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pictured, for Old South students and More solid than brilliant, judgment rather others, in Henry Adams's magnifi
than genius constituted the most promi
nent feature of his character. cent history, where the two men are
“As a military man, he was brave, enterbrought face to face. When all is said,
prising and cautious. That malignity there was probably no man in Amer- which has sought to strip him of all the ica who could write of Washington
higher qualities of a general has conceded then more impartially than Chief Jus
to him personal courage, and a firmness
of resolution which neither dangers nor tice Marshall. That he did write of
difficulties could shake. But candor will him we should all be devoutly thank- allow him other great and valuable endowful; and one of the best things that we
ments. If his military course does not can do in this centennial year is to
abound with splendid achievements, it ex
hibits a series of judicious measures make ourselves more familiar with his
adapted to circumstances, which probably monumental but neglected work. His saved his country. Placed, without having summing up of Washington's charac- studied the theory, or been taught in the ter at the end is often printed and well
school of experience, the practice of war,
at the head of an undisciplined, ill-organknown; but none of us can read it too
ized multitude which was unused to the often, as the judgment of one whose restraints and unacquainted with the oropportunity and right to judge were dinary duties of a camp, without the aid of so preëminent:
officers possessing those lights which the commander in chief was yet to acquire, it
would have been a miracle indeed had "General Washington was rather above
his conduct been absolutely faultless. But, the common size, his frame was robust, possessing an energetic and distinguishing and his constitution vigorous, capa- mind, on which the lessons of experience ble of enduring great fatigue, and re- were never lost, his errors, if he committed quiring a considerable degree of exercise
any, were quickly repaired; and those for the preservation of his health. His ex- measures which the state of things renterior created in the beholder the idea of dered most advisable were seldom if ever strength united with manly gracefulness. neglected. Inferior to his adversary in the His manners were rather reserved than
numbers, in the equipment, and in the free, though they partook nothing of that discipline of his troops, it is evidence of dryness and sternness which accompany real merit that no great and decisive adreserve when carried to an extreme; and
vantages were ever obtained over him, on all proper occasions he could relax
and that the opportunity to strike an imsufficiently to show how highly he was portant blow never passed away unused. gratified by the charms of conversation He has been termed the American Fabius; and the pleasures of society. His person but those who compare his actions with and whole deportment exhibited an unaf- his means will perceive at least as much of fected and indescribable dignity, unmin- Marcellus as of Fabius in his character, gled with haughtiness, of which all who He could not have been more enterprisapproached him were sensible; and the
ing without endangering the cause he deattachment of those who possessed his fended, nor have put more to hazard withfriendship and enjoyed his intimacy was out incurring justly the imputation of ardent, but always respectful. His tem- rashness. Not relying upon those chances per was humane, benevolent, and concilia- which sometimes give a favorable issue to tory; but there was a quickness in his sen
attempts apparently desperate, his conduct sibility to anything apparently offensive, was regulated by calculations made upon which experience had taught him to watch the capacities of his army, and the real and to correct. In the management of situation of his country. When called a his private affairs he exhibited an exact second time to command the armies of yet liberal economy. His funds were not the United States, a change of circumprodigally wasted on capricious and ill-ex- stances had taken place, and he meditated amined schemes, nor refused to beneficial a corresponding change of conduct. In though costly improvements. They re- modelling the army of 1798, he sought for mained therefore competent to that expen- men distinguished for their boldness of sive establishment which his reputation, execution not less than for their prudence added to a hospitable temper, had in some in counsel, and contemplated a system of measure imposed upon him, and to those continued attack. 'The enemy,' said the donations which real distress has a right general in his private letters, 'must never to claim from opulence. He made no be permitted to gain foothold on pretensions to that vivacity which fas- shores.' cinates, or to that wit which dazzles and “In his civil administration, as in his frequently imposes on the understanding. military career, were exhibited ample and
repeated proofs of that practical good ment of duplicity. No truth can be uttered sense, of that sound judgment which is with more confidence than that his ends perhaps the most rare and is certainly the were always upright, and his means always most valuable quality of the human mind. pure. He exhibits the rare example of a Devoting himself to the duties of his sta- politician to whom wiles were absolutely tion, and pursuing no object distinct from unknown, and whose professions to forthe public good, he was accustomed to eign governments and to his own countrycontemplate at a distance those critical sit
were always sincere.
