Pride of Skin. --Toronto. --Canadian Methodists. --Indian Preacher and his English Bride. --Latter insulted. --Improvement of Upper Province. --Fugitive Slaves protected. --Lewiston. --Smugglers. --Custom-house Anecdotes --Tuscorora Indians. --Curious Incuriosity of Scotchman. --Rochester Polemics. --Morgan's Abduction --Masonic Oaths . --Anti-masons. --Mormonites.
I was now on British ground; and I felt that I was breathing the pure air of liberty, after having so long inhaled the foetid atmosphere of mock equality; --that I was treading upon soil, which no slave could pollute with his presence*;
* A slave could not breathe the free air of France, long before we had any right to make that boast. "Toutes personnes sont franches en ce royaume; et, sitot qu'un esclave a atteint les marches diceluy se faisant baptizer, il est affranchi." Institutes Coustumieres, p. 2. Paris, 1679.--and that I was among men who would not insult any one for the color of his skin, or the form of his hair. Some of the waiters in the hotel at Niagara were colored. I asked one of them) whether the same prejudice prevailed in that place as on the other side of the river. " No!", he replied, " we receive the same treatment as the whites: --we eat at the same table together, and associate as equals. I know what you allude to: I have been into the States; and the only feeling I had on seeing so much pride was that of pity for the white man's folly." I was assured by a person well acquainted with both the Canadas, that the colored servants are considered the most industrious and trustworthy of any.
It is really painful to the friends of America to see her disgrace herself in the eyes of common sense and common justice, by her petty paltry persecutions of her most valuable citizens. It would be endless as well as tedious to relate all I heard upon this subject. Some of the "fantastic tricks" of this childish spirit, that pouts its lip and knits its baby brow at the approach of a fellow mortal, are highly ludicrous, and would afford an amusing subject for the comic pencil of H.B.(**?)A young Frenchman, who is settled in the State of Massachusetts, told me, that he once unintentionally and unconsciously "frighted the propriety" of a whole steam-boat load of white China, by lighting his cigar at the mouth of a piece of black "earthenware". As he was walking on deck, he observed a man of color smoking near him; when he borrowed a light from him."As soon as I had done so, said he, "I remarked that every person's eyes were fixed upon me, and followed my steps whichever way I went. At last a young man stepped forward and informed me that I had committed an act which all present were shocked at, as it was contrary to the usages of the country." The matter was easily explained. Monsieur was a stranger just arrived from a country where such refinements are unknown; and where every man is allowed to do as he likes. He assured the young gentleman that he had not the slightest intention to offend any one; and resolved, in his own mind, not again to risk his reputation and his reception by committing such an unpardonable crime.
Another Frenchman (the French, be it observed, are honorably distinguished for their liberal and generous feelings on this point) was pelted with brickbats in the streets of New York, for merely speaking civilly to a woman of color belonging to the house in which he lodged. But the most laughable circumstance connected with this subject, was told me by an American --an intelligent, and in other respects, an estimable man. Some years ago he was in London, where he became intimate with a young Oxonian, with whom he one day made an appointment to visit some place. On proceeding to the spot, he met his friend arm-in-arm with --a colored man! Horror-struck at the sight, he turned away abruptly, and went off in another direction. When next they met, the Englishman asked why he had "cut" him so pointedly. "Cut you! "replied he; "how could I do otherwise? Why, I had made up my mind never to speak again to a man who could associate with such people as I saw you in company with."What!" said the other, "do you mean that young man who was with me when we met each other? Why, he is an old college acquaintance: --one of my most intimate friends." This contemptible folly reminds one of Horace's bombastic poet, who tumbled into the gutter while he was star-gazing. It calls itself Pride; but it is no more connected with that feeling, than Prudery with Modesty, or Bigotry with Religion. Some years ago, one of those whom it delights to mortify and insult, was living at Hartford, possessed of a handsome competency, and respected as far as his external appearance would admit. This man was frequently heard to say, in the most solemn and emphatic manner, that he would joyfully submit to be flayed alive, if he could rise from the operation with a white skin. The very same expression was used by a black woman who, lived as a servant with a person from whom I had the anecdote. Though treated with great kindness in the family, (her master, indeed, is incapable of unkindness to any human being,) she felt she was a Pariah, and could not be happy.
