Eliphalet Kimball, “Thoughts on Natural Principles” (1867)

Original order of appearance:

  • “Law, Commerce, and Religion,” The Boston Investigator 32, no. 13 (July 30, 1862): 97-98.
  • “Reminiscences,” The Boston Investigator 32, no. 26 (October 29, 1862): 105.
  • “Military Talents,” The Boston Investigator, 32, no. 29. (November 19, 1862): 225.
  • “Origin of Law,” The Boston Investigator 32, no. 37 (January 14, 1863): 290.
  • “Civilization—Anarchy,” The Boston Investigator 35, no. 15 (August 19, 1863): 114; 35, no. 16 (August 26, 1863): 122.
  • “Duration of Life,” The Boston Investigator 33, no. 27 (November 11, 1863): 209-210; 33, no. 28 (November 18, 1863): 217-218.
  • “Reason in Food and Drink,” The Boston Investigator 33, no. 38 (January 27, 1864): 298; 33, no. 39 (February 3, 1864): 306.
  • “Diseases and Medicine: Reason in Diseases and Medicine is Confidence in Nature, and Infidelity to the Medical Profession,” The Boston Investigator 33, no. 49 (April 13, 1864): 386.
  • “Reason—Government: Reason in Government is Confidence in Nature, and Infidelity to Public Law,” The Boston Investigator 33 no. 52 (May 4, 1864): 410.
  • “Reason in Government—Again,” The Boston Investigator 34 no. 13 (August 3, 1864): 1. [article acknowledged as received July 27, 1864.]
  • “Cholera,” The Boston Investigator 36 no. 22 (October 3, 1866): 3.

Eliphalet Kimball in “Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly”

Eliphalet Kimball: Miscellaneous writings and references

For those who love truth, and can distinguish it from falsehood.


Eliphalet Kimball



With the inheritance of good constitutions and with a rational mode of life from first to last, undoubtedly the human race would reach the age of one hundred years and upwards, in health and cheerfulness. The natural life of man appears to be four times as long as the period of growth, or in other words, growth occupies one quarter of the natural life. The human race, in general, reach maturity in twenty-five years, taking males and females together—males at the age of twenty-eight, females at twenty-two. Bad constitutions come to maturity sooner than that, and remarkably good ones later. Persons who live to the age of one hundred years and upwards, without attention to the rules of health, were no doubt more than thirty years in growing. The same proportion of life to growth undoubtedly prevails with all animals and vegetables, from the enduring elephant to the transient butterfly, and from a spear of grass to the big trees of California, which are known to have grown thousands of years, but whose ages are unknown. By most persons, health is ignorantly and carelessly destroyed. Almost every one commits slow suicide.

In the first place, the constitution depends on that of the parents. In the next place, injury to health begins before birth. Whatever injures the mother, has the same effects on her unborn child, as errors in diet, hard work, deficient exercise, care, anxiety, grief, ungoverned passions, &c. It is plain that great prudence on the part of the prospective mother is doubly important.

After birth, the greatest cause of sickness and short life, especially in this country, is wrong eating, which includes three faults, namely, too much food, unwholesome cooking, and an unwholesome way of eating after it is cooked. It is doubtful which of the three faults does most harm.

Only a little too much food, or that which is irrationally cooked, or irrationally eaten, deranges the digestion of the meal, which makes itself known by unpleasant feelings. Overloading the stomach is begun in infancy. Too much food checks the growth of the body, and lays the foundation of nearly all diseases. Partly from this cause a great part of the young men are slender and round-shouldered. A rational abstemiousness preserves health, cheerfulness, and life, to a great age. “Eating to live,” makes living to eat, as temperance is pleasure. In old age the stomach loses in a great measure its power of digestion, and the food should be lessened accordingly. Ardent spirits, by calling forth all the powers of digestion, wear out the stomach, and unfit it for food. Paregoric, from the opium it contains, when given freely to infants to quiet them, dwarfs the body and mind, and destroys the health.

In all civilized countries, the useful and most respectable part of the people injure their constitutions and shorten life, by hard labor, while the useless and pernicious ones, as lawyers, merchants, clergymen and doctors, don’t labor enough for their health. It is in the period of youth that hard labor does most injury, although it is hurtful at any age. Almost all boys and young girls, who work out for wages, have their constitutions broken by it, and are brought to an early death. Many are the girls who ruin their health, and die from teaching the abominable schools. It is proved by the records of the War Office in France, that almost every young man who entered the French armies before reaching the age of maturity, died in the service, and only those lived through it who had entered after gaining full growth.

Excessive and premature labor of the brain and nerves in schools and colleges, with deficient muscular exercise, is a great help in keeping people from living long. It is called “disciplining the mind.” It is not discipline, it is labor. Reflection is discipline. No person can educate another. Parents hurry their children to be men and women, and hurry them to their graves, not considering that education, to be useful and harmless, must concur with Nature, which advances in slow development in all things. Early rising injures everyone who goes to bed fatigued. Sleep rests the brain, nerves, and mind, but not so much the muscles and the other parts of the body. Nothing but lying awake, and stretching the limbs and joints, can cure bodily fatigue. A person gets more rest from lying in bed awake two or three hours in the morning, than from a whole night’s sleep. Laboring people, on awaking in the morning, have a feeling of soreness and stiffness, which goes off by getting up and stirring about. That feeling is a process of Nature, which is necessary to the cure of fatigue. It is the immediate forerunner of being perfectly rested. The effects of fatigue are felt most, immediately before it all goes off. By lying abed awake, the soreness and stiffness is cured, and the person perfectly rested. Getting up and stirring about stops the soreness and stiffness, but don’t cure it. It only puts off the cure. Two fatigues like two colds never mix. They keep separate and go off separate.

So long as a person continues to get up every morning with a feeling of soreness upon him, he never gets rested, and his constitution wears out. No thing can ever cure fatigue, but lying awake in bed till the soreness goes off. Fatigue goes off sooner by keeping the thoughts on the body when in bed. Thinking about other matters prevents getting rested. A weak side, back, or other lame spot, is soonest rested by keeping the mind on that spot—a fact which proves that the mind is the body. Laboring people should go to bed early. Strong, healthy persons, who do no labor, should go to bed late, and rise early. Children need a good deal of sleep and rest, and should not be made to rise early. It is hurtful to jump out of bed immediately on awaking out of sleep—the change is too sudden and violent. It is apt to cause headache.

Nature’s operations are slow in all healthy conditions. The sun never rises early. It never gets up before light, and not till a considerable time after. It never jumps up, but comes along slow. The sun is a good example always. Labor fatigues sooner in the morning than in the afternoon. It is best to move slow before breakfast, and rest an hour after eating. It was worshiped by the ancient nations.

Hundreds of thousands of young children die every year in the United States, from nakedness of the arms. The arms are one of the channels through which Nature expels disease from the body. Disease of the right side and the liver goes up into the right shoulder, down the arm, and finds an outlet near the elbow joint, with an itching in that spot. Some of it follows down, and goes off at the wrist joint. Disease in the left side finds an outlet through the left arm in the same manner. An itching near the elbow joint is disease of some kind escaping from the vitals.

The close connection between the arms and vitals is apparent. A good circulation of blood in the arms, with warmth and moisture of the skin, encourages disease, or whatever tends to it, to go off through them. Coldness, of course, has a contrary effect, driving it back into the vitals. Disease in the lower part of the body goes down the legs and out near the knee and ankle joints. An itching on any part of the body whatever, is the working off of something that ought to go. If there was such a disease as “humor,” it appears likely it would itch inside instead of out. A person who goes to bed very much fatigued is not perfectly rested in the morning, till his head begins to itch all over. At the same time he has a peculiar feeling of the eyes which makes him jam his knuckles into them. It is the last stage in the process of resting. In the corner of the eye, next to the nose, is an outlet for disease and fatigue of the head and eyes. Jamming the knuckles into the eyes drives out what ought to go. The pressure should be always towards the nose, and it ought to be continued so long as it feels good. It is a most healthy operation, and has a tendency to preserve the sight.

Cold water can be drunk without injury only by those who have health and heat enough to warm it soon as it is swallowed. Ice water is dangerous unless in a raging fever. In warm weather, with a sweaty skin, the blood is coldest, as sweat carries off heat. In a state of exhaustion from heat and sweat, warm drink does as much good as cold drink does harm. It is reviving, and quenches thirst better than cold drink. There are two kinds of thirst—that which arises from too much heat in the stomach, with a dry skin, which needs cold drink— and that from too little heat in the stomach, with a very sweaty skin, which needs warm drink. In all warm climates the natives have cold blood. Accordingly in such countries Nature has provided a variety and abundance of the hottest kinds of pepper to restore the heat of the body. It is mixed freely with their food, which a stranger from a Northern climate finds at first too hot for his mouth and throat. Cold water on a sweaty skin is death. It has a tendency to palsy the nerves. Men who have bathed in cold water in a state of perspiration have been paralysed by it from head to foot. The bad fever sores so common among boys, are entirely owing to going into cold water. Deafness is often caused by it. Many farmers get lasting fever sores from haying on swampy ground with wet feet. In warm weather, in a state of perspiration, the warm bath is just what is needed. With a sweaty skin it is injurious to wash even the face and hands in cold water. Warm water feels agreeable to the moist skin, and cold water the reverse. It is a mistake that the warm bath is weakening, and exposes to take cold. When needed, it is strengthening, and fortifies against taking cold. Cold water is less hurtful if accompanied with friction, and then it is friction that does good.

As might be expected, the persons who have so little reason and prudence as to sit in a draft of air in a state of perspiration, will on other occasions go to the opposite extreme, and have too little air. They close tight the doors and windows of their bed-rooms, and breathe through the night a foul and poisonous air. In the morning they have their beds made, full of foulness, without airing.

Great injury and many deaths are caused by the improper use of cold water.

