OE  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


morals  undepraved  by  such  circumstances.  And 
with  what  execration  should  the  statesman  be  loaded, 
who,  permitting  one  half  of  the  citizens  thus  to  tram- 
ple on  the  rights  of  the  other,  transforms  those  into 
despots,  and  these  into  enemies,  destroys  the  morals 
of  the  one  part,  and  the  amor  patriot  of  the  other. 

For  two  hundred  years  the  history  of 
slavery  is  a striking  commentary  on  this 
striking  passage.  Slavery  fostered  a 
rudeness  and  crudeness,  a lawlessness 
and  a violence  such  as  could  be  found 
in  no  highly  civilized  state.  Nor  did 
these  things  come  to  an  end  with  their 
cause;  they  exist  to-day,  and  will  not 
wholly  disappear  for  years,  perhaps 
generations,  to  come.  In  studying  the 
history  of  such  social  phenomena  as  the 
duello,  homicide,  and  “moonshining”  at 
the  south,  we  are  never  to  overlook  the 
fact  that  the  “frontier”  and  the  “moun- 
tain regions  ” are  large  factors  in  the 
problem  ; nor  are  we  to  overlook  the  fact 
that  slavery  was  an  indirect  as  well  as  a 
direct  cause ; not  only  did  it  ingender 
violence,  but  it  tended  powerfully  to 
keep  population  sparse,  and  to  make 
civilization  rude  and  crude. 

The  local  political  institutions  of  the 
south  were  congruous  with  the  other 
features  of  southern  society.  In  his  ad- 
mirable memoir,  ‘ The  Minor  Political 
Divisions  of  the  United  States,’*  Profes- 
sor S.  A.  Galpin  says:  “The  principle 

of  local  self-government  has  given  to 
the  several  states — exhibiting  as  they  do 
wide  diversity  of  settlement,  of  interest, 
and  of  traditions — codes  of  local  law 
differing  in  greater  or  less  degree  from 
each  other.”  He  roughly  classes  these 
codes  as  the  “town”  system,  the 

* * Statistical  Atlas  of  the  United  States  ; ' 1870. 


“county”  system,  and  the  “com- 
promise ” system.  The  town  system 
proper  is  found  only  in  New  England. 
Until  recently  the  county  system  pre- 
vailed universally,  as  it  still  does  gen- 
erally, in  the  south.  In  the  great  mid- 
dle states,  and  in  most  of  the  western, 
the  compromise  system  is  found.  The 
town  and  county  systems  were  firmly 
rooted  in  their  respective  sections  be- 
fore the  Revolution.  Let  it  not  be  sup- 
posed that  the  county  does  not  exist 
where  the  town  system  prevails,  or  that 
the  tov/n  is  unknown  in  the  county  sys- 
tem. The  classification  turns,  not  on 
the  absence  of  town  or  county  from  the 
state,  but  on  the  place  that  town  or 
county  holds  in  the  scheme  of  local  gov- 
ernment. In  the  one  system  the  town, 
in  the  other  system  the  county,  is  the 
political  unit.  The  town,  as  known  in 
New  England,  is  defined  by  Professor 
Galpin  as  “a  body  corporate  and 
politic,  deriving  its  charter  from  the 
legislature  of  the  state,  and  generally 
entitled  to  an  independent  representa- 
tion in  the  lower  branch  of  that  legisla- 
ture. It  has  power  to  elect  its  own 
officers,  to  manage  in  its  own  way  its 
own  roads,  schools,  local  police  and 
other  domestic  concerns,  and  collects 
through  its  own  officers  not  only  its  self- 
imposed  taxes  for  local  purposes,  but 
also  those  levied  by  the  legislature  for 
the  support  of  the  state,  or  by  the  county 
officers  for  the  limited  objects  of  their 
expenditure.”  The  New  England  town 
meeting  is  a local  legislature  made  up 
of  the  voters  of  the  town.  Under  this 
system  the  county  is  mainly  a judicial 
subdivision  of  the  state  ; its  political 


SOME  FEATURES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


15 


power  is  a minimum.  At  the  south  all 
these  conditions  are  exactly  reversed. 
“ The  names  of  the  greater  and  lesser 
subdivisions  of  the  state  may  remain  un- 
changed, but  the  powers  and  position 
of  these  subdivisions  are  in  no  case  or 
degree  the  same.  The  town  or  township 
is  but  the  skeleton  of  the  New  England 
town,  while  the  county  is  clothed  with 
all  the  political  power.”  It  derives  its 
powers  from  the  legislature,  and  is  re- 
sponsible to  the  state  authorities  for  its 
share  of  the  state  taxation.  Generally 
the  town  has  no  political  power  what- 
ever, and  exists  only  for  convenience  at 
the  general  elections,  or  to  make  the 
district  of  a justice  of  the  peace  and 
constable.  “ The  divisions  subordinate 
to  the  county  are  generally  called  pre- 
cincts in  the  south,”  says  Dr.  I.  W. 
Andrews.  “In  Mississippi  whole  coun- 
ties have  no  other  names  for  the  subdi- 
visions than  those  furnished  by  the 
ranges  and  townships,  as  if  we  (citizens 
of  Washington  county,  Ohio)  should 
know  Lawrence  as  township  three,  range 
seven.  In  North  Carolina  the  county 
seems  to  be  divided  numerically,  as  if 
Belpre  were  merely  number  4.”*  The 
compromise  system  combines  some  of 
the  features  of  the  other  two  systems. 
It  makes  less  of  the  town  than  New 
England,  and  less  of  the  county  than 
the  south.  It  calls  for  no  further  men- 
tion. 

The  New  England  towns  caught  the 
observant  cry  of  Mr.  Jefferson.  He 
referred  to  them  in  his  correspondence  in 

* ‘ Washington  County  and  the  Early  Settlement  of 
Ohio,'  1877,  pp.  32,  33. 


1810,  in  1816,  and  again  in  1824,  as  the 
following  quotations  will  show  : 

These  little  republics  would  be  the  main  strength 
of  the  great  on2.  We  owe  to  them  the  vigor  given  to 
our  Revolution  in  its  commencement  in  the  eastern 
states,  and  by  them  the  eastern  states  were  enabled 
to  repeal  the  embargo  in  opposition  to  the  middle, 
southern  and  western  states,  and  their  large  and  lub- 
berly division  into  counties  which  can  never  be  as- 
sembled. General  orders  are  given  out  from  a 
centre  to  the  foreman  of  every  hundred,  as  to  the 
sergeants  of  an  army,  and  the  whole  nation 
is  thrown  into  energetic  action  in  the  same  di- 
rection, in  one  instant,  and  and  as  one  man, 
becomes  absolutely  irresistible.  . . . These 

wards,  called  townships  in  New  England,  are  the 
vital  principle  of  their  governments  and  have  proved 
themselves  the  wisest  invention  ever  devised  by  the 
wit  of  man  for  the  perfect  exercise  of  self-government 
and  for  its  preservation.  We  should  thus  marshal  our 
government  into,  i,  the  general  federal  republic,  for 
all  concerns  foreign  and  federal ; 2,  that  of  the  state, 
for  what  relates  to  our  own  citizens  exclusively  ; 3, 
the  county  republics,  for  the  duties  and  concerns  of 
the  county  ; and  4,  the  ward  republics,  for  the  small 
and  yet  numerous  and  interesting  concerns  of  the 
neighborhood  ; and  in  government,  as  well  as  in 
every  other  business  of  life,  it  is  by  division  and  sub- 
division of  duties  alone,  that  all  matters,  great  and 
small,  can  be  managed  to  perfection.  And  the 
whole  is  cemented  by  giving  to  every  citizen,  person- 
ally, a part  in  the  administration  of  the  public  af- 
fairs  Among  other  improvements  I 

hope  they  (a  proposed  constitutional  convention)  will 
adopt  the  subdivision  of  out  comities  into  wards. 
The  former  may  be  estimated  at  an  average  of  twenty- 
four  miles  square  ; the  latter  should  be  about  six 
miles  square  each,  and  would  answer  to  the  hundreds 
of  your  Saxon  Alfred.  In  each  of  these  might  be,  1st, 
An  elementary  school ; 2nd,  A company  of  militia, 
with  its  officers  ; 3rd,  A justice  of  the  peace  and  con- 
stable ; 4th,  Each  ward  should  take  care  of  their  own 
poor;  5th,  Their  own  roads  ; 6th,  Their  own  police  ; 
7th,  Elect  within  themselves  one  or  more  jurors  to 
attend  the  courts  of  justice  ; and  8th.  Give  in  at 
their  Folk  House  their  votes  for  all  functionaries  re- 
served to  their  election.  * 

* See  ‘Jefferson’s  Works’,  Vol.  V.  p.  525.  Vol.  VII, 
pp.  13.  357- 


16 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


Aggreeing  as  we  must  with  these  views, 
we  can  not  resist  the  conviction  that 
Mr.  Jefferson  did  not  comprehend  the 
subject.  It  was  not  a mere  accident  that 
town  institutions  sprang  up  in  New  Eng- 
land ; they  were  an  outgrowth  of  the 
temper  and  habits  of  the  people,  as  well 
as  of  the  circumstances  under  which  the 
New  England  settlements  were  made. 
Once  planted,  they  lived  by  their  own 
strength  and  powerfully  influenced  the 
spirit  and  the  manners  of  the  people. 
The  history  of  the  old  settlements  began 
with  the  planting  of  a new  church  or 
“ society.”  This  church  continued  to  be 
the  centre  of  life.  Population  thus 
tended  to  small  aggregations,  and  local 
assemblies  were  early  secured.  The 
principle  of  independency  developes  the 
spirit  of  democracy  and  individualism. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  external  condi- 
tions of  local  municipal  institutions  did 
not  exist  in  the  south.  Slavery  scattered 
population.  The  mild  climate,  the  large 
tracts  of  unoccupied  land,  and  the  out- 
door habits  of  the  people  tended  in  the 
same  direction.  Slavery  created  strongly 
marked  class  distinctions.  But  more, 
the  interior  or  mental  conditions  of  town 
government  were  wanting.  Tidewater 
Virginia  or  South  Carolina,  in  Jefferson’s 
day,  no  doubt  had  a sufficiently  dense 
population  to  support  towns,  but  towns 
were  foreign  to  the  whole  spirit  and  cul- 
ture of  Virginia  and  Carolina,  as  well  as 
of  the  entire  south.  Towns  can  exist 
only  among  proper  democrats,  in  tem- 
per, in  habits,  and  in  traditions ; while 
proper  democrats  are  persons  whom 
slavery  did  not  produce.  But  while  the 
town  system  could  not  exist  without 


democrats,  the  county  system  and 
oligarchy  were  perfectly  congruous. 
Southerners  long  berated  northerners 
for  their  want  of  “ freedom  ” and  for  their 
centralizing  tendencies,  but  no  highly  civ- 
ilized people  has  equaled  the  New  Eng- 
landers in  perfection  of  democratic  in- 
stitutions. To  quote  Professor  Galpin’s 
1 Memoir  ’ : “ The  area  of  the  county  for- 
bids any  general  gathering  of  its  inhab- 
itants vested  with  the  legislative  and 
executive  functions  of  the  town  meeting, 
as  well  as  any  intimate  mutual  acquaint- 
ance between  the  inhabitants  of  its 
different  sections.  Of  necessity,  there- 
fore, the  administration  of  all  local  affairs 
is  entrusted  wholly  to  the  county  officers, 
and  the  political  duty  and  privilege  of 
the  citizen  begins  and  ends  on  election 
day.”  Had  Virginia  set  up  the  town 
in  1824,  Mr.  Jefferson  would  have  been 
grievously  disappointed  in  the  result. 


Such  were  some  of  the  important 
effects  wrought  by  slavery  in  southern 
society  in  two  hundred  and  fifty  years. 
They  were  plainly-marked  features  of 
the  south  when,  in  1861,  in  the  act  of 
secession,  the  south  with  a light  heart 
threw  down  the  gage  of  battle.  South- 
ern men  saw  the  north  engaged  in  mak- 
ing money,  and  they  looked  upon  north- 
ern men  as  the  Duke  of  Alva  looked 
upon  the  “ men  of  butter,”  when  he 
went  to  the  Low  Countries.  They  talked 
about  the  “ capture  of  Washington  ” 
much  as  the  French  officers  of  the 
Second  Empire  talked  about  “ the 
promenade  to  Berlin,”  in  1870.  To 
point  out  how  they  were  by  degrees 
undeceived  would  be  to  relate  the  his- 


SOME  FE AT URES  OF  THE  OLD  SOUTH. 


17 


tory  of  the  war  ; but  it  came  in  time. 
Perhaps  I should  add  that  I have  not 
attempted  a full  account  of  southern 
society.  Slavery  in  the  south  was  at- 
tended by  those  better  results  that  are 
generally  or  always  found  in  its  com- 
pany. The  typical  southerner  had  the 
traditionary  dignity,  hospitality,  self- 
respect,  and  chivalry  of  the  slaveholder. 
In  the  feudal  castle,  according  to  Gui- 
zot, domestic  manners  acquired  a great 
preponderance.  “ The  chief  habitually 
returns  into  the  bosom  of  his  family. 
He  there  finds  his  wife  and  children, 
and  scarcely  any  but  them  ; they  alone 
are  his  constant  companions  ; they 
alone  divide  his  sorrows  and  share 
his  joys  ; they  alone  are  interested  in 
all  that  concerns  him.”  The  plantation 
was  much  like  the  castle  in  this  respect. 
Debarred  by  his  race  and  station  from 
performing  any  labor  but  that  of  superin- 
tendence ; trained  from  boyhood  in  a 
superior  manner;  free  in  great  degree 
from  the  tormenting  spirit  of  business 
and  money-getting  that  follows  the 
northerner  by  day  and  perches  on  his 
bed-post  by  night  ; easy  in  his  bearing 
and  free  in  his  spirit  ; hospitable  to  a 
fault,  surrounded  by  a cultivated  fam- 
ily — the  southern  gentleman  never 
failed  to  make  an  excellent  impression 


on  the  foreigner  whom  he  took  to  his 
home.  What  is  more,  the  northerner, 
who  understood  the  real  case  much 
better  than  the  European,  could  not 
on  its  own  ground  resist  the  captivat- 
ing influence.  The  southern  gentleman 
always  lived  in  the  midst  of  crudeness, 
rudeness,  violence,  and  selfish  passion  ; 
nevertheless,  he  threw  over  them  all  a 
social  and  personal  charm  that  half  re- 
lieved them  of  their  defects.* 

B.  A.  Hinsdale. 


* One  of  our  late  English  visitors  was  charmed 
with  what  he  saw  in  New  Orleans  : 

“On  arriving  at  New  Orleans  the  traveler  at  once 
discovers  the  great  difference  in  the  social  atmos- 
phere, which  is  manifested  at  every  turn.  At  the 
railway  station  I asked,  “Is  this  the  ticket  office?” 
and  not  only  received  a civil  reply  but  the  persons 
waiting  stood  aside  to  give  precedence  to  a stranger. 
The  first  man  of  whom  I asked  a question  in  the 
streets  raised  his  hat  as  he  replied.  As  I descended 
from  the  omnibus  in  front  of  the  St.  Charles  Hotel, 
a newsboy  said,  “ Permit  me  to  sell  you  a paper;  sir, 
published  on  the  eve  of  your  arrival."  A northern 
boy  would  have  bawled  out,  “ Rt-pub-lic-can.  Five 
cents.  Last  chance.”  On  entering  a church  the 
next  morning  I asked  a little  girl  at  what  time  the 
service  commenced.  She  said,  “ When  the  Sunday- 
school  is  over.”  “When  will  the  Sunday-school  be 
over?”  “ When  the  bell  rings."  “When  will  the 
bell  ring?”  “When  we  have  done  singing.”  No 
northern  girl,  however  tiny,  could  have  given  such 
poetical  and  impractical  answers." — William  Saun- 
ders, ‘ Through  the  Light  Continent,’  London,  pp. 
66,  67. 


18 


MAGAZINE  01  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


SOME  OBSERVATIONS  UPON  THE  HISTORY  AND  LAWS  OF  POLIT- 
ICAL PARTIES  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES.* 


Born  to  be  politicians,  we  have  some 
good  political  histories ; some  things  of 
the  science  of  politics,  and  one  good 
history  of  the  Federal  party  and  of 
politics  during  the  time  of  that  party. f 
Von  Holst;  President  Porter,  and  others, 
have  done  much  for  us.  No  one  has 
attempted  an  elucidation  of  the  laws 
which  determine  the  rise,  continuance 
and  dissolution  of  parties.  Political 
power  is  so  widely  distributed,  exer- 
cised with  such  freedom,  there  is  so 
little  in  our  institutions  to  determine  the 
party  bias  of  men,  parties  shift  and 
change  so  constantly,  influenced  mainly 
by  the  ever  present  laws  of  their  being, 
that  seemingly  it  is  not  difficult  to  detect 
some  of  these  laws.  That  some  of  the 
more  obvious  are  persistently  disre- 
garded in  an  idle  attempt  to  construct 
parties,  renders  the  subject  one  of  prac- 
tical importance,  as  well  as  interesting. 
My  present  purpose  is  to  call  attention 
to  the  subject,  rather  than  an  exhaustive 
attempt  to  elucidate  the  supposed  laws 
themselves,  with  references  to  our  well 
known  history. 

It  may  be  said  that  a working  govern- 
ment consists  of  three  classes  of  agencies. 
The  frame  work,  mere  mechanics; — leg- 
islative, executive,  judicial  machinery  ; 
the  operatives,  the  working  officials, 

* Written  in  1883. 

f Hildreth’s  History. 


including  the  wksle  scheme  of  superin- 
tendency; and  the  owners,  who  supervise 
the  supervisors.  The  two  first  are  con- 
stitutional and  legal.  In  ours  these  are 
defined  in  writing.  The  third,  in  some 
sort  institutional,  is  purely  voluntary. 
Every  man  by  birth  or  its  equivalent, 
shares — is  a share-owner.  No  one  be- 
comes an  operative  of  any  class  save 
by  selection,  unless  service  as  jurors  is 
an  exception.  This  third  factor  in  its 
organized  methods  is  in  part  the  subject 
of  this  paper.  This  it  is  which  forms, 
changes,  repairs,  controls,  dictates 
what  the  machinery  shall  produce ; is 
the  proprietor,  for  whom  the  whole  is 
supposed  to  work.  Law,  enacted  by 
itself,  determines  its  times  and  methods 
of  performing  its  proprietary  duties, 
exercising  its  franchises  and  powers,  as 
the  owner.  The  great  subject  of  powers 
and  correlative  duties  is  beyond  my 
present  purpose.  Obviously  a people 
capable  of  devising  a complicated 
scheme  of  government  for  itself,  retain- 
ing all  primary  power,  will  not  remit  to 
its  employes  the  power  to  work  the 
machinery  at  discretion.  As  obviously, 
the  proprietors  in  advance  of  a given 
exercise  of  its  power,  will  determine 
and  declare  not  only  who  shall  be  em- 
ployed, but  the  things  to  be  accom- 
plished by  the  men  to  be  employed. 
This  is  commonly  done  by  concert, 


POLITICAL  PAP  TIES. 


19 


conspiracy,  far-reaching,  by  the  agency 
of  organization,  more  or  less  perfect. 
Hence  political  parties. 

A political  party,  it  may  be  said,  is  a 
voluntary  association  of  citizens  outside 
of  law,  in  their  primary  character,  or- 
ganized to  secure,  by  legally  prescribed 
methods,  the  possession  of  the  govern- 
mental machinery,  by  which  to  accom- 
plish definite  purposes,  as  the  carrying 
out  a proposed  policy  ; of  such  extent 
as  to  seriously  dispute  supremacy  in 
the  republic.  Its  rules  and  methods 
are  creatures  of  its  own  devising.  Its 
duties  and  obligations  are  not  within 
my  present  purpose,  nor  shall  I con- 
sider the  mischiefs  and  evils  incident 
to  party  organization  and  strife.  Great 
as  these  are,  no  one  has  yet  devised 
agencies  to  take  the  place  of  parties. 
Nor  is  it  apparent  how  the  proprietary 
powers  can  so  well  otherwise  be  ex- 
ercised. 

Association,  personal  bias,  interest, 
usually  predetermine  individual  prefer- 
ences for  parties.  Education  has  much 
influence,  family  tradition  very  little. 
Among  the  masses  of  men  two  con- 
stantly acting  tendencies  are  observa- 
ble, which,  in  a series  of  years,  do  much 
in  determining  the  character  of  parties. 
Some  constantly  look  forward,  are  rest- 
less, uneasy,  eager  to  go  on ; are  hope- 
ful of  the  future.  Others  distrust  the 
future ; dissatisfied  with  the  present,  are 
looking  to  the  past.  The  great  and 
good  are  with  the  fathers,  the  time- 
honored,  to  which  they  would  return. 
In  the  shakings  up,  the  facilities  for 
shifts  and  changes  in  our  life,  it  is  in- 
evitable that  a majority  of  the  pro- 


gressives find  themselves  associated  in 
one  party,  a majority  of  the  retro- 
gressives  in  another.  But  it  is  ob- 
servable that  a party  of  progress  does 
not  alway  move  forward,  and  that  the 
stand-still  sometimes  does  spite  of 
itself. 

It  is  the  tendency  of  all  parties,  a 
sub-law,  to  become  conservative.  A 
party  that  has  succeeded  is  hopeful  of 
itself,  is  satisfied  with  its  doctrines  and 
organization ; distrusts,  fears  the  effects 
of  new  ideas,  new  policies  ; they  will 
endanger  present  success.  It  is  not  a 
good  time  to  adopt  them.  There  never 
will  be  a good  time.  All  parties  are 
subject  to  this  tendency. 

It  is  obvious  that  a progressive  party 
can  alone  govern  a progressive  people 
and  country,  as  on  a better  study  it  will 
be  found  that  the  constant  cause  of  the 
decay  and  dissolution  of  nations  has 
been,  and  is,  they  fell  into  the  power  of 
hopelessly  conservative  governments — 
a danger  we  need  not  fear  so  long  as 
the  republic,  as  a whole,  governs  its 
parties  while  it  is  governed  by  them. 
There  is  no  essential  reason  why  a 
people  should  not  advance,  save  a lack 
of  sagacity  to  find  the  way.  There  is 
no  necessary  analogy  between  the  lives 
of  nations  and  individuals.  The  exam- 
ples of  the  nations  of  western  Europe, 
of  our  own  time,  contradict  the  theories 
of  this  grave  matter  that  obtain  among 
writers. 

THE  NUMBER  OF  PARTIES. 

No  one  ever  saw  three  independent 
armies  each  making  war  upon  the  other 
two.  The  thing  is  impossible.  No  one 


20 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTOR  V. 


ever  saw  three  distinct  political  parties 
at  the  same  time  in  this  country,  and 
never  will.  The  periods  nearest  ap- 
proaching such  a condition  were  brief, 
were  times  of  dissolution,  new  forma- 
tion, transition.  Three  armies  on  the 
same  field  lead  to  coalition,  alliances. 
The  battle  is  between  two.  Men  puz- 
zled by  what  they  see,  ask  why  can  there 
not  be  three  parties?  The  reason  is  found 
in  the  illogical  disposition  of  men  to  take 
the  ready-made  and  offered  in  prefer- 
ence to  the  labor  of  making  are  often 
unable  to  make  for  themselves.  Two 
men  fall  to  a discussion  in  the  thorough- 
fare. The  comers  and  goers  take  sides 
with  one  or  the  other.  Practically  there 
are  but  the  two  sides.  In  all  the  ex- 
tended periods  of  our  history  men  found 
ready  formed  political  ' notions,  organ- 
ized parties  in  the  field,  and  attached 
themselves  to  one  or  the  other.  Inevit- 
ably there  never  can  be  but  two  parties, 
answering  our — any  rational  definition 
of  a party. 

A PARTY  CANNOT  BE  MADE. 

If  there  is  anything  demonstrated  by 
American  political  history,  it  is  that  a 
party  cannot  be  made.  No  matter  what 
the  seeming  necessity  ; no  matter  who 
employ  themselves  in  the  task,  or  the 
means  they  employ,  a party  by  conspir- 
acy, convention,  deliberate  and  purposed 
effort,  has  not  been,  cannot  be  made. 
Spontaneity,  germination,  growth, which 
men  by  convention  cannot  command, 
are  absolutely  essential.  Some  atten- 
tion to  this  law,  as  obvious  as  that 
three  parties  cannot  concurrently  exist, 
would  have  saved  the  vast  labor  and 


expense  exhausted  in  the  vain  effort  to 
construct  a new  political  party  ; fruitful 
as  educational  enterprises,  ludicrously 
abortive  in  declared  purpose.  Recall 
the  years — the  lives  and  fortunes  of  the 
most  devoted,  and  of  many  of  the  ablest 
men  and  women,  in  the  persistent  effort 
to  build  up  apolitical  anti-slavery  party 
— the  Liberty  party — Third  party,  as  it 
fatally  called  itself.  In  the  form  of  the 
Free-soil  party  of  1848,  there  was  al- 
most a small  momentary  success.  Its 
greatest  immediate  service,  doubtless, 
was  the  destruction  of  the  Whig  party 
— quite  ready  for  death. 

So  the  continuing,  abiding  effort  to 
build  up  a Temperance  party,  the  Green- 
back party  of  the  present  may  be  cited. 
The  efforts  of  the  Woman  Suffragists  are 
not  to  be  confused  with  these.  Their 
labors  have  been  purely  educational,  so 
far  as  independent  effort  is  involved. 
There  was  the  notable  instance  of  the 
attempt  to  set  up  the  American  party, 
in  1850-56. 

It  is  an  effort  of  the  memory  to  recall 
the  great  attempt  to  create  a party 
by  convention — the  greatest,  most  elab- 
orately prepared,  and  by  men  of  high 
position,  character  and  influence,  at 
Philadelphia,  August  13,  1866.  A spa- 
cious building  was  erected  for  its  birth  ; 
every  congressional  distict  of  the  great 
Republic  was  represented ; a senator 
and  cabinet  minister  ruled,  and  silence 
and  harmony  prevailed.  Dramatically, 
Massachusetts  and  South  Carolina* 
walked  vicariously  arm  in  arm  to 
the  new  forum  and  altar ; a great 


* Wilthrop  and  Onr, 


POLITICAL  PARTIES. 


21 


editorf  read  a piece,  the  great  conven- 
tion resolved  the  new  party  ; in  expect- 
ant silence  and  tears  it  was  supposed  to 
be  born ; a silent  benediction  was 
pronounced  over  it ; the  great  conven- 
tion dissolved,  and  the  public  tremor, 
the  great  apprehension  of  the  dominant 
power  in  congress  subsided.  All  flavor 
of  the  impending  party  passed  out  of  the 
air. 

Men  believed  they  could  make  one. 
Men  still  think  a political  party  can  be 
made.  The  experiment  has  been  many 
times  attempted,  and  will  be  repeated. 

American  history  is  rich  in  material 
for  a study  of  the  rise  and  fall  of  political 
parties.  Since  the  adoption  of  the 
constitution,  five  have  arisen,  of  such 
proportions  and  power  that  each  in  turn, 
for  a time,  controlled  the  destiny  of  the 
Republic.  The  cause  of  the  rise  of  the 
first  is  patent.  Those  who  believed  in 
the  new  government,  its  needs  and  its 
inherent  capacity,  at  once  united  in  its 
support  and  upbuilding.  They  imparted 
to  it  working  form,  gave  it  abundant 
vigor,  watched  and  guarded  it  till  it  took 
firm  root ; they  placed  in  the  supreme 
court  men  of  power  and  capacity  to  deal 
with  the  constitutional  questions  that 
would  arise  later,  and  passed  away  like 
the  older  men  of  the  later  time,  who  con- 
ducted the  Republic  through  the  civil 
war  ; these  men  of  the  Revolution  were 
incapable  of  new  ideas,  were  unequal  to 
the  new  exigencies  to  which  they  con- 
ducted the  Republic.  The  young  men 
and  blood  of  the  party  docily  remained  in 
the  checking  hands  of  the  seniors.  Ne- 
cessarily  the  party  perished.  It  died  of 


pure  inability  to  adapt  itself  to  the  new 
conditions,  as  was  inevitable.  It  is  said 
with  unanimity  from  Mr.  Hildreth,  the 
historian  of  the  party  to  the  present 
time,  that  it  was  the  task  of  the  Federal- 
ists to  fashion,  launch  the  constitutional 
government,  and  send  it  upon  its  proper 
course.  Having  performed  this  mission, 
it  disappeared.  Had  the  Federalists 
possessed  the  power  of  acquiring  new 
ideas,  of  flexibility,  progress,  it  would 
have  survived,  might  govern  now.  I 
linger  on  this  point  as  a most  impressive 
lesson.  The  colonial  and  revolutionary 
period,  was  one  of  transition,  political 
and  social,  from  monarchy  to  republi- 
canism, from  aristocracy  to  democracy. 
The  Federalists  associated  power  with 
its  old  world  trappings.  Its  holders 
must  have  constant  surroundings.  They 
could  conceive  of  no  life  without  social 
appendages.  Jefferson’s  greatest  service 
was  his  exhibition  of  power  in  its  simple 
use,  to  which  his  habit,  personal  and 
social  life,  conformed.  A troop  of  cav- 
alry attended  the  first  vice-president 
from  his  Massachusetts  home  to  the 
National  capital.  The  third  President, 
on  horseback,  went  unattended  to  his 
simple  inauguration.  The  party  which 
elevated  him,  and  which  called  itself 
Republican,  was  composed  of  the  men, 
the  elements  of  accumlating  opposition 
as  much  to  the  manners  and  forms  of 
the  Federalists,  as  to  their  admitted 
principles.  The  rough  shaking  up,  in- 
cident to  the  agitations  in  France,  more 
sensitively  felt  here  than  any  foreign 
commotion  ever  again  can  be,  furnished 
ground  and  added  numbers  to  the  anti- 
Federalists.  This  was  a party  of  oppo- 


+HenryJ.  Raymond. 


22 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


sition  largely  a negative  party,  to  the  for- 
mation and  continuance  of  which  the 
Federal  party  was  a necessity.  It  could 
not  stand  alone,  and  when  its  great  oppo- 
nent disappeared,  it  quietly  dissolved — 
no  party  ever  so  quietly,  if  really  it  was 
a party. 

It  is  a grave  mistake  to  suppose  that 
the  Federalists  were  destroyed  by  the 
Republicans.  That  which  continued 
to  give  consistency  to  the  younger 
party  was  the  presence,  aggressive  vigor 
and  menace  of  the  Federalists,  from  the 
personal  qualities  of  the  men,  after  their 
organization  itself  ceased  to  be  formid- 
able. The  war  of  1812  doubtless  pro- 
longed the  existence  of  the  Republican 
party.  It  maintained  a seeming  form 
through  the  administration  of  Mr. 
Monroe,  and  with  it  disappeared. 

There  is  a wide  popular  claim,  and 
something  of  acquiesence  in  it,  that  the 
Democratic  party  of  to-day  is  the  direct 
descendant,  a continuation  and  heir  of 
the  party  that  elected  Mr.  Jefferson.  A 
more  baseless  claim,  in  fact,  cannot  be 
made.  The  period  which  followed, 
from  the  retirement  of  Mr.  Monroe  to 
the  first  election  of  General  Jackson, 
was  one  which  saw  no  political  party  in 
the  United  States.  It  was  one  which 
followed  the  dissolution  of  parties  ; one 
of  fermentation  preceding  new  growths, 
new  crystallizations,  new  organizations. 
There  were  plenty  of  factions,  personal 
followings,  a time  of  intensely  bitter 
personal  strifes.  If  the  period  of  Mon- 
roe’s administration  was  the  “ era  of 
good  feeling” — there  being  no  parties 
to  contend — the  years  of  the  younger 
Adams  antedating  his  administration 


was  one  of  the  bitterest  for  personal 
vituperation  and  slander  known  to  his- 
tory. 

THE  RISE  OF  NEW  PARTIES. 

It  is  comprehensible  why  parties  dis- 
appear. Their  rise  is  not  alway  so 
apparently  logical.  Out  of  the  chaotic 
elements  new  and  well  organized  parties 
were  to  arise.  The  younger  Adams  had 
not  a particle  of  personal  magnetism. 
It  was  out  of  his  power  to  attempt  to 
wield  executive  patronage — that  snare 
and  delusion  of  some  of  his  successors, 
to  build  up  a party.  The  loose  organ- 
ization of  his  nominal  supporters  dis- 
solved ere  he  passed  from  the  executive 
mansion,  and  became  the  units  or  frac- 
tions of  new  future  combinations.  Com- 
bination is  not  a word  useful  in  defining 
a real  party.  For  the  time  there  were  no 
parties.  The  days  of  personal  leader- 
ship had  not  then  all  passed  in  Ameri- 
can politics.  The  difference  between 
great  and  common  men  was  still  very 
appreciable.  The  strong  personality 
of  General  Jackson,  his  prestage  as  a 
military  leader,  the  positive  lines  of  his 
character,  the  popular  sense  of  injus- 
tice done  him  by  the  election  of  Mr. 
Adams,  made  him  the  centre  of  a new 
gathering  of  the  widely  floating  ele- 
ments. To  this  must  undoubtedly  be 
added  a wide  and  worthy  desire  to 
grasp  the  offices  and  places  which  his 
election  would  place  at  his  command. 
No  two  men  of  our  history  are  more 
dissimilar  than  Andrew  Jackson  and 
Thomas  Jefferson. 

The  new  party,  at  first  known  as  the 
Jackson  party,  soon  called  itself  the 
Democratic,  and  later  by  its  opponents 


POLITICAL  PAP  TILS. 


23 


Locofoco,  had  seemingly  few  elements 
of  permanency.  In  policy  it  was  nega- 
tive, when  not  destructive.  It  reelected 
its  favorite  by  a largely  diminished  ma- 
majority,  elected  his  successor,  and 
almost  disappeared  in  an  attempt  to 
reelect  him.  In  the  meantime  the  new 
aggressive  slave  power  was  making  itself 
felt.  Aggressive  with  unity  of  spirit 
and  purpose,  it  controled  a hemisphere 
of  the  Republic,  and  with  even  a weak 
alliance  with  the  other  half,  it  would  of 
necessity  become  the  dominant  power 
of  the  United  States.  It  found  this 
ally  in  the  Democratic  party  of  the  free 
states,  whose  name  it  took  and  ruled  in 
it  as  it  would. 

Meantime  the  mass,  a minority,  re- 
maining outside  the  Jackson  Demo- 
cratic party,  and  which  opposed  his 
election,  included  largely  the  brains, 
intelligence  and  much  of  the  better 
elements  of  American  life.  The  ag- 
gressive policy  of  the  new  administra- 
tion compelled  a closer  union  of  these 
outside  elements.  It — the  opposition — 
embraced  the  men  of  ideas,  of  policies  ; 
men  with  positive  views,  who  would 
wield  the  powers  of  the  government  to 
accomplish  affirmative,  positive  things. 
It  became  more  than  a party  of  oppo- 
sition, had  largely  the  elements  of  per- 
petuity. It  called  itself  Whig,  and 
elected  General  Harrison  President  in 
the  great  campaign  of  1840  ; was  de- 
feated at  the  next  presidential  election; 
succeeded  in  1848,  and  disappeared  as 
a real  power  in  the  election  of  1852. 

The  condemnation  of  the  Whig  party 
was  meritedly  severe.  With  its  light 
and  knowledge,  its  capacity  to  adopt 


new  ideas,  it  obstinately  rejected  them. 
It  held  slavery  to  be  perpetual,  invul- 
nerable ; would  share  in  place  by  its 
aid,  vainly  prostituted  itself  at  its  feet, 
and  perished  in  the  impossible  effort  to 
make  itself  more  acceptable  to  it  than 
its  great  opponent.  It  could  hardly  do 
otherwise,  retaining  as  it  must  its  south- 
ern wing. 

Some  words  of  the  time  of  the  dis- 
solution of  the  Whig  party.  Its  name 
as  an  organization  remained  in  the 
states  for  several  years,  and  there  was 
a brief  period  during  which,  in  some  of 
them,  there  were  seemingly  three  par- 
ties. In  Massachusetts  and  Ohio  the 
Democratic,  Whig  and  Freesoil ; as  in 
New  York  the  Democratic,  Whig  and 
Barnburners.  As  later,  for  a time, 
through  the  north  were  the  Demo- 
cratic, Whig  and  Republican — a period 
of  transition,  and  one  of  the  most  in- 
teresting in  history  for  a study  of 
parties. 

The  aggressions  of  the  slave  power 
were  such  as  to  compel  resistance. 
Every  inch  of  the  nominally  free  states 
had  to  be  won  from  its  dominion,  so 
subservient  had  been  the  great  Demo- 
cratic and  Whig  parties  to  its  demands. 
First  the  northern  territory,  the  legisla- 
tures of  the  northern  states,  and  finally, 
through  the  efforts  of  Mr.  Adams,  Mr. 
Giddings,  Mr.  Slade,  Mr.  Morris  and 
Mr.  Hale,  some  footing  was  found  in  the 
two  houses  of  congress.  It  is  to  be  re- 
membered that  every  inch  of  these 
was  won  by  sore  conflict  and  held  by 
conquest. 

RECASTING  PARTIES. 

The  period  of  the  dissolution  of  the 


24 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


Whig  party  was  also  one  of  rebuilding, 
reconstructing  parties ; and  it  is  to  be 
borne  in  mind  that  all  new  parties  are 
composed  of  the  elements  of  the  older, 
with  such  of  the  annual  accessions  to 
full  citizenship  as  the  youth  of  the  land 
and  immigration  from  other  lands  sup- 
ply. These  uniformly  flow  into  existing 
parties,  and  can  seldom  be  estimated  in 
a forecast  of  new  parties.  They  accept 
parties  already  in  existence.  Old  par- 
ties are  to  be  dissolved  ere  new  ones 
are  possible.  No  account  will  be  taken 
of  the  American  party,  called  the 
“ Knownothing,”  which  in  1856  gave 
over  871,000  votes  for  Mr.  Fillmore.  It 
was  one  of  the  abortive  attempts  at 
party  building,  attendant  upon  a period 
of  reconstruction,  as  that  time  eminently 
was. 

Though  the  north  was  reconquered 
to  freedom,  it  seemed  impossible  to 
build  up  a party  for  its  protection  and 
extension.  In  1840  the  Liberty  party 
cast  7,000  votes.  In  1844,  62,000  ; in 
1848  the  new  organization  known  as 
the  Freesoil,  in  which  the  Liberty  party 
was  absorbed,  cast  290,000  for  Mr.  Van 
Buren.  In  1852,  under  the  name  of 
the  Free  Democracy,  the  anti-slavery 
men  cast  156,000  for  Mr.  Hale,  and 
this  was  coincident  with  the  disappear- 
ance of  the  Whig  party  from  the  na- 
tional contests.  The  first  national  ap- 
pearance of  the  present  Republican 
party  was  in  1856,  when  it  cast  1,341,- 
000,  while  the  Democratic  cast  1,838,- 
000  and  the  American  871,000.  Unlike 
political  parties  in  England,  which  have 
a vitality  and  tenacity  which  carry  them 
over  national  and  domestic  fortunes, 


they  have  disappeared  in  the  United 
States  in  periods  of  calm.  The  time 
from  1846  to  1856  was  not  such  a 
period.  The  aggressions  of  slavery 
convulsed  the  republic  ; and  yet,  from 
1840  to  1856,  the  most  persistent  efforts 
of  able  men  to  build  up  a real  party  to 
resists  its  encroachments,  were  unavail- 
ing, Finally,  as  would  seem,  the  ground 
upon  which  it  rested  was  narrow  and 
illogical;  merely  that  slavery  should  be 
planted  upon  no  more  free  territory. 
Upon  analysis  this  single  and,  as  stated, 
negative  thing,  was  essentially  affirma- 
tive, aggressive.  It  was  most  fortun- 
ately and  happily  designed  and  ex- 
pressed. It  at  once  arrested  popular 
attention,  enlisted  sympathy  and  ex- 
cited immediate  alarm.  A set  of  men, 
fortunate  in  a period  when  a single, 
simple,  easily  seen  and  felt  important 
thing  is  presented  to  the  eye,  the  grasp, 
who  raise  around  it  a rallying  cry,  are 
certain  of  immediate  attention  and 
great  following.  On  the  contrary,  an 
abstract  proposition,  no  matter  how 
important  a thing  to  be  made  apparent 
only  by  argumentation,  never  can  be 
made  a party  cry — a thing  to  arouse 
sympathy,  kindle  enthusiasm.  The  mass 
need  something  they  can  see,  feel, 
handle,  apprehend,  without  explana- 
tion. 

Protection  to  American  industry  is 
an  obvious  thing,  though  what  is  pro- 
tection and  how  is  less  apparent.  It 
would  be  dangerous  for  any  party 
under  present  lights  to  array  itself 
against  this  dogma.  Whatever  may 
be  the  results  of  pure  science,  the  prac- 
tical sense  of  the  common  mind  will 


POLITICAL  PARTIES. 


25 


only  grasp  the  obvious  — even  if 
shallow. 

Purely  monetary  questions  are  of  less 
value  and  less  danger,  as  their  aspects 
are  less  obvious.  That  party  will  sooner 
or  later  be  in  a bad  way,  which  can  only 
present  a series  of  propositions  to  be 
made  apparent  by  argument,  or  that 
only  invite  to  a backward  look. 

Each  of  the  great  parties,  Democratic 
and  Whig,  ignored  the  political  evils  of 
slavery.  One  of  them  could  not  question 
them,  the  other  dared  not ; yet  resis- 
tance to  them  had  become  a practical 
necessity.  To  give  effect  to  that  neces- 
sity, a new  political  party  was  also  a 
necessity.  Men  elaborated  platforms, 
called  conventions,  made  speeches,  pub- 
lished newspapers ; yet  the  needed 
party  would  not  appear.  In  the  ripe- 
ness of  time,  the  proclamation  of  no 
more  slave  territory,  filled  the  earth 
with  armed  men,  who  abolished  slavery 
itself,  and  so  were  done  with  it.  Curi- 
ous that  this  idea  was  so  tardy  of  ap- 
pearance. Nay,  it  was  for  years  ineffec- 
tively procliamed  by  the  Free-soilers. 

As  seen  parties  are  apprehensive  of 
new  and  disturbing  ideas,  are  not  hos- 
pitable to  them,  and  so  it  happens,  that 
when  a new  idea,  important  to  the 
people,  finds  itself  evolved,  usually, 
before  it  can  get  itself  employed  in  the 
working  processes  of  the  government, 
it  will  be  obliged  to  make  for  itself  a 
new  party,  as  the  governing  idea  of  the 
Republican  party  did.  Rejected  of 
both,  it  formed  a new  one.  The  far- 
reachingness  of  the  idea,  no  one  fore- 
saw. It  took  to  itself  from  both  parties, 
by  a certain  logical  selection,  those 


fittest  for  its  use,  leaving  the  refuse 
where  they  were.  For  a time  there 
seemed  to  be  three  parties,  the  Repub- 
lican took  all  the  Fresoilers,  the  Free 
Democrats,  all  the  anti- slavery  Whigs; 
all  the  anti-slavery  Democrats  and  the 
residuum  united  under  the  name  of 
the  Democracy,  which  remained  entire 
through  the  south,  and  maintained  its 
organization  at  the  north.  The  Whig 
disappeared.  Its  radical,  progressive 
members  became  Republicans.  Its 
conservatives  united  with  the  Demo- 
crats. This  will  ever  be  the  course. 
There  can  be  but  two  parties.  A party 
incapable  of  new  ideas  must  sooner  or 
later  disappear.  A party  may  spring  into 
existence  as  an  opposition  party,  called 
into  existence  for  the  very  purpose  of 
opposition,  as  the  party  which  elected 
Jefferson;  the  party  which  elected  Gen- 
eral Harrison  to  begin  with. 

A party  may  for  a time,  live  on  mere 
opposition.  The  Federal  party  was  dis- 
solved while  in  opposition,  as  was  also 
the  Whig ; while  the  first  Republican 
party  disappeared  without  any  apparent 
necessity  except  the  struggle  of  its  leaders 
for  supremacy  in  it.  Probably  a vigorous 
party,  in  opposition  it  would  have  pro- 
longed its  life  ; alone  it  fell  into  factions 
and  fractions.  For  the  formation  of  a 
new  affirmative  party,  some  paramount 
practical,  obvious  thing  is  essential, 
which  draws  from  existing  parties,  leav- 
ing the  ’residuums  to  unite  against  it. 
A party  progressive,  capable  of  new 
ideas  should  survive  as  long  as  this  ca- 
pacity remains  in  a healthy  condition. 
These  are  the  teachings  of  our  ex- 
perience. 


26 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


PERILS  OF  SUCCESS. 

A new  party  for  the  first  time  success- 
ful, finding  itself  in  possession  of  the 
national  government,  meets  unantici- 
pated difficulties,  perhaps  perils.  It 
is  unaccustomed  to  place,  to  govern, 
to  its  responsibilities.  There  is  much 
in  the  mere  thing  of  being  accustomed 
to  govern.  In  England  a large  class 
of  men  are  born,  educated,  in  a way  set 
apart,  to  the  business  of  government. 
If  they  do  it  well  they  only  do  not  dis- 
credit their  training.  Americans  are 
born  to  politics ; unhappily,  they  are 
not  educated  to  what  their  birthright 
requires,  and  hence,  practically,  few 
things  are  settled  in  our  politics.  The 
new  Republican  party,  when  it  came 
into  power  in  1861,  though  it  had  many 
able  and  experienced  men,  as  a party 
had  no  experience  in  affairs,  save, 
briefly,  in  opposition,  which  unfits  for 
administration.  Fortunate  in  this,  it 
was  confronted  by  a gigantic  danger 
which  silenced  all  causes  of  party  quar- 
rel, save  the  best  means  of  meeting  the 
enemy.  It  was  compelled  to  harmony. 
Everything  went  to  swell  the  executive 
arm.  Congress  became  a committee  of 
ways  and  means — in  effect. 

Should  the  Democratic  party  succeed 
to  the  complete  possession  of  power 
it  would,  trained  as  it  has  been  all  these 
years,  in  the  usually  easy  position  of  the 
opposition,  find  many  new  difficulties. 
Its  great  leaders  would  be  placed  where 
all  their  real  qualities  would  be  more 
conspicuous.  Theirs  would  be  the 
affirmative.  The  party  itself  would  be 
put  on  new  trial  under  conditions  of 
peril.  A new  party,  with  an  affirmative 


policy,  has  yet  a greater  difficulty. 
The  possession  of  power  with  its  cor- 
relative responsibility,  gives  the  leaders 
new  views  of  their  proposed  measures. 
They  enter  upon  their  execution  with 
caution,  if  at  all.  When  fully  engrafted 
upon  legislation,  their  working  is  often 
disappointing.  The  men  who  make  the 
mass  of  a party  alway  expect  from  its 
success  immediate  personal  benefit, 
which  is  impossible,  so  that  when  the 
proposed  programme  is  carried  out, 
with  fair  success,  there  is  an  aggregate 
of  complaint  and  discontent  dangerous 
to  the  continued  supremacy  of  the  party. 

There  is  even  a more  obvious  source 
of  disquiet  and  peril.  Under  usage,  at 
least  from  1829  till  the  enactment  of  the 
civil  service  statute,  a new  party,  or  an 
old  one  in  opposition,  succeeding  in  a 
national  contest,  succeeded  to  a redis- 
tribution of  all  the  executive,  a few  leg- 
islative, and  possibly  some  judicial 
places — certainly  to  all  of  the  places 
in  the  foreign  service,  diplomatic  and 
consular.  This,  deemed  a source  of 
great  strength,  is  really,  in  a run  of  years, 
a source  of  great  peril  and  weakness.  Im- 
agine a party  drummed  together  mainly  to 
secure  the  places — the  spoils.  On  snc- 
cess  there  may  be  one  hundred  thousand 
to  be  distributed  among  the  three  or  four 
millions.  The  result  would  be  the  signal  of 
dissolution,  or  would  reduce  the  party  to 
an  opposition  party  at  the  first  succeeding 
election.  How  many  promising  politi- 
cians have  been  permanently  retired  for 
the  direction  they  had  been  permitted 
to  give  to  the  places  within  their  neigh- 
borhoods. More  than  one  administra- 
tion has  been  discredited  by  its  own 


POLITICAL  PARTIES. 


27 


party  for  this  cause.  Mr.  Pierce  did 
not  survive  his  term.  What  would  have 
been  the  fate  of  Mr.  Buchanan  had  he 
escaped  entire  destruction  by  the  at- 
tempted disruption  of  the  government 
itself,  may  only  be  surmised.  It  is  one 
of  the  most  obvious  arguments  in  favor 
of  a reform  in  civil  service — the  effect 
of  the  unrestrained  control  of  place  upon 
those  who  have  exercised  it.  The  dis- 
mal failure  of  President  Tyler  to  build 
up  a party,  or  to  secure  even  a decent 
support  by  this  means,  is  a practical 
demonstration  of  its  worthlessness  in  a 
party  point  of  view.  It  may  be  asserted 
that  a renunciation  of  the  power  would 
be  less  hurtful  to  a party  than  such  an 
exercise  of  it,  as  has  more  than  once 
prevailed  in  the  course  of  the  executive 
department  of  the  government.  The 
Success  of  the  party  at  the  national  polls 
conducts  it  to  the  verge  of  new  and 
unknown  perils.  More  than  one  admin- 
istration has  been  wrecked  in  the  labors 
of  its  own  launching. 

THE  OPPOSITION. 

The  party  elected  to  the  opposition 
seemingly  is  placed  in  an  easy,  irrespon- 
sible position.  This  is  but  seeming. 
The  place  is  one  of  delicacy,  responsi- 
bility and  danger.  The  fortune  of  the 
country,  the  future  of  the  party,  depend 
upon  its  tact,  wisdom  and  patriotism. 
It  is  never  safe  to  rely  upon  misleading 
the  masses.  The  acts  and  sayings  of 
parties  are  hung  in  the  open  air,  beaten 
by  the  winds  and  rains,  tried  by  the 
atmosphere  and  sun.  They  are  certain 
soon  to  be  seen  as  they  are,  and  the 
other  side  will  certainly  expose  them. 


There  are  many  things  national,  safe  in 
the  hands  of  either  party,  upon  which 
they  may  not  widely  disagree — the 
public  expenses,  maintenance  of  the 
army  and  navy,  care  of  the  public  works 
and  buildings — yet  of  the  strength  of 
the  national  arms,  what  is  proper  expen- 
diture, what  works  shall  be  undertaken, 
offer  margins  of  wide  and  difficult  differ^ 
ence.  A party  has  for  the  time  suffered 
defeat  from  its  action  on  an  appropria- 
tion bill  in  the  house. 

I do  not  discuss  so  much  the  duties  of 
parties  as  the  consequences  to  themselves 
and  opponents,  of  given  action. 

Upon  distinctive  lines  of  policy,  the 
parties  stand  in  opposition.  A great 
unforseen  vicissitude  arises — a foreign 
war.  What,  then,  is  wise  for  the  opposi- 
tion ? The  administration  is  the  war 
party,  the  patriotic  party.  All  wars  are 
popular,  no  matter  what  the  cause ; a 
people  soon  gets  its  blood  up.  Let  men 
beware. 

A party  in  opposition  largely  main- 
tains itself  by  opposition.  If  it  coincides 
with  the  administration  it  disappears. 
But  to  oppose  a war  is  to  become  an 
ally  of  the  national  enemy.  The  Eng- 
lish Whigs  of  the  time  of  Fox  and  Burke, 
stood  by  the  revolted  colonies,  were 
their  friends.  Many  of  the  New  Eng- 
land Federalists,  indeed  the  party  op- 
posed the  War  of  1812,  on  very  good 
grounds,  and  became  very  odious. 
Warned  by  their  temporary  fate,  the 
later  Whigs  supported  the  war  with  Mex- 
ico, one  ardent  partisan  declaring  that  he 
was  ready  to  “ go  for  war  pestilence 
and  famine,”  in  the  interests  of  his  party. 
In  1848  the  Whigs  elected  a successful 


28 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


general  to  the  Presidency,  and  perished 
in  1852  in  the  effort  to  elect  the  com- 
mander-in-chief in  the  same  war. 

The  Federalists  did  not  perish  be- 
cause of  their  opposition  to  the  war  of 
their  later  time.  They  were  moribund 
ere  it  began.  The  Whigs  were  doomed, 
probably,  for  their  course  in  the  Mexi- 
can war,  and  general  subserviency  to 
the  pro-slavery  power. 

The  outbreak  of  the  Rebellion  made 
the  larger  portion  of  the  Democratic 
party  armed  enemies,  not  alone  of  the 
Republicans,  but  of  the  Republic.  For 
quite  the  first  year  of  it,  the  Democratic 
party  of  the  north,  disappeared.  The  Re- 
publicans were  the  nation.  To  Mr.  Val- 
andigham  it  was  apparent  that  if  this 
condition  of  things  continued,  his  party 
would  not  again  appear.  He  was  charged 
with  other  purposes.  It  was  mainly 
through  his  efforts  that,  early  in  1862,  the 
Democratic  party  reappeared.  It  was  a 
party  in  opposition, must  oppose  the  war, 
or  remain  at  least  in  abeyance.  Its  oppo- 
sition made  it  the  ally  of  the  Rebellion, 
which  early  assumed  the  proportions, 
and  most  of  the  forms  of  a public  war. 
The  effect  of  this  course  upon  the  events 
of  that  time  are  not  under  consideration. 
Its  effects  upon  the  Democratic  organi- 
zation, have  been  slow  to  disappear. 
With  a different  course,  the  mere  eager- 
ness for  change  would  years  since  have 
placed  it  in  power. 

THE  USE  OF  THE  OPPOSITION — RESULTS. 

The  evils  of  parties  are  apparent. 
The  real — the  larger  goods  worked  out 
by  them  are  less  obvious.  Men  are 
more  eager  to  apprehend — condemn 


wrong,  than  to  acknowledge  and  reward 
welldoing.  Next  to  the  service  of  a 
progressive  party  in  the  ascendant,  is 
the  use  of  a vigilant,  powerful,  intelligent 
opposition.  The  greatest  good  the  re- 
sult of  the  conjoint  action  of  the  two. 
In  politics  and  literature  nothing  is  so 
stimulating  as  vigorous,  discriminating 
criticism.  Each  party  is  alway  in  the 
presence,  under  the  immediate  watchful 
eyes  of  the  ocher;  public  and  private 
morals,  maugre  the  wash  of  vituperation 
and  libel,  are  promoted  by  it.  A meas- 
ure no  matter  with  what  care  devised 
and  prepared  by  the  administration,  is 
never  so  clearly  seen  and  understood  as 
when  put  under  the  crosslights  and  fire 
of  the  opposition.  It  is  true  it  is  assailed 
in  whole  and  parts.  It  is  this  alone  which 
can  develop  its  real  character  short  of 
trial  in  practice  often  surprising  or  dis- 
appointing. 

A progressive  party  is  steadied,  made 
cautious  by  the  conservative.  The 
conservative  is  obliged  to  go  forward 
or  be  left  out  of  the  contest,  out  of  exist- 
ence. It  must  keep  up  to  keep  in  the 
fight.  When  in  opposition,  the  progres- 
sive leads  it;  when  in  possession  of  the 
government,  the  progressive  drives  it. 
A conservative  party  cannot  govern 
a progressive  country  long  unless  the 
country  wills  it. 

Whoever  has  for  a series  of  years 
observed  parties,  official  life,  congres- 
sional struggle,  and  the  course  of  poli- 
tics, must  have  noted  a perceptible 
advance  in  the  personnel  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  two  houses  of  congress..  A 
gain  in  the  aspect  and  attitudes  of  parties. 
A real  searcher  for  the  philosophy  of 


POLITICAL  PAP  TIPS. 


29 


American  politics  would  find  his  labors 
compensated  by  an  exhaustive  study 
of  the  twenty- two  large  volumes  of  con- 
gressional legislation.  He  would  find 
much  that  is  crude,  fragmentary,  short- 
sighted, incommensurate.  The  work  of 
men  but  dimly  seeing,  men  thwarted  by 
outside  conditions,  by  the  obduracy  of 
the  matter  with  which  they  were  dealing, 
not  masters  of  themselves,  not  alway 
equal  to  the  demands  upon  them. 

He  would  be  struck  with  the  prac- 
ticality of  their  work,  the  adaptation  of 
means  to  ends,  that  in  the  mam  the 
public  good  has  been  kept  steadily  in 
view,  and  parties  in  proper  subordina- 
tion to  duty,  that  on  the  whole  the  ten- 
dency of  legislation,  the  spirit  of  na- 
tional law,  has  been  on  the  line  of 
enlightened  progress.  It  is  to  be 
remembered  that  this  is  the  product  of 
continuous  party  struggle.  Congress  is 
a chronic  battlefield,  where  the  great 
parties  join  in  conflict,  which  agitates, 
sometimes  convulses  the  Republic. 
Much  of  the  evil  in  our  legislature  is 
due  to  common  imperfection,  much  to 
party  conflict.  Much  of  our  gain  is  due 
to  general  advance,  much  may  be 
claimed  as  wrought  out  by  party  agency. 
Let  us  believe  the  good  from  this  source 
largely  predominates. 

LEADERSHIP. 

Leadership,  as  once  known  in  Amer- 
ica, and  still  prevailing  in  England  and 
on  the  continent — where  the  doctrines 
of  great  men  are  the  platforms  of  a 
party,  their  courses  the  lines  of  march 
— has  no  further  place  in  the  workings 
of  American  parties.  It  is  not  so  much 


that  great  men  cease  to  appear  on  our 
boards,  as  that  the  distance  between 
great  and  common  men  is  much  dimis- 
ished  by  the  advance  of  the  last — an 
advance  which  has  produced  a new 
spirit.  A party  now  takes  itself  fully 
Within  its  own  control,  and  dictates  to 
its  leaders  as  well.  Whatever  is  gained 
in  intelligence  and  independence,  by 
this  change,  so  valuable  to  the  individ- 
ual, is  lost  in  unity  and  efficiency  to 
the  party  as  a working  organization. 
The  difference  is  that  between  an  intel- 
ligent democracy  and  an  aristocracy. 
The  place  of  the  leader  is  for  the  time 
occupied  by  what  is  aptly  called  a boss 
— a man  employed  by  the  proprietors 
to  work  their  employes  in-  their  inter- 
est. In  politics  he  gets  possession  of 
the  party  machinery,  and  works  the 
proprietors  in  his  own  interest. 

A discussion  of  party  management  by 
conventions  and  committees  lies  beyond 
my  present  purpose.  There  are  indica- 
tions that  the  growing  intelligence  of 
the  citizen  is  rapidly  diminishing  the 
power  of  mere  managers,  as  it  must  be 
the  sole  source  of  most  political  reme- 
dies. It  may,  however,  forever  remain 
a problem — the  devising  practical  in- 
strumentalities for  the  accomplishment 
of  good,  which  shall  be  beyond  the 
reach  of  the  designing,  for  the  accom- 
plishments of  sinister  ends. 

This  rapid  survey  must  include  a 
glance  at  one  other  aspect  of  parties, 
and  of  existing  political  organizations. 

The  American  who  now  matures  to 
citizenship  finds  the  whole  field  of  prac- 
tical politics  in  possession  of  two  great 
parties,  which  have  severally  a code 


30 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  declared  principles  and  prepared 
programmes.  The  most  of  these  junior 
citizens  reach  the  age  of  full  possession  of 
the  franchises  with  views  or  predilections 
which  enable  them  to  take  places  in  one 
or  the  other  of  the  parties.  Take  an  in- 
dividual. He  may  be  a young  man  of 
ability,  discrimination,  and  strong  lines 
of  character  ; capable  of  understanding 
and  choosing.  If  he  is  studious,  he  sees 
his  only  chance  to  engage  in  practical 
politics — as  is  his  paramount  duty — is  to 
cast  himself  in  with  one  or  the  other  of 
the  great  parties,  or  he  must  forego  all 
fruitful  use  of  his  franchises.  He  may 
think  he  sees  that  the  platform  of  those 
who  would  employ  extreme  legislation 
to  suppress  the  evils  of  intemperance  is 
too  narrow  for  a national  party  ; that 
the  evils  aimed  at  are  too  deep  for  legis- 
lation; that  the  means  employed  often 
make  the  Prohibitionist  the  ally  of  those 
who  would  permit  the  thing  he  seeks  to 
do  away  with. 

He  cannot  seriously  consider  the 
notion  of  those  who  fancy  a party  can 
be  evoked  which  seeks  to  employ  the 
legislative  will  to  declare  that  paper  is 
money,  with  essential  power  to  make  it 
such.  He  examines  the  declared  prin- 
ciples of  the  great  parties,  their  pro- 
grammes, and  sees  that  they  do  not 
embrace  many  proper  subjects  of  polit- 
ical action.  On  study  and  reflection  he 
sees  that  a new  party  cannot  be  made. 
That  while  one  may  be  called  into  ex- 
istence, to  overturn  a party  in  power 
when  it  has  obviously  lost  the  confidence 
of  the  people  ; yet  something  more  is 
necessary  for  a permanent  organization; 
an  affirmative  party  which  shall  do  some- 


thing. There  must  be  something  of  im- 
mediate national  importance,  rejected 
by  both  parties  obvious,  a thing  which 
proclaims  itself  and  cries  to  have  itself 
done.  Without  this,  a new  party,  a 
party  of  progress,  is  impossible.  With 
it  hemust  await  the  disintegration  which 
its  presence  will  work  in  existing  parties. 

On  closer  study  of  these  parties  he 
finds  that  their  declaration  of  principles 
and  politics  are  not  more  than  half  sin- 
cere ; made  quite  as  much  for  blinds — 
to  mislead — as  to  convey  a real  clear 
idea  of  their  holding  and  purpose.  If 
he  is  not  disgusted,  and  is  a student  of 
political  history,  he  finds  that  it  is  rather 
by  discovering  the  tendency  of  a party, 
than  by  any  declaration  of  sentiments 
and  purposes,  thatits  value  as  an  existing 
organization  may  be  estimated.  He  may 
not  care  much  for  its  history,  its  earlier 
career.  Its  present  capacity  for  good 
may,  to  some  extent,  be  determined  by 
its  present  tendency  ; its  unconscious 
declaration  of  its  real  purpose. 

The  Republican  party  had  the  capacity 
of  new  ideas.  It  escaped  the  fate  of 
the  Federal  and  Whig  parties,  which 
from  affirmative  became  negative.  De- 
feat will  not  destroy  it,  will  help  to  purify 
it.  That  it  is  progressive  may  not  be  an 
objection.  Its  danger  lies  in  another 
direction.  It  is  the  least  docile  of  parties. 
It  questions  its  leaders — exposes,  tries, 
condemns  them.  It  requires  more,  de- 
mands more  of  them  than  was  ever  before 
required  of  leaders  by  a party.  He  sees 
also  that  the  party  is  held  to  a stricter 
and  higher  accountability  than  any  other 
party  in  America  to-day.  He  queries 
what  this  means.  He  may  not,  probably 


POLITICAL  PARTIES. 


31 


does  not,  believe  in  its  dogma  of  protec- 
tion. There  certainly  is  no  flaw  in  the 
demonstration  of  the  opposing  school 
of  economists.  He  wonders  if  the  aver- 
age mechanic,  manufacturer,  and  editor, 
dealing  with  the  thing,  practically,  can 
stand  a chance  of  being  right  against 
the  almost  unanimous  scientific  world. 
He  don’t  care  much  about  the  charge 
of  fraud  and  corruption  made  on  the 
party  generally.  It  has  had  the  control 
of  the  places  and  the  money,  and  largely 
the  mercenary  world  seeks  for  shelter 
under  its  skirts.  The  party  has  dealt 
mercilessly  with  them,  and  has  just  and 
high  aspirations. 

While  he  is  disgusted  with  the  rougher 
elements  of  the  Democratic  party,  the 
steady  adherence  of  these  to  its  for- 
tunes is  in  their  favor.  He  fancies 
there  is  a pervading  element  of  frank 
manliness — they  have  this  in  common, 
markedly  more  than  their  opponents. 
They  are  truer  to  party  and  leaders, 
exact  less,  will  endure  more,  and  he 
likes  them  for  it.  They  have  been 
sufficiently  punished  for  their  past.  He 
sympathizes  with  them  in  their  years 
of  defeat.  He  don’t  expect  much  from 
them,  but  is  half  a mind  to  try  them.* 
He  remembers  times  when  the  thought- 
ful seniors  sympathized  with  a defeat  of 
the  Republicans.  They  had  deserved 
it,  had  ruled  long  enough.  He  has  a 

* If  he  is  a southerner  he  will,  for  there  they  occupy 
the  place  of  honor. 


great  mind  to  try  the  Democrats.  He 
knows  a party  never  can  be  judged 
until  it  has  been  in  power  and  shows 
all  its  points.  They  cannot  ruin  the 
country.  There  is  the  Grand  Army  of 
the  Republic,  all  the  great  Republican 
leaders,  all  the  old  Republicans.  They 
will  take  care  of  the  country  anyway. 
They  alway  have  and  will.  He  has 
more  than  a half  a mind  to  try  the 
Democracy.  He  don’t  think  much  of 
their  looking  back  to  Jefferson ; but 
they  now  skip  Andrew  Jackson,  and 
they  do  not  propose  to  change  the  gen- 
eral policy  of  the  last  few  years,  nor 
undo  any  of  the  great  accomplished 
things. 

He  does  not  like  the  attitude  of  the 
party  on  civil  service  reform  ; but  then 
it  has  none  of  the  places.  Can  it  be 
that  a greed  of  office  is  an  undeclared 
motive  of  the  party  ? It  will  doubtless 
change  its  position  after  securing  the 
offices.  He  does  not  like  its  course 
toward  some  of  its  leading  men  on  this 
civil  service,  nor  on  the  question  of 
paper  money.  He  distrusts  its  tend- 
ency. The  aspirations  of  the  party  are 
not  high.  He  would  not  care  to  be- 
come permanently  identified  with  it. 
What  will  he  do  ? 

Evidently  he  is  not  an  ideal  young 
man.  What  is  there,  what  has  there 
been  in  American  party  politics  to  form 
ideal  young  men  ? — a grave,  the  gravest, 
question. 


A.  G.  Riddle. 


32 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 

I. 

THE  FIRST  CAMPAIGN. 


Few  events  in  the  early  history  of 
the  northwest  were  as  picturesque,  as 
tragical,  or  as  fraught  with  weighty 
consequence  as  the  Black  Hawk  war. 
Although  many  of  its  incidents  were 
paltry  enough,  compared  with  those  of 
numerous  subsequent  Indian  engage- 
ments, none  of  the  latter  have  been  so 
persistently  misrepresented  for  partisan 
purposes.  Immediately  after  the  close 
of  the  war,  ambitious  writers  who  had 
served  with  the  army  hastened  to  record 
their  impressions  in  printer’s  ink,  in 
the  frontier  newspapers  and  in  book 
form.  But  these  publications  seem 
chiefly  to  have  been  designed  as 
electioneering  documents  to  “ boom  ” 
for  political  purposes  the  war  records  of 
some  of  the  officials  engaged  in  the 
service,  and  to  correspondingly  belittle 
the  deeds  of  others.  Subsequent  con- 
troversies, actively  continuing  through  a 
score  of  years,  were  chiefly  conducted 
through  the  mediums  of  documentary 
collections,  speeches,  newspapers  and 
unpublished  manuscript  letters.  Even 
at  this  late  day  a few  well  preserved 
Black  Hawk  veterans  are  still  living, 
who  occasionally  address  pioneer  gath- 
erings and  dictate  reminiscences  for 
the  press,  which  are  well-intentioned 
enough  but  must  be  taken  with  a grain 


of  allowance,  for  they  smack  of  the 
partisan  predilections  of  a half  cen- 
tury since.  As  the  result  of  these 
prejudiced  utterances,  and  in  the 
absence  of  any  standard  detailed  ac- 
count of  the  war,  written  from  an  un- 
biased modern  view,  there  have 
developed  in  the  public  mind  vague  and 
in  a great  measure  incorrect  notions  of 
the  war,  its  causes,  its  incidents  and  the 
relative  merits  of  its  chief  participants. 
It  is  the  attempt  of  this  paper  to  ex- 
pose some  of  these  fallacies  by  present- 
ing an  outline  sketch  of  the  famous 
uprising,  in  the  preparation  of  which 
partisan  sympathy  has  not  entered,  the 
unvarnished  truth  being  alone  sought 
from  wholly  original  sources.  Such  a 
sketch  is  made  particularly  feasible  at 
this  time  by  a recent  discovery  in  the 
archives  of  the  State  Historical  Society 
of  Wisconsin,  of  heretofore  unpublish- 
ed historical  materials  which  throw 
strong  side-lights  on  important  details 
of  the  war. 

On  the  third  of  November,  1804,  the 
United  States  government  negotiated  a 
treaty  with  the  Sac  and  Fox  Indians,  by 
which, mainly  forthe  paltry  annuity  of  one 
thousand  dollars,  the  confederacy  ceded 
to  the  whites  fifty  million  acres  of  land, 
comprising  in  general  terms  the  eastern 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


third  of  the  present  state  of  Missouri 
and  the  territory  lying  between  the 
Wisconsin  river  on  the  north,  the  Fox 
river  of  the  Illinois  on  the  east,  the 
Illinois  on  the  southeast  and  the  Mis- 
sissippi on  the  west.  There  was  an  un- 
fortunate clause  in  this  compact — arti- 
ticle  7 — which  became  one  of  the  chief 
causes  of  the  Black  Hawk  war.  In- 
stead of  obliging  the  Indians  to  vacate 
the  ceded  territory  at  once,  it  was  stip- 
ulated that,  “as  long  as  the  lands  which 
are  now  ceded  to  the  United  States  re- 
main their  property,  the  Indians  be- 
longing to  the  said  tribes  shall  enjoy 
the  privilege  of  living  or  hunting  upon 
them.” 

Within  the  limits  of  the  cession  was 
the  chief  seat  of  Sac  power* — a village 
situated  on  the  north  side  of  Rock 
river,  three  miles  above  its  mouth  and 
the  same  distance  south  of  Rock  island, 
in  the  Mississippi.  It  was  picturesquely 
located,  contained  the  principal  ceme- 
tery of  the  nation,  and  was  populated 
by  nearly  five  hundred  families,  being 
one  of  the  largest  Indian  settlements  on 
the  continent.  The  soil  there  was  allu- 
vial in  its  composition,  produced  enor- 
mous crops,  and  the  aboriginal  villagers 
took  great  pyide  in  the  cultivation  of  a 
tract  some  seven  hundred  acres  in  ex- 


* The  Sacs  and  Foxes  had,  from  the  middle  of 
the  eighteenth  century,  occupied  the  banks  of  the 
Mississippi,  between  the  mouths  of  the  Missouri  and 
the  Wisconsin.  The  confederation,  in  times  of  peace, 
was  more  nominal  than  real.  There  was  much  jeal- 
ous bickering  between  the  tribes.  In  general,  the 
Foxes,  who  occupied  the  west  bank,  and  were  the 
smallest  tribe,  numerically,  were  more  conciliatory 
toward  the  whites  than  were  the  Sacs,  who  dwelt 
chiefly  along  the  east  bank. 


33 

tent,  north  of  the  town  and  running  par- 
allel with  the  Mississippi  river. 

From  the  beginning  of  the  present 
century  the  principal  character  in  this 
village  was  Makataimeshekiak,  or  the 
Black  Sparrow  Hawk  — customarily 
styled  Black  Hawk.  Born  at  the  Sac 
village  in  1767, -he  was  not  a chief 
by  either  heredity  or  election,  but  held 
that  position  over  his  own  band  by 
common  consent.  Although  not  pos- 
sessed of  superior  physical,  moral  or  in- 
tellectual endowments,  the  force  of  cir- 
cumstances caused  him  to  become  a 
national  celebrity  in  his  own  day  and  a 
prominent  figure  in  western  history  for 
all  time.  He  was  a restless  and  ambiti- 
ous savage,  possessed  of  some  of  the 
qualities  of  successful  leadership,  but 
without  the  capacity  to  attain  the 
highest  honors  in  the  confederacy.  He 
early  became  a malcontent,  jealous  of 
Keokuk,  Wapello,  Morgan  and  the 
other  constituted  chiefs,  continually 
sought  excuses  for  openly  differing 
with  them  on  questions  of  policy  and 
in  council  arrayed  his  followers  against 
them.  He  was  much  of  a demagogue, 
and  aroused  the  passions  of  his  people 
by  appeals  to  their  prejudices  and 
superstitions  It  is  probable  that  he 
was  never,  in  the  exercise  of  this  policy, 
dishonest  in  his  motives.  He  doubtless 
was  sincere  in  the  opinions  he  cham- 
pioned. But  he  was  easily  influenced 
by  the  British  military  and  commercial 
agents,  who  were  continually  engaged, 
previous  to  the  war  of  1812-13,  in  cul- 
tivating  a spirit  of  hostility  between  the 
northwestern  tribes  and  the  Americans, 
and  was  led  by  them  to  always  consider 


34 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


himself  under  the  special  protection  of 
the  “ British  father”  (general  military- 
agent),  at  Malden.  He  was  readily 
duped  by  those  who,  white  or  red,  were 
interested  in  deceiving  him  ; a too-con- 
fiding disposition  was  ever  leading  his 
judgment  astray.  The  result  of  his 
daily  communication  with  the  Ameri- 
cans too  often  rudely  shocked  his  high 
sense  of  honor, while  the  uniform  courtesy 
of  the  treatment  accorded  him  upon  his 
annual  begging  visit  to  Malden,  con- 
trasted strangely,  in  his  eyes,  with  his 
experiences  with  many  of  the  inhabit- 
ants on  the  Illinois  border. 

Black  Hawk  was  about  five  feet  four 
or  five  inches  in  height,  and  rather 
spare  as  to  flesh  ; his  somewhat  pinched 
features  intensified  the  effect  of  his 
prominent  cheek-bones ; he  had  a full 
mouth,  inclined  to  be  somewhat  open 
when  at  rest ; a pronounced  Roman 
nose;  fine  “ piercing”  eyes,  often  beam- 
ing with  a kindly  and  always  with  a 
thoughtful  expression  ; no  eyebrows ; a 
high,  full  forehead  ; a head  well  thrown 
back,  with  a pose  of  quiet  dignity,  and 
his  hair  plucked  out,  with  the  exception 
of  the  scalp-lock,  in  which,  on  cere- 
monial occasions,  was  fastened  a bunch 
of  eagle  feathers.  The  conservative 
braves  of  the  confederacy,  who  were 
friendly  to  the  Americans,  regarded  the 
Hawk  with  kindly  compassion.  He  was 
thought  by  them  to  be  misguided,  to  be 
the  credulous  catspaw  for  others,  but  his 
sincerity  was  not  often  doubted.  His 
own  followers  who,  from  the  closeness 
of  their  intercourse  with  the  Canadian 
authorities,  were  known  as  “the  British 


band,”  appear  as  a rule  to  have  vener- 
ated him  as  a patriotic  sage. 

At  the  outbreak  of  hostilities  between 
Great  Britain  and  the  United  States,  in 
1812,  Black  Hawk  naturally  sided  with 
Tecumseh  and  the  British,  and,  accom- 
panied by  a band  of  two  hundred  Sac 
braves,  served  under  the  great  Shawnee 
chief  until  the  death  of  the  latter  at  the 
battle  of  the  Thames,  October  5,  1813. 
Black  Hawk — who  had,  in  company  with 
the  Pottawatomie  chiefs  Shaubena  and 
Billy  Caldwell,  been  near  to  Tecumseh 
when  he  fell — at  once  hurried  home.  He 
would,  he  tells  us  in  his  autobiogra- 
phy,* have  remained  quiet  thereafter, 
until  the  close  of  the  war,  but  for  a fatal 
injury  which  had  during  his  absence 
been  inflicted  by  a party  of  white  ruffians 
upon  an  aged  friend  whom  he  had  left 
behind  at  the  village.  In  consequence 
of  this  outrage,  it  was  the  thirteenth  of 
May,  1816 — nearly  eighteen  months 
after  the  signing  of  the  treaty  of  Ghent 
— before  the  British  band  of  the  Sacs 
could  be  induced  to  cease  their  retal- 
iatory border  forays  along  the  upper 
Mississippi  and  sign  a treaty  of  peace 
with  the  United  States. 

After  burying  the  hatchet,  Black 
Hawk  settled  down  into  the  customary 
'routine  of  savage  life — hunting  in  winter, 
loafing  about  his  village  in  summer,  im- 
providently  existing  from  hand  to  mouth 
though  surrounded  by  abundance,  and 
occasionally  varying  the  monotony  by 
visits  to  Malden,  from  whence  he  would 
return  laden  with  provisions,  arms,  am- 
munition and  trinkets,  his  stock  of  vanity 

* Dictated  to  a government  interpreter  in  1833. 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


35 


increased  by  wily  flattery  and  his  bitter- 
ness against  the  Americans  correspond- 
ingly intensified. 

It  is  not  at  all  surprising  that  he 
should  have  hated  the  Americans.  They 
brought  him  nought  but  evil.  The  even 
tenor  of  his  life  was  being  continually 
disturbed  by  them,  and  a cruel  and 
causeless  beating  which  some  white  set- 
tlers gave  him  in  the  winter  of  1822  was 
an  insult  which  he  treasured  up  against 
the  entire  American  people. 

In  the  summer  of  1823,  squatters  be- 
came covetous  of  the  rich  fields  culti- 
vated by  the  British  band,  and  began  to 
take  possession  of  them.  The  treaty  of 
1804  had  guaranteed  the  Indians  the  use 
of  the  ceded  territory  so  long  as  the 
lands  remained  the  property  of  the 
United  States  and  were  not  sold  to  in- 
dividuals. The  frontier  line  of  home- 
stead settlement  was  still  fifty  or  sixty 
miles  to  the  east ; the  country  between 
had  not  yet  been  surveyed  and  much  of 
it  not  explored  ; the  squatters  had  no 
rights  in  this  territory,  and  it  was  clearly 
the  duty  of  the  general  government  to 
protect  the  Indians  within  it  so  long  as 
no  sales  were  made.  The  Sacs  would 
not  have  complained  had  the  squatters 
settled  in  other  portions  of  the  vast  tract, 
and  not  sought  to  steal  the  ancient  vil- 
lage which  was  their  birthplace  and 
contained  the  cemetery  of  their  tribe. 
Outrages  of  the  most  flagrant  nature 
ensued.  Indian  cornfields  were  fenced 
in  by  the  intruders,  squaws  and  children 
were  whipped  for  venturing  beyond  the 
bounds  thus  set,  lodges  were  burned 
over  the  heads  of  the  occupants.  A 
reign  of  terror  ensued,  in  which  the 


frequent  remonstrances  of  Black  Hawk 
to  the  white  authorities  were  in  vain. 
The  evil  grew  worse  year  by  year. 
When  the  Indians  returned  from  their 
winter’s  hunt  each  spring,  they  always 
found  their  village  more  of  a wreck  than 
when  they  had  left  it  in  the  fall.  It  is 
surprising  that  they  acted  so  peacefully 
when  treatment  so  outrageous  was  per- 
sisted in. 

Keokuk  and  the  United  States  Indian 
agent  at  Fort  Armstrong — which  had 
been  built  on  Rock  island  about  1816 — 
continually  advised  peaceful  retreat 
across  the  Mississippi.  But  Black 
Hawk  was  stubborn  as  well  as  romantic, 
and  his  people  stood  by  him  when  he 
appealed  to  their  love  of  home  and 
veneration  for  the  graves  of  their  kin- 
dred. He  now  began  to  claim  that 
the  treaty  of  1804  was  obtained  by 
fraud  and  that  the  land  on  which  the 
village  stood  had  never  been  honestly 
purchased  by  the  United  States.  This 
was  the  weak  point  in  his  position.  At 
every  treaty  to  which  he  had  “ touched 
the  quill  ” since  that  date  he  had,  with 
the  rest  of  his  nation,  solemnly  reaf- 
firmed the  integrity  of  the  compact  of 
1804;  that  he  thoroughly  understood 
the  nature  of  its  provisions  there  is  no 
reason  to  doubt.  But  this  fact  he  now 
conveniently  ignored.  His  present  views 
were  endorsed  by  the  mischief-making 
British  agent  at  Malden,  by  the  Winne- 
bago prophet,  and  by  others  of  his 
advisers.  All  of  these  urged  him  to 
hold  fast  to  his  land  at  all  hazards,  in- 
sisting that  the  United  States  would 
never  venture  to  remove  him  by  force. 

White  Cloud,  the  prophet,  was  Black 


36 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


Hawk’s  evil  genius.  He  was  a shrewd, 
crafty  Indian,  half  Winnebago  and  half 
Sac,  possessing  much  influence  over 
both  nations  from  his  assumption  of 
sacred  talents,  and  was  at  the  head 
of  a Winnebago  village  some  thirty-five 
miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  Rock. 
He  had  many  traits  of  character  similar 
to  those  possessed  by  Tecumseh’s  mys- 
tic brother,  but  in  a lesser  degree.  His 
hatred  of  the  whites  was  inveterate  ; he 
appears  to  have  been  quite  devoid  of 
humane  sentiments ; he  had  a reckless 
disposition,  and  seemed  to  enjoy  sow- 
ing the  seeds  of  disorder  for  the  simple 
pleasure  of  witnessing  a border  chaos. 
He  was  about  forty  years  of  age  when 
his  sinister  agitation  bore  fruit ; was 
nearly  six  feet  in  height,  stout  and 
.athletic  ; had  a large,  broad  face  ; a 
short,  blunt  nose  ; full  eyes,  large  mouth, 
thick  lips,  a full  head  of  shaggy  hair, 
and  his  general  appearance  indicated 
deliberate,  self-contented  savagery.  In 
council  the  prophet  displayed  much 
zeal  and  persuasive  oratory.  In  the 
matter  of  dress  he  must  at  times  have 
been  picturesque.  An  eye-witness,  who 
was  in  attendance  on  a Pottawatomie 
council  wherein  the  prophet  was  urging 
the  cause  of  Black  Hawk,  describes  the 
wizard  as  dressed  in  a faultless  white 
buckskin  suit,  fringed  at  the  seams  ; 
wearing  a towering  head-dress  of  the 
same  material,  capped  with  a bunch  of 
fine  eagle  feathers  ; each  ankle  girt  with 
a wreath  of  small  sleigh-bells  which 
jingled  at  every  step,  while  in  his  nose 
and  ears  were  ponderous  gold  rings 
gently  tinkling  one  against  the  other  as 


he  shook  his  ponderous  head  in  the 
warmth  of  harangue.* 

In  the  spring  of  1830  Black  Hawk  and 
his  band  returned  from  an  unsuccessful 
hunt  to  find  their  town  almost  com- 
pletely shattered,  many  of  the  graves 
plowed  over  and  the  whites  more  abus- 
ive than  ever.  During  the  winter  the 
squatters,  who  had  been  seven  years 
illegally  upon  the  ground,  had  finally 
preempted  a few  quarter-sections  of  land 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Rodk,  so  selected 
as  to  cover  the  village  site  and  the 
Sac  cornfields.  This  was  clearly  a trick 
to  accord  with  the  letter  but  to  violate 
the  spirit  of  the  treaty  of  1804.  There 
was  still  a belt,  fifty  miles  wide,  of  prac- 
tically unoccupied  territory  to  the  east 
of  the  village,  and  no  necessity  for  dis- 
turbing the  Sacs  in  the  natural  progress 
of  settlement  for  several  years  to  come. 

The  indignant  Black  Hawk  at  once 
proceeded  to  Malden,  to  pour  his  sor- 
rows into  the  ears  of  his  “ British 
father.”  Here  he  received  additional 
assurance  of  the  justice  of  his  cause, 
and  upon  his  return  visited  the  prophet, 
at  whose  village  he  met  some  of  the 
Pottawatomies  and  Winnebagoes.  who 
also  gave  him  words  of  encouragement. 

When,  therefore,  he  returned  to  his 
village  in  the  spring  of  1831,  after  an- 
other gloomy  and  profitless  winter’s 
hunt,  and  was  fiercely  warned  away  by 

* The  name  of  the  prophet,  in  the  Winnebago 
tongue,  was  Wapekeshic,  meaning  “white  eye," 
having  reference  to  the  fact  that  one  of  his  eyes  was 
devoid  of  color.  Pioneers  now  living,  who  remember 
the  prophet,  differ  in  opinion  as  to  whether  he  was 
totally  blind  in  that  organ.  He  died  among  the 
YVmnebagos  in  1840  or  1841. 


THE  BLACK  HA  WK  WAR. 


37 


the  whites,  he,  in  a firm  and  dignified 
manner,  notified  the  settlers  that  if  they 
did  not  themselves  remove,  he  should 
use  force.  He  informs  the  readers  of 
his  autobiography  that  he  did  not  mean 
bloodshed  but  simply  muscular  eviction. 
His  announcement  was  construed  by 
the  whites,  however,  as  a threat  against 
their  liv.es ; and  petition  after  petition 
were  showered  in  by  them  upon  Gov- 
ernor John  Reynolds  of  Illinois,  setting 
forth  the  situation  in  terms  of  exaggera- 
tion that  would  be  amusing  were  it  not 
that  they  were  the  prelude  to  one  of  the 
darkest  tragedies  in  the  history  of  our 
western  border.  The  governor  caught 
the  spirit  of  the  occasion  and  at  once 
issued  a flaming  proclamation  calling 
out  a mounted  volunteer  force  to  “repel 
the  in  vasion  of  the  British  band.”  These 
volunteers,  sixteen  hundred  strong,  co- 
operated with  ten  companies  of  regulars 
under  General  Gaines,  the  commander 
of  the  western  division  of  the  army,  in 
a demonstration  before  Black  Hawk’s 
village  on  the  twenty-fifth  of  June. 

During  that  night  the  Indians,  in  the 
face  of  this  superior  force,  quietly  with- 
drew to  the  west  bank  of  the  Mississippi, 
where  they  had  previously  been  ordered. 
On  the  thirtieth  they  signed  a treaty  of 
capitulation  and  peace,  solemnly  agree- 
ing to  never  return  to  the  east  side  of 
the  river  without  express  permission  of 
the  United  States  government. 

The  rest  of  the  summer  was  spent  by 
the  evicted  savages  in  a state  of  misery. 
It  being  now  too  late  to  raise  another 
crop  of  corn  and  beans,  they  suffered  . 
much  for  the  actual  necessaries  of  life. 

Another  difficulty  soon  arose.  In\ 


1830  a party  of  Menominees  and  Sioux 
had  murdered  some  of  the  British  band. 
A few  weeks  after  the  removal,  Black 
Hawk  and  a large  war  party  of  the  Sacs 
ascended  the  river  and,  in  retaliation, 
massacred,  scalped  and  fearfully  mu- 
tilated every  member  but  one  of  a party 
of  twenty-eight  Menominees  who  were 
encamped  on  an  island  nearly  oppo- 
site Fort  Crawford,  at  Prairie  du  Chien. 
General  Joseph  Street,  the  Indian  agent 
at  that  post,  on  the  complaint  of  the 
Menominees,  demanded  that  the  Sac 
murderers  be  delivered  to  him  for  trial 
under  existing  treaty  provisions.  As 
none  of  the  Menominees  who  had  mur- 
dered his  people  had  been  given  up, 
and  his  foray  was,  according  to  the 
rules  of  savage  warfare,  one  of  just  re- 
prisal, Black  Hawk  declined  to  accede, 
thereby  clearly  rebelling  against  the 
United  States  government  through  its 
Indian  department. 

Neapope,  who  was  the  second  in  com- 
mand of  the  British  band,  had  gone 
upon  a visit  to  Malden,  prior  to  the 
eviction,  and  returned  to  his  chief  in 
the  fall,  by  the  way  of  the  prophet’s  town, 
with  glowing  reports  of  proferred  aid 
from  the  British,  the  Winnebagoes  and 
the  Pottawatomies  in  the  regaining  of 
the  village.  Neapope,  who  was  pos- 
sessed of  much  military  genius,  was  an 
ardent  disciple  of  the  prophet,  as  well 
as  a reckless  mischief-maker  on  his  own 
account.* 

* Neapope  (generally  pronounced  Nah-pope) 
means  “ soup.  ” He  was  regarded  as  something  of 
a curiosity  among  his  fellows,  because  he  used 
neither  whisky  nor  tobacco.  Being  a * ‘ medicine 
man,”  he  was  in  demand  at  feasts  and  councils  as 
an  agency  through  which  “talks”  could  be  had 


38 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


The  advice  of  the  soothsayer  was, 
that  Black  Hawk  should  proceed  to 
the  prophet’s  town  the  following  spring 
and  raise  a crop  of  corn,  assurances 
being  given  that  by  autumn  the  alleged 
allies  would  be  ready  to  join  the  Sac 
leader  in  a general  movement  against 
the  whites  in  the  valley  of  the  Rock. 

Relying  upon  these  rose-colored  rep- 
resentations, Black  Hawk  spent  the  win- 
ter on  the  then  deserted  site  of  old  Fort 
Madison,  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, near  the  mouth  of  the  Des 
Moines,  engaged  in  quietly  recruiting  his 
band.  The  urgent  protests  of  Keokuk, 
who  feared  that  the  entire  Sac  and  Fox 
confederacy  would  become  implicated 
in  the  war  for  which  the  Hawk  seemed 
to  be  preparing,  but  spurred  the  jealous 
and  obstinate  partisan  to  renewed  en- 
deavors. 

At  this  period  the  territory  embraced 
in  the  Sac  and  Fox  cession  of  1804  was 
an  almost  unbroken  wilderness  of  alter- 
nating prairies,  oak  groves,  rivers  and 
vast  swamps.  The  government  had  not 
surveyed  any  portion  of  it,  nor  had  it 
been  much  explored  by  white  hunters 
or  pioneers,  while  the  Indians  them- 
selves were  acquainted  with  but  narrow 
belts  of  country  along  their  accustomed 
trails.  In  the  lead  regions  about  Galena 
and  Mineral  Point  there  were  a few 
trading  posts  and  small  mining  settle- 
ments. An  Indian  trail  along  the  east 
bank  of  the  Mississippi  connected  Ga- 
lena and  Fort  Armstrong,  on  Rock  isl- 

direct  with  the  Great  Spirit.  He  had  the  reputation 
of  being  better  versed  in  the  Sac  traditions  than  any 
other  member  of  the  tribe.  His  history  after  the 
close  of  the  Black  Hawk  war  is  now  unknown. 


and.  A coach  road,  known  as  “ Kel- 
logg’s trail,”  opened  in  1827,  connected 
Galena  with  Peoria  and  the  settlements 
in  southern  and  eastern  Illinois.  A 
daily  mail  coach  traversed  this,  the  only 
wagon  road  north  of  the  Illinois  river, 
and  it  was  often  crowded  with  people 
going  to  and  from  the  mines,  which  were 
the  chief  source  of  wealth  for  the  north- 
ern pioneers.  Here  and  there  along  this 
road  lived  a few  people  engaged  in  enter- 
taining travelers  and  keeping  stage  teams 
— “ Old  Man”  Kellogg,  at  Kellogg’s 
grove ; a Mr.  Winter,  on  Apple  river ; 
John  Dixon,  at  Dixon’s  ferry,  on  Rock 
river;  “Dad  Joe,”  at  Dad  Joe’s  grove; 
Henry  Thomas,  on  West  Bureau  creek; 
Charles  S.  Boyd,  at  Boyd’s  grove,  and 
two  or  three  others  of  less  note.  Indian 
trails  traversed  the  country  in  many 
directions,  between  the  villages  of  the 
several  bands  and  their  hunting  and 
fishing  grounds,  and  they  were  used  as 
public  thoroughfares  by  whites  and  red- 
skins alike.  One  of  these  connected 
Galena  with  Chicago,  by  the  way  of 
Big  Foot’s  Pottawatomie  village,  at  the 
head  of  the  body  of  water  now  known 
as  Lake  Geneva.  There  was  another, 
but  slightly  traversed,  between  Dixon’s 
and  Chicago.  The  mining  settlements 
were  also  connected  by  old  and  new 
trails,  and  two  well-traveled  ways  led 
respectively  to  Fort  Winnebago,  at  the 
portage  of  the  Fox  and  Wisconsin  rivers, 
and  to  Fore  Howard,  on  Green  Bay.  In 
Illinois  the  most  important  aboriginal 
highway  was  the  great  Sac  trail,  extend- 
ing in  almost  an  air  line  across  the  state 
from  Black  Hawk’s  village  to  the  south 
shore  of  Lake  Michigan,  and  thence  to 


THE  BLACK  HAIVK  WAR . 


39 


Malden ; over  this  deep-beaten  path 
the  British  band  made  their  frequent 
pilgrimages  to  the  British  agency. 

Between  Galena  and  the  Illinois  river 
the  largest  settlement  was  on  Bureau 
creek,  where  some  thirty  families  were 
gathered.  Small  aggregations  of  cabins 
were  to  be  found  at  Peru,  La  Salle,  South 
Ottowa,  Newark,  Holderman’s  grove 
and  a little  cluster  of  eight  or  ten  on 
Indian  creek.  The  lead-mining  colon- 
ies in  Michigan  Territory  (now  Wis- 
consin) were  chiefly  clustered  about 
Mineral  Point  and  Dodgeville.  At  the 
mouth  of  Milwaukee  river,  on  Lake 
Michigan,  Solomon  Juneau  was  still 
monarch  of  all  he  surveyed,  while  at 
Chicago  there  was  a somewhat  float- 
ing population  of  but  two  or  three  hun- 
dred, housed  in  primitive  abodes  nestled 
under  the  shelter  of  Fort  Dearborn. 
There  were  scattered  between  these  set- 
tlements a few  widely  separated  farms 
conducted  in  a crude,  haphazard  fash- 
ion, the  squatter  more  numerous  than 
the  homesteader,  and  at  best  very  little 
attention  paid  to  metes  and  bounds. 

The  settlers  were  chiefly  hardy  back- 
woodsmen who  had  graduated  from  the 
Pennsylvania,  Ohio  and  Indiana  clear- 
ings and  come  west  to  better  their  for- 
tunes or  because  neighbors  were  getting 
too  numerous.  They  were  very  poor, 
owning  but  little  more  than  their  cabins, 
the  scanty  clothing  they  wore,  a few 
rough  tools,  teams  of  “ scrub  ” horses 
or  yokes  of  cattle,  and  some  barnyard 
stock.  They  were,  for  the  most  part, 
in  the  prime  of  life,  enterprising,  bold, 
daring,  skilled  marksmen,  and  accus- 
tomed to  exposure,  privations  and  dan- 


ger. There  were  no  schools  and  the 
only  religious  instruction  received  by 
these  rude  pioneers  was  that  given  by 
adventurous  missionaries  who  pene- 
trated these  wildernesses  with  the  self- 
sacrificing  energies  of  the  fathers  of  the 
church,  making  up  in  zeal  what  they 
lacked  in  culture. 

But  upon  the  heels  of  these  worthies 
had  come  thieves,  counterfeiters,  cut- 
throats, social  outlaws  from  the  east. 
By  nature  aggressive,  they  too  often 
gave  to  the  community  a character  of 
wild  and  lawless  adventure.  Such  men 
always  exist  upon  the  frontiers  of  civil- 
ization, and  the  Indians,  from  being 
more  frequently  brought  in  collision 
with  these  than  with  more  conservative 
citizens,  were  naturally  apt  to  form  an 
opinion  of  our  race  that  was  far  from 
flattering. 

Conditions  in  Illinois  were  ripe  for  an 
Indian  war.  Many  elements  in  the 
white  population  saw  benefits  to  be 
derived  from  it.  It  could  give  occupa- 
tion to  the  pioneer  loafers  and  cause 
money  from  government  coffers  to  cir- 
culate freely ; to  the  numerous  and 
respectable  body  of  Indian-haters — 
persons  who  had  at  some  time  suffered 
in  person  or  property  from  the  red  bar- 
barians, and  had  come  to  regard  them 
as  little  better  than  wild  beasts — it 
offered  a chance  for  reprisal.  To  the 
political  aspirant  a brilliant  foray  pre- 
sented opportunities  for  the  achieve- 
ment of  personal  popularity,  and  in- 
deed the  Black  Hawk  war  was  the  chief 
stock  in  trade  of  many  a subsequent 
statesman;  while  to  that  large  floating 
element  ever  to  be  found  on  the  border. 


40 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


of  persons  fond  of  mere  adventure,  it 
presented  superior  attractions. 

On  the  sixth  of  April,  1832,  Black 
Hawk  and  Neapope,  with  about  five 
hundred  warriors  (chiefly  Sacs),  their 
squaws  and  children,  and  all  their  be- 
longings, crossed  the  Mississippi  at  the 
Yellow  Banks,  below  the  mouth  of  the 
Rock,  and  invaded  the  state  of  Illinois. 
The  results  of  the  Hawk’s  negotiations 
during  the  winter,  with  the  Winnebagoes 
and  the  Pottawatomies,  had  not  been 
of  an  encouraging  nature  ; he  now  sus- 
pected that  the  representations  of  the 
prophet  and  Neapope  were  exaggerated, 
and  his  advance  up  the  west  bank  of  the 
Mississippi,  from  Fort  Madison,  was 
accordingly  made  with  some  forebod- 
ings ; but  the  prophet  met  him  at  the 
Yellow  Banks  and  gave  him  such  posi- 
tive reassurances  of  ultimate  success, 
that  the  misguided  Sac  confidently  and 
leisurely  continued  his  journey.  He 
proceeded  up  the  east  bank  of  the  Rock 
as  far  as  the  prophet’s  town — some  four 
hundred  and  fifty  of  his  braves  being 
well  mounted,  while  the  others,  with  the 
women,  children  and  their  equipage, 
remained  in  the  canoes.  The  intention 
of  the  invaders  was,  as  before  stated,  to 
raise  a crop  with  the  Rock  River  V/in- 
nebagoes  at  or  immediately  above  the 
prophet’s  town  and  prepare  for  the  war- 
path in  the  fall,  when  there  would  be  a 
supply  of  provisions.  The  traveling  was 
so  beset  by  difficulties,  heavy  rainshav- 
ing made  the  river  turbulent  and  the 
banks  swampy,  that  the  party  were 
twenty  days  in  covering  the  intervening 
forty  miles. 

Immediately  upon  crossing  the  Mis- 


sissippi, Black  Hawk  had  dispatched 
messengers  to  the  Pottawatomies,  ask- 
ing them  to  meet  him  in  council  of  war 
on  Sycamore  creek  (now  Stillman’s 
Run),  opposite  the  present  site  of  Byron. 
The  Pottawatomies  were  much  divided 
in  opinion  as  to  the  proper  course  to 
pursue.  Shaubena,  who  was  a chief  of 
much  ability,  and  who  had  formed  a 
sincere  respect  and  attachment  for  the 
whites  since  the  war  of  1812,  succeeded 
in  inducing  the  majority  of  the  braves 
to  at  least  remain  neutral ; but  the  hot- 
heads, under  Big  Foot  and  a despicable 
half-breed  British  agent,  Mike  Girty, 
were  fierce  for  taking  the  war  path. 
Shaubena,  after  quieting  the  passions  of 
his  followers,  set  out  at  once  to  make  a 
rapid  tour  of  the  settlements  in  the  Illi- 
nois and  Rock  valleys,  carrying  the 
first  tidings  of  approaching  war  to  the 
pioneers,  even  extending  his  mission  as 
far  east  as  Chicago. 

General  Henry  Atkinson  had  arrived 
at  Fort  Armstrong  early  in  the  spring,  in 
charge  of  a company  of  regulars,  for  the 
purpose  of  enforcing  the  demand  of  the 
Indian  department  for  the  Sac  murderers 
of  the  Menominees.  He  did  not  learn  of 
the  invasion  until  the  thirteenth  of  April, 
seven  days  afterward,  but  at  once  noti- 
fied Governor  Reynolds  that  his  own 
force  was  too  small  for  the  emergency 
and  a large  detachment  of  militia  was 
essential.  The  governor  immediately 
issued  another  fiery  proclamation,  call- 
ing for  a special  levy  of  mounted  volun- 
teers to  assemble  at  Beardstown,  on  the 
lower  Illinois  river,  on  the  twenty-second 
of  the  month. 

The  war  news  spread  like  wild-fire. 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


41 


Some  of  the  settlers  flew  from  the  coun- 
try in  hot  haste,  never  to  return  ; but 
the  majority  of  those  who  did  not  join 
the  state  army  hastened  into  the  larger 
settlements  or  to  other  points  convenient 
for  assembly,  where  rude  stockade  forts 
were  built,  the  inhabitants  forming  them- 
selves into  little  garrisons,  with  officers 
and  some  degree  of  military  discipline. 
The  following  named  forts  figured  more 
or  less  conspicuously  in  the  ensuing 
troubles : 

In  Illinois — Galena,  Apple  River,  Kellogg’s 
Grove,  Buffalo  Grove,  Dixon’s,  South  Ottowa,  Wil- 
burn (nearly  opposite  the  present  city  of  Peru),  West 
Bureau,  Hennepin  and  Clark  (at  Peoria). 

In  Michigan  Territory  (now  southwestern 
Wisconsin) — Union  (Dodge’s  smelting  works,  near 
Dodgeville),  Defiance  (Parkinson’s  farm,  five  miles 
southeast  of  Mineral  Point),  Hamilton  (William  S. 
Hamilton's  smelting  works,  now  Wiota),  Jackson 
(at  Mineral  Point),  Blue  Mounds  (one  and  a half 
miles  south  of  East  Blue  Mound),  Parish’s  (at  Thos. 
J.  Parish’s  smelting  works,  now  Wingville),  Cassville, 
Platteville,  Gratiot’s  Grove,  Diamond  Grove,  White 
Oak  Springs,  Old  Shullsburg  and  Elk  Grove. 

Fort  Armstrong  was  soon  a scene  of 
bustling  preparation.  St.  Louis  was  at 
the  time  the  only  government  supply 
point  on  the  upper  Mississippi,  and 
limited  transportation  facilities  and  the 
bad  weather  incident  to  a backward 
spring  greatly  hampered  operations  in 
collecting  troops,  stores,  boats  and 
camp  equipage.  But  General  Atkin- 
son was  possessed  of  great  energy  and 
executive  ability,  and  overcame  these 
difficulties  as  rapidly  as  possible.  He 
had  much  military  skill,  courage,  per- 
severance and  knowledge  of  Indian 
character,  and  during  his  preparations 
for  the  campaign  took  pains  to  person- 


ally assure  himself  of  the  fidelity  of  the 
Sacs  and  Foxes  not  of  the  British  band. 
He  also  sent  two  sets  of  messengers  to 
Black  Hawk,  ordering  him  to  withdraw  at 
once  to  the  west  bank  of  the  river  on 
the  peril  of  being  driven  there  by  force 
of  arms.  To  both  messages  the  Sac 
leader,  now  blindly  trusting  in  the 
prophet,  sent  defiant  answers. 

Meanwhile,  sixteen  hundred  horse 
and  two  hundred  foot  volunteers  had 
been  easily  recruited  amid  the  gen- 
eral excitement,  and  rendezvoused 
at  Beardstown.  They  were  organ- 
ized into  four  regiments,  under  the 
commands  respectively  of  Colonels 
Dewit,  Fry,  Thomas  and  Thompson, 
and  a spy  (or  scout)  battalion  under 
Major  James  D.  Henry.  The  entire 
force  was  placed  under  the  charge  of 
Brigadie’r-General  Whiteside,  who  had 
been,  previous  to  this,  in  the  command 
of  frontier  rangers  and  enjoyed  the 
reputation  of  being  a good  Indian 
fighter.  Acccompanied  by  Governor 
Reynolds,  the  brigade  proceeded  to 
Fort  Armstrong,  which  was  reached  on 
the  seventh  of  May,  and  was  at  once 
sworn  into  the  United  States  service. 

On  the  ninth  the  start  was  made, 
Black  Hawk’s  trail  up  the  east  bank 
of  the  Rock  being  pursued  by  White- 
side  and  the  mounted  volunteers,  while 
Atkinson  followed  in  boats  with  the 
bulk  of  the  baggage,  two  hundred  vol- 
unteer footmen  and  three  hundred  regu- 
lar infantry,  the  latter  gathered  from 
Forts  Crawford  and  Leavenworth,  and 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  Zach- 
ary Taylor,  afterwards  President  of  the 


42 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY, 


United  States.*  The  rest  of  the  bag- 
gage was  taken  by  Whiteside’s  land 
force  in  wagons.  The  traveling  was 
bad  for  both  divisions.  The  heavy 
rains  had  made  the  stream  turbulent, 
and  the  men  frequently  waded  breast 
deep  for  hours  together,  pushing  the 
keel  and  Mackinaw  boats  against  the 
rapid  current  and  lifting  them  over  the 
rapids  ; while  in  the  swamps  along  the 
trail  the  baggage  wagons  were  often 
mired,  and  the  horsemen  obliged  to  do 
yeoman  service  in  pushing  and  hauling 
freight  through  and  over  the  black 
muck  and  tangled  roots.  For  many 
days  the  troops  had  not  a dry  thread 
upon  them,  and  the  tents  were  found  to 
be  of  poor  quality  and  but  meagre  pro- 
tection from  the  driving  storms  on  the 
Illinois  prairies. 

Whiteside  was  enabled  to  out-distance 
Atkinson.  Arriving  at  the  prophet’s 
town  he  found  it  deserted  and  the  trail 
up  the  river  fresh,  so  he  pushed  on  as 
rapidly  as  possible  to  Dixon’s,  where  he 
arrived  on  the  twelfth  of  May.  Here 
he  found  two  independent  battalions 
under  Majors  Stillman  and  Bailey. 
They  had  been  at  the  ferry  for  some 
days,  with  abundance  of  ammunition 
and  supplies,  in  which  latter  Whiteside 
was  now  deficient.  These  commands 
were  not  of  the  regular  levy  and  ob- 
jected to  joining  the  main  army  except 
on  detached  service  as  rangers.  The 
men  were  imbued  with  reckless  enthusi- 


*  Abraham  Lincoln  was  one  of  the  Illinois  volun- 
teers during  the  second  campaign  of  this  war,  while 
Jefferson  Davis,  afterwards  president  of  the  Con- 
federate states,  was  a lieutenant  of  regulars  under 
Taylor. 


asm,  impatient  at  the  slow  advance  of 
the  army  and  anxious  to  at  once  do 
something  brilliant,  feeling  confident 
that  all  that  was  necessary  to  end  the 
war  was  for  them  to  be  given  a chance 
to  once  meet  the  enemy  in  open  battle. 

They  obtained  Whiteside’s  permission 
to  go  forward  in  the  capacity  of  a scout- 
ing party,  and  set  out  on  the  morning 
of  the  thirteenth,  under  Stillman,  two 
hundred  and  seventy-five  strong.  Late 
in  the  afternoon  of  the  fourteenth  they 
went  into  camp  in  a small  copse  of 
open  timber,  three  miles  southwest 
of  the  mouth  of  Sycamore  creek.  It 
was  a peculiarly  strong  position  for  de- 
fense. The  troop  completely  filled  the 
grove,  which  was  surrounded  by  a per- 
fectly clear  prairie,  slightly  undulating. 
With  an  Indian  enemy,  disliking  to  fight 
in  the  open,  the  troopers  might  readily 
have  repulsed  ten  times  their  own  number. 

Black  Hawk  had  tarried  a week  at  the 
prophet’s  town,  holding  fruitless  coun- 
cils with  the  wily  and  vacillating  Win- 
nebagoes.  He  now  positively  learned 
for  the  first  time  that  he  had  been  de- 
ceived. But  he  pushed  on  to  keep  his 
engagement  at  Sycamore  creek,  faint  at 
heart,  though  vaguely  hoping  better 
things  of  the  Pottowatomies.  He  went 
into  camp  with  his  principal  men,  in  a 
large  grove  near  the  mouth  of  the  creek, 
met  the  chiefs  of  the  tribe,  and  soon 
found  that  Shaubena’s  counsels  had 
rendered  it  impossible  to  gain  over  to 
his  cause  more  than  about  one  hundred 
of  the  hot-head  element.  Black  Hawk 
asserted  in  after  years  that  he  had  at 
this  juncture  fully  resolved  to  return  at 
once  to  the  west  of  the  Mississippi 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


4? 


should  he  be  again  summoned  to  do  so 
by  General  Atkinson,  and  never  more  dis- 
turb the  peace  of  the  white  settlements. 
As  a parting  courtesy  to  his  guests,  how- 
ever, he  was  making  arrangements  on 
the  evening  of  May  14  to  give  them  a 
dog  feast,  when  the  summons  came  in 
a manner  he  little  anticipated. 

The  white-hating  faction  of  the  Pot- 
towatomies  were  encamped  on  the  Kish- 
waukee  river  some  seven  miles  north 
of  Black  Hawk,  and  with  them  were  the 
majority  of  his  own  party.  The  Hawk 
says  that  not  more  than  forty  of  his 
braves  were  with  him  upon  the  council 
ground.  Towards  sunset,  in  the  midst 
of  his  preparations,  he  was  informed 
that  a party  of  white  horsemen  were 
going  into  camp  three  miles  down  the 
Rock.  It  was  Stillman’s  corps,  but  the 
Sac  thought  it  was  a party  headed  by 
Atkinson — being  then  unaware  of  the 
great  force  which  had  been  placed  in 
the  field  against  him — and  sent  out  three 
of  his  young  men  to  parley  with  the  new 
arrivals  and  convey  his  offer  to  meet 
the  White  Beaver  (Atkinson)  in  council 
at  the  latter’s  camp. 

The  rangers,  who  had  regarded  the 
expedition  as  a big  frolic,  were  engaged 
in  preparing  their  camp,  in  a sort  of 
“ free-for-all  ” picnic  fashion,  when  the 
truce-bearers  appeared  upon  a knoll 
on  the  prairie,  nearly  a mile  away.  A 
mob  of  the  troopers  rushed  out  upon 
the  astonished  envoys  in  helter-skelter 
form,  some  with  saddles  on  their  horses 
and  some  without,  and  ran  the  visitors 
into  camp  amid  a hubbub  of  yells  and 
imprecations.  Black  Hawk  had  sent 
five  other  braves  to  follow  the  flagmen 


at  a safe  distance  and  watch  develop- 
ments. This  second  party  was  sighted 
by  about  twenty  of  the  horsemen,  who 
had  been  scouring  the  plain  for  more 
Indians  and  are  said  to  have  been,  as 
were  many  of  Stillman’s  men  at  the 
time,  much  excited  by  the  too  free  use 
of  intoxicants.  Hot  chase  was  given 
to  the  spies,  and  two  of  them  were 
killed.  The  other  three  galloped  back 
to  the  council  grove  and  reported  to 
their  chief  that  not  only  two  of  their  own 
number,  but  the  three  flag-bearers  as  well, 
had  been  cruelly  slain.  This  flagrant 
disregard  of  the  rules  of  war  caused  the 
blood  of  the  old  Sac  to  boil  with  right- 
eous indignation.  Tearing  to  shreds  the 
flag  of  truce  which  he  himself  was  pre- 
paring to  carry  to  the  white  camp 
when  the  spies  broke  in  upon  him, 
he  fiercely  harangued  his  thirty-five 
braves  and  bade  them  avenge  the  blood 
of  their  brethren  at  any  risk. 

The  neutral  Pottawatomie  visitors 
at  once  withdrew  from  the  grove  and 
hastily  sped  to  their  villages,  while 
Black  Hawk  and  his  party,  securely 
mounted,  sallied  forth  to  meet  the 
enemy.  The  entire  white  force,  two  hun- 
dred and  seventy-five  strong,  was  soon 
seen  rushing  towards  them  pell-mell,  in 
a confused  mass.  The  Sacs  withdrew 
behind  a fringe  of  bushes,  and  their 
leader  hurriedly  bade  them  stand  firm. 
The  whites  paused  on  catching  a glimpse 
of  the  grim  array  awaiting  them,  but  be- 
fore they  had  a chance  to  turn  the  Hawk 
sounded  the  war-whoop  and  the  savages 
dashed  forward  and  fired.  The  Sac 
chief  tells  us  that  he  thought  the  charge 
suicidal  when  he  ordered  it,  but,  en- 


44 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


raged  at  the  treachery  of  the  troopers,  he 
and  all  with  him  were  willing  to  die  in 
order  to  secure  reprisal.  On  the  first 
fire  of  the  Indians,  the  whites,  without 
returning  the  volley,  fled  in  great  con- 
sternation, pursued  by  a few  of  the  more 
daring  of  the  victors  until  nightfall 
ended  the  chase.  But  nightfall  did  not 
end  the  rout.  The  volunteers,  haunted  by 
the  genius  of  fear,  dashed  through  their 
own  impregnable  camp,  leaving  every- 
thing behind  them,  plunging  madly 
through  swamps  and  creeks  till  they 
reached  Dixon’s,  twenty-five  miles  away, 
where  they  straggled  in  for  the  next 
twenty  hours.  Many  of  them  did  not 
stop  there,  but  kept  on  at  a keen  gallop 
till  they  reached  their  own  firesides, 
fifty  or  more  miles  further,  carrying  the 
report  that  Black  Hawk  and  two  thou- 
sand blood-thirsty  warriors  were  sweep- 
ing all  northern  Illinois  with  the  besom 
of  destruction.  The  white  casualties 
in  this  ill-starred  foray  amounted  to 
eleven  killed,  while  the  Indians  lost 
the  two  spies  and  but  one  of  the  flag- 
bearers,  who  had  been  treacherously 
shot  in  Stillman’s  camp  — his  com- 
panions owing  their  lives  to  the  fleet- 
ness of  their  ponies. 

The  flight  of  Stillman’s  corps  was 
wholly  inexcusable.  It  should,  in  any 
event,  have  stopped  at  the  camp,  which 
was  easily  defensible.  Stillman,  no 
doubt,  exerted  himself  to  his  utmost 
to  rally  his  men,  but  they  lacked  dis- 
cipline and  that  experience  which  gives 
soldiers  confidence  in  their  officers  and 
each  other.  Their  worst  fault,  how- 
ever, was  their  dishonorable  treatment 
of  bearers  of  a flag  of  truce,  a symbol 


which  few  savage  tribes  disregard.  But 
for  this  act  of  treachery  the  Black  Hawk 
war  would  have  been  a bloodless  dem- 
onstration. Unfortunately  for  our  own 
good  name,  this  violation  of  the  rules 
of  war  was  more  than  once  repeated 
by  the  Americans  during  the  ensuing 
contest. 

From  his  easy  and  unexpected  vic- 
tory, Black  Hawk  conceived  a very  poor 
opinion  of  the  valor  of  the  militiamen, 
and  at  the  same  time  a somewhat  exag- 
gerated estimate  of  the  prowess  of  his 
own  braves.  Almost  wholly  destitute 
of  provisions  and  ammunition,  he  felt 
highly  elated  at  the  capture  of  Stillman’s 
rich  stores.  Recognizing  that  war  had 
been  forced  upon  him  and  was  hence- 
forth inevitable,  he  dispatched  scouts 
to  watch  the  white  army  while  he  hur- 
riedly removed  his  women  and  children, 
by  the  way  of  the  Kishwaukee,  to  the 
swampy  fastnesses  of  Lake  Koshkonong, 
near  the  headwaters  of  the  Rock  river, 
in  Michigan  Territory.  He  was  guided 
thither  by  friendly  Winnebagoes  who 
deemed  the  position  impregnable.  From 
here,  recruited  by  parties  of  Winneba- 
goes and  Pottawatomies,  Black  Hawk 
descended  into  northern  Illinois  pre- 
pared for  active  border  warfare. 

