Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

to proceed with it. The English bishop of Salisbury is endeavoring to raise a sufficient subscription in England, to enable Dr. Scholz to complete it.Goethe's posthumous works amount to fifteen volumes octavo, which, with those already published, will make 55 volumes.

Prof. Planca, of Turin, is preparing for the press a great work on the theory of the moon, in three volumes quarto.-A new edition of Gerle's Description of Bohemia, with improvements, will appear this year.–Afzelius, with a large number of associates, is about commencing a scientific journal at Upsal, in Sweden.—Oehlenschläger, of Copenhagen, is establishing a new periodical, called the · Prometheus.'— The population of the Moravians, in all parts of the world, is 16,000; yet they support 127 missionaries, at an annual expense of $60,000.

A Russian writer estimates the number of known languages and dialects in the world,

follows: 1,264 Am can, 937 Asiatic, 587 European, and 226 African; in all, 3,014. The languages which are spoken in various islands, do not appear in his estimate. A. Denizoff, hetman of the Don Cossacks, has established a reading room, and a literary institution, at Neutscherkesk, the principal town of the Cossacks. The emperor of Russia has increased his grant to the observatory at Dorpat, from 2,000 roubles annually, to 8,000. By order of the emperor, M. Feodorow, a state counsellor, is about commencing a three years' tour through Siberia, to Peking in China.

Alexis Muston, of Piedmont, is preparing a complete history of the Waldenses. He has made very thorough researches.

VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.

United States. In 1828, a tariff bill was passed by congress, laying heavy duties on certain kinds of goods imported from abroad; which, with other causes, has been productive of serious consequences. The advocates of the bill attempted to prove that it would afford equal protection to all the great interests of the western, middle, and eastern States; that while the woollen manufacturer of the east was protected by an increase of duty on imported woollens, the farmer was recompensed by the protection to native wool; the iron manufacturer of the middle States was encouraged by the augmentation of duty on imported iron; and the hemp, flax, and grain-growing States found equivalent benefits in the other provisions of the bill. The opponents of the bill contended that it was contrary to the liberal spirit of the age, and to all the received maxims of political economy; that it bore with great severity upon the south, without one compensating principle; that it would give a monopoly to the northern manufacturer; that it was unconstitutional, &c. It was opposed with great earnestness by nearly all the members from the southern States. It finally passed the senate by 26 ayes, to 21 nays, and the house by 114 ayes, to 67 nays.

The ultra opponents of the bill endeavored to show that the passage of the law was a violation of the federal constitution, and that it was the duty of the southern States, to act upon the subject in their capacity of sovereign and independent States. It was contended that the powers granted by the constitution to congress, were all intended for the general benefit, while the tariff was for the sole benefit of particular portions of the country. The most exciting appeals were made to the passions of the citizens of the southern States on the score of interest. The entire loss of their cotton market was immediately to follow the adoption of the restrictive system. “It was time to calculate the value of the Union."

Upon the assembling of the State legislatures, previous to the passage of the tariff, committees were appointed in several of the States, to inquire into the constitutional powers of Congress in relation to various subjects. The joint committee of the legislature of North Carolina, simply protested against the passage of the tariff, as oppressive on the local interests of that State, and as violating the spirit of the constitution. The legislature of Georgia, declared that the constitution should be so construed as to deny to congress the power to increase the duties on imports, and that “it would insist upon that construction, and would submit to no other.” The remonstrance of the legislature of Alabama was to the effect, that she would not submit until the constitutional means of resistance were exhausted. The South Carolina committee reported a series of resolutions declaring the tariff laws to be a violation of the spirit of the constitution.

The excitement on this subject subsided in a great degree in most of the States. In South Carolina, however, the opposition to the tariff was constantly inflamed, by appeal to party, to southern interests, to the importance of South Carolina as a member of the Union, and other kindred topics. By a provision of the constitution of that State, a convention of the people could not be called, except by a vote of two thirds of the legislature. The efforts of the nullifiers were therefore directed to this object--to obtain a sufficient vote in the legislature to call a convention. The Unionists, on the other hand, numbering in their ranks men of great ability and worth, maintained a firm resistance to the designs of the nullifiers, though opposed themselves to the tariff laws.

[ocr errors]

In the senate of the United States, in the winter of 1829 and 1830, a debate of deep interest arose incidentally from a motion made by Mr Foote of Connecticut, on the subject of the public lands. In this debate, Mr Hayne of South Carolina, took occasion to denounce the tariff as unconstitutional; he further maintained the doctrine that a state-government may by its own sovereign authority annul an act of the general government which it deems plainly and palpably unconstitutional. This attack on the constitution called forth the great powers of Mr. Webster, who at three different times, placed the whole subject in clear light, and on a firm basis.

In the summer of 1832, the tariff system was revised, and somewhat modified, though the obnoxious protective principle was retained. In the mean time, the nullifiers of South Carolina, had secured the requisite number of votes in the legislature, and accordingly called a convention, which met at Columbia on the 20th of November. This convention, after several days' deliberation, passed an ordinance declaring the tariff acts of May 1828, and July 1832, to be “unauthorized by the constitution of the United States, violations of the true meaning thereof, and null, void, and no law, nor binding on this State.” The ordinance was to take effect on the first day of February, 1833. On the 27th of November, the legislature of South Carolina met, and according to the recommendation of governor Hamilton, took measures to arm the militia, and place the State in an attitude of defence. Of the inhabitants of the State, 315,401 are slaves. Of the 44,467 white men, capable of bearing arms, 18,240 were Unionists.

