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PUBLISHED MONTHLY AT FIVE DOLLARS PER ANNUM-THOMAS W. WHITE, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.

Vol. V.

RICHMOND, JANUARY, 1839.

No. I.

To our Friends and Subscribers. nutritious food, others require a larger infusion of

spice. Some become wearied by long and grave We commence the fifth volume of the Messen- articles—whilst othersonie (as Hawkeye expresses ger with renewed thanks to our subscribers and it,) are not satisfied with the brief and sportive salcontributors, and to the public generally, inclu- lies which occasionally embellish our pages. In not ding the corps editorial, for their generous support a few instances, a portion of our constituents have and indulgence for the last four years. It will be held us responsible for all the sentiments contained remembered, that at the beginning of our work, in all the articles of our correspondents; a rule so it was strictly an experiment of doubtful results. unreasonable in itself, that we would not be bound In the south, especially, no such publication had even to argue the question with the malcontents. been able to maintain itself against the usual dis- There is also another class of our subscribers couragements which attend literary adventure; and which we confess occasions us much perplexity. our writers of genius had either wasted their We allude to those who continue to lend us their powers in uncongenial pursuits, or sought an op- names and even cheer us with their smiles—but portunity of displaying them in distant states, yet are unhappily forgetful of the terms of publiwhere taste and talent were more amply rewarded. cation. Most gladly would we pay the paperWe flatter ourselves we have had some humble maker and compositor with these grateful proofs share in awakening a more laudable spirit on the of encouragement, if that kind of currency would south side of the Potomac. Many young men, answer in this world of reality as well as romance. we have reason to think, have been induced to es. The fair fabric of liberty itself cannot exist withsay their strength in literary composition, who out taxation; and the labors of the good and the might otherwise have shrunk from the trial. Our pious would soon perish, if unsupported by that pages have been frequently enriched by the chaste powerful metallic spring, which puts all human and beautiful productions of woman's mind; and machinery into motion. even veterans, who for years had reposed on their We hope we shall not be considered as making laurels, have been tempted once more to gird on these remarks in a querulous spirit, nor from motheir armor, and re-enter the lists of intellectual tires of an exclusively personal character. Indistrise. Thus far we have had much to lighten vidually, we acknowledge the great interest we the cares and toils of our journey, and we still feel in the establishment of something like a home feel every inducement to persevere. It would be literature, but it would be a great mistake to supuncandid, however, not to acknowledge, that not-pose that with the present patronage of the Meswithstanding the undoubted success and approba- senger, (though very considerable,) its pecuniary tion which the Messenger has received, it ought benefits would constitute the prominent induceto be considered as still an experiment, and liable ment to continue it. In that point of view, a conto all those vicissitudes which beset similar estab-nexion either with the mercantile or political lishments. We are aware that in this country at press, would unquestionably yield a clearer rett least, the empire of literature, like that of law and profit. There are circumstances, however, which politics, is subject to constant and sometimes vio- peculiarly forbid, at the present crisis, the slightlent fluctuations; and we have no right to hope est relaxation of effort on our part to secure the for an exemption from the common lot. We may stability and permanency of this work. Utterly be said to have made four annual voyages with indisposed as we are, and entirely impolitic as it success, and yet may even encounter shipwreck in would be, to mingle in political strife, there are the fifth, unless favored with prosperous gales and some questions touching our national existence and sustained by an effective equipment. Competitors union which occasionally force themselves upon our are rising in every direction to contend with us pages, in spite of ourselves. On these questions for a share of public patronage; and it would be ihere is no division of party, no difference of opifolly to close our eyes to the fact, that whilst com- nion, in a large portion of this great confederacypetition, to a certain degree, is rather useful than and we may, with truth add, that the most virtuous otherwise, beyond that point it is too often a death and enlightened of the whole nation concur in the struggle, in which the least powerful must yield. propriety of arresting that fanatical spirit which There are other dangers which the literary press ihreatens 10 involve us in the horrors of servile especially, is doomed to encounter-in the fastidi- war, and the miseries of disunion. It is the duty, ousness, variety, and mutability of the public taste. we humbly conceive, of the southern people esWhilst some of our readers are content with plain |pecially, to sustain every barrier which can be

Vol. V.-1

erected against these mischievous violations of civil and social duty; and we think, that to combine the literary with the political press, for that object, would be exercising an influence not to be disregarded. We shall therefore continue to persevere. From the beginning, we have been sustained by noble and generous friends, without whose aid we should unquestionably have long since sunk under the cares and responsibilities of this work. We invite them to continue their support so long as we shall deserve it; and to our able and excellent contributors we appeal once more, in the full confidence that they will not relax their efforts to build up and establish the cause of literature in our good old commonwealth.

