Imágenes de páginas

sey. Excluding introduction, a fourth of page account by captain of company Stuart was with when killed, May II, 1864, at Yellow Tavern. Pp. 236-238, from Staunton Spectator.

Battle of Perryville, by Col. L. W. Finley. Apparently only a narrative essay, as not by a participant, rather vivid in style, but no references; of this conflict of October, 1862. Pp. 238-250, from Picayune, Oct. 19, 1902.

Talks with Gen. J. A. Early, by W. B. Conway. Mere repetition, chiefly from Frank Wilkinson, of Early's advance on Washington in 1864. Pp. 250-255, from Dispatch, Sept. 22, 1902.

Johnson's Island. Mere reporter's story, though well told, of the Confederate plot to release the prisoners in the west in 1864. Pp. 256-265, from Commercial Gazette, Sept., 1902.

Refused to burn it. Col. W. E. Peters, who retired from the Chair of Latin of the Virginia University June 19, 1902, was ordered by Gen. McCausland in July, 1864, to burn the town of Chambersburg, Pa., but refused to make war on defenseless women and children—nothing new, restatement from stock sources mentioned. Pp. 266-269, from Dispatch, April 27, 1902.

First Manassas. Aimed to show demoralization of U. S. army, composed of extracts from papers and official sources. Pp. 269-276, from Dispatch, Aug. 10, 1902.

Cold Harbor Salient, by A. DuBois. A U. S. private's portrayal of this slaughter, vivid, unpartisan. Pp. 276-279, from Dispatch, April 27, 1902.

Campaign and Battle of Lynchburg, an address to Confederate Veterans at Lynchburg by Charles M. Blackford, on July 18, 1901, with rosters of Lynchburg companies in the Confederate army. A full, careful narrative, from sources, of General David Hunter's attempt to seize Lynchburg in June, 1864—with Johnson and Adams, the best thing in his volume. Pp. 279-332.

South and the Union, by Berkeley Minor. Wearisome iteration of the constitutional argument that South was right, that "if Davis was a patriot, Lincoln was a tyrant." Pp. 332-338, from Baltimore Sun, Feb. 4, 1903.

The Gallant Pelham. Newspaper sketch merely, with J. R. Randall's poem, of Stuart's famous artillerist John Pelham, killed Mar. 17, 1863. Pp. 338-345, from Mobile Register, May 20, 1894.

Recollections of Major Breathed, by H. H. Matthews. Sketch of this successor to Pellam, dying Feb. 14, 1870. Pp. 346-348, from Dispatch, Jan. 17, 1903.

Roll and Roster of Pelham's Battery. Total 153. Pp. 348-354.

Last of the Slavers. Mere reporter's story of the bringing over of a cargo of slaves in 1859 by Charles A. L. Lamar, in vessel Wanderer, some of them being gathered by U. S. Varshal John R. McRae, who got his pay from U. S. Govt. in 1896. Pp. 355-360, from Washington Post, Jan.

18, 1903

The Southern Cause, address to Confederate veterans in Richmond, Va., Feb. 20, 1903, by Hon. W. E. Cameron. The usual constitutional argument, with tributes, to Southern valor. Pp. 360-368, from Petersburg Index-Appear, Feb. 24, 1903.

Why We Failed to Win? Answer is because of lack of machines and manufactures. Pp. 368-371.

The index of 3 pages completes the volume which is largely made up of extracts from newspapers which usually are about as far from real history as Munchausen or Verne. This applies to the work of their own staff not to the articles they often include from recognized authorities.

RECORDS of the Columbia Historical Society, volume 6, Pp. 296, Washington, D. C., 1903, cloth.

For scientific students it is enough to say of this book that it has less than a dozen foot notes when it ought to have at least 500. A portion of it is original matter of value being the direct knowledge of the writers themselves, but in other places, immense masses of details which could not be preserved in any human being's brain are baldly stated without any reference whatever to the source from which they are derived. Thus, in form, numerous pages are of no higher grade than the pure fabrications that are often palmed off on newspapers. Of course no one doubts the integrity or character of these authors, but nevertheless, for historical purposes, this hearsay information is wasted labor because no genuine investigator will accept these unsupported statements. He will go back to the mine from which they were dug, all the weary task thus having to be done over again.

