[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

S. G. Goodrich’s Notes for volume 2 of Recollections of a Lifetime (1856)

Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860) was a pivotal figure in early 19th-century American publishing. His Recollections is a look at over 50 years of American culture, and at a busy, productive life. Early American religion, passenger pigeons, the solar eclipse of 1806, the meteor of 1807, the Hartford Convention, the Revolution of 1848—Goodrich experienced it all. Filled with anecdotes and heavily footnoted, this 1100-page work is a rich source of information on early American publishing and New England life.

Many of Goodrich’s footnotes are … epic. (One spans 5 pages.) Here they’re presented separate from the main text, each with a link to the appropriate section.

Recollections of a Lifetime, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (New York & Auburn: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1856)

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[To text of volume 2]

II, p. 9: I was then living with him

* I have stated elsewhere that he had promised to make me one of his aids. Accordingly, H. L. Ellsworth—afterward Indian Agent and Commissioner of Patents—and myself were appointed, with the rank of

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major, April 17, 1815. I was not very ambitious of my title, for not long after “Major Goodridge,” of Bangor, Maine, acquired an infamous notoriety, in consequence of a trial (December, 1816) in which Daniel Webster made a celebrated plea, unmasking one of the most extraordinary cases of duplicity and hypocrisy on record. This Major Goodridge pretended to have been robbed, and the crime was charged upon two persons by the name of Kenniston. In the defense of these, Mr. Webster proved that the charge was false, and that the accuser had himself fabricated the whole story of the robbery. (See Webster’s Works, vol. v. page 441.)

II, p. 13: Jefferson, in 1808

* See note on page 274, vol. i. of this work. Also Hildreth, second series, vol. iii. pp. 79, 117.

II, p. 14: out of the public treasury

* In March, 1812, Madison sent to Congress certain documents, pretending to disclose a secret plot, for the dismemberment of the Union, and the formation of the Eastern States into a political connection with Great Britain. It seems that in the winter of 1809, Sir J. H. Craig, Governor-general of Canada, employed John Henry to undertake a secret mission to the United States for this object. Henry proceeded through Vermont and New Hampshire to Boston. He, however, never found a person to whom he could broach the subject! As he stated, the British government refused the promised compensation, and therefore he turned traitor, and sold his secret to our government. The subject was fully discussed in Parliament, and it appeared that Henry’s scheme was not known to or authorized by the British government. The whole substance of the matter was, that our government was duped by a miserable adventurer. The conduct of Madison, in this evident greediness to inculpate the federalists, was a lasting ground of dislike and hostility to him. See Young’s Amer. Statesman, p. 248.

II, p. 14: then called seriously to account

† I was living in Boston at the time (October, 1828) when the public first became fully aware of the fact, that, twenty years before, Mr. Adams had planted the seeds of this accusation against the northern fed-

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eralists in the eager soil of Mr. Jefferson’s mind, where it had flourished in secret, and whence it had been widely disseminated. There was a general—indeed, an almost universal—feeling of indignation and astonishment. The presidential election was at hand, and Mr. Adams was the candidate of the whig party for a second term. Those very persons, whom he had thus maligned—themselves or their descendants—were now his supporters. The election was permitted to pass, and Massachusetts gave her vote for Mr. Adams; he was, however, defeated, and Jackson became his successor.

And now came the retribution. Mr. Adams was addressed by H. G. Otis, T. H. Perkins, William Prescott, Charles Jackson, and others—men of the highest standing, and representing the old federal party, charged with treason by him—demanding the proofs of the accusation for which he stood responsible. I have not space to give here the discussion which followed. Those who wish can find the case clearly stated in Young’s American Statesman, page 442, &c., &c. The result certainly was, that Mr. Adams showed no grounds, even for suspicion, of what he charged; and that, even if there had been some foundation for his opinion, it referred to an earlier date, and to other individuals, and could not, by any show of fact, reason, or logic, be connected with the Hartford Convention. Indeed, no person can now read the controversy referred to, without coming to this obvious conclusion. It will be remembered, in confirmation of this, that John Henry, the British agent, sent for the purpose of seducing the Boston federalists, by the British governor, Craig, never found an individual to whom he dared even to open his business!

At all events, such was the shock of public feelings, caused by the disclosure of Mr. Adams’s charge made to Jefferson, that for a long time, when he walked the streets of Boston, which he occasionally visited, he was generally passed without being spoken to, even by his former acquaintances. The resentment at last subsided, but he never recovered the full confidence of the people of Massachusetts: they were content, however, in view of his great merits, to let the matter pass into oblivion. It is only in obedience to the call of history that I write these facts.

II, p. 15: save one

* This individual was William Plumer, a Senator from New Hampshire, who stated that in 1803 and 1804, he was himself in favor of

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forming a separate government for New England, but he abandoned these ideas, and used his influence against them, when, as he says, they were revived in 1809 and 1812. He, too, underwent a close examination, and it appeared that he was unable to produce any reliable evidence whatever, that any plot for disunion was formed, or that any individual, connected with the Hartford Convention, countenanced such a scheme. See Young’s Amer. Statesman, p. 455, &c.

II, p. 18: Noah Webster

* It is certainly not necessary for me to write the biography or certify to the character of Noah Webster: these have been carried all over our country by his Spelling-book and his Dictionary, erecting monuments of gratitude in the hearts of the millions whom he has taught to read, and the millions whom he still teaches, in the perfect use of our language. It has been said, and with much truth, that he has held communion with more minds than any other anther of modem times. His learning, his assiduity, his piety, his patriotism, were the groundwork of these successful and beneficent labors. It is the privilege of a great and good man to speak, and when he speaks, to be listened to. The passage here quoted is comprised in his “Collection of Essays,” published in 1843: it was written with a sincere and earnest purpose, and it seems no more than due to truth and the justice of logic, to receive it as conclusive proof of the facts it asserts.

Mr. Webster, as is well known, was a native of Hartford, Conn., and was born in Oct. 1758. Among his classmates at Yale College were Joel Barlow, Oliver Wolcott, Uriah Tracy, Zepheniah Swift, and other men of eminence. His life was spent in various literary pursuits. I knew him well, and must mention an incident respecting him, still fresh in my memory. In the summer of 1834,1 was in Paris, and staying at the Hotel Montmorency. One morning, at an early hour, I entered the court of the hotel, and on the opposite side, I saw a tall, slender form, with a black coat, black small-clothes, black silk stockings, moving back and forth, with its hands behind it, and evidently in a state of meditation. It was a curious, quaint, Connecticut looking apparition, strangely in contrast to the prevailing forms and aspects in this gay metropolis. I

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said to myself—“If it were possible, I should say that was Noah Webster!” I went up to him, and found it was indeed he. At the age of sixty-six, he had come to Europe to perfect his Dictionary! It is interesting to know that such tenacity of purpose, such persistency, such courage, were combined with all the refined and amiable qualities which dignify and embellish domestic and private life.

II, p. 25: origin of the Hartford Convention

* This statement, on the part of Mr. Webster, does not exclude the supposition that the idea of a convention of the New England States may have been previously suggested by others. Such a thing was very likely to occur to many minds, inasmuch as New England had been accustomed, from time immemorial, to hold conventions, in periods of trouble and anxiety. His testimony, however, shows clearly that the actual, efficient movement which resulted in the Hartford Convention, originated, as he states, with the citizens of Hampshire county. Other testimony shows that some prominent federalists did not at first favor it, and only yielded at last to a feeling of prudence, in following this lead of the people.

The following letter from Harrison Gray Otis to Mrs. Willard, written in reply to a request from her, for information on the subject, will be seen to correspond with Mr. Webster’s statement, and also with the proceedings of the Convention, and all other known fticte relating to it, in such a manner as to satisfy every honest mind of its truth.

“The Hartford Convention, far from being the original contrivance of a cabal for any purpose of faction or disunion, was a result growing, by natural consequences, out of existing circumstances. More than a year previous to its institution, a convention was simultaneously called for by the people in their town meetings, in all parts of Massachusetts. Petitions to that effect were accumulated on the tables of the legislative chamber. They were postponed for twelve months by the influence of those who now sustain the odium of the measure. The adoption of it was the consequence, not the source of a popular sentiment; and it was intended by those who voted for it, as a safety-valve, by which the

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steam arising from the fermentation of the times might escape, not as a boiler by which it is generated.” (See Willard’s History of the United States, p. 851.)

II, p. 30: the democratic papers

* The following is from the American Mercury, the democratic organ at Hartford—Dec. 18, 1815, a year after the Convention. There can be little doubt that, at the outset, many of the democrats really felt that the Convention meditated treason. I have already shown that the leaders of democracy had been made, by the revelations of John Q. Adams, to suspect the northern federalists; and there is no doubt that Madison and his cabinet, for a time, apprehended that the Hartford Convention was to be the fulfillment of Adams’s prediction. But the maledictions here poured out by the Mercury—a year after the gathering of the Convention, and when its innocence, to say the least, was universally known and understood—were mere electioneering devices. They are interesting, however, as showing the means by which the obstinate prejudice against the Convention was wrought into the minds of the mass of the democratic party.

“The fifteenth of December is an epoch in the history of America which can never be passed over by Republicans, without mingled emotions of regret and exultation: of regret, that we have among us ‘men—freeborn men—men born, nursed, and brought up by our firesides—Americans—American citizens,’ who are so depraved, so wicked, as to aim a dagger at the vitals of their already bleeding country, and to attempt to subvert the liberties of the people; of exultation, that the grand designs of these hellish conspirators have been frustrated with infamy, and that the Union has triumphed over their mischievous machinations!

“Impressed with these sentiments, the Republicans of Hartford, on Friday last (being the day of the first meeting of the Convention), displayed the flag of the Union at half-mast during the early part of the day, as expressive of their sorrow for the depravity of those, who, one year since, were plotting in our city, in conjunction with Britain, the destruction of the liberties of the Republic. In the afternoon, the flag was raised to the masthead, as emblematical of the complete discomfiture of their designs, and the triumph of the Constitution. In the rueful countenance of the federalists, it was plain to discover the mortification and chagrin which they experienced. They say, let us bury in oblivion’s dark bastile all bitter recollection! But so long as New England is cursed with federal rulers, till she emerges from the darkness

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which has for years enveloped her, till republicanism reigns triumphant throughout New England (which we trust in God is close at hand), it becomes the imperious duty of Republicans to hold up to the contempt of the people, their wicked and nefarious designs. * * *

“We think it a duty we owe to our country, to publish annually the names of those who com posed the ‘Hartford Convention,’ that they may never be forgotten.” Here follows a list of the names.

Not only the Hartford Mercury, but the Boston Patriot, and probably other democratic journals, made a similar pledge to hold up to eternal disgrace this black list of conspirators. All this was, however, a mere electioneering game, and after two or three years, the pledge was forgotten.

II, p. 31: pages of Charles Jared Ingersoll

* “Historical Sketch of the Second War between the United States and Great Britain, by Charles Jared Ingersoll.”

II, p. 31: the Convention

† The following are the names of the members of the so-called Hartford Convention: those from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island were appointed from the State legislatures; those from New Hampshire, by county conventions; the delegate from Vermont was chosen by persons in the county of Windham. These were all appointed “for the purpose of devising and recommending such measures for the safety and welfare of these States as may be consistent with our obligations as members of the National Union.”

From Massachusetts—George Cabot, Nathan Dane, William Prescott, Harrison Gray Otis, Timothy Bigelow, Joshua Thomas, Samuel Sumner Wilde, Joseph Lyman, Stephen Longfellow, Jr., Daniel Waldo, Hodijah Baylies, George Bliss.

From Connecticut—Chauncey Goodrich, John Treadwell, James Hillhouse, Zephanisih Swift, Nathaniel Smith, Calvin Goddard, Roger M. Sherman.

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From Rhode Island—Daniel Lyman, Samuel Ward, Edward Manton, Benjamin Hazard.

From New Hampshire—Benjamin West, Mills Olcott.

From Vermont—William Hall, Jr.

II, p. 33: finest public hall in the State

* The Hon. R. R. Hinman, the historian of Connecticut during the Revolutionary period, and several years Secretary of State, once told me a good anecdote in relation to this dark, dismal hiding-place of the “nefandous” Convention. One day, a man from the South—I believe a South Carolinian—some one doubtless who had been reading Ingersoll’s history, came into the office of the Secretary, and desired to be shown the place where the Hartford Convention sat. Mr. Hinman accordingly

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took him into the room. The stranger looked around with much curiosity, and presently he saw Stuart’s likeness of Washington—for in this chamber is one of the most celebrated of the full-length portraits of the Father of his Country.

The stranger started. “And was this picture here, when the Convention held its sittings?” said he.

“Yes, certainly,” said the secretary.

“Well,” replied the man—observing the high color which Stuart had given to the countenance of Washington, in the picture—“well, I’ll be d——d if he’s got the blush off yet!”

This is a sharp joke; but yet, it is natural to ask—if Washington’s picture should blush for the Hartford Convention—which above all things advocated the preservation of the Union—what should it have done in the presence of that Convention in South Carolina, November, 1832, which resulted in an open, avowed opposition to the Union, and had perhaps laid the foundation for its overthrow, in establishing the doctrine of Secession?

II, p. 35: William Coleman

* William Coleman was a native of Massachusetts, and was born in 1766. He studied law, and settled at Greenfield about 1794, where he erected a house, noted for its architectural beauty. Here he also edited a newspaper. Buckingham—vol. ii. p. 319—says that he was remarkable for his vigor in skating, having passed in one evening from near Greenfield to Northampton, a distance of about twenty miles. As I recollect him, he was a large man, of robust appearance, with a vigorous and manly countenance. His nose was bony and prominent, and in connection with a strongly defined brow, gave his face an expression of vigor and sagacity. His eye was gray, his hair light brown, and at the time I speak of, was slightly grizzled. He removed to New York, where lie published some law books, and in 1801 (Nov. 16), founded the Evening Post, which became a leading federal paper, and so continued for many years. Its columns were distinguished for ability, as well in its political discussions as its literary essays and criticisms. In general, he set a good example of dignity of style and gentlemanly decorum, though he was drawn into some violent altercations with Cheetham and Duane. It is sufficient eulogy of Mr. Coleman to say that he enjoyed the con-

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fidence of Hamilton, King, Jay, and other notabilities of that day, and that he made the Evening Post worthy of the editorial successorship of Leggett (1820) and of Bryant (1836).

II, p. 36: George Cabot

* George Cabot was a native of Salem, Mass., born in 1752. He was originally a shipmaster, but he rose to various stations of eminence. He became a senator of the United States, and in 1798 was appointed the first Secretary of the Navy, but declined. His personal influence in Boston was unbounded. He died in that city, 1823.

II, p. 37: Harrison Gray Otis

* Harrison Gray Otis, son of Samuel A. Otis, the first Secretary of the Senate of the United States, was born in 1765, and died 1848. He

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was one of the most eminent of the Massachusetts bar, even by the side of Ames, Parsons, Lowell, and Gore. He succeeded Ames in Congress, in 1797. In 1817, he became a senator of the United States. To learning and vigor of intellect, he added great powers of oratory, captivating alike to the simple and the refined. He held various other offices, and in these, discharged his duties with distinguished ability. His residence was at Boston. He retained his mental faculties, his cheerfulness, and his amenity of demeanor, to the last.

II, p. 40: father of the historian

* William Prescott was a native of Pepperell, Mass., born 1762. His father, Colonel Prescott, commanded at the battle of Bunker Hill. He became one of the most eminent lawyers in the State, and filled various public stations. Mr. Webster said of him at the time of his death, in 1844: “No man in the community, during the last quarter of a century, felt himself too high, either from his position or his talents, to ask counsel of Mr. Prescott.”

II, p. 40: Mr. Longfellow

† Stephen Longfellow, of Portland, Maine, was an eminent lawyer, and ranked among the most distinguished and estimable citizens of New England. He was noted for unsullied purity of life and character, an inflexible devotion to his convictions, great powers of conversation and winning amenity of manners, always mingling an elevated piety with a kindly charity to all other sects. While Maine was a part of Massachusetts, he exercised great influence in the State: after the separation, he was one of the leading men of this new member of the Union. He died in 1849.

II, p. 41: the secret

* The other members from Massachusetts were all eminent for their virtues and their talents.

Few names in our history are more honorably remembered than that of Nathan Dane. He was a native of Ipswich, Massachusetts, born in 1754. He was a lawyer of great eminence, and a statesman of distinguished patriotism and wisdom. He was a member of Congress under the Confederation, and was the framer of the famed ordinances of 1787, for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio river; an admirable code of law, by which the principles of free government, to the exclusion of slavery, were extended to an immense region, and its political and moral interests secured on a permanent basis. He published some useful works, and founded a professorship of law in Harvard University. His life is a long record of beneficent works. He died in Feb. 1835.

Timothy Bigelow was a learned, eloquent, and popular lawyer, born in 1767, and died in 1821. For more than twenty years he was a member of the Massachusetts legislature, and for eleven years he was Speaker of its House of Representatives. His residence was at Medford. Mrs. Abbott Lawrence was one of his daughters.

Joseph Lyman, of Northampton, was horn in 1767, and died in 1847. He was the person associated with Noah Webster and others, in the first movement for the Hartford Convention, as previously noticed. He held many important offices, and enjoyed, in an unbounded degree, the confidence of the community. He was an eminently dignified and handsome man, of the old school of manners, and mingling in his countenance and demeanor a certain seriousness, with kindness and condescension. He never failed to attend the polls, and deposited his fifty-ninth ballot the year of his death!

Joshua Thomas, born 1751, and died 1821, held for many years the office of Judge of Probate for the county of Plymouth.

Samuel Sumner Wilde, born 1771 and died 1855, was an eminent lawyer, and several years judge of the Supreme Court—the same in which Parsons, Story, Sedgwick, and Sewall had officiated. He was a man of unbending integrity, and the utmost dignity and purity of life. He was the father-in-law of Caleb Cushing—the present Attorney-general of the United States.

George Bliss, born 1764, died 1830, was a distinguished lawyer of Springfield. He enjoyed in an eminent degree the respect and confidence of all who knew him.

Daniel Waldo was born in 1763 at Boston: he settled at Worcester,

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and devoted himself to mercantile affairs with great success. He acquired in a high degree the confidence of the community around him. He was distinguished for integrity, justice, and punctuality, in all the affairs of life. He died in 1845.

Thomas Handyside Perkins, born in Boston, 1764, and died in 1854. He was an eminent merchant of that city, and having amassed a large fortune, was distinguished for his liberality. Several literary and charitable institutions owe their existence to him. In person, he was a large man, with a grave countenance, but with an expression indicative of his large and generous heart.

Hodijah Baylies was born in 1757. He served during the Revolutionary war, and was at one time aid to General Lincoln, and afterward to Washington. He held various public offices, and was noted as combining, in a high degree, the Christian character with that of the gentleman. He died in 1843.

The four members from Rhode Island were among the most respectable citizens of that State.

Daniel Lyman was a native of Connecticut, born in 1776 and died in 1830. He served through the Revolutionary war, and rose to the rank of major. He afterward settled in Rhode Island, became eminent as a lawyer, and was finally chief-justice of the Supreme Court of that State.

Samuel Ward, son of Gov. Ward, of that State, was born in —— and died in ——. In the Revolution he was a soldier, and accompanied Arnold in his perilous march against Quebec. After the peace he devoted himself to commerce. As a soldier, patriot, and citizen, his character was without a stain.

Benjamin Hazard was among the ablest lawyers of his day, enjoying the highest esteem for his private worth. He was very swarthy, with long frizzled hair, and I particularly noticed him, among the other members, for the singularity of his appearance. He was often called by the people of his neighborhood “Black Ben.” He was born in 1776 and died in 1841. He was elected to the Assembly of Rhode Island sixty-two times!

Edward Manton was a merchant of Johnston, and distinguished for his probity and moral worth. He was born in 1760 and died in 1820.

II, p. 42: Mr. West

* Benjamin West was a native of Massachusetts, son of Rev. T. West, and born in 1746. He was graduated at Harvard College, studied law, and settled at Charlestown, N. H., where he died, July 27, 1817.

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For a full and touching biography of him, see Knapp’s Biographical Sketches of Eminent Lawyers, Statesmen, &c., p. 245.

II, p. 44: Chauncey Goodrich

* For a sketch of the life of Chauncey Goodrich, see page 526, vol. i. of this work.

II, p. 44: James Hillhouse

† James Hillhouse was one of the most remarkable men of his time, he was born in 1754, entered upon the practice of the law, engaged in the Revolutionary war, became a member of Congress, and was sixteen years a senator. He possessed an iron frame, and his industry and devotion to his duties knew no bounds. He usually slept but four or five hours in twenty-four. His personal appearance was remarkable. He as over six feet high, of a large bony frame: his complexion was swarthy, and his eye black and keen. He was thought to have something

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of the Indian in his physiognomy and his walk, and he humorously favored this idea. He was once challenged by a Southerner, for something uttered in debate, in the Senate. He accepted the challenge, but added, that as the choice of weapons fell to him, he selected tomahawks! He was full of wit, and it is said that one day, as he was standing on the steps of the Capitol with Randolph, a drove of asses chanced to be going by—these animals being then raised in Connecticut for the South. “There are some of your constituents!” said Randolph. “Yes,” said Hillhouse; “they are going to be schoolmasters in Virginia!” This story is sometimes told of Uriah Tracey, to whom, perhaps, it really belongs.

Hillhouse always scoffed at the abuse heaped upon the Hartford Convention. Several years after the meeting of this body, he had some business at Boston, which required several advertisements in a newspaper. These he had inserted in the Patriot—a democratic paper, which had been furious against the Convention. When he went to pay the bill, he desired to see the editor. Being introduced to him, he said—“Sir, my name is Hillhouse, and I was a member of the Hartford Convention. You inserted the names of the members for several years, and promised to keep them in eternal remembrance. I am very proud of having been a member of that body, and feel that I owe you a debt of gratitude. So I have selected your paper as the object of my patronage. I owe you sixteen dollars and sixty-seven cents, and there, sir, is the money. I have to remark, however, that for several years you have neglected your promise to keep us before the world.” This led to a hearty laugh, and the two gentlemen parted. The history of Connecticut is full of this man’s good works. He died in 1832.

II, p. 45: John Treadwell

* John Treadwell, of Farmington, was born in 1745, and died in 1823. He studied law, and afterward was employed for thirty years in public stations, rising finally to the office of Governor of the State. He was a man of learning, and received the title of LL.D. from Yale College. He was distinguished as a consistent professor of religion, and a firm supporter of its interests. He was the first President of the American For-

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eign Missionary Society, and for thirty years was deacon of the church—thus mingling the humble with the higher offices of life, and discharging the duties of each with the most exemplary fidelity. In person, he was short and bulbous about the waist, with a certain air of importance in his face and carriage. Some little weaknesses can be forgiven in one whose life is so full of honors.

II, p. 46: Chief-justice Swift

* Zephaniah Swift was born in 1759; having been a member of Congress, he accompanied Oliver Ellsworth, ambassador to France in 1798, as his secretary. In 1801 he was appointed judge of the Superior Court, and was chief-justice from 1806 to 1819. He was a large man, of strong manly features; in conversation he spoke rapidly, without grace of manner or expression, but with force and perspicuity. His mind was eminently fitted for juridical duties. He died while on a visit to Ohio in 1823.

