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satisfaction to the government, and where his peculiar aptitude for experimental and mechanical science rendered him of great value on the occasion of a new coinage. In this also he accumulated a fortune, large, when estimated by the value money had at the time of his death.
The letter of Mr. Conduitt, bears testimony to his firm belief of the truth of revelation, and his exemplary performance of Christian duties. So also do many papers which he left on that subject. If, as is alleged, his views did not on all points coincide with those most generally received by the church, this difference of opinion caused no uncharitable feeling towards others, and a like charity should induce us to believe, that when the faith is sincere, and the practice manifests the influence of religion on the heart and life, unintentional errors in doctrine may not be remembered against those who entertain them.
Art. IV.-A Condensed Geography and History of the Wes
tern states, or the Mississippi Valley. By Timothy Flint, author of Recollections of the last ten years in the Mississippi Valley. Salve magna parens. In two volumes. Cincinnati, published by E. H. Flint.
Of the many changes which have occurred in the literary world within the last century, none has been more marked, nor affords better evidence of an improved taste, than that which is evinced in the number and character of the volumes of travels, which are daily issuing from the. press. Books of topography and statistics have multiplied without number, and every day brings new materials to the geographer. There is scarcely a corner of the earth so secret, but some erratic foot has pressed its soil, some prying eye detected its peculiarities. It has become almost impossible for a flower to “blush unseen"; and the songster of the forest cannot visit his mistress without imminent danger of being way laid by a travelling poet, caricatured by an errant painter, or stuffed and dried by a greedy naturalist. New facts are continually added to the stores of knowledge, and the most remote inhabitants of our planet.seem to be in a fair way to get acquainted with each other, and with all each others concerns.
Scholars were formerly proverbial for their indolence, and devoted those hours which were not spent in study, to useless repining or idle festivity. They were any thing but locomotive. Poverty and gout were classical maladies, and the one was as
often produced by inaction, as the other. Dr. Johnson spent a long life in the British capital, and while his penetrating genius explored every department of literature, it was only in his old age that he was tempted to encounter the toil, and enjoy the pleasures, of a journey. His body was as inert, gross, and slug. gish, as his mind was bold, adventurous, and excursive. It is almost incredible to us, with our notions of such matters, that a man of Johnson's inquisitive temperament, should never have had the curiosity to visit the most interesting spots within his native island. The very idea of being confined to an island for half a century, would now be insupportable; but to have allowed a whole lifetime to glide away without exploring the beauties, the antiquities, the many curiosities, so profusely scattered with. in its narrow bounds, argues a taste so different from our own, as to excite our special wonder. If travellers were comparatively few, in times past, the number of those who chose to encounter the peril of criticism, by writing travels, was still smaller. The age of discovery, it is true, was an enterprising age, but it was not the enterprise of scholars. Columbus, and Vespucci, and Cabot, were not bookmakers. Their ambition was to discover countries, and subdue them, not to shine as authors, or to extend the limits of science. Sir Walter Raleigh and Captain Smith, Cook and Anson, and a host of kindred spirits, bore no affinity to our present race of travellers. They were mariners and soldiers, who at the cannon's mouth sought "the bubble of reputation” in distant hemispheres, without having served an apprenticeship in Grub street, and without dreaming of the volumes -nay libraries—that would be written to illustrate their labours.
It is only necessary to glance over the catalogue of any eminent bookseller, in order to observe how differently we order matters in this, our day and generation. Authorship and travelling are all the fashion; the man who has neither written a book nor seen a foreign country is nobody, and he who has done both is not a lion. What was once the business of years has now become the amusement of a few idle hours. No prohibitory duties shackle the fabrications of genius; the bookseller's counter is a free port open to all literary adventurers, and where each enjoys the immunities of the most favoured author. Pirates, it is true, sailing under the neutral flag of criticism, infest the high seas of literature, committing, under a pretended right of search, the most unheard of depredations upon dull sailors, and heavy laden craft. But though the artillery of the critic arrays itself in grim hostility, the spirit of adventure remains unbroken, and every day launches some new bark, either to tremble for its little moment on the wave, or to be wafted triumphantly to fame. Sailors wash the tar from their hands, and write verses in their logbooks; midshipmen indite their own adventures; and
naval commanders, not content with discovering countries and winning battles, steer boldly into the ocean of literature, and become the heralds of their own exploits. Generals and subalterns jostle each other on the field of authorship, and the very rank and file, forgetful of military subordination, edge themselves into the company of their superiors, with a courage which neither criticism nor court martial can daunt. Our authors by profession, whose territory is thus invaded, are not backward in making reprisals, and accordingly they may be seen on the quarter-deck, in the tent, and,-mirabile dictu !—even in the midst of battle. The atmosphere of a garret is no longer considered conducive to the inspirations of genius-watergruel and thin port are exploded,
and the man who should prescribe seclusion and meagre diet to a candidate for literary fame, would be set down as a Goth—as in justice he ought to be. An author of these times is neither to be starved nor choked, nor yet does he die of gout or consumption. He is locomotive, convivial, and as garrulous as the ghost of dame Quickly. He has the constitution and the courage of a grenadier, and rivals a stage-driver in the rapidity of his movements. He traverses sea and land in search of adventures; rides on the angry wave or the peaceable dromedary; starves in a tent, or revels at a tavern; eats turtle like an alderman, and drinks wine like a dragoon:
Sits up till midnight with his host,
Talks politics and gives the toast; and is at all points an enterprising and a jolly cavalier. It would be useless to cite examples in proof of these assertions, as they will occur to every reader: Sir Walter Scott is almost as well known at Paris as in London or Edinburgh, and is soon to traverse Italy; Moore and Jeffrey have swallowed good dinners and bad puns in Philadelphia; Byron died in Greece; Cooper has become a Rover, (not a Red Rover;) and Irving is living in Spain, and may perhaps die in Africa, among the descendants of the “ Moors of Granada.” In short, our authors are all travellers, and our travellers, authors. Those who seek the temple of fame, instead of mounting Pegasus, take their passage in a steamboat. Every body travels; kings, lords, and commons; merchants and mechanics; bards and barbers; lawyers, doctors, and the right reverend fathers of the church—and of the thousand volumes annually produced by their joint and several labours, every year brings us one or two good ones.
