« PreviousContinue »
comes in like a flood, can lift up a too much accustomed to consider standard against him.”
him a sort of impersonal and un“ Ye shall receive power,” said conscious influence, descending at Jesus, " after that the Holy Spirit certain times and seasons upon the is come upon you ;” and when did church and the world, like the rain earth in all her previous and subse and dew of heaven. Christ how. quent experience, witness such a ever told his church that when this manifestation of power” as was other Paraclete came, he would seen in the preaching and acts of “abide with them forever"-uninthe apostles, after our other Comfort-terruptedly to the end of this diser came upon them? What are all pensation. In him the church was the achievements of earth's greatest to have an unfailing, ever-present warriors on the field of battle, com- dependence, in all times and sea. pared with those accomplished by sons; that she might be incited to a the apostles under their invisible course of unremitted exertion in the Leader ? When we contemplate service of God. The church is ev. their miracles, their boldness of er to be under the guidance and speech, their incessant labors, their government of this divine and om. amazing success, we should al. nipresent Head. Her rules of order most forget that they were men of and her course of life she is to learn like passions with ourselves, and cry from the word which He has inspirout with the people of Lystra, " the ed. Her peace, her security, her gods are come down to us in the conquests, she is to draw from his likeness of men," did not the in- indwelling influence—the secret spired historian assure us, they power by which he corrects the ob. are filled with the Holy Ghost.” liquities of the human heart. She Those days of success will return is to acknowledge no other supreme when the power returns ; and the Head. No canons may be enacted power will return when we come to for her government opposed to his honor our other Comforter and lean enactments, and no authority exeron his strength, as did the apos- cised unless sanctioned by his revetles of our Lord.
lations. She is always to look to There is something, as it seems him as her Head, to obey his laws, to us, highly dishonorable to the and to cherish his presence. Then Holy Spirit, in the practical esti- shall her light rise in obscurity, and mate in which he has long been her darkness be as the noon day. held by the church. We have been
While we write, a part of the ing from ebullitions of misguided state of New York is in an actual popular feeling, have threatened state of insurrection, declared so by breaches of the law, but have forthe executive authority. The cause tunately passed by, unattended by of such a proclamation is found in any calamitous circumstance. And the fact, that the civil power was
in a far distant state of our general shown to be insufficient for the just confederacy, civil
war has been and prompt execution of the laws, and wildly stalking through her borders, the military has been called out to burning the property, and sacrificing sustain it. In other parts of the same the lives of her citizens, while the state, like fearful disturbances, aris majesty of the civil law was tram.
pled in the dust, and her officers they considered as founded in injusand their authority scouted and de. tice, and from a small number inrided. The protection of the law creased to nearly one third of the has been valueless-popular feeling population, and advanced from step has usurped its prerogatives, and to step in their treasonable acts, till become for the time being the su as a closing part of the game they preme authority; and in obedience were playing, they murdered a val. to its dictates, a portion of her citi. uable and honest public officer, while zens have been compelled to an in the discharge of his duty. While nounce their determination to leave discharging those duties, which his their rightful homes and firesides, oath of office imposed upon him, the and seek anew a resting place, sheriff of the county was surroundwhere they can peaceably live and ed by two hundred and fifty, or worship God according to the dic. more, armed and disguised men, tates of their own consciences. And and in the broad glare of the light in another sister state of the mighty of day was deliberately shot down. West, the wild and uncontrollable In view of this state of things, the mob has scarcely ceased from the governor was induced to issue his destruction of private property, proclamations, declaring the county because in this loud boasting land in a state of insurrection, and in of liberty, the owner dared to obedience to the directions therein speak as he thought, and to publish contained, an armed force has been what his conscience and enlightened gathered, to assist in the execution reason told him was right and true. of the civil law, and to keep secureSurely such events as these are full ly those who have been arrested as of earnest and vital interest. The participators in these outrages. In question whether there is a natural the little village of her shire town, tendency in democratic institutions while we write, the piercing notes to degenerate into lawless anar of the fife, and the deep roll of the chy-whether the people, when left drum are heard, and the measured to govern themselves, will eventuale tread of a military force falls upon ly fail of retaining any government, the ear, impressing upon the observis now irresistibly forced upon us, er, that he is in the midst of rebel. claiming our careful and attentive lion, and that the marching soldiery consideration.