Luxury and show help to shorten life, from the labor and care necessary to support it. Besides, it is in bad taste. Nothing is meaner than fine houses and fine grave- stones and monuments. No splendid building in the world, merely as such, is worth going a rod to see. A person of good and rational mind loves small wooden houses, unpainted, weather-beaten and brown with age. The handsomest house is a log house. The naked wood is interesting and impressive. The most impressive grave is that which has no grave-stone whatever. Baron Steuben showed good sense when he directed that no stone whatever should be placed at his grave. The handsomest grave-stone is a rough one picked up in the field or woods, with no inscription but the name, as all else properly belongs only to the family record and the memory of friends. Bunker Hill monument abstracts from the interest and impressiveness of the battle ground. Worse than that, the battle ground is gone. Its sacred soil has been removed, and the original appearance destroyed for the sake of the so-called “ornament.” The monument tells nothing but the unfeelingness and folly of its builders.

Perfect naturalness and plainness are the only ornaments, in language, manners, and everything else. A tree with the body of it white washed has an unpleasant appearance. A woman with false hair looks horrid. Her face looks older for it, by the contrast. An old man with a young wife or a young wig, is a shocking sight. Only those who are unworthy of respect attempt to gain it by show. As a general thing, those who are always “well dressed” are useless and pernicious members of society. One man or woman is worth more than a nation of gentlemen and ladies.

Striving to gain property only for the sake of being rich, shortens life. Besides, unnecessary wealth like everything else unnecessary, give no true enjoyment. Goodness is the foundation of the firmness, serenity, and cheerfulness, which help to prolong life.



In all natural changes and productions, from the least to the greatest, everything is caused by that which makes the need of it. As, for instance, cold weather requires warm blood—and cold weather makes warm blood, by closing the pores of the skin, and stopping sweat, whereby the heat of the body is retained. Cold weather makes the need of thick, long hair for animals, and cold weather thickens and lengthens their hair. In hot climates hurricanes are necessary to purify the heated and stagnant air. Hurricanes are caused by that which makes the need of them, heat, which produces them by attracting the cold winds from the North. An itching on any part of the human body is disease thrown to the surface, and asking to be let out. Scratching digs open the skin, and lets it out. The scratching is produced by that which makes the need of it, So in the production of every part of the human body. The first eyes sprung from light, the first ears from sound, and the first palates from the taste of food. The circulation of the blood is caused by that which makes the need of it, breathing. The electricity, in the air, that is taken into the lungs, meets the blood, and gives it motion. Everything in Nature is an unavoidable consequence of the necessity of it. Form, organization, life, sensation, and mind, are the effects of material conditions.

In the human system, disease causes the cure of itself by reaction. The healing action of Nature is produced by that which makes the need of it. All diseases are wholly internal, and out of sight. The manifestations or symptoms are only Nature’s efforts to cure the primary affection. Fever, dropsy, dysentery, cough, rheumatism, humor, head-ache, &c., are not diseases. Fever is necessary to cure the disease; sweat is necessary to carry off fever. Fever makes the need of sweat, and fever makes sweat. Bleeding at the lungs is necessary, and cannot be stopped without injury. If allowed to proceed, and stop of itself, the person gets along better. Piles is not a disease—it is a liver complaint, going downwards to find vent. Pain is necessary; “painkillers” are irrational and injurious; in some cases where they have been applied, they have drove the disease to the liver, and caused a lasting liver complaint. Worms in children are necessary, and are produced from an overloaded stomach. Running sores of long standing are sometimes caused by diarrhoea setting in. The breaking out of a, sore on the leg is the cure of diseases of different kinds. A dropsical bloating is sometimes cured by a dysentery brought on by eating vegetables.

Vaccination is one of the shams of the medical art. It is an example of the injurious consequences and folly of interfering with the course of Nature. It always injures the health, and sometimes causes dangerous sickness. In some cases it seriously affects the whole arm, and eventually cripples it. It is, no doubt, more dangerous than small pox, and as a preventive is of little consequence. Dr. Jenner, instead of being a public benefactor, has been a public injury.

Insane hospitals are doubly insane. The law-makers who established, and most of the physicians and assistants who manage them, have a worse kind of insanity than the patients. Confinement in one place is the worst treatment that insane persons can be subjected to. No sane person can bear it long without injury to his mind. Long solitary confinement is sure to produce insanity. The convicts in State prison become insane from it. It is a more barbarous punishment than instant death by hanging, Insane people should associate only with the sane, because sanity and insanity are both “catching.” They should live with their friends, instead of being put into the hands of strangers to be abused. Most of those reported cured, were cured by Nature, in spite of the hospitals. The best medicine for them is riding in an open carriage, most of the time, and change of company. The chief motive in getting up insane hospitals was to make offices for office-seekers, and they are managed accordingly. The iniquity of them is not so well known to the public as it ought to be. Insane hospitals and poor-houses are a disgrace to humanity.

There is a doctor craft as well as priest craft. A law medicine as well as a law religion. In some of the states physicians have applied to the Legislature for the enactment of a law, that no physician could collect a debt for medical services unless he belonged to the medical society.

Physicians have slain more than war. As instruments of death in their hands, calomel, bleeding, and other medicines, have done more than powder and ball. The public would be infinitely better off without professed physicians. In weak constitutions nature can be assisted. Good nursing is necessary, and sometimes roots and herbs do good. In strong constitutions medicine is seldom needed in sickness. To a man with a good constitution, and guided by reason, in his course of living, sickness would be impossible. He could defer death until the natural time. God would not kill him by disease, supposing there was a God. By the use of reason in food the writer of this passed unharmed through the great cholera in New York in 1832. He was nearly two months in a cholera hospital, engaged with the sick day and night. The medical practice, provided and paid for by the city, was nonsense and an injury to the sick.


Very few persons use reason about sickness; either doctors or other people. The best thing for cholera is no medicine at all. The vomiting, purging, and cramps are what cure it, whenever it is cured… In the kindred diseases of cholera and dysentery, no one ever dies from the discharges. The, disease is inside, and never seen. The discharges are good; if they were not just what they are the patient could never recover. Nothing whatever should be given to check them. If the patient runs down very weak, so much the better for him. He ought to; the weakness is a necessary provision of Nature. No sick person can die of weakness. The straining of the bowels when the discharges take place helps to cure the disease, Nothing could be worse for cholera than the medicines commonly given, and which we see recommended in the newspapers, such as laudanum, calomel, stimulants, tonics, astringents, &c. Recovery after taking them is not by help of them, but in spite of them. Opium stops the healing efforts of Nature. In the discharges of cholera and dysentery it checks the straining of the bowels, thereby doing injury. When used in health it prevents any good digestion; when given to ease pain it does harm, for pain is necessary until the cause is removed. In all, or nearly all, diseases, opium makes recovery more difficult, and often impossible. As to calomel, no rational, well-informed, and prudent man would give a particle of it in any disease whatever. Its consequences are horrible. Medicine has killed many in cholera, but it is not likely it has ever helped Nature to cure one.

In sudden and violent disorders like cholera and dysentery, which are seated on the stomach and bowels, there can be no digestion, of course. The stomach, therefore, needs to be kept empty and free, both of food, stimulus, and medicine, that Nature may have a chance to throw off the disease. It is a mistake and fatal opinion of many physicians, that the danger is from “prostration,” as they call it, and that the strength must be kept up by food, brandy, laudanum, tonics, &c. The danger is not from “prostration,” it is from disease on the stomach and bowels. The food, stimulus, and medicine are more dangerous than the disease, and have carried off great numbers. Disease is cured by the opposite of what caused it. A great cause of cholera and dysentery is too much food.

The good effect of spontaneous purging from the bowels, is seen in the case of a woman who had a running sore on her left side, supposed to come from her lungs. At last dysentery set in, which restored her health, and caused her sore to heal. Another woman had dropsy, and was bloated very large. She ate of unripe garden vegetables, which brought on a dysentery that carried the bloat entirely off.

Nobody can get sick, and nobody can die, when Nature can take its course and accomplish its aim. The aim of Nature is health and life. In disease, its course and its means are the symptoms. In sickness, and in old age, we see that the efforts of Nature to restore health and prevent death are constant till the last breath. When, from the strength of a disease or from an opposing medicine, Nature is unable to accomplish its aim, then of course the person must die. Nature kills nobody. Every rational person knows that medicine never cures diseases—it only sometimes makes it easier for Nature to cure. In all diseases, the cases that need medicine are very few. As a general thing, a doctor’s medicine can do no good in any kind of fever. Fever is no disease—it is what cures the disease. Nobody ever died of fever. We see that everybody dies of coldness.

Immense numbers of children, in canker-rash, have been killed by the “regular” or “scientific” doctors, of whom I am one. The practice of many of them has been to give a powerful cathartic and calomel at first. The consequence is, the rash cannot come out, the child sinks away, and dies. Very few ever die who have no physicians, and take only a little herb-drink. In many of the country towns as many as sixty children have died of canker-rash in one winter, and nearly all of them undoubtedly from medicine given them by physicians. It is shocking to think how many soldiers in the late war were killed, or their constitutions ruined, by the army doctors. The irrational use of medicine by physicians sweeps off the people as fast as war could. It has a serious effect upon the census.

The French Canadians and the Irish are more rational and enlightened about sickness than our own country born people. They don’t believe in taking medicine. A brother of mine, of strong judgment and finished medical and surgical education, practised his profession several years in Mexico. At Tuspan, on the coast, called one of the most unhealthy places in the world, he had yellow fever of the worst kind. All the medicine he took through his sickness was one glass of beer and one dose of castor oil. He got along well, and recovered. Two or three years ago, while the writer of this was residing at Enosburgh Falls, Vt., dysentery made its appearance to a considerable extent among the village people. Five or six died. All of them had physicians and took medicines. Several had no physicians, took no medicine, and they all recovered. The writer of this was one of the latter. He was very sick, but gradually recovered without a particle of medicine, depending upon Nature with perfect confidence and reverence. Confidence in Nature is the all-important principle, not only in disease, but in social welfare as affected by government. Artificial law causes the diseases of society, and has made the world a bad one.


