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guineas a set. "Moore's Irish Melodies" is to be one of the most delightful books of the season in the way of embellishment, being illustrated by fifty fine designs after Maclise, with the text also engraved; and the musical volume
wholly inaccessible to the general read-entitled "The Book of Beauty for the
er. A beautifully illustrated work on the Mexican Antiquities, by Brantz Mayer, is nearly ready for publication; also other popular works of fiction are constantly emanating from this press; and among works of a graver cast, we might mention the corrected and condensed edition of Alison's History of Europe, in one volume, for $1, in which the egregious and extraordinary inaccuracies of that celebrated historian are amended, and his tedious verbosity reduced: a most acceptable service to the million who read for instruction as well as entertainment. This work must have prodigious success. We learn with pleasure, that Mr. Wright Hawkes, of New York, now in Paris, a gentleman of abilities perfectly qualifying him for the task, has nearly ready for the press, a translation of M. Blanc's "History of Ten Years since 1830"-a work already of eminent popularity abroad, reviewing as it does with singular force and clearness, the general European history of the present epoch since the Restoration of the Three Days. The concluding volume of the history has not yet appeared, but Mr. Hawkes has been made acquainted with its contents in advance by the author. It will be published immediately on the issue of the conclusion of the work in the original.
Queen's Boudoir," with a gorgeously
"The Knights Crusaders' and Bishop's
This is a movement rendered necessary, or at any rate induced by the absence of the foreign non-protective system in literature. Charles Knight has at length nearly completed his great "Cyclopedia," and with the last issue of his Pictorial Shakspeare, the eighth volume, that most acceptable and elaborately beautiful monument to our great vernacular poet: with either of these works he might have safely retired with his laurels, but we are glad to observe that he is determined not to let his pen lie idle-his new work is to be called "Old England," regal, ecclesiastical, baronial, municipal, with historical and topographical accounts of its antiquities, &c. It is to be illustrated with three thousand engraved and two dozen coloured embellishments, 20 folio vols. The following are the new medical works
"A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology," by A. S. Taylor: "The Principles of Medicine, comprehending general Pathology and Therapeutics," &c., by Williams. "Elementary Instruction on Chemical Analysis," with a preface by Liebig. "Elements of Natural Philosophy," being an introduction to physical science, &c., in monthly parts. "Liebig's Familiar Letters on Chemistry"-the revised edition of his "Agricultural Chemistry," and "Parnell's Applied Chemistry," &c., in parts.
"Memoirs of William Smith, LL D., the Geologist", by J. Phillips. "Results of Reading," by Shemford Caldwell. "Farming for Ladies, or Instructions for Rearing all sorts of Domestic Poultry."
"Precious Stories," is the cognomen of a new little manual, consisting of selections from eminent English prose writ
ers of the past 3 centuries, by Wil
The following are some of the new works of fiction :-"Sir Cosmo Digby, a tale of_the_Welsh riots," by St. John. "The Belle of the Family;" "The Grave-Digger; "The Smiths and Allanston, or the Infidel," by Lady Chatterton. "The Baronial Halls," by L. C. Hall, &c, is a beautiful work: the plates in folio after Harding, are very choice: part first ready. "Memoirs of the Earl St. Vincent," by Tucker, is nearly ready. Also, "Ireland and its Rulers since 1839; "Pictorial Tour in the Mediterranean," by Allan, 2 vols. 8vo. Another new volume on the seat of the late War in the East, is announced for speedy publication, entitled "Diary of a march through Sinde and Affghanistan, by Rev. J. M. Allen." Also, a volume by a Physician, entitled "Thoughts and Reflections in Sickness and Health." Among the numerous pamphlets on Puseyism, we observe the following, entitled "Catholic Safeguards against the errors, corruptions and novelties of the Church of Rome," by Jas. Brogden, M. A. Murray's list of forthcoming novelties is by far the most attractive, it consists of the following:-"Life and Voyages of Sir Francis Drake," by J. Barrow. A new work on Modern Egypt and Thebes, by Wilkinson. Letters from the Bye-Ways of Italy, with plates. "Russia and the Oral Mountains," by R. J. Murchison, &c. "The Fresco Decorations and Stuccoes of the Churches and Palaces in Italy, with Descriptions," by L. Gruner, comprising 45 superb plates, in folio.
NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
The first meeting of this body, after the Summer vacation, was held at their Rooms in the University, on Tuesday evening, the 2d of October. Among those present were the Hon. Gulian C. Verplanck, the Hon. Chief Justice Jones, and other gentlemen of distinction, and many visitors.
The Chair was taken by the President, the venerable ALBERT GALLATIN.
After the reading of the minutes of the last stated meeting, and also of the special meeting called to receive the President of the United States, the Recording Secreta
ry, in the absence of the Librarian, announced the donations to the Library since the month of June, and read several letters from the donors.
One from Judge Jay stated, that on the 7th of October, 1767, Letters Patent were issued under the great seal of England, appointing eleven gentlemen, selected from various provinces, for the purpose of ascertaining and determining the partition line between the colonies of New York and New Jersey-that the Commissioners assembled in New York, 20th July, 1769, and appointed John Jay their Clerk, and
that all the documentary evidence excepting maps, submitted by the agents of the two colonies, and which was very voluminous, was entered upon the minutes, and the accuracy of the whole attested by Mr. Jay, under his signature-that the volume had remained in his possession and was now presented to the New York Historical Society as the most proper repository for it.
A letter from H. J. Porter, Esq., of Victoria, Miss., accompanied "a Homographic Chart of the Mississippi River," of which he is the author. A communication was read from the Hon. William Hill, Secretary of State in North Carolina, with an attested copy of a resolution passed by the General Assembly, January 27th, 1843, directing that the agent of the New York Historical Society be furnished with one bound set of all official documents, including the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Laws and Journals of the General Assembly of the State which might be hereafter published under the order of the Legislature, and also one bound set of all documents published in preceding years, if the Secretary shall deem it consistent with the State's Collection.
An application was submitted from the agent of Wabash College, in the State of Indiana, for a copy of the Historical Collection published by the Society-and on motion of Mr. Lawrence the Executive Committee were authorized to furnish the volumes. A note from Professor Delmar accompanied the second volume of the celebrated Spanish History by Padre Marianna, presented by that gentleman to the Library.
Among the other donations were an elegantly bound volume of Herring's National Portrait Gallery, in four volumes, from the author, and fourteen folio volumes of English newspapers, of a date immediately preceding the Revolutionary War, from George P. Putnam, Esq., and thirty volumes of official documents presented by the Legislature of New Hampshire.
Mr. Lawrence (the first Vice President) observed that the general understanding was that a vote of thanks was, of course, passed to the various contributors, and that it was deemed the duty of the Corresponding Secretaries to make the suitable acknowledgments. He said, however, that as he had examined the presents then on the table, he would take the liberty of making a few remarks in relation to them. He was happy to observe among the books recently published, one for which the Society was indebted to a gentleman of their association, whose ser
vices in furtherance of their objects had been, on other occasions, noticed, and who was now extending his sphere of usefulness, by a visit to the savans and learned institutions of Europe. He said that, having minutely examined Mr. Folsom's translation of Cortes' Despatches, as well as the Essay by which it is preceded, he could bear testimony to the fidelity of the one, and to the value of the information contained in the other; and that he was sure that, whatever may have been his impressions of the civilisation of the Mexicans at the time of the conquest, or the ability of the Spanish leader, as derived from historians, no one could peruse the letters of the great commander without admitting that he had formed but very imperfect ideas of both. He alluded to a statement made to him, since he had been in the room, by Mr. Bartlett, of the existence, in the collection of a gentleman at Washington, of the first dispatch of Cortes, which Dr. Robertson, in his History of America, stated could not be found in his time, which is understood to have eluded all the recent researches of Mr. Prescott, and, of course, not contained in Mr. Folsom's collection.
