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came upon the man, and attempted to take him off by force; but this attempt was frustrated, and a temporary reconciliation was effected, by Mr Flower and Mr Ronalds giving bail in the sum of one thousand dollars for his appearance at court. This transaction opened to new plots of villany. The amount of bail was much greater than the man was worth as a slave. A scheme was laid to seize him by artifice before the session of the court, and thus cause the bond to be forfeited, and at the same time send the negro down the Mississippi and sell him into servitude. Armed men lurked for several days around the premises on which he resided, but as their design was early discovered, he was kept in safety till brought before the court, where his indenture was proved to be illegal, and himself declared free. If we have been rightly informed, this is but one case out of many of a similar kind, which have happened in the states north of the Ohio.
The interest, which Mr Flower had taken in behalf of the free people of color, brought many of them to his lands as laborers. These persons had heard of the Colonisation Society, and of emigration to Hayti; they expressed a wish to learn further particulars, and a readiness to remove to any country, where they might be relieved from the apprehensions, by which in their present situation their existence was harassed. About this time Mr Flower saw President Boyer's Address, and resolved to send out an agent to Hayti on his own responsibility, and at his own expense, to inquire on what terms he would receive colored emigrants from the United States. The easy intercourse between the western states and the West Indies, through the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, suggested this channel as affording much the greatest advantages for emigration from these states. The agent, Mr Robert Graham, arrived at Port au Prince on the 11th of July, 1822, where he met with a kind reception from the Secretary Inginac, and from President Boyer. He received little encouragement, however, as to the main object of his inquiry, which was whether the Haytian government would pay the expenses of transporting such persons as should emigrate. The President expressed his utmost willingness to receive all that might come, and to provide them with lands to cultivate, and contribute to their subsistence till they should be able to support themselves; but he declined
holding out any temptation by offering to pay their passage. An agent he said had already come over from the United States, and obtained considerable funds for transporting free people of color to the island, but he had absconded with the money in his pocket. Emigrants had also arrived at the island, whose expenses had been paid by the government, but who proved to be vagabonds, and pestilent members of society. After these experiments, the President deemed it necessary to temper his benevolence with caution, and not to hold out a lure, which would draw around him only the idle and the worthless. He generously paid the agent's expenses from Illinois to Hayti, which had already been advanced by Mr Flower, without expecting a remuneration, and he agreed to give lands, protection, and all the privileges of citizenship to any persons of color, who might be disposed to emigrate from Illinois. The President also offered to receive fifty persons, and pay their passage out of his private funds, if they would consent to work his own lands on shares; and the Secretary made the same proposal.
On Mr Graham's return, twenty four colored people resolved to try their fortunes in Hayti, and being assisted by Mr Flower with such necessary means, as they did not themselves possess, they embarked for New Orleans under the care of Mr Graham in April, 1823. Here they left their guide and took passage for Port au Prince, where they arrived safely, after suffering much from exposure during the voyage, as they were deck passengers. They have written to their friends in Illinois, stating that they reside on the President's lands at Logan, about twenty miles from Port au Prince, that their prospects are good, and that they hope soon to be able to refund the money, which Mr Flower had advanced on their account.
This narrative speaks not less favorably, than President Boyer's instructions to his agent, of the wisdom, the good policy, and fair intention of the Haytian government, in regard to the encouragement held out to emigrants to settle in that island Mr Graham was much pleased with the aspect of society, and the apparent strength and equitable administration of the government. Great attention is paid to education; schools and the higher seminaries of learning are rapidly multiplying; VOL. XX.-No. 46.
and in the city it is a rare thing to find a person under thirty years of age, who cannot read and write. The legislature of Hayti consists of a senate and house of representatives, the former composed of twentyone members, and the latter of sixtyfive. The President is elected for life, but can be deprived of his office by the senate for maladministration. Mr Graham was present at the opening of a congress, and the deliberations of this body were conducted with dignity, method, and order. The republic of Hayti maintains a standing army of about forty thousand men, but on an emergency can bring one hundred thousand into the field.
ART. IX.-Escalala, an American Tale.
By SAMUEL B.
12mo. pp. 109. Utica. W. Williams. 1824.