On the sixteenth I left Niagara for York --now Toronto --the capital of Upper Canada; at which place I arrived about six in the afternoon, by the Canada steamboat. The distance across this part of the lake Ontario is about thirty-four miles. Among the passengers were some delegates from the Wesleyan Methodists in England to their brethren in Canada; who, it was said, had formed a closer connexion with the branches in the neighbouring States, than with the parent stem at home. Whether the object was to recall the straggling fold, or prevent its uniting with other sects in the province against a common opponent, is doubtful. It is certain, however, that the Canadian Methodists had partaken largely in the spirit of opposition to the Church grant of lands; and a singular coincidence of facts that I observed, induced me to think that the mission might be political as well as religious. I met one of the missionaries coming out of the Lieutenant Governor's house, where he told me he had been for some time; and soon after I saw it reported in the English papers that the Government at home had made some pecuniary provision for the Methodist preachers in Upper Canada.
The missionaries were accompained by a half-caste Indian on his return from England. The tribe, of which he has the spiritual charge, are settled on the Credit river, about twenty-five miles from the capital. I had a good deal of conversation with him, and was much pleased with the sensible manner in which he expressed himself. While at New York, he had married an Englishwoman, who had formed an attachment to him, and had just arrived in that city from London. This event, which would have excited neither surprize nor displeasure in a good or pure mind, was seized hold of by the press as a fit occasion to exhibit its subserviency to the base passions of "the great vulgar and the small." A long article appeared in a paper conducted by a Mr. or a Colonel Stone --Secretary to the New York Colonization Society, and one of the bitterest revilers of Miss Crandall and her friends. The writer, by his own account, was present at the marriage ceremony, and described most minutely what passed on the occasion. The whole paragraph, the substance, if not the words, of which, was inserted in the other journals and found its way into every part of the Union, was written with the express object of insulting both the bride and the bridegroom; accusing the former of infatuation, and the latter of fraud, and holding up to ridicule and contempt two strangers who were passing through the country, and had done nothing, that might exclude them from those courtesies which every community, that has the slightest pretension to civilization, is accustomed to shew to foreigners.
No one who had any acquaintance with Peter Jones, while he was in London, would think even an American female could be disgraced by becoming his wife. This intrusion upon the sanctities of domestic life, in a land, too, where women are always treated with respect, ought to be reprobated by every generous and manly mind. One would have thought that an Englishwoman, who had just quitted her own country, and needed support under the pressure of those painful feelings that the abruption of family ties and the most endearing connections leaves, would have met with forbearance, if not with kindness, from strangers, of whom she asked nothing but an unmolested passage to an unknown home. Talk of our Halls, our Hamiltons, and our Fidlers, indeed! When did they ever, in any instance, single out an innocent female as a mark for ribaldry and raillery? When did they treat it as a crime, to have been taught by religion and nature, that character not complexion is to be the test of worth and the measure of respect? With what face can these people complain that English travellers judge of American manners by an European standard, while they condemn European feelings because they are not modified and moulded by American prejudices: absurdities which the philosopher would be contented to laugh at, if he could forget the pride they foster and the pain they inflict.
As for the bugbear of "amalgamation," about which so much is said as to sicken every European who visits the country, the only question he will ask himself, when he sees its effects every where, from Maine to Mexico, is --will it be brought about by marriage or concubinage? Shall the future occupants of the New World owe their existence to virtue or to vice? That the majority will, in the course of time, be of mixed blood, is by no means impossible, --long, however, before that period, the Haytian government will have had a resident ambassador at Washington; and a more liberal spirit will animate both nations*.
