The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862

Part 3 out of 5

it too delicate for a public letter. However, as it appears to me that
the welfare of this Province, the honor of the British Government, and
the future connection between them both depend upon the right
improvement of the time present, I have put the thoughts to writing in
a letter, in which I have avoided all personalities which may discover
the writer, and even the signing and addressing it. If these hints are
like to be of use, communicate them in such a manner that the writer
may not be known, unless it is in confidence. If they come too late,
or disagree with the present system, destroy the paper. All I can say
for them is that they are fully considered and are well intended.

"I am," etc.

This relation shows that the popular leaders were right in their
judgment, that they had broader work before them than to deal with the
special matter of taxation, and that the presence of the troops meant
the beginning of arbitrary government. The duty of the hour was not
shirked. The Patriots could not know the extent of the Governor's
misrepresentations; but they knew from the tone of the Parliamentary
debates, that they were regarded as children, with a valid claim,
perhaps, to be well governed, but not as Englishmen, with coequal
rights to govern themselves, and that the British aristocracy meant to
cover them with its cold shade. And when the Loyalists arraigned the
Charter and town-meetings and juries as difficulties in the way of
good order, Shippen, in the "Gazette," (January 25, 1769,) said,--"The
Province has been, and may be again, quietly and happily governed,
while these terrible difficulties have subsisted in their full
force. They are, indeed, wise checks upon power in favor of the
people. But power vested in some rulers can brook no check. To assert
the most undoubted rights of human nature, and of the British
Constitution, they term faction; and having embarrassed a free
government by their own impolitic measures, they fly to military

It may be asked, What came of the recommendations of Bernard? "I
know," Hutchinson wrote, (May 6, 1769,) "the Ministry, when I wrote
you last, had determined to push it [the alteration of the
Constitution] in Parliament. They laid aside the thought a little
while. The latter end of February they took it up again. I have reason
to think it is laid aside a second time." There was a third time also.
The Patriots for six years endured a steady aggression on their
constitutional rights, which had the single object in view of checking
the republican idea, when the scheme was taken up and pressed to a
consummation. The Parliamentary acts of 1774, as to town-meetings,
trial by jury, and the Council of Massachusetts, aimed a deadly blow
at the local self-government. It was the subjugation that John Adams
judged was symbolized by the military rule of 1768. Not until they saw
this, did the generation of that day feel justified in invoking the
terrible arbiter of war. Nor did they draw the awful sword until the
Thirteen Colonies, in Congress assembled, (1774,) solemnly pledged
each other to stand as one people in defence of the old local
government. This was in the majesty of revolution. It is profanation
to compare with this patience and glory the insurrection begun by
South Carolina. She--the first time such an organization ever did
it--assumed to be a nation; and then madly led off in a suicidal war
on the National Government, although the three branches of it,
Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary, recognized every constitutional
obligation, and had not attempted an invasion of any local right.

A month after the Governor transmitted his plan for an alteration of
the Constitution, he renewed, in an elaborate letter to Lord
Hillsborough, (January 24, 1769,) his old allegation, that the popular
leaders designed by their September town-meeting to inaugurate
insurrection, and by the Convention to make their proposed
insurrection general,--and that the plan was, to remove the King's
Governor and resume the old Charter. "A chief of the faction"
--this was a sample of the evidence--"said that he was always
for gentle measures; for he was only for driving the Governor and
Lieutenant-Governor out of the Province, and taking the government
into their own hands. Judge, my Lord, what must be the measures
proposed by others, when this is called a gentle measure." And he
advised the Minister, that, to aid him in the execution of the orders
he had received, he had formed a Cabinet Council of three principal
officers of the Crown, whose zeal, ability, and fidelity could not be
suspected. On the next day (January 25) the Governor devoted a
despatch to Lord Hillsborough to remarks upon the press, and
especially the "Boston Gazette" and Edes and Gill--"They may be said
to be no more than mercenary printers," are the Governor's
words,--"but they have been and still are the trumpeters of sedition,
and have been made the apparent instruments of raising that flame in
America which has given so much trouble and is still likely to give
more to Great Britain and her Colonies"; and it seemed to the Governor
that "the first step for calling the chiefs of the faction to account
would be by seizing their printers, together with their papers, if it
could be." He would not pronounce any particular piece absolutely
treason, but he sent to his Lordship a complete file of this journal
from the 14th of August, 1767, "when the present troubles began."

The next official action on the Patriot side was taken by the
Selectmen, who, in a touching as well as searching address to the
Governor, (February 18, 1769,) requested him to communicate to them
such representations of facts only as he had judged proper to make to
the Ministry during the past year relative to the town, in order that,
by knowing precisely what had been alleged against its proceedings or
character, the town might have an opportunity to vindicate itself.
After characterizing as truly alarming to a free people the array of
ships of war around it and the troops within it, the address
proceeds,--"Your Excellency can witness for the town that no such aid
is necessary; loyalty to the sovereign, and an inflexible zeal for the
support of His Majesty's authority and the happy Constitution, is its
just character; and we may appeal to an impartial world, that peace
and order were better maintained in the town before it was even
rumored that His Majesty's troops were to be quartered among us than
they have been since"; and the judgment is expressed, that the opinion
entertained abroad as to the condition of things in Boston could have
arisen only from a great misapprehension, by His Majesty's Ministers,
as to the behavior of individuals or the public transactions of the

To this rather troublesome request the Governor returned a very brief
and curt answer,--that he had no reason to think that the public
transactions had been misapprehended by the Government, "or that their
opinions thereon were founded upon any other accounts than those
published by the town itself"; and he coolly added,--"If, therefore,
you can vindicate yourselves from such charges as may arise from your
own publications, you will, in my opinion, have nothing further to

A week later, the Selectmen waited on the Governor with another
address, which assumed that his reply to the former address had
substantially vindicated the town as a corporation, as it had
published nothing but its own transactions in town-meeting legally
assembled. And now the Selectmen averred, that, if the town had
suffered from the disorders of the eighteenth of March and the tenth
of June, "the only disorders that had taken place in the town within
the year past," the Governor's words were full testimony to the point,
that it must be in consequence of some partial or false
representations of those disorders to His Majesty's Ministers; and the
address entreated the Governor to condescend to point out wherein the
town, in its public transactions, had militated with any law or the
British constitution of government, so that either the town might be
made sensible of the illegality of its proceedings, or its innocence
might appear in a still clearer light.

The following sentence constituted the whole of the reply of the royal
representative: for what else could such a double-dealer say?

"Gentlemen,--As in my answer to your former address I confined myself
to you as Selectmen and the town as a Body, I did not mean to refer to
the disorders on the eighteenth of March or of the tenth of June, but
to the transactions in the town-meetings and the proceedings of the
Selectmen in consequence thereof.


"Feb. 24, 1769."

The town next, at the annual March meeting, petitioned the King to
remove the troops. This petition is certainly a striking paper, and
places in a strong light the earnest desire of the popular leaders to
steer clear of everything that might tend to wound British pride or in
any way to inflame the public mind of the mother-country, and to
impress on the Government their deep concern at the twin charges
brought against the town of disorder and disloyalty. While lamenting
the June riot, they averred that it was discountenanced by the body of
the inhabitants and immediately repressed; but with a confidence, they
said, which will ever accompany innocence and truth, they declared
that the courts had never been interrupted, not even that of a single
magistrate,--that not an instance could be produced of so much as an
attempt to rescue any criminal out of the hands of justice,--that
duties required by Acts of Parliament held to be grievous had been
regularly paid,--and that all His Majesty's subjects were disposed
orderly and dutifully to wait for that relief which they hoped from
His Majesty's wisdom and clemency and the justice of Parliament. After
reviewing elaborately the representations that had been made of the
condition of the town, with "the warmest declarations of their
attachment to their constitutional rights," they pronounced those
accounts to be ill-grounded which represented them as held to their
"allegiance and duty to the best of sovereigns only by the bond of
terror and the force of arms." The petition then most earnestly
supplicates His Majesty to remove from the town a military power which
the strictest truth warranted them in declaring unnecessary for the
support of the civil authority among them, and which they could not
but consider as unfavorable to commerce, destructive to morals,
dangerous to law, and tending to overthrow the civil constitution.
"Your Majesty," was the utterance of Boston, and in one of
those town-meetings that were heralded even from the Throne and
Parliament as instrumentalities of rebellion, "possesses a glory
superior to that of any monarch on earth,--the glory of being at the
head of the happiest civil constitution in the world, and under which
human nature appears with the greatest advantage and dignity,--the
glory of reigning over a free people, and of being enthroned in the
hearts of your subjects. Your Majesty, therefore, we are sure, will
frown, not upon those who have the warmest attachment to this
constitution and to their sovereign, but upon such as shall be found
to have attempted by their misrepresentations to diminish the
blessings of your Majesty's reign, in the remotest parts of your

This is not the language of party-adroitness or of a low cunning, but
the calm utterance of truth by American manhood. There is no
indication of the authorship of the petition, but a strong committee
was chosen at the meeting which adopted it, consisting of James Otis,
Samuel Adams, Thomas Cushing, Richard Dana, Joseph Warren, John Adams,
and Samuel Quincy, to consider the subject of vindicating the town
from the misrepresentations to which it had been subjected. This
petition, accompanied by a letter penned by Samuel Adams, was
transmitted (April 8, 1769) to Colonel Barre, with the request that he
would present it, by his own hand, to His Majesty. Both the letter
and the petition requested the transmission to Boston of all Bernard's
letters, a specimen only of which had now been received. "Conscious,"
the letter said, "of their own innocence, it is the earnest desire of
the town that you would employ your great influence to remove from the
mind of our Sovereign, his Ministers, and Parliament, the unfavorable
sentiments that have been formed of their conduct, or at least obtain
from them the knowledge of their accusers and the matters alleged
against them, and an opportunity offered of vindicating themselves."

The letters just referred to as having been received from England
were six in number, five written by Governor Bernard and one by
General Gage, which contained specimens of the characteristic
misrepresentations of political affairs by the crown officials; and,
having been transmitted to the Council, this body felt called upon to
act in the matter, which they did (April 15, 1769) in a spirited
letter addressed to Lord Hillsborough. This letter is occupied mainly
with the various questions touching the introduction and the
quartering of the troops. Again were the disorders of the eighteenth
of March and the tenth of June reviewed and explained; the charge made
by the Governor, that the Council refused to provide quarters for the
troops out of servility to the populace, was pronounced to be without
foundation or coloring of truth; and the Council boldly charged upon
Bernard, that his great aim was the destruction of the constitution to
which, as Englishmen and by the Charter, they were entitled,--"a
constitution," they remark, "dearly purchased by our ancestors and
dear to us, and which we persuade ourselves will be continued to us."
Then, also, they charged that no Council had borne what the present
Council had borne from Bernard; that his whole conduct with regard to
the troops was arbitrary and unbecoming the dignity of his station;
and that his common practice, in case the Council did not come into
his measures, of threatening to lay their conduct before His Majesty,
was absurd and insulting.

The troops, during the progress of the events which have been related,
did not redeem the promise, as to discipline and order, which General
Gage made for them to the Council. After the arrival of the
Sixty-Fourth and Sixty-Fifth Regiments, General Pomeroy continued the
commander through the winter, and down to the month of May; and he
made himself popular with the inhabitants. Still, the four regiments
consisted, to a great degree, of such rough material, that they could
not, in the idleness in which they were kept, be controlled. "The
soldiers," Andrew Eliot writes, January 29, 1769, "were in raptures at
the cheapness of spirituous liquors among us, and in some of their
drunken hours have been insolent to some of the inhabitants"; and he
further remarks that "the officers are the most troublesome, who, many
of them, are as intemperate as the men." Thus, while the temptation
to excess was strong, the restraint of individual position was weak,
and both privates and officers became subjects of legal proceedings as
disturbers of the public peace.

