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miles, and is watered by the Guadalupe, which, with some of its numerous branches, serve to irrigate its soil. No settlements of importance have yet been made in this colony.
Ectar's Grant, so called. Much has been said in the public prints respecting a grant alleged to have been made by the Mexican government, comprising an area of nearly 63,000 square miles (40,000,000 acres). Where this immense tract is, or where it can be located, it is difficult to conceive, unless all the previous grants, which are numerous, shall be abrogated : should such a grant have been made in addition to those already located, there will remain but a small portion of Texas for future purchasers. Although it is well known that the Mexican government pursues a liberal policy towards actual settlers, in granting them lands on the most favourable terms, it can scarcely be credited, that a cession nearly co-extensive with the unappropriated parts of the province should have been sanctioned by that government, by which no title has recently been given, except to the class of purchasers just mentioned. Land can be obtained by emigrants with great facility from the empresario (founder of the colony,) and from the commissioners of the government, under the colonization law, which authorizes the grant to families who are actual settlers of one Mexican league, equal to 4446 acres. Unmarried men can obtain the fourth part of that quantity, the expenses of which will not amount to four cents the acre.
Nacogdoches, Bexar, Victoria, and Goliad, formerly called Bahia, are the only towns remaining to be noticed. Nacogdoches is situated on the head waters of Neches river, in the eastern part of the province, and about 160 miles, in a direct line, from the gulf coast. It is on the great road leading from NewOrleans and Natchitoches, in Louisiana, to the city of Leona Vicario, the capital of the state of Coahuila and Texas, and is 728 miles north-east from that city. Fort Nacogdoches, the germe whence the town of that name sprung, was erected shortly after the first settlement of the country, and was for a long period the only settlement in this part of Texas. The town itself never attained to any importance in point of population, and its commerce was chiefly confined to the supply of the garrison, and a small trade with the surrounding Indian tribes. Since its destruction in 1821, the town has been rebuilt, and the number of its inhabitants considerably augmented by emigrants from the United States.
Bexar, or San Antonio de Bejar, the former capital of the province, is situated on the western prong of Salado creek, an inconsiderable branch of the San Antonio river, 393 miles southwest from Nacogdoches, 153 west from San Felipe de Austin, and 335 miles north-north-east from Leona Vicario.
Goliad is situated on the right bank of San Antonio river, about 40 miles above its entrance into Espiritu Santo bay, and 115 south-west from San Felipe de Austin. Goliad, like Bexar, is a place of but little importance, although built more than half a century. Neither Bexar nor Goliad can be regarded in any other light than as mere villages. The latter possesses some advantages over the other from its proximity to the gulf, the San Antonio being navigable for vessels of small draft as far up as Goliad.
Victoria, on the left bank of Guadalupe, is a village of the smallest class, but is said to be improving.
The “Upper road,” or that leading from New Orleans by Natchitoches, &c. to the city of Mexico, intersects the Sabine about 45 miles west from Natchitoches. After crossing the Sabine, it pursues a course a little south of west, until it reaches Nacogdoches; thence, turning towards the south-west, it proceeds to Bexar, where it assumes a more southern direction, and intersects the Nueces about 150 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. In its course from Nacogdoches to the Nueces, this road successively crosses the Trinidad, Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, and San Antonio rivers. It is 98 miles from Natchitoches to Nacogdoches, thence to the Trinidad 78, thence to the Brazos 59, to the Colorado 60, Guadalupe 58, town of Bexar 40, Nueces 105, and thence to Leona Vicario 230 miles.
The Lower road, so called, leads from New Orleans, via Opelousas, to the town of Goliad. It crosses the Sabine 30 miles above its discharge into Sabine lake, and follows a south-west course, at a mean distance from the gulf coast of fifty miles, passes through San Felipe de Austin, and intersects the Nueces 469 miles from Opelousas.
Other roads have been opened. Among these are the following: from San Felipe de Austin to Brazoria 70, and thence to the mouth of the Brazos 25 miles, to the Old Fort on the Brazos 38 miles, to Harrisburg 45 miles, to Victoria 110, and thence to Goliad 22 miles,-to Matagorda 95 miles. Many improvements of this kind have been made, and some others are contemplated.
From the foregoing sketch, our readers will, we trust, be enabled to form a pretty correct judgment of the value of Texas, in reference to its physical capacities. With regard to the "propriety and necessity of annexing the province to the United States,” which the author of the pamphlet before us endeavours to prove, we do not deem this the opportune time for the discussion of those points; but we shall proceed to make a slight mention of his plausible work, and to offer a few extracts from it.
After giving a general view of the progress of settlement in the United States since the revolution, as a necessary preliminary
to what follows, the author says, in regard to the proposed purchase of Texas,
“We shall throw around it, (the American nation) by the measure, a shield of defence impenetrable to the haughty Briton, the jealous Spaniard, and the predatory buccaneer. Imagine these United States to have an entire command of the Atlantic coast, from the River St. Croix to the Rio del Norte, on the southwest and west; we shall then possess a sea line of at least three thousand miles, over which our jurisdiction will be absolute-interrupted by no foreign power whatever. The banner of the nation will alike float on every part and portion of this extended shore, and protection will be reciprocal on each point of the sea coast it touches.”-“But there are other considerations, relating principally to the topical and geographical features of the country. In our estimation, these considerations are pregnant with immense importance.”.