The capital of Upper Canada, though it does not perhaps exhibit so much bustle and outward appearance of enterprise as the towns along the road from Albany to Buffalo, is making very considerable progress: the population, indeed, increases in a greater ratio than probably in any of the former. It amounted to 9,000, having been but 3,300 three years and a half before. This calculation includes the military, the numbers of which were 600.
* "Are we yet prepared to send and receive ministers to, and from Hayti? Could the prejudices of some, and the, perhaps, just fears of others, be quieted? We think not: the time has not yet come for a surrender of our feelings about color; nor is it fitting, at any time, that the public safety should be endangered." --Niles's. Reg., 1823.
This is fair and honest and consistent. But pseudo-republicanism has its esoteric and its exoteric doctrines. The reasons assigned for not acknowledging the independence of Hayti are so "frivolous and vexatious", that their allegation would not be credited, were not the documents in which they appear matter of history. The United States' Envoy Extraordinary to Panama, was instructed, in 1826, to state to the South American Delegates that the President was not at that time prepared to say that Hayti ought to be recognized as a Sovereign Power, because, among other things, of the little respect which is there shewn to other races than the African."
It is laughable enough to see one nation blaming another for pursuing the same conduct towards foreigners that has long disgraced herself, and making the natural consequences of her own folly the ground of continuing it.
According to the Canadian Literary Journal, there were in 1829, 15,945 emigrants from Great Britain; in 1830, 28,000; in 1831, 50,254; in 1832, 51,746. Of these last 35,000 settled in Upper Canada; 10,000 in Lower Canada; 2,000 died of the cholera, and 850 returned. The remainder are not accounted for.
During the four preceding years, emigration from Scotland to the Canadas had doubled itself; while it had trebled itself from Ireland, and quintupled itself from England. In the last case, the chief influx was from the southern counties. Thirty-eight thousand emigrants had arrived at this place during the course of the year --more than balancing in wealth what was wanting in numbers, as several had brought out a good deal of capital with them.
From all I could learn from those who had visited the interior, the condition of the settlers, particularly in the western part of the upper province, is highly satisfactory. The soil is in many places extremely good; and the grain it produces of the best quality. The year before, 1500 bushels of wheat had been grown on forty acres in that district-in the township of Dover. Several tradesmen, whose shops I went into, expressed themselves fully contented with the success they had met with since their emigration from England. One of them, who a few years before had quitted Utica, where he had been disappointed, had been so far fortunate, as a storekeeper at Toronto, that his property was worth nearly 1000 pounds sterling; though when he first came to the place, he had but eleven sovereigns in his pocket, and was employed during the first year in keeping a school. I found the hotels extremely bad in every respect: and the many annoyances, to which a traveller from the other side is exposed, are felt the more not only from the contrast but from the circumstance of some of them being kept by Americans. I could perceive no wish for separation from the mother country in any person with whom I conversed while in Canada. That there is much discontent with the local government is well known; and, till some method be found of bringing the two legislative bodies more into harmony with each other, than they are ever likely to be, while one is elective and responsible to the community, and the other is dependent upon the very power that requires to be watched and checked, the republican spirit will gain greater strength and extension. But, even if this source of contention were dried up, another would be found in the bond that unites the ecclesiastical and the civil establishments. If the parent be distracted by the alliance, how can the child escape a reaction which will have neither prescriptive rights, nor time-honored recollections, nor fiscal difficulties to contend with? That which was once an auxiliary to the State tends ultimately to weaken it; and more is lost by the hostility of those who dissent than gained by the friendship of those who conform.
Our colonies benefit more by the connection than the mother country; and its dissolution is less to be dreaded by the latter. The Canadas, if separated from England, would not be able to maintain their independence against a powerful neighbor, who would soon find or seek cause of complaint against them on the subject of the asylum afforded, more particularly by the Upper Province, to runaway slaves from the Southern States*.
