xt7q2b8vb90f https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7q2b8vb90f/data/mets.xml Milburn, William Henry, 1823-1903. 1857  books b92ps2393m48r52009 English Derby & Jackson : New York Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Frontier and pioneer life --United States. Blind --Biography. Women --Social and moral questions. French --United States. Southwest, Old --History. The rifle, axe, and saddle-bags, and other lectures. text The rifle, axe, and saddle-bags, and other lectures. 1857 2009 true xt7q2b8vb90f section xt7q2b8vb90f 
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WITH INTRODUCTION BY REV. J. MoOLINTOCK:, D.D. Portrait of tit author on SUA.



cincinnati:   h. w. derby a co.







   6 i s Volutin  is 3 it jb tr ii ih . 



First Invaders, 27

The Untamed Wilderness,........ 29

Daniel Boone,.......... 81


White and McClelland......... 86

The Female Captive,......... 37

The Mysterious Shot,......... 89

A Narrow Escape,......... 41

The Real Young America,........ 43


A Backwoods Marriage,     ........ 47

The Wedding Dinner,       ........ 49

A Dance,   .      .      .      .      .     .     .                     . .51

Homes in the Wilderness, ........ 53

Justice in the Backwoods......... 65


Preachers in the Wilderness,     ....... 57

William Burke,.......... 59

Good Looks Heretical,........ 61 

coy t f. n 'i's .


Modesty and Courage,	.....63

Accommodations for Man and Beast, .	.....65

The Preacher's Dormitory, .	.....67

Henry Beidelman Bascom, .	.....69

Value of a Song, ....	.....71

" Old Jimmy's " Reproofs, .	.....73

Judge White Surprised,	.....75

The Work of the Clergy,   . .	. 77

The Vision of John Fitch, .	.    ' . .79

The Pioneer's Work, ....	.....81

songs in the nigiit ; or, the triumphs	op genius over blindness.

Beauty and Effects of Light,     . .	.....87

The Eye,......	.....89

Eminent Blind Men, .	.....91

Kicholas Saunderson, ....	.....93

His Remarkable Sense of Hearing,	.....95

Francis Huber, .....	.       .              . .97

His Investigation in Bees, .	.....99

Augustin Thierry, ....	.             . 101

Madame Paradisi, ....	.     .     . .103

A Triumph of Resolution, .	.            .      . 105

Mr. Prescott,     .       . ...	.....107

Francis Parkman,       .      .      .   - .	.....109

John Milton,      .      .      .      .   - .	.....Ill

His Early Studies, .	.....113

His Controversial Career, .	.....115

Premonitions of Blindness, .	.....117

Sonnets on his Blindness,	.....119

His Immortal Fame.....	.....121

Blindness an Impediment to Oratory, .	.....123

Sympathy Necessary to the Speaker, .	.....125

The other Senses Quickened,	.....127

The Blind Man's Need is his Gain,	.....129

The Blind Man is an Optimist	.....131

"I am Old and Blind."	.....188

an hour's talk about tvoman.

Their Various Expounders, . Old Influences not yet Removed,

139 HI 


"The Bridge of Sighs,"     .   . .   ........143

True Power lies not in the Physical,......147

The Moral Greater than the Intellectual,    ..... 149

John Howard the Philanthropist,       ...... 151

Self-education,.   ...      .      .      .      .      .      .      .      . 153

Wonjan's Sphere,.............155

Ancient and Modern Women,.........157

Woman's Capabilities Examine.d,.......159

Education Ceases with School,. .   , .   . .      .     .      .      . 1C1

Frivolity a Prevailing EviJ,..........163

A Strict Regard of Time Required,.......165

Earnestness of Female Authors,       .      .      .      .      .      . 167

Surfacism,............. .     . 169

Women the Best Literary Instructors,       .    " .     .     .          171

A Fast Age,............173

Woman's Responsibility, . ,........175

Asceticism to be Avoided, ........ 177

Pharisaism Replaces True Religion,......179

The Power of Sympathy,   .      .__......181

Conversation,    ...........183

The Importance of Conversation,      .......1S5

Educational Suggestions,...........187

Our Domestic Life,     .....      .      .      .      .      .      . 189

An Illustration, .      ..........10]

