Robert Smith.

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

. (page 63 of 154)
Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 63 of 154)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


be thought of a Friend who should refuse to



168

contribute toward llie support of our poor,
because he had to pay his taxes for maintain-
ing the public paupers .' And is tlie obhgation
to walch over and care for our own oHspring
less iuiporlant or binding tlian that to support
our own poor ?

I trust this subject will claim the renewed
and serious consideration of Friends every
where, and that such as have sent their chil-
dren to the Public District Schools, or with-
drawn their support from the schools establish-
ed under the care of the Society, will review
the ground on which they are acting, and set
aside all motives of a mere pecuniary charac-
ter. It will certainly atibrd them solid satis-
faction in a day to come, to reflect that they
had cheerfully sacrificed pecuniary consider-
ations for the sake of promoting the religious
welfare of their beloved offspring.

Believing that there may be some among us
who are not fully aware of the deep interest
and concern which the Society from the be-
ginning has felt in this important subject, I
have thought it might be well to revive some
of the evidences of it which are left upon re-
cord, and I would earnestly solicit for them
the close attention of the readers of " The
Friend."

As early as 1690, the Yearly Meeting
issued the following advice : —

" It is our Christian and earnest advice and
counsel to all Friends concerned, to provide
school-masters and mistresses who are faith-
ful Friends, to teach and instruct their chil-
dren ; and not to send them to schools where
they are taught the corrupt ways, manners,
fashions, and language of the world, and of
the heathen in their authors ; tending greatly
to corrupt and alienate the minds of children
into an averseness or opposition against the
truth and the simplicity of it. But take care
that you train up your children in the good
nurture, admonition, and fear of the Lord, in
that plainness and language which become
Truth."

In 1695, the Yearly Meeting again adverts
to the subject : —

" Advised, that school-masters and mis-
tresses who are faithful Friends, and well
qualified, be encouraged in all counties, cities,
great towns, or other places where there may
be need ; and that care be taken that poor
Friends' children may freely partake of such
education as may tend to their benefit and
advantage.

" As touching the education of Friends'
children, for which this meeting hath often
found a concern, we think it our duty to re-
commend unto you, that no opportunity be
omitted, nor any endeavours wanting, to in-
struct them concerning the |)rinciples of Truth
which we profess ; and there being times and
seasons wherein their spirits are, more than at
others, disposed to have such things impressed
upon them, so we desire that all parents and
others, concerned in the oversight of youth,
may wait in the fear of God to know them-
selves qualified for that service, that in his
wisdom they may make use of every such
opportunity which the Lord may put into their
hands."

Again, in 1751, 1 find the following : —



" As the want of proper persons amongst I mony of tli

Friends qualified for school-masters hulli been ••"- '

the occasion of great damage to the Society in
many places, as thereby well disposed Friends
are deprived of oppurlunities for the edu-
cation of their children in a manner consistent
with a religious concern for their welfare, and
have been necessitated to send them to those
of other persuasions, whereby the tender
minds of such children have been in great
danger of being leavened into the language,
customs, and habits of the world, from which
it is ditficult afterwards to reclaim them, we
desire that Friends would attend to this im-
portant point, and in their Monthly Meetings
assist young men of low circumstances, whose
genius and conduct may be suitable for that
office, with the means requisite to obtain the
proper qualifications, and when so qualified,
atlurd them the necessary encouragement for
their support."

The foreu-oinnr extracts are taken from the



body, for such a long period,
pectmg tlie pernicious tendency of improper
or irreligious examples, upon the minds of
children at school, is entitled to no little
weight, and should not be disregarded by any
Friend.

There is perhaps scarcely a father to be
found, who, on looking back lo ihe days of his
boyhood, cannot call to luind the pernicious
eftect which bad examples had upon his mind,
whether in his teachers or school-mates, and
in whom the feeling of sadness and sorrow is
not now excited, when reviewing the scenes of
folly and wickedness into which he was thus
betrayed. We should remember too that the
district schools admit of no selection in the
pupils; — they are open to all; and children
who have the worst examples before them at
home, whose parents permit them to curse and
swear, and lie, and indulge in obscene lan-
guage, are sent there to mingle with such as
have been more carefully brought up, and lo
feet them bv the influence of their bad



advices issued by the Yearly Meeting of Li

don which were regularly received and adojil- [ habits. What parent can leasonably hope for

ed by our own. The subject of education the preservation of his child, who voluntarily



ery early engaged the attention of Friends
ill Pennsylvania, and one%fJhe first concerns
of William Penn, and 'Tuje Monthly and
Quarterly Meetings of PhilSletphia, after the
settlement of Friends in this Pro^nfce, was to
establish a school under the e^r,e of the
Monthly Meeting for the education of the
youth.

