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much for the future investigator. Topographical works on numerous districts of the country may be fouod recorded in the catalogue: and amon. the books we thought necessary for a library collection, were the histories of our Colleges, and the elementary treatises issued by their respective professors. We were not backward in adding to the number the Lectures on Rhetoric by the venerable man who now honors our meeting, the Hon. John QUINCY ADAMS. The first Sermon preached in America; the first Medical Treatise on the American method of practice; the first loaugural Dissertation for the M. D., in our colleges : with innumerable others of such rarities are safely deposited with us. ADRIAN VANDERDONK. and MEGAPOLEKS18, found ready admittance within our walls: the first a great law. yer and naturalist; the second an eminent divine and doctor of physic; and the head of the old Dutch and German doctors whose dynasty terminated with the life of the venerable Dr. GEORGE ANTHON.
It deserves to be stated that our voluminous Congressional Documents and State Papers are not equalled by any collection elsewhere deposited. The State owes to our energies the ability of completing the publication of the important Journals of the Legislative proceedings of New-York during an eventful period of the revolutionary contest.
In early periodical literature, none need say the library is barren. Whether in Magazines and Journals of a monthly issue, or in the class of publications denominated news apers, our materials are so copious that scarcely an association in the land can bear competition with us. BRADFORD'S Weekly Gazelle, and ZENGER'S Weekly Journal, RIVINGTON's Royal Gazette, and the old Daily Advertiser, FRENKAU's Time-Piece, etc., are conspicuous as the most important for historical research. The newspaper press is eodeared to the feelings of Americans by the strongest considerations of patriotism FRANKLIN, the Apostle of Liberty, more than a century ago published in a newspaper animadversions on the legislative evactments of Great Britain relative to the colonies. The free strictures on the administration of Governor Crosby and his council printed in the Weekly Journal of the city of New York, by John PETER Zenger, roused the energies of a whole people, and to use the language of Gouverneur Morris in a conversatiou with the speaker. 'the trial of ZENGER in 1735, was the germ of Anierican freedom ; the morning star of that liberty which subsequently revolutionized America. Common Sense' first appeared in the columns of a newspaper during the days of peril that tried men's souls, and the philosophical exposition and defence of the Constitution and the Union, which Hamilton, and Jay, and Madison published under the title of the Federalist, was first submitted to the people through the pages of a Gazette.
In fiue, let the labors of the original promoters of this Society be considered with the successful results of the active intelligence which has controlled its destinies for a number of years past, and the conviction will prove abiding, that our present collections are worthy of consultation by the highest minds in the land when accuracy of information and curious knowledge are demanded by the American historian. Such was the opinion of that eminent individual whose zeal, talents, and impartiality in historical literature have secured to him the lasting gratitude of his countrymen: 1 allude to Jared SPARKS, the biographer of WASHINGTON and FRANKLIN. Ludeed, I am almost daring enougii to conjecture that even our intellectual Colossus, DANIEL WEBSTER, might augment in dimensions by a survey of our recondite treasures.
Were I pot admonished by the lateness of the hour and too powerfully impressed with the assemblage of intellect which honors this evening's repast, I might enlarge on some of the more prominent individual characteristics of those who, whilst living among us, inost honored our association, and whose final departure we have so often been called upon to record. A few words must suffice.
