Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXIII.: DEMOCRACY. - Society, Manners and Politics in the United States
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
LETTER XXXIII.: DEMOCRACY. - Michel Chevalier, Society, Manners and Politics in the United States 
Society, Manners and Politics in the United States: Being a Series of Letters on North America, translated from the third Paris edition (Boston: Weeks, Jordan & Co., 1839).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
New York, October 22, 1835.
Our old European societies have a heavy burden to bear; it is that of the Past. Each age is the guarantee of the acts of those that have gone before it, and imposes a similar obligation on those which follow it. We are paying interest on our fathers’ errors; we pay it in the first place under the form of the public debt; we pay it also in the charges for the support of our fine army, for among the causes which oblige all Europe to keep the flower of its population under arms, we must reckon the animosities of our fathers. We pay it, and at a higher rate, in all those habits of distrust and suspicion, which have been bequeathed to us from times of anarchy and despotism. The accumulated weight of a long Past must, indeed, be an insupportable burden, since the Roman empire, first in Rome, and afterwards in Constantinople, whither it was removed to escape the load, crumbled and sunk beneath it. All nations, which have been the glory of the world, have been ground to a lifeless dust, like the ashes of the tombs, by the pressure of a Past, which hemmed them in on every side. Will the Europe of our age undergo the fate of its predecessors? There is reason to hope that it will be more fortunate; for, having their example before its eyes, it must be wiser than they, and it is at the same time more pliant in its temper, and more elastic in its forms.
One of my friends, some time ago visiting the great iron-works of Crawshay & Co., in Wales, was struck with the fact, that the numerous railroads connected with the works, were constructed on an old and very imperfect system. On inquiring the reason, and observing that the saving in traction, would pay the expense of a re-construction with the improved rail, “Nothing is more just,” he was told; “but we retain our old flat rails, and we shall do so for a long time, because it would take two or three years to make a change; and in the mean while, it being impossible to keep the wagons running on both rails at the same time, we should have to stop operations, and to leave fifty thousand workmen without work and without bread. The difficulty is merely in the transition, but at present it seems to be insurmountable.” So it is in regard to society. It is easy to see that one system has decided advantages over another, and that if society could be transported from one to the other by a blow of the wand, much would be gained; but between the two there is a great gulf. How can it be passed? How is it possible to assure vested right, to which nothing seems to be guarantied on the opposite side? How overcome the opposition of the privileged class, who resist the change? How check the impatience of the multitude, eager to enter into the enjoyment of the benefits which it expects to find on the other shore?
In regard to social reforms, the question is wonderfully simplified, by merely transplanting it, that is, by going into new countries to resolve it. The old country is then abandoned to old interests and old ideas, and the emigrant lands disengaged and unembarrassed, ready to undertake every thing, and disposed to try every thing. He has left behind him in the mother-country a thousand associations and relations, which surround existence, and give it, if you please, its ornaments and its charm, but which also tend to check its activity, and make society slow to answer the demands for reform. The first of all innovations is the change of soil, and this necessarily involves others. Vested rights do not emigrate; they are bound to the old soil; they know no other, and no other knows them. Privileges, which are respected because they are consecrated by time, do not venture upon a new soil, or if they hazard the trial, they cannot become acclimated there. A colony is like a besieged city; each one must serve with his person; each one passes only for what he is worth personally. In a society which has no Past, the Past counts for nothing.
It is to be remarked, therefore, that projects of social reform, conceived in the bosom of established societies, in which opportunity is afforded for the calm exercise of thought, have generally been obliged to be transported to other shores, and to take root in barbarous lands, in order to be carried into execution, and to be embodied under the form of a new society. Civilisation has advanced from the East toward the West, increasing in vigour at every remove, although the founders of new colonies have generally quitted a more civilised country for a barbarous one. Thus Italy and Greece, daughters of Asia and Egypt, have gone beyond their mothers; thus western Europe has eclipsed the glories of Greece and Rome. Soon after having given birth to the new nations, the old ones have perished violently, or have fallen into an obscurity worse than death, merely from a want of will or energy to apply the principles which gave vigour to their offspring,—principles of a new social order, founded on the wider extension of liberty and the greater diffusion of privileges,—to their own wants.
