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Debt and Credit.-EMPORIUM, Trenton.
I DISLIKE the whole matter of debt and credit—from my heart I dislike it; and think the man, who first invented a leger, should be hung in effigy, with his invention tied to his feet, that his neck might support him and his works together. My reason for thus sweeping at the whole system is, not that I believe it totally useless, but that I believe it does more mischief than good, produces more trouble than accommodation, and destroys more fortunes than it creates honestly.
These opinions are not of a recent date with me: they are those upon which I set out in early life, and, as I
grew older, I became more and more conärmed in them : not that I changed my practice, while I held fast my profession, and got my fingers burned at last, by trusting my name in a day-book; for I never did it, because I saw the evil effects of credit around me, in every shape and form.
A visit, this morning, to my old friend, Timothy Coulter, called the subject up so forcibly, that I concluded to write you a line upon it. His last cow was sold this very morning, by the constable, for six dollars, though she cost him sixteen; and they have not left an ear of corn in his crib, or a bushel of rye in his barn, much less any of his stock: it was what was called the winding up of the concern; and he is now on his good behaviour; for I heard one of his creditors say, that, if he did not go on very straight, he would walk him off to the county prison-ship. Thus has ended Timothy's game of debt and credit.
When he first commenced farming, he was as industrious and promising a young man as was to be found; he worked day and night, counted the cost, and pondered on the purchase of every thing. For a year or two, he kept out of debt, lived comfortably and happy, and made money: every merchant, that knew him, was ready to make a polite bow: each knew him as one of your cash men, and liked his custom. The mechanic shook him by the hand, and begged his company to dinner, hoping to get a job from him; and even the lawyer, in contemplation of his high character, tipped his beaver as he passed him, with a sign, as much as
Tim, you have more sense than half the world, but that's no consolation to us."
By some fatality, Timothy found out, however, that there was such a thing as credit. He began soon to have many running accounts, and seldom paid for what he got; it soon followed, that the inquiry, “Do I really want this article ?” before he bought it, was neglected; then the price was frequently not asked; then he began to be careless about payday; his accounts stood, he disputed them when rendered, was sued, charged with costs, and, perhaps, slyly, with interest too; and he became a money-borrower before long; but his friends, after a lawsuit had brought them their money, were ready to trust him again, and he was as ready to buy. The same farce was played over and over, until now the end of these things has come; and, poor fellow, he is turned out upon the wide world, without a friend, save a wife and six miserable babes.
I asked the constable for a sight of the execution, and he showed it to me. It was issued by young 'squire Bell, and I could not but recollect how different was the history of this man from that of Timothy. Young Bell was a poor boy, and commenced his life with nothing but health and trade; but he adopted, as a sacred maxim, “Pay as you go ;” and he frequently told me, he found little difficulty in sticking to his text.
The necessaries of life are few, and industry secures them to every man: it is the elegancies of life that empty the purse: the knick-knacks of fashion, the gratification of pride, and the indulgence of luxury, make a man poor. To guard against these, some resolution is necessary; and the resolution, once formed, is much strengthened and guarded by the habit of paying for every article we buy, at the time. If we do so, we shall seldom purchase what our circumstances will not afford.
This was exactly the manner in which Jack Bell proceeded. Habit, strengthened by long . continuance, and supported by reason, became second nature. His business prospered; his old purse became filled with Spanish dollars ; all his purchases, being made for cash, were favourable; and, by always knowing how he stood with the world, he avoided all derangement in his affairs. He is now the squire of a Little village, with a good property, a profitable business, and the respect of all who know him.
Young reader, who hast not entered on the stage of business, when you come forward in the world, go and do likewise, and you shall have like reward.
The Indians.--NATIONAL REPUBLICAN, Cincinnati.
There are many traits of the Indian character highly interesting to the philosopher and Christian. Their unconquerable attachment to their pristine modes and habits of life, which counteracts every eifort towards civilization, furnishes to the philosopher a problem too profound for solution. Their simple and unadorned religion, the same in all ages, and free from the disguise of hypocrisy, which they have received, by tradition, from their ancestors, leads the mind to a conclusion, that they possess an unwritten revelation from God, intended for their benefit, which ought to induce us to pause before we undertake to convert them to a more refined and less explicit faith.
