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habitants of New England have been very aptly termed the Scotchmen of the United States; patient, industrious, frugal, enterprising, and intelligent. Intent upon gain, making it the master-spring of all their actions, it cannot be denied but that they are frequently knavish, mean, and avaricious. But the New Englanders should be seen at home to be correctly judged of; they then appear a sober, shrewd, and well-informed people, possessing a great degree of genuine native urbanity of manners. Fraught with a spirit of commercial enterprise, they are to be found in all parts of the mercantile world. Calvinism, rigid, uncompromising Calvinism, is an hereditary feature in the character of the New Englanders, but it has lost a considerable portion of its rigidity with the present race. Yet in many parts of the country dancing is held to be an abomination, as well as many other social enjoyments. This appears to be a matter of regret, inasmuch as the natural severity of their character evidently requires rather to be tempered by innocent recreations, than stiffened by gloomy creeds, and the uncongenial doctrines of exclusive salvation. A humourous explanation of the term Yankie, generally applied to the New Englanders, has been given by Knickerbocker, I. p. 178–" The first settlers of New England,” says he, “were the Puritans, and other sectaries, who, persecuted and buffeted at home, embarked for the wilderness of America, where they might enjoy unmolested the inestimable luxury of talking. No sooner did they land upon this loquacious soil, than as if they had caught the disease from the climate, they all lifted up their voices at once, and for the space of one whole year did keep up such a joyful clamour, that we are told, they frightened every bird and beast out of the neighbourhood, and so completely dumb-founded certain fish, which abound on their coast, that they have been called “dumb-fish' ever since. The simple aborigines of the land for a while contemplated these strange folk in utter astonishment, but discovering that they wielded harmless, though noisy weapons, and were a lively, ingenious, good-humoured race of men, they became very friendly and sociable, and gave them the name of Yan-kies, which, in the Mais-Tchsuaeg (or Massachusett) language signifies “silent men;’ a waggish appellation since shortened into the familiar epithet of Pankies, wheih they retain unto the present day.” Nor have they retained a barren epithet, but are still eminent for the facility with which they engage in conversation,
General character of the people in the Central States.—
There is no portion of the Union which contains more
catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs, gives loose to the worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, eannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must bea prodigy who can retain his morals and manners undepraved by such circumstances. The manners of the lower classes are consequently brutal and depraved. Those of the upper classes are frequently arrogant and assuming: unused to restraint or eontradiction of any kind, they are necessarily quarrelsome; and in their quarrels, the native ferocity of their hearts breaks out. Duelling is not only in general vogue and fashion, but practised with circumstances of peculiar vindictiveness. The learned and mercantile professions have little direct interest in the slave system, and are therefore less infected by its contagion ; but these are rare exceptions, stars in darkness, which shine, more sensibly to mark the deep shadows of the opposite extreme, where the contrast is strong, perpetual, and disgusting.
Delineation of the Western States’ inhabitants.--The inhabitants of Kentucky are, or at least were (for in America the wheel of society turns so swiftly, that 20 years work the changes of a century) considered as the Irishmen of the United States: that is to say, a similar state of society had produced, in a certain degree, sjmilar manners. The Kentuckians are disposed to conviviality and social intercourse; though their board is seldom spread by the graces, or their festivity restricted within the boundaries of temperance. They are in fact hospitable and open hearted, but boisterous, and addicted to those vulgar amusements so common in all countries, as long as man knew no pleasure more refined than the alternate excitement and dissipation of his animal spirits by feats of physical strength, and coarse debauchery. To a certain extent, therefore, there are points of similitude betwixt the Kentueky farmers and the Irish gentry, but there was always this point of distinction,--in Kentucky, leisure and abundance belong to every man who will work for them; in Ireland, they appertain only to the few for whom the many work. But the Western States have of late years become manufacturing districts: towns have grown up rapidly, and the luxuries of social intercourse are scarcely less understood in Lexington than in New York; manners must therefore have undergone a considerable change, and those peculiarities of character, which were once supposed to mark Kentuckians, must probably now be sought among the more recent inhabitants of Tenessee or Indiana.