If we were disposed to be as excursive as those of whom we treat, we might enumerate a host of travelling anomalies, whose researches have instructed, or whose oddities have amused us. We might discourse of Mr. Owen and Captain Symmes, Red Jacket, and Miss Wright, the two latter of whom have exhibited
the curious spectacles, of an American savage lecturing to white men, and a maiden lady inveighing against marriage. But we have said enough to shew how much we have improved upon the narrow notions
and queer ways of our predecessors, and to prove that our literati are not to be judged by the same rules which are applied to theirs. College halls and attic stories are not now the only places to look for wit and wisdom; the genius of our best novelist was nursed
ocean, the bar of a western circuit has furnished our most successful general, and the prime orator of our nation was reared in the back-woods. Our readers therefore will not be astonished when we tell them that the best and most compendious description of the Western Country, which our press has produced, is from the pen of a New England clergyman, and that his baptismal name is Timothy. The London Quarterly considered, in the case of Dr. Dwight, that the fact of his bearing that homely appellative, was sufficient to condemn an elaborate body of theology, to the preparation of which that eminent divine had devoted the best years of a laborious life; and we know not whether its second appearance on an American titlepage, will meet with any better reception. But we hope that when due allowance is made for the innovating spirit of the times, our erudite brethren across the water will indulge us in the whim of christening our children according to our own taste, and even of placing these old fashioned and scriptural names on our titlepages.
Our author left the bosom of a quiet Presbyterian congregation in New England, and emigrated with a large family, to the west. Embarking on the Ohio for Pittsburg, he followed the meanders of that river through its whole course, and then descended the Mississippi to St. Louis. Here he remained engaged in the duties of his profession for some time, when he removed to St. Charles on the Missouri. After residing a year or two at this place he descended the river to New Orleans ;—then he established an academy at Rapide, Louisiana, and finally settled at Cincinnati, Our space will not allow us to pursue him through the wanderings of ten eventful years, in the course of which he visited all the western states and territories, and resided in several of them. We refer the reader to the author's “Recollections of Ten Years' Residence in the Western Country,” a work of strict veracity, but which nevertheless possesses all the interest of a romance. Mr. Flint's descriptions of scenery have been generally admired as highly picturesque and striking; his pictures of western men and manners are sketched with a graphic fidelity; and hisaccounts of hisown adventures, and of the accidents which befell his family in the wilderness, some of which are of a truly pathetic character, are told with a simplicity and earnestness which come directly to the heart of the reader. To judge of Mr. Flint by his writings we should
say he would never grow old; nature to his eye is always beautiful and glowing; and though surrounded with difficulties and embarrassments which would have broken down a less buoyant spirit, he has always written with the fervour and sprightliness of a young poet.
The more matured and deliberate result of ten years' travel and observation, is the work, whose title is placed at the head of this article. We do not think the title a happy one, as the work contains a good deal of matter which is not strictly historical, and is deficient in some of the features of a geography ; yet it is perhaps as good a one as could have been adopted for such a book, and the book itself as well digested as the materials would allow. An accurate and complete geography of the western country cannot yet be written. Much of the information required for such a work can only be gathered by personal observation, and a lifetime would be expended in collecting materials by this laborious process. Although the whole country has been explored, the portions of it which have been described are comparatively small, and those descriptions have seldom been characterized by scientific accuracy. The journals, tours, letters, and other works descriptive of that country, which have reached us, have generally been of a light and popular character; and however amusing or instructive they may be, they do not embrace the details required by the geographer. Such writers do not stop to measure heights and distances, to analyze minerals, to sound watercourses, and trace out boundary lines. They speak of the people as they find them, and the climate as it affects themselves; and after all, they profess to give opinions, rather than facts. With regard to large portions of the country, the institutions are go new, and the artificial divisions so recent, that the facts in relation even to these prominent features are not yet on record; and the changes which are continually operating throughout the whole region, are so great, and so rapid, that little reliance is to be placed upon any information which is not of recent origin. The constitutions and laws of the new states, are frequently altered and remodelled, before any definite system is finally adopted, and although a professional eye will easily discover a few strong characteristic traits, which universally prevail, yet the details of the existing statutory law, are sometimes not to be readily gathered even from the statute book.
In the preceding remarks we must be understood as referring to those details which belong to the province of geography, and without which, a work, however valuable in other respects, cannot fairly be entitled to that name. Yet these details are precisely such as are least generally read, and the absence of which would most cheerfully be excused, if it was not specially “nominated in the bond," that they should be forthcoming. Few readers VOL. V.NO. 10.