A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.

King James sold two hundred baronetcies of the United Kingdom, for one thousand pounds each; and Mr. Owen offers an unlimited number of presidentships in his incipient Utopia on the same advantageous terms.  I by no means dispute that the distinction Mr. Owen will confer on his purchasers may be quite as valuable, in his eyes and those of his disciples, as that conferred by King James; yet I cannot help suspecting, despite of the insatiable yearning the aristocracy have after vain-glorious titles, that few of them will come forward as candidates for his Utopian honours.

FOOTNOTES: 

[4] Since writing the above, I find that the constitution has already undergone an essential change; but Mr. Owen appears to entertain views of reformation very different indeed from our present Whig administration, for he has actually placed both members and visitors in schedule (A) of his reform bill, and at one fell swoop has deprived this most deserving class of all political existence.  None but vice-presidents and presidents have now the power of voting.

CHAPTER V.

Having remained about a fortnight at Harmony, we made the necessary arrangements, and, accompanied by B——­, set out for St. Louis, in Missouri.  We crossed the Wabash into Illinois, and proceeded to Albion, the settlement made by the late Mr. Birkbeck.

Albion is at present a small insignificant town surrounded by prairies, on which there are several handsome farms.  Messrs. Birkbeck and Flowers purchased large tracts of land in this neighbourhood, for the purpose of re-selling or letting it to English or other emigrants.  These two gentlemen were of the class called in England, “gentlemen farmers,” and brought with them from that country very large capitals; a considerable portion of which, in addition to the money laid out on purchase, they expended on improvements.  They are both now dead—­their property has entirely passed into other hands, and the members of their families who still remain in this country are in comparative indigence.

The most inveterate hostility was manifested by the backwoods people towards those settlers, and the series of outrages and annoyances to which they were exposed, contributed not a little to shorten their days.  It at length became notorious that neither Birkbeck nor Flowers could obtain redress for any grievance whatever, unless by appealing to the superior courts,—­as both the magistrates and jurors were exclusively of the class of the offenders; and the “Supreme Court of the United States” declared, that the verdicts of the juries, and the decisions of the magistrates were, in many cases, so much at variance with the evidences, that they were disgraceful to the country.  A son of the latter gentleman, a lad about fourteen years old, was killed in open day whilst walking in his father’s garden, by a blow of an axe handle,

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