Abbildungen der Seite

command down the river in hopes of capturing Vickshurg before the enemy should suspect his purpose. When Grant was authorized to use the troops in his command as he deemed best, he should have made the expedition down the river very large or very small. One fraction or the other should have been large enougli to overcome all opposition, either by following the overland route, or by descending the river to Vicksburg and crossing the point of land on the western bank so as to land at the foot of the bluffs below the city. By dividing his army in halves, and giving Pemberton the interior lines, he put it in his power to dispose of his troops as he wished, and meet the attacks if they were skilfully made; and, if not, to take advantage of any mistake to throw all his forces upon a portion of Grant's and beat the several fractions in turn. Both Grant and Sherman escaped without serious loss, but with no material gain, and Vicksburg, which had been almost within the grasp of the Federal fleets and armies from May to December of 1862, was not taken until the 4th of July, 1863.

Professor HAYNES read the following note:

At the November meeting of the Society, 1907, Mr. Albert Matthews described certain documents he had found bound up with a volume of “ The Boston News-Letter” now owned by the Boston Athenæum. Among them was a broadside containing a Latin poem in thirty-three lines headed “ Martij 27, 1712.” They are addressed to [Samuel] Sewall, are signed “ N. Hobart," the Rev. Nehemiah Hobart (H. C. 1667), and are followed by two Latin lines signed “S. S.” 1

I was not present at that meeting; if I had been, I should hare called attention to the fact that the broadside had been printed in full in the “ Letter-Book of Samual Sewall," ? and that the Latin poem is thus referred to by Sewall in his Diary: I give him (Mr. Hobart) Virgil on account of the Poem he has gratify'd me with,

The reprint of the poem was accompanied by a translation into English verse by Richard Henchman. The broadside I found among the collections of the Boston Public Library,

1 3 Proc., 1. 206; 2 6 Coll., 1. 315; 8 5 Coll., vi. 346.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

and the English verses in a manuscript also preserved there. There is a copy of the broadside also among our own collections. As I omitted to state where I found these curious documents, when I printed them, in 1886, I offer this as a note upon the passage in the “ Letter-Book," as above cited.

[ocr errors]

Mr. Howe communicated the following paper:

The CAPTURE OF some Fugitive Verses. Our junior Vice-President has shown by precept and example to what good uses the newspapers of earlier days may be put by the seeker for the materials of history. It would be equally impertinent and unnecessary to attempt to bring further proof of the value of these sources. Yet it may not be out of place to present an illustration, which came not long ago to my notice, of the way in which old magazines may throw sidelights upon history. The illustration, moreover, has a certain timeliness in that it has to do with the welcome accorded to an American explorer just returned from a region which at the beginning of the nineteenth century seemed nearly as far away as the North Pole seems to-day, — pamely, Captain Meriwether Lewis.

It has recently fallen to me to make some examination of a magazine published in Boston from 1803 to 1811, “ The Monthly Anthology," conducted, from 1805 to the end, by a club of which the minutes are in the possession of this Society. To the Anthology Society, it is well known, the Boston Athenæum owes its origin. In the issue of “ The Monthly Anthology” for March, 1807, appeared a poem, like all the contributions to the magazine, without signature, “ On the Discoveries of Captain Lewis." Immediately over it was printed this note to the editors : GENTLEMEN,

The following “ elegant and glowing stanzas” are not from the pen of Mr. Barlow; nor were they recited by Mr. Beckley at the "elegant dinner," given by the Citizens of Washington to Captain Lewis.

See National Intelligencer 16 January, 1807. Turning to this newspaper, I found that on Wednesday the 14th of January the citizens of Washington had indeed given Captain Lewis a dinner, "as an expression of their personal

respect and affection, of their high sense of the services he has rendered his country, and of their satisfaction at his return in safety into the bosom of his friends." The names of the President and Vice-Presidents of the occasion, with those of others present, are then given; and the newspaper goes on

to say:

Capt. Lewis was received with liveliest demonstrations of regard. Every one present seemed to be deeply impressed with a sentiment of gratitude, mingled with an elevation of mind, on setting down), at the festive board, with this favorite of fortune, who has thus successfully surmounted the numerous and imminent perils of a tour of nearly four years, through regions previously unexplored by civilized man.

After partaking of the gratifications of a well spread board, the following toasts were drank, interspersed with appropriate songs and instrumental music.

Seventeen regular toasts, in a vein of high enthusiasm, are recorded, then one “ On Captain Lewis's retiring," followed by several offerings from “ Volunteers.” The cup of invention, though perhaps of nothing else, must have been nearly drained when one of the Volunteers proposed, “ May those who explore the desart never be deserted."

For the present purpose these items are of less moment than the statement, to which the anonymous contributor to the

Anthology” referred, that, “ At an early period of the entertainment, the following elegant and glowing stanzas, from the pen of Mr. Barlow, were recited by Mr. Beckley":

Let the Nile cloak his head in the clouds, and defy

The researches of science and time;
Let the Niger escape the keen traveller's eye,

By plunging, or changing his clime.
Columbus! not so shall thy boundless domain

Defraud thy brave sons of their right:
Streams, midlands and shorelands illude us in vain,

We shall drag their dark regions to light.
Look down, sainted sage, from thy synod of Gods;

See, inspired by thy venturous soul,
Mackensie roll northward his earth draining floods,

And surge the broad wares to the pole.
With the same soaring genius thy Lewis ascends,

And, seizing the car of the sun,
O'er the sky-propping hills and high waters he bends,

And gives the proud earth a new zone.

