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why bring the poor child to America, and leave him with the Indians? This Belanger, we think, must have been an idiot, or he might have made his fortune by communicating the knowledge he possessed to some one besides Louis Philippe, on the banishment of Napoleon to St. Helena. These suggestions, it appears, have not occurred to the simplicity of the Rev. Mr. Hanson. One cannot, indeed, refrain from a smile at the earnestness with which he presses the point of Belanger's dying declaration, as a link in the chain of evidence. Such a statement, even if proved to have been made by this Belanger, could not, in the light of well-established historical facts, be regarded as anything else than the incoherent ravings of delirium. But the whole story is more than apocryphal; and Mr. Hanson, in attaching the slightest importance to it, manifests a most extraordinary credulity, and an utter ignorance of the first principles of evidence. In reply to the charge of "St. Clair," that the story of Belanger rests upon Mr. Williams's statement alone, Mr. Hanson says nay, but that a Mr. Kimball states, that the southern newspapers of the time stated, that Belanger confessed, on his death-bed, that he had carried off the Dauphin. Is not the conclusion, therefore, rational and irresistible? Does it not show the discriminating judgment and logical skill of the reasoner? We should be glad to know, however, who Kimball is, and upon what authority the "southern newspapers," at the time, stated the fact alleged.
To satisfy Mr. Hanson's doubts on the subject of the Dauphin's death, we feel would be impossible. It is not, he says, and it cannot be proved. Granted. Neither can we prove, by such evidence as he requires, the death of Montgomery at Quebec, and a thousand other occurrences which have been received on the authority of contemporary accounts, and which, as facts, have become historical. The certificate of four surgeons who attested his death, and reported the same, with the cause thereof, to the Convention, is rather better evidence than is required by a life insurance company in our day, on the payment of a policy of insurance. We believe it may be safely allowed that this is, at least, prima facie evidence of his death, and it becomes, therefore, of much more importance to Mr. Hanson's argument that he should prove, even if it be by the merest circumstantial evidence, that the Dauphin did not die at the temple, as reported and generally credited at the time, but that he was actually carried away and brought to this country. Thus far we undertake to say, that not the slightest particle of any testimony whatever (apart from Mr. Williams's own claims and statements, which we intend presently to notice) has been adduced, either direct or circumstantial, tending to establish such a fact. There, of course, the controversy should end. Nor should a gentleman of character and reputation undertake so lightly, and without any probable cause, to make so bold an experiment on the public credulity. With the failure to establish this first proposition, everything else fails; indeed, the whole thing dwindles down to comparative insignificante, and, as matter of evidence and serious argument, is below criticism. The letters from Louis Philippe and some others have been received, but have been accidentally burned. The two boxes of clothing, with medals of gold, silver and copper, have disappeared; the gold and silver medals were doubtless sold, says Mr. Hanson, by the Indians; but the copper one, being a medal struck at the coronation of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, is now in his
possession. We merely suggest to Mr. Hanson that it is doubtless the least valuable part of the contents of the two lost boxes, as it was probably not the only medal struck on that interesting occasion. As to the scrofulous marks on the person of Mr. Williams, and his resemblance to the Bourbons, we have scarcely a word to say. It may be called, perhaps, a curious coincidence; but will any one contradict us when we say that probably a hundred elderly gentlemen with scrofulous knees may be found among the twenty-five millions of the American people? As to his looks, there seems to be a wide difference of opinion. Dr. Hawks asserts positively that he is not an Indian. General Cass, who has known him for thirty years, asserts quite as positively that no one can doubt his Indian descent, and that there is no decisive feature of the Bourbon race about him. The painter, Fagnani, disagrees with General Cass, and does see a resemblance to the portraits of Louis XVI. and Louis XVIII., while Drs. Kissam and Francis think that, ethnologically, and by anatomical examination, “there are no traces of the aboriginal or Indian in him." We are not disposed, of course, to dispute with Drs. Francis and Kissam upon a question of ethnology or comparative anatomy, and we therefore barely suggest that both they and General Cass may be right. The latter says, that Williams is a half-breed, that is, as we understand it, of European ancestry on one side; and, therefore, if ethnologically and anatomically not an Indian, the phenomenon may be accounted for on some other hypothesis than that which makes him the son of Marie Antoinette. The matter, how
ever, as well as the " 'Bourbon look," is of very little consequence in the argument, as the latter is certainly no very great compliment to Mr. Williams. And Mr. Hanson, leaping over probabilities, and even possibilities, in his eagerness to jump at conclusions, sees not only the "Bourbon look," and "the long Austrian lip," with its expression "of exceeding sweetness, when in repose," but he sees in the person of Mr. Williams "the port, and presence of an European gentleman of high rank; a nameless something which I never saw, but in persons accustomed to command." Such is the experience of Mr. Hanson, and another link, we presume, in the chain of evidence. Verily the blood of the Bourbons must flow in the veins of Eleazer Williams!