“The first meeting of the Society, which was convened to celebrate its successful organization. took place upon the delivery of Dr. Miller's discourse on the fourth of September, 1809. The address of that distinguished and now sole surviving original member of our Society, with the exception of WILLIAM JOHNson, LL. D., embraced an important historical disquisition on the discovery of NewYork by HENRY Hudson. At that celebration, which was in intellectual display second only to that assembled at the present festivity, were to be seen the venerable EGBERT BENSON, our first President, whose remarkable essay on Indian names deserved a better fate than it met with ; SAMUEL and EDWARD MILLER, the former still surviving in mental vigor, and known to both worlds for his · Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century:' the latter long since dead, but eminent in our medical annals as an elegant writer and medical historian: Dr. David Hosack, the great physician and teacher, who departed this life in 1835, an original member of the Society from its first meeting, for several years its President, and historically known as the faithful varrator of the Canal Policy of this State, and the biographer of Dewitt CLINTON. Dr. HUGH WILLIAMSON, long since dead, the associate of FRANKLIN and the Historian of North Carolina, a stern patriot in perilous times, and who comes forcibly to our memories by many peculiarities, and by his ample series of cocked hats, so well preserved and so strikingly calculated by their distinctive formations to mark the several periods of that manufacture during our revolutionary struggle. Nor were the men of a sacred order indifferent to our first efforts, or in any wise reluctant to aid by their counsel and talents. I will only mention the sedate and learned Bishop MOORE of the Episcopal Church, and John M. Mason, the thunderbolt of pulpit oratory: with Doctors John H. LIVINGSTON and John RODGERS, the venerable Pastors of the Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian Churches of this city: men who, equally by purity of life, decision of character, and the formidable dimensions of their respective DOODRIDGE wigs, commanded the respect of the good, and challenged the homage of all. You have lately adopted becoming resoJutions concerning the late John PINTARD : 10 him is fully due the merit of being the most prominent of all individuals in founding this Association, on which for many years he continued to bestow his personal labors and lavish bis pecuniary means.
"With your kind indulgence I will call to mind one other of our early associates, not long ago active among us, and whom many now present may remember for his unaffected simplicity and uniform urbanity, his various and extensive knowledge and his American feeling. Few among our original members were more in earnest to countenance this Institution than the learned Doctor SAMUEL L. MITCHILL. Its objects he regarded of vational importance, and with the same impulse which urged him to suggest to his countrymen a new name for the land of their birth, did his patriotism enjoin upon him, whether in the hall of legislation or in the retirement of the nursery, to inculcate the value of a distinctive appellation for the American Confederacy, and the numerous benefits which must follow from a thorough acquaintance, by the people, with the natural history and resources, the poVOL. XXV.
litical and social institutions of the Empire State and of the American Union. You have not yet published the correspondence filed with your mss. which occurred between Dr. MITCHILL and the Iate Chancellor Livingston, touching the merits of his doctrine of Septon. You are aware that the Doctor maintained that the cause of pestilence was the influence which that invisible agent exercised on human beings. As his theory was an acid, it was, of course, to be subdued by an alkali, and the facetious Chancellor tells the Doctor that he had earned in the cause of humanity, for the perpetuity of his own great renown, a monument of hard soap from the soap boilers! You have now a philosophical reason why the goodly fathers of New-York tolerate, with so much indifference, so many poxious operations in our city, and so many local sources of distemper among us, without ever exercising a detersive influence for their mitigation: they are alkalescent, and by chemicallaws, in due time, they peutralize the formidable Python : But genius will have its vagaries. If closet study led Dr. MITCHILL to philosophize on the cis-Atlantic world as the older of the two, and to place the Garden of Eden in Onondaga-Hollow, charity may tolerate this wondrous capability of his organ of credulity, and find a recompense in the consideration that he contended for the unity of the human species ; that he cherished the Red Man of his country as a brother, and that a beneficent theology pervaded all his instruction, whether descanting on Niagara's Flood and the Oratory of RED JACKET, or unfolding the hidden mysteries of the Cryptogamia and the osteology of the Megalonyx. Dr. MITCHILL deserves our lasting thanks for his numerous papers on Physical Science, and his Historical Discourse on the Botanical Writers of America. I think I knew him well by many years of collegiate toil with him in the same school of medicine : MITCHILL was to the back-bone American.
"I must reserve for another occasiou a notice of the important part which the Hon. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS and the late Dewitt CLINTON look in advancing the interests of this Society; and I would make a like apology, the want of time, for not bringing vividly before you some notice of the acts in our behalf of the late ANTHONY B ECKER, and of ROBERT CTON, our still active and learned associate, the Hon. G. C. VERPLANCK, and of our American BLACKSTONE, Chancellor KENT.
