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unchanging principles of natural justice, we, as an independent nation, are bound to accede to the demand.' pp. 12, 13.
These remarks have force, and it will not be easy to show any defect in the principle on which they are founded, or the results to which they naturally come.
8.-Report of the Canal Commissioners to the General Assembly
of Ohio, December 12th, 1825. Columbus. 8vo. pp. 54. The magnificent project of canals, now in operation in Ohio, is second only to the undertaking of the great Erie Canal of New York. And, indeed, considering the different circumstances and resources of the two states, the people of Ohio have, in enterprise and energy, if possible, outdone their neighbors. In cases like this, example does a great deal, to be sure, and the brilliant success of New York afforded at the same time the most profitable lessons of experience, and a sort of guaranty of similar results in Ohio. But, after all, there is something noble and imposing in the people of a comparatively new state coming forward with so much decision and unanimity, resolving on an undertaking of such magnitude, pledging their credit and levying taxes on themselves for carrying it into effect. Such an instance of public spirit, and of activity in a public cause, is hardly on record, as that displayed by the people of Ohio, in their recent measures for improving the internal navigation of the state.)
Two canals have not only been projected, but their execution is already in considerable forwardness. The first of these extends from Cincinnati to Dayton, a distance of about sixty miles ; the second connects the Ohio river with Lake Erie, beginning near the mouth of the Scioto river, and thence pursuing a devious course through the state, approaching near Columbus, the capital, seeking the head waters of the Muskingum, and Cuyahoga, and meeting the lake at Cleveland. We have seen no exact statement of the entire length of this line, but suppose it to be at some point between two hundred and fifty, and three hundred miles.
An act to provide for the internal improvement of the state of Ohio, by navigable canals, was passed by the legislature on the fourth of February, 1825. An examination had previously been made by authority, to ascertain whether it was practicable to connect the Ohio river and Lake Erie by a canal. This being settled in the affirmative, the act above referred to makes full provision for carrying the plan into execution. Seven commissioners are appointed by the legislature, who are to have the entire superposes.
intendence of the work. Another board of commissioners is instituted, consisting of three persons, whose office it is to take charge of the canal fund. This board is empowered to borrow money on the credit of the state, at an interest not exceeding six per cent, and to such amount as the legislature shall from time to time determine. The sum specified for the last year was four hundred thousand dollars. Such portion of this sum as was wanted, has been borrowed in the city of New York. For money thus obtained, the commissioners issue transferable certificates of stock, redeemable at the pleasure of the legislature, at any time between the years 1850 and 1875. The bill provides for the annual payment of the interest, by a tax on all the property in the state, entered on the grand list, and taxable for state pur
Provision is also made for the gradual accumulation of a fund, which, together with the profits of the canals when completed, is pledged for the final redemption of the stock.
From the Report of the Canal Commissioners it appears, that the work has been begun, and is rapidly advancing. Nearly two thousand laborers were employed in November last. The whole amount of contracts already made on the two lines is little short of a million of dollars. The soil throughout the state seems well adapted for constructing canals, and there is no apprehension that water in abundance will not be supplied by the streams. The market of New York, it would appear, is the chief motive inspiring the hopes of the citizens of Ohio, in prosecuting this arduous work of connecting the river with the lake. One great object,' say the commissioners, “proposed by the construction of that canal, and probably the most important, is the opening of a direct and commodious channel of commerce, between the interior of our state and the great commercial emporium of America, where a safe, advantageous, and certain market can at all times be had for the surplus productions of our soil, and such commodities as are desired in return, can always be procured at the fairest rates, and in the greatest abundance. By this canal a complete internal water communication between New Orleans and New York will be effected.
bitis. 9.- A Historical Sketch of the Formation of the Confederacy,
particularly with Reference to the Provincial Limits, and the Jurisdiction of the General Government over Indian Tribes, and the Public Territory. By Joseph Blunt. New York.
1825. Geo. and Charles Carvill. 8vo. pp. 116. This title expresses very distinctly and fully the purpose of the author, in the work to which it is prefixed. The subject is one,
which has not been handled before in a separate and methodical form, although it holds a conspicuous place in the early history of our government. To reconcile the contending claims of the states to the unappropriated territory, and to satisfy the demands and expectations of each, was among the most embarrassing tasks, which the general Congress was called to execute. By great prudence and good management, however, an amicable adjustment of all difficulties was gradually brought about, the states relinquished their claims, whether real or imaginary, and the sovereignty over all the new territories was ceded to the government of the United States. A concise history of the events leading to these results is the aim of Mr Blunt in the present work.
