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tries, especially on the continent of Africa, is recommended to your special attention. The condition of the Indian tribes located on the western boundary line of Arkansas and Missouri, and the territories on the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers, calls aloud for united and vigorous efforts to dispense among them the light of the gospel and the blessings of civilization. We are encouraged to such effort by the circumstance that there is an increasing disposition among most of the tribes to encourage the labors of our missionaries, and improve their condition by the establishment of schools for the instruc. tion of their children in the knowledge of our language, and in agriculture and mechanical arts.

Since your last session a plan has been devised, with the approba. tion of the officers and board of managers of the parent Missionary Society, to establish a central Indian manual labor school, with the design of collecting and teaching the native children of the several adjacent tribes. The plan has been submitted to the executive de. partment of the national government having the superintendence of Indian affairs, and has met with a favorable and encouraging con. sideration; and we are much indebted to officers and agents of the civil government in, and adjacent to the Indian country, for the ex. tensive aid they have given in the establishment of the institution, both by employing their influence in recommending it to the Indians, and advising in its structure and organization. This school is already, to a considerable extent, in successful operation. Native children, from five different tribes, are collected, and men from these tribes have visited the institution, and have very generally been satisfied with its government and objects. We cannot but regard this establishment as full of promise of lasting benefits to the Indian race. But as a de. tailed report of its organization, designs, and prospects will come be. fore you, we will only add our earnest recommendation of the plan to your deliberate consideration, with regard to the present condition and wants of the Indians, and its adaptation to the great objects it is designed to accomplish—the conversion of the Indians to the Chris. tian faith, and their improvement in all the arts and habits of civilized life. And we would farther recommend an inquiry into the expediency of establishing one or more institutions at suitable locations in the Indian country, on the same plan and for the same purposes.

To Africa we look with the deepest solicitude. Our sympathies, prayers, and efforts mingle on her coasts. In our missionary enterprise commenced at Liberia we aim at the conversion of a continent to God. The handful of precious seed which has been sown in that infant colony, and watered by the tears and prayers of the mission. aries and the church, shall spring up and ripen to be sown again with a hundred fold increase, till Africa shall become one fruitful field, cultivated in righteousness. Although a number of faithful and de. voted missionaries have fallen in that field of labor, we should by no means be discouraged in the prosecution of so great a work. They have fallen asleep, but they sleep in the Lord. And being dead they still speak; and the voice from their tombs is a call to the church of Christ on the American continent to emulate their holy zeal, and fill up the ranks from which they have been removed. We have no doubt but you will be disposed to take some efficient measures for the con. stitutional organization of the Liberia annual conference, and to pro. vide for the ordination of ministers in their own country, that the infant African church may be duly and regularly supplied, not only with the ministry of the word, but also with the holy sacraments.

The character which the Oregon mission has recently assumed, is well calculated to invite your particular attention to that extensive and important field of missionary enterprise. We can have little doubt that, with the blessing of God attending our efforts, the time will arrive when the interests of the missionary colony, and the success of the work among the aboriginal tribes, will call for the organization of an annual conference in that vast territory. And our grand object should be to preserve one harmonious compact, in the unity of the Spirit and the bonds of peace, that Methodism may be one on either side of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and on all the islands of the sea.

And mountains rise, and oceans roll

To sever us in vain. It was doubtless a wise and safe provision, that copies of the records of the proceedings of the annual conferences should be forwarded to the General Conference for examination. By this means the General Conference may obtain the knowledge of the official acts of those bodies, from evidence which cannot be disputed or contravened, and consequently they may correct errors in their proceeding, if found to exist, on the simple authority of official records. We regret to say that, in our opinion, this judicious provision has not been sufficiently regarded, either on the part of the annual conferences in forwarding copies of these records, or on the part of the General Conference in a careful inspection of them. As these records contain, not only the official transactions of the conferences, having an important connec. tion with the government and general interests of the church, but also frequently embrace the opinions of the superintendents on ques. tions of law and the administration of discipline; and as it is the constitutional prerogative of this body to correct what is erroneous in these transactions and opinions, with an earnest desire that all things may be done in every official department of the church in strict con. formity to her constitution and Discipline, we recommend a careful examination of these records at your present session.