The cookery and eating of the times are civilized, not enlightened. Reason is as little used about it as in religion, government, morals, and almost everything else that requires it. Nearly every kind of food is cooked in the most unwholesome way it could be, if unwholesomeness was the object. No reason is used in cooking, even the most simple and common kinds. Physicians are as ignorant about it as anybody else. In making a meal it is very important which kind of food is eaten first and which last, and here people are entirely in the dark. From the lack of reason, the food that supports life shortens it. Life and death are put into the mouth together. The secret of wholesome cookery is this, namely: cooking the food to be dry, having it exposed to the air while cooking, and cooking each kind separate, not mixing things that are contrary in their nature. Perfect dryness of food is necessary to good digestion. About the only thing always cooked right is baked potatoes. As there is only one way they can be baked, and that simple and without water, it is impossible to do it wrong. Scarcely a man or woman can be found who knows good bread from bad, or how to make it good. Nothing is more indigestible and hurtful than slack-baked bread, and that is the fault of nearly all the bread of this country. Only strong stomachs can get along with it at all, and they cannot stand it always. Bread should remain in the oven till all the moisture and steam and raw taste and smell are baked out from the middle of the loaf. The ovens are made too hot and the bread taken out too soon by half. Another cause of its being bad is baking it in dishes. The sides of the dish prevent the steam from drying out, and the air from reaching the bread. A loaf of bread or anything else in an oven needs air on all sides of it as much as a person needs it to breathe. Crowding several loaves together has the same bad effect. If the loaf is large, it is impossible to bake the inside enough without baking the outside too much. As bread is commonly baked, only the top of the loaf is fit to eat, the rest of it cannot be called bread. When rationally baked, the whole loaf is good like the top. In general it is raised too much, only enough to keep it from being heavy is best. It has none of the natural sweet taste of wheat which it ought to have. In general, when a loaf of good bread is seen, and that is very seldom, it was made so by accident, and not by design. The above remarks are meant for family made bread, but will apply to bakers’ bread. Bakers use no reason, and know nothing about making good bread. The only tolerable kind they make is the “French loaf,” and that is raised too much, like all their bread. Their brown or Indian bread, baked in deep, tin dishes with covers, and sweetened with molasses, is horrid stuff. It would be cruelty to give it to hogs. The way to make wholesome and pleasant Indian bread is the same as wheat bread, excepting it needs no rising. A cellar is a bad place to keep bread: it ought to dry up. Everything that grows above ground needs to be kept in dry air and light, contrary to what grows underground.

The following method will give perfect bread. The best rising is flour and warm water, mixed in a dish and placed where it will keep warm till rises. Wet up the flour with warm water. Make the dough rather dry and stiff. Let it rise only enough to keep it from being heavy. It is doubtful whether much working of the dough is any advantage, at any rate it don’t do good enough to pay for the strength laid out. Make the loaf of rather small size, about as large as a quart or three pint basin. Place it on a piece of tin or sheet iron without sides. Have the oven very hot. Keep the loaves in the oven about two hours or more according to the size of them, or until the middle is thoroughly baked and the steam dried out. Of course, bread not much raised needs longer baking than that which is very light. Never let the loaves in the oven touch each other. Have the bottom of the loaf baked brown, dry, and hard, so that when struck with the finger nails it sounds hard like a board. A proof that the middle of a loaf is not sufficiently baked is a raw smell like warm dough which may be known by breaking it open a little and putting it to the nose. Bread made in the above manner has the natural taste of wheat and whoever eats it once prefers it to any other. It sets pleasant on the stomach.

The “under crust” of a pie is more unwholesome than the upper crust, because it is confined from the air, and the steam cannot dry off. The upper crust is bad because it is filled with the steam that rises from the inside; but it has the advantage of exposure to the air. Pies of all kinds are poisonous. The gas from confined vegetable and animal matter heated is poisonous, as is well known. It is on the same principle that eggs and lobsters boiled in the shell are unwholesome. Nothing should be covered from the air while it is being cooked, not even a kettle of potatoes boiling. Potatoes that have water in them are extremely hurtful. A bad dish is a hash of cold boiled potatoes, chopped fine and fried, and with milk or water poured on to it while cooking. To make it worse, cold lard or butter is often put on it and stirred in. From its being cut fine, it follows that it is impossible for the steam to go off or the air to get into it. It is like lead in the stomach. Cold boiled potatoes sliced or cut coarse and fried dry and brown are wholesome. The fat should be boiling hot before the potatoes are put into the kettle. Potatoes boiled in soup or stew are heavy and hurtful. Baked beans are indigestible and windy because they are cooked full of water and confined from the air. Cooked dry they have no such effect. The right way to cook beans and peas is to boil them dry like potatoes and after they fire taken from the kettle, put on a little butter. Where they are cold, fry them in a little hot fat. Many persons complain that boiled cabbage disagrees with them. It is not the cabbage that hurts them, it is the “pot liquor” that is boiled into it from being kept too long in the pot. Hasty pudding is the only wholesome pudding, and for this reason, it is made of simple meal and water, and stirred with a stick, which lets the steam out and the air in. Solid and dry food as bread, potatoes, meat, &c., digest easier and better for the stomach than watery food, as soup, gruel, porridge, soaked bread, &c.

Mixed food is unwholesome if the different kinds disagree with each other. The cook-books are only directions for poisoning people. The reason of mince pies being more hurtful than any other kinds, is that the inside is composed of things that oppose each other. Cider, apples, sugar, and raisins disagree with meat. Sugar disagrees with almost everything. Vinegar on baked beans disagree with each other. Tomatoes and vinegar agree, as do cucumbers and vinegar. The soft watery part in the middle of a cucumber is wholesome, the hard or outside part is what hurts people. Butter and flour mixed and baked together oppose each other.

The substantial and necessary articles of food are bread, potatoes, a little meat if desired, fish, eggs, beans, peas, turnips, beets, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, onions, squashes, &c. All of them agree with each other. Sour fruit is beneficial to those who like it, sour apples cooked, tomatoes, strawberries, cider well worked and soured, &c. Fruit disagrees with the substantial articles and it makes a great difference which is eaten first. If fruit is eaten promiscuously with the meal or immediately after it, it makes a disturbance in the stomach and prevents a good digestion. If the fruit is eaten first it is out of way, interferes with nothing, and has no bad effect on the meal. Besides when eaten first, it sharpens the appetite. After a person has eaten to moderate satisfaction of plain substantial food, not a bit of anything else whatever should be taken. “Topping off” with other things is one of the greatest faults in eating. It is peculiarly an American vice. Accordingly, the food which is loved most, should be eaten first. If a person is so imprudent as to eat pies, sweet cakes, pickles, or baked puddings, they ought to be the first things eaten. Things that are wholesome, do less harm when taken first, on an empty stomach. The same is true of honey and whatever else disagrees with particular persons. Sugar or any sweetened food, if eaten promiscuously with the meal, or immediately after it, is apt to cause a broiling and disturbance, with sourness of the stomach. Eaten first, it is less hurtful.

Drink of any kind, taken while eating, or immediately after the meal, prevents digestion. The liquid that is mixed with the food in the stomach has to be carried off before digestion can begin. Drink taken immediately after eating mixes with the food. Thirst also disagrees with digestion, and whatever thirst there is should be quenched, before beginning to eat. After the thirst is quenched, before drink is needed, and if more is taken, it is only to “wash it down, which is a most hurtful practice. Drink taken before beginning to eat does not interfere or mix with the food, and does no harm. In about two hours after eating, a degree of thirst is commonly felt, from the stimulating effect of the food, and drink can be safely taken. Salted food is unwholesome, because it creates a fever in the stomach and thirst which must be quenched with drink. Nobody can tell any good that is done by eating salt. Whatever does no good, does harm. Salt may be good at times as a medicine, but medicine make well people sick. Undoubtedly, animals would be better off without any salt.

With regard to the propriety of eating late suppers and luncheons, it depends on the hunger, and how much has been eaten through the day. If sufficient has not been taken through the day and the hunger is great at bedtime, it is best to eat enough to prevent suffering with hunger through the night, and no more. In short, the rule ought to be, have no more in the stomach at bedtime, than enough to prevent uneasiness from hunger through the night. It does no harm to lie down immediately after eating if the person keeps awake. Sleep stops digestion mostly. A little at a time and often is the best way to eat. The less food at a time, the more perfectly it is digested. It is hurtful to get very hungry and then eat a full meal. Three moderate meals and one or two luncheons in a day are better than three full meals and no luncheon. Regularity in eating should have reference to appetite and not to time.

The flesh of animals that are fatted by having as much as they will eat, is unwholesome food, because such animals are diseased. Pork is in a worse condition than any other meat, because hogs are commonly kept without exercise or sun, and with insufficient light and air. Adjoining the “back house” is a favorite place for the hog pen. Constant breathing the stench makes the pork unwholesome, and to a consistent person disgusting. If aged persons are unhealthy, and would be bad food for cannibals, by the same reasoning the flesh of old animals is unfit, to eat.

With health and rational habit of eating, there is no looseness of the bowels. With a good digestion, the juices of the food go into the blood and leave the evacuations solid. With a bad digestion, the juices go off by the bowels with looseness. Wind is entirely owing to bad digestion, with perfect health and rational eating, no person would have any wind. The first worms in a child are created without parentage by an over loaded stomach. Pin worms are started into existence by a continued use of sweet or unfermented cider. All the works of Nature, everything proves there is no God, and the first worms are an explicit proof. Sweet cider produces piles, bloating and other serious complaints of the stomach and bowels. Cider that is prevented from working by the addition of spirit or anything else, should be avoided as poison. When well-worked and soured, it is extremely beneficial to those who want it, if taken on an empty stomach. Sour cider and milk agree with each other, because milk is more wholesome from being turned sour.