After referring to some of the more valuable works upon the table, Mr. Lawrence said that his object in rising was not, however, so much to express gratification as to the contributions that had been received, as to call the attention of the Society to a gross libel, in the most insidious form, on the most honoured name in the history of the country. It was contained in a preface written by one who, it would appear from internal evidence, was an English dissenting minister of the Baptist persuasion, to an American poem, ("What Cheer; or, Roger Williams in Banishment,") reprinted by him at Leeds. Mr. L. made a respectful reference to the founder of Rhode Island-the subject of the work-as well as to its author, Judge Durfee; but he remarked that the gentleman who had transmitted it to the Society, by erasing with a pen the objectionable lines, had only presented them more clearly to view. He then read a passage from the English preface, which, after extolling Roger Williams, thus proceeds:
"In comparison with such a man, what are the names of Solon, or Lycurgus, Romulus, or Numa Pompilius, Marlborough, Nelson, or even Washington himself, who, after fighting so nobly the battle of independence, ignobly left to his heirs a legacy of slaves, not even excepting her, from whose bosom he had drawn the first nutriment of life." Of the special allusion to the infant education of Washington he could say nothing-he was not aware that
Marshall or Sparks threw any light on the subject. Nor should he enter into any discussion of the abolition question, or of slavery in the abstract. We cannot apply to men of another generation, and placed in different circumstances, the same rules by which we would judge those of the present day; and, on the subject of African slavery, the sentiments of Christendom have experienced a greater alteration since the death of Washington, than they underwent during the whole preceding period, from the time when, by the mistaken humanity of Las Casas, the first importations were made into Cuba.
That Washington possessed slaves, either inherited from his ancestors or obtained by marriage, is not imputed to him as a crime even by the English editor. What were his sentiments, when the abolition of the slave trade first began to be agitated in England, and when no one could have anticipated the extinction of slavery itself in the West Indies, may be learned from his own writings. In a letter to Robert Morris, dated April 12, 1786, he says, "I can only say that there is not a man living, who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it (slavery;) but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it ean be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting." To Mr. John F. Mercer, September 9, 1786, he says, "I never mean, unless some particular circumstance should conpel me to it, to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law."
Again, in writing to the Marquis de La Fayette, 10th of May, 1786, he confirms the above sentiments: "The benevolence of your heart, my dear Marquis, is so conspicuous upon all occasions that I never wonder at any fresh proofs of it; but your late purchase of an estate in the Colony of Cayenne, with a view of eman cipating the slaves on it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity. Would to God a like spirit might diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country! But I despair of seeing it. Some petitions were presented to the Assembly at its last session for the abolition of slavery, but they could scarcely obtain a reading. To set the slaves afloat at once would, I really believe, be productive of much inconvenience and mischief; but by degrees, it certainly might, and assuredly ought, to be effected; and that too by legislative authority."
Ten years later, 11th of December, 1796, in a long communication to Sir John
Sinclair, he assigns, as a cause, for the price of lands being higher in Pennsylvania than in Virginia and Maryland, that "there are laws here (in Pennsylvania) for the gradual abolition of slavery, which neither of the two States above-mentioned have at present, but which nothing is more certain than they must have, and at a period not remote."
Had Washington, in the absence of all attempts to prepare the emancipated slaves to occupy a useful position, hesitated as to suddenly throwing them upon the community as vagrants, he might well have been justified by considerations connected with the happiness of those whose interests it was his object to promote. But, that his course was otherwise, the provisions of his will, which was accessible to the editor, in common with every intelligent man in Europe and America, will show.
"Item-Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will and desire that all the slaves whom I hold in my own right, shall receive their freedom. To emancipate them during her life would, though earnestly wished by me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties, on account of their intermixture by marriage with the dower negroes, as to excite the most painful sensations if not disagreeable consequences to the latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy of the same proprietor; it not being in my power, under the tenure by which the dower negroes are held, to manumit them, &c." The will proceeds to make provision for the support of those of the slaves who were incapable of taking care of themselves.
Mr. L. referred to the well-known fact that Mrs. Washington anticipated the period for their emancipation, and gave immediate freedom to the whole of the slaves. He added that, pure as the character of Washington was, he had not escaped the attacks of malevolence. The calumny in relation to Jumonville, who is alleged to have been killed while the bearer of a peaceful summons, by a body of provincials under command of Washington, then a major, at the commencement of the old French war, gained a general currency on the Continent. Originating in national antipathy toward the English, with whom Washington was then identified, and having been made the theme of a poem by a French writer of distinction, it has been incorporated in all their histories to the present day; and even in the Biographie Universelle, a work of singular accuracy, an attempt is made, while conceding the charge, to exonerate Washington's conduct by the apology of youth. The examination by Mr. Sparks of Gover
nor Dinwiddie's papers, affords a full refutation of the story, and proves, that if Jumonville was a peaceful messenger, the fact could not have been known to Washington. Mr. Lawrence remarked, in conclusion, that when he reflected on the mischief which the Jumonville of M Thomas had done, he coul not allow a libel, which gathered strength from its connection with a patriotic poem of a respected American, to take its place on the shelves of a library destined, as he trusted, to last for ever, without presenting the refutation palpable as it was.
