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Full text of "Recollections of a lifetime, or Men and things I have seen: in a series of familiar letters to a friend, historical, biographical, anecdotical, and descriptive"

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RECOLLECTIONS 



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A LIFETIME: 



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MEN AND THINGS I HAVE SEEN 



IN A SEMES OF 



FAMILIAR LETTERS TO A FRIEND, 

HISTORICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL, ANECDOTICAL, AND 
DESCRIPTIVE. 



BY S. G. GOODRICH. 



NEW YORK AND AUBURN : 
MILLER, ORTON & CO., 

NEW YOEK, 25 PARK Row : AUBURN, 107 GBNESEK-ST. 
M DCCC LVII. 



4: CONTENTS. 

ginal American works State of opinion as to American literature 
Publication of Trumbull s poems Books for education Eev. C. A. 
Goodrich Dr. Comstock Woodbridge s Geography 90 

LETTER XXXV. 

Sketches of the " Hartford Wits" Dr. Hopkins Trnmbull, author of 
McFingal David Humphries Dr. Strong Theodore D wight 
Thomas H. Gallaudet Daniel Wadsworth Dr. Coggswell Mrs. 
Sigourney .. 114 

LETTER XXXVI. 

Dr. Percival His early life His father s attempt to cure his shyness 
College life His early love His medical experience His poetical ca 
reer An awkward position The saddle on his own back Cooper 
and Percival at the City Hotel Publication of his poems at New 
York The edition in England Other literary avocations His sta 
tion at West Point His great learning Assistant of Dr. Webster in 
his Dictionary State geologist in Connecticut In Wisconsin His 
death Estimate of his character 121 

LETTER XXXVII. 

A few wayside notes The poet Brainard His first introduction Kip- 
ley s tavern Aunt Lucy The little back-parlor Brainard s office- 
Anecdote The devil s dun The lines on Niagara Other poems 
One that is on the Sea The sea-bird s song Publication of Brainard s 
poems General remarks His death 141 

LETTER XXXVIII. 

My first voyage across the Atlantic England London My tour on 
the continent Return to England Visit to Barley-wood Hannah 
More Inquiries as to books for education Ireland Dublin The 
Giant s Causeway Scotland Scenery of the Lady of the Lake Glas 
gowEdinburgh 161 

LETTER XXXIX. 

Edinburgh The Court of Sessions Cranstoun, Cockburn, Moncrief 
Lockhart Jeffrey Sir Walter Scott 170 

LETTER XL. 

Preparations for a ride Mr. Jeffrey in a rough-and-tumble A glance 
at Edinburgh from Braid s Hill A shower The maids of the mist 
Durable impressions 177 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER XLI. 

William Blackwood The Magazine A dinner at Blackwood s James 
]>;ill;mtyne Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb The General As 
sembly of Scotland Dr. Chalmers 184 

LETTER XLIL 

A dinner at Lockhart s Conversation about Byron Mrs. Lockhart 
Irving Professor Ticknor Music The pibroch and Miss Edgeworth 
Anecdotes of the Indians Southey and second sight Cooper s Pi 
oneers The Pilot Paul Jones Brockden Brown Burns Tricks of 
the press Charles Scott The Welsh parson The Italian base-viol 
player Personal appearance of Sir Walter Departure for London 
Again in Edinburgh in 1832 Last moments of Sir Walter The sym 
pathy of nature 195 

LETTER XLIII. 

Journey to London Eemarks on England, as it appears to the Amer 
ican traveler The climate The landscape Jealousies between the 
English and Americans Plan for securing peace 210 

LETTER XLIV. 

London thirty years ago Its great increase George IV. Ascot Races 
The Duke of Wellington Jacob Perkins and the steam-gun The 
Duke of Sussex Duke of York Hounslow Heath Parliament 
Canning Mackintosli Brougham Palmcrston House of Lords 
Lord Eldon Rhio Rhio Catalini Signorina Garcia Edward Ir 
ving Byron s coffin 222 

LETTER XLV. 

Return to America Removal to Boston Literary position of Boston 
Prominent literary characters The press The pulpit The bar 
New York now the literary metropolis My publication of various 
works The Legendary N. P. Willis The era of Annuals The 
Token The artists engaged in it The authors Its termination. 252 

LETTER XLVI. 

The contributors to the Token N. P. Willis N. Hawthorne Miss 
Francis Mr. Greenwood Mr. Pierpont Charles Sprague Mrs. 
Sigourney Miss Sedgwick Mrs. Osgood, and others Quarrels 
between authors and publishers Anecdotes The publishers 
festival ... 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER XL VII. 

The first of the Parley books Its reception Various publications 
Threatening attack of illness Voyage to Europe Consultation of 
physicians at Paris Sir Benj. Brodie, of London Abercrombie, of 
Edinburgh Return to America Residence in the country Prosecu 
tion of my literary labors Footing up the account Annoyances of 
authorship Letter to the New York Daily Times 279 



LETTER XLVIII. 

Republication of Parley s Tales in London Mr. Tegg s operations 
Imitated by other publishers Peter Parley Martin Letter to Mr. 
Darton An edition of the false Parleys in America The conse 
quences 292, 

LETTER XLIX. 

Objections to the Parley books My theory as to books for children 
Attempt in England to revive the old nursery books Mr. Felix Sum 
merly Hallowell s Nursery Rhymes of England Dialogue between 
Timothy and his mother Mother Goose The Toad s Story Books 
of instruction 808 

LETTER L. 

Journey to the South Anecdotes Reception at New Orleans 822 

LETTER LI. 

Retrospection Confessions The mice among my papers A reckoning 
with the past 333 

LETTER LII. 

Speech at St. Albans Lecture upon Ireland and the Irish The Broad- 
street riot Burning the Charlestown convent My political career 
A. II. Everett The fifteen-gallon Jug The Harrison campaign of 
1840 Hard cider and log cabins General bankruptcy Election 
of Harrison His death Consequences Anecdotes The " Small-tail 
Movement" A model candidate William Cpp, or shingling a 
barn 839 

LETTER LIIL 

International copyright Mr. Dickens s mission His failure and his 
revenge The Boston convention Inquiry into the basis of copyright 
Founded in absolute justice What is property? Grounds upon 



CONTENTS. 7 

which government protects property History of copyright Present 
state of copyright law Policy the basis of local copyright law Inter 
national copyright demanded by justice Scheme for international 
copyright with Great Britain Reasons for it 855 

LETTER LIV. 

