J. Franklin (John Franklin) Jameson.

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than upon such preparation as might be offered by introductory
courses. Thus, he said, the sequence may vary with every student,
and he advocated a high degree of flexibility in the requirements.
Professor Munro of Wisconsin related that at the University of
Wisconsin a system of majors with a bachelor thesis obtains, and
that a student who holds his major in history must take twenty-
six semester-hours. In the freshman year three courses are open:
ancient, medieval, and English history. In the following years all



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American Historical Association 493

the courses are open, subject to certain restrictions. Professor Burr
of Cornell said that, other things being equal, he believed the chron-
ological order to be the sensible one, and that at Cornell it is
made the possible one. This point was emphasized by Professor C.
H. Haskins, who stated that at Harvard the students, left free in
their choice of studies, ordinarily and naturally follow a chronolog-
ical order if given a fair chance. Professor Theodore C. Smith of
Williams made a plea for the needs of the college as distinguished
from the university in the teaching of history, while Professor Her-
bert D. Foster gave an account of co-operative teaching at Dart-
mouth, and Professor Albert B. White of the University of Minne-
sota stated that at that institution it was insisted upon that a student
should have taken a course in English history before entering upon
the study of American history.

The conference on the problems of state and local historical
societies was presided over by Professor Benjamin F. Shambaugh,
of the State Uniyersity of Iowa. Two subjects were discussed,
" Problems relative to the care and preservation of public archives ",
and "The marking of historical sites". Professor Herman V.
Ames of the University of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Associa-
tion's Public Archives Commission, was the first speaker and pre-
sented a review of the work of that commission during the seven
years of its existence. The purpose of the Commission has been
two-fold, to contribute information, in the form of printed reports,
relative to the historical material in public archives, and to stimu-
late state and local governments to the proper care of such material.
Forty reports, of which thirty-one have been published, have been
prepared on the archives of twenty-nine states. It has been shown
that hardly one of the older states has preserved complete files
of its records, although the eastern states are better off in this
respect than most of the others. There is however a very encourag-
ing movement in those states where the need is greatest,, for the
proper care of public records. In Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North and South
Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Iowa, the state archives
are being provided for in accordance with recent legislation. In
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut attention has been
directed to the care of local archives. Professor Ames concluded
his report with mentioning two additional activities undertaken
by the Commission: the selection by a sub-committee of the ma-
terial in the British archives to be transcribed for the Library of
Congress, and the preparation of a bibliography of the official pub-



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494 Providence Meeting of the

Hshed records of the original thirteen states to 1789, and of such
local records as have been printed in any of the states.

Mr. Luther R. Kelker, custodian of public records for the state
of Pennsylvania, described the work which he has done in that
office since his appointment in 1903, and the principles which he
has followed- in the arrangement of the material confided to him.
Beside such work of arrangement, he has prepared copy for the
fifth and sixth series of the Pennsylvania Archives. Mr. Clayton
Torrence of the Virginia State Library described the archives of
that state, including the portions which are in charge of the li-
brary, the land-office, the office of the secretary of state and the
other executive offices, and the work which is being done toward
putting them in order and making their contents available to his-
torical students. In 1906 the Department of Archives and History
was established, in charge of Mr. H. J. Eckenrode. The early
petitions and other legislative papers have been sorted, and a calen-
dar of the petitions is now in preparation. Mr. Torrence dwelt
also on the county archives, the progressive losses of these treas-
ures by fire, and the need of better treatment of the problems con-
nected with them. Mr. John C. Parish of the State University of
Iowa spoke of the work which has lately been carried on in con-
nection with the public archives of that state, under the direction
of Professor Shambaugh, and especially described the system of
classification which has been adopted. The unprinted material
is first classified according to three periods: the territorial, that of
the first state constitution, and that of the present constitution
(since 1857). For each of these the classification is according to
the various offices from which the papers respectively emanated,
then in subdivisions according to the external character of the
documents (letters, reports, accounts, vouchers, etc.), then in still
further subdivisions of a topical sort, in each of which the arrange-
ment is chronological. It is proposed to issue calendars of various
classes and to prepare a catalogue and an index to the whole
mass. Mr. Worthington C. Ford, chief of the division of manu-
scripts in the Library of Congress, spoke briefly of the effect of
sunlight on manuscripts exposed for exhibition or for other pur-
poses, and described an ingenious device which, with the aid of
the Bureau , of Standards at Washington, he had prepared for
measuring the extent of such damage.

