Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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when physical torture was necessary, if death
ever was essential to prevent or punish crime.
Though acts of violence sometimes occur, and
the present century has witnessed many in-
stances of unspeakable horror, yet the mass
of the community throughout the greater part
of Christendom, the general state and tenden-
cies of society, are not characterised by the
violence which distinguished former ages.
The moral sense, though dormant or obscur-
ed, still exists, and is capable of being brought
out from its apathy and repose. It is not



* necessary tliat the law should present the

• frightful visage of a remorseless executioner,

with his uplifted axe or fatal noose, to strike

^ terror into the heart of the homicide.

" But why is the death of the murderer ne-

cessary to the protection of society ? The
position which atftrms it must be atlirniatively

» established. Is it because society canuot

otherwise prevent the repetition of the of-
fence ! If so, why are not those madmen who
discover their insanity in a desire to kill, and
who are closely confined in our hospitals, put
to death, when they commit murder! If
society be safe with persons who from physi-
cal disease, are nourishing an insatiate appe-
tite for the blood of their fellow-men, why
should it not be safe with those who attempt
to kill, in a plirenzy of ungoverned passion or
a paroxysm of determined malice ! VV halever
reason might exist in Europe, where, until
the time of Howard, all classes of criminals
were thrown with debtors into one common
receptacle, it cannot apply in Pennsylvania,
whose pcnilinliaries are at least as secure as
the hospitals of the country. But the maniac,
it may be said, is not a responsible person,
and that it would be unjust to hold him amen-
able to human laws. This is certainly true ;
but the example is cited merely to show that

' if the community be secure from the bedlam

homicide thirsting for blood, there need be
little apprehension, on the use of similar
means of restraint, from the malignant dispo-
sitions of the sane votary of crime.

' The committee, once for all, beg leave for
themselves and their constituents, to protest
against the injustice of C. C. Cuyler, when he
observes of those who are in favour of abolish-
ing the death punishment, that " their pity is
expended on the culprit, the murderer." The
committee conceive that one great object of
the labours of this body, is to protect society
from the effects of murder; but at the same
time not to forget that the murderer is a man,
and that being made in the image of God, he
is invested with the attributes of humanity,
and entitled to the protection and sympathy of
his species. As death when once inflicted is
irremediable, should we not pause from con-
siderations connected with society, before we
inflict it? Have not many, very many false
convictions occurred 1 Are not the annals of
criminal justice, over the world, replete with
instances of the execution of the innocent ?
Consult the penal histories of England, of
Frap.ce, and of this country, and the number
and accompanying circumstances, are enough
to sicken and appal the heart. Well was it ob-
served by the Marquis La Fayette, when
contending in the French Chamber of Depu-
ties for the rights of humanity, of which he
was always a fearless, decided, and consist-
ent champion, " Until human judgment shall
be proved to be infallible, I shall never cease
to demand the abolition of the punishment
of death."

Among the arguments commonly resorted
to, is one which insists that the infliction of
death imposes a wholesome terror, which pre-
vents the commission of murder. And yet
why has this punishment, which has always
existed in Pennsylvania, not inspired so whole-


some a terror as to eradicate the evil ? C. C.
Cuyler himself informs us, that " human life
among us, is held cheaper than dirt." (p. 28.)
We know that homicides of the most flagrant
hue are committed in despite of the penalty
— homicides not so often from motives of
plunder, as from headlong passion or desper-
ate revenge. Why is this? Why is it that
the hand while uplifted to strike the fatal
blow, is not palsied in the act by the remem-
brance of the murderer's doom? Why is
not the assassin M ho steals out at midnight,
prevented from the execution of his fell pur-
pose, by the recollection that the ignominious
death of the scaflold awaits the deed ? It is
because he believes that the chances of escape
are as ten to one against conviction; that the
scruples of juries will prompt an acquittal, or
public sympathy insure a pardon. And if
from unpropitious mischances, he should in-
deed end his days on the gallows, he solaces
himself with the hope of an illustrious exit
like that of his predecessors ; that all the at-
tions of his life will be recorded and diftused
for the benefit of posterity ; that his virtues
will be emblazoned and grossly exaggerated ;
and that at last, on tlie day of execution,
he will become a beatified saint, thousands
mourning his fate with unconcealed and hor-
ror-stricken commiseration.