Finally, brethren, we commend you and ourselves, and the ministers and people connected with us in the bonds of the gospel of Christ, to the guidance and protection of the great Head of the church, whose we are and whom we serve; sincerely and ardently praying that your deliberations, with all their results, may be under the influence of that wisdom which is from above; which is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy.

We are, dear brethren, sincerely and affectionately yours, in the unity and fellowship of the gospel of Christ, R. R. ROBERTS,

Joshua SOULE,


Thos. A. MORRIS.
Baltimore, May 4, 1840.


The following graphic description of a great metropolitan print. ing establishment is from a late number of the London Quarterly Review.

The printing establishment of Messrs. Clowes, on the Surrey side of the Thames, (for they have a branch office at Charing Cross,) is situated between Blackfriars and Waterloo bridges. Their buildings extend in length from Princes-street to Duke-street, and in breadth about half the distance. The entrance is by rather a steep declivity into a little low court, on arriving at which, the small counting-house is close on the left; the great steam presses, type and stereotype foundry, and paper warehouse, on the right; and the apartments for compositors, readers, &c., in front.

In the last-mentioned building there are five compositors' halls, the largest of which (on two levels, the upper being termed by the work. men the “quarter-deck”) is two hundred feet in length. The door is nearly in the centre, and, on entering this apartment at daybreak, the stranger sees, at a coup d'æil, before him, on his right and left, sixty compositors' frames, which, though much larger, are about the height of the music stands in an orchestra. At this early hour they are all deserted, their daily tenants not having arrived. Not a sound is to be heard save the slow ticking of a gaudy-faced wooden clock, the property of the workmen, which faithfully tells when they are entitled to refreshment, and which finally announces to them the joyful intelligence that the hour of their emancipation has arrived. On the long wall opposite to the range of windows hang the printed regula. tions of a subscription fund, to which every man contributes 2d., and every boy 1d. per week, explaining how much each is entitled to receive in the sad hour of sickness, with the consoling intelligence that 51. is allowed to bury him if he be a man, and 21. 108. if merely a boy. Along the whole length of the building, about a foot above the floor, there is a cast-iron pipe heated by steam, extending through the establishment upward of three quarters of a mile, the genial effect of which modestly speaks for itself.

On the right hand, touching each frame, stands a small low table, about two feet square. A hasty traveler would probably pronounce that all these frames were alike, yet a few minutes' attentive observa. tion not only dispels the error, but by numerous decipherable hieroglyphics explains to a certain extent the general occupation of the owners, as well as the particular character of each.

For instance, the height of the frames at once declares that the compositors must perform their work standing, while the pair of easy slippers which are underneath each stand suggests that the occupation must be severely felt by the feet. The working jacket or the apron, which lies exactly as it was cast aside the evening before, shows that freedom in the arms is a requisite to the craft. The good workman is known by the regularity with which his copy hangs neatly folded in the little wooden recess at his side—the slovenly compositor is de. tected by having left his MS. on his type, liable to be blown from the case--while the apprentice, like the carpenter, known by his chips," is discovered by the quantity of type which lies scattered on the floor on which he stood.

The pictures, the songs, the tracts, the caricatures, which each man, according to his fancy, has pasted against the small compartment of whitewashed wall which bounds his tiny dominions, indicate the color of his leading propensity. One man is evidently the possessor of a serious mind, another is a follower of the fine arts. In the midst of these studies the attention of the solitary stranger is aroused by the appearance of two or three little boys, dressed in fustian jackets and paper caps, who in the gray of the morning enter the hall with a broom and water. These are young aspirants, who, until they have regularly received their commissions, are employed in cleaning the halls previous to the arrival of the compositors. Besides ventilating the room by opening the windows in the roof, beginning at one extremity, they sweep under each frame, watering the floor as they proceed, until they at last collect at the opposite end of the hall a heap of literary rubbish ; but even this is worthy of attention, for, on being sifted through an iron sieve, it is invariably found to contain a quantity of type of all sizes, which more or less has been scattered right and left by the different compositors. To attempt to restore these to the respective families from which they have emigrated would be a work of considerable trouble; they are therefore thrown into a dark receptacle or grave, where they patiently remain until they are remelted, recast into type, and thus once again appear in the case of the compositor. By this curious transmigration Roman letters some. times reappear on earth in the character of italics—the lazy z finds itself converted into the ubiquitous by the full stop becomes perhaps a comma, while the hunchbacked mark of interrogation stands triumphantly erect-a note of admiration to the world!

