Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions
February 11, 1859
We have all heard of Young America.
1 - He is the most
youth of the age. Some think him conceited, and arrogant; but
has he not reason to entertain a rather extensive opinion of himself? Is he not the
inventor and owner of the
and sole hope
? Men, and things, everywhere, are ministering unto him. Look at his apparel, and you shall see cotten fabrics from
Manchester and Lowell; flax-linen from Ireland; wool-cloth from [Spain;] silk from France; furs from the Arctic regions, with a
buffalo-robe from the Rocky Mountains, as a general out-sider. At his table, besides plain bread and meat made at home, are
sugar from Louisiana; coffee and fruits from the tropics; salt from Turk’s Island; fish from New-foundland; tea from China, and
spices from the Indies. The whale of the Pacific furnishes his candle-light; he has a diamond-ring from Brazil; a gold-watch from
California, and a spanish cigar from Havanna.
He not only has a present supply of all these, and much more; but thousands of
hands are engaged in producing fresh supplies, and other thousands, in bringing them to him. The iron horse is panting, and
impatient, to carry him everywhere, in no time; and the lightening stands ready harnessed to take and bring his tidings in a trifle
less than no time. He owns a large part of the world, by right of possessing it; and all the rest by right of
to have it.
2 - As Plato had for the immortality of the soul, so Young America has "a pleasing hope—a fond desire
—a longing after" territory. He has a great passion—a perfect rage—for the "
"; particularly new men for office, and the new
earth mentioned in the revelations, in which, being no more sea, there must be about three times as much land as in the present.
He is a great friend of humanity; and his desire for land is not selfish, but merely an impulse to extend the area of freedom. He is
anxious to fight for the liberation of enslaved nations and colonies, provided, always, they
land, and have
any liking for
his interference. As to those who have no land, and would be glad of help from any quarter, he considers
can afford to wait a
few hundred years longer. In knowledge he is particularly rich. He knows all that can possibly be known; inclines to believe in
spiritual rappings, and is the unquestioned inventor of "
." His horror is for all that is old, particularly "Old
Fogy"; and if there be any thing old which he can endure, it is only old whiskey and old tobacco.
If the said Young America really is, as he claims to be, the owner of all present, it must be admitted that he has considerable
advantage of Old Fogy. Take, for instance, the first of all fogies, father Adam. There he stood, a very perfect physical man, as
poets and painters inform us; but he must have been very ignorant, and simple in his habits. He had no sufficient time to learn