Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

that I have not even received the money you authorized me to draw on Messrs. Penet, D'Acosta & Co., since the 31st of May, 1780. I have lived too long already on my own credit. My honor is at stake. You know that I have not applied to this 'sovereign for assistance, not to hurt the credit of our state as I have expressed in letter 26, dated Florence, 2d October, 1781. How distressed my situation must be, your Excellency will more easily conceive than I can describe. I shall put an end to this letter by desiring most earnestly, that your Excellency will be pleased to let me have the honor of your commands without delay, and to order that a number of duplicate propositions to the risque be made out and shipped by the first opportunity, from any port of the Continent. If it is thought that I can yet be of service in Europe, that the honor of being employed in the public service should continue upon me, and that the situation of our affairs do not permit you to furnish me as yet the means of subsistence, I only ask for an ostensible letter, conceived in a manner as to raise no doubt in regard to the possibility of paying the annual interest of the loan, with which I think I could be supplied, as I have often said, by this sovereign, whose friendship for us is great, and whose partial curiosity, I had the mortification never to be able to satisfy with direct American news, which is the first thing he asks every time he sees me.

But

in case it should be resolved otherwise, I must beg the favor of an immediate remittance to enable me to discharge with honor my engagements in Europe and to return to my home. I make no doubt but your Excellency will think that I have a right to expect one or the other; and in the meantime I have the honor to be, Sir, Your Excellency's, &c.

"P. S. I take the liberty to enclose, in the first and second copies of these letters, three of the pieces I have written in Europe concerning our American affairs. They are those which have made the deeper and more general impression in our favor. You will observe in the first

of them, concerning the justice of our cause, that I only touch those points apt to satisfy society only. It was not my intention to prove by it the sacred rights of mankind. I had great reasons for doing so, and can boast of as good success as I could wish. as I could wish. In regard to the insufficiency you will observe in those pieces, and particularly in the first, you must consider, sir, that I have not had a book or a friend to consult."

In letter 33, dated Florence, 26 April, 1782, the first directed to Governor Jefferson, Mr. Mazzei makes an apology for directing to him as governor, having not been officially informed of his election to the place of first magistrate in our Republic; which (he continues) "I wish it had been the case for several reasons too obvious to need mentioning." This want of information did humiliate him much more than all the neglect he had heretofore experienced. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, and other people of importance there, had more than once asked him if it was true that Mr. Jefferson was no more a Governor, to whom he had always answered that, having received no such account, he took the report to be an English story as usual. Whether his credit and honor did, or did not suffer by it, cannot be ascertained; but he is apt to think it did; therefore he requests of his country a public declaration, apt to clear him from suspicion injurious to his character.

On the 19th of July following, Mr. Mazzei signified his determination to return to Virginia, and on the 31st of August he received a letter of recall from the governor and council of that state. In that letter, which conveyed expressions of confidence in the purity of his motives, and sincerity of his actions, they reminded him that "no advantage hath hitherto arisen to the state from his appointment, and none likely to arise in future." In his reply he reminded them how embarrassed he had been for the want of funds, not having received a farthing from the Treasury of Virginia. "I find with pleasure," he said, "that justice is done to my good intentions, which have constantly

been joined by my endeavors to serve our State in particular, and the American cause in general."

Mr. Mazzei went from Italy to Holland, and thence to Paris, when, after a considerable stay he made his way to Virginia, having during the whole time of his

mission abroad in behalf of that State, supported himself entirely from his own private means. He found the treasury of Virginia empty on his return, and it was never full enough while he remained in America, to reimburse his expenses according to the terms of his appointment.

WOOD ENGRAVING IN AMERICA.

The History of the art of wood engraving in this country covers the space of only about eighty years. It is a history of the art almost as an invention moving on from the rudest achievement to one stage of perfection to another, until it has accomplished the grandest results.

For two hundred years the art had been so neglected that it could scarcely claim. the dignity of such a name, metal having taken the place of wood in engraving, Bewick revived it suddenly in England during the last quarter of the 18th century, but it was utterly unknown in this country until in the last decade of that century. Then the late Dr. Alexander Anderson, who had been making illustrations on type-metal after the manner of wood engraving, happening to fall in with Bewick's works, copied them on wood, became delighted with the results, and so introduced the art into this country. That was in 1793, when he was twenty years of age. It was in September, 1794, that he made the first elaborate engraving on wood; and thenceforward, until a few months before his death in January, 1870, when he was almost ninety-five years of age, he was a constant practitioner of the beautiful art of wood engraving.

Before this introduction of the art, the few illustrations made for books were engraved on type-metal, and some of the best specimens were given in Noah Webster's Spelling Book, first published in 1783, of which a fourteenth edition printed in 1791, belonging to Mr. C. C. Moreau, of New York, is before the writer. A fac simile of the frontispiece

to that edition of the book-a portrait of Washington, then the first President of our Republic,-is here given that the readers of the RECORD, who are familiar with the exquisite productions of the wood engraver's art at this time, may judge of its progress by comparison. The smaller cuts which illustrate the fables and moral stories in the reading lessons, are equally rude, and give a fair idea of the state of engraving for typographic printing, at that period. Not long afterward Anderson brought out the beautiful art of engraving on wood in much perfection, after the manner of Bewick, and he was employed by Webster's publishers (Messrs. Bunce & Co.) at the close of the year in which he introduced the new method, to make a new set of engravings for that work. They were greatly superior to anything that had ever been executed before in this country, and the designs then made by Anderson continue to be used in the work, I believe.

