- Memoir of the Northern Kingdom, Written, A.D. 1872, By the late Rev. Williamson Jahnsenykes, LL.D. and Hon. Member of the Royal American Board of Literature, in six letters to his son
"Olim meminisse juvabit."1
Now First Published, Quebeck, A.D. 1901.2
Salvs • Pvblica • Mea • Merces.3 [End Page 301]
To the King.
Permit me, in congratulating my country on Your fortunate accession to the throne of Your Royal Father, to lay at Your feet with all humility a small work of the venerable man, to whom I owe my existence. I am persuaded that Your Majesty will pardon its frankness, and extend to it the indulgence, which Your Princely Race have ever manifested for manly sentiments, and with which Your Royal Father was pleased to honour its authour.
I should not, under other circumstances than the present, have presumed to approach the throne with an offering of this nature; but having been honoured with Your Royal Commission in an attempt to unite with Your subjects a distracted and divided people, I presumed that the faithful history, my father left, as a legacy to his children, of the troubles, of which he was a witness, but which happily ended in the establishment of Your Majesty's illustrious House, would be no unacceptable present to future times.
In discharging, Sire, this duty, permit me also to declare that, under a kind and gracious Providence, the people of this Northern Empire are indebted for all the prosperity they enjoy to the prompt, vigorous yet clement measures of Your Majesty's Royal ancestors. That this kingdom, formed by their wisdom, and transmitted to Your Royal hands, may long flourish, that its boundaries may still increase, and thus diffuse the happiness, which those experience, to whom Your Imperial qualities are known, and that every enemy to Your Majesty's government may be transformed into a warm and zealous servant, is the hearty prayer of,
Sire, Your Majesty's most humble, most affectionate, and most devoted subject,
JULIUS DE BARRI,
It may not be amiss to inform the publick, that the Editor of the few following letters has long retained them, and would probably have continued to keep them private, had not recent occurrences rendered it, in his [End Page 302] opinion, exceedingly useful to exhibit them to the world. For, whatever sources of information may have been opened in general histories, it is plain that private memoirs, separate from the circumstance of authenticity, must enter more into the detail of those causes, which, though they develope themselves only to the curious eye of an intelligent and attentive observer, produce ultimately the greatest events. And as these letters faithfully paint the miseries of former times, it was hoped that the publishing of them at the present day might tend to open the eyes of our infatuated neighbours to their real interests.
Of these interests the Editor hopes he shall be allowed to have formed a proper estimate. Forty five years of bickering, or open warfare, might have convinced the Illinois Republicans, that it were far better to renounce, as did their ancestors, the phantom of a government, which they have not virtue to protect.4 For the Republick is a prey to the dissentions of her ambitious chiefs. Confiding in the population or territory they have acquired or maintained, animated by an antient grudge, and still more by a desire of attracting to themselves individually the management of the State, in the midst of such convulsions, these factious demagogues, for such must they be named, are for protracting a war, which puts to the proof all the mildness and moderation of our Sovereign; a war too, which cannot end but in their subjugation.
Nor can this event be far distant. The immense power of the Northern, and the preponderating interests of the Southern Kingdom, point out for each of them a direct path to their object. Nor is his Virginian Majesty so inattentive to the security of his frontiers, or so fond of repose and quiet, as to omit any method of reducing such an obstinate enemy. The league too, which has of late been happily formed between...