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Author of "The American. Crisis, or p<un-s from the Nvte-louh of a Stidc 
cujcid during the Civil War;" '' Onr the Alhyha /tits, and(«:ross tin- 
Prairies;" "The Adventures of mij Craudjuthcr," etc., etc., et<\ 

Kucri) luaa ha« a hislorij worlli hnawinrj." 



J () il N W T L S O N, P U B L 1 M 11 E K, 



[All ligLtci rctiuvcd. J . '1 C} 9 

7 9 8 6 7 11 


JUL 9 - ioOa 


Printed by Fkedkrick Clarki:, 

States Arcade. 




His birth and early education — Staunton in 1805 — The 
Chancery Court— Legal men of that day— Memorable ana— War 
of 1 81 2-1 5 — He wishes to join the army and follows volunteers — 
His mother's death and character — Jefferson's rules of health, 
etc. — The Staunton academy — His course there . . , i 


Princeton University — His rapid progress in this place — 
Combat with Thomas Van Bibber — Celsus on the preservation of 
health — Whig society — He wooes the muses — His manly 
conduct lb 


Life at Montgomery Hall — His love affair discovered — 
Colonel Stuart's memoir — Staunton founded by John Lewis — 
Superstition of the early inhabitants — Judge Allan Taylor — The 
Old Stone house — Life in Virginia before the introduction of 
{railways — Changes wrought by time ..... 27 

iv. CvntoUs. 


He enters Yale College — His career there — Influence on his 
opinions by reason of a residence in the north — Dr. Sims' opinion 
of his character — He studies law- — His travels and adventures — 
Singular incident of life in Florida — His want (jf ambition — 
Singular scene at Huntcrsville, wlicrc he burns his clients 
bonds — His love of nature ....•• 43 

CllAlTKR V. 

His life on returning from Yale — Amusing occurrence at 
General Jackson's dinner table — Jackson's dogma ''to the victors 
belong the spoils " and its corrupting effects — John H. Peyton's 
speech against a horse-thief, and William Peyton's singular 
defence of the accused — Sketch of Chajiman Johnson junior — 
His advice to a young man whose marriage is opposed . Oi 


Leaves the Hot Springs and settles in Roanoke— Society 
there — His home and life in that place — He is elected to the 
Legislature ; nominates W. C. Rives for the U. S. Senate^ — 
He writes an address on the subject to the people of Virginia- — 
Text of the address ........ 85 


He is re-elected to the Legislature — General aspect of the State 
of Virginia — Physical divisions and the political divisions created 
thereby — Opposition of Eastern Virginia to internal improve- 
ments, a system advocated by the western counties — His speech 
in favour of a general system. . . . • • 129 

Contents. V. 


The author's first visit to his brother in Roanoke — Primitive 
style of travelling in Virginia — His valet Ned Phipps— Scenery 
on the route — William Peyton's domestic life — Kind treatment 
of his slaves, etc. — Colonel William L. Lewis and his discussions 
on religion and politics with John II. Peyton — A catholic church 
established in INIonroc, etc 166 


History of the public lands of the United States — How 
augmented by the purchase of Louisiana and Florida, and the 
luiglish defeat of the French Canadians — Colonel Peyton's speech 
in reply to General Bayly, and advocating a distribution among 
the States of the money arising from their sale . . 1B6 


Popular education and free schools in Virginia strongly urged 
by Colonel Peyton — His views on the subject of education and 
the bad effects of ignorance in ancient and modern times — JMr. 
Jefferson's plan for educating the masses — A man up to the 
times .......... 200 


He is defeated in the next election and retires from public 
life — Course of Thomas Ritchie and Bowyer Miller — It is not the 
most deserving who are elected by the people — Trickery and 
demagoguism often controlling the polls — His eloquent resolu- 
tions in favour of Henry Clay's election to the Presidency — His 
life on his estate— He discovers channel coal and some of its 
jiropertieS' — Foundation of the town of "P(\\tona" . 20/) 

vi. Contents. 


Signs of a revolution in the U. S. — The Presidential election 
of i860 — Lincoln elected — S. C. secedes — The president calls 
out 75000 men^ — Virginia secedes and the war begins — Colonel 
Peyton's eloquent letter to Mr. Rives .... 235 


Colonel Peyton under surveillance in New York — Lives with 
his old friend Dr. Sims — He writes a second letter to W. C. 
Rives in which he announces the new position in which southern 
men have been placed by the course of the President — He 
advises Virginia to take an attitude of armed neutrality — His 
analytical review of Mr. Lincoln's policy. . . . 277 


Ilis escape from New York and arrival in Canada — Journey 
thence to the north-west and south through Ohio, Indiana and 
Kentucky — Political situation in Kentucky and Tennessee — Battle 
of Millmount and death of General Zollicoffer and Captain 
Balie Peyton, junior — His gallant conduct on the field of 
battle — His fathers sword in the Capital of Minesota — Colonel 
Peyton reaches his home in Virginia and gives his property and 
employs his pen in the Confederare cause . . . 290 


His death — The hope derived from the demise of such a 
man 301 

Contents. vii. 



Abridged pedigree of the Peyton family . . . 310 

Isleliam Hall — Priory and Church in 1 870 . . 337 


Memoranda of the Preston family 355 

Abridged pedigree of the Lewis family . . . . 375 

Extract from pedigree of the Washingtons . . . 380 






The pithy remark of Taylor, in Philip Van Artcvehlo, 
that the " worhl knows nothing of its greatest men," is 
so universally accepted in the present clay, as to have 
passed into an axiom. And never has its force and 
beauty been more impressed upon my mind than Avlien 
contemplating the life and character of the subject of 
this sketch. Of him it may be said that he was a great 
man in all that constitutes true greatness. A man of 
comprehensive ideas, deep sympathies and generous 
impulses, which took the form of noble deeds ; — a man 
of varied endowments, cultivated intellect, extensive 
learning, and refined tastes and aflections, who wielded 
a powerful influence on the circle in which he moved, 
and upon all with whom he came in contact ; — a man 
always mentioned by his friends and acquaintances with 

2 Memoir of JViUiaiii ^fadisun Pcijlon. 

affectionate respect and as one gifted with the hispira- 
tion of genius. Yet few l)eyond the limits of his native 
state have heard his name or known ought of his hfe. 
To me the office of rescumg from unmerited obhvion 
the character of such a man is too grateful to be 
neglected. A higher motive, however, directs my 
course than the gratification of personal feelings. His 
character was singularly instructive, and, while the life 
of a good man cannot be written without pleasure, it is 
equally true that it cannot be read without improve- 

William Madison Peyton, of Roanoke, Virginia, 
was the only child of John Howe Peyton, of Montgomery 
Hall, by his first wife Susan, daughter of William 
Strother Madison * and was born September 4th, 1805, 
in Montgomery County, Virginia, ^vhere his mother was 
at the time on a chance visit. Descended from an 
ancient noble family on the father's side,f he had the 
good fortune to be related by blood through his mother 
to some of America's greatest men :{;. At the period of 

* William Strother Madison was the nephew of the Eight Reverend 
James Madison, D.D., Bishoj) of Virginia, and cousin to the celebrated 
author of the " Constitution," James MuiHson, fourth President of the 
United States, and married Elizabeth Preston, daughter of William 
Prestun, of Smithfield, Montgomery County, Virginia. 

t See Appendix A. 

\ Among others, he was cousin to the celebrated Presbyterian 
Divine, Kobert J. Ereckenridge, of Kentucky ; to Miijor-General John 
C. Ereckenridge, late Vice-President of the United States ; to the stern 
patriot, John Erown, of Kentucky, a member of tlic Continental Congress 
in 1787, and eighteen years United States Senator for Kentucky, after 
the Independence of his coinitry was achieved; to the eloquent governor 
James McDowell, of Virginia ; to the great South Carolinian Orator, 
William Campbell Preston; to General James Patton Preston, Governor 

Memoir of ]ViUiaiii Madison Vcijton. 3 

his birth, our revered father, then about twenty-seven 
years of age, was a rising barrister on the Fredericks- 
burg circuit, and resided in the neighbourhood of that 
city and of his birth phice " Stoney Hill." Four years 
subsequently he removed to Augusta Co., which was 
ever after his home, and from v/hich he was never long 
absent, exce])t under the followhig circumstances. 

At no period since the existence of a misunderstand- 
ing and controversy between Great Britain and the 
United States, on the subject of what was styled "The 
Right of Search," had the excitement in America at- 
tained the height it did in the winter of 1811-12. The 
signs of approaching war were numerous and unmis- 
takeable. The British Government claimed the right to 
impress native-born British subjects, though they had 
become naturalized American citizens, found on Ameri- 
can national vessels as well as from merchantmen. Tliis 
lamentable extravagance on part of the English 
Cabinet caused no small irritation in the United States, 
and it became— sooner than was imagined in Downing 
Street — a matter of grave importance how the question 
might be disposed of peaceably. Both Presidc^nts 
Jefl'erson and Madison pointed out that to acconq)lish it 
by treaty the susceptibilities of the American peo])lo 
must not be offended by the slightest concession on a 
point which touched their honour. Jefferson, however — 

of Virginia ; to Hon. Francis Preston Blair, of Missouri ; to Thomas F. 
Mai'sliall, M.C. for Kentucky ; to Benjamin Howard, Governor of 
Missouri ; and to Ivubert Wicklifl'e, M.C. for Kentucky. — See Ajipendix 
B., a reprint of Orlando Brown's" Memoranda of the Preston family," 
Albany, Now York, l.S(;i. 

4 Memoir of WlUiam Madison Peijton. 

Bucli was his desire for peace — opened negotiations with 
Great Britain on the vcxata qan'stio as early as 180G. 
The negotiations faihng, and a coUision arising out of 
the British chiim, between the United States frigate 
Chesapeah and the British frigate Lcop&rd, in 1807, in 
which the British were'^vorsted, the (j overmnent of Mr. 
Jefferson once more sought to arrive at a pacilic sohition 
of the dificulty, and a treaty to this end was signed by 
the representatives of the two Clovernnients hi London 
during the winter of 1807-8. lumiediately thereafter 
it was transmitted to Washington, but owing to some of 
its vague features, President Jefferson signified to Con- 
gress his refusal to ratify it on the 18th of March 1808. 
Meantime, Great Britam had opened that scries of 
attacks upon neutral rights known as the "Orders in 
Council," m retaliation for which Napoleon issued his 
equally aggressive Berlin decrees of 1806-10. Jeffer- 
son determined to follow the example of the French, 
and an embargo ^vas declared hi 1807, but was shortly 
afterwards revoked. Then non-intercourse or non- 
importation acts with regard to Great Britain were 
passed by the American Congress. Indignation and 
excitemxcnt still increasing in the United States, 
President Madison was re-elected, on condition tluit 
he would declare war against England, and on the 
re-assembling of Congress, after this election, a new 
embargo was laid, an increase of the army voted, and 
other steps taken as preparation for war. On the 1st 
of June, President Madison sent a war message to 
Congress, and, m accordance with his views, war was 

Memoir of Williani ^fadison reijlon. 5 

declared by the United States against Great Britain on 
the 18th of June, 1812. 

The nation was much divided on this pohc3^ By 
the opposition party, the main strength of which was in 
the Northern and Eastern States, it was considered as a 
mere administration measure, resistance to Avliich argued 
no want of patriotism, hut quite the contrary ; and so 
from the beginning to the close of htistilities the 
Federalists did all they could to stay the course on 
which they thought the (Tovernment was dri\ing to 
destruction. The Hartford Convention met, and some 
of the New England States went so far as to nullify an 
Act of Congress regarding enlistments. Durhig all this 
time the country was in great want of resources, which 
notlhng but unanimity could supply. The army was 
but a handful, and the militia, instead of coming forward 
in large numbers, remained at h(jme to attend i)arty 
meetings and discuss the right of the (iovernment to 
call them out ; the supply of war material vv'as very 
scanty, and the treasury almost empty. 

Such was the unpromishig state of affairs, when my 
father, who had voted for I\[r. Madison and warmly 
supported the war l)olicy, came forward and exerted 
every energy of mind and body to stir up popular 
enthusiasm in support of the war. lie volunteered at 
once into the army, to serve until peace was proclaimed, 
and was innnediately appointed Chief of the Staff of 
General Robert Porterlield. Forgetting everything but 
his duty to his country, which, with the i)atriot is 
paramount, he abandoned his lucrative i)ractice, which 

6 Memoir of William Madison Pcijton. 

more selfish men greedily sought to appropriate, ami 
left his wife and family in order to join the army in 
Eastern Virginia, with the active operations of Avlrich he 
was identified until the declaration of peace, February 
17th, 1815. 

But to return from this digression. In 1809, when 
our gallant father changed his residence to Augusta, 
Staunton was already a considerahle place and the seat 
of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity f(n- Western 
Virginia, the jurisdiction of the Chancery Court, extend- 
ing south 300 miles to the Tennessee frontier, and west 
about 400 miles to the Ohio River. To lawyer and 
litigant alike, it was, therefore, not only the most 
hiteresting, but the most important point west of the 
Blue Ridge. To its quiet streets and attractive suburbs 
the principal members of the profession throughout 
Virginia were periodically drawn at term tune. Among 
the most conspicuous legal men of those days who 
attended these terms were George Hay, author of 
"Hortensius" and other political tracts, George Wythe, 
Philip Doddridge, Edmund Randolph, William Wirt, 
author of the Life of Patrick Henry and of "The British 
Spy," John Marshall, afterwards Chief Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the United States, Henry 
Peyton, James and Philip P. Barbour, and among 
the junior members of the bar, who were always 
present and subsequently became eminent la-wyers, 
were Benjamin Watkins Leigh, John Wickham, 
Littleton W. Tazewell, Mr. (afterwards Judge) 
Coulter, Chapman Johnson, Briscoe G. Baldwin, 

Memoir of WlUiaia Madison Peyton. 7 

Samuel Blackburn, Henry St. George Tucker, author of 
a " Commentary on Blackstone" and Stirling Claiborne. 
Neither railroads nor nteamboats then existing. Judges, 
Chancellors, and Lawyers often travelled hundreds of 
miles on roads little better than Indian war paths, in 
ricketty stage coaches, or on horseback, carrying their 
briefs in portmanteaux or saddle bags. Their physical 
powers were as sorely tried by the profession, as their 
mental energies, and a sound mind in a sound body was 
indispensable to the successful practitioner. One of the 
egal hglits of that day was the late Daniel Shelfey, who 
was wont to say, there was nothing like leather. He 
was a man of excellent abilities and remarkable energy. 
Exerting both these qualities, he rose from the bench of 
a journeyman shoemaker to a seat in Congress and the 
front rank of his profession. Mr. Sheffey facetiously 
used to remark, in his later hfe, that when he was a 
young man the most important preliminary for the legal 
tyro was not the study of Coke and Blackstone, but 
(Mr. Sheffey drew his joke from his trade) the tiutning of 
liis cuticle, a precaution which one of his clients observed 
would certainly lessen the pains of horsemanship, but 
render the gentlemen of the long robe insufferable, if 
their brazen airs increased as their hides toughened. 

It did not unfrcquently happen that the " bench and 
bar " must swim across rivers and pass over high and 
rugged mountains to attend term; and it is related 
among the ana of this period that a solicitor to whom a 
horse was sold with a warranty that " the animal 
possessed the usual qualities of a riding horse," brouglit 

8 Meiiwir of JlllUani Madisuii Peijton. 

au action and sunnnarily recovered damages, the fact 
transpiring after the sale, that the horse was unable to 
swim. Inasmuch as the lawyer had been detained 
from a term of the court by reason of this defect, the 
jury mulcted the defendent hi heavy damages, requir- 
ing him at the same time to receive back the compa- 
ratively useless animal. 

To this important town of Staunton, the centre of 
all that was learned in the law, our respected father 
was called by his appointment as pul)lic prosecutor in 
1808, and was now reaping the honours and rewards of 
his profession. Absorbed by these duties, he could give 
little of that care and attention to his son's education 
which my grandfather had bestowed upon his. His 
wife, however, a woman of energy and experience 
combined with rare good sense, and whoso nature was 
tempered with singular tenderness of affection and 
adorned by much simplicity of character, a freshness of 
wit and an unfailing cheerfulness, which made her the 
delight of every circle, qualities which were transmitted 
with exceptionable fidelity to her son, undertook and 
performed this task. His miiid was early stored by her 
with useful knowledge, his heart fortified with generous 
principles, and his passions regulated by disci})line. She 
sought to make him good rather than great, believmg 
that nothing can make a man truly great but being 
truly good. She had none of the aml)ition and worldly- 
mindedness of the mother of Zebedee's children, who 
brought her two sons to Christ, and said : " Grant that 
these may sit, the one on Thy right hand and the other 

Memoir of ]]'ilUam Madisuii Peyton. 9 

on tliG left, in Thy Kinodoni, "She was wiser than that 
mother whom the Saviour so sharply reproved for her 
haughty spirit, hy sayhig : "Ye Imow not what ye ask." 
She understood too well that the wings of Icarus are but 
the instruments of self destruction to the simpletons 
who try to soar away upon them ; " that it is better to 
be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the 
spoil with the proud." 

In his lifteenth year he had the misfortune to lose the 
guardianship of this excellent woman. The illness 
which terminated her life was sudden and unexpected. 
She had long been in delicate health. This had, how- 
ever, at no time given rise to symptoms causing much 
anxiety. The melancholy event overwhelmed the Avorld 
of Staunton, Avliere she had made hosts of friends, with 
grief. She was a dear and admired friend and her body, 
says one of those present, was followed to the tomb l)y 
multitudes, who responded to the sad summons ^vith 
tears and marks of sympathy. 

T\Irs. Susan Madison Pttyton often spoke with a 
mother's pride and ahection of the obedient, truthful, and 
ingenuous character of her son, remarking that he had 
never, save upon one occasion, deliberately defied her 
authority. This occurred in his tenth year, when, 
during the war of 1812-15 between England and the 
United States, a call was made for volunteers. Our 
patriotic father, who had been two years in the service, 
returned on furlough, from Camp Holly, near liichmond, 
to pass a few days with his family. During this short 
leave he wiis actively engaged recruiting, and a number 


10 Memoir of William Madison reijton. 

of young men were enrolled in the service. On his 
arrival at home, he presented my brother with a fowling- 
i:)iece, purchased in Richmond. William was greatly 
delighted with this plaything, and was the whole day 
" banging away " at beast and bird. 

Some of Napoleon's biographers have endeavoured to 
account for his sanguinary tastes and love of war, by 
the supposition that these were called forth and 
stimulated by a dismounted field-piece, which he used 
in his childhood as a plaything. If there be any truth 
in this account, which I doubt, it is possible that 
William Peyton's fowling-piece and the smell of 
villanous saltpetre aroused in him something of the 
like martial spirit, for he was quickly seized with a 
desire to join the Augusta forces and proceed to the 
seat of war. The idea was simply ridiculous, and its 
absurdity was explained to him by his mother. 
Inexpressibly disappointed, chagrined, and mortified, he 
held his peace and waited an opportunity. Next 
morning our father bade farewell to his family, giving 
much good advice to my brother. The substance of 
this was contained in the celebrated President Thomas 
Jefferson's ten good rules to be observed in practical 
life, a copy of wliich he left with William. With Mr. 
Jefterson our father had been on terms of intimate 
friendship for many years, always passing a night at 
Monticello when attending the superior court of 
Albemarle, and having been Mr. Jefierson's counsel in 
the Eivanna canal and other suits. 

Mr. Jefferson's rules, which my brother committed 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 11 

to memory, but which I doubt whether he governed 
hnuself strictly by, were : 

1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. 

2. Never trouble others for what you can do yourself. 

3. Never spend your money before you have it. 

4. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap. 

5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold. 
0. Wo never repent of having eaten too little. 

7. Nothing is troublesome that wo do willingly. 

8. When angry, count ten before you speak : if very angry, one 


9. Take thuigs always by the smoothest handle. 

10. In all cases when you cannot do as well as you would, do the 
best you can. 

After my father's farewell, he took command of the re- 
cruits and proceeded by forced marches to the front. The 
day following, my brother was missed. A diligent search 
failed to disclose his hiding place. Messages were 
despatched in pursuit towards Eichmond, his old nurse 
declaring her belief that he had followed the "sogers." 
On the next day they came upon him twenty-five miles 
from homo on the Eastern slope of the Blue Ridge 
mountain, When overtaken, he w^as sitting, appa- 
rently in meditation, munching a piece of salt pork, 
among a party of teamsters belonging to the supply 
trains, covered with dust, wearied and foot sore, his 
fowling piece loaded lying by his side. Though nearly 
exhausted in body, his resolution was as determined as 
ever to follow the troops, and stand up, as he said, for 
old Virginia. He seemed to think his country in dire 
extremity. Like his companions, the teamsters, he 
believed, however, that she would emerge from the 
storm and have a brilliant future. For hunself, he 

12 Memoir of IViUiam Madison Peyton . 

asked no recompense, but to servo her, to fight for her. 
Such were the notions ah-eady floatmg through his 
juvenile mind. Was this patriotism ? Couhl such 
sentiments find a phxce in tlio In-east of one so 
young or had the smell of gunpowder and the 
fowling-piece aroused tlie spirit of war in his 
bosom '? He was at once taken prisoner and borne 
home in the most inglorious manner. Finding on 
his return, his mother ill and in tears, Ik; vv'as 
deeply grieved at his behaviour ; his conscience, 
indeed, seemed to overwhelm liim with reproaches. 
Becoming at once sensible of the reckless cruelly of 
his foolish conduct, he made every apology and atone- 
ment in his power ; sought to soothe her with a voice 
and manner of touching sorrow, and ever after was the 
most affectionate and obedient of sons. It is not, 
surprising then, that he was the darling of her heart. 

It may not be here out of place to anticipate and to 
remark that from this period, throughout life, deference 
to his parents was one of his leading traits. lie 
honoured them by lovmg them, conJidhig in them, obey- 
ing them, abstaining from whatever was disagreeable to 
them, and doing everything in his power to promote 
their comfort and happhiess. After the loss of his 
mother, and our father's second marriage to one of her 
cousins, Anne Montgomery Lewis, daughter of Major 
John Lewis, of the Sweet Springs, a distinguished oflicer 
of the American revolutionary army, and grandfather of 
the writer, he extended to her, not only deference and 
respect, but a truly filial affection. My mother was, 

Memoir of William Madison Pc')jtO)i, 13 

therefore, soon warmly attaclied to liim, and taught her 
chikh'cn to love him before they learned to do so for his 
own qualities, for the variety of his endowments and 
the extent of his aecompliwhments, as they were deve- 
lo2)ed to the family in after years. My affection Imrries 
me on. I pause, and asli myself wliy 1 speak of his 
threat accomplishments. (Ian any human knowledge l)e 
all-comprehensive ? Tlie most eminent philusoplier is 
of yesterday, and knows nothing. Newtim felt that he 
had gathered but a ft'W pebbles un the sliores of 
a boundless ocean. The UKtment we attempt to 
thoroughly penetrate a sulnect, we learn that it probably 
has unfathomable depths. That wliieh is known is the 
prelude to the inlinite unknown. Every discovery gives 
us a glimpse of greater things to be discovered. In 
ever3^tliing, from the grain of sand to the stars, the wise 
man iinds mysteries before which his knowledge shd;s 
into insignilicance. It must be understood that the idea 
sought to be conveyed is that his attainments were vast 
only hi relation to those of other men. 

In his twelfth year he entered, as a pupil, the Staunton 
Academy, then under a head master of the name of 
Fuller, a man of nuicli le;irning and of a plodding- 
character. Here he remained four years and vvas 
quickly distinguished for his superior parts ; was known 

" As :i sluiip wittod youth — 
Grave, thouyiitful, and roservod innow^ Lis iiiatos, 
Tuming the liours of sport mid food to hibour." 

The common recreations of volatile youth, the games 
invented to kill time without impro^'emont, he never 
enjoyed ; but sought for higher gradiiication in science 

14 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

and meditation. It soon became a common remark of 
his teachers and acquaintances, that he was " a Loy of 
singuLarly gifted intellect." He spoke at this time 
with pecuhar vivacity and fluency, was already 
brilliant in his juvenile wit, and quick in the acquisition 
of knowledge. His liveliness too, was not the noisy 
accompaniment of emptiness, but the offspring of a 
rich imagination. It may not be out of place to 
mention here that at this time, and indeed throughout 
life, his health, like that of his motlier, was delicate — at 
times alarmingly so. This may account in a measure 
for his neglect of sports and his studious habits. At the 
Academy he was obedient and industrious, and mani- 
fested in his every act a kind and affectionate 
disposition, which was combined Avith a rare upriglit- 
ness and love of truth. Such was the sweetness of his 
temper, his amiability and readiness to oblige, his 
simplicity of character and thorough ingenuousness, 
that he won the affectionate confidence of all with 
whom he came in contact. His influence, as will be 
readily inferred, over his youthful companions was 
marked, and was solely due to his superior power, his 
firmness and moderation, and not to any bullying or 
self assertion. To the youngest and weakest he 
always acted as the kindest and humblest brother. 
Like the apostle of old, he was gentle towards all, even 
as a nurse cherisheth her children. Consequently the 
intimate connections formed in his boyhood were never 
relaxed or broken through life. On tlie contrary he 
was noticed for mamtaining among men throughout 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 15 

life the ascendency which he acquired at school over 
his youthful companions. Possessuig a clear judgment 
and a fund of common sense, he was always able to 
give his young companions sage counsel and to 
extricate them from the little difficulties of the daily 
course. Many a time he was seen, during this period, 
in the play grounds of the school, the centre of a circle 
of lads, with whom he conversed about their studies, 
thus lightening their labours and clearing away their 
difficulties. Ilis frank and kindly manner, his tenacity 
of principle and feeling, his power of belief, the entire 
absence of cynicism, all of which he displayed at that 
early period, invited the confidence of all his companions. 
In their little griefs and sorrows his schoolfellows 
appealed to him, and such was his joyous, buoyant spirit 
that he never failed to soothe and comfort them. It is 
not surprising, then, that he exerted the most salutary 
influence in the Academy. At this school he obtained 
a good classical and mathematical education, and was 
considered so mature, both in character and attain- 
ments, that he was, in 1822, withdrawn, and matricu- 
lated at the University of New Jersey, Nassau Hall, 
Princeton, whither we will follow him in the next 


In order to iiiulcrstaiici tiiul fully apprccinto tlio 
character of the promising hoy introduced to thc! reader 
in the preceding chapter, it is expedient to follow hhn 
from the school in which he hegan to climb the 
hill of knowledge to the University of New Jersey, 
and to dwell hrielly npon liis career in that place. 

This northern hisliiution had long heen a favourite 
willi the southern people, and especially those of 
Virghiia, as it still is. Many of the leading Southern 
States scholars and politicians of the past century and 
early part of the; present wi're educated at Trinceton. 
Among them was Archibald Alexander, an eminent 
n.uthor and divhie ; his sons James and Joseph Addison 
Alexander, scarcely less distinguished; John Macpherson 
jjerrian, U.S. Senator Ibr (leorgia; William (laston and 
Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina ; Robert J. 
Breckenridge, of Kentucky; Charles Fenton Mercer 
and John Peyton, of Virginia, and many others. And 
our father himself was one of the Aluiinu, having been 
graduated M.A. in 1797, in the same class Avith 
Ilichard Rush, late minister Plenipotentiary from the 

Memoir of Williaiii Madison Peyton. 17 

Uuited States to Engl and, and author of a well known 
J 1 book entitled " Memoranda of a residence at the Court 
1 ^ j of London from 1817 to 1825." 

■ j For these reasons it was selected rather than the 
> 1 college of "William and Mary" in Virginia, which 
: was in a declining state, probably owing to the 
i, unhealthy climate of Williamsburg ; but of wliich 
institution our paternal grandfather John Rouse* Peyton, 
was a graduate. The course of study in the University 
of New Jersey is comprehensive, embracing Hebrew, 
Greek, Latin, and the modern languages, mathematics, 
natural and moral philosophy, ethics, etc. Notwith- 
standing his youth, my brother's scholastic attainments 
j put him at once in an advanced position in the 
University, and during his second year he rose to the 
! first distinction as a scholar. His diligence gave 
perfect satisfaction to his tutors, by whom he was both 
{. loved and respected. The noble features of his 
' character, too — his open, affable, manly, and cheerful 
■ disposition and his active habits — made him a general 
favourite, not only with his teachers and fellow students, 
by whom he was regarded as a model, but by all his 
acquaintances, whether in the college or out of it. He 
seemed ever to have engraven upon his mind that 
sacred rule "do all things to others, according as you 
I wish that they should do unto you." He was absolutely 
without any of the dissimulating in youth, which is the 

* This name has been spelt in several ways, thus : Rous, Rouse, 
Rowse, or Rowze (as by Dr. Lod\vick Rowze, author of *' The Qucenes 
Welles" Loudon IGliO), and Rowzee. 

18 Memoir of ]}lUiaiii 2[u(liso)t Pcijlon. 

forerunner of perfidy in old age. His niannern were 
natural and engaging, free from anything like affeeted 
politeness, and Avere marked by much courtesy of 
demeanour. A friend and contemporary at Princeton, 
John Randolph Bryan, of Gloucester County, Virginia, 
once informed the author, as they were sailing up the 
James River from Norfolk to Uichmond in 1848, that he 
regarded William Peyton while at college as the finest 
pattern he had ever known of the thorough conservative 
high-toned gentleman. In a letter addressed to the 
author, in 1856, by the distinguished writer, N. Parker 
Willis, he spoke of him, when they were fellow students 
m Yale, in the same terms of commendation. Mr. W. 
held him to be a man of genius, whose failure to 
achieve greatness he would have deemed a marvel, but 
that he knew the race Avas not always to the swift, nor 
the battle to the strong. 

His influence hi preserving order, or stilling storms, 
among the Princeton students was of great service 
to the faculty. On occasions when disorders were 
apprehended from rough and reckless students, and the 
coiiil)iiiations they formed among the idle, the dissolute, 
and refractory, the masters applied to him, and through 
his exertions many a disturbance was avoided. Such 
in fact was his success in this way, arising from the 
power of influence he possessed, that the epoch of his 
colh^ge life was marked as one of the most (piiet and 
respectable which had for many years occurred. 

It was soon discovered at Princeton that he had a 
Avarm imagination, a feeling heart, and keen passions. 

,'\ Memoir of ll'iUiani MdiUson I'cijton, 10 


\| Tliuso latter were, however, unJer such control tliiit 

\ they did not betray him into idleness, sensntility, or any 

^ of the usual vices of youth. From his earliest years, 

I l' indeed, he seemed imbued with tlu; necessity of 

jj acquirin,!^ virtuous habits. So much was he noted 

' tor his pure and h)fty principles, that he was, while yet 

in his teens, the subject of remark, some attributing his 

excellence to the training of his parents, particularly 

to the influence of his mother, while others believed 

they were innate ; for in wliatever he undertook he 

was guided by the principles of virtue ; they tbrmed so 

essential a part of his character that through life he 

inspired all with whom he came in contact with 

perfect coniidenco, and consequently could not fail to 

exercise great influence. And it may be said with truth 

that the world at no period of his life ever narrowed or 

debased his affections, but his virtuous youth led to an 

accomplished manhood and tranquil old age. 

If the newspapers of Virghiia be consulted during the 

period of his public life, it will be found that those 

journals, of whatever political complexion, and however 

heated the contest might be, always spoke of Inni with 

the utmost respect, and paid high tribute to his talents, 

but above all to his lofty personal character. It is a 

matter of deep regret to the writer that none of these 

papers are contained in tlie library of the British 

Museum, or can now be procured, else many interesting 

extracts would be adduced to illustrate the esteem in 

which he was held by the people of his native State. 

It is not too much to say that in after life his honesty 

20 Memoir of William Madison Pcijton. 

and straightforwardness, his invincible fortitude, gave a 
vigour to his mind, a weight to his cliaracter, and a 
nobleness to his sentiments, which exalted him to the 
highest fame among the gentlemen of Virginia. With 
those who were near him, his personal popularity was 
unbounded, yet he never resorted to a dishonest act or 
stooped to the slightest meanness. There are but few 
public men of whom this can bo truly said ! It is 
proper that I should say on this subject, that, though 
singularly amiable, he never ncared, or much less fell into, 
that vicious prostitution of mind in which a man has no 
will, sentiment, or principle of his own. So far from 
wanting the courage to avow his opinions, however 
distasteful they might at times be, his openness of 
character caused him often to display a generous, almost 
reckless boldness, in their expression. 

His physical and moral courage, it should not be 
forgotten to mention, was, as may be readily imagined, 
soon proved to be equal to his frankness, and was of the 
heroic type. In illustration of which it may be related 
that on his return to Yale in his nineteenth year, 
when he was over six feet in height and of great 
bodily strength, he fought with and overcame, after a 
severe contest, Thomas van Bibber, known as "Big 
Tom" an intrepid lighting cock and recognized Athletae. 

His health was so much impaired by the end of his 
second year's residence at Princeton, his physical system 
so unstrung by close application to books, that he was 
withdrawn, and he returned to pass some time m the 
pure, dry atmosphere of Western Virginia. This course 

Memoir of William ]\[adiso)i Vcyton. 21 

^vas deemed necessary for his restoration to health, and 
the result was highly complimentary to the hj^gienic 
qualities of the mountain air. A few months spent in 
the Alleghanies, far from his studies and confinement, 
and near the trout stream and the hunting ground, 
enabled him to recover his customary tone and vigour, 
and at the end of six months he resumed his labours. 

On his return to college, our wise father gave him the 
following abstract of the advice of Celsus, with respect 
to the preservation of health. "A man," says he, 
" who is blessed with good healtli, should confine him- 
self to no particular rules, cither Avith respect to 
regimen or medicine. He ought frequently to diversify 
his manner of living ; to be sometimes in town, 
sometimes in the country ; to hunt, sail, indulge in 
rest, but more frequently to use exercise. He ought to 
refuse no kind of food that is commonly used, but 
sometimes to eat more and sometimes less ; sometimes 
to make one at an entertainment ; sometimes to forbear 
it ; to make rather two meals a day than one, and 
always to eat heartily,, provided he can digest it. He 
ought neither too eagerly to pursue, nor too scrupu- 
lously to avoid, intercourse with the fair sex ; pleasures 
of this kind, rarely mdulged, render the body alert and 
active, but when too frequently repeated, weak and 
languid. He should be careful in time of health not to 
destroy, by excess of any kind, that vigour of constitu- 
tion which should support him under sickness." 

Notwithstanding the youth's amended health, our 
prudent father determined, upon the advice of his 

22 2Iemoir of IVilUain Madison I't'ijton. 

t'iiiiiily physician, the hxtc WilHam Boys, IM.D., of 
Staunton, a noted provincial member of the profession, 
and a descendent, I behevo, of the Boys, of County 
Kent, in Engkmd, so many of whom have found a 
sepulchre in Canterbury Cathedral, to send him farther 
north, to the more bracing air of Connecticut. He was 
accordingly entered at Yale College, in 1824, 

As a proof of the high estimation in which lie was 
held at Princeton, it may bo mentioned, that when it 
was known that owing to ill health he would not return 
to the University, the authorities wished, in considera- 
tion of his fine scholarship and exemplary deportment, 
to confer upon him the degree which he would have 
obtained had he remained there two years longer. 
Indeed they were prevented from doing so only .by 
the statutes of the Institution, which were found, on close 
examination, to prohibit that course, and also William 
Peyton's declared purpose not to accept such a degree. 
The Whig Society, however, a literary association 
and debating club to which he belonged, conferred upon 
him the honour reserved for their most distinguished 
members, and though he refused this mark of apprecia- 
tion from his comrades also, the society dispatched to 
our father, in Virginia, the diploma my brother would 
not accept. This document, handsomely framed, long 
graced the walls of the library, at Montgomery Hfl, 
and is now (1873) in the possession of my eldest sister. 

It was the opinion of the litterateurs of Princeton that 
the peculiar faculty of acquiring languages was 
developed in him in the highest degree, and that he 

Memoir of William Madison Pcijlon. 23 

would rival the fame of Cricliton, Walton, Pocock, Sir 
William Jones, Mezzofanti, or any of the great Englisli 
or continental linguists. Some of the accounts, indeed, 
of his feats at this day are so remarkahle that I am 
disposed to regard them as legendary, such as the 
stories told of Buddha and Mahomet, the first of whom 
is said, at the age of ten years, to have taught his 
master Bahourenon, fifty non-Indian tongues and their 
J respective characters, while the second, according to 

[ his hiographer Prideaux, was promised hefore tlje 

i throne of the most High that he " should have the 

) knowledge of all languages." 

At the period, when he left Princeton, his personal 
appearance was that of one who had grown too 

I rapidly into manhood. He was tall and slender. 
In his movements, however, he was easy, graceful, 
and firm, withal showing the nobleness of his 
origin. His hair and complexion were light brown, 
the forehead broad and expansive, his nose aquiline, 
\ his eyes dark blue and brilliant, and the appear- 
I ance of his whole person pleasing and dignihed. 
1 His mincl had rapidly expanded at Princeton, and he 
i now showed a keen penetration, clear judgment, and 
1 comprehensive intellect. He added to these the talent 
I of wit and ridicule in a remarkable degree, recited ad- 
j mirably, possessed a rich fund of anecdote, an easy flow 
I of words, and high animal spirits, and improvised verses 
j and epigrams. The first efforts of his genius, in fact, 
seemed to be hi the direction of the muses. Unre- 
1 strained at this early day by the coldness of argument 

24 Memoir of WiUicvii Madison Peijton, 

and the confinement of rules, his mmd seemed 
ghidly to indulge in llights of imagination, a thing 
not uncommon with men of genius. Indeed an early 
taste for the heauties of poetical composition is in my 
opinion an almost infallible mark of a refined and 
elegant mmd. Cicero, Valerius, Cato and other ancient 
philosophers, orators, and historians, are known to have 
sacrificed to the muses in their earlier productions. 
This talent for versification sometimes led him into 
difficulties. On one occasion, previous to his return 
to Yale, he wrote some verses upon an entertainment 
given by an old lady of Staunton. She was a connec- 
tion of the family, and he had been accustomed to call 
her aunt, though she was really no relative. At this 
party, to the surprise of the small fry, and the disgust 
of the young gentlemen, the only wine supplied was 
made by herself from the blackberry, a favourite 
fruit which flourishes in Augusta. The gay youths 
expected to sip the juice of the grape in the form of 
sparkling champagne. This domestic wine is an 
excellent summer drink, but was not what the fashion- 
able boys expected. When their host provided it, she 
considered that she was not only conferring a favour, 
but paying them a comphment. Her well known 
hospitality, at all events, excluded the idea that in 
proffering it she was influenced by any mean con- 
siderations of economy. " Young America," however, 
was dissatisfied with the change. These youths were 
decidedly of the opinion of Diogenes, who, when asked 
what wme he preferred, answered, " the foreign." 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 25 

The thirsty popinjays of that day were as fond as those 
of our generation of the glass which not only exhilarates, 
but mebriates, and felt the slight in two ways. Their 
pride was stung, their wrath kindled, and their thirst 
remamed unslaked, at least by the desired champagne. 
Consequently they set their wits together to be avenged, 
and persuaded William Peyton to compose a few 
stanzas, as they expressed it, "suitable to the occasion." 
Without a moment's reflection, and evidently while 
inspired by the Blackberry cordial, he complied with 
their wishes. His lines began somewhat after this 
fashion : 

This Llaclcborry wine is all vory fine, 

But it luiikoH Jack go to Led with his breeches on. 

Probably my reader loses nothing by reason of my 
inability to procure a copy of these lines, which 
proceeded in a comical vein to eulogize the home-made 
beverage, but ridiculed its heady qualities, and the 
wine itself in comparison with vin etrangcr. The verses 
ran through the town, caushig no small merriment. 
Conimg linally with the author's name to the 
knowledge of the old lady, her wrath was kindled. 
The verses were sent her by a marplot. She put on 
her spectacles and proceeded to read them, and, though 
her anger waxed hot, she could not help exclaiming, as 
one happy joke after another flashed upon her sight, 
" Marvellous boy ! marvellous boy." The improvisator 
called some days later, before his departure for college, 
when she had somewhat recovered her temper, and in a 
graceful manner made his peace with his old friend by 


26 Memoir of UlUiani Madisun Fcijton. 

explaining the simple circumstances under which the 
jeu desprit was perpetrated. Thus, by a display of 
that frankness and candour which formed so 
prominent a part of his character, and which education 
and cultivation only rendered more conspicuous, he 
disarmed her resentment. Her sense of injury 
removed, she laughed as heartily as anyone at the 
vexation of the young people and the sparkling wit of 
the Quixotic bard. A few Aveeks later, when he left to 
resume his academic duties, he was sup|)lied by this 
generous friend wdth a case of her best " blackberry," 
with which, in the midst of his college fellows, he often 
drank to her health and long life. 

It is obvious from this hicident that he did not then 
belong, if he ever did, to that rare class ^vho are never 
foolish even when they are young ; who never cry out 
when they are hurt ; never are driven out of their 
course by adverse whids, and are always able to see 
that every thing is for the best. Such people in this 
world of troubles are not only rare but blessed, and 
are very unlike the rest of us, who cry out a great 
deal, and are very foolish generally, not onl}^ when we 
are young, but all our lives. 


Were I detailing the life of one whose career had 
been eventful, I should not occupy the space given in 
this chapter with Avhat might prove of little interest to 
the reader. But as few lives worth recordhig are more 
devoid of incident, it is not expected that this simple 
record of his Avill be adapted to the tastes of those who 
enjoy only what is now termed sensational readhig. As 
I neither write for, nor expect to please, this class, 1 
shall not omit such minor occurrences in his career as 
may appear likely to prove useful and interesting to 

On a fine sunny afternoon of early September, in the 
year 1825, two young gentlemen dressed in shootnig 
costume were lyhig on the grass beneath the out- 
stretched branches of an old Avalnut. This venerable 
tree threw its grateful shade over an ancient stone 
building covered with woodbine, honeysuckle, and grape 
vines, and from which a gurgling stream issued forth. 
Their fowling-pieces and game-bags were by their sides. 
This house protected the bubbling spring from which 

28 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

the supply of water at jolly old Montgomery Hall, 
the red gables of which were seen amidst foliage 
about four hundred yards distant, ^vas drawn. Jolly 
old Montgomery Hall ! 

"In tliat mansion used to bo 
Free-hearted hospitality : 
His great fires up the chimney roar'd ; 
The stranger feust(;d at his board : 

There groups of merry children play'd 

There youths and maidens, dreaming, stray'd." 

(xushing from the side of a rock, covered with moss 
and wild flowers, and shaded by waving branches, the 
fountain, though not large, sent forth a stream of pure, 
bright water. This rivulet lies in the lap o\' tlu; rich 
and partly wooded valley of Peyton's brook, a tributary 
of Lewis' creek, in the midst of a sea of verdure, for it 
meanders through meadows, which extend through dale 
and over gently undulating hill. Overlooked by the 
high grounds on which the hall stands, and the more 
distant north mountains, it is the coolest and most 
picturesque of valHes. 

Fatigued from their morning's amusement, the young 
sportsmen were looking out lazily, almost insensibly, 
upon this scene of blue and green, and the various 
l)eauties sohciting their admiration, the while carrying 
(m a desultory conversation. Both were tall and 
graceful, and about both there was the charm of happy 
youth. One of them had black eyes, large, bold, and 
sparkling, and hair dark as the raven's plumage — this 
was Jeflerson Stuart. The other was brown haired. 

Memoir of William Madison reijton. 29 

blue eyed, and fairer of complexion, was taller and 
more robust of figure than his handsome companion. 
He was really his junior by two or three years, and 
seemed not to have attained his full growth — the 
darkening down only just shaded a cheek somewhat 
sunburnt though naturally fair — this was William 
Madison Peyton. They had gone forth some hours 
before to shoot partridges, which are plentiful in this 
section of Virginia. Pieaching on their return the 
beautiful fountain, hot and dusty they quenched their 
thirst and threw themselves on the grass to indulge, 
perhaps, in a short siesta. Here they remained some 
time in silence, apparently listening to the peculiar 
sounds of the country, which replace the hum of the 
city, the rustle of the leaves, the waving of the corn, 
the song of birds, the humming of insects. For some 
time they did not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, but 
remained delighted by the rural sights and sounds. 
Stuart, whose curiosity had often been excited by the old 
building, and the numberless names carved u})on 
its sides, rose to examine it more closely. In the 
act of raising some ivy leaves which covered its 
hoary sides, he started back with an arch smile, as he 
saw engraved upon one of the stones, Sally Taylou. 

William Peyton, who saw the movement and the smile 
of his friend, quickly turned away and sent his hat into 
the air with a squir, then, seizing his gun, he tired at a 
skylark and, of course, brought down no game. Stuart, 
who observed his confusion, with that sensitive delicacy 
for the feelings of others which always characterised 

30 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

liim, said nothing of his discovery, and the two, after a 
further short delay, went their way merrily. 

The town of Staunton, though its foundation does 
not date anteriorly to the year 1730, when it was 
traced out by the Huguenot emigrant, Colonel John 
Lewis, * the pioneer and first white settlor of 
Augusta, has nevertheless, so new is new America, 
something of the odour of antiquity about it. "Age 
cannot wither nor custom stale the infinite variety," 
indeed, of the reminiscences connected with the name of 
Staunton and its old and noted houses. These houses, 
like all those which have seen better days, in every 
ancient town or village, are not unillustrated by their 
legends of terror. Some are historical, and strange 
stories they have, some are haunted and with the worst 
kind of goblins, and there arc evenings when one 
might believe, with Chaucer, that the 

Queen of Faery, 
With harps, and pipe, and syinphoncy, 
Were dwelling in the place. 

Of the houses whose names are written in Virginian 
history, many thrilling tales are told connected with the 

* Colonel Stuart, of Greenbrier, in his Memoir of the Indian Wars, 
published by his son, Charles A. Stuart, umler the auspiees of the 
Virginia IlistoricarSociety, in lliehmond, Ib.'i^, remarks that the river 
Greenbrier received its name from Colonel Lewis, in the follo\ving 
manner. " The next year, 1778," says Colonel Stuart, " Greenbrier was 
separated from Botetourt County, and the county took its name from 
the river, Avhich was so named by old Colonel John Ijewis, father to 
the late General Andrew Lewis, and was one of the Grantees under 
H.M. Order in Council, who, in company with his son Andrew, explored 
the country in 1701. Ho, Colonel Lewis, entangled himself one day 
in a bunch of green briers on the river banks, and declared he would 
ever after call the stream Greenbrier river." 

Memoir of William Madison Pcytoti. 31 

bloody border wars. Stories of how they were 
besieged by the Red-skins, who alternately tried the 
experiment of biirnmg or starving out the indwellers, of 
the stratagems and surprises to which they were 
subjected, and the direct attacks they sustained. The 
best known and most famous of these old houses was, 
of course, that of Col. John Lewis, which was not 
inaptly styled " The Fort." It was built of huge 
masses of stone, with walls of extraordinary thickness, 
pierced with windows of slender proportion, and looked 
more like a fortress than a mansion. The truth is, it was 
both. Here the brave old pioneer lived many years — 
indeed till his death in 1702, defending his family and the 
infant colony from their savage foes. Another of those 
houses is " Sprhig farm" mansion, which was built of 
adouhe (bricks dried in the sun) by Hessian prisoners 
taken by the American army during the war of the 
Revolution. Sent west of the blue mountains to remain 
during the war, these mercenaries were turned to 
valuable account. Houses were built, lands drained, 
private grounds embellished, and roads constructed by 
their labour. 

Of the houses haimted, of spectres still more horrible, 
stories are told of the spirits of evil and goblins 
damned by which they are infested. One of these 
ancient, tumble down buildings — a soot begrimed, 
leaky-roofed centenarian, occupied by an old woman, 
whose appearance at an earlier period would have 
subjected her to the ordeal of fire and water — was the 
terror in our youth of young folks. In addition to 

32 ISIcmoir of William Madison I'eijton. 

the venerable occupant, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, it was popularly 
supposed to shelter a great population of goblins, whose 
horrible noises oft startled the dull ear of night. The 
old crone who lived in this desolate and weird house 
had been married to an improvident man. At his 
death she was left poor and childless, and continued to 
occupy her solitary house on the outskirts of the common. 
Strange reports began to be circulated regarding her and 
the house. Lights were seen burning in her attic 
windows, strange sounds were heard hi the house at 
unseasonable hours, her cow gave bloody milk. Soon 
the stock of the neighl)ouring farmers was found with 
tangled and knotted tails and manes, the horses waxed 
poor, the supply of milk fell oif, the cattle caught 
disease (what is now called the pleuro-pneumonia), the 
potatoes grew mouldy. These misfortunes were traced 
to poor Lovie. She was regarded as a witch, and her 
dwelling as the abode of disembodied spirits, of astral 
spirits, gnomes, salamanders, and naiads. The young 
people never passed the cottage without tuckhig up 
their garments and veering to the opposite side of 
the street, especially about nightfall. The belief in 
ghosts, goblins, and wraiths still lingered among the 
rustic population, in spite of the schoolmaster and the 
newspaper. Rarely did these simple folk visit the town 
without peering furtively round as they passed (if during 
twilight's hour) the lonely home of Lovie, lest bogles might 
catch them unawares. Another of these prematurely aged 
houses— a house whose days seemed numbered, whose 
space of life was rapidly drawing to a close — was three 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 33 

stories high, standing between two heavy squaHd-looking 
buildings, having one story each; consequently the 
beholder might easily acquire the impression that its 
altitude had been caused by the pressure of its sleepy 
neighbours. It had four tall, lanky chimneys, which had 
apparently eschewed smoke for years, and eight front 
windows. These windows had most of their panes 
broken, but were all fortified on the inside with 
ricketty shutters, which excluded light and air, 
and frustrated the curiosity of passers-by to obtain 
a view of the interior — save of two small rooms. 
I might go on describing the peculiarities of this strange 
building until I had filled pages of my MS., could I but 
afford the space. It was owned and partly occupied by 
an eccentric old man, named Bury Hill, who was a cross 
between a monomaniac and a hypochondriac. This 
house was, of course, classed among the haunted. Mr. 
Hill was a grocer, but his principal business consisted m 
selling inferior whiskey to what our town snobs called 
low Iwish. These ignorant sons of Erin feared ghosts, but 
were never known to shrink from spirits. This singular 
but inoffensive man. Hill, took quite a fancy to the writer 
in his boyhood, and often refreshed him in hot weather 
with "cobbler."* Mr. Hill was supposed to occupy his 
house in common with " Old Nick " himself. Aged 
negroes, especially those belonging to the class of nurses, 
declared that they had seen the hideous salamander 

* The sherry cobbk-r belongs to that catalogiic of American drinks 
which have a nomencluturo of their own, and is an iced diiuk much in 
request during the summer. Made generally of imitation sherry, 
it yields only a temporary refreshment. If long indulged in, it is 
sure to end by destroying the stomach. 


84 Memoir of WilUam Madison Peyton. 

there, " ye deville bodilic, being like unto one hugeous 
hhick gote, with horois and tiiille." In common witli 
the chiklren of tlie town, I behevcd these stones, but 
it did not impair my taste ibr his cobblers. Oli 
the charming simphcity of chihlhood ! How rare and 
refreshing ! Who does not long once more for the 
happy dreams and sweet illusions of youth ! 

These were nt)t the only, nor the most attractive, 
houses of which our town could boast. There were 
many comfortable mansions, ^vith an air of substantial 
and aristocratic prosperity. Of some of these I will speak 
presently. The streets of the town itself were narrow, 
with badly-paved footpaths; the houses generally tall 
and roofed with shhigles — thin boards. An ancient 
church, with a gray, moss-rusted tower, clothed from 
base to summit with the Virginian creeper, a decrepid 
wooden bridge spanning the pebbly creek, and a 
tottering mill (Fawkler's) near the centre of it, a 
desolate looking court-house and dreary prison, were, 
omitting the private residences, the principal features 
of the towi. Such was the borough of Staunton of 
early days — my native loved old village. It is painful 
to look back upon a home and social circle broken up, 
upon a sunny childhood faded, and upon parents lost but 
unforgotten — upon Virginia dismembered, subjugated, 
a prey to "carpet baggers," harpies, and negroes. 
Nothing can ever efface from my heart the remembrance 
of "the old dominion." Nothing is comparable, amidst 
the arts and ruins of older lands, to the splendour with 
which nature decks herself in her woods and vallies, 

j\fcmoir of William Madison Peyton, 35 

her mountains and her streams. Capable of yiekhng 
every comfort, offering every charm, ^vhat can exceed 
the enthusiasm of her sons for such a country ? 

The foregoing in regard to Staunton has been 
altogether by way of digression — has no immediate 
connection with this history. Digressions are not 
unfrequently indulged in by the writer, and are, as a 
clever man has said, the sunshine, the life, the soul 
of reading. Take them out of a book, and you might as 
well take the book along with them— one cold, eternal 
winter would reign in every page of it : restore them 
to the writer, he steps forth like a bridegroom, bids all 
hail — brings in variety, and forbids the appetite to fail. 

Though our history has no concern with what has 
been described of my native town, it is closely connected 
with two of Staunton's solid houses, about which I shall 
now speak : on them hangs a tale. The first of these 
was a brick building, fronting on Beverly, near its 
intersection with Augusta Street. It was a thoroughly 
comfortable and respectable abode — a picture in its 
way. That plain Virginian house, its cheerful face of 
red bricks, its solid scpiareness of shape — a symbol of 
the substance of its owner — was the residence of the 
Hon. Allan Taylor, Chancellor of the Ecpiity Court, 
which I have mentioned as having such an extensive 
territorial jurisdiction. Chancellor Taylor was much 
respected for the prol)ity of his character, the accuracy 
of his learning, and the fidelity with which he devoted 
himself to the business of his court. 2>J3GH4 

It was often said of him, that he might be mistaken in 

36 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

an opinion ; but, if so, it was an error of the head and 
not of the heart. His social habits were winning, as 
well as those of his contemporaries; this has given 
celebrity to what is known in America as Virginian 
hospitality. His house was therefore a favourite resort, 
where the old oaken board was always spread for 
friends, and the old chairs ranged in a wide cres- 
cent around the log-heaped fire. In early life 
he married an accomplished lady, Miss Elizabeth 
Thompson, who, besides many personal charms, was 
an heiress, and he was now surrounded by an interesting 
brood of children. His two daughters were named 
Elizabeth (or, as she was commonly called, Sally) and 
JuHet. The elder, EHzabeth, at this time (September, 
1825) in her eighteenth year, was the acknowledged 
village beauty, which was not surprising, for she 
looked, according to all contemporaneous accounts, 
like the fairest and youngest of the muses. In a 
dreamy moment of youthful love, William Peyton had 
engraved her name upon the side of the old building. 
Entertaining for her a tender and deep affection, which 
began in childhood, it was now one of the most 
profound sentiments of his heart. 

Elizabeth Taylor was, in Sept. 1825, rather petite, had 
the look of those young people who have not quite done 
growing, giving her an appearance at once elegant and 
interesting. Her features were regular, the nose 
aquiline, eyes blue, eyebrows in a simple, almost 
severe, arch, like those of a Circassian, and there was 
something resolute and original in her expression 

Memoir of William Madison Fcyton, 37 

that was exceedingly attractive. Her mouth, which 
was small, had even then a slight expression of disdain. 
Nothmg could exceed the hrilliancy of her complexion, 
in which were mingled the lily and the rose, and her 
hair, which was light chestnut, fell in ringlets ahout her 
neck. The grace and dignity of her movements 
bespoke a noble nature and descent. Such was the 
young creature destined to play an important part in 
the life of William Peyton. Through the partiality of a 
relation, she enjoyed a separate estate, and was regarded 
as the richest prize in the community. In the slang of 
the town and country fops, she was known as^ " heaiitij 
and hootij," and there were few of those coxcombs who 
did not aspire to her hand. Some were disinterested 
and attracted solely by her personal charms and accom- 
plishments, but it is beyond doubt that others were 
drawn by the fortune. As several of the gallants of 
that day are still living, and have grown wiser with years, 
I will not mention their names, which might make it 
necessary to indicate those who were attracted by the 
beaut ij and those by the houtij — an invidious task which 
is gladly avoided. The united causes, however, gave 
her a marked pre-eminence among the belles of a town 
famous for the beauty of its Avomen. The chancellor's 
house was, of course, one of the chosen spots where the 
village butterflies most loved to congregate. 

In Augusta Street, facing the east, was a capacious 
residence, called " The Old Stone House," from the fact 
that it was built of blue limestone, which exists 
everywhere in large quantities in the Shenandoah 

38 Memoir of WiUlam Madison Fejiton. 

valley. It was erected at an early period, and was 
intended to be, as it really was, half dwelling-house, 
half fortress. The immense thickness of the buttressed 
walls, the narrow windows, the front door through 
which a gun carriage might pass, and the situation 
of the edifice, which commanded the approaches, 
leave little doubt of its original purpose. It was 
evidently designed both as a residence and as an 
outpost, a kind of detached fort set up in early days 
against the attacks of lledskins. This was the town 
residence of our father for several years, while Mont- 
gomery Hall was being rebuilt upon the site of an 
ancient edifice. Though facing another point of llu; 
compass, and in a dilferent street from Chancellor 
Taylor's residence, the grounds of the two establish- 
ments were adjacent, and communicated by a small vine- 
covered gate-way. The grounds were large and 
ornamented, in addition to much shrubbery, with oaks, 
Avalnuts, and chestnut trees. Through this rustic gate- 
way, the two families of Taylor and Peyton kept up a 
constant intercourse, and not a day passed without their 
children spending some hours together. It Avas during 
this happy period that William Peyton and Elizabeth 
Taylor had unconsciously learned to love. And it does 
not appear that their case illustrated the trite adage that 
the " course of true love never did run smooth," for, as 
they advanced towards adolescence their affection 
" grew with their growth and strengthened with their 
strength" — nothing occurred to mar their happiness. 
They probably were, however, themselves then uncon- 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 39 

scions of the character and depth of these tender 
feehngs. The hero of this httle tale of real life had 
made no declaration of his passion, and neither the; 
the parents of the one nor the other suspected the; 
existence of a secret attachment. The affair attracted 
less attention from the fact that in the next property 
south of the stone house, there lived the family of a 
seafarhig man, Captain Williamson, of the United 
States Mercantile Marine, Avliose family were in the 
constant habit of joining the group of young people 
playing in the grounds. The worthy Captain had 
a daughter also, who was afterwards famous for wit 
and beauty. William Peyton ^vas as frequently with 
one family as the other, and was Imown years later to 
derive no small pleasure from the society of the captain's 
fair daughter. Probably he was more with the 
Williamsons than the Taylors at this time, for 
Captain W. had enriched his house with many 
curiosities collected in Europe, Asia, Africa, and 
other distant quarters of the globe. He had many 
rare paintings, vases, statuettes, Chinese-pagodas, 
tapestries, medals, coins and other objects of virtu ; and 
for the study of these, Wdliam Peyton evinced a strong 
passion. Much of his time was spent in examining 
them, and the correct taste he afterwards displayed in 
the decorations, the furniture, the paintings, etc., of 
his establishment, at Elmwood, in Roanoke, was 
probably in some measure due to the direction now 
given to his mind. Being much in the society of 
both families until the completion of his education, if 

40 Memoir of William Madison Peijion. 

anyone thought of the probability of his losing his 
heart with either of these beautiful girls, they were at a 
loss to imagine which fair charmer 'twould be. Tt 
was, therefore, something of a discovery for his young 
friend and companion, Stuart, to have penetrated so 
unexpectedly and unwittingly into the secret workings 
of his soul; for who can doubt but to Stuart's 
mind the hoary sides of the Spring house told a tale of 
love. Stuart may have jested with him upon the 
subject of his passion, in their solitary walks, and may 
have been taken into the lover's confidence ; but, if so, 
he preserved the secret with fidelity, for up to 
William's return from Yale, in 1824, the world had 
no knowledge of the aftair. 

It may not be uninteresting to the reader if I 
conclude this chapter with a brief allusion to some of the 
chancres which time has wrou<dit in the Staunton of 
1810-20. Railways and telegraphs have penetrated 
beyond the mountains, and the village of earlier days 
has passed away. Now trains, like comets with 
" fiery tresses," hiss and foam through the frightened 
fields and crowded ways. Shoi^s have taken the place 
of homes, and grass no longer grows in streets which 
reverberate with the music of commerce, and are full 
of the stirring stream of life. Judge Taylor's house has 
been despoiled, "gutted", the lower story metamorphosed 
into a place of business, where sugar and salt, fresh 
butter and dried herrings, are oftered for sale. The 
ivy, the jessamine, and the woodbine have been 
stripped from the walls and replaced with fresh 

'Memoir of William M(uliso)i Peijton. 41 

stucco, and tho old homo boars a iiovv namo. Now it 
is called after a rocont occiipaut, " Tiie McDowell 
House. " Many other cliaiiges liave taken place. Tlie 
dignified gontleniiin of ilr,^ oil s-jhool, .''ih his blue 
coat and brass batton^i, biuf ^v.u;yte()at and top boots, 
Vermillion fiice and powdered hair — ^the typo of a 
proud and generous raee — one of tin! institutions, if I 
may so speak, of the Vir;.';iula of tlie past, has disap- 
peared. Indeed, he is almost fori^otten by a Itustling, 
money-making, and irreverent posterity. Th(3 ancient 
constitution and conservative local government, the 
habits and customs of the inhabitants, have also passed 
away, and, what they Avere, will in a few years, in all 
probability, become a matter of carious enquiry. 

At the period of which I speak, railways and 
telegraphs were unknown — people travelled on hors(N 
back and in coaches, when they did travel, which was 
seldom the case. There were horses of every breed, 
and coaches light and heavy, single and doul)le, long 
and short — all the crosses bet^veen a hearse and an 
omnibus ; but if people moved more slowly in those days 
may they not have been happier ? There was no 
talking to distant minds by means of lightning, no 
travelling on the wings of steam — none of the " fast " 
and " sLap-dash" propensities of tlie present; but again, if 
there was less excitement, was there not more (piiet 
comfort ? If our ancestors W(3re not liappier, if nn»derti 
improvements are all for good, and nothing for evil, let 
wiser heaws and deeper }ihilosophy th;!.n miii^ deter- 
mine. Y/hat remains to me of this bygone ag;; but the 


4'i Memoir of WiUiavi jlfadison i'eijfon. 

liearts's memory of old things ? " I camiot Lut remember 
such thmgs were, and were most dear to me." AVith 
the fine old gentleman, the whole throng have vanished 
through the ruby skies. Yes, the men, dear honest 
race, and their manners and customs, the spirit of the 
age in which they lived, like their houses and festival 
days, have departed ! 

Oh ! friends regretted, scenes for ever dear — 
lii'.'iueiubrance hails you with her warmest tear t 


The vacation of 1823, which William Peyton spent 
at home, had scarcely passed away before he was on his 
return to Yale. Durnig the term which followed, he 
completed his academic education, giving such increased 
evidence of talent and scholarship, that there were few 
of his associates who did not believe he would achieve 
great things in after life. Professors and students 
alike regarded him as the coming man, as well by the 
cleverness he had displayed in his Uuniversity career, as 
by his conversation, conduct, tone, and manner, by his 
ready Avritings and speeches, or, in other words, by the 
thousand signs and tokens through which mind can be 
recognized and made known. 

It may not be uninteresting to ]"emark, that his resi- 
dence and partial education in the north exercised a 
wholesome influence u[)on his opinions in after life. 
Many of the prejudices which he imbibed in youth 
aganist the northern people, and more especially those of 
New England, Avere removed. He learned to take 
Larger and njore catholic views, to respect the New 

44 Mciiioir of JWliaiii Madison i'cijton. 

.l^^nglanders for their greut virtues of intellect, per- 
severance, and monilil}'. In later years these )'outhful 
impressions were strengthened by further inter- 
course with the northern ])eople, and he did much 
to create a better feeling between the hdiabitants 
of the two great sections of the Kepublic. Among 
other things, he hivited one of his college friends, 
Mr. 13., subsequently the llev. E. Uoyden, to make him 
a visit. Mr. lioyden, who accepted the invitation, was 
so much pleased with the society, climate, and scenery 
of Virginia, tliat he adopted it as his home, and, some 
years after this visit, married a Stauntonian. Through 
the influence of njy father and his wife's family, he was 
appointed curate, and afterwards rector, of Trinity 
Church, Staunton. The Rev. E. Boyden is still 
( 187^)) living in Virginia, where he is nuich esteemed 
and respected. 

On my brother's return from Yale, our kind 
father, by a rare disphiy of Avisdom and liberality, 
placed at his son's absolute disposal, the estate he had 
acquired through his mother. Under the laws of 
A'irginia, the husband is entitled, on the wife's death, 
by what is termed the " courtesy of England, " 
to the usufruct of her property for life. My father 
did not choose to exercise this right, because, having 
married agahi, and having already one child born 
■with every prospect of a large family, * he did 
not desire or intend that the ofTs})ring of his 

• The writrr w;is l.Dni of lliis second mania go the year following, 
namely on \he IJlh of i^ipteiiilxr, IS21. 

i\[ciiioir of William Madison Pcijton. 45 

.second wife should participate, to the slightest extent, 
in the proporiy of th(i llrst. According to his strict 
sense of honour, his elder son was equitahly 
entitled to his mother's estate, aiid it was accordingly 
transferred to him, at his comhig of age. He took 
this course for the further reason that it showed — 
certiiied — his confidence hi the prudence, good sense 
and mature judgment of a son, of whom ho had so 
much reason to he proud. The sagacity of his 
course in this matter was apparent in after 
times. It had the happiest efl'ect, among other 
tilings, of preventing any envy or jealousy hetween the 
son of his first marriage and the children of 
the second. William Peyton always felt and acted 
towards his half hrothers and sisters with the affectionate 
solicitude of a parent. During the thirty-odd years 
of the writer's intercourse with him, down, in fact, to 
the period of his death, he never spoke an unkind 
word, or was guilty of a single action unworthy of 
the fraternal relations existing between them. On 
the contrary he was always anxious to promote the 
success and prosperity of his sisters and brothers, 
but more especially of the author, in his every plan 
and project ; was, in a word, everything that a brother 
could or should be. Well may my hand tremble, and 
my eyes grow dim, as the memory of the past rises up 
out of the grave. Turning back to the period when 
I first remember him, now after the lapse of forty years, 

Ilis vw'.vy look, His evt'ry word, 

His very voi<;e's tone, 
Como biiok to nu; like tilings wliose wortli 

Is only prized ■wlicn gunc. 

4i} Memoir of ll'IIUani M'adison Peijton. 

TliG past stirs up again the cliurcliyard of memory, 
tind I sec him as I saw him when a hul of ten. I 
loved him as a boy can k)ve ; and hoys love with a 
devotion, a truth, a purity wliich few preserve in 
youtli and manhood. My affection for him, however, 
was always the same. Time, business contact with the 
cold and selfish world did not impair or lessen it. But 
why dwell upon my grief at his loss ? a grief heightened, 
if possible, in my ease, since the blow was received 
Avhen my home had become strange to me, and a strange 
land my home. The heart only knows its own bitter- 
ness. Suffice it to say, that in those days he com- 
pletely fulfilled my boyish notions of the hcau ideal. 

From that period, I follow our intercourse down to his 
death, without recalling a single instance in which his 
anxious care, alfectionate kindness failed. All my 
recollections of him, indeed, are associated with his 
almost parental solicitude on my behalf. It cannot be 
surprising, then, that I feel warmly concerning him, that 
I cherish his memory, that I have spoken of him and 
must still do so in high — in what some might consider 
extravagant — terms. Far be it from me, however, to 
indulge in idle praise. Elsewhere I have remarked 
that such praise is weak as unjust, reflecting credit 
neither upon the eulogist nor the person commended. 
Nor does his fame require it. In his case the simple 
truth is more elotpient than the highest- wrought praise. 
Born with a love of the good, the pure, and the true, a 
lovelier character never existed. If I may be })ermit- 
ted, after having already said so much on this subject, 
to refei' to it again, it Avould be to say that if such a 

Memoir of ]ViUiani Madison Peijton. 47 

uinltiform and mixed thing- as the human character 
can be described by a single word, his might very 
nearly be concentrated into that one \\ord — magnainity. 
His genius allied itself to deep thoughts, groat studies 
and objects. Ilis nitellect ^vas solid, vigorous and 
comprehensive ; taking in the whole range of knowledge, 
but was particularly devoted to those branches ^vhich 
require industry, sustained attention and the power of 
abstract thought. lie was learned in the languages,, 
thoroughly versed in the law, an adept in mathematics 
and the natural sciences. But, if his varied abilities 
elicited admiration his virtues were greater. Truth 
and honour were the two poles within which his Avhole 
actions revolved. He Avas capable only of the loftiest 
conceptions, of tlie noblest sentiments. Everythhig 
little, false, and corrupt, was spurned by him as the 
dust beneath his feet. In a crooked path he could not 
walk : in a foul atmosphere he could not breathe. 

Some years since, I met the distinguished Dr. J. 
Marion Sims, of New York, at a private party in Paris. 
He had taken refuge there during the civil war in 
America, and, by his professional abilities, was not only 
making a support, but extendhig his fame.* In the course 
of the evening, our conversation turned upon the subject 
of the civil strife in the United States, which was then 
at its height, and to Colonel Peyton's actual detention 
under surveillance, his quad imprisonment for some 
months after its commencement in New York. A 
gentleman present, one of my brother's old friends, 

* IIo was Consulting Physiciiui to the En>.j)rcss Eugenie, and Pliysieiiiii 
in Onlinarv to tlie Duke and Ducliess ol' Ilauiilton. 

48 ]\[cmolr of WtUiatit Jlladison Pnitun. 

asked Dr. Sims if Colonel Peyton was an acquaint- 
ance of his? " Yes " said Dr. Sims " I know and love 
him. We have heen intimate fidends for yeai-s. Ha 
is a man of superior intelligence, versed in the arts, in 
science, and in politics— in everything, in short, which 
can enrich and elevate tlie human mind. " " He has," 
continued Dr. S. "a heart superior to his head— is, 
in a word, as near perfection as is possible with a 
human beinof. " 

Perhaps an apology is due to the reader for the 
abruptness of my transitions, and for the want of strict 
sequence as to time in relating these recollections. It 
arises from the difiiculty of combining all the facts of a 
personal history in a continuous recital. The assurance, 
however, that it docs not interfere materially with the 
contmuity of the narrative, will palliate, if it docs not 
altogether excuse, the adventurous freedom of my pen. 

The estate previously mentioned as having been 
transferred to my brother, consisted of lands hi Virginia 
and Kentucky, negro bondsmen, and a considerable 
accumulation of money. He found himself, therefore, 
at his majority, in command of a handsome fortune, the 
representative of a family, which in point of antiquity, 
of high connexions and the political influence it 
exercised, second to none in the land. It is not 
surprising, therefore, that the law had faint allurements 
for him, that he turned reluctantly to its study and then 
only to gratify a father Avho was ambitious that he 
should shine in the forum. Of all the prol'essions, that 
of jurisprudence alfui-ds the fairest and most promising 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 49 

field for the exercise of abilities. Neither patronage, 
connections, nor address, can make a man an able 
lawyer or an eloquent pleader. In this profession 
there must bo intrinsic merit, which will at last 
surmount all difficulties and command that attention 
which the generality of men are obliged to court. 
Knowing my brother's abilities, and that ho must make a 
conspicuous figure in the forum, my father felt a strong 
desire that he should pursue this profession. The law 
was also at that time, as it now is, the avenue to every dis- 
tinction in Virginia, and this fact also induced our learned 
father to urge him to adopt it. Our father was a man 
of high and honourable ambition, and naturally sought 
the distinction of his son, at the same time he ever kept 
in view, that our chief end in this world is to prepare 
for a better one — often recalling his son from too eager 
a pursuit by remarking, verily, it would be no profit if 
he gained the whole world, and lost his own soul. 

Perhaps my brother's disinclination for the law may 
be better understood when his character is more fully 
developed before the reader. Among his earliest 
propensities was a fondness for the arts, music, poetry, 
painting, and sculpture. In both drawing and painting- 
he acquired much skill, and while these pursuits were 
necessarily neglected amid the multiplied and pressing 
occupations of after life, he always showed the highest 
appreciation of them. His sense of the beautiful was 
vivid, his taste exquisite, and it was said of him by the 
late Mr. Sully, an eminent painter of Richmond and 
Philadelphia, that he was not only an amateur and a 


50 Memoir of Williain Madison Peijton. 

connoisseur, but an artist as well. Before lie was 
twenty-five he had amassed a considerable collection of 
paintings, busts, statuettes, vases, coins, medals, and 
other rarities, a collection which was augmented from 
year to year till the visitor wandered from room to room 
in his Eoanoke mansion bewildered with the emharras 
des richesses. His library, too, was one of the best 
selected, and probably the largest private collection of 
books in Virginia. On his shelves were many old, rare, 
and valuable works, and some of the finest books of 
plates and engravings extant. It would have required 
the industry and learning of an American Dibdpi to 
classify the books and set forth their claims to celebrity. 
Such was his proficiency as a linguist, that he wrote 
several of the polite languages with the correctness and 
fluency of an educated native. Yet, with all this 
surface of graceful accomplishments, no one called him 
superficial. On the contrary, it was the habit of his 
mind to search into the depths of thhigs. He had 
sufficient warmth of imagination to appreciate the 
works on which fancy bestows a life more lasting than 
reality, yet that appreciation did not lead him to copy, 
Ijut rather to analyse what he admired. Fond of 
metaphysics, he prized most that kind of poetry in 
which intellectual speculation lights up unsuspected 
beauties, or from which it derives familiar illustration 
of hidden truths. Thus, in his conversation, though it 
had the easy charm of a man of the world, there was a 
certain subtlety, sometunes a depth, of reasoning, which, 
aided by large stores of information, imposed upon his 

Memoir of William Madison Feyton. 51 

listeners and brouglit into bolder relief the vantage 
ground for political station, which his talents and his 
knowledge took from the dignity of his birth and tlie 
largeness of his fortune. 

With little taste for the routine and technicalities of 
the common law, he yielded to the earnest desire of 
our father, and, after a short respite from collegiate- 
labours, commenced studying for the bar. Two years 
later (1828), when in his twenty-third year, he was 
admitted to the practice. A few months following this 
introduction, during a recess of the courts, he set 
forth upon a tour of the States, or what were termed 
" his travels." It was not only his own, but oui- 
father's wish, that he should make this tour. No doubt 
there is a period in the existence of every man, when 
he desires to wander away from the familiar objects 
around him, when he longs to be far from his best 
friends ; times when the stream of humanity becomes 
dull and prosy, when one tires of routine, and desires 
to be upon the lake shore or the mountain peak. 
This was now his case, and consequently he left 
home in high spirits. lie was no doubt imbued with 
the meaning of the remark of Beaumont on a similar 
occasion, who said : 

" Let rogues be fixed, who have no habitation, 
A gentleman may wander." 

During his absence, he visited the British North 
American provinces, and, returning by Canada passed, 
thence through the lakes to the north-western States 
and territories, and down the Mississippi to New 

52 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

Orleans. From New Orleans lie proceeded home 
through Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. 
These travels were undertaken, not merely to gratify 
his taste for the picturesque, but, m imitation of the 
example of the wise Ulysses, to study the laws and 
institutions, the manners and customs, of the dilferent 
regions which he visited and where he resided. In 
the society of the numerous state and colonial 
capitals Avhere he sojourned, he abstained from all 
giddy and licentious pleasures, though it was not 
unfrequently the case that young men whom he met, 
sought to make him ashamed of sobriety, and I regret 
to say, many of the women of modesty. 