Such causes take from the death punish-
ment, any terror it might otherwise excite;
and so far from inspiring a dread which might
deter from the commission of murder, the hope
of impunity is so potential as to efl'ace or
diminish the apprehension of punishment.
Lownes, in his work on prisons, in speaking
of the state of the criminal law in Pennsyl-
vania, says, that " old offenders had rather
run the risk of dying in other states, than en-
counter the certainty of being confined in the
penitentiary cells of this."

CTo be continued.)


From Old Humphrey's " Thoughts for the Thoughlfal."

In a world wherein even the heirs of eter-
nal life have so much of tribulation to endure,
how desirable is a spirit of kindness, to relieve,
to support, and to assist each other in our
pilgrimage to heaven. There are few hearts
so hard, few spirits so churlish, as not to be
affected by kindness. A kind thought is in-
fluential, a kind word is encouraging, and a
kind deed is at all times a blessing.

Many years ago, I spoke a few kind words
to a young woman who was in ill health. The
words were but few; but though years rolled
along, they were never forgotten. The poor
girl remembered them ; and, when stretched
on her death-bed, she expressed an earnest
desire to see me. I went directly ; when she
told me, that the words I had spoken to her
when unwell, many years ago, had led her to
believe that I would not be unwilling to ren-
der her a deed of kindness in her dying hour.

The young woman was looking forward to
an eternal world, with a mind rightly directed
to the Friend of the contrite in heart, who can
support those who trust in Him, in death as
well as in life. But one thing lay heavy on

her mind : she had for some lime been at va-
riance with a friend, who had judged her un-
justly, and treated her hardly. This had led
her to unkindly feelings, 'lo forgive and to
be forgiven, and to die in peace with her es-
tranged friend, was the desire of her soul. I
think that I was eloquent in pleading her
cause, for I brought her erring Iriend a con-
trite penitent to her dying bed. They wept ;
they forgave each other; they read the Bible
together; and, in a few days, with a mind im-
pressed with a sense of God's abundant mercy
in Christ Jesus towards her, the young wo-
man died in the presence of her reconciled
friend, calmly coinmitling her spirit into the
hands of her Ucdeemer. I saw her dust com-
mitted to the ground ; and never have I passed
her grave without calling to remembrance the
exhortation, ' Be kindly affectioned one to
another.' Rom. xii. 10.

How many a life has been beclouded ! how
many a death has been rendered unhappy by
unkindness ! If we hope for mercy, we should
show mercy. If we have received kindness,
we should render kindness to others. Let us
take a review of our past lives, and see if there
have been no unkind words on our part that
we can recall? no unkind deeds fur which we
can atone ? We ought, unquestionably, to
live in peace with our Maker, and in charity
with all mankind ; and if we think aright of
the amasing grace of the Redeemer, in par-
doning our manifold offences, we shall be de-
sirous to obey his merciful exhortation, ' Love
your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them
which despitefully use you, and persecute you.'
Matt. v. 44 ; bearing in mind the afltctionate
ejaculation, ' Be kindly affectioned one lo an-


From the same.

Let me run through a few of the common,
every-day affairs of life. I lost my way, and
was for a time sadly perplexed ; but when 1
regained my path, I could have sung for joy :
the wind blew dust into my eyes, and blinded
me ; but it only rendered me doubly grateful
for my eyesight afterwards : I had travelled
far, and felt hunger and thirst ; but this made
my frugal meal a feast of fat things in my
estimation : for a time I was sorely troubled
with a fit of the tooth-ache ; it passed, and oh,
how delightful it was to be at ease ! I mislaid
my spectacles, and could not see to read the
Bible ; never was I so thankful for spectacles
as when I found them : I was cast down, and
brought very low ; but I went in my weak-
ness to Him who is strong, and soon felt like
a giant refreshed wilh wine.

