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Sheriff, in 1834. As to the difference of his legs, Williams, ever since a child, (in consequence of a burn) had walked upon his left leg alone, the right being drawn up and its place being supplied by a crutch. The right hand being thus engaged in holding the crutch and the left hand free, necessarily became left handed. That his left eye was superior, may be inferred from the fact of his shooting left handed and taking aim with the left eye, as is known to have been the case. That he drank freely without showing the influence of it, is also known to be a fact. The murder of Pelton, for which he was hung, was committed when both had been drinking freely. Thus the opinion is in every respect sustained by facts.
Williams, according to his own account, was born of respectable parents in Tennessee, and had been married to a very worthy woman in Mississippi. In the earlier part of his life, he wandered from place to place, engaged in the business of teaching school, in which he held a very strict government over his pupils. Having fought a duel in Mississippi, in which he killed his antagonist, he left that country and was engaged in Texas with a band of lawless marauders, robbing and killing Indians. Next he made his appearance in Arkansas and engaged in teaching school at
While there, being engaged in a shooting match at Mr. McCarty's with I. Pelton, some trivial altercation arose and he deliberately shot Mr. P. in open day, while the latter was riding off intoxicated and defenceless. From the conversation of Williams and his last speech on the scaffold, he was believed to be a man of better intellect than might have been expected from his situation. It is well known that he was a man of great courage, and even at the scaffold his pulse was regular and his manner easy. He remarked to the Sheriff, “ I expect you feel worse than I do.” He spoke, sung, and at the signal, leaped from the cart, endeavoring by his fall to break his neck and hasten death. His temperament was sanguine bilious, and he possessed a fine constitution with uncommon vigor. Lame as he was, he moved about, as well as any one, with his leg and crutch, and could leap upon a horse in the nimblest manner.-Since the above was in type, we learn that the opinion as to the arms of Williams, turns out to be perfectly correct. He wrote with his left hand as easily as with his right.
NOTES ON THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA, DURING A PHRENOLO
GICAL VISIT, IN 1838-9-40, BY GEORGE COMBE, IN TWO VOLUMEs, pp. 374, 404.
This is the title of Mr. Combe's new work giving an account of his tour in the United States. Our notice of these volumes will be brief, for two reasons; first, we have not here room to devote to them an extended article; and, secondly, it is more appropriate that the public be treated with criticisms or commendations of the work, from those who are not professedly phrenologists. Our main object is to notice two or three facts connected with these volumes which must constitute interesting items in the history of Phrenology, as well as in the character of such publications.
This is the first attempt to introduce the principles of the science into a work of travels; and, among the numerous and varied applications of phrenology, this is certainly one of the most interesting and important. It enables us to form correct opinions of individual and national character, as well as furnishes a true standard by which to judge of the adaptation of the manners and institutions of society to the nature of man. In this respect, Mr. Combe has the advantage of all previous writers who have presented the public, with the results of their travels and observations in the United States. The American Editor of the work very justly observes, that instead of a standard either arbitrary or conventional of British laws, customs and prejudices, by which British travellers have heretofore measured every thing in this country, Mr, Combe lays down one to which the American people will not refuse their assent, viz: the innate faculties of the mind and the opportunities furnished by the country and its institutions for their adequate developement and active and harmonious exercise.” In the introduction to the work, Mr. Combe himself apologizes very handsomely for his frequent notices of phrepology, saying that this was the great object of his visit as well as his principal occupation while here. “I proceeded thither," says he, “ with the impression that this science would contribute powerfully to the advancement of civilization in that country; and I returned not only with the impression converted into conviction, but further persuaded that in the United States, probably earlier than in any other country, will pnrenology be applied to practical and important purposes. To save my readers on both sides of the ocean, however, from unnecessary alarm on this head, I may here mention that I do not consider that the generation
is yet born which is destined to carry this science into practical effect in public affairs ; but I entertain the conviction that within a century from this time, phrenology will be so applied in the United States.” These opinions, we believe, are well founded, and that in due time their truth will be fully verified.
Though the principal contents of these volumes are made up with general observations on the manners, customs, institutions, &c. of this country, Mr. Combe has nevertheless managed to introduce frequent notices of phrenology, either as connected with his lectures or as growing out of personal interviews with different individuals, or in the various applications of the science to education, political economy, jurisprudence, insanity, legislation, religion, &c., &c. what success, or how much correctness this has been done, we leave others to judge. But as an indication of Mr. Combe's success in the introduction of phrenology, as well as the correctness of his observations, his work seems to meet with very general favor from all quarters. We are informed on good authority that it is now having a rapid sale both in Great Britain and in this country; and judging from the intrinsic merits of the work, as well as from the flattering notices it is constantly receiving in the public journals, we predict that its circulation will continue, if not increase, for many years. And if we mistake not, it will prove the most popular of any works of travel which have hitherto been published by foreign tourists on this country, and find a more extensive circulation than any other of Mr. Combe's works, with the exception of his Constitution of Man. As we have reason to believe that most of our readers will either obtain the perusal or possession of these volumes for themselves, we forbear to extend our remarks or make any quotations from the work.
