Jack Tier

James Fenimore Cooper
Jack Tier or The Florida Reef

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by James Fenimore Cooper (#10 in our series by James Fenimore
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Title: Jack Tier or The Florida Reef
Author: James Fenimore Cooper
Release Date: December, 2003 [EBook #4796] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 22,

Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: Latin-1

Edited by Charles Aldarondo ([email protected])



This work has already appeared in Graham's Magazine, under the title
of "Rose Budd." The change of name is solely the act of the author, and
arises from a conviction that the appellation given in this publication is
more appropriate than the one laid aside. The necessity of writing to a
name, instead of getting it from the incidents of the book itself, has
been the cause of this departure from the ordinary rules.
When this book was commenced, it was generally supposed that the
Mexican war would end, after a few months of hostilities. Such was
never the opinion of the writer. He has ever looked forward to a
protracted struggle; and, now that Congress has begun to interfere, sees
as little probability of its termination, as on the day it commenced.
Whence honourable gentlemen have derived their notions of the
constitution, when they advance the doctrine that Congress is an
American Aulic council, empowered to encumber the movements of
armies, and, as old Blucher expressed it in reference to the diplomacy
of Europe, "to spoil with the pen the work achieved by the sword," it is

difficult to say more than this, that they do not get them from the
constitution itself. It has generally been supposed that the present
executive was created in order to avoid the very evils of a distracted
and divided council, which this new construction has a direct tendency
to revive. But a presidential election has ever proved, and probably will
ever prove, stronger than any written fundamental law.
We have had occasion to refer often to Mexico in these pages. It has
been our aim to do so in a kind spirit; for, while we have never doubted
that the factions which have possessed themselves of the government in
that country have done us great wrong, wrong that would have justified
a much earlier appeal to arms, we have always regarded the class of
Mexicans who alone can properly be termed the `people,' as mild,
amiable, and disposed to be on friendly terms with us. Providence,
however, directs all to the completion of its own wise ends. If the crust
which has so long encircled that nation, enclosing it in bigotry and
ignorance, shall now be irretrievably broken, letting in light, even
Mexico herself may have cause hereafter to rejoice in her present
disasters. It was in this way that Italy has been, in a manner,
regenerated; the conquests of the French carrying in their train the
means and agencies which have, at length, aroused that glorious portion
of the earth to some of its ancient spirit. Mexico, in certain senses, is
the Italy of this continent; and war, however ruthless and much to be
deplored, may yet confer on her the inestimable blessings of real liberty,
and a religion released from "feux d'artifice," as well as all other
A word on the facts of our legend. The attentive observer of men and
things has many occasions to note the manner in which ordinary
lookers on deceive themselves, as well as others. The species of treason
portrayed in these pages is no uncommon occurrence; and it will often
be found that the traitor is the loudest in his protestations of
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