Well instructed Christians not only know
but feel that all things work together for good
to them that truly love God; and they may ,
truly say, ,

Our purest plcopurcs spring froin pains;

Our iicavictt losses nrc our gains;

Weakness jjivus slrcnelh, peace rullows strife, ^

And death brings everlasting life. %

If winter heightens our enjoyment of >
spring, summer and autumn, let us be thankful


\ 70SS31


for winter. If the darkness of the night en- 1 of the hill, on the south side, where we enter-
hances, in our estimation, the brightness of ed a tunnel, and walked nearly in an upright
the day, let us be thankful for the midnight | posture, about 100 yards, into the bowels ol
"■loom." Nothint' can be clearer than that the j the hill. At the end of this passage we saw
as nece'^sary as the shine, and depri- two sturdy hands plying the pumps, by which
The trials I the mine is drained. The water, which is



vation as salutary as enjoyment ^. , r , ,

and perplexities of life are an essential part of! very clear, runs off in a beautiful stream along

God's mercies, and a Christian man should ! the bottom of the tunnel. These pumps ai"

never ponder on the gloom of earth, without
contrasting it with the glory of heaven.

For " The Friend."

The Silver Mine in North Carolina.
Thinking that some account of the mineral
productions of North Carolina might be ac-
ceptable to the readers of " The Friend," the
following statements aie furnished for inser-
tion, if the editor thinks proper.

The mines in this state are wrought exten-
sively for gold, and are said to give employ-
ment to about 20,000 men; but by far the; through another shaft, about seventy-five fee
most interestins; one which I have ever wit- 1 deep. This mine has been in operation four

teen years.
From hence

kept in motion day and night, and even then,
hardly keep the water low enough. We
looked into the well, and were convinced that
one of the hands did not exaggerate any, when
he said, " Warter's no scace articFle here."
We then turned off at nearly a right angle,
and followed a second tunnel, abouX thirty
yards, to the pumps which drain Fisher's part
of the mine. The miners are very fond of
this water, and think that its use is highly
favourable to health. Catching some of it in
an inverted bell, which they used as a drinking
cup, we quenched our thirst, and passed on
among the hands, and again to the surface

is the Lead Mine, or King's Mine, as
it is usually called. Having heard frequent
reports of the great interest which would be
excited by seeing this mine, and the opera

made our way through many
turns, to the place known under the names of
the Lead Mine, the Silver Mine, or King's

tions of preparing and smelting the ore, I de- 1 JVIine. The latter appellation is from R

termined to pay it a visit during the vacation
of the Boarding School ; and accordingly, in
company with one of the students, set out one
afternoon, and rode twenty-three miles, to the
house of J. VV. Thomas, where we were en-
tertained very kindly.

Next morning, after an early breakfast, we I qnainted with Jesse Aydlotte, or
proceeded on seven miles to the Conrad Hill, j superintendents, who formerly had a son at
which is worked for gold. This mine is the Boarding School, and on informing him of
owned by Governor Morehead and Charles I our business, he very politely answered, that
Fisher, one of our late members to Congress; he would show us the whole of the operations

A. King, one of the proprietors. It is situated
in the south-eastern part of Davidson county,
about ten miles from Lexington, and has been
in operation a little over four years. I had
letter to King, but on my arrival, learned that
he was from home. I, however, was ac
of his

the line between their lands crossing on the
Hill. I had an introductory letter to E. P.
\Vade, Morehead's manager, who gave us all
necessary attention in examining the mine.
Having provided us with lights, he accom-
panied us in the first place to the bottom of,
the main shaft, or pit, which is 100 feet deep.
We then struck off in an easterly direction,
following the excavation which had been form-
ed by taking out the gold ore, to the distance
of about 100 or 125 feet. The size of the
vein varies, as well as its inclination, and it is
also forked in many places, so that when the
whole body of ore was removed, the openings
under ground were as extensive as the rooms
of a common house. When the mine was
first opened, they thought too much of getting
out a large quantity of ore every day, and
paid too little attention to the security of their
operations; the consequence of which was.

above ground, which only he had anything to
do with ; he directed them through the day,
and his son John, during the night. Through
them we were introduced toVarker, who has
charge of the operations in the lower regions.
The latter being particularly engaged, we had
no opportunity of going down into the mine
before the next day ; and therefore spent the
interval in examining the different processes
through which the ore is carried after its ele-
vation to the surface. The first of these is
called bucking ; and consists simply in beat-
ing the ore, with a view of making it finer.
The bucking-house, has about two-thirds of
the floor raised nearly waist-high to a com-
mon sized boy ; and on the edge of this raised
portion, are fitted plates of iron, six or eight
inches in diameter. Each boy is furnished
with an iron mallet ; and the ore lying in
heaps before them, is raked down on to these

that on one occasion an area of something like! plates, and after being sufficiently reduced, is