The History of "Webster's Spelling Book" is a remarkable one. The first part was published in Hartford in the year 1783, under the title of "First Part of a Grammatical Institute of the English Language." The second and third parts speedily followed, and composed the famous Spelling Book. It was the first work of the kind ever made in this country,

1 This fac simile has been made by a new process of producing pictures on metal, to be printed typographically as in the case of wood engraving. By this process called "Actinic Engraving," in which the photographic art is used, fac engraved on steel or by any other process.-EDITOR.] similes may be made of original drawings and pictures

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE MICHIGAN AND OHIO BOUNDARY QUESTION.

The RECORD is indebted to Mr. William Duane, of Philadelphia, for the following sketch :

The Fifth Article of the Ordinance of 1787, relating to the North Western Territory, provided as follows for the States to be thereafter formed of it:

"There shall be formed in the said territory, not less than three, nor more than five States; and the boundaries of the States, as soon as Virginia shall alter her act of cession and consent to the same, shall become fixed and established, as follows, to wit: the Western State in the said territory shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Wabash rivers; a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post Vincent due north, to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, and by the said territorial line to the Lake of the Woods and Mississippi. The middle State shall be bounded by the said direct line; the Wabash from Post Vincent to the Ohio; by the Ohio; by a direct line drawn due north from the mouth of the great Miami to the said territorial line; and by the said territorial line. The eastern state shall be bounded by the last mentioned direct line; the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the said territorial line. Provided, however, that it is further understood and declared, That the boundaries of these three States shall be subject so far to be altered, that if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall have authority to form one or two States in that part of the said territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan."

On the 30th of April, 1802, Congress passed an act entitled, "An Act to enable the people of the eastern division of the territory northwest of the river Ohio to form a constitution and State Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and for other purposes."

The second section of this Act of Congress made the following provision for the

boundaries of this eastern State, now the State of Ohio: "The said State shall consist of all the territory included in the following boundaries, to wit: bounded on the east by the Pennsylvania line; on the south by the Ohio river, to the mouth of the great Miami river; on the west by a line drawn due north from the mouth of the great Miami aforesaid; and on the north by an east and west line drawn through the southern extreme of Lake Michigan, running east after intersecting the due north line aforesaid, from the mouth of the great Miami, until it shall intersect Lake Erie, or the territorial line, and thence with the same through Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania line aforesaid.”

The true extent and position of Lake Michigan were unknown in 1802, as well as in 1787. Mitchell's map, issued in 1755, gives to this lake a direction from west of north, to east of south; and in the maps published as late as 1820, the lake is incorrectly laid down. It was owing to this ignorance that the Act of 1802 provided that the northern boundary of Ohio should be an east and west line drawn through the southern extreme of Lake Michigan until it should intersect Lake Erie, or the territorial line. This east and west line might, on actual survey, be found not to reach Lake Erie at all, but to strike the territorial line in the Detroit river.

On the 11th of January, 1805, Congress passed "An Act to divide the Indiana territory into two separate governments." The first section of the act provides "that all that part of the Indiana territory which lies north of a line drawn east from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and east of a line drawn from the said southerly bend through the middle of said lake to its northern extremity, and thence due north to the northern boundary of the United States, shall, for the purpose of temporary government, constitute a separate territory, and be called Michigan.

[ocr errors]

When the States of Indiana and Illinois

were created and admitted into the Union, the direction in the ordinance as to the east and west line which was to separate them from the State or two States to the north of them was overlooked. Indiana stretches about ten miles north of that line, at the expense of Michigan, and Illinois about fifty-two miles north of that line, at the expense of Wisconsin. Michigan City should be in Michigan, and Chicago in Wisconsin.

Whilst Michigan remained a territory with a scanty and scattered population, the question as to its southern boundary attracted but little attention. The encroachment of Indiana, endorsed by Congress, was past remedy; as to Ohio, the definition of its northern boundary was consistent with that of the southern boundary of Michigan, as mentioned above. The east and west line which separated them did intersect Lake Erie, agreeably to one of the two alternatives mentioned in the Ordinance of 1787.

About the year 1825, the current of emigration commenced to flow into Michigan with much force, and having continued for several years, the population became sufficiently numerous to warrant an application for admission into the Union as a State. Among other flourishing towns in the territory was Toledo, lying on the left, or northwest bank of the Maumee river. It promised to become an important place, and this promise has been fulfilled. It lay a short distance north of the east and west line, which formed part of the boundary with which Ohio was admitted to the Union.

No sooner had the people of Michigan commenced preparations for the formation of a State and its admission to the Union, than the citizens of Ohio began to plan the annexation to their own state of a portion of Michigan, including Toledo and the mouth of the Maumee river. The pretext for this was that the east and west line would not strike the boundary between the United States and the British possessions, in Lake Erie, but would fall several miles to the south of it, and that, consequently the line should incline to the

[blocks in formation]

The Senate of the United States at the session of 1832-3, passed an Act annexing the disputed territory to the State of Ohio, but it was rejected in the House of Representatives.

The Hon. George B. Porter,' the Governor of the Territory of Michigan, having died in office, Stevens Thompson Mason, the Secretary of the Territory, succeeded him as Governor. Mr. Mason, a native of Kentucky, though sprung from an eminent Virginia family, was not much over twenty-one years of age upon assuming the duties of the executive chair. In the Message which he addressed to the Legislative Council of the territory, on the 1st of September, 1834, he stated to

1 Governor Porter died at Detroit, on the 6th of July, 1834, aged 43 years.

« AnteriorContinuar »