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life. Hildreth gives a glimpse at his deal. But the works which will be repersonal character, when, admitting membered the longest are not even his frank manners and liberal politics, mentioned by several of his biograhe describes his “habits as rather phers. Rose, in his Biographical Dicfreer than suited the New England tionary, records works by him, entitled standard." *
Antiquities of Ancient Greece ; RoPownall stands forth conspicuous man Antiquities dug up at Bath ; Obfor his championship of our national servations on the Currents of the independence, and especially for his Ocean ; Intellectual Physics; and also foresight with regard to our national contributions to the Archæologia. Gorfuture. In both these respects his ton in his Biographical Dictionary adds writings are unique. Other English- some other titles to this list. But neimen were in favor of our independence, ther mentions his works on America. and saw our future also; but I doubt This is another instance where the if any one can be named who was his stone rejected by the builders becomes equal in strenuous action, or in minute- the head of the corner. ness of foresight. While the war was At an early date Pownall comprestill proceeding, as early as 1780, he hended the position of our country, openly announced, not only that inde- geographically. He saw the wonderpendence was inevitable, but that the ful means of internal communication new nation, “ founded in nature and supplied by its inland waters, and built up in truth,” would continually also the opportunities of external comexpand ; that its population would in- merce supplied by the Atlantic Ocean. crease and multiply; that a civilizing On the first he dwells, in a memorial activity beyond what Europe could drawn up in 1756 for the Duke of Cumever know would animate it; and that berland.* Nobody in our own day, its commercial and naval power would after the experience of more than a be found in every quarter of the globe. century, has portrayed more vividly the All this he set forth at length with two masses of waters,-one composed argument and illustration, and he called of the great lakes and their dependenhis prophetic words “ the stating of the cies, and the other of the Mississippi simple fact, so little understood in the and its tributaries. The great lakes are Old World.” Treated at first as described as “a wilderness of waters intelligible speculation". and as “un- spreading over the country by an infashionable," the truth he announced finite number and variety of branchwas neglected where it was not reject- ings, bays, and straits.” The Missised, but generally rejected as inadmissi- sippi, with its eastern branch, called ble, and the author, according to his the Ohio, is described as having, “SO own language, “was called by the far as we know, but two falls, one at wise men of the British Cabinet a a place called, by the French, St. AnWild Man, unfit to be employed.” toine, high up on the west or main But these writings are a better title branch "; and all its waters“ run to the now than any office. In manner they ocean with a still, easy, and gentle are diffuse and pedantic; but they hard- current.” The picture is completed by ly deserve the cold judgment of John exhibiting the two masses of water in Adams, who in his old age said of combination :them, that "a reader who has patience “ The waters of each respective mass to search for good sense in an uncouth - not only the lesser streams, but and disgusting style will find in those the main general body of each going writings proofs of a thinking mind." + through this continent in every course He seems to have written a good and direction — have by their approach
to each other, by their communication * Hildreth, History of the United States, Vol. II. p. 476.
* Pownall, Administration of the Colonies, Appen† John Adams, Works, Vol. X. p. 241.
dix, p. 7.