Statistics of the book trade Its extension The relative increase of 
American literature, as compared with British literature 379 

LETTER LV. 

Recollections of Washington The House of Representatives Missouri 
compromise Clay, Randolph, and Lowndes The Senate Rufus 
King William Pinkney Mr. Macon Judge Marshall Election of 
John Quincy Adams President Monroe Meeting of Adams and 
Jackson Jackson s administration Clay Calhoun Webster An 
ecdotes 393 

LETTER LVL 

London and Paris compared Paris thirty years ago Lcuis XVIII. 
The Parisians Garden of the Tuileries Washington Irving Mr. 
Warden, the American consul Societe Philomatique Baron Larrey 
Geoft roy St. Hilaire The Institute Arngo Lamarck Gay-Lussac 
Cuvier Lacroix Laplace Laennec Dupuy tren Talma Made 
moiselle Mars 437 

LETTER LVIL 

Death of Louis XVIII. Charles X. The " Three Glorious Days" 
Louis Philippe The revolution of February, 1848 449 

LETTER LVIIL 

Events which immediately followed the revolution Scenes in the streets 
of Paris Anxiety of strangers Proceedings of the Americans Ad 
dress to the Provisional Government Reply of M. Arago Procession 
in the streets Inauguration of the republic Funeral of the victims 
Presentation of flags Conspiracy of the 15th of May Insurrection of 
June Adoption of the constitution Louis Napoleon President. 471 

LETTER LIX. 

The duties of a consul Pursuit of a missing family Paying for expe 
rience .. 480 



O CONTENTS. 

LETTER LX. 

Character of the French republic Its contrast with the American re 
public Aspect of the government in France Louis Napoleon s ambi 
tious designs He flatters the army Spreads rumors of socialist plots 
Divisions in the National Assembly A levee at the Ely see The 
Coup d Etat Character of this act Napoleon s government Feel 
ings of the people 489 

LETTER LXI. 

Meeting of Americans in Paris to commemorate the death of Clay and 
Webster Termination of my consular duties Character of the French 
nation The " black-coat" circular 504 

LETTER LXII. 
Visit to Italy Florence Rome Naples 521 

LETTER LXIII. 

Leave-taking Improvement everywhere In science Geology, chem 
istry, agriculture, manufactures, astronomy, navigation, the domestic 
arts Anthracite coal Traveling Painting Daguerreotypes The 
Electric Telegraph Moral progress In foreign countries : in the Uni 
ted States 530 

APPENDIX 537 

INDEX.. .. 554 



RECOLLECTIONS OF A LIFETIME. 



LETTER XXXI. 

The Hartford Contention Its Origin Testimony of Noah "Webster Oath 
of Roger M. Sherman Gathering of the Convention Doings of Democ 
racy thereupon Physiognomy of the Convention Sketches of some of the 
Members ColonelJessup Democracy in the Streets Report of the Con 
vention Reception of the Doings of the Convention by Madison and 
his Party Its Effect and Example Comparison of the Hartford Con 
vention with the Nullifiers The Union forever. 

MY DEAR ****** 

I come now to the " Hartford Convention." Me- 
thinks I hear you remark, with an aspect of dismay 
are you not venturing into deep water in treating of 
such a subject, generally regarded as an historical 
abyss, in which much may be lost and nothing can 
be gained ? 

Well, my friend, suppose you do ask this is it 
really a good reason why I should not tell what I have 
seen, what I know, what I believe, in relation to it? 
The Hartford Convention was in my time : my uncle, 
Chauncey Goodrich, was one of its prominent mem 
bers. I was then living with him ;* I saw all the 

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

1* 



10 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

persons constituting that famous body, at his house ; 
the image and superscription of the most distinguish 
ed individuals are fresh in my recollection. I remem 
ber the hue and aspect of the political atmosphere, 
then and there. Why should I not tell these things ? 
You may, perhaps, entertain the common notion that 
the Hartford Convention was a congregation of con 
spirators traitors and I shall invite you to abandon 
this delusion. It may not be pleasant to hear your 
cherished opinions controverted : it is always a little 
disagreeable to receive truth, which requires us to sac 
rifice something of our self-esteem, by giving up errors 
which have become part of our mental constitution. 
But certainly you will not silence me on any such nar 
row ground as this. The time has come when one 
may speak freely on this subject, and surely without 
offense. Forty years have passed since the gathering 
of that far-famed body. Every member of it is dead. 
I will not insist that you shall say nothing of them 
which is not good ; but I claim the privilege of say 
ing of them what I know to be true. I am sure you 
will listen to me patiently, if not approvingly. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 11 

You may perhaps suppose that there is but one 
opinion in the country as to the character of that as 
sembly ; but let me observe that there are two opin 
ions upon the subject, and if one is unfavorable, the 
other is diametrically opposite. In New England, 
the memories of those who constituted the Conven 
tion are held in reverence and esteem, by the great 
body of their fellow-citizens, including a large ma 
jority of those whose opinions are of weight and 
value, and this has been so from the beginning. 

I have said that they are now all gathered to their 
fathers. As they have gone down, one by one, to 
their last resting-place, public opinion has pronounced 
sentence upon their lives and characters. I ask your 
attention to the historical fact, that in every instance, 
this has been a eulogy not for talent only, but the 
higher virtues of humanity. Of the twenty-six mem 
bers who constituted the Convention, every one has 
passed to an honored grave. The members of the Hart 
ford Convention were, in effect, chosen by the people, 
at a time of great trouble and alarm, for the purpose 
of devising the ways and means to avert threatening 
impending evils. All felt the necessity of selecting 
persons of the highest wisdom, prudence, and virtue, 
and never was a choice more happily made. Most of 
these men were indeed of that altitude of talent, piety, 
dignity, and patriotism, which partisan pigmies natu 
rally hate, by the inherent antipathy of littleness to 
greatness, and of vice to virtue ; but in New England, 



12 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the enlightened generation among whom they lived, 
estimated them according to their true merits. These 
never believed them to be conspirators ; they .knew, 
indeed, the fact to be otherwise. Even the blinding 
influence of party spirit has never made the better 
class of democrats in New England believe that the 
Convention meditated treason. As to the mass of 
the people, they held and still hold that the Hartford 
Convention was one of the ablest and wisest assem 
blies ever convened in the country. 