The routine of military discipline grated rudely on old customs.
Citizens who, like their ancestors for a century and a half, had
walked the streets with perfect freedom, were annoyed at being obliged
to answer the challenge of sentinels who were posted at the
Custom-House and other public places, and at the doors of the
officers' lodgings. Then the usual quiet of Sunday was disturbed by
the changes of the guards, with the sounds of fife and drum, and the
tunes of "Nancy Dawson" and "Yankee Doodle"; church-goers were annoyed
by parties of soldiers in the streets, and the whole community
outraged by horse-racing on the Common. Applications for redress had
been ineffectual; and General Pomeroy was excused for not checking
some of these things, on the ground that he was controlled by a
superior officer. His successor, General Mackay, gave great
satisfaction by prohibiting, in general orders, (June 15, 1769,)
horse-racing on the Common on the Lord's day by any under his command,
and also by forbidding soldiers to be in the streets during divine
service, a practice that had been long disagreeable to the people.

In one way and another the troops became sources of irritation. The
Patriots, mainly William Cooper, the town clerk, prepared a chronicle
of this perpetual fret, which contains much curious matter obtained
through access to authentic sources of information, private and
official. This diary was first printed in New York, and reprinted in
the newspapers of Boston and London, under the title of "Journal of
Occurrences." The numbers, continued until after the close of
Bernard's administration, usually occupied three columns of the
"Boston Evening Post," and constituted a piquant record of the matters
connected with the troops and general politics. It attracted much
attention, and the authors of it formed the subject of a standing
toast at the Liberty celebrations. Hutchinson averred that it was
composed with great art and little truth. After this weekly "Journal
of the Times," as it was now called, had been published four months,
Governor Bernard devoted to it an entire official letter addressed to
Lord Hillsborough. He said that this publication was intended "to
raise a general clamor against His Majesty's government in England and
throughout America, as well as in Massachusetts"; and that in this way
the Patriots "flattered themselves that they should get the navy and
army removed, and again have the government and Custom-House in their
own hands." The idea of such disloyal purposes excited the Governor to
the most acrimonious criticism. "It is composed," he informed Lord
Hillsborough, "by Adams and his associates, among which there must be
some one at least of the Council; as everything that is said or done
in Council, which can be made use of, is constantly perverted,
misrepresented, and falsified in this paper. But if the Devil himself
was of the party, as he virtually is, there could not have been got
together a greater collection of impudent, virulent, and seditious
lies, perversions of truth, and misrepresentations, than are to be
found in this publication. Some are entirely invented, and first heard
of from the printed papers; others are founded in fact, but so
perverted as to be the direct contrary of the truth; other part of the
whole consists of reflections of the writer, which pretend to no other
authority but his own word. To set about answering these falsities
would be a work like that of cleansing Augeas's stable, which is to be
done only by bringing in a stream strong enough to sweep away the dirt
and collectors of it all together." Doubtless there were exaggerations
in this journal. It would be strange, if there were not. If
the perversions of truth were greater than the Governor's
misrepresentations of the proceedings of the inhabitants on the
eighteenth of March, or on the tenth of June, or of what was termed
"the September Rebellion," they deserved more than this severe
criticism. But, in the main, the general allegations, as to grievances
suffered by the people from the troops, are borne out by private
letters and official documents; and a plain statement of the course of
Francis Bernard shows that they did not exceed the truth as to him.

The troops continued under the command of General Pomeroy until the
arrival (April 30, 1769) of Hon. Alexander Mackay, Colonel of the
Sixty-Fifth Regiment, a Major-General on the American establishment,
and a member of the British Parliament, when the command of the
troops, so it was announced, in the Eastern District of America,
devolved on him. When General Pomeroy left the town, the press, of
all parties, and even the "Journal of the Times," highly complimented
his conduct both as an officer and a gentleman.

The crown officials found themselves, at this period, in an awkward
situation as to arrests of the popular leaders. They had recommended
to the Government what they termed the slight punishment of
disqualification, by Act of Parliament, from engaging in civil
service; but the Ministry and their supporters determined on the
summary proceeding of prosecutions under existing law for treason,
thinking that few cases would be necessary,--and all agreed that these
should be selected from Boston. On this point of singling out Boston
for punishment, whatever other measures might be proposed, there was
entire unanimity of sentiment. Thus, Lord Camden, on being applied to
by the Prime-Minister for advice, suggested a repeal of the Revenue
Act in favor of other Provinces, but the execution of it with rigor in
Massachusetts, saying,--"There is no pretence for violence anywhere
but at Boston; that is the ringleading Province; and if any country is
to be chastised, the punishment ought to be levelled there." As to the
policy of arrests, in Lord Barrington's judgment, five or six examples
would be sufficient for all the Colonies, and he thought that it was
right they should be made in Boston, the only place where there had
been actual crime; for "they," his words are, "would be enough to
carry terror to the wicked and factious spirits all over the
continent, and would show that the subjects of Great Britain must not
rebel with impunity anywhere." The King and Parliament stood pledged
to make arrests; Lord Hillsborough, in his instructions, had urged
them again and again; the private letters of the officials addressed
to Bernard were refreshingly full and positive as to the advantage
which such exercise of the national authority would be to the King's
cause; the British press continually announced that they were to be
made; and all England was looking to see representative men of
America, who had dared to deny any portion of the authority of
Parliament, occupy lodgings in London Tower. And yet, though it had
been announced in Parliament that the object in sending troops was to
bring rioters to justice, not a man had been put under arrest; and the
only requisition that had been made for eight months upon a military
power which was considered to be invincible was that which produced
the inglorious demonstration at the Manufactory House occupied by John
Brown the weaver. So ridiculous was the figure which the British Lion
cut on the public stage of Boston!

Governor Bernard not unlikely felt more keenly the awkwardness of all
this from having received, as a reward for service, the honor of a
Baronetcy of Great Britain. The "Gazette," in announcing this, (May 1,
1769,) has an ironical article addressing the new Baronet thus:--"Your
promotion, Sir, reflects an honor on the Province itself,--an honor
which has never been conferred upon it since the thrice happy
administration of Sir Edmund Andres, of precious memory, who was also
a Baronet"; and in a candid British judgment to-day, (that of Lord
Mahon,) the honor was "a most ill-timed favor surely, when he had so
grievously failed in gaining the affections or confidence of any order
or rank of men within his Province." The subject occupies a large
space in the private correspondence, and the title was the more
flattering and acceptable to the Governor from being exempted from the
usual concomitant of heavy expense as fees. But whatever other service
he had rendered, he had not rendered what was looked upon as most
vital, the service of making arrests.

At this period the Governor held a consultation with distinguished
political leaders, consisting of the Secretary, Andrew Oliver, who had
been Stamp-Officer, the Judge of Admiralty, Robert Auchmuty, who was
an eminent lawyer, and the Chief Justice, Hutchinson, who was counted
the ablest man of the party, all ultra Loyalists, to consider the
future policy as to arrests,--all doubtless feeling that the
non-action course needed explanation. The details of this consultation
are given at such length, and with such minuteness, by Bernard, in a
letter addressed to Lord Hillsborough, that these learned political
doctors can almost be seen making a diagnosis of the prevalent
treason-disease and discussing proposed prescriptions. They carefully
considered what had been done at the great public meetings, and what
had been printed in the "Boston Gazette," which had been all collected
and duly certified, and had been faithfully transmitted to
Westminster, where distinctions of law were better known than they
were in Boston. But, after legal scrutiny there, no specifications of
acts amounting to treason had been made out as proper bases for
proceedings, and it could not be expected that the local authorities
would be wiser than their superiors; and thus this class of offences
was set aside. To deal with other matters of treason, and especially
with "the Rebellion of September," was found to be involved in
difficulties. The members of the faction were now behaving "very
cautiously and inoffensively," and so nothing could be made out of the
present; and as they would not bear witness against each other as to
the past, it was not easy from old affairs to make out cases of
treason. Former private consultations of a treasonable character, it
was said, lacked connection with overt acts, and the overt acts of a
treasonable character lacked connection with the prior consultations:
as, for instance, they said, the consultation to seize the Castle was
treasonable, but it was not followed by an overt act,--and the overt
act of the tar-barrel signal on the beacon-pole was treasonable, but
it could not be traced to a prior consultation so as to evidence the
intent. So these acute crown officials went on in their deliberations,
and came to the conclusion, which Bernard officially communicated (May
25, 1769) to Lord Hillsborough, in the long letter above referred to,
that they could not fix upon any acts "that amounted to actual
treason, though many of them approached very near to it."

The Governor, meantime, had issued precepts to the towns to return
members of the General Court; this made each locality (May, 1769)
alive with politics; and he stated to Lord Hillsborough, as a further
reason for not polling inquiry into treasonable practices, that he was
anxious not to irritate the people more than he felt obliged to. The
question of the removal of the troops was now discussed in the little
country forums, and the resolves and instructions to the
Representatives, printed in the journals, reecho, in a spirited manner
and with great ability, the political sentiment which had been
embodied in official papers. They contain earnest protestations of a
determination to maintain His Most Sacred Majesty George the Third,
their rightful sovereign, his crown, dignity, and family; to maintain
their Charter immunities, with all their rights derived from God and
Nature, and to transmit them inviolable to their latest posterity; and
they charge the Representatives not to allow, by vote or resolution, a
right in any power on earth to tax the people to raise a revenue
except in the General Assembly of the Province. All urged action
relative to the troops, and several put this as the earliest duty of
the Assembly, as the presence of the troops tended to awe or control
freedom of debate. These utterances of the towns, which the journals
of May contain, make a glowing record of the spirit of the time.

The Selectmen of Boston, on issuing the usual warrants for an election
of Representatives, requested General Mackay to order the troops out
of town on the day (May 8, 1769) of the town-meeting; but though he
felt obliged to decline to do this, yet, in the spirit in which he
acted during his entire residence here, he kept the troops, on this
day, confined to their barracks. The town, after choosing Otis,
Cushing, Adams, and Hancock as Representatives, adopted a noble letter
of instructions, not only rehearsing the grievances, but asserting
ideas of freedom and equality, as to political rights, that had been
firmly grasped. They arraigned the Act of Parliament of 4th Geo. III.,
extending admiralty jurisdiction and depriving the colonists of native
juries, as a distinction staring them in the face which was made
between the subject in Great Britain and the subject in America,--the
Parliament in one section guarding the people of the realm, and
securing to them trial by jury and the law of the land, and in the
next section depriving Americans of those important rights; and this
distinction was pronounced a brand of disgrace upon every American, a
degradation below the rank of an Englishman. While the instructions
claimed for each subject in America equality of political right with
each subject in England, they claimed also for the General Court the
dignity of a free assembly, and declared the first object of their
labors to be a removal of "those cannon and guards and that clamorous
parade that had been daily about the Court-House since the arrival of
His Majesty's troops."

The country towns, which now responded so nobly to the demand of the
hour, were controlled by freemen. Among these it was rare to find any
who could not read and write; they were mostly independent
freeholders, with person and property guarded, as it used to be said
in the Boston journals of the time, not by one law for the peasant and
another law for the prince, but by equal law for all; they exercised
liberty of thought and political action, and their proceedings, as
they appeared in the public prints, gave great alarm to the Governor.
He now informed Lord Hillsborough that the Sons of Liberty had got as
high as ever; and that out of a party which used to keep the
opposition to Government under, there were reckoned to be not above
ten members returned in a House of above one hundred and twenty.
After giving an account of a meeting of "the factious chiefs" in
Boston, held a few days before the General Court assembled, he
says,--"To see that faction which has occasioned all the troubles in
this Province, and I may add in America too, has quite overturned this
government, now triumphant and driving over every one who has loyalty
and resolution to stand up in defence of the rights of the King and
Parliament, gives me great concern."

