Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More Melville notices in the Rochester Daily Democrat

Items transcribed below were all found online in the archives of Historical Newspaper Pages at Fulton History.

September 1844 (Gansevoort Melville)
"THE DYING DOUGLASS."-- It is said that Mr. Melville, in his speech which he made at Nashville, referred to the battle of Otterburne, between the English and Scotch, where the gallant Douglass was slain, and while dying said:
"I am dying. There is a tradition in our family that a dead Douglass shall win a field; and I trust that it may this day be accomplished. Advance my standard--shout my war cry and avenge my fall."
Mr. Melville likens Van Buren to Douglass, and puts the latter's language into Van Buren's mouth. The query naturally arises, by whom was Van Buren prostrated, and upon whom does he wish his vengeance to fall? The Whigs did not slay him. They wounded him in 1840; but he survived that wound. He was slaughtered by the Texas chivalry, and POLK was made the instrument of that slaughter. Now, if Van Buren's dying words were--"shout my war cry and avenge my fall"--the northern loco focos must make havoc with Polk and Texas! The conclusion seems inevitable. --Rochester Daily Democrat, September 19, 1844.
October 1844

Mr. Editor--I had the great pleasure of listening to the milk and water speech of which the far famed GANSEVOORT MELVILLE delivered himself, at the "skunk pea," last Thursday evening.-- His speech was about two and a half hours in length, and consisted principally of wind, prophecies, naked assertions, false statements, equivocations, worn out rye stories, vulgarisms, consummate egotism, a redundancy of unmeaning words and youthful expressions,--and the last speech of General JACKSON, made expressly for his individual ear. He made frequent use of the perpendicular pronoun, and used the words "old democrats" and "the democracy" at about every other breath. And, by way of encouragement, he gave the audience some cheering news of recent gains in Tennessee, which he gathered while attending the great Nashville Convention--at which he, "for the want of a better man," had the honor of representing the Empire State.

He considered the opinion of eminent statesmen--such as JEFFERSON, BENTON, CALHOUN, JOHNSON, and others, as worthless, and vainly set up his own opinion as the better authority.

JEFFERSON, in his letter to Mr. BRECKENRIDGE, speaking of the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory, says: "The Constitution has made no provision for our holding foreign territory, still less for our incorporating foreign nations into our Union. The Executive, in seizing the fugitive occurrence which so much advances the good of their country, have done an act beyond the Constitution." Yet Mr. Melville had the cheek to say, that the admission of Texas into our Union was not unconstitutional. He knew it was not, "just as well as well could be." He charged the Whigs with crying "Disunion! disunion!" but forgot to mention that it was but the echo of Tom BENTON's democratic voice, disclaiming the Texas plot, "which has for its object ultimate disunion" to the American people.

He then gave it as his opinion, that the Annexation of Texas would not increase the number of Slaves at the South. Yet statistics show, that by the admission of the Louisiana Territory, we actually added one million of Slaves to this Republic. Col. Johnson says: "We want Texas, to form new Slave States, to balance the coming in of the free States of Wisconsin and Iowa." Mr. Melville says, that Texas will make more Free than Slave States; and that it will induce the Northern Slave States to provide a way for the gradual emancipation of their Slaves. Mr. Calhoun, the great exponent of Southern principles, says--"We want Texas to prevent the ultimate overthrow of Slavery." Mr. Melville says, its admission will affect the institution of slavery injuriously, and pave the way for its speedy downfall. Again: Mr. Calhoun says, in his letter to Mr. Pakenham, April 11, 1841-- "That which is called Slavery, is in reality a political institution, essential to the safety and prosperity of those States of the Union in which it exists." Mr. M. declared, in substance, that Mr. Calhoun, and nearly all the advocates of the measure, are ignorant of the effect it will have, or they are traitors and peace-breakers, and are knowingly and willfully striving to overthrow an institution which they consider essential to the peace, safety, and prosperity of those States in which it exists.

Now, who should be considered the best judges as to the effect the annexation of Texas would have upon that institution--those who started the project, who are its avowed advocates, and from whom it receives its most vigorous support, and who are the most interested in its success--or Mr. Melville? Judge ye.

Such political sagacity as he exhibited throughout his whole speech, must have caused old Solomon's bones to rattle with transport in the tomb. His impudence alone excited admiration.