This was one of the secret causes of the last war, which was as popular in the slave section as it was odious in the other. Our government, when applied to, refused to give up the fugitives; but the reply, which was accepted, however unwillingly, from England, would hardly meet with the same acquiescence, when given by a young and weak State. It was with great reluctance that the Tory ministry, compelled by public opinion, rejected a request, with which some of its members would doubtless have been happy to find some good reason for complying.
* A report having been spread that the Canada Land Company intended to introduce large bodies of negro settlers into the Upper Province, and the inhabitants of Gosfield and Colchester having petitioned the legislature against the admission of such a population, the House of Assembly passed certain resolutions on the subject in 1830. They stated, in the fifth, that this class of people had proved " highly inconvenient and dangerous" to the neighbouring States; thus giving implicit credit to the falsehoods and calumnies of their oppressors: and, in the sixth, recommended the adoption, if practicable, of a Bill for preventing "the introduction of blacks and mulattoes, as settlers, participating in all the civil rights of the people" of the province. If they were admitted on these terms, they would prove not only a source of wealth but an arm of defence to the colony. They would have something to fight for, and something to fight against. On the one side high wages, on the other the whip; they would be animated by all the gratitude that kindness can inspire, and all the desperation that the dread of a baffled master's revenge can instil into the human breast.
It is worthy of remark, that the majority in Congress who voted for the war was chiefly of members from the south. Of all those who came from the States north of the Delaware, amounting to 68, 21 only were in favor of that measure. In a house that contained 128 members, 79 were for the war; and 62 of these were from the south. Of the 32 senators, 19 were on the same side; and-of these 14 were southerners.
Mr. Barbour, the American Minister at the Court of St. James's, said, in a letter to Mr. Clay, dated Oct. 2, 1828, "Lord Aberdeen remarked that similar complaints had been preferred by other Powers, having West Indian possessions; that whilst he would be happy to grant the most substantial remedy, yet, in the present state of public feeling on this subject, which he said might properly be called a mania, the application of the remedy was an affair of some delicacy and difficulty; that the law of parliament gave freedom to every slave who effected his landing on British ground."
Not long before I was in Canada, an application that had been made to the government for the delivery of some slaves who had escaped from Detroit in Michigan, across the border, was rejected, on the ground that "the laws of the province do not recognize the giving up of persons guilty of such an offence as that said to have been committed by the fugitives." It does not appear that the legislature has been yet called upon to create a new offence. Kentucky cannot make the inhospitable soil of Canada a bugbear to her slaves, as Martinique would point to Antigua.
I returned across the lake on the 19th by the same vessel; and, having passed over the Niagara by a ferry at Queenstown, got to Lewiston, on the New York side, about two o'clock in the day. As the coach for Rochester was to start at three or four o'clock in the morning, I accepted the offer of a lad, who had brought my luggage from the water's side to the hotel in his waggon, to go on with him to Lockport, where I might have longer time for rest, as I should thus be twenty miles in advance of the stage.
The vehicle I had mounted was of the commonest description, without springs, and half filled with furniture. After waiting an hour in the village to get one of his horses shod, we proceeded, at a jogtrot, over an execrable road. I soon saw I was going "to be well shaken"; but I made up my mind to it, and consoled myself with the reflection that something would turn up to amuse me.