This result of the elections, which the crown officials ascribed to a
talent for mischief in the popular leaders, naturally flowed from the
exhibition of arbitrary power. The introduction of the troops was a
suicidal measure to the Loyalists, and in urging their continuance in
the Province the crown officials had been carrying an exhaustive
burden; while, even in every failure to effect their removal, the
Whigs had won a fresh moral victory. There was, in consequence, a more
perfect union of the people than ever. The members returned to the
General Court constituted a line representation of the character,
ability, and patriotism of the Province; many of the names were then
obscure which subsequent large service to country was to make famous
as the names of heroes and sages; and such a body of men was now to
act on the question of a removal of the troops.

It would be travelling a beaten path to relate the proceedings of this
session of the General Court; and only a glance will be necessary to
show its connection with the issue that had so long stirred the public
mind. Immediately on taking the oath of office, at nine o'clock, the
House, through a committee, presented an elaborate and strong protest
to the Governor against the presence of the troops. They averred that
they meant to be loyal; that no law, however grievous, had in the
execution of it been opposed in the Province; but, they said, as they
came as of right to their old Parliament-House, to exercise, as of
right, perfect freedom of debate, they found a standing army in their
metropolis, and a military guard with cannon pointed at their very
doors; and, in the strong way of the old Commonwealth men, they
protested against this presence as "a breach of privilege, and
inconsistent with that dignity and freedom with which they had a right
to deliberate, consult, and determine." The Governor's laconic reply
was,--"I have no authority over His Majesty's ships in this port or
his troops within this town; nor can I give any orders for their
removal." The House, resolving that they proceeded to take part in
the elections of the day from necessity and to conform the Charter,
chose their Clerk, Speaker, and twenty-eight Councillors.

The Governor at ten o'clock received at the Province House a brilliant
array of officials, when an elegant collation was served; at twelve,
escorted by Captain Paddock's company, he repaired to the
Council-Chamber, whence, after approving the choice of Speaker, the
whole Government went in procession to the Old Brick Meeting-House,
where the election sermon was preached; then succeeded an elegant
dinner at Faneuil Hall, which was attended by the field-officers of
the four regiments, and the official dignitaries, including Commodore
Hood and General Mackay, which, as to the Governor, closed the
proceedings of the day.

The House in its choice of Councillors elected several decided
Loyalists, though it did not reelect four of this party who were of
that body the last year, namely, Messrs. Flucker, Ropes, Paine, and
Worthington. The Governor refused his consent to eleven on the
list. On the next day he thus wrote of these events:--


"_Boston, June 1,1769._

"Dear Sir,--There being a snow ready to sail for Glasgow, I take the
opportunity of sending you the printed account of the election and
other proceedings on yesterday and to-day; from which you will
perceive that everything goes as bad as could be expected. The Boston
faction has taken possession of the two Houses in such a manner that
there are not ten men in both who dare contradict them. They have
turned out of the Council four gentlemen of the very first reputation
in the country, and the only men remaining of disposition and ability
to serve the King's cause. I have negatived eleven, among which are
two old Councillors, Brattle and Bowdoin, the managers of all the late
opposition in the Council to the King's government. There is not now
one man in the Council who has either power or spirit to oppose the
faction; and the friends of Government are so thin in the House, that
they won't attempt to make any opposition; so that Otis, Adams, etc.,
are now in full possession of this government, and will treat it
accordingly. This is no more than was expected. I will write more
particularly in a few days.

"I am," etc.

The Governor could write thus of his political friends of the Council,
several of whom, six years later, when the attempt was made to change
the Constitution, were thought to have spirit enough to receive
appointments from the Crown,--such, for instance, as Danforth,
Russell, Royal, and Gray,--and hence were called _Mandamus_

A few days after (May 5, 1769) there was a holiday in Boston, the
celebration of the birth-day of the King, which the House, "out of
duty, loyalty, and affection to His Majesty," noticed formally, as
provided by a committee consisting of Otis, Hancock, and Adams. The
Governor received a brilliant party--at the Province House; the three
regiments in town, the Fourteenth, Twenty-Ninth, and Sixty-Fourth,
paraded on the Common; the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company--it
happened to be their anniversary--went through the customary routine,
including the sermon, the dinner at Faneuil Hall, and the exchange of
commissions on the Common; and in the evening there was a ball at
Concert Hall, where, it is said in the Tory paper, there was as
numerous and brilliant an appearance of gentlemen and ladies as was
ever known in town on any former occasion. The Patriot journals give
more space to the celebration, towards evening, in the Representatives'
Hall, where, besides the members, were a great number of merchants
and gentlemen of the first distinction, who, besides toasting, first
the King, Queen, and Royal Family, and second, North America,
drank to "The restoration of harmony between Great Britain
and the Colonies," "Prosperity and perpetuity to the British Empire in
all parts of the world," and "Liberty without licentiousness to all
parts of the world." The House thus testified their loyalty to
country; but, as the Governor refused to remove the troops, they--the
"Boston Gazette" of June 12th said--"had for thirteen days past made a
solemn and expressive pause in public business."

Meantime the Governor received in one day (June 10) communications
which surprised him half out of his wits and wholly out of his office,
and which must have made rather a blue day in his calendar.

The Ministry now vacillated in their high-handed policy, and gave to
General Gage discretionary power as to a continuance of the troops in
Boston; and this officer had come to the sensible conclusion that
troops were worse than needless, for they were an unnecessary
irritation and detrimental to a restoration of the harmony which the
representative men of both parties professed to desire. Accordingly
the Governor received advices that the Commander-in-Chief had ordered
the Sixty-Fourth and Sixty-Fifth Regiments, with the train of
artillery, to Halifax, and that he had directed General Mackay to
confer with his Excellency as to the disposition of the remainder of
the troops, whether His Majesty's service required that any should be
posted longer in Boston, and if so, what the number should be. The
Governor was further requested to give his opinion on this point in

As the Governor had received no intimation of such a change of policy
from his friends in England, he could hardly find words in which to
express his astonishment. He wrote, two days after, that nothing
could be more _mal-a-propos_ to the business of Government or
hard upon him; that it was cruel to have this forced upon him at such
a time and in such a manner; and as the question was put, it was
hardly less than whether he should abdicate government. "If the troops
are removed," he wrote, "the principal officers of the Crown, the
friends of Government, and the importers of goods from England in
defiance of the combination, who are considerable and numerous, must
remove also," which would have been quite an extensive removal. He
wrote to Lord Hillsborough,--"It is impossible to express my surprise
at this proposition, or my embarrassment on account of the requisition
of an answer."

The other communication was a right royal greeting. Up to this time
the letters to the Governor from the members of the Government,
private as well as official, had been to him of the most gratifying
character, to say nothing of the gift of the baronetcy. "I can give
you the pleasure of knowing," Lord Barrington wrote to him, (April 5,
1769,) "that last Sunday the King spoke with the highest approbation
of your conduct and services in his closet to me"; but in a postscript
to this letter were the ominous words,--"I understand you are directed
to come hither; but Lord Hillsborough authorizes me to say, you need
not be in any inconvenient haste to obey that instruction." This
order, in the manuscript, is indorsed, "Received June 10, 1769"; and
being unique, it is here copied from the original, which has
Hillsborough's autograph:--


"Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas we have thought
fit by our royal license under our signet and sign-manual bearing date
the twenty-second day of June, 1768, in the eighth year of our reign,
to permit you to return into this our kingdom of Great Britain: Our
will and pleasure therefore is, that as soon as conveniently may be,
after the receipt hereof, you do repair to this our kingdom in order
to lay before us a state of our province of Massachusetts Bay. And so
we bid you farewell. Given at our court at St. James the twenty-third
day of March, 1769, in the ninth year of our reign.

"By His Majesty's command,


It was now an active time with the Patriots. Before the Governor had a
chance to talk with General Mackay or to write to General Gage, the
news spread all over the town that the two regiments were ordered off;
and with this there was circulated the story, that Commissioner Temple
had received a letter from George Grenville containing the assurance
that the Governor would be immediately recalled with disgrace, that
three of the Commissioners of the Customs would be turned off
directly, and that next winter the Board would be dissolved; and
Bernard, who tells these incidents, says that the reports exalted the
Sons of Liberty as though the bells had rung for a triumph, while
there was consternation among the crown officials, the importers, and
the friends of Government. Here was thrust upon Bernard, over again,
the question of the introduction of the troops.

The Governor was as much embarrassed by the requisition for an answer
in writing as to the two regiments that were not ordered off as he was
astonished at the order that had been given; and on getting a note
from General Mackay, he gave the verbal answer, that he would write to
General Gage. Meantime, while Bernard was hesitating, the Patriots
were acting, and immediately applied themselves to counteract the
influence which they knew was making to retain the two regiments. One
hundred and forty-two of the citizens petitioned the Selectmen for a
town-meeting, at which it was declared, that the law of the land made
ample provision for the security of life and property, and that the
presence of the troops was an insult. After a week's hesitation, the
Governor wrote to General Gage, who had promised inviolable secrecy,
that to remove a portion of the two regiments would be detrimental to
His Majesty's service; to remove all of these troops would be quite
ruinous to the cause of the Crown; but that one regiment in the town
and one at the Castle might be sufficient. Of course, General Gage, if
he paid any respect to the Governor's advice, could do no less than
order both regiments to remain. Thus was it that the two Sam Adams
Regiments continued in town, designed for evil, but working for the
good of the common cause.

Governor Bernard, during the month of June, and down to the middle of
July, was greatly disturbed by the manly stand of the General Court;
and, because of its refusal to enter upon the public business under
the mouths of British cannon, adjourned it to Cambridge. On the night
after this adjournment, the cannon were removed. These irritating
proceedings made this body still more high-toned. While in this mood,
it received from the Governor two messages, (July 6 and 12,) asking an
appropriation of money to meet the expenses which had been incurred by
the crown officers in quartering troops in Boston. The members nobly
met this demand by returning to the Governor (July 15, 1769) a grandly
worded state-paper, in which, claiming the rights of freeborn
Englishmen, as confirmed by Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights, and
as settled by the Revolution and the British Charter, they expressly
declared that they never would make provision for the purposes
mentioned in the two messages. On the same day, it was represented in
the House that armed soldiers had rescued a prisoner from the hands of
justice, when two constables were ordered to attend on the floor who
were heard on the matter, and a committee was then appointed to
consider it. But Secretary Oliver now appeared with a message from
the Governor to the effect that he was at the Court-House and directed
the immediate attendance of the members. They accordingly, with
Speaker Cushing at their head, repaired to the Governor, who, after a
haughty speech charging them with proclaiming ideas lacking in dignity
to the Crown and inconsistent with the Province continuing a part of
the British Empire, prorogued the Court until the 10th of January.

The press arraigned the arbitrary proceedings of the Governor with
great boldness and a just severity; while it declared that the action
taken by the intrepid House of Representatives, with rare unanimity,
was supported by the almost universal sentiments of the people. The
last act of the Governor, the prorogation of the General Court for six
months, was especially criticized; and after averring that such long
prorogations, in such critical times, could never promote the true
service of His Majesty or the tranquility of his good subjects, it
predicted that impartial history would hang up Governor Bernard as a
warning to his successors who had any sense of character, and perhaps
his future fortune might be such as to teach even the most selfish of
them not to tread in his steps.

