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of a revolted province is a wrong to the parent state and amounts in its effect to an act of interventiou. Hence great caution is exercised by third powers in granting recognition and unless policy interferes to prevent strict attention to law as in the treaty whereby France recognized the independence of the United States in 1778, recognition is seldom given, except where the circumstances set the propriety beyond all question. Mr. Foster neglects to say Holland was at war with England and that her early recognition of American independence by a treaty was merely an incident in her war policy. Certainly Holland was not "tardy” in view of the policy of non-intervention which has been consistently pursued by the United States so long as the contest was confined to the original parties.
Two or three references are made to the "advanced stage of international law early assumed by the American statesmen.” He cites the treaty with Prussia negotiated by Franklin in 1785 as an example in which it was declared that no goods, not even munitions of war, shall “be deemed contraband, so as to induce confiscation or condemnation and loss of property to individuals.” If munitions are captured and taken the treaty provided they should be paid for at their full value, "according to the current price at the place of destination,” and if they are detained compensation must be made for such loss as is occasioned. Another clause exempted all merchant and trading vessels from molestation in time of war. Of course such clauses represent an “advanced stage of international law;" indeed, a mere prophecy, as yet unobserved by states in their relations and, therefore, uot international law. Such philanthropic provisions were unobjectionable at the time because of the slight probability that Prussia and the United States would be brought into conflict. Later these high moral rules were changed to accord with the practices of states.
Mr. Foster, referring to the claim which the French nation had on the United States as an ally under the treaty of 1778, says: held that the Revolution had destroyed the France with which the treaty of alliance was made, and that, under the circumstances there was no obligation resting on us to take part in her aggressive wars.” The author might have stated in this connection an important principle of international law, announced about that time, which is now generally accepted as a basis for international conduct. Mr. Jefferson, when he defined the position of the United States as to the recognition of the republic proclaimed in France by the national convention, said in an instruction, "We surely cannot deny to any nation that right whereon our government is founded, that every one may govern itself according to whatever form it pleases, and change these forms at its own will; and that it may transact its business with foreign nations
“ It was
through whatever organ it thinks proper, whether king, convention, assembly, committee, president, or anything else it may choose. The will of the nation is the only thing essential to be regarded." Washington's administration took the high ground that the true test of a government's title to recognition is not “the theoretical legitimacy of its origin," for foreign states must remain indifferent to the particular form of government under which a community may choose to place itself, “but the mere fact of its existence as the apparent exponent of the popular will.”
Mr. Foster's book is remarkably free from errors of fact. Attention is called to the following: He says that the Jay treaty (p. 165) "provided for the settlement of certain differences by arbitration, one of the results of which was that the American merchants and shipowners received $6,000,000, for damages suffered at the hands of British officials.” Mr. Trumbull, one of the American arbitrators, writes that the "amount in dollars, allowing five dollars to the pound sterling, was $11,650,000.” Mr. Trumbull says, “This was the statement of Mr. Cabot (an assessor of the board) whose accuracy and knowledge of the subject were beyond all doubt.”
Speaking of the X Y Z correspondence (p. 179) Mr. Foster falls into the common error of attributing the famous utterance, “millions for defence, but not one cent for tribute,” to Mr. Pinckney. Historians have recently discovered that Mr. R. G. Harper, of Charleston, was the author of the speech. Mr. Pinckney himself confessed that the phrase "got fastened to him and he let it go."
Another error is found in the statement that in the Great BritainVenezuela boundary dispute, “it was finally agreed that the whole territory in dispute should be submitted to arbitration.” It was agreed that the arbitrators were to be governed by certain principles of international law; the first of which was adverse holding or prescription during a period of fifty years shall make a good title."
A chapter is devoted to the history of “The Monroe Doctrine.” Mr. Foster believes the Clayton-Bulwer treaty “marks the most serious mistake in our diplomatic history and is the single instance since its announcement in 1823 of a tacit disavowal or disregard of the Monroe Doctrine.” He says that the treaty “was no sooner published than it began to be a source of dispute,” and though he speaks of England's breach according to our interpretation, he does not suggest England's defence; nor does he state the final arrangement of the dispute which the United States “declared satisfactory.” Thereby we waived our rights of voidability and gave it a new binding force. The “Century of American Diplomacy” is a valuable contribution to our historical literature and may be read by all with interest and profit, especially by the student and busy citizen for whom it was published.
GEORGE WINFIELD SCOTT. Philadelphia.
Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York,
1777–1795–1801-1804. Vols. I, II, III. With an Introduction by Hugh HASTINGS, State Historian. Published by the State of New York. Wynkoop-Hallenbeck-Crawford Co., State Printers, New York and Albany, 1899–1900.
Students of American history have welcomed this series as a convenient repository of information upon the subject of the American Revolution. The value of the material is not questioned. Only the method and manner of its presentation need examination.