The consideration of the marking of historic sites was opened
by Professor Henry E. Bourne of Western Reserve University,
in a paper in which he discussed the utility of such procedure



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American Historical Association 495

both in awakening patriotic feeling and in making the course of
historic events more intelligible. The General Committee, of which
he is chairman, had sent out questionaries and attempted to se-
cure a systematic body of information as to what had been done
and was being done in this direction. He summarized the re-
sults of this inquiry, mentioning, as examples of the work going
forward, that of the committee on the two hundred and fiftieth
anniversary of Medford, Massachusetts, that of the Germantown
Site and Relic Society, that of the New York History Club, the
marking of scenes of the Sioux War by the Minnesota Valley
Society, the appropriation of fifteen hundred dollars by the General
Assembly of Rhode Island for expenditure of this sort under the
direction of the Rhode Island Historical Society, the military parks
established by the United States government, and the work of
various of the " patriotic -hereditary " societies. Fuller statements,
of much interest, were made by Miss Jane Meade Welch of Buffalo
on the work of the Niagara Frontier Landmarks Association, and
by Miss Zoe Adams on the marking of the old Santa Fe Trail by
the Kansas Daughters of the American Revolution, aided by the
state, and on the interesting investigations which were undertaken
for determining the route.

The sixth and seventh sessions of the Association, those of
Friday evening and Saturday morning, December 28 and 29, were
devoted to the reading of papers, the business meeting of the As-
sociation having been held on Friday afternoon. In the sixth
session, devoted to the earlier portions of American history, four
papers were read. We speak of three, for the fourth, that of
Professor Claude H. Van Tyne of the University of Michigan, on
" Sovereignty in the American Revolution ", appears on later pages
of the present number of this journal.

Miss Susan M. Kingsbury of Simmons College, reader of the first
paper, entitled "A Comparison of the Virginia Company with the
other English Trading Companies of the Seventeenth Century",
endeavored to lead attention away from the study of the colonial
movements associated with the name of the Virginia Company to
the consideration of its composition as a trading organization. This
was the aspect it chiefly bore to its founders and members. The
writer entered upon a comparison of its organization and opera-
tions with those of some of the other English trading companies
of the time. No less than thirty such were chartered in the late
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but there are hardly more
than half a dozen whose records are preserved and accessible in



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496 Providence Meeting of the

such quantities as to make comparisons fruitful. Of these we may
name the Merchant Adventurers, the Eastland Company, the Mus-
covy, Levant, and East India companies. Miss Kingsbury in-
stituted comparisons between the Virginia Company and these,
and also, so far as possible, the Providence Island Company, in
respect to organization of the former as a joint stock corporation,
its arrangements for the division of land and for returns from the
joint stock, its instructions to outgoing agents and to the managers
of its industrial enterprises, its financial system and the pecuniary
result of its endeavors both in the period of large expenditures under
Sir Thomas Smythe, and in the period of Sir Edwin Sandys,
when company expenditures were less but were extensively sup-
plemented by investments in minor associations subsidiary to the
company itself. Miss Kingsbury properly emphasized the need,
if this large trading movement is to be comparatively studied, of
completer access to the copious bodies of materials for the history
of the Royal African Company, the Providence Island Company,
the Levant Company, and several others.

