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which they belong. A system of this kind has been successfully introduced by Sir G. Grey at the Cape of Good Hope, and Mr. Douglas proposes to form Indian reserves, in anticipation of settlement in all the districts of British Columbia inhabited by native tribes.
“ These reserves should, in all cases, include their cultivated fields and village sites, for which, from habit and association, they invariably conceive a strong attachment, and prize more for that reason than for the extent or value of the land. ...... The remaining unoccupied land should be let out on leases at an annual rent to the bighest bidder, and the whole proceeds arrising from such leases should be applied to the exclusive benefit of the Indians. An amount of capital would thereby be created, equal, perhaps, to the sum required for effecting the settlement of the Indians; and any surplus funds remaining over that outlay, it is proposed to devote to the formation and support of schools, and of a clergyman to superintend their moral and religious training
The support of the Indians will thus, wherever land is valuable, be a matter of easy accomplishment; and in districts where the white population is small and the land unproductive, the Indians may be left almost wholly to their own resources, and, as a joint means of earning their livelihood, to pursue unmolested their favourite calling of fishermen and hunters."*
Still it will not be enough to plant the natives in these reserves; they must at the same time be fitted in some degree to endure the contact of a white population. The difficulty against which we have to struggle in the attempt to civilise the North-American Indian, is not so much an intellectual inaptitude as a moral distaste. There are instances on record of Indian tribes which, under favourable circumstances, have made very considerable progress. In the United States, the Cherokees, before their last removal, in a community of 15,560 persons (including 1277 Negro slaves), had 18 schools, 36 grist-mills, 13 saw-mills, 762 looms, 2480 spinning-wheels, 172 wagons, 2923 ploughs, 7683 horses, 22,531 black cattle, 46,732 swine, 2546 sheep, 430 goats, 62 blacksmiths' shops, with public roads, turnpikes, ferries, and newspapers in their own language. But generally speaking, the Indian does not care for civilisation. He recognises its presence, wonders at its achievements, admits his own inability to resist its approach; but he feels for it neither admiration nor sympathy. He regards it as a barbarian might have regarded the civilisation of the Roman Empire, or as a feudal baron might have regarded the progress of the great trading
* Papers relative to British Columbia, part ii. p. 68.
† Stuart's Three Years in North America, quoted in Merivale's Colonisation and Colonies, p. 550.
cities. He has a certain contempt for it all the while. He dislikes the restraint which it imposes upon him, the interference to which it subjects him. Civilisation keeps her prosaic side turned towards him; and in the exaltation of labour he sees only deyradation, in the habits of settled life only the loss of the excitement which made life pleasant. No gentleman of the old school has a more thorough sense of the vulgarity of the new state of things than the North-American Indian. Our first step, therefore, in dealing with him, must be to find out some means of altering his estimate of the white man, some element of superiority which he will not only recognise, but desire to share. We believe that the only way of civilising him is to begin with giving him religious instruction. If this can be done successfully, our great difficulty is over. He no longer regards the white man as a being of an alien, and in some sort an inferior, race. And that it can be done successfully may, we think, be taken for granted.
“The North-American Indian,” says Mr. Merivale, “is of a disposition peculiarly religious ; and it is remarkable, considering the great amount of observation and of theory which has been expended on this singular race, how imperfectly and unjustly its qualifications in this particular have been appreciated. For it is not by the positive tenets of its belief, if such they may be termed, that the religious tendencies of the savage mind are to be estimated. .... A far better insight into the religious state of the American Indian will be obtained by observing how peculiarly and emphatically he is, in the words of the apostle, a law unto himself,' I mean, how distinctly he evinces, in the whole moral conduct of his life, that he lives under a strong and awful sense of positive obligation. It is of little matter with what doctrines that sense of obligation connects itself. It often appears to connect itself with none. The Indian cannot tell why a burden is laid upon him to act in this or that manner. He obeys a law undefined, unwritten, but mysteriously binding upon his spirit. .... If religion be what its name implies, id quod relligat, that which binds the will and enforces self-denial and selfdevotion, be the object or motive held out what it may, then no people, taken in the mass, is to be compared, in this respect, to the savages of America. . ... Now when we consider that the same creature, whose moral organisation is thus wonderfully developed, is one who has frequently not the slightest taste or appreciation for the advantages of material improvement, and who ranks so low, in point of intellectual acquirement, that he is, perhaps, unable to count beyond ten-can any one entertain a doubt at which end the process of culture ought to begin ? Surely the comparison of their moral state with their condition in other respects is, as it were, the crucial test, pointing out infallibly the direction in which alone, if in any, success is to be reasonably expected. In the expressive words of Penn, "What good might not a good people graft, where there is so distinct a knowledge both of good and evil !'"*
* Colonisation and Colonies, pp. 526-528.
