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I trust is that with a company. Lest look nature it's just gifts and selected by party don't support is the noblest experiment tried by nine who feel its mission which is not only is this civilization of a new of the world but the practical as devilish mind principle. Yes and it's true for I've only had an ideal existence. They bend our ear. Drive us to America. On the eve of the Civil War. Europeans came to America in a steady flow. They traveled through the United
States driven by an irresistible curiosity. Later many of them wrote books about that travel to tell Europe what they had seen in the new world of Jacksonian democracy. Some with friends some were highly critical. All women observers of detail in my band Our professor of American look at you at Harvard University. You will meet some of the travelers to America with their criticisms their advice their praise or their philosophy. You already know others are new acquaintances at all times the travels speak in their own words quoted directly from their writings. They bend how air is produced and recorded by the Lowy Institute cooperative broadcasting Council under a grant from the educational television and radio center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters.
Today's encounter our Forth is with. Francis Joseph Grant author of two works on his experiences in the United States. The Americans and them are social and political relations and aristocracy in America. Professor Paramount is your host and I valued scarcely a team of English and leaders are more familiar as any other American man knows from the grotesque sketches of Mrs tall up to is it lofty and elegant conceptions of basil Hall is a bit of his public have been entertained at the depôt tent dismantle of the and American divine will. I may perhaps disappoint my fetus by not following the beaten track so fertile in amusement and whale sports but I sure hope that Pete is a student biting as a boy's and Mrs Knox and I make those who entertained me as a
subject of scorn and only Dick you and I shall i done eulogy. Was it taught being told that I was enough in some moral and social conditions of amalgams to interest the Channel Fleet. Thus in 1837 sitting down in Munich in distant though that they're grown began to write his book on America I beg your pardon. It is his name. Grunt. It is gone. G r u n d. Francis George said Aunt Francis Joseph wrote often how does it spell out his name when he came to Philadelphia first in 1826 the German groups in the United States kept so much to themselves that it cultivated German moving in general society was considerable our novelty. The Germans have their peculiar had its which they are
careful not to applaud upon others it is a passive 11:07 not because they think themselves superior to those of others and nations but merely because they are used to them and do not like to quit. The early companions of their childhood. This is perfectly well understood in America and there are no US entertained of ever attempting to make a POS alights But then these people with such manners never become real American ones account I I do assure you my good friend from Boston is a democratic principles of the American government agree perfectly with the Germans notions of light justice and humanity. And I have therefore embrace them with the same holy faith with which the ancestors clung to the principles of our own nation. Every new comer is initiated into his our creed and soon becomes a convert to it. For if he should not they would shun him as given to idolatry but then they
take no active part in our glorious political life. Your lawyers have only one conception of the American citizen. They never overstep their bounds he or SE on Zee Americans they are satisfied with enjoying liberty at home and instead of acting as a moving plane supporting the political conscience of the nation but that influence is only felt in the large masses which they're opposed to or employ in favor of a particular missile. Well we can see immediately that in Herr Francis Joseph Grant we haven't observed very well Jacksonian America very different from Captain Holland this is trollop different Ansal from Harriet Martineau. Different In fact from any British or he saw things from an angle they could never entertain. I'd only because he was a German and a liberal but because he was a scientist born in Bohemia in 18:5 an old German family he was
educated in the Polytechnic School specializing in mathematics. By the time he returned to Germany they had to write the book comprehensively. The Americans in their moral social and political relations. He had lived for 10 years in Philadelphia and in Boston he believed that he knew his America better than did Mrs. trollop. We might ask him now that we have him here what he thinks of Mrs. Trollope's words. Mrs. Todd was hardly known in fashionable society and only saw as a western part of the country. Yet notwithstanding all this book is a clever joke what do you mean Mr groaned. My question about society avenged would the Americans recognize a superior class of society if that class be Nizar of attack knowledge by law nor possess the power. Society in America is characterized by a spirit of exclusiveness and persecution unknown in any other country. It's