While in Florida he was prostrated by a violent 
attack of fever. He could scarcely have recovered, 
such was its severity but for the khid and watchful 
attention of a Virginian doctor, who had years before 
migrated to the territory, and who attended him more as 
a friend than a physician, and the singular fidelity of an 
African freedman, a waiter hi the town of Tallahassee, 
who had been his travelling guide and servant for 
some weeks before. This faithful black watched at his 
bed-side, day and night, apparently without ever giving 
way to sleep or fatigue, studying his every motion, 
administering medichie at proper intervals, and fanning 
his fevered brow. When he had sufficiently recovered 
to leave his Toom, and was once more convalescent, he 
enquired the cause of a sadness which he had all along 
read in the countenance of his excellent attendant. 
The black informed hmi, with a simple eloquence, which 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton, 


brought tears to liis eyes, that he had long loved a 
slave girl whom he wished to marry. Her master, 
however, objected, not wishing his slaves to intermarry 
with freed persons. The black attributed his refusal to 
another and a different cause, and trembled for the girl's 
virtue. He represented that the master was in debt, 
and purposed selling his property, and removing west 
of the Mississippi. In this contingency, William's nurse 
wished to accompany them, though he should leave 
behind an aged and infirm mother, who relied entirely 
upon his labour for support. 

Deeply moved by this simple narrative, my brother 
formed a resolution. On the following day he visited 
the girl's master, and, after a long interview, the 
particulars of which never transpired, he succeeded 
in not only procuring his consent to the union, but also 
to his partmg with the ownership of the beautiful slave. 
By some arrangement, into which the freedman was 
made a party, the girl passed to her lover, or in 
other words, from the bonds of slavery to those of 
conjugal life. When this affair was settled, and 
the particulars communicated to the grateful black, he 
was overwhehned, and bewildered at his good fortune. 
Soon ho burst into a paroxysm of tears, and throwmg 
himself upon his knees, in extravagant terms 
thanked his generous benefactor, commending him to 
the favour of Heaven. 

William Peyton remained long enough in Florida 
to see the lovers married. The night before leaving 
they came to hun with the aged mother, their friends 

54 Memoir of William Madison Pt'ijton. 

aud relatives, to make a last "demonstration of their 
gratitude, bringing fruits and flowers as an offering, 
and singing songs of thanks and praise. When he 
left, he was surrounded by a crowd of grateful 
Africans, deeply moved with grief and frantic in 
their gestures, and in their wild language of i)raise 
and thanks. 

This affecting incident of liis travels, which was not 
mentioned on his return, many years later, came to 
the knowledge of the author, through a communication 
from a Floridian, who was in Virginia on a summer 

On his return from these well employed travels, 
he became the general object of esteem and attention 
in his own county, not only on account of his noble 
character, but by the elegance of his manners, the 
comeliness of his person, and the dehghts of his con- 
versation. His reappearance at the bar was now 
anxiously awaited by his friends, many of whom 
supposed he would equal, if not surpass, our learned 
father as a pleader and an advocate. His first 
appearance before a jury, gave the best hopes of 
his abilities, and inspired his fiiends with fresh zeal 
for his contmuance at the bar. He soon became 
conspicuous for the analytical powers of his mind, 
for the accuracy of his legal knowledge, the dexterity 
of his handling of an opponent and the fervour of his 
eloquence. Business came in rapidly and his success, 
had not his failing health prevented, must have 
equalled any expectations formed of liim by his 

Memoir of William Afadison Peyton. 55 

most sanguine friends. Always in delicate health, 
he suftercd periodically from vertigo and severe pains 
in the head, and after these paroxysms , was subject 
to long periods of weariness. At the end of two 
years, therefore, upon the advice of a medical man, 
he determined to give up the profession, and to 
retire upon his estate, in order to give himself up to 
less exhausting and more congenial pursuits. Thus 
it is that he is not famous in the legal annals of 
Virginia ; that he produced no great work in his 
retirement. In addition to his ill-health, which 
impaired his energies, he wanted ambition, self- 
assertion — was extremely placable, and saw other and 
less worthy men advance and pass him, without any 
effort or regret. Had his health been vigorous, had 
he been arrogant, grasping, and faithless, and had he 
been ready to betray or blacken those with whom he sat 
at meat, he would have reached the highest political 
honours and distinctions, and must have passed many 
men, who in the course of his life passed him. But 
without selling his soul for a mess of pottage, had 
he been more zealous for the promotion of his interest, 
more selfish, more conscious of his power and of 
the place nature intended him to occupy, he would 
have acted a great part in life and remahied a noted 
character in history. A man, however, cannot be 
what he would, if circumstances do not permit it. 

It may not be out of place to anticipate events at this 
point and to relate the following interesting occurrence 
which took place on his abandonment of the wig and 

56 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

gown. It had not been customary with him to receive 
his fees, while at the bar, in money, but turning a kiikl 
ear to the complaints of clients, he had satisfied 
himself, following in this the advice of my father, 
with simply taking their I.O.U.'s. These ho could 
collect if he required the money, and if not, it was 
evident he would not inconvenience his debtors. 
Previously to the last term of the superior courts 
which he attended, he addressed a letter to each of his 
debtors, informing them of his wish to meet them at 
the next court, and askhig them, if possible, not to 
disappoint him. 

What occured when he reached Huntersville, where 
the superior court of Pocahontas county was held, 
will give the reader an idea of what took place every- 
where hi the circuit. His clients received these notices 
with various feeUngs. They were anxious — restless. 
Those who owed him large sums Avere filled with 
apprehension. They could but suppose from the brief, 
almost curt, note they had received, that immediate 
payment of their accounts would be demanded. 
Something akin to a money panic prevailed at the 
time m the country — there was great financial embar- 
rassment, and the stoutest men quailed as they looked 
forward to the ruhi in which all industrial interests 
were likely to be involved. The dread, therefore, with 
which his debtors assembled for his appearance at 
Huntersville, may be better imagined than described. 
Many said it was impossible such a man could thmk 
of pressing them for his claims at such a moment, or 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 57 

iiideed, at any time. Others, said he, might be iu 
trouble, and thus have no alternative. A third party 
protested that the human heart was deceitful above all 
things and desperately wicked, and while they never 
could have believed him ca})able of such oppression, 
they feared they had mistaken his nature. Still a 
fourth set came forAvard to cheer the despondent, 
declaring they would never believe him capable of 
wrong and injustice, (and it would be both to deniand 
immediate payment of these notes, during a period of 
fuiancial distress) until it could be made to appear tliat 
black was white and white black. 

On the lirst day of the term, a day which finally 
came, great crowds assembled (as is usual in Virginia 
on assize days) at lluntersville. AVilliam Peyton was 
already in his lodgings, where his clients began to drop 
in. AMien all had arrived they Avere invited to a large 
room, in the centre of Avhich stood a censer filled Avith 
burning coals. Shaking hands Avith his old friends and 
making a fcAV inquiries after their families, he advanced 
to the head of the table, and, in a short address, inform- 
ed them of his continued ill health and of his pur[)Ose 
to retire from the bar. lie then took from a tlraAver a 
tin box containing their bonds. A shudder passed 
through the frame of many a poor fulloAV, as he 
recofrnised the fatal bills to Avhich his hand and seal 
Avere affixed. My brother then remarked that the 
notes Avhich he took from the box had been given for 
his jjrofessional services, Avhile the truth Avas simpl}^ this, 
that he had rendered them little or no service Avhat- 


58 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

ever and that, therefore, he could not consent to receive 
a penny from any of them — that he had called them 
together that day to absolve them from then* obli- 
gations — to wish them every kind of prosperity in life, 
and to bid them farewell. Nothing more. 

A profound silence followed these words, his audience 
was momentarily stupified with astonishment. During 
this pause he proceeded to place upon the live coals their 
promissory notes, and the entire bundle was consumed 
before their wondering eyes. His grateful clients, 
having somewhat recovered their self possession, raised, 
amidst the smoke of the charred papers, shout after 
shout, cheer after cheer. 

Next day they instructed a committee from their 
body, to wait upon and invite him to a public dinner 
and to say in substance, 

" Not that we tliiiik us wortliy such a guest, 
But that your worth will dignify oiu- feast 
With those that come." 

When the committee arrived at his rooms, they found 
them empty and in disorder, a few stray bits of paper, 
the ends of strings and other evidences of hasty pacldng 
were scattered about the floor. Betimes that morning 
he had risen, and was now probably twenty miles 
distant on his return. He travelled by a road con- 
ductmg to the Hot Springs, instead of proceeding 
immediately towards Staunton. This was a common 
thing with him. He often turned away from the beaten 
track, trebling his journey, in order to visit some region 
famed for its scenic beauty. On the present occasion. 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 59 

following this custom, he took a route remarkable for its 
diversified and romantic landscapes. Brought up in 
a beautiful pastoral district, he early imbibed a love of 
nature which he viewed with a poetic eye. He early 
fed upon the open sky influences of the fields, the 
wide vallies, the rolling meadows, the lofty mountains : 
was nurtured upon sunshine and shadow, on hill and 
in vale, by mountain-stream, and in the leafy dell. He 
knew all the choicest haunts, the sweetest and most 
sublime scenes of nature, throughout a district unrivalled 
in Vii-ginia for varied and picturesque beauty. The 
grandeur of the summer and autumn fogs rolling 
up the hills and mountains, of the roaring cataract 
plunging down into the valley below ; the inefi'able 
sweetness of the evening glow enveloping the far spread- 
ing valley, amid which the peaceful flocks browsed in 
quiet joy ; the glory of sunrise, 

" When from the naked top 
Of some lofty peak ho beheld the sun 
Rise uj), and l)athe the world in light." 

were all familiar to him from a boy. Thus was his 
mind fed upon nature in her choicest aspects, and his 
enthusiastic heart impelled towards art and its 

It is proper that it should be explained with 
reference to his observation to his cHents, when burnhig 
their -notes, " that he had rendered them no service," 
that no man deserved to stand higher for his moral 
qualities and his faithful discharge of duty. He was as 
much distinguished for the uprightness of his dealing 

60 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

ill all transactions of a business character, as for his 
benevolent affections. In this remark his modesty 
spoke, and only his modesty. He was emphatically 
mitiqua homo virtute ac fide, and, moreover, a philanthro- 
pist in the truest sense of that word. Everything 
tending to the good of his kind, he was on all 
occasions, and particularly in cases of distress, zealous 
to forward, considering nothing as foreign to himself, 
as a man, which related to man. Consequently, he 
counted, as we have before said, many friends, and 
from the great purity and simplicity of his manners, 
few or no enemies, unless I may be allowed to call 
those enemies, who, without detracting from his merit 
openly, might yet from a jealousy of his superiority, 
be disposed to lessen it in private. An old author 
has said on this point, " men take an ill-natured 
pleasure in crossing our inclinations, and disappointing 
us in what our hearts are most set upon; when, 
therefore, they have discovered our ruling passion, 
they become sparing and reserved iu their com- 
mendations, they envy the satisfaction of applause, and 
look on their praise rather as a kindness done to our 
person than as a tribute to our merit. Others, who 
are free from this natural perverseness of temper, grow 
wary in their praises of one who sets a value on them, 
lest they should raise him too high in his own 
imagination, and, by consecjuence, i-emove him to a 
greater distance from themselves." 


In 182-i when AVilliam Peyton returned from Yale 
he commenced, as has Ijeen previously said, reading 
for the bar. Thouoh he ft-ave sufiicient time to this 
grave pursuit to pass for a young man of '' steady 
habits," he mingled largely in polite society. His 
name was generally found at this period among those 
who frequented balls, theatres, and other amusements. 
Frequently in Pichmond and Washington his box was 
well known at the opera. Considering his youth and 
high natural spirits, this was but reasonable, one of 
those things to be expected. 

During an incidental visit to Washington a year or 
two later, when dining with General Jackson, who had 
been recently elected President, the following passage 
occurred between them. It must be remembered that 
with the election of "Old Hickory" in 1829, a new 
and by no means improved order of things was 
introduced into American politics. For the first 
time since the foundation of the Government and 
to the no small disfrust of the President's best friends 

G2 Memoir of Will icon Jlladison Peyton. 

and wisest counsellors, General Jackson announced 
his determination to be guided in all appointments to 
office by the maxim that "to the victors belong the 
spoils." Shortly, therefore, after his inauguration, he 
summarily discharged every political opponent who 
chanced to hold office. That reckless spirit which has 
since degraded American politics was thus introduced, and 
has been from that time to the present in the ascendency. 
Shame has gradually perished ; insolence and impudence 
prevail over justice, and possess the land. The 
purity of an earlier and better period of the Republic 
and their traditions are forgotten. Those days 

" Once far faiuod, 
Where liberty and justice, hand in hand, 
Order'd the common weal ; where great men grew 
Up to their natui-al eminence, and none 
Saving the wise, just, eloquent, were great ; 
Where power was of God's gift, to whom he gave 
Supremacy of merit, the sole means 
And broad liighway to power that ever then 
Waa meritoriously administer'd, 
Whilst all the instruments from first to last, 
The tools of state for ser\dce higli or low, 
Were chosen for their aptness to the ends 
Which virtue meditates." 

At the President's dinner our father was present, 
being at the time a guest at the Executive mansion. 
He had been one of Jackson's supporters in the 
"election, but, it must be said in justice to his memory, 
under a total misapprehension of the General's political 
character. No man detested and repudiated more 
heartily than did John Howe Peyton the corrupting 
doctrine with which Jackson commenced his oificial 
career, and he became so convinced in the progress of 

Memoir of William Madison reyton. G3 

events of its lowering and corrupting tcuclcncies, that 
he forsook his party and jomed the whigs. Duriiig the 
second term of (leneral Jackson's administration, 
the control of the party passed into the hands 
of mere adventurers, E fiimjis nati homines. At 
this time (1831), however, our father was on the 
best terms with His Excellency, and was staying 
<larhig a business visit to Washington, as he was in the 
habit of doing, at the White House. Some years 
previously General Jackson made the acquaintance of my 
brother, and conceived an especial liking for him. The 
liveliness, wit, and humour of the young man quickly 
captivated "old Hickory," who took a rare delight in 
his society and always treated him with marked atten- 
tion. Few indeed could resist the charm of William 
Peyton's manner and conversation. In the course of 
the dinner, "old Hickory" expressed his astonishment at 
the numbers attracted to Washington in search of office. 
It must be borne in mind that at this early period in his 
administration, the President had not unfurled the pirate 
flag to which I have referred. Turning to his young 
friend ho said jocosely : 

"Well William, What office are you seekino'^" 

My brother replied at once with equal humour and 
with his customary animation : 

"I do not aspire to any post, but if your Excellency 
confer an office upon me let it be one with a fat salary, 
where there is no work and less responsibility." 

Old Hickory received this sally with hearty laughter, 
and said: 

64 Memoir of William Madison Penton. 

"My dear boy, I shall not forget you. We have too 
many such sinecures m AVashmgton. It is all salary, no 
work, and as for responsibility it is expected that I shall 
assume this and by the Eternal I am not afraid to do 

The year following this visit to the capital, the impor- 
tant Federal office of attorney for the district of West- 
ern Virginia became vacant. This is no sinecure, and 
the President offered it to William Peyton, A most 
unusual distinction for one so young, and exhibiting in 
the strongest manner the unbounded confidence reposed 
in him by the Government. William hesitated to 
accept or to refuse the appointment. If he continued 
at the bar it was important that he should do the 
former. He was somewhat apprehensive, however, that 
his health might not permit him to perform its duties. 
He paused, therefore, before communicating with the 
Government on the subject. At this moment an appeal 
was made to his better nature. A young friend, Mr. 
Harrison, in straitened circumstances, ^vlio had with 
difficulty obtained an education, greatly desired the 
office. This gentleman was on the circuit, and gave 
promise of future usefulness, but was absolutely without 
political interest. He appealed to his friend William to 
refuse the position for his benefit. " You are rich," said 
Mr. Harrison, "and have no need of the salary — your 
health is delicate, why undertake its drudgery — you have 
no particular taste for the law, why should you 
unnecessarily impose the heavy yoke of its labours 
upon yourself ? " Mr. Harrison's confidence in William's 

Memoir of William Madison Fe}jton. 65 

generosity was not misplaced. My brother, after Mr. 
H.'s earnest appeal, determined to decline the post, and 
recommended his friend's appointment to the President. 
If you have one friend, says the proverb, think yourself 
happy. Here was a friend indeed, a practical illustra- 
tion of disinterested friendship. Yet there are people 
who calumniate poor human nature and speak of self 
sacrifice and true friendship as if it had no existence. 

If it be true that no object is more pleasing to the 
eye than the sight of a man whom you have obliged, 
nor any music so agreeable to the ear as the voice of one 
that o\vns you for his benefactor, William Peyton must 
have gone through life cheered by pleasant sights and 
grateful sounds : never was there a man who so 
habitually lost sight of himself, who made more 
numerous sacrifices for his friends, nay even his mere 

Shortly after he entered upon the practice of the law, 
when attending court at the warm springs, Bath Co., he 
mortified my father exceedingly by a piece of off-hand levity, 
which the latter regarded as a most undignified proceed- 
ing, unworthy of the profession. He was employed .to 
defend a man charged with horse stealing, and, as there 
was only circumstantial evidence to prove his guilt, my 
brother, who was much exhilarated, for it must be remem- 
bered that the case came on after dinner, set up the 
defence that according to the principles of science, and 
of a new science likely to prove both useful and 
ornamental, it was impossible his client could be guilty. 
He then referred to and explained the theories of Gall 


G6 Memoir of William Madison Vcijion. 

and Spurzlieim, and declared that according to the 
phrenological bumps on the head of his client, theft was 
a crime he was incapable of committing. Ho argued 
with much gravity and ingenuity in this direction, 
amidst the suppressed giggling of the bar, to the great 
chagrin of my father, who was public prosecutor, and 
to the thorough mystification of the county court. This 
body was composed of country gentlemen unacquainted 
with law, and it was one of their boasts that they made 
up their decisions, not so much in accordance with the 
principles of common law, as of common sense. My 
brother went on, and drawing from his desk a 
copy of Combe's phrenology, illustrated with plates, 
exhibited it to the jury, and declared that at the point 
upon the pericranium of his client, where there should 
be a protuberance if he were capable of robbery, there 
was not the pdightest development, and asked, Avhat is 
the value of science, if we discarded its teachings ? He 
then made an animated and eloquent appeal to the 
feelings of the jury, based upon the humane principle of 
the common law, that it is better that ninety-nine guilty 
men should escape, than that one innocent person 
should suffer, and, declaring his conviction of the 
prisoner's innocence, asked them to give him the benetit 
of every doubt, and lean to the side of mercy. 

My father, in reply, was exceedingly severe in his 
comments upon the airiness of my brother, as inconsistent 
with the administration of justice and the dignity of his 
profession. He ridiculed Gall and Spurzheim's far- 
fetched theories, which he declared were not scientitic 

Memoir of WiUiain Madison Peyton. 07 

deductions, but only speculative opinions, and attempted 
to bring the whole defence into contempt, by referring 
to the human skeleton, sayuig, "If you run your eye down 
the spine it alights upon the oscoccijgis." Neither the 
court nor the jury understanding what these words 
meant, but overcome by the ludicrous manner of my 
father, both burst hito a hearty laugh. "Now," continued 
my father, " this o.s6-(^C(w/f//5- is nothing more nor less than a 
rudimentary tail, as Lord Monbeddo has well said, and I 
suppose we shall soon have some modern philosopher 
startUng the world again with the proposition that man 
once nourished a tail, but of which, the civilized use of a 
chair has, in process of time, deprived hhn." He 
continued somewhat in this style, "I mean nothing 
against philosophers nor tads, both are useful in their 
way. What would a cow do without her tail, especially 
on our fly-pestered prairies, or the Pampas of South 
America? What would a monkey do without this caudal 
appendage and its prehensile quality ? — with him it takes 
the place of hands. And shall we have philosophers 
telling us that we received our hands when we lost our 
tails, and tluit the monkey lost the use of his hands 
because of his peculiar facility of using a tail ? A beauti- 
ful science," said he, "is this phrenology, according to the 
theory of the learned counsel for the prisoner. To all 
standing in the unenviable position of his client, it will 
prove, if the learned gentleman be correct, not only a 
thing of beauty, but a source of comfort and a joy for 
ever. To the murderer, the thief, the burglar, the high- 
way robber, to all in fact, who wish to be rid of the 

68 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

responsibility which attaches to their actions, it will 
become a positive blessing. Not to these only, but to the 
entire community — it opens a brilhant prospect of life, of 
life as it should be in this enlightened age, at this 
advanced period in the progress of the world. Upon 
the ruins of our present immature civilization it will 
uprear a charming state of society. Under the vivifying 
influences of this new system, mankind will be happy, 
perfectly happy ; and until the auspicious day when the 
new order commences this " consummation so devoutly to 
be wished," need not be anticipated. Throughout the 
world, or at least so much of it as is illumined by the sun 
of phrenology, perfect liberty will obtain, and the present 
generation will wonder at the darkness in which their 
ancestors groped. Justice will reign supreme, and our 
statute books will be no longer disgraced by those dread- 
ful laws founded in ignorance, superstition, and cruelty, 
which consign a helpless and irresponsible man, criminal 
you call him, to the merciless hands of the executioner. 
It will then be clear as the noon-day sun, that law and 
liberty cannot, exist, that they are natural enemies. 
Along with this knowledge will come a resolution to 
demolish the whole system of our jurisprudence, to cart 
off the rubbish, and substitute in place thereof a new, 
nobler, and higher civihzation. Poor weak man will no 
longer be held accountable for his actions. The infirm- 
ities of his nature will become a recognised principle, that 
men are but men, will be known of all men. It will be 
understood that from the foundation of the world, it was 
determined, predestmed, and fore-ordained that he should 

Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 69 

act thus and thus, and that, therefore, he cannot be 
justly rewarded for any action however meritorious, nor 
punished for any crime, as we term it, how atrocious 
soever. Men will stand aghast that laws should have 
existed, and for so many ages, for afflicting a human being 
for actions, over which it is clear, according to the pris- 
oner's counsel, he had no control — actions, in fact, which 
they were bound to perform, by an irresistible law of human 
nature. Then will it be seen that men commit murder, 
perpetrate rape, and apply the torch because they cannot 
help it. Gentlemen of the Jury, no line of argument 
would be shorter — I leave you to determine its soundness." 
'* But to be serious," said my father, who though 
cheerful in his disposition had a manner so tempered 
with gravity as to check the sallies of indecent levity, 
" I must refer, before closing, to the conduct of the 
prisoner's counsel, and remark that some speakers are 
more anxious to display their eloquence, than to 
promote the public good. Now, when this is the case, 
as I must charitably suppose it to be on this occasion, 
oratory is a useless gift, and such fine speeches as we 
have had to day are simply disgusting. When great 
talents are employed to support a bad cause, perhaps 
from selfish motives, (I trust and beheve that this is not 
the case now), they are objects of universal contempt. 
Oratory, with all its pleasing charms becomes an 
instrument of mischief, when used by an unprincipled 
man, as, when resorted to by a good man, its happy 
influences almost exceeds belief. An orator who thus 
uses his talents, without reference to his personal 

70 Memoir of WiU'iam Madison Feijton. 

interests, if he do not succeecl in his eflbrts, at k-ast, 
enjoys self ai)prohation, and that of his God." 

In this manner my father throw the defence into 
ridicule and disrepute. His sound sense and keen 
sarcasm was too nmch for my brother's after dinner 
eloquence, and, from a brief consultation, the juiy 
returned and delivered a verdict condemnhig the prisoner 
to the penitentiary for two yi!ars. 

The Hon. David Fultz, of Staunton, recently Judge 
of the Circuit Superior Court of Augusta County, who 
was present on this occasion, told the writer twenty 
years ago, that he had never during his career at the 
bar been so much interested and amused by any trial as 
this. The disgust of my father at such a defence being 
set up, the elation of my brother, at the probable 
success of his ruse, the bewilderment of the court and 
jury, both of whom seemed lost in a fog, the suppressed 
merriment of the audience, which did not comprehend 
exactly all that was transpiring, but which to some 
extent entered into the fun, rendered the whole scene 

The reader must not fall into the error of supposing, 
because I have delayed tlius far to recur to my 
brother's love afl'air, that he had lost his interest in 
Miss Taylor. Far from it. On his return from Yale, 
their friendship was renewed, and William gave less 
time to the study of Captain Williamson's art collection, 
wandered more on the banks of the purling streanis 
which water the meadows above and below the town. 
In other words, made a tolerably fair division of his 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 71 

lime between Coke — Lyttleton, and his amiable friend. 
Of com'se in a small place these thm^^^s could not long 
escape public attention, becoming food for gossips. 
Staunton ^vas one of those retired coramimities, such as 
exist the W(jrld over, ^vhere everything is known and 
thin fictions flourish hi wanton luxuriance. Mrs. 
J>]own never had beef and carrots for dinner without 
the knowledge or " imbekiiownt," as the negroes said, 
to Mrs. Smith. The grocer never called at Mrs. 
Jones' Av^ithout the extravagance of that mducky 
woman, who "was supposed to be '' gone in the head," 
because she indulged in an extra quantity of rum and 
molasses, becoming the subject of interesting specula- 
tions among iieighbours, as to how long her 
unfortunate husband could bear the drain u})on his 
Hnances. It was a standing joke among the 
''conscript fathers " that in bygone days an individual 
had amassed a fortune in Staunton by attendhig to 
his oiv)c business. Something not likely to occur again 
was the doleful commentary upon modern degeneracy 
"when people are Avont to mind every body's affairs but 
their own. The old ladies assembled almost daily to 
" sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea," and 
nothing traus})iriug in the place Avas likely to 
escape their observation. 

It must not be supposed because this is an accurate 
description of the town of my boyhood that it was 
Avorse than, or very unlike, other small communities. 
Far from it. I shall not, hoAvever, attempt any 
A'indieatiou or make any apologies for the place. Que 

72 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

s'excuse s'accuse. The truth is, the residents were 
very pleasant after their fashion, and not more addicted 
to gossip than the rest of the workl. As a rule they 
were much given to hospitality, and entertained 
strangers on the fat of the land. They were a little 
lethargic, somewhat like the dwellers in Sleepy Hollow, 
but stagnation in trade rendered the affairs of the social 
life all the brisker. Eveiy now and then during term 
time, it enjoyed some weeks of festivity, but such 
seasons only occurred twice a year and Staunton had 
ample time to recruit her energies. From these 
periodical festivities she would relapse into placidity, 
and nodded on from mouth to month contentedly. 

During the latter part of the month of Oct. 1828, a 
party of ladies, (there was only one gentleman present, 
Mr. Sam. Moore), I do not say old ladies, for one or 
two sweet seventeen's were in the room, were grouped 
around a table from which the hissing urn had just been 
removed. They were pulling, measuring, adjusting 
their work, and settling themselves down, after heavy 
potations of that friend to prattle and that foe to 
slumbers, for a cosey tittle-tattle. A jocund wood fire 
illumined the hearth and a brilhant light was diffused 
through the wainscoted room, from an ancient glass 
chandelier, suspended from the ceiling. Some good 
paintings lined the walls, and several small tables were 
loaded with glittering nick-nacks from all climes and 
countries. Much old china was disposed about the 
room, a little cracked if closely examined, many books, 
a pretty work box, a bird cage, and a great vase of 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 73 

freshly gathered flowers, the early frosts had not yet 
withered these. Mr. Moore aud the young ladies were; 
engaged in a round game, and a fine King Charles dog 
and an Angora cat, after their diurnal squabbles, were 
peacefully sleeping side by side on the rug. This 
wainscoted apartment in which there was a ceaseless 
rustle of silky raiment, a shimmer of jewels, and a glitter 
of eyes brighter yet, was the drawing-room of u 
Staunton mansion. It stood in its own grounds, was 
innocent of stucco, lath or plaster, and was one of the 
finest pictures imaginable of the local respectability of 
former days. This was the "Blackburn House," though 
not then occupied by the family from which it took its 
name, but by Mrs. Lisle, one of the feminine "institu- 
tions" of the to\vn.* 

Mrs. Lisle was the centre of a little coterie, the chief 
personages of which were now assembled around her. 
Every one knows the freemasonry that exists 
in such a set, and it is not without its social 
advantages. However much they trouble themselves 
with their neighbours' concerns, they have the good 
nature and tact to generally keep it to themselves. 
Among those present this evening was Mrs. Boh 
MacdoweU, — a large, bony looking woman, with a turned- 
up nose and a pouting under lip, that expressed a sour 
contempt for all that she heard. The writer remembers 

It is now, or was in 1859, the Episcopal parsonage, occui)ied by 
Rev. T. T. Castleman, M. A., Rictor of Trinity Church. It has been 
plastered and white washed, the grounds stripped of trees, and the build- 
ing stares at you with sharp, harsh, and stei-u, aliuostforbiddingoutlines, 
nnd is, thanks to modern architecture, the most uninviting looking of 


74 Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 

Mrs. Macdowell perfectly, for she survivetl this period 
many years, and she was a character, ohstiuate, opinion- 
ative, incredulous. She not uufrequently breakfasted on 
beefsteak and Albany ale, daily taking so many pints of 
that bitter liquid, which was imported into our commun- 
ity by the leading confectioner of the day, Morrill 
Gushing. Mrs. Macdowell was as unangelic in person 
as in her diet, dressed gorgeously, and indulged in 
masterly intrigues, polite hatreds, and a perpetual 
struggle with the little world of fashion around her. 
Having failed in a good fight she had waged since her 
widowhood against all wealthy widowers and bachelors, 
she had dropped to the rear, desperately wounded, but 
with life enough left to carry on a harrassing battle with 
humanity. She indulged in rouge, powder, and patches, 
and seemed to have far down in her heart the germ of 
an unlawful admiration for anything scandalous — not to 
say wicked. When listening to the gossip of her 
neighbours, she would sometimes exclaim with the 
affected modesty of a maiden of seventeen "Oh! how 
delicious, and so improper!" Another of the evening party 
was Mrs. Telfair, one of the strong-minded women of that 
day. There was also present Mrs. Blackburn and Mrs. 
Brown, both originals in their way and of many good quali- 
ties. Mrs. Lisle and her friends had been dehghtfully 
occupied with their small talk about two hours, during 
which they had pretty Avell discussed the affairs of the 
town, and, among the rumours of the hour, the approach- 
ing marriage of Wilham Peyton and Miss Taylor. At the 
moment they were turning this delicious morsel over their 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 75 

tongues, the door opened, and a shadow fell upon the 
table. Turning their eyes, they rose and greeted warmly a 
tall, strongly-hiiilt, straiglit-limhed, fresh-coloured, young 
man who entered, hut and cane in hand. This was 
William Peyton, of ^vllom they had been speaking. He 
called at the histance of Mrs. Boys, to escort her sister, 
Mrs. Telfair, on her return home. There was no resist- 
ing the importunities of the ladies, and he took a seat 
and remained to sip a glass of mulled ^vhie. 

Now, at the moment this was going forward at Mrs. 
Lisle's, another scene, a festive scene was taking place in a 
different part of the town. In Augusta Street, at the 
corner of Court-House Alley, on the spot now (1873) 
occupied by tlie Augusta Law Offices, there stood in 
1826, a long two-story frame building, called "The 
Bryan House." The boards on its sides, from long 
exposure to wind and weather, and to the action of the 
semitropical sun of a Virginian summer, were warped, 
curled, and bent, in a remarkable manner. Originally, 
when the boards had been smoothly arranged, the 
exterior of the Bryan House was not unhandsome — now it 
was horrible to behold. Long since, mischievous boys 
had shattered the glass of the basement whidoAvs, and 
the cats and dogs of the neighbourhood roamed at 
liberty through the subterranean vaults. The entire 
sashes of the dormer windows were gone, and two black 
holes, like eyless sockets, stared at you from the roof. 
These ghost-like apertures, where there were no eyes, 
let in light upon an upper story as empty as any ever 
illuminated by visual organs. With two such unprom- 

70 Memoir of WiUicun Madison Peyton. 

isiiig stories — the upper and lower — little can be 
expected from what remains to be described of the 
"Bryan House." Yet there were two floors still habit- 
able — at least to bachelors, who are generally expected 
to put up with slender accomodation, and these were 
known in the legal language of the town as attorney's 
chambers. They were now occupied by two students of 
the law. One of these was the late Chapman Johnson, 
jun., who was at the moment, when William Peyton 
entered Mrs. Lisle's parlour, sitting amongst a number 
of chosen friends, pipe in mouth, playing the violin. 

Mr. Johnson was a musician out and out, so?is tons les 
rapports. In fact, was so absorbed with music that he 
could not be separated from it : it was himself. He 
recalled the epitaph on the grave stone of the obscure 
I'mglishman, which records " One Claudius Philips, 
whose absolute contempt for riches, and inimitable 
performance on the violin, made him the admiration of 
all who knew him." 

Mr. Johnson, certainly from no unusual gravity in 
his manner, there was confessedly something antiquated 
in his appearance, had been called from his fifteenth year 
" Old Chap." He was (for this dear old friend of my 
youth has been gathered to his fathers) a social, 
harmless, improvident, generous fellow. From his 
chambers there was ordinarily a sound of revelry by 
night. As may be imagined, he was personally 
popular, particularly among the younger portion of the 
community. Old Chap possessed moi-e than social 
qualities, was a man of excellent abilities and sound 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 77 

pi-ofessional knowledge, yet his life had been a faikire. 
No success attended his presence at the bar, nor when 
subsequently elected a member of the House of 
Delegates of Virginia did he add anything to his 
fame. Ilis singular inetiiciency Avas attributed to 
various causes. To my mind it seemed that he had 
never proposed to himself a certain aim in life and 
set forward steadily to attain it. Possibly, • like 
many boys, he thought there was time enough, and 
grudged all that interfered with his pleasures ; that, 
unmindful of the wise maxim of the ancient poet, he 
was always " sowing his wild oats," did not renounce 
his gaieties at the proper time. Nee lusisse pudet^ sed 
7ion incidere ludum. It may be that he wanted the 
oi)portunity — Opportunity ! phantom goddess of 
success, that so few seize and make their own. And 
nothing is more true than the remark of the younger 
Pliny, " no man possesses genius so commanding as 
to be able to rise in the world, uidess these means are 
aiforded him : opportunity and a friend to promote 
his advancement." If it be true that hell is paved 
with good resolutions, may it not be roofed over with 
lost opportunities. " Old Chap" had relations at the 
])ar in A^irginia, who were, at the time of his coming 
forward, in good practice. Had one of these extended 
a helping hand to him at the critical moment, he 
would in all probability have become a shining light 
in the profession. All watched his sinking, no one 
olfered to rescue the droAvning man. He was allo^ved 
to waste his best years in 

78 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

goaded by his pecuniary difficulties to desperation, and 
anon driven to despair. His selfish connections who 
pretented to be friends, but were his crudest enemies — 
those who saw him fail and die of a broken heart — 
verily, they have their reward. But what is that 
reward? Not the smiles of heaven ; nor the 
testimony of a good conscience ; scarcely the 
praisis of men. If the latter, has been their reward, 
let them enjoy it. Whether it was the meanness, 
the baseness of his so called friends — enemies he had 
none who dared to avow it — or his own idleness and 
indifference, which I do not believe, his life was never- 
theless a failure, and this inan of real legal learning, of 
tine logical mind and persuasive eloquence was wholly 
unsuccessful. No one knew exactly why. My father 
had his opinion upon the suV)ject, and thought he 
hddled away his time and leaned too much upon his 
relati(/as. He said of Old Chap, in a moment 
of merriment, and no one was fonder of a good jeu 
d' esprit than John Howe Peyton — '^ Music is out of 
place in a court house. I never knew a fiddling 
hiwyer to succeed, especially if nature designed him to 
play that useful, yet much despised, instrument, the 
'' second fiddle," a good enough instrument for a 
duet, but one on which no successful solo Avas ever 

But, to proceed with my narrative, Old Chap's 
friends were, on the night referred to, listening with 
rapt attention to the dulcet strains of music, and 
Paganini never called forth sweeter sounds. Now and 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 79 

again they pledged him a health as they quaffed from a 
bowl of egg-nog. As the evening advanced they 
mellowed into the most delightfal companionship. Such 
are the seductions, too, of this popular Virginian drink, 
that when they left off at eleven o'clock it was without 
exception with glowing faces and watery eyes. A few 
moments after this, William Peyton and his friend 
Moore, having conducted the party of ladies to their 
respective homes, were returning in the direction of the 
old stone house when they espied the lights in Old Chap's 
sitting room. As neither of them was disposed for sleep 
they determined to pay an unseasonable visit to their 
friend and indulge in a whiff of the calumet. Stumlj- 
ling up the dark stairs, they entered without knocking. 
Here they saw Old Chap in the midst of his friends, 
his pipes, and bottles. The warm-hearted fellow greeted 
them cordially, and proceeded to lill two tumblers with 
egg-nog. After awhile they subsided into arm chairs, 
and continued their chit-chat, while one after another 
of the company dropped off, and the three were left 
alone. William Peyton then informed his friend of his 
approaching marriage and secured his services to attend 
upon him as "best man," when the nuptials were cele- 

The friends sat an hour longer over this absorbing 
topic, indulging in occasional sallies of playful wit, 
puffing away at their meerschaums, and watching the 
smoke wreathing up to the ceiling. Young Peyton, and 
indeed Sam. Moore for the matter of that though 
several years his senior, was drinking in worldly wisdom 

80 Memoir of WilUain Madison rcijton. 

from tlie lips of their venerable friend, as they called Old 
Chap, whom they esteemed the very guide-hook to 
everything connected with matrimonial life. Why Old 
Chap was so considered it is not the easiest thing in 
the world to tell. Never had he made a trial in that 
direction himself, and more than once he had been heard 
to say rather dogmatically '^ Mes en/ants" — he always 
spoke a little French after his egg-nog "I'ous ne pouvcz 
pas," "wive and thrive." 

But to cut my story short. In accordance with the 
announcement of this evening, William Peyton was 
married to Miss Taylor within a month of this time, in 
the year 1826. It may not be out of place to say here, 
what was proved by time, that they were well-mated and 
knew each other's worth ; William ever thought that no 
wife surpassed his own ; and she exulted in her husband 
— regarding him as her greatest earthly gift from God. 
Their union recalled the lines of Massinger : 

" I know the sum of all that makus a man — a just man — happy, 
Consists in the well chosing of his wife ; 
And then well to discharge it, does require 
Equality of years, of birth, of fortune ; 
For beauty, being poor, and not cried up 
By birth or wealth, can truly mix with neither." 

The little town broke out in an extravaganza of 
flags and flowers on the occasion of this wedding — 
everyone went in for pleasure with a will. 

One of the landed estates my brother acquired by his 
wife, was the Hot Springs, in Bath county, Virginia — a 
property which was sold, by the by, in 18G4, for three 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 81 

hundred thousand dollars (£60,000). x Shortly after 
his marriage he removed from Staunton to the Springs, 
where he passed three years. When leaving Pocahon- 
tas Court house, after the conflagration of his clients' 
bonds, in order to avoid any demonstration they might 
be disposed to make in his honour, it was to jom his 
young wife at this Spa. She was then the happy 
mother of two lovely daughters, Elizabeth Thompson 
and Susan Madison. 

While residing at the Hot Springs, the following 
incident occurred, and though some might consider it 
too trivial to be mentioned, is deemed not unworthy of 
being recorded in further illustration of his character. 
Among the intimate friends of his youth was a young 
gentleman still living, whom I shall call A. B. Young 
Alexander wished to marry an accomplished lady who 
was governess in his father's family. For several 
years, without the fact transpiring, he was her suitor 
and had proffered her marriage. The affair finally 
came to the knowledge of his father, who was greatly 
incensed, as is usual in such cases, and he deter- 
mined, if possible, to break off the match. Old Mr. B. 
declared that if his son persisted in marrying one so 
much his inferior in social position and fortune, he 
would banish him for ever from his presence, 
cut him off with a shilling. Young A. B., who 
had no independent means, was greatly troubled at 
this opposition, and wrote to his friend Peyton, relating 
the circumstances of the case and asking his advice. 
My brother, in reply, said, among other things, that in 

,/ ' ' L 

82 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

the conflict of duties, Alexander owed more to the hidy 
than to his father, since he had secured her all'ections 
and pledged his honour to marry her ; that he owed it 
to himself, as well as to the young lady, to fulfil his 
engagement. He continued, " Her family is really only 
inferior to your own in wealth and the kind of position 
it gives — the opposition of your father is therefore selfish 
and unreasonable." Hence he advised him, to be con- 
stant to his engagement. " As soon as you arc 
married," he continued, "come to my house and 
make it your home, until you are able from your 
legal practice to support your family. I will supply 
you with means in the interhn, and will not accept 
payment, unless your father repents of his hasty 
decision, and permits you to share his property equally 
with his other children." Delighted with these sentiments 
and with the noble evidence of my brothers friendship, 
Alexander determined to act upon his advice. Before 
taking the final step, however, he thought it 
advisable to confer again with his father and show 
him the letter. Seeldng his father's presence, he 
announced his resolution, declaring that it was 
absolutely necessary to his happiness and success in 
life. If he was disappointed in this matter, he felt he 
was wi'ccked ; had he anticipated his father's opposi- 
tion, he would not have allowed his feelings to become 
so involved ; as it was, matters had gone too far for a 
retreat. He continued saying that his honour was 
implicated, not only in his own, but in the opinion of 
his best friends, that he had recently received from one 

Memoir of IVilliam Madison Pcijton. 83 

of these, William Peyton, whom his father had always 
held up to him as a model worthy of imitation, a letter 
going over the Avhole ground. He would leave this 
with him for perusal, and call the next day to ascertain 
what he thought of the advice it contained. It must 
be remembered that the affair had caused so much 
unpleasantness in Mr. B's. family, that Alexander was 
virtually banished from the paternal roof and was 
stayhig at the house of a relative in the neighbourhood. 
Two days after this interview he called on his father, 
and was greatly surprised and delighted to receive a 
friendly reception. The old man said he had 
never been more impressed than with the 
good sense and right feeling of William Peyton's 
vie^vs, that they had brought him back to 
his good sense and completely changed his 
mind. I no longer oppose, said he, your union 
with a woman who is worthy of you, simply 
because she is poor, one whom you love so tenderly, 
and who returns your aflection. A wise man has 
said, conthiued Mr. B., that he who has one friend 
is fortunate and ought to be happy. You, my 
son have a true friend in William Peyton — cherish 
him. If I felt that you would be guided by his 
counsel and advice throughout life, I should have 
less regret in giving up the ghost. Promise me 
that you will at least always consult him when in 
trouble. His son was not slow in making this promise, 
and, receiving the blessing of his father,, hastened 
to communicate the happy news to his allianced 

84 Memoir of Williain Madison Pcijton, 

hriJe. They were married soon after. Mr. and Mrs. 
B. survive, surrounded by a numerous offspring, the 
learned Mr. B. an ornament to his profession and 
an honour to his State. The dear friend, Wilham 
Peyton, to whom they owe so much sleeps under 
the green sod, but his memory yet lives and is 
hallowed in the recollection of all those who knew 


Finding, after a farther residence of a year at 
the Hot Springs, that the chinate was not good for 
his health, nor the society congenial to his tastes, he 
made sale of that valuable property to Dr. Samuel 
Goode, of Mecklenburg, receiving from him in part 
payment an extensive landed estate in Botetourt. 
Shortly after he removed to that county, which is 
situated in one of the most favoured agricultural 
sections of Virginia, and m a part of the country 
remarkable for its picturesque scenery, pure air, and 
cultivated society. 

He resided there, with the exception of a few years 
spent on the tributaries of the Kenawha river, 
tlevelopiug the wealth of his coal property almost down 
to the period of his death. He kept a large estab- 
lishment, dispensing a generous hospitality, and was 
surrounded much of the time by the learned and 
accomplished gentlemen of the state. The charms and 
variety of his conversation, and the polite animation 
of his manners and address, made him the delight of 

8G Memoir of IViUiam Madison Peyton. 

his guests and companions. In the county society of 
liotetourt and Koanoke, he soon became the chief 
o])ject. All paid him that deference and respect 
which seemed due to his superior nature. Among 
the most noted in this society, all of whom the 
writer remembers to have seen at his dinners, were 
Edward Watts, James L. Woodville, Harry Bowyer, 
Charles Burrell, William Radford, Dr. John B. Taylor, 
Gary Breckenridge, Major Benjamin Howard Peyton, 
Governor Floyd, Hon. ^ William B. Preston, General 
Robert Preston, Charles Beale, George Tayloi-, 
Alexander P. Eskridge, Colonel Edmondson, The 
Right Rev. Mr. Wilmer, Bishop of Georgia, Colonel 
AVm. Lynn Lewis, Major Oliver, Edward Valentine, 
J. R. Anderson, George Shanks, Dr. Griffeth, Thomas 
C. Read, and Mr. Langhorne 

Some of these gentlemen, though residing in the 
adjoining county of Montgomery, were near enough 
to come on occasions of a dinner party. Among his 
guests from a distance, some of them making hhn an 
annual summer visit, were the late Governors of Virginia, 
General Campbell, James McDowell, James P. Preston 
and J. B. Floyd, the Honourables W. C. Rives, 
John M. Botts, Wm. L. Goggin, Wm. Taylor, Alexr. 
Rives, Thomas W. Gilmer, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, 
Messrs. Chas. L. Mosby, William Radford, James E. 
Bruce, Vincent Witcher, Thos. W. Flornoy, Dabney C. 
T. Davis, John Howard, James P. Halcombe, Walter 
Preston, James Lyons, Charles Carter Lee, General 
Brenard Peyton, Randolph Harrison, Colonel A. S. 

Memoir of WilUam Madison Peijton. 87 

Gray, Eevd. Peyton Harrison, all choice spirits. The 
reader already knows what a polished man was Colonel 
Peyton, and will not wonder at the admirahle skill with 
which he played the part of host — a part so difficult to 
sustain. At that early period of my life, when I had a 
seat at his tahle (and he always insisted on my heinj^' 
present on every occasion of a dinner party), I was 
struck and deliglited at the ease with which he dissipated 
the constraint and reserve which usually i)revail durhig 
a formal dinner. lie addressed his guests alternately 
speaking to each concerning those suhjocts upon which 
he could expect a ready answer, and hy a kind of intui- 
tion elicited from each the qualities in which he most 
excelled. Gentlemen sought his society for the pleasure 
and improvement to he derived from his conversation, to 
consult him. upon State or Federal politics, and not to 
"hanquet and drain the l)owl." The scenes at his house 
recalled to my mind Florence and those merchant states- 
men and muniiicent patrons of learning, the Medici.* 

* 111 1453, Constant inojilL' was taken by the Turks. Its walls bad 
sustained the fortuiifs of tlu; Eastern Eiiqiiro nearly 1000 years; tliat 
Eiupiro now fell. The news of this event si)read terror tliroughout 
]<]uru].p, novertlieless it proved to Le aiuoiifi^ tlic things wliieli "work 
together for good to them that love God." All that could cscaj-e, 
tied before the conquering Ottomans, and carried westward all they 
eould save of the aeeuinulated treasure of Grce^ct>; and the outcast were 
gladly received at Flonnee, which was at that time the resort of all 
who had a taste for learning ami the arts. Cosmo de Medici, who had 
no hereditary nobility to boast, had risen to the liighist jtlaee of 
authority in the State ; his family had commercial estalilisliments in all 
the chief^cities of Eurojie, and tlie wealth thus acquired he shared \vitli 
the poorest of his fellow citi/.eiis, and exixnded in improvhig his city, 
supporting learned men, and collecting all kinds of literary treasures; 
largo numbers of persons wi-re engaged in the costly and tedious 
labour of tanscribing MSS, which ^y^tr^• so highly valued that a eo])y 
of Livy, sent by Cosmo to the King of Najjles, was the means of 
healing a breach between them. 

88 Memoir of William Madison Peyton, 

Had the condition of the country cadmitted of it, 
his home would liave been surrounded by the learned, 
as was the Tuscan Capital when the Turks scattered 
the wise men of the Lower Empire, who took refuge 
thither, yet he was not a pedant, but what our 
fathers used to call an elegant scholar. His company 
and manner of life recalled to mind the life of Lord 
Falkland, of whom Clarendon thus speaks, *' His 
house being within little more than ten miles from 
Oxford, he contracted familiarity and friendship with 
the most polite and accurate men of that University, 
who found such an immeuseness of wit, and such a 
solidity of judgment in him, so infinite a fancy, bound 
in by a most logical ratiocination, such a vast 
knowledge, that he was not ignorant in any thing, 
yet such an excessive humility as if he had known 
nothing, that they frequently resorted and dwelt with 
him, as in a college situated in a purer air, so that 
his house was a University in a less volume, 
whither they came, not so much for repose as study, 
and to examine and refine those grosser propensities 
which laziness and consent made current in vulgar 

The universality of his learning, its accuracy, and the 
manner in which he discoursed upon even professional 
topics recalled the lines of Henry : 

Hear him but retisou in divinity, 

And, all-admiring, with an inward wish 

You would d(3sire (he) were made a prelate. 

Hear him debate of commonwealth'ti aft'aiis, 

You would say, — it has been all and all his study. 

List his discourse of war, and you shall hear 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton, 89 

A fearful battle rendered you in music ; 

Turn liiiii to any cause of policy, 

The Gordian L'uot of it lie will unloose 

Faniiliar as Lis garter ; that when he speaks, 

The uir, a chartered libcrthie, is still, 

And tlie luuto wonder lurketh in men's cars, 

To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences. 

Much of the happmess, indeed, of his hfe was 
derived from the companionship of his friends, from 
indulging hi this most grateful tie of human society ; to 
him to have lived Avithout friends, would have been 
not to live. A maxim which cannot he understood 
by those, who, entirely devoid of regard for others, 
have no friends and do not deserve to have any, because 
they only live for and love themselves. 

His mansion was like so many others in Virginia, 
timber-built, and though altogether an extensive edihce 
was composed of many disjointed parts. These 
separate buildings were connected by halls and veran- 
dahs, which gave a picturesque appearance to the 
exterior, while protecting it from the sun, wind, and 
rain. The rooms were spacious and furnished with all 
the riches of the Eastern world,- nor \vas there anything 
in the embellishment of the house, the furniture, or 
articles of vertu like ostentatious display — the arrange- 
ments were such that the idea suggested by the lout 
ensenthle was that of classic grace. It was replete 
with not only every comfort, but, indeed, every luxury, 
and surrounded by park-like grounds, which were 
improved with exquisite taste, and yet so consummate 
was the art by which it was done, that the hand of man 
was unseen, and it appeared l)ut nature's work. 


90 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

Shaded by noble trees and intricate bowers, enamelled 
with flowers and all kmds of herbs and plants, which 
basked in the sunshine of the slopes or bloomed in the 
dark vales, ornamented with water which sparlded in 
the light and glided away with refreshing sound, the 
whole aspect of the scene was enchanting. 

To this house he brought his extensive collection of 
books, paintings, prints, medals, coins, statues, china 
etc.,* and when not surrounded by society or engaged in 
superintending the affairs of his estate, was either occu- 
pied with these objects of art and curiosity or in com- 
posing essays on some moral, philosophical, scientific or 
practical -subject. Some of these on agricultural chem- 
istry and its application to the groAving of crops were 
pubhshed in the "Southern Planter," of Richmond, and 
the "Farmers Register. "f 

In one series he discussed the question of rust in 
wheat, and demonstrated the unsoundness of the popular 
theoiy upon the subject, at the same time putting forth 
his own views to the effect that it was due to an exube- 
rant growth of straw, stimulated by repeated showers 
of rain followed by very warm, weather unmediately 

• This valuable and recherche collection, the costly furniture, heir- 
looms, etc., which suivived the civil war, was burnt with Colonel 
Peyton's mansion, in May, 1870. 

t The latter was edited by the late Edmund Ruffin author of an 
interesting essay on Calcareous Manures, who fired the first shot 
against Fort Sumter, S. C, thus opening the civil war of^l861-65 in the 
U. S. Mr. Ruffin committed suicide in 186.5, when seventy years of age, 
unable to bear up under the subjugation of the south. He thus 
proved that he wanted true magnanimity, for it shows the most exalted 
courage to support the accumulated ills of life without do8i)ondency. 

Memoir of William Madison Feijton. 91 

preceding the time of harvest, a theory which is now 
ahnost universally accepted as correct. Of course, his 
attack on the popular theory was not allowed to pass 
unnoticed and a warm discussion arose in the Register, 
between him and Mr. Jessie Turner, a successful planter 
and agricultural chemist. 

His time was further occupied in a series of kindly 
actions. His wealth was dispensed with an unsparing 
hand. As magistrate for the county, and sitting 
regularly at the Quarter Sessions, he had opportunities 
of Imowiug the business and affairs of the county and thus 
becoming acquainted with many real cases of want. 
These — for his generosity was judicious not indiscriminate 
— he invariably relieved. Honest tradesmen, whose 
operations were restricted by lack of means, were 
assisted by him. He paid the debts of prisoners and 
set them free to labour for the support often of depen- 
dent families, relieved the distress of poor widows and 
orphans, and redressed, whenever an opportunity 
presented, the wrongs of the oppressed. Numberless 
were the quiet obscure distresses he thus succoured. He 
did not merely understand what was good, but 
practised it. 

From these remarks the reader will not be surprised 
to learn that he enjoyed great popularity, and that the 
people of Botetourt were anxious to give form and 
substance to their appreciation of his merits by securing 
his services in the public councils. 

This remote section of Virginia was almost wholly 
without public improvements. There were no navigable 

92 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

streams, no canals, no railways, no macadamized 
turnpike roads. People were virtually imprisoned, 
except during the summer. In winter the roads 
Avere almost impassable, and it was a common thing 
to see the four-horse mail coach floundering in the 
mud, the passepgers walknig in the fields, taking it 
by turns to carry a rail* 

The people of eastern Virginia, whom the beneficent 
author of nature had supplied with many navigable 
streams, and a porous, sandy soil, which drinks up rain, 
leavino^ the roads firm and smooth, were unwilling; 
to vote funds from the State Treasury for constructing 
high ways in the transmountain country. By this 
imgenerous conduct they had kept the western counties 
unimproved for upwards of a century. To break 
down this selfish policy and inaugurate a more 
liberal and generous system of internal improvements, 
had long been the cherished object of the western 
people. They had sent to the legistature, from time to 
to time, their ablest men, hoping to succeed through 
their efforts in securing a system of general state 
improvement out of a common fund, for the common" 
good. Among the able men, Avest of the Blue Ridge, 
Avhom they elected with this vicAV, Avere Robert Y. 
Conrad, James M. Mason, General Briscoe, G. Baldwin, 
Thomas J. Michie, George W. Summers, Robt. Trigg, 
Benjamin Smith, Gov. J. P. Preston, General Samuel 
Blackburne, and J. W. Brokenborough. Their efforts 

*A rifled log or long piece of split timber used as a lever to raise 
tte coach, wheels out of ruts and mud holes. 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 93 

were futile, and many amusing caricatures were 
circulated to mislead the people in Eastern Virginia. 
At one time it was said that the object of 
Western Virginia was to remove the capital from 
Richmond to Staunton, and this rumour contributed 
to band the people of the cast against schemes of 
Avestern improvement. 

The inhabitants of western Virginia were daily becom- 
ing more anxious on the subject, and more determined, if 
possible, to secure such an extension of railroads and 
canals from the east, as would open the markets of 
the sea-board, and of the world, to the products of 
their soil of teeming fertility. Though long defeated 
in their enlightened policy, they were still active and 
sanguine of ultimate success. As indispensable to their 
ends, it was now thought necessary to secure the services 
of their ablest citizens in the General Assembly. With 
this view, the voters of Botetourt, wished to avail 
themselves of the talents and influence of their friend 
and neighbour. Colonel William Madison Peyton. 

Accordingly, during the winter and spring of 1838, he 
received numerously signed requisitions from the prin- 
cipal inhabitants of the county, requesting that he would 
allow them to present him at the forthcoming spring 
election as a candidate for a seat in the House of Dele- 
gates. After much reflection — for he had no taste for 
politics — and the urgent appeals of his friends, he ac- 
ceeded to their wishes and in the month of May, 
proceeded in company with the late Mr. Shanks of 
Fmcastle, to canvass the county. Party spirit ran high. 

94 Memoir of William Madison Peyton 

aud the opposition faction were early in the field with two 
of their best men. Appointments were made for public 
meetings, and at these the rival candidates appeared and 
addressed the masses in what are called "stump 
speeches." It was agreed on all sides that Col. Peyton's 
efforts during this canvass were the finest specimens 
of popular oratory which had been heard in Virginia 
since the days of Henry. His colleague, Mr. Shanks, 
surrendered the rostrum almost entirely to him, and 
everywhere he aroused the utmost enthusiasm, resum- 
ing his seat at the end of each speech in the midst of a 
storm and. diapason of applause. Indeed, to use a 
strong phrase, he made " short work of his opponents," 
who retired from these intellectual contests completely 
discomfited — entirely routed. It is scarcely necessary to 
add, what the reader will already have anticipated, that 
he was returned, with his friend Mr. Shanks, at the head 
of the poll, by what is called in our electioneering lan- 
guage, a triumphant majority. Upon the opening of 
the next session of the (xcneral Assembly, he took his 
seat, and the reader will see with what success he 
advocated the cause of western Virginia as a claimant 
for internal improvements. It may not be uninterest- 
ing to mention that at the same session our venerable 
father occupied a seat in the Upper House as senator for 
Augusta and Eockhridge. For the movement in behalf of 
and against a general system of internal improvements 
was general — the people of. both sections calling from 
retirement their wisest and best men. In this crisis the 
voters of Augusta and Rockbridge urged our father to sur- 


Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 95 

render his office of Public Prosecutor, wliicli he had hekl 
nearly thirty years with so much honour to himself, and so 
much benefit to the public. He did so, reluctantly, and 
was elected senator. For a like reason they sent to the 
House of Delegates at this session, or within the next 
few years, his life-long friend and associate at the bar 
that able jurist and excellent man, Briscoe CI. Baldwin, 
who was some years later elevated to the Supreme 
Court of Appeals of Virginia ; Alexander H. H. Stuart, 
subsequently Secretary of the Interior ; George W. 
Summers, of Kenawha, and others. The people of 
the eastern counties at the same period electing 
their ablest , ^statesmen, such as Kobert E. Scott, 
V. W. Souihall, WilKam Daniel, Oscar M. Crutchfield, 

-' One of the first duties of this assembly was the 
election of a U.S. senator. The conservative party 
presented Mr. W. C. Kives as their candidate. That 
gentleman had served several times in congress, and 
resided abroad four years as Minister Plenipotentiary to 
the Court of the Tuileries. In both positions he 
displayed much skill and abihty. By some of the leaders 
of the Conservative party, he was mentioned as a suit- 
able successor to Martin Van Buren in the Presidency. 
No means, therefore, were likely to be neglected by his 
opponents for his defeat. By preventing his election to 
the senate, the radicals hoped to outtlank him in the 
Presidential contest. Canvassing had proceeded in 
liichmoud with more than the usual animation several 
weeks, yet it was impossible to forecast the result. 

9G Memoir of William Madison Feijton. 

William Peyton was an active friend and supporter 
of Mr. Hives ; tliey belonged, of course, to the same 
party, and he inherited a friendship for him from our 
father, which had been cemented by much personal 
intercourse. Besides, Mr. Rives had placed William 
under obligation , in the following manner. At 
the period, (years before this time), when Mr. Rives 
was appointed by the President, (Jackson,) Minister 
Plenipotentiary to France, he nominated his young 
friend, Peyton, as Secretary of Legation. Private and 
personal reasons induced Peyton to decline the 
appointment, but he always entertained a grateful 
sense of the high distinction conferred upon him. To 
his conscientious conviction, therefore, that the good of 
his party, and in some measure the welfare of his 
county, depended upon Mr. Rives' return, which 
stimulated his zeal, he brought his warm feelings of 
personal friendship to bear in the contest, and spared 
no effort to secure the success of his friend. 

The veteran leaders of the party in the assembly, 
witnessing with admiration his zeal and the success 
with which he laboured, determined in private, the night 
before the election, that his should be the honour of 
nominating Mr. Rives. The position is somewhat similar 
to that in the British Parliament of confiding to the two 
most rising of the younger members of the Government 
party the duty of moving and seconding the address to 
the Sovereign. 

Accordingly, upon the next day, the 14th of February, 
1839, when the House was assembled, and_ Mr. Speaker 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 97 

in the chair, Colonel Peyton rose and made his nominat- 
ing speech. 

It was published in the daily papers and in pamphlet 
form, but the author has not been able to procure a 
copy, notwithstandhig repeated eftbrts to do so through 
correspondence with friends in America. It was consi- 
dered the most eloquent of his parliamentary utterances. 

Mr. Rives' nomination was seconded by Hon. J. S. 
Pendleton, late M.C. for Virginia, who opened his speech 
with a high compliment to Colonel Peyton upon the 
elegant and eloquent manner in which he had presented 
Mr. Rives claims to the Assembly. 

After a warm contest it was found impossible to elect 
Mr. Rives, whose public course had oifended the 
prejudices of certain sections of the party. All eyes 
were then turned to our venerable father, who, having 
made one sacrifice in giving up a lucrative olHce to 
enter the Assembly, was expected to make another by 
going to Washington for six years at his advanced age. 
He, however, feeling his great weight of years, peremp- 
torily declined under any circumstances to allow the 
use of his name. The party then held a conference and 
determined to elect my brother, who had oflended 
nobody, and whose election, had he consented, was 
beyond a doubt. He, too, firmly refused to accept the 
candidature or station, because he was unwilling to 
interpose between his friend Mr. Rives and the object 
of his ambition. No other available candidate being 
within reach, from necessity, and by common consent, 
the election was postponed until the following session. 


98 Memoir of William Madison rcyton. 

Exciting rumours were afloat this winter of a 
serious difficulty between Great Britain and the 
United States on the subject of the Oregon boundary 
line, in fact the sovereignty of the whole territory 
was in dispute. Both Great Britain and Spain had, 
as early as 1789, set up a claim to this extensive region, 
but, as the United States Government considered, on 
vague and unsatisfactory grounds. The American 
Government claimed it by reason of the discoveiy 
and exploration of two distinguished American pioneers, 
Lewis and Clarke. The citizens of the Bepublic 
had so long been accustomed to deem it their own, 
and so many of their children had settled in it under 
this conviction, that no Government would dare 
surrender it without a war. As England refused to 
allow the American claim, there seemed no peaceable 
way out of the difficulty. Hostilities with Mexico 
were also threatening, owing to the revolt of Texas 
and the aid she had received from American citizens. 
The Governors of the ditterent States were apprized 
of the delicate nature of the Government's foreign 
relations, and ordered to organize the State forces, 
with a view to placing in the field, at short notice, 
two invading armies — one to advance on the city of 
Mexico from Vera Cruz and the river Sabine, and 
the other to converge on Quebec from different points 
on our northern frontier. At this juncture. Governor 
Campbell, of Virginia, a distinguished survivor of 
the war of 1812-15, appointed WiUiam Madison 
Peyton to a post on his staff, with the rank of Colonel 

Memoir of IViUiam Madison Fcifton. 99 

of Cavaliy. He informed Colonel Peyton that he 
(lid this with a tliroct view to the impending war 
Avith Great Britain, Mexico, and their allies, and 
])ccause of his perfect conlidcnce in his judgment 
as an adviser, and in his gallantry, which had been 
made conspicuous on more than one occasion since 
iiis encounter with Van Bibber. Colonel Peyton 
immediately accepted the position. 

Durhig this ses^ion of the legislature, the county of 
Botetourt was divided, and a new county formed of that 
portion lying soutli of a line drawn east and west 
through the sul)urbs of tlu' village of New Amsterdau], 
which was called Boanoke. Colonel Peyton's home 
was in the new county. 

To those M'hose attention was directed to the career 
of Colonel l\;yton in the legislature, it was evident from 
his course during this session that he brought into the 
])olitieal arena all his high intellectual qualities, and all 
the grandeur and heroism of his character, lie was 
soon the object of everyone's confidence, it mi'dit 
;!.lmost be said of everyone's veneration. About him he 
carried that })riceless tahsman, tlu^ magic of exalted 
moral character; he was trusted ]>y the members from 
eastern Virginia, confided in by those from the north- 
west, and looked up to by those from the valley and 
south-west, ami is believed to have been more com- 
pletely the conhdant of the whole political secrCts 
connected with the movements of that time than any 
other man. All-worth}-, too, was lie of the trust reposed 
in him! His heai-t was the temi)le of honour, whicli 
nothing selfish or unjust could approach. 

100 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

When it was ascertained that, owing to the division 
of parties, no election of senator could take place 
during this session of the General Assembly, a committee 
was appointed, at the head of Avhich Colonel Peyton was 
placed, to prepare an address on behalf of the conserva- 
tive party to the people of Virginia. This gave rise to 
the following document from his pen, which was Avidely 
circulated throughout the Commonwealth :— 

To THE People of Vihginia.* 

Fellow citizens: — The term of service of one of the 
senators of this State, m the senate of the United 
States, expired on the 4th day of this month. In con- 
templation of this event, the duty devolved u])on the 
})resent General Assembly, under the Constitution, to 
elect his successor, lion. William C. Kives was the 
incumbent, and was put in nomination for re-election ; 
and the undersigned adhered to his support with con- 
stancy and zeal. A struggle, unexampled in the his- 
tory of Virginia, for its duration, and the perthiacity 
with which the advocates of the several candidates 
adhered to them, continued until it Avas believed im- 
possible to make an election; and after consuming 
seven days in fruitless balloting, the order was 
indefinitely postponed. 

As it is determined by all parties, that this subject 
shall not be disturbed during the jjresent session, the 
duty of supplying the vacancy will devolve ui)on the 
next General Assembly, and thus, in an especial manner, 
it is necessarily and directly referred to the people. 
Under these circumstances it seems to us, that propriet}' 
dictates a full and candid exposition of the motives 

* This addi-ess and all tlie speeches and published letters of Colonel 
Peyton, engrafted in this work, are in th(! library of the British Museum, 
as they originally appeared in Kichuiond. 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 101 

and feelings which have hifhienced us^ during the late 
exciting contest, and which will govern our future 
course. Whilu we did not desire to avoid that share of 
the responsibility of making the election, which rested 
u|jon us as a constituent portion of the legislature upon 
which that duty devolves, we at the same time wish to 
be distinctly understood, as not in the least deprecating 
that ap})cal to the sovereign authority of the popular 
will which has been produced by the extraordinary 
state of parties and opinions in the legislature. 
Indeed, the oidy source of regret on that score is, that 
this appeal cannot be made more absolute and com])lete. 
The House of Delegates, where the re-election of ^Ir. 
fJives Avas repeatedly sustained by a decided pluralil}', 
is subjected to the ordeal of the poi)ular suttrage every 
year, whereas the Senate is only renewed every four 
years, and three-fourths of that body, by its organiza- 
tion are removed for the present, iVum responsibility 
I'or an)- disn-gard of the popular will, which they may 
have committed in the Senatorial election. That those 
Conservatives Avho were members of the Senate had 
no disposition to abuse that imnumity, is suiHciently 
evinced by the iact that when it was proposed, in an 
early stage of the contest, to p(jstpone the election, 
indefuiitel}', an amendment was moved and \o\vd lur 
by them, annexing as a condition, that each Senator 
should resign at the end oi" the, session, and thus put 
it hi the power of the peo}>le to elect a J.egislatiu'e 
which would full}' reilect their wishes. Ilnd this 
obtained, there would, in that event, have l)een no 
danger that the action of the representatives " fresh 
from the peoi)le " Avould l)e ''check-mated" Ijy a body 
removed measin'al)ly from their control and who might 
safely bid dehance to their wishes. 'Jhis })roposition, 
however, was voted down, and even by some of those 
Avho most streuuously urged the propriety and dvity of 
Avaiting for '' new lights from the ])eople," before 

102 Memoir of William ^Ladison Peijton. 

venturing to perform the high and responsible duty of 
ek'cting a Senator. 

We do not mean to indulge any complaint that 
the election has been postponed. Some of us at last 
voted for it, from a conviction that it had been demon- 
strated that the legislature was so constituted as to 
render it impossible for a majority to agree upon 
any individual. Claiming for ourselves to have acted 
according to our honest and conscientious convictions 
of duty, in refusing to be accessory directly or 
hidirectly, to the defeat of Mr. Hives, we have no 
disposition, even if we had the right to question, and 
do not mean to censure the conduct of any one who 
refused to co-operate with us in supporting him. 
Recognizhig freely and fully our own responsibility 
to our constituents and to public opinion, we refer 
others to the same great tribunals, and leave them 
to justify themselves as they may. 

Our main object in this address is, to present 
to our constituents and to the country our own reasons 
for the course wc have felt it to be our duty to take, 
and we shall await their judgment with the calm 
serenity of conscious rectitude. We have no desiixi 
to abate one jot or tittle of the full weight of responsi- 
bility which we have assumed. It was repeatedly 
in our power, during the progress of the election, by 
abandoning Mr. Hives, and by throwing our votes 
upon John Y. Mason or Chapman Johnson, to have 
elected either one of them. We could not, however, 
reconcile it with our sense of duty to do so, and 
whatever of credit or blame attaches to us we are 
willing and ready to enjoy or suffer it all. It is, 
however, unquestionably true, and we beg it will 
1)0 borne in mind, that the friends of the other 
nominees stand precisely in the same predicament. 
The friends of Mr. Mason could at any moment have 
decided the contest in favour of Mr. Rives or Mr. 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 108 

Johnson, as tlie friends of the latter could at any time 
have decided it by votiii<; for Mr. liiveH or Mr. Mason* 

We acted in this matter with. due deliberation, taking 
every step candidly and dispassionately, and now plead 
our justihcation, and put "ourselves on the country." 
Seeino- that the large body of the Administration party, 
with which we had heretofore acted, were determined to 
withdraw their conlidence from Mr. liives, and willing, 
and even desir(jus to co-operate with them, so far as wi- 
could, withont an abandonment (jf principle and duty, 
we anxiously sought t(; know upon what grounds thos(! 
professing the principles of the llepubliean party, and 
determined to sustain the character of this 'Ancient 
Connnonwcalth ' could aid in surrendering up our 
distinguished Senator, as a victim to be sacrificed on 
what was called hi debate the altar of tlie bloody 
]\Ioloch of party. But wc appealed in vain — no act 
could be instanced which forfeited his claims to ilepub- 
lican orthodoxy. We very soon became convinced that 
no just reason existed for the fury and rancour with 
which he was assailed by the " sink or swnn " oracles 
of the Administration party on the one hand, or by the 
intolerant leaders of the Impracticable squad that 
attacked him from the opposite cpuirter. 

It will be r(>collected that scarcely three years have 
elapsed since Mr. Rives was recalled to the Senate of 
the United States, by that party in the Legislature and 
out of it, who are now so industriously plotting his 
downfall. We would respc^ctfulJy ask them, what just 
expectation has he not fullilled ? What princi})le, that 
he ever professed, has he deserted ? What pledge, 
expressed or implied, has he violated ? Not one, no, 
not one. He has not failed to -represent the opinions 

* It will not be iknicd, tliat if those immbtrs of the legislature, who 
were t'ithir eli'cted on iiccouiit of their declared preference of Mr. li., 
or under distijict pledges to sustain him, hud redeemed the expecta- 
tions llnis created, the election must have been ])iomptly decided in 
his favour. 

104 Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 

of Virginia in a single particular, and no man in the 
Senate of the United States has been more diligent, 
prompt, energetic, able, and intrepid in defending the 
principles, maintaining the interests, and asserting the 
rights of the people of Virginia. It is, indeed, suspected 
that in his zeal for the comity he has not been 
sufficiently mindful of the interests of his party. It is 
thought, that in resisting the behests of the Executive, 
he has been more devoted to the duties he owes to his 
constituents, the people of Virginia, than to promothig 
the triumph and adding to the power and importance 
of the President. " The head and front of his oliending 
hath this extent, no more." Many of those, who, witli 
Pharisaical humihty, claimed to be tlie especial repre- 
sentatives of the Eepublican party in the Legislature, 
declared that they did not oppose the re-election of 
Mr. Rives in consequence of his difference of opinion 
with them and the President on the leading measure of 
the Administration, the Sub-Treasury expedient. Indeed 
it has been announced, ex cathedra, by the organ of the 
"sink or swim" party, in Virginia, that Mr. Hives 
would have received the united support of that party, 
notwithstanding his hostility to the course of Adminis- 
tration on the subject of the finances, provided they 
could have been satisfied he would have supported the 
Administration in all other things. 

Whether such a pledge, under any circumstances, 
would have been consistent with the character of a 
Virginian senator, and proper to be required by the 
Legislature, or any part of it, as the conclition of their 
support, we will refer to the judgment of the Public. 
We are confident that no man, properly imbued with the 
spirit of freedom, or duly impressed with the sacred 
duties, and solemn responsibilities of a representative 
of the sovereign state of Virghiia, in the senate of the 
United States, would ever require such a pledge, or 
justify any man aspiring to that station, in making it. 

j\It'>noir of Wmiani Madison Veiiton. 105 

We trust that tlie Senate of the United States -will 
never be humbled into the condition of a mere political 
junto to register the edicts of the President, and instead 
of being, as it was designed by its organization, tlio 
guardian of the rights of the States in their sovereign 
capacity, degraded into a mere privy council of the 
Executive, acquiescing in his demands with the humble 
submission of an eastern Divan to the orders of an 
Asiatic despot. We are satisiied that many of those 
who raised the objection we are now considering, would 
revolt at tlie hnputation that they wished or demanded 
any such humiliating debasement ; and yet the avowals 
of what would have been sufficient to have secured 
their support and the known spu'it of the opposition to 
Mr. Rives, inevitably lead to such degradation of the 
Senate. No declaration of principle was re(piired of 
him. His opinions, in regard to all the great (questions 
of constitutional construction and practical expedicaicy, 
had been long known and approved by the llepublican 
party of Virginia. 

It may be well to add, as an instructive fact in the 
history of the late contest, that these same self-styled 
SiinoiL Fares of ^Democracy, who pride themselves in 
nursing their wrath against the United States Bank, 
publicly proclaim, that the Sub-Treasury is a question 
of minor hnportance, and the great issue presented to 
the country is Bank or no Bank — that the former is a 
question of expediencyj only, while the latter involves a 
constitutional ])rinci})le of the utmost magnitude and 
importance. With these professions constantly upon 
their lips, it is impossible we can close our eyes to tlij 
glaring inconsistency in which their conduct involves 
them. Numerous and conclusive proofs might ho 
adduced to show, that those avIio, like ourselves, utterly 
repudiate a National Bank, as both unconstitutional and 
inexpcidient, but who are inimical to the Sul)-Tr(!asury, 
are viewed by the friends of tlu', latter measure with 

lOG Memoir of WiUiam jlladison Peijton 

infinitely greater suspicion and distrust than the open 
and avowed advocates of a ]>ank of the United States ; 
l)ut there are one or two so directly connected with the 
subject of this address, that we cannot omit inviting 
your particular attention to them. The uniform hos- 
tility of Mr. Rives to the incorporation of a National 
Bank, at all times and under all circumstances, is so 
universally known to the people of Virginia, that no 
man has ventured to express a doubt upon the subject ; 
and yet m the late Senatorial election, a portion of the 
friends of the Administration in the House of Delegates, 
including two of the most distingmished members of 
that party, recorded their votes for Mr. Chapman 
Johnson — a gentleman, it is true, of eminent talents, 
and great private worth, but the known and decided 
advocate of the re-charter of the U. S. Bank, and who 
has ditfered with the present and late Administrations 
upon almost every question of principle or expediency, 
whether practical or theoretical. It is equally notorious 
that a large portion of these straight-laced la-puldicans, 
did at one time meditate bringing forward, and openly 
avowed their readiness to sustain, in preference to 
Mr. Hives, the President of the Court of Appeals, with 
all the sins of the Bank, and internal improvements by 
the general Government, unexpiated and unatoned for, 
<'xcept by the support of the present iinancial scheme 
of Mr. Van Buren. And that, when the Van Buren 
Convention assembled, containing as it did, a "large 
infusion" of representative purity, "fresh from the 
people," they unanimously, with cliaracteristic consis- 
tency, called this same disthiguished gentleman to 
preside over the deliberations of this newly-christened 
"Democratic liepul)hcan States Bight" party. These 
exanipk^s arc sufticient to show how little confidence 
can be reposed in the professions of a disposition on 
tlie part of the supporters of the Sub-Treasury, to treat 
that question as one of subordinate importance to the 

Memoir of JViUiam. Madison reijton. 