II, p. 46: Nathaniel Smith

† For a sketch of the life and character of Nathaniel Smith, see page 308, vol. i. of this work.

II, p. 46: Calvin Goddard

‡ Calvin Goddard was born 1768, and died 1842. He filled various public offices, and was mayor of Norwich for seventeen years. It is difficult to say which predominated, his learning, his wit, or his amenity. I chanced to be with him and Gen. Terry in the stage-coach from New Haven to New York, when, in January, 1815, they were proceeding to Washington, to carry the proceedings of the Convention. Gen. Terry slept nearly all the way, nor could Mr. Goddard’s ceaseless wit arouse him. When they got to Washington, the news of peace had just; arrived, and their “occupation was gone.” They experienced some gibes, but it is said that Goddard paid back with compound interest. No man was more competent.

II, p. 47: Roger Minot Sherman

* Roger Minot Sherman, nephew of the celebrated Roger Sherman, was a native of Woburn, Mass., and born in 1773. He established himself as a lawyer at Fairfield, Conn., and rose to the first rank of his profession. He was distinguished for acute logical powers, and great elegance of diction—words and sentences seeming to flow from his lips as if he were reading from the Spectator. He was a man of refined personal appearance and manners; tall, and stooping a little in his walk; deliberate in his movements and speech, indicating circumspection, which was one of his characteristics. His countenance was pale and thoughtful, his eye remarkable for a keen, penetrating expression. Though a man of grave general aspect, he was not destitute of humor. He was once-traveling in Western Virginia, and stopping at a small tavern was beset with questions by the landlord, as to where he came from, whither he was going, &c. At last said Mr. Sherman—“Sit down, sir, and I will tell you all about it.” The landlord sat down. “Sir,” said he, “I am from the Blue Light State of Connecticut!” The landlord stared. “I am deacon in a Calvinistic church.” The landlord was evidently shocked. “I was a member of the Hartford Convention!” This was too much for the democratic nerves of the landlord; he speedily departed, and left his lodger to himself. Mr. Sherman filled various offices, and in 1840, became judge of the Superior Court. To a mind at once brilliant and profound, he added the embellishments of literature and science and the graces of Christianity. He died Dec. 30, 1844.

II, p. 48: he thus characterizes

* Hollister’s History of Connecticut, vol. ii. p. 303.

II, p. 52: The Rev. Philander Chase

* Philander Chase was a native of Vermont, born 1775, and died 1852. He was a man of imposing personal appearance and manners. He became bishop of Ohio in 1810, and afterward was elected bishop of Illinois.

II, p. 54: Colonel Jesup

* Thomas S. Jesup was a native of Virginia, and holding the rank of Major, distinguished himself at Chippewa, Niagara, &c., during the campaign of 1814. While he was at Hartford, in the winter of 1814-15, there was a public ball, in which I was one of the managers. I recollect that he was present, and was dressed in blue undress military coat with epaulettes, white small-clothes, and white silk-stockings, and was quite a favorite with the ladies—a proper homage to the brave.

II, p. 56: that assembly

* Mr. Ingersoll, in his history of the “Late War,” professes to report the substance of Jesup’s letters to the President: in one of these he says, among other things, that after an interview which he had with Gov. Tompkins, of New York, on his way to Hartford, he thinks the “Convention will complain, remonstrate, and probably address the people, but that its proceedings will neither result in an attempt to sunder the Union, nor in a determination to resist by force the measures of the general government.”

This is sensible. Thus Col. Jesup, even before he reached Hartford, had discovered the actual state of things in New England. I can testify that, living in the very midst of the members of the Convention, I never heard such a thing as disunion advocated, or even suggested, as probable or possible. In confirmation of this, Mr. Ingersoll adds:

Colonel Jesup soon ascertained that the Connecticut members of the Convention were opposed to disunion, to disorder; that every throb of the people’s heart was American,” &c., &c. Surely no sensible man needed a ghost to tell him that; and yet, strange to say, there are persons who still believe that the Convention, pushed on by the people of New England, were a band of traitors, at least in their hearts!

Mr. Ingersoll states that one member of the Convention—Chauncey Goodrich—listened favorably to Jesup’s counterplot, which was, that New England should put her shoulder to the war, capture Halifax and the adjacent territories, and these, with Canada, should be annexed to New England! That the ardent young lieutenant-colonel should have made such a suggestion, is very possible, but those who knew the parties, will smile at the idea that a scheme so utterly preposterous—so hopeless in the actual state of the country, so opposed to public sentiment, so certain to protract and aggravate the war—should have been entertained for a moment by the far-sighted person to whom it was proposed. If such a plot was ever seriously suggested, it was no doubt respectfully listened to as a matter of courtesy, but in no other sense could it have been received.

II, p. 57: in opposition to the democracy

* The sincere seeker for truth should read the history of the parties of this period, in connection with their previous annals. “It is a remarkable fact,” says Noah Webster, in his history of political parties in the United States, “that the democratic party, with few or no exceptions, opposed the ratification of the Constitution; and beyond a question, had that opposition succeeded, anarchy or civil war would have been the consequence. The federalists made the form of government, and with immense efforts procured it to be ratified, in opposition to nearly one-half of the citizens of the United States, headed by some of the ablest men in the Union.”

II, p. 63: Berlin,* with my parents

* I have already said that my father, having asked a dismission from his parochial charge at Ridgefield, was settled—1811—in Berlin, eleven miles south of Hartford. It is a pleasant village, situated on a slight elevation, rising from a fertile valley, bounded on the south by a range of mountains. The town embraces three parishes, which, thirty years ago, where the principal seat of the tin manufacture, from which the whole country was long supplied by peddlers. The arts of these became proverbial; not confining themselves to the sale of tin-ware, they occasionally peddled other articles. In the Southern States, it is pretended, they palmed off upon the people “wooden nutmegs,” “oak-leaf cigars,” &c.

Berlin was the birthplace of Isaac Riley—a noted bookseller of New York—forty years ago. He was a man of fine personal address and

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striking intellectual activity, but was marked with great vicissitudes of fortune. One of the Berlin peddlers, by the name of B...., chanced to be at one of Riley’s book-auction sales, when he bid off a thousand copies of a cheap edition of Young’s Night Thoughts. These he peddled in the South and West as bad books, getting five dollars apiece for them! When remonstrated with for imposition, he insisted that it was a good moral and religious operation!

At the present day, New Britain, one of the parishes of Berlin, is noted for extensive brass and iron foundries, and various other manufactures.

II, p. 72: Judge Kent

* James Kent was born in Putnam county, N. Y., 1763. He rose to eminence in the profession of the law, and was appointed by John Jay, then governor, judge of the supreme court. He was afterward chief-justice, and, in 1814, chancellor. He died in New York, which had been his residence, in 1847—an ornament to human nature, to the bar, the bench, and the Christian profession.

II, p. 72: Emmet

† Thomas Addis Emmet, a native of Cork, in Ireland, was born in 1764. He was one of the Committee of the Society of United Irishmen,

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and was involved in the unfortunate rebellion of 1798. Mr. Emmet was imprisoned, but was finally set free, and came to the United States. His great learning, his extraordinary talents, his powerful eloquence, soon gave him a place among the first lawyers of the country. He died in 1827.

Dr. J. B. Romeyn

* John B. Romeyn was settled first at Rhinebeck, then at Schenectady, and finally at New York. He was born in 1769, and died 1825.

II, p. 74: Dr. Mason

* John M. Mason, D. D.—son of Dr. John Mason of the Scotch Church—was born in 1770, and died in 1829. He was alike distinguished for his wit, his intellectual powers, and his eloquence. He was the author of several religious works of great ability. I have heard the following anecdote of him: A certain parishioner of his, after the establishment of a Unitarian church in New York, joined it. One day, when the Doctor chanced to meet him, the former said—

“ Mr. S...., it is some time since I have seen you at Murray-street.”

“I have not been there lately, it is true,” was the reply—“and I will tell you the reason. I think you make religion too difficult; I prefer rather to travel on a turnpike, than on a rough and thorny road.”

“Yes,” said the Doctor; “but you must look out, and see that you don’t have a Hell of a toll to pay!”

II, p. 75: a visit to Saratoga

* I remember a striking incident which occurred at the hotel in Saratoga where we lodged. One Sunday morning, as the company sat down to breakfast at a long table, a small, dark, and rather insignificant looking minister said grace. As soon as he began, and his voice attracted notice, most of the persons gave respectful attention to his words; but three gay young men took pains to signify their superiority to such a vulgar custom by clashing the knives and forks, calling upon the waiters, and proceeding to their work. After breakfast, a notice was given to the lodgers that a sermon would be preached in the dining-hall at 10 o’clock. At this hour the lodgers generally gathered there, and among them the three young men—these, however, with a decided Gallic air and manner. Indeed, it was pretty evident that they had come to quiz the little parson. The latter soon entered, with a peculiarly noiseless, unostentatious step and demeanor. He sat down and meditated for a few minutes, and then rose to pray. The first tones of his voice were faint, but they grew in strength; and as we took our seats, all began to look with strange interest upon the countenance of that little, dark, unpretending preacher. He read a familiar hymn, but it seemed new and striking; he read a familiar chapter in the Bible, but it had a depth and meaning not realized before. He took his test, and preached such a sermon as seldom falls from the lips of man. Every heart was thrilled, and even the three young men who came to scoff, remained to pray. Never have I seen such alternations of feelings as passed over their countenances—first of ridicule, then of astonishment, then of shame, and at last, of consternation and contrition. “And who is this strange man—so insignificant in appearance, so seemingly inspired in fact?” said the people. It was Edward Payson, afterwards D. D., of Portland, one of the most pious, devoted, and eloquent ministers of his day. He was born at Rindge, in New Hampshire, in 1783, and died in 1827.

II, p. 89: John Cotton Smith

* John Cotton Smith was born in 1765, became member of Congress in 1800, where he remained six years. Being a federalist, he was nearly the whole time in the minority, yet such were his character and address, that he presided more frequently, and with more success, over the House, when in Committee of the Whole, than any other member. “To the lofty bearing of a Roman senator,” says the historian, “he added a gentleness so conciliating and persuasive, that the spirit of discord fled abashed from his presence.”

He was my mother’s cousin, and I saw him several times at our house. He was tall, slender, and graceful in form and manner. His hair, a little powdered, was turned back with a queue, and a slight friz over the ears. His dress was of the olden time—with breeches, black silk stockings, and shoe-buckles. His address was an extraordinary mixture of dignity and gentle persuasive courtesy. He was made judge of the Superior Court in 1809, and soon after lieutenant-governor; in 1812, he became acting-governor, upon the death of the lamented Griswold. In 1813, he was elected governor, and led the State through the war, and until 1817, when he was defeated by the election of Wolcott.

Governor Smith was the last of those stately, courtly Christian gentlemen of the “Old School,” who presided over Connecticut: with him passed away the dignity of white-top boots, queues, powder, and pomatum. His successor, Oliver Wolcott, though a federalist in the days of Washington, was never courtly in his manners. He was simple, direct, almost abrupt in his address, with a crisp brevity and pithiness of speech. His personal appearance and manner, contrasting with those of his predecessors, represented well enough the change of politics which his accession to the gubernatorial chair indicated.

Governor Smith was the first president of the Connecticut Bible Society, President of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, President of the American Bible Society, and received from Yale College the degree of LL.D. He lived at Sharon with patriarchal liberality and dignity, to the age of eighty, where he died, beloved and honored by all who knew him.

II, p. 90: lead the people through the emergency

* Oliver Wolcott was the third governor of Connecticut in a direct line from father to son. Roger, his grandfather, was a native of Windsor, born in 1679 and died in 1767. lie was a clever author, a conspicuous Christian, and governor of his native State from 1751 to 1754. His son, Oliver W., was born about 1727. He was a member of Congress in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was made. Barlow, in his Columbiad, thus speaks of him:

“Bold Wolcott urged the all-important cause—

With steady hand the solemn scene he draws;

Undaunted firmness with his wisdom join’d—

Nor kings, nor worlds, could warp his steadfast mind.”

He was elected governor in 1796, but died the next year.

His son Oliver was born 1759, and became Secretary of the Treasury, under Washington, upon the retirement of Hamilton, in 1795. He was continued in this office till the close of Adams’s administration. After twelve years of public service, he retired, with but six hundred dollars in his pocket! He devoted himself to commerce in New York from 1801 to 1815. His correspondence, in two volumes octavo, has been

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published by his grandson Gibbs, and is a valuable and interesting work. When he ceased to be governor, he returned to New York, where he died, in 1833. He was an able statesman, possessed of considerable literary attainments, and in conversation was full of sagacity, wit, and keen observations upon the world.

His sister, Maryanne, wife of Chauncey Goodrich—born 1765—was one of the most accomplished women of her time. A portrait of her—though doing no justice to her beauty—is given in Dr. Griswold’s “Republican Court.” It is among the household anecdotes of the family, that during the Revolution, a leaden statue of George III. was taken from New York to Litchfield, and there cast into bullets, and that these were formed into cartridges by this lady and others in the neighborhood, for the army. I never saw her, as she died in 1805, before I went to Hartford.

Of Frederick Wolcott, my brother-in-law, I find the following obituary notice in the Philadelphia United States Gazette, July 11, 1837:

“Died on the 28th of June, at his residence in Litchfield, Conn., in the 70th year of his age, the Hon. Frederick Wolcott, one of the most distinguished citizens of that State; a patriot of the old school, a gentleman of great moral and intellectual worth, a sincere, humble, consistent Christian. It has been well said of Judge Wolcott, that he was one of ‘nature’s noblemen.’ They who knew him personally, will appreciate the correctness and significance of the remark. His noble form, dignified yet affable and endearing manners, intelligence and purity of character, magnanimity of soul and useful life, were in grand and harmonious keeping, uniting to make him distinguished among men—greatly respected, beloved, and honored.

“Judge Wolcott was descended from one of the most eminent families in New England, being the son of Oliver Wolcott, former governor of Connecticut and one of the immortal signers of the Declaration of Independence, and grandson of Roger Wolcott, a still former governor of that State, who, together with the late Gov. Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury under Washington’s administration, and brother of the deceased, were lineal descendants of Henry Wolcott, an English gentleman of Tolland, in Somersetshire, who came to this country in 1628, and soon after undertook the first settlement in Connecticut, at Windsor. After graduating at Yale College, at an early age, with the highest honors of his class, Mr. Wolcott directed his studies to the law, and was soon called to various offices of important civil trust, the chief of which be held through every fluctuation of party, during a long life. His

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integrity inflexible, his perception ready, his judgment sound, his deportment always courteous, exemplary, and pleasing, he discharged all the public duties to which he was called with distinguished reputation. After his profession of faith in Christ, his life, morally correct and seemingly without defect before, was pre-eminently that of an enlightened and devoted follower of the Lord Jesus.

“In all the various relations which he sustained, his character as a great and good man shone with peculiar luster. In the church, he was not simply a member, but a pillar. No one could command more respect, no one possessed more influence. In the great schemes of benevolence which distinguish the present age, he ever lent a helping hand, and over several beneficent institutions was called to preside. A decided, though unostentatious Christian, he was ready to do every good work, and by his counsels and efforts, the weight of his character, and the beautiful consistency of his piety, did much to promote the cause which he espoused, and to recommend the religion he professed. It may be truly said of him, that ‘he walked with God.’

“In private and social life, his character had charms of still greater endearment and loveliness. Here he loved most to move, and here his more intimate friends will love to contemplate him. Modest and unassuming, frank and generous, cordial and cheerful, he was eminently formed for friendship, and none knew him but to love and honor him. His mansion was always the abode of hospitality, his heart was always open, delighting in those varied duties which pertain to the friend, the neighbor, the relative, the father, and head of his family. In these several relations, his example was noble, beautiful, lovely indeed!

“The closing scene corresponded with the tenor of his long and useful life. It was calm, dignified, of steadfast faith, meekness, patience, and Christian hope. He died in the full possession of his mental faculties, leaving behind him a truly enviable reputation, and coming to his grave, as a shook of corn fully ripe, in its season.’"

II, p. 92: Uriah Tracy

* Uriah Tracy was born in 1754 and died in 1807. He was many years n leading member of Congress, and distinguished for his eloquence, learning, and wit. I have heard of him the following anecdote: Toward the latter part of Adams’s administration, the latter nominated to office a connection of his family, by the name of Johnson, formerly a federalist, but recently turned democrat. This was offensive to the federalists, and Tracy, then of the Senate, being regarded as a skillful diplomat, was appointed to go and remonstrate with, the President. He

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accordingly went, and having put his Excellency in excellent humor, by some of his best stories, at last said—

“By the way, we have been thinking over this nomination of Johnson, and find there is a good deal of objection to him. The democrats will oppose him, because you nominated him; and some of the federalists will oppose him, because he is a democrat. We fear that if he goes to a vote, he will fail of a confirmation. As it would be unfortunate, just now, to have the administration defeated, your friends have requested me to suggest to your Excellency whether it would not be best to withdraw his name and substitute another?”

The President thrust his hands into his breeches pockets, and strode fiercely across the room: then coming up to Tracy, he said—“No, sir, no—that —— Boston Junto will never be satisfied till they drive me and my family back to Braintree to dig potatoes. No, sir—I’ll not withdraw it!”

II, p. 93: Tapping Reeve

* Judge Reeve was born in 1744, and died in 1823. His law school was founded in 1784: in 1794, he associated Judge Gould with him. In 1820, Judge Reeve left it, and Mr. Huntington became connected with it. More than eight hundred persons have here had their legal education: among these there have been fifteen United States senators—five have been cabinet members; ten governors of States; two judges of the Supreme Court; and forty judges of State courts. Judge Gould died in 1838, aged 67: Judge Huntington died in 1847, aged 59.

II, p. 93: Lyman Beecher

† Dr. Beecher was born at New Haven, in 1775, was educated at Yale

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College, settled at Hampton, Long Island, 1798; in 1810, at Litchfield; in 1826, in the Hanover-street church, Boston; in 1832, became President of the Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, which office he resigned in 1842, returning to Boston, where he still resides. He has published several volumes on theological subjects. He has devoted his long life, with prodigious activity and vigor, to the promotion of religion, learning, and the larger humanities of life. As a preacher he was very effective, possessing surpassing powers of statement, illustration, and argument.

His spirit and genius seem to have been imparted to his large family, of whom Edward Beecher, Miss Catherine Beecher, Mrs. Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, and others—all celebrated for their works—are members.

At the time I was in Litchfield I heard the following anecdote of Dr. B. He was one evening going home, having in his hand a volume of Ree’s Encyclopædia, which he had taken at the bookstore. In his way, he met a skunk, and threw the book at him, upon which the animal retorted, and with such effect that the doctor reached home in a very shocking plight. Some time after he was assailed, rather abusively, by a controversialist, and a friend advised the doctor to reply. “No,” said he—“I once discharged a quarto at a skunk, and I got the worst of it. I do not wish to try it again!”

II, p. 95: a poem by Rev. J. Pierpont

* I can not deny myself the pleasure of making a few extracts from this admirable performance, vividly portraying my own observations and recollections. Having described the boundaries of New England, the poet adds:

Here dwells a people—by their leave I speak—

Peculiar, homogeneous, and unique—

With eyes wide open, and a ready ear,

Whate’er is going on to see and hear;

Nay, they do say, the genuine Yankee keeps

One eye half open, when he soundest sleeps.

* * * * *

He loves his labor, as he loves his life;

He loves his neighbor, and he loves his wife:

And why not love her? Was she not the pearl

Above all price, while yet sbe was a girl?

And, has she not increased in value since.

Till, in her love, he’s richer than a prince?

Not love a Yankee wife! what, under Heaven,

Shall he love, then, and hope to be forgiven?

So fair, so faithful, so intent to please,

A “help” so “meet” in health or in disease!

* * * * *

And then, such housewives as these Yankees make;

What can’t they do? Bread, pudding, pastry, cake,

Biscuit, and buns, can they mould, roll, and bake.

All they o’ersee; their babes, their singing-birds,

Parlor and kitchen, company and curds,

Daughters and dairy, linens, find the lunch

For out-door laborers—instead of punch—

The balls of butter, kept so sweet and cool—

All the boys’ heads, before they go to school,

Their books, their clothes, their lesson, and the ball,

That she has wound and covered for them—all,

All is o’erseen—o’erseen!—nay, it is done,

By these same Yankee wives;—If you have run

Thus far without one, toward your setting sun,

Lose no more time, my friend—go home and speak for one!

* * * * *

The Yankee boy, before he’s sent to school,

Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool,

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The pocket-knife. To that his wistful eye

Turns, while he hears his mother’s lullaby;

His hoarded cents he gladly gives to get it,

Then leaves no stone unturned, till he can whet it:

And, in the education of the lad,

No little part that implement hath had.

His pocket-knife to the young whittler brings

A growing knowledge of material things.

Projectiles, music, and the sculptor’s art,

His chestnut whistle, and his shingle dart,

His elder pop-gun with its hickory rod,

Its sharp explosion and rebounding wad,

His corn-stalk fiddle, and the deeper tone

That murmurs from his pumpkin-leaf trombone,

Conspire to teach the boy. To these succeed

His bow, his arrow of a feathered reed,

His windmill, raised the passing breeze to win,

His water-wheel that turns upon a pin;

Or, if his father lives upon the shore,

You’ll see his ship, “beam-ends” upon the floor,

Full-rigged, with raking masts, and timbers stanch,

And waiting, near the wash tub, for a launch.

Thus by his genius and his jack-knife driven,

Ere long he’ll solve you any problem given;

Make any gimcrack, musical or mute,

A plow, a coach, an organ, or a flute—

Make you a locomotive or a clock,

Cut a canal, or build a floating-dock,

Or lead forth Beauty from a marble block;

Make any thing, in short, for sea or shore,

From a child’s rattle to a seventy-four;—

Make it, said I?—Ay, when he undertakes it,

He’ll make the thing, and the machine that makes it.

And, when the thing is made—whether it be

To move on earth, in air, or on the sea,

Whether on water o’er the waves to glide,

Or upon land to roll, revolve, or slide,

Whether to whirl, or jar, to strike, or ring,

Whether it be a piston or a spring,

Wheel, pulley, tube sonorous, wood or brass—

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The thing designed shall surely come to pass;

For, when his hand’s upon it, you may know,

That there’s go in it, and he’ll make it go!

* * * * *

’Tis not my purpose to appropriate

All that is clever to our native State:

The children of her sister States, our cousins,

Present their claims:—allow them—though by dozens;

* * * * *

But when we’ve weighed them, in a balance true,

And given our cousins all that is their due,

Will not themselves acknowledge that the weight

Inclines in favor of “the Nutmeg State?”

* * * * *

What if her faith, to which she clings as true,

Appears, to some eyes, slightly tinged with blue?

With blue as blue, aside from any ism,

We find no fault; the spectrum of a prism,

The rainbow, and the flowers-de-luce, that look

At their own beauty in the glassy brook,

Show us a blue, that never fails to please;

So does yon lake, when rippled by a breeze:

In morning-glories blue looks very well,

And in the little flower they call “blue-bell.”

