תמונות בעמוד

world a perpetual attestation of our humanity, no means whatever will be used to disturb them in their present abodes. The Cherokees have already “ an interesting commonwealth.” Many across the Atlantic have listened with admiration to the story of their advances in civilization and Christianity. Nay more, they have seen with their own eyes : for the press of New Echota has sent them the memorials of its existence and influence.—The other tribes are in the same path of improvement. Scbools are in sticcessful operation among the Choctaws and Chickasaws. And even the Creeks have of late inclined their ears to the sound of instruction. Hundreds among these tribes give the most convincing evidence, that they worship the “Great Spirit,” in spirit and in truth. In a word, the winter of barbarism is past. The spring of civilization is approaching the summer, and the genial plants are putting forth their blossoms in beauty and fragrance. Shall they be torn up by the roots and transported to a barren prairie ?

We would now invite the attention of our readers to a few extracts from articles, furnished but a short time since, by the same reviewer for the same journal, which has of late given its editorial sanction to doctrines, which would find a more congenial atmosphere in Constantinople than in Cambridge..

In the N. A. Review, for January, 1826, the writer comments upon the plan of the colonization of the Indian tribes :

“ We have serious apprehension, that in this gigantic plan of public charity, the magnitude of the outline has withdrawn attention frum the necessary details, and that, if i: be adopted, to the extent proposed, it will exasperate the evils that we are all anxious in allay." p. 116.

Again : “ It is no sligiit task for a whole people, from helpless infancy to the decrepitude of age, to abandon their native land, and seek in a distant, and perhaps barren region, new means of support." p. 117.

"A cordon of troops, which might encircle each tribe, might keep them all in peace together. But without such a disp'ay of an overwhelming military force, we should soon hear, that the war-dance was performed, the war-song raised, and that the young men had departed in pursuit of fame, scalps and death." p. 118.

In the number for April, 1827, the same writer, after a very respectful notice of " the missionary establishments for the colonization of Indian youth,” adverts to the "scheme for removing the Indians to the country west of the Mississippi.” Though he does not here discuss the merits of the "scheme,” it is obvious, that his views had experienced no change. “The magnitude of the subject is imposing, and its possible consequences APPALLING. Doubts and difficulties surround the question."

Those who have read his recent article, are aware, that he now warmly advocates the necessity of the execution of this scheme of removal. He appears not to bave entirely forgotten his former sentiments; but bis “ doubts have gradually given way before the experiments he has seen, and before the imposing circumstauces which have gathered around the controversy."

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis. The reviewer has changed his opinions ;-whether from principle, or interest, we leave to all who know his history, to decide for themselves. We do not know, that " the possible consequences” of a removal of the Indians, are less “ appalling" than they were in 1827. Neither do we know, that there is any less necessity for “a cordon of troops" around each tribe, “to keep them in peace together.” Truly, the " searching operation” has a marvellous influence in changing opinions, as well as places.

If others were effected, as we were, by the reviewer's quotations from Mr. McCoy's “ Remarks on Indian Reform," they will be somewhat surprised to find, that he differs from this reviewer, in almost every point. The reviewer denies the validity of the Indian title. But Mr. McCoy contends, “ that the justice of their claims to the soil they inbabit is not joserior to the niost righteous and undisputed title, that any people in any part of the earth, ever preferred to a portion of it." The reviewer speaks of the Indians as “ holding with a death-grasp to their old institutions." But Mr. McCoy thinks " it the misfortune of the Indians, that their white neighbors have generally supposed them to be inflexibly attached to their huntings and wild customs.” The reviewer attributes the failure of efforts to civilize the Indians, to something peculiar to their nature. Mr. McCoy attributes it to the conduct of ihe wbites. The reviewer speaks of the Cherokees as a most wretched race. But Mr. McCoy, in comparing the Indians of the north with those of the south, inquires : “Can anything in nature be more plain and convincing, than the striking contrast between the miserable wretches on small reservations, or those on our frontiers—and those flour. ishing countries, towns and villages, which are inhabited by Cherokees ?"