On the day this prediction was written, (August 1, 1769,) Sir Francis
Bernard, in the Rippon, was on his way to England. Congratulations
among the people, exultation on the part of the press, the Union Flag
on Liberty Tree, salutes from Hancock's Wharf, and bonfires, in the
evening, on the hills, expressed the general joy. And yet Francis
Bernard was hardly a faithful representative of the proud imperial
power for which he acted. He was a bad Governor, but he was not so bad
as the cause he was obliged to uphold. He was arbitrary, but he was
not so arbitrary as his instructions. He was vacillating, but he was
not so vacillating as the Ministers. When he gave the conciliatory
reply to the June town-meeting, it was judged that he lowered the
national standard, and it seriously damaged him at Court; when he
spoke in the imperial tone that characterized the British rule of that
day, he was rewarded with a baronetcy. The Governor after months of
reflection, in England, on reviewing in an elaborate letter the
political path he had travelled, indicated both his deep chagrin and
his increase of wisdom in the significant words,--"I was obliged to
give up, a victim to the bad policy and irresolution of the supreme

The execution of a bad policy as directed by an irresolute Ministry
was now the lot of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson. It was embodied in
the question of the removal of the troops; and this question was not
decided, until, after months of confusion and distress, the blood and
slaughter of His Majesty's good subjects compelled an indignant
American public opinion to command their departure from the town of






At five, P. M., we found ourselves--Iglesias, a party of friends, and
myself--on board the Isaac Newton, a great, ugly, three-tiered box
that walks the North River, like a laboratory of greasy odors.

In this stately cinder-mill were American citizens. Not to
discuss spitting, which is for spittoons, not literature, our
fellow-travellers on the deck of the "floating palace" were
passably endurable people, in looks, style, and language. I dodge
discrimination, and characterize them _en masse_ by negations.
The passengers of the Isaac Newton, on a certain evening of
July, 18--, were not so intrusively green and so gasping as Britons,
not so ill-dressed and pretentious as Gauls, not so ardently futile
and so lubberly as Germans. Such were the negative virtues of our
fellow-citizen travellers; and base would it be to exhibit their
positive vices.

And so no more of passengers or passage. I will not describe our
evening on the river. Alas for the duty of straight-forwardness and
dramatic unity! Episodes seem so often sweeter than plots! The
way-side joys are better than the final successes. The flowers along
the vista, brighter than the victor-wreaths at its close. I may not
dally on my way, turning to the right and the left for beauty and
caricature. I will balance on the strict edge of my narrative, as a
seventh-heavenward Mahometan with wine-forbidden steadiness of poise
treads Al Serat, his bridge of a sword-blade.

Next morning, at Albany, divergent trains cleft our party into a
better and a worser half. The beautiful girls, our better half, fled
westward to ripen their pallid roses with richer summer-hues in
mosquitoless inland dells. Iglesias and I were still northward bound.

At the Saratoga station we sipped a dreary, faded reminiscence of
former joys and sparkling brilliancy long dead, in cups of
Congress-water, brought by unattractive Ganymedes and sold in the
train,--draughts flat, flabby, and utterly bubbleless, lukewarm
heel-taps with a flavor of savorless salt.

Still northward journeying, and feeling the sea-side moisture
evaporate from our blood under inland suns and sultry inland breezes,
we came to Lake Champlain.

As before banquets, to excite appetite, one takes the gentle oyster,
so we, before the serious pleasure of our journey, tasted the
Adirondack region, paradise of Cockney sportsmen. There through the
forest, the stag of ten trots, coquetting with greenhorns. He likes
the excitement of being shot at and missed. He enjoys the smell of
powder in a battle where he is always safe. He hears Greenhorn
blundering through the woods, stopping to growl at briers, stopping to
revive his courage with the Dutch supplement. The stag of ten awaits
his foe in a glade. The foe arrives, sees the antlered monarch, and
is panic-struck. He watches him prance and strike the ground with his
hoofs. He slowly recovers heart, takes a pull at his flask, rests his
gun upon a log, and begins to study his mark. The stag will not stand
still. Greenhorn is baffled. At last his target turns and carefully
exposes that region of his body where Greenhorn has read lies the
heart. Just about to fire, he catches the eye of the stag winking
futility into his elaborate aim. His blunderbuss jerks upward. A
shower of cut leaves floats through the smoke, from a tree thirty feet
overhead. Then, with a mild-eyed melancholy look of reproachful
contempt, the stag turns away, and wanders off to sleep in quiet
coverts far within the wood. He has fled, while for Greenhorn no
trophy remains. Antlers have nodded to the sportsman; a short tail
has disappeared before his eyes;--he has seen something, but has
nothing to show. Whereupon he buys a couple of pairs of ancient
weather-bleached horns from some colonist, and, nailing them
up at impossible angles on the wall of his city-den, humbugs
brother-Cockneys with tales of _venerie_, and has for life his
special legend, "How I shot my first deer in the Adirondacks."

The Adirondacks provide a compact, convenient, accessible little
wilderness,--an excellent field for the experiments of tyros. When the
tyro, whether shot, fisherman, or forester, has proved himself fully
there, let him dislodge into some vaster wilderness, away from guides
by the day and superintending hunters, away from the incursions of the
Cockney tribe, and let out the caged savage within him for a tough
struggle with Nature. It needs a struggle tough and resolute to force
that Protean lady to observe at all her challenger.

It is well to go to the Adirondacks. They are shaggy, and shagginess
is a valuable trait. The lakes are very well,--very well indeed. The
objection to the region is not the mountains, which are reasonably
shaggy,--not the lakes and rivers, which are water, a capital element.
The real difficulty is the society: not the autochthonous
society,--they are worthy people, and it is hardly to be mentioned as
a fault that they are not a discriminating race, and will asseverate
that all fish are trout, and the most arrant mutton is venison,--but
the immigrant, colonizing society. Cockneys are to be found at every
turn, flaunting their banners of the awkward squad, proclaiming to the
world with protuberant pride that they are the veritable
backwoodsmen,--rather doing it, rather astonishing the natives, they
think. And so they are. One squad of such neophytes might be
entertaining; but when every square mile echoes with their hails,
lost, poor babes, within a furlong of their camps, and when the woods
become dim and the air civic with their cooking-smokes, and the subtle
odor of fried pork overpowers methylic fragrance among the trees, then
he who loves forests for their solitude leaves these brethren to their
clumsy joys, and wanders elsewhere deeper into sylvan scenes.

Our visit to the Adirondacks was episodic; and as I have forsworn
episodes, I turn away from them with this mild slander, and strike
again our Maine track. With lips impurpled by the earliest
huckleberries, we came out again upon Champlain. We crossed that
water-logged valley in a steamboat, and hastened on, through a
pleasant interlude of our rough journey, across Vermont and New
Hampshire, two States not without interest to their residents, but of
none to this narrative.

By coach and wagon, by highway and by-way, by horse-power and
steam-power, we proceeded, until it chanced, one August afternoon,
that we left railways and their regions at a way-side station, and let
our lingering feet march us along the Valley of the Upper
Connecticut. This lovely river, baptizer of Iglesias's childhood, was
here shallow and musical, half river, half brook; it had passed the
tinkling period, and plashed and rumbled voicefully over rock and

It was a fair and verdant valley where we walked, overlooked by hills
of pleasant pastoral slope. All the land was gay and ripe with yellow
harvest. Strolling along, as if the business of travel were forgotten,
we placidly identified ourselves with the placid scenery. We became
Arcadians both. Such is Arcadia, if I have read aright: a realm where
sunshine never scorches, and yet shade is sweet; where simple
pleasures please; where the blue sky and the bright water and the
green fields satisfy forever.

We were in lightest marching-trim. Iglesias bore an umbrella, our
armor against what heaven could do with assault of sun or shower. I
was weaponed with a staff, should brute or biped uncourteous dispute
our way. We had no impediments of "great trunk, little trunk, bandbox,
and bundle." A thoughtful man hardly feels honest in his life except
as a pedestrian traveller. _"La propriete c'est le vol"_--which
the West more briefly expresses by calling baggage "plunder." What
little plunder our indifferent honesty had packed for this journey we
had left with a certain stage-coachman, perhaps to follow us, perhaps
to become his plunder. We were thus disconnected from any depressing
influence; we had no character to sustain; we were heroes in disguise,
and could make our observations on life and manners, without being
invited to a public hand-shaking, or to exhibit feats in jugglery, for
either of which a traveller with plenteous portmanteaus, hair or
leather, must be prepared in villages thereabouts. Totally
unembarrassed, we lounged along or leaped along, light-hearted. When
the river neared us, or winsome brooklet from the hill-side thwarted
our path, we stooped and lapped from their pools of coolness, or
tasted that most ethereal tipple, the mingled air and water of
electric bubbles, as they slid brightly toward our lips.

The angle of the sun's rays grew less and less, the wheat-fields were
tinged more golden by the clinging beams, our shadows lengthened, as
if exercise of an afternoon were stimulating to such unreal
essences. Finally the blue dells and gorges of a wooded mountain, for
two hours our landmark, rose between us and the sun. But the sun's
Parthian arrows gave him a splendid triumph, more signal for its
evanescence. A storm was inevitable, and sunset prepared a reconciling

Now, as may be supposed, Iglesias has an eye for a sunset. That
summer's crop had been very short, and he had been some time on
starvation-allowance of cloudy magnificence. We therefore halted by
the road-side, and while I committed the glory to memory, Iglesias
entrusted his distincter memorial to a sketch-book.

We were both busy, he repeating forms, noting shades and tints, and I
studying without pictorial intent, when we heard a hail in the road
below our bank. It was New Hampshire, near the Maine line, and near
the spot where nasal organs are fabricated that twang the roughest.

"Say!" shrieked up to us a freckled native, holding fast to the tail
of a calf, the last of a gambolling family he was driving,--"Say!
whodger doon up thurr? Layn aoot taoonshup lains naoou, aancher?
Cauds ur suvvares raoond. Spekkleayshn goan on, ur guess."

We allowed this unmelodious vocalist to respect us by permitting him
to believe us surveyors in another sense than as we were. One would
not be despised as an unpractical citizen, a mere looker at Nature
with no immediate view to profit, even by a freckled calf-driver of
the Upper Connecticut. While we parleyed, the sketch was done, and the
pageant had faded quick before the storm.

Splendor had departed; the world in our neighborhood had fallen into
the unillumined dumps. An ominous mournfulness, far sadder than the
pensiveness of twilight, drew over the sky. Clouds, that donned
brilliancy for the fond parting of mountain-tops and the sun, now grew
cheerless and gray; their gay robes were taken from them, and with
bended heads they fled away from the sorrowful wind. In western glooms
beyond the world a dreary gale had been born, and now came wailing
like one that for all his weariness may not rest, but must go on
harmful journeys and bear evil tidings. With the vanguard gusts came
volleys of rain, malicious assaults, giving themselves the trouble to
tell us in an offensive way what we could discover for ourselves, that
a wetting impended and umbrellas would soon be nought.

While the storm was thus nibbling before it bit, we lengthened our
strides to escape. Water, concentrated in flow of stream or pause of
lake, is charming; not so to the shelterless is water diffused in dash
of deluge. Water, when we choose our method of contact, is a friend;
when it masters us, it is a foe; when it drowns us or ducks us, a very
exasperating foe. Proud pedestrians become very humble personages,
when thoroughly vanquished by a ducking deluge. A wetting takes out
the starch not only from garments, but the wearers of them. Iglesias
and I did not wish to stand all the evening steaming before a
kitchen-fire, inspecting meanwhile culinary details: Phillis in the
kitchen is not always as fresh as Phillis in the field. We therefore
shook ourselves into full speed and bolted into our inn at Colebrook;
and the rain, like a portcullis, dropped solid behind us.

In town, the landlord is utterly merged in his hotel. He is a
sovereign rarely apparent. In the country, the landlord is a
personality. He is greater than the house he keeps. Men arriving
inspect the master of the inn narrowly. If his first glance is at the
pocket, cheer will be bad; if at the eyes or the lips, you need not
take a cigar before supper to keep down your appetite.