Class Separatism,      .      ...     .   . .     .     . .193

Evil Influences, .      .............      .      . 195

Woman the True Reformer,      .      .      . ,      ,      . 107

Domestic Solicitudes, .........     .      .      . 199

Her Moral Requirements,, .      .      ....     .      .      . 201

Maternal Teachings,   .      .   ; .   .......203

Practical Counsel,   ...........205

Educational Suggestions,........207

Future Hopes,    .      ...........209


Early Charters of Trade, .....215

Early Discoveries in the Southwest,......217

Exploration of the Mississippi,..... .219

Discouragements of tho Colonists,     ...... 221

The French Charter Renounced,......223




The Assiento Contract,........225

Gold Unsuccessfully Sought........227

Foundation of New Orleans,.......229

Development of Internal Resources,......281

Collisions between the French and Spanish,       .... 233

Gradual Growth of the Colony,.......235

Sufferings of the Colonists...... . 237

Collisions with the Indians,       ....... 239

French Outrages,       .      .   - .      .      .      .      .      .      . 241

Massacre at Fort Rosalie,........243

Extermination of the Garrison,.......245

Retaliation by the French,........247

Attack upon the Chickasaws,    .......249

Growth of the Louisiana Province,......253

Destruction of a French Colony,       ...... 255

Cession of Territory to the British,......257

Cession of Western Louisiana to Spain,.....259

Oppression of the Spanish Governor,......2C1

Expansion of the Anglo-American Element,     .... 263

Purchase of the Louisiana Territory.......265

Historical Traditions,.........267

Incidents of Forest Life,   .      .      .      .      .      .      .      . 269

Military Tyranny,.........273

Anecdote of Montberaut.........275

Bossu's Anecdotes..........277

McGillivray,      .      .         .......279

Forest Diplomacy,.........285

Treaty at New York,.........291

Character of McGillivray,........293

William A. Bowles,    .........295

Establishes a Trading Post,   ........297

Imprisoned by the Spanish, 299

The Napoleonist Refugees.........301

" The Vine and Olive Company,"   '......80S

111 Success of the Adventure,.......305

Dispersion of tho Settlers,........307

Anglo-Saxon Supremacy,........309 

It has come to be somewhat common for new writers to get their books introduced to the world by other hands. The practice is not a commendable one; certainly, at least, it requires strong justification in the character of the book, in the circumstances of the author, or in the relations of both to the public.

The present case affords such justification to an ample extent, as the reader who will follow me through a few pages, will freely admit.

I have known "William H. Milbtjen from a boy; his early days were spent within a stone's throw of my father's house in Philadelphia. He was born in that city, Sept. 26, 1823. In early childhood his eyes were injured; the sight of one was lost irretrievably, and of the other, partially. From that clay to this he has lived on,nearly, but not quite, blind; sometimes able to read, painfully and slowly indeed, but yet to read. A blessing has this small share of occasional eye-sight been to him ; many a lesson of wisdom from the printed page has that little corner of a wounded eye let in to feed and stimulate the apt and quick-seeing soul behind it; and now and then, a winged arrow from " the golden quivers of the sky," has shot into that small opening of the elsewhere sightless orb always offering itself as a willing target.   But of the brilliant beauty of the fair earth,


trembling in its joy under the ceaseless shower of sunrays on a bright day; of the shining pageants and braveries that everyday life affords to every-day eyes; of the rich dyes that nature is ever dropping from her light-tipped fingers   the crimson, the purple, and the gold of the evening sky   the pale light of stars studding the deep azure   the violet, the purple, and the emerald of garden, and field, and meadow; of the full effluence of

That title of glory which no rest doth know, But ever ebb and ever flow,

   of all these be knows nothing except by recollection and by imagination.

But he has this great advantage over the born blind, or even over those who have hecome totally blind in after life, that he is not entirely dependent upon what others tell him about the outer world; that he did get images of it in his childhood, which still furnish the inner chambers of his soul; and that he yet sees, now and then, at least, a little of the world's beauty   enough to stimulate his fancy and at the same time to rectify its aberrations'.

And as the eye, however physically perfect, is only an instrument for the mind to use ; as it remains true, now as ever, that the eye only sees in nature what it brings means of seeing; so, Mr. Milburn's little modicum of vision has availed him more, for all purposes of culture, than most men's perfect eye-sight. It is doubtless true, also, that 'his very defect of vision has quickened his power of attention, enlarged his faculty of observation, and strengthened his memory of things once seen. At all events, in these capacities he is very largely endowed. But, above and beyond all this, he has that richest of all possessions to any man   precious, especially, above all price, to him,

The light that never was on sea or land ; Th   vision and the faculty divine,

which floods, for its possessor, all things, visible and invisible, with its unceasing radiance, brighter than the sunlight. Under, this inspiration his mind clothes, in its own forms of beauty, the 

world of things he sees not; weaves, from its own abundant stores, garments of light and loveliness for his wife, his children and his friends; and creates, from the common material that every-day sounds furnish   from the talk of the fireside; from a friend's voice reading the daily newspaper; from the street cries, the tread of many feet and the rattle of wheels, in the busy city; from the tinkle of cow-bells, the babble of brooks, and the songs of birds in the country   a world of its own, in which he lives (in spite of what appears to be, and is, so great a privation) a life far richer in joy and peace and gladness than falls to the lot of ordinary men.