If it be regarded as historically proved that the son of Louis XVI. died in the temple, the question of the identity of the Dauphin with the Rev. Mr. Williams is of course effectually disposed of. If, on the other hand, it be admitted that the death is matter of doubt, or even that Mr. Hanson is right in his theory of the substitution of a scrofulous child in place of the Dauphin, he is as far as ever from raising even a reasonable presumption that his protégé is the person he claims to be. Apart from the remarkable disclosures and statements of Williams himself, there is, as we have shown, nothing deserving the name of evidence to sustain the story, and it would not, as it certainly has not heretofore, attract any considerable share of the public attention. Stories of letters burnt, of boxes and medals lost, of newspaper fragments, of what somebody had told somebody else, might indeed, for a moment, amuse the credulous, but could certainly serve no other purpose. We say there is nothing in the story, apart from Williams's recent disclosures, and the authority of Mr. Hanson, endorsed by the very respectable name of Dr. Hawks, to clothe it with even a decent respectability, or to arrest the attention of the most credulous portion of the public. This assertion is abundantly sustained by the fact
that the tale itself has long been before the public, and we believe in a variety of shapes, and yet nobody has talked about it, nobody believed in it, that we can hear of, and it seems never to have come under the observation of Mr. Hanson himself, until "about two years ago," when he first encountered it in the shape of a "paragraph in the papers." Mr. Hanson does not, indeed, seem to be well "posted up" in its history, and perhaps he is blissfully unconscious that he has been merely revamping an old story, which, either from want of interest or want of credibility, has long been abandoned by the original inventor. We may, perhaps, be furnishing him with new arguments, if not with fresh evidence, by referring him to the publication of H. B. Ely, (a connection probably of the Nathaniel Ely mentioned by Mr. Williams,) entitled, "History of the Dauphin, son of Louis XVI., of France." This work was published several years since, but we believe (perhaps from want of a responsible name to endorse it) made no very great sensation at the time. We find it noticed in the July number of the Democratic Review for 1849, with a brief statement of those remarkable facts, and that chain of evidence, which Mr. Hanson details with such apparent gusto, including the escape from the temple, the story of Belanger, and the astonishing disclosures of the Prince de Joinville; and yet all this created very little sensation in the public mind, and for nearly two years it eluded the grasp of even the wonder-loving and wonder-seeking Mr. Hanson. We copy the paragraph relative to the Prince de Joinville from the article above alluded to.
"At the instance of the Citizen King, Prince de Joinville visited Eleazer at Green Bay, in 1841, and spent three days with him. What transpired between them will probably go down to the grave unknown. It is sufficient to state that overtures were made to him to renounce forever all claim to the throne. The proposal was rejected with disdain. De Joinville received the same answer which Artois rendered the ambassador of Napoleon, at Warsaw, on a similar errand. "Though I am in poverty, sorrow, and exile, I shall not sacrifice my honor."
How much of Mr. Williams's story may be drawn from these sources we are not prepared to say. The cautious Dr. Hawks speaks with certainty, he tells us, only on two points; first, that Williams is not an Indian; and secondly, that he is not able to invent a mass of circumstantial evidence to sustain a fabricated story. This may very easily be, and we the more readily believe it, since it seems the 66 mass of circumstantial evidence" had already assumed shape and form before Mr. Williams fell into the hands of these gentlemen, who, "by dint of questioning and cross-questioning," as Mr. Hanson very naïvely states, drew from him, in detail, the particulars of that remarkable interview with the Prince de Joinville.
A word now in respect to these disclosures and statements of Mr. Williams; and this to us is the most repulsive part of the entire case; for to our mind it involves the conclusion, either that Williams is an impostor, and Mr. Hanson a dupe, or that Mr. Hanson is, unintentionally no doubt, contributing to increase the disease of an infirm mind, and the wanderings of a confirmed monomania. If the former, Mr. Hanson has fallen into bad hands; if the
"I could only give to him," says Williams, in his confession to Mr. Hanson, "the answer which De Provence gave to the ambassador of Napoleon, at Warsaw-Though I am in poverty and exile, I will not sacrifice my honor.'"
latter, we sympathize with Mr. Williams, and would prefer to see him placed under the care of doctors of medicine, rather than doctors of divinity. Whatever may be the merits of "the mass of circumstantial evidence," of which Dr. Hawks speaks, one thing we venture to assert, not as a fact, but as the expression of an opinion, that the disclosure of Mr. Williams does not in the least contribute to sustain, but rather to weaken, the "circumstantial evidence," if there be any; for the reason that it exhibits, internally and externally, all the marks of a very clumsy invention, and bears upon its face that species of evidence which leads to the highest moral conviction that it is not and cannot be true. It bears upon its face unmistakable badges of falsehood. This proposition, we think, may be freely sustained, not by ridicule, which Mr. Hanson very properly contemns, but, if he pleases, by legitimate argument. The story is not and cannot be true. It is repugnant to known facts, to every moral probability, to reason, to common sense, to the principles of human nature and action, leaving out of view altogether the full and explicit contradiction of the Prince de Joinville, the only person, other than Mr. Williams, who can give direct evidence on the subject.
