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ting them for legislation and government
CHAPTER XII. both in national and local affairs. As for A BRIEF GEOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF THE UNITED the larger towns, they are incorporated as
STATES. cities and boroughs, and have municipal
In like manner, a short account of the governments of a threefold kind : legisla- physical character and resources of the tive, executive, and judicial. The separation of the colonies from Great United States will be found useful to the
reader. Britain, and the reorganization of their respective governments, produced changes allels of 24° 27' and 54° 40' north latitude,
The United States lie between the parless essential than at first view might be sup- and 66° 50' and 125° west longitude from posed. The King, Parliament, and Justicia- Greenwich, and are bounded as follows: ry of England were superseded by the Pres. On the east,
by the Atlantic and the Britident, Congress, and Supreme Court of the ish Province of New-Brunswick ; on the United States, the nature of the government south, by the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, and remaining essentially the same. For a hereditary sovereign, we have a President, the Pacific Ocean; and on the north, by
the Republic of Mexico; on the west, by chosen once in four years; for a hereditary, the British possessions, from which they House of Peers, a Senate, the members of which are chosen for six years; the powers
are separated partly by the River St. Lawof the President and Senate being almost rence and the great chain of lakes that flow identical in most things with those of the into, or, rather, that form a series of excorresponding branches of the British Con- pansions of that river, and partly by a constitution. As for the several colonies,
ventional line west of the Oregon Mountthese the Revolution transformed into ains, which line has not been determined. states, and the old royal charters were su
The United States' government claims up perseded by constitutions. Beyond this to latitude 54° 40', but this is resisted by there was no essential change, and but lit- England. The 49° degree of north latitude tle alteration even in forms. Instead of
will most probably be agreed to, that being being appointed by the British crown, or by those mountains to the Lake of the Woods,
the latitude of the boundary eastward of proprietary companies or individuals, the governors are chosen by the people them- after which it pursues a southeast direction selves. The legislative and judicial branch-through some small lakes, and across an ines underwent very little modification.
tervening portage to Lake Superior, which There are now in the American Union is the uppermost of the chain of lakes twenty-six organized states, three territo- through which the St. Lawrence flows. ries, and one district. The territories are
A glance at the map will show that this under the government of the President and vast territory consists of three grand secCongress of the United States, but will be- tions, the Atlantic slope, the Pacific slope, come states as soon as the amount of and the intermediate Valley of the Missistheir population entitles them, in the opin- sippi. The whole is computed by Mr. Tanion of Congress, to be represented in the ner, a distinguished American geographer, National Legislature. They have a Legis
to contain 2,037,165 square miles. lature of their own, but their governors are
The outlines of the entire territory may appointed by the President. Two, namely,
be given as follows : Wisconsin and lowa, will soon have a suf- On the north, from the mouth of the St. ficient population to entitle them to a place
Croix River to the Oregon Mountains among the states. And when these are ad- From the Oregon Mountains to the Pacific
Ocean mitted, Florida will probably be so too.
Along the Pacific, from lat. 54° 40' to lat. 42° 865 Under the impression that the National Along the Mexican and Texan territories, Government should be removed from the from the Pacific to the mouth of the Sabine immediate influence of any one state, the District of Columbia, ten miles square, was Along the Atlantic Ocean
Along the Gulf of Mexico to Florida Point taken from Virginia and Maryland, and set
Making a total outline of apart as the seat of the National Government, and to it, that is, to the President,
Of the 2,037,165 square miles, constituCongress, and Supreme Court, it is imme- ting, according to Mr. Tanner, the area diately subject. Experience has hardly found on the Atlantic slope, including East
of the United States, about 400,000 are approved of this measure as either wise or necessary. No part of the country is worse Florida; 1,341,649 in. the Valley of the governed, Congress being too much occu- Mississippi,* and 295,516 on the Pacific pied with other matters to pay much atten- slope. Hence it appears that nearly two tion to so insignificant a territory.
thirds of the whole territory of the United The preceding outline will suffice to give
States lie in the Valley of the Mississippi, the reader some idea of the government of a fact which shows the vast relative importhe United States, and prepare him for tance of that section of the country. understanding many things which might otherwise be obscure in the farther course I the Mississippi contains 1,341,649.
* According to Mr. Darby's estimate, the Valley of of this work.
