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Washinglon and his Generals. By J. T. HEADLEY, Author of Napoleon and
his Marshals. Baker & Scribner, 145 Nassau-street, New-York.
There is no denying that a strong military predilection runs through the American mind, and that the deeds of modern heroes elicit the liveliest admiration. The heartfelt enthusiasm with which the people rallied around “Old Hickory," showed, stronger than words can describe, that respect which an active and enterprising people pay to the vast energies of a mind like Jackson's. Heroic daring and bold deeds always awaken American sympathies, and the Rev. Mr. Headley struck this chord full and clearly, when apparently the enthusiasm of his own heart, albeit beating under clerical robes, caught fire at Allison's description of feudal glories. Following the impulse, Mr. Headley produced his book, sketching the military careers of " Napoleon and his Marshals.” Surely, if anything could awaken the "fire" in American breasts, it is the contemplation of that oppressed and down-trodden mass of French people, surrounded by the combined armies of Europe, led on by the most renowned names of modern warfare, banded in the pay of an unprincipled and blood-thirsty British oligarchy, bursting forth en masse to the battle-field, undisciplined, unfurnished, and uninstructed, impelled only by the fierce love of country, and fired by a stern sense of their own rights, the terrible effects of which were fully described by Danton, when he exclaimed, " A nation in revolution cannot be uvercome." We see that huge army gradually becoming organised ; talents rise paramount to the mass ; hero after hero appears, each with a higher order of genius, until the transcendent intellect of Napoleon leads the whole in triumph to every capital of Europe. This stirring story, told in the animated style of Mr. Headley, took effect, and the work sold well. Under its inspiration he turned his attention homeward, and drew forward from the past the deeds of our own " Washington and his Generals," imparting to their triumphs more of romance than they were supposed susceptible of. The latter struck down British military reputation, which again attained a meretricious vitality under the shadow of the French leaders. European bravery and British gold, taking advantage of French disunion and the effect of Russian snows, attained for the dogged stupidity of Wellington a temporary popularity, which cannot rise into reputation. His best troops, and ablest general, who had stormed Spanish cities, driving out the French, and murdering and debauching their own allies, the Spaniards, perished before the vigor of Jackson, like “fern in the frost.” Notes on the Early Settlement of the Northwestern Territory. By Jacob BURNET. D. Appleton & Co., 200 Broadway.
These are the potes of one of the early settlers of the Miami country; and are valuable and interesting, as tracing the progress of events, and the vicissitudes to which the hardy pioneers were exposed in early times, the development of the resources of the country, and the gradual advance of general prosperity. The American Loyalist ; or Biographical Sketches of adherents to the British
Crown in the War of the Revolution. Alphabetically arranged. By LORENZO SABINE. Little & Brown, Boston.
Now that time has smoothed the asperities that sprang up between parties, when events demanded the political separation of the colonies from the crown, and have carried up the once oppressed settlements to the most powerful nation of the world, and terribly shaken the power of the “mistress of the seas,” it becomes matter of interest and instruction to look back at the views and actions of those timid or mistaken class of men, whose loyalty outran their sagacity, and induced them to adhere to the imperial government. The knowledge of their views is also necessary to a correct understanding of the course of the revolution. Yet that essential feature of our history has hitherto been in a great measure wanting. The industry and research of Mr. Sabine, has rescued from oblivion matter of considerable interest in relation to that class of men, very many of whom emigrated. It was among the fortunate features of the revolution that they did so, because they represented, for the most part, the strongest traces of old British slavery, when English serfs groaned under Norman oppression, and they humbly submitted themselves to the iron rod. That “servility," as civilization and human rights gradually advanced, took the form of " loyalty," and is now to some extent called
flunkeyism.” The removal of that taint from the American people has gone
far to develope a manly energetic independence, which has been characteristic of the citizens of the United States. The parity between the old loyalists from principles, and the advocates for special privileges of the present day, may be clearly traced in the compilation of Mr. Sabine. Domestic Slavery, considered as a Scriptural institution ; in a correspondence be
tween the Rev. Richard Fuller of Beaufort, S. C., and the Rev. Francis Wayland of Providence, R. I. Lewis Colby & Co., 122 Nassau-street, N. Y.
This little volume is calculated to be of service to the public, in allaying those asperities which have been indulged in, on a subject of such vital importance as the peculiar institution of the south. The right thinking Christian and patriot, both north and south, will find the ground for the exercise of Christian charity harder and firmer than they had supposed, and that the means of harmony are more accessible than at first blush might be apprehended. That the brutal class of degraded men called abolitionists of the north, have made a trade of philanthropy, and indulged, in the words of Dr. Channing, in a tone " fierce, bitter and abusive," is to be lamented, but derives its importance mostly from the attention it has attracted at the north. It has been the sole instrument by which British aristocracy and expiring feudalism in the old world, could hope to disturb the march of the great republic, or check the approach of their own downfall. For this object the most disgusting and debauched negroes, black and white, have been petted, feasted and rewarded by the blazee aristocracy of England, whose libidinous desires have sought, like the men of ancient Sodom, in novel intercourse with an inferior race, to stimulate palled appetites, and by so doing at once to degrade their race to the level of one every way inferior, and seek through it by ruining Republican America, to perpetrate their own rule over the half emancipated slaves of the British Islands. The base tools of the British aristocracy will find their level, and the strong sense of the American people will trample over the disgusting cant of hypocritical debauchery. Allen Lucas, the Self-Made man. By EMILY CHUBBUCK. Lewis Colby & Co.,