not being regulated according to rank and titles. Selfishness and conceit are its principal elements and it's ABA trade distinctions the more offensive as they principally refer to fortune. Our society takes upon itself to punish political moral religious dissenters. But most of its rather spent on the champions of democracy this is what it was all under distress terror not the tobacco chewing the spitting that solenoid which has dried up but the pretensions of a self-appointed upper class based only on well trying to act like an all world aristocracy not the next ordinary phenomenon sisterhood of society must be to honor your peon. And is it wonder if under such circumstances the most paltry scribbling justified in character during it. Here is a free people voluntarily
inducing itself to a state of the most obvious social bondage. Also object but to maintain an imaginary supreme court to take over those classes according to the Constitution of the US can tell you all the best it and he said labeling classes was a first time to legislate for themselves. The ship being in its most hideous cos Francisco nude the authentic aristocracy of Europe and he had no love for it he was therefore deeply troubled by what he saw aristocratic pretensions in America far as his friend the Boston banker told him in so many words that society is the means of seducing our unsophisticated country members making them believe that Republicanism is only fit for back what's mine. So that hair growth might see just how it was done. The Bostonian took him to an evening party at the home of the little white you know art
that he saw newly elected to Congress on the company. I sent it to ya I guess I have to prove you're one of the people. Yeah yeah I saw him fairly as hostesses play songs with cargo. Yeah but you can't and then I heard her say I dislike a crowd. We have some. Back in the Apollo days with all my heart I really don't see what business people have to do here after they've stopped at my house. Everyone is a liberty to do as he pleases. Quite a clever party ma'am. I'm glad you want do you also know that I do. I always amuse myself at a party when we have a party in our place. We don't give such stuff as I've heard the gentleman next to me say that the table just as it was must have cost $300. It's impossible for me to say you know I dare say it cost a great deal more. I should like a part of that bill. How do you offer society in your village or rather tall Yes ma'am it is a town and quite a flourishing one too.
We wish to build a new schoolhouse in the Tappan. I'm glad you're doing so well thank you ma'am. Thank you. We had more than a hundred new people settling among us during the last two years. Some of them quite respectable but the growing place it wasn't difficult to find agreeable people to lose it. We don't think it's I think we have other things to do. Oh you will probably take it up with politics. Why we are a pretty patriotic sent. All Republicans to the backbone. I'm glad to hear that I am myself. A Republican that's right now it's of no use to be anything else in this country. The free of the better that's my motto. That's a very dangerous principle is that it leads necessarily to anarchy. I've often heard it said but never believed it was what singular notions you have Mr. Congressman I hope you're not uneducated although rabble certainly know what I represent the people of my time. You do not understand me. If you saw the number of Irish and German that are lending here every day the country is
large enough to furnish work for all. But they can sometimes 5000 you know weeks or more all the better. But would you make citizens out then we're doing them too. Why not if they become naturalized according to law. I see said you were wholly taken up with those doctrines which will eventually prove that. Direction of the country on my own part I want no better proof of the justice or injustice of either principle than the competitive respectability of the men who advocate it. Well I'm already hearing that little dialogue must have been right and you were great you will have grown to tell me what happened to our pantaloon tribute his honesty and fortitude. Tyrants but he felt the sting of satire and the effect on you. Well hon my overturned whole my. I found it impossible for me to go to sleep. And so you go over your evening. Did you come to any conclusion.
I tossed. There's a good sense of the people the intelligence pervading the masses and above all the high degree of mortality and virtue which distinguishes the American above all other nations and their wealth to be against the temptations of a hundred full of political sceptics and that the country blessed with nature gifts and selected by Paul the dunce was a noblest experiment to hide by man. It will fulfill its mission which is not only as a civilization of a new world but. Practical establishment of win support which heretofore have only had an ideal existence. And then. Just cogitating. I pulled my cap over my head put out the candle and said Boss to speak yeah but her grunt to drama you've just told us took place in New York.
Surely you found a very different atmosphere when you got to Boston I had the pleasure of dining a few days after my arrival at the house of a fashionable gentleman a president of a bank whom I had met in New York along with my Also a friend zone oil trust you dined well I did. The medallion was excellent and after the ladies had I tired my host passed sweetly beginning by saying that my act as I see it. Common sense is that I do not like to let the essence of society and good government and I think you know people in the well have inherited a lot just yet of this most and that it will come out a day then I'll cool calculating money making Yankees. Did you ever see a more intelligent people and I Bostonians. Did you ever see a city more quiet more prosperous and more intimate than Boston.
