« IndietroContinua »
Their object is a very important one ; it is to teach those who have wealth and leisure, how they may make themselves happy not only without injuring others, but with direct benefit to their fellow-men; to show them that in order to secure enjoyment for themselves, there is no need of inventing new pleasures; that they have only to learn to value those which are always under their eye; and that Nature,—this beautiful visible world,'— opens a never-failing paradise to those who are content to be innocent and well employed. The plan proposed to the community in this Report, comes naturally within the sphere of their liberal exertions. The design is, to teach the community to pay more respect to the dead. In this particular we are certainly behind other countries. In most nations of Europe there are at least a few public cemeteries, which a stranger can visit without feeling that the dead are neglected. We are told in the Report, that the Turks, half savage as they are, have long made it a practice to plant evergreens in their place of tombs. The modern cities of Europe have begun to feel, that it is not well that infidels should triumph over them in this respect. Pèrela-Chaise in Paris is now celebrated throughout the world. The impression which it makes on the mind of every traveller, is the best proof of the good taste which designed it. The larger cities of England are beginning to follow this good example. In our country, New Haven has the merit of making the first approach to this kind of improvement; but the example was not followed. The burying-place continues to be the most neglected spot in all the region, distinguished from other fields only by its leaning stones and the meanness of its enclosure, without a tree or shrub to take from it the air of utter deso-lation. We cannot but hope that the cemetery about to be established will put our cities and villages to shame, and spread a better taste and feeling in this respect throughout the whole country.
The place selected for the cemetery is Mount Auburn, in Cambridge, about three miles from Boston, and easily approached either by the road or the river which washes its borders. It affords every variety of soil and elevation, which trees or flowers would require, with streams and meadows, from which ponds may be made for plants which love the water. The plants of every climate may find there a suitable home. It might be thought that it would require many years to cover it with verdure; but Nature has anticipated this objec
tion; it being already clothed with trees and shrubs of almost all descriptions, which grow in this part of the country. The most striking part of this tract is a conical hill of considerable height, which commands an extensive and beautiful prospect. This is reached by a gentle ascent, which winds like a road round the hill, with valleys on each side, and is so exact in its bearing, that it is difficult to persuade one's-self that man had no agency in forming it. The top of the height is an admirable place for a monument intended to be seen at a distance, and the sides will afford room for the resting-place of many generations. The whole country would not afford a better spot for the purpose than this. It is consecrated already by many delightful associations in the memory of most of those, who have left the University for many years past; and the plan proposed, instead of breaking up this favorite resort, would only render it better suited to aid the inspirations of science, feeling, or imagination. There is something unpleasant to many, in the idea of cultivating the place of death. This may be owing to the old prejudice, which regards nature and art as opposed to each other. Nature, under all circumstances, was meant to be improved by human care; it is unnatural to leave it to itself; and the traces of art are never unwelcome, except when it defeats the purposes and refuses to follow the suggestions of nature.
We trust that the public spirited authors of this design will consider themselves as giving a direction to the public taste; and that they will therefore not suffer the ground to be disfigured with dungeon-like tombs, which are only suited to the cellars of churches and burying-places in cities, where the dead cannot find room to lie dust to dust. The monuments also deserve regard. The stiff and ungainly head-stone should be banished to give place to the cippus, or some simple form suited to resist the elements, and receive inscriptions. But the ornaments of the sepulchre should be trees and flowers. Let the monuments be found in the noble forests of our land; let them not be such as the elements waste, but such as time only strengthens and repairs.
Art. V.-Indian Biography.
The Fall of the Indian, with other Poems. By Isaac
McLELLAN, JR. 12mo. Boston. 1830. The poems contained in this little volume evince a highly cultivated taste, and no inconsiderable power in the young author. As a juvenile production, they can hardly be subjected with fairness to the test of formal criticism ; but should Mr. McLellan devote himself to poetry, we think we can assure him, that with due diligence and a careful study of the best models, he may
attain an enviable rank among the masters of the art. Should circumstances, as is more probable, give a different direction to his future pursuits, the same vigor and vivacity of genius which prompted these essays will, we doubt not, raise him to an honorable standing in one of the learned professions. The subject of the principal poem, which gives its iitle to the volume, is one among other evidences of the interest that is now felt among us in the history and character of the original inhabitants of our continent. This is a topic of high importance, under various points of view, and it is particularly desirable that it should be thoroughly examined, while the last remnants of this unfortunate race are still lingering round the tombs of their ancestors. Much has been done within a few years by the learned labors of Duponceau, Heckewelder, Pickering, Cass, and others, to illustrate their institutions, language, and history; but much more is yet to be effected, and before the subject is exhausted, there is room to fear that the unfortunate policy of the Government may have anticipated the fate, which seems to have been reserved in the decrees of Providence for these children of the forest. With a view, however, of gratifying what we conceive to be the public feeling on the subject, and of exciting others to more methodical inquiries, we propose on the present occasion to offer in a desultory form, a few anecdotes of some of the most remarkable of the original inhabitants of this quarter of the country.
