« PreviousContinue »
For the Port Folio.
ABSTRACT OF PRINCIPAL OCCURENCES.
Continued from page 264.
South Carolina. The law against duelling has been amended so as to admit the seconds and spectators as witnesses in prosecutions of the principal. The public mind had been much excited by one of these honourable murders; and it is said that the eloquent and well-timed discourses, delivered by the Rev. Mr. Henry, had considerable effect in procuring this salutary law.
Among the appropriations for this year, we find,-for the president of the South Carolina college, $3000; tutors, $1000 each; librarian of the college. $400; for the purchase of books for the college, $5000. These would seem to be liberal rewards. We should infer, indeed, from occasional glances at the newspapers of this section of our Union, that all subjects connected with religion and education, are treated with that liberal consideration, which is always its own best reward.
Georgia. In order to ascertain the wishes of the people of this state as to the mode of choosing electors of president and vice-president, the legislature has directed that at the next election for delegates, every voter shall endorse on his ticket the word people or legislature.—The penitentiary of this state contains only 68 prisoners. The Georgians boast of this; but are they certain that the prison contains all who ought to be there? As an eminent personage inquired, on a memorable occasion, Is there a defect in the law or in the administration of the law?
The Cherokees are said to be much dissatisfied with the lands about to be assigned to them, west of the Mississippi, (2,284,110 acres)
in exchange for those which they ceded on the east side of that river, refusing to appoint an agent on their part, to accompany the surveyors in running the lines.
An interesting decision was made by a Court of Magistrates, at Savannah, on the 15th inst. founded on a law of Georgia of 1766, and which is still in force, which prohibits the commander of one vessel, from shipping any seaman or mariner belonging to any other vessel in that port, unless fully discharged; as an evidence of which he must produce a certificate from the master of the vessel from which he may have been so discharged.
Tennessee. This state has made another experiment in the chicanery of legislation, to ascertain how far dishonest men may be upheld in evading the payment of their debts. Another act has been passed "to amend the several laws regulating proceedings on executions,” for the evident purpose of evading the force of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States against the monstrous fraud of the endorsement laws, as they are called, of that state. It is now provided that if the execution should bear the endorsement,-that is, an agreement on the part of the plaintiff to receive the current notes of the state in satisfaction of his claim,-the sheriff may proceed to sell the property levied on; otherwise he is not to sell, unless the property will bring three-fourths of its value, according to an appraisement, previously made by disinterested persons of the vicinage. From the operations of this law, are excepted those cases in which the contract is made
for specie or notes of the banks of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, those in which a bank is a defendant-and those of contracts entered into subsequent to the 1st of April.
A River on fire.-Sparta, Jan. 24th.-On Saturday evening last we witnessed a very novel and interesting spectacle, at the Salt Wells, belonging to Mr. Denton, on the Calf Killer River about three miles above this village. Rumour, with her hundred tongues, had been so very active on the occasion as to prepare us for the exhibition of something very curious, from hearing it proclaimed on all sides "The River is on fire." Determined to see for ourselves we mounted our nag at 8 P. M. and rode to this scene of wonder.
As we approached within two miles of the Wells, our attention was suddenly arrested, by seeing corruscations of light quivering on the edge of the horizon, which was illumined with an unsteady flickering glare. Arrived at the spot, a scene presented itself which almost beggars description. A column of fire nearly forty feet in height, ascended from near the middle of the river, here about fifty yards wide, illuminating surrounding objects within the distance of two hundred yards.
We are informed by Mr. Denton, that, in boring for salt water the preceding day, they had suddenly struck upon a ein of sulphurous gas, which, in ascending, found another vent than the tube, through a rock in the bed of the river, forcing a passage through the surrounding waters, which boiled with considerable violence round the place of its escape. A torch was then cautiously applied, which quickly communicated to the gas, and a blaze inconceivably grand burst upwards to the height mentioned, apparently from the very bed of the river. The cloud above the blaze
exhibited a mixture of colours beautiful beyond description, and a ruddy dismal light gave to various objects the hues of green and red, yellow and blue. For two elements so adverse in their nature, thus to associate and commingle as it were, presented such an anomaly, as, for the moment annihilated all idea that fire and water delighted in separation.
Ohio. It it stated in one of the papers that carpeting, as handsome as Scotch or Venetian, and far superior in quality to the imported article, is now made at the Steubenville Woollen Manufactory.
The following resolutions, as we learn from the Ohio papers, have passed the legislature of that state.
Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That the consideration of a system for the gradual emancipation of the people of colour held in servitude in the UnitStates be recommended to the legislatures of the several States of the American Union, and to the Congress of the United States.
Resolved, That in the opinion of this General Assembly a system of foreign colonization, with correspondent measures, might be adopted, that would in due time, effect the entire emancipation of the slaves in our country, without any violation of the national compact, or infringement of the rights of individuals; by the passage of a law by the general government, (with the consent the slaveholding states,) which should provide that all children of persons held in slavery, born after the passage of the law, should be free at the age of twenty-one years, (being supported during their minority by the persons claiming the services of their parents,) provided they can consent to be transported to the intended place of colonization.