1000 square feet caved in, filling up the mine,
and leaving a corresponding depression on the
surface. This has since been removed, and
in our subterranean peregrination, we walked
immediately under the part that had once
fallen in. The vein contains considerable
quantities of felspar, and some ha;matite, and
the ore yields from one to two dollars per

After exploring this part of the mine, we
returned to the surface, and went to the foot

scraped off on to the lower platform. After
this, it is placed in a set of inclined troughs,
and the water which is drawn from the mine
and used for washing off the slime, die, car-
ries it along down to another house, where it
undergoes a third process, called gigging. In
this house are a number of vats, similar to
those in a fan-yard, and a quantity of ore be-
ing thrown into an iron-bottomed seive, is dip-
ped into them and twirled around, by which
means it is for a moment or two suspended in

the water, and thus the heavier and more
valuable parts fall to the bottom of the seive.
'i'his is then taken out, the top part raked off
and thrown aside, again to he carried through
the same process. The gigged ore is now re-
moved to the calcining furnace, where it is
thoroughly baked, being kept for some time
at a red heat ; the object of which is to drive
off the sulphur. When this is accomplished,
the ore is ready for smelting. The smelting
furnaces consist of a cast-iron basin, termed a
cupal, with bricks built up on its edge to the
height of five or six feet, and carried out as a
chimney. These being heated by means of
charcoal, the ore mixed with lime, is thrown
i'n at an orifice fixed for the purpose, and se-
cured by an iron door. The furnaces are kept
intensely hot ; and so great is the exhaustion
consequent on attending to them, that three
haijjs.are appMipJia'tj|i|to each. They take
it in rotation, eight limirs each in the twenty-
four; for the furnaces are kept going, with-
out intermission, till they blow out, as it is
termed. They usually draw off the metal at
the end of every eight hours into pigs, weigh-
ing seventy or eighty pounds each. This
metal is a combination of lead and silver,
and the average proportion gives 1000 dollars
worth of silver to the ton of metal. It is sent
to Philadelphia for the purpose of having the
metals separated ; and I was informed by
Aydlotte, that they had sent off 150,000 lbs.
during the last fourteen months. They are
now about erecting a separating furnace on the
hill at the mine. These furnaces are formed
of the ashes of burned bones, which is the
least fusible substance that can be cheaply pro-
cured. We saw them draw off several pigs of
metal ; the stream being so large and bright,
that the whole form of the spectator would be
reflected by it as from a mirror.

On the next morning we prepared to go
into the mine. Captain Varker very kindly
furnished us with some miners' clothes, and a
candle apiece. There are two main shafts,
one of these being 100, and the other 160 feet
deep. There are several levels, as they are
called. They strike off at various depths, and
explore the hill by means of tunnels. These
excursions, at different distances from the
surface, are termed levels ; thus they have a
forty feet, one hundred feet, and a ten feet
level, &c. These stories under ground com-
municate with each other by passages other
than the shafts ; and there are so many
descents and ascents, cross-ways and turnings,
that the whole taken together, constitutes a
labyrinth which is perhaps not less intricate
than that of Daedalus. At any rate, I presume
there are very few who would be willing to
explore these meandering pas.sages without a
trusty guide. In some places the tunnels are
high enough to allow a person to stand erect,
and so wide that he cannot touch each side
with his extended hands. All this was once
filled with rich ore, and there are yet vast
quantities above, below, and on each side of
the tunnels. The work hitherto done, being
only for the purpose of thoroughly exploring
the mine, and showing whether they might
go on and erect the necessary furnaces, &c.
Some of the rooms exhibited all the realities


of the fairy-dwellings, being coloured off in
almost every shade, from the deepest black to
pure white, interspersed with green, blue, red,
yellow, &c. In some places, beautiful chrys-
tals of blue vitriol have shot out from the sides
of the tunnel since the mine was opened, in
the same manner as the frost will shoot up in
a damp place on a cool winter's morning.
There are masses of the chrystalized (glass) j
carbonate of lead in almost every part ; and the
miners recently struck, what, in their language,
is called a vogue. I say, in their language, for
Captain Varker informed us that the miners
have a dictionary of their own, and make but
little use of any other. This is simply a closed
cavern ; and the one alluded to was high
enough to allow a man to stand upright in it,
and ten feet long. It was moreover com-
pletely studded all round with fine white
chryslals of the carboi^e of lead. We mere
shown one apartment^^ ex'ceeding richness,
which Captain Varker told us, he otRired
King 101)0 dcillars for the privilege of work-
ing in, for his own benefit, one hour, by him-
self, alone, and King refused. This was be-
fore any of the ore had been disturbed.