The  story  of  Stillman’s  defeat  inaug- 
urated a reign  of  terror  between  the  Illi- 
nois and  Wisconsin  rivers,  and  great 
consternation  throughout  the  entire 
west.  The  name  of  Black  Hawk,  whose 
forces  and  the  nature  of  whose  expe- 
dition were  greatly  exaggerated,  be- 
came coupled  the  country  over  with 
stories  of  savage  cunning  and  cruelty,  his 
name  serving  as  a household  bugaboo. 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


45 


Shaubena  and  his  friends  again  rode 
post-haste  through  the  settlements 
sounding  the  alarm.  Many  of  the 
settlers  had  been  lulled  into  a sense  of 
security  by  the  long  calm  following  the 
invasion  at  Yellow  Banks,  and  had  re- 
turned to  their  fields.  But  there  was 
now  a hurrying  back  into  the  forts. 
They  flew  like  chickens  to  cover,  on  the 
warning  of  the  Hawk’s  foray.  The 
rustle  in  the  underbrush,  of  a prowling 
beast ; the  howl  of  a wolf  on  the  prai- 
rie ; the  fall  of  .a  bough  ; the  report  of  a 
hunter’s  gun,  were  sufficient  in  this  time 
of  panic  to  blanch  the  cheeks  of  many 
a brave  man  and  cause  families  to  fly  in 
the  agony  of  fear  for  scores  of  miles, 
leaving  all  their  valuables  behind  them. 

May  15,  the  day  of  the  defeat.  White- 
side,  with  one  thousand  four  hundred 
men,  made  an  expedition  to  the  field  of 
battle  and  buried  the  dead.  On  the 
nineteenth,  Atkinson  and  the  entire 
army  moved  up  the  Rock,  leaving  Still- 
man’s corps  at  Dixon  to  care  for  the 
wounded  and  guard  the  supplies.  But 
the  army  was  no  sooner  out  of  sight 
than  Stillman’s  cowards  added  infamy 
to  their  record,  by  deserting  their  post 
and  going  home.  Atkinson  hastily  re- 
turned to  Dixon  with  the  regulars,  leav- 
ing Whiteside  to  follow  Black  Hawk’s 
trail  up  the  Kishwaukee. 


But  Whiteside’s  men  now  began  to 
weary  of  soldiering.  They  declared  that 
the  Indians  had  gone  into  the  unex- 
plored and  impenetrable  swamps  of  the 
north  and  could  never  be  captured ; 
and  even  were  that  fact  possible,  Illi- 
nois volunteers,  they  asserted,  were  not 
compelled  to  serve  out  of  the  state,  in 
Michigan  Territory.  So,  after  two  or 
three  days’  fruitless  skirmishing,  and 
before  reaching  the  state  line,  they  de- 
serted their  general,  leaving  him  with- 
out a command.  Uttering  earnest  pro- 
tests, he  followed  them  to  Ottawa, 
where  they  were,  at  their  own  request, 
mustered  out  of  the  service  on  the 
twenty-seventh  and  twenty-eighth  of 
May.  On  their  way  from  the  Kishwau- 
kee to  Ottawa,  the  militiamen  stopped 
at  the  Davis  farm  on  Indian  creek, 
where  a terrible  massacre  of  whites  had 
occurred  a few  days  before  and  the  mu- 
tilated corpses  of  fifteen  men,  women 
and  children  were  lying  on  the  green- 
sward, unsepultured.  This  revolting 
spectacle,  instead  of  nerving  the  troops 
to  renewed  action  in  defense  of  their 
homes,  appears  to  have  still  further  dis- 
heartened them. 

And  thus  did  the  first  campaign  of  the 
war  end,  as  it  had  begun,  with  an  exhi- 
tion  of  rank  cowardice  on  the  part  of 
the  Illinois  militia. 


Reuben  G.  Thwaites. 


46 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 

III. 

FRANCE  TAKES  POSSESSION  OF  THE  UPPER  LAKES  AND  THE  MISSISSIPPI  VALLEY. 


When,  on  the  hrst  day  of  October, 
1669,  the  two  Sulpitian  priests,  Casson 
and  Gallin6e,  with  their  retinue,  left  the 
Indian  village  on  the  portage  to  the 
Grand  river,  which  they  were  to  descend 
to  Lake  Erie,  they  began  a somewhat 
perilous  voyage — for  the  channel  of  that 
stream  was  difficult  and  tortuous  and 
was  then  swollen  with  autumnal  rains. 
In  fourteen  days  they  reached  the  shore 
of  the  lake,  when  they  encamped.  The 
waters  before  them  were  in  an  angry 
mood.  Autumnal  winds  were  blowing, 
and  the  white-caps  covered  the  lake  as 
far  as  the  eye  could  reach.  The  two 
priests  wisely  concluded  not  to  venture 
with  their  frail  canoes  upon  the  foaming 
waters.  They  built  at  the  end  of  three 
days,  a cabin  for  their  shelter  at  or  near 
the  river.  Here  they  employed  their 
time  hunting  and  in  drying  the  flesh  of 
two  of  the  larger  animals  which  they 
had  secured,  waiting  fifteen  days  for 
the  abatement  of  the  winds  upon  the 
lake  ; still  there  seemed  no  diminution 
of  their  violence  ; so  they  decided  to 
encamp  in  the  neighboring  woods  for 
the  winter. 

A spot  was  selected  about  a mile 
inland,  at  the  mouth  of  a small  branch 
of  the  river,  where,  on  commodious 


ground,  they  erected  a substantial 
cabin — one  that  would  afford  them 
shelter  from  the  weather  and  pro- 
tection against  an  enemy.  In  one 
end  of  the  building  they  raised  an 
altar — -the  first  one,  so  far  as  is  known, 
dedicated  to  Christian  worship  on  the 
banks  of  Lake  Erie  ; and  this  was  the 
first  house  ever  built  by  the  hands  of 
civilized  man  on  any  of  its  tributaries. 
To  their  store  they  added  seventy 
bushels  of  nuts  of  various  kinds,  be- 
sides a liberal  supply  of  wild  grapes 
and  plums.  The  vine  they  described 
as  growing  spontaneous  along  the  sandy 
border  of  the  lake,  producing  grapes  as 
large  and  palatable  as  the  finest  in  the 
north  of  France.  The  expressed  juice 
of  the  fruit  served  them  all  winter  for 
the  celebration  of  mass.  Fortunately, 
the  winter  proved  mild — much  more  so 
than  they  had  experienced  during  their 
residence  in  Montreal.  On  the  twenty- 
third  of  March,  1670,  they  erected  a 
cross  as  a memorial  of  their  winter 
home,  to  which  they  affixed  the  arms  of 
Louis  XIV.,  and  took  formal  possession 
of  the  country  in  the  name  of  that  king. 
Thus  it  was  that,  at  least  constructively, 
Lake  Erie  and  the  peninsula  to  the 
northward  passed  under  the  domination 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 


47 


of  France.*  As  yet,  however,  no  white 
man  had  seen  the  southern  shore  of  the 
lake  ; all  that  region  was  indeed  in  the 
embryo  of  the  future. 

On  the  twenty-sixth  of  March,  three 
days  after  taking  possession  of  the  coun- 
try, Dollier  and  Gallinee  resumed  their 
journey,  traveling  to  the  westward. 
Arriving  at  the  eastern  side  of  Long 
Point,  they  drew  up  their  canoes  on  the 
beach  and  encamped  near  the  shore. 
Overcome  with  fatigue,  they  were  soon 
buried  in  sleep.  Not  anticipating  any 
disaster,  they  carelessly  left  some  of 
their  effects  near  the  water.  A violent 
northeast  gale  came  on  during  the  night, 
disturbing  the  lake  to  such  an  extent 
that  the  water  rose  six  feet  and  bore 
away  the  contents  of  one  of  their  ca- 
noes. Fortunately  they  were  aroused 
in  season  to  rescue  the  remainder. 


* Acte  de  prise  de  possession  des  Terres  du 
Lac  Eri£  (Octobre  1669).  Nous  icy  soubsignez, 
certifions  avoir  veu  afficher  sur  les  terres  du  lac 
nomm£  d’  Eri6  les  armes  du  Roy  de  France  au 
pied  d’une  croix,  avec  cette  inscription  : “ L’an 
de  salut  1669,  Clement  IX.  estant  assis  danz  la 
chaire  de  Saint  Pierre,  Louis  XIV.  regnant  en 
France,  Monsieur  de  Courcelles  estant  gouver- 
neur  de  la  Nouvelle  France  et  Monsieur  Talony 
estant  intendant  pour  le  Roy,  sont  arrivez  en  ce 
lieu  deux  missionnaries  du  Semin  arie  de  Mon- 
treal, accompagnez  de  sept  autres  Francois,  qui 
les  premiers  de  touts  les  peuples  Europeans  ont 
hyvernd  en  ce  lac,  dont  ils  ont  pris  possession 
au  nom  de  leur  Roy,  comme  d’une  terre  non 
accupee,  par  opposition  de  ses  armes,  yu’ils  y 
ont  attachees  au  pied  de  cette  croix.  En  foy 
de  quoy  nous  avons  sign£  le  present  certificat. 

“ Signe  : Francois  Dollier,  preste  du  diocese 
de  Nantes,  en  Bretagne;  De  Gallinee,  diacre 
du  diocese  de  Rennes,  en  Bretagne.”— Margry, 
Vol.  I.,  p.  166. 


Their  powder  and  lead  were  lost,  and, 
more  than  all,  their  altar  service,  with- 
out which  the  eucharist  could  not  be 
celebrated.  They  resolved,  because  of 
these  misfortunes,  to  return  to  Montreal 
and  leave  the  Pottawatomies  unin- 
structed. But  their  voyage  homeward 
they  determined  should  be  not  as  they 
came,  but  the  circuitous  one  of  Saultde 
Ste.  Marie,  in  hopes  there  of  joining  the 
Ottawas  and  other  tribes  of  that  region 
in  their  yearly  descent  of  the  Ottawa 
river  to  Montreal.  They  made  their 
way  up  the  Detroit  river,  along  the 
eastern  shores  of  Lake  Huron  to  the 
Georgian  bay,  passing  the  Manatoulins 
and  arriving  at  the  Sault  de  Ste.  Marie 
on  the  twenty-fifth  of  May,  where  they 
found  tv/o  Jesuit  Fathers,  Claude  Dablon 
and  James  Marquette,  in  a square  fort 
of  cedar  pickets,  built  by  their  own  men 
within  the  year  past,  and  enclosing  a 
house  and  a chapel.  Near  by  they  had 
cleared  a large  tract  of  land  in  which 
had  been  sown  and  planted  wheat, 
Indian  corn,  peas  and  other  vegetables 
— the  first  farming  done  in  the  great 
west.  Furnished  with  a French  guide, 
the  two  Sulpitians  and  their  retinue 
soon  left  the  mission  for  Montreal,  which 
they  reached  on  the  eighteenth  of  June. 
They  had  made  no  discoveries  and  no 
converts.* 

Before  proceeding  to  relate  how  a 
French  agent  in  a most  formal  manner 
took  possession  of  Lakes  Huron  and 
Superior,  “ and  all  the  countries,  rivers, 
lakes  and  streams  contiguous  and  ad- 

* Rdcit  de  ce  qui  s’est  passd  de  plus  remarquable 
dans  le  voyage  de  MM.  Dollier  et  Gallinee  (1669- 
1670),  in  Margry,  Vol  I,  pp.  112-166. 


48 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


jacent  thereto,”  and  in  a much  more 
pompous  and  imposing  way  than  did 
the  two  Sulpitian  priests  declare  the 
Lake  Erie  country  a part  of  the  posses- 
sions of  Louis  XIV.,  it  is  necessary  to 
note  the  progress  of  Jesuit  missions  upon 
the  upper  lakes  to  the  next  year  after 
Dollier  and  Gallin£e  shared,  for  a few 
days,  the  hospitalities  of  one  of  them  at 
the  Sault  de  Ste  Marie,  as  before  re- 
lated. 

In  August,  1665,  Father  Claude  Al- 
louez  embarked  on  a mission  to  the 
country  which  had  been  visited  by 
Father  Ren6  Mesnard,  already  men- 
tioned. Early  in  September  he  reached 
the  Sault  de  Ste.  Marie,  and  on  the  first 
day  of  October  arrived  in  the  Bay  of 
Chegoimegon  (now  Ashland  bay, Wiscon- 
sin), at  a village  of  Chippewas.  Here 
he  erected  a chapel  of  bark,  establish- 
ing the  first  mission  on  the  southern 
shore  of  Lake  Superior,  to  which  he 
gave  the  name  of  Holy  Spirit.  While 
Allouez  had  charge  of  this  field  he  saw 
scattered  bands  of  Hurons  and  Ottawas ; 
also  Pottawatomies  from  Lake  Michi- 
gan, and  Sacs  and  Foxes  who  lived  upon 
the  waters  of  the  Fox  river  of  Green 
Bay.  He  was  likewise  visited  by  some 
Illinois  from  beyond  the  Mississippi ; 
and,  at  the  extremity  of  Lake  Superior, 
he  met  representatives  of  the  Sioux. 
From  both  the  last  mentioned  bands  he 
learned  of  the  great  river  of  the  west, 
which  he  calls  “ Missipi.” 

Father  James  Marquette  reached 
Chegoimegon  in  September,  1669,  and 
took  charge  of  the  mission  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  while  Allouez  returned  to  the 
Sault  de  Ste.  Marie,  intending  to  estab- 


lish a mission  on  the  shores  of  Green 
Bay  On  the  third  of  November,  he  left 
the  Sault  and  on  the  twenty-first  reached 
a Pottawatomie  cabin  On  the  sec- 
ond of  December,  he  founded  upon  the 
south  side  of  Green  Bay,  the  mission  of 
St.  Francis  Xavier,  the  second  one  es- 
tablished by  him  within  what  are  now 
the  limits  of  Wisconsin.  Here  Allouez 
passed  the  winter.  In  April,  1670,  he 
founded  another  mission  ; this  was  upon 
Wolf  river,  a tributary  of  the  Fox  river 
of  Green  Bay.  Here,  the  missionary 
labored  among  the  Foxes,  who  had  lo- 
cated upon  that  stream.  This  mission 
he  called  St.  Mark.  It  was  the  third 
one  in  the  present  Wisconsin.  In  1671, 
Father  Louis  Andre  was  sent  to  the 
missions  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  and  St. 
Mark,  as  a co-laborer  with  Allouez.  At 
what  is  now  the  village  of  Depere, 
Brown  county,  in  that  state,  was  then 
located  the  central  station  of  the  mis- 
sion of  St.  Francis  Xavier — the  mission 
including  all  the  tribes  inhabiting  the 
vicinity  of  Green  Bay.  Allouez  then 
left,  but  Andr6  remained  for  some  time 
in  that  field  of  labor. 

In  1668,  Father  Claude  Dablon  and 
James  Marquette  founded  a mission  at 
the  Sault  de  Ste.  Marie.  This  was 
before  the  last  named  missionary  went 
to  Chegoimegon , but  he  had  returned, 
as  we  have  seen,  in  1670,  when  the  place 
was  visited  by  Dollier  and  Gallinee.  The 
location  of  the  mission  was  at  the  foot 
of  the  rapids  on  the  south  side  of  the 
strait;  so  here  was  commenced  the  first 
establishment  of  the  kind  in  the  present 
state  of  Michigan.  The  next  mission 
founded  was  that  of  St.  Ignatius,  on  the 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 


49 


north  side  of  the  straits  of  Michilimack- 
inac,  in  1671,  by  Marquette,  among  In- 
dians of  the  Tobacco  nation  and  their 
kindred,  the  Hurons,  who  had  returned 
from  farther  west.  These  were  soon 
joined  by  a number  of  Ottawas.  “The 
place  was  bleak,  exposed  and  barren ; 
but  the  missionary  was  full  of  confi- 
dence and  hope,  although  he  had  more 
to  suffer  than  to  do.”  “ In  order,”  says 
Marquette,  “ to  aid  the  execution  of  the 
design,  signified  to  us  by  many  of  the 
savages,  of  taking  up  their  abode  at  this 
point,  where  some  have  already  passed 
the  winter  hunting  in  the  neighborhood, 
we  ourselves  have  also  wintered  here, 
in  order  to  make  arrangements  for  es- 
tablishing the  mission  of  St.  Ignatius.” 
Near  the  chapel,  the  Indians  erected  a 
fort  enclosing  all  their  cabins. 

The  failure  of  Louis  Joliet  to  discover 
copper  mines  in  the  region  of  the  Upper 
Lakes  by  no  means  discouraged  the 
French  government  in  their  endeavors 
to  seek  out  the  localities  said  to  be  rich 
in  that  mineral.  As  early  as  the  ninth 
of  April,  1670,  the  king’s  minister  en- 
joined it  upon  the  Canadian  governor 
that  he  should  assist  with  all  the 
authority  the  king  had  committed  to 
him  “the  exploration  Sieur  Talon  is  to 
make  of  the  iron  and  copper  mines.” 
“ Since  my  arrival,”  wrote  the  latter, 
“I  have  dispatched  persons  of  resolu- 
tion who  promise  to  penetrate  further 
than  has  ever  been  done,  the  one  to  the 
west  and  the  northwest  of  Canada  and 
the  others  to  the  southwest  and  south. 
These  adventurers  are  to  keep  journals 
in  all  instances,  and  reply  on  their 
return  to  the  written  instructions  I have 


given  them ; in  all  cases  they  are  to 
take  possession,  display  the  king’s  arms 
and  draw  up  proces  verbeaux  to  serve  as 
titles.  His  majesty  will  probably  have 
no  news  of  them  before  two  years  from 
this,  and  when  I shall  return  to  France.” 

But  Talon,  the  intendant  of  Canada, 
had  more  in  his  mind  than  the  dis- 
covery of  copper.  Stimulated  by  his 
government,  he  set  himself  to  the  de- 
velopment of  New  France,  so  far  as  its 
material  industries  were  concerned, 
and  to  the  extension  of  its  domain. 
He  meant  to  occupy  the  interior  of  the 
continent,  control  the  rivers,  which  were 
its  only  highways,  and  hold  it  for 
France  against  every  other  nation.  On 
the  east,  England  was  to  be  hemmed 
within  a narrow  strip  of  seaboard; 
while,  on  the  south,  Talon  aimed  at 
securing  a port  on  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  to 
keep  the  Spaniards  in  check,  and  dis- 
pute with  them  the  possession  of  the 
vast  region  which  they  claimed  as  their 
own.  But  the  interior  of  the  continent 
was  still  an  unknown  world.  It  be- 
hooved him  to  explore  it,  and  to  that 
end  he  availed  himself  of  Jesuits, 
officers,  fur-traders  and  enterprising 
schemers.”  Mutual  interests  had  for 
more  than  a half  century  conspired  to 
unite  the  tribes  of  the  west  and  the 
French  upon  the  St.  Lawrence  in  con- 
firmed friendship.  The  former  desired 
commerce  and  protection.  France, 
while  she  coveted  the  rich  furs  which 
these  tribes  brought  them,  coveted  also 
an  extension  of  political  power  to  the 
utmost  limits  of  the  western  wilderness. 

So  soon  as  Talon  had  disembarked  at 
Quebec,  he  began  preparations  for  west- 


50 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


ern  explorations.  Daumont  de  Saint- 
Lusson  was  made  choice  of  as  the 
leader.  At  the  Sault  de  Ste.  Marie  he 
was  to  hold  a congress  of  Indian  na- 
tions. He  was  ordered  not  only  to 
search  for  copper  mines  on  Lake  Su- 
perior, but,  at  the  same  time,  to  take 
formal  possession  of  the  whole  interior 
for  the  king.  This  was  in  1670.  Saint- 
Lusson  set  out  with  a small  party  of 
men,  and  among  them  were  some  brave 
hearts.  Who  better  qualified  as  guide 
could  he  have  employed  than  Louis 
Joliet,  and  who  as  interpreter  than 
Nicholas  Perrot  ? Saint-Lusson  win- 
tered at  the  Manitoulin  islands,  while 
Perrot,  who  spoke  Algonquin  fluently, 
having  first  sent  messages  to  the  tribes 
of  the  north,  inviting  them  to  the  Sault 
de  Ste.  Marie  in  the  coming  spring, 
proceeded  to  Green  Bay,  in  the  present 
Wisconsin,  to  urge  the  same  invitation 
upon  the  tribes  of  that  quarter.  Here 
he  was  well  known,  and  was  warmly 
greeted.  Up  the  Fox  river  he  was 
received  by  the  Miamis  with  especial 
honor.  Their  chief,  named  Tetin- 
choua,*  was  quite  a potentate — attended 
day  and  night  by  a guard  of  warriors. 
Perrot  was  successful  in  his  mission, 
reaching  on  his  return,  the  Sault  on  the 
fifth  of  May,  1671,  with  chiefs  of  the 
Miamis,  Sacs,  Winnebagoes  and  Men- 
omonees,  where  Saint-Lusson  with  his 
men,  fifteen  in  number,  had  already 
arrived.  When  fourteen  tribes  or  their 
representatives  had  gathered  at  the 

* ‘ Tetinchoua,  le  principal  chef  des  Miamis. 
— Perrot’s  * Memoire  sur  les  Moeurs,  Coustumes  et 
Relligion  des  Sauvages  dq  1’  Amerique  Septentrio- 
pale,’  p.  127. 


Sault,  he  prepared  to  execute  the  com- 
mission with  which  he  was  charged. 

At  the  foot  of  the  rapids  was  the  vil- 
lage of  the  Chippewas.  There  was  a 
hill  near  it,  and  the  Jesuits’  fort  was 
hard  by,  but  Father  James  Marquette 
was  not  there,  although  Fathers  Claude 
Dablon,  Gabriel  Druilletes,  Claude  Al- 
louez  and  Louis  Andre  were  present.  A 
large  cross  of  cedar  which  had  been 
made  ready  was  now  raised,  after  Dab- 
lon had  pronounced  a blessing  upon  it ; 
and  then  the  Frenchmen  chanted  the 
ancient  hymn — 

Vexilla  Regis  prodeunt ; 

Fulget  crucis  mysterium  : 

The  banners  of  heaven’s  King  advance  ; 

The  mystery  of  the  cross  shines  forth. 

A post  of  the  same  wood  as  the  cross 
was  planted  beside  it,  having  attached 
to  it  a metal  plate,  engraven  with  the 
royal  arms.  Other  ceremonies  followed, 
when  Saint-Lusson  concluded  them  by 
proclaiming  in  a loud  voice,  holding  his 
sword  in  one  hand  and  raising  with  the 
other  a sod  of  earth,  that,  “in  the  name 
of  the  most  high,  mighty,  and  redoubted 
monarch,  Louis,  fourteenth  of  that  name, 
most  Christian  king  of  France  and  Na- 
varre,” he  did  then  and  there  take  pos- 
session not  only  of  Sainte-Marie  du  Sault, 
but  also  of  Lakes  Huron  and  Superior, 
the  island  of  Manitoulin,  and  all  coun- 
tries, rivers,  lakes  and  streams  contig- 
uous and  adjacent  thereunto,  both  those 
which  have  been  discovered  and  those 
which  may  be  discovered  hereafter,  in  all 
their  length  and  breadth,  bounded  on 
the  one  side  by  the  seas  of  the  north  and 
of  the  west,  and  on  the  other  by  the 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 


51 


South  Sea.*  And  thus  France  advanced 
her  claims  to  dominion  on  the  upper 
lakes  (as  has  before  been  intimated)  in 
a much  more  pompous  manner  than 
did  Dollier  and  Gallin£e  to  the  country 
north  of  Lake  Erie.  This  ceremony  of 
Saint-Lusson  took  place  on  the  four- 
teenth of  June,  1671. 

After  this  formal  taking  possession  of 
the  country,  Saint-Lusson  proceeded 
to  Lake  Superior ; but  he  found  no 
copper,  and  he  soon  afterward  returned 
to  Quebec. 

“ The  Sieur  de  Lusson  is  returned,” 
wrote  Talon  to  his  king,  on  the  second 
of  November,  1671,  “ after  having  ad- 
vanced as  far  as  five  hundred  leagues 
from  Quebec,  and  planted  the  cross  and 
set  up  the  king’s  arms  in  presence  of 
seventeen  Indian  nations,  assembled  on 
this  occasion  from  all  par.ts,  all  of  whom 
voluntarily  submitted  themselves  to  the 
dominion  of  his  majesty,  whom  alone 
they  regard  as  their  sovereign  pro- 
tector.” 

It  will  be  remembered  that  Saint- 
Lusson  and  his  men  were  not  the 
only  adventurers  sent  by  Talon,  upon 
his  arrival  in  Canada,  in  search  of 
new  countries — to  discover  new  lands. 
“ Others,”  says  he,  “ I have  dispatched 

* For  a complete  copy  of  the  Proces-verbal  of 
Simon  Francois  Daumont, escuyer,  Sieur  de  Saint- 
Lusson,  see  Margry,  Vol.  I.  pp.  96-99.  It  is  to  be 
found  nearly  entire  in  Tailhan's  Notes,  in  * Perrot,’ 
pp.  292-294.  The  speech  of  Saint-Lusson  was  fol- 
lowed by  a solemn  harrangue  by  Father  Allouez  to 
the  Indians.  See  ‘Jesuit  Relation,’  1671  (Quebec 
Ed.)  p.  27.  This  has  been  closely  translated  by  P.irk- 
man  in  his  ‘ La  Salle,’  pp.  44-46.  In  the  translation 
of  Saint-Lusson’ s Proces-verbal,  in  the  New  York 
Colonial  Manuscripts  (Paris  Documents),  Vol.  IX, 
pp.  803,  804,  there  are  some  errors, 


to  the  southwest  and  south.”  But 
who  was  the  leader  of  this  party  ? 
The  question  is  answered  by  the  king’s 
minister,  to  Talon,  in  February  1671  : 
“ The  resolution  you  have  taken  to 
send  Sieur  de  la  Salle  towards  the 
south,  ...  to  discover  the  South 
Sea  passage,  is  very  good.” 

There  is  no  account  extant  of  La 
Salle’s  journeying  on  his  second  ex- 
ploration until  he  had  reached  Lake 
Erie.  He  embarked  on  that  body  of 
water,  ascended  the  Detroit  river,  passed 
through  Lake  St.  Clair,  entered  and 
traversed  Lake  Huron  to  the  Straits  of 
Michilimackinac,  moved  through  these 
to  the  open  water,  leaving  Green  Bay 
on  the  west,  when  he  discovered  what 
is  really  Lake  Michigan,  but  which  he 
describes  as  “ a bay  infinitely  larger  ” 
than  Green  Bay,  “ at  the  bottom  of 
which,  towards  the  west,  he  found  a 
very  beautiful  harbor  ” — the  mouth  of 
what  is  now  known  as  the  Chicago  river. 
La  Salle  crossed  over  to  the  Desplaines, 
floated  down  this  river  and  the  Illinois 
to  the  Mississippi,  which  he  describes 
as  flowing  “ from  the  northwest  to  the 
southeast.”  He  followed  the  Missis- 
sippi downward  to  about  the  thirty- 
sixth  degree  of  north  latitude,  where 
he  found  it  advisable  to  stop,  content- 
ing himself  with  the  hope  of  one  day 
passing  by  way  of  this  river  to  the  Gulf 
of  Mexico.  Having  but  a few  followers, 
he  dared  not  risk  a further  expedition, 
in  the  course  of  which  he  was  likely  to 
meet  with  obstacles  too  great  for  his 
strength.  “ Sieur  de  la  Salle,”  wrote 
M.  Talon  to  the  French  king,  on  the 
second  of  November,  1671,  “has  not 


52 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


yet  returned  from  his  journey  to  the 
southward  of  this  country,  but  Sieur 
de  Lusson  is  returned.”* 

As  La  Salle  had  been  sent  “ to  dis- 
cover the  South  Sea  passage,”  the  re- 
sult of  his  expedition  must  have  been 
a disappointment  to  some  extent  ; for 
the  river,  which  was  the  last  of  his  dis- 
coveries, not  only  flowed  apparently 
from  the  northwest  to  the  southeast,  but 
into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  ; so  the  South 
Sea — the  great  highway  to  China  and 
Japan — could  not  be  reached  by  that 
stream.  Evidently,  to  his  mind  and  to 
Talon’s,  this  was  not  the  “ Mississippi  ” 
which  had  been  heard  of  by  the  Jesuit 
Fathers  and  French  explorers  upon  the 
Upper  Lakes,  for  all  agreed  that  that 
river  flowed  toward  the  South  Sea.  On 
the  fourth  of  June,  1672,  the  French 
minister  wrote  Talon:  “ As,  after  the 
increase  of  the  colony,  there  is  nothing 
more  important  for  it  than  the  dis- 
covery of  a passage  to  the  South  Sea, 
his  majesty  wishes  you  to  give  it  your 
attention.”  Talon  thereupon  advised 
the  Count  de  Frontenac,  upon  his  ar- 
rival from  France,  to  send  a trust- 
worthy agent  to  discover,  by  a some- 
what different  route,  “ the  South  Sea 
and  the  great  river  they  call  the  Mis- 
sissippi, which  is  supposed  to  discharge 
itself  into  the  Sea  of  California.”  This 
explorer  was  to  go  first  to  the  country 
of  the  Mascoutins,  on  the  Fox  river  of 
Green  Bay,  and  proceed  thence  on  his 
journey  of  exploration.  The  person 
appointed  for  this  service  was  none 

* See,  as  to  evidence  of  La  Salle’s  having  reached 
the  Mississippi,  as  above  stated,  a note  at  the  end 
of  this  article. 


other  than  Louis  Joliet,  the  same  ad- 
venturer who  had  sought  for  copper 
mines  in  the  Lake  Superior  country 
some  years  before,  and  who  took  part 
in  the  expedition  of  Saint-Lusson  to  the 
same  region  in  1670  and  1671,  as  before 
related.  It  is  probable  he  had  previ- 
ously visited  the  Mascoutins  ; it  is 
certain  he  had  been  among  the  Pot- 
tawatomies  at  the  entrance  of  Green 
Bay.  “ He  is  a man  of  great  experi- 
ence,” wrote  Count  de  Frontenac  to 
Minister  Colbert,  “ in  these  sorts  of  dis- 
coveries, and  has  already  been  almost  at 
that  great  river,  the  mouth  of  which  he 
promises  to  see.” 

Concerning  the  tour  of  Joliet  from  the 
St.  Lawrence  until  the  Straits  of  Mich- 
ilimackinac  were  reached,  nothing 
whatever  is  known.  At  Point  St.  Ignace 
he  found  Father  Marquette  in  his  pali- 
saded mission-house  and  chapel,  where, 
for  two  years,  he  had  labored  to  instruct 
the  bands  of  the  Tobacco  and  Huron 
nations  and  a smaller  band  of  Ottawas, 
there  living.  It  is  asserted  by  Claude 
Dablon  that  both  Talon  and  Frontenac 
wished  to  see  Father  Marquette  accom- 
pany Joliet  upon  his  voyage ; and 
Marquette  himself  says  : 

The  day  of  the  Immaculate  Conception  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin,  whom  I had  always  invoked  since  I 
have  been  in  this  Ottawa  country,  to  obtain  of  God 
the  grace  to  be  able  to  visit  the  nations  on  the  river 
Mississippi,  was  identically  that  on  which  M.  Joliet 
arrived  with  orders  of  the  Count  de  Frontenac,  our 
governor,  and  M.  Talon,  our  intendant,  to  make 
this  discovery  with  me. 

But  this  official  connection  of  the 
Father  with  the  expedition  rests  upon 
his  word  alone.  There  is  no  govern- 
mental evidence  of  the  fact  extant. 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 


53 


But  Father  Marquette  had  previously 
received  from  Indian  sources  very  com- 
plete descriptions  of  the  Mississippi,  so 
far  as  related  to  that  part  above  the 
confluence  of  the  Missouri,  as  already 
shown  by  his  account  concerning  the 
Shawanese.  “ It  is  hardly  probable," 
he  further  says  in  that  relation,  “ that 
this  great  river  discharges  itself  in  Vir- 
ginia ; we  are  more  inclined  to  believe 
that  it  has  its  mouth  in  California.  If 
the  savages  who  have  promised  to  make 
me  a canoe  do  not  fail  in  their  word, 
we  will  navigate  this  river  as  far  as  pos- 
sible, in  company  with  a Frenchman 
and  this  young  man  that  they  [the  Illi- 
nois] have  given  me,  who  understands 
several  of  these  languages,  and  posses- 
ses great  facility  for  acquiring  others. 
We  shall  visit  the  nations  who  dwell 
along  its  shores,  in  order  to  open  the 
way  to  many  of  our  fathers,  who  for  a 
long  time  have  awaited  this  happiness. 
This  discovery  will  give  us  a perfect 
knowledge  of  the  sea  either  to  the  south 
or  to  the  west."  However,  the  father 
was  disappointed.  He  afterward  left 
the  Bay  of  Chegoimegon,  where  he  was 
sojourning  when  writing  the  foregoing, 
for  the  Sault  de  Ste.  Marie,  going  sub- 
sequently to  Point  St.  Ignace,  where 
Joliet  found  him,  as  before  narrated. 

Joliet’s  outfit  was  very  simple  : two 
birch  bark  canoes  and  a supply  of 
smoked  meat  and  Indian  corn.  Be 
sides  Marquette,  he  had  five  men — 
Frenchmen — with  him.  They  left  the 
Point  St.  Ignace  on  the  seventeenth  of 
May,  1673.  Passing  through  the  straits, 
they  paddled  their  frail  crafts  along  the 
northern  shore  of  Lake  Michigan,  mov- 


ing up  Green  Bay  and  the  Fox  river  to 
the  portage.  They  then  crossed  to  the 
Wisconsin,  down  which  they  floated 
until,  on  the  seventeenth  of  June,  they 
entered  — “ discovered  " — the  Missis- 
sippi. After  dropping  down  the  river 
beyond  the  farthest  point  reached  by  La 
Salle,  they  returned  by  way  of  the  Illi- 
nois and  Lake  Michigan  to  Green  Bay, 
where  Marquette  remained  to  recruit 
his  strength,  while  Joliet  returned  to 
Quebec  to  make  known  the  extent  of 
his  explorations  and  discoveries. 

“Sieur  Joliet,”  wrote  Count  de  Fron- 
tenac,  on  the  fourteenth  of  November, 
1674,  “ whom  Monsieur  Talon  advised 
me,  on  my  arrival  from  France,  to  dis- 
patch for  the  discovery  of  the  South  Sea, 
has  returned  three  months  ago,  and 
discovered  some  very  fine  countries, 
and  a navigation  so  easy  through  the 
beautiful  rivers  he  has  found,  that 
a person  can  go  from  Lake  Ontario  and 
Fort  Frontenac  in  a bark  to  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico,  there  being  only  one  carrying 
place  half  a league  in  length,  where  Lake 
Ontario  communicates  with  Lake  Erie. 
These  are  projects  which  it  will  be  pos- 
sible to  effect  when  peace  shallbe  firmly 
established,  and  whenever  it  will  please 
the  king  to  prosecute  these  discoveries. 
Joliet  has  been  within  ten  days’  journey 
of  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  believes  that 
water  communications  could  be  found 
leading  to  the  Vermilion  and  California 
seas  by  means  of  the  river  that  flows 
from  the  west  [the  Missouri]  into  the 
grand  river  [the  Mississippi]  that  he 
discovered,  which  runs  from  north  to 
south,  and  is  as  large  as  the  St.  Law- 
rence opposite  Quebec." 


54 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


“I  send  you,”  continues  Frontenac, 
“ by  my  secretary,  the  map  he  has  made 
of  it,  and  fhe  observations  he  has  been 
able  to  recollect,  as  he  has  lost  all  his 
minutes  and  journals  in  the  shipwreck 
he  suffered  within  sight  of  Montreal, 
were,  after  having  completed  a voyage 
of  twelve  hundred  leagues,  he  was  near 
being  drowned,  and  lost  all  his  papers 
and  a little  Indian,  whom  he  brought  from 
those  countries.  These  accidents  have 
caused  me  great  regret.  Joliet  left  with 
the  Fathers  at  the  Sa-ult  de  St.  Marie, 
in  lake  Superior,  copies  of  his  journals; 
these  we  cannot  get  before  next  year. 
You  will  glean  from  them  additional 
particulars  of  this  discovery  in  which 
he  has  well  acquitted  himself.” 

Such  was  the  official  report  of  Joliet’s 
journey,  sent  to  the  French  minister  by 
Count  de  Frontenac.  It  is  not  known 
that  the  copies  of  the  explorer’s  jour- 
nals were  ever  delivered  to  the  govern- 
ment ; it  is  to  be  presumed  they  were 
not ; but  an  account  of  the  voyage 
having  been  written  out  by  Father  Mar- 
quette and  published  in  1781,  an  undue 
importance  became  attached  to  that 
missionary’s  name  in  connection  with 
the  exploration  and  at  the  expense  of 
the  fame  of  Joliet.  However,  giving 
them  both  all  the  credit  they  are  justly 
entitled  to  for  their  perseverance  and 
patience  in  the  matter,  honor  in  a greater 
degree  belongs  to  La  Salle,  even 
admitting  that  he  did  not  journey 
further  than  the  Illinois. 

Although  at  the  end  of  the  third 
quarter  of  the  seventeenth  century  the 
Ohio  river  on  the  east  and  south,  the 
great  lakes  on  the  north,  and  the  Illinois 


and  Mississippi  rivers  on  the  west  of 
the  Ohio  country  had  been  explored, 
possesion  of  the  territory  lying  south 
of  Lake  Erie  had  not  been  taken  by 
France,  either  actually  or  constructively. 
Events,  culminating  in  the  whole  valley 
of  the  Mississippi  and  contiguous 
regions,  passing  nominally  and  then 
really  to  the  French,  now  followed. 
The  leader  in  these  was  the  indomitable 
Sieur  de  La  Salle. 

While  upon  the  Illinois,  Marquette 
promised  to  return  to  Kaskaskia  upon 
that  river,  to  instruct  the  Indians  there 
collected.  He  did  not  go  forward, 
therefore,  from  Green  Bay  to  his  mis- 
sion at  Point  St.  Ignace ; but  having  re- 
ceived the  necessary  orders  to  establish 
a mission  at  Kaskaskia ; he  started  for 
this  new  field  of  labor  on  the  twenty-fifth 
of  October,  1674.  Wintering  at  Chicago, 
he  did  not  reach  Kaskaskia  until  April, 
1 675,  when  he  founded  a mission  to 
which  he  gave  the  name  of  the  Immac- 
ulate Conception  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 
— the  first  mission  in  what  is  now  the 
state  of  Illinois.  But  Marquette  was  in 
such  poor  health  that  he  soon  started 
on  his  return,  hoping  to  reach  his  former 
mission  of  St.  Ignatius,  taking  his  route 
by  way  of  the  Kankakee  and  St.  Joseph 
rivers  and  along  the  eastern  shore  of 
Lake  Michigan ; but  he  died  on  the 
eighteenth  of  May,  1675,  and  was 
buried  in  the  Michigan  peninsula,  on 
the  bank  of  a river  which  long  bore  his 
name,  but  which  is  now  borne  by  a 
larger  neighboring  stream. 

On  the  death  of  Marquette,  Father 
Claude  Allouez  was  appointed  to  the 
Illinois  mission  at  Kaskaskia.  He  left 


HISTOR  Y OF  OHIO. 


65 


the  field  of  his  labor  in  what  is  now 
northeastern  Wisconsin  “ about  the 
close  of  October,  1676,  in  a canoe  with 
two  men,”  expecting  to  reach  the  Illi- 
nois Indian  town  so  as  to  winter  there. 
But  cold  weather  setting  in  early,  he 
did  not  get  fairly  embarked  on  Lake 
Michigan  until  the  twenty-third  of  the 
ensuing  March.  Allouez  and  his  com- 
panions finally  entered  the  Chicago 
river  where  they  met  eighty  Indians  of 
the  country  by  whom  they  were  well 
received.  These  savages  asked  that 
Allouez  visit  them  in  their  village, 
which  he  readily  complied  with,  as  it 
was  on  his  route.  He  did  not  reach 
Kaskaskia  until  the  twenty-seventh  of 
April.  He  found  the  village  had  much 
increased  during  the  previous  year.  It 
now  contained  three  hundred  and  fifty- 
one  cabins,  occupied  by  representatives 
of  eight  different  tribes.  The  Indians 
liked  the  place  because  they  could 
“easily  discover  their  enemies”  from  it. 
The  missionary  made  but  a brief  stay 
at  Kaskaskia,  but  he  returned  the  next 
year  “ to  labor  more  solidly  for  the  con- 
version of  these  tribes.”  His  second 
visit,  however,  was  soon  terminated. 

The  time  had  now  come  when  it  was 
necessary  for  some  one  “ to  undertake 
to  plant  colonies  in  these  beautiful 
countries  of  the  west,”  explored  by  La 
Salle  and  Joliet,  and  now  brought  par- 
ticularly to  the  notice  of  the  French 
king.  La  Salle  was  the  master-spirit 
who  was  to  move  in  this  undertaking. 
But  he  must  first  petition  “ Louis,  by  the 
grace  of  God,  king  of  France  and  Na- 
varre,” for  a patent,  which  was  granted 
— “ to  our  dear  and  well-beloved  Robert 


Cavalier,  Sieur  de  la  Salle,”  permitting 
him  “ to  labor  at  the  discovery  of  the 
western  parts  of  New  France,”  for  the 
king  had  nothing  more  at  heart  than 
the  exploration  of  that  country,  through 
which,  to  all  appearance,  a way  might 
be  found  to  Mexico.  There  was  no 
mention  of  colonization  in  the  patent, 
but  La  Salle  had  his  plans,  and  these 
were  not  only  to  found  a commercial 
and  industrial  colony  in  the  west, 
but  to  open  a route  to  commerce  with 
Mexico,  by  way  of  the  Mississippi  and 
the  Gulf. 

From  what  is  now  the  city  of  Kings- 
ton, Canada,  then  Fort  Frontenac,  La 
Salle  sent  out  his  first  detachment  of 
fifteen  men,  in  the  summer  of  1678,  in 
canoes  to  go  to  Lake  Michigan  and 
thence  to  the  Illinois  river,  to  trade 
with  the  Indians  and  collect  provisions. 
They  were  to  make  preparations  on  that 
stream  against  the  day  of  his  coming ; 
for  the  Illinois  country  was  the  goal  of 
his  ambition. 

Then  followed  La  Salle.  Above  the 
thundering  Niagara,  he  built  the  Griffin , 
a craft  of  not  less  than  forty-five  tons 
burthen,  in  which,  on  the  seventh  of 
August,  1679,  he  aRd  his  followers  em- 
barked, and  in  September,  the  vessel 
dropped  her  anchor  near  one  of  the 
islands  at  the  entrance  of  Green  Bay 
Here  he  met  several  of  his  advance 
party  with  a “pretty  fair  amount”  of 
furs  in  their  keeping,  obtained  in  a suc- 
cessful traffic  with  the  savages  upon  the 
Illinois  river.  The  packs  were  now  put 
on  board  the  Griffin , and  the  vessel 
started  on  her  return,  but  was  never 
heard  of  afterward ; all  on  board  per- 


56 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


ished  in  the  turbulent  waters  of  Lake 
Michigan.  But  La  Salle  was  not  of  the 
number.  He  continued  his  journey  up 
the  lake,  passing  but  not  entering  the 
mouth  of  the  Chicago  river.  But  why 
not  ? The  reason  was  that,  at  the  mouth 
of  the  St.  Joseph, on  the  other  side  of  the 
lake,  he  was  to  join  Henri  de  Tonty  with 
twenty  men  from  Michilimackinac,  who 
were  to  make  their  way  thither  along  the 
eastern  shore  of  Lake  Michigan.  Where 
the  stream  just  mentioned  empties  into 
Lake  Michigan,  La  Salle  erected  a fort 
of  timber  on  a rising  ground,  afterward 
known  as  Fort  Miami.  After  reaching 
the  Illinois  and  building  Fort  Creve- 
coeur  in  January,  1680,  near  the  site  of 
the  present  city  of  Peoria,  La  Salle  was 
obliged  to  return  to  Fort  Frontenac. 
But  the  day  before  his  departure,  he 
sent  Michael  Accault,  Picard  du  Gay 
and  Father  Louis  Hennepin,  to  the 
country  of  the  Sioux,  for  the  purpose  of 
trade  with  those  savages.  They  were 
to  descend  the  Illinois  and  then  ascend 
the  Mississippi  to  the  homes  of  these 
Indians.*  The  object  of  La  Salle’s 

* For  a full  account  of  their  voyage,  see  ‘ A 
Description  of  Louisiana  ’ by  Father  Louis 
Hennepin.  Translated  from  the  edition  of  1683 
by  John  Gilmary  Shea. 

Lest  it  might  be  thought  that  injustice  is 
done  Hennepin  in  assigning  him  a second  place 
in  the  expedition,  to  Accault  and  Picard,  I give 
the  exact  words  of  La  Salle  in  his  account  of 
the  exploration,  written  August  22,  1682 

(Margry  II,  p.  245):  “ Je  l’ay  fait  remonter  par 
um  canot  conduit  par  deux  de  mes  gens,  l’un 
momme  Michael  Accault  et  Pautre  Picard, 
auxquels  le  R.  P.  Louis  Hennepin  se  joignit 
pour  ne  perdre  pas  l’occasion  de  prescher  P 
Fvangile  aux  peuples  qui  habitent  dessus  et 


return  was  to  learn  the  fate  of  the  Griffin 
and  to  bring  forward  supplies. 

On  the  first  of  March,  1680,  “ before 
the  frost  was  yet  out  of  the  ground,  when 
the  forest  was  still  leafless,  and  the 
oozy  prairies  still  patched  with  snow,” 
leaving  Tonty  in  Fort  Cr6vecoeur,  La 
Salle  started  with  one  Indian  hunter 
and  four  Frenchmen.  They  followed 
up  the  Illinois,  crossed  over  to  Lake 
Michigan,  and  were  soon  again  in  Fort 
Miami,  at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Joseph. 
Then  they  pushed  onward  through  the 
unknown  wilds  of  what  is  now  southern 
Michigan,  until  they  came  to  the  De- 
troit river,  which  they  crossed,  La  Salle 
having  sent  two  of  his  men  previously 
to  Michilimackinac.  Taking  a direct 
line  from  the  Detroit  river,  they  struck 
Lake  Erie  not  far  from  Point  Pel6e. 
Here  he  embarked  in  canoes  and 
finally  reached  Niagara,  where  he  found 
some  of  his  men,  left  there  by  him  on  his 
journey  out.  He  got  back  to  Fort  Fron- 
tenac on  the  sixth  of  May,  sixty-five 
days  after  leaving  Fort  Cr6vecoeur, 
“ traveling,  by  the  course  he  took, 
about  a thousand  miles,  through  a 
country  beset  with  every  form  of  peril 
and  obstruction.” 

On  the  tenth  of  August,  having  pre- 
viously learned  of  the  fate  of  the  Griffin , 
also  that  a number  of  his  men  left  at 


qui  n’en  avoient  jamais  oul  parler.”  (“  I caused 
it  [the  Mississippi]  to  be  ascended  by  a canoe 
conducted  by  two  of  my  men,  one  named 
Michael  Accault  and  the  other  Picard,  whom 
the  Rev.  Father  Louis  Hennepin  joined,  not  to 
lose  the  opportunity  for  preaching  the  gospel 
to  the  nations  that  dwell  above,  and  who  had 
never  yet  heard  it  spoken  of.”) 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO . 


57 


Fort  Crevecoeur  had  deserted,  first  de- 
stroying the  fort,  La  Salle  again  em- 
barked for  the  Illinois,  which  river  he 
reached  by  ascending  first  the  River 
Humber,  crossing  thence  to  Lake  Sim- 
coe,  and  then  descending  the  Severn 
to  the  Georgian  Bay  of  Lake  Huron. 
Following  the  eastern  shore  of  the  bay, 
he  coasted  the  Manitoulin  islands,  ar- 
riving at  length  at  Michilimackinac. 
He  left  Fort  Frontenac  with  twenty- 
five  men,  but  he  now  pushed  forward 
with  only  twelve,  making  the  mouth  of 
the  St.  Joseph  on  the  fourth  of  Novem- 
ber, where  the  fort,  which  had  previ- 
ously been  built,  had  been  destroyed 
by  those  who  deserted  from  the  Illinois. 
From  this  point,  La  Salle  hastened  on- 
ward with  six  men  and  an  Indian, 
reaching  the  Illinois  only  to  find  that 
the  Iroquois  had  invaded  the  country  ; 
there  was  desolation  everywhere,  and 
no  signs  of  his  faithful  Tonty.  In  vain 
he  descended  the  river  to  its  mouth, 
which  he  reached  in  the  early  part  of 
December.  He  left  the  Mississippi  on 
the  seventh,  on  his  way  back  to  the 
fort  at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Joseph, 
which  had,  meanwhile,  been  repaired 
by  a party  left  there.  Tonty  and  the 
few  with  him,  who  had  remained  faith- 
ful, finally  had  made  their  way  up  the 
Illinois  and  the  Desplaines,  thence 
across  the  Chicago  portage  to  Lake 
Michigan,  coasting  down  that  lake  to 
a village  of  friendly  Pottawatomies, 
where  they  found  abundance  “ after 
thirty-four  days  of  starvation.”* 

* For  an  interesting  account  of  the  irruption  of 
the  Iroquois  into  the  country  of  the  Illinois,  and  the 
part  taken  by  Tonty  and  his  few  faithful  followers 


La  Salle  having  returned  to  Fort 
Miami,  at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Joseph, 
from  the  horrors  of  the  Iroquois  inva- 
sion of  the  valley  of  the  Illinois,  de- 
termined to  spend  the  residue  of  the 
winter  there.  He  employed  his  time 
in  making  friends  of  the  various  Indian 
tribes  in  the  vicinity,  urging  them  all  to 
unite  against  the  terrible  foe  from  the 
east.  Towards  the  end  of  May,  1681,  La 
Salle  left  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Joseph 
to  return  to  Canada  to  “ appease  his 
creditors  and  collect  his  scattered  re- 
sources.” At  Michilimackinac  he  found 
Tonty.  Fort  Frontenac  was  again 
reached  in  safety,  La  Salle  taking  with 
him  on  his  return  his  faithful,  lieu- 
tenant. 

Again  La  Salle  started  for  the  west, 
this  time  having  with  him  a large  party. 
“ I have,”  he  wrote,  “ M.  de  Tonty, 
thirty  Frenchmen,  all  good  men,  with- 
out reckoning  such  as  I cannot  trust, 
and  more  than  a hundred  Indians,  some 
of  them  Shawanese,  and  others  from 
New  England,  all  of  whom  know  how 
to  use  guns.”  It  was  October,  1681, 
before  he  reached  Lake  Huron,  and  the 
season  was  far  advanced  before  he  drew 
up  his  canoes  on  the  beach  at  the  mouth 
of  the  St.  Joseph.”  “ Twice  defeated 
of  the  discovery  of  the  mouth  of  the 
Mississippi,  that  vital  condition  of  his 
triumph,  without  which  all  other  suc- 
cess was  meaningless  and  vain,”  this 
(the  third)  effort  now  looked  more 
hopeful  than  ever.  La  Salle  and  his 
men,  in  December,  made  their  way 
around  the  head  of  Lake  Michigan, 

in  the  stirring  events  which  followed,  see  Parkman’s 
' La  Salle,’  pp.  201-224. 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


crossed  the  Chicago  portage,  where 
sleds  were  made,  and  filed  in  a long 
procession  down  the  frozen  course  of 
the  Desplaines  and  Illinois,  until  open 
water  was  reached  below  Lake  Peoria. 

“ From  that  place,”  says  La  Salle, 
“ the  river  being  frozen  only  in  some 
parts,  we  continued  our  route  to  the 
River  Mississippi,  sixty  leagues  or 
thereabouts.”  The  great  river  was 
reached  on  the  sixth  of  February,  and 
there  the  party  remained  until  the  thir- 
teenth, waiting  for  the  savages,  whose 
progress  had  been  impeded  by  the  ice. 
On  that  day,  all  having  assembled, 
the  voyage  was  renewed,  there  being 
twenty-two  French,  carrying  arms,  ac- 
companied by  the  Reverend  Father 
Zenobe  Membr£,  one  of  the  Recollect 
missionaries,  and  followed  by  eighteen 
New  England  savages,  and  several  Al- 
gonquins,  Chippewas,  Hurons,  and 
squaws.  On  the  fourteenth  a deserted 
town  of  the  Tamaroas  was  reached, 
consisting  of  a hundred  cabins.  Three 
days  after  they  saw  the  mouth  of  the 
Ohio,  and  on  the  the  twenty-sixth*  they 
landed  near  the  third  Chickasaw  Bluff. 
After  a novel  and  varied  experience 
with  a number  of  savage  nations  from 
this  point  onward,  the  three  channels 
by  which  the  Mississippi  discharges 
itself  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  were 
reached  on  the  sixth  of  April,  when 
“we  landed,”  says  La  Salle,  “on  the 
bank  of  the  most  western  channel,  about 
three  leagues  from  its  mouth.”  On  the 

* So  says  the  Proces-verbal  of  La  Salle,  written  on 
the  ninth  of  April  following.  “Apr&s  avoir  navigue, 
jusqu’an  26e  F^vrier,  l’espace  d’environ  cent  lieues 
sur  le  fleuve  Colbert  [Mississippi].”  Other  authori- 
ties give  the  twenty-fourth  as  the  date. 


next  day  La  Salle  went  to  reconnoitre 
the  shores  of  the  gulf,  while  Tonty 
examined  the  “ great  middle  channel.” 
They  found  these  two  outlets  “ beauti- 
ful, large  and  deep.”  On  the  eighth 
the  whole  party  ascended  the  river  a 
little  above  its  confluence  with  the  sea, 
to  find  a dry  place  beyond  the  reach 
of  inundations.  Here  a column  and  a 
cross  were  prepared,  and  to  the  former 
were  affixed  the  arms  of  France,  with 
this  inscription  : “ Louis  le  Grand, 

Roy  de  France  et  de  Navarre,  rkgne  le 
9e  Avril,  1682.”  The  whole  party  now 
under  arms  chanted  the  Te  Deum , the 
Exaudiat , the  Domine  salvum  fac 
regem  ; and  then,  after  a salute  of  fire- 
arms and  cries  of  Vive  le  Roi,  the 
column  was  erected  by  La  Salle,  who, 
standing  near  it,  said,  with  a loud  voice: 

In  the  name  of  the  most  high,  mighty,  invincible, 
and  victorious  prince,  Louis  the  Great,  by  the  grace 
of  God,  King  of  France  and  of  Navarre,  fourteenth 
of  that  name,  this  ninth  day  of  April,  one  thousand 
six  hundred  and  eighty-two,  I,  in  virtue  of  the  com- 
mission of  his  Majesty  which  I hold  in  my  hand, 
and  which  may  be  seen  by  all  whom  it  may  concern, 
have  taken,  and  do  now  take,  in  the  name  of  his 
Majesty  and  of  his  successors  to  the  crown,  possession 
of  this  country  of  Louisiana,  the  seas,  harbors,  ports, 
bays,  adjacent  straits  ; and  all  the  nations,  people, 
provinces,  cities,  towns,  villages,  mines,  minerals, 
fisheries,  streams  and  rivers,  comprised  in  the  extent 
of  the  said  Louisiana. 

Then  he  continues  by  mentioning 
several  rivers  and  giving  the  names  of 
several  Indian  nations,  but  in  so  doing 
his  language  is  obscure  ; however,  it 
seems  to  have  been  La  Salle’s  design  to 
take  possession  in  the  name  of  the 
French  king  of  the  whole  territory 
watered  by  the  Mississippi  from  its 


HISTOR  Y OF  OHIO. 


mouth  to  its  source,  and  by  the  streams 
flowing  into  it  on  both  sides  ;* *  in  short, 
the  whole  of  the  great  Mississippi  valley, 
including,  of  course,  a large  part  of  what 
is  now  the  state  of  Ohio,  which  was 
quickly  extended  so  that  the  northern 
boundary  of  Louisiana  ran  along  the 
south  shore  of  Lake  Erie,  following 
thence  the  heads  of  the  streams  flowing 
into  Lake  Michigan ; thence  turning 
northwest  until  lost  in  the  then  indefinite 
regions  of  what  is  now  British  America.*)* 

On  the  tenth  of  May,  1682,  M.  Lefevre 
delaBarrewas  appointed  in  the  place  of 
Count  de  Frontenac,  governor  and  lieu- 
tenant-general of  Canada,  Acadia,  the 
island  of  Newfoundland,  and  other  coun- 
tries. In  his  instructions  it  was  stated 
that  his  majesty  desired  that  he  permit 
the  completion  of  the  discovery  com- 
menced by  Sieur  La  Salle,  as  far  as  the 
mouth  of  the  Mississippi  river,  in  case 
he  was  of  the  opinion,  after  the  examin- 
ation he  would  make  of  it  with  the 
intendant,  that  such  discovery  could  be 
of  any  utility.  But,  as  we  have  seen, 
the  desire  of  the  French  king  that  La 
Salle’s  discovery  be  completed  had  pre- 
viously— by  more  than  a month — been 
accomplished. 

* “ Proc6s-verbal  de  prise  de  possession  de  la  Louis- 
iana, k 1’  embouchure  de  la  mer  ou  golfe  du  Mexi- 
que,  9 Avril,  1682,"  in  Margry,  II,  pp.  186-193. 

*t*  ‘ ‘ Louisiana  was  the  name  bestowed  by  La 
Salle  on  the  new  domain  of  the  French  crown.  The 
ride  of  the  Bourbons  in  the  west  is  a memory  of  the 
past,  but  the  name  of  the  Great  King  still  survives 
in  a narrow  corner  of  their  lost  empire.  The  Louis- 
iana of  to-day  is  but  a single  state  of  the  American 
republic.  The  Louisiana  of  La  Salle  stretched  from 
the  Alleghanies  to  the  Rocky  Mountains  ; from  the 
Rio  Grande  and  the  Gulf  to  the  farthest  springs  of 
the  Missouri.” — Parkman’s  ‘La  Salle,’  p.  289. 


W 

It  will  be  remembered  that,  on  the 
last  day  of  February,  1780,  La  Salle 
dispatched  Michael  Accault,  Picard  du 
Gay  and  Father  Louis  Hennepin  to  the 
country  of  the  Sioux  from  Fort  Creve- 
coeur,  on  the  Illinois.  The  party  as- 
cended the  Mississippi  as  far  as  the 
Falls  of  St.  Anthony  and  returned  (ex- 
cept Accault)  after  much  suffering  and 
many  almost  miraculous  escapes,  by 
way  of  the  Wisconsin  river  to  Lake 
Michigan,  wintering  at  Michilimackinac, 
and  finally,  in  1681,  reaching  by  way  of 
Lake  Huron  the  River  St.  Lawrence  in 
safety.  The  three,  while  ascending  the 
Mississippi  met,  on  their  way  down  that 
river,  Daniel  Graysolon  Duluth,  from 
Lake  Superior.  He  left  Quebec  to 
explore,  under  the  authority  of  the  gov- 
ernor of  New  France,  the  region  of  the 
upper  Mississippi  and  establish  relations 
of  friendship  with  the  Sioux  and  their 
kindred,  the  Assiniboines.  In  the  sum- 
mer of  1679,  he  had  reached  the  Sioux 
country,  and  early  in  the  autumn  of  that 
year  held  an  Indian  council  at  the  head 
of  Lake  Superior.  In  June,  1680,  he 
set  out  from  that  point  to  continue  his 
explorations,  when  he  met,  as  just  men- 
tioned, the  party  sent  forth  by  La  Salle, 
with  which  he  returned  to  Quebec. 

In  1683  Le  Sueur  journeyed  from  Lake 
Michigan  up  the  Mississippi,  ascending 
that  river  to  the  Sioux  country  in  the 
region  about  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony. 
The  next  year  Nicholas  Perrot,who  has 
before  been  mentioned  and  who  was 
now  commissioned  to  have  chief  com- 
mand not  only  at  Green  Bay  but  on  the 
Mississippi,  repaired  to  the  northwest. 
In  1785  he  built  a stockade  below  the 


60 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


mouth  of  the  Wisconsin,  on  the  west 
side  of  the  Mississippi,  about  forty-eight 
miles  above  the  lead  mines  which  he 
discovered.  This  post  was  called  Fort 
St.  Nicholas.*  He  soon  after  erected 
another  stockade  at  the  foot  of  Lake 
Pepin,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  which 
post  was  afterward  known  as  Fort 
Perrot.  Here  he  spent  the  winter  of 
1685-6.  The  next  year  he  had  returned 
to  Green  Bay.  The  act  of  Saint-Lusson 
at  the  Sault  de  Ste.  Marie,  in  taking 
possession  of  the  country  beyond 
Lake  Huron,  not  being  regarded  as  suf- 
ficiently comprehensive  and  definite  by 
the  government,  Perrot,  at  Green  Bay, 
on  the  eighth  of  May,  1689,  “ command- 
ing for  the  king  at  the  post  of  the  Sioux, 
commissioned  by  the  Marquis  de  Denon- 
ville,  governor  and  lieutenant-general  of 
all  New  France,  to  manage  the  interests 
of  commerce  among  all  the  Indian 
tribes  and  peoples  of  Green  Bay,  the 
Sioux,  Mascoutins,  and  other  western 
nations  of  the  Upper  Mississippi,  and 
to  take  possession  in  the  king’s  name 
of  all  the  places  where  he  has  hereto- 
fore been  and  whither  he  will  go,”  took 
possession  in  his  majesty’s  name,  of 
Green  Bay,  of  Winnebago  lake  and  Fox 
river,  of  the  Wisconsin  and  Mississippi 
rivers,  of  the  country  of  the  Sioux,  of 
the  rivers  St.  Croix  and  St.  Peter, 
“ and  of  other  places  more  remote.” 
Now,  therefore,  throughout  the  length 
and  breadth  of  the  great  valley  of  the 

* La  Potherie,  II,  pp.  260,  270.  That  the  post 
was  on  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi  is  a tradition, 
made  certain  by  the  topography  of  the  country, 
which  answers  the  description  given  of  the  locality 
by  Perrot. 


St.  Lawrence  (including  the  basins  of 
the  Lakes  to  beyond  Superior)  and  of 
the  still  greater  valley  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, France  had  extended  her  posses- 
sions and  declared  her  domination. 

La  Salle  returned  up  the  Mississippi. 
About  the  first  of  August,  1682,  he  was 
at  Fort  Miami  and,  in  September,  at 
Michilimackinac.  He  resolved  to  found 
on  the  banks  of  the  Illinois  river  a 
colony  of  French  and  Indians.  This 
would  be  a bulwark  against  Iroquois 
aggression  and  a grand  depot  for  furs 
obtained  from  western  tribes.  His 
faithful  Tonty  (who  was  with  him)  was 
directed  to  collect  all  the  men  possible 
and  at  once  begin  the  work  of  coloniza- 
tion. Just  then  came  a report  to  his 
ears  that  the  Iroquois  were  about  to  re- 
new their  attacks  on  the  western  tribes, 
so  both  returned  to  the  Illinois.  In  the 
month  of  December  they  began  to  en- 
trench themselves  on  a cliff  afterwards 
and  still  known  as  “ Starved  Rock.” 
Around  this  position  gathered  the  Indi- 
ans.. The  fort  was  named  St.  Louis. 
In  it  remained  La  Salle  until  the  au- 
tumn of  1683,  when  he  returned  to  the 
St.  Lawrence,  intending  to  sail  for 
France,  leaving  Tonty  in  command  in 
the  Illinois. 

Note. — Presumably  about  all  that  can  be  said 
against  the  idea  of  La  Salle  having  reached  the  Mis- 
sissippi before  Joliet,  is  to  be  found  in  Parkman’s 
‘ La  Salle,’  pp.  24-27.  M.  Pierre  Margry,  however, 
brings  forward  better  evidence  in  the  affirmative. 
He  says  : "I  very  firmly  believe  that  La  Salle  dis- 

covered the  Mississippi  by  way  of  the  lakes — by 
Chicago  and  by  the  Illinois  river,  as  far  south  as  the 
thirty-sixth  parallel,  and  all  this  before.  1673.  This 
opinion  of  mine  I base,  first,  on  the  narrative  made 
by  La  Salle  to  the  Abbe  Renaudot.  This  narrative 
describes  an  expedition  in  which  La  Salle  was  en- 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO . 


61 


gaged  southwest  of  Lake  Ontario,  for  a distance  of 
four  hundred  leagues,  and  down  a river  that  must 
have  been  the  Ohio.  This  was  in  1669. 

••  The  narrative  proceeds  : ‘ Sometime  thereafter 

he  made  a second  expedition  on  the  same  river, 
which  he  quitted  below  Lake  Erie — made  a portage 
of  six  or  or  seven  leagues  to  embark  on  that  lake 
traversed  it  towards  the  north,  ascended  the  river 
out  of  which  it  flows,  passed  the  lake  of  Dirty  Water 
[St.  Clair],  entered  the  Freshwater  Sea  [Lake 
Huron],  doubled  the  point  of  land  that  cuts  this 
sea  in  two  [Lakes  Huron  and  Michigan],  and  de- 
scending from  north  to  south,  leaving  on  the  west 
the  Bay  of  the  Puans  [Green  Bay],  discovered  a bay 
infinitely  large,  at  the  bottom  of  which,  towards  the 
west,  he  found  a very  beautiful  harbor,  and  at  the 
bottom  of  this  he  tound  a river,  which  runs  from  the 
east  to  the  west,  which  he  followed,  and  having  ar- 
rived at  about  the  two  hundred  and  eightieth  (sic)* 
degree  of  longitude,  and  the  thirty-ninth  of  latitude, 
he  came  to  another  river,  which,  uniting  with  the 
first,  flowed  from  the  northwest  to  the  southeast. 
This  he  followed  as  far  as  the  thirty-sixth  degree  of 
latitude,  where  he  found  it  advisable  to  stop,  con- 
tenting himself  with  the  almost  certain  hope  of  some 
day  passing  by  way  of  this  river  even  to  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico.  Having  but  a handful  of  followers,  he 
dared  not  risk  a further  expedition  in  the  course  of 
which  he  was  likely  to  meet  with  obstacles  too  great 
for  his  strength.’  + 

“ I base  my  opinion,  secondly,  on  a letter  of  La 
Salle’s  niece — the  Mississippi  and  the  river  Colbert 
being  both  one.  This  letter,  dated  1756,  says  the 
writer,  contained  maps,  which,  in  1675,  were  pos- 
sessed by  La  Salle,  and  which  proved  that  he  had 
already  made  two  voyages  of  discovery.  Among  the 
places  set  down  on  these  maps,  the  river  Colbert,  the 
place  were  La  Salle  had  landed  near  the  Mississippi, 
and  the  spot  where  he  planted  a cross,  and  took  pos- 

*  La  Salle’s  meaning  is  280°  east  of  the  island  of  Ferro, 
which  was  reckoned  200  west  of  Paris.  Reckoning  accord- 
ing to  this  standard,  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  would  be  ioo° 
west  of  Paris.  In  fact  it  is  about  920 

t ‘Margry,’  Vol.  I.,  p.  378. 


session  of  the  country  in  the  name  of  the  king,  are 
mentioned.  X 

' ‘ I base  my  opinion,  thirdly,  on  a letter  of  Count 
Frontenac.  In  this  letter,  which  was  written  in 
1 677  to  the  French  premier,  Colbert,  Frontenac  says 
that  'the  Jesuits,  having  learned  that  M.  De  La 
Salle  thought  of  asking  [from  the  French  crown]  a 
grant  of  the  Illinois  lake  [Lake  Michigan],  had  re- 
solved to  seek  this  grant  themselves  for  Messieurs 
Joliet  and  Lebert,  men  wholly  in  their  interest,  and 
the  first  of  whom  they  have  so  highly  extolled  before- 
hand, although  he  did  not  voyage  until  after  the 
Sieur  de  La  Salle,  who  himself  will  testify  to  you 
that  the  relation  of  the  Sieur  Joliet  is  in  many  things 
false.  § 

“In  fine,  I found  my  opinion  on  the  total  an- 
tagonism between  the  Jesuits  and  the  merchants,  as 
well  as  those  who  represented  interest  or  only  a 
legitmate  ambition.  In  opposition  to  the  Jesuits,  # 
Cavalier  de  La  Salle  always  associated  with  the  Sul- 
pitians  or  Recollets,  whom  Colbert  had  raised  up 
against  the  Jesuits,  in  order  to  lessen  the  influence 
of  those  who  would  fain  undermine  him. 

“If  La  Salle  had  wished  to  practice  deception, 
and  to  claim  a merit  that  was  not  his,  nothing  would 
have  prevented  his  saying  that  he  had  gone  further 
down  the  river  Mississippi,  or  Colbert,  than  he  does 
say  he  went ; whereas,  he  left  to  Joliet  and  Mar- 
quette the  honor  of  having  penetrated  to  that  river 
by  way  of  the  Wisconsin,  and  of  having  descended 
the  Mississippi  three  degrees  further  than  he,  and 
that  before  his  enterprise  of  1678. 

“ These  facts  I have  considered  it  my  duty  to  es- 
tablish in  opposition  to  the  allegations  of  those  who 
affirm  that  La  Salle  did  not  conceive  any  projects  of 
discovery  till  after  the  voyage  of  Joliet — which  is  just 
the  contrary  of  the  truth.’ ’|| 

C.  W.  Butterfield. 

t ‘Id,’ Vol.  I.,p.  379. 

§ * Id.,’  Vol.  I.,  p.  324. 

U Journal  General  de  l’lnstruction  Publique,  1862,  pp. 
626,  657,  658. 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


DETROIT  DURING  CADILLAC’S  ADMINISTRATION. 

I. 

FOUNDER  AND  FOUNDATION. 


Up  in  the  fertile  and  picturesque  coun- 
try bordering  on  the  Garonne,  at  the 
village  of  Saint-Nicholas  de  la  Grave, 
included  in  the  modern  department  of 
the  Tarn-et-Garonne,  France,  was  born 
pn  the  fifth  of  March,  1658,  Antoine 
Laumet  de  la  Mothe-Cadillac,  founder 
of  Detroit. 

Antoine  Laumet  descended  from  a 
family  who  had  furnished  many  an  advo- 
cate and  judge  to  their  province,  and 
his  father,  Jean  Laumet,  was  an  advocate 
at  the  court.  The  family  was  rich,  and 
Antoine  no  doubt  received  his  name  of 
Lamothe-Cadillac  from  some  domain  of 
his  parents.  Thus  Marie  Arouet  re- 
ceived the  name  of  Voltaire,  which  he 
afterwards  made  famous.  Many  writers 
have  been  puzzled  by  the  many  different 
manners  in  which  he  spelt  his  many 
names,  but  this  bad  practice  was 
quite  common  in  his  time.  It  even  sub- 
sists to  this  day  among  the  French  Cana- 
dians. 

Jean  Laumet  destined  his  son  for  the 
judiciary,  and  gave  him  a thorough  edu- 
cation. However,  the  peaceful  and 
eventless  career  of  a provincial  magis- 
trate had  little  attraction  for  the  active 
and  scheming  mind  of  young  Antoine, 
and  he  soon  abandoned  the  study  of 
French  laws  and  customs  to  enter  the 


army.  About  this  time,  intimates  an 
old  manuscript,  he  got  into  personal 
difficulties  which  might  have  brought 
disastrous  consequences  upon  his  head. 
His  vagrant  imagination  had  already 
crossed  the  seas  and  roamed  over  the 
boundless  fields  of  the  new  world.  Efforts 
extraordinary  were  then  being  made  to 
induce  emigrants  to  come  to  New  France, 
and  thither  he  sought  a refuge  against 
the  sequences  of  his  folly  and  a field  for 
his  febrile  activity.  Such,  at  least,  we 
may  conjecture  from  vague  indications, 
was  the  early  life  of  Antoine  Lamothe 
Cadillac. 

The  date  of  his  arrival  in  Canada  is 
not  known,  but  it  is  certain  that  he  was 
not  then  enlisted  in  the  army,  for  while 
the  blue  coats  of  Louis  XIV.  were  mak- 
ing war  against  the  naked  braves  of  the 
Five  Nations  in  western  New  York,  he 
was  quietly  married  at  Quebec,  on  the 
twenty-fifth  of  June,  1687,  to  Marie 
Therese  Guyon,  a vigorous  daughter  of 
New  France. 

The  following  year  he  petitioned  the 
governor,  Denonville,  for  a grant  of  a 
piece  of  land  to  have  a sea  frontage 
of  two  leagues,  one  league  on  each 
side  of  Union  river,  called  by  him 
Douaquec,  to  extend  two  leagues  within 
the  land,  and  to  include  Mt.  Desert 


DE  TR  OIT  D URING  CAD  ILL  A C ’ S ADMINISTRA  TION. 


63 


Island  “ and  other  islands  which  are 
in  the  fore  part  of  the  said  two  leagues 
frontage,”  to  hold  in  fief  and  lordship, 
with  high,  mean  and  low  jurisdiction, 
he  being  desirous  to  promote  an  estab- 
lishment there.  Cadillac’s  petition  was 
granted  by  the  governor  and  confirmed 
by  the  king  May  24,  1689.  He  had 
already  proceeded  to  Acadia,  and  at  this 
time  was  at  Port  Royal,  where  he  con- 
tinued to  reside  until  he  learned  that  the 
requested  grant  had  been  confirmed. 
He  then  went  to  France  to  obtain  set- 
tlers for  his  newly  acquired  domain,  but 
it  does  not  appear  that  he  succeeded  in 
establishing  a colony  in  Acadia. 

After  an  absence  of  nine  months  he 
returned  from  France,  and  in  1690  he 
was  commandant  of  a vessel,  which  was 
captured  the  following  year  by  a Boston 
corsair. 

During  his  stay  in  Acadia  he  had  been 
able  to  make  many  observations  on  the 
condition  of  New  England  colonies.  In 
1692  his  friend,  Frontenac,  sent  him  to 
France  to  give  information  concerning 
the  contemplated  .attack  on  New  York. 
The  interesting  memoirs  which  he  then 
submitted  to  the  minister  of  Louis  XIV. 
have  come  down  to  us,  and  show  that 
he  must  have  fulfilled  his  mission  satis- 
factorily. He  returned  in  the  spring  of 
1693,  and  on  the  twenty-fourth  of  the 
following  October,  Frontenac  mentions 
his  appointment  to  the  command  of  a 
company. 

On  the  sixteenth  of  September,  1694, 
Cadillac  was  appointed  commandant  of 
Michilimackinac  and  all  the  country 
westward.  Here  he  remained  five  years, 
getting  acquainted  with  the  manners  of 


the  Indians  and  the  geography  of  the 
west.  In  1699  he  asked  to  be  recalled. 
His  request  being  granted,  he  hastened 
to  Quebec,  entered  the  halls  of  Chateau 
St.  Louis,  and  laid  before  the  governor- 
general,  Callieres,  a newly  conceived 
plan. 

He  had  been  charmed  with  the  re- 
ports he  had  heard  of  the  situation,  fer- 
tility and  climate  of  the  detroit . His 
ever  active  mind  had  imagined  the  pro- 
ject of  founding  a great  city  on  its  shores, 
and  he  earnestly  pressed  Callieres  to 
adopt  it.  This  the  governor  decided  to 
do,  and  on  the  sixteenth  of  October, 
1700,  he  wrote  to  Pontchartrain  : “I 

shall  send  the  Sieur  de  la  Mothe  and 
the  Sieur  Tonty  in  the  spring  to  con- 
struct a fort  at  the  strait.”  Cadillac 
wishing,  however,  to  obtain  more  ample 
power  and  means  than  the  governor  was 
disposed  to  give,  embarked  for  France 
to  press  his  plan  upon  the  attention  of 
the  colonial  minister,  Count  Pontchar- 
train. It  would  be  necessary,  he  told 
the  count,  to  make  of  Detroit  a perma- 
nent post,  encourage  settlement  of  the 
French,  make  it  the  centre  of  the  fur 
trade,  and  draw  around  it  the  Indian 
allies  of  France.  Such  a post,  he  con- 
tinued, would  effectually  conquer  the 
Iroquois  and  cause  them  to  respect  the 
French  ; it  would  exclude  the  English 
from  the  fur  trade,  insure  the  domina- 
tion of  the  French,  and  increase  their 
profits  from  the  trade.  The  king  ex- 
amined the  plan  and  was  pleased 
with  it.  He  appointed  Cadillac  com- 
mandant of  the  projected  fort,  and 
granted  him  a tract  of  land  fifteen  acres 
square  wherever  the  new  fort  should  be 


64 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


established.  Besides  fifteen  hundred 
livres  allowed  for  the  erection  of 
the  fort,  Cadillac  was  assured  of  the 
favor  and  protection  of  Count  Pontchar- 
train. 

Elated  over  the  success  of  his  mis- 
sion, he  started  to  return,  reaching 
Quebec  on  the  eighth  of  March,  1701. 
After  informing  the  governor  of  the 
decision  of  the  king,  he  proceeded  to 
Montreal  to  hasten  the  necessary  prep- 
arations for  his  expedition. 

There  were  good  reasons  for  haste. 
The  Iroquois  had  heard  of  the  projected 
settlement  and  sent  envoys  to  Callieres 
to  protest  against  the  menacing  move. 
A conference  was  held  May  5,  1701,  at 
which  the  governor  tried  to  reassure 
them  as  to  his  intentions,  and  declared 
that  it  was  necessary  to  establish  the 
post  in  order  to  forestall  the  English. 
He  moreover  firmly  added  that  the  ter- 
ritory was  his  own  and  that  he  intended 
to  do  as  he  pleased  within  its  limits. 
The  envoys  went  back  apparently  sat- 
isfied, but  Callieres,  still  fearing  that 
the  Five  Nations  would  insist  upon  the 
discontinuation  of  the  enterprise  before 
ratifying  the  general  treaty  of  peace 
which  he  was  endeavoring  to  conclude, 
ordered  Cadillac  to  depart  before  the 
delegates  began  to  assemble,  that  he 
might  thus  have  another  excuse  for  not 
acceding  to  their  wishes. 

Accordingly  Cadillac  had  all  arrange- 
ments completed  by  the  beginning  of 
June,  and  on  the  fifteenth  of  that  month 
he  left  La  Chine,  a few  miles  above  Mon- 
treal, and  entered  the  Ottawa  river,  for 
that  circuitous  route  had  been  chosen 
in  order  to  avoid  meeting  the  Iroquois. 


Cadillac  had  under  his  orders  fifty  Ca- 
nadians and  fifty  soldiers,  with  M.  de 
Tonty  as  captain  and  Messrs.  Dugue 
and  Charcornacle  as  lieutenants.  Father 
Vaillant,  a Jesuit  missionary,  and  Father 
Constantine  del  Halle,  a recollet  friar, 
accompanied  the  expedition. 

Up  the  Ottawa,  across  to  Lake  Nipis- 
sing,  down  French  river  and  upon  the 
broad  expanse  of  Lake  Huron,  the 
hardy  band  of  pioneers  pursued  their 
route.  Then  they  entered  the  strait  and 
drifted  down  with  the  current  past  where 
Fort  St.  Joseph  had  stood,  and  past  the 
now  famous  St.  Clair  flats,  until  now  the 
river  broadened  and  formed  a beautiful 
lake.  Cadillac  constantly  scanned  the 
shores,  but  could  not  find  an  advan- 
tageous site  for  his  fort.  Again  the 
strait  grew  narrower,  and  a charming 
isle  unfolded  its  rare  loveliness  to  his 
admiring  eye.  As  the  canoes  floated 
past  it  the  air  became  perfumed  with 
the  sweet  incense  of  the  woodland  flow- 
ers. Leaving  behind  him  the  dormant 
beauty  of  Belle  Isle,  Cadillac  at  last 
caught  a glimpse  of  the  site  of  the  future 
metropolis  of  Michigan. 

Far  different  from  what  it  is  to-day 
was  the  aspect.  No  cloud  of  dusky 
smoke  then  overhung  the  blue  waters, 
and  the  most  sanguine  believer  in  the 
power  and  ingenuity  of  man  never 
dreamt  that  the  innumerable  vessels  of 
the  greatest  merchant  nation  would  one 
day  float  near  the  beach  where  a few 
abandoned  Indian  canoes  were  stranded. 
Where  tall  electric  towers  now  throw  by 
night  their  white  and  piercing  rays, 
there  stood  then  gigantic  elms  and  oaks, 
which  afforded  by  day  a shelter  from  the 


DETROIT  DURING  CADILLAC'S  ADMINISTRATION. 


65 


burning  rays  of  the  sun.  The  wild  birds 
which  had  not  as  yet  learned  to  fear  the 
deadly  report  of  the  hunter’s  musket, 
hovered  around  the  advancing  flotilla, 
and  astonished  the  settlers  by  their  dis- 
cordant voices. 

The  settlers  pulled  their  canoes  on  the 
sandy  beach  and  encamped  near  the 
shore.  As  darkness  threw  its  sombre 
veil  over  the  land,  the  howl  of  the  wolf 
and  other  wild  beasts  began  to  be  heard 
in  the  woods  near  at  hand. 

At  last  night  was  over  and  the 
settlers  rivaled  the  sun  in  getting  up  on 
the  morning  of  the  twenty-fifth  of  July, 
1701,  their  first  day  at  the  place  which 
they  intended  to  make  their  home. 

The  work  of  erecting  houses  and  forti- 
fications was  immediately  begun.  The 
first  building  erected  was  a store-house 
to  put  the  provisions  and  tools  under 
cover.  On  the  twenty-sixth  of  July 
were  laid  the  foundations  of  the  chapel 
and  then  the  dwellings  of  the  settlers 
were  commenced,  and  the  work  pushed 
forward  until  nearly  a score  of  picket 
houses,  covered  with  bark  or  thatched 
with  grass,  had  been  constructed.  The 
whole  was  surrounded  by  a palisade  of 
“good  oak  pickets  fifteen  feet  long,  sunk 
three  feet  in  the  ground.”  There  were 
four  bastions,  but  of  irregular  shape, 
and  two  of  them  were  so  small  that  they 
were  of  very  little  value.  A street  about 
twelve  feet  in  width  ran  between  the  line 
of  pickets  and  the  houses. 

The  ground  enclosed  by  the  palisade 
forms  to-day  the  eastern  portion  of  the 
block  surrounded  by  Woodbridge  street, 
Griswold  street,  Jefferson  avenue  and 
Shelby  street. 


The  fort  received  the  name  of  Pont- 
chartrain,  in  honor  of  Cadillac’s  pro- 
tector, and  over  it  was  hoisted  the  white 
banner  of  France. 

Detroit  was  born. 

II. 

FIRST  YEARS. 

The  founder  of  Detroit  met  with  many 
tribulations  in  the  pursuance  of  his  en- 
terprise. 

If  we  are  to  believe  him,  he  had  hardly 
reached  Detroit  when  secret  influences 
were  already  at  work  to  prevent  his 
success. 

On  learning  that  a post  was  to  be  es- 
tablished at  Detroit,  the  Jesuit  mission- 
aries asked  the  governor  permission  to 
send  members  of  their  society  to  minister 
to  the  spiritual  wants  of  the  settlers. 
However,  when  Cadillac  reached  Mon- 
treal it  was  decided  the  Jesuit  was  only 
to  be  given  the  Indian  mission,  while  a 
Recollet,  Father  Constantine  del  Halle, 
was  chosen  to  be  chaplain  of  the  post. 
The  Jesuits  ascribed  this  change  to  the 
influence  of  Cadillac,  whom  they  knew 
to  be  an  enemy  of  their  order,  and 
resented  it.  Cadillac  claims  that  Father 
Vaillant,  the  Jesuit  who  accompanied 
him,  carried  this  resentment  so  far 
as  to  try  to  persuade  the  soldiers  to 
return  immediately  on  their  arrival  at 
Detroit,  by  promising  them  a full  year’s 
pay  for  six  weeks’  service.  Whatever 
truth  there  may  be  in  this,  it  is  certain 
that  Father  Vaillant  remained  but  a few 
days  at  Detroit. 

Cadillac  did  not  give  himself  up 
altogether  to  his  quarrels  with  the  Jes- 


66 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. . 


uits.  The  lodgings  of  the  settlers  having 
been  completed  as  soon  as  possible,  he 
ordered  the  soil  to  be  plowed,  and  wheat 
was  sown  in  the  fall  of  1701. 

About  the  same  time  Madame  Cad- 
illac and  Madame  Tonty  arrived  at  the 
post.  They  had  come  from  Canada,  by 
way  of  the  lakes.  Cadillac  did  not 
forget,  either,  his  project  of  assembling 
the  Indians  around  Detroit.  On  the 
sixth  of  December  he  marked  out  the 
site  of  an  Indian  village,  and  in  the  fol- 
lowing spring  called  the  chiefs  to  a 
council  and  sought  to  induce  them  to 
bring  their  tribes  to  the  village. 

While  Cadillac  was  thus  occupied, 
Fort  Pontchartrain  was  ceded  to  the 
company  of  the  colony  of  Canada.  By 
the  terms  of  an  agreement  concluded 
with  the  government  of  New  France, 
the  company  was  to  take  possession  of 
the  fort  under  the  following  principal 
conditions  : The  company  was  to  have 
the  exclusive  contract  of  the  fur  trade 
at  Detroit ; to  finish  the  fort  and  build- 
ings belonging  thereto,  and  keep  them 
in  good  repair  ; and  to  support  the  com- 
mandant and  one  other  officer.  The 
necessary  garrison  was  to  be  maintained 
at  the  king’s  expense. 

The  system  thus  inaugurated  in  the 
colonization  of  Detroit,  was  that  on 
which  all  French  colonial  enterprises 
rested.  Though  open  to  many  abuses, 
and  not  always  founded  on  the 
soundest  economy,  it  was  generally  a 
necessity  of  the  circumstances.  A col- 
onial enterprise,  even  that  of  Detroit, 
simple  and  insignificant  as  it  may  seem 
to-day,  was  then  an  expensive  one, 
above  the  means  of  an  ordinary  indi- 


vidual fortune,  on  account  of  the  long 
time  and  great  outlay  required  before  it 
would  begin  to  pay  its  founder.  It 
then  became  necessary  to  have  subven- 
tion proceedings  from  exterior  sources ; 
and  as  French  statesmen  were  too  pre- 
occupied with  European  wars  and  in- 
trigues to  supply  these  subventions, 
there  was  only  one  other  way  of  help- 
ing colonization  : that  of  granting  to 
speculators  commercial  privileges  des- 
tined to  render  immediate  and  extra- 
ordinary benefits. 

Cadillac  received  the  first  notice  of 
the  cession  made  to  the  company  on 
the  eighteenth  of  July,  1702,  and  on  the 
twenty-first  of  the  same  month  he  em- 
barked for  Quebec,  with  the  intention  of 
coming  to  some  arrangement  with  the 
company  concerning  the  interests  of 
himself  and  Detroit. 

A preliminary  arrangement  was  soon 
arrived  at,  but  the  directors  of  the  com- 
pany having  been  persuaded  that  the 
conditions  were  too  advantageous  to 
Cadillac,  they  declared  them  void. 

“ Accordingly,”  says  Cadillac,  “ an- 
other contract  was  made,  by  which  the 
company  agreed  to  pay  me  the  sum  of 
two  thousand  francs  a year  and  furnish 
the  necessary  supplies  for  myself  and 
family.  It  was  also  agreed  that  they 
should  pay  M.  de  Tonty  the  sum  of  one 
thousand  three  hundred  and  thirty-three 
francs  per  year.  In  consideration  of  the 
payment  of  these  sums,  I pledged  myself 
not  to  traffic  with  the  savages,  directly 
nor  indirectly,  and  to  hinder,  as  much 
as  should  lay  in  my  power,  any  other 
person  from  trading  at  that  post ; also 
to  prevent  any  frauds  or  embezzlements 


DETROIT  DURING  CADILLAC'S  ADMINISTRATION. 


dl 


on  the  part  of  the  employes  of  the 
company.  The  surplus  funds  of  the 
company  the  directors  left  to  my  care 
and  management  for  their  interest.” 

This  being  satisfactory  to  all  parties, 
he  set  out  to  return  to  Detroit,  where  he 
arrived  November  6. 

Messrs.  Arnaud  and  Nolan  were  ap- 
pointed commissioners  of  the  company 
at  Detroit,  and  entrusted  with  the  man- 
agement of  the  trade. 

Cadillac  came  back  with  a greater 
desire  than  ever  to  have  the  Indians 
settle  at  Detroit,  where  they  might  be 
Frenchified,  disciplined  and  made  to 
serve  the  most  Christian  king  faithfully; 
for  it  was  one  of  the  plans  to  form  an 
Indian  army  to  fight  the  battles  of 
France  in  Europe  as  well  as  in  Amer- 
ica. He  did  not  see  what  all  his  sur- 
roundings indicated,  that  the  Indian 
can  not  be  civilized.  Yet  a few  years 
before  he  had  himself  written  : 

The  savage  himself  asks  why  they  do  not  leave 
him  his  beggary,  his  liberty  and  his  idleness  ; he  was 
born  in  it,  and  he  wishes  to  die  in  it— it  is  a life  to 
which  he  has  been  accustomed  since  Adam.  Do 
they  wish  him  to  build  palaces  and  ornament  them 
with  beautiful  furniture?  He  would  not  exchange 
his  wigwam,  and  the  mat  on  which  he  camps  like  a 
monkey,  for  the  Louvre.  An  attempt  to  overthrow 
the  present  state  of  affairs  in  this  country  would  only 
result  in  the  ruin  of  commerce  and  the  destruction  of 
the  colony. 

And  he  was  right  then.  But  in  1703 
he  exclaimed  : “ It  seems  that  God 

has  raised  me  as  another  Moses  to  go 
and  deliver  this  people  from  captivity.” 

He  succeeded  in  inducing  several 
bands  of  Hurons,  Miamis,  Ottawas  and 
other  Indians  to  establish  themselves 
at  Detroit.  But  naturally  enough  events 
did  not  fulfill  his  expectations,  and  he 


laid  the  blame  of  his  failure  upon  the 
Jesuits,  whom  he  accused  of  intimida- 
ting the  Indians  and  influencing  the  of- 
ficials of  New  France. 

The  governor,  the  intendant,  the  com- 
pany and  its  officials,  the  missionaries, 
the  coureurs-de-bois  and  even  his  own 
subordinate  officers  he  claimed  were 
plotting  his  ruin  and  that  of  Detroit. 
And  all  this  on  account  of  personal 
enmity. 

That  he  had  many  enemies  is  as  cer- 
tain as  it  is  certain  that  many  of  his 
projects  were  visionary  and  that  his  ac- 
cusations had  their  ludicrous  side,  but 
he  was  not  the  least  to  blame  for  this. 
A Gascon  by  birth,  he  had  inherited 
much  of  the  love  of  boasting  and  the 
disagreeable  temper  proverbially  attrib- 
uted to  that  people.  These  qualities, 
united  to  an  indiscreet  use  of  sarcasm, 
were  not  calculated  to  gain  many 
friends  for  their  possessor. 

It  is  no  wonder  that  the  Jesuits 
avoided  residing  near  such  a man  when 
they  knew  him  to  be  hostile  to  them, 
but  it  is  not  probable  that  they  ever  did 
anything  out  of  malice  to  injure  his  in- 
terests. 

The  conduct  of  the  company  and  its 
employes  was  far  from  what  it  should 
have  been,  but  personal  enmity  had 
nothing  to  do  with  their  actions.  Every 
creature  acts  according  to  its  instinct, 
and  fur  trading  companies  and  individ- 
uals are  no  exceptions  to  the  rule. 
Give  them  a monopoly  and  their  money- 
making instinct  becomes  consecrated 
by  all  laws  human  and  divine.  Conse- 
quently the  company  would  advance 
nothing  to  put  the  Indians  in  motion 


68 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


because  it  could  not  see  that  it  would 
be  benefited  thereby. 

Messrs.  Nolan  and  Arnaud,  the  com- 
missioners, according  to  Cadillac,  were 
ruined  merchants  who  secured  their  ap- 
pointments through  the  most  manifest 
nepotism.  On  their  arrival  they  promptly 
gave  the  Indians  to  understand  that  they 
would  have  to  accept  whatever  they  felt 
disposed  to  give  ilhem  for  their  furs. 
Thus  they  made  a profit  of  four  hundred 
per  cent,  on  powder,  six  hundred  on 
balls,  three  hundred  on  tobacco,  etc. 
No  goods  were  sold  at  less  than  one 
hundred  per  cent,  profit.  To  these  ex- 
tortions they  added  insult  and  contempt, 
and  the  Indians  were  soon  estranged. 

In  the  summer  of  1703  the  English 
sent  envoys  to  the  Indians  at  Detroit, 
with  reduced  rates  of  their  goods,  and 
invited  them  to  come  and  visit  them. 
A number  of  Ottawa  chiefs  accepted  the 
invitation. 

Happily  for  the  colony,  Cadillac  did 
not  give  all  his  attention  to  the  French- 
ifying of  the  Indians.  He  promoted 
agriculture,  favored  the  marriage  and 
the  establishment  of  the  soldiers  and 
■ Canadians.  On  August3o,  1703,  he  wrote 
to  Pontchartrain  to  obtain  the  power  of 
grantingland.  He  continually  demanded 
more  families  and  an  increase  of  his 
forces.  Some  of  his  demands  were  dispro- 
portionate to  the  capacity  of  NewFrance; 
but  the  governor-general  was  very  neg- 
ligent in  paying  and  caring  for  the 
garrison.  The  number  of  soldiers  rap- 
idly dwindled  down  to  twenty-five  and 
less,  and  nine  of  these  deserted  in  1703. 
They,  however,  requested  the  permission 


to  return,  which  was  gladly  granted  by 
Cadillac. 

III. 

CHARGES  AND  COUNTER-CHARGES. 

New  troubles  were  brewing  in  Detroit, 
and  the  year  1703  was  destined  to  be  a 
stormy  one  in  the  annals  of  the  post. 

The  commissioners,  Arnaud  and  No- 
lan, relying  upon  the  protection  of  the 
two  principal  directors  of  the  company, 
their  relatives,  did  not  limit  their  pro- 
ceedings to  extortions  from  the  savages 
for  the  benefit  of  the  company,  but  in 
turn  engaged  in  trade  on  their  own 
account,  selling  the  goods  of  the  com- 
pany to  the  savages  and  appropriating 
the  product  to  themselves. 

In  the  spring  of  1703,  Cadillac  discov- 
ered these  embezzlements,  and  also 
found  proof  implicating  Tonty,  his  cap- 
tain. 

He  thereupon  wrote  to  M.  Vaudreuil, 
the  commandant  of  New  France,  and 
to  M.  Lotbinieres,  a director  of  the 
company,  requesting  immediate  instruc- 
tions. M.  de  Vaudreuil  replied  not  to 
precipitate  matters,  as  he  wished  to  con- 
sult the  intendant  before  coming  to  a 
decision.  M.  de  Lotbinieres  also  re- 
quested Cadillac  to  pardon  Nolan  and 
Arnaud,  promising  that  he  would  arrange 
matters  peaceably. 

Before  Lotbinieres’  letter  reached 
Detroit,  however,  Cadillac  had  already 
sent  an  account  of  his  discovery  and  of 
the  seizure  he  had  operated  to  all  the 
directors.  What  action  they  took  on 
the  subject  is  not  recorded  ; but  about 


DETROIT  DURING  CADILLAC’S  ADMINISTRATION.  C9 


this  time  chief  commissioner  Radisson 
was  recalled  and  M.  Desnoyers  sent  to 
replace  him.  This  new  commissioner 
reached  Detroit  June  5.  It  then  began 
to  appear  that  the  directors  of  the  com- 
pany considered  Radisson  as  the  princi- 
pal transgressor,  and  Cadillac  was  ac- 
cused of  being  in  league  with  him  and  pro- 
tecting him.  In  the  course  of  time  they 
also  charged  Cadillac  of  having  incited 
the  Indians  to  demand  the  dismissal  of 
M.  Desnoyers ; of  using  violence  to- 
wards that  officer,  and  of  instigating  the 
Indians  to  object  to  the  removal  of  furs 
until  the  store-house  was  filled  with 
goods,  and  all  the  French  had  a right  to 
trade  with  them. 

These  charges  Cadillac  brands  as 
atrocious  calumnies,  and  he  says  that 
they  were  made  by  the  directors  of 
the  company  in  order  to  shield  their 
relatives,  whose  frauds  be  had  detected. 
But  his  defence,  though  we  have  no  direct 
contrary  evidence  to  contradict  it,  is  not 
invulnerable.  Thus  he  claims  that  the 
directors  were  perfectly  satisfied  with 
him  until  the  dose  of  1703.  But  Pont- 
chartrain  writing  under  date  of  July  14, 
1704,  says  that  he  received  at  the  same 
time  as  Cadillac’s  letter  of  August  30, 
1703  a series  of  complaints  from  the  di- 
rectors of  the  company.  And  again, 
answering  the  charge  of  inducing  the 
Indians  to  demand  the  dismissal  of 
M.  Desnoyers,  he  says  : “It  is  an  ab- 

surd subterfuge  to  say  that  the  savages 
demanded  his  dismissal  so  soon  (three 
days)  after  his  arrival.”  Yet  a few 
pages  further  he  himself  affirms  that 
M.  Desnoyers  having  arrived  on  the  fifth 


of  June,  “on  the  eighth  the  savages  de- 
manded his  removal  by  a belt.” 

While  commandant  and  company 
were  engaged  in  these  sterile  and  in- 
glorious quarrels,  the  ill-treated  Ottawa 
chieftains  had  been  to  Albany.  They 
returned  more  disaffected  and  alarmed, 
as  the  English  persuaded  them  that  the 
Fort  at  Detroit  had  been  established  for 
the  purpose  of  effecting  their  subjuga- 
tion. 

Soon  after  their  return,  in  the  fall  of 
1703,  in  the  middle  of  the  night,  a sen- 
tinel saw  flames  issuing  from  a barn  full 
of  corn  and  situated  between  two  of  the 
bastions.  At  the  same  time  he  per- 
ceived a form  rapidly  making  for  the 
woods.  He  discharged  his  musket  at 
the  retreating  incendiary  and  gave  the 
alarm.  In  an  instant  everybody  in  the 
fort  were  out,  but  they  had  little  means 
to  fight  the  fire.  Yet  they  went  to  work 
with  a will,  and  after  the  barn  in  which 
the  fire  had  originated,  the  church  and 
the  houses  of  Cadillac,  Tonty  and  the 
Recollets  had  been  consumed,  the  flames 
were  mastered.  The  fortifications  were 
also  seriously  damaged,  and  Cadillac 
had  one  hand  severely  burned  while 
fighting  the  flames.  He  estimates  his 
own  loss  at  four  hundred  pistoles.  The 
fort  was  repaired  in  two  or  three  days, 
all  the  savages — or  at  least  all  those 
who  did  did  not  sympathize  with  the 
incendiary — assisting  the  French  with 
the  best  possible  grace.  As  Cadillac 
had  lost  all  his  own  provisions,  as  well 
as  the  supplies  of  the  garrison  and  of 
the  company’s  servants,  the  Indians 
gave  to  the  commandant  personally  a 


70 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


hundred  bushels  of  corn,  and  furnished 
all  the  grain  necessary  for  the  subsist- 
ence of  the  garrison,  at  the  usual  prices, 
taking  no  advantages  of  the  necessities 
of  the  French. 

The  damages  caused  by  the  fire  had 
hardly  been  repaired  when  a band  of 
Miamis,  from  Ouyatonon,  appeared  at 
Detroit,  attacked  the  Indians  settled 
there  and  killed  an  Ottawa,  two  Hurons 
and  a Pottawatomie.  This  act  of  hos- 
tility exasperated  all  the  Indians  at  De- 
troit, who  immediately  prepared  to  in- 
flict a condign  punishment  upon  the 
aggressors.  Foreseeing  the  fatal  conse- 
quences an  Indian  war  would  bring  on 
his  settlement,  Cadillac  promptly  inter- 
fered and  persuaded  his  allies  to  wait  a 
a few  days.  He  then  dispatched  a mes- 
senger to  the  camp  of  the  Ouyatonons 
to  threaten  them  with  all  the  wrath  of 
the  French  unless  they  made  amends 
for  their  conduct.  Upon  receiving  this 
message  the  Ouyatonons  sent  their 
chiefs  to  Detroit,  and  the  matter  was 
settled  for  the  time  being. 

About  the  same  time  the  Illinois  sent 
out  a war  party  of  fifteen  braves  against 
Detroit.  They  were  discovered  before 
accomplishing  any  harm,  captured  and 
whipped  at  the  post.  Cadillac  then 
sent  four  of  them  back  to  their  tribe, 
and  through  them  concluded  a treaty  of 
peace. 

While  Cadillac  was  busy  settling  In- 
dian quarrels,  M.  Yincelet  had  been 
sent  to  Detroit  by  the  governor  to  look 
into  the  charges  made  against  him,  and 
this  investigator  reported  the  charges 
founded. 

Accordingly,  when  early  in  the  autumn 


of  1704,  Cadillac  went  to  Quebec  in 
order  to  arrange  for  the  transfer  of  fort 
Pontchartrain  to  himself,  according  to 
the  intention  of  the  king,  he  was  pre- 
sented with  a memorial  of  the  charges 
made  against  him  by  the  company,  that 
he  might  prepare  to  defend  himself.  At 
the  s&me  time  he  was  requested  by  M. 
Ramesay,  the  commandant  of  Quebec, 
not  to  leave  the  city  until  he  had  been 
tried. 

Through  the  influence  of  the  directors 
the  trial  of  Cadillac  was  repeatedly 
postponed  ; but  finally,  on  the  fifth  of 
June,  1705,  he  was  acquitted  by  the 
intendant  of  the  charges  made  against 
him,  but  not  permitted  to  return  to  his 
post. 

Cadillac  refused  to  recognize  the 
power  of  the  intendant  to  try  him,  and 
objected  to  all  other  courts  and  officials 
in  New  France.  He  accordingly  ap- 
pealed to  Pontchartrain,  and  towards  the 
end  of  September,  1705,  he  received  an 
order  from  that  minister  to  send  full 
explanations  of  his  conduct  and  to  re- 
main at  Quebec  until  further  orders.* 

* The  defense  which  Cadillac  then  forwarded  may 
be  found  in  Sheldon’s  ‘Early  History  of  Michigan. 
The  document  is  in  the  form  of  a conference  between 
Count  Pontchartrain  and  Cadillac, and  Mrs.  Sheldon, 
followed  by  M.  Farmer,  supposes  it  to  be  notes  of 
an  actual  interview  between  the  count  and  the  com- 
mandant of  Detroit.  This,  however,  is  purely  im- 
aginary. Pontchartrain  never  came  to  Canada,  and 
the  document  was  written  at  Quebec  while  Cadillac 
was  detained  there.  It  is  almost  the  only  record  we 
have  of  the  above  charges  and  counter-charges. 
While  there  are  facts  in  the  document,  it  is  largely 
given  up  to  improbable  or  exaggerated  attacks  on 
those  Cadillac  called  his  enemies.  Even  after  using 
the  greatest  circumspection,  one  can  hardly  hope  of 
arriving  at  the  exact  truth  from  perusing  this  one- 
sided argument. 


PIONEER  MEDICINE  ON  THE  WESTERN  RESER  VE. 


71 


On  the  twenty-ninth  of  September, 
1705,  M.  de  Bourgemont  was  appointed 
to  command  at  Detroit  until  Cadillac’s 
return.  He  immediately  set  out,  but  did 
not  reach  his  destination  until  the 
twenty-ninth  of  January  following. 

Count  Pontchartrainwas  more  inclined 
to  put  faith  in  the  assertions  of  his  pro- 


tege than  a modern  critic  would  be, 
and  he  completely  approved  his  con- 
duct. Consequently  Cadillac  started  to 
return  to  Detroit  in  June,  1706,  with 
increased  powers  and  privileges,  and 
many  recruits  for  his  settlement. 

T.  St.  Pierre. 


PIONEER  MEDICINE  ON  THE  WESTERN  RESERVE. 

IX. 


The  name  of  Dr.  Horace  A.  Ackley 
is  one  which  will  be  remembered  as  long 
as  that  of  any  medical  man  on  the  Re- 
serve. Probably  more  anecdotes  are 
told  of  him  than  of  any  other  physician 
or  surgeon.  A man  nearly  six  feet  tall, 
of  magnificent  physique  and  great  en- 
durance, he  was  commanding  in  person 
and  at  the  same  time  possessed  those 
other  qualities  necessary  to  give  him  a 
control  over  men.  Born  in  Genesee 
county,  New  York,  in  1815,  he  was 
educated  in  the  common  schools  and 
later  attended  an  academy.  Studying 
medicine  for  a short  time  in  Elba  and 
Batavia,  he  later  attended  lectures  and 
graduated  in  Fairfield,  New  York,  re- 
ceiving his  degree  in  1833.  It  was 
here  he  came  under  the  instruction  of 
Dr.  DeLamater,  with  whom  he  after- 
ward became  closely  associated. 

After  his  graduation  he  removed  to 
Rochester,  where  he  was  connected  in 
practice  with  Dr.  Havill,  and  during 
this  time  gave  a course  of  lectures  on 
anatomy,  in  Palmyra,  for  Dr.  Delamater, 


who  had  at  that  time  ceased  teaching  in 
Fairfield.  In  1835  Dr.  Ackley  came  to 
Akron,  Ohio,  and  while  living  there  lec- 
tured on  anatomy  in  Willoughby.  He 
remained  but  a short  time  in  Akron, 
having  removed  to  Toledo,  where  he 
lived  for  three  years,  after  which  time 
he  came  to  Cleveland.  A characteristic 
incident  is  told  of  Dr.  Ackley  during  the 
time  he  spent  in  Willoughby.  A sailor 
had  been  drowned  in  the  harbor,  and 
had  been  secured  by  the  doctor  for 
anatomical  purposes.  Another  physi- 
cian, not  in  sympathy  with  the  medical 
school,  sought  to  make  capital  by  criti- 
cising the  doctor,  and  finally  carried 
the  matter  into  the  courts,  prosecuting 
Ackley.  Ackley,  with  his  usual  dash 
and  readiness,  proved  himself  innocent. 
The  prosecution  was  then  transferred  to 
a younger  and  less  influential  man, 
whereupon  Dr.  Ackley  went  again  into 
court  as  a witness,  swore  he  had  secured 
the  sailor  himself  and  thus  cleared  his 
friend. 

Another  time,  in  the  same  school,  a 


7 i 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


peddler  from  Ashtabula  came  to  the 
medical  building  ostensibly  to  sell  his 
wares,  but  more  from  curiosity.  Mak- 
ing his  way  into  the  anatomical  room 
the  students  locked  the  door  after  him, 
and  telling  the  peddler  they  would  dis- 
sect him,  so  terrified  him  that  he  jumped 
out  of  the  second  story  window  and 
unfortunately  was  somewhat  injured. 
This  again  raised  great  indignation 
among  the  opponents  of  the  school,  and 
a crowd  was  gathered  to  attack  and 
destroy  the  college  building.  Ackley, 
getting  wind  of  this,  loaded  to  the  muz- 
zle a little  cannon  and  placing  it  on  the 
top  of  the  steps  leading  to  the  anatomi- 
cal room,  announced  in  the  most  em- 
phatic language  common  to  him,  that 
if  they  approached  he  would  sweep  the 
crowd. 

On  the  organization  of  the  medical 
college  in  Cleveland  he  was  appointed 
to  the  chair  of  surgery,  which  chair  he 
occupied  until  1855,  when  he  resigned. 

During  the  twenty  years  which  Dr. 
Ackley  practiced  in  northern  Ohio,  his 
reputation  became  very  great.  Being 
the  first  man  of  this  section  who  prac- 
ticed especially  surgery,  and  holding  a 
prominent  position  in  what  was  one  of 
the  most  influential  medical  schools  of 
the  west,  he  became  widely  known  for 
his  professional  ability  and  dexterity  as 
an  operator. 

He  was  a daring  operator,  being  at 
the  same  time  a skillful  one.  It  is  said 
he  was  also  ambidextrous.  Added  to 
this  he  was  a good  anatomist,  and  was 
fond  of  study  in  this  direction. 

Cases  for  operation  came  to  him  from 
long  distances,  and  he  was  called  much 


in  consultation.  We  have  no  record  of 
the  operations  he  performed,  but  they 
covered  the  whole  field  of  surgery  as 
then  practiced,  and  was  of  a sort  to 
make  Ackley  known  as  an  operator 
throughout  the  east  as  well  as  in  the 
west. 

As  a lecturer  he  impressed  on  the 
students  what  he  wished  to  have  them 
know,  but  his  method  though  striking 
and  popular  was  not  systematic.  He 
might  begin  a course  of  lectures  with 
one  of  the  most  difficult  subjects  in  the 
field  of  surgery,  and  in  the  next  lecture 
go  to  another  wholly  different  and 
equally  difficult.  His  method  with  his 
patients  was  very  brusk,  still  those  who 
knew  him  say  that  they  never  saw  a 
man  who  could  enter  a sick  room  and 
be  more  sympathizing  and  gentle.  He 
was  a man  who  disliked  greatly  to  be 
imposed  upon,  and  wished  to  have  the 
value  of  his  services  promptly  recog- 
nized. A story  is  told  that  a man  came 
to  him  one  day  with  a dislocated  thumb. 
Ackley  quickly  reduced  it,  and  when 
asked  for  his  bill  said  ten  dollars.  To 
this  the  man  objected  as  exorbitant. 
Ackley  asked  to  see  the  thumb  again, 
and  thereupon  dislocated  it  as  quickly 
as  he  had  previously  put  it  in  place, 
saying  to  the  man  if  he  did  not  like  the 
charge  he  could  go  to  some  other  sur- 
geon. He  was  a man  who  was  impul- 
sive in  his  actions,  as  is  shown  by  the 
following  incident : One  day  while  out 

duck  shooting  he  was  accompanied  by 
a favorite  dog.  Another  hunter  was  on 
the  opposite  side  of  the  stream,  and  as 
the  ducks  which  he  shot  fell  into  the 
water,  Dr.  Ackley’s  dog  would  swim  in 


PIONEER  MEDICINE  ON  THE  WESTERN  RESER  VE. 


73 


and  get  them.  The  man  objected  to 
this,  but  Ackley  told  the  man  he  should 
have  all  the  ducks  retrieved  by  the  dog. 
The  man  answered  that  should  the  dog 
retrieve  another  duck  he  would  shoot 
him.  Ackley  replied  if  the  man  shot 
the  dog  he  would  shoot  the  man. 
Another  duck  was  shot  and  in  sprang 
the  dog,  and  was  as  promptly  shot. 
Ackley  reciprocated  by  filling  the  man 
full  of  shot  from  his  fowling  piece,  after 
which  he  immediately  left  the  scene 
and  returned  rapidly  to  the  city.  Some- 
time later  a man  came  into  his  office 
complaining  that  some  one  had  filled 
him  full  of  bird  shot.  Ackley  proceeded 
to  pick  them  out  one  by  one,  at  the 
same  time  condoling  with  the  man  and 
at  the  close  of  the  process  charging  him 
a good  bill. 

That  Ackley  was  a man  of  expedients 
is  shown  by  his  manner  of  meeting  an 
emergency  which  occurred  early  in  his 
practice.  When  out  with  a sleighing 
party  a young  lady  of  the  company  had 
a piece  of  meat  lodge  in  her  oesophagus, 
causing  her  great  distress.  Having  no 
instruments  at  hand  he  went  out,  broke 
off  the  end  of  a flexible  whip,  and  with 
this  as  a probang  forced  the  obstruction 
down  into  the  stomach,  thus  giving  en- 
tire relief. 

The  boldness  of  the  man  is  shown  by 
his  action  on  the  occasion  of  the  failure 
of  the  Canal  Bank  of  Cleveland.  At 
the  time  of  the  construction  of  the 
insane  asylum  he  had  been  appointed 
a trustee,  and  as  such  was  custodian 
of  money  from  the  state  which  he  de- 
posited in  the  bank.  Shortly  after  this 
the  bank  broke.  Ackley  went  immedi- 


ately and  demanded  the  money  belong- 
ing to  the  state.  This  was  refused  him. 
He  at  once  secured  a sledge  hammer, 
chisel  and  bars,  went  to  the  bank,  en- 
tered, and  proceeded  to  demolish  the 
safe.  Succeeding  in  this,  he  secured 
the  state’s  money,  which  he  placed 
elsewhere  for  safe-keeping.  There  are 
certainly  very  few  men  who  would  have 
undertaken  such  a task,  and  fewer  still 
who  would  have  accomplished  it. 

Dr.  Ackley  was  very  fond  of  hunting, 
and,  with  Dr.  Garlick  of  Cleveland  and 
Judge  Potter  of  Toledo,  used  to  spend 
considerable  time  in  chasing  foxes. 
Judge  Potter  being  asked  if  Ackley 
was  a fine  shot  answered  no,  but  he 
could  run  down  a fox  in  half  a day. 
His  powers  of  endurance  were  very 
great,  and  he  seemed  indifferent  to 
storms  or  weather. 

Ackley’s  fondness  for  stimulants  re- 
sulted in  a ludicrous  incident  on  one 
of  these  hunting  excursions.  At  such  a 
time  he  used  to  ride  a small  horse, 
noted  for  its  endurance.  In  jumping  a 
brook  the  horse  fell  and  pitched  Ackley 
on  his  head.  As  he  landed  his  gun  was 
accidently  discharged.  His  friends  com- 
ing up  found  him  lying  on  the  ground, 
groaning  that  he  was  killed.  One  of 
them  doubted  if  he  was  hurt,  saying 
that  he  could  see  no  blood.  Ackley 
replied  that  gunshot  wounds  do  not 
bleed.  When  asked  where  he  was  hurt, 
he  said  : “ Gunshot  wounds  are  numb.” 
Finally  his  friends  insisted  on  examin- 
ing him,  and,  getting  him  up,  found  no 
injury  whatever,  much  to  their  amuse- 
ment and  Ackley’s  discomfort. 

WThen  Ackley  was  bored  by  anyone  he 


74 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


did  not  hesitate  to.  show  it.  An  old 
divine,  who  was  quite  deaf,  and  who 
had  often  detained  Ackley  on  the  street, 
hindered  him  again  one  day,  and,  with 
his  hand  behind  his  ear  said  : “ Doc- 

tor, there  is  something  the  matter  of 
my  ears.  What  do  you  think  it  is  ?” 
Ackley,  leaning  over,  shouted  in  his 
ear  : “ They  are  too  d d long.” 