Bank question, or to regard a difference of opinion witli 
them, on that subject, as lurnisliing no suiiicient ^(round 
for withholding from its opponents their countenance 
and support. Jiut it is idle to reason upon this hubject, 
when there are none so blind as not to see the plain 
and palpable proofs which are every day prrsouted to 
us, of the settled and ddiltcrate pur})ose of the friends 
of this measure to make it the test of political orthodoxy 
[Sec Note A.] 

The opinion is becoming almost universal, that thero 
is no necessity for the establishment of a National Jiank 
to regulate thi; (auTcncy or administer the huan(;es of 
the country. The system of internal improvements 
by the general (lovernment, seems by common consent, 
to be abandoned, and the controversy about the taritl' 
for protuctiou has bce]i, it is hoped, terminated by 
the celebrated Compromise Act of 18;]3. Slu)uld_ any 
of these measures be at any time unfortunately revived, 
we have the most abundant guarantees for his future; 
course in regard to them, in the uniform coincidenc(3 of 
opinion in past times, between Mr. Rives and the people 
of Virginia, and in his zealous and harmonious co- 
operation with th(!m in opposing these unconstitutional 
and dangerous stretches of power. Indeed, ^ve may 
bcddly challenge the opponents of Mr. Hives, of what- 
ever hue and shade of political complexion, to point out 
one single prominent measure of (i(jvernment, on whicli 
he was rctpiired to act at any time since he came iuto 
public life, in which, as a representative, he has nt)t 
faithfully reflected the public sentiment of the Stat(.', 
and discharged his duty to the satisfaction of the 
Hepublicans (jf Virgiuia. In respect to no measure, 
has he nuu'c unquestionably been a faithful representa- 
tive of the opinions and interests of his own State, than 
ui)on what was teruKnl by the Republicans, m 1834, 
'• that odious Federal conception," the Sub-Treasury 
scheme. lie has, witii unllinching steadiness and 

108 Memoir of WHllaiii Madison Pajton. 

imclannted firmness, resisted the thrice-repeated at- 
tempt to enhxrge executive power and put into the 
liands of the President the means of corruption, dis- 
closed in a manner calcuhited to alarm the Ilepublicans 
of the old Dommion, and " indicating a hostility to 
State institutions, which augured badly for the rights 
of the States." In this he has considerably and steadily 
" walked in the footsteps of the illustrious predecessor " 
of Mr. Van Buren, and maintaiiied the position which 
in common with the whole Republican party, and 
indeed in common with almost the entire body of the 
Opposition party, he occupied in 1885. [^See Note B.] 

For what, then, is he to be immolated ? Is it because 
he has been faithful to his principles, or not sufliciently 
submissive to party ? Is it because his i)olitical 
morality is not sufficiently elastic, to enable him to 
turn a somersault at the word of command '? Is it that 
he prefers the service and api)robation of this good old 
Commonwealth, to all the rank and station which power 
can bestow, and will not " bend the pregnant Ihnges of 
the knee, that thrift may follow fawnhig"? Or is it 
that, like Aristides, he is to be ostracised for his very 
virtues ? There are some, probably, who feel that the 
daily beauty and integrity of his life and conversation 
make them ugly, and who like the hump-backed tyrant, 
view him as a "spider in their path, and would have it 
crushed." He gloried in the proud character of a Vir- 
ginian senator, conscious that he was honestly and truly 
discharging the responsible duties of his station, and he 
manfully scorned to make phnlges calculated to destroy 
the moral force of his opposition to measures which he 
deemed revolutionary, disorganizing and demoralizing, 
and fraught with the most pernicious consequences to 
the prosperity of the country. We see those calling 
themselves Ilepublicans, although they approve the 
Sub-Treasury, avowing their readhiess to give him their 
support, if he would give assurances for future party 

Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 109 

devotion to the administration — wlien the humiliatino: 

and ahnost disgusting spectacle is exhibited, of men 
who agree witli him in condemning the Sub-Treasury as 
I)ernicious and who have been cheering him on in 
opposing it, yet demanding liis expulsion from the 
senate with all the violence of "tone to hatred turned," 
only because he will not pledge himself to sustain the 
future acts of the administration, and promise hi advance 
to " sink or swim" with Martin Van Buren; when we find 
the ultra-partisans of the Whig party requiring proofs of 
liis party devotion to the interests of the opposition, as 
the condition of their support ; when we see all these 
things, are we not fully justified in asserting that the 
great question, the vital principle, involved in this contest 
is, whether the Senate of the United States should be 
reduced to a mere instrument to accomplish the purposes 
and execute the will of the Executive of whatever party 
may be in the ascendant? He so regarded it. And 
so viewing it, the contest swelled immensely beyond a 
question of preference for William C. liives for his 
superior talents and political orthodoxy ; it became of 
infinitely more consequence than the defeat of the Sub- 
Treasury project, destructive as we believe that measure 
to be in a political, economical and linancial view. It 
became a great question of political ethics, reaching to 
the foundations of the edifice of civil liberty. It 
involves the stability of the pillars on which our 
Republican institutions rest. Let it be once established 
as the recognised and cardinal canon of party fidelity, 
that no politician shall opi)ose the will of. his partizan 
chief, or stubbornly refuse to accompany his opposition 
with professions of future support, and continued 
allegiance, without being shot for desertion, or branded 
with ignominy as an apostate, and it is obvious, that all 
political responsibility of the President is at an end, and 
every barrier to the possession of absolute power is 
thrown down. Representative independence and fidehty 

110 Memoir of Willhun Madison Peyton. 

to the people are converted into treason to the Executive, 
and although the externals of a Eepublican Government 
may, for awhile, be preserved, we shall have established 
in substance, an elective despotism hi its worst form. 
The President, from being a servant of the people, and 
subject, through their organized agents, to constant con- 
trol and restraint, will have become an irresponsible 
monarch. The Representatives of the State and of 
the people deserting the high function and duty of 
''eternal vigilance" upon his conduct, will be bound, at 
the hazard of being exposed to the most unsparing 
reprobation, as deserters and apostates, to become his 
apologists and flatterers, aiding and abetting him in 
each new encroachment upon the constitution or out- 
rage upon the principles of free governments. As 
Republicans — as Freemen — as Virginians, we renounce 
and repudiate all such servility. As Representatives, 
we felt that we would have betrayed tlie trust conlided 
to us, if we could have consented to aid in any act 
which would have sanctioned it. — \_See Note C] 

Why should a Senator of Virginia be desired to give 
any opinion, or express any preference as to who ought 
to be elected President of the United States two years 
hence ? AVhat has he to do in his character of Senator 
with the election of President ? Nothing — emphati- 
cally nothhig. As an individual citizen he may give 
his own suffrage as every other citizen gives his, for 
that individual whose election, under all the circum- 
stances, will be most likely to advance the prosperity of 
the country : no matter who is elected, the Senator, if 
he be honest and independent, will sustain the 
measures and recommendations of the l^resident, so far 
as they are, in his judgment, consonant to the interests 
and honour of the country, and the principles of the 
State he represents. 

The seductive influences and corrupting tendencies of 
an overgrown and constantly increasing Executive 

Memoir of irUUam Madison Peyton. Ill 

patronage, are Builiciently potent in subdiiing the 
spirit and weakening the intlepcndenee and lidehty of 
the representatives of tlie States and tlie people. Let 
us take care how we do anytliing to require them to 
manifest an obsequious and deferential submission to 
the Executive will, as the only passport to popular 
favour. We believe that, under the circumstances 
of the case, the refusal of Virginia to sustain Mr. iiives 
in his present position would go far, very far, to infiise 
such a spirit amongst the representatives of the people. 
The State of Virginia has ever exerted a powerful moral 
inlluence in the admimistration of the affairs of the 
general Government. It has ever been her boast that 
she adhered to certain great princi})les, and sustained 
her pul)lic men so long as ihvy were hiithfal to those 
principles, no nuitter from ^vhat quarter they were 
assailed. The time has never been, wlaai, in the 
patriotic and ehxpient language of Mr. Hives, she 
did not expect her I'cpresentatives to remend>er *' that 
thcij ]tatl a aiuntrij to serve as ivcH as a partij to nheii." 

It was, we believe, from a conviction that the great 
Conservative principle of representative lidehty and 
independence was about behig cloven down, and 
that a servile spirit of undeviating accpiiesec^nci! in the 
opini(ms and wishes of party leaders, \vould be fostered, 
by permitting Mr. Hives to fall a viethn to the furious 
aiul vhidictive resentnuuit of remorsehiss partisans, that 
induced many of the most induentiaT of the Whig party 
hi the Legislature to prefer liis election to that of any 
mail in the Commonwealtli. It was the sauio persua- 
sion, strengthened by the disclosures of the feeling of 
l)eculiar zeal and anxiety exhibited by the Sub-Treasury 
d(>m()crats, to defeat him, and even to i)refer any one 
(Wliig or Tory) to him, that fmally reconciled almost 
the entire body of the Whig party to imite with us in 
endeavouring to re-elect Mr. Hives. With the course of 
the fragment of that party who refused to co-operate 

112 Memoir of Willidm Madison Pajton. 

with the rest of their brethren, and thus prevented his 
election, we have nothing to do. We shall not even 
impute to them the responsibilitu of defeating the election, 
ho^vever justified we might be by a portion of that squad 
who, with remarkable iiiodestij, have made a similar 
charge against the Conservatives. 

The support thus given by the Whig party to Mr. 
Rives, aftbrds honourable testimony, that many of them 
were willing to forego a mere party triumj)h in the 
support of so important a principle as Senatorial 
independence. And why should we or Mr. Rives 
have any repugnance to such aid from the Whigs? 
For ourselves, we avow our willingness to derive 
support from any quarter, in checking the extravagant 
and pernicious measures of any party, in restraining 
its excesses, preventing the abuses which it may run 
into, and preserving the ancient and approved principles 
of the Republican party from being overwhelmed by 
the wild spirit of rash innovation, and the mad 
projects of radicalism and agrarianism. 

AVho are these AVhigs, \^See Note B.] that contam- 
mate by their support and assistance? They are 
our fellow-citizens, comprising nearly one half of 
the population of the State, and embracing a 
full proportion of its virtue, intelligence and patriotism. 
It is true, that they, like their rival contemporaries, 
the Democrats, have in their ranks numbers of every 
variety of complexion, from the rankest nullitier, and 
Ultra State Rights men, down to the most uniform 
and consistent consolidationists. If every man were 
obsthiately to refuse to support for public office only 
those who agreed with him in every opinion, it is 
obvious that no public man ever could be elected, and 
no popular Government ever could exist. AVe have 
already shown that there was a great political prin- 
cipal involved in the re-election of ^Ir. Rives, which 
appealed with irresistible force to those Whigs who 

Memoir of WiUiain Madison l\'ijton. 113 

had been accustomed to denounce the i\dinmistratiou 
party for its })roscriptive si)int and for the blind and 
submissive devotion it Avas charged with exacting 
from its members. Uesidcs the issue really was 
between j\Ir. Uives and a Sub-Treasury democrat, 
and it is amazing how any Whig really sincere in his 
professions of opposition to the hnancial sclusmes ot 
the Executive could hesitate to sustain the most 
zealous, the most able, and the most ellicient op])onent 
of that system. Indeed, we believe that there is but 
a moiety of the " forlorn hope " of fourteen, A\dio are 
opposed to the Sub-Treasury principle. 

The great body of the Whig party, therefore, as Avell 
as the Conservatives, had sulhcient and manliest reasons 
of public duty, and obvious considerations of high 
political principle, to unite them in sustaining the 
election ot J\Ir. Kives. We think every true patriot, 
every real republican, in fact as well as in name, had 
presented to him the most cogent reasons for doing so. 
The imputation, therefore, of a coalition between the 
AVhigs and Conservative republicans, is as ridiculous 
as it is known to be false in fact. We wooed and 
courted no party. We made no stipulations. AVe 
entered into no arrangements or political combhiations. 
We sought for no ])le(lges of support, either from Sub- 
Treasury men or AVhigs. AVe presented our candidate 
as he was, an hide})endent, manly, devoted and able 
representative of the principles of the State, and then 
actually dohig battle in their defence, Avith the chival- 
rous spirit and gallant bearing which became a A'irgin- 
ian senator. AVe called u])on every Virginian, no 
matter wdiat might be his l>arty, or what had been his 
political associations, as he valued the ancient and 
proud character of his State — as he cherished the 
venerable usages of his ancestors — as he desired to 
preserve the institutions of the country from destruc- 
tive innovation — as he wished to control and restrain 

114 Memoir of WiU'uuii MtuUson rcijtoiL. 

the encroachments of Executive supremacy over popular 
will — as he respected the Conservative principles of 
senatorial freedom and representative fidelity, to rally 
to the standard of our virtuous, eloquent and hidei)en- 
dent senator, Wm. C. liives. 

j\Iany, very inan}^, with noble and patriotic alacrity, 
responded to the call. It is, we verily believe, 
because the sentiments and feelings of the people of 
A'irghiia were not truly reflected in the Legislature, 
that there were not more who had ears to hear the 
call and voices to auswer it. 

To you fellow-citizens the appeal must now be 
made. We have too much abiding ccuhdence in the 
steady adherence to principle, and the noble spiiit of 
freedom which animates the people of the (jld 
Dominion, to have the least apprehension as to the 
manner in which the appeal will be answered. The 
recollection is too recent of the generous enthusiasm 
with which you can^e to the rescue, and restored to 
the councils of the country this distinguished citi'/en 
of genius, eloquence, and virtue you are so justly 
proud, to permit the least fear that you will abandon 
him. On that occasion, he was driven from your 
service because he was mahitaining, as you thought, 
}^our principles, and faithfully representing your 
wishes. NoiL\ the proofs are positive and irresistible 
that he is standing upon the ancient and approved 
principles of the Uepublicans of Virginia, guarding 
the public domain from profligate waste, endeavouring 
to rescue the Treasury from the control of the 
f^xecutive, and i)lace it under the dominion of the 
law. Detecting and ex])osing the first approaches 
towards a meretricious and illicit intercourse between 
the Administration and the Bank of the United States, 
and endc;avoui-ing to restrict Executive patronage, 
and prevent the corrupting tendencies of its im})roper 
exercise, and, in a word, fearlessly sustahdng all those 

Memoir of IVilUam. Madison Peyton. 115 

measures and principles which, under the administration 
of Jefterson and Madison, constituted the cardinal 
doctrines of the Ue[)ublican creed. Can you be 
expected to discard him from your service, to place in 
his stead some complaisant supporter of the Adiiiinlstra- 
tion^ who will perchance aid in fastening the odious 
Sub-Treasury ujjou the country, who will leave the 
public money "n the hands of the subordinates of the 
Treasury, and will see millifjns of it lost in fraud and 
peculation, permitted by the gross and cul])able neglect 
or incompetency of the heads of the Trefisury and its 
bureaus, with calm composure and unruliled d(;votion 
to the Executive? Whatever may have been and 
still may be your prcdilictions for the Administration, 
your support is that which liberal and generous 
masters will extend to faithful servants. 

You require of your Kepresentatives a M'^atchful 
supervision over the Executive Administration. And 
Avhen it is demanded of you by the parasites and 
sycophants of the Executive, that you shall expel from 
your service one of your most faithful and vigilant 
sentinels, because he is not sufficently devoted to the 
President to comply Avith all his behests, your sentiment, 
and thrice condemned by the Representatives of the 
})eople. [See Note EP\ He still persists hi it, and it 
has been announced by h'ni oljicial organ, that he mraus 
to "sink or swim" Avith it, and been proclaimed b\ his 
financial organ in the House of ite})resentatives, that 
this condemned and rejected measure; nuist be submit- 
ted to in spite of lamentations in Congress pr elsewhere. 
That this deternunation is entertahied, is still more 
decisively proved by the fact, that everywhere those 
who Avill not abandon their opposition to this measure, 
no matter how clearly in accoi'dance with the o})inions 
of their constituents, are put imdcr the ban of the party, 
and the most gross and offensive assaults made upon 
their sincerity and honou]', and the Avhole i)ower and 

116 Memoir of William DFadison Pcijlon. 

influence of the Executive exerted to witlidr.iw the 
confldence of the })('oi)lc from them. 

Itecent developments shcAV, that the most offensive 
oificial delinquency and defalcation pervade the. public 
departments, and there is too much reason to fear that 
this state of thing's has resulted from great neglect or 
incompetency in those branches of the public service. 
The}' furthermore prove, that there is great reason to 
apprehend that this condition of things has, in many 
instances, proceeded from an improper use of the power 
of removal and abuse of the Executive j)atronage for 
party ends: thus demonstrating the necessity for "that 
reform" which was promised and Avliich is necessary to 
prevent the patronage of the President from being 
brought in conflict Avith the freedom of elections. All 
these things make us pause in the besto^val of our 
cohfldence- in the Admhiistration. We cannot pledge 
ourselves to sink or swim with Martin Van Buren. 
These clouds nnist be cleared away and these abuses 
reformed altogetlier. A\'e are in this. Conservatives. 
We desire to preserve the purity and integrity of the 
Administration of the Government ; and if our democra- 
tic friends require that we should make no complaint, 
demand no reform, relinquish all regard to our i)rinciples 
and to the safety of the country, or else be no longer ol' 
their party, we can part conq)any Avith them, without 
any other regret, than that reply will be, "he has been 
faithful — he is our friend — the friend of the people — 
• the friend of Republican principles— the champion of 
Representative freedom — and the President nuist look 
elsewhere, than in Virginia, for Senators to do his 
bidding — to saeriflce the interests of the people in 
compliance with his wishes, and thus contemn and 
di.sregard the known opinions of their constituents," 

Fellow citizens, AVe constitute that portion of the 
Legislature of Virginia, who have lieen denominated 
conservative Republicans, and we desire the principles 

Memoir of WilUaiu Jlladison Peyton. 


of our public action to bo distinctly understood. We 
wore supporters of General Jackson's electit)n, and in 
most of the leadni^- questions of principle, policy, and 
party action, wliicli occurred durin^^- his time, we 
sustained them and harmonized with the party. We 
sustained the election of Mr. Van liuren, because we 
conlided in liis professions of devotion to the supremacy 
of tlje popular will, and of his hostility to those latitu- 
dinous constructicms of the constitution which the States 
liight licpublican i)arty, of Virginia, had ever condenmed, 
and because, hi general, he was pled^i^^ed to "walk in 
the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor," in en- 
deavourhig to prevent the exercise of doubtful and 
unconstitutional powers by Congress, in limiting and 
diminislung li^xecutive discretion in regard to the 
management and safe keeping of the i)ublic revenue, 
in '' reforming those abuses which brought the patron- 
age of the Executive in conflict with the freedom of 
elections," and maintainhig the usages and principles of 
the licpublican party. In so far as he does, or shall, 
answer these expectations, we will sustain him, but wo 
are ready and determined to oppose him in all acts and 
measures in conflict with these expectations, as tirmly 
and decidedly as if we had never voted for hhn. We 
have not been able to shut our eyes to the fact that he 
has departed from these promises nnuh and widely. 
lie has recommended again and again, a measure 
opposed and den*)unced by the whole Itepublican party 
in 1834 and 1835, as a departure from the practice of 
the Government from 1789 down, condemned by public, 
thc^y, who have always professed to be acting on 
prhicii)le, should have surrendered themselves blindfold, 
and with passive submissi(m, to approve everything, or 
at least to make no complaint, no matter what al)uses 
may be disclosed, what corruption may be proved to 
exist, or what mischief may be perpetrated upon the 
histitutions and liberties of the people. If the whole 

118 Memoir of William Madison reyton. 

creed of the democratic faith is reduced to the single 
article of a determiiiatit)]i to sink or swim with the 
Executive, we no longer hehmg to the congregation. 

Fellow citizens, We adhere to the ancient and 
venerable principles^ as we continue to cherish the 
ancient patronymic appellation of the liebublican ])arty. 
We are Republicans. Wo. need no new title or addition 
to designate our political character, though we have 
no objection to that of Conservatives, which has 
been reproachfully attached to us. Genuine conserva- 
tive principles in this country are conservative of 
the established institutions and long cherished maxims 
of free Government. They arc in perpetual conflict 
with the restless spirit of destructive innovation ^vhich 
seeks protection and sanction under the guise of some 
new and popular name, as Danton, Marat and 1 Robes- 
pierre perpetrated their atrocious crimes and proianities 
in the sacred name of liberty and reason. Conservative 
principles here characterize those who are in favour 
of maintaining the rights of the States, a strict con- 
struction of the constitution of the Federal Government 
and of restricthig and watching with an eye that never 
closes, the approaches of tyranny from tlie enlargement 
of Executive power and jjatronage. These are our 
principles. It is these that constitute us Uepublicans. 
It is not the name, but the conformity of our practice 
to our professions. Men may call themselves 
"Democratic Republicans," or "Democratic States 
Rights Republicans." They may be re-baptized by 
every new convention at the instance of every new 
convert, but if they continue to apologize for abuses, 
to justify usurpations, to approve every contempt of 
popular opinion exibited by the Executive, applaud to 
the very echo, measures subversive of the usages and 
principles of Jefierson and Madison, and of the 
Republican party of 1789 to the present day, and 
proclaim their determination to sink or swim with the 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 119 

President, no matter ^vhat lie has clone or may do, they 
may add title to titk', and addition to addition, until 
their party cofi^nomen is as long as that of a Spanish 
hidalg'o; and after all their real desi^^nation, their aetual 
prineiples and political conduct will be comprehended 
in the sin^-le word, they are suhservatives. 

AVe Avill sink or swim Avitli the ])rinci]^les of the 
Republican party of Virginia; we will siid; or swim 
with the mahitenance of the free prhiei[)les handed 
down to us by our ancestors ; we will sink or swim hi 
the effort to preserve our representatives in congress 
from executive control and dictation, and will sustahi 
them in manfully resisting the mandates of selfish, 
mercenary and imprincipled party leaders and scur- 
rilous partizan editors. 

These are the leading sentiments which have united 
us under the designation of (Conservative lie[)ublicans, 
and we cannot but believe they are the sentiments of the 
great body of the enlightened, virtuous and patriotic 
people of Virginia. 

This address was signed by John T. Andersofi^ of 
Botetourt; Jubniuid Fontaine^ of Hanover; Moses C. 
Goud^ of Ohio Co. ; Joseph II. Sherreinl^ of Frederick ; 
Osear M. Crutchjkid^ oi' *S'poUsyl\'ania; Thomas ShcotLs^ 
of Botetourt and Roanuke; David Barnett^ of ]Mont- 
gomery; Joseph IT. Daois^ of Smyth; William Shands^ of 
l^rince George; Joh/i (yFarrel, of ]\rorgan; George Pari., 
of Hampshire; Natha/tid J'J. \^t/i(d>h\ oi' i*rinee George ; 
Jj(tr. G. ]\(i/u% of Fluvanna; and William Madison 
Pei/ton^ of lioanuke and Botetourt. 

Note A . — Since this address was written, a striking 
illustration of the truth, of this remark has been 
furnished in the proceedings of a convention of friends 
of the Administration in the Frederick coui/ressional 

120 ]\hmui)' of WilUani Madison reijton. 

district which met for the purpose of nominating a 
candidate for congress. Mr. James M. Mason, the late 
memljer, a uniform State Plights liepubhcan, and a 
gentleman of line talents, liad differed with the Admin- 
istration on the Suh-Treasury question ; preferring the 
special deposit plan, which was recommended by Mr. 
Van Buren, as his second choice. Mr. Mason, in a 
letter to one of his Constituents, and in an address to 
the people of his district, both recently published, 
distinctly avowed his preference for Mr. Van Buren over 
any of those who have been spoken of as likely to bo 
his competitors for the next Presidency, and declared 
that, "whether in public or private life," Mr. Van Buren 
should have his support, ^' earncsthj and zealoushi given." 
But this, it seems, was not enough to propitiate the 
convention. Mr. Mason had disagreed in opinion with 
them on the Sub-Treasury question, and that disagree- 
ment could not be cured by pledges of earnest and 
zealous support of Mr. Van Buren. The objection was 
fatal, and Mr. Mason was put aside to make room for a 
Su])-Treasurii democrat, who received the nomination. 
" Off with his head ! So much for Buckingham ! " 

W. M. Peyton. 

Note B.—The Editor of the Enquirer, * in his 
paper of August 18th, 1838, in the exposition of his 
tinancial views, reprints and re- asserts the opinions 
which he expressed in 1834, when the Sub-Treasury 
scheme was first broached, and when he charged Mr. 
Leigh with entertaining sentiments favourable to it. 
The immediate inducement to the expression referred 
to, was a passage in a letter written by Mr. Leigh in 
reply to one addressed by 26 citizens of Richmond. A 
short extract from his very lengthy strictures will be 
sufficient to show his opinions as the organ of the 
Republican party at that day, and to establish their 

* The well luiowu Thomas Ritchie 

M,'iiiolr of W'ilUain Madlsua I'cijlon. Vll 

identity with tliu opijiioiis iii:iiiit;iiii(;(l 1)}' i^Ii*- Hives iiiul 
the Cunservativcs at jjivscnt. 

"A« to the letter of Mr. Ijei,^-li," Ik; says, "it may satisfy 
his twenty-six IVieaids; but it (uirtainly (lt)(!S not satisfy lis. 
The letter which they have called forth, should call 
forth in its turn, unotlua- letter to exi)lahi" the true 
meaning of that passap;e "whicji s])eaks" of divorcing 
all connection with banks, State or h'ederal. ''Do you 
mean (they might sa,y) tha,t the j)ul)Ue money is to be 
left in the hands of the ^Justom-house olhcers, luspini^iJilc 
to tlu! President and removable by him? — If so, is J\Ir. 
Leigh prepared to hicur the irresistable objections urged 
by the globe — and to increase; (in so alarnung a di'gree) 
the patronage, power and inlhieiice of the Executive?" 

Mr. Kitchie was a faithful I'xponent of the sentiments 
of the Hepublican party at that day, and it would seem 
that they were at least oi)posed to a divorce of the 
Government from the State Jianks. 

In his paper four days afterwards, August 2"J, in some 
remarks addressed to two of his correspondents, 
''Attains" and ''Aiiotlwr Ihiiiocrnt," he says, they are 
not probably aware of the extent to which this discus- 
sion on the Sub-Treasury had been caii'ied three years 
before, in 18;U. " They may iiot recollect that then- 
system of Sub-Treasui'ies was advocated 1)y tlie AVliigs 
three years ago, and th;tt tlu; liepublieaus tlien n^sisted 
the proposition. If then we advocate a lieresy ]iow, it 
was the heresy of the llepublicans in 18;]1. If it be our 
thunder now, it was our tliinider, and wliaL is more 
hnportant, Oicir thunder ///<■/,'. * * --^ lie, '\Atlalus," 
forgets that at every era when a National lla-nk came 
into discussion, it was held not to be necessary, because 
the State lianks furnished a sullicient resource. 
Messrs. Madison, Jackson, and Stone suggested their 
use in 1791, Messrs. Burwell, Seybert, 'l\ B. Porter 
and Wright of M., reconnnended tliem hi 1811. They 
all concurred in (he sentiment of ]\[r. Wri'dit, that "the 

1'22 Memoir of WiUuun Madison Pcijtoii. 

State Banks are abiiiulantly sufficient to supply 
every requisition, if the U. S. deposits are made in 
them." Not a word from any of these orators about an 
Independent" Suh-Treasury system! The same ground 
was taken when the second U. S. Bank was put down ; 
and when the debate came on upon the removal of 
the [deposits, the same ground was taken by the 
Republican party, when, also, the substitute of the Sub- 
Treasuries was pressed by Mr. Gordon it received the 
vote of but one Republican member of the House of 
Representatives. * * * The Republican press of that 
day took up Mr. Leigh's speech and denounced the 
scheme of resorting to treasurers, appointed by the 
President, and removable at his will, and having the 
public money in their actual possession, " in their 
pocliets, deshs, tnmhs, and vaults." They contended 
that thej present system of deposits for the public 
money, regulated by la^v, as it will be, is as good for 
safety and the least liable to abuse by the Executive, 
of any which the wit of man can conceive ; and declared 
•" that the power now exerciacd occr the State Banks is only 
such as lias been exercised hij the Administrations of 
Wasliinijton, the Adamses, Jefferson, }[adison and iMonroe, 
but if Congress can be induced to hni)ose upon it new 
and wholesome restrictions, General Jackson will glory 
in it as another of the happy fruits of his harassed, but 
for himself and his country, most fortunate Administra- 
tion." And yet, says Mr. Ritchie, we are to give up 
this system now without any imperious necessity, and 
fly to the system proposed by the Whigs, and opposed 
by the staunchest Republicans in 1831 ! 

AVe will merely add, without comment, a few more 
extracts from the Enquirer, as we are anxious to derive 
the full benefit of its potential influence in this appeal 
to our Republican brethren. 

Memoir of WiUiaiii Madison Pi'ijton. 123 

From the " Enquiker." 

September 8th, 1S37.— Row is it that the great masses 
of the two parties seem to be resi)ectively shifting tlie 
grounds they occupied in '34 — the friends of the 
Administration violently assailed it — most of the . 
Kei)ublicans, with the President at their head, are 
inclined to support it. A better soldier than ourselves 
then gave forth the most serious objections to the 

The public moneys, from the time of their receii)t 
to the time of their disbursement, amounting as they 
often do, to ten or twelve millions of dollars, must 
remain in the hands of individuals appointed lij tlic Presi- 
dent and removahle at Jiis will ! They ought not to be 
kept in their pockets, chests or vaults, ^vllere they can 
approach it every day and use it, without the checks of 
warrants drawn, countersigned, registered and recorded, 
and passing through many hands, without which (that 
is their warrants) not a dollar can now be touched by 
any public officer, not even the President himself." 

We have no desire to see such accumulation of power 
in the hands of the Executive — no wish to put the 
money directly into the palms of his friends and parti- 
zaus. We wish to see the power and patronage of the 
Executive increased as little as possible — the powers of 
the Federal government not enlarged — the purse and 
sword not more strongly miited, than they are in the 
hands of the President, and as few means of corruption 
as possible trusted in his possession. 

From the same. 

September 15th, 1837. — He designates it as "a wild 
and dangerous scheme" establishing two sorts of 
currency — the better for the officers of the government, 
the baser one for the people. 

121 Memoir of William dladison Peijioii 

Odoher SOlh, li'^Sy.—lle says tlic Sub-Treasury will 
enlarge the Executive i)ower, already too great for a 
llepulilie. Ill the same paper, speaking of the special 
de})usit, he says, "such is the compromise we beg leave 
to submit to all the friends of a limited Executive and a 
guarded exchequer. ' ' 

Januarij 20th, 1838. — Speaking of the change made in 
the bill from extra session to the session in December, 
and of the rapid growth of Executive patronage;, which 
would follow the adoption of the measure, he says: "It 
has ■ already expanded from collectors to receivers and 
who shall say that it shall not expand from four 
receivers to 20 or 50. In fact who shall stop the 
augmentation of tax receivers under the Admhiistration 
of some future ambitious President ? The bill increases 
the Executive patronage ]>j the a})pointment of lleceivers 
Generals, Bank Coinmissionaries, and places the i)ublic 
funds more immediately under tlie control of ofhcers 
appointed by and removable by the President." 

In another editorial of tiie 12tli September, (date 
omitted,) alluding to the premium the merchant must 
pay to obtain specie for his duty bonds, he says: " who 
pays all these expenses? The people — for, let the 
merchants, for instance, pay their bonds in specie, they 
will ulthnately receive it in the advances on their goods. 
A tax, then, to all intents and purposes, is laid on the 
people at large, to the amount of the premium on specie, 
and it goes into the pockets of every man who feeds from 
tlie pu):»lic crib." 

Note C. — On the 4tli of May, 1830, a select com- 
mittee, raised at the histance of Hon. Thomas H. 
Benton, on the subject of Executive patronage, of which 
he was chairman, and Mr. Van Bureii with other dis- 
tinguished gentlemen of the Jackson party, were 
members, reported their vic^ws at length to the senate of 
the United States. They rei)resented, with a pencil of 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 125 

light, the inherent tendency of patronage to increase — 
its insidiious approaclies — its seductive and 
resistless intluences, and its over])owering energy, when 
it has once acquired the ascendant. AVe nuist look 
forward, say they, to the time ( that period is now 
arrived) when the public revenue will be doubled; wheu 
the civil and military officers of the Federal Government 
will be quadrupled ; when the inlluence over individuals 
will be multiplied to an indelinite extent; when the 
nomination by the President can carry any man through 
the senate, and his recoinmendalion carrii anij measure 
through the two Houses of Coiujress ; when the principle of 
public action will be open and avowed, the President 
icants mij vote and / icant his patronage. I will vote as he' 
wishes and he will give me the office I wish for, AVhat 
will this be but the government of one man ? And what 
is the government of one man but a monarchy ? Names 
are nothing. The nature of a thing is in its substance, 
and the name soon accommodates itself to the substance. 
The first Roman Emperor was styled "Emperor of the 
Republic," and the last French Emperor took the same 
title, and their respective countries were just as essen- 
tially monarchical before as after the assumption of 
them. It cannot be denied or disseml)led, that the 
Federal Government gravitates to the same point, and 
that the election of the executive by the Legislature 
quickens the impulsion. "Those who make the Presi- 
dent, must support him. Their political fate becomes 
identified, and they nnist stand or fall together. Right 
or wrong they must sujiport him." 

What would the authors of these"' truly jiatriotic and 
Republican sentiments have thought "of that political 
servility which openly and unblushingly inculcates a 
" sink or swim" policy ? How would these slavish 
doctrines square with tlieir Republicanism, as laid down 
in this report ? If Colonel Bi'nton and Mr. Van Buren 
wore sincere and honest in this solemn expression of 

126 Memoir of Williain Madiso)i Peyton. 

their sentiments, they woiikl be compelled by their 
principles, to repudiate, with as much scorn and 
indignation as any Conservative, this degrading 
oath of fealty to a party chief, this miscrupiilous 
endorsement in advance of ojjinions and conduct 
which cannot be foreseen or anticipated, this odious 
and unmanly submission to the capricious and des- 
potic exactions of party. If sincere, their patriotic 
apprehensions for the perpetuity of our institutions 
would have been greatly excited and they would have 
made the very walls of the capitol tremble with 
the thunder of their denunciations. They would 
have told us that the prophecy and its fuliilment Avere 
contemporaneous ; that our Government was a mon- 
archy now. Is there nothing at this day to make us 
fear that our Government gravitates to monarchy ? If 
the recommendations of tlie President can carry this 
Sub-Treasury measure through the two Houses of 
Congress, stamped as it has becsn by the reprobation of 
almost all men of all parties, throughout our extensive 
dominion, and receiving especially the almost unani- 
mous reprobation of that party now advocating it, what 
cannot the President do, under this vassal doctrine of 
blind and indiscriminate support? 

Note 7). — When Mr. Ptoane was elected to the U. 
States senate, the vote in the House of Delegates, so far 
as the Whig party was concerned, was for Roane 24, 
against him and for Judge Daniel 1(3, with some few 
scattering. In the senate;, for Pioane 5 Whigs, against 
hhn 2. So that he received the votes of 29, and his 
competitor those of 18 only. Without the Whigs, Mr. 
Ptoane would not, and could not, possibly have been 
elected. [Note to Ulr. rendleton's speech']. 

At the dinner which was given to Mr. Rives in the 
City of Richmond, after the close of the session of 
Congress, and very shortly after the election of Mr. 

Mt'iitoir of ]V(l Until Madison Peyton. 127 

Roane, Mr. Rives in responding to a complimentary 
toast, took occasion to vindicate the principles of that 
cnrrency hill, which is now so much the suhject of 
obloquy among those very gentlemen who, at the time, 
were paying the homage of heart-felt gratitude for 
his distinguished services, and lavishing the most 
extravagant encomiums upon his republican virtues. 
Not a discordant note in this numerous assemblage, 
disturbed the harmonious greeting and joyous gratula- 
tions which animated them. It also becomes worthy 
of remark on this occasion, as Mr. Rives is assailed and 
condemned by many of Mr. Roane's political friends for 
not repudiating the aid of the Whigs in the late 
senatorial election, that Mr. Roane, who, it seems, was 
obnoxious, in the estimation of some, to a similar 
objection, in the course of a speech which he made at 
the same dinner, with a correctness of judgment and 
feeling, alike creditable to his head and his heart, 
repelled this new idea of contamination in Whig 
support. Among many other just and forcible remarks, 
he said, " Let us never forget that our adversaries are 
'bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,' that they are 
our friends, our neighbours and our countrymen." To 
those who press this objection to I\Ir. Rives, we would 
commend the old adage, "ye who live hi glass houses 
should not tJinno stones (it ijonr neujiihuurs windows. 

Note E. — The ofticial organ of General Jackson (the 
Globe) in 1835, shortly after the Sub-Treasury scheme 
was broached, and when it was alone countenanced by 
a few ultra whigs, assailed it in the most violent terms, 
as a measure fraught with mischief, and threatening our 
liberties. It asserted '* that it would enlarge Executive 
power by putting in its hands the means of corruption." 
"That it would transfer the money directly into the 
palms of Executive agents, the friends and partizans of 
the President, instead of its being kept on deposit in 

128 Memoir of JVillicDii j}riuUson Peijton. 

banks, whence it could not be drawn for other tlian 
pubhc purposes, without certain detection, and thus 
exposing it to be phnidered by a liimdrt'd hands, where 
ONC cannot '/fon,' reach it. ''Sal teinpora luuldutar et nos 
mutamur in ill is." 

"Men change witli fortune, nianners change willi clinics, 
Tenets witli books, and principles with times." 

W. M. Peyton. 

On the reassembhng of the LegisLature, Mr. Rives 
was elected and took his seat in Congress. On the 14th 
of the following January, he delivered his able speech on 
the Fiscal arrangements of the Government with the 
United States Bank, and reviewing the annual report of 
the Secretary of the Treasury. 


Yielding to numerous and urgent importunities, 
Colonel Peyton consented to become a candidate, the 
following Spring of I808, for the House of Delegates 
for Roanoke and Botetourt, and was elected without 
opposition. At this time he did not seek for, nor 
despise, honours. Shortly after the meeting of the 
Legislature, the subject of mternal improvements 
came up for consideration. On all sides the question 
excited the liveliest interest. The delegates for 
Eastern Virginia were as hostile as formerly to a general 
tax for what they sophistically termed local improve- 
ments, and under the leadership of Messrs. Yerby, 
Edmunds, Venable, and others, marshalled their forces in 
a solid phalanx. On the other hand the western dele- 
gates were equally determined to carry their point, and 
were led by the young and eloquent delegates for 
Roanoke and Botetourt, Augusta, Montgomery, and 
Kenawah,— Peyton, A. li. H. Stuart, AV. B. Preston, 
and George W. Summers. 

To understand this question it should be remarked, 


130 Memoir of IVlUiam Madison Peyton. 

that the Vh-ginia of I808 extended from the Atlantic 
to tlie Ohio, a length af 425 miles, and north and south 
from Pennsylvania to Koi'th Carolina and Tennessee, a 
distance of about 210 miles. Its area was 61,552 
square miles, being considerably more than that of 
England. With the cxce])tion of Pennsylvania, 
Virgmia was the only State ^vliich extended across the 
great Appalachian chain. The State was traversed from 
north to south by several other well-defined mountain 
ranges, among them the Blue-ridge and the North moun- 
tain, which is an extension of the Kittatirmy mountain of 
Pennsylvania. These mountains are pierced by numer- 
ous rivers, some flowing east to the Atlantic and others 
west, emptyhig into the Ohio and Gulf of Mexico. 
The principal rivers Avhich rise in the gi-eat valley 
between the Blue-rid«re and AUefrhanies, and find 
their way to the Atlantic, are the Potomac, the James, 
and the Staunton; and those which rise east of the 
lUue-ridge and run in the same general direction, are the 
Kappahannock, which is navigable 110 miles above its 
mouth in the Chesapeake bay to Fredericksburg— the 
York river, formed by the confluence of the Mattapony 
and Pamunkey, each a hundred miles long, and is 
navigable about forty miles from its mouth — the Black- 
water, Nottoway, and Meherrhi, which, like the Staunton, 
find their way to the ocean through North Carolina. 
'I'he principal rivers flowing west, and emptynig 
ultimately into the gulf of Mexico, are the Ohio, the 
great Kenawha, which rises in the valley between the 
Blue ridge and Alleghanies, the Monongehela, the 

Memoir of William Madison J\'ijton. 181 

Guyandot, the little Keiiawlia, and the Big-Sandy. 
From this brief descri[)tit>n of the direction of the; 
waters, it is seen that the State rises from the Atlantic 
to the mountains, and thcj-e slopes down to the Ohio. 
Divided hito four natural parts, it was also formed into 
four political divisions. The first of these Avas the 
Tide-water district, lying east of the lower falls of the 
rivers, and consisting fur the most part of a flat country 
nowhere more than sixty feet above the sea. Further 
west is the Piedmont district, extending as iar as the 
Blue-ridge. This is more elevated and diversitied in 
its surface than the former, as it is traversed by a range 
of hills parallel to the Blue-ridge, and about oO miles 
from it. The Valley district extends from the Blue- 
ridge to the most westernly ridge of the Alleghany 
mountains; and is occupied by various chains of these 
mountains, and the fertile vallies that lie among them. 
The extreme west of the State is occupied by the Trans- 
AUeghany district, which slopes westward and is 
occupied by various branches and oifsets of the 
mountains. In a country of such extent, and with such 
physical peculiarities and divisions, it is not surprising 
that different and antagonistic local interests arose. 
Nature supplied with noble rivers that portion of the 
State comprised in the Tide-water district, and lying 
upon the Atlantic and the Chesapeak bay, which is 
sometimes styled the American i\Iediterranean. By 
these tfce inhabitants enjoyed every facility for sending 
to the markets of the world the products of their lands. 
The soil, too, of this district is liglit and sandy, and after 

132 Memoir of WilUam Madison Peyton. 

rain soon becomes firm and dry, hence little labour or 
money is required to keep the roads in repair. The 
people of eastern Virginia therefore asked nothing on 
the score of improvements, nor did they wish to 
contribute from the common treasury towards the 
improvement of less favoured districts. In support of 
this ungenerous and illiberal policy they adduced a 
variety of arguments, some of them not without 
considerable plausibility, but all really unsound. The 
western people, who lived above the i'alls of the rivers, 
where the streams were too small for navigation, and 
where the soil is clayey and the roads in Avmter 
impassible, asked, as their means were unequal to the 
expense, that the State should undertake to lock and 
dam the principal rivers, cut canals where required, and 
construct leading roads which were necessary for the 
development of the country and for its defence. 
They argued that the increase in population, the 
augmentation in the wealth, the multiplication in the 
subjects of taxation which would result from such a 
system of improvement, would redound in the end to 
the prosperity of the whole State, thus benefitting the 
Tide-water population. Thus was the issue made up 
by the two parties, and on this question delegates were 
elected from all parts of the State. 

In this particular House of Delegates the party of 
the west was led, as previously mentioned, by (with 
others) the subject of this biography; and on the 15th 
and 16th days of February, 1839, he delivered the 
foUoAving speech of great force and elo(iuence in the 

Memoir of Will'uun Madison Peyton. 133 

General Assembly on behalf of a general scheme of 
State improvement. 




(of botetouht), 
In support of the Report and Resolutions recom- 
mending A Scheme of Internal Improvement ; * 
IN the 
House of Delegates of Virginia, February 15, 1838. 

The Internal Improvement Report being called up, 

Colonel Peyton remarked, That the late hour at which 
the Report of the Committee on Roads and Internal 
Navigation had been called up, together with the 
protracted discussion which it had already excited, 
made it proper he should inform the House that he did 
not expect to trespass long upon their patience. That 
he would endeavour to avoid detail and unnecessary 
digression, as much as possible, and confine himself 
strictly to the great leading principles which were 
involved. He assured the House that he would not 
wander into the regions of imaghiation, in quest of the 
roses and garlands of fancy, to embenish his sentiments. 
He would neither stoop on the one side to cull a 
flower, nor on the other to collect a gem ; but would 
proceed directly to the development of his views as 
succinctly as the nature of the subject would allow. 

* This speech was published in Eichmond, in 1838, by Shepperdand 

134 Memoir of WilUaiii 2Iadisun Vajion. 

Colonel Peyton said lie did not participate in the 
Biirprise of tlie friends of the Report at the violent 
opposition which it had encountered. He thought it 
^vas to have been expected, however strong might 
have been the evidences in favour of its adoption. In 
a numerous body like this, representing a territory so 
extensive, and embracing interests so varied, he said 
'it was to be expected that local considerations would 
influence the course of some gentlemen, while others, 
operated upon by an over-timid and over-cautious 
pohcy, would be found arrayed against it, solely on the 
ground of its novelty and apparent magnitude ; and 
some few, perhaps, might lind an excuse for their 
hostility in the extraordinary reason assigned by the 
gentleman from Prince Edward (]\Ir. Venable) a few 
days since : that the adoption of the proposed scheme 
would defeat the improvement of the State. But, said 
Colonel Peyton, notwithstanding the combination of 
all these adverse impulses, I believe there is an en- 
lightened spirit awakened in the land, which jannot be 
repressed or fettered, but which, bursthig through all 
the barriers of ignorance, is rapidly dift'using its 
regenerating influences and givhig a healthy tone to 
public opinion. The ball, said Colonel Pe}ton, is in 
motion, receiving its impetus from the lofty summits 
of our mountains. He trusted it had already gathered 
sufficient veloeit}^ and po^ver to overcome and defy 
all opposition. He said that the difficulties which 
beset the friends of improvement at the threshhold of 
their innovation upon the established policy, of the 
State, ought not to dishearten them^ — that it Avas 
not reasonable to expect so radical and important 
a change of State policy would be aquiesced 
hi without a severe struggle; and that the history 
of all our sister States, which have adopted an 
enlightened and liberal system of internal improvement, 
exhibits a perfect identity in all the circumstances 

Memoir of IViUiain Madison Piijlon. 135 

attending its introduction. And Jierc, said Colonel - 
Peyton, avc find tlie «ame ari^unients relied upon by 
gentlemen, Avhicli were urged upon the legislature of 
New York, when it was proposed to construct the 
Erie and Hudson Canal on State account. And 
notwithstanding the obvious necessity and utility of 
that great work, and notwitlistanding it was recom- 
mended and advocated by one of her most distinguished 
sons, by one upon whom nature had profusely scattered 
the rays of genius and the inspiration of intellect, by 
the the?L reputed theorist, but now revered sage, De 
Witt CKnton. I repeat, said Colonel i\!yton, that not- 
withstanding it was Ijrought forward under the auspices 
of this gifted individual, and sustained with all his zeal, 
and all his ability, and all his influence, it was with 
the utmost dithculty pressed through the legislature. 
And when its adoption was pronudgated through the 
country, it produced an excitement so violent and 
uncompromising in its character, as to threaten with 
political ostracism all those who had taken a prominent 
part in its support. In the conunotion, said Colonel 
Peyton, the dregs all floated to the surface. Whip 
syllabub lawyers and artful demagogues sprung u}) 
like mushrooms in every (juarter of tlu; State, and 
called upon the " dear people " to hold fast their purse 
strings. They represented the legislature, said Colonel 
Peyton, as adopting some monstrous Briareau scheme, 
which would stretch forth its hundred arms and plunge 
its hundred hands into the Ijreeches pockets of the 
people, and plunder them of the hard earnings of 
their daily labour, to make, hi the cant phrase of these 
most special friends of the " dear people,'' " the rich 
richer, and the i>oor poorer." The psuedo political 
economists, too, said Colonel Peyton, of Avliom there is 
always an^ over sup[)ly in every community, and 
especially in every ])olitical association, fortified in 
their own estimation by some absurd and incongruous 

136 Memoir of William }fa,liso)i Ponton.' 

dogmas of a science, the true principles of which lay 
greatly beyond the reach of their intellectual visions, 
urged that the State, possessing no funds, having no 
hoard, nor any certain or ascertained, or even 
conjectural resources, other than those anticipated from 
the projected works, had no right to construct a work 
at. the expense of the whole community, which was 
partial in its benefits. That it was oppressing and 
desolating one portion of the State to confer blessings 
upon another. To these pseudo political economists, 
there came, said Colonel Peyton, as auxiliaries in this 
war against liberal legislation, the pseudo philan- 
thropists, a class who, more anxious lor the welfare 
of the the " unborn millions" who are to follow them, 
than for the generation to which they themselves 
belong, insisted that we had no right to transmit 
these debts, incurred for public works, to posterity, 
as it was imposing a burthen upon them in which 
they had no voice or agency, and over which they 
could not by possibility have exercised any control. 
And I have no doubt, said Colonel Peyton, that these 
philanthropic worthies, in their learned dissertations 
at the corners of the village streets, and at the cross 
roads and grog-shops of the country, gravely argued 
that it was a gross violation of the great fundamental 
principles of our Government, that it was neither more 
nor less than taxation without representation. Such, 
he said, were a specimen, of the miserable batch, or, 
said he, to borrow from high authority a more 
appropriate expression, the miserable rabble of objec- 
tions which were urged against the enlightened policy 
of the empire State. Such, said Colonel Peyton, were 
the obstacles that were thrown in the way of the 
steady, conestoga, onward march of the miscalled 
Bceotia of this confederacy, in a system which is every 
day illustrating the energy and wisdom and patriotism 
of its legislation by the solid wealth and substantial 

Memoir of WilUam Madison Peijton 137 

blessings which it is conferring upon its citizens. And 
such, I need not tell you, IMr. H})eaker, atcer what j'ou 
lui\'e heard on this lloor, are the cogent arguments, tlie 
mighty missiles with which we are assailed, and which 
riaiders it necessary that the friends of internal improve- 
ment should put on their armour and invoke the 
Protecting Egis of Minerva. Survey, said Colonel 
Peyton, the whole ground which has been occupied by 
the opponents of our sclaane, and analyze what 
they have said, and you will lind it all at last resolved 
into some one of the objections which I have 
enumerated, or into something which bears a str(U)g 
family likeness to them. And, said Colonel Peyton, I 
must say, they are only dighiihed on the present 
occasicm, by their very respectable endorsement, and 
the talents which they have enlisted in their support. 

The tahuited representatives from Prince Edward 
and Halifax predicated the greater portion of 
their arguments upon the assumption, that the State 
was, from its poverty, unable to construct the improve- 
ments reconnnended in the report. The linancial 
estimate presented by the gentlemen from Augusta, a 
few days sinc(;, in his exposition of the views of the 
committee, Colonel Peytcm thought entirely conclusive 
upon this pohit, and he had heard nothing as yet, in 
the shghtest degree calculated to weaken his confidence 
in it. The objection to the calculation, in the estim.ition 
of Colonel Peyton, was, that it yielded too much to 
his opponents, and did greater injustice to th(^ linancial 
resources of the Cononon wealth. But, said CoIojk^I 
Peyton, notwithstanding this estimate, which proves 
beyond doubt the entire ability of t\w. State to 
accomplish the improvements prfjposed without abstract- 
ing one cent from the pockets of the connnunity, we 
are told by the intelligent gentleman from Plalifax, 
tiiat they will create a naticjnal debt, which Vv'ill result 
in national bankruptcy. This idea, mojistrous, 

138 Memoir of ]]'lUia))i Madison Peijion. 

illusory, and unfouiulecl as it is, in the face, too, of 
the most irrefragable testimony of ligures which cannot 
lie, is reiterated and echoed by the opponents of this 
measure from every part of the hall, as though it was a 
species of axiom. That the estimate is based on facts, 
purely legitimate, and that its foundations are iirmly 
fixed in truth, the abortive efforts of our opponents 
to impugn and destroy them, aftbrd the highest 
evidence. That all the antagonist items which are 
entitled to be considered as offsets or charges upon the 
internal improvement fund, are fairly and properly 
stated, is not denied ; but it is pretended that the 
estimate of the profits u^wn the works in process of 
execution, and upon those contemplated, is extravagant. 
Gentlemen, said Colonel Peyton, wiser and more 
experienced than our engineers, who are generally 
presumed to be the best acquainted with these matters, 
and wiser and more astute than that numerous and 
intelligent class of the community who have vested then- 
money in many of these schemes, after a close scrutiny 
into the chances of reimbursement, have come to the 
conclusion, that they are all visionary speculations, 
and doomed to disappoint and ruin those who engage 
in them. It is true, said Colonel Peyton, as has been 
said by the anti-improvement gentlemen, that consider- 
able reliance is placed upon the anticipated profits from 
the James River improvement. And this estimate 
being conjectural, he knew of no better mode of 
approximating the truth, than by consulting those who 
have embarked their fortunes in it, and whose interests 
have led them to examine it narrowly. The testimony 
of all these, he said, would more than sustain the 
humble estimate. If, said Colonel Peyton, the matured 
wisdom of a Marshall in the east, and the cool, calculat- 
ing, practical good sense of a Breckenridge in the west, 
and the combined intelligence of the most enlightened 
portions of the Btate, after a long, and anxious, and 

Memoir of WilUam Madison Peyton. 130 

tliorongh investigation of the utility and protluctiveness 
of this work, could cheerfully embark all their available 
means in it, and appeal, in all the sincerity of a burning 
patriotism to their fellow-citizens to unite in its con- 
struction, I think we may safely rest with this assembly 
the very humble estimate which we have placed upon 
its productiveness, upon this authority, in opposition 
to the round and unsustained assertions of the gentle- 
men from Prince Edward and Halifax. Colonel Peyton 
said, that he should therefore claim with confidence 
that the calculation of the profits from this work, which 
had been used in the financial esthnate, and which was 
confessedly so far below the estimates of persons so 
eminently qualified, should be received, until sonn; 
stronger argument than the empty denunciations of an 
enemy, or the bold assertions of inexperience were 

Colonel Peyton said, that the only other conjectural 
source of revenue relied upon, is the contemplated 
improvements, and these but for a v(!ry limited amount 
and for a short period. He said, that the gentleman 
from Halifax, in combating this source of revenue, 
instead of dissecting, and sifting, and exposing the 
extravagance of tlie very moderate and guarded 
estimate which we presented, launched forth into a 
denunciatory attack upon the report of the principal 
engineer, in which the estimates were more than ten 
times higher than we claimed ; and having in the 
blindness of his zeal imagined that he had utterly 
demolished the engineer's report^ he very gravely and 
most logically concluded, that our estimate, by conse- 
quence, shared the same fate. He said, that feeling 
disposed to admit a paralogism so palpable, he felt 
authorized, by the failure of the gentleman, to object 
specifically to the dividend claimed by the friends of 
the report, in construing it into an admission of its 
correctness. But this, he said, was unnecessary. To 

140 Memo'u' of William Madiiion Veijton. 

those, said Colonel Peyton, who are familiar with the 
trade and trav(d of thai section of the State, which 
will he accommodated h_y tli(! South-western road, and 
^vith the powerful auxiliaries \vliich it will receive when 
extended to Knoxville, not only the extreme modera- 
tion of om' estimate will he manifest, hut the much 
derided and apparently extravaj^'ant calculation of our 
chief enoineer will he found, upon examination, to he 
entirely within the hounds of prohahility. Fortunately, 
said Colonel Peyton, we were not driven upon the 
fanciful speculations of its ardent friends for the 
maintenance of our c»pinions. lu the- year 1831, a 
convention was held hi the t()^vn of Ahingdon, com- 
posed of dele<(ates from the city of Richmond, and all 
the intermediate country to Kuijxville, in Tennessee, 
who, after carefully collating all the facts necessary in 
enahling them to determine Avhether the tonnage and 
travel of this i-outc would justify tlui expense of a 
railroad, decided most conlidently in its favour. From 
the report of their i)roceedings it appeared that 
even then the .tonnage transported hy w^aggons 
amounted to 7,297 imports, and 00,852 exports, making 
an aggregate of 67, 040 tons ; calculathig the imports 
at cents per mile, and the exports at o cents, it gave 
nearly live hundred thousand dollars. They then 
deducted one-third from this amount to cover the error 
in the calculation from some of the exports and a large 
portion of the imports hehig distrihuted along the line, 
instead of being carried the whole way through. This 
left for imports 04,71)8 dots., for exports 2()7,003 dols., 
making an aggregate of oo2,7()l dols., which, taking 
the cost of the railroad from New lliver to Knoxville at 
8,108,000 dols., would produce a dividend of upwards 
of 10 per cent on the cost of that part of the road from 
New lliver to Knoxville, or nearly 72 per cent, on 
4,408,000 dols., the total cost of constructing a railroad 
from Lynchbury to Knoxville. In this calculation, 

DLcmoir of WiJUam ]\[adison rcijlon. 141 

the tolls accruing upon tliat portion of the line 
between New Eiver and Lynchburg, and wliicli 
would unquestionably be the most productive, 
are excluded. Nevertheless the convention had 
no hesitation hi saying, upon the very meagre 
information which they possessed, that this section 
would yield at least 10 per cent, to the stockholders in 
the then condition of the trade of the country. And 
this, too, it will be observed, without relyhig upon the 
profit to be derived from the transportation of passen- 
gers, which of itself, I have no doubt, is justly 
considered by our chief engineer as the most valualjle 
source of revenue. Colonel Pcsyton said, that in 
addition to the facts elicited by this convention, there 
was a most important one derived from the r(;gister 
kept at Inglis's ferry, on New Kiver, in the year 1830. 
From this, it appeared that between thirty-four and 
thirty-five thousand travellers crossed at that shigle 
pohit during the year. These, said Colonel Puyton, 
together with those who crossed at the numerous fords 
and ferries above and below, would probably swell the 
estimate to between 40 and 50,000. This travel 
at the ordinary charge of six cents per mile, 
would give an income of 570,000 dols., or between 18 
and 20 per cent, on the whole cost of construction. 
Thus showing the ability of this improvement to 
sustain itself by a moderate toll upon the travel, and 
consequently, removing the necessity of heavy imports 
upon the agricultural and mineral products of the 

But, said Colonel Peyton, when you recollect that the 
moment you construct this work, and thus remove the 
■inonntain barriers which separate this country from 
market, you at once awaken the industry and stimulate 
the energies of its inhabitants, and that you develop 
the varied and inexhaustible mineral and agricultural 
resources of one of the fairest and most salubrious 

142 Memoir of TVilliam Madison Vcijton. 

portions of the State — a region whore lead, salt, 
gypsum, coal, iron, and an exliuberant fertility of soil 
have been lavished with almost prodigal profusion. It 
is impossible, said he, to conceive the width and depth 
of the stream enriched from all these prolific sources, 
which will pour its golden flood upon our commercial 
marts, exciting their enterprize, and re-invigorating 
their languishhig commerce. Not only this, said Col. 
Peyton, but when the work shall have been extended 
to Knoxville, a short distance beyond our South-Western 
border, it will constitute the focus of improvements, 
radiating to the Atlantic on the one side, the Ohio on 
the other, and the Gulf of Mexico on the third— em- 
bracing within its influence two-thirds of the confederacy, 
and drawing within its vortex, by the sure attraction of 
its being the nearest, most natural, and direct route to 
the east, the largest commerce ever enjoyed by a 
railroad, and an amount of travel beyond the anticipa- 
tions of the most sanguine and credulous. But, said 
Colonel Peyton, I will not fatigue myself, or waste the 
time of the House in proving the value and productive- 
ness of a work against which not a single plausible 
argument has been offered. The ingenious gentleman 
from Halifax, hhnself finding that a closer scrutiny 
into our estimate of the profits from the James 
Ptiver and Kenawha improvements and tlu; South- 
western road, was more likely to prejudice than 
to promote his cause, seemed to yield the point, and 
shaking the dust of the old Dominion from his feet, 
he embarked upon the railroads and canals of the 
great States of Pennsylvania and New York, in quest 
of facts to support his theory. There, said Colonel 
Peyton, entrenching himself belihid a rampart of 
reports and imposing arithmetical calculations, he 
seemed to defy and almost deride his opponents. Let 
us, said Colonel Peyton, examine him in his new 
position, and see whether it will not yield to the first 

Memoir of JVilUam Madison Peyton. 143 

assault. To say nothing at present, said Colonel 
Peyton, of the numerous errors of fact and inference in 
wliich the gentleman involved himself at every step, 
there was one prominent and striking and radical 
defeat in his wlioJe argument, and that was, said Colonel 
Peyton, his neglect of the ameliorating influences of 
these improvements upon the comfort and happiness 
and pecuniary circumstances of the inhabitants of the 
States] penetrated by them. He seemed, said Colonel 
Peyton, to lose sight altogether of the immense enhance- 
ments of individual property which resulted from them, 
and the consequent increase of the stream of taxes 
which would be annually pouring its golden treasures 
with a continually increasing volume into the public 
coffers. Not only this, but he seemed to be blind — yes, 
stone blind — to the incalculable addition to the aggregate 
of national wealth from the development of the rich 
mineral treasures locked up in inaccessible mountains, 
and which, without these improvements, were utterly 
valueless. He seemed to forget, too, the extensive 
nuinufactories which would grow out of the working 
of these mines and cluster around every waterfall in 
their neighbourhood. He overlooked, too, the immense 
augmentation of agricultural products which the 
stinndus of a ready market would create. And still 
more, said Colonel Peyton, he excluded from view the 
increase of population resulting from the combination 
of all these other blessings — an increase only 
limited by our mines of coal and iron, which 
are said to be boundless and inexhaustible. Great, 
manifold, and important, said Colonel Peyton, as 
are these, the legitimate ofl'spring of a judicious 
system of internal improvement, embracing as they do 
all the important elements and essentials which 
constitute a prosperous and happy people, under the 
benign influence of free institutions, and which m 
my opinion ought to be cherished as a blessing, even 

144 Memoir of William Madiso)i Fi'ijlon. 

if it "Was coupled with a system of direct taxation for 
the reiiiiLiirsement of the debt iiicuiTed in producing 
it. Great, manifold and important, repeated Colonel 
Peyton, as were all these beneficial resnlts from an 
improvement of the means of inter-comnumication, 
the gentleman never once adverted to them, bnt 
conlined himself to a cold stock-jobbing calculation 
of the dividends accruing from the various works 
finished and contemplated. Is this, said Colonel 
Peyton, the vicAV of a Statesman? Is it the voice of 
patriotism? Or is it the barking of a treasury watch- 
dog, a Cerberus chained at the mouth of the vaults, 
and with brute instinct denying access to all persons 
indiscriminately, without respect to the character of 
the claim or the applicant. Is it ])Ossible, said Colonel 
Pe5'ton, that a policy so narrow and so contracted, so 
miserably parsimonious and so obviously suicidal, is 
to be countenanced and sustahied by the representatives 
of a generous and magnanimous ])eoplc. But said 
•Colonel Peyton, my feelings hsive hurried me hito 
a dtgression from the point in my argument to which 
1 had arrived, and ui)on which I Avish to bring the 
attention of the house to bear for a few moments. 

I was about to admit, for the sake of argument, and 
for the purpose of exhibiting in a still stronger pohit 
of view, the indefensible character of the position 
assumed by the gentleman from llalifiix, that all the 
ameliorating influences of these improvements upon 
society — the increase of population — the augmentation 
of agricultural products— the develoi)ment of mineral 
treasures — the creation of manufactories and the 
increase of the public revenue— that all these should be 
discarded from consideration, and that we should view 
it simply as a money-making, stock-jobbing scheme on 
the part of the State. Even, said Colonel Peyton, in 
this narrow and contracted and unstatesmanlike point 
of vieA\^, if the lessons of experience are sutlered to shed 

Memoir of WiUium Mddiwn J'rijlon. . 145 

their broad .iiid full light upon the question, there will 
be no difficulty in niahittiiiiiiig before this x\ssenibly 
the policy of the system. 1 lun willing, he said, to 
narrow the ground on Avhich ^ve stand, for the present, 
still more, by permitting its correctness to be tested 
]by the Pennsylvania system, Avhich has been so 
frequently referred to and so confidently relied upon 
by the opponents of improvement, as affording the 
strongest testimony in their favour. I am fully aware, 
said the Colonel, that I placu myself in the most 
disadvantageous position in relinquishing the mass of 
testimony which the triumphant success of the State 
system in other parts of the Union affords, and 
submitthig the question to a test, selected by our 
enemies, and which wants the analogy which is 
necessary to give weight to the deductions agahist us. 
Those who are acquainted with the history of 
internal improvements in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, know that it Avas commenced under every 
disadvantage, at a time when the construction of 
canals and railways were not well understood in 
this country, and when, from the want of that skill, 
and experience, imd knowledge which she now 
possesses, she expended at least one -fourth, or six 
millions more, according to the estimates of hv.v most 
practical men, than would be necessary to do the same 
work now. There is another circumstance, said Col. 
Peyton, which weakens di ■ parallel. An inspection of 
the map will satisfy ever}' one acquainted with the 
geography of the United States, that in pohit of 
natural advantages, she cannot compare with us. By 
position, she commands the commerce of no State but 
her own, whilst Virginia, from the nature of the 
Carolina coast, is the natural market of Carolina 
products, and from her position, possesses advantages 
over Pennsylvania, in a competition for the Ohio trade, 
'and superadded to this, the rich products of I'^ast 



Memoir of WiUiani Madison Pviiton. 

Tennessee and North Alabanifi How as certainly to her 
ports as she provides an outlet lor them. JUit, notwith- 
standinir all this, he hoped he Avould he ahle to satisfy 
the House in a few words, that the system of i*euns}l- 
v;uiia, i)rompt, hold, expanded, and in one sense, 
extrava^j^ant as it had bc^en, so far from presenting a 
picture to discourap^-e and (hshearten the friends of 
improvement, offered every inducement and stimulus 
to nicreased exertion. In looking into the Pennsylvania 
system to ascertain whether the funds she has invested 
in public works have been s<|uandered or judiciously 
expended, it certainly affords no evidence against them 
to find, that upon an expenditure of nearly 25,000,000 
dols., they received during the past year of paralysis 
and commercial pressure, only 075,050,49 dols. The 
general plan is not yet carried out, many important 
links are unfinished, which, when completed, will swell 
the tonnage immensely. 44ie energy, and industry, 
and enterprize of the connnunity has scarcely had time 
to get under way. The mineral and agricultural 
resources are just develo[>ing themselves; so that the 
present tolls, handsome as they are, scarcely aflord an 
earnest of what they will be, when tlie system is 
complete, and has had sufficient time to work out its 
great results. Equally unsatisfactory is any argument 
drawn from the statistics of detaehetl works. 44iere 
are so many circumstances connected with them, 
special and peculiar in their character, and of which 
we are ignorant, that no general arrangement can be 
drawn from them upon this point, entitled to the 
slightest consideration. Instead, therefore, of suffering 
ourstdves to be carried away by the bold assertions of 
gentlemen or specious deductions from pai-ticular improve- 
ments, and sections of improvements, of which we know 
nothing, or the jaundiced calculations of the jn'ofits of 
a system which is imperfect and unfinished, 1 would 
refer you to the testimony of the citizens of Pennsyl- 

Hfemoir of William Madison Pcnton. 147 

vania themselves — to the rc|)ort of the canal commis- 
sion(;rs, who are entrusted Avith the control and 
manag'ement of the pul)lie works, and who are lamiljar 
with the hifluences, favourable and unfavourable, 
which operate upon them — to the message of the 
governor, Avho exercises a supervisory care over the 
Avhole State, and who derives his information from 
the best sources. Do }'ou iind their opinions 
of the value and productiveness of the public 
works according with those deduced by the gentlemen 
from Prince Edward and Halifax, from their selected 
statistics? Do you tind them dc^ploring the system 
as one leading to natioiial bankruptcy ? No 
they are proud of it, and cherish it as a ne\'er- 
failin"- source of the richest blessings; as the broad 
basis of individual wealth and national grandeur; as 
the key-stone Avhich crowns their political edifice, giving 
sti-ength and durability and finish to the structure. 
Colonel Peyton said, in the report of the canal com- 
missioners for the year lSo7, they say, "one aspect 
of the operations of the year must, however, prove 
cheerhig to every Pennsylvanian. While the revenue 
derived from similar great State improvements, all 
around us, has materially fallen short of last year, ours 
has advanced in a ratio corres])onding with that of 
former years. If avc can thus maintain our career in 
the midst of such untoward circumstances, what mind 
can estimate the effects that Avdll be produced by 
the return of a more healthy jiolicy. If, in comiexion 
with this view of the subject, the competition of the 
improvements now in progress, and which will elfectu- 
ally bring into use the inmiense mineral productions 
of the Lykens valley, Shamokin, ]\Iahamy, Wyoming, 
and the bituminous coal and iron fields of the west 
branch and Juniata, be also contemplated, the result 
is incalculable. J)ut little now passes on the canals of 
the Susquehanna, its branches and the Juniata. When, 

148 Memoir of WiUiaiH 

however, the improveiiwits in progress to complete the 
ori(jinal desujn of these ivorLs beijin to unfold their destined 
utiliti/^ the addition to the nh-eady increasing revenue 
derived from those sources^ icill be immeiise. As evidence 
of this, it is only necessary to notice the rich return 
which the mining operations in the Schuylkill coal 
helds impart to the Schuylkill Navigation Company's 
works. This improvement is only 108 miles in length, 
and has produced tolls the present season, amonnting to 
500,141,50 dols., up to in. loth of November. 

In another part of the same report, after urging 
the legislature to apply the whole resources of the 
State to the completion of the system as rapidly as 
possible, they remark " In relation to the ultimate 
success and prosperity of the i)ul'i'!c works, the board 
have expressed a decided opinion. The revenue 
derived from public works is already beginning to 
have a decided effect upon the fiscal operations of 
the Government, and will hereafter be the main 
reliance of the State. What amount of revenue will 
be derived from the public works the present iiscal 
year, it is difficult under existing circumstances, to 
determnie. 13 ut the board feel wai'ranted in giving 
the assurance, that even if the present pressure 
continues, it cannot fall short of 1,200,000 dols. As 
a proof that the above is not an over estimate, and 
that the whole system when [)erfected will remunerate 
the State for her outlay, and reward the patience 
of her citizens, it may be etc. etc., (instancing the 
most important improvements and the revenue derived 
iVom them.) In the close of this review of the 
general improvements, they say : '' There is, therefore, 
no doubt, but that when the now unproductive branches 
are completed, and sustain themselves, as they assuredly 
null, the whole system ivill not only support itself, but 
pay a handsome revenue to the State." 

The governor, in his last message, sa}'s, " The 

Memoir of WUiumi Madison Peijlon 149 

system of internal improvement has heretofore been 
the chief draft upon the Treasury. It is now about 
becoming its main reliance'' * * * * " The revenue 
from the public works fell 324,649,51 dols. short, 
during the past year, of the estimate of the canal 
commissioners. Its actual amount was 975,o50,46 
dols. -But all Avho are conversant with the matter, are 
convinced that it would have l,oOO,000 dols., if the 
paral}sis of last May had not fallen on the energies 
of trade. The estin;ate of the board for the present 
year, 1,400,000 dols, hi which I concur, believing, also 
that though it cannot fall materially short of that 
sum, no matter how adverse the State's general business 
may become, it may, and probably will, reach 1,500,000 
dols., if the usual degree of prosperity be restored to 
the country. The tolls of last month alone amounted 
to loO,000 dols, of that sum." In another part of 
his message, after a coup d'oeil at the different 
improvements, he concludes thus: " Tliis view of the 
subject not only enables us to calculate with certahity 
or the increased earnings of the public works hereafter, 
but justifies all necessary expenditure for their 
completion, even ivitkout taking into account their 
other incalculable advantages to the State. * * * * 
Improvements thus increasing in productiveness under 
every disadvantage, demand, because they arc worthy 
of all the care of the legislature." Colonel Peyton, 
said, I present these extracts as the testimony of the 
Canal Commissioners and Governor of Pennsylvania, in 
favour of a scheme Avhich has been represented by gentle- 
men as a perfect Pandora's box, laden with evil, and 
threatening the State 'with baidcruptcy. 

I consider it, ]\Ir. Speaker, and every unprejudiced 
mind must conciu- Avith me, as out-weighing all the 
bold assertions and ingenious deductions of gentlemen 
who are confessedly ignorant of the country and its 
improvements, and as ])roving beyond all (juestion 

150 Memoir of William ]\[a(lisQn Vcijlon. 

the policy of the system as a mere money-making 
machine. It must strike every gentleman, that no 
inference prejuclical to the opinions advanced by these 
Commissioners and the Governor, which are based upon 
the statistics of any single impr(jvement, or any 
comljination of improvements, ought to have any 
influence upon our judgment. If, then it be 
estal)lished, that looking only to the revenue from 
the im])rovements, it is a judicious investment of 
the public funds of Pennsylvania, the State we 
have selected as a test of its policy in Virginia, 
there can no longer be any difficulty in our embarking 
in the system, even if we had no loilier considera- 
tions to subserve, than those of a n:ere stock-jo1)ber. 
This brings me to the consideration of the mode 
in which the works shall be made, whether upon 
the joint-stock or the State princi})le. And upon 
the decision of this question in favour of the latter, we 
believe, depends the cause of internal improvement, and 
the future destiny of the State. 

Colonel Peyton said, the most plausible and ingenii)us 
argument which has been presented to the house in 
favour of the two-fifth, and in opposition to the State 
plan of improvement, was that of the gentleman from 
Campbell, (Mr. Daniel,) This gentlemen in his zeal to 
discover a spot on which to plant a lever to overturn the 
State system, created an imaginaiy foundation of imprac- 
ticable abstractions, and opened from tlunice, with no 
small degree of confidence, and certainly with great skill, 
a furious broadside upon that portion of the report which 
recommended the construction of the South-western 
road on State account. The argument of the gentle- 
man was this — He set out with the extraordinary 
assumption, that, upon principles of abstract justice, we 
have no right to take one dollar from the treasury for 
the construction of public works, that the subscription 
of two fifths on the part of the State being au appropria- 

Memoir o'f WiUlain Madiaoii Peyton. 151 

tiou of tho piil)lic funds to i)nl)lic works, was conse- 
(liK'iiti^' mijiist ; uiitl, a I'drtiori, iiiasiniicli as tlio 
whole is Lircatcr iliaii a part it is a still greater 
iiijusiirc for llic Slate to bear the whole expense. 
The mere statement of this argument, divested 
of all the so})liislry with wliieh he laid surrounded 
it, ought to he sultieieiit to refute it. ihit, as 
it had been the foundation of a long and ahh- iirgunient, 
and had Ijeeii most plausibly and ingeniously maintained, 
he would examine it fully. 