Appearance of Boston has certainly evolved and so you see I've been to yes and I can point out to you at least 100 persons in that city where upwards of a hundred thousand dollars. So that certainly argues in faith or industry and perseverance of its inhabitants a rather and I guess in favor of that common sense in which industry and perseverance necessarily included. We had a common sense matter of fact people. We deep genius an enthusiasm to your opinion. Thank heavens I had no genius in my family my children all brought up to be in dust and you may thank the Lord for that. I never saw a genius yet it was either himself happy or capable of making others so I brought up my sons to become merchants and manufacturers. Only Simon the poor boy who was little hard of hearing and rather slow of comprehension shall go to college. I Michonne set out the most respectable part of the community. What do you mean to send him to send him to Harvard University. The oldest literary institution in the
country. Your cleverness in various departments of science. None of them are very clever at all us into the way we consider professor. Second time in our practice is to give the different professorships away to young men in order to induce them to devote themselves to the branch they are to teach our country is as yet too young for older professors resides too poorly paid to induce first rate men to devote themselves to the business of lecturing is this manner of eminent many departments of it as if it was yet not time to devote to abstract learning. We're too young for that. Our principle of quiet and consistent common sense all the rest we consider moonshine. You must know that a young man learns as much in six months in accounting romance and four year as a college just suddenly a melancholy fact that a great number of our young men who have gone to college have afterwards been unsuccessful in business.
I think our education is not sufficiently practical We are still attached to the European system. But if this music taste of your tones. Why do you call Boston Athens of the United States. That appellation refers not to the odd gentleman. Oh it is read a great deal. Why should they not. What else have they to do. And we have besides a lot of literary Twaddles manufactured by the wholesale at Cambridge who attempt to turn the head of our young girls with the nonsense they call poetry. If we have one point among us we have at least fifty but joint endings of what not be sufficient to keep a donkey. But how do you know a little about even manage to get them. I know several of them and in quite easy circumstances rich women were going to full up pay into being entertained. They show their common sense in that
it's quite the fashion for rich girls to buy themselves a profession previous to taking a trip to Europe on fashionable men have not the advantages of education and leisure enjoyed by the higher classes in Europe and that man is generally stiff and uncool. Young people and as such must endeavor to get on by hard work not by dandyism. Some of our instructors have the good sense to inculpate this doctrine even to our children and placed in that manner. Do your hymns doctors teach children the necessity of working in the best manner common sense could dictate they make them study money they distribute annually a certain sum mostly from 80 to $100 in the shape of prize money. Among those who have the highest mocks at the different recitation but does not practice simple do salted habits at an age in which the mind is most susceptible of receiving impressions and in which I was a greatest importance to instill into children more elevated notions of
honor and justice. You are entirely mistaken and one can see from your remarks that you are a lit tle Di aid in the speculative philosophy of your country. No stimulus to learning can be HOF as great as when a boy can figure it out on his slate. How many dollars and cents his geography and grammar and spelling reading and good conduct come to pair an arm. Grunt did all of this astonish you. Is it common sense. Stony and thought I as I was walking home is after me not overly circumscribed grandfathering in most cases merely to immediate wants and as a means of satisfying as in right then about Bostonians reference to your being diety and speculative. The loss of what do you owe to or with not to common sense common sense is a sort
of instinct sufficient to guide man's lowest dose of life but of itself incapable of raising them to a high moral elevation. Common sense in fact is the genius of mediocrity. By now you have seen a good deal of this budding American aristocracy. Do you really fear that it may someday spoil the dream of your German immigrant. You know to form a collective ideal of the American government it is absolutely necessary. One should stay some time in Washington and frequent not merely as a fashionable society but as a company of those sturdy members of Congress who departed from every part of the Union. Actually I present opinions habits and sentiments of the different sections of the country and you will find among them some counterbalance to the New York Boston banker is addressed not least
continually troubled with European divisions is ultimately designed to say as a country. The sea does not separate America from York but behinds Alleghenies is springing up a new life a people more nearly allied to this so I don't know why Shiism isn't a more refined and polished population of the seaport and so you think this aristocracy is homeless America has becomes a representative of freedom and as such is destined to act as the animating principle NCIS that mankind all mankind everywhere. If Russia. Had 10 times as a physical powers the United States had progress would still be uncertain. But he has not as a means of adapting her government to a spirit of the age or do you mean by bringing in Russia that country is on the other side of the globe. What has it to do with her.