The  stories  concerning  his  obtaining 
and  preserving  anatomical  material  are 
innumerable.  Once  a body  was  brought 
in  a bag  to  his  house.  The  bearers 
were  told  to  put  it  in  the  cellar  and  he 
would  care  for  it  soon.  On  opening 
it  he  found  they  had  brought  him  a man 
dead  drunk. 

At  another  time  when  search  was 
being  made  for  a body  secreted  in  his 
office,  he  placed  it  in  a barrel  and 
rolled  if  out  on  the  side  walk,  thus  caus- 
ing it  to  be  overlooked  on  account  of 
its  exposed  position.  It  is  said  that  in 
the  crooks  and  turns  of  the  old  college 
building  on  the  corner  of  Erie  and  St. 
Clair  streets,  many  is  the  time  he  eluded 
the  officers,  transferring  what  they  sought 
from  place  to  place,  through  intricate 
passages,  during  their  search.  At  the 
time  when  the  homeopathic  college,  then 
at  the  corner  of  Prospect  and  Ontario 
streets,  was  gutted  by  a mob,  it  was  sup- 
posed the  next  point  of  attack  would  be 
the  college  building  at  the  corner  of  St. 
Clair.  The  mayor  offered  a guard,  but 
Ackley  had  gathered  a number  of  stu- 
dents, armed  them  and  barricaded  the 
building.  Hearing  of  this  the  mob,  who 
knew  his  fearlessness,  had  no  further 
desire  to  attack  the  building. 

These  are  but  a small  part  of  the 


stories  that  are  remembered  concerning 
Ackley,  and  many  of  the  most  charac- 
teristic will  not  bear  recording.  It  may 
seem  out  of  taste  that  even  these  should 
have  been  repeated.  Still,  to  those  who 
know  the  man,  it  will  at  once  occur  how 
impossible  it  would  be  to  give  any  idea 
of  him  were  they  omitted. 

Ackley  may  well  be  termed  a genius, 
and  that  too  of  no  common  sort.  With 
little  more  than  a common  school  edu- 
cation, and  very  limited  medical  train- 
ing, he  had  those  qualities  which  enabled 
him  to  tower  above  his  fellows  and  attain 
a popularity  and  reputation  more  ex- 
tended perhaps  than  any  other  surgeon 
of  his  time  in  the  west.  He  performed 
great  operations  and  performed  them 
well  ; he  met  trying  emergencies  with 
inadequate  equipments,  still  he  was 
equal  to  them.  He  commanded  the 
admiration  of  his  students  and  his  com- 
peers. 

He  consulted  frequently  Dr.  DeLama- 
ter,  whose  judgment  he  held  in  high 
esteem,  still  he  was  remarkably  inde- 
pendent and  selfreliant.  He  had  in 
him  those  elements  which  commanded 
attention  and  gained  popularity. 

With  all  his  natural  talents,  however, 
he  suffered  the  hinderances  belonging 
to  an  untrained  and  inadequately  disci- 
plined mind  and  character.  With  his 
abilities  he  lacked  method  in  his  profes- 
sional labor. 

With  magnificent  powers,  mentally 
and  physically,  he  had  no  self  control. 
The  very  strength  of  his  natural  endow- 
ments being  unrestrained  simply  hurried 
him  on  the  faster  to  his  end. 

With  great  professional  reputation 


PIONEER  MEDICINE  ON  THE  WESTERN  RESER  VE. 


75 


that  would  have  increased  to  old  age, 
he  was  obliged,  on  account  of  his  irreg- 
ularity, to  resign  from  the  Cleveland 
Medical  college  in  1856.  With  physical 
forces  that  should  have  brought  him  to 
four  score  years,  he  had  dissipated  them 
so  that  at  the  age  of  forty-four  he  ended 
his  career. 

No  man  could  aspire  to  a more  rapidly 
acquired  and  wider  reputation  than  he 
had  gathered  while  still  a young  man. 
We  know  of  no  one  who  has  thrown  it 
away  so  recklessly.  From  the  central 
figure  of  a large  section  of  country  he 
sank  by  dissipation,  in  a short  time,  so 
that  he  died  without  fortune  or  friends. 
Returning  by  steamer  from  Detroit  on 
the  night  of  April  21,  1859,  he  was  taken 
violently  ill,  and  after  much  suffering 
died  on  the  evening  of  April  24. 

With  all  his  faults  and  failures  he  had 
much  in  his  character  to  admire.  At 
the  time  of  the  great  epidemic  of 
cholera  in  Sandusky,  he  went  thither 
in  charge  of  a corps  of  assistants  and 
did  much  work  to  relieve  that  plague 
stricken  city. 

With  all  his  seeming  bravado  he  had  a 
tender  heart.  One  of  his  associates  tells 
of  being  invited  at  one  time  to  come  to 
see  him  perform  an  unusually  difficult 
operation.  Before  its  performance  he 
was  silent  and  taciturn.  When  success- 
fully completed  his  jovial  spirits  re- 
turned, and  the  next  morning  his  guest 
was  awakened  by  Ackley  at  the  foot  of 
the  stairs  singing  in  trumpet  tones  a 
good  old  camp-meeting  melody. 

Among  the  profession  of  northern 
Ohio,  past  and  present,  there  has  been 


no  one  so  popularly  known  as  Dr. 
Ackley. 

Among  the  papers  left  by  Dr.  Theo- 
datus  Garlick  is  a short  history  of  his 
own  life,  which  was  written  when  he  was 
seventy-nine  years  old.  From  this  we 
have  gathered  most  of  the  facts  which 
we  relate  concerning  him.  He  was 
born  March  5,  1805,  in  Middlebury, 
Vermont,  where  he  lived  until  July, 
1816,  at  which  time  he  left  home,  and 
on  foot,  with  a knapsack  weighing  four- 
teen and  one-half  pounds,  traveled  to 
Erie  county,  Pennsylvania,  to  find  his 
eldest  brother.  With  him  he  learned 
the  blacksmith  trade.  Later,  with  an- 
other brother,  he  learned  the  marble- 
cutter’s  trade,  and,  with  a third,  on 
Bank  street,  in  Cleveland,  the  stone- 
cutter’s trade.  Here  he  carved  many 
head-stones. 

After  leaving  home,  at  the  age  of 
eleven  years,  he  was  dependent  entirely 
upon  his  own  exertions,  never  receiving 
a dollar  of  aid  from  anyone.  He  spent 
some  time  in  Cleveland,  then  went  to 
Black  river,  and  later  to  Newberry,  on 
the  Chagrin  river. 

At  the  age  of  eighteen  years  he  re- 
turned to  his  home  in  Vermont,  where 
he  remained  one  year.  Coming  west 
again,  he  continued  to  work  at  black- 
smithing  or  stone  cutting  most  of  the 
time  until  1830,  when  he  began  the 
study  of  medicine  with  Dr.  Eyra 
W.  Gleason  of  Brookfield,  Trumbull 
county.  Dr.  Gleason’s  removal  to 
Mercer,  Pennsylvania,  resulted  in  Dr. 
Garlick’s  change  to  the  preceptorship 
of  Dr.  Elijah  Flower. 


76 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTOR  Y. 


While  studying,  Dr.  Garlick  sup- 
ported himself  by  working  forenoons 
at  carving  head-stones,  and  he  says  he 
was  able  to  accomplish  a journeyman’s 
full  day’s  work  in  that  time. 

The  winters  of  1832  and  1833  were 
spent  in  attending  lectures  in  Balti- 
more, and  at  the  commencement  of 
1834  he  received  the  degree  of  M.  D. 
from  the  medical  department  of  the 
University  of  Maryland.  From  the 
first,  Dr.  Garlick  determined  upon  being 
a surgeon,  and,  with  this  in  view,  gave 
especial  attention  to  dissecting,  and  was 
very  skillful  in  it.  After  graduation  he 
remained  in  Baltimore  with  Professor 
N.  R.  Smith,  the  noted  surgeon. 

While  in  attendance  upon  his  last 
course  of  lectures,  Dr.  Garlick  de- 
veloped his  talent  for  modeling.  See- 
ing a medalion  by  an  artist  named 
Waugh,  he  says  himself : “ I was  so 
captivated  with  it  that  I was  induced 
to  try  my  hand  at  modeling  a basso- 
relievo.”  The  work  was  so  well  done 
that  its  exhibition  in  the  city  library 
attracted  considerable  attention,  and 
at  the  request  of  Mr.  Skinner,  editor 
of  the  Anvil  and  Loom,  Dr.  Garlick  was 
presented  to  the  President,  Andrew 
Jackson,  and  his  cabinet,  in  Wash- 
ington. To  President  Jackson’s  in- 
quiry as  to  the  number  of  sittings 
which  would  be  required  for  modeling 
a portrait,  Dr.  Garlick  replied  four  of 
one-half  hour  each.  The  time  ap- 
pointed was  the  next  day  at  ten  a.  m. 
The  following,  in  Dr.  Garlick’s  own 
words,  may  be  of  interest. 

I was  promptly  on  hand  at  the  appointed  hour 
with  modeling  wax  and  modeling  tools.  After 


being  seated,  he  asked  me  if  he  might  talk.  I re- 
plied, "Yes,  sir.  I much  prefer  you  should  con- 
verse.” After  sitting  a short  time  he  asked 
me  if  he  might  smoke  his  pipe.  I rephed, 
"There  is  not  the  least  objection.”  I remember 
the  pipe  he  smoked.  It  was  a very  long,  white  clay 
pipe,  the  end  of  the  stem  having  been  waxed  with 
green  sealing  wax.  I finished  the  sitting  in  less 
than  half  an  hour,  and  thanking  him,  bade  him  good 
morning,  making  an  appointment  to  be  theie  the 
next  day  at  the  same  hour.  The  President  gave  me 
only  four  sittings,  but  it  took  me  about  a week  to 
finish  the  model  and  make  a cast  or  copy  of  it,  in  a 
material  compound  of  white  beeswax  and  flake 
white,  having  the  appearance  of  the  finest  parian 
marble.  The  likeness  was  full  length,  miniature, 
sitting  in  a chair.  I had  it  set  in  a fine  frame  and 
presented  it  to  the  President.  He  was  pleased  with 
it,  and  rang  the  bell  for  a servant,  and  directed  the 
servant  to  call  in  the  wife  of  Major  Donaldson,  his 
private  secretary,  also  her  sister,  a young  lady.  The 
likeness  was  pronounced  perfect.  On  the  following 
day  there  was  to  be  a state  dinner,  and  the  President 
invited  me  to  attend  it.  I politely  declined  the  honor, 
saying  that  I had  an  engagement,  which  was  true, 
but  I could  have  put  it  off ; but  I knew  I should 
make  a sorry  appearance  at  a state  dinner  among 
foreign  ministers  and  other  dignitaries. 

Returning  to  Ohio  Dr.  Garlick  located 
in  Youngstown  September  9,  1834,  where 
he  continued  in  practice  for  eighteen 
years.  At  this  time  there  were  in  prac- 
tice in  Youngstown  Dr.  Manning  and 
Dr.  Cook. 

At  first,  having  little  to  do  and  also 
little  money,  Dr.  Garlick,  being  an 
expert  workman,  manufactured  for 
himself  a set  of  amputating  knives,  tre- 
phines and  obstetrical  instruments. 
Some  of  the  latter  we  now  have  in  our 
possession.  They  were  made  for  Dr. 
Mygatt  of  Poland,  and  were  used  by 
him  throughout  all  his  extended  practice. 
The  perfection  of  their  workmanship 
attests  the  great  mechanical  skill  pos- 
sessed by  Dr.  Garlick.  Dr.  Mygatt,  in 
speaking  of  Dr.  Garlick  in  connection 


PIONEER  MEDICINE  ON  THE  WESTERN  RESER  VE. 


77 


with  these  forceps,  said  the  doctor  used 
to  be  called  a whitesmith  on  account  of 
his  superior  skill  as  a workman,  and 
says  he  was  able  to  do  work  of  any  sort. 

With  the  gradual  increase  in  practice 
Dr.  Garlick  took  as  a partner,  Dr.  H.  H. 
Palmer,  having  more  than  he  could 
attend  to  himself,  and  they  were  in  com- 
pany until  the  removal  of  Dr.  Garlick 
to  Cleveland  in  the  fall  of  1852,  at  which 
time  he  entered  into  a partnership  with 
Dr.  Ackley,  the  two  being  associated 
for  eight  years.  In  the  winter  of 
I^5°-5I>  Dr.  Garlick  had  made  at  the 
college  dissections  of  some  of  the  most 
important  surgical  regeious,  and  from 
these  had  made  casts,  which  were  after- 
ward colored.  Of  these  he  completed 
eight  sets.  One  was  for  the  Cleveland 
Medical  college,  and  part  of  it  is  still 
preserved.  The  others  were  sold,  one 
of  them  being  purchased  by  Professor 
Mussey  of  Cincinnati,  who  commended 
the  work  highly. 

Dr.  Garlick  did  a considerable 
amount  of  surgery,  performing  many  of 
the  capital  operations.  He  was  also 
much  interested  in  matters  of  natural 
history.  The  artificial  breeding  of  fish 
was  a subject  occupying  much  of  his 
time,  and  in  1854,  he  read  before  the 
Cleveland  Academy  of  Natural  Sciences 
a paper  concerning  his  efforts  in  this 
direction,  made  the  year  previous. 

In  this  he  was  a pioneer  in  the  United 
States,  as  he  was  also  in  making  plaster 
casts  of  fishes.  He  also  wrote  a mono- 
graph upon  fish.  His  experiments  upon 
the  breeding  of  fish  were  made  chiefly 
upon  brook  trout,  and  on  a farm  belong- 


ing to  Dr.  Ackley,  located  about  two 
miles  from  Cleveland. 

In  1864  he  was  attacked  by  a disease 
of  the  spinal  cord,  from  the  effects  of 
which  he  never  recovered.  Being  thus 
obliged  to  relinquish  the  practice  of 
medicine  he  removed  to  Bedford,  where 
he  spent  the  last  days  of  his  life. 

At  the  last  of  his  journal  he  says  : 
“Did  I not  believe  in  a future  life  that 
will  continue  eternally,  death  would  ap- 
pear frightful  to  me.”  Again  he  says  : 
“ This  is  a doctrine  full  of  comfort  to 
me,  for  I believe  I shall  very  soon  meet 
all  my  departed  loved  ones.”  Almost 
at  the  close  he  writes  in  an  unsteady 
hand  : “ I am  seventy-nine  years  old 

to-day.  I ca'nnot  say  that  I wish  to  live 
another  year.” 

In  the  latter  years  of  Dr.  Garlick’s 
life  he  carried  on  a regular  correspon- 
dence with  Dr.  Kirtland,  whom  he 
greatly  admired. 

This  review  of  Dr.  Garlick’s  life  will 
show  him  to  have  been  an  uncommon 
man.  Without  early  advantages  of  ed- 
ucation, and  in  the  face  of  many  obsta- 
cles, he  secured  his  education. 

He  was  a man  of  great  ingenuity,  as  was 
shown  in  his  mechanical  work.  Some  of 
his  modeling,  too,  is  of  a sort  to  do  him 
much  credit,  showing  that  his  abilities 
in  this  direction  were  very  considerable. 
His  casts  of  anatomical  specimens,  too, 
were  good.  His  mechanical  skill'  was 
of  service  to  him  in  surgery,  and  he  con- 
ceived and  carried  out  alone  and  in 
conjunction  with  Dr.  Ackley,  some  very 
difficult  operations. 

In  the  department  of  natural  history 


78 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


he  was  much  interested,  doubtless 
receiving  his  inspiration  from  Dr.  Kirt- 
land.  The  many  directions  in  which 
various  departments  of  work  led  him, 
while  they  show  the  native  abilities  of 
the  man,  doubtless  prevented  his  acquir- 
ing that  professional  reputation  to  which 
he  would  have  otherwise  attained. 

Dr.  Garlick  married  for  his  first  and 
second  wives,  daughters  of  Dr.  Flower 
of  Brookfield,  his  early  preceptor.  The 
maiden  name  of  his  third  wife  was  Chit- 
tenden. 

No  history  of  the  early  physicians  of 
the  Reserve  and  of  Cleveland  would 
seem  complete  without  the  mention  of 
Dr.  Erastus  Cushing.  Coming  to  Cleve- 
land as  he  did  in  1835,  he  is  to  be 
counted  with  our  list  of  pioneers,  but 
since  a kind  Providence  still  spares  him 
to  us  we  may  not  speak  of  him  as  of 
those  who  are  no  longer  here. 

There  can,  however,  be  no  impro- 
priety in  departing  from  our  purpose  to 
speak  of  no  one  who  is  now  among  us, 
to  say  that  no  physician  in  Cleveland 
has  ever  been  more  beloved  than  he. 
Flow  many  still  remember  his  kindly 
inquiry,  “Well,  how  do  you  do  to-day 
as  compared  with  yesterday,”  and  would 
have  been  glad  to  have  him  still  the  one 
who  should  make  this  inquiry  at  their 
bedsides.  The  kindly  interest  with 
which  he  stopped  us  on  the  street  one 
day,  years  ago,  is  not  to  be  forgotten. 
Walking  with  us  a short  distance  he  in 
parting  said  : “ If  you  have  leisure  for 

loitering  I should  be  glad  to  have  you 
call  on  me,”  an  invitation  which  we 
have  often  found  leisure  to  accept  and 


never  without  pleasure  and  profit  to 
ourselves.  Many  of  the  incidents  in 
the  sketches  which  have  been  written 
have  come  from  him,  and  with  these  he 
has  mingled  such  words  of  counsel  as 
would  be  of  benefit  to  any  young  man, 
and  at  the  same  time  has  shown  him- 
self so  generous  in  his  estimate  of  his 
former  associates,  so  devoted  to  the  true 
interests  of  his  profession,  and  so  re- 
fined a Christian  gentleman  in  every 
particular,  that  to  know  him  has  been  a 
privilege  which  to  emulate  his  virtues 
would  be  a blessing  both  to  the  physi- 
cian and  those  for  whom  he  labors. 
Dr.  Cushing  was  the  son  of  a physician, 
and  was  born  in  Berkshire  county,  Mas- 
sachusetts, July  15,  1802.  He  received 
his  education  at  the  Lenox  academy, 
and  at  the  age  of  twenty  began  the 
study  of  medicine  with  Dr.  William  H. 
Tyler  of  Lanesborough,  Massachusetts. 
He  attended  his  first  course  of  lectures 
in  New  York  City,  but  was  prevented 
from  returning  a second  winter  by  an 
attack  of  whooping-cough,  so  that  he 
attended  lectures  and  graduated  at  the 
medical  college  at  Pittsfield. 

After  practicing  some  years  in  Massa- 
chusetts, he  spent  the  winter  of  1834  and 
1835  in  medical  study  in  Philadelphia. 
In  1835  he  came  to  Cleveland.  Though 
of  slender  frame  and  delicate  health,  by 
great  care  he  has  been  able  to  accom- 
plish an  amount  of  medical  practice 
unequaled  by  any  other  man  of  his 
time.  In  1872,  much  to  the  regret  of 
his  patrons  and  friends,  he  relinquished 
the  practice  of  his  profession  and  with- 
drew from  active  life.  We  still  see  him, 
however,  on  our  streets,  remarkably 
active  and  well  preserved  both  in  body 
and  mind. 


Dudley  P.  Allen. 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


79 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


That  “ there  is  a destiny  which  shapes 
our  ends,  rough  hew  them  how  we  may,” 
is  seldom  more  plainly  seen  than  in  the 
history  of  the  modern  progress  of  Mex- 
ico. If  ever  angels  and  ministers  of 
grace,  in  looking  upon  earth’s  conflicts, 
have  despaired  of  any  good  issue  out  of 
strife,  it  must  have  been  when  watching 
the  aimlessness  and  wastefulness  of  the 
half-century  struggle  through  which  that 
unhappy  country  has  but  lately  passed. 
Apparently  with  every  decade  chaos 
grew  worse  confounded,  without  any 
perceptible  connection  between  cause 
and  effect,  without  rhyme  or  reason. 
Pronunciamento  followed  pronuncia- 
mento,  general  followed  general,  and 
revolution  trod  on  the  heels  of  revolu- 
tion. But  notwithstanding  all  the  ex- 
treme confusion  of  purpose,  and  in- 
numerable defects  of  method,  he  who 
attentively  reviews  this  period  of  tumult 
may  yet  very  easily  see  that  there  have 
been  several  distinct  advances,  that 
there  are  dates  — with  deeds — which 
mark  the  steps  of  upward  progress. 
Of  these  the  first  is,  naturally,  that  upon 
which  the  strife  began,  1810.  In  the 
first  quarter  of  the  sixteenth  century 
the  Spaniards  found  and  conquered  a 
new  and  beautiful  world — “a  land 
bathed  by  two  oceans,  rising  from  one 
and  sloping  to  the  other,  and  on  both 
acclivities  possessing  all  the  climates 
of  the  world,  from  the  graceful  shadow 


of  the  palm  on  the  sea  shore  to  the 
eternal  ice  on  the  mountains  overhang- 
ing the  Valley  of  Mexico.”  Of  this 
they  kept  undisputed  possession  till 
the  first  quarter  of  the  nineteenth  cen- 
tury. But  at  that  time  the  effects  of 
the  invasions  of  Napoleon  I.  extended 
to  this  far-off  continent.  The  break  in 
the  royal  succession  of  Spain  made  by 
his  imprisonment  of  Ferdinand  VII., 
and  the  struggle  consequent  upon  his 
attempt  to  keep  his  brother,  Joseph 
Bonaparte,  upon  that  throne,  in  the 
place  of  Ferdinand,  caused  a confusion 
of  authority,  the  effects  of  which  were 
felt  even  more  in  the  distant  provinces 
of  Spain  than  in  that  kingdom  itself. 
The  cohesion  which  years  and  cen- 
turies of  association  and  habit  pro- 
duce, is  a strong  bond,  and  it  will 
often  carry  a central  government  safely 
through  a crisis  that  threatens  a dis- 
solution. But  it  is  as  a chain  that 
weakens  in  proportion  to  its  length, 
and,  at  a critical  time,  has  often  proved 
to  be  too  weak  and  insufficient  to  hold 
remote  dependencies  to  their  allegiance 
to  the  central  power. 

After  three  hundred  years  of  unques- 
tioned submission  to  the  Spanish  dom- 
ination, the  idea  of  independence  first 
took  possession  of  the  Mexican  mind.  It 
is  an  idea  which,  once  sown  in  western 
soil,  takes  root  and  flourishes  with  the 
stubborn  tenacity  of  its  native  forest 


80 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


trees.  In  Mexico,  a circumstance  of  less 
importance  than  the  change  of  thrones 
is  said  to  have  lent  its  aid  toward 
determining  the  course  of  events.  In 
order  to  compel  the  purchase  of  Spanish 
wines  by  the  Mexicans,  the  cultivation 
of  the  grape  had  been  forbidden  in  the 
province  of  New  Spain.  Still  the  priest 
Hidalgo,  cura  of  Dolores,  had  ventured 
to  grow  some  vigorous  vines  in  his 
walled  garden.  These  were  discovered 
by  the  inspector  of  the  viceroy,  who 
immediately  ordered  them  to  be  cut 
down.  This  act  of  petty  tyranny  rankled 
in  the  mind  of  the  lover  of  good  grapes, 
and,  it  is  asserted,  went  far  in  assisting 
him  to  perceive  the  advantage  of  inde- 
pendence, the  opportunity  for  which  was 
then  opening  to  the  Mexicans.  Be  that 
as  it  may,  Hidalgo  first  gave  voice  to  the 
thought  that  began  to  stir  in  the  Mexi- 
can heart  in  the  famous  cry  of  “ Do- 
lores,” first  uttered  in  1810,  “Long  live 
our  holy  religion  ! Long  live  the  most 
Holy  Virgin  of  Guadalupe  ! Down 
with  the  bad  government  ! ” With  this 
rallying  cry  he  hastily  collected  a 
motley  but  numerous  force,  with  which 
he  assayed  to  attack  the  disciplined 
troops  of  the  Spaniards.  The  result  is 
soon  told.  After  various  alternations 
of  slight  success  and  heavy  defeat,  his 
followers  were  finally  repulsed.  He  and 
his  companions  in  arms  attempted  to 
flee  to  the  United  States,  but  were  over- 
taken in  their  flight  and  shot  without 
mercy.  But  the  movement  was  not 
suffocated.  On  the  contrary,  it  was  then 
thoroughly  inaugurated.  The  days  of 
Mexican  purgation  were  begun.  But  as 
is  often  the  case  with  severe  remedies, 


the  violence  of  the  physic  for  a long 
time  made  the  patient  worse.  The  great 
difficulty  then  was,  and  since  has  been, 
that  there  was  no  unity  of  aim.  The 
Razas  Mexicanas  distrusted  the  Razas 
Mezcladas,  and  both  not  only  feared 
but  from  that  time  also  learned  to 
detect  the  Spanish  European  fami- 
lies who  had  till  then  supplied  the 
brain  and  capital  of  the  country. 
This  distrust,  although  the  natural  out- 
growth of  the  system  under  which  the 
races  had  been  held  together,  made  im- 
possible the  rise  of  any  great  leader  who 
could  command  their  united  confidence. 
No  man  appeared  who  could  by  the 
personal  influence  of  high  motive,  draw 
the  warring  elements  together,  subordi- 
nate their  race  prejudices,  and  concen- 
trate their  force  upon  a common  pur- 
pose. Apparently  in  a losing  way  the 
contest  fared  on  for  eleven  years,  till 
the  strategy  and  rough  courage  of  a 
soldier  risen  from  their  ranks,  brought 
him  to  the  front  of  the  revolutionary 
movement.  The  Viceroy  Apodaca  had 
placed  Iturbide  in  command  of  a chief 
division  of  the  royal  Spanish  army. 
Being  withdrawn  to  a distance  from  the 
capital,  he  proposed  to  his  troops  an 
agreement,  the  plan  of  Iguala.  The 
points  and  watchwords  of  this  plan  were 
“ Religion,  Union,  and  Independence.” 
To  this  they  consented,  and  with  their 
support  he  declared  for  the  revolution. 
Guerreo  and  his  troops  and  the  follow- 
ers of  Morelos  and  the  Bravos  joined 
him  at  once.  Meantime  the  European 
Spaniards  at  the  capital  had  deposed 
Apodaca  and  were  quarreling  among 
themselves.  Iturbide  was  intending  to 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


81 


march  upon  the  capital  when  he  heard 
of  the  arrival  of  a new  Spanish  viceroy. 
He  hastened  to  meet  him  at  Cordova. 
He  represented  to  that  gentleman,  Don 
Juan  O’Donohue,  that  all  hope  of  re- 
storing the  broken  allegiance  of  Mexico 
to  Spain  was  forever  past.  He  pro- 
posed to  him  to  accept  the  si  plan  of 
Iguala  by  treaty  as  the  only  project  by 
which  any  member  of  the  royal  family 
could  retain  any  authority  at  all  in  the 
province,  or  by  which  the  European 
Spaniards  could  be  preserved  from  the 
fury  of  the  Mexican  populace.  O’Don- 
ohue agreed  to  the  proposition.  The 
crown  was  offered  to  Ferdinand  the 
VII.,  just  then  not  otherwise  employed, 
but  it  was  declined.  The  treaty  also 
was  nullified  as  soon  as  it  was  an- 
nounced at  Madrid.  Nevertheless, 
Iturbide,  at  the  head  of  the  army  of  the 
“ Three  Guarantees,”  marched  in  and 
took  possession  of  the  capital  in  the 
name  of  Mexican  nationality.  Thus  in 
1821  was  the  second  step  of  progress 
taken,  and  the  independence  of  the 
country  finally  established.  Had  Itur- 
bide been  able  to  divest  himself  of  mo- 
narchial  ideas  and  of  personal  ambi- 
tion, perhaps  he  could  have  brought 
Mexico,  at  that  time,  to  her  full  destiny. 
In  gratitude  for  what  he  had  accom- 
plished, the  country  threw  itself  at  his 
feet  and  looked  to  his  hand  for  guid- 
ance. This  was  true  of  all  except  the 
Spaniards,  who  very  generally  at  this 
time  sold  their  estates  and  went  back 
to  Europe.  The  best  informed  Mexi- 
cans estimate  that  the  currency  of  the 
country  was  reduced  by  at  least  eighty 
million  dollars  by  this  withdrawal  of 


the  old  Spaniards.  The  following  year 
Iturbide  was  declared  emperor.  But 
uncertainly  the  head  is  carried  that 
wears  a crown  in  Mexico.  Seven  months 
after  the  solemn  and  splendid  coronation 
of  Iturbide  in  the  cathedral,  Santa  Anna 
“ pronounced  ” for  a republic.  Elated 
by  success,  Iturbide  had  become  cruel 
and  arrogant.  The  fickle  people  had 
forgot  his  past  services.  Santa  Anna 
had  obtained  the  supremacy.  Iturbide 
was  deposed  and  banished.  Deprived 
at  once  of  means  and  of  guidance,  the 
country  fell  into  anarchy.  Then  chaos 
came  again.  But  despite  the  inextrica- 
ble confusion  of  this  period,  it  was  at 
this  time  that  the  republic  really  began 
to  emerge  and  form  into  shape.  Fer- 
nandez, who  is  better  known  by  the 
name  which  he  took  because  of  his  suc- 
cesses in  the  Wars  of  the  Revolution  as 
Guadalupe  Victoria,  was  the  first  presi- 
dent. The  first  federal  consticution  was 
adopted  in  1824.  Again,  had  Santa 
Anna  been  a pure  patriot,  had  he,  with 
a steadfast  confidence  in  her  future, 
served  his  country  with  half  the  zeal  he 
served  himself,  he  also  might  have  been 
able  to  lead  her  on  to  peace  and  pros- 
perity. For  the  next  thirty-five  years 
there  is  no  name  so  conspicuous  as  his 
upon  the  blotted  page  of  Mexican  his- 
tory. None  was  more  feared,  and  no 
single  mind  had  so  weighty  an  influence 
upon  the  movements  of  his  time.  In- 
deed, a history  of  this  remarkable  man 
would  almost  set  forth  the  modern  his- 
tory of  his  country,  so  intimately,  and 
for  so  long  a time,  was  he  interlinked 
with  its  destiny.  From  the  fall  of  Itur- 
bide till  1833  he  controlled  the  creation 


82 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  president,  and  contented  himself  with 
the  reality  of  power  without  its  name. 
But  in  that  year,  omitting  the  ceremony 
of  election,  he  possessed  himself  of  the 
supreme  magistracy.  From  time  to 
time  thereafter,  till  1856,  sometimes  as 
the  chief  of  the  Republican  faction, 
sometimes  as  leading  the  Church  party, 
he  occupied  that  office.  If  he  was  not 
president  he  was  general-in-chief,  a 
station  which  in  fact  is  the  more  influ- 
ential of  the  two,  since  for  many  years 
the  real  seat  of  power  in  Mexico  has 
been  the  army.  In  ’35  he  stood  alone  in 
the  esteem  of  his  countrymen.  Always 
of  an  emperor’s  disposition  as  soon  as 
he  was  in  power,  he  made  every  effort 
to  make  it  absolute.  By  his  influence 
in  ’36  the  constitution  was  “ central- 
ized ;”  that  is  to  say,  the  states  were  de- 
prived of  their  legislatures  and  their 
governors  were  to  be  appointed  by  the 
president  himself,  and  thus  they  were 
reduced  to  mere  departments  and  de- 
pendencies of  the  central  government. 
This  measure  gave  deep  offence  to  the 
Liberal  party,  which  had  then  already 
taken  shape  and  begun  to  exert  a con- 
trolling influence.  Consequently  it  re- 
acted with  much  force  against  the  gov- 
ernment. Santa  Anna  was  in  Maloder. 
He  was  glad  the  same  year  to  lead 
the  Mexican  troops  against  the  Tex- 
ans on  the  border,  and  perhaps  not 
altogether  sorry  to  be  taken  prisoner 
at  San  Jaciento,  for  with  the  halo  of 
the  martyr,  he  shortly  returned  home, 
and  in  ’38  burnished  his  name  anew  by 
a gallant  defense  of  Vera  Cruz  against 
the  French  under  Prince  de  Joinville. 
It  was  then  he  lost  the  famous  leg 


which  is  now  “ the  only  part  of  him  for 
which  his  countrymen  have  any  rever- 
ence.” This  sacrifice  so  restored  his 
prestige  that  in  ’41  he  was  again 
supreme.  But  in  ’45  he  is  found  in  exile, 
only  to  be  recalled  in  troubled  ’46  as 
the  “well  deserving  of  his  country,” 
and  to  have  her  destinies  for  the  third 
time  committed  wholly  to  his  hands,  to 
be  by  him  defended  against  its  foes,  at 
home  and  abroad.  In  *47  he  distin- 
guished himself  by  the  ferocity  with 
which  he  led  the  Mexicans  against  the 
American  forces,  to  be,  however,  again 
defeated. 

It  is  not  easy  to  account  for  his  in- 
fluence, for  while  he  was  scrupulously 
able  in  planning  a campaign,  he  never 
won  but  one  battle.  With  high  nat- 
ural powers  of  government,  through 
lack  of  mental  or  moral  discipline, 
he  repeatedly  failed  either  to  guide  or 
control  the  warring  elements  of  Mexican 
politics.  In  ’53  he  had  himself  declared 
perpetual  dictator,  with  the  title  of 
Serene  Highness.  But  neither  the  seren- 
ity nor  the  highness  proved  perpetual 
enough  to  last  three  years.  In  ’56,  exe- 
crated and  condemned  by  his  former 
adherents  of  both  parties,  Santa  Anna 
fled  the  country,  and  though  he  after- 
ward returned  to  it,  he  was  never  able 
to  put  his  hands  upon  the  reins  of  gov- 
ernment or  regain  the  respect  of  his 
countrymen. 

Throughout  this  long  period  the  in- 
tervals between  his  frequent  appear- 
ances at  the  front  of  affairs  were  filled 
up  with  a shifting  variety  of  “pros,” 
“cons”  and  “plans”  pronounced  by 
one  or  another  revolutionary  chiefs,  with 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


83 


the  repetition  of  which  it  were  profitless, 
in  the  Spanish  phrase,  “ to  embroil  the 
memory.”  And  the  thousand  and  one 
gaps  between  the  putting  down  of  one 
leader  and  the  appointing  of  another 
were  filled  by  the  “Eternal  Junta  of 
Representatives,”  who  always  reunited 
in  the  capital  to  cover  all  illegalities.” 
But  the  times  and  seasons  yet  waited  for 
their  guide,  till  in  the  order  of  revolving 
disorder  Comonfort,  Juarez  and  Lerdo 
appeared.  Until  then  the  efforts  of 
every  leader  only  seemed  to  increase 
the  decay  of  prosperity,  to  make  less 
secure  the  execution  of  justice  and  all 
moral  principles,  less  possible  any  right 
living  or  education.  Robbery  and  secret 
treachery  were  the  only  things  that  could 
be  considered  certain.  The  sad,  the 
bitter  shame,  of  Mexico  had  been  that, 
in  the  long  rolling  years  of  her  ceaseless 
revolutions,  the  country  had  not  been 
purified  enough  to  produce  men  whose 
greed  of  wealth  and  power  was  over- 
come by  their  love  of  the  common  weal. 
But  at  length,  for  the  first  time,  princi- 
ples and  not  men  began  to  prevail. 
Still  it  cannot  be  affirmed  that  Comon- 
fort, Juarez  and  Lerdo  were  faultless 
heroes  of  untouchable  conduct,  who 
in  the  plenitude  of  wisdom  led  their  dis- 
tracted country  into  solidarity  and 
security.  The  world’s  work  is  usually 
done  by  faulty  people.  Certainly  Com- 
onfort cannot  be  said  to  have  always 
acted  wisely  and  consistently.  But  he 
is  especially  mentioned  in  this  connec- 
tion because  the  third  and  the  greatest 
and  most  decisive  date  of  Mexican  his- 
tory, 1857,  stands  out  in  his  administra- 
tion. The  deeds  that  make  this  time 


great  were  the  deeds  of  another.  But 
in  the  respect  of  seeking  to  do  the  best 
for  his  country  he  was  apparently 
sincere.  Of  too  yielding  a disposition 
for  the  sternly  tumultuous  times  which 
he  attempted  to  guide,  and  without 
faith  in  the  ability  of  Mexicans  to  gov- 
ern themselves,  he  vacillated  and 
changed  from  one  party  to  the  other, 
from  the  “ plan  of  Ayutla  ” to  its  exact 
opposite,  the  “plan  of  Tacubaya.” 
Together  with  single  hearted  Alvarez, 
he  fostered  and  fought  for  the  “ plan  of 
Ayutla,”  whose  pledge  and  promise  was 
to  give  a permanent  constitutional  gov- 
ernment to  much  governed  Mexico. 
Upon  that  pledge  and  upon  the  retire- 
ment of  Alvarez,  he  was  made  president. 
But  he  was  moderate  in  his  views  and 
of  a conciliatory  temper,  and  radical 
changes  and  the  rapid  advancement  of 
the  measure  proposed  by  the  constituent 
congress  of  ’56,  distressed  and  alarmed 
him.  The  law  of  Juarez  providing  for 
great  and  needed  reforms  in  the  admin- 
istration of  justice  by  which  for  the  first 
time  all  men  should  be  equal  before  the 
law,  had  been  sanctioned  under  Alvarez. 
But  it  had  roused  the  fury  of  the  clergy 
and  church  party  by  the  abolition  of 
“fueros,”  a class  of  especial  tribunals 
confirmed  by  charter  to  the  clergy  and 
army,  which  had  been  their  principal 
instruments  of  control  over  the  masses. 
Comonfort  went  to  Puebla  and  promptly 
quelled  the  outbreak  there  against  this 
law.  The  right  of  the  government  to 
touch  any  part  of  the  immense  deposits  of 
the  church  for  its  own  expenses  had  been 
suggested  as  long  before  as  ’46.  Gomez 
Farias,  acting  president,  having  then 


84 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


proposed  to  borrow  some  funds  from 
the  church  to  carry  on  the  war  against 
the  United  States,  it  had  again  been 
proposed  and  had  awakened  the  most 
rancorous  passions.  Still  Comonfort 
acted  upon  the  idea  to  the  -extent  of 
decreeing  the  dispossessions  of  the 
church  properties  at  Puebla  because  the 
clergy  had  instigated  the  visit.  He 
took  the  money  so  procured  to  pay  the 
expenses  of  the  campaign.  But  when 
Juarez  and  the  radical  deputies  brought 
forward  and  boldly  discussed  one  new 
measure  after  another,  he  became  more 
and  more  dismayed.  It  was  indeed  a 
time  that  tried  men’s  souls.  The  stir 
of  political  strife,  occasioned  by  these 
measures,  was  added  to  by  the  claim  of 
the  civil  power  to  regulate  such  church 
matters  as  pertained  to  public  order, 
not  to  the  rights  of  devotion,  and 
this  was  fanned  into  a whirlwind  by 
the  proposition  to  banish  the  Jesuits, 
who  wer e felt  to  be  the  authors  of 
all  their  woes,  and  to  extinguish  their 
company ; and  the  disturbance  was  still 
further  augmented  by  the  exciting 
events  of  the  times  and  by  the  publica- 
tion of  the  new  constitution  which  'would 
guarantee  religious  and  political  liberty 
to  all,  and  finally  it  burst  into  a verit- 
able hurricane,  when  the  intention  was 
announced  of  carrying  into  effect  that 
daring  stroke  of  state  policy — the  confis- 
cation of  the  enormous  properties  of  the 
church,  and  making  them  over  to  the 
uses  of  the  government.  Then  Comonfort 
was  completely  overcome.  Pie  declared 
that  he  had  no  hope  at  all  that  the 
country  could  be  governed  by  such  a 
constitution.  He  abandoned  his  posi- 


tion and  went  over  to  the  Revolu- 
tionists of  Tacubaya,  who  aimed  to  set 
aside  every  attempted  reform  and  make 
Comonfort  dictator.  That  plan  having 
failed,  he  left  the  country  But  in  1857 
the  constitution  had  been  accepted  by 
the  country — a lasting  foundation  laid 
for  the  future. 

This  result  had  been  accomplished 
through  the  influence  and  firmness  of 
Juarez  and  his  compatriots.  For  the 
first  time  in  her  history  a man  had  risen 
in  Mexico  who  apprehended  principles 
clearly,  and  who  could  and  did  from 
first  to  last,  through  heaviest  discour- 
agements and  disappointments,  disas- 
ters and  defeats,  abide  steadfastly  by 
those  principles  till  they  triumphed. 
Underneath  the  date  of  1857  should 
always  be  written  in  golden  letters  the 
name  of  Benito  Juarez  (Uhares).  It  is 
not  said  that  he  made  no  mistakes, 
committed  no  excess,  but  it  is  said  that 
if  the  other  public  men  of  Mexico  had 
had  his  earnestness  of  conviction  as  to 
principles,  his  firmness  and  courage  in 
maintaining  them,  the  country  could 
never  have  dragged  out  so  many  miser- 
able years  of  self-consuming  strife,  but 
would  long  before  have  carved  for  itself 
a standing  place  and  an  honorable 
name  among  the  peoples  of  the  earth. 
Benito  Juares  was  born  at  Ixtlan  of  the 
state  of  Oajaca  (Wa-ha-ca)  of  poor  In- 
dian parents,  who,  dying  when  he  was 
three  years  old,  left  him  an  orphan. 
The  ruins  of  an  adobe  hut  in  a ravine 
tangled  with  cacti  and  parasites,  near 
that  village,  are  all  that  now  remains 
of  the  birthplace  of  Mexico’s  Washing- 
ton. It  is  said  that  he  lived  with  an 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


85 


uncle  till  he  was  twelve  years  old, 
and  it  is  well  known  that  until  then 
he  could  neither  read  nor  write,  and 
knew  nothing  beyond  the  tending  of  a 
few  cattle.  At  that  age  he  went  to 
Oajaca,  where  he  came  under  the  pat- 
ronage of  Sr.  Sala  Nuevo,  who  treated 
the  boy  like  a father,  and  assisted  him 
to  the  accomplishement  of  his  heart’s 
desire,  the  best  education  then  to  be 
obtained.  So  diligent  had  he  been  in 
the  use  of  these  late  opportunities  that 
he  was  not  behind  other  young  men  of 
his  age  when  he  decided  to  leave  the 
study  of  theology,  which  he  had  pur- 
sued for  a year,  and  take  up  that  of  law. 
At  that  time  Oajaca  was  an  educational 
centre,  and  the  seminary  where  he  had 
been  first  instructed  gave  all  its  influ- 
ence to  maintain  the  old  order  of 
things,  the  subjection  of  the  people  and 
the  absolute  rule  of  priest  and  king. 
But  it  had  been  invaded  by  the  spirit 
of  the  age,  and  the  questions  which 
were  to  engage  the  energies  of  his  life 
had  early  pressed  upon  the  attention  of 
the  thoughtful  student.  The  institute 
to  which  he  now  betook  himself  had 
been  founded  under  the  rising  influence 
of  the  opposite  opinions.  Being  of  the 
people,  and  knowing  himself  to  be  every 
whit  a man,  Juarez  believed  in  the  peo- 
ple. His  abilities  were  early  recog- 
nized both  in  his  college  and  by  his 
state.  In  the  one  he  was  professor  of 
canonical  law,  and  in  the  other  he  held 
many  important  offices.  His  connec- 
tion with  national  affairs  began  in  ’46, 
when  he  was  elected  member  of  the 
general  congress.  A year  later  he  was 
governor  of  his  own  state.  In  that  po- 


sition, in  which  he  continued  for  five  or 
six  years,  he  showed  an  administrative 
talent  that  made  him  known  as  a re- 
markable man.  When  Santa  Anna  as- 
sumed the  direction  of  public  affairs, 
for  the  last  time,  he  had  Juarez  im- 
prisoned and  privately  banished.  But 
his  opportunity  was  every  day  coming 
nearer.  In  ’55  he  found  his  way  back 
from  New  Orleans  to  Alvarez,  who  had 
“pronounced  for  the  plan  of  Ayutla.” 
Upon  the  success  of  that  plan,  he  was 
made  secretary  of  justice  under  Alva- 
rez. He  seized  this  opportunity  to 
issue  the  law  since  called  by  his  name, 
abolished  fueros , so  establishing  a pri- 
mary right  of  man,  the  equality  of  citi- 
zens before  the  law  and  the  right  of 
trial.  But  Comonfort,  who  had  suc- 
ceeded Alvarez,  did  not  approve  of  his 
course,  and  would  gladly  have  seen 
the  fanatical  radical  retired  from 
public  life.  Nevertheless,  Juarez  was 
elected  chief  justice  of  the  supreme 
bench,  which  made  him  at  the  same 
time  vice-president.  Then  it  was  that 
he  led  his  party  in  that  long  and  in- 
tensely heated  struggle  which  issued 
at  length  in  the  acceptance  of  the  con- 
stitution of  1857,  now  became  the 
organic  law  of  the  land.  But  sterner 
trials  awaited  him  as  the  champion  of 
its  principles.  When  Comonfort  fled 
and  left  the  capital  in  the  hands  of  the 
church  party,  who  had  instigated  the 
“ Plan  of  Tacubaya,”  Juarez  quietly  and 
firmly  claimed  his  right  to  succeed  to 
the  vacant  presidency.  For  safety  he 
went  to  Queretaro  (Ka-ra-ta-ro)  where 
he  issued  a proclamation  for  reorganiz- 
ing the  government,  and  sought  to  raise 


86 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


forces  with  which  to  successfully  assert 
the  supremacy  of  the  constitution  and 
laws.  From  there  he  went  to  Vera 
Cruz,  where  his  claim  was  acknowledged 
by  the  United  States.  Weighted  and 
tied  as  he  was,  his  first  acts  bespoke 
his  unchangeable  aim.  By  his  authority 
as  president,  he  promulgated  as  laws 
the  propositions  so  hotly  discussed  in 
congress  in  ’56  and  since  added  to  the 
constitution,  but  not  then  accepted  as 
a part  of  that  instrument.  “ The  laws 
of  reform  ” secured  religious  liberty, 
established  the  independence  between 
church  and  state,  legalized  civil  mar- 
riage, declared  the  immense  real  estate 
of  the  clergy  to  be  national  property, 
and  directed  its  sale,  and  also  suppressed 
conventual  establishments  throughout 
the  land. 

This  action  naturally  aroused  the  in- 
tense hate  of  the  priesthood  and  church 
party  against  Juarez  and  the  Liberal 
party.  The  bitterest  struggle  of  these 
many  years  of  strife  ensued.  It  was  not 
till  1861  that  an  election  could  be  held. 
Then  by  an  overwhelming  majority  and 
in  accordance  with  the  constitution, 
Juarez  was  made  president.  He  set  to 
work  at  once  to  restore  and  build  up 
the  waste  places.  The  friends  of  re- 
construction began  to  hope  that  a bet- 
ter day  had  dawned.  But  in  ’64  the 
church  party,  led  by  Miramon,  had  so 
far  regained  control  as  to  be  able  to 
offer  the  crown  of  Mexico,  somewhat 
tarnished  by  disuse,  to  Maximilian, 
archduke  of  Austria.  All  the  world 
knows  the-  fateful  story  of  his  short  reign 
and  its  tragic  ending.  A gentle,  gra- 
cious man,  his  cruel  taking  off  will 


always  rouse  an  indignant  sympathy 
and  awake  an  indulgence  for  the  inter- 
vention that  its  own  merits  could  not 
claim.  Doubtless  Juarez  and  his  chiefs 
thought  the  sacrifice  of  Maximilian  a 
necessary  measure  of  state,  but  their 
refusal  to  pardon  or  release  the  amiable 
prince  will  always  be  set  down  to  their 
discredit.  Had  the  life  of  the  well 
meaning  but  too  weak  instrument  of 
Napoleo.n  been  spared,  there  would  have 
remained  lit'tle  else  but  ridicule  for  the 
attempt  to  set  aside  a legally  elected 
president  and  form  of  government,  and 
to  establish  a foreign  and  expensive 
monarchy  upon  the  exhausted  but  vol- 
canic soil  of  the  Montezumas.  Mean- 
while Juarez,  the  Washington  of  his 
country,  though  silent,  was  not  subdued. 
Pushed  to  the  wall  of  the  northern  fron- 
tier by  the  French  arms,  he  was  deserted 
by  all  but  a few  guerilla  troops  who,  in 
action,  more  often  fled  than  fought. 
But  still  he  was  able  to  prove  himself, 
though  an  almost  intangible,  yet  an 
uncrushable  enemy,  and  one  who  could 
calmly  abide  his  time- 

On  the  execution  of  Maximilian  in 
’67,  he  again  came  forward  to  the  sup- 
port of  his  country.  It  was  then  borne 
down  and  weighted  anew  by  an  enor- 
mous debt  of  more  than  seventy-five 
million  dollars.  This  debt  Maximilian 
had  contracted,  at  the  expense  of  the 
country,  for  the  maintenance  of  the 
empire.  “When  Juarez  reentered  the 
capital  in  power,  it  was  amid  the  accla- 
mations of  the  common  people,  but  the 
senoras  were  clothed  in  mourning  for 
the  death  of  Maximilian,  and  the  upper 
classes  who  had  enjoyed  the  sunshine 


MODERN  MEXICO . 


87 


of  royalty  remained  shut  in  their 
houses.” 

But  notwithstanding  all  opposition, 
this  sincere  patriot  was  able  to  have 
the  former  constitution  restored.  A 
general  election  was  called,  and  congress 
declared  the  reelection  of  Juarez  to  the 
presidency.  But  he  did  not  rule  in 
peace.  Dissatisfied  chieftains  excited 
insurrections  against  him,  and  revolu- 
tions continued  to  add  their  tragic 
effect  to  the  scenic  history  of  Mexico. 
Even  up  to  the  time  of  his  death  in  ’72, 
some  of  the  northern  provinces  were 
unsubdued.  But  none  of  these  things 
were  able  to  move  the  inflexibility  of 
his  purpose,  or  to  induce  him  to  give 
up  the  task  he  had  undertaken,  for 
Juarez  sought  not  his  own  but  his  coun- 
try’s wellbeing. 

Such  was  his  success  that  with  this 
administration  begins  that  subordina- 
tion of  personal  ambition  to  the  will  of 
the  majority,  that  supremacy  of  law 
that  constitutes  the  nerve  and  sub- 
stance of  Federative  government  and  in 
this  moment,  for  the  first  time,  may  it 
be  truly  said  to  have  triumphed  in 
Mexico. 

But  what  has  been  the  outcome  of 
this  long  contention  between  the  Latin 
notion  of  governing  for  the  benefit  of 
the  governor,  and  the  New  World  idea 
of  governing  for  the  benefit  of  the 
governed?  Is  there  any  effective  pro- 
tection for  the  rights  and  liberties  of 
men  under  the  new  order  that  the  old 
law  did  not  secure  ? How  is  the  Mex- 
ico of  to-day  actually  governed  ? As 
to  the  form  of  government  these  ques- 
tions are  easily  answered,  but  as  to  its 


practical  workings  they  are  not  *so 
easily  defined.  The  constitution  begins 
by  declaring  that  it  is  “ representative, 
Democratic,  Federal.”  It  asserts  that 
the  national  sovereignty  resides  essen- 
tially and  originally  in  the  people,  from 
whom  springs  all  public  power  ; that 
the  republic  is  composed  of  states  free 
and  sovereign  in  all  that  concerns  their 
interior  regimen,  but  united  in  a con- 
stitutional confederation  for  mutual 
help  and  defense.  There  are  twenty- 
seven  of  these  states,  one  Federal  dis- 
trict and  one  territory  of  Lower  Cali- 
fornia. As  with  us,  both  the  states  and 
the  general  government  have  the  ad- 
ministration of  their  powers  divided 
into  the  three  natural  departments, 
legislative,  judicial  and  executive. 
There  is,  however,  no  such  width  of 
division  between  the  judicial  and  ex- 
ecutive departments  as  in  the  United 
States.  On  the  contrary,  the  chief 
justice  of  the  supreme  bench  is  at  the 
same  time  vice-president,  and  in  case 
of  there  being  temporarily  or  absolutely 
no  President,  “he  enters  to  exercise 
that  power  until  a new  election  is  ac- 
complished.” That  is,  in  case  of  a 
vacancy,  the  chief  justice  becomes 
President.  As  in  the  United  States, 
there  are  two  chambers  of  the  general 
congress.  The  lower  house  “is  formed 
of  individuals  elected  in  their  entirety, 
each  two  years,  by  Mexican  citizens,” 
one  each  for  every  forty  thousand  in- 
habitants or  for  a fraction  thereof,  that 
is,  not  less  than  twenty  thousand.  The 
senate  is  elected  indirectly,  or  as  with  us, 
by  the  legislature,  in  the  first  instance, 
and  renews  itself  by  the  half  each  two 


88 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


years.  It  is  intended  that  the  election 
of  the  President  shall  be  by  popular  and 
direct  vote.  His  term  is  four  years, 
and  by  recent  amendments  he  is  not 
eligible  for  a second  term.  His  cabi- 
net, all  of  whose  members  he  is  al- 
lowed to  appoint  and  remove  freely,  is 
composed  of  six  secretaries  of  state, 
called  for  further  distinction  : (i)  Of 

foreign  relations  ; (2)  of  government 

or  public  works  ; (3)  of  justice  and 
public  instructions  ; (4)  fomento  or  in- 
terior ; (5)  estates  and  public  credit,  or 
treasury;  and  (6)  of  war  and  marine. 

The  secretary  of  state  and  foreign 
relations  has  charge  of  all  foreign  rela- 
tions, the  consulates,  the  delineation 
and  the  preservation  of  the  limits  of  the 
Republic,  the  naturalization  of  foreign- 
ers, the  recording  of  commercial  houses 
and  foreign  companies,  the  legalization 
of  signatures ; he  is  also  the  depositor 
of  the  great  seal  of  the  nation,  the 
keeper  of  the  national  archives,  and 
has  charge  of  ceremonial  and  official 
publications. 

To  the  secretary  of  public  works 
belongs  the  department  of  statistics, 
liberty  of  industry  and  labor,  agricul- 
ture, commerce,  mining  exclusive  priv- 
ileges, internal  improvements,  including 
the  supervision  of  highways,  railroads, 
bridges,  canals,  light-houses,  telegraphs, 
colonization,  public  lands,  public  mon- 
uments, exhibitions  of  public  utility  or 
ornamentation  done  under  the  patron- 
age or  at  the  cost  of  the  national  treas- 
ury, the  preservation  of  the  national 
palaces  and  all  public  buildings,  and  he 
has  charge  of  geographical  and  astro- 
nomical surveys  and  observations, 


scientific  explorations  and  weights  and 
measures. 

The  secretary  of  justice  and  public 
instruction  has  charge  of  the  supreme, 
circuit  and  district  courts,  of  the  con- 
troversy that  may  arise  between  the 
Federal  tribunals  of  cases  of  privacy, 
expropriations  for  public  utility,  codes, 
of  the  collection  of  laws  and  decrees  of 
the  judicial  organization  in  the  Federal 
district  and  territories,  of  the  freedom 
of  teaching,  professional  titles,  national 
colleges,  special  schools,  academies, 
and  scientific,  artistic  and  literary  asso- 
ciations, libaries,  museums,  national 
antiquities,  lawyers  and  notaries,  and 
pardons. 

The  duties  of  the  secretary  of  state, 
and  of  the  interior,  consists  in  super- 
vising all  general  elections,  national 
congress,  constitutional  reforms,  terri- 
torial divisions  and  boundaries  between 
the  states.  It  is  his  duty  to  see  that 
the  constitution  is  enforced.  He  has 
charge  of  the  relations  between  the  ex- 
ecutive and  the  different  states,  public 
tranquility,  national  guard,  amnesties, 
civil  register,  right  of  citizenship,  right 
of  reunion  (meetings),  liberty  of  the 
press,  liberty  of  religion,  and  the  police 
of  that  department.  Fie  has  charge  of 
the  public  security  and  salubrity,  the 
postoffice,  the  national  festivities,  epi- 
demics, vaccination.  Fie  has  also 
charge  of  the  political  government  of 
the  Federal  district  and  its  adminis- 
tration, the  supervision  of  public  benev- 
olence, hospitals,  asylums,  prisons,  pen- 
itentiaries, houses  of  correction,  and 
public  printing. 

To  the  secretary  of  the  treasury  and 


MODERN  MEXICO . 


89 


public  credit  belongs  the  administration 
of  all  federal  revenues,  tariff,  of  mara- 
time  custom  houses,  mints,  loans  and 
public  debt,  and  the  nationalization  of 
church  property. 

The  secretary  of  war  and  marine  has 
charge  of  the  standing  army,  the  na- 
tional navy,  the  national  guard  (when 
in  the  service  of  the  government),  the 
military  and  naval  schools,  military 
hospitals,  military  legislation,  military 
colonies,  judgments  of  court  martials, 
letters  of  marque,  the  inspection  of 
forts,  quarters,  arsenals,  military  stores 
and  federal  depots,  and  the  wild 
Indians.  It  will  be  seen  that  the 
framework  is  much  like  our  own,  but 
when  we  examine  beyond  that  we  find 
provisions  against  dangers  that  we 
never  encountered,  and  restrictions 
upon  activities  of  which  we  have  had 
no  experience.  It  is  Spanish  fruit 
grafted  on  North  American  stock.  The 
constitution  guarantees  free  instruction^ 
the  exercise  of  the  professions,  the  free 
expression  of  thought  and  the  inviolable 
liberty  of  the  press,  with  only  such 
restrictions  as  those  that  morality  and 
the  rights  of  private  life  and  the 
public  peace  prescribed.  It  does  not 
recognize  “the  rights  of  judgment 
by  the  private  laws  and  especially 
tribunals.”  Before  this  pregnant  sen- 
tence fell  the  assumption  of  the 
church  to  set  aside  and  overrule  the 
authority  of  the  state  whenever  that 
authority  conflicted  with  its  own.  It 
was  the  sword  that  cut,  with  many  an- 
other oppressive  bond,  the  chains  of 
fear  by  which  the  inquisition  in  all  its 
force  had  been  maintained  in  the  new 


world.  Again  it  is  with  reference  to  the 
cruel  methods  by  which  the  church  en- 
forced its  authority,  which  methods 
had  naturally  crept  from  church  to 
state,  that  it  “ prohibits  the  penalty  of 
mutilation  and  infamy,  of  branding  or 
of  stripes,  and  of  torment  of  all  kinds.” 
It  was  in  order  to  cut  other  fingers  of 
the  hand  that  held  Mexico  in  its  relent- 
less grip  that  it  was  declared  “ that  no 
civil  or  ecclesiastical  corporation  can 
have  the  right  to  acquire  real  estate  in 
ownership,  or  to  administer  upon  the 
same,  except  for  the  direct  purposes  of 
the  institution,  as  in  the  case  of  a church 
which  may  be  held  for  warship  only.” 
And  it  was  again  to  cut  off  entirely  the 
the  same  hand,  that  would  not  loose  its 
suffocating  hold  upon  their  throats,  that 
the  Mexicans  added  to  their  constitu- 
tion the  declaration  of  “ the  liberty  of 
all  religions,  the  right  of  the  country  to 
appropriate  the  real  estate  of  thje  clergy 
and  that  marriage  shall  be  a civil  con- 
tract,” and  “ that  the  existence  of  mon- 
astic orders  cannot  be  permitted,  what- 
ever may  be  the  denomination  or  object 
with  which  they  pretend  to  be  erected.” 
Whatever  may  be  our  judgment  of  the 
abstract  right  of  these  measures,  there 
can  be  no  question  of  the  great  re- 
lief which  they  have  actually  af- 
forded Mexico.  The  simple  matter 
of  legalizing  civil  marriage  has  been 
an  immeasurable  benefit,  how  great 
we  could  hardly  understand  with- 
out knowing  that  the  system  of 
peonage  was  heavily  enforced  and 
strengthened  by  the  obligation  to  be 
married  by  a priest.  A peon’s  wages 
were,  according  to  his  occupation, 


90 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


forty,  eighty  or  one  hundred  and 
twenty  dollars  a year.  He  was  se- 
verely bound  by  law  to  work  out  to 
his  master  any  debt  which  he  incurred 
by  spending  more.  The  priest  usually 
charged  five  or  six  dollars  for  the  mar- 
riage ceremony,  two  or  four  dollars  for 
the  baptism,  which  was  sure  to  be 
necessary  not  long  afterward,  and  eight 
or  ten  dollars  for  the  funeral  services 
and  masses  for  the  dead,  which  in  their 
large  ill-cared  for  families  were  likely 
to  be  wanted  not  infrequently.  As  the 
utmost  economy  would  not  have  en- 
abled the  laborer  to  lay  aside  these 
sums,  the  master  must  always  advance 
them  upon  his  wages.  So  that,  if  the 
poor  wretch  ventured  upon  any  domes- 
tic events  at  all,  he  stood  no  manner  of 
chance  of  escaping  from  the  legal  en- 
lacements  of  his  skillfully  contrived 
bondage.  Perhaps,  also,  it  would  be 
impossible  to  prove  the  abstract  right 
of  the  state  to  appropriate  the  property 
of  the  church.  But  at  the  time  that 
Rerdo  de  Tejada  brought  in  this  bill  it 
had  become  a pure  necessity.  It  was 
needful  to  self-preservation  so  to  release 
some  of  the  incredibly  vast  monied 
and  landed  possessions  of  the  Romish 
church  to  the  use  of  the  country. 
“ Commerce  was  languishing,  industry 
was  agonized,  immorality  in  all  parts 
was  at  a climax,  misery  was  general,  a 
mortal  desperation  had  invaded  the 
spirit.”  Nevertheless,  Juarez  had  only 
been  able  to  carry  forward  this  measure 
against  the  dense  religious  prejudices 
of  his  countrymen,  upon  the  singular 
but  adroit  plea  that  “ the  state  in  its 
hour  of  need  must  ever  be  the  chief 


pauper.”  Nor  was  this  all,  but  also  the 
situation  was  much  like  that  of  our  gov- 
ernment in  its  crisis  against  slavery. 
Had  freedom  waited  till  the  abstract 
right  of  our  United  States  government 
to  liberate  the  slaves  been  demon- 
strated, she  would  have  been  waiting 
still,  but  when  it  became  a matter  of 
self-defense,  when  it  was  “ do  this  or 
perish,”  the  knot  was  cut.  So  with 
Mexico.  It  was  not  alone  that  these 
resources  were  bitterly  needed,  but  also 
that  the  ground  must  be  taken  from 
under  the  feet  of  the  power  that  stood 
and  fought  so  stubbornly  against  all 
progress  in  liberty.  It  was  the  only 
means  of  saving  herself  alive  and 
crippling  the  foe. 

The  letter  of  the  new  law  then  cuts  off 
the  abuses  of  “African  slavery,  colonial 
restrictions  and  ecclesiastical  monopo- 
lies,” all  of  which  Mexico  had  to 
struggle  against  before  she  could  occupy 
the  standing  ground  of  common  liberty. 
It  opens  the  door  to  all  the  progress  of 
which  this  long  enduring  nation  may 
hereafter  show  itself  capable.  At  the 
same  time  we  are  not  surprised  to  know 
that  this  instrument  is  not  as  yet  entirely 
Carried  out,  nor  its  possible  good  effects 
fully  realized.  The  habits  of  centuries 
are  not  so  easily  changed,  the  character 
of  a nation  is  not  so  suddenly  recast. 
It  is  true  there  are  elections,  but  not  one- 
third  of  the  people  ever  vote  at  all,  and 
the  balloting  of  those  who  do  is  con- 
trolled by  the  army.  With  the  excep- 
tion of  the  Mayas  of  Yucatan,  and  the 
Zapotecs  of  Oajaca,  always  more  intelli- 
gent than  the  northern  tribes,  the  Indian 
races,  as  a body,  cannot  be  induced  to 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


91 


take  any  interest  whatever  in  an  election. 
Why  should  they?  In  the  peon,  hope, 
never  a very  active  Indian  virtue,  has 
long  been  benumbed  by  stolid  endur- 
ance. So  long  as  the  country  of  his 
forefathers  is  governed  by  whites,  be 
they  Spaniards  or  be  they  Creoles,  an 
election  is  none  of  his  affair.  It  belongs 
to  a world  above  his  own,  it  is  a chang- 
ing of  seats  among  the  gods,  that  brings 
no  change  of  masters,  and  but  the 
slightest  alleviation  of  his  lot.  There 
are  about  two  million  Spaniards,  Creoles 
and  foreigners  in  whose  hands  is  the 
entire  control  of  the  country.  But  even 
these  have  not  yet  learned  to  vote  with- 
out the  commanding  presence  of  the 
army,  perhaps  because  their  leaders 
have  not  permitted  them  to  try  the 
experiment.  There  is  always  a fresh 
gathering  of  troops  about  the  large 
cities  before  an  election.  The  roads 
leading  to  them  are  patrolled  and  gen- 
tlemen coming  in  whose  influence  and 
vote  might  prove  contrary  to  the  can- 
didate who  intends  to  be  elected,  are 
liable  to  be  politely  but  urgently  detained 
outside  the  city  till  the  election  is  over. 
But  should  such  an  one,  or  any  number 
of  others,  gain  access  to  the  polls,  it 
would  not  make  the  least  difference  in 
the  result.  They  do  not  “ repeat,”  that 
is  too  laborious.  They  do  this  thing 
better  in  Mexico,  or  at  least  more  easily. 
They  simply  fill  out,  by  imagination,  the 
number  of  votes  belonging  to  the  district, 
and  announce  the  result  they  had  in- 
tended to  secure.  An  English  gentle- 
man said  that,  being  in  one  of  the  large 
interior  towns  on  the  day  of  election, 
he  took  his  post  on  the  balcony  of  his 


hotel  in  sight  of  the  ballot  box,*at  six  in 
the  morning.  He  had  choclate  brought 
to  him  and  did  not  go  away  till  after  six 
in  the  evening.  He  counted  every  vote. 
There  were  not  two  hundred  cast.  Just 
the  same  the  papers  throughout  the 
country  announced  the  result  in  that 
town  as  seven  hundred  votes  for  one 
candidate,  and  eight  hundred  for  the 
candidate  predestined  to  election.  So 
late  as  December  of  ’8i  the  Monitor  of 
Mexico  complains  sadly  of  the  “ elec  • 
toral  farce,”  an  example  of  which  had 
just  been  furnished  by  the  election  of 
magistrates  for  the  supreme  bench.  The 
editor  calls  it  a “ simulacre  of  election 
that  respects  the  formulas  of  our  system 
while  it  burlesques  the  principles.” 
The  men,  he  says,  who  have  command 
of  the  situation  arrogate  to  themselves 
all  the  rights,  and  the  people  remain 
impassive.  Perhaps  there  are  not  any 
polls,  but  if  there  are,  not  even  the  flies 
stop  there.  Yet  the  list  of  scrutiny  will 
attribute  hundreds  of  thousands  of  votes 
to  the  individual  designed  by  the  presi- 
dent. He  energetically  charges  this 
state  of  things  upon  the  eternal  laziness 
of  the  people  and  declares  tha‘t  if 
they  cannot  be  aroused  to  their  duty, 
the  function  will  have  to  “ be  sus- 
pended.” But  on  the  other  hand,  it 
is  undeniable  that  the  country  has 
made  more  advancement  in  the  twenty- 
five  years  since  the  acceptance  of  the 
new  law,  than  in  any  whole  century  of 
its  previous  existence.  Pronuncia 
mentos  have  gradually  diminished  in 
force  and  frequency.”  Practically  the 
president,  by  the  aid  of  the  army,  gov- 
erns the  country.  His  powers  are  more 


92 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


ample  than  those  permitted  to  the  Presi- 
dent of  the  United  States,  and  custom 
supports  him  by  the  exercise  of  even 
more  control  than  the  law  allows. 
Where  his  personal  control  and  the 
presence  of  the  army  extend,  there  the 
laws  are  to  a reasonable  extent  en- 
forced. Property  and  even  life  are 
usually  more  secure  in  the  cities  than 
in  towns  of  the  same  size  in  the  United 
States.  But  this  is  due  in  part  to  the 
oriental  manner  of  house  building, 
which  makes  a man’s  house  his  fort, 
and  in  part  to  the  natural  indolence  of 
the  people  which  forbids  them  to  exert 
themselves  very  much  even  to  commit 
theft  or  murder  ! But  where  no  troops 
are  stationed,  there  the  president  is 
powerless.  Over  wide  mountain  areas 
of  thinly  settled  country,  the  people  are 
really  subject  only  to  the  influence  of  a 
distant  padra  or  magistrate.  Such  dis- 
tricts are  often  most  peaceful,  but  again 
are  the  natural  habitats  of  brigands  and 
revolutions  ; the  terror  and  reproach  of 
Mexico.  Owing  to  the  composition  of 
the  army,  this  dependence  upon  it  for 
the  enforcement  of  the  common  law  is 
particularly  dangerous  to  the  wellbeing 
of  the  country.  Its  ranks  are  often 
recruited  from  the  laborers  in  the 
field  in  the  Falstaffian  manner,  or 
with  assistance  of  a lassoo,  or  worse  still, 
from  the  petty  criminals  of  the  cities. 
If  a man  is  caught  stealing  chickens  or 
taken  in  a street  brawl  he  is  sent  to 
serve  a term  in  the  army  No  one  will 
suppose  that  such  an  army  can  be  ani- 
mated by  loyalty,  or  be  surprised  to 
know  that  in  the  crisis  of  battle  the 
troops  often  desert  to  the  side  that 


promises  the  best  pay.  But  neverthe- 
less the  acceptance  of  the  new  decree 
has  opened  and  prepared  the  way  for 
all  growth.  It  is  undeniable  that  the 
country  has  made  more  advancement 
in  the  quarter  century  since  1857  than 
in  any  whole  century  of  its  previous  his- 
tory ; and  it  has  changed  more  in  the 
last  ten  years  than  in  all  the  three 
hundred  years  of  its  Spanish  depend- 
ence. The  progress  of  the  last  decade 
is  due  in  great  part  to  the  opening 
of  the  Mexican  railway  which  took  place 
in  1872,  our  last  significant  date.  Be- 
side the  direct  and  practical  assistance 
which  railroads  afford  to  the  occupa- 
tions of  men  in  all  departments  of  life, 
they  are  an  embodiment  of  invisible 
force,  a bond  of  unity  and  an  ever  pres- 
ent object  lesson  on  law  and  order, 
whose  influences  can  not  be  overesti- 
mated. In  the  last  days  of  Santa  Anna’s 
dominion,  he  contracted  with  an  English 
company  to  build  a railroad  from  Vera 
Cruz  to  Mexico  City.  The  road  was 
begun  in  1857.  Through  all  the  over- 
throws by  revolutions  and  by  the 
intervention  which  the  seat  of  power 
has  since  suffered  the  government,  or 
whoever  occupied  that  seat  when  it  was 
set  upright  on  its  legs,  has  always  con- 
firmed the  contract  made  by  him  and 
the  subventions  promised  have  event- 
ually, though  not  always  promptly,  been 
paid,  owing  to  the  extraordinary  diffi- 
culties of  the  route  and  to  delays  from 
political  disturbances,  and  the  plan  of 
building  the  road  from  both  ends  at 
once,  by  which  heavy  sums  were  paid 
for  packing  rails  over  the  mountains  to 
lay  them  down  at  the  upper  end.  This 


MODERN  MEXICO. 


93 


little  but  remarkable  road  of  two  hun- 
dred and  ninety-three  miles  was  sixteen 
years  in  the  building,  and  its  cost  was 
over  thirty-six  million  dollars.  When 
the  last  rail  was  laid  the  Mexicans  fired 
cannons  and  gave  out  the  sweetest 
clangor  of  their  great  bells  to  the  rejoic- 
ing air.  And  well  they  might,  for  over 
those  steel  rails  that  sometimes  rise  so 
high  as  to  pierce  the  clouds,  have  come 
in  upon  them  the  tide  and  impulses  of 
modern  activities,  that  has  quickened 
and  increased  all  their  resources  of  life. 
In  this  decade  pronunciamentos  have 
diminished  in  force  and  frequency  till 
for  the  last  five  or  six  years  there  has 
been  no  political  disturbance  of  any 
consequence.  Exclusiveness,  that  child 
of  the  Spanish — of  hatred  and  fear  of 
the  foreigners — bigotry — have  yielded, 
in  some  measure,  to  the  knowledge 
that  immigration  is  a necessity  for  a 
country  whose  own  recuperative  strength 
is  slight,  and  that  freedom  of  worship 
is  a political  as  well  as  a spiritual  bene- 
fit. In  this  period  free  schools  have 
been  multiplied  and  the  postal  service 
has  greatly  enlarged  the  number  of 
its  offices  and  cheapened  the  rates  of 
carriage.  Other  railways  that  connect 
the  Mexican  capital  (incomparably  the 
most  beautiful  city  for  situation  on  the 
North  American  continent)  with  the 
main  cities  of  the  United  States  are 
being  rapidly  brought  to  completion. 

Telegraph  and  cable  wires  have  been 
laid,  and  for  the  first  time  in  her  history 
a national  bank  with  agencies  at  the 
principal  cities  has  been  established. 
Many  new  manufactures  and  agricul- 
tural enterprises  have  been  under- 


taken. Mining  has  resumed  and  sur- 
passed its  ancient  profitableness.  This 
will  be  seen  from  the  single  fact 
that  the  highest  yield  of  the  mines 
in  any  year  of  the  colonial  period  was 
in  1805,  $27,165 ,888.  In  1880  it 

amounted  to  $350,000,000.  A full  and 
constant  flow  of  immigration  has  set  in. 
“ Every  barque  comes  charged  with 
colonists.”  The  hotels  are  full  to  over- 
flowing with  parties  traveling  for  pleas- 
ure and  for  business,  a large  proportion 
of  whom  are  Americans  who  are  espe- 
cially welcomed.  Indeed,  the  past 
being  forgiven,  there  is  a marked 
change  in  the  feeling  of  Mexico  toward 
the  United  States,  to  which,  probably, 
nothing  has  more  contributed  than  the 
missions  of  the  American  churches. 
These  have  assured  the  people  of  the 
right  feeling  of  the  better  part  of  the 
United  States  toward  them.  Now  they 
turn  with  amity  to  this  nation  as  to  a 
strong  and  helpful  neighbor.  There  is 
no  better  evidence  of  this  change  than 
the  proposition  which  they  have  made 
for  a reciprocity  treaty  with  the  United 
States,  which  shall  do  away  with  the 
restrictive  tariff  that  have  so  long  kept 
down  and  cramped  the  business  rela 
tions  of  the  two  countries.  It  would 
seem  to  be  our  part  to  show  a like  gen- 
erosity, and  to  extend  to  them  such 
encouragement  and  help  as  will  enable 
them  to  carry  into  effect  their  present 
resolutions  to  increase  their  commerce 
with  ourselves  and  other  nations,  to  im- 
prove their  schools,  to  has  civil  and 
religious  liberty,  and  to  know  God’s 
truth  for  themselves. 

The  present  government  officers  of 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


94 


Mexico  (1886)  are  as  follows  : Presi- 

dent, General  Porfirio  Diaz ; minister 
of  relations,  Ignacio  Marsscal ; minister 
of  war,  Pedro  Hinjosa  , minister  of  gov- 
ernment, Manuel  Romero  Rubio  ; min- 
ister of  Hacisudar  (interior),  Manuel 


Dublan ; minister  of  justice,  Joaquin 
Baranda  ; minister  of  fomento,  Carlos 
Pacheco ; minister  of  treasury,  Fran- 
cisco Espinosa  ; minister  of  postmaster 
general,  Francisco  Gochicoa. 

E.  P.  Allen. 


SKETCHES  OF  WESTERN  CONGRESSMEN. 
III. 

GENERAL  CHARLES  H.  GROSVENOR. 


An  enumeration,  in  any  form,  of  the 
men  in  this  generation  who  have  won 
honor  and  public  recognition  for  them- 
selves, and  at  the  same  time  have 
honored  the  state  to  which  they  belong, 
could  not  be  complete  without  reference 
to  the  one  whose  name  is  given  above. 
In  the  field,  at  the  bar,  in  the  halls  of 
legislation  and  on  the  hustings,  General 
Charles  H.  Grosvenor  has  for  years 
been  a force,  and  a force  in  the  right 
direction.  With  convictions  of  an 
intense  nature,  and  yet  no  bigotry,  he 
has  spoken  out  in  many  ways  for  that 
which  be  believed  to  be  right,  and  his 
voice  has  been  heard  and  heeded  by 
others.  Making  no  claim  to  be  better 
or  greater  than  others,  he  has  proved 
the  right  of  leadership,  and  has  tried 
to  make  his  party  and  his  politics  but 
avenues  through  which  he  might  work 
for  the  country’s  good. 

The  family  to  which  General  Gros- 
venor belongs  is  one  of  the  earliest 
among  the  settlers  of  New  England. 
John  Grosvenor,  the  founder  of  the 


family  in  America,  died  at  Roxbury, 
Massachusetts,  in  1690,  leaving  six  sons 
from  whom  all  of  tnat  name  now  in  the 
country  are  believed  to  have  descended. 
One  of  the  descendants  of  this  pioneer, 
Thomas  Grosvenor,  the  grandfather  of 
the  subject  of  this  sketch,  was  a soldier 
in  the  War  of  the  Revolution,  serving 
on  General  Washington’s  staff,  with  the 
rank  of  colonel.  In  later  life  he 
became  distinguished  as  judge  of  the 
circuit  court  of  Connecticut,  and  was 
also  for  several  years  a member  of  the 
governor’s  council.  His  son,  Peter 
Grosvenor,  removed  with  his  family  to 
Athens  county,  in  1838,  where  he  located 
and  made  for  himself  a home.  He  was 
a man  of  fine  natural  qualities,  and  had 
fought  in  the  service  of  his  country  in 
1812.  At  the  time  of  their  removal  to 
the  new  west,  Charles  H.  was  but  three 
years  of  age,  having  been  born  at 
Pomfret,  Windham  county,  Connecticut, 
on  September  20,  1833.  His  early  edu- 
cation was  received  in  the  schools  of 
Athens  county,  “ supplemented,”  as  one 


SKETCHES  OF  WESTERN  CONG R ESSMEN—  GR OS VEN OR. 


95 


writer  has  truthfully  said,  “ by  private 
study,  in  which  his  mother,  a lady  of 
marked  character  and  intelligence,  af- 
forded him  great  assistance  ; and  it  is, 
no  doubt,  due  in  a large  measure,  to 
her  assiduous  care  in  directing  his  early 
education  that  many  of  those  rare 
qualities  that  have  since  distinguished 
him  in  public  life  were  developed.”  He 
was  thrown  upon  his  own  resources  at  an 
early  age ; and  after  the  plan  followed 
by  so  many  of  our  eminent  men, 
when  in  search  for  the  means  for  a 
more  extended  education,  went  into  the 
schoolroom  when  secure  in  the  English 
branches  and  taught  others.  With  the 
means  thus  secured,  he  added  to  his 
own  stock  of  knowledge  as  he  could, 
and  was  finally  able  to  enter  upon  the 
career  toward  which  his  purpose  and 
aspirations  had  long  tended.  He  began 
the  study  of  law  under  the  direction  of 
Hon.  Lot  L.  Smith,  reading  as  he  could 
while  teaching  school,  attending  store, 
and  working  on  a farm.  He  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar  at  Athens  in  1857,  and 
at  once  entered  upon  practice.  In  1858 
he  formed  a partnership  with  Hon.  S.  S. 
Knowles,  that  lasted  until  the  breaking 
out  of  the  war.  The  firm  was  one  of 
the  foremost  in  Athens  county,  and 
from  the  first  the  young  lawyer  proved 
himself  the  possessor  of  those  strong 
qualities  and  clear  powers  of  reasoning 
that  have  been  among  the  marked 
characteristics  of  his  mature  years. 

On  the  breaking  out  of  the  War  of 
the  Rebellion,  the  spirit  that  had  stirred 
his  grandfather  in  1776  and  his  father 
in  1812,  was  at  work  within  him,  and  he 
was  among  the  first  to  offer  his  services 


in  his  country’s  defense.  He  enlisted 
as  a private  soldier  and  shouldered  his 
musket  with  the  rest.  He  was  promoted 
to  major,  and  in  1863  was  again  pro- 
moted to  a lieutenant-colonelcy.  He 
was  a brave  and  true  soldier,  doing  his 
duty  wherever  it  was  found,  and  ready 
at  all  times  to  give  himself  in  any  way 
to  the  Union  cause.  At  the  battle  of 
Nashville,  he  was  in  command  of  a 
brigade,  and  for  gallant  service  on  the 
field  was  recommended  for  promotion 
by  General  James  B.  Steadman,  whose 
recommendation  was  thus  endorsed  by 
General  George  H.  Thomas  : “ Respect- 
fully forwarded,  and  earnestly  recom- 
mended. Lieutenant-colonel  Grosve- 
nor  has  served  under  my  command 
since  November,  1862,  and  has  on  all 
occasions  performed  his  duties  with  in- 
telligence and  zeal.”  In  response  there- 
to he  was  breveted  colonel  and  briga- 
dier-general; and  in  April,  1865  he  was 
raised  to  the  full  rank  of  colonel,  with 
the  brevet  title  of  brigadier-general. 

On  the  conclusion  of  the  war,  General 
Grosvenor  returned  to  Athens,  and 
resumed  the  practice  of  his  profession, 
to  ^hich  he  has  since  industriously 
given  himself,  except  on  such  occasions 
as  he  has  been  in  the  service  of  the 
public.  The  first  legal  firm  to  which  he 
belonged  on  his  return  home  was  that 
of  Grosvenor  & Dana,  his  partner  being 
J.  M.  Dana,  esq.  This  connection 
lasted  for  nearly  fourteen  years.  He 
then  became  a partner  of  the  law  firm 
of  Grosvenor  & Jones,  at  Athens,  and 
Grosvenor  & Vorhes,  at  Pomeroy,  the 
latter  firm  coming  into  being  in  1868. 

General  Grosvenor  has  always  been 


96 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


a Republican,  not  merely  in  name  but 
as  a matter  of  principle,  and  because 
he  has  studied  out  the  matter  for  him- 
self and  believes  that  he  has  a firm  and 
sure  foundation  for  his  faith.  He  has 
always  been  a leader  in  the  politics  of 
this  section  of  the  state,  and  for  the  last 
twenty  years  has  been  high  in  the  coun- 
cils of  his  party,  both  in  state  and  in 
nation.  One  soon  comes  to  view  him 
as  a party  leader  who  can  be  trusted. 
To  a courage  that  nothing  can  shake,  he 
unites  a degree  of  prudence  that  is 
almost  phenomenal.  He  can  forecast 
the  outcome  of  events  with  admirable 
sureness,  and  is  a true  reader  of  the 
mind  of  the  people.  He  never  makes 
mistakes  that  lead  those  who  follow 
him  into  disaster.  While  he  believes 
in  reform  in  its  truest  sense,  and  the 
application  of  high  principle  to  party 
and  pubjic  affairs,  he  still  takes  note  of 
the  exigencies  of  the  situation,  and  does 
not  seek  to  force  action  or  legislation 
beyond  a practical  point.  As  a de- 
bater and  parliamentarian  he  has  no 
superiors,  and  as  a political  platform 
orator  his  services  are  in  demand  the 
country  over.  Thus  equipped  by  nature 
and  experience  for  public  life,  he  has 
been  again  and  again  called  to  public 
service.  On  his  return  from  the  war  he 
was  nominated  by  the  Republicans  for 
the  state  senate,  but  the  political  strength 
of  his  district  was  on  the  other  side  in 
that  year,  and  he  was  not  elected.  In 
1873  he  was  elected  to  the  Ohio  house 
of  representatives  from  Athens  county, 
and  was  one  of  the  most  useful  and 
hardworking  among  the  members  of  the 
general  assembly.  He  was  a member 


of  the  committee  on  judiciary,  that  on 
insurance,  and  on  revision,  and  was  also 
made  a member'of  the  select  committee 
to  investigate  the  public  works,  and  one 
on  express  and  telegraph  companies.  In 
1875  he  was  reelected  to  the  house,  and 
such  had  been  his  record,  and  such  was 
the  growth  of  his  popularity,  that  he  was 
made  the  speaker  of  the  house  during 
his  second  term  and  served  with  signal 
ability.  As  has  been  well  said  of  his 
legislative  career:  “As  as  a legislator 

General  Grosvenor  made  an  exception- 
ally high  record.  His  great  oratorical 
powers,  united  with  indefatigable  indus- 
try, and  a remarkable  conception  of  re- 
quirements, rendered  him  a formidable 
antagonist  in  debate.  A Republican  of 
the  pronounced  type,  he  was  jealously 
watchful  of  the  interests  of  his  party, 
as  many  of  his  speeches  attest.  His 
speeches  are  replete  with  sentiment  and 
sound  logic,  and  the  manner  of  their 
delivery  forcible  and  convincing." 

General  Grosvenor  has  ably  filled  a 
number  of  purely  political  missions  in 
the  interest  of  his  party.  He  was  a 
presidential  elector  on  the  Grant  ticket 
in  1872,  and  was  selected  by  the  Ohio 
authorities  to  carry  the  returns  to  Wash- 
ington. He  was  an  elector-at-large  for 
the  Ohio  Republicans  in  1880,  and  made 
over  seventy  speeches  during  the  cam- 
paign in  favor  of  Garfield  and  Arthur, 
speaking  in  five  states.  On  the  election 
of  these  gentlemen,  after  the  Ohio  elec- 
toral college  had  cast  its  vote,  a propo- 
sition was  made  in  that  body  to  visit 
General  Garfield  at  Mentor.  The  visit 
was  made  on  December  2,  and  General 
Grosvenor  was  selected  to  deliver  the 


SKETCHES  OF  WESTERN  CONGRESSMEN—  GROSVENOR. 


97 


address  of  congratulation,  which  he  did 
with  rare  felicity  and  a manly  directness 
that  went  to  the  heart  of  the  President- 
elect. 

The  most  recent  public  labor  of  Gen- 
eral Grosvenor  for  his  party  and  the 
people  was  by  his  service  as  a member 
of  the  National  house  of  representatives. 
He  was  nominated  for  congress  by  ac- 
clamation by  the  Republicans  of  the 
present  Fourteenth  district  of  Ohio,  in 
1884.  The  five  counties  composing 
that  district  had  given  Governor  Foraker 
some  thirty-two  hundred  majority  the 
year  before,  but  on  this  occasion  Gen- 
eral Grosvenor  carried  them  by  the 
magnificent  majority  of  five  thousand 
seven  hundred  and  twenty-eight.  He 
received  the  largest  majority  ever  given 
to  any  candidate  for  congress  in  Athens, 
his  home  county.  On  March  1,  1885, 
he  took  his  seat  in  Washington,  where 
he  became  a member  of  the  committee 
on  rivers  and  harbors.  He  gave  an 
admirable  service  on  that  committee, 
and  those  who  know  him  and  his  influ- 
ence among  men,  need  not  be  told  that 
he  earnestly  and  successfully  worked  for 
the  best  interests  of  Ohio  while  in  that 
important  position.  The  new  district 
was  made,  or  rather  the  old  one  restored, 
and  he  found  himself  in  the  present  Fif- 
teenth district,  and  in  that  he  was 
recently  renominated  for  congress  by 
acclamation.  Such  endorsement  is  of  a 
character  of  which  any  man  can  be 
proud,  yet  it  is  only  a deserved  tribute 
and  an  honor  that  has  been  well  earned. 

General  Grosvenor  is  often  in  demand 
in  states  other  than  Ohio,  when  the  party 
to  which  he  belongs  finds  itself  in  need 


of  close  and  hard  work  to  win  the  day. 
He  always  responds  when  his  business 
will  permit.  As  an  illustration  of  his 
manner  of  response  and  labor  for  others 
in  such  emergencies,  I take  the  liberty 
of  reproducing  this  account  of  one 
campaign  in  which  he  took  an  effective 
part : The  Maine  campaign  of  1879 

has  been  reverted  to  as  the  “greatest 
speaking  campaign  of  modern  times.” 
At  its  inauguration  most  of  the  Repub- 
licans considered  the  state  hopelessly 
Democratic — a conclusion  forced  upon 
them  by  the  fact  that  the  Democratic- 
Greenback  majority  in  the  state  the 
year  previous  was  fully  thirteen  thou- 
sand votes.  The  Hon.  James  G.  Blaine 
and  other  distinguished  Republican 
leaders  in  that  state  appreciated  the 
need  of  effective  speakers  for  that  cam- 
paign. Mr.  Blaine  dispatched  a very 
urgent  request  for  the  services  of  Gen- 
eral Grosvenor.  He  accepted  the  invi- 
tation and  left  Ohio  for  Maine  August 
10,  and  spoke  at  Portland,  on  August  13. 
He  spoke  in  all  thirty  times,  his  stay 
covering  a period  of  several  weeks,  in 
which  he  fully  vindicated  his  reputation 
as  one  of  the  most  eloquent  and  popular 
orators  of  the  day — an  orator  from  the 
people’s  own  heart.  Some  of  his  plat- 
form addresses  during  that  tour  have 
been  pronounced  by  competent  authority 
as  among  the  finest  ever  heard  in  Amer- 
ican politics.  The  following  brief  ex- 
tract from  one  of  them  will  give  some 
idea  of  the  mental  and  moral  force  and 
tone  of  his  thought,  and  his  eloquent 
and  direct  manner  of  statement.  “ I 
appeal  to  you,”  he  said,  “that  you 
stand  by  the  record  this  grand  old  Pine- 


98 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


tree  state  has  made  since  1861.  T appeal 
to  you  that  you  go  not  back  upon  the 
record  you  made  inwar.  I conjure  you, 
by  the  pride  you  have  in  your  past,  in 
making  the  history  of  the  great  rebellion, 
you  do  no  t undo  the  results  your  gal- 
lant dead  lost  their  lives  to  achieve. 
Could  they  to-day  look  down  upon  these 
scenes  of  political  strife,  and  hear  the 
bitter  utterances  of  the  Blackburns  and 
Stephenses  of  the  late  rebellion,  from 
that  ‘eternal  camping  grounds ’ where 
their  ‘ silent  tents  are  spread,’  they  would 
join  me  in  this  appeal.  You  owe  some- 
thing to  the  glorified  dead  of  your  proud 
state.  Stand  by  the  record  this  state 
has  made  in  the  councils  of  the  Nation 
in  all  this  long  night  of  reconstruction 
and  restoration  of  national  credit.  Stand 
by  the  men  of  your  state  who,  in  con- 
gress and  cabinet,  have  shed  unfading 
luster  upon  your  name.  To  your  state 
has  been  assigned  more  than  once  in 
congress  the  post  of  leader,  when  great 
questions  have  been  met  and  settled. 
To  the  strong  and  unerring  statesman- 
ship of  your  sons,  and  the  audacious  but 
patriotic  and  wise  leadership  of  the 
peerless  plumed  knight  of  the  gallant  old 
state  of  Maine,  the  people  of  this  coun- 
try owe  a debt  they  cannot  pay.” 

The  characteristic  incident  growing 
out  of  his  services  during  the  war,  so 
well  attests  the  patriotic  and  unselfish 
nature  of  his  devotion  to  that  cause,  that 
I cannot  resist  the  temptation  to  touch 
upon  it  here.  And  the  story  can  be  told 
in  no  better  way  than  to  reproduce 
the  letter  in  which  General  Grosvenor 
with  a generosity  very  unusual  in 
these  times,  returned  to  the  government 


nearly  five  thousand  dollars  in  cash — 
not  because  it  was  not  legally  and  mor- 
ally his,  but  because  he  was  able  to  live 
without  the  aid  of  the  government  and 
would  not  take  advantage  of  its  offer 
unless  in  actual  need  thereof.  The 
letter  is  that  of  an  honest  man  and  pat- 
riot, and  is  in  full  as  follows  : 

Athens,  Ohio,  December  23,  1882. 

Colonel  W.  W.  Dudley,  Commissioner  of  Pen- 
sions— Dear  Sir ; It  is  said  in  the  special  news 
from  Washington  in  the  newspapers  that  my  claim 
for  invalid  pension,  No.  405,657  has  been  allowed, 
and  that  the  arrears  amount  to  $4,679.  I have  not 
received  the  check,  but  answer  the  report  to  be  true. 

In  1880,  a few  days  before  the  time  fixed  by  law 
for  filing  claims  had  elapsed,  rising  from  a terrible 
attack  of  a malady  with  which  I have  suffered 
greatly  since  the  war,  I applied  for  a pension.  The 
injury  to  my  shoulder  caused  by  a railroad  accident 
during  the  war,  which  has  been  steadily  growing 
more  and  more  alarming,  suggested  permanent  in- 
capacity for  work  with  my  pen,  while  the  other  afflic- 
tion had  long  since  been  pronounced  incurable. 
Hence,  as  a matter  of  precaution  and  duty  to  those 
dependent  upon  me,  I made  the  application.  I did 
it  for  safety  alone,  not  intending  to  follow  it  with 
proof  unless  my  necessities  drove  me  to  it.  In  June, 
1881,  after  my  application  had  been  on  file  a year, 
and  up  to  which  time  I had  done  nothing  to  push  it, 
a newspaper  published  of  me  and  this  application  a 
charge  clearly  made  by  innuendo  that  the  claim  was 
fraudulent  and  the  application  false.  The  publica- 
tion was  made  by  an  open  and  bitter  enemy,  and 
with  open  and  avowed  intention  to  ruin  me.  More- 
over, he  placed  in  the  pension  office  a charge  and 
notice  to  the  government  that  the  claim  was  a false 
one,  and  ought  not  to  be  granted  under  these  circum- 
stances. I had  no  choice  but  to  offer  such  evidence 
as  I had  to  support  the  claim.  In  June  last  I 
handed  you  such  proof,  and  thanks  to  your  very 
great  kindness,  immediate  action  was  had.  My 
army  record  was  searched  and  found  to  be  without 
a blemish.  I was  subjected  to  a careful  examination 
by  a medical  board  of  skillful,  honorable  examiners. 
The  result  was  the  allowance  of  the  claim  upon  the 
highest  grade  of  disability  not  accompanied  by  the 
loss  of  limb  or  eye. 

Thus  my  position  in  the  matter  has  been  vindi- 


SKETCHES  OF  WESTERN  CONGRESSMEN— GROSVENOR. 


99 


cated,  the  honesty  of  the  claim  established,  and  that 
which  is  worth  more  than  money  to  my  children — 
my  good  name— left  unaffected. 

But  I am  not  poor,  and  while  I have  worked  much 
of  the  time  since  the  war  in  great  weakness,  and 
often  extreme  suffering,  I have  been  able  to  do  a 
great  deal  of  work  in  my  profession,  and  have  up  to 
this  time  succeeded  in  supporting  my  family  and  pro- 
moting the  education  of  my  children. 

I do  not  know  how  long  even  this  ability  will  last, 
but  for  all  the  time  which  is  past  I will  not  take  the 
pension.  I therefore  beg  of  you  to  take  such  steps 
as  may  be  necessary  to  so  cancel  this  check  for 
arrears  as  will  bar  the  right  to  any  future  recovery, 
and  thereby  cancel  that  much  of  the  obligation  to  me 
the  government  has  so  generously  undertaken.  With 
thanks  for  the  kindness  shown  me  by  yourself  and 
Major  Clark,  deputy  commissioner,  and  with  assur- 
ance of  my  high  esteem  for  both,  I am  your  obedi- 
ent servant, 

C.  H.  Grosvenor. 

From  all  that  has  gone  before,  some 
idea  of  the  personality  of  General 
Grosvenor  can  be  gained.  His  natural 
powers  have  been  strengthened  by  an 
unusual  experience  and  a wide  ac- 
quaintance with  public  men  the  coun- 
try over.  What  he  is  in  public  life, 


he  is  in  private  life.  Thoroughly  in 
earnest,  and  believing  whatever  he  does 
believe  with  all  the  strength  and  warmth 
of  an  intense  nature,  he  does  not  always 
touch  men  tenderly,  but  strikes  from 
the  shoulder  when  there  is  striking  to 
be  done.  His  friendships  are  many  and 
warm,  and  his  loyalty  to  those  who 
trust  him  is  of  the  absolute  kind.  When 
the  contest  with  a foe  is  over,  no  man 
can  be  more  generous  than  he,  and  he 
does  not  carry  political  enmity  into 
private  life.  Warm-hearted  and  gen- 
erous in  his  social  relations,  he  is  loved 
best  by  those  who  know  him  best. 

Genera.1  Grosvenor  was  married  on 
December  i,  1858,  to  Samantha  Stew- 
art of  Athens  county,  who  died  on  April 
2,  1866,  leaving  one  daughter.  He  was 
again  married  on  May  21,  1867,  to 
Louise  H.  Currier,  also  of  Athens 
county. 


Henry  K.  James. 


100 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 

[Continued  from  Vol.  IV.,  pp.  828-838.] 

II. 

WISCONSIN  AS  A STATE. 


Of  the  five  states  formed  out  of  the 
territory  lying  northwest  of  the  Ohio 
river,  bounded  on  the  north  by  the 
Great  Lakes  and  on  the  west  by  the 
Mississippi,  the  last  to  be  admitted  into 
the  Union  was  Wisconsin.  The  geo- 
graphical outlines  of  the  state  are  easily 
understood.  It  has  Minnesota  and 
Michigan  on  the  north  ; the  state  last- 
mentioned  on  the  east ; on  the  south, 
Illinois,  Iowa  and  Minnesota  ; on  the 
west,  the  two  last-named  states.  Ex- 
cept on  the  south,  its  boundary  lines 
are  nearly  all  water  lines.  It  has  Lake 
Michigan  on  the  east ; on  the  north- 
east and  north,  Green  bay,  Menominee 
and  Brule  rivers,  Lake  Vieux  Desert, 
the  Montreal  river,  Lake  Superior  and 
the  St.  Louis  river  ; and  on  the  west, 
the  St.  Croix  and  Mississippi  rivers. 
Its  land  area  is  53,924  square  miles; 
and,  in  respect  to  size,  it  ranks  with  the 
other  states  as  the  fifteenth.  It  is  known 
as  one  of  the  North  Central  states  east 
of  the  Mississippi. 

When  admitted  as  a state  the  extent 
of  Wisconsin  was  not  made  identical 
with  the  Territory,  the  history  of  which 
has  previously  been  given.  The  west- 
ern boundary,  as  defined  by  the  consti- 


tution, was  so  far  to  the  eastward  as  to 
leave  out  a full  organized  county,  with 
a sheriff,  clerk  of  court,  judge  of  probate 
and  justices  of  the  peace.  A bill  had 
been  introduced,  at  a previous  session 
in  congress,  to  organize  a territorial 
government  for  Minnesota,  including 
the  region  not  taken  in  on  the  admis- 
sion of  Wisconsin,  but  it  failed  to  be- 
come a law.  Thereupon,  John  Catlin, 
who  was  secretary  for  the  Territory  of 
Wisconsin  when  it  became  a state,  is- 
sued a proclamation  as  acting  governor 
for  the  district  left  out,  ordering  an 
election  for  congressional  delegate.  H. 
H.  Sibley  was  the  successful  candidate, 
and  he  was  admitted  to  a seat  on  the 
floor  of  the  house  of  representatives. 
This  facilitated  and  hastened  the  pas- 
sage of  a law  for  the  creation  and  or- 
ganization of  Minnesota  Territory. 

It  was  twenty-one  days  previous  to 
the  date  of  Wisconsin  being  admitted 
into  the  Union,  that  the  first  election 
was  held,  not -only  for  state  officers  but 
for  members  of  the  legislature  and  con- 
gress. This  was  on  the  eighth  day  of 
May,  1848.  The  constitution  provided 
for  the  election  of  a governor,  lieutenant- 
governor,  secretary  of  state,  treasurer, 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 


101 


and  attorney-general ; it  divided  the 
state  into  nineteen  senatorial  and  sixty- 
six  assembly  districts  (in  each  of  which 
one  member  was  elected),  and  into  two 
congressional  districts)  in  each  of  which 
one  member  of  congress  was  elected).  * 
The  first  legislature,  in  joint  convention, 
on  the  seventh  of  June,  1848,  canvassed 
the  votes  given  on  the  eighth  of  May 
for  state  officers  and  the  two  represen- 
tatives in  congress,  and  on  the  same 
day  the  former  were  sworn  into  office, 
as  follow  : Nelson  Dewey,  governor  ; 

John  E.  Holmes,  lieutenant-governor; 
Thomas  McHugh,  secretary  of  state; 
Jairus  C.  Fairfield,  treasurer ; James 
S.  Brown,  attorney-general.  The  mem- 
bers elected  to  congress  were  : For  the 

first  district,  William  Pitt  Lynde;  for 
the  second  district,  Mason  C.  Darling. 

The  first  important  business  of  the 
first  legislature  f was  the  election  of 
two  United  States  senators.  The  suc- 
cessful candidates  were  Henry  Dodge 
and  Isaac  P.  Walker.  J The  constitu- 
tion vested  the  judicial  power  of  the 
state  in  a supreme  court,  circuit  court, 
courts  of  probate,  and  justices  of  the 
peace.  The  circuit  judges  were  also 
judges  of  the  supreme  court.  The 
state  was  divided  into  five  judicial 

* The  senatorial  and  assembly  districts  have  been 
increased  from  time  to  time  until  there  are  now 
thirty-three  of  the  former  and  one  hundred  of  the 
latter— the  maximum  allowed  by  the  constitution. 

+ There  have  been  forty-two  sessions  of  the  legis- 
lature—thirty-six  regular,  and  the  residue  adjourned 
or  extra  sessions. 

X Besides  these  two  senators,  there  have  since  been 
elected— Charles  Durkee,  J.  R.  Doolittle,  T.  O. 
Howe,  M.  H.  Carpenter,  Angus  Cameron,  Philetus 
Sawyer  and  John  C.  Spooner,  the  two  last  named 
being  now  (1886)  in  office. 


rcuits.  Edward  V.  Whiton  was 
chosen  judge  of  the  first  circuit ; Levi 
Hubbell,  of  the  second;  Charles  H. 
Larrabee,  of  the  third;  Alexander  W. 
Stow,  of  the  fourth ; and  Mortimer  M. 
Jackson,  of  the  fifth  circuit.  § By  a 
provision  of  the  constitution,  the  legis- 
lature was  given  power  to  provide  by  law, 
if  they  should  think  it  expedient  and 
necessary,  for  the  organization  of  a sep- 
arate supreme  court.  This  was  done 
in  1852.  E.  V.  Whiton  was  elected 
chief-justice;  Samuel  Crawford  and 
Abram  D.  Smith,  associate  justices. 
There  are  now  four  associate  justices. 
The  following  gentlemen  constitute  the 
court  at  the  present  time : Orsamus 

Cole,  chief-justice ; William  P.  Lyon, 
Harlow  S.  Orton,  David  Taylor  and  John 
B.  Cassody,  associate  justices.  On  the 
twelfth  day  of  June,  1848,  Andrew  G. 
Miller  was  appointed  by  the  President 
of  the  United  States,  district  judge  of 
the  United  States  district  court  for 
Wisconsin.  || 

By  the  qualifications  of  all  of  the  be- 
fore mentioned  officers,  and  the  entering 
by  them  upon  the  duties  of  their  respec- 
tive offices,  the  state  of  Wisconsin 
started  upon  its  successful  career,  the 
recital  of  which,  to  the  present  time,  will 
now  be  briefly  attempted  ; but  first,  the 
better  to  understand  the  country  wherein 

§ These  circuits  have  been  increased  in  number 
until  there  are  now  fourteen. 

||  In  1870,  the  state  was  divided  into  two  districts 
— the  eastern  and  western — Andrew  G.  Miller  re- 
maining judge  of  the  first  named,  while  James  C. 
Hopkins  was  made  judge  of  the  last.  The  succes- 
sor of  Judge  Miller  was  James  H.  Howe  and  his 
successor,  Charles  E.  Dyer,  now  in  office.  Ro- 
manzo  Bunn,  the  present  judge  of  the  western  dis- 
trict, succeeded  Judge  Hopkins. 


102 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


is  to  be  laid  our  story,  let  us  take  a 
bird’s-eye  view  of  its  topography. 

The  surface  features  of  Wisconsin 
presents  a configuration  between  what  is 
mountainous  on  the  one  hand,  and  a mo- 
notonous level  on  the  other.  The  state 
occupies  a swell  of  ground  lying  between 
three  notable  depressions  : Lake  Mich- 
igan on  the  east,  Lake  Superior  on  the 
north,  and  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi 
on  the  west.  From  these  depressions, 
the  surface  slopes  upward  to  the  summit 
altitudes.  Scattered  over  the  state  are 
prominent  hills,  but  no  mountains. 
Some  of  these  hills  swell  upward  into 
rounded  domes ; some  rise  symmetri- 
cally into  conical  peaks  ; some  ascend 
precipitously  into  castellated  towers; 
and  some  reach  prominence  without 
regard  to  beauty  of  form  or  conven- 
ience of  description.  The  highest  peak 
in  the  southwest  part  of  the  state  is  the 
West  Blue  Mound  ; in  the  eastern  part, 
Lapham’s  Peak  ; in  the  central  part, 
Rib  Hill ; in  the  northern  part,  the  crest 
of  the  Penokee  range.  The  drainage 
systems  correspond,  in  general,  to  the 
topographical  features  before  described. 
The  face  of  the  state  is  the  growth  of 
the  geologic  ages  furrowed  by  the  tear- 
drops of  the  skies. 

Wisconsin  started  out  as  a Democratic 
state  : all  the  state  officers  were  Demo- 
crats ; both  members  of  congress  were 
Democrats  ; and  the  first  legislature  was 
largely  Democratic  in  both  houses. 
The  Whig  element,  nevertheless,  was 
not  to  be  despised  ; for  Dewey’s  major- 
ity as  governor,  in  a vote  of  more  than 
thirty-three  thousand,  was  only  five 
thousand  and  eighty-nine  over  John  H. 


Tweedy.  Of  course,  both  the  United 
States  senators  were  Democrats.  But 
before  the  Presidential  election  of  1848, 
there  were  three  organized  political 
..parties  in  the  state  : Whig,  Democrat 
and  Free-soil — each  of  which  had  a 
ticket  in  the  field.  Although  the  Dem- 
ocrats carried  their  Presidential  elec- 
tors,* the  Free-soilers  elected  Charles 
Durkee  to  represent  the  first  district  in 
congress  (there  were  ihen  three  con- 
gressional districts)  ; the  Whigs,  Orsa- 
mus  Cole,  to  represent  the  second 
district;  and  the  Democrats,  James 
Duane  Doty,  to  represent  the  third  dis- 
trict.! As  a significant  tendency  of  the 
sentiment  of  Wisconsin  against  the 
spread  of  slavery,  it  is  proper  to  notice 
the  fact  that  on  the  last  day  of  March, 
1849,  a joint  resolution  passed  the  leg- 
islature instructing  Isaac  P.  Walker  to 
resign  his  seat  as  United  States  senator, 
for  “ presenting  and  voting  for  an 
amendment  to  the  general  appropria- 
tion bill,  providing  for  a government  in 
California  and  New  Mexico,  west  of  the 
Rio  Grande,  which  did  not  contain  a 
provision  forever  prohibiting  the  intro- 
duction of  slavery  or  involuntary  servi- 
tude in  those  Territories.  The  senator 
refused  to  regard  these  instructions. 

At  the  general  election  held  in  No- 
vember, 1849,  Dewey  was  reelected 

* There  have  been  ten  Presidential  elections  since 
Wisconsin  was  admitted  as  a state.  Her  electoral 
votes  have  been  cast  as  follow  : For  Lewis  Cass, 
four;  Franklin  Pierce,  five  ; John  C.  Fremont,  five  ; 
Abraham  Lincoln,  five;  U.  S Grant,  eight  ; U.  S. 
Grant,  ten;  R.  B.  Hayes,  ten  ; James  A.  Garfield, 
ten  ; James  G.  Blaine,  eleven. 

+ The  congressional  districts  have  been  increased 
in  number  until  there  are  now  nine. 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 


103‘ 


governor  by  very  nearly  his  previous 
majority;  his  second  term  included  the 
years  1850  and  1851.  His  administration 
of  the  affairs  of  state  for  the  three  years 
and  a half  in  which  he  served  as  gov- 
ernor was  looked  upon  by  the  people 
generally  with  favor. 

The  first  year  of  Wisconsin  as  a state 
was  one  of  general  prosperity  to  its 
rapidly  increasing  numbers.  The  sec- 
ond year  developed  in  a large  ratio  the 
productive  capacity  in  every  depart- 
ment of  labor.  The  third  year  (1851) 
to  the  agriculturist  was  not  one  of  great 
prosperity,  owing  to  the  partial  failure 
of  the  wheat  crop.  The  state,  too,  was 
visited  by  cholera,  not,  however,  to  a 
very  alarming  extent.  The  Federal 
census  showed  a population  of  305,391, 
an  astonishing  increase  of  nearly  ninety- 
five  thousand  in  two  years.*  Many 
were  German,  Irish  and  Scandinavian, 
immigrants  but  the  larger  number  was 
from  the  eastern  and  middle  states  of 
our  Union. 

The  Democratic  and  Whig  parties  at 
the  general  election  in  the  fall  of  1851 
were  nearly  equally  divided.  The 
Democrats  elected  all  the  state  officers 
except  governor  ; Leonard  J.  Farwell, 
Whig,  was  chosen  for  that  office  over 
D.  A.  J.  Upham,  Democrat,  by  a ma- 
jority little  rising  of  five  hundred. 
During  FarwelPs  administration  (1852 
and  1853)  the  citizens  of  Wiscon- 

*  The  census,  both  Federal  and  state,  since  taken 
at  the  decades  noted,  shows  the  following  popula- 
tion : 1855,  552,109,  state  census  ; i860,  775,881, 

Federal  census;  1865,  868,325,  state  census;  1870, 
1,054,670,  Federal  census  ; 1875,  1,236,729,  state 
census;  1880,  1,315,480,  Federal  census;  1885, 

!, 563, 423,  state  census. 


sin  enjoyed  unusual  prosperity  in  the 
ample  products  and  remuneration  of 
their  enterprise  and  industry.  The 
encouraging  prospects  of  these  two 
years  were  abundant  harvests  and  high 
markets ; an  increase  in  money  circu- 
lation and  the  downward  tendency  of 
the  rate  of  interest ; a prevailing  con- 
fidence among  business  men  and  in  busi- 
ness enterprises  ; a continual  accession 
to  the  population  of  the  state  by  immi- 
gration ; the  awakening  of  considerable 
interest  in  proposed  railways  ; the  ex- 
tension of  permanent  agricultural  im- 
provements; and  the  rapid  growth  of 
the  various  cities  and  villages. 

On  the  twenty-sixth  of  January,  1853, 
William  K.  Wilson  of  Milwaukee,  pre- 
ferred charges  in  the  assembly  against 
Levi  Hubbell,  judge  of  the  second 
judicial  circuit  of  the  state,  of  divers 
acts  of  corruption  and  malfeasance  in 
the  discharge  of  the  duties  of  his  office. 
A resolution  followed,  appointing  a 
committee  to  report  articles  of  impeach- 
ment, directing  the  members  thereof  to 
go  to  the  senate  and  impeach  Hubbell. 
Upon  the  trial  of  the  judge  before  the 
senate,  he  was  acquitted. 

The  fourth  administration  (1854-1855) 
in  Wisconsin  was  Democratic.  The 
Democrats  not  only  elected  their  candi- 
date— William  A.  Barstow — governor, 
but  the  whole  state  ticket. 

In  the  early  part  of  March,  1854,  a 
fugitive  slave  case  greatly  excited  the 
people  of  Wisconsin.  A slave  named 
Joshua  Glover,  belonging  to  B.  S.  Gar- 
land of  Missouri,  had  escaped  from  his 
master  and  made  his  way  to  the  vicinity 
of  Racine.  Garland,  learning  the  where- 


104 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


abouts  of  his  personal  chattel,  came  to 
the  state  obtained  on  the  ninth,  from  the 
district  court  of  the  United  States,  for 
the  district  of  Wisconsin,  a warrant  for 
the  apprehension  of  Glover,  which  was 
put  into  the  hands  of  a deputy  marshal. 
Glover  was  secured  and  lodged  in  jail  in 
Milwaukee.  A number  of  persons  after- 
ward assembled  and  rescued  the  fugitive. 
Among  those  who  took  an  active  part 
in  the  proceeding  was  Sherman  M. 
Booth,  who  was  arrested  therefor  and 
committed  by  a United  States  commis- 
sioner, but  was  released  from  custody 
by  Abram  D.  Smith,  one  of  the  associate 
justices  of  the  supreme  court  of  Wiscon- 
sin, upon  a writ  of  habeas  corpus.  The 
record  of  the  proceedings  was, thereupon, 
taken  to  that  court  in  full  bench  by  a 
writ  of  certiorari  to  correct  any  error 
that  might  have  been  made  before  the 
associate  justice.  At  the  June  term, 
1854,  the  justices  held  that  Booth  was 
entitled  to  be  discharged,  because  the 
commitment  set  forth  no  cause  of 
detention. 

Booth  was  afterward  indicted  in  the 
United  States  district  court  and  a war- 
rant issued  for  his  arrest.  He  was 
again  imprisoned,  and  again  he  applied 
to  the  supreme  court  of  the  state — then, 
in  term  time — for  a writ  of  habeas  corpus. 
This  was  in  July,  1854.  In  his  petition 
to  that  court,  Booth  set  forth  that  he 
was  in  confinement  upon  a warrant 
issued  by  the  district  court  of  the 
United  States,  and  that  the  object  of 
the  imprisonment  was  to  compel  him 
to  answer  an  indictment  then  pending 
against  him  therein.  The  supreme 


court  of  the  state  held  that  these  facts 
showed  that  the  district  court  of  the 
United  States  had  obtained  jurisdiction 
of  the  case,  and  that  it  was  apparent 
that  the  indictment  was  for  an  offense 
of  which  the  federal  courts  had  exclu- 
sive jurisdiction.  They  could  not,  there- 
fore, interfere,  and  his  application  for  a 
discharge  was  denied. 

Upon  the  indictment,  Booth  was  tried 
and  convicted,  fined  and  imprisoned, 
for  a violation  of  the  fugitive  slave  law. 
Again  the  prisoner  applied  to  the 
supreme  court  of  Wisconsin — his  last 
application  bearing  date  the  twenty-sixth 
of  January,  1855.  He  claimed  discharge 
on  the  ground  of  the  unconstitutionality 
of  the  law  under  which  he  had  been 
indicted.  The  supreme  court  held  that 
the  indictment  upon  which  he  had  been 
tried  and  convicted  contained  three 
counts,  the  first  of  which  was  to  be 
considered  as  properly  charging  an 
offense  within  the  act  of  congress  of  the 
eighteenth  of  September,  1850,  known 
as  the  “fugitive  slave  law,”  while  the 
second  and  third  counts  did  not  set 
forth  or  charge  an  offense  punishable 
by  any  statute  of  the  United  States,  and 
as,  upon  these  last  mentioned  counts  he 
was  found  guilty,  and  not  upon  the  first, 
he  must  be  discharged.  The  action  of 
the  supreme  court  of  Wisconsin  in  a 
second  time  discharging  Booth,  was 
afterward  reversed  by  the  supreme  court 
of  the  United  States ; and  its  decision 
being  respected  by  the  state  court, 
Booth  was  rearrested  in  i860,  and  the 
sentence  of  the  district  court  of  the 
United  States,  executed  in  part  upon 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 


105 


him,  when  he  was  pardoned  by  the 
President.* 

The  years  of  the  Barstow  administra- 
tion were  prosperous  ones  for  the  state; 
abundant  crops  and  increased  prices 
were  generally  realized  by  farmers. 
They  were  years  also  of  general  health. 
The  constitution  of  the  state  requiring 
the  legislature  to  provide  by  law  for  an 
enumeration  of  the  inhabitants  in  the 
year  1855,  an  act  was  passed  for  that 
purpose,  the  result  showing  a population 
of  552,109,  as  already  given. 