Ir an opinion may be formed by the experiments already tried, the character of the North American Indian affords but a barren theme for poetry. Atala is an Indian story, it is true, yet the fancy of the poet has made the grace and beauty of his picture consist more in adscititious ornaments, than in any strongly drawn lines peculiar to Indian life and manners. Campbell, in his Gertrude of Wyoming, has attempted the portraiture of an Indian, in the character of Outalissi the Oneyda warrior,
'Train'd from his tree rock'd cradle to his bier,
These characteristics are true to nature, but viewed in all his conduct, Outalissi is only half an Indian, partaking alike of the habitudes and feelings of the white and the red man. It cannot be denied, however, that the poet has succeeded better than the painter, who has thought to illustrate his conceptions by embodying them in a visible form. In one of Westall's designs for a beautiful edition of Campbell's poems, the Oneyda warrior is represented with curled hair, African features, and a white beard, three most extraordinary appendages to the head of a North American Indian.
Our own countrymen have begun recently to invoke the Muses in behalf of these ancient sons of the forest. A poem has appeared, the express object of which is to delineate Traits of the Aborigines of America. So unproductive was the theme, that the author has wandered in other climes and other ages to find materials for the work, and the Greeks and Romans, the warriors and sages of antiquity, figure nearly as much in the drama, as the Indians themselves. There is good poetry in this performance, but that is not the best which draws traits of the Indians. The author of Ontwa has been more successful in describing Indian character and scenery, than any writer whom we have read. As a descriptive poem this has much merit, but it descends little into the deep feelings of the human heart, and the strong movements of the passions. It tells of the wars between the Iroquois and the Eries, by which the latter race was exterminated; and the warlike propensities of the natives, their modes of going to battle, making peace, their treatment of captives, and other peculiarities relating to this subject, are well delineated. Many things the author describes from his own observation, and he applies to Ontwa the language, which Chateaubriand had before applied to Atala, 'that it was written in the desert, and under the huts of the savages.' This familiarity with the local condition of the Indians gave him advantages, which he has well employed in his descriptions of savage life; but after all, there is so little of the romantic and of the truly poetical in the native Indian character, that we doubt whether a poem of high order can ever be woven out of the materials it affords. The Indian has a lofty and commanding spirit, but its deeply marked traits are few, stern, and uniform, never running into those delicate and innumerable shades, which are spread over the surface of civilised society, giving the fullest scope to poetic invention, and opening a store of incidents inexhaustible, and obedient to the call of fancy. When you have told of generosity, contempt of danger, patience under suffering, revenge, and cruelty, you have gone through with the catalogue of the Indian's virtues and vices, and touched all the chords that move his feelings or affections. To analyse and combine these into a poem of high interest, without extensive aid from other sources than the real Indian character, is no easy task, and the
day is not to be expected, when the exploits of the Iroquois and Mohawks, or the rough features of their social habits, shall be faithfully committed to the numbers of ever enduring song. The minstrel's harp would recoil at its own notes in hazarding such a strain, and the Muses would deny inspiration to a votary bent on so desperate an enterprise.
Seemingly aware of these difficulties, the author of Escalala has employed the agency of civilised men, in filling up some of the most important parts of his poem. The story is simple and soon told. In the ninth century the Norwegian chief, Naddohr, found his way over the seas to Greenland, and colonised that country. Tradition says, that this Naddohr was shipwrecked and lost, during a voyage in which he was transporting colonists to his newly acquired territory. Mr Beach supposes that this courageous chieftain did not suffer so hard a fate, but that he landed on the coast of America, and penetrated with his followers to the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio, where they formed a settlement. Three centuries afterwards a great nation had arisen and extended over that region, retaining the manners, superstitions, and ceremonies of its Scandinavian ancestors. We have now arrived at the place and time in which the events of the poem occur. The Scanians, for so the descendants of Naddohr's colony are called, prepare to celebrate the annual religious rites of Odin. Gondibert, king of the Scanians, his nobles, and his son Ruric, engage in a grand hunting excursion as preparatory to the festival. In the midst of the chase, Ruric wanders from the party, comes upon Escalala by surprise, while fishing with her maidens in a secluded spot, is smitten with her beauty, seizes and carries her off. Escalala is the daughter of Warredondo, a most powerful Indian chief, who immediately rallies his warriors to avenge this insult on his daughter and his tribe. Battles and carnage follow; capricious victory for some time leaves the contest doubtful; but at length the united force of the neighboring tribes comes down on the Scanians, and utterly exterminates the race. Escalala, the heroine, acts an important part through the whole conflict, and is a principal instrument in conducting the successful warfare of her father's friends. The poet occasionally breaks in upon the thread of his story with the songs of the bards, who dwelt in the halls of Gondibert, as of yore in those of the Scandinavian kings.