to every quarter and in every direction, which already began to rule the powers an alliance and unity, and form one of Europe. It was the duty of Engmass, or one whole." *
land to place herself at the head of this Again, depicting the intercommuni- great movement. cation among the several waters of the “ As the rising of this crisis forms continent, and how" the watery element precisely the object on which governclaims and holds dominion over this ment should be employed, so the extent of land,” he insists that all shall taking leading measures towards the see these two mighty masses in their forming all those Atlantic and Amercentral throne, declaring that “the great ican possessions into one empire, of lakes which lie upon its bosom on one which Great Britain should be the comhand, and the great river Mississippi mercial and political centre, is the preand the multitude of waters which run cise duty of government at this crisis.” into it, form there a communication,- This was his desire. But he saw an alliance or dominion of the watery clearly the resources as well as the element, that commands throughout the rights of the Colonies, and was satisfied whole; that these great lakes appear to that, if power were not consolidated unbe the throne, the centre of a dominion, der the constitutional auspices of Engwhose influence, by an infinite number land, it would be transferred to the of rivers, creeks, and streams, extends other side of the Atlantic. Here his itself through all and every part of the words are prophetic : continent, supported by the communi- “ The whole train of events, the cation of, and alliance with, the waters whole course of business, must perpetof the Mississippi." +
ually bring forward into practice, and If these means of internal commerce necessarily in the end into establishwere vast, those afforded by the Atlan- ment, either an American or a British tic Ocean were not less extensive. The union. There is no other alternative." latter were developed in the volume The necessity for union is enforced entitled “ The Administration of the in manner which foreshadows our Colonies," the fourth edition of which, national Union :published in 1768, is now before me. “ The Colonial Legislature does not This was after the differences between answer all purposes; is incompetent the Colonies and the mother country and inadequate to many purposes. had begun, but before the idea of inde- Something more is necessary, - either pendence had shown itself. Pownall
a common union among themselves, or insisted that the Colonies ought to be a common union of subordination unconsidered as parts of the realm, entitled der the one general legislature of the to representation in Parliament. This was a constitutional unity. But he por- Then, again, in another place of the trayed a commercial unity also, which me work, after representing the deche represented in attractive forms. The
larations of power over the Colonies as British isles, and the British posses- little better than mockery, he prophesions in the Atlantic and in America, sies again : were, according to him, “one grand " Such is the actual state of the marine dominion,” and ought, there- really existing system of our dominions, fore, by policy, to be united into one that neither the power of government empire, with one centre. On this he
over these various parts can long condwells at length, and the picture is pre- tinue under the present mode of adminsented repeatedly. It was incident to
istration, nor the great interests of comthe crisis produced in the world by the
merce extended throughout the whole predominance of the commercial spirit long subsist under the present system of
* Pownall, Administration of the Colonies, Ap- the laws of trade." + pendix, p. 6.
* Pownall, Administration of the Colonies, p. 165. 1 Pownall, Colonies, pp. 9, 10, 164.
1 Ibid., p. 164.
+ Ibid., p. 9.
Recent events may give present inter
claimed for us. Thus he foretells our est to his views, in this same work, on future :the nature and necessity of a paper cur
“ North America is become a new ency, where he follows Franklin. The primary planet' in the system of the principal points of his plan were, that world, which, while it takes its own bills of credit, to a certain amount, course, must have effect on the orbit of should be printed in England for the every other planet, and shift the comuse of the Colonies; that a loan-office mon centre of gravity of the whole sysshould be established in each Colony to tem of the European world. North issue bills, take securities, and receive America is de facto an independent the payment; that the bills should be power, which has taken its equal staissued for ten years, bearing interest at tion with other powers, and must be five per cent, — one tenth part of the so de jure. . ... The independence of sum borrowed to be paid annually, with America is fixed as fate. She is misinterest; and that they should be a tress of her own future, knows that legal tender.