The clearest, if not the completest classification of the NewEngland Indians, at the date of the settlement of Plymouth, includes five principal confederacies, each occupying their own territory, and governed by their own chiefs." The Pequots inhabited the eastern part of Connecticut. East of them were the Narraghansetts, within whose limits Rhode Island, and various smaller islands in the vicinity were comprised.
The Pawtucket tribes were situated chiefly i section of New-Hampshire; the Massachusetts the bay of their own name; and between these and the Narraghansetts upon the south, the Pok a tract of what is now Bristol county, (Rhode I laterally by Taunton and Pawtucket rivers for together with large parts of Plymouth and Barr
This confederacy exercised some dominion o of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and over nearest Massachusetts and Nipmuck tribes ;designating an interior territory, now mostly with ries of Worcester county. Of the Pokanoket nine separate cantons or tribes, each governed by sagamore or squaw, but all subject to one who was also the particular chief of the Wamp living about Montaup. This celebrated eminen called, by corruption of the Indian name, Mou. mile or two east of the village of Bristol. It is ve all sides, and terminates in a large rock, having th to a distant spectator, of an immense, dome. It w residence of Philip, Alexander, Massasoit,* and of royal ancestry who probably preceded them; a scarcely have chosen one more creditable to th commanded a magnificent prospect of Provide surrounding country and bay.t
The first knowledge which we have of M his Wampanoag subjects, is furnished in the c Purchas, on the authority of a Captain Dermer, Thomas Dirmire spoken of by John Smith in his
* We have given the most simple orthography of this w quently written Massasoyt, Massasoiet, Massasowat, &c. says, (American Biography,) that contemporary pronuncia word of four syllables, with the accent on the second,The sachem subsequently assumed another name, whic gone still more various modifications,-Oosamequin, V and Ausamequin, are some of them.
† And such too, it may be added, was the location of chief sachem of the Pequots. His principal fortress, on hill in the town of Groton, (Connecticut,) commanded, as observes, one of the finest prospects of the Sound and country which is to be found upon the coast. His other was a few miles east of this, near Mystic river, upon a b nence, gradually descending toward the south and south-ea
land Trialls, as an vnderstanding and industrious gentleman, who was also with him amongst the Frenchmen.' Dermer was sent out from England in 1619, by Sir F. Gorges, on account of the President and Council of New-England, in a ship of two hundred tons. He had a Pokanoket Indian with him, named Squanto, one of about twenty who had been kidnapped on the coast by Captain Hunt, in 1614, and sold as slaves at Malaga for twenty pounds a man. Squanto and a few others of the captives were either rescued or redeemed, by the benevolent interposition of some of the monks upon that island. When I arrived,' says Dermer in his letter to Purchas, at my savage's native country, finding all dead, I travelled along a day's journey to a place called Mummastaquyt, where, finding inhabitants, I despatched a messenger a day's journey further west, to Pacanokit, which bordereth on the sea; whence came to see me two kings, attended with a guard of fifty armed men, who being well satisfied with that my savage and I discoursed unto them, (being desirous of novelty) gave me content in whatsoever I demanded. Here I redeemed a Frenchman, and afterwards another at Masstachusitt, who three years since escaped shipwreck at the northeast of Cape Cod.' One of these two kings,—as the sachems were frequently entitled by the early writers,—must have been Massasoit, so well known afterwards to the Plymouth settlers; and probably the second was his brother Quadepinah. Mummastaquyt was no doubt the place where Edward Winslow speaks of tarrying, on his embassy to Massasoit in 1623, by him called Namaskhet, and now known as a part of Middleborough. As to finding inhabitants,' Winslow concluded that he was near the residence of Massasoit here, because the inhabitants flocked so thick upon every slight occasion amongst them.' The native country of Squanto was the vicinity of Plymouth, where the Indians are understood to have been
* It is gratifying to learn from Smith that Hunt was punished, though not according to the baseness of his infamous crime. "He betraied foure and twentie of these poore Saluages aboord his ship, and most dishonestly and inhumanely for their kinde usage of me and all our men, carried them with him to Maligo, and there for a little priuate gaine sold those silly Saluages for Rials of eight; but this vilde act kept him ever after from any more imploiement to these parts.'-Generale Historie of New-England, published in 1632. VOL. XXXIII.—NO. 73.