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by canals or rail roads, to connect different points in the state; and surveys have in part been made to ascertain some of the most important routes. Georgia is intersected by rivers well suited to boat navigation, but in the low country, these are much obstructed by sand bars, and trees lodged in their channels. It is deemed advisable to clear out these obstructions, and to deepen the channels in some places. To effect this object the Legisla ture has appropriated $ 80,000 to be expended in improving the navigation of the rivers Oconee, Alatamaha, Chattahoochie, Oakmulgee, and Ogeechie; and also $40,000 more to be expended in conjunction with South Carolina in clearing the Savanna river. These are liberal appropriations, and show a generous and enterprising spirit in the legislature. It is a mistake, however, to expect much benefit from this mode of improving the navigation of rivers. An obstruction removed in a given place will frequently have no other effect than to draw the water off, and cause a new obstruction above. There is but one effectual mode of improving the boat navigation of rivers, and that is by dams quite across the stream, at such distances that the water will everywhere be raised above obstructions. Let a tow path be constructed on one bank of the stream, and it will then be converted into a canal with a lock at each dam. This method is carried into complete operation on the Schuylkill. We venture to predict, that after much labor and money have been expended in deepening the channels of the Georgia rivers, according to the plan proposed, they will in many places be found to be as shallow and unfit for navigation as before. A broad and deep river, like the Savanna, will undoubtedly be an exception. Small obstructions may there be removed to advantage, because the quantity removed will bear no proportion to the mass of water. Yet the same evil, to a certain degree, will exist in that river. Let the Board inquire what has been done at Wilmington, in North Carolina, in deepening the Cape Fear River, before they proceed far in any similar attempts.
3.-American Natural History. Vol. 1. Part I. Mastology. By JOHN D. GODMAN, M. D Philadelphia. Carey & Lea. 8vo. pp. 362.
THERE are few more attractive studies than natural history, and Buffon and Goldsmith, as well as some other writers, have shown that few subjects are susceptible of being treated in a more animated or eloquent manner. It is true, this remark will not apply to mere scientific arrangements, or rather systems of
names, by which different objects, whether animate or inanimate, are classified. This branch of the study can of course have charms only for the adepts in science; yet the more popular parts, such as the structure and uses of minerals, the varieties and virtues of plants, the habits and peculiarities of animals, present innumerable particulars, which afford instruction and amusement.
Our American works on natural history, except in the department of Ornithology, have hitherto been of the scientific, rather than the popular kind. Dr Godman has undertaken the important task of giving to the public a natural history of our country, adapted to the mass of readers, at the same time it adheres so closely to classical arrangement and definitions, as to retain in a sufficient degree a scientific dress. He has published the first volume of the first part, which contains descriptions of various animals, and which, as far as our knowledge and taste will enable us to judge, is a very successful beginning in the execution of his plan. His descriptions are in a language perfectly intelligible to every reader, and he has evidently examined all the best sources of information. His style is flowing and animated; it is not always pruned, and is rather indicative of haste, than of the lima labor of composition; yet it is not ill suited to his subject, and he must be in no very good humor, who will be disposed to stop and carp at the style, when there is so much in the matter and general manner to instruct and please.
The drawings, with which the book abounds, are executed with great beauty and spirit; some of them would do no discredit to Bewick. The engravings are highly finished. The fame, which the Philadelphia artists have acquired in delineating and engraving specimens of natural history, is fully sustained in this work.
As the author advances in his undertaking, we hope to embrace some other opportunity to speak more at large of his labors. The project deserves the unqualified encouragement and patronage of the public.
4.-Memorial to the General Assembly of North Carolina. Jan. 1, 1827. By A. D. MURPHEY.
THE history of few of the states is so little known, as that of North Carolina. This has not been for any want of materials, or of important events to record. When all these shall be brought to light, it will be found that North Carolina, both in its early character, and in its progress, has maintained a place among the very first of the states. With some means of knowledge on the
subject, we give our entire assent to the following remarks of Judge Murphey. 'Our men of education,' says he, who read and study the history of other countries, are ignorant of the history of their native state, and all classes of our people will remain in such ignorance until their history shall be written. When this shall be done, it will be seen that we have just cause to be proud of our ancestors; that in no state was a more early or effectual opposition made to the encroachments of power; that in no one were the principles of civil liberty better understood, more ardently cherished, or more steadily defended; that no state exhibited a purer devotion, and no one, except Massachusetts, made more generous sacrifices in the cause of the revolution; and that our legislature, our jurisprudence, and our institutions have kept pace with the improvements of the age.' The first part of these remarks, will apply to more states than one. Of many, very many persons can it be said, that 'they read and study the history of other countries, and are ignorant of the history of their native state.' In nine tenths of the higher order of our schools, the pupils can tell you more of Greece and Rome, than of the state in which they were born, and can talk more intelligibly of the Achæan league, or the Amphictyonic council, than of the princi ples of our federal union, or the history of our national legislature.