I am aware, however, that the prevailing opinion 
in the United States at large has been, and perhaps 
still is, the reverse of this. Out of New England, 
democracy is the dominant party. The war was a 
democratic measure, and the Convention was the 
work of the federalists, who opposed the war. It is, 
doubtless, too much to expect that party spirit will 
exercise candor toward those who brave and baffle 
it at least during the conflict. There were many 
reasons why the Convention was an unpardonable 
sin in the eyes of democracy : it was opposition to 
the war, and that itself was treason : the war was 
attended with defeat, disaster, disgrace, and to turn 
retribution from the heads of the war-makers, it was 
considered politic to charge every miscarriage to the 
war opposers. In short, it was deemed the best way 
for self-preservation, by the democratic leaders, to sink 
the federalists in undying infamy. Hence they per 
sisted in denouncing the Convention as an assembly 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 13 

of conspirators. It is admitted that there was no overt 
act of treason, but it is maintained that there was 
treason in their hearts, the development of which was 
only prevented by the return of peace, and the indig 
nant rebuke of public sentiment. 

The foundation of this tenacious calumny is doubt 
less to be traced to John Quincy Adams, who, hav 
ing lost the confidence of his political associates - 
the federalists of Massachusetts and not being elect 
ed to a second term as Senator of the United States, 
speedily changed his politics, and made a disclosure, 
real or pretended, to Jefferson, in 1808,* to the effect 
that the federalists of the North taking advantage 
of the uneasiness of the people on account of the 
distresses imposed upon them by the embargo were 
meditating a separation from the Union, and an alli 
ance with Great Britain of all things the most likely 
to obtain democratic belief, and to excite democratic 
horror. 

Here was the germ of that clinging scandal against 
New England, which has been perpetuated for forty 
years. It certainly had a respectable voucher at the 
beginning, but its utter want of foundation has long 
since been proved. For about twenty years, however, 
the libel was permitted in secret and of course with 
out contradiction to ferment and expand and work 
itself over the minds of Jefferson and his associates. 

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



-I 4 

14 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

It had created such an impression, that Madison 
when President had only. to be told by an unaccred 
ited foreigner, that he had the secret of a federal plot 
for disunion in Massachusetts, and he at once bought 
it, and paid fifty thousand dollars for it out of the 
public treasury.* No doubt he really expected to find 
that he had a rope round the necks of half the feder 
alists in New England. He soon discovered, however, 
that the biter was bit. John Henry duped the Presi 
dent, who seized the hook, because it was baited with 
suspicions, the seeds of which John Q. Adams had 
furnished some years before. 

It was not till the year 1828, when that person was 
a candidate for the presidency a second time, that the 
whole facts in regard to this calumny were developed. 
He was then called seriously to account, f and such 



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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 15 

was the effect, that from that time he was silent. In 
vain did he attempt to furnish evidence of a plausible 
foundation for his story. He referred to various wit 
nesses, but it was pointedly remarked that all, save 
one,* were dead. Yet these even seemed to rise up 

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

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

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

* This individual was William Plumer, a Senator from New Hamp 
shire, who stated that in 1808 and 1804, he was himself in favor of 



16 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and speak from their very graves. Sons, brothers, rel 
atives, associates including some of the first men in 
the United States indignantly denied, in behalf of 
those for whom they had a right to speak, the impu 
tations thus cast upon them. No fair-minded man 
can read the discussion now, and fail to see that Mr. 
Adams either invented his story which, however, 
is by no means to be presumed or that, according 
to the peculiar structure of his mind, having become 
hostile to the federal leaders in Massachusetts, he 
really thought he saw evidences of mischief in events 
which, fairly viewed, furnished not the slightest 
ground pven for suspicion. 

Thus, as I think, this foundation, this beginning of 
the idea that the Hartford Convention originated in 
treasonable designs on the part of its members, is 
shown to be absolutely groundless. Not one particle 
of evidence, calculated to satisfy an honest inquirer 
after truth, has ever been adduced to sustain the 
charge. The investigation has been in the highest 
degree inquisitorial : it was deemed vital to the in 
terests of the democratic party to prove, to estab 
lish this allegation of treason. Public documents, 
newspaper articles, private correspondence, personal 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 17 

intercourse all have been subjected to the rack 
and the thumb-screw. The question has been 
pushed to the conscience of an individual member 
of the Convention, and he has been called to testify, 
on oath, as to the origin and intentions of that as 
sembly. Its journal, declared to contain every act, 
every motion, every suggestion, that took place, 
has been published ; and now after forty years 
of discussion, thus urged by hostile parties sober 
history is compelled to say, that not a public docu 
ment, not a private letter, not a speech, not an act, 
secret or open, has been brought to light, which 
proves, or tends to prove, the treasonable origin of 
the Hartford Convention ! 

The charge of treason is a serious one : so far 
as it may have a just foundation, it is fatal to per 
sonal character : it is a stain upon the State to which 
it attaches : it is a discredit to human nature, espe 
cially in a country like ours, and in a case like that 
which we are discussing. It should therefore not be 
made surely it should not be maintained unless 
upon positive, undeniable proof. It should not rest 
for its defense upon partisan malice, or that inhe 
rent littleness which teaches base minds to accept 
suspicion as conclusive evidence of what they be 
lieve, only because it coincides with their evil 
thoughts. While, therefore, there seems to be no 
proof of the alleged treasonable origin of the Hart 
ford Convention I am able to do more than can- 



18 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

dor demands, and I here present you with direct 
testimony from a source that will not be impugned 
or discredited, showing that the said Convention origi 
nated with the people and from the circumstances of 
the times, and not with conspirators, and that its ob 
jects were just, proper, patriotic. I shall hereafter 
call upon you to admit, that the proceedings of the 
Convention were in accordance with this its lawful 
and laudable origin. 