Providence had done much to prepare the European races, when transported across the ocean, for becoming the founders of great and powerful nations. The English-Americans, who were the last comers, and did not arrive until after the Spaniards had established their dominion over equinoxial and southern America, left the Old World only after it had been aroused and agitated by the intellectual revolution of which Luther was the Mirabeau, and of which in England, Henry VIII. was the Robespierre and the Napoleon. This great event had already sown those seeds in the human breast, which were to swell and expand through succeeding ages. England was already big with those habits of industry and order, which were destined to make her the first nation of the Old World in the sphere of industry and in political greatness. Her children, therefore, carried with them the germ of those principles and institutions, which were to secure to them the same supremacy in the New. They embarked, at least this was the case with those of New England, the pilgrims, the fathers of the Yankees, after having undergone the ordeal of fire and water, after having been seven times tried between the sledge and the anvil, between persecution and exile. They arrived wearied out with political quarrels, and bent on devoting their energies to pacific and useful purposes.
They seated themselves under a climate which differed little from that of their native skies. Thus they escaped the danger of becoming enervated by the influences of a warm and balmy atmosphere, like that in which the fiery spirits of the Castilian race were tamed; they landed on an almost uninhabited shore, and had only a few poor tribes of Red Skins for enemies and neighbours, whilst the Spaniards had to contend with the numerous armies of the brave Aztecs in Mexico, and their successors, the Creoles, have had to keep in check on the one side the Camanches and the Indios Bravos of the north, and on the other the Araucanians of the southern Cordilleras. If the English had encountered a numerous population like that which resisted Cortez, they would have had to conquer it, and doubtless they would have succeeded in so doing; but after the victory, they would have been obliged to keep it in subjection, and the yoke of the English race is harder than that of the Spaniards. Their social organisation would then have been founded on the servitude of the inferiour castes, red and mixed; the new society would have been tainted with a deep-seated disease, which would have reduced it to a much lower state than European society, and have sunk it to the level of ancient communities, which were founded on personal slavery. It is not, indeed, completely free from this taint at present; since negroes have been brought into the country, and twelve States out of twentyfour are defiled with the pollution of slavery. The portion of the country which has been left for the pure white race, is, however, ample enough to receive a large community composed of the same materials with the European nations, and affording great facilities for combining them in a better order.
If they had found powerful enemies to combat, if war had been constantly hanging over their heads, they would have been obliged to submit themselves to a military aristocracy, spite of the instinct of self-government and independence which runs in British veins, and of which they had a double share. In that case, the Anglo-American society would have been only a copy, and an inferiour copy of the English; as the Canadians, for example, were merely an imitation of the French, under the old order of things. The English colonists sometimes had to repel the attacks of the French, who had possession of the west and of the basin of the St Lawrence; but after the capture of Quebec, they found themselves completely delivered from the most momentous public charge, that of defending their territory and their independence. They were, therefore, able to dispense with a military establishment, to turn all their thoughts and energies to their domestic concerns, and to devote themselves exclusively to the work of colonisation. They ceased to stand in need of the English guardianship, and they freed themselves from it, that they might expand themselves and take their own course without let or hindrance. Finally, yielding to their natural impulse, they tried their great democratic experiment, which is already shedding such a brilliant light upon the prospect of improvement in the condition of the lower classes in all countries. From these circumstances and influences, has resulted a new political and physiological phenomenon, a hitherto unknown variety of the human race, inferiour to the English and French types in many respects, particularly in taste and philosophy, but superiour to the rest of the human family by its extraordinary combination of sagacity, energy of will and hardy enterprise, by its admirable aptitude for business, by its untiring devotion to work, and above all by its recognition and protection of the rights of the labouring classes, hitherto treated as the offscourings of society.
It seems, then, that the Americans are called to continue the series of that succession of progressive movements which have characterised our civilisation ever since it quitted its cradle in the East. This people will become the founders of a new family, although perhaps the features which now predominate in it will hereafter cease to be the prominent traits; whilst the Spanish-Americans seem to be an impotent race, which will leave no posterity behind it, unless by means of one of those inundations which are called conquests, a current of richer blood from the North or the East, shall fill its exhausted veins.