The wholesomest kind of water is rain water, because it is purified by sun, air, light, and exercise in the clouds. Next is river and brook water. Well water is not so good, from being confined from sun, air, and light. The water of ponds and lakes is disordered from want of motion. Bad water is made good by boiling, and any water whatever is made better by it. Water needs to be cooked as well as food. Boiling throws out the gas and alters the nature of the water. If cold drink is needed, let it stand and cool. It is much more pleasant to the taste than that which is not boiled. The bad water in the low lands of the Southern States can be made good by boiling, although the inhabitants don’t appear to know it. Bad water can be improved by shaking it violently, exposed to the air, or by raising it to a height and letting it fall. The best warm drink is a weak tea made of any pleasant and wholesome herb, for instance, sage, or even hot water alone with a little milk. With plenty of hot drink in hot weather, there is no danger of being “sun struck” or “melted.” It is no trouble to live right after a person has found the way and got a little used to it. It is only pleasure in every respect.


Ability for military command is natural, not acquired. A good general is born, not made. Generalship is not learned like a mechanical trade. It might as well be said that education makes poets and mathematicians. A knowledge of military science and experience in war are of little value without a military genius. The genuine military character is a combination of great and good qualities and capacity for noble actions. It is the highest degree of judgment, energy, firmness and integrity. True courage is founded on goodness. All genuine military men have ability in great things, whether war or statesmanship. Generalship and statesmanship are the exercise of the same qualities of mind. General Worth proved himself not a true warrior when, in declining a nomination for the Presidency, he called himself no statesman, and said it would be it dangerous practice to elect military men to high civil office. He must have had a bad opinion of himself. The most perfect man is a true military character.

Military characters have a peculiar style of writing. Napoleon was the best writer and speaker in history. The father and mother of all true military men were remarkable for goodness and strength of mind.

Not one man in a million is a military character, because it is not oftener a married couple are found who are suited to give that character to one of their offspring. The writer of this has seen much of mankind, but in all his life he has seen but one military character. His name was Andrew Jackson. In all the Northern and Southern armies there are not, perhaps, half a dozen real generals. Of course true military men are as likely to be found among civilians as among army officers. Only a military character can know and appreciate men of that stamp, because people can comprehend only such persons as resemble themselves. Mr. Lincoln was not a suitable man to appoint commanders in the army. Neither is any member of the Senate, because a man capable of doing that would be qualified for a commander himself and would not be in the Senate in time of war.

General Hooker remarked in conversation. “I am a soldier and nothing but a soldier.” If his words are literally true, he is no statesman of course. If he is no statesman he is no military commander, for no man can be a good military commander without having the abilities of a great statesman. Hooker I have no doubt is a good executive officer. Jefferson was partly a statesman, a deep reasoner, and an original thinker, but lacked the energy and courage which are as necessary in a statesman as in a warrior.

To decide upon the military merit of McClellan, it is not necessary to judge him by what he has done, or failed to do. His addresses to his army are enough. We will pass over the lack of good sense and originality manifested in these addresses. From a passage in his address to his army in Western Virginia, he appears to think that education makes the good General, a positive proof that he is not one. Nothing about him appears like it. Extremely few men in McClellan’s army are capable of judging whether he is a military character, even if personally acquainted with him.

It appears likely that General Isaac J. Stevens, killed in one of the late battles, was a true military character, judging from a letter he wrote several years ago, recommending General Taylor for President. In that letter he maintained that Taylor’s military talents were proof of his ability as a statesman. Stevens could not have known that unless he had been the same kind of man.

Butler undoubtedly is no General. Likely Halleck and Burnside are not, nor Pope. Neither is Banks—and Winfield never was.

I was one of the first Jackson men ever known in New Hampshire, and for a few years almost the only one in my knowledge. I foretold and maintained that Jackson, if elected, would prove himself as great a statesman as he was warrior, and one of the most honest and noble of men. My opinion was generally considered strange and unreasonable. Now, after having had the proof, almost every man thinks as I did. I believed it without the proof, and knew it as well before his election as now. At the same time I had never seen him, and knew nothing of him by reputation, except as a warrior.

Probably a man of more exalted character than my father never trod the soil of New Hampshire, nor a stronger minded woman than my mother. That was the cause of my being born a true military character. I think ten minutes in the company of any man is all the time I should need to find out whether he is a true military character. Nearly all persons I know at first sight.

History is full of examples that military talents are civil talents. The following extracts from ancient history are to the point;—

“HANNIBAL.—This great man is looked upon by the best judges as the most complete general, in almost every respect, that ever the world produced. It may be affirmed that Hannibal, during the whole series of this war, seemed the only prop of the state and the soul of every part of the empire of the Carthagenians, who could never believe themselves conquered until Hannibal confessed that he himself was so. But our acquaintance with Hannibal will be very imperfect if we consider him only at the head of armies. The particulars we learn from history concerning the secret intelligence he held with Philip of Macedon—the wise counsels he gave to Antiochus, King of Syria, the double reformation he introduced in Carthage with regard to the management of the public revenues and the administration of justice, prove that he was a great statesman in every respect. So superior and universal was his genius that it took in all parts of the Government, and so great were his natural abilities that he was capable of acquitting himself in all the various functions of it with glory. Hannibal shone as conspicuously in the Cabinet as in the field, equally able to fill the civil as the military employments. In a word, he united in his person the different talents and merits of all professions, the sword, the gown, and the finances.”—[Rollin’s Ancient History, Vol. 1, page 322.

“EPAMINONDAS.—The ancient historians have ranked Epaminondas among the greatest heroes and most illustrious characters of antiquity. As a General there needs no other criterion of his merit than to compare the situation in which he found his country, enslaved, oppressed, weak and inconsiderable, with that in which he left it, the most formidable power in Greece. As a private citizen, his social virtues, the generosity of his disposition, a disregard of wealth, which his high employments gave him an easy opportunity of accumulating, his eminent philosophical and literary genius, and above all a modest simplicity of demeanor which added lustre to all his numerous accomplishments, were the distinguishing features of his character. With him the glory of his country may be said to have been born and to have died—for from the inauspicious day of his death the Theban power vanished at once and the republic sunk again into its original obscurity.”—[Tytler’s Universal History, Vol. 1, page 167.

“ALFRED.—Whether we view Alfred in his public or private character, he deserves to be esteemed one of the best and greatest of princes. He united the most enterprizing and heroic spirit with the greatest prudence and moderation, the utmost vigor of authority with perfect affability and a most winning deportment, the most exemplary justice with the greatest lenity. His civil talents were in every respect equal to his military virtues. He found the kingdom in the most miserable condition to which anarchy, domestic barbarism and foreign hostility could reduce it. By the valor of his arms, and by his abilities as a politician and lawgiver, he brought it to a pitch of eminence which till then England had never attained. The outlines of his admirable plan of Political Economy merit particular attention as being in fact the foundation of the venerable system of the British Constitution.”—[Tytler’s Universal History. Volume 2, page 109.

“CHARLEMAGNE.—Charlemagne was the most clement of kings and the least selfish of conquerors. After his victories he imposed a benefit and not a yoke, and raised instead of degraded the people who became his subjects. His great success in civilization was all his own. He took possession of a kingdom torn by factions, surrounded by enemies, desolated by long wars, and as profoundly ignorant as the absence of all letters could make it. By the continued and indefatigable exertion of mental and corporal powers, such as probably were never united but in himself, he restored order and harmony, brought back internal tranquility, secured individual safety, raised up sciences and arts. He sought no support in his mighty undertaking but the love and confidence of his people. He was generous, magnanimous, liberal, human and brave. He was frugal, simple, moderate, just and prudent. No man perhaps that ever lived combined in so high a degree those qualities that rule and direct events, with those which endear the possessor and attach his cotemporaries. No man was more trusted and loved by his people, more respected and feared by other kings, more esteemed in his life time, or more regretted at this death.”—[History of Charlemagne, by G. P. R. James, page 400.


MR. EDITOR:—In the great cholera in New York, 1832, the clergy abandoned their flocks and fled from the city. Little has ever been said about it, but the fact ought to be known. It shows how little confidence they have in religion. I speak now from knowledge, for I was there myself most of the time, while the disease was raging. I was living in New Hampshire when the cholera broke out in New York, and learning from the newspapers that three or four hundred were dying daily in the city, I took the stage and went there to assist in taking care of the sick.—The same day I reached the city, I went into the Park Cholera Hospital and remained there nursing the sick until the disease abated, which was several weeks. Towards morning I had little sleep. If almost overcome with fatigue, I dared not sit down, because I would instantly drop asleep in spite of all my exertions to keep awake.

It was trying to a constitution not in good health, and I feel the effects of it now. My life was saved by strict temperance in eating. I have always through life practiced total abstinence from spirits, distilled and divine. By the way, spirit distilled from grain has done much less harm that spirit distilled from god. While I was in the Hospital, no clergyman ever visited to my knowledge, no prayer was ever made there, and no Christian came to talk religion with the sick. The Protestant clergy were missing from the city, and the churches closed. As to myself I was a decided Atheist then, as I am now. I felt resigned and firm. None of the attendants in the Hospital, nurses, or physicians, appeared to be religious persons. The Catholic clergy, however, stood their ground like men and did all the good they could. Fourteen of the Sisters of Charity came on from Baltimore to act as nurses. Several of them died of the pestilence.