A LISTENER.  --Rochester Daily Democrat, October 14, 1844.
May 1845
Gansevoort Melville is again at Washington, looking after the Marshalship, it is presumed. His competitor is the Capt. of the Empire Club!
July 1845
Speaking of Gansevoort Melville's appointment, the New York Evening Post says:
We think this a bad appointment. The person elected is scarcely qualified for the office, either by his abilities or his character.
This, says the Journal, is backing one's friend with a vengeance! Here is an impeachment both of the "ability" and the "character" of a distinguished Polk and Texas Orator! --Rochester Daily Democrat, July 14, 1845.
June 1846
"Miss Melville, sister of the late Gansevoort Melville, returned home on the steamer Great Western." --Rochester Daily Democrat, Friday morning, June 19, 1846; reprinted verbatim from the Albany Evening Journal, Tuesday evening, June 16, 1846. [A case of mistaken identity: the person identified among Great Western passengers as "Miss C. Mellville" in the New York Tribune (June 16, 1846) was not Catherine Melville (1825-1905) but "C. M. Melville," then 26 years old, a "Lady" from Scotland bound with 3 trunks for Canada.]
Rochester Daily Democrat (Rochester, New York) - May 12, 1847
May 1847
"OMOO."-- The long looked for work of HERMAN MELVILLE, author of "Typee," a work which had an immense sale, has appeared from the press of the HARPERS. It contains an exciting narrative of the author's adventures in the South Seas. Mr. Melville has a felicitous style of description, and his narratives are exceedingly interesting. The work may be considered a sequel to Typee, and is free from many of the objections that were urged against that work. It is chiefly interesting from the observations the author made on the manners and customs of the Polynesians, the effect of their intercourse with foreigners, and the influence which the missionary system has had upon their morals and manners. For sale at DEWEY'S.  --Rochester Daily Democrat, May 12, 1847; found at Fulton History.
August 1847
"TYPEE."-- The Eastern Journals announce that the second edition of Mr. MELVILLE's "Typee" is in preparation, considerably improved, and many objectionable passages expunged. The religious press has been very severe upon the work, on account of its strictures upon the Missionaries, which appear to have been the result of prejudice or ignorance. If Mr. Melville has expunged that portion of his book, it is free from its most objectionable features. --Rochester Daily Democrat, August 7, 1846.
November 1849

New Publications.

REDBURN, his first voyage: Being the sailor-boy confessions and reminiscences of the son-of-a-gentleman in the merchant service. By HERMAN MELVILLE. Harper & Bros.

This is a handsome volume of nearly 400 pages, in uniform style with Mr. Melville's "Typee," &c. There is a fascination in the style of this author's writings which commends them to the general reader. His fame was established by his first and second productions, as a descriptive writer of the first class. MARDI, which succeeded, was a book of another kind, but still not without the distinctive features of its author's peculiar, brilliant and dashing style. REDBURN is also a romance, woven out of personal adventures of no ordinary character, and throughout marked by the happy genius of its author. It is destined to a rapid sale. To be had at DARROW's enlarged Bookstore. --Rochester Daily Democrat, November 23, 1849; found at Fulton History.
 March 1850

New Publications.

WHITE JACKET: or the World in a Man-of-War. By HERMAN WENDELL [!]. New York: Harper & Brothers.

It was unnecessary for the author of "Typee," "Omoo," &c., to detain the public by a long preface, and he simply informs the reader in a brief note that he shipped in 1843, as an ordinary seaman, on board of a United States frigate then lying in a Pacific harbor. This book is a record of a year's observations on board of a man-of-war; and if all the world is not here painted, there is certainly more of it than is often found between the covers of an ordinary sized volume, and enough to repay an inspection of all the features so graphically delineated. The liveliness of style, mingled with the weight of reflection, which characterizes the author's previous volumes, are equally prominent in White Jacket. It is a perfect portrait gallery, and all who read it, as thousands will, will agree that it is rightly named "The World in a man-of-war."  --Rochester Daily Democrat, March 27, 1850; found at Fulton History.
 April 1850
"A Man-of-War Race"
Excerpt "From Melville's 'White-Jacket.' Reprints chapter 65 of White-Jacket.
--Rochester Daily Democrat, April 12, 1850.
 November 1850
HERMANN MELVILLE, the popular young author has purchased a farm in Birkshire county, Mass., about thirty miles from Albany.  --Rochester Daily Democrat, November 22, 1850.
October 1851
The Whale," is the name of Mr. Melville's new work, and it is likely that the critics will harpoon, lance, and cut up the said fish. --Rochester Daily Democrat, October 24, 1851.
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