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ART. VIII.-John Bull in America, or the New Munchausen.*
London. 1825. John Miller. 12mo. pp. 327.
We regret exceedingly to find that this curious and invalua. ble little volume has been published under the above preposterous and unmeaning title. The manuscript, (as it appears from a very vulgar and impertinent preface prefixed by the American publisher,) was found in the Mansion Hotel in the city of Washington, and evidently belonged to an English gentleman who had been induced to encounter the perils of a journey through almost every part of the United States, with the laudable object of ascertaining the naked truth with regard to that land of boasted liberty. It appears further, that this gentleman, shortly after his arrival in Washington, to use the language of the American publisher, “mysteriously disappeared,” or, in plain English, was basely assassinated by some dirking republican, who, we presume, will soon be rewarded for the feat, by a place in the yankee House of Delegates. The Editor, who confesses the fact of the murder, has meanly attempted to fasten the odium of this atrocious crime upon a certain Frenchman, by whose impertinent presence, it appears, that our unfortunate countryman was perpetually annoyed.
This false charge is made with all the diabolical cunning of a cold blooded yankee; for we candidly acknowledge, that if the murder had been committed in any other country than America, we should have had no hesitation to ascribe it to a Frenchman. For ourselves, our minds are made up. convinced that this foul deed was perpetrated by no less a man than General Jackson, the same monster who inhumanly murdered Dr. Arbuthnot and Miss Ann Bristow, a beautiful English girl,
* This article was sent to us from London, with a very urgent request that it might be inserted in the first number of the New-York Review. It was written, we are given to understand, by the aut of the notice of Farmer Faux's Memorable Days, in the 58th number of the Quarterly Review. The present article was offered, it appears, to Mr. Coleridge, the new editor of the Quarterly, but declined by that gentleman, on the ground that he was unwilling to continue the violent opposition to every thing American, so long maintained by his predecessor, Mr. Gifford. As the review of Mr. Faux's Book was, from some strange scruple, omitted in the American edition of the Quarterly Review, and as the present article on Mr. Toughtale's Travels bears a very close resemblance, in argument and style, to that curious production, we feel confident that its insertion will be gratefully received by all who have not yet been favored with a sight of the English copy of the far-famed “ fifty-eighth number of the Quarterly," VOL. 1.
to whom he was engaged, and shortly to be married. We trust that an inquiry into the circumstances of this infamous assassination will be instantly set on foot by his Majesty's ministers, and reparation for the outrage be demanded from the American President, in a manner conformable to the rights of a British subject, and the dignity of a British king.
In perusing the journal of this unfortunate victim of American barbarity, we were forcibly struck with the very unusual ability and talent it every where discloses. Even the American editor is compelled to acknowledge the extraordinary merits of this production. Indeed, we do not hesitate to say, that for candor, sound sense, impartiality, integrity, piety, and orthodoxy, this work is not to be surpassed even by the admirable journals of Fearon and Faux. Every page bears the stamp of a vigorous and highly cultivated intellect, and so exalted is our admiration of the writer's powers, and so profound our sympathy for his unheard-of sufferings, that we have spared no exertions that could possibly lead to the discovery of his real name. These exertions, we have now the mournful satisfaction to state, have terminated in a satisfactory identification of the amiable author. The American editor has, with characteristic ignorance, ascribed the work to Mr. Secretary Croker, who is now, as every body knows, alive in London, and who certainly has never thought of venturing his life among the gouging, dirking, throat-cutting democrats of Boston or New-York. The fact is, as we have ascertained from competent authority, that this martyr to republican ferocity, was a gentleman by the name of Mr.Timothy Toughtale, a highly respectable journeyman button-gilder, of Birmingham, and a man universally esteemed for his unaffected philanthropy and unimpeachable veracity. But our business is now with the book.