The paper which followed, by Professor Barrett Wendell of
Harvard University, was of a general character, endeavoring to
suggest the specific diflferences which distinguish three varieties
of New England character — those centring in Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and Connecticut. All these have their origin, he held,
in the English character of the early seventeenth century, which
brought to Massachusetts two incompatible tendencies — those oi
Protestantism, or the right of the individual to freedom from
spiritual control, and of ecclesiastical system, in the peculiar form
which this assumed in the early , churches of New England. The
typical character of Massachusetts, he suggested, has resulted from
an unbroken conflict between these tendencies; while the typical
character of Rhode Island has resulted from the dominant develop-
ment of the Protestant tradition ; ' and that of Connecticut from
the dominant development of the ecclesiastical. Accordingly, the
individuals of Massachusetts have been somewhat more distinctly
developed; and the types of Rhode Island and of Connecticut
have been, on the whole, more strongly pronounced. In illustra-
tion, he cited the character of Edwards, a native of Connecticut;
Channing, a native of Rhode Island; and Emerson, a native of
Massachusetts. Edwards, the greatest spiritual force produced by
America in the eighteenth centur>', was the best exponent of com-
plete divine authority; Channing stood as no other man for indi-
vidual liberty within the limits of order; Emerson cast aside all



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American Historical Association 497

semblance of authority and stood for the greatest degree of indi-
vidualism. The conflict which has prevailed in Massachusetts has
made impossible the tenacity of type found in Rhode Island and
Connecticut, a tenacity which has tended to prevent the develop-
ment of striking personalities. For this reason the greatest literary
figures of New England — Longfellow, Holmes, Whittier, Lowell,
Hawthorne, Emerson — are all of Massachusetts. Such divergences
as have been rioted are what has made New England as a whole
a vital, animating force in the life of the nation.

Next followed a paper by Mr. George L. Beer of Columbia Uni-
versity on " The Colonial Policy of Great Britain, 1760-1765 ".
The general formula which in the eighteenth century summed up
the reciprocal duties of Great Britain and the American colonies was
that the former owed protection, the latter obedience. Protection,
as quoted in the formula above, meant, in the main, naval defense ;
obedience signified, in general, conformity with those laws passed
by Parliament in the interest of the empire as a whole. The course
of events up to 1760 made imperative a reform in the colonial system
of defense and a stricter enforcement of the laws of trade and navi-
gation. The English colonial administration, therefore, directed its
energies toward readjusting the laws of trade to the new conditions,
toward encouraging the production in the colonies of products which
Great Britain had to buy from competing European nations and, in
general, toward increasing the mutual economic dependence of
mother-country and colony. Measures were adopted with a view
to stopping all illegal trade and to checking the purchase of French
West Indian products by continental colonies. The new policy
involved a reform of the customs service, the establishment of
admiralty courts, the extension of British control over the Indian
trade, and the imposition of Parliamentary taxes. This last part of
the policy was carried out by enforcing, in a modified form, the
molasses act of 1732, by laying duties on imports, and by passing a
stamp act. By these measures enough revenue was raised to defray
about one-third of the cost of the military establishment necessary
for the protection of the colonies. The policy at once met with
opposition, because the removal of the French from Canada had had
the effect of making the colonies more independent, and this feeling
became more and more apparent until the attempt on the part of the
government to extend its administrative control over the colonies
met with a decided check.

The final session, occupied with five papers on the later periods



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498 Providence Meeting of the

of American history, was opened by Mr. Clarence S. Brigham,
librarian of the Rhode Island Historical Society, with a contribution
on " The Impressment of Seamen preceding the War of 181 2 ".
The conflicting orders of the English government and of Napoleon
having thrown the carrying-trade into the hands of neutrals, British
sailors rushed to man the American ships to such an extetit that
Gallatin declared them to constitute 2,500 out of 4,200 of the annual
increase of the American marine. The right of impressment, ancient
and in England undoubted, was in America regarded with feelings
differing on party lines, in its application to the recovery of British
sailors, or alleged British sailors, found on American ships. Judicial
opinions on both sides of the ocean mostly upheld the rightfulness of
such impressment, but the American executive denied it. Few
sailors had been naturalized by the required five years' residence.
The act of May 1796 provided for " protection papers ", or certifi-
cates of citizenship. Four registers of these, from the Providence
custom-house, have lately been acquired by the Rhode Island His-
torical Society. But such papers were shamelessly exchanged and
otherwise abused. The speaker estimated that from ten to twenty
thousand British sailors were serving on American vessels before the
outbreak of war.