Resolved, That it is expedient that such a system should be predicated upon the principle that the
evil of slavery is a national one, and that the people and the States of this Union ought mutually to participate in the duties and burthens of removing it.
Louisiana. Prince John of Wurtemburg lately paid a visit to New Orleans. This enterprising and intelligent traveller has been engaged for nearly a year in traversing the western wilds in pursuit of objects of science. He has ascended the Mississippi and Missouri, and endured every hardship and fatigue to explore and develop the interesting natural history of this immense region. His collections, we understand, are very numerous, and will add greatly to the enlightened views which the German literati are taking of our young and vigorous republic.
The city of New Orleans now contains upwards of 50,000 persons, and employs about 200,000 tons of shipping. In the year 1761, it contained only one hundred miserable barracks, and three or four stone houses. What a great improvement in the comparatively short space of sixty years!
Mississippi. The town of Natchez was almost deserted during the pestilence, with which it was lately visited.
were again united in the bands of matrimony.
Alabama. Governor Pickens has put his veto on the resolution of the legislature, recommending General Jackson as a candidate, &c. assigning as a reason the impropriety of any legislative interference in the question. Had he signed the resolution it would have become a law of the state; and it would then have been his duty to promote the election of this person, by all the means in his power. This dilemma shows the absurdity of this species of legislation.
Missouri. The annual swell in the Missouri river is from twenty to thirty feet, and commences with the spring, reaching its greatest height about the middle of June, or the first of July. This swell is a series of lesser floods, following each other in such rapid succession, as to prevent each from subsiding until the great result is produced. Nor does it lose its majesty, its turbulence, or its power, in a day, or a week, or a month, as other rivers do; but, as in spring, succeeding floods raise the waters nearly level with the banks, by which it is confined; so, with the receding year, it sinks by degrees, until December's snow and January's frost, bind it in ice. In these months it is always lowest. An expense of from twenty to thirty thousand dollars, would be enough to cut off all those dreadful sawyers and planters in the river, from the mouth of the Missouri to the mouth of the Kansas, level with or below the ice. The first swell, which is about the first of March, would remove the obstructions thus cut off, and give sufficient water above the stumps to make the navigation safe.
The Arkansas Territory. The Indians on the Arkansas river and its vicinity, are in a very disordered state, produced in part by the remnants of other tribes, having been removed into that territory in consequence of an exchange of their
lands elsewhere for lands here. Some of these were from tribes who inherited ancient grudges against each other, and almost the whole of them are more or less dissatisfied with the arrangements under which our government has placed them in this territory. Actual hostilities have taken place, and the settlers have suffered from their depredations.
A proposition has been made in Congress to increase the number of In an agents, and to send at least two into this district. To this a reply was made on the floor which we fear would furnish clue to many of the Indian outrages, that occasionally shock our feelings in the papers of the day. It was said that the discontents of the mixed multitude of Indians who had been crowded and concentrated on the Arkansas, were not to be assuaged by appointing agents. Those discontents were founded too deeply to be reached by such a remedy. They were the consequences of the oppressions exercised on the Indians in intrusions by the whites on their hunting grounds; a practice that was carried to a pernicious excess: a single white hunter often having thirty, forty, and a hundred hands employed at once in trapping, while the poor Indian owned but a single trap-The member concluded by observing, that if we would prevent the further effusion of blood, it must be by an efficient system of measures putting an end to this practice.
Michigan Territory. Detroit, -Lately a Chippewa Indian, living at Saginaw, was killed by a neighbouring Indian of the same tribe. Agreeably to the old custom, the relatives of the deceased met those of the slayer, for the purpose of compromising the matter by receiving presents, or putting the slayer to death. At the council it was determined, that the
brethren of the deceased should receive a certain amount of presents to indemnify them for their loss, and both parties were on the point of shaking hands and lighting the pipe of conciliation, when Kishkauko, the notorious Saginaw chief, stepped up to the slayer and with a single blow of his tomahawk, laid him dead at his feet. The Indians present were very much astonished, and asked him the reason why he had interfered to prevent the operation of their old law? He replied in his peculiar tone and manner"The law is now altered."
Florida. A new site for the seat of government of Florida, has lately been selected by commissioners appointed for that purpose. The spot selected is about a mile south west from the old deserted fields of Tallahassi, about half a mile south of the Okilockony and Tallahassi Trail; 18 miles from St. Marks; 15 miles N. W. from the head of navigation of the St. Mark's river, and 10 miles N. E. from the head of WaKulla, which is navigable to its source. The surrounding country is represented to be beautifully variegated with hill and dale, and covered with the finest timber-the lands are said to be the finest in the Territory of Florida, and are peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of cotton, and sugar cane.
District of Columbia. Mr. John Bailey, a clerk in the Department of State, who has resided in the District for nearly six years, was lately elected a Representative in Congress from Massachussets. Congress decided that he was not a resident of that state within the meaning of the Const. U. S. Art 1.Some of the inhabitants of the District, with the view, no doubt, of creating a few offices, have petitioned Congress to give them a territorial government, which cannot be done, in our apprehension, without an alteration of the Constitution.