An eminent philosopher, who is an honour to the French name,* defines the progress of the human race in its slow and majestic pilgrimage round our globe, by the term initiation. Following out this thought, we may pronounce North America, at least the non-slave-holding States, to be already in advance of us; for, in many respects, what amongst us is accessible only to a small number of the elect, has become common property in the United States, and is familiar to the vulgar. The conquests of the human mind, to which the Reformation gave the signal and the impulse, and the great discoveries of science and art, which, in Europe are yet concealed from the general eye by the bandage of ignorance and the mists of theory, are, in America, exposed to the vulgar gaze and placed within the reach of all. There the multitude touches and handles them at will. Examine the population of our rural districts, sound the brains of our peasants, and you will find that the spring of all their actions is a confused medley of the Bible parables with the legends of a gross superstition. Try the same operation on an American farmer, and you will find that the great scriptural traditions are harmoniously combined, in his mind, with the principles of modern science as taught by Bacon and Descartes, with the doctrine of moral and religious independence proclaimed by Luther, and with the still more recent notions of political freedom. He is one of the initiated.
Amongst us the powerful instruments and machinery of science and art, the steam-engine, the balloon, the voltaic pile, the lightning-rod, inspire the multitude with a religious dread. In France, out of a hundred peasants in the recesses of our provinces, you will not find one, who, after having witnessed their effects, would dare to lay his hand upon them; they would fear to be struck dead, like the sacrilegious wretch who touched the ark of the Lord. But to the American, on the contrary, these are all familiar objects; he knows them all by name, at least, and he feels that they are his. To the French peasant they are mysterious and terrible beings, like his fetisch to the negro, his manitou to the Indian; but to the cultivator of the western wilds, they are, what they are to a member of the Institute, tools, instruments of labour or science; again, therefore he is one of the initiated.
There is no profanum vulgus in the United States, at least amongst the whites; and this is true not only in regard to steam-engines and electrical phenomena, but the American multitude is also much more completely initiated than the European mass, in all that concerns the domestic relations and the household. The marriage tie is held more sacred amongst the lowest classes of American society, than among the Middle Class of Europe. Although the marriage ceremony has fewer forms than amongst us, and the connexion is more easily dissolved,* cases of adultery are extremely rare. The unfaithful wife would be a lost woman; the man, who should seduce a woman, or should be known to have an illicit connexion, would be excommunicated by the popular clamour. In the United States, even the man of the labouring class is more completely initiated in the obligations of the stronger sex toward the weaker, than most of the men of the Middle Class in France. Not only does the American mechanic and farmer spare his wife, as much as possible, all the hard work and employments unsuitable to the sex, but he exhibits towards her and every other woman, a degree of attention and respect, which is unknown to many persons amongst us, who pride themselves on their education and refinement. In public places and in the public conveyances, in the United States, no man, whatever may be his talents and his services, is treated with any particular attention; no precedence or privilege is allowed him; for all men are equal. But a woman, whatever may be the condition and fortune of her husband, is sure of commanding universal respect and attention.*
In political affairs, the American multitude has reached a much higher degree of initiation than the European mass, for it does not need to be governed; every man here has in himself the principle of self-government in a much higher degree, and is more fit to take a part in public affairs. It is also more fully initiated in another order of things, which are closely connected with politics and morals, that is, in all that relates to labour. The American mechanic is a better workman,* he loves his work more, than the European. He is initiated not merely in the hardships, but also in the rewards, of industry; he dresses like a member of Congress; his wife and daughters are dressed like the wife and daughters of a rich New York merchant, and like them, follow the Paris fashions. His house is warm, neat, and comfortable; his table is almost as plentifully provided as that of the wealthiest of his fellow citizens. In this country, the articles of the first necessity for the whites, embrace several objects, which, amongst us, are articles of luxury, not merely among the lower, but among some of the middle classes.
The American multitude is more deeply initiated in what belongs to the dignity of man, or, at least, to their own dignity, than the corresponding classes in Europe. The American operative is full of self-respect, and he shows it not only by an extreme sensibility, by pretensions which to the European bourgeoisie would appear extraordinary,† and by his reluctance to make use of the term master, for which he substitutes that of employer, but also by good faith and scrupulous exactness in his engagements; he is above those vices of slavery, such as theft and lying, which are so prevalent amongst hirelings with us, particularly amongst those of the towns and their manufactories.* The French operative is more respectful and submissive in his manners, but hard-pressed by poverty, and surrounded by temptations, he rarely neglects a chance of cheating his bourgeois, when he can do it with impunity. The operative of Lyons practises the piquage d’onces; those of Rheims secrete the gold lace.† There are, doubtless, frauds committed in America; more than one smart fellow has his conscience oppressed with numerous peccadilloes. How many strolling Yankee pedlers have sold charcoal for indigo, and soapstone for soap to the rural housewives! But in the United States these petty frauds are rare exceptions. The character of the American workman is in a high degree honourable, and excites the envy of the European when he compares the prospect here presented to him with the aspect of things in his own country.‡
What has been said above applies still more strongly to the farmer; not being obliged, like the operative, daily to contest the rate of his wages with an employer, surrounded by his equals, and a stranger to the seductions of the city, the American farmer possesses the good qualities of the operative at least in an equal degree, and has his faults in a much less degree. He is less unjust and less jealous towards the richer or more cultivated classes.