Mr. Milburn left Philadelphia while yet a boy, and for some years I lost sight of him. The following sketch of the outward facts of his life, written by T. B. Thorpe, Esq., for a New York journal, is in the main, I think, accurate; though it gives no notion of the painful and continued struggles of the half-blind youth in getting on in the world. " "We find him at the age of fourteen in Illinois, earning a living as a clerk in a store, and by the aid of friends reading to him, occupying his leisure time in preparing for college, which he finally accomplished, and made great proficiency as a student. In 1843 his health, in consequence of close application, failed him, and active life was prescribed as the only thing calculated to restore him to vigor. Determining to be useful, he commenced his public life as a Methodist preacher, and for two years suffered almost incredible hardships among the cabins of the "West. In the fall of 1845, ho made his appearance in the Northern and Eastern States, as an advocate for the cause of education in the West, and was everywhere received with enthusiasm, not only on account of his intellectual qualities, but also for his amiable disposition, and eminent social virtues. On his journey north, Mr. Milbnrn found himself on board of an Ohio river steamer, on which were three hundred passengers. From the number of days the passengers had been together, Mr. Milburn had become pretty well informed of their character, and ho found most prominent among the gentlemen, were a number of 


members of Congress, on their way to Washington. These gentlemen had attracted Mr. Milburn's attention, on account of their exceptionable habits. On the arrival of Sabbath morning, it was rumored through the boat, that a minister was on board, and Mr. Milburn, who had up to this time attracted no attention, was hunted np and called upon to 1 give a discourse.' lie promptly consented, and in due time commenced divine service The members of Congress, to whom we have alluded, were among the congregation, and by common consent had possession of the chairs nearest to the preacher. Mr. Milburn gave an address suitable to the occasion, full of eloquence and pathos, and was listened to throughout with the most intense interest. At the conclusion he stopped short, and turning his face, now beaming with fervent zeal, towards the ' honorable gentlemen,' he said: ' Among the passengers in this steamer, are a number of members of Congress; from their position they should be exemplars of good morals and dignified conduct, but from what I have heard of them they are not so. The Union of these States, if dependent on such guardians, would be unsafe, and all the high hopes I have of the future of my country would be dashed to the ground. These gentlemen, for days past, have made the air heavy with profane conversation, have been constant patrons of the bar, and encouragers of intemperance; nay more, the night, which should be devoted to rest, has been dedicated to the horrid vices of gambling, profanity and drunkenness. And,' continued Mr. Milburn, with the solemnity of a man who spoke as if by inspiration, 1 there is but one chance of salvation for these great sinners in high places, and that is, to humbly repent of their sins, call on the Saviour for forgiveness, and reform their lives.'

"As might be supposed, language so bold from a delicate stripling, scarcely twenty-two years of age, had a startling effect. The audience separated, and the preacher returned to his stateroom, to think upon what he had said. Conscious, after due reflection, that he had only done his duty, he determined at all hazards to maintain his position, even at the expense of being rudely assailed, if not lynched. While thus cogitating, a rap was heard at his state-room door, a gentleman entered and 


state! that he came with a message from the members of Congress   that they had listened to his remarks, and in consideration cf his boldness and his eloquence, they desired him to accept a purse of money which they had made up among themselves, and also, their best wishes for his success and happiness througl. life.

"Butthis chivalrous feeling, so characteristic of western men when they meet bold thought and action combined, carried these geitlemen to more positive acts of kindness; becoming acquaintel with Mr. Milburn, when they separated from him, they offend the unexpected service of making him Chaplain to Congress, i promise which they not only fulfilled, but through the long years that have passed away since that event, have cherished for the ' blind preacher' the warmest personal regard and stand ev?r ready to support him by word and deed.