PHRENOLOGY AND THE FINE ARTS.
In the winter of 1822, a Phrenological Society was organized in this city, of which the celebrated Dr. Physic was President, and Di. John Bell, now editor of the Select Medical Library, was Corresponding Secretary. Dr. Bell delivered two excellent lectures before the Society which were published in the Philadelphia Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences for May, 1822; and from which we copy the following remarks on the application of the science to the Fine Arts :
If we extend our view from animated nature, to those of her brightest
happiest imitations by the chisel of the sculptor and pencil of the painter ; and observe the numerous coincidences in favor of our science, we shall have additional reason to be pleased with a study which embraces such extent and variety of prospect, combines minuteness of detail with grandeur of combination, and imparts to the mind a habit of observation and analytical reasoning, very different from the cloudy and benumbing influence of the common metaphysical atmosphere.
It is a fact not a little curious, that the ancient artists gave very generally to their gods and heroes, conformation of head corresponding with the present notions of phrenology: thus Jupiter, the father of gods and men, is represented with an uncommonly lofty forehead : Apollo and Hercules are made to differ from each other, not more in their forms, than in the relative size of their heads and proportional developement of these latter. Every person must have noticed the contrast between the rectilinear forehead of the former, and the oxlike front of the latter; a longer observation would discover the posterior part of their heads proportionally different. A similar difference is observed in the heads of gladiators and philosophers—the forner showing the animal, the latter the reflecting man. Let any one compare the head of an athleta or a gladiator with that of Socrates, or even a Chrysippus, to be satisfied of this fact. We may indeed be told that these gods and philosophers were represented according to the taste and fancy of the artist; but in conceding this we have only additional proofs in our favor; for whence would the latter derive his models but from those most distinguished for the qualities which he wished to represent: and as Zeuxis painted his Helen from the most beautiful and lovely females of Crotona, so would the sculptor form his Jupiter and Apollo from men the most distinguished for the extent of their understandings, loftiness of sentiment, or purity of taste. A A remarkable exception to this general rule is, however, presented in the Venus de Medicis, where the head, and particularly the forehead, is so disproportionately small as to be incompatible with any thnig like the possession of common intellect. Was it ignorance in the artist, or did he intend to diminish our admiration for beauty by showing that it alone was not sufficient without the all-inspiring mind, the living fount of the beauteous and sublime? We leave this as a new subject of inquiry for the Antiquary and Connoisseur.
The youthful physiognomist in strolling through the Florentine Gallery, or the museums of the Vatican or Capitol, has doubtless amused himself in contemplating the busts of a Demosthenes or Cicero, a Csar or a Pompey, and trying to read in their countenances fervid eloquence or noble daring. But yielding him all the pleasure which youthsul enthusiasm may derive from such a study, we might direct his atten
tion to their heads, and point out to him more obvious differences, more marked variety of feature here than even the face presents; he will see the ideality of Demosthenes, the causality and strongly marked vanity of Cicero; or if he continue his views he will compare the head of a Nero and a Galba, with a Titus and an Antoninus, and see in the bust of the first when yet an infant, a sweet countenance truly, but that cerebral developement which seemed to designate him for cruelty and tyranny in despite of the moral lessons of a Seneca.
The modern artists have been less attentive to the head than the ancient, but have very generally given to the forehead a configuration corresponding with the peculiar character of the personage represented. All the paintings of our Saviour and the Apostles, of the Fathers of the Church, and the Saints, exhibit a full rounded forehead and an elevation in the centre of the upper ridge, corresponding to the organs of Benevolence and Veneration. Amid the innumerable illustrations, we may refer to the Redeemer and St. Peter and St. Paul, in Bologna, by Coreggio, and the Transfiguration by Raphael, who has given to the epileptic, or the man seized with a devil, not simply a peculiar physionomical expression, but also a configuration of head, showing deficiency of intellect, and forming a strong contrast to the figures on either side of our Saviour. The Saint Cecilla of Coracca, and Saint Bruno, by many artists, may be mentioned; but it is needless to dwell on this point, so happily displayed by those whose genius and taste made them the delineators of nature. So well established is this correspondence between cranial feature and affective quality, that an artist who should present us a personage as a saint, with a low, flat forehead and head, however mild and expressive his physiognomy, appropriate his attitudes, or gracesully flowing his drapery, every spectator, from the unpractised peasant to the tutored connoisseur, would feel there was something wanting, and that the unction of manner which commands our respect and sympathy, was not to be found. We may en passant cite as a proof the painter's studying a certain harmony of proportion in the form and feature of the figures composing his group, as well as the rules of light and shade, attitude and drapery, that a neglect of this study has made some of the best artists give us children with heads entirely disproportioned to their bodies and age.