If then we examine the condition of the American multitude, we find it, taken as a whole, to be much superiour to that of the mass in Europe. It is true that it appears to be almost completely destitute of certain faculties, which are possessed by the European populace. There are, for instance, at times, a hundredfold more gleams of taste and poetical genius in the brain of the most beggarly lazzarone of Naples, than in that of the republican mechanic or farmer of the New World. The houseless young vagabonds of Paris have transient flashes of chivalric feeling and greatness of soul, which the American operative never equals. This is because the national character of the Italians is impregnated with a love of art, and that generous sentiments are one of the distinguished traits of the French character, and the very lowest classes of each nation have some portion of the national spirit. But it does not belong to the multitude to be poets and artists, in Italy, or models of chivalry, in France. Their perfection, above all and in every country, consists in knowing and fulfilling their duties to God, to their country, to their families, to themselves, in assiduous and honest industry, in being good citizens, good husbands, and good fathers, in providing for the welfare and guarding the virtue of those dependent upon them. In order to make a fair comparison between the multitude in Europe and the multitude in America, we should consider them in reference to these qualities; for these belong to all varieties of the human race and all forms of civilization, and upon their development and stability in the greatest number, depends the strength of empires. To render the parallel between the two hemispheres perfect, it would be necessary to set against the mechanic and the farmer in the United States, the members of a corresponding class among a people of Teutonic origin, language, and religion, that is, the English operative and farmer. European civilisation, setting aside the Sclavonians, who have recently appeared with brilliant success upon the stage, divides itself into two branches, that of the North, and that of the South, one Teutonic, the other Latin, distinguished by different qualities and tendencies. American society, being a scion of one of these branches, can be more readily compared with it, than with any of the offsets of the other. It is easy, therefore, to determine the superiority of the American mechanic and farmer to those of England, but it is difficult to decide how much inferiour or superiour any class of American society is to the corresponding Spanish, Italian, or French class; it is only necessary, however, to open one’s eyes to be convinced, that the multitude among these three people are far from having reached, in the direction in which nature points their career, the same degree of progress that the Americans have done in theirs.
The American democracy certainly has its faults, and I do not think that I can be accused of having extenuated them. I have not concealed its rude demands upon the higher classes, nor its haughty airs of superiority to other nations. I will even admit, that, in many respects, it is rather as a class, and in the lump that it recommends itself to favour; for the individuals that compose it, are destitute of those hearty and affectionate qualities, by which our French peasantry would be distinguished, if it were once delivered from the wretchedness which now brutifies it; but it is in the mass and as a whole, that I now judge the American multitude.
The American democracy is imperious and overbearing towards foreign people; but is not a keen sensibility, a good quality rather than a defect in a young nation as in a young man, provided that it is backed by an energetic devotion to a great work? Pride is ridiculous in an enervated and inert people, but in an enterprising, active, vigourous nation, it is consciousness of power, and confidence in its high destiny. The foreign policy of the American democracy is profoundly egoistic, for national ambition is the characteristic of a growing nation. Cosmopolitanism is generally a symptom of decline, as religious tolerance is a sign that faith is on the decay. The pretensions of the United States are unbounded: they aspire to the sovereignty over South America; they covet one by one the provinces of Mexico; but in spite of the rules of morality, it is might which makes right in the relations between people and people. If the United States should wrest the Mexican provinces from the Spanish race, partly by craft and partly by force, they would be responsible to God and to man for the consequences of the robbery; but they would not be alone guilty. If the country which they had seized, flourished in their hands, posterity would pardon the act; but, on the other hand, it would condemn the Mexicans, if, with such neighbours at their doors, they should continue as at present, to stagnate in stupid security and in a miserable lethargy, and the powers of Europe, if they neglected to warn them and to rouse them from their torpor.