Both countries are developing immense natural resources and progress with a deal which strengthens the independence of all the nations. But washer is the evil genius of history. While America is its guardian angel the power of Russia is opposed to the interests of humanity. That if you were knighted States is based upon this demand justice. That's all very flattering to us. But I still don't see what you're driving at. The power of Russia rests on her bayonets is that of America and the superiority of mind of upward force as outdo each other as darkness is to light. If the power washer I had has been rapidly extending itself over a large portion of Asia and Europe it has created no new life in our continent and her aggrandizement is classed as a subject of statistic and political geography. It's an matter
of universal history. The Americans have increased that territory by intelligence wherever they have gone. They have created new life and their country is yet entire avail to give birth to particle states. How do you think this is the most utter nonsense. I might as well not use Z as the only manner in which the power of America increases as a principles of liberty have been disposed by other nations who have become natural allies despotism. They still claims a teller Torrijos a lot about liberty. All roads in the minds of the people. It's a sense it's the influence of America extends to the very front Teoh's of Russia and penetrates even into empire. The day of battle must come. I've heard about all this rubbish I want to hear. A
man must be not just imagine how ridiculous it will see a hundred years from now that in the enlightened nineteenth century an educated German could talk such absurdity but must come the war. Our principles must ensue but it will not be the peaceable abodes of America which will be made to scenes of horror and bloodshed grunt's book. The Americans published in 1837 was greeted in the United States with condescending scorn by the conservative press and it was generally termed visionary and unrealistic. He took the cunning revenge on his critics by publishing in 1839 another book which he called aristocracy in America which he pretended was a journal kept by a traveling German nobleman. This character being a nobleman could therefore speak with authority about the faults aristocracy of America in the point of
accomplishment. They are only inferior to the middle classes of Europe. But in PI conceit they surpass the ancient nobility of the whole Allman Empire as a search for points is of actual charm and gold. Donations However tho had to satirize the affectations of would be leaders of polite society. He began I'm an American citizen he said as an American Consul in Europe and returned to Philadelphia where he died in 1863 while he could see as clearly as Captain Holland this is a trial of the follies and crudities of our new raw country his fate in the broad base of the American democracy was never shaken for he could perceive that it had a dimension which neither of those British critics not even sympathetic Harriet Martineau could comprehend. Before we let him go we might ask him if he come to explain it in a sentence or two.
I can gladly with an American does not love his country as a Frenchman loves France or an Englishman yet another is to him. But the physical means of establishing a moral par is a medium to which his mind operates. His country is in his understanding. He guys it was him. Whenever he goes was a hero and it creates disease also of those of us who think alters a group of Gulf of Mexico. His home is wherever he finds mines congenial bitties. Then what about that famous charge that Captain Hall made against us and which so disturbed is that Americans are deficient in the quality of loyalty the patriotism of the Americans is not confined to our love of our country all tools all those of us who are of the same origin with him. It wavelets it was a mind and has a habit
of thinking and Olesen ing who ever thinks as they do is morally speaking a citizen of their community and what entertains opinions in opposition to the established theory of government must be considered not difficult and it may also circumvent are splendid words had run. We thank you for them and we shall remember them. Travelers to America. You have been listening to some impressions of the United States from two words by Francis Joseph Grant the amount of homes and their mom social and political relations and I was taught to say in America that did by Perry Miller professor of American look at your Harvard University. The cast included Albert Edward Finnegan Muriel McLachlan John Peters and Fred Warren
as the present Harry Miller was the narrator original theme music. This has been the fourth broadcast in they bend our ear the stories told by the host of travelers to America through the period from the 20s through the 50s and subsequent broadcasts such travel at all times they speak in their own words quoted directly from their writings. Next week we hear the words of Captain Frederick Marriott author of Mr. Midshipman from his diary in America published and produced and directed by Allison for the cooperative broadcasting Council production supervisor Lawrence press called The series has been recorded in the studios of station WGBH FM and produced under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in
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They bent our ear
Francis Joseph Grund
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on Francis Joseph Grund's writings about the United States.
Other Description
Dramatic readings of 14 travelers who came to the United States in 1820-1850 and wrote of what they saw.
Broadcast Date
Journalists--United States--Attitudes.
Media type
Host: Van Dusen, Henry P. (Henry Pitney), 1897-1975
Producer: Lowell Institute
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
Writer: Miller, Perry, 1905-1963
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-6-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:14
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Chicago: “They bent our ear; Francis Joseph Grund,” 1964-01-06, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 13, 2022,
MLA: “They bent our ear; Francis Joseph Grund.” 1964-01-06. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 13, 2022. <>.
APA: They bent our ear; Francis Joseph Grund. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from