and not the law are the only protecIn many counties of New York, tors of the people. turbulent and disguised mobs have But sad as is the scene, where placed themselves in open and or- heavy cannon, in time of peace, ganized opposition to her laws, and guard the prison doors, and bristling have, in too many cases successful. bayonets are the supports of the ly, trodden under foot the rights of court of justice, a more gloomy her civil authority. But in none view meets the eye in those portions has the misguided populace exhibi- of the county, where the excite. ted so much fury, and at times fero- ment has existed with the least re. city, and nowhere have such ca straint, and where nearly all have lamitous consequences been produ- been drawn within its fatal influ. ced as in the county of Delaware, ence. Although months have alheretofore noted for the simplicity ready passed since the murder of and good order of its inhabitants, the sheriff, the harvests still remain and distinguished for their general ungathered as they were on that faand prompt obedience to the laws. tal day. Hay heaped together on There a few citizens combined and that morning lies rotting in the associated themselves to resist a meadow unmade and unstacked. portion of the established law, which Fields of grain have ripened and
fallen down because the reapers are ster, Greene, and indeed generally fugitives from justice. Indeed a found its way whereever leasehold curse seems resting upon the land, tenures existed, and the occupier and a blight to have passed over it. was not owner of the right of soil. But why is this? Why has the compared with the shape it had as. husbandman forsaken his field, the sumed four years previous, it seem. mechanic his shop, and fled to the ed to spring forth with tenfold fury recesses of the mountain, to the and power. The years in which it depths of the forest, and to distant had been forced to assume an ap• states, from the arm of the law? pearance of rest, seem to have been The cause is expressed in a word a time, in which it was gathering its of recent coinage-Anti-rentism. energies and strengthening its for
A brief narrative of those com. ces, preparatory to the occasion motions which have produced a which should next call it forth-10 partial state of anarchy, will give have been only the calm which pre . us a better understanding of the cedes the storm. Upon its second ap. reasons generally alleged in excuse. pearance, it discovered a new char. The first agitation of any impor. acteristic, which to the reflective tance, during later years, was in mind rendered it more fearful and 1840, when the tenants of the west alarming, and which has probably, half of the manor of Rensselaerwick, more than any other part of its ma. living among the Helderberg moun: chinery, contributed to those terrible tains, (whence the name of the results which have flowed from it. Helderberg war,) refused to pay Under disguises publicly worn, rent for the use of the soil on the power of the law was more ea. which they lived. The sheriff of sily rendered impotent, because the the county was prevented by large probabilities of detection were much assemblages of men from levying lessened. Those who wore them executions, and although no actual were often unknown, not only to violence was offered him, the or. the great portion of the community, dinary process of law was fully but even to one another. With this stopped. Conciliatory measures safeguard against recognition, the were tried, but in vain, for those re worst acts were committed, and sisting felt the law was powerless. seemingly without hesitation. They As a dernier resort the militia of the exercised a strict espionage over state was called into service by every lessee. Whoever acknowl. Governor Seward; and this force edged title in the landlord, under combined with other instrumentali. whom they all had held their farms ties, eventually sustained the laws, for many years, provoked their and after a time order seemed to be wrath. An instance in the county restored. It was however only a of Rensselaer is in point. A labor. deceptive calm. The disease still re
er contracted with one of the pamained. The festering sore was troons for the timber of an unim. only concealed by a healthy surface. proved lot, and commenced its re. The spirit of resistance continued moval. For daring to make an at work, and evidenced itself in such agreement with a landlord, now exhibitions, as almost effectually to odious, he was warned by the na. prohibit the collection of any rent, tives to desist from its execution. and continued to gain power, until it Continuing however to secure the broke forth in 1844, and far ex. wood, he was surrounded while on ceeded its former bounds and limits. his way to market to dispose of it, It spread into the neighboring coun by armed and disguised men, when ties of Rensselaer, Schenectady, a contest arose in which he was Columbia, Otsego, Delaware, Ul. shot dead. And nearly at the same
time another fearful tragedy was equipped, armed and sworn by an acted in another, Columbia county. oath, to be faithful to the cause and While the officers of justice were in to one another. The ignorant, the pursuit of a culprit, a large collection worthless, and the vicious, flocked of men provided with arms, and together in these disguised bodies, with faces and forms so disguised under the promise of daily wages that none could know them, offered and daily rations, and were easily resistance. On the one hand, were transformed into suitable material the ministers of the law, striving to for the accomplishment of any bad do their duty, and against them a object. And they soon showed treasonable mob, in open defiance, themselves obedient to the trust reboih of them and the law they rep. posed in them; for they resisted the resented. A wrangling contest en officers of the law, while in the sued, and from words the mob had performance of their duty ; took recourse to deadly weapons, until from them their papers ; tarred and the affray ended in the death of one feathered them ; heaped abuse upof the company. Only a few days on them; and detained them as