It may safely be affirmed, that between the Alleganies and the Missouri, every degree of civilization is to be met with which shades the character of social man, from a state of considerable luxury and refinement, until on the very verge of the pale, he almost ceases to be gregarious, and attaches himself to a life of savage independence. There are settlers, if they may be so called, who are continually pushing forward, abandouing their recent improvemeats as fast as neighbourhood overtakes them, and plunging deeper into primeval wildernesses.
OF AMERICAN EMIGRATION.
It seems a very simple process to go and settle in a fertile country, where land may be procured for two dollars the acre; a glance, however, over an uncleared, and heavily-timbered tract, is sufficient, not only to correct our notions of the facility of the enterprise, but to render it. astonishing, that men are found sufficiently venturesome and enduring to undertake the task. The stoutest labourer might well shrink at the prospect, but hope and freedom brace both soul and sinews: there is something almost poetical in the confidence and hardihood of such undertakings. To enlightened industry, this virgin continent offers undiminished resources; nor where success is in prospect will the American turn his foot aside, however rugged the path to it; with his axe on his shoulder, his family and stock in a light waggon, he plunges into forests which have never heard the woodman's stroke, clears a space sufficient for his dwelling, and first year's consumption, . and gradually converts the lonely wilderness into a flousishing farm. This almost national genius, has been ably delineated by Talleyrand, Wolney, and other writers; and a humorous, but faithful account of the American vis migratoria, is given by Knickerbocker, I, c. vii.-“The most prominent. habit is a certain rambling propensity, with which, like the sons of Ishmael, they seem to have been gifted by heaven, and which perpetually goads them on, to shift their residence from place to place, so that they are in a constant state of migration; tarrying awhile here and there, elearing lands for other people to enjoy, building houses for others to inhabit, and in a manner, may be considered the wandering Arab of America. His first thought on coming to the years of manhood, is to settle himself in the world, which means nothing more or less,
than to begin his rambles; to this end, he takes unto him. self for a wife, some dashing country heiress, that is to say, a buxom rosy cheeked wench, passing rich in red ribands, glass beads, and mock tortoise-shell combs, with a white gown and Morocco shoes, for Sunday, and deeply skilled in the mystery of making apple sweetmeats, long sauce, and pumpkin pie. Having thus provided himself, like a true pedlar, with a heavy knapsack, wherewith to regale his shoulders through the journey of life, he literally sets out on the peregrination. His whole family, household furniture and farming utensils, are hoisted into a covered cart; his own and his wife's wardrobe packed up in a firkin; which done, he shoulders his axe, takes staff in hand, and trudges off to the woods, as confident of the protection of Providence, and relying as cheerfully upon his own resources as ever did a patriarch of yore, when he journeyed into a strange country of the Gentiles. Having buried himself in the wilderness, he builds himself a loghut, clears away a corn-field and potatoe patch; and Providence smiling upon his labours, is soon surrounded by a snug farm, and some half-a-score of flaxen-headed urchins, who by their size, seem to have sprung all at onee out of the earth, like a crop of toad-stools.” The pale of civilized life widens o and plainly intimates to the indignant and retiring Indian, that it will finally know no limit but the Pacific.: Cultivators have begun to discover the superiority of the soil, westward of the Alleghany ridges: the tide of emigration is accordingly turned to the neighbourhood of the Ohio. Settlements are creeping along the Missouri, and the mouth of the Columbia is already designated to connect the Asiatic with the European commerce of the States. Such is the growth, and such the projects of this transatlantic republic, great in extent of territory, in an active and well-informed population ; but above all, in a free government, which not only leaves individual talent unfettered, but calls it into life by all the incitements of ambition most grateful to the human mind.