I now ask your candid attention to the following 
statement, made some years after the Convention, 
by Noah Webster* a man perhaps as universally 

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

Mr. Webster, as is well known, was a native of Hartford, Conn., and 
was born in Oct. 1758. Among his classmates at Yale College were Joel 
Barlow, Oliver Wolcott, Uriah Tracy, Zepheniah Swift, and other meu 
of eminence. His life was spent in various literary pursuits. I knew 
him well, and must mention an incident respecting him, still fresh in 
my memory. In the summer of 1824, 1 was in Paris, and staying at the 
Hotel Montmorency. One morning, at an early hour, I entered the court 
of the hotel, and on the opposite side, I saw a tall, slender form, with a 
black coat, black small- clothes, black silk stockings, moving back and 
forth, with its hands behind it, and evidently in a state of meditation. 
It was a curious, quaint, Connecticut looking apparition, strangely in 
contrast to the prevailing forms and aspects in this gay metropolis. I 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 19 

known and esteemed as any other in our history. 
He testifies to facts within his own knowledge, and 
surely no one will deny that, to this extent, he is a 
competent and credible -witness. 

Few transactions of the federalists, during the early periods 
of our government, excited so much the angry passions of their 
opposers as the Hartford Convention so called during the 
presidency of Mr. Madison. As I was present at the first meet 
ing of the gentlemen who suggested such a convention ; as I 
was a member of the House of Representatives in Massachusetts 
when the resolve was passed for appointing the delegates, I ad 
vocated that re?olve ; and further, as I have copies of the doc 
uments, which no other person may have preserved, it seems to 
be incumbent on me to present to the public the real facts in 
regard to the origin of the measure, which have been vilely fal 
sified and misrepresented. 

After the War of 1812 had continued two years, our public 
affairs were reduced to a deplorable condition. The troops of 
the United States, intended for defending the seacoast, had been 
withdrawn to carry on the war in Canada ; a British squadron 
was stationed in the Sound to prevent the escape of a frigate 
from the harbor of New London, and to intercept our coasting- 
trade ; one town in Maine was in possession of the British 
forces ; the banks south of New England had all suspended the 
payment of specie; our shipping lay in our harbors, embargoed, 
dismantled, and perishing; the treasury of the United States 
was exhausted to the last cent ; and a general gloom was spread 
over the country. 

In this condition of affairs, a number of gentlemen, in North- 
said to myself " If it were possible, I should say that was Noah Web 
ster !" I went up to him, and found it was indeed he. At the ago 
of sixty-six, he had come to Europe to perfect his Dictionary ! It 
is interesting to know that such tenacity of purpose, such persistency, 
such courage, were combined with all the refined and amiable qual 
ities which dignify and embellish domestic and private life. 



20 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ampton, in Massachusetts, after consultation, determined to in 
vite some of the principal inhabitants of the three counties on 
the river, formerly composing the old county of Hampshire, to 
meet and consider whether any measure could be taken to arrest 
the continuance of the war, and provide for the public safety. 
In pursuance of this determination, a circular letter was ad 
dressed to several gentlemen in the three counties, requesting 
them to meet at Northampton. The following is a copy of tho 
letter : 

NOETHAMPTON, Jan. 5, 1814. 

Sir: In consequence of the alarming state of our public affairs, and 
the doubts which have existed as to the correct course to be pursued 
by the friends of peace, it has been thought advisable by a number of 
gentlemen in this vicinity, who have consulted together on the subject, 
that a meeting should be called of some few of the most discreet and 
intelligent inhabitants of the old county of Hampshire, for the purpose 
of a free and dispassionate discussion touching our public concerns. 
The legislature will soon be in session, and would probably be gratified 
with a knowledge of the feelings and wishes of the people ; and should 
the gentlemen who may be assembled recommend any course to be pur 
sued by our fellow-citizens, for the more distinct expression of the pub 
lic sentiment, it is necessary the proposed meeting should be called a* 
an early day. 

We have therefore ventured to propose that it should be held at Col. 
Chapman s, in this town, on Wednesday, the 19th day of January cur 
rent, at 12 o clock in the forenoon, and earnestly request your attend 
ance at the above time and place for the purpose before stated. 
With much respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

JOSEPH LYMAN. 

In compliance with the request in this letter, several gentle 
men met at Northampton, on the day appointed, and after a free 
conversation on the subject of public affairs, agreed to send to 
the several towns in the three counties on the river, the follow 
ing circular address : 

Sir: The multiplied evils in which the United States have been in 
volved by the measures of the late and present administrations, are 
subjects of general complaint, and in the opinion of our wisest states 
men call for some effectual remedy. His excellency, the Governor of 
the Commonwealth, in his address to the General Court, at the last and 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTTCAL, ETC. 21 

present session, has stated, in temperate, but clear and decided lan 
guage, his opinion of the injustice of the present war, and intimated 
that measures ought to be adopted by the legislature to bring it to a 
speedy close. He also calls the attention of the legislature to some 
measures of the general government, which are believed to be uncon 
stitutional. In all the measures of the general government, the peo 
ple of the United States have a common concern, but there are some 
laws and regulations, which call more particularly for the attention of 
the Northern States, and are deeply interesting to the people of this 
Commonwealth. Feeling this interest, as it respects the present and 
future generations, a number of gentlemen from various towns in the 
old county of Hampshire, have met and conferred on the subject, and 
upon full conviction that the evils we suffer are not wholly of a tempo 
rary nature, springing from the war, but some of them of a permanent 
character, resulting from a perverse construction of the Constitution of 
the United States, we have thought it a duty we owe to our country, to 
invite the attention of the good people of the counties of Hampshire, 
Hampden, and Franklin, to the radical causes of these evils. 

We know indeed that a negotiation for peace has been recently set 
on foot, and peace will remove many public evils. It is an event we 
ardently desire. But when we consider how often the people of the 
country have been disappointed in their expectations of peace, and of 
wise measures ; and when we consider the terms which our adminis 
tration has hitherto demanded, some of which, it is certain, can not be 
obtained, and some of which, in the opinion of able statesmen, ought 
not to be insisted upon, we confess our hopes of a speedy peace are 
not very sanguine. 