she is so, and will actuate that power When the differences had flamed which she feels she hath, so as to estabforth in war, then the prophet became lish her own system and to change the more earnest. His utterances deserve system of Europe." * to be rescued from oblivion. He was Not only is the new power to take an open, and almost defiant. As early as independent place, but it is “to change 2d December, 1777, some months before the system of Europe.” For all this our treaty with France, he declared, its people are amply prepared. “Standfrom his place in Parliament,," that the ing on that high ground of improvesovereignty of this country over Amer- ment up to which the most enlightened ica is abolished and gone forever"
”; parts of Europe have advanced, like “that they are determined at all events eaglets, they commence the first efforts to be independent, and will be so"; and of their pinions from a towering advan" that all the treaty this country can tage." Then again, giving expression ever expect with America is federal, to this same conviction in another form, and that, probably, only commercial." he says : In this spirit he said to the House: “ North America has advanced, and
“Until you shall be convinced that is every day advancing, to growth of you are no longer sovereigns over state, with a steady and continually acAmerica, but that the United States celerating motion, of which there has are an independent, sovereign people, never yet been any example in Eu- until you are prepared to treat with rope.”ť “It is a vitality, liable to many them as such, - it is of no consequence disorders, many dangerous diseases; at all what schemes or plans of concil- but it is young and strong, and will iation this side of the House or that struggle, by the vigor of internal healing may adopt.” *
principles of life, against those evils, The position taken in Parliament he and surmount them. Its strength will maintained by writings, and here he grow with its years."'$ depicted the great destinies of our He then dwells in detail on “the country. He began with a work enti- progressive population” here; on our tled “A Memorial to the Sovereigns of advantage in being “on the other side Europe,” which was published early in of the globe, where there is no enemy” 1780, and was afterwards, through the on the products of the soil, among influence of John Adams, while at the which is “bread-corn to a degree that Hague, abridged and translated into has wrought it to a staple export for French. In this remarkable produc
* Pownall, Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, tion independence was the least that he
| Ibid., p. 43. * Parliamentary History, Vol. XIX. pp. 527, 528.
* Ibid., p. 56.
PP. 4, 5.
See also p. 1137
the supply of the Old World”; on the 6. That “ North America will befisberies, which he calls“ mines of come a free port to all the nations of morę solid riches than all the silver of the world indiscriminately, and will exPotosi”; on the inventive spirit of the pect, insist on, and demand, in fair recipeople ; and on their commercial activ- procity, a free market in all those naity. Of such a people it is easy to pre- tions with whom she trades”; and dict great things; and our prophet an- that, adhering to this principle, she nounces,
must be, in the course of time, the 1. That the new state will be "an chief carrier of the commerce of the active naval power,” exercising a pecu- whole world.” * liar influence on commerce, and, through 7. That America must avoid complicommerce, on the political system of the cation with European politics, or “the Old World, - becoming the arbitress of entanglement of alliances," having no commerce, and, perhaps, the mediatrix connections with Europe other than of peace.*
commercial;t - all of which at a later 2. That ship - building and the sci- day was put forth by Washington in ence of navigation have made such his Farewell Address, when he said, progress in America, that her people “ The great rule of conduct for us, in will be able to build and navigate cheap regard to foreign nations, is, in extender than any country in Europe, even ing our commercial relations, to have Holland, with all her economy. + with them as little political concern as
3. That the peculiar articles to be possible.” had from America only, and so much 8. That similar modes of living and sought in Europe, must give Ameri- thinking, the same manners and same cans a preference in those markets. I fashions, the same language and old
4. That a people “ whose empire habits of national love, impressed on stands singly predominant on a great the heart and not yet effaced, the very continent" can hardly“ suffer in their indentings of the fracture where North borders such a monopoly as the Euro- America is broken off from England, pean Hudson Bay Company”; that it all conspire naturally to a rejuncture by cannot be stopped by Cape Horn or alliance.I the Cape of Good Hope ; that before 9. That the sovereigns of Europe, long they will be found “trading in the “who have despised the unfashioned, South Sea and in China"; and that the awkward youth of America,” and have Dutch “will hear of them in the Spice neglected to interweave their interests Islands." S
with the rising States, when they find 5. That by constant intercommunion the system of the new empire not only of business and correspondence, and obstructing, but superseding, the old
, by increased knowledge with regard to system of Europe, and crossing all their the ocean, “ America will seem every settled maxims, will call upon their day to approach nearer and nearer to ministers and wise men, “Come, curse Europe"; that the old alarm at the sea me this people, for they are too mighty will subside, and “a thousand attrac- for me." tive motives will become the irresisti- This appeal was followed by two othble cause of an almost general emi- er memorials, “ drawn up solely for the gration to the New World"; and that king's use, and designed solely for his “many of the most useful, enterprising eye,” dated at Richmond, January, spirits, and much of the active property, 1782, in which the author most persuawill go there also." ||
sively pleads with the king to treat with
the Colonies on the footing of indepen* Pownall, Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe,
* Pownall, Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, 1 Ibid., p. 82. Ibid., p. 83.