No better color is there for the sky,

Or, as I think, for a blonde beauty’s eye.

It’s very pretty for a lady’s bonnet,

Or for the ribbon that she puts upon it;

But in her faith, as also in her face,

Some will insist that blue is out of place;

As all agree it would be in the rose

She wears, and, peradventure, in—her hose.

Still, for her shrewdness, must the “Nutmeg State”

As Number One among her sisters rate;

And which, of all her counties, will compare,

For size, or strength, for water, soil, or air,

With our good Mother County—which has sown

Her children, broadcast, o’er a wider zone,

Around the globe? And has she not, by far,

Outdone the rest in giving to the bar,

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And to the bench—for half of all her years—

The brightest names of half the hemispheres?

Our Mother County! never shalt thou boast

Of mighty cities, or a sea-washed coast!

Not thine the marts where Commerce spreads her wings,

And to her wharves the wealth of India brings;

No field of thine has e’er been given to fame,

Or stamp’d by History, with a hero’s name;

For, on no field of thine was e’er displayed

A hostile host, or drawn a battle-blade.

The better honors thine, that wait on Peace.

Thy names are chosen, not from martial Greece,

Whose bloody laurels by the sword were won,

Platea, Salamis, and Marathon—

But from the pastoral people, strong and free,

Whose hills looked down upon the Midland sea—

The Holy Land. Thy Carmel lifts his head

Over thy Bethlehem—thy “house of bread;”

Not Egypt’s land of Goshen equaled thine,

For wealth of pasture, or “well-favored kine,”

While many a streamlet through thy Canaan flows,

And in thy Sharon blushes many a rose.

But, Mother Litchfield, thou hast stronger claims

To be called holy, than thy holy names

Can give thee. Reckon as thy jewels, then,

Thy saintly women, and thy holy men.

Scarce have thine early birds from sleep awoke,

And up thy hillsides curls the cottage smoke,

When rises with it, on the morning air,

The voice of household worship and of prayer;

And when the night-bird sinks upon her nest,

To warm her fledglings with her downy breast,

In reverent posture many a father stands,

And, o’er his children, lifting holy hands,

Gives them to God, the Guardian of their sleep;

While round their beds their nightly vigils keep,

Those Angel ministers of heavenly grace,

Who “always do behold their Father’s face.”

II, p. 99: Stephen Rowe Bradley

* General Bradley was a native of Cheshire, Connecticut, where he was born, Oct. 20, 1754. He graduated at Yale College in 1775, and as before stated, was aid to Gen. Wooster, at the time he fell, in a skirmish with the British, near Danbury, in 1777. He removed to Vermont about the year 1780, and devoting himself to the bar, acquired an extensive practice. Having popular manners, and a keen insight into society, he became a prominent political leader, and exercised a large influence in laying the foundations of the State of Vermont, then the Texas of this country—Ethan Allen, Ira Allen, Seth Warner, and Thomas Chittenden—all from Connecticut—being the Austins and Houstons of its early history. At the period to which I refer it was rising from the chaos of the Revolutionary war, and the still more disorganizing contests with colonial claimants for sovereignty over her territories. In 1791, that State having come into the Union, Gen. Bradley was chosen one of its first senators. With an interval of six years—from 1795 to 1801—he continued in the Senate till 1813, a period of sixteen years. He was a member of the democratic party, and called, “by virtue of powers vested in him,” the caucus which nominated Madison, and resulted in his election to the presidency. He was distinguished for political sagacity, a ready wit, boundless stores of anecdote, a large acquaintance with mankind, and an extensive range of historical knowledge. His conversation was exceedingly attractive, being always illustrated by pertinent anecdotes and apt historical references. His devel-

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opments of the interior machinery of parties, during the times of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison; his portraitures of the political lenders of these interesting eras in our history—sill freely communicated at a period when he had retired from the active arena of politics, and now looked back upon them with the feelings of a philosopher—were in the highest degree interesting and instructive. He received the degree of LL.D., and having removed to Walpole, in New-Hampshire, a few years before, died Dec. 16, 1830, aged 76. His son, W. C. Bradley—still living, at the age of 74—has also been a distinguished lawyer and member of Congress.

II, p. 101: Scott

* Scott experienced the fate of most eminent writers who have acquired a certain mannerism, recognized by the community at large—that is, he was laughed at by burlesques of his works. George Colman, the Younger, though not very young, travestied the Lady of the Lake under the title of the Lady of the Wreck—the latter of about the same dimensions as the former. It is an Irish story, full of droll extravagance and laughable imitations of the original, at which they are aimed.

In 1812, appeared the “Rejected Addresses” of James and Horace Smith, and in these the principal poets of the day were imitated, and their peculiarities parodied. They may, in fact, be considered as masterly criticisms of the several authors, in which their weak points are strongly suggested to the reader. The laughable imitations of the “Lake Poets”—Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge—probably had as much effect in curing them of their affectations, as the scoffing ridicule of the Edinburgh Review. Even Byron, who actually gained the prize offered by the manager of Drury Lane Theater, on the occasion of its opening in the new building, received a staggering blow from the imitation of Childe Harold, which was so close in manner as to seem as if extracted from that poem, while the spirit of the composition is strongly and effectively ridiculed. The following are two characteristic stanzas;

“Sated with home, with wife and children tired,

The restless soul is driven abroad to roam—

Sated abroad, all seen, yet naught admired—

The restless soul is driven to ramble home.

Sated with both, beneath new Drury’s dome,

The fiend Ennui a while consents to pine—

There growls and curses like a deadly Gnome,

Scorning to view fantastic Columbine,

Viewing with scorn the nonsense of the Nine!

* * * * *

“For what is Hamlet, but a hare in March?

And what, is Brutus, but a croaking owl?

And what is Rolla? Cupid steep’d in starch,

Orlando’s helmet in Augustine’s cowl!

Shakspeare—how true thine adage, ‘fair is foul’—

To him whose soul is with fruition fraught.

The song of Braham is an Irish howl—

Thinking it but an idle waste of thought,

And naught is every thing and every thing is naught!”

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It is a point of the highest interest in my recollections, that during the period in which Scott and Byron were rising into notice, and afterward, in the full tide of success, were thrilling the whole reading world with their masterly productions, that the Edinburgh Review, under the leadership of Jeffrey, was at its zenith. His criticisms were undoubtedly the most brilliant and profound that had appeared at that period; nor has any thing superior to them been written since: About the same time Wordsworth and his friends, Southey and Coleridge, attempted to make the world believe that bathos is pathos, weakness strength, and silliness sublimity. On this experiment they wasted a large amount of genius. While the Edinburgh Review found a noble scope for its highest efforts in illustrating the beauties of the Waverley novels, and setting forth as well the faults as the sublimities of Byron, it also gave full exercise to its incomparable ridicule and raillery, in noticing the harlequinisms of the Lake triumvirate. At this period, a new number of “the Edinburgh” created as much sensation as a new instalment of Macauly’s history, at the present day.

II, p. 108: referred them to Scott

* It is a fact worthy of being noted, that while the evidence that Scott was the author of the Waverley Novels was clear and conclusive, various writers asserted the contrary. Some contended that they were written by Sir Walter’s brother, Thomas, in Canada; some, that they were the productions of a certain—or rather an uncertain— Dr. Greenfield, &c. The subject was discussed with great vehemence, and something like partisan bitterness. It was proved to demonstration, over and over again, hy some of these wiseacres, from internal, external, moral, religious, and political evidence, that Sir Walter Scott could not be the author. The foundation of all this was that envy, inherent in some minds, which is offended by success. Persons of this class invented, and at hist believed, the absurdities which they propagated. The fact is instructive, for it tenches us the danger of following the lead of littleness and malignity. Candor is a safer guide than envy or malice.

II, p. 109: J. M. Wainwright

* Dr. Wainwright was born at Liverpool, in 1792, of parents who were citizens of the United States, but who at that date were on a visit to England. He came to this country at the age of 11, was educated at Cambridge, and was instituted rector of Christ Church at Hartford, in 1815. He came to New York about 1820, and after filling various important stations, was in 1852 elected provisional bishop of the diocese of New York. He was an accomplished scholar and gentleman, and an earnest and successful laborer in the various fields to which his life was devoted.

Mr. Toucey studied law at Newtown, and came to Hartford about 1812, and has since resided there. He is an eminent lawyer, and has filled the offices of governor and senator of the United States. The latter place he still holds.

William L. Stone, born at Esopus, New York, 1792, was first a printer, and afterward became distinguished as an editor—first in conducting a political paper at Albany, and then at Hudson. When Theodore Dwight, who had founded the Connecticut Mirror, left for Albany, in 1816, Mr. Stone succeeded him. In 1821, he succeeded to the editorship of the Commercial Advertiser, at New York, which place he filled till his death, in 1844. He published various works, among which were the Life of Brant, Memoir of Red Jacket, Letters on Masonry and Antimasonry, &c. He wrote with great rapidity and fluency, and had a remarkable talent in collecting materials and making compilations. In personal character he was exceedingly amiable, giving his warm sympathy to all things charitable and religious.

Jonathan Law was the postmaster of Hartford; he was a good scholar,

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a man of refined feelings, with a sensitive, shrinking delicacy of manners in the intercourse of life.

Mr. Huntington has been judge of the county court, and has filled other responsible offices. He is now clerk of the Court of Claims, at Washington, though he resides at Hartford.—Such were some of the members of our little club.

II, p. 111: Graphic Company

* The designer of the establishment was Elkanah Tisdale, a fat, facetious gentleman—a miniature painter by profession, but a man of some literary taste, and admirable humor, in anecdote. He illustrated, with great-cleverness, the handsome edition of the Echo, published by Isaac Riley—brother-in-law of Dwight and Alsop, two of the principal authors—though it professes to be from the Porcupine Press, and by Pasquin Petronius.

II, p. 112: most popular and profitable school-books in the country

* Among these was A History of the United States of America, by Rev. C. A. Goodrich: this was the first of the popular school histories of the United States, now in circulation—and, in fact, the first of my brother’s numerous publications. Previous to this time, the history of the United States whs not one of our school studies. Other works of a similar kind, after this example, soon followed, but this work has continued to be one of the most popular. Several hundred thousand copies of it have been sold.

Another was an educational treatise on Natural Philosophy, by J. L. Comstock, which is now a popular and standard work in the schools, and has been republished in England. Dr. Comstock also wrote, upon plans which I indicated, an educational work on Chemistry, another on

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Mineralogy, &c., which I published. Thus this excellent and useful author began that series of treatises, designed to popularize science, which has placed his name among the eminent benefactors of education in this country. I am happy to say, that he is still living at Hartford, in the enjoyment of the respect and friendship which his amiable character and useful life naturally inspire—and, I may add, in the enjoyment also of that independence which is but a just compensation of well-directed industry and talent.

Mr. Woodbridge was born in 1795, graduated at Yale in 1811, and, having studied theology, became one of the teachers of the deaf and dumb, at Hartford. He was a man of the greatest amenity of manner and purity of life; he showed also a complete devotion to what he deemed his duty, viewed through a religious light. He gave his attention, to education, and may be considered as one of the pioneers in the great improvements lately made in the art of instruction. He traveled in Europe, visiting the most celebrated educational establishments, and holding intercourse with the most enlightened friends of educational progress and improvement. The result of his researches and reflections he gave to the public in numerous valuable and profound treatises. He was a little too much of a perfectionist to be immediately practical, and hence his books—two geographical treatises—were somewhat beyond the ago in which he lived; but still they exercised a powerful influence in suggesting valuable ideas to others. His first geography I took to England in 1823, and got it published there, for his benefit. It still continues to be published in London. Mr. Woodbridge was a man of feeble health, yet struggled manfully till 1845, when he expired, at Boston—loved and admired by all who knew him.

II, p. 114: Hopkins

* Dr. Lemuel Hopkins was born at Waterbury, 1750: he practiced physic at Litchfield, and afterward at Hartford, where he died in 1801. He left a strong impression upon the public mind, as well by the eccentricity of his personal appearance and habits, as by his learning and genius. He was often described to me as long and lank, walking with spreading arms and straddling legs. His nose was long, lean, and flexible; his eyes protruding, and his whole expression a strange mixture of solemnity and drollery, he was of a social disposition, and often in talking at a neighbor’s house, would forget his business engagements. He was intimate with Theodore Dwight, and his daughter has told me that she recollects his coming to their house, and being very much fatigued, he laid himself down on the floor, and put a log of wood under his head for a pillow. Here he began to dictate poetry, which her father wrote down, being very likely one of those poems which has placed his name among the most vigorous of our satirists.

II, p. 115: the poet, and the satirist

* John Trumbull—the poet—belonged to one of those remarkable families Jn Connecticut which, through several generations, have possessed talents that carried them to the highest stations in society. Jonathan Trumbull, of Lebanon, born in 1710, was elected governor in 1769, and continued to be annually elected till 1783, when he resigned, having been thirty years, without interruption, in public employment. His services, rendered to the country during the war, were regarded as almost nest those of Washington. It is said that the name given to our country of “Brother Jonathan,” came from him, in an allusion to his cooperation with Washington in the Revolution. He died in 1785. His son Jonathan, born at Lebanon, 1740, was Washington’s secretary and aid, member of Congress in 1789, speaker of the House in 1791, in 1794 senator, and in 1798, governor of the State. He died in 1809. Joseph Trumbull, nephew of the preceding, and still living, has filled various offices, and been senator of the United States and governor of the State. Benjamin Trumbull, the distinguished historian—born in 1735 and died in 1820—was nephew of the first Gov. Trumbull. Jonathan Trumbull, son of the second governor of that name, and aid to Washington, was an eminent painter and elegant gentleman, and died in 1843, aged 87. A collection of his paintings, valuable as historical and biographical mementoes, belongs to Yale College.

John Trumbull, the poet, son of the Rev. John T. of Watertown, a connection of this family, was born 1750. At seven he was admitted at college, but did not enter upon his studies there till thirteen. I have heard him say that when he went to enter at Yale, he rode on horseback behind his father, and wore his mother’s cloak and hood. He studied law, mingling the composition of poetry with legal pursuits. Having been in the law office of John Adams, at Boston, he settled as a lawyer at Hartford in 1781, and became distinguished in his profession. He wrote several poems, the most noted of which was McFingal, an imitation of Hudibras, and in some passages not inferior to the best portions of that famous production. Trumbull was, no doubt, the most conspicuous literary character of his day, in this country. I published a revised edition of his works in 1820, as elsewhere stated. His society was much sought, and he was the nucleus of a band of brilliant geniuses, including Dwight, Hopkins, Alsop, Humphries, &c.

The latter I often saw at Hartford, usually on visits to Trumbull. He

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was then old, and living in his native town of Derby, where he had established a woolen manufactory. He had been one of the handsomest men of his time, and was now large, portly, powdered, with a blue coat and bright buttons, a yellow waistcoat, drab breeches, and white-top boots. His complexion was florid, showing a little more appreciation of Sherry than was orthodox in Connecticut—a taste he brought with his wife and her fortune from Lisbon, or Madrid, in both which places he had been ambassador. He was in truth a splendid mixture of the old Continental soldier, and the powdered and pomatumed diplomat. Though past sixty, he still affected poetry, and on one occasion—perhaps about 1810—came in his coach-and-four, to get Trumbull to aid him in finishing his Fable of the Monkey, who, imitating his master in shaving, cut his own throat. He had nearly completed it, but wished a pointed, epigrammatic termination. Trumbull took it and read to the end, as it was written, and then added, without stopping—

“Drew razor swift as he could pull it,

And cut, from ear to ear, his gullet!”

This completed the fable, and it so stands to this day. This anecdote was told me by Trumbull himself, and I gave it to Kettell, who inserted it in the notice of the poet, in his “Specimens of American Poetry.” Humphries died in 1818; Trumbull in 1841, having been a judge of the Superior Court from 1801 till 1819, when he was disqualified by age, under a law of the State.

II, p. 117: he presided

* Nathan Strong, D. D., was born at Coventry, 1748, and graduated at Yale: during the Revolution, he was a chaplain in the army. After he was settled as a minister, he became a partner in the firm of Strong Smith, and engaged in the manufacture of gin. As was fit and proper, one of his deacons, good old Mr. Corning, was a grocer, and sold New England rum. As this article was frequently wanted after the store was shut, he kept a barrel on tap at his house, so that the people need

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not suffer for the want of this staff of life! The firm of Strong & Smith failed, and the minister shut himself up in his house to avoid the sheriff, but as no writ could be served on Sundays, he then went forth and preached to his congregation. All this took place toward the close of the last century. There was nothing in it disgraceful, then. Let those who deny that society has made progress in its standard of propriety, compare this with the universal tone of public sentiment now.

Of the numerous anecdotes of Dr. Strong, I give you one or two specimens. The first of these is connected with the Missionary Society of Connecticut, of which he was a principal founder. The Rev. Mr. Bacon—father of the present celebrated Dr. Leonard Bacon, of New Haven—had been employed as a missionary to that part of Ohio called the Western Reserve. Some deeply interesting letters, detailing his operations, had been received, and on the Sabbath, after the service, Dr. Strong invited Theodore Dwight into the pulpit, to read them. This he performed, and the letters made a deep, impression upon the audience. One old man, by the name of Z... P...., who was not only hard of hearing, but hard of head and heart, actually wept. As Mr. Dwight was about to descend, the doctor whispered to him—“You have done in thirty minutes what I have not been able to accomplish in thirty years: you have made old Z... P.... cry!”

Dr. S. had issued a prospectus for his sermons, when one day he met Trumbull the poet. “When are your sermons to be out ?” said the latter. “I cannot exactly tell,” said the doctor. “I am waiting to find a text to suit a man who never comes to church, except when he has a child to be baptized”—a palpable allusion to Trumbull’s neglect of the sanctuary about those days.

Dr. Mason, of New York, once called on Dr. Strong, and as he was about to depart, he stumbled, and almost fell, in consequence of a defect in one of the door-steps. “Why don’t you mend your ways?” said he, somewhat peevishly. “I was waiting for a Mason,” was the ready reply.

One of Dr. S.’s deacons came to him with a difficulty. “Pray, doctor,” said he, “tell me how it happens: all my hens hatch on Sunday.” “The reason is,” said the doctor, “that you set them on Sunday!”

II, p. 119: at Hartford

* When I went to reside at Hartford, Mr. Dwight was living next door to my uncle, and was on intimate terms with him. He was a tall, handsome man, with an exceedingly black, flashing eye, and a lip that curled easily in laughter or satire. He had an infinite fund of anecdote, great learning, an abundant acquaintance with literature, and lively powers of description. He wrote with facility, and dashed off verses almost by improvisation.

In early life, he had written sentimental poetry, specimens of which may be found in “American Poems,” published at Litchfield, in 1793. The lines, “Alfred to Philena,” are his—Philena being Mrs. Morton. They sound strongly Delia Cruscan—at this day—for the productions of Theodore Dwight. As an editor, he was chiefly devoted to politics, pursuing democracy with the unsparing vigilance of a falcon in chase of its prey. Some of his pasquinades became very popular, and greatly irritated the opposite party. His lines in ridicule of a Jeffersonian festival at New Haven, March, 1803—beginning as follows, and consisting of some dozen similar stanzas—were said and sung all over the country.

Ye tribes of Faction, join—

Your daughters and your wives;

Moll Cary’s come to dine,

And dance with Deacon Ives.

Ye ragged throng

Of democrats,

As thick as rats.

Come join the song.

Old Deacon Bishop stands,

With well-befrizzled wig,

File-leader of the band,

To open with a jig—

With parrot-toe

The poor old man

Tries all he can.

To make it go, &c.

When the Non-intercourse act—the last of the so-called “Restrictive Measures,” and which by way of ridicule had been nick-named the

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Terrapin System,” was repealed—Dwight wrote the following. It pretends to be a lyrical lament sung by the democrats at Washington, with whom this system had been a great favorite.


Mourn! sons of democratic woe!

In sadness bow the head;

Bend every back with sorrow low—

Poor TERRAPIN is dead.

And see his dying bed, around

His weeping friends appear:

Low droops his grandsire to the ground;

His father drops a tear.

Old Clopton begs the twentieth god,

The victim’s life to spare:

Calhoun and Johnson kiss the rod,

And Troup and Johnson swear.

Good old Long Tom stands sniveling by,

His dying eyes to close;

While Jemmy heaves a bitter sigh,

And wipes his mournful nose.

Let sharks exult with savage joy,

The wallowing porpoise spout:

No more his fangs their peace annoy,

Nor dread their ribs his snout.

Mud-turtles, paddle at your ease

In every pond and pool;

Ye tadpoles, settle on your lees,

And in the slime-bed cool.

Ye British weavers, shout and sing;

Ye tinkers, join the chorus;

Cobblers and tailors, make a ring,

And dance a jig before us!

Tell old King George the glorious tale:

Amid his dire offences,

Perhaps ’twill light his visage pale,

And bring him to his senses.

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The time will shortly come, when we

Like Terrapin must wander;

And our poor eyes will nothing see

But death’s cold Gerrymander!

The “Gerrymander” here alluded to, originated in a division of Massachusetts, by the democrats, in the time of Governor Gerry, into Congressional Districts, so as to give that party the ascendency. It was a violent disregard of geographical and political propriety, and the federalists retaliated by having a huge monster—with tail and claws, resembling, in outline, the state of Massachusetts, as thus distorted—engraved and circulated, with an exceedingly piquant natural history of the animal. It took such effect that for a long time it gave a new word to the American political vocabulary. It is said by Buckingham, that Gilbert Stuart, the artist, suggested this clever caricature.

The following will serve as a specimen of Mr. Dwight’s New-Year’s Carrier’s verses, which appeared annually, and acquired great popularity. This extract is from the Connecticut Mirror, January 6, 1818.

* * * * *

Survey our desolated shores,

Our grass-grown wharves and empty stores—

Our arts and industry depress’d,

The wealthy cramp’d, the poor distress’d:

Our cities wrapp’d in deepest gloom.

Our commerce buried in the tomb.

No hum of business meets the ear,

No songs of Joy the bosom cheer;

The sailor hears the whistling blasts

Murmur through sullen groves of masts—

The billows dash, the useless sail

Flap mournful to the rising gale—

Then turns and views the dismal shed

Where his young offspring cry for bread,

And as the nightly breezes blow,

Curses the authors of his woe!

Naught but exterminating war

Could all this nation’s blessings mar—

Naught but an arm of Vandal power

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The harvest of its hopes devour.

Where is that virtuous patriot band,

The pride, the bulwark of our land,

Form’d to uphold the nation’s sway—

Pinckney, and Strong, and King, and Jay—

Whose counsels might our country shield,

And guide our armies in the field?

By party zeal and passions base,

Exiled from power, and driven from place!

Who fill the void? What names succeed?

Read the bright list—exult and read!

Alston and Johnson, Fisk, Desha,

Porter and Piper, Pond and Rhea,

Grundy, and Hufty, and Lefevre,

Sammons and Stow, and Shaw, and Seaver,

Newton, McCoy, McKim, McKee,

Smilie, and Troup, and Widgery!—

And shall our nation’s courage sink,

E’en on perdition’s awful brink,

When such a constellated train

Her highest interests sustain?