The politieal ruaxini, said Colonel Peyton, upon 
whieh the gentlemen has raised his superstrueture, is 
illusory, and, as ap})lied by him, utterly fals(\ lJ})on 
l)rineiples of abstraet justice, the (iovernnient has no 
right to a})propriat(! the public funds on the construc- 
ti(jn (jf })idjlic W(jrks ! Why, JMr. 8[)eaker, upon 
principles oi abstract jucl ice you have no right to impose 
any of those restraints upon the actions of men, or 
exercise any of that control over their })roperty, which, 
in the finest Governments that have ever existed, have 
exerted so salutary an hitluence and ^vhich has been 
universally conceded as indespensable to the existence 
of society. We abandon the ludpless, inetUcient, 
isolated and unsocial life of the wandering savage, that 
we may, by unioji, concert, and harmony be better 
protected in our })ersonal rights and our I'ights of 
proi)erty, and by united counsels, and united means 
and energies, effect such measures as ^vill jiromote the 
})ul)lic welfare. Mixed u}) with the abstractions under 
consideration, and resulting in some degree from it, Avas 
another sophism e(pially exceptionable, as api)lied. He 
asserted, said ('oloiud Peyton, that beyond tlui protec- 
tion of the country from foreign aggression, and the 
preservation of the due; administration of justice, the less 
a (lovernment interfered with the labour and industry, 
the pursuit and avocations of its citizens, the nearer it 
approximated the fullilment of its duties and obligations, 

152 ]\[etnoir of William Madison Pi'tfton. 

und that any step beyond these hniits was in derogation 
of certain abstract rights supposed by the gentleman to be 
be inherent and inahenable, or reserved by the community. 
Suppose for a moment, said Col. Peyton, that the 
gentleman's argument may be placed in the strongest 
point of view, that the principles involved in his proposi- 
tion are true — His argument admits, that it is the duty 
of the Grovernment to protect and defend the country 
from foreign invasion, and that it may use the public 
treasure for that purpose. Suppose then, that Virginia, 
instead of forming one of this glorious union, were 
isolated and independent, surrounded by warlike neigh- 
bours, and subject to incursions upon the north, south, 
and west, so sudden and desolating in their character 
as to make the rapid transportation of troops and 
munitions of war an important element of her defence. 
Would not the Government, upon the gentleman's own 
principles, have a right to construct roads in every 
direction to promote the public welfare in this particular ? 
And if, Mr. Speaker, the Government in such an 
emergency would have the right to construct these 
pubhc works, has she not a right, and is it not her duty 
to provide before hand for the emergency, instead of 
waiting till the distresses and disasters of war leave 
her no alternative ? If the power belongs to the 
Government in the extreme case supposed, why should 
it not reside in the Government of Virginia under exist- 
ing circumstances, when it would confessedly put her 
in better condition to withstand foreign invasion, as 
well by the economy with which her troops and baggage 
would be conveyed from point to point, as by the 
promptness with which they could be brought to bear 
where most needed. But, said Colonel Peyton, conclu- 
sive as the argument is, even in this aspect, in favour 
of a system of internal improvement, we are not driven 
to the necessity of resting it upon such hair-splitting 

j\[('\iwir of ]ViU(((iii MaiJison Piijlon. 153 

Every Governinont, said C'olonol Peyton, rests upon 
its own principles, as ascertained by loni^' nsaj^e, or its 
written charter ; and the principles of the social eoni- 
])act, and the spirit of tiie constitution of Virginia, 
clearly and uncMpiivocally recoj^aiize in its (lovernmi'nt 
the ri^-lit to do any tiling ^vllicll, in its ^visdonl, Avill 
promote the pid)Hc welfare, })rovided it is not in conti'a- 
vention of the charter ado^jted as a •^•uide and limit to 
its action. There is notliing in tlie constitution which 
]n-ohihits the legislature a})j)ropriatii!g the })ul)H(' 
funds to the construction of public wtu'ks, or 
in any otluir way they may deem promotive of the 
public welfare. It follows, of course, that the legisla- 
tiU'c have the right to do it, and that, possessing tlu^ 
})owt-r, there can exist under the social com})act no 
abstract right at variance with the constitutional right, 
and the inference of the gentleman from (]am})l)ell, that 
the legislature cannot exercise it without })erpetrathig 
a wr(mg — an act of injustice — is wholly gratuitous, 
and unsustained by any recogni/anl, ci^il, or ])ohtical 
principles, as, I trust, I have satisfactorily shown. AVc 
have thus established, said (!ol. reyton, what he did 
not suppose w^as ever doubted, before tlui ingenuity of 
the gentleman from Campbell suggesttul it — the right 
of the State to use her treasures for the construction of 
jaiblic works, or for the general welfare, in any Avay slie 
may decna expedient. 1 have previously shown, he 
said, the policy of a system of internal improvement, 
and the ability of the State to carry out the scheme 
l)rop()ScHl ; and it only remains for me to olfer some 
remarks as to the maimer in which it sladl ]>e done. 

[The usual hour of adjourmnent having arrived, Cc»l. 
Teyton gave way, that a ujotion to that elfjct niight bj- 

154 Memoir of William DFadison Peyton. 

Second Day. 

House of Delegates of Vlnjinia, 

'Fehnianj 10th, 1838. 

The Internal Improvement Report being called up, 
and Colonel Peyton being entitled to the lioor, he rose 
and said : — 

My argument not having been concluded on yester- 
day, when the hour of adjournment arrived, it is 
necessary that I should throw myself upon your 
indulgence for a portion of to-day. I trust, Mr. 
Speaker, that I satistied the house on yesterday, that 
no principle of abstract right does exist under the social 
compact, which contravenes the constituticm, and of 
course that the act of our legislature appropriathig the 
public revenues to the construction of public works, 
does not violate any rigid, or o})erate any injustice, and 
of course that the ingenious syllogism of the gentleman 
from Campl)ell fails to prove, that because upon the 
State system there would be a larger appropriation of 
the public funds than under the joint-stock system, that 
therefore it was more unjust and objectionable. Having 
disposed of this branch of the gentleman's argument in 
favour of the two-fifth, and against the State system, 
it brought me to another on the same subject, in which 
he abandoned in some measure his metaphysical abstrac- 
tions, and treated the suljject in a more practical point 
of view. The acuteness of that gentleman's mind, 
enabled him to present a most imposing view 
of what he considered inherent evils in the plan 
of improvement on State account, and after main- 
tainhig himself most ably upon general reasoning, 
and entering his formal protest against deductions in 
favour of either system from isolated instances, or from 
any combination of cases, where all the circumstances, 

Memoir of William. Madison Peyton. 155 

moral, political and physical, were not well understood, 
ho proceeded to adduce in support of tlie two-lifth i)lace, 
the Chesapeak and Ohio canal, the Balthnore and Ohio 
railroad, and several other joint-stock improvements ; 
thereby forcibly illustrating, by the false conclusions to 
which they led him, the truth of his promises. 
I agree with the gentleman, that partial statistics 
are worse than useless. It is true, that it is im- 
possible to draw a comparison between works of otluu- 
"States, made upon the joint stock and State principle, 
without an intimate acquahitance with the topography 
of the countries through which they pass— the charactci 
of the works, whether they are temporary, requirini', 
expensive repairs at short intervals, or permament and 
sul)stantial ; their relative natural advantages — in ;; 
word, all those influences, moral, political and physical, 
which affect them — and hence, I ^vould depend upon n > 
authority short of it. As then Mr. Speaker, there is n-) 
discordance hi the views of the gentleman and mysell', 
as to the character of the testimony wliicli shoul<i 
influence the decision of this question, we have only tv 
ap})ly the test. And at the threshhold, I would as!, 
whether the gentleman from Campbell or any othei' 
friend of the partnership system, has offered us ;' 
particle of testimony in support of it, coming up to tli 
grade which we have established ? It is doubtless fresli 
in the recollections of every gcaitleman within my voic , 
that the gentleman from Campbell did not even preten;! 
to it. The truth is they have none, whil 
abundant testimony of the most satisfactory characU r 
can be produced in favour of the State, and in 
condemnation of the joint stock system. Look, Mi'. 
Speaker at the operation of the miserable, crippled and 
inefficient two and three fifths system, which has been 
in operation in our State for the last age ! Behold it ; 
glorious results ! See the extensive lines of railway;; 
and canals penetrating every quarter of the State, anil 

loG Memoir of DlUiam j\[ai]ison rcijlon. 

(lisponsing wealth, prosperity, find happiness to its 
citizens ! See your iiobh'. port at Norfolk ero\vclecl with 
the canvas of every clime, and towns and cities sjjriiijj^- 
in^^ up as if by maj^ac, in every quarter of the country ! 
l^ehold the Birmingham of America ! Your own 
capital, parsimoniously husbanding every drop of her 
almost boundless water pcnver, and applying it to 
machinery for manufacturing the cotton of Alabama, 
the wool of Ohio, and the minerals of Western Virginia ! 
See your treasury tilled to repletion, and the great State 
of Virginia advancing abreast of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania and New York, who have so unwisely and fatui- 
tously adopted a system of internal improvement on 
State account ! ! 

In the eager anticipation of beholding all these 
glorious results of the system so much lauded by the 
gentleman from Campbell, we ask, ^vllere are they ? 
where are they ? " and echo answers, where are they ?" 
No, Mr. Speaker, instead of this animating picture, we 
behold the lacerating eftects of this johit-stock system. 
We behold a depressing, hag-ridden Connncmwealth, 
upon which this incubus has fixed itself S(j long as to 
l)aralyze all her energies, and almost dry up the 
fountahis of hope. A system, said Col. Peyton, which 
should be entitled a system of financial phlebotomy, as 
it is merely used to deplete the body politic, and relieve 
the treasury when it discovers any symptoms of 
plethora. It is fitly described as a silent, 

insidious, thieving system, which plunders the 
treasury, without promoting the puldic welfare. Millions 
upon millions of the public funds are wasted in the 
companies, and many of them are so utterly unproduc- 
tive, that it has been reconnnended to abandon them 
that the State may save the expense of printing the 
aimual report of their condition ; and the whole of them 
taken together do not average one per cent, upon the 
capital vested. Such, My. Speaker, is the true state of 

Memoir of WilUam Madison Teuton. 157 

the testimony ailbrJed by our ex])erience in the joint- 
stock system. After luiving- lived thron^di im age the 
clierished poHey of the Stutc, it has not been abk; to 
rear a singk; monument llattering to the pride, cr(;dit- 
a])le to the enti'rprise, or iji any respect worthy of tlie 
ancient fame of this renowned ('onnnonweaUh. The 
friends of internal improvcmmt lia\ing a(|riiesced durhig 
this hmg period in the hope thai some of tlie })romised 
bentilits woukl be reah/cd, and lindiiig every liope 
excited, the mere precursor of ruinous (hsappoJntment, 
they determined, if possibh', to ri'volutionize the system. 
And after the maturest rethction, and a patient and 
acciu'ate examination into i\w systems (;f those States 
NvOiich have be<'n most successful, they have decided 
U})on, and recommended, the; State system. In 
doing this, av(; ta];c the broad ground, that no 
State in this conlV'deracy has ever carried on a 
system of internal imj)rovement successfully, except on 
State account. It is diflicult to form a s}'stem in any 
other wa,y, For that cannot be calUnl a system "which 
depends upon the discoirnected influences and conllict- 
ing interests of an iniinity of localities. It wants an 
all pervading eye, that will embrace within its visioji 
th(! whole States, and a hand of judicious Ixmnty, that 
will administer to its Avanls and necessities as such, 
impartially. Such, is tlu^ \\hole systerii in tluiory, and 
such has been its oi)eration in })ractice. In New York 
their great State work was eligibly situated, as to 
distribute its bkissings over every portion of the State, 
and tlie origimd and wonderful success of this improve- 
ment, with which all are familiar, renders it unnecessary 
for me to dwell cm it. In the State of Pennsylvania — 
the Flanders of this controversy — we olfer such testi- 
mony hi support of the system we reconmiend, as the 
gentlenuin from Campbell and myself have agreed upon 
as alone admissible, Wc; olfer the testimony of the 
(lovcrnor of that Commonwealth, ^vho, in his message 

158 Memoir of William Madison Pqiton. 

of 18BC), says, that when the works then in progress 
shall have heen completed, stretching into evc.vy quarter 
of her territory, and bearing her immense agricnltiual, 
manufacturhig, and mineral wealth to her OAvn proud 
metropolis,* and to every State in the Union, it is a low 
estimate, he says, when these works are completed and 
in full operation, that her clear annual income, from this 
source alone, will not fall short of three millions of 
dollars, a sum sufficient to rehnburse the whole debt 
incurred, as it becomes one, to continue her hnprove- 
ments to any extent, and to authorize the application 
of one million of dollars annually to the purposes of 
education. And all this, he says, with moderation, 
prudence, and caution, is not more than eight, and 
probably six years distant. We offer you the testimony 
of the canal ccmunissioners, which I read to the house 
on yesterday, in which they state, that the revenue from 
the canals and railways is regularly progressive, and 
that the fund arising from them is becoming the mahi 
reliance of the State. We offer you the acts of the 
Legislature of the State, who are sustaining and 
upholdmg this stupendous fabric by prompt, bold and 
generous legislation : and by implication we offer you 
the testimony of the people of the State — they who are 
supposed to be the victims of all the oppression and 
grinding exaction which is inseparable from an 
expanded system of improvement, and whose miseries 
and distresses, under the system of taxation which it 
is said will flow from our scheme, has awakened the 
tender sympathies and sickly sensibilities of gentlemen 
on this Hoor. 

All these, said Colonel Peyton, are persons, who I 
am sure the gentleman from Campbell will admit are 
familiar with the inffuences moral, political and physical, 
which affect the system and who from having 

• Philadelphia. 

Memoir of WiUiaui Madison Fcijton. 150 

previously tried a ])artncrsliip system like ours, are 
peculiarly qualilied to jud«^e of their respective 
merits. In truth there is one vital and dis- 
tinguishing feature in the joint-stock S3''stem, which 
is sufficient of itself, if there was noiie other to 
condemn it. It administers to the cupidity of indi- 
viduals, and encourages them in uru'casonable exactions 
upon the connnunity. It fixes a tariff upon the 
agricultural and other products of the country, which 
is often intermmable and always onerous. Whereas 
upon the state s)^stem, the hg'islatur^ would have a 
right to accomodate its tolls to circumstances, and when 
the capital was reimbursed, might abolish them so far 
as to reserve a tax merely sufficient to jireserve the 
works in repair, or retain a sufficiency to relieve the 
whole community from taxation. Sup})ose, for 
example the James river and Kenawha im])rove- 
ment completed, and the tolls shoidd eijual the 
estimates which have been made, viz : eight hundi'ed 
thousand dollars; you then have the agricultural 
interest contiguous to this improvement, saddled with 
the principle part of this enormous tax, through all 
time — irrevocably and irremediably — when, if it were 
a State work, this innnense bui'den might be removed, 
when the cost of construction was returned, and thus 
negatively distribute, through the connnunity, in the 
most salutary form, a sum which would operate as a 
bounty to that interest which is the foundation 
and support of all others. AA^ith this examijle 
and an extract written from a letter by a 
citizen from Pennsylvania, who has long been distin- 
guished for his devotion to the cause of improvement, 
for his sound practical sense, and his Ultimate know- 
ledge of the operations of the s}'stem in his own State 
for the last oO years, I rest the discussion of the 
relative advantages of the two systems. The extract 
is in reply to a query submitted to him on this very 

ICO Memoir of William Mddlson l\'ijton. 

{)oiiit. He says, " An o]>iiiioii prevailed in our State 
at that time (between 181G and 182G) that the best 
n)ode for the Commonwealth to patronize public works, 
was for the Government to subscribe stock in chartered 
companies. It Avas believed, that the A'igilence of 
private stock-holders over their own hiterests, Avould 
Ije a sufficient guarantee for the faithful ap})lication of 
the public funds; but experience jn-oved that the 
State, as a sleeping partner, was often shamelessly 
swindled, and always had the Avorst of a bargain. 
Hence, Avhen what with us is technically called the 
"Pennsylvania improvements," hi contradistinction to 
company works, were begun in 182G, our Statesmen had 
become tired of partnership concerns, and the}^ began a 
system of canals and railroads, to be constructed alto- 
gether by the funds of the State, to be entirely owned 
by the State, and all the tolls to be collected from the 
''works" to be paid into the State treasury." 

Having shown in the previous part of my argu- 
ment : 

1st That the State has a right to a})})ropriate the 

public funds to the construction of puldic ^vorks. 
2nd That the estimate of the resources of the Com- 
monwealth are correct, and consequently that she 
possesses the ability to accomplish the works pro- 
posed in the report. 
3rd That it is cuiuu'nthj the policy of the State to 
engage in a system of internal hnprovements, if 
viewed in reference to its ameliorating inlluences 
upon society, and its augmentation of national 
wealth and power. 
4th That even as a mone}^-making, stock-jobbing 
scheme, it is a safe and profitable business on the 
part of the State. 
5th That the most effective mode of obtaining the 
object is, by ado})ting the State principle. It 
would seem now to devolve upon me to slio^v, 

Memoir of WiUiain Madi^^ou Pt'ij(on. 1()1 

that the improvements recommended in tlie report, 

are pre-eminently entitk;d to the consideration 

of the kigishiture. But this branch of tlie subject 

has been so fully and so ably elucidated by 

those who have preced(>d me, and will doubtless 

engage the attenti(m of others who will follow 

me, and who will probably be better qualilied 

to do it justice, that I will save myself, and 

relieve the house from a tedious discussion of it at 


Colonel Peyton said, before taking his seat he was 

desirous of drawing the attention of i\m house, and 

especially the friends of the James River and Ivenawha 

improvement, more fully to a subject which has been 

alluded to in debate, and which has been the topic of 

considerable conversation out of doors. 

There is an impression with many friends of the 
James River and Kenawha improvement — whence 
derived or how sustained, I am at a loss to conceive — 
that the friends of the system proposed by the com- 
mittee, are inimical to their work, and that the success 
of this scheme will be the death of theirs. Surely, said 
Col. Peyton, there is nothing in the report which coun- 
tenances any such idea, nor has anything fallen from any 
member of the committee on this lloor, wliich justifies 
any such influence. So far from it, the r('})()rt of the 
committee expressly recognizes this improvement as ont; 
of primary importance — one in which tlie character of 
the State is involved and to the successful c()m])leiion 
of which the faith of the State is pledged. Notbing 
was asked and nothing desired at present by that 
company, and we could not do more tlian express the 
d(^ep interest we felt in its successful issue, and reiterate 
the pledge «)f the State to advance its three-fifths, 
whenever the company might deem it necessary. Can 
it bo behoved that the chairman of the "Com- 
mittee of roads and hiternal navigation," residing 


1G2 Memoir of William Madison Pi'ijton. 

ill Goocliland, on the very banks of the canal, would 
sit by and countenance a report wliicli would be destruc- 
tive of an improvement in wliieli his interests and 
feelings are so perfectly identified ? Can it be supposed 
that I, myself, representing a constituency, every 
individual of whom are vitally interested in the prosecu- 
tion of this work, and representing a county which is 
perhaps to be more substantially benefitted by it, than 
any other in the State, would for one moment have 
given my approbation to any measure which threatened 
its existence ? No, Mr. Speaker. It is an idle surmise, 
generated by a morbid suspicion, and kept alive by the 
indiscreet and intemperate zeal of some of the friends 
of that improvement. I certainly do not mean to repre- 
hend the watchful vigilance of those to whom are 
especially entrusted the guardiansliip of this great work. 
The unsullied purity and patriotism of the amiable 
gentleman who is at the head of the company, and the 
deservedly high standhig of the directory, forbid my 
harbouring for one moment an im})ression unfavourable 
to the integrity of the motives ^vhich have inliuenced 
them in their opposition to this scheme. What I mean 
to say, is, that they have evinced more zeal than 
discretion. They have run oif with their false impres- 
sions before they have taken the troulde to acquaint 
themselves with the views of the committee, and have 
enlisted a feeling of suspicion and hostility among a 
portion of the James river and Kenawha representatives, 
which, if carried out, it requires no prophet to predict, 
will eftectually close the door of the treasury to both 
schemes, at one and the same ■ turning of the key. I 
will then, once for all, at the request of many 
members, make a ccmcise statement of our views, by 
way of disabusing tlu^ minds of those who are at all 
disposed to be satisfied. 

The friends of the report are the fast friends of the 
James river and KenaAvha improvement. They mean 

Memoir of Williain Madi^ofi PrijluiL 1G3 

the pledge offered in the report ;is a bona fide pledge of 
the subscription indiciited, and llu;y are perfectly 
Avilling to give to the friends a carte blanche after the 
report has heen adopted to incorporate in the bill based 
u})on the report, a section in sucli form as they may 
deem best calculated to place the desired increase of 
the capital stock to hve niilliuns additional beyond all 
casualty, and to secure in tlie strongest manner, the 
subscription of three millions on the ])art of the State, 
to be paid 'j.Kirl passu with the subscription on tlui 
part of the stock-hokU-rs. With these fair and 
liberal propositions 1 call upon the friends of the 
James river and Jvena^vha improvement, to groimd 
their unnatural opposition, if the)' do not wish 
to defeat that which they are attempting to preserve. 
Separate yourselves from. } our ill-sorted and suicidal 
alliance with the enemies ot all im])rovement, who are 
using you to subserve their purposes, and who will 
s})urn you when you have lost your weight and 
influence by the alienation of your true friends. If 
}'ou give a seliish, contracted, and illiberal vote, 
strangling every other im})rovement in the State, 
I ask with what faci' yon will present yourselves 
at the next session of the' legislature, or at the 
session thereafter, asking their :tid in the j>rosecu- 
tioii of your work? J)o }ou ilatter yourselves that the 
representative's from those portions of the Common- 
wealth, fresh from the defeat they have sustained at 
your hands, smarting under the injuries you have 
inflicted upcju them, and exasperated by your monop- 
olizhig selfishness, will grant you one dollar. My word 
for it, if this l)ill fails by )'our votes, }'ou will have 
registered the last vote — certtiinly the last general vote 
of the south-west, north-east antl north-west in your 
favour. 1 entreat you, therefore, by the dee]) interest 
you feel in this scheme — by the deep stake the 
Commonwealth holds hi it; by all the glorious results 

104 Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 

which are expected to flow fVoin it, to pause and ponder 
well before you ^ive it the liital stab. Stand forth 
boldly as the friends of a liberal system and you have 
nothing to fear; but shrhik back with distrust and 
seliishness within your own shells, and you will 
assuredly have coals of fire heaped upon your backs. 
A few words more, and I leave the subject with the 

I hope, said Colonel Peyton, that a fair and candid 
consideration of the views which I have presented, will 
be somewhat instrumental in advancing a cause which 
I have so much at heart, and which 1 conscientiously 
believe will contribute hicalculably to the wealth, fame, 
power, and prosperity of the State. The imaginative 
powers are too feeble to conceive, much less to picture 
forth the change Avhich a complete system of internal 
improvement would bring over the land. I Avill not 
attempt it. I hope, however, that the splendid results 
of the experiments of our more enterprising neigh- 
bours have had their influence upon the public mind, 
and given the friends of internal improvement a 
preponderance in our councils. If so, I trust we shall 
im])rove the opportunity which it affords of fixing this 
session as the great ei)och from which to date the 
])rosperity of the Commonwealth ; an era which every 
patriot and philanthropist will revert to with heartfelt 
gratitude and the most trium[)hant feelings; as one 
next only iu importance to that glorious day which 
stamped our freedom with the seal of the Declaration 
of Independence, in the lasting and inestimable benefits 
Avhich have resulted from it to the good ''Old 
Dominion," the renowned maijna mater virum', the 
morning star of our political regeneration — the ''pillar 
of cloud by day and fire by night," during its long and 
wearisome, and eventful progress; the Corinthian 
capital \vhich ini])arts grace, and beauty and hnish to 

Memoir of WUlidiu Madison VcijUm. 165 

the magnificent teni|)lc Avhich we have erected and 
consecrated to the riirhts oi" man." 

The able and animated debate of which the foregoing 
was the conchiding speech, was followed by a close 
vote, upon the report of the committee on hiternal 
improvements, and to the lasting credit and prosperity 
of Virghiia, it was carried, thus becoming the law of 
the larid. 

Amidst the onerous and distracting duties in which 
he was involved, during this winter, it is pleasing to 
state that he found time to show, by his correspondence, 
that the dear ones sitting in the home circle far away, 
were never long absent from his thoughts. Among the 
numerous letters to various members of the family 
about this time, were many characteristic ones, 
addressed to the writer, then a lad at school, fnll of 
good advice and affectionate expressions of kindness.* 

The author has endeavourod as pre-vioiisly said by correspondence 
with liis family and frii^nds in Vir<;-iiiia to jn-ocure some of these hitters, 
but such was the destruction, by lire and other causes during tlio civil 
war, of mansion houses, libraries, ete., tliat he has been unable to 
procure any which possess particular interest. 


In the month of June, 1 840, my first visit was made 
to my brother on his Roanoke estate. The family, 
from Montgomery Hall, was about to proceed to 
Iskham, on Jackson River, one of my fathers] estates, 
about seventy miles from Staunton in the County of 
Bath, to pass the summer. They were in the habit ol' 
spending a portion of every summer there and in 
excursions to the baths which exist in this part of 
Virginia. Before leaving home my father sent me on 
my trip to Roanoke, accompanied by one of his 
favourite slaves, Ned Phi[)ps. Mounted on a hand- 
some bay cob, I was followed, at a respectful distance, 
by Old Ned carrying my clothing in a huge portman- 
teau attached en croupe. This remarkable African, a 
good, kindly, garrulous old man, had attended my 
father during the war of 1812-15 as a body servant 
(of which he was not a little proud) and from his 
experience, age, and faithftd character, Avas ordered to' 
follow me in a threefold capacity, as guide, protector, 
and valet. Though, as I have stated, the grim and 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 1G7 

dignified Ned started on the journey in my rear we had 
no sooner lost sight of the Hall, than the sociable 
instincts of the venerable negro led him to spur up 
and place himself by my side. I did not object to this, 
being fond of his stories, some of which ^v^ould have 
done no discredit to Baron ]\Iunchausen. (3n account 
of his wonderful tales he was slurringly called, by his 
fellow servants, " Ned Fibs." Our familiar conversa- 
tion was kept up somewhat in the style of the famous 
Knight of La Manclui and his squire Sancho Panza, 
until we approached a to^vn or village, when, of his 
own accord, Ned would quietly drop to the rear and 
never resume his former position till we had lost sight of 
the last house. The force of habit was strong in old 
Ned, who had learned respect for superiors, as he 
said, "whde in the army." Besides he was a stickler 
for the proprieties of life, and had I wished him to 
remain by my side in public places he would have 
refused. He was tested on this point the first day of 
our journey, when near the village of Fairfield, where 
1 halted to replenish my brandy fiask and tobacco 
pouch for the beneiit of Ned, who was unconm:ionly 
fond of both stimulants — neither of which I used. 

To my request that he Avould keep by my side he 
answered firmly, almost peremptorily : 

" No sir, I know my right place. Massa can tell 
you Ned hasn't served in the army agin the Britishers 
to no purpose. He knows well enough ofiScers post, 
soldiers duty, masters place and servants too." Valets 

108 Memoir of ]VilU(un Madison Peijton. 

have their point of honour as well as their masters 
and I made no further effort to interfere with Ned. 

Our route carried us by the Rockbridge^ in the county 
of the same name, one of the greatest natural curiosi- 
ties of our country, and through a portion of the 
valley remarkable for its fertility, careful cultivation, 
and attractive scenery. This was the iirst occasion on 
which I had seen this region about which much has 
been said and more written and which is worthy of 
every praise, I shall however make no attem}jt to 
describe it tourist-like. It may be pardonable, hoAV- 
ever to say that so beautiful is this section that while 
gazing upon it I felt — though all my days had been passed 
in the midst of lovely scenery — that it was all that 
fancy could conceive or poets picture : not only beauti- 
ful, but a blendnig of all beauties — streams and dells, 
fruit, foliage, crag, wood, water, tobacco-plantations, corn- 
fields, meadows, mountains. It afibrded me the greatest 
delight and I found " books in running brooks, sermons 
in stones and good in everything." Ned who had often 
travelled on this road liohtened the fati;2ues of the 
journey by his gossip, giving the history of almost 
every house and family which Ave passed. He loved 
this kind of garrulity, as all negroes do, and when not 
indulging in it showed his appreciation of the fine 
scenery, by nodding placidly in his saddle. 

During this visit of tAvo months to Roanoke a further 
knoAvledge of my brother's character Avas gained. 

Memoir of William MikUhoii Peijton. IGO 

" He was humlilc, Kind, for^^ivin^-, mui'k, 
Easy to hr vu[u■.dr^\, -liLcious, iii:],! ; 
And, with all putinuv and, taii-lit, 
lioLukcd, jxTsuad.'d, .solaced, cuuiiSrll'd, waiu'd, 
In fervent style and laauucr. All 
iSaw in Lis face lUiuteiilnient, in Ids lilo 
TLe path to ylcry and peijieinal joy." 

The good relations which existed Ix'tweeii hiniself 
iiiid I'aiiiily, and the ha|)pin(.!ss \vhieh it dilTused through 
tlie home circle, was also a})|)arent. Never ^vas tiny 
thing more admirahle than the manner in which he 
ccmducted himself towards his AvitV', eliildreii, and 
dttmesties. There was }>erhH't tolerance of each i)ther's 
mistakes, lenity shown t(; hillings, meek suhmission to 
mjuries, always a soft answer to turn away A\rath. All 
this he mculcated to those ahoiit him hy ^Vord and 
action. lie used to say to his children, l)y way 
of enforcing his views, '' If yon. lay a si'ck of wood on 
the andirons, and ap})ly hre to it, it will go onl ; put on 
another stick, and it will hurn ; add a half-doz ii a.iid 
you w^ill have a conllagration. There are oth>'r hrcs 
suhject to the same (ayndiiion. l( one niemher of 
a family gets hito a, [)assion and is let alone, he will 
cool down, and possihiy he ashamed and repent. But 
oppose temper to tempi'r ; pile on the htel ; draw in the 
other memhers of the grouj), and let one harsh tinswer 
he followed by another, and there will soon he a hlaze, 
which will enwrap them all hi its lurid splendours." 
In this philosophic and Christian spirit he applied a 
sedative to those ebullitions of passion which rutlle th<i 
iBcrenity of households, and infused such sweetness in 


170 Memoir of WiUiain }[ailUon Vtijlon. 

his cup of (lomostic eiijoymont, tliat I could but exclaiiu 
ill the laiiguago of Cow])cr, 

" Domestic happiness, thou only bliss 

Of Paradise;, thou hast survived the full I" 

His conduct to his negro shives was equally admir- 
able. His only wish was to render tlicni happy. 
Nothing which had reference to their comfort and 
improvement was overlooked in liis plans for them. 
To each couple a hut was assigned, to which was 
attached a little garden, in which the slaves cultivated 
tobacco, maize, potatoes, and where they raised pigs 
and poultry. Those who were inclined to make money 
this way were allowed to go every Saturday afternoon 
to Big-Lick or Salem to dispose of their produce and 
spend the money as they pleased. In all this he but 
followed the example of our venerable father, who 
treated the slaves upon his several estates in this way, 
and lived the life of a })atriarcli instead of a tyrant. 
Throughout the whole South, during those prosperous 
days anterior to the civil war, every planter may be 
said to have been either a tyrant or a patriarch, 
according to the virtues or vices of his character. Both 
my father and brother belonged to the latter class. 
The reader will not be surprised to learn, then, that full 
measure pressed down and running over seemed the 
sum of his happhiess. 

Among the visitors who met at my brothers this 
summer, was our father, who crossed the mountains 
from Lewisburg, where he was attending the Court of 


Memoir of IViUiain Madmuit Veijton. 171 

Appeals, and my maternal luiclo, Colonel Lewis, \\\\o was 
on his way from South Carolina to the Sweet Springs.* 
Ai-riving in lloanoke, at the same time, my uncle 
stopped a week to enjoy the blandishments of society 
at Elmwood, and to recruit from the fatigues of his 
long journey overland. Colonel Lewis was a man of 
certain religious and political crochets, and the friendly 
discussions which occurred bet^veen him and my father 
afforded me no small pleasure. A brief account of 
some of these as a sequel to this chapter ^vill not be 
uninteresting, as shewing the kind of life and discourse 
which sometimes prevailed in my brother's house. In 
religion Colonel Lewis was a lioman Catholic, and in 
politics a disciple of Calhoun, and was of course consi- 
dered by our father as a muddle-headed abstractionist, 
whose ideas of eternal salvation were heretical, and 
whose theories of government could not be reduced to 
practice without national ruin. With afi'ectionate 
solicitude, therefore, for the rei>utation of Uncle \Villiam, 
rather than because he fancied his soul endangered by 
his adherence to the Pope or the country by the blatant 
nonsense of South Carolina empiricism, he used every 
argument which suggested itself to his mind to win my 
uncle from his errors. Discussions thus arose, and 
these sometimes became so warm on part of my uncle, 
that their friends feared their polemics would some day 
result in a feud. Not so, however. My father's modera- 
tion was equal to his vigour, and he mollitied my uncle. 

For abmlged iiedigree of tin; Lt.'wis family see appemlix C. 

172 Memoir of WilUam Madison Feijton. 

and soothed his discomfitures, for he was no match for 
my father in argmnent,hy this st}'le of reasoning, to which 
I was so often a witness that I am enahled to give the 
Buhstance of it — parts of it ahnost word for word, as it 
fell from his lips. 

" There is no necessity Wilham," he would say, " for 
difference of opmion creathig hostility. It must he 
admitted by all that there is great variety in the tastes, 
habits, and opinions of mankind, and it is necessary to 
harmony that it should be so. That partial discord 
tends to general harmony is more than poetically true, 
for, if all men were to set their nihids upon living hi the 
same climate, or under the same government ; or, if 
all the people of a country had an unconquerable deshe 
to live in the same town ; if all the inhabitants of a 
town were to have a good opinion of only one physician, 
or of only one preacher, or lawyer, or mechanic, or 
could only relish one article of food, or fancy only the 
same dress ; or if, all men were to fall in love with the 
same woman, or all the women with the same man, 
what would be the consequence ? Why, from a feeling 
of seeming agreement, universal discord would ensue. 
Even the value of truth is best appreciated by the 
oi)position it meets with, and falsehood and error are 
detected by the discriminating jHJwers of opposite sensa- 
tions and feelings. That there should not be uniformity 
of opinion upon many important subjects, such as the 
theory of government, etc., must be the stamp of 
heaven. For myself I claim freedom of opinion as an 
inherent right, provided it does not disturb the estab- 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 173 

lished order of society. I fear your nullification views, 
my dear William, go this length. However, let me 
proceed, no man has a right to bo oflended at my 
opinion, or hold me in contempt for entertaining it, if it 
does him no injury; and, what I claim for myself, common 
justice, requires that I should allow to others ; and 
did we well consider, that this disparity of disposition 
must be the designation of an overruling Intelligence, 
we surely should not suffer it to be the cause of 
feelmgs of animosity to our fellow-beings, though their 
political or religious opinions should be the opposite to 
our own — still less such old friends and connections as 
ourselves. For, continued my father, unless we had 
been subjected to the same involuntary impressions and 
sensations that other persons have been, which is 
perhaps impossible, we can be no judges of the merits 
or demerits of their opinions, or how they have outraged 
truth and reason, even admitting that they are in error. 
If it should be contended that truth and reason are 
immutable, and when two differ upon a fundamental 
truth there must be a deviation from reason and truth 
in one of the parties, I would admit it to be so if the 
question were susceptible of mathematical demonstra- 
tion. This is rarely the case. Were I to meet a man 
who should contend, that two and two do not make 
four, or that the amount of degrees in the three angles 
of a triangle are not equal to the amount of degrees in 
two rightangles, I must justly charge him with folly or 
wilful falsehood ; but, in whatever does not admit of 
demonstration, our convictions are our feelings ; and 

174 Memoir of William 3Iadison Feijton. 

our feelings depend more upon involuntary impressions 
than we are often willing to allow. Certainly truth and 
reason are the most likely to prevail with cultivated 
minds, for truth and reason are the most likely to 
make the right impression, but we are too apt 
to overvalue our own kind of knowledge, while 
we underrate that of others. In point of 
real utility, the Imowledge of the man who is 
skilled in the breeding and feeding of cattle is more 
valuable to society than is the knowledge of him who 
is skilled in mathematics, yet the latter will look do\sTi 
upon the former, when perhaps the only advantage he 
has over him is the being able to convey his knowledge 
in more correct and perspicuous language ; and, unless 
we possessed all khid of knowledge hi an equal degree, 
we are Hable to be imposed upon hi some things, either 
by thinking too little upon them, or too much, to the 
exclusion of other branches of knowledge, the posses- 
sion of which, though seemingly foreign to the subject, 
may be necessary to its clear elucidation ; for it is by 
the possession of general knowledge only, that we can 
claim a superior title to correctness in every particular. 
A, may be able to solve a difficult problem in mathe- 
matics : B, cannot do this, but B can make a plow 
upon true mechanical principles, which A cannot ; if 
C can do both, C must be superior to A or B ; but, all 
mankind are in the situation of A or B — as possessing 
only partial knowledge : we should all, therefore, be 
mdulgent to each other's deficiencies. Still, my 

Memoir of Williatn Madison Pt'ijton. 175 

superior in general knowledge and learning may 
bo the dupe of a Avcak prejudice, without justi- 
fying an impeachment of either. "I have a brother-in- 
\ law," he would look askant at my uncle when getting off 
this kind of fillip, '' of whose cleverness and general 
knowledge I have a very high opinion, yet in politics 
we are quite opposites: we indeed worship different 
idols, and the only superiority I can pretend to claim 
over him is, that I can bear for him to adore his idol 
even in my presence and yet keep my temper — a 
compliment he cannot always repay." 

"Fudge!" exclaimed my uncle, jumping to his feet, and 
walking hastily to and fro across the room — "I may 
warm with my subject, but as for being offended with 
jou it is out of the question. I'll never so far forget 

" Come, come, be seated," my father would rejoin, giv- 
ing him a friendly shake of the hand, "let me proceed : of 
course you will not think I wish to depreciate the value 
of truth and reason; I only wish to urge, that the 
seeming v^ant of them in others may be deceptions, 
and should not he the cause of contempt, acrimony, 
or ridicule. All are enamoured even with the shadow 
of truth; and should see the substance, if in their power ; 
but, placed in a variety of lights and shades, some can 
only see the shadow, and mistake it for the substance." 
Thus their fraternal discussions proceeded and termin- 
ated in the discomfiture of my uncle, (who though a 
clever man, an eloquent talker, full of confidence, and 

176 Memoir of IViUiam Madison Pc'iiton. 

abimclance of zeal, was no such logician as my father), 
and left not the slightest pain rankling in his bosom. 

Colonel Lewis had been educated by my maternal 
grandfather, Major John Lewis, of the Sweet Sprmgs, 
as a Presbyterian or Puritan — no man living could 
have been more averse to the doctrines of the Komish 
Church than Major Lewis, and to this he trained his 
son. Zealous in every cause he espoused, Colonel 
Lewis conceived the idea of convci-ting the Pope to 
his religious views, and was making preparations to 
visit Rome for this purpose, when he met a beautiful 
and intelligent maiden lady, in Ne^v^ Orleans — a tena- 
cious Papist, who converted him. She soon became his 
wife, and he became one of the most devoted Poman 
Catholics who ever bent the knee at the shrine of a 
Saint. Not long after this, he commenced distributing 
tracts and exhorting people to return ta the bosom of 
the mother church. A room in his house, " Lymi-side," 
Monroe county, Virginia, Avas couN'erted into a chapel 
for private worship, and was ornamented with 
sarcerdotal trinkets, relicts, etc., and the graceful spire 
of a Catholic Church soon shot above the trees of his 
park-like grounds. Aided by an Irish family by the 
name of White, and Leonora Stack, a sister of j\Irs. 
White, and all Papists ; Colonel and Mrs. Lewis 
succeeded in impressing the minds of many of the 
people in the neighbourhood of the Sweet Springs, 
mostly among the poorer and more ignorant classes 
and ou Sundays and Saints Days, in this hitherto 
thoroughly Presbyterian community, quite a respectable 

Dlcmoir of WiU'inm Madhon Vcijton. 177 

congregation both for nninljcrs und appearance 
assembled to worshi]). The ser\'ice, too, was conducted 
Avith as much ot" the splendour and magnificence of 
Iiome as could Ijc imported into it. The interior of 
the church is handsome, the accomodations convenient, 
a sweet-toned organ sent forth its solemn tones and 
novitiates chanted. Two Hoi)' Fathers took ii[) their 
residence at "Lynn-side," and by their sanctihed 
manners and pious exhortations, seconded by the 
affability and condescending manners of Colonel and 
Mrs. Lewis and the pleasing deportment of the Sisters, 
and above all the charity^ freely held out to the needy, 
made a decided im})i'ession on this Puritanistic 
stronghold. Notwithstanding Colonel Lewis' sudden 
and total change in religious faith, no one ever doubted 
his sincerity, but there were not a few to combat his 
views and sneer at his convert zeal. In the family 
circle particularly there were frequent discussions upon 
religious tenets and principles. From having despised 
such myths, my imcle soon became a believer in 
miracles, holy legends, etc., and I remember many 
years after this an animated conversation between 
himself and my father on the sid)ject. 

My uncle argued -with much higemiity— for ho was 
a clever man notwithstanding his crotchets — that a 
belief in holy legends was an obligation im[)osed upon 
all Christians, and upon the great danger of entertahung 
the least doubt of their authenticity. ]\Iy father said 
in reply, that he would as soon consider himself under 
an obligation to beheve the tales of Baron Munchausen. 


178 Dfcmoir of William i\r<(dison Pcijtun. 

Manldnd, lie said, in all ages had Leen credulous and 
had been im])osed upon not only hi tales and roinuncea 
l)ut even in histories. St. (lre,L;-ory coiidcnnu'd Livy'n 
history to he burnt on aeeount of its many falsehoods, 
on the plea that belief in sueh thin,L,fS was conti'ary to 
the faith of your own cdiurch, William. And I say it 
without intending to be impolite, but merely to express 
a conviction of my mind, that no set of men are more 
to be reproached for filling history with ])uerilities and 
pious fictions than the Pioman Catholics. In the 
middle ages they were a community Avhos(? mind.s were 
filled with idle fancies, and th(\y endeavoured to stuff 
the minds of other sects with the same vain imagina- 
tions. In his work entitled, " Revolutions in Spain," 
Father d'Orleans invents, in one action which occurred 
between the Spaniards and tlu; Turks, as many miracles 
as wer(5 related l)y all the llonian histoiians put 
together. The rapid inulti})licity of miracles he averred 
to be interventions by the Diety in favour of the 

"I may further add" — though not a pediint, my father 
wns a profound scholar, and when engaged in the 
discussion of a subject generally exhausted it — " Vossins, 
in his ' De Ilistoricis Latinis,' audaciously assures his 
readers, continued my father, that the walls of 
Agouleine, in the reign of Clovis, suddenly fell to the 
ground by virtue of a small vial ! With more mendacity, 
Maimbourg, in his history of Lutheranism and 
Calvinism, says, that, in 1547, the sun was stopped 
in his course, in order that the Roman Catholics, under 

Memoir of WiUiaiii Madison Pajloti 179 

iliG Emperor Cliarlos V. miglit luive time to entirely 
defeat the Protestants, umler the Duke of Saxony. 
And Sardoval, lUshop of Pampehma, Historiographer 
iloyal to Phihp III., conllrnis this statement, adding 
that, during the battle, the sun was the colour of blood, 
and was so seen over the whole of Spain and France, 
Italy, and Germany. And, in order that his readers 
should not doubt his assertion, he says, ' I saw the 
miracle with my own eyes.' That was enough from a 
Bishop — and the people of Spain believe his statement 
to this day. The Monkish writers, who have transmitted 
to us the histories of the Crusades, have inserted into 
them a nniltitude of miracles, which are so contrary to 
common sense, that it is useless to seek to show their 

No sensible person in the present generation can 
believe that battalions of angels, clothed all in Avhite, 
descended from heaven to assist men. True, these 
nien were Christians, they had good intentions in 
originating the Holy War; nevertheless, in j)rosicuring 
that war, they acted with such fearful crHcliy and 
remorseless vengeance as to be perpetrators of airc/cioiis 
crimes. Such men, even in the days (jf miracles, 
would siu'cly not have been assisted by the inrci-po>iiion 
of heaven? l)ut the p(!o[)le Avho lived in those da3''s 
readily believed every invention that had its foundation 
in piety. They also believed such folly as tales of 
enchanters and deeds of sorcerers quite as nuich as 
religious prodigies and miracles. It was the taste of 
the age; and hi compliance with it, authors who wrote 

180 Memoir of WiUiain Afadison Veijton. 

the lives of the then ilhistrioiis resorted to the style 
which romance writers alone now adopt. For a gi-eat 
man to fic-lit a2;ainst ordinary n^.en was too insi;>-ni(icant 
an achievement. lie must have an enchanter for his 
adversary; then his surpassing valour and virtue were 
sure in the end to attract the attention of some sage 
magician, who protected him against his opponent. 
Thus was the attention of the reader kept alive by 
wonder at the acts of the rival enchanters, and interest 
taken in the fate of an unconquerable and undaunted 
hero, incessantly fighting against his evil fortune. 
Hence arose such incredible stories as those of llinaldo 
and Armida. 

And, my dear William, a great light in your church, 
j!^jobardus. Bishop of Lyons, composed in the 9th 
century, a treatise, with the vicAV of combating and 
dcstro}'ing all those absurd whimsies. '' Such great 
folly" he exclaims, "has noAv seized the poor world, 
that christians believe absurdities, which heathens 
before them would never have believed." 

Great, hideed, were the absurdities believed in the Dth 
century; but there are quite as great extravagances in 
belief in this, the 19th century — so monstrous, that one 
knows not how to refute them seriously ; so irrational, that 
one cannot help bemg amazed at the credulity of mankind, 
and coming to the conclusion that anybody having a 
design to deceive the world can easily find jjersons 
ready to be duped ; for we have only to open our eyes 
to see that minds are always to be found litted to 
receive and believe any folly, be it ever so ridiculous. 

Memoir of William Madi^^on Pcj/toti. 181 

Mark the fiilacious things jK'Oplc have faith hi; true, 
these people are the \ieliiris of [)rc-jiulice, and ai'e 
therehy prevented i'ruui Jiiiddiig of their 
common sense. Countless numbers Lehcve hi 

sorcery, ^vitehcraft, vampyrism, ehdi-\\jyance, eh'ctro- 
bioh')f^y, astroh)g\', I'ortiine telUng — Jica\en knows what 
he.sitk's ! lle-re thcai, ai"e peophi carrying' into the 
3'ears of niaturity the ]'Uiiy intulligenct's of tliat jjoi'iod 
of their fives wlien, enelu.scd in a nursci'}', they IjcJicVid 
as a fact every incident rekitcd in a lair} lak-, or a 
giant or liol)goblin story. 

Now, William, 1 cannot Hatter myself tliat 1 sliall 
convince yon of any I'ri'ors, which in my oijiniuii, you 
have been guilty uf in this respect. That is no reason 
however, why 1 sliuuld not attempt to make you 
entertain a disbelief of all foolish im[)Os>iltilities. For 
example, there is the falacious science of astrology — it 
has been the game of a few designers in all tiges, for 
sordid interest, to have duped others and been du[>ed 
themselves. In ancient times llicy were, in Alexandria, 
compelled to pay a certain tax, -which was called the 
" Fool's tax," because! it Avas raised on the guin that 
these imposters made from the foolish credulity of 
those ^\\\o believed in their })OWers of s(HJth^a)ing. 
\\ I'll may believers in this science Ix; called ''Ibols," 
when they do not seem to consider that it the principles 
of judiciary astrology were correct, and its rules 
certain, the hands of the Almighty would be tied, and 
ours would be tied also. All our actions, all our most 
i^ecret thoughts, all our slightest movements would be 

182 Memoir of William Ufadison Pcijlon. 

cn<^Tn,vc]i ill tlie heavens in inc'fr;ice;il)le clirimctcrs, 
and liberty of condnct wonld be entiri'ly taken away 
from us. ^\^e should be necessitated to evil as to good, 
since Ave should do absolutely Avhat was Av^ritten in the 
(Conjectured register of the stars, other"\vise there Avould 
be falsehood in the book, and micertainty in the science 
of the astrologer. IIow we should laugh at a man Avho 
thought of settling a serious matter of business Ijy a 
throw of the dice. Yet the decision of astrology is 
just as uncertain. Our fate de])ends u[)on ])laces, 
persons, times, circumstances, our OAvn will; not upon 
the fantastical conjunctions imagined by charlatans. 

Suppose two men are born on our planet, at the same 
hour and on the same spot. One becomes a hewer of 
wood and a drawer of Avater, and the other an Kniperor. 
or a commander-in-chief of an army. Ask an astro- 
loger the cause of this dilference. in all probillty his 
reply Avill be — "Jt Avas so Avilled by Jupiter." 

Pray, Avhat is this Jupiter? A\'hy, it is a planet, a 
body Avithout cognizance, that acts only by its iniluejice. 
IIoAv comes it, then, that Juijitcr's influence acts at the 
same moment and in the same climate in so dilferent a 
manner? IIoav can that influence ditl'er in its power? 
lIoAVcan it take place at all? IIoav can it penetrate 
the vast extent of space? An atom — the must minute 
molecule of matter Avould st(^p it, or turn it I'rom its 
course, or diminish its poAver. Are the stai-s alwaA's 
exercising an influence, or do they exercise it only 
on certain occasions? If they exercise an hilluence 
only periodically, when the particles which, it is 

Memoir of Jl'iUiaiii Madison Pt'ijton. 183 

coiitciuled, are tK'trieliijd from them, are coming to our 
s|»lu're, an astrologxT mii>>t kuo^v the time of 
th ir arrival, in oixler to decide rightly upon their effect. 
If, on the other hand, the inlluences are perpetual, 
with what wonderful speed they must rush thi-ough the 
vast extent of sjjace ! How marvellous, too, must be 
the alliance they form ^vith those vivacious passions 
whence originate the principle actions of our lives! 
For if the stars regulate all our feelings and all our 
proceedings, their inllu(.;nces must work with tlie same 
ra}>idity as our wills, shice it is by them that our will is 

Here is a 3'oung man who takes it into his head to 
have nothing more to do with a young lady he loves, 
because she bestows a tender glance on a rival. ^Vhat 
a luunber of inlluences nuist be at work, and how 
quickly too! As quick as the glance the lady shoots 
from her eyes, as swift as the thonght of the lover who 
takes offence, for it is these inihiences \\ hich determine 
the lady to tenderness and the young man to jealousy. 
Is this too mean a matter to considiu-? Oh, no! 
Astrologers maintain that the most insignificant things 
are ruled by the stars. The quarrels and reconcilations 
of lovers are (juite in this way, nay they make their 
best market out of them : they have no such iaithful 
followers as lovers. A\'ho is so anxious to consult the 
astrologer as a young man in love? and as to the fair 
sex^ — we all know how much more inquisitive they are 
than ourselves. No, no! the makers of horoscopes 
have no such constant customers as lovers. Astrologers 

1.84 Memoir of William Madison Pojton. 

and lovers! Wliat a union! ]^)Olli how tlcceitful ! If the 
lair would be advised, I should counsel them to f^'uard 
themselves more against the predictions of astrolo'i;ers 
than the insinuating attentions of ga}' and gaHant 
young men. 

AVhat has been said of planets may be said of comets. 
For a long time it was believed, even Ij}"" the Avise and 
great, that the appearance of a comet indicated evil. 
Evils will certainly ha[)pen after the coming of a comet; 
why, yes, just as they will happen after the rising and 
setting of the sun ; for it is in the ordinary course of 
things that there should always be great calamities in 
some part or other of the world. The iniluence of a 
comet is no greater than that of a man putting his head 
out of a whidow to look at people passijig along the 
street. His looks have no influence on the peo}de 
passing, and they would all pass the same, Avdiether he 
put his head out of the window or not. In the same 
manner a comet has no iniluence over events, and every 
thing would have ha})pened as it did, whether it 
appeared or not. 

People in the past generiitions were believers in 
these influences. That su})erstition has now gone out 
and is supplied by a variety of new kinds of impostures, 
but there is no necessity of endeavouring carefully to 
refute them!" 

After this manner my father sought to persuade his 
worthy brother-in-law of his illogical, cliimerical views. 
Vain was the effort. ^ly uncle never recanted, but 
died a firm believer in the religious tenets, principles, 

Meuioir of Wmiain Madison l\'ijio)i. 185 

und faith he imljihtul from tlie ^iftod hidy who became 
his wife. Thou^^h iuic(mvineed by my fatlier, he must 
have derived no small amount of information from his 
conversations ; it cou'd not have been otherwise, 
for his connnon discourse aliounded in h'arning, wit, 
and knowh'(.li;-e. I shall always re;.!;ret my inability, 
consistently with the scope of this memoir, to do ampler 
justice to the virtues of one wlio lllled so considerable a 
place in Virginia with honour and credit, and thus, while 
erecthig a memorial to his memoiy dictatt;d l^y filial 
alfecticm, to hold out an example of good qualities for 
the imitation of others. Survivors owe this much of a 
debt to de[)arted worth; and if ordinary friendship 
imposes this duty upon us, how much more binding is 
the obligation when the friend and survivor is a sou. 


Among tlie interesting questions at this time dividing 
the poUtical p:irtles in America, was that of the proper 
distrihntiou of tlie money arising from the sales of tlie 
piibhc hinds. 

When, in 17813, the treaty was signed by Great 
Britain, recognizing the independence of the American 
cohniies, and the United States ^vere admitted into the 
family of nations, the Confederacy owned no public 
lands wliatever. It is true that lying within its borders 
was a large tract of unoccupied territory, amounting, in 
the aggi-egate, to about 226,000,000 acres; but this 
land l)elonged to the individual States, not to the 
Federal (xovernment. The English charters had given 
to several of the colonies the coast of the Atlantic as 
their eastern boundary, and liad detined, though loosely, 
their northern and southern limits ; westward, however, 
their territorial rights stretched across the continent to 
tlu! Pacilic. The French possessions, on the other 
hand, extended from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of 
Mexico ; their eastern ])Oundary was not very clearly 

Memoir of Wdl'min Madison i\'ijiun. 187 

(lefinod, but" tlio line drawn not only i<j,-noi'ed the claims 
of the English colonists to the tcriitory, but 
even infringed ui)on the limits of so)ue of the ctJonii'S 
themselves. In support of their pjvti'nsions, the 
French erected forts and l)lo(k-h()iisrs, ;it inter\als, 
from tlie (ireat ]jakfs throiigli tin' vvesliin ]);irt of 
Pennsylvania, to the Ohio ; tJi.ii along the lianks of that 
stream to its junction with the Missis,si[>pi ; wlnaicu 
their chain of military jiosts followed the course of the 
latter river to its nioath. The Jhiglisli colojiists found 
themselves, by these proceedings of the French, hcnnn(,>d 
in, and, in dchance of Avhat tliey considered their just 
rights, prevented all expansion westward, A conliict 
between the two races w^as, under these circunu;tances, 
sooner or later inevitable. A collision, in fact, took 
place so earl}^ as IToo, on tlie banks of tin; Ohio, 
between some English settlers iind the garrison of one 
of the forts already referred to. Both parties to the 
quarrel hastened to lay the stoiy of their injuries licfore 
their respective goverinnents. Tlie conse(pieni\' was a 
long and sanguinary ^var between England and iVance, 
in which half Europe became in\'ol\'ed. 

In the New World, Jjrad.lock's defeat temporarily 
delayed, but could not a\('rt, the liiial cala-lrophe. 
The superior nund)ers and indomitable ]es(dution of 
the Anglo-Saxon in the end })re\'ailed ; Canada w^as 
compiered ; and the forts on the Ohio were necessarily 
abandoned. France, it is triK;, still retained Louisiana, 
which comprehended not simply the present an^a of the 
State bearing that name, but a vast tract of territory, 

188 Memoir of William Mudison Vcijton. 

extending from the Gult' to the 49° of north latitude ; 
and from the Mississi})])i, on the east, to the Mexican 
frontier, on the west. But, by the time the people of the 
English colonies had become a nation, the French power, 
in America, had been so thoroughly broken, that no 
further opposition to the expansion of the Confederacy 
was to be apprehended from it. 

The conflicting claims of the various States to the 
Western territory, derived, as already stated, from their 
old colonial charters, threatened indeed to lead to 
serious legal difficulties, if not to an actual collision, 
between the inhabitants of some sections of the Confede- 
racy: for the boundaries of several of the colonies had 
been so carelessly detined, that they actually in some 
places overlapped each other; and the dilflculty was of 
such a nature as, apparently, to oifer almost insuperable 
obstacles to a solution which should be equally 
satisfactory to all parties. The question was, never- 
theless, amicably settles] ; and in a manner highly 
creditable to the good sense of the hihabitants of the 
several States interested. Instead of wrangling with 
each other as to the justice of their respective cbiims to 
the unsettled territory, they all, without exception, in 
the course of a few years, cnil)raced a proposition that 
they should cede their rights in the land lying beyond 
their borders to the Federal Government. These 
cessions embraced the entire area now occupied by Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These 
various gifts placed the Confederacy hi possession of 
over 200,000,000 acres of bind. In 1803, Louisiana 

Meiitoir of WiUiaiii iU(iiliso)i Pei/tOK. 180 

was purchased from Franco ; and this acquisition, akmc 
added no loss than 1,000,000 square miles of territory 
to the Union. In 1819, I'horida was ceded by Spain to 
the United States making the total aggregate of lands, 
acquired by the Federal Government, since the revolu- 
tion to that date at a thousand milUon acres. At this 
time-tha^sales of public lands produced 3,000,000 dols. 
a year, and continued lo incicajc until, in 18o0, they 
rose to 21,000,000 dols. 

The general government was administered at this 
period with enlightened economy. A lo^v tariff yielded 
more than was necessary to meet the animal charges 
upon the treasury for the civil, diplomatic, luival, and 
military services. No taxes were levied, no debt 
existed, and it became an interesting question how to 
distribute the surplus hi the treasury, augmented by 
the sum of 21,000,000 dols., arising from the land sales. 
One party, led by Hon. Thomas II. Bayly, advocated 
a reduction hi tlu! tarilf, and the ap})lication of the land 
to supply the delicieiicy thus created in the ordinary 
expenses of the Confederacy. The opposite party 
wished the tariff loft as it was, as no one felt the 
indirect tax thus imposed and the land distribution 
among the separate States, according to their population 
etc., with a view to its being si)ent in State improve- 
ments, such as the erection and support of schools, 
colleges, and the opening of roads, canals, etc., etc. 
To this latter party belonged Colonel Peyton, who in 
reply to a speech of Hon. Mr. Bayly delivered the 
following rejoinder in the House of Delegates, of 
Virginia, on the 20th of January, 1830. 

190 Memoir of Williiini Mcul/.^oii I'ciiton. 

House of J)i:l('(j(ites of linjiiiia, 

Januanj29th, 1839. 
Public Lands. 

Tho Fourth Resolution being under consideration, in 
the following words : 

Resolved, That not only the experience of the past, 
hut a wise forecast requires the speedy adoption of some 
e(pntable plan providing for the distribution among the 
States, in just proportions, of the proceeds of the sales 
of the public lands; and this Cxcneral Assemljly d(jth 
therefore earnestly urge upon Congress the innnediatc 
adoption of such measures as will be best calculatial to 
obtain this desirable object. 

General Bayly moved to amend by striking out all 
after the word resolved, and inserting "that Congress 
ought to adopt some equitable plan, providing for the 
distribution among the States, in just proportions, of the 
nett proceeds of the public lands, or so nmch thereof as 
may not be necessary, taken in conjunction with the 
customs as regulated by the Acts of Congress of the 
2nd of March, 1833. and other sources of revenue, to 
dcifray the expenditures of the government, economically 

After the Fourth resolution insert Fifth. Resolved, 
"that the adjustment of the tariff, contained in the Act of 
Congress of the 2nd of March, 1833, commonly called 
the Compromise Act, ought to be held sacred and 

Colonel Peyton said, that in throwing himself upon 
the indulgence of the House at this time, he was 
unprovided with the artiticial machinery of a set speech, 
which was the best guarantee he could offer that he 
would tresspass upon their patience but a few 
moments. Indeed he felt that it was the duty of every 
gentleman to be as concise and succinct in the ex{jression 
of his views upon the resolutions as was consistent with 

Mi' mo if of ll'illioin M, nitron Pnjloii. 191 

perspicuity, that wc may lose as little time as possible 
in coming to a det-isioii and l;iying that decision before 
Congress. It was one of tliosij measures \vhich, to 
make it eifective, it must be prompt. If, we dally and 
disimte about abstractions much longer, another census 
will overtake us, which will disclose a numerical power 
in the "Western and South-western States, which 
combined wdth the alliances which they nuiy contract 
with Presidential aspirants, will enable them to substitute 
successfully votes for arguments ( vohinta pro ratioiic) 
and by a species of legalized spoilation deprive us, first 
of our domain, and then, as a natural and inevitable 
consequence, of our population. 

He continued, and said, he should forbear at present 
from presenting his views of the ini(puty of the several 
graduation bills which had been discussed in Congress, 
or of the very modest proposition of some of the States 
to divest us, in toto, of our interest in a common fund 
for which they are prhicipally indebted to our generosity 
and patriotism, nor would he, at i)resent, attempt to 
picture forth the desolating hilluences of either policy 
upon the Old States, but conline himself in the few 
observations which he should submit, to an examination 
of the arguments submitted l)y the gentleman ((ieneral 
Bayly) who had just taken his seat. 

That gentleman opposes an unconditional and un- 
qualified distribution of the proceeds of the public lands 
among the several States, on two grounds — first, 
because it violates one of the provisions of the Con- 
stitution of the United States — and seccmdly, because 
it has a tendency to revivi; the Tarilf — both of which 
difficulties he proposes to ol)viate by confining the 
distribution to periods when there is an unappropriated 
balance in the treasury, beyond the \vants of the 
Government, economically administered. In the truth 
and justness of these sentiments, the gentleman from 
Accomac has certainly succeeded in convincuig himself 

192 ^fenwir of ll'illidiii Mudisoii Pdijton. 

most tlioroiiglily ; and hence his assertion that those 
are not only bhnd, hut ^vilfully blind, who do not 
concur with him. It is possil)le that my mental vision 
may not be as acute as that of the gentleman from 
Accomac. It is possible I may unconsciously labour 
under some visual obstruction which exposes me to 
optical delusions, but I do assure the gentleman, that 
whatever be my delects in this particular, I am, to say 
the worst, fortunately not wilfully blind. 

Perhaps it may be a delusion, but I am certainly 
impressed with the belief, that I have a clear perception 
of the fallacy of the gentleman's argument as well as 
the impolicy of the plan he proposes. 

In the lirst place, let us scrutinize his constitutional 
argument. He contends that inasmuch as the several 
States had ceded their western territory to the Colonial 
Government, as a common fund to pay the debts 
growing out of our revolutionary struggle, and to defray 
the charge and expenditure of the several States, that 
the convention of 1787, which framed our constitution, 
must necessarily have had these lands hi contemplation, 
when they framed that clause which gives Congress the 
power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and 
excises, to pay the debts and provide for the conmion 
defence and general welfare of the country. That, 
looking to this almost boundless domahi as a source of 
revenue, they framed this clause expressly in reference 
to it, and that any attempt to divert the funds arishig 
from this source, so as to recpiire all the expenses of the 
Government to be borne by taxes, direct or indirect, 
would be in violation of the constitution. This 
construction, Mr. Speaker, has at least the recommenda- 
tion of novelty. I am sure there is not a gentleman 
within the sound of my voice, who ever dreamed of it 
before — nor can I believe it will find a response in the 
mind of a single member. 

Can it be believed for a moment that an Assembly 

Memoir of IViUlnin Madison Ptnjton. 193 

^!omposcd of sncli men as prepared our constitution, 
cuiikl liavc connnitted a pt)liiit'al blinidor so palpatio as 
to plant ono of the main pillars of the (Sovornnicnt upon 
an unsubstantial and evanescent foundation? Can it be 
believed that a body, composed of the lirst civilians of 
the ag'e — men whose re})utations for forecast and wisdom 
shine brighter with the lapse of time — would, in framhig 
the constitution of a great nation, have connnitted a 
blunder so puerile and absurd as to have made the 
Government depend for its support upon lands which 
are every day dhninisliing in quantity, and which must 
sooner or later be entirely exhausted ? Ages and 
centuries are but as days and weeks in the histoi-ies oi' 
nations, and it would be an indelible imputation u])on the 
statesmen composing the convention of 1787, to 
establish the construction contended for by the gentle- 
man from Accomac. It would make them per})etuate 
the incredible absurdity of providing a fund for the 
support of the Government, which would be constantly 
decreasing after a certain period, and which must 
ultinuitely be exhausted — constructing a chart of 
Government for a great nation, which it was hoped 
would maintain its princi})les and its hitegral existence 
dependent upon temporary and transient resources.. 
But, to make this (piestion still plainer, cast }'our eyes 
prospectively to that period when all these lands shall 
have been wrested from us by the plundering rapacity 
of the West — or, to the somewhat remoter puiod, \vliei! 
we shall be divested of them by the ordinary o})eration 
of the present land system. Then this Pactolus, which 
now pours its golden Hoods into the colfers of the 
Union, will be driinl up and exhausted; and the Govern- 
ment, if the construction of the gentlemen obtains, left 
destitute of any mode of defraying its current ex.penses. 
This, Mr. Speaker, does appear to me to l)e a complete! 
rcducdo ad absurd nut, ant) of course establishes its own 
fallacy. The plain, obvious, connnon sense and 


lOi Memoir of Will lain JlfiuJison Pajton. 

universally acquiosccd in construction of the clause 
wliicli gives to Congress tlu' right to lay and collect 
taxes, etc., etc.; to pay the dchts, and provide for the 
conmion defence, etc., is, that the General Clovernment 
is to judge of the exigency, and then exercise its 
discretion in raising the means to meet it by taxes, 
direct or mdirect. I am free to admit, ]\Ir. Speaker, 
that the ardour and ze:d which the gentleman has 
displayed in the support of a proposition so untenable 
has convinced me that he was sincere and honest in his 
assurance to the House, that his views on this subject 
were hastily concocted, llctlection, with a gentleman 
of his intelligence, Avould unquestionably have exposed 
its defects. The next branch of the gentleman's 
argument, though more plausible, is equally fallacious. 
He argues that in consequence of the increased and 
incr(>asing necessities of the General GoveriinKait, and 
the diminution of revenue, growing out of the Compro- 
mise Act of 1833, that an unconstitutional distribution of 
the ])roceeds of the public lands, would leave the 
Government unprovided Avith sulhcient means to meet 
its wants and drive them to an increase of duties and a 
violation of the compromise. And, hence the propriety 
of his amendment, which, rccognizhig the ccmstitu- 
tionality of distribution, restricts it to periods when 
there shall be a surplus beyond the economical wants of 
the Administration, and which further protests against 
any violation of the Compromise. At the first blush, 
the gentleman's argument would seem to be just and 
legitimate, but a little reflection will satisfy you, Mr. 
Speaker, that it will not stand the test of a rigid 

Estal)lish the gentleman's principle that there shall 
only b(ia distribution of the surplus beyond the economi- 
cal wants of the Government ; that the revenue derived 
from the sales of the public lands, must primarily be 
exhausted in the discharge of the public liabilities 

Jifiimoir of IVilUnni jlJadison Pcjjlon. 105 

before the Governiiient can legitimately resort to 
another source, and what would be the condition of 
things? Does not the gentleman iVom Acconiac see 
the constitutional as well as financial ditlicnlties Avhich 
would grow out of it? With heavy recci[>ts from Lin; 
sales of the public domain, such a.^ ^v'e have witnessed 
for the last three or four )cars, theiv ^vonld be a sum 
suilicient under an iuvno'/iucul administration of the 
(.loverinnent, to defray all iLs expenses, withouL touch- 
ing one cent of the revenue, derived irom inijio.-^ts 
under the Comju-omise i\ct. This would j)i'oduct; a 
rcdimdcuicy in the Tn^asury b}' the contiiniiil influx 
irom the Customs, which :i.ceording to the geiitleJiian's 
own principles, would be a violation of the spirit and 
meaning of the Coni[)romist', anil un uneonstitutional 
exaction, as it Avoidd not be necessary to meet tlu; ' 
burdens upon the revenue. Ihit these, Mr. S])eaker, 
are theoretical evils, such as often play tlu; piu't of 
ghosts in Virginia, haunting the imagination and 
disturbhig the sickly scjisibilities of our '" unco rltjhtcoii!^^'' 
sti"aight-laced politicians. 'i'liey ai-e rather possible 
than probable evils. JJiit tlun-e are others of a grave, 
and important characti^r resulliiig necessarils and 
inevitably from the i)olic3' (>{ the gentlem;in from 
Accomac. The truth is, Iiowever distant .and wJileK- 
separated may be the sources of owi' revcjiue, w luilier 
derived from the tarilf, or lands, or excises. ;ili the 
various streams are tributaric's to a connnon reservoii-, 
where they all nringle together for a connnon jun-pose, 
and lose the distinguishing features of tlu ir origin. 
The (juestion is never raised Avhether an appi o])i-iation 
shall Ije made out of monies deri\'ed from any [(articular 
st)urces. The draft is on the Treasury, and the money 
taken from the commingled contents ol the connnon 
reservoir, in this state of things is it not as })lain as 
noon-day, that there would be a constant elloi't to 
raise the imposts, that the general fund might Ijc 

19G Mmoir of WiUuim MiuJi^on rcijton. 

augmented, and a siir|)liis ei-eatcd fur distriljution. 
The iiortlicru and Avesteni States, wliich are principally 
interested in tlie maintenance of tin; tarill", united M'illi 
tl.ose Stati'S whose distril)utal.)le share would C(;mpen- 
sate them for the burdens of the tariif, would scatter 
to the winds all the parchment and moral obligations 
of the Compromise Act, and com[)el an increase of 
duties. Could a finer field be presented for such 
combinations than the States of our Confederacy? 
Are they not pc:culiarly lialjle to temptation ? Engaged 
as most of them are, in de^'ising and carrying out 
comprehensive schemes of general education, and in 
])rojecthig and executing magnificent schemes of 
internal improvement, both of which rc(juiri! the 
command of enormous sums of mone\', 1 ask, would 
they not yield to the seductive blandishments of their 
tariff friends, and unite in a scheme which promised 
to relieve their necessities and replenish their coffers V 
Add to this the intrigues of p(jlitical gamljlers for the 
['residential chair, who Avonld most assuredly trade 
largely upon this very available and eihcient cajtital, 
and none can doubt the corru[)ting hiiluence of the 
measure, and its direct and inevitable tendency to 
produce the very evils depi-ecated by the gentleman 
from Accomac, and sought to be guarded against in his 
amendment. J)Ut the gentleman linds the corrective 
to all this, in that part of his resolution which 
sanctified the Compromise Act. Does it allbrd the 
remedy? By that Act, Mr. Speaker, the duties are to 
be reduced to twenty per cent (id oaloi'ciii in l<Sf'2. 
Xow if this was an imperative and unyielding stipula- 
tion that there should be no articles other than those 
at present embraced in the; tariff, subject to the diit}' 
of 1S42, and that twenty pei* cent ad valorem would be 
the duty through all time and under all circumstances, 
then the genth'man's argument, that our policy 
endangered the Compromise, would have some plausi- 


Memoir of IVilliani A[a(Jis<'>n Ptijton 107 

bility. l>ut such is not tlio fact. In the your 1842, 
tlu' ilntit.'S, accordiiig to tlie scale a^ii'vccd U])on, will In- 
Iwriily per cent. .M'icr which time it was a^/j'eed, 
that it should expand or conti'act according- t(^ llie 
necessities of the (i()\'ei-iLiii('iit ccoiuniilcdlbj administered. 
li" the UoNei'iimiJit, aecordinu' to this tUt^pian i-tandai'd, 
required a re\eiiue ^vhich this tAVenty }>er cent hll 
sliorl of producing, then they wei-e autlioj'i/cd hy Ihe 
('(inijiromisi! Act to J'ai.^e the duties to the point 
rc((uired hv tlie expenditures. Hence, it is })erfecily 
apparent, if you require an ai^solnte distribution, and 
ihe necessities of <hr connlr)' should di'maiid, Mhal 1 
think ver}' im[»rolta1)le, larger means than is all'orded 
li\- the Customs, undci- the j-fduced iariil' of 1812, the. 
duties mav he auirnu iited so I'ar as to meet llu' 
exigenc^', A\'ithout violating the h.'tler or spirit (jf the 

As a general, .-md indeed almost univi-rsal rule, prudent 
indivi<luals are e('oiKimic-;d according to vhe jneans lhey 
ha\'e at their (fe-po-al. As with inili\'iduah, .-o with 
Covernments. 'Ihe annals of })rivate life and the pages 
of history alike attest its rrnth as a general ])ro])osition. 
Oiu- own Covermnent, Avho^e spirit and genius is at war 
^vith e\tra\';iganee and ct)i'i-u]ition, and ^\hich should 
lia\-e' Constituted the exceplion, il' any AVere exempt, 
l>re,^ents in its hislory the most exact conformit)' to tlu- 
maxim. In llu- infaney of our in>llluU(jns, Nvhen Ave 
Avere stinted in our ri'-oui'ct s, v.e prided oui'sehcs upon 
our lo publican >imitlieil \'. and tlu; moral grandeur of a 
great nation di-;d;iining' (lie ostt-ntalious tr:ip];ings of 
Co\erumen1al g'inndeur, but a^ we ad\anc((l in jjopnla- 
tion and Avealili. the sp'iri:<n hrntit yielded to the pliiui. 
j)'iilili//; st)lendour w;i> >ubsl ituled for simplicity, unlil 
in the admini-iratioii ot the secontl Adams, cnu' 
( ioN'einnuiital exj)enditures had reached tlu' enormous 
sum ol" l;;,()()l),()()0 dols. A sum so far beyond anything 
^ve■ had conceived neces-ar} for its su}>port, that he Avas 

198 Memoir of JViUiain Madison Peyton. 

cx])ellecl almost with one voice from the Presideiitia] 
chair. So deep and pervadiii^r ^y^^ the dissatisfaction 
of the people, with these wasteful expenditures of the 
puhlic treasure, that each successive Administration has 
made reform and retrenchment the watch words of 
party. And yet, Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding we 
have gone forth to the battle with ''economy" 
emblazoned upon our standard, the innnense revenues 
])0Uring into our cotters from indenmities, jniblic lands, 
and the customs, have exercised a counteracting 
influence, and our march hi extravagance has been 
almost pari passu with oiu- augmeuted income. In 
1836 the expenditures had reached the almost incredible 
sum of 40,000,00 dols. Thus showing the tendency of 
our government to spend according to its means, and 
the visionary absurdity of the restraint imposed by the 
terms economical expenditure. 

Pour the wealth of the Indies into our Treasury, 
and my Avord for it, the political doctors whom chance 
or fortune may have placed at the lu'ail of uur aU'uirs, 
will socm discover some happy depletive remetly for 
this oppressive pletltoni. National roads, fortifications, 
exploring expeditions, and the almost endless et eeteras^ 
which are the natural Iruit of ample means, become by 
a "log rolling" combination of the members of Congress, 
necessary and proper in their estimation, and professedK' 
consistent with a judicious economy. Hence if the 
amendment of the gentleman ((ieneral l>a)ly) s^hould 
prevail, reason and experience teaching us that the 
expenses of the Government will keep pace with its 
income and the terms of the C\)in[)romise, according to 
the construction of the gentleman, actually exhibiting 
a surplus, we cannot by possibility have the distribu- 
tion which he recommends in the first })art of the- 
resolution, except in the way 1 have argued. The 
resolutions cou})led with the gentleman's ameiidment 
is either a stimulant to evil, or it is a reality. It will 

Memoir of iViUicun Madison Peyton. 199 

either drive us into fraudulent contributions for raising 
the duties, that we inay have a surphis to chstribute, 
or, according to the gentleman's own shewing, it will 
be utterly nioperative and ineflectual for any object we 
may have connected with the public lands. In both of 
which aspects I am utterly opposed to it. 