Ibid., p. 78. $ Ibid., p. 85.
Ibid., p. 93. 11 Ibid., p. 87.
$ Ibid., p. 91. VOL. XX. — NO. 119.
Pp. 74, 77.
pp. 80, 97.
dence, and with this view to institute a titles of Gothic Europe, nor with those preliminary negotiation “as with free of servile Asia. I will neither address states de facto under a truce.” On the your Sublimity or Majesty, your Grace signature of the treaty of peace, he or Holiness, your Eminence or Highwrote a private letter to Franklin, dated mightiness, your Excellence or Honors. at Richmond, 28th February, 1783, in What are titles, where things themwhich he testifies again to the magni- selves are known and understood ? tude of the event, as follows:
What title did the Republic of Rome “ My old Friend, — I write this to take? The state was known to be sovercongratulate you on the establishment eign and the citizens to be free. What of your country as a free and sovereign could add to this? Therefore, United power, taking its equal station amongst States and Citizens of America, I adthe powers of the world. I congratu- dress you as you are.” * late you, in particular, as chosen by Here again are the same constant Providence to be a principal instrument sympathy with liberty, the same confiin this great Revolution, - a Revolu- dence in our national destinies, and tion that has stranger marks of Divine the same aspirations for our prosperity, in terposition, superseding the ordinary mingled with warnings against disturbcourse of human affairs, than any other ing influences. He exhorts that all our event which this world has experi foundations should be “ laid in nature" ; enced.”
that there should be “no contention He closes this letter by saying that for, nor acquisition of, unequal dominahe thought of making a tour of Ameri- tion in men ”; and that union should ca, adding that, “if there ever was an be established on the attractive prinobject worth travelling to see, and wor- ciple by which all are drawn to a comthy of the contemplation of a philoso- mon centre. He fears difficulty in pher, it is that in which he may see the making the line of frontier between us. beginning of a great empire at its foun- and the British Provinces “a line of dation.” * He communicated this pur- peace,” as it ought to be ; he is anxious pose also to John Adams, who an- lest something may break out between swered him, that “he would be re- us and Spain; and he suggests that posceived respectfully in every part of sibly, “in the cool hours of unimpasAmerica, – that he had always been sioned reflection," we may learn the considered friendly to America, - and danger of our "alliances," — referring that his writings had been useful to plainly to that original alliance with our cause." +
France which, at a later day, was the Then came another work, first pub- occasion of such trouble. Two other lished in 1783, entitled, “ A Memorial warnings occur. One is against Slaaddressed to the Sovereigns of America, very, which is more noteworthy, beby Governor Pownall,” of which he gave cause in an earlier memorial he enuthe mistaken judgment to a private merates among articles of commerce friend, that it was “the best thing he “ African slaves carried by a circuitous ever wrote.” Here for the first time trade in American shipping to the West American citizens are called “sover- India market.”+ The other warning is. eigns.” At the beginning he explains thus strongly expressed :-“Every inand indicates the simplicity with which habitant of America is, de facto as well he addresses them :
as de jure, equal, in his essential, in“ Having presumed to address to the separable rights of the individual, to: Sovereigns of Europe a Memorial .... any other individual, and is, in these permit me now to address this Memo- rights, independent of any power that rial to you, Sovereigns of America. I shall not address you with the court
* Pownall, Memorial to the Sovereigns of Azer. * Franklin, Works, Vol. IX. p. 491.
+ Pownall, Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, John Adams, Works, Vol. VIII. p. 179.
ica, pp. 5, 6.