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they would live together in brotherly peace and charity. What wonder that men so idle, thriftless, and ungrateful, called loudly for slaves, whose unpaid labors might support them for life? Vol. II. p. 371.
So they had their slavery, and thereby Georgia attained her present condition and — prospects!
The gradual progress of liberty is remarkable in New England. Hubbard, with the spirit of a priest, complains of the “ inordinate love of liberty or fear of restraint, especially in matters of religion,” which prevailed in 1647, and speaks of 66 all that rabble of men that went under the name of Independents – whether Anabaptists, Antinomians, Familists, or Seekers," with the same theocratic contempt now exhibited by sectarian bigotry and personal malice, which has not the power to bite, and only barks at the freemen of God, who go on their way rejoicing. There are in New England two visible bulwarks of liberty — the free school, and the free printing press. In 1639, the first printing press in America was set up at Cambridge. However, it was kept under a strict censorship, and no other was for a long time allowed to be set up. The first three things printed are symbolical of New England : the “ Freeman's Oath” was the proof-shot of the press, then
“ Almanac made for New England," then the “Psalms turned into Metre," also made for New England," by men who knew how to
“ Crack the ear of melody,
And break the legs of time.” The freedom of the press was not allowed, however, for a long time. Andros was to allow no printing in 1686 ; King William also forbade it in 1688. In 1719, Governor Shute objected to the printing of an obnoxious paper by the order of the General Court, declaring that he had power over the press, and would prevent it. The paper was printed; the Governor wished to prosecute the printer, but the Attorney-General could find no law on which to frame an indictment. This was by no means the last instance of an attempt by men “ clothed with a little brief authority," to shackle the freedom of the press. The attempt has been repeated in Massachusetts in our own day, but what was once dangerous is now simply laughable. A donkey bracing himself against a locomotive is not a very formidable antagonist, yet he might have overturned the " Ark of Jehovah ” when drawn by “ two heifers” with no one to guide them.
In 1682, a printing press was established in Virginia, and the laws of that year were printed. But the governor, Culpepper, put the printer under bonds to print nothing till His Majesty's pleasure should be known. The next year, King James the Second forbade any printing press in the colony, and Virginia had none till 1729.
In 1687, the third printing press was set up at Philadelphia. The fourth was at New York, in 1692.
The first newspaper in America was established at Boston, in 1704, only containing advertisements and items of news ; a regular newspaper, discussing public affairs, was begun here in 1722, conducted by James Franklin ; “ but it perished for want of support,” says Mr. Hildreth, “ ominous fate of the first free press in America !”
The records of Boston contain this entry, under date of April 13, 1635: “ It was then generally agreed upon, that our brother Philemon Purmont shall be instructed to become schoolmaster for the teaching and nourtering of children with us.” It does not appear that he kept a free school. In 1638, Harvard College was established. Private benefactions and public gifts helped endow this first collegiate institution in America. In 1642, the General Court passed a law making it the duty of the selectmen to see that every child was taught “perfectly to read the English tongue;” a fine of twenty shillings for each neglect was imposed. Thus was an attempt made to render education universal, and, in 1647, a law was passed making it also free; every town of fifty families was to have a teacher to instruct all the children in common branches, and each town of a hundred families was commanded to “set up a grammar school,” where lads might be “ fitted for the University.” At that time, Massachusetts contained about twenty thousand inhabitants, and the entire property of the whole people, the valuation of the colony, could hardly amount to more than two or three millions of dollars. This is the first attempt in the world to provide by law for the public education of the people on such a scale. The Massachusetts system was soon adopted at Plymouth and New Haven. In this law, we find an explanation of much of the prosperity of New England, and the influence she has exerted on America and the world.
Another important thing in our history is the trade of the country. New England early manifested the Yankee fondness for trade and manufactures. In 1634, there were watermills at Roxbury and Dorchester, windmills in other places. Ves
sels were built, the “Blessing of the Bay," and the “Rebecca,” and a trade began with New York, with Virginia, and the West Indies. In 1675, the little ships of New England stole along the coasts of America, trafficking with Maryland, Virginia, Carolina, Antigua, and Barbadoes, or boldly stemmed the Atlantic wave, sailing to England, Holland, Spain, or Italy. The jealousy, the fear, and hate with which New England enterprise, on land or sea, was met in Old England, by the merchants and the government of Britain, would be astonishing at this day, if we did not see the same bigotry and toryism reproduced in New England itself at the present time. But we have not space to dwell on this theme.
It is curious to see how early the habit of self-reliance got established in New England. Every man was a soldier, every church member a citizen in full. Soon, all men were able to read and write. Necessity at first forced them to rely on “God, and their own right arm.” By and by, when the mother country interfered, she found a child not accustomed to submission.