According  to  the  declared  result  of 
the  state  election  held  in  the  fall  of 
1855,  the  Democratic  ticket  for  state 
officers  was  the  successful  one ; and 
William  A.  Barstow  again  took  the  oath 
of  office  as  governor;  while  Arthur  Mc- 
Arthur was  sworn  in  as  lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. The  majority  against  Coles 
Bashford,  Republican,  was  announced 
as  157.  The  inauguration  took  place 
on  the  seventh  day  of  January,  1856 ; 
and,  on  the  same  day,  Bashford,  who 
had  determined  to  contest  the  right  of 
Barstow  to  the  governorship,  went  to 
the  supreme  court  room  at  Madison 
and  had  the  oath  of  office  administered 
to  him  by  Chief  Justice  Whiton  Bash- 
ford afterward  called  at  the  executive 
office  and  made  a formal  demand  of 
Barstow  that  he  should  vacate  the 
gubernatorial  chair,  but  the  latter 
respectfully  declined  the  invitation. 
These  were  the  initiatory  steps  of  Bash  ■ 

* The  proceedings  against  Booth  were  supple- 
mented by  a civil  suit,  wherein  the  owner  of  the  res- 
cued slave  sued  him  (Booth)  and  got  a judgment 
from  the  jury  under  instructions  from  the  court  for 
one  thousand  dollars,  the  value  of  a negro  slave  fixed 
by  the  act  of  congress  of  1850. 


ford  vs.  Barstow , for  the  office  of  gov- 
ernor of  Wisconsin. 

The  fight  now  commenced  in  earnest. 
On  the  eleventh  of  January,  the  counsel 
for  Bashford  called  upon  the  attorney- 
general  and  requested  him  to  file  an  in- 
formation in  the  nature  of  a quo  war- 
ranto against  Barstow.  On  the  fifteenth, 
that  officer  complied  with  the  request. 
Thereupon  a summons  was  issued  to 
Barstow  ro  appear  and  answer.  On  the 
twenty-second,  Bashford,  by  his  attor- 
ney, asked  the  court  that  the  informa- 
tion filed  by  the  attorney-general  be 
discontinued  and  that  he  be  allowed  to 
file  one,  which  request  was  denied  by 
the  court.  While  the  motion  was  being 
argued,  Barstow,  by  his  attorneys,  en- 
tered his  appearance  in  the  case.  On 
the  second  of  February,  Barstow  moved 
to  quash  all  proceedings  for  the  reason 
that  the  court  had  no  jurisdiction  in  the 
matter.  This  motion  was  denied  by 
the  court. 

On  the  twenty-first  of  February,  the 
time  appointed  for  pleading  to  the  in- 
formation, Barstow,  by  his  attorneys, 
presented  to  the  court  a stipulation 
signed  by  all  the  parties  in  the  case,  to 
the  effect  that  the  board  of  canvassers 
had  determined  Barstow  elected  gov- 
ernor , that  the  secretary  of  state  had 
certified  to  his  election ; and  that  he 
had  taken  the  oath  of  office.  They  sub- 
mitted to  the  court  whether  it  had  juris- 
diction, beyond  the  certificates,  of  those 
facts  and  the  canvass  so  made,  to  in- 
quire as  to  the  number  of  votes,  actually 
given  for  Barstow — Bashford  offering  to 
prove  that  the  certificates  were  made 
and  issued  through  mistake  and  fraud, 


106 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


and  that  he,  instead  of  Barstow,  re- 
ceived the  greatest  number  of  votes. 
This  stipulation  the  court  declined  to 
entertain,  or  to  pass  upon  the  questions 
suggested ; as  they  were  not  presented 
in  legal  form.  Barstow  was  thereupon 
given  until  the  twenty-fifth  to  answer 
the  information  that  had  been  filed 
against  him  by  the  attorney-general. 

On  the  day  appointed,  Barstow  filed 
his  plea  to  the  effect  that,  by  the  laws 
of  Wisconsin  regulating  the  conducting 
of  general  elections  for  the  state  offi- 
cers, it  was  the  duty  of  the  board  of 
canvassers  to  determine  who  was  elected 
to  the  office  of  governor  ; and  that  the 
board  had  found  that  he  (Barstow)  was 
duly  elected  to  that  office.  It  was  a 
plea  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  court.  A 
demurer  was  interposed  to  this  plea, 
setting  forth  that  the  matters  therein 
contained  were  not  sufficient  in  law  to 
take  the  case  out  of  court ; asking  also 
for  a judgment  against  Barstow  or  that 
he  answer  further  the  information  filed 
against  him.  The  demurer  was  sus- 
tained, and  Barstow  was  required  to 
answer  over  within  four  days,  at  the 
expiration  of  which  time  the  counsel 
for  Barstow  withdrew  from  the  case,  on 
the  ground,  as  they  alleged,  that  they 
had  appeared  at  the  bar  of  the  court  to 
object  to  the  jurisdiction  of  that  trib- 
unal in  the  matter,  and  the  court  had 
determined  to  proceed  with  the  case, 
holding  and  exercising  full  and  final 
jurisdiction  over  it,  and  that  they  could 
take  no  further  steps  without  conceding 
the  right  of  that  tribunal  so  to  hold. 
Thereupon,  on  the  eighth  of  March, 
Barstow  entered  a protest,  by  a com- 


munication to  the  supreme  court,  against 
any  further  interference  with  the  de- 
partment under  his  charge  by  that  tri- 
bunal, “ either  by  attempting  to  transfer 
its  powers  to  another  or  direct  the  course 
of  executive  action.”  The  counsel  for 
Bashford  then  moved  for  judgment  upon 
the  default  of  Barstow. 

A further  hearing  of  this  celebrated 
case  was  posponed  until  the  eighteenth 
of  March,  when  the  attorney-general 
filed  a motion  to  dismiss  the  proceed- 
ings, against  which  motion  Bashford,  by 
his  counsel,  protested  as  being  prejudi- 
cial to  his  rights.  It  was  the  opinion 
of  the  court  that  the  attorney-general 
could  not  dismiss  the  case  ; that  every- 
thing which  was  pleaded  by  Bash- 
ford in  his  information  was  confessed 
by  the  default  of  Barstow.  By  strict 
usage  a final  judgment  ought  then  to 
have  followed  ; but  the  court  came  to 
the  conclusion  to  call  upon  Bashford  to 
bring  forward  proof,  showing  his  right 
to  the  office.  Testimony  was  then  ad- 
duced at  length,  touching  the  character 
of  the  returns  made  to  the  state  can- 
vassers. 

While  the  supreme  court  was  engaged 
in  hearing  evidence  in  the  case,  Barstow 
sent  in  his  resignation  to  the  legislature, 
giving  for  his  reason  the  action  of  that 
tribunal.  On  the  same  day — the  twenty- 
first  of  March — Arthur  McArthur,  lieu- 
tenant-governor, took  and  subscribed  an 
oath  of  office  as  governor,  and  entered 
at  once  upon  the  duties  of  that  office. 
But  the  supreme  court  having  heard  all 
the  testimony  brought  forward  to  estab- 
lish the  claim  of  Bashford,  decided  that 
the  latter  had  received  the  greater  num- 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 


107 


ber  of  votes  and  that  there  must  be  a 
judgment  in  his  favor,  and  one  of  ouster 
against  Barstow,  which  were  accord- 
ingly rendered.  Thereupon,  on  the 
twenty-fifth,  Bashford  called  on  Mc- 
Arthur, then  occuping  the  executive 
chair,  and  demanded  possession  of  the 
executive  office — at  the  same  time  inti- 
mating that  he  preferred  peaceable 
measures  to  force,  but  the  latter  would 
be  employed  if  necessary.  The  acting 
governor  thereupon  vacated  the  office, 
when  Bashford  took  the  gubernatorial 
seat,  his  right  to  it  being  at  once  recog- 
nized by  the  senate,  and  in  two  days 
thereafter  by  the  assembly.  This  ended 
“ Bashford  vs.  Barstow  ” — the  first  and 
only  “ war  of  succession  ” ever  indulged 
in  by  Wisconsin.* 

The  years  of  Bashford’s  administration 
were,  agriculturally  speaking,  fair  ones 
for  Wisconsin  ; but  the  last  one — 1857 — 
was  a disastrous  year  to  the  state,  as 
well  as  to  the  whole  country,  in  a 
financial  point  of  view.  Early  in  the 
fall,  a monetary  panic  swept  over  the 
land. 

Following  the  administration  of  Gov- 
ernor Bashford  was  that  of  Governor 
Alexander  W.  Randall  (first  term,  1858, 
1859;  second  term,  i860,  1861).  Ran- 
dall, like  his  predecessor,  was  a Repub- 
lican. In  the  last  year  of  his  second 
term  came  on  the  War  of  the  Rebellion. 
“Secession,”  said  Randall,  “is  revolu- 
tion ; revolution  is  war ; war  against 
the  government  of  the  United  States  is 

* ‘ History  of  Wisconsin,’  by  C.  W.  Butterfield, 
in  Snyder,  Van  Vechten  & Co.’s  ' Illustrated  Histor- 
ical Atlas.’  This  ‘ History  of  Wisconsin'  has  been 
re-published  as  an  introduction  in  a number  of 
county  histories  of  the  state. 


treason.”  “ While,”  he  added,  “ no  un- 
necessary expense  should  be  incurred, 
yet  it  is  the  part  of  wisdom,  both  for  in- 
dividuals and  states,  in  revolutionary 
times,  to  be  prepared  to  defend  our  in- 
stitutions to  the  last  extremity.”  It  was 
in  such  words  that  the  patriotic  gov- 
ernor, in  a message  to  the  legislature, 
early  in  January,  1861,  gave  evidence  to 
the  world  that  he  “ scented  the  battle 
afar  off.” 

In  Wisconsin,  as  elsewhere,  the  pub- 
lic pulse  quickened  under  the  excite- 
ment of  the  fall  of  Fort  Sumter.  “ The 
dangers  which  surrounded  the  nation 
awakened  the  liveliest  sentiments  of 
patriotism  and  devotion.  For  the  time, 
party  fealty  was  forgotten  in  the  general 
desire  to  save  the  nation.  The  minds 
of  the  people  soon  settled  into  the  con- 
viction that  a bloody  war  was  at  hand, 
and  that  the  glorious  fabric  of  our  na- 
tional government,  and  the  principles 
upon  which  it  is  founded,  were  in 
jeopardy ; and,  with  a determination 
unparalleled  in  the  history  of  any  coun- 
try, they  rushed  to  its  defense.  On 
every  hand  the  national  flag  could  be 
seen  displayed,  and  the  public  enthusi- 
asm knew  no  bounds  ; in  city,  town  and 
hamlet  the  burden  on  every  tongue  was 
war.” 

On  the  tenth  day  of  April,  1862,  Gov- 
ernor Louis  P.  Harvey,  the  successor 
of  Alexander  W.  Randall  in  the  execu- 
tive chair,  started,  along  with  others, 
from  Wisconsin  on  a tour  to  relieve  the 
wounded  and  suffering  soldiers  from  the 
state,  at  Mound  City,  Paducah  and 
Savannah.  Having  completed  his  mis- 
sion, he  made  preparations  to  return. 


108 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


He  went  on  board  a steamboat  at  the 
landing  at  the  place  last  named,  and 
there  awaited  the  arrival  of  another 
steamer,  which  was  to  convey  him  and 
his  party  to  Cairo.  It  was  late  in  the 
evening  of  the  nineteenth  when  the  boat 
arrived,  and  as  she  rounded  to,  her  bow 
touched  the  one  on  which  was  the  gov- 
ernor, precipitating  him  into  the  Ten- 
nessee river.  Every  effort  was  made  to 
save  his  life,  but  in  vain.  His  body 
was  afterward  recovered  and  brought 
home  for  interment.  Edward  Solomon, 
lieutenant-governor,  by  virtue  of  a pro- 
vision of  the  constitution,  succeeded 
to  the  office  of  governor , his  adminis- 
tration (with  the  fractional  term  filled 
by  Governor  Harvey)  included  the 
years  1862  and  1863. 

For  the  next  two  years,  James  T. 
Lewis  was  the  governor  of  Wisconsin. 
Before  the  close  of  his  term  the  war  of 
secession  was  ended.  The  state  had 
furnished  to  the  federal  army  during 
the  rebellion  more  than  ninety  thousand 
men.  Nearly  eleven  thousand  of  these 
were  killed  or  died  of  wounds  received 
in  battle,  or  fell  victims  to  disease  con- 
tracted in  the  service — to  say  nothing 
of  the  number  who  died  after  their  dis- 
charge and  whose  deaths  do  not  appear 
upon  the  military  records.  “ Monu- 
ments may  crumble,  cities  fall  into  de- 
cay, the  tooth  of  time  leave  its  impress 
on  all  the  works  of  man,  but  the  mem- 
ory of  the  gallant  deeds  of  the  army  of 
the  nation  in  the  great  War  of  the  Re- 
bellion, in  which  so  many  of  the  sons 
of  Wisconsin  took  part  on  the  side  of 
the  Union,  will  live  in  the  minds  of  men 
far  down  the  coming  ages.” 


Lucius  Fairchild  was  three  times 
elected  governor  of  Wisconsin,  his  ad- 
ministration extending  from  1 866  to 
1871,  inclusive.  It  was  during  the  last 
year  of  his  last  term  that  a great  drouth 
in  the  summer  and  fall  dried  up  the 
streams  and  swamps  in  northern  Wis- 
consin. In  the  forests  the  fallen  leaves 
and  underbrush  which  covered  the 
ground  became  very  ignitable.  The 
ground  itself,  especially  in  cases  of 
alluvial  or  bottom  lands,  was  so  dry  and 
parched  as  to  burn  readily  to  the  depth 
of  a foot  or  more.  For  many  days  pre- 
ceding the  commencement  of  the  second 
week  in  October,  fires  swept  through 
the  timbered  country,  and  in  some 
instances  over  prairies  and  “ openings.” 
Farmers,  sawmill  owners,  railroad  men, 
and  all  others  interested  in  exposed 
property,  labored  day  and  night  in  con- 
tending against  the  advance  of  devour- 
ing fires,  which  were  destroying,  not- 
withstanding the  ceaseless  energies  of 
the  people,  an  occasional  mill  or  house, 
and  sweeping  off  here  and  there  fences, 
haystacks  and  barns.  Over  the  coun- 
ties lying  upon  Green  bay  and  a portion 
of  those  contiguous  thereto  on  the  south, 
southwest  and  west,  hung  a general 
gloom.  No  rain  came.  All  energies 
were  exhausted  from  “ fighting  fire.” 
The  atmosphere  was  everywhere  per- 
meated with  smoke.  The  waters  of  the 
bay,  and  even  of  Lake  Michigan,  in 
places,  were  so  enveloped  as  to  render 
navigation  difficult,  and  in  some  in- 
stances dangerous.  It  finally  became 
very  difficult  to  travel  upon  the  high- 
ways and  on  railroads.  Time  drew  on 
— but  there  came  no  rain.  The  ground 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 


109 


in  very  many  places  was  burned  over. 
Persons  sought  refuge — some  in  excava- 
tions in  the  earth,  others  in  wells. 

The  counties  of  Oconto,  Brown,  Ke- 
waunee, Door,  Manitowoc,  Outagamie, 
and  Shawano  were  all  more  or  less  swept 
by  this  besom  of  destruction ; but  in 
Oconto  county,  and  for  some  distance 
into  Menomonie  county,  Michigan, 
across  the  Menomonie  river,  on  the  west 
shore  of  the  bay  and  throughout  the 
whole  length  and  breadth  of  the  penin- 
sula— that  is,  the  territory  lying  between 
Green  bay  and  Lake  Michigan — the 
fires  were  the  most  devastating. 

The  first  week  in  October  passed  ; 
then  came  an  actual  whirlwind  of  fire — 
ten  or  more  miles  in  width  and  of  indefi- 
nite length.  The  manner  of  its  progress 
was  extraordinary.  It  has  been  de- 
scribed as  a tempestuous  sea  of  flame, 
accompanied  by  a most  violent  hurri- 
cane, which  multiplied  the  force  of  the 
destructive  element.  Forests,  farm 
improvements  and  entire  villages  were 
consumed.  This  dreadful  and  con- 
suming fire  was  heralded  by  a sound 
likened  to  that  of  a railroad  train — to 
the  roar  of  a cataract — to  the  noise  of  a 
battle  at  a distance.  Men,  women  and 
children  perished  — awfully  perished. 
Even  those  who  fled  and  sought  refuge 
from  the  fire  in  cleared  fields,  in  swamps, 
lakes  and  rivers,  found — many  of  them 
— no  safety  there,  but  were  burned  to 
death  or  died  of  suffocation.  Not  human 
beings  only,  but  horses,  oxen,  cows,  dogs, 
swine — everything  that  had  life — ran  to 
escape  the  impending  destruction. 
Children  were  separated  from  tfieir  par- 
ents and  trampled  upon  by  crazed 


beasts.  Husbands  and  wives  rushed  in 
wild  dismay,  they  knew  not  where. 
Death  rode  triumphantly  upon  that  de- 
vastating, fiery  flood  ! 

In  this  awful  sea  of  flame,  more  than 
one  thousand  men,  women  and  children 
died  ; more  than  three  thousand,  whose 
lives  were  spared,  were  rendered  desti- 
tute— utterly  beggard.  Mothers  were 
left  with  fatherless  children ; fathers 
with  motherless  children.  Everywhere 
were  homeless  orphans.  All  around  lay 
suffering,  helpless  humanity.  It  was  a 
most  sickening — a most  horrid  spectacle ! 

This  appalling  calamity  happened  on 
the  eighth  and  ninth  of  October,  1871. 
At  the  tidings  of  the  fearful  visitation, 
Governor  Fairchild  hastened  to  the 
burnt  district  to  assist  the  sufferers  as 
much  as  was  in  his  power.  He  issued, 
on  the  thirteenth  of  the  month,  a stirring 
appeal  to  the  citizens  of  Wisconsin  for 
aid.  It  was  promptly  responded  to  from 
all  portions  of  the  state  outside  the  de- 
vastated region.  Liberal  contributions 
in  money,  clothing  and  provisions  were 
sent — some  from  other  states  and  even 
from  foreign  countries.* 

The  gubernatorial  administration 
which  succeeded  Fairchild’s  was  that 
of  Cadwallader  C.  Washburn  (1872, 
1873).  But  Governor  Washburn,  al- 
though a candidate,  was  not  reelected. 
He  was  defeated  by  William  R.  Taylor, 
as  the  representative  of  a new  political 
organization,  including  “ all  Democrats, 
Liberal  Republicans  and  other  electors 

* Compare,  in  this  connection,  a very  able  article 
on  “ The  Northern  Wisconsin  Fires,"  by  the  late  C. 
D.  Robinson,  to  be  found  in  the  ‘ Legislative  Manuaj 
of  the  State  of  Wisconsin  for  the  year  1872. 


110 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  Wisconsin  friendly  to  genuine  reform, 
through  equal  and  impartial  legislation, 
honesty  in  office  and  rigid  economy  in 
the  administration  of  affairs. ” Among 
the  marked  characteristics  of  the  plat- 
form agreed  upon  by  the  convention 
which  nominated  Taylor,  was  a declara- 
tion by  the  members  that  they  would 
vote  for  no  candidate  for  office  whose 
nomination  should  be  the  fruit  of  his 
own  importunity,  or  of  a corrupt  com- 
bination among  partisan  leaders  ; an- 
other, that  the  sovereignty  of  the  state 
over  corporations  of  its  own  creation 
should  be  sacredly  respected,  to  the  full 
extent  of  protecting  the  people  against 
every  form  of  monopoly  or  extortion, 
not  denying,  however,  an  encourage- 
ment to  wholesome  enterprise  on  part 
of  aggregated  capital;  this  “plank” 
having  special  reference  to  a long  series 
of  alleged  grievances  assumed  to  have 
been  endured  by  the  people  on  account 
of  discriminations  in  railroad  charges, 
and  a consequent  burdensome  taxation 
on  labor— -especially  upon  the  agricul- 
tural industry  of  the  state. 

Naturally  enough,  what  was  known  as 
the  “ Potter  law  ” followed,  limiting 
the  compensation  received  by  railroads 
for  the  carrying  of  passengers  ; it  classi- 
fied freight  and  regulated^  prices  for  its 
transportation  within  the  state.  The 
law  was  resisted  by  the  railroad  com- 
panies, but  ultimately  the  complete  and 
absolute  power  of  the  people,  through 
the  legislature,  to  modify  or  altogether 
repeal  railroad  charters,  was  fully  sus- 
tained by  the  courts  both  of  the  state 
and  the  United  States.  In  the  end,  the 
law  was  amended  in  some  important 


particulars  without  changing  the  right 
of  state  control ; rates  were  modified, 
and  an  era  of  good  feeling  succeeded, 
which  still  continues. 

Governor  William  R.  Taylor  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Harrison  Ludington,  whose 
administration  continued  through  the 
years  1876  and  1877.  The  applica- 
tion of  Miss  Lavinia  Goodell,  for  ad 
mission  to  the  bar  of  Wisconsin,  was 
rejected  by  the  supreme  court  of  the 
state  at  its  January  term,  1876.  “We 
cannot  but  think  the  common  law  wise 
in  excluding  women  from  the  profession 
of  the  law,”  said  Chief  Justice  Ryan,  in 
the  decree  of  refusal.  “ The  profession,” 
he  added,  enters  largely  into  the  well- 
being of  society,  and  to  be  honorably 
filled,  and  safely  to  society,  exacts  the 
devotion  of  life.  The  law  of  nature 
destines  and  qualifies  the  female  sex 
for  the  bearing  and  nurture  of  children 
of  our  race,  and  for  the  custody  of  the 
homes  of  the  world,  and  their  mainten- 
ance in  love  and  honor.  And  all  life- 
long callings  of  women  inconsistent  with 
these  radical  and  social  duties  of  their 
sex,  as  is  the  profession  of  the  law,  are 
departures  from  the  order  of  nature, 
and,  when  voluntary,  are  treason  against 
it.”  But  these  rather  Napoleonic  ideas 
of  women  seem  not  to  have  impressed 
a subsequent  legislature  very  powerfully, 
for  a law  was  soon  passed,  that  no  per- 
son could  be  denied  admission  to  any 
court  in  the  state  to  practice  law  on  ac- 
count of  sex  ; the  supreme  court  has 
not  yet  declared  that  law  unconstitu- 
tional. 

William  E.  Smith  was  Ludington’s 
successor  as  governor.  He  was  re- 


FIFTY  YEARS  OF  WISCONSIN  HISTORY. 


Ill 


elected  in  the  fall  of  1879  ; so  that  his 
years  in  office  began  with  1878  and 
ended  with  1881.  Following  Gover- 
nor Smith  in  the  executive  chair  was 
Jeremiah  M.  Rusk.  His  first  year  was 
1882  ; his  second,  1883,  when  his  term 
would  have  expired  ; but  all  state  offi- 
cers- who  were  in  office  in  the  year  last- 
named  by  election,  had  the  year  1884 
added  to  their  terms  by  the  legislature ; 
as  a consequence,  the  state  election  was 
postponed  from  the  fall  of  that  year  to 
that  of  1884,  when  Rusk  was  reelected 
and  is  still  (October,  1886)  in  office.* 
Regular  sessions  of  the  legislature  are 
now  held  biennially,  under  recent  amend- 
ments to  the  constitution,  instead  of  an- 
nually, as  before. 

On  the  tenth  of  January,  1883,  oc- 
curred the  burning,  in  Milwaukee,  of 
the  Newhall  House,  when  more  than 
seventy  persons  perished  in  the  flames. 

On  the  second  day  of  May,  1886,  a 
large  procession  of  laborers  marched 
through  the  streets  of  Milwaukee. 

* The  exact  time  while  in  office  of  the  several 
governors  is  as  follows  : Nelson  Dewey,  June  7, 
1848,  to  January  5,  1852;  Leonard  J.  Farwell, 
January  5,  1852,  to  January  2,  1854;  William  A. 
Barstow,  January  2,  1854,  to  March  21,  1856  ; 
Arthur  McArthur,  March  21,  1856,  to  March  25, 
1856  ; Coles  Bashford,  March  25,  1856,  to  January 
4,  1858  ; Alexander  W.  Randall,  January  4,  1858, 
to  January  6,  1862  ; Louis  P.  Harvey,  January  6, 
1862,  to  April  19,  1862  ; Edward  Solomon,  April  19, 
1862,  to  January  4,  1864  ; James  T.  Lewis,  January 
4,  1864,  to  January  1,  1866  ; Lucius  Fairchild,  Jan- 
uary 1,  1 866,  to  January  1,  1872  ; C.  C.  Washburn, 
January  i,  1872,  to  January  5,  1874  ; William  R. 
Taylor,  January  5,  1874,  to  January  3,  1876  ; Har- 
rison Ludington,  January  3,  1876,  to  January  7, 
1878  ; William  E.  Smith,  January  7,  1878,  to  Jan- 
uary 2,  1882  ; Jeremiah  M.  Rusk,  January  2,  1882 
(now  in  office). 


This  grew  out  of  the  eight- hour 
movement  primarily,  but  really  out 
of  the  acts  and  teachings  of  a group 
of  anarchists,  who  took  advantage 
of  the  excitement  to  inflame  inno- 
cent workingmen  and  lead  them  head- 
long into  disorder.  The  temper  of  the 
leaders  and  a few  followers  caused  Gov- 
ernor Rusk,  at  Madison,  to  be  appre- 
hensive of  trouble,  and  he  ordered  the 
adjutant-general  of  the  state  to  make 
everything  ready  for  active  service  of 
the  militia — proceeding  himself  at  once 
to  Milwaukee,  by  special  train,  to  watch, 
personally,  the  course  of  events,  and 
be  prepared  to  act  promptly  and  intel- 
ligently in  case  of  emergency. 

On  the  third  of  May,  a mob  by  force 
compelled  the  closing  of  the  shops  of 
the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  & St.  Paul 
railway  and  other  works.  The  next 
day,  having  been  repulsed  by  the  twelve 
hundred  employes  of  E.  P.  Allis  & 
Company,  the  mob  reassembled,  with 
threats,  armed  with  sticks,  stones,  irons, 
knives  and  some  fire-arms,  and  moved 
on  the  rolling  mills  at  Bay  View.  To 
disperse  this  mob  a volley  was  fired  by 
the  militia  (which  had  been  ordered  out 
by  the  governor,  and  two  companies 
stationed  to  defend  the  works  at  that 
point)  but  no  one  was  killed.  Better 
armed  and  more  ugly,  the  mob,  on  the 
forenoon  of  the  fourth,  again  started  for 
the  rolling  mills,  shouting  revengefully. 
Refusing  to  halt  or  disperse  when  called 
upon,  they  were  fired  at  by  the  soldiers. 
Six  were  killed  and  several  wounded. 
By  the  prompt,  effective  and  decisive 
action  of  Governor  Rusk,  the  mob- 
spirit  rampant  in  the  city  was  thus 


112 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


broken  up,  and  a restoration  of  order 
quickly  followed. 

From  the  foregoing  somewhat  hasty 
glance  at  the  salient  points  in  Wisconsin 
history,  let  us  turn  our  attention,  in  con- 
clusion, to  the  state,  in  its  present  aspect. 
Its  political  divisions  are  counties,  towns, 
cities  and  incorporated  villages.  The 
county  government  is  in  charge  of  a 
county  board  of  supervisors.  County 
officers  are : clerk,  treasurer,  sheriff,  cor- 
oner, clerk  of  circuit  court,  district 
attorney,  register  of  deeds,  surveyor  and 
one  superintendent  of  schools  (or  two  if 
the  population  warrant  that  number). 
The  government  of  the  towns  is  in 
charge  of  a town  board  of  officers. 
Town  officers  are:  clerk,  treasurer,  asses- 
sors, justices  of  the  peace,  overseers  of 
highways,  and  constables.  (These 
towns  are  identical  with  what  are  called 
townships  in  some  states).  The  city 
governments  depend  upon  charters 
granted  by  the  legislature.  Generally, 
a mayor,  common  council,  clerk,  treas- 
urer, attorney,  chief  of  police,  fire  mar- 
shal, and  surveyor,  are  the  city  officers. 
Incorporated  villages  have  as  officers  a 
president,  six  trustees,  clerk,  treasurer, 
supervisor,  marshal  and  constable,  and 
sometimes  a justice  of  the  peace  or  po- 
lice justice. 

The  extent  of  the  “ Gogebic  Iron 
Range,”  in  Wisconsin,  has  of  late  caused 
considerable  interest  among  iron  manu- 
facturers throughout  the  country.  The 
“range”  is  one  of  the  best  defined  in 
the  United  States,  and  the  construction 
of  several  lines  of  railways  in  the  north- 
ern part  of  the  state  will  rapidly  develop 
its  wealth, 


Intelligence  and  education  are  prom- 
inent characteristics  of  the  people  of 
Wisconsin.  She  has  her  district  schools, 
her  graded  schools,  and  her  free  high 
schools.  These  may  be  said  to  culmi- 
nate in  her  university — the  pride  of  all 
her  citizens.  Then  there  are  the  excel- 
lent normal  schools.  All  these  public 
educational  institutions  are  supple- 
mented by  many  that  are  private  or 
denominational,  reformatory  or  charit- 
able. The  school  officers  in  Wisconsin 
are  : a state  superintendent  of  public 
instruction*  and  his  assistants,  a county 
superintendent  (sometimes  two)  in  each 
county  that  is  organized,  and  a school 
board  in  each  district,  consisting  of  a 
director,  treasurer  and  clerk.  Cities 
have  each  a board  of  education,  and  the 
larger  cities  a city  superintendent,  who, 
in  some  cases,  is  also  principal  of  the 
high  school.  It  may  be  said  with  truth 
that,  in  her  educational  facilities,  Wis- 
consin already  rivals  the  most  advanced 
of  her  sister  states. 

We  may  add  that  the  state  has  many 
attractive  features.  It  is  healthy,  fertile, 
well  watered,  and  well  wooded.  All  the 
necessaries  and  many  of  the  comforts 
and  luxuries  of  life  are  easily  to  be 
obtained.  Agriculture  is  conducted 
with  profit  and  success.  The  farmer, 
generally  speaking,  owns  the  land  he 
cultivates.  Markets  are  easily  reached 
by  railways  and  water  navigation.  The 
commerce  of  Wisconsin  is  extensive, 

* The  persons  who  have  been  elected  state  super- 
intendents are  Eleazer  Root,  Azel  P.  Ladd,  Hiram 
A.  Wright,  A.  C.  Barry,  Lyman  C.  Draper,  Josiah 
L.  Pickard,  John  G.  McMynn,  Alexander  J.  Craig, 
Samuel  Fellows,  Edward  Searing,  William  Whitford, 
^.nd  Robert  Graham  (now  in  office). 


THE  MUNICIPAL  GROWTH  OF  CLEVELAND. 


113 


her  manufactures  remunerative,  her  solidly  growing  in  wealth,  population 
natural  resources  great  and  manifold,  and  importance. 

In  a word,  the  state  is  steadily  and  C.  W.  Butterfield. 


THE  MUNICIPAL  GROWTH  OF  CLEVELAND. 

V. 

J.  MILTON  CURTISS. 


There  are  few  men  who  in  the  last 
few  years  have  had  a more  intimate  re- 
lation to  the  municipality  of  Cleveland 
than  the  gentleman  whose  name  is  found 
above,  and  there  have  certainly  been  few 
who  have  worked  as  earnestly  and  faith- 
fully for  the  creation  and  advancement 
of  needed  public  improvements.  The 
natural  bent  of  his  mind  is  such  that  he 
finds  a source  of  permanent  delight 
when  at  work  in  the  line  of  public  ma- 
terial progress.  He  made  his  entry  into 
public  life  as  a champion  of  a needed 
improvement  ; he  has  always  been  on 
the  side  of  advancement  in  each  new 
measure  that  has  been  proposed,  and  his 
official  record  is  inseparably  linked  with 
the  history  of  three  great  onward  steps 
in  Cleveland’s  growth — Riverside  ceme- 
tery, the  South  Side  park  and  the  new 
central  viaduct,  or  belt  line  bridge,' 'that 
is  soon  to  connect  the  East  Side,  West 
Side  and  South  Side  by  one  grand,  level 
and  continuous  roadway. 

Mr.  Curtiss  is  essentially  a self-made 
man.  He  comes  of  English  and  Scotch 
ancestry,  and  his  life  shows  that  he  has 
inherited  the  best  qualities  of  those 
virile  races.  His  mother  was  a native 


of  Stonington,  Connecticut,  and  her  an- 
cestors, the  Fishs  and  Fosters,  were 
among  the  first  settlers  on  the  west  side 
of  the  river,  in  Cuyahoga  county,  some 
of  them  coming  here  as  early  as  1811. 
His  father,  Milton  Curtiss,  was  a native 
of  Rutland,  Vermont.  The  old  farm 
(which  is  still  held  in  the  family)  prov- 
ing too  small,  or  the  family  of  enter- 
prising boys  too  large,  he,  with  two  of 
his  brothers,  followed  the  tide  of  emi- 
gration, at  that  time  strongly  flowing 
towards  the  Western  Reserve,  and  came 
to  Ohio  in  1817  or  1818,  in  time,  at  all 
events,  to  participate  in  the  celebrated 
“ Hinckley  bear-hunt,”  which  took 
place  in  December  of  the  latter  year 
As  the  bears  were  driven  out  he,  with 
other  settlers,  took  possession.  In  1842 
he  removed  to  southern  Illinois,  where, 
in  1844,  he  died,  the  mother  with  her 
little  family  returning  to  her  friends  in 
Brooklyn.  The  subject  of  this  sketch 
was  born  in  Harrisville,  Medina  county, 
February  26,  1840.  His  boyhood  was 
spent  in  Brooklyn,  near  where  he  has 
ever  since  resided,  and,  in  consequence, 
he  early  became  intimately  acquainted 
with  every  foot  of  territory  in  that  part 


114 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  the  county,  a knowledge  that  was 
afterwards  put  to  good  use  for  the 
benefit  of  the  public.  The  old  Brook- 
lyn academy  was  in  those  days  a 
flourishing  institution.  Young  Curtiss 
and  his  two  older  brothers  were  num- 
bered among  its  pupils,  each  in  turn 
doing  janitor  work  about  the  academy 
building  in  payment  for  his  tuition. 
Afterwards  he  attended  the  city  public 
schools,  finishing  at  the  Cleveland  In- 
stitute, on  the  Heights,  and  thus  re- 
ceived a thorough  course  of  academic 
training.  On  leaving  there  he  taught 
school  for  one  year,  and  then  engaged 
in  the  nursery  business  with  his  brother, 
William,  founder  of  the  Forest  City 
nursery.  He  learned  the  business 
readily,  the  more  so  as  he  had  a strong 
natural  aptitude  in  that  direction,  with 
a love  for  everything  of  nature  and  a 
passion  for  adding  the  graces  of  art  to 
nature’s  endeavor.  On  the  death  of 
his  brother,  in  r86o,  Mr.  Curtiss  took 
entire  charge  of  the  nursery  and  man- 
aged it  with  skill  and  success.  He  en- 
larged it  from  time  to  time,  and  soon 
became  one  of  the  leaders  in  that  line 
of  industry  in  this  section  of  the  state. 
When  the  city  began  to  overrun  its  old 
boundaries  and  to  crowd  the  nursery 
grounds  as  requiring  too  much  valuable 
space,  Mr.  Curtiss  was  gradually  forced 
into  laying  out  and  selling  land,  a busi 
ness  in  which  he  has  been  very  success- 
ful, his  operations  being  confined  to  his 
own  property  and  lands  belonging  to 
Mr.  Jacob  Perkins.  In  that  he  was  of 
great  help  to  the  material  prosperity  of 
the  South  Side,  as  Mr.  Perkins  was  the 
first  landholder  in  the  city  to  sell  land 


and  build  houses,  making  no  profit  on 
the  house  but  furnishing  it  to  the  pur- 
chaser at  actual  cost.  The  installment 
plan,  as  applied  to  homes,  was  per- 
fected, if  not  originated,  by  Mr.  Curtiss, 
and  has  been  the  means  of  furnishing 
hundreds  of  homes  to  those  who  could 
not  have  purchased  them  in  any  other 
way. 

It  was  entirely  due  to  Mr.  Curtiss’ 
love  for  improvements  and  his  wish  to 
see  Cleveland  grow  up  to  its  opportu- 
nities, that  led  him  into  public  life. 
He  had  helped  organize  and  been  one 
of  the  first  trustees  of  Brooklyn  village, 
which  he  resigned  in  1868  in  order  to 
move  within  the  city  limits,  but  beyond 
that  had  held  no  thought  of  official  life 
or  desire  therefor.  In  1874  and  1875 
there  was  a great  demand  for  a new 
cemetery  on  the  west  side  of  the  river, 
and  the  matter  was  not  only  discussed 
in  the  city  council,  but  some  definite 
steps  were  taken  in  relation  thereto. 
Because  of  this  discussion  and  Mr.  Cur- 
tiss’ connection  with  the  Riverside  Cem- 
etery association  which  began  to  take 
form  about  this  time,  he  was  persuaded 
by  his  friends  to  accept  the  Republican 
nomination  for  the  council  from  the 
Thirteenth  ward  in  1876,  and  was 
elected.  He  was  a strong  and  infiuen 
tial  *hfiember  from  the  start.  He  re- 
mained in  that  body  for  six  years,  cov- 
ering three  terms,  and  was  anxious  to 
retire  to  the  rest  and  quiet  of  private 
life,  when  he  was  again  called  into  public 
duty  by  Mayor  Herrick  who  appointed 
him  a member  of  the  city  park  commis- 
sion, He  gave  two  years  to  that  ser- 
vice, and  was  instrumental  in  adding 


THE  MUNICIPAL  GROWTH  OF  CLEVELAND. 


115 


many  needed  improvements  to  the  park 
system  of  Cleveland.  The  “ big  bridge  ” 
issue  came  up  and  in  order  that  his 
experience,  influence  and  skill  might  be 
used  in  the  proper  settlement  of  that 
great  question,  he  was  asked  to  resign 
from  the  park  board  and  again  go  to 
the  council,  serving  two  terms,  and  re- 
tiring only  when  the  bridge  question 
was  settled  and  the  contracts  let,  in  the 
spring  of  1886.  During  his  service  as 
councilman  he  served  on  all  the  impor- 
tant committees  of  that  body,  was  twice 
the  council  member  of  the  board  of 
improvements,  and  had  a part  in  all 
important  measures  that  came  before 
that  body.  His  personal  influence  was 
marked,  and  was  shown  by  the  results 
that  he  was  able  to  produce.  With  an 
incisive  clearness  as  a debater,  with 
cool  judgment  that  did  not  allow  his 
feelings  to  carry  him  away,  with  a keen- 
ness of  vision  that  led  him  to  lay  his 
plans  well  in  advance,  and  with  a per- 
sistency that  kept  at  work  until  the 
point  was  reached,  he  made  one  of  the 
strongest  members  of  a body  in  which 
more  work  is  accomplished  by  personal 
influence  than  by  forensic  display.  He 
was  the  friend  of  many  important  public 
measures  during  that  service,  but  space 
will  permit  of  only  a reference  to  the 
three  great  ones  mentioned  above,  t 
As  soon  as  Mr.  Curtiss  reached  the 
council  he  applied  himself  to  the  study 
of  the  cemetery  question,  and  the  result 
was  the  confirmation  of  ideas  he  had 
previously  held  in  mind.  H-e  found 
himself  forced  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
actual  ownership  of  a cemetery  by  the 
city  in  its  corporate  capacity  was  not 


the  best  method  of  managing  these  rest- 
ing places  of  the  dead,  but  that  the  real 
plan  was  that  already  put  into  operation 
at  Lake  View.  Out  of  these  conclus- 
ions grew  Riverside.  The  history  of 
that  institution,  that  has  become  a mon- 
ument to  the  men  who  created  it,  is  full 
of  interest.  As  Mr.  Curtiss  himself  has 
said,  in  a recent  annual  report,  “ be- 
tween each  line  of  the  record  there  is 
an  unwritten  line,  telling  of  anxious 
hopes  and  fears ; of  severe  struggles  and 
many  discouragements.” 

He  finally  gave  to  it  a time  and  per- 
sonal labor  he  had  not  contemplated  in 
the  beginning.  He  accepted  the  posi- 
tion of  superintendent  that  he  might 
better  accomplish  the  end  in  view.  He 
worked,  planned,  thought,  and  hoped  for 
Riverside.  He  gave  courage  where 
others  despaired.  He  made  the  most 
of  every  opportunity,  and  gained  a point 
wherever  it  was  to  be  had.  He  held 
this  position  for  five  years,  and  made  a 
success  of  what  would  otherwise  have 
been  a failure.  I cannot  give  a full 
history  of  this  enterprise,  but  suffice  it 
to  say  that  only  the  truth  was  spoken 
and  due  credit  given  on  the  day  of  ded- 
ication when  the  orator  said  : 

Probably  all  great  cities  have  some  special  points 
of  attraction,  either  of  parks,  avenues  or  cemeteries, 
Cleveland  is  favored  in  all,  but  in  none  will  there  be 
in  all  time  so  much  of  individual  and  municipal  pride 
as  in  Lake  View  and  Riverside.  It  is  no  disparage- 
ment to  their  colleagues  and  eoadjutors  to  say  that 
J.  H.  Wade  and  J.  M.  Curtiss  are  especially  recog- 
nized as  the  projectors  of  the  respective  enterprises, 
and  for  their  forethought  and  cultured  taste,  genera^ 
tions  to  come  will  honor  their  memory. 

Mr.  Curtiss  was  one  of  the  first  trus- 
tees of  Riverside,  and  has  held  that  po- 
sition ever  since.  After  five  years  of 


116 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


service  as  superintendent  he  was  elected 
president,  which  office  he  yet  holds.  He 
has  always  given  the  institution  his  most 
earnest  care  and  attention,  and  has 
brought  the  full  fruit  of  his  natural  taste 
and  artistic  sense  to  its  service — having 
much  to  do  in  making  it  the  beautiful 
place  it  is  to-day. 

The  story  of  Pelton  park  and  its 
troubles  is  of  such  recent  date  that  only 
a passing  reference  thereto  is  necessary. 
It  had  been  in  litigation  for  some  twenty- 
five  years,  the  heirs  of  the  original 
owners  claiming  it  on  the  one  hand,  and 
the  public  on  the  other.  Mr.  Curtiss 
looked  into  the  matter  from  all  sides, 
and  after  weighing  all  the  claims  pro 
and  con,  suggested  a compromise  that 
was  finally  adopted.  The  city  paid  to 
the  heirs  fifty  thousand  dollars,  which 
was  about  one  half  the  value  of  the  prop- 
erty, and  received  a clear  title  to  the 
land — thus  securing  to  the  people  of  the 
south  side  a public  park  forever.  Mr. 
Curtiss  labored  hard  in  this  matter,  and 
the  wisdom  of  his  view  was  justified  in 
the  fact  that  all  the  parties  finally  agreed 
to  the  plan  he  proposed. 

Mr.  Curtiss’  latest  return  to  the  city 
council  was  demanded  by  the  people  of 
the  South  Side  because  of  the  general 
decision  everywhere  that  the  time  had 
at  last  come  to  bridge  the  ravine  be- 
tween the  East  and  South  Sides,  and 
take  an  advance  step  to  that  extent. 
He  entered  heart  and  soul  into  the 
measure.  He  spent  a number  of  days 
in  New  York  city  examining  the  various 
structures  there  erected.  His  part  in  that 
great  enterprise  is  well  known  to  the  peo- 
ple of  Cleveland.  It  was  his  suggestion 


that  finally  secured  its  adoption  and 
made  of  it  what  it  is  to  be — not  a mere 
local  roadway  uniting  the  East  Side  and 
the  South  Side,  but  a part  of  a grand 
belt  line  that,  with  the  viaduct,  should 
make  Cleveland  one  close  and  compact 
city,  independent  of  the  Valley  of  the 
Cuyahoga  and  Waiworth  run,  so  far  as 
communication  from  one  part  of  the 
city  with  the  other  is  concerned  He 
was  the  earnest  champion  for  this  im- 
provement from  the  start,  and  it  takes 
nothing  from  the  deserved  credit  of 
others  to  say  that  there  was  more  than 
one  time  in  the  history  of  the  enterprise 
that  it  would  have  fallen  through  had 
it  not  been  for  his  courage,  faith,  de- 
termination and  personal  influence.  He 
was  made  the  target  of  those  who  op- 
posed the  measure,  but  turned  neither 
to  the  right  nor  the  left  because  of  it, 
feeling  that  time  would  set  him  right 
and  the  people  endorse  the  measure. 
They  did  so,  and  this  plan  was  adopted 
and  is  now  in  process  of  being  carried 
out.  The  viaduct  in  its  early  days  met 
the  same  opposition  that  has  been  held 
to  the  great  central  bridge,  and  the  en- 
dorsement that  is  now  almost  unanim- 
ously given  to  that  measure  will  in 
future  days  be  extended  to  this  great 
improvement  that  is  to  bring  the  isolated 
portions  of  Cleveland  into  one  compact 
and  harmonious  whole. 

Restless  unless  engaged  in  something 
that  should  make  the  world  more  pleas- 
ing and  useful  as  a habitation  for  man, 
Mr.  Curtiss  sometime  ago  secured  con- 
trol of  one  of  the  most  beautiful  of  the 
Thousand  Island  points  in  Alexandria 
bay,  St.  Lawrence  river,  and  in  1885 


THE  MUNICIPAL  GROWTH  OF  CLEVELAND. 


117 


completed  the  organization  of  the  Edge- 
wood  club,  of  which  he  is  the  moving 
spirit  and  acknowledged  head.  Some 
idea  of  the  purpose  of  this  organization 
may  be  gained  from  the  following  taken 
from  a recent  prospectus  : 

The  object  of  the  club  is  to  provide  for  its  mem- 
bers and  their  families  a desirable  summer  resort 
which  shall  combine  all  the  comforts  and  conveni- 
ences of  home — which  shall  be,  in  its  nature,  a 
private  resort,  and  which,  above  all,  shall  be  exempt 
from  social  pests  and  public  annoyances — the  only 
condition  of  membership  being  that  the  applicant 
shall  be  a lady  or  gentleman  in  the  fullest  and  best 
sense  of  that  term.  The  Edgewood  Family  hotel  is 
situated  on  a commanding  point  of  Edgewood  park, 
overlooking  the  bay  and  the  noble  St.  Lawrence. 
The  park  includes  thirty  acres,  and  the  grounds 
are  beautifully  laid  out  with  easy,  graded  drives 
and  romantic  footpaths.  Commodious  stables  are 
also  being  built,  and  driving  will  be  one  of  the 
features  of  the  summer  gatherings,  while  a beauti- 
ful steam  yacht  will  be  purchased  for  the  conven- 
ience of  the  club. 

Mr.  Curtiss  has  entered  upon  this 
measure  as  he  has  on  those  above,  all 
through  a desire  for  the  growth  of 
improvements  in  all  directions,  and  has 
given  to  it  much  of  his  personal  care 
and  attention — especially  to  the  laying 
out  and  beautifying  of  the  grounds. 

Another  important  enterprise  origi- 
nated by  Mr.  Curtiss  and  now  occupying 
his  attention,  is  the  “ Euclid  Arcade,” 
connecting,  in  T shape,  Euclid,  Supe- 
rior and  Bond  streets,  and  which  bids 
fair  to  rank  as  one  of  the  greatest  pri- 
vate improvements  ever  undertaken  in 
Cleveland.  Mr.  Curtiss  first  conceived 
the  idea  during  his  travels  in  Europe 
some  years  ago,  and  has  since  then 
been  steadily  developing  his  plans. 
For  this  purpose  he  visited  almost 
every  arcade  known  to  exist  in  this 


country,  studying  their  construction, 
usefulness  and  profit,  until  last  spring 
he  began  active  operations  looking  to 
an  early  completion  of  the  project. 

The  above  outline  of  his  career  shows 
that  Mr.  Curtiss  has  been  a busy  man, 
and  detailed  mention  of  other  public  or 
social  avenues  through  which  he  has 
made  himself  felt  is  needless.  Strong 
in  the  affection  and  loyalty  of  his 
friends,  standing  high  in  the  regard  of 
the  public,  and  with  a capacity  and  ex- 
perience that  would  enable  him  to 
properly  fulfill  any  trust  to  which  he 
might  be  chosen,  he  has  never  sought 
to  advance  himself  in  public  office,  but 
on  the  contrary  has  only  accepted 
when  he  could  see  some  direct  way  in 
which  he  could  be  of  public  use.  He 
has  been  named  more  than  once  in 
connection  with  the  nomination  for 
mayor,  and  has  often  been  urged  to 
lend  the  use  of  his  name  in  connection 
with  other  high  and  honorable  positions. 
He  has  as  often  declined — content  to 
do  his  duty  where  he  could  and  leave 
the  self-seeking  to  others. 

Viewed  in  a personal  sense,  he  is  a 
strong  and  growing  man;  of  excellent 
judgment,  fair  in  his  views,  quiet  in 
assertion  but  strong  in  advancing  ideas 
which  he  believes  to  be  right ; honora- 
ble in  his  relations  with  men  ; charita- 
ble in  his  deeds,  and  exemplary  in  his 
life  and  character.  He  loves  his  home 
and  children  with  a loyal  devotion,  and 
in  their  midst  he  finds  strength  and 
consolation  for  the  trials  and  labors  of 
the  outward  world.  He  was  married  in 
1862  to  Miss  Susie  Brainard,  an  early 
schoolmate,  who  died  in  1869,  leaving 


118 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


one  daughter,  Miss  Ruth,  who  graduated 
from  Vassar  college  the  present  sum- 
mer. He  was  again  married  in  1874  to 
Miss  May  Eglin  of  Huntington,  Lorain 


county,  and  two  girls  and  two  boys 
have  been  the  fruit  of  their  union. 

J.  H.  Kennedy. 


THE  BENCH  AND  THE  BAR  OF  TORONTO,  AND  THE  ACT  OF  1791. 


In  introducing  to  the  reader  the  sub- 
ject of  the  Bench  and  Bar  of  Toronto 
I have  felt  that  the  subject  would  not 
be  complete  without  adding  to  it  the 
constitutional  act  of  1791,  as  it  was 
under  that  act  that  Upper  Canada  got 
her  separate  existence  and  following 
upon  that,  York,  now  Toronto,  became 
the  capital  of  the  province. 

Previous  to  the  passing  of  the  consti- 
tutional act,  the  condition  of  affairs 
— civil,  political  and  judicial — was  so 
widely  different  at  different  epochs  that 
it  will  be  profitable,  if  not  necessary,  to 
pass  in,  review  the  state  of  affairs  legal 
in  the  province  of  Quebec  during  this 
ante  1791  period. 

The  old  province  of  Quebec  was,  by 
an  act  of  the  imperial  parliament 
passed  in  1791 — generally  referred  to  by 
the  old  judges  as  “ The  act  of  the  thirty- 
first  of  the  King,”  with  special  emphasis 
on  the  word  king — divided  into  the  two 
provinces  of  Upper  and  Lower  Canada. 

The  period  extending  from  1759,  the 
date  of  the  conquest,  to  1 79 1 , may  well  be 
termed  the  revolutionary  period  of  the 
law  of  Canada. 

It  can  easily  be  conceived  that  in  a 
part  of  this  intervening  period — namely, 
the  period  between  1759  and  x7 63  in 


which  latter  year  the  treaty  of  peace 
was  come  to  between  Great  Britain  and 
France  by  which  the  province  of  Que- 
bec was  ceded  to  Great  Britain  by 
France — the  state  of  the  law  and  its 
administration  in  the  province  were  in  a 
very  unsatisfactory  state.  The  popula- 
tion was  a mixed  population,  comprising 
French  of  France,  French  Canadians 
born  in  the  province,  Indians,  Metis  or 
half  breeds,  English  officers,  English 
soldiers  and  English  traders,  a large 
majority  however  being  native  born 
French  Canadians.  The  lot  of  these 
people  was  not  a happy  one  ; the  civil 
government  was  military  rule. 

The  country  in  1760,  soon  after  the 
articles  of  surrender  were  signed  in 
Montreal,  was  divided  up  by  General 
Amherst,  the  then  governor-general,  into 
three  districts, .and  English  officers  were 
appointed  to  the  duty  of  district  gover- 
nor over  each  district,  with  a lieutenant- 
governor  over  the  whole.  These  district 
officers  had  a council  of  other  English 
officers  to  assist,  and  adjudged  cases 
brought  before  them  subject  to  the 
approval  of  the  lieutenant-governor. 

Up  to  the  treaty  of  peace  in  1763  the 
law  which  governed  was  rather  the  law 
of  might  than  of  right.  The  French 


THE  BENCH  AND  THE  BAR  OF  TORONTO. 


119 


Canadians  had  become  a conquered 
race  and  were  in  the  power  of  the  con- 
querors. There  is  nothing  to  show  that 
the  law  was  improperly  or  harshly  ad- 
ministered during  this  period.  Never- 
theless, with  a French  population  not 
understanding  English,  and  an  English 
tribunal  not  understanding  French,  it 
could  not  be  otherwise  than  that  differ- 
ences and  altercations  of  a serious 
character  should  occur.  On  the  one 
hand,  the  French  dearly  loved  their  old 
laws  and  did  not  at  all  relish  the  change 
in  government.  The  English  were  of 
opinion  that  British  subjects,  as  the 
French  had  become  by  conquest,  should 
be  governed  by  and  willingly  submit  to 
the  English  law  pure  and  simple. 

The  case  stood  thus  : By  the  twenty- 
first  article  of  the  articles  of  capitulation 
entered  into  at  Montreal,  September  8, 
1760,  between  General  Amherst,  com- 
mander-in-chief of  his  Britannic  ma- 
jesty’s troops  in  North  America,  and 
the  Marquis  of  Vaudreuil,  for  the 
French,  it  was  provided  that  the  English 
general  should  furnish  ships  for  carrying 
to  France  the  supreme  court  of  justice, 
police  and  admiralty. 

The  Marquis  of  Vaudreuil,  by  article 
forty-two  of  the  articles  of  capitu- 
lation, proposed  “ that  the  French  and 
Canadians  shall  continue  to  be  governed 
according  to  the  custom  of  Paris  and 
the  laws  and  usages  established  for  their 
country.”  General  Amherst  answered 
this  forty-second  article  thus:  “They 
become  subjects  of  his  majesty.”  The 
answer  of  the  general, it  will  thus  be  seen, 
was  short  but  significant.  Not  only  the 
correspondence  that  took  place  between 


the  two  commanders,  but  other  articles 
of  the  capitulation  all  go  to  show  that 
on  the  one  side  the  marquis  was  endeav- 
oring to  have  preserved  to  the  French 
and  Canadians  their  ancient  laws  and 
customs,  while  on  the  other  side  (the 
English)  the  commander  would  consent 
to  nothing  than  the  inhabitants  “should 
become  subjects  of  the  king,”  amenable 
to  the  laws  and  constitution  of  England. 

The  French  remaining  in  the  pro- 
vince after  the  capitulation,  till  the  final 
treaty  of  peace  was  signed,  in  1763,  were 
not  at  all  satisfied. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  military  law 
is  not  in  the  general  pleasing  to  civil- 
ians ; and  it  may  be  that  some  of  those 
charged  with  the  administration  of  the 
kind  of  law  imposed  upon  the  Cana- 
dians, were  not  the  best  qualified  for  the 
duties  they  had  to  discharge  ; but  there 
is  no  authority  for  saying,  as  said  by  at 
least  one  French  writer  of  history,  that 
“ this  martial  system  was  adopted  in 
violation  of  the  capitulation,  which 
guaranteed  to  the  Canadians  the  rights 
of  British  subjects.”  The  history  of 
the  time  rather  goes  to  show  that  the 
French  Canadians  though  conquered 
were  not  subdued.  They  still  clung 
to  their  old  laws,  and  did  not  willingly 
submit  to  become  British  subjects,  to 
be  governed  by  British  laws.  It  is  not 
surprising  that  this  should  have  been 
the  case.  The  French  Canadian,  walk- 
ing in  the  old  paths  all  his  life,  and  his 
forefathers  before  him,  for  more  than  a 
century,  could-  not  easily  be  weaned 
from  his  old  customs.  Still — “ L'homme 
propose  et  Dieu  dispose ” — the  fortunes 
of  war  had  gone  against  them.  With- 


120 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


out  objecting  to  remonstrance  on  the 
part  of  the  French,  the  British  officials 
demanded  peaceful  recognition  of  the 
change  and  respect  for  the  newly  con- 
stituted authority. 

Military  rule  was  finally  brought  to 
an  end  ; the  treaty  of  1763  was  signed:; 
the  English  colonists  had  now  reason  to 
believe  that  all  would  be  well  with 
them;  that  the  French  and  French 
Canadian  would  be  content ; that  there 
would  be  no  more  protestation  on  the 
part  of  the  French,  but  that  all  would 
act  together  for  the  general  good. 

There  is  nothing  in  the  treaty  which 
gave  to  the  French  Canadian  or  French 
of  France  the  old  laws  and  customs  of 
Canada,  the  laws  and  customs  which 
prevailed  before  the  conquest.  There 
was  a clause — clause  4 — by  which  “ His 
Britannic  Majesty  agreed  to  grant  the 
liberty  of  the  Catholic  religion  to  the 
inhabitants  of  Canada  ; he  will  conse- 
quently give  the  most  precise  and  effec- 
tual orders  that  his  new  Roman  Catholic 
subjects  may  profess  the  worship  of  their 
religion  according  to  the  rites  of  the 
Roman  Church,  as  far  as  the  laws  of 
Great  Britain  will  permit.’'  There  is 
not  a line  in  the  treaty  about  laws  and 
customs,  though  special  regard  was 
paid  to  the  matter  of  religion.  Read- 
ing the  capitulation  articles  and  the 
treaty  together,  it  is  apparent  that  the 
French,  both  by  negotiation  and  treaty, 
had  the  greatest  solicitude  for  their 
church  and  their  religion ; that  the 
English  thoroughly  appreciated  this, 
giving  them  very  exclusive  religious 
privileges  and  rights,  but  always  reserv- 
ing the  right  of  British  law. 


In  October,  1763,  a proclamation, 
under  the  great  seal,  was  published, 
erecting  four  new  civil  governments  in 
America,  namely  : Quebec,  East  Flor- 
ida, West  Florida  and  Grenada.  This 
proclamation  stated  “ that,  as  soon  as 
the  circumstances  of  the  colonies  would 
permit,  general  assemblies  of  the  people 
would  be  convened  in  the  same  manner  as 
in  the  American  provinces,  in  the  mean- 
time the  laws  of  England  to  be  in  force.” 
The  issuing  of  this  proclamation  by  the 
king  plainly  shows  what  his  view  of  the 
capitulation  and  the  treaty  was,  namely  : 
that  the  laws  of  England  were  to  pre- 
vail in  Quebec  until  altered  by  com- 
petent authority. 

Not  two  years  had  elapsed  after  the 
signing  of  the  treaty  when  the  governor- 
general,  acting  under  instructions, 
formed  a new  executive  council  com- 
posed of  the  two  lieutenant-governors 
of  the  two  districts  of  Montreal  and 
Three  Rivers,  into  which  the  province 
had  been  divided,  the  chief  justice,  the 
inspector-general  of  customs,  and  eight 
other  persons,  chosen  from  among  the 
inhabitants  of  the  colony,  who,  with 
himself,  should  possess  all  executive, 
legislative  and  judicial  functions.  This 
act  was  a remodeling  of  the  whole  pre- 
vious system. 

A court  called  the  king’s  bench,  and 
another  court  called  the  common  pleas, 
was  established  following  English  pre- 
cedent. Both  these  courts  were  bound 
to  render  decisions  based  on  the  law 
and  practice  of  England,  subject  to 
appeal  to  the  executive  council. 

In  an  ordinance  of  September,  1764, 
it  was  assumed  that  the  chief  justice, 


THE  BENCH  AND  THE  BAR  OF  TORONTO. 


121 


sitting  in  the  new  supreme  court  then 
existing,  had  full  power  to  determine  all 
cases,  both  criminal  and  civil,  conform- 
ably to  English  law  and  the  ordinances 
of  the  province.  Authors  (historio- 
graphers) both  French  and  English,  or 
rather  Upper  Canadian,  have  condemned 
this  act  of  the  king  in  issuing  the  proc- 
lamation of  1763  as  a “rash  and  unwise 
measure,  that  it  was  a great  injustice  to 
a conquered  people  to  compel  them 
suddenly  to  submit  to  this  law  of  the 
conqueror.” 

The  French  soon  showed  their  dispo- 
sition not  to  be  content  with  government 
under  British  law.  Neither  the  forms  of 
procedure  nor  the  administration  of  the 
law  met  with  their  approbation.  Noth- 
ing seemed  to  suit  them  but  the  “ old 
regime.”  They  argued;  they  discussed; 
they  remonstrated ; they  charged  a 
breach  of  faith  on  the  part  of  the  Eng- 
lish government — that  they  were  prom- 
ised their  old  laws,  including  the  old  way 
of  administration  of  those  laws,  instead 
of  which  they  had  English  courts  with 
English  judges  and  English  proced- 
ure, and,  to  crown  all,  the  English 
language.  This  must  not  be  endured. 
Petitions  must  be  sent  to  the  imperial 
government  setting  forth  their  alleged 
grievances.  The  British  in  the  colony 
determined  to  uphold  the  British  law. 
The  conflict  goes  on  apace.  Neither 
party  in  the  province  will  give  way. 
They  are  pulling  different  ways.  They 
are  at  cross  purposes — it  is  French 
or  English,  and  God  defend  the  right. 
There  is  much  ado  about  something,  and 
something  must  be  done  to  put  an  end 
to  turmoil  and  confusion.  Both  parties 


in  the  state  appealed  to  England  to  set- 
tle their  differences.  It  was  great  good 
fortune  for  the  French  party  that  just  at 
this  time  the  British  colonists  in  New 
England  were  demanding  from  old  Eng- 
land relief  from  their  alleged  grievances. 
The  doctrine  of  no  taxation  without 
representation  was  being  pushed  with 
great  vigor.  A revolution  of  the  North 
American  colonies  outside  of  Quebec 
was  looming  up  in  the  near  distance. 
In  the  case  of  actual  war  it  would  be 
wise  on  the  part  of  the  British  To  keep 
in  favor  her  French  Canadian  subjects 
in  Quebec.  Now  is  the  time  of  advantage 
for  the  French.  “ Nous  avons  T vantage .” 
A bill  is  introduced  into  the  house  of 
lords  to  provide  for  the  government  of 
Quebec.  It  passes  the  lords,  is  sent  to 
the  commons,  meets  with  great  opposi- 
tion there  ; a committee  is  appointed  ; 
witnesses,  Sir  Guy  Carleton  and  Mr. 
Hay  the  chief  justice,  are  examined  be- 
fore the  committee  ; the  commons  fin- 
ally passes  the  bill  in  amended  shape ; 
the  lords  concur,  the  king  assents  to  the 
act.  The  British  in  Quebec,  who  be- 
lieved themselves  the  conquering  and 
dominant  race,  are  to  change  place  with 
the  conquerors  and  submit  to  French 
law,  the  authorized  law  for  their  guid- 
ance in  the  conquered  province,  the  key 
of  the  whole  of  Canada.  This  act  was 
passed  by  the  imperial  parliament  in 
1774,  entitled:  “An  act  for  making 

more  effectual  provision  for  the  govern- 
ment of  North  America.”  The  eighth 
clause  of  this  act  enacted  as  follows  : 

His  majesty’s  Canadian  subjects  within  the  province 
of  Quebec,  the  religious  orders  and  communities 
only  excepted,  may  also  hold  and  enjoy  their  property 


122 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


and  possessions,  together  with  all  customs  and 
usages  relative  thereto,  and  all  other  their  civil  rights, 
in  as  large,  ample  and  beneficial  a manner  as  if  the 
proclamation,  commissions,  ordinances  and  other 
acts  and  instruments  had  not  been  made,  and  as  may 
consist  with  their  allegiance  to  his  majesty  and  sub- 
ject to  the  crown  and  parliament  of  Great  Britain, 
and  in  all  matters  of  controversy  relative  to  property 
and  civil  rights,  resort  shall  be  had  to  the  laws  of 
Canada  as  the  rule  for  the  decision  of  the  same  ; 
and  all  causes  that  shall  hereafter  be  instituted  in  any 
of  the  courts  of  justice  to  be  appointed  within  and 
for  the  said  province,  by  his  majesty,  his  heirs  and 
successors,  shall,  with  respect  to  such  property  and 
rights,  be  determined  agreeably  to  the  said  laws  and 
customs  of  Canada  until  they  shall  be  varied  or 
altered  by  any  ordinances  that  shall  from  time  to 
time  be  passed  in  the  said  province  by  the  gov- 
ernor, lieutenant-governor  or  commander-in-chief  for 
the  time  being,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent 
of  the  legislative  council  of  the  same,  to  be  appointed 
in  manner  hereinafter  mentioned. 

By  enacting  that  “in  all  matters  of 
controversy  and  civil  rights  resort  shall 
be  had  to  the  laws  of  Canada  as  the 
rule  for  the  decision  of  the  same,”  the 
old  Canada  or-French  law  was  restored 
and  all  his  majesty’s  subjects,  French 
and  English,  in  the  colony  were  in  civil 
matters  placed  under  laws  totally  foreign 
to  British  immigrants  and  those  of  the 
old  British  settlers  who  had  been  accus- 
tomed to  British  law. 

The  speech  of  his  majesty,  the  king, 
to  both  houses  of  parliament,  discloses 
the  reason  for  passing  that  act.  In  that 
speech  his  majesty  says  : 

The  very  peculiar  circumstances  of  embarrassment 
in  which  the  province  of  Quebec  is  involved  had 
rendered  the  proper  adjustment  and  regulation  of 
the  government  thereof  a matter  of  no  small  diffi- 
culty. The  bill  which  you  prepared  for  that  purpose 
and  to  which  I have  now  given  my  assent  is  founded 
on  the  clearest  principles  of  justice  and  humanity, 
and  will,  I doubt  not,  have  the  best  effects  in  quelling 
the  minds  and  promoting  the  happiness  of  my  Can- 
adian subjects.  1 have  seen  with  concern  a danger- 


ous spirit  of  resistance  to  my  government  and  the 
execution  of  the  laws  in  the  province  of  Massachu- 
setts Bay  in  New  England. 

The  act  of  1774  enlarged  the  boun- 
daries of  the  province  of  Quebec  south 
to  the  banks  of  the  Ohio  and  westward 
to  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi,  thus 
taking  into  the  province  of  Quebec  a 
territory  and  people  of  one  of  the 
British  North  American  colonies  to  the 
south  of  the  great  lakes  and  which  after- 
ward, by  the  treaty  of  Versailles  in  1783, 
became  part  of  one  of  the  free  and  in- 
dependent United  States  of  America. 
The  act  had  no  sooner  passed  and  been 
communicated  to  the  provincials,  than 
the  English  party  now  in  their  turn  set 
about  protesting  against  the  injustice 
done  them  in  imposing  the  French  law 
on  his  majesty’s  loyal  subjects  ; British 
subjects  of  his  province,  the  laws  of  the 
conquered  race.  Petitions  were  sent 
to  the  imperial  parliament  asking  for  a 
repeal  of  the  act.  The  discontented 
colonists  of  the  New  England  states, 
bent  on  revolution,  were  not  slow  in 
urging  the  people  of  Canada  to  join  them 
in  their  intended  resistance  to  imperial 
authority.  The  congress  of  the  New 
England  states,  which  met  at  Phila- 
delphia on  the  fifth  of  September,  1774, 
addressed  the  colonists  in  Canada  as, 
“Friends  and  fellow  citizens,”  and  then 
endeavored  to  impress  them  with  the 
advantage  of  their  confederation. 
During  the  American  Revolutionary 
War,  beginning  with  the  affair  at  Lex- 
ington and  ending  with  the  treaty  of 
peace  in  1783,  the  law  was  administered 
in  Quebec  under  the  act  of  1774,  the 
French  law,  and  was  most  distasteful  to 


THE  BENCH  AND  THE  BAR  OR  TORONTO. 


123 


the  British  residents.  At  the  time  of 
the  passing  of  the  Quebec  act  of  1774, 
by  which  the  boundaries  were  extended, 
as  already  stated,  so  as  to  include  the 
inhabitants  of  the  Ohio  valley,  there 
were  as  many  as  twenty  thousand  peo- 
ple in  that  region  who  had  emigrated 
thitherward  from  other  states.  These 
people  had  enjoyed  the  benefit  of  British 
laws  as  administered  in  the  colonial 
courts.  They  were  not  then  disposed 
to  accept  in  their  place  the  “ Contume- 
de-Paris  ” or  any  other  system  of  French 
law  in  place  of  the  law  to  which  they 
had  been  accustomed.  Thus  a very 
large  auxiliary  force  was  added  to  the 
small  number  of  Anglo-Canadian  sub- 
jects settled  in  the  districts  of  Montreal 
and  Quebec,  to  aid  in  protesting  against 
the  French  law. 

In  1784,  following  the  treaty  of  peace 
between  the  United  States  and  Britain, 
a large  number  of  subjects  of  the  king 
in  the  now  enfranchised  colonies  south  % 
of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  great  lakes, 
who  preferred  monarchical  to  Republi- 
can government,  and  came  to  Canada, 
settled  on  the  banks  of  the  St.  Lawrence. 
These  immigrants  to  Canada,  called 
United  Empire  loyalists,  on  their  arrival 
in  Canada  soon  found  that  their  situa- 
tion was  not  much  improved  if  they 
were  to  be  relegated  to  old,  and  in  their 
view,  antiquated  laws  of  France.  They 
left  the  United  States  especially  to  place 
themselves  under  British  law,  and  this 
they  determined  to  have.  In  this  par- 
ticular they  only  held  to  the  same 
opinion  as  had  influenced  the  people  of 
the  Ohio  valley,  when  they,  between 


1774  and  1783,  made  their  protests 
against  being  governed  by  French  law. 

In  1788  Lord  Dorchester,  acting  for 
the  king  and  in  the  name  of  the  king, 
styling  his  majesty  king  of  Great  Bri- 
tain, France  and  Ireland,  issued  a 
proclamation  reciting  the  ordinances  of 
the  province,  dividing  the  province  into 
two  districts  and  proclaimed  that  there- 
after the  province  should  be  divided 
into  five  provinces,  namely : Lunen- 

burg, bounded  on  the  eastern  limit  by 
a tract  of  land  called  by  the  name  of 
“ The  Lancaster  Tract,”  the  western 
limit  of  which  should  be  the  mouth  of 
the  Gananoque  river,  or,  as  then  called, 
the  Thames  river ; Mecklenburg,  to 
adjoin  Lunenburg  on  the  west,  and 
to  extend  westward  to  the  mouth  of  the 
River  Trent ; Nassau,  to  adjoin  Meck- 
lenburg and  extend  westward  to  extreme 
projection  of  Long  Point  into  Lake 
Erie  ; Hesse,  comprehending  all  the 
residue  of  the  province  to  the  west ; 
Gaspe,  all  that  part  of  the  prov- 
ince on  south  side  of  the  St.  Lawrence 
to  the  eastward  of  a north  and  south 
line  intersecting  the  northeasterly  side 
of  Cape  Cat. 

By  provincial  act  of  Upper  Canada, 
passed  in  1792,  the  four  districts  within 
that  province,  namely  : Lunenburg, 

Mecklenburg,  Nassau  and  Hesse,  were 
changed  in  the  order  of  these  names  to 
Eastern  District,  Midland  District, 
Home  District  and  Western  District. 
The  period  between  1774  and  1791  has 
generally  been  termed  “ The  Legisla- 
tive Council”  period.  This  arises  from 
the  fact  that  by  the  Quebec  act  a legis- 


124 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


lative  council,  who  were  appointees  of 
the  crown,  governed  the  province.  In 
1777  an  ordinance  was  passed  by  this 
legislative  body  dividing  the  province 
into  two  districts  and  established  two 
courts,  a court  of  king’s  bench  and  a 
court  of  common  pleas,  for  each  dis- 
trict. The  act  which  placed  the  power 
of  government  in  a body  irresponsible 
to  the  people,  was  the  means  of  caus- 
ing much  contention  and  ill-will.  The 
judges  for  the  courts  were  in  many  in- 
stances not  such  as  to  lend  either  dig- 
nity or  learning  to  the  administration  of 
the  law;  they  did  not  understand  the 
French  language ; the  forms  of  law 
were  wholly  unfamiliar  to  the  French  ; 
disquietude,  discontent  and  dissatisfac- 
tion prevailed  in  the  colony.  The 
English  saw  the  French  law  which  the 
judges  did  not  understand  administered 
by  English  judges.  The  French  wit- 
nessed their  law  not  interpreted  cor- 
rectly and  mal-administered  by  the 
bench.  Petitions  were  sent  to  England 
to  alter  this  state  of  things.  The  situa- 
tion of  affairs  was  very  perplexing  to 
English  statesmen.  Committees  were 
formed  to  examine  the  whole  subject. 
Instructions  were  sent  to  the  govern- 
ment of  Quebec  to  obtain  a reliable 
report  as  to  the  cause  of  the  discon- 
tent. English  traders  of  Quebec  and 
French  citizens  were  called  upon  to 
give  their  evidence ; reports  were  sent 
to  the  English  government.  After  re- 
ceipt of  these  reports  and  a. review  of 
the  whole  question,  the  imperial  govern- 
ment, acting  on  the  advice  of  Mr.  Pitt, 
determined  to  divide  the  province  into 
two  provinces,  as  it  were  to  herd  the 


French  in  one  part  of  the  old  province 
of  Quebec  and  the  English  in  the  other 
part,  so  that  each  could  have  the  laws 
most  agreeable  to  a majority  of  the 
people  of  the  respective  provinces. 
On  this  the  king  advised  and  the  parlia- 
ment passed  the  act  of  the  thirty-first 
of  the  king  31  George  III,  Cap.  31, 
which  replaced  the  legislative  clauses 
of  the  act  of  1774  and  divided  the  prov- 
ince into  two  provinces,  one  the  prov- 
ince of  Upper  Canada  (now  Ontario) 
and  the  other  the  province  of  Lower 
Canada,  by  subsequent  legislation  called 
the  province  of  Quebec,  remitting  it  to 
the  name  of  the  two  provinces  com- 
bined before  the  division.  The  legisla- 
ture of  Upper  Canada  at  their  first  ses- 
sion, held  at  Niagara  on  the  seventeenth 
of  September,  1792,  enacted  that  the 
laws  of  England  instead  of  the  laws  of 
Canada  were  to  govern  in  matters  of 
property  and  civil  rights  in  Upper  Can- 
ada. Thus  we  have  introduced  into 
the  newly  constituted  province  of  Up- 
per Canada  laws  most  congenial  to  the 
taste  of  the  United  Empire  Loyalists  and 
to  the  English,  Irish  and  Scotch,  by 
whom  the  province  was  principally  set- 
tled. The  United  Empire  Loyalists 
had  much  to  do  in  bringing  about  this 
state  of  things  and  the  English  law  in 
the  province  in  which  they  had  come 
to  settle  on  being  expatriated  from  the 
new  United  States.  These  settlers  in 
the  province  were  imbued  with  very 
strong  ideas  on  the  subject  of  monarch- 
ical government  and  British  laws.  To 
their  minds  the  establishment  of  a Re- 
publican government  in  America  would 
not  prove  a success.  Time  has  shown 


THE  BENCH  AND  THE  BAR  OF  TORONTO . 


125 


that  they  were  mistaken  in  this,  but  let- 
ting this  be  granted  by  adhering  to  the 
British  laws  they  have  retained  laws 
which  have  formed  the  model  of  Amer- 
ican jurisprudence  as  opposed  to  the 
“ Contume-de- Paris  ” and  the  laws  of 
old  France. 

The  French  in  the  province  of  Quebec 
retain  the  laws  guaranteed  to  them  by  the 
act  of  1774,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt 
the  act  of  1774  was  passed  after  dil- 
igent enquiry  as  to  the  propriety  of  the 
act  at  the  time.  The  attorney  and  solic- 
itor-general of  Quebec  had  both  advised 
that  the  French  should  be  remitted  to 
their  old  law.  So  great  an  authority  as 
Lord  Thurlow  had  declared  that  every 
Canadian  had  a claim  in  justice  to  as 
much  of  his  ancient  laws,  regarding 
private  rights,  as  was  not  inconsistent 
with  the  principles  of  his  new  govern- 
ment. The  French  had  loudly  protested 
against  the  king’s  proclamation  and  the 
establishment  of  courts  in  the  province. 
To  administer  English  law,  without  an 
act  of  the  imperial  parliament,  was  an 
act  of  despotism  and  wholly  unwar- 
ranted. The  act  of  1791,  dividing  the 
province,  enabled  the  French  to  mould 
the  laws  to  their  liking.  The  English 


of  Ontario  and  of  Quebec  of  to-day  are 
not  more  content  than  the  English  of 
the  ante-American  Revolution  period 
with  this  condition  of  affairs.  The 
mother  country  has  shaped  the  policy  of 
Canada  as  a whole,  and  it  is  only  im- 
perial legislation  or  a revolution  that 
can  undo  what  has  already  been  accom- 
plished. 

The  French  in  the  province  of  Quebec 
are  as  four  to  one  of  the  English  popula- 
tion, and  strongly  insist  that  with  such 
a majority  their  French  law,  accorded  to 
them  by  the  act  of  1774,  should  continue 
to  prevail,  while  the  English  minority  in- 
sist that  in  a British  province  they  are  en- 
titled to  have  British  laws,  like  as  are  in 
force  in  other  provinces  of  the  dominion. 

I do  not  propose  to  enter  into  this  con- 
troversy— it  is  a large  political  question 
and  foreign  to  my  purpose  in  writing  of 
thelaw. 

Having  thus  reviewed  the  events  of  old 
times  leading  up  to  the  act  of  1792,  plac- 
ing the  British  law  on  a solid  foundation, 
it  will  be  proper  to  proceed  with  the 
main  subject,  giving  some  account  of 
those  called  upon  to  advocate  and  ad- 
minister the  law  thus  established,  begin- 
ning with  the  first  chief  justice,  Osgoode. 

D.  B.  Read. 


126 


MAGAZINE  OE  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST,  AS  TOLD  BY  SKETCHES 
OF  ITS  LEADING  MEN. 

II. 


* AMMI  WILLARD  WRIGHT. 

The  unwritten  history  of  the  Great 
West  contains  many  characters  of  real 
worth  and  excellence,  furnishing  such 
practical  illustrations  of  the  value  to 
society  of  the  cardinal  virtues  in  busi- 
ness life,  as  to  make  it  desirable  to 
record  the  more  prominent  examples 
of  personal  commercial  integrity  and 
success  for  the  high  purposes  of  in- 
struction and  honorable  commendation. 
Men  who  live  in  the  eye  of  the  public 
as  incumbents  of  office,  conferred  by 
suffrages  of  the  people,  reach  places  in 
history  by  the  force  of  circumstances, 
as  well  as  by  personal  worth  and  the 
faithful  employment  of  great  abilities 
for  the  good  of  the  nation.  Men  in 
business  life  can  only  rise  into  promin- 
ence and  become  objects  of  high  con- 
sideration in  public  estimation  by  the 
development  of  the  noblest  attributes 
of  manhood  in  enterprises  that  largely 
effect  the  well-being  of  communities. 
The  accidents  of  birth  and  fortune  and 
the  adventitious  aids  of  chance  and  cir- 
cumstance can  do  little  to  give  those 
men  position  in  history  whose  resources 
are  within  the  limits  of  their  brains  and 
their  hands. 

The  subject  of  this  paper  finds  an  ap- 
propriate place  in  the  history  of  those 
men  of  business  and  enterprise  in  the 


state  of  Michigan,  whose  force  of  char- 
acter, whose  sterling  integrity,  whose 
fortitude  amid  discouragements,  whose 
good  sense  in  the  management  of  com- 
plicated affairs,  whose  control  of  agen- 
cies and  circumstances,  and  whose 
marked  success  in  establishing  large 
industries  and  bringing  to  completion 
great  schemes  of  trade  and  profit,  have 
contributed  in  an  eminent  degree  to  the 
development  of  the  vast  resources  of 
this  noble  commonwealth. 

The  biographical  data  in  Mr.  Wright’s 
history  claim  a brief  space.  He  was 
born  in  Grafton,  Windham  county,  Ver- 
mont, July  5,  1822.  His  parents  were 
natives  of  the  same  “ Green  Mountain 
State.”  He  justly  regards  with  pride 
and  satisfaction  his  New  England  par- 
entage, and  has  the  strongest  attach- 
ments to  his  native  state.  The  love  of 
freedom,  the  independence  of  charac- 
ter, the  stern  virtues  of  patriotism,  and 
obedience  to  law  and  authority,  that 
characterize  her  people,  belong  to  him 
as  one  of  her  worthiest  sons.  The  his- 
tory, the  institutions  and  the  Revolu- 
tionary memories  that  associate  the 
“ Green  Mountains  ” with  all  that  is 
dear  and  precious  in  the  story  of  Amer- 
ican independence,  serve  to  make  Mr. 
Wright’s  recollections  of  his  early  life 
a benediction  upon  his  heart.  His 


*This  sketch  was  written  and  furnished  us  by  Rev.  T.  C.  Gardner  and  Hon.  John  Moore. 


JEng  d hyiB.G.  Williams  & BraWeu/  York. 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST— WRIGHT. 


127 


father’s  family,  comprising  seven  sons 
and  three  daughters,  after  the  good  old 
New  England  type,  removed  to  Rock- 
ingham, Vermont,  where  he  received 
his  education  at  the  district  school,  his 
school  life  closing  at  the  age  of  seven- 
teen. The  next  three  years  of  his  life 
were  spent  in  farm  work,  where  the  soil 
and  climate  made  rigid  economy  and 
thoroughness  necessary  to  success,  and 
where  he  acquired  a real  love  of  agri- 
culture and  a manly  admiration  of  fine 
horses  and  fine  stock.  Exchanging  the 
country  for  the  city  he  resided  in  Boston 
for  a year,  learning  primary  business 
lessons  in  the  school  of  experience 
under  the  tutorship  of  his  own  mother- 
wit,  and  making  the  world’s  acquaint- 
ance amid  scenes  and  excitements  and 
activities  calculated  to  start  his  mind 
into  new  methods  of  action.  Returning 
to  Vermont  in  1844,  before  the  age  of 
railroad  enterprise  and  rapid  transit  had 
changed  the  old  ways  of  doing  business 
and  making  money,  he  engaged  in  the 
carrying  trade  between  Rutland  and  Bos- 
ton, taking  produce  from  the  country 
to  the  great  city  and  bringing  back 
manufactured  goods  to  the  village  mer- 
chants. Two  years  of  activity  in  this 
line,  in  which  he  accumulated  some 
capital,  ended  his  transportation  busi- 
ness for  the  present,  and  the  next  year 
he  managed  a hotel  in  Bartonsvibe,  for 
Jeremiah  Barton,  and  in  1848  married 
Miss  Harriet  Barton,  the  eldest  daugh- 
ter of  his  employer,  and  leased  his 
hotel.  A year  afterwards  he  removed 
to  Boston  and  leased  the  Central  Hotel, 
on  Brattle  Square,  but  in  a few  months 
concluded  to  leave  the  east  and  seek 


his  fortune  and  make  his  home  in  the 
west.  His  various  changes  and  experi- 
ences in  incipient  business  life  qualified 
him  for  a larger  field  in  which  his  en- 
ergy, self-reliance  and  restless  ambi- 
tion were  to  find  their  appropriate 
sphere  of  action,  and  to  work  out  re- 
sults far  surpassing  his  fondest  dreams 
and  expectations. 

The  summer  of  1850  found  Mr.  Wright 
and  his  family  in  Detroit,  then  a small 
undeveloped  city  which  together  with 
the  whole  county  of  Wayne  embraced  a 
population  of  42,756.  It  is  now  one  of 
the  most  beautiful  cities  in  the  Union 
with  a population  of  about  150,000. 
Michigan  at  that  time  was  a state  whose 
resources  were  quite  unknown.  The 
lumber,  salt,  copper  and  iron  interests 
existed  only  in  embryo.  The  Central 
railroad  had  reached  New  Buffalo.  The 
Michigan  Southern  was  in  process  of 
construction.  The  Detroit  and  Grand 
Haven  extended  twenty-five  miles  to 
Pontiac.  The  whole  number  of  miles 
of  railroad  was  three  hundred  and  forty- 
two.  The  miles  of  railroad  in  the  state 
now  amount  to  about  seven  thousand. 
The  population  of  the  state  in  1850  was 
397,654.  It  now  numbers  about  two 
million. 

Among  our  manufacturing  industries 
lumber  took  the  lead,  and  the  Saginaw 
Valley  soon  became  the  chief  seat  of  the 
lumber  interest.  Mr.  Wright  fixed  his 
eye  on  this  business  as  his  leading  and 
permanent  occupation,  and  in  1851  he 
came  to  Saginaw.  Saginaw  county  then 
embraced  what  is  now  included  in  sev- 
enteen organized  counties,  having  only  a 
population  of  about  two  thousand.  The 


128 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


same  territory  now  numbers  a population 
upwards  of  two  hundred  and  fifty  thou- 
sand, comprising  vast  ranges  of  beautiful 
farms  and  populous  cities.  The  lumber 
interest  has  grown  from  ten  millions  of 
feet  in  185 1,  to  over  one  thousand  millions 
of  feet  in  1886.  Saginaw  in  1851  had  a 
population  of  three  hundred,  while  it 
now  has  within  its  limits  fifteen  thousand 
souls.  East  Saginaw  then  had  but  a 
handful  of  people.  It  now  has  twenty- 
five  thousand  inhabitants.  A rope  ferry 
connected  the  two  towns.  The  first 
year  of  Mr.  Wright’s  residence  in  the 
Saginaw  valley  he  devoted  to  prospect- 
ing lands  contiguous  to  the  Cass,  Flint 
and  Tittabawassee  rivers,  personally 
inspecting  large  tracts  of  pine,  bravely 
enduring  the  hardships  of  pioneer  life- 
He  had  the  enviable  fortune  of  choosing 
the  finest  pine  in  the  state,  and  com- 
menced his  lumber  operations  on  the 
Cass  river  in  the  vicinity  of  the  present 
village  of  Caro.  Fie  first  put  in  two 
million  feet  of  logs,  running  them  down 
to  Saginaw  and  disposing  of  them  to  the 
mills,  which  in  1853  numbered  thirteen 
and  manufactured  about  twenty-five 
million  feet  of  lumber,  sent  by  water  to 
Buffalo,  Milwaukee  and  Chicago.  Up  to 
1859  lumbering  was  principally  done  on 
the  tributaries  of  the  large  Saginaw  river, 
leaving  a distance  of  one  hundred  miles 
on  Saginaw  Bay  an  unbroken  mass  of 
choice  timber,  to  become  the  scene  of 
future  operations. 

From  1859  to  1865  Mr.  Wright  prose- 
cuted lumbering  operations  quite  exten- 
sively in  connection  with  Messrs.  Miller 
& Payne.  The  firm  of  Miller,  Payne 
& Wright  purchased  what  was  called 


the  “Big  Mill”  of  the  Farmers’  and 
Mechanics’  Bank  of  Burlington,  Ver- 
mont, and  refitted  the  mill  with  the  best 
machinery  that  could  be  procured,  and 
prosecuted  business  with  great  energy, 
notwithstanding  prices  were  not  very 
renumerative,  cargoes  in  1859  bringing 
only  three  dollars  and  fifty  cents  for  culls, 
seven  dollars  for  common,  twelve  dollars 
for  second  clear,  and  sixteen  dollars  for 
clear  when  delivered  in  Chicago.  In 
1865  the  firm  of  Miller,  Payne  & Wright 
was  dissolved  and  was  succeeded  by 
that  of  A.  W.  Wright  & Co.,  the  com- 
pany being  J.  FI.  Pearson  of  Chicago, 
who  supervised  their  large  lumber  yard 
in  that  city.  In  1871  Mr.  Pearson  re- 
tired from  the  firm.  At  that  time  Mr. 
Wright  extended  his  operations  by  es- 
tablishing the  lumber  firm  of  Wright, 
Wells  & Co. — Charles  H.  Davis  and 
Reuben  Kimball  being  the  company; — at 
Wright’s  lake,  Otsego  county.  In  1881 
Messrs.  Wells  and  Kimball  retired  from 
the  firm,  and  Wright  & Davis  continued 
the  business.  In  connection  with  their 
lumbering  interests  Messrs.  Wright  & 
Pearson,  in  1867,  established  a lumber- 
man’s wholesale  supply  store  at  Saginaw, 
associating  with  themselves  Messrs. 
Northrup  and  Wells.  In  the  year  fol- 
lowing Mr.  Northrup  retired  from  the 
firm  and  Mr.  F.  C.  Stone  took  his  place, 
and  from  that  date  the  business  has  been 
conducted  in  the  name  of  Wells,  Stone 
& Co.  In  1871  Mr.  Wright  bought  out 
Mr.  Pearson’s  interest,  and  Mr.  Pearson 
retired  from  the  firm.  This  firm  became 
widely  known  by  its  probity  and  suc- 
cess, and  extended  their  large  business 
by  the  purchase  of  thirty  thousand  acres 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST— WRIGHT. 


129 


of  pine  land  in  Roscommon,  Gladwin 
and  Clare  counties.  They  established 
a lumbering  plant,  built  thirty-two 
miles  of  railroad,  properly  equipped 
with  three  locomotives  and  other 
necessary  rolling  stock,  and  cultivated 
a farm  of  one  thousand  acres.  In  1882 
the  “A.  W.  Wright  Lumber  compan)” 
was  organized  and  incorporated  with  a 
capital  of  one  million  and  a half  of  dol- 
lars, with  A.  W.  Wright,  president; 
Charles  W.  Wells,  vice-president ; F.  C. 
Stone,  treasurer  ; W.  T.  Knowlton,  sec- 
retary ; and  W.  H.  Wright,  mill  superin- 
tendent. The  firm  of  Wells,  Stone  & 
Co.,  with  all  their  lands,  railroad  and 
lumber  interests,  and  also  the  firms  of 
A.  W.  Wright  & Co.,  and  Wright  & 
Knowlton  at  Saginaw,  comprising  saw 
mill,  salt  block,  planing  mill  and  lumber 
yards,  were  all  merged  into  this  corpor- 
ation. The  lumbering  operations  of  this 
corporation  in  all  the  above  named 
counties  embrace  the  cutting  and  rafting 
of  logs  to  their  own  mills,  to  the  amount 
of  forty  millions  per  year.  In  addition 
to  the  business  of  this  corporation  Mr. 
Wright’s  organizing  genius  and  capac- 
ity for  work  are  seen  in  the  opera- 
tions of  the  firm  of  Wright  & Ketcham, 
carried  on  exclusively  in  lumbering  in 
the  counties  of  Gladwin  and  Midland, 
where  they  put  in  forty  millions  of  logs 
yearly  with  a force  of  four  hundred  men. 

Mr.  Wright’s  agricultural  tastes, 
formed  in  his  native  Vermont,  consti- 
tute an  agreeable  element  in  his  char- 
acter and  have  found  practical  expres- 
sion in  his  love  of  improvement  and  in 
his  appreciation  of  fine  farms  with  their 
beautiful  landscapes  of  meadows,  grains 


and  fruits  and  forests.  Early  in  his 
Michigan  activities  he  cultivated  a large 
farm  in  Genesee  county  where  his  fam- 
ily enjoyed  the  advantages  of  home  life 
amid  rural  scenes  and  industries  con- 
genial to  virtue  and  domestic  felicity. 
At  the  present  time  he  has  large  grazing 
lands  in  Texas,  Dakota  and  Montana 
that  are  devoted  to  profitable  industry, 
fine  sheep  and  cattle  and  horses  coming 
within  the  range  of  his  calculations. 
His  delight  in  improvements  and  his 
interest  in  whatever  comes  under  the 
head  of  progress  are  seen  in  the  town 
of  Alma,  Gratiot  county,  Michigan, 
which  is  mainly  his  creation,  having  a 
population  of  nearly  two  thousand  souls, 
its  situation  being  remarkably  pleasant, 
surrounded  by  beautiful  farms.  It  has 
good  sewerage,  Holly  water  works, 
high  school  advantages,  four  churches, 
two  wheat  elevators,  saw,  planing  and 
flouring  mills,  sash,  door  and  woolen 
factories,  four  railroads,  large  stores,  a 
spacious  and  beautiful  hotel,  a medical 
and  surgical  sanitarium  in  connection 
with  mineral  waters,  an  expensive  edu- 
cational structure  which  will  probably 
assume  the  name  and  functions  of  a 
denominational  college  of  a high  order, 
and  a ten  acre  park,  all  the  result  of  his 
enterprise,  and  involving  the  expendi- 
ture of  his  wealth  to  the  amount  of  two 
hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars.  It 
is  to  be  a thing  of  beauty  and,  it  is  to 
be  hoped,  of  joy  for  generations. 

Mention  must  also  be  made  of  Mr. 
Wright’s  general  business  interests,  as 
illustrating  his  breadth  of  vision  and 
his  comprehensive  activities.  His  for- 
tunes had  their  rise  and  growth  in 


130 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


his  manifold  lumbering  business,  but 
they  have  spread  out  in  nearly  all  direc- 
tions of  legitimate  practical  and  pro- 
ductive employment  of  capital.  The 
Tittabawassee  Boom  company,  incor- 
porated in  1864,  uses  a large  amount  of 
capital  and  handles  six  hundred  millions 
of  feet  of  logs  per  year,  and  owes  much 
of  its  success  to  Mr.  Wright’s  business 
capacity  and  experience  as  one  of  its 
incorporators  and  directors,  and  for 
many  years  its  highest  officer.  In  1865 
was  built  the  Saginaw  and  St.  Louis 
plank  road,  connecting  St.  Louis,  Gra- 
tiot county,  with  Saginaw,  thirty-five 
miles  in  extent,  and  opening  a market 
for  a large  farming  country.  Mr. 
Wright’s  time  and  means  contributed 
largely  to  the  success  of  this  enter- 
prise. 

In  1872  the  Saginaw  Valley  & St. 
Louis  railroad  was  deemed  a necessity. 
A company  was  formed  with  Mr. 
Wright  as  treasurer,  and,  notwithstand- 
ing many  difficulties,  through  his  char- 
acteristic energy  the  enterprise  was  be- 
gun and  carried  to  completion. 

The  First  National  Bank  of  Saginaw, 
with  a capital  of  two  hundred  thousand 
dollars,  organized  in  1871,  has  been 
one  of  the  most  successful  banking  in- 
stitutions in  the  state.  For  nearly  the 
whole  period  of  its  existence  Mr.  Wright 
has  been  its  president.  He  has  been 
president  of  the  Commercial  Bank  of 
Mt.  Pleasant,  Michigan,  from  the  date 
of  its  organization  to  the  present  time ; 
is  also  president  of  the  Merchant’s  Na- 
tional Bank  of  Duluth,  Minnesota,  and 
holds  position  of  director  in  the  First 
National  Bank  of  Saratoga,  New  York, 


and  in  the  National  Bank  of  Commerce, 
Minneapolis,  Minnesota,  and  has  bank- 
ing interests  in  Alma,  Michigan.  His 
commercial  interests  are  largely  cen- 
tered in  Detroit,  Duluth,  Louisville  and 
Minneapolis.  He  has  investments  in 
one  of  the  largest  sash,  door  and  blind 
factories  in  the  state  of  New  York,  lo- 
cated at  Oswego  ; in  the  “ Advance 
Threshing  Machine  Company,”  Battle 
Creek,  Michigan,  and  in  the  Saginaw 
Manufacturing  company  at  Saginaw. 

This  brief  view  of  Mr.  Wright’s  busi- 
ness career  and  interests  shows  him  to 
be  an  extraordinary  man.  His  per- 
sonal history  exhibits  the  highest  and 
noblest  attributes  of  character.  A man 
of  such  native  endowments  and  re- 
sources, with  proper  training  and  edu- 
cation, could  command  large  armies, 
organize  governments  and  administer 
the  affairs  of  an  empire.  Flis  life  has 
been  one  continuous  scene  of  incessant 
activity  and  almost  uninterrupted  suc- 
cess. His  achievements  suggest  a study 
of  the  man,  his  character,  his  qualities, 
his  methods  of  action,  his  peculiar 
power  to  grapple  with  the  forces  of  life 
around  him,  and  to  wield  the  agencies 
of  nature  and  humanity  that  are  essen- 
tial to  the  attainment  of  real  greatness 
in  a long  and  varied  career  of  business. 
Such  a study  would  require  the  space 
of  a volume,  and  so  must  give  place  to 
brief  reflections  and  observations. 

An  eminent  citizen  of  Saginaw,  one 
of  Mr.  Wright’s  many  intimate  friends, 
and  well  qualified  to  give  sound  judg- 
ments of  men  and  things,  thus  speaks 
of  him  : 

Mr.  Wright  is  a strong  man,  physically  and  men- 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST— WRIGHT. 


131 


tally  ; of  great  business  capacity,  a thorough  or- 
ganizer ; good  in  the  generalities  and  details  of  busi- 
ness ; strong  in  his  friendships,  sometimes  almost  to 
the  point  of  danger,  never  willingly  giving  up  one  in 
whom  he  has  trusted  ; always  willing  to  help  the 
worthy,  but  sometimes  turning  a deaf  ear  to  an  ap- 
plicant for  his  bounty  who  has  not  learned  the  path- 
way to  competency  by  industry  and  economy  ; 
strong  in  his  dislikes  of  men  whom  he  does  not  be- 
lieve in  as  honest  or  worthy  of  trust  or  who  may 
have  once  betrayed  his  confidence  ; strong  in  his 
convictions  of  right  and  in  his  hatred  of  the  tricks  of 
business  of  which  some  even  boast.  His  integrity 
stands  as  an  unquestioned  fact  in  his  history.  Bom 
to  lead,  his  varied  experience  in  commercial  enter- 
prises makes  him  a safe  counselor  and  guide.  Nat- 
urally modest  and  diffident,  he  is  independent  in 
thought  and,  when  a conclusion  is  reached,  firm  and 
unchanging.  He  is  a proud  man,  but  his  pride  is 
an  honest  pride  in  a good  name  among  those  who 
know  him  best.  He  stands  to-day  in  his  mature 
years  a strong  man  ; strong  in  the  consciousness  of 
well-spent  years  ; strong  yet  to  plan  and  perform  ; 
strong  in  his  credit  and  good  name,  and  a worthy 
example  for  young  men  to  pattern  after  as  showing 
what  intelligence  and  probity  may  accomplish  in  the 
way  of  success  in  life. 

This  excellent  statement  of  the  main 
elements  and  features  of  Mr.  Wright’s 
character,  coming  from  a well-disci- 
plined, judicialmind,  accustomed  to  clear 
and  accurate  observations  upon  society, 
is  such  praise  as  can  be  rarely  bestowed 
in  full  measure  on  any  man  in  any  of 
the  walks  of  life ; but  the  community  in 
which  Mr.  Wright  has  spent  so  many 
years  of  busy  activity  will  fully  indorse 
it  as  a just  and  noble  tribute  to  his  well- 
tried  worth.  It  is  now  obvious  at  a 
glance  that  the  main  element  of  success 
in  Mr.  Wright’s  career  is  what  men  call 
honesty,  integrity,  reliability,  principle, 
a steadfast  adherence  to  convictions  of 
right.  Such  an  attribute  of  power  is 
always  found  in  connection  with  a great 
natural  conscience.  It  stands  in  oppo- 


sition to  all  sham,  pretense,  expediency, 
policy  in  the  high  matters  of  life  and 
business.  It  gives  such  firmness  to  char- 
acter and  such  reality  to  personal  history 
as  the  very  mountains  give  to  the  native 
state  of  Ammi  Willard  Wright. 

When  integrity  is  well  balanced  by 
energy  it  is  evident  what  important  rela- 
tions it  sustains  to  what  we  may  call 
administrative  functions  in  business  life. 
Plans  are  to  be  made,  they  are  to  be 
executed,  and  it  is  in  their  execution  that 
difficulties  must  be  encountered,  that 
financial  engagements  must  be  met, 
and  that  persistency  must  come  into 
determined  action.  No  man  ever 
achieved  the  highest  success  in  busi- 
ness who  did  not  encounter  difficul- 
ties and  overcome  obstructions.  Mr. 
Wright  himself  has  been  no  exception  to 
this  rule.  When  he  had  been  seven 
years  in  Michigan  a financial  panic  made 
him  poorer  than  he  was  on  his  arrival 
in  the  state.  Men  went  down  to  whom 
he  had  entrusted  his  interests,  but  he  did 
not  go  down.  His  ability,  his  pluck,  but 
above  all  his  good  name,  his  credit,  his 
integrity,  saved  him.  There  thus  comes 
a time  in  life  when  character  is  seen  to 
be  more  valuable  than  money.  He  at 
one  time,  through  the  failure  of  a de- 
ceiver, had  to  take  care  of  endorsed 
paper  to  the  amount  of  one  hundred 
thousand  dollars,  but  no  note  went  to 
protest,  no  time  was  asked  for,  and  his 
credit  rose  to  the  highest  point  in  the 
scale  of  commercial  integrity.  The  man 
who  plans  to  meet  all  his  engagements 
and  responsibilities  is  the  man  who  com- 
pels success. 

The  grand  faculty  of  grasping  a busi- 


132 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


ness  scheme  in  its  entirety,  including  its 
general  features  and  its  details  as  well, 
is  very  fully  manifested  in  Mr.  Wright’s 
business  life.  He  engages  in  no  enter- 
prise without  first  concentrating  his 
mind  upon  it  and  holding  it  in  contem- 
plation until  he  sees  it  in  all  its  parts  and 
complications  and  becomes  its  master 
and  creator.  It  unfolds  from  his  mind  in 
its  progress  to  completion,  and  its  details 
are  so  scanned  by  his  eye  and  manipu- 
lated by  his  genius  for  method  and 
economy  that  losses,  small  in  items  but 
large  in  aggregates,  are  not  permitted  to 
endanger  the  success  of  his  undertakings. 
The  capacity  of  Napoleon  for  managing 
the  details  of  great  designs,  is  a promi- 
nent fact  in  his  wonderful  history. 

Mr.  Wright’s  insight  into  character 
was  another  element  of  his  eminent 
success.  There  is  a striking  analogy 
between  the  execution  of  a military 
campaign  and  the  execution  of  large 
business  schemes.  Success  depends  so 
largely  on  coadjutors  and  subordinates 
that  a commander’s  fitness  for  his  posi- 
tion turns  at  last  on  his  judgment  of 
men.  Selecting  the  right  men  and  put- 
ting these  right  men  in  their  right 
places,  success  may  be  reduced  to  a 
certainty.  Mr.  Wright’s  faculty  of  dis- 
cernment served  him  excellently  in  his 
management  of  business,  but  as  no  man 
is  proof  against  deception,  when  an 
error  in  judgment  became  obvious,  like 
a good  tactitian  he  knew  how  to  change 
his  adjustments  to  meet  emergencies. 
It  is  here  that  nerve  finds  its  appropri- 
ate place  in  business  and  enables  a 
master  mind  to  bring  victory  out  of 
defeat. 


Mr.  Wright’s  interest  in  his  employes 
and  his  great  sympathetic  qualities  here 
find  fitting  place  as  a factor  of  success 
in  his  business  life.  Fairly  understand- 
ing men,  he  was  not  afraid  to  trust 
them,  and  the  confidence  he  so  gen- 
erously reposed  in  them  inspired  them 
with  strong  attachments  to  his  person 
and  his  fortunes.  Their  fidelity  and 
devotion  to  his  interests  always  met 
with  ample  rewards.  It  is  safe  to  say 
that  every  young  man  in  Mr.  Wright’s 
service,  showing  himself  worthy  of  his 
confidence  and  forming  a business  char- 
acter on  his  own  great  model  of  integ- 
rity and  efficiency,  has  been  so  directed 
in  his  pursuits  and  so  generously  aided 
by  his  employer  as  to  find  himself  in 
possession  of  both  an  enviable  position 
and  fortune.  They  have  his  sympathies 
and  friendship  to  such  a degree  as  to 
enrich  their  own  business  life  with 
noblest  qualities  and  impulses.  And 
well  has  Mr.  Wright  been  repaid  for  his 
kindness,  his  sympathy,  his  generosity 
to  those  in  his  employ  by  the  steady 
march  of  his  accumulations  to  an  ample 
fortune,  thus  furnishing  an  illustration 
of  the  truth  of  an  old  maxim:  “He  that 
watereth  shall  be  watered  himself.”  Mr. 
Wright’s  business  career  has  been  sing- 
ularly free  from  all  troubles  involved  in 
the  relations  of  capital  to  labor.  The 
attachments  and  friendships  that  asso- 
ciate themselves  around  his  personal- 
existence  make  his  life  a rich  inherit- 
ance as  thoughts  of  age  steal  in  upon 
his  vigorous  understanding. 

The  highest  relations  that  man  sus- 
tains to  society  and  his  race  furnish  the 
concluding  observation  on  Mr.  Wright’s 


Vm/tby £ G.  mi.iui.tnrj  K-.Br/j. Weu>York. 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST— A VER  Y. 


133 


business  history.  For  many  long  years 
he  has  steadily  manifested  the  noble 
virtues  of  liberality  and  philanthropy. 
He  has  ever  been  the  intelligent  friend 
of  all  material  improvements  and  all 
civil,  social  and  religious  progress.  He 
has  done  much  for  all  the  business  in- 
terests of  his  section  of  Michigan.  He 
has  made  generous  contributions  to  all 
the  objects  and  agencies  of  benevolence 
and  philanthropy  that  made  a suitable 
appeal  to  his  intelligence  and  judgment. 
But  there  has  been  no  ostentation  about 
his  charities  and  benefactions.  Plain 
and  sensible  in  his  tastes  and  manners, 
thorough  and  substantial  in  all  his 
doings,  he  aids  and  supports  all  worthy 
institutions  much  less  from  impulse  and 
sensibility  than  from  the  exercise  of  his 
judgment  in  reference  to  practical  re- 
sults. He  has  a high  appreciation  of 
enlightened  public  sentiment  and  does 
not  venture  in  any  direction  with  great 
gifts  where  a chilling  atmosphere  may 
not  invite  the  operations  of  a bounty 
that  obeys  the  law  of  a cooperative  in- 
dustry. The  highest  type  of  philan- 
thropy helps  those  who  willingly  help 
themselves.  What  large  schemes  of 
good,  through  the  thoughtful  bestow- 
ment  of  wealth,  Mr.  Wright  may  have 
in  contemplation,  are  known  only  to 
himself.  From  the  eminence  of  life 
and  fortune  he  now  occupies,  his  clear 
vision  may  circumscribe  some  grand 
results  of  his  great  business  career  that 
shall  give  his  name  and  memory  a per- 
manent place  in  the  records  of  history. 
His  wonderful  constitution  and  strength 
give  him  promise  of  many  years  of  ac- 
tivity before  his  final  retirement  from 


the  all-engrossing  pursuits  of  his  busy 
life,  and  the  wishes  and  prayers  of  his 
friends  and  the  community  at  large 
converge  in  the  confidence  based  in 
their  knowledge  of  his  character  that 
his  sun  at  last  shall  set  in  the  mellow 
radiance  that  streams  from  the  horizon 
of  earthly  existence  to  the  zenith  of  im- 
mortality, so  that  at  evening  time  it  shall 
be  light . 

III. 

NEWELL  AVERY. 

Among  the  pioneers  in  the  develop- 
ment of  the  lumber  business  of  Michi- 
gan, and  high  in  honor  in  the  list  of  the 
liberal  and  enterprising  business  men 
who  have  shared  in  building  up  the 
great  material  prosperity  of  to-day, 
stands  the  name  of  Newell  Avery,  who 
spent  the  last  twenty-six  years  of  his 
useful  life  and  won  his  greatest  business 
success  as  a citizen  of  that  state. 

Newell  Avery  was  born  in  Jefferson, 
Maine,  the  twelfth  day  of  October, 
1817.  His  parents  were  worthy  de- 
scendants of  Puritan  ancestors  who 
had  preached  the  faith  and  fought  for 
American  independence.  Enoch  Avery 
and  his  wife,  Margaret  Shepherd,  were 
born  in  the  old  Bay  state,  but  came 
with  their  parents  to  Wiscasset,  Maine, 
after  the  Revolution,  and  settled  on  the 
land  that  is  occupied  to-day  by  their 
children  of  the  third  and  fourth  gen- 
erations. 

Enoch  Avery  is  still  remembered  as 
a man  of  heart  and  brain  that  matched 
his  large  stature  and  great  physical 
strength.  He  was,  like  most  of  his 
neighbors,  a farmer  and  lumberman, 


134 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


strictly  honest,  self-denying,  hard-work- 
ing and  devout  as  his  wife,  so  that  the 
children  were  constantly  under  desira- 
ble moral  influences.  Newell  was  but 
eleven  years  of  age  when  his  father 
died,  leaving  to  his  widow  little  beside 
the  farm  for  the  support  of  herself  and 
ten  young  children.  In  such  a family, 
in  those  days  of  primitive  living  and  in 
a region  where  hard  work  was  the  rule 
and  luxury  the  exception,  the  boy  began 
so  early  to  labor  in  aid  of  the  family 
support,  that  he  can  scarcely  be  said  to 
have  had  a childhood.  For  education 
he  had  only  what  could  be  obtained  at 
the  district  school  of  the  neighborhood, 
and  when  but  fourteen  years  old,  an  age 
when  most  boys  think  only  of  their 
sport,  we  find  him  engaged  as  a hand  in 
a saw-mill  in  the  Maine  woods.  From 
that  day  until  the  end  of  his  life  he  re- 
sembled his  father  in  most  respects,  was 
a tireless  worker,  for  whom  no  under- 
taking was  too  small  to  be  attempted 
with  energy  and  full  sincerity  of  pur- 
pose, and  none  seemed  too  great  or 
complicated  to  be  carried  to  success  by 
his  unaided  efforts. 

When  he  presented  himself  for  em- 
ployment to  the  owner  of  the  mill  above 
referred  to,  it  is  related  that  the  latter 
doubted  his  capacity  and  hesitated  to 
employ  him,  by  reason  of  his  youth. 
The  boy,  however,  feeling  that,  should 
he  only  procure  work  and  an  opportu- 
nity to  prove  his  willingness  and  ability, 
the  matter  of  wages  would  easily  adjust 
itself,  offered  to  work  for  any  wages 
which  he  might  be  deemed  to  earn  when 
tried,  and  was  employed  upon  these 
terms  in  the  peculiarly  arduous  labor  of 


the  mill  and  woods.  Within  a year,  the 
‘‘white  headed  boy”  found  his  wages 
voluntarily  increased  until  they  were 
nearly  as  great  as  those  of  the  strongest 
and  most  experienced  man  about  the 
mill. 

An  admiring  and  appreciative  friend, 
in  speaking  of  this  period  of  Mr.  Avery’s 
life,  describes  him  as  having  been  a 
“ boy  miser,”  saving  every  cent  that  he 
was  not  actually  compelled  to  spend, 
but  saving  it  all  for  the  mother  whom  he 
sincerely  loved  and  who  so  sorely 
needed  even  the  slender  aid  he  could 
give  her.  His  mother  did  not  live  to 
see  the  day  of  his  fullest  prosperity,  but 
he  made  it  his  first  duty  to  insure  her 
comfort,  and  so  long  as  she  lived  she 
never  lacked  for  anything  he  could  buy. 
The  value  to  a young  man  in  the  form- 
ative stage  of  having  some  one  depend- 
ent upon  his  efforts  was  demonstrated 
in  his  case.  He  was  taught  to  save, 
under  the  stern  preceptorship  of  neces- 
sity ; he  was  taught  not  to  hoard 
selfishly,  by  the  warm  promptings  of 
filial  love. 

The  history  of  the  years  intervening 
between  the  beginning  of  the  boy  as  a 
mill  hand  and  his  emerging  as  a man  of 
independent  business,  cannot  be  told  in 
detail  in  this  paper.  Like  much  of  the 
most  valuable  of  the  world’s  work,  it  is 
entirely  lacking  in  the  sensational,  and 
is  marked  by  the  monotony  of  self-denial 
and  constant  labor  that  everywhere 
serves  for  the  building  of  character  and 
the  accumulation  of  wealth.  There 
were  long  and  toilsome  isolation  in  the 
woods,  the  laborious  and  hazardous 
work  of  the  “ drive,”  and  the  scarcely 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST— AVER  Y. 


135 


less  exhausting  work  of  the  mill,  repeated 
year  after  year.  All  the  time,  however, 
the  young  man  was  serving  an  invaluable 
apprenticeship.  Not  only  was  he  devel- 
oping physically  and  mentally,  winning 
the  confidence  of  those  about  and  above 
him  and  laying  up  some  portion  of  his 
wages,  year  by  year,  but  he  was 
winning  a practical  and  complete  mas- 
tery of  his  life’s  business  in  its  minutest 
details,  and  it  was  this  mastery,  added 
to  his  own  great  natural  capacity,  that 
gave  him  so  great  a leverage  in  later 
years.  When,  from  his  office  at  Port 
Huron  and  Detroit,  in  the  sixties  or 
seventies,  he  directed  the  movements  of 
the  great  and  complicated  machinery  of 
his  business,  working  in  many  fields, 
representing  an  enormous  investment 
and  employing  the  brains  or  hands  of 
an  army  of  men,  it  was  the  experience 
of  this  time  of  heavy  labor  and  small 
reward,  that  made  possible  his  command 
at  once  of  the  broad  enterprises  and  the 
minute  detail  of  his  business  and  so 
accunted  for  his  success. 