I have already alluded to the “Hartford wits,” of whom Mr. Dwight was one. Their reputation was chiefly founded upon a series of articles which, appeared in various papers, and were collected and published in 1807, under the title of the Echo—including other pieces. They consisted of satires, mostly in the form of parodies and burlesques—with occasional passages of a more serious character. They attracted great attention at the time, and had a wholesome effect in curing the public of a taste for ridiculous bombast, which then prevailed. The principal writers were Mr. Dwight, his brother-in-law Richard Alsop, of Middletown, and Dr. Hopkins, of Hartford. Mr. Theodore Dwight, now of New York, the son of the author I am noticing, has shown me a volume in which the lines contributed by each of these persons are marked, in the handwriting of his father. This suggests the manner in which the whole was written—one composing a few stanzas, then another taking the pen, and then another. The characteristics of each of these several writers are clearly indicated, in compositions having a general aspect of homogeneity.

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I am indebted to Mr. Dwight for the following, which is copied from a memorandum in his father’s handwriting, in relation to the Echo:

“In the year 1829 a work was published in Boston, called ‘Specimens of American Poetry,’ &c., by S. Kettell. In a biographical sketch of Richard Alsop, a minute and circumstantial account is given by Mr. Kettell, and which has been frequently referred to as a correct narrative of that publication. It seems no more than an act of justice to individuals, that a true history of it should be published.

“The first number of the Echo appeared in the American Mercury, at Hartford, in August, 1791. It was written at Middletown, by Richard Alsop and Theodore Dwight, The authors, at the time of writing it, had no expectation of its being published; their sole object was to amuse themselves, and a few of their personal friends. The general account of its origin is given in the preface of the volume in which the numbers were afterward collected, and published in New York. A few lines in the coarse of it were written by three of their literary friends, viz.: Dr. M. F. Coggeswell, Elihu H. Smith, and Lemuel Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins wrote more than these two others; a considerable part of ten numbers were by him. With these exceptions, the entire work was the production of Messrs. Alsop and Dwight. Judge Trumbull never wrote a line of it. Mr. Kettell’s account is incorrect in almost every essential particular.

“The ‘Political Green-House’ was written by Alsop, Hopkins, and Dwight, in unequal proportions.”

I think it may be remarked that, in these compositions, Dwight shows the most brilliant fancy and playful wit, Alsop the broadest humor, and Hopkins the most original and crushing satire. French Jacobinism, with all its brood of infidelity, radicalism, and licentiousness, is the especial object of attack throughout, and is justly and unsparingly ridiculed.

Though Mr. Dwight is perhaps chiefly known as the author of satirical verses, and as a somewhat severe though able political writer, he was in private life one of the most pure, disinterested, and amiable of men. He had an almost womanly sensibility to human suffering; he was true to friendship, and inflexibly devoted to what he deemed the cause of truth, honor, and patriotism. He furnishes an instance of what has often happened before, in which the literary man seems a vindictive satirist, while the social man—friend, neighbor, father, husband—is full of the milk

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of human kindness. He had great abilities, and only missed a permanent reputation by setting too light a value upon his performances, and thus not bringing them up to a higher standard of criticism. He wrote too much and too rapidly for lasting fame.

II, p. 124: never divulged

* Mr. Wadsworth was one of the few rich men who know how to make a good distribution of their wealth. His charities during his lifetime were numerous, and bestowed with kindness and judgment. He founded at Hartford the Wadsworth Atheneum, which is an interesting and useful institution, including many antiquities, works of art, and a valuable historical library.

Among the interesting objects connected with the city of Hartford, is his country-seat on Talcott’s mountain—embracing a lake, a tower, and other attractions. The situation is beautiful, and the whole is tastefully arranged. To the west of it lies the valley of Farmington river, exhibiting a varied landscape of winding streams, swelling hills, and cultivated fields, all seen through the enchanting azure of distance. To the east is the Connecticut, rolling proudly through its borders, crowned with the richest cultivation, and dotted with towns and villages, presenting some thirty spires in a single view.

The scene presented to the eye from the top of this tower—which rises seventy feet above its platform, situated upon a high point of rock—is indeed unrivaled. The immediate objects beneath—the tasteful villa, the quiet lake, and, rising up from its shores—

“Rocks, mounds, and knolls, confusedly hurled,

The fragments of an earlier world"—

suggesting a resemblance to the wild borders of Loch Katrine, consti-

p. 125

tute a rare assemblage of beautiful and striking groups. It is sad to reflect that “lands and manors pass away,” yet it is consoling to know that others live to enjoy them. Mr. Wadsworth is gone—but it gives me pleasure to state that my old friend, D. W., a thriving manufacturer of axes, is his successor.

II, p. 130: Berlin

* Berlin consists of three parishes—Worthington, where my father resided, New Britain, and Kensington. The latter was Percival’s birthplace.

II, p. 141: interpretation I put upon his career

* The notice of Dr. Percival in Kettell’s Specimens of American Poets, was written at my request by Rev. Royal Robbins, of Kensington pariah, Berlin, in which the poet lived. It is a beautiful and just appreciation of his character at that time. I know of no person so competent as he to give the world a biography of Percival. He is familiar with the details of his whole career, and especially with the earlier portions of his life, and is, moreover, master of all the qualifications requisite to give interest and value to such a work.

II, p. 142: loving and beloved

* Sweet Spirit passed! ’Tis not for thee

Our bitter tears unmeasured flow—

Thy path to Heaven is traced, but we,

With grieving heart, must writhe below!

We mourn thy lost yet loving tone,

That made endearing names more dear,

And touched with music all its own

The warm fond hearts that clustered near.

We mourn thy form—thy spirit bright,

Which shone so late mid bridal flowers—

And yet could pour angelic light

Across the last tempestuous hours!

We mourn for thee—so sudden-flown,

When least we thought from thee to sever—

As if some star we deemed our own,

At brightest hour had set forever!

Unpitying Fate! thy dark designs

Can spare the weary, wasted, bent,

Yet crush the fairest thing that shines

Where peace and joy have pitched their tent!

Could not the youthful mother claim

Exemption from thy stern decree?

Could not the child that lisped her name,

Extort one pitying tear from thee?

Ah, human woes are not thy care!

The lightning, in its plunge of wrath,

Turns not, with heedful thought, to spare

The buzzing insect in its path!

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Forgive us, Heaven! if thus we mourn

The lost on earth—the blest above—

So rudely from our bosom torn,

With all its clinging ties of love!

One bright, blest spot of sunshine played

Upon the landscape’s varied breast—

Yet there the clouds have cast their shade

And there the deepest shadows rest!

II, p. 143: my friend Brainard

* John Gardiner Caulkins Brainard was the youngest son of Jeremiah G. Brainard, of New London, judge of the supreme court, whom I have already mentioned in the history of my military adventures in 1813. His two elder brothers, William F., a lawyer, and Dyer, a physician, were both men of wit and learning; the first died some years since, the latter is still living. John, of whom I now write, was born in 1795, educated at Yale, prepared for the law, and settled at Middletown 1819. He died at New London, in 1828. The portrait of him in Messrs. Duyckincks’ “Cyclopedia of American Literature,” is from an engraving in the Token for 1830, and that is taken from a miniature I had painted of him, by our mutual friend, Tisdale. It was from recollection, but gives a pretty good idea of the sad yet humorous, boyish yet manly, countenance of the original.

II, p. 161: the Albion

* The Albion was a packet ship plying between New York and Liverpool. She sailed from the former port April 1, 1822, and went ashore on the 22d of the same month. She had twenty-four seamen and twenty-eight passengers: seven of the former and two of the latter, only, were saved.

p. 162

Among the persons lost was Alexander W. Fisher, Professor of Mathematics in Yale College. He was a young man—twenty-eight years old—of fine genius, and great expectations were entertained as to his future achievements. A person who escaped from the wreck, whom I chanced to meet, told me that the last he saw of Mr. Fisher, he was in his berth with a pocket-compass in his hand, watching the course of the vessel. A moment after she struck, and he saw him no more.

The ship went to pieces on the rocks, in face of high perpendicular cliffs. The people of the neighborhood rendered all possible assistance, but their efforts were but partially successful. The struggles of the sufferers, clinging to ropes, yards, and points of the rocks, in the very sight of persons on shore, were fearful, and the details given of these scenes, rendered the event one of the most agonizing on record.

II, p. 164: Mrs. More was now seventy-nine years of age

* Hannah More was born at Stapleton, in 1744. She and her sisters established a boarding-school in this village, but afterward it was removed to Bristol, and became very successful. Hannah More early became a writer, and at the age of seventeen, she published a pastoral drama, entitled “Search after Happiness.” Being intimate with Gar-

p. 165

rick, she wrote several plays, which were performed. Afterward she regretted these works, her new religious views leading her to condemn the stage. She amassed a handsome fortune, and purchasing Barley-wood, she fitted it up as I have described it. Soon after I was there, in consequence of the frauds of her servants, her means were so diminished, that she was obliged to leave it. She removed to Clifton, near Bristol, and died September, 1833.

II, p. 173: a man

* J. G. Lockhart was a native of Scotland, and born in 1794. In 1826, he became editor of the Quarterly Review, and removed to London. In 1853, he resigned this situation in consequence of ill health. His biography of his father-in-law—Sir Walter Scott—is well known and highly appreciated. The latter part of his life, Lockhart was afflicted with deafness, which withdrew him much from society. He died in 1854: his wife had died in London, 1887. His son, John Hugh Lockhart, to whom Scott dedicated his History of Scotland, under the title of Hugh Littlejohn, died early. Lockhart had a daughter, who also has a daughter, and these two are now the only living descendants of Sir Walter.

II, p. 176: richest intellect in the world

* Scott was born in 1771—so at this time, 1824, he was fifty-three years old, at the highest point of his fame, and in the full vigor of his genius. In 1826 he was involved in the failure of the Ballantynes—printers and publishers—to an extent of $700,000. He made prodigious efforts to liquidate this immense debt, and had laid the foundation for its payment, when his overwrought brain gave way, and he died of paralysis, September 21, 1832. He married Miss Carpenter in 1797, and had four children: Walter, Sophia, who married Lockhart, Ann, and Charles. All are now dead. Abbotsford remains in the family.

II, p. 178: Francis Jeffrey

* Mr. Jeffrey was born in Edinburgh in 1778. He was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one; having little practice for a time, he sedulously pursued the study of belles-lettres, history, ethics, criticism, &c. In 1802, at the age of twenty-nine, he founded the Edinburgh Review, of which he continued as principal editor till 1829—placing it above every other work of the kind which had ever appeared. In 1816 he was acknowledged to be at the head of the Scottish bar as an advocate. Having held other high stations, he was appointed, in 1830, Lord-Advocate of Scotland, and became a member of Parliament. In 1834 he was raised to the bench as one of the judges of the Court of Sessions. He died at Edinburgh in 1850. He married in 1813, at New York, Miss Wilkes, grand-niece of the celebrated John Wilkes of England. In 1815 he became the occupant of the villa of Craigcrook, near Edinburgh, anciently a monastery, but improved and beautified. Here he was residing at the time I saw him.

II, p. 184: Magazine

* Blackwood’s Magazine was founded in April, 1817, the office of publication being the proprietor’s bookstore, 17 Prince-street. The founder, William Blackwood, died some years since, and the Magazine is

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continued by his sons. In general, its tone has not been friendly to America, and while I was there an article in the May number, 1824, upon our country, then just issued, excited some attention, and I was frequently interrogated respecting it. It was entitled the “Five Presidents of the United States,” and though it was written as by an Englishman, perhaps in order to secure its insertion, Blackwood told me it was from the pen of a distinguished American, then in London. It was a somewhat slashing review of the administrations of the presidents, from Washington to Monroe, the latter being then in office. It embraced sketches of Adams, Clay, Crawford, and Jackson—the prominent candidates for the presidency. The following is part of the notice of Adams.

Supposing a European ambassador to visit Washington, and is introduced into the President’s house, “He sees a little man writing at a table, nearly bald, with a face quite formal and destitute of expression; his eyes running with water—his slippers down at the heel—his fingers stained with ink—in summer wearing a striped sea-sucker coat, and white trowsers, and dirty waistcoat, spotted with ink—his whole dress altogether not worth a couple of pounds; or in a colder season, habited in a plain blue coat, much the worse for wear, and other garments in proportion—not so respectable as we may find in the old-clothes bag of almost any Jew in the street. This person, whom the ambassador mistakes for a clerk in a department, and only wonders, in looking at him, that the President should permit a man to appear before him in such dress, proves to be the President of the United States himself!”

The article was written with vigor and discrimination, and excited a good deal of attention. Though free, and by no means dainty in its criticisms, it was, on the whole, just, and produced a favorable impression in our behalf. The author, whoever he was, evidently possessed eminent qualifications for magazine writing.

II, p. 191: St. Giles’s Church

* In 1844 a fine church, called Victoria Hall, was erected for the meetings of the General Assembly. It is of rich Mediæval Gothic architecture, with a spire two hundred and forty-six feet in height.

II, p. 198: an early death

* He died at London, Dec. 15, 1831; his mother followed him, May 17, 1837.

II, p. 226: a shilling piece

* Jacob Perking was a native of Newburyport, Mass., bora in 1776. He was apprenticed to n goldsmith, and soon was noted for his ingenuity. Before the establishment of a national mint, he was employed, and with success, in making dies for copper coin. At the age of twenty-four, he invented the machine for cutting nails, which had a great effect over the whole world. He next invented a stamp for preventing counterfeit bills, and then a cheek-plats, which was long adopted by law in Massachusetts. He now discovered a mode of softening steel, by decarbonization, which led to the use of softened steel for engraving. The results of this discovery have been extensive—the bank-note engraving, now brought to such perfection, being one of the most prominent. Steel

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engraving for fine pictures, was another, and this led to the Souvenirs—making books the most desirable articles for presents—instead of rings, necklaces, shawls—thus producing not only a new generation of publications, but a revolution in the taste of society. This discovery Mr. Perkins carried to England, and here he remained till his death in 1849. His other inventions are very numerous; among these are the chain-pump, the bathometer, to measure the depth of water, the pleometer, to measure tho velocity of ships, together with a multitude of improvements in various devices, from house-stoves to steam-engines.

After I left London, he so far improved his steam-gun, that he sent balls through eleven planks of deal, an inch thick! A report of his experiments in 1825, before a committee, of which the Duke of Wellington was the head, describes the power exerted, as absolutely terrific.

Mr. Perkins’s establishment was in Fleet-street, 69, when I was in London. One of the superintendents of this was Mr. Charles Toppan, now so well known in connection with the eminent firm of Toppan, Carpenter & Co. To his intelligence and kindness I was indebted for much of the pleasure and profit of my first visit to London. Here also was Asa Spencer—originally a watchmaker of New London, and the inventor of the geometric lathe, for copying medals, as well as other ingenious and useful devices. He was a man of true genius—full of goodness, modesty, and eccentricity.

The house of Mr. Perkins, at this period, was a familiar gathering place of Americans in London—his charming daughters giving a sort of American life and grace to all around them. His son, Angier M. Perkins, a gentleman of great talent, worth, and kindlinese, continues his father’s establishment in London.

II, p. 228: bishop

* It is a curious item in ecclesiastical history, that the Duke of York was Bishop of Osnaburgh, a district in the kingdom of Hanover.

II, p. 234: Sir Francis Burdett

* The history of this individual is curious. He was born in 1770—and though the youngest son of a youngest son, by a series of calamitous deaths, he succeeded to the title and estates of his affluent and ancient family. His wealth was increased by his marrying, in 1708, the daughter of Coutts, the banker. In 1802, after a hot contest, he was returned to Parliament for Middlesex, but the House found the election void, and imprisoned the sheriffs. In 1807, while he was disabled by a duel, he was chosen for Westminster, and continued to represent that borough for nearly thirty years. He was of a turbulent disposition, and having quarreled with the House of Commons, resisted the speaker’s warrant for his arrest, thus creating an excitement in which several lives were lost. When the sergeant-at-arms went to his house to arrest him, he found him affectedly teaching a young child the Magna Charta! He was for some time imprisoned in the Tower. The general impression is that, while professing democracy, he was a thorough aristocrat, at least in feeling. This opinion was confirmed in 1835, when he totally changed his politics, and vehemently supported the tory side. He died in 1844.

II, p. 239: habits of living

* The chief whom I have here noticed was Tamehamaha II. His name is now generally spelled Kamehamaha, and his other title is written Liho-Liho. They sailed in the British ship L’Aigle, October, 1823, and arrived at Portsmouth, May, 1824. Of the twenty-five thousand dollars shipped in their chests, only ten thousand were found—twelve thousand having been robbed, and three thousand taken for pretended expenses. Kamamalu, the principal queen, and the two or three inferior wives of his majesty, exhibited themselves at first in loose trousers and velveteen bed-gowns—but ere long their waists, for the first time, were subjected to corsets, and their forms to Parisian fashions. They wore native turbans, which became the rage in high circles. The king was dressed in the English style, with certain embellishments denoting his rank. They generally behaved with propriety, though one of the party seeing a mullet, resembling a species common in the Sandwich Islands, seized it and hurried home, where their majesties devoured it raw, probably finding it the sweetest morsel they had tasted since they left home. In June, 1824, the whole party were attacked by the measles, Manui, the steward, first, and the king next. On the evening of the 8th the queen died, having taken an affectionate leave of her husband. His heart seemed to be broken, and on the 14th he breathed his

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last. The bodies of the royal pair were taken to their native islands, and there interred with great pomp. The remainder of the party returned to their home, one of them, however, Kapihe, 4yiag on the way, at Valparaiso.

II, p. 252: North American Review

* The North American was founded in 1815, by William Tudor, who had previously been one of the principal supporters of the Monthly Anthology. Mr. Everett, however, may be said to have given permanency to the publication by his masterly administration of the editorial department.

II, p. 253: conducted by Nathan Hale

* The Boston Daily Advertiser was founded in March, 1814, and Mr. Hale began his editorial career with it. It may be taken as the model of the highest class of newspapers in the United States—able, calm, sincere, wise, and gentlemanly. It would be difficult to name a single journal in any country which, in a union of these qualities, takes rank above it. In the United States there are some which emulate it, but few, if any, which surpass it.:

II, p. 254: their career as publishers

* James Harper, the eldest of the four brothers now associated in the concern, served his time as apprentice to the trade of printing to Abm. Paul, of New York; he and his brother John commenced as printers in Dover-street, 1817; in 1818, having removed to Fulton-street, they printed and published Locke’s Essays, which was their first enterprise as publishers. For a long time their publications were almost exclusively foreign books: at the present time, three-fourths are American works. Their magazine publishes about one hundred and seventy thousand numbers a month, and surpasses any other publication of the kind in its circulation. The publishing establishment of the Messrs. Harper, the legitimate result of industry, discretion, energy, and probity, is justly the pride of New York, and one of the reflected glories of our literature, probably surpassing every other establishment of the kind in the world in its extent and the perfectness of its organization.

II, p. 254: the Appletons

† The present eminent publishing house of Appleton & Co., consisting of Mr. W. Appleton and his four brothers, was founded by their father, Daniel Appleton, who came from New England to New York about the year 1826. He died in 1849, aged fifty-eight.

II, p. 255: same author

* Among my lesser publications were Beauties of the Souvenirs, History of the Kings and Queens of France, Beauties of the Waverley Nov-

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els, Blair’s Outlines of Ancient History, Blair’s Outlines of Chronology, Blair’s History of England, C. A. Goodrich’s Outlines of Modern Geography, the American Journal of Education, issued monthly, Poems by Mrs. Sigourney, Records of the Spanish Inquisition, translated from the original documents by S. Kettell, Comstock’s Mineralogy, Child’s Botany, Sad Tales and Glad Tales by G. Mellen, Mary’s Journey, Memoirs of a New England Village Choir, Specimens of American Poetry, 3 vols., edited by S. Kettell, Universal History, illustrated, copied, with additions, from Straus, the Garland of Flora, Balbi’s Geography, edited by T. G. Bradford, Historical Cyclopædia, edited by F. A. Durivage, and doubtless some others, which I have forgotten. These were mostly original works. After 1835, I ceased to be a publisher, except for my own works; since 1845, these have been entirely published by others.

II, p. 256: American history, scenery, and manners

* I give a few extracts from a criticism of this work upon its first appearance: these will serve to show the estimate put upon some of the productions of popular authors at that time, by a noted critic; they will also show a state of things strikingly in contrast with the habits of the present day—for the reviewer found time and patience to notice, seriatim, every article in the book, some thirty in number. This was the day of great things in criticism, and small things in the production of materials for criticism.


“It would be a reproach to our country, if the proprietor of a work of this nature, got up under circumstances so favorable to the growth of our native literature—even if the Legendary were no better than the mob of books that one may see every day of the year pouring forth out of the shops of people who pay more for puffs than for copyrights—a reproach to our country, I vow, if he were to suffer by the enterprise. If we are to have a literature of our own, we must pay for it; and they who are the first to pay for it, deserve to be the- first to be repaid for it —with usury. * * *

“The first of the tales, by the author of ‘Hobomok,’ is called the ‘Church of the Wilderness.’ Here we have the serene, bold, and beautiful style of writing which had to be found fault with in the review of

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‘Hobomok’—no, not of ‘Hobomok,’ of some other story by the author, the title of which I forget. What I said then, I say now.

“The second affair is a piece by a young man of this town—Wm. Cutter—whom I never suspected before of poetry. It is called the ‘Valley of Silence,’ and of a truth will bear to be treated as poetry. * * * But I do not believe that in a poem of forty lines, it would be fair play for any author to repeat the same idea more than eighty times, or that hushing and rushing are altogether where they should be in the forty lines now before me. For example, we have a bird that ‘hushed his breath,’ and we have the hush of the slumbering air, and we have echoes ‘hushed in their caves,’ and a ‘hush that is grand, not awful,’ and a ‘hushed worship,’ and ‘hushed voices,’ and all those by-baby-bunting epithets in one single poem! * * *

“ ‘Unwritten Poetry,’ by N. P. W., the editor of the Legendary. There are touches of exquisite beauty in this paper, and not a little of what, to speak reverently of a brother poet, I should call heavenly nonsense. * * *

“ ‘Descriptive Sonnets,’ by Mr. H. Pickering. I hate sonnets; I never saw a good one, and never shall.

“ ‘The Clouds:’ Grenville Mellen. Would this were better—would it were worthier of my young friend. Some of the ideas are beautiful, and some powerful; but the abrupt termination of almost every stanza, the truncated air of the finest passages—a line being a period by itself—who that knows poetry, or knows what poetry should be, can forgive?

“ ‘The Pampas of Buenos Ayres,’ by I. M’Lellan, jr. Here we have a poet; I do not mean to say that here we have poetry, or, properly speaking, much poetry—for some there certainly is in every paragraph; but simply that the author has within him a sure, and I believe a deep well of poetry. If he has, however, he will never know its depth, nor what riches may lie there, till the waters have been troubled—by an angel—if you like, for angels are mighty troublesome now, as well as of yore, to the fountains of life and health.