Mr. Toughtale was evidently a very able writer, as well as an accomplished traveller; and we cannot but sincerely hope that the modest and unassuming, but pure and perspicuous style in which this book is written, will go far to give it a rapid and extensive circulation, and thus check the further emigration to America of our now happy paupers, whose adventures in that boasted paradise of freedom, are sure to terminate in scenes of heart-rending misery and soul-harrowing distress. That Mr. Toughtale was an honest man, and told the truth to the best of his knowledge and belief, we cannot for a moment permit ourselves to doubt ;-indeed, there is scarcely a word or a fact in his book for which he does not produce his authority ;-nor can we deny the proud satisfaction we feel at his frequent reference to the pages of this journal.
Fully aware of the vast superiority of British ships and British sailors, Mr. Toughtale declined the unsolicited advice of certain merchants in Liverpool, (who strangely, and we think very impertinently, urged him to embark in an American packet,) and took passage on board the British brig Wellington, for Boston ; his business being principally in New-Orleans. By one of those chances against which no wisdom can provide, his passage, notwithstanding this precaution, was a long and a tedious one, and he did not make Cape Hatteras (the eastern point of Boston Bay) until the seventieth day after leaving the English shore. In going up the bay, Mr. Toughtale saw the famous sea-serpent, of which we have seen such hyperbolical accounts in the Kentucky newspapers. As we expected, it is not as large as, our common watersnakes in the Serpentine. Our traveller puts up at Renshaw's Hotel, and, at supper, was exceedingly disgusted with the officious civilities of his fellow boarders.
The next morning Mr. Toughtale rode out for the purpose of examining the character and habits of the people. The first thing that struck him was the vast disproportion of negroes in the streets and every where else around him. Nearly one half of the inhabitants of Boston are blacks. The rich whites retain great numbers of them, not for their services, but solely for the purpose of indulging themselves in the luxury of flogging them. This, from all accounts, appears to be the favorite amusement of the citizens. As instruments of torture, gentlemen prefer clubs, ladies (proh pudor!)—cowhides, and young people pins. Crowds assemble daily at the Mall, eager to participate in this republican diversion. Mr. Toughtale saw thousand instances of this kind of a morning."
Next to the perpetual recurrence of these disgusting exhibitions of diabolical ferocity, the most common objects seen in the streets of Boston are drunken men, women, and children. Mr. Toughtale was assured by the Mayor, Mr. Phillips, that on an average, every
every day, by nine o'clock in the morning. Children are never permitted to go to school; learning, we presume, being considered aristocratical in this land of equal rights. Accordingly, nothing can exceed the besotted stupidity of the common people of New England. The Rev. Cotton Mather, who passes for one of the most enlightened preachers in Boston, and of whom, to tell the truth, we expected better things,) has just published a book, entitled the Magnalia, in which he gives a variety of witch-stories, such as would be
laughed at, even among the Indians, but which, says Mr.
Toughtale, are all believed here, “as if they were Holy Writ” -and we may add, perhaps a little more. With these facts before us, it is a matter of infinite surprise to us, how any one can hesitate to acknowledge the striking intellectual inferiority of the Americans.- Religion is, if possible, in a worse state than literature, manners, or morals. Mr. Toughtale is, however, mistaken in saying that there is not a single church in Boston. Would to God it were so ! Better no religion at all, than the blood-curdling blasphemies of Socinianism. The simple truth is, that the Bostonians are all Atheists, and to this we are to ascribe their portentous ignorance and beastly immorality, as well as the atrocious inhumanity with which they treat their poor unfortunate blacks. Let these men go on! Let them exult while they may, in their infernal triumph over virtue and religion ; but let them recollect in the midst of their sacrilegious revels, that the day of retribution is at hand. These unfortunate victims of worse than cannibal cruelty must ere long outnumber their sanguinary tyrants; and then, we trust in God, some friend of suffering humanity will be found, who will rouse them from their degradation to a bloody and insatiable revenge. From Boston Mr. Toughtale proceeded to Charleston, a city separated from Boston by the river Potomac. At the navy-yard of this place, Mr. Toughtale saw a ship building, which Captain Hull, the commandant, assured him would carry 300 long forty-two pounders. And this is to be called a seventy-four, forsooth! To obtain this single fact was worth all the hazards of the journey. It abundantly explains the execrable frauds by which the English navy, during the last American war, was foully cheated of her well-earned fame.- The following description of Charleston we recommend to the perusal of the admirers of American liberty, and if they can read it through without feeling their cheeks tingle with shame, and their blood boil with indignation, we can only say, that they promise to prove worthy citizens of this Paradise of Fools.