From  the  condition  of  a mere  wage- 
worker Mr.  Avery  passed  toward  inde- 
pendence in  the  way  common  among 
the  ambitious  youth  of  Maine  in  those 
days,  when  the  individual  struggle  was 
still  against  individuals  and  not  against 
combinations.  He  bought  a small  tract 
of  pine  land,  felled  the  timber,  sold 
the  logs  to  larger  lumbermen,  added 
to  his  profits,  bought  more  exten- 
sively and  repeated  the  process,  grad- 
ually increasing  his  capital  in  prepara- 
tion for  larger  ventures.  At  times  he 
rented  mills  or  the  use  of  saws  in  mills, 
and  operated  them  under  his  own  eye 


and  with  the  aid  of  his  own  hands. 
Such  operations  were  temporary  in 
their  nature,  being  merely  such  ven- 
tures as  from  time  to  time  seemed  to 
offer  safe  and  speedy  return.  They  were 
usually  carried  on  in  connection  with 
some  one  as  ambitious  and  not  much 
richer  than  himself,  and  it  was  thus 
that  he  came  into  association  with 
Jonathan  Eddy  and  Simon  J.  Murphy, 
two  men  with  whom  he  was  destined  to 
form  relations  which  only  death  should 
terminate,  and  with  them  to  win  a 
broad  success  and  liberal  reward  ot 
wealth. 

Passing  by  the  temporary  relations 
which  he  bore  to  each  from  1840,  I 
come  to  the  year  1849  when  Mr.  Avery 
came  into  the  firm  of  Eddy  & Murphy, 
organized  during  the  previous  year,  and 
the  name  of  which  was  altered  upon  his 
succession  to  Eddy,  Murphy  & Co. 

Mr.  Eddy  was  a man  of  greater  means 
than  had  either  of  his  associates,  and 
his  interest  in  the  firm  was  then  one 
half  while  Messrs,  Murphy  and  Avery 
had  each  one  quarter.  At  the  outset 
the  firm  was  not  one  of  large  capital, 
and  its  earliest  dealings  were  compara- 
tively small,  but  its  success  was  from 
the  outset  destinct  and  grew  steadily 
under  masterly  management  and  untir- 
ing labor  until  few  if  any  lumbering  firms 
in  the  United  States  equalled  it  either 
in  the  volume  or  profit  of  its  business. 

At  first  the  firm  of  Eddy,  Murphy  & 
Co.  confined  its  operations  to  the  Pe- 
nobscot region,  with  headquarters  at 
Bangor,  and  large  interests  in  mills  and 
pine  lands  at  various  tributary  points. 
Mr.  Eddy  usually  remained  in  the  Ban- 


136 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


gor  office  but  his  younger  partners 
were  either  constantly  in  the  woods, 
superintending  and  assisting  in  logging, 
or  at  the  mills  attending  to  the  cutting 
of  the  lumber.  They  gave  to  their  own 
affairs  the  same  close  attention  that  had 
won  them  both  favor  from  their  em- 
ployers, and  so  far  as  manual  labor  is 
concerned  Mr.  Avery  worked,  if  possi- 
ble, harder  in  these  days  than  when  he 
was  an  employe. 

Not  long  after  the  establishment  of 
the  firm  of  Eddy,  Murphy  & Co.  the 
senior  partner  found  himself  in  a posi- 
tion where  he  was  obliged  to  take  cer- 
tain tracts  of  pine  lands,  on  Pine  river, 
emptying  into  the  St.  Clair.  At  his 
request  Mr.  Avery,  whose  judgment  as 
to  timber  lands  was  remarkably  accur- 
ate, made  his  first  visit  to  Michigan  to 
inspect  these  lands.  At  a glance  he 
saw  the  great  possibilities  afforded  by 
the  state  to  the  lumberman,  aud  recog- 
nized its  manifest  destiny  as  the  princi- 
pal source  of  pine  lumber  production 
for  many  years.  He  wrote  back  a glow- 
ing report  of  the  result  of  his  prospect- 
ing tour,  and  urged  that  the  firm  make 
investments  in  the  new  field,  as  an  out- 
let for  an  energy  already  too  large  for 
the  diminishing  fields  of  the  Maine  re- 
gion. His  advice  was  promptly  ac- 
cepted. In  1853  he  removed  with  his 
wife  and  family  to  Port  Huron,  then 
little  more  than  a lumber  village,  and 
from  that  time  until  his  death  repre- 
sented the  firm  of  Eddy,  Murphy  & 
Co.,  and  its  successor,  Avery  & Mur- 
phy, in  the  management  aud  increase 
of  their  Michigan  business  and  invest- 
ments. 


He  first  confined  his  operations  to 
Black  River  in  St.  Clair  county,  but 
extending  as  his  own  judgment  dictated, 
he  at  length  came  to  stand  at  the  head 
of  enterprises  which,  during  one  year, 
put  into  Michigan  rivers  nearly  one- 
tenth  of  the  entire  season’s  cut  of  the 
state  of  Michigan. 

Great  tracts  of  pine  land  were  located 
along  all  the  great  rivers  of  the  state, 
except  the  Au  Sable  and  the  Manistee, 
the  territory  reaching  as  far  north  as 
Cheboygan  and  comprising  many  of  the 
choicest  portions  of  the  Muskegon 
valley  on  the  west.  In  the  Saginaw 
valley  alone  Mr.  Avery  purchased  for 
the  firm  many  thousands  of  acres  of  most 
valuable  land. 

Thus,  in  many  regions  of  the  state, 
were  carried  on  gigantic  and  simultane- 
ous operations,  logging,  rafting,  cutting, 
shipping,  selling  and  buying  of  land  and 
incidentally,  the  heaviest  and  most  tax- 
ing financial  arrangements.  All  this 
was  done  under  the  supervision  of  Mr. 
Avery,  and  his  partners  in  the  distant 
east  were  quite  willing  to  be  governed 
entirely  by  his  judgment. 

In  nothing  was  his  practical  wisdom 
better  displayed  than  in  his  method  of 
managing  these  vast  and  complicated 
interests.  Recognizing  that  no  human 
being  could  give  more  than  a very 
general  oversight  to  all,  and  that  a 
wide  discretion  must  rest  with  subor- 
dinates, he  early  adopted  the  policy  of 
binding  these  subordinates  closely  and 
securely  to  the  interest  of  the  parent 
firm  by  giving  each  a share  in  the  profits 
of  the  particular  enterprise  in  which  he 
was  engaged.  This  policy  he  pursued 


THE  MICHIGAN  LUMBER  INTEREST— A FEE  V. 


137 


to  the  last,  arrd  was  at  one  time  at  the 
head  of  thirteen  large  firms,  numbering 
twenty-six  partners,  and  located  in  De- 
troit, Port  Huron,  Bay  City,  East  Sag- 
inaw, Alpena,  Muskegon  and  Chicago. 
The  wisdom  of  his  policy  was  amply 
vindicated  by  results,  but  these  would 
doubtless  in  many  cases  have  been  far 
less  fortunate  had  he  not  possessed  a 
marvelously  accurate  judgment  of 
human  nature  and  a Napoleonic  ca- 
pacity for  binding  men  to  his  service. 
In  so  vast  a business  so  conducted 
some  disappointments  were  certain  to 
occur,  but  the  general  history  of  the 
business  was  one  of  uniform  success 
and  of  absolutely  unimpeachable  credit. 
Before  Mr.  Avery’s  removal  to  Michi- 
gan, the  firm  of  Eddy,  Murphy  & Com- 
pany was  so  reorganized  as  to  give 
to  each  of  the  partners  an  equal  in- 
terest. Mr.  Eddy  remained  in  charge 
of  the  office  at  Bangor,  Mr.  Murphy 
took  charge  of  the  field  work  in  Maine 
and  Mr.  Avery,  as  has  been  said 
managed  the  Michigan  business. 

In  August,  1864,  Mr.  Eddy  died  very 
suddenly  and  important  changes  in  the 
business  of  the  firm  followed  at  once. 

As  soon  as  possible,  ail  its  interests 
in  Maine  were  closed  out  and  the  sur- 
viving partners,  purchasing  the  Eddy 
interest,  Mr.  Murphy  removed  from 
Maine  to  Detroit  and  Mr.  Avery  changed 
his  headquarters  from  Port  Huron  to 
the  same  city.  From  that  time  the 
business  was  carried  on  under  the  firm 
name  of  Avery  & Murphy,  with  princi- 
pal offices  at  Detroit.  The  policy  of 
the  firm  remained  unchanged,  its  inter- 
ests constantly  grew  and  its  success 


became  greater,  year  by  year.  The 
partners,  as  such  and  individually,  made 
large  real  estate  purchases  in  Detroit 
and  elsewhere  as  matters  of  investment 
and  their  timber  lands  were  increased 
whenever  a favorable  opportunity  pre- 
sented itself.  Thus  in  the  enjoyment 
of  a rich  reward  for  the  arduous  labor 
of  many  years,  secure  in  the  respect 
which  is  readily  paid  to  honestly  won 
success,  and  in  the  affection  that  readily 
goes  out  to  wealth  kindly  and  generously 
used,  Mr.  Avery  led  a busy  but  even 
life  until  the  thirteenth  of  March,  1877, 
when  in  the  fullness  of  his  power,  what 
was  deemed  a curable  illness  caused  his 
death. 

But  a few  words  more  are  necessary 
regarding  Mr.  Avery’s  business  career. 
One  fact  is  quite  unprecedented  in  the 
case  of  one  whose  transactions  were  so 
enormous,  that  in  all  his  varied  business 
life,  not  a dollar  of  his  own  paper  or 
that  of  any  of  his  affiliated  firms  was 
ever  offered  for  discount.  He  hated 
debt  and  all  its  attendant  train  of  anx- 
ieties and  burthens,  and  always  kept  at 
hand  ample  means  for  carrying  out  his 
projects.  No  consideration  of  future 
profit  was  enough  to  induce  him  to 
abandon  this  policy  which  was,  in  fact, 
a principle. 

A business  life  conducted  on  such 
principles,  personal  supervision,  tireless 
industry,  prudence  and  economy,  could 
not  fail  to  yield  great  wealth,  and  great 
wealth  was  Mr.  Avery’s  reward.  This 
he  transmitted  to  his  wife  and  children 
clear  of  any  taint,  odor,  or  suspicion  of 
any  dishonesty  or  meanness.  It  was 
fairly  earned,  liberally  administered 


138 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HJSTOkY. 


and,  unlike  too  many  fortunes,  might 
stand  as  the  monument  of  him  who 
earned  it,  and  no  child  of  his  would 
have  cause  to  blush. 

In  politics  Mr.  Avery  was  a Republi- 
can from  the  founding  of  that  party 
until  his  death.  He  was  one  of  those 
who  stood  under  the  oaks  at  Jackson, 
in  1854,  and  took  the  unnamed  party 
from  its  nurse’s  arms. 

He  was  a politician  in  the  best  sense, 
in  that  he  ever  took  an  active  and  un- 
selfish interest  in  the  affairs  of  his  coun- 
try, state  and  city.  His  advice  was 
eagerly  sought  and  freely  given,  in  polit- 
ical as  in  business  matters  and  his  sa- 
gacity was  scarcely  less  in  the  former 
than  in  the  latter.  He  was  always 
ready  to  give  freely  of  his  time  and 
means  to  secure  the  election  to  office  of 
men  whom  he  deemed  in  the  highest 
sense  suitable,  but  he  never  sought  or 
would  accept  office  for  himself.  His 
championship  of  those  whose  cause  he 
assumed  was  always  active,  yet  out  of 
the  hottest  contest  he  came  without  a 
shadow  of  malice  and  bearing  the  re- 
spect of  all  opponents. 

Mr.  Avery  resembled  his  father  in 
stature  and  strength;  was  six  feet  in 
height,  well  proportioned,  and  athletic 
even  in  middle  age.  In  dress  and 
manner  he  was  quiet,  unpretending 
and  modest,  almost  to  shyness.  Only 
among  his  closest  friends  did  he  quite 
throw  off  restraint ; then  he  appeared 
as  a man  of  brains,  wit  and  ideas,  and 
his  conversation  proved  how  thorough 
had  been  the  process  of  self-culture. 
An  intimate  friend,  when  asked  why 
Mr.  Avery  had  made  so  many  life-long 
friends,  replied  : 


It  was  not  because  of  his  superior  judgment  in 
business  matters  ; it  was  not  because  he  had  been  a 
very  successful  man  in  a financial  way;  it  was  not  on 
account  of  his  influence,  which  was  very  great;  it  was 
because  of  his  kind  and  sympathizing  heart ; his 
willingness  to  lend  a helping  hand  to  anyone  worthy 
of  being  helped,  and  even  to  those  he  hardly  knew. 
He  had  a tender  chord  that  few  men  can  preserve 
who  have  had  to  struggle  through  the  world.  He 
was  eminently  a true  man,  and  could  be  relied  on  in 
all  emergencies. 

As  illustrative  of  his  kindness,  Mr.  C. 
mentioned  a little  scene  that  came 
under  his  observation.  They  were  in 
the  Chicago  office  when  a young  lady 
entered  with  some  engravings  she  offered 
for  sale.  Mr.  Avery  said  to  her  that 
he  did  not  want  any  of  her  pictures  and 
resumed  his  reading.  His  friend  spoke 
of  the  discouraged  expression  she  wore 
as  she  went  out,  and  said  he  thought  it 
a hard  way  to  earn  a few  dollars.  Mr. 
Avery  sat  thinking  a few  moment,  then, 
without  saying  a word,  he  took  his  hat 
and  went  out.  After  a few  moments  he 
came  back  with  the  young  lady,  spoke 
to  her  in  a kind,  deferential  way,  asked 
her  to  sit  down  and  rest,  and  bought  all 
the  engravings  she  had  in  her  portfolio, 
although  he  never  had  the  least  interest 
in  art.  He  had  helped  her  in  the  only 
delicate  way  he  could  offer  assistance, 
by  buying  all  her  stock  in  trade. 

Mr.  Avery’s  family  relations  were  sin- 
gularly happy.  In  the  year  of  1840  he 
married,  at  Eddington,  Maine,  Nancy 
Clapp  Eddy,  a sister  of  his  partner — 
Jonathan  Eddy  — daughter  of  Ware 
Eddy  and  great-granddaughter  of  Col- 
onel Jonathan  Eddy,  who  is  well  known 
in  the  early  history  of  Maine  and  the 
Revolution.  The  town  in  which  she 
was  born  was  part  of  a grant  to  her 
great-grandfather  and  named  in  honor 
of  him.  Mrs.  Avery  also  inherited 


MICHIGAN  JURISTS— BALDWIN. 


139 


sterling  qualities  from  Puritan  ances- 
tors, who  were  well  known  in  Plymouth 
and  eastern  Massachusetts — the  Eddys 
and  Clapps — and  was  a helpmeet  for 
such  a man  as  Newell  Aver;  in  habits 
of  life,  large  heart,  brain  and  physical 
endurance. 

In  the  address  as  a memorial  of  Mr. 
Avery,  the  pastor,  Dr.  Zachary  Eddy, 
uttered  some  words  which  I may  well 
quote  in  closing  this  sketch  : 

He  knew  that  the  future  of  Michigan  must  depend 
on  the  intelligence  and  moral  stamina  of  her  popula- 
tion. Hence  he  was  an  earnest  and  munificent 
friend  of  schools,  churches  and  other  institutions 
which  tend  to  the  enlightenment  and  moral  elevation 
of  the  people.  I have  heard  him  talk  by  the  hour  of 
the  importance  of  education.  Though  I regarded 
him  as  one  of  the  best  educated  men  I ever  knew,  he 


was  continually  lamenting  his  eariy  privation  of 
books  and  schools.  He  was  an  ardent  friend  to  our 
public  school  system  and  to  our  noble  state  univer- 
sity, but  the  special  object  of  his  affection  and 
liberality  was  Olivet  college,  of  which  he  was  an 

honored  trustee According  to  his  own 

views  of  Christian  duty,  he  was  a faithful  member  of 
the  Church  of  Christ.  He  was  not  a man  of  raptures, 
but  of  principle,  and  his  Christian  experience  was 
marked  by  the  doing  of  the  truth  rather  than  by  zeal 

for  doctrine He  was  no  sectarian  ; the 

one  church  he  believed  in  was  composed  of  all  who 
loved  God  and  man  and  worked  righteousness.  . . . 
His  benevolence  was  unostentatious,  but  genuine  and 
large.  He  was  careful,  as  far  as  possible,  not  to  let 
his  left  hand  know  what  his  right  hand  was  doing, 
but  that  right  hand  was  often  employed  in  dispensing 

alms He  was  faithful  unto  death.  His 

memory  will  be  a sacred  inheritance  to  his  children. 
It  will  be  cherished  by  a multitude  of  friends.  It 
will  be  fragrant  in  this  church,  which  he  loved  so 
well. 

Walter  Buell. 


MICHIGAN  JURISTS. 
III. 

AUGUSTUS  C.  BALDWIN. 


As  the  river  whose  deep  and  steady 
current,  winding  among  fair  landscapes, 
past  blossoming  fields  and  through  busy 
towns,  blessing  millions  of  people  and 
enhancing  the  wealth  of  nations,  yet 
affords  little  of  that  wild  and  romantic 
scenery  which  startles  the  traveler  or 
delights  the  artist ; so  those  lives  which 
contribute  most  toward  the  improvement 
of  a state  and  the  well-being  of  a peo- 
ple, are  s-eldom  the  ones  which  furnish 
the  most  brilliant  passages  for  the  pen 
of  the  historian  or  the  biographer. 
There  is  in  the  anxious  and  laborious 
an  honorable  competence  and  a solid 


career  of  the  business  or  professional 
man,  fighting  the  every-day  battle  of  life, 
but  little  to  attract  the  idle  reader  in 
search  of  a sensational  chapter.  But 
for  a mind  thoroughly  awake  to  the 
reality  and  meaning  of  human  existence, 
there  are  noble  and  immortal  lessons 
in  the  life  of  the  man  who,  without 
other  means  than  a clear  head,  a strong 
arm  and  a true  heart,  conquers  advers- 
ity, and  toiling  on  through  the  work-a- 
day  years  of  a long  and  arduous  career, 
sits  down  at  the  evening  of  his  life  with 
good  name. 

Such  a man  is  the  subject  of  this 


140 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


article  ; and  it  is  to  those  who  appreci- 
ate the  value  and  would  emulate  the 
excellence  of  such  lives,  that  the  writer 
would  address  the  remarks  which  here 
follow. 

Agustus  Carpenter  Baldwin  was  born 
at  Salina,  Onondaga  county,  New  York, 
December  24,  1817.  He  is  the  seventh 
in  lineal  descent  from  Henry  Bald- 
win, of  Woburn,  Massachusetts,  who, 
according  to  the  earliest  records  of  the 
family,  came  from  Devonshire,  England, 
and  settled  in  Woburn  shortly  before 
1650.  The  father  of  Augustus  C.  was 
Jonathan  Baldwin,  born  in  Canterbury, 
Connecticut ; his  mother,  Mary  Car- 
penter, whose  name  he  bears.  He  was 
the  eldest  child  and  only  sonin  a family 
of  three  children  (Augustus  C.,  Pamelia, 
and  Mary).  His  father  was  engaged  in 
mercantile  business ; but,  like  many  of 
the  pioneer  settlers  of  western  New 
York,  possessed  slender  capital,  so  that 
at  his  death,  which  occurred  at  Salina 
in  1822,  his  family  were  left  in  somewhat 
straitened  circumstances — the  children 
being  all  young,  and  the  husband  and 
father  their  only  stay  and  provider. 

Thus  left  an  orphan  in  his  fifth  year, 
the  boy  Agustus  was  committed  to  the 
care  of  an  uncle,  a former  partner  with 
his  father,  who  resided  subsequently  at 
Canterbury,  Connecticut.  Here  Augus- 
tus attended  the  schools  of  the  vicinity, 
and  rapidly  acquired  the  essential  ele- 
ments of  a sound  English  education. 
His  advancement  is  evidenced  by  the 
fact  that  at  the  age  of  nineteen  he 
taught  the  school  at  Canterbury.  The 
next  season  he  attended  the  academy  at 
Plainfield,  Connecticut,  and  with  this 


closed  his  sojourn  in  New  England. 
The  limited  advantages  afforded  to 
young  men  of  energy  in  the  eastern 
states,  caused  him  to  turn  his  eyes 
toward  new  and  wider  fields.  In  the 
fall  of  1837  he  set  out  for  the  great  west. 
On  the  twelfth  day  of  November,  in 
that  year,  he  arrived  in  Oakland  county, 
in  the  then  newly  admitted  state  of 
Michigan,  and  during  the  ensuing  win- 
ter taught  a public  school  in  Southfield. 
For  the  next  five  years  he  taught  and 
studied  by  turns,  delving  all  the  while 
as  deeply  into  history  and  standard  lit 
erature  as  the  time  and  books  at  his 
command  would  allow. 

Having  determined  upon  the  law  as 
his  profession,  he  began  reading  under 
the  tuition  of  John  P.  Richardson,  esq., 
of  Pontiac,  Michigan,  in  1839.  During 
this  time  he  took  advantage,  also,  of 
the  facilities  afforded  by  the  branch  of 
the  State  university  then  located  at 
Pontiac,  for  higher  advancement  in  his 
academic  studies.  Subsequently  he  en- 
tered the  law  office  of  the  Hon.  O.  D. 
Richardson,  at  Pontiac,  and  there  con- 
tinued until  his  admission  to  the  bar,  in 
1842. 

In  June,  1842,  he  settled  and  began 
practice  at  Milford,  in  Oakland  county, 
Michigan.  It  was  during  his  nearly 
seven  years’  residence  here  that  he  won 
to  himself  that  solid  business  confi- 
dence, and  established  those  habits  of 
close  application,  temperance  and  strict 
economy,  which  lie  at  the  foundation 
of  his  exceptional  success.  It  was  at 
Milford  that  he  faced  and  overcame 
those  two  mighty  obstacles  which  lie  in 
the  pathway  of  almost  every  young  law- 


MICHIGAN  JURISTS— BALDWIN. 


141 


yer — poverty  and  obscurity — and  there 
he  made  the  proverbial  first  thousand. 

But  the  demands  of  his  growing  prac- 
tice made  his  presence  at  the  county- 
seat  more  and  more  necessary,  and  in 
1849  he  removed  to  Pontiac,  where, 
with  the  exception  of  two  years’  resi- 
dence upon  a farm  which  he  owned  in 
Commerce,  his  home  has  ever  since 
been.  Since  this,  his  last  and  perma- 
nent location,  his  career  has  been  that 
of  a busy  and  successful  lawyer — emi- 
nent, trusted  and  honored — with  such 
interspersion  of  official  station  and  pub- 
lic duty  as  naturally  fall  to  a man  of 
superior  intelligence  and  high  charac- 
ter. He  has  participated  in  almost 
every  capital  case  that  has  been  tried 
in  Oakland  or  Lapeer  county  since  he 
came  to  the  bar,  and  the  records  of 
the  courts  bear  his  name  as  counsel 
through  a greater  variety  and  extent  of 
litigation  than,  probably,  any  other 
attorney  of  Oakland  county.  For  the 
last  thirty-five  years  Judge  Baldwin  has 
not  only  been  an  acknowledged  leader 
at  the  bar,  but  has  also  stood  as  one  of 
the  ablest  counselors  and  most  cour- 
ageous champions  of  the  great  Demo- 
cratic party,  of  which  he  has  from  the 
attainment  of  his  majority  been  an 
active  and  consistent  member.  He  has 
been  an  efficient  and  influential  coadju- 
tor with  the  best  men  of  Michigan  in 
improving  and  perfecting  the  govern- 
ment of  the  state  in  all  of  its  institutions 
and  departments,  as  well  as  in  the  up- 
building of  his  profession  and  the 
strengthening  of  his  party,  as  great  in- 
struments of  justice  and  of  good  within 
the  commonwealth. 


A brief  outline  of  his- official  and  pub- 
lic record,  aside  from  his  professional 
and  private  employments,  will  serve  to 
show  the  esteem  in  which  he  has  been 
and  is  still  held  by  his  compeers,  and 
in  some  degree  the  extent  of  his  ser- 
vices and  usefulness. 

The  first  public  office  ever  held  by 
him  was  that  of  school  inspector  for  the 
township  of  Bloomfield,  Oakland  county, 
to  which  he  was  elected  in  1840.  He 
was  elected  to  the  house  of  representa- 
tives in  the  Michigan  legislature  in 
1843,  and  served  during  the  sessions  of 
1844  and  1846.  He  was  appointed 
brigadier-general  of  the  Fifth  brigade 
of  state  militia  in  1846,  and  continued 
such  until  1862,  when  the  militia  system 
as  then  existing  was  abrogated  by  law. 
He  was  prosecuting  attorney  of  Oak- 
land county  during  1853  and  1854. 

In  1862  Judge  Baldwin  was  elected 
a member  of  the  thirty-eighth  congress 
from  the  fifth  district  of  Michigan,  over 
R.  E.  Trowbridge,  Republican,  serving 
on  the  committees  on  agriculture  and  ex- 
penditures in  the  interior  department. 
In  the  issue  which  arose  during  this 
congress  concerning  the  thirteenth 
amendment  to  the  constitution  of  the 
United  States,  abolishing  slavery,  he 
voted  in  support  of  the  amendment,  i.  e., 
in  favor  of  its  submission  to  the  states 
for  their  approval.  He  was  nominated 
for  reelection  by  his  party  in  1864,  with 
Mr.  Trowbridge  again  as  his  opponent. 
The  state  had  in  the  meantime  enacted 
a statute  authorizing  Michigan  soldiers 
in  the  army  to  vote  in  the  field.  The 
supreme  court  of  the  state,  upon  a test 
case,  declared  the  statute  unconstitu* 


142 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


tional.  Judge  Baldwin  received  a clear 
majority  of  the  lawful  home  vote. 
Nevertheless,  the  house  of  representa- 
tives, upon  a contest,  gave  the  seat  in 
congress  to  Mr.  Trowbridge,  in  direct 
defiance  of  the  decision  of  Michigan’s 
own  supreme  court. 

Judge  Baldwin  was  mayor  of  Pontiac 
in  1874,  and  for  eighteen  years — 1868 
to  1886 — he  has  been  a member  of  the 
board  of  education  of  that  city.  Dur- 
ing this  period  very  important  improve- 
ments in  the  local  school  system  have 
been  made,  largely  through  his  in- 
fluence, and  the  present  fine  school 
buildings  have  been  erected.  He  was 
active  in  securing  the  location  of  the 
Eastern  Asylum  for  the  Insane  at  Pon- 
tiac, and  has  for  many  years  been  one 
of  its  board  of  trustees — a state  ap- 
pointment. That  noble  institution,  the 
Michigan  Military  Academy,  at  Orchard 
Lake,  four  miles  from  Pontiac,  also 
owes  much  to  him  for  its  remarkable 
success.  He  has  for  several  years  been 
one  of  its  trustees,  and  is  now  its  presi- 
dent. He  was  for  some  years'president 
of  the  Oakland  County  Agricultural  so- 
ciety, and  president  of  the  pioneer  asso- 
ciation of  the  county.  In  1875  he  was 
elected  judge  of  the  Sixth  judicial  cir- 
cuit of  Michigan  for  the  ensuing  full 
term  of  six  years.  He  presided  upon 
the  bench  during  four  years  of  his  term 
with  the  ability  which  his  eminent  legal 
attainments  would  indicate,  when  the 
utter  inadequacy  of  the  salary  (which 
the  state  refused  to  increase  by 
the  requisite  constitutional  amendment) 
caused  him  to  resign  the  ermine  and 
return  to  regular  practice  at  the  bar. 


Besides  having  been  during  the  past 
forty  years  a frequent  member  and 
officer  of  state  and  local  political  con- 
ventions, Judge  Baldwin  was  a delegate 
to  the  National  Democratic  convention 
at  Charleston  and  Baltimore  in  i860  ; 
delegate  at  large  to  the  National  con- 
vention at  Chicago  in  1864  > delegate 
to  the  National  Peace  convention  at 
Philadelphia  in  1 866,  and  at  different 
times  a member  of  the  National  and 
State  Central  Democratic  committees. 

From  early  manhood  he  has  been  a 
member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity,  and 
is  a past  em.  commander  of  Pontiac 
commandery,  No.  2,  of  Knights  Tem- 
plar. Though  not  a professor  of  re- 
ligion, his  support  and  attendance  upon 
worship  have  been  bestowed  at  the 
Presbyterian  church  of  Pontiac,  where 
his  wife  is  a communicant. 

He  is  slightly  above  medium  stature, 
standing  five  feet  eleven  inches,  tips  the 
scale  at  about  one  hundred  and  eighty- 
five  pounds,  and  is  naturally  of  a strong 
constitution  and  robust  physical  frame. 
The  fine  steel  portrait  which  accom- 
panies this  sketch  is  a life-like  present- 
ment of  his  earnest,  thoughtful  face. 
By  temperate  and  prudent  habits  of 
life  his  powers  have  been  well  pre- 
served, and  he  is  still  active  and  strong 
for  one  of  his  years.  He  still  applies 
himself  diligently  to  his  business,  being 
at  the  present  time  solicitor  for  the  Pon- 
tiac, Oxford  & Port  Austin  railroad. 

This  record  would  be  incomplete,  es- 
pecially for  those  by  whom  its  subject 
is  held  personally  in  highest  esteem,  if 
some  reference  were  not  made  to  the 
individual  qualities  of  mind  and  heart, 


MICHIGAN  JURISTS— BALD  WIN. 


143 


and  the  modes  of  life  and  action,  be- 
longing to  the  man  who  for  more  than 
a generation  has  been  so  intimately 
identified  with  the  affairs  of  his  city, 
county  and  state. 

The  most  prominent  traits  in  Judge 
Baldwin’s  character  are  industry,  con- 
tinuity, strong  common  sense,  and  that 
kind  of  moral  courage  which  people 
call  decision  of  character.  In  financial 
affairs  he  is  prudent  and  cautious,  but 
just ; thrifty,  but  not  miserly.  When 
he  gives  he  gives  generously,  but  not  to 
every  petitioner.  His  industry  is  un- 
ceasing. He  is  never  idle  except  when 
asleep,  and  then  he  is  very  busy  rest- 
ing. His  mind  is  clear  and  accurate, 
rather  than  brilliant.  He  does  not 
reach  a conclusion  at  a flash.  He  ac- 
quires with  deliberation,  but  a subject 
once  mastered  is  mastered  forever. 
His  power  as  an  advocate  lies  in  clear, 
straightforward  reasoning  upon  the  facts 
of  his  case.  His  arguments  are  severely 
practical.  He  is  not  magnetic  as  an 
orator,  nor  classically  brilliant,  but  he 
drives  home  facts  and  figures  with  mer- 
ciless force.  He  loves  poetry,  but  deals 
in  hard  plain  prose.  Persons  who  do 
not  know  him  thoroughly  sometimes 
accuse  him  of  a lack  of  warm  human 
sympathy.  This  is  unjust.  He  is  pos- 
itive in  his  resentments  ; he  cannot  tol- 
erate a mean  action  ; he  is  sometimes 
harsh  in  his  denunciation  of  wrong  and 
wrongdoers  : but  his  heart  is  warm,  and 
he  is  true  in  his  attachments.  He  is  a 
steadfast  friend,  though  the  act  which 
betokens  his  friendship  may  be  per- 
formed with  few  words. 

His  style  of  living,  dress,  etc.,  is  char- 


acterized by  a plain  and  rich  abundance 
— nothing  for  mere  display,  but  a gen- 
erous regard  for  comfort  and  good  taste. 
Having  amassed  a comfortable  fortune, 
he  has  invested  quite  extensively  in 
farming  lands,  and  indulges  a natural 
fancy  for  nice  stock,  poultry,  fruits, 
flowers  and  rare  plants. 

But  his  ruling  taste  is  for  books  ; and 
his  especial  delight,  apart  from  devotion 
to  the  learning  and  literature  of  his  pro- 
fession, is  his  private  library  of  general 
literature  and  miscellaneous  works. 
This  collection  comprises  over  twelve 
thousand  volumes,  and  is  kept  at  his 
residence.  It  has  steadily  grown  under 
his  fostering  care  through  all  the  years 
of  a long  and  laborious  life — his  pet,  his 
entertainer,  his  counselor,  his  philoso- 
pher and  friend — until  it  has  become  a 
part  of  his  being.  He  turns  to  it  when 
the  day’s  tasks  are  completed,  as  to  a 
sort  of  soul’s  rest.  In  the  departments 
of  history,  philosophy,  poetry  and  the 
drama,  Judge  Baldwin’s  library  is  prob- 
ably unsurpassed  by  any  in  the  state, 
except,  perhaps,  the  state  library  at 
Lansing  and  that  of  the  university  .at 
Ann  Arbor.  So  constantly  has  he  asso- 
ciated with  these  thousands  of  silent 
friends,  that  each  one  has  become  to 
him  a personal  and  familiar  acquaint- 
ance. He  loves  pictures,  and  has  some 
fine  ones  ; but  they  by  no  means  equal 
his  literary  treasures. 

His  wife,  whom  he  married  in  1842, 
and  who  is  still  living,  was  Isabella 
Churchill,  of  Pontiac,  Michigan. 

While  another  or  a different  mind, 
peculiarly  endowed,  might  bear  a vast 
assembly  upon  the  loftiest  wave  of  im- 


144 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


passioned  eloquence,  or  weave  over  civilization , but  few  men  in  Michigan, 
millions  of  hearts  the  raptures  of  an  thus  far,  can  with  justice  be  assigned 
immortal  poem,  yet  in  all  that  goes  to  a place  co-equal  with  Augustus  C.  Bald- 
benefit  practically  the  common  mass  of  win. 
men,  and  to  bear  society  forward  in  all 

that  is  meant  by  that  expressive  term,  Henry  M.  Look. 


EDGAR  COWAN. 


The  date  of  the  birth  of  Edgar  Cowan 
was  the  nineteenth  of  September,  1815; 
the  place  was  near  the  confluence  of  Se- 
wickly  creek  and  Youghiogheny  river, 
in  Sewickly  township,  Westmoreland 
county,  Pennsylvania.  His  ancestry 
was  one-fourth  Scotch,  one-fourth  Eng- 
lish, one-fourth  Irish,  and  one-fourth 
Welsh.  On  the  maternal  side,  it  was  of 
revolutionary  stock— his  grandfather 
having  been  a captain  in  the  patriot 
army,  seeing  service  through  the  struggle 
for  independence  with  a company  raised 
in  Cumberland  county,  in  Edgar’s  native 
state. 

The  environment  of  the  child  was 
favorable  to  his  development ; his  first 
tutor  was  his  mother,  from  whom  he 
learned  his  alphabet ; and,  at  so  early 
an  age  was  he  taught,  that  he  afterward 
often  said  he  could  not  remember  the 
time  when  he  could  not  read.  He  grew 
to  manhood  with  an  unquenchable  thirst 
for  knowledge.  His  first  books  were  the 
Bible,  the  Vicar  of  Wakefield,  Robinson 
Crusoe,  Life  of  Franklin,  Pilgrim’s  Pro- 
gress, Afflicted  Man’s  Companion  and 
Baxter’s  Call.  To  these  must  be  added 
two  or  three  of  Shakespeare’s  plays  and 
other  works — all  occupying  his  spare 


time  as  serious  studies  for  some  years  ; 
but  his  appetite  for  all  general  reading 
— novels,  poetry,  history — greedily 
devoured  the  contents  of  everything 
readable  that  was  at  his  command.* 

It  is  one  of  the  traditions  of  Edgar’s 
youth,  that  he  early  had  the  good  fortune 
to  fall  in  with  a blind  fiddler  of  the 
country,  who,  like  many  of  his  class, 
was  versed  in  wood  lore — filled,  indeed, 
with  a vague  general  knowledge  of  many 
things.  Boy  and  fiddler  roamed  the 
Youghiogheny  region  together,  imparting 
to  the  other  such  scanty  knowledge  as 
each  possessed.  The  boy,  young  as  he 
was,  could  tell  the  blind  man  the  won- 
ders of  the  ‘Pilgrim’s  Progress  ’ and  the 
sorrows  of  the  ‘ Vicar  of  Wakefield’; 
while  the  fiddler  descanted  upon  the 
secrets  of  nature.  What  the  tree  was, 
he  could  tell  by  the  feeling  of  the  bark. 
Although  blind,  he  saw  into  the  mys- 
teries about  him  ; and  these  he  imparted 
to  his  youthful  companion,  who  was  as 
ready  to  learn  from  this  mystic  teach- 
ing as  from  books. f And  this  was  nearly 

* Dallas  Albert,  in  ' History  of  Westmoreland 
county,  Pennsylvania,’ p.  334. 

•f  See  an  article  in  the  Philadelphia  Weekly  Press, 
of  September  21,  1883,  by  Frank  A.  Burr,  entitled, 
State  Celebrities,’ 


EDGAR  CO  IVAN. 


145 


all  the  training  of  earlier  youth  the  boy 
received  to  fit  him  for  manhood’s  career. 

At  the  age  of  nine,  young  Cowan  went 
to  live  with  his  grandparents,  who  sent 
him  to  the  district  school,  but  he  did 
not  attend  regularly ; however,  he  studied 
with  such  assiduity  that  he  was  soon 
almost  abreast  with  his  teachers  in  the 
branches  taught — becoming  especially 
noted  for  his  spelling.  He  was  always 
victor  at  the  “ spelling-bees” — so  much 
the  fashion  in  the  country  in  those  days. 
His  district-school  education  ended  in 
his  seventeenth  year,  as  did  his  farm- 
ing (for,  while  living  with  his  grand- 
parents, he  was,  when  not  at  school, 
hard  at  work  on  a farm).  He  now  en- 
gaged to  teach  school ; but,  after  six 
months  at  this  employment  in  Elizabeth 
township,  Allegheny  county,  he  quit  the 
business — it  was  irksome  to  him.  Then 
he  undertook  carpenter  work,  persisting 
in  this  for  one  year,  when  he  abandoned 
that  also.  The  truth  is,  the  young  man 
was  physically  sluggish,  although  men- 
tally active. 

Young  Cowan  now  “ took  to  the 
river.”  His  time  when  thus  employed 
was  spent  in  “building  boats  and  mining 
coal  down  the  Ohio.  About  the  same 
time  he  ran  a keel-boot  from  various 
places  along  the  Youghiogheny  river, 
which  were  accessible,  down  to  Pitts- 
burgh, carrying  country  produce  and 
bringing  back  returns  in  money  or 
merchandise.”!  But  his  mental  ac- 
tivity now  took  precedence  in  his  de- 
terminations ; he  would  fain  be  a doc- 
tor ; he  would  study  medicine  ; so  he 
left  the  river.  He  entered  the  Greens- 

£ • History  of  Westmoreland  County,'  p.  334. 


burg  Academy ; remained  there  six 
months  ; acquired  considerable  knowl- 
edge of  Latin;  then  went  back  to  school- 
teaching: but  all  the  while  reading  medi- 
cine. Suddenly  he  resolved  not  to  be  a 
doctor.  How  this  came  about  it  is  in- 
teresting to  know.  He  made  prepara- 
tions to  go  to  Philadelphia  to  study  at 
the  University  of  Pennsylvania — one  of 
the  leading  medical  colleges  of  the 
country.  All  his  preparations  were 
made  for  the  journey.  But  that  night 
a storm  happened  to  sweep  over  West 
Newton,  where  he  was  stopping.  “What 
“ if  I were  a doctor,”  he  reasoned,  “ and 
had  to  ride,  at  this  time,  eight  or  ten 
miles  in  the  country  to  see  a patient  !” 
No  ; he  would  not  be  a doctor  ! And 
immediately  he  changed  his  plans. 
This  was  a signal  triumph  of  his  slug- 
gishness. 

The  decision  of  the  young  man  not  to 
practice  medicine  as  his  life-calling  did 
not  deter  him  from  pursuing  his  educa- 
tion generally.  Eearly  in  the  fall  of 
1838,  he  went  to  New  Athens,  Ohio,  and 
entered  the  senior  class  of  Franklin 
college.  He  maintained  himself  so  well 
in  this  institution  that  he  was  graduated 
the  next  year  with  the  highest  honors. 
He  now  resolved  to  study  law ; so,  mak- 
ing his  way  back  to  his  native  county, 
he  began  the  study  at  Greensburg,  in 
December,  1839,  in  the  office  of  Henry 
D.  Foster — meanwhile  he  taught  school 
to  support  himself ; that  is,  he  engaged 
in  that  pursuit  during  the  first  year,  as 
the  law  did  not  require  the  first  year’s 
reading  to  be  done  in  the  office  of  his 
tutor.  He  was  a diligent  student,  and 
was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1842,  at 


146 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN . HISTORY. 


Greensburg,  at  the  February  terra  of 
court.  Edgar  Cowan  was  now  a lawyer. 

We  have,  however,  anticipated  a little; 
we  must  mention  the  fact  that,  in  1840, 
the  law-student  was  not  indifferent  to 
the  political  questions  then  agitating  the 
country  ; the  “ hard-cider  campaign  ” 
was,  indeed,  one  well  calculated  to 
stimulate  his  zeal  as  a Whig  (for  he  was 
then  of  that  party,  though  as  a boy,  he 
had  been  a Democrat).  He  was  some- 
what conspicuous,  along  with  Joseph 
Lawrence,  of  Washington  county,  James 
Veech  of  Fayette  county,  and  Thomas 
Williams,  Moses  Hampton,  and  Dr. 
William  Elder  of  Allegheny  county,  as 
speaker  during  that  campaign.  His 
speeches  were  notable  for  their  sincerity; 
there  was  no  clap-trap  about  them. 

Lawyer  Cowan  was  fortunate  in  the 
practice  of  his  profession,  although 
clients  were  not  over  plentiful  at  first ; 
however,  a fortunate  circumstance  soon 
set  him  upon  his  feet.  John  F.  Beaver, 
a prominent  and  flourishing  lawyer  de- 
termined to  sell  out  his  practice  and 
remove  to  the  west.  He  asked  Cowan 
to  buy  him  out,  well  knowing  the  young 
man  had  no  money  but  trusting  to  his 
honor  and  ability.  The  purchase  was 
made;  and  the  arrangement  proved 
mutually  beneficial.  “ Beaver  got  all 
his  money  long  before  he  had  any  ex- 
pectation of  final  payment ; and  Cowan 
stepped  at  once  into  a large  paying 
practice,  which  his  capacity  and  in- 
dustry enabled  him  not  only  to  retain, 
but  to  largely  extend.”  * 

In  the  year  1842,  the  subject  of  this 

* Frank  A.  Burr,  in  the  Philadelphia  Weekly  Press , 
September  21,  1882. 


sketch  contracted  a happy  marriage 
with  Lucetta,  daughter  of  James  Brison 
Oliver  and  Elizabeth  Isett  Oliver  of 
West  Newton,  Westmoreland  county. 
The  bride  was  a lady  of  most  estimable 
qualities  and  high  standing.  Of  her  as 
wife  and  mother,  we  will  have  hereafter 
more  to  say. 

Cowan  was  now  settled  in  life,  but  as 
a lawyer  he  was  making  his  way  against 
heavy  odds.  At  that  time  the  bar  of 
Westmoreland  was  noted  throughout 
the  state  for  the  eloquence  and  legal 
acumen  of  its  members.  Among  those 
against  whom  our  young  advocate  was 
pitted  were  Judge  Coulter,  Albert  G. 
Marchand,  Henry  D.  Foster  and  others. 
Notwithstanding  this  array,  he  held  his 
own  remarkably  well,  soon  becoming 
eminent  in  fact  in  his  profession.  The 
personal  appearance  and  attributes  of 
the  man  were  largely  in  his  favor.  Lie 
was  tall,  full-formed,  of  a commanding- 
presence,  with  a voice  at  once  resonant 
and  mellow.  To  these  physical  quali- 
ties, he  constantly  added  others  of 
greater  value.  He  was  always  aug- 
menting his  store  of  knowledge,  not 
only  of  law  but  of  general  literature.  It 
is  not  a matter  of  wonder,  therefore, 
that  his  fame  as  a lawyer  was  extensive 
and  extending.*  His  devotion  to  his 
chosen  profession  was  seen  in  the  fact 
that  he  abjured  speculation  wholly ; 
the  profits  of  his  lucrative  practice  were 
spent  by  him  either  in  books  or  in 
whatever  else  he  desired  without  pur- 
chasing any  real  estate  for  a rise,  or  in 
any  way  attempting  to  accumulate  a 


* Frank  A.  Burr. 


EDGAR  COWAN \ 


147 


fortune.  * But  this  did  not  deter  him 
from  purchasing  a home,  which  he  did 
in  1850,  improving  it  and  making  it 
comfortable  afterward,  residing  in  the 
house  then  bought  to  the  day  of  his 
death. 

In  this  country  a successful  lawyer  is 
almost  perforce  a politician.  Happy 
is  such  an  one,  generally  speaking,  can 
he  but  resist  the  temptations  of  office. 
But  a political  career  is  not  necessarily 
a downward  career.  To  most  men,  how- 
ever, when  terminated,  it  is  a disap- 
pointment. Holding  this  in  view,  let  us 
proceed  with  our  narrative.  As  early 
as  1844,  Mr.  Cowan’s  reputation  and 
character  had  become  so  well  estab- 
lished that  (as  a Whig  of  course)  he  was 
chosen  a delegate  to  the  national  con- 
vention at  Baltimore,  which  nominated 
Henry  Clay  for  the  Presidency.  From 
this  time  forward  to  the  formation  of 
the  Republican  party  and  the  nomina- 
tion by  it  of  John  C.  Fremont  for  Presi- 
dent, he  took  but  little  part  in  politics. 
It  was  a period  of  twelve  years  dura- 
tion, occupied  by  him  largely  in  the 
pursuit  of  his  profession.  He  took  de- 
light in  varying  the  drudgery  of  the  law 
by  dabbling  in  scientific  research,  but 
he  was  too  averse  to  manual  labor  to 
become  a man  of  science  in  the  proper 
sense  of  the  word.  “ He  had  patience 
and  application  sufficient  to  stuff  a bird 
or  analyze  a flower  with  the  help  of 
Wood’s  formula,  but  nothing  more.”t 

And  just  here  we  will  give  a brief  ex- 

*  4 History  of  Westmoreland  County,’  p.  335. 

+For  this  interesting  statement,  I am  indebted  to 
Frank  Cowan,  of  Greensburg,  son  of  the  subject  of 
this  sketch. 


tract  from  Mr.  Cowan’s  eulogy  of  the 
Bible,  as  contained  in  an  address  de- 
livered by  him  on  the  twenty-fourth  of 
September,  1846,  before  the  literary 
societies  of  Washington  college,  of 
Washington  county,  Pennsylvania  : “Its 
pathos,”  said  the  speaker,  “ often  sub- 
dues and  melts  the  human  heart,  or  its 
grandeur  of  thought  and  magnificence 
of  promise  swells  it  into  proud  exulta- 
tion, which  is  yet  mingled  with  humility 
and  awe.  The  realities  of  its  pictures, 
their  life,  the  boldness  and  the  strength 
with  which  they  are  conceived,  are 
never  forgotten ; its  patriarchs,  its 
kings,  its  prophets,  its  poets  and  its 
preachers,  all  occupy  the  chief  place  in 
the  world’s  remembrance  of  past  things. 
There  is  no  statesman  even  of  yester- 
day of  whom  we  know  half  so  mucli  as 
we  do  of  Moses  ; and  we  are  far  better 
acquainted  with  the  true  character  of 
David  than  with  that  of  Bonaparte,  al- 
though the  history  of  the  one  is  three 
thousand  years  old  and  contains  but  a 
few  pages,  while  that  of  the  other  is  but 
recent  and  fills  a hundred  volumes.” 
That  Mr.  Cowan  took  an  interest  in 
agricultural  matters  is  seen  in  the  able 
manner  in  which  he  discussed  farming 
affairs  in  an  address  delivered  by  him 
before  the  Westmoreland  County  Agri- 
cultural society,  in  1855,  at  the  annual 
exhibition  and  fair  of  that  society.  In 
speaking  of  the  mysterious  agents  which 
the  chemist  introduces  to  the  studious 
agriculturist,  he  was  particularly  happy. 
“ Especially  does  he  dwell,”  said  the 
speaker,  “ on  oxygen — nature’s  Ariel — 
as  the  active  spirit  in  the  universe. 
How  he  arouses  himself  at  the  first 


148 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


shimmer  of  the  sun's  rays  as  they  light 
on  the  mountain  tops,  and  begins  his 
day’s  career  of  gallantry,  dallying  in 
fierce  armor  with  all  the  elements, 
mingling  himself  here  and  there,  and 
everywhere  a universal  favorite.  In 
union  with  hydrogen  he  forms  the  water 
we  drink  ; in  mixture  with  nitrogen  he 
makes  the  air  we  breathe  ; and  to  him, 
perhaps,  we  owe  ninety-nine  hundredths 
of  all  the  heat  which  tempers  the  earth 
to  our  comfort.  Perhaps,  too,  from  the 
same  agent  comes  the  light — many- 
tinted — revealing  to  us  a world  of 
beauty.  Certain  it  is  that,  in  his  union 
with  combustible  substances,  heat  is 
invariably  produced  as  an  effect — 
whether  the  combustion  be  sensible, 
as  in  fire,  or  insensible,  as  of  blood  in 
the  lungs,  or  of  iron  in  its  rusting.  It 
is  also  equally  certain  that  whenever  this 
combustion  is  active  and  violent,  as  in 
fire  and  flame,  all  objects  within  a cer- 
tain range  of  it  are  lighted  up  in  all 
colors.  If  we  consider  him  still  more 
closely,  he  seems  to  be  the  tireless  and 
vigilant  purveyor  of  the  whole  vegeta- 
ble kingdom,  and  the  medium  of  its 
food  and  sustenance.” 

But  let  us  now  turn  our  thoughts  to 
government  affairs.  Stirring  times  were 
at  hand.  The  Dred  Scott  decision, 
Kansas  border  warfare,  squatter  sover- 
eignty as  exemplified  in  the  Kansas- 
Nebraska  bill,  these  created  at  the 
north  a general  awakening  of  opposi- 
tion to  the  slave-power,  and  Mr.  Cowan 
was  not  slow  to  take  part  in  the  forma- 
tion of  the  Republican  party,  and  in 
support  of  Fremont  as  its  standard- 
bearer.  “ During  all  of  that  memora- 


ble canvass,  his  labors  were  varied  and 
incessant,  so  that  he  was  counted  among 
the  ablest  and  least  tolerant  of  slavery 
aggression.”  He  was  a candidate  in 
1857  among  the  Republicans  for  nom- 
ination on  their  congressional  ticket, 
but  was  defeated.  The  same  thing  hap- 
pened in  1859,  when  John  Covode  re- 
ceived the  nomination.  But  this  ended 
his  political  defeats.  They  had  not 
been  humiliations  in  any  sense  of  the 
word,  for  he  had  not  set  his  heart  upon 
obtaining  a seat  in  congress  ; therefore, 
the  disappointments  (if  such  they  may 
be  termed)  sat  lightly  upon  him. 

The  legislature  of  Pennsylvania  of 
1860-61  was  Republican,  and  there  was 
a United  States  senator  to  be  elected. 
Among  the  candidates  was  Edgar 
Cowan.  It  soon  became  evident  that 
he  would  receive  a large  number  of 
votes,  and  his  election  began  to  be 
looked  upon  by  his  friends  with  a good 
deal  of  certainty.  Then  a home  organ 
came  out  strongly  in  his  favor.  “ It  is 
said,”  were  the  words  of  the  Greens- 
burg  Herald , “ that  the  ‘ hour  brings 
the  man,’  so  now  we  have  the  man  for 
the  hour.  In  Edgar  Cowan,  Esq.,  of 
Greensburg,  all  the  requisites  for  the 
position  harmoniously  combine.  Al- 
ready is  he  looked  upon,  by  those  who 
know  him  intimately,  as  one,  if  not  the 
most  prominent,  among  the  candidates. 
This  being  the  fact,  it  is  proper  that  we 
should  now,  in  brief,  give  the  public  at 
large,  not  so  well  posted,  some  of  the 
outlines  of  Mr.  Cowan’s  fitness.” 

“ He  is  a native  of  Westmoreland 
county,”  continued  the  Herald , “ now 
in  his  forty-sixth  year.  From  infancy 


EDGAR  COWAN. 


149 


almost  he  was,  like  many  of  the  great 
men  of  our  nation,  thrown  upon  his  own 
resources.  At  the  close  of  his  collegi- 
ate course,  early  in  1840,  he  commenced 
the  study  of  the  law.  During  that  mem- 
orable canvass  his  eloquent  and  sonor- 
ous voice  was  often  heard  in  his  native 
county,  ably  discussing  the  questions 
then  at  issue  before  the  country.  He 
was  a decided  favorite  among  those  who 
sang  ‘ Tippecanoe  and  Tyler  too,’  and 
could  never  avoid  being  compelled  to 
respond  to  the  calls  for  * a speech  from 
Westmoreland’s  young  orator,’  made 
by  every  political  gathering  where  it 
was  thought  he  was  one  of  the  number 
present.  His  career  at  the  bar  has 
been  eminently  successful,  and  we  think 
we  will  not  be  charged  with  making  any 
invidious  distinctions  when  we  say  that, 
for  his  diligence,  promptness  and  fidel- 
ity to  the  interests  of  his  clients,  the 
power  with  which  he  grasps,  and  the 
readiness  and  clearness  with  which  he 
unravels  all  intricate  legal  questions,  as 
well  as  his  fairness  towards  an  adver- 
sary, he  now  deservedly  ranks  among 
those  at  the  head  of  the  bar  in  western 
Pennsylvania.* 

“When  Edgar  Cowan,”  said  another 
paper  subsequently,  “ was  first  men- 
tioned in  connection  with  the  United 
States  senatorship,  the  questions  were 
almost  universally  asked,  ‘Who  is  he?’ 
‘What  is  he?’  and  ‘Where  does  he 
come  from  ? ’ His  was  most  assuredly 
not  a state-wide  reputation ; he  had 
been  no  office  seeker,  and  very  little  of 
a politician  ; and,  outside  of  his  imme- 
diate neighborhood  his  name  was  al- 

*  See  the  Herald  of  December  5,  i860. 


most  unknown,  except,  perhaps,  to  a 
circle  of  chosen  friends  or  to  the  lead- 
ers of  his  political  party.  We  were  told, 
however,  by  those  whose  candidate  he 
was,  that  he  was  a close  student,  a man 
of  extensive  and  varied  learning,  an 
able,  shrewd  and  faithful  lawyer,  a pow- 
erful and  skillful  debater,  who  would  not 
fail  to  make  his  mark  in  the  senate,  and 
above  all,  an  honest  man  who  would 
yield  neither  to  the  blandishments  of 
power  nor  the  lust  of  gain,  but  would 
act  on  his  own  convictions  of  right  and 
duty,  be  the  consequences  what  they 
may.” 

When  the  time  came  for  the  Republi- 
cans in  the  legislature  to  caucus  for 
their  candidate,  the  principal  opponent 
to  Mr.  Cowan  for  the  senate  was  David 
Wilmot.  The  former  represented  the 
conservative  element  of  the  party  at 
that  date  in  the  state,  and  was  success- 
ful over  his  radical  competitor.  Mr. 
Cowan  was  elected  in  January,  1861  for 
the  full  term  of  six  years,  beginning  on 
the  fourth  of  the  succeeding  March. 
He  “took  his  seat  modestly  and  unas- 
sumingly, with  no  flourish  of  trumpets 
to  herald  his  fame.  He  seldom  rose  to 
speak  during  his  first  session,  and  his 
name  was  but  seldom  seen  in  public 
print  except  in  the  votes  he  gave,  which 
generally  seemed  to  be  honest  and  con- 
servative. Yet,  though  unassuming,  his 
reputation  was  fast  spreading  among 
those  around  him,  and  at  the  second 
session  he  was  placed  on  the  judiciary 
committee,  the  second  of  importance 
of  the  committees  of  the  senate.” 

The  six  years  constituting  the  term 
of  Cowan  in  the  United  States  senate 


150 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


were  such  as  emphatically  “ tried  the 
souls  of  men.”  It  was  the  period,  as 
every  one  knows,  when  the  good  and 
the  great  men  of  the  north — by  a very 
large  majority — declared  that  the  coun- 
try and  the  constitution  must  be  saved, 
especially  the  country.  There  were, 
however,  a few  great  and  good  men 
(Senator  Cowan  among  the  number) 
who  did  not  fully  grasp  this  idea  in  its 
entirety.  They  would  save  the  coun- 
try, but  it  could  only  be  done  in  a con- 
stitutional way.  The  country — the 
Union — had  no  firmer  friend  than  Sen- 
ator Cowan,  but  it  must  stand,  he 
reasoned,  strictly  on  the  constitution  as 
the  only  hope  of  its  salvation.  “ To 
err  is  human,”  and  the  noblest  patriot 
may  be  found  wanting  in  that  regard; 
but  this  error,  at  so  critical  a time, 
proved  fatal  to  him  so  far  as  all  future 
political  aggrandizement  was  concerned, 
as  the  sequel  shows.  It  is  believed  that 
had  his  motto  been  “ not  that  I loved 
the  constitution  less  but  my  country 
more  ” in  those  trying  days,  great 
would  have  been  his  reward. 

It  is  not  a matter  of  surprise,  then, 
that  Senator  Cowan  should  have  laid 
down  (as  we  are  assured  he  did)  certain 
rules  for  his  guidance  from  which,  while 
in  the  senate,  he  never  swerved,  and 
which  in  all  his  speeches  he  endeavored 
to  enforce  : 

1.  The  Union  having  been  created 
by  the  constitution,  to  violate  it  is  to 
justify  disunion.  The  north  can  only 
justify  herself  in  coercing  the  south  by 
standing  strictly  on  the  constitution. 

2.  There  are  two  elements  to  be  con- 
ciliated. First,  the  Democratic  party 


in  the  free  states ; second  the  Union 
men  in  the  border  states  and  the  Con- 
federacy. This  can  only  be  done  by 
avoiding  all  legislation  offensive  to 
them,  and  all  partisan  crimination  of 
which  the  secessionists  could  take  ad- 
vantage. 

3.  Congress  should  confine  itself 
to  providing  sufficient  revenue  and 
raising  armies,  ignoring  all  party  pol- 
itics. 

4.  The  war  should  be  waged  ac- 
cording to  the  rules  of  civilized  warfare 
and  the  laws  of  nations,  as  becomes 
the  dignity  of  the  republic. 

5.  That  the  war  being  made  to  sup- 
press a rebellion,  and  not  to  make  a 
conquest  of  the  Confederate  states,  as 
soon  as  the  rebels  submit  the  states 
should  resume  their  functions  in  the 
Union  according  to  the  pledges  of  con- 
gress on  that  subject.* 

Standing  upon  that  platform,  with  the 
courage  of  his  convictions,  it  will  readily 
be  presumed  (what  is  the  fact)  that  he 
voted  against  “ legal  tender,”  “ confis- 
cation,” “national  banks,”  “tenure  of 
office,”  “ reconstruction,”  “ Freedman’s 
bureau,”  “civil  rights,”  “test  oaths” 
and  “negro  suffrage.”  But  his  oppo- 
sition to  measures,  or  his  approval  of 
them,  was  by  no  means  confined  to 
voting.  His  powerful  voice  was  fre- 
quently heard — and  generally  with  atten- 
tion. Our  limited  space  necessarily  con- 
fines us  to  a mere  mention  of  some  of  his 
notable  efforts  : (1)  On  the  war  powers 
of  the  government  and  the  suspension 
of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus  ; (2)  on  the 
expulsion  of  Senator  Bright;  (3)  on 

* ‘History  of  Westmoreland  county,’  p.  335. 


EDGAR  COWAN. 


151 


legal  tender;  (4)  on  the  Steubenville 
bridge ; (5)  on  executive  appointments 
and  removals  ; (6)  on  civil  rights.  “ In 
the  senate  of  the  United  States  his 
startling  and  vehement  oratory  attracted 
an  audience,  but  his  sphere  of  influence 
was  limited.  His  party  hesitated  to 
adopt  his  views,  and  the  opposition, 
while  applauding  his  efforts,  stood 
aloof.”  f 

“ Where  does  history  show,”  said 
Senator  Cowan,  in  the  senate,  on  the 
twenty-seventh  of  June,  1864,  “the 
failure  of  any  united  people,  number- 
ing five  or  six  millions,  when  they  en- 
gaged in  revolution ? Nowhere;  there 
is  no  such  case  [he  was  speaking  of  the 
Confederates].  What  did  we  do  to 
bring  this  unity  in  the  south?  We  for- 
got our  first  resolve  in  July,  1861,  to 
restore  the  Union  alone,  and  we  went 
further,  and  gave  out  that  we  would 
also  abolish  slavery.  Now,  that  was 
just  exactly  the  point  upon  which  all 
southern  men  were  the  most  tender,  and 
at  which  they  were  the  most  prone  to 
be  alarmed  and  offended.  That  was  of 
all  things  the  one  best  calculated  to 
make  them  of  one  mind  against  us ; 
there  wasJTno  other  measure,  indeed, 
that  could  have  lost  to  the  Union 
cause  so  many  of  them.  It  is  not  a 
question  either  as  to  whether  they  were 
right  or  wrong — that  was  matter  for 
their  consideration,  not  ours — for  if  we 
were  so  desirous  of  a union  with  them, 
we  ought  not  to  have  expected  them  to 
give  up  their  most  cherished  institutions 

+ From  a report  of  the  committee  appointed  by 
the  bar  of  Westmoreland  county,  to  prepare  a 
memorial  of  the  deceased. 


in  order  to  effect  it.  Unions  are  made 
by  people  taking  one  another  as  they 
are ; and  I think  it  has  never  yet  oc- 
curred to  any  man  who  was  anxious  to 
form  a particular  partnership  with  an- 
other, that  he  should  at  first  attempt  to 
force  the  other  either  to  change  his  re- 
ligion or  his  politics.  Is  not  the  answer 
obvious  ? Would  not  the  other  say  to 
him,  ‘ If  you  do  not  like  my  principles 
why  do  you  wish  to  be  partner  with 
me  ? Have  I not  as  good  a right  to 
ask  you  to  change  yours  as  a condition 
precedent  ?’  ” 

“ So  it  was,”  continued  Mr.  Cowan, 
“ with  the  southern  people ; they  were  all 
in  favor  of  slavery,  but  one  half  of  them 
were  still  for  union  with  us  as  before, 
because  they  did  not  believe  we  were 
abolitionists.  The  other  half  were  in 
open  rebellion  because  they  did  believe 
it.  Now,  can  any  one  conceive  of 
greater  folly  on  our  part  than  that  we 
should  destroy  the  faith  of  our  friends 
and  verify  that  of  our  enemy’s  ? Could 
not  anybody  have  foretold  we  would 
have  lost  one-half  by  that,  and  then  we 
would  have  no  one  left  to  form  a union 
with  ? We  drove  that  half  over  to  the 
rebels,  and  thereby  increased  their 
strength  a thousand  fold.  Is  not  all  this 
history  now  ? The  great  fact  is  staring 
us  fully  in  the  face  to-day,  we  are  con- 
tending with  a united  people  desperately 
in  earnest  to  resist  us.  Our  most  pow- 
erful armies,  most  skillfully  led,  have 
heretofore  failed  to  conquer  them,  and 
I think  will  fail  so  long  as  we  pursue 
this  fatal  policy.” 

The  manner  of  Senator  Cowan  while 
in  debate  in  the  senate  attracted  much 


152 


MAGAZINE  Of  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


attention.  “You  are  struck  first,”  says 
a graphic  writer,  “ with  his  height,  sharp- 
ness of  visage,  and  extraordinary  powers 
of  voice.  In  the  management  of  the 
latter,  it  seems  as  if  those  gutteral  tones 
were  lowered  to  the  utmost  for  the  ex- 
press accommodation  of  men  of  less 
altitude  and  smaller  grasp  of  the  percep- 
tive faculties.  There  is  a musical 
rumble  and  a most  pleasing  diction, 
however,  about  every  period,  and  such 
an  assumption  of  power  and  right  fig- 
uring in  every  gesture  and  mannerism, 
that  it  would  not  be  hard  to  convince 
the  auditors  above  the  floor  that  this  is 
the  Hercules  of  senatorial  debate.  Yet 
there  is  one  other  marked  and  singular 
characteristic  of  the  speaker  that  aston- 
ishes and  overshadows  the  whole  effect. 
It  is  the  abandon  of  declamation,  the 
continual  sway  of  that  towering  bulk, 
and  a haphazard  style  of  putting  those 
stentorian  truths,  which,  in  connection 
with  the  magnificent  roll  and  volume  of 
voice  cannot  fail  to  completely  engross 
and  surprise  the  hearer.” 

By  another  observing  writer,  he  is 
described  as  “ measuring  some  six  feet 
three  inches,  * possessed  of  a voice  like 
the  diapason  of  a small  church  organ, 
and  a habit  of  using  it  in  two  distinct 
octaves.  Senator  Cowan  is  certainly  a 
most  peculiar  and  impressive  speaker, 
and  possesses  one  great  merit,  that  of 
never  speaking  unless  he  has  something 
to  say.  When  he  rises  in  the  central 

* Senator  Cowan’s  exact  height,  according  to 
“ The  Reporter,"  of  January  14,  1867,  was  six  feet, 
three  and  one-quarter  inches  ; weight  one  hundred 
and  eighty-six  pounds— just  one  inch  taller  than 
Senator  Sherman,  and  twenty-nine  pounds  heavier. 


aisle,  and,  with  his  tall  figure  dwarfing 
everything  about  him,  sends  his  rolling 
voice  sailing  on  the  waves  of  fetid  air 
that  forms  the  atmosphere  of  the  ill- 
ventilated  chamber,  he  reminds  one  of 
the  description  Carlyle  gives  of  Mira- 
beau  in  the  French  convention  of  1789.” 
But  Senator  Cowan  did  not  forget  the 
debt  he  owed  the  people  of  Pennsylva- 
nia while  yet  in  the  senate.  He  ad- 
dressed the  State  Agricultural  society, 
at  its  exhibition  and  meeting  at  Wil- 
liamsport, Lycoming  county,  in  Sep- 
tember, 1865,  in  an  able  manner.  Upon 
the  subject  of  industrial  machinery,  he 
was  particularly  happy.  “ Just  two 
hundred  years  ago,”  said  he,  “in  1665, 
the  Marquis  of  Worcester  announced 
the  discovery  of  ‘ a most  admirable  and 
forcible  way  to  draw  up  water  by  fire.’ 
And  this  was  perhaps  the  first  time  that 
fire  was  distinctly  suggested  as  a me- 
chanical force.  It  happened  luckily, 
too,  in  the  beginning,  that  it  was  asso- 
ciated with  water  as  the  best  medium 
through  which  its  force  could  be  applied 
to  industrial  purposes.  Nothing  has 
since  been  found  to  answer  the  purpose 
so  well,  because,  when  the  fire  commu- 
nicates its  force  to  the  water,  expanding 
it  into  steam,  this  can  be  used  the  same 
as  wind  to  drive  machinery,  with  the 
additional  advantage  that  it  can  be 
deprived  of  its  power  in  an  instant  by 
the  ease  with  which  it  is  condensed. 
Here,  then,  we  have  a new  slave  born 
into  the  world,  unlimited  in  its  capacity 
for  work,  perfectly  manageable  in  the 
hands  of  a skillful  master,  unaffected 
by  the  seasons,  and  unwearied  by  con- 
tinuous exertion.” 


EDGAR  COWAN. 


153 


But  let  us  return  to  the  United  States 
senate.  As  lawyer,  there,  Senator 
Cowan  certainly  took  rank  with  the 
best.  During  the  winter  of  1863-4,  he 
entered  into  a law  partnership  with 
Thomas  Ewing  of  Ohio,  O.  H.  Brown- 
ing of  Illinois,  and  Britton  A.  Hill  of 
Missouri — to  practice  before  the  su- 
preme court  and  other  inferior  courts 
of  the  United  States ; but  a law  was 
passed  forbidding  members  of  either 
house  appearing  as  attorneys  in  any  of 
those  courts,  so  the  senator  was  obliged 
to  withdraw  from  the  firm.  Of  the  just- 
ness of  such  a law,  no  right-minded  man 
can  have  doubts.  But  the  fact  of  the 
formation  of  this  partnership  clearly 
demonstrates  the  exalted  place  occupied 
by  Cowan  as  one  learned  in  the  law. 
It  is  not,  then,  too  much  to  say  that,  as  a 
jurist,  he  was  among  the  very  ablest  in 
the  senate  during  the  important  epochs 
of  secession,  civil  war  and  reconstruc- 
tion. 

Why,  with  such  commanding  talents, 
his  senatorial  career  proved  a failure, 
has  already  been  foreshadowed.  “ He 
was  elected  to  the  United  States  senate,” 
says  the  Greensburg  Tribune  and  Herald, 
“ by  a legislature  overwhelmingly  Re- 
publican during  the  session  of  1861,  and 
took  his  seat  in  that  body  on  the  fourth 
of  March  of  the  same  year.  The  greater 
portion  of  his  six  year’s  term,  he  was  not 
in  hearty  accord  with  the  party  that 
elected  him.  His  first  overt  act  that 
tended  to  alienate  him  from  the  great 
body  of  his  Republican  friends  was  his 
maiden  speech  in  the  senate,  in  which 
he  defended  Jesse  D.  Bright  against  the 
charge  of  treason  and  sympathy  with 


treason,  and  for  which  he  (Bright)  was 
on  the  second  of  February,  1862,  ex- 
pelled from  his  seat  in  the  senate  by  a 
vote  of  thirty-two  to  fourteen,  Mr. 
Cowan  being  one  of  the  fourteen  who 
voted  against  his  expulsion.  One  of 
the  evidences  of  Bright’s  sympathy  with 
treason  and  traitors  was,  that  on  the 
first  of  March,  1861 — three  days  before 
Mr.  Lincoln’s  inauguration — Mr.  Bright, 
who  was  an  ardent  Democrat,  wrote  a 
letter  addressed  to  “ Jefferson  Davis, 
President  of  the  Confederate  States,” 
recommending  to  him  a person  who  was 
desirous  of  furnishing  him  with  a superior 
kind  of  firearms.  This  was  the  begin- 
ning of  the  breach  between  Mr.  Cowan 
and  the  Republican  party.  ...  So 
much  were  his  party  friends  in  this 
state  [Pennsylvania]  excited  over  his 
speech  in  the  senate  in  defense  of 
Bright  that  the  legislature  passed  a res- 
olution asking  him  to  resign  his  seat. 
He  and  James  R.  Doolittle  ended  their 
political  career  on  the  same  rock  and 
about  the  same  time.  . . . Both 

were  able  men,  but  not  able  to  stem 
popular  public  opinion.* 

It  is  but  justice  to  the  memory  of 
Senator  Cowan  to  say  that  he  did  not 
“ Johnsonize  ” — he  did  not  “ follow 
Johnson  ” — as  has  often  been  averred. 
He  was  too  independent  for  that.  His 
conclusions  and  determinations,  how- 
ever extreme  or  unpopular,  were  those 
of — Edgar  Cowan.  And  that  he  was 
rejected  in  1867,  while  a member  of  the 
senate,  as  minister  of  the  United  States 
at  the  court  of  Vienna,  was  not  because 

* See  issue  of  the  Tribune  and  Herald  of  Septem- 
ber 2,  1885. 


254 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  his  following  the  policy  of  the  Presi- 
dent ; for  at  that  time  the  opposition  to 
Johnson  had  not  become  fixed  and 
formulated  ; it  was  because  of  views 
which  had  been  previously  and  publicly 
advocated  by  him  on  questions  of  gov- 
ernment policy. 

When  Mr.  Cowan  left  the  senate,  at 
the  close  of  his  term,  he  settled  down 
again  in  private  life  in  Greensburg — to 
be,  in  politics,  thenceforth,  “ more  a 
reminiscence  than  a power.”  In  the 
Presidential  campaign  of  1886,  he  took 
no  active  part  ; in  that  of  four  years 
after  he  advocated  the  election  of 
Greeley  ; so,  too,  in  1876,  he  was  in 
favor  of  Tilden.  He  was  a delegate  in 
1880  to  the  Cincinnati  convention  which 
nominated  Hancock.  “ With  that  epi- 
sode his  public  life  may  be  said  to  have 
taken  pause,”  although  in  1884  he  in- 
terested himself  in  favor  of  Cleveland. 

In  returning  to  the  practice  of  the  law 
at  his  home  in  Westmoreland  county,  Mr. 
Cowan  did  not  return  to  its  drudgery  ; he 
assumed  only  the  conduct  of  important 
cases,  and  he  continued  in  the  work  for 
over  seventeen  years.  His  legal  career, 
therefore,  counting  his  senatorial  term 
as  part  of  it,  was  of  fully  forty-three 
years  duration,  from  its  commencement 
to  its  close.  llis  practice  in  the  supreme 
court  of  his  state  began  in  1845,  in 
“Cover  vs.  Black”  and  “Geiger  vs. 
Hill,”  1st  State  Reports,  and  runs 
through  one  hundred  and  ten  volumes, 
ending  in  1884.  “ Mr.  Cowan  was  a care- 
ful practitioner  and  tried  his  important 
cases  with  great  ability.  His  power  of 
analysis  was  acute,  his  memory  reten- 
tive.” “ His  demeanor  at  the  bar  was 


manly,  dignified  and  honorable.”  “Mr. 
Cowan,”  says  the  Tribune  a?id  Heraldy 
of  a late  date,  “was  not  only  a fair  and 
magnanimous  opponent  in  the  trial  of 
causes,  scarcely  ever  condescending  to 
avail  himself  of  mere  technicalities,  but 
preferred  to  try  cases  on  their  merits 
according  to  law  and  the  evidence.  The 
late  Henry  D.  Foster  and  Mr.  Cowan 
were  for  many  years  at  the  head  of  the 
Greensburg  bar,  and  public  opinion  was 
somewhat  divided  as  to  which  of  them 
was  the  greater  lawyer.  Each  had  his 
strong  points  and  each  his  weak 
ones.  However,  it  was  universally 
acknowledged  that  both  were  able  law- 
yers.” 

The  degree  ot  LL.  D.  was  conferred 
upon  Mr.  Cowan  in  1871  by  Franklin 
college,  of  New  Athens,  Ohio,  of  which 
institution,  it  will  be  remembered,  he  was 
a graduate.  In  an  address  before  the 
Alumni  association  of  that  college,  on 
the  twenty-eighth  of  June,  of  the  year 
just  mentioned,  he  said  many  excellent 
things.  “Two  or  three  great  statesmen, 
lawyers,  divines,  poets  and  philoso- 
phers,” he  declared,  “in  any  age,  are 
enough  to  do  its  heavy  work  ; but  in  the 
actual  business  of  life,  thousands  of 
medium  size  are  necessary.  The  world 
has  work  in  it  requiring  the  capacity  of 
every  grade.  Plow-boys  are  as  neces- 
sary as  engineers ; boot-blacks  as  nec- 
essary as  poets.” 

After  an  illness  of  nearly  a year,  Mr. 
Cowan  died  on  the  twenty-ninth  of 
August,  1885,  surrounded  by  all  his 
family  except  his  eldest  son,  who  was 
absent  in  a foreign  country.  The  dis- 
ease which  caused  his  death  was  scirrhus 


EDGAR  COWAN. 


155 


cancer,  involving  the  tongue,  submaxil- 
lary glands,  and  buccal  cavity — the  can- 
cerous condition  of  the  mouth,  probably, 
having  been  brought  about  by  the 
excessive  use  of  tobacco  in  the  form  of 
cigars,  and  the  localization  of  the  affec- 
tion determined  by  an  ill-fitting  dental 
plate.* 

On  the  fourth  of  September,  his 
remains  were  laid  to  rest  in  St.  Clair 
cemetery,  in  Greensburg,  in  the  presence 
of  a great  concourse  of  people.  The 
only  religious  service  held  at  the  house 
was  the  reading  of  the  ninetieth  Psalm 
by  Rev.  Dr.  Moorhead  and  the  offering 
of  a prayer  by  Rev.  Dr.  Bracken.  The 
pall  bearers  were  J.  F.  Woods,  Richard 
Coulter,  W.  D.  Moore,  Jno.  Armstrong, 
D.  S.  Atkinson  and  Jacob  Turney. 
Several  members  of  the  Pittsburgh  bar 
were  present,  among  them  ex-Judge 
Mellon,  Thomas  Marshall  and  Hugh 
Weir.  Charles  E.  Boyle  of  Uniontown, 
was  also  present. 

Upon  the  occasion  of  what  would 
have  been,  had  he  lived,  the  seventieth 
birthday  of  the  deceased — September 
19,  1885 — a large  assemblage  convened 
at  the  court  house  in  Greensburg  to  do 
honor  to  his  memory. 

Perhaps  no  Pennsylvanian  ever  lived 
with  more  genuine  intellectual  force  or 
with  a broader  intellectual  culture.  It 
was  this  intellectual  greatness,  his  com- 
manding personal  qualities,  and  his 

* The  disease  which  terminated  Mr.  Cowan’s  life 
was,  in  some  respects,  very  much  like  that  which 
ended  General  Grant's  life.  They  were  both  tobacco 
users.  General  Grant  was  for  many  years  an  inces- 
sant smoker,  and  Mr.  Cowan  was  both  a chewerand 
smoker.  They  both  died  of  cancer. — Tribune  and 
Herald , September  2,  1885. 


national  renown,  that  brought  together 
so  many  people  to  participate  in  the 
memorial  of  Edgar  Cowan.  Among 
the  representatives  of  neighboring  bars 
were  Hugh  W.  Weir,  W.  D.  Moore, 
Charles  F.  McKenna,  Thomas  J.  Kee- 
nan and  Judge  Mellon  of  Pittsburgh  ; 
Harry  White  of  Indiana,  and  others. 

Judge  Hunter  opened  the  meeting  in 
an  able  address  on  Mr.  Cowan’s  ability. 
He  spoke  of  the  fact  that  for  years  Mr. 
Cowan  had  stood  as  the  undisputed 
head  of  this  bar,  of  his  personal  and 
neighborly  traits,  of  his  fairness  with 
the  court  and  also  with  opponents.  He 
was  followed  by  the  memorial  of  the 
commitee,  read  by  H.  P.  Laird.  This 
as  a genuine  tribute  could  not  have 
been  improved.  It  was  unadorned  and 
strictly  true.  In  seconding  this  me- 
morial, W.  D.  Moore  of  Pittsburgh 
made  a most  finished  address.  Besides 
being  an  able  talker,  he  had  peculiar 
acquaintance  with  Mr.  Cowan’s  life  and 
views,  and  his  address  was,  therefore, 
exhaustive.  Speaking  of  the  long  talks 
he  used  to  have  with  Mr.  Cowan  on  the 
speculations  in  religion, the  speaker  said: 
“Faith  swallowed  up  in  the  darkness  of 
doubt  left  us  in  that  ignorance  which  is 
the  best  knowledge,  and  in  that  humility 
which  is  the  best  lesson  to  be  learned 
from  life.”  Mr.  Moore  was  followed 
by  Judge  White,  who  also  made  a very 
fine  address.  His  reference  to  the 
short  time  men  are  remembered,  and 
the  illustration  of  this  by  the  shipwreck 
were  exceedingly  beautiful.  The  ad- 
dresses of  Judge  Mellon,  H.  W.  Weir 
and  T.  J.  Keenan  were  short.  Charles 
F.  McKenna  made  an  address  on  his 


15G 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


political  connections  with  Mr.  Cowan. 
Letters  were  read  by  John  Latta  from 
Sherman,  Doolittle,  Brown,  Hendricks, 
Trumbull  and  Henderson,  all  of 
whom  were  friends  of  the  deceased 
in  the  senate  of  the  United  States. 
Judges  Logan,  Blair,  Agnew,  Clark, 
Johnson  and  Neal  also  sent  regrets  and 
mentioned  reminiscences  of  Mr.  Cowan 
in  the  various  courts  of  the  state.* 

A few  words  in  conclusion.  Until  the 
death  of  his  mother,  in  her  ninety-third 
year,  in  1882,  Mr.  Cowan  never  felt  a 
heartbreak  in  the  loss  of  anybody  near 
and  dear  to  him,  neither  wife  nor  child, 
neither  sister  nor  brother.  Such  an 
immunity  from  the  common  griefs  of 
humanity  for  three-quarters  of  a cen- 
tury is  one  of  the  most  extraordinary 
facts  in  his  life  history.  Curiously,  he 
seemed  never  to  have  realized  fully  his 
mortality  until  this  event.  Others 
could  get  sick,  others  could  die,  others 
could  carry  a sepulchre  in  their  bosoms, 
but  not  he.  And  when  his  first  life-loss 
came  in  his  old  age  in  the  death  of 
his  almost  centenary  mother,  it  over- 
whelmed him.f 

* Compare  the  Tribune  and  Herald  of  September 
2,  9 and  23,  1885. 

+ Statement  of  Frank  Cowan  to  the  writer  in  a 
letter  dated  October,  1886. 


Mr.  Cowan’s  home  life  was  simply  an 
alternation  between  his  professional 
duties  and  reading,  varied  in  fine 
weather  by  a walk  or  drive  of  a mile  or 
two  in  the  country.  He  very  rarely 
made  a social  call,  as  seldom  attended 
a wedding,  funeral  or  ball,  and  as 
infrequently  went  to  hear  a lecture,  a 
sermon,  or  a political  speech — never 
unless  called  upon  to  participate  in  the 
proceedings.  During  the  last  four  or 
five  years  of  his  life,  his  eyesight  failed 
him,  and  doubtless  had  he  lived  a few 
more  years,  he  would  have  become 
wholly  blind. 

Mrs.  Cowan,  who  survives  her  hus- 
band, is  a lady  of  domestic  habits — 
industrious  and  practical,  of  more  than 
ordinary  mental  endowments,  and  of 
excellent  character.  Her  long  married 
life  has  been  one  of  unusual  serenity. 
The  children  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cowan — 
all  surviving  their  father — are  Eliza- 
beth, intermarried  with  James  J.  Haz- 
lett,  now  residing  in  Greensburg ; Frank, 
a namesake  of  John  Franklin  Beaver, 
to  whose  practice  Mr.  Cowan  succeeded 
in  Westmoreland  county;  and  James,  a 
namesake  of  his  maternal  grandfather, 
James  Brison  Oliver. 


C.  W.  Butterfield. 


REPRINTS. 


157 


I 


REPRINTS. 


I. 

Er^RLY  EARTHQUAKES  IN  THE  NORTHWEST. 

[By  Daniel  Drake  in  ‘Picture  of  Cincinnati,’  1815.] 

The  first  [earthquake]  was  in  the  year  1776. 
Mr.  John  Heckewelder,  then  a missionary  of 
the  United  Brethern  [“  Moravian  ”],  on  the 
Muskingum  river,  in  this  state  [Ohio],  has 
politely  favored  me  with  a memorandum  con- 
cerning it.  He  does  not  recollect  the  month  ; 
but  it  was  in  the  summer,  and  about  eight 
o’clock,  A.  M.  Its  duration  was  two  or  three 
minutes.  The  southwest  side  of  the  house  was 
raised  with  such  violence  that  the  furniture 
of  the  room  was  nearly  overturned.  It  was 
accompanied  with  a subterranean,  rumbling 
noise.  Early  in  the  morning  the  weather  was 
fair,  but  previous  to  the  shock,  it  began  to 
thicken  in  the  southwest.  The  cattle  were 
frightened  by  the  skake,  and  the  Indians  con- 
tinued, after  it,  to  apprehend  some  great 
disaster,  of  which  they  conceived  this  to  be  the 
precursor. 

The  second  shock  was  in  the  year  1791  or 
1792.  I am  unable  to  ascertain  the  precise 
time,  but  think  it  occurred  in  the  month  of 
April  or  May,  about  seven  o’clock  in  the  morn- 
ing. The  weather  was  fair  and  mild.  The 
jar  was  sufficient  to  agitate  the  furniture  of  the 
house.  A rumbling  noise  in  the  earth,  which 
seemed  to  pass  from  west  to  east,  preceded  the 
shake.  It  was,  I believe,  generally  felt  through 
the  northern  and  northeastern  parts  of  Ken- 
tucky; but  whether  beyond  them  I have  not 
yet  been  able  to  learn. 

The  third  shock  occurred,  as  I have  been 
informed  by  George  Turner,  Esq.,  about  three 
o’clock  A.  M.,  January  8,  1795,  at  Kaskaskia, 
[afterward]  Illinois  territory.  It  was  also,  I 
believe,  felt  in  some  parts  of  Kentucky.  Its 
duration  he  estimates  at  a minute  and  a half. 


Its  direction  was  nearly  west  and  east.  A sub- 
terranean noise  attended,  resembling  that  of 
many  carriages  driven  rapidly  over  a pavement. 

A fourth  shock  was  experienced,  we  are  in- 
formed by  Prof.  Barton  [Philadelphia  Medical 
and  Physical  Journal,  Vol.  I],  at  Niagara  Falls, 
about  six  o’clock  in  the  morning  of  the  twenty, 
sixth  of  December,  1796.  It  appeared  to  come 
from  the  northwest,  and  did  not  last  more  than 
two  seconds,  but  was  sensibly  felt  for  fifty 
miles  around  the  Falls. 

The  fifth  and  only  additional  shock,  of  which  I 
have  been  furnished  with  any  certain  accounts, 
occurred  in  the  southern  neighborhood  of  Lake 
Michigan,  at  ten  ninutespast  two  o’clock  P.  m., 
on  the  twentieth  of  August,  1804.  At  Fort 
Dearborn  [now  Chicago],  on  the  bank  of  the 
lake,  it  was  severe.  From  the  report  of  Captain 
William  Whistler,  it  must  have  been  a stronger 
throe  than  any  experienced  at  this  place  [Cin- 
cinnati]. It  was  succeeded  by  a short  hurri- 
cane from  the  lake.  At  Fort  Wayne  [now  the 
city  of  Fort  Wayne,  Indiana],  lying  consider- 
ably to  the  east-southeast,  it  was  less  violent. 
John  Johnson,  esq.,  my  informant,  remarks 
that  the  day  at  that  place  was  clear  and  warm, 
without  any  unusual  appearance.  The  general 
course  of  the  earthquake  was  undoubtedly  that 
of  a line  passing  through  these  two  forts  \i.  e., 
Forts  Dearborn  and  Wayne]. 

II. 

DETROIT  IMMEDIATELY  BEFORE  ITS  OCCUPATION 
BY  GENERAL  HULL. 

[From  ‘ Niles’  Weekly  Register  ’ Vol.  II, 

PP-  356,  357- J 

“The  news  of  war  [of  1812-15]  excited  very 
great  alarm  for  the  safety  of  this  place  [Detroit], 
the[American]  army  [under  General  Hull]  being 
too  far  off  to  afford  us  immediate  relief.  For 


158 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


about  a week  previous  w e had  intelligence  of  the 
Indians  assembling  in  large  numbers  at  Malden 
[now  Amherstburgh,  Essex  county,  Canada]. 
About  three  hundred  of  the  Sacs  had  come 
from  the  Mississippi ; Tecumseh  and  a feAr 
warriors  from  the  Wabash  and  many  others 
from  different  quarters — all  believed  to  be 
hostile.  It  was  confidently  asserted  that 
from  one  thousand  to  fifteen  hundred  rations 
were  daily  issued  to  them. 

“ Believing  that  an  attack  was  contemplated 
either  on  the  [American]  army  or  this  place 
[Detroit],  and  most  probably  on  the  latter, 
every  man  capable  of  bearing  arms  was  kept  on 
constant  duty  from  Thursday  until  Sunday 
evening  [z*.  e.,  from  July  2 to  5,  1812],  when 
the  [American]  army  encamped  within  three 
miles  of  us,  and  relieved  our  apprehensions. 
There  were  but  one  hundred  regulars  in 
the  garrison,  and  the  whole  of  the  militia  we 
could  collect  did  not  exceed  four  hundred ; 
but  I believe  every  man  was  determined  to 
make  up  in  bravery  what  we  wanted  in  num- 
bers. About  one  hundred  of  the  militia  were 
thrown  into  the  garrison,  the  others  [were] 
posted  in  such  advantageous  places  through  the 
town,  each  having  a good  firelock  and  bayonet 
with  plenty  of  ammunition,  [that]  I am  confi- 
dent it  would  have  taken  more  than  double  our 
numbers  to  have  routed  us.  If  attacked,  we 
expected  it  to  be  made  in  the  night. 

“ For  three  nights  there  was  not  one  of  us  had 
our  clothes  off,  and  if  any  one  did  lay  [lie]  down 
it  was  on  his  arms.  Every  man  saw  the  neces- 
sity of  making  a determined  resistance,  and  I 
am  confident  there  is  not  one  but  would  have 
done  his  duty.  Yesterday  the  ferrymen,  who 
had  been  detained  in  crossing  the  river  after 
the  news  of  war,  were  returned  under  a flag  of 
truce.  They  had  been  taken  to  Malden,  and 
they  say  the  Indians  have  been  gradually  dis- 
persing from  the  place  for  three  or  four  days 
past.  I expect  they  will  have  the  policy  to 
remain  quiet,  as  they  find  there  is  a force  now 
sufficient  to  put  down  .all  opposition  either  from 
them  or  the  British  ; and  I think  such  steps 
will  shortly  be  pursued  that  we  will,  hereafter, 
not  hear  any  disturbance  from  them. 


“A  considerable  number  of  the  [Canadian] 
militia  had  collected  on  the  opposite  shose 
during  two  or  three  days  last  week,  but  a few 
twenty-four  pounders  thrown  at  them  on  Sun- 
day last  [July  5,  1812],  soon  made  them  dis- 
perse, and  since  that  there  is  scarcely  a man  to 
be  seen.  It  was  thought  they  were  preparing 
to  erect  batteries  for  the  annoyance  of  this 
place  [Detroit],  but  it  is  since  said  they  in- 
tended to  make  no  resistance  but  at  Malden. 

“ General  Hull  is  making  preparations  to 
cross  the  [Detroit]  river  this  evening  [July  7] 
or  to-morrow,  and  it  is  expected  that  an  immed- 
iate attack  is  contemplated  on  Malden.  The 
works  of  that  place  are  not  very  strong,  but 
they  are  well  defended  with  artillery,  having, 
I am  told,  forty  pieces  mounted,  and  above  two 
hundred  regulars,  with  all  the  militia  they  can 
collect,  the  number  not  known.  There  is  no 
doubt  but  there  will  be  hard  fighting  before  the 
place  is  taken.  The  [American]  army  are  all  in 
health  and  good  spirits  and  wait  with  anxiety 
to  be  put  on  the  other  shore ; they  are  certainly 
as  fine  looking  men  as  I ever  saw.”  Extract 
from  a letter  from  a gentleman  at  Detroit, 
to  his  friend  in  Pittsburgh,  dated  July  7,  1812. 

III. 

GOVERNOR  WILLIAM  CLARK’S  EXPEDITION  TO 
PRAIRIE  DU  CHIEN,  IN  1814. 

[From  Niles’  4 Weekly  Register,’  Vol.  VI, 

PP-  355>  356.] 

St.  Louis,  June  18,  [i8i4].  On  Monday 
evening  last  a barge  arrived  here  from  Prairie 
du  Chien  with  Governor  [William]  Clark  [of 
Missouri  territory]  and  a few  gentlemen  who 
accompanied  him  on  his  expedition  to  that 
place.  We  are  very  happy  in  being  able  to 
announce  the  fortunate  result  of  that  hazardous 
enterprise. 

Nothing  worthy  of  remark  attended  the  flo- 
tilla [of  five  armed  barges]  from  the  time  they 
left  St.  Louis,  until  they  reached  Rock  river ; 
such  of  the  disaffected  Sacs  and  Foxes  as  ap- 
peared on  the  approach  of  the  boats  were  fired 
on,  some  canoes  were  taken  with  the  arms  of 
the  affrighted  savages,  who  sued  for  peace  on 


REPRINTS, 


150 


any  terms  ; peace  was  granted  them  on  condi. 
tion  they  would  join  against  the  enemies  of  the 
United  States  and  immediately  commence  hos- 
tilities against  the  Winnebagoes.  The  Foxes 
who  live  above  Rock  river,  at  Deboques’  mines 
[Dubuque’s  lead  mines ; now  the  city  of  Du- 
buque, Iowa,]  were  willing  to  come  into  the 
same  arrangement. 

Twenty  days  before  the  arrival  of  the  gov- 
renor  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  [Robert]  Dickson 
[British  Indian  agent]  left  that  place  for  Mack- 
inaw with  85  Winnebagoes,  120  Falsavoine 
[Menomonees],  and  100  Sioux  recruits  for  the 
British  army  on  the  lakes.  He  had  informa- 
tion of  the  approach  of  Governor  Clark,  and 
had  charged  Captain  [Francis  Michael]  Deace 
properly  Dease]  commanding  a body  of  Mack- 
inaw fencibles,  with  the  defense  of  the  place ; 
but  Deace  and  his  party  ran  off,  the  Sioux  and 
Renards  [Foxes]  having  refused  to  oppose  the 
Americans.  As  soon  as  the  troops  landed  at 
the  town,  notice  was  sent  to  the  inhabitants 
(who  had  fled  into  the  country)  to  return ; all 
came  back  but  a few  scoundrels  who  knew  they 
deserved  a halter. 

Every  attention  was  then  divided  to  the 
erection  of  a temporary  place  calculated  for 
defense ; sixty  rank  and  file  of  [Brevet]  Major 


[Zachary]  Taylor’s  company  of  the  Seventh 
regiment,  under  command  of  Lieutenant  [Jo- 
seph] Perkins,  took  possession  of  the  house  form- 
erly occupied  by  the  old  Mackinaw  company, 
and  a new  fort  was  progressing  on  a most  com- 
manding spot  when  the  governor  left  the  Prairie. 

Nine  or  ten  trunks  full  of  Dickson’s  property 
was  found,  among  which  are  his  papers ; other 
property  belonging  to  this  savage  chief  are  [is] 
daily  discovered. 

The  farms  of  Prairie  du  Chien  are  in  high 
cultivation,  between  [200]  and  300  barrels  of 
flour  may  be  manufactured  there  this  season, 
besides  a vast  quantity  of  corn.  Horses  and 
cattle  are  in  abundance. 

Two  of  the  largest  armed  boats  were  left 
under  the  command  of  aid-de-camp  Kennerly 
and  Captains  Sullivan  and  Yeizer,  whose  united 
force  amounts  to  one  hundred  and  twenty-five 
dauntless  young  fellows  from  this  [St.  Louis] 
county.  The  regulars  under  the  command  of 
Lieutenant  Perkins  are  stationed  on  shore  and 
are  assisted  by  the  volunteers  in  the  erection  of 
the  new  fort. 

Such  has  been  the  fortunate  issue  of  this  well 
conducted  expedition,  more  important  to  these 
territories  than  any  hitherto  undertaken. 


160 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY, 


EDITORIAL. 


George  Bancroft,  the  eminent  American 
historian,  was  born  the  third  day  of  October, 
1800.  In  1823,  he  began  collecting  the  mate- 
rials for  a History  of  the  United  States.  The 
first  volume  appeared  in  1834 ; the  tenth  in 
1874;  a period  of  forty  years  having  elapsed 
between  these  publications.  The  time  em- 
braced in  the  ten  volumes  was  from  1492  to 
1782,  from  the  discovery  of  America  by  Chris- 
topher Columbus  to  the  close  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary War.  In  1876  was  published  a “thor- 
oughly revised  edition,”  in  six  volumes,  known 
as  the  “ Centenary  Edition.”  To  this  revision 
the  learned  author  gave  “ a solid  year  of  close 
and  undivided  attention.”  The  narrative  is 
not  extended  beyond  the  date  to  which  the 
first  edition  was  limited.  The  first  of  the  six 
volumes  constituting  the  third  edition — “the 
author’s  last  revision” — was  issued  in  1884; 
the  last,  in  1885  ; but  the  period  of  the  narra- 
tive is  extended  to  the  year  1789 — to  the  be- 
ginning of  the  Federal  government  of  the 
United  States  under  the  constitution.  Mr. 
Bancroft  passed  his  eighty-sixth  birthday  in 
Newport,  Rhode  Island,  in  a happy  manner, 
receiving  numerous  calls  and  congratulatory 
letters. 

Big  Bone  Lick,  in  Kentucky,  was  visited  by 
Samuel  H.  Parsons,  in  November,  1785. 
“ Finding,”  he  wrote  nearly  a year  afterward, 
“ that  the  bones  of  a large  animal  had  been 
discovered  about  thirty-two  miles  from  this 
station  [the  mouth  of  the  Great  Miami],  curi- 
osity led  us  to  make  search  for  them.  Accord- 
ingly, an  excursion  was  made  to  the  Big  Bone 
Lick,  the  place  where  those  bones  were  found. 
This  place  is  a resort  of  all  species  of  beast  in 
that  country.  A stream  of  brackish  water  runs 
through  the  land,  which  is  a soft  clay.  About 
twenty  acres  are  almost  clear  of  trees  and  are 


surrounded  by  higher  lands.  At  this  place 
were  found,  some  on  the  surface,  and  some  at 
a depth  of  four  feet  and  more  in  the  ground, 
the  bones  of  the  animal.  An  entire  skeleton 
we  did  not  find;  but,  of  different  parts,  we 
brought  off  about  four  hundred  pounds.  A 
thigh  bone  entire  measured  thirty-nine  inches 
in  length.  Parts  of  several  jaw-bones  were 
found,  but  not  an  entire  one.  Some  teeth  were 
found  in,  and  some  out  of  the  jaw.  Part  of  a 
tusk  we  also  had.” 


Fifty-four  years  ago  there  was  fought  in 
Sephenson  county,  Illinois,  one  of  the  battles 
of  the  Black  Hawk  War.  Under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  board  of  supervisors  a monument 
has  been  erected  to  the  memory  of  the  soldiers 
that  fell  in  the  fight,  and  on  the  last  day  of 
September,  under  the  auspices  of  the  W.  R. 
Goddard  Post  of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Re- 
public, of  Lena,  the  dedicatory  exercises  were 
held.  The  monument  stands  at  a point  nine 
miles  south  of  Lena.  Prominent  among  those 
who  participated  in  the  solemn  ceremonies,  and 
who  made  fitting  addresses,  were  E.  P.  Barton, 
James  S.  Cochran,  James  I.  Neff  and  M.  Stos- 
kopf,  of  Freeport ; Dr.  Naramore  and  S.  J. 
Dodds,  of  Lena,  and  H.  S.  Magoon,  of  Dar- 
lington, Wisconsin. 


Frederick  Theodore  FREEUNGHUYSEN,late 
secretary  of  state  in  President  Arthur’s  cabinet, 
was  born  in  the  village  of  Millstone,  in  the 
county  of  Somerset,  New  Jersey,  on  the  fourth 
day  of  August,  1817.  He  died  at  Newark, 
on  the  twentieth  of  May,  1885,  sixty-eight  years 
of  age.  His  life,  character  and  services  may 
be  found  excellently  well  depicted  in  a brief 
biographical  sket.ch  written  by  John  F Hage- 
man,  and  read,  by  request,  before  the  New 


EDITORIAL . 


161 


Jersey  Historical  society  on  the  twentieth  of 
May  last — recently  published  in  the  Society’s 
“ Proceedings.” 

According  to  the  annual  report  of  William 
F.  Poole,  librarian  of  the  Chicago  public  li- 
brary, made  on  the  twelfth  day  of  June,  the 
total  number  of  volumes  in  the  library  on  the 
last  day  of  May  was  119,510— a net  increase 
during  the  year  then  ending,  of  7,889  volumes. 
The  amount  expended  for  books  was  $9,405.38. 
The  number  of  book-borrowers  is  reported  at 
27, 142.  These  persons  hold  cards,  each  secured 
by  the  certificate  of  a responsible  guarantor, 
which  entitles  them  to  draw  books  from  the 
library  for  home  use  for  the  period  of  two 
years. 

Five  years  ago  some  thirty  mummies  of 
ancient  Egyptian  kings,  queens,  princes  and 
princesses  were  found  heaped  together  at  the 
bottom  of  a subterranean,  rock-cut  sepulcher  in 
the  western  plain  of  Thebes.  These  hidden 
royalties  included  nearly  all  of  the  most  famous 
sovereigns  of  no  less  than  five  Egyptian 
dynasties,  there  being  between  the  most 
ancient  and  the  most  modern  among  them  an 
interval  of  at  least  seven  hundred  and  fifty 
years.  That  is  to  say,  the  most  ancient 
Pharaoh  there  found  occupies  a place  in  history 
dating  about  a century  and  a half  previous  to 
B.  C.  1703,  the  period  assigned  to  the  expulsion 
of  the  Hyksos  invaders  and  the  end  of  the  war 
of  independence,  while  the  most  modern  may 
be  reckoned  as  having  lived  and  died  about 
B.  C.  iiio.  Transported  from  Thebes  to 
Cairo,  the  mummied  kings  and  queens  and 
their  belongings  now  occupy  a spacious  hall 
called  “ The  Hall  of  Royal  Mummies,”  and  the 
strange  story  of  their  discovery  has  been  told 
and  retold  in  all  the  languages  of  Europe  and 
read  in  every  quarter  of  the  globe. 

Under  the  head  of  “ Domestic  Intelligence,” 
in  the  Columbiana  Magazine  of  June,  1791, 
(p.  428),  is  the  following: 

“Pittsburgh,  May  17,  1791.  We,  the  subscribers,  en- 
couraged by  a large  subscription,  do  promise  to  pay  one 


hundred  dollars  for  every  hostile  Indian’s  scalp,  with  both 
ears  to  it , taken  between  this  day  and  the  fifteenth  of  June 
next,  by  any  inhabitant  of  Alleghany  county. 

George  Wallace,  Adamson  Tannehill. 

Robert  Elliott,  John  Wilkinson,  Jr., 

William  Amberson,  John  Irwin. 


One  hundred  acres  of  land  in  the  county  of 
Fayette,  Kentucky,  had,  before  the  sixteenth 
of  October,  1786,  been  laid  off  in  lots  and 
streets,  by  James  Wilkinson;  and  at  a general 
assembly  of  Virginia,  begun  and  held  in  the 
city  of  Richmond  on  the  day  just  mentioned, 
this  land  was  vested  in  seven  trustees  and  es- 
tablished 'as  a town,  to  which  was  given  the 
name  of  “ Frankfort.”  It  was  fixed  upon  as 
the  capital  of  the  state  on  the  fifth  of  December, 
1792,  by  commissioners  appointed  to  locate 
“ the  permanent  seat  of  government.”  On  the 
sixth  of  October,  1880,  the  centenary  of  its 
settlement  was  celebrated  by  a national  salute, 
a grand  procession  and  a barbecue. 


John  B.  Dillon,  author  of  a “History  of 
Indiana,”  died  in  Indianopolis,  Indiana,  on  the 
twenty-seventh  day  of  February,  1879.  His 
life  and  services  were  made  the  subject  of  an 
address  by  John  Coburn,  before  the  Indiana 
Historical  Society,  on  the  eighteenth  of  Sep- 
tember, 1886.  This,  the  Society  has  published. 
It  is  number  two  of  their  pamphlet  publications. 


In  the  house  of  representatives, in  Washington 
city,  on  the  fourteenth  of  June,  1844,  John 
Quincy  Adams  penned  in  honor  of  his  friend, 
Alexander  H.  Stephens,  the  following : 

Say,  by  what  sympathetic  charm, 

What  mystic  magnet’s  secret  sway, 

Drawn  by  some  unresisted  arm, 

We  come  from  regions  far  away  ? 

From  North  and  South,  from  East  and  West, 

Here  in  the  People’s  Hall  we  meet 
To  execute  their  high  behest, 

In  council  and  communion  sweet. 

We  meet  as  strangers  in  this  hall ; 

But  when  our  task  of  duty’s  done, 

We  blend  the  common  good  of  all, 

And  melt  the  multitude  in  one, 


162 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


As  strangers  in  this  hall  we  meet ; 

But  now,  with  one  united  heart, 

Whate’er  of  life  awaits  us  yet, 

In  cordial  friendship  let  us  part. 

“The  disturbances  for  some  time  past,”  says 
a letter  from  a gentleman  in  the  new  state  of 
Franklin,  dated  “March,  1788,”  an  extract 
from  which  is  published  in  the  Columbiana 
Magazine,  for  April  of  that  year  (p.  233),  “ in 
this  quarter,  have  been  very  alarming.  The 
Tiptonites  and  the  Franklinites  have  been 
constantly  in  arms  against  each  other;  the 
former  have  two  or  three  times  taken  possession 
of  Jonesborough ; the  Franklinites  were  lately 
in  possession  of  the  same  place ; their  succors 
came  in  so  slowly,  that  they  thought  it  prudent 
to  evacuate  the  town,  and  in  the  evening  about 
two  hundred  and  fifty  Tiptonites  appeared  so 
suddenly  that  the  few  who  were  in  it  were  cap- 
tured; Caldwell,  Baker  and  Ambrose  Yansey 
were  taken,  and  obliged  to  appear  at  court, 
where  they  engaged  to  remain  inactive  in  the 
present  dispute  three  months;  their  governor 
and  other  leaders  went  down  the  country  to 
raise  men  to  suppress  the  Tiptonites,  and  a few 
evenings  ago  returned  with  all  the  force  they 
could  raise — I believe  not  more  than  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty.  They  marched  to  Tipton’s. 

Tipton,  from  all  I can  learn,  had  not  more 
than  sixty  or  seventy  men;  with  those  he 
secured  himself  in  his  house,  and  bid  Sevier 
defiance,  who  intended  to  burn  the  house,  pre- 
vious to  their  firing,  which  they  began  the  first 
evening  they  besieged  Tipton.  Sevier  sent  in 
a flag  with  a letter  desiring  him  and  his  men  to 
surrender.  Tipton  returned  a verbal  answer  to 
this  effect : That  he  begged  no  favors,  and  if 

Sevier  would  surrender  himself  and  leaders, 
they  should  have  the  benefit  of  North  Carolina 
laws.  Sevier  thought  himself  secure,  and  was 
very  sure  he  could  take  Tipton  and  his  men ; 
but  to  his  astonishment,  yesterday  morning  a 
great  body  of  Sullivan  men  attacked  him  with 
heavy  firing,  and  rushing  among  them  took  a 
number  of  prisoners,  arms,  saddles,  etc.,  and 
dispersed  the  whole  of  the  Franklinites.  In  a 
few  minutes  the  governor  made  his  escape,  but 
his  two  sons  were  taken.  One  of  Tipton’s  men 


was  killed,  and  about  eight  of  them  wounded, 
two  or  three  of  them  mortally.” 

In  June,  1788,  the  farmers  of  Biberry  and 
Lower  Dublin  townships,  in  Philadelphia 
county,  Pennsylvania,  signed  an  agreement  to 
give  no  spirituous  liquors  to  their  laborei'S  at  the 
ensuing  harvest.  “They  propose,”  says  a 
pi'inted  account  of  that  date,  “in  the  room  of 
spirits,  to  give  beer,  cider,  buttermilk  and 
molasses  and  water.  One  spoonful  of  the 
molasses  to  a pint  of  water,  is  the  usual  way  of 
giving  that  excellent  drink.” 


By  a vote  of  the  Ohio  Company,  in  the  au- 
tumn of  1787,  one  hundred  settlers  were  to  be 
sent  on  to  their  lands  in  what  is  now  the  state 
of  Ohio,  during  that  fall  and  winter.  These 
settlers  were  to  be  supplied  with  provisions  to 
the  settlement,  on  their  arrival  at  Pittsburgh. 
They  were  to  be  taken  into  the  pay  of  the  com- 
pany at  the  rate  of  four  dollars  per  month,  and 
to  continue  in  pay  until  the  ensuing  May,  the 
payments  of  their  wages  to  be  in  lands.  Each 
man  was  required  to  provide  himself  with  a 
good  musket,  bayonet  and  cartridge  box ; and 
if  they  provided  an  ax  and  hoe  (in  mechanics 
their  necessary  tools),  they  were  to  be  ti'ans- 
ported  gratis  down  the  Ohio. 

Election  to  office  by  popular  vote  began  in 
this  country  more  than  two  centuries  and  a 
half  ago.  On  the  tenth  day  of  February,  1634, 
a call  was  signed  by  the  leading  citizens  of 
Charlestown,  Massachusetts,  for  the  election  of 
selectmen.  This  document  is  still  in  existence. 


The  spring  of  1779,  in  the  Pittsburgh  region, 
was  filled  with  alarms  and  raids  of  the  savages. 
We  give  a record  of  one  week  only  of  their 
fiendish  work. 

About  the  ninth  of  April,  a party  of  four 
men  were  sent  express  from  Pittsburgh  to 
Hannastown  and  all  were  afterward  found  dead 
and  scalped  about  fifteen  miles  out,  on  the 
great  road. 

April  13.  David  Morgan  of  Monongalia 
county,  Virginia,  being  at  his  field  near  a fort, 


EDITORIAL. 


163 


discovered  two  Indians  creeping  up  to  a few 
young  people  who  were  at  work  in  the  field ; 
he  gave  the  children  the  alarm,  and  upon  the 
Indians  pursuing  them,  he  shot  down  the  fore- 
most ; the  other  pursued  him,  made  a blow  at 
him  with  his  tomahawk,  cut  off  his  little  finger, 
and  the  second  finger  nearly.  They  then 
closed  and  struggled  for  the  Indians  knife, 
which  Morgan  got  hold  of ; drawing  it  through 
the  hand  of  the  savage  and  stabbing  him ; 
upon  which  they  disengaged  their  holds.  Mor- 
gan made  for  the  fort  and  the  wounded  Indian 
ran  into  the  woods.  A party  immediately  set 
out  from  the  fort,  found  one  of  the  savages 
dead,  and  the  other  sitting  beside  him.  He 
asked  mercy,  and  it  was  granted;  but  oil  their 
way  in,  he  became  surly,  whereupon  one  of  the 
party  tomahawked  him.  Both  scalps  were 
secured. 

April  14.  At  Cavell’s  mill,  a man  who  had 
fled  from  the  north  side  of  the  Pennsylvania 
road,  was  hunting  his  horse,  when  he  discov- 
ered two  Indians  skulking  in  a thicket  within 
a few  hundred  yards  of  the  house.  He  fired 
and  wounded  one  of  them,  then  ran  to  the 
house,  where  a few  more  joined  him.  They 
followed  the  track,  found  the  wounded  Indian 
and  took  his  scalp;  they  pursued  the  other,  but 
he  made  his  escape. 

April  16.  David  Maxwell  and  his  wife  were 
killed  and  scalped  at  Brush  run,  within  a few 
miles  of  Braddock’s  old  road ; their  daughter — 
a young  woman — had  been  taken  some  time 
before. 

One  of  the  so-called  ‘^Moravian  Indians  ” 
was  present  and  assisted  at  the  torturing  of 
Colonel  William  Crawford  on  the  bank  of  the 
Tymochtee  creek,  in  what  is  now  Wyandot 
county,  Ohio,  on  the  eleventh  of  June,  1782. 
The  name  of  this  Indian,  as  given  him  by  the 
Moravian  missionaries  upon  his  joining  their 
congregation,  was  Joseph,  However,  when 
the  fact  became  known  of  his  participation  in 
that  horrid  event,  the  missionary  Zeisberger  re- 
fused to  allow  him  to  live  with  the  Indian  con- 
verts any  longer.  “This  spring  [1782],”  says 
that  preacher,  “in  Upper  Sandusky,  after  our 


departure,  he  [Joseph]  took  part  in  a horrible 
and  awful  murder  [Crawford’s],  whereto  he 
was  led  by  the  savages.  The  Saviour  showed 
us  to  put  from  us  both  him  and  his  wife.” 

The  remains  of  Salmon  P.  Chase  left  Wash- 
ington by  special  train  which  preceded  the  reg- 
ular 3:30  train  on  the  afternoon  of  October  13, 
for  Cincinnati,  where  they  arrived  at  1:30  the 
next  morning.  An  assemblage  of  distinguished 
people  accompanied  the  remains  in  a procession 
from  the  cemetery  to  the  depot.  Among  them 
was  a committee  of  Congress  of  which  Repre- 
sentative Butterworth  is  chairman,  and  Rep- 
resentatives Little  and  Outhwaite  are  members ; 
a committee  of  the  supreme  court  of  the  United 
States,  consisting  of  the  chief  justice  and  asso- 
ciate justices  Blatchford,  Matthews  and  Woods; 
a committee  of  the  bar  association ; a commit- 
tee consisting  of  prominent  colored  men  with 
whom  the  distinguished  dead  had  personal 
friendly  relations;  Attorney-General  Garland, 
representing  the  president ; Senor  Romero,  the 
Mexican  minister ; Whitelaw  Reid  and  Hiram 
Barney ; two  of  the  pall  bearers  of  the  original 
funeral ; W.  W.  Cocoran ; and  many  local  peo- 
ple of  note. 

There  was  no  ceremonial  in  Washington, 
The  remains,  which  were  deposited  thirteen 
years  ago  in  Oak  Hill  cemetery,  were  dis- 
interred on  the  eleventh  and  lay  in  their  new 
casket  in  the  middle  of  the  little  gothic  chapel 
in  the  cemetery.  Around  them  the  assemblage 
stood  with  uncovered  heads  while  the  body 
guard  was  marshalled  to  its  place,  and  then 
forming  in  a funeral  procession  followed  them 
slowly  to  the  hearse.  Mrs.  Katharine  Chase 
Sprague  and  her  daughter  were  escorted  to  and 
from  their  carriage  by  General  Sherman.  The 
body  guard  was  composed  of  colored  men, 
among  whom  was  Edward  Brown,  who  for 
many  years  served  Chief  Justice  Chase  as 
coachman;  William  Joyce,  his  messenger,  who 
was  with  him  when  he  died;  and  Howard 
Williams,  many  years  a trusted  member  of  the 
family. 

The  remains  reached  Cincinnati  Thursday 
morning,  and  were  borne  to  Music  Hall,  where 


164 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


addresses  were  made  by  Congressman  Butter- 
worth,  Governor  Foraker,  ex-Governor  Hoadly, 
and  Justice  Stanley  Matthews.  James  E.  Mur- 
doch, the  veteran  actor,  recited  a poem  ; after 
which,  the  casket  was  borne  to  Spring  Grove 
cemetery,  and  consigned  to  rest  in  the  family 
lot. 

“ Mary  and  Martha,  the  Mother  and  Wife  of 
George  Washington,”  is  the  title  of  another 
contribution  to  American  history,  by  Benson  J. 
Lossing.  “The  relationship  of  these  excellent 
women  to  so  eminent  a man  as  Washington, 
gives  to  their  simple  virtues  and  personal  his- 
tory a refreshing  interest,  and  enables  the 
writer  to  group  about  the  theme  many  anec- 
dotes, and  much  entertaining  information  con- 
cerning Washington  himself  and  his  home-life, 
regarding  which  his  other  biographers  are 
silent.” 