122 Nassau-street, New-York.
This is an agreeable little volume, by the Authoress of " Charles Linn" and other stories, that have attained a meritorious popularity. The Life of Punchinello. From the French of OCTAVE TEUILLET. Genius, Good Fellows, fec. By
CHARLES NODIER. Bean Flower and Pea Blossom. By
CHARLES NODIER. Good Lady Bertha Honey Broth. "
ALEXANDER Dumas. These are the titles of four very entertaining and beautifully illustrated books of Fairy Stories. Published by the Messrs. Appleton, 200 Broadway. The Natural History of the “ Gent." By ALBERT Smith. D. Appleton & Co.,
Mr. Smith is one of that class of Dickens' imitators, of which the number is great and the wit small, both here and in London. In the present little volume he has attempted to satirize one " phase" of the follies that young men, in all times and countries, indulge in. High animal spirits and inexperience always produce youthful extravagances, particularly in England, where the intellectual by no means predominates over the animal. There is no doubt but that there is a class in London similar to those Mr. Smith attempts to delineate, that might form an admirable subject of satire ; but Mr. Smith miserably mistakes his vocation. A Summer in the Wilderness : Embracing a Canoe Voyage up the Mississippi
and around Lake Superior. By CHARLES LANMAN. D. Appleton & Co., 200 Broadway.
All that appertains to the Great West always excites interest, more especially in the young and ardent minds of “Young America." The fields of adventure there laid open, is highly attractive to the naturally enterprising spirit of the eastern youth ; and the works of Cooper have thrown an air of romance around western scenes, that has greatly added to the attraction. Mr. Lanman has furnished us with a very agreeable account of an adventurous trip through the great land of promise. The story is told in a clear, straight-forward manner, beightened by amusing anecdote.
The time has now apparently arrived when it becomes important to consider what will be the results of the war being waged against the Spaniards in Mexico. When hostilities exist between two nations, even if they are but savage tribes, it may reasonably be expected, that some terms of accommodation may, ultimately, be arrived at, and the interests of both parties promoted in restored peace. In the case of Mexico, however, it cannot be said that the nation is at war. The body of that unhappy nation consists of the remnant of the people conquered by the ancestors of their present oppressors. The lawless adventurers from Spain overran, and under circumstances of great cruelty, subdued the empire of the Aztecs. The fortunate conqueror returned to Spain, and laid an empire at the feet of Charles V., from whom he, in return, received high honors. After three centuries of imperial rule, the authority of Spain was thrown off, and there remained not the restored freedom of the Aztec empire, but the anarchical contentions of the Spanish military. The state of affairs was no ways different from what it was after the conquest, and before the weight of Spanish imperial authority established something like order among the conquering chiefs. The strife of Cortez and Narvaez, before the authority of the mother country took effect, was renewed in the persons of Iturbide, Victoria, Pedraza, Bustamente, Guerreo, that genius of evil - Santa Annaand the host of chiefs whom the long war of independence had created, as soon as that authority was again thrown off. A powerful and intriguing priesthood had, however, grown up, to fan the flames of discord. During the ihree centuries of Spanish misrule, the nation had not grown in strength; no public opinion was formed of a stability to curb the licentious soldiery. The colonial policy of Spain had been exerted only to make imperial rule necessary to the colonies; it was framed for that end, and to prevent any advancement in national characteristics. The Spaniards of Mexico, seeking to acquire wealth by oppressing the natives — exacting from them the proceeds of their labor, and compelling that labor-never amalgamated as with an equal race.
What has been called independence, has only, in fact, been a removal of restraint upon the plundering propensities of the Spanish officials. The people did not become free; they only changed masters. Under the SpanVOL. XXI.NO. CX.
