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June, and nominated James B. Weaver, of Iowa, for the Presidency; and the Prohibitionists nominated General Neal Dow of Maine.
The canvass was illumined with dazzling fire-works, and every “trick of the trade" was brought into use in the battle. The two parties assailed each other with surprising vigor, without any very startling results. In each State, the appointment of electors was by popular vote, and every electoral vote was counted as cast. General Hancock had acquitted himself honorably as a soldier, first in the Mexican War, then in the cam paign against the Seminoles, and he especially distinguished himself in many of the great battles of the late Civil War. He was born in 1824, and was graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1844. A devotee of the science of war, he became familiar with the best authorities and an accomplished tactician. In person, he was a fine example of physical manhood, high bred, well educated, polished in manners, and of sound judgment and well-known integrity of character. His heroic military achievements attracted the people, and secured for him the large popular vote of 4,442,033, while Garfield received a popular vote of 4,442,950.
The historical procession is still on the march. At this writing we are in the midst of the tumult attending the twenty-fifth Presidential election. The two chief candidates are James G. Blaine, of Maine, and Grover Cleveland, of New York. Mr. Blaine was nominated by the Republican convention which met at Chicago on the 3d day of June: Grover Cleveland was nominated by the Democratic convention at Chicago on the 8th of July. There were other conventions—the “ Anti-Monopolists” met at Chicago in May and nominated General Benjamin F. Butler of Massachusetts; the “Greenbackers " convened at Indianapolis during the same month and also nominated General Butler; and the “ Prohibitionists” held a convention at Pittsburg, nominating John P. St. John, of Kansas.
The canvass has been exceptional in its principal features. The issues have conspicuously dwindled into personal butchery. In the violence of partisan vituperation and falsification, in journalistic malevolence, in the intensity of popular excitement, the display of campaign rockets and the racket of campaign doggerel, it has had no parallel in any former Presidential struggle. On the 4th of November the question was submitted to the vote of the American people, the result of which was so evenly divided that on the morning of the 5th both of the two great political parties claimed the victory: and as we go to press the final settlement of the important question is still in abeyance.
Martha I Lamb
SIGNIFICANT BEGINNINGS OUT WEST
We of the United States are not yet far enough removed from the beginnings of the Republic to have national antiquities. Just time enough has run by to separate the leaders and founders from the multitude, and to throw a halo around those who did first things for a young country. Their labors and vicissitudes and heroism in planting are now far enough off to be measured, as mountains must be to be well seen. In speaking of the springs of American civilization, Parkman has a very just as well as beautiful remark: “Acting at the sources of life, instruments otherwise weak become mighty for good and evil, and men, lost elsewhere in the crowd, stand forth as agents of Destiny."*
The life of Daniel Boone is an epitome of the era of the rifle and axe and log-cabin in the youth of the nation. The experiences in his life, as we trace them through the Cumberlands and prairies, and along the Indian trail, and the bridle path between blazed trees, create a marvel in our minds, that we of to-day are living so near to the era of ancient history in America, and yet so far advanced in our development and institutions. Our first things in the building of the nation seem so far away till we begin to lay chronology on them.
This ancient one among the pioneer fathers, and yet a man of yesterday, lived under the Second and Third Georges of old colony times and under the experimental and extempore republic of Transylvania, under the Shawanese, when captured and adopted into the wigwam of Blackfish, and then under the flag of the new republic. When his spirit, overcharged with the restlessness that has carried colonial outposts to the Pacific, took him over the Mississippi, he there lived under the government of Charles IV. of Spain, and then of Napoleon, till the American flag followed him over the great river. Under its protecting folds he spent his last days in quiet, clad in garments spun and woven and made in his own cabin by his ever-enduring pilgrim wife. With wild turkey, venison and buffalo, broiled over his cabin coals, he had no longings for the sumptuous courts under which he had lived ; and on softest bed of wolf and bear and beaver skins, won by his inevitable rifle, he slept the sweet sleep of the pioneer. Once he was robbed of it by Audubon, as they run their stories of forest life almost to the gray of the next morning. It was so recently as in 1820 that he left his last cabin, and the first legislature of Missouri, then in session, went into adjournment and mourning for that typical backwoodsman of the United States. His biography gives a graphic and well illustrated record of the varieties and vicissitudes and heroism and romance that have entered into the young America of history.
* Pioneers of France in the New World. Introduction.
Boone is not solitary material for forest biography, but rather a sample of a large class, some of whom are yet, like him, doing first things for building broader the Republic. In that deep interior, that is, from Albany and Pittsburg and the Cumberland Gap to the Pacific, one fairly read in the history of this country can hardly go amiss of hallowed ground. Here and there he will identify the spots where daring men, and not less heroic women, made the first camp and cabin and furrow, and lifted the first psalm and prayer of the coming Christianity, and cast the first votes for one more State for the Union.
It is sadly true that many graves are leveled and obscured, yet not for reasons that urged at Burial Hill in the first Plymouth; but an Old Mortality is now and then seen, and guarding them with the epitaph : “Siste, viator, heroam calcas.” Patches of plowed fields, strown with arrow heads and human bones, are pointed out, showing how the fathers planted for the harvests of to-day. Localities, and not a few, thrill the traveler and the student of the West, as old colonial fields and houses and foundations do the more venerable scholars of the East.