2300 1100 1800
Upon a survey of the whole of this ter- (and enlarging, as it advances, southward, ritory, it will be found to possess physical from twenty to nearly a hundred miles advantages such as few other countries broad, the latter being its width in the state enjoy. While, with the exception of Flor- of North Carolina. "Between this sandy ida, all parts of it comprise a large pro- tract and the Alleghany Mountains the land portion of excellent soil, many exhibit the is generally fertile, and produces various most astonishing fertility. It abounds in crops, according to the climate, such as fine the most valuable minerals. Iron is found wheat and the other cereal grains in Newin several states in great abundance. At Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virvarious points, but particularly in the Mid- gia ; in which last two states tobacco is dle States, there are vast deposites of coal, also largely cultivated, cotton in the Carowhich is easily conveyed by water carriage linas and in Georgia; and on the rich botto other parts of the country. Even gold tom lands along the bays and streams of is found in considerable quantities in the the sandy tract, rice and indigo. western parts of North Carolina, and the As we advance northward along this adjacent parts of South Carolina and Geor- fertile tract intervening between the sand gia, and some in Virginia and Tennessee. and the mountains, we gradually leave the The almost boundless forests of the inte- region of transition and secondary rocks, rior furnish timber suited to all purposes. and enter on that of granite, so that before Navigable rivers everywhere present fa- reaching the State of Maine, primitive cilities for trade. On the Atlantic slope, rocks abound everywhere, even on the surbeginning from the east and advancing face of the ground. southwest, we find in succession the Pe- But in point of fertility the Atlantic slope nobscot, the Kennebec, the Merrimac, the bears no comparison with the Valley of the Connecticut, the Hudson, the Delaware, Mississippi, embracing a territory about six the Susquehanna, the Potomac, the Rap- times as large as that of France, and likely, pahannock, the James River, the Roanoke, ere long, to be the abode of many
millions the Neuse, the Fear, the Pedee, the San- of the human race. Fifty years ago it contee, the Savannah, the Altamaha, and the tained little more than a hundred thousand St. John's, without reckoning many small- inhabitants; the population of the settled er but important streams, navigable by part of it amounted, as we have seen, in common boats and small steamers. Many 1840,* to above six 'millions, and this, it is of these rivers, such as the Delaware, the calculated from the data supplied in the Potomac, the Rappahannock, the James, last forty years, will have increased, in and the Roanoke, expand into noble estua- thirty-five years hence, to not much under ries before they fall into the ocean ; and thirty millions. By the end of the present the coast is indented, also, with many bays, century it will probably be not less than unrivalled in point of extent and beauty: fifty or sixty millions. Beginning from the east, we have Portland The tabular view on page 22 shows the or Casco Bay, Portsmouth Bay, Newbury- immense size of the eleven states and two port Bay, Massachusetts Bay, Buzzard's territories already organized in this vast Bay, Narragansett Bay, New-York Bay, valley ; let us now look for a moment to Amboy Bay, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake their natural resources. Bay, into which twelve wide-mouthed riv- Ohio, lying between the beautiful river ers fall, Wilmington Bay, Charleston Bay, of that name and Lake Erie, comprises &c., &c.
40,260 square miles, and a population of With the exception of part of the eastern above a million and a half. As England coast of Connecticut, a chain of islands, and Wales have 57,929 square miles, and some inhabited, many not, runs parallel to 15,906,829 inhabitants, Ohio, at the same the shore, beginning at Passamaquoddy ratio, would have 11,055,066. With the Bay, and extending to the southern ex- exception of a part of it in the southeast, tremity of Florida, and thence round into on the Hockhocking River, there is little the Gulf of Mexico, and along its coast, to poor land in the state. Vaşt forests cover beyond the western limit of the United the greater part of it to this day. Lake States. Thus are formed some of the finest Erie on the north, the River Ohio on the channels for an extensive coasting trade, south, and several navigable streams flowsuch as Long Island Sound, Albemarle ing from the interior, both to the north and Sound, Pamlico Sound, and many others. south, 'give it great natural advantages for To increase these facilities, canals and rail- commerce; in addition to which, two imroads have been extended along the coast portant artificial lines of communication, from Portland in Maine, to Charleston in made at great expense, traverse it from South Carolina, and even farther.