The preamble to the charter which William
Penn subsequently grantfe^d to ^is school con-
tains these weighty words, yiz>— ,

" Whereas the propriety and Welftre of any
people depend, in great measure,' upon the
good education of the youth, and'their early
instruction in the principles of tiue religion
and virtue, and qualifying them to serve their
country and themselves, by breeding them in
reading, writing, and learning of languages,
and useful arts and sciences, suitable to their
sex, ace and degree, which cannot be eftected
in any manner so well as by erecting schools
for the purposes aforesaid," &c.

In one of the earliest books of Discipline,
given forth by our Y'early Meeting, I find the
following excellent advice, issued in 1746, viz. :

" We advise you in your several Monthly
Meetings to advise and assist each other in
the settlement and support of schools for the
instruction of your children— and that you
observe, as much as possible, to employ such
masters and mistresses as are concerned not
only to instruct your children in their learn-
ing, but are likewise careful, in the wisdom of
God and a spirit of meekness, gradually to
bring them to the knowledge of their duty to
God, and to one another. And we doubt not,
such endeavours will be blessed with success;
while, on the contrary, we think there is too
much cause to apprehend that some children,
by the evil example and bad principles of their
school-masters, have been leavened with those
principles, which have led them to bad prac-
tices in the course of their lives."

It seems to me nothing could more fully set
forth the religious care and concern of the
Society for the careful and guarded education
of its youth ; and surely the concurrent testi-



preser
exposes him to sucii learlul teniplalioiis'i

When we look at the probability of children
so exposed, being brought up as Friends, and
in the observance of plainness of speech, be-
haviour and apparel, as well as a love for the
doctrines and testimonies of the Society, the
prospect is gloomy indeed ; and we may well
adopt the language of the despairing Israel-
ites, " There is no hope." In many, if not
most, of the district schools, the testimonies
of the Society are wholly disregarded, and a
conduct directly opposed to them is inculca-
ted. The whole tenor of the instruction, and
of the example, both of teacher and pupils, goes
to discountenance, if not to ridicule and de-
nounce, the plainness and simplicity of our pro-
fession ; and can we hope that tliu weak and
sensitive minds of our children will be able to
resist the influence of such examples, daily
and hourly brought to bear against them?
The natural result, and the one which every
reasonable man would anticipate, is, that such
children will gradually loose all the distinc-
tive characteristics of Friends, and become
merged in teeling and practice with the com-
mon mass by which they are surrounded.

I cannot but feel earnestly desirous that
these remarks maybe instrumental in draw-
ing the attention of Frteiijs to thisinigoitant
subject, and inducing'^'eilf to loolvml it«aviUi
the seriousness and solicitude which its iho-
nientous character demands, as I am fully
persuaded we have reached a ciisis, in respect
to education, which, unless renewed and zeal-
ous exertions are made to counteract it, must
have a most injurious effect upon the Society
of Friends.

In my next, 1 shall give some further ac-
count of the progress of the ci jcern in our
Yearly Meeting. E. T.



No law of nature is more immutable than
that which binds together misery and guilt.

PRINTED DY JOSEPH & WILLIAM KITE,
Seventh and Carpenter Streets.



A RELIGIOUS AND LITERARY JOURNAL.



vol.. ZVI.



SEVENTH-DAT, SECOND mONTB, 25, 1843.



sro. 22.



EDITED BY ROBERT SMITH.

PUBLISHED WEEKLY.

ice two dollars per annum, payablein advan

Subscriptions and rayments received by

GEORGE W. TAYLOR,

NO. 50, NORTH FOORTH STREET, UP STAIRS,

PHILADELPHIA.



From Silliman's Journal.

Geological and Miscellaneous Notices of the
Province of Tarapaca. — By John H.
Blake.

(Concluded from page 163.)