Mr. Bartlett exhibited a copy of the journal of Lieut. Col. Simcoe, an officer of the British army, detailing his military services in this country during the war of the Revolution. The book was privately printed for the friends of the author, and this is the only copy known to be extant, not even its title being found in any general catalogue either in England or America.
At the commencement of the contest, Col. Simcoe, then a captain under Generral Gage, attempted to organize a corps of American loyalists, and his original purpose was to form a regiment of blacks in Boston, but this failed from their strong attachment to liberty; and it has been noted as a curious fact, "that the first American who lost his life in that great contest for Freedom was a negro.”
Captain Simcoe next appears, during the march of Sir William Howe from the Patapsco to Philadelphia, in 1777, as the major commandant of a corps of rangers, composed of American Royalists, to which he gave the name of the Queen's Rangers; and with them he was actively engaged in the battle of Brandywine and at Germantown, and in various other passages of arms during the occupancy of Philadelphia by the British. When New York became their head-quarters, Col. Simcoe was employed near Kingsbridge, and in the lower towns of West Chester; and bore a prominent part in the battle of White Plains. In the winter of 1778-9, he was posted at Oyster Bay, on Long Island; and during the succeeding summer near the Croton river, with occasional excursions to Long Island. He attempted, also, some hazardous exploits in New Jersey-in one of which, undertaken for the destruction of a flotilla of large boats in preparation, as was supposed, for a descent upon Staten Island, he fell into an ambuscade; and being stunned by a fall from his horse, which was killed under him, recovered to find himself a prisoner. His life was placed in some jeopardy by the indignation excited among the people for some outrages committed by his Rangers; but through the interposition of Governor
Livingston, he was awarded the immunities of a prisoner of war, and placed upon his parole at Bordentown. Subsequently he was imprisoned at Burlington, of which he complains bitterly; and being afterward exchanged, appears during the winter of 1779-80, in the command of the British fortifications at Richmond, upon Staten Island. This was the coldest winter within the memory of man, when the entire harbour of New York was frozen over; and the American General, Lord Stirling, made a descent upon Staten Island from New Jersey, at the head of a large force, but after landing, suddenly retreated without any assignable cause.
In the spring, the Queen's Rangers were ordered to the south, arriving at Charleston a few days before the capitulation of General Lincoln, Col. Simcoe seems to have been soon recalled; and in June bore an active part in New Jersey in sacking Elizabethtown and Springfield, after which he traversed Long Island, guarding against the French in the county of Suffolk.
He was next detached in the celebrated Virginia expedition, headed by the traitor Arnold, who, after the death of General Phillips, retained the command until the arrival of Lord Cornwallis.
In the skirmishes on the James River, and the sacking of Petersburg and Rich-mond, Col. Simcoe, although in ill health, was the most efficient officer of the expedition. He adroitly deceived both Baron Steuben and the Marquis La Fayette, either of whom might have vanquished him had they known his strength; and dashing forward to the Roanoke, opened a way for the advance of Cornwallis. He soon afterward returned to New York, and his corps of rangers was dissolved.
Subsequently, Col. Simcoe was charged with the government of Upper Canada, holding his small court at Niagara, until the selection by himself of the present city of Toronto. These particulars are gathered from a sketch by Col. Stone, the biographer of Brant, with whom Col. Simcoe was on terms of great intimacy.
Mr. John Jay remarked, that although, as the Vice President had correctly stated, there was a general understanding that the thanks of the Society were returned for all donations to the Library, gifts of unusual value demanded a more special acknowledgment than was due to the honor of a stray pamphlet, or an ordinary volume. He therefore moved,
That the thanks of the New York Historical Society are due to the General Assembly of North Carolina, for the courtesy and liberality with which they have acceded to the request for copies of the Legislative Documents of that State, and