The Whig party gained a great deal in the election of 1840; but it lost all by the contingency which made John Tyler president of the United States. Why he was ever named on the electoral ticket is itself inexplicable. He distinguished himself only by virtue of his mistakes, from first to last inexcusable; and the biography, by the son, is distinguished only by innuendos and a current of bitterness which destroy its value as historical authority. This is much to be regretted; because an unprejudiced life of John Tyler has long been needed.
That portion of the volume which deals with Mr. Tyler’s part of the Peace Congress, and his share in the exciting events preceding and during the first year of the war of the Rebellion, will arouse no discussion. The letters which these concluding pages contain are particularly valuable, for they show the state of public feeling in the South at that time. Notwithstanding our adverse criticism of certain portions of this volume,—and we have plainly stated our reason—we still welcome the work in its completeness. It adds much to our stock of knowledge, lets in light where light was needed, and is withal commendable as an addition to the material data of our national history.
[Footnote 8: A book of New England Legends and Folk-Lore, in Prose and Poetry. By Samuel Adams Drake. Illustrated. Boston: Roberts Brothers.]
[Footnote 9: Life and Times of the Tylers. By L.H. Tyler, Richmond, Va.: Whittet and Shipperson. 2 vols. $6.00.]
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The October number of the Bay State Monthly will contain, among other articles of interest, a valuable historical and descriptive paper on the enterprising and rapidly increasing city of HOLYOKE, MASS., the chief paper manufacturing place in the world, and the centre, also, of other important private and corporate industries. This paper has been prepared by a writer “to the manor born,” and will be copiously and beautifully illustrated.
Another article of special interest and value will be the HISTORY AND ROMANCE OF FORT SHIRLEY, built in the town of Heath, Mass., in 1744, as a defence against the Indians. The article has been prepared by Prof. A.L. Perry, of Williams College.
The series of papers illustrative of NEW ENGLAND IN THE CIVIL WAR, and which will command the attention of all classes of readers, will be initiated in the October number of the Bay State Monthly, by THREE IMPORTANT CHAPTERS, namely:—