The reviewer takes all the Indians of the north and the south, gives them the same general character, and would sweep thein all away with the same besom of removal. But Mr. McCoy, who, the reviewer himself being judge, “is an able and dispassionate laborer in the great field of aboriginal improvement," and " has a right to speak on this subject,”—after expressing his decided disapprobation of the general policy of the government towards the Indians, furnishes us with a testimony, which merits very special consideration. We should like to see the reviewer grapple with this passage :

“ We are now admonished, in terms clear and distinct, the language of well known facts, what we ought not to do. The question, therefore, presents itself singly, What ought 10e to do? Let the history of the Cherokees and their neighbors teach us. Unless we colonize these people, (the Indians on the small reser. vations of the north,) and place them in circumstances similar to those of the Cherokees, they must incvitably perish."*

* Mr. McCoy, however, with what consistency let the public judge, recommends the removal of the Cherokeer. His arguments are the “ imperium in imperio,” and “ the only hope of averting the stroke which threatens the existence of their nation."

We are reminded, in this connexion, of one illustration of the reviewer's tact, which we might have noticed at an earlier stage of this discussion. Speaking of the Cherokees and other southern tribes, he says,

“Many of them exhibit spectacles as disgusting as they are degrading. Only t':ree years since, an appropriation was made by Congress, upon the representations of the authorities of Florida, to relieve the Indians there from actual starvation."

Now what confidence can the community repose in the writer of this extract ? The statement either proves his consummate ignorance of facts, or bis wanton perversion of them. Who were the Indians thus relieved from starvation? They were Seminoles, whom our government had persuaded to emigrate. Their “ land of promise” was thus described by Wm. O. Duval, the Governor of Florida, who explored it in 1826.

“I have never seen a more wretched tract of country, than that which I en. tered five or gix miles south of Chuciichatty-the sand hills risc very bigh, and the Indian trail winds over an extensive sand ridge, for eight or nine miles ; the whole of the timber for this distance, as far as the eye can survey, has been killed by fire ; the burnt and blackened pines, without a leaf, added to the dreary poverty of the land, presents the most miserable and gloomy prospect I ever beheld. After descending the southern extremity of this ridge, I entered a low, wet, piney country, spotted with numerous ponds. So low was the whole coun try, as far as the Indian boundary extended towards Tampa Bay, that after riding all day and until eleven o'clock at night, in the hope I would find a dry spot to sleep upon, I was compelled to take up my lodging on a low wet place for the night. No settlement can be made in this region, and there is no land in it worth cultivation. The best of the Indian lands are worth but little ; nineteen twentieths of their whole country within the present boundary, is by far the poorest and niost miserable region I ever beheld."

Such was the report of Gov. Duval to the Indian Department, on the subject of the miseries of the emigrant Seminoles ! And shall - disgusting and degrading spectacles,” which have been produced by the measures of our own government, be ciled by an apologist for Georgia and the national Executive, in proof that the Cherokees, as well as the other southern tribes, are a most miserable race? When shall the unfortunate Aborigines receive justice at our hands? Is it not enough, that we dislodge them from their “goodly heritage,” and drive them into swamps and deserts ? Must we reproach them for their poverty and debasement,that poverty and debasement which we ourselves have wantonly and barbarously occasioned ?Shall we pour unmingled gall into their cup of sorrow, and then make their very misery an argument for additional cruelties and insults ? " He must be worse than savage, who can view with cold indifference an exterminating policy."*

The reviewer was once commenting upon a passage, that suggested to himn a remark, which we think might be very aptly applied, not only to statements respecting the Cherokees, but to the general

* Report of Committee on Indian Affairs, to Congress, March 23, 1824.

tenor of this elaborate article. In all of this, there is enough of truth, to elude the charge of deliberate falsehood, and yet so much of error as to present a result, utterly fallacious.(N. A. Review, April, 1827.)



DEFENCE OF Jonau's History. Jon. i. 17, ii. 1–10.

from King's' Morsels of Criticism.'

