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for more than fifty-two years, July 28, 1823, at the age of eighty.one.
His eldest son, Judge Ephraim Cutler, already mentioned, was a member of the Territorial Legislature, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and member of the Convention which formed the Constitution of Ohio, in which he almost wholly shaped and drafted the judicial system of the State, and successfully resisted the well-laid scheme of setting aside the antislavery provision of the Ordinance. He was later a member of the State Legislature, and planned the common-school system of the State. Another son, Jervis Cutler, said to be the first emigrant who landed at Marietta, wrote a “ Topographical Description of the States of Ohio, Indiana Territory and Louisiana, comprising the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers," 219 pp. 12mo, which was published in 1812, and illustrated with engravings by his own hand. Judge Cutler's son, Hon. William P. Cutler, still living at Marietta, and one of the most prominent men of Southeastern Ohio, was a member of Congress from Ohio from 1860 to 1862.
The fact that no biography of so eminent a man as Dr. Manasseh Cutler has appeared, requires a word of explanation. Twenty-seven years ago, a gentleman who had written several historical works of merit, and who is now librarian of one of the State historical societies, applied to the family of Dr. Cutler for his manuscripts and papers, in order to prepare his biography; and the papers which the family then possessed, or copies of them, were delivered to him. A printed circular, dated March 8, 1849, which he sent to the correspondents and friends of Dr. Cutler, asking for further contributions of letters and other materials, is before the writer. During these long years this gentleman has professed to be deeply interested in the work, and to be constantly finding new evidences of his subject's versatility of genius and works of usefulness; but the biography itself, for some unexplained reason, has not been published. The materials in the hands of the biographer have not been accessible to the writer in the preparation of this paper ;. but the family in Ohio, at the writer's request, have kindly furnished to him such papers as they possess. A recent note from the biographer assures the writer that the longpromised life of Dr. Cutler will soon appear.
The delay in the publication of his biography, will explain why the name of Dr. Manasseh Cutler is not more familiar to the historical students of the Northwestern States, and has not hitherto been associated with the origin and history of the Ordinance of 1787.
WILLIAM FREDERICK POOLE.
ART. II. — Native Races of the Pacific States. By HUBERT
HOWE BANCROFT. New York: D. Appleton & Co. - Civilized Nations, Vol. II.
The first accounts of the pueblo of Mexico created a powerful sensation in Europe. In the West India Islands the Spanish discoverers found small Indian tribes under the government of chiefs ; but on the continent, in the Valley of Mexico, they found a confederacy of three Indian tribes under a more advanced but similar government. In the midst of the valley was a large pueblo, the largest in America, surrounded with water, approached by causeways; in fine, a water-girt fortress impregnable to Indian assault. This pueblo presented to the Spanish adventurers the extraordinary spectacle of an Indian society lying two ethnical periods back of European society, but with a government and plan of life at once intelligent, orderly, and complete. There was aroused an insatiable curiosity for additional particulars, which has continued for three centuries, and which has called into existence a larger number of works than were ever before written upon any people of the same number and of the same importance.
The Spanish adventurers who captured the pueblo of Mexico saw a king in Montezuma, lords in Aztec chiefs, and a palace in the large joint-tenement house occupied, Indian fashion, by Montezuma and his fellow-householders. It was, perhaps, an unavoidable self-deception at the time, because they knew nothing of the Aztec social system. Unfortunately it inaugurated American aboriginal history upon a misconception of Indian life which has remained substantially unquestioned to the present hour. The first eyewitnesses gave the keynote to
this history by introducing Montezuma as a king, occupying a palace of great extent and crowded with retainers, in the midst of a grand and populous city over which, and much beside, he was reputed master. But king and kingdom were in time found too common to express all the glory and splendor the imagination was beginning to conceive of Aztec society; and emperor and empire gradually superseded the more humble conception of the conquerors.
At this late day an enthusiasm and an industry great enough to produce the five volumes entitled “The Native Races of the Pacific States ” inspire our respect. Enthusiasm coupled with industry has performed great work for mankind in all ages ; but when controlled by a glowing and unguarded imagination, there is danger, as these volumes witness, of a misconception of the materials under treatment, of inflation, of exaggeration, of delusive theories, and of false conclusions. It is an ungracious task to point out, from a sense of duty, old errors herein reproduced and re-endorsed, and thus come into antagonism with an author for whom his critic can but feel a sentiment of respect.
