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harmonious union. Other governments are convulsed
the innovations and reforms of neighboring states; our constitution, fixed in the affections of the people, from whose choice it has sprung, neutralizes the influence of foreign principles, and fearlessly opens an asylum to the virtuous, the unfortunate, and the oppressed of every nation.
And yet it is but little more than two centuries, since the oldest of our states received its first permanent colony. Before that time the whole territory was an unproductive waste. Throughout its wide extent the arts had not erected a monument. Its only inhabitants were a few scattered tribes of feeble barbarians, destitute of commerce and of political connection. The axe and the ploughshare were unknown. The soil, which had been gathering fertility from the repose of centuries, was lavishing its strength in magnificent but useless vegetation. In the view of civilization, the immense domain was a solitude.
FATE OF THE INDIANS.
THERE is, indeed, in the fate of these unfortunate beings, much to awaken our sympathy, and much to disturb the sobriety of our judgment; much which may be urged to excuse their own atrocities; much in their characters which betrays us into an involuntary admiration. What can be more melancholy than their
history? By a law of their nature, they seem destined to a slow, but sure extinction. Every where, at the approach of the white man, they fade away. We hear the rustling of their footsteps, like that of the withered leaves of autumn, and they are gone forever. They pass mournfully by us, and they return no more. Two centuries ago, the smoke of their wigwams and the fires of their councils rose in every valley, from Hudson's Bay to the farthest Florida, from the ocean to the Mississippi and the lakes. The shouts of victory and the war-dance rang through the mountains and the glades. The thick arrows and the deadly tomahawk whistled through the forests; and the hunter's trace and the dark encampment startled the wild beasts in their lairs. The warriors stood forth in their glory. The young listened to the songs of other days. The mothers played with their infants, and gazed on the scene with warm hopes of the future. The aged sat down; but they wept not. They should soon be at rest in fairer regions, where the Great Spirit dwelt, in a home prepared for the brave, beyond the western skies. Braver men never lived; truer men never drew the bow. They had courage, and fortitude, and sagacity, and perseverance, beyond most of the human race. They shrank from no dangers, and they feared no hardships. If they had the vices of savage life, they had the virtues also. They were true to their country, their friends, and their homes. If they forgave not injury, neither did they forget kindness. If their vengeance was terrible, their fidelity and generosity were unconquerable also. Their love, like their hate, stopped not on this side of the grave.
But where are they? Where are the villages, and warriors, and youth; the sachems and the tribes; the hunters and their families? They have perished. They are consumed. The wasting pestilence has not alone done the mighty work. No,-nor famine, nor war. There has been a mightier power, a moral canker, which hath eaten into their heart-cores-a plague, which the touch of the white man communicated-a poison, which betrayed them into a lingering ruin. The winds of the Atlantic fan not a single region, which they may now call their own. Already the last feeble remnants of the race are preparing for their journey beyond the Mississippi. I see them leave their miserable homes, the aged, the helpless, the women, and the warriors, "few and faint, yet fearless still.” The ashes are cold on their native hearths. The smoke no longer curls round their lowly cabins. They move on with a slow, unsteady step. The white man is upon their heels, for terror or despatch; but they heed him not. They turn to take a last look of their deserted villages. They cast a last glance upon the graves of their fathers. They shed no tears; they utter no cries; they heave no groans. There is something in their hearts, which passes speech. There is something in their looks, not of vengeance or submission ; but of hard necessity, which stifles both; which chokes all utterance; which has no aim or method. It is courage absorbed in despair.
They linger but for a moment. Their look is onward. They have passed the fatal stream. It shall never be repassed by them-no, never. Yet there lies nöt between us and them an impassable gulf. They know and feel, that
there is for them still one remove farther, not distant,
It is to the general burial-ground of the race.
WESTWARD MOVEMENT OF CIVILIZATION.
DECIDEDLY one of the most interesting points in the past history of the United States, is the striking illustration it has afforded of the great law of civilization, its movement from east to west. It was a direct and startling demonstration of the truth which history has long labored to indicate. The land upon which the sun of civilization first rose, we know not with certainty; but as far back as our vision can extend, we behold it shining upon the most eastern limits of the eastern hemisphere.
Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Rome, we behold successively lighted up, as the majestic orb rolls over them; and as he advances still farther through his storied and mysterious zodiac; we behold the shadows of evening as surely stealing upon the lands which he leaves behind him. Rome falls before the adventurous and destructive Goth; and for a moment the world seems darkened; but vast causes, new materials, conflicting elements, are silently at work to produce order out of apparent chaos, through the long eclipse of the dark ages; and when light is again restored, behold the radiance which we first worshipped on the shores of the
Indian ocean, has at last reached and illumined the whole coast of the Atlantic, while the westernmost states of Europe are rejoicing in its beams. Here, it would seem, the sun's course was finished. The law which has hitherto visibly governed his career, must be reversed; the world's western limit has been reached, and either his setting is at hand, or he must roll backward through his orbit.
But it is not so. Just as we were about to doubt the universality of the law, which we believed indubitably and historically established, the world swings open upon its hinges, and reveals another world beyond the
ocean, as vast and perfect as itself. America starts into existence, the long forgotten dream of the ancients is revived and realized, and the world's history is rounded into as complete a circle as its physical conformation.
We have said that the exemplification of the westward march of culture was the most striking feature in the history of America. Connected with this, however, and hardly of less importance, is the illustration which it affords us of the manner in which the civilization of the world has been successively entrusted to distinct races. Throwing out at once all disquisition concerning the great races which have regularly made their appearance and accomplished their mission in past ages, we turn our attention simply to the great race of the present time. This is, indubitably, the Anglo
We assume this without argument, because we believe that none of our readers will be desirous of holding us to the proof.