Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Americans from disasters immeasurably Government. Mr. Seward could not but greater than any of which their history bears admit that in “arguing on the British side record. A war would have been costly to of the case” he defended American princius—to them it would have been almost ruin- ples as they have been over and over again

asserted. We receive this admission with

pleasure, while we regret that it was not To us it is a matter of the very smallest sooner made, and that no rebuke was adconsequence what are the opinions of the ministered to Captain Wilkes. Had Presipress or the mob. It is far more important dent Lincoln caused an intimation to be to know that the American Government has made to the commander of the San Jacinto not thought it worth while to make use of of his disapproval of the act of seizure, any offensive expressions towards us in its there would have been little humiliation in diplomatic notes, but that the justice of our delivering up the commissioners; but as claim for reparation was acknowledged in reparation was delayed until the English franker terms than might have been looked fleet hovered near the Northern ports, and for from Mr. Seward. The despatch of our until the leading powers in Europe had Government was distinguished by great added remonstrances to our ultimatum, we moderation and calmness, and never was cannot ascribe to the Cabinct any willingultimatum tendered in a more conciliatory ness to do justice, or give them credit for form. Earl Russell's despatch does honor any sincerity in their avowed convictions, to the Government and to the country—it but rather believe that they would have fully met the exigencies of the case ; it was retained Messrs. Slidell and Mason if there firm and yet friendly in tone; and it happily had been no fear of our armaments, and no assumed that the act of Captain Wilkes was visions of their own ruined commerce and performed without instructions from the bankrupt finances, before their eyes.

MR. MARK LEMON has began a course of very COMPOSERS are often charged with plagiary entertaining, and, in their motley way, instruc. of certain passages of melody. But all such pastivo, lectures on Old London. The life of a great capital is full of miscellancous oddities, sages or phrases of expression as they may be, and its cras are marked by grand spectacles. It or are called, have, from time immemorial, been would appear from Mr. "Lemon's' leeture, that familiar to the ear, and enjoyed by feeling, and while the miscellany of London life is now morc have come down to us without known authorcomplex than ever, the spectacles of the nineteenth ship or date. On this subject, then, of the indicentury, whether intentional or accidental—the vidual form or phrase, there can be no more pageants or the conflagrations are not nearly 60 grand as those of the reigns of the Plantag- originality than there can be on that of the sylenets. Royal processions with nymphs stand-lables of speech, which, in all their permutaing in Cheapside distributing silver cups of wine tions, have, throughout time, and among nations, to the king and retinuc-processions of the mob already been made. The mass of composershelping themselves without the aid of nymphs, like the mass of writers, with their commonto silver and wino also-Aldermen with garlands places of thought and language — again and wreathed round their “honorable brows May-day peasants hastening to the Maypole again borrow and repeat the commonplaco the Evening Watch that paraded London streets phrases of melody, while a few, like Bacon and one niglit only in the year and many other pic- Shakspeare, or Haydn and Mozart, choicely seturesque or stately trains, wind, in quaint or lect and combine those original thoughts, in one grand costume, through the scenery of Mr. case, and expressive vocal notes in the other, Lemon's lecture. And the admirable paintings which in their exalted association with nature with which hie illustrates his stories, gratify the and truth, are so far above being vulgarized by love of spectacle still lingering in modern Lon gencral imitation, as to be now, and to please doners.- Spectator, 11 Jan.

forever.- James Rush, M.D., on the Voice.

The following article is copied by permission | boys; and sometimes women and girls were from Harper's Magazine for February. It is written compelled to resort to it. The women manuby Benson J. Lossing, the Artist-Auihor of the factured all the linen and woollen fabrics for " Field Book of the Revolution.Mr. Lossing is the most careful and accurate writer of American their families. Over-coats were almost unHistory. His Field Book” has become a classic. known for a long time; and blankets and He has, as we know, ready for issuc a History of coverlets were taken from the beds in the the War of 1812" unifor in appearance and de- daytime and used as substitutes during the sign with the “ Fiell Book."