4 Charleston is about the size of Boston, but has neither pavements nor sidewalks, and alternates between mud and dust, and dust and mud. In summer it is all dust, in winter all mud. Indeed, I began to perceive the moment I arrived here, that I had got among a different sort of people from those of Boston. There was no one to be seen in the streets but negroes stark naked as they were born, with their backs striped like a leopard, in consequence of the frequent application of the lash. In fact, ihe principal article for sale here at the retail shops, is the cow-hide, as it is called, that is, a hard ok-skin, twisied in the shape of a whip.
Almost every man you see has one of these in his hand, and a spur at his heel, to make people believe he carries his whip for his horse. But I was assured by the head waiter at the city hotel, kept by Mr. Chester Jennings, in Charleston, that it was for the purpose of beating the slaves. Nothing indeed will tempt the whites to exert themselves in this enervating climate, but the luxury of licking a fellow,' as they call it, and almost the first thing I noticed in coming into the city, was a tall, lank, cadaverous figure, strutting up and down, cutting and hacking with his cow-hide at every negro man, woman, and child, that came in his way. I inquired of the driver what these blacks had been guilty of.“ Guilty," replied he, “ guilty-eh!-0, lord bless you, sir, it's only Judge D
adjusing himself with the niggers !”—pp. 14, 15. The following detail is so strongly corroborated by a similar statement in Faux's Memorable Days,* that it would be an insult to common sense to doubt it for a moment:
“I had scarcely been at my hotel an hour, when this same Judge D called upon me as a stranger, and invited me to dinner the next day. My blood rose up against the brute; but as I wished to see whether some of the stories told about these peonle, and which they deny, were true, I accepted his invitation. The party consisted of Judge Dwife, two daughters, and about a dozen of the principal men in the place, among whom was the governor of South Carolina, Mr. Heister. Behind each of the seats, as well the Judge's as those of his lady and daughters, stood a black boy or girl, as it happened, perfectly naked, and each of the guests were provided with a cow hide, with which to chastise any neglect of duty on the part of the slaves. There was cut and come again. The Judge and his guests cut their meat and cut the negroes ad interim, and I particularly noticed the dexterity of the young ladies in touching the tender places with the cow-bide, as well as their infinite delight in seeing them wince under the application. One of these poor wretches, having the misfortune to break a plate during dinner, was taken out, put under the window by the overseer, and beat so cruelly that her inoans were heard over half the city. When she came in again, the tears were rolling down her cheeks, and the blood trickling down her naked back. The indifference with which every one of the company but myself beheld all this, convinced me that it was the custom of the country.”—pp. 15, 16.
It has frequently been stated, on very respectable authority, that in Charleston the flesh of young negroes is eaten without scruple by the whites. The fact is almost too horrible to be credited, and we have accordingly always cautiously abstained
* We subjoin the extract from Faux :
“ Colonel Taylor has a black uncle, a slave, for his body guard, and most owners are related to their black cattle. A gentleman of Washington, too kind hearted to whip his house negroes himself, leaves it to his wife, a fashionable, beautiful female, holding and going to levees, yet able to cow-bide her negroes, whose screams under the lash, scare Mrs. Little and family. A cow-hide is no uncommon appendage of the ladies here.”—p. 387.