Our landlord was of the latter type. He surged out of the little box
where he was dispensing not too fragrant rummers to a circle of
village-politicians, and congratulated us on our arrival before the
storm. He was a discriminating person. He detected us at once, saw we
were not tramps or footpads, and led us to the parlor, a room
attractively furnished with a map of the United States and an oblong
music-book open at "Old Hundred." Our host further felicitated us
that we had not stopped at a certain tavern below, where, as he

"They cut a chunk er beef and drop 't into a pot to bile, and bile her
three days, and then don't have noth'n' else for three weeks."

He put his head out of the door and called,--

"George, go aoot and split up that 'ere wood as fine as chaowder:
these men 'll want their supper right off."

Drawing in his head, he continued to us confidentially,--

"That 'ere George is jes' like a bird: he goes off at one snappin'."

Our host then rolled out toward the bar-room, to discuss with his
cronies who we might be. From the window we perceived the birdlike
George fly and alight near the specified wood, which he proceeded to
bechowder. He brought in the result of his handiwork, as smiling as a
basket of chips. Neat-handed Phillis at the door received the chowder,
and by its aid excited a sound and a smell, both prophetic of
supper. And we, willing to repose after a sixteen-mile afternoon-walk,
lounged upon sofa or tilted in rocking-chair, taking the available
mental food, namely, "Godey's Lady's Book" and the Almanac.



Next morning it poured. The cinders before the blacksmith's shop
opposite had yielded their black dye to the dismal puddles. The
village cocks were sadly draggled and discouraged, and cowered under
any shelter, shivering within their drowned plumage. Who on such a
morn would stir? Who but the Patriot? Hardly had we breakfasted, when
he, the Patriot, waited upon us. It was a Presidential campaign. They
were starving in his village for stump-speeches. Would the talking man
of our _duo_ go over and feed their ears with a fiery harangue?
Patriot was determined to be first with us; others were coming with
similar invitations; he was the early bird. Ah, those portmanteaus!
they had arrived, and betrayed us.

We would not be snapped up. We would wriggle away. We were very sorry,
but we must start at once to pursue our journey.

"But it pours," said Patriot.

"Patriot," replied our talking member, "man is flesh; and flesh,
however sweet or savory it may be, does not melt in water."

Thus fairly committed to start, we immediately opened negotiations for
a carriage. "No go," was the first response of the coachman. Our
willy was met by his nilly. But we pointed out to him that we could
not stay there all a dismal day,--that we must, would, could, should
go. At last we got within coachee's outworks. His nilly broke down
into shilly-shally. He began to state his objections; then we knew he
was ready to yield. We combated him, clinking the supposed gold of
coppers in our pockets, or carelessly chucking a tempting half-dollar
at some fly on the ceiling. So presently we prevailed, and he retired
to make ready.

By-and-by a degraded family-carriage came to the door. It came by some
feeble inertia left latent in it by some former motive-power, rather
than was dragged up by its more degraded nags. A very unwholesome
coach. No doubt a successful quack-doctor had used it in his
prosperous days for his wife and progeny; no doubt it had subsequently
become the property of a second-class undertaker, and had conveyed
many a quartette of cheap clergymen to the funerals of poor relations
whose leaking sands of life left no gold-dust behind. Such was our
carriage for a rainy day.

The nags were of the huckleberry or flea-bitten variety,--a freckled
white. Perhaps the quack had fed them with his refuse pills. These
knobby-legged unfortunates we of course named Xanthus and Balius, not
of podargous or swift-footed, but podagrous or gouty race. Xanthus,
like his Achillean namesake, (_vide_ Pope's Homer,)

"Seemed sensible of woe and dropped his head,--
Trembling he stood before the (seedy) wain."

Balius was in equally deplorable mood. Both seemed more sensible to
"Whoa" than to "Hadaap." Podagrous beasts, yet not stiffened to
immobility. Gayer steeds would have sundered the shackling drag.
These would never, by any gamesome caracoling, endanger the
coherency of pole with body, of axle with wheel. From end to end the
equipage was congruous. Every part of the machine was its weakest
part, and that fact gave promise of strength: an invalid never dies.
Moreover, the coach suited the day: the rusty was in harmony with
the dismal. It suited the damp unpainted houses and the tumble-down
blacksmith's-shop. We contented ourselves with this artistic
propriety. We entered, treading cautiously. The machine, with gentle
spasms, got itself in motion, and steered due east for Lake Umbagog.
The smiling landlord, the disappointed Patriot, and the birdlike
George waved us farewell.

Coachee was in the sulks. The rain, beat upon him, and we by
purse-power had compelled him to encounter discomfort. His
self-respect must be restored by superiority over somebody. He had
been beaten and must beat. He did so. His horses took the lash until
he felt at peace with himself. Then half-turning toward us, he made
his first remark.

"Them two hosses is gorming."

"Yes," we replied, "they do seem rather so."

This was of course profound hypocrisy; but "gorming" meant some bad
quality, and any might be safely predicated of our huckleberry
pair. Who will admit that he does not know all that is to be known in
horse-matters? We therefore asked no questions, but waited patiently
for information.

Delay pays demurrage to the wisely patient. Coachee relapsed into the
sulks. The driving rain resolved itself into a dim chaos of
mist. Xanthus and Balius plodded on, but often paused and gasped, or,
turning their heads as if they missed something, strayed from the
track and drew us against the dripping bushes. After one such
excursion, which had nearly been the ruin of us, and which by calling
out coachee's scourging powers had put him thoroughly in good-humor,
he turned to us and said, superlatively,--

"Them's the gormingest hosses I ever see. When I drew 'em in the
four-hoss coach for wheelers, they could keep a straight tail. Now
they act like they was drunk. They's gorming,--_they won't do
nothin' without a leader_."

To gorm, then, is to err when there is no leader. Alas, how mankind

By sunless noon we were well among the mountains. We came to the last
New-Hampshire house, miles from its neighbors. But it was a
self-sufficing house, an epitome of humanity. Grandmamma, bald under
her cap, was seated by the stove dandling grandchild, bald under its
cap. Each was highly entertained with the other. Grandpapa was sandy
with grandboy's gingerbread-crumbs. The intervening ages were well
represented by wiry men and shrill women. The house, also, without
being tavern or shop, was an amateur bazaar of _vivers_ and
goods. Anything one was likely to want could be had there,--even a
melodeon and those inevitable Patent-Office Reports. Here we
descended, lunched, and providently bought a general assortment,
namely, a large plain cake, five pounds of cheese, a ball of twine,
and two pairs of brown ribbed woollen socks, native manufacture. My
pair of these indestructibles will outlast my last legs and go as an
heirloom after me.

The weather now, as we drove on, seemed to think that Iglesias
deserved better of it. Rain-globes strung upon branches, each globe
the possible home of a sparkle, had waited long enough unillumined.
Sunlight suddenly discovered this desponding patience and rewarded
it. Every drop selected its own ray from the liberal bundle, and,
crowding itself full of radiance, became a mirror of sky and cloud and
forest. Also, by the searching sunbeams' store of regal purple, ripe
raspberries were betrayed. On these, magnified by their convex lenses
of water, we pounced. Showers shook playfully upon us from the vines,
while we revelled in fruitiness. We ran before our gormers, they
gormed by us while we plucked, we ran by, plucked again, and again
were gormingly overtaken and overtook. Thus we ate our way luxuriously
through the Dixville Notch, a capital cleft in a northern spur of the
White Mountains.

Picturesque is a curiously convenient, undiscriminating epithet. I use
it here. The Dixville Notch is, briefly, picturesque,--a fine gorge
between a crumbling conical crag and a scarped precipice,--a pass
easily defensible, except at the season when raspberries would
distract sentinels.

Now we came upon our proper field of action. We entered the State of
Maine at Township Letter B. A sharper harshness of articulation in
stray passengers told us that we were approaching the vocal influence
of the name Androscoggin. People talked as if, instead of ivory ring
or coral rattle to develop their infantile teeth, they had bitten upon
pine knots. Voices were resinous and astringent. An opera, with a
chorus drummed up in those regions, could dispense with violins.

Toward evening we struck the river, and found it rasping and crackling
over rocks as an Androscoggin should. We passed the last hamlet, then
the last house but one, and finally drew up at the last and
northernmost house, near the lumbermen's dam below Lake Umbagog. The
damster, a stalwart brown chieftain of the backwoodsman race, received
us with hearty hospitality. Xanthus and Balius stumbled away on their
homeward journey. And after them the crazy coach went moaning: it was
not strong enough to creak or rattle.

Next day was rainy. It had, however, misty intervals. In these we
threw a fly for trout and caught a chub in Androscoggin. Or, crouched
on the bank of a frog-pond, we tickled frogs with straws. Yes, and
fun of the freshest we found it. Certain animals, and especially
frogs, were created, shaped, and educated to do the grotesque, that
men might study them, laugh, and grow fat. It was a droll moment with
Nature, when she entertained herself and prepared entertainment for us
by devising the frog, that burlesque of bird, beast, and man, and
taught him how to move and how to speak and sing. Iglesias and I did
not disdain batrachian studies, and set no limit to our merriment at
their quaint, solemn, half-human pranks. One question still is
unresolved,--Why do frogs stay and be tickled? They snap snappishly
at the titillating straw; they snatch at it with their weird little
hands; they parry it skilfully. They hardly can enjoy being tickled,
and yet they endure, paying a dear price for the society of their
betters. Frogs the frisky, frogs the spotted, were our comedy that
day. Whenever the rain ceased, we rushed forth and tickled them, and
thus vicariously tickled ourselves into more than patience, into
jollity. So the day passed quickly.



While we were not tickling frogs, we were talking lumber with the
Umbagog damster. I had already coasted Maine, piloted by Iglesias, and
knew the fisherman-life; now, under the same experienced guidance, I
was to study inland scenes, and take lumbermen for my heroes.

Maine has two classes of warriors among its sons,--fighters of forest
and fighters of sea. Braves must join one or the other army. The two
are close allies. Only by the aid of the woodmen can the watermen
build their engines of victory. The seamen in return purvey the
needful luxuries for lumber-camps. Foresters float down timber that
seamen may build snips and go to the saccharine islands of the South
for molasses: for without molasses no lumberman could be happy in the
unsweetened wilderness. Pork lubricates his joints; molasses gives
tenacity to his muscles.

Lumbering develops such men as Pindar saw when he pictured Jason, his
forest hero. Life is a hearty and vigorous movement to them, not a
drooping slouch. Summer is their season of preparation; winter, of
the campaign; spring, of victory. All over the north of the State,
whatever is not lake or river is forest. In summer, the Viewer, like
a military engineer, marks out the region, and the spots of future
attack. He views the woods; and wherever a monarch tree crowns the
leafy level, he finds his way, and blazes a path. Not all trees are
worthy of the axe. Miles of lesser timber remain untouched. A Maine
forest after a lumber-campaign is like France after a _coup
d'etat:_ the _bourgeoisie_ are prosperous as ever, but the
great men are all gone.

While the viewer views, his followers are on commissariat and
quartermaster's service. They are bringing up their provisions and
fortifying their camp. They build their log-station, pile up barrels
of pork, beans, and molasses, like mortars and Paixhans in an arsenal,
and are ready for a winter of stout toil and solid jollity.

Stout is the toil, and the life seemingly dreary, to those who cower
by ingle-nooks or stand over registers. But there is stirring
excitement in this bloodless war, and around plenteous camp-fires
vigor of merriment and hearty comradry. Men who wield axes and breathe
hard have lungs. Blood aerated by the air that sings through the
pine-woods tingles in every fibre. Tingling blood makes life
joyous. Joy can hardly look without a smile or speak without a
laugh. And merry is the evergreen-wood in electric winter.