The religion of the Indian appears to be fitted for that state and condition, in which his Maker has been pleased to place him. He believes in one Supreme Being-with all the mighty attributes which we ascribe to God--whom he denominates the Great and Good Spirit, and worships in a devout manner, and from whom he invokes blessings on himself and friends, and curses on his enemies.
Our Maker has left none of his intelligent creatures without a witness of himself. Long before the human mind is capable of a course of metaphysical reasoning upon the connexion which exists between cause and effect, a sense of Deity is inscribed upon it. It is a revelation which the Deity has made of himself to man, and which becomes more clear and intelligible, according to the manner and degree in which it is improved. In the Indian, whose mind has never been illumined by the light of science, it appears weak and obscure.
Those moral and political improvements, which are the pride and boast of man in polished society, and which result from mental accomplishments, the savage views with a jealous sense of conscious inferiority. Neither his reason, nor his invention, appears to have been exercised for the high and noble purposes of human excellence; and, while he pertinaciously adheres to traditional prejudices and passions, he improves upon those ideas only, which he has received through the senses.
Unaided by any other light than that which he has re
ceived from the Father of lights, the Indian penetrates the dark curtain, which separates time and eternity, and believes in the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body, not only of all mankind, but of all animated nature, and a state of future existence, of endless duration. It is, therefore, their general custom to bury, with the dead, their bows, arrows, and spears, that they may be prepared to commence their course in another state.
Man is seldom degraded so low, but that he hopes, and believes, that death will not prove the extinction of his being. Is this a sentiment resulting from our fears or our passions ? Or, rather, is it not the inspiration of the Almighty, which gives us this understanding, and which has been imparted to all the children of men ? A firm belief in the immortality of the soul, with a devout sense of a general superintending power, essentially supreme, constitutes the fundamental article of the Indian's faith.
His reason, though never employed in high intellectual attainments and exertions, is less corrupted and perverted while he roams in his native forests than in an unrestricted jutercourse with civilized man.
He beholds, in the rising sun, the manifestation of divine goodness, and pursues the chase with a fearless and unshaken confidence in the protection of that great and good Spirit, whose watchful care is over all his works.
Let us not, then, attribute his views of an omniscient and omnipresent Being to the effect of a sullen pride of independence, and his moral sense of right and wrong to å heartless insensibility. Deprived, by the peculiarities of his situation, of those offices of kindness and tenderness, which soften the heart, and sweeten the intercourse of life, in a civilized state, we should consider him a being doomed to suffer the evils of the strongest and most vigorous passions, without the consolation of those divine and human virtues, which dissipate our cares, and alleviate our sorrows.
It is now two hundred years since attempts have been made, and unceasingly persevered in, by the pious and benevolent, to civilize, and Christianize, the North American savage, until millions of those unfortunate beings, including many entire tribes, have become extinct. The few, who remain within the precincts of civilized society, stand as human monuments of Gothic grandeur, fearful and tremulous amidst the revolutions of time.
Neither the pride of rank, the allurements of honours, nor the hopes of distinction, can afford to the Indian a ray of comfort, or the prospect of better days. He contem'plates the past as the returnless seasons of happiness and joy, and rushes to the wilderness as a refuge from the blandishments of art, and the pomp and show of polished society, to seek, in his native solitudes, the cheerless gloom of ruin and desolation.
Story and Speech of Logan.- JEFFERSON.
The principles of society, among the American Indians, forbidding all compulsion, they are to be led to duty, and to enterprise, by personal influence and persuasion. Hence, eloquence in council, bravery and address in war, become the foundations of all consequence with them. To these acquirements all their faculties are directed. Of their bravery and address in war, we have multiplied proofs, because we have been the subjects on which they were exercised.
Of their eminence in oratory, we have fewer examples, because it is displayed, chiefly, in their own councils. Some, however, we have of very superior lustre. I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator,-if Europe has furnished more eminent,—to produce a single passage, superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to lord Dunmore, when governor of Virginia. And, as a testimony of their talents in this line, I beg leave to introduce it, first stating the incidents necessary for understanding it.
In the spring of the year 1774, a robbery was committed by some Indians on certain land adventurers on the river Ohio. The whites, in that quarter, according to their custom, undertook to punish this outrage in a summary way. Captain Michael Cresap, and a certain Daniel Greathouse, leading on these parties, surprised, at different times, travelling and hunting parties of the Indians, having their women and children with them, and murdered many. Among these were, unfortunately, the family of Logan, a chief, celebrated in peace and war, and long distinguished as the friend of the whites.