I forbear, Mr. Speaker, launching into a more 
extended field of discussion, for the reason assigned 
when I first rose. Already I have extended my 
remarks further then I contemplated, and I hope the 
House will find an apology for it in the magnitude and 
importance of the subject, and the novelty of the 
positions assumed by the gentleman who preceded me. 


For some years previously to 1849 the question of 
popular education and Free schools had excited much 
interest in Vu-ginia. One of the most earnest friends 
of a general system of education -\vas Colonel Peyton, 
Avlio made his views known in conversation, by 
communications to the newspapers and speeches at 
public meetings in Roanoke, and at a State Convention 
in Richmond. He left the important atlairs of his Coal 
mining and river improvement projects in Boone county, 
at an inclement season and travelled nearly 4U0 miles 
over the wretched roads of A^irginia, in a ricketty stage 
coach, in order to attend this Convention, in which the 
writer was also a delegate from the county of Augusta. 
Such was the deep and enthusiastic interest he took ui 
this vital subject. His private affairs Avere but as dust 
in the balance, when they were in conllict Avith those he 
owed to society. 

From a lively recollection of his conversations and 
speeches at this period, the author is able to give the 

Memoir of WiUUuii Madison Peijlon. 201 

following brief synopsis of his views on this interesting 

He maintained that popular ignorance was one of the 
greatest curses that could afflict a people, and was 
altogether inconsistent with the theory and practice of 
Republican Government. Quoting the language of 
Hosea, "my people are destroyed for lack of know- 
ledge," he asserted that the ignorance which prevailed 
among the ancient Jewish people was the principal 
cause of their unhappiness, betraying them into crimes, 
and consequent miseries. It was this ignorance, this 
fatal lack of knowledge, which caused them to reject 
Jesus Christ and led to tlieir destruction. He then 
considered the mental darkness which prevailed among 
the ancient heathen nations, and traced to it all their 
wretchedness. In their depravity they departed from 
the original ways of Providence, and set up false deities 
to be worshipped. All true morality and religion were 
destroyed amongst them, and the mass of mankind sank 
into darkness and woe. In his opinion, the only way to 
preserve the moral world was by a dift'usion of true 
knowledge, by which men would be able to see what 
was wrong. From a consideration of the malignant 
effects of ignorance among the people of the ancient 
world, Jews and Gentiles, he passed in review the 
ignorance prevailing in subsequent ages, and finally 
came down to what was called the Augustan period of 
English literature, when Addison, Pope, Swift and other 
writers flourished, as well as philosophers, statesmen 
and heroes. Even at this period he said the mass of 


202 Dhiiiulr of WiUiam Madison l\ijton. 

English people were steeped in ignorance, and were 
considered by the educated as mere mental barbarians. 
An author never thought of his works beuig read by 
the debased multitude ; they were composed for the 
educated few, wlio were recognised as a select com- 
nmnity ; and it was one of the most remarkable 
features of the times, that the cultivated part of the 
British nation regarded the mental and moral condition 
of the rest with the strangest indiflerence. To such an 
extent did ignorance prevail among the lower orders in 
England, that it might almost be called heathen at the 
time when Whitfield and Wesley began to excite the 
attention of the multitude to that subject. He then 
passed in review its effects upon the character of the 
English nation, and said that the gratification of their 
senses was then their chief good. It led to a disposition 
to cruelty, which was displayed and confirmed by their 
practices, such as prize fighting, cruelty to horses 
and the brutal way of slaughtering animals. And 
what was true of them wn^uld prove true of other 
people — fallen nature is the same everywhere. Educa- 
tion had done much, since, the period to which he 
referred, to enlighten and educate the British people, and 
he trusted that Americans would not be insensible to 
their example. He said it was dishonourable to a 
country that the people should be allowed to remain iu 
this condition, a monstrous tiling in a Kepublic which 
was supposed to be governed by the people— they, at 
least, ought to be able to see that it was necessary to 
educate their children, unto whom they proposed in time 

Memoir of JViUiant Madison Pcijton. 203 

to pass the Government mul the destinies of the 
country. He then consiJercd in all its bearings the 
oLjectiou made to popular education hy a certain class of 
thinkers — those who maintained that it would render 
the common people untit for their station and discon- 
tented with it, and showed the a1)surdity of this 
proposition, and illustrated the advantages to a wise and 
upright Government, of having intelligent citizens. Ho 
usserted that no pure religion could co-exist with this 
popular ignorance — that the want of mental discipline 
caused an inaptitude to receive religious information, and 
exemplified its truth by many striking examples. 

From all these views on the subject of the disadvan- 
tages of ignorance and the evils and miseries it had 
entailed on mankind in the past, he went on to a 
practical examhiation of the subject of free Schools in 
Virginia, and maintained, That it was the intereb'i of 
every member of the nation that every other numiber 
should be educated. Those who declared tliat a tax 
for this purpose was a hardship on those wlm had no 
children, forgot that a greater hardship would I'.ill to 
their share if they did not educate the youtJi of the 
land, namely, that of keeping up jails, peniti'utiaries, 
guards, criminal judges, and the like. If edacation 
spread abroad, morality would also spread, and these 
concomitants of crime w^ould not be needed. The 
money thus expended among an ignorant and vicious 
population would, in an enlightened community, go to 
construct roads, railways, bridges, canals, and other 
useful works. 

204 Memoir of WiUiam Maihson rc}jton. 

Many men believed that education and morality had no 
connection with one another, hut he held the oi)posite 
opinion. If it were false that education improves tlie 
morals, why does any father desire to educate his sons 
and daughters ? If his educated children were the 
better for it, would not all be improved by it ? If it 
were not a good thing, why are school-houses, colleges, 
universities rising every where over the land ? But it 
was true that education improved, rclined, and elevated 
the morals of a people, and where we found a college, 
there was a church, whence a divine morality was 
diffused. But, he said, education meant moral as well 
as intellectual development, and, in any system which 
might be adopted, he would advocate the study of the 
Holy Scriptures in the schools. After dilating on these 
points, and declaring that after a boy was taught to 
read and write he was subjected to new and powerful 
moral influences, he proceeded to enter upon a more 
practical branch of the subject, namely, the greater 
security it gave us. 

Under our system of government, he said, the people 
ruled. We may, in time, come to rejoice or lament that 
this is so. Suffrage is extending, the Government 
becoming more democratic, property has less influence, 
and numbers more and more weight. What is our 
duty ? To prepare for the change by a system of 
universal instruction. Then universal suffrage might 
be^a blessing. There was no folly an ignorant mass, 
armed with universal suffrage, might not perpetrate. 
People in this condition are easily imposed on, Dema- 

Memoir of IVilliani Madison Pcijton. 205 

gognes would take advantage of them, lead them 
astray to their own and th(3 public detrinnait. France, 
he said, had been afilicted by such demagogues or 
fanatics, who asserted that all property should be held 
in common, and such pretended friends of the people 
had inflicted the deadliest wounds upon the prosperity 
and happiness of that great nation. A similar class in 
the north were making an effort to do the like in Ainerica. 
Only the unthinking could be deluded l>y their sojiliistry. 
Sui)pose it were in their power to vote themselves a 
farm to-day, might not the same power vote it away 
to-morrow ? The only permanent basis of prosperity, 
comfort, and hai)piness for any people, is in the 
knowledge possessed by each one of his duties as well 
as his rights, and the perfect security of both person 
and property. In matters of government as in perst>nal 
concern, justice and right are always wisdom ; that 
is, nothing is truly advantageous, which is not truly 

The fathers of our (lovernment had asserted these 
principles. Jelferson said, '" I prc!})ared three bills for 
the revisal, proposing three distinct grades of education, 
reaching all classes : 1st, J^'dementary schools for all 
children generally, rieh and poor. 2ud, Colleges for a 
middle degr(!e of instruction, calculated for the common 
pnr})oses of life. 8rd, A higher grade for teaching the 
sciences generally, and in their loftiest degree." " One 
provision of the elementary school bill was that the 
expenses of these schools should be borne by the 
inhabitants of the county, in proi)ortiou to their general 

206 Memoir of WiUiani Madison reijton. 

tax rates." I coiisiderod four of tlieso billri (the school 
bill was one) as I'onniii!^- a system whereby a i'oandatioii 
would be laid for a Cloveriinieiit truly republican. The 
people, by the bill for a genci'al education, would be 
qualitied to understand their rights, to maintain tliem, 
and to exercise with intelli<i;ence, their parts in self- 
government, and all this would be eft'ected without the 
violation of a shigle natural 'right of any one individual 

Education was, in his o})inion, essential to the social 
and intellectual well-being of the people, and should 
command the innnediate attention of the Legislature. 
Otherwise the extension of the suffrage would prove a 
worthless, nay a dangerous gift. Intelligence is the 
condition of freedom ; and unless the enfranchised 
millions are rendered, by education, capable of exercising 
their right of voting with sense and judgment, the people 
would become the dupes, the victims of unprincipled 

He went on to di'clare that general education 
developes new sources of wealth and utility, else why 
has it grown into a maxim that " knowledge is power." 
The truth is, the more you multiply knowledge, the 
more you hicrease the aggregate })ower of a connnunity. 
What vast sums had been added to the annual produc- 
tion of manufacturing countries by the spinning-jenny, 
the power-loom, the steam-engine, the railroad, and the 
numberless labour-saving machines of recent years. 
All this resulted from educated labour. The reason 
why the useful arts advanced so slowly for centuries, 

Mt'Diolr of IVllliain Madison PeijtoiL. 


was because the labour of tlie world was performed l)y 
ignorant men. 

Further, he expressed the opinion that general 
education increased the value of property. There were 
several elements which entered into the value of 
property, especially of land, besides its productiveness, 
such as the virtue and quietness of the neighbouring 
community, its character for progressive improvement, 
etc., which makes it desirable as a residence. Many 
examples were adduced from the more prosperous of the 
northern and eastern States, first, to establish this 
proposition, and, after further remarks, to prove that 
general education diffused umong all classes will be 
found to make the labour of the country more useful, 
and of course more valuable. He proceeded to say that 
universal education could only be brought about by 
general contribution; and that this might be effected by a 
broad system having due regard to the respective needs 
of various religious bodies. 

There were four modes of educating a people. 1. 
Every parent should be left to provide instruction for his 
own children. 2. The Government may aid the more 
indigent alone. 3. The Government may give partial 
assistance to all. 4. The Government may provide, at 
the common expense, for the complete elementary 
instruction of all classes, saving the requirements of 
religious liberty without discrimination. He examined 
all these systems in detail, and declared his opinion in 
favour of the fourth. At this point he went into an 
estimate of its cost, and showed that it would be light. 

208 Memoir of WiUiaui Madison Peifton. 

Besides, he said, the free schools would not only be 
cheaper than others, but would be better. The teachers 
would be more highly trahied, better paid, there would be 
a judicious classification of pupils, suitable apparatus 
such as black boards, globes, maps, prints, models, etc., 
to aid the teacher to explain and the scholar to under- 
stand. These schools, too, would be under a vigilant 
supervision, which would encourage the teachers and 
stimulate the pupils. He concluded his remarks by 
suggesting a plan of the proposed system, which it is 
not necessary to give. 

Most readers will be ready to concede, I imagine, that 
the man who held such enlightened views with regard to 
education was fully worthy of his age, if not in 
advance of it. 


Few readers, save those who are intimately acquainted 
with the practical working of popuLar elections in 
America, will be prepared lor some of the details of 
this chapter. At the next election the young and 
gallant delegate for Koanoke and Botetourt was 
opposed by the radical party, which |)ut in nomination 
an ilhterate person by the name of Prichard. Colonel 
^ Peyton did not wii-h to come forward at this time. He 
^ he had already seen more than enough of political life, 
with its noisy ambition and its mean passions ; a life so 
poor and base was unsnited to him. Of this he 
frankly informed his friends. These, however, urged 
him to serve another term with such pertinacity, upon 
the ground that he owed it to the country, that his 
disinclination was overcome. It was in a patriotic 
spirit alone that ho }'i(,ilded to their importunities — the 
spirit of Brutus which is thus expressed in the play of 
Julius CsBsar, 

What is it you would impart to me ? 
If it be ought towards tlic general good, 


210 Mt'tnuir of ]\'l.lli(tin Madiaon l\'ijt(yn. 

Set honour in ono eye .nnl ilcilli i' tlio otliei, 
And I will luol: ou Lw^li iii(lillV'iviitly : 
For, lot tilt' g-mlhJ ,so .s[(i\il lur, as 1 love 
Tho name of honour luon; ihan 1 fear death. 

It Avas not upon the cards, however, that this 
irreproachable gentlenian — (lils nioduruChevaHer r>;i,}'ard 
sans peur tt sans reproche — should be allowed to walk 
over the course. Durhig his absence liom hi'ine in 
the discharge of his pul)lic duties, the metropolitan and 
provincial leaders of the ])arty (jf ]\Iai-tin Van iiuren, 
called in the parlance of the da}' the Locofoco or ultra- 
democratic party, had been in incubation, and hatched a 
plot. The manner in which this formidable })lot was 
concocted, who beside 'i'homas Ritchie and Bowyer 
Miller were its chiefs, Avhat class beyond demagogues 
took part in it, at what precise time and u[jon Avhat 
signals it was to break out, need not be recouiited. 
For our purpose it is suilicient to premise, that fearing 
the influence exerted against their }>arty in the 
Assembly by Colonel re}ton, and the greater power he 
was destined to wield, it he contimied in public life, it 
was determined by the i)/t<(//, in Kichmond, acting in 
concert with the local ringleaders, to bring, if possible, 
his political career to an end. The party organ in 
Richmond, the Jinqmrer newspaper, edited by Thomas 
Kitchie, struck the first note, and the provincials lost 
no time in taking up the tune aiid raising the hue and 
cry in Roanoke. Ritchie was a veteran at this sort of 
thing. He had long enjoyed pre-eminence as the most 
wily of Southern editors, had so unremitthigly and. 

Memoir of ]VilUcun MadUon Peijton "211 

successfuly pulled tliu wires and directed the machinery 
of A^'irghiia Locofocoism that he was a pronounced Seer 
enjoying the soubriquet of " Father Ifitchie." AA hen 
he took snuft' every Locofoeo in the State was supposed 
to sneeze. This paternal bell-wether iigurcd in the 
Richmond conclaves of the jKirty and pointed out the 
road to success, and rareh' was he mistaken as to the 
direction. In many respects he was an adniiraljle 
guide and leader. lie united in a reniark-;d)le manner 
t\\(i fort iter in re ^\n{\\ ilia .sudolter in niodo. When he 
wished to carry a point he mann-uvred with con- 
summate skill, in his lirst essays he was a.-, mild as 
last year's hone}', spo];e in dulcet sli'ains. If his policy 
failed, this tune was quickly changed. He now 
uttered the hai'.di and authoritative language of a 
master, tried Avhat virtue (here was in stones. Success 
generally attended his btrategy. If not, sad was the 
fate of his victim, if an honest and inde])endant 
opponent closed his ears to his soft whispei's, he was 
mercilessly put upon and huntid down. 11" an 
inexperienced member ol' his party ventured to think 
for himself, ther ■ ^\'as no greater crime at head-(piarti r.-., 
lie soon learned "what it was to ruii the gauntkt. lb; 
was warned by the J'Jnqiiiirr that an open enemy is 
better than a false fi-iend, had a lecture upon a dudas, 
kiss, an essay upon sealing one's infamy, all the changes 
indeed, Averc rung upon his ]K-rfid_y, his }>resumption, 
and rebellion. The Avhi})pers in-baited him in the 
legislative halls, denounced him in the streets, dogged 
])im at his hotel — in a word, persecuted the miserable. 

'212 Memoir of UllUatit Bladison Peyton. 

wretch until, broken down in licaltli and spirits, the 
contumacious bungler was oidy too glad to secure peace 
by an unconditional surrender, by a quiet return to his 
duty and allegiance. From such a contest with 
Father Ritchie the inexperienced member always 
retired a wiser and a sadder man. Indeed, he was 
generally wise enough to appear to relish his 
humble pie. He certainly always afterwards voted 
for his party, right or wrong, through thick and thiu. 
When he had sufficiently expiated his offence the 
Enquirer gave him a cheerful pat upon the back, and, 
thus kept in countenance with his constituents the 
inexperienced member stood a chance of re-election, 
of becoming an ex})erienced member. 

Father Ritchie's watchful eye took in the entire State; 
he seemed universal in his knowledge of provincial 
affiiirs ; his spirit pervaded, permeated, overspread our 
home politics far and wide. Whenever he saw a new 
star in the political firmament, a promising man rising up 
in the opposition his minions were set to work — iirst to 
win him over to the Locofoco party, if successful all was 
well — if not war was declared. Hostilities having thus 
commenced, nothing was neglected to make the war 
short, sharp, and decisive. Father Ritchie silenced tlio 
consciences of some of his tools, he had some under- 
strappers not altogether devoid of moral sense, by the 
assurance that all is fair in politics as in love and war. 
With the prescience of an old leader, he saw danger to 
ultra democracy in the rise of Col. Peyton. Could the 
young man be won over ? Were his convictions strong 1* 

Memoir of WlUiain Madison Peijlon. 213 

these were the questions to l)o settled. Flattery was 
lirst tried, tlte .Kiujiiiirr declariii;^^ that the chdogate for 
Itoanoke was without a rival among the young men of 
Virginia, that ho was the worthy son of a noble sire, 
that he was a ripe seholar and trained statesman, had 
been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, was on the 
highway to honour and fame, that but a single danger 
beset his path, namely Federalism, of this rock he must 
beware, from such feticism turn away. Let him, said 
the Enquirer, advocate, liberal principles, in other words 
turn Locofoco, then every honour and reward, was his 
which a grateful and admiring people could confer, etc., 
etc. It was of no avail. Father Eitchie then tried ridicule 
and abuse, talked of the overweening vanity of young 
men, the idle dreams of youth, and so-forth. Col. 
Peyton was proof against both ; all the inshiuating 
arts of the veteran, all his and his minions' violence 
could not shake the resolution, or corrupt this integrity 
of Wilham Peyton ; he was absolutely proof against 
every threat, as against all oily llattery, and taught the 
venerable Piitchie that there was at least one exception 
to the maxim with politicians, " that every man has liis 
price." The Enquirer then turned to its old course of 
personally complimenting Col. Peyton, in order tlu; more 
successfully to disguise the party movements and 
privately and industriously set on the beagles of 
Ptoanoke. It advised the ^vhippers-in of the peril which 
threatened, and of tlie importance of defeating the 
Colonel. These orders had no sooner been issued than 
the pursuit commenced. The principal director and 

214 Memoir of WiUiaui M/hUmu I'ctjlon. 

driver on the occasion of these pi'oc(.'e(]inj^s was Bowijer 
MiUcr, a young attorney, a caiidiJute lor practice iu 
Fiiicastle. MilLr was aniljitious and slii)pery, not 
wiiliout a certain cleverness, and an adept at political 
mtrigues. He was also an aspirant for oflice, a candi- 
date for anything that "paid." Previous to Colonel 
Peyton's removal to the county, this provincial Machiavel 
had been considered by sonic, certiiinly considered 
himself, the most rising man hi the district. When 
Colonel Peyton appeared, IMiller and Jiis clique sank 
mto obscurity as stars disa})})ear from the sky at 
sunrise. Nor was Father Piitchie ever able to do moi'C 
for him as a reward for his services than to procure him 
a seat in the legislature, where hu was a nobody and a 
nothing; absolutely without em})loymcnt, unless Pathrr 
Pvitchie should wish some one's heels tripped u}). In 
this case Miller was his riglit man, and in such feats ho 
always found Bowyer ecpial to the occasion. 

Were it consistent Avith the plan of this memoir, I 
could relate many curious e})isodes in the legislative 
career of Mr. Ritchie's henchman as r.icounted by the 
late George Maijse, of Bath (Jounty, who served with 
Colonel Peyton and Mr, Miller in the House of Delegates, 
and with the latter hi the (Constitutional Convention of 
1850. Mr. Miiyse was a thoroughly honest and 
conscientious man, a true patriot and warm friend of 
Colonel Peyton. He thereforc3 felt and expressed no 
Hinall disgust at the course of the Hnquircr and llowyer 
Miller towards his friend. According to JMr. IMayse, 
however, neither Father lUtchje nor Mr. IMiller ever 

Aicinoir of WUlituit Mitili^nn I'lijloiu 215' 

pl:i3'<'(l ut iiny buL a dmihlc tj(niic, ov set sails to catch 
any l)iit a siilc \viiul. 

Alive to the Coloiicl's })('rs(tiial popularity, tlioso vllla[j;c 
politicians and pct-lioiisc (];aii;i;>'();4-U(.'S ivisortcil to every 
Liiek U) Compass tlieif e.iils. They i'e])res(-iite(l to the 
iviasses of their party th;it it was iiecessuy to vote '* early 
aiul often " aLjaiiist PryLwii, ho^\■e\er IVic^ully their 
per;>o]ial rchitioiis nii^ht he ; IJiat it would not he a 
vote against him indi\ idu;d]y, hut ;i,L;;iinsL his Federal 
heresies, which they ihchired tended Ic^ monuri-hy. A 
vote, Baid they, against ]:im is a shot in f.u'onr of con- 
stiiiitional pnnciples - the ]>asls alike of our model 
U(})uhlican (Jowrnment and of Um Locofoco partj^ 
In their heat tlu'y prouoiiiic'.'d the ''ciiadel oi' liherty " 
in danger, and they cri<'d ^iloud heseeching all })atriots 
to hasten to its defence. To the ignorant they })ro- 
tested that it was not a (piestioji of likes or dislikes, hnt 
altogether one hetween liherty and despotism. This: 
Vv-<irked well among tlu! foreign elenu'ut. Nothing else 
could draw this class fi'om the (lolomd's support, for 
many of these p.o;)r straiigia>; I'emeiuhered him as a 
heJiefactor when Ihey came hungry aiul almost naked 
frcau abroad. It inlluence/l tlie more ignorant natives 
also, and not another issue c(jnld, lor lu- ^VilS the idol of 
tlie poor, by whom he was r.gardcd as a brother and 
protector. Nor was h, said tiny, a ([iK.'siion of voting 
ioY the wisest and best man. Oh, no ! Were this the issiio 
thi'y too would vote for Peyton. In no sL'nse, said these 
harpies, is it a nnilier of Aoiing for men, but altogethei 
one of vothig for measures, "j^deasures nut men," said 

'216 Memoir of IViUiaiii Madison Peyton. 

they, is our inotto and ours are the only measures on 
which our Government can be admhiistered without 
tlie destruction of all civil, religious and political liberty. 
In private they represented Colonel Peyton as an 
aristocrat, whose birth, education, and training allied 
him to the patrician element in society and the kingly 
principle in government, that, if elected, he and his party 
would labour to assimilate our institutions to those of 
Great Britain. If successful in this direction, the people, 
the dear people, would lose all which had been gained by 
the Revolution of 1776, and shdv once more into the 
condition of serfs — Old world serfs. The fastnesses of the 
forests, the hollows of the mountains, the cellars and 
attics of the grog-shops were penetrated, ransacked, 
every bush beaten, every hole and corner reconnoitred 
to bring to the poll voters against him. Thus, ignorant, 
unsuspecting people, who had lived years in obscurity, 
and many of whom had never so much as heard his name 
were produced as plumpers against him. While the 
Locofoco's were thus employed, his friends were lulled 
by over confidence into a false security. They scorned 
and ridiculed the opposition as contemptible — too despic- 
able to be noticed ; they contented themselves, denounc- 
ing it and its authors as demagogues engaged in dirty 
work which was disgraceful to the country. A meeting, 
however, was called of the Colonel's supporters, of the 
whole people indeed, at Salem, the county-town. This 
was attended by the county gentlemen en masse as well 
as by all classes. Colonel Peyton drove over, attended 
by his principal supporters and addressed the people iu 

Memoir of IJ^iUiam Madison Feijton. 217 

a speech of such ability and eloquence that, if never 
before, now all opposition was supposed to be silenced. 
Mr. Prichard declined speakiiig, saying,'' 1/^d was no orator^ 
hut tliat lohcn lie told the. 'jn'ojih' that he witc, a IjOcoJoco 
straiijlit out, and icoidd ootc thnwjjii thick and thii for liis 
'partij, lohdh'.r right or wronij, llteij knew wlio tlicir man was 
and where to find him." Mingled laughter, hisses, and 
drunken cheers greeted this enunciation of a purpose to 
"go it blind" as it was termed m the slang of the day, 
and respectable people dispersed to their homes, leaving 
the town to a considerable extent in the hands of an 
intoxicated rabble shijuting for Pritcbard and libert}^ 
Gentlemen returned home satistied that Colonel Peyton's 
election was certain beyond an accident, and a series of 
dinners took place in the county as a welcome to him 
on his return. These were kept up till the day of 
election. Meanwhile the Locofocos worked like beavers 
in the dark; frightened the timid by stories of returnhig 
despotism, bribed some by money and others by 
promises, and engaged many of those known to be 
certain voters for Peyton in business und(-rtakings 
which were very profitabki, but which these varlets took 
care should call them from the county on election day. 
Those who had conscientious scruples at the prorspect of 
being absent were quieted by being told that the Colonel 
did not require their votes — tliat he would b(3 ekcted 
by a tremendous majority. Many vvere tlms gained 
over to their side through political cowardice, and others 
who were paid either by money or promises. Tims by 
one artitice or another, tbey succeeded on the day of 

218 Memoir of Williain ]\[adlson Peijton, 

election in rolling up a majority for Mr. Pricliard of 
sf.i'cn votes. Colonel Peyton's friends were equally 
astonished and indignant at the result. They declared 
that it arose from unparalleled bribery and corruption,, 
and they earnestly urged him to contest the election. 
He steadily declined all such importunities, barkened 
not to their counsel, declaring that he had consented to 
be a candidate, not to gratify any personal wishes, but 
solely to please his friends— his own tastes were for 
retirement. At their instance he had come forward; 
the scrutineers of the polls had declared his op})onent 
elected, and with this verdict he should not attempt to 
interfere. Nor did he again refer to the election nor to 
the perfidious scheme by which ho had been defeated. 
The pure and proud mind can never confide its wrongs 
to another, only its triumphs and its happiness. 

It may be safely said, however, that he was ineffably 
disgusted with the excitement, intrigues, and corruption 
of our politics. Brief as was his public career, he had 
doubtless been long enough in the arena to be convinced 
that he who aspires to be the head of a party will find 
it more diihcult to please his friends than to perplex his 
foes. That he must often act from false reasons which 
are weak, because he does not avow the true reasons 
which are strong. ' That it will be his lot to be forced 
on some occasions to give his consideration to the 
wealthy or the influential, although they may be in 
the wrong, and to withhold it from the energetic but 
necessitous, although they may be in the right. That 
there are moments when we must appear to sympathize, 

Memoir of William Madison Piijton. 219 

Dot, only with the fears of the brave, but also the follies 
vi' the wise. That he must often see some a[)|)i. aranees 
that do not exist, to be blind to some that tlo. To be 
above others, he nuist eondcscend at times to be 
beneath himself, as the loftiest trees have the deepest 
roots. And without the keenest cu'cumspection he Avill 
become conscious that his very rise will ]>e his ruhi. 
I'or a masked battery is more destrueti\'e than one that 
is in sif^dit, and he will have more to dread from the 
secret envy of his o^vn adherents than from the open 
hate of his adversaries. This envy will ever beset 
him, but, if determined to ])roceed in his career, he must 
not ap[)ear to sus})ect it. It will narrowly watch him, 
but he must not seem to perceive it. Even when he is 
anticipating all its effects, he must give no note of 
preparation, and in (lefending himself against it, he 
nnist conceal both his sword and his shield. Let him 
])in-sue success as his truest friend, and a|)i)ly to con- 
iidence as his ablest counsellor. Subtract I'rom a little 
great man all that he owes to o})portunity and all that 
he owes to chance, all tliat he has gahied b}' the 
wisdom of his friends and by the folly of his eiiemies, 
and oiu- Brobdignag will ol'ten become a Lilliputian. 
1 think it is Voltaire who observes, that it was very 
fortunate for Cronnvell that he appeai'cil U[)un the 
stage at the precise moment v.hen the pi;ople were tired 
of kings, and as unfortunate for his scju, Kichard, that 
he had to make good his [)rc;tentions, at a moment Avhen 
the people were ecpially tired of ])rotectors.' 

Having, as })reviously remarked, no taste for public 

220 Mcinoir of IVilllain LIcuUsoji Peyton. 

life under the conditions sarronnding it in those days, 
no amljition to contest the pahn with tricksters and 
demagogues and the " little great men " sent from the 
counties generally, through the influence of cross-road 
publicans and local demagogues, he returned to his 
estate with a firm determination, in accordance with the 
advice of Cato to his son, to pass the residue of his life 
in the real post of honour, the private station. His 
defeat, therefore, gave him the opportunity which he 
coveted. It may be added as a part of his history in 
this connection, that he was on many occasions, solicited 
to become a candidate for sundry offices. The 
prhicipal men of that section of the State united in an 
effort to induce him to become a candidate for Congress. 
lie declined all importunities, refused to give up the 
comforts of his home again. He only is a great man, 
says Steele, who can neglect the applause of the multi- 
tude, and enjoy himself independent of its favour. 
i\Iost truly may it be said of this excellent man, that 
with him the rewards of, virtue exceeded those of 
ambition. He sought to do good rather than be con- 
spicuous. Notwithstanding this determination, to 
which he steadily adhered, he was brought forward by 
his friends in the Legislature, with whom the election 
rested, for the office of Governor of Virginia, and 
again for that of Senator in Congress. He would 
doubtless have been chosen for one or both of these 
positions, notwithstanding the hitrigues of Father 
Ritchie, Bowyer, ^filler, and others of the like feather, 
but for his persistent determination to refuse all such 

Memoir of WiUiain Madison Peijton. 221 

distinctions and his elo(|Ut;nt advocacy of the claims 
of others to the vi^ry situations for which he himself 
was proposed. 

The reader will doubtless agree with the author, that 
those upon ^vhom honours are conferred are not always 
the most deservhig, and that Colonel Peyton had little 
occasion to regret defeat. Wicked Ilamon was 
promoted by Ahasuerus and all the king's servants that 
were in the king's gate, bowed to and reverenced him. 
Absalom, the rebellious son of David, stole the hearts 
of the men of Israel. Herod, arrayed in ro}'al apparel, 
made a speech to the people, and they gave a shout, 
saying, "it is the voice of a God, and not of a man." 
But what was the end of these men ? Ilamon was 
hanged on the gibbet prepared for ]\Iordccai ; Absalom 
was slain by the darts of Joab, and Herod was eaten 
by Avorms, aixl died miserably. Mighty conquerors and 
their armies have covered themselves with glory. 
Ignorace has deified, and superstition worshipped them 
as gods ; but had ihey met what they deserved, their 
names would have been handed down to posterity with 
infamy and disgrace. The fact is, the world does not 
always bestow honour upon real worth ; hence the best 
of men seldom enjoy its smiles, or do so only for a time. 

About this period the (Governor of Virghiia appointed 
him State proxy, to represent the interest of the 
Commonwealth in the meetings of the stock-holders of 
the James Kiver and Kcnawha Canal Company, a work 
by which it was sought to connect the waters of the 
Chesapeake and Ohio, and which origiuated with 

222 Memoir of WilUaiii Madison' Peyton. 

Washington himself. This great work was ah-eacly 
completed from Richmond to Lynchburg, a distance of 
between one and two hundred miles, receiving tolls to 
the extent of 800,000,00 dols. per annum. With his 
usual energy and fidelity to trusts imposed on him, 
he devoted himself, without pay, for years, to the 
judicious management of this company, attending all 
its meetings and writing all the annual reports of the 
board. The present (1873) secretary of that company, 
William Preston Munford, once said to the writer, that he 
did not know what the company would do without him, 
he was the life and soul of the whole undertaking. 

Previous to the election of 1844, he was invited to 
prepare a preamble and resolutions embodyuig the 
principles of the Whig party, and in favour of the 
election of Henry Clay to the Presidency, to be 
submitted to a public meeting of the Whigs of Koanoke. 
This led to the following paper from his pen, setting 
forth the main principles of the party, and giving, in 
vigorous language, his opinion of the great Kentuckian 
Statesman. The preamble and resolutions were 
unanimously adopted. Mr. Clay subsequently became 
the candidate of the party, but was defeated. He had 
been too long ideutfied with the history of his country — 
was too good and great a man to answer the purposes of 
his party as a candidate. 

The following is the first and an imperfect draught of 
Colonel Peyton's resolutions. It was found among 
some calcined rubbish, after the burning of his mansion 
in 1870. 

Memoir of UlUiain Madison Feijton. 223 


The Whigs of Roanoke being assembled for the 
purpose of party organization, and especially with a 
view to forming themselves into a " Clay Club," deem 
the occasion suitable for announcing the leading prin- 
ciples on which they intend to conduct the coming 
Presidential contest. 

Acting, as they trust, in harmony with the great 
body of the party throughout the union, they are anxious 
to secure the moral weight which is the just reward 
of elevated principles and ingenuous conduct. They 
wish to avoid all surreptitious measures of assault or 
defence, to come into battle openly and boldly, with 
their principles emblazoned upon every fold of their 
standards, thus inviting the scrutiny and defying the 
power of their opponents. A victory gained by fraud 
and deception would be valueless in their estimation, 
since it would destroy the public confidence hi their 
integrity as a party, and jeopardize the popularity of the 
principles which they profess, and upon the ultimate 
ascendancy of which they conscientiously believe the 
stability and efficiency of our institutions depend. 
They anxiously desire a just exposition of the political 
creed of the opposite party, and a fair and honourable 
issue upon their ^ conflicting principles. They are 
confident of success if they are thus met before the 
nation in a spirit of candour and fair dealing. They 
beUeve if they can prevail with their opponents to define 
their party faith clearly and unequivocally, and to stand 

224 Memoir of WilUani Madison Peyton. 

by it sincerely aiitl honestly in every quarter of the 
Union without respect to the pjlitical prejudices of any 
locality, that there is sufficient p itriotism, intelligence 
and enlightened self-interest among the people to insure 
their success. To warn the people from the rocks and 
quicksands of unrestrained and licentious democracy to 
the safe haven of well-regulated Republicanism. When 
the honest masses understand the s[)irit of Locofocoism 
abroad in the land, generating the most destructive 
moral and political principles, despoiling States of their 
credit, and thus weakening the obligations of common 
honesty between individuals ; when they see one of the 
two parties of the country, identifing itself to a consider- 
able extent with these lawless repudiators and 
unscrupulous " bond breakers," who, in the spirit of 
wild reform and mad innovation, trample under foot 
every precedent which time, experience, wisdom and 
patriotism have established ; neither respecting the judg- 
ment of a Washington, nor the opinion of the pure 
and spotless patriots who assisted him in modelling our 
institutions and giving us a hope of endming national 
existence and national glory, they believe that the sober 
and reflecting portion of the people will tremble for 
perpetuity of our Government, and will rally to 
its defence under the banner of our party whose name 
is the synonyme of constitutional liberty. 

Not wishing in this hasty address to elaborate the 
views of the Whig party, but simply to aimounce the 
cardinal features of our political faith, leaving comment 
for future occasions, Ave declare, 

Memoir of WiUiam MadlsotL Peijton 225 

I. That we are in liivoiir of a national bank, being 
firmly convinced that all the industrial interests of 
the country, whether agricultural, commercial or 
manufacturing, depend for much of their prosperity 
upon a ch'culating medium of equal value in every 
part of our country, and in sufficient abundance to 
meet the necessities and convenience of trade. 

II. We are in favour of a tariff, which while it 
affords a revenue sufficient to meet the wants of the 
Government economically administered, shall be 
so adjusted as to foster and cherish our infant manu- 
factures, and at the same time awaken a design for 
reciprocity in foreign nations by the imposition 
of counteracting duties upon the productions of 
such of these as impose heavy burdens upon our 
principal exports, such as cotton and tobacco. 

III. We are in favour of an equitable distribution of 
the proceeds arising from the sales of the public 
lands among the several States, believing that the 
public domain is the rightful property of the 
States; as such Ave consider the authority exercised 
over these lands by the General Government as 
purely fiduciary, and that the terms of the trust 
precludes all the graduation schemes, and schemes 
of partial cession, whicli have been advocated at 
different times by the respective branches of the 
Democratic party. Relying upon the custums or 
impot dues as an abundant source of revenue fur 
the support of the Government economically admin- 
istered, we wish to divert from the National 

220 Memoir of IViUiaiii Madison Pcijton. 

Treasury this unnecessary and redundant tributary, 
and pour its rich blessings into the more legitimate 
State channels, where it will dilTuse countless 
benefits in restoring their shattered credit, in pro- 
viding the means of general education, and in 
opening up new and enlarging old markets for the 
husbandman and manufacturer, by improving the 
means of intercommunication and developing the 
resources of our interior country. 

IV. We are in favour of the one term principle — we 
think experience has shewn in these degenerate 
days of the Republic, that lust of office is apt to 
swallow up all sentiments of public virtue, and that 
where the President is re-eUgible his first term is 
often engrossed by disgraceful intrigues to secure 
a re-election, by the disgusting scenes of official 
profligacy, and by the shameless prostitution of 
offices of the highest responsibility to the unhal- 
lowed purposes of party. We think that destroy- 
ing all hope of re-election would, by withdrawing 
the temptation, increase the chances of an 
independent and honourable administration of the 
General Government, a consummation most 
devoutly to be wished. 

V. We are in favour of a thorough rcfurm in the tone 
and spirit of the Government and its officers, to 
bring back the Washingtonian standard of official 
qualification, and to infuse into the Government 
that enlarged, liberal, and patriotic spirit which 
regulated the policy of that illustrious man, the 

Memoir of IViUiam Madhoii Pi'ijton. Ill 

lustre of whose virtues defies the virulence of party, 
and who, staudiiig- up before posterity in the full 
proportions of his niuteliless wisdom and purity, 
challenges the world for an equal. Instead of 
bestowing ofhces, instituted for the public benefit, 
on unscrupulous Demagogues, as a reward of their 
sordid services, we would have them conferred on 
men of elevated prhiciples and unquestionable 
qualifications — men who never forget that, "they 
have a country to serve while they have a party to 
VI. Finally, we are in favour of Henry Clay as our 
next President. In announcing our preference for 
this distinguished patriot and statesman, we feel a 
just pride in presenting to the consideration of our 
fellow citizens one whose virtues and services give 
hun the highest claim to the lirst office in the gift 
of his countrymen. Imbued with a spirit at once 
bold, generous, acute, comprehensive in its grasp 
and brilliant in its conceptions, yet capable of the 
severest investigation and minutest detail; euuobled 
by a patriotism which dilYases itself over his \vhole 
country, rishig in every exigency above all mere 
party considerations and sinking in the cause of his 
country all the conflicting prejudices and feelings of 
individuals and factions Avhieh jeopardize her honour 
or her welfare. Enriched with an experience long, 
active, conspicuous in its trials, embracing one of 
the most eventful periods of our history and 
identifying him with all the great and important 

228 Memoir of William Jlladison Peyton. 

measures which mark tlie era of his brilliant career! 
regulated by a judgment, subtle, profound, 
matured, and harmonizing with the principles of the 
Whig party ; and finally, as a capital to cro^vn this 
noble Cormthian column, sustained by a lidelity 
and fearlessness which can be relied on to enforce 
the principles we profess, we confidently recommend 
him to the American people for the first office 
within their gift, and as a worthy successor to the 
''Father of his country." 

It is obvious from these resolutions that he had large 
and accurate information on political affairs; that he 
knew what was necessary to make a people great, 
prosperous, and respected. With what earnestness ho 
denounces those miserable profligates who have brought 
American credit into disrepute, and made the name a 
reproach on many a Bourse by their ''bond breaking," 
repudiating doctrines. To a man however in his 
station it would have been a real reproach to have 
remained ignorant of the history, laws, and constitution 
of his country — to have had no certain, well ascertained 
policy for her wise Government. 

In the political affairs of this election, he took some 
part, making eloquent speeches in favour of Mr. 
Clay's election at Salem, Fincastle, Danville, 
Lynchbury, Richmond and other places, but he 
avoided those warm and angry debates, which are 
calculated only to inflame the passions and alienate 
parties. He endeavoured by cool and deliberate 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 229 

disquisitions on politics to enlighten the minds of the 
people and lead them to a right judgment. He had 
too often seen the efl'ects of ignorance, in leading the 
multitude astray in national affairs, not to exert himself 
to scatter its clouds. Under its influence, the best 
measures of public policy had often been condemned, 
and the worst obtained popular applause; the wisest 
and purest of our Statesmen had been ostracised, and a 
shallow and noisy race of demagogues foisted into office 
and loaded with honours. He laboured, therefore, 
earnestly to spread true knowledge abroad and dispel 
the mists of ignorance which overspread a portion of the 

There are some men who appear great only while 
the splendour of rank, or the bustle of station dazzles 
the eyes of the spectators ; others become magnilied as 
they recede from the public view, and are seen like stars 
in the distant sky. Of this latter description was 
Wilham Madison Peyton, a man with too much of the 
weakness of humanity to have altogether escaped 
censure ; but whose memory is clear of any considerable 

Most interesting was it to see him in the retirement 
which now followed. Here he communed with his own 
heart, studied the Holy Scriptures, contemjjlated the 
works of creation, and formed plans of great usefulness. 
His mind was free to enter upon all these important 
subjects and it cannot be doubted that he calmly con- 
sidered what he would do for his own kinsfolk, friends, 
and acquaintances, and also even for his enemies. 

230 Memoir of WilUdin Madinon Peyton. 

To a public-spirited man like liimself, it is equally 
beyond doubt that he considered how he might best 
serve his country and the world. And none of us are 
without the power of doing somethhig for others if so 
disposed. If we have wisdom, we can contrive for 
them; if wealth, we can supply their wants ; if power, 
we can protect and advance them ; and if piety and 
goodness predominate in our hearts, we can, and do, 
strive to lead them to God. Relatives claim our first 
care and attention. Are they poor, afllicted, despised, 
i<rnorant, or wicked? AVe should tlunk how we may 
improve their circumstances, restore their health, 
redeem their character, inform their minds, or 
amend woes. Friends next claim our attention. 
Can we make them hai)picr, more useful, or respectable? 
Next our acquaintances. Tlu;y may not have served 
us; but that consideration sliould not prevent our 
benevolent plans to serve them — even our enemies, 
should share our good will. They have used us spite- 
fully ; let us try to do them good. The attempt will 
prove a blessing to us, and it may be also a blessing to 
them. In this spirit his retirement was spent, nor did 
he forget that his country had claims upon him. He 
thought how he might best serve its interests and 
promote its happhiess — how eloquently the foregoing 
resolutions denounce repudiation and all bond breakers. 
He sought out plans of public utiUty, and exercised his 
influence to carry them into effect. In other words, 
without ostentation, noise, or boasting he endeavoured to 
do all the good he could. Durhig his retreat he applied 

Memoir of Willuun Madisun Pi'ijton. 231 

himself to literary [iiid scientific pursuits with as much 
earnest devotion as if his livelihood depended upon his 
success. He doubtless reahzed the furce of the 
remark of Hamlet, 

"Wluit is a II Kin, 
If bis cliii'f g(jO(l, and nuiila't of lii.s t\n\(\ 
Ee but to sloop and food Y :i Least no moro. 
Sure be tbat made us witb bucb huge iliscourso 
Looking before and after, gave us not 
Tbat capability and Ood-liko ivason 
To rest in us imusod. 

During his scienlilic studios and investigations ho dis- 
covered that cannel coal, which had nut i)roviously been 
found in America, always existed in Enghuul in tlio 
region of bituminous coal. From this and other cir- 
cumstances he argued that search would lead to its 
discovery in the bituminous coal iields of America. If 
so, it would be a most important discovery. Accordingly 
in the summer of 1815, he proceeded, in company 
with a few practical miners ^vhom he hired for the pur- 
pose, to the coal beds of the Kenawha. The party 
spout some time in explortitions and researches on the 
waters tributary to the Great Kena^vlia in the county of 
Boone, and the correctness of his judgment was shown, 
and his labours rewarded, by the discovery of probably 
the most extensive cannel coal tield in the United 
States. His first discovery was at a point on the coal 
river, about thirty miles from its junction with the Great 
Kenawha. At sundry spots on the river between this 
point and the Kenawha he came upon other veins of 

232 Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 

this mineral, varying from two to six feet in height and 
thickness. After these vahiahlo findings of hiJcleu 
wealth, he pm-chased 30,000 acres of this land and pro- 
ceeded to develop the mineral resources of that region, 
with which important work he was occupied down to the 
period of the civil was in 18G1. At the spot of his 
original discovery a town war laid out and in his honour 
called Peytona, which is now a flourishing place of 

He also ascertained in his numerous experiments 

with this coal that it possessed a variety of useful and 

valuable properties. Among other things, that candles 

might be made from it, surpassing those of wax in 

hardness and beauty. Also that the tar products of 

this and the bituminous coal, decomposed by the oil 

of vitrol, yielded, among other valuable substances, one 

now called paraffine, resembling, when bleached and 

purified, wax or spermaceti ; and that it burnt with a 

clear white flame, free from smoke. Since then this 

substance has become widely known the world over, 

and is largely used by all candle-making companies, 

though at first this and other results which he 

announced seemed more like the dream of a visionary, 

than the sober reasonings of a modern utilitarian 

philosopher. The magic of chemistry as applied by 

other distinguished American and European savans 

soon established the correctness of his theories. It is 

probable that he himself did not forsee the value of 

the conclusions he arrived at, which were certainly 

pregnant with important results. But it was impossible 

Memoir of W'dliaia Madison Pajton. 233 

tliat a man of his knowledge could direct his attention 
to such subjects without benulit arising therelVoni. 

During the })eriod he was engaged in liis mining 
operations he s])ent a hundred thousand dolkirs of his 
private means on the improvement of the coal river, 
seeking to make the stream na\ igable for steamers of 
considerable tonnage and thus to avoid trans-sliipment 
of cargoes from theljargcs \vhi(di left Peytona, on thuir 
arrival in the Kenawha. ]\v. had not succeeded to the 
extent of his wishes when the civil war })ut a stop to 
his operations. A New York com])any on the joint 
stock or limited liability princiidu, which had been 
organized in Wall Street under his auspices, continued 
through the war to work the mines upon a minor scale, 
and, as far as the disorganized condition of the labour 
and business affairs of the country would admit, to 
carry on the Avork for improving the navigation of the 

The perserving energy with which he prosecuted his 
labours on the Coal Kiver for many years, was the 
su])ject of general I'emark. The great improvement 
which took place in this remote part of the ccjuntry 
in the manners and customs of the earlier iidiabitants, 
in the roads and other means of communication, in the 
development of industry, and the eidiancemeiit in the 
value of })roporty, the legitimate results of Ids ()j)era- 
tions, caused him to be considered as a public benefactor, 
and his name to be everywhere revered by tlie warm- 
hearted and affectionate mountaineers. 

The fame he accjuired by these oj)era lions, the 


234 ^f(')noil■ oj' W'iU'mm MxiIhon- Pi'ijton. 

success which attended lii.s practical pursuits recalls 
Sallust's remark upon Cato, iliat the less Jic coveted 
glory, the more he acquired it. 

Several johit-stock companies were organized in New 
York under his auspices for -working the Pe}'tona mines, 
which are, hi 1873, in successful operation. During 
one of his business visits to New York, in 18G1, he 
addressed the letter embodied in the next chapter to 
his old friend Mr. Hives, on the subject of tl:e deplor- 
able political situation aiid the impending crisis. 


In the Autumn of 18G0, the United States Presidential 
election occured, an event ordinary enough in itself, but 
which hecame the cause, or at least the occasion, of one 
of the greatest political revolutions which have ever 
changed the fortunes of a nation. A revolution it was 
which overwhelmed the South with disasters, greater 
far than those which conquests brhig about, but which 
in the slow progress of events has been succeeded by a 
gradual bettering of the condition of the subdued people, 
and also by the elevation of a servile race to a i)Ositiou 
of political equahty with their former masters. Placed 
after centuries of servitude in tliis new position, for 
which they had had no preparation, it remains yet to be 
proved that the African race is endowed by nature with 
any great mental vigor or aptitude for intellectual labour 
and improvement, such as is requisite for tliose who 
are invested witli the rights of freemen and the 
responsibility of self government. 

The fear so long entertained by [)atriots that at some 
mauspicious moment a storm would arise in the Soutli, 

230 Meinuir of WilUaui Madison Pcijton. 

wlioro the public mind was greatly excited by Northern 
hostility to the extension of slavery, and end by 
steeping the country in blood and ruin, appeared, in the 
autumn of 18G0, about to be realized. The secession so 
long and repeatedly threatened by South Carolina, but 
which she had never seriously contemplated carrying 
out, seemed at last imminent. The incredulity with 
which those threats had been received by union men 
north and south ; the ridicule lavished upon the so 
called "Chivalry men," who were accused of indulging 
in the frothy effusions of demagogues — in lo^v tricks and 
bluster to keep up their credit and consequence, operat- 
ing with their real grievances, had goaded the Carolinians 
to desperation. The people of the Pelmetto State who 
had been so long upbraided for fickleness and perfidy, 
seemed at last ready for action, and a considerable 
portion of the South was prepared to follow their lead. 
The atmosphere was laden with electricity, the political 
sky overcast with clouds — the storm ready to burst 
upon the land. The immediate occasion of this 
breaking out of the public fury was the election of Mr. 
Lincoln to the Presidency. It does not belong to my 
plan to enter into the causes and consequences of this 
event. They are mentioned only in so far as they relate 
to, and bear upon, the subject of this sketch. Mr. 
Lmcoln was chosen on Gth of November 1800, the vote 
standing thus, 

For Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, 189, all northern 

For John C. Brcckenridge, of Kentucky, 72 southern 

Memoir uf Wdliani Madhon Fetjton. 237 

For John Bell, of Temiossee, 39, divided. 

For Stephen A Di)r.^liis, of llUiiois, I'l, divided. 

The Avhole number of electors appointed to vote for 
President for the United States Avas then 303, of which 
a majority is 152. Mr. Lincoln was, therefore, 
declared elected, and on the 8th of the following 
February left his home in theAVest, for AVashiiigton. This 
event increased the southern excitement ; anxiety and 
alarm thickened the gloom which hung over and 
paralysed trade, commerce and manufactures north and 
south. The well known political views of South 
Carolina filled the country with apprehensions. In 
1830, that State attempted to nulhfy the laws of 
Congress, to remain in the Union and yet act indepen- 
dently of its authority, and a conflict between the State 
and Federal troops was averted only by the firnmess of 
President Jackson and the moderation of General 
Winfield Scott. Again in 1850, at the period when the 
admission of California was under discussion, it was 
proposed in the Legislature of South Carolina that a 
"Southern Congress" should be convoked to hiitiate 
measures for the defence of the Sotith. A crisis was 
averted, however, by the adoption of what was termed 
the ''^Compromise Bill" prhicii>ally through the influence 
of Henry Clay, but, thougli South Carolina acquiesced, 
she Avas annoyed, discontented, irritated. All the angry 
fiielings which i)rompted this course in 1850 were 
intensified by the result of the Presidential election of 
1860. Accordingly, the Legislature called a State 
convention to take such steps as might be deemed 

238 Memoir of WiUtam ^ftidison Pi'ijloit. 

necessary to meet the crisis before the iiuiuguration of 
the new President. Tliis convention assembled at 
Cohunbia on the 17th of December, 18G1, and alter an 
exciting debate passed a formal Ordinance of Secession 
from the Union, in these wortls, 

" We^ the people of the State of South Carolina, in Con- 
vention asseinhled, do declare and ordai)t, and it is 
hereby declared and ordained, that the Ordinance 
adopted hij 21s in Convention on the 23rd daij of Afaij, 
1788, wherelij the Co)istiiution of the United States 
urns ratified, and also edl Acts and parts of Alts of the 
General Assemhhj of tJie State ratifijinfj amendments 
of the said Constitution, are herehij repealed, and the 
Union now snhsisting between Soutli Carolina and the 
other States under the name of ' tlie United States of 
Ameriea,' is herehij dissolccd." 

The fatal plunge was thus taken, and how to avert 
the untold calamity it portended Avas the first object 
Avith all true patriots, especially of Virginians, Avliose 
State, in the event of hostilities, was to become " the 
Flanders of the war." It was natural that the Old 
Dominion should watch, with greater solicitude than 
any of her sister States, the ])rogress of events in the 
South. Virginia contributed more largely than any of 
the original thirteen colonies to the formatioii of the 
Federal Union, in fact it was mainly her work, and her 
people were by a large majority still warmly attached 
to it and its traditions, yet, from identity of interest on 
the slave question, she felt the warmest sympathy with 

Memoir of Willlnin Jfiiilisoit Vcijlou. !2o9 

the States of the Soutli. All eyes were, therefore, now 
turned to the Old Dominion. Upon her course in great 
measure depended that of the so-called border States 
of Maryland, Kentuek}-, and ]\nssouri. It rested 
with Virginia and these States to say whether war 
should or should not take place. Had these border 
States, with an aggregate population of 4,021,879 
united in upholding the Union of their forefathers, the 
Cotton States, left in a hopeless minority, must have 
refused to enter upon the ruinous path taken by 
South Carolina. In this event the sober second thought 
of the gallant, but excitable, population of the Palmetto 
State would probably, a little later, have led to the repeal 
of the Ordinance of Secession. Harmony would thus 
have been restored. If the border States had presented 
an unbroken front to the North, the civil war would 
have been averted, or if not, the North, had she 
entered upon the task of coercion, must have been driven 
from the field defeated, and overthrown. In the 
border States, however, other counsels prevailed. 
Notwithstanding the earnest eflbrts of the inlluential 
Union party in each, it was found impossible to band 
the people together in support of a common cause. 
There was a fatal division of sentiment, and, while halting 
between two opinions, Maryland was overrun by Federal 
troops, and was thus hopelessly lost to the South, though 
many of her sons found their way into the Southern 
army, and served with credit through the war.* 

* That General Lee liimself believed that Maryland would havo 
joined tho Southern Confederucy, but for her occupation by Federal 

240 Memoir of William. Madison Ptijton. 

Kentucky and Missouri fell away in the same manner. 
Virginia herself was tlivided into two hostile camps. The 
leaders of the secession party were Henry A. Wise, John 
Letcher, J. M. Masson, James Barhour, 11. M. T. 
Hunter, WiUiam Ritchie, 0. Jennings Wise, T. S. 
Bowcock, James Lyons, J. ]\L Daniels, Roger A. Pryor 
and others of less note. On the other hand, the leaders 
of the Conservative party were W. C. Rives, Rohert E. 
Scott, Labal A. Early, W. B. Preston, Colonel W. M. 
Peyton, J. H. Gilmer, Alexander H. H. Stuart, John B. 
Baldwin, W. T. Willey, L S. Carhle, John Lewis, S. 
Mc. D. Moore, I. M. Bolts, C. H. Lewis, Joseph Segar, 
Alexander Rives, J. J. Jackson, Peachy Gratton, and 

forces, is apparent from the following Proclamation issued by him 
when he marched the army of northern Virginia into the State in 18G2 : — 

Head Quarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 

near Fredericktuwa, Septtmhcr 8iJi, 18G2. 


It is right that you should know the purpose that has brought 
the army under my counaand within the limits of your State, so far as 
that i)urpose concerns youiscdves. 

The people of the Confederate States have long watched Avith tho 
deepest sympathy the wrongs and outrages that have been intiieted 
upon the citizens of a Conmionwealth allied to the States of the South 
by the strongest social, political, and couimercial ties, and reduced to 
the condition of a conquered province. 

Under the pretence of supporting the Constitution, but in violation 
of its most valuable provisions, your citizens have been arrested and 
imprisoned, upon no charge, and contrary to all the forms of law. 

A faithful and manly i)rotest against tliis outrage, made by a vener- 
able and illustrious Marylander, to whom in his better days no citizen 
appealed for light in vain, was treated with scorn and contempt. 

The Government of your chief city has been usurped by armed 
strangers ; yoirr Legislature has been dissolved by the unlawful arrest 
of its members; freedom of the press and of speech has been suppressed; 

Memoir of Willi, tm Mudism, Ptiftoit. ^1\\ 

others less familiar to tlu; piil)lic. Vir*;iiiiatlius torn by 
liiction was soon in aims against hcrsoll". Vain were; 
the efforts of the (lo\erniii('iit at Miichniond to maintain 
its authority in iiic norlh-westcrn counties after the 
defeat of the eonfc(h rate arjiiy uud-a- (leneral Piohert S. 
(larnett, and the iiusuceessriil eaninnii-wis in th(.' Kenawha 
valley of Generals ri. A. Wisi' and J. B. Floyd. The 
north-western counties and tlioso on the Kcnawha 
organized a new Stai*' under a- ])rovi:-.ional (loverinncnt 
(June 11th 1801,) wliicli was adiiiiittd into the lY'deral 
Union on the 31st of the iollowiu;^^ |)oc('ml)er. 

In order to avert, if i)o,-;si])l(', a civil Vvar among 
Virginians, such as thai Avdiicli soon raged among 
Kentuckians, Missoiiiians, and Tcnnesseaiis, Colonel 

words have boon dedaivd oluiurs \,y an arliiliaiy docici' of ilic Fcdo-al 
(.•xecutive ; and citizens oidi'icd lo Li' li-iid by inilitaiy C(jiuiiiissi()n.s 
for what they may dare to siduk. 

Belii'ving that the i)(()|,lo ol i\I;ir;)Lnid j.osst ss a s|iirit too h;fty to 
Kiihiiutto sueli a (iuvrj'iiiucnl, Ihf iwuplr til tlicSuiitli Lasoh.ii.L;- wished 
to aid you in IhrowiuL;- nil' lliis fnrrii_'-n _\ okc, lo cniilih- _vnu aixaiii to 
enjoy the inalii'ii all! e iij;li1s ui iwvun-n, and iv.-,1<ut tlu' iiidcpcndcuee 
and sovereignty of your State 

Tn (.hcdifnee to tliis \, our ainiy I'niue anions,' you, and is 
prepai-(;d to assist you with (lie ))(.\vcr of lis uruis in rru; lining the 
rights of whieh you' liavr i,r, i. m. unjustly il(s].olh'd. 

Tins, eitizi'ns-of JMaiyhuid, is our misMiai .■;.. i':ii- ;is ynu arc eoneenied. 
No resti-aint uiHiii your tVro will is inttudrd no intimiilaiinn will lie 
aUow.Ml, within tlu'liiuils ot anny at ha4. ]\r:ir) lundrrs shall 
once more enjoy their aiuii'nt fn rd.iui ul' tlauerht .nid s])ri'i-h. We know 
no enemies among yon, ;oiil will i-iMtfcl all nt ynu in .-x n-y upinion. 

It is foi-you to dVc-idc ynur .hsliny and without ronstraint. 
Tliis army will ri'Spect your cliuiie, whatcvoi- il may ],(■ ; and while tin; 
southernj people will nj\)io' to wdeomr you lo your natural 
]iosition among them, tiny will inl} \,< home you v.lnn you <-on<e of 
your own free \s ill. 

11. ]•. Li:i:, (lemTalCniiouanding. 

242 j\li'))i()ir of William Madison T'l'ijloii. 

i*eytoii addressed the letter Avliicli closes this clmpter, 
and dated the 8th c-i Jaimaiy: 18(11, to ]\Ir. Tiives, 
Avho gave it to the public ihroiigh the daily papers 
and in pamphlet form. It "was widely circulated 
as a political tract, and was everywhere read with 
deep interest, but the v/ise antl moderate counsels 
it inculcated were unavailing-. In the frenzied 
condition of the public mind his letter Avas but as 
a whisper in the ear of death, like the pilot's 
speaking trumpet, the sound of which is drowned 
by the bowlings of the tempest. 

On 7th of January. 1801, the Legislature of 
Virginia assembled in Pvichmoiid. Governor Letcher 
in his message stated that '' all see, know, and feel 
that the danger is innninent, that all true i)atriots 
are exerting themsehes to save the country from 
impending perils." lie proposed that a convention 
of all the states should meet, and said "it is monstrous 
to see a government like ours destroyed merely 
because men cannot agree about a domestic institu- 
tion. It becomes Virginia to be mindful of her 
own hiterests. A disru})tion is inevitable, and if 
two new confederations are to be formed, we must 
have the best guarantees before Ave can attach Virginia 
to either of them." lie charged the state of aifairs 
upon the Northern States and said upon them Avouldrest 
the responsibility of disunion, if it occurred. He further 
declared that any attem[jt of Federal troops to pass 
through Virginia for the purpose of coercing a southern 

Memoir of WiUioni Madison Peiiton. 2-13 

State would be considered as an act of invasion, which 
would be repelled. He concluded by saying "Let New 
England and Western New York be sloughed off and 
ally themselves with Canada." 

In the House of Delegates a committee was appointed 
and instructed to bring in a bill for assembling a State 
convention, and anti-coercion resolutions were passed. 
In these the House declared that any attempt to coerce 
a State would be resisted by \'irginia. The State Con- 
vention met in llichmond, February 13th, and after a 
warm discussion on the 17th of April, i)assed an ordin- 
ance of secession, similar to that adopted by South 
Carolina. Thus the last hope of amicable adjustment 
perished, and all men, north and south, prepared for 
war, for that desolating war which soon followed and 
continued with unparalleled fury, down to the surrender 
of General Lee and the Confederate army on the Dth of 
April, 1805, at Appomatox Bridge, y. 

The beginnhig of strife, says Solomon, is as the 
letting out of water, so continuous and persistent is the 
flow, so like to a mighty torrent, which overspreads and 
carries all before it, and so fraught with ci)ns(M]uencL's 
as difficult to forecast as to avert. 

The history of the war, whieli Colonel Peyton sought 
to prevent by his judicious and repeated appeals to the 
reason and feelings of the people of l)oth north and 
south, illustrates in a remarkable manner the wise-man's 
saying. By that fratricidal strife moi-e than half a con- 
tinent was tilled with mourning, and the wail of victims ; 

214 Memoir of WiUiani Jlitilison J-'ci/loii. 

"wliolu States, eacli greater in territorial extent than most 
European kingdoms, were laid Avu.ite, privatv; property 
to an enormous amount was destroyed both l>y land and 
sea, passions, as terrific as e\er raged in the human 
breast, welL.d up to the surface and spread like a 
volcanic eruption over the surface of society ; humani- 
tarians thirsted for human blood, the sacred office of the 
Christian ministry was prostituted to a ^vild and 
unreasoning fanaticism, and debt and taxation increased 
with portentous rapidity. Jhit the most depressing 
feature of the struggle ^\ as the enormous expenditure 
of human life. Oflicial reports show that upwards of a 
million of men perished on the lield of batile, in the 
hospitals, and at tlulr homes from ^vounds, or diseases 
contracted by exposure. And all of this Avas the result 
of a war, which however it might end, could cause no 
feelmgs of satisfaction or trium[)li to (,'ither party 

When, however, war became inevit.ible, he embraced 
the Southern cause, and sacrificed his all to make it 
successful. Among his friends and fellow Virginians 
who entertained similar (>})inions and were drawn against 
their better judgment into the struggle, was General 
Robert E. Lee, who, in a letter addressed to his sister, 
dated "Arlington, Virginia, April 20th, 1801. said: 

"The whole South is in a state of revolution, into 
which Virginia, after a long struggle, has been drawn, 
and, though I recognize no necessity for this state of 
things, and would have foreborne and pleaded to the end 
for redress of grievances, real or sup[)Osed, yet hi my 
own person I had to meet tlie cpiestion, whether T should 

Memoir of WHIkiiii Mddi^on l\ijlon. 245 

take part against my native State. With all my devo- 
tion to the Union, and the i'eulini|; oi' lo)'alty and dnty 
of an x\merican eiti/en, 1 ha\ e not been able to make 
up iny mind to raise my hand against liiy relatives, my 
children, my home. * * I know you will blame me, but 
you must think as khidly ol' me as }'ou ean, and lielitve 
that 1 have enduavonred to (lu what I thought right. "* 
What Jjce's struuirle oi'mind must have been at the 
tune may be seen from tlie following pussage hi a letter 
sent by Mrs. Lee, Deeember 18(>i, to a Dnion friend. 
She says " my husband has ^vc^jit tears of jjlood over 
this terrible war, bnt In; ]iuist, as a jnaJi of honoiu' and 
a Virginian, share the destiny of his State, whieh has 
solenudy pronounced for inde])endenee. " 





Express" (NEWsi'Ai'Eii ), jn which Colonel I^eyton's 


" The spirited discussion which l'ollo^^^s, uj)on the 
excithig questions of the conntry, has been most widely 

* Si'O p. 37 "iSouthcni Griioials, wlio they ;iic, and Avhat ihey have 
done. " N. Y, iSTo. 

240 ]\lc'iiiuir of ll'iUiiiiii MudiHuii I'l'ijion. 

circulated, and read as an eloquent expression of the 
feelin«^^s and hopes of a larye — of much the largest 
portion — of the American people. It is timely, earnest 
and unanswerable. The first issue of copies liaving 
been entirely exhausted, the autlior, at ihe request of 
many friends, in various parts of the country, has 
permitted a second edition to be brought out, to which 
some additional notes are ai)pended. Coidd the views 
he has expressed in his letter to Mr. Kives have 
received their appropi-iate valuation and hdlnence, the 
country woukl still continue its course of unexampled 
prosperity and happiness." 

The Editoi{. 

Xi'lV ) 0/7.', JdHUHflJ t)tll, 1S61. 

" My dear Sir, 

" We are in the midst of a revolution, Ijlood- 
less as yet, but no one feels assured that the rising sun 
will run its diurnal coiu'se before tlie pillars of our 
constitution will be covered Avith the blood of its 
citizens. An unholy crusade has been preached, and 
factious political combinations have been I'ormed in the 
North, which are destructive of all frateiMial feelings 
between the two sections, and utterly at Avar with a 
fair and equal administration of the Government. A 
deep and wide-spread dissatisfaction has thus been 
excited in the South, Avhich has grown stronger and 
stronger, fiercer and fiercer, until at last it has cul- 
minated in one of the Btates loosino- herself from the 

Mi'innn' c/' ll'lllinin ^fll(li'Ui)t I'rijloii. 247 

moorings ol' tlif coiislitiiiion, nnd commitling her 
destiny to the perilous wiives o\' Secession and lu'vohi- 
tion. Other Btates are vei-ging lo ilie sanu; patli, and 
their leaders, almost witli iJiic \()iee, ad\oeate tin; ])olicy 
of precipitation and h; p;i;'al(^ State; action. 

"' To precipitate tlu; colloii Htalts into ^e^•ollllion,' is 
a remark which traces its paternity to ^,lr. Yancy, the 
great leader of the disunioji niuvenient, and, ^vhatevur 
of wisdom or folly attaches to il, is his l)y indisputahlo 
title. It is certainly all tlit- ragi; at present. Yon see 
it in relief on every ncwspajiir, side hy side Aviih the 
' irrepressible conllict, ' and you hear it repeated hy 
every flippant declainier, uiicllier on tlio stnnip or in thu 
grog-shop, nntil, in spite of its olijectionahle clitiracter, 
it has become the Shihl)oleth of the Sontli, nnd is 
cherished as a master-sholve of statesmanlike policy. 

What better evidence can we luiA'e of the insane .state 
of the pnblic mind, than that the people slionld rally 
under a sentiment so monstrous and indefensilde. For 
a people to 'precipitate; tlicmseheos into revolution,' is 
like a maddened horse, ^vho seizes tlu; hit in liis mouth, 
and rushes headlong o\-i'r a precipice. IVrcipitancy 
never acknowledges tlie reins of reason, and hasty and 
impulsive action is always the sure haihinger of 
repentance and remorse. A gr.'ut (|U('stion., involvhig 
the late of a (lovea'mnent and thi! liap[)iness of millions, 
should certainly he apprenu'lied carctully, considered 
calmly, determined caut ioiir-ly, and with a full 
appreciation of the wei,^lity isbiU'S and responsibilities 

248. Mi'inotr of IV ill lam ]\[a(lison Peijton. 

"It is true, we liiivc been grievously wronged by 
the unwarrantable and hostile interference with our 
domestic institutions by the fanatical portion of the 
North, and it is right that we sliould manifest our 
purpose of vindicating our rights, under the constitution. 
Common sense and connnon prudence would say, that, 
as disunion is a terrible alternative, a gulf of evils, \vhicli 
no man can fathom, we should lirst exhaust all constitu- 
tional means of redress, l>efore we involve ourselves 
in universal destruction, by pulling do^vn the pillars of 
our temple. 

"The late elections, which resulted in favour of the 
Black Republican party, not because of their positive 
strength, but as the consequence of our divisions, has 
demonstrated that we have a great many warm and 
devoted friends in the North upon whom we can rely in 
any emergency. Recent developments have shown, 
too, that their ranks are rapidly gaining accessions from 
the moderate and conservative portion of the Republican 
party and justilies the opinion that the day is near at 
hand when they will be the dominant party, and 
exercise a controling influence. The issue which they 
have made, and upon which they stand, is the same 
which vitalizes the contest between the North and the 
South. When the reaction, which is now in such rapid 
progress, places their constitutional party in the 
ascendant, a conservative policy will be inaugurated, 
and the rights of the South will be recognized, 
and placed on a firm basis. They will concede all 
the guarantees we require and unite with us in 

Memoir of WiUiani Madison Pcijton. 24',l 

maintaining the constitution, and the laws made 
in pursaance of its provisions, in the true 
spirit of the instrument. Can it be otherwise with a 
party, which acknowledge such leaders as O'Oonor, 
Dickinson, Hunt, Seynujur, and Tillmore, and snch 
organs as those bold defenders of oiu- rights, the 
Ilercdd^ Express^ J onriud of (Joimiwrce and Daij-Book? '^ 
If this is a just j/icture of the condition oi 
things around and before ns, what madness i^^ 
it to destroy the fairest fabric of Government that 
God, in his providence, has ever vouchsafed to man! 
What plausible apology can be oifered for such fatuity ? 
In the Gulf States, I am aware, they have schooled 
themselves into the preposterous o})inion that the Union 
is a galling yoke upon their necks, of whi(di they 
should rid themselves, and that when freed fiom its 
restraints and impositions, they will advance in wealth, 
population, power and greatness, with a rapidity unpar- 
alleled in the history of the world. Witliout stopping 
to dissect this vahiglorious and sliallow opinion, or to 
point out the thousand im[)cnlhnents to the fruition 
of their golden visions, 1 would en(piire if tliere is any 
respectable portion of tlu; bordia* Slave States oi 
Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, etc., who do not Ix-lieve 
that all their dearest interests would be imperilled, and 
all the brightest hopes and most cherishc^l memories 
blighted, by the dissoluti(ni of the Union. All who knovN' 

• To this list may bo adaod llio Jhiih/ AV,/'.s, ihu Frcijnan's Journal. 
Stoats Ztltmuj, itud uuiiui-oiiH otlici- wccldy i>;qK'r.s, all of wIkmh luivo 
maiiifftstod a libcial and ('iithiilic spiiil in this I'li ,is of tin- coujiUy. 


250 Mnnolr of IViUiam MadUon Peijton. 

those States must admit that their response would 
be one of loyalty and devotion to the Union. They have 
too much sagacity and good sense, too much prudence 
and virtue and patriotism to ]>e deluded by such hair 
brained nonsense. They have too much gratitude for 
the noble sacrifices of our Eevolutionary fathers ; they 
venerate too sincerely the immortal charter they be- 
queathed us, and they appreciate too highly the 
manifold blessings they have enjoyed under its auspices, 
to raise their parricidal hands for its destruction, until 
its provisions have been perverted into an insupportable 
tyranny, and all reasonable eflbrts to reform abuses 
have proved abortive. 

" History has been strikingly said to be 'Philosophy 
teaching by example,' and I would ask if there is any 
more settled and indubitable axiom drawn from the 
political throes and convulsions of the world, than that 
a people should never overturn one Government until 
they see their way to a better ? Any Government 
is better than anarchy. If there are evils in the system, 
tJK^y should be probed and healed. If there are 
grievances, they should strive to have them redressed. 
If there are deficiencies, they should labour to have 
them supplied. If there is tyranny, it should be curbed 
after the manner of the patriotic barons of our Father- 
land at Piunnymede ; but never unnecessarily plunge the 
country into all the horrors of anarchy and civil war, with 
desolated hearths, decimated families, and the prostration 
of all interests, social, commercial, agricultural and 

^'The probabilities arc, that the States of our confede- 

Memoir of W^iUiam AIadiso)t Pi'iiton, 251 

racy will never dissolve pcaccaLly, and that whenever 
they do separate, they will tear apart violently. The 
ties which bind us together, are not of a character to 
be lightly and easily broken. Om- common origin, our 
common language and institutions — with one excep- 
tion — our common struggle in the Revolutionary contest, 
the joint inheritance of the glory which sheds itself 
over our past history, the pride universally felt in the 
growth and greatness of our country, and the cherished 
anticipation that the day is not distant when the United 
States will take precedence of all the nations of the 
earth — these constitute ties, which can only be severed 
as Alexander severed the gordian knot. It will never 
be done until the peo})le are maddened by a sense of 
deep injury and dri\'en headlong by feelings so 
exasperated as to be reckless of consequences. The 
cause of irritation, unless promptly arrested, will 
increase, and the spirit of resentment, retaliation and 
revenge will intensify with each new complaint, until 
at last violence will break the bonds of union, and 
blood will flow in just such piH/fusion as the I'cspective 
sections may deem sutlicient to wash out the wrongs 
they have suffered. All constituted authority behig 
broken down, all reverence for the past and respect for 
the present beiiig swept a^vay, revolution springs up 
as an indigenous plant, and seizing the charter of our 
liberties, rends it to pieces, and overturning the 
Government, inaugurates a reign of anarchy, bloodshed 
and civil war. Such is the goal to which we are 
travelling; such is the abyss to which we arc hastening. 

252 Alcinoif of \Villia)n MitiUson Vcijton. 

Iiideecl, WC3 liiivo rcachLcl the biiiil:, and another 
step is destruction — tuiollicr sl\'}) :uid we [)recipitute 
ourselves into a guii", the hiihcnidcss depths of Avhieh no 
eye is keen enough to discern. 

"Now, it is imdeuiahly trae, that the Northern States 
are justly responsible for opeMin^- up those; fountains of 
bitterness -which Hood the bind witli their i)oisonous 
waters. Fanatics, inspired by a demoniacal frenzy, co- 
operating with heartless deniagoj^ni s ajid corrupt Jjarty 
organization, have succeeded, by a fortuitious concur- 
rence of circumstances, in gainhig a political ascendency 
in the North, and, prolitJng hy a Avant of concert among 
the friends of the ConstiLution, have elected the 
candidate of their party to the Presidency. 

" Upon the temporary and [r>iiis/ritt event (Lincoln's 
election) the Soutii are thrown into the most violent 
state of excitement, aiul, in thoir indignation, swear 
that they Vvill not submit to their defeat, but that they 
will dissolve all connection with a peo[)le who have 
manifested by this election a deliberate purpose to 
bring them into sul»jeet;w:i, ;uid inaugurate a policy 
which will undermine tdavery. Tlui oljjectiou is 
certainly w^ell talcen and th.' cause of di^;content well 
founded, but the reme<ly propo;;.',! })artal-:es a great deal 
more of passion than tliought, more of violence than 
reason, more of chiviilrous impulse than of statesman- 
like prudence and wisdom. 