Snows fall level in the sheltered, still forest. Road-making is
practicable. The region is already channelled with watery ways. An
imperial pine, with its myriads of feet of future lumber, is worth
another path cut through the bush to the frozen riverside. Down goes
his Majesty Pinus I., three half-centuries old, having reigned fifty
years high above all his race. A little fellow with a little weapon
has dethroned the quiet old king. Pinus I was very strong at bottom,
but the little revolutionist was stronger at top. Brains without much
trouble had their will of stolid matter. The tree fallen, its branches
are lopped, its purple trunk is shortened into lengths. The teamster
arrives with oxen in full steam, and rimy with frozen breath about
their indignant nostrils. As he comes and goes, he talks to his team
for company; his conversation is monotonous as the talk of lovers, but
it has a cheerful ring through the solitude. The logs are chained and
dragged creaking along over the snow to the river-side. There the
subdivisions of Pinus the Great become a basis for a mighty
snow-mound. But the mild March winds blow from seaward. Spring
bourgeons. One day the ice has gone. The river flows visible; and now
that its days of higher beauty and grace have come, it climbs high up
its banks to show that it is ready for new usefulness. It would be
dreary for the great logs to see new verdure springing all around
them, while they lay idly rotting or sprouting with uncouth funguses,
not unsuspect of poison. But they will not be wasted. Lumbermen, foes
to idleness and inutility, swarm again about their winter's
trophies. They imprint certain cabalistic tokens of ownership on the
logs,--crosses, xs, stars, crescents, alphabetical letters,--marks
respected all along the rivers and lakes down to the boom where the
sticks are garnered for market. The marked logs are tumbled into the
brimming stream, and so ends their forest-life.

Now comes "the great spring drive." Maine waters in spring flow under
an illimitable raft. Every camp contributes its myriads of brown
cylinders to the millions that go bobbing down rivers with
jaw-breaking names. And when the river broadens to a lake, where these
impetuous voyagers might be stranded or miss their way and linger,
they are herded into vast rafts, and towed down by boats, or by
steam-tugs, if the lake is large as Moosehead. At the lake-foot the
rafts break up and the logs travel again dispersedly down stream, or
through the "thoro'fare" connecting the members of a chain of
lakes. The hero of this epoch is the Head-Driver. The head-driver of a
timber-drive leads a disorderly army, that will not obey the word of
command. Every log acts as an individual, according to certain
imperious laws of matter, and every log is therefore at loggerheads
with every other log. The marshal must be in the thick of the fight,
keeping his forces well in hand, hurrying stragglers, thrusting off
the stranded, leading his phalanxes wisely round curves and angles,
lest they be jammed and fill the river with a solid mass. As the great
sticks come dashing along, turning porpoise-like somersets or leaping
up twice their length in the air, he must be everywhere, livelier than
a monkey in a mimosa, a wonder of acrobatic agility in biggest
boots. _He_ made the proverb, "As easy as falling off a log."

Hardly less important is the Damster. To him it falls to conserve the
waters at a proper level. At his dam, generally below a lake, the logs
collect and lie crowded. The river, with its obstacles of rock and
rapid, would anticipate wreck for these timbers of future
ships. Therefore, when the spring drive is ready, and the head-driver
is armed with his jackboots and his iron-pointed sceptre, the damster
opens his sluices and lets another river flow through atop of the
rock-shattered river below. The logs of each proprietor, detected by
their marks, pay toll as they pass the gates and rush bumptiously down
the flood.

Far down, at some water-power nearest the reach of tide, a boom checks
the march of this formidable body. The owners step forward and claim
their slicks. Dowse takes all marked with three crosses and a
dash. Sowse selects whatever bears two crescents and a star. Rowse
pokes about for his stock, inscribed clip, dash, star, dash, clip.
Nobody has counterfeited these hieroglyphs. The tale is complete. The
logs go to the saw-mill. Sawdust floats seaward. The lumbermen
junket. So ends the log-book.

"Maine," said our host, the Damster of Umbagog, "was made for
lumbering-work. We never could have got the trees out, without these
lakes and dams."

[To be continued.]



The trumpet, now on every gale,
For triumph or in funeral-wail,
One lesson bloweth loud and clear
Above war's clangor to my ear.

The blood that flows in bounding veins,
The blood that ebbs with lingering pains,
Springs living from the self-same heart:
Courage and patience act one part.

Doers and sufferers of God's will
Tread in each other's footprints still;
Soldier or saint hath equal mind,
When vows of truth the spirit bind.

Two portraits light my chamber-wall,
Hero and martyr to recall;
Lines of a single face they keep,
To make beholders glow or weep.

With gleaming hilt, girt for the fray
Freedom demands, he cannot stay:
Forward his motion, keen his glance:
'Tis victory painted in a trance.

But, lo! he turns, he folds his hands;
With farther, softening gaze he stands;
His sword is hidden from his eyes;
His head is bent for sacrifice.

Through looks that match each varied thought
Of holy work or offering brought,
Upon the sunbeam's shifting scroll
Shines out alike the steady soul.

Young leader! quick to win a name
Coeval with thy country's fame,
For either fortune thou wast born,--
The crown of laurel or of thorn.




Among the natives captured by the Spaniards in the neighboring islands
and upon the Terra Firma, as the South-American coast was
called,--were numerous representatives of Carib tribes, who had been
released by Papal dispensation from the difficulties and anxieties of
freedom in consequence of their reputation for cannibalism. This
vicious taste was held to absolve the Spaniards from all the
considerations of policy and mercy which the Dominicans pressed upon
them in the case of the more graceful and amiable Haitians. But we do
not find that Las Casas himself made any exception of them in his
pleadings for the Indians;[1] for, though he does not mention
cannibalism in the list of imputed crimes which the Spaniards held as
justification in making war upon the natives to enslave them, he
vindicates them from other charges, such as that of sacrificing
infants to their idols. The Spaniards were touched with compassion at
seeing so many innocent beings perish before arriving at years of
discretion, and without having received baptism. They argued that such
a practice, which was worse than a crime, because it was a theological
blunder, could not be carried on in a state of slavery. "This style
of reasoning," says Las Casas, "proves absolutely nothing; for God
knows better than men what ought to be the future destiny of children
who die in the immense countries where the Christian religion is
unknown. His mercy is infinitely greater than the collective charity
of mankind; and in the interim He permits things to follow their
ordinary course, without charging anybody to interfere and prevent
their consequences by means of war."[2]

The first possessors of Hayti were startled at the multitude of human
bones which were found in some of the caverns of the island, for they
were considered as confirming the reports of cannibalism which had
reached them. These ossuaries were accidental; perhaps natives seeking
shelter from the hurricane or earthquake were overwhelmed in these
retreats, or blocked up and left to perish. We have no reason to
believe that the caves had been used for centuries. And even the
Caribs did not keep the bones which they picked, to rise up in
judgment against them at last, clattering indictments of the number of
their feasts. Nor do they seem to have shared the taste of the old
Scandinavian and the modern Georgian or Alabamian, who have been known
to turn drinking-cups and carve ornaments out of the skeletons of
their enemies.

But they liked the taste of human flesh. The difference between them
and the Spaniard was merely that the latter devoured men's flesh in
the shape of cotton, sugar, gold. And the native discrimination was
not altogether unpraiseworthy, if the later French missionaries can be
exonerated from national prejudice, when they declare that the Caribs
said Spaniards were meagre and indigestible, while a Frenchman made a
succulent and peptic meal. But if he was a person of a religious
habit, priest or monk, woe to the incautious Carib who might dine upon
him! a mistake in the article of mushrooms were not more fatal. Du
Tertre relates that a French priest was killed and smoke-dried by the
Caribs, and then devoured with satisfaction. But many who dined upon
the unfortunate man, whom the Church had ordained to feed her sheep
less literally, died suddenly: others were afflicted with
extraordinary diseases. Afterwards they avoided Christians as an
article of food, being content with slaying them as often as possible,
but leaving them untouched.

The Caribs were very impracticable in a state of slavery. Their
stubborn and rigid nature could not become accommodated to a routine
of labor. They fled to the mountains, and began marooning;[3] but they
carried with them the scar of the hot iron upon the thigh, which
labelled them as natives in a state of war, and therefore reclaimable
as slaves. The Dominicans made a vain attempt to limit this branding
to the few genuine Caribs who were reduced to slavery; but the custom
was universal of marking Indians to compel them to pass for Caribs,
after which they were sold and transferred with avidity, the
authorities having no power to enforce the legal discrimination. The
very existence of this custom offered a premium to cruelty, by
furnishing the colonists with a technical permission to enslave.

But the supply could not keep up with the insatiable demand. The great
expeditions which were organized to sweep the Terra Firma and the
adjacent islands of their population found the warlike Caribs
difficult to procure.[4] The supply of laborers was failing just at
the period when the colonists began to see that the gold of Hayti was
scattered broadcast through her fertile soil, which became transmuted
into crops at the touch of the spade and hoe. Plantations of cacao,
ginger, cotton, indigo, and tobacco were established; and in 1506 the
sugar-cane, which was not indigenous, as some have affirmed, was
introduced from the Canaries. Vellosa, a physician in the town of San
Domingo, was the first to cultivate it on a large scale, and to
express the juice by means of the cylinder-mill, which he invented.[5]
The Government, seeing the advantages to be derived from this single
article, offered to lend five hundred gold piastres to every colonist
who would fit up a sugar-plantation. Thus stimulated, the cultivation
of the cane throve so, that as early as 1518 the island possessed
forty sugar-works with mills worked by horse-power or water. But the
plantations were less merciful to the Indians than the mines, and in
1503 there began to be a scarcity of human labor.

At this date we first hear that negroes had been introduced into the
colony. But their introduction into Spain and Europe took place early
in the fifteenth century. "Ortiz de Zunigo, as Humboldt reports, with
his usual exactness, says distinctly that 'blacks had been already
brought to Seville in the reign of Henry III of Castile,' consequently
before 1406. 'The Catalans and the Normans frequented the western
coast of Africa as far as the Tropic of Cancer at least forty-five
years before the epoch at which Don Henry the Navigator commenced his
series of discoveries beyond Cape Nun.'"[6]

But the practice of buying and selling slaves in Europe can be traced
as far back as the tenth century, when fairs were established in all
the great cities. Prisoners of war, representing different nations at
different times, according to the direction which the love of piracy
and conquest took, were exposed at those great periodical sales of
merchandise to the buyers who flocked from every land. The Northern
cities around the Baltic have the distinction of displaying these
human goods quite as early as Venice or any commercial centre of the
South: the municipal privileges and freedom of those famous cities
were thus nourished partly by a traffic in mankind, for whose sake
privilege and right are alone worth having. Seven thousand Danish
slaves were exposed at one fair held in the city of Mecklenburg at the
end of the twelfth century. They had the liberty of being ransomed,
but only distinguished captives could be saved in that way from being
sold. The price ranged from one to three marks. It is difficult to
tell from this how valuable a man was considered, for the relation of
the mark to other merchandise, or, in other words, the value of the
currency, cannot be represented by modern sums, which are only
technically equivalent,--as a mark, for instance, was then held equal
to eight ounces of silver.[7] That was not exorbitant, however, for
those times, and shows that men were frequently exposed for sale. The
merchants of Bristol used to sell a great many captives into Ireland;
but it is recorded that the Irish were the first Christian people who
agreed at length to put a stop to this traffic by refusing to have any
more captives brought into their country. The Church had long before
forbidden it; and there are no grounds for supposing that any other
motive than humanity induced the Irish people to show this superiority
to the conventions of the age.[8]

From the essay by Schoelcher, entitled "The Slave-Trade and its
Origin," which has been prepared with considerable research, we gather
that the first negroes seen in Portugal were carried there in
1441. Antonio Gonzales was the name of the man who first excited his
countrymen by offering for sale this human booty which he had
seized. All classes of people felt a mania like that which turns the
tides of emigration to Australia and California. Nothing was desired
but the means of equipping vessels for the coast of Guinea. Previously
to this a few Guanches from the Canaries had been exposed for sale in
the markets of Lisbon and Seville, and there were many Moorish slaves
in Spain, taken in the wars which preceded the expulsion of that
nation. But now there was a rapid accumulation of this species of
property, fed by the inexhaustible soil of Africa, whence so many
millions of men have been reaped and ploughed into the soils of other

In 1443, an expedition of six caravels, commanded by a gentleman of
the Portuguese court, went down the coast on one of these ventures,
ostensibly geographical, but really mercenary, which then excited the
popular enterprise. It managed to attack some island and to make a
great number of prisoners. The same year a citizen of Lisbon fitted
out a vessel at his own expense, went beyond the Senegal, where he
seized a great many natives, discovered Cape Verde, and was driven
back to Lisbon by a storm.