The Romans were intolerably arrogant towards other people; they spoke to the all-powerful sovereigns of the monarchical East, and to the heirs of Alexander the Great, that brutal and imperious language, which General Jackson has flung into the face of a monarchy of fourteen centuries. They treated all who stood in the way of the gratification of their insatiable thirst for conquest, as slaves who had revolted against the divine will. That Punic faith, with the charge of which they branded the memory of their rivals, was often the only faith which they practised. Posterity, however, has proclaimed them the greatest people of history, because they were successful; that is, because they formed a durable empire out of conquered nations by the wisdom of their laws. The Anglo-Americans have much resemblance to the Romans whether for good or for evil. I do not say that they are destined to become the masters of the world; I merely mean to affirm that by the side of faults which shock and offend foreign nations, they have great powers and precious qualities which should rather attract our attention. It is by these that posterity will judge them; by these they have become formidable to other people. Let us aim to get the vantage-ground of them, not by denouncing their defects to the world, but by endeavouring to make ourselves masters of their good qualities and their valuable faculties, and by cultivating and developing our own. These are the surest means of maintaining our rank in the world in spite of them and in spite of all.
At the same time that the American democracy conducts itself more and more haughtily abroad, it is jealous of all who fall under the suspicion of seeking to encroach upon its sovereignty at home. In this, it only imitates the most boasted of aristocracies. The system which it has pursued towards the higher classes, is dictated by the instinct of self-preservation, just as that of the European aristocracy and Middle Class toward the classes respectively below them, has been instinctive with them. The democracy is determined to lose none of its conquests, which have been gained, not by plundering its neighbours, not by pillaging provinces, not by robbing travellers, but by the sweat of its brow, by its own resolute industry. Who, then, amongst us will cast the first stone at it? I can readily conceive, that, at first sight, we of the Middle Class in Europe, should be offended by its pretensions, and that we should feel our sympathy excited by the spectacle of our American fellows conquered and bound. But let us, nevertheless, confess, that this democracy has managed the affairs of the New World in such a manner as to justify the supremacy it has won, and to excuse its jealousy towards every thing that might have a tendency to spoil it of its conquest. This is the first time since the origin of society, that the people have fairly enjoyed the fruits of their labours, and have shown themselves worthy of the prerogatives of manhood. Glorious result! Even though it has been obtained by the temporary humiliation of the classes with which our education and habits lead us to sympathise, it is the duty of every good man to rejoice at it, and to thank God for it!
Wo to tyranny by whomsoever exercised! Far be it from me to apologise for the brutal and savage, and sometimes bloody excesses, which have lately been so often repeated in most of the large towns in the United States! Should they be continued, the American democracy will be degraded and will lose forever the high position it now occupies. But criminal as these acts are, it would be unjust to impute them to the American people, and to condemn to ignominy the whole body of these incomparable labourers. Popular excesses in all countries are the work of an imperceptible minority, which the existing system in the United States is sufficient to restrain. That system needs, then, some amendment, which shall suit it to preserve the good qualities of the nation in their purity, and which, indeed, seems already on the point of being introduced, for theories of absolute liberty are evidently losing favour in the United States.
It would be a mistake to infer from what has been said, that the American civilisation is superiour to our own. The multitude in the United States is superiour to the multitude in Europe; but the higher classes in the New World are inferiour to those of the Old, although the merits of the latter are rather virtual than real, and belong rather to the past or the future than to the present; for the higher classes in Europe, both aristocracy and bourgeoisie, turn their good qualities to little account, whether on behalf of themselves or the people. The higher classes in the United States, with some exceptions and taken as a whole, have the air and attitude of the vanquished; they bear the mark of defeat on their front. As they have been always and in almost all circumstances much mingled with the crowd, both parties have naturally borrowed many habits and feelings from each other. This exchange has been advantageous to the multitude; but less so the higher classes. The golden buckler of the Trojan has been exchanged for the leather shield of the gallant Diomed. Each of the two is, therefore, superiour in one of the two great elements of society, and inferiour in the other. This is the system of compensation.
If, then, from the superiority of the labouring classes in the United States, it were necessary to draw a conclusion as to the relative rank of European and American civilisation in the future, the following would be the only necessary inference: in order that American society should have the advantage of ours, it would be requisite that it should comprise a class, which, intrinsically and in its exterior, should be as much elevated above the people, properly so called, as our higher classes are above the great mass of our population; or, in other words, it depends upon ourselves to give to our social order the advantage over that of the United States, by raising our lower class both of the towns and the country from the ignorance and brutal degradation in which they are plunged, and developing then powers and qualities in conformity with our national disposition and the character of the race to which we belong.