But still, a very serious question occurs, whether, without an amend 
ment of the Federal Constitution, the northern and commercial States 
can enjoy the advantages to which their wealth, strength, and white 
population justly entitle them. By means of the representation of 
slaves, the Southern States have an influence in our national councils 
altogether disproportionate to their wealth, strength, and resources ; and 
we presume it to be a fact capable of demonstration, that for about twen 
ty years past the United States have been governed by a representation 
of about two-fifths of the actual property of the country. 

In addition to this, the creation of new States in the South, and out 
of the original limits of the United States, has increased the southern 
interest, which has appeared so hostile to the peace and commercial 
prosperity of the Northern States. This power assumed by Congress 
of bringing into the Union new States, not comprehended within the 
territory of the United States at the time of the federal compact, is 
deemed arbitrary, unjust, and dangerous, and a direct infringement of 
the Constitution. This is a power which may hereafter be extended, and 
the evil will not cease with the establishment of peace. We would ask, 
then, ought the Northern States to acquiesce in the exercise of this 



22 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

power ? To what consequences would it lead ? How can the people of 
the Northern States answer to themselves and to their posterity for an 
acquiescence in the exercise of this power, that augments an influence 
already destructive of our prosperity, and will in time annihilate the 
best interests of the northern people ? 

There are other measures of the general government, which, we ap 
prehend, ought to excite serious alarm. The power assumed to lay a 
permanent embargo appears not to be constitutional, but an encroach 
ment on the rights of our citizens, which calls for decided opposition. 
It is a power, we believe, never before exercised by a commercial na 
tion ; and how can the Northern States, which are habitually commer 
cial, and whose active foreign trade is so necessarily connected with the 
interest of the farmer and mechanic, sleep in tranquillity under such a 
violent infringement of their rights? But this is not all. The late act 
imposing an embargo is subversive of the first principles of civil lib 
erty. The trade coastwise between different ports in the same State is 
arbitrarily and unconstitutionally prohibited, and the subordinate of 
fices of government are vested with powers altogether inconsistent with 
our republican institutions. It arms the President and his agents with 
complete control of persons and property, and authorizes the employ 
ment of military force to carry its extraordinary provisions into execu 
tion. 

We forbear to enumerate all the measures of the federal government 
which we consider as violations of the Constitution, and encroachments 
upon the rights of the people, and which bear particularly hard upon 
the commercial people of the North. But we would invite our fellow- 
citizens to consider whether peace will remedy our public evils, without 
some amendments of the Constitution, which shall secure to the North 
ern States their due weight and influence in our national councils. 

The Northern States acceded to the representation of slaves as a mat 
ter of compromise, upon the express stipulation in the Constitution that 
they should be protected in the enjoyment of their commercial rights. 
These stipulations have been repeatedly violated ; and it can not be ex 
pected that the Northern States should be willing to bear their portion 
of the burdens of the federal government without enjoying the benefits 
stipulated. 

If our fellow-citizens should concur with us in opinion, we would 
suggest whether it would not be expedient for the people in town meet 
ings to address memorials to the General Court, at their present session, 
petitioning that honorable body to propose a convention of all the North 
ern and commercial States, by delegates to be appointed by their re 
spective legislatures, to consult upon measures in concert, for procuring 
such alterations in the federal Constitution as will give to the Northern 
States a due proportion of representation, and secure them from the fu 
ture exercise of powers injurious to their commercial interests ; or if the 
General Court shall see fit, that they should pursue such other course, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 23 

&t> they, in their wisdom, shall deem best calculated to effect these ob 
jects. The measure is of such magnitude, that we apprehend a concert 
of States will be useful and even necessary to procure the amendments 
proposed ; and should the people of the several States concur in this 
opinion, it would be expedient to act on the subject without delay. 

\Yerequest you, sir, to consult with your friends on the subject, and, 
if it should be thought advisable, to lay this communication before the 
people of your town. 

In behalf, and by direction of the gentlemen assembled, 

JOSEPH LTMAN, Chairman. 

In compliance with the request and suggestions in this circu 
lar, many town meetings were held, and with great unanimity, 
addresses and memorials were voted to be presented to the Gen 
eral Court, stating the sufferings of the country in consequence 
of the embargo, the war, and arbitrary restrictions on our coast 
ing trade, with the violations of our constitutional rights, and 
requesting the legislature to take measures for obtaining redress, 
either by a convention of delegates from the Northern and com 
mercial States, or by such other measures as they should judge 
to be expedient. 

These addresses and memorials were transmitted to the Gen 
eral Court then in session, but as commissioners had been sent 
to Europe for the purpose of negotiating a treaty of peace, it 
was judged advisable not to have any action upon them till the 
result of the negotiation should be known. But during the fol 
lowing summer, no news of peace arrived ; and the distresses of 
the country increasing, and the seacoast remaining defenseless, 
Governor Strong summoned a special meeting of the legislature 
in October, in which the petitions of the towns were taken into 
consideration, and a resolve was passed appointing delegates to 
a convention to be held in Hartford. The subsequent history 
of that convention is known by their report. 

The measure of resorting to a convention for the purpose of 
arresting the evils of a bad administration, roused the jealousy 
of the advocates of the war, and called forth the bitterest invec 
tives. The convention was represented as a treasonable combi 
nation, originating in Boston, for the purpose of dissolving tho 



24 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Union. But citizens of Boston had no concern in originating 
the proposal for a convention ; it was wholly the project of the 
people in old Hampshire county as respectable and patriotic 
republicans as ever trod the soil of a free country. The citizens 
who first assembled in Northampton, convened under the 
authority of the Mil of rights, which declares that the people 
have a right to meet in a peaceable manner and consult for 
the public safety. The citizens had the same right then to 
meet in convention as they have now ; the distresses of the 
country demanded extraordinary measures for redress; the 
thought of dissolving the Union never entered into the head of 
any of the projectors, or of the members of the Convention ; 
the gentlemen who composed it, for talents and patriotism have 
never been surpassed by any assembly in the United States, and 
beyond a question the appointment of the Hartford Convention 
had a very favorable effect in hastening the conclusion of a treaty 
of peace. 