The second paper was by Professor Edward Channing on William
Penn. The name of Penn, said Professor Channing, is one of the
greatest of the seventeenth century, and his career has been studied
most minutely. The charges of Macaulay have been refuted to the
satisfaction of all investigators, yet there are some things in the
career of Penn that are hard to understand. His attitude in the
boundary disputes of Pennsylvania has frequently been misunder-
stood. Penn regarded his colony as a holy experiment in govern-
ment but also, it should be remembered, as a great domain for him-
self. Two centres of colonial activity offered themselves in Penn-
sylvania, the valleys of the Delaware and the Susquehanna. Through
the latter Penn desired to tap the northern fur-trade and with that
in view sent agents to Albany to buy land from the Indians. His
plans however were frustrated by Governor Dongan of New York,
who maintained that the Iroquois were tributary to that colony, and
who took a deed from the chiefs in his own name. In the south
Penn was opposed by Baltimore, who claimed everything below the
Schuylkill. Between the two Penn seemed likely to lose a large part
of his grant. In addition to these territorial disputes Penn was beset
with difficulties in the government of his colony. He was an idealist.



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American Historical Association 499

he desired to found a Quaker colony, yet was determined to have
freedom of religion for all. Very probably a Quaker colony could
Have got along without laws, but non-Quakers, of whom there was
a considerable influx, could not be dealt with in the Quaker meeting.
Penn held that the end of government is the good of the people,
that governments depend on men rather than men on government.
This, it should be noted, was his idea before he had been a governor.
He was a man of the highest ideals and the noblest intuitions, whose
mind, however, was not fitted by nature or training to cope with
practical problems of government or of business. The constitution
which he made was an utter failure. This failure may be attributed
to two causes. In the first place, his plan of government took away
from the more numerous branch of the legislative body the right of
amendment, and, a more vital defect still, denied to them also the
privilege of initiation or even of discussion. The constitution which
superseded the second Frame of Government and which proceeded
from divided and unknown authorship remained a part of the organic
law of Pennsylvania until the year 1776. How much of this consti-
tution grew out of the idealistic notions of William Penn and how
much proceeded from the experience of practical Pennsylvania poli-
ticians can never be determined because of the imperfections of the
records bearing upon the subject.

The third paper of the morning, " Gustav Koerner, a Typical
German-American Leader ", by Professor E. B. Greene of the Uni-
versity of Illinois, was a biographical sketch intended to illustrate
one phase of the colonization of America in the nineteenth century.
The influence of the German colonists has been strongest in the
Middle West, and in Cincinnati and St. Louis it has been decisive.
In Illinois before the war the relation of the German element to the
slavery contest was an important factor. One of the most interest-
ing of the German communities in Illinois as early as the thirties
was Belleville, whose leading citizen for half a century was the sub-
ject of this sketch. Koerner was born in Frankfort on the Main in
1809. His father was strongly anti- Napoleonic in sentiment and
was in personal relations with Bliicher and Stein. The son thus
grew up in an atmosphere of liberalism the effects of which were
strengthened by his education at Jena, where he was a member of
the Burschenschaft, and at Munich, and Heidelberg. He took part
in the July revolution of 1830, was present at the Hambach Festival,
and, soon after his admission to the bar, took a leading part in the
Frankfort insurrection of 1833. In this uprising he was wounded

AM. HIST. REV., VOL. XH.— 33.