There was a man with us who had been to Stamford, four or five miles from Niagara, to fetch what remained of the goods and chattels of one of his countrymen. The latter had been some time in the province, pursuing the trade of those people who, in our honorable House of Commons have been designated as the "benefactors of mankind": in other words, he was a smuggler, as was also my companion, who described the other as a traitor for having accepted the appointment of collector, and betrayed his friends. For this offence he had been compelled to make a precipitate retreat; and his, family were put under the care of this man, who was now on his way back with the furniture. From the various histories he narrated of the exploits he had been engaged in, I was fully initiated into the mysteries of smuggling, as it is carried on along the boundary that divides the two countries. He was a carpenter, and had found many opportunities under pretence of following his occupation, to cross over, and share the harvest of a more profitable trade. If his estimate is to be trusted, this contraband traffic amounts to nearly a million dollars a year. He assured me he had once bought cloth at Niagara for three dollars and a half a yard, and sold it a few days after at Lockport for eight. Thanks to the tariff, this lucrative commerce bids fair to go on and prosper. The statement of the profits he had made must have been overcharged, unless he alluded to the period of the war, when there were fewer competitors and more risk. It is probable that the gains of honest industry are not much below what may be derived from this source; as those who embark in such speculations have to pay three or four times as much as the former for any labor they may hire, and are obliged not only to bribe whatever persons may be inclined to denounce, or share in, the expedition, but are under the necessity of paying tavern-keepers and others, with whom they have dealings on the road, much more than is charged to common travellers. Every meal they order at the taverns costs them, a dollar. There is no doubt, however, that this business is carried on, particularly at Rochester, to a great extent.
The custom-house officer at Lewiston is by no means strict in the discharge of his duties. My trunk was allowed to pass unopened, on my declaration that it contained nothing contraband. I met with the same civility when I landed at New York; and it rarely happens that any one has reason to complain of different treatment from this class of public functionaries. This is far from being the case in Canada. There was a good deal of conversation in the boat that brought me back from Toronto, about an occurrence that had lately taken place at Niagara, at which town the trunks of an English officer, who had come up from New York, where he had landed, on his way to an estate be had in Upper Canada, had been opened at the Custom House, and a duty levied on his wardrobe and other goods; though the whole had passed free and unexamined at the former city, the inspecting officer having been satisfied with the assurance he gave, that what he had with him was for his own use. Something of the same kind not long before was referred to, in support of the censure this account produced from all present. Two settlers, brother-officers, left England about the same time for Canada. One went by New York, with a large quantity of goods, (including some wine,) all of which were suffered to proceed without any search or inspection, and passed the Canada frontier in the same way. The other came up the St. Lawrence, where he was detained till he had paid the duties upon everything except his wine, which he left at the Custom House.
We went to Lockport by the upper road, and passed through a settlement of Indians of the Tuscorora tribe. The cottages inhabited by them were well built, and presented an appearance of comfort while the land was in as good condition as if it had been cultivated by whites under similar circumstances: --a good deal of it was still uncleared. Both the man, and the lad who drove us, --gave a high character of the colonists; some of whom have farms of two or three hundred acres. So great is the confidence reposed in their honesty, that their word is sufficient security for the payment of a debt or the performance of a promise; no written agreement being ever required of them. As they discharge their engagements to others with the strictest punctuality, they expect the same good faith in return, and will have no further dealings with any one who has once cheated or deceived them. It is very seldom, if ever, that they are seen as criminals in a court of justice. They are converts to Christianity, and have a small church by the road-side, and a minister who resides near it, They sell their grain by measure, and will not allow the bushel to be weighed;-- filling it up to the brim, so that it runs over, and is, in fact, greater in quantity, than if submitted to the ordinary regulations of the country.
It was ten o'clock before we reached Lockport, where I found a clean and comfortable bed, after a tedious journey, the fatigues of which were scarcely indemnified by the novelty of the adventure.