* The exact population of the eleven states and Immediately on the seacoast of the west- two territories of the Valley of the Mississippi was, ern part of New-Jersey, there commences a without including Western Virginia, Pennsylvania, belt of sand, which extends along the whole 3,342,680 ; in 1820 it was 2,237,454; in 1810 it was
and Flordia, in 1840, 6,376,972; in 1830 it was margin of the Southern States, covered with 1,099,180 in 1800 it was 385,647; in 1790 it was an almost uninterrupted forest of pines, only 109,838.
Lake Erie to the Ohio. Cincinnati, its world. But besides these two great inlets commercial capital, has a population of not from the north and south, communication less than fifty thousand inhabitants. with the Atlantic slope has been opened
Indiana and Illinois are scarcely, if at up at various points of the Alleghany chain, all, inferior to Ohio in natural advantages ; by means of substantial roads of the ordiand considering its proportion of first-rate nary construction, and also by canals and land, Michigan is, perhaps, the best state railways. Thus a railway, above six hunin the Union. Kentucky and Tennessee dred miles in length, unites the town of abound both in good land and in mineral Buffalo on Lake Erie with Boston; a ca
nal unites it with Albany, and from that Missouri, one of the largest states in the point the Hudson River connects it with Union, possesses a vast extent of excellent New-York. Buffalo communicates, again, land, besides rich mines of iron and of lead. with all the northern parts of Ohio, ÎndiThe two territories, Iowa and Wisconsin, ana, Michigan, and Illinois, and with the lying northward of Missouri and Illinois, eastern side of the Wisconsin Territory, the former on the west, and the latter on by fifty steamboats which ply between it the east of the Upper Mississippi, are large and the ports of those regions. To all and fertile districts of country, abounding these advantages we must ascribe the rapalso in lead mines. Both are evidently id appearance of so many large cities in destined to become great states. Arkan- this great Western Valley, such as Newsas having a great deal of inferior, as well Orleans, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, as of fertile land, is considered one of the and Pittsburgh, to say nothing of smaller poorest states on the Mississippi. The towns on spots which, with the exception Iarge State of Alabama, with the exception of New Orleans, may be said to have been of a small part in the south, about Mobile, covered by the forest only fifty years ago. and another part in the north, near the Ten- I conclude this chapter by remarking nessee River, was, in 1815, in the occupan- for a moment on the kind and wise Provicy of the Creek, Chocta, and Chickasa In- dence which kept the great Valley of the dians, chiefly the first of those tribes, but Mississippi from the possession, and alis now rapidly increasing in population. most from the knowledge of the colonists The State of Mississippi has also much of the United States, for more than one land of the very best quality, and although hundred and fifty years. By that time, its financial affairs are at present in a de- they had so far occupied and reduced to plorable condition, from bad legislation, it cultivation the less fertile hills of the Atmay be expected, in a few years, to emerge lantic slope, and there had acquired that from its embarrassments. Humanly speak- hardy, industrious, and virtuous character, ing, it must be so, for its natural resources which better fitted them to carry civilizaare great. And as for Louisiana, the rich tion and religion into the vast plains of the alluvial soil of the banks of its rivers, and West. So that, at this day, the New-Engits advantages for commerce, derived from land and other Atlantic States, while inits position in the lowest part of the great creasing in population themselves, serve, Valley of the Mississippi, must eventually at the same time, as nurseries from which make it a rich and powerful state. But it the West derives many of the best plants would require the perseverance shown in that are transferred to its noble soil. similar circumstances by the people of Holland, to defend with dikes the southern portion of the Delta of the Mississippi, and to make the whole the valuable coun
CHAPTER XIII. try into which it might be converted.
An immense tract of almost unexplored country lies to the northwest of the State of Missouri and the Territories of Iowa and
COUNTER IN AMERICA : 1. FROM THE ERROWisconsin, much of which is believed to be fertile. What new states may yet be formed there, time alone will show.