Prince Henry built the fort of Mina upon the Gold Coast, and made it a
depot for articles of Spanish use, which he bartered for slaves. He
introduced there, and upon the island of Arguin, near Cape Blanco, the
cultivation of corn and sugar; the whole coast was formally occupied
by the Portuguese, whose king took the title of Lord of Guinea. Sugar
went successively to Spain, Madeira, the Azores, and the West Indies,
in the company of negro slaves. It was carried to Hayti just as the
colonists discovered that negroes were unfit for mining. Charlevoix
says that the magnificent palaces of Madrid and Toledo, the work of
Charles V., were entirely built by the revenue from the entry-tax on
sugar from Hayti.

At first, all prisoners taken in war, or in attacks deliberately made
to bring on fighting, were sold, whatever their nation or color. This
was due to the Catholic theory that all unbaptized people were
infidels. But gradually the same religious influence, moved by some
scruples of humanity, made a distinction between negroes and all other
people, allowing only the former to become objects of traffic, because
they were black as well as heathen. Thus early did physiology come to
the aid of religion, notifying the Church of certain physical
peculiarities which seemed to be the trade-marks of the Creator, and
perpetual guaranties, like the color of woods, the odor of gums, the
breadth and bone of draught-cattle, of their availability for the
market. What renown has graced the names of Portuguese adventurers,
and how illustrious does this epoch of the little country's life
appear in history! Rivers, bays, and stormy headlands, long reaches of
gold coast and ivory coast, and countries of palm-oil, and strange
interiors stocked with new forms of existence, and the great route to
India itself, became the charter to a brilliant fame of this mercenary
heroism. Man went as far as he was impelled to go. While the stimulus
continued, and the outlay was more than equalled by the income and the
glory, unexplored regions yielded up their secrets, and the Continent
of Africa was established by this insignificant nation to be for
centuries the vast slave-nursery of the world.

When the habit of selling men began to be restricted to the selling of
negroes, companies were formed to organize this business and to have
it carried on with economy. The Portuguese had a monopoly of the trade
for a long time. They went up and down the African coast, picking
quarrels with the natives when the latter did not quarrel enough among
themselves to create a suitable supply of captives. Slaves were in
great demand in Spain, and quite numerous at Seville. The percentage
which the Portuguese exacted induced the Spaniards at length to enter
into the traffic, which they did, according to Zunigo, in 1474.

At that time negroes were confined, like Jews, to a particular quarter
of a Spanish city. They had their places of worship, their own
regulations and police. "A _Cedula_ [order] of November 8, 1474,
appoints a negro named Juan de Valladolid mayoral of the blacks and
mulattoes, free and slaves, in Seville. He had authority to decide in
quarrels and regular processes of law, and also to legalize marriages,
because, says the _Cedula_, 'it is within our knowledge that you
are acquainted with the laws and ordinances.' He became so famous that
people called him _El Conde Negro_, The Black Count, and his name
was bestowed upon one of the streets of the negro quarter."

Thus men were born in Europe into a condition of slavery before
1500. In that year the introduction of negroes into Hayti was
authorized, provided they were born in Spain in the houses of
Christian masters. Negroes who had been bred in Morisco[9] families
were not allowed to be carried thither, from a well-grounded fear that
the Moorish hatred had sunk too deeply into a kindred blood.

A great many slaves were immediately transported to Hayti; for in
1503, "Ovando, the Governor-General of the Indies, who had received
the instructions of 1500, asked the court 'not to send any more
negroes to Espanola, because they often escaped to the Indians, taught
them bad habits, and could never be retaken.'"

Schoelcher seems to think that these first slaves were so difficult to
manage because they had been reared in a civilized country; and he
notices that Cardinal Ximenes, who was well acquainted with the
Spanish negro, constantly refused to authorize a direct slave-trade
with Hayti, because it would introduce into the colony so many
enterprising and prolific people, who would revolt when they became
too numerous, and bring the Spaniards themselves under the yoke. This
was an early presentiment of the fortune of Hayti, but it was not
justly derived from an acquaintance with the Spanish-bred negro alone;
for the negroes who were afterwards transported to the colony directly
from Africa had the same unaccommodating temper, which frequently
disconcerted the Cardinal's theory that an African should be born and
bred in a Christian city to render him unfit for slavery. This
unclerical native prejudice against working for white men is so
universal, and has been so consistently maintained for three hundred
years, as to present a queer contradiction to those divine marks which
set him apart for that condition. The Cardinal attributed, in fact, to
intercourse with the spirit of his countrymen that disposition of the
negro which seems to be derived from intercourse with the spirit of
his Creator.

No sooner did the negro enter the climate of Hayti, and feel that more
truculent and desolating one of the Spanish temper, than he began to
revolt, to take to the mountains, to defend his life, to organize
leagues with Caribs and other natives. The colonists were often slain
in conflicts with them. The first negro insurrection in Hayti occurred
in November, 1522. It began with twenty Jolof negroes belonging to
Diego Columbus; others joined them; they slew and burned as they went,
took negroes and Indians along with them, robbed the houses, and were
falling back upon the mountains with the intent to hold them
permanently against the colony. Oviedo is enthusiastic over the action
of two Spanish cavaliers, who charged the blacks lance in rest, went
through them several times with a handful of followers, and broke up
their menacing attitude. They were then easily hunted down, and in six
or seven days most of them were hanging to the trees as warnings. The
rest delivered themselves up. In 1551, Charles V. forbade negroes,
both free and slave, from carrying any kind of weapon. It was
necessary subsequently to renew this ordinance, because the slaves
continued to be as dexterous with the _machete_ or the sabre as
with the hoe.

Humboldt and others have alluded to a striking prediction made by
Girolamo Benzoni, an Italian traveller who visited the islands and
Terra Firma early in the sixteenth century, and witnessed the
condition and temper of the blacks. It is of the clearest kind. He
says,[10] after speaking of marooning in Hayti,--_"Vi sono molti
Spagnuoli che tengono per cosa certa che quest' Isola in breve tempo
sara posseduta da questi Mori. Et per tanto gli governatori tengono
grandissima vigilanza"_ etc.: "There are many Spaniards who hold it
for certain that in a brief time this island will fall into the hands
of the Africans. On this account the governors use the greatest
vigilance." He goes on to remark the fewness of the Spaniards, and
afterwards gives his own opinion to confirm the Spanish anticipation.
Nothing postponed the fulfilment of this natural expectation till the
close of the eighteenth century, but the sudden decay into which the
island fell under Spanish rule, when it became no longer an object to
import the blacks. Many Spaniards left the island before 1550, from
an apprehension that the negroes would destroy the colony. Some
authorities even place the number of Spaniards remaining at that time
as low as eleven hundred.

The common opinion that Las Casas asked permission for the colonists
to draw negroes from Africa, in order to assuage the sufferings of the
Indians, does not appear to be well-founded. For negroes were drawn
from Guinea as early as 1511, and his proposition was made in 1517.
The Spaniards were already introducing these substitutes for the
native labor, regardless of the ordinance which restricted the
possession of negroes in Hayti to those born in Spain. It is not
improbable that Las Casas desired to regulate a traffic which had
already commenced, by inducing the Government to countenance it. His
object was undoubtedly to make it easier for the colonists to procure
the blacks; but it must have occurred to him that his plan would
diminish, as far as possible, the miseries of an irregular transfer of
the unfortunate men from Africa. (See Bridge's _Jamaica, Appendix,
Historical Notes on Slavery._ The Spaniards had even less scruple
about their treatment of the negroes than of the Indians, alleging in
justification that their own countrymen sold them to the traders on
the Guinea coast!)

The horrors of a middle passage in those days of small vessels and
tedious voyages would have been great, if the number of slaves to be
transported had not been limited by law. There is no direct evidence,
however, that Las Casas made his proposition out of any regard for the
negro. Charles V. resolved to allow a thousand negroes to each of the
four islands, Hayti, Ferdinanda, Cuba, and Jamaica. The privilege of
importing them was bestowed upon one of his Flemish favorites; but he
soon sold it to some Genoese merchants, who held each negro at such a
high price that only the wealthiest colonists could procure
them. Herrera regrets that in this way the prudent calculation of Las
Casas was defeated.

This was the first license to trade in slaves. It limited the number
to four thousand, but it was a fatal precedent, which was followed by
French, Spanish, and Dutch, long after the decay of the Spanish part
of Hayti, till all the islands, and many parts of Central America,
were filled with negroes.

It is pleasanter to dwell upon those points in which the brave and
humane Las Casas surpassed his age, and prophesied against it, than
upon those which he held in common with it, as he acquiesced in its
instinctive life. At first it seems unaccountable that the argument
which he framed with such jealous care to protect his Indians and
recommend them to the mercy of Government was not felt by him to apply
to the negroes with equal force. Slavery uses the same pretexts in
every age and against whatsoever race it wishes to oppress. The
Indians were represented by the colonists as predestined by their
natural dispositions, and by their virtues as well as by their vices,
to be held in tutelage by a superior race: their vices were excuses
for colonial cruelty, their virtues made it worth while to keep the
cruelty in vigorous exercise. In refuting this interested party, Las
Casa anticipates the spirit and reasoning of later time. He was the
first to utter anti-slavery principles in the Western hemisphere. We
have improved upon his knowledge, but have not advanced beyond his
essential spirit, for equity and iniquity always have the same leading
points to make through their advocates. When we see that such a man
as Las Casas was unconscious of the breadth of his own philanthropy,
we wonder less at the liability of noble men to admit some average
folly of their age. This is the ridiculous and astonishing feature of
their costume, the exceptional bad taste which their spiritual
posterity learn to disavow.

The memory of Las Casas ought to be cherished by every true democrat
of these later times, for he announced, in his quality of Protector of
the Indian, the principles which protect the rights of all men against
oppressive authority. He was eager to convince a despotic court that
it had no legal or spiritual right to enslave Indians, or to deprive
them of their goods and territory. In framing his argument, he applied
doctrines of the universal liberty of men, which are fatal to courts
themselves; for they transfer authority to the people, who have the
best of reasons for desiring to be governed well. It is astonishing
that the republicanism of Las Casas has not been more carefully noted
and admired; for his writings show plainly, without forced
construction or after-thought of the enlightened reader, that he was
in advance of Spain and Europe as far as the American theory itself
is. Our Declaration of the Rights of Man shows nothing which the first
Western Abolitionist had not proclaimed in the councils and
conferences of Seville.