"His electbn to the office of Chaplain to Congress, so honorably conferred, brought him before the nation, and his name became familiar in every part of the Union. His health still being delicate, h the year 1847 he went south for the advantago of a mild climatt, and took charge of a church in Alabama. For six years he labtred industriously in Mobile and Montgomery cities of that Statt, and in four years of that time, preached one thousand five hundred times, and travelled over sixty thousand miles."

In all his different spheres of ministerial labor, Mr. Milburn devoted himself to hi: work with the zeal and fidelity which so generally characterize the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal Church. But, as may readily be understood, his blindness was a great impediment to die due fulfillment of the pastoral function under the itinerary law of the Methodist ministry. The necessity of removing a growing family from place to place every two years was, of ixself, too great a task; and, although Mr. Milburn's great power of endurance, and remarkable physical as well as mental aptituce for public speech, would make it easy for him to discharge the pulpit duties of a fixed and permanent charge, no such permmency of the pastoral relation is compatible with the general system of Methodism. In the summer of 1853 he returned to Kew York, and fixed his abode 

there. Since that period he has devoted himself, first, to his great life-work, preaching the Gospel in such churches :'n the city as needed occasional service in addition to, or in plice of, the regular pastorate; and secondly, to the delivery of public lectures. It was a bold procedure, but its eminent success fully justified its sagacity. Stepping into the field at a time when a number of the richest and most fertile minds in the country were engaged before the public as lecturers, aud when the public ear had grown fastidious from cultivation, Mr. Milhirn took no second rank, and his reputation is now spread abroad throughout the length and breadth of the land.

This preeminent success could only have been tchieved by preeminent powers. I have already spoken of Mr. Milburn as a man of genius; but this high gift goes but little w  y in the line of literary life which Mr. Milburn has chosen, inless supplemented by good habits of labor. And his industry is untiring. No source of information within his reach is left unransacked for facts to form the groundwork of his lectures: the reader of this volume will see that in each discourse the )ody is made up of sound and valuable information, in the best sense of the word. He will see, too, that the lecturer's turn of mind is singularly practical; and that in the ethical ani religious bearings of his subject, his line of thought is always dear and definite, as of one whose philosophy of life had been (lie fruit of thorough reflection. Sense   hard, substantial sense   is one of the most marked characteristics of Mr. Milburn's lectures, as well as of his sermons.

Mr. Milburn's devotion to books, ajd the difficulties with which his path as a student has beei environed, have been before spoken of. I cannot do bette.', upon this point, than to present to the reader the following inperfect newspaper report of an address delivered by him at :he "Publisher's Festival," held at the Crystal Palace, in New Fork, in 1855 :

"Mb. Peesident: I sincerely thank you for your honorable recognition of the Clergy. Perhaps that branch of it to which I belong may not be the least wo'thy to respond to your sentiment, for they were probably tlu first to penetrate the wilds of 


the new countries, carrying those precious commodities    hooks.

" Were the church compared to an army, I should say that the other clergymen present belonged to the artillery, and good service are they doing in their permanent positions at the batteries and in the trenches, against our common foes, Ignorance and Sin. I happened to be drafted into the Light Brigade, whose service was upon the outskirts of the camp. In a ministry, the twelfth year of which completed itself yesterday, it has fallen to my lot to travel over two hundred thousand miles in the performance of clerical duties. Our training, as itinerant ministers, began in the saddle, and in lieu of holsters, wo carried saddle-bags crammed with books for study and for sale; for our church economy held it a duty of the minister to circulate good books, as well as to preach the Word.

" Let me change the figure. Although we were graduates of Brush College and the Swamp University, we were always the friends of a wholesome literature. Picture, then, a young itinerant, clad in blue jean, or copperas homespun; his nether extremities adorned with leggings; his head surmounted with a straw hat in summer, a skin cap in winter; dismounting from the finest horse in the settlement, at the door of a log cabin, which may serve as a schoolhouse or a squatter's home, carefully adjusting on his arm the well-worn leather bookcase. See him as he enters the house of one room, where is assembled the little congregation of half a dozen or a dozen hearers   backwoods farmers and hunters, bringing with them their wives and little ones, their hounds and rifles. The religious service is gone through, regularly as in a cathedral. At its close, our young friend opens the capacious pockets of his saddle-bags, displaying on the split-bottom chair, which has served him aa a pulpit, his little stock of books, to the eager gaze of the foresters.