I need hardly add to these hasty reminiscences of my native New-York, that the stewards of our early days, like the same invaluable officers of the present festival, were in no wise bebind hand in making the most ample provision for the corporeal support and mental recreation of their enlightened guests. Then, as now, our tables largely displayed the bounties of a beneficent Providence; the sanative influence of our circulating medium was neither endangered by false acceptances, nor impaired by over-issues; while Hygæa at that time, like our honored guest the Mayor HARPER at the present, discharged her wonted trusts in admonitory plenitude. Our patriotism was invigorated by Hail Columbia' and 'Yankee Doodle.' But the advantage in this respect is vastly yours to-day. At that period in the divine art, we had little acquaintance with Italian music: the monad which evolved OLE BULL had scarcely then assumed a formative process; ROSSINI had not yet ravished the world; the sublime strains of the Opera had not yet resounded on our shores; and Lucy Long' and 'old Dan Tucker' had not appeared among us.
* But a moment longer. If a tolerable memory serves me, our Ganymede on the festive occasion which I have dwelt upon was old CHRISTOPHER COLLEs. He was by birth an Irishman, and losing his parents when an infaut, was brought up by the renowned Pocook, the Orientalist. He was disciplined in classic learning, and well versed in mathematical science. He emigrated to this country sometime before the close of the war of the revolution. Modest and unassuming in his character, and no special business presenting him an opportunity of profitable employment, he devoted what portion of his time he could to land-surveying, in different parts of this state and elsewhere. He published the first book of roads through the country about 1789, and lectured in different schools on mathematics and electricity. Were I to chronicle him in the progress of science in America, he should be specified as the first person who in this country gave public instruction on the faticies and the facts of magnetism. He was also the first individual who caught the idea of supplying the city of New-York with pure spring water from a remote source, and the Bronx he conceived the best origin for that purpose. My old friend CHARLES KING might have said more of him in his valuable memoir of the · Aqueduct.'
. Through life, COLLES struggled with adverse forces, to the time of his death in 1821, at the advanced age of eighty-four years and upward. JOHN PINTARD and myself had the bonor to be his only mourners at the grave. He lies in the Episcopal Church-yard in Hudson-street; but no mark designatos the spot. The poor old man rarely experienced the enjoyments of life, and was often without its smallest necessaries. For many years his telescope and microscope supported him by the casual pittance of a six-cent piece for a look at Venus, or the circulation through the web of a frog's foot.
What a contrast in condition of life was Colles in New York, with his old master, the affluent DOLLAND of London, with whom he had worked at acromatic lepses! Yet his pressing necessities were often relieved by the bounty of John PINTARD; and I, in my way, pro re rata, administered him an occasional dose. When oppressed with inward sorrows he read EULER and MACLAURIN, and summoned his ideality in calculating the safest means to sustaiu a Bank Currency. COLLES cherished the doctrine of signs, which he derived, I believe, from his acquaintance with CULPEPPER. He was wont to say that a disastrous star presided at his birth, and that if he had been brought up to the trade of a hatter, the people would have come into the world without heads. Thus much of COLLES : and thus much was assuredly due to the memory of the man whose investigations more than half a century ago subsequently led to the erection of that vast national undertaking, the Croton Water Works. Let me, Gentlemen, in conclusion, give you a sentiment:
THE STATE OF NEW-YORK: Worthy of an Historical Society.'
The metropolitan reader will agree with us, that for variety of topics, for voluminous facts and matter-full hints, this unpremeditated speech is equally remarkable and characteristic. The well-printed pamphlet from which it is taken demands perusal at the hands of every New-Yorker.