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500 Providence Meeting of the

and captured but made his escape and very shortly thereafter came
to the United States. It was his intention to settle in Missouri but
his dislike of slavery determined him in favor of Illinois. After a
short law course at Transylvania University he was admitted to the
bar at Vandalia and soon became one of the leading lawyers in
southern Illinois. In politics he allied himself with the Democratic
party, believing the Whigs to be tainted with Native- Americanism.
In 1842 he was elected to the legislature and from 1845 ^^ 1848 was
on the supreme bench, resigning because of the insufficient salary.
He was much interested in the European revolution of 1848 and
prepared an address from the Belleville Germans which was sent to
Germany urging the establishment of a republican government. He
opposed the radical movement among the Germans which followed
the influx of refugees about 1850 and which had for its purpose the
demanding of special recognition of the Germans in America. In
1852 he was elected lieutenant-governor and came into close rela-
tions with Douglas, with whom he travelled making campaign
speeches. When it became evident that the Democratic party would
divide over slavery, Koerner transferred his allegiance from Douglas
to Trumbull and contributed largely to the latter's election. In
1856, when the Republican party repudiated Native-Americanism,
he joined its ranks and was a member of the convention of i860.
During the war he helped to raise troops, was military adviser to
the governor of Illinois, was appointed to Fremont's staff, and was
later made minister to Spain. During Grant's administration he
went into the liberal wing of the Republican party and was a can-
didate for governor of Illinois. In the Hayes-Tilden campaign,
however, he became a Democrat once more and was not again *n
public life.

The fourth paper, by Professor F. H. Hodder of the University
of Kansas, dealt with " Some Aspects of the English Bill ", the
measure upon which the House and Senate compromised respecting
the Lecompton constitution and the statehood of Kansas. The
English bill provided that the Lecompton constitution should be
resubmitted to the people of Kansas with the land-ordinance which
had accompanied the constitution considerably amended. In case
of the failure of Kansas to accept the constitution with the new
ordinance, it was provided that the admission of the territory should,
be postponed until its population should be equal to the unit of
Congressional representation. The bill was vigorously denounced
at the time as a swindle and an attempt at bribing the people of
Kansas with a grant of land. This view has been upheld by such



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American Historical Association 501

historians as Von Hoist, Schouler, and Rhodes, but a careful study
of the measure shows that such a view is not justified. The bill
presented two issues, the constitution and the ordinance, and the
conference committee endeavored to emphasize the latter and minor
issue while minimizing the former which was really the more im-
portant. As a matter of fact the land-g^ant provided for in the bill
was modelled after the corresponding section of the enabling act for
Minnesota passed the year before, and was identical with the grant
actually made to Kansas upon its admission in 1861. It has been
the custom moreover to make grants of land upon the admission of
new states, and while the amount has varied the grants of later years
have generally been larger than the one in question. Finally any
appearance of a bribe was removed by the fact that the grant pro-
vided for in the bill was actually smaller than the amount demanded
in the ordinance accompanying the Lecompton constitution. More
important than the matter of the land-grant was the provision in the
bill that in case Kansas should fail to accept the terms thus offered
the whole question of statehood should be postponed until the terri-
tory should have a population equal to the unit of Congressional rep-
resentation. This has been regarded as a threat but is so reasonable
as a matter of principle that there seems to be but small occasion to
denounce it ; at present it is customary to require a population equal
to twice the unit of representation.

The concluding paper of the session, that of Professor James A.
Woodburn of Indiana University, on " The Attitude of Thaddeus
Stevens toward the Conduct of the Civil War ", appears in full in a
subsequent part of the present number of this journal.

It remains to speak of the annual business meeting, always one
of the most interesting portions of the session, to those who appre-
ciate or take part in the varied activities which mark the progress
of the Association throughout the intervals between meetings. In
the annual report of the Executive Council the most important pas-



Online LibraryJ. Franklin (John Franklin) JamesonThe American historical review → online text (page 60 of 120)