Imagens das páginas



these substances (iodides and bromides) may either be deposited more abundantly, or retained in solution in larger proportion than the common salt, and might in consequence, in such large operations, be largely, easily, and profitably extracted. I suggest the examination of this point to my chemical friends in the State of New York especially, as a very likely source of abundant supplies of bromine.


Railway to Buffalo.—The Americans a clever people. Incorrectness of

speech on both sides of the Atlantic.—Joe Smith, founder of the Mormons.-Outline of his history while in the State of New York.His removal to Missouri, to Ohio, and Illinois successively. His imprisonment and death.—Rapid progress of his sect.—New State of Utah, on the Salt Lake.—Outline and character of the book of Mormon.--Its claims as an American revelation.-Canandagua.- City of Rochester; its rapid rise.—Genesee flour.-Money-value of farms on the Genesee River.-Profits of farming in this valley.--Mr Wadsworth's farms and farming.-Rent, and rotation on his land.—Capital of farmers on this estate.-Inducements to invest money in land in New York State.-Sowing and reaping of wheat. Relative values of rural produce and of human labour.-Average produce of the Genesee country.-New York does not produce wheat enough for its own consumption.—North-east America not a dangerous competitor in the English wheat market.-Upper Canada might for a time successfully compete with the English fariner.—Duty upon Canadian wheat in the United States ports.-Expected effects of a repeal of this duty. --Made an argument for annexation.-Importance of the direct trade to Europe by the St Lawrence.—Erie Canal ; its length, and that of its branches.—Amount of traffic and revenue.-Number of emigrants from different countries.-Cost of passage from New York to Lake Erie.- Influence of the New England States on the development of the new States.-Democratic party in the United States.--Principles of the Old Hunkers and the Barnburners.-Forest and half cleared land on approaching Buffalo.-Speculators in land.

Sept. 15.—At seven in the morning I was at the railway station to take my departure for Buffalo. I here encountered one of those embarrassing mes-cntendres which are unavoidable when travelling among people who will use old words in new senses. I was introduced to

USE OF THE WORD " CLEVER," : 193 a gentlemanly-looking physician, who followed up his question of how I liked the country, with the question, 6 Don't you find us a very clever people ?” This was a thrust so decidedly home that I could not believe he meant what he asked. He looked also perfectly innocent, but evidently expecting an answer. As I could not conscientiously say yes, I hesitatingly said what had more than once occurred to me in passing through the States— At least you think yourselves so." But the instant the words had escaped me, I apologised for my rude speech, recollecting that, only two or three days before, an American lady had remarked to me that this word, in the States, is often used in the sense of " goodnatured, or ready to oblige.” That the people of the United States, wherever I have been, are clever in this sense, I can honestly say. I added, therefore, avec empressement, “ I understood your question wrongly; in your sense of the word, you are a clever people.” My new acquaintance felt the situation as much as I did, and explained his question as a bit of local slang. A stranger ought not willingly to give offence to a people among whom he is travelling, nor to say what is likely to hurt their feelings; but this was a case where the fault was on the side of those who are not careful to maintain the fountains of speech in their primitive purity.

Were we, however, to criticise the home speech of the midddle classes among ourselves, as we feel inclined to notice peculiarities abroad, we should find many more instances of incorrectness than we are generally aware of. Just before I left home, a lady of my acquaintance, the daughter and sister of a clergyman, being asked of her sister's health, answered that “ she was very shabby ;” and here, in this western New York, I have been talking to an Englishman, on his


194 JOE SMITH, THE MORMON PROPHET. travels like myself, who tells me that the boat on Lake Ontario does not sail whilst to-morrow. Though these expressions are quite intelligible, yet they afford some ground for the opinion which a Yankee will occasionally express, that his countrymen talk English quite as well as ourselves.

Of course, I do not allude to provincial dialects, which have not yet had time to spring up in the States, but which, as with us, will gradually arise out of the different nationalities settled in different districts.

The distance by rail to Buffalo is 180 miles, which we took fully twelve hours to accomplish. The whole day's ride was along the belt of wheat-country of which I have already spoken, though by no means in a straight line, or always on its richest and most improved parts.

In the future history of mankind, if present appearances are to be trusted, the counties of Wayne and Ontario, through which we passed in the early part of the day, are likely to derive an interest and importance, in the eyes of a numerous body of people, from a circumstance wholly unconnected either with their social progress, or with their natural productions or capabilities. In these counties lie the scenes of the early passages in


Born in December 1805, in Sharon, Windsor County, State of Vermont, he removed with his father, about 1815, to a small farm in Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, and assisted him on the farm till 1826. He received little education, read indifferently, wrote and spelt badly, knew little of arithmetic, and, in all other branches of learning he was, to the day of his death, exceedingly ignorant.

His own account of his religious progress is, that as early as fifteen years of age he began to have serious ideas regarding the future state, that he got into occa

HIS DISCOVERY OF THE PLATES. 195 sional ecstasies, and that in 1823, during one of these ecstasies, he was visited by an angel, who told him that his sins were forgiven—that the time was at hand when the gospel in its fulness was to be preached to all nations—that the American Indians were a remnant of Israel, who, when they first emigrated to America, were an enlightened people, possessing a knowledge of the true God, and enjoying his favour—that the prophets and inspired writers among them had kept a history or record of their proceedings—that these records were safely deposited—and that, if faithful, he was to be the favoured instrument for bringing them to light.

On the following day, according to instructions from the angel, he went to a hill which he calls Cumorah, in Palmyra township, Wayne County, and there, in a stone chest, after a little digging, he saw the records; but it was not till four years after, in September 1827, that 66 the angel of the Lord delivered the records into his hands." .66 These records were engraved on plates which had the appearance of gold, were seven by eight inches in size, and thinner than common tin, and were covered on both sides with Egyptian characters, small and beautifully engraved. They were bound together in a volume like the leaves of a book, and were fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. The volume was about six inches in thickness, bore many marks of antiquity, and part of it was sealed. With the records was found a curious instrument, called by the ancients Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, and set in two rims of a bow”—a pair of pebble spectacles, in other words, or“ helps to read” unknown tongues.

The report of his discovery having got abroad, his house was beset, he was mobbed, and his life was endangered by persons who wished to possess themselves of

« AnteriorContinuar »