All the reports which have been circulated respecting the 
evil designs of that Convention, I know to be the foulest mis 
representations. Indeed, respecting the views of the disciples 
of Washington and the supporters of his policy, many, and prob 
ably most of the people of the United States in this generation, 
are made to believe far more falsehood than truth. I speak of 
facts within my own personal knowledge. We may well say 
with the prophet " Truth is fallen in the street, and equity can 
not enter." Party spirit produces an unwholesome zeal to de 
preciate one class of men for the purpose of exalting another. It 
becomes rampant in propagating slander, which engenders con 
tempt for personal worth and superior excellence ; it blunts the 
sensibility of men to injured reputation ; impairs a sense of 
honor ; banishes the charities of life ; debases the moral sense of 
the community ; weakens the motives that prompt men to aim 
at high attainments and patriotic achievements ; degrades na 
tional character, and exposes it to the scorn of the civilized 
world. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIGAL, ETC. 25 

Such is the testimony direct, positive, documen 
tary of ISToah Webster, as to the origin of the Hart 
ford Convention.* This, be it remembered, is evidence 
furnished by one outside of that assembly : let me 
now present you with the testimony of Roger Minot 
Sherman a member of that body, and a worthy 
bearer of one of the most honored names in Ameri 
can history. 

[From the Norwalk Gazette, January, 1831.] 
To the Editor of the Gazette: 

Previous to the trial of Whitman Mead, on the charge of libel, 
of which you gave a brief notice in your last number, the pris- 

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

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

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

VOL. II. 2 



26 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

oner moved the Court for a subpoena, to Mr. Sherman, of Fair- 
field, Mr. Goddard, of Norwich, and others, as witnesses hi 
his behalf. It was allowed by the Court, and was served on 
Mr. Sherman, but could not be, seasonably, on Mr. Goddard, on 
account of the lateness of his application. One of the articles 
charged as libellous, compared a recent political meeting at Hart 
ford with the Hartford Convention, and the prisoner supposed 
that a full development of the proceedings of that Convention 
would furnish a legal vindication of the article in question. With 
a view to such development, he wished the testimony of the gen 
tlemen above named. At the instance of the prisoner, Mr. Sher 
man testified on the trial of the case, and the inclosed paper con 
tains his testimony, exact in substance, and very nearly in his 
language which you are at liberty to publish. [The trial took 
place at Fairfield, Connecticut, the place of Mr. Sherman s resi 
dence, in January, 1831.J 

State of Connecticut, ) 
vs. > 

Whitman Mead. J lion. Roger Minot Sliermarfs Testimony. 

Question by the Prisoner. What was the nature and object of the 
Hartford Convention ? 

Answer. I was a member of that Convention. It met on the 15th of 
December, 1814. The United States were then at war with Great Brit 
ain. They had, in their forts and armies, twenty-seven thousand ef 
fective men : of these about thirteen hundred only were employed in 
New England. The war had been in operation two years and a half. 
We had a seacoast of almost seven hundred miles to protect, and with 
the exception of about thirteen hundred men, had the aid of no mili 
tary force from the United States. By internal taxes, all others having 
become unproductive by reason of the war, the national government 
raised large sums from the people within our territory. Direct taxation 
was the only resource of the State governments, and this had been car 
ried to as great an extreme in Connecticut as could be sustained. The 
banks, which furnished all our currency, either withheld their accom 
modations or stopped payment, and the people were embarrassed by a 
general stagnation of business. Powerful fleets and armies lay off our 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 2/ 

coasts, and were making or threatening invasions in all parts of our de 
fenseless sea-board. Commodore Decatur, with his squadron, had taken 
refuge in the waters of Connecticut, and attracted a powerful concentra 
tion of the enemy s forces on our borders. Castine, if I mistake not, 
and some other parts of the territory of Massachusetts, had fallen into 
the hands of the British. The New England States, under all these dis 
advantages, were obliged to protect themselves by their own militia, at 
their own expense. The expenses of Connecticut greatly exceeded our 
resources. The duration of the war could not be foreseen, and oui 
credit was exhausted. Attempts were made to borrow money, but with 
out any adequate success. The national Constitution prohibited the 
emission of bills of credit. In this extremity, while the legislature was 
in session at New Haven, in October, 1814, a communication was re 
ceived from the legislature of Massachusetts, proposing a convention of 
delegates from the New England States, to consult on the adoption of 
measures for their common safety. This communication was referred 
to a joint committee of both houses. General Henry Champion and 
myself were appointed from the Upper House. He was chairman of the 
committee. I drew the report, recommending a compliance with the 
proposal made by the State of Massachusetts, and assigning the reasons 
at length. This report was published by order of the legislature, and 
extensively circulated in the newspapers of this and other States. Seven 
delegates were appointed to represent the Convention. As soon as it 
was organized, Mr. Otis, a delegate from Massachusetts, proposed, after 
some prefatory remarks, that it should be recommended to our several 
legislatures to present a petition to the Congress of the United States, 
praying that they would consent that the New England States, or so 
many of them as should agree together for that purpose, might unite 
in defending themselves against the public enemy ; that so much of the 
national revenue as should be collected in these States, should be ap 
propriated to the expense of that defense ; that the amount so appro 
priated should be credited to the United States ; and that the United 
States should agree to pay whatever should be expended beyond that 
amount. This proposal was approved by the Convention. The same 
views had been stated here before the meeting of the delegates. By 
the Constitution of the United States, no such compact for mutual de 
fense could be formed, without the consent of Congress. By thus aug 
menting our immediate resources, and obtaining the national guaranty 
that the expenses of the war, to be increased by the States thus uniting, 
should be ultimately paid out of the national treasury, it was supposed 
that our credit, as well as our present pecuniary resources, would be 
enhanced. A debate was had in the Convention as to certain amend 
ments to the Constitution of the United States, to be proposed for adop 
tion by the State legislatures. One was, that Congress should not have 
power to declare war without the concurrence of two-thirds of both 
houses. I can not, from recollection, detail the proposed amendments ; 



28 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

but they appear on the printed report of the Convention, of which I 
have a copy at my office, which the prisoner may use on the trial, if he 
pleases. A committee, of whom I was one, was appointed by the Con 
vention to draw up that report to present to their respective legislatures. 
The proposal of Mr. Otis was adopted with little variation. This report 
was immediately printed by order of the Convention, and was circulated 
throughout the country. 