[ocr errors]

Potowmak, Ohio, Missouri had felt

Half her globe in their cincture comprest;
His long curving course has completed the belt,

And tamed the last tide of the west.

Then hear the loud voice of the nation proclaim,

And all ages resound the decree :
Let our Occident stream bear the young hero's name

Who tirught him his path to the sea.

These four brother floods, like a garland of flowers,

Shall entwine all our states in a band,
Conform and confederate their wide spreading powers,

And their wealth and their wisdom ex pand.

From Darien to Davis one garden shall bloom,

Where war's wearied banners are furl'd;
And the far-scenting breezes that waft its perfume,

Shall settle the storms of the world.

Then hear the loud voice of the nation proclaim,

And all ages resound the decree :
Let our Occident stream bear the young hero's name,

Who taught him his path to the sea.

The author of “ The Columbiad,” which appeared in this very year of 1807, had indeed found in Captain Lewis a theme which moved the wings of his muse to a dazzling flight. If his hearers were duly impressed, it is evident that the copy of his poem in print fell under critical eyes. The verses in “ The Monthly Anthology,” bearing the same title as those by the patriotic bard, came from a reader who looked upon Joel Barlow and Captain Lewis alike without illusions. They were anonymous, but it is a happy circumstance that in the bound volumes of the magazine preserved in the Atheneum, to which they must have been transmitted by the editors of “ The Monthly Anthology” itself, signatures in manuscript have been appended to many of the contributions. Under the poem about to be read appears the name “ J. Q. Adams.”

If the lines are otherwise known to be his, I have not discovered the fact. The burden of proof against this ascription of authorship lies upon some better authority than that of an editor of a periodical who may be presumed to have known the true names of the contributors. In any case the general liveliness of the rhymes and the freedom of their references to Jefferson, whose embargo Adams was about to support, make them worth rescuing, with all their amusing footnotes, from the rarely explored pages of the extinct periodical:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For the Anthology.
GOOD people, listen to my tale,

And from the day his course began, 'Tis nothing but what true is;

Till even it was ended,
l'll tell you of the mighty deeds

He never found an Indian tribe
Achiev'd by Captain Lewis -

From Welchmen straight descended :
How starting from the Atlantick shore Nor, much as of Philosophers
By fair and easy motion,

The fancies it might tickle;
He journied, all the way by land,

To season his adventures, met
Until he met the ocean.

A Mountain, sous'd in pickle.
HEROICK, sure, the toil must be

He never left this nether world -- (2)
To travel through the woods, sir;

For still he had his reason -
And never meet a foe, yet save

Nor once the waggon of the sun
His person and his goods, sir !

Attempted he to seize on.
What marvels on the way he found

To bind a Zone about the earth
He'll tell you, if inclin'd, sir

He knew he was not able-
But I shall only now disclose

They say he did — but, ask himself,
The things he did not find, sir.

He'll tell you 'tis a fable.
He never with a Mammoth met,

He never dreamt of taming tides, (3)
However you may wonder;

Like monkeys or like bears, sir -Nor even with a Mammoth's bone,

A school, for teaching floods to flow,
Above the ground or under -

Was not among his cares, sir ~
And, spite of all the pains he took

Had rivers ask'd of him their path,
The animal to track, sir,

They had but mor'd his laughterHe never could o'ertake the hog

They knew their courses, all, as well
With navel on his back, sir.

Before he came as after.


(1) There are come understandings, graduated on such a scale, that it may be necessary to inform them, that our intention is not to depreciate the merits of Captain Lewis's publick services. We think highly of the spirit and judgment, with which he has executed the duty undertaken by him, and we rejoice at the rewards bestowed by congress upon him and his companions. But we think with Mr. John Randolph, that there is a bombast in Politicks, as well as in Poetry; and Mr. Barlow's "elegant and glowing stanzas” have the advantage of combining both.

(2) “With the same soaring genius, thy Lewis ascends,

* And seizing the Car of the Sun,
“O'er the sky-propping hills, and high-waters he bends,

And gives the proud earth a new zone."
Thug sweetly sings the soaring genius of Barlow. He has in this stanza ob-
tained an interesting victory over verse. He has brought zone and sun to rhyme
together; which is more than ever was attempted by his great predecessor in
psalmody, Sternhold.

(3) “His long curving course has completed the belt,

" And tamed the last tide of the West.
“ Then hear the loud voice of the nation proclaim,

* And all ages resound the decree,
" Let our Occident stream bear the young hero's name,

"Who taught him his path to the sea.' BARLOW's Stanzas.
Here the young Hero is exhibited in the interesting character of schoolmaster
to a river; and the proposition, that the river should take his name by way of

« ZurückWeiter »