Nearly the whole of this vast valley is Some persons in Europe entertain the drained by one great river and its branch- | idea, that if the "American plan" of supes, of which no fewer than fifty-seven are porting religion, by relying, under God's navigable for steamboats. Indeed, the blessing, upon the efforts of the people, Missouri
, the Arkansas, the Red River, rather than upon the help of the governand the White River, flowing from the ment, has succeeded in that country, it has west, and the Illinois, the Ohio, the Cum- been owing, in a great measure, to the fact berland, and the Tennessee, from the north that the country presented an open field and east, are themselves great rivers. On for the experiment; that everything was the north the great lakes, and on the south new there; that no old establishments had the Gulf of Mexico, form openings into to be pulled down; no deep-rooted preju. this vast region for the commerce of the dices to be eradicated; no time-honoured
OBSTACLES WHICH THE VOLUNTARY SYSTEM
IN SUPPORTING RELIGION HAS HAD TO EN
NEOUS OPINIONS ON THE SUBJECT OF RE-
institutions to be modified; but that all was cles which the “ American plan" of supfavourable for attempting something new porting religion had to overcome arose under the sun. Now it is hardly possible from the erroneous views of the colonists to entertain an idea more remote from the on the subject of religious liberty. The truth than this.
voluntary system rests on the grand basis What follows will demonstrate that, so of perfect religious freedom. I mean a far from committing religion to the spon- freedom of conscience for all; for those taneous support of persons cordially inter- who believe Christianity to be true, and ested in its progress, the opposite course for those who do not; for those who prefer was pursued from the first almost, in all one form of worship, and for those who the colonies. In the greater number of the prefer another. This is all implied, or, colonies, in fact, men looked to the civil rather, it is fully avowed, at the first step government for the support of the Chris- in supporting religion upon this plan. tian ministry and worship. Now what we Now it so happened—nor ought we to have here to consider is not the question wonder at it, for it would have been a whether they were right or wrong in doing miracle had it been otherwise-that very so, but the simple fact that they actually many of the best colonists who settled in did so; and, accordingly, that, so far from America had not yet attained to correct what has been called the Voluntary Prin- ideas on the subject of religious toleration ciple having had an open field in America, and the rights of conscience. It required in those very parts of the country which persecution, and that thorough discussion now, perhaps, best illustrate its efficiency, of the subject which persecution brought it had long to struggle with establishments in its train, both in the colonies and in founded on the opposite system, and with England and other European countries, to strong prepossessions in their favour. make them understand the subject. And,
In all such parts of the country many in point of fact, those who first understood obstacles were opposed to the abandon- it had learned it in the schoolof persecution. ment of the old system. Good and great Such was Roger Williams; such were Lord men made no secret of their fears that the Baltimore and the Roman Catholics who cause of religion would thus be ruined ; settled in Maryland; such was William that the churches would be forsaken by the Penn. Accordingly, the three colonies people, whose unaided efforts would prove that they founded, Rhode Island, Maryland, unequal to the expense of maintaining and Pennsylvania, including Delaware, them, and that they could never be induced were the first communities, either in the to attempt it. In fact, as they had never New or the Oid World, that enjoyed relibeen accustomed to rely upon their own gious liberty in the fullest extent. exertions in that matter, and were not I am sure, indeed, that, as I have already aware how much they could do, they were said, the founders of the first American col- . at first timid and discouraged. Another onies, and those of New-England in parobstacle lay in the unwillingness of those ticular, did as much for freedom of conwho had enjoyed the influence and ascend science as could have been expected, and ency conferred by the old system, to sur- were in that respect in advance of the age render those advantages. Such persons in which they lived. If they were intolwere prone to believe, and naturally sought erant, so were others. If they would not to impress others with the conviction, no allow Roman Catholics to live among them, doubt very sincerely, that their résistance the most dreadful examples, be it rememto the proposed change was the legitimate bered, of Roman Catholic intolerance were fruit of their zeal for the cause of God, forced upon their attention, and that their and of their dread lest that cause should policy was merciful in the extreme comsuffer.
pared with that of Roman Catholic counOther obstacles, and those not inconsid- tries in those days. They merely refused erable, had to be encountered, all resulting to receive them or to allow them to remain directly or indirectly from the old system. among them, whereas the poor Huguenots It will be shown, in due time, that some of of France were not permitted so much as the worst heresies in the United States to retire from amid their enemies. If, in . were originated and propagated by meas- some of the colonies, Quakers were treatures arising out of the old system. What ed with great harshness and shocking inĮ mean to say is, that Truth has there en- justice, what treatment did the members of countered powerful obstacles, which we that sect receive at the same period in have every reason to believe would not England ? If the colonists burned witches, have existed but for that union. Other was not that done also in Scotland, Engevils there might have been in the absence land, and other countries? of any such union; but, be that as it may,
therefore repeat, that the colonists with the obstacles to which I refer, it could were in advance of their contemporaries not be said that the field was entirely new, in their views of almost all questions relafar less that it was open.