Among other things, as may be seen by that report, it was recom 
mended to the legislatures represented in the Convention, to adopt 
measures to protect their citizens from such conscriptions or impress 
ments as were not authorized by the Constitution of the United States. 
This resolution originated from a project of the then Secretary of War, 
which I believe was not adopted by Congress. The secretary of the 
Convention kept a journal of their proceedings. This, as I understand, 
was deposited by Mr. Cabot, the President, in the office of the Secretary 
of State of Massachusetts, and a copy transmitted to Washington, and 
lodged in the office of the Secretary of State of the United States. It 
was afterward published in certain newspapers. I saw it in the Ameri 
can Mercury, a newspaper published at Plartford, by Mr. Babcock. The 
legislatures of Massachusetts and Connecticut, pursuant to the recom 
mendation of the Convention, sent a delegation to Washington, to pre 
sent their respective petitions to the Congress of the United States. The 
gentlemen sent from Connecticut were Mr. Terry, Mr. Goddard, and, I 
think, Mr. Dwight. On their arrival, the Treaty of Peace, concluded at 
Ghent, reached the national government, and further measures became 
unnecessary. 

This is an outline of the origin and proceedings of the Hartford Con 
vention. There was not, according to my best recollection, a single mo 
tion, resolution, or subject of debate, but what appears in the printed 
journal or report. If any further particulars are requested, I will state 
them. 

Question by tlie Prisoner. Was it not an object of the Convention to 
embarrass and paralyze the government of the United States in the 
prosecution of the war with Great Britain ? 

Answer. It was not. Nothing of the kind was done or entertained 
by the Convention, or, so far as I know or believe, by those by whom it 
was originated. On the contrary, its principal object was a more effectual 
co-operation in that war, as to the defense of the New England States. 

Question by the Prisoner. Has not that Convention been generally re 
puted in the United States to be treasonable ? 

Answer. Much has been said and published to that effect, but with 
out the least foundation. I believe I know their proceedings perfectly ; 
and that every measure, done or proposed, has been published, to the 
world. No one act has ever been pointed out, to my knowledge, as in 
consistent with their obligations to the United States, nor was any such 
act ever contemplated by them. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTTCAL, ETC. 29 

Here is the testimony of a great and good man a 
member of the Convention under oath. Who will 
venture to gainsay it ? Certainly no individual who 
feels the claims of truth, and appreciates the requi 
sitions of logic, unless he is armed with proofs, clear, 
indisputable, demonstrative ; he must bring facts 
sufficient to destroy the direct testimony of such 
men as Noah Webster and Eoger M. Sherman, and, 
indeed, a cloud of other witnesses of equal weight 
and responsibility. 

It seems to me that every candid mind, upon these 
statements, will be constrained to admit that the Con 
vention thus originated in public necessity, and noti 
treason ; I think the additional evidence I am about 
to present will satisfy you that their proceedings were 
in harmony with the wise and worthy motives that 
brought the members together. 

If you look into certain partisan histories of the 
times, you might be led to suppose that on the day 
of the gathering of the Convention at Hartford the 
15th of December, 1814 the heavens and the earth 
were clothed in black ; that the public mind was filled 
with universal gloom ; that the bells tremulous with 
horror tolled in funereal chimes ; that the flag of the 
country everywhere was at half-mast ; and that the 
whole American army marched with muffled drums 
and inverted arms, and all this in token of the qua 
king terror of the public mind, at the ominous gath- 
eri ng of a committee of some two dozen mild, respect- 



30 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

able, gray-haired old gentlemen, mostly appointed 
bj the legislatures of Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
and Rhode Island, to investigate and report upon 
the state of public affairs ! Such, I recollect, was the 
picture of Hartford, that was circulated over the 
country by the democratic papers* remote from the 

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 81 

scene of action. The whole is very well reflected in 
the inspired pages of Charles Jared Ingersoll,* who 
may be considered as the Jeremiah of democracy, for 
this period of our history. He seems to have regarded 
himself as specially raised up to prophesy against 
New England. " The sin of Judah" that is, of fed 
eralism he has written " with a pen of iron," though 
not "with the point of a diamond." 

Now I perfectly well remember the day of the 
gathering of the Convention.! There was in the city 

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

"We think it a duty we owe to our country, to publish annually the 
names of those who composed the Hartford Convention, that they may 
never be forgotten." Here follows a list of the names. 

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

* " Historical Sketch of the Second War between the United States and 
G-reat Britain, by Charles Jared Ingersoll." 

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

From Massachusetts George . Cabot, Nathan* Dane, William Pres- 
cott, Harrison, Gray Otis, Timothy Bigelow, Joshua .Thomas, Samuel 
Sumnei* Wilde, Joseph Lyman, Stephen "Longfellow, Jr., Daniel Waldo, 
HodijiihJ3aylies, George Bliss. 

From Connecticut Chauucey Goodrich, John Treadwell, James Hill- 
house, Zephaniah" Swift, Nathaniel Smith, Calvin Goddard, Roger M. 
Sherman. 



32 

a small squad of United States recruits I think some 
two dozen in number. These, assisted no doubt by 
others, ran up the American flag at their rendezvous, 
with the British flag at half-mast, beneath it. They 
also these two dozen, more or less marched through 
the streets with reversed arms and muffled drums. A 
few persons, I believe, got hold of the bell-rope of 
the Baptist meeting-house, and rang a funereal chime. 
All this chiefly the work of the rabble was the 
scoff of the great body of the people ; nevertheless, 
it was reported in the democratic papers abroad, as 
if some black and mighty portent had signalized the 
arrival of the Convention. The simple truth was, 
that the six and twenty gray-haired men legislators, 
senators, judges honored for long years of service 
came quietly into town, and were welcomed by the 
mass of the citizens, according to their standing and 
their mission, with respect, esteem, and confidence. 