" The President was elected by a little over one-third 
of the votes polled, by a meagre plurality — and will 
come into power with his constitutional advisers in the 

Memoir of ll'illuiin Madison l\'ijtoiu 253 

senate against liim, so that Jie will be utterly powerless 
and unable to advance a single step in the administration 
ofthe (jovernmont, except at the will and pleasure of 
the defeated party. The rights of the South, whatever 
may be the disposition of the executive, are, for the 
present, perfectly })roteeted. 'I'hey occupy the vantage 
ground, and risk nothing in deliberate action. In this 
conditi(m of things, she should have improved her 
advantage by constraining the action and policy of the 

" The occasion, too, would be most oppiyrtune to 
demand of the Xoi'lh a lull and distinct recognition of 
the rights of the Soulh, ihe jibrogalion of all uin'riendly 
laws, and tlic iinal adjuslment of all causes of 
complaint and differenee. This course, taken with 
determined lirnmess, would have secured unanimity and 
concert of action tlu'oughout the South, and would have 
commanded the hearty a})pi'obation and co-operation of 
the noble body of patriotic citizens, who stood by us 
with uulUnching courage in the late contest, and who 
})olled more votes in oui' favour than the South gave 
themselves. Js it not reasoiialde to suppose that this 
j)olicy would have l)een sueci ;sfid. If otherwise, then, 
when we had exhausted all constitutional means of 
redress, and time and circumstunces had reiidered more 
certain the iixed inu'piwe of the Republican party to 
degrade and enshu'e us, to strip us of our just rights 
and mahitain the control of the ([overnment upon a 
sectional basis, the South woidd be prepared, upon 
such corroboration, v.illi unbroken front, and with the 

254 Memoir of William. MddiMii Pt'ijton. 

approbation of the civilized world, to demand tlie 
recognition of all their rights under the constitution, with 
such ultimatum as their wisdom might suggest. 

"Whether that alternative should be war in the Union 
or out of it, it would be sustained with unanimity and 
alacrity by the whole South, backed in all probabihty by 
the great middle States, and New York, the great, 
national, conservative city of the Union. 

"If there is any force or truth in this hypothesis, does 
it leave a single loophole to hang a doubt that a wise 
comprehension of the interests of the South requires 
them to pursue the course indicated ? Some would 
condemn it as a Fabian policy, but such was the policy 
of Washington, and such will ever be the policy of those 
who think before they act, ^vho ponder well on con- 
sequences before they provoke tliem, and who sound the 
depths of the ocean over which they are to sail, before 
they commit themselves to its waters. 

" South Carolina, shutting her -eyes to all prudential 
considerations, has adopted and avowed the opposite 
policy. Without consultation ^vith her sister States, 
without co-operation, and almost without countenance 
from more than a minority of the Slave States, in 
disregard and contempt of the appeals and wishes of 
of those exposed and most aggrieved by northern 
inteference, she has thrown herself, with lieadlong 
impetuosity, into a labyrinth of inextricable difficulty, 
sundering and trampling under foot the golden chain 
which bound together our glorious Union, and compli- 
cating the unhappy controversy which agitates the 

Memoir of WUliurn ]\ladlson Pcijton. '25.^ 

the country, so as to lill every patriot's heart with the 
utmost apprehensions for tlie issue. Slie makes no appeal 
tu her erring and offendinj^- sisters. She j^ives no time 
or opportunity for reformation. She leaps with one 
bound to a rash resolve, and ^vith equal hasten to action. 
Bhe spurns the advice of tliosc; wli.o have a common 
hiterest with lier, and lh)uts, tliron^ii her organ, with 
most offensive presumption, the gallant old Common- 
wealth of Virginia, whose chivalry and patriotism, wliosc 
justice and prudence, ^vliose steady valour and con- 
summate wisdom, have Ix^en always illustrated ])y her 
sons, before whosi' historic renown (>arohna alwa^'S has 
and ever must ' pale her hielfectual fires.' [*S'(V,' Nole A.'\ 
" By this course Carolina weakens tlie cause of the 
South. She creates division among those ^\'ho should 
be and who would be united under a wise conduct of 
tlieir difficulties. She drives olf our allies in the 
North, and, of course, strengthens the power we have 
to contend with. In ihie, slu; attahis nothing, and mars 
everything. Slio cures no evil; she redresses no 
grievance; she vindicates no right; she rights no wrong; 
but on the contrary, aggravates all lu;r troubles, and 
complicates her diificulties, so as to di,'fy their solution 
by the wisest heads. lA^lly, madness, and a reckless 
disregard of consequences, rnh; her counsels, and there 
is no telling what damage she may not do to herself 
and others in her indnadled fury. She may l)e likened 
in her dismemberment to a planet, which, l)y some 
disturbance of the forces that keep each orb in its 
proper si}here, is driven through s[)ace, impelled alone 

25G Jlfemoir of WiU'uiin Madison Pcijton. 

in its eccentric movements by its internal fires, und 
endangering- in its path the whole heavenly system. 
To be tlie tail to such a comet woiihl be the hardest of 
fates. It would imply on the part of Yij-ginia a want 
of self respect, a lack of proper pride, a painful degen- 
eracy, and a demoralization, which ill comports with 
her past history. 

" Without wasting more words in the discussion of the 
past, or criticising what is irrevocable, let us probe the 
issues as they exist, and lay them open to the core, that 
we may be the better enabled to apply such remedies as 
are necessaiy for the restoration of our alllicted 
Government. Virginia, whose interests are our especial 
object of consideration, and whose policy, by i)arity of 
reason, should be the policy of all the other border 
slaveholding States, is the oldest of them all, as she 
is also the most populous, and of greater territory. 

"She stands in the centre of the confederacy, and 
represents in her staples the interests alike of the ])lanter 
and the grain-grower, and not inconsiderably those of 
the grazier and manufacturer. She furnished the 
matchless hero who was a ' pillar of cloud by day and 
of fire by night,' in our struggle for freedom; she 
furnished the orator whose iusi)ired eloquence thrilled 
the colonies with patriotic feeling; she furnished the 
genius which penned the Declaration of Independence; 
she furnished the civilian who was the chief architect 
of our constitution. Out of our loins sprang Kentucky, 
and her generosity gave to the Union the great Western 
States, extending from her border to the Mississippi. 

Memoir of Wiliiaih Madisun Piijion. 257 

In all the pfitriotic iiKnomcnts wliich initiated the revo- 
lution, hi all the inijasures \vhi(h marked its jirogruss, 
mall the features wliich were stamped on our Charter of 
Union, and in the ndmiiiistration of the Government, 
she has exerted an inihience l)eyond any other State. 
To love the Union, (lierefore, is vv ith lier must natural 
and ahnost ine^■ital>le. 

" (Jnder tlie eotistii uiion,\' iroinia has heen prus|)erous, 
contented, and happy, her ehildren have *irown up 
with the idea that il; a\ as as sacred as the ariv of the 
covenant, and tliat under its shadow we reposed in 
peace and security, and in tlie enjoyment oi all rights 
and ]ri•ivile^•es consistent ^vilh the largest liberty. 
All were taught to revere it as the precious legacy of 
patriotism and wisdom, and to cling with hlial devotion 
to the Union as the great palladium of their liberties. 
\\\ the meantime, however, a cloud, Avdiich for a ^\'■hile 
was just visible above the northern horizon, scarcely 
exciting observation, has increased hi size until it has 
bpread itself like a pdl over the political lieavcMis, and 
awakened a feeling of distrust, anxiety, and ai)pre- 
hension for the safety of our in.-tiiutions. A fanatical 
abolitionism, which feeds upon its own ravings and 
growls by what it feeds on, has adopted the pseudo- 
philosophy of the Jacobins, and by connecthig themselves 
with corrupt party and political organi/ati(jns, have 
acquired a political ascendency in so many of the non- 
slave-holding States, as to enal)le them, by the assistance 
of our divisions, to elevate their candidate to the 

I 1 

258 ^[t'mon• of W'dilain Madison Peyton. 

''This is certainly a condition of tilings well calculated 
to arouse the fours of the Soutli, and prompt them to 
active eflbrts to avert the evil, and ward off 
threatened danger. All agree that the evil is serious 
and imminent, and that the measures for our protection 
should be taken without delay. Postponement, now 
tliat the attention of the whole nation is aroused to its 
consideration, w^ould weaken our position, and we must 
face the tide of fanaticism, and arrest its further 
progress. In doing this it is the policy of all, and most 
obviously that of Virginia, and all others than the Gulf 
States, so to accomplish the desired result, as to leave 
our glorious Union intact, and its stars and stripes still 
floating over us as a united people. 

"A great many plans have been suggested in and out 
of Congress, many of which would, doubtless, be 
acceptable to the great body of the nation, but none of 
which will satisfy the extremists. In the desire to 
please all, we offend all ; and while the time of Congress 
is wasted hi first one and then another abortive scheme, 
the disease is making fearful headway, and the never-to- 
be-recalled opportunity for healthful measures passes by. 
The face of the political heavens changes with every 
circuit of the sun, and measures which would have been 
efficacious on one day, have no virtue on the next. 
The constitutional means which, if exercised in season, 
would probably have been equal to the emergency, are 
of more questionable potency since the strategic 
movements at Charleston, and the impotent labors of 
the Senate and Congressional committees, have brought 


Memoir of )I7///((;// Mdili.~.oit Pcijlon. 2^9 

the Government and ilic Ciirolinians into sncli a position 
that force mnst almost necessarily l^e employed. Should 
then all constitutional means he rejected as inadecpiate, 
let the middle States and the l)ordcr Slave States unite 
together on some just and etpiitahle basis whicli secures 
the Blave-lioldin;^- States ail Wui «4iiannittM's" r^Mpiircd l\)r 
the rendition of slaves, for the ri.^ht of transit ^vithout 
molestation throughout thu Unioii, and for ecpnd 
privileges in the territorii-s. 

" The great central Union, eanbi'aeiiig the lioart and 
strength of the nation, its wealth, its poi)nl:Ltioii and iis 
capital, would, by the hapjjy working of tlie old eoustitu- 
tion under new inlhieiiees, by its rupid grovvlh in ail 
that constitutes national greatness, by i(s dignilied and 
important position among the powers of the eai'th, by 
the contentment, the hai)piness an<l the prosperty of its 
laAv^-and-order-loving and law-abiding citizens, l)e the 
admiration, as it would be tlu' model ( luvernment of the 
world. Those States who in a momi'iit of exaeerlia- 
tion, either from Avrongs inllieti'd ur passions and 
prejudices aroused, had \vithdi'u\vn them>el\\s fi'om the 
confederacy, would soon have their follies eaiH-d by 
bitter experience; and feeling and eomprc liending the 
disadvantages of their jiosiiion, they ^vould easil)' seek 
annexation with us, and gladly enibraee the l)asis fixed 
by us. Moreover, this consolidation of all the great 
central States, will serve to keep apiirt il:'; belligerent 
extremes of New fjiglund and the Cotton States, and 
will furthermore elfeetuall}' protect tiie middle States 
from the evils of anarchy and ei\ il Avar. Nor need they 


Memoir of WilUaiii Madison PeijtoiL, 

fear any serious contests ^vit.ll the States on their 
northern or southern borders, as their overwhehnhig- 
superiority would shield them elFectually. 

" Virginia, in her exposed position as a border State, 
sufiers severely, and complains bitterly of the wrongs 
inflicted upon her ; but she cannot see how a separation 
from the Union will redress her grievances, increase her 
security, or fortify her rights. iShe cannot comprehend 
how the abrogation of all compacts for the preservation 
of our institutions, the brealdng down of all judicial 
tribunals established for their protection, and the 
sundering of all the tics of patriotism, which must to 
some extent, stretch forth the arms of sympathy and 
justice to aid us, will add to our repose, quiet our 
apprehensions, or rid us of the vexatious annoyances 
the irritating controversies, or the flagrant abduction of 
our slaves, which now exist. On the contrary, she takes 
warnuig from the impunity and protection extended by 
Canada to our fugitives, and litiiiy concludes that 
separation would strengthen the abolition influence and 
power, and magnify and aggravate all the troubles which 
now disturb her as a member of the Confederacy. 

" The dogma of peaceable constitutional secession, 
as claimed by the South, is a solecism, sul)versive of all 
just authority, and revolutionary of necessity. It denies 
to the Government the power of piotecting and per- 
petuatuig itself, and converts what was intended to be a 
perfect miion, to endure \forcvcy,' into a rope of sand, 
to be separated by every^ disturbing cause. It impairs 
the political dignity and utterly destroys the flnancial 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 201 

credit of the Government, weakening the force of all 
treaty stipulations and making it extremely difficult, if 
not impossible, for loans to be negotiated to meet the 
exigencies of the nation. Indeed, every fair and legiti- 
mate argument, abstractly considered, is conclusive 
against this doctrine. 

" But the history of the formation of 'our Government 
sheds its full light upon it, there is no room left for 
argument, there is no obscurity in which ingenuity may 
grope for specious excuses without having its nakedness 
exposed. Without dwelling upon the fact, that the old 
Confederation was a bond of ' perpetual union,' and that 
our present constitution was intended to form a more 
'perfect union,' the correspondence between the represen- 
tatives of New York and Virginia is conclusive of the 
question. Mr. Hamilton suggests that New York will 
come into the Union, with the reservation that she shall 
have the privilege of leaving it, if it should not work to 
her satisfaction ; to which Mr. Madison replies emphati- 
cally that this mode of adopting the Constitution has 
been mooted, and it was decided that it would invalidate 
the ratification, and that none could be received who 
did not accept the Constitution absolutely, unqualifiedly, 
and forever. This is certainly clear and explicit, and 
leaves nothing further to be said. Secession, then, is 
revolution, and Carolina, upon the theory of our Govern- 
ment, is in a State of revolt and rebellion — so will be 
all those States who follow in her footsteps. The right 
of coercion in the Government follows as a corollary. 
But it does not follow, by any means, that it will bo 

262 Memoir of WiUiam Madison Peyton. 

wise or judicious to exercise this riglit. From the 
pecuhar structure of our GovernmGiit, the issue is not 
exactly analogous to a rchcllious province, as our States, 
in the formation of our Union, reserved a larger share 
of sovereignty, and preserved more completely the 
forms and appliances of an independent people than is 
found in the provinces of any other Government. 
Hence, when they secede or revolt, they present 
themselves with the dignity of a regular Government, 
which of itself gives power and respectahility, and 
necessitates a great modification of the means to he 
employed to reduce them or win them hack to tlieir 
Constitutional obligatious. [See Note B.'] 

"In the existing revolution, where one State openly 
defies the authority of the Constitution, and where a 
great many other States, from identity of interest, com- 
munity of feeling, and the strongest sympathy, are 
ready, with the sound of the first Federal gun, to draw 
their swords and risk their lives and fortunes Avith 
Carolina. However much they may condenui her pre- 
cipitancy, it would be madness to provoke a 
controversy which would only drench each section with 
. blood, without bringing back the dissatisfied States. 
On the contrary while smoking cities and desolated 
fields would mark the devastating progress of the 
armies, a deep rooted and vindictive hostility would 
spring up from these bloody enactments, that would 
render a restoration of fraternal relations impossiljle. 

"It is better, therefore, now that this dissatisfaction 
has grown to such magnitude, that the States which 

lUdniuir of WiUidiiL Madison l^ajiuii, 2G3 

have resolved on se]»aratiuii should be allowed to go m 
peace, and that all unnecessary causes of h'ritation 
.shi)uld be avoided. This will leave the distracting 
(juestions which divide lis, and which have produced 
tliis calamitous State of things, to be settled by the 
States which remain. Should they be satisfactorily 
adjusted, then the (jlovernnient will move on as hereto- 
fore, winnuig for itself at every .step, the ap[)l:iuse and 
admiration of the ^vorld, The States, which in a 
moment of excitement, had left us, linding all the 
obnoxious weeds in our system pulled up, and having 
their leelings of irritation mollified by time and our 
forbearing policy, wouhl in all probability, resume their 
position in our glorious galaxy of States. 'J'his, in my 
judgment, is the best solution of our diificulties, and 
the only mode of which T can conceive, to avert civil 
war and the dismemberment of our Union, with its 
flood of untold calamities. 

''For the present, the public mind in the border Slave 
States is unfortunately cai)tivaled ^vith the idea that a 
bolutiou of all our troubles is to be found in tlu^ scheme 
of a general "break up" and "reconstruction" of the 
Union. But, with uplifted hands and an overflowing 
heart, I would warn my countrymen against this fatal 
delusion. We have all been taught from children to 
look upon the Union as too sacred to be profaned by tho 
impiety that would pluck a single star from its firma- 
ment, or displace a single stone in the structure. 
Would you break down this reverence for our political 
temple ? 

*264 Memoir of IVlUiain IMadhoa Pcijton. 

"When, with ruthless vandahsm, you have pulled 
down this honoured monument of the wisdom and 
virtues of your fathers, under whose shelter you have 
grown with unparalleled thrift in strength, intelligence, 
in wealth and power, in commerce, agriculture, manu- 
factures, and science, until you are recognized as one of 
the greatest powers of the earth, do you flatter yourself 
that those who break this crystal goblet can mend 
it without marring its beauty ? Do you think that the 
madness which undermines and demolishes the temple 
will be a safe reliance for its reconstruction ? A cool 
judgment can only yield a negative response. An 
instinctive sense of the blessings flowing from our 
Union, which, with patriotic people, rises to a religious 
sentiment, gives it a charmed power, which exercises a 
most salutary influence upon their character and 
conduct. The respect, aftection and reverence, which 
strike their roots in the heart of the people, and which 
entwine themselves around the pillars of a Grovernment 
which has aftbrded them perfect security in the pursuit 
of happiness, which has opened wide the portals of 
human progress, by unmuzzling the press, untrammelling 
the conscience, and by making every citizen an active 
agent in the double character of sovereign and subject 
in its administration, thrown around it bulwarks for its 
defence and support, whose adamantine ramparts can 
never be scaled, until demoralization has sapped the 
foundations of public and private virtue. 

" In overturning this Government, then, with the 
hope of constructing from the scattered elements a 

Mei/io'ir of' Williiiin .M((({is,nt i'eijloii. 21)5 

better, do yo\i not incur a fi'ial'di lia/iird? fs it 
reasonable to exj>ect, ill t]n's>: (la)s ol" deiiiiu'i'acy ami 
('arty excess, a frame; of ( uj\ I'rnnunL more jii.^t, more; 
liberal, more wise, bctier jnuuldi-d to ^uit tliu diversilied 
ititerests, to balance tlie conllicliii.'j; \j('\\s, and hai'monize 
the disturbing- elements of the difl'erent States and 
various sections, than Lhat created by those intelli'ct^ual 
Titans who achiev'e(-l our lii'erlies, and ^vho i^ave tis 
ihis Constitul-ion, as the' ca])-blieai ol" iheir ])alrioliv; 
labours ? 

" History lights up the ]>ast to little. |>nr}Hjse, and 
experience enforces its lessons uscle^sh', if the people 
can be led to entertain any such fallacious hojtcs. 
Tear down this ero\vinn<^- work of lieioes, chastened by 
a seven years' struggle of patri(jts, animated and 
inspired by a just and holy cause, of men wlio with 
boundless devotion, consecrated their all to accomplish 
the great work, and you will lind it a labotn- of ,Sis}-phus 
to retiu'n to the summit Irom ^vhich you ha\^e fallen. 
You will lind that the age. alfords no anchor of hope 
and salvation to supply the place of ihe immortal father 
and founder of our ( lo\ ernnienL, 

" 'J'hese conser\^ati\e \ie\\'s are ()ressed the more 
earnestly from a conviction that the great bo. ly of the 
people desire to preserve and perpetuate the Union, if 
it can be done without a degrading sacritice of their 
rights and honour, and that a patient, forl)caring, deter- 
muied policy on the ])art of the South, resolutely 
msisting on the full recognition of their rights imder 
the Constitutition, as si'.t forth i:i (he re;ujlulions of Mr. 

200 Memoir of ]\'iUiain Madiso/L I'cijton. 

Crittenden, will be conceded and corroLorated, by an 
amendment to the Constitution, making their recogni- 
tion perpetual. Any i)lan, Avhicli will stay aggression, 
and give the ' sober second thought' of the people time 
to disabuse there minds, soothe their excited feelings, 
and calmly weigh the mighty consequences involved in 
their action, must have a ha[)py tendency in adjusting 
all our difficulties. It is, of course, the obvious duty of 
every well-wisher to the perpetuity of the Union, to 
discountenance every measure which leads to collision. 
Let all pour oil upon the angry waves, and the ship of 
State may yet reach a safe anchorage. 

'' Twenty odd years since, you unfurled the banner of 
Conservatism, and I stood by j^our side in its defence ; 
we have never hauled down that flag. It is the standard 
borne by the juste niiUcu of every nation when evoldng 
order from anarchy. It represents truth, justice, mode- 
ration and courage ; and if the nation should rally under 
its folds, it will be regenerated, fraternity will be restored, 
and the Constitution vindicated. 

*'I am, with sentiments of esteem, 
"Yours truly, 

"W. M. Peyton." 

Note A. — Ten years since, (in 1851,) South 
Carolina, mider one of her periodical excitements, waa 
threatening secession, on-3 of the most trusted and dis- 
tinguished of her sons, the Hon. W. W. Boyce, 
addressed a protest against secession to tlie people of 
his State, in which was introduced the following 

Memoir of William Madi.son I'cijlon. 2G7 

remark: "South Carolina cannot become a nation; 
God makes nations, not man ; you cannot extemporize 
a nation out of South Caruhna. It is simply impossible; 
we have not the resources. ^Ve coukl exist by toler- 
ance — and what that tolerance would be, when we 
consider the present hostile spirit of the age to the 
institution of slavery, of which we would be looked 
upon as the peculiar exponent, all may readily imagine. 
I trust we never may look upon the pauiful and 
humiliating spectacle. 

*' From the weakness of our National Government, a 
feeling of insecurity would arise, and capital would take 
the alarm and leave us. But it may be said, let capital 
go. To this I reply that capital is the life-blood of a 
modem community, and in losing it, you lose the vitality 
of the State. Secession, separate Nationality, with all 
its burdens, is no remedy. It is no redress for the past, 
nor security for the future. It is only a magnilicent 
sacrifice of the present, without in any wise gaining in 
the future. We are told, however, that it is resistance, 
and we must not submit to the late action of Congress. 
Now I would like to know which one of these measures 
we resist by secession ? It is not the prohibition of 
slave-marts in the district of Columbia. It is not the 
purchase of Texas territory. It is certainly not the 
admission of California. Which aggression, then, do 
we resist by secession ? These are all the recent 
aggressions which we resist now by secession. Seces- 
sion, gallant as may be the spirit which prompts it, is 
only a new form of submission. 

208 Memoir of IViUiani Madison Peyton, 

For the various reasons I have stated, I object, in as 
strong terms as I can, to the secession of South 
Carolina. Such is the intensity of my conviction upon 
the subject, that, if secession should take phice — of 
which I have no idea, for I cannot bcHeve in the 
existence of such a stupoidons nuohicss — I shall consider 
the histitution of slavery as doomed, and that the Great 
God in our blindness has made us the instrument of its 

Note B. — The advocates of secession claim that it is 
a reserved right, in the exercise of which a State may 
secede peaceably and constitutionally, without lot or 
hindrance. It leads to a confusion of ideas to confound 
it with revolution. Revolution is a revolt, with a view 
to overturning the Government, by those Avho are its 
legitimate sidjjects, and who, from dissatisfaction, have 
combnied to rid themselves of its yoke. Secession, as 
claimed, is an inherent and reserved State right — a 
simple, natural, peaceful dissolution of a com[)aet or 
co-partnership, Avhich is l)inding only so long as it may, 
in the judgment or ca[)rice of the parties, be promotive 
of their interests. 

That this right cannot co-exist with our nationality, 
is obvious. A nation is a boily politic, presenting a 
consolidated front to the world, and so firmly knit 
together as to be able to preserve its integrity against 
any transient want of coherence in any of its parts. 

It is not a mere union of independent nations bound 
by a treaty, but a solid, compact, national Government, 

ISLemoir of William Madison Peyton. 269 

with all the great essential attributes of sovereignty, 
reaching and sheltering the humblest citizen in the 
remotest corner of its territory, Its national unity is 
manifested in its legislative, judicial, and executive 
functions — recognised everywhere as supreme within 
its sphere — and hi its Hag, which is unfurled upon the 
ramparts of every fort within its territorial limits, and 
which floats at the mast-head of every ship which leaves 
its ports. The world deals with us as a nation 
possessed of political unity. It is not competent for 
them to comprehend all the intricate workings of our 
internal and complex machhiery. They only look to 
the externals, and, recognizuig us as a nation possessed 
of the usual attributes of nationality, they hold us to all 
the responsibilities of such a relation. 

Mr. Madison, who is the highest authority in regard 
to the Constitution, as he was the chief architect of it, 
says that our Government is, in some of its aspects, 
consolidated, and in others confederated. He says it 
was not formed by the Government of the component 
States as the Federal Government, for ^vhich it was 
substituted; nor was it formed by a majority of the 
people of the United States as a single community, in 
the manner of a consolidated Government. It was 
formed by the State — that is, by the people in each of 
the States, acting in their highest sovereign capacity, 
and formed, consequently, by the same authority which 
formed the State Constitutions. Being thus derived 
from the same source as the Constitutions of the States, 
it has within each State the same authority as the 

270 Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 

constitution of the State, and is as much a constitution, 
in the strict sense of the term, within its prescribed 
sphere, as the costitution of the States are within tlieir 
respective spheres ; but with this essential and obvious 
difference, that being a compact among the States in 
their highest sovereign capacity, and constituting the 
people thereof one people, for certain purposes, it 
cannot be altered or annulled at the will of the States 
individually, as the constitution of the State may at its 
individual will. If this be sound reasoning, it is clear 
that we are a nation, and, within the limits of the 
constitution, one people. The constitution prescribes 
boundaries to our internal administration, but to the 
world we present a national face, by which alone we are 
known and recognized, whether it be in public loans, or 
treaty stipulations, in declaring war or concluding a 

During our late war with Great Britain, the New 
England States, under the pressure of the Embargo 
laws, which paralyzed all the leading interests of that 
portion of our country, became so dissatisfied with the 
burdens of the national policy, that she sent Delegates 
to the Hartford Convention, to consult as to the mode 
and manner of redress, and some of its members 
advanced the theory that they had a right to "Secede 
from the Union?" The mere intimation of such a 
purpose fired the whole nation Avith indignation, and 
the sti";ma of havinnf been a member of the convention 
could never be effaced, but, like the mark of Cain, 
followed all its members through life. The liichmond 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 273 

Enquirer^ then under the able management of Mr, 
Ritchie, and commanding the confidence of the 
Democracy in the highest degree, commented upon 
the proposed movement hi the following forcible 
terms : — 

"No man, no association of one State, or set of 
States, has a right to withdraw from the Union, on its own 
account. The same power which knit us together, can 
miknit us ; the same formality which formed the limits 
of the Union is necessary to dissolve it. The majority 
of the States which form the Union, must considt as to the 
withdrawal of any one branch of it. Until that consent 
has been obtained, any attempt to dissolve the Union, 
or distract the efficiency of its constitutional law, is 
treason — treason to all intents and purjjoses." 

The incongruity and absurdity of this doctrine is, 
perhaps, made more manifest by its practical workings ; 
e. g. Louisiana was purchased from the French at a cost 
of 15,000,000 dols., and a dangerous stretch of 
Constitutional power. But the assumption of power 
was overlooked, and the debt cheerfully paid, to secure 
to the United States, and especially to the vast country 
growing up on the Mississippi and its tributaries, 
the navigation of the Mississippi and the command of 
its outlet to the Gulf. Now the doctrine of secession 
would sustain Louisiana, a mere infinitesimal portion 
of this great region, in seceding, and thus defeating the 
whole object of the purchase. Florida was purchased 
at a cost of 10,000,000 dols., and the Indians removed 
at a further cost of 40,000,000 dols. or 50,000,000 dols. 

272 Memoir of WiUiani Madison FajtOH: 

and now that she is able to stand on her feet, she would 
unceremoniously, under the doctrine of secession, walk 
out of the Union, without returning a dollar of what 
she has cost. Cuba we have proposed to purchase at a 
cost of 120,000,000 dols,, because we view it as the 
key to the Gulf, into which is poured the vast trade 
floated down the i\lississippi. Yet, under this doctrine, 
it Avould be admissible for Cuba to secede from the 
Union at her pleasure, and sell herself, if she pleased, to 
some other power. These instances constitute a sort of 
red actio ad absurditm of the whole doctrine. It is 
impossible that any people of half the sagacity of ours, 
would ever consent to make such extravagant 
purchases, unless they felt assured they were 
securing a hold on them, Avhich could not be wrested 
against their will. 

William M. Peyton. 

The spirit in which the war, that Colonel Peyton so 
earnestly sought to avert, was waged, when it did occur, 
by at least a portion of the North against the South, may 
be conveniently referred to at this point and may be 
gathered from the address of Colonel Dahlgren to the 
officers and men composing his command in Virginia. 
Colonel Dahlgren was killed before reaching Richmond, 
and his troops dispersed. In his pocket the following 
orders were found : — 

Memoir of WiUiain Madison Pajlun 273 

'^Tlcad (Jnartrr.-^, Third hirlsioii, Cavalnj Corps. 
" Officers luul Men, 

" You have been selected from brigades 
and regiments as a picked command to attempt a 
desperate undertaking — an undertaking, which, if suc- 
cessful, will write your names on the hearts of your 
countrjanen in letters that can never be erased, and 
which will cause tlie prayers of your fellow-soldiers, 
now confined in loathsome prisons, to follow you and 
yours wherever you may go. We hope to release the 
prisoners from Belle Isle first, and having sucn them 
fairly started, we will cross the James River into 
Richmond, destroy the bridges after us, and exhorting 
the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful 
city, will not allow the rebel leader, Davis, and his 
traitorous crew to escape. The prisoners must 
render great assistance, as you cannot leave your 
ranks too far, or become too much scattered, or you 
Avill be lost. Do not allow any personal gain to lead you 
off, which would only bring you to an iguominious death 
at the hands of citizens. Keep well together and obey 
orders strictly, and all will ])e well ; but on no account 
scatter too far, for in union there is strength. With 
strict obedience to orders, and fearlessness in their 
execution, you will be sure to succeed. We will join 
the main force on the other side of the cit}'^, or perhaps 
meet them inside. ]\Iany of you may fall, but if there 
is any num here not willing to sacrifice his life in such a 
great and glorioas undertaking, or who does not feel 

274 Memoir of lyillliDii Madison Peyton. 

capable of incetiiif;- the ciieiny in such a ilosperato figlit 
as will follow, let him stc^p out, and he may j^'o hence to 
the arms of his sweetheart, and read of tlie braves who 
swept through the city of Richmond. We wMnt no man 
who camiot feel sure of success in such a holy cause. 
We will have a desperate tight ; but stand up to it 
when it does come, and all will be well. Ask the 
blessing of the Almighty, and do not fear the enemy. 

U. Dahlgren, Colonel Commanding. 

The following Special Orders were Avritten on a 
similar sheet of paper, and on detached sli[)s, the whole 
disclosing the diabolical plans of the leaders of the 
expedition : — 

" Special Orders and Instructions. 
"Guides and pioneers, with oakum, turpenthie, and 
torpedoes, signal ollicer, quartermasters, commissaries, 
scouts and pickets, and men in rebel uniforms — these 
will remain on the north jjank, and move down with 
the force on the south bank, not get ahead of them, 
and if the communication can be kept up without giving 
an alarm it must be done; but everything depends 
upon a surprise, and no one must be allowed to pass 
ahead of the colunni. Information must be gathered 
in i-egard to the crossings of the river, so that should 
w^e be repulsed on the south side, we will know where 
to recross at the nearest point. 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 275 

"All mills must be bariit and the canals destroyed, 
and also everything which can be used b)' the rebels 
must be destroyed, including the boats on the river. 
Should a ferry boat be seized Avhieh can be worked, 
have it moved down. Keep the force on the south side 
posted of any important movement of the enemy, and 
in case of danger some of tlie scouts must swim the 
river and bring us information. As we a])proach the 
city, the party must take great care that they do not 
get ahead of the other i)arty on the south side, and 
must conceal themselves and watch our moNements. 
We will try and secure the bridge of the city, one mile 
from Belle Isle, and release the prisoners at the same 
time. If we do not succeed they must then dash down, 
and we will try to carry the bridge by storm, When 
necessary the men must be liled through the woods 
and along the river bank. The bridge once secured 
and the prisoners loose and over the river, the bridges 
will be burnt and the city destroyed. 

"The men must be kept together and well in hand, 
and once in the city, it rnust he (h'slrnijed, and JeiJ J)afis 
and his Cabinet hdled. Pioneers will go along with com- 
bustible materials, 

"Ererything on the canal and elsewhere of service to 
the rebels must be destroyed. 

"As General Custer may follow me, be careful not to 
give a false alarm. The signal otiicer must be pre- 
pared to communicate at night by rockets, and in other 
things pertaining to his department. The quarter- 
masters and commissaries must be on the look out for 

2715 Memoir of ll'illiain Madisun Pi'ijlo/i. 

tlieir departments, iind see that there are no dehiys on 
their accoiuit. The engineer olticer will folluw, and 
survey tlie road as Ave [jass over it, etc. The pioneers 
must be prepared to construct a l)ridge or to destroy one. 
They must have ])lenty of oakum and turpentine 
for burning, which 'svill be soaked and rolled into balls 
and be given to the men to burn when we get into the 
city. Torpedoes will only be used b)^ the pioneers, for 
burning the main bridges, etc. They must be prepared 
to destroy the railroads. 

" Men will branch off to the right with a few pioneers 
and destroy the bridges and railroads south of llichmoud, 
and then join us at the city. They must be well 
prepared with torpedoes, etc. 

'' The line of Falling Creek is probably the best to 
march along, or as they approach the city, Good's Creek, 
so that no reinforcements can come upon any cars. 

"No one must be allowed to pass ahead for fear of 
communicathig news. 

''Piejointhe command with all haste, and if cutoff, 
cross the river above rdchmond, and rejoin us. Men 
will stop at Bellona Arsenal and totally destroy it and 
everything else but hospitals ; then follow oil and rejoin 
the command at Piichmond with all haste, and, if cut 
off, cross the river and rejoin us. As General Custer 
may follow me, be careful not to give a false alarm." 


After tlic secession of Yh-^^-iiiia, (•25tli of April, 18G1), 
Colonel Peyton, who IkkI ii}) lo this time hucJi detained 
))y business in Ne^v York city, prepared to return to the 
South. The Federal authorities, however, were 
instructed to w^atcli his nioveuKMits and to tirrest him if 
he attempted to leave the place, A friend of his 
informed him of the receipt in New York of orders to 
this efiect from Washington. He heard the news, not 
without surprise, for up to this time he had taken no 
part in the revolution exee})t to prevent it if possible, 
or if not, and it should come, to mitigate its severities. 
On enquiring of the Federal Marshal for the district of 
New Y^'ork, as to the truth of the rumour, and, if true, 
the grounds upon which tlu^ (Jovermnent basi;d its action 
he had conlirmatitui of its truth. He was coiiseipuiutly 
under surveillance, but w-as fillowed to go at large. The 
Federal officer in New York was considerate enough to 
say that President Lincoln knew that he. Colonel Peyton, 
had committed no act of hostility to the (lovernment, 
hut ^vas convinced that he ^vouhl, if in the South again, 

278 Memoir of William Madison Peijton. 

exert his influence on behalf of the Confederate States, 
with which Virginia had formed an alliance. Fearing 
this, the President had deternnned to prevent his return. 
" If the Government was wrong in this belief " continued 
the Marshal, " and Colonel Peyton would give his jHirole 
that he :.ould not engage in the war against the Fedeial 
Government, or in any way, by word or action give aid 
and comfort to the South, he was instructed to take no 
further account of his movements." Colonel Peyton 
declined these terms and went innnediately to live at the 
house of his old friend and fellow-countryman, Dr. J. 
Marion Sims, who had been for some years a rtssident 
of the city. Under his hospitable roof he remained 
some months, subjected to the annoyance of constant 
overlooking, but in no other way was he molested. 

Daring this period he addressed the following, his 
second letter, to Mr. William C. Piives, whicii was 
published in the New York papers, and afterwards in 
pamphlet form. 

The Editor of the Islcw York Journal, introduced it 
with the following remarks : — 

"When Virginia was considering the position that 
Commonwealth should assume in the existing dislocation 
of American affairs, and when the Convention of that 
State was about to assemble for the purpose, Colonel 
William M. Peyton, then resident temporaril}^ in New 
York, addressed a letter to his old friend, William C. 
Piives, with whom he had so long and so honourably 
co-operated in Virginian politics. Colonel Peyton was so 
widely known for the broad, statesmanlike, cast of his 

Memoir of William Madiso)i Peijion. 279 

mind, and the unsullied generosity of his heart, and 
stood so eminently a representative of the Virginia 
school, moulded in association with the great men of 
our earliest national era, that his letter attracted 
unusual attention. It was reproduced, again and again, 
in the journals of different places, and also in pamphlet 
form. It presented the most solid arguments why 
Virginia should not link her fortunes, distinctively, with 
those of the cotton States, in their contemplated 

"Events have hurried on. The second letter, here 
presented as a sequel to the former, is indicative and 
empathic, as showing how these events have forced the 
most wisely Conservative elements of the horder States, 
and statesmen elsewhere, to recognize that tlu interests 
of political liberty, and of the sovereignty ol' freemen 
over their own forms of Government, require from 
Virginia and her sister States the repudiation of the 
perverted authority claimed by the Black llepublican 
hordes of the North, in the abused name of Federal 

" Friends of the American Union, as it was, and who 
desire, not party triumph, but the common good, have 
solicited Colonel Peyton to furnish a copy of this second 
letter for publication." 


280 Memoir of William Madison Petjton. 




" AV/r York, Mail luth, ISGl. 
" To THE Hon. Wm. C. IIives, Yiuginia. 

"My dear Sir, 

" Since the publication of my letter addressed 
to you on the 8th of Jast .January, the nation has been 
subjected to a Ciiesarcan operation, which has brought 
forth a revolution of giant proportions and defiant power. 
Surmises, conjectures, and vaticinations have given 
way to facts, and what was speculation then, is history 
now. The nation is iilled with amazement at the 
portentous magnitude of the events by which it is 
environed. One by one, it has seen the pillars of their 
magnificent temple removed from its Southern side, until 
the structure has lost its balance and threatens to fall 
and crush in its ruins all who remain. 

"These events have swept Southern men, who were 
distinguished as Union men, into a new position, from 
which they overlook the field of revolution. From 
this stand point, they find the picture changed in all 
its features, Avith entirely new lights and shadows, 
and opening up to them a plain and unmistakable path 
of duty, along which they think the instincts of 
patriotism conducts them unfailingly. 

•' As you are aware, the course adopted by Virginia 
was not in accordance with my judgment. T believed 

Memoir of Williain Madison Pcijton. 281 

that a Government, which recognized so dangerous a 
solecism as the right of secession, thereby admitting 
its want of power to enforce the haws, made in 
conformity with the charter of its being and authority, 
was so entirely emasculated of all the qualities which 
give force, vigour, and durability, as to be unworthy 
of support or respect from intelligent freemen. I 
thought it bad policy to countenance the heresy, by any, 
even equivocal action, lest in the future ' it might 
return to plague the inventors;' or prove to be as 
the homely old English adage expresses it, ' a chicken 
that would return to roost.' 

" I think Virginia should liave acted more wisely, 
more for her own honour and glory, and more for 
the ultimate good of all, if with her prestije as the 
great head of the Slave States, she had planted her foot 
upon the opening lid of this Pandora's box, and taken 
a position of armed neutralitij. Surpassing the other 
Southern States hi her resources, in jjopulation, extent 
of territory, m wealth, and in her slave interest; 
commanding, in a remarkable degree, the esteem and 
confidence of her sister States, North and South; 
exposed by her border position to serious evils, 
whether in or out of the Union; and being assured 
that her assumption of the position suggested, would 
be sustained by all the border Slave States, including 
Tennessee and North Carolina, it seemed to me that 
she would have consulted lier own interests and those 
of the nation, if she had consolidated this great 
central power mto an armed neutrality. 

MM . 

282 Memoir of WiUiarn Afadison Peijloa. 

" She could tlion have dictutoJ her own terms to tlie 
North and to the South ; faitli, justice, honour, would 
thus have been vindicated, and tlie j^-lorious inluTitancc 
from our revolutionary fatliers would have been rescued 
from the ruthless tramp of civil ^var and the ^vild confu- 
sion and scorching desolation of unbridled anarcliy. 

" But Virginia, in convention and at the polls, has 
decided differently, and that, ^vith all her patriotic sons, 
ends the discussion of this, as well as all other questions 
upon which her citizens were divided before she resolved 
on revolution. [See Nole A.'] 

" She strikes now for the independence of the Slave 
States, and, trampling under foot the olive branch slie has 
borne so long and so patiently, and under so much 
discouragement, she boldly dclies tlie (Jovernnunit, at 
Washington. That she takes this extreme step under 
circumstances of great aggravation, none can deny, as 
a short analytic review of recent events will make 
manifest : — 

''First. — Mr. Lincoln was nominated for and elected to 
the Presidency, mainly, if not solely, on the ground of 
his hostility to slave institutions, having advocated 
openly the opinion, that the nation could not exist 
' half shire and half free.' 

" Seeond. — He called to the first post in the cabinet the 
author of the 'irrepressible eonilict' dogma, and the 
acknowledged founder of the Black Rjpublican party. 

" Third.— \Iq has filled all the important and 
unimportant posts of the Government, foreign and 
domestic, with those Ultra Republicans, wlio arc 

Memoir of WiUiam Madiso7i Fc'ijlon. 283 

uncomprising in their warfare, and who have rendered 
themselves particuLarly obnoxious to the South. 

Fourth. — lie announced, in his inaugural, that the 
decisions of the Federal Judiciary had no binding force 
on the executive, and thus struck from the arm of the 
Soutli the only shiehl other rights which remained. 

Fifth. — When efforts were made by patriotic, Union- 
loving members of Congress to heal our di\'isions and 
prevent the disruption of our Union, the cspeciul friends 
of the administration, the radical republicans, per- 
sistently resisted all com[)romises, notwithstanding it 
was knoAvn that the adoption, in (^/ood fatt/i^ of the 
Ci-ittenden resolutions would satisly the South, with 
the exception perhaps of South Cai-olina, and this, tuo, 
in the face of the strongest evidence that the North 
would also acquiesce, if the people Avere allowed to 
express their sentiments. 

SLvth. — When Virginia, in an anxious and ardent 
desire to harmonize our troubk',s and preserve thi; 
Union, proposed a peace Congress, to be com})()SL'd of 
Drlegates frcmi all the States, the radical republicans, 
instead of co-operating with A'h-ginia in an honest and 
sincere effort to compose and settle our quarrel, spi^red 
no opi)ortuinty of belittling and underating, and fore- 
stalling the patriotic purposes of A'irginia and her 
sister border State's. The moral elfect of the action 
of the convention was thus destroyed and the hopes of 
its friends utterly disa[)i)ointed. 

Seventh. — When the Virghiia convention was in 
session, composed, as it Avas, of an overwhelming 

281 Memoir of JVilliam Madison Peyton. 

majority of Uniou men, aud liaying just voted, two to 
ono, against the doctrine of secession, the President, in 
disregard, if not in contempt of their efforts to devise 
some heaUng measures, issued his proclamation, calling 
for 75,000 men to suppress the insurrection. 

**Wlieu this proclamation was officially announced, 
the Union men were confounded, and Virginia concluded 
that the administration had adopted the uUiiiia ratio, 
because it was at heart opposed to a peaceful solution 
of difficulties upon any of the bases suggested, and that 
they were determined to coerce the South into submis- 
sion to their construction of the constitution, as set forth 
in the Chicago platform. That this was a rational and 
just inference, all fair minds, in reviewing this synopsis, 
must admit ; if so, however impolitic the course of 
Virginia may be deemed, its righteousness cannot be 

" To be subjected to the rule of a Government which 
tramples the constitution under its feet at every step ; a 
Government inaugurated by a power avowedly and 
deadly hostile to our institutions ; administered by 
agents, at home and abroad, whose relations to the 
South have made their selection a burning insult ; repre- 
senting a party so overwhelmingly dominant in the 
North, that all the conservation which survives, is in 
chains too strong to be sundered ; ( certainly not, in time 
to save the Constitution from the ruthless invasion of 
lawless power;) is a i)olitical degradation, galling to the 
neck of freemen, and hnpossible to be borne. 

" The Constitution of 1787, around which clusters so 

Memoir of William Aladison J\'ijton. 285 

many fond memories, and tlie love of which is so deeply 
lixed in the hearts of Virginians, came to us a monu- 
ment of patriotism and wisdom, Avith three great 
l>ranches of Government co-ordinate, hut independent. 
One enacting laws in conformity with its provisions, 
another executing them, and tlie third adjudging the 
fact of the legal and constitutional exercise of these 
functions hy the other two. It goes from us a regulator 
with its halance wheel destroyed ; a ship, which has 
parted with its sheet anchor in a storm; a charter, 
perverted from an a^gis of protection to an instrument of 
mischief and tyranny, in which the l)iiuling force of the 
judiciary is ignored, and the emhlematic sword, which 
justice wields hi defence of right, is wrested from lier 
I lands hy the comhined power of the Executive and 
Ijegislaturc, and plunged directly through the vitals of 
the Constitution. It came to us a (iovernment of 
checks and halances, in whicli the vicious tendencies 
of democratic license, as well as those of aristocratic 
pretention, were curhed hy wholesome restraints. It 
goes from us, a purely popular Government, in which 
the Constitution is ignored, and the will of a party, as 
expressed througli the President, is suhstituted. It 
came to us a henign Government, under whose wings 
were sheltered im})artial]y, the whole hrood of States. 
It goes from us an unnatural parent, who refuses shelter 
and protection to that i)ortion of tlu; l)rood whoso 
generosity has kept them poor, while it has enriched 
those hy whom they are now excluded. It came to us a 
legacy of self-sacrilicing patriotism, stamped with the 

286 Memoir of WiUiaiii Madison Peyton. 

approbation of the immortal father and founder of our 
liberties. It goes from us with its features so distorted 
by rude efforts to change their expression as to be 
unrecognizable by its friends, and stamped with the 
footprints of Lincoln and abolitionism, which have 
pressed with fearful force on its very vitals. It came 
to us baptized in the blood of tlie He volution, endeared 
to us by a thousand sacred associations, and our fealty 
was heartfelt and without reservation. It goes from us 
besmeared, begrimed, and defiled by immersion in the 
dirty pools of Abolitionism, so that with this stain and 
odour upon it, none can touch or handle it without 

^'Against a Government thus perverted Yiv^^'ima rebels, 
and it is the duty of her sons to give strength and force 
to her position by every means in their power. Her 
position will be a trying one, and will recpiire all her 
force, moral, intellectual, and physical, to sustain her. 
He has read history to poor advantage, and labours 
under a lamentable ignorance of the woi-k which will 
be carried out by this revolution, both North and 
South, wdio expects it to be a holiday frolic or a 
transient spasm, which one or two manly efforts will 
enable them to overcome. Nothing short of a total up 
lieaval of society need be looked for; a social and 
political earthquake, which will involve in one common 
ruin all the industrial pursuits of life. 

Virginia has generously strapped the burden upon her 
own shoulders, and should comprehend clearly the 
difficulties of the route over which she has to travel, if 

M('inoir of WiUiani Madison Paitoii. 287 

she hopes to Bustiiiii liorsclf without hdtormo- and to get 
through her journey .sufely. She ^vill he tlie Fhinders of 
the contest. Her proxhnity to Wusliiiigtun ; her horder 
position ; the revoU that Avili ine^■itahly occur in the 
western portion of Ihe State; her resources in money, 
men, and provisions, all conspire; to nialce A^irginia the 
chief seat of war. She will be obliged to make soldiers 
of all lier citizens capal)le of bearing arms, and thus 
convert the State into one vast camp. The armies that 
will be assemlded within her limits from the OonlVjderato 
States and those of the invaders, will l)e quartered upon 
her to a great extent. The stratagetic niuvemeiits of 
these great armies, -svith their battles, will destroy, to a 
great extent, her public improvements. Desolation will 
follow in their train. The country will be blackened 
wilJi hre and smoke. Want, misery, and destitution 
will rule the hour. Here, as elsewhere, tin; stern laws 
of necessity will infringe upon many of our cherised 
political sentiments. The freedom of si)eech ^vill 1)0 
stilled ; the press ^vill l)e muzzled ; the hahcas corpus 
will ])e suspended ; private property will be appro- 
l)riated arbitrarily, and all will lind an aixdogy and 
justification in the old Roman dictum, "Inter anna liujes 

"But in the midst of all this gloom and wretchedness, if 
Virginia is true to her ancient fame, her star will be in 
the ascendant, and her escutcheon, with its glorious 
motto, (Sic Semper 'iijrannis^) wdl rise with renewed 
lustre from a baptism of sutlering and glory. She will 

288 Memoir of IVllUam Madison Feijioii. 

bo pnrgecl of corrupt politicians iind will enter npon lier 
new career wiser and better for experience. 
Very truly yours, 

W. M. Peyton. 

Note A. — The great commoner of Kentucky, Henry 
Clay, and man}'' otlier of oar most distinguished 
Statesmen, held, that in a contest between the States 
and the general Government, allegiance was due to the 
latter. Now, whilst there is great plausibility ui this 
view, abstractly considered, it is obviously one of those 
logical deductions which could never have any practical 
force in Government. When a republic of our Union 
unfurls the standard of revolution, as in the present 
instance, she presents herself before tlie world, not like 
a fragmentary district in a state of insurrection, without 
the machinery and features of consolidated action and 
rational responsibility, but with all the appliances and 
forms of a regular Government, to whose authority 
her citizens have always bowed in matters of separate 
State interest. Iler power and her iniluence are a unit, 
within her limits and her means of enforcing her 
policy complete. Individual resistance would be 
ineffectual and inoperative. Those refusing obedience, 
would necessarily fall under the sAVord of the law, 
or be compelled to abandon their property and their 
homes, and to assume a position of hostile antagonism 
to their friends — perhaps their families and the soil 
of their nativity, containing the green graves of their 
fathers. To expect this of any people is preposterous, 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 289 

and those who expect any frame of Government for 
the Union of these States, to awaken a sentiment of 
veneration deep enough and strong enough to under- 
mine and destroy these feelings in the heart of a 
Yirginian, will find all their calculations, in the moment 
of trial, like the fabled apples of the Dead Sea, turned 
to dust and ashes. 

''Whatever may have been the opinions of her sons 
as to the wisdom of her policy, now that she has 
plunged into this sea of revolution, they will rally to 
her standard from all quarters, and whatever of energy, 
or talent, or fortune they may have, will be oifered up 
freely for the support and defence of their blessed old 

"W. M. Peyton." 



From May till the latter part of the month of July, 
Colonel Peyton was under surveillance, the eyes of 
Argus, in New York. During tliis time he consitleretl of 
different plans for effecting his escape. One attempt 
to cross the Atlantic to Europe, and thence return 
through Mexico and Texas, was frustrated, and he 
abandoned the idea of making another eff(jrt to reach 
home by this circuitous and uncertain route. While 
under the hospitable roof of his friend Dr. Sims, the 
long wished for opportunity occured. This was during 
the excitement and exultation of the Northen people, 
and consequent relaxation of vigilance, growing out of 
the Federal victory at Carrick's Ford, July 15. It must 
be remembered that in this North-western section of 
Virginia, there was gi-eat dissatisfaction with the action 
of the Government at Kichmond, a strong feeling of 
attachment to the Federal Union, and it became a 
matter of no small importance to both parties, how its 
aid and adherence might be secured. The peop'e are 
brave and sturdy, fond of war and the chase, and their 

Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 291 

power would be immensely felt on whichever side 
exerted. The Confederate authorities, therefore, 
despatched a force to this region, in April and May, 
under command of Colonel (I. H. Porterficld. This 
young and gallant, but inexperienced commander, 
occupied the town of Grafton, on the 26th of May, and 
soon allowed himself to be out-witted, out-man oiuvred, 
and defeated by General McClellan. On the 29th a 
large Federal force crossed the Ohio under orders from 
General McClellan, and Colonel Porterfield without 
givhig battle, retired 21 miles to Phillipi where his 
command was strengthened, and where he ill-advisedly 
determined to make a stand. Having once adopted the 
plan of retreat, he should have continued it until he was 
m a place of security. On the 2nd of June, the Con- 
federates were surprised in their new quarters by an 
attack on their position led by Colonels Kelly and Dumont, 
who had marched 24 miles during the night, through 
rain and mud. At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 2nd, 
notwithstanding the rain, their artillery opened a 
destructive fire on the Confederate camp. Colonel 
Porterfield, unable in the confusion resulting from the 
surprise to rally his forces, ordered a second retreat to 
Laurel Hill, on the western slope of the Alleghanies. 
It was effected, but not in a well ordered manner, On 
the 7th of July, General McClellan, with 10,000 men, 
flushed with their successes, advanced on this position 
which was not assaulted, but there was skirmishing 
between the respective forces on the 7th, 8th, and 9th. 
The Confederate rear was now at llich mountain, which 

292 Memoir of William Madison Peijtoti. 

was held by Col Pegram, whose force consisted of 2000 
men. Various movements now occured, the result of 
which was that the Confederate commander, seeing himself 
greatly outnumbered, commenced a third retreat, and on 
reaching Carrick's ford on the Cheat river, determined to 
make a stand. In this position, however, he was 
out-flanked and compelled again to retire. At another 
turn in the river, about a quarter of a mile below, the 
Confederates again attempted to stand. General 
Garnett, who had assumed command a few days 
before, while endeavouring to rally his men, was shot dead. 
The Confederate rout was now completed, and only 
2000 men of the Southern army escaped. Colonel 
Pegram hearing of Garncitt's defeat and death, surren- 
dered his force at Beverly in these words : — 

Beverly, July 12, 1861. 

To THE Commanding Officer of Nouthern Forces, 
Beverly, Virginia. 
Sir, . 

I write to state to you that I have, in con- 
sequence of the jaded and reduced condition of my 
command, most of them having been without food for 
two days, concluded, with the concurrence of a majority 
of my captains and field-officers, to surrender my com- 
mand to you to-morrow as prisoners of war. I have 
only to add, I trust they will only receive at your hands 
such treatment as has been invariably shown to the 
Northern prisoners by the South. 

I am, your obedient servant, 

John Pegram, 
Lieut.-CoL P.A.CS. Commanding, 

Memoir of Williani Madison Peytvii 293 

These groat and iiiioxpcctccl kuccgssos of Iho Federal 
troops, wliicli rendered it a certainty that at least 
one-third of the State of Virginia, with a population 
approximating half a ruillion, ^vould adlicre to the 
Union, naturally created the wilde^^t rapture in the 
Northern and "Western States. 

Colonel Peyton availed himself of the Northern 
saturnalia to h'av(3 New York, and the f(»Uowing day 
arrived on British territory, near ^Lontreal, Avithout 
having met with any annoyance, having travidled the 
entire way amidst bonlires, iireworks, sky-rDcliets, and 
other evidences of rejoicing, Tiie wliole Ncjrth seemed 
intoxicated with gladness. From Canada he proceeded, 
notwithstanding his feeble health and an attack of the 
gout, to Toledo, in Oliio, and then southwards through 
that State and Indiana, and after numerous delays, 
arising from his >ve;ik condition, and the passage of 
troops and munitions to the seat of war, arrived in 
Kentucky. While journeying through Ohio and Indiana, 
the utmost circumspection became necessary to avoid 
recognition. The Virginian accent is markedly different 
from that of the Nortliern people, particularly those of 
New England, who have set Jed in large numbers in this 
part of the Federal Union. A Southern gentleinan can 
therefore scarcely utter a word north of Mason's and 
Dixon's line, or the Ohio river, withc/dt his nationality, 
if I may so express myself, being known. He used the 
greatest discretion, however, cultivated silence, no doubt 
remembering how Peter \vas discovered to be a Clalileau, 
*' Surcbj thou also art one of thcni : fur thij speech hetraijeth 

294 Memoir of Will'uDn Madison Pc'iilon. 

As he approached the theatre of active operations, 
his movements were more diilicult, bnt hi Kentucky he 
was among friends and sympathizers. By these he 
was concealed, and on favourable opportunities passed 
on, from place to place, until ho reached the mountains 
of East Tennessee. 

Tennessee was, at this period, in the midst of a 
domestic revolution or civil war among her own 
children. Immediately after the proclamation of the 
President, of the 15th of April, 1861, calling out 75,000 
men, the excitement in this state was intense. The 
Governor Jsham G. Harris, immediately called an 
extra session of the legislature to meet on the 25th 
of that month. His Excellency at the same time 
refused to comply with the President's requisition and 
said in his answer to Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary 
of War: "Tennessee will not furnish a man for 
purposes of coercion, but 50,000, if necessary, lor the 
defence of our rights and those of our Southern 
brethren." At the same time an address written by 
Hon. Balie Peyton, was issued to the people, signed 
by the most eminent citizens of the State, namely 
Ex-Governor Neil, S. Brown, Russell Houston, 
the Hons. E. II. Ewing, Cave Johnson, John IjcII, 
K. J. ]\Ieigs, S. D. Morgan, John S. Ihien, Andrew 
Ewing, John H. Callender, and Colonel the 
Honorable Balie Peyton, in which they said : 

" We unqualifiedly disapprove of secession, both as a 
constitutional right and as a remedy for existing evils, we 
equally condemn the policy of the Administration in 

Memoir of ll'iUiani i\fiidi^on Vcijton. 205 

reference to the seceded States. But while Ave, without 
([ualiiication, condemn tlie policy of coercion as cal- 
culated to dissolve the Union for ever, and to chssolve 
it in the blood of our fellow-citizens, and regard it as 
sufficent to justify the State in refusing her aid to the 
(jiovernnient in its attempt to suppress the revolution 
in the seceded States, we do not think it her dnt}", 
considering her position in the Union, and in view of 
the great cpiestion of the peace of our distracted country, 
to take sides against the (!overnment. Tennessee has 
wronged no State or citizen of the Union. She has 
violated the rights of no State, North or Soutli. She 
has been loyal to all, when Jo\ alty was due. She lias 
not brought on this war by any act of her's. She has 
tried every means in her power to prevent it. She now 
stands ready to do anything within her reach to stop it. 
And she ought, as we think, to decline joining either 
j)arty; for in so doing tiiey wonkl at once terminate 
her grand mission ot })eace-maker liet\veen the States 
and the general Government. Nay, more the almost 
inevitable result would be the ti-ansfei- of the Avar 
Avithin her oAvn bonhn-s, the- defeat of all hopes of 
reconciliation and the deluging of the Skate Avith the 
blood of her OAvn people." 

AJfairs in Tennessee Avere in hopeless confusion — the 
Avar connnenced in the State at an eai-1}^ period and Avas 
Avaged Avitli the bitterest animosit3^ Two of Tennessee's 
favourite sons had been recentl}' killed at the battle of 
Mill Spring, near her eastei'u iVontier, July 19th, namely 
General ZoUicolfer, commanding the Confederate forces 

296 Memoir of William Madison Peywn. 

and his Chief of Staff, CiT,]vtain Balic Peyton, jun., one 
of the most promising }'onng men of hi.s State, who, after 
a European education, commenced tlie practice of law 
at Nashville a few months previously to the opening of 
hostilities. Immediately after the President's proclama- 
tion he prepared for resistance. He had favoured 
secession, thus differing in opinion with his distinguished 
father, and volunteered at the iirst pros})Cct of war for 
service in the army and was appointed Chief of Staff 
to the unfortunate ZoUicoffer. Me fell fighting in this, 
his first action, for the independence of this country. 
The loss of these two gallant soldiers, and hy the hands 
of Southerners too, for they Avere said to have been 
shot by Union men enlisted in the 4 th Jventucky 
regiment. Colonel Fry, contributed in no small degree 
to fan the flames of hatred created by the war.* 

Colonel Peyton, therefore, found the greatest 
difficulty in passing through tlie Federal and Con- 
federate lines, and was delayed several weeks an til the 
movem<'iits of the opposing force, the Confederates 
under (leneral Williams since the death of ZoUicoffer 
and the Federal under General Thomas, opened the 

* Tlio author has Leen personally infoi iiicd by D:ivi'l Bowon, a soldier 
in the 2n(l Minesota regiment, Colunel Van Cleve, who eu^^agiid 
in the battle of Mill Spi'iiig, that Captaui Pi^yton killed, with his own 
bands, two Federal soldiers before ho received his mortal wound. 
From his (Peyton's) body was taken the sword voted by the State of 
Louisiana to his fatlier, Colonel lialio Pejrton, for his gallant servicea 
in the Mexican War of 1815-1847. This sword, bearing upon the blade 
an inscription ordered by the State of Louisiana, is preserved among 
the Ftsderal trophies of tho war in the capital of the State of 

j\le)iioir of Will ill in Madison Pt'ijton. 21)7 

y^ay for him. lie IliifLlly succoeilcd in rcuclilnij^' l;i,s 
home hi A^irgiuiii. Diiriiii:- the wav, iiis heuUh avus >:(> 
shattered that he eouhl render no persunal ussistaiiee 
in the iiehL Bnt he dc\ otud liis ibrlnni'to iheeausc. 
and, Demosthenes hke, eni[)hiycd his lime in wrilinii; 
.^[lirit stirring appeals to the }»eo[)le. The snlleriiii^'s 
of his wife and family, too, wui'e at times ii,'reat, result- 
ing from the demands on the people lor supplies fa" the 
sup[)ort of the Confederate forees, and thk- wanton 
destruction caused hy the maruuding parties sent out 
by the Federal Army. Jn iSlio lie and his family 
lived almost entirely upon the syrup ol" the soi'gham 
cane and homuiy made from hi-iiised 

He was much alfect(.'d in nfmd and heai't by the 
progress of the war in whieh his kiiulred and friends 
were daily falling, and in which the peo])le of the 
Confederacy were sacriiieing ail they })ossessed. A. ^vaJ^ 
which it was soon clear to him, Avould (;n(l disastrously 
for the present gcnei'ation (>f Southerners. It is 
thought that the cruel anxiety thus eau>ed led to his 
premature death. .Many of his ('ai'ly friends brought 
up in the same ])olitical school ^vilh himself, the 
companions of his vouth, now (liat the South "was 
subjugated, turned to and tollowed the triumphant 
iNorth. This gi'ie\ed him to the soul. To see Ins old 
iVieiuls Avheeling into line feti' the North, as soon as the 
South was ovei'come, well nigh broke his heart. Tiiey 
leave the South, he said, because lier fortiuus ha\e 
lied from her, and he ([noted the tUi'ecting, but Inuidhl 
lines of old Sir llein-y hee, vrhen deSv^rted by his laiili- 

208 Memoir of WiUlain MadUon Vctjion. 

ful mastiff. "There is a feeling iu luiture, affecting" 
even the interest, as it is callod, oi' (hiinb animals, 
which teaches them to lly from mislui'tunc. The very 
deer will butt to death a sick or wounded buck from 
the herd; hurt a dog, and the whole kennel will fiiU on 
him and worry him; fishes devour their own kind when 
Avounded with a spear; cut a rook's wing, or break its 
leg and the others will peck it to death." 

The civil war had much divided families, and in 
various ways, and, after it was over, the murder of 
President Lincoln and the indiscreet manner in which 
his i^iccessor's friendslii}) was shown, increased instead 
of diminished the rage of })olitical hatred. The old ties 
of kindred and friendship did not regain their former 
influence, and the course of some of Colonel Peyton's 
friends and connections made a re-union of spirit and 
sentiment impossible. No one felt this state of things, 
so fatal to the kindly social relations which formerly 
existed in Virginia, more keenly than he. 

After the war of 18G5, ho continued to reside on his 
Virginian estate, engaged in repairing the damage 
inflicted by the enemy, and deriving solace in his old 
age, from the society of such friends as survived, and of 
his books. He had little idea that the South would 
recover, iu this day and generation, from the effects of 
the contest. VHien the war began, he was a man of 
large estate. At its close, when so many followers of 
the successful side were enriched that it gave rise to a 
ne\A' term by whicli they were designated, — the 
" Shoddy Aristocracy," — he was so much impoverished 

Memoir of WiUiani MudiMii Pcijlun. 2i)0 

tliat his descendants liavo since been oldigcd to sell all 
of his estates. 

Truly riches tal^o to thomsolves wings. The still 
considerable means lAi him at tlie termination of 
hostilities were largely drawn on by his charities. 
Thousands were in a more rculncod condition than 
hhnself, and to all he extended aid — was ni)])oily's enemy 
but his own. His waid (;f economy in money matters 
was constitutional. It is not sii]'i»j'ising, therefore, after 
having kept '' open house " for so many ycsirs, and 
assisted every one who applied to him in need,, that he 
should leave the world oppressed with debt. 

In a letter to the author, (hited in Virginia, March *,), 
18G7, he says in regard to the political situaticai, 

" The Iieconstraction Bill, embracing the ■ radical 
policy, has passed both Houses of Congress, been 
vetoed by the President, * and then passed over his 
head by a two thirds vote, so that it is now the law, and 
the Southern States phu-ed under a i)rovisional (lovern- 
ment, in which martial law ^vill prevail, and a General 
and his minions will ritle over us ' booted and S})urred.' 
The next and last step which fullills our destiny, is 
confiscation, a bill for ^vhich is in the coarse of incuba- 
tion and will be hatched in a few days. So you see, 
my brother, to what a foolish and most preposterous 
war has brought our oiu-.e lloniisliing and happy coLlntr3^ 
There is no future for the presejit genei'ation. All is 
dark, dismal, hopeless. Having sown in folly, we are 

* Audii'Ns JdliiLMtii. 

300. Memoir of WiUiaiii Ufadisoii I'cijton. 

reaping in bitterness, we have been victimized b}^ shallow 
and designing politicians, who acquired an iutluence 
over the public sentiment through the madness of party 
altogether disproportioned to their ability or their 
patriotism. We have tmiied away from the steady and 
full-orbed light of Washmgton, to follow the vjncs fatid 
of the poisonous pools of party, and very naturally find 
ourselves swamped and destroyed." 

"I enclose you an elaborate letter from Governor 
Brown, of Georgia, which is very full, on the great 
question of reconstruction, and will give you all the 
information attainable. It gives a clear view of our 
miserable predicament and affords a striking example 
of the pitiable condition, to which even our leading men 
are reduced, when they are perpared to give us such 
advice. Governor Orr, of South Carolina, concurs in 
the main with these views and our Govcjrnor, of course. 
But I do not agree with them. I prefer a course of 
sullen, defiant obstinacy. I will never assist in forging 
the manacles which are to fetter me." 


(iiiis (.lesidero isiL j^nulor uut modus 
Titiii c;ii'i capitis i" llor. od. lil. l.i.v.i. 

On the afternoon of the '29th of January, 18G8, u 
Virginian family residing on their estate in the valley 
l)etAveen the Blue Jlidge and Alleghanies, IMontgoniery 
county, were assembled in the drawing room, and 
gathered round the wood lire wliich sunt forth jocund 
sparkles and cheerful rays of heat. At this early period 
of the new year, when even in our Southern climate 
" winter lingers in the hij) of spring," the warm breath 
of the gentle season has nut )ct nu'lted the; snow that 
whitens the mountain peak and shrouds the early flower. 
The family group sccmud anxious, restless, if they 
had met for their usual alternuon tea and conversation, 
something interfered Avith its smooth How, 

At a centre tablo sat an elderly gentleman turning 
the leaves of a book, fuciiig his wife, about whom still 
lingered the traces of early beauty. She played with 
rather than plied her work. Several boys and girls 
niade up the party. These afternoon reunions, when 

302 Memoir of William Madison Peyton. 

the children were freed from the nursery and school- 
room, were usually s\v'e(jt moments, in which the 
parents were wont to enjoy their domestic happiness, 
while consulting upon plans for the education and 
prospects of their offspring. From time to time, a line 
hoy, whose eyes bespoke a sound mind and whose rosy 
cheeks were graced with the sweet smile of innocence, 
ran to a window and looked down the long avenue of 
trees which lined the road leading to the mansion. It 
was evident that something was expected to approach 
by that smooth lawn road. 

"What o'clock is it?" suddenly asked Mr. Kskridge, 
looking up from his book. " Half-past five," responded 
his wife. 

"I must go out, some accident has befallen them," 
said he, "the carriage should have returned by three," 
and rising, he proceeded to draw on a fur oVercoat. 

"For heaven's sake do not expose yourself to such 
weather," exclaimed the wife, "with a cold and asthma, 
it may cause your death, consider that our fancy 
heightens the fear of danger." 

At this moment Mr. Fskridgc cast his eyes through 
the window and saw in the distance his large family 
coach, a most midemocratic vehicle, approaching. All 
care and anxiety was at once banished. The fears 
which had oppressed them were groundless. In a few 
minutes, when the vehicle arrived at the front door, the 
family was there to receive the expected guests. The 
first person who descended with difficulty from the 
carriage was a tall, handsome old man, much bent 

Memoir of IViUiant Madmn Peijton. 303 

with years, with snowy hair and beard; then followed 
Ids wife and graiidchilchvu. Their friends rnshud 
forward to embrace thtun, more after the lasliion of 
lovers than mere friends. After tlu'ir Imrried, but 
warm embraces, tJicy were iMJiidncted to the cheerful 
parloui-, as the luggage was placed in the hall. 
While divesting- themselves of their outer garments, the 
cause of their detention, which was siin})ly a change of 
time in running the trains, was explained. 

The venerable gentleman, who had arrived on a visit 
to his brother-^l-la^v, Alexander P. l^^skridge, ^vas 
Colonel William M. Peyton, lie was returning home 
from Almigdon, where he had gone to be with his son- 
in-law, Hon. Walter Preston, who was dangerously ill, 
and who died a few days after Colonel Peyton's 
arrival. Availing himself of the o})portunity of passing 
near the estate of his friend and brother-in-law, Mr. 
Eskridge, who had years bidbre married Juliet Taylor, 
sister of Mrs. Peyton, he had left the railway at tlie 
nearest station, where Mr. E.'s carriage, by previous 
arrangement waited to bring the party to his 

Colonel Peyton was now in his sixty-third year, but 
from long sickness and nuicli dimK^stic trouble, (since 
the opening of the war he had lost, by death, a promis- 
ing son, three daughters, and two sons-in-law), he 
ap})eared wasted, ^van, and iV^eble, bore about him the 
signs of exhaustion which indicate premature decay. 
Though he was appan^ntly without disease, it was 
evident to those who look'ed on him, that his streiigtb. 

304 Memoir of WiUiam Madison Pcijlon. 

was daily decreasing ; that ho was now but a ruin ol" 
luunanity and spirit, a noLler ruin than ever painter 
depicted on canvas, or stone, or briclc ; the wr(>ck 
of a man prematurely old, not stricken by great 
sorrow, not bowed by great toil, but fretted and 
mined away by daily, hourly excitements which 
ceaselessly do their gnome-like work. He seemed more 
than seventy, such was the silvery whiteness of his hair 
and beard, the latter unshorn and descending in silken 
masses to his waist. His eye, however, retained its 
peculiar brightness, and beamed with a gentle light 
difficult to be described, a smile played upon his lips, and 
he spoke even now with a cheerfulness, during which the 
lines of sadness almost disappeared from a face, which hi 
repose bore sad evidences of the ravages of illness and 

" Though old he still retain VI 
His manly sense and energy of mind." 

Two days had passed since the arrival of the guests- 
days during which they had talked over the past and 
the present. Living a long distance from each other, 
with no direct railway connecting their homes, these 
friendly visits were few and far between, and of course 
were more appreciated when they occurred. On the 
afternoon of the third day, while Mr. Eskridge was 
dressing for dinner, a servant ran to his room, 
exclaiming out of breath that Colonel Peyton, 
had been seized with a fainting lit. Mr. Eskridge 
hastened to the assistance of his unfortuiuite 

Memoir of Willlain MaiIi.^o)i Pcijlon. 305 

tVioiul, whom ho Ibiiiul prostrate upon a sofa, to 
ail appearance dead. His eyes were dosed, Ins face 
Hushed and swollen, the blood vessels about the neck 
and temples tur^ad. IJnderstandhi}^' at once the serious 
nature of the attack, which lie thou<^dit was apo])lexy, a 
form of disease common to the Peyton family, and which 
had before threatened him, he despatched a servant 
across the country in quest of the nearest sur^f( -on, while 
raising the suilei'er's head and unloosc.'niui^^ liis neck- 
cloth. Then applyhij^ a ligature to each of his legs, 
to retard the motion of the blood from the lower 
extremities, he jdacdl him in an easy position and 
awaited impatiently the surgeon's arrival. 

vVt the end of two houi's the doctor arrived, and 
found him sulferin2[ from an attack uf saii<ruine 
apoplexy accom[)anied with paralysis of one entii-e side 
of the body. From the severe nature of the attack 
the surgeon said there Avas little hoj)e of his re- 

Mrs. Peyton, who stood by duml) with the weight of 
grief for a husband, who was her honour, and comfort, 
and never until that hour had l)een a sorrow to her, 
hearhig this opinion, fell in speechless agony into a 
chair. She soon, however, recovered her selfpossession, 
and though torn by dreadfid apprehensions, Avatched, 
Avith uiu'emitting care, at his sick bed. From day to day 
her grief visildy increased, one tear alter another 
coursed down her cheeks as she stood for hours by the; 
sinking sufferer. They were those bitter teai-s which 
steal sijigly from our eyes, to let us taste the bitterness 

30G Memoir of WiUiam Madison Vajlon. 

of every solitary drop that trickles down our cheeks, not 
those salutary tears by which a kind I'rovidence 
unl)urdens the heart and animates ns with streiigth to 
bear ncAV griefs. In a 'io.^v daj^s death released the 
sulferer, and the spirit of as true, as })ure, as loving, and 
as brave a man as ever lived whigcd its way to the 
regions of the blessed : a soul who never indulged a 
passion unfit for the place he is gone to. 

AVhere are now thy plans of justice, of truth, 
of honour? Of what use are the volumes thou 
hast collected, the arguments thou hast invented, 
the examples thou hast followed ? Poor were 
the expectations of the studious, the modest, and 
the good, if the. reward of their labours A\^;re only 
to be expected from man. Xo, my Iriend, thy 
intended pleadings, thy intended good oliices to thy 
friends, thy intended services to thy country are 
already performed, as to thy concern in them, in His 
sight before whom the past, the present and future 
appear at one view. While others with thy talents were 
tormented with ambition, Avith vain glory, with envy, 
with emulation, how well didst thou turn thy mind to 
its own improvement in things out of the })ower of 
i'ortune; in probity, in integrity,, in the practice and 
study of justice: Iioav silent thy passage, how privatcj 
thy journey, how glorious thy end. Many have f 
known more famous, some inore shrewd, not one so 

From a letter Avritten to the author by one of his 
brothers-in-law, Colonel riohn 1). P>ald\vin, dated in 

Memoir of WtUiaiii ^^ad^so)l Peyton. o07 

Vir<^niiia, February IG, 1808, the following further 
particulars of this iiiclauchoiy event are given : — 

"We have received to-day a telegram announcing 
the death of your brother AVilliani, ^Yhich occured this 
morning at the residence of his brother-in-law, Alexander 
I*. Jvshridge, in IMontgomery county. Colonel Peyton 
liud been with his wile in Abingdon, on a visit to his 
daughter, ]\Irs. Preston, Avliose husband dietl recently, 
as you have probably learned, and was on his return 
home, when stopping for a short visit at i\Ir. Eskridgc's, 
he was attacked by ])aralysis, on ^Monday, 'iZth of 
daimary. The attack was so violent as to de[>rive him 
of the use of one side, and to render his speech wholly 
unintelligible for more th;ui a week. After that time, 
he so far recovered consciousness and voice, as to be 
able to communicate wdtli his family, all of whom were 
with him — but at no time I'rom his lirst seizure was there 
the least hope of his recovery, or even of his living for 
jnore than a very few days. J lis death, ibllowing so 
soon after that of ^Ir. Preston, has, as youAvill under- 
stand, overwhelmed his family with a com})lication of 
sori-ow, such as rarely falls upon one liouscdiold. The 
condition of Susan's health and the pressure of my 
business engagements rendijrcid it impossible for her to be 
with her brother in his illness— and I have n(!ver seen 
Susan more distressed and grieved than by the fact 
that she was so prevented." 