"Thus day after day does the circuit-rider perform his double duties, as preacher and bookseller. Not a few men of my acquaintance have driven a large trade in this line, turning thereby many an honest penny. The plan was designed to work as a two-edged sword, cutting both ways   to place a sound religious literature in the homes of the people, and (as we 

bought at a discount of thirty-three per cent.) to enable men    whose salaries were a hundred dollars a year (and who rejoiced greatly if they received half that amount) to provide themselves with libraries. But most of my sales were on credit, and some of the accounts are still, after eleven years, outstanding. I therefore quitted the business at the end of the first year.

"From this picture you will see that the relations of the clergy to the book trade are more intimate than may be generally known.

"But wherefore am I speaking, at a festival given to litorary men   a man who cannot read ? No one would cast a shadow, however slight, upon a joyous scene like this. But if a testimony to the worth of knowledge may bo wrung from infirmity, surely a further personal allusion may be pardoned.

" Time was, when after a fashion I could read, but never with that flashing glance, which instantly transfers a word, a line, a sentence from the page to the mind. It was the nerpetuation of the child's process, a letter at a time, alwayi pelling, never reading truly. Thus, for more than twenty years, with the shade upon the brow, the hand upon the cheek, the finger beneath the eye, to make an artificial pupil, with beaded sweat, joining with the hot tears trickling from the weak and paining organ, to blister upon the page, was my reading done. Nevertheless, as I have striven to study my native tongue in Shakspeare's dictionary, and eloquence in the well-nigh inspired page of Milton, or endeavored to look through the sightless sockets, yet light-giving mind of Homer upon the plain of Troy; or have sat me at the wayside, with solitary Bartimeus, to hear, if we could not see the Son of Man, I have found that knowledge is its own exceeding great reward.

" The waters of the fountain of learning are not the less, perhaps more sweet, because mixed with the bitter drops of suffering.

"Gentlemen booksellers, the leaves you scatter are from the tree whose fruit is for the healing of the nations. Gentlemen publishers, the well-heads opened in your press-rooms may send forth streams to refresh and gladden the homes of a continent, so that 'the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty 


land springs of water, and in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with weeds and rushes.'

" But if I magnify the office of a maker and seller of a book, how much more the author's. As Wolfe sadly and sweetly recited Gray's Elegy, upon the St. Lawrence, the night before his glorious fall on the plains of Abraham, he said, ' I would rather have the honor of writing that poem, than of taking Quebec to-morrow.'

" Were I to paraphrase his thoughts to my wish, it would be thus. Could I have written the Sketch Booh (turning to Mr. Irving), almost every word of which I had by heart, before I was eight years old; or could I have sung that ode commencing, ' The Groves were God's first temples' (turning to Mr. Bryant), which I committed to memory in a saddle on a western prairie, cheerfully would I go through life, binding this badge of infirmity upon my brow, to wear it as a crown; or groping in the unbroken darkness, so were it the Father's will, for threescore years and ten of man's appointed time.

" But what though the Sage's pen and Poet's song be not ours to utter and to wield I Is not the man greater than the author ? Nor is theirs any ignoble lot who are called to learn and show that,

* They also serve, who only stand and wait.' "

So much for what is peculiar in the circumstances of the author of this book; a few words now as to the book itself. It purports to contain " Lectures for the People," and it must be judged in view of its title. Let the reader remember, too, that Mr. Milburn's training has been that of a speaker, not of a writer; that his culture, self-obtained for the most part, though wide and many-sided, has been directed, with a wise economy, to the development of his admirable natural powers of oratory. In the Methodist Church, as is well known, sermons are preached, not read; and it is no part of the aim of a Methodist sermon, in the proper sense of the word, to give simply intellectual pleasure. The ministers and people of that church, in general, agree with William Abtiittr that in the study for a sermon, " attention to style ought to be with a view, not to beauty, but to power:" 


that, iu the pulpit, "all thought of style is thought wasted, and even worse. The gift of prophesying, in its very ideal, excludes relying for utterance upon a manuscript, or upon memory. It is the delivery of truth by the help of God."* Iu this school of preachers, freedom and power are never sacrificed to finish, But in these very points of freedom and power, it is a wonderful school; and Mr. Milburn got his first training as a speaker in it. His sermons are not, in the proper sense of the word, theological ; "indeed, it may be questioned whether a good sermon ad populum ever is. Besting upon a sound and thorough theological basis, and built up, in all its parts, in duo relation to theological system, the sermon is an address to the people, aiming to instruct, to convince, to awaken, to alarm, to encourage, to soothe; and it accomplishes these ends best by appealing to the human heart as answering to the grand fundamental facts and truths of Christianity; by bringing its appeals homo to men's business and bosoms in simple yet earnest and glowing phrase; by concealing, rather than revealing, its strictly theological or scholastic articulations; and by drawing its illustrations from the field of nature, from the records of history, from the walks of trade, from the every-day current of human life and affairs. In this sense Mr. .Milburn is a thoroughly effective preacher; always earnest, always tlroughtful, but never coldly correct or artistically dull.