We are glad to hear from Messrs. Harper that severities of the long winters. So great was this on the Whiskey Insurrection will be followed the destitution of clothing at one time that, by a series of curious historical parallels, showing when the first court was held at Catfishthat every feature of our present rebellion is a now the beautiful town of Washington, in reproduction on a larger scale of incidents in our Washington County-one of the most promearly history. The second will appear in the inent citizens, whose attendance as a magisDarch number of Ilarper's Magazine.

trate was required, was compelled to borrow From Harper's Magazine. the leather breeches of an equally respectaTHE WHISKEY INSURRECTION.

ble neighbor who had been summoned to In the fertile region of the Monongahela act as grand-juror. The lender, having no River, in Western Pennsylvania, lived a change, was compelled to stay at home. hardy race of pioneers when the Old War For some time they had no stores of any for Independence began. They were mostly kind. They had no iron-works for the descended from the people of North Britain manufacture of implements, no salt, and and Ireland, and had built their log-cabins very little money with which to purchase there soon after the close of the French and the necessaries of life. For several years, Indian war, in 1763. They were courageous, before they had time to raise cattle and industrious, self-sacrificing, and religious. grain, peltry and furs were their chief reHabit and necessity made them frugal; iso- sources. There was a hunter or trapper in lation made them clannish. They were every family, and in the autumn, when the chiefly of the strictest sect of Seceders, and farm labor was ended, the winnings of the were usually conscientious “ doers of the gun and gin were carried over the mounword.” Their wealth lay in the virgin soil tains upon horses or mules, furnished with and dark forests, and was brought out with pack-saddles, a bag of food, a bell, and a brawny arms guided by intelligent wills and pair of green-withe hobbles. They went in practical judgment. Their wants were few, little caravans to Philadelphia and Baltiand their resources less, for many years,

more. At night the horses were hobbled while changing the wilderness into a garden. and turned out to feed, the bells being a Until the era of the National Constitution guide to their presence in the morning. The no house for public worship was erected in peltries and furs were bartered for salt, iron, all that region. In winter as well as in and other necessaries; and with these the summer their religious meetings were held animals were again laden, and their heads in the open air. It was common for families turned toward the mountains and the settleto ride ten, fifteen, and even twenty miles ments beyond. each Sabbath to hear the Gospel prcached. Rye became the principal cereal crop of The young people frequently walked, carry- the pioneers when their land was cleared. ing their shoes and stockings, if they had It furnished them with wholesome food and any, in their hands, that they might last a an article for barter. But it was bulky and long time. A grove was the usual temple cheap, and thercfore not convenient or prof. fer worship. Rude logs composed the pul- itable for the uses of forcign commerce. А pit and the audience seats ; and the human horse could carry only four bushels over the voice, uttering hymns from memory, was the mountains. There was but a small demand only organ that filled the woods with the for the grain at home or abroad. What sounds of sacred music.

must be done with the surplus ? Only one These settlers were isolated and self-de- way for a profitable disposition of it seemed pendent. For a long time sheep were feasible. A horse could carry twenty-four scarce, and wool was a great lusury. Decr- bushels of rye when converted into whiskey, skin was a substitute for cloth for men and land why should not this metamorphosis of Ceres into Bacchus be employed for the dling European war, as an ally of France, benefit of commerce? Neither conscience were warmly seconded, President Washingnor the Church nor the State interposed ton's proclamation of neutrality was assoiled objections. Tradition urged it. They were by the most violent denunciations. To furdescended from a whiskey-making, whiskey-ther the designs of Genet and embarrass the loving people. The use of whiskey was not financial and foreign policy of the admindiscountenanced by society. Temperance istration, “ Democratic Societies,” so called, lecturers were not dreamed of; and the in imitation of the French Jacobin clubs, Pennsylvania excise law, enacted in 1756, were formed. They were secret in their was inoperative beyond the mountains, where membership, organization, and operations. distilleries had been early erected for the Their relation to the subject of this paper comfort of the settlers. Whiskey was there was immediate. as free as air; and as early as the close of The tax on domestic distilled spirits lcd the Revolution many a horse was seen mak- the hated exciseman to the doors of the ing his weary way over the Alleghanies with whiskey-makers in Western Pennsylvania, twenty-four bushels of rye on his back in as well as in other parts of the Union. The the shape of “old Monongahela.” Whiskey appearance of that functionary excited disbecame the most important item of remit- gust and alarm, and engendered disloyalty. tance to Philadelphia and Baltimore to pay Ambitious politicians took advantage of the for salt, sugar, and iron consumed by the popular discontent to promote their own spedwellers beyond the mountains.

cial interests. Among these the names of Having come from a country where the Bradford, Brackenridge, Marshall, Findley, most detestable of all public functionaries Smilie, and Gallatin appear the most conspicwas the exciseman, it may readily be imag- uous. Bradford was a bold, bad man from ined with what feelings the people of the Maryland, an early and wealthy settler, who Monongalela region received the intelligence built the first shingled house in Washington of an excise law passed by the first Congress, County. He was then the prosecutiug offiearly in 1791, which imposed a tax of from cer for that district. He had already made ten to twenty-five cents a gallon upon all do- strong efforts to divide the State and form a mestic spirits distilled from grain. It was a new commonwealth composed of the counpart of the revenue scheme proposed by the ties west of the mountains. Brackenridge eminent Alexander Hamilton, the first Na- was a Scotchman. He was a lawyer at tional Secretary of the Treasury, for the res- Pittsburg, and then Judge of the Supreme toration of the public credit by making pro- Court of Pennsylvania. Marshall was a vision for the payment of the public debt. wealthy settler from the North of Ireland,