In various parts of the western coast of
South America, between 18° and 23° of south
latitude, nitrate of soda is found impregnating
the soil in connection with other saline mat-
ter, and, in some instances, forming a thin
crust on the surface ; but no where in e.xten-
sive beds, as in the province of Tarapaca, be-
tween 19° 30' and 2U° 4-5' south latitude, and
69° 50' and 70° 5' west longitude, although it
has been frequently mentioned by travellers
as abundant in other parts of the coast. 'I'his
error has probably arisen from the general
use of the term sallitre, which is applied
alike to saltpetre and other salts.

The nitrate of soda of Tarapaca aftbrds
employment for a large part of the inhabitants
of the province. In 1837, one hundred and
fifty thousand quintals were shipped from the
port of Iquique ; of this about two-thirds went
to England, and nearly one-third to France.
Its recent introduction, as a manure, will pro-
bably greatly increase the demand for it in
foreign countries.

The process of refining, through which the
crude salt passes before it is transported to
the ports for exportation, is rude and simple.
The operation is conducted generally by In-
dians, under the direction of a Spanish major-
domo. Each ojjicina, or working place, con-
sists of a few "rude huts, the walls of which
are constructed of cakes of salt, cemented
together with the mixed marl and salt ob-
tained from the kettles, in use for refining, the
roofs being formed of mats, supported by raft-
ers of cactus.

All the work of refining is conducted in the
open air. The apparatus consists of a few
copper kettles, of the capacity of fifty gallons
each, set within walls formed of cakes of salt,
and shallow oblong square vats for crystal-
lizing. The salt, as blasted from the bed,
which is always near to the officina, is car-
ried in bags on the backs of labourers near to
the kettles, where women and children are
employed in breaking it into fragments of the



size of hens' eggs. About two-thirds of each
kettle being filled with the broken salt, and
water added, a strong fire is maintained until
the water becomes saturated, when it is dipped
into tubs to settle, and from thence transferred,
while hot, to the chrystallizers. 'i'he undis-
solved portion which remains, consisting prin-
cipally of chloride of sodium and earthy mat-
ter, is thrown aside as worthless, although
frequently not more than one-half of the ni-
trate has been separated, the same relative
proportion of crude salt being at all times
used, without regard to quantity.

Aside from the want of economy displayed
in the refining process, the affairs of the ofti-
cinas are well conducted. Each branch of
the operation, from the breaking the salt from
the bed, up to the time when it is placed on
board vessels for exportation, is conducted by
a distinct class of labourers, who receive for
their work a fixed sum on each quintal of the
refined salt produced. The cost to the refiner
for labour, for each one hundred and two
pounds, is about five reals, or 62i cents ; for
fuel, from two and a half to three reals; for
powder and tools, about one real ; and for
transportation to the port, from five to six
reals; making in all $1.87i, which is pro-
bably something more than the average cost
of nitrate of soda, exclusive of bags for pack-
ing, and the expense of constructing, keeping
in repair, and superintending the establish-
ment.

Ores of silver, antimony, and copper, are
found in the porphyritic hills on the coast —
the two former near Iquique, in extensive
veins; the latter in inconsiderable quantity
near Pisagua, and in the vicinity of Tanna.
Copper also occurs at the extreme southern
and eastern part of the province, in veins tra-
versing feldspar. The ores are sulphurets,
carbonates, and muriate. In the same range
of hills, a little further south, and without the
limits of the province of Tarapaca, this latter
ore has been found in such quantity as to give
rise to extensive workings. It is procured by
the Indians, and sold, under the name of are- ;
nilla, as sand for letter-writing. [

The silver mines of Guantajay and Santa
Rosa, near Iquique, were formerly extensively
worked, and have yielded a large amount of
silver; but of late years, owing to the increas-
ed expenses of mining, and the poor quality of
the ore obtained, most of the workings of the
former, and many of those of the latter, have
been abandoned. The mines, at the time I
visited them, did not yield ore containing in
the mass more than 0..31 per cent, of silver;
but they formerly yielded an abundance of
rich ore, and have afforded some of the largest
and purest masses of native silver which liaVe
been found. In 1758 and 1789, two are said



to have been discovered here, the one weigh-
ing eight hundred, and the other two hundred
pounds. Native and horn silver are still often
extracted, but it is from the antimonial silver
ores that the principal profit is derived. A
mixture of chloride, sulphuret and native sil-
ver, mixed with galena, and accompanied with
quartz, is found in some small veins.