INAUGURAL ADDRESS BEFORE THE MECHANICS' INSTITUTE, January 7, 1845. By JAMES J. MAPES,
President. Institute-Rooms: Published by order of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
INAUGURALS, on kindred occasions with that which elicited the one before us, are great bores oftentimes; wherein vague generalities and voluminous statistics are piled toweringly up, like Pelion on Ossa, to the utter inexplication of the hearer, and to the great confusion of the reader. But President Mapes is not one of the class of. inaugural' speakers to whom we refer. He touches nothing which he does not ornament.' We never knew him at a loss on any, the most intricate theme which could be brought before him, connected with practical science, or the useful and elegant arts. It is remarkable, too, that this variety of information, as contained and revolved in his mind, has nothing of a conflicting charac. ter. Each subject comes when it is called, and, without hesitation or delay, does the bidding of its master. We are glad to be made aware, through this pamphlet, of the increasing facilities of the Mechanics’ Institute. An evening school for the arts of design, as applied to the mechanic arts; conversation-meetings, for the purpose of mutual instruction; a class in mathematics, as adapted to the mechanic arts; a course of lectures on chemistry; and a most flourishing day-school, are among the gratifying evidences of the continued progress of this useful and popular institution. Mr. Mapes' condensed and forcible argument in exposition of the importance of the arts of design to the mechanic arts, and the various local illustrations which he gives of that importance, deserve a wide diffusion. The same remarks will apply, and with equal justice, to the President's observations upon the great advantages to be derived from the study of the mathematics, which are enforced by several illustrative examples and anecdotes, that bring the subject home to the comprehension of all readers. The true dignity and comparative station of the mechanic in the community are well set forth and enforced; and we derived much pleasure in the perusal of the writer's ample and very various illustrations of the scope and tendency of natural philosophy and natural history. There is no affectation of elaborate, exclamatory enforcement of the value of these studies; but a sort of running commentary upon the benefits which they present; now startling, now amusing, and always entertaining.
VESTIGES OF THE NATURAL HISTORY OF CREATION. In one volume. pp. 291. New York: WILEY
We believe the author of this volume to be correct in his assumption that it is the first actual attempt that has yet been made to connect the natural sciences into a history of creation. Still, we think we can discover traces in the Vestiges' of some very old philosophy-quite as ancient as ANAXAGORAS. We do not therefore give the author credit for all the originality he claims, however much he may felicitate himself on this score. He as. serts his purpose in the composition of his book to have been, to give the true view the his tory of nature, with as little disturbance as possible to existing beliefs, whether philosophical or religious. •Let the reconciliation of whatever is true in my views,' he remarks, ' with whatever is true in other systems, come about in the fulness of calm and careful inquiry.' New philosophic doctrines, he adds, are apt to appear very different after we have become somewhat familiar with them. Geology, at first, seemed inconsistent with the authority of the Mosaic record, and a storm of indignation arose against its teachers. In time, however, its truths, being found quite irresistible, are admitted, and yet mankind continue to regard the Scriptures with the same reverence as before. It is argued, therefore, that the only objection that can be made on such a ground to the book before us, is, that it brings forward some new hypotheses, at first sight, like geology, not in perfect harmony with that record. We shall have more to say hereafter of this and other arguments' of the work.
GENERAL HAMILTON AND COLONEL BURR. — Our thanks are due, and cordially tendered, to the correspondent from whom we derive the subjoined interesting communication: "I send you,' he writes, ' an original anecdote of General Hamilton and Colonel BURR, which you may rely upon as authentic. It was related to a party of gentlemen, of whom I was one, by the late Judge Rowan, of Kentucky, in his life-time at different periods a distinguished member of both houses of Congress, from that State; and celebrated in the western country as the first criminal lawyer of his day - not even excepting Mr. CLAY himself. At the time of the relation, in the winter of 1840, he had passed his eightieth year, but he had retained his eminent colloquial faculties unimpaired; and he told the story with an emphasis and manner peculiarly his own. He remarked, that he had retained in his memory the exact words of the parties, and that he was the only living reci. pient of them. But four persons, up to that moment, had ever had cognizance of the cir. cumstance; these were, General Hamilton, Colonel BURR, their mutual friend, General D...., and himself. He had his information from General D...., and he was pledged to secrecy during his life-time. The injunction of secrecy was now removed, by the recent death of his friend, and he felt at liberty to speak. He had been silent for forty years; he was a young man when he heard the anecdote; he was an old man now, when proposing to relate it for the first time. "Gentlemen,' said he, this one circumstance filled up, in my mind, the outlines of the character of these two celebrated men ; I want no other history of them. You may write ponderous tomes, eulogistic of the one and denunciatory of the other; but I have a fact in my head, and it is the centre of my opinion. Colonel BURR, when arraigned for trial, did me the very great honor to invite me to become his counsel and advocate, but I remembered the fact, and refused.