Alas, how dark were life without the truth

That whispers to our weary hearts of Heaven; Telling of changeless bliss, immortal youth,

And homes of glory to the ransomed given. There by the shining stream or sparkling fount,

Lieth no mouldering victim of disease; But life is in the vale, and on the mount,

Joy in the air, and health upon the breeze! And there again the loved and lost are found

But not as when on earth they blessed our sight: Harps in their hands—their brows with glory crowned,

Their raiment brighter than meridian light. Fair clime of nightless skies, and deathless bloom,

Land of the blessed ! shall it ever be, That I, escaping from a world of gloom,

Shall find repose and happiness in thee? Philadelphia.

THE PAST.

BY ELORA

The glorious past! how fondly still I turn

To the green beauty of its distant bowers; And oh! how vainly does my spirit yearn

Once more to be a child amid its flowers.
It is the empire of the loved and lost!

I hear their voices on the thrilling air;
I see their forms, not worn and tempest-tost,

But, in the mellow light, serene and fair.
Look with me-sister, brother-look and sce

The gentle beaming of our mother's eyes ! And hark! the tones that charmed our infancy,

Faint on the breezes of the past arise. Home of departed joys! oh I could gaze

Ever unwearied on thy visions bright; Dearer to me thy evening sunset rays,

Than all the future's glow of morning light. See, as in life they wandered by our side,

With pious looks that did our love engage,
With hoary hair, and steps that feebly glide,

Slow move the venerable forms of age.
And laughing children, in their shapes of earth,

Flinging their curls upon the sunny air,
As erst they cheered us with their winning mirth,

Lend their bright presence to that region fair. Oh! blest illusion! Memory, leave me not ;

Yet, even as I speak, strange sounds arise, Grey shadows gather round each verdant spot,

And clouds go fleeting o'er the summer skies. And lo, I look upon a land of graves ;

And in their midst I see my mother's tomb: There droops the yew, and there the cypress waves,

And mid the grass white roses meckly bloom. And is it thus with all my lovely dreams?

Sadly I turn unto the future's lightEarth's future-and behold amid its gleams,

The lurking shadow of death's coming night.

A SCHEME FOR REBUILDING SOUTHERN COMMERCE.

We cannot permit the following communication to pass from our hands into those of our readers, without calling their attention emphatically to its contents. We dare not offend the modesty of the author by disclosing his name; but we may venture to say of him, that his attainments grace the navy of his country, with whose honor his own name is intimately associated. The subject which he discusses, is now the most popular one which falls within the whole range of southern discussion. The manner, in which he treats it, is perfectly original. The proposition which he submits to the consideration of the South, and particularly of Virginia, is as bold as it is important. The whole style of the essay is as clear as it is polished. If this production had no other merit, and if its scheme were entirely visionary, yet il would be eminently valuable from the variety of new and interesting facts, which he has collected and spread before the public. The fathers of the packet-system of New York are deeply indebted to him for the lustre which he has shed around their names. The merchants of that great metropolis ought to thank him for the beauty and power which he has displayed, in tracing out some of the essential sources of their prosperity. To the navy of the United States he suggests many valuable hints about its past and its future improvement. These merits cannot be denied to our author, whatever may be thought of the present practicability of the theory, which he suggests for the renovation of southern com

But is it impracticable? We pray our southern readers to put the question home to themselves; to weigh it in all its bearings; to compare its advan. tages with its objections-its expenses with our resources, and then to judge for themselves. If their judgment decide in its favor, we call upon them then to

Where is the Jeremiah Thompson of Virginia ? Where is the enterprising merchant, who will call forth the genius of steam to cope with the canvass of the packets? If such a measure be found to be expedient, why should not they start forth to accomplish its con

merce.

ACT.

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summation ? At the next convention, let each mem. men have been sworn by old Neptune, and really mean
ber subscribe for not less than ten shares, and pledge to do nothing in the way of direct trade from the South,
himself to procure among his constituents a subscripthey should resolve always to kiss the maid and eat
tion for not less than one hundred shares of stock in brown bread, whether they liked it or not, and com-
the Southern Atlantic Steam Navigation Company. mence trading on their own bottoms.
Oar lives upon it, that the man who has urged it in the When we say that the South, might, in a few years,
following essay, will be found willing to lend all the and with no other means than individual enterprise,
resources of his genius towards devising the best means, share with Baltimore and Philadelphia, her just quota
for realizing all the benefits of his own proposition. of direct trade, we do not include as any portion of it,

We cannot give a better evidence of the value which that great influx of European commerce, which the
we ourselves set upon this essay, than in running to the packet ships pour into the New York market. But this
espense of an engraved chart to illustrate its concep- will not satisfy the South. Iler vaulting ambition
tions. All which, however, is respectfully submitted, craves something more than the grasping hand of New
&c. &:-(Ed. So. Lit. Mess.