In the second volume of this work, with which alone this article will be concerned, the high and mighty emperor of the Aztecs, whose supposed subjects must have numbered, the Tezcucans and Tlacopans included, nearly two hundred and fifty thousand Red Indians, and the great Aztec empire, which covered an area as large as the whole State of Rhode Island, are again brought magnificently before our astonished minds.*
* The Valley of Mexico, including the adjacent mountain slopes and excluding the area covered by water, was about equal to the State of Rhode Island, which contains thirteen hundred square miles; an insignificant area for a single American Indian tribe. But the Confederacy had subdued a number of tribes southward and southeastward from the valley as far as Guatemala, and placed them under tribute. Under their plan of government it was impossible to incorporate these tribes in the Aztec Confederacy, the barrier of language furnished an insuperable objection; and they were left to govern themselves through their own chief, and according to their own usages and customs. As they were neither under Aztec government nor Aztec usages, there is no occasion to speak of them as a part of the Aztec Confederacy, or even as an appendage of its government. The power of this Confederacy did not extend a hundred miles beyond the Valley of Mexico on the west, northwest, north, northeast, or east sides, in each of which directions they were confronted by independent and hostile tribes.
The population of the three confederate tribes was confined to the valley, and did
There is even a plethora of empires, kings, and lords in this volume, - for example, the Toltec empire, the Chichemec empire, and the Aztec empire, one after the other; the Votan empire and the Quiche empire in the little territory of Guatemala; the kings of Tezcuco, the kings of Tlacopan, the kings of Michoacan, the kings of Tollan, and other kings as thick as blackbirds; besides princes, “nobles, gentry, plebeians, and slaves," * ad nauseam. All the grand terminology of the Old World, created under despotic and monarchical institutions during several thousand years of civilization, to decorate particular men and classes of men, has been lavished by our author with American prodigality upon plain Indian sachems and war-chiefs, without perceiving that thereby the poor Indian was grievously wronged, for he had not invented such institutions nor formed such a society as these terms imply.
This work, it must be admitted, is in entire harmony with the body of works on Spanish America. It embodies their extravagances, their exaggerations, their absurdities, and runs beyond them in fervor of imagination and in recklessness of statement. A psychological fact, which deserves a moment's notice, is revealed by these works, written as they were with a desire for the truth and without intending to deceive. These writers ought to have known that every Indian tribe in America was an organized society, with definite institutions, usages, and customs, which, when ascertained, would have perfectly explained its government, the social relations of the people, and their plan of life. Indian society could be explained as completely and understood as perfectly as the civilized society of Europe or America, by finding its exact organization. This, strange to say, was never attempted, or at least never accomplished, by any one of these numerous and voluminous writers. To every author, from Cortes and Bernal Diaz to Brasseur de Bourbourg and Hubert H. Bancroft, Indian society was an unfathomable mystery; and their works have left it a mystery still. Ignorant of its structure and principles, and unable to comprehend its peculiarities, they invoked the imagination to supply whatever was necessary to fill out the picture. When the reason, from want of facts, is unable to understand and therefore unable to explain the structure of a given society, imagination walks bravely in and fearlessly rears its glittering fabric to the skies. Thus, in this case, we have a grand historical romance, strung upon the conquest of Mexico as upon a thread; the acts of the Spaniards, the pueblo of Mexico, and its capture, are historical, while the descriptions of Indian society and government are imaginary and delusive. These picturesque tales have been read with wonder and admiration, as they successively appeared, for three hundred and fifty years ; though shown to be romances, they will continue to be read, as Robinson Crusoe is read, not because they are true, but because they are pleasing. The psychological revelation is the eager, undefinable interest aroused by any picture of ancient society. It is felt by every stranger when he first walks the streets of Pompeii, and, standing within the walls of its roofless houses, strives to picture to himself the life and the society which flourished there eighteen hundred years ago. In Mexico the Spaniard found an organized society several thousand years further back of their own than Pompeian society, in its arts, institutions, and state of advancement. It was this revelation of a phase of the ancient life of mankind, which possessed, and still possesses, such power'to kindle the imagination and inspire enthusiasm. It caught the imagination and overcame the critical judgment of Prescott, our most charming writer; it ravaged the sprightly brain of Brasseur de Bourbourg; and it carried up in a whirlwind our author at the Golden Gate.
pot probably exceed two hundred and fifty thousand souls, if it equalled that number, which would give nearly twice the present population of New York to the square mile, and a greater population to the square mile than Rhode Island now contains. The Spanish estimates of Indian populations were gross exaggerations. Those who claim a greater population for the Valley of Mexico than that indicated will be bound to show how a barbarous people, without flocks and herds and without field agriculture, could have sustained in equal areas a larger number of inhabitants than a civilized people armed with these advantages.
* Civilized Nations, p. 124.
The appearance of this work just as it is, and the commendation it has received from our critical journals, reveal with painful distinctness the fact that we have no science of American Ethnology. Such a science, resting as it must upon verified facts, and dealing with the institutions, arts, and inventions,