Literary notices.

Virginia—history of the people. By John Esten Cooke. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

We are indebted to the author (through West, Johnston & Co.,) Richmond, for a copy of this beautiful book—one of the series on ‘American Commonwealths,’ edited by Horace E. Scudder, and published by the well known house of Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

John Esten Cooke is too widely known as a writer to need any commendation from us, but we must say that this seems to us among the best, if not the very best, work he has done in the historical line.

Treating successively of ‘The Plantation,’ ‘The Colony,’ and ‘The Commonwealth,’ he has given us a very vivid picture of the Virginia people from [575] the first settlement to the establishment of the Commonwealth, and the entering of Virginia into the Federal Union, with a bird's eye view of them up to the present time.

While not prepared to accept all of the author's conclusions, or the authenticity of all of his statements, we can nevertheless cordially commend the book as written in admirable spirit, and as a very valuable addition to the books we would put into the hands of our youth, and place in our library for future reference and study. We need scarcely add that the publishers have done their work in the most satisfactory manner; the imprint of Houghton, Mifflin & Co. is a sufficient guarantee for that.

life of James Buchanan. By George Ticknor Curtis. Two volumes. New York: Harper & Brothers.

We are indebted to the publishers (through Randolph & English, Richmond,) for a copy of these deeply interesting volumes. Reserving for a full review at least the parts of the work which bear on the origin of the ‘War between the States,’ we can only say now that Mr. Curtis had full access to the private papers and correspondence of Mr. Buchanan, as well as to all necessary public documents, that he seems to have used his material with sound judgment and pains-taking diligence; that he, on the one hand, allows the subject to tell the story of his own life by full quotations from his letters, speeches, journals, and other documents, and on the other speaks his own mind very freely concerning men and events, and that he has thus made a book of great interest and of real historic value—many of the documents being now published for the first time.

He makes a very elaborate defence of Mr. Buchanan from the charge of ‘sympathizing with Secessionists,’ or of giving them at any time ‘aid or comfort;’ but when we come to review this part of the book, we shall find it an easy task to show that Mr. Buchanan (along with Northern Democrats generally) fully believed in the right of a State to secede, and did not hesitate to say [we shall publish an autograph letter from him to that effect,] that unless the Southern States had full guarantees that their rights would be protected in the Union, ‘they would be fully justifiable in seceding.’

We commend the book as worthy of a place in every historic collection. It goes without the saying that in type, paper, binding and general get up, these volumes are worthy of the reputation of the famous house of Harper & Brothers.

‘the war of the rebellion’—official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series 1, Vol. IX. Washington: Government Printing Office.

We have so often expressed our opinion of the importance, and value of this work, so skilfully compiled under the able supervision of Colonel R. N. Scott (to whose courtesy we are indebted for continued favors) that we need add nothing now. Colonel Scott and his assistants seem all [576] to be not only very competent to the discharge of their duties, but fair in their treatment of Confederate as well as Federal reports and documents. We hope that Congress will make the most liberal provision for the vigorous prosecution of the work, that the volumes may appear more rapidly. We also earnestly suggest that instead of the flimsy binding usual in public documents that these invaluable historical volumes should have a substantial binding which may be handed down through the years to come. And, while we are suggesting we express our very decided conviction that they should drop from the title the word ‘Rebellion’ which is as false to the truth of History as it would be applied to the Revolution of 1776, which conveys a reproach upon the Southern part of the re-united country, and the use of which can only stir up bad blood, and revive bitter memories.

contributions to A history of the Richmond how-Itzer battalion. Pamphlet No. 1. Contents: 1. Organization of the First Company, and John Brown Raid. By Captain Henry Hudnall, of Second Company, December 13th, 1878. 2. Our Dead. Captain W. Gordon McCabe, December 13th, 1878. 3. The Battle of Bethel. By Rev. E. C. Gordon, of Third Company, December 13th, 1882. 4. All Official Reports (Confederate States and United States), Battle of Bethel.

This pamphlet of eighty-four pages (compiled by Carlton McCarthy, and printed by our own printer, W. Ellis Jones), is one of the most beautiful specimens of the printers' art we have ever seen. Its table of contents indicates its rare interest and value. This is to be followed by a number of other pamphlets, of uniform style, and so paged that the whole will make a beautiful volume.

We warmly commend this style of making up records to other organizations, and would advise all interested in securing these very valuable papers, to write at once to the publishers, Carlton McCarthy & Co., Richmond, Va., to whose courtesy we are indebted for our copy.

ceremonies connected with the inauguration of the Mausoleum and the unveiling of the Recumbent figure of General Robert Edward Lee, at washing-Ton and Lee University, Lexington, Va., June 28TH, 1883— oration of John W. Daniel, Ll.D.—Historical sketch of the Lee Memorial Association. Richmond, Va.: West, Johnston & Co.

The publishers have sent us a copy of this beautifully gotten up pamphlet, of which it is only necessary to say that the compilation was done by the skilful hand, and the sketch of the Association was written by the graceful pen of our friend, Colonel William Allan.

Send twenty-five cents to the publishers and secure a copy.

St. Nicholas and the century for December are both superb numbers.

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