At nine the next morning the stage arrived from Lewiston, and I left the rising town of Lockport without viewing its wonders, beyond what could be seen through the windows of the coach, as it passed by many substantial well-built houses; the recent birth of which was attested by the stumps of trees about them. In the stage was a young Scotchman, who had been residing in Upper Canada for three years, and was returning to his native land by way of New York. Though he had been, to use his own expression, "a thousand times" near the Falls of Niagara, he had never seen them. "What," said I, "will you say to your friends at home when they ask you about the Falls? " "Oh! " be replied, " I trouble myself very little about that: --I have something of more importance to attend. to than to visit a water-fall". Finding my companions rather dull and heavy, (there were, besides this "man of feeling," a "silent woman" and two girls,) I got upon the box, but was soon driven in again by the rain. A few miles further, the ladies took their departure, and a farmer-like-looking man got in. The new-comer had plenty to say for himself. He had been one of the first settlers at Rochester, and described the infant colony as existing in a state of perfect harmony and good-will. It was like one family; all the members of the little community assisting each other in pecuniary matters, and interchanging civilities and good offices, till some of them took it into their heads to build a handsomer church, and engage a preacher at a higher salary. From that moment religious discord found its way into the society; and the chronicler of its early feuds was the first to suffer under the infliction. He had been the proprietor of a line of stages for some years; and having entered into a contract with the government for the mails, had run them every day of the week. This proceeding was viewed by the zealots of the place as an unpardonable desecration of the sabbath; and one of them waited upon him to intimate that an opposition would be set up against him, unless he would discontinue the Sunday travelling. To this application he replied, that he would willingly comply with their request, if they would release him from his obligations by taking upon themselves the securities into which he bad entered for the fulfilment of his contract. If they refused his offer, and persisted in their resolution, his property, he told them, would be ruined. "We want you, not your property," --was the answer he received. "I never was, and I never will be a hypocrite," -these were his words:-" I cannot agree with you that I am committing a sin, I shall therefore continue running my stages." --He did continue; --the threatened opposition was started; --and he gave up the contest, after he had lost 12,000 dollars, because he would not allow his neighbors to regulate his conscience.
The result of thus setting religion against the man, was to set the man against religion; and, because his spiritual well-wishers had tried his actions by their opinions, he condemned their principles for the bigotry which accompanied them. He became an infidel. I met with several persons who had thus confounded the disbelief of religion with a dislike for its professors, and become hostile to the faith because they had suffered from the works to which it had led. The whole country was not long ago much agitated by the discussion of this question. Many efforts had been made to put a stop to the Sunday mails; and petitions were presented to Congress for their prohibition. The result was a report from the legislature, against the proposed measure; one of the objections alleged against it, being its supposed tendency to a connexion between the Church and the State!
Speaking of the harvest, the ex-postmaster, who was now a tiller of the soil, observed that there never had been finer crops in that part of the country. He pointed out, as we stopped at a small village (Clarkson) about eighteen miles from Rochester, a farm of 300 acres, that had been under cultivation for twenty years, and had never had any manure upon it. It belonged to a man, who had practised, for the first two or three years of his residence, as a physician. He commenced his career in life with only 300 dollars, purchased the farm in question, has now 600 acres, and is worth, as he told my informant, 120,000 dollars. The price of labor had been very high during the last harvest. My fellow-traveller had paid his men a dollar and a half a-day each besides board and lodging. It was through this district that William Morgan, who had divulged the secrets of Free-masonry, was dragged from his residence at Batavia in Genesee county, by some of the honorable fraternity, as far as fort Niagara, where he was confined and afterwards murdered or disposed of in some way still unknown. Eight or ten men from the county we were passing through, joined the kidnapping party, and the expenses of the prosecution that ensued fell upon the inhabitants, who were still taxed for the purpose. None of those who were concerned in this infamous transaction were adequately punished.