On the 10th day of December, the president of the United States issued a proclamation of great length, and drawn up with singular ability, warning the people of South Carolina to desist from their infatuated course, and declaring the doctrine that a State has the power to annul a law of the United States, “ to be incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed.” In the month of January, 1833, the president communicated a special message to Congress, requesting some additional powers in respect to the collection of the revenue in South Carolina, and the enforcement of the laws of the United States. These powers were granted by a very large majority, in both houses of congress. The tariff was also essentially modified ; the duties on foreign goods being prospectively reduced, so that the revenue may simply meet the wants of the country. This latter measure of compromise tended materially to allay the excitement in South Carolina. The convention reassembled and withdrew the ordinance. The military

preparations were, however, continued, and the law of Congress respecting the collection of duties, commonly called the “Enforcing bill," was nullified. No recent demonstrations of feeling in regard to it have occurred. Some effort has been made to induce our southern communities to believe that the people of the north, entertain designs adverse to the safe tenure of the slave-property of the south, and that there are ulterior political designs in the temperance reformation. We believe, however, that these prejudices are confined to a few ardent nullifiers, and to the advocates of perpetual slavery. We have occasion for a grateful recognition of the Divine goodness, that the storm has passed away in a considerable degree, and that no fraternal blood has been made to flow.

We rejoice to observe the increasing disposition in many portions of the southern and south-western States, to emancipate the slaves. Of an expedition which recently sailed for Liberia from New Orleans, 96 were emancipated slaves. The Rev. Richard Bibb, of Kentucky, has lately liberated 32 of his slaves, furnished them with clothing, beside $444 in money, and sent them to Liberia. John Randolph of Roanoke, in his last will, liberated all his slaves, amounting to more than 300. The students of the Andover theological seminary, on the 4th of June, resolved to raise within six months, $3,000 for the emancipation and colonization of 100 slaves in Kentucky. Applications for passage to the colony continue to flow in to the Board of Managers of the Colonization Society, quite as fast as they can find means to comply with them. The following persons, a large portion of whom are slaves, have just been offered to the Society. From Georgia 98, from Virginia 40, from Tennessee 19, from Washington 5, from the free States 9. The Maryland State Colonization Society have resolved to purchase cape Palmas on the western coast of Africa, for the purpose of founding a new settlement—"a settlement formed by a society whose avowed object is the ULTIMATE EXTIRPATiON of slavery by proper and gradual efforts." “The Society believe that it is proper to use every means in their power to raise Maryland into the rank of a free State.A series of resolutions for the accomplishment of these objects, was passed unanimously on the 30th of April last. It will be remembered that the State legislature have granted $200,000 for the colonization of free persons of color. It is expected that an arrangement will be made so that the State Society can have the advantage of this fund.

Mr. Wirt, late attorney general of the United States, has purchased a tract of land in Florida on which he proposes to cultivate the sugar cane entirely by free labor. Several hundred German emigrants have engaged to proceed thither. Very considerable efforts are now made for the religious instruction of slaves. In Bryan county, Georgia, six day and Sabbath schools are kept for the religious instruction of the slaves. A member of the Georgia presbytery, in Liberty county, devotes his whole time to this employment, having access to nearly all the plantations. There are strong indications that systematic measures will be soon adopted through the whole country, for this most laudable purpose.

Great excitement has recently prevailed in this country in relation to two capital trials—one in Rhode Island, and the other in New Jersey. We notice them because we think they indicate a diseased state of the public mind. The reports of the trials, containing many very disgusting details, have been spread over the country by tens of thousands. We are sorry that respectable men should be concerned in the business of dispersing them. A strong disposition has also been manifested to set at nought the verdict of juries, and to determine that a prisoner shall lose his reputation, if his life is spared. It requires no reflection to see that in this way all the ends of the public administration of justice may be prevented.

The president of the United States, accompanied by some of the chief officers of government, is now making the tour of the middle and northern States. We think it has a happy tendency in allaying the excitements of party feeling, and in strengthening the attachments of the people to our excellent form of government. We are rejoiced to observe that the arrangements of the tour thus far are made so as not to interfere with the rest of the ever to be hallowed Sabbath.

The interest in the subject of Foreign Missions is evidently strengthening throughout the country. Within about one month, more than thirty individuals have sailed from this country to various portions of the heathen world—a larger number than have ever embarked for a similar purpose within the same space of time. It is the determination of the principal Board of Missions, to send abroad as many as fifty ordained missionaries during the present year, provided that number of suitable persons can be found. The American Bible Society have bestowed $15,000 during the last year towards printing the Scriptures at various American Missions. In pursuance of this object, the noble donation of thirty thousand dollars was made at the late annual meeting, provided the means be supplied by the auxiliaries and friends of the Society. In the same disinterested and enlarged spirit, the American Tract Society have made appropriations of $10,000 during the last year, and $5,000 previously, for the printing and distribution of tracts in foreign lands. These measures are very important, as showing more clearly than ever the strength of the fraternal feeling which binds together the prominent religious chari

« ZurückWeiter »