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From the New York Ladies' Chronicle.

IMPROVEMENT.

The progress of knowledge, science, and art, in this country, within the last century, is most cheering. At the commencement of the century, we numbered five million of inhabitants.:-now, our population exceeds eleven millions.

During the last fifty years what has not been done! The West has cleared the navigations of its mighty streams, and opened roads through its vast forests. The South has been equally zealous in production and augmenting the prices of its great staples. The North has been steadily moving on in untiring zeal, in extending the manufacturing and commercial interests.- In regard to the whole country a new era has arisen. The arts, the sciences, manufactures, commerce, and agriculture, so eminently the pursuits of peace, engage society with a degree of enterprize, and an intenseness of application, hitherto unknown. We tread on a broad theatre- new objects are opening, and new resources are developed on every side. "Science has triumphed over matter. Fire impels the vessel along the hostile element. The aeronaut soars above the eagle in the thin expanse, and the firm metals torn from the bowels of the earth, fumes into gas at the touch of the chemist and wing him on his way. The triple ray of the sun has been unravelled. We ascend in contemplation on his beams, and bathe in the central flood of light and life. And we have weighed in the balance the orbs which circle on the dark verge of our universe. Bounds however have been prescribed to us, and we must not sorrow, if we who are placed a little below the angels, are not allowed to pass them. There is a truer philosophy from which we learn that our present state of being is not the existence, in which we are to advance in an unchecked career of excellence."

Proud, happy, thrice happy in America! "the home of the oppressed- the asylum of the emigrant- where the citizen of every clime, and the child of every creed, roams free and untramelled as the wild winds of heaven- baptized at the font of liberty in fire and blood- cold must be the heart that thrills not at the mention of thy name."! Search creation around, my countrymen, and where do you find a land that presents such a glorious scene for contemplation! Look at our institutions- our seminaries- our agricultural and commercial interests- and above all, and more than all, look at the gigantic strides we are making in all that ennobles human kind! "When the old world with its 'pride, pomp, and circumstance.' shall be covered with the mantle of oblivion- when thrones shall have crumbled, and dynasties shall have been forgotten- then will our happy America stand amid regal ruin, and national desolation, towering sublime like the last mountain in the deluge; majestic, immutable, and magnificent, in the midst of blight, ruin, and decay- the last remnant of earth's beauty- the last resting place of liberty and the light of heaven!"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This author's celebration of the progress of the United States was written in 1830 during the administration of Andrew Jackson. It presents several typical themes. It notes the inevitable progress of the country through science, commerce and individual self-improvement. It glorifies the triumph over and righteous exploitation of nature. It also points to the promise of the "new world" when compared to the decadence of the "old world." The author claims that in America "the citizen of every clime, and the child of every creed, roams free and untrammeled at the wild winds of heaven." It should be remembered, however, that by 1830 the successes of Southern industry, lauded by the author, were the product of the labor of over 2 million chattel slaves. . Furthermore, the Indian Removal act became law in 1830. By the end of the decade, 47,000 Native Americans would be displaced from the Eastern homelands to the West, either through treaty or through coercion.

 

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"Improvement" article from the New York Ladies Chronicle republished in the Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald
date   Feb 23, 1830
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   3.75"
height   9.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L05.124


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See Also...

"Reflections on the Present State of Things" article from Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper

"Historical Collections, being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes &c.",

"Emigration from Britain to America" article from the Hampshire Gazette newspaper

"Plan of Deerfield in the County of Franklin from Actual Survey"


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