This ignorance has doubtless resulted in some degree from the want of well written histories. So busy have we been in this country since the revolution, that the public mind has been wholly taken up with the deeds of the present. The living history of the times has crowded as many events both upon the actors and the witnesses, as they have had leisure to attend to. What with the agitations of party, our political changes and progress, and the growth of all our civil and social institutions, the whole community has had abundance to think about and talk about from day to day, and month to month, without resorting to the actions of our ancestors; and under such circumstances there has been very little encouragement for writing history. But times are changed, and most persons are now prepared to read the history of their country, if they can be furnished with it in an attractive and judicious form. It is a matter of public utility, and each state should afford ample facilities to a competent historian, who is willing to give his time and talents to the task. Judge Murphey's Memorial is in the nature of an application to the legislature of North Carolina to grant him aid in preparing a history of that state. The result we have not learnt, but from the liberal spirit manifested by the legislature on a former application, we cannot doubt his wishes will be met.
We confess that we were a little startled to hear Judge Murphey talk of extending his history to six or eight octavo volumes,
exclusive of geology, mineralogy, botany, and meteorology.' Who will ever read such a history? Suppose the historians of all the states were to be as generous, what would be done with all the books? They might be piled up in libraries, but they never would be taken down. It is idle to write books, that never will be read. If the author will take our advice, he will confine himself strictly to the history of North Carolina, scrupulously keeping clear of all extraneous matters, and such as have only a remote bearing on his subject. Let him keep close to this purpose, and compress all his materials into two octavo volumes, in which every line shall contain a fact, and every sentence a point, and the whole be arranged with clearness, method, and in just proportions. Such a work will answer its important ends; it will be sought after and read.
5.—An Address delivered in Burlington, upon the Inauguration of the Author to the Office of President of the University of Vermont; Nov. 28, 1826. By JAMES MARSH. lington. E. & T. Mills. pp. 31.
We are not among those who are tired of a subject, only because it has been often discussed. We therefore, for ourselves, needed no apology from President Marsh, for choosing education as the subject of his Address, especially as it was a topic so appropriate, we might even say necessary, to the occasion. The apology which he offers, is, however, so very sensible, and so convincingly put, as we think, to all those who are apt to become fatigued with a discussion by the time they have acquired from it two or three general and superficial notions, that we cannot deny ourselves the satisfaction of quoting it.
This subject, however it may have been exhausted, as to its general and theoretical principles, by eminent writers of both ancient and modern times, and rendered trite in its details by the daily discussions of our own periodical press, has still, like that of religion, a hold upon our attention, that can be lost only when we are no longer capable of improvement. Like that, it mingles itself with the sweetest charities of domestic life, and is second in importance only to that in its relation to communities and nations. It comes home to the heart of every father and of every mother, as they contemplate the future character of a son or a daughter, and in the minds of the wise politician and philanthropist is associated with their dearest hopes and most labored efforts for the
improvement of society. It is practically connected with our daily and most interesting duties, and its principles can never be too well understood, or too faithfully applied by those, who wish well to the happiness of their country.' pp. 3, 4.
The truth is, that so long as education is a subject of intrinsic and inestimable importance, and when it will cease to be so we cannot imagine, so long ought it to be a frequent subject of discourse and reflection, and so long will it possess a strong hold on the minds, and a deep interest in the hearts of thinking men. It will indeed lose its novelty, when it is thoroughly understood in all its relations, and nothing remains to be discovered and developed in any of its departments. But that time has not yet come, and who can say when it will come ?
The view which Mr Marsh has taken of the subject, is one especially interesting at this time, and to this country. He considers, in his address, 'some of the peculiar advantages which we enjoy, as a people, for giving efficacy to the power and influence of education, and some of the higher results, in the general cultivation and wellbeing of society, which we may reasonably expect it to accomplish, or towards which at least our efforts in relation to it should be directed.' In pursuing this design, he exhibits in a few well drawn sketches, those circumstances in our situation which distinguish us from all other nations, which place education in a new field of experiment, and which promise great and hitherto unknown results from the trial. He could not, of course, omit to notice an institution so characteristic of at least one considerable section of our country, and bearing so closely and powerfully on the destinies of the whole, as that of our public schools. We are far from thinking that these schools have attained to anything like perfection; but we are nevertheless convinced that the principle of their establishment is sound, and that their general operation and consequences have been incalculably great and beneficial. We therefore give our full approbation to the following eulogy upon them.
'In the minds of those, by whom our principles and our form of society were bequeathed to us, the maxim that all men are alike independent, and have the same right to act in the various relations of society, awakened of necessity the idea of so providing for the instruction of all, that they should be qualified to act well. Hence, at a very early period after the settlement of New England, free schools were established, and a system, unknown in every other country, which provides that the property of all shall be taxed for the education of all, under some varieties of form now everywhere prevails. The object or the effect of this is not indeed to give very eminent attainments to any, but to accomplish