And next to their conversion, the object most important to be kept in view is, the necessity of encouraging in every possible way the amalgamation of the native races with the white population. It is true that this end must be pursued under proper precautions. We must take care that we do not, under the plea of putting the Indian on perfect equality with the white man, leave him in effect without any protection against him. Indeed, until we have raised the natives to a real equality with the settlers, perhaps the less we use the term the better. If we invest the Indian with all the rights and privileges of the European, if we give him for instance freedom of contract and freedom of alienation, one of two consequences will certainly follow. Either he will be cajoled to use his liberty to his own detriment, or he will be useless to, and therefore unemployed by, the settler. For a time, at all events, the old Spanish system of treating the Indians as minors, is probably the safest that can be devised; but, with this proviso, the more useful the natives can be rendered to the settlers, the better for their own ultimate position. The Hudson's Bay Company have long employed them to good purpose in several capacities. They are admirable boatmen and herdsmen; and as colonisation progresses these are just the services for which there will be most demand in settlements where a large portion of the internal intercourse must be carried on by water, and where much of the wealth of the inhabitants will consist of cattle and horses. But the relation of master and servant, though the most obvious, is not the only one which will grow up between the two races. The absence of any female white population in British Columbia must lead to a very large mixture of blood. If this can be effected without that utter corruption of morals which is to be dreaded, even under more favourable circumstances, in a community so miscellaneous and so degraded as the miners of British Columbia, this species of amalgamation is decidedly matter for congratulation. The presence of a half-breed population, such as already exists at the Red River, forins a most important link between the native and the European, while it is an element which, if it does not bear an undue proportion to the community at large, is in itself very well suited to the incipient civilisation of settlements just reclaimed from the wilderness. How far these and similar measures will be productive of any substantial benefit to their objects it would, after so many efforts and so many failures, be rash to predict. But it is none the less our duty to make the attempt; and if the prospect afforded by the sad retrospect of death and suffering, which the history of our dealings with aboriginal races offers to our view, is one of no ordinary discouragement, its contemplation may at least supply us with some dearly bought experience, and some salutary warnings.
Art. V.-DR. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES AND ELSIE
VENNER. Elsie Venner; a Romance of Destiny. By Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Cambridge and London: Macmillan and Co.
In one of his earlier essays, Mr. Martineau illustrates the shadowy and inchoate perceptions which in many minds supply the place of fixed and definite convictions, by reference to the stage direction in a certain German drama, in which Adam is represented as crossing the stage "going to be created.” We have much the same feeling in the perusal of many American works. The literature of the United States has as yet scarcely a substantive existence: it passes before us “going to be created.” Its best works are scarcely more than a promise of excellence, the precursors of an advent, shadows cast before; and, like most shadows, they are too vague and ill-defined, too fluctuating and easily distorted into grotesque forms, to enable us to discriminate accurately the shape from which they are flung. We speak especially of creative and original literature, of poetry and fiction, of art in its widest sense, and of criticism which can no more exist apart from the contemporaneous production of great works of art than vision can exist without light. Indeed, the absence of great critics in America would of itself furnish sufficient indirect evidence,—if direct evidence were wanting,-of the absence of creative literary genius. According to Dr. Holmes, “ Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.” Authors, therefore, are the necessary condition of critics. The latter are chips of the same block; and if the material be sound and good in the one, it will be so also in the other. They are homoousian, to adopt a theological word. When criticism is at a low ebb, in any community that has attained the reflective stage, it is because art is not at a high one. The stream cannot ascend higher than its source. In other departments than the belles lettres, American literature shows to less disadvantage. In law, in history, in divinity, in even speculation, she occupies a respectable place. The names of Kent and Story and Wheaton, of Prescott, Bancroft, and Motley, of Channing and Parker, of Bushnell and Emerson, would occupy a distinguished rank in any literature. American life is essentially practical; and literature, with a bearing on affairs, has at once scope and stimulus. The first business of a young
society is to organise itself; the great work of a free and selfgoverning society is administration. Studies, therefore, which have to do with social organisation, and with the institutions and laws, which are the channels and regulators of social life, will flourish in such a people. The habits of local self-government which the parish, municipal, state, and federal institutions of the country foster, afford the materials and create the necessity of judicial science. Acquaintance with modern political life throws essential light upon past politics, that is, on history, and receives light from it in return. To this circumstance probably, acting upon an hereditary character formed in the English struggles for freedom, America owes its really great jurists and its respectable historians, no less than its orators and statesmen. For we must not allow Polk and Buchanan and Marcy and Cass to lead us into forgetfulness that, at no distant date, America had its Clay and Calhoun and Webster. Oratory, statesmanship, jurisprudence, and history,—these are the natural product of the action of American circumstances and inherited character upon the higher intellect of the nation. The strongly marked speculative and religious tendencies of the American mind are in part the contrasted effects of the same cause. The first settlers, Puritans to start with, and thrown face to face with nature and its wonderful forces, compelled to strive with and subdue the forest and the torrent, felt themselves very near to God,startled by his presence. They were religious, as the mountaineer and sailor, and those who lead a life encompassed by perils and deliverances, are religious. The same feeling still characterises the Western settler. On the other hand, in the great cities of New England and the Northern States, religion is a relief sought from the wearing monotony of business, or a counter-excitement against its excitements. Where religion is, philosophy, in some form or other, is sure to be; just as where art is, we shall find, when the first stage of instinctive creation is past, criticism. Philosophy, indeed, is the critique of religion. Both are engaged on the same transcendent themes, before which the one bows down in reverent humility, exclaiming, “ Such knowledge is too wonderful for me," while the other seeks, with not less reverence, to know. Speculation and worship have alike their origin in wonder, exciting awe and stimulating curiosity. The cherubim and the seraphim render their differing homage to Him who, while He is Love, is also Light in which there is no darkness.
These causes, which have naturally and obviously given Ame. ricans an honourable place in law, in oratory, and in history, and which have as naturally, though not so obviously, conspired, with the accidents of individual genius, in the production among