The first volume contains a lingering introduction, 189 pages in length. This preface is a curious medley of biography, bibliography, eulogy, controversy and history. The latter is a reckless patchwork of English, American and New York history, in which the name of Clinton appears at very rare intervals, presumably as a bond for all this heterogeneous material. Stress is placed upon unexpected things and in uncalled-for places. The intrusion of the school-book rhetoric about “the embattled farmers," "the shot heard round the world," and “Cæsar had his Brutus,” makes us doubt the editor's power of inhibition and suggests a mania for rhetorical effect. The introduction does no harm, perhaps, but the essential part of it might have been condensed into twenty pages.
The history of the manuscripts is contained in the first paragraphs of the introduction. George Clinton was for forty-five years an aggressive public character. His correspondence was consequently large. He was in communication with all the prominent men of the American Revolution. In a later period he had an intimate friendship with all the pronounced federalists, though his activity was directed against the adoption of the federal constitution.
For these reasons the correspondence which has been preserved is of a most important character. The collection was purchased in 1853 by the legislature of New York. Twenty-five hundred dollars was paid for the twenty-three volumes of the Clinton papers, sew of which were originals. Many were drafts or copies made by himself or his secretary. Later the collection was increased by a number of additional volumes. These were all calendared and arranged for publication by George W. Clinton, who made a report upon them in 1882. Copious extracts from this report are made in the introduction to this published series. The
vicissitudes of the pre-revolutionary records of New York are also recounted at length.
In the preface to the second volume the editor tells us that the scope of the work has been enlarged, and a departure made from the original plan. He states that many important letters and documents alluded to by Governor Clinton were not in the New York manuscript collection. Other records were therefore searched for material to make a consecutive story of the revolutionary war, as far as it related to New York State. The editor also confesses that liberties were taken with the manuscript collection such as were not taken in the preparation of the first volume. The manuscript collection was arranged according to date, and thus a letter and its answer were often separated. In the printed collection the letter and answer have been brought together in cases where the matter is of more than ordinary importance. Such cases have been still further elucidated by footnotes. We are assured that special efforts have been made to compare such of the manuscript documents as are merely “copies" with the originals from which they were copied.
In addition to the text, there has been introduced a rather capricious selection of illustrations. Pictures of Clinton, Schuyler, Hamilton, Morris, Burgoyne, Gates, Lafayette, Jay, Steuben, Count de Grasse and Count d'Estaing are interspersed with maps of the Battle of Brooklyn, White Plains, Forts Clinton and Montgomery, the Hudson River in the Highlands and several maps illustrating Burgoyne's position at various stages of his campaign. There is also a useful calendar for the years 1775–78.
Any attempt to describe the material to be found in the three volumes is useless, because of the variety of subjects touched upon. The nature of the materials in the first two volumes is, however, largely military. The executive of the state was constantly applied to by various petty and some major officials for information and decisions to determine their action. To him came all the petitions for protection, for relief and exemption from laws which did not discriminate. In the third volume, civil rather than military documents preponderate. The last papers printed are dated in September of 1778.
The volumes are not indexed. We are not informed, but may suppose, that the index is to be published when the series is complete. It is to be regretted that the editor has chosen this plan, which was adopted with such grievous results by the editor of the “North Caro lina Records.” Instead of an index, we are given what the editor describes as a “detailed table of contents." This is, in fact, a list of the descriptive headings by which the editor has intended to indicate the contents of each letter or paper. In fact, however, these headings rather furnish an opportunity for the exercise of a sort of editorial humor. The headings may be cheerful oases in the arid pages of historical documents, but they are rarely useful to the student.
The following headings surely indicate nothing for the purposes of research: “A flash of private business.” What business? “A dash of civil affairs." What civil affairs? We must simply read to find out, just as we should have done if there had been no heading. Then why should we have head-lines which simply try to catch the eye, but inform no one? “With a rinkel'd cockt'd knos.". Lieut. Connelly's description of Mr. Cantine and what led to and what followed it." With a lavish use of slang the editor does, at times indicate the contents, for example: “Rounding up dispersed and disbanded militia." “General Heath shy on news.” “ Col. Hathorn nabs four Tories." “Everything serene at West Point.” When the editor describes letters in the bilious language of the yellow journal the demoralizing effect is complete. “ The General discredits the figures and parenthetically disposes of Washington's great victory of Trenton in 43 words." “ Robert Erskine's distress-His stock of pigs diminishing," etc.
As a collection of historical material, the completed publication will be a most valuable contribution to American and New York history. In addition to these three volumes the first volume of the papers of Daniel D. Tompkins, Governor of New York, 1807-17, was issued in 1898, and in the course of time we are promised the papers of Sir William Johnson.
C. H. VAN TYNE. Philadelphia.
A History of Political Parties in the United States. By JAMES H.
HOPKINS. Pp. 577. Price, $2.50. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1900. As indicated in its sub-title, this book purports to be an account of political parties in the United States since the foundation of the government, together with a consideration of the conditions attending their formation and development. In the four appendices are given reprints of the several party platforms, and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, as well as statistics of the popular vote in the various states at the four presidential elections, 1884-96.
Over half the book is devoted to these appendices, giving material which can be found elsewhere, but which may properly be placed at the service of those who read a study of the development of parties. The first national party platform—that of the National Republicans in 1832—does not appear. Its absence is due to the same indifference