As this was a very remarkable event, a few details may be excused. In September, 1826, W. Morgan was taken by force from the gaol of Canandaigua, where he had been confined for a fictitious debt, and carried into Canada. There were various rumors with respect to his fate. No doubt, however, was entertained, that he had fallen a victim to his own imprudence and the resentment of the Freemasons, who were incensed against a brother of the craft for publishing its mysteries. As the sheriffs were Freemasons, every bill preferred against the perpetrators of this barbarous outrage was, though they were well known, ignored by the grand juries that were packed for the occasion. True bills, however, having been subsequently found against some of them in Ontario county, where the sense of justice prevailed over the influence of the order, legal proceedings were instituted in the other counties, through which this unfortunate man had been dragged; and the conspirators who were convicted were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment:-the maximum being under three years. The sheriff of Niagara county, Eli Bruce, was condemned to imprisonment for two years and four months in the common gaol of Ontario county, and removed from his office by the Governor of the State. The chief actors escaped; and the odium of the crime, they had thus openly and deliberately committed, fell most justly on a society of which some of the members were known to have screened them from justice, while the rest had taken no effectual measures to save their own honor by consigning the guilty to punishment. The wickedness of the act was scarcely greater than its folly. The savage ferocity exhibited against Morgan for charges and assertions that would have been disbelieved while unnoticed, gave currency and confirmation to all that he had divulged. The whole proceedings connected with this extraordinary affair were highly disgraceful to those who were concerned in it. In spite of public opinion, which loudly reprobated the assassination, the efforts that were made to screen the principal parties to the crime, were but too successful. The counsel (John C. Spencer) who had been specially appointed by an act of the legislature to investigate what had been done, was so disheartened and disgusted with the obstacles he had to encounter during the inquiry, that, in a letter to Enos J. Throop, the Governor of the State, he expressed himself in the following words. "I have to complain that my communications to your Excellency have been divulged, so as to defeat my measures, and bring undeserved reproach upon me. Those communications related to the means of discovering evidence of the fact of William Morgan's death. They were not only in their nature strictly confidential, but the success of the measures suggested depended entirely on their being unknown to the parties and their friends; yet they became known to a counsel of persons implicated in the offences upon W. Morgan. I cannot comment upon this fact in such a manner as to do justice to my feelings, and, at the same time, preserve the respect which is due to the chief magistrate of the State." Again: "The conviction is forced upon my mind, that, if the laws are to be vindicated in that transaction, it must be done by some one possessing more fully than myself the confidence of those administering the government, and who will be better sustained by them than I have been. Public duty does not require me to forfeit my own self-respect, and the esteem of others, by continuing in a situation where I should be exposed to treatment like that already received, and where I am practically disavowed and disowned by my employers."
An anti-masonic society sprang out of the indignation which these enormities excited; and, if the object of its hostility be not most shamefully misrepresented, it was high time that a check should be laid upon the progress of secret societies, that are every where to be suspected, and cannot be necessary in a republic.
Mr. Wirt, a man highly respected during his life for honor and integrity, stated, in his reply to the National Anti-Masonic Convention, who had nominated him, in 1831, as candidate for the Presidency of the United States, some curious and appalling facts relative to the masonic obligations. Speaking of the oaths, which it was proved on the trial for Morgan's abduction, were administered by the lodges in the State of New York, be said:- "I observed that in one of them (called the Royal Arch) the candidate swears, among other things, that be will aid and assist a companion royal-arch mason in distress and espouse his cause so far as to extricate him from the same, if in his power, whether he be right or wrong; and that he will conceal the secrets of a companion royal-arch mason given him in charge as such, murder and treason not excepted; and in other oaths, in still higher degrees, I also observe that the candidate binds himself to avenge the violated secrets of the lodge by the infliction of death on the offender, and to revenge the wrongs of a brother to the utmost extremity;- and the whole mixed up with the most horrible imprecations, and blasphemous mockeries of the rites and tenets of the Christian religion. In the details of the trials in the case of Morgan, it became manifest that these oaths are not considered mere idle and unmeaning words; there is too much reason to believe they were tragically enforced" on that occasion. There is probably a good deal of exaggeration in this picture; the freemasons in England, being bound, as I have been assured on the best authority, by no such oaths or obligations. The anti-masons are now a mere political party.
My communicative companion was well acquainted with the person of Smith --the founder of the Mormon sect. He had often seen him, and described him as a man of mean and insignificant appearance, between forty and fifty years of age. He was one of those infatuated beings who are in the habit of searching for gold by means of divining rods. Such persons are not very uncommon. The farmer had once himself a workman in his service, who followed this unprofitable trade, and who would often return home from his nocturnal excursions covered with mud, and drenched with rain. I had an opportunity some time after of seeing a printed copy of the translation Smith pretended to have made of the "Shaster" he said he had found under a tree. I will give some account of it in another place.