First dwelling-houses are centers of much interest to the student of local histories. One crosses the mule alley between the church of San Miguel and a dingy, crouching adobe dwelling in Santa Fé. His reverence for antiquity becomes almost oppressive when he reflects that he has crossed over from not only the oldest known ecclesiastical house on the continent, but to a dwelling-house indefinitely older, since the Spaniards found it there, on their first visit to Santa Fé, about 1540. I found it in good repair, with two families, 340 years later. It was an ancient house ninety years before Mr. Blackstone built the first one in Boston.
The growth of Chicago is without parallel in ancient or modern history, whose first and for long time the only house was the rude hut of a negro, Jeane Baptiste Point au Sable, dating from 1796. He claimed the surrounding region as sole owner and occupant. Eighteen years before, Chicago was included in “the County of Illinois in the State of Virginia," which embraced a part of Wisconsin and of Michigan, and the entire States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Now Chicago is the fourth city in the Union, though the first steamer came into her port in 1832. When the first house was built in Yerba Buena, in 1835, the Spanish Mexicans then in control had no idea that they were founding the magnificent San Francisco, with its quarter of a million of people. The eyes of history, as they have seen the growth of old world cities, must be confused, when, looking back less than half a century on the beginning of this great city, they discover but one lone house among those sand-hills. From its roof the American Flag was first flung to the breeze in California, and under it was born the first child of the coming San Francisco of 250,000.
In the balmy and bracing days of October, when the mountains take on colors and the drooping sky tints as rarely elsewhere in this world, General Larimer built the first house in Denver. It was a log and sod house with dirt roof. This was only so long ago as 1858. Twelve years later, in that same month so fascinating among mountains, the lone cabin saluted us with its growth of forty-seven hundred people. The city was a marvel to us, after a blank prairie ride of six hundred miles. With the coming day chasing us across the prairies, and the mountains before us all aglow in a sunrise that had passed over our heads, the new town lay nestled under the foot-hills. Five years later it received us with the dignity of redoubled numbers, and in 1880 with a population of 35,629. In the amplitude of its plot, occupied and prophetic, with its generous, air-lined streets, beautifully shaded, running toward the prairies and the mountains, and with its graces of architecture and lawns, Denver has few rivals east of the Mississippi. It had a rival, its first year, across the Creek, but its founders won the day, because their buildings “had more style about them in that they were generally of hewn logs." The first child of Denver was born in 1859 and of an Arapahoe mother, hinting of the new ingredients in our American blood, as it flows West over a twelve hundred mile border.
Some of the first failures in our new country are worthy of grateful mention-providences that preëmpted for a coming people, and that served writs of ejectment on intruders. Thus the Louisiana was rescued from the mediæval conservatism of France and Spain. The emigrant across the Mississippi from the States was required to declare himself un bon Catholique, and when Protestant clergymen would cross over to hold service, the commandant at St. Louis would say: “ You must not put a notice upon your house or call it a church, but if any of your friends choose to meet at your house, sing, pray and talk about religion, you will not be molested, provided you continue, as I suppose you are, un bon Catholique.*" Such influences were then struggling, blindly and vainly, to make that magnificent region up to the northern boundaries of Minnesota and Dakota as the Mexico of to-day.
* Abbott's Life of Boone, p. 343.
From an earlier date than this, by more than a century, and long continued, even to an era, the very birth of the Republic was endangered and prohibited. In 1626-7, Richelieu, that monarch who wore a crown by proxy on the head of Louis XIII., organized The One Hundred Associates. They were to found a New France, extending from Florida to the Arctic, and from Newfoundland to the head springs of the Great Lakes. “Every settler," says Parkman, in his “Pioneer of New France," “must be a Frenchman and a Catholic, and for every new settlement at least three ecclesiastics must be provided.” The failure of the stupendous scheme of the Cardinal King was lamented by De Tocqueville two hundred years afterward in the usual and mournful refrain of France : “ There was a time when we also might have created a French nation in the American wilds, to counterbalance the influence of the English upon the destinies of the New World. France formerly possessed a territory in North America scarcely less extensive than the whole of Europe. The three greatest rivers of that continent then flowed within her dominions. * * * Louisburg, Montmorenci, Duquesne, St. Louis, Vincennes, New Orleans, are words dear to France, and familiar to our ears. "* In 1782, the English and French ambassadors were conferring on the independence of the United States, and Grenville proposed to the Count de Vergennes that they proceed to arrange a general peace between England, France, Spain and the United States on the basis of the independence of the latter and the treaty of 1763. That treaty it was that removed France from the mainland of North America. The Count remarked : “That treaty I can never read without a shudder.”+ Looking at it from a Republican standpoint, that pivot turning on the Plains of Abraham was a magnificent providence in the interests of improved civilization and the better government of men. It was a subversion and an escape worthy of grateful record among first things by Americans.
The retreat of the French from that magnificent valley was humiliating and pitiable, and draws from all generous hearts the sympathy that honorable feelings always pay to falling greatness. When hopelessly beset by the beleaguering English and their forest allies, the French burned Fort Duquesne in 1758, and retired from the upper Ohio to make the same * De Tocqueville's “ Democracy in America,” Bowen's Ed., i. 551.
Bancroft's Hist. United States, vol. x, p. 543. The same French refrain is expressed by the Vicompte D'Haussonville, representative of France at the Yorktown celebration, 1881. In his “Notes and Impressions,” published Paris, 1883, after recalling the French names of many places in the United States, he falls away into a lament that the Empire of France was lost in the New World, and then exclaims : "O France ! dear country, and so sadly loved-si douloureusement aimée-are you at length definitely conquered in the great struggle of the nations ?”