York has left to Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
The commercial grandeur and prosperity of that city,

have long attracted her attention. In view of the growDIRECT TRADE WITH THE SOUTH;ing importance and immense advantages of its trade, Navigation of the Atlantic-Packet Ships of New York, she has become restive, and would now fajn rouse up their influence over the Commerce of the United States of commerce. But in essaying to divert any part of

into a bold and honorable emulation her lethargic spirit and their effects on American naral architecture.

the packet trade into a new channel, the southern merThe business of commerce presents no law, which chants must do more than hold conventions merely in forbids the southern merchant to exchange his flour in take the sailor's oath, to resolve and re-resolve to meet Rio for the coffee of Brazil; or to barter in Valparaiso again. and Lima, his produce for the copper of Chili and Peru; How artificial soever the present course of trade and this again for teas and silks in China. That he through New York may at first sight appear, it has should carry on a lucrative trade with the West or settled down into regular channels. In attempting to East Indies, with the Brazils, on the coast of South divert it from these channels, by re-opening the natural America, or in the Mediterranean, nothing is wanting ones, or creating others, the South, before she proceeds but the nerve and capital of the South controlled and to the undertaking, should perfectly understand the regulated by well directed energies. The example of a nature of every obstacle to the scheme, in order that she single capitalist in any of the southern ports, who may take her own measures, and be fully prepared to should have a correct knowledge of the demands of meet and overcome every difficulty as it presents itself. trade, would not fail to gain for his town in a short time she will find in New York a formidable competitor, if a fair proportion of direct trade, such as that enjoyed this city have not already reached that point of commerby Ballimore, Philadelphia, or Boston.

cial grandeur which brooks no rivalry. It were well Salem, by the lead which a single house took in the therefore to examine into the causes, which have turned business, became renowned for her commerce with the the balance of trade so greatly in favor of New York, East Indies, especially for the tea trade, which she en- and to show by what means that city attained and man. joyed almost exclusively for many years. Nantucket tains her commercial supremacy over all other ports in and New Bedford are celebrated for their wealth, and the United States. From this examination, some elue the value of their whale fishery; the Coffins and the may be gained, to the only means by which the South Bankers gave them this celebrity. Fanning and his as- may reasonably hope to become possessed of similar sociates struck out in a new line of business, and in a advantages. If, looking at the present, we refer to the few years made Slonington famed for sealing. And we past for information, we will be struck with the fact shall show, that New York owes much of her prosperity that commerce has dwindled away at the South, only to the commercial energies of a single individual. With to flourish the more at the North. If we go a step furpatience and the exercise of proper talents and enter- ther, and attempt to trace to its origin, the cause which prise, the shoulders of one capitalist at his own windlass was adequate to such an effect, we may discover it in the would do more for Norfolk or Charleston, than all the circumstance, that at the South, planting was found most resolutions adopted by southern conventions are likely profitable ; but at the North, commerce and navigation: to do. It is example, not precept, that the South requires. Therefore the South grew the cotton, and the North

We have watched these conventions with much inte carried it to market. And up to this time, each section
rest; but we have ever laid down the reports of their has followed the course which circumstances rendered
proceedings in disappointment. The resolutions passed most expedient; and each in its favorite pursuit has
in convention," not to buy northern goods when they taken the lead of all other countries.
can get southern, unless the northern are the cheapest; Availing herself of the invention of Eli Whitney, the
not to freight northern vessels when they can freight former, by means of the cotton-gin, has, within the last
southern, unless the northern freight for less,” and forty years, increased her annual production of cotton
many others, remind us of the oath which Neptune from some two or three thousand bales to 1,700,000;
and his crew required of us, when we first crossed the while the latter, stimulated by the enterprise of her
equator, viz: "never to eat brown bread when we sons, and the increasing demands of trade has built up a
could get white, unless we preferred the brown; and commercial marine, which whitens every sea, and car-
never to kiss the maid, if we could kiss the mistress, 'ies the products of American industry into all ports
unless we liked the maid best.” Unless these gentle. Jopen to her flag.

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