It will be remembered by the intelligent and then held the office of Registrar of the reader that soon after the promulgation of District. Findley was a member of ComHamilton's financial scheme, at the begin- gress, wary and influential; and with Smilie, ning of 1790, a party opposed to the policy a brother Scotchman, was the most efficient of the administration of Washington, as de- instrument in exciting a rebellious feeling veloped in that scheme, arose, at the head of among the people. All of these politicians which, when it took definite shape, Thomas labored faithfully to destroy regard for the Jefferson, the Secretary of State, appeared. new Government of the United States in the The party called itself sometimes Republican hearts and minds of the inhabitants west of and sometimes Democratic. It grew rapidly the Alleghanies. Then, as in our day, the in numbers and strength. It was thoroughly most active practical enemics of the National imbued with the segregating principles of Government were those who had been honFrench Democracy, as developed by the ored with the public confidence and fed by bloody revolution then in progress in France; the public bounty. and it hailed with delight the landing on our Gallatin was from Switzerland, and had shores of " Citizen Genet,” who came as the been in the country only eleven years.

He ambassador of the “ French Republic,” and was young and enthusiastic. He was a large a Democratic propagandist. While Genet and influential landholder on the Monongaand his mission were lauded, and his efforts hela. Afterward, as a useful and patriotic to entangle the United States in the kin- I citizen, he held many offices of great trust under the Government whose laws he was and tied, and left in the woods where he was then in his blindness led to oppose. These discovered by a friendly eye some hours afleaders were all of the Democratic school ac- terward. cording to the French model, and, with their The President was perplexed by these lawactive associates, were denominated by less proceedings. lle had no precedent to George Clymer as either “sordid shopkeep- guide him. He knew that the excise law ers, crafty lawyers, or candidates for office; was everywhere unpopular, and he feared and not inclined to make personal sacrifices that similar open opposition might show itto truth and honor.” Associated with them self in other parts of the country. Besides was Herman Husbands, a very old man, this, Congress bad not then provided the who had distinguished himself in insurrec- means by which the Executive could intertionary but patriotic movements in Western pose the strong arm of military power to aid North Carolina more than twenty years be- the Judiciary in the enforcement of the laws. * fore.

He also felt it desirable, in a Government These men played the demagogue effectu- like ours, to refrain from the use of coercive ally, and used the odious excise law adroitly measures as long as possible, and he foreas an instrument for wielding the popular bore to act. Congress, in May following, will in favor of their political interests ; the greatly modificd the excise law by a new most of them, doubtless, never dreaming enactment, and it was hoped that further that their course would lead to an open armed difficulties would be avoided. rebellion against the laws of the land. Se- These expectations were not realized. It cretly and openly they condemned the excise suited the purposes of the Democratic leadlaw, and encouraged the people to regard as ers to keep up the excitement, and measures enemies the appointed collectors. At their were adopted for intimidating the well-disinstance a public meeting was held near the posed citizens who desired to comply with close of July, 1791, at Red Stone Old Fort the law as modified. The newspaper at (now Brownsville), when arrangements were Pittsburg was compelled to publish whatmade for committees to assemble at the re- ever the demagogues chose to print. A spective courthouses of Alleghany, Fayette, convention, held at that place on the 21st Washington, and Westmoreland counties. of August, 1762, of which Albert Gallatin

One of these committees, at the county was Secretary, adopted a series of resoluseat of Washington, passed very intemper- tions, denouncing the excise law as “ unjust, ate resolutions on the 23d of August, which dangerous to liberty, oppressive to the poor, were published in a Pittsburg paper, and and particularly oppressive to the Western greatly inflamed the public mind. It was re- country, where grain could only be disposed solved that any person who had accepted or of by distilling it.” It was resolved to treat might accept an office under Congress, in or- all excise-officers with contempt, to withdraw der to carry out the excise law, should be from them every comfort and assistance, and considered inimical to the interests of the to persist in “ legal” opposition to the law. country ; and the citizens were recommended A Committee of Correspondence was apto treat such men with contempt, and to re- pointed, the people at large were called upon fuse all intercourse with them. Soon after- to co-operate, and rebellion was fairly orward a collector of the revenue in Alleghany ganized. Washington issued a proclamaCounty was waylaid by a party of disguised tion a few weeks afterward, exhorting all men, who cut off his hair, tarred and feath- persons to desist from “unlawful combinaered him, took his horge from him, and com- tions,” and directed Randolph, the Attorneypelled him to walk a long distance. A sort General of the United States, to prosecute of reign of terror ensued. Processes issued the ef actors in the Pittsburg Convention. from the court for the arrest of the perpe- George Clymer, the Superintendent of the trators of the outrage could not be served, Revenue, was sent into the disaffected counfor the marshal was threatened with similar ties to obtain testimony; but the Attorneytreatment at the hands of the people. In