The matrix is generally carbonate of lime,
and the veins vary in width from a size barely
perceptible to nioie than a foot.

'J'he observed temperature of the air at the
bottom of the workings, in the mines of Santa
Rosa, was 98° Fah. That of the air at the
surface, at the same time, was 84° Fah.

There being neither water nor fuel in the
part of the country where these mines are
situated, the ores are transported on the backs
of mules to Tirana, for the extraction of the
silver which they contain. The process here
made use of for that purpose is simple, and
compared with that adopted in many parts of
the country economical. The ore, after
having been assorted, and broken into coarse
fragments, is ground to fine powder by means
of a semicircular stone, resting on a Hat hori-
zontal bed, which is rocked back and forth on
the ore by men stationed on each side. It is
then mixed with calcined shells, salt, and mer-
cury, and boiled with water in a copper pan
for six or eight hours. When the amalguni
formed is sufficiently rich in silver, it is press-
ed in skins, through the pores of which a part
of the quicksilver passes, leaving a ball suffi-
ciently solid to be removed to a stone bench,
where it is laid on a grating, and covered by
an iron cone. This cone is then made secure,
by luting at the base, and a fire kindled around
it to expel the remainder of the quicksilver,
which is collected in a dish of water placed
beneath. The silver is left light and porous,
and in this state is known as/)/ata/)enia. Pur-
chasers, before buying, generally melt it, and
run it into bars, or expose it for a long time
to a red heat in a furnace, in order to ensure
the removal of all the quicksilver.

In the vicinity of Tarapaca, and in the que-
brada called Canisa, to the southward of Ma-
tilla and Tirana, the soil is cultivated ; but in
the remaining towns of Iquique, Pisagua,
Mexellones, on the sea-board, and the mining
settlements of Guantagay and Santa Rosa, the
soil is barren, and the inhabitants are depen-
dent upon distant places for their supplies of
provisions and fresh water. The latter is
frequently brought from Chili, and commands
in Iquique the high price of six cents per
gallon.

In those places where there are means for
irrigating the soil, though nearly destitute of
organic matter, it is extremely fertile, and
yields the various fruits common to tropical



170

climes. In the town of Pica grape vines are
cultivated, and tlie fruit aflbrds a peculiar wine
of excellent quality. Tlie coast furnishes an
abundant supply of guano, which is the only
manure made use of. Formerly this article
was procured from a small island opposite to
Iquique; but this source has now become
nearly exhausted. On the coast, a lew leagues
to Ihe southward, it is found in large quanti-
ties, and it is from this place that a large part
of the guano used in the country is derived.
A number of small vessels are constantly
employed in the trade, and it has been esti-
mated that a hundred thousand quintals are
yearly sold in Peru.

The value of this substance, as a manure,
was known to the Peruvians before the time
of the Spanish conquest ; it had been trans-
ported hundreds of miles for fertilizing the
soil of distant places. It is still carried on the
backs of mules, over rough mountain paths,
many leagues inland, and at a great expense,
for the use of the agricultural districts of Peru
and Bolivia.

Most of the inhabitants of the ports of
Tarapaca, of which Iquique, containing about
twelve hundred, is the principal, are engaged
in the saltpetre trade, while those of the inland
towns are dependent upon agriculture, mining,
and the reduction of silver ores for their sup-
port.

The climate is highly salubrious, and many
of the inhabitants live to a great age. The
sky, generally deep rich blue, is sometimes
diversified with a few light floculent clouds,
but it never rains. The air is clear and dry,
and the heat of the sun's rays intense ; yet,
owing to the extreme dryness of the air, and
the consequent rapid evaporation, if protected
from the direct rays of the sun, one suffers but
little from the heat of the climate.