In him was uations in which the United States might fully exemplified the real distinction which probably be placed, and to digest, before forever exists between wisdom and cunthe occasion required action, the line of ning, and the importance as well as truth conduct which it would be proper to ob- of the maxim that ‘honesty is the best serve. Taught to distrust first impres- policy.' sions, he sought to acquire all the infor- "If Washington possessed ambition, that nation which was attainable, and to hear, passion was, in his bosom, so regulated by without prejudice, all the reasons which principles, or controlled by circumstances, could be urged for or against a particular that it was neither vicious nor turbulent. measure. His own judgment was Intrigue was never employed as the means pended until it became necessary to deter- of its gratification, nor was personal agmine, and his decisions, thus maturely grandizement its object. The various high made, were seldom if ever to be shaken. and important stations to which he was His conduct therefore was systematic, and called by the public voice were unsought the great objects of his administration by himself; and in consenting to fill them, were steadily pursued. Respecting, as the he seems rather to have yielded to a genfirst magistrate in a free government must eral conviction that the interests of his ever do, the real and deliberate sentiments country would be thereby promoted, than of the people, their gusts of passion passed to his particular inclination. Neither the over without rufling the smooth surface extraordinary partiality of the American of his mind. Trusting to the reflecting people, the extravagant praises which were good sense of the nation for approbation bestowed upon him, nor the inveterate and support, he had the magnanimity to opposition and malignant calumnies which pursue its real interests in opposition to its he experienced, had any visible influence temporary prejudices; and, though far upon his conduct. The cause is to be from being regardless of popular favor, he looked for in the texture of his mind. In could never stoop to retain by deserving him, that innate and unassuming modesty to lose it. In more instances than one, we which adulation would have offended, find him committing his whole popularity which the voluntary plaudits of millions to hazard, and pursuing steadily, in oppo- could not betray into indiscretion, and sition to a torrent which would have over- which never obtruded upon others his whelmed a man of ordinary firmness, that claims to superior consideration, was hapcourse which had been dictated by a sense pily blended with a high and correct sense of duty. In speculation, he was a real of personal dignity, and with a just conrepublican, devoted to the constitution of sciousness of that respect which is due to his country, and to that system of equal station. Without exertion, he could mainpolitical rights on which it is founded. tain the happy medium between that arroBut between a balanced republic and a gance which wounds and that facility democracy, the difference is like that be- which allows the office to be degraded in tween order and chaos. Real liberty, he the person who fills it. thought, was to be preserved only by pre- "It is impossible to contemplate the great serving the authority of the laws and events which have occurred in the United maintaining the energy of government. States under the auspices of Washington, Scarcely did society present two characters without ascribing them, in some measure, which, in his opinion, less resembled each to him. If we ask the causes of the prosother than a patriot and a demagogue. perous issue of a war, against the success
"No man has ever appeared upon the ful termination of which there were theatre of public action whose integrity many probabilities; of the good which was was more incorruptible, or whose princi- produced, and the ill which was avoided ples were more perfectly free from the during an administration fated to contend contamination of those selfish and un- with the strongest prejudices that a comworthy passions which find their nourish- bination of circumstances and of passions ment in the conflicts of party. Having no could produce; of the constant favor of views which required concealment, his real the great mass of his fellow citizens, and and avowed motives were the same; and of the confidence which, to the last mohis whole correspondence does not furnish ment of his life, they reposed in him;--the a single case from which even an enemy answer, so far as these causes may be would infer that he was capable, under any found in his character, will furnish a lesson circumstances, of stooping to the employ- well meriting the attention of those who
are candidates for political fame. Endowed by nature with a sound judgment and an accurate discriminating mind, he feared not that laborious attention which made him perfectly master of those subjects, in all their relations; on which he was to decide; and this essential quality was guided by an unvarying sense of moral right, which would tolerate the employment only of those means that would bear the most rigid examination, by a fairness of intention which neither sought nor required disguise, and by a purity of virtue which was not only untainted, but unsuspected."
“Never to see a nation born Hath been given to mortal man, Unless to those who, on that summer
morn, Gazed silent when the great Virginian Unsheathed the sword whose fatal flash Shot union through the incoherent clash Of our loose atoms, crystallizing them Around a single will's unpliant stem, And making purpose of emotion rash. Out of that scabbard sprang, as from its
womb, Nebulous at first, but hardening to a star, Through mutual share of sunburst and of
gloom, The common faith that made us what we
A great man is fortunate if he lives under poets' eyes. The poets after all are the popular and influential historians. How many men take their English history chiefly from Shakespeare -and their Julius Cæsar too! They might take it from a much worse place. It is dangerous to go behind Shakespeare on the vital point. Cromwell is forever safe against the critics, with Milton's sonnet and Marvell's odes in the library. A little volume has just been published containing the noteworthy poems on Lincoln. Lincoln was fortunate indeed in living in the golden age of our poetry; and almost all of the great poets-Emerson, Lowell, Bryant, Whitman, Holmes—wrote some great word of him. Washington's age was not an age of poetry in America. The poetical tributes to him are chiefly later tributes. But it is a brilliant collection; and we wish that, in this centennial
year, a Washington volume might be placed beside the Lincoln one. Most noteworthy it is that the same hand which wrote the greatest poetic tribute to Lincoln gave us also the greatest poetic tribute to Washington. What better last words here than these few from the many noble lines in Lowell's "Under the Old Elm":
The longer on this earth we live
the fen, The more we feel the high stern-featured
beauty Of plain devotedness to duty, Steadfast and still, nor paid with mortal
praise, But finding amplest recompense For life's ungarlanded expense In work done squarely and unwasted
days. For this we honor him, that he could
know How sweet the service and how free Of her, God's eldest daughter here below, And choose in meanest raiment which
Placid completeness, life without a fall From faith or highest aims, truth's
breachless wall, Surely if any fame can bear the touch, His will say, 'Here!' at the last trumpet's
call, The unexpressive man whose life ex
pressed so much."