ting to human rights, and that they mainStill more : some of the greatest obsta- tained this advance is attested by the insti
OBSTACLES WHICH THE VOLUNTARY SYSTEM
SETTLED STATE OF SOCIETY.
tutions that arose among them. But the more or less flourishes. Such of them as intolerance with which these were charge- are not decidedly religious in heart and able at first, may be traced to their opin- life, greatly risk losing any good impresions with regard to the relations which the sions they may have brought with them, Church ought to sustain towards the State. amid the engrossing cares and manifold And their erroneous views on that subject temptations of their new circumstances ; created obstacles which were with difficul- circumstances in which even the estabty overcome by the principle of leaving re- lished Christian will find much need of religion, not to the support as well as protec- doubled vigilance and prayer. tion of the State, but to the hearts and hands The comparative thinness, also, of the of persons who have truly received, and population in the United States now is, are willing to sustain it. These remarks and must long continue to be, a great obwill suffice to show that the field was not stacle to the progress of religion in that 80 open to that principle in America as country. I have already stated, that the some have thought.
area of all the territory claimed by its government is somewhat more than 2,000,000 of square miles. Now, leaving out of view
the vast region on the Upper Missouri and CHAPTER XIV.
Mississippi rivers, west and north of Iowa
and Wisconsin, and reaching to the OreHAS HAD TO ENCOUNTER IN AMERICA : 2. gon Mountains ; leaving out of view also
the Pacific slope, and looking only to the FROM THE NEWNESS OF THE COUNTRY, THE
twenty-six states, three territories, and THINNESS OF THE POPULATION, AND THE UN
one district, we have a country of some
what more than 1,000,000 of square miles, A SECOND class of obstacles which the over which the Anglo-American race has voluntary system, or, I should rather say, more or less diffused itself. But the whole which religion in general has had to en- population, including the African race counter in America, comprehends such as among us, in 1840, was just 17,068,666. are inseparable from its condition as a new That is, upon an average, about seventeen country.
souls to the square mile. If this population. From its very nature, the life of a colo- were equally diffused over the entire surnist presents manifold temptations to neg- face of the organized states and territories, lect the interests of the soul. There is the even then it would be difficult enough to separation of himself and his family, if he establish and maintain churches and other has one, from old associations and influ- religious institutions among so sparse a ences; and the removal, if not from abun- population. Still, perhaps, it could be done. dant means of grace, at least from the force A parish of thirty-six square miles, which of that public opinion which often power- would be large enough in point of extent, fully restrains from the commission of would contain 612 souls. One twice as open sin. Now though many of the Amer- large would contain 1224 souls. But alican colonists fled from persecution and though a country would be considered well from abounding iniquity, such was not the supplied if it had a pastor for every 1224 case with all. Then, there is the entering souls, still the dispersion of these over into new and untried situations; the forming seventy-two square miles would necessaof new acquaintances, not always of the rily very much curtail the pastor's opporbest kind; and even that engrossment with tunity for doing good, and prevent the souls the cares and labours attending a man's re- under his charge from enjoying the full moval into a new country, especially in influence of the Gospel. But the populathe case of the many who have to earn their tion of the United States is far from being bread by their own strenuous exertions. thus equally distributed. Some of the oldAll these things hinder the growth of pie- er states are pretty densely settled ; not ty in the soul, and form real obstacles to more, however, than is necessary for the its promotion in a community.
easy maintenance of churches, and of a And if such hinderances had a baneful regular and settled ministry. Massachueffect at the outset, they have never ceased setts, the most densely settled of them all, to operate injuriously down to this day. has 102 souls to the square mile; some To say nothing of the foreigners who others, such as Connecticut and Rhode Islcome, year after year, to the American and, have from seventy to eighty; othshores on their way to the Far West, thou- ers, such as New-Jersey, Delaware, Marysands of the natives of the Atlantic slope land, and New-York, will average from annually leave their houses to settle amid forty to fifty: Taking the whole Atlantic the forests of that vast Western region. slope, with the exception of Florida, which In their case there is peculiar exposure to is but little inhabited, the average is twenevil; their removal almost always with ty-eight, while in the eleven states and two draws them from the powerful influence territories in the Valley of the Mississippi, of neighbourhoods where true religion, it is less than ten souls to the square mile.