“ ‘The Haunted Grave:’ E. P. Blount. Never heard of this before. Who is he! He shows talent—strong, decided, peculiar talent.

“ ‘Extract from a Journal,’ &c. Mellen—hey? A mere scratch or

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two of a free pen. The author, if it is he, will make a better figure in prose yet than he ever made in poetry. I do not speak of this paper, but of others that I know to be his.

“ ‘Grave of an Unknown Genius:’ Joseph H. Nichols. Good poetry here, though not much. The best is—

‘And worthy of their harps was he,

Worthy to wake with them, the grand

War-anthem, or the music free

Of love, with burning lip and hand.’

“ ‘Mere Accident:’ N. P. Willis. Rather too Tom Moorish. However, let that pass. For, do ye know, ye blue-eyed, fair-haired girls, and ye of the dark, lamping eyes and a shadowy crown—do ye not know that the old proverb about kissing and telling is not worth a fig? I’ll give you a better one: ‘They that kiss never tell—and they that tell never kiss.’

“ ‘The Nun,’ by Emma C. Manly. High and pure and sensible poetry. But who is Emma C. Manly? Is it not another name for N. P. W.?

“ ‘Romance in Real Life:’ author of Redwood. This very sensible and happy writer, if she had more courage, and were willing to tell the very truth and nothing but the truth of our country manners, would be more thought of a hundred years hence than she is now.

“ ‘Ascutney:’ Mrs. A. M. Wells. Upon my word, it is very encouraging to see what a few of our Yankee women are about in the world of literature. They only want fair play to shoot ahead of their teachers, the hatted ones of our earth.

“ ‘Telling the Dream:’ Willis. Heigho! “Do dreams always prove true, Ianthe?’ I say, brother Willis, you deserve to be whipped backward through your alphabet for the false quantity in that last line—the very pith and marrow of the whole poem. Up with your fingers, and count them; out with your hand for the ferule, or shut your eyes and open your mouth, like a good boy, and see what the ladies will send you. And then—‘Do dreams always prove true, Ianthe?’ * * *

“ ‘The Bruce’s Heart,’ by the author of ‘Moral Pieces.’ Very good poetry, and very like what a ballad of our time should be—a ballad of

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the war, I mean. But—I have always a but in reserve, you know—why deal so with the Moors? * * *

“ ‘Columbus,’ by J. W. Miller. This man must be capable of writing magnificent poetry. The proof:

‘Stands he upon the narrow deck

Of yon lone caravel,

Whose tall shape as with princely beck

Bound to the heaving swell;

And when the conqueror o’er her side

Crossed meekly, rose with living pride.”

From the Yankee, June 23, 1828.

II, p. 259: Age of Annuals

* We are doubtless indebted to the Germans for originating the race of Annuals, but Ackerman’s Forget-me-not was the first attempt at producing them with all the luxurious embellishments of art, and which became, in fact, their distinctive characteristic. At first the literary department was held inferior to the mechanical, but at last, Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Mrs. Hemans, Moore, &c., in England, and Bryant, Irving, Halleck, in America, became contributors to these works; nay, Bryant, Sands, and Verplanck produced in New York an annual entitled the Talisman, and which was continued for three years.

II, p. 260: &c.

* Besides these Annuals, there were, in England and the United States, the following:

Gift, Keepsake, Souvenir, Literary Souvenir, Boudoir, Floral Offering, Friendship’s Offering, Iris, Laurel, Wreath, Jewel, Cabinet, Drawing-room Annual, Pictorial Annual, Continental Annual, Picturesque Annual, Fancy Annual, Court Album, Anniversary, Pearls of the East, Pearls of the West, The Favorite, The Rhododendron, The Waif, The Gleaner, The Rose, and many others. Among the works which may be considered as successors of the Annuals, being all splendidly illustrated, there were Tableaux of Prose and Poetry, Baronial Halls of England, Authors of England, Artist’s Sketch Book, Book of Art, Book of the Passions, Calendar of Nature, Continental Sketches, Etched Thoughts, Finden’s Tableaux, Wanderings of Pen and Pencil, Tales of the Brave and the Fair, Poetry of the Year, British Ballads, Book of Art, Book of the Passions, Genius of British Poetry, Lays of Ancient Rome, and a multitude of others.

The effect of the circulation of such works as these, in creating and extending a taste for the arts, and in their most exquisite forms, can only be appreciated by those who have examined and reflected upon the subject. Even in the United States alone, four thousand volumes of one of these works, at the price of twelve dollars each, have been sold in a single season! Not five hundred would have been sold in the space of time, twenty years ago.

II, p. 262: the subject

* The prizes were one hundred dollars for the best piece in prose, and the same for the best in verse. The judges—Charles Sprague, F. W. P. Greenwood, and J. Pierpont—hesitated between two pieces for the latter: The Soldier’s Widow, by Willis, and Connecticut River, by Mrs. Sigourney. They finally recommended that the prize be divided between them, which was accepted by the authors.

II, p. 262: John Cheney

† John Cheney, who may be regarded as the first of American engravers in sweetness of expression and delicacy of execution, was a native of

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Manchester, eight miles east of Hartford, Conn. When I first met him, he was working at Hartford with Mr. Willard, a map engraver. I encouraged him to come to Boston, and for several years, during which time he visited London and Paris, he was wholly employed for the Token. His brother Seth, not less celebrated for his admirable portraits in crayon, was also induced to come to Boston by me, making my house at Jamaica Plain, his stopping place at the beginning. Both these admirable artists are wholly self-taught. They have six brothers, the youngest of whom made some valuable improvement in machinery which led to the establishment of a silk manufactory at their native place, which some of the rest have joined, and it has made all rich who are concerned in it.

II, p. 265: Willis worth criticising

* In 1831, there appeared in Boston a little book, of some fifty or sixty pages, entitled, “Truth: A New Year’s Gift for Scribblers.” It was written by Joseph Snelling, who had been, I believe, an under officer in the United States army, and stationed in the Northwest, perhaps at Prairie du Chien. He came to Boston, and acquired some notoriety as a nervous and daring writer—his chief desire seeming to be, notoriety. The work was little more than a string of abuse, without regard to justice; yet it was executed with point and vigor, and as it attacked everybody who had written verses, it caused a good deal of wincing. The following is the exordium:

“Moths, millers, gnats, and butterflies, I sing;

Far-darting Phœbus, lend my strain a sting,;

Much-courted virgins, long-enduring Nina,

Screw tight the catgut of this lyre of mine:

If D-na, D-wes, and P-rp-nt ask your aid,

If W-ll-s takes to rhyming as as a trade,

If L-nt and F-nn to Pindus’ tap aspire,

I too may blameless beg one spark of fire;

Not such as warmed the brains of Pope and Swift—

With less assistance I can make a shift:

To G-ifford’s bow and shafts I lay no claim—

He shot at hawks, but I at insects aim:

Yet grant, since I must war on little things,

Just flame enough to singe their puny wings;

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A feather besom, too, to bring them down,

And pins to stick them in my beaver’s crown.”

* * * * *

Here are specimens from the body of the work:

“The wax still sticking to his fingers’ ends,

The upstart Wh-tt-r, for example, lends

The world important aid to understand

What’s said, and sung, and printed in the land.”

* * * * *

“ ̵Tis plain the county Cumberland, in Maine,

Contains no hospital for folks insane:

Though never there, the fact I nothing doubt,

Since N-al and M-ll-n ran at large about.

When the moon waxes, plaintive M-ll-n howls;

But Johnny, like a bull-dog, snaps and growls:

Or strikes his brother poetasters mute

With harsh vibrations on his three-stringed lute.”

* * * * *

“Dear Halleck, Nature’s favorite and mine,

Curst be the hand that plucks a hair of thine:

Accept the tribute of a muse inclined

To bow to nothing, save the power of mind.

Bard of Bozzaris, shall thy native shore

List to thy harp and mellow voice no more?

Shall we, with skill like thine so nigh at hand,

Import our music from a foreign land?

While Mirror M-rr-s chants in whimpering note,

And croaking D-na strains his screech-owl throat;

While crazy N-al to meter stakes his chains,

And fools are found to listen to his strains;

While childish Hatty P. the public diddles,

And L-nt and R-ckw-ll scrape his second fiddles;

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While Brooks, and Bands, and Smith, and either Clark,

In chase of Phœbus, howl, and yelp, and bark—

Wilt thou be silent? Wake, O Halleck, wake!

Thine and thy country’s honor are at stake!

Wake, and redeem the pledge—thy vantage keep;

’Tis pity, one like thee so long should sleep!”

* * * * *

“One bard therein I almost fear to name,

Much doubting whether to applaud or blame.

In P-re-v-l’s productions, wheat and chaff

Are mixed, like sailor’s tipple, half and half;

But, duly bolted through the critic’s mill,

I find the better part is wholesome still”

The following is a part of the amiable notice bestowed upon Willis:

“Muse, shall we not a few brief lines afford

To give poor Natty P. his meet reward?

What has he done to be despised by all

Within whose hands his harmless scribblings fell?

Why, as in bandbox-trim he walks the streets,

Turns up the nose of every man he meets,

As if it scented carrion? Why, of late,

Do all the critics claw his shallow pate?

True, he’s a fool;—if that’s a hanging thing,

Let Pr-nt-ce, Wh-tt-r, M-ll-n also swing.”

Willis replied contemptuously, but effectively, in some half-dozen verses inserted in the Statesman, and addressed to Smelling Joseph. The lines stuck to poor Snelling for the remainder of his life, and I suspect, in fact, contributed to his downfall. As he had attacked everybody, everybody joined in the chuckle. He soon fell into habits of dissipation, which led from one degradation to another, till his miserable career was ended.

II, p. 269: our living authors

* Mr. N. P. Willis was the son of Nathaniel Willis, of Boston, originally a printer, but for a long time an editor, and much respected for his industry, his good sense, his devotion to whatever he deemed his duty, and his useful services rendered to morals, religion, Christianity, and philanthropy. His wife was a woman of uncommon mental endowments; her conversation was elegant, full of taste, reading, and refinement. The beautiful tributes which N. P. Willis has rendered to her memory, are no more than was due from a gifted son to a gifted mother.

II, p. 271: John Pickering

* John Pickering, son of Timothy Pickering, Washington’s Secretary of State, was a distinguished jurist and philologist, and a refined and amiable gentleman. A good notice of him is given in Messrs. Duyckinck’s excellent Cyclopedia of American Literature, vol. i. page 625. To this, by the way, I have often been indebted for assistance in the preparation of this work.

II, p. 272: the Stationers’ Company

* The Stationers’ Company, organized in the autumn of 1836, was a joint-stock company, in which some of the leading lawyers and literary men of Boston engaged, with a view of publishing original American works of a high character, and in such a way as to render due compensation and encouragement to authors. One of the works which then sought a publisher, without success, was Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella—it being at that day supposed to be absurd for Americans to presume to write general histories. This was in fact one of the first works issued by this concern. In 1833 the country was suffering under a state of general commercial panic and paralysis, and this company was precipitated into the gulf of bankruptcy, with thousands of others. Though

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I was a hesitating and reluctant subscriber to the stock, and in fact was the last to join the association, I still shared largely—I may say fatally—in its misfortunes. It entailed upon me the loss of the little property 1 had accumulated, and embarrassments which have haunted me to the present day.

II, p. 276: cases I have witnessed

* I could give some curious instances of this. A schoolmaster came to me once with a marvelously clever grammar: it was sure to overturn all others. He had figured out his views in a neat hand, like copperplate, he estimated that there were always a million of children at school who would need his grammar; providing for books worn out, and a supply for new-comers, half a million would be wanted every year. At one cent a copy for the author—which he insisted was exceedingly moderate—this would produce to him five thousand dollars a year, but if I would publish the work he would condescend to take half that sum annually, during the extent of the copyright—twenty-eight years! I declined, and he seriously believed me a heartless blockhead. He obtained a publisher at last, but the work never reached a second edition. Every publisher is laden with similar experiences.

I once employed a young man to block out some little books to be published under the nominal authorship of Solomon Bell; these I remodeled, and one or two volumes were issued. Some over-astute critic announced them as veritable Peter Parleys, and they had a sudden sale. The young man who had assisted me, and who was under the most solemn obligations to keep the matter secret, thought he had an opportunity to make his fortune; so he publicly claimed the authorship, and accused me of duplicity! The result was, that the books fell dead from that hour; the series was stopped, and his unprinted manuscripts, for which I had paid him, became utterly worthless. A portion I burnt, and a portion still remain amidst the rubbish of other days.

In other instances, I was attacked in the papers, editorially and personally, by individuals who were living upon the employment I gave them. I was in daily intercourse with persons of this character, who, while flattering me to my face, I knew to be hawking at me in print. These I regarded and treated as trifles at the time; they are less than trifles now. One thing may be remarked, that, in general, such difficulties come from poor and unsuccessful writers. They have been taught that publishers and booksellers are vampires, and naturally feed upon the vitals of genius; assuming—honestly, no doubt—that they are of this latter class, they feel no great scruple in taking vengeance upon those whom they regard as their natural enemies.

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My editorial experience also furnished me with some amusing anecdotes. An editor of a periodical once sent me an article for the Token, entitled La Longue-vue; the pith of the story consisted in a romantic youth’s falling in love with a young lady, two miles off, through a telescope! I ventured to reject it, and the Token for that year was duly damned in the columns of the offended author.

And yet, while noticing these trifles, I am bound to say distinctly, that, on the whole, I have had generous and encouraging treatment from the press, and most kindly intercourse with authors.

II, p. 277: the late Festival

* The Complimentary Fruit Festival of the New York Book Publish-

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ers’ Association to Authors and Booksellers, took place at the Crystal Palace, September 27, 1855, and was one of the most gratifying and suggestive occasions I ever witnessed. The opening address of the president, Mr. W. Appleton, the introductory statistical sketch, by Mr. G. P. Putnam, the genial toasts, the excellent letters of Charles Sumner, Edward Everett, and R. C. Winthrop; the admirable speech of W. C. Bryant, the eloquent addresses of Messrs. Milburn, Allen, Chapin, Osgood, Beecher, together with the witty and instructive poem by J. T. Fields—all together marked it as an era of prodigious interest in our literary annals.

II, p. 278: the means of living

* I am here speaking particularly of the state of things in America at the present day. No man has more cause to know and feel the disappointments, the wear and tear of health, the headaches, the heartaches, which attend authorship as a profession and a means of support, than myself. No one has more cause to feel and remember the illusiveness of literary ambition, perhaps I may say of even humble literary success. In most cases, these are only obtained at the expense of shattered nerves and broken constitutions, leaving small means of enjoying what has

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been thus dearly won. Still it is quite true that if a man has talent, and is wise and moderate, and if he feels and practises Agur’s prayer, he may live by authorship; if he aspires to easy independence, let him rather drudge in almost any other employment. As an amusement to a man of fortune, who is also a man of genius, authorship is a glorious pastime; to men of other and more active and profitable professions, it is often an inspiring episode; but to one who has no resources but his brains, it is too often the coining of his heart’s blood to feed his family. One thing should never be forgotten by those who are tempted to follow a literary career, that not one author in a hundred attains success in life by this profession alone.

II, p. 282: Sir B. C. Brodie

* Sir Benjamin C. Brodie was at this time one of the most eminent surgeons in London. His reputation has since even been enhanced; his various publications—Clinical Lectures in Surgery, Pathological and Surgical Observations on Diseases of the Joints, Lectures on Diseases of the Urinary Organs, and Surgical Works—all of which have been published in this country—have given him a world-wide fame. It was not a little remarkable to me, to find a man of his eminence thus positively and authoritatively reversing the recommendations of French practitioners, of hardly inferior fame. Of one thing I am convinced, that for us Anglo-Saxons an Anglo-Saxon practitioner is much better than a Gallic one. I shall have a few words more to say on this subject.

II, p. 282: Abercrombie

† Dr. John Abercrombie held the highest rank in his profession at this period. He was still more distinguished as a writer, his Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers being published in 1830, and his Philosophy of the Moral Feelings in 1833. He was a man of refined personal appearance, and moat gentle manners. He died in 1844, aged 63.

II, p. 283: bow them out as gently as I can

* I make this statement chiefly because I think it may be useful to persons, who, like myself, have abused their constitutions by sedentary habits and excessive mental labor, and who consequently are afflicted with nervous attacks, putting on the semblance of organic diseases of the heart. Not long since, I met with an old friend, a physician, who had abandoned his profession for authorship: with a dejected countenance he told me he was sinking under a disease of the heart! I inquired his symptoms, which corresponded with my own. I related to him my experience. A few days after I met him, and saw in his cheerful face that I had cured him. I give this prescription gratis to all my literary friends: let them beware of overtasking the brain; but if they do make this mistake, let them not lay the consequent irregularities of the vital organs to the heart. In nine cases out of ten they belong to the head—to the nervous system—which centers in the brain. Get that right by bodily exercise, by cheerful intercourse with friends, by a conscience void of offense, by generous living, by early rising and early going to bed, and by considering that the body will always take vengeance upon the mind, if the latter is permitted to abuse the former.

II, p. 284: the catalogue which I herewith inclose

* For a list of my various works, see p. 537 of this volume.

II, p. 284: Samuel Kettell

† Mr. Samuel Kettell was a native of Newburyport, Mass., and born A. D. 1800. He was for the most part self-educated, and without being a critical scholar, was a man of large acquirements, the master, I believe, of more than a dozen languages. In 1832 he visited Europe, and wrote some clever essays in the British magazines. In 1848 he assumed the editorship of the Boston Courier, and so continued till his death in 1855, though his active labors were suspended for some months before by his protracted illness.

II, p. 286: against Darton & Co.

* See pages 296-306.

II, p. 291: the preface

* See preface to Universal Geography, published in 1832.

II, p. 291: entitled to it

† This letter led to a lengthened controversy, the result of which is stated in the Appendix to this volume, page 543.

II, p. 292: a contract

* As my claim to the authorship of the Parley Tales has been disputed in London, by interested publishers, I may as well copy the contract made with Mr. Tegg, which is now before me. It is, I believe, universally admitted that the works published by him, were the first that introduced the name of Peter Parley to the public there, and as the contract explicitly refers them to me, it seems there should be no further doubt on the subject.

Memorandum of Agreement, between Thomas Tegg, publisher, of London, and S. G. Goodrich, of Boston, United States of America:

“The said S. G. Goodrich having written and compiled several works, as Peter Parley’s Tales of Animals, Peter Parley’s Tales of America, of Europe, of Asia, of Africa, of the Sea, of the Islands in the Pacific Ocean, of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, &c., &c.

“Now said Goodrich is to revise said works, and carefully prepare them for publication, and said Tegg is to get copyrights for and publish the same, with cuts, maps, &c., as may be required, and said Tegg is to supply the market, and push the sales, and take all due measures to promote the success of said works.

“And in consideration of the premises, said Tegg agrees to pay said Goodrich, ten pounds sterling on every thousand copies printed of Parley’s Tales of Animals, after the first edition (which consists of four thousand copies, and is nearly printed); and for each of the other works he agrees to pay said Goodrich five pounds on the delivery of the revised copy for the same, and five pounds for every thousand copies printed

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after the first edition, and also a premium or bonus of five pounds on each work (in addition to the above stipulations), when four thousand copies are sold or disposed of, of the same.

“And when said Goodrich is out of the country, said Tegg is to furnish certificates of sales, &c., as may be required by said Goodrich or his agent. Said Tegg, it is understood, is not bound to publish any of these works which he deems unsuited to the country; but said Goodrich is at liberty to dispose of, to any other publisher, any work which Tegg, on application, declines publishing.

“Thomas Tegg,

“S. G. Goodrich.”

London, June, 30, 1832.”

II, p. 295: counterfeits

* For a list of some of these works see p. 551; see also, p. 553.

II, p. 306: in the Custom-house

* These sixteen hundred copies, being enjoined, and remaining in the Custom-house beyond the time allowed by law, were consequently sold at auction in June, 1856, and were thus thrown into the New York market. The following are extracts from this work:

“The Americans equal Mr. Jesse for story-telling. They are not particularly nice as to data. Some of their stories are so preposterously absurd, as to puzzle us exceedingly.” * * * *

“Peter Parley loves our good Queen, and delights to follow her in her various progresses,” &c. * * * *

“It was delightful for old Peter to behold the Queen and the Prince, and not less so to see the young Prince of Wales emulating the British Tar, and looking like an embryo Nelson, and his heart beat with ardor at the cheers of the sailors and the roaring; of the guns.” * * * *

“He (old Peter) loves the sea-breeze, and he would sing with his poor old voice, like a shattered clarionet, ‘Rule, Britannia,’ and thank God that he has lived to see the day when England exhibits to the world that she is still able to ‘rule the waves.’ ” * * * *

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I have great respect for the Queen of England , for I consider her virtuous example, in her high station, as beneficial, not to her own boundless realms alone, but to the whole world; I have no objection to Englishmen singing “Rule Britannia”—but it is not pleasant to find these things in a book, issued in the name of Peter Parley, the preface of which is signed Peter Parley, and which is all written so as to make the world believe it is the work of an American.

II, p. 313: Hallowell

* Nursery Rhymes of England, &c., Collected and Edited by James Orchard Hallowell.

II, p. 320: others of that class

* For what I have said upon these subjects, I refer the reader to vol. i. page 166. In a recent edition of Jack the Giant-killer, I find his exploits summed up as follows, on the last page: “At his wedding he went over all the tricks he had played upon the giants; he showed the company how one had tumbled into a pit and had his head cut off; how he had throttled two others with a rope; how another, the double-headed Welch monster, had ripped himself open to let the hasty-pudding out; and how he had brought another on his knees by a chop with his sword of sharpness, and spitted another like a fat fowl,” &c. On the cover of this very book, which, by the way, is one of a series in the same vein, called Household Stories for Little Folks, I find the argument in behalf of this class of books for children, thus set forth:

“The extravagance of the stories, the attractive manner of telling them, the picturesque scenery described, the marvelous deeds related, the reward of virtue and punishment of vice, upon principles strictly in accordance with ethical laws, as applied to the formation of character, render them peculiarly adapted to induce children to acquire a love for reading, and to aid them to cultivate the affections, sympathies, fancy, and imagination.”

If it had been said that these tales were calculated to familiarize the mind with, things shocking and monstrous; to cultivate a taste for tales of bloodshed and violence; to teach the young to use coarse language, and cherish vulgar ideas; to erase from the young heart tender and gentle feelings, and substitute for them fierce and bloody thoughts and sentiments; to turn the youthful mind from the contemplation of the real loveliness of nature, and to fill it with the horrors of a debased and debauched fancy; to turn the youthful mind from the gentle pleasures

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of home, of love and friendship at the fireside, at the school, in the playground, and to stretch it upon the rack of horrible dreams of giants, grinding the bones of children between their teeth, and satisfying their horrible thirst upon the blood of innocent men and women and infants; in short, had it been said that these books were calculated to make criminals of a large part of the children who read them, I think the truth would have been much more fairly stated than in the preceding notice.

