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The excitement which the singular case of Casper Hauser procruced a few years since in Germany is not yet forgotten. From the representations of that enigmatical personage, it was believed that those from whose custody he declared himself to have escaped, had endeavored to destroy his intellect, or rather to prevent it from being developed, so as to detain him forever in a state of infantile imbecility. This supposed attempt at what they saw fit to denominate the murder of the soul, gave rise to great discussions among the German jurists; and they soon raised it into a new crime, which they placed at the very head of social enormities.
It is this very crime, the murder of the soul, which is in the course of continuous and perpetual perpetration throughout the Southern States of the American Union ; and that not upon a single individual only, but upon nearly one-half of the entire population.
Consider the slaves as men, and the course of treatment which custom and the laws prescribe is an artful, deliberate, and welldigested scheme to break their spirit; to deprive them of courage and of manhood; to destroy their natural desire for an equal participation in the benefits of society; to keep them ignorant, and therefore weak; to reduce them, if possible, to a state of idiocy; to crowd them down to a level with the brutes.
Despotism in America.
TIIE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.
The dying embers of the Continental Congress, barely kept alive for some months by the occasional attendance of one or two delegates, as the day approached' for the new system to be organized, quietly went out, without note or observation. History knows few bodies so remarkable. The Long Parliament of Charles I., and the French National Assembly, are alone to be compared with it. Coming together, in the first instance, a mere collection of consulting delegates, the Continental Congress had boldly seized the reins of power, assumed the leadership of the insurgent States, issued bills of credit, raised armies, declared independence, negotiated foreign treaties, carried the nation through an eight years' war; finally, had extorted from the proud and powerful mother-country an acknowledgment of the sovereign authority so daringly assumed and so indomitably maintained. But this brilliant career had been as short as it was glorious. The decline had commenced even in the midst of the war. Exhausted by such extraordinary efforts—smitten with the curse of poverty,
1 March 3, 1789.
their paper money first depreciating and then repudiated, overwhelmed with debts which they could not pay, pensioners on the bounty of France, insulted by mutineers, scouted at by the public creditors, unable to fulfil the treaties they had made, bearded and encroached upon by the State authorities, issuing fruitless requisitions which they had no power to enforce, vainly begging for additional authority which the States refused to grant, thrown more and more into the shade by the very contrast of former power-the Continental Congress sunk fast into decrepitude and contempt. Feeble is the sentiment of political gratitude Debts of that sort are commonly left for posterity to pay. While all eyes were turned—some with doubt and some with apprehension, but the greater part with hope and confidence—towards the ample authority vested in the new government now about to be organized, not one respectful word seems to have been uttered, not a single reverential regret to have been dropped over the fallen greatness of the exhausted and expiring Continental Congress.
HAMILTON, WASHINGTON, AND JAY.
In Hamilton's death the Federalists and the country experienced a loss second only to that of Washington. Hamilton possessed the same rare and lofty qualities, the same just balance of soul, with less, indeed, of Washington's severe simplicity and aweinspiring presence, but with more of warmth, variety, ornament, and grace. If the Doric in architecture be taken as the symbol of Washington's character, Hamilton's belonged to the same grand style as developed in the Corinthian,—if less impressive, more winning. If we add Jay for the Ionic, we have a trio not to be matched, in fact not to be approached, in our history, if, indeed, in any other. Of earth-born Titans, as terrible as great, now angels, and now toads and serpents, there are everywhere enough. Of the serene and benign sons of the celestial gods, how few at any time have walked the earth !
The political character of the retiring President sprang, naturally enough, from his intellectual temperament and personal and party relations. Phlegmatic in his constitution, moderate in all his feelings and passions, he possessed remarkable acuteness, and ingenuity sufficient to invest with the most persuasive plausibility whichsoever side of a question he espoused. But he wanted the decision, the energy, the commanding firmness, necessary in a leader. More a rhetorician than a ruler, he was made only for second places, and therefore never was but second, even when he seemed to be first. A Federalist from natural largeness of views, he became a Jeffersonian Republican because that became the predominating policy of Virginia. A peace man in his heart and judgment, he became a war man to secure his re-election to the Presidency, and because that seemed to be the prevailing bias of the Republican party. Having been, in the course of a long career, on both sides of almost every political question, he made friends among all parties, anxious to avail themselves, whenever they could, of his able support; escaping, thereby, much of that searching criticism, so freely applied, with the unmitigated severity of party hatred, to his more decided and consistent compatriots and rivals. Let us, however, do Madison the justice to add, that, as he was among the first, so he was, all things considered, by far the ablest and most amiable, of that large class of our national statesmen, become of late almost the only class, who, instead of devotion to the carrying out of any favorite ideas or measures of their own, put up their talents, like mercenary lawyers, as too many of them are, to be sold to the highest bidder; espousing, on every question, that side which, for the moment, seems to offer the surest road to applause and promotion.