'• The death of the Cohmel, as you may suppose, 
gives us all great distress, for we at)preciated him as a 

308 Monoir of Will'uvii Madison Pi'ijlon. 

most noble and aftectionate, as well as a high-toned 
and honourable gentlemen." 

A week after his death his remains were consigned to 
the earth, after the manner of the comitry, in the 
private cemetery of his brother-in-law, but, as Joseph's 
bones were carried into Canaan after they had been 
embalmed 400 years, so his are destined to be removed, 
in time, to the family vault in Augusta, or at Stoney 

Colonel Peyton's intellectual attainments would have 
entitled him to hold a high place in literature and 
science, for both of which he had so keen a relish, but 
Providence, in granting him an independent fortune, 
released him from that stern necessity for mental 
c;xertion by which so many of the greatest scholars have 
been formed. He had none of the trainhig of the great 
master whose name is Adversity. Accordingly he 
devoted his attention while living, solely to those 
subjects which immediately interested him, and seemed 
to be of service to his kind, without any aspirations 
after posthumous fame. In his hnmediate sphere he 
sought quietly and unostentatiously to do good rather 
than by striking deeds to attract the attention of man- 
kind, and win the fickle applause of the crowd. In this 
simple, unpretendhig way, departing, he has left behind 

"Footprints on tlio suiids of time." 

The memoirs of such a man contain little to excite, 
and less to startle, but nuismuch as the example of a 
good man is of more value than the written precept, 

Memoir of ]Villi(iin Mudiscni VeijtiDi. IJO'J 

may tlie writer not lio^x! that ho has conferred some 
l)euefit upon the puhUc, in not permitting one of so pure 
a hfe, so exalted a character, and so enhghtened a mind 
to descend to the grave ^vit]lout some record to do 
lionour to his memory r* A man whom he h)oked up to 
with no inferior veneration, nut so nmch for his great 
learning and intellectual ahility, as for liis rare corn- 
hiiiation of unswerving justice tempered by the most 
gra(;i()us kindliness, of jjerfect unselfishness, animated 
|)y the most enlarged love of mankind. Of all the 
memories in our spiritual valhalla, that of William 
Madison Peyton stands pre-eminent for those (pialities 
which have commanded our respect and his])ired oiu" 
personal attachment. Who that has had the privilegi; 
of not only observing the jHiblic course of our modern 
Aristides, but of sharing in the amenities of his private 
life, could wish anything better for himself, than tViat 
the spirit of his departed friend should be his own constant 
and life-long guide; so that whenever its close may 
ai-rive, he also may be deemed worthy of the eulogy so 
a})propriately bestowed un him from the grand old 

" The just .shall bu licld in everlasting leuieixiLraiico." 





Tho Peytoiis are, says Canulen and otlier antiquarians 
and historians, descended from William de Malet, 
(de Graville) one of the great Larons who accompanied 
WUl'uun I. to the concjuest of England. Malet rendered 
conspicuous service at the battle of Hastings, 1 1th of 
October, A.D., 10()6, where he l)elonged to the cavalry, 
and was mace-bearer to Duke William. He afterwards 
distinguished himself in the subjugation of North 
]>ritain, and was reported slain with 8000 of his followers 
at the seige of York. This, however, is doubtful, 
Thierry, in his History of the Norman Conquest, Book 
iv., says, that the Danes spared the life of JMalet, his 

p . ■ 

312" Pedigree of tlic Pciltun FamUij. 

wife ami family, and bore tlioin away in their 
lleet.* Malet was Slierill' of Yorkshire, 3rd year of 
William I. and obtained many j^n-ants of Lordshi[)s and 
Manors from the Crown, as a recompense for his military 
services, as is recorded in Dooin^daij Book, which was 
completed, A.D., 1080. Among the estates he acquired 
thus were Sibton and Peyton Halls in Co. Suffolk. 

The first of the family on record, who assumed the 
name of Peyton, according to the usage of the times, 
from Peyton in Stoke, Neyland, Co. of Sutf(jlk, was, 


second son of Walter, Lord of Sibton, younger brother 
of Malet, Sheriff of Yorkshire. This Reginald held the 
Lordships of Peyton Hall, in llamshold and Boxford, 
iu Suffolk, of Hugh de Bigod, who was sewer to Roger 
Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, and gave lands to the Monks of 
Thetford, to pray for the soul of Roger de Bigod. He 
had two sons — William, who held cei'tain lands in 
Boxford, of the fee of the Abbey of St. Ednnindsbury, 
as appears by charter of his nephew John, and, 


to whom King Stephen and his Cousin (lerman, AVilliam 
de Cassineto, Lord of Horsford, granted all his lands in 
Peyton, to hold, as his ancestors before held the same. 
This John had four sons, viz., 

* Roe also " Saxoii Clirouicles," edited by Gibson, p. 174,, and 
*' Orderic Vital," p. 512. 

Pedifjrf.c of tJie Pcyloti Famlhj. 313 

I. John (Sir), the elder. 

II. Robert de Peyton, Lord of UlYord in ^Siillolk, antl 
who assumed the siirinune of llftord therefrom, and 
of whom i)rc>sentl3^, 

in. Petee, Lord of Peyton Ilidl, v/ho hekl hinds ixi 
Komsliot and Peyton in the time of Kinj^^ John. 

IV. John, the younf>L'r, who sold to John, the eldest, 
all the lands wliieh he had in Boxford, of the fee 
of St. Ednmndsbury and Stoke Nuyland, whieh 
their father John de iVyton. and AV'iliiani, their 
uncle formerly possessed. 


Hocond sou of the foregoing John de Peyton, assumed 
the Burname of Ulford hwni. that Lordship and hecann; 
Piobert de Ufford, his son, 

Sir Rohcrt Pcijtun dc V ijord was summoned to parlia- 
ment as a baron by writ, dated loth January, 1808, the 
2ud of Edward 11., and was created ]^arl of Siilfolk. 
IGth March, 1837. 

lie was Lord Justice of Ireland in the reign of 
Henry III., and again in tlie reign of Edward 1. llt^ 
married Mary, widow of William de Lay, and dyuig 
in the 2Gtli of the latter King, was succeeded by his 

Sir Robert de Llford, hut., who was sununoned to 
Parlianuiut as a Baron from the loth January, 180.S, to 
lOtli December, loll. Ilis Lordship was in tlie 
expedition made into Scotland, in the 31th Edwnrd i. 
Ho married. Cecily, one of the daughters and co-heii's 

314 Pedigree of the Peyton Familij. 

of Sir Eobert de Valoiiies, Kut., Lord of Walsliam, 
iiiid had issue, 

Robert, his successor. 

Ralph, Justice of Ireland, in the reign of Edward III. 
Edmund, (Sir), who assuming the surname of 
Walsham, from his mother's Lordsliij) became Sir 
Edmund Walsliam^ and from hiui Hneally de- 
scended — 

John James Garbeit Walsham, of Knill 
Court, in the County of Hereford, wlio 
was created a baronet on the 15th Se})tem- 
ber, 1881. He died in 1310, and was 
succeeded by his eklest son, 


second baron, sunnnoned to rarhament from 27th Jan^ 
1832, to 14th Jan., 1337. This noljleman Avas hi the wars 
of Gascony in the reign of Edward II., and he obtained, 
in the begining of Edward III.'s reign in rajuital of his 
eminent services, a grant for Hfe of the town and 
castle of Orford, in the county of Sutiblk, and soon 
after further considerable territorial possessions, also by 
grant from the Crown, in consideration of the personal 
danger he had incurred iu arresting, by the King's 
command, Mortimer, and some of his adherents, in the 
('astle of Nottingham. In the 11th year of the samc^ 
reign, his lordship was solemnly advanced iu the Parlia- 
ment then held, to the dignity of Earl of Sulfolk. 
Whereupon he was associated with William de Bolum, 
Karl of Northampton, and John Darcy, Steward of tlie 

Pedigree of the Peijlon Famllij. 315 

King's liouseliolcl, to treat wiili Diivid Brecs, of Scotland, 
iuucliing a league of peace and amity. And the same 
year going beyond sea on the King's service, had 
an assignation of £o()0 out of the Exchequer, 
towards his expenses iji that employment, which 
was in the wars of France ; for it appears that 
he then accompanied the Earl of Derby, Ijeing with him 
at the battle of Cagart. After Avhich time lie was 
seldom out of some disiinguishcd action. In tiie llih 
lildward III., being in the expedition made into Flanders, 
he was the next; year one of the Marshals when Khig 
Fdward beseiged Cand)ray : and his Lordshi[), within a 
few years subsequently was actively engagud in the 
wars of Brittany. In the ITtli of this reign, the Farl of 
Suii\)lk was deputed to the Court of Ihune, there to 
treat in the presence of his Holiness, touching an 
amicable peace and accord between the English monarch 
and Philip de Valois, and he marched the same year with 
Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Derby, to the relief of 
Loughmaban Castle, then beseiged by the Scots. Soon, 
after this, he was made; Lord High Admiral of hhigland, 
and commanded in })ers()n the King's \vhoJe Ih'et 
northward. For several years subsequently his 

Lordship was with King Edward in France, and he ^vas 
(ine of the persons presented by that monarch Avith 
harness and other accoutrements for the tournament at 
Canterbury in the 2*2nd year of his reign. Seven years 
afterwards we find the Earl again in Franco, with the 
llldck I'rifU'c ; and at the celebrated luiltle of Poictiers, 
•so hardly fought and so gloriously ^von. In the following 

31G Pedigree of the Peijton Famil If. 

year, his Lordship achieved the highest military reuowii 
by liis skill as a leader, and his personal courage at the 
head of his troops. He was subsequently elected a 
Knight of the Garter. His Lordship married Margaret, 
daughter of Sir John Norwich, and had issue, 

lloBERT, summoned to Parliament 25th of February, 

1342, died in the hfe time of his- father, 
William, his successor. 
Cecilie, married to William, Lord Willoughby 

Catherine, married to Robert, Lord Scales. 
Margaret, married to William, Lord Ferrers of Groby. 
The Earl's last testament bears date in 1368, and he 
died in the following year. Amongst other bequests, he 
leaves to his son, William, "the sword, wherewith the 
King begirt him. when he created him Earl ; as also his 
bed, with the eagle entire, and his summer vestment, 
powdered with leopards." His Lordship was succeeded 
by his only surviving son, 

William de Ufford^ second Earl of Suffolk, who was 
summoned to parliament as a baron, in the lifetime of 
his father, on the 4th Dec, 13G1, and 20th January, 
loGG. This nobleman was in the French wars at the 
close of Edward Ill.'s reign, and in the beginning of 
that of Richard II. In the 50tli of Edward he was 
constituted Admiral of the King's whole lieet north- 
ward. At the breaking out of dack Straw's insurrec- 
tion, 4th Richard II., his Lordship understanding that 
the common people contemplated forcing him into their 
ranks, and thus to represent him as one of their leaders, 

Pedigree of (he Peyton Family. 817 

liastily arose from supper, and pursuing an 
unfrequented route, reached the Khig at St. Alban's 
with a wallet over his shoulder, under the assumed 
character of servant to Sir. Roger de Bois; but 
afterwards, being chosen by the Commons in Parliament 
assembled, to represent to the Lords certain matters of 
importance to the public welfare, the Earl, while 
ascending the stej)S of their Lordship's house, suddenly 
fell down dead, to the amazement and sorrow of all 
persons, rich and poor, on the 15th February, 1382. 
His Lordship married first, Joane, daughter of Edward 
de ^lontacute, and grand-daughter, maternally, of 
Thomas, of Brother ton. Earl of Norfolk, and secondly, 
Isabel, daughter of Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of 
Warwick, and widow of John le Strange, of Blackmere, 
but having no issue, the Earldom of SajJ'olL became 
extinct^ while the original Barony of Ufford fell into 
abeyance, between his sisters and heirs, [refer to 
children of Robert, first Earl,] as it still continues 
amongst their representatives. 

Ufiord— Baron Ufford. 
(By writ of sunnnons, dated 3rd April, lo60, 34 
Edward III.) 


brother of Robert, first Earl of Suffolk, having served 
in the wars of France and Flanders in the martial reign 
of Edward III., obtained large grants of laud from that 
monarch, in the counties of Berks and Dorset. Subse- 
quently (20th Edward III.) being justice of Ireland, we 

318 Pedigree of the Pcijton Famlhj. 

are told, '' lie lanclcil in that realm, ^vith a great number 
of men-at-arms and archers." This distinguished 
l)ersou married, lirst, Maud, wido^v of William, >iarl of 
Ulster, and sister of Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Lancas- 
ter, by whom he had an only daughter, 

Maud, who married, Thomas de Vere, son of John de 
Vere, Earl of Oxford. 
He married secondly, Eve, daughter and heiress of John 
de Clavering, and widow of Thomas de Audeley, by 
whom he had issue, 

John, of whom presently. 

Edmund, (Sir), who inherited the estates of the family, 
upon the decease of his brother. Sir Edmund 
married Sybil, daughter of Sir liobert Pierpont, 
and had issue. 

Robert, (Sir), who married Eleanor, daughter of 
Sir Thomas Felton, Knt., and left issue, three 
daughters his co-heirs, viz, 

Ella, married to Piobert Piowes, 
Sybil, a nun at Barking. 
: Joan, married to William Bowes, brother 
of Eichard, and left one daughter and 
Elizabeth, married to Sir Thomas, son of 
William, Lord Dacres, 
Ralph de Ufford died in 184G, and was succeeded by 
his eldest son. 

John de Ufford, who was summoned to parliament as 
Baron Ufford on the 3rd of April, 13G0, but dying the 
following year, issueless, the dignity became extinct, 

Pedigree of the Peyton Family. 319 

while his estates passed to his brother, Sir Edmond 
Ufford, Kut. 

Sir John do Pc^yton to whom King Stephen granted 
all his lands, in Peyton, dying, was sueeeded by his 
(.'Idest son, 

»S/^ Joiiii de Peijtun, who was Ijord of Peyton llall, in 
Boxford, also possessed lands in Stoke Nuyland, in 
SaltblJi. He nourished under ilenry 111. as a[)pears by 
a Catalogue oi" Knights in that reign, His wite was 
JMatilda de Bueiis, sister and luiir of Syniond du Notelle. 
By her he had three sons and one daughter, viz., 

John (his heir), 




ilis eldest son Sir John ((e Peyton, Knt., served 
in the Parliament held at Wt;stnnnister, 21)th Edward L, 
as one of the Knts. of the shire for Suffolk. He was 
thriee married, and dying Avas sueeeeded by his son, 

^^L^ Robert de Peyton^ who in many of his evidences is 
styled Chavalier aiul Monsieur. He had two wives, 
lir-st tiie lady Christiana de Aplel:on,wJd(jw of William de 
Apleton, and heir to lands in Hanall and Poxfortl, who 
died the 10th of Edward 11. circa A.l). 1281, leaving no 
children, and was buried at Sloke Neyland, with great 
pomp, the funeral expenses being thus set down : iifty 
(piartei's of Avheat .Cd 10s., one hogshead of wdne 
£53 4s., four muttons 5 shillings each, eight bacon hogs 
21 shillings, ten calves, etc. His second wife was Joan 
de Marney, of the noble family of the Marneys, of 
La}'er Marney, in Essex, by whom there Avas issue, 

820 Pedigree of the Penton Famihj. 

Sir John De Peyton, (his heir), 

William, from whom there was a release to his father 

Robert, dated 13th Edward TIL, 

John, junior, to whom William Castelayne, Joliu de 
Rickell, and otters, granted the Manor of Bcedles, 
Waldingfield, 5 Edward HI. 

The eldest son Sir Jolm de l^eijton married Margaret, 
daughter and co-heir of Sir John Gernon, Knt., of 
Lees, in Essex, Lord of Wicken, in Cambridgeshire, 
and of Barkwell, in the County of Derl)y, and in her 
right possessed the manor of Wicken, as in the 17th of 
Richard 11. he, jointly with her, held part of the manor 
of Esthorpe, by the service of one Knt's. fee. lie died 
in Richard's reign, his wife in '2nd Henry V. Their son 
and heir. 

Sir John de Peyton^ wedded Joan daughter and heir of 
Sir Hammond Sutton, of Wicksho, in the Co. of Suffolk, 
and thus that Estate came into the Peyton family. By 
her he had 

John (his heir), 



Margery, who married Thomas Dauheny, Esq., of 
Sherrington, in Norfolk. He died 5th Henry IV., 
and was succeeded by his son, 

Sir John de Peijton, then iu minority. He married 
Grace, daughter of John Burgoyne, of Drayton, in 
the Co. of Cambridge, and had issue, 

John (his heir), 


Pcdujret' of Uw I'l'ijinn luiiiiUij. »i'il 

Aline married to JellVy I.ocktoii, 

He died in the llowcr of liis uge, (ith Oct., 4 lleiiry 
IV. and was succeeded by Lis eldest son, 

Sir John de Peijton^ who ched a minor, 29 Oct., 11th 
Henry VI., and was succeeded by his brother, 

Sir Thomas de Peyton^ then 17 years of age, and 
seized of the manor of Esthorpe. His mother, Grace, dying 
the six of May, he was found heir to the manor of 
Messing, which was hekl of the Crown, as of the honour 
of Keynes, by the service of one Knight fee, also of the 
]\ranor of Binchall, and the Castle. Upon the feast of 
All Saints, 18th Henry \l.^ his age was })roved at 
Cambridge, viz. 22 years, at which time it was sworn 
by John Welford, that he was born and baptised at 
Dry-Drayton, in that County, A.D. 1418, many 
agreeing in the verdict, among whom liobert Chapman 
alleged, that the day on which he was born, being the 
feast of St. Valentine, there was a great storm, one 
knew it by the great wind; another broke his leg by a 
fall from his horse; another for that his wife was 
buried; another, for then his lease was burnt: another 
for then his daughter Margaret Avas burnt; another 
fell from a tree and broke his arm; as the several 
jurors deposed upon their oaths. This Thomas was 
Sheriff of Cambridge and Huntingdon, 2 1st and 31st 
of Henry VI., and about the 17th of Edward IV.; he 
began to rebuild the Church at Isleham, agreeing then 
with John Waltham, alias Sudbuiy, freemason for the 
same ; in the chancel of which church he lies 
interred, having a monument erected there to his 

I?2'2 F('iU(jrt'i' of llie Pt'ijtnn i'lunilii. 

memory. He married iirst, jMargaret, daughter and 
co-heir of Sir John Bernard, Knt,, of Isleluim; by that 
lady he ac(|uired the Estate of Isleham, and had 

TiioiMAS, Avho married Joan, daughter of Sir James 
CaUhorpe, of Norfolk, and thus acquired the manor 
of Calthorpe, with other lands in that county. He 
died before his father, leavhig 

Robert (Sir), heir to his grandfather. 



Elizabeth, married to Edward Langley, of 

Knowlton, in Kent. 
Jane, married to John Langley, of Lowleworth, 

in Cambridgeshire. 
Anne, married to John Asheby, of Hareheld, 

in Middlesex, 
His widow, Joan, married William Mauleverer. 
He married secondly, Margaret, daughter and co-heir 
of Sir Hugh Francis, of Gif^brds, in the County of 
Suffolk, widow of Thomas Garnish, of Kenton, in 
the same shire, and by lier liad two other sons, namely : 
Sir Christopher, who had great posessions in Wick- 
hambrook and Bury. In the 12tli of Henry of 
Vni. he was sheriff of the Counties of Cambridge 
and Huntingdon. He married a daughter of 
Leonard Hide, of Hide Hall, in Hertfordshire, 

Pedigree of die Peijlon Faiuilij. 323 

but died in the 15tli of Henry VII. without 
Fbancis, of St. Edmondsbuiy, heir, was ulso of 
Coggeshall, in Essex. He niurried i'liizabetli, 
daughter of Pieginald Broolv, of Aspallslo]i Hall, 
in Sulfolk, and had two sous, Edmund, the 
younger, who was (!ustonier of Calais, left no 
issue. The elder son, Christopher o^ St. Echuonds- 
bury, married Jane daughter of Thomas i\Jildmay, 
and had issue. 
Thomas Peyton died 3()tli of July, 1181, and was 
sueceedcd by his grandson, 

*S'//- Hubert Veijlon, of Isleham, who was Sln^riff of tlie 
Counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon,- in the 14th 
Henry VII. Ho married Elizal)eth, daughtti- of Sn* 
liobert Clcre, of Ormesby, in Norfolk, and had issue, 
Piobert, (Sir), his luar. 

John, (Sir), married Dorothy, daughter of Sir John 
Tyndall, Knt., of Hockwold, in Ktuit, and from him 
descended a distinguished line of the family, namely, 
the Peyton's of Knowlton and Hoddington. One of whom 
was Sir Samuel IVyton, Kut. of Knowlton, and another 
Sir Jolm Peyton, who w^as Lieutenant of the Tower of 
of London, and Covenor of the Island of Jersey, from 
1(308 to 1G28, having been succeeded in that otiice by 
his son, Sir John Peyton, who held the post till l()o3. 
Sir John died in 1G30, aged 105 y(>ars according to an 
inscription on the monument of his Grand-daughter 
]\[rs. LoAve, in Christ Cluu'cli, Oxford.* 

324 Ped'Kjret' of iht Pcijloii l'\uiuhj. 


Neerc this place 

Lyes bur}ed the body of Mrs. Alice Love, 

Wife to Edward Love of Salisbury, in the County of Wilts, Gent., 

Master of the Choristers, and Organist of this Church, 
By whom she had 9 children, 7 Boys and 2 Girls, 5 whereof lye 

buryed by her, }e other 4 survive. 
She dyed in childbed of her 7th son, the i7tli of March, 1678, ye 

42 year of her age, and i 8th since her marriage ; 
She was ye daughter of Sir John Peyton ye younger, of Doddington, 
in ye Isle of Ely, and County of Cambridge, and Knight, being ye 
first made by King James, at Edcnburgh, after his being pro- 
claimed by him King of ]uigland. 
Her Grandfather, Sir John Peyton, was Knighted by Queen 
Elizabeth, for his service in ye fiekl, in Ireland, and made her 
Treasurer in that Kingdom ; after that Lieutenant of )e Tower, 
by ye space of 30 years ; then Governor of Jersey above 30 years 
more, and dyed ye 105th year of his age, ye 4th of 
November, 1630. 
Her Grandfather by her mother was Sir John Peyton, of Isleham, 
in ye countye of Cambridge, Baronett. 

This Sir John was a man of strong mind and elegant 
manners, of extensive knowledge, and upright cliaracter, 
and governed Jersey wisely and temperately. " He was," 
to use the words of an old writer "educated after the 
politest manner of the age he lived in, by serving in 
the wars of Flanders, under the most able and 
experienced soldiers and politicians of that time." 

Amidst the sunshine of a court, and the allltience of a 
large fortune, his conduct was so regular and temperate 
that his life was prolonged to the age of ninety-nine 
years, in so much health and vigour, that he rode on 

Pedigree of tJte Peyton Fauiihj. 325 

horseback, hiuitiiig, tliruo days before his death." * 
It is not necessary to our purpose to follow further 
this line of the family, ^vllich l)eeanie extinct in 
the male line in IGSo, on the death of Sir I'homas 
Peijton, who was a member of the lirst Parliament, 
after the liestoration, and wlio enjoyed a Government 
grant of £2,000 per anmim. It is, however, 

in 1873, represented by iMnjor-denural Sir Thomas 
Peyton, Barouet, ^vho sueeeeehd liiy nephew, Captain 
Sir Algernon Peyton, Part., on his deatli without 
issue in 1872. This baronutcy \vas revived in 1770, in 
favour of Henry l)ash\V(n)d, wlio was, in the ma- 
ternal line, a descendant of Sir Thouias Peyton, and 
also married his female rt'i)resentative, by whom he 
ae(piired large estates, 

Makgauet, married to Francis Jenney, of Knotshall, 
in Suflolk. 

Elizabeth, married to Sir William Wigston, Knt. of 
Wolston, in Warwickshire. 

lie died in the i)th of Henry VIII. and Avas succeeded 
by his elder son. 

Sir Uobert Peyton^ knt., \\\\(j Avas Slieriit' of the 
counties of Cambridge and Ihuitiiigdou in P7th and 
27lh Henry N'lll., :uul a.voiiiiuuied lba( i\iii-': (o llie 
seige of l')alI(\Vlie. lie Uil^ :i;',:im Sli.i ill ui llie \ A cf 
Cbieen Ma.i-y. lie uianied l''r;iiiees, ilaiiglilei- and heir 
of Immiku's llassyldeii, of Lilile Cheslerlord, in 
i'^ssex, and ol' Steeple Marden, in ('and)ridg(jshire, and 

• S.'(. Lo Qiusiic's aii,l l'\i]K'slliMnrv cf J. is,-y, fuul Tayiir's (iimlo 
to the LslaiMl, also ilrpwoilli Dixon's ''il.T AlaJLsfy's Tow.r." 

326 Pedigree of the Peyton Family. 

in her right acquired these estates with other h^nds in 
the county of Ruthmd. By this Lady (who founded the 
famous hospital at Isleham) had six sons and two 
daughters, viz., 

I. Sir Robert Peyton (his heir), 

II. William, 

III. Richard, of Little Chesterfield, in Essex, 
married Mary daughter of Leonard Hyde, of 
Hyde Hall hi Herefordshire. She outlived him 
and married secondly Sir John Carey, Lord 


V. Edward, 
YI. John, 

1. Catherine, who married M. Williams 
of Oxford. 

2. Elizabeth, who married Thomas Wrenne, 
of Hint on in the Isle of Ely. 

Sir Robert died 1st August, 1550, and was succeeded 
by his son Sir Robert Peyton^ who was M. P. for 
Cambridge in the 4th and 5th of Queen ^lary, and 
Sheriff of the united counties of Cambridge and 
Huntingdon, in the 0th of Elizabeth. He received the 
honor of Knighthood from James I. at Ro3^ston in 
November 1G08. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of 
Lord Chancellor Rich, and aunt of Robert Earl of 
Warwick and had issue, 

Robert, who died unmarried, 

I. John, (his heir), 

II. Richard, who died without issue. 

Pediiint' of the Pt'ijlun FainlUj. 827 

III. Mary, who mfirrietl iirst liobert Balam, of 
AValsoken, in Norfolk, and second Sir Ricluird Cox, 
of Braham, in the Isle of Ely. 

IV. Frances, wlio niari'ied John Ilagar, of 
Bourne Castle, in Cainbridoesliire. 

V. WiNFREDE, niarried first, iM, Osborne, ]>arrister- 
at-law, second I\[. Herelleet, of Kent, and third 
John Hornbye, of Linconshire. 

lie was succeeded l)y Iuh eldest surviving son. 
Sir John Peyton^ of Islehani, in the County of 
Cambridge, who received the honour of Ivnighthood 
from Kino; James I. He was ISherili' of Cambrido^e 
and Huntingdon, in the 25tli of Piizahetli, when he 
was Knighted for the Shire of the latter, as he was again 
in the first of James 1. The next year he was again 
Sherilf. In the i)th year of the same reign he was 
created a Baronet^ viz. on the 22nd of May^ 1011^ on the 
institution of the order. Sir John married Alice, 
daughter of Sir Edward Osborne, Lord j\Ia}'or of 
London in 1585, and the founder of the family the Duke 
of Leeds; and by his said wife i\lice had issue, 

I. Edward, (Sir) his heir, 

II. John, died without issue, 

III. IloBERT, a distinguished scholar and Fellow of 
Queen's College, Oxford, 

IV. Roger, who emigrated to America and was lost 
sight of, 

V. William, of Wablingworth, married Tabithe 
daughter of Henry Payne, Es(j., of AYalthamstow 
and left two 8ons. John and William, 

8*28 Pcdiijrti' (if the' Pciitun lutuiilij. 

VI. Thomas, shiiii at Bourge, in HollaiiJ, while 
gallantly loading his forces into action, 

VII. Anne, mamed to Sir Robert Bacon, Bart., of 
Riborough, in Norfolk, third son of Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, Bart., of Badgrave. 

VIII. Alice, married to Sir John, son and heir of Sir 
John Peyton, of Doddington. 

IX. Elizabeth, married to Sir Anthony Irby, Knt. of 
Boston in Lincolnshire, who was created Lord 

X. Mary, married to Sir Roger Meers, Knt. of 
Hoghtou, in Lincolnshire. 

XL Frances, died unmarried. 

XII. Susan, died unmarried. 

He died about the year 1G17, and was succeeded by 
eldest son, 

Sir Edward Pciiton, who was Knighted at White- 
hall, 4th February, IGIO, and during the life-time of his 
father was denominated " of Grreat Bradley, in Suffolk." 
He served in Parliament from 18th of James I. to the 
3rd of Charles the I. as one of the Knights of the Shire 
for the County of Cambridge, and was Ciistos Rotulorum 
there, of which office he was deprived by the intluence 
of the Duke of Backingham, " whereat he was so much 
disgusted, that he lirst drew his pen against the Court, 
and writ several pamphlets with great acrimony against 
Charles I. and the royalists." He subsequently sided 
with the Presbyterians in the great rebellion, and so 
impoverished himself in the cause, that ho. was obliged 
to sell Isleham, and, drawing his son into joining him, 

Pedigree of tJte Petjton FamlUj. 8'29 

sold the whole estate, with the reserve only of annuities 
during both their lives. 

Sir Walter Scott, in his introduction to the secret 
history of the reign of James tlie I. by Sir Edward 
Peyton, as reprinted in 1811 by Ballantyne of Edinburgh, 
in his " Historical Memoirs of the lleign of Elizabeth 
and James," by Francis Osborne says. Sir Edward's 
property was plundered by both parties ; for he complains 
in the following treatise,* that at Broadcliock, in 
Wiltshire, four hundred pounds worth of his household 
stuff was seized by the Royalist garrison of Langford, 
which was never restored to him, although the place 
was afterwards taken by Cromwell. In short, as he 
could not, it would seem, serve his party very effectually, 
his attachment, as usually happens in such cases, did 
not save him from neglect and injury. At the close of 
the civil war, in which so many of the success- 
ful side had made their fortune. Sir Edward Peyton 
was so much impoverished, that \\(\ was obliged to sell 
Isleham, the ancient patrimony of his family. His 
eldest son, afterwards Sir John Peyton, was induced 
to join in the sale, reserving annuities for his father's 
life and his own. And thus this ancient family was 
totally ruined." 

Sir Edward Peyton was of grave and serious character, 
strong religious convictions, and having long lived near 
Cromwell, in Cambridgeshire, imbibed many of his 
political opinions. They were personal friends, and Sir 
Edward very naturally exerted his influence hi favour 

* "The Divine catastrojiho of TLo Kingly fumily of the housu of Stuurts." 

')oO Pcditjire of tlic i'njton h'ainihj. 

of the Commonwealth. It was his ontliusiasm in thli^ 
cause alone, which led to his iinancial ruin, and the 
removal of one of his grandsons to Virginia. For he 
was as far as possihle removed in character from the 
roystering, gambling, hard-drinking gentlemen of the 
Dundreai-y type who flourished in the reigns of Mary 
and Elizabeth, men like the famous Earl of Carlisle, 
who in the early part of the era of the Stuarts, spent 
in a jovial life above £400,000, and left not a house nor 
an acre of laud to be remembered by. A gentleman 
wlio at a later period was followed hy another of infa- 
mous memory, Rochester, one of whose tits of intoxica- 
tion is said, with brief hiterruptions, to have lasted five 
years. Sir Edward was the reverse of these gentlemen 
blackguards and gentlemen exquisites, was a regular, 
sincere, and straightforward man, an honest country 
gentleman — not blase, roue, epuisse, or ennuye of life, 
and never thought of advancing his own interests. 
Thus it is that while others waxed rich on public strife, 
he grew poor. It may not be uninteresting to mention 
that at the time he was made a Baronet, among other 
requisites required for this dignity, the recipient 
must have a clear income above all debts of £1,095, 
a year, and be able to claim descent from a grandfather 
who had borne arms and been under lire. 

Sir Edward married lii-st, IMatilda, daughter of 
Robert Livesay, of Tooting, in Sm-re)^, by Avliom he had, 

John, (his heir), 

Edward, in holy orders, who had three sons, Edward, 
Robert and Henry, 

RoBEHT, and one daughter, 

Pedigree of the Peyton Family. 331 

Amey, married to Henry Lawrence, of St. Ives, in 
Huntingdonshire, and of ISt. Margaret's in the county 
of Hertford. He married secondly, Jane, daughter of 
Sir James Calthorp, knt. of Crockthorpe, in Norfolk 
(widow of Sir Henry Thomelthorpe, Knt.) and by that 
lady had one son, 

Thomas, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir 

William Yelverton, of llougham, in Norfolk, and 

dying in 1G83, left four sons, William, of Dublhi 

married Frances, daughter and co-heir of Sir 

Herbert Lunsford, Knt. by whom he litid no mah; 

issue. He died in 1G8G. 

Robert, of Isleham, j\Iatthews Co., Virginia.* 

"This young man," says 13. Blundell, F.S.A. *'a grand- 

of Sir Edward Peyton, like Ned Poins, a younger 

brother and a pro])er fcllov/ of his hands, disdaining the 

life of a mere idle hanger-on to elder relatives scantily 

able to support themselves, resolved to try Avhat his 

* There is a tradition in tlie family in Virginia to the effect that 
shortly after his arrival in the Colony, when somo distance np tlu; 
river (James) on a shooting ex(nu\sion, the waters of Virginia abound- 
ing in game and wild fowl, KoLert Peyton and his comi)aiiion wen- 
taken prisoners by a party of huhaus, and conveyed to theu' head- 
quarters in the interior. Tlie Ked-skins reduced them to a kind of 
slavery. Peyton's companion was carried oil' by fever within a few 
weeks. Solitary and alone in their hands, the young Englishman 
revolved plans of escape and finally accomplished his wishes. He 
appeared pleased with Indian lifi;, exerted himself in war, the chase 
and in fishing, and entered with such spirit into their games that he 
won their confidence and friendship. The savage King adopted 
liim into the tribe, then as a son, then advanced him to be a chief and 
finally indicated to his natural sons that they must give way to him as 
his, the King's successor. His life was now far from unpleasant, 
though he had to be constantly on guard to prevent being assas- 
sinated by the King's sons, who were to lose their- inheritance through 

332 Pedigree of ihc Peijlun Fainih/. 

long pedigree, backed by u bold heart and a clear 
intellect, could do in America, towards renovating liis 
fortunes, and shortly after the llestoration emigrated 
to Virginia, circa 16G5, Avhere the young adventurer, 
inspired by that affectionate recollection of his native 
land which is one of the most prominent and praise- 
worthy traits in the character of our American cousins, 
gave his new domain, in j\lattheAvs county, the 
appellation oi' Meha?n. born by the ancestral residence in 
his island home. Here his descendants flourished 
becoming opulent landholders, magistrates, and 
members of the Colonial Parliament." 

Robert, who married in Virginia left among other 

Benjamin John Edward, who married and left one 

Henry, born 1700, who married Miss Langley, 
daughter of Roger Langley and left one son, 

his presence. He was provido!.! with u wife, in the person of the 
daughter of a chief living in the south-west, and in close aiuity with 
his own tribe. A consolidation of the two tribes was thus thought 
feasible in the future. 

His escape from captivity was thus effected. During the winter, an 
expedition, under the King, advanced against tlie Whites. When the 
Red-skins, after a long march through the forest, arrived in front of 
the Colonial settlements, Peyton availed himself of an opportuidty 
Avhen scoutuig to rejoin his countrymen. From his knowledge and 
position nothing would have been easier than to betray the whole 
savage force and deliver it uji to the AVHiites. This he declined doing. 
On the contrary, when he was safe he sent an Indian boy to the 
savages with a warning to them to be olF. The Indian King did not 
remain to receive a second intimation that he was on dangerous 
ground, but, like a wise man, returned the same night to a place of 

Pedigree of the Peijton Familij. 


John, of Stalford Co., Virginia, born 1725, Avho 
married Elizabeth a daughter of John Rouse, and 
left issue, 

John Rouse and Valentine, M.D. 

Jo/m Bouse Peyton married Anne, daughter of Howson 
Howe, and left issue, 

I. John Howe, (of Montgomery Hall) born April 
27th, 1778, his successor, and of whom presently, 

II. Bernard Peyton, a Captain in the U. S. Army, 
and afterwards Adjutant General of Virginia and 
President of the Board of Visitors of the Virginia 
Military Institute at Lczlngton. He married 
Amanda daughter of General Moses Green of 
Faquier, and left issue, 

1. Thomas, a Captam of Artillery in the 
Confederate Army, who married Catherine, 
daughter of the Right Rev. John Johns, Bishop 
of Virginia, and has issue. 

2. Green, a Colonel in the Confederate Army, 
and, since the war, a professor in the University 
of Virginia. He married Champe, daughter 
of Dr. Charles Carter of Albemarle, and has 

3. Bernard, who married Estelle, daughter of 
Dr. Tricon, of California, and has issue. 

4. Thomas, jun., a Major in the Confederate 
Army, who married a daughter of the Hon. 
Dabney Carr, late American Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary to Turkey, and a grand daughter of 

334 Pedujire of the Peyton FamiUj. 

Thomas Jcfterson, ord President of the U. S. 

and has issue. 
6. Susan, who married Major General W. I^. 

Hagner, U. S. Army, and has no issue. 
G.Amanda, married J. C. Washington, and has 

no issue. 

III. Gaenett, who married Agatha daugliter of W. S. 
Madison, and left issue, but. only one of his children 
married and had issue, viz., AVilliam, who married 
a daughter of William JMvmford, and has issue. 

IV. ItOUSE or RouzE, who married, first, Ann( Jallagher, 
and left issue : 1st Bernard, and 2nd Ann, who 
married Bronson Murray, of New York, and has 
issue. He married secondly, Eliza daughter of Col. 
J. B. Murray and left issue — one son, Hamilton, 
and three daughters, all married and with issue. 

V. Lucy, married General Green, of Hoi>kinsville, 
Kentucky, and left issue. 

VI. Ann Fkances, who married Robert (Jreen, but 
left no issue. 

Jolin Iloive, of Montgomery Hall, married 1st Susan, 
daughter of William S. Madison, and by her left issue 
one son Colonel William M. Peyton the subject of the 
foregoing memoir, who married Elizabeth A. E. Taylor 
and left issue, 

1 Elizabeth, who died in her 16th year unmar- 

2 John Howe, died in infancy. 

3 Susan, who married Joseph H. White, and 

Pedigree of the Pegton Fainily. 335 

then Col. Wasliiiigton, and died without issue 

living by either husband. 
4 William Allan, died of typhoid fever in his 

14th year. 
6 Gaenett, married Wiilter Preston, and has 

issue, one son Peyton, and a daughter 


6 Sally Peeston, married Tliomas C. Eead, and 
left issue, one daughter, who married Dr. 
William Berkeley, a descendant of Sir Win. 
Berkeley, Colonial Governor of Virginia. 

7 Juliet, died in her 17th year unmarried. 

8 Beenaedine, marj-ied in 1872, Lewellyn, of 
Albemarle County, Virginia. 

John H. Peyton, married secondly, Ann Montgomery, 
daughter of Major John Lewis, of the Sweet Springs, 
und left issue, at his death, wliich occurred at Montgomery 
Hall, 3rd of April, 1847. 

I. John Lewis, born 15th of September, 1824, who 
married Henrietta E. C. daughter of Colonel John 
C. Washington, of County Lenoir, North-Carolina, 
a relative in the 4th Canonical degree to the illus- 
trious Washington, and has issue, one son, 

Laweence Washington Howe, born in Guernsey, 
Channel Islands, 27tli of January, 1872. 
XL Yelveeton Howe, born 8th of January 1838, 

and is in 1873, unmarried. 
in. Susan Madison, married Col. J. B. Baldwin, a 

son of Judge B. G. Baldwin, and has no issue. 
IV. Ann Montgomeey, died unmarried. 

o3() Pedhjree of the Peyton Fainily. 

V. Mary Preston married Pt. A. Gray, and has issue 
two sons, 1 Peyton, and 2 Baldwin, and daughters, 

VI. Lucy married J. N. Hendren, and has issue one 
son Samuel and daughters, 

VII. Elizabeth married Wm. Boys Telfair, of Ohio, 
and has issue two sons 1 William and 2nd Baldwin 
and daughters, 

VIII. Margaret, married G. M. Cochrane, jun., and 
has issue, one son, George, and daughters. 

IX. Virginia, married Col. J. F. Kent, and has issue 
one son Joseph, 

X. Cornelia, married Dr. Thomas, and has issue two 
sons, 1 Peyton, 2 Baldwin, 

The Peyton arms, as in the visitation of Suffolk, 
Harl., A.D., 15G0, are : quarterings, 

1. sable, a cross, engrailed, or, for Peyton ; 2. Gernon ; 
3. Colville ; 4. Sutton ; 5. Hassingborne ; 6. Langley ; 
7. Atleze ; 8. Atbridge ; 9. Langley ; 10. Francis ; 
11. Lucy ; 12. Chamberlaine. 

Crest — a Griffin, Sejant, or, 

Motto — Patior, Potior : — I labour, I secure. 




Extract prom a MS account of a Visit to Isleiiam, 
IN 1870, BY THE Author of the foregoing Memoir. 

* * * * 

The forenoon of the next day, the strangers, whom 
the reader will recognize as ourselves, were occupied 
examining Ely Cathedral, one of the most ornate and 
beautiful in England. The same afternoon we set forth 
in a gig for Isleham, across a region, commonly 
styled the "Fen Country," though tcmi cotta drainage 
has long since turned the swamp into the driest of dry 
land. This district is Hat, monotonous and uninteres- 
ting. There is little in it to arouse and enlighten the 
imagination, or to inspire artistic genius. In our cloud- 
compelling chariot, we actually scoured the Cambridge- 
shire plains, though the dust was suffocating and 
the heat tropical, for our steed belonged to a 
class known to London cab proprietors as a retired 
racer, an animal no longer fit for the Ol^iupic 
games of Epsom, but who before a gig rather flies tiian 
runs, and, I may add, generally leaves a visible Avrack 


838 . I'islt lu l-.lrlutm. 

beliiiid, unlike our perisli;il»l.:' 1io})l,s iinJ alToctions. Not 
so, however, in our case, we proceeded safely, passing 
through two or three viUages, whose tuinl)le down 
houses, or I slioukl rather say in cockney style, whose 
ruined gates and walls told eloquent stories of their 
antiquity. Their present desolation formed a melancholy 
contrast to the cheerful cultivation around them. 
There was a soothing stilhicss in the scene presented 
by the champaign country which we certainly now 
saw under the liappiest circumstances of season and 
weather. Passing through a Hat, and so far as 
picturesque beauty is concerned, a comparatively 
barren region, there was yet much to amuse the eye, 
and make an agreeable variety. The woods and fields 
were in their mid-sunaner bloom, and the mellow light 
of evening heightened the richness of their hues, and 
gave an exquisite etiect to the light and shade which fell 
upon the lanvtsc |.e. The air was scented with blossoms 
by trees then in flower, which here and there lined 
the road-sides. Hural scenes of almost every kind are 
delightful to the mind, gratifying the- senses and 
producing an inexhaustible fund of innocent amusement^ 
and I contemplated these wide plains, with their 
luxuriant corn crops bendhig under the breeze, with 
ardent delight. My experience, indeed, satisfies me 
that there are few spots so barren as not to aftbrd 
picturesque scenes, 

" Believe tlie muse, 
She docs not know that inauspicious spot 
"SVliore beauty is thus uigyard of her store, 

Visit in JshJuuii. . 330 

Believe the muse, through this terrestrial wastw 
The seeds of gi-ace are sown, profusely sown, 
Even where we least may hope." 

About sunset wo saw the graceful spire of Isleliam 
Church rising hke a dream from earth to heaven, and 
the hamlet shining at the extremity of the open country. 


Soon we arrived, and, traversing the grassgrown streets 
of the ancient village, stood in front of, not the 
venerable edifice itself, but of an old Priory — the old 
Priory as it is call(;d, or so much of it as remains. This 
monastery was built circa A.D. 1300. Patched up with 
brick and mortar, this interesting relic of the olden 
time is now used as a barn, pig-sty, and stable. Such 
are the base uses to which it has come. Notwithstand- 
ing its cracked and battered condition, the sight of it more 
than repaid my trouble, and its situation gave rise to 
many suggestive thoughts. The jolly monks of old 
were not deficient in taste, and selected sites for their 
monestaries with both wit and wisdom. At jn-esent there 
there are neither winding paths, trees, ivy, nor water to 
throw a charm around the Priory, it is left dila- 
pidated and naked, staring and stared at by the 
irreverant world. It once had all these adjuncts, and 
might have them agahi. In its present wretched 
condition it excites only ideas of solitude, neglect, and 
desolation. It is worthy, however, of a word of 
description. In 1791, it was first converted into use as 
a barn, and has since been called the Priory barn. It 

3-10 • Vuil to hU'haiu. 

consists of a nave and chancel, with a circular end and 
eight buttresses, two small south and one small north 
window, in length about 95 and in breadth 20 feet, and 
the south door has been enhirged since it was made a 
barn. The walls are built herring-bone fashion. At 
the west end are two heavy buttresses, between them 
a small window and two round ones above. Whether 
it fell into decay and the lord would not get it 
converted into parochial use, when granted with its 
house by Henry VI. to Pembroke College, does not at 
present appear. 


After a close examination we passed on to the village 
church, which was commenced by Sir Thomas Peyton, 
and the building finished by his son and executor, Sir 
Christopher Peyton, A.D. 1480. It is one of the most 
beautiful buildings of the kind in England, in a style far 
superior to what could be looked for in so mean, though 
extensive and populous, a village. The edilice is in 
excellent preservation, though the exterior Avails are 
green with the accumulated damp of centuries. A 
servant was despatched for the verger, who is likewise 
janitor, who soon made his appearance, bringing the 
keys, and introduced us into the interior of the church. 
It consists of a nave, with two isles and two transepts 
and a choir. The nave rests on live pointed arches, on 
each .side suj)]K.(h'.l l)y : k nder clustered columns. 
Under the clerLoLory \wiidu,>s laiiges a fascia of 
dentals and one of flowers. In the intervals between 

iisit to islfJiaiit. ' 8-11 

the arches are three quatrefoils, the lowermost contain- 
ing shields with the same arms on both sides : 

Peyton impaling a Hon rampart 

Peyton quartering a lion rampart 

Peyton single 

Peyton impaling a saltire engrailed, a chief 

Erm. Hyde. 

The roof is of wood ; and between the principals are 

whole length statues of angels holding shields with the 

instruments of the passion. On the wooden cornice is 

this inscription cut in relief on both sides : 

Pray for the good prosperity of 

Christopher Peyton and Elizabeth his wife, 

and for the soul of 

Thomas Peyton, Equyer, and Margaret his wife, father and 

mother of the said Christopher Peyton, 

and for the soul of 

All the ancestors of the said Christopher Peyton which did make 

this rofe* in the fere of our Lord, mccxvi. being the 

I year of King Henry III. 

Note. — The will of Christopher Peyton, of Isleham, 
dated the eve of the nativite of the blessed virgin, A.D. 
1505, and proved 8th of July, 1507. Provides "that he is 
to be buried within the Church of Isleham, in such place 
as shall seem to Elizabeth my wife most convenyeut. 
Further to the high altar of the said church, for my 
tithes negligently paid or forgot, 20s. To my 
neveu Sr Robert Peyton, Knt., X quarters of barley, 
and V quarters of whete. My wife Elizabeth to find 
an honeste prieste to sing for me an hole year. To 

* From this date it aijpeurs that the church was built in A.D., 121t>^ 
urdoss this coruice was transferred to the new from an older editice. 

8-12 I'lsU Iu IsUham. 

my broder flraiici.s Peyton XX sliepe, and to his wyfo 
a cowe, and V conibus of nialto, and to Xplior his son 
X shecpe. To Jolm IVyton, my godson, 40s. To 
Edward Peyton, my ncveu, SOs. 8d." " The residue of 
all my goodes I bequeath to Elizabeth my wife, my said 
wife to have for the terme of her life, all my lands, 
tenements, meddowes, pastures, etc., in Isleham afore- 
said, and within the bounds of Fordham." He appoints 
" Elizabeth my wife " Exeeutrix.] 

Passing by the tombs of many others,'we arrived in 
front of the manor pew. On Spandrils of archwork on 
this are the arms of Sir Christopher Peyton, and the 
saltire and chief erm. Hijih, his wife, held by angels ; 
St. Michael and the Dragon, etc., etc. 

In the south transept, on a plain low altar tomb 
is an alabaster figure of a knight in armour, iu curled 
hair, with a garland or corolla. Under his head a 
pointed helmet, with a fillet oi jJeurs dells, a piked beard, 
gauntlets, studded neck-band, and strap from his chin 
to the shoulder straps ; round shoulder and elbow 
pieces ; of his sword and dagger the hilts only remain- 
ing ; a lion looking up at his feet, which arc under a 
nich. Inscription gone, but one of the Peyton's 

An altar-tomb of freestone has a slab of speckled 
marble, from the middle of which has been torn a plain 
cross. Under an arch in the wall at the feet ot a 
headless man and woman, three boys and three girls, 
with a label from the mouth of the tirst of each to a 
crucifix, and under them this inscription on a brass 
plate : 

Visit to Jslckain. 343 

Of yr charity pray for the soulcs of 

Sir Robert Peyton, Knight, 

Which departed to God the viii Jay of xMarch, the yere of our 

Lord, MDViu. 

Also for tlie soul of 

Dame Elizabeth lV)ton, his wife, 

Which departed to God the yere of our Lord, md*"^'^' 

[Note. — The will of Sir Robert Peyton, Kiit.of Isleham, 
proved the 20th of April, A.D., 1518, ordered, " That 
he should be buried in Islcham Church — To the high 
altar of the foreseyde churche, 20s. To the reparation of 
Wyken Churche, 20s., to the intent tliat they shall pray 
for the soule of my brother John Peyton. My gowne 
of crymsyn velvett to be made a cope and vestment, the 
cope for the p'she churche of Wyken, and the vestment 
for the p'she churche of Boxlbrth, in the count ie of 
Suffolk, upon eche of them being a escocheon uf my 
amies and my wife's armes. I will that a remembrance 
be made upon a escocheon of my father's arms, and sett 
upon the wall of the churche of St. Giles, Cripnllgate, 
in London. Robert, my eldest sonne, to have hd I unto 
him ifyve hundred shepe of those at Wyken. Item, I 
will that my flockes of shepe at Jsleham, Shi[>i)enham, 
and Barton beside Mildeidiall, with all the proHtts and 
increase of them, goe to the p'forming this my wyll. I 
will that John, my second sonne, shall have to him my 
manor in Barnham, St. Marteyn, in Siilfolk, called 
Calthorppys. I will that Dame Elizabeth my Avife 
have two partes of my housclold stutfe. 1 will that 
Flobert Peyton, my eldest sonne, have my cliaine of 
golde. Unto ifranccs Pe3'ton, wife to my saide sonne 
Robert, a chain of golde. Item, that Edward, my 
thirde sonne, be provided for by myn executors. To 
Elizabeth, my daughter, CCC merkes. To Edward 
Peyton, my brother, XX merks. To Dorothie Peyton, 

;'! i. 

3-14 I'isit to IsLhain. 

my sister X merkes. To ft'raiicis Peyton, my uncle, my 
blake gowne furred wtli bkke. To Xpfer Peyton, 
Sonne to my said uncle iFruncis Peyton, X she])e. To 
kepe the annirersury of Thomas Peyton and tlane his 
wife, father and mother unto me. Ex'ors, Dame 
Elizabeth Peyton, my wife, and William Butte, of 
Cambridge. Supervisor, John Lorde Abbott ot St. 
Edmund's Bury, and my welbeloved fader-in-law Sr 
Bobert Clere, Knt." 

N.B. The residue of lands, etc., in Isleham, Barn- 
ham, Wyken, and the manors of Seyham Hall, Water 
Hall, and Badleys, in Suliblk, are left to the eldest son, 
Robert, with aversions to second son John and third 
son Edward."] 

The date has never been filled up, the plate remaining 
smooth. Over this a line park, and under the east 
window, a rich fascia of vine leaves and grapes, and oak 
foliage above, over the space formerly occupied by the 

South of this is a blue slab, with the arms of Peyton 
impaling a cross flory with a mullet in the centre; and 
another shield gone : 

On a plate in the middle, this inscription : 

Pray for the soul of 

Sir Robert Pc)ton, Knight, 

which married Frances, the daughter and heir of Francis Hassylden, 

Esquire, deceased, wliich Sir Robert deceased the ist day of 

August, A.D. u '''' '■'' '•' \vhose soli' God pardoned. 

Another slab south of this has the brass figure of a 
knight and lady. He is in armour, bareheaded, cropt 
hair, helmet under head crested with a bear's head. 

Visit In Islt'lnim. 845 

pointed elbow pieces, slrait long guard, short dagger, 
muzzled bear at feet, looking up. 'i'his is tlic loinb of 
Sir John Bernard. On a ])late at the heatl is this 

Hie JacL't Julus iMiiiaid miles, 

qui obiit XXIllI die nu-ns m;u\ ii A.D.'iii AK'CCCIJ, 

l'!t D'liia Elena Swynton uxis pM.-i [nlics r>>'niartl unlit tilio et 

heredis Joins IMallore iiiilit dc com. 

Aloh'mt qu obiit XIII die INIe'ss Oclolnis Ad. D'no MCCCCXL. 

Et d'na Elizabeth Tcdccvyh;, sccu'do uxi.s pd'ci J'.ilics 15criiard 

milit qe obiit X die mc'ss Jidii .'\d. D'ni iVU CXri. XI X' q'r ajaluis 

p'pici.i dc. 

On another large slab are the ])rass ligurcs of 
a man in plated armour, rnlf, gauntlets, cropL 
hair, and divided heard, his lu^ad on a hclnu4; at 
liis feet a griihn feiant; his lady reclinrs on a cushion 
iu a coif and ruff, necklace of four rows of pearls, ga)wn 
boddice, and petticoat: nothing at hi'r fc-et. 

Peyton quartcj'ing the cross flcurx , u mnlk't in the 
centre: impales per chevron .') lions rani[)art in a circle 
countercharged, quartering. 

1. S. a cross ingi-ailed O. Pcijtoii 

2. A. three })iles wav)' 0. Geninii^ 

o. Quarterly, 0. and 0. a bend vairc A. and AZ. 

4. Harry of HO. and (i. a lion [lassant guardaiU in 
chief 0. 

5. O. a fess (i. 

(i. 0. a chevron (r. on a chief (J. -'> estoilcs O. 
7. A. fess G. or S. in chief o I'onndcls 


;ML; )'/.-,// lo islrluini. 

8. Az. ii lion rampart S. 

IJ. G. in a borduro iiigruilcd A. fishes naiant 0. 

10. Az. a (Icmi lion rampart G. 

11. A. a cross V. 

12. A. a cross flonrc G. 

Impalino-, qnartcrly, 1. 4. quarterly G. and Erm. a 
cross 0. OshoDie^ 

2. A. two barrs and a canton G. on the latter cross 
A. Brouijhtuii. 

3. A. a chevron V. Ijctween 8 annulats G. 

On the fascia : on a fess bctwei^n o stars 3 ronndals, 
Balam, impaling, the cross iin])ailed and tlu; cross lleury. 
On the fascia in Itoman capitals, gold, on a black 

Years of sixty-seven diJ pass in governing, 

Botli just and wise lie was, 

By ancient stock, but more by merit, 

His body the earth, his soul Heaven inherit. 

The cross higrailcd and cross lleury impaling, 
quarterly, Erm. and Az. a cross 0. Osborne. 

Quarterly 1. 4. iJarry of G Erm. and G. llusscij. 

A man in a coat and furred gown and hose; his 
right hand on his breast, his left hanging down holds a 
bcjok; his lady wears a coif and hood, standing cape, 
pinkt sleeves, and short ridlles, her apron has strings 
and is hiced. Over her, the Peyton arms, with these 

1. }\ujU>n. 

'2. Three piles wavy. Gcnion. 

visit tu'hum. 347 

3. Aclu'vrou ill three cstoiles. 

4. A bear rampant iniizzled. iicrnayd. 
b. A cross fleury. 

G. Three battle axes. 

7. A lion rampant and a Jaljel of three. 

8. A lion rampant. 

In tlie centrt>. oi all a mullet. 
The qnarterings also hnpah; tlie siiUire cn^^raih'd and 
chief Erm. llijde. whieh last coat is sill^•l(' in a luzen^-e. 
Belu^v is the iirst coat of 8 (piartcrs sin,i^le, and 
impaling the saltire and chief; and between them this 

" Here under l)ctli a worthy Sijuire that Ricliard Peyton hight, 
And honest gentleman, and tliird son to Roherl r\-Mon Kui-ht, 
In Grey's inn, student o'i the law, where lu; a rradi r was ; 
He feared God, and loved his woril, iu Inun his life did jiass ; 
In practising of Justice lo 1 was Ins whole delight ; 
IK: ncvi-r wronged any one to whom he might ilu right. 
AVhom he esteemed an honest friend, who he might slaml instead 
He never left to do him good with words, with purse and deed, 
l-'ourtecn years space he married was, unto a beautiful wife, 
liy parent named Mary ll}de, llu-y lived devijid of strife. 
The earth him bear twice tweiiiy )ears, and virluou-^ly In; lived, 
A virtuous life he did embrace, and viiluousl)- he died 

Aiiiuj Domino, i 57 \ 
The thirtieth day of April, }'ear seventy and lour 
A thousand, livi- hundred, being put to that more." 

At the Sonth end of this tran.'^ei)t are two heavy 
monuments with eanojaes on ionr pillars. On the 
2. 3. 4. a chevron between three roses (1. seeded 0. 

inj]jaling the cro.-;Ses (piarterly. 

348 Visit to Iskham 

Quarterly Erm, etc. the cross 0. with a crescent of 
diil'ereiice, Osborne^ impaUn^- the quartered crosses. 

1. Peyton. 

2. The piles wavy. 
8. 0. a fess G. 

4. The chevron and stars in chief. 



7. The battle axes. 

8. G. a lion rampant 0. with a crest S. under a label 
of 30. 

9. G. a lion rampant. 

On the tomb at the head of this lies a Knight in 
armour, in his hair, piked beard and ruff: under his 
legs a heavy shield; at his feet a griftin 0. his lady in 
ruif, coif, gown plaited, under her feet seems a fox or 
wolf headless. Above the following arms, quarterly. 

1 . Peyton. 

2. A. 3. piles G, 

3. Quarterly 0. and G. a bend nebula A. and Az. 

4. 0. a lion chief over barry of G. and 0. or 2 

5. 0. a lion rampant G. 
G. A. a lion rampant S. 

7. Bendy of 12. A. and G. 

8. 0. a bend G. 

\). 0. a chevron G. on a chief G. three stars. 

10. A fess, in chief 3 ogresses. 

11. A. a bear rampant S. Bernard. 

12. S. 3 battle axes erect. A. 

Visit to IsUJuiui. 349 

13. Giroime A. and (!, 

14. Quarterly xV. and S. a bend of chain Avork S. 

15. A. in a bordurc engTailcd G. tliree lisli naiant A. 
IG. A. demidion rampant G. 

17. A. on a bendG. three spread eagles 0. 

18. A. a cross lienri tS. 
1'.). G. alien rampant (.). 

20. A. on a fess indented (1. or S. 8 bezants. 

21. A lion rampant G. 

Crest: a griiliu sejant, 0. 
Nee vi nee metu 
On the fascia the crosses quarterly single, and impal- 
ing, quarterly, 
1-4. Osborne. 

2. Broughtou. 

3. A chevron between 3 roundels. 

The last quarterings single. 

One of these monuments is by the impalment that of 
Robert Peyton, who married the daughter of Lord 
Chancellor Kicli, and "was with bis wife buried here and 
the other that of Sir John Peyton, Knight and Paronet, 
son of Sir Edward Peyton, Bart., author of " Secret 
History of James I." and last of the family who 
resided here and uncle to llobert Peyton, who emigrated 
to Virginia. This Sir John married Alice, daughter of 
Sir Edward Osborne, Knight, Lord INIayor of London 
and afterwards Duke of Leeds. 

Under a brass cross on steps between two bands 
elevated, is this inscription. 

350 J'lsit to hlt'ham. 

Pray fur thu soul of 

Elizabeth IVyLuu, 

Whicl) deceased the 1\'. da)- ui" November, 

the yer of oar Lord MDXVI. 

on whose soule Jliu have mercy. 

Under this a saltire CDgriiilod, a chief Ermine ; for 
Ehzabeth Hyde, wife of Sir ('hristophcr, patron of the 

A large slab had a brass plate and t^v'o shields, these 
are worn too indistinct to be deciphered. 

Under the South window is the stone figure of a 
Knight in armour, his helmet liattened at top, a lion 
at his feet, and against the west wall of this transept, 
headless, figures of a man and woman, and between 
them three children, praying to the Deity over the latter. 
Under all a plate thus inscribed, 

" God have mercy on the soul of 

Sir Christoijher Peyton, and P^lizabeth his wife, 

Christopher deceased, the XXVII day of June, 

in the year of our Lord, mcccccvii, (1507-) 

This commemorates the patron of the church before 
mentioned. The brackets of the roof of this transept, 
have angels holding shields of arms of Pcijtun single and 
impaling Hyde : which last coat is also single. 

In the north wall of the north aisle is a broken 
crossed legged figure in stone in armour, in a round 
helmet ; a fine lion at his feet, and over him an 
elliptical within a pointed arch, or very short round pillars 
sided by purfled finials. This is evidently the figure, of one 

\l.^it in hhliani. 851 

ol' tlie Pevtoiis who ;uM';)'iii[M)iue'(l (uxliVc}' dt' Bouillon 
to tlie seig-e of Jerusalem aiiJ (-nj4-;L,n*'(l in liie rout of 
tlio Saracens at the battle of AscaJon A. 1). lOOl). 

In the chancel, ou the iNorih side of llni eonnuunion 
taV)le, are, on an ahar-tomb ^\■ilh a ;2'i"ay hlah, under a 
ti'(;ble canopy ^vith blark ^hivdils in the spandrils, the 
brass tio-urus of Sir 'J'lionias rr\'{oii, KniL^ht, and liis 
t^vo wives, Margarc-t daii^^litcr and eo-lnnrcss of Sir 
lInLi;ii l^^rancis of (iillord, in the [)arish of W'ii'khanibrook, 
Suffolk. Sir Thomas Avas slurill' for Oanibi-id^-e and 
llunting-don shires, lil and l\\ Ifcni'v V. and died July 
,'jO, 14.S4. He is in ])lati:d armour, Avith h standing- 
cape and gor^'et, bur*, hoadud, hair erojit, and has u 
sword, a cross and a dasiLi-cr. Txith tho ladies have the 
li'auze head dress of this eentm-y; I'Ut no wiriis appear; 
one has on the cushion of her head (h'ess somethini^- like 
anns, several chevronels, and a scroll impaling- harry of 
<! or <S ; a rich necklace, iiu'red cape and rul'iles tcj g(jwn ; 
the other has the same head dress and necklace, but no 
fur to her rich end)roiilered gown; on her cushion is 
inscribed '"''Ladij'' and '' 'ihij nwrcijy The hands of 
both are held ii[) and spi'i;ad open, not in the usual 
attitude of prayer. The in>eri[)tion is, 

1 )::to jiTi) aniiiKihus 

Tliomas Peyton arinii^iai ct '.\l.a-i,Tr.'t ct !\Iargaret. uxores ejus 

(lui ("luidaui 'I'tionias, 

ot)iit XXX die iiiLTisis Julie, 

Anno Domini Rtiilimo cecci.xx.xnu i\n<')\n animnbus pTi'-'iit 

d.- ano. 

;>52 Visit In hi did lit. 

Arms on the Bpaiidiil of the arch above a cross 
ingrailed in the dexter corner a mullet of live points 
PfijtoiL : single and impaling a bear rampant. Bernard. 
On the corner of the cornice Pciiton impalhig a saltire, 

All through this sacred ediiice are thickly strewn the 
memorials which claim the passing tribute of a sigh, 
all teaching the silent lesson that man is but mortal, and 
impressing on the mind the vanity of human hopes, — 
that in sober truth, the path of glory leads but to the 

Solemnly and sadly quitting the dim cloisters, on the 
marble pavements of which the sunlight, coming through 
the stained windows, cast patches of gold and purple, I 
softly murmered, as I passed out of the consecrated 

The knights are dust, 

And their g-ood swords rust, 

Their souls are with the Saints I trust. 

From the church we proceeded through the village, 
passing the Priory again, and crossing a corn lield, 
entered the grounds of the Hall. 

The land on which the church, but not the hall, 
stands, as will be seen by reference to Doomsday book, 
was granted to the Peytons, in IOCS, by William the 
Conqueror, who was wont to grant lands to his 
favourites, in the language of an ancient bard, 

From heaven to yerthe, 

From ycrth to hel, 

For thee and thine tlicru to dwell. 

)'isit lit 1 si eh a Hi. *ti5;J 

Soon we passed the loiujly moated grange and stood 
before the hoary and vencrtd)le seat. Tlie first view of 
the once gay and festive Hull is imposing, though it looks 
like a habitation forsakt-n of men and yet not resumed by 
nature. It is a large, antique mansion, a vast ]>ile, lone, 
desolate and partly in ruins. The ravages of time are 
strongly marked on ever)llnng about it. Tb.e old turrets 
ut the corners are gone, as :dsu the am})le portico in the 
centre. Many of the windows are broken and dismantled. 
There is a ruinou.s gate-way here and a crunddiiig arch 
there. While viewing what may jje called the ruins of 
this once grand old mansion I could not help thitd;ing 
of the remark of Lord Macaulay, ^vliu, when si)eaking of 
the county gentlemen of the seventeenth century, said, 
that they troubled themselves little abi)ut decorating 
their abodes, and, if they attempted decoration, seldom 
produced anything but deformity. A remark e\'en more 
true of those Avho precede the 17th century. 

One portion of the l)i-ick and stone skeleton is 
occupied by a farmer's family, another is used as a 
malthig-house, and a third as a barn, Avhile other 
parts have been turned into stalls and stables. Panned 
walls stretch away in ditlerent directions — here pro])ped 
up and repaired — there bi'oken and prosti-ate. As we 
advanced to the building, a troop of frighrened .sheep 
crowded beneath one of the gateways where 1 could 
not help thinking perha[)S tlu; dcjughty Knights of 
old had often stood in shining armour and lu(jl;ed upon 
the extensive walls now crumbling into ruhis. Lonir 

)i6i ri^il lo Islrluim. 

I paused and gazed upon the home of my forefathers 
with a species of awe which enforced silence. 
The wide domain has dwindled to forty-six acres sur- 
rounding the dehris, I may say, for it is scarcely more, of 
the Ilalh Age and the decrepitude of age is furrowed 
in deep lines upon every stone and timher. The walls 
are hoary with time, the trunlcs of the trees are white 
with age, and these old monarchs of the forest appear 
to be in a feeble and dying condition — the ivy on the 
walls has grown its growth, and is slowly dying its 
death, the very dust under foot is pale and silvery, as 
if the rains of centuries had washed out of it all sem- 
blance of fertility." 


ME MO 11 AN I) A OF 



First of the family wlio came to America, was l)urn in 
Ireland, in the city of Londonderry. His lather and 
three uncles were Englishmen, who served mider King 
"William, and aided in defence ot" that city ANdieii besieged 
by the Roman Catholics, cuuunanded hy King James, 
in 1G81). He was a J'rotestaid, of ihe Ti-esbyterian 
denomination, a man of strong mind and ccjrrect 
principles. He married r^uzAinri ii i^vTTON, a sister of 
Col. James Patton, of Domiegal, and removed with 
him from Ireland to the State of Yir<.;inia, in the year 
1740. Col. Patton had f n- souk; years commanded a 
merchant whip, and was a man of [)ropcrty, enterprise 

856 Memoranda of Oic I'nsloii Famflij. 

aud influence, lie obtained an order of council from 
the Governor of Virginia, under wliicli he appropriated 
to himself and associates, 120,000 acres of the best 
lands lyhig above the Blue llidge, in that State, 
several valuable tracts of which fell to the share of his 
descendants. lie was killed by the Indians at Smitli- 
ileld, in the year 1753, He left two daughters, one of 
whom married Capt. William Thompson, the other 
married Col. John Buchanan, and from the latter 
descended John Floyd, late member of Congress and 
Governor of the State ofVir<;inia, James D. Breckinrido;e 
of Louisville, late member of Congress from Kentucky, 
and William P. Anderson late Colonel in the United 
States army. John Preston, on the passage from 
Ireland, lost part of his property in a storm, but being 
an associate, he obtained, under the order of council 
aforesaid, a valuable tract of uncultivated land, called 
Robinson's^ which descended to his son, and until lately 
remained in the family. 

John Preston's first residence in Virginia, was at 
Spring Hill, in Augusta county, but about the year 
1 743, he purchased, and with his family settled upon a 
tract of land adjoining Staunton, on the north side of 
that town (now occupied by Gen. Baldwin), where he 
died shortly after, and was buried at the Thdding 
Spring Meeting-house, leaving a widow and Ave 
children. Mrs. Preston, who possessed much strength 
of mhid and energy of character, continued to reside 
upon the plantation they had purchased, until her 
children were all educated and married, when she 

Memoranda <>f llw I'rctituii luiniilij. 357 

rcoiovcd to Greeuiicld, the scut of her son, Col. William 
Prestoii, where in 177G ^he died, aged 70 years. 

TJte Cltildren of Joint moi lUiiahctJi Pm&ion, were: 

1. Letitia Peeston, who was born in Ireland, iu 
1728. She married Col. Uobert Iheekiiiridge, a farmer 
in l)ottetonrt county, Virginia. After his death, she 
removed to Kentucky, and died in the year 1798, aged 
70 years. Her family consisted of four sons and one 

1st. William Breckinridge, now living, a farmer near 
licxington, Kentucky, who married Miss (lilham. His 
family consists of two sons and a daughter. His son, 
John B. Breckinridge, is a merchant in Staunton, Va., 
and has been twice married. IMeredith Breckinridge 
died unmarried, 

2d. John Breckinridge (dead) married Mary Cabell, 
and removed to Kentucky, in the year 1792. He was a 
laywer of eminent stamlhig, ^vas a Senator in Congress, 
and, sliortly before his death, v/as appointed Attorney 
General for the Unit(Hl States, under Mr. Jefterson's 
administration, and dii'd in 18{)(). His family consisted 
of live sons and two daughtei'S. 1st -]ose[»li Cabell 
Breckinridge (dead), who married j\liss Smith, a 
daughter of Dr. Smith, President of Princetown College 
and left one son, John C. Breckinridg(;,* a lawyer in 
Iowa, and four daughti^rs: 1st. Prances Ann, who 
married the llev. -). (J. Young, Presideiit of Danvdlo 

* Nov/, iNlii, Gx'ii. John C. liiiickiurulgo, luiiiorly Vice rix-bidcnt. 

358 Memoranda of llm Preston Fanuhj. 

College, and left the following children, viz : Mary, 
Caroline, Josephine, Jane Elizabeth, and Frances 
Breckinridge. 2d. Caroline L., married the Rev. Joseph 
J. Bullock of Frankfort, and has three children, viz : 
Waller, Mary, and Cabell, all minors. 3d. Mary Cabell, 
married Dr. Thomas P. Satterwhite of Lexington, and 
left two children, viz : Mary and Thomas. 4tli. Letitia, 
unmarried. Joseph Cabell Breckinridge was a member 
of the Kentucky Bar, Speaker of the House of Bepre- 
sentatives, and Secretary of States when he died in 
1823. 3d. John Breckhnidge (dead), well known as a 
Presbyterian Minister, and a professor in the Theological 
Seminary at Princeton. He married Miss Miller, 
daughter of Dr. Miller, of Princeton, and left 
one son and three daughters, as yet minors. 3d. 
Robert J. Breckinridge, a lawyer, and for several 
years member of the Kentucky Legislature, now Pastor 
of the 2d. Presbyterian Church hi Baltimore. lie 
married Miss Preston, daughter of (Icneral Francis 
Preston, of Virginia. His family consists of four 
daughters and two sons, viz : Mary, Sally, Maria, So- 
phonishba, Robert and William, minors. 4th. Wm. L. 
Breckinridge, Pastor of the Lst Presbyterian Church in 
Louisville, who married ]\iiss Prevost, daughter of 
Judge Prevost of Louisiana, and has seven children, viz : 
John Barton, Robert James, Marcus Prevost, William 
Lewis, Frances Prevost, ]\Iary Hopkins, and Stanhope 
Prevost, all minors. 5th James Breckinridge, died be- 
fore he was grown. 0th Letitia Breckenridge, (dead) 
who first married Alfred Grayson, by whom she had one 

j\h'moi'iiiiihi nj' llh' Prt'sluii i'ainilij. 351) 

«ori, John B. (jrayson, lui olliccr in the United States 
Anny, and then married (len. Peter B. Porter, of New 
York, by whom yhe h'ft a son, Peter B. Porter, and a 
daughter, EHzabeth Porter, minors. 7th. Mary Ann 
Breckinridge, (dead) who married David Castk'nian, a 
farmer of Fayette county. 

3d. James Breckinridi^-e of A^irginia, (th'ad) a 
member of the bar, a general of militia and member oi 
congress. lie married Miss Seidell, and leil tuiir sons 

and four daughters, viz: C^are}' married Miss ; 

James died unmarried ; Robert married ]\Iiss Meredith 
of Kentucky, and left u d:uighter recently married, and 
one son a minor; John Ihx'ckinridge, unm:irried; Betitia, 
married Col. Ptobert (;aiul)le ot Florida, her eldest 
daughter married Mr. Slupherd, a planter of Florida, 
and her eldest son, John (iamble, married Miss Watts 
of Virginia; Elizabeth Breekiiiridge married Gen. 
Edward Watts of Yirginiii, a lawyer, and speaker of 
the Virginia Senate, who has two sons, James and 
William, both lawyers, and six daughters ; Mary (dead)^ 
married Mr. Gamble of Florida ; Ann married dames P. 
Holcomb, a member of the A^irginia bar ; FiHzabeth 
married Thomas L. Preston of iVbingdon ; and the 
others as yet minors. Alarian Breckinridge, died 
unmarried; and Matilda married ILirry Bo\V}er of 

4th. Elizabeth Breckinridge {dead), married Samuel 
Meredith of Fayette count}', Ky., and left three 
daughters. 1st. Letitia, who married A\'ilham S. 
Dallam, and has three daughters, viz : Frances married 

.'300 MciilOfdNild of IIk: I'lL'sloii I'dinilij. 

Professor Peter, of tlie medical Seliool of Traiisylvaniu 
University — Letitia, umiiarried — and Elizabeth recently 
married. 2d. Elizabeth married dames Coleman, and 
has several sons and daughters, the eldest of the latter 
recently married. 3d. Jane unmarried. 4th. ]\rary 
married her cousin, llobert ]>reckinrid^e of A^irginia, 
and left a daughter, recently married to Mr. Burch, and 
a son a minor. 

5th. Preston Breckinridge married Miss Trigg of 
Kentucky, and left three sons, Robert, William and 
Stephen — and three daughters, Marian, Elizabeth and 
Gabriella, who married j\Ir. Tarlton, ]\Ir. Dickey, and 
Mr. Shot well. 