II, p. 323: walk with a crutch

* The little book entitled “Parley’s Method of Telling about Geography to Children,” had a picture, drawn by Tisdale, representing Parley

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sitting in a chair, with his lame foot bound up, and a crutch at his side, while he is saying to the boys around—“Take care, don’t touch my gouty toe; if you do, I won’t tell you any more stories!” Of this work two millions were sold, and of course Parley and his crutch were pretty generally associated together, in the minds of children.

II, p. 336: some bank-president

* Let no one say that I speak irreverently of bank-presidents. One of my best friends during many years of trial was Franklin Haven, president of the Merchants’ Bank at Boston—who found it in his heart, while administering his office with signal ability and success, to collect a library, cultivate letters, learn languages, and cherish a respect for literary men. It must be one among other sources of gratification, arising from his liberal tastes, that he long enjoyed the confidence and friendship of Daniel Webster.

II, p. 339: Reform Bill

* The Reform Bill was a popular measure, which swept away the rotten boroughs, and greatly extended the suffrage. After a long and violent struggle, it passed the House of Lords on the 4th of June, 1832, and received the royal sanction on the 7th. That day I arrived in Liverpool, amid a general feeling of joy and exhilaration. The Duke of Wellington had protested against the bill, though the king, William IV., and the ministry had favored it; in consequence, he was insulted by a mob, while passing on horseback through one of the streets of London, June 18th, the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. A few days after this, there was a military review in Hyde Park, and King William being present, a large concourse of people assembled; among them was the Duke of Wellington. After the review was over, he was encircled by an immense mass of persons, indignant at the insult he had received, and desirous of testifying their respect and affection. Most of them condemned his opposition to the reform bill, but this could not extinguish or diminish their sense of his great merit. I was present, and moved on at the side of the old veteran, mounted on horseback and dressed as a citizen—his hat off, and testifying by his looks, his sensibility to these spontaneous marks of regard. He was conducted to the gate of the park, near his residence—Apsley House, and there he bade adieu to his shouting escort.

On this occasion, as well as on others, I saw King William IV., a large,

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red-faced man, with an amiable, though not very intellectual expression. He was, however, very popular, and in contrast to George IV., who was exceedingly disliked during the latter part of his reign, he was a favorite with the people, who gave him the title of the “patriot king.”

As I shall have no other opportunity, I may as well complete my gallery of British sovereigns, by a brief notice of Queen Victoria, whom I have often seen. Of her character I have already spoken; as to her personal appearance, all the world have a general idea of it, from the portraits in the shop-windows; but truth compels me to declare that all the personal beauty in these representations, is ideal. Her majesty is really a very ordinary and rather coarse-looking woman—especially to one whose standard is founded upon the delicate and graceful type of American female beauty. When I say she is as good as she is homely, and is loved and cherished by her people according to her merits, I give strong testimony to her virtues. Prince Albert is a very handsome man, and it must be said that the large family of princes and princesses not only resemble him, strikingly, but share in his personal good looks. I have seen few more gratifying sights in England than this royal family—deserving and receiving the affection of the people.

II, p. 341: more than forty times

* About this time there was a strong popular excitement in Boston and the vicinity against the Irish, and especially the Roman Catholic religion. It manifested itself in what was called the “Broad-street Riot”—June 11, 1839—in which the Irish, who gathered in that quarter, were attacked, their houses rifled, their beds ripped open, and the furniture destroyed to the amount of two thousand dollars; and also in burning down the Catholic Female Seminary—a species of Convent, where it was said there were evil doings—in the adjacent town of Charlestown. My purpose was to allay this excitement by presenting

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the history of the Irish people, with the adversities they had suffered, and the many amiable and agreeable traits that had survived; amid all the causes which had operated to degrade them. I believe that my efforts were not wholly fruitless: the lecture was encouraged, and when printed, received a commendatory notice even from the North American Review—written by T. C. Grattan, himself an Irishman.

II, p. 346: Mr. Everett

* Alexander H. Everett was a native of Massachusetts, and a younger brother of Edward Everett, born in 1790. He studied law in the office of John Quincy Adams at Boston, and in 1809 he accompanied him as attaché in his mission to Russia. Mr. Everett’s political career clearly displays the influence of this early connection with Mr. Adams. Having remained at St. Petersburg two years, he returned to the United States by way of England, where he spent some months. He now took part with the democrats, and wrote against the Hartford Convention and in favor of the war. Soon after the peace he was appointed secretary of legation to Governor Eustis, in his mission to the Netherlands. Here he continued several years, the latter part of the time as chargé. On visiting Brussels in 1824, I called upon him, and was agreeably impressed by his fine person and dignified, though cold and distant, manners. In 1825, he was appointed by his former patron, then President of the United States, Minister to Spain, where he remained till he was dismissed by Gen. Jackson. Mr. Everett, having failed of success in his attempts to obtain office from the people of Massachusetts, was employed by the general government, first as Commissioner to Cuba, and afterward to China. he died a few months subsequent to his arrival at Canton—that is, in June, 1847. In literature, he held a respectable position, having written several works of learning and ability, and some essays of great elegance. In politics, unfortunately, he followed the example of Mr. Adams, in a sudden and startling change of his party, under circumstances which injured his character and impaired his usefulness.

II, p. 349: was made responsible for it

* In this election, Edward Everett, who had been governor of the State since 1835, and had administered the government with great success, was defeated by a single vote, Marcus Morton, a judge of the Supreme Court, and who had been the standing democratic candidate for many years without any seeming prospect of success, being chosen in his place. It is an interesting fact that such is the respect for the ballot, that among a hundred thousand votes, a majority of one was submitted to without question or opposition. A good anecdote is connected with this incident. Governor Morton with his party had opposed the encouragement of railroads by the use of the State credit. Nevertheless, while he was governor, the branch railroad, running through his own town, Taunton, to the thriving and enterprising town of New Bedford, was completed. This event was to be celebrated by a jubilee at the latter place, and the governor was invited to be present. The ceremonies were to commence at twelve o’clock, but at that hour his excellency had not arrived. The whole proceedings were delayed and embarrassed, until just as the clock was striking one, the governor appeared. J. H. Clifford, the witty and eloquent State’s attorney, so universally known for his admirable management of the trial of Dr. Webster, the murderer of Parkman, and afterward himself governor of the State, immediately rose and offered the following sentiment—

Governor Morton, who always gets in by one!

It is needless to say that the sentiment, as well as the governor, was hailed with acclamation; and it may be stated incidentally, that, inasmuch as a railroad had passed through the governor’s own town, he, and I may add his party, thenceforward were advocates of railroads. The next year (1840), in the whirlwind of the Harrison campaign, Governor Morton gave place to “honest John Davis,” a name known and honored throughout the whole United States.

II, p. 350: Bankruptcy

* The bankruptcies that took place in Boston from November 1, 1836, to May 12, 1837, were one hundred and sixty-eight—some of very large amount. About the same time, the crash in New York was terrific, bearing down many of the oldest and wealthiest houses in the city. In New Orleans, in May, 1837, the failures in two days, amounted to twenty-seven millions of dollars. A committee of New York, addressing the President, stated that the depreciation of real estate in that city was forty millions of dollars in six months! They also stated that two hundred and fifty failures took place in the space of two months; that the depreciation of local stocks was twenty millions, and the fall of merchandise thirty per cent. within the same period. Twenty thousand persons, dependent upon their labor, were said to be thrown out of employment, at the same time. The committee added, “the error of our rulers has produced a wider desolation than the pestilence which depopulated our streets, or the conflagration which laid them in ashes.” Similar ruin visited every part of the Union—the people, corporations, States, being reduced to bankruptcy. It was estimated that half a million of persons were made bankrupt by reason of the various measures of the Jackson and Van Buren administrations. Hundreds and thousands of persons, destitute of employment, and almost destitute of bread, found relief in swelling the Harrison processions and gatherings, in singing patriotic songs, and shouting for reform.

II, p. 351: make a speech

* A speechmaker, in the western part of the State of Virginia during the canvass, has given us the following anecdote. He was holding forth upon the merits of Gen. Harrison, and especially upon his courage, tact, and success as a military commander. While in the midst of his discourse, a tall, gaunt man—who was probably a schoolmaster in

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those parts—arose from the crowd, and said, in a voice which penetrated the whole assembly—

“Mister—Mister! I want to ax you a question.” To this the orator assented, and the man went on as follows:

“We are told, fellow-citizens, that Gineral Harrison is a mighty great gineral; but I say he’s one of the very meanest sort of ginerals. We are told here to-night, that he defended himself bravely at Fort Meigs; but I tell you that on that occasion he was guilty of the Small Tail Movement, and I challenge the orator here present to deny it!”

The speaker declared his utter ignorance of what the intruder meant by “Small Tail Movement.”

“I’ll tell you,” said the man; “I’ve got it here in black and white. Here is Grimshaw’s History of the United States”—holding up the book—” and I’ll read what it says: ‘At this critical moment, Gen. Harrison executed a novel movement!’ Does the gentleman deny that?”

“No: go on.”

“Well, he executed a novel movement. Now, here’s Johnson’s dictionary”—taking the book out of his pocket and holding it up—“and here it says: ‘Novela small tale!” And this was the kind of movement Gen. Harrison was guilty of. Now, I’m no soger, and don’t know much of milentary tictacks—but this I do say: a man who, in the face of an enemy, is guilty of a Small Tail Movement, is not fit to be President of the United States, and he shan’t have my vote!”

The relator of the anecdote says that it was quite impossible for him to overcome the effect of this speech, and we are left to conclude that the vote of that vicinity was given to Van Buren.

II, p. 353: the utter charlatanism

* For example: while I was in the Senate, and the Fifteen Gallon prohibitory law was under discussion, many people came into the lobby to listen to the debates, which excited great interest. Among these was a very respectable man from my own county of Norfolk. He asked me how I was going to vote. I replied that I had hardly made up my mind, and asked his opinion as to what I ought to do. He strongly enjoined it upon me to vote for the measure, saying that the public mind generally was prepared for it, and that in our county, especially, the sentiment in favor of it was overwhelming. And yet, at the next election this very man was a candidate against me, on the ground that he was in favor of the repeal of the law. He insisted that it was an extreme measure; and although he was a temperance man—God forbid that he should be any thing else—he still thought it would do harm to the good cause! Therefore he contended for its repeal, and the substitution of some milder course! This man was a type of a very numerous class, whose principles fluctuate with the tide of public opinion, and the chances which arise for riding into office.

II, p. 354: some selfish or sinister end

* About these days, in a certain town not far from Boston, there was a large family, of several generations, by the name of Cpp. At one of the elections for members to represent the place in the General Court, it appeared that among the votes distributed at the polls were a large number for William Cpp, and the whole family were present, like swarming bees, actively engaged in promoting his election. One of them came up to the person who told me the story, and asked him to vote for William. He naturally desired to know the reason for such a measure, and the more particularly as he had never heard of any peculiar claims or qualifications, for the office in question, which the said William possessed. “Well,” said the Cpp, “I’ll tell you how ’tis. William’s got a little behindhand, and wants to shingle his barn. This will cost about a hundred dollars. Now, if he can go to the General Court one session, he’ll save a hundred dollars, and so, you see, he can shingle his barn!” I have seen a good deal of this barn-shingling, even in New England.

II, p. 355: complimentary dinner

* This dinner took place on the 1st of February, 1842. It was deemed a matter of sufficient importance to have the whole proceedings—speeches, letters, and toasts—reported, and published in a book. In the light of the present day, many of these—though sparkling with wit and good feeling—are rather calculated to make us regret the whole occasion. The strain of compliment was excessive; it set an example which, in this respect, was copied elsewhere—and the object of all this, blunt adulation, as we now know, laughed at it in his sleeve at the time, and openly afterward, when he had got safe back to England. This should be a lesson to us for all future time. Foreigners will judge us somewhat according to their own standard. They regard all excessive demonstrations of the kind here alluded to as proceeding either from snobbery, or a desire to exhibit themselves, on the part of the leaders. They are, therefore, rather disgusted than conciliated by these overdone attentions.

II, p. 357: the British Parliament

* The first English parliamentary statute in regard to copyright, is that of Queen Anne, A. D. 1710, giving copyright to the author for twenty-one years, and if he be living at the expiration of this time, for the residue of his life. By subsequent acts, this period was extended to twenty-eight years. The movement above alluded to, which commenced in 1837, and in which Talfourd took a leading part, aimed at extending the protection to forty-two years, which, after about two years of consideration, became and remains the law of Great Britain on this subject. If the author shall have died before the expiration of the forty-two years, the heirs may have an extension of the time for seven years from the date of his death.

During the discussion which ensued, the subject of copyright was viewed in every possible light. A large number of petitions was presented to Parliament in behalf of increased protection; among them was one from Thomas Hood, in which the following passages occur:

“That your petitioner is the proprietor of certain copyrights, which the law treats as copyhold, but which injustice and equity should be his freehold. He cannot conceive how ‘Hood’s Own,’ without a change in the title-deed as well as the title, can become ‘Everybody’s Own’ hereafter.

“That cheap bread is as desirable and necessary as cheap books, but it hath not yet been thought just or expedient to ordain that after a certain Dumber of crops, all cornfields shall become public property.

“That as a man’s hairs belong to his head, so his head should belong to his heirs; whereas, on the contrary, your petitioner hath ascertained, by a nice calculation, that one of his principal copyrights will expire on the same day that his only son should come of age. The very law of nature protests against an unnatural law, which compels an author to write for everybody’s posterity except his own.”

Among these petitions is one from John Smith, bookseller of Glasgow, who says that about the year 1820, he wrote an essay in behalf of perpetual copyright, as demanded by justice and equity. I have seen no assertion of this principle prior to this date.

The earliest direct advocacy of international copyright that I have met with, is by John Neal, in the “Yankee,” 1828.

II, p. 359: resentment

* Various circumstances conspired to aggravate this feeling, Mr. Carlyle compared our reprinting British books, without copyright, to Rob Roy’s cattle-stealing; while at the same time British publishers had done and continued to do the same thing in respect to American books. The British government had indeed offered to go into a mutual interchange of copyright law, but in the mean time their publishers went on reprinting American works, without compensation, as before. Their position, therefore, was only this: they would stop thieving when we would; and the condition of their giving up what they held to be piracy, was a bargain on which they would get a thousand pounds, where we should obtain perhaps a hundred! And still again: one of the last acts of Mr. Dickens, before he left England on his mission, was the reproduction in his “Pic-nic Papers” of the Charcoal Sketches of Joseph C. Neale, of Philadelphia, not only without copyright, but concealing the name of the author, and merely saying that “it was from an American source”—leaving the impression that it was originally written for his book! In addition to all this, reflecting men saw that this claim of international copyright was chiefly based on principles of absolute and universal right, which were repudiated, not only by the local copyright law of Great Britain, but that of all other civilized countries. These were hindrances to the immediate passage of any international copyright in this country, because they created a prejudice against it as well as fear of its consequences. But these difficulties are now past, and it is time to consider the subject in a calmer and wiser spirit.

II, p. 361: is founded

* Various suggestions have been urged against this; it has been said that the author’s right consists of two things—his manuscript and his ideas; the one material, the other incorporeal. His claim to the first is valid, and remains with him, but he parts with the other by publication. This objection is fully answered by a suggestion already made, that it is only by the power to control the copying of his work, that an author can obtain compensation for his labor.

Another suggestion has been made by Mr. H. C. Carey, to this effect, that a book consists of two parts—facts and ideas, which he calls the body, and the language, which he considers the clothing. Now, he says, facts and ideas are old, and have become common property; they ore like a public fountain—common to all—and for this portion of his work the author can claim no reward: all he can ask compensation for is the language in which he has clothed these facts and ideas.

Now there are two objections to this: one is as to the fact on which this theory is founded, and the other in respect to the inferences drawn from it. Mr. Carey has written some clever works on Political Economy; he may say that there is nothing new in these, and that his only merit lies in having put old ideas into new language, but the public will not agree with him in this. The public will not agree that there is nothing new in the facts and ideas of the histories of Prescott, Bancroft, and Macaulay; in the romances of Cooper and Scott; in the poetry of Wordsworth and Byron; in the delightful travels of Bayard Taylor, and the inspired song of Hiawatha. Indeed, there hag probably been no age of the world, in which literature has been so highly original, in its facts and ideas, as during this particular portion of time, which Mr. Carey considers as wholly barren and unproductive of thought.

His inferences seem as illogical as his premises are unsound. If a man makes salt from the sea, which is a common reservoir, is that a reason

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why he shall not have complete control of the product of his labor? A man has a right to the fruit of his toil; the public may and will fix a price upon his products, according to the amount of labor, skill, and capital bestowed, but they may not deny his right to them, or confiscate them or any portion of them. If a man uses old ideas, the public will reward him accordingly, but it is no argument in behalf of denying him the right to sell what he has produced, for what he can get.

II, p. 362: the hands of the producers

* There are other modes of acquisition, as discovery, hunting, fishing, which carry the same right of possession, an actual production by manual labor.

II, p. 363: what belongs to them

* Nothing is more opposed to man’s instincts than the negation of his individuality, implied by Communisn. A man feels that he is a being, in himself; that he has the right to act and think independently, and of and for himself. It is this individuality, this independence, which gives value, meaning, responsibility, to his conduct. Communism overturns this idea: this regards mankind as grouped into societies, each society being like a tree, of which the individual person is but a leaf; or like the madrepores—a myriad of little insects living in the fibres of a sort of animal-plant rooted to a rock—all breathing, all nourished, all acting, with one nervous system, one consciousness, one sensorium. This is phalansterianism; here is the root of Proudhon’s apothegm—as every thing belongs to society, it is robbery for an individual to appropriate any thing to himself. Nevertheless, in looking at civilized society, in all ages, we find something of this communism; that is to say, we find that mankind, living together in communities, give up at least a portion of their abstract rights, and agree to be governed by laws which take into view the highest good of all. Thus society is a compromise, in which both the principle of individual rights, according to Blackstone, and communal rights, according to Proudhon, are recognized. The rule was laid down nearly two thousand years ago—Do to another as you would have another do to you, and we are not likely to get a better. That regards man as a being of intellect, conscience, and responsibility, and bound to seek his own happiness by promoting the happiness of others. That is Christianity, which is above Communism—though the latter has certainly taught us, in some respects,

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better how to carry out the aims of Christianity. As a system, it is fallacious; as having developed instructive facts, it has contributed largely to civilization.

II, p. 364: the rights of man

* The idea, so familiar now, that a man has a right to the fruit of his labor, is after all of rather modern date. So long as governments could compel men to plow, sow, reap, and thus feed society—by holding them in slavery—so long this was practiced all over Europe. A fundamental idea of the feudal system was, that the land-workers were villains, and belonged either to the soil or to the lord of the manor, and were transferred, in purchase and sale, as such. In England, in 1360, “the Statute of Laborers” punished workmen who left their usual abodes, by being branded in the foreheads with the letter F.; it required persons not worth forty shillings to dress in the coarsest russet cloth, and to be served once a day “with meat, fish, or the offal of other victuals.” In 1461, the king of France ordained that “the good fat meat should be sold only to the rich, and the poor should be confined to the buying of lean and stinking meat.”

During these periods, laborers who removed from place to place must have letters-patent granting them this privilege, or be put in the stocks. In 1406, children of poor parents must be brought up in the trade or calling of their parents. These absurd and iniquitous laws did not cease till the time of Charles II.; indeed, so late as 1775, the colliers of Scotland were considered as belonging to the collieries in which they had been accustomed to work!

The source of this system was a desire on the part of the capitalists to compel the laborers to work for them as slaves; it was the conspiracy of capital against free labor; nor was it abandoned until it was discovered by the governments that this system of compulsory or slave labor was unprofitable. Policy, necessity indeed, dictated the protection of labor, and it is in pursuance of this policy for some two hun-

p. 365

dred years that the right of a man to the fruit of his labor has come to be regarded as an axiom in all truly civilized countries.

II, p. 371: in the United States

* This notice should be recorded in some one office, say in a register, kept for that purpose, at the Smithsonian Institute, so that by reference to this, any person may know if copyright of a work which is announced, is to be copyrighted, and also may see whether this requisition of the law has been complied with.

II, p. 372: printed on American paper

* I had entertained the idea that it would be proper to prescribe the condition that the books should be from American type, and American engravings, but several eminent publishers think it will be for the advantage of all concerned, to permit the use of foreign stereotype plates, inasmuch as there will often be great economy in this. We shall soon send as many of these to England as we shall take from thence. On the whole, it is believed that the true interest of engravers and type-founders even, will be best consulted by letting the arrangement be made as here proposed.

II, p. 373: and half to the publisher

* In many, and probably most cases, the increased cost of books would not be more than ten per cent., and for this reason, that we should import English stereotype plates, thus making a great saving in the outlay of capital. This would certainly be the case in works embellished with engravings.

II, p. 374: a nation’s glory and defence

* “But are we to have—ought we have—a literature of our own? I say yes—we not only are to have, but we ought to have such a thing. It would do more for us in a time of peace, than our battles on the sea or our battles on the land in a time of war. In fact, authors are the militia of a country on the peace establishment; it is they that are to defend us and our firesides, the character of our country, our institutions, our hope and our faith, when they are assailed by the pen-militia of Europe. And though—as I have had occasion to say before—it may be cheaper to buy our literature ready-made; cheaper, so far as the money goes, for the present age ‘to import it in bales and hogsheads,’ than to make it for ourselves, yet in the long run it would be sure to turn out otherwise. It would be cheaper to buy soldiers ready-made,

p. 375

the mercenaries of Europe to defend us in time of war, than it would be to make soldiers of our fathers and brothers and sons—cheaper in the outset, perhaps; and yet, who would leave his country to the care of a military stranger—to the good faith of hired legions? Where would be the economy, after a few years? Even if it were cheaper to import our defenders, therefore, it would be safer and wiser to manufacture defenders; and if in a time of war, why not in a time of peace?

“But granting a native literature to be essential to our character—and who is there to deny it?—for books travel the earth over; books are read everywhere; and every great writer, every renowned author confers a dignity upon his native country, of more worth and of more durability than the warrior does—granting it, I say, to be so important for the character and safety of a people in time of peace, how are we to have it? By paying for it. By making it worth the while of our young men to give up a portion of their time to the study of writing, not as a boyish pastime—no, nor even as a trade, but as an art—a science.”—John Neal.

II, p. 377: in the wrong

* In France, copyright was regulated by royal decrees, till 1789, when a general law was passed, establishing the old practice, which gave the author copyright in perpetuity, except that in case of sale to a publisher, it terminated at his death. At present, by acts of 1793 and 1810, the author has copyright during his life, and then his children twenty years after. If there are no children, the actual heirs enjoy it for ten years.

The copyright law of England is stated elsewhere.

In Holland and Belgium, the copyright laws of France are adopted.

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The law is similar in Prussia, and also in the Zollverein, the heirs enjoying the right, however, for thirty instead of twenty years, after the author’s decease.

In Russia, the law gives copyright during the lifetime of the author, and twenty-five years after. An additional period of ten years is granted, if an edition is published within five years before the expiration of the copyright.

Sardinia adopted the French law in 1848. In Portugal the law is similar to that of Prussia. Spain formerly gave unlimited copyright, but often to religions communities, and not to the author. At present, the author has copyright during his lifetime, and his heirs fifty years after his death.

