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THINGS AND THOUGHTS, Nov.-Dec., 1902, Vol. 2, No. 5, Pp. 275-330, $1.25 yearly, 25 cents singly, Winchester, Va., illus.
Rev. W. H. H. Joyce declares that the modern negro is no longer material for literature, he is only a subject to be dissected by the sociologist. The slave's place though is fixed in letters by Russell, Harris, Page, Harris being the ideal master in his creation. Rev. J. M. Hawley defends the culture of the Old South, and asserts that literary barrenness then was not due to the “peculiar institution” but to the lack of the emergency for productivity.
The rest of this issue consists of stories and sketches, several being extracted from other sources.
FLORIDA MAGAZINE, January, February, March, 1903, Vol. 6, Nos. 1, 2, 3, pp. 59, 61-114, 117-172, $1.00 yearly, 10 cents singly, Jacksonville, Fla.
The January number has a sketch of the inland waterways of Florida, a huge improvement extending from St. John's River to Key West, some 560 miles, at a cost of over a million dollars. There is thus formed a land locked route at tide level throughout, 5 feet deep as minimum, and hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable land are reclaimed. A regular service of broad, commodious light draught steamers is maintained.
NOTES AND NEWS.
OUR VANDALS OF HISTORY.—The wanton carelessness and adamantine ignorance of public officials in their treatment of historical material never were better described than by Dr. R. A. Halley in American Historical Magazine for January last with regard to Tennessee. The tale is a sickening one of barbaric debauchery of intelligence. Documents have been burned as “rubbish” to get them out of the way as they "smelled bad," or they have been mutilated for the signatures and stamps. Employees have ramsacked and clipped at pleasure through a “great lot of old papers at the capitol” and sold hundreds of dollars worth to collectors.
But plutonian darkness of appreciativeness was illustrated by janitors and building superintendents. The State at one time had perhaps a complete series of the books of the old State bank and its branches, a rich mine of local financial history. These three thousand volumes, with a stupidity equaling moslem fanaticism, were stripped of their covers and hauled to the junk shop to fetch a good sum as linen paper, while the covers were in part burned on the capitol grounds, and carted off to help fill a low spot in Nashville.
The official papers in the hands of the Secretary of State were put in a room proudly labeled “Archives,” but this boastful "publicity" was no bar to idiotic heedlessness. In time they overflowed and trickled down to the crypt, piled “in masses on the stone floors, among old paint barrels, ashes, trash of every description, dirt and grime. They were wet and rotting." Unfortunately the janitor had delicate nasal nerves. He applied the torch to "several cartloads” because they were “wet and nasty and smelled bad."
The printed page has fared no better. Time and again have flames, paper mills, dealers and dump heaps relieved the accumulations so as to suit the artistic ideas of proportions that successive dull brains have had. No sooner does the legislative session end than the porters clear out the "stuff” that has been coming from the press. The result may be anticipated by every one. We are prepared to learn that "in only a single one of the State departments is there a complete set of its own publications.”
And yet it must be confessed with unutterable shame that Tennessee can very likely be matched and even surpassed by several other States in this example of gothic indifference to historical literature.
THE OHIO STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, Columbus, O., is a popular institution with the members of the Legislature. In fact the most of its support comes from the public treasury. The appropriations for current year aggregate $7,500, one-third for salaries, one-third for explorations, and one-third for publications. Only a comparatively small amount is realized from membership dues, some $400 yearly, and about half as much from sales. The lawmakers also readily vote extra sums for special purposes. Besides, nearly every session they order complete sets of all issues for free distribution to themselves. This is not expensive as all the publications are in plates. With such generosity from the Commonwealth, it is sad that the historical side is so lame, if we are to judge from the July, 1902, Quarterly, in which form the publications have been appearing for more than a year. That shows no acquaintance whatever with modern scholarship. Aside from reviews a couple of weak poems, and the report of the annual meeting, it is composed of medium essays based on secondary sources, and these not even mentioned. The authors are hopelessly unaware that their names are no guarantees, and hence all their work will have to be done over before it can be accepted. To uch credit cannot be given to the State for its liberality, and to ful party and the confiscation of property, are the themes of the major portion of the book. The remainder deals with the life of the Loyalists in exile during the war, their treatment by the British and their final expatriation and emigration to the British possessions in America and the islands of the Atlantic.
The work is based mainly on original sources, including the laws, journals and other published documents relating to the period, the printed journals and papers of various prominent Loyalists and contemporary newspapers, especially the great source of Tory hopes and fears, Rivington's Gazette. In appendixes are given summaries of the laws passed by the colonies seeking to limit and destroy the power of the Tories, including test laws, laws against freedom of speech and action, laws suppressing, quarantining, banishing and exiling Loyalists, laws providing for fines, fiscation, &c.
The work is scholarly and is carefully indexed, but the fact remains that it is based too much on the New England idea that that section did all that is worth recording for American independence.
LITERATURE OF AMERICAN HISTORY. Supplement for 1900 and 1901 [to the Literature of American History, a Bibliographical Guide, edited by J. N. Larned, Boston, 1902). Edited by Philip P. Wells. Boston: Published for the American Library Association, by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1902. Royal O., pp. 21+37, cloth, $1.00.
The present work, as its title indicates, is a supplement to Larned's Guide and in typographical makeup and general appearance follows the lead of that work of which a review appeared in these Publications for November last (vi., 517). But unfortunately the similarity hardly extends beyond the outward form. Larned's work is filled with critical notes which represent the trained judgment of forty specialists Less than half a dozen copies of the latter are known to be in existence. They were made at the celebrated Jacquard loom, of Lyons, France, in 1855. One of these was presented by the firm to the Charleston organization in 1876, through the efforts of Hon. W. A. Courtenay.
The third reminder of those early days is the sword of the famous cavalry officer, Tarleton, which was captured by General Wade Hampton and is now owned by the family of his descendant, the last Wade Hampton who used it during the Civil War.
The OLDEST COLLEGE WALLS IN U. S. are those of the main building of William and Mary at Williamsburg, so claims her president in his Quarterly of January, 1903. Though they have passed through three fires (Oct. 29, 1705; Feb. 8, 1859; Sept. 9, 1862), he thinks, from their substantial character and from documentary proof, that they have survived the attacks of flame and time from the very beginning. It is entirely reasonable to believe so when we consider the thickness of the main wall. It is 30 inches through in the basement and 24 inches in the first and second stories. Harvard is of course earlier in origin, but none of her first structures exist in any part at all.
EARLY INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES.—Perhaps the first instance in the U. S. of a commercial canal is the Santee canal in South Carolina, opened in 1800, and designed to connect practically all of the State with the chief seaport, Charleston. A full account of it appears in News and Courier, Feb. 15, 1903, prepared over a quarter century ago by Prof. F. A. Porcher who believed that the history of the venture shows that the people then had “the spirit of enterprise” but that they lacked “administrative ability.”
EARLIEST ORCHARD WEST VIRGINIA.—Quite an interesting discussion has been developed in the Trans