“ The  Scandinavian  immigration  into  the 
United  States,”  says  the  Chicago  Evening 
Journal , “is  comparatively  of  recent  date. 
Some  years  before  the  late  civil  war,  while 
Minnesota  was  still  the  chief  hunting-ground  of 
the  Sioux  Indians  in  the  Northwest,  there  was 
scarcely  a single  Scandinavian.  Not  until  the 
year  1866  did  they  begin,  in  a mighty  and  con- 
stantly increasing  stream,  to  land  upon  the 
friendly  shores  of  America.  While  in  the  forty 
years  prior  to  the  war  they  came  to  this  coun- 
try to  the  number,  at  most,  of  1,000  to  2,000  an- 
nually, since  that  epoch  they  have  in  a single 
year  reached  the  proportions  of  80,000.  In 
Illinois  some  58,500  Scandinavians  are  now 
residing,  for  the  most  part  Swedes,  of  which 
almost  one-half  have  settled  in  Chicago.  In 
Iowa  there  are  some  20,000  Swedes,  and  just  as 
many  Norwegians;  in  Kansas,  12,000,  mostly 
Swedes;  in  Nebraska,  likewise,  12,000  Swedes  ; 
in  Wisconsin,  57,000,  mostly  Swedes, and  Norwe- 
gians ; and  in  Dakota,  250,000,  of  which  the  ma- 
jority sprang  from  Norway.  Minnesota,  on  the 
other  hand,  absorbed  the  highest  Scandinavian 
immigration — more  than  125,000  Scandinavians 
residing  in  that  state,  an  overwhelming  majority 
of  which  are  Norwegians.  The  Scandinavians 


have  literally  taken  possession  of  whole  coun- 
ties in  the  Northwest,  and  the  ruling  civilization 
there  is  entirely  of  the  Scandinavian  type, 
although  molded  into  abetter  and  more  polished 
form.  In  Minnesota  they  play  in  politics, 
trade  and  commerce  a controlling  part.  Ac- 
cording to  the  last  census  the  number  of  the 
native  born  enfranchised  population  of  Minne- 
sota amounted  to  only  88,000,  while  those  of 
the  voters  born  abroad  reached  123,000. 
In  only  two  other  states,  namely,  Nevada  and 
Wisconsin,  does  the  population  born  abroad 
preponderate  over  the  latter.  In  Minnesota, 
in  every  congressional  district,  the  naturalized 
citizens  are  in  the  ascendancy.  In  the  first  dis- 
trict they  have  the  lowest  majority  of  votes, 
that  is  about  3,000;  in  the  third,  with  13,000, 
the  highest.  As  a rule,  the  Scandinavians  are 
industrious,  laborious  and  honest  people.  Most 
of  them  devote  themselves  to  agriculture,  but 
there  are  Scandinavian  sailors  on  the  great 
lakes,  and  several  thousand  mechanics  of  this 
race  are  employed  on  shore  as  carpenters  and 
masons.  In  a Scandinavian  family  everyone 
works.  Even  well-to-do  farmers  send  their 
daughters  to  town  as  maid-servants.  Thou- 
sands of  these  girls  have  good  reputations  in 
Chicago  as  domestics  on  account  of  their  use- 
fulness. The  Swedes,  as  a rule,  are  more  slen- 
der and  tall  than  the  Norwegians,  whorlike 
the  Danes,  are,  on  the  average,  of  a shorter 
and  more  thick-set  stature.  It  is  remarkable 
how  quickly  these  children  of  the  north  master 
the  English  language.  In  a short  time  they 
make  considerable  progress  in  the  knowledge 
of  this  tongue.  From  their  pronunciation  it 
can  not  be  at  all  discovered'  that  one  is  convers. 
ing  with  people  who  have  learned  English 
here,  and,  possibly,  not  earlier  than  from  two  to 
four  years  back. 

The  second  volume  of  the  second  series  of 
the  “ Proceedings  of  the  Massachusetts  Histor- 
ical Society”  (1885 — 1886),  has  just  been  pub- 
lished. The  frontispiece  to  the  book  is  a,  mag- 
nificent steel  portrait  of  John  Langdon  Sibley, 
recently  deceased.  Mr.  Sibley  was  “by  far 
the  most  liberal  donor,”  the  society  has  ever 


EDITORIAL . 


165 


had.  The  property  donated  by  his  will  has 
been  appraised  at  over  one  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  dollars.  The  historical  papers,  in  this 
volume,  are  all  of  great  value. 

The  French  held  Louisiana  until  1762,  when 
it  was  ceded  to  Spain,  The  last-named  power 
ceded  it  back  to  France  in  1800.  In  1803,  it 
was  purchased  by  the  United  States.  Previous 
to  this  acquisition  by  our  government,  the  land 
system  of  Louisiana  was  peculiar.  The  grants 
to  individuals  seem  to  have  been  made  from 
favoritism,  military  or  civil  service,  and  gener- 
ally to  men  of  consideration.  The  villagers 
held  their  land  in  common.  That  which  was 
cultivated  was  enclosed.  They  had,  besides, 
the  privilege  to  obtain  wood  within  certain 


limits  from  the  royal  domain.  These  commons 
were  not  enclosed,  and  remained  part  of  the 
then  wilderness.  They  were  not  considered  as 
severed  from  the  royal  domain,  and  were  only 
subject  to  the  right  of  obtaining  wood  for  the 
use  of  the  inhabitants. 


Colonel  Charles  Whittlesey,  a faithful 
and  careful  student  of  history,  widely  known 
as  a writer  of  historical  books  and  tracts,  presi- 
dent of  the  Western  Reserve  and  Northern 
Ohio  Historical  society,  died  at  his  residence  in 
Cleveland,  Ohio,  October  18,  1886.  An  ex- 
tended sketch  of  the  life  of  this  most  worthy 
and  excellent  man,  will  appear  in  an  early  num- 
ber of  this  magazine. 


166 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY, 


CORRESPONDENCE. 


To  the  E 'itor  of  the  Magazine  of  Western  His- 
tory 

Pittsburgh,  October  23,  1885. 

In  you  editorial  comments  on  the  early  settle- 
ment of  ' ihio  in  the  September  number  of  your 
valuable  • urnal  you  say,  “ Can  anyone  prove  be- 
yond a di  bt  that  anyone  settled  in  Ohio  before 
1788  and  i _mained  there  as  a settler  for  a number 
of  years  thereafter?”  There  is  not  the  slightest 
trouble  to  establish  the  fact  that  Philip  Cable,  a 
native  of  Berks  county,  Pennsylvania,  settled  on  the 
western  bank  of  the  Ohio  at  what  is  still  known  as 
Cable’s  Eddy,  in  1785,  and  remained  there  until  his 
death,  December  26,  1812.  His  eldest  son,  Eph- 
raim Cable,  was  born  on  this  farm  March  15,  1787, 
and  lived  there  continuously  until  his  death,  Decem- 
ber 4,  1875.  In  T797  Philip  Cable  was  appointed 
president  judge  of  that  district  by  Winthrop  Sar- 
gent, acting  governor  of  the  territory.  The  records 
of  the  November  term  for  that  year  are  in  the  Re- 
corder’s office  at  Steubenville.  There  were  other 
families  who  settled  near  Judge  Cable  prior  to  1788 
Yours  truly, 

Dr.  William  W.  Cable. 

No.  157  Second  Avenue. 


To  the  Editor  of  the  Magazine  of  Western  His- 
tory. 

Dear  Sir  : — It  is  somewhat  singular  that  while 
the  largest  number  of  states  which  constitute  the 
Union  have  mottoes  attached  to  their  seals,  a few, 
however,  have  not  a motto  to  represent  an  important 
idea.  That  this  omission  might  be  explained,  the 
undersigned  has  corresponded  with  the  mottoless 
states,  and  the  governor  of  Texas  first  responded. 
A copy  of  his  communication  is  herewith  given  : 

Executive  Office,  Austin,  October  13,  1886. 
General  C.  W.  Darling,  Corresponding  Secretary  of 
the  Oneida  Historical  Society  at  Utica,  New  York  : 
Dear  Sir  I have  your  favor  asking  why  Texas 
has  never  adopted  a motto,  like  other  states. 

To  answer  your  question  would  require  a knowl- 
edge of  the  motives  and  views  of  every  congress 
that  met  in  the  Republic  and  of  every  legislature 
since  it  has  been  a state.  If  I should  guess  at  it  I 


would  say  that  Texas  has  not  been  poetically  or  sen- 
timentally inclined,  and  that  she  has  been  attending 
to  mottoes  of  more  substantial  importance.  While 
she  has  never  adopted  by  law  any  motto,  she  has 
had  one  from  the  days  of  the  fall  of  the  Alamo  (upon 
which  she  has  acted),  given  her  by  one  of  the  patriots 
who  perished  in  the  Alamo,  to  wit : “Be  sure  you 

are  right,  then  go  ahead.”  Respectfully  yours, 

John  Ireland. 

The  attention  of  some  readers  perhaps  should  be 
called  to  the  fact  that  four  decades  have  passed  since 
a small  band  of  Texans  at  the  fort  which  bore  the 
name  of  Alamo,  bravely  resisted  a Mexican  force  of 
ten  times  its  number,  and  perished  rather  than  sur- 
render to  a foe  which  they  despised. 

By  reason  of  this  heroic  defense  the  celebrated  fort 
acquired  another  name,  and  Alamo  is  styled  the 
Thermopylae  of  America.  In  the  struggle  of  the 
Taxans  for  independence,  they  had  a war-cry  which 
served  them  well,  and  that  cry  was  : “ Remember 

the  Alamo  !” 

The  state  of  Alabama  has  no  motto,  and  the 
governor  informs  the  writer  (in  answer  to  an  inquiry 
made  as  to  the  reason  why)  that  he  does  not  know 
the  reason  why  that  state  has  adopted  no  motto,  if 
“Here  we  l^est”  is  not  such.  He  further  adds, 
later  researches  tend  to  the  conclusion  that  Alabama 
meant  in  the  original  tongue,  “ mulberry.” 

It  may  not  possibly  be  known  to  all  persons  that 
Alabama,  in  the  Creek  language,  signifies  "here  we 
rest.” 

The  rhomboidal  state  of  Tennessee  has  its  moun- 
tains, some  of  which  rise  to  a height  of  over  six  thou- 
sand feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  Its  geology  is 
said  to  represent  every  system  from  the  metamorphic 
rocks  and  the  Lower  Silurian  to  the  most  recent 
alluvial  deposits  of  the  Mississippi  river-bottoms, but 
it  has  no  motto.  Secretary  Nelson,  of  the  Tennesse 
Historical  Society,  writes  that  in  the  great  seal  of  the 
state  are  the  words  commercial  and  agriculture,  and 
Tennessee  thought  that  agriculture  and  commerce 
were  words  good  enough  to  take  the  place  of  a 
motto. 

W.  C.  Darling, 

Of  Oneida  Historical  Society. 


AN  IMPORTANT  ANNOUNCEMENT 


THIS  number  is  the  beginning  of  the  third  year  of  the  Magazine  of  Western  History. 
We  wish  to  call  the  attention  of  our  readers  to  a few  of  the  distinctive  features  of  this 
publication — features  which  are  proof  of  its  value  to  the  student  and  lover  of  history. 
1.  We  are  publishing  serially  a History  of  Ohio— a history  written  by  an  able  historian 
Consul  Willshire  Butterfield  of  Madison,  Wisconsin,  and  the  plan  and  scope  of  which  embrace 
a thorough  history  of  this  State  from  preterritorial  times  to  the  present.  This  work  will  have 
three  divisions:  ( a ) The  preterritorial  history ; (6)  the  territorial  history,  and  (c)  the  his- 
tory of  the  State  under  the  constitution.  There  is  no  good  History  of  Ohio,  and  there  is  a 
very  great  and  growing  desire  upon  the  part  of  the  people  of  this  commonwealth  for  just 
such  awork  as  this  of  Mr.  Butterfield. 

2.  In  addition  to  contributions  by  such  writers  as  Rev.  William  Barrows  of  Massachu- 
setts; Russell  Errett  of  Pittsburgh;  Prof.  Ad.  F.  Bandelier  of  Santa  Fe,  New  Mexico,  and 
other  distinguished  and  well  known  historians,  we  have  begun  the  publication  of  a series 
of  articles  by  Reuben  G.  Thwaites  of  Madison,  Wisconsin,  and  by  C.  W.  Butterfield,  on 
subjects  relating  to  the  History  of  the  Northwest,  and  expect  soon  to  begin  another  series 
by  eminent  historical  writers  of  Canada,  relating  to  Canadian  history,  among  whom  may 
be  named  Hon.  D.  B.  Read,  Q.  C.,  of  Toronto. 

The  patronage  of  the  Magazine  has  grown  to  such  an  extent  that  the  publishers  - feel 
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will  endeavor  to  constantly  advance  its  standard  of  excellence.  Subscriptions  may  begin 
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Vol.  V. 


DECEMBER,  1 886. 


No.  2. 


HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 

IV. 

MARCH  OF  CIVILIZATION  TOWARD  THE  OHIO  VALLEY. 


Explorations  continued  until  the  val- 
ley of  the  St.  Lawrence  had  been  traced 
to  a point  beyond  the  western  shores  of 
Lake  Superior  and  until  the  Mississippi 
had  been  navigated  from  the  Falls  of 
St.  Anthony  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico ; — and 
yet  all  this  while  the  upper  courses  of 
the  Connecticut,  the  Delaware,  the  Sus- 
quehanna, the  Potomac  and  the  James 
rivers  remained  unknown.  Frenchmen 
had  floated  down  the  Ohio  as  far  as 
what  is  now  Louisville,  Kentucky ; the 
Fox  river  of  Green  Bay,  the  Wisconsin 
and  the  Illinois  had  been  explored  by 
them  ; and  they  had  seen  the  streams 
which  drain  the  eastern  shed  of  the 
Rocky  mountains ; while  by  far  the 
greater  part  of  the  Atlantic  slope  of 
North  America  lay  an  unexamined  and 
unknown  wilderness.  And,  except  along 
the  river  which  washes  its  southern 


boundary,  it  is  not  known  that  any  por- 
tion of  the  territory  now  constituting  the 
state  of  Ohio  had  as  yet  been  visited  by 
civilized  man. 

“ There  is  a house,”  wrote  La  Salle,  in 
1684,  “ at  the  mouth  of  the  Niagara 
river,  the  most  important  on  the  whole 
lake  [of  Ontario]  to  cut  off  the  trade 
of  the  English  and  which  the  barks  of 
the  fort  [Frontenac]  can  reach  in  two 
days  ; it  cost  about  two  thousand  li- 
vres.  It  is  all  that  remains  from  the 
fire  which  happened  at  the  little  fort 
that  had  been  constructed  there.  The 
stiuation  of  this  fort  is  very  advantageous 
both  on  account  of  the  fertility  of  the 
land,  the  abundance  of  game  and  fishing, 
and  the  mildness  of  the  climate,  which 
is  much  more  temperate  than  in  the 
other  parts  of  New  France.  Winter  is 
shorter  there  by  half  and  much  milder, 


168 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


insomuch  that  sowing  there  is  done  at 
leisure,  and  sufficient  time  would  still 
remain  for  the  cultivation  of  hemp  and 
flax.  Near  there  are  some  fine  pastures 
capable  of  feeding  considerable  herds  of 
cattle,  the  hides  and  tallow  of  which 
would  be  of  very  great  advantage. 
Around  the  lake  are  to  be  found  wild 
apple  trees,  chestnuts,  and  nuts  from 
which  the  Indians  extract  very  good  oil ; 
also,  divers  sorts  of  grains  ; mulberry, 
plum,  and  cherry  trees;  and  all  sorts  of 
building  timber,  stone  and  other  neces- 
sary materials.  Its  harbor  is  very  fine, 
the  mouth  safe,  the  bottom  excellent, 
sheltered  from  all  winds.  The  naviga- 
tion is  very  good  throughout  the  entire 
lake,  in  various  parts  of  which  conven- 
ient harbors  are  to  be  found.  Almost 
all  the  peltries  of  the  English  pass  by 
this  lake,  except  those  which  come  from 
the  direction  of  the  Illinois,  whence  the 
Iroquois  bring  them  by  the  River  Ohio; 
so  that  were  Fort  Frontenac  and  the  es- 
tablishment at  Niagara  supplied  with 
provisions,  they  could  be  turned  aside 
and  made  to  go  down  to  Quebec.” 

It  will  be  seen,  therefore,  that,  as 
early  as  1684,  the  Ohio  was  a principal 
route  of  travel  for  the  Iroquois  “ from 
the  direction  of  the  Illinois,”  in  bring- 
ing peltries  to  sell  to  the  English.  Evi- 
dently, therefore,  this  river,  by  this 
time,  throughout  its  entire  length  must 
have  been  well  understood,  if  from  no 
other  source  at  least  from  descriptions 
given  of  it  by  the  Iroquois.  However, 
we  have  docrfmentary  evidence  that  not 
long  after  this  the  English  had  made 
their  way  to  that  river  with  their  goods. 
Says  M.  de  Longueujl,  in  a conference 


with  four  nations  of  savages,  in  1700,  on 
the  subject  of  the  declaration  of  war 
against  the  English : 

I ought  to  have  long  since  taken  up  arms  against 
the  enemy  I have  spoken  to  you  of,  but  I have  been 
desirous  to  exercise  patience  for  several  years.  The 
Englishman  hath  reddened  the  sea  with  my  blood, 
he  has  also  causelessly  stained  with  it  a great  many 
countries.  My  hatchet  hath  not  stirred.  But  now 
that  he  hath  pushed  me  to  the  wall  by  so  many  re- 
lapses, I must  perish  or  avenge  on  him  all  the 
blood  he  has  drawn  from  my  veins.  It  is  neither  to 
Montreal  nor  his  territory  that  I direct  your  first 
steps  against  him.  It  is  in  your  own  immediate 
vicinity  where  he,  for  several  years,  hath  quietly 
made  his  way  with  his  goods.  It  is  to  . . . the 
Ohio  that  I expect  you  will  march  immediately  in 
quest  of  him,  and  when  you  have  destroyed  him  you 
will  seize  and  divide  all  his  goods  among  you.  Set 
out  forthwith.  You  shall  want  for  nothing  that  you 
require  for  the  extirpation  of  this  scum.  If  the 
English  escape  you  on  the  Ohio,  you  will  find  them 
a little  further  off  with  their  brothers  the  Choctaws.* 

It  is  evident,  therefore,  that,  at  this 
early  date,  the  English  were  carrying 
on  a trade  with  the  Shawanese,  as  well 
as  with  the  Choctaws,  who  were  only  “ a 
little  further  off”  than  the  first  named. 

But  the  French  to  the  northward,  the 
northwestward  and  westward  were  grad- 
ually approaching  the  country  lying  be- 
tween the  Ohio  river  and  Lake  Erie,  not 
only  with  their  explorers  but  with  their 
missionaries  and  colonists,  as  well  as 
with  their  traders  and  soldiers.  There 
was,  however,  danger  of  the  English 
securing  to  themselves  the  fur  trade, 
not  only  there,  but  in  those  regions  be- 
yond. On  the  eighth  of  May,  1686, 
M.  de  Nonville  wrote  Seignelay  that 
there  had  appeared  on  Lake  Erie  En- 

* Longueuil  to  the  Ottawas,  Hurons,  Pottawat- 
omies  and  Chippewas,  at  a conference  holden  at 
Detroit. — ‘New  York  Colonial  Documents,’  Vol. 
IX.,  p.  706. 


THE  HIST  OR  Y OF  OHIO. 


169 


glish  canoes  conducted  by  French  de- 
serters on  their  way  to  the  Ottawas. 
“ There  are  ten  of  them,”  said  he, 
“ loaded  with  goods.”  De  Nonville  at 
once  dispatched  orders  to  Michilimack- 
inac  to  have  them  seized.  “I  con- 
sider it  a matter  of  importance,  My 
Lord,”  continued  that  officer,  “ to  pre- 
clude the  English  from  this  trade,  as 
they  doubtless  would  entirely  ruin  ours, 
as  well  by  the  cheaper  bargains  they 
would  give  the  Indians  as  by  attracting 
to  themselves  the  French  of  our  colony 
who  are  in  the  habit  of  resorting  to  the 
woods.”  De  Nonville  resolved  to  erect 
a fortification  on  “the  strait”  leading 
from  Lake  Erie  to  Lake  Huron,  as  a 
block  to  the  passage  of  the  English  in 
trading  with  the  Indians  at  Michili- 
mackinac,  where  they  had  already  been. 
“ The  letters  I have  written  to  Sieurs 
Duluth  and  Durantaye,”  wrote  M.  de 
Nonville,  on  the  eighth  of  October, 
1686,  to  M.  de  Seignelay,  “of  which  I 
send  you  copies,  will  inform  you  of  my 
orders  to  them  to  fortify  the  two  passes 
leading  to  Michilimackinac.  Duluth  is 
at  that  of  the  Detroit  of  Lake  Erie,  and 
Durantaye  at  that  of  the  portage  of 
Toronto.  These  two  posts  will  block 
the  passage  against  the  English  should 
they  attempt  to  go  again  to . Michili- 
mackinacs  and  serve  as  retreats  to  our 
Indian  allies  either  while  hunting  or 
while  marching  against  the  Iroquois.” 
But  Durantaye  was  subsequently  or- 
dered to  join  Duluth  on  “ the  strait  ” — 
Detroit.  De  Nonville  also  wrote,  soon 
after  the  foregoing  : 

I have  heard  of  Sieur  Duluth’s  arrival  at  the  post 
of  the  Detroit  of  Lake  Erie  with  fifty  good  men,  well 


armed  with  munitions  of  war  and  provisions  and  all 
other  necessaries  sufficient  to  protect  them  against 
the  Severe  cold,  and  to  render  them  comfortable 
during  the  whole  winter  wherever  they  will  entrench 
themselves. 

On  the  eleventh  of  November,  M.  de 
Nonville  again  wrote  Seignelay  : 

It  will  be  highly  proper  that  our  Canadians  main- 
tain the  post  Sieur  Duluth  has  fortified  at  the  De- 
troit of  Lake  Erie.  In  this  way  our  coureurs  de  bois 
coming  from  Michilimackinac  could  take  the  route 
by  Lake  Erie  to  Niagara  protected  by  the  two  hun- 
dred men  in  garrison  there.  Our  settlers  could  draw 
their  peltries  from  the  Ottawas  and  other  distant 
places  where  they  have  a considerable  stock  of  them, 
which,  if  lost,  or  if  trade  be  interrupted,  would  ruin 
the  country.  Should  the  war  continue,  the  route  by 
the  Ottawa  river,  which  falls  into  the  St.  Lawrence 
at  the  end  of  the  Island  of  Montreal,  would  be  no 
longer  practicable,  as  it  is  very  dangerous,  small 
parties  being  able  to  plunder  everything.  You  see 
by  letters  and  memoirs,  My  Lord,  of  what  advantage 
it  was  to  close  on  the  English  the  passage  by  the  post 
of  Detroit,  which  Sieur  Duluth  occupies  with  fifty 
brave  men. 

And  again,  on  the  sixteenth  : 

While  writing  this,  My  Lord,  I receive  further 
advice  from  Albany  that  Colonel  Dongan  sent  word 
to  the  fifty  men  who  'are  to  winter  among  the  Sen- 
ecas, not  to  start  until  the  arrival  there  of  the  hun- 
dred and  fifty  men  whom  he  is  to  dispatch  as  a rein- 
forcement in  the  spring.  The  cause  of  this  order  is, 
that  he  has  learned  from  some  Indians  the  fact  of 
Sieur  Duluth  being  stationed  at  the  Detroit  of  Lake 
Erie.  If  that  detachment  and  the  Indians  attack 
that  post,  you  perceive,  My  Lord,  no  more  terms 
are  to  be  observed  with  the  English.  Please  send 
me  orders  on  this  point,  for  I am  disposed  to  go 
straight  to  Albany,  storm  their  fort  and  burn  the 
whole  concern.  If  the  English  continue  their  expe- 
ditions in  this  manner,  and  the  king  is  unwilling  that 
war  be  waged  against  them,  nothing  is  to  be  expected 
for  Canada  but  ruin.  The  English  never  denied  the 
king’s  right  either  to  the  Iroquois,  among  whom  we 
have  had  missionaries  since  that  people  were  first 
discovered  ; nor  to  the  lakes,  where  we  always  have 
had  a number  of  posts  ; nor  to  the  Illinois,  where 
we,  for  a long  time,  have  possessed  establishments. 
Now,  the  English  governor,  prompted  by  the 
cupidity  of  the  merchants,  and  by  his  own  avarice  to 


170 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


drag  largesses  from  them,  claims  the  whole  country 
as  his,  and  will  trade  thither,  though  an  Englishman 
has  never  been  there. 

The  fort  erected  by  Duluth  upon  “ the 
strait”  was  near  what  is  now  Fort  Gra- 
tiot. It  was  named  Fort  St.  Joseph, 
but  was  also  called  Fort  Duluth.  It  was 
simply  a stockade,  without  cannon.  To 
remedy  the  necessity  that  might  exist 
of  making  war  against  the  Indian  tribes 
in  the  interest  of  France,  it  was  thought, 
in  1691,  that  a hearty  union  should 
always  be  maintained  with  them  on  the 
part  of  the  French  in  Canada,  “ because 
it  would  be  very  disadvantageous  and 
altogether  ruinous  to  trade,  should  they 
form  an  alliance  with  the  Iroquois  ; for 
besides  encouraging  them  to  carry  their 
peltries  to  the  English,  they  might  even 
seduce  them  into  a mutual  league  for 
the  destruction  of  the  colony.  To  avoid 
such  a misfortune,  it  is  well  to  preserve 
the  posts  the  French  occupy  in  their 
country,  namely  : Fort  St.  Louis  of 
Louisiana,  Detroit  and  Michilimack- 
inac.”* 

In  the  conference  held,  in  the  year 
1700,  with  the  Ottawas,  Hurons,  Potta- 
watomies  and  Chippewas,  M.  de  Lon- 
gueuil,  commandant  at  Detroit,  speaking 
as  though  governor  of  Canada,  on  the 
subject  of  the  declaration  of  war  against 
the  English,  said  : 

Persuaded  as  I am  by  long  experience  of  your  dis- 
positions in  my  regard,  I have  condescended  to  send 
to  my  fort  at  Detroit,  only  a small  detachment  of  my 
nephews,  the  French,  who  have  settled  near  me,  so 
much  have  I reckoned  on  the  hearts  and  arms  of  the 
four  nations  of  my  children  established  there  ; their 
vicinity  sets  me  completely  at  rest  regarding  the  fate 
of  my  Frenchmen. 

* ‘New  York  Colonial  Documents,’  Vol.  TX,  p. 
511,  from  “ Measures  Recommended  for  the  Better 
Defense  of  Canada,”  anonymous. 


However,  as  we  shall  soon  see,  it  was 
thought  best  by  the  governor  of  Canada 
not  to  rely  too  much  on  these  Indians  ; 

“ the  strait  ” was  the  great  entrance  to 
the  west,  and  here  a strong  fort  should 
be  erected,  well  supplied  with  cannon. 
Fort  St.  Joseph,  or  Duluth,  had  served 
a good  purpose.  Here  had  been  con- 
trolled, with  the  aid  of  the  post  at 
Michilimackinac,  the  four  principal 
nations  of  the  Upper  Lakes:  the  Ottawas, 
Chippewas,  Pottawatomies  and  Hurons. 

But  the  English  had  also  a design  of 
building  a fort  on  “ the  strait.”  “ We 
shall  never  be  able,”  said  Robert  Liv- 
ingston, in  April,  1700,  in  reporting  to 
His  Excellency,  the  Earl  of  Bellemont, 
concerning  a journey  to  Onondaga  he 
had  made,  “we  shall  never  be  able  to 
run  counter  to  the  French  unless  we  have 
a nursery  of  bush-lopers  as  well  as  they, 
which  I am  humbly  of  the  opinion  may 
be  obtained  thus  : that  all  endeavors  be 
used  to  obtain  a peace  between  the  Five 
Nations  and  the  Ottawas,  Miamis,  and 
other  far  nations  of  Indians,  whom  the 
governor  of  Canada  stirs  up  to  destroy 
the  first-mentioned  savages,  because 
they  have  been  mortal  enemies  to  the 
French  and  true  to  the  English,  and  be- 
cause they  hinder  his  trade  with  the  said 
far  nations.  The  best  way  to  effect  this 
peace  is  to  build  a fort  at  Detroit,  the 
most  pleasant  and  plentiful  inland  place 
in  America,  by  all  relation,  where 
there  is  arable  land  tor  thousands  of 
people,  the  only  place  for  beaver  hunt- 
ing, for  which  our  Indians  have  fought 
so  long,  and  at  last  forced  the  natives  to 
fly.  Here  you  have  millions  of  elk,  bear, 
deer,  swan,  geese,  and  all  sorts  of  fowl. 


THE  HI  ST  OR  V OF  OHIO. 


171 


The  fort  should  be  built  between  Lake 
Erie  and  Lake  Huron,  in  which  fort 
should  at  least  sixty  men  be  kept. 
Hither,  all  the  far  nations  will  come  and 
trade,  to  wit  : the  Miamis,  the  Illinois, 
the  Indians  of  Detroit,  the  Shawanese, 
and  a multitude  of  other  nations.” 

The  presence  of  French  settlers  at 
St.  Ignace  [Michilimackinac]  is  first 
mentioned  at  the  occasion  of  Father 
Marquette’s  burial.  According  to  the 
report  of  the  following  year  (1678)  the 
singing  at  the  church  of  St.  Ignatius  was 
alternately  in  Latin,  Huron  and  French. 
The  fur  and  corn  trade  kept  pace  with 
the  increase  of  the  Indian  population. 
La  Salle’s  arrival  on  the  Griffin  (1679) 
caused  quite  a stir  in  the  commercial 
metropolis  of  the  west — for  nothing  less 
than  that  was  the  village  of  St.  Ignace, 
and  so.  remained  until  supplanted  by 
Detroit.  Hennepin,  who  wintered  at 
the  post  (1680-1),  mentions  his  enrolling 
forty-two  traders  into  a religious  con- 
fraternity. “Forty-two  Frenchmen,’’ 
are  his  words,  “who  were  there  trading 
with  these  Indians,  all  begged  me  to 
give  them  the  cord  of  St.  Francis,  which 
I readily  did,  making  an  exhortation  at 
each  ceremony.”* 

As  early  as  1683,  the  Sieur  de  la  Dur- 
antaye  was  in  command  of  French  sol- 
diers at  Michilimackinac,  where  at  that 
date  (or  soon  after)  a redoubt  had  been 
constructed  ; for,  says  De  Nonville,  on 
the  twenty-fifth  of  August,  1687  : 

* The  post  of  Michilimackinac,  at  this  period,  was 
on  Point  St.  Ignace,  on  the  north  side  of  “the  Strait 
of  Mackinac."  For  a plan  of  “Ancient  Michilimack- 
inac—1671  to  1705,"  see  Dwight  H.  Kelton's  ‘Annals 
of  Fort  Mackinac,  (1884).’ 


It  is  time  the  expeditions  of  the  English  be  put  a 
stop  to,  as  those  of  this  year  have  been  cut  short  by 
the  measures  we  adopted  last  season  in  collecting 
our  courcurs  de  bois  in  the  redoubts  which  were  con- 
structed at  Michilmackinac  and  at  the  Detroit  of 
Lake  Erie. 

Durantaye  remained  in  command  of 
the  post  until  the  summer  of  1790,  when 
he  was  superceded  by  M.  de  Louvigny, 
“ a half  pay  captain,”  who  was  accom- 
panied thither  by  “ one  hundred  and 
forty-three  French  voyageurs  and  six 
Indians.”  On  the  sixteenth  of  Septem- 
ber, 1694,  Count  Frontenac  appointed 
Antoine  Laumet  de  la  Mothe  Cadillac 
to  the  command  at  Michilmackinac,  in 
place  of  M.  de  Louvigny.  He  remained 
there  until  1697. 

From  the  time  of  the  taking  possession 
of  the  territory  of  the  Upper  Mississippi 
by  Nicholas  Perrot  in  1689,  at  Fort  St. 
Anthony,  at  the  head  of  Green  Bay, 
that  explorer  and  adventurer  vibrated 
between  Montreal  and  the  west  until 
1697.  Following  the  voyages  of  Michael 
Accault  and  of  Duluth,  already  de- 
scribed, was  one  by  Le  Sueur,  in  1683, 
from  Lake  Michigan  to  the  Mississippi, 
assending  that  river  to  the  Sioux  country, 
in  the  region  about  the  falls  of  £t. 
Anthony.  He  had,  it  is  said,  in  1693, 
an  establishment  at  .La  Pointe,  in  the 
present  county  of  Ashland,  Wisconsin. 
He  was  at  least  a voyageur , stationed  at 
Chegoimegon  during  that  year.  He 
continued  to  trade  with  the  Sioux  at 
intervals  to  the  year  1702.  In  1699,  St. 
Cosme  and  his  companions  coasted 
along  the  west  shore  of  Lake  Michigan 
as  far  as  the  Chicago  river.  Other 
explorations  followed  not  long  subse- 
quent to  this,  in  the  upper  countries, 


172 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


generally,  however,  in  the  tracks  of  pre- 
vious ones.  The  occupation  of  Perrot’s 
fort  on  the  Mississippi  and  of  Fort  St. 
Nicholas  on  the  same  river,  was  not  of 
long  duration.  But  the  post  of  St. 
Anthony,  afterward  called  Fort  St. 
Francis,  was  more  permanent. 

We  parted  with  La  Salle  just  as  he 
had  returned  in  the  autumn  of  1683  to 
the  St.  Lawrence,  on  his  way  to  France. 
It  is  well  known  that  he  perished  before 
he  could,  with  ample  means  placed  at 
his  disposal  by  his  sovereign,  colonize 
the  province  of  Louisiana,  which  only 
existed  in  name,  and  of  which  he 
had  been  appointed  viceroy.  Lemoyne 
D’Iberville,  one  of  the  most  distin- 
guished officers  of  the  French  navy, 
afterward  became  an  explorer  of  the 
country  of  the  Lower  Mississippi  visited 
by  La  Salle.  On  the  second  of  March, 
1699,  entered  that  river  from  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico.  After  moving  a con- 
siderable distance  up  the  mighty  stream 
with  oar  and  sail,  he  retraced  his  steps, 
went  to  the  Bay  of  Biloxi,  where  he 
constructed  a fort.  He  then  sailed  for 
France, leaving  the  post  and  someFrench- 
men  under  command  of  his  brother,  Sau- 
volle.  Civilization  thus  gained,  in  May, 
1699,  a permanent  foothold  not  far  from 
the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  It  was  a 
long  distance  to  the  southward  from  the 
Ohio  country,  but  it  was  the  nearest 
post  at  that  time  down  the  Ohio  and 
Mississippi. 

In  southern  Illinois  is  a post-village 
of  Randolph  county,  on  the  west  bank  of 
the  Kaskaskia  river,  about  one  mile  east 
of  the  Mississippi,  and  forty  south  of 
Belleville,  called  Kaskaskia.  This  ;s 


the  oldest  permanent  settlement  of  Eu- 
ropeans in  the  valley  of  the  “ Great 
river.”  It  dates  its  foundation  from  the 
fall  of  the  year  1700.  The  mission  of 
the  Immaculate  Conception  of  the  Bles- 
sed Virgin,  founded  upon  the  Illinois 
by  Marquette  in  1675,  had  a precarious 
existence  until  the  year  1700,  when  the 
Kaskaskia  Indians  migrated  to  the  Kas- 
kaskia river,  at  the  site  of  the  village 
still  known  by  their  name,  and  the  mis- 
sion, in  charge  of  Father  Gabriel  Mar- 
est,  was  transferred  to  the  same  place. 
Frenchmen  soon  intermarried  with  the 
Indian  women  and  dwelt  there — and 
trappers,  fur-traders  and  voyageurs  came 
to  the  new  location,  some  bringing  their 
families.  At  first,  it  was  a mission  simply ; 
then  a trading  station  ; and  soon  a mil- 
itary post : — within  twenty  years  from  its 
foundation,  it  had  enough  of  the  fea- 
tures of  a permanent  settlement  to  jus- 
tify the  organization  of  a parish,  which 
succeeded  the  mission  and  was  known 
by  the  same  name.  * 

The  cause  of  the  removal  of  the  Kas- 
kaskias  was  the  vague  news  that  had 
reached  them  of  an  establishment  of 
Frenchmen  near  the  mouth  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, which  they  would  journey  to  ; 
but  they  were  induced  by  Marest  to  halt 
on  the  river  which  still  bears  their  name. 
There  was  truth  in  the  report  that 
reached  them  from  below.  It  was  the 
post  constructed  by  D’Iberville.  In 
the  very  year  of  the  founding  of  Kaskas- 
kia, concessions  were  granted  to  a son 
of  Nicholas  Juchereau  de  St.  Denis, 
who  attempted  to  found  a settlement  at 

*Edward  G.  Mason,  in  the  Magazine  of  American 
History,  Vo l.  VI,  p.  165, 


THE  HISTOR  V OF  OHIO. 


173 


the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  but  failed. 
This  St.  Denis  subsequently  took  a 
prominent  part  in  the  colony  of  Louis- 
iana. Although  the  presence  of  Marest 
at  what  afterward  became  the  village 
of  Kaskaskia  was  the  cause  of  other 
Frenchmen  soon  collecting  there,  it 
cannot  be  claimed  with  certainty  that, 
on  the  first  day  of  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury there  was  a single  European  set- 
tlement— strictly  such — throughout  all 
the  great  valley  of  the  Mississippi. 
The  nearest  white  inhabitants  to  the 
territory  now  the  state  of  Ohio,  who 
had  anything  like  permanent  homes, 
were  to  be  found  in  the  northwest  at 
Michilimackinac,  to  the  northeast  at 
Niagara,  to  the  south  at  Biloxi.*  It 
was  a long  distance  eastward  of  the 
Alleghanies  and  to  the  southeastward 
before  civilization  could  be  reached. 

While  in  command  of  the  fort  at 
Michilimackinac,  La  Mothe  Cadillac 
became  fully  convinced  that,  for  the 
French  to  retain  full  control  over  the 
trade  of  the  Ottawas  and  Hurons,  the 
Pottawatomies  and  Chippewas,  and 
contiguous  nations,  these  savages  must, 
to  a great  extent,  be  gathered  in  one 
locality  and  there  a strong  fort  erected. 
He  clearly  saw  that  such  a post  should 
be  on  “ the  strait”  between  Lake  Erie 
and  Lake  Michigan,  where  the  English 
could  be  easily  prevented  from  trading 
not  only  with  such  of  the  savages  as 
might  be  induced  to  migrate  thither, 
but  with  the  Indians  who  remained  be- 
yond. Cadillac’s  plans  were  laid  before 

* Early,  however,  in  1702  the  chief  fortress  of  the 
French  was  transferred  from  Biloxi  to  the  western 
bank  of  the  Mobile  river. 


the  governor  of  Canada,  who  approved 
of  them,  but  nothing  could  be  done 
without  the  aid  of  the  home  govern- 
ment. Fearing  that  a written  commu- 
nication would  not  sufficiently  convince 
the  French  king  and  his  minister  of  the 
wisdom  of  the  project,  the  governor 
determined  to  send  Cadillac  to  France 
to  present  his  plans  to  the  government  in 
person.  These  met  with  favor.  “After 
an  interview  with  Count  Pontchartrain, 
and  a personal  examination  of  his 
project  by  Louis  XIV,  he  received  the 
authority  he  desired.  For  the  building 
of  the  fort,  fifteen  hundred  livres  were 
allowed  him  ; he  was  appointed  com- 
mandant, and  the  king  agreed  to  grant 
an  allowance  for  the  subsistence  of  him- 
self and  wife,  two  children  and  two  ser- 
vants.f 

Meanwhile  the  Chevalier  de  Callieres 
hearing  of  the  favorable  action  of  Pont- 
chartrain, wrote  the  latter  on  the  six- 
teenth of  October,  1700,  that  he  should 
send  Cadillac  and  Tonty  in  the  spring 
to  construct  a fort  at  Detroit.  “ My 
design  is,”  he  continued,  “that  they 
shall  go  by  the  Ottawa  river  in  order  to 
take  possession  of  that  post  from  the 
Lake  Huron  side,  by  that  means  avoid- 
ing the  Niagara  passage  so  as  not  to  give 
umbrage  to  the  Iroquois,  through  fear 
of  disturbing  the  peace,  until  I can 
speak  to  them  to  prevent  any  alarm 
they  might  feel  at  such  proceedings, 
and  until  I adopt  some  measures  to 
facilitate  the  communication  and  con- 
veyance of  necessaries  from  this  to  that 
country  through  Lake  Ontario.  I shall 
'(-Farmer's  ‘ History  of  Detroit  and  Michigan,’  p. 
33 


174 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


apply  myself  the  more  readily  to  that 
establishment,  inasmuch  as  Cadillac  as- 
sured me  that  you  desired  it — having 
nothing  more  at  heart  than  to  do  some- 
thing that  may  be  agreeable  to  you.” 

Cadillac  reached  Quebec,  on  his  re- 
turn from  France,  on  the  eighth  of 
March,  1701.  He  immediately  left  for 
Montreal,  and  for  some  weeks  was  busy 
in  making  preparations  for  the  trip  to 
“the  strait.”  But  the  knowledge  of  his 
intentions  did  not  escape  the  Iroquois. 
“You,  Governor,”  said  one  of  the 
sachems  who  was  visiting  him,  “are 
very  unfair  to  go  about  building  a fort 
at  Detroit  before  you  acquaint  us  there- 
with ; I thought  you  would  have  told  us 
when  you  had  any  such  design.  I de- 
sire you  do  not  proceed  with  your  work 
till  the  middle  of  summer  and  then  our 
sachems  will  be  here,  when  we  will  treat 
about  the  matter.”  The  reply  of  the 
Governor  was  : “I  make  a fort  at  De- 

troit to  supply  you  with  all  necessaries 
when  you  are  hunting,  such  as  powder 
and  lead.”  This  was  an  ingenius  sub- 
terfuge on  part  of  the  Chevalier  de  Cal- 
lieres ; and  Cadillac  was  in  nowise  inter- 
fered with.  The  latter  left  Montreal  on 
the  fifth  of  June  with  M.  de  Tonty  as 
captain,  two  lieutenants,  fifty  soldiers, 
fifty  emigrants  and  two  priests.  The 
party  journeyed  by  way  of  the  Ottawa 
river  and  Lake  Huron,  arriving  at  “ the 
strait”  on  the  twenty-fourth  of  July, 
1701. 

Cadillac’s  convoy  consisted  of  twenty- 
five  canoes,  which,  beside  the  soldiers 
and  emigrants,  brought;  supplies  of 
various  kinds  essential  to  the  building 
and  establishment  of  a new  post.  Ar- 


riving at  Detroit  on  a hot  summer  day, 
the  canoes  were  drawn  up  on  shore,  and 
all  of  the  new  comers  were  soon  shel- 
tered in  the  leafy  groves  that  here  and 
there  extended  almost  to  the  river’s 
edge*  The  site  of  the  fort  was  selected, 
and  before  long  the  sound  of  axes  re- 
sounded through  the  woods.  Holes 
were  dug  for  the  palisades  and  the 
stockade  was  soon  completed.  The 
locations  of  chapel,  magazine,  store  and 
dwellings  were  next  determined,  and 
before  August  had  passed  away  the  set- 
tlement was  fully  established.*  It  was 
thus  that  white  men  were  permanently 
located,  at  one  place  at  least,  compara- 
tively nigh  to  what  is  now  the  state  of 
Ohio.  It  was  the  beginning  of  the  pres- 
ent city  of  Detroit,  the  metropolis  of  the 
state  of  Michigan. 

The  founding  of  what  is  now  the  city 
of  Vincennes,  Indiana,  in  the  year  1702, 
takes  precedence  (if,  in  that  year,  it 
really  had  its  first  civilized  inhabitants) 
of  all  others  in  the  valley  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, Kaskaskia  alone  excepted.  A 
post  was  established  here  not  later  than 
1735,  ana  a mission  in  1749. 

Although  there  was  a Jesuit  mission 
founded  at  Cahokia  in  what  is  now  St. 
Clair  county, Illinois, about  the  same  time 
as  that  at  Kaskaskia,  it  was  soon  trans- 
ferred from  that  order  to  priests  sent 
from  the  seminary  of  Quebec,  who,  when 
settlers  from  Canada  began  to  come  in, 
confined  themselves  solely  to  caring  for 
the  white  emigrants,  leaving  the  In- 
dians to  the  Jesuits. 

Before  the  transfer  of  the  French  fort 

f Farmer’s  ' History  of  Detroit  and  Michigan,’ 
P-  352* 


THE  HISTORY  OF  OHIO . 


at  Biloxi  to  the  banks  of  the  Mobile 
river,  in  1702,  the  commandant  died. 
However,  in  the  year  last  mentioned, 
though  Dauphine  Island  was  flat,  and 
covered  with  sand  which  hardly  nour- 
ished a grove  of  pines,  its  excellent 
harbor  was  occupied  as  a convenient 
station  for  ships.  Such  was  Louisiana 
in  the  days  of  its  founder.  Iberville 
continued  to  devote  himself  to  the  set- 
tlement of  the  French  colony  until  his 
death  in  1706.  On  his  brother,  Bien- 
ville, then,  who  had  become  the  gov- 
ernor of  Louisiana,  rested  the  whole 
burden  of  providing  for  the  wants  of 
the  infant  establishment.  After  a short 
period  of  hostilities,  which  was  caused 
in  part  by  the  influence  of  English 
traders  among  the  Chickasaws,  Bien- 
ville chanted  the  song  of  peace  with  the 
great  chief  of  the  Natchez  ; and  a fort 
built  in  1716,  and  named  Rosalie  in 
honor  of  the  Countess  of  Pontchartrain, 
protected  the  French  commercial  es- 
tablishment in  their  village.  Such  was 
the  origin  of  the  city  of  Natchez.  It  is 
the  oldest  permanent  settlement  in  the 
Mississippi  valley,  south  of  Kaskaskia. 
In  1717,  Bienville  ordered  the  ground 
upon  which  now  are  the  cathedral  and 
Jackson  square,  in  New  Orleans,  to  be 
cleared,  and  the  plan  of  a town  to  be 
laid  out  by  an  engineer.  A few  houses 
were  built  of  wood,  but  on  their  being 
destroyed  by  a hurricane,  some  of  them 
were  rebuilt  of  brick,  and  the  place 
began  to  enlarge  itself  gradually  and 
give  signs  of  vitality.  It  was  named 
New  Orleans  in  compliment  to  the 
Duke  of  Orleans,  then  regent  of  France. 
Although  still  an  humble  village,  it 


175 

became  in  1722,  the  seat  of  government. 

In  the  founding  of  a settlement  at 
“ the  strait,”  Cadillac  had  undertaken 
a most  difficult  task.  “ Even  before  he 
came  he  knew  that  his  enterprise  would 
be  opposed  by  the  Jesuits  at  Michil- 
mackinac  and  the  traders  at  Montreal. 
He  knew  also  that  the  English  and  the 
Iroquois  would  destroy  the  post  if  possi- 
ble. He  had,  however,  fully  counted 
the  cost,  and  had  achieved  almost  per- 
fection in  his  plans.  The  friendly 
Indians  were  to  be  gathered  about  the 
settlement,  so  that  the  coureurs  de  bois 
could  find  neither  furs  nor  favorites  else- 
where ; and,  in  case  of  an  attack,  the 
Indians  and  French  could  help  each 
other.  Cadillac  was  strenuous  in  urging 
that  the  Indians  be  taught  the  French 
language  that  they  might  understand 
for  themselves  the  proposals  of  the  king, 
and  not  be  depending  on  priests  or  in- 
terpreters, both  of  whom  would,  on 
occasion,  accommodate  their  interpre- 
tation to  selfish  purposes.  Cadillac  also 
favored  the  intermarriage  of  the  French 
and  Indians.  This  was  contrary  to 
custom  in  many  of  the  settlements,  but 
was  permitted  at  Detroit ; and  there  can 
be  no  noubt  that  these  unions  greatly 
served  the  colonies.”  But  the  settle- 
ment had  a slow  growth.  In  the  middle 
of  November,  1708,  only  thirty-nine 
inhabitants  had  houses  inside  the  fort ; 
and  the  whole  number  of  French  settlers 
was  sixty-three,  of  whom  thirty-four  were 
traders.  In  1709  the  king  withdrew  the 
soldiers  and  left  Cadillac  to  manage  the 
settlement  without  military  aid.* 

* Farmer’s  ‘History  of  Detroit  and  Michigan,  ’ pp. 
33i.  333- 


176 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


England,  at  this  time,  had  resolved 
on  more  colonial  acquisitions  in  North 
America;  and,  in  1710,  the  successful 
expedition  against  Acadia  took  place. 
The  same  year,  Spotswood,  the  governor 
of  Virginia,  sought  to  extend  the  settle- 
ments of  his  province  far  enough  to  the 
west  to  break  if  possible  the  chain  of 
communication  between  the  valley  of 
the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  Mississippi. 
He  caused  the  passes  in  the  mountains 
to  be  examined  and  promoted  settlements 
beyond  them  ; but  his  enterprise  came 
to  naught.  France,  the  next  year,  not- 
withstanding the  savages  of  the  remote 
west  had  well  nigh  been  won  over  to  the 
side  of  the  English,  succeeded  in  form- 
ing an  alliance  with  them,  which  not 
only  secured  her  posts  in  the  wilderness, 
but  acted  as  a defense  of  Montreal. 
But,  in  this  alliance,  could  not  be  reck- 
oned the  Fox  nation  of  Indians,  whose 
villages  were  upon  what  is  now  known 
as  the  Fox  river  of  Green  Bay,  in  the 
state  of  Wisconsin,  with  many  outlying 
towns. 

As  early  as  1693  the  Foxes  had 
plundered  several  Frenchmen,  who  were 
on  their  way  to  trade  with  the  Sioux, 
alleging  that  they  were  carrying  arms 
and  ammunition  to  their  ancient  en- 
emies. Afterwards  these  savages  be- 
came reconciled  to  the  fur  traders,  but 
the  reconciliation  was  not  of  very  long 
duration.  They  resolved  to  burn  De- 
troit, and  for  that  purpose,  in  1712, 
they  appeared  near  the  fort,  which  was 
defended  by  Du  Buisson  with  only 
twenty  Frenchmen.  But  the  command- 
ant, aware  of  their  intentions,  sum- 
moned his  Indian  allies  from  far  and 


near.  “ About  the  middle  of  May, 
Ottawas  and  Hurons  and  Pottawat- 
omies,  with  one  branch  of  the  Sacs,  Illi- 
nois, Menomonees,  and  $ven  Osages 
and  Missouris,  each  nation  with  its 
own  ensign,  came  to  his  relief.”  The 
Foxes,  instead  of  destroying  Detroit, 
were  in  the  end  compelled  to  surrender 
at  discretion.  So  the  great  highway 
from  Quebec  to  the  Mississippi  and  the 
Upper  Lakes  remained  open  to  the 
French.  In  1714,  Charleville  estab- 
lished a trading-post  for  traffic  with  the' 
Indians  at  what  is  now  Nashville,  Ten- 
nessee. This  was  the  nearest  approach 
on  the  south,  at  that  date,  to  the  present 
state  of  Ohio  of  a civilized  establish- 
ment. 

When  Governor  Spotswood  of  Vir- 
ginia found  that  he  could  not  induce 
settlements  west  of  the  mountains  as  a 
means  of  breaking  the  French  chain 
of  communication  between  the  River 
St.  Lawrence  and  the  Gulf  of  Mexico, 
he  favored  the  incorporation  of  a Vir- 
ginia Indian  company,  which,  from  the 
emoluments  of  a monopoly  of  the  fur 
trade,  should  sustain  forts  in  the  western 
country ; but  there  was  a determined 
opposition  to  such  a privileged  associa- 
tion, and  nothing  came  of  it.  However, 
in  1719,  the  subject  was  earnestly  pressed 
upon  the  lords  of  trade  by  the  governor 
of  Pennsylvania,  who  counselled  the 
establishment  by  Virginia  of  a fort  on 
Lake  Erie.  At  this  very  time,  the 
French  were  more  than  usually  active 
in  securing  the  traffic  with  the  savages 
upon  the  Maumee  (as  now  called)  and 
upon  the  Wabash.  A trading  post  was 
established  by  them  at  what  is  now  the 


THE  HISTORY  OF  OHIO. 


177 


city  of  Fort  Wayne,  Indiana,  among 
the  Miamis,  who  had  settled  there,  as 
already  shown,  and  one  at  Wiatanon 
among  the  Weas  ; so,  to,  at  Vincennes 
(if,  indeed,  a number  of  years  before, 
one  had  not  been  located  there),  where 
the  Piankeshaws  had  their  homes. 

But  English  traders  as  early  as  1715, 
from  Carolina,  had  not  only  reached  the 
Mississippi  but  the  Wabash  (where  the 
Piankeshaws  had  settled)  and  were  even 
then  encroaching  upon  French  trade  ; 
so,  afterward,  M.  de  Vincennes  was 
sent  among  these  Indians  to  try  and 
induce  them,  if  possible,  to  remove  to 
the  River  St.  Joseph  of  Lake  Michigan. 
The  same  year  (1719)  the  Sieur  Du 
Buisson  was  selected  as  a suitable  per- 
son to  act  as  commandant  at  Wiatanon. 
He  was  instructed  to  persuade  the 
Wabash  Indians,  if  in  his  power,  to 
remove  also  to  the  St.  Joseph,  beyond 
the  influence  of  the  English.  Their 
importunities,  however,  were  in  vain. 
In  after  years,  a few  huts  of  the  French 
at  the  head  of  the  Maumee,  at  the  Mi- 
ami village  of  Kekionga  (usually  termed 
by  the  traders  “ the  Miamis  ”),  and  a 
number  at  Wiatanon,  gave  these  places 
the  prestige  of  civilized  settlements, 
though  still  little  else  than  trading-posts 
with  a small  stockade  at  each. 

Although  France,  in  the  region  claimed 
as  her  own — Canada  and  Louisiana — 
everywhere  met  English  traders  and 
drove  them  back,  she  was  not  content. 
She  would,  above  all  things,  make  the 
line  of  communication  between  the  set- 
tlements upon  the  St.  Lawrence  and  the 
Lower  Mississippi  more  secure would 
build  a fort  in  the  Illinois  country  not 


only  to  protect  the  fur  trade  but  to 
form  a powerful  link  in  the  chain  of 
fortifications  that  were  to  stretch 
throughout  her  extended  possessions  as 
a barrier  to  England’s  encroachments 
and  as  a bulwark  against  those  of 
Spain.  When,  therefore,  the  grant  of  the 
province  of  Louisiana  to  the  merchant 
Crozat  had  been  surrendered  and  John 
Law’s  famous  company  of  the  west  was 
ready  to  become  its  successor,  the  rep- 
resentatives of  that  great  corporation 
in  unison  with  those  of  the  French 
crown,  recognized  many  reasons  for  the 
establishing  of  a military  post  in  the 
Illinois. 

On  the  ninth  of  February,  1718,  there 
arrived  at  Mobile,  by  ship,  from  France, 
Pierre  Duque  Boisbriant,  a Canadian 
gentleman,  with  the  commission  of  com- 
mandant at  the  Illinois.  He  was  a 
cousin  of  Bienville,  then  governor  of 
Louisiana,  and  had  already  served  under 
him  in  that  province.  In  October  of 
the  same  year,  accompanied  by  sev- 
eral officers*  and  a detachment  of 
troops,  he  departed  for  the  Illinois 
country,  where  he  had  been  ordered 
to  construct  a fort.  The  little  flotilla, 
stemming  the  swift  current  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, moved  slowly  on  its  way,  encoun- 
tering no  enemies  more  troublesome 
than  “the  mosquitoes,  which,”  says 
the  worthy  priest,  Poisson,  who  took 
the  same  journey  shortly  after,  “have 
caused  more  swearing  since  the 
French  have  been  here,  than  had  pre- 
viously taken  place  in  all  the  rest  of  the 
world.”  Late  in  the  year,  Boisbriant 
reached  Kaskaskia  and  selected  a site 
for  his  post  sixteen  miles  above  that 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


178 

village  on  the  left  (east)  bank  of  the 
Mississippi.  Merrily  rang  the  axes  of 
the  soldiers  in  the  forest  by  the  mighty 
river,  as  they  hewed  out  the  ponderous 
timbers  for  palisade  and  bastion.  And 
by  degrees  the  walls  arose ; and  the 
barracks  and  commandant’s  house,  and 
the  store-house  and  great  hall  of  the 
Indian  company  were  built ; and  the 
cannon,  bearing  the  insignia  of  Louis 
XIV,  were  placed  in  position.  In  the 
spring  of  1720,  all  was  finished;  the 
banner  of  France  was  given  to  the 
breeze  ; and  the  work  was,  in  honor  of 
the  son  of  the  then  regent,  named  Fort 
Chartres.* 

But  the  presence  of  cannon  on  the 
Mississippi,  as  far  up  that  river  even  as 
the  Illinois  villages,  did  not  frighten  En- 
glish traders  from  Carolina,  who  were 
trafficking  with  the  savages  on  the  waters 
of  the  Wabash  ; for,  in  1725,  M.  de  Vau- 
dreuil  received  a report  from  Sieur  de 
Longueuil,  governor  of  Montreal,  in 
which  that  officer  mentioned  “ two 
houses  and  some  stores  ” which  “ the 
English,  from  Carolina,”  had  built  “ on 
a little  river  which  flows  into  the  Wa- 
bash, where  they  trade  with  the  Miamis 
and  the  Wiatanons.”  But  the  next  year 
at  Albany,  a more  serious  “ encroach- 
ment” (if  it  may  be  so  called)  upon 
Louisiana  territory,  was  concocted  by 
the  English.  In  September,  at  a treaty 
with  the  Iroquois,  they  obtained  a con- 
firmation of  the  title  of  these  savages  to 
the  country  west  of  Lake  Erie  and  north 
of  Erie  and  Ontario.  In  addition,  a 
strip  of  sixty  miles  in  width,  extending 

•Mason’s  ‘Illinois  in  the  Eighteenth  Century,’ 
P-  25. 


from  Oswego  to  Cuyahoga  river  at 
Cleveland  was  granted  by  chiefs  of 
the  three  western  tribes  to  “ their 
sovereign  lord,  King  George,”  “ to 
be  protected  and  defended  by  his 
said  majesty,  for  the  use  of  the  said 
three  nations.”  This  was  the  first  trans- 
fer of  the  soil  of  any  part  of  the  present 
state  of  Ohio  by  savages.  Meanwhile, 
the  French  had  been  active.  At  Ni- 
agara was  finished  a strong  fort,  from 
which  the  flag  of  France  floated  the 
same  year.  This  fortress  gave  a con- 
trol over  the  fur  trade  of  the  interior. 
“ If  furs  descended  by  way  of  the  lakes, 
they  passed  over  the  portage  at  the  falls 
to  Montreal.  The  boundless  region  in 
which  they  were  gathered,  knew  no 
jurisdiction  but  that  of  the  French, 
whose  trading  canoes  were  safe  in  all 
the  waters  whose  missions  extended 
beyond  Lake  Superior.”  Except  at 
Oswego,  the  English  had  no  post  in  the 
country  watered  by  tributaries  of  the 
St.  Lawrence.  France  was  extending 
her  empire.  From  1728,  James  Logan, 
the  secretary  of  Pennsylvania,  inces- 
santly demanded  the  attention  of  the 
proprietary  to  the  ambitious  designs  of 
France,  which  extended  “ to  the  heads 
of  all  the  tributaries  of  the  Ohio.” 
“This,”  he  rightly  added,  “interferes 
with  the  five  degrees  of  longitude  of 
this  province.”! 

It  will  be  remembered  that  when  the 
fort  at  Detroit,  in  1712,  was  threatened 
by  the  Fox  Indians,  M.  du  Buisson  was 
in  command.  After  Cadillac  left,  for 
some  years,  the  prospects  of  the  settle- 

Bancroft’s  ‘ History  of  the  United  States  ’ (ed. 
1883),  Vol.  II, p.  225. 


THE  HISTOR  Y OF  OHIO . 


179 


ment  on  “ the  strait”  was  gloomy 
enough  ; but,  in  1719,  under  the  impe- 
tus given  by  John  Law  and  his  Missis- 
sippi schemers,  emigration  began  to 
revive,  and  there  was  a gradual  setting 
in  of  the  tide  of  emigration  for  the  next 
decade.  The  fur  trade  continued  to  be 
the  all-important  matter  engaging  the 
attention  of  the  people. 

About  the  year  1733,  the  friendly 
relations  which  existed  between  the 
Weas  and  the  French,  upon  the  Wabash, 
were  temporarily  disturbed  by  an  affray 
between  some  drunken  young  men  of 
that  tribe  and  two  or  three  voyageurs, 
in  an  affair  of  trade.  M.  de  Arnaud 
was  sent  from  Detroit  with  a small  mil- 
itary force  to  attack  the  Weas,  but  upon 
arriving  at  Kekionga — the  Miami  village 
at  the  head  of  the  Maumee — he  was 
induced  to  abandon  his  hostile  design. 
His  motives  for  so  doing  were  explained 
to  his  superior  officers,  and  a friendly 
intercourse  was  reestablished  between 
the  French  and  the  Weas. 

In  I735>  M.  de  Vincennes  was  in 
command  of  the  post  which  it  has 
already  been  explained  is  the  site  of  a 
city  bearing  his  name  in  Indiana.  Sub- 
sequent to  this  the  Indians  of  the 
vicinity,  doubtless  the  Piankeshaws, 
made  the  French  settlers  a gift  of  a 
considerable  tract  of  land  from  a certain 
point  above  the  place,  on  the  Wabash, 
to  the  White  river  below. 

“ It  is  a pity,”  said  the  lieutenant- 
governor  of  New  York,  on  the  seven- 
teenth of  February,  1738,  “that  this 
province  above  all  others,  as  it  is  a 
frontier,  should  not  be  well  peopled. 
If  it  was,  the  French  would  not  take 


those  large  strides  they  have  done  and 
are  daily  taking.  They  have  already 
possessed  themselves  of  Crown  Point 
and  built  a strong  stone  fort  there,  which 
cuts  off  all  communication  between  us 
and  the  northern  Indians,  from  whom 
we  formerly  had  much  beaver.  They 
have  possessed  themselves  of  Niagara, 
whereby  they  may,  in  a great  measure, 
intercept  the  trade  of  the  western  Indi- 
ans on  their  way  to  Oswego.”  And 
thus  the  commissioners  of  Indian  affairs 
of  that  province,  about  that  time  : 

The  French  have  a strong  fort  at  Cataracqui 
[Fort  Frontenac]  at  the  northeast  end  of  Lake  Onta- 
rio (which  empties  itself  into  the  St.  Lawrence) 
made  there  only  in  order  to  entice  the  Six  Nations 
of  Indians  to  their  interests  and  to  have  an  awe  over 
them  ; but  also  for  a retreat  to  the  French  at  any 
time  they  should  attack  or  annoy  the  Six  Nations, 
and  likewise  to  prevent  them  from  going  to  Canada 
in  time  of  war.  They  have  also  a strong  fortification 
at  Niagara,  which  is  at  the  southwest  end  of  Canada 
Lake,  below  the  falls  of  that  name  about  three 
leagues,  where  there  is  a carrying-place.  It  borders 
near  the  Six  Nations,  which  in  a great  measure 
commands  the  Indian  trade  from  the  westward  and 
overawes  the  Senecas.  They  have  several  settlements 
and  forts  of  less  note  among  the  upper  nations  of 
Indians  on  the  chief  passages  as  the  Indians  come 
from  their  hunting  in  order  to  intercept  the  fur-trade 
and  keep  an  awe  and  command  over  them. 

There  were  portents  of  a 'coming 
storm.  England  and  France,  it  was 
seen,  would  soon  be  at  war.  Hostilities 
began  in  the  spring  of  1744.  Strenuous 
efforts  were  at  once  made  to  enlist  the 
Six  Nations  on  their  side  by  the  English. 
“ We  are,”  said  they,  “ in  alliance  with 
a great  number  of  far  Indians,  and  if  we 
should  so  suddenly  lift  up  the  hatchet, 
without  acquainting  our  allies  with  it, 
they  would  perhaps  take  offence  at  it.” 
Finally,  they  were  induced  to  go  upon 


180 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY, ; 


the  warpath  ; that  is,  two  of  the  nations 
came  out  boldly  in  their  hostility  to  the 
French.  This  was  in  1747.  These 
Indians  sent  belts  to  all  the  western 
Indians,  which  proceeding  culminated 
in  the  killing  of  several  Frenchmen,  who 
were  traders,  and  in  a conspiracy  at 
Detroit  to  kill  all  the  inhabitants.* 
“ The  Hurons,”  says  M.  Boisherbert,  in 
giving  an  account  of  the  affair,  “were 
ready  to  massacre  all  the  French  were 
it  not  that  a squaw,  going  into  a garret 
in  search  of  some  Indian  corn,  over- 
heard their  conspiracy  below.  She  went 
immediately  to  advise  the  Jesuit  lay 
brother  thereof,  who  informed  M.  de 
Longueuil,  the  commander  there,  of  the 
danger.  They  were  to  sleep  that  night 
in  the  fort,  as  they  often  did  before, 
and  each  was  to  kill  the  people  where 
he  lodged.  M.  de  Longueuil  called 
together  the  principle  chiefs,  spoke  to 
them  so  as  to  stop  them,  and  they  ex- 
cused themselves  the  best  way  they 
could.- ’ However,  the  commandant  was 
not  satisfied  with  excuses ; he  took 
every  precaution  to  guard  against  sur- 
prise, and  was  soon  reinforced  from  be- 
low. More  troops  followed,  so  that 


* This  is  usually  known  as  " the  conspiracy  of 
Nicholas,”  a chief  of  the  Hurons,  who  had  removed 
to  Sandusky  bay.  The  authorities  are  all  collated 
by  Mr.  Goodman,  in  his  ‘Journalof  Captain  Trent,’ 
(pp.  15-22,  note),  into  a readable  narrative  of  the 
affair. 


although  the  disaffection  among  the 
various  nations  was  general  to  the 
northward,  westward  and  southward, 
in  the  end  they  were  kept  from  rising 
against  the  French,  and  the  war  ending 
between  England  and  France,  trouble 
with  the  savages  beyond  or  contiguous 
to  Detroit  was  further  avoided. 

The  peace  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,in  1748, 
closed  the  strife  for  a time  between  the 
two  civilized  powers  having  provinces 
in  and  near  the  two  great  valleys. 
“ The  French  claimed  all  America  from 
the  Alleghanies  to  the  Rocky  moun- 
tains, and  from  Mexico  and  Florida  to 
the  north  pole,  except  only  the  ill- 
defined  possessions  of  the  English  on 
the  borders  of  Hudson  bay,  and  to  these 
vast  regions,  with  adjacent  islands,  they 
gave  the  general  name  of  New  France. 
They  controlled  the  highways  of  the 
continent,  for  they  held  its  two  great 
rivers.  First  they  had  seized  the  St. 
Lawrence,  and  then  planted  themselves 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  Can- 
ada at  the  north  and  Louisiana  at  the 
south  were  the  keys  of  a boundless  in- 
terior, rich  with  incalculable  possibili- 
ties. The  English  colonies  ranged 
along  the  Atlantic  coast  had  no  royal 
road  to  the  great  inland,  and  were,  in 
a manner,  shut  between  the  mountains 
and  the  sea.” 

C.  W.  Butterfield. 


[To  be  continued . ] 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR . 


181 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 

II. 

THE  CLOSING  CAMPAIGN. 


Governor  Reynolds  was  active  and 
at  once  arranged  for  a fresh  levy  of  two 
thousand  men  to  serve  through  the  war, 
to  rendezvous  at  Beardstown,  June  io; 
while  the  general  government  ordered 
one  thousand  regulars  under  General 
Winfield  Scott  to  proceed  from  the  sea- 
board to  the  seat  of  war,  Scott  being 
directed  to  conduct  future  operations 
against  the  enemy.  Meanwhile,  at 
General  Atkinson’s  earnest  appeal,  three 
hundred  mounted  volunteer  rangers, 
under  Henry  Fry  as  colonel  and  James 
D.  Henry  as  lieutenant-colonel,  agreed 
to  remain  in  the  field  to  protect  the 
northern  line  of  Illinois  settlements 
until  the  new  levy  could  be  mobilized. 
The  gallant  General  Whiteside  entered 
the  ranks  of  this  new  regiment  and 
cheerfully  set  a much-needed  disciplin- 
ary example  to  his  fellow  troopers.* 
Black  Hawk,  on  descending  from 
Lake  Koshkonong,  divided  his  people 
into  war  parties — himself  leading  the 

* Abraham  Lincoln,  afterwards  President  of  the 
United  States,  was  a member  of  this  regiment  of 
rangers,  being  enlisted  as  a “private  horseman,”  in 
Captain  Elijah  lies’  company,  May  29.  He  was 
mustered  out  at  Ottawa,  June  16,  when  the  regular 
levy  had  taken  the  field.  June  20  he  re-enlisted  in 
Captain  Jacob  M.  Early’s  company,  an  independent 
company  of  rangers  not  brigaded,  and  served 
throughout  the  war, 


largest,  about  two  hundred  strong.  He 
was  assisted  by  small  scalping  parties 
of  Winnebagoes  — who  were  always 
ready  for  guerilla  butchery  whenever 
the  chance  for  detection  was  slight — 
and  by  about  one  hundred  Pottawato- 
mies  under  Mike  Girty. 

During  the  irregular  hostilities  which 
now  broke  out  in  northern  Illinois  and 
just  across  the  Michigan  (now  Wiscon- 
sin) border,  pending  the  resumption  of 
the  formal  campaign,  some  two  hun- 
dred whites  and  nearly  as  many  Indians 
lost  their  lives,  great  suffering  was  in- 
duced among  the  settlers,  and  panic 
among  the  latter  was  widespread.  Many 
of  the  incidents  of  this  partisan  strife 
are  rich  in  historic  interest  and  have 
been  productive  of  elaborate  discus- 
sions in  the  press  and  in  documentary 
collections,  but  in  a paper  of  this  scope 
only  a few  of  the  most  striking  events 
can  be  alluded  to. 

On  the  twenty-second  of  May  a party 
of  thirty  Pottawatomies  and  three  Sacs, 
under  Girty,  surprised  and  slaughtered 
fifteen  men,  women  and  children  con- 
gregated at  the  Davis  farm,  on  Indian 
creek,  twelve  miles  north  of  Ottawa, 
Illinois.  Two  daughters  of  William 
Hall — Sylvia,  aged  seventeen  years,  and 
Rachel,  aged  fifteen — had  their  lives 


182 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


preserved  by  their  captors,  and,  being 
taken  to  Black  Hawk’s  stronghold 
above  Lake  Koshkonong,  were  there 
sold  for  two  thousand  dollars  in  horses 
and  trinkets  to  White  Crow,  a Winne- 
bago chief,  who  had  been  sent  out  to 
conduct  the  negotiation  by  Henry  Gra- 
tiot, sub-agent  for  the  Winnebagoes. 
They  were  safely  delivered  into  Gra- 
tiot’s hands  at  Blue  Mounds,  on  the 
third  of  June. 

On  the  evening  of  the  fourteenth  of 
June,  a party  of  eleven  Sacs  killed  five 
white  men  at  Spafford’s  farm,  on  the 
Peckatonica  river,  in  what  is  now  La 
Fayette  county,  Wisconsin.  Colonel 
Henry  Dodge,  with  twenty-nine  men, 
followed  and  the  next  day  overtook 
the  savages  in  a neighboring  swamp. 
A battle  ensued  lasting  but  a few  min- 
utes, in  which  the  eleven  Indians  were 
killed  and  scalped,  while  of  Dodge’s 
party  three  were  killed  and  one  wounded. 
The  details  of  no  event  in  the  entire 
war  have  been  so  thoroughly  discussed 
and  quarreled  over  as  those  of  this  brief 
but  bloody  skirmish. 

On  the  twenty-fourth  of  June,  Black 
Hawk’s  own  party  made  a desperate 
attack  on  Apple  River  fort,  fourteen 
miles  east  of  Galena,  Illinois,  which 
sustained  the  heavy  siege  for  upwards 
of  an  hour,  the  little  garrison  display- 
ing remarkable  vigor,  the  women  and 
girls  molding  bullets,  loading  pieces 
and  generally  proving  themselves  border 
heroines.  The  red  men  retired  with 
small  loss  after  laying  waste  by  fire  the 
neighboring  cabins  and  fields.  The 
following  day  this  same  war  party  at- 
tacked, with  singular  ferocity,  Major 


Dement’s  spy  battalion  of  Posey’s 
brigade,  one  hundred  and  fifty  strong, 
at  Kellogg’s  Grove,  sixteen  miles  to  the 
east.  General  Posey  came  up  with  a 
detachment  of  volunteers  to  relieve  the 
force  and  continued  the  skirmish.  The 
Indians  were  routed,  losing  about  fifteen 
killed,  while  the  whites  lost  but  five.* 

At  Plum  River  fort,  Burr  Oak  Grove, 
Sinsiniwa  Mound  and  Blue  Mounds, 
skirmishes  of  less  importance  were 
fought. 

The  lead-mining  settlements  deemed 
themselves  peculiarly  liable  to  attack, 
from  the  fear  that  the  troops  centered 
on  Rock  river  would  drive  the  enemy 
across  the  Illinois  border  upon  them. 
The  news  of  the  invasion  at  Yellow 

* Kellogg’s  Grove,  afterwards  Waddams’  and 
now  Timms’,  is  situated  in  the  southwestern  portion 
of  Kent  township,  Stephenson  county,  Illinois, 
about  nine  miles  south  of  Lena.  The  five  men 
killed  in  the  skirmish  of  June  25,  1832,  had  been 
buried  at  different  points  within  the  grove.  During 
the  summer  of  1886  their  remains  were  collected,  by 
order  of  the  county  board  of  supervisors , and  de- 
cently interred  upon  a commanding  knoll  at  the  edge 
of  the  copse,  within  a half  acre  of  land  which  had 
been  deeded  to  the  county  for  that  purpose.  With 
these  remains  were  placed  those  of  five  or  six  other 
victims  of  the  Black  Hawk  war,  militiamen  and 
civilians,  who  had  been  buried  where  they  fell  in 
other  portions  of  the  county.  A monument  costing 
five  hundred  dollars  was  erected  by  the  board  over 
these  remains — a shaft  thirty  feet  in  height,  con- 
structed of  light  rock  quarried  within  the  grove,  on 
three  sides  of  which  are  marble  slabs  appropriately 
inscribed.  This  monument  was  formally  dedicated, 
in  the  presence  of  twenty-five  hundred  persons,  Sep- 
tember 30,  1886,  under  the  auspices  of  W.  R.  God- 
dard post  of  the  G.  A.  R.,  located  at  Lena.  Pioneer 
addresses  were  delivered  by  ex-Congressman  Henry 
S.  Magoon  of  Darlington,  Wisconsin  ; Colonel  D. 
F.  Hitt  of  Ottawa,  Illinois  and  Michael  Stoskopf 
and  S.  J.  Dodds  of  Freeport,  Illinois;  while  Dr. 
W.  P.  Naramore  of  Lena  officiated  as  president  of 
the  day. 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


18S 


Banks  was  received  by  the  miners  early 
in  May,  and  active  preparation  for  de- 
fense and  offense  were  at  once  under- 
taken. Colonel  Henry  Dodge,  one  of 
the  pioneers  of  the  lead  region,  and  an 
energetic  citizen  largely  interested  in 
smelting,  held  a commission  as  chief  of 
the  Michigan  militia  west  of  Lake  Mich- 
igan, and  assumed  direction  of  military 
operations  north  of  the  Illinois  line. 
With  a company  of  twenty-seven  hastily- 
equipped  rangers  he  made  an  expedition 
to  Dixon,  with  a view  both  to  reconnoiter 
the  country  and  solicit  aid  from  Gov- 
ernor Reynolds’  force.  He  failed  in 
his  latter  mission,  however,  and  returned 
to  the  mines  carrying  the  news  of  Still- 
man’s defeat.  After  making  prepara- 
tions for  recruiting  three  additional 
companies,  Dodge  proceeded  with  In- 
dian Agent  Gratiot  and  a troop  of 
fifty  volunteers  to  White  Crow’s  Winne- 
bago village  at  the  head  of  Fourth  Lake, 
near  the  present  German  settlement  of 
Pleasant  Branch,  and  six  miles  north- 
west of  the  site  of  Madison.  The  Win- 
nebagoes  were  always  deemed  a source 
of  danger  to  the  mining  settlements,  and 
it  was  desirable  to  keep  them  quiet  dur- 
ing the  present  crisis.  Colonel  Dodge 
held  council  with  them  on  the  twenty- 
fifth  of  May  and  received  profuse  assur- 
ances of  their  fidelity  to  the  American 
cause,  but  the  partisan  leader  appears 
to  have  justly  placed  but  slight  reliance 
upon  their  sincerity. 

Returning  from  this  council,  Dodge  set 
out  from  his  headquarters  at  Fort  Union 
on  an  active  campaign,  with  two  hun- 
dred mounted  rangers  enlisted  for  the 
war.  These  men,  gathered  from  the 


mines  and  fields,  were  a free-and-easy 
set  of  dare-devils,  imbued  with  the  spirit 
of  adventure  and  an  intense  hatred  of 
the  Indian  race.  While  well  disciplined 
to  the  extent  of  always  obeying  orders 
when  sent  into  the  teeth  of  danger,  they 
swung  through  the  country  with  little 
regard  to  the  minutia  of  the  manual,  and 
presented  a striking  contrast  to  the 
habits  and  appearance  of  the  regulars. 

On  the  third  of  June  they  arrived  at 
Blue  Mounds  just  in  time  to  receive  the 
Hall  girls  brought  in  by  White  Crow. 
TheCrowand  his  companionsbeingoffen- 
sive  in  their  demeanor,  Dodge  had  them 
thrown  into  the  guard-house  and  held  for 
a time  as  hostages  for  the  good  behavior 
of  the  rest  of  the  Fourth  lake  band.  On 
the  eleventh  he  was  joined  by  a small 
party  of  Illinois  rangers  from  Galena, 
under  Captain  J.  W.  Stephenson,  and  the 
united  force  proceeded  to  General  At- 
kinson’s recruiting  quarters,  then  at 
Ottawa,  where  Dodge  conferred  with 
the  general  as  to  the  future  conduct  of 
the  campaign.  After  remaining  a few 
days,  the  rangers  returned  to  the  lead 
mines  to  complete  the  defenses  there. 

In  less  than  three  weeks  from  the  date 
of  Stillman’s  defeat,  Atkinson  and 
Reynolds  had  together  recruited  and 
organized  a new  mounted  militia  force, 
and  on  the  fifteenth  of  June  the  troops 
rendezvoused  at  Fort  Wilburn.  There 
were  three  brigades,  respectively  headed 
by  Generals  Alexander  Posey,  M.  K. 
Alexander  and  James  D.  Henry.  Each 
brigade  had  a spy  battalion.  The  ag- 
gregate strength  of  this  volunteer  army 
was  three  thousand  two  hundred,  which 
was  in  addition  to  Fry’s  rangers,  half 


184 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  whom  continued  their  services  to 
protect  the  settlements  and  stores 
west  of  the  Rock  river.  With  these, 
Dodge’s  Michigan  rangers  and  the  reg- 
ular infantry,  the  entire  army  now  in  the 
field  numbered  about  four  thousand 
effective  men. 

A part  of  Posey’s  brigade  was  sent  in 
advance  from  Fort  Wilburn  to  scour  the 
country  between  Galena  and  the  Rock, 
and  disperse  Black  Hawk’s  war  party. 
It  was  this  force  that  had  the  brush  with 
the  Sacs  at  Kellogg’s  Grove  on  the 
twenty-fifth  of  June,  previously  alluded 
to.  Meanwhile  Alexander’s  and  Hen- 
ry’s brigades  had  arrived  overland  at 
Dixon’s.  When  news  of  the  defeat  of 
the  Indians  at  Kellogg’s  arrived,  Alex- 
ander was  dispatched  in  haste  to  Plum 
river  to  intercept  the  fugitives  should 
they  attempt  to  cross  the  Mississippi  at 
that  point,  while  Atkinson,  with  Henry 
and  the  regulars,  remained  at  Dixon’s 
to  await  developments.  On  learning 
that  Black  Hawk’s  main  camp  was  still 
near  Lake  Koshkonong,  Atkinson  at 
once  pushed  on  up  the  east  bank  of  the 
Rock,  leaving  Dixon  on  the  afternoon 
of  June  27.  The  main  army,  now  con- 
sisting of  four  hundred  regulars  and 
two  thousand  one  hundred  volunteer 
troops,  was  joined  the  following  day  by 
a party  of  seventy-five  friendly  Potta- 
watomies,  who  seemed  eager  to  join  in 
the  prospective  scrimmage. 

On  the  thirtieth,  the  army  crossed  the 
state  line  about  one  mile  east  of  the  site 
of  Beloit,  then  the  location  of  the  Tur- 
tle village  of  the  Winnebagoes,  whose 
inhabitants  had  flown  at  the  approach 
of  the  column,  Sac  signs  were  fresh, 


for  Black  Hawk,  after  his  defeat  at  the 
hands  of  Posey  and  Dement  at  Kel- 
logg’s, had,  instead  of  crossing  the 
Mississippi,  fled  directly  to  his  strong- 
hold, reaching  the  Rock  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Kishwaukee  three  or  four 
days  in  advance  of  the  white  army.  It 
was  this  warm  trail  that  Atkinson’s  men 
were  now  following  with  the  impetuous- 
ness of  blood-hounds. 

At  the  close  of  each  day,  when  possi- 
ble, the  troops  selected  a camp  in  the 
timber,  were  protected  by  breastworks, 
and  invariably  slept  on  their  arms,  for 
there  was  constant  apprehension  of  a 
night  attack,  the  rear  guard  of  the  sav- 
ages prowling  about  in  the  dark  and 
being  frequently  fired  on  by  the  senti- 
nels. 

On  the  second  of  July  the  army  ar- 
rived at  the  outlet  of  Lake  Koshkonong. 
Hastily  deserted  Indian  camps  were 
found,  with  white  scalps  hanging  on  the 
poles  of  the  tepees.  Scouts  made  a 
tour  of  the  lake,  but  beyond  a few 
stragglers  nothing  of  importance  was 
seen.  A few  Winnebagoes,  who  were 
captured,  gave  vague  and  contradictory 
testimony,  and  one  of  them  was  shot 
and  scalped  for  his  impertinence.  Sev- 
eral succeeding  days  were  spent  in 
fruitless  scouting.  July  4,  Alexander 
arrived  with  his  brigade,  reporting  that 
he  had  found  no  traces  of  red  men  on 
the  Mississippi.  On  the  sixth,  Posey 
reported  with  Dodge’s  squadron. 

.Dodge  was  at  Fort  Hamilton  on  the 
twenty-eighth  of  June,  reorganizing  his 
two  hundred  rangers,  when  Posey  ar- 
rived from  Kellogg’s  bringing  orders 
from  Atkinson  to  join  forces  with 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


185 


Dodge  and  at  once,  under  Posey’s 
command,  join  the  main  army  on  the 
Koshkonong.  At  Sugar  river,  Dodge 
was  joined  by  Stephenson’s  Galena 
company  and  by  a party  of  twenty  Meno- 
monees  and  eight  or  ten  white  and  half- 
breed  scouts  under  Colonel  William  S. 
Hamilton,  who  was  a prominent  lead 
miner  and  a son  of  the  famous  Alexan- 
der. This  recruited  his  squadron  so 
that  it  now  numbered  about  three  hun- 
dred. Proceeding  by  the  way  of  the 
four  lakes,  White  Crow  and  thirty 
Winnebagoes  offered  to  conduct  Posey 
and  Dodge  to  Black  Hawk’s  camp,  and 
united  with  them  for  that  purpose. 
After  advancing  through  almost  impass- 
able swamps  for  several  days,  the  corps 
was  within  a short  distance  of  the  lo- 
cality sought,  when  an  express  came 
from  Atkinson  ordering  it  to  proceed 
without  delay  to  his  camp  on  Bark 
river,  an  eastern  tributary  of  Lake 
Koshkonong,  as  he  believed  the  main 
body  of  the  enemy  to  be  in  that  vicinity. 
This  order  greatly  provoked  Dodge, 
but  it  proved  to  be  singularly  oppor- 
tune. Black  Hawk’s  camp  occupied  a 
position  very  advantageous  for  defense, 
at  the  summit  of  a steep  declivity  on 
the  east  bank  of  the  Rock,  where  the 
river  was  difficult  of  passage,  being 
rapid  and  clogged  with  boulders.* 
White  Crow’s  solicitude  as  a guide  was 
undoubtedly  caused  by  his  desire  to 
lead  this  comparatively  small  force, 
constituting  the  left  wing  of  the  army, 
into  a trap  where  it  might  have  been 
badly  whipped  if  not  annihilated. 

* The  site  of  the  present  village  of  Hustisford, 
Wisconsin. 


The  army  was  thus  formed  : Posey’s 
brigade  and  Dodge’s  rangers  comprised 
the  left  wing;  the  regulars  under  Tay- 
lor and  Henry’s  volunteers  were  the 
right  wing,  commanded  by  Atkinson  in 
person  and  marched  on  the  east  bank 
of  the  Rock,  while  Alexander’s  brigade 
was  the  center.  Dodge  had  conceived 
a poor  opinion  of  Posey’s  men,  and,  on 
the  arrival  of  the  left  wing  at  head- 
quarters, solicited  a change  of  com- 
panions. In  order  to  secure  harmony 
Atkinson  caused  Posey  and  Alexander 
to  exchange  positions. 

While  the  treacherous  White  Crow 
had  been  endeavoring  to  entrap  the  left 
wing,  a one-eyed  Winnebago  chief, 
whose  name  does  not  appear  to  have 
been  preserved  in  any  of  the  annals  of 
the  campaign,  had  been  pouring  into 
Atkinson’s  ears  a tale  about  Black 
Hawk  being  encamped  on  an  island  in 
the  Whitewater  river,  a few  miles  east 
of  the  American  camp  on  the  Bark.  In 
consequence,  the  commander  was  from 
the  seventh  to  the  ninth  of  July  run- 
ning a wild  goose  chase  through  the 
broad  morasses  and  treacherous  quick- 
sands of  that  region.  It  was  because 
of  this  false  information  that  Atkinson 
had  hastily  summoned  the  left  wing  to 
his  aid,  and  thus  unwittingly  saved  it  in 
the  nick  of  time  from  a great  danger. 
Thus  did  the  wily  Winnebagoes  over- 
reach themselves  through  lack  of  con- 
cert in  their  lying.  The  one-eyed’s 
airy  romance  spoiled  the  deep  laid 
scheme  of  the  Crow,  and  in  the  mean- 
time the  Hawk,  startled  from  his  cover 
by  the  manoeuvering  in  his  neighbor- 
hood, flew  afield. 


186 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


Governor  Reynolds  and  several  other 
prominent  Illinoisans  who  were  with  the 
army,  had  by  this  time  become  dis- 
couraged and  left  for  home,  impressed 
with  the  opinion  that  the  troops,  now  in 
a wretched  physical  condition,  almost 
out  of  provisions  and  floundering  aim- 
lessly through  the  Whitewater  bogs, 
were  pursuing*  an  ignis -fatuus,  and  that 
Black  Hawk  could  never  be  captured. 

On  the  tenth,  Henry’s  and  Alexander’s 
brigades  were  dispatched  with  Dodge’s 
squadron  to  Fort  Winnebago,  at  the 
portage  of  the  Fox  and  Wisconsin  rivers, 
eighty  miles  to  the  northwest,  for  much- 
needed  provisions,  it  being  the  nearest 
supply  point.  The  Second  regiment  of 
Posey’s  brigade,  under  Colonel  Ewing, 
was  sent  down  the  Rock  to  Dixon  with 
an  officer  accidentally  wounded,  while, 
with  the  rest  of  his  troops,  Posey  was 
ordered  to  Fort  Hamilton  to  guard 
the  mining  country,  which  Dodge’s 
absence  had  left  exposed  to  the  enemy. 
Atkinson  himself  fell  back  to  Lake  Kosh- 
konong,  and  built  a fort  a few  miles  up 
Bark  river,  on  the  eastern  limit  of  the 
present  village  of  Fort  Atkinson. 

On  arrival  at  Fort  Winnebago,  the 
troopers  found  a number  of  Winnebago 
Indians  loafing  there,  all  of  them  full  of 
advice  to  the  white  chiefs.  There  was 
also  at  the  fort  a famous  half-breed 
scout  and  trader  named  Pierre  Poquette, 
long  in  the  trusted  employ  of  the  Ameri- 
can Fur  company.  He  informed  Henry 
and  Dodge  of  the  true  location  of  Black 
Hawk’s  stronghold,  as  White  Crow  had 
done,  with  added  information  as  to  its 
character,  and,  with  twelve  Winnebago 
assistants,  was  engaged  as  pilot  thither. 


While  the  division  was  at  the  fort, 
there  was  a stampede  of  horses  from 
some  unknown  cause,  the  animals  madly 
plunging  for  thirty  miles  through  the 
neighboring  swamps,  where  upwards  of 
fifty  were  lost. 

The  resolution  was  taken  by  Henry 
and  Dodge  to  return  to  camp  by  way 
of  the  Hustisford  rapids,  and  there  en- 
gage Black  Hawk  if  possible.  But 
Alexander’s  men  refused  to  enter  upon 
this  perilous  expedition,  and  insisted  on 
obeying  Atkinson’s  orders  to  return  to 
headquarters  by  the  shortest  available 
route.  Alexander  easily  yielded  to  his 
troopers’  demands  and  the  mutinous 
example  would  have  been  successfully 
imitated  in  Henry’s  brigade,  but  for  the 
firmness  of  that  commander,  who  was  a 
strict  disciplinarian.  Alexander  accord- 
ingly returned  direct  to  camp,  July  15, 
with  the  men  whose  horses  had  been 
lost  in  the  stampede,  and  twelve  days’ 
provisions  for  the  main  army.  The 
same  day,  Henry  and  Dodge,  the  former 
in  command,  started  out  with  twelve 
days’  supplies  for  their  own  force,  ac- 
companied by  Poquette  and  the  Winne- 
bago guides.  The  ranks  had  been 
depleted  from  many  causes,  so  that  roll 
call  on  the  sixteenth  disclosed  but  six 
hundred  effective  men  in  Henry’s  brig- 
ade and  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  in 
Dodge’s  squadron. 

On  the  eighteenth  the  troopers 
reached  Rock  river  and  found  the 
Winnebago  village  at  which  Black 
Hawk  and  his  band  had  been  quartered, 
but  there  were  no  signs  of  the  Sac 
enemy.  The  Winnebagoes  insisted  that 
their  late  visitors  were  now  at  Cran- 


THE  BLACK  HA  WK  WAR. 


187 


berry  * lake,  a half  day’s  march  up  the 
river,  and  the  white  commanders  re- 
solved to  proceed  thither  the  following 
day.  They  had  arrived  at  the  village 
at  noon,  and  at  2 p.  m.  Adjutants  Mer- 
riam  of  Henry’s  and  Woodbridge  of 
Dodge’s  started  south  with  information 
of  the  supposed  discovery,  to  Atkinson’s 
camp,  thirty-five  miles  down  the  river. 
Little  Thunder,  a Winnebago  chief,  ac- 
companied them  as  guide.  When  nearly 
twenty  miles  out,  and  half  way  between 
the  present  sites  of  Watertown  and  Jef- 
ferson, they  suddenly  struck  a broad, 
fresh  trail  trending  to  the  west.  Little 
Thunder  became  greatly  excited,  and 
shouted  and  gestured  vehemently,  but 
the  adjutants  were  unable  to  under- 
stand a word  of  the  Winnebago  tongue, 
and  when  he  suddenly  turned  his  horse 
and  dashed  back  to  Henry’s  camp,  they 
were  obliged  to  hasten  after  him,  as 
further  progress  through  the  tangled 
thickets  and  wide  morasses  without  a 
pilot  was  inadvisable.  Little  Thunder 
had  returned  to  inform  his  people  that  the 
trail  of  Black  Hawk  in  his  flight  to  the 
Mississippi  had  been  discovered,  and  to 
warn  them  that  further  dissembling 
was  useless. 

The  news  was  received  with  great  joy 
in  the  camp  of  the  volunteers.  Their 
sinking  spirits  at  once  revived  and  pur- 
suit on  the  fresh  scent  was  undertaken 
the  following  morning  with  an  enthusiasm 
that  henceforth  had  no  occasion  to  lag. 
All  possible  encumbrances  were  left  be- 
hind, so  that  progress  should  be  unim- 
peded. The  course  lay  slightly  to  the 

* Afterwards  Horicon  lake  in  Dodge  county, 
Wisconsin. 


north  of  west,  through  the  present  towns 
of  Lake  Mills  and  Cottage  Grove.  The 
Chicago  & Northwestern  air-line  rail- 
way between  Jefferson  Junction  and 
Madison  follows  very  closely  Black 
Hawk’s  trail  from  the  Rock  river  to  the 
Four  lakes.  Deep  swamps  and  sink- 
holes were  met  by  the  army  nearly  the 
entire  distance.  The  men  had  frequently 
to  dismount  and  wade  in  water  and 
mud  to  their  armpits,  while  a violent 
thunder  storm  with  phenomenal  rainfall, 
the  first  night  out,  followed  by  an  un- 
seasonable drop  in  the  temperature, 
increased  the  natural  difficulties  of  pro- 
gress. But  the  straggling  Winnebagoes, 
who  were  deserting  the  band  of  Sac 
fugitives  in  this  time  of  want  and  peril? 
reported  the  Hawk  but  two  miles  in 
advance,  and  the  volunteers  eagerly 
hurried  on  with  empty  stomachs  and 
wet  clothes.  By  sunset  of  the  second 
day,  July  20,  they  reached  the  lakes, 
going  into  camp  for  the  night  a quarter 
of  a mile  north  of  the  northeast  extrem- 
ity of  Third  lake.  That  same  night, 
Black  Hawk  was  strongly  ambushed, 
three  miles  beyond,  near  the  Winnebago 
village  on  the  Pheasant  Branch,  where, 
on  the  twenty-fifth  of  May,  Dodge  had 
held  parley  with  White  Crow. 

At  daybreak  of  the  twenty-first,  the 
troops  were  up,  and,  after  fording  the 
Catfish  river  where  the  Williamson 
street  bridge  now  crosses  it,  swept 
across  the  isthmus  between  Third  and 
Fourth  lakes  in  regular  line  of  battle, 
Ewing’s  spies  to  the  front.  Where  to- 
day is  built  the  park-like  city  of  Madi- 
son, the  capitol  of  Wisconsin,  was  then 
a heavy  forest  with  frequent  dense 


188 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


thickets  of  underbrush.  The  line  of 
march  was  along  Third  lake  shore  to 
where  the  street-car  stables  now  are, 
thence  almost  due  west  to  Fourth  lake, 
the  shores  of  which  were  skirted  through 
the  State  university  grounds,  across  in- 
tervening swamps  and  hills  to  the 
Pheasant  Branch  and  then  due  north- 
west to  the  Wisconsin  river.  The  ad- 
vance was  so  rapid  that  forty  horses  gave 
out  during  the  day  between  the  Catfish 
and  the  Wisconsin.  When  his  animal 
succumbed,  the  trooper  would  trudge 
on  afoot,  throwing  away  his  camp-kettle 
and  other  encumbrances,  thus  following 
the  example  of  the  fugitives  ahead  of 
him,  the  trail  being  lined  with  Indian 
mats,  kettles  and  camp  equippage  dis- 
carded in  the  hurry  of  flight.  Some 
half  dozen  inoffensive  Sac  stragglers — 
chiefly  old  men  who  had  become  ex- 
hausted by  the  famine  now  prevailing 
in  the  Hawk’s  camp — were  shot  at  in- 
tervals by  the  whites,  but  it  was  three 
o’clock  in  the  afternoon  before  the  en- 
emy’s rear  guard  of  twenty  braves  under 
Neapope  was  overtaken.  Several  skir- 
mishes ensued.  The  timber  was  still 
very  thick  and  it  was  impossible  at  first 
to  know  whether  Neapope’s  party  were 
the  main  body  of  the  Indians  or  not. 
The  knowledge  of  their  weakness  be- 
came apparent  after  a time,  and  there- 
after when  the  savages  made  a feint  the 
spies  would  charge  and  easily  disperse 
them. 

At  about  half  past  four  o’clock,  when 
within  a mile  and  a half  of  the  river  and 
some  ten  miles  northwest  of  Madison, 
Neapope’s  band,  reinforced  by  a score 
of  braves  under  Black  Hawk,  made  a 


bold  stand  to  cover  the  flight  of  the 
main  body  of  Indians  down  the  bluffs 
and  across  the  stream.  Every  fourth 
man  of  the  white  column  was  detailed 
to  hold  the  horses,  while  the  rest  of  the 
troopers  advanced  on  foot.  The  red 
men  made  a heavy  charge,  yelling  and 
screaming  like  maniacs,  and  endeav- 
ored to  flank  the  whites,  but  Colonel 
Fry  on  the  right  and  Colonel  Jones  on 
the  left  repulsed  them  with  loss.  The 
Sacs  now  dropped  into  the  grass,  which 
was  nearly  six  feet  high,  but  after  a 
half  hour  of  hot  firing  on  both  sides, 
with  a few  casualties  evenly  distributed, 
Dodge,  Ewing  and  Jones  charged  the 
enemy  with  the  bayonet,  driving  them 
up  a rising  piece  of  ground  at  the  top 
of  which  a second  rank  of  savages  was 
found.  After  further  firing,  the  Indians 
swiftly  retreated  down  the  bluffs  to  join 
their  main  body  now  engaged  in  crossing 
the  river.  It  had  been  raining  softly 
during  the  greater  part  of  the  battle, 
and  there  was  difficulty  experienced  in 
keeping  the  muskets  dry,  but  a sharp 
fire  was  kept  up  between  the  lines  until 
dusk.  At  the  base  of  the  bluffs  there 
was  swampy  ground  some  sixty  yards 
in  width,  and  then  a heavy  fringe  of 
timber  on  a strip  of  firm  ground  along 
the  river  bank.  As  the  Indians  could 
reach  this  vantage  point  before  over- 
taken, it  was  deemed  best  to  abandon 
the  pursuit  for  the  night. 

Black  Hawk  was  himself  the  con- 
ductor of  this  battle,  on  the  part  of  the 
Sacs,  and  sat  on  a white  pony  on  a 
neighboring  knoll,  directing  his  men 
with  stentorian  voice. 

After  dusk  had  set  in,  a large  party 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR . 


129 


190 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


of  the  fugitives,  composed  mainly  of 
women,  children  and  old  men,  were 
placed  on  a large  raft  and  in  canoes 
begged  from  the  Winnebagoes,  and  sent 
down  the  river  in  the  hope  that  the 
soldiers  at  Fort  Crawford,  guarding  the 
mouth  of  the  Wisconsin,  would  allow 
these  non-combatants  to  cross  the  Mis- 
sissippi in  peace.  But  too  much  faith 
was  placed  in  the  humanity  of  the 
Americans.  Lieutenant  Ritner,  with  a 
small  detachment  of  regulars,  was  sent 
out  by  Indian  Agent  Street  to  inter- 
cept these  forlorn  and  nearly  starved 
wretches,  a messenger  from  the  held  of 
battle  having  apprised  the  agent  of 
their  approach.  Ritner  fired  on  them 
a short  distance  above  Fort  Crawford, 
killing  fifteen  men  and  capturing  thirty- 
two  women  and  children  and  four  men. 
Nearly  as  many  more  were  drowned 
during  the  onslaught,  while  of  the  rest, 
who  escaped  to  the  woods,  all  but  a 
half  score  perished  with  hunger  or  were 
massacred  by  a party  of  three  hundred 
Menomonee  allies  from  the  Green  Bay 
country,  under  Colonel  Stambaugh  and 
a small  staff  of  white  officers. 

The  twenty-second  of  July  was  spent 
by  the  white  army  on  the  battlefield  of 
the  Wisconsin  Heights — as  the  spot  has 
ever  since  been  known — making  prep- 
arations to  march  to  Blue  Mounds  for 
provisions,  for  it  was  discovered  that 
the  enemy  had  wholly  escaped  during 
the  night  across  or  down  the  river. 
During  the  night  of  the  twenty-second 
there  were  frequent  alarms  from  prowl- 
ing Indians,  and  the  men,  fearing  an  at- 
tack, were  under  arms  nearly  the  entire 
time.  About  an  hour  and  a half  before 


dawn  of  the  twenty-third,  a loud,  shrill 
voice,  speaking  in  an  unknown  tongue, 
was  heard  piercing  the  gloom  from  the 
direction  of  the  knoll  occupied  by 
Black  Hawk  during  the  battle.  There 
was  a great  panic  in  the  camp,  for  it 
was  thought  that  the  savage  leader  was 
giving  orders  for  an  attack,  and  Henry 
found  it  desirable  to  make  his  men  a 
patriotic  speech  to  bolster  their  cour- 
age. Just  before  daylight  the  harangue 
ceased.  It  was  afterwards  learned  that 
the  orator  was  Neapope,  who  had 
spoken  in  Winnebago,  presuming  that 
Poquette  and  the  Winnebago  pilots 
were  still  in  the  camp.  But  they  had 
left  for  Fort  Winnebago  during  the 
night  succeeding  the  battle,  and  there 
was  not  one  among  the  troops  who  had 
understood  a word  of  the  speech.  It 
was  a speech  of  conciliation  addressed 
to  the  conquerors.  Neapope  had  said 
that  the  Sacs  had  their  squaws,  children 
and  old  people  with  them,  that  they  had 
been  unwillingly  forced  into  war,  that 
they  were  literally  starving,  and  if  al- 
lowed to  cross  the  Mississippi  in  peace 
would  never  more  do  harm.  But  the 
plea  fell  on  unwitting  ears,  and  thus 
failed  the  second  earnest  attempt  of  the 
British  band  to  close  the  war.  As  for 
Neapope,  finding  that  his  mission  had 
failed,  he  fled  north  to  the  Chippewa 
country,  leaving  his  half  dozen  com- 
panions to  return  with  the  discouraging 
news  to  Black  Hawk,  now  secretly  en- 
camped in  a neighboring  ravine  north 
of  the  Wisconsin. 

On  the  twenty-third,  Henry  marched 
with  his  corps  to  Blue  Mounds,  and  late 
that  evening  was  joined  by  Atkinson 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


191 


and  Alexander,  who,  on  being  informed 
by  express  of  the  discovery  of  the  trail 
and  the  rapid  pursuit,  had  left  the  fort 
on  the  Koshkonong,  officered  by  Cap- 
tain Low,  and  hastened  on  to  the 
Mounds  to  join  the  victors. 

On  the  twenty-seventh  and  twenty- 
eighth  the  Wisconsin  was  crossed  on 
rafts  at  Helena,  a deserted  log  village, 
whose  cabins  had  furnished  material  for 
the  floats.  Posey  had  now  joined  the 
army  with  his  brigade,  and  all  of  the 
generals  were  together  again.  The  ad- 
vance was  commenced  at  noon  of  the 
twenty-eighth,  the  four  hundred  and 
fifty  regulars,  now  under  General  Brady 
— with  Colonel  Taylor  still  of  the 
party — in  front ; while  Dodge,  Posey 
and  Alexander  followed  in  the  order 
named,  Henry  bringing  up  the  rear  in 
charge  of  the  baggage.  It  appears  that 
there  was  much  jealousy  displayed  by 
Atkinson  at  the  fact  that  the  laurels  of  the 
campaign,  such  as  they  were,  had  thus 
far  been  won  by  the  militia  ; and  Henry, 
as  the  chief  of  the  victors  at  Wisconsin 
Heights,  was  especially  unpopular  at 
headquarters.  But  the  brigadier  and 
his  men  peacefully  trudged  on  behind, 
judiciously  pocketing  what  they  felt  to 
be  an  insult. 

After  marching  some  four  or  five 
miles  northeast,  the  trail  of  the  fugi- 
tives was  discovered  trending  to  the 
north  of  west,  toward  the  Mississippi. 
The  country  between  the  Wisconsin  and 
the  great  river  is  mountainous  and  for- 
bidding in  character,  had  never  before 
been  penetrated  by  whites  and  was  but  lit- 
tle known  to  the  savages.  The  difficulties 
of  progress  were  great,  swamps  and  tur- 


bulent rivers  being  freely  interspersed 
between  the  steep,  thickly-wooded  hills, 
but  the  fact  that  they  were  noticeably 
gaining  on  the  redskins  constantly 
spurred  the  troopers  on  to  great  en- 
deavors. The  pathway  was  strewn  with 
the  corpses  of  dead  Sacs,  who  had  died 
of  wounds  and  starvation,  and  there 
were  frequent  evidences  that  the  fleeing 
wretches  were  eating  the  bark  of  trees 
and  the  sparse  flesh  of  their  fagged-out 
ponies  to  sustain  life. 

On  Wednesday,  the  first  of  August, 
Black  Hawk  and  his  now  sadly  depleted 
and  almost  famished  band  reached  the 
Mississippi  at  a point  two  miles  below 
the  mouth  of  the  Bad  Axe,  one  of  its 
smallest  eastern  tributaries,  and  about 
forty  north  of  the  Wisconsin.  Here  he 
undertook  to  cross  ; there  were,  how- 
ever, but  two  or  three  canoes  to  be  had 
and  the  work  was  slow.  One  large 
craft,  laden  with  women  and  children, 
was  sent  down  the  east  side  of  the  river 
towards  Prairie  du  Chien,  but  on  the 
way  it  capsized  and  nearly  all  of  its  oc- 
cupants were  drowned. 

In  the  middle  of  the  afternoon  the 
steamer  Warrior , of  Prairie  du  Chien, 
used  to  transport  army  supplies,  ap- 
peared on  the  scene.  On  board  were 
Lieutenants  Kingsbury  and  Holmes, 
with  fifteen  regulars  and  six  volunteers. 
They  had  been  up  the  river  to  notify 
the  Sioux  chief  Wabasha — whose  village 
was  on  the  site  of  Winona,  Minnesota 
— that  the  Sacs  were  headed  in  that 
direction.  As  the  steamer  neared  the 
shore,  Black  Hawk  appeared  on  the 
bank  with  a white  flag  and  called  out 
to  the  captain,  in  the  Winnebago 


192 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY, 


tongue,  to  send  a boat  ashore,  as  the 
Sacs  wished  to  give  themselves  up.  A 
Winnebago  stationed  in  the  bow  in- 
terpreted the  request,  but  the  captain 
affected  to  believe  that  an  ambush  was 
intended,  and  ordered  the  Hawk  to 
come  aboard  in  his  own  craft.  But 
this  the  Sac  could  not  do,  for  the  only 
canoes  he  had  were  engaged  in  trans- 
porting his  women  and  children  over 
the  river,  and  were  not  now  within  hail. 
His  reply  to  that  effect  was  met  in  a 
few  moments  by  three  quick  rounds  of 
cannister-shot,  which  went  plowing 
through  the  little  group  of  Indians  on 
the  shore  with  deadly  effect.  A fierce 
fire  of  musketry  ensued  on  both  sides, 
in  which  twenty-three  Indians  were 
killed  while  the  whites  suffered  but  one 
wounded.  The  Warrior  now  being  out 
of  wood,  returned  to  Prairie  du  Chien 
for  the  night,  the  soldiers  being  highly 
elated  at  their  share  in  the  campaign. 

During  the  night  a few  more  savages 
crossed  the  river ; but  Black  Hawk, 
foreseeing  that  disaster  was  about  to 
befall  his  arms,  gathered  a party  of  ten 
warriors,  among  whom  was  the  prophet, 
and  thirty-five  squaws  and  their  children, 
and  headed  east  for  the  dells  of  the 
Wisconsin,  whither  some  Winnebagoes 
offered  to  guide  and  hide  them.  The 
next  day  the  heart  of  the  old  man  smote 
him  for  having  left  his  people  to  their 
fate  and  he  returned  in  time  to  witness 
from  a neighboring  bluff  the  conclusion 
of  the  battle  of  the  Bad  Axe,  that 
struck  the  death-blow  to  the  British 
band.  With  a howl  of  rage  he  turned 
back  into  the  forest  and  fled. 

The  old  warrior  had  left  excellent  in- 


structions to  his  braves,  in  the  event  of 
the  arrival  of  the  white  army  by  land. 
Twenty  picked  Sacs  were  ordered  to 
stand  rear  guard  on  one  of  the  high 
bluffs  which  here  line  the  east  bank  of 
the  Mississippi,  and,  when  engaged,  to 
fall  back  three  miles  up  the  river,  thus 
to  deceive  the  whites  as  to  the  location 
of  the  main  band  and  gain  time  for  the 
flight  of  the  latter  across  the  stream, 
which  was  progressing  slowly  with  but 
two  canoes  now  left  for  the  purpose. 

Atkinson’s  men  were  on  the  move  by 
two  o’clock  in  the  morning  of  August  2. 
When  within  four  or  five  miles  of  the 
Sac  position,  the  decoys  were  encoun- 
tered. The  density  of  the  timber  ob- 
structing the  view,  and  the  twenty 
braves  being  widely  separated,  it  was 
supposed  that  Black  Hawk’s  main  force 
had  been  overtaken.  The  army  accord- 
ingly spread  itself  for  the  attack,  Alex- 
ander and  Posey  forming  the  right  wing, 
Henry  the  left,  and  Dodge  and  the  reg- 
ulars the  centre.  When  the  enemy 
retreated  up  the  river,  according  to 
programme,  the  centre  and  the  right 
wing  followed  quickly,  leaving  the  left 
wing — with  the  exception  of  one  of  its 
regiments  detailed  to  cover  the  rear — 
without  orders.  This  was  clearly  an 
affront  to  Henry,  Atkinson’s  design 
doubtless  being  to  crowd  him  out  of 
what  all  anticipated  would  be  the  clos- 
ing engagement  of  the  campaign,  and 
what  little  glory  might  come  of  it. 

But  the  fates  did  not  desert  the  brig- 
adier. Some  of  Ewing’s  spies,  attached 
to  his  command,  accidentally  discovered 
that  the  main  trail  of  the  fugitive 
band  was  lower  down  the  river  than 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


193 


where  the  decoys  were  leading  the  army. 
Henry,  with  his  entire  force,  thereupon 
descended  a bluffin  the  immediate  neigh- 
borhood, and,  after  a gallant  charge  on 
foot  through  the  open  wooded  plateau 
between  the  base  of  the  bluff  and  the 
beach,  found  himself  in  the  midst  of  the 
main  body  of  three  hundred  warriors, 
which  was  about  the  number  of  the  at- 
tacking party.  A desperate  conflict 
ensued,  the  bucks  being  driven  from 
tree  to  tree  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet, 
while  women  and  children  plunged 
madly  into  the  river,  many  of  them  to 
immediately  drown.  The  air  was  rent 
with  savage  yells  and  whoops,  with  the 
loud  cries  of  the  troopers  as  they  cheered 
each  other  on,  and  with  the  shrill  notes 
of  the  bugle  directing  the  details  of  the 
attack. 

It  was  fully  half  an  hour  after  Henry 
made  his  descent,  when  Atkinson,  hear- 
ing the  din  of  battle  in  his  rear,  came 
hastening  to  the  scene  with  the  centre 
and  right  wing,  driving  in  the  decoys 
and  stragglers  before  him,  thus  complet- 
ing the  corral.  The  carnage  now 
proceeded  more  fiercely  than  ever. 
The  red  men  fought  with  intense  des- 
peration, and,  though  weak  from  hunger, 
died  like  braves.  A few  escaped  through 
a broad  slough  to  a willow  island  which 
the  steamer  Warrior,  now  re-appearing 
on  the  river,  raked  from  end  to  end 
with  cannister.  This  was  followed  by  a 
wild  dash  through  the  mud  and  water 
by  a detachment  of  the  regulars  and  a 
few  of  Henry’s  and  Dodge’s  volunteers, 
who  ended  the  business  by  sweeping  the 
island  with  a bayonet  charge.  Some  of 
the  fugitives  succeeded  in  swimming  to 


the  west  bank  of  the  Mississippi,  but 
many  were  drowned  on  the  way  orcooly 
picked  off  by  sharp-shooters,  who  exer- 
cised no  more  mercy  towards  squaws 
and  children  than  they  did  towards 
braves — treating  them  all  as  though  they 
were  rats  instead  of  human  beings. 

This  “ battle,”  or  massacre,  lasted 
three  hours.  It  was  a veritable  pan- 
demonium, filled  with  frightful  scenes 
of  bloodshed.  The  Indians  lost  one 
hundred  and  fifty  killed  outright,  while 
as  many  more  of  both  sexes  and 
all  ages  and  conditions  were  drowned 
— some  fifty  only  being  taken  prisoners 
and  they  mainly  women  and  children. 
About  three  hundred  of  the  band  crossed 
the  river  successfully  before  and  during 
the  struggle.  The  whites  lost  but  ten 
killed  and  seventeen  wounded. 

Those  of  the  Sacs  who  safely  regained 
the  west  bank  were  soon  set  upon  by  a 
party  of  one  hundred  Sioux,  under 
Wabasha,  sent  out  for  that  purpose  by 
General  Atkinson,  and  one-half  of  these 
helpless,  half-starved  non-combatants 
were  cruelly  slaughtered,  while  many 
others  died  of  exhaustion  and  wounds 
before  they  reached  those  of  their 
friends  who  had  been  wise  enough  to 
abide  by  Keokuk’s  peaceful  admoni- 
tions and  stay  at  home.  Thus,  out  of 
the  band  of  nearly  one  thousand  per- 
sons who  crossed  the  Mississippi  at  the 
Yellow  Banks,  in  April,  not  more  than 
one  hundred  and  fifty,  all  told,  lived  to 
tell  the  tragic  story  of  the  Black  Hawk 
war — a tale  fraught  with  dishonor  to  the 
American  name. 

The  rest  can  soon  be  told.  On  the 
seventh  of  August,  when  the  army  had 


194 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


returned  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  General 
Winfield  Scott  arrived  and  assumed 
command,  discharging  the  volunteers 
the  following  day.  Cholera  among  his 
troops  had  detained  him  first  at  De- 
troit, then  at  Chicago  and  lastly  at 
Rock  Island,  nearly  one-fourth  of  his 
force  of  one  thousand  regulars  having 
died  with  the  pestilence.  Independent 
of  this,  the  American  loss  in  the  war, 
including  volunteers  and  settlers  killed 
in  the  irregular  skirmishes  and  in  mas- 
sacres, was  not  over  two  hundred  and 
fifty.  The  financial  cost  to  the  nation 
and  state  aggregated  nearly  two  millions 
of  dollars. 

On  the  twenty-seventh  of  August, 
Chsetar  and  One-eyed  De  Kauray,  two 
Winnebago  braves,  who  were  desirous 
of  emphasizing  their  newly  inspired 
loyalty  to  the  Americans,  delivered 
Black  Hawk  and  the  prophet  into  the 
hands  of  Agent  Street,  at  Prairie  du 
Chien.  They  had  found  the  conspira- 
tors on  the  west  side  of  the  Wisconsin 
river,  about  two  miles  above  the  site 
of  Kilbourn  City. 