Prussia was the first nation to pass a general act, offering International Copyright to all countries that would reciprocate the same. This was incorporated into her copyright law of 1837. England followed this example in 1838.

Treaties for International Copyright have been entered into between Austria, Sardinia, and Tessin, 1840; Prussia and England, 1846; France, Sardinia, Hanover, England, and Portugal, in 1846, 1850, and 1851.

France has added a law prohibiting the counterfeiting of foreign books and works of art, without requiring reciprocal stipulations from other countries.

It is to be remarked, that International Copyright between these European States, generally having different languages, and trifling interests’ at stake, is very easy and natural; it is practically a very different matter between England and the United States, which have the same language, and immense industrial arts, trades, and professions, directly connected with the subject. There may, indeed, be as good a reason why such an agreement should exist between Great Britain and the United States as between Great Britain and France, but still, as it involves infinitely greater consequences, it is reasonable to treat the subject with more mature and careful consideration.

II, p. 382: as follows

* The following is a table of estimates of the various Industrial Interests connected with the press, presented to Congress in behalf of the Convention which met at Boston in 1842. Mr. Tileston, of Dorchester, and myself were the committee appointed to proceed to Washington to enforce the wishes of the petitioners, founded upon this exhibition. Mr. Fillmore, the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, then

p. 383

charged with framing the Tariff bill which soon after passed into a law, gave us a patient hearing, and the views of the petitioners were duly considered and acceded to.

[Transcriber’s note: The table has been reformatted in the interests of readability.]


Publishing and Bookselling.

No. of persons employed: 4,000
Amount of business annually: $7,000,000
No. of books, &c., annually produced: 12,000,000 vols
Capital invested: 4,000,000

Periodicals, exclusive of Newspapers.

No. of persons employed: ....
Amount of business annually: $500,000
No. of books, &c., annually produced: 3,000,000 Nos.
Capital invested: 200,000


No. of persons employed: 3,060
Amount of business annually: $1,646,000
No. of books, &c., annually produced: ...
Capital invested: 800,000

Type & Stereotype Founders.

No. of persons employed: 700
Amount of business annually: $426,000
No. of books, &c., annually produced: ...
Capital invested: 400,000

Engraving, Wood, Steel, & Copper, includ. Designs.

No. of persons employed: 500
Amount of business annually: $250,000

Plate Printing.

No. of persons employed: 500
Amount of business annually: $400,000


No. of persons employed: ...
Amount of business annually: $6,000,000
No. of books, &c., annually produced: 300,000,000 sheets ann’y.
Capital invested: 2,200,000

Printing, including Newspapers.

No. of persons employed: 25,088
Amount of business annually: $7,126,912
No. of books, &c., annually produced: ...
Capital invested: 3,000,000

Paper of all kinds used for printing.

No. of persons employed: 8,000
Amount of business annually: $5,000,000
No. of books, &c., annually produced: ...
Capital invested: 5,000,000

pointing hand At the present time, 1856, it will be safe to double most of these estimates, to represent the present state of the same interests.

II, p. 387: religious and educational

* See the “Bibliographical Guide to American Literature” of Messrs. Trübner & Co., London—an interesting work, abounding in curious and startling yet gratifying facts, in respect to the literature of the United States.

II, p. 388: five millions of volumes

* See Trübner’s Bibliographical Guide, before quoted, page xxvii. It is there estimated that in 1860 the public libraries will amount to ten millions of volumes.

II, p. 391: the patriotism of our country

* “In order that America may take its due rank in the commonwealth of nations, a literature is needed which shall be the exponent of its higher life. We live in times of turbulence and change. There is a general dissatisfaction, manifesting itself often in rude contests, and ruder

p. 392

speech, with the gulf which separates principles from actions. Men are struggling to realize dim ideals of right and truth, and each failure adds to the desperate earnestness of their efforts. Beneath all the shrewdness and selfishness of the American character, there is a smouldering enthusiasm which flames out at the first touch of fire—sometimes at the hot and hasty words of party, and sometimes at the bidding of great thoughts and unselfish principles. The heart of the nation is easily stirred to its depths; but those who rouse its fiery impulses into action are often men compounded of ignorance and wickedness, and wholly unfitted to guide the passions which they are able to excite. There is no country in the world which has nobler ideas embodied in more worthless shapes. All our factions, fanaticisms, reforms, parties, creeds, ridiculous or dangerous though they often appear, are founded on some aspiration or reality which deserves a better form and expression. There is a mighty power in great speech. If the sources of what we call our fooleries and faults were rightly addressed, they would echo more majestic and kindling truths. We want a poetry which shall speak in clear, loud tones to the people; a poetry which shall make us more in love with our native land, by converting its ennobling scenery into the images of lofty thoughts; which shall give visible form and life to the abstract ideas of our written constitutions; which shall confer upon virtue all the strength of principle and all the energy of passion; which shall disentangle freedom from cant and senseless hyperbole, and render it a thing of such loveliness and grandeur as to justify all self-sacrifice; which shall make us love man by the new consecrations it sheds on his life and destiny; which shall force through the thin partitions of conventionalism and expediency; vindicate the majesty of reason; give new power to the voice of conscience, and new vitality to human affection; soften and elevate passion; guide enthusiasm in a right direction; and speak out in the high language of men to a nation of men.”

E. P. Whipple.

II, p. 396: had rung through the hall

* A remarkable instance of the license which Mr. Randolph allowed to himself, occurred in the Senate, of which he was then a member, soon after Mr. Adams’s accession to the presidency. In a discussion which took place upon the “Panama Mission,” Randolph closed a very intemperate speech with the following words, on their face referring to events which had occurred at a recent race-course, but, in fact, plainly meaning the alliance between Mr. Adams and Mr. Clay:

I was defeated, horse, foot, and dragoons—cut up, clean broke down

p. 397

by the coalition of Blifil and Black George—by the combination, unheard of till then, of the Puritan with the Black-leg!

The “Coalition,” so much talked of at the time, charged Mr. Clay with giving Mr. Adams his influence in the election to the presidency, in consideration that he was to be Secretary of State. This was urged with great vehemence and effect, both against Mr. Adams’s administration and Mr. Clay, personally. Randolph’s endorsement of the charge, at this time, fiendish as the manner of it was, seemed a staggering blow, and Mr. Clay thought it necessary to call him to account for it. The duel took place on the banks of the Potomac, but Randolph fired in the air, and the difficulty was appeased.

No man in our history has been more discussed than John Randolph. He was undoubtedly a man of genius, but, on the whole, both in public and private, was an exceedingly dangerous example. He said some good things, and sometimes seemed almost inspired, but his mind and heart were soured and narrowed by inherent physical defects, which at last led to occasional lunacy. He died at Philadelphia in 1833, aged 60.

II, p. 398: William Pinkney

* William Pinkney was a native of Annapolis, born 1764. He was appointed to various European missions by the United States government, and held other eminent public stations. His greatest celebrity, however, was attained at the bar, where he was distinguished alike for learning and eloquence. He was a great student, and prepared himself with the utmost care, though he affected to rely chiefly on his native powers. A member of Monroe’s Cabinet once told me that he heard Pinkney, about five o’clock of a winter morning, reciting and committing to memory, in his room, the peroration of a plea which he heard delivered the same day before the Supreme Court!

p. 399

His senatorial displays are said to have been often more florid than profound. Soon after first taking his seat in the House of Representatives he made a speech, which was very brilliant, but rather pretentious and dictatorial. John Randolph gave him a hint of this. He said: “Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland”—then pausing, and looking toward Pinkney, added—“I believe the gentleman is from Maryland?” As Pinkney had been ambassador to several courts in Europe, and was the most conspicuous lawyer at the bar of the Supreme Court, he felt this sarcasm keenly. When I saw him, he had just taken his seat in the Senate; two years afterward he died, aged fifty-seven.

II, p. 400: the second

* The electoral vote stood thus: for Gen. Jackson, ninety-nine; Mr. Adams, eighty-four; Mr. Crawford, forty-one; Mr. Clay, thirty-seven. It was perfectly constitutional to elect Mr. Adams, but the event showed the difficulty of sustaining a President who has less than one-third of the popular vote in his favor.

The vote in the House of Representatives was first declared by Daniel Webster, and then by John Randolph. At the announcement that Adams was elected, there was some clapping of hands and there were some hisses, whereupon the galleries were cleared.

II, p. 404: repelled all

* A somewhat severe but still acute analyst of Mr. Adams’s character says: “Undoubtedly, one great reason of his unpopularity was his cold, antipathetic manner, and the suspicion of selfishness it suggested, or at least aided greatly to confirm. None approached Mr. Adams, but to recede. He never succeeded, he never tried to conciliate.”

I recollect an anecdote somewhat illustrative of this. When he was candidate for the Presidency, his political friends thought it advisable that he should attend a cattle-show at Worcester, Mass., so as to conciliate the numbers of influential men who might be present. Accordingly he went, and while there many persons were introduced to him, and among the rest a farmer of the vicinity—a man of substance and great respectability. On being presented, he said—

“Mr. Adams, I am very glad to see you. My wife, when she was a gal, lived in your father’s family; you were then a little boy, and she has told me a great deal about you. She has very often combed your head.”

“Well,” said Mr. Adams, in his harsh way—“I suppose she combs yours now!” The poor farmer slunk back like a lashed hound, feeling the smart, but utterly unconscious of the provocation.

Mr. Adams’s course in the House of Representatives—to which he was elected for a series of years, after he had been President—was liable to great and serious exception. His ago, the high positions he had held, his vast experience and unbounded stores of knowledge, might have made him the arbiter of that body. Such, however, was his love of gladiatorial displays, that he did more to promote scenes of collision, strife, and violence, in words and deeds, than any other member. I remember one day to have been on the floor of the House, when he attacked Mr. Wise with great personality and bitterness. In allusion to the Cilley duel, with which he was connected, he spoke of him as coming into that assembly, “his hands dripping with blood!” There was a terrible yarring tone in his voice, which gave added effect to the denunciation. Every person present seemed to be thrilled with a sort

p. 405

of horror, rather toward Mr. Adams than the object of his reproaches. In speaking of this scene to me afterward, an eminent member of Congress said, that “Mr. Adams’s greatest delight was to be the hero of a row.” There is no doubt that the rude personal passages which often occur in the House of Representatives, derived countenance from Mr. Adams’s example. It is melancholy to reflect how a great intellect, and, on the whole, a great life, were marred and dwarfed by inherent personal defects.

II, p. 407: mainly by northern votes

* Mr. Calhoun had one hundred and fourteen votes from the non-slaveholding States, and sixty-eight only from the others.

II, p. 408: the presidency

* There seems to have been a singular fatuity in Mr. Clay’s great measures—if we may be permitted to test them by time and their result. He promoted the war, but was himself one of the negotiators of a peace with the enemy, without a single stipulation in regard to the causes of the war, and this too after an expenditure of thirty thousand lives and a hundred millions of dollars on our side, and probably an equal expenditure on the other. The Missouri Compromise of 1820, which he so far favored as to gain the credit of it, has been recently expunged, leaving national discord and local civil war in its place. The Compromise of 1833 was regarded by many of the eminent men in the country, as one of the most disastrous political movements that could

p. 409

have been devised, and by its inconsistency with his previous doctrines, lost him forever the confidence of his best friends, especially at the North. Mr. J. Q. Adams once told me that he considered this as a fatal mistake on Mr. Clay’s part, as he saved Mr. Calhoun without conciliating him, at the same time alienating many leading men throughout the country who had before been devoted to him. The Compromise of 1850, in which Mr. Clay was the chief, has already lost its force, and is likely hereafter to be rather a source of agitation than of peace. His grand and comprehensive system, to which he gave the name of “American,” and which proposed to build up a mighty nation through a National Bank, giving us a currency—Internal Improvements, promoting commerce and binding the States in the bonds of union—the Tariff, to render us independent of foreign nations in peace and in war—and the Panama Mission, placing us at the head of the powers of this continent,—all these have been trampled under foot by Jackson, and Van Buren, and Polk, and Pierce, and the People. They have been erased from our policy, and their history is chiefly memorable for the ability with which their great originator promoted them, and yet only to insure the defeat, of his own ambition. After a few brief years, Henry Clay will be only known to the student of history, who looks beyond existing monuments for testimonials of the giants of bygone generations. Even his speeches, stirring as they were on those who heard them—having no eminence in literature, no body and soul of general truth, reflection, and philosophy, and little connection with current politics—will soon be among the traditions of the past. The fallacy of Mr. Clay’s career lay in this—he created issues, founded schemes, planned systems, as the ladders of ambition; the truer plan, even for ambition, is to make truth and duty and principle the polar star of life and action.

II, p. 410: Lafayette

* I was at this time Master of the Lodge at Hartford, St. John’s No. 4, and attended this celebration officially as a deputy from the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. I recollect that when the lodges assembled at Boston, Gen. Lafayette was among them. I had seen him before in Paris, at a dinner on Washington’s birthday, A. D. 1824, when he first announced his intention of coming to America. I afterward saw him, both at Washington and Paris. I may mention a single anecdote, illustrative of his tenderness of heart. While he was at Washington, Mr. Morse—since so universally known as the inventor of the electric telegraph—was employed to paint his portrait for the City Hall of New York. One day, when the people were collecting in the hall of the hotel for dinner, I saw Mr. Morse apart, in the corner of the room, reading a letter. I noticed, in a moment, that he was greatly agitated. I went to him, and asked him the cause. He could not speak; he put the letter into my hand, and staggered out of the room. I looked over the epistle, and saw that it contained the fatal intelligence of the death of his wife, at New Haven, whom he had left there, in health, a few days before. He felt it necessary to leave Washington immediately, and go to his friends, and 1 agreed to accompany him. It was necessary that this should be communicated to Lafayette. I went to him and told him the story. He was very much affected, and went with me to see Mr. Morse. He took him in his arms and kissed him, and wept over him,

p. 411

as if he had been his own child. Nothing could be more soothing than this affectionate sympathy.

In Mr. Webster’s discourse, which I have been noticing, there was a passage addressed to Lafayette, which, I believe, is slightly altered in the present printed copy. It was told as an anecdote, some years ago, that he composed the discourse while fishing for cod off Nantasket Beach. It would seem that as he came to the point of addressing Lafayette, he had a vigorous bite, and from habit, more than attention to the business in hand, began to haul in. Just as the fish emerged from the water, Mr. Webster went on thus—“Fortunate man! the representative of two hemispheres—welcome to these shores!”—whereupon the huge fish was safely jerked into the boat. I can not vouch for the authenticity of the story, bat I tell it as too good to be lost.

II, p. 412: overwhelming emotion

* One incident, which occurred on this occasion, is worth mentioning. I sat near two old men, farmers I should judge, who remained with their mouths open from the beginning to the end of the oration. Not a sentence escaped them. I could see reflected in their countenances the whole march of the discourse. When it was over, they rose up, and having drawn a long breath, one said to the other—“Well, that was good; every word seemed to weigh a pound!” While Mr. Webster was in Europe in 1839, I wrote a series of anecdotical sketches of him, published in the National Intelligencer, and among other things, recited this incident. It found its way to England, and the London Times, in describing Mr. Webster’s manner in the speech he made at the Oxford Cattle Show, repeated this anecdote as particularly descriptive of his massive and weighty eloquence.

II, p. 416: S. S. Prentiss

* S. S. Prentiss was a native of Maine, but removed to Mississippi, where he soon distinguished himself as a brilliant orator. In the Harrison Campaign of 1840, “he took the stump,” and made a series of most effective speeches, crowds gathering from many miles around, to hear him. One day he met with a caravan of wild beasts, and it was suggested that he should speak from the top of one of the wagons. He mounted that of the hyenas, and as he was lame, and carried a strong cane, occasionally he poked this through a hole in the top and stirred up the hyenas within. Prentiss had scathing powers of denunciation, and he was unsparing in his sarcasms upon the administration of Jackson and his successor Van Buren, which, as he insisted, had caused the ruin then

p. 417

desolating the country; but when to his blasting sentences were added the howlings of the hyenas, judiciously put in at the climaxes, it was something more than words—it was “action, action, action!”

I remember once to have heard this famous orator, the same season, at a whig meeting in Faneuil Hall, Edward Everett presiding. I hardly knew which most to admire—the polished elegance, spiced with graceful and pertinent wit, of Everett, or the dashing splendor of Prentiss. The one seemed like the fountain of Velino playing amid Grecian sculpture; the other, a cataract of the Far West, fed from inexhaustible fountains, and lighting whole forests with its crystals and its foam.

Mr. Prentiss died in 1850, greatly lamented, at the early age of forty.

II, p. 419: beautiful sentiments in beautiful language

* It would be easy to fill volumes with passages of this sort: the following, taken at random from Mr. Webster’s published works, will illustrate what I have said:

“Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together. Where her temple stands, and so long as it is duly honored, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness, and the improvement and progress of our race.”

“One may live as a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate, but he must die as a man. The bed of death brings every human being to his pure individuality; to the intense contemplation of that deepest and most solemn of ail relations, the relation between the Creator and the created.”

“Real goodness does not attach itself merely to this life; it points to another world.”

“Religion is the tie that connects man with his Creator, and holds him to his throne. If that tie be all sundered, all broken, he floats away, a worthless atom in the universe—its proper attractions all gone, its destiny thwarted, and its whole future nothing but darkness, desolation, and death.”

Speaking at Valley Forge of the sufferings of the American army

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there, under Washington, in the winter of 1777-8, he described them as “destitute of clothing, destitute of provisions, destitute of every thing but their faith in God and their immortal leader.”

“The slightest glance must convince us that mechanical power and mechanical skill, as they are now exhibited in Europe and America, mark an epoch in human history worthy of all admiration. Machinery is made to perform what has formerly been the toil of human hands, to sin extent that astonishes the most sanguine, with a degree of power to which no number of human arms is equal, and with such precision and exactness as almost to suggest the notion of reason and intelligence in the machines themselves. Every natural agent is put unrelentingly to the task. The winds work, the waters work, the elasticity of metals works; gravity is solicited into a thousand new forms of action; levers are multiplied upon levers; wheels revolve on the peripheries of other wheels; the saw and the plane are tortured into an accommodation to new uses, and last of all, with inimitable power, and ‘with whirlwind sound,’ comes the potent agency of steam.”

“Steam is found in triumphant operation on the seas; and under the influence of its strong propulsion, the gallant ship,

‘Against the wind, against the tide,

Still steadies with an upright keel.’

It is on the rivers, and the boatman may repose on his oars; it is on highways, and begins to exert itself along the courses of land conveyance; it is at the bottom of mines, a thousand feet below the earth’s surface; it is in the mill, and in the workshops of the trades. It rows, it pumps, it excavates, it carries, it draws, it lifts, it hammers, it spins, it weaves, it prints.”

“Whether it be consciousness, or the result of his reasoning faculties, man soon learns that he must die. And of all sentient beings, he alone, as fur as we can judge, attains to this knowledge. His Maker has made him capable of learning this. Before he knows his origin

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and destiny, he knows that he is to die. Then comes that most urgent and solemn demand for light that ever proceeded, or can proceed, from the profound and anxious breedings of the human soul. It is stated, with wonderful force and beauty, in that incomparable composition, the book of Job: For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease; that, through the scent of water, it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But if a man die, shall he live again? And that question nothing but God, and the religion of God, can solve. Religion does solve it, and teaches every man that he is to live again, and that the duties of this life have reference to the life which is to come. And hence, since the introduction of Christianity, it has been the duty, as it has been the effort, of the great and the good, to sanctify human knowledge, to bring it to the fount, and to baptize learning into Christianity; to gather up all its productions, its earliest and its latest, its blossoms and its fruits, and lay them all upon the altar of religion and virtue.”

“I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachusetts; she needs none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history; the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill; and there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, falling in the great struggle for Independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every State, from New England to Georgia; and there they will lie forever. And, sir, where American Liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its manhood and full of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall wound it, if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk at and tear it, if folly and madness, if uneasiness under salutary and necessary restraint, shall succeed in separating it from that Union by which alone its existence is made sure, it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm, with whatever of vigor it may still retain, over the friends who gather round

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it; and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amid the proudest monuments of its own glory, and on the very spot of its origin.”

It is known that some of these fine passages ware suddenly struck out in the heat of debate; others no doubt were polished and perfected with care. On a certain occasion, Mr. Webster startled the Senate by a beautiful and striking remark in relation to the extent of the British empire, as follows: “She has dotted the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat, following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circle the earth daily with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England.”

On going out of the Senate, one of the members complimented Mr. Webster upon this, saying that he was all the more struck with it as it was evidently impromptu. “You are mistaken,” said Mr. Webster; “the idea occurred to me when I was on the ramparts of Quebec, some months since. I wrote it down, and re-wrote it, and after several trials, got it to suit me, and laid it by for use. The time came to-day, and so I put it in.”

II, p. 426: his own matchless abilities

* The “great debate” here alluded to, took place in the Senate, in January, 1830. Colonel Hayne had attacked Mr. Webster with great power, fortified as he was by facts, arguments, and suggestions, furnished by democratic members from all parts of the Union, and going over Mr. Webster’s whole political life. The reply was triumphant and overwhelming, and is justly considered the greatest forensic effort which our history supplies. There is, indeed, so far as I know, no speech which equals it, if we regard the variety of its topics, the vast scope of its leading considerations, the beauty and felicity of many of its passagos, and its completeness as a whole.

II, p. 429: John M. Niles

* John M. Niles was a native of Windsor, Connecticut. He studied law, and settled at Hartford, devoting himself, however, to politics. He was of small, awkward, and insignificant personal appearance, and for this reason, probably, was for many years treated and regarded with some degree of contempt, especially by the federalists, to whom he was politically opposed. I knew him well, and early learned to appreciate the logical force of his understanding. He was associated in the Times newspaper, and was probably, more than any other single person, the instrument of overturning the federal party in the State, in 1817. He now rose to various eminent public stations, at last becoming a Senator of the United States, and for a short time Postmaster-general under Mr. Polk. He had strong common sense, and close reasoning powers, which operated with the precision of cog-wheels. Mr. Webster regarded his speech upon the tariff, while he was in the Senate, as one of the very ablest ever delivered upon that subject.

I must give a sketch of a scene in Mr. Forsyth’s parlor, on the occasion

p. 430

above alluded to, as it presents a tableaux of three marked men. The dinner had been finished for some time, but several of the gentlemen lingered at the table. The ladies had retired, and made a considerable semicircle around the fire in the parlor. Mr. Forsyth was in the middle of this room, receiving the gentlemen as they came from the dining-hall, and who, after a little conversation with him, bowed to the ladies and took their leave.

At last Messrs. Benton, Hill, and Niles came from the dining-room together, and stopped to converse with Mr. Forsyth. Mr. Hill, who was very lame, said good-night to his host and went straight to the door, without taking the slightest notice of the bright circle around the fireside. Benton came next; but he is an old courtier, and therefore paid his addresses to the ladies, beginning with Mrs. Meigs—Mrs. Forsyth’s mother—and bowing gracefully to each, was about to take his leave. Niles came next. His first idea evidently was to follow the example of Isaac Hill, but as Benton was actually performing his courtesies, he felt it impossible wholly to disregard such a pattern. Setting out first for the door, he soon diverged toward the fireside; when near the ladies, he was suddenly seized with panic, and pulling out a red bandanna handkerchief from his pocket, gave a load blast upon his nose, shot out of the door, and thus safely effected his retreat.