[* ] M. Ballanche.
[* ] As in some of the States there is no law of divorce, the legislatures grant it in virtue of their legislative omnipotence. Out of less than 150 acts passed by the New Jersey legislature in 1836, thirteen were acts authorising divorces.
[* ] In the mail-coaches, the best seats are always yielded to women, without regard to the order in which the names are booked. The husband also does the marketing and often brings home the provisions himself. Nothing is more common than to see men carrying home a goose or a turkey by the legs, or a basket of fruit. I have before observed that the conjugal and social submission of the woman is more complete in the United States than in France. In France, a woman engages in business, and with the consent of her husband is acknowledged as a responsible agent; but there is nothing of this sort in England and the United States. Our children in Canada have even gone beyond us in this respect, and have admitted females to the electoral franchise.
[* ] The English workman is very skilful. Although in certain branches we excel the English, it appears to me incontestable, that at present the English workman is the first in Europe. In some respects, he is also superiour to the American; he will, for example, finish a particular piece of work in a better style, but when out of his special sphere, and separated from the tools of the English workshops, which are of a superiour kind, he will be at loss. The American workman has a more general aptitude; his sphere is larger, and he can extend it indefinitely at will. He accomplishes at least, as much as the English workman, and when he devotes himself for a long time to the same task, which is not usual with him, he does it better.
[† ] Thus a shoemaker or tailor will not go to a customer’s house to take a measure, but requires all, women and men, to come in person to his shop.
[* ] In the relations between the master and the operative, the most deplorable usages prevail in our large manufacturing towns. Many of the masters are reduced to practise the most disgraceful artifices on their workmen, in order to sustain themselves against the violence of competition; thus, in some workshops and factories, the hands of the clock are put forward in the morning and backward in the evening. The operatives commit reprisals in every possible manner.
[† ] The piquage d’onces, or secretion of silk by the workmen, is one of the cankers of Lyons. The value of the silk thus stolen is estimated at nearly one million of dollars a year, the thefts committed in the Rheims factories are stated to exceed 600,000 dollars. The operatives exchange the gold-lace at the dram-shops for about one fourth of its actual value.
[‡ ] The domestics in the United States are almost everywhere much inferiour to the operatives, personal service being here looked upon as degrading. In many of the States the domestics will not bear to be called servants, and take that of help; this is the case in New England. The domestic is there a hired agent whose task is light, and who in many houses takes his meals with the family. On these conditions, native servants may be had in New England who are attentive and intelligent. they stand upon their rights, and expect to be treated with respect by their employers, but they perform their duties with an honourable fidelity. In most of the non-slave-holding States, the servants are chiefly free blacks, who are generally lazy and depraved, or newly arrived emigrants from Ireland, who are ignorant and without skill, prone to be most provokingly familiar, and in the intoxication of their new condition, so different from the squalid misery they have left behind them, more disposed to take airs upon themselves, than the natives of the country.
[Note 23 — page 281.]Geological Surveys.
The legislatures of several States have lately shown a laudable zeal for geological examinations of the soil. Maryland has a State geologist (Mr Duchatel) who is engaged in preparing a a geological map of the State, particularly with reference to economical purposes. Dr Duchatel has already made some important discoveries in agricultural geology, especially in respect to the use of marl. Tennessee has also its geologist, Dr Troost. Massachusetts has a geological map prepared by Professor Hitchcock. Congress has caused some examinations to be made on the upper Mississippi. Dr Jackson has been several years employed in making geological surveys in Maine, and is at present occupied in Rhode Island; he has also been appointed by New Hampshire to explore the geology of her mountains and valleys. New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Kentucky, Michigan and Georgia, have also engaged in the same enterprise, and partial examinations have been made in North Carolina. New York has in addition to a corps of four geologists, Messrs Vanuxem, Mather, Emmons and Conrad, a chemist (Dr Beck,) a botanist (Mr Torrey,) and a zoologist, (Dr DeKay.) It is principally to the efforts of the late Secretary of the State, General Dix, that New York is indebted for this great undertaking. Massachusetts has also organised a board of naturalists, to report upon the different branches of botany and zoology. In many of the States, a topographical survey more or less minute, has been connected with the geological explorations. Massachusetts has been trigonometrically surveyed.