I could say I have been through war, pestilence, famine, and flood. In the Texan Army I suffered famine and ate rats. I could say with Paul, “Three days I was in the deep.” In Texas I had the congestive fever and was given up to die. Through all those trying scenes, I never knew what it was to have a doubt or fear with regard to religious subjects. On a voyage from Texas to Baltimore was a fellow passenger name Parker. He was a bigoted religionist. During a violent storm that occurred, he appeared very uneasy and agitated; was up all night, fussing about and watching the weather. He appeared to be the most religious man on board, and most afraid to die. As to myself the storm made but little difference with me. I was ready for whatever might happen, and had what sleep I needed.

A good mind is all that can give true support in prospect of death; and no man, of course, can ever have a good mind who was born without it, as a great part of religious people were to my certain knowledge.



The opinion appears inconsistent that artificial law had its origin in a design to protect the weak and the well-disposed, for there are no weak ones until law has made powerful ones. The evil-disposed are unable to wrong others with impunity until law has given them the power. Natural government preserves equality, and protects all. Artificial governments have been originally designed to protect the selfish and unprincipled in usurpation and oppression over the rest. Whatever the design, its effects are plain. Far back as history reaches, in every country governed by artificial law, society has been full of wrongs, vice and miseries, in proportion to the amount of law. Law and government came first and were the cause of it, for the great evil of commercial speculation is a consequence of law and could not exist without it. Under natural or spontaneous law, even religion can do comparatively little harm. The crimes of religion are the crimes of the State. The world had to be Law-damned before it could be God-damned. Law-givers gave us sin, Hell, and the devil. Undoubtedly, the restraint of artificial law is the only means by which a bad world could be made from a good one. Under natural law, social evils are unknown.

2. It is wrong to charge the prevailing evils to innate depravity and the imperfections of man. Persons who are vicious by nature, are not in the habit of acting it out unless vice is fashionable. They go with the current, whether it is good or bad. They could not go up stream even if they were disposed and tried to do it. In a plain, equal, honest state of society, the bad qualities of mankind are inactive. Where society is luxurious, unequal, and unprincipled, the bad qualities are brought out into action. Artificial government causes a social condition and circumstances which produce the prevailing vices. Who and what have made vice fashionable, and corrupted the current of society? The leading men have done it. Leading people make the fashions, as they did that of rum-drinking. What makes leading men? Artificial law makes them, and if to the influence of law is added that of commercial speculation, the effect is much greater and more rapid. The real criminals are not such men as are confined in prisons for thefts, robbery, counterfeiting, &c. The true criminals are the merchants, lawyers, ministers, doctors, bankers, members of Congress, judges, &c. Government gives them the facilities and protects them in it. They eventually devour the rest, and it is for protection from them that other people need the reign of natural law, Instead of conjoining the words “poverty and crime,” or “pauperism and crime,” it ought to be said, “wealth and crime,” or “wealth crime, and pauperism.” The crimes of wealth are incomparably greater than those of poverty, and less excusable Paupers don’t commit any crimes. Many of the poor chose that condition in preference to dishonesty. In most cases wealth is obtained dishonestly. Crime results from great wealth in the hand of a few—so does pauperism. The most respectable class are the laboring poor. The lowest class are merchants and professional men.

3. The law of land-ownership, laws to collect debts, legal oaths, and the marriage law, are examples of the bad effects of all laws. Land-ownership is equally unreasonable as would be ownership of the air that is breathed. Securing to each individual by law, land enough for his or her support is unnecessary, for natural law of itself would do that. Securing more than is necessary is outrageous injustice, as it debars a great part of the people from the use of the soil, and makes them homeless. Collection of debts by the law has the effect to suppress and banish honesty. If payments were left entirely to the honesty of the debtor, every thing about it would work right, and credit and honesty would support and accompany each other. If legal oaths were not invented on purpose to discourage and stifle truth, they certainly have that effect. The marriage law is abominable. It is legal adultery. Marriage from other motives than esteem and love, is certainly of that character.

4. With regard to Nature’s efforts to remove the diseases of society, the multitude make the same mistake which they do in relation to her struggles to cure disorders of the human body. The course taken by Nature to cure the body is to throw diseases of all kinds out upon the skin. When they are out, it is an eruption, or, as commonly called, a humor. The multitude consider the humor a disease, when in truth it is no disease, but the cure of disease. Humor as a disease, is a word without meaning. Outward applications to drive back eruptions are always injurious, and often fatal. Fever is no disorder, but the cure of disorder. Nature is unable to cure social diseases while artificial law is in force. Anarchy and violence are the remedies she uses. Abolish artificial law and anarchy and violence follows. Commotion and violence are mistaken by the multitude for disorder, when in truth they are the cure of disorders. Allowed to go on as far as they will, they purify society and bring about a state of equality, virtue and peace. Restore artificial law and government, and forcibly stop the working of anarchy and violence, and the purification of society is stopped, and its diseases preserved. If Nature has not provided for social health, she has shown a negligence and want of thoroughness which she has manifested in nothing else.

5. A democratic form of government is only a step to the true government. Secession is another step. Any man has a right to separate from the town and state. The state has no right to govern him without his consent. In principle, secession is emancipation. Patriotism is thrown away in supporting a national government which has filled the country with inequality, luxury, show, dishonesty, aristocracy, the seeds of monarchy—and no hope for anything better. The secession leaders are unprincipled monarchists. It makes but little difference which way the war goes. Nothing good either way.

6. Napoleon lost his opportunity of doing the greatest and best thing ever done. Instead of re-establishing monarchy in his own person he ought to have abolished all law and given Nature a chance to govern France. It would have been a deed worthy of his character.

7. Not one sound argument or fact can be adduced to disprove the assertion that artificial law is the primary cause of all prevailing social evils. The assertion needs no argument. It is its own argument. The truth of it is self-evident.



That the object of public law is not equality and justice but power and plunder, is proved by the fact that monarchy was the first government of every people. In no country have the people voluntarily relinquished the virtue, equality and happiness of anarchy, to adopt any form of government whatever. It may rationally be supposed they would prefer the democratic, but in no country has democracy been the original government. Belief in the need of public law, like belief in a God, is not natural and rational,—it is entirely a prejudice of education. The belief is of monarchial origin. All republics have succeeded to monarchies. A republic is only monarchy made more tolerable, or a bad thing made little better,—a political Protestantism. The Republic of the United States is the British Monarchy, so far as this country would allow, substituting majorarchy, or king majority, for king royal family. If in any instance democracy had been the first government, it would not prove the object.

Clanism or tribeism is the primary cause of public government. It makes public affairs and wars, which bring out leading men. They are made chiefs. Mankind are characterized as good, bad, and middling. A few are extremely good and a few extremely bad. The good and middling greatly outnumber the bad. Under anarchy, or individual law, the bad are obliged to walk straight, and their bad qualities are inactive. In a tribe, the most unprincipled, influential and successful chief attracts the bad to his person and cause. He gains over enough of the middling good to overpower the good, and makes himself the first king. From tribeism, monarchy makes nationality. Public government is first established by the bad. Nationality and its consequences, public law, commercial speculation and Banks are the violation of the rules of social health. Anarchy or individual government, with the abolishment of every trace of nationality, is the healing action of Nature.

Atheism and Anarchy are one. Public law is entirely inconsistent with the self-government of the Universe, of which man is part. Atheism pronounces against all forms of government It is unnatural and unreasonable that social order must depend on the profound researches of a few. It is spontaneous and sure as the regulation of speech. All the actions and speech of men, in relation to each other, unrestrained by public law, are the true order. No science is needed about it. The organization of the brain proves that man is born for society—without it he becomes insane. The organization of the brain equally proves its adaptation to regulate society by its action and counter-action, attraction and repulsion. Accordingly the restraint of public law causes mental disorder and moral degeneracy. Any other “social science” is false. Belief in the virtue and sufficiency of individual law is not derived from Phrenology alone. It would be apparent to reason if Phrenology was unknown. Phrenology concurs with it. Only nations cursed with public law need measures to promote justice and equality, and it can be done only by lessening government. It can be done thoroughly only by destroying it entirely.

All nationality and public law should be abolished immediately in every country where they are established. If they were necessary now, they would always be necessary. A gradual abolishment of wrongs is unjust and unwise. A high fever that cures the patient quick is better than a low one which is a long time in doing it. If the wrongs are so numerous and great that violence is needed it would take place. If not, not. Without hurricanes the West India Islands would be uninhabited from the poison of the heated and stagnant atmosphere. Wherever society needs a hurricane, let it come. Whatever is necessary, is not an evil. Public government is answerable for the necessity of it.


In his reply to my article Mr. Robb [*] admits the truth of my statement, that—“Reason in Government is confidence in Nature,” but dissents from my assertion that it is “Infidelity to public law.” I think the two cannot be separated. Confidence in Nature is Infidelity to public law. Belief in the necessity of artificial government is want of confidence in Nature.

My communication contained the following sentence:—

“That the object of public law is not equality and justice, but power and plunder, is proved by the fact that monarchy was the first government of every people. In no country have the people voluntarily relinquished the equality, virtue and happiness of anarchy to adopt any form of government whatever. All republics have succeeded to monarchies.”

Mr. R. replied in the following words:

“Man is naturally aggressive. In anarchy each individual acts as his own propensity prompts him, regardless of others. Hence the people met together, and devised the means to secure each one his individual right, and debarred each other one from taking the right of another. This is called government, a democracy, where the whole people meet, make and execute all the laws. Next came representative republics—then oligarchs, or feudal lords—then limited monarchies, and lastly despots.”

Let us examine Mr. R.’s assertions. First;—“Man is naturally aggressive. In anarchy each individual acts as his own propensity prompts him, regardless of others.”

Does Mr. R. feel the need of public law to restrain him from wronging his neighbors? Men are kind to each other in all cases for which no law is made, and where actions are free and voluntary. “Aggressiveness” is caused by the vitiating influence of public law. That in anarchy man acts “regardless of others,” is a shallow opinion, is whatever sense the words are understood.