What could be Mr. Williams's motive in forging such a narrative ? asks Mr. Hanson. "He has no political pretensions." "He is humble, unaspiring, simple, devout," &c. What might have been his motive, if indeed he had one, other than such as springs from the workings of an impaired mind, we cannot certainly tell. As to his political pretensions, and unaspiring temper, Mr. Hanson unfortunately contradicts his own statement, by giving the vague and wild dreams of Mr. Williams, in his own language. "The idea of royalty is in our minds, and we will never relinquish it," he says, on one occasion, to Mr. Hanson. On another, "I have been in hopes that some movement would be made in Europe in my favor; but, as you say, the affair must be begun here, and I will let the world know all." Recollect it is Mr. Hanson who gives this account of Mr. Williams's language, which we quote verbatim, the italics being our own. One is almost tempted to believe in the insanity of the narrator, as well as in that of his subject. This "European movement" in Williams's favor, which is to place him on the throne, must, as Mr. Hanson tells him, be begun here. Let Louis Napoleon tremble! Putnam's Magazine is to revolutionize the Empire and restore the Monarchy! These gentlemen seem to think that all that is necessary to enable Mr. Williams to step into the French throne, is to prove his identity with the Dauphin. Do they forget that such a person as Charles X., the then acknowledged head of the family, was turned out by revolution; and that such a person as the Duc de Chambord lives, who is the acknowledged legitimate heir of Louis XVI., and, being known to the French people, would certainly be a more formidable competitor for the throne than Mr. Hanson's Bourbon, even if the question of identity could be proved as clearly as the sun in the heavens. Poor Mr. Williams talks incoherently about surrendering his rights, and those of his family, and of the "rights pertaining to me by birth," i. e., the crown of France. We think we could show, even to Mr. Hanson's comprehension, that the legitimate heir of Louis XVI., whoever he may be, has no rights to the crown. If there is one fundamental law more universally recognized in France than another, it is, that revolution has effectually disposed of all these rights of sovereignty, to which the elder Bourbons laid claim; and we are surprised to see intelligent
men in a republican country lending their countenance to such preposterous pretensions.
But we stated that Williams's disclosures, upon their face, bore evidence of falsehood. We have not space to criticize them in extenso, but merely refer at random to a few passages, applying the rule by which Mr. Hanson insists that De Joinville shall be judged, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. Take, for example, the expression in the Journal, wherein Williams wonders whether he is really connected with the family of the unfortunate Louis, "for whose sufferings in prison, and the manner of their deaths, I had moistened my cheeks with sympathetic tears." Does Mr. Hanson believe this to be true? Ay or nay. Does he know, in the whole range of his acquaintance, any boardingschool miss, or sentimental young lady, who is accustomed to shed "sympathetic tears" (not over novels, which perhaps may be common, but) over the grave narrative of historical facts? But, Mr. Hanson will say, you cannot prove that Williams did not weep over the sufferings of Louis and his family. True, we cannot, except by appealing to every man's own experience and common sense. And even if Williams has spoken in metaphors, and if he has somewhat exaggerated his statement in this particular, it does not affect the main fact asserted. Perhaps not, except so far as to show his manner of statement-loose, exaggerated, inaccurate. We have a right to hold him to facts, for we are dealing with facts, not romance and fancy. Let us, however, refer to an expression or two, which do affect the main statement. Williams says, that the startling and unexpected communication of the Prince did not immediately convince him; he was incredulous, or, as he expressed it, "between two." The Prince assured him that, "in regard to the identity of the person, he had ample means in his possession to satisfy me that there was no mistake in that respect." It does not appear that he gratified Mr. Williams in this particular, inasmuch as a "certain process" must be first gone through, and that process was the "solemn abdication of the crown of France," &c. The Prince thereupon produced an unsigned document, and the old governmental seals of France, as Mr. Williams thinks. Now, what does the reader suppose would be the immediate and most distinct impression upon the mind of this newly-found Bourbon Prince, still incredulous and "between two." We will let him speak for himself: "I must confess," he says, "that when I knew the whole, the sight of the seal, put before me by a member of the family of Orleans, stirred my indignation !” Again we ask the Rev. Mr. Hanson, ay or nay, does even he believe this to be true? Judged of by any known principle of human nature, is it within the range of even a remote probability Nay, more, Mr. Williams afterwards openly expressed that indignation to the Prince. He told him, that, inasmuch as he, "by his disclosure, had put me in the position of a superior, I must assume that position, and frankly say that my indignation was stirred by the memory that one of the family of Orleans had imbrued his hands in my father's blood, and that another now wished to obtain from me an abdication of the throne;" and when he spoke thus of superiority, the Prince assumed a respectful attitude, and remained silent for several minutes! And these wonderful revelations are now made, notwithstanding Mr. Williams, as he says, solemnly pledged his honor, in writing, "not to reveal what the Prince was going to say, provided there was nothing in it prejudicial to any one." His insensibility to