HEN, in 1636, Roger Williams the few survivors affiliated with other and his associates founded the tribes. Only two Englishmen had
settlement at Providence, the fallen in the encounter, and but sixNarragansett tribe of Indians occu- teen were wounded. pied nearly all the lands now compos- *In October, 1636, news reached ing the state of Rhode Island. Their Providence that the Pequots were trynumber has been estimated by histo- ing to induce the Narragansetts, as rians at thirty thousand.* Roger well as the Mohegans, who occupied Williams stated that they could raise lands north of the Pequot country, to five thousand fighting men, and unite in a general rising and sweep the Hutchinson that they were the largest English from the soil. Although of all the tribes between Boston and Roger Williams had been banished the Hudson River. At this period the from Massachusetts, he received letadjoining tribes, viz., the Wampa- ters from the authorities of that colnoags, the Nipmucs and the Nyantics, ony requesting his speediest endeavors were subservient to the Narragansetts, to prevent the league. Alone, in a while the Pequots, occupying lands on poor canoe, he hastened to the home the Connecticut shore of Long Island of Canonicus, chief sachem of the Sound, with their principal homes and Narragansetts, and his nephew, Mianforts near the mouth of the river tonomi, where he found the Pequot Thames, were their deadly enemies. ambassadors. For three days and Previously a fierce battle had occurred nights his business compelled him to between the Pequots and the Narra- live and to lodge with them, in congansetts in which the latter were vic- stant danger of assassination; but he torious. There is ground for belief succeeded in averting the conspiracy, that the hardest of the fight took place and after the destruction of the Peon the lands we are especially to con- quot tribe peace reigned for thirtysider.
eight years. This achievement of In 1637, on May 26, the Pequots Williams is regarded as the greatest were attacked in their forts at day- triumph of diplomacy in relation to break by the white colonists, and Indian affairs that ever occurred in about six hundred were killed. From New England and perhaps in North this disaster they never recovered, and America.
The Narragansetts were in advance * Brinley's History of Narragansett in Massachusetts Historical Society's Collections.
* Arnold's History of R. I., Vol. I, p. go.
of other tribes as regarded civilization. he kept possession, coming and going Besides hunting and fishing, they car- himself, children, and servants, and ried on some rudimentary farming. had quiet possession of his houses, Their lands for eight or ten miles from lands and meadow.” This would shore were cleared of wood and used carry Smith's settlement back to 1639. for raising Indian corn, which was By 1644,* eight years after the furnished to the white settlers in lib- founding of Providence, the colonists eral quantities. They were more had so gained the confidence and recourteous than other tribes toward spect of the Narragansetts that the the whites, and their chief sachems tribe, with the sanction of the chief lived in friendship with Williams, sachems, placed itself under the guarreceiving satisfactory payment for dianship of the whites. In 16507 the the lands which he bought of them. General Sessions at Newport passed After a residence of six years among an act restricting slavery in the colony them had given him an intimate ac- to the term of ten years. It is stated quaintance with their characteristics, with authorityf that during King he wrote: “I could never discern Philip's war in 1676, “except in the that excess of scandalous sins among single case of the conquered Pequot them which Europe aboundeth with. territory, they (the colonists] scrupu
lously paid for every rood of ground on which they settled and so far as possible they extended to the Indians the protection of the law."
In 1677, after East Greenwich had been conveyed and erected into a
township, the Narragansett country was limited to Washington County. When the Indians had become much decimated, three tribes, viz., the Narragansetts,
the Nyantics and Drunkenness and gluttony, they knew the Nipmucs, united to form the Narnot what sins they be, and though they ragansett nation. have not so much to restrain them as The brave Miantonomi, always the English have, yet a man never friendly to the white people, left a son, hears of such crimes among them as Canonchet, who commanded the Inrobberies, murders, adulteries, etc." dians at the Great Swamp Fight in
Canonicus and Miantonomi consid- 1675, and soon after paid the penalty erably reduced their possessions by with his life. Thus perished the last selling land,—to Williams at Provi- chief of the Narragansetts, and with dence, in 1636; to Coddington, in Canonchet the nation extin1638, the island of Rhode Island on guished forever. Ninegret was the which he settled at Portsmouth; to sachem of the Nyantics who, with his Richard Smith at Wickford in 1639; tribe, joined the remaining Narraganand to Gorton at Warwick in 1642. setts and afterwards occupied their +Roger Williams made the following tribal lands in Narragansett County. statement in 1679: “Mr. Richard The General Assembly of Rhode Smith, senior,... put up in the thick- Island, in 1757, passed an acts exonest of the barbarians the first English erating the tribe of Indians in Charleshouse among them. I humbly testify
*R. I. Colonial Records, Vol. I, p. 134. that about forty years (from this date)
1 The Beginnings of New England, by John Fiske, * Updike's History of the Narragansett Church, p. 13. | Updike's History of the Narragansett Church, p. 15. SR. I. Colonial Records, Vol. VI, p. 14.
+ The same, p. 243.