previous, in the same county, the prisoners; insulted them and threatsheriff while attempting to collectened them with death. To rescue rent was opposed by an assemblage these prisoners and to ensure the of the same character, and robbed Jue execution of the laws, it became of his papers. It was in the at necessary to call upon the civil posse tempt to arrest those who were, on of the county, and enough were this occasion, engaged in taking the found ready to enter with alacrity sheriff's papers, that the murder and determination upon the unpleag. last mentioned was committed. The ant and dangerous duty. Having law once broken by forcibly taking accomplished their object, they her precepts from her officers, an were again restored to their homes, attempt to screen the guilty natural. with the hope that the energy ly followed, and in that attempt a manifested in sustaining the law deeper crime was committed. “Af- and her officers, would convince all ter the arrest of the supposed of the folly of arraying themselves criminals, threats that those in con- against the constituted authorities, finement would be rescued, and and prevent any future disturbance. other outrages committed, induced But ihe hope proved fallacious, for Governor Bouck to place a military soon the Indian tribes again assem. force at the disposal of the civil bled to prevent the collection of power, and the city of Hudson be. rent, and an under sheriff was came like a garrisoned town. By murdered. It now appeared that this union of civil and military the civil posse was insufficient power, arrests were soon made and to maintain the supremacy of further outbreaks prevented, and law; and hence Governor Wright ere long, quiet was again sufficient declared the county in a state of ly restored to warrant the withdraw. insurrection, and quartered an arm. al of the forces thus temporarily ed force within it. Since then adfurnished. This event, which was ditional jails have been built to almost new in the annals of our retain those arrested for murder, country, and which attracted great and many have been tried, found public interest, did not prevent the guilty, and condemned to death or spread of the excitement. In other imprisonment. counties, particularly in Delaware, The causes which have produced anti-rent associations were formed, these events will need a more par. and in many of the lowns, tribes of ticular and careful consideration. ladians (so called) were collected, The counties to which we have al.
luded, and perhaps others, are in the principal cities of the Nether. mainly occupied and improved by lands; and to Amsterdam it was leaseholders, and not by those who given to have the charge of New are owners of the soil in fee. The Netherlands. Nineteen directors sections of country, comprised had superintendence of the whole within their boundaries, have been government of the Company. In so held since the commencement of 1629 this college of nineteen adoptour government, and in some cases ed a charter of privileges for patthe original title dates back antece rons who desired to plant colonies dent to that event. A correct his in New Netherlands. The colonies tory of this kind of title must needs, were to represent the lordships in therefore, commence " in the olden the Netherlands. “He that would time.”
within four years plant a colony of The oldest manor or proprietary fifty souls, became lord of the mawhere this leasehold tenure is in nor or patron, possessing in absolute existence, is the manor of Rensse property the land he might colonize." laerwick, and it claims an origin al The extent of one manor for fifty most as early as the first discovery souls, was “ sixteen miles in length; of New York. A short account of or if they lay on both sides of a this, the oldest, may not therefore river, eight miles on each bank, be inappropriate or uninteresting. stretching as far into the interior as
The first recognition we have of the situation might require, yet it the manor is a grant from the Dutch was stipulated that the soil must be government to Killian Van Rensse- purchased of the Indians.” (2 Ban. laer in 1631, of a territory with. 279.) His power was to extend in the following boundaries—“On over growing cities, subject to apthe west side of the North River, peals. Under such inducements, having its length a little higher than many emigrated to New NetherBeeren Island, up the river till unto lands and commenced colonies. Smackey Island, in breadth two days' Among the most prominent were journey into the country.” These the ancestors of the late Stephen boundaries are spoken of, as being Van Rensselaer, or as he was gen. the same recognized in deeds from erally termed, “The Patroon.” the Indians, of a previous date, to Killian Van Rensselaer, the origi. the same Killian. By reference to nal ancestor, was a large proprie. history, it will be seen that this was tor and director in the Amsterdam but a comparatively short time after branch of the Dutch West India the first discovery of this continent Company. He was also one of the by that nation. A general state college of nine instituted by the di. ment of the prominent acts of that rectors in 1629 to direct affairs in government from the time of dis. the New Netherlands. In 1630, the covery to the giving of this patent, year previous to the grant from the may help us better to understand Dutch government, he had, through what will follow. In September, his agent, purchased the land round 1609, Hudson discovered that river Fort Orange, that is, from Albany “ 10 which time has given his name,' to the mouth of the Mohawk, of five and asserted title in his government. Indian chiefs. A few years after, In 1621 “ The Dutch West India the purchase was extended twelve Company” was incorporated, pos. miles further south ; and from time sessing the exclusive privilege of to time he increased his boundaries, planting colonies on this continent until in 1637 his full territory was from the “Straits of Magellan to made out, forming a tract twenty the extremest north.” Five branch. four miles in breadth north and es of this Company were established south, by forty eight in length from