The history of Jonah, though by some carped at and turned into ridicule, contains nothing inconsistent with the soundest philosophy and experience. For,

1. Though a whale, properly so called, has so small a gullet that it could not possibly swallow a man, yet we ought to consider, that the original word does not necessarily mean a whale, as distinguished froin other large fishes, but only a great sea monster, of which there are some, the shark among the rest, very capable of swallowing a man whole, and which have done so. A very remarkable fish was taken on our own coast, though probably it was not of the full size, and therefore could not contain the body of a man. But others of its species very well might. A print, and curious description of it, by Mr. Jam :s Ferguson, may be seen, (Philosophical Transactions, vol. liii. p. 170,) from which even this snjall one appears to have been near five feet in length, and of great bulk, and to have been merely, as it were, one vast bag, or great hollow tube, capable of containing the body of any animal of size that was in some small degree inferior to his own. And unquestionably such a kind of fish, and of still Jarger dimensions, may, consistently even with the most correct ideas of any natural historian, be supposed to have occasionally appeared in the Mediterranean, as well as on our coasts, where such a one was caught, having come up so far as into the Bristol Channel. and King's Road.

2. A man may continue in the water, in some instances, without being drowned. Derham tells us (Physico-Theology, b, 4, cap. 7, note, p. 158, 159; 12mo,) that some have the foramen ovale of the heart remaining open all their lives, though in most it is closed very soon after birth; and that such persons as have the forumen ovale so left open could neither be hanged nor drowned ; because, when the lungs cease to play, the blood will nevertheless continue to circulate, just as it does in a foætus in the wornb. Though Mr. Cheselden doubted of this fact, yet Mr. Cowper the anatomist says, he often found the foramen open in adults, and gives some curious instances. Mr. Derham mentions several persons who were many hours and days under water, and yet recovered ; and one, who even retained the sense of hearing in that state. And Dr. Platt, (History

VOL. 111.-NO. III.


of Staffordshire, p. 292,) mentions a person who survived and lived, after having been hanged at Oxford for the space of twenty hours, before she was cut down. The fact is notorious; and her pardon, reciting this circumstance, is extant on record. See Ray on the Creation, p. 230, who observes, that having the foramen ovale of the heart open, enables some animals to be amphibious.. Where then is the absurdity in conceiving, that Jonah might have been a person of this kind, having the foramen ovale of his heart continuing open from his birth to the end of his days, in which case he could not be drowned, either by being cast into the sea, or by being swallowed up by the fish ?

3. Neither could Jonah be injured by the digesting fluid in the fish's stomach: for Mr. Jos. Hunter observes (Philosophical Transactions, vol. Ixii. p. 449,)“ that no animal substance can be digested, by the digesting fluid usually existing in animal stomachs, while life remains in such animal substances. Animals (says he,) or parts of animals, possessed of the living principle when taken into the stomach, are not in the least affected by the powers of that viscus, so long as the animal principle remains. Thence it is, that we find animals of various kinds living in the stomach, or even hatched or bred there. But the moment that any of these lose the living principle, they become subject to the digestive powers of the stomach, If it were possible for a man s hand, for example, to be introduced into the stomach of a living animal, and kept there for some consid erable time, it would be found that the dissolvent powers of the stomach could have no effect upon it; but if the same hand were separated from the body, and introduced into the same stomach, we should then find that the stomach would immediately act upon it. Indeed, if this were not the case, we should find, that the stomach itself ought to have been inade of indigestible materials ; for if the living principle were not capable of preserving animal substances from undergoing that process, the stomach itself would be digested. But we find, on the contrary, that the stomach, which at one instant, that is, while possessed of the living principle, was capable of resisting the digestive powers which it contained, the next moment, viz. when deprived of the living principle, is itself capable of being digested, either by the digestive powers of other stomachs, or by the remains of that power which it had of digesting other things.”—Consistently with which observations of Mr. Hunter, we find, that smaller fishes have been taken alive out of the stomachs of fishes of prey, and (not having been killed by any bite or otherwise) have survived their being devoured, and have swam away well recovered, and very little affected by the digesting Auid. Two instances of this kind are mentioned by Dr. Platt, (History of Staffordshire, p. 246 ;) and others might be added.

There appears, therefore, nothing unphilosophical, or absurd, in supposing that Jonah (or indeed any other man having the foramen ovule of the heart open, or such a construction of his frame as those persons mentioned by Derham had,) might be cast into the sea, and be swallowed up whole by a great fish, and yet be neither drowned, nor bitten, nor corrupted, nor digested, nor killed ; and it will easily

« הקודםהמשך »