II. Margaret Preston, second daughter of John 
and Elizabeth Preston, was born in Ireland, about 
1730. She possessed a strong cultivated mind, and 
much energy of character. She married the Rev. John 
Brown, a graduate of Princeton College, long and 
extensively known in Virginia and Iventucky as a 
Presbyterian minister of piety and talents. They both 
died in Kentucky — she in the year 1802, aged 73 
years — and he in 1803, aged 75 years. Their children 
who lived to maturity were : 

1st. Elizabeth {dead), who married the Rev. Thomas 
B. Craighead of Tennessee, a distinguished Minister of 
the Presbyterian denomination, and left seven children, 
viz ; John B., Jane, David, Alexander, Wilham, James 
B., and Thomas David and Thomas are members of the 
Tennessee bar. John B. and David are married, and 
have children. The names of John B. Craighead's 

l\hmoninda of the Prcstun Familij. 301 

I'iiildren are Jose})li and Tliomas. The names of David 
Craighead's children are Elizaljeth, James, Mary, 
Joanna, and Thomas, all minors. 

2d. John Brown,* now the ohlest member of the 
Preston connexion, lie was a student at Princeton 
College, when that institution was broken up by the 
P>ritish. He afterwards completed his studies at 
AVilliam and j\Iary College, and for several years 
practised law with success. He was a member of the 
Virginia legislature from the District of Kentucky, and 
was, by the legislature of that state, appointed a 
representative to the old congress in 1787, and also in 
1788. In 1780 and 1791, he was elected by the people 
of Kentucky a representative to the lirst and second 
congress under the present constitution. After Kentucky 
became a state, he was three times elected a senator in 
congress, and continued a member of the senate until 
1805. He married JMargretta Mason of New-York, 
daughter of the Rciv. John Mason, and sister of 
the Itev. John M. jMason, both distinguished ministers 
of the gospel. By tliis mam;Lge he had live children, 
four sons and one daughter, three of whom died when 
children. Mason and Orlando are now living. 1st. 
Mason Brown is a judge of the circuit court of Kentuck}-, 
and has been twice married — (irst to Judith Ann 
Bledsoe, daughter of the Hon. <Icsse Bledsoe; by her 
lie had one son, Ik'ujamin (Iratz Brown, a minor now 

• Tlio Tlon. John Brown died at Frankfort, Ky., on i\u- ^Dtli of 
Auguiil, ISJT, aged iSO ycai'.s. 

'Uj'jJ ]\fniioninili( uf ihr J'lision fdnulii. 

i'lxlug — afterwards to l\iarv ^'odcr, daugliter of Capt, 
Jacob Yodcr of Speiiccr county, Ky. They have three 
chikh'cii, viz: John, Margaret and Mary, all minors. 
2d. (,)rlando BroAvii was edneat((l as a lawyer, and for 
some years edited the Kentucky Coininonwcaltk. He 
married ]\Iary W. Brown, danohter ol' Dr. Preston 
Brown. They had live children, four sons and a 
daughter, three of whom are living, viz: Euphemia, 
Mason and Orlando, all minors. 

od. William r>roAvn, Avas educated at Princeton — 
studied medicine, and commenced the [)ractice in South 
Carolina, Avith fair [»rospects of success, hut died 
shortly afterAvards, innuarried. 

4th. Mary Brown ( r/t^wr/ ), who married Dr. Al- 
exander Humi)hreys, an eminent })hysician of 
Staunton, and after his death removed to Kentucky 
with her family, consisting of seven children. 1st. 
John B. Humphreys {dead)^ married Miss Kenner of 
Louisiana, and resided ui that State. His widow and 
six children, who are all mhioi-s, still reside in that 
state. 2d. Margaret Hiunphreys married Charles 
Sproule, and left four children, Mary Ann, Margaret 
Joseph and John {dead) — jMargaret married James S. 
Clark, merchant of New ( )rleans, and has two children, 
minors, od. James Humi)hreys married Miss Harry, 
of Ohio, and left one daughter. Elizabeth Humphreys, 
unmarried. 4th. David C. Hum|)hreys, a farmer in 
Woodford county, Ky., married Miss Scott, daughter of 
J)r. Joseph Scott of Lexington, and has four cluldren, 
viz: Joseph, Samuel, Mary, and Lucy, minors. r)tlL 

iMt'hioyaiaia of the Prcslon b\iiiiilii. I^Oo 

Elizabeth Huinplii-Gys murricd Ivobei-t S. 'I'otkl ot' 
Lexington, for iiiaiiy years clerk of tlie lioiise ul rej)- 
resentatives of Iventiicky, and now a nienibur, and lias 
five cliildren, viz: I\Iargar('t, Samncl, David, ]Martlia, 
and Emily, all minors. Gtli. Samuel Ihunphrcys, died 
mmiarried. 7th. Dr. Alex:i,ndi'r Humphreys, married 
Mis3 Perrit of Louisiana, and liws in that state, having 
four children, viz: f^lizabelh. l^hnhe, Amelia, and 
Eiilalia, all minors. 

5th. James I)i•o^vn, a distinguished lawyer, and lirst 
secretary of state in Kentucky. He was lor many years 
a member of the United States S(>iratu from Louisiana, 
and for six years Ametieaii nhnisti'r to the court ot 
France. He married Ann Hart, daughter of Col. 
Thomas Hart, and sist(,'r of i\L-s. H. Clay, of Ashland, 
and died at l^hiladelphia, leaving no family. 

Gth. Samuel ihown {(Imd), an eminent physician, 
and professor in the Medical school of Transylvania. 
He married Miss Percy of Alabama, and left one son, 
James P. Brown, a lawyer and [ilanter in IMississippi, 
who married Miss Campbell, daughter of (leorge W. 
Campbell of Nashville — and one daughter-, Susan 
Brown, who married Charles d. IngersoU, Jr., of 

■ 7tli. Dr. Preston Brown {,l<(i<l), of Woodford county, 
Ky. He married Elizabeth Watts of Va., and left one 
son, viz. : John P. W. Brown, who married IMiss Nicliol 
of Nashville, and is a nu'inber of the Tennessee bar, 
and has three childien, viz. : Eleanor, Elizabeth W., 
and Preston W., all nnnors ; and four daughters, viz. : 

364 Memoranda of tlie Preaton Famihj. 

1st. Louisa, who married Judge Rucks of Mississippi, 
who has six children, viz. : Ehzaheth, Preston, Maria 
Louisa, Henrietta, Marian, and Lewis Taylor, all 
minors. 2d. Henrietta, who married Judge Reese of 
Tennessee, and has a daughter Louisa. 3d. Mary 
(dead), who married Orlando Brown of Frankfort. 4th. 
Ehzaheth who married Rohert W. Scott of Franklin 
county, Ky., and has five children, viz. : Preston, Joel, 
John, Mary, and Rebecca, all minors. 

III. William Preston, only son of John and 
Elizabeth Preston, was born in L-eland, and was eight 
years old when he came to America. He was a man of 
strong active mind, and much energy of character— was 
a member of the Virginia house of burgesses, surveyor 
and county lieutenant of Fincastle or Montgomery 
county, and a decided active and efficient Whig during 
the Revolutionary war. He married Miss Susanna 
Smith of Hanover county, Virginia, daughter of Francis 
Smith and Elizabeth Waddy, and died at Sinithheld, 
in June 1783, aged 53 years, leaving eleven children, 
viz : Elizabeth, John, Francis, Sarah, William, Susanna, 
James, Patton, Mary, Letitia, Thomas, Lewis, and 

1st. Elizabeth Preston, married William S. Madison, 
who died during the Revolutionary war, and left tAvo 
daughters, Susan Smith Madison and Agatha Strother 
iMadison. Susan married John Howe Peyton of 
Staunton, a distinguished lawyer and member of the 
Virginia senate, and left one son, William M. Peyton, a 
member of the Virginia legislature, who married Miss 

Memoranda of. the Preaion Fainihj. 3G^ 

Taylor, daughter of Judge Allen Tajlor of Bottetourt, 
and has the following children, viz : Elizabeth, Susan, 
Sally, Agatha, Garnett, and William, all minorti. 
Agatha married Garnett re}ton, brother of John li. 
Peyton, and has four sons, Benjamin Howard Peyton, 
John R. Peyton, who murried ^liss A\''hite, James M. 
Peyton, William P. Peyton, and Ann l*e}'ton. 

2d. John Preston, eldest son of Col. Wm. Preston of 
Smithiield, was a member of the Virginia senate, 
general of militia, surveyor of IMontgomery county, 
and for many years treasurer of Virginia. He first 
married Miss Radfurd, and then Mrs. Ma)'0, and left 
three sons and three daughters. 1st. William R. 
Preston of Missouri, married jMiss Cabell, and has a 
large family of children minors. 2d. John Ik Preston 
of Barren county, Ky., was many }ears a member of 
the Kentucky legislature. He married Miss Murrell, 
and died on a visit to Texas, leavhig several children, 
minors. 3d. Edward C. Preston, married Miss Hawkins, 
and died in Louisiana, leaving one son, a minor. 4th. 
Eliza Preston married Charles Johnson, a iaw}'er, and 
member of congress from V^irginia.* She left one son, 
Preston Johnston of the United states army, and one 
daughter Elvira Johnston, unmarried. r)th. Susan R, 
Preston married her cousin AV'illiam Radford, and has 
two daughters, minors. Oth. Sarah R. Preston, 
married Henry Bowj^er, and has three sons and two 
daughters, minors. Mrs. Radfoi'd and Mrs. Bowyer 

■* General Joo Jobnston of tbu CoiifedtnitL- Annj^ of the Cumberland 
(ISCI), is uf Ibis stock. 

366 Mcinora)i(la ol the /'/v^7o// lutnillij. 

both reside at (.Jreeiilicld, the ibnuer residence ul' their 
father and grandfatlier. 

3d. Francis Preston, second son of CoL Wni. l^reston, 
of Smithtiekl, was meniher of the Virginia Senate}, 
General of Mihtia, and mcmher of Congress. He 
married Miss Camphell, only child of (leneral 
Wilham Camphell, and left ten children, four sons 
and six daughters, viz : William Camphell Preston, a 
distinguished lawyer and Senator in Congress from 
South Carolina, married first Miss Coulter of that State, 
and after her death. Miss Davis of that State. His 
only child is Sally Camphell Preston, unmarried. 2d. 
Eliza, who married Gen. Edward Carrington of Halihix, 
Virginia. Her children are minors. 3d. Susan married 
her cousin, James jM'Dowell, and has nine children. 
4th. Sarah married her cousin John 13. Eloyd, and has 
no children. 5tli. Soplionisha married the Piev. Iiohert J. 
Breckinridge, and has six children, Mary, Sally, Piohert, 
Maria, William, and Soplionisha. Gtli. Maria ( lU'ad j, mar- 
ried John M. Preston of Ahingd(m, formerly of Kentucky, 
and has two sons, minors. 7th. Charles Preston married 
Miss Beall, and has left no children. 8th. John S. 
Preston married Miss Hampton, daughter of Gen. Wade 
Hampton of South Carolina, and has live children, 
minors. 9tli, Thomas L. Preston married Miss Watts 
of Virginia, 10th. ]\Iargaret married Wade Hampton, 
Jr., grandson of Gen. Wade Hampton, and has one son, 
a minor. 

4th. Sarah Preston, second daughter of Col. Wm. 
Preston, of Smithlield, married Col. James M'Dowell of 

MiUiiuntmhi oi'llu' l'rid<i\i Faiiitli). -'507 

jjockbrklgo, V;i., an uWu'w in tlio late wiUMvitli Circat 
ihitain. She left two dan-litcrs and one son, viz : 1st. 
Susan married William Taylor, a lawyer, and member of 
the Virginia senate. Hhc li;is tmu- sons, Dr. James 
Taylor, Robert Taylor, a lawyer, Benton Taylor, 
William Taylor, and one (laughter Susan, unmarried. 
2d. Eliza married C'ol. Thomas ITart Benton, a lawyer, 
and Senator in congress from LJissouri. She has four 
daughters, Eliza, Jesse, Ann, Sarah, and Susan, and one 
son, Randolph i)cnton. Jesse Ann J3cnton is recently 
/narried to Lieutenant b'remont of the (Jnitcd States 
Army. od. James J^d'DowiiU, member of the Virginia 
legislature, marricid Miss Preston, daughter of Gen. 
I.^'raneis Preston, and lias nine children, viz : Sally who 
is recently married to Francis Thomas, Governor of 
Maryland ; IMary, Frances, Soplionisl)a, Susan, Canty, 
EHzabetli, rlames, and 'I'homas. 

5tli. William J^reston, third son of C(d. Wni. Preston, 
of Smithtield, late of Tjouisvilh", was for hve years a 
captain in (len. Wayne's army. Ph; married ^liss 
Hancock, of Virginia, and hit live daughters and one 
son, viz : 1st. lienrictta (iioul)^ married Albert S. 
Johnson of the Fnilcd Slaters army, recently a General 
of Texas, and h-l't one son, W^illiam, and oJie daughter, 
Henrietta, minors. -2(1. Alaria married John Pope of 
Louisville, and has no children. 3d. Caroline (dead)^ 
nuirried C!ol. Abram Woolley of the United States army, 
and left one son, William P. Wooley, a imnor. 4th. 
Josephine (dnull, married Capt. Jason ]{ogers of tlio 
Uniled States aniiv. and !< ft ii\c cliildren, viz : William, 

3C8 MonorcDida of the I'rcston Fanuhj. 

tSusaii, Albert S., Maria, and Jason, minors. 5th. 
William Preston married Miss Wickliffe, daughter 
of Robert Wickliffe, and has one daughter, Mary Owen 
Preston, a minor. Gth. Susan, married Howard 
Christy of St. Louis. 

6th. Susanna Preston, third daughter of Colonel Wm. 
Preston of Smithlield, married Nathaniel Hart of Wood* 
ford county, Ky., and left five daughters and two sons, 
viz. : 1st. Sarah Simpson Hart married Col. George C. 
Thompson of Mercer, often a member of the Kentucky 
legislature and twice speaker of the lower house. She 
has three daughters, Susan, Virginia {dead), and Letitia, 
unmarried. 2d. Letitia P. Hart married Arthur H. 
Wallace of Livingston county, Ky., and has two sons 
and two daughters, Susan, Wilham, Sarah, and Thomas, 
minors. 3d. Louisiana B. Hart married Tobias Gibson, 
a planter of Louisiana, now of Lexington, Ky. She has 
one daughter, Sarah, and six sons, Randal, WiUiam, 
Hart, Claudius, Tobias, and M'Kinley, minors. 4th. 
Mary Howard Hart married William Voorhies, a mem- 
ber of the Louisiana legislature, now of Woodford 
county, Ky., and has three sons, George, Charles, and 
William, minors. 5th. Nathaniel Hart — and Gth. 
William P. Hart, both unmarried. 7th. A^irginia Hart 
married Alfred Shelby, youngest son of Gov. Shelby, 
and has two sons, and one daughter, Isaac, Alfred, and 
Susan, minors. 

7th. James Patton Preston, fourth son of Colonel 
Wm. Preston of Smithfield, was a member of the 
Yirgiuia senate, a Colonel in the United States Army, 

Memoranda of the Pirslon Faiiiihj. 8G1) 

fuid Governor of Yii'ginia. IIo maiTiocl Miss Taylor (jf 
Norfolk, and has three sons and one daughter, viz. : 1st. 
Wm. Ballard Preston, a lawyer and member of the 
Virginia senate, who married Lliss liedd, of Virghiia, 
and has one son, Waller Redd Preston. 2d, Ptobert 
Taylor Preston married Miss Hart of South Carolina, 
and has three children, Virginia, Hart, and James P., 
minors. 3d. James Francis Preston is a lawyer and 
unmarried. 4th. Jane Grace Preston, unmarried. 

8th. Mary Preston, fourth daughter of Colonel Wm. 
Preston of Smithfield, married John Lewis of the Sweet 
Springs, and left six daughters and three sons, viz : 1st. 
Susan married Henry Massie of Virginia, and left three 
dauo-hters and two sons, viz : Sarah married Mr. 
Stanley of North Carolina; ]\Iary married John 
Hampden Pleasants, editor of the Pichmond Whig; 
Eugenia married Samuel Gatewood; Henry IMassii; 
married Miss Smith, and Thomas, unmarried. 2d. 
Mary Lewis married James A\'oodville, a lawyer of 
Fincastle, and left one son, Lewis Woodville, unmarried. 
3d. William Lewis married, lirst Miss Stewart of 
South Carolina, tlien Miss Thompson of South CaroUna, 
and then his cousin. Miss Floyd of Virginia. He has 
often been a menJjer of the South Carolina legislature, 
and has four daugliters, one of whom is married. 4th. 
Ann Lewis married John Howe Peyton of Staunton, and 
has nine children, viz. : Susan, married to Mr. Baldwin 
of Staunton, John Lewis, Ann, Mary, Lucy, Margaret, 
Yelverton, Howe, and Virginia. 5th. Sarah Lewis 
married John Lewis of Kenawha. Gth. Margaret Lynn 


870 M'ciiii>riiiu(d of ihf I'rc^toii Juiiniiij. 

Lewis married Mr. Cochi-aii of Cliarloitsville, and has 
tive sons and one daii^^litci-, minors. 7th. Dr. Benjamin 
Lewis niiUTied ]\Irs. Smiili of South Carolina, and lias 
three children minors. 8th. Thomas P. Lewis, uimiar- 
ried. 9th. Polydora married IMr. Cross, a farmer of 
Albemarle, and has one (diild, a nnnor. 

Qth. Letitia Preston, fifth daughter of Col. Wm. 
Preston of Smithfield, married John Floyd of Kentucky, 
who removed to Virginia ; was many years member of 
Congress, and then Governor of the State. She 
lias four sons and three daughters, viz. : 1st. John B. 
Floyd, a lawyer, married Miss Preston, daughter of 
Gen. Francis Preston, and has no children. 2d. William 
P. Floyd, is a practising physician, and unmarried. 3d. 
Benjamin Bush Floyd, a lawyer, married Miss Mathews 
of Virginia, and has one child, a minor. 4tli. George 
B. C. Floyd, unmarried. 5th. Letitia P. married 
William Lewis of South Carolina, and has two 
daughters, minors. Oth. Ijavaktte, unmarried. 7th. 
Nicketti, married ]\Ir. Johnston, a lawyer of Virginia. 

10th. Thomas Ijcwis Preston, tifth son of Colonel 
Wm. Preston of Smithfield, was a lawyer and member 
of the Virginia legislature. He married Miss Bandolph, 
daughter of Edmund Bandolph of Virginia, and left one 
son and one daughter, y'va.: John Thomas Lewis 
Preston, Professor in the Virginia Military Institute, 
married Miss Caruthers, and has two sons and two 
daughters, minors. Elizabeth married AVilliam A. 
Cocke of Cumberland county, Virghiia, and has three 
sons, minors. 

Alcnwntitda of i]ic Predion Faniibj. 371 

11th. Margaret Preston, sixth chuigliter of Colonel 
Wni. Preston of Sinillilielcl, mari-icil Colonel John 
Preston of Walnnt Grove, Vh-ginia, son of liobert 
Preston, a distant relative, has nine sons and live 
danghters, viz. : 1st. Susan {deail), married iMr. luiy of 
Tennessee, and h'h two danghters and a son, minors. 
\>.^. Piohert, a i)hyhieian, married Miss J\larsliall of 
I'jiiladelphia, and has two daughters, mhiors. 3d. 
]\Iargarct, married James White of Abingdon, and has 
eight children minors. dth. Alnud, married 

Miss Willey of Tennessee, and has no children. 
5th. Ellen, married ]\lr. Hhelly of Virginia, and has two 
children, minors. Oth. Jolm, a hnvyer, of Arkansas, 
nnmarriod. 7th. Thomas, a lawyer of St. Louis — 8th. 
W^alter, a lawyer, both unmarried. Oth and 10th. Jane 
and Elizabeth, nnnuirried — and Francis, James, Jost;ph, 
and Henry, minors. 

W. i\:N'N PiiESTON, third tlanghter of Juhn and 
Elizabeth Preston, bi)rn in Ireland, was a woman of 
excellent understanding and unaifected piet}'. She 
married Francis Smith of \'irginia, and remo\'ed to 
Kentucky, wdiere she died in 1 8lo, aged 71 yeai's. ller 
family consisted ol" two sons and four daughters, viz : 

1st. Elizabeth, married James Blair, Ji law) er, and 
Attorju;y General for ICeutueky. She left two sons and 
two daughters, viz. : 1st. Francis P. lUair, the distin- 
guished editor of the Clu))e, who married Miss Gist, 
daughter of Gen. Xalhaiiiel Gist, and has tliree sons 
and one daughu r, viz. : Montgomery, a lawyer of 
Missouri. — Francis, James, and Eliz.Jjcth. 2d. William 

372 Memoraiiila of llic Pri'slon Fitiailij. 

Blair, a Captain iii tliu United States army, married 
Miss Cragg, and left one son, Patrick S., minor., od. 
Susanna Blair married Aljrani Ward, then John 
Hunnicut, then Job Stevenson. She has one son, 
Abram Ward, minor. -Ith Eliza Jane Blair, married 
N. A. Spears, and has several children. 

2d. John Smith, member of the Kentucky legislature 
married Miss Hart, daughter of Capt. Nathaniel Hart, 
one of the Pioneers of Kentucky, and has two sons and 
five daughters, viz. : 1st. William P. Smith married 
Miss Grayson, and has one daughter, a minor. 2d. 
Isaac S. Smith, married his cousin, a daughter of 
Eichard Hart of Henderson, Ky., and has one child, a 
minor. Mucretia, Susan (dead)^ '^^^h'^ ^^^^'^j ^i^^ Letitia 

3d. Susanna Smith, married William Trigg, of 
Frankfort, son of Col. Stephen Trigg, who was killed at 
the Blue Licks, 1782, and has no children. 

4th. Jane Smith, married George ]\Iadison, an 
officer in the late war, and Governor of Kentucky. She 
left three sons and two daughters, all of whom died 
young and unmarried except Myra, "svho married 
Andrew Alexander, and has the following children, 
viz. : Agatha Apoline, Myra, George, and Andrew, all 

5th. William P. Smith, was a captain in the United 
States army, and died unmarried. 

6th. Agatha Smith married Dr. LcAvis IMarshall of 
Woodford, and has six sons and one daughter, viz. : 
1st. Thomas F. Marshall, laAvyer and member of 

3Iemorandu of tlic Preston Familij. 373 

Congress. 2d. Williain L. Alarshall, lawyer of Balti- 
more, married ]\Iiss Lee of Virqinia, and has one cliild, 
a minor. 3d. Chai-les lMar..hall (dead). 4th. Dr. 
Alexander Marshall married ^liss M'Dowell, and has 
several childiTn, minors. 5111 John Campbell ]\Iai\sliall — 
6th. Agatha — and 7th. Edward ^larshall, unmarried. 

V. Mary Pheston, fourth daughter of John and 
Elizabeth Preston, Avas a wonnin of superior under- 
standing and highly cultivated taste, bhe married 
John Howard of A' irginia. and i-emoved to Kentucky, 
where she died in 1814, havhig been born in America, 
and being 74 years of age. She had one son, 1st. 
lienj. Howard, a mendjcr of Congress from Kentucky, 
and Governor of the Territory of Missouri, Avlien he 
died in 1814. He married Miss Mason, daughter of 
Gen. S. T. Mason of \'irginia, but left no children. 

2d. Elizabeth Howard married Edward Payne of 
Fayette county, arid left six sons, viz : Edward Daniel 
M'Carty, Penjamin, Thumus JellV-rson, John P)., and 
James B. Payne, all of whom married except 
Benjamhi, who cUud )'oung. 

3d. Mary Howard raarried Alexander Parker of 
Lexington, and has one son, Richard B. Parker, who 
married Miss Piice — and one daughter Mary, who 
married Thomas T. Crittenden. Secretary of State, 
and Circuit Judge of Kentuck)', who has one daughter, 
Mary Crittenden, who married in 1'exas — and fom- sons, 
Alexander P., Thomas, lienjamhi, and Piobert, the 
iirst married. 

4th. Sarah Howard died unmarried. 

374 Mcinoyanda of the J'rcslon Famihj. 

5 til. Margaret Ilowai'd married llobert "W^icklilie, an 
eminent lawyer, and member of the Kentucky legisla- 
ture. She left three daughters, viz : Sally Wickliile, 
■who married Aaron X. AVooUey, member of the 
Kentucky legislature, Circuit Court Judge, and 
Professor in the LaAv School of Transylvania. She has 
six children, minors. 2d. Mary Wicklifi'e, unmarried. 
3d. Margaret married William Preston * of Louis- 
ville, and has one daughter, mhior. dth. Charles, 6th. 
John, and Gth. Benjamin, died unmarried. 7th. Robert 
WickliflTe, laAvyer and member of the Kentucky 

* William Preston, now Genoval in tlu; Confederate Anuy. 

[The foregoing "Memoranda" was lirst printed for 
private distribution in the }'ear 1842, and, being in re- 
quest by a few collectors, twenty-five copies were 
re-printed in Albany, N.Y., 1864.] 





The Lewis family are closcGntled from a French- 
Protestant family (Lewis de Dole), which took refuge 
in Scotland from the persecutions that followed the 
assassination of Henry IV. of France. Lewis was a 
gentleman of fortune, and married j\Iargaret Lynn, the 
daughter of the Laird of Lock-Lynn, who was descended 
from a chieftain of a once powerful Highland Clan. He 
left by his marriage, issue, namely: 

I. Thomas^ who was for many years a member of 
the House of Burgesses of Virginia and of the Federal 
convention of 1787. He married and left four sons, I. 
John, 2. Samuel, 3. James, 4. Thomas, all of whom 
married and left issue. 

o70 Abri(((jcd Palitjrce of llw. Lenus Fantilij. 

II. Andrew, a General in the American revolutionary 
army, and the first held oilicer ever nominated by 
Washington. He is the hero of the battle of Point- 
Pleasant, and was at Braddock's defeat in 1755. Gen. 
Lewis married and left issue. The State of Virginia 
has erected a Statue of him, in the public grounds, 
l-tichmond, Virginia. 

III. Charles, a Colonel in the colonial service of Vir- 
ginia, killed 10th October, 1774, at the battle of Point- 
Pleasant. Lewis County, A'irghiia, is named in his 
honour. He married and left issue, 

1. John Lewis, who married and left issue, viz., 

General Samuel Lewis, of Lewiston, llocking- 
ham Co., who married and left issue, 1. Hon. 
John Lewis, United States senator for Virginia, 
in 1873, who married Serena, a daughter of 
Hon. Mr. Sheffey, and has issue. 2. His 
Excellency Charles II. Lewis, ]\Iinister President 
at the Court of Portugal, in 1878, from United 
States. He married a daughter of Hon. John 
Taylor Lomax, and has issue, one daughter, who 
is married. 

IV. William, a Colonel in the Colonial forces of 
Virginia, and present at the defeat of General Braddock, 
m 1755. He married Ann ^lontgomery of Wilmington, 
Delaware, a kinswoman of General Pichard ^Montgomery, 
and left issue, a large family. His son and successor 

1. Major John Lewis, of the Sweet Springs, who mar- 
ried Mary, a daughter of Col. William Preston of 
Smithfield, Virginia, and left issue, 

Ahridgcd Pcd'ujn'c of the Lewis iuinulij. 377 

1. Colonel U'iUidiii l.tjiin J.cii-is, who mamod l«t, 
IMiss Stiuirt of S. C. iiiid Ly her \Ai issue, 
Isi. Dr. James Stuart Lewis, and two daughters, 
Col. Lewis manied 2iid., Letilia, dan,'_;hter of 
His Excehency, Governor JcjIui Idoyd of V'-i., 
and left issue, 1st, AVliliam Lynn, manied i\iiss 
Dooley, of Piiehmond, 2nd. John Fioyd, married 

j\Iiss of Kentucky, 8rd, Chaiies and two 

daughters, 1st. Susan married ]\lr. Fredericks of 
South Carolina, and has issue. 2nd, Lctitia married 
Mr. Cockes, of Virginia, and has issue. 

IT. Major Thomas Pi-eston Lewis, unmarried. 

in. Dr. John B. Lewis married ]\Irs. Sndtli, of South 
Carolina, and left issue, 1st. Dr. dohn Lewis, of 
Alhemarle, County Virginia. 2. William, 3. 
Montgomery killed in the Coniederate army. d. 
Aim married IMr. AVhite, of Texas, and has issue, 
5. Eugenia, unmarried. 

IV. ]\Iary married James L. Woodville, of Fineastle, 
and left one son, Dr. James L. Woodville, of 
Monroe, County Virginia, who married Mary, a 
daughter of Cary Breckinridge of Botetourt, and 
has issue. 

V. Susan married Capt. Henry Massie of AlK^ghany 
Co. and left issue, 1. Henry, who married Miss 
Smith, and has issue. 2. Dr. Thomas, who married 
the widow of his cousin AValler Massie, of Ohio, 
and left at his death in 18()d, two children. 8 Sarah 
nnlrried Bev. F. Stanley, M. A, and died without 
issue, 4 Mary married John Hampden rieasants 


:178 Abridged l^cdiijirc of die. Lrirl.^ Fayiiihj. 

and left two children, 1. James married and has 
issue. 2. Ann Eliza, who married Bazil Gordon of 
Fredericksburg Virginia, and has issue. 5. Eugenia, 
married Samuel (^atewood, and left isssuo. 
VI. Ann Montgomery T.ewis, who married John 
Howe Peyton, and left issue at her death in 1850. 

1. Jolm Lewis^ who married Henrietta E. C, 
daughter of Col. J. 0. Washington of Lenoir 
County, North Carolina, has issue, one son, born 
27th January 1872, in the island of Guernsey, 
Great Britain, namely Lawrence Washington 
Howe l^eyton. 

2. Yelverton Howe unmarried. 

3. Susan Madison married Colonel John B. Baldwin 
of Augusta (vounty, A'irginia, a son of Judge 
Briscoe G. Baldwin. 

4. Ann Montgomery died unmarried. 

5. J/rt///, married Robert A. Gray of Bockiiigham 
County Virginia, and has issue 

6. Elizabeth married AVilliam B. Telfair of Ohio 
and has issue. 

7. Lucy, married Judge Jno. M. Llendren of Vir- 
ginia and has issue. 

8. Margaret Lynn, married George ]\I. Cochran, 
junior of Staunton, Virginia, and has issue two 
sous, 1. Peyton, 2. Baldwin. 

0. Virginia married Col. Jos. F. Kent, of AVythe, 
County Virginia, and has issue, one son. 

10. Cornelia, married Dr. Thomas, and has issue, 
two sons, 1, Peyton, 2, Baldwin. 

Ihrtdiji'il Pc(Ji<jif(' of tin: Li'tiis lutiiiiltj. ol\) 

Vn. Manjtini Li/iiu Lciri<, luiuiiccl John C!uflir;iii, of 
Albciiiai'O, aihl 1ms issue, 1 ■liitl'^c Joliii Lewis CochrcUi, 
wiio iiiurried the widow ol'l)c. 'I'houius 1']. iUassio, iuuiIukj 
issiu". '2 Jiiiiies, wiio Jiiirriioil an liein'ss, Miss ]Vroul{>, 
of Siuitli's-folly, AiiLiiista county, ;iiid liiis issue, o l)r. 
ileiiiy. -lllowe I'eytou, who luaniiMl a duu-litiT of 
(>e]i('ial Kdwai'd CaiTiuutiui, and has issue, f* \\ iliuun 
iiynn, Mary l*feslon, wih) niariied John i\i. i'l'estoii 
and has issue; .ind 7 (ieoit^e Moliafti-. 

Vllf. I'JtKii'iitd Lriris, wla> luan-ied i >i-. -lohn (loss, am.! 
left issue. A t(deral)ly hdl history of tlie ijewis hiiuily, 
will 1)1! found in •'Howe's History of Vii>:iiiia," unTler 
hi ad of Auiiusta (^)unt\ 



furnished to the autiioil by 

John Washington, brother of the Hon. William 

H. Washington, Member of Congress for the 

Newbern, (North Carolina) District. 

I. Sir William I^((.s///////^///, Kiiij^-lit of Packingliam, 
county of Leicester, married Anne Villicrs, half-sister 
of the Duke of lUickiugham, and left two sons, both of 
whom settled in the colony of A^irginia, 

1 . John, who married Ann Pope, and left issue one 
son, namely, 

Lawrence of Bridge's Creek, Westmoreland County, 
Virginia, Avho married Mildred, daughter of 
Colonel Agustine Warner, and dying in 1G97, 
left issue, three sons, namely: 1. John and 3 
Lawrence, both of whom married, and left issue. 

but or them it is uimeccssnry to speak, mid 
'2. AuGUSTrNE, who nuirric<l JNIary l>!ill, of Alex- 
andria, Virginia, and by her left issue, one son, 
the illustrious Washington, founder of the United 
States, and ealled the '' Fathei- of his Ct»\nitry." 
ir. Lawrence, wiio married and h;ft a sun John, who 
settl(;d m Pittsford, Noi-th Carolina, whose eldest son 
John, of Newbern, N. C, married Fdizu, daughter of 
Jolin Cobb, of Lenoir C^ounty, and left issue, 

1. doHN Cor.B, of Vernon, near Kinston, Lenoir Co., 
N. C, a member of the North Carolina State 
Constitutional Convention, of the Seecssion Conven- 
tion in 18GL, ete., and J. P., who married ]\Iary 
Ann Edmunds, daughrcr, o( the late Southey l)ond, 
of Raliegh, oiu; oi' ilu' de'scvndants of the j\Lay- 
llower Colony of " Pilgrim Fathers," anil has issue, 
two daughters : 

1. Maky Ann 1m):\iuni)S, who married Major AVm. 
Augustus Pjlouiit, and has issue: I John 
Washington, '2 Wm. Augustus, o Lli/.a. I Annie, 
5 Mar)', ii Olivia. 

2. Henrietta VA'w.n Clarl;, ^\■ho man-ied JJui LcinU 
Peyton^ of Shirley, Augusta, Co., A'irginia,, and 
h;is issue one son, xv/.: Laitirucc \\\t,'<liui,iton 
Jlmrc^ l>orn in llu; Aii'^lo-normari l.,h; of Cuernsey 
January 27(]i, IS 7:?. 

Aiujii^tns^ M. 1). of til'.' Lnivfi'.;ity of I'arl.,^, • who 
mai'ried Anna, a diiuirhter of Willi. on Li>, iiigsLou, 
of the State of Nt w 'lorl:, aiid left i,',->ae a hii'ge 

382 Pcdiprec of llir. Wu^hiiKjton Famlhj. 

I If. George^ ^vho iiuirriod tii'st Ctitheriiic, a dauglitcv 
of Dr. F. Deiiuisoii, of South Carolina, and has issue, 
1. (Jeorge Lawrence, who married in Cuba, and resides 
there in 1873. 2. Catherine, who married Henry Lond, 
of Morgantown, N.' C. He married 2nd Louisa, a 
daughter of General Hernandez, of Cuba, (a grandson 
of PhiUphe Hernandez, author, etc.;) and lias issue, L 
Louisa, 2. Augustus, o. l^^hza, 4. tFohn. o. Annetta. He 
married thh'dly Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress (jf 
the late J. B. Stevens, of Newark, New Jersey, and has 
issue 1. George, 2. John. 

IV. Eliza^ married 1st. Franklin Grist of North 
Carolina, and left issue, two children, \. Franklin un- 
married. 2. Eliza, who married Dr. James Hughes, of 
Newbern, North Carolina. After the death of Mr. Grist, 
his widow married Dr. U. Knox, and has issue, 1. 
Augustus AVashington, 2. Ehzabeth. 

V. Ann^ who married James Heritage liryan, and 
left issue, 1. James Augustus, who married Miss 
Sheppard, of North Carolina, daughter and co-heiress 
of Judge Donald, of that State, 2. AVashington, unmarried 
."). Laura. 

VI. SiiSdu^ who married the Hon. William A. 
(Jraham, twice Governor of North Carolina, long a 
United States Senator for that State, and Secretary of 
State for the Navy department in the Cabhietof President 
Fillmore. Governor (Jraham was the Whig Candidate 
in 1852, for the Vice-Presidency of the United States, 
General AVinfield Scott being the C^uididate for 
President. They have issue, 1. Joseph, (a North 

Pedigree of till' Wasiiuuiinii luiinihi. 080 

(^u'olina Senator) wlio iu;uric(l — -— , and has issue, 2. 
J.jliii AViisliingtoii, als(» a Jii.'mljcrur tla; Heiiatcui' N'orth 
Carolina, wlio liian-icd a daii^uliter (j1' Paul (Jameron, 
of Ilillsboro, and has issue, v). (leoi'^-c W. 4. William A; 
.'». Aui^-ustus, (). Susan. 

\ II. J/'^/vy, niaiTied Joseph (Irahaju oi" (^uitoii, 
Arkansas, and has i.s.-^uc, 

flis second son leil issue, li'oni wlioin ar^', s[)runuj 
Hon. AVilhaui 11. Washington, ui' Newbern, aiul 
Hichard AVashington, ol" (ujldsboro, all ol' whoiji 
married and have lamilies. 

1 N ]) E X, 

Al.saloin, 221. 

Adams, John Qiiiiicoy, 197. 

Ailvico on MaiTi;i;n(', >Sl. 

Advice to a son, 11, 21. Cato's, 

Address to the people of Virginia 
on Senatorial Election, 1(H). 

Advice to Children, IG[). 

African Nurse, anecdote of, ,'j2. 

An African Valet, lOU. 

Anderson, J. T., 119. 

A family group — interesting ouo 

AiFectionate disposition, evidence 
of his, lOo. 

Afiican race, mental infi'riority 
of, 235. 

A good master, 170. 

Addison, Jos., 201. 

Aluisuerus, 221. 

Ajobardus — Bishop of Lyons— 
his Avise views, 180. 

Alexandria, The " fool's tax " in, 

Alexander the Great, 20 1. 

Al{;xandcr, Archibald, 108. 

,, James and Josejih A., 

Aid-de-Camp to Govenor of Vir- 
ginia appointment to, 98. 

America, official delinquencies in, 

Ambition, his want of, 55. 

Anuising trial of a horse-tliief, 

Anderson, Joseph R., 80. 

Anecdote of a gallant boy, 11, 12. 
,, ,, General Andrew Jack- 

son, G3. 

Apoplexy — a formof disease com- 
mon to the Peytons, 30 J. 

Alleghany, Virginia, the distric^t 
beyond, 131. 

Ameliorating eftect of public 
work on the population, 111. 

American government, one of 

economy, li)7. 
Anarchy worse than the worst 

Guvernment, 250. 
Aiguuuiit of Wm. ]\r. Peyton in 

behalf .if public works, 133— lOo 
Armed neutrality recounnended 

to Viigiuia in 1801, 2>Si. 
Aristocracy, th(! Shoddy, 298. 

Astrologers, ibolish belief in, 

Aspirations, the folly of political, 

218, 219. 

Paldwin Ibisco.!, G., t;, 92. His 

chanieler, 9,j. 
lialdwin J. 15., 210, 300. 
liayly Thos. II. , 189. i:i(). 
liarn'ett, Davi.l, 119. 
lleibu decjves of Napoleon, 1. 
l)arl)0ur, Jauu'S and I'luHp, 0, 

lieuton, Thos. II., 121. 
Hayard, The modern, 210. 
lieauty and l)ooty, 37. 
lierri;in, John M., 10. 
ISeautiful Virginian scenery, 108. 
lUair F. P., 3. 
]5ovs, DrWm., 22. 
Poyden, Itev. E., 44. 
Boys, Mrs. Wm. 15. 
Boom: coiuiiy, 231. 
Beauuiont, Francis, (Colleague of 

Fletcher), 51. 
lioy, a gallant, 11, 12, 
l!ii)graphy, motive for writing, 2. 
Brown, JNIrs. Fainiy Peyton, 74. 
Brown, Orlando, 3. 

,, John, 2. 

Neil, S--294. 
Braddock -his defeat, 187. 
British people, eaily ignorance of, 

Beale, Chas., 80. 
Bowyer, llariy, 80. 




]!>.it.s, Julm, minor, SG. 240. 

Ewwcock Thomiis, LMO. 

J?unell, Cluis., S(). 

IScU, Jolm, 237, 291. 

IJoyce, W. W., 2G0. Tfis vioAvs 

;ij;'ainst Scc-cs.sion, 2(>7. 
Bonier (Stnlcs, tlioir interest ini- 

perillt;(l by secession, 24'J. 
I5rown, Govcnior, of Georg-ia, 1^00. 
JJlaekbony wine, anecdote of, 24 
Jhcckcnridpo, IfoLert, J., 2, IG, 

,, Major Joliu C, 2, 10. 
Gary, 80. 
Blackburn, General Sam., 0. 

Mrs Anna, 84. 
Bryan, John Rsmdolph, 17. 
Bryan House, 74. 
lirutus, 200. 
Brobdignatrs, 219. 
Burning Clients' bonds, 57. 58. 
Buddha, 23 

Biokeuborough, J. W., 92. 
Bruce, J. E., 80. 

Cato, Valerius, 24. 

,, adWce to his son, 2P>4. 
Campbell, governor of Virginia, 

80, 98, 99. 
Castlemen, T. T., Eev., 73. 
Canada Conquered by the English, 

Carlilo, John S., 240. 
CanuL'l coal discovered in Vir- 
ginia, 231. 
Calhoun, J. C, 171. 
Catholic Clnu-cli in Monrosc, 170. 
Clay, Henry, Whig Candidate, in 

1844, for Presidency, 225, 228. 
Claiborne, Stirling, 7. 
Clients, their bonds burnt 57. 
Clarke, General, 98. 
Clarendon, ]!]arl of, 88. 
Chesapt;ake bay — the American 

mediterranean, 131. 
Celsus, his advice for preserving 

health, 21. 
Clinton de Witt, 135., 
(!haucer, Geoffrey —founder of 

English poetry, 30. 
Cicero, 24. 

Christ rebukes a proud mother, 9. 
Coulter Judge, G. 
Combat with Van Bibber, 20. 

Courtesy of England, 44. 
Coercion — a Gov(;rnmeut right, 

Coal mining in Vir'.'iiii:i, -33. 
Cowper, William, I'.O. 
(3arrick's ford, battle of, 200. 
(njm];romise, Bill of, 1850, 237. 
Comets, appearance of — once 

supposed to indicate evils, 184. 
Conrad, Robt. Y., 92. 
Course of a patriot in the public 

councils, 99. 
Confi(h;nce inspired by a good 

man, 99. 
Correspondence, the attention of 

a gentleman to friendly, 105. 
Constantinople, fall of, 87. 
Conservative party of Virginia, 

110, 117. 
Crittenden J. J., 200. 
C)-ichton, James, 23. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 218. 
Crusaders — their superstitions, 

Ciutchfield, Oscar M., 95, 119. 
Gushing, M., 74. 

Dahlgren. Col., his diabolical 
plans, 273-270. 

Davis, Jos. Vv^., 119. 
„ D. C, 7, 80. 

BnmA, Judge AVm., 95, 150, 152. 

David, King, 221. 

Dani(4, Jolm M., 240. 

Deprecations of Civil war, a pa- 
triot's, 248. 

Debt duo to the dead by sur- 
vivors, reflecti(;ns on, 185. 

Diath of Balie Peyton, junior, 

Diogenes— his opinion of the best 
wine, 24. 

Digressions in writing — their 
value to a book, 35. 

Dibden, Thos. Frognall, 50. 

Dickei-son, Daniel S., 249. 

Divisions anion Virginian families 
by the civil war,"298. 

Dinner table, the manners of a 
gentleman of the " old school" 
at, 87. 

Duty, a conscientious man's idea 
of, 59-00. 

Index. 387 

Domestic lifo in Eoanoko, 109. Florida, life tlioro, 52. 

D'Oilcans, Father — his fictions ,, Low aequirLnl hy ITinlcd 

iijVL-utions 178. iStatus, 1)S9, 271. 

Diqios always ready found hy Floyd, John B., .St>, 2 11. 

Charlatans, 180. Fka-ence and the Llcdici, 87. 

Doug-las, Stephen A., 21*7. Fhjurnoy, Thos., W., Mi. 

Fools tax in Alcy.aniliia, INO. 

h'astern Enipiie, fall of, 87. Fuutaine Ed., IKJ. 

I'laily, Gen. J. A., 210. Fratern;d ailrctioii, 15, l(i. 

I'ldiiiundson. J. P., ,St;. Frirud.shij), an ohl autliur's id>a 

I'Munnids, J. R., 12!». of, (iO. 

hjducation, popular, advue:dod, Fn'c-scli<M)ls, in Va., views in 

21)0, L'OI. f.ivoiii- (.r, 200, 210. 

I'hioiifl, literature, Angustau Full/,, D., 7o. 

period of, 201. (la..i.)ii, Williani, ID. 

England, eauso of lier willi (iaiuaUd- i'nsich nf oi' tin' S.iu- 

U. H. in 1812, :i, ■[. iKdriui, und<r Tiherui.s, 21.J. 

Enijuirer, The liicluuond, 'J 10 Gall, Fj'aneis Jos. Co. 

Eski-idge, Alexr. P., No, ;;02, liOl, Garaett, General li. fi., 211. 

'M)!. titiiihinnai— the Ya-giiiian ui the 

Ehuwood, lioiinoke, .S9, iK). old .soIk.wI, 11. 

Fxeentive i)ow<^r, J)aiigcr of au (iduicr, T. VS''., 8(j. 

ext<'ii,sion of, 100, 1 i 1. ,, J. il., 2 10. 

I'^v-eeutive patronage, 121. GriKial Ivuowh'dge, valu>' of. 

Eulogy on Henry Clay, 227. ITl- 

Ewing, E. n., 29J. Clogghi, Wm., E. Mi. 

I''vil supjjused to follow ai.p('ar- (io.ul Mom's, (1, 1 lij. 

ancf of a eoniet, IM. ' (Ji'iil'clh, Dr., .Sli. 

Esi%ai)e of Col. Pejtonfroiii Ncnv Gr. iiibrii r river, nauitd by John 

York, 190. Ecwis, oO. 

Experienced member of the Ecg- fji^y. Col. A. 8., 87. 

islature, 212. ' Governnu'ul, tlie three ba-i^ on 

lOxtreniist, pi'cventiMl a scfdc- whii^h all rests, !.'>.). 

niont between North ami South (nattun, I'l^aehy, 210. 

in 18(JI, 2J8. Greece, flight of men from 

Ex])ress (Newspaiier) l']dil()r's ''i7. 

intT'oduction to (Job Peyton's Gulf States, tlieir politiial follies, 

letter, 2-15. 219. 
,, ,, seeoiiil letter, 27S. 

Hay, Gcoi-ge, G. 

Fabian policy, 25-1, Habits, a boy's gooi1, (il. 

Falkland, Lord, his life mvAV Hah'(Uiibe, J. P., 8(i. 

^ Oxfoid, 88. Hau.dtcm, Alexr. 2ul. 

Fa,ilure to securn success in life .Harrison, liandcdi.h, 8!i. 

is niaiidy duo to waul of aiubi- ,, Peyton, 87. 

tion, 55. Hartford convention, 5, 270. 

F(!stive S(;en(i at llie " IWyaii llauion, 1^21. 

liouse," 7(i, 79. "^ Hill, iiei'ry, or liury 3.}. 

Federalism, a Loeofoco's liorrou^ Heallh, how to prcsiTvc, 21. 

<^'l'. 21;!. Hessian pri.stniers, liuw eniphiyetl 

Fitzpatiick, Mrs Lovie, ;il, .'ii. in N'iigiui.i, ;il. 

Fillmon;, Presid<nt, 2li>. Han i.ou', IMr. (il. 

Fir<', <le,s|rnction of family i^.tj-ers Hot Spiings, 81. 

by, 90 (note). ", an accomplished, 87. 



Houston Eussell, 291. 

Ilostia, one of the minor prophets, 

Holy legends and the like refuted, 

177, 179. 
History is philosophy, &c., 2J0 
Howard, Benjamin, 3. 
Howard, John, 86. 
Hunter. It. M. T, 240. 
Huntersville, A lawyer among his 

clients there, 50. 
Hunt,—, 249. 

Icarius, 9. 

Improvements, modem, 41. 

Impression made in the Virginia 

Legislature by a young 

member, 99, 
Internal improvements in Vir- 
ginia, 131, 132. Peyton's speech, 

133, to 165. 
Impression made by beautiful 

Scenery, 168. 
Illinois, how formed, 188. 
Indiana, ,, ,, 188. 
Inscriptions on the Peyton tombs 

in Cambridgeshire, 337. 
Ignorance, effects of an early 

British people, 202. 
Inexperienced member of the 

Virginia Legislature, 212. 
Improvements in the people of 

Virginian from his mining 

operations, 233. 
Introduction to Col. Peyton's 1st 

letter on secession, -245. 
„ 2nd letter, 280. 
Isleham, Co. Cambribge, visit to, 

in, 1870, 337. 
Isleham, inWestem Virginia, 100. 

Jackson, Gen. A., 61, 63, 237. 

John J., 246. 
Jews, ignorance, the cause of their 

ruin, 201. 
Jefferson, President, 3, 10. His 
good rules, 11. His educational 
plans, 205. 
Johnson, Chapman, 0, 102, 106. 
.1 ,, junior, 70, 79. 

., Andrew, 299. 
Cave, 294. 
Jones, Sir Wm. 23. 

Joseph's bones carried into 
Canaan after they had been 
embalmed 400 years, 308. 

Joab, 221. 

Kenawha river, 85 

Kindly Acts of a good man, 91. 

Knowledge, the advantage of 

both special and general, 174, 

Knowledge, lack of, among the 

Jews, the cause of their woes, 


Lands, the history of the public 

of U. S. 186, 188. 
Laws of wari-anty in Virginia, 7. 
Langhorne, Mr. 86. 
Lewis, Major John, 10, 176. 

,, Ann Montgomery, 10. 

,, Col. John, Pioneer, of 

Augusta Co, 30. 

,, General Andrew, 30. 

,, Men weather, 98. 

,, Col. Wm. S. 86, 171, l75, 


,, Hon. John, United States 

senator, 240. 

„ Hon. Chas. H. 240. 
Letcher, John, 240, 242. 
Lee, Sir Henry, 297. 
,, Chas. Carter, 86. 
,, General K. E. 241, 244. 
., Mrs. R. E. 245. 
Legislature, life in, 99. 
Leigh, B. W. 120, 121. 
Legal profession, to succeed in, real 

merit is necessary, 48, 49. 
Letter to the Author from his 

brother, 299. 
Lincoln, President, 252, 277. 
Letters and papers lost duiing 

Civil War, 50. 
Lisle, Mrs., 73. 
Library, the Peyton, 50. 
" Little great men", 219, 
Louisiana, 189, 271. 
Lov(irs, the victims of astrologers, 

Locofoco party, 210, 215. 
Lyons, James, 86. 

Marshall, T. F., 3, 



Madison, Wm. S., 2. 

,, James. 2, 3, o, 201.— 2G9. 

Marshall, Jno. G. 

Maiiubourg, Lewis, liis falsehoods, 
178, 179. 

MacDowell, James, 2, 80. 
,, Mrs. Bob., 73. 

Macon, Nath., 10. 

Mahomet, 23. 

Massinger, Philip. 80. 

Marriage, advice on, 81. 

Madness of S. Carolina's political 
course, 2i3<J. 

Mansion, Col. Peyton's, consnniod 
by lire, 90. 

Mason, J. Y., 110. 
,, J. M., 92, 240. 

Mayse, George, 214. 

Munford, Wm. P., 222. 

McClcllan, Gen. G.B., 231. 

Meigs, li. I., 294. 

Morgan, L. D., 294. 

Mercer, C. F., 10. 

Mezzofanti, Guiseppe, 23. 

Magnanimity, anecdote of, uO. 

Montgomery Hall— life there, 28. 

Moono, H. McD., 72, 240. 

Monbeddo, Lord, 07. 

Middle States, their political in- 
fluence in Union, 2J4. 

Mosby, C. L., 80. 

Medici, the, 87. 

,, Cosmo de, 87. 

Mexico, threatened war with, 98. 

Michie, T. J. 92. 

Michigan, State formed, 188. 

Miller, Bowyer, 210-214. 

Moderation in Opinions taught, 
172, 173. 

Mill Spring, battle of, 295. 

Napoleon, 4, 10. 

National Bank, 107. 

Nature, a love of, o!). 

Natural Bridge, Va., 108. 

Ned I'hipps, 100, 108. 

Northern States responsible f(jr 

the Civil War, 2J2. 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 13. 

Orders in Council, British, I. 
Oregon, boundary line, 98. 

Oratory, when an instrument of 

evil, 69. 
Old Chap, 78. 
02)i>ortunity necessary to success, 

Oliver Major, 80. 

Ottomans threaten Western 

Europe, 87. 
Official delim|uencies in America, 


,, qualification, the Washing- 

tonian Standard, 220. 
Office holders not always tho 

most deserving, 221. 
" Old Domndon," 104. 
O'Farrel, John, 119. 
O'Conor, Chas, 249. ' 

Open house, 299. 

Party spirit reckless in America, 

Patriotic si)irit, 209. 
Peyton, John liouse-, 17. 
,, John 10. 

,, John Howe, 2, 5, 0, 9, 02, 
GO, 07. Speech of against 
a horse thief, — his idea of 
a liildling lawyer, 78. 
Elected Senator, 98. Mod- 
erate opinions, inculcated 
by, 172, 174. His ideas of 
the power of general 
knowledge, 174. A patri- 
archal inaster, 170. His 
discoiu-se on holy legends, 
astrology and common 
sui)erstitions, etc., 177, 
,, Henry, G. 
,, Susan Madison, 8, 9. 
General Bernard, 8(). 
,, Hon. Balio, 2i»4. 

Balie, junior, his death. 290. 
Col. Wm. M., his i.ddress 
to the people of Virginia, 
100. Appohilcd aid- 

de-cani]) to lln; Governor 
of Ya., 98. His want of 
ambition, .05. His in- 
ternal ini[)rovement 
Kjieeeli, 133, 10"). Hisnum- 
siou bui-nt.90. His firmness 



and incorruptibility, 213. 
His (lonunciation of repu- 
diators, 225, 228. His con- 
duct to friends, 220. His 
discovery of Caruiol coal 
fields 23 L His letters to 
Mr. Rives, 2-Ij, 27»). His 
second letter, 280. His em- 
employment during tlie 
war, 297. His deatli 
and character, 30 1 , 300 . 
,, Major Benjamin H, 80. 
Peytona, town of, founded, 232. 
Pedigree of the Peyton family, 313 
,, of tlie Preston family, 3.")j 
,, of the Lewis family. 375 
,, of the Washington family. 380 
Payne Bar, G. 119. 
Parle, Geo., 119. 
Paraffine discovered 232. 
PeaceaLle secession an absurdity 

Pliny the younger believes a 
friend necessary to our success, 
Phrenology, amusing anecdote 

of, G6. 
Party, the Conservative, of Vir- 
ginia, llG. 
Preston, William Campbell, 2. 
,, James Patton, 2, 80. 
Elizabeth, 2. 
William, 2, 

Wm. Ballard, 80, 129,2-10. 
Robert, 80. 
AValter, 8(5, 303, 
Pennsylvania, her system of inter- 
nal improvement commended. 
145, 147. 
Porterfield, Gen. Robt., 5. 
Geo. H., 291. 
Pocock, Ed., 23. 
Poetical taste an evidence of a 

refined mind, 24. 
Pope Pius, IX., sought to be con- 
verted, 176. 
,, Alexander, 201. 
Political aspirations, folly of, 2lS. 
Pocohontas, C.H., Contlagratipn 

of Clients' bonds, 58. 
Peidmont, district of Va., 131. 
Prophetical forecast of the results 
of Secession, 287. 

Piichard, an illiterate Locofoco, 

200. His stuiup speech, 217. 
Presidential election of 1800, 235. 
Pryor, R. A., 210. 
Plot to defeat a gentleman, 210. 
Politl(!al Doctors, 198. 
Popular Education, 200, 208. 
Pegr.un, John, his surrender of 

2000 Confederates, 202. 
Presbyterian stronghold invaded 

by Romaidsts, 170. 
Public lands of tht! U. S., history 

of, 180, 225. 
Public improvements, argument 

against the three-fifth principle, 

154, 100. 
Princeton University, course of 

Study in, 17. 
Popular estimate of Col. Peyton, 

10, 20. 
PriJeuux, 2i. 

Raiululiih, Edit., G. 

Thomas J. 86, 
Riulford Win., HO. 
Kt-puljlie, tho better days of, G2. 
lii-npoasibility, (ien. Jackbou always 

riadv to usHimie tliis, 04. 
Ecad, T. C, HO. 
Iti fonn, advocated Ly the Virf-iiiiau 

Whif-s, 225. 
RccoHstructiou of the lUnion, im- 

pobsihlo in ISOl, 2(i;5, 205. 
Rivi'S, Wm. 0. HO, <,I5, 10.-^, 210, 278, 

Aloxr. hO, 210. 
Repuhlie, Educatiun necessary iu, 202. 
Riches fly away, (illustration), 2y'J. 
Rich, mountaiu Confederates' retreat 

from, 2'Jl. 
Riclimond EnquLi-er, 210. 
Ritchie, Wm. 240. 
Rowze, Dr. L., 17. 
tlous, Rouzce, iV'c, 17. 
lioiuioke Co. established, 99. 
Rivers of Virf,'inia, IHO. 
Ritchie, Thomas 12;>, 121, 210, 311, 


liuckbridpre, 168. 
Ruimm Catholics iu the middle ages ; 

Runuymede, 250. ' 
Rush, Richard, 16. 

Rules of life, Tliomns Jefferson's, 11. 
Ruthn, Edmund, Commits yuicide, 



Sardoval, Bishop of Pampehma, his 

fictions, 179. 
Search, right of, 3. 
Salhist, 234. 
Seymour, Horatio, 249. 
Segar, Jos., 240. 
Secession, peaceable, an ahsurdity, 2G0 

not a reserved right, 2G8. 
Shefley, Danh, 7. 
Shanks, Thos., 80, 93, 119, 
Shorrard, Jos. 11., 119. 
Shands, Wm., 119. 
Sims, Dr. J. Miuion, 47, 278. 
Sully, T., the painter, 19. 
Spurzheim, Johanu Caspar, CG. 
Smith, Ben., 92. 
Solomon, his idea of strife, 243. 
Scott, R. E., 240, 92. 
Southern Congress, proposed by 

South Carolina, 2}7. 
Scott, Gen. Winfiel.l, 2:{7. 
Sic Semper Tyrannis, the motto of 

Va., 287. 
Slavery, bright side of, in Va., 170., 

Cause of Secession, 252. 
Stuart, Thomas J., 2S. 

A. H. H., 12',), 92, 210. 
Ch»3. A., 3). 
Southall, V. W., 92. 
Stone House, The old, 36, 3S, 
Summers, G. W., 92, 129. 
Sub- Treasury, 121, 
Stack, Leonora, 176. 
Suili-age, UuiversLl, dangerous unless 

tb ' p -otil ) are educated, 201. 
South Carolina, her course on socea- 

sion coudomnod, 251, 

,, contrastod -w ii li Virginia 251 
St, Petor discoved I y his accent, 293. 
Stump Speoches, 94, 
Secretary of Legfii ion to Paris, 96. 
Steele, Sir ilichard's idea of a groat 

man, 220 
Shoddy Aristocracy, 298 
Swift,, 201. 
Superstitions, Early. 31, 33, 183. 
State proxy to Jianes Ilivor and 

Kenawha i'f).nal, 2 !1. 
Summary of . ho causes which 

justified Virginia in socoding, 282 

Taylor, Sir Hy. 1, 

Taylor, E. A. E., 35, 36, 80. 

„ lion Allan, 35. 

„ Dr. John B.,B6. 
Telfair, Mrs. J., 74. 
Tariff of 1840, 196. 

,, favoured by Whigs, 225. 

Tazewell, L. W., 6. 

Thomi)son, Eliz., 35. 

Tnivelliiig, a general dosiro, 51, 

Trigg, Rubort, 92. 

Tide Water, Virginia, 131. 

Truth and reason, their value, 174 

Toxian revolt, 98. 

Turner, llov. Jesse, 91. 

Tucker, H. St. Goo. 7. 

Turks threaten Europe, 87. 

3, 52. 

TUtx-a-Democratic party, 210. 
' U. S. (Jovernmtmt, the best ever 

vouchsafed to man, 249. 
Union, ii central one advocated, 259. 
,; a love of among Vii-ginians, 
Unfortunates, how treated, 298. 

Van Buren, Martin, 95, 210. 

Van Bibber. T., Combat with, 20. 

Valentine, Ed., 80. 

Viniible, N. E„ 119, 129. 

Voltnirr, 218. 

Vossius, his false stories, 178. 

Virginia, her territorial extent and 
and general aspect, 131 — Her gi-eat 
history and seivices, 251-5(5 ; Cannot 
follow S.C. wilh self respect, 256; 
State ConvtiiliDu, 218; Secedes 
from the Union, 213: Her o.ximsej 
position in evnt of civil ^Yar, 200, 
Sho rebel'^, 2^0 ; Address to her 
peojde, 100. 

Virginia laiulsca]).>s 59. Early days in, 
7, 8. 25, 30, 41. Want of improve- 
ments in Western, 92. Valb y of, 
li:i. Rivers of, 130. Natural divis- 
ions, 131. 

Washhigton, 224. Standard of Official 

(puililication, 22'), 254. 
War in the Union or out of it, 254, 
Watts, E., 80. 
Wesl. V, 202. 
Walt,)!!, Bryan, 23. 
Williamson, Capt. 39, 70. 
Wieklliro, R., 3. 
WiHdiam, J., 6. 
Wirt, W., 0. 
Willis, N. P., 17. 
"Whig Socielv," 22. 
Wife, choice of, fO. 
Wiliner, Bishop. 86. 
Wise, H. A., 24U. 

„ O. J., 240. 
Willcy, W.J, 210. 

302 Tndc.c. 

Wisconsin, of \\liat territory formed, Woodvillo, J., Bli. 

1H8. Vflnf^H uf Virtjiniu, their cliaractej-, 

^^'ielvf•(llless pniiislied, 221. 112. 

V\h['^ meeting in Roanoke, 228. Wright, Silas, 121. 

Whi))i)ers-in, political, 211. AVhite, family of papist, 170. 

"Witcher, Vincent, 8G. Yerby, Mr. Delegate for Accomao, 

Wise men Hy from Greece, 87. 129. 

Whitheld, 202. ZoUicofler, Gen., his death, 2!l5, 2',)G. 
Wythe, Geo., 6, 

riinteiUiy Freilerick Clarke, Ouorusoy, 

Tn 2 volumes, post 8vo. Price 21 s. 



Pages from the Note Book of a State A^i^ent during the Civil War. 



Bachelor of Laws of the University of Virginia, Corresponding Member of the 

Wisconsin State Historical Society, Pelloiu of the Royal Oeographical Society 

of Or cat Britain, <^c. Late Lieut. -Col. Commanding ISth N.Q. Citicago. 


" These volumes are compiled from the notes of the Author, who was at one 
period an uccredited agent iu Europe for one of the late Confederate States, 
The incidents commence from the outbreak of the war, aud there are numerous 
authentic facts and data given which will throw light upou many circumstances 
connected with the long struggle between the Northern and Southern States. 
The descriptions of scenes visited, the reflections on social subjects, and the 
statements connected with the secret history of the war acquired by tho 
Author in his official capacity, are of the highest interest and importance."— 
S^lnday Olserver. 

" The American Crisis vises to the rank of a voluminous state paper. Colonel 
Peyton's work is destined, we believe, to be the text book for posterity, as far 
as regards the political questions opeucd up by this Civil War, tho most 
gigantic conflict the world has ever witnessed. The Author gives very 
spirited sketches of the preparations for the fight, and the interest taken in 
them by the veterans of tho South. . . . Throughout he proves his sound 
common sense and perfect mastery over tho difficult science of political 
economy. . . . Colonel Peyton has told the history of ilio American Civil War, 
its commencement, progress, and ultimate close, with precision, and with con- 
eiderablo historic care. He has woven with the main thread of his story, too, 
so njany strands of minor interest, so many sketches, and so many glances, at 
English aud American domestic and country life, that each succeeding year 
cannot fail to add to its value iis a photograph of its own times."— Jersey Express, 


Notices (if the I'vcsiS (coiitinucd.J 

'We hive seen no woik upon the Auierican Civil W:ir, more cntei-taining 
and thoroughly readable than that by Coluuel Peyton. The stylo of which ia 
terse and vigorous." — 'lite Cosmopolitan. 

" Some of the most interesting portions of these charming volumes contain 
a summary of Colonel Peyton's experiences as well in the political, as in the 
literary world. His sketches are grapliic, and .beyond all controversy, life-like. 
We commend these volumes cordially and conscientiously to perusal, and wo 
err if their circulation be not extensive. Their Author was, we believe, some 
two or three years ago resident for a little while amongst us, and has since been 
for a longer season domesticated in Jersey. It is not improbable that he may, 
ere long, once more be a visitor to the Channel Islands, and in that case we are 
Bure that we may promise him for ourselves, and equally coutident that we may 
prognosticate for him from our neighbours, a very hearty welcome. What 
Sidney Smith called " stress of politics," has driven many an honoured exile 
from freedom or for conscience sake, upon our shores, but surely none more 
worthy of our esteem than this intelligent and gallant gentlemen of whom — 
his enemies themselves being judges — the very woret that can be said must be, 
' Victrix causa Diis placuit, victa Peytoni.' " — Guernsey Star. 

" Colonel Peyton's book is half a narrative of his reminiscense.s of the 
Great Civil War, or rather of his personal intercourse with its chief actors, 
both military and political, and half a description of his experiences in Eng- 
land, and his impressions of English society. lie exhibits considerable skill 
in blending his adverse feelings towards Jefferson Davis (whom he regards as a 
common-place politician and not a genius at all) with the necessary amount of 
attachment for the Confederate cause. Some of the chapters which he devotes 
to his personal observations while in this country, will be read with interest, 
and portions of them with amusement. Of course he does not like Mr. Cobden 
or Mr. Bright. Of Lord Russell's appearance and manner he speaks with a 
contempt which is not wholly unmeiited, but ill-becomes a panegyrist of Mr. 
Alexander Stephens, of whoso outer man he has given the most unflattering of 
descriptions. But he is at aU events impartial in his satirical judgments. 
When he presents what is on the whole a very uncomplimentary portrait of Mr. 
Roebuck he is perhaps more true to life, but he makes a poor return for much 
zealous service." — Daily Star. 

" This subject is unrivalled in importance to Americans, and a very arduous 
one vnth which to deal ; the interests involved are so manifold, and the 
questions connected with it so complicated that it requires a mastei--mind to do 
it justice. Colonel Peyton has taken very elevated views of all these greaj, 
questions. We have rarely met with a writer who combines so much impres- 
sive earnestness with bo much sound sense and masculine depth of thought." 
— Gazette. 

Nolices of Lite rrcss (contiiiued.) 

" Here we pause, reluctantly ; — the extreme interest we take in tlio political 
l)ortion of Colonel Peyton's most valuable and instructive work, lias induced us 
to discuss somewhat at large what we may venture to untitle " Siutiments 
proper to the present crisis," and that with reference as well to England as to 
America. It is not, however, to the statesman or historian alone that these 
volumes will be interesting. Their Author has mingled hirgt^ly in the best 
Bociety on either eide of the Atlantic, public and private life in both hemis- 
pheres, with their leading warriors, orators, statesmen ; artists and men of 
letters, have come as a matter of course under his notice, and are sketched 
ably by his graphic pen ; — he is in turn a Hogarth and a Watteau, as eccen- 
tricities and absurdities, graces and amenities are to be .delineated. Nor is 
graver information wanting ; his work is replete with historical anecdotes, 
valuable statistics, aud sound and apposite reflections upon subjects of 
contemporary or social interest." — Britisk Press. 

" The American Crisis is a work of grout interest, writtc-n in a most spirited 
and masterly style." — Thanet Advertiser. 

"It is cuiious to see with what contempt this gctntlemun of high birth aud 
solid position, looks down on the mushroom leaders of secession. Most of 
these men are sketched by Colonel Peyton in sharp and biting acid." — i'/w 

"The American Crisis is a highly entertaining work, aud one in which the 
reader's interest will seldom or ever flag. Many of the sketches are hit off 
with much skill and eilect." — B. Herald. 

" The earlier portion of Colonel Peyton's work draws a lively picture of the 
feelings which prevailed in thu south, aud especially in Virginia, during the 
first months of the war. The Hanguiue advocates of Secession were full of 
hope and animation, predicting a speedy triumph of their cause, which should 
force Massachusetts itself to return all fugitive slaves, and place the prosperity 
of New England at the mercy of the Southern Confederacy. Cobmid Peyton's 
second volume is devoted, for the most part, to life in England. He gi\us us 
particulars about hotels and lodging-houses, describes our railway manHgniuent 
and railway carnages; sketches some of our great men: tells us about our 
dinners, our evening parties, our country houses, aud our maunur of living in 
them, in point of fact, is communicative to Englishman ; aud the other, ou 
England for the use of Americans. But we can imagine many reasons which 
may have made it more convenient for him to treat together th(( two countri(;s 
which have been connected by his own experience. He is not at all a fatiguing 
writer to follow ; wo may read with tolerable care what he has to tell us about 
America, and may then procei'd with undiminished energy to glnice at his 
remarks on a subject whii'h, after all, has an interest for most of us— our- 
selves." — The Guard'-dii. 

Notices of the Press (contimied.)' 

•Tall of spirited sketches and interesting description."— T/ie Month. 

"In the American Crisis, the author presents a canclIJ, interesting, and 
Taluablo series of sketches of men, events, etc., at the commencement of the- 
war of 18G1. Also a very entertaining account of the manner in which the 
" Nashville," (war Steamer) ran the blockade, and got to sea, and of the life 
and society of the Bermudas. His style is direct, lucid, unassuming, and at 
all times full of simplicity and ease." — Southern Revieio, Baltimore. 

}aONDON, Saundees, Otley AND Co., 6Q, Brook Street, W. 

In Oue Volume, ilcruy Svo. Price 10s 



Author of " The American Crisis." A historical and statistical view of the 

State of Illinois, <^c. Late Chief of Staff to General Domjlas B. Laijne 

of Virginia. 


"A very interesting and remiirkaLlc worlc" — Sir Bernard Burke. 

"We have rarely risen from the perurial of any work with greater satis- 
faction. It ia an interesting and elegantly written volume." — Weyiuouth. 

"Le livre est 6crit ile luiiin de mailrc. La biograpliie et les laisons qui 
tienneut les lettres, sont d'un style parfait, et, en somme, le livre est des 
plus int6ressauts." — Gazette de Qucrncsfij. 

" The adventures are in thcmst Ives as fully fraught with interest as those 
of Robinson Crusoe, or of the pioneers who first penetrated into the Far- 
west, and had to combat with the teiTors of the Rocky mountains, or the 
hostilities of the Red Indians. His agreable volume will give him an 
additional claim to the esteem which has been already and so deservedly 
accorded to his character and talents by all classes of our society." — 
Giiemssy Star.. 

" We again heartily commend this volume to the attention of the reading 
public, who will, we are sure, heartily join us in thanking its enlightened 
and accomplished author for the literary treat which he has afforded them."' 
— British Press. 

" He has produced a very able and graphic biography. It posesses all 
the qualities necessary to become popular, and there is nothing to hinder 
the work from having an extensive nm."— Mail and Telegraph. 

tW, Great Russkl Stkkkt, London, W.C. 






1 vol. 8vo. 


"Colonel Peyton, who is favourably known to the British pnblic by his pro- 
vious works, is an intelligent and observant traveller, who tella well what be 
has seen, so that his uan-ative makes a volume of very pleasiint.ruaJiug." — 
Notes and Queries. 

"The production of a scholar and a gentleman. We can but recommend our 
readers to possess themselves of it, assured that they will find that they have 
secured a fund of pleasant reading." — United Service Magazine. 

"The reminiscences are very interesting and give an excellent and truthful 
idea of the North American Indians, their mode of life and Wiivfare." — The 

" Colonel Peyton's work is of historical value, and we heartily commend it 
to all. " — The London Review. — 

"Full of personal reminiscences of an interesting character. Some of the 
episodes are full of the romance of real life. He shows himself to have been 
a keen observer. " — Public Opinion. 

" Colonel Peyton's work is agreeably written. " — The Oiuxrdiam,. 

" His chapters are fraught with a fresher interest than we get in these days 
of railways and fast travelling. " — Low's Pablishers' Circular. 

"This volurae,written in a very lively and entertaining style, has more claims 
upon readers, attention than a glance at the title might lead one to buppose."— 
Ilhistrated London Ne%vs. 

Notices of the r/t'.« (continued.) 

" As a useful umJ reliable compauiou, few can compare in iutorest with 
Colonel Peyton, whose agreeable volume wo have read with much pleasure." 
— ThelWeelcly Times. 

" We commeml this volume of stirring stories to the lovers of adven- 
ture. "—Lloye's Weekhj. 

" An exceedingly interesting volume, abounding in pleasant reminiscences, 
by the well known Coloncd Peyton, son of Senator John Howe Peyton, of 
Virginia. Colonel Peyton is author of two other very clever works well 
known in England, "The Ainerican Criats " and " Tlie Adventures of Mtj 
Grandfather." To Englishmen the work will prove more interesting 
than fiction, and Americans will find in it a living history of their own day 
and generation. " — The Coitnopolltan. 

" A pleasant, amusing, and charming volume." — Norwood News. 

" A sprightly, chatty, interesting volume. " — Richmond (Virginia) Wltij. 

"■ An interesting contribution to the history of tlio reccmt past. " — The 
Courier (Georgetown District of Columbia) U. S. 

"Books that illastrate the rapid growth of the gi-eat empire of the United 
States are always interesting, and that is done by both of the volumes before 
us (Col Peyton's) and Parker Gillmore's "A hunter's adventures in the great 
West." Mr. Gillmore's work, however, is far less valuable than Colonel Peyton's. 
His book is amusing as well as instructive, &<:. " — The b^xatninei-. 

Ilauteville House, 

Guernsey, 2 Janvier, 1870, 
Mon cher Colonel, 

J'ai lu avcc le pins vif interct votre excellent onvrage. Voug 
m'cxprimez, sur la premiere i>age, dcs sentiments <jui me touchent vivemeut. 
Jo suis votre coucitoyen en libtute et en humunite. 

L'abolition de I'esclavago a rendu I'Amerique j\ elle-meme ; desormais il u'y 
a plus ni Nord, ni Sud ; il y a la grande Republique. J 'en suis comme voua. 

Kocevez, Colonel, mon cordial shake [of the] liand. 


Colonel John Lewis Peyton. 

" That these works posst:ss unusual merits we feel safe in assei-ting. One 
merit — it is not in our lyis a sliglit one— is, that Col. Peyton everywhere 
' writes like a gentleman.' The age we live in has earned its ' fast ' and 
' slap dash ' propensities into literature. llepose, simplicity, and that 
charming i(>-t'ri't; which eharaeti ri/;es the well-bred Author as it characterizes 

Notices of the I'l-o.^.^ (amtinucd.) 

the well-bred gentleman in society, become day by more rare. * * The style of 
Col. Peyton is that of a gentleman writing for persons of culture and intelli- 
gence. His descriptions and comments possess great directness and pictu- 
resqueuess, mingled with a natural and agreeable humour ; and renders hia 
volumes extremely agreeable reading. * * The works would prove highly suc- 
cessfal, we think, if re-published in America. 

John Esten Cooke, 

(In the Southern Review.)