Upon wetting the bulb of a thermometer
with water, in the shade, the mercury has
been observed to fall 18° of Fahrenheit's
scale. Dead bodies dry without putrefying,
and in all parts of the province where there is
much travel, the dead bodies of mules and
horsesare seen, often thrown up in piles as land-
marks for the traveller. In the church-yard
at Iquique, two bodies were left on the ground
by their relatives, who were unable or unwil-
ling to pay the fees required for their inter-
ment in consecrated ground. Six weeks after
I saw them in the same spot ; they had be-
come dry and shrivelled, without emitting any
disagreeable odour.*

In Ihe southern part of the province, the
phenomenon called mirage is often witness-
ed. Beautiful lakes, sometimes dotted with
islands, and bordered with bushes, are pre-
sented, and so perfect is the illusion, that I
have, more than once, followed for miles these
deceptive appearances, in the hope that they
might prove real. Sometimes objects appear

• As a further indication of the extreme dryness of
the climate, I may mention that while travelling
further south, amoni; the Andes of Atneama, I met
with a vein of common salt, pure, and beautifully trans-
parent. Some of this salt I afterwards saw in an Indian
village, ingeniously wrought into frames for prints —
the luHtre undiminished, and the salt and paper per-
fectly dry.



THE FKIEND.

of enormous dimensions; and, by such as are
familiar to us, a singular sensation is pro-
duced, as when meeting a traveller on horse-
back, who is distinctly seen, and almost within
speaking distance, yet appearing of gigantic
size.

A sea and land breeze daily occurs, and the
air from the mountains sweeping ovtr the
Pampa, often produces whirlwinds, which
carry up columns of sand from eighty lo one
hundred feet high. During the night thin
strata of air, coming from the mountains, and
much colder than the surrounding atmosphere,
are often felt, producing a sensation, on the
exposed fitce or hand, not unlike that produced
upon coming in contact with a cold rod of
iron. Contraction of the muscles, attended
with severe pain, is sometimes the conse-
quence resulting from exposure to them, and
the Indians, who term them mal-ayres, are
careful to avoid them by covering themselves
with their ponchos, when sleeping in the open
air.

The province of Tarapaca is not rich in
remains of the ancient inhabitants; there are
vestiges, however, of interest in several parts
of the plain. On the summit of a very regu-
larly formed conical hill, near Tanna, are two
large circles, one within the other, formed of
large blocks of stone, which were evidently
carried there from a distant part of the valley
beneath, and if without the aid of machinery,
at an immense expenditure of labour. Similar
circles of stones, like these erected by the
ancient Celtae, are not uncommon in Peru
and Bolivia.

At the base of the hill are the remains of a
few stone habitations, the walls of which have |
fallen, and are nearly buried. Removing the
sand from one of them, the floor was found to
he composed of cement, smooth and hard. A
few earthen vessels, and several flat and hemis-
pherical stones were discovered ; the latter
had probably been used for grinding corn.

A mile or two from this place is an ancient
cemetery, where a large number of bodies have
been interred. Unlike those near Arica and
many other parts of Peru, these bodies have
for the most part crumbled into dust. They
are buried in a sitting posture, with the arms
crossing the breast ; and are wrapped in
clolhesof woollen, some of which are tine and
richly coloured. As in the burial-place near
Arica, many of the skulls found here are
elongated, full two-thirds of the cerebral mass
being behind the occipital foramen.

In the southern extremity of the Pampa a
single grave was discovered, distant from any
remains of inhabitants, containing a body lying
in a horizontal position, and dressed in skins
of penguins, neatly sewed together. At his
side lay a bow, and a quiver of arrows, the
heads of which were formed of carnelian.

In various parts of the Pampa are figures
from twenty to thirty feet in size, formed in
the sandy marl of the plain ; the lines are
from twelve to eighteen inches broad, and
six or eight inches deep. The origin and
meaning of these large hieroglyphics is un-
known.

The most useful and extensive works of the
ancient inhabitants which remain are in the



town ol Pica, and consist of tunnels excavated
through the sandstone of the inclined plain at
the base of the mountains, for the purpose of
obtaining water for irrigating the soil, and for
which purpose they are still used by the
Spanish inhabitants. These tunnels extend
for a great distance, and when it is considered
that they were formed without the aid of tools
of iron, we must allow to the people who con-
structed them no small degree ol skill, perse-
verance and energy.



Fountain of Fin-. — I have just visited a
jet of natural gas, which rises through a small
river about li mile from Pont-y-piidd (New-
bridge) Glamorganshire. The bio< k has its
source in the valley between the Llantrissant
and Dinas Mountains, flows into the Ronda,
and joins the TatTat Newbridge. In the centre
of this river, or brook, is a continued rising,
or strong bubble, of about eight or ten inches
above the stream, as though the water was
blown up by a current of air, or natural gas
(and exceedingly cold to the hand.) This,
when ignited, produces a powerful flame, from



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 63 of 154)