Certainly, there are scores of good historical works published every year without these checks, but they are designed for the general run of readers who accept them as authentic in themselves. Earnest historical labor is rapidly dividing into two great classes. One is intended to be popular, to catch the taste of the bulk by such selecting and grouping of data as to create an impression or to furnish in convenient form a required quota of important indisputable facts Success depends primarily on unusual natural gifts of expression, of imagination and generalization. Without these endowments, conferred at birth, no one should try his hand at this form of composition.

The other is restricted to the scholarly few who can hope to reach the swarms of their fellowmen only through the pen of the popularizer. Their province is the domain of original material, either in making the sources available intact or in culling from them what seems most valuable. Their object is not to please, but to instruct, not to be entertaining but to be accurate, cross-questioning all witnesses, scrutinizing all testimony, verifying all evidence.

Unquestionably, here is to be found the true function of historical associations. Here they are dignified, unrivalled, of most benefit to the race.

Unhappily, the Columbia Historical Society is badly deficient when this test is applied. It shows no improvement in this regard in the successive reports. But one contributor to this volume, W. B. Bryan, evinces any conception of modern historical methods, and he seems rather doubtful of his faith. Some of the papers are not of the scope to provide any index to the author's views.

Contents in detail: 1. The making of a plan for Washington City, by Glenn Brown. Account of L'Enfant's scheme, with possible sources for some of his ideas, in Paris and London, in Annapolis and Williamsburg; but claimed that the chief feature of Washington, “its numerous focal points of interest and beauty," with radiation of principal streets "was not suggested by any city of Europe." Some references. Ten pages.

2. The making of a plan for the City of Washington, by Charles Moore. Merely superficial description of the last plan by committee of which Mr. Moore was secretary. Newspapery, repetition of threadbare statement of inner social circles of old families in Washington, but no details. Pages 11-23

3. Recollections of a Washington Newspaper Correspondent, by Francis A. Richardson. Good, tells what he knows himself as he was journalist 35 years. Naturally he makes big claims of the "influence and effect" exercised by his calling. Pages 24-42.

4. Washington in Literature, by Ainsworth R. Spofford. Tells of literary work and workers of the city, long strings of authors and titles, summarizes apparently from memory, perhaps not entirely accurate. Pages 43-64.

5. Beginnings of Government in the District, by W. B. Bryan. A well-written summary of discussions in Congress and in the local papers about 1800 as to best form of government for the District. Pages 65-96.

6. Remarks of J. D. Morgan. Description of a picture of Duddington, residence of Daniel Carroll, and account, in documents, of the demolition of Carroll's first house as it stood in New Jersey avenue as designed by L'Enfant. Pages 97-99.

7. Remarks of John B. Larner. Description of a photograph, taken in 1865, of southeast corner of 14th and F streets, Northwest, also narrative of subsequent use of houses. Pages 100-103.

8. Old residences and family history in the City Hall neighborhood, by Douglass Zevely. An ocean of facts that we have to take on writer's.word, a marvelous memory if all embalmed there. Pages 104-122.

9. Bradley family and times in which they lived, by Charles S. Bradley. Relates to two brothers, Abraham and Phineas, and their father Abraham, who came to Washington about 1800, both in the postoffice service; some letters given, history of some of their homes. Pages 123-142.

10. History of the city Post Office, by Madison Davis. Sketches of postmasters and of the various offices used, with a number of documents, but no references. Pages 143-213

II. Seal of Columbia Historical Society, by Elizabeth B. Johnston. Account of the adoption of “the marble clock above the north door of the Hall of Statuary" as the model for the Society's seal; also what is claimed to be a history of the clock, with sketches of the early Italian artists and their work in Washington 1800-1820, but all mere assertion, no proof.

12. Theatres of Washington from 1835 to 1850, by Aloysius I. Judd. Descriptions of buildings, of performers, of performances, with prices, names, dates—yet haraly a reference for these thousands of facts.

« AnteriorContinuar »