ish system, Mexico was governed by a viceroy, whose powers, equal to those of a sovereign, were checked only by the Court of Investigation; and he was liable to be called to account for his administration, on his return, or by the Court of Final Appeal in Mexico. The object of the government was to keep the country in the hands of Spaniards. The natives were considered freemen, or vassals of the crown, but excluded from all offices of profit or trust. Native manufactures were discouraged or probibited, to make the colonists dependent on Spain for their supplies. All ecclesiastical establishments were wholly dependent upon the king. The growth of flax, hemp, the vine, and olive, was prohibited under severe penalties; and tobacco was made a government monopoly; coffee, cocoa, and indigo, were tolerated only in such quantities as the mother country required; and Mexico was known to the world only as a source whence Spain drew supplies of the precious metals. The system, of which these are some of the features, was rigorously enforced for three centuries. In all that time, Mexico was a blank among nations. The Indian, or native population, were but the slaves of the Spaniards, whose business was to oppress the country. The natives were regarded as of an inferior race by the white population, whom they, in their turn, regarded as their natural enemies, and against whom they continue to cherish the vindictive feelings inherited from their ancestors. To this day the creole is as proud of his unmixed Castilian blood, as is the Indian hostile to the usurpers of his rights. The severe colonial policy of Spain, by keeping the country sealed against the trade of other nations, had prevented the people from arriving at a full knowledge of the extent to which they were oppressed. At length the insane government insisted on the search of all vessels sailing into western seas—a demand which brought upon them a declaration of war by England. The ocean immediately swarmed with English freebooters, who swept into her lap almost the whole produce of the Spanish colonies—both Mexico and Peru. Spain sued for peace; and, as a condition, Philip V. granted to England the right of supplying the colonies with negroes, and permitted an English vessel to trade to Porto Bello. By this means a new race of miserable beings was introduced into Mexico. At the same time the intercourse of the English began to enlighten the colonists on the subject of the oppression they had endured. In 1765, Charles relaxed his system still more, but not sufficiently to prevent a most extensive contraband trade, which continued for a length of time, and eminently aided in exciting dissatisfaction among the colonists at the Spanish government; and to conciliate the higher classes, all the ports of Spain were thrown open to the colonists, but did not check the growing spirit of revolt among the native Indians, who still continued the slaves of the nobility. And when the insurrection broke out, in 1778, the Spaniards—heads of the church-backed by the mother-country, easily quelled it, until it again gathered head, and, in 1810, the native population again revolted under two priests—Hidalgo and Morelos—the latter, the father of Gen. Almonte. The fierce hate of the natives to all Spaniards was very evident in this contest.
The most renarkable feature in the case of Mexico, however, and that which, while it was the main cause of the success of the revolution, has also been an insurmountable difficulty in the way of establishing any regular government since the independence of the country, and will continue to be the obstacle to any peace: we allude to the church establishment. This is probably the most powerful and wealthy hierarchy in the world, and is the only one which has retained its wealth untouched, since the days of Romish prosperity. It consists briefly, of the Archbishop of Mexico, and nine bishops, whose income is $540,000 per annum. There are ten cathedrals,
having 168 canons. The whole number of the clergy is about 7000, and the total annual income is given at $12,000,000. The property held by the church is now computed at $100,000,000, or about half what it was at the date of the revolution. This wealth of the church is the source of most of the evils of Mexico. When the country was conquered, there is no doubt but that the desire to extend the influence of the cross was as strong as that for plunder, and every means was taken to convert the natives, which was done in a very summary manner. The moment a Pagan temple fell into the hands of the conquerors, the golden ornaments were first taken for the use of the true church ; its altars, and its gods were then overthrown, and the people compelled to bow down to the cross erected in their place. The Indians, ignorant of what was said, were forcibly baptised, and compelled to take the sacrament, while apostates were given promptly over to the tender mercies of the Inquisition. Peter of Ghent affirmed, that “his ordinary day's work was froin 8 to 10,000 souls.” In this manner, by force of arms, the forms of religion were substituted for those of Paganism, and tithes exacted regularly, beyond which the holy fathers seemed to have troubled themselves but little. Paganism was, nevertheless, indulged in secretly, and to this day yet lingers among the natives. There is no doubt but the practice of certain forms of religion for centuries has eradicated the remembrance of Pagan rites from a large portion of the people; but it is very doubtful whether they have the most remote idea of the meaning of the new forms. It resulted, however, that most of the vast wealth of the new world came into the hands of the church, and the establishment became the most splendid in the world. The Spanish king sought to keep its control in his own hands, and he appointed most of its dignitaries, while its wealth was cherished by the Spanish ministry, because it afforded the means of providing magnificently for the younger branches of families cut off from inheritance under the law of primogeniture. These laws have of late been abolished, as well as the power to collect tithes by compulsion. The clergy were natives of Spain, and for the most part unlearned, indolent, luxurious and dissolute. The wealth of the country was exacted from the people by every means of oppression. They were compelled to purchase bulls of confession, indulgences and other ecclesiastical papers, or lose the right of burial and have their property confiscated. This appertained to the corrupt dignitaries of the church. There existed, however, a large class of curas or village priests, who exercised a vast influence over the people. They lived among the serfs in the country humbly on their small salary of $100 or $200 per annum; and as theirs were offices that presented no field for ambition, they were filled by natives, creoles or those of mixed blood. They were ignorant, and therefore could not instruct their people ; but in the constant exercise of their duties, they came to be looked up to as a sort of protectors against the oppression of the petty civil officers, and they collectively exerted an influence over the people far superior to any other power in the state. It was from this class of persons that the originators of Mexican independence, Morelos, Matamoros and Hidalgo, emanated. These represent the democracy of the church, and as such, are inimical to the oppressive splendor of the higher dignitaries.
This powerful and wealthy hierarchy seems to have held but one policy during the violent changes which have convulsed the world, and ruined governments as well as church establishments everywhere else. This has been to preserve their vast wealth. For this every other consideration has been sacrificed, and the destiny of Mexico has repeatedly turned upon it. Since the declaration of independence, there have been seventeen revolutions in the Mexican government. The wealth of the state has been ex