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that would put money into their own pockets. One-half, at least, of the community were instantly and intensely engaged in devising plans to get their fingers into the pie; and one-half of that which was set apart for the “poor orphans” has already found its way into the pockets of the politician and the speculator; and the other half is, and will ever be, used so as to do a thousand times more harm than good. I will give you an entire copy of the will in the Appendix to this letter; it is worth reading and worth preserving, inasmuch as it shows what, in the "new era," a miserable being, when possessed of cunning, can rake together, if his days are full and his mind is bent
riches. Having read this famous will, you will be astonished at a man getting such a heap of money and goods together in a time so short. Surely this ought to be enough to show the dangers of banking with papermoney. If the banker had lived twenty years longer he might have possessed the whole State of Pennsylvania; and if he had, it would not perhaps, have been worse than it is; for, since he died, the bankers have become so numerous, that they actually possess this State, and have put every soul among us under contribution. We cannot eat, drink, or have our being, without paying a heavy tribute to these modern tyrants.
This “ orthodox republican," you will observe, was the possessor of slaves, which he had purchased as he purchased the rest of his merchandize, and he left them to his friend, Judge Henry Bree, on condition that Bree should keep them as slaves for twenty years, and then take them to market like cattle, and sell them and their increase. The biographer remarks that "it must be confessed there is here a blemish on his fame which it is not easy to obliterate or justify, for he could as easily have bequeathed a hundred thousand dollars to Judge Bree, and emancipated his slaves on the Louisiana estate, as have left them in the horrors of perpetual bondage.” “But,” he further says, "let us not, however, condemn him with bitter and unrelenting severity. In the multiplicity of his constant avocations he may have overlooked or forgotten it.” Indeed! That is strange, that so sublime and god-like a character should have found time to dispose of them and their." increase” in his last will and testament, written after he was touched to the quick by the spear of affliction!” Strange, that, while he was devising the best means of perpetuating the horrid bondage to the “increase,” he should never have once thought of setting the captive free! However, we ought not to condemn him, but leave him to that “ Judge who hath a controversy with the nations and will plead with all flesh; having made, as He saith, with one blood all men."
As to the college, I need make but few remarks about it; every man that reads the will will learn that the testator intended it to be a plain substantial building, and not a cent of unnecessary expense laid out in
its erection; that the scholars were to be poor orphan children; that they were to be taught in a manner suitable for boys who are expected to work for their bread. But, on laying the corner-stone of the said college, or school, Nicholas Biddle, king of the bankers, and chairman of the trustees of the legacy to the orphans, thought proper to put a different construction on these matters, as you will see by reading his address on the occasion; which address I have given in the Appendix to this letter. There is in this address a great deal of senseless and unintelligible talk; but that we will pass, and speak only of the roguish part, or part that laid the corner-stone of the system of robbing that is for ever to be tised upon the poor orphans. Not satisfied with laying the cornerstone of the building, he and they must also lay the corner-stone of their corrupt and wicked designs; and they progressed in their iniquity more in that one day than the people of any other country would have done in five hundred years. I am aware that legacies, left in trust to the poor, are almost everywhere invariably abused; but I say again, that it would take five hundred years, in any of the old countries, to do as much in such a case as these orthodox republicans did in that single day.
See with what eagerness the chairman and orator fastened upon that part of the old usurer's will, which is in parentheses, and which says(“ I do not forbid, but I do not recommend the Greek and Latin languages"). “This excludes nothing," says the king of the bankers; “ nay," he adds,“ it embraces everything necessary to form a well-educated man.” And then he says, that “ with the blessings of God, so it shall be. There shall be collected within these walls all that the knowledge and research of man have accumulated to enlighten and improve the minds of youth :" and now let us see what kind of youths the bankers intend, with the blessing of God, to so much enlighten. The will says “poor orphans;"> but the trustee, on the threshold of his trust, says, that those who
suppose such a thing will be much mistaken.
They will much err," he says, “who, comparing this institution with any ordinary standard, regard it as an almshouse, or a poorhouse, in which a certain number of pauper boys, housed together, to be kept from harm, are to receive some hasty rudiments of instruction, and then to be thrust out on the world to make way for a similar swarm of unfortunate children. By no means,—the comprehensive benevolence of Girard looked to higher and better things.”