Every part of the mine is timbered up in
the most secure manner; presenting in this
respect a very different appearance from tiie
Conrad hill. Indeed, while in the latter, the
stranger could not pass through many places
without a peculiar feeling of dread. In tiiis
mine, after looking round him for a few
minutes, he feels as much confidence concern-
ing his safety from danger, as if he were sit-
ting by his own fire-side. We descended to
the bottom of the water shaft, (160 feet deep,)
some fifty feet of which is cut all the way
through a solid and very hard rock. In this
shaft, two buckets, containing about forty gal-
lons each, are continually playing ; and the
effect of these, when empty, striking against
the timber, is indeed grand. To one stationed
in a distant part — at first will be heard a
rumbling sound, not unlike distant thunder,
which, by being reverberated through these
subterraneous passages, will increase in sharp-
ness, and then gradually die away to a mel-
low plaintive tone.

To attempt a description of the Cabinet
would be useless. It contains many beautiful
carbonates, yellow hexagonal chrystals of the
phosphate of lead, blue vitriol chrystalized,
rubies, and a great many pieces of native sil-
ver, &c. »tc.

Tiie dwellings of the miners, some seventy-
five in number, form a considerable little
town ; and it may be stated, that good provi-
sion is made for the education of all the
children who reside therein. A teacher is
employed by the year, — paid by the propri-
etors of the mine, — and to him every miner has
the privilege of sending his children without
its costing him a farthing. N. M.

Fjr "The Friend.'

From the German.
Hcarcst Ihoo sister the inurmurins song-,
Which hrcathcs Imm yon silver brook stealing aloni
Sweetly the voice to iis waters invite,
Under green liranchcs they flow with delight.


Peueeful it glidua wliere ita channel is laid.

Through meadows of suiihght, and thickets of shade;

Tranquilly moving no foam-crest it shows,

Onward, still onward it quietly flows.

Thus without tumult thy life's stream has run ;

It amiles in the shadow, it laughs in the sun;

Voice of complaining thou dost not employ,

Quiet contenimenl still crowns thee with joy.

When from the storm-cloud descendcth the rain,

Tliough fiercely-shook fijrests in murmurs com| lain.

Soft ill yon streamlet the shower floods subside,

'ling with sisterly waters its tide.
Thus when life's tempests thy sky may deform,
When proud things around thee are shook hy the

storm, —
The trials, the conflicts, through grace shall impart,
But strength to thy spirit, but hope to thy heart.
As clear now as chryslal these bright waters see,
An image my sister, my dear one, of thee ;
When monrs rosy glances above them are bright,
They blush into beauty, and glow in the light.

Thus gathers thy soul from its Saviour above,
A light from his glory, and love from his love ;
If pure in his presence, beholders shall see
His bright heavenly image n fleeted in thee !

Coloured Orphan Asi/him — Clly of New
York. (Inserted by request.)

The managers of the Coloured Orphan Asy-
lum, having received from the Corporation,
twenty lots of ground, on Fifth Avenue 43rd
and 44th streets, are now erecting an unorna-
mented but substantial building. The funds
in their possession being inadequate to carry
out the views and designs of the managers,
they are compelled to solicit the patronage of
the public, to the amount of five thousand dol-
lars ; the sutn required for the completion of
the building.

The managers feel a delicacy in urging their
claims at so unfavourable a time, but being
encouraged by the above grant, and the re-
ceipt of a considerable sum of money, and
taking into consideration their present confin-
ed and limited accommodations, with the fact
of coloured children being excluded from the
Long Island farms, they resolved to go for-
ward, in the firm belief, that He who has in
all ages shewn himself to be the orphan's

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 14 of 154)