But we must pass away from this theme, and pass over many other matters of interest touched upon by Mr. Hildreth in this work, and speak of his book in general, and in special. It strikes us that, on the whole, the history of the colonial and provincial period is better and more happily treated than that of the Revolution. Everywhere we see marks of the same intellectual vigor which distinguishes the former writings of Mr. Hildreth. There is a strength and freshness in his style. He writes in the interest of mankind, and not for any portion thereof. He allows no local attachment, or reverence for men or classes of men, to keep him from telling the truth as he finds it. He exhibits the good and evil qualities of the settlers of the United States, with the same coolness and impartiality. His work is almost wholly objective,- giving the facts, not his opinions about the facts. He shows two things as they have not been exposed before, - the bigoted character of the settlers of New England, and the early history and gradual development of slavery in the South. His book is written in the spirit of democracy, which continually appears in spite of the author.
We must say something of its faults of matter and of form. The division into chapters, it seems to us, is not uniformly well made; sometimes this division disturbs the unity of the subject. He gives us too little of the philosophical part of his
tory; too little, perhaps, of the ornamental. He lacks the picturesqueness of style which makes history so attractive in some authors. He does not give the student his authorities in the margin, as it seems to us he ought to do. His dates are not always to be relied upon. We notice some errors, the results of haste, which we trust he will correct in a second edition. Thus, in Volume I. p. 257, he says that Locke maintained that men's souls, “mortal by generation, are made immortal by Christ's purchase.” It is well known that this was the opinion of Dodwell
, who makes baptism a condition sine quâ non of immortality, but we have never found the doctrine in Locke.
In Volume II. page 397, et seq., he omits some important particulars. The provincial troops, who comprised the entire land forces, were deprived of all share of the prize money, which amounted to one million pounds. The land forces were entitled to the greater part of it, but got none; the expense of these forces remained a long time a heavy burden on the colonies, and especially on Massachusetts. Commodore Warren, and the naval forces, kept the whole of the prize money, which was contrary to all law, usage, and equity.
On page 518, he calls Lord Grenville “Bute's chancellor of the exchequer.” George Grenville was chancellor of the exchequer, but was never a lord. Bute was never in the ministry. George Grenville was not of the party called “ king's friends," as Mr. Hildreth intimates on page 533.
Volume III. page 58, Dean Tucker is called “ author of the Light of Nature,” which was written by a country gentleman rejoicing in the name of Abraham Tucker, with a literary alias Edward Search.
Page 62: “The private sentiments of Lord North were not materially different from those of Chatham.” They differed in almost every material point,
--- as to the right of taxation, and the expediency of asserting it by force.
Page 66, the bridge spoken of was in Salem, not between Salem and Danvers ; it was not a company of militia under Colonel Pickering, but a party of citizens.
Page 319, the praise of Arnold appears excessive. He was hardly “ one of the most honored (officers) in the American army.” He was distinguished for courage more than conduct, and not at all for integrity.
Page 418, he speaks of an intercepted letter, which“ seemed to imply a settled policy, on the part of France, to exclude the Americans from the fisheries and the Western lands." Mr.
Sparks, in his Life of Franklin, has successfully vindicated the French court from the charge of ill faith in these negotiations,
Paye +19, he relies on John Adams' letter to Cushing, as authority for an odious sentiment ascribed to Mr. Adams, This letter was a forgery, and was so pronounced by Mr. Adams himself, in a letter written at the close of his adminis. tration, dated the 4th of March, 1801, and published extensively in the newspapers of that period. It is in the Columbian Centinel.
These are slight blemishes, which may easily be corrected in a new edition.
On the whole, this history must be regarded as a work of much value and importance. It is written in the American spirit, in a style always brief but always clear, without a single idle word. We look with high expectations for the volume which will bring the history down to our own times.
ART. VI.— SHORT REVIEWS AND NOTICES. 1.- The Annual of Scientific Discovery: or Year Book of Facts
in Science and Art. E.chibiting the most Important Discoveries and Improvements in Mechanics, Useful Arts, Material Philosophy, doc. dc. &c. Edited by David A. Wells, Sr., & GEORGE Bliss, JR. Boston. 1850. 12mo. Pp. 392.
Tuis volume sets the mental activity of the age in a more striking light than any work that we remember to have seen. It contains many curious facts; the book is well arranged, well printed, and provided with a good index. But it is an scientific work, and contains much that is not valuable. Many things are stated on the authority of common newspapers, some on no authority that is referred to. We were surprised to see the story of " Men with Tails,” in such a work.
2.- Proceedings of the American Association for the Advance
ment of Science. Second Meeting held at Cambridge, August, 1849. Boston. 1850. 8vo. pp. xx. and 459. This is full of interesting and valuable matter relating to Botany, Geology, Chemistry, Astronomy. One of the most remarkable papers is that on Phyllotaxis, by Professors Gray and Pierce. The volume is furnished with an index, but lacks a table of contents.