With respect to the chief objection which is commonly urged against the proposed purchase, the writer observes: “ Those people would exclaim that we have land enough; that, on the score of territory, we are gorged to overflowing. This may be an acknowledged fact, and yet serve to strengthen the policy of the government in getting possession of Texas by any within the range of possibility.” A well defined boundary, as the author observes, is unquestionably desirable in every point of view; and, unless attended by too great a sacrifice, should in every practicable case be adopted. As natural boundaries are intimately connected with our permanent security and facility of defence, we think, with the writer, that the Rio Bravo would constitute a line of demarcation between the United States and Mexico every way desirable, and would effectually prevent those collisions between us and our neighbours, which may naturally be expected to result from the present ill defined boundary. In this point of view, and without reference to an extension of territory, the proposed purchase of the country east of that river, has claims to our most serious attention. The matter is, however, so encompassed with obstacles, and so mixed up with difficulties of various sorts, that its accomplishment can scarcely be expected, while so many independent states exercise jurisdiction over the greater portion of the territory.
Speaking of the natural advantages of Texas, the writers says:
“Having a frontier or sea line on the great bay of Mexico of more than four hundred miles in extent, comprising, as it is said, capacious and excellent harbours at the estuary of many rivers that have their sources deep in the recesses of the country, and flowing in every direction in streams not less copious, than, from character, tributary, to the uses of internal communication ; that country, whose limits traverse plains, mountains, and woods, must necessarily embrace, within its confines, all the variety of soils, and a great diversity of climate, reaching nearly from the mild temperature of the tropics to the chilly blasts of the north. Its productions, therefore, may be imagined to be equally varied. Considering the infinite variety of its soil and climate, it would seem calculated to furnish in maturity the whole range of productions, from the tropical fruits to the more substantial and nourishing brcad-stuffs of the north. We may antici. pate, with a moral certainty, that, in the progress of time, the fairest cotton, the richest cane, and every species of grape, will garnish its annual staples.”
This, with the other extract we have made, will enable our readers to understand the general scope of our author's reasoning. Many of his suggestions, in support of the proposed measure advocated by him, are strong, and some almost conclusive. Much however might be said on the opposite side of the question.
His view of the physical capacities and local advantages of Texas, is perhaps rather highly coloured; but we can readily admit the truth of his deductions, drawn from the nature of the soil and climate of this extensive region.
From the geographical position, and the character of its soil and climate, Texas will probably become the great vineyard of America. Every variety of grape, of the most delicious flavour, is found growing spontaneously throughout the entire province. On the table lands between the Cross Timbers and the sources of the Sabine, immense tracts of country are literally covered with the various species of grape, which attain to an uncommon size. The orange and other fruits, such as the fig and the different kinds of the raisin grape, will also find a genial soil in the southwestern parts of the province, where the climate and general nature of the atmosphere are admirably adapted to the exiccation of those fruits, especially that of the common fig. The latter is produced in great abundance in most of the southern states and Florida, but owing to the humidity of the atmosphere of those states, it rarely becomes sufficiently dry, for want of that peculiar warmth which is necessary to its preservation for commercial purposes; hence this valuable fruit, which constitutes an important article of commerce of Turkey, Italy, and some other countries, is cultivated in America merely for table
The causes which have operated in the southern states to prevent the successful preparation of the raisin, do not exist to the same extent in Texas; we may, therefore, expect to find, some years hence, this useful article also among its most lucrative staples.
Art. V.-Condensed Reports of Cases in the Supreme Court
of the United States; containing a series of the Decisions of the Court, from its organization to the commencement of Peters's Reports, at January Term, 1827; with copious Notes of parallel cases in the Supreme and Circuit Courts of the United States. Edited by RICHARD PETERS, Esq. Vol. I. From April Term, 1791, to February, 1806.
In a government in which the people are truly and efficiently, originally and continually, the source of all power; where this principle is not an unsubstantial theory to flatter and deceive them with the specious acknowledgment of rights they cannot exercise, it is a duty which they owe to themselves, as well as to those to whom the administration of their affairs is delegated, to inquire and understand in what manner their officers discharge their various trusts ; not only that they may decide upon the merits of the individuals concerned, but upon the uses of the department itself, and its positive and comparative importance to their general welfare. It should be a part of the education of an American citizen, to be well informed of the rights which are secured to him by his government, and the means by which they are secured; of its fundamental principles of action; and to be familiar with the leading features which distinguish it from every other government which now exists, or ever has existed.
We cannot forbear to step aside from the main purpose of this article, to speak with unqualified approbation of the “ View of the Constitution of the United States of America," By William Rawle, LL. D. In this volume there will be found a clear and satisfactory exposition of the provisions and principles of this monument of American wisdom and patriotism; so arranged and illustrated as to be easily comprehended; and yet so full as to leave nothing unexplained that is necessary to be known. We rejoice that this excellent work has been introduced as a study into some of our colleges; and we hope to see its use and circulation more widely extended.
We return to our subject; a consideration of the proceedings of the Supreme Court of these United States. The judicial power, like the great principle of gravitation, keeps every other power of the government in its proper place and action ; and maintains the whole in an uniform and beautiful order and motion. But it is done without any display of its power; or any applause of its utility. The sun and showers which enliven and fertilize the earth, “and all that it inhabits,” address themselves to our senses, and compel a constant recognition of their value; but the great power by which the sun is kept in his appointed course, and the rains fall on the lawn and the fields, is unseen and unfelt; it is unknown except to the instructed few who look more deeply into nature and her laws. Such is the power of the judiciary, whose protecting influence is in operation through every day and every hour, unseen and unfelt. The silent, but efficacious and unremitting security which the law, and its ministers, the Courts, give to every American citizen, attracts but little attention and less gratitude. The judiciary makes no ostentatious display of its services. It enjoys no patronage; it neither contrives nor controls any measures of national policy and prosperity, and therefore it is not an object of general interest or