Second:—“Hence the people met together, and devised the means to secure each one his individual right.” It appears Mr. R. thinks that justice was the motive in establishing the first governments. Can man be both “aggressive” and just? This thing of “securing rights” has done the mischief. The first laws were made to secure wrongs, and land ownership is one of them. Now, anarchy secures all rights and prevents all wrongs.

Mr. R. asserts that the course of government has always been—first “democratic and republican, then oligarchs of feudal lords, then limited monarchs, and lastly despots.” The assertion contradicts all history. In what country was the first government democratic or republican? And where is the nation that was not first governed by a monarch? England has had no republican government excepting at the Revolution in the time of Cromwell. At a Roman conquest by Julius Caesar, England was inhabited by uncivilized people governed by petty kings. France had no republic before her Revolution. Holland was a republic a few centuries ago, but began with monarchy. Switzerland is republican now, but was first monarchical. Italy began with monarchy. Russia, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Denmark never had republican governments. I think Germany never had. Monarchy was her first government. Mexico and Peru were governed by monarchs at the Spanish Conquest. The first government of the now United States was monarchical. The republics of ancient Greece, Rome, and Carthage were preceded by monarchies. Asia has had no republic. The Asiatic character is not productive of political improvement, and resistance to despotism.

It does not appear that feudal lords came before monarchy, as Mr. R. asserts they did. They were created by kings. Different kings of England down to William the Conqueror, divided the land in large quantities among their favorites and chief supporters, and made them an order of nobility. The nobility who governed Venice were not feudal lords. They were a commercial aristocracy.

It is no compliment to republics to say they came first. It is saying they prepared the way, and brought on monarchy. The truth is, monarchy brought on republics. A republic is a reaction from despotism. Despotism must come first. It is chiefly among the European races and their descendants in America that republics have been established. It is true that artificial law, even under a republican form of government, established upon anarchy, would inevitably bring on inequality and aristocracy, and end in monarchy. Republics, however, established on an equal or anarchical state of society would be of longer duration than any republic ever has been.

The course of government has been this;—First, a kind of aristocracy arising from tribeism—then monarchy and despotism, with hereditary nobility—then republics—and lastly, as the people became more rational, it would be a return to Nature or anarchy, if it was not prevented by the unequal condition of law- damned society, which carries them back to monarchy. So the world goes on in wrong and wretchedness, in consequence of leaving the safe and correct path of Nature, to which it is difficult, if not impossible to return, from the vitiating effects of artificial law. Even now the people of the United States are fast losing confidence in republican government, and a great part of them think they would be no worse off under a monarchy. Happy would it be, if instead of going back to. monarchy, the people had: reason enough to see the path of equality and virtue, and the energy to take it. In their blindness they think an equal and good state of society is impossible, and that social wrongs and sufferings are the unavoidable condition.

Mr. R. asks:—

“Does friend Kimball really believe that man, as at present constituted, could live in social communities without some rule or law”?

Certainly—with no rule or law whatever. In anarchy everything rules itself. Anarchy is the true democracy, as Atheism is the anarchy of the Universe. This world would be a good one if there was no law, commerce, nor religion, in it. Call it assertion without proof, if you please. The assertion proves itself. A man cannot be in the right without being odd from the multitude because the multitude are odd from truth. Reason looks unreasonable to those who see it through unreasonable eyes.

I will be obligated to pay five hundred dollars to any person who will bring one sound argument or fact to prove the necessity of any public law or form of government, or to prove that public law is not the cause of the wrongs, vices and miseries of civilized society. I defy the world to do it

* The available files of THE BOSTON INVESTIGATOR do not include the reply, probably by S. Robb, a frequent contributor during 1864.


The word civilization from the Latin word civitas, “a city,”—or civis, a “citizen,” and signifies Government, and its effect on society. The effect of government is ignorance, falsehood, luxury, inequality, aristocracy, crime, and unhappiness. Such, then, is civilization. It is evil and progress in evil. Culture of science, enlightenment, and progress in agriculture and art, are not effects of made-Governments. They are not civilization, and have no connection with it. Born-Government is their genial soil, in which they would best flourish.

To call civilization good, and anarchy evil, is a want of reflection, and with aristocrats it is connected with a want of goodness. The advocates of law, like the advocates of religion, have got everything wrong end first. The word anarchy is derived from two Greek words a or an, “without,” and arche, a “head” or “beginning.” The Universe is in a state of anarchy, always was, and ever will be so. Order is a sure effect of anarchical Government, and under any other Government it is impossible. The effects of anarchy on society is visible in a hive of bees, a village of beavers, a hill of ants, a flock of wild pigeons, or geese, in their passage, and among all other animals. The story that honey bees are governed by a queen is not true. All Nature contradicts it. The social life of beasts is good. Beasts are worthy of respect. Mankind in general believe in great falsehoods and wrongs for truth and right, but beasts do not. In some kinds of knowledge they are superior to man. For my part I never kill any of them except bed-bugs and mosquitoes. I consider they have the same rights that I have. Even the trees of the forest avoid injuring each other—they put forth few or no branches that can interfere with their neighbors. Undoubtedly, it is the same with their roots. By injuring their neighbors they would injure themselves.

Nature has no straight lines for matter, nor for mind and morals. If the stars in the sky, and the trees in the woods, were to be arranged in straight row, it would be disorder to them. A river forced to run in a straight line would be in disorder.—Man-made law is straight lines for mind and morals. That moral disorder is the consequence, is attested by the social condition of every civilized and half-civilized people. The regularity of art is irregularity, when applied to Nature. To make straight rules beforehand for all future occasions, is the extreme of folly and harm. Leave it all until the occasion comes, and then everything would naturally settle itself easy and right. The attempt of man to regulate society by art, concurs with the religious idea that the Universe is a work of art from the hands of a God. If there is a God, and the Universe is his work, then there is no Nature. If there is a Nature, it proves there is no God. God and Nature cannot both be.

It is the fault of the radical reformers, that they are no radical enough. They think something must be done to regulate society, when in truth doing anything is doing too much. Any general arrangement or organization whatever by man is sure to bring evil without good, because it conflicts with the laws of order and harmony which prevail in the anarchical Universe. “Building up” has done all the mischief. Made-rules of any kind are like a board put over the top of a chimney which fills the house with smoke. To settle a bucket of riley water, it must be left alone. There is no such thing as being too radical unless a person can be too rational. No society can ever be in good condition in which are men of large capital. Under born-Governments an accumulation of great wealth by any one man would be impossible. Occupation of the land would be just what it ought to be. Every person would cultivate what he needed for a plain support, and would not in general wish for more. All would be willing he should have it. Where nobody claimed our land, there could be no disputes about it. All or nearly all would be disposed to do as they would be done by. The dispositions of mankind would be entirely different, and better than they are under made-Government. A wrong if attempted could not in general be carried out against the general sentiments of the community. Under anarchy, all would turn out cheerfully to do their part in making roads. Whatever is necessary for the people to do unitedly can be done better without law than with it. It is to be hoped the people would have good sense enough to abolish all public schools. They are a great injury to the young. At home and alone is the place to study, and parents are the proper teachers of their children. Nobody can study well in company.

Abolish all public schools. Children are literally schooled to death. The growing brain is tender and unable without injury to bear much labor. It needs quietude to grow and strengthen. The mind and the whole system are weakened by close attention to study in youth. In the schools of this country the minds of the young are crammed with what they are not old enough to understand. Little that is useful is taught at school or college. Napoleon said that he never learned anything at school that was ever of use to him, except mathematics. Confinement in school is violence to nature, and great injury to the health. Freedom in the open air is the place for children, and they have no business with much learning. Through the influence of the clergy, children are not allowed a day of rest from study—their brain labor is kept up in Sunday schools. To cram nursing infants with beef steak and baked beans would not be more unreasonable and injurious than the school system of the United States. Under anarchy all would be producers with no useless and injurious classes. Consequently nobody would need to work more than three or four hours a day, and parents would have leisure to teach their children, and improve their own minds by reading and reflecting. Except learning to read and write, study ought to be put off till the age of maturity, both for the sake of health, and that they may have judgment to choose their own studies, and understand them. The riper the mind, the more progress is made. Good education, of course, is of great importance, but it is a shallow opinion that education preserves virtue and freedom.

Learning makes nobody good nor free. The uneducated laboring class have the most virtue. Masters might safely educate their slaves, for they could gain their freedom no sooner by it. Even without education, anarchy would preserve virtue and freedom. Laboring people with little learning use more good sense than those who are called educated, and savages more than civilized people. No person’s education is finished until death.

Luxury and show are enemies to virtue and freedom. They are ruin to any people. Human Government is their cause, and anarchy or the course of Nature would abolish and prevent them. Almost everything in this country is spoiled with what is called “ornament.” Whatever is added to an object only for ornament is in reality deformity. Nature adds nothing for ornament. Painted houses and papered rooms are not pleasing to persons of good mind. All beauty is plain. All truly handsome faces are plain. Beautiful flowers are plain.—Nature never changed the style of its dress. A good style is always good. Any old dress, if clean, is decent and respectable. A rich and showy one is not decent. The most respectable dress is a ragged one covered with dirt and sweat, and worn by an honest laboring man. Great principles are connected with the subject of dress.

A weekly day of rest is part of civilization, as it is enforced by law. It is unnatural and unsuitable.—No person can labor all day without injury to his constitution—to say nothing of six days. Instead of a weekly day of rest, it ought to be hours of rest every day. Healthy and strong persons who do but little labor, are injured by a day of rest, for they need labor enough for exercise every day. With regard to the religious character of the day, no line can be drawn between works of necessity and those which are not. Either all work is necessary on the Sabbath, or none is, not even “boiling a teakettle,” or making a bed. It might be necessary for a poor man with a family to labor on Sunday. Anarchy would abolish a weekly day of rest, for no person would need to labor more than three or four hours a day.