* A bill to provide for calling forth militia fact, a messenger sent with the processes to execute the laws of the United States, suppress ina deputy-marshal was whipped, tarred and surrections, and repel invasions," was passed by

Congress in April. 1792, and was approved by the feathered, deprived of his horse blindfolded President on the 2nd of May.

to

General, who secretly favored the insurgents | traveller upon the turnpike-road from Pittsbecause their leaders were his political burg to Washington, about eight miles from friends, could find no law to justify pro- the former city, when looking over a fertile ceedings against the offenders, and the mat- bottom from the mansion of the Woodville ter was abandoned.

estate,—was attacked on the 16th of July, During the year 1793, and until the sum- | 1794, by a hundred armed men. Neville and mer and autumn of 1794, the people of his family made such resistance that the asWestern Pennsylvania continued to defy sailants retired; but on the following mornthe excise law, to grow bolder in their oppo- ing, reinforced to the number of five hundred, sition, and to insult and maltreat those and led by John Holcroft, who called himself whom the Government appointed to execute Tom the Tinker, they renewed the assault. it. Distillers who complied with the law Some soldiers from Fort Fayette, under Mawere injured in person and property ; and jor Kirkpatrick, were in the house. Neville, armed men patrolled the country, spreading who knew his life to be in peril, escaped. terror and alarm in all directions among The soldiers made a brief but fruitless reloyal citizens. Tar and feathers and the sistance, killing a leader of the assailants torch were freely used, and the violence and wounding others. The family, under employed was in a manner personified, and the protection of a white flag, were removed, called Tom the Tinker. A loyal distiller and the mansion and all the out-buildings was attacked and his apparatus was cut in were laid in ashes. The marshal of the dispicces. The perpetrators ironically called trict and the younger Neville were made their performance“mending the still.” The prisoners, and the former, under a menace menders, of course, must be tinkers, and the of instant death, promised not to serve any title, on the suggestion of a ruffian named more processes west of the mountains. Holcroft, collectively became Tom the Tinker. On the following day the insurgents sent Advertisements were put upon trees and word to Inspector Neville and the marshal, other conspicuous places, with the signature then in Pittsburg, that they must instantly of Tom the Tinker; and letters bearing that resign. They refused. The means for designature, menacing certain persons, were fence at Pittsburg were small; and so comsent to the Pittsburg Gazette, and published, plete and absolute was the despotism of because the editor dared not withhold his Tom the Tinker that there were very few assent. Women and children in loyal fam- persons in all that region, out of the immeilies turned pale at the name of Tom the diate family connections of General Neville, Tinker. He was the Robespierre of the who were not active or passive insurgents. Monongahela district.

Loyalists were marked as enemies of their One of the most influential and respected country—in other words, of their district, of the loyal mon of Western Pennsylvania and taunted with being submissionists. Their was John Neville, a soldier and patriot of allegiance to the Government of the United the Revolution. He was a man of wealth; States was called a cowardly yielding to the his son had married a daughter of General tyranny of Federal coercion. The mails were Morgan, the hero of the Cowpens, and his seized and robbed ; houses of the loyalists social position was equal to any in the coun- in all directions were burned, and the militia try. He was a native of Virginia, a friend of the four rebellious counties were sumand personal acquaintance of Washington, moned to rendezvous at Braddock's Field, and had been a member of the Provincial on the Monongahela, armed and equipped, Convention of his native State and of the and supplied with three days' provisions. Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Meanwhile the inspector and marshal had This excellent citizen was appointed Inspec- fled down the Ohio in an open boat to Mator for his district, under the provisions of rietta, and then made their way to Philadelthe odious excise law, and it was believed phia through the wilderness. that he would command universal respect. The summons for the meeting of the mili. Not so. The spirit of Anarchy was abroad, tia on Braddock's Field, circulated for only and its baleful influence was felt in every three days over a sparsely settled country, household. Neville's beautiful mansion, drew together over seven thousand men. upon a slope of Bower Hill,-seen by the Some, as they afterwards alleged, went there

a

« ElőzőTovább »