On  the  twenty-first  of  September  a 
treaty  of  peace  was  signed  at  Jefferson 
barracks ; and  Black  Hawk,  the  prophet 
and  Neapope — who  had  been  captured 
later — were,  with  others,  kept  as  host- 
ages for  the  good  behavior  of  the  small 
remnant  of  the  British  band  and  their 
Winnebago  allies.  They  were  taken  to 
Washington,  in  April,  1833,  and  incar- 
cerated as  prisoners  of  war  in  Fortress 
Monroe  until  June  4,  when  they  were 
discharged.  After  visiting  the  princi- 
pal cities  of  the  east,  where  Black  Hawk 
was  much  lionized  and  given  an  adequate 


appreciation  of  the  power  and  resources 
of  the  whites,  the  party  returned  to  Fort 
Armstrong,  where  they  arrived  about 
the  first  of  August.  Here  Black  Hawk’s 
pride  was  completely  crushed,  he  being 
formally  transferred  by  the  military  au- 
thorities to  the  guardianship  of  his 
hated  rival,  Keokuk.  This  ceremony 
the  fallen  chief  regarded  as  an  irrepar- 
able insult,  which  he  nursed  with  much 
bitterness  during  the  rest  of  his  days. 

The  aged  warrior,  with  the  weight  of 
seventy-one  years  upon  his  whitened 
head,  finally  passed  away  on  the  third 
of  October,  1838,  at  his  home  on  a 
small  reservation  specially  set  apart  for 
him  and  his  personal  followers,  on  the 
Des  Moines  river,  in  Davis  county, 
Iowa.  In  July  of  the  following  year  a 
Lexington  physician  stole  his  body  from 
its  grave,  and  the  skeleton,  after  pass- 
ing through  several  ownerships,  was,  in 
1855,  consumed  in  a fire  which  de- 
stroyed the  collections  of  the  Burling- 
ton (Iowa)  Historical  society. 

Black  Hawk  was  an  indiscreet  man. 
His  troubles  were  brought  about  by  his 
lack  of  proper  mental  balance,  aided 
largely  by  untoward  circumstances. 
He  was  of  a highly  romantic  tempera- 
ment. He  was  carried  away  by  mere 
sentiment  and  so  weak  as  to  be  per- 
sistently deceived  by  tricksters.  But 
he  was  honest,  as  Indians  go — often 
more  honorable  than  those  who  were 
his  conquerors.  He  was,  above  all 
things,  a patriot.  The  year  before  his 
death,  in  a speech  to  a party  of  whites 
who  were  making  a holiday  hero  of 
him,  he  thus  forcibly  defended  his 
motives  : “ Rock  river  was  a beautiful 


THE  BLACK  HAWK  WAR. 


195 


country.  I liked  my  town,  my  corn- 
fields and  the  home  of  my  people.  I 
fought  for  them.”  No  poet  could  have 
penned  for  him  a more  touching  epi- 
taph. 

Forbearance,  honorable  dealing  and 
the  exercise  of  sound  policy  upon  the 
part  of  the  whites  could  easily  have 
prevented  the  war,  with  its  enormous 
expenditure  of  blood  and  treasure. 
Squatters  had  been  allowed  to  violate 
treaty  obligations,  in  harassing  the  Sacs 
in  their  ancient  village  long  before 
the  government  had  sold  the  land  ; for 
six  thousand  dollars — a beggarly  sum 
to  use  in  securing  peace  with  a formid- 
able band  of  starving  savages,  grown 
desperate  from  ill-usage — Black  Hawk 
would  have  quietly  removed  his  people 
to  the  west  of  the  Mississippi,  in  1831, 
without  any  show  of  force;  at  Sycamore 
creek,  an  observance  of  one  of  the  old- 
est and  most  universally  established 
rules  of  war  would  have  procured  a 
peaceful  retreat  of  the  discouraged  in- 
vaders ; after  the  battle  of  Wisconsin 
Heights,  reasonable  prudence  in  keep- 
ing an  interpreter  in  camp,  in  a hostile 
country,  would  not  have  caused  Nea- 
pope’s  peaceful  mission  to  fail ; a hu- 
mane regard  for  the  ordinary  usages  of 
warfare,  on  the  part  of  the  reckless  sol- 
diers on  the  steamer  Warrior , at  the 
Bad  Axe,  would  have  secured  an  abject 
surrender  of  the  entire  hostile  band, 
which  was,  instead,  ruthlessly  butch- 
ered; while  the  sending  out  of  the  Sioux 
bloodhounds  upon  the  trail  of  the  few 
worn-out  fugitives,  in  the  very  country 
beyond  the  great  river  which  they  had 
been  persistently  ordered  to  occupy, 


capped  the  climax  of  a bloody  and 
costly  contest  characterized  on  our 
part  by  heartlessness,  bad  faith  and 
gross  mismanagement. 

It  is  generally  stated  in  the  published 
histories  of  those  states,  that  the  defeat 
of  Black  Hawk  opened  to  settlement 
northern  Illinois  and  the  southern  por- 
tion of  what  is  now  Wisconsin.  Unqual- 
ified, this  is  misleading.  It  doubtless 
proved  a powerful  agent  in  the  original 
development  of  that  enormous  and 
wealthy  section,  but  this  end  was  ac- 
complished indirectly.  As  we  have 
seen,  the  British  band  was  no  obstacle 
in  itself  to  legitimate  settlement,  the  fron- 
tiers of  which  were  far  removed  from 
Black  Hawk’s  village,  and  need  not  have 
crowded  it  for  some  years  to  come.  Ju- 
dicious treatment  would  at  any  time 
previous  to  1832  have  secured  the  per- 
manent and  contented  withdrawal  of  the 
Sacs  to  the  west  of  the  Mississippi. 
Although  the  natural  outgrowth  of  the 
excitable  condition  of  affairs  on  the 
border,  the  war  was  not  essential  as  a 
means  to  clear  the  path  of  civilization. 
What  it  did  accomplish  in  the  way  of 
territorial  development,  was  to  call 
national  attention,  in  a marked  manner, 
to  the  attractions  and  resources  of  a 
large  and  important  area  of  the  north- 
west. The  troops  acted  as  explorers  of 
a vast  tract  about  which  nothing  had 
been  hitherto  definitely  known  among 
white  men.  The  Sacs  themselves  were, 
previous  to  their  invasion,  unacquainted 
with  the  Rock  river  valley  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Kishwaukee,  and  had  but 
vague  notions  of  its  swamps  and  lakes, 
gathered  from  their  Winnebago  guides 


196 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


who  alone  were  fairly  well  informed  on 
the  subject.  From  Wisconsin  Heights  to 
the  Bad  Axe,  every  foot  of  the  trackless 
way  was  as  unknown,  even  from  hear- 
say, to  the  Sacs  and  their  pursuers  as 
the  interior  of  Africa  was  to  Stanley 
when  he  first  groped  his  way  across  the 
dark  continent.  During  and  immedi- 
ately following  the  war,  the  newspapers 
of  the  eastern  states  were  filled  with  de- 
scriptions, more  or  less  florid,  of  the 
scenic  charms  of  and  the  possibilities  for 
extractive  industries  in  the  Rock  river 
valley,  the  groves  and  prairies  on  every 
hand,  the  park-like  region  of  the  Four 
lakes,  the  Wisconsin  river  highlands, 
and  the  picturesque  mountains,  and  al- 
most impenetrable  forests  of  western 
Wisconsin.  Books  and  pamphlets  were 
issued  from  the  press  by  the  score,  giving 
sketches  of  the  war  and  accounts  of  the 
newly  discovered  paradise  : crude  pub- 
lications, curiously  filled,  as  a rule,  with 
gross  narrative  and  descriptive  errors, 
and  to-day  practically  unknown  except 


to  historical  specialists.  But  they  did 
the  work,  in  their  own  way  and  season, 
of  thoroughly  advertising  the  country 
and  at  once  attracted  a tide  of  immi- 
gration thither.  There  necessarily  fol- 
lowed, in  due  time,  the  opening  to  sale 
of  public  lands  heretofore  reserved  and 
the  purchase  of  what  remaining  territory 
was  still  in  the  possession  of  Indian 
tribes.  Again,  the  decisive  result  of  the 
war  completely  humbled  the  spirit  of 
the  mischief-making  Winnebagoes,  so 
that  they  never  resumed  their  arrogant 
tone,  and  were  quite  content  to  allow 
the  affair  to  remain  the  last  of  the  Indian 
uprisings  in  either  Illinois  or  Wisconsin. 
This  incidental  crushing  of  the  Winne- 
bagoes and  the  broad  and  liberal  adver- 
tising given  to  the  extended  theater  of 
disturbance,  were  therefore  the  two  prac- 
tical and  immediate  results  of  the  Black 
Hawk  war,  the  consequence  of  which 
was  to  at  once  give  to  the  development  of 
the  new  territory  an  enormous  impetus. 

Reuben  G.  Thwaites. 


THE  BEGINNINGS  OF  CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE 

UNITED  STATES. 


The  constitution  of  the  United  States 
is  in  many  respects  anomalous.  Many 
governments  have,  indeed,  existed  under 
written  forms,  in  the  nature  of  compacts, 
articles  of  federation  and  the  like.  But 
up  to  the  time  our  constitution  was 
adopted,  no  great  people  with  a con- 
scious purpose  of  overcoming  great 
elements  of  disunion  and  of  making  of 
themselves  a mighty  nation,  had  pre- 


pared for  themselves  a written  form  ofj 
government.  Even  in  that  day  when 
social  and  practical  philosophers  dwelt 
constantly  on  the  theory  of  a social 
compact  as  the  origin  of  all  govern- 
ment, such  attempts  were  regarded  as 
visionary  and  impracticable,  the  work  of 
doctrinaires  rather  than  of  wise  states- 
men. But  the  necessity  that  dictated 
this  instrument  was  imperative,  and  so 


CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES. 


197 


well  was  it  responded  to  that  it  yielded 
what  Gladstone  has  called  “ the  most 
wonderful  work  ever  struck  off  at  a 
given  time  by  the  brain  and  purpose  of 
man.”  Many  of  those  who  did  the 
most  effective  work  in  the  great  con- 
vention were  reproached  with  a strong 
leaning  toward  the  British  constitution, 
and  to  every  one  trained  in  the  noble 
system  of  English  law  such  a leaning 
was  most  natural.  That  government, 
based  upon  a series  of  great  statutes  from 
Magna  Charta  down  to  the  present  day, 
and  upon  a vast  body  of  precedents  ac- 
cumulated during  the  long  history  of  the 
country,  was  but  the  embodiment  of  the 
genius  of  English  la'#  It  possessed  on 
its  face  an  elasticity  which  fitly  subserved 
the  ends  of  progress,  and  a fixity  which 
had  proved  an  unfailing  barrier  to  the 
aggressions  of  tyranny.  That  this  was 
fully  appreciated  by  the  great  lawyers 
is  certain.  But  some  of  them  were 
moved  by  other  considerations  than  the 
mere  insurance  of  national  strength. 
The  great  chancellor  of  New  Jersey 
could  not  forget  that  there  was  danger 
that  the  individual  existence  of  his  own 
state  might  be  swallowed  up  in  the  cen- 
tral government.  Other  representatives 
of  the  smaller  states  readily  adopted 
the  same  views,  and  of  the  least  en- 
croachment upon  the  privileges  and 
prerogatives  of  their  states  they  were 
exceedingly  jealous.  Many  and  varied 
were  the  interests  brought  together  in 
the  endeavor  to  fix  in  a single  instru- 
ment the  whole  force  and  scope  of  the 
central  government,  and  very  difficult 
was  the  task  of  so  limiting  and  defining 
its  powers  that  the  future  should  know 


no  problem,  save  the  simple  one  of  how 
to  live  worthy  of  so  perfect  a system. 

Doubtless  the  makers  of  the  consti- 
tution gave  little  thought  to  those  who 
should  come  after  them,  not  with  open 
alterations  and  changes — for  they  pro- 
vided for  all  such  things — but  merely 
with  constructions  and  explanations  of 
their  work.  Surely,  however,  it  must 
have  suggested  itself  to  some  of  them, 
for  to  all  who  are  familiar  with  legal 
procedure  the  construction  of  statutory 
enactments  is  necessarily  familar.  Very 
few  important  statutes  escape  attempts 
to  wrest  them  from  their  right  meaning, 
to  introduce  new  ideas  into  them  and 
to  make  the  simplest  language  ambigu- 
ous. The  test  of  the  skillful  draughts- 
man has  ever  been  the  immunity  of  his 
state  papers  from  construction  and  of 
his  legal  acts  from  litigation.  Such  a 
masterhand  as  Thomas  Jefferson’s  drew 
paper  after  paper  that  to  this  day  know 
no  glosses  or  constructive  decisions. 
Surely,  it  might  have  beeft  hoped  that 
this  document  might  escape  and  prove 
so  rounded  in  form  and  so  close  of  tex- 
ture that  the  most  tenacious  mosses 
and  lichens  might  despair  of  finding 
lodgment  upon  it.  But  what  the  perfec- 
tion of  its  draught  would  seem  to  have 
precluded  the  immensity  of  the  interests 
involved  and  the  extreme  diversity  of 
views  to  be  satisfied  early  effected. 

Had  it  escaped  opposition  until  it 
was  adopted  and  the  nation  had  begun 
its  life  under  it,  then,  indeed,  the  re- 
sult might  have  been  different.  But  it 
failed  to  commend  itself  to  the  whole 
people,  and  its  initial  struggle  was  for 
its  very  existence.  To  secure  its  adop- 


198 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


tion  it  was  necessary  to  enter  largely 
into  the  most  careful  and  thorough  ex- 
position of  its  import  and  of  its  claims 
upon  the  people  for  adoption.  This  led 
to  the  first  great  series  of  constructive 
glosses  comprised  in  the  Federalist,  and 
written  almost  entirely  by  two  of  the 
leading  spirits  in  the  convention  that 
gave  it  birth.  This  exposition  was  sin- 
gularly systematic  and  complete,  and  is 
to  this  day  the  great  repository  of  the 
principles  of  one  great  school.  Hamil- 
ton had  leaned  to  the  extreme  of  cen- 
tralization. The  English  polity  was 
constantly  before  his  eyes,  and  his  in- 
clinations led  him  to  conform  the  one 
system  to  the  other  as  far  as  the  very 
different  circumstances  would  allow. 
There  was,  indeed,  one  great  check 
upon  him.  He  wrote  to  persuade  those 
opposed,  both  to  the  constitution  itself 
and  to  that  British  system  which  he  so 
approved.  Had  he  been  in  the  act  of 
formulating  a series  of  laws  of  con- 
struction to  *guide  his  own  followers  in 
the  still  unknown  future  when  Federal- 
ism and  Republicanism  were  to  be 
pitted  against  each  other  in  a bitter 
faction  fight,  doubtless  the  treatment 
he  would  have  adopted  would  have 
been  far  other.  The  value  to  students 
of  the  constitution  would  have  been,  on 
the  other  hand,  far  less.  Madison,  so 
soon  to  be  arrayed  on  the  opposite  side 
of  every  question,  was  now  no  check 
upon  Hamilton  in  his  execution  of  the 
major  part  of  the  work.  He  was  very 
thoroughly  in  sympathy  with  the  scheme 
and  method  of  the  Federalist,  and, 
indeed,  though  for  so  long  a time  the 
shadow  of  Mr.  Jefferson,  he  showed  in 


his  last  years,  when  the  weight  of  that 
dominant  spirit  was  removed,  the  same 
tendencies  towards  a vigorous  central 
power  which  characterized  his  more 
independent  early  life. 

When  once  the  constitution  was 
adopted,  all  theorizing  was  forgotten  in 
the  absorbing  wrork  of  testing  by  prac- 
tical trial  the  working  of  the  new  instru- 
ment. It  was  a tremendous  task.  A 
complete  new  form  of  government  was 
to  be  put  to  work  upon  the  wreck  of  a 
similar  federation  that  had  died  of  inan- 
ition. The  most  hopeful  stood  with 
anxious  hearts  and  wraited  the  result. 
The  influence  of  Washington  gave  the 
undertaking  the  p^ple’s  confidence,  the 
genius  of  Hamilton  put  it  upon  a sound 
financial  basis,  the  wisdom  and  restraint 
of  the  whole  people  gave  it  the  needed 
opportunity  to  get  under  way,  and 
while  the  whole  world  watched  and 
wondered  the  distracted  and  war-worn 
colonies  took  their  place  in  the  sister- 
hood of  nations. 

But  even  the  powers  of  Washington 
were  too  feeble  to  prevent  the  radical 
differences  of  opinion  among  men,  states 
and  sections  from  growing  into  discus- 
sion as  trial  grew  into  success.  The 
last  days  of  his  administration  were 
turbid  with  partisan  strife  and  troubled 
with  the  vilest  personal  criticism.  No 
sooner  had  Washington  retired  from 
office  than  all  the  smothered  fires  burst 
forth.  It  is  difficult  at  this  day  to  un- 
derstand the  tremendous  effect  of  for- 
eign sympathies  in  moulding  the  feel- 
ings and  political  conduct  of  all  men  at 
that  time.  Whether  a man  sided  with 
France  or  England  determined  his  po- 


CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES. 


193 


litical  status.  This  really  had  its  raison 
d'etre  not  in  any  real  love  for  the  two 
countries  but  rather  to  the  fact  that  the 
one  was  in  the  course  of  a struggle  for 
liberty  and  democracy,  while  the  other 
was  the  object  of  a dislike  naturally  en- 
gendered by  the  bitter  struggle  of  the 
Revolution,  and  was  now  the  ready  ex- 
ample of  effective  free  government 
under  a strong  head.  The  country 
was  already  split  into  two  hostile 
camps.  The  administration  still  held 
the  honorable  appellation  of  Federalist, 
won  in  the  fight  for  the  adoption  of  the 
constitution.  The  opposition  had  as 
yet  only  a negative  existence  ; they  were 
without  a name  or  a platform.  In  this 
case  they  had  thrust  upon  them  the 
distasteful  epithet  of  Anti-federalist, 
distasteful  alike  for  its  older  associa- 
tion and  its  negative  character.  For  a 
platform  they  as  yet  simply  opposed  the 
administration.  This  would  plainly 
never  do.  The  leaders  saw  it  was 
necessary  to  form  a nucleus  or  they 
could  never  hope  to  play  the  important 
part  in  the  country  to  which  they 
aspired.  Mr.  Jefferson  was  particularly 
active  in  this  matter,  and  his  endeavors 
to  convert  these  freelances  into  a party 
soon  won  for  him  the  position  of  ac- 
knowledged leader. 

Mr.  Adams  was  by  nature  incapable 
of  mere  policy.  He  well  nigh  justified 
Franklin’s  famous  saying,  that  he  was 
“always  an  honest  man,  often  a wise 
one,  but  sometimes  wholly  out  of  his 
senses.”  Instead  of  beginning  a concil- 
iatory course  toward  the  fast  growing 
opposition,  he  was  only  more  severe  upon 
the  party  he  disagreed  with  because 


they  persisted  in  their  opposition.  It 
was  a bad  omen  that  he  should  have 
opened  his  career  as  chief  executive 
with  the  declaration  that  the  French 
Revolution,  the  darling  of  every  Anti- 
federalist, “ possessed  not  one  principle 
in  common  ” with  our  own.  Things 
went  from  bad  to  worse.  The  opposi- 
tion grew  fiercer,  the  administration  but 
the  more  determined.  The  high-handed 
measures  of  the  Federalists  finally  cul- 
minated in  the  passage  of  the  two  acts 
known  as  the  alien  and  sedition  laws. 
They  were  painfully  extreme  measures. 
No  one  can  be  found  to-day  to  justify 
them,  and  they  brought  an  inevitable 
doom  upon  the  party  that  proposed  and 
carried  them.  Throughout  the  country 
they  awoke  murmurs.  Not  even  staunch 
Federal  New.  England  was  free  from  them, 
Kentucky  and  Virginia  broke  out  into 
open  clamor,  vague,  inarticulate,  blind 
at  first — vain  mouthings  of  local  assem- 
blies got  hastily  together — but  growing 
daily  more  and  more  audible  and  soon 
to  become  so  fairly  set  forth  in  good 
plain  Anglo  Saxon  that  all  men  should 
take  note  of  them  then  and  for  a long 
time  to  come.  Mr.  Jefferson,  ever  on  the 
alert,  did  not  miss  this  great  opportunity. 
In  the  cavilling  and  complaining  at  the 
adoption  of  the  constitution,  a set  of 
amendments  was  finally  precipitated 
from  the  turgid  mass  sent  up  by  the  vari- 
ous states.  Out  of  these — ten  in  num- 
ber— the  last,  merely  a better  ordered 
form  of  one  substantially  suggested  by 
Massachusetts,  Virginia,  both  Carolinas 
and  the  minorities  in  Pennsylvania  and 
Maryland,  declared  that  <‘the  powers, 
not  granted  to  the  United  States  by  the 


200 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY, 


constitution,  nor  prohibited  by  it  to  the 
states,  are  reserved  to  the  states  respec- 
tively and  to  the  people.”  This  was  but 
a formulation  of  a very  obvious  truth, 
but  it  was  now  to  be  endlessly  quoted 
as  the  great  back-bone  of  the  new  school 
of  construction;  for  “ states’  rights” 
was  now  about  to  be  formally  promul- 
gated. Various  local  bodies  in  Virginia 
and  Kentucky  set  forth  in  lengthy  reso- 
lutions that  the  alien  and  sedition  acts 
were  unconstitutional.  Mr.  Jefferson 
and  his  compeers  laid  hold  of  these  man- 
ifestations of  feeling  and  proceeded  to 
form  a programme  for  the  winter  cam- 
paign. John  Breckinridge,  a prominent 
Anti-federalist  of  Kentucky  and  soon  to 
become  the  leader  of  the  party  in  that 
state,  went  to  Virginia  in  the  autumn  of 
this  year,  1798,  and  held  a consultation 
with  Mr.  Jefferson  and  Colonel  Wilson 
Carey  Nicholas  on  this  subject.  Colonel 
Nicholas  was  then  a young  man.  In 
after  years  he  became  governor  of  the 
state  and  was  even  now  ^prominent  and 
highly  connected.*  Unfortunately  we 
are  not  sufficiently  informed  of  what 
took  place  at  this  meeting.  Mr.  Jeffer- 
son has  claimed  that  he  drew  a set  of 

* He  was  the  son  of  the  distinguished  Robert  Car- 
ter Nicholas.  His  eldest  brother,  George  Nicholas, 
played  an  important  part  on  the  side  of  the  consti- 
tution in  the  Virginia  convention , after  which  he  re- 
moved to  Kentucky,  where  he  was  prominent  in  all 
the  affairs  of  that  state  and  the  greatest  rival  of  Mr. 
Breckinridge  at  the  bar  and  in  the  forum.  Another 
brother,  John  Nicholas,  was  now  in  congress,  having 
been  elected  to  the  place  that  Mr.  Breckinridge  re- 
signed when  he  removed  from  Virginia  to  Kentucky 
some  time  before.  He  was  inclined  towards  Feder- 
alism and  thereby  hampered  in  Virginia,  but  he  was 
opposed  to  the  alien  and  sedition  laws,  and  his  most 
memorable  achievement  was  his  speech  in  favor  of 
their  repeal. 


resolutions  and  entrusted  them  to  Mr. 
Breckinridge  to  present  to  his  legisla- 
ture. The  only  resolutions  found  in  Mr. 
Jefferson’s  papers  differ  radically  from 
those  passed  in  Kentucky,  and  it  is  prob- 
able that  this  meeting  did  no  more  than 
fix  a general  line  of  action,  and  lead  to  a 
tentative  set  of  resolutions  which  Mr. 
Breckinridge  afterwards  altered  on  his 
own  responsibility.  About  this  time 
Mr.  Jefferson  wrote  to  Mr.  Madison  urg- 
ing that  he  prepare  a similar  set  for  the 
Virginia  house.  This  was  done  and  the 
draft  entrusted  to  John  Taylor  of  Caro- 
lina, to  be  introduced  into  that  house. 
On  the  tenth  day  of  November,  1788, 
the  resolutions  were  introduced  into  the 
Kentucky  house,  and  being  passed  al- 
most unanimously,  were  concurred  in  by 
the  senate  on  the  thirteenth  of  the  same 
month  and  promptly  approved  by  the 
governor.  The  Virginia  resolutions 
passed  the  house  on  the  twenty-first  of 
December,  and  were  concurred  in  on 
the  twenty-fourth  of  the  same  month. 
Mr.  Madison,  in  a letter  to  Mr.  Jeffer- 
son, written  shortly  before  the  introduc- 
tion of  these  resolutions,  expressed  it  as 
his  opinion  that  they  ought  to  be  some- 
what general  in  terms,  so  that  other 
states  concurring  in  substance  would 
not  be  deterred  from  responding  to  them 
from  any  phraseology  which  they  might 
think  extreme.* 

In  pursuance  of  this  policy  the  tone 
of  these  resolutions  is  much  milder 
than  that  of  the  resolutions  adopted  in 
Kentucky,  and  these  again  are  milder 
than  the  draught  found  among  Mr.  Jef- 
ferson’s papers.  Mr.  Madison’s  expres- 

* Madison’s  Works,  Vol.  II.  p.  149. 


CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES.  201 


sion  is  that  the  states  are  bound  to  “ in- 
terpose,” while  Mr.  Jefferson’s  draught 
goes  so  far  as  to  say  that  upon  the 
assumption  of  powers  by  the  general 
government  “ which  have  not  been  del- 
egated, a nullification  of  the  act  is  the 
rightful  remedy,  that  every  state  has  a 
natural  right  in  cases  not  within  the 
compact  [casus  non  fcederis~\  to  nullify 
of  their  own  authority  all  assumptions  of 
power  by  others  within  their  limits.”  * 
But  it  must  be  remembered  that  none 
of  these  words  had  as  yet  any  peculiar 
meaning  attached  to  them  such  as  they 
came  to  have  in  later  times.  The  sim- 
ple intent  of  the  various  sets  of  resolu- 
tions was  to  enter  a formal  and  vigor- 
ous protest  against  the  high-handed 
measures  then  being  carried  through 
congress,  to  demand  a repeal  of  those 
already  passed,  and  by  inducing  the 
other  states  to  unite  in  the  protest  to 
render  the  repetition  of  such  measures 
impossible,  or  at  least  hazardous.  This 
was  the  ostensible  purport  of  these  re- 
solves. Behind  all  this  it  seems  highly 
probable  that  they  were  intended  for 
the  immediate  party  purposes  of  the 
Anti-federalists,  or,  more  strictly,  of  the 
Jeffersonians.  They  were  to  be  of  the 
nature  of  a platform  in  the  coming  con- 
test. There  was  probably  no  notion 
of  pressing  the  matter  to  extremities  at 
this  time.  Mr.  Jefferson  himself  says 
in  a letter  to  Mr.  Madison  (in  the  inter- 
val between  the  passage  of  the  Ken- 
tucky and  Virginia  resolutions),  on  No- 
vember 17,  1798:  “I  enclose  you  a 

draft  of  the  Kentucky  resolutions.  I 
think  we  shall  distinctly  affirm  all  the 

* Jefferson’s  Works,  Ed.  1853,  Vol.  IX,  p.  469. 


important  principles  they  contain  so  as 
to  hold  to  that  ground  in  future,  and 
leave  the  matter  in  such  a train  as  that 
we  may  not  be  committed  absolutely  to 
push  the  matter  to  extremities,  and  yet 
may  be  free  to  push  as  far  as  events  will 
render  prudent.”  J Under  date  of  No- 
vember 26,  he  wrote  to  John  Taylor, 
who  introduced  the  measure  : “ For  the 
present  I should  be  for  resolving  the 
Alien  and  Sedition  laws  to  be  against 
the  constitution  and  merely  void ; and 
I would  not  do  anything  at  this  moment 
which  would  commit  us  further,  but 
reserve  ourselves  to  shape  our  future 
measures  or  no  measures  by  the  events 
which  may  happen.  J ” In  the  view  of 
one  great  party,  at  least,  a principle  of 
constitutional  construction  had  been 
declared  and  the  time  was  not  ripe  for 
pushing  matters  to  extremities. 

The  resolutions  themselves  are  too 
well  known  to  require  citing  here.  A 
few  words  upon  the  obvious  questions  in 
regard  to  them  will,  however,  be  neces- 
sary. The  first  of  these  is  naturally 
what  exactly  was  the  intent  of  these 
resolutions.  Mr.  Madison  declares  that 
when  the  central  government  transcends 
its  powers,  then  the  states  shall  “ inter- 
pose.” What  he  meant  by  this,  he, 
himself,  declares  in  1835  to  have  been 
that  when  the  constitutional  compact 
shall  have  been  exceeded  in  a dangerous 
and  deliberate  manner,  that  then  the 
states  shall,  not  singly,  but  the  whole, 
or  a majority  of  them,  interpose  in  the 
constitutional  manner,  i.  e.,  by  means 
of  popular  conventions,  to  declare  the 

^Jefferson’s  Works,  IV,  p.  258. 

Iflbid,  IV,  p.  260 


202 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


action  of  the  general  government 
void,  and  if  necessary  to  reposses  them- 
selves of  their  original  rights  as  sovereign 
states.  This  is,  perhaps,  a consistent 
interpretation,  but  it  is  unfortunate  that 
it  was  not  more  distinctly  expressed ; 
but  then  it  was  said  at  the  time  that 
these  resolutions  were  meant  to  be  vague 
generalizations.  Von  Halst  long  ago 
pointed  out  that  the  word  “ interpose,” 
really  carried  all  the  force  of  “ nullify.”* 
It  is,  moreover,  apparent  that  Mr. 
Madison  must  have  radically  changed 
his  position  from  that  of  1787,  seeing 
that  he  did  not*  think  the  states  truly 
sovereign  in  their  individual  capacity 
at  the  time  of  the  drawing  up  of  the 
constitution.  There  have  been  those 
who  have  doubted  whether  he  had  not 
suffered  another  change  of  view  between 
that  time  and  the  time  of  this  explana- 
tion— brought  about  by  the  growth  of 
nullification  pure  and  simple  in  South 
Carolina. 

The  Kentucky  resolutions,  while  de- 
claring plainly  and  without  mincing  of 
words  that  these  laws  were  unconstitu- 
tional and  therefore  void  and  of  no 
force,  are  yet  open  to  the  same  interpre- 
tation that  Mr.  Madison  puts  upon  his 
own ; -and  he  claims  the  same  for  them, 
and,  indeed,  it  is  far  from  improbable 
that  this  was  what  was  intended.  The 
gravest  doubt  that  has  been  cast  upon 
this  theory  arises  from  some  of  the  ex- 
pressions used  by  Mr.  Breckinridge  in 
the  resolutions  of  the  Kentucky  house 
of  representatives  in  1799  ; but  in  the 
debate  upon  the  resolutions  of  1798  his 

* ‘ History  United  States,’  Vol.  I,  pp.  146-8  et 
seq\ 


remarks  tend  to  confirm  the  interpreta- 
tion offered  by  Mr.  Madison.f  It  is 
highly  probable  that  in  that  day  the 
absurdity  of  all  attempt  to  nullify  on 
the  part  of  a single  state  was  patent. 
To  such  clear-headed  statesmen  as  the 
leaders  in  this  affair,  it  was  no  doubt  a 
a question  admitting  of  little  discussion 
that  when  a proper  occasion  for  such 
action  arose,  one  state  could  not  stand 
alone.  Surely,  with  the  confidence  they 
had  in  the  people,  with  their  extreme 
Democratic  notions,  this  must  have  been 
so. 

From  this  point  of  view  there  was  lit- 
tle to  shrink  from.  The  constitution 
had  then  been  in  operation  some  nine 
years.  They  had  themselves  been 
among  the  authors  and  advocates  of  it. 
The  men  they  spoke  to  were  the  very 
men  who  had  given  it  the  sanction  req- 
uisite to  its  effectuation.  To  them  it 
was  not  sacred  as  it  has  since  grown  to 
every  loyal  heart  in  this  great  nation. 
It  was  the  work  of  their  hands;  it  was 
as  yet  only  on  trial ; if  it  failed,  was  it  a 
sacrilege  to  amend  it  here  and  there, 
provided  it  was  done  decently  and  in 
order  by  the  same  means  by  which  it 
was  originally  made  and  put  into  effect? 
A fair  allowance  for  the  differences  in 
judgment  may  make  this  a venial  of- 
fense, but  it  cannot  clear  it  from 
all  imputations  of  inferior  statecraft. 
Others  saw  then  with  fear  and  tremb- 
ling what  the  result  might  be.  This 
principle,  if  it  were  true,  might  well  lead 
to  endless  tinkering  with  the  constitu- 
tion, or  at  least  to  attempts  to  that  end, 

+ The  Frankfort  Kentucky  Paladium,  Nov.  20, 

i798. 


CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES. 


203 


and  a spirit  of  unrest  among  the  people 
as  its  least  dangerous  results.  But  far 
worse  things  might  well  spring  from  it, 
and,  indeed,  these  very  resolutions  be- 
came the  fulcrum  of  the  lever  whereby  it 
was  sought  to  overturn  the  Union. 
Washington  was  one  of  those  who 
looked  and  trembled.  In  a letter  to  La 
Fayette,  written  on  the  twenty-fifth  of 
December,  1798,  he  says  : “ The  con- 

stitution according  to  their  interpreta- 
tion of  it  would  be  a mere  cipher.”  And 
again,  he  wrote  to  Patrick  Henry  : 
“ Measures  are  systematically  and  per- 
tinaciously pursued  which  must  event- 
ually dissolve  the  Union  or  produce  co- 
ercion.” * 

There  is  another  argument  that  goes 
to  show  that  we  have  rightly  divined 
the  meaning  of  those  who  drew  these 
papers.  They  were  a protest  against 
the  laws  and  at  the  same  time  an  invi- 
tation to  the  other  States  to  join  them 
in  this  protest  and  thereby  secure  the 
repeal  of  the  laws.  The  address  of  the 
other  states  was  responded  to  by  eight, 
all  of  them  delivering  adverse  replies 
except  the  two  states  involved,  who  re- 
plied favorably  to  each  other.  Thus 
seven  states  gave  a decided  negative. 
These  were  the  New  England  States, 
New  York  and  Delaware.  Mr.  Madi- 
son says  in  a letter  at  this  time  that  it 
was  understood  that  North  Carolina 
was  about  to  reply  adversely.  This, 
however,  she  did  not  do,  but  with  six 
others  remained  silent.  The  seed  fell 
on  bad  ground.  When  this  was  seen  it 
was  at  first  decided  to  say  no  more,  but 
by  Mr.  Jefferson’s  advice  a “ solemn 

* ‘Washington’s  Works,’  Vol.  XI,  pp.  378-398. 


protest  ” was  made  by  resolution  in 
Kentucky,  by  Mr.  Madison’s  report  in 
Virginia,  and  the  matter  was  suffered  to 
drop.  Whether  anything  further  might 
have  resulted  had  the  Federalists  been 
able  to  push  matters  to  extremes,  is 
an  empty  speculation.  Mr.  Jefferson 
claimed  that  the  matter  was  left  open, 
and  that  the  series  of  resolutions  formu- 
lated a doctrine  which  he  was  prepared 
to  make  his  political  creed.  The  result 
was  the  repeal  of  the  obnoxious  laws 
and  the  election  of  Mr.  Jefferson  to  the 
Presidency.  The  first  alternative,  the 
appeal  to  congress,  succeeded ; there 
was  no  need  for  further  action.  More- 
over, so  complete  was  the  overthrow  of 
the  opponents  of  the  new  party  that  for 
many  years  to  come  it  had  no  grievance. 
As  the  favorite  dogma  of  the  ruling 
power,  “ states’  rights  ” was  now  to  be 
constantly  proclaimed  as  the  great  rule 
of  constitutional  construction  and  the 
great  check  upon  the  central  govern- 
ment— to  be  proclaimed,  indeed,  but 
violated  and  set  aside  whenever  con- 
venient, as  for  instance  in  the  case  of 
the  Louisiana  purchase  and  the  later 
expenditures  for  internal  improvements. 

The  replies  from  the  states  denying 
the  truth  of  the  propositions  set  forth 
in  these  resolutions  relied  mainly  on 
the  argument  that  the  judiciary  branch 
of  the  general  government  was  the 
proper  repository  under  the  constitu- 
tion of  the  powers  to  judge  of  infrac- 
tions and  violations  of  the  constitution, 
or  of  the  prerogatives  of  the  states. 
This  has  been  the  position  ever  since 
occupied  by  the  supporters  of  the 
theory  held  by  the  old  Federalist  party 


204 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


and  generally  known  as  loose  construc- 
tionists, which  term,  however,  does  not 
convey  a fair  idea  of  their  position.  In 
answer  to  the  argument  that  the  judic- 
iary, itself  part  of  the  general  govern- 
ment, cannot  be  made  a judge  of  differ- 
ences between  that  government  and  the 
individual  states,  it  has  generally  been 
judged  sufficient  to  reply  that  the  func- 
tions of  the  judiciary  are  completely 
distinct  and  separate  from  those  of  the 
legislative  branch,  that  it  is  one  of  the 
checks  imposed  upon  that  branch  and 
upon  the  executive  in  connection  with 
it,  and  that  it  was  called  into  being 
largely  for  this  very  purpose.  The  fact 
that  the  same  political  complexion,  so 
they  argue,  may  belong  to  two  or  all 
branches  of  the  government  cannot 
vitiate  the  fact  that  in  the  judiciary  w^as 
reposed  this  power,  nor  can  this  power 
be  usurped  or  taken  away  without  a 
palpable  violation  of  the  constitution 
and  subversion  of  the  government.* 
Thus  by  the  passage  of  these  resolu- 
tions was  the  great  political  contest  in- 
augurated. The  Kentucky  resolutions, 
both  on  account  of  their  superior  deci- 
sion and  the  authority  lent  by  Mr. 
Jefferson’s  relation  to  them,  have  been 
most  frequently  referred  to  as  the  ex- 
ponents of  the  doctrine  of  “ states’ 
rights.”  It  therefore  came  to  be  suffi- 
cient to  say  that  they  were  the  authority 
for  any  statement  to  make  that  state- 
ment command  respect  as  one  side  of  a 
great  debatable  question.  In  this  lies 
the  singular  importance  of  this  docu- 

*  For  replies  of  the  states  see  ‘Eliot’s  Debates,’ 
Vol.  IV,  where  may  be  found,  also,  the  resolutions  of 
1798-99,  and  ‘ Madison’s  Report  ’ of  1800. 


ment,  an  importance  that  hardly  at- 
taches to  any  other  enactment  of  any 
state  legislature,  or,  indeed,  to  any  act 
of  any  body  after  the  initiation  of  the 
government. 

Singularly  enough  Mr.  Jefferson  and 
Mr.  Breckinridge  were  destined  to  be 
the  principal  actors  in  the  first  testing 
of  the  doctrine  laid  down  in  the  resolu- 
tions of  1798,  and,  even  more  singularly, 
they  were  to  be  opposed.  This  hap- 
pened in  the  autumn  of  1803,  and  was 
in  connection  with  the  purchase  and 
occupation  of  Louisiana.  Mr.  Jefferson 
was  now  President,  and  Mr.  Brecken- 
ridge  in  the  senate  and  the  recognized 
leader  of  the  administration  in  that 
body.  Mr.  Jefferson,  who  was  generally 
honest  enough  to  see  just  where  the 
logical  deductions  from  his  theories  led, 
and  yet  much  given  to  yielding  theory 
to  the  urging  of  any  stern  practical 
necessity,  judged  it  necessary  to  have 
an  amendment  to  the  constitution  au- 
thorizing the  acquisition  of  foreign  ter- 
ritory since  the  constitution  is  silent 
on  that  point.  Three  important  letters 
on  this  subject  may  be  read  in  Mr.  Jef- 
ferson’s works  to  Mr.  Breckinridge, J 
Mr.  Madison J and  Mr.  Lincoln, § of 
dates  August  12,  25  and  30,  respectively. 
In  the  letters  to  Mr.  Madison  and  Mr. 
Lincoln  he  gives  drafts  of  what  he  thinks 
would  be  proper,  both  of  which  give 
authority  to  acquire  Florida  also.  They 
differ  considerably  and  are  plainly  ten- 
tative. He  again  wrote  to  Mr.  Breck- 
inridge on  the  thirteenth  of  August,  and 

+ ‘ Jefferson’s  Works,’  Vol.  IV,  p.  498. 

X ‘ Ibid,’  p.  501. 

§ ' Ibid,’  p.  504. 


CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES.  20o 


a draft  (in  Mr.  Jefferson’s  hand)  of  an 
amendment  on  this  subject,  found  among 
the  Breckinridge  papers,  may  have  been 
enclosed  at  this  time.  There  are  some 
reasons  to  think,  however,  that  it  was 
sent  to  Mr.  Breckinridge  in  April,  1806, 
when  he  was  attorney-general,  and  that 
it  was  the  result  of  an  unsettled  opinion 
on  the  part  of  the  President.  This  is 
the  simplest  form  of  the  draught,  and 
well  illustrates  Mr.  Jefferson’s  position. 
It  reads  as  follows  : 

Resolved,  By  the  senate  and  house  of  representa- 
tives of  the  United  States,  two-thirds  of  both  houses 
concurring,  that  the  following  amendment  to  the  con- 
stitution of  the  United  States  be  proposed  to  the 
legislatures  of  the  several  states,  which,  when  ratified 
by  three-fourths  of  the  said  legislatures,  shall  be  valid 
to  all  intents  and  purposes  as  a part  of  the  said  con- 
stitution: Lousiana,  as  ceded  by  France  to  the 

United  States,  is  made  a part  of  the  United  States. 

Whatever  qualms  of  conscience  Mr. 
Jefferson  may  have  felt,  his  agitation  of 
the  question  died  away  without  effecting 
anything.  Mr.  Breckinridge  seems  to 
have  squarely  differed  with  him  on  the 
question.  If  this  was  so,  it  is  hard  to 
see  how  he  reconciled  it  with  his  posi- 
tion in  ’98.  There  was  one  reason  that 
might  well  have  deterred  a party  leader 
in  congress  from  offering  such  an 
amendment.  The  proposing  of  such 
an  amendment  would  have  been  an  im- 
plied admission  that  such  an  amend- 
ment was  requisite  to  make  the  pur- 
chase valid.  It  would  require  two- 
thirds  of  both  houses  to  carry  it,  and 
it  was  most  doubtful  if  such  a vote 
could  be  obtained.  Mr.  Jefferson  wrote 
urgent  letters  to  the  leading  Democrats 
impressing  on  them  the  necessity  of  the 
presence  of  every  friend  of  the  treaty. 


Now,  if  the  measure  failed  in  this  form, 
it  would  be  a complete  loss  of  the  whole 
negotiation.  Although  the  Federalist 
party  had  become  almost  completely 
shattered,  they  still  held  a strong  min- 
ority in  congress,  and  the  trial  would 
have  been  hazardous.  As  the  event 
proved,  only  one  Federalist,  General 
Dayton,  voted  for  the  treaty.  Hence 
it  was  that  at  the  very  outset  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  resolutions  of  1798  were 
neglected  if  not  repudiated.  There  is 
some  ground  for  believing  that  Mr. 
Breckinridge  considered  the  second 
clause  of  section  three,  article  four  to  con- 
tain an  implied  authority  to  acquire  ter- 
ritory, insomuch  as  it  gave  to  congress 
“ the  power  to  dispose  of,  and  make  all 
needful  rules  and  regulations  respecting 
the  territory  or  other  property  belong- 
ing to  the  United  States.”  This  is  per- 
haps reasonable,  and  yet  hardly  the 
natural  ground  for  the  advocate  of  the 
resolutions  of  1798  to  take.  The  Presi- 
dent, in  consequence  of  the  pressure 
brought  to  bear  on  him,  gave  way,  and 
about  the  time  that  the  matter  came 
up,  being  still  in  a state  of  unrest,  he 
shifted  his  ground,  and  Mr.  Gallatin,  at 
his  request,  wrote  to  Mr.  Breckinridge 
in  the  senate  chamber  : 

Dear  Sir : I send  in  the  shape  of  a bill  the  sub- 

stance of  which  [what  ?]  the  President  seems  to  think 
necessary  in  order  to  authorize  him  to  occupy  and 
temporarily  govern  Louisiana.  Will  you  consult 
with  your  friends  and  decide  whether  authority  be 
necessary,  and,  if  so,  what  form  should  be  given  it  ? 

Yours  truly, 

Albert  Gallatin. 

Thursday  evening.* 

The  enclosed  bill  is  not  sufficiently 


Breckenridge  Papers,  MS. 


206 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


interesting  or  germane  to  the  point  now 
being  illustrated  to  be  quoted  at  length 
in  this  place.  It  simply  reveals  the 
painful  consciousness  on  the  part  of  the 
President  that  he  had  overstepped  the 
limits  allowed  him  by  his  own  theory  of 
the  constitution,  and  that  he  was  unwill- 
ing to  bear  the  burden  alone. 

The  principles  thus  so  severely 
“wounded  in  the  house  of  their  friends  ” 
came  in  for  a very  remarkable  and  un- 
looked for  reassertion  a few  years  later. 
Had  any  one  prophesied  that  the  Federal- 
sts  of  New  England  would  in  less  than  a 
score  of  years  be  the  mouthpiece  of  the 
doctrines  of  the  resolutions  of  ’98,  they 
would  have  been  laughed  to  scorn.  But 
this  very  revenge  time  did  take.  The 
embargo  and  the  war  of  1812  pressed 
heavily  on  the  commerce  of  New  Eng- 
land, and  things  having  gone  from  bad 
to  worse,  the  famous  Hartford  conven- 
tion of  twenty-six  delegates  from  these 
states  met  in  the  early  winter  of  1814  at 
the  call  of  the  Massachusetts  legislature. 
The  report  of  the  committee  which  rec- 
ommended the  call  of  this  convention, 
declared  that  “when  the  national  com- 
pact is  violated,  and  the  citizens  of  the 
state  are  oppressedby  cruel  and  unauthor- 
ized law,  this  legislature  is  bound  to  inter- 
pose its  power  and  wrest  from  the 
oppressor  his  victim.”  The  report  of 
the  convention  contained  the  follow- 
ing sentiment : 

In  case  of  deliberate,  dangerous  and  palpable  in- 
fractions of  the  constitution,  affecting  the  sovereignty 
of  the  the  state  and  liberties  of  the  people,  it  is  no1 
only  the  right  but  the  duty  of  such  a state  to  inter- 
pose its  authority  for  their  protection  in  the  manner 
best  calculated  to  secure  that  end.* 

* ‘Niles  Register,’  VII,  p.  308. 


Mr.  Madison  was  now  President,  and 
harassed  and  almost  in  despair  at  the 
dark  outlookou  every  side.  The  Hartford 
convention  was  in  his  eyes  the  dark  plot- 
tings of  a body  of  conspirators.  Rest- 
less and  uneasy,  he  watched  it  with 
armed  men,  and  to  his  ears  these  words 
came  like  the  wicked  voice  of  treason  ; 
and  yet  it  was  he  who,  sixteen  years 
before,  had  penned  the  third  resolution 
of  the  Virginia  draft,  declaring  : 

That  in  the  case  of  a deliberate,  palpable,  and  dan' 
gerous exercise  of  powers  not  granted  by  the  compact, 
the  states  who  are  parties  thereto  have  a right,  and 
are  in  duty  bound,  to  interpose  for  arresting  the  pro- 
gress of  the  evil,  and  for  maintaining  within  their 
respective  limits  the  authorities,  rights,  and  liberties 
appertaining  to  them.t 

The  one  is  scarcely  more  than  an 
echo  of  the  other.  Mr.  Madison, 
in  his  later  years,  when  he  wrote 
much  on  the  subject  of  “ states’ 
rights” — a propos  of  the  movement  in 
South  Carolina,  and  from  a stand  point 
on  the  side  of  the  general  government — 
constantly  urged  that  the  third  resolu- 
tion above  quoted  must  always  be  taken 
in  connection  with  the  seventh,  which 
professed  attachment  to  the  Union.  The 
parallel  to  this  is  to  be  found  in  this 
report,  which,  with  a stern  and  decided 
declaration  of  the  right  of  a state  to 
resist  oppression  at  one  and  the  same 
time,  counseled  forbearance  and  an 
avoidance  of  all  precipitate  measures, 
and  declared  that  in  the  judgment  of 
the  convention  the  time  for  such  action 
had  not  come.  In  one  particular  this 
convention  entirely  departed  from  the 
course  pursued  in  the  earlier  instance. 
Instead  of  urging  on  their  representa- 

t Ibid,  VII,  p.  308.  Mad.  Wks.,  Vol.  IV,  p.  506. 


CONSTITUTIONAL  CONSTRUCTION  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES. 


207 


tives  in  congress  that  they  make  an 
effort  for  the  righting  of  their  wrongs 
and  an  appeal  to  their  sister  states  to 
support  them  in  the  declaration  of  these 
rights,  they  proposed  a series  of  amend- 
ments to  the  constitution  setting  forth 
their  views.  They  had  tried  the  former 
method  in  vain,  the  appeal  to  the  states 
was  to  their  minds  an  empty  cry,  and 
this  last  method  was  at  least  a thing  to 
be  tried  before  a breach  should  be  made 
with  their  fellows. 

The  most  remarkable  thing  in  the 
whole  history  of  this  agitation  is, 
that  while  proceeding  upon  the  very 
principles  of  the  resolutions  of  1798, 
and  using  in  many  cases  language 
not  only  identical  in  meaning,  but  even 
in  form,  not  once  in  these  reports  is  the 
example  or  authority  of  those  documents 
named  or  quoted  in  any  way.  The  rea- 
son for  this  is  not  far  to  seek.  The  men 
involved  in  this  movement  were  the 
shattered  remnant  of  the  old  Federalist 
party.  That  party  had  long  since  out- 
lived its  mission.  From  being  the 
repository  of  many  noble  principles,  the 
champion  of  many  noble  measures,  it 
sank  through  too  great  greed  of  power 
into  a body  of  wranglers  and  obstruc- 
tionists. It  still  had  some  able  mem- 
bers, men  who  still  had  a living  hold 
of  the  principles  that  had  once  been  its 
possession  and  held  to  its  poor  skeleton 
by  the  splendor  of  its  traditions.  Its 
one  surviving  sentiment,  which  was 
still  strong  and  universal,  was  a hatred 
of  the  Republican  party,  of  all  its  leaders 
and  all  its  measures.  It  found  itself 
now  professing  that  party’s  old  princi- 
ples, but  it  was  as  unwilling  as  ever  to 


acknowledge  the  foundation  whence 
they  sprung.  Their  opponents,  mean- 
while, being  in  possession  of  the  central 
government,  were  not  so  eager  to  pro- 
fess such  sentiments  in  such  a form. 
They  at  least  saw  nothing  unconstitu- 
tional in  the  laws  now  complained  of, 
and  would  be  slow  to  see  the  analogy 
between  1798  and  1814.  Thus  partisan 
grounds  blinded  the  eyes  of  both  parties? 
and  the  one  shrunk  from  drawing  a pre- 
cedent from  the  other’s  action,  while  that 
other  looked  with  unmasked  condemna- 
tion on  the  reassertion  in  nearly  identi- 
cal language  of  their  great  fundamental 
party  platform.  So  easily  do  men  lose 
sight  of  the  abstract  principle  in  the 
concrete  forms  in  which  it  is  variously 
presented. 

The  country  was  not  again  stirred  by 
any  great  and  general  revival  of  these 
questions  till  the  beginning  of  the  great 
struggle  was  inaugurated  in  South  Car- 
olina. In  the  meantime  various  ques- 
tions turned  upon  the  theory  of  states’ 
rights  as  hitherto  laid  down.  It  was 
handled  in  a most  extraordinarily  elas  - 
tic manner.  Mr.  Madison  for  instance 
gave  his  consent  to  the  bank,  but  vetoed 
the  bill  for  applying  money  to  internal 
improvements,  and  so  on  through  many 
vicissitudes,  the  doctrine  was  now 
stretched  and  now  contracted.  When 
the  question  of  nullification  was  started 
in  the  tariff  discussion  in  South  Caro- 
lina, the  first  citation  was  the  Kentucky 
resolutions  of  1798.  The  doctrine 
thereof  was  modified  and  tinkered  with 
to  endless  variety  till  it  has  become  a 
difficult  thing  to  say  what  that  doctrine 
was  originally.  The  party  of  secession 


208 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


in  South  Carolina  finally  reduced  it  to 
a declaration  of  the  complete  and  inal- 
ienable right,  of  that  state,  at  least,  to 
withdraw  from  the  Union  whenever  and 
on  whatever  pretense  it  should  see  fit. 
This  conclusion  is  not  deducible  from 
the  fundamental  statements  contained 
in  the  deliverances  of  the  Kentucky  and 
Virginia  legislatures  in  1798,  1799  and 
1800,  and  has  been  combatted  by  Mr. 
Madison  and  many  devoted  Jefferso- 
nian Democrats. 

It  is  not  the  intention  of  this  paper, 
however,  to  push  the  discussion  so  far. 
Its  aim  has  been  merely  to  show  how 
early  the  party  cleavage  took  place  and 
that  from  the  beginning  two  well  de- 
fined schools  of  constitutional  construc- 
tion have  existed  side  by  side,  and, 
moreover,  to  point  out  that  the  Ken- 
tucky resolutions  of  1798  as  they  were 
the  earliest,  have  been  ever  regarded  as 
the  authoritative  formulation  of  the 
doctrines  of  the  strict  constructionists 
or  “ states  rights”  party.  The  party 
that  made  this  instrument  has  been  the 
only  one  that  has  survived  the  vicissi- 
tudes of  a century.  It  would  therefore 
appear  that  in  it  is  contained  a clear 
and  forceful  expression  of  one  view  of 


the  constitution  and  that  view  one  that 
has  always  commended  itself  to  a large 
proportion  of  the  people  of  this  coun- 
try. A powerful  testimony  to  this  con- 
clusion is  offered  by  the  action  of  the 
New  England  Federalists,  who  while 
holding  in  abhorrence  the  whole  policy 
of  their  opponents,  and  regarding  the 
declarations  contained  in  these  resolu- 
tions with  peculiar  dislike,  yet  in  the 
moment  of  extreme  pressure  from  the 
central  government  yielded  to  the  same 
considerations  which  prompted  their 
enunciation,  and  in  language  almost 
identical  published  the  selfsame  doc- 
trine. It  is  this  that  has  given  this 
series  of  resolutions  put  forth  by  a 
state  that  had  been  in  the  Union  barely 
half  a dozen  years,  and  was  still,  with 
the  exception  of  Tennessee,  the  only 
state  beyond  the  mountains,  an  im- 
portance of  the  highest  kind  in  every 
discussion  of  constitutional  limitation 
and  construction,  and  placed  it  on  a 
plane  with  that  most  masterly  series  of 
discussions  of  the  constitution  prepared 
by  Hamilton  and  Madison  with  infinite 
skill  and  labor. 

Ethelbert  D.  Warfield. 


GEN.  WASHINGTON  AND  A WESTMINSTER  ABBEY  IN  AMERICA.  209 


GENERAL  WASHINGTON  AND  A WESTMINSTER  ABBEY 

IN  AMERICA. 


The  idea  of  an  American  mausoleum 
or  pantheon  existed  at  the  date  of  the 
foundation  of  our  government,  and  a 
curious  evidence  of  this  fact  is  seen  in 
one  of  the  most  valuable  but  least 
known  of  our  public  records.  The 
plan  of  Washington,  which  was  made 
by  Major  Charles  L’Enfant,  and  upon 
which  the  city  was  begun  to  be  laid 
out,  is  hidden  away  among  the  old 
archives  of  the  government.  It  has 
never,  I think,  been  published,  and  it  is 
not  the  plan  which  was  afterwards  en- 
graved and  scattered  broadcast  over 
the  world  for  the  selling  of  lots.  This 
latter  plan  was  made  by  Andrew  Elli- 
cott, L’Enfant’s  lieutenant,  and  the  man 
who  took  charge  of  the  work  after  Major 
L’Enfant  had  his  trouble  with  the  com- 
missioners of  the  District  of  Columbia. 
Major  L’Enfant’s  plan  was  originated  in 
connection  with  General  Washington. 
It  contained  a number  of  ideas  which 
were  changed  by  Ellicott,  and  among 
these  was  a national  church  denoted  by 
a letter  on  the  map,  placed  where  the 
great  building  of  the  interior  depart- 
ment now  stands.  The  marginal  refer- 
ences on  the  side  of  the  map  state  : 

This  church  is  to  be  intended  for  national  pur- 
poses, such  as  public  prayer,  thanksgiving,  funeral 
orations,  etc.  It  is  not  to  be  assigned  to  any  par- 
ticular denomination  or  sect,  butj  is  to  be  equally 
open  to  all.  It  will  likewise  be  a proper  shelter  for 
such  monuments  as  were  voted  by  the  last  con- 


tinental congress  for  those  heroes  who  fell  in  the 
cause  of  liberty,  and  for  such  others  as  may  here- 
after be  decreed  by  the  voice  of  a grateful  nation. 

This,  it  will  be  remembered,  is  the  first 
plan  made  of  Washington  City,  and  it  is 
the  one,  with  few  modifications,  upon 
which  the  city  was  built.  In  construct- 
ing it  the  engineer  had  many  conversa- 
tions with  President  Washington  and 
his  cabinet;  and,  though  we  do  not  find 
the  Westminster  Abbey  idea  carried 
out,  they  must  have  considered  it  at 
the  time  and  approved  of  it. 

L’Enfant’s  plan  was  made  in  1790,  or 
two  years  before  the  generally  known 
one  of  Andrew  Ellicott.  It  is  now 
yellow  with  age,  and  the  lines  marking 
out  the  lots  have  paled  until  they  are 
almost  invisible.  In  several  places  the 
plan  has  been  torn,  and  the  ink  of 
certain  colors  in  the  handwriting  of  the 
margin  has  faded  out  entirely.  It  was 
originally  an  elegant  piece  of  work. 
The  writing  is  as  fine  as  that  of  copper 
plate  engraving,  and  the  paper  city 
shown  in  it  is  as  carefully  drawn  as 
though  it  came  from  the  experienced 
artists  of  the  government  bureau  of 
printing  and  engraving.  In  the  prepara- 
tion of  it,  L’Enfant  came  to  the  present 
site  of  Washington,  and  he  and  General 
Washington  rode  over  the  ground  on 
horseback  together.  They  spent  several 
weeks  in  discussing  and  arranging  the 


210 


MAGAZINE  Of  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


details  of  the  plan,  stopping  the  while 
in  Georgetown  and  Washington,  now 
and  then  riding  to  Mount  Vernon  on 
horseback  at  night  and  coming  back 
the  following  day.  When  the  details 
had  been  arranged,  and  among  them 
this  plan  of  a national  American  West- 
minister Abbey  or  church,  L’  Enfant 
made  this  finished  drawing  of  it,  and 
it  was  approved  by  both  Washington 
and  the  district  commissioners.  It 
would  probably  have  been  carried  out 
had  not  L’Enfant  become  involved  in 
quarrels  with  the  commissioners,  and 
because  one  of  them  built  a house  in 
the  centre  of  one  of  his  projecting 
avenues,  pulled  it  down  and  thereby 
aroused  such  a discussion  and  trouble 
that  the  President  was  compelled  to 
dismiss  him  from  the  public  service. 

He  left  the  work,  taking  his  plan 
with  him,  and  it  was  not  recovered 
again  by  the  government  until  his 
death.  He  refused  to  accept  any  pay 
from  the  government  for  his  services. 
He  sent  back  an  order  which  the  com- 
missioners sent  him  for  five  hundred 


guineas  and  refused  a lot  in  the  new 
city,  which  was  donated  to  him. 
President  Madison  once  sent  him  a 
commission  as  professor  of  engineering 
at  West  Point,  and  this  he  also  re- 
turned with  the  indorsement  “ not  ac- 
cepted ; but  not  refused.” 

In  Monroe’s  administration  he  began 
the  construction  of  Fort  Washington,  but 
here  he  also  became  involved  in  trouble 
during  the  work,  and  was  dismissed.  He 
was  thirty-seven  years  old  when  he  left 
the  work  of  laying  out  Washington  to 
Ellicott,  and  he  was  seventy  when,  on  the 
fourth  of  June,  1824,  he  died  at  Blad- 
ensburg,  within  the  sight  of  the  great 
capital  whose  plan  he  had  conceived, 
but  which  was  then  but  little  more  than 
a village.  He  was  buried  in  the  garden 
of  an  estate  in  the  house  of  which  he 
was  living  as  a sort  of  a charity  guest, 
and  to-day  the  founder  of  Washington 
has  no  other  monument  than  the  tall 
cedar  tree  which  bends  almost  rever- 
ently over  his  myrtle-covered  grave. 

Frank  G.  Carpenter. 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “BOYCOTTING.” 


Ill 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “ BOYCOTTING.” 


Many  of  the  questions  of  the  day, 
which  vex  statesmen  and  endanger  the 
politicians’  tenure  of  office,  prove, 
when  viewed  in  the  light  of  history,  to 
be  “ old  friends  with  new  faces.”  They 
are  the  same  old  problems  which  per- 
plexed our  forefathers — slightly  modi- 
fied by  the  altered  condition  of  society 
— changed  somewhat  in  appearance 
(even  as  we  no  longer  wear  the  costume 
of  our  ancestors) — but  yet  with  so  many 
features  and  points  of  resemblance 
that  no  man,  learned  in  historical 
lore,  can  doubt  their  identity.  There- 
fore, it  is  the  part  of  wise  men,  when 
the  people,  or  a part  thereof,  unite  in  a 
movement  which,  from  the  numbers  of 
those  concerned  or  from  the  importance 
of  the  doctrines  promulgated,  becomes 
of  national  importance — it  is  then  the 
the  part  of  wise  men  to  consult  the 
chart  of  history  and  to  seek  from  it  in- 
formation of  the  shoals  and  quicksands 
that,  under  like  circumstances,  have  once 
before  threatened  disaster  to  the  ship 
of  state,  and  to  learn  by  what  currents 
and  channels  its  former  pilots  guided  it 
safely  into  harbor. 

Valuable  as  the  chart  of  history  is  to 
every  citizen,  it  does  not,  however,  set 
forth,  by  clearly  defined  lines,  any  course 
of  proceedure  guaranteed  to  lead  safely 
and  surely  out  of  present  difficulties.  It 
gives  a warning  of  dangers  which  have 


been  encountered  in  past  years  rather 
than  a map  of  a channel  which  it  is 
safe  to  follow  to-day,  and  therefore  it 
must  be  read  with  no  slavish  affection 
for  preconceived  notions,  but  with  a 
broad  and  critical  scrutiny. 

It  is  the  part  of  the  student  to  gather 
and  marshal  the  records  of  past  ages — 
to  create  nothing  ; only  to  bring  out 
what  is.  It  is  the  part  of  the  philoso- 
pher to  deduce,  by  sound  processes  of 
reasoning  and  by  trustworthy  compari- 
sons and  impartial  analyses,  such  teach- 
ings as  may  be  applicable  to  present 
affairs.  And  it  is  the  province  of  the 
citizen  and  statesman,  guided  by  the 
previous  labors  of  the  student  and  the 
philosopher,  to  comprehend  the  pur- 
poses and  opinions  of  masses  of  men, 
to  observe  and  measure,  with  accuracy, 
and  to  direct,  with  wisdom  and  patriot- 
ism, the  instrumentalities  by  which 
parties  or  organizations  seek  to  carry 
out  their  principles  and  render  their 
policy  acceptable  to  the  country.  The 
writer  ranks  himself  with  the  first  named 
class.  He  is  but  a student,  willing  to 
contribute  his  share  towards  the  solu- 
tion of  the  problem  which  the  dissatis- 
faction of  the  laboring  classes  has  pro- 
duced. He  would  confine  himself  to  the 
mere  statement  of  historical  facts  and 
leave  to  his  readers  the  parts  of  the 
philosopher  and  statesman. 


212 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


WHAT  IS  A BOYCOTT  ? 

In  the  recent  trials  of  the  “ boycot- 
ters”  in  New  York,  the  attorneys  for  the 
prosecution  and  the  defense  were  em- 
barrassed by  the  lack  of  an  authoritative 
definition  of  the  word  “ boycott.”  All 
knew  what  the  thing  was,  but  a defini- 
tion, authoritative  under  the  rules  of 
law,  was  desired. 

It  was  this  difficulty  that  suggested  to 
the  writer  the  propriety  of  research  into 
the  history  of  the  term  ; and  the  ignor- 
ance then  exhibited  is  his  excuse  for  the 
number  of  his  quotations. 

In  the  year  1881  there  was  printed  in 
the  city  of  New  York  a volume  entitled 
‘ Talks  about  Ireland,  by  James  Red- 
path,’  and  from  that  book  the  following 
citations  have  been  taken. 

In  August,  1880,  Mr.  Redpath*  was  at 
the  village  of  Deenane,  in  Connemara^ 
Ireland.  He  was  called  upon  for  a 
speech.  “ I saw  before  me,”  he  says, 
“a  roadside  full  of  bare-footed  women 
and  frieze-coated  men.  I knew  that 
there  was  a fierce  spirit  brooding  among 
them,  and  that  if  some  bloodless,  but 
pitiless,  policy  was  not  advocated, 
there  would  soon  be  killing  of  landlords 
and  land-agents  all  over  the  west.  I 
therefore  made  up  my  mind  to  advocate 
a thorough  system  of  social  ostracism — 
I called  it  social  excommunication — for 
the  protection  of  the  tenants  whom 
American  charity  had  kept  alive  since 
the  preceding  autumn.” 

In  the  speech  which  followed,  Mr. 
Redpath  said  : 

* Mr.  Redpath  is  now  in  charge  of  the  North 
American  Review. 


Well,  now,  let  me  talk  very  plainly  about  two  ten- 
der topics.  I honor  every  man  who  sheds  his  blood 
for  his  country  or  who  is  willing  to  do  it . But  there 
is  no  need  of  bloodshed.  You  can  get  all  your  rights 
without  violence. 

How  are  you  going  to  conquer  ? 1 told  you  not 
by  bloodshed.  Don't  play  into  the  hands  of  the 
landlords  in  that  way.  Do  nothing  that  the  consta- 
bles or  military  can  arrest  you  for  doing.  If  you  do, 
England  can  throw  fifty  to  one  against  you,  and  that 
is  what  the  landlords  want.  Organize  1 If  every 
tenant  farmer  stood  shoulder  to  shoulder, the  English 
government  would  be  powerless  to  help  the  landlords. 
They  could  never  evict  a whole  people.  Be  united, 
do  no  violence,  and  by  the  operation  of  the  law  and 
the  result  of  your  union  the  landlords  will  soon  be 
thrown  into  the  courts  of  bankruptcy. 

Call  up  the  terrible  power  of  social  excommunica- 
tion. If  any  man  is  evicted  from  his  holding,  let  no 
man  take  it.  If  any  man  is  mean  enough  to  take  it, 
don’t  shoot  him  but  treat  him  as  a leper.  Encircle 
him  with  scorn  and  silence.  Let  no  man  nor  woman 
talk  to  him  or  to  his  wife  or  children.  If  his  children 
appear  in  the  streets,  don’t  let  your  children  speak  to 
them.  If  they  go  to  school,  take  your  children  away. 
If  the  man  goes  to  buy  goods  in  a shop,  tell  the  shop- 
keeper that  if  he  deals  with  him  you  will  never  trade 
with  him  again.  If  the  man  or  his  folks  gotochurch, 
leave  it  as  they  enter.  If  ever  death  comes,  let  the 
man  die  unattended,  save  by  the  priest,  and  let  him 
be  buried  unpitied.  The  sooner  such  men  die  the 
better  for  Ireland  ! If  the  landlord  takes  the  land 
himself,  let  no  man  work  for  him.  Let  his  potatoes 
remain  undug,  his  grass  uncut,  his  crop  wither  in  the 
field.  This  dreadful  power,  more  potent  than 
armies — the  power  of  social  excommunication — has 
been  most  used  in  our  time  by  despots  in  the  interest 
of  despotism.  Use  it,  you,  for  justice  1 No  man 
can  stand  up  against  it  except  heroes — and  heroes 
don’t  take  the  land  from  which  a man,  has  been 
evicted.  In  such  a war  the  only  hope  of  success  is 
to  wage  it  without  a blow — but  without  pity. 

You  must  act  as  one  man.  Bayonets  shrivel  up 
like  dry  grass  in  presence  of  a people  that  will  neither 
fight  them  nor  submit  to  tyranny. 

In  September,  1880,  at  Clare  Morris, 
County  Mayo,  Mr.  Redpath  delivered 
the  following  address  : 

The  remedy  for  Ireland’s  ills  is  so  simple  that,  like 
the  prophet’s  order  “ Go  wash  in  the  Jordan  and  be 
clean,”  I fear  it  may  seem  less  attractive  than 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “ BOYCOTTING 


213  • 


learned  disquisitions When 

an  honest  tenant,  unable  to  pay  his  rent  on  account 
of  bad  crops,  is  evicted  from  his  farm , let  no  man 
take  it ; but  if  any  man  does  take  it,  do  not  speak  to 
him  nor  buy  from  him  nor  sell  to  him  nor  work  for 
him  nor  stand  at  the  same  altar  with  him— let  him  feel 
that  he  is  accursed  and  cast  out  from  all  your  sym- 
pathies, he  and  every  member  of  his  family.  Unless 
you  do  so,  there  is  no  hope  for  you;  because,  as  long 
as  tenants  will  hire,  landlords  will  evict. 

This  great  reform,  as  you  all  see,  can  be  achieved 
without  shedding  a drop  of  blood,  without  violence, 
without  breaking  any  law — English,  human  or  divine. 

In  a speech,  delivered  at  Clonbur, 
County  Galway,  on  Friday,  Septem- 
ber 25,  1880,  Mr.  Redpath  said : 

To  destroy  the  power  of  the  landlord  you  must 
refuse  to  help  him  in  his  cruel  work  of  eviction  and 
confiscation.  If  a landlord  evicts  a poor  tenant,  do 
not  take  that  farm,  nor  work  on  it  for  anyone  ; you 
violate  no  law  in  refusing  to  take  or  to  labor  on  such 
a farm;  but  you  do  rivet  the  chains  of  your  people  if 
you  do  not  refuse  to  take  it  or  do  not  refuse  to  work 
on  it. 

But,  if  a man  does  take  a farm  from  which  a poor 
tenant  has  been  evicted,  I conjure  you  to  do  him 

no  bodily  harm Act  towards  him  as 

the  queen  of  England  would  act  to  you  if  she  lived 
in  Clonbur  ! Act  toward  his  wife  as  the  queen  of 
England  would  act  towards  your  good  wife  if  she 
lived  in  Clonbur ! Act  toward  his  children  as  the 
queen  of  England  would  act  toward  your  children  ! 
The  queen  of  England  would  not  speak  to  you,  she 
would  not  speak  to  your  wife,  she  would  not  speak 
to  your  children.  She  would  not  regard  you  nor 
your  wife  nor  your  children  as  her  equals.  Now, 
imitate  the  queen  of  England  and  don’t  speak  to  a 
landgrabber,  nor  a landgrabber’s  wife,  nor  to  a land- 
grabber's  children.  They  are  not  your  equals.  Do 
as  the  queen  of  England  does  and  you  will  violate  no 
law  of  England 

If  a landgrabber  comes  to  town  and  wants  to  sell 
anything,  don’t  do  him  any  bodily  harm  ; only  act 
as  the  rich  landlords  in  Mayo  and  Galway  have 
acted  toward  my  friend  from  Clare  Morris  here 
[pointing  to  Mr.  Gordon,  who  stood  on  the  plat- 
form]. You  all  know  that  Mr.  Gordon  is  the  best 
shoemaker  in  Connaught  [Cries  of  “ Sure  we  do  !’’ 
“ He  is  indeed  !”],  and  that  he  once  employed  a 
dozen  workmen.  He  made  all  the  boots  and  shoes 
for  the  gentry  in  that  part  of  the  country.  Just  as 


soon  as  he  addressed  a land  league  meeting,  his 
custom  fell  off,  landlords  wouldn’t  buy  shoes  from 
him,  and  my  friend  Gordon  was  almost  ruined. 
Now  imitate  these  landlords.  If  you  see  a land- 
grabber  going  to  a shop  to  buy  bread  or  clothing,  or 
even  whiskey,  go  you  to  the  shopkeepeY  at  once  ; 
don’t  threaten  him,  it  is  illegal  to  threaten  anyone 
you  know,  just  say  to  him  that  under  British  law  he 
has  the  undoubted  right,  that  you  won’t  dispute,  to 
sell  his  goods  to  anyone — don’t  forget  to  say  all  that 
— but  that  there  is  no  British  law  to  compel  you  to 
buy  another  penny’s  worth  from  him,  and  that  you 
will  never  again  do  it  as  long  as  you  live  if  he  sells 
anything  to  a landgrabber.  The  landlords  won’t 
buy  their  boots  from  Mr.  Gordon  because  he  is  your 
friend  ; now  don’t  you  buy  your  goods  from  any 

shopkeeper  who  is  their  friend Don’t 

buy  anything  from  a landgrabber. 

If  the  landgrabber  sends  his  children  to  school, 
don’t  drive  them  away.  They  have  the  right  to  go 
there.  Act  as  the  queen  of  England  would  act  if  your 
children  forced  their  way  to  the  same  school  with 
her  children.  Take  your  children  away.  You  have 

a right  to  do  so If  the  landgrabber  goes 

to  mass,  don’t  drive  him  away.  One  by  one,  de- 
cently and  quietly,  without  disturbing  the  services  go 
out  of  the  church,  and  leave  him  and  his  family 
alone  with  the  priest. 

This  is  no  new  policy  I am  advocating,  only  a new 
application  of  an  ancient  policy.  Once  Europe 
was  a vast  camp  of  armed  men.  And  yet  we  read 
that  the  haughtiest  emperor  of  Europe  was  once 
forced  to  kneel  in  the  snow,  a suppliant,  for  three 
days  and  nights,  at  the  door  of  a priest  who  had  not 
an  armed  soldier  to  obey  his  orders.  What  power 
brought  the  armored  prince  to  the  feet  of  the  un- 
armored pope  ? It  was  the  terrible  weapon  of  religi- 
ous excommunication.  That  weapon  you  cannot 
wield  in  defense  of  your  rights  ; but  the  next  keenest 
weapon — the  power  of  social  excommunication — is 
yours,  and  no  law  of  the  state  or  the  church  forbids 
you  to  draw  it. 

This  was  the  thing.  Now  let  us  see 
how  the  name  arose.  Again  I quote 
from  talks  about  Ireland,  October  12, 
1880 : 

Captain  Boycott  came  into  that  country  seventeen 
years  ago,  but  had  not  lived  there  five  years  before 
he  had  won  the  reputation  of  being  the  worst  land 


214 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


agent  in  the  County  Mayo In  addition 

to  charging  exhorbitant  rents,  Captain  Boycott  com- 
pelled the  tenants  of  the  landlords  for  whom  he  was 
agent,  to  work  for  him  on  his  own  farm  at  his  own 
rates.  . . . . so  that  they  never  actually  re- 

ceived more  than  a dollar  and  seventy-five  cents  a 
week. 

Captain  Boycott  was  one  of  the  most  brutal  and 
foul-mouthed  ruffians  in  the  west  of  Ireland.  He 
never  addressed  a poor  man  without  an  oath — with- 
out calling  him  a “d— d Mick.”  Captain  Boycott 
himself  is  an  Englishman.  He  never  met  one  of  his 
tenants  without  compelling  him  to  stand  with  his  hat 
in  his  hand  if  he  passed  him  on  the  roadside,  and  as 
long  as  he  talked  with  him,  even  if  it  were-raining.  If 
a poor  man  went  to  his  office,  he  compelled  him  to 
stand  as  fax  off  as  the  room  would  admit  of.  He  was 
an  Irish  Legree,  without  the  lash  but  with  the  equally 
terrible  power  of  eviction,  which  Gladstone  in  parlia- 
ment pronounced  to  be  equivalent  to  a sentence  of 
starvation  in  the  west  of  Ireland. 

The  land  agitation  suddenly  aroused  the  tenantry 
to  a sense  of  their  power,  which  they  could  wield 
without  violating  any  law,  if  they  would  combine  and 
act  asone  man.  The  first  use  of  this  power  against 
Boycott  was  made  when  he  sent  last  summer  for  the 
tenantry  of  the  estates  for  which  he  was  agent  to 
cut  the  oats  on  his  own  farm.  He  expected  them  to 
work,  the  men  for  thirty-two  cents  a day  (and  feed 
themselves)  and  the  women  for  twenty-four  cents  a 
day.  They  asked  respectfully  that  he  should  pay  the 
ordinary  harvest  wages— 2s.  6d.  (about  62  cents)  for 
men  and  is.  6d.  (about  37  cents)  for  women.  He 
refused  with  the  most  brutal  violence  to  make  this 
reasonable  advance.  The  whole  neighborhood  de- 
clined to  work  for  him.  The  willful  old  fellow  swore 
he  would  not  be  dictated  to— he  had  always  dictated 
to  them.  So  he  and  his  nephews  and  his  nieces  and 
three  servant  girls  and  herdsmen  went  down  to  the 
fields  and  began  to  reap  and  bind.  He  held  out 
three  hours  but  could  not  stand  it  longer. 

Mrs.  Boycott  went  from  cabin  to  cabin  that  night 
to  coax  the  people  to  come  and  work  for  her  husband 
at  their  own  very  moderate  terms.  They  came. 

When  rent  day  came,  Boycott  sent  for  the  tenants 
His  day  of  vengeance  had  dawned — as  he  thought — 
but  it  proved  his  day  of  doom. 

Boycott  issued  the  eviction  papers  and  hired  a 
process  server  and  got  eighteen  constables  to  protect 
him.  The  process  server  served  three  writs — no 
more,  for  his  courage  gave  out.  The  people  assem- 
bled, and  I was  told  by (it  would 


ruin  him  if  I were  to  give  his  name)  that  after 
Father  John  had  left,  he  told  the  people  about  my 
prediction  of  the  effects  of  a strike  against  the  land- 
lords in  my  Clare  Morris  speech,  and  advised  them 
to  try  it  on  Boycott  at  once.  The  men  advised 
Boycott’s  herdsmen  and  drivers  to  strike,  and  the 
women  advised  Boycott’s  servant  girls  to  strike,  and 
that  evening  every  one  of  them  left  his  house. 

Next  morning  when  Mrs.  Boycott  went  to  buy 
bread,  the  shop  keeper  told  her  that  although  she 
was  a decent  woman  and  they  all  liked  her,  yet  the 
people  couldn’t  stand  that  ‘ * baste  of  a husband  of 
hers  any  longer ’’and  they  really  couldn’t  sell  her 
any  more  bread. 

Boycott  was  isolated.  He  had  to  take  care  of  his 
own  cattle.  His  farm  is  of  four  hundred  acres. 

Boycott  wrote  to  the  Times  and  the 
English  landlords  organized  a relief  ex- 
pedition ; fifty  men  were  hired  and 
seven  regiments  of  soldiers  were  sent  to 
protect  them.  It  cost  the  British  gov- 
ernment ^5,000  to  dig  ^500  worth  of 
potatoes.  Boycott  said  “ worth 

of  potatoes,  ,£3,500  cost.” 

The  term  “ boycott  ” was  invented 
by  Father  John  O’Malley  about  three 
days  after  the  decree  of  social  excom- 
munication was  issued  against  Boycott. 
Up  to  that  time  it  had  been  called 
sometimes  moral  and  sometimes  social 
excommunication  (when  ostracism  was 
applied  to  a land-grabber,  as  a man  is 
called  who  takes  a farm  from  which  a 
tenant  has  been  evicted). 

“ I was  dining  with  Father  John 
O’Malley,”  says  Mr.  Redpath,  “and  he 
asked  me  why  I was  not  eating.  I said, 
“ I am  bothered  about  a word.”  “What 
is  it  ? ” asked  Father  John.  “ Well,”  said 
I,  “when  the  people  ostracise  a land- 
grabber  we  call  it  social  excommunica- 
tion, but  we  ought  to  have  an  entirely 
different  word  to  signify  ostracism  ap- 
plied to  a landlord  or  land  agent  like 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “ BOYCOTTING 


215 


Boycott.  Ostracism  wont  do,  the  peas- 
antry would  not  know  the  meaning  of 
the  word,  and  I can’t  think  of  anything. 
“ No,”  said  Father  John,  “ ostracism 
wouldn’t  do.”  He  looked  down,  tapped 
his  big  forehead,  and  said,  how  would 
it  do  to  call  it  ‘ to  boycott  him  ? ” Then 
I was  delighted  and  I said,  “Tell 
your  people  to  call  it  boycotting,  so 
that  when  the  reporters  come  down 
from  Dublin  and  London  they  will 
hear  the  word  ; use  it  yourself  in  the 
Castlebar  Telegraph.  I’m  going  to 
Dublin,  and  will  ask  the  young  orators 
of  the  land  league  to  give  it  that  name. 
I will  use  it  in  my  correspondence,  and 
between  us  we  will  make  it  famous.” 
Father  John  and  I kept  our  compact. 
He  was  the  first  man  who  uttered  the 
word,  and  I was  the  first  one  who  wrote 
it.  But  Father  John  is  entitled  to  more 
credit  than  the  mere  christening  of  the 
policy.  If  he  had  not  had  so  great  an 
influence  with  his  people,  Boycott’s  con- 
duct would  have — I have  not  a bit  of 
doubt  of  it — so  exasperated  the  people 
that  he  would  have  met  the  fate  of 
Feerick  and  Lord  Mountmorris,  both  of 
whom  were  killed  within  three  miles  of 
Boycott’s  farm,  and  both  of  them  within 
a mile  of  constabulary  stations.  By  his 
firmness  and  popularity  he  held  the  fort 
until  Boycott  quietly  sneaked  out  of  the 
parish,  and  this  surrender  inspired  the 
people  all  over  the  west  of  Ireland  with 
a faith  in  the  policy  of  boycotting  that 
they  never  had  before  and  might  never 
have  had.” 

AMERICAN  BOYCOTTS. 

Having  thus  seen  how  the  term  “ boy- 


cott ” arose,  and  having  seen  also  to 
what  procedure  it  became  the  name,  it 
becomes  of  interest  to  learn  whether 
the  thing  itself  was  ever  known  in  this 
country  previous  to  the  outbreak  of  the 
present  labor  troubles.  We  Americans 
are  jealous  of  our  rights.  We  have 
maintained  them  successfully  against 
foreign  aggression  in  two  great  wars — 
the  War  of  the  Revolution  and  the  War 
of  1812 — and  we  are  apt  to  view  with 
suspicion  the  importation  of  any  foreign 
custom  which  threatens  to  infringe  or 
even  enlarge  them.  Citizens  of  foreign 
birth  we  receive  and  welcome,  but  their 
ideas  we  view  with  distrust.  We  are 
content  with  our  own  system  of  govern- 
ment and  with  our  own  methods  of 
righting  grievances  — we  have  tried 
them  ; they  have  not  been  found  want- 
ing, and  we  are  not  yet  willing  to  dis- 
card them  for  any  foreign  plan.  The 
judge  who  sentenced  the  boycotters — 
himself  of  foreign  birth — the  newspapers 
that  found  them  guilty,  have  declared 
that  the  thing  was  of  foreign  importa- 
tion, hitherto  unknown  in  this  land  of 
freedom. 

Let  us  see  what  history  tells  us  on  this 
point. 

We  must  go  back  one  hundred  and 
fifty  years,  to  the  event  which  gave  rise 
to  the  formation  of  an  association  of 
citizens  of  the  various  colonies* — an 
organization  created,  not  by  law,  but  by 
individual  action,  partly  secret  in  its 
methods,  responsible  for  certain  social 
disturbances,  the  mouthpiece  of  the 
people  when  their  rights  were  threatened, 

*See  ‘Harper’s  Encyclopedia  of  United  States  His- 
tory ’ under  the  heading  “ Sons  of  Liberty.” 


210 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


and  which  promised  to  and  did  exert  a 
great  and  marvelous  influence  upon  the 
political  fortunes  of  individuals  and 
effected  a change  in  the  constitution  of 
society. 

On  November  17,  1734,  John  Peter 
Zenger,  printer  of  the  New  York  Weekly  ( 
Journal , was  arrested  for  having  pub- 
lished in  his  newspaper  many  things 
tending  to  raise  factions  and  tumults 
among  the  people,  and  inflaming  their 
minds  with  contempt  of  his  majesty’s 
government,  and  greatly  disturbing  the 
peace  thereof.* 

The  royal  governor  at  that  time  was 
Cosby,  and  the  chief  justice  was  James 
DeLancey.  It  was  for  criticisms  of 
these  two  that  Zenger  was  tried. 

Cosby  and  DeLancey  had  endeavored 
to  have  Zenger  indicted  by  the  grand 
jury,  but  that  body,  with  a spirit  that 
was  not  rare  in  the  colonies,  refused  to 
find  him  guilty,  and  the  prosecuting 
attorney  accordingly  proceeded  without 
an  indictment — a star  chamber  proceed- 
ing happily  no  longer  lawful. 

James  Alexander  and  William  Smith, 
attorneys  and  counselors  at  law,  were 
retained  by  Zenger  and  proceeded  to 
defend  him,  but  not  proving  subservient 
to  the  chief  justice,  he  promptly  dis- 
barred them,  i.  e.,  refused  to  allow  them 
to  practice ; thus  leaving  Zengler  with- 
out counsel. 

There  were  in  that  day,  in  the  city  of 
New  York,  but  four  attorneys  capable 
of  attending  to  a trial  of  this  import- 
ance. One  was  the  prosecuting  attorney, 

* See  printed  report  of  the  trial,  published  under 
that  head  ; also  ‘ History  of  New  York,'  by  William 
Smith,  Vol.  II,  Ch.  I. 


the  second  was  a well  known  adherent 
of  Cosby  and  DeLancey,  and  the  other 
two  were  Messrs.  Alexander  and  Smith 
who  had  been  disbarred.  There  was, 
however,  another  attorney  by  the  name 
of  Chambers,  and  though  neither  his 
inclinations  nor  his  learning  fitted  him 
for  such  a trial,  he  consented  to  appear 
for  Zenger. 

These  arbitrary  proceedings  had,  how- 
ever, excited  the  citizens  of  New  York, 
and  they  met  together  and  retained  for 
Zenger’ s defense  Andrew  Hamilton, esq., 
an  opulent  citizen  of  Philadelphia,  of 
one  of  the  inns  of  court  and  of  high  re- 
pute at  the  bar.  The  names  of  some 
of  the  jury  are  not  unknown  at  the  pres- 
ent day.  They  were : Thomas  Hunt 

(foreman),  Hermanus  Rutgers,  Andreas 
Marsehalk,  Stanley  Holmes,  Egbert  van 
Bersom,  Edward  Mann,  Benjamin  Hil- 
dreth, John  Bell,  Abraham  Keteltas, 
Samuel  Weaver,  John  Goelet,  Hercules 
Wendover. 

The  trial  excited  great  interest.  In 
the  conclusion  of  his  address,  Mr. 
Andrew  Hamilton  said : 

I labor  under  the  weight  of  many  years,  and  am 
borne  down  with  great  infirmities  of  body  ; yet  old 
and  weak  as  I am,  I should  think  it  my  duty,  if  re- 
quired, to  go  to  the  utmost  part  of  the  land,  where 
my  service  could  be  of  any  use  in  assisting  to  quench 
the  flame  of  prosecutions  upon  informations  set  on 
foot  by  the  government  to  deprive  a people  of  the 
right  of  remonstrating  and  complaining  of  the  arbi- 
trary attempts  of  men  in  power.  Men  who  injure 
and  oppress  the  people  under  their  administration, 
provoke  them  to  cry  out  and  complain,  and  then 
make  that  very  complaint  the  foundation  for  new 
oppressions  and  prosecutions.  I wish  I could  say 
there  were  no  instances  of  the  kind. 

But  to  conclude : the  question  before  the  court  and 
you,  gentlemen  of  the  jury,  is  not  of  small  or  private 
concern  : it  is  not  the  cause  of  a poor  printer,  nor  of 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “ BOYCOTTING 


217 


New  York  alone,  which  you  are  now  trying.  No  ! 
It  may  in  its  consequences  affect  every  freeman  that 
lives  under  a British  government  on  the  main  of 
America.  It  is  the  best  cause.  It  is  the  cause  of 
liberty  ! And  I make  no  doubt  your  upright  conduct 
this  day  will  not  only  entitle  you  to  the  love  and 
esteem  of  your  fellow  citizens,  but  every  man  who 
prefers  freedom  to  a life  of  slavery,  will  bless  and 
honor  you  as  men  who  have  baffled  the  attempt  of 
tyranny,  and  who,  by  an  impartial  and  uncorrupt 
verdict,  have  laid  a noble  foundation  for  securing  to 
ourselves,  our  posterity,  and  our  neighbors,  that  to 
which  nature  and  the  laws  of  eur  country  have  given 
us  a right — the  liberty — both  of  exposing  and  oppos- 
ing arbitrary  power  (in  these  parts  of  the  world  at 
least)  by  speaking  and  writing  truth.  ” 

Although  the  chief  justice  charged 
strongly  against  Zenger,  the  jury  found 
him  not  guilty,  and  he  was  discharged 
from  custody. 

Popular  rejoicing  was  very  great. 
The  city  fathers  voted  to  Mr.  Hamilton 
the  freedom  of  the  city,  which  they  di- 
rected should  be  enclosed  in  a gold  box. 
The  resolution  recited  that  it  was  passed 
“ under  a grateful  sense  of  the  remarka- 
ble service  done  to  the  inhabitants  of 
this  city  and  colony  by  Andrew  Hamil- 
ton, esq.,  of  Pennsylvania,  barrister  at 
law,  by  his  learned  and  generous  de- 
fense of  the  rights  of  mankind  and  the 
liberty  of  the  press  in  the  case  of  John 
Peter  Zenger.*  ” 

The  association  called  into  existence 
to  defend  Zenger  was  not  allowed  to  die 
out.  Oppressive  acts  on  the  part  of  the 

* The  city  fathers  were  : Paul  Richards,  esq., 
mayor  ; Gerardus  Stuyvesant,  esq.,  deputy  mayor  ; 
Daniel  Horsemanden,  esq. , recorder. 

Aldermen — William  Roome,  esq.,  Christopher 
Fell,  esq.,  Simon  Johnson,  esq.,  Stephen  Bayard, 
esq.,  John  Walter,  esq.,  Johannes  Burger,  esq. 

Assistants — Mr.  John  Waldron,  Mr.  John  Fred, 
Mr.  Ede  Myer,  Mr.  Charles  LeRoux,  Mr.  John 
Moor,  Mr.  Evert  Byvanck, 


royal  authorities  called  now  and  then 
for  rebuke,  and  when  one  colony  was 
quiet  another  was  excited.  The  passage 
of  the  stamp  act  in  1764,  and  the  ex- 
citement before  and  after  its  passage, 
affecting  as  it  did  the  colonies  from 
Maine  to  Georgia,  brought  the  Sons  of 
Liberty  into  greater  prominence.  His- 
torians differ  as  to  the  character  of 
those  who  composed  these  associations. 
‘ Harper’s  Cyclopedia  of  United  States 
History’  says  : 

They  were  chiefly  ardent  young  men  who  loved 
excitement,  but  who  were  truly  patriotic.  They  had, 
as  a general  rule,  nothing  to  lose,  let  events  turn  as 
they  might.  Persons  of  consideration  and  influence, 
though  they  generally  favored  the  acts  of  the  Sons  of 
Liberty,  kept  aloof  from  open  coalition  with  them 
for  prudential  motives,  for  the  combination  appeared 
dangerous.  Their  first  business  seemed  to  be  the 
intimidation  of  stamp  distributors  and  to  oppose  the 
act  in  every  way  ; but  they  finally,  spreading  over 
the  colonies  from  Maine  to  Georgia,  became  the 
most  radical  leaders  in  the  quarrel  with  Great  Britain 
and  promoters  of  the  War  for  Independence,  in 
which  many  of  them  became  distinguished  leaders  in 
the  council  and  the  field. 

No  authority  is  given  for  this  state- 
ment, and  it  would  be  interesting  to 
know  if  there  were  any  foundation  for  it 
in  any  of  the  colonies.  Certainly  the 
association  in  New  York,  from  its 
foundation  to  its  death,  numbered 
among  its  members  many  who  had 
much  to  lose  ;*  and  in  Boston,  Phila- 
delphia and  in  New  Jersey  not  a few 
prominent  and  wealthy  citizens  were 
members.  It  is  impossible,  however,  to 
obtain  the  full  list  of  Sons.  Few  of  the 
records  which  they  kept  have  been  pre- 
served, and,  as  they  were  a secret  so- 
ciety, there  is  comparatively  little  out- 

* * Lossing’s  History  of  New  York  City.’ 


218 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


side  mention  of  their  membership  or 
private  proceedings.  It  is  only  when 
they  acted  in  public  that  we  find  histo- 
rians reporting  their  doings. 

We  shall  speak  later  of  the  tumults 
and  acts  of  violence  which  the  Sons  of 
Liberty  collectively,  or  some  of  their 
more  zealous  members,  were  responsible 
for,  but  at  present  it  is  their  peaceful 
measures  that  we  would  record. 

When  the  stamp  act  had  been  re- 
pealed, Great  Britain  made  the  effort  to 
tax  the  colonies.  The  Sons  of  Liberty, 
however,  were  undaunted.  Agreements 
were  drawn  up  and  presented  for  signa- 
ture to  all  the  principal  citizens  of  the 
different  colonies,  by  which  the  signers 
agreed  not  to  “ import,  purchase  nor 
make  use  of  certain  articles  produced 
or  manufactured  out  of  North  America 
such  as  teas,  wines  and  liquors. ” “ Com- 
mittees of  correspondence  ” were  ap- 
pointed who  were  to  write  to  other 
towns  and  impress  upon  the  people 
there  the  importance  of  these  “ non- 
importation agreements,”  as  they  were 
called.  The  Boston  committee  w as  the 
most  active.  The  circular  which  they 
sent  out  was  circulated  throughout  all 
the  country.  Its  arrival  at  Norwich, 
Connecticut,  is  thus  described  :*  “ Early 
in  December,  1767,  the  town  received 
the  famous  Boston  circular.  An  agree- 
ment was  signed  ‘ not  to  import,  pur- 
chase nor  make  use  of’  the  boycotted 
articles.  Homespun  parties  were  given 
where  nothing  of  foreign  importation 
appeared  in  the  dresses  or  on  the  table. 
Even  wedding  festivities  were  conducted 
upon  patriotic  principles.  It  is  related 


that  at  the  marriage  of  Miss  Dora  Flint, 
at  Windham,  in  December,  1767,  the 
the  ladies  were  all  arrayed  in  garments 
of  domestic  manufacture.  The  refresh- 
ments were  all  of  domestic  produce.” 

In  ‘ Felt’s  Annals  of  Salem,’  under 
date  of  May  8,  1770,  it  is  recorded  that 
“ three  hundred  and  sixty  individuals, 
mostly  heads  of  families,  have  put  their 
names  to  the  nonimportation  agree- 
ments.” 

The  action  in  one  town  was  so  like 
the  proceedings  in  each  of  the  others 
that  from  the  fragmentary  records  that 
remain,  we  may  piece  out  quite  a con-  - 
nected  history  of  these  early  boycotts. 

For  example  in  1770,  January  29,  the 
inhabitants  of  Norwich  met  and  re- 
solved,* “ We  give  our  hearty  and  unani- 
mous approbation  to  the  agreement 
the  merchants  have  entered  into,  to 
stop  the  importation  of  British  goods  ; 
we  will  frown  upon  all  who  endeavor  to 
frustrate  these  good  designs,  and  avoid 
all  correspondence  and  dealings  with 
those  merchants  who  shall  dare  to  vio- 
late these  obligations.” 

How  the  sons  of  liberty  interpreted 
this  expression  “ frown  upon”  will  be 
more  apparent  from  the  record  of  acts 
of  violence,  further  on. 

All  over  the  country  committees  of 
inspection  were  appointed,  consisting 
of  diligent  and  discreet  persons  whose 
business  was  to  make  critical  inspection 
into  the  conduct  of  all  buyers  and  sellers 
of  goods,  and  to  publish  the  names  of 
those  who  failed  to  respect  the  inter- 
dicts— “ to  the  intent  that  such  persons 
might  be  exposed  to  the  odium  and 


' Caulkins’  History  of  Norwich,’  p.  ,364. 


History  of  Norwich,’  1770. 


THE  HIST  OR  Y OF  “ BO  YCO  TTING. 


219 


resentment  of  the  people.”  f At  sub- 
sequent meetings  the  people  were  very 
emphatic.  They  declared  that  they 
would  follow  every  breach  of  the  agree- 
ment ‘‘with  the  full  weight  of  their 
indignation  and  withhold  all  commerce 
from  any  who  dare  to  violate  it.” 

“ The  committee  of  inspection  was 
exceedingly  vigilant.  Any  person  who 
was  found  to  have  violated  the  agree- 
ment had  his  name  posted  in  handbills 
through  the  town  and  published  in  the 
New  London  Gazette — a proceeding 
which  was  usually  followed  by  insults, 
at  least,  from  the  boys  and  populace.” 
Ebenezer  Punderson,  the  schoolmaster 
at  Norwich,  drank  tea  until  the  com- 
mittee of  inspection  “posted  him,”  and 
ordered  “ that  no  trade,  commerce,  deal- 
ings or  intercourse  whatever,  be  carried 
on  with  him” — when  he  found  it  con- 
venient to  swear  off. 

Numerous  proceedings  of  the  com- 
mittees of  inspection  in  New  Jersey 
have  been  preserved  and  were  recently 
published  by  order  of  the  legislature  of 
that  state.  The  following  are  the  most 
interesting  : 

Committee  of  inspection  of  Freehold 
on  March  6,  1775,  reported  : 

That  at  an  early  meeting  of  said  committee,  a 
pamphlet  entitled  “Free  Thoughts  on  the  Resolves 
of  Congress/' by  A.  W.  Farmer,  was  handed  in  to 
them.  . . Said  pamphlet  was  then  read  and  upon 

mature  deliberation  unanimously  declared  to  be  a 
performance  of  the  most  pernicious  and  indignant 
tendency  ; replete  with  the  most  specious  sophistry, 
but  void  of  any  solid  or  rational  argument ; calcu- 
lated to  mislead  or  deceive  the  unwary,  the  ignorant 
and  the  credulous,  and  designed  no  doubt  by  the 
detestable  author  to  damp  that  noble  spirit  of  union, 
which  he  sees  prevailing  all  over  the  continent  and 

+ ' History  of  Norwich.’ 


if  possible  to  sap  the  foundations  of  American  free- 
dom. The  pamphlet  was  afterwards  handed  back 
to  the  people,  who  immediately  bestowed  upon  it  a 
suit  of  tar  and  turkey-buzzard’s  feathers  ; one  of  the 
persons  concerned  in  the  operation  justly  observing 
that  although  the  feathers  were  plucked  from  the 
most  stinking  fowl  in  the  creation,  he  thought  they 
fell  far  short  of  being  a -proper  emblem  of  the  au- 
thor’s odiousness  to  every  advocate  for  true  freedom. 
The  same  person  wished,  however,  that  he  had  the 
pleasure  of  fitting  him  with  a suit  of  the  same  mate- 
rials. The  pamphlet  was  then  in  its  gorgeous  attire 
nailed  up  firmly  to  the  pillory  post  there  to  remain 
as  a monument  of  the  indignation  of  a free  and  loyal 
people. 

At  a subsequent  meeting  of  said  committee  it  was 
resolved  unanimously  that  on  account  of  sundry 
publications  in  the  pamphlet  way,  by  James  Riving- 
ton  Printer,  of  New  York,  and  also  a variety  of 
weekly  productions  in  his  paper  . . . they  do 

for  themselves  now  publicly  declare  (and  recommend 
the  same  conduct  to  their  constituents)  that  they  will 
have  no  connection  with  him,  the  said  Rivington, 
while  he  continues  to  retail  such  dirty,  scandalous 
and  traitorous  performances  ; but  hold  him  in  the 
utmost  contempt  as  a noxious,  exotic  plant,  incapa- 
ble either  of  cultivation  or  improvement  in  this  soil 
of  freedom  and  fit  only  to  be  transported. 

The  committee  of  observation  for 
Hanover,  in  the  county  of  Morris,  re- 
solved unanimously  : 

That  from  several  pamphlets  and  publications 
printed  by  James  Rivington  of  New  York,  printer, 
we  esteem  him  as  an  incendiary  employed  by  a wicked 
ministry  to  disunite  and  divide  us  ; and  therefore  we 
will  not  for  ourselves,  have  any  connection  or  deal- 
ing with  him,  and  do  recommend  the  same  conduct 
towards  him  to  every  person  in  this  township  ; and 
we  will  discountenance  any  post  rider,  stage  driver 
or  carrier  who  shall  bring  his  pamphlets  or  papers 
into  this  county. 

Freeholders  of  Morristown  met  and 
resolved  : 

That  they  esteem  the  said  James  Rivington  an 
enemy  to  his  country  ; and,  therefore,  that  they  will 
for  the  future  refrain  from  taking  his  newspapers,  and 
from  all  further  commerce  from  him  ; and  that  by 
all  lawful  means  in  their  power  they  will  discourage 
the  circulation  of  his  papers  in  this  county. 


220 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


The  committee  on  inspection  for 
Woodbridge  reported  that  Rivington 
“ is  a person  inimical  to  the  liberties  of 
this  country,  and  as  such  ought  to  be 
discountenanced  ; we  therefore  do  cor- 
dially recommend  to  all  our  constituents 
to  drop  his  paper  and  have  no  further 
dealings  with  him.” 

The  inhabitants  of  Staten  Island  found 
it  hard  to  relinquish  their  tea  or  their 
newspaper,  and  the  conduct  was  inves- 
gated  by  the  Elizabethtown  committee, 
which  : 

Taking  the  same  into  consideration  are  of  the 
opinion  that  the  inhabitants  of  their  district  ought, 
and  by  the  aforesaid  association,  are  bound  to  break 
off  all  trade,  commerce,  dealings  and  intercourse 
whatever  with  the  inhabitants  of  said  island,  until 
they  shall  join  in  the  general  association  aforesaid  ; 
and  do  resolve  that  all  the  trade,  commerce,  dealings 
and  intercourse  whatever  be  suspended  accordingly, 
which  suspension  is  hereby  notified  and  recom- 
mended to  the  inhabitants  of  their  district,  to  be  by 
them  universally  observed  and  adopted. 

The  committee  of  Cumberland  county 
reported  that  Silas  Newcomb  had  drank 
East  India  tea  in  his  family  ever  since 
the  first  of  March  inst.,  and  that  he  was 
determined  to  persist  in  such  practice. 

. . It  was  agreed  that  it  was  the  duty 

of  this  committee,  agreeably  to  the 
eleventh  article  of  the  above  mentioned 
compact,  to  break  off  all  dealings  with 
him  and  in  this  manner  publish  the 
truth  of  the  case,  that  he  might  be  dis- 
tinguished from  the  friends  of  American 
liberty. 

This  was  so  effective  that  on  May  n, 
1775,  Silas  Newcomb  formally,  in  writ- 
ing, publicly  recanted. 

April,  1775,  the  committee  of  Free- 
hold, Monmouth  county,  reported  that 
Thomas  Leonard,  esq.,  had,  in  a number 


of  instances,  been  guilty  of  a breach  of 
the  Continental  association,  .... 
and  that  every  friend  of  true  freedom 
ought  immediately  to  break  off  all  con- 
nection and  dealings  with  him  and  treat 
him  as  as  a foe  to  the  rights  of  British 
America. 

All  these  were  published  in  papers. 

In  November,  1774,  the  grand  jury 
for  the  county  of  Essex,  addressed  the 
Hon.  Frederick  Smyth,  esq.,  chief  justice 
of  the  province  of  New  Jersey,  as  fol- 
lows : 

If  we  rightly  understand  a particular  part  of  your 
honor’s  charge,  you  were  pleased  to  tell  us  that  while 
we  were  employed  in  guarding  against  "imaginary 
tyranny  three  thousand  miles  distant,"  we  ought  not 
to  expose  ourselves  to  a "real  tyranny  at  our  own 
doors."  We  neither  know,  sir,  nor  are  under  the 
least  apprehension  of  any  tyranny  at  our  own  doors 
unless  it  should  make  its  way  thither  from,  the  dis- 
tance you  mention. 

After  reciting  the  tyrannical  acts  of 
Great  Britain,  they  continue  : *l  To  pro- 
cure redress  of  these  grievances,  which 
to  others  assume  the  form  of  odious  and 
horrid  realties,”  (Smyth  had  spoken  of 
them  as  * imaginary  tyranny,’  ‘ the 
baseless  fabrick  of  a vision  ’),  “the  con- 
tinent, as  we  learn,  has  very  naturally 
been  thrown  into  great  commotions  ; 
and  as  far  as  this  county  in  particular 
has  taken  part  in  the  alarm,  we  have 
the  happiness  to  represent  to  your 
honour  that  in  the  prosecution  of  meas- 
uses  for  preserving  American  liberties 
and  obtaining  the  removal  of  oppres- 
sions, the  people  have  acted  in  all  their 
popular  assemblies  (which  it  is  the  right 
of  Englishmen  to  convene  whenever 
they  please)  with  the  spirit,  temper  and 
prudence  becoming  freemen  and  loyal 
subjects.” 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “ BOYCOTTING 


221 


The  amount  of  abuse  showered  upon 
the  committees  of  inspection  and  of  cor- 
respondence seems  almost  incredible. 
One  quotation  will  suffice  as  an  illustra- 
tion. A Tory  writer  said  of  one  of 
them  : 

This  is  the  foulest,  subtlest  and  most  venomous 
serpent  ever  issued  from  the  egg  of  sedition.  It  is 
the  source  of  the  rebellion.  I saw  the  small  seed 
when  it  was  implanted  ; it  was  a grain  of  mustard. 
I have  watched  the  plant  until  it  has  become  a great 
tree.  The  vilest  reptiles  that  crawl  upon  the  earth 
are  concealed  at  the  root ; the  foulest  birds  of  the 
air  rest  upon  its  branches.  I would  now  induce  you 
to  go  to  work  immediately  with  axes  and  hatchets 
and  cut  it  down  for  a two-fold  reason  : because  it  is 
a pest  to  society,  and  lest  it  be  felled  suddenly  by  a 
stronger  arm  and  crush  its  thousands  in  its  fall. 

The  particular  committee  against 
which  this  tirade  was  directed  con- 
sisted of  Samuel  Adams,  John  Hancock, 
James  Bowdoin,  John  Adams,  William 
Phillips,  Joseph  Warren  and  Josiah 
Quincy  ! 

The  acts  of  violence  which  accom- 
panied these  boycotts  were  many. 
The  boycotts  of  the  labor  unions  have 
been  very  peaceful  compared  with  the 
earlier  American  boycotts,  and  with  the 
tumultuous  outbreaks  of  restless  Sons 
of  Liberty. 

In  1769,  in  Salem,  a man  named 
Row,  for  giving  information  that  a 
vessel  in  the  harbor  was  about  to 
elude  the  payment  of  certain  duties, 
was  carried  to  the  common,  tarred 
and  feathered,  set  upon  a cart,  with 
the  word  informer  in  large  capitals  on 
his  breast  and  back,  and  carried  through 
Main  street,  escorted  by  a crowd,  which 
finally  bid  him  flee  from  the  town.  He 
went  to  Boston  and  was  there  re- 


warded by  the  crown  officers  for  his 
sufferings.* 

In  January,  1770,  the  Boston  mer- 
chants renewed  their  meetings  in  Fan- 
euil  hall.  The  names  of  several  un- 
faithful ones  were  reported  and  ordered 
published. I 

Lieutenant-governor  Hutchinson  sent 
a message  to  one  of  these  meetings 
“ enjoining  and  requiring  them,  without 
delay,  to  separate  and  disperse,  and  to 
forbear  all  such  unlawful  assemblies  for 
the  future.”  After  a calm  consideration 
of  the  message  it  was  unanimously  voted 
to  proceed,  and  a written  answer  was 
sent  to  his  honor  signifying  their  opin- 
ion that  the  meeting  was  warranted  by 
law. 

Two  or  three  brothers  by  the  name 
of  McMasters  sold  tea,  etc.  One  of 
them  was  taken  on  the  nineteenth  of 
June  and  carted  in  the  heat  of  the  day, 
with  a bag  of  feathers  and  some  tar  in  a 
barrel  by  his  side,  to  King  street,  where 
it  was  intended  to  expose  him  to  public 
view,  besmeared  with  the  one  and 
coated  with  the  other.  But  as  he  drew 
near  the  spot,  his  color  forsook  his  lips, 
his  eye  sunk,  and  he  was  about  to  fall 
lifeless  in  the  cart,  when  some  gentle- 
men compassioned  *his  case  so  far  as  to 
beg  permission  to  take  him  into  a house. 
Cordials  were  exhibited  and  McMasters 
revived  and  upon  a solemn  promise 
never  to  return  he  was  excused  from 
this  newly  invented  punishment  and 
carted,  sitting  in  his  chair,  to  the  Rox- 
bury  line  where  he  was  dismissed. 

* * See  Annals  of  Salem,’  p.  473. 

t See  * History  of  Boston,  ’ pp.  278,  *t  seq% 


222 


MA  GAZfJSTK  OS  iVKSTKKN'  HIS  TOR  Y. 


The  throwing  of  tea  overboard  at 
Boston  is  too  well  known  to  need  a rep- 
etition here,  but  it  is  not  perhaps  so 
widely  known  that  on  November  22, 
1774,  a brig  landed  a cargo  of  tea  at 
Greenwich,  New  Jersey,  and  that  a 
party  of  the  Sons  of  Liberty,  headed  by 
Ebenezer  Elmer,  afterwards  member  of 
congress,  destroyed  it  by  fire.  * 

In  New  York,  in  July,  1764,  four  fish- 
ermen who  had  supplied  the  inhabitants 
of  the  city  with  fish  were  seized  by  a 
press  gang  and  sent  on  board  a trans- 
port that  was  intended  for  Halifax. 
The  Sons  of  Liberty  were  informed  of 
this  and  made  their  plans  to  rescue  the 
men.  They  waited  until  the  captain 
came  on  shore  the  next  morning,  when 
the  “ people”  at  once  seized  the  barge 
and  bore  it  to  the  commons  and  burnt 
it  while  a committee  escorted  the  terri- 
fied officer  to  the  coffee  house,  which 
the  Sons  of  Liberty  had  made  their 
headquarters,  and  speedily  prevailed 
on  him  to  write  an  order  for  the  release 
of  the  fishermen.  Armed  with  this, 
a committee  proceeded  to  the  transport 
and  procured  the  men. f 

Major  John  Durkee  of  Bean  Hill, 
Norwich,  Connecticut,  was  an  active 
and  daring  leader  in  these  stamp  act 
commotions.  In  September,  1765,  he 
took  command  of  a body  of  Liberty 
men  that  were  gathered  from  Norwich 
and  the  neighboring  towns,  and  banded 
together  for  the  express  purpose  of 
preventing  the  stamps  from  being  dis- 
tributed in  Connecticut.  Taking  with 
them  eight  days’  provisions,  they  set 

*See  ‘ Annals  of  Philadelphia,’  page  272. 

fBooth’s  ‘History  of  New  York,’  p.  409. 


off  toward  Hartford,  and  being  well 
mounted  overtook  and  arrested  Mr. 
Ingersoll,  the  stamp  officer  at  Wethers- 
field. With  threats  of  violent  usage 
they  commanded  him  to  resign. 

“The, cause  is  not  worth  dying  for,” 
he  said,  and  signed  his  resignation.  J A 
very  great  number  of  similar  instances 
might  be  cited  were  it  advisable,  but 
enough  has  been  set  forth  to  demon- 
strate what  was  the  behavior  of  the 
Sons  of  Liberty  with  their  pre-Revolu- 
tionary  boycotts. 

OTHER  AMERICAN  BOYCOTTS. 

The  boycotts  to  which  the  previous 
pages  have  been  devoted  were  most  re- 
markable, because  of  their  extension 
over  so  large  a portion  of  territory,  the 
unanimity  with  which  they  were  en- 
forced by  the  people  of  the  different 
colonies  and  the  number  of  years  which 
they  endured  ; nor,  in  an  estimate, 
should  the  result,  which  they  were 
largely  instrumental  in  accomplishing, 
be  forgotten. 

There  have  been,  since  those  days, 
other  boycotts  which  it  may  be  profita- 
ble to  mention.  McMaster,  in  his  his- 
tory (Vol.  I.,  p.  404),  gives  an  amusing 
and  instructive  account  of  one  against 
New  York,  as  follows  : 

The  legislature  of  New  York,  in  an  evil  hour, 
passed  an  act  full  against  the  commerce  of  Connecti- 
cut and  New  Jersey.  To  supply  the  great  city  with 
firewood,  vegetables  and  fowls  had  long  been  a 
source  of  income  to  her  neighbors,  and  a brisk  trade 
had  grown  up.  Early  in  the  morning  of  every 
market  day,  the  broad  sheet  of  water  that  separated 
Paulus  Hook  from  the  city  was  dotted  with  shallops, 
loaded  to  the  water’s  edge  with  butter  and  cheese, 

*See  ‘Caulkins’  History  of  Norwich,’  p.  364. 


THE  HISTORY  OF  “ BOYCOTTING 


223 


turnips  and  carrots,  with,  in  fine,  all  those  varieties 
of  vegetables  and  fruit  for  which  the  Dutch  farms  of 
New  Jersey  were  even  then  famous.  Every  week 
there  drew  up  at  the  docks  vessels  from  Connecti- 
cut, bringing  hundreds  of  cords  of  the  best  firewood 
the  market  could  supply.  To  such  proportions  had 
the  business  grown  that  it  was  commonly  believed 
that  several  thousand  pounds  sterling  were  in  this 
way  drawn  out  of  the  city  by  the  Jerseymen  and 
Yankees.  This  trade  the  assembly  determined  to 
crush,  and  framed  and  passed  an  act  the  conse- 
quences of  which  were  not  foreseen.  Every  wood- 
boat,  every  shallop,  every  small  sloop  from  New 
Jersey  of  more  than  twelve  tons  burden,  it  was  de- 
creed should  henceforth  be  entered  and  cleared  at 
the  custom  house  in  the  same  manner  as  packets 
that  came  from  London  or  any  other  foreign  port. 
The  moment  the  law  went  into  operation,  the  boat^ 
men  plying  between  New  York  and  the  northern 
shore  of  New  Jersey  cried  out  that  they  were  ruined 
men  ; that  almost  the  whole  of  their  small  profit  was 
taken  from  them  and  put  into  the  hard,  griping 
hands  of  the  officers  of  the  customs  in  New  York. 
To  retaliate  by  raising  the  price  demanded  for  their 
produce  was  impossible,  for  the  increase  would  be 
so  great  that  half  the  consumers  would  cease  to 
buy. 

The  legislature  at  Trenton  heard  their  cry  and  re- 
solved to  be  signally  revenged.  The  corporation  of 
the  hated  city  was  the  owner  of  four  acres  of  land  on 
Sandy  Hook,  in  the  state  of  New  Jersey.  The  plot 
had  been  purchased  from  the  original  proprietor  for 
the  purpose  of  maintaining  upon  it  a lighthouse,  a 
public  inn  and  a kitchen  garden.  The  lighthouse 
was  already  built,  and  on  this  was  now  laid  a tax  of 
thirty  pounds  a month. 