Mexico is about to have a monarchy forced upon her by Napoleon. In that country a few men hold all the land. A man’s land there sometimes reaches eighty miles. In some parts of the country in a week’s travel, all the land on both sides of the road belongs to the church. Two brothers named Sanches own the whole State of Coahuila. Mexico needs anarchy to break up land ownership, and give the people each one a chance to take what land he needs. Monarchy, of course, will fasten the evil stronger upon them.

The world may be safely challenged for arguments in favor of the need or innocence of human law.


Mr. Editor:—Law, Commerce, and Religion, are the causes of the wrongs, vices, and consequent sufferings which have always prevailed in civilized nations. Natural law, or the healing power of Nature, would regulate society as it does the human body.—The mind of man is his body. Artificial law is a poison which deranges the course of Nature, and is sure to disorder society. The stillness of legal despotism is disorder. Artificial government turns morality upside down, and keeps it so by force. It protects a class of bad men in wronging other, but is no benefit to honest men. Under established laws and forms of government, its full development is impossible.

Artificial law creates Commerce. Commerce makes rich men. The rich make the class of suffering poor, as a natural consequence. Commerce, and merchants, cause luxury, love of show, avarice, speculation, selfishness, dishonesty;—then comes aristocracy, and next monarchy. Our commerce with Europe is fast bringing society in the United States into the same condition with that in Europe. Monarchy in the United States is near. Law, Commerce, and Religion, make leading men. The leading men have ruined the United States, and made the nation not worth saving. Every rich man, every man who lives in showy style, is a curse to this country. Commerce was and is the cause of negro slavery. The nations which have most commerce are most unprincipled; for instance, England and the United States. It is pretended that Commerce promotes peace, civilization, and fraternity. The contrary is true. Commerce was at the bottom of the piratical wars of England in India, and China, and others the world over. Commercial avarice caused the great national crime committed by the United States against Japan, in forcing her to open her ports. The ruin of the Japanese dates from the visit of Commodore Perry to their shores. According to all accounts, Japan excels all other civilized nations in the condition and character of its inhabitants. It is comparatively the country of justice and equal rights, of plainness, mediocrity, and comfort. The people are correspondingly virtuous. For the last two hundred years, they have not had a war. The cause of their better state of society is, they have no commerce nor religion. They are a nation of Atheists. They were shocked at being told that the Americans believe in a God. The Japanese have only the social wrongs and faults of character which spring from law. The frequent civil wars in Mexico are owing, not to faults of character of the people, but to their unequal condition, caused by law. The land of Mexico is in the hands of a few men, and of the Church. The leading men, and the Church, are at the bottom of the civil wars in that country. The inability of the French to maintain a republican government, is owing to the inequality of the people, caused, by Law, Commerce, and Religion, and not to faults of national character. Commerce has hastened the degeneracy of the American republic. The leading men have corrupted society, and the government. The elections are controlled by money. The important offices are mostly filled by unworthy men. The powerful influence of mercantile wealth is brought to bear on Congressional legislation, to encourage Commerce for the gratification of avarice, and thus in effect increase prevailing wrongs. The American government made no open war on China, but their minister and war vessels sneakingly accompanied the British expedition, to assist indirectly its piratical operations, and profit by its victories. Just wars are sometimes prevented by commercial selfishness. Commercial influence makes unjust wars, and disgraceful peace, according to which brings most money.

Religion is the resource of bad minds. It springs from ignorance, and want of reason, and is false in every particular. False principles cannot be otherwise than injurious to society. Religion and goodness are entirely different and separate. A person may be good without religion, or religious without goodness. Of course, he is not by nature a good man, who does right only from religious motives. All murderers, when in prison, and on the gallows, make known their belief in religion. The same want of reason and goodness that makes them commit murder, makes them believe in religion. Bad men are the strongest believers in the necessity of law and of future punishment. They think that all mankind, like themselves, are governed by nothing better than fear. Such men are the Christians. The followers of Jesus Christ are not good by nature. A follower is an imitator. The imitator is different by nature from the person imitated. Of course, those who imitate Christ do not resemble him in natural character. Those who are born good have to imitate nobody. They act out themselves. Priests declare that the world is governed by a God, and religion is necessary to keep people in order. At the same time they profess to believe that human law is necessary. Kings and aristocrats affirm that human government is indispensable, and at the same time they profess to believe that religion is necessary for society. To assert the need of divine law, and of human law also, proves a want of confidence in either. Both have been abundantly tried together, and found wanting. A God would have not right to create people, without asking their leave, nor govern them without their consent. The clergy are mostly aristocrats and monarchists. Kings and priests strengthen each other. The clergy preach the Divine appointment of kinds, and submission to the powers that be, under penalty of eternal damnation. They are rewarded with a union of Church and State.

Nothing is easier than to have this world a good one, if people had reason enough to see the truth, and would apply it. Abolish all artificial law, and let Nature take its course. Destruction is the word! Destroy the shallow and ruinous contrivances of men, and equality, virtue, justice, and comfort, would be the condition of the world. The laws of Nature would prevent extreme wealth in one class, and it natural consequence, suffering poverty, in another. Aristocracy would be impossible. An aristocrat is never a worthy man—he is ignoble. A government of the aristocracy is atrociously unprincipled and selfish.— In opposition to the rights of man, it sticks at no crime nor cruelty. Napoleon, the noblest man in the world, was entirely free of aristocracy, and despised it in others. No person can rightfully own land. Every person has a right to cultivate what he needs. Of course, there would be no quarrelling about land, if nobody owned it. Fishermen never quarrel about unclaimed water. Under natural law, the few wrongs that would be committed, would be attended to by the people of the neighborhood. Punishment would be more sure than now. The law ought to be made for the occasion, and not before the crime is committed, as circumstance make a difference in cases.— The right government of society would naturally correspond with the government of the Universe. The Universe is eternal, and, therefore, without beginning. It is boundless, and, therefore, has no place for a Creator to begin at, and no place to leave off.—It governs itself. Organization, fitness, life, mind, and growth, are but the inevitable effect of natural law. With reference to the works of Nature, design and chance are but the nonsense of fools. The earth and planets are obliged by natural law to revolve with regularity. It would take a God of great strength to stop them or turn them from their natural course.—If there is no God-law, of course there ought to be no man-law. Human law is unnecessary and injurious, so of course would be God-law. If there is a king of heaven, so ought there to be kings of earth. Under artificial, established laws, and forms of government, many deliberate acts of injustice go unpunished, and many rightful things are punished.

It is only by anarchy and violence that a great accumulation of social wrongs can be removed. Anarchy is a good word. It means, “without a head.” Violence is the healing power of Nature applied to society. The violence which would follow from the abolishment of law, would be proportion to the number and magnitude of the wrongs that needed removal. There ought always to be anarchy, but there would be no violence where there were no wrongs.—Japan needs but little violence. Great Britain needs much. Nothing but violence could have accomplished the great French Revolution, the most beneficent and glorious even of modern times. Law and Religion are responsible for whatever was wrong in it.— Mob law is the right law. Mobs assemble to do justice, to punish bad men whom the law does not reach, and to remove wrongs. There is more reason and justice in a large number of men than in a small number, more in a mob than in a Senate, House of Representatives, judges, or juries. The government of a State, or nation, is a mob, the government of the majority is a mob, and they are the only mobs that ought to be put down. If mankind are not good enough to live without law, they are not good enough to vote for law-makers. Beasts and savages are not fools enough to believe in religion and law, and are good enough to live right without them. Christian and civilized men appear to consider themselves inferior in goodness to savages and beasts. In an uncorrupted state of society, mankind are inclined to do right.—If they were naturally inclined to evil, they would not make laws to prevent it. The fact that laws are made, proves that law is unnecessary.


Earth, air, water, heat and light combined, are Almighty, all wise and all good. Matter is the Supreme being over-ruling Power or Heavenly Father and Mother too. It is every where present and fills boundless space. It is eternal. That which will never end, never began. Something cannot spring from nothing, nor return to nothing. The laws of matter are the Providence to the Universe. In natural operations, everything is caused by that which is necessary. Everything that is, was obliged to be. A God could not prevent the works of Nature, nor cause them, if any body knows what a God is. It would be a miracle if natural operations should stop, or anything be different from what it is. An imperfect and evil universe would be impossible, it could not exist. A God, if there was one, would have nothing to do. The boundlessness of the universe makes a beginning and an end impossible. There could have been no place for a Creator to be in his work and no place of leaving off. A God could not be outside of everything, because there is no outside. He could not be everywhere present, because all space is filled by matter, and there could be no room for him. It follows that what is called God is only a power in every thing, or in other words it is the properties of matter. Of course he could make nothing grow unless he was in it. All science is of matter, There is no science of God, soul, or spirit, and that which has no science does not exist. The word of God has helped to make the earth a scene of crime, oppression and ignorance. A friend to man is an enemy to all Gods. The noblest thing ever done was Lucifer’s revolt against the tyrant of Heaven, supposing the story to be true. Lucifer by the act would be the best being in existence. Honor and glory to Lucifer! Gods run their race and die out. The path of history is strewed with dead Gods.

Matter produces mind. Man is naturally inclined to goodness. Born of matter, he could not be otherwise than good. The brain of men and beast represent the goodness, power and wisdom of the universe. Undoubtedly men grew out of the ground originally, in some form or other. The difference in mankind is great, but the generality of people are disposed to do as they would be done by. Let a house take fire, or a child be lost in the woods, and the goodness of human nature is seen at once. Beasts have the same virtues with man without his vices and follies. They are our brethren. If people were naturally prone to wrong each other, society would be Hell broke loose. No person’s life or property would be safe a moment. The sick would not be taken care of. The dead would not be buried. Mothers would have no affection or care for their children. Civil law would be no restraint. The people would make no laws, and there would be no natural law. The human race would soon exterminate each other. It may be set down as truth that no race of beings could exist who were naturally prone to evil. They could not ever start into existence. All the virtues, truth, honesty, kindness, gratitude are component parts of the universe, and are inherited by man and beast. They proclaim the falsehood of the doctrine of total depravity. The depravity is those who believe the doctrine. A person is unable to discover and comprehend goodness in others without he has it himself.

