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committee of award could not agree on any one Essay as superior to the others, but recommended that the premium should be divided among five of the best, which they designated.* This plan did not suit the gentlemen who offered the premium, and they did not consider themselves bound by it. They therefore rejected it, and immediately raised the premium to one thousand dollars for the best Essay only, and extended the time of receiving the Essays to the 20th of June, 1834; and they appointed the Hon. John Q. Adams, Chancellor Kent and Thomas S. Grimké the committee of award. The much lamented Grimké died of the cholera, in 1834, by which the cause of Peace suffered an irreparable loss. The Hon. Daniel Webster consented to take his place in the committee. But one other Essay was offered under the enlarged premium, though some were withdrawn and published by their authors in one form or another. The second committee were no more fortunate than the first, and could not agree
Award of the Committee.—The subscribers, according to the request of the committee of the American Peace Society, have carefully read the several Essays which have been transmitted to them by the committee, for the purpose of awarding the prizes authorized by the Society for the two Essays.
Upon full consideration, they are of opinion that five of the Essays possess very high
in awarding the prize to any one candidate; and it was found impossible to get either committee to revise their labors, being gentlemen of high standing in society, and their time precious; and the gentlemen who offered the prize declined having any thing further to do with the business. *
This placed the American Peace Society in a very awkward predicament. They had suffered their periodical to be used for giving publicity to the offer of the premium; and they felt that they were in honor bound to see that the best writers should not go altogether unrewarded. The President of the Society read the Essays, and found that they contained matter too good to be lost to the world ; and the Society authorized him, together with such other person as he should choose out of the Executive Committee, to select five of the best Essays, regarding, but not being bound by, the previous awards, to be published in a volume, together with a sixth Essay, composed by the President, and containing all the matter relevant to the subject which was elicited by the rejected Essays, with such other remarks as might occur to him. The Committee obtained all they could of these Essays, amounting to thirty-five. How many were
* Award of the second Committee.—The referees, to whom were submitted, by the Secretary of the American Peace Society, the several Essays offered for the premium of one thousand dollars, are of opinion, that among the Essays submitted, there is not one so decidedly superior to all the rest as not only to be worthy of the prize, but exclusively worthy. And as the Essays were submitted on that condition, the referees do not make any award in the case.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
JAMES KENT, February, 1837.
withdrawn, they have no means of knowing. Many of the Essays had no accompanying sealed paper, with a corresponding signature, and but few of these papers were ever obtained by the publishing committee, who selected those Essays which they considered the best, in which selection they have the happiness to agree with the distinguished gentlemen of the first two committees.
Several of the rejected Essays were equal, and perhaps superior, to those selected; but they were only introductory to the subject of a Congress of Nations. They were very good Essays on the general subject of Peace and War; and it is very desirable that they should be given to the public; but they contained very few remarks on the subject of a Congress of Nations, which was the object of those who offered the premium, as well as of the Peace Society, and to publish them would not answer the purpose intended.
Probably the reader of the volume will think that we have retained too much introduction, and that the portico is larger than the temple. We have placed the Essay which had most of introduction first in order, so that the reader will find less of it in the subsequent Essays.
The author of the first Essay is John A. Bolles, Esq., a member of the bar in Boston, Massachusetts. As has been already observed, a great part of this Essay is taken up in an introduction to the subject. There are in it some very severe remarks on the Holy Alliance and the partition of Poland, which were retained by mistake. It was intended to omit them, as we do not expect to drive either monarchs or private citizens into our measures by reproaches; but to draw them by
persuasion acting on their self-love and their philanthropy.
The second Essay, by HAMILTON, is one of those of which the committee of publication have no means of ascertaining its author, until he shall make himself known. This Essay contains many valuable thoughts, but there is great want of arrangement, and, consequently, much repetition. The style is often very much involved and obscure. It must be read with the very closest attention, and then it will repay the labor of the perusal; for many of the thoughts, when one gets at them, are rich and original. This Essay stood high on the list of one of the most distinguished of the former umpires. Nevertheless, we should advise the reader, — particularly if he has not time to read the whole volume, - to pass over this Essay until he has read the others. If it should be asked why the publishing committee chose this Essay, with all its faults, we answer, that, though among the rejected Essays were some superior to this in point of thought and composition, there is not one so much to the purpose; which is, to elicit discussion on the subject of a Congress of Nations, and not on the general subject of Peace and War. Besides this, the publishing committee had an eye to the opinions of the previous committees, and this influenced the choice.
The third Essay, signed M., the author of which, for the reasons above stated, is at present unknown, is very beautiful in its language, and its style is perspicuous; but it does not enter deeply into the subject of a Congress of Nations, 'nor take so practical a view of it as is desirable; but there is too much of a general nature in it.
There is also in it some confusion of ideas on the subject of adjudication. This must ever be the case with all those who make no distinction between the legislative and judicial functions of a Congress and Court of Nations. These functions can never be safely entrusted to the same hands. We see that, in the best regulated governments, they are distinct branches; and that this distinction is absolutely necessary to civil liberty. Too much power should never be entrusted to one body of men. Ву dividing the power between two or more distinct bodies, we increase the responsibility, and secure our own privileges. It is not likely, however, that this distinction would readily occur to every writer on a Congress of Nations, for it does not appear, or appears very faintly, in any previous plan of international government.
The fourth Essay is by Professor Upham, of Bowdoin College, in Maine. This Essay has been already once or twice before the public; having been, in part, published in the Christian Mirror, a religious newspaper, and in the Manual of Peace, an octavo volume. Mr. Upham enters at once into his subject; and, as he has before, in his Manual of Peace, treated on most of the subjects of international law, he does not notice these topics in his Essay on a Congress of Nations, which was once proposed for the premium, but withdrawn, on account of the delay in rendering the award. In this Essay, Mr. Upham introduces some historical notices of various congresses, and objects of attention for a Congress of Nations, such as improvement in the law of nations-military regulations in time of peace-extinction of the slave trade - a uniform system of weights and measures-insufficiency of