With proper allowance for differences of topic and of aims, what has been said of Mr. Milburn's sermons is true also of his lectures. They are written not only for the ear, but, so to speak, l>y the ear. And this is one secret, doubtless, of their eminent success. The popular lecture is not an essay, slowly developing its lines of thought from a central point in careful and strictly logical concatenation, admitting, and often requiring, deliberate and repeated reading to get at its harmonious connections, or, if it be of the lighter sort, to appreciate its delicate turns of thought and niceties of phrase. It aims rather to give broad views that may be apprehended by the hearer as they fall from tho lips of the speaker; to afford " ready-mado instruction ;" to stir up the hear-

* The Tongue of Fire, p. 822. 


er's mind to quick yet not laborious activity   an activity that shall cheer and enliven the intellect, rather than weary it.     Not that it is to be barren of thought: its range may be as wide and varied, its reach even may bo as profound as you please, but it must convey thought by strokes, rather than by elaboration ; it must tell a history by pictures, rather than by connected narrative ; its logic must be that of analogy and illustration, rather than of obvious syllogism; its ethical teaching must be implied, rather than direct.

Tried by this standard, the lectures in this volume need not fear a thorough scrutiny. And when it is remembered that this is the author's first appearance before the public in print, and that he now appears with a volume announced as a collection of spoken lectures, the reader will only have cause to wonder at the degree of refinement of style and elegance of manner, which the pages of the book display. He will find no ambiguities of phrase; no wandering or meaningless sentences ; no paragraphs put in to fill up; but lucid narrative, glowing descriptions, earnest thought, and genial feeling everywhere.

It may be proper to add, that some of the matter of the following pages may have appeared before; but, if so, it has only been in newspaper reports made from the old delivery of the lectures.

J. McClintock.

New Yoke, Sept. 10,1s56. 



Man has been defined to be " a tool-using animal." His implements may be taken as the gauge of his power and the measure of his explorations and conquests in the domain of nature. Ofttimcs has it happened that the sublimest results have been achieved by the simplest instrumentalities. With the weak things of this world and the things that are not, hath God brought to naught the things that are, and the things that are mighty. And this further rule holds good   in order to have work well done, your tools must be suited to those who are to handle them. Apollo's lyre is for the poet; for the husbandman, the handles of the plough. Each after his kind fulfills a noble mission, as he goes upon his proper way.

Amid the evolutions of Providence and the developments of history, the period had arrived when a

2 25 

great task was to be wrought. That magnificent territory, named the Valley of the Mississippi, sweeping away from the foot of the Apalachian chain for thousands of miles, until its undulations are abruptly terminated beneath the gigantic shadows of the Rocky Mountains   that illimitable prairie ocean, dotted with innumerable isles of primeval forest, and with noble groves of later birth   was to be wrung from the grasp of barbarians   was to be reclaimed from the ownership of the wild beast, and made the seat of the greatest empire of Christian civilization.

The object was a lofty one, worthy the prowess and ambition of any race. Spain had tried to achieve it, but Ponce de Leon   typifying Castilian romance    found in the attempt only a death-wound, and his flower-land of immortality refused him even a grave. Hernando de Soto   representing its chivalry   with steel-clad warriors and doughty men-at-arms, with silken pennons and braided scarfs, with lance, and mace, and battle-axe, with blood-hounds to hunt the natives, and manacles to enslave them, with cards for gambling and consecrated oil for extreme unction, sought to subdue the land and to possess it. Leaving a trail of tears, fire, and blood from Tampa Bay to southwestern Missouri, he reared upon a noble bluff of the Mississippi, in the northern corner of what is now the State of Arkansas, the first cross ever planted within the limits of this Republic, and there performed the ceremony of the Mass, sixty years before the French ascended the St. Lawrence River, and eighty years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Perishing of the wilderness, his body is committed to the custody of the yellow waves of his own 


" Rio Grande"   their roar his requiem, their depths his mausoleum. Never did a prouder armament than his set sail from Spain   a thousand brave men and true. Three hundred beggared adventurers alone returned to Mexico, with t