PAST AND PRESENT POLITICS.
With the reannexation of Florida to the Anglo-American dominion, the recognised extension of our western limit to the shores of the Pacific, and the partition of those new acquisitions between slavery and freedom, closed Monroe's first term of office; and with it a marked era in our history. All the old landmarks of party, uprooted as they had been, first by the embargo and the war with England, and then by peace in Europe, had since, by the bank question, the internal improvement question, and the tariff question, been completely superseded and almost wholly swept away. At the Ithuriel touch of the Missouri discussion, the slave interest, hitherto hardly recognised as a distinct element in our system, had started up, portentous and dilated, disavowing the very fundamental principles of modern democracy, and again threatening, as in the Federal Convention, the dissolution of the Union. It is from this point, already beginning, indeed, to fade away in the distance, that our politics of to-day take their
departure. Close of his History. 49%
JONATHAN LAWRENCE, 1807–1833.
This young poet of great promise was born in New York in November, 1807, and was graduated at Columbia College in 1823. He entered the profession of the law; and the highest expectations were formed of his future eminence, when he was suddenly removed by death on the 26th of April, 1833. After his death, "his brother collected, and had printed for private circulation, his various writings, consisting of prose essays and poetry, which are distinguished for great beauty and purity of thought and style. Among them is the encouraging direction, in all the trials of life, to
In the tempest of life, when the wave and the gale
If the friend who embraced in prosperity’s glow,
And oh! when death comes in his terrors, to cast
ELIZABETII MARGARET CHANDLER, 1807–1834.
This lovely poet and prose-writer, the last years of whose short life were devoted to the cause of humanity, was born at Centre, near Wilmington, Delaware, on the 24th of December, 1807. She had the misfortune to lose both her parents at an early age, when she was placed under the care of her grandmother, Elizabeth Evans, of Philadelphia, and there attended school till she was thirteen or fourteen. At the age of sixteen, she began to write for the press, and her pieces were
." This spirited piece was suggested to Mr. Lawrence by an anecdote related to him of a ship-boy who, growing dizzy, was about to fall from the rigging, but was *aved by the mate's characteristic exclamation, “Look aloft, you lubber!”
extensively copied; but what brought her especially into notice was her poem entitled The Slure Ship, written when she was but eighteen, and which gained for her the prize offered by the publishers of “The Casket,” a monthly magazine. Soon after this, she became a frequent contributor to “The Genius of Universal Emancipation,” published in Baltimore, and edited by Benjamin Lundy. “It is not enough to say that her productions were chaste, eloquent, and classical. IIer language was appropriate, her reasoning clear, her deductions logical, and her conclusions impressive and convincing. Her appeals were tender, persuasive, and heart-reaching; while the strength and cogency of her arguments rendered them incontrovertible. She was the first American female author that ever made the Abolition of Slavery the principal theme of her active exertions.”
Miss Chandler continued to reside in Philadelphia till 1830, when she removed with her aunt and brother to Tecumseh, Lenawee County, Michigan, about sixty miles southwest of Detroit. Here, at her home called “Hazlebank,” on the banks of the river Raisin, which has been appropriately called “classic ground,” she continued to write and labor in the cause of the oppressed, till 1834, when she was attacked by a remittent fever, which terminated in her death on the 2d of November of that year. Never did the grave close over a purer spirit, nor one more fully sensible of a strict accountability for the right employment of every talent.
THE SLAVE's APPEAL.
Christian mother' when thy prayer
Christian daughter, sister, wife
Blest ones' whom no hand on earth
. Poetical Works and Essays of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler; with a Memoir of her Life and Character, by Benjamin Lundy. This early pioneer in the cause of freedom—Benjamin Lundy—has never received the attention he deserved.