In an introductory chapter, the author takes a brief view of the original right of Europeans to parts of the American continent, or of the foundation of their claims. He goes back to the papal grants, and then considers in historical order the claims founded on actual possession, prior discovery, charters, conquest, and purchases of the Indians. He dissects the old charters, and shows how extremely vague they were in defining boundaries. In truth, at the time they were given, the ignorance of the geography of this country was such, as to render it impossible to define the limits of any extensive territory. Hence, for the want of any known marks, the South Sea was made the charter boundary of several of the provinces on the west. This looseness in fixing boundaries caused an interference among the grants, and in the end produced some of the most serious obstacles to the formation of the confederacy. Mr Blunt has pursued the subject through all its windings. The point will be found pretty largely discussed also, in a former number of this Journal. [Vol. XIII. p. 313 et seq. for Oct. 1821.] Paine's treatise, entitled • Public Good,' first published in 1760, and relating particularly to the Virginia claims, exhibits the merits of the case in a very strong light.
Mr. Blunt has rendered a valuable service to the public, in collecting into one body so many historical facts bearing on the same point. This work will greatly facilitate future inquiries; it is executed with apparent fidelity, and patient examination of authentic materials; the style is clear, and the arrangement judicious.
10.-1. Manifestacion del Ciudadano Manuel de Mier y Terán
al Publico. 4to. pp. 31. Mexico. 1825.
Terán. 4to. pp. 127. Mexico. 1825.
been an officer of high standing in the Mexican army, during the greater part of the revolution, is induced, by circumstances which do not fully appear, to come before the public in vindication of himself from certain charges, which had been advanced against him in relation to his public career. In prosecuting his defence, it becomes necessary for him to recur to many events, particularly in the first stages of the revolution, in which he took an active part. The nature of the subject requires the author to speak perpetually of himself, but it is usually with becoming moderation, and with an apparent candor, which inspire confidence in his statements. It is his purpose, of course, to make his own cause good, but there is no obvious reason for supposing this aim to have turned him aside from an accurate narrative of events, and exposition of facts. In short, amidst the paucity of materials illustrating the revolutionary history of Mexico, these pamphlets may be consulted with profit by such persons, as seek for knowledge on that subject.
It is gratifying to learn, both from passing occurrences, and the late message of the President of the Mexican states, that the government under the new constitution is going into steady and substantial operation, gaining strength from the cheerful support of the people, and the wise administration of the rulers. The experiment of the Federal system seems thus far to have been tried with triumphant success. The states have instituted assemblies, or legislatures, and some of them at least have formed and adopted constitutions. The business of legislation is going on, to all appearance harmoniously and judiciously.
In fact there never was but one reason, or even shadow of a reason, why the Central scheme could be imagined to have any preference over the Federal, in forming the new government of Mexico. As it regards the intrinsic merit of the two systems, it would seem impossible for any one to suppose for a moment, that the former could approach in any degree to the latter. The simple question was, whether the provinces were in a condition to govern themselves as independent states. Upon this question it was natural, that there should be a difference of opinion, especially after the years of political commotion which had preceded. The example of Colombia, also, would be likely to have some weight in the scale. That government was prospering under the Central system, and hence there might seem greater security, if not a prospect of greater ultimate success, by following in the same track. The abortive attempts of Venezuela and Buenos Ayres to establish the Federative plan, moreover, were no encouraging precedents. But the result has proved, that the circumstances of the cases were not similar, that Mexico had fewer internal diffi
culties to encounter than those countries, when they endeavored to set up the same form of government, and that the people had improved more by the experience of the revolution. And even when Colombia adopted her Central constitution, she was pressed hard by a foreign foe, and seemed to feel no want more sensibly, than a union of all hearts and hands in the great cause, and the concentration of a power, which could wield the whole mass, and bring the energies of all the parts to act on a single point.
This end was attained ; but as things have turned out, it may be questioned whether Colombia would not have prospered equally well, or better, at the outset under the Federative system ; and, if so, the future gain would have been incalculable. It is quite certain the time will come, when the growing intelligence of the people will demand a change in the present organization, and call for a form of government more republican in its principles, and better suited to the existence and prosperity of free institutions. To this point we doubt not the statesmen of Colombia are expecting to be drawn in due time. But who does not see, that every year is throwing obstacles in the way? A system is now taking root, which must be in a measure eradicated, before another can be planted in its stead ; whereas, had a scion from the genuine stock been first cherished, every hour would have added to its growth and strength. The progress of the country will be doubly retarded by the defects of the present constitution, and by the important changes, which a new one will occasion when introduced. This is said, not in disparagement of the wisdom or motives of the leaders in Colombia, for pursuing the safer course, but as showing the ultimate disadvantages of the scheme, however well it may have answered the purpose of a temporary government.
The Constituent Assembly in Mexico, which decided on the present form of government, was divided into two parties, one called the central, and the other the federal party. All the higher orders of the clergy, the nobles, and some of the leading officers of the army, were Centralists, wh the representatives from the provinces were generally Federalists. These latter prevailed, very fortunately, as the result has proved, and a government was established, closely resembling that of the United States. It is said, that even Victoria and Bravo were Centralists.
It is obvious from this disposition of the parties, that the Central system in Mexico would have soon put on the garb of a complete aristocracy, that the power would have been kept in a few hands, and the spirit of a truly republican government virtually annihilated. The voice of the people would have been but feebly uttered and rarely heard. At present, however, a very different