And what better things could be looked to, than to take swarms of unfortunate orphans that we see prowling about our streets, learning every kind of low wickedness, and finally forming a mass of wild and daring characters that stick at nothing that is malicious and mischievous ? These, however, are not to be the scholars; they are to be of a different order; the sons of these enlightened "American nobility;" which
nobility know how to appreciate education, it having enabled them to charter themselves, to make bank notes, alias “Shinplasters," and to pick pockets in the most finished and perfect manner, throwing Barrington, and such, altogether into the shade. This college is to be a place for the bringing, if possible, to further perfection this American art; and to turn upon society swarms of polished thieves, to make room for others, and so on for ever. If it had been in existence for these last ten or twenty years, one would not have wondered at the host of idle vagabonds that live by making paper-money, and at the thousands that for ever swarm round the so-called courts of law and justice, and that live by every device that is hateful to the honest man. Those who observe our present condition will dread the consequences that must flow from the college, if it be suffered to exist upon the principles laid down by the bank orator and orphans' trustees.
As to the building, instead of its being plain and unornamented, it is as magnificent as Solomon's Temple, and the press has lately highly delighted its patrons by a little article headed as follows:
“High PRAISE.-Mr. Buckingham, in a recent lecture on Egypt, alluding to ancient architecture, spoke of the Girard College as a very fine specimen of Grecian architecture.—Of the elegant and elaborately wrought capitals of the columns of that edifice, he said he had seen nothing in Greece, Rome, or Egypt, which exceeded them in beauty of finish, fineness of execution, or taste in design."
Biddle dedicates the college "to the cause of education," which, he says, "gives to human life its chief value.” Why is this not exemplified in himself? Polished, we are told, to the highest degree, yet what is the value of his life ? He has caused more misery and more immorality than has any other man that I know of. He has brought his country into a lawless state, and there seems no possible way to save it from destruction.
Let it not be thought that my judgment against this educated and refined buccaneer is too severe.
I could if it were necessary bring a thousand further proofs to show that it is not so; but I choose rather to call upon others to bear me out; and will here refer to a letter in the appendix, that I took from the newspapers of four or five years back : this letter was written by Thomas Hulme, Esq.--an Englishman be it remembered—for which letter he deserves many thanks; and the more so, as it is rare to find a person of property and influence that takes any interest in the cause of the forlorn.
Besides this, about the same time, we find that another gentleman, James Ronaldson, Esq., memorialized the Legislative Assembly on behalf of the orphans—a copy of whose memorial I have given in the Appendix to this letter.
This sensible and just memorial was not attended to, and the same violation is suffered to continue. It is now seven years since the death of the testator, and there is no prospect of the college being finished. Previous to an election great numbers of workmen are set on, selected so as to be available, through the ballot-box, to the party in power, by whom the people are on these occasions annually told that in a few months the orphans will be admitted. While this is going on, the other party, not a jot less villanous, are, to serve their purposes, railing against this management; but, as soon as the election is decided, the workmen are discharged on the one side ; and, on the other, not a single word more is said in favour of the poor orphans till the next contest comes on.
Thus is this legacy made, and ever will be made, a bone of contention between the two parties; the equal to either of which, for baseness of every kind, never before lived in any age, or under any
form of government, since Adam and Eve entered the garden of Eden. Such is the stedfast belief of
Your affectionate Father,
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE EARL STANHOPE.
Bishop's Itchington, July 30, 1839. Having been favoured through the press with your opinions on voting by ballot, universal suffrage, no-property qualifications, and so on, as delivered on the presenting of various petitions on those subjects to the House of Lords on the 25th of June last, I humbly beg leave to lay before your Lordship such information as I possess relating to the workings of these things in the United States of America.
I believe that no man has the welfare of his country more at heart than has your Lordship; and this encourages me to expect that a plain matter-of-fact statement of what I have seen and known relating to these matters may
lead your Lordship to the conclusion that, whatever difficulties beset the nation, the further verging into democracy will not impede their progress, but, on the contrary, will increase them; and they have been already much increased since the Reform Bill passed, as acknowledged by your Lordship in the following words :-“ Seven or eight years ago I expressed my conviction that, unless parliament redressed the grievances of the country, the argument in favour of reform of parliament would be unanswerable, and would prove to be irresistible; this anticipation has been fully confirmed.” And then your Lordship further informs us that "it has been found, by experience, that the reform parliament, instead of redressing the grievances of the country, had even refused to inquire into them.” Such, your Lordship, is likely to be the case; and if the parliament progress further into the reform you now advocate, I will stake my life upon it that suc parliament will be less and less regardful of the rights and happiness of the people, and more and more prone to serve itself. That, if ever that parliament should be constituted as your Lordship's petitioners desire it to be, it will then be as corrupt as the government of the United States now is, and which, beyond all question, is the most corrupt government under the sun.
I have, for many years, advocated the voting by ballot, thinking it the only way to prevent bribery and all sorts of undue influence; but, from what I have seen of late years, I am convinced that there is no possible way of voting in secret, and at the same time for
purpose, in general elections, where there is universal suffrage, at anything like the age of twenty-one years. I am aware that Englishmen have a high