The  restrictions  placed  upon  boats  from  Connecti- 
cut were  much  the  same  as  on  those  from  across  the 
Hudson.  The  rate  of  dockage  was  raised,  small 
sloops  forced  to  pay  an  entrance  fee  and  the  carting 
of  firewood  across  the  city  heavily  taxed.  No  notice 
was  taken  by  the  Connecticut  assembly  ; but  the 
business  men  at  New  London,  whence  most  of  the 
boats  went  out,  were  greatly  incensed.  It  seemed, 
they  declared,  as  if  the  time  was  at  hand  when,  be- 
tween the  British  navigation  act,  the  lack  of  com- 
mercial treaties  with  continental  powers,  the  Barbary 
xebecs  and  the  selfish  policy  of  New  York,  there 
would  not  be  a port  on  the  face  of  the  earth  where 
an  American  vessel  could  trade.  But  they  would 
see  what  could  be  done.  They  would  strike  back 
with  all  the  power  at  their  command,  and  flattered 


themselves  they  could  make  the  blow  felt.  A league 
was  formed  and  a paper  passed  about  which  bound 
all  who  signed  it,  under  penalty  of  fifty  pounds,  to 
be  collected  by  a civil  process  in  any  court  of  law, 
not  to  send  into  the  state  of  New  York  any  article 
whatever,  nor  to  furnish  any  craft  bound  for  that 
state  with  any  kind  of  loading,  for  one  year  from  the 
twentieth  of  July,  1787.  The  agreement  was  faith- 
fully kept.  Yet,  little  came  of  it.  The  supplies 
withheld  by  the  New  London  merchants  were  ob- 
tained elsewhere,  and  before  the  year  specified  in  the 
agreement  had  passed,  ten  states  had  ratified  the 
constitution,  and  the  power  of  New  York  to  tax  her 
neighbors  was  taken  away  forever. 

The  embargoes  laid  upon  shipping  in 
American  ports  in  1794  and  in  1805 
were  little  less  than  boycotts  as  now 
understood ; though  they  were  put  in 
force  by  one  nation  against  another,  yet 
they  were  enforced  by  the  approbation 
of  a large  portion  of  the  citizens,  and 
when  declared  by  the  national  author- 
ities to  be  at  an  end  were  still  continued, 
by  private  action,  in  some  parts  of  the 
country. 

McMaster  (Vol.  II.,  p.  174)  thus 
records  the  conduct  of  the  people  of 
Philadelphia  when  the  embargo  of  1794 
was  lifted  by  congress  : 

On  the  twenty  third  of  May,  the  mates  and  cap. 
tains  of  the  brigs,  scows  and  sloops,  in  the  river, 
held  a meeting  at  Harp  and  Crown  tavern  ot 
Barnabass  McShane.  After  hearing  each  other 
with  complaints  against  congress,  they  finally 
resolved  not  to  go  to  sea  for  ten  days  to  come,  and 
made  a solemn  pledge  that  if  one  of  their  number 
was  discharged  in  consequence,  none  of  the  others 
would  fill  his  berth,  and  ended  by  urging  the  pilots 
to  take  no  ship  down  the  river  for  the  same  space  of 
time.  They  had  been  moved  to  do  these  things  by 
the  like  action  of  the  captains  of  Baltimore. 

There  is  yet  another  American  boy- 
cott whose  full  history  has  never  yet 
been  completely  written.  Tourgee,  in 
his  novels,  has  shown  part  of  its  oper- 


224 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY, 


ation ; much  concerning  it  is  contained 
in  diaries,  in  private  correspondence  and 
in  newspapers.  I mean  the  policy  of 
social  excomunication  with  which  the 
south  met  the  northern  emigrants  or 
“ carpet-baggers  ” after  the  late  civil 
war.  There  is  no  need  to  dwell  upon 
the  details  of  this  procedure — nor 
would  space  permit  more  than  a refer- 
ence to  it.  It  has,  however,  a peculiar 
value  to  us,  for  James  Redpath  lived  in 
the  south  in  those  post-bellum  days, 
saw  the  policy  of  social  ostracism  put 
into  force,  watched  its  operations,  and 
noted  its  failures — which  were  few — 
and  its  successes — which  were  many. 


From  his  experience  at  that  time  were 
derived  his  suggestions  to  the  Irish 
which  have  been  already  spoken  of. 

The  Irish  boycott  was  an  American 
custom,  sanctified  by  more  than  a 
century  of  patriotic  labor,  dear  to  our 
grandsires  and  our  parents,  and,  like 
many  other  American  customs,  a weapon 
which  the  down  trodden  and  oppressed 
of  every  nation  would  gladly  borrow. 
Tyrants,  whether  their  names  be  kings 
or  capitalists,  tremble  before  it,  for  it  is 
a sacred  and  inalienable  right  of  a free 
people — an  impregnable  rampart  shel- 
tering their  liberties. 

Arthur  Dudley  Vinton. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


The  history  and  present  development 
of  the  University  of  Michigan  teach  the 
great  lesson  that  state  aid  is  necessary 
to  successfully  establish  and  maintain 
schools  of  every  grade,  that  are  in- 
tended for  the  education  of  the  whole 
people. 

Before  there  was  a state — before  there 
was  a territory — of  Michigan,  even  be- 
fore the  vast  extent  of  country  bounded 
by  the  Ohio  river  on  the  south,  the 
Mississippi  on  the  west,  and  the  great 
lakes  on  the  north,  had  a government, 
the  wise  men  of  the  American  congress 
had  determined,  in  their  own  minds, 
that  every  advantage,  so  far  as  educa- 
tion was  concerned,  must  be  afforded 
to  those  who  might  settle  in  the  wilds 
of  the  west,  as  the  wording  of  the  cele- 


brated ordinance  of  1787  clearly  dem- 
onstrates. In  no  way  could  this  help 
be  extended  so  well  by  the  general 
government,  at  that  period,  as  by  land- 
grants.  Thus  it  was  that  Ohio,  then 
Indiana,  then  Illinois,  and  finally  Mich- 
igan, became  the  owners  of  tracts  of 
land,  in  each  instance  forming  a basis 
(however  frail  in  some  cases)  for  an 
institution  for  advanced  scholarship. 
And  no  organic  act  for  a new  territory 
has  since  been  passed,  nor  has  any  state 
since  been  admitted  into  the  Union, 
without  a like  remembrance  on  the  part 
of  congress.  For  all  which,  should  the 
citizens  of  the  western  states  continue 
to  be  profoundly  grateful.  And  just 
here  it  may  be  said  that  to  Michigan 
must  be  awarded  the  honor  of  having 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


225 


exceeded,  as  yet,  each  of  its  sister  com- 
monwealths, having  a state  university, 
in  the  excellence  and  prosperity  of 
hers.  How  this  has  been  brought  about 
is  now  to  be  considered. 

It  was  in  the  year  1805  that  the  terri- 
tory of  Michigan  was  mapped  out  by 
congressional  enactment,  receiving,  at 
the  same  time,  a donation  of  an  entire 
township  of  land,  which  had  been  set 
apart  in  March,  1804.  But  this  gift 
carried  with  it  not  only  the  idea  of  its 
being  some  particular  surveyed  town- 
ship afterward  to  be  selected,  but  the 
Indian  title  to  it  must  have  been  previ- 
ously extinguished.  After  the  expiration 
of  twelve  years,  the  people  of  the  terri- 
tory began  to  talk  of  a university,  and  of 
locating  the  township  of  which  they  had 
been  made  the  recipients ; but  it  was 
discovered  that  the  best  lands,  when  the 
gift  was  made,  had  not  been  ceded  by 
the  Indians  ; besides,  it  would  be  far 
better  could  the  thirty-six  sections  be 
distributed  in  different  parts  of  the 
territory  Finally,  the  people  memor- 
ialized congress  for  relief ; as  a conse- 
quence, on  the  twentieth  of  May,  1826, 
the  original  grant  was  annulled  and,  in 
lieu  of  it,  two  townships  were  secured 
from  the  general  government  with  the 
privilege  given  of  locating  the  lands  in 
detached  portions  and  of  selecting  them 
from  any  part  of  the  public  domain  in 
the  territory,  not  otherwise  appropri- 
ated.* This  action  of  congress  was  the 

* The  words  of  the  act  were  as  follows:  “The 
secretary  of  the  treasury  ....  is  hereby 
authorized  to  set  apart  and  reserve  from  sale,  out  of 
any  public  lands  within  the  territory  of  Michigan,  to 
which  the  Indian  title  may  be  extinguished,  and  not 
otherwise  appropriated,  a quantity  of  land,  not  ex- 


laying, happily,  of  the  corner-stone  of 
the  University  of  Michigan. 

Although  the  United  States  gave 
thirty-six  sections  of  six  hundred  and 
forty  acres  each  of  land — afterwards 
doubling  the  amount — “ for  the  use  and 
support  of  a university,”  in  Michigan 
territory,  thereby  creating  for  the  uni- 
versity something  of  a foundation  upon 
which  to  build ; the  superstructure  was 
yet  to  be  reared.  And  the  citizens, 
through  those  delegated  to  frame  laws 
for  them,  early  began  the  work,  com- 
mitting it,  however,  to  a board  of  trus- 
tees. In  1817,  a law  was  passed  wherein 
a most  elaborate  university  was  built  up 
— largely  on  paper.  It  made  the  insti- 
tution include  in  itself  all  primary  and 
higher  schools  in  the  territory  and  gave 
the  legislative  and  executive  control 
over  them  into  the  hands  of  its  president 
and  professors.  Fifteen  per  cent,  of  all 
the  taxes  were  appropriated  for  its  sup- 
port. It  was  to  be  known  as  the  “Cath- 
olepistemiad,  or  University  of  Michi- 
gania.”  The  whole  was  a classical 
ideal,  which,  it  was  finally  hoped,  might 
one  day  become  a reality.  But  it  went 
no  further  than  the  establishing  of  a few 
primary  schools.  Meanwhile  the  Cath- 
olepistemiad  received  an  additional 
land-grant  of  three  sections,  at  the 
treaty  of  Fort  Meigs,  concluded  with 
the  Indian  tribes  of  the  northwest  in 
September,  1817,  by  Governor  Lewis 
Cass  of  the  territory  of  Michigan,  on 

ceeding  two  entire  townships,  for  the  use  and  support 
of  a university  within  the  territory  aforesaid,  and  for 
no  other  use  or  purpose  whatsoever,  to  be  located  in 
tracts  of  land  corresponding  with  any  of  the  legal 
divisions  into  which  the  public  lands  are  authorized 
to  be  surveyed,  not  less  than  one  section.” 


226 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


part  of  the  general  government.  These 
three  sections,  it  was  declared,  were  to 
go  to  the  “ College  of  Detroit.” 

The  unique  law  of  1817*  was  virtually 
repealed  in  1821,  the  provision  with  re- 
gard to  taxes  being  abbrogated  and  all 
the  powers  of  the  Catholepistemiad 
transferred  to  a new  institution — the 
“ University  of  Michigan,”  located  at 
Detroit.  The  board  of  trustees,  con- 
sisting of  the  governor  and  judges,  re- 
mained in  control  of  the  university  thus 
created,  and  so  continued  until  Michi- 
gan, on  the  twenty-sixth  day  of  January, 
1837,  was  admitted  into  the  Union, 
when  the  constitutional  provision  requir- 
ing the  appointment  by  the  governor  of 
a board  of  twelve  regents,  to  be  con- 
firmed by  the  senate,  took  effect.  The 
gentlemen  first  appointed  and  their 
successors,  together  with  the  governor, 
lieutenant-governor,  and  judges  of  the 
supreme  court,  and  those  succeeding 
them,  constituted  the  board  down  to  the 
year  1852. 

The  law  of  1821  was  a long  step  for- 
ward, so  far  as  the  educational  interests 
of  Michigan  were  concerned.  The  pol- 
icy of  the  “University  ol  Michigan”  in 
matters  of  religion  was  made  identical 
with  that  of  the  common  schools.  Per- 
sons of  every  (or  no)  religious  denomi- 
nation were  capable  of  being  elected 
trustees;  “and  no  person,  president, 
professor,  instructor  or  pupil  was  to  be 
refused  admittance  for  his  conscientious 


* This  law  was  perhaps  the  most  pedantic  ever 
framed.  It  is  replete  with  such  words  as  “didaxum," 
“•anthropoglossica,”  “physiognostica,”  “chymia,” 
“iatuca,”  “ethica,”  " plemitactica,”  “degitica,” 
etc.,  etc. 


persuasion  in  matters  of  religion.”  The 
trustees  could,  from  time  to  time,  estab- 
lish such  colleges,  academies  and  schools 
dependent  on  the  university  as  they 
might  think  proper;  and,  among  other 
powers  delegated  to  them,  they  were 
authorized  to  appoint  a president  and 
professor,  and  to  remove  them  at 
pleasure. 

The  new  corporation  formed  under 
the  law  of  1821  carried  forward  to  1837, 
the  work  begun  by  his  predecessor,  in- 
cluding the  classical  academy  and,  in 
the  early  part  of  the  time,  a Lancaste- 
rian  school ; so  the  educational  spirit 
was  not  allowed  to  die  out — kept  alive 
and  transmitted,  as  we  shall  presently 
see,  to  the  university  as  now  organized. 

It  will  appear  evident  to  the  reader 
that  the  land-grant  of  1826,  unless  an 
income  could  be  derived  from  it,  would 
be  an  endowment  only  in  name,  of  the 
university.  Immediately,  therefore,  steps 
were  taken  by  the  trustees  with  regard 
to  locating  the  seventy-two  sections, 
after  the  passage  of  the  act  granting 
them  to  the  institution.  With  so  much 
discretion  was  the  work  carried  forward 
that,  in  ten  years  from  the  making  of 
the  grant,  the  entire  number  of  sections 
secured  was  estimated  as  of  an  average 
value  twenty  dollars  an  acre.  To  esti- 
mate, however,  was  one  thing;  to  real- 
ize upon  it  the  maximum,  quite  another. 
So  the  matter  stood  on  the  twenty-ninth 
day  of  January,  1837,  when  Michigan 
was  admitted  into  the  Union. 

The  march  of  the  university  toward 
the  success  it  has  finally  attained,  may 
be  said  to  have  commenced  with  the 
beginning  of  the  state.  It  had  pre- 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


227 


usly  been  placed  at  the  head  of  the 
school  system,  as  we  have  already  seen ; 
but  the  system  itself  was  yet  to  be 
formulated — yet  to  be  developed.  To 
this  task  and  to  the  real  founding  of  the 
university,  the  superintendent  of  public 
instruction  and  the  regents,  upon  their 
taking  office,  addresed  themselves  with 
a remarkable  foresight  and  with  a cour- 
age equal  to  their  convictions.  There 
must  be  an  organization;  and  the  en- 
dowment must  be  income-producing. 
These  were  the  salient  points  not  to  be 
lost  sight  of. 

The  first  superintendent  of  public  in- 
struction was  the  Rev.  John  D.  Pierce. 
To  him  was  entrusted  the  responsible 
work  of  preparing  a system  for  common 
schools  and  a plan  for  a university — a 
continuation  of  that  of  1817  and  1821. 
In  his  first  report,  he  discussed  at 
length  the  lower  and  intermediate 
schools,  arguing  “ with  especial  ability 
and  fullness  that  the  university  ought 
to  be  organized  upon  the  broadest 
basis.  He  recommended  the  ultimate 
establishment  of  three  departments — 
one  of  literature,  science  and  the  arts  ; 
one  of  medicine,  and  one  of  law.  He 
discussed  fully  the  relations  of  the 
institution  to  the  religious  denomina- 
tions of  the  state  ; and  he  recommended 
that  liberal  policy  in  the  appointment 
of  professors  which  has  since  been  so 
successfully  carried  out.”  The  recom- 
mendations of  his  report  were  adopted 
and  became  the  basis  on  which  the 
almost  faultless  organization  of  to-day 
proudly  and  safely  rests.  The  educa- 
tional system  of  Michigan  has  been 
aptly  compared  to  a vast  machine  (in- 


cluding, as  it  does,  the  whole  state),  of 
which  the  university  is  the  fly-wheel. 
But  we  anticipate. 

The  law  organizing  the  university  was 
approved  on  the  eighteenth  day  of 
March,  1837.  Two  days  later  the 
regents  were  directed  to  locate  the  in- 
stitution on  such  ground — not  less  than 
forty  acres — as  they  might  select  in  or 
near  the  village  of  Ann  Arbor.  They 
chose  a site  in  June  following — the  one 
where  the  buildings  now  stand,  receiv- 
ing from  the  Ann  Arbor  Land  company 
a title  in  fee  simple — “ without  money 
and  without  price.”  Thus  it  was  that 
the  University  of  Michigan  had  not 
only  “ a name  ” but  “ a local  habita- 
tion.” With  its  local  organization  came 
the  necessity  for  buildings,  and  for 
these  the  regents  could  not  wait  upon 
the  slow  process  of  selling  lands  be- 
longing to  the  institution  ; so,  in  1838, 
they  applied  to  the  legislature  for  a 
loan  of  one  hundred  thousand  dollars, 
and  they  did  not  apply  in  vain.  But, 
before  a further  inquiry  into  the  estab- 
lishment and  development  of  the  school 
proper  at  Ann  Arbor  is  made,  let  us 
examine  the  question  as  to  what  dis- 
position was  made  of  the  university 
lands  by  the  regents.  It  is  a subject 
of  importance — the  sea  (so  to  speak) 
wherein  some  state  universities,  not  so 
fortunate  as  this  one,  have  been  en- 
gulfed— a rock  on  which  similar  institu- 
tions yet  unborn  may  be  wrecked  in 
their  infancy. 

By  an  act  of  congress,  approved  the 
twenty-third  of  June,  1836,  the  seventy- 
two  sections  of  land  previously  set 
apart  and  reserved  for  a university  in 


228 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


Michigan, were  “granted  and  conveyed 
to  the  state,  to  be  appropriated  solely 
to  the  use  and  support  of  said  univer- 
sity,” in  such  manner  as  the  legislature 
might  prescribe.  By  this  act  the  state 
became  the  trustee  of  an  express  trust. 
The  lands  could  now  be  sold ; but, 
under  no  circumstances,  could  any  of 
the  proceeds  be  diverted  to  other  pur- 
poses than  such  as  were  for  the  use  and 
support  of  the  university. 

In  January,  1837,  the  superintendent 
of  public  instruction,  in  his  first  report 
declared  his  belief  to  be  that  20,000 
acres  out  of  the  whole  46,080  of  the 
university  lands  could  be  sold  at  once 
for  $20  per  acre,  and  that  the  remainder 
would  bring  an  equal  amount  so  soon 
as  the  funds  would  be  needed.  In 
other  words,  he  valued  the  land-grant 
at  nearly  a million  dollars.  He  was 
thereupon  instructed  by  the  legislature 
“ to  sell  at  auction  so  much  of  the  uni- 
versity lands  as  should  amount  to  the 
sum  of  $500,000,”  none  of  which  were 
to  be  disposed  of  less  than  $20  per  acre. 
Of  course  this  was  a dazzling  prospect, 
and  sales  were  soon  made  amounting  to 
$150,000,  at  an  average  price  of  $22.85 
for  each  acre  sold.  But  there  was 
trouble  ahead.  Many  of  the  lands  had 
come  to  be  occupied  by  settlers ; and 
that,  too,  after  the  several  tracts  had 
been  located  for  the  university.  Then 
began  the  passage  of  acts  by  the  legis- 
lature cheapening  these  lands  ; so  that, 
in  the  end,  the  sum  realized  from  the 
seventy-two  sections  was  only  a little 
more  than  half  the  amount  hoped  for  at 
the  beginning,  it  being  in  round  num- 
bers about  $530,000.  This  sum,  upon 


which  interest  at  the  rate  of  seven  per 
cent,  per  annum  is  paid,  produces  a 
reliable  income  of  more  than  $35,000. 

The  marvelous  prosperity  of  the  uni- 
versity (and  we  cannot  characterize  its 
success  in  words  less  adulatory)  rests 
upon  the  intelligent  policy  which  has 
been  carried  forward  by  those  having 
it  in  charge,  ever  since  the  admission 
of  Michigan  as  a state.  The  legislature 
with  now  and  then  an  interference, 
finally  and  wisely  concluded  to  leave 
the  institution  in  the  hands  of  its  guard- 
ians— the  regents  ;*  and  the  latter  with 
equal  wisdom  determined  from  the  first 
that  the  teachers  of  the  school — the 
professors — were  the  only  ones  to  be 
trusted  exclusively  with  the  interior 
work.  But  what  has  been  accomplished 
has  not  been  brought  about  without 
great  trials  and  struggles  and,  at  times, 
bitter  disappointments. 

Four  of  the  sections  of  the  act  of 
the  eighteenth  of  March,  1837,  provid- 
ing for  the  organization  and  government 
of  the  University  of  Michigan,  related 
to  the  establishing  of  branches  of  the 

*The  regents  of  the  University  [of  Michigan]  are 
a constitutional  body  elected  for  long  terms  by  the 
people,  and,  in  their  management  of  the  affairs  of  the 
university,  possessed  of  independent  and  supreme 
authority,  not  to  be  dictated  to  even  by  the  legislat- 
ure itself.  In  fact,  their  authority  rests  upon  pre- 
cisely the  same  basis  as  that  of  the  legislature,  namely, 
the  will  of  the  people  as  expressed  in  the  constitution 
adopted  by  the  people.  The  bearing  of  this  fact 
upon  the  success  of  Michigan’s  experiment  at  mak- 
ing a university  will  be  obvious  to  those  who  have 
noticed  how  inevitably  and  with  what  fatal  ease  a 
state  university  is  worried  to  death  by  ignoramuses 
and  political  hucksters  in  the  legislatures,  whenever, 
in  any  state,  the  university  stands  exposed  to  the 
direct  practices  of  the  legislature  upon  it. — Moses 
Coit  Tyler,  in  Scribner’s  Monthly,  Vol.  XI,  p.  533. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN 


229 


institution  in  different  parts  of  the  state, 
the  power  to  do  this  being  entrusted  to 
the  regents  and  the  superintendent  of 
public  instruction,  under  the  authority 
of  the  legislature.  It  was  the  duty  of 
the  superintendent  not  only  to  take 
charge  of  the  lands  belonging  to  the 
university,  but  to  invest  the  money  re- 
ceived from  their  sale  and  to  aid  in  the 
establishment  of  the  branches  just  men- 
tioned, and  of  the  apportionment  of  the 
fund  among  them. 

It  was  decided  in  June  following  the 
passage  of  the  act  before  described,  that 
there  should  be  eight  branches  of  the 
university  created.  These  were,  in  fact, 
to  be  preparatory  schools ; without  such 
schools,  how  could  the  university  ever 
expect  to  have  a real  beginning — how, 
anything  like  real  progress  ? Five  of 
these  “ branches  ” were  organized  with- 
in a year ; afterwards,  others  were 
opened.  These  did  not  flourish  for  the 
reasons  (i),  that  there  was  not  sufficient 
funds  for  their  support ; (2),  that  the 
population  of  the  state  was  too  sparse  ; 
and  (3),  that  there  was  a defect  in  their 
organization.  However,  it  was  fully  ten 
years  before  these  “ preparatories  ” were 
no  more  ; and,  notwithstanding  all  the 
discouragements  they  labored  under,  the 
work  performed  by  them  was  both 
needed  and  valuable  in  this  that  it 
offered  a good  preparation  to  students 
desiring  a collegiate  education.  Hence, 
when  the  parent  institution  was  ready 
to  receive  pupils  “ the  professors  were 
gratified  to  find  that  applicants  from  the 
branch  schools  were  in  excellent  con- 
dition to  enter  upon  their  collegiate 
work.” 


It  was  the  twenty-second  day  of  July, 
1841,  that  the  organization  of  the  in- 
structional force  of  the  university  began 
at  Ann  Arbor.  George  P.  Williams,  at 
that  time  principal  of  the  Pontiac 
branch  (for  branches  were  yet  flourish- 
ing), received  the  appointment  to  the 
professorship  of  languages — the  first 
chair  filled  in  the  institution — but,  in 
less  than  a month,  he  was  transferred 
by  the  regents  to  the  chair  of  mathe- 
matics, and  the  Rev.  Joseph  Whiting, 
principal  of  the  Niles  branch,  was  ap- 
pointed to  the  department  of  languages. 
A month  later  and  there  were  five 
buildings  on  the  grounds  of  the  univer- 
sity— four  professors’  houses  and  “ the 
north  wing,”  then  the  main  building. 
The  next  year  the  governor  of  the  state 
deprecated  the  extravagance  displayed 
in  their  construction.  The  salaries  of 
Professors  Williams  and  Whiting  were 
fixed  at  five  hundred  dollars  each. 
They  were  also  allowed  to  divide  be- 
tween themselves  what  fees  might  be 
taken  from  the  pupils  in  the  prepara- 
tory department.  They  were  each  fur- 
nished with  a house  free  of  rent.  Such 
was  the  organization  of  the  faculty 
of  the  University  of  Michigan  — the 
“ central  institution,”  as  it  was  then 
called,  to  distinguish  it  from  the 
“branches.” 

Applications  for  admission  by  students 
were  now  in  order.  Six  young  men 
(women  were  barred)  presented  them- 
selves, in  September,  for  examination  : 
one  for  admission  to  the  sophmore 
class,*  five  for  admission  to  the  fresh- 


« 


William  B.  Wesson,  Detroit- 


230 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


man  class.  * All  became  students, 
their  examinations  having  proved  of  a 
satisfactory  character ; so  it  was  the 
first  two  classes  in  the  institution  were 
organized.  The  university  had  a small 
beginning ; it  was,  however,  an  institu- 
tion now — not  ideal  but  real.  “ Be- 
hold, how  great  a matter  a little  fire 
kindleth.”  The  number  of  students  in- 
creased each  year  down  to  1847-8, 
when  there  were  eighty-nine.  It  then 
decreased  until,  in  1851-2,  there  were 
but  fifty-seven  attending  the  literary 
department.  It  was  on  the  sixth  day 
of  August,  1845,  that  the  first  “ com- 
mencement ” of  the  university  was  held. 
Eleven  students  were  graduated,  receiv- 
ing the  degree  of  bachelor  of  arts.f 
In  1849  there  were  twenty-three  grad- 
uates ; but  in  1852  there  were  only 
nine. 

The  act  of  March,  1837,  establish- 
ing the  university,  provided,  for  the 
creation  of  a medical  department  and 
one  of  law.  A medical  faculty  hav- 
ing been  appointed  in  1849  and  1850, 
its  members  met,  on  the  fifteenth  of 
May  of  the  year  last  named,  and  organ- 
ized by  choosing  Dr.  Abram  Sager  for 
their  president.  The  school  was  opened 
in  October  following  with  a large  at- 
tendance. 

This  early  establishment  of  the  med- 

'*  Judson  D.  Collins,  Lyndon ; Merchant  H. 
Goodrich,  Ann  Arbor  ; Lyman  D.  Norris,  Ypsilanti ; 
George  E.  Parmelee,  Ann  Arbor  ; and  George  W*. 
Pray,  Superior. 

+ Charles  A.  Clark,  Judson  D.  Collins,  Thomas 
B.  Cumming,  Edmund  Fish,  Merchant  H.  Good- 
rich, Edward  A.  Lawrence,  John  D.  McKay, 
Fletcher  O.  Marsh,  George  E.  Parmelee,  George  W. 
Pray  and  Paul  W.  H.  Rawles. 


ical  department  was  due  largely  to  the 
foresight  and  energy  of  Professor  Moses 
Gunn,  now  president  of  Rush  Medical 
College  of  Chicago,  but  until  1867,  pro- 
fessor  of  surgery  in  the  University  of 
Michigan.  The  professor  was  a fellow- 
student  with  Dr.  C.  L.  Ford,  a biograph- 
ical sketch  of  whom  appears  at  another 
place  in  the  present  number  of  this 
magazine.  Dr.  Gunn  having  heard  that 
a university  was  established  at  Ann 
Arbor,  which  contemplated  the  ultimate 
organization  of  departments  of  medicine 
and  law,  conceived  the  idea  of  becom- 
ing the  pioneer  in  the  organization  of 
the  first  mentioned  department,  and  said 
to  his  friend,  Dr.  Ford,  “ I will  go  and 
get  this  department  organized,  and  I 
will  teach  surgery  and  you  anatomy.” 
The  response  was,  “Agreed.”  Dr.  Gunn 
was  in  earnest  in  this  matter,  and  imme- 
diately after  his  graduation  secured  a 
body  for  dissection,  and  having  packed 
it  securely  in  a large  trunk,  journeyed 
from  New  York  state  through  Canada, 
by  stage,  which  was  the  only  means  of 
conveyance  during  the  winter  months, 
at  that  time.  Having  reached  Ann 
Arbor,  he  immediately  organized  a class 
from  among  the  students  of  the  literary 
department  and  commenced  to  teach 
them  anatomy  and  physiology.  Having 
excited  a great  interest  in  these  studies 
among  the  students,  he  secured  their  aid 
in  urging  upon  the  regents  the  necessity 
of  the  organization  of  this  department 
without  delay  ; and  many  expressed  the 
desire  to  enter  at  once  as  students. 

The  result  was  that  the  regents  de- 
cided to  establish  this  department  with- 
out further  delay,  and  it  was  organized 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


231 


as  already  stated.  The  announcement 
of  a free  medical  college  was  a novelty 
in  those  days,  the  university  being  the 
first,  we  believe,  to  establish  a medical 
school  under  state  patronage.  The 
result  was  numerous  notices  of  the  press 
which  caused  it  to  be  extensively  adver- 
tised and  known  to  the  profession. 

In  those  days  hazing  was  a common 
practice  in  all  colleges,  the  University 
of  Michigan  included.  The  literary 
students  of  this  institution  anticipated 
great  sport  in  hazing  the  few  medical  stu- 
dents that  were  expected  as  a beginning 
class.  Judge  of  their  disappointment 
and  chagrin  when  about  ninety  stalwart 
and  mature  medical  students  presented 
themselves  for  matriculation,  not  only 
out-numbering  the  combined  classes  of 
the  literary  department,  but  being  far 
more  mature  and  muscular.  Literary 
students  under  these  circumstances  con- 
sidered “ discretion  the  better  part  of 
valor,”  and  wisely  refrained  from  any 
demonstration  towards  any  member  of 
the  medical  class.  It  is  only  proper  to 
add  that  through  Dr.  Gunn’s  influence, 
Dr.  Ford  was  induced  to  fulfill  his  prom- 
ise and  accept  the  chair  of  anatomy  in 
the  university. 

The  success  of  this  department  has 
been  phenomenal.  The  building  up 
and  maintaining  a large  medical  college 
in  a city  the  size  of  Ann  Arbor,  was  con- 
sidered by  the  profession  at  that  time  as 
an  utter  impossibility.  But  there  were 
elements  of  success  besides  the  earnest, 
able  and  devoted  teachers  that  were  not 
taken  into  proper  consideration.  It 
.supplied  a want  long  felt  by  poor  yet 
talented  medical  students  who  wished 


the  facilities  for  obtaining  a good  medi- 
cal education  at  a price  not  beyond 
their  slender  means.  This  the  univer- 
sity, by  reason  of  its  state  aid,  was  en- 
abled to  do,  and  immediately  started 
out  with  a lecture  course  much  longer 
than  that  adopted  by  the  other  medical 
schools  of  the  country.  It  also  estab- 
lished a chemical  laboratory  which  was 
unrivaled  in  the  facilities  it  offered  for 
the  pursuit  of  practical  chemistry.  This, 
under  the  able  management  of  Professor 
Silas  H.  Douglass,  soon  became  fam- 
ous, and  was  a great  attraction  to 
students.  In  this  way,  students  were 
enabled  to  take  a long  and  thorough 
medical  course  before  their  means  were 
exhausted  and  necessity  compelled  them 
to  enter  upon  practice  even  though  im- 
perfectly prepared. 

When  it  is  considered  that  from 
among  the  poor  and  ambitious  youth  of 
the  country  the  brains  and  energy  of 
every  profession  and  calling  are  largely 
recruited,  we  can  see  why  this  depart- 
ment not  only  speedily  filled  with  stu- 
dents but  that  its  graduates  assumed 
prominent  positions  and  became  an 
honor  to,  and  the  pride  of,  their  alma 
mater.  It  is  interesting  to  consider,  in 
this  connection,  that  by  means  exactly 
similar  to  this,  that  is  the  cheapening  of 
medical  education  by  state  aid,  the 
poor  and  ambitious  youths  of  the  provin- 
ces were  attracted  to  Paris,  and  by  the 
eminence  which  they  afterward  obtained, 
shed  lustre  upon  the  profession  in 
France.  The  university  commenced  its 
rapid  growth  from  the  day  of  the  estab- 
lishment of  this  department,  the  gradu- 
ates of  which  are  found  occupying 


2Z2 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


positions  of  influence,  not  only  in  every 
state  of  the  Union,  but  in  almost  every 
civilized  country  of  the  globe. 

At  the  present  time  this  department 
offers  the  longest  and  most  complete 
medical  course  of  any  school  except 
that  of  the  medical  department  of  Har- 
vard, and  is  not  exceeded  even  by  that 
institution.  It  has  a regular  graded 
course  extending  through  three  years, 
and  the  student  must  be  in  attendance 
for  nine  months  of  the  year;  and  no 
student  can  at  the  present  time  graduate 
without  having  taken  this  full  three 
years’  course. 

It  was  not  deemed  necessary,  while 
the  university  was  yet  in  its  infancy  and 
its  students  few,  to  appoint  a chancel- 
lor. It  really  seemed  as  if  there  was 
little  for  an  officer  of  that  grade  to  do; 
besides,  there  was  something  in  the  very 
word  not  quite  to  the  pleasement  of 
the  regents.  The  government,  it  was 
thought,  of  our  American  colleges 
needed  no  such  office.  It  was  a title 
totally  unsuited  to  democratic  simplic- 
ity. Such  an  officer,  to  be  appointed  by 
the  regents,  with  such  a title  and  no 
well-defined  duties,  it  was  reasoned, 
would  either  be  a perfect  sinecure  or 
excite  jealousies  and  prove  a cumbrous 
clog  in  the  operations  of  the  university.* 
It  was  believed  sufficient  if  the  faculty 
had  a head — a president;  one  for  the 
university  was  unnecessary.  Each  full 
resident  professor  served  in  his  turn  as 
chief  officer  for  one  year  and  without 
extra  pay;  until,  finally,  it  was  seen 
that  there  must  be  some  one  appointed 
who  should  be,  in  a sense,  the  ruler  of 

*Joint  Documents,  1848,  No.  6,  pp.  38-40. 


the  whole  internal  affairs  of  the  institu- 
tion ; whose  authority,  dignity  and  in- 
fluence would  be  greater  than  the  annu- 
ally elected  incumbents  just  mentioned  .f 

That,  in  the  year  1850  there  was  a 
new  constitution  framed  and  the  same 
year  adopted  by  the  people  of  Michigan, 
was  a most  fortunatecircumstance  for  the 
university.  This  will  readily  be  seen  in 
the  two  articles  therein  relating  to  the 
institution.  It  was  declared  that  there 
should  be  elected  in  each  judicial  dis- 
trict, at  the  time  of  the  election  of  the 
judge  of  such  circuit,  a regent  of  the 
university,  whose  term  of  office  should 
be  the  same  as  that  of  the  judge.  There 
were  eight  districts,  and  the  judge  held 
his  office  for  six  years;  so,  therefore, 
there  were  to  be  eight  regents  chosen, 
each  to  serve  a term  of  six  years.  An- 
other declaration  of  the  new  constitu- 
iton  was,  that  the  regents  should  at 
their  first  annual  meeting,  or  as  soon 
thereafter  as  might  be,  elect  a president 
of  the  university,  who  should  be  ex- 
officio  a member  of  the  board,  with  the 
privilege  of  speaking  but  not  of  voting. 
He  should  preside  at  the  meetings  of 
the  regents  and  be  the  principal  execu- 
tive officer  of  the  university.  To  the 
regents  was  given  the  general  supervi- 
sion of  the  institution  and  the  direction 
and  control  of  all  expenditures  from  the 
university  interest  fund.  This  was,  in- 
deed and  in  truth,  the  granting  of  a 
magna  chart  to  the  University  of 
Michigan. 

Up  to  this  time  the  trustees  first,  and 
then  the  regents,  had  been  appointed 

+ Elizabeth  M.  Farrand’s  ‘ History  of  the  Univer- 
sity of  Michigan,  ’ p.  90. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN 


233 


by  the  governor  of  the  state,  and  the 
board  had  been  made  up  of  politicians 
rather  than  of  men  of  superior  educa- 
tional qualifications. 

“ The  new  constitution,  besides  pro- 
viding for  the  election  of  the  regents  by 
the  people,  conferred  upon  them  largely 
increased  powers.  This  change  was  of 
the  greatest  importance  to  the  institu- 
tion. The  authority  vested  from  this 
time  forward  in  the  regents  was  so  great 
that  they  were  no  longer  subject  to  the 
interference  of  the  legislature.  From 
that  time  forward,  they  could  indeed  be 
impeached,  but  they  could  not  be  di- 
rected and  controlled.  Under  shelter 
of  this  constitutional  protection,  the 
regents  have  not  hesitated  to  disregard 
even  the  commands  of  the  legislature, 
whenever,  in  their  opinion,  the  welfare 
of  the  university  has  been  threatened  ; 
and  in  this  course  they  have  been  sus- 
tained by  the  supreme  court  of  the 
state.”* 

It  was  not  until  the  twelfth  day  of 
August,  1852,  that  a president  was 
chosen.  The  person  elected  to  that 
responsible  position  was  Rev.  Henry  P. 
Tappan,  D.  D. — a man  in  every  way 
fitted  for  the  office.  His  policy  was  at 
once  far-reaching  and  comprehensive. 
His  first  object  was  to  pursue  and  am- 
plify the  theories  advanced  by  Superin- 
tendent Pierce.  To  this  end,  he  would 
enlarge  the  already  existing  department 
of  literature,  science,  and  the  arts,  and 
that  of  medicine  and  surgery,  into  a 
university  resembling  those  great  Ger- 
man corporations  which  have  been  and 

* Professor  Charles  K.  Adams,  in  ‘The  College 
Book,’  p.  345. 


are  models  of  their  kind.  Secondly,  he 
would  recognize  and  follow  the  principle 
that  none  but  specialists  should  be 
selected  as  professors.  Thirdly,  he 
would  cultivate  an  impartial  blindness 
toward  the  political  and  ecclesiastical 
preferences  of  his  colleagues  in  the 
institution.  Fourthly,  he  would  advo- 
cate a gradual  but  steady  elevation  of 
the  requirements  for  admission  to  the 
professional  schools.  Fifthly,  he  would 
relegate,  in  due  season,  to  the  high 
schools  of  the  state,  the  more  elementary 
work  at  that  time  performed  in  the 
university.  “ These  aims  required  for 
their  realization  continual  exposition  of 
the  vital  connection  existent  between 
primary  and  secondary  education  in  the 
state,  and  also  incessant  exhortation  of 
legislators  and  people  to  a generosity 
that  should  enable  the  university  to 
accomplish  the  ends  set  before  it.” 

In  rapid  succession  the  main  features 
of  this  policy  were  molded  into  ex- 
pression. First,  was  abolished  the 
mediaeval  and  dormitory  system  ; and 
students  ever  after  have  lodged  and 
boarded  with  private  families,  or  in 
hotels  and  in  clubs  throughout  the  town, 
making  them  citizens  for  the  time  being 
of  Ann  Arbor.  Then  were  instituted  the 
“ scientific  ” and  “ optional  ” courses  of 
study,  to  the  end  that  opportunities 
might  be  offered  students  for  perfecting 
themselves  in  branches  of  learning  other 
than  the  immemorial  Latin,  Greek  and 
mathematics,  of  the  regular  curriculum.* 
We  are,  in  these  days,  familiar  enough 
with  scientific  schools,  polytechnic  in- 

* Professor  Charles  Mills  Gayley*  in  Descriptive 
America,  for  August,  1884. 


234 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


stitutes,  industrial  schools,  and  the  like, 
and  there  is  now  no  longer  any  reason 
why  every  boy  who  wishes  an  education 
should  be  fed  on  Latin  and  Greek  with- 
out regard  to  his  fondness  or  lack  of 
fondness  for  that  particular  pabulum. 
But  in  1852  it  required  some  little  pen- 
etration, as  well  as  breadth  of  view,  to 
discern  the  fact  that  the  time  would  soon 
come  when  the  old  classical  curriculum, 
however  good  in  itself,  might  not  be, 
universally  and  without  exception,  a good 
thing  to  take.  To  force  every  student 
into  this  bed  of  Procrustes,  without 
reference  to  his  tastes,  abilities  or  inten- 
tions for  the  future,  did,  however,  seeni 
to  Dr.  Tappan  an  oppressive  policy  in 
an  institution  claiming  to  exist  for  the 
peopkof 

One  of  the  very  first  things  to  engage 
the  attention  of  Dr.  Tappan  was  the 
establishing  of  an  astronomical  observ- 
atory. In  this  movement,  Henry  N. 
Walker  of  Detroit,  took  a prominent 
part.  An  achromatic  refracting  tele- 
scope, equatorially  mounted,  of  twelve 
inches  clear  aperture,  was  the  result ; 
but,  in  1857,  this  was  replaced  by 
another  having  an  object  glass  of  thir- 
teen inches.  Other  instruments  were 
purchased  ; a building  was  erected,  and 
Professor  Francis  Briinow,  assistant  of  the 
celebrated  Encke  of  Berlin,  Prussia, 
chosen  to  the  chair  of  astronomy,  with 
(afterward)  James  C.  Watson,  as  assist- 
ant observer. 

The  nucleus  of  the  general  library  of 
the  university  was  a collection  of  some- 
what less  than  four  thousand  volumes, 
purchased  in  1840.  For  the  next  ten 
t+i. Western  Magazine,’  June,  1880,  p.  107. 


years  but  few  additions  were  made  ; 
however,  upon  the  arrival  of  Dr.  Tap- 
pan,  attention  was  called  to  its  meagre 
condition,  and,  in  accordance  with  his 
recommendation,  regular  appropriations 
were  made  for  its  increase.  In  1852  the 
first  librarian  was  appointed — Professor 
Louis  Fasquelle.  His  successor  was 
John  L.  Tappan,  son  of  the  president. 
Both  these  gentlemen  held  the  office  by 
virtue  of  appointment  by  the  faculty. 
In  October,  1856,  this  policy  was 
changed,  and  the  regents  have  since 
chosen  the  librarians.  Mr.  Tappan 
was  reappointed,  serving  until  1863, 
when  his  successor — D.  C.  Brooks  — 
was  elected.  He  served  one  year,  when 
Professor  Andrew  TenBrook  was  chosen, 
holding  the  office  until  1877.  In  that 
year  he  was  succeeded  by  Raymond  C. 
Davis,  who  is  still  librarian. 

In  1859,  a collection  of  fine  arts  was 
commenced.  Three  years  after,  the 
u Rogers  Art  Association  ” was  formed, 
the  object  being  the  purchase  of  Ran- 
dolph Rogers’  statue,  Nydia.  The 
sculptor  had  been  a boy  in  Ann  Arbor. 
The  statue  was  secured. 

It  was  on  the  third  of  October,  1859, 
that  the  department  of  law — the  law 
school  proper — was  opened.  James  V. 
Campbell,  Thomas  M.  Cooley  and 
Charles  I.  Walker  were  appointed  to 
professorships.  A building  was  soon 
erected  for  the  accommodation  of  the 
law  students.  The  only  requirements 
for  admission  were  eighteen  years  of 
age  and  good  moral  character.  Ninety 
students  were  present  during  the  first 
year.  So  there  were  now  in  the  univer- 
sity the  three  departments  of  (1)  litera- 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


235 


ture,  science  and  the  arts,  (2)  medicine 
and  surgery,  and  (3)  law,  in  successful 
operation. 

As  amended  by  a joint  resolution  of 
the  legislature  in  1861,  and  ratified  at 
the  election  in  1862,  the  constitution 
of  the  state  authorizes  the  election  of 
two  regents,  “ at  every  regular  election 
of  a justice  of  the  supreme  court,” 
whose  term  of  office  shall  be  eight 
years.  The  old  plan — that  under  the 
constitution  of  1850,  already  mentioned 
— had  become  inconvenient. 

One  of  the  principal  means  by  which 
the  university  was  strengthened  by  Dr. 
Tappan,  was  his  gathering  around  him 
able  assistants.  It  was  a cardinal  doc- 
trine with  him  that  all  teachers  in  the 
institution  should  be  selected  solely  on 
account  of  their  ability  to  instruct.  He 
declared  there  was  no  other  safe  guide, 
and  in  this  he  was  right.  Therefore,  it 
was  that,  by  the  founding  of  new  depart- 
ments, by  the  establishment  of  new  pro- 
fessorships, and  by  the  appointment  of 
men  of  culture  and  skill  to  fill  the 
vacant  chairs,  as  well  as  by  the  noble 
utterances  of  the  president  on  educa- 
tional subjects,  the  work  of  the  univer- 
sity was  immensely  extended  in  breadth 
and  depth.  Dr.  Tappan’s  administra- 
tion commenced  in  1852  with  fourteen 
officers  and  two  hundred  and  twenty- 
two  students ; it  ended  in  1863  with 
thirty  officers  and  six  hundred  and  fifty- 
two  students.* 

On  the  twenty-fifth  of  June,  1863,  Dr. 
Erastus  O.  Haven  was  elected  presi- 

*  ‘Adams’  Historical  Sketeh  of  the  University  of 
Michigan,’  pp.  18,  19. 


dent  and  professor  of  rhetoric  and 
English  literature. 

The  most  important  event  in  the  his- 
tory of  President  Haven’s  administra- 
tion, was  one  made  necessary  by  the 
very  prosperity  of  the  institution.  The 
permanent  income  derived  from  the  in- 
terest received  on  account  of  the  uni- 
versity fund  and  from  the  fees  of 
students,  was  no  longer  sufficient  for 
the  needs  of  the  institution.  The  leg- 
islature was  appealed  to  and  with  suc- 
cess ; a bill  was  passed  providing  for 
an  appropriation  of  fifteen  thousand 
dollars  for  the  year  1869,  and  a like 
sum  for  each  year  thereafter.  This  was 
a full  and  complete  recognition  of  the 
principle  that  state  aid  to  the  university 
was  entirely  proper — as  much  so  as 
to  the  common  schools  of  the  common- 
wealth. 

President  Haven  resigned  his  office 
in  the  university  at  the  June  meeting 
of  the  regents,  1869.  He  left  behind 
him  every  token  of  a prosperous  ad- 
ministration. Every  department  of  the 
institution  had  been  extended  in  breadth 
and  in  depth,  and  the  number  of 
students  increased  to  eleven  hundred. 
“ His  resignation,”  says  Miss  Elizabeth 
M.  Farrand,  “was  accepted  by  the 
board  [of  regents]  with  great  reluctance, 
and  occasioned  a regret  that  was  gen- 
eral among  the  friends  of  the  university. 
He  had  worked  harmoniously  with  the 
regents  and  had  been  supported  in  his 
efforts  by  them.  He  was  politic  in  his 
measures  and  persuasive  in  manner ; 
and  his  influence  with  the  legislature, 
with  the  board  of  regents,  with  the 


236 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


faculty,  with  students  and  others,  was 
very  great.”  * 

Prof.  H.  S.  Frieze,  for  the  succeeding 
two  years,  was  acting  president  of  the 
university.  Some  important  measures 
were  adopted  during  his  able  adminis- 
tration. First  and  foremost  was  the 
admission  of  women  fully  and  freely  to 
every  privilege  in  the  institution.  It 
was  a most  marked  innovation — one 
productive  of  the  grandest  results.  As 
early  as  1858,  the  regents  had  received 
a petition  from  a number  of  young 
ladies  asking  admission  to  the  university, 
but  their  report  was  that,  to  adapt  the 
institution  to  the  education  of  both 
sexes  would  require  a revolution  in  the 
management  and  conduct  of  the  uni- 
versity, such  as,  at  the  time,  they  were 
not  prepared  for  ; at  least,  such  was 
the  gist  of  the  refusal.  An  application 
made  the  next  year  met  with  no  better 
success.  Even  as  late  as  1867,  when 
the  legislature  was  anxious  for  the 
change,  President  Haven  opposed  it. 
“ I am  confident,”  said  he,  “ that  such 
a change  could  not  be  made  without  a 
radical  revolution  that  would  require  a 
large  expenditure  of  money  and  give  a 
totally  different  character  to  the  univer- 
sity, and  infallibly  be  attended  by  a 
temporary  breaking  up  of  its  prosperity 
and  success.”  f But  a wise  man  some- 
times changes  his  mind ; and  Dr. 
Haven  was  not  lacking  in  wisdom.  It 
was  the  deliberate  opinion  of  the  legis- 
lature that  “ the  high  objects  for  which 
the  University  of  Michigan  was  organ- 

*'  History  of  the  University  of  Michigan,’ pp. 
198,  199. 

+ ' President’s  Report,’  1867, 


ized  will  never  be  fully  attained  until 
women  are  admitted  to  all  its  rights 
and  privileges.”  It  was  the  people 
speaking  through  their  representatives  ; 
and,  in  this  country,  more  perhaps  than 
in  any  other  that  ever  existed — “ Vox 
populi  vox  Dei."  The  very  next  year,  the 
president  recommended  that  women 
should  be  admitted ; that  it  would  be 
politic  “ to  make  provision  for  the  in- 
struction of  women  at  the  university  on 
the  same  condition  as  men.”  There- 
upon, the  regents  followed  in  the  good 
work  by  declaring  that  there  was  no 
statute  on  the  records  of  the  institution 
excluding  from  its  privileges  any  person 
who  possessed  the  requisite  literary  and 
moral  qualifications.  And  the  great 
battle  was  won  ! It  is  only  left  for  suc- 
ceeding generations  to  wonder  why 
there  was  ever  a necessity  for  a battle 
at  all.  In  February,  1870,  there  was 
one  woman  in  the  university  ; J in  1876 
the  number  had  increased  to  117. 

Another  notable  measure  adopted 
during  the  short  administration  of  Pro- 
fessor Frieze,  was  the  formation  of  an 
official  connection  between  the  univer- 
sity and  the  high  schools  of  the  state. 
This  was  brought  about  in  March,  1871, 
when  it  was  determined  :o  admit  pupils 
upon  their  diplomas,  when  given  by 
such  schools  in  Michigan  as  should 
furnish  satisfactory  evidence  that  the 
course  of  study  and  instruction  pursued 
in  them  was  adequate  and  thorough. 
It  may  here  be  remarked  that,  with  the 

£ Miss  Madalon  L.  Stockwell  Of  Kalamazoo,  was 
admitted  to  the  classical  course  in  the  university  on 
the  second  of  February,  187P — the  first  woman  to 
enter  the  institution. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


237 


dying  out  of  the  university  “branches,” 
already  spoken  of,  there  came  into 
being,  finally,  the  graded  school  district 
system,  its  culmination  being  the  high 
school.  Free  to  all  pupils  resident  in 
the  district  is  this  high  school;  and 
there  are  a large  number  scattered 
throughout  the  state.  They  prepare 
scholars  for  college  and  give  advanced 
instruction  to  those  who  cannot  go  far- 
ther than  their  course.  Graduates  of 
these  high  schools  (that  is,  of  such  as 
have  been  approved  by  the  university) 
are  admitted,  as  before  stated,  to  the 
classes  of  the  institution  last  mentioned, 
on  diplomas  from  the  principals  of  the 
schools,  and  without  examination  (this 
privilege  being  extended,  in  1884,  to 
the  schools  of  other  states).  Thus  the 
university  became,  in  reality,  the  cli- 
max of  the  state  schools — the  head  of 
the  system  of  public  instruction  in 
Michigan.  Between  the  high  schools 
and  the  university  there  is  a reciprocal 
tie — the  former  furnish  to  the  latter  its 
pupils,  largely ; the  last-named  supplies 
these  “preparatories”  with  principals, 
generally.  This  linking  of  high  schools 
with  the  university  is  a plan  now 
adopted  in  most  of  the  states  having  a 
kindred  educational  system  to  that  of 
Michigan. 

A successor  to  Dr.  Haven  having 
been  elected,  the  duties  of  acting  presi- 
dent Henry  S.  Frieze  came  to  an  end 
on  the  last  day  of  July,  1871.  He  was 
tendered  the  thanks  of  the  regents  for 
hs  * ‘ truly  valuable  services  to  the  insti- 
tution which  during  his  administration,” 
they  declared,  had  “ enjoyed  no  com- 
mon degree  of  prosperity,”  and  had 


“constantly  increased  in  usefulness.”  At 
this  time  the  income  of  the  university 
was  about  seventy-three  thousand  dol- 
lars, of  which  thirty-seven  thousand 
dollars  came  from  the  interest  on  the 
permanent  fund ; fifteen  thousand  dol- 
lars from  the  annual  state  aid ; and 
twenty  thousand  dollars  or  more  came 
from  students’  fees.  In  January,  1871, 
the  regents  asked  the  legislature  for  an 
appropriation  of  seventy-five  thousand 
dollars,  to  be  used  in  the  erection  of  a 
building  for  lecture  and  recitation 
rooms  in  the  literary  department.  The 
amount  was  given  by  an  almost  unani- 
mous vote-— establishing,  with  the  gift* 
the  policy  of  making,  when  actually 
necessary,  specific  appropriations  for 
the  institution  ; this,  manifestly,  was  a 
wise  act  on  the  part  of  the  law-makers 
of  the  state  ; and  since  then  many  more 
gifts  in  money  have  been  made.  The 
legislature  of  1873  repealed  the  act 
granting  fifteen  thousand  dollars  a year, 
and  passed  a new  law,  which  levied  a 
tax  of  one-twentieth  of  a mill  on  each 
dollar  of  taxable  property  in  the  state 
for  the  use  of  the  university.  This,  too, 
was  wise  ; for,  as  the  institution  grows, 
there  will  be  an  increase  in  its  wants 
and  an  increase  as  well,  from  year  to 
year,  in  the  tax  with  which  to  assist  in 
meeting  those  wants. 

When,  on  the  first  day  of  August,  1871, 
Dr.  James  B.  Angell  entered  upon  the 
duties  of  his  office  as  president  of  the 
university,  the  institution  had  been  in 
operation  as  a school  thirty  years.  First 
of  all,  under  the  new  administration, 
was  the  experiment  to  be  tried  of  co- 
education— would  it  prove  a success? 


238 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


Enough  has  already  been  said,  especi- 
ally in  giving  the  number  of  women 
in  attendance  five  years  after  the 
first  one  was  admitted,  to  answer 
the  question.  Certainly  and  emphat- 
ically has  it  proved  a great  suc- 
cess. No  distinction  is  made  in  college 
discipline  between  women  and  men.  In 
all  clsases,  except  certain  ones  in  medi- 
cine, the  girls  recite  with  the  boys. 
The  young  ladies  lodge  with  families 
in  town  ; they  influence  the  manners  of 
the  university  for  the  better ; their 
scholarship  is,  on  the  average,  above 
that  of  the  young  gentlemen,  instead  of 
being  only  equal  to  it.  Their  health  is, 
on  the  whole,  better  than  that  of  the 
other  sex — “ excellent,”  says  one  writer, 
“and  to  a degree  unexpected  and  posi- 
tively alarming.”*  The  system  of  mak- 
ing the  high  schools  of  Michigan  (and 
other  states)  preparatory  schools  for  the 
university,  has,  under  the  care  of  Presi- 
dent Angell,  and  by  his  untiring  energy, 
proved  as  successful  as  has  that  of  co- 
education under  the  same  enlightened 
guidance. 

On  request  of  the  school  board  in 
charge  of  any  school,  the  faculty  desig- 
nates a committee  to  visit  the  school 
and  report  upon  its  condition.  Usually 
this  committee  consists  of  members  of 
the  faculty  ; but  whenever,  owing  to  the 
great  distance  of  a school  from  Ann 
Arbor,  or  to  some  other  cause,  this  is 
found  impracticable,  other  persons  are 
designated,  who,  under  the  direction  of 
the  faculty,  perform  the  work  of  inspec- 
tion. If  the  faculty  are  satisfied  from 

* Professor  C.  M.  Gayley,  in  Descriptive  America 
for  August,  1884. 


the  report  of  their  committee  that  the 
school  is  taught  by  competent  in- 
structors, and  is  furnishing  a good  pre- 
paration to  meet  the  requirements  for 
admission  of  candidates  for  any  one  or 
more  degrees,  then  the  graduates  from 
the  approved  preparatory  course  or 
courses  are  admitted  to  the  university 
without  further  examination,  and  per- 
mitted to  enter  upon  such  undergradu- 
ate work  as  the  preparatory  studies 
contemplated.  They  must  present  to 
the  president,  within  a year  and  three 
months  after  their  graduation,  the  di- 
plomas of  their  school  board,  certifying 
that-they  have  sustained  their  examina- 
tions in  all  the  studies  prescribed  for 
admission  as  candidates  for  some  one 
of  the  degrees.  They  are  also  required 
to  appear  at  once  in  their  places;  other- 
wise they  can  be  admitted  only  upon  ex- 
amination. 

The  schools  which  are  approved  are 
entitled  to  send  their  graduates  on  di- 
ploma for  a period  of  three  years  (in- 
clusive of  the  year  of  visitation)  without 
further  inspection,  providing  that  the 
faculty  are  satisfied  that  within  this 
period  no  important  changes  affecting 
the  courses  of  study  and  the  efficiency 
of  the  instruction  make  another  inspec- 
tion necessary.  Otherwise  the  faculty 
reserves  the  right  to  require  a new  in- 
spection if  the  relation  between  the 
school  and  the  university  is  to  be 
maintained.  Should  the  authorities  of 
any  school  at  any  time  within  this 
period  desire  that  a committee  of  in- 
spection visit  their  school,  the  faculty 
always  grant  such  a request  if  it  be 
practicable.  It  is  expected  that  the 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


239 


superintendent  of  each  approved  school 
shall  annually,  at  a date  not  later  in  the 
year  than  March  i,  send  to  the  presi- 
dent a catalogue  of  the  school  if  one  is 
printed.  If  no  catalogue  is  published, 
he  is  expected  to  send  a statement, 
giving  the  names  of  the  teachers,  the 
number  of  pupils  and  a description  of 
the  courses  of  study. 

A new  department  was  created  in  the 
university  in  i875--that  of  a homoeopathic 
medical  college.  This  was  the  outcome 
and  the  final  settlement  of  the  struggle 
of  the  homoeopathists  of  the  state  for 
official  recognition  in  the  previously  es- 
tablished department  of  medicine  and 
surgery.  It  had  been  a prolonged  strug- 
gle, reaching  back  as  far  as  1852.  Stu- 
dents in  this  college  receive  instruction 
in  the  medical  department  in  all 
branches  not  covered  by  the  chairs  in 
the  homoeopathic  department. 

The  same  year  which  saw  the  estab- 
lishment in  the  university  of  the  hom- 
oeopathic medical  college,  witnessed  that 
of  a college  of  dental  surgery — -so  that 
there  were  then  in  the  institution  five 
separate  departments;  but,  in  1876, 
another  was  established — the  school  of 
pharmacy.  A course  in  pharmacy,  it  is 
true,  had  been  drawn  up  as  early  as 
1868,  and  the  degree  of  pharmaceutical 
chemist  conferred  the  next  year ; but 
the  school  of  pharmacy  as  an  independ- 
ent department  was  not  organized,  as 
before  stated,  until  seven  years  after. 
The  university  thus  comprises  the  de- 
partment of  literature,  science  and  the 
arts  (including  the  school  of  political 
science),  the  department  of  medicine 
and  surgery,  the  department  of  law,  the 


school  of  pharmacy,  the  homoeopathic 
medical  college,  and  the  college  of 
dental  surgery.  Each  of  these  depart- 
ments and  colleges  has  its  faculty  of 
instruction,  who  are  charged  with  the 
special  management  of  it.  The  univer- 
sity senate  is  composed  of  all  the  facul- 
ties, and  considers  questions  of  common 
interest  and  importance  to  them  all.  In 
the  department  of  literature,  science  and 
the  arts,  different  lines  of  study  lead  to 
the  attainment  of  the  degrees  of  bach- 
elor of  arts,  bachelor  of  science,  bach- 
elor of  philosophy,  bachelor  of  letters, 
the  corresponding  masters’  degrees,  the 
degree  of  doctor  of  philosophy,  doctor 
of  science,  the  doctor  of  letters,  and  the 
degrees  of  civil  engineer,  mechanical 
engineer,  and  mining  engineer.  In  the 
professional  schools  the  instruction  is 
given  largely  by  lectures.  Degrees  there 
are  given  to  graduates  as  follows  : In  the 
department  of  medicine  and  surgery, 
degree  of  doctor  of  medicine  ; in  the 
department  of  law,  the  degree  of  bach- 
elor of  laws  ; in  the  school  of  pharmacy, 
the  degree  of  pharmaceutical  chemist 
and  master  of  pharmacy  ; in  the  hom- 
oeopathic medical  college,  the  degree  of 
doctor  of  medicine ; in  the  college  of 
dental  surgery,  the  degree  of  doctor  of 
dental  surgery. 

In  connection  with  the  six  depart- 
ments, work  is  conducted  in  the  observ- 
atory, in  the  various  libraries,  museums 
and  laboratories,  and  in  the  hospitals.* 


* The  edifices  upon  the  campus  are  the  law  build- 
ing, university  hall,  museum,  library  building,  presi- 
dent's home,  dental  college,  mechanical  laboratory, 
medical  school  building,  chemical  laboratory,  two 
hospital  buildings,  a boiler  house  and  carpenter  shop. 


240 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


The  methods  pursued  in  the  comple- 
tion of  the  different  lines  of  study  are,  in 
all  respects,  up  to  the  standard  of  those 
adopted  in  the  foremost  colleges  and 
universities  of  the  east.  Two  methods 
may  be  pursued  in  the  completion  of 
these  lines  of  study.  First,  that  of  the 
credit  system,  according  to  which  the 
completion  of  from  twenty-four  to 
twenty-six  full  courses  of  study  is  requi- 
site for  the  acquisition  of  the  bachelor’s 
degree.  A full  course  of  study  consists 
of  attendance  upon  five  lectures,  recita- 
tions, or  exercises  of  any  kind,  a week 
during  a semester.  Of  these  courses, 
not  quite  one-half  are  prescribed  by  the 
faculty  ; while,  with  regard  to  the  re- 
maining studies  that  the  student  shall 
pursue,  it  is  left  to  his  or  her  own  elec- 
tion. By  the  second  method  of  work, 
called  the  university  system,  a student, 
after  completing  the  required  curricu- 
lum of  the  first  two  years  of  residence, 
is  no  longer  obliged  to  attend  any  fixed 
number  of  courses,  but  may  concentrate 
his  or  her  energies  upon  one  major  and 
two  minor  branches  of  study,  which  he 
or  she  shall  pursue  under  the  super- 
vision of  a member  of  the  faculty.  At 
the  end  of  the  student’s  fourth  year  of 
residence,  he  or  she  is  called  upon  to 
pass  an  examination  in  these  studies. 
Thus  men  or  women  of  decided  taste 
and  ability  may,  by  assiduous  cultiva- 
tion of  a specialty,  acquire  more  than 
the  ordinary  proficiency  of  a college 

On  the  observatory  ten-acre  lot,  which  is  a short 
distance  northeast  of  the  campus,  is  the  main  build- 
ing already  described  ; also  one  for  instruction  and 
one  for  computations  and  other  work. 


graduate,  and  a freer  and  deeper  spirit 
of  research  is  encouraged. 

In  the  universities  of  the  old  world, 
the  highest  attainments  in  the  way  of 
instruction  are  reached  by  what  are 
known  as  “ seminary  methods.”  The 
seminary  is  to  the  student  of  history,  or 
literature,  or  language,  what  the  labora- 
tory is  to  the  student  of  science.  The 
student,  when  using  this  method,  has 
his  seminary  library  about  him  for  car- 
rying on  his  investigations.  These  he 
pursues  under  the  general  guidance  and 
assistance  of  his  instructor.  Here  he 
becomes  accustomed  at  once  to  carry- 
ing on  original  research  for  ascertaining 
facts,  to  tracing  the  origin  and  evolu- 
tion of  social  and  political  ideas,  and 
also  to  grouping  the  facts  discovered 
into  such  results  as  seem  to  be  war- 
ranted by  a just  process  of  generaliza- 
tion. Once  a week  each  section  of  the 
seminary,  consisting  of  the  professor 
and  ten  or  twelve  students,  comes  to- 
gether for  a session  of  two  hours  in  the 
comparison  of  notes  and  the  discussion 
of  results.  This  method,  the  third  one 
to  speak  of  in  this  connection,  as  strictly 
after  the  German  model  as  circumstan- 
ces would  permit,  was  introduced  into 
the  University  of  Michigan  in  1868 ; and 
this  was  the  first  introduction  of  it  into 
a university  in  this  country.  It  was 
immediately  successful.  The  method 
has  been  constantly  taking  broader  and 
deeper  root  in  the  best  elements  of  uni- 
versity life.  If  you  were  to  visit  the 
university,  to-day,  you  would  see  in  the 
new  library  building  suites  of  rooms  set 
apart  for  seminary  purposes,  and  you 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


241 


would  find  groups  of  students  working 
with  an  energy,  enthusiasm  and  a suc- 
cess that  would  bring  no  disgrace  even 
to  one  of  the  more  prominent  universi- 
ties in  the  old  world.  In  the  seminary 
rooms  there  have  been  set  apart  no  less 
than  about  six  thousand  volumes  se- 
lected with  especial  reference  to  the 
needs  of  students  carrying  on  original 
investigations,  and  to  which  the  student 
has  immediate  and  constant  access, 
with  a single  short  intermission,  from 
nine  o’clock  in  the  morning  till  nine  and 
a half  at  night.  And  here  a number  of 
students — graduates  and  seniors — are 
prosecuting  the  most  advanced  grades 
of  university  work.  Since  this  method 
has  been  introduced  into  the  University 
of  Michigan,  it  has  been  adopted,  to  a 
greater  or  less  extent,  in  Harvard,  in 
Cornell,  in  Johns  Hopkins  and  perhaps 
elsewhere,  and  everwhere  with  the  same 
beneficial  results.  It  is  an  important 
factor  of  the  work  under  the  “ university 
system,”  though  not  altogether  involved 
in  it. 

There  are  now  in  the  institution  a 
little  over  fifteen  hundred  students. 

“The  university,”  said  Prof.  Charles 
K.  Adams,  not  long  ago,  “like  the 
noblest  of  Roman  matrons,  is  rich  in 
her  children.  Every  year  she  adopts 
more  than  half  a thousand  new  ones 
from  as  many  hearth-stones  in  our  coun- 
try and  in  foreign  lands.”  “Every 
year,”  he  adds,  “some  four  hundred 
receive  her  honors  and  benediction  on 
commencement  day — ‘ each  one,  like  a 
shooting  star  in  the  midnight  sky,  at- 
tracting by  the  momentary  brilliance  of 
his  [or  her]  departure.’  ” 


Of  the  “members  of  the  faculties  and 
other  officers,”  including  the  president, 
professors,  acting  professors  and  assist- 
ants, librarian  and  assistant  in  law 
library,  lecturers,  instructors  and  their 
assistants,  superintendent  of  shops, 
assistant  demonstrators,  assistants  in 
special  studies,  and  master  in  university 
hospital,  and  dispensing  clerk,  there  are 
ninety-two  persons.  Of  these,  only 
six  are  women.  Many  of  the  profes- 
sors are  authors  of  standard  works  in 
the  different  departments  of  science  and 
literature,  and  are  quoted  as  authorities 
in  most  of  the  colleges  and  schools 
throughout  the  country.  Besides  this, 
some  have  been  called  to  the  heads  of 
educational  institutions  in  other  states 
of  the  highest  grade. 

Among  the  prominent  “ helps  ” to  the 
enlightened  and  assiduous  efforts  of  the 
teachers  in  this  great  school  in  Ann 
Arbor,  we  may  mention  the  astronom- 
ical observations  (know  usually  as  the 
“ Detroit  Observatory  ”).  The  build- 
ing consists  of  a main  part,  with  a 
movable  dome,  and  two  wings.  In  the 
dome  is  mounted  the  large  refracting 
telescope,  before  referred  to,  having  an 
object  glass  of  thirteen  inches  in  diam- 
eter. The  east  wing  contains  a large 
meridian  circle  and  a sidereal  clock ; 
the  west  wing  is  used  for  the  library  of 
the  observatory  and  the  smaller  instru- 
ments. The  libraries,  too,  of  the  insti- 
tution are  powerful  aids  to  the  instruc- 
tion given.  Besides  the  special  libra- 
ries of  the  several  departments,  there 
is,  what  has  before  been  spoken  of,  a 
general  library.  This  occupies  a large 
fire-proof  building.  There  are,  in  all 


242 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


the  libraries  of  the  university,  60,201 
volumes  and  12,267  unbound  pamphlets. 
In  this  connection  must  be  also  noted, 
as  efficient  “ helps,”  the  collections  in 
the  museums  illustrative  of  natural  his- 
tory, industrial  arts,  archaeology,  eth- 
nology, the  fine  arts,  history,  anatomy 
and  materia  medica,  which  are  already 
large  and  are  constantly  increasing. 
Last,  but  not  least,  in  the  induce- 
ments ” to  study,  is  the  absence  of 
rowdyism.  The  fact  that  students  are 
looked  upon  as  temporary  residents  of 
Ann  Arbor  (and  they  really  are),  puts 
them  upon  their  honor  in  all  things 
touching  their  conduct ; but,  when 
that  honor — that  wisdom — fails,  then, 
and  only  then,  the  city  authorities  in- 
terfere. The  result  of  this  self-govern- 
ment is,  of  course,  a total  absence  of 
espionage. 

The  regents  and  the  faculties  have 
constantly  aimed  to  keep  the  institution 
en  rapport  with  the  people,  and  they 
still  are  untiring  in  their  endeavor. 

The  whole  strength  of  Dr.  AngelPs 
official  and  unofficial  influence  has  been 
expended  in  a constant  effort  to  make 
the  people  of  Michigan  feel  that  the 
university  at  Ann  Arbor  belongs  to 
them  ; that  it  is  for  them  to  be  proud 
of,  and,  above  all,  for  them  to  use. 

The  university  is  popular  in  the  strict- 
est sense,  whether  we  consider  its  course 
of  study  or  the  fact  that  it  is  freely 
opened  to  all  the  people  without  dis- 
tinction. If  any  wish  to  give  their  sons 
or  daughters  a classical  education,  with 
a view  to  the  learned  professions,  they 
find  here  the  requisite  course  of  study. 
Those  who  wish  to  give  their  children  a 


purely  scientific  education,  to  introduce 
them  to  different  branches  of  industries, 
the  requisite  courses  are  all  here  pro- 
vided. The  university  thus  meets  the 
wants  of  the  people  in  all  the  varied 
designs  of  education,  the  higher  and 
lower  as  well. 

The  appointment  of  Dr.  Angell  as 
minister  to  China,  by  the  President  of 
the  United  States,  was  regarded  by  the 
regents  as  a most  gratifying  recognition 
not  only  of  the  doctor  but  of  the  insti- 
tution of  which  he  is  the  head.  They 
believed  that  the  standing  and  progress 
of  the  university  were  so  well  assured 
that  leave  of  absence  might  be  granted 
him  without  serious  detriment  to  the  in- 
stitution. This  was  done  March  4,  1880. 
He  did  not  return  until  February,  1882. 
Meanwhile,  Professor  Frieze  again  be- 
came acting  president  of  the  institution, 
and  again  (this  time  for  the  university 
years  of  1880-81  and  1881-82)  did  he 
perform  “ the  duties  of  that  office  with 
the  ability,  faithfulness  and  disinterest- 
edness so  characteristic  of  him.”*  Since 
the  commencement  of  Dr.  Angell’s  ad- 
ministration to  the  present  time  the  in- 
stitution has  grown  in  every  direction, 
and  particularly  in  the  hearts  of  the 
people.  The  course  of  the  president 
has  continually  been  marked  bv  wisdom 
and  moderation  in  his  management,  re- 
sulting increasingly,  of  course,  to  his 
honor  and  renown. 

In  conclusion,  we  may  say  that  the 
University  of  Michigan  commends  it- 
self to  the  people  of  the  state  and  sur- 
rounding commonwealths  because  it 

* ‘ Farrand’s  ‘History  of  the  University  of  Michi- 
gan. ' p.  259. 


THE  UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


243 


aims  to  complete  and  crown  the  work 
that  is  begun  in  the  public  schools,  by 
furnishing  ample  facilities  for  liberal  ed- 
ucation in  literature,  science  and  the 
arts,  and  for  thorough  professional 
study  of  medicine,  pharmacy,  law  and 
dentistry.  Its  salient  features  are,  as 
has  already  been  intimated,  first,  its 
proud  dependence  upon  the  people  and 
government  of  Michigan  ; second,  its 
unique  connection  with  the  preparatory 
high  schools  of  the  state  ; third,  its 
adoption  and  successful  vindication  of 
the  principle  of  coeducation ; fourth, 
its  absolute  non-partisanism  and  non- 
sectarianism ; fifth,  the  facilities  it  offers 
for  professional  instruction  ; and  sixth, 
its  principle  of  self-government.  The 
institution  is  one  of  the  proudest  monu- 
ments yet  reared  to  popular  education 
by  the  people  in  the  great  central  west. 

JAMES  BURRILL  ANGELL. 

The  president,  at  this  time,  of  the 
University  of  Michigan,  is  James  Burrill 
Angell,  who  was  born  in  the  town  of 
Scituate,  Rhode  Island,  on  the  seventh 
of  January,  1829.  He  is  the  eldest  of 
eight  children — son  of  Andrew  Aldrich 
Angell  and  Amey  (Aldrich)  Angell — and 
is  directly  descended  from  Thomas 
Angell,  who  came  from  Massachusetts 
into  Rhode  Island  with  Roger  Williams. 

The  early  education  of  James — that 
is,  until  he  was  about  seven  years  of 
age — was  obtained  in  the  common 
schools  of  his  native  town.  He  then 
studied  in  an  excellent  private  school 
near  his  home,  where  he  remained  four 
years.  He  was  then,  for  two  years,  a 
pupil  in  academies  , in  Seekonk,  Massa- 


chusetts, and  in  North  Scituate,  Rhode 
Island.  This  was  followed  by  a like 
period  of  time  in  work  on  his  father’s 
farm.  The  boy  finished  his  preparation 
for  college  in  the  University  Grammar 
school  in  Providence,  chiefly  under  the 
instruction  of  Dr.  Henry  Simmons 
Frieze,  present  professor  of  Latin  in  the 
University  of  Michigan. 

James  entered  Brown  University  as 
freshman,  in  September,  1845 — which 
institution  was  then  under  the  direction 
of  that  great  teacher,  Dr.  Wayland. 
Among  his  contemporaries  in  college 
were  Hon.  S.  S.  Cox,  Chief  Justice 
Durfer  of  Rhode  Island,  Rev.  Dr. 
Fisher  of  Yale  Theological  Seminary, 
Judge  Dickman  of  Cleveland,  Rev.  Dr. 
Murray  dean  of  Princeton  college,  and 
the  late  Professor  Diman.  He  was  a 
graduate  from  the  university  in  1849, 
with  the  highest  honors  of  his.  class. 
“Undergraduate  honors  do  not  often 
forecast  a similar  success  in  the  affairs 
of  real  life,  but  it  is  worth  while  to  recall 
that  a tradition  still  lingers  at  Brown  of 
the  remarkable  successes  of  this  young 
student,  achieved  forty  years  ago.  Such 
versatility  and  mental  grasp  did  he 
display,  that  the  elders  of  the  college 
did  not  hesitate  to  rise  up  and  declare 
that  the  world  contained  great  prizes 
for  a youth  to  whom  the  Homeric  theory 
and  the  nebular  hypothesis  offered 
equal  charms.  Such  enthusiasm  on  part 
of  college  professors  is  not,  unhappily, 
always  dependable,  but  in  this  case  it 
has  been  sufficiently  sustained.”* 

* Chicago  Herald,  November  6,  1886,  in  an  able 
and  discriminating  article  entitled,  " Two  University 
Men,’ 


244 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES 7 FAN  HISTORY. 


It  was  during  his  collegiate  studies 
that  the  subject  of  this  sketch,  influenced 
in  no  small  degree  by  the  deep  and  sim- 
ple faith  of  Dr.  Wayland,  became  a 
professor  of  religion,  attaching  himself 
to  the  Congregational  church.  During 
the  last  year  of  his  college  course  he 
came  to  the  conclusion  that  he  would 
enter  the  ministry,  but  this  purpose  he 
subsequently  abandoned,  having  con- 
tracted a disease  of  the  throat — a suf- 
ficient cause  for  his  abandonment  of  the 
plan  of  studying  theology. 

For  a year  after 
graduation,  the 
young  man  was  an 
assistant  in  the 
university  library, 
giving,  at  the  same 
time,  private  in- 
struction to  a stu- 
den t.  He  then 
spent  a winter  trav- 
eling through  the 
south  on  horse- 
back for  his  health 
which,  upon  his 
return,  was  so  pre- 
carious that  it  was 
thought  necessary 
for  him  to  lead  an  out-door  life. 
He  thereupon  decided  to  take  up 
civil  engineering,  entering  the  office 
of  E.  S.  Chesborough,  city  engineer  of 
Boston,  in  charge  of  the  Cochituate 
water  works  (afterwards  city  engineer 
of  Chicago),  and  spending  some  months 
in  the  work.  But,  in  December,  1851, 
an  opportunity  presenting  itself  to  go  to 
Europe  for  a few  months,  he  gave  up 
engineering  and  started  on  a trip  to 


the  old  world.  Soon  after  arriving 
there,  he  was  invited  by  the  trustees  of 
Brown  university  to  take  the  chair  of 
modern  languges  or  the  chair  of  civil 
engineering,  as  he  might  prefer,  and 
remain  in  Europe  to  study.  He  chose 
the  former,  and  remained  till  August, 
1853,  traveling  and  studying  in  Italy, 
France  and  Germany. 

The  chair  of  modern  languages  and 
literature  in  Brown  university  was  filled 
by  Professor  Angell  until  i860,  with  the 
most  gratifying  success.  He  developed 
the  highest  quali- 
ties as  a teacher 
during  its  admin- 
istration. “His 
own  ripe  culture 
in  this  depart- 
ment ; his  admir- 
able taste  ; his  en- 
thusiastic, stimu- 
lating mind  ; his 
hearty  convictions, 
combined  with  at- 
tractive methods 
of  tuition,  made 
him  one  of  the 
most  successful 
professors  i n a 
university  which  has  not  been  wanting 
in  some  of  our  most  influential  educat- 
ors.”* In  short,  his  versatility  was 
found  to  include  the  rare  gift  of  impart- 
ing knowledge  in  an  original  and  attrac- 
tive manner  ; hence,  his  success. 

But  Professor  Angell  was  not  only  of 
the  cloister — he  was  a man  of  the  world 
in  the  true  sense  of  the  term.  He  kept 

•‘American  Biographical  History’  (Michigan  Vol.) 
Art.:  “James  B.  Angell.” 


LAW  DEPARTMENT. 


THE  UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


245 


himself  “posted”  in  outside  affairs,  as 
is  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  during  the 
last  two  years  of  his  professorship  he 
wrote  most  of  the  leading  articles  in  the 
Providence  Journal , a newspaper  which 
has  always  been  noted  for  the  ability  of 
its  editorials.  In  i860,  Hon.  Henry  B. 
Anthony,  having,  in  1858,  been  elected 
United  States  senator,  offered  to  Pro- 
fessor Angell  the  whole  editorial  care  of 
the  paper.  “ This  position  he  accepted 
and  held  for  six  years.  He  conducted 
the  Journal  during  the  period  of  'the 
civil  war.  It  was  among  the  most  un- 
compromisingly loyal  ; it  never  faltered 
in  its  support  of  the  government,  and 
was  never  despondent.  In  the  darkest 
hour  of  the  struggle,  the  well-known 
buoyancy  and  manly  courage  of  its  edi- 
tor found  daily  expression  in  his  ed- 
itorials, some  of  which  were  circulated 
as  campaign  documents  during  the  crit- 
ical periods  of  the  conflict.” 

Professor  Angell  was  now  offered  the 
presidency  of  the  University  of  Ver- 
mont, and  this  position  he  accepted,  his 
inauguration  taking  place  in  August, 
1866.  His  address  upon  that  occasion, 
although  prepared,  necessarily,  in  great 
haste,  is  remembered  as  a masterly  ef- 
fort. He  took  charge  of  the  institution 
at  a most  unfortunate  period  ; money 
was  to  be  raised — students  were  to  be 
brought  in.  It  has  been  said,  with 
truth,  that  “ he  assumed  the  duties  of 
his  new  office  at  a time  when  the  for- 
tunes of  the  college  were  at  a low  ebb, 
and  its  future  seemed  somewhat  over- 
cast ; but  he  gave  himself  to  these 
duties  with  so  much  organizing  and  ex- 
ecutive ability,  with  so  clear  and  accur- 


ate a perception  of  the  true  idea  of  col- 
legiate education;  he  brought  to  his 
chair  so  much  of  the  finest  culture,  so 
much  attractiveness  and  power  in  per- 
sonal character,  such  fine  gifts  as  an  in- 
structor, as  to  render  the  future  of  the 
college  decidedly  hopeful.”  Eighty 
thousand  dollars  were  raised  finally, 
and  the  number  of  students  was  largely 
increased. 

In  1868  the  degree  of  LL.  D.  was 
conferred  upon  Professor  Angell,  by  his 
alma  mater — the  highest  honor  she 
could  give  one  of  her  sons — at  the  same 
time  selecting  him  for  the  annual  ora- 
tion before  ts  alumni,  at  the  Commence- 
ment in  1869. 

Dr.  Angell,  during  the  year  last-men- 
tioned, was  invited  to  take  the  position 
of  president  of  the  University  of  Michi- 
gan, but  declined  because  he  felt  he 
could  not  properly  leave  the  Vermont 
institution  at  that  time  ; however,  the 
invitation  having  been  renewed  in  1871, 
he  concluded  to  accept.  This  brought 
him  to  Ann  Arbor — to  the  head  of  the 
leading  educational  institution  in  the 
west.  But  we  cannot  dismiss  this  sub- 
ject without  something  of  an  elaboration 
concerning  the  appointment,  acceptance 
and  inauguration  of  Dr.  Angell  as  presi- 
dent of  the  university,  because  of  the  in- 
terest thereby  awakened.  “ Immedi- 
ately after  the  resignation  of  Dr.  Haven,” 
says  a late  writer,  “a  committee  had 
been  appointed  whose  duty  it  was  to 
select  his  successor.  The  members  of 
the  committee  visited  the  east  and 
first  offered  the  presidency  to  President 
Seelye  of  Amherst  college.  After  some 
consideration  he  declined  it.  Upon  the 


246 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


recommendation  of  Professor  Frieze, 
the  committee  then  visited  Vermont 
university  to  learn  of  President  Angell 
if  he  would  accept  the  position.  He 
visited  Ann  Arbor  and  was  unanimously 
elected  president  by  the  board  of  re- 
gents. So  great  was  the  opposition 
made  by  President  Angell’s  friends  in 
Vermont,  to  his  leaving  the  University 
of  Vermont,  that  he,  too,  was  obliged, 
reluctantly,  the  regents  were  assured,  to 
decline  the  office. 

“ The  committee  continued  their  efforts 
in  the  search  for  a president;  eighteen 
months  passed  and  still  the  office  was 
vacant.  Satisfied  with  the  administra- 
tion of  Acting  President  Frieze  during 
that  time,  the  regents,  at  an  informal 
meeting  of  all  but  one,  directed  the  chair- 
man of  this  committee  to  converse  with 
Professor  Frieze  and  intimate  to  him 
that  he  would  probably  be  chosen  pres- 
ident at  the  next  meeting  if  he  would 
accept  the  position.  He  replied  that 
he  did  not  wish  the  permanent  position 
of  president,  that  he  believed  that  Presi- 
dent Angell  could  ultimately  be  ob- 
tained, and  he  was  willing  to  accept 
the  presidency  only  until  such  time 
as  President  Angell  could  be  procured. 

“‘A correspondence  was  again  opened 
with  President  Angell,  and  in  February, 
1871,  he  was  a second  time  elected 
president  by  the  following  resolution  : 

Resolved,  That  Hon.  James  B.  Angell,  LL.  D., 
be  declared  elected  president  of  the  university,  at 
asalaryof  $4,500  per  annum  and  house  rent,  and 
that  his  expenses  of  removal  from  Vermont  to  Ann 
Arbor  be  paid  by  the  university,  his  salary  to  begin 
August  1,  1871. 

“This  invitation  was  accepted.  Dr. 
Angell  was  inaugurated  president  of  the 


university  by  Acting  President  Frieze 
on  Commencement  day,  June  28,  1871. 
The  warm  welcome  publicly  given  him 
by  Professor  Frieze  found  a response 
among  the  students  and  citizens  of  the 
state.  No  less  heartily  was  greeted  the 
new  president’s  graceful  tribute  to  Pro- 
fessor Frieze  : ‘ And,  sir,  permit  me  to 

say  that  I count  it  as  one  of  my  chief 
encouragements,  and  as  my  special 
good  fortune,  that,  in  entering  on  my 
duties,  I can  lean  on  the  tried  arm  of 
one  whose  character  and  scholarship 
and  friendship  I learned  to  esteem  long 
years  ago,  in  my  boyhood,  and  whose 
two  years’  administration  of  the  presi- 
dency has  been  so  honorable  to  him- 
self and  so  useful  to  the  university.’  ” * 
The  institution  that  Dr.  Angell  was 
thus  called  upon  to  direct  was  in  the 
enjoyment  of  great  prosperity  ; never- 
theless, because  of  recent  innovations, f 
all  his  administrative  skill  was  quickly 
brought  into  requisition — with  what  suc- 
cess has  already  been  told  in  this  num- 
ber of  the  Magazine  of  Western  His- 
tory. We  may  supplement  the  state- 
ment before  made,  however,  by  saying 
that  since  Dr.  Angell  has  been  at  the 
head  of  affairs  in  the  University  of 
Michigan,  a number  of  buildings  have 
been  erected  (though  he  by  no  means 
claims  the  sole  credit  of  their  erection.) 
We  enumerate  : The  main  building  of 

the  library  department,  the  museum,  the 

* Miss  E.  M.  Farrand’s  ‘ History  of  the  University 
of  Michigan,’  pp.  214,  215. 

fWe  allude  here,  especially,  to  the  previous  ad- 
mission into  all  the  departments  of  the  university  of 
women,  and  to  the  vital  connection  just  established 
between  the  institution  and  the  high  schools  of  the 
state. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


247 


hospitals,  the  boiler  house,  the  wing  of 
the  dental  college,  the  library,  the  engi- 
neering laboratory  ; and  the  chemical 
laboratory  has  been  nearly  quadrupled  in 
size.  The  elective  system  has  been  in- 
troduced in  the  literary  department  ; 
the  medical,  law  and  dental  courses 
have  all  been  lengthened  ; the  general 
order  has  been  greatly  improved  ; the 
variety  of  courses  of  instruction  has 
been  greatly  enlarged,  and  the  standard 
of  attainment  in  all  departments  greatly 
elevated. 

But  we  have  anticipated.  In  1879  the 
President  of  the  United  States  appointed 
Dr.  Angell  minister  to  China,  as  is  well 
known.  Now,  this  was  in  no  sense  a 
political  appointment.  It  was  a tribute 
paid  to  a man  having  a national  reputa- 
tion as  a learned,  polished  and  refined 
gentleman — as  the  honored  president  of 
an  educational  institution  the  peer  of 
any  in  the  land.  It  was  an  appointment 
eminently  fit  to  be  made.  A bit  of  his- 
tory must  now  be  indulged  in  : 

During  the  “ Sand  Lot  ” troubles  in 
San  Francisco,  congress  was  urgently 
called  upon  to  revise  the  (then)  existing 
Burlingame  treaty  with  China  in  some 
way  so  as  to  restrain  the  unlicensed  immi- 
gration of  coolies,  and  satisfy  the  unruly 
demands  of  Pacific  Slope  labor.  Secre- 
tary Evarts  was  instructed  that  such  a 
revision  must  be  made,  and  the  secretary, 
casting  about  for  a suitable  person  to 
undertake  a mission  so  delicate  and  so 
important,  hit  upon  President  Angell, 
prompted  by  reasons  in  his  favor  just 
enumerated.  The  proposal  first  made 
was  that  Dr.  Angell  should  simply  as- 
sume the  chairmanship  of  a commission 


to  inquire  into  the  relations  arising  out 
of  the  Burlingame  treaty  and  suggest  a 
revision.  But  the  diplomatic  relations 
then  existing  with  China  were  such  as 
to  suggest  an  enlargement  of  this  plan. 
The  then  minister  to  that  country  was 
George  F.  Seward,  a nephew  of  Mr. 
Lincoln’s  secretary  of  state,  whose  ap 
pointmenthad  arisen  out  of  this  relation- 
ship, but  whose  record  had  been  far 
from  satisfactory  to  the  state  depart- 
ment. Indeed,  frequent  complaints  had 
of  late  years  reached  Washington,  some 
of  them  of  a serious  character.  In  a 
word,  it  was  deemed  best  to  demand 
Mr.  Seward’s  return  to  America,  and 
Dr.  Angell,  having  accepted  a simple 
chairmanship  of  the  commission,  was 
speedily  urged  to  go  to  China  as  min- 
ister-elect, commissioned  with  the  un- 
pleasant duty  of  bearing  to  Mr.  Seward 
the  letter  recalling  him.  The  other 
members  of  the  commission  were  Wil- 
liam H.  Trescot  of  South  Carolina,  and 
John  F.  Swift  of  California. 

It  so  happened  that  just  as  Dr.  Angell 
and  his  colleagues  arrived  at  Peking,  the 
eminent  German  minister,  Von  Brandt, 
had  just  concluded  an  unimportant  com- 
mercial treaty  between  China  and  his 
government.  The  treaty,  unimportant  as 
it  was,  was  the  result  of  no  less  than  two 
years  of  steady  application  on  the  part 
of  perhaps  the  ablest  and  wittiest  Euro- 
pean minister  in  Peking.  Dr.  Angell, 
previous  to  his  departure  from  America, 
had  obtained  one  year’s  leave  of  absence 
from  the  regents  of  the  University  of 
Michigan,  expecting  to  complete  his 
duties  within  that  time.  When  he  made 
this  fact  known  to  the  European  diplo- 


248 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


mats  in  Peking,  they  were  filled  with 
astonishment.  “You  do  not  know  the 
Chinese  government,”  they  said,  “ the 
most  conservative,  the  slowest,  the  most 
jealous  of  foreigners  on  earth.  Go 
back  and  have  your  leave  of  absence 
extended  to  five  years  and  you  may  have 
time  enough  to  accomplish  your  mis- 
sion.” 

With  this  discouraging  outlook,  the 
commission  started  out.  How  little  the 
Europeans  had  calculated  on  the  effi 
ciency  of  alert  American  methods,  is 
sufficiently  shown  by  the  fact  that, 
within  sixty  days,  Dr.  Angell  and  his 
colleagues  had  secured  not  only  a satis- 
factory and  friendly  revision  of  the 
Burlingame  treaty,  in  respect  to  the 
importation  of  Chinese  labor,  but  an 
important  commercial  treaty  as  well, 
regulating  the  importation  of  opium.* 

And  here  we  may  add  that  the  Prot- 
estant Chinese  converts  had  been  taxed 
in  their  villages  for  support  of  festivals 
in  heathen  temples.  This  was  a hard- 
ship and  a wrong.  The  Roman  Catho- 
lic converts  were  exempt  from  this  tax. 
Dr  Angell  took  up  the  matter  and  got  the 
Chinese  government  to  issue  a mandate 
exempting  the  Protestants.  This  was 
gratefully  appreciated  by  them.  Aside 
from  the  Chinese  mission,  which  he  re- 
signed as  soon  as  the  appointed  work 
was  done,  Dr.  Angell  has  never  de- 
parted from  his  labor  as  president  of 
the  University  of  Michigan  since  his 
inauguration. 

When  Dr  Angell  assumed  the  presi- 

* For  the  facts  in  this  historical  relation,  I am 
indebted  to  the  article  in  the  Chicago  Herald,  pre- 
viously cited. 


dency  at  Ann  Arbor,  there  were  more 
than  a thousand  students  in  the  institu- 
tion ; there  are  now  something  over  fif- 
teen hundred.  The  cares  growing  out 
of  the  great  responsibilities  of  his  station 
have  not  prevented  him  from  making 
his  influence  felt  in  the  state  at  large. 
“ His  addresses  on  literary  and  educa- 
tional topics  in  different  portions  of 
Michigan ; his  generous  and  elegant 
hospitality  to  all  alumni  and  friends  of 
the  university ; his  earnest  Christian 
sympathy,  as  shown  in  his  baccalaure- 
ate discourses,  as  well  as  his  less  formal 
addresses  to  students  ; his  happy  meth- 
ods of  keeping  in  harmony  the  various 
elements  of  the  different  faculties  ; his 
genial  firmness  as  a disciplinarian,  to- 
gether with  his  remarkable  familiarity 
with  the  condition  and  wants,  as  well 
as  the  weaknesses,  of  individual  stu- 
dents, exert  a powerful  and  permanent 
influence  in  behalf  of  higher  education 
in  Michigan  and  throughout  the  north- 
west.” 

The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  mar- 
ried in  1855,  to  Sarah  S.  Caswell,  daugh- 
ter of  the  late  President  Caswell  of 
Brown  university.  They  have  three 
children.  Dr.  Angell  has  contributed 
numerous  articles  to  the  North  Ameri- 
can Review,  Bibliotheca  Sacra  and 
other  reviews  and  magazines,  all  indi- 
cating the  profound  scholarship  and 
thought  of  their  author. 

CORYDON  L FORD,  M.  D.,  LL.  D.,  OF  THE 
UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN.* 

The  following  biographical  sketch, 
written  by  a friend  and  associate  of 

*This  sketch  is  furnished  by  A.  B Palmer,  M.D. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


249 


many  years,  is  of  no  common  man.  It  is 
not  of  one  only  locally  known,  for  whom 
a wider  notoriety  is  sought — not  of  an 
aspiring  practitioner  of  a profession, 
with  the  view  of  advertising  his  busi- 
ness, but  is  the  brief  history  of  the 
rounded  life  of  a venerable  and  widely 
known  teacher  in  a great  profession, 
who  has  attained  more  than  a national 
reputation,  who  is  admired  and  revered 
by  thousands  of  his  former  pupils, 
scattered  in  almost  every  city  and 
hamlet  in  the  land,  and  in  many  foreign 


higher  education  and  technical  learning 
in  the  expanding  and  enterprising  west. 

In  other  respects  the  history  of  Dr. 
Ford’s  career  is  important.  It  illus- 
trates the  triumphant  mastering  of  ad- 
verse conditions  by  labor  and  perse- 
verence  ; and  more  interesting  still,  it 
shows  the  great  advantages  of  an  almost 
exclusive  life-devotion  to  a special  field 
of  labor,  to  which  peculiar  talents  are 
adapted. 

These  points  will  be  made  to  appear 
as  the  narrative  proceeds.  This  narra- 


CHEMICAL  LABORATORY. 


fields  of  professional  and  missionary 
labor,  who  will  be  interested  in  an  ac- 
count, however  incomplete,  of  one  they 
regard  as  a personal  friend,  to  whom 
they  are  bound  by  ties  of  gratitude  and 
affection. 

Neither  are  Professor  Ford’s  life  and 
labors  devoid  of  historical  interest,  as 
he  has  been  connected  with  a number 
of  important  professional  colleges  in  the 
east,  and  has  had  a prominent  part  in 
contributing  to  the  success  and  estab- 
lishing the  reputation  of  an  important 
department  of  the  largest  institution  of 


tive,  though  so  important  in  its  lessons 
can  be  briefly  told. 

Dr.  Ford  is  strictly  of  New  England 
origin,  being  the  seventh  in  descent  from 
William  Ford,  who  at  the  age  of  seven- 
teen arrived  at  Plymouth  in  th t Fortune, 
the  second  ship  that  brought  passengers 
to  New  England. 

H is  father,  Abner  Ford,  born  near 
the  border  of  Massachusetts,  in  Canaan, 
Columbia  county,  New  York,  early  re- 
moved to  Lexington,  Green  county,  in 
the  same  state,  where  the  subject  of 
this  sketch  was  born  August  29,  1813. 


250 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


He  was  the  third  son  of  Abner  and 
Catharine  (Frint)  Ford.  When  he  was 
less  than  two  years  old  his  parents 
removed  to  Butternuts,  Otsego  county, 
and  soon  settled  upon  a farm  near  the 
village  of  Gilbertsville,  where  they  re- 
mained till  1836,  when  they  removed 
to  Michigan  and  settled  in  Wayne 
county,  where  his  mother  died  in  1856, 
and  his  father  in  i860.  His  family  be- 
longed to  the  respectable  class  of  mod- 
erate farmers,  abounding  in  the  interior 
part  of  the  state  of  New  York  seventy 
years  ago,  so  many  of  the  descendants 
of  whom,  emigrating  to  Michigan  and 
other  northwestern  states,  have  given 
character  to  the  society  and  institutions 
of  these  states. 

During  his  childhood  Dr.  Ford  had 
an  attack  of  what  physicians  call  in- 
fantile paralysis,  affecting,  as  is  most 
common,  one  of  the  lower  limbs,  arrest- 
ing, to  a greater  or  less  extent,  its  devel- 
opment and  impairing  or  destroying  its 
usefulness.  The  results  of  this  disease 
are  generally  permanent,  and  this  case 
was  not  an  exception.  Dr.  Ford  has 
had  a lifelong  lameness,  being  unable 
to  walk  without  a cane,  valuable  speci- 
mens of  which  have  been  presented  to 
him  by  classes  of  his  students  on  vari 
ous  occasions.  This  defect  has  an 
effect  upon  his  whole  organism,  so 
much  so  as  to  lead  him  to  regard  him 
self  as  an  invalid  for  life,  and  has  doubt- 
less had  an  influence  in  keeping  him 
from  the  practice  of  medicine,  and  con- 
fining him  to  teaching  a fundamental 
department  of  the  profession. 

The  resources  of  a moderate  farmer 
at  that  period  and  locality  were  not 


large,  opportunities  for  a liberal  educa- 
tion were  not  abundant,  and,  until  he 
was  able  to  earn  money  for  himself,  he 
had  only  the  advantages  of  the  com- 
mon schools  of  his  neighborhood,  which 
he  attended  in  the  winter,  while  in  the 
summer  and  during  vacations  he  per- 
formed such  labor  upon  the  farm  as 
was  possible  without  much  walking. 
He,  however,  must  have  improved  well 
the  opportunities  of  education  he  had, 
for  at  the  age  of  seventeen  he  com- 
menced teaching  school,  and  immedi- 
ately showed  such  an  aptitude  for  com- 
municating knowledge  to  others,  that 
he  was  saved  being  put  to  learn  a light 
mechanical  trade,  which  at  an  earlier 
period  was  thought  of.  Had  it  not  been 
for  his  lameness,  he  might  have  been 
simply  a tiller  of  the  soil,  and  had  he 
not  early  shown  an  unusual  capacity 
for  teaching,  he  might  have  spent  his 
life  as  a mechanic,  either  of  which  oc- 
cupations, though  honorable  and  use- 
ful, would  have  deprived  the  profession 
of  medicine  and  the  science  of  anatomy 
in  this  country,  of  what  many  have 
reason  to  believe  its  most  successful 
teacher. 

At  the  age  of  nearly  twenty-one,  he 
commenced  the  study  of  medicine  with 
Dr.  A.  B.  Brown  of  Somerset,  Niagara 
county,  New  York,  but  soon  removed 
to  Medina  of  that  state  and  became  a 
student  with  Dr.  Caleb  Hill.  His  medi- 
cal studies  were  soon  interrupted  to  earn 
money  for  necessary  expenses,  which  he 
did  by  resuming  his  favorite  occupation 
of  teaching.  His  various  experiences 
convinced  him  of  the  need  of  a higher 
grade  of  literary  education.  Before 


UVIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


251 


resuming  his  medical  studies  he  entered 
the  Canandaigua  academy  where  he 
pursued  the  study  of  ancient  languages, 
and  laid  a foundation  to  be  built  upon 
as  he  had  opportunity  afterwards.  When 
he  left  the  academy  he  resumed  the 
study  of  medicine,  this  time  with  Dr. 
Edson  Carr  of  Canandaigua,  then  one 
of  the  most  prominent  practitioners  in 
western  New  York.  His  acquaintance 
and  friendship  were  kept  up  with  Dr. 
Carr  to  the  time  of  his  death,  many 
years  after;  and  not  long  after  Dr.  Ford’s 
connection  with  the  University  of  Mich- 
igan, Dr.  Carr,  through  his  interest  in 
his  friend,  made  a donation  of  his  col- 
lection of  pathological  specimens  of 
much  interest  and  value  to  the  institu- 
tion, which  is  now  in  the  museum  of  the 
college. 

In  October,  1840,  when  he  was  twenty- 
seven  years  of  age,  he  entered  Geneva 
Medical  college,  where  he  enthusiastic- 
ally pursued  the  study  of  the  different 
branches  of  medical  science  under  the 
instruction  of  the  eminent  men  who 
were  members  of  the  faculty.  Dr. 
James  Webster,  the  professor  of  an- 
atomy, by  his  great  skill,  expertness 
and  enthusiasm,  in  his  department, 
excited  in  his  pupil,  who  soon  became 
his  particular  favorite,  especial  interest 
in  that  study.  Dr.  Webster  had  the 
unusual  faculty  of  lecturing  with  fluency 
and  at  the  same  time  dissecting  with 
great  rapidity,  displaying  to  his  class 
the  parts  and  tissues  in  their  natural 
positions  and  with  their  proper  connec- 
tions. It  was  said  that  his  dexterity 
had  more  than  the  interest  of  a sleight- 
of-hand.  His  favorite  pupil,  while 


learning  the  sciences,  found  himself 
able  to  imitate  his  teacher’s  method, 
and  by  the  many  years  of  study  and 
practice  which  followed,  the  pupil  came 
to  surpass  the  master.  During  his 
pupilage  in  the  college,  his  practical 
apprenticeship  went  on  in  assisting  Pro- 
fessor Webster  in  his  work  for  the  class 
and  in  the  museum,  and  on  the  day  of 
his  graduation,  January  25,  1842,  he 
was  appointed  demonstrator  of  anatomy 
in  the  college,  the  duties  of  which  office 
he  performed  for  the  next  seven  years. 

On  the  organization  of  the  medical 
college  in  Buffalo  in  1846,  he  was  made 
demonstrator  of  anatomy  there.  For 
three  years,  it  would  seem,  he  performed 
the  duties  of  demonstrator  both  in  Ge- 
neva and  Buffalo  colleges,  and  during 
this  time  often  gave  lectures  in  the 
place  of  the  professor,  and  with  such 
success  and  satisfaction  to  the  classes, 
that  his  reputation  as  an  expert  teacher 
of  anatomy  became  firmly  established, 
and  in  1849  he  was  invited  to  the  pro- 
fessorship of  anatomy  and  physiology 
in  the  medical  college  at  Castleton, 
Vermont.  He  continued  to  lecture 
there  with  the  greatest  acceptance,  and 
after  he  had  other  appointments,  until 
the  civil  war  occurred,  when  so  many 
professors  and  students  joined  the  army 
that  the  college  was  closed. 

In  1854,  his  character  as  an  unusu- 
ally skillful  and  successful  teacher  of 
anatomy  being  further  known,  he  was 
invited  to  the  professorship  of  his  favor- 
ite branch  in  the  department  of  medi- 
cine and  surgery  in  the  University  of 
Michigan. 

Here  his  longest  and  greatest  profes- 


252 


MAGAZINE  OF  WESTERN  HISTORY. 


sional  labors  have  been  performed. 
His  superior  skill  and  expertness  in 
dissecting,  his  precise  and  systematic 
manner  of  arranging  and  presenting  his 
subject,  the  clearness  and  force  of  his 
language,  the  earnestness,  geniality  and 
enthusiasm  of  manner,  have  made  him 
a great  favorite  with  the  large  classes 
that  for  more  than  thirty  years  have 
here  attended  his  instructions,  and  with 
his  labors  elsewhere  have  made'  his 
name  familiar  in  every  part  of  the  land. 

Although  since  his  appointment,  in 
1854,  his  chief  labor  has  been  in  this 
state  university,  he  has  performed  the 
duties  of  professor  of  anatomy  success- 
fully in  four  eastern  colleges.  The  an 
atomical  work  in  the  university  has 
continued  from  October  1 to  the  last  of 
March,  while  the  sessions  in  the  other 
colleges  in  which  he  officiated  were  in 
other  months.  This  arrangement  en- 
abled him  to  continue  his  work  in  the 
college  at  Castleton  till  its  close  in 
1861. 

In  i860  Dr.  Ford  was  appointed  pro- 
fessor of  anatomy  in  Berkshire  Medical 
college,  at  Pittsfield,  Massachusetts,  an 
institution  which,  though  no  longer  in 
existence,  enjoyed  much  popularity  in 
its  day,  and  has  numbered  in  its  faculty 
such  well-known  teachers  as  Drs.  Childs 
Palmer  of  Vermont  (who  lost  his  life 
there  as  the  result  of  an  accident  in  his 
chemical  work),  Willard  Parker,  Alonzo 
Clark,  Charles  A.  Lee,  William  Warren 
Greene,  Paul  A.  Chadbourne,  Horatio  R. 
Storer,  William  P.  Seymour,  Pliny  Earle 
and  others,  who  have  left  their  impress 
upon  the  medical  profession  of  the  coun- 
try. The  course  of  instruction  in  that 


school  was  given  in  the  summer  and 
autumn,  and  Dr.  Ford  continued  his 
connection  with  it  until  its  close,  in 
1867. 

Dr.  Ford’s  sojourn  in  Pittsfield  was 
one  of  the  most  eventful  of  his  life. 
Previous  to  this  he  had  not  married, 
and,  from  his  occupation  in  so  many 
places,  had  no  fixed  and  permanent 
home.  Here  he  made  an  acquaintance 
which  resulted  in  his  marriage  to  the 
widow  of  Nathaniel  Messer,  the  only 
daughter  of  the  late  Ichabod  Chapman, 
a native  of  that  town,  which  is  well 
known  for  the  intelligence  and  social 
refinement  of  its  people,  and  this  happy 
union  changed  the  tenor  of  his  social 
and  domestic  life. 

In  1864  he  accepted  an  appointment 
to  the  chair  of  anatomy  in  the  Medical 
College  of  Maine,  so  long  established 
and  successfully  conducted  in  connec- 
tion with  Bowdoin  college,  at  Bruns- 
wick. This  position  he  held,  giving  his 
course  after  the  close  of  his  lectures  at 
the  University  of  Michigan  until  1870, 
when  he  resigned  and  spent  the  summer 
in  Europe. 

In  1868  he  accepted  an  appointment 
in  Long  Island  college  hospital,  in 
Brooklyn,  New  York.  Here  he  con- 
tinued to  give  an  annual  course  of 
lectures  after  completing  his  labor  at 
the  university,  until  the  present  year, 
1886,  when  he  assumed  the  position  of 
emeritus  professor  of  anatomy  in  that 
college,  which  his  labors  had  greatly 
aided  in  establishing  ; and  in  the  future 
he  proposes  to  give  his  whole  time  de- 
voted to  teaching  to  the  field  of  his 
largest  labors — in  the  University  of 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHIGAN. 


253 


Michigan.  Here,  in  addition  to  lec- 
tures to  the  medical  clans,  he  gives  a 
special  course  in  the  dental  department 
on  subjects  of  more  direct  interest  to 
the  students  in  that  school. 

During  much  of  the  time  of  his  con- 
nection with  the  university,  he  has 
given  instruction  in  physiology  as  well 
as  anatomy,  blending  the  two  together, 
describing  the  function  of  each  organ 
in  connection  with  its  form  and  struc- 
ture. 

In  this  manner  he  combined  physi- 
ology with  anatomy  in  Castleton,  Berk- 
shire and  Bowdoin  college.  In  1861-2, 
when  the  professor  of  surgery  was  ab- 
sent for  a large  part  of  the  term  in  the 
army,  Professor  Ford  gave  most  of  the 
course  on  surgery,  which  his  perfect 
knowledge  on  anatomy  enabled  him  to 
do  with  great  satisfaction  to  the  class, 
and  in  all  his  anatomical  lectures  and 
demonstrations  the  surgical  and  medi- 
cal relations  of  the  parts  always  re- 
ceive particular  attention,  enhancing 
immensely  the  value  of  his  teaching. 

The  fact  that  the  services  of  the  sub- 
ject of  this  sketch  has  been  so  exten- 
tensively  sought  by  medical  schools,  is 
evidence  of  the  superiority  of  such  ser- 
vices. The  cause  for  such  superiority 
is  to  be  found  in  his  natural  capacity, 
amounting  to  a genius  for  the  work,  and 
in  giving  his  whole  time  and  energy  to 
the  work  assumed.  His  perception  of 
form,  of  structure,  of  position,  and  of 
the  relation  of  parts  of  the  physical 
organism,  is  phenomenally  clear  and 
vivid.  His  faculty  of  grouping  facts  in 
the  most  natural  order,  and  showing  in 
the  clearest  manner  their  relations,  and 


of  satisfying  the  judgment  as  to  the  pro- 
priety of  such  arrangement,  and  thus  to 
captivate  the  imagination  and  thor- 
oughly interest  the  student,  is  remark- 
able. His  ready  use  of  descriptive 
language,  the  correctness  and  force  with 
which  he  expresses  the  facts,  however 
dry  in  themselves  ; the  manner  in  which 
he  throws  his  personality  into  the  work, 
the  sympathy  he  excites  in  the  class,  and 
the  force  of  his  contagious  enthusiasm, 
add  greatly  to  the  effectiveness  of  his 
teaching. 

The  writer  of  this  sketch  has  been 
associated  with  Dr.  Ford  during  the 
whole  period  of  his  labors  in  the  Univer- 
sity of  Michigan,  and  also  in  a large 
portion  of  his  work  in  the  Berkshire 
Medical  college,  and  the  Medical  School 
of  Maine,  and  therefore  has  knowledge 
of  what  he  writes.  He  has  also  had 
opportunities  of  comparing  the  manner 
of  his  associate  with  that  of  others  of 
the  most  distinguished  teachers  of 
anatomy  in  our  own  and  other  countries. 
Some  of  these  especially  devoted  to 
anatomical  pursuits,  have  made  original 
investigations,  written  much  upon  the 
subject,  and  largely  extended  the  boun- 
daries of  knowledge.  This,  Dr.  Ford 
has  not  so  much  attempted  to  do.  He 
has,  however,  not  omitted  the  study  of 
general,  comparative,  and  transcend- 
ental anatomy  ; but  his  chief  life  work 
has  been  to  teach  students  the  well- 
known  facts  of  human  structure,  and  in 
this  work  it  is  not  exaggeration  to  say  he 
has  certainly  had  no  superior,  and  many, 
capable  of  judging,  believe  he  has  had 
no  equal. 

Though  he  has  not  written  extensively 


254 


MAGAZINE  OF  IVES  TEEN  HISTORY. 


on  his  subject,  what  he  has  written  has 
been  directed  to  the  aiding  of  students 
in  mastering  the  well  known  facts  of  the 
science. 

His  ‘ Questions  on  Anatomy,  Histo- 
logy and  Physiology,  for  the  use  of 
Students,’  is  a work  admirable  for  its 
purpose  ; and  a like  system  of  £ Ques- 
tions on  the  Structure  and  Development 
of  the  Human  Teeth  for  Dental  Stu- 
dents,’ has  the  same  excellent  qualities. 

He  has  also  printed  for  the  same,  “ A 
Syllabus  of  Lectures  on  Odontology, 
Human  and  Comparative,’  which  is 
highly  prized. 

His  industry  and  skill  are  shown  in 
the  valuable  anatomical  museum  in  the 
medical  college,  mostly  the  result  ofhis 
labor  ; and  since  the  organization  of 
the  dental  college,  he  has  prepared  and 
accumulated  a valuable  collection  in 
that  special  branch  of  study. 

The  delicacy  and  sensitiveness  of  Dr. 
Ford’s  organization,  the  pain  and  suf- 
fering to  which  he  has  always  been  sub- 
ject on  slight  exposures  and  provoca- 
tions, and  the  sense  of  insecurity  in 
movements,  consequent  upon  his  life- 
long lameness,  have  produced  an  habit- 
ual degree  of  caution  bordering  on 
timidity,  and  caused  him  sometimes  to 
look  upon  the  darker  rather  than  upon 
the  brighter  side  of  human  life  and 
prospects  ; but  he  has  feared  nothing 
more  than  to  do  wrong,  and  his  caution 
has  prevented  a resort  to  anodynes  for 
the  relief  of  his  frequent  sufferings,  as 
he  knew  how  readily  a habit  might  be 
formed  which  in  the  end  would  be  dis- 
astrous. He  has  most  wisely  avoided 


indulgence  in  opiates,  alcoholics  or  to- 
bacco. 

By  his  temperate  and  careful  mode  of 
living,  although,  as  the  dates  show,  he 
has  passed  his  “ three  score  years  and 
ten,”  yet  it  may  be  said  with  almost 
literal  accuracy,  his  age  is  not  dimmed 
and  his  natural  (accustomed)  force  is 
not  abated.  Such  preservation  under 
such  circumstances  is  again  phenome- 
nal. His  physical  infirmity  and  suffer- 
ing have  not  made  him  misanthropic, 
and  his  study  and  observation  of  sec- 
ondary causes  in  nature  have  not  ob- 
scured his  perception  or  prevented  his 
acknowledgement  of  the  Great  First 
Cause,  which  has  established  the  laws 
governing  all.  His  religious  faith, 
though  not  obtrusive,  is  not  concealed, 
and  his  church  relations  have,  from  an 
early  period  of  his  life,  been  maintained. 

Dr.  Ford’s  scientific  attainments  and 
his  skill  as  a teacher  have  not  been 
without  recognition  from  honor  confer- 
ring instiiutions.  In  1859  he  received 
the  degree  of  A.  M.  from  Middleberry 
college,  and  a few  years  ago  the  honor- 
ary degree  of  LL.  D.  was  conferred  upon 
him  by  the  institution  that  knew  him 
best — the  University  of  Michigan. 

The  privilege  of  bearing  this  testimony 
to  the  character  and  labors  of  an  asso- 
ciate and  friend  has  been  but  “ a labor 
of  love,”  and  will  be  received  as  the 
simple  truth  by  those  who  know  the 
subject  of  this  sketch. 

HENRY  SIMMONS  FRIEZE. 

The  subject  of  this  sketch,  Henry 
Simmons  Frieze,  at  the  present  time 


UNIVERSITY  OF  MICHI