By the time the halls are swept some of the compositors drop in. The steadiest generally make their appearance first; and on reaching their frames their first operation is leisurely to take off and fold up their coats, tuck up their shirt sleeves, put on their brown holland aprons, exchange their heavy walking shoes for the light brown easy slippers, and then unfolding their copy they at once proceed to work.

By eight o'clock the whole body have arrived. Many in their costume resemble common laborers, others are better clad, several are very well dressed, but all bear in their countenances the appearance of men of considerable intelligence and education. They have scarcely assumed their respective stations, when blue mugs, contain. ing each a pint or half

a pint of tea or coffee, and attended either by a smoking hot roll stuffed with yellow butter, or by a couple of slices of bread and butter, enter the hall. The little girls, who with wellcombed hair and clean shining faces bring these refreshments, carry them to those who have not breakfasted at home. Before the empty mugs have vanished, a boy enters the hall at a fast walk with a large bundle under his arm-of morning newspapers : this intellectual luxury the compositors, by a friendly subscription, allow themselves to enjoy. From their connection with the different presses, they manage to ob. tain the very earliest copies, and thus the news of the day is known to them—the leading articles of the different papers are criticised, VOL XI.-July, 1840.


applauded, or condemned-an hour or two before the great statesmen of the country have received the observations, the castigation, or the intelligence they contain. One would think that compositors would be as sick of reading as a grocer's boy is of treacle; but that this is not the case is proved by the fact, that they not only willingly pay for these newspapers, but often indemnify one of their own community for giving up his time in order to sit in the middle of the hall on a high stool and read the news aloud to them while they are laboring at their work: they will, morever, even pay him to read to them any new book which they consider to contain interesting information! It of course requires very great command of the mind to be able to give attention to what is read from one book, while men are intently employed in the creation of another. The apprentices and inferior workmen cannot attempt this, but the greater number, astonishing as it may sound, can listen without injury to their avocation. Very shortly after eight o'clock the whole body are at their work, at which it may be observed they patiently continue, with only an hour's interval, until eight o'clock at night.

It is impossible to contemplate a company of sixty literary laborers steadily working together in one room, without immediately acknow. ledging the important service they are rendering to the civilized world, and the respect which, therefore, is due to them from society. The minutiæ of their art it might be deemed tedious to detail; yet with so many operators in view it is not difficult, even for an inexperienced visitor, to distinguish the different degrees of perfection at which they have individually arrived.

Among compositors, as in all other professions, the race is not always gained by him who is apparently the swiftest. Steadiness, coolness, and attention are more valuable qualifications than eager. ness and haste; and, accordingly, those compositors who at first sight appear to be doing the most, are often, after all, less serviceable to themselves, and, consequently to their employers, than those who, with less display, follow the old adage of "slow and sure."

On the attitude of a compositor his work principally depends. The operation being performed by the eyes, fingers, and arms, which, with considerable velocity, are moved in almost every direction, the rest of the body should be kept as tranquil as possible. However zealous, therefore, a workman may be, if his shoulders and hips are seen to be moved by every little letter he lifts, fatigue, exhaustion, and errors are the result; whereas, if the arms alone appear in motion, the work is more easily, and, consequently, more successfully executed.

Before a compositor can proceed with his copy, his first business must evidently be to fill his “cases,” which contain about one hundred pounds' weight of type of nine sorts, viz. :-1. Capitals ; 2. Small capitals ; 3. Roman letters, (for italics separate cases are used ;) 4. Figures; 5. Points and references; 6. Spaces ; 7. Em and en quadrats, or the larger spaces ; 8. Double, treble, and quadruple quadrats ; 9. Accents. There are two “ cases ;"

of which is divided into ninety-eight equal compartments; the lower into fiftythree divisions, adapted in size to the number of letters they are to contain.

In the English language the letter e inhabits the largest box; a, C,

the upper

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