It is worth while to show this as fully as the purpose of this article
will admit. One would expect to find that he counselled kings to
administer their government with equal regard to the little and the
great, the poor and the rich, the powerful and the miserable; for this
the Catholic Church has always done, and has held a lofty theory
before earthly thrones, not-withstanding its own ambitious
derelictions. But Las Casas tells the Supreme Council of the Indies
that no charge, no servitude, no labor can be imposed upon a people
without its previous and voluntary consent; for man shares, by his
origin, in the common liberty of all beings, so that every
subordination of men to princes, and every burden imposed upon
material things, should be inaugurated by a voluntary pact between the
governing and the governed; the election of kings, princes, and
magistrates, and the authority with which they are invested to rule
and to tax, anciently owed their origin to a free determination of
people who desired to establish thereby their own happiness; the free
will of the nation is the only efficient cause, the only immediate
principle and veritable source of the power of kings, and therefore
the transmission of such power is only a representative act of a
nation giving free expression to its own opinion. For a nation would
not have recourse to such a form of government, except in accordance
with its human instinct, to secure the advantage of all; nor does it,
in thus delegating power, renounce its liberty, or have the intention
of submitting to the domination of another, or of conceding his right
to impose burdens and contributions without the consent of those who
have to bear them, or to command anything that is contrary to the
general interest. When a nation thus delegates a portion of its power
to the sovereign, it is not done by subscribing any written contract
or transaction, because primitive right presides, and there are
natural reserves not expressed by men, such as that of preserving
intact their individual independence, that of their property, and the
right of never submitting to a privation of good or an establishment
of taxes without a previous consent. People existed before kings and
magistrates. Then they were free, and governed themselves according to
their untrammelled intent. In process of time people make kings, but
the good of the people is the final cause of their existence. Men do
not make kings to be rendered miserable by their rule, but to derive
from them all the good possible. Liberty is the greatest good which a
people can enjoy: its rights are violated every time that a king,
without consulting his people, decrees that which wounds the general
interest; for, as the intention of subjects was not to grant a prince
the ability to injure, all such acts ought to be considered unjust and
altogether null. "Liberty is inalienable, and its price is above that
of all the goods of this world."[11]

Las Casas follows the fashion of his time in resting all his glorious
axioms upon the authority of men and councils. He quotes Aristotle,
Seneca, Thomas Aquinas, the different Popes, the Canons, and the
Scriptures; but it is astonishing to find how democratic they all are
to the enthusiastic Bishop, or rather, how the best minds of all ages
have admitted the immutable principles of human nature into their
theology and metaphysics. When will the Catholic Church, which has
nourished and protected so many noble spirits, express in her average
sentiment and policy their generous interpretations of her religion,
and their imputations to her of being an embodiment of the universal
religion of mankind?

Men complained of Las Casas for being severe and unsparing in his
speech. In this respect, of calling the vices and enormities of
Slavery by their simple names, and of fastening the guilt of special
transactions not vaguely upon human nature, but directly upon the
perpetrators who disgraced the nature which they shared, he also
anticipated the privilege and ill-repute of American Abolitionists. He
told what he saw, or what was guarantied to him by competent
witnesses. His cheek grew red when it was smitten by some fierce
outrage upon humanity, and men could plainly read the marks which it
left there. Nor did they easily fade away; he held his branded cheek
in the full view of men, that they might be compelled to interpret the
disgrace to which they were so indifferent. Men dislike to hear the
outcries of a sensitive spirit, and dread to have their heathenism
called by Christian names. How much better it would be, they think, if
philanthropy never made an attack upon the representatives of cruelty!
they would soon become converted, if they were politely let alone. No
doubt, all that the supporters of any tyranny desire is to be let
alone. They delight in abstract delineations of the vices of their
system, which flourishes and develops while moral indignation is
struggling to avoid attacking it where only it is dangerous, in the
persons of its advocates. If there were nothing but metaphysical
wickedness in the world, how effective it would be never to allude to
a wicked man! If Slavery itself were the pale, thin ghost of an
abstraction, how bloodless this war would be! Fine words, genteel
deprecation, and magnanimous generality are the tricks of
villany. Indignant Mercy works with other tools; she leaps with the
directness of lightning, and the same unsparing sincerity, to the spot
to which she is attracted. What rogue ever felt the clutch of a stern
phrase at his throat, with a good opinion of it? Shall we throttle the
rascal in broad day, or grope in the dark after the impersonal weasand
of his crime?

And those amiable people who think to regenerate the world by
radiating amenity are the choice accomplices of the villains. They
keep everything quiet, hush up incipient disturbances, and mislead the
police. No Pharisee shall be called a Devil's child, if they can help
it: they say "Fie!" to the scourge of knotted cord in the temple, or
eagerly explain that it was used only upon the cattle, who cannot, of
course, rebel. "These people who give the fine name of prudence to
their timidity, and whose discretion is always favorable to

"I have decided to write this history," says Las Casas, in his "Memoir
upon the Cruelty of the Spaniards," "by the advice of many pious and
God-fearing persons, who think that its publication will cause a
desire to spring up in many Christian hearts to bring a prompt remedy
to these evils, as enormous as they are multiplied." He designates
the guilty governors, captains, courtiers, and connects them directly
with their crimes. He does not say that they were gentlemen or
Christians: "these brigands," "executioners," "barbarians," are his
more appropriate phrases. If he had addressed them as gentlemen, the
terrible scenes would have instantly ceased, and the system of
_Repartimientos_ would have been abandoned by men who were only
waiting to be converted by politeness! He calls that plan of
allotting the natives, and reducing them to Spanish overseership,
"atrocious." Yet for some time it was technically legal: it was
equivalent to what we call constitutional. So that it was by no means
so bad as the anarchical attack which Las Casas made upon it! He tells
where an infamous overseer was still living in Spain,--or at least, he
says, "his family was living in Seville when I last heard about him."
What a disgraceful attack upon an individual! how it must have hurt
the feelings of a respectable family!--"How malignant!" cried the
_hidalgos_; "How coarse!" the women; and "How ill-judged!" the
clergy. He speaks of Cortes with contempt: why should he not? for he
was only the burglar of a kingdom. But we read these sincere pages of
Las Casas with satisfaction. The polished contemporaries of
Abolitionists turn over the pages of antique denunciation, and their
lymph really quickens in their veins as they read the prophetic
vehemence of an Isaiah, the personality of a Nathan, the unmeasured
vernacular of Luther, the satire and invective of all good upbraiders
of past generations, until they reach their own, which yet waits for a
future generation to make scripture and history of its speech and
deeds. Time is the genial critic that effaces the contemporary glosses
of interested men. It rots away the ugly scaffolding up which the bold
words climbed, and men see the beautiful and tenacious arch which only
genius is daring enough and capable to build. It is delightful to
walk across the solid structure, with gratitude and taste in a
glow. We love to read indictments of an exploded crime which we have
learned to despise, or which we are committing in a novel form.

Charlevoix takes up this complaint of the imprudence of Las Casas,
and, to illustrate it, thinks that he could not have anticipated the
bad effects of the publication of his "Memoir upon the Cruelty of the
Spaniards," for it appeared during the war with the revolted
Netherlands, and was translated into Dutch by a Frenchman. "Nothing,"
he says, "so animated those people to persist in their rebellion, as
the fear, that, if they entered into any accommodation with Spain,
they would be served as the natives had been in the American
Provinces, who were never so badly oppressed as when they felt most
secure upon the faith of a treaty or convention." If the book of Las
Casas really lent courage and motive to that noble resistance, as it
undoubtedly did by confirming the mistrust of Spanish rule in the Low
Countries, the honorable distinction should be preserved by history.

While a bad institution is still vigorous and aggressive, the divine
rage of conscientious men is not so exhilarating. A different style of
thought, like that which prevailed among the French missionaries to
the Indies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is more
acceptable to colonial susceptibility. A South-side religion is a
favorable exposure for delicate and precarious products like indigo,
sugar, coffee, and cotton. Las Casas had not learned to wield his
enthusiastic pen in defence of the negro; but when the islands became
well stocked with slaves, later Catholics eagerly reproduced the
arguments of the Spanish _encomiendas_, and vindicated afresh the
providential character of Slavery. "I acknowledge," says one, "and
adore with all humility the profound and inconceivable secrets of God;
for I do not know what the unfortunate nation has committed to deserve
that this particular and hereditary curse of servitude should be
attached to them, as well as ugliness and blackness." "It is truly
with these unfortunates that the poet's saying is verified,--

"'Dimidium mentis Jupiter illis aufert,'--

"as I have remarked a thousand times that God deprives slaves of half
their judgment, lest, recognizing their miserable condition, they
should be thrown into despair. For though they are very adroit in many
things which they do, they are so stupid that they have no more sense
of being enslaved than if they had never enjoyed liberty. Every land
becomes their country, provided they find enough to eat and drink,
which is very different from the state of mind of the daughters of
Zion, who cried, on finding themselves in a foreign country,--
'_Quomodo cantabimus canticum Domini in terra aliena?_'"[13]

Another missionary, in describing his method of administering baptism,
says: "After the customary words, I add, 'And thee, accursed spirit, I
forbid in the name of Jesus Christ ever to dare to violate this sacred
sign which I have just made upon the forehead of this creature, whom
He has bought with His blood.' The negro, who comprehends nothing of
what I say or do, makes great eyes at me, and appears confounded; but
to reassure him, I address to him through an interpreter these words
of the Saviour to St. Peter: 'What I do thou knowest not now; but thou
shalt know hereafter.'"

He complains that they do not appear to value the mystery of the
Trinity as a necessary means of salvation: the negro does not
understand what he is made to repeat, any more than a parrot. And here
the knowledge of the most able theologian will go a very little
ways. "Still, a missionary ought to think twice before leaving a man,
of whatever kind, to perish without baptism; and if he has scruples
upon this point, these words of the Psalmist will reassure his mind:
'_Homines et jumenta salvabis, Domine_': 'Thou, Lord, shall save both
man and cattle!'"[14]

Father Labat is scandalized because the English planters refused to
have their slaves baptized. Their clergymen told him, in excuse, that
it was unworthy of a Christian to hold in slavery his brother in
Christ. "But may we not say that it is still more unworthy of a
Christian not to procure for souls bought by the blood of Jesus Christ
the knowledge of a God to whom they are responsible for all that they
do?" This idea, that the negroes had been first bought by Christ, must
have been consoling and authoritative to a planter. The missionary has
not advanced upon the Spanish theory, that baptism introduced the
natives into a higher life.[15] "However," says Labat, "this notion of
the English does not affect them, whenever they can get hold of our
negroes. They know very well that they are Christians, they cannot
doubt that they have been made by baptism their brothers in Christ,
yet that does not prevent them from holding them in slavery, and
treating them like those whom they do not regard as their
brothers."[16] This English antipathy to baptizing slaves, for fear of
recognizing them as men by virtue of that rite, appears to have
existed in the early days of the North-American Colonies. Bishop
Berkeley, in his "Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in our
Foreign Plantations," etc., alludes to the little interest which was
shown in the conversion of negroes, "who, to the infamy of England and
scandal of the world, continue heathen under Christian masters and in
Christian countries; which could never be, if our planters were
rightly instructed and made sensible that they disappointed their own
baptism by denying it to those who belong to them." This receives an
explanation in a sermon preached by the Bishop in London, where he
speaks of the irrational contempt felt for the blacks in the
Plantation of Rhode Island, "as creatures of another species, who had
no right to be instructed or admitted to the sacraments. To this may
be added an erroneous notion that the being baptized is inconsistent
with a state of slavery. To undeceive them in this particular, which
had too much weight, it seemed a proper step, if the opinion of his
Majesty's attorney and solicitor-general could be procured. This
opinion they charitably sent over, signed with their own hands; which
was accordingly printed in Rhode Island, and dispersed throughout the
Plantation. I heartily wish it may produce the intended effect."[17]

In a speech upon West-Indian affairs, which Lord Brougham delivered in
the House of Commons in 1823, there is some account of the religious
instruction of the slaves as conducted by the curates. He alludes in
particular to the testimony of a worthy curate, who stated that he had
been twenty or thirty years among the negroes, "and that no single
instance of conversion to Christianity had taken place during that
time,--all his efforts to gain new proselytes among the negroes had
been in vain; all of a sudden, however, light had broken in upon their
darkness so suddenly that between five and six thousand negroes had
been baptized in a few days. I confess I was at first much surprised
at this statement. I knew not how to comprehend it; but all of a
sudden light broke in upon my darkness also. I found that there was a


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