“It was at that period in our history when the Confederation, having cast off the iron hoop of war, seemed to have no other bond of strength. Men's minds were unsettled; there was no gravitation of principle ; no unity of purpose ; no centre of motion. Patriotism had expended its enthusiasm ; liberty had lost its vitality, and forbearance its subordination. BURR believed that the staggering elements would fall in confusion, writhe for a season in anarchy, and emerge in monarchy. He believed that the fermentation, if allowed to take is course, would froth and effervesce, and rectify by crystalizing, the desire to put WashINGTON on the throne. He thought, however, that there was a shorter way to stability,' by intrigue ; by the conjuration of adverse influences; a way less sinuous to his own advancement. He believed that there was no man without his price, while his acute discernment told him that Hamilton's was a character which even his own partizans would turn to in despair, and prefer it to his, in testing an experiment or trying a theory. He had a proposition to make to General Hamilton : it was patriotic or it was traitorous ; it was full of meaning, overreaching the words, balancing the ambiguity nicely, but search. ing enough to find the weakness, had it existed. He knew he would be understood with. out being committed; answered, without being betrayed. There was treason in it; but it
was in the occasion, the manner, the words, if you please; and yet it was no where, if he chose to disclaim it! He had a proposition to make, but he would not write it down ! Mark the man; he could not be prevailed on to put it upon paper. He gave his friend the words, and the emphasis, and made him repeat both, until they told right to his own ear. These were the exact terms:
"Colonel Burr presents his compliments to General HAMILTON: Will General H. seize the present opportunity to give a stable government to his country, and provide for his friends ?'
"General HAMILTON did not hesitate a moment: this was his answer:
"General HAMILTON presents, in return, his compliments to Colonel BURR: Colonel B. thinks General H. ambitious : he is right; General H. is one of the most ambitious of men; but his whole ambition is to deserve well of his country.'
“There is an answer,' continued the narrator, 'which would have deified a Roman; there is the first of the offences which he expiated at Weehawken.''
THE PAYMENT OF THE INTEREST. — Base is the slave who pays,' was the sentiment of ancient PistoL. But this Pistol was an immoral man. He was not respectable ; he knew nothing of good society: and it was most surprising that so respectable a State as Pennsylvania should have adopted his axiom. But she has repented; she finds it will not do : she begins to pay, and she may be forgiven. It is held, however, a special requirement of the penitent that he should feel his error; or, as the Italian adage has it:
"Che non conosce haver'errato
The mention of Pistol naturally introduces the subject of artillery, and reminds us of another passage in the history of this payment; we mean the gun-firing. Mr. DICKENS, speaking in the words of Mark Tapley, uttered not long ago the following ratiocination, displeasing to many, with regard to the repudiating portion of this republic:
"Take notice of my words, Sir. If ever the defaulting part of this here country pays its debts, along of finding that not paying 'em won't do, in a commercial p'int of view, you see, and is inconvenient in its consequences, they'll take such a shine out of it. and make such bragging speeches, that a man might suppose no borrowed money had ever been paid afore, since the world was first begun. That's the way they gammon each other, Sir. Bless you, I know 'em : take notice of my words, now!''
We have taken notice of Mr. DICKENS's prophecy, and must admit his claim, however unwillingly, to the appellation (so much affected by affected writers) of seer or soothsayer. Whatever witchcraft he may have used, whether by maggot-pies or choughs or rooks, he has practised his divinations ; he has certainly proved himself an augur. All over the country, the newspapers have been congratulating themselves and the community that Pennsylvania, pious Pennsylvania ! honest Pennsylvania ! has at last concluded to begin to pay the interest.'
On this glorious occasion the Philadelphia journals tell us that a grand national salute of one hundred guns was fired. As on that morn when Independence was declared, hearts thrilled, cheeks glowed, legs strutted, and the eyes of men in Chestnut-street flashed and sparkled, as they met in unison with the flashing of those eloquent guns! Oh! that SYDNEY SMITH could have heard, over the echoless waters, those rejoicing cannons ! Oh that their dread clamors might bave shook Saint Paul's!
Oh for a blast of that great gun
that it might have out-bellowed Boreas on the stormy deep, and told the saucy British,