Mr. Niles died at Hartford in 1856, aged sixty-nine.

II, p. 430: Henry R. Storrs

* Mr. Storrs was a native of Middletown, Connecticut, and brother of the present Judge Storrs of that State. He was educated at Yale, and was there considered a dull scholar, yet he early became eminent as a lawyer and a statesman. He first settled at Utica, but afterward removed to the city of New York, where he died in 1837, aged forty-nine. He was distinguished for various acquirements, great powers of discrimination, remarkable logical exactness, and a ready and powerful elocution.

II, p. 442: the Place Louis Quinze

* This is now the Place de la Concorde, and is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. In the center is the famous obelisk of Luxor: from this point four superb works of architecture are seen at the four cardinal points—to the west, through the avenue of the Champs Elisées, is the Arc de Triomphe de 1’Etoile; to the north, the Church of the Madeleine; to the east, the Palace of the Tuileries; to the south, the Chamber of Deputies.

II, p. 443: Mr. Warden

* Mr. David Bailie Warden, who had been Secretary of Legation when Gen. Armstrong was Minister to Holland, was at this time Consul of the United States at Paris. He was a native of Ireland, but had become an American citizen. He was a corresponding member of the Institute and was a man of considerable scientific and literary acquirements. He wrote a clever History of the United States. He died at Paris in 1845, aged 67.

II, p. 452: baffled them for seventeen years

* Abd-el-Kadir, who had been the indomitable leader of the Arabs of the Desert, against the French, who had conquered Algiers, surrendered to Gen. Lamoriciére, December 23d, 1847.

II, p. 460: one of their muskets went off

* It has since been said, and is generally believed, that a revolutionist by the name of Lagrange fired this shot with a pistol, having expected and designed the events which immediately followed.

II, p. 463: consigned to the flames

* Many occurrences, during the revolution, served to display, on the part of the people, commonly, but injuriously, called the mob, sentiments not inferior in beauty and elevation to those handed down for centuries in the histories of ancient Greece and Rome. During the sacking of the Palais Royal, the insurgents found an ivory crucifix. In the very heat of their fury against tyranny, they reverently paused, and taking the sacred emblem of their faith, bore it to the old church of St. Roch, where it was safely deposited.

II, p. 464: poured upon it

* In the recent improvements in Paris, the ruins of the Chateau d’Eau have been removed, and a square has been opened upon their site from the Palais Royal to the new portions of the Louvre. These and other alterations have rendered this one of the most beautiful quarters of the city. The Louvre and the Tuileries have been united, and now form one of the most magnificent palaces in Europe.

II, p. 465: in England

* The various members of the royal family, having escaped to England, established themselves at Claremont, near London, where they have continued till this time. Louis Philippe died there the 22d of August, 1850.

II, p. 473: the revolution

* Mr. Bush, who was then our ambassador to France, proceeded in his official capacity to the Hotel de Ville, three or four days after the completion of the revolution, and recognized the government, congratulating them upon a change which had resulted in the establishment of a republic.

II, p. 475: Vive la Republique Americaine

* The committee on the address, besides myself, were Messrs. Corbin, of Virginia, Shimmin, of Boston, and the late Henry Coleman, well known for his agricultural writings, as well as his travels in England and France.

The president on the occasion was Hon. G. W. Erving, formerly minister of the United States to Madrid.

The chief marshal was Wright Hawkes, Esq., of New York, assisted by Robert Wickliffe, Jr., of Kentucky, E. C. Cowden, of Boston, &c.

It is a curious fact, that the Americans in the procession were several inches taller than the average of Frenchmen—a circumstance which attracted general attention in Paris at the time.

II, p. 476: M. Poussin

* M. Guillaume Tell Poussin came to the United States many years ago, and was employed here as an engineer for a long time. After his return to France, he wrote an able statistical work on this country, in which he highly praised our institutions. When the French Republic was organized, lie was sent as minister to Washington. Mr. Clayton, Secretary of State under Gen. Taylor, took exception to certain expressions used by M. Poussin in his correspondence with the department, and accordingly he ceased to represent his country here. M. Poussin is, however, a sincere republican, and a great admirer of the United States; and though his principles are well known, such is the respect entertained for him, that the suspicion of the French government, even under the empire, has never subjected him to constraint or annoyance.

II, p. 478: and Louis Blanc

* These men were Socialists, and aimed at a destruction of the government, so that they might bring into effect their peculiar schemes. They were shortly afterward tried at Bourges, and sentenced to long imprisonment or banishment. Louis Blanc and Caussidiére escaped to England. The former remains in London; the latter is now a wine-merchant in New York.

II, p. 480: the American Consul at Paris

* Paris is not a seaport, and therefore the numerous consular duties connected with shipping are never required here. On the other hand, it is the literary metropolis of France; and as French consuls are required to collect and furnish geographical, historical, commercial, and statistical information, I found myself constantly applied to by editors

p. 481

of papers, authors, bankers, merchants, government officials, for particular fncts in regard to the United States. I was exceedingly struck with the general ignorance of all classes, as to our country, its institutions, geography, population, history, &c. I therefore prepared a work, which, with the kind assistance of M. Delbrück, was put into French, and published—it being an octavo volume of about three hundred and seventy-five pages, entitled Les Etats-Unis d’ Amérique. I had the gratification of seeing it well received on all sides, even by the members of the government, from whom I had complimentary acknowledgments. There is, indeed, a great and growing interest in our country all over Europe, and it seems to be the duty of American officials abroad to take advantage of their opportunities to satisfy and gratify this curiosity by furnishing, in a correct and accessible form, the kind of information that is desired.

The number of Americans in Paris, residents and travelers, varies from one to three thousand. If the Consul is understood to bar out his countrymen, he may see very few of them; if, on the contrary, he is willing to make himself useful in a neighborly way, many of them will call upon him to take his advice as to schools, physicians, routes of travel, and the like. When there is difficulty, the Consul is the natural resource of his countrymen, especially for those who are without acquaintance. In case of the death of an American, if there Is no friend or relative present upon whom the duty devolves, the Consul gives directions as to the funeral, and takes charge of the effects of the deceased.

I have already alluded to French physicians and surgeons, and expressed the opinion that ours, in America, are quite as good. There is, no doubt, great science in the medical and surgical professions of Paris; but there are two things to be suggested to those who go there for advice. In the first place, these practitioners are very daring in their treatment of strangers, and in the next, their charges to foreigners are usually about double the ordinary rates.

While I was in Paris, a very wealthy and rather aged gentleman from Virginia consulted an eminent surgeon there, as to hydrocele. An op-

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eration was recommended and performed, entirely against the advice of a Virginia physician who chanced to be in Paris, and was consulted. In thirty days the gentleman died. He had intrusted his affairs to me, and I paid his bills. The charge of the surgeon was five thousand francs! The bills of the nurses, hotels, attendants, &c., were of a similar character. A young physician, who had been employed fourteen days as nurse, estimated his services at fifteen hundred francs! I make these, remarks, that my countrymen going to Paris for medical or surgical advice, may be duly warned against placing themselves in the hands of rash, and unprincipled practitioners. A great name in Paris is by no means a guarantee of that care, prudence, and conscientiousness, which belong to the physician at home.

II, p. 489: the Chamber of Deputies

* The National Assembly held its sessions in a temporary building erected in the courtyard of the Chamber of Deputies, proper. This

p. 490

was popularly called Pasteboard Hall. Louis Napoleon ordered it to be demolished soon after the promulgation of his Constitution, some weeks subsequent to the Coup d’Etat.

II, p. 498: the reckless soldiers

* The soldiers fired upon all they saw in the streets. An old woman going along with a loaf of bread, had a bullet put through her; an apothecary, who ventured to appear at his door, instantly received a ball in his forehead. Files of soldiers poured their volleys upon the innocent people passing along the Boulevard; shots were fired at the windows of private houses; seven persons were killed in a bookseller’s shop. One of my friends saw seventeen dead bodies in one gutter.

p. 499

These persons thus slaughtered were not rioters, working at barricades; they were mostly gentlemen, and hence it was called the massacre of the “kid gloves.” The soldiers had undoubtedly been stimulated by liquor to qualify them to perform this work of butchery.

II, p. 502: some noble spirits still pine in exile

* The number of individuals exiled by the Coup d’Etat amounted to several thousands—some of the more obnoxious persons being sent to Cayenne, Noukahiva, and Lambessa in Algeria. Others were only banished from France; a portion of these have since had permission to return. Among those still excluded is Victor Hugo, no doubt the most eloquent writer and orator now living. He has continued to make the island of Jersey his residence. Two other exiles of some note are Ledru Rollin and Louis Blanc, members of the Provisional Government, and whose misconduct contributed largely to the overthrow of the republic. These have remained in England. Lamoriciére, Changarnier, Charras, and Bedeau, all distinguished officers, are in Belgium or Germany.

Cavaignac, who was imprisoned with other members of the Assembly, was speedily released. He is believed to be a sound republican, somewhat according to our American ideas. He is permitted to reside in Prance, but takes no part in public affairs. Lamartine, a fine poet,

p. 503

a captivating orator, an elegant writer, and withal a man whose heart is full of every noble sentiment, escaped the indignity of imprisonment, and he too is allowed to live in his native land. But his lips are sealed as to every political question, and his only communication with his countrymen and with mankind is through literature, carefully divested of every thought and feeling pertaining to current politics. Every author in France, indeed, wears a muzzle which only permits him to breathe such thoughts as cannot offend the powers that be.

II, p. 505: the 1st of August, 1853

* I shall, I trust, be excused for inserting in a note the following, which I take from Galignani’s Paris Messenger of December 15th, 1854:

Mr. Goodrich, the late Consul of the United States of America at Paris.—The Americans in Paris lately presented to Mr. Goodrich a medallion executed in vermeil, by the distinguished artist, Adam-Salomon, with the following inscription encircling an admirable portrait of the consul, in relief—

To S. G. Goodrich, Consul of the United States of America, at Paris, presented by his countrymen in that City, August 1st, 1853.”

p. 506

The following correspondence, which took place between the parties, is creditable to all concerned:

"Paris, September 5th, 1854.

“To S. G. Goodrich, esq.—

“It is my very agreeable duty to present you, herewith, a medallion, executed at the request of a number of your American friends at Paris. It is destined alike as a token of personal respect, and an expression of the universal gratification among your countrymen at the manner in which you discharged your duties while consul of the United States here. Not content with a merely formal fulfillment of your official obligations, you made your position eminently agreeable and useful to your countrymen, and at the same time rendered it subservient to the best interests of our common country. On these points there is but one opinion; and, therefore, in making this offering, in behalf of your numerous friends, I am instructed to add their congratulations that nothing can deprive you of the good-will and good opinion so legitimately obtained.

I am, sir, respectfully yours,

Paris, September 16th, 1854.

My Dear Sir:—I have this day had the pleasure of receiving your letter, with the accompanying testimonial of personal regard and approbation of my official conduct, presented by you in behalf of my American friends in Paris. I need not say that I receive these unexpected tokens of kindness with great satisfaction, rendered doubly gratifying by the fact that they come when all know that I have only the humble thanks of a private citizen to give in return. While I thus acknowledge and cherish the compliment my friends have paid me, I feel bound to say that I had been already compensated for any personal sacrifices I had made to obligations lying beyond the mere routine of official duty, while I held the consulate in Paris. During that period, a space of little over two years, more than five hundred letters of introduction were presented to me, and I received at my house several thousands of my countrymen, strangers in this city; yet the instances were extremely rare in which an American trespassed either upon my time or my feelings. On the con-

p. 507

trary, I was day by day more than rewarded for any services rendered, by the agreeable intercourse of persons so universally intelligent, so little requiring, and so instinctively perceiving and observing the proprieties of every situation in which they were placed. I take great pleasure in recording a fact so creditable to our countrymen, even though it may deprive me of all claims to the merits which the kindness of my friends assigns to my conduct. I have the honor to be,

“With great respect, yours, &c.,


Francis Warden, Esq.

II, p. 508: these fugitive letters

* I had intended to say a few words in respect to the leading literary persons of France, at the present day, but in entering upon the

p. 509

subject I find it too extensive. I may, however, name in a single paragraph, Alexandre Dumas, whose versatility, fecundity, and capacity for labor are without parallel, and whose genius has placed him at the head of living novelists and dramatists, in spite of his notorious charlatanry and love of publicity; Adolphe Dumas, his son, whose three plays illustrative of the manners of equivocal society and of the life of abandoned women has made him rich at the age of thirty-one—a fact very suggestive as to the state of Parisian society; Lamartine, whose humble apartments in the Rue de la Ville l’Evéque are constantly filled with the admiring friends of the impoverished poet and the disowned politician; Alphonse Karr, whose caustic satires upon vice, folly, and prevalent abuses, published once a week, have made him a valuable reformer; Ampére, the traveler and linguist, whose work upon the United States is perhaps the most just that has yet been written by a foreigner; Emile de Girardin, whose innovation in editorial writing—consisting of the constant recurrence of the alinéa, or paragraph, each one of which contains a distinct proposition, deduced from the previous one and leading directly to that which follows—was one of the features of the Presse which produced its immense popularity; Scribe, the indefatigable playwright and librettist; Méry, the poet-laureate or court poetaster; Ponsard, whose two comedies in verse, “L’Honneur et l’Argent” and “La Bourse,” are rapidly carrying him to a chair in the Academy; Béranger, hale and active at the age of seventy-six, and the most popular man in France; Gustave Planche, the critic and the terror of authors; Jules Janin, the dramatic critic, whose long labors have been totally unproductive of good to either actor or dramatist; Madame de Girardin—recently deceased—whose one act drama of “La Joie fait Peur” is the most profound piece of psychological dissection in existence; and Madame Dudevant, alias George Sand, whose power of painting the finer and more hidden emotions of the soul is unrivaled.

I must add a word in respect to Madame Ristori, the Italian tragedienne who has recently caused such a thrill of excitement in Paris. She is in nothing more remarkable than in her contrast to Rachel. The latter is the pupil of art, the former of nature. Rachel always plays the same part in the same manner. Every tone, every gesture is studied profoundly,

p. 510

and always comes in. at the same time and place. Ristori enters into the play with her whole soul, and acts as her feelings dictate. She is of somewhat light complexion, with hazel eyes and brown hair; she has correct features, and off the stage is of grave, lady-like manners and appearance. On the stage she seems to work miracles. I have seen her in Marie Stuart, while on her knees at confession, by a slight continued movement upward make the audience feel as if she were actually ascending to heaven, personally and before their eyes!

II, p. 511: Dr. Franklin

* It is said, and I believe truly, that Dr. Franklin’s appearance at the court of Louis XVI. in a plain suit of drab cloth, and which for a brief space intoxicated the giddy beau monde of Paris, was accidental: his court suit not arriving in time, and the king, who waited anxiously to receive him, requesting that he would come as he was. Whether this was so or not, I believe there is no doubt that Dr. Franklin afterward adopted a court suit, consisting of a black velvet embroidered coat, and black small-clothes, with a small sword. Dr. Franklin was a man of too much sense to undertake to shock established tastes by an offensive departure from what was esteemed propriety. All the portraits of him taken while he was cur ambassador at the French court, show that he was accustomed to dress handsomely. I have a copy of one by Greuze, which represents him in a green silk dressing-gown, edged with fur, a light-colored satin waistcoat, with a frill at the bosom. Such a dress, for an elderly gentleman in his study, would now-a-days be considered almost foppish.

II, p. 514: became extremely awkward

* The desire of our ministers to satisfy the government at home, as well as to take advantage of the popular outburst in favor of the black coat, and at the same time to avoid the ridicule which they knew would attach to their appearing in a common dress at court, led to humiliating devices. Mr. Soulé adopted the shad-bellied, black velvet embroidered coat and small-clothes of the Municipal Council of Paris, said also to have been used by Dr. Franklin. Mr. Buchanan wore a black or blue coat, white waistcoat, small-clothes, silk stockings, a sword, and chapeau bras! Mr. Dallas is understood to have adopted the same costume. If we sympathize with these gentlemen for being forced into such humiliating subterfuges, we ought to bestow more serious condemnation upon those who led them into temptation. In some of the . northern courts of Europe, I believe our diplomats have adopted the simple black coat.

I understand that the Consul of Alexandria, whose functions are part-

p. 515

ly diplomatic, wears a blue coat with thirty-one stars, wrought in gold, on the collar. This is a beautiful idea, and might suggest to our government a very simple and appropriate consular and diplomatic costume. Some costume—distinct and national and perfectly understood in all countries—is really important, as well for our consuls as diplomats. Those who insist upon the black coat, show a total ignorance of the duties and position of our public officers abroad, and of the nations among whom they officiate.

II, p. 517: to appear at court

* In general, a person who should attempt to enter at a court reception, without a proper costume, would be stopped at the door: if he should, by accident, gain admittance, he would probably be invited to leave the room. A professional dress, as that of a soldier, a clergyman, &c., is considered a proper costume at Paris, and I believe at most other courts. If a person is not professional, he must wear either the prescribed costume of his own country, or that of the court to which he is introduced. The British minister will introduce no one at a foreign court, who has not been previously presented to the Queen at home.

II, p. 520: resentment

* Mr. Saunders’ Circulars were addressed, one to the President of the Swiss Cantons and the other to the French people—the latter being of a very incendiary character. These were translated into various languages, and scattered all over Europe, by the Italian and French exiles in London. I saw one of these, with a preface by Saffi, in which he stated that the writer, Citizen Saunders, was Consul General of the United States in Great Britain, that he was very intimate with Mr. Buchanan, the American minister at London, and thus conveying the idea that he spoke officially, in some degree, for the United States. A certain authority was lent to these documents by the statement that they were circulated in France under the seal of the American Legation in London. To judge of the effect produced by all this, let us consider what would be the feeling of oar people, if some foreign official should undertake to teach us our duty, and should even call upon us to cut the throats of our rulers!

II, p. 522: Florence

* Florence has a population of one hundred, and ten thousand inhabitants, but it is so compactly built as to occupy a very small territorial space. It is surrounded by a wall, partly of brick and partly of stone, and yet so feeble and dilapidated, as to be wholly useless, except for the purposes of police. It has six gates, duly guarded by military sentries. It is the capital of Tuscany, which is called a Grand Duchy, the Grand Duke, its present ruler, Leopold II., being an Austrian prince. The government is a rigid despotism, sustained by means of a few thousand Austrian troops, and the moral influence of the authority of Austria itself, ever ready to rush to the aid of the government.

II, p. 523: galleries of art

* The principal gallery, the Ufizzi, contains the statue of the Venus de’ Medici, the group of Niobe, and the most extensive collection of paintings and statuary illustrative of the history and progress of art, in the world. The collection in the Pitti Palace, the residence of the Grand Duke, is less extensive, but it is beautifully arranged, and comprises many gems of art, especially in painting and mosaic. Mr. Powers and Mr. Hart, American sculptors, celebrated for their busts in marble, are established in this city. Here we met Buchanan Read, who had just finished his charming poem, The New Pastoral; at the same time he was acquiring hardly less celebrity by his pencil.

II, p. 527: the treasures of art

* Rome is not only a depository of exhaustless stores of relics of art, and curiosities illustrative of history, but it is the great studio of living artists from all parts of Europe. Both painting and sculpture are pursued here with eminent success. The Angel of the Resurrection in the studio of Tenerani, is the most beautiful and sublime piece of sculpture I ever beheld. Gibson, an Englishman, takes the lead among foreigners, his best things consisting of reliefs, which are beautiful indeed. His Venus is English, but fine. He has tried coloring statuary, after the manner of the ancients, but it is not approved. Our American Crawford ranks very high for invention and poetic expression. He has shown a capacity beyond any other American sculptor, for groups on a large scale. Bartholomew, of Connecticut, is a man of decided genius, and is rapidly attaining fame. Ives, Mosier, Rogers—all our countrymen—are acquiring celebrity.

Among the foreign painters, the most celebrated is Overbeck, a German. He chooses religious subjects, and is a little pre-Raphaelitish in his style. Page, Terry, Chapman, are all highly appreciated, both at home and abroad. I here met the landscape painter, George L. Brown, whom I employed twenty years ago, for a twelvemonth, as a wood-engraver. He has studied laboriously of late, and his pictures are beautiful. When he was a boy, he painted a picture, the first he ever finished, Isaac P. Davis, of Boston, a well-known amateur, called to see it, and asked the price. Brown meant to say fifty cents, but in his confusion said fifty dollars. It was taken by Mr. Davis at this price: so the wood-cutter became a landscape painter!

II, p. 534: the electric telegraph

* The original profession of Samuel Finley Morse, the inventor of the electric telegraph, was that of an historical painter. He went to Europe for the purpose of perfecting himself in this, the second time, in 1824. In the autumn of 1832 he was returning in a ship from Havre, when the subject of electro-magnetism one day became the theme of conversation at the lunch-table. The fact that an electric spark could be obtained from a magnet, had led to the new science of magneto-electricity. Reflecting upon this, the idea of making electricity the means of telegraphic communication struck him with great force. It appears that in this conception he had been anticipated by scientific men, but nothing had been effected toward realizing it. Mr. Morse, after earnest and absorbing reflection upon this subject during his voyage, on his arrival set himself to the task of making it practical, and the plan he finally discovered and laid before the world was entirely original with him. All telegraphists before used evanescent signs; his system included not only the use of a new agent, but a self-recording apparatus, adding to the celerity of lightning almost the gift of speech. This was a new and wonderful art—that of a speaking and printing telegraph!

It would be interesting, if I had space, to trace this invention through all its alternations in the mind, feelings, and experiments of its producer. I can only say that after encountering and overcoming innumerable obstacles, the instrument was made to work on a small but decisive scale, in 1835. In 1837 he established his apparatus at Washington, and, as every thing seemed to promise success, he made an arrangement with a member of Congress (F, O. J. Smith) to take an interest in the patent, and to proceed forthwith to Europe to secure patents there. This was done, and Mr. Morse soon joined his associate in England. The expedition resulted only in long embarrassment and disaster to the inventor. Having returned to the United States, and successfully struggling with obstacles and adversities, he finally obtained the assistance of the government, and a line of telegraph was built from Washington to Baltimore. After some mistakes and many failures, the work proved successful, effective experiments having been made in 1844. The first sentence sent over the line is said to have been dictated by Miss Anna Ellsworth, daughter of H. L. Ellsworth, then commissioner of patents—

p. 535

“What hath God wrought?” It was indeed a natural and beautiful idea, at the moment that man had opened a new and startling development of the works of the Almighty. The means of instantly transmitting intelligence through space, seems to illustrate not only the omnipotence, but the omniscience and omnipresence of God.

Thus the telegraph was established, and though Mr. Morse has encountered opposition, rivalry, and almost fatal competition, he is generally admitted throughout the world to be the true inventor of this greatest marvel of art, the electric telegraph.

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