If Nature and man are good, why is society bad? Why so many vices and crimes, so many wrongs and sufferings? Reason and facts give the answer. It is because men prevent Nature from taking its course. Artificial law stops the operation of natural law. If there was no other government but that of Nature, every body would do right. They would be disposed to and obliged to. If the Universe regulates itself, society would do the same if left to Nature. The different qualities of the brain are sufficient. Under Natural government the people are never free to do wrong, and are always free to do right. Under artificial law they are never free to do right, and are often free to do wrong. Under natural government man is a more noble being, because he is free. Reason never errs, because it is truth. When reason decides, no facts or experience are needed in proof. On questions that are decided by abstract reasoning, a thoroughly rational man knows he is right. He cannot feel too sure nor speak too positive. His opinion is proof. Such a man never changes his belief, because he makes it up right in the first place. An anarchist is a good man as well as a rational one. Belief in the need of artificial law is owing to a lack of reason or goodness, or both. Reason looks strange to unreasonable people. Bad men are the strongest believers in the necessity of artificial law. They are in favor of severe punishments. They think that all mankind are nearly alike, and as bad as themselves. They know of no restraint except that of fear. Murderers are strong believers in the necessity of the law for hanging. The saying, “No rogue ever felt the halter draw with good opinion of the law,” is entirely false. A verse of Bishop Heber’s well known hymn says,

“What tho’ the spicy breezes
Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s Isle,
Tho’ every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile.”

One man is vile, and that is Bishop Heber. The last line of the verse proves it. Plenty of other things about him prove it. A man’s view of others proves what he is himself.


Men have always made their gods with a vague resemblance to themselves in form and disposition. A good man makes a good god, and a bad man a bad one. A man is known by his god and the god from the man. With regard to the form of the Christian God, the Bible says he made him in his own image. According to either way, God and men are formed alike. Men made gods before gods made men. The author of that passage in the Bible made his god in his own image. The Bible says of Jehovah, “His hair is white like wool, and His eyes are as a flame of fire.” “Out of His mouth came a two edged sword.” His feet and legs, &c. He told Moses He should not see His face, but might see His “back parts.” If He has the human form, we are to suppose he has a sex. If he has “back parts” he has fore parts. God is spoken of throughout the Bible as of the male sex. In that Book, and in the language of Christians, He is represented with the pronouns “He” and “Him.” Christ called Him “Father,” men call Him Father. If He is not a male, why not call Him mother, or if He is of no sex call Him “it.” His sexual connection with Mary proves His sex, because there is only one way a woman can conceive. An only god is always a male. Where there is a plurality, the chief god is a male. Jupiter, the chief god of the ancient Romans had sexual connection with one or more women, who bore children by them. The male sex of the Christian God proves Himself to be not only of human origin, but of male origin. Women had no hand in making Him. It is an exclusiveness and unfairness that denies the equal rights of women. If He had been made by woman, likely He would have been a female the mother of the Saviour. Perhaps the Saviour would have been a daughter, and her father a man. If men and women jointly had made a Deity, likely they would have made a male god and a female one. In that case the Saviour would have been a full blooded god or goddess. Jehovah’s affair with Mary is unfavorable to His reputation as a God of good morals, on several accounts. The difference in their ages. He old and she young. Her engagement to another man. It appears it was without her consent, and even knowledge. Else where was the need of an angel telling her who was the father of it. What is bad in man would be bad in a god. It was a bad example.


It is not a rational opinion that there is, such a thing as a mind. The brain and nerves produce the thoughts and feelings and they are gone like sound from a violin. The brain sleeps and its action is suspended. Would a mind be fatigued and need sleep? Be stupified by rum, made crazy by sickness, or by a blow on the head and injury to the brain? The term “body and mind” is nonsense. Body is the whole. As well might a separation be made between the lungs and breathing, the stomach and digestion, or between music and the instrument that makes it. Many persons who have died of sickness were said to have retained their senses in full strength to the last. That is impossible. The brain cannot be strong when every other part of the body is weak and dying.

Character is formed before birth, and nothing can ever change it after birth. It is established before the infant has a thought. It is hereditary and constitutional as the face. The brain is the character expressed in the face. Education and circumstances may make the conduct better or worse than the character, for conduct and character are two different things. All persons are not known by their conduct. The tree is not always known by its fruit. Grafted trees are not. Many persons are grafted. Good training to a naturally bad child and bad training to a naturally good one have no permanent effects. In such cases, the training is outgrown, and the true character in time acts itself out. Persons who are naturally good grow better in conduct as they grow older, and those who are naturally bad, grow worse. The brain and character, like every other part of the body, could be perfected by right marriage.

Genius is of many kinds—military, poetical, mathematical, mechanical, musical, &c. Every person of course knows what his genius is. He feels an enthusiasm for that line of employment that is suited to it and an ardent desire to follow it. Poetic genius is not greatness, nor is mathematical. Some boys have shown extraordinary mathematical ability, but it left them in after life. In true greatness, the military character is highest. War requires the greatest ability and virtue, and statesmanship next. The greatest General is the greatest statesman. Excellence in both departments is the same large grasp of thought. Statesmanship is not the administration of a government, it is the making of it. The man who can plan and fight a great battle well and be cool and judicious in the greatest danger, is a noble character. Other people are not aware how much goodness and nobleness there is in men who are born military characters. All men of that character are alike in principles and feelings. They are remarkable for truth, justice, kindness and teachableness. They are disinterested, and ready to sacrifice themselves for their friends. It is their nature to be thorough and determined friends to equality. Their whole bodies are good as their brains. They have a peculiar smile that is remarkably pleasing. Napoleon had it, Garibaldi had it, and it is one evidence that he is a true commander. When the military character is united with large reasoning and perceptive faculties it makes a perfect man. Napoleon Bonaparte was undoubtedly the most perfect man who has lived in the last two thousand years or since Hannibal the great Carthagenian. Julius Caesar has been called a usurper, but he was not. He never overthrew the liberties of his country. The Roman people had already lost their freedom. Society had become corrupted by luxury and inequality, and the political power had gone into the hands of the aristocracy. Caesar took the power out of bad hands into his own. The military character is delivered from remarkable qualities of the parents. A true general is known by his parents, and they are known by him. Heroism is the sublimity of virtue. The fabled Christ, who is said to have died to save the world, was a hero. What is called God, if it was a personal being, would be a military character. Men of this character are extremely few. There may be fifty of them in the United States, but it appears more likely there are not ten. I know of only one, W. O. Butler of Kentucky. He was recommended by Jackson for commander of the army. People in general judge the merit of a general by success alone. They are not capable of judging any other way, because it takes a military character to know a military character. Success is not always proof. A true commander is known by his whole character, whether he ever fights a battle or not. He must be known by what he is. Gates, who was no general, defeated Burgoyne and captured his whole army. Scott who was not a military character, defeated Santa Anna in a succession of battles. Wellington who was no military character, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Hannibal as well as Napoleon was unsuccessful at last, and the death of each was tragical. Grant and Sherman happened to be successful. Grant is said to have told some person in the first of the war that he felt it his duty to do something for his country because he was educated at the public expense. That remark is an evidence against him, because a true military character would have needed no motives outside of his character. Men of true courage are afraid of danger, but their goodness and firmness raise them above it. Insensibility to danger was the courage of Arnold, Murat and Ney who was called the “bravest of the brave.” Murat, with an independent command was entirely destitute of judgment. The war dragged along and armies were slaughtered because the President was incapable of selecting good generals. No doubt one half the men with a good commander would have finished the war much sooner with a comparatively small loss of life.

How do I know what are the different qualities that make a military character? I know it by knowing myself, for I am one. A description of myself is a description of all genuine military men. While Jackson was a candidate for the presidency, I, in conversation used to describe his whole character although I had never seen him. My description of him was only a copy of myself. He was the only man in the United States, that I knew of, whose character I could comprehend, because he was the only one who resembled myself. I never saw W. O. Butler of Kentucky, but he is the only man in the United States that I am acquainted with, because I know of no other who has the same character with myself. Two persons of different characters can never know each other even if brothers. In character, countenance and personal appearance, I am the Napoleon of the United States, although I have the deficiencies that he had not. If Jackson was alive and should read what I have said of military characters and of myself he would know at once that it is all true. Men of bad character and small intellect will not believe a word of it. For such I am not writing. A man’s view of others is according to what he is himself. It depends on what kind of eyes he looks through, I write only for the good and rational, the brave and noble. Probably no man in the United States has stronger reasoning faculties than I have. I have never seen my equal in that respect. Love of truth always made me an open and defiant infidel. Mean men some times have mistaken my enthusiasm for fanaticism. Every man ought to do justice to himself, and especially it is required of me. History commemorates men who are remarkable for what they have done. I am remarkable for what I have not done. I have the uncommon energy that is part of the military character but extraordinary causes in my youth, had the effect of frustrating Nature’s design. Napoleon said it caused him sadness to think the time would come when his deeds would be forgotten. I am saved from the regret, by having to feel the still greater one that my deeds have not been done. Men should be judged from what they are rather than from what they have done or not done. Great and good acts merit applause not for themselves, but for the genius and virtue that achieve them. The surmounting of the Alps and the passage of the bridge of Lodi excite admiration not for themselves but for the nobleness that prompted and sustained them. The French nation has more reason to be proud of Waterloo than of Austerlitz, Jena, Marengo and the Pyramids, because on that disastrous field Napoleon displayed more ability and his army more valor, if possible, than they ever did before.


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.