Let us take a sketch of what followed from the 
prophet Jared : " On the 15th of December, 1814, 
with excited sentiments of apprehension, mingled 
approval and derision, the inhabitants of Hartford 
awaited the nefandous Convention, which takes its 
bad name from that quiet town." " One of their 
number, Chauncey Goodrich, was mayor of Hartford, 
by whose arrangements ike Convention was .disposed of 

From Rhode Island Daniel* Lyman, jSainuel -Ward, Ed ward Man- 
ton, Benjamin-Hazard. ; # .%:-. 
From New Hampshire Benjamin West, Mills Olcott. 
From Vermont William Hall, Jr. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 33 

in the retirement of the second story of an isolated stone 
"building, in which the little State Senate or Council sat, 
when, in rotation, Hartford was the seat of government. 
Locking themselves up stairs, there, in awfully obscure 
concealment, for three weeks, twice every day, except Sun 
day, Christmas and New Year*s-day, they were continu 
ally in conclave," 11 &c. 

"What an. accumulation of horrors ! Tell me, my 
dear C . . . ., does not your hair bristle at the grisly 
picture ? It indeed sounds like a tale of the Inqui 
sition. What a pity it is to spoil it ! And yet, this 
infernal Rembrandt coloring this violent contrast of 
light and shade is wholly imaginary. The Con 
vention met in the council-chamber of the State- 
house, which the gazetteers tell us and tell us truly 
is a very handsome building. It is in the center 
of the city, and the most prominent edifice in the 
place. The room in which they met is still the 
senate-chamber, and is neither isolated nor obscure : 
on the contrary, it is one of the best and most con 
spicuous rooms in the building : at the time, it was 
probably the finest public hall in the State.* 

It is true that the Convention sat with closed doors, 
as probably every similar convention had done be- 

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

2* 



34: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

fore. The State Council in whose room the Con 
vention met had furnished this example from time 
immemorial. The General Assembly of Connecticut 
had always done the same, at periods of difficulty and 
danger. The Convention that framed the Constitu 
tion of the United States had done likewise. The 
Continental Congress did the same, through the whole 
period of the war of the Revolution. A great part 
of the executive business of the United States Sen 
ate is now done in secret session, and is never 
known to the public. The archives of the State De 
partment, at Washington, are under the lock and key 
of the Executive. The legislature of every State has 
the capacity to hold secret sessions, and nobody ques 
tions their right to exercise it according to their dis 
cretion. Both houses of Congress discussed, resolved 
upon, and voted the war of 1812, in secret session ! 
And yet, what was useful, proper, and of good re 
took him into the room. The stranger looked around with much curi 
osity, and presently he saw Stuart s likeness of Washington for in 
this chamber is one of the most celebrated of the full-length portraits 
of the Father of his Country. 

The stranger started. "And was this picture here, when the Con 
vention held its sittings?" said he. 

" Yes, certainly," said the secretary. 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 35 

port in all other similar bodies, was "nefandous" in 
the Hartford Convention ! So saith Jared, the his 
torian, whose account seems to consist largely of the 
prejudices and exaggerations of the democratic pa 
pers of that day raked together in one undigested 
heap. As such it is amusing nay, instructive but 
alas, how is history degraded, when such a mass of 
incongruities assumes its sacred name ! 

I have told you that I was at this time living with 
my uncle, Chauncey Goodrich then a member of the 
Convention. His house, of course, became the fre 
quent rendezvous of the other members, and here I 
often saw them. On one occasion, in the evening, 
they all met at his house, by invitation the only 
instance in which they partook of any similar festiv 
ity. At this time, the other persons present, so far 
as I recollect, were William Coleman,* editor of the 

* William Coleman was a native of Massachusetts, and was born in 
1766. He studied law, and settled at Greenfield about 1794, where he 
erected a house, noted for its architectural beauty. Here he also edited 
a newspaper. Buckingham vol. ii. p. 319 says that he was remarkable 
for his vigor in skating, having passed in one evening from near Green 
field to Northampton, a distance of about twenty miles. As I recol 
lect him, he was a large man, of robust appearance, with a vigorous and 
manly countenance. His nose was bony and prominent, and in con 
nection with a strongly denned brow, gave his face an expression of 
vigor and sagacity. His eye was gray, his hair light brown, and at the 
time I speak of, was slightly grizzled. Pie removed to New York, where 
he published some law books, and in 1801 (Nov. 16), founded the Eve 
ning Post, which became a leading federal paper, and so continued for 
many years. Its columns were distinguished for ability, as well in its 
political discussions as its literary essays and criticisms. In general, ho 
set a good example of dignity of style and gentlemanly decorum, though 
1m was drawn into some violent altercations with Cheetham and Duane. 
It is sufficient eulogy of Mr. Coleman to say that he enjoyed the con- 



36 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

New York Evening Post, Theodore Dwight, sec 
retary of the Convention, my cousin, Elizur Good 
rich, now of Hartford, and myself. The majority of 
the members were aged men, and marked not only 
with the gravity of years, but of the positions which 
they held in society for some of them had been gov 
ernors, some senators, some judges. I do not recol 
lect ever to have seen an assemblage of more true 
dignity in aspect, manner, and speech. They were 
dressed, on the evening in question, somewhat in 
the ancient costume black coats, black silk waist 
coats, black breeches, black silk stockings, black 
shoes. I wonder that this universal black has not 
been put into the indictment against them ! Perhaps 
the silvery- whiteness of their heads for the majority 
were past fifty, several past sixty may have pleaded 
in extenuation of this sinister complexion of their dress. 
The most imposing man among them, in personal 
appearance, was George Cabot,* the president. He 
was over six feet in height, broad-shouldered, and of 
a manly step. His hair was white? for he was past 
sixty his eye blue, his complexion slightly florid. He 
seemed to me like Washington as if the great man, 

fidence of Hamilton, King, Jay, and other notabilities of that day, and 
that he made the Evening Post worthy of the editorial successorship of 
Leggett (1829) and of Bryant (1836). 

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













UEOROE CABOT. Vol. 2, p. 3ti. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 37 

as painted by Stuart, had walked out of the canvas, 
and lived and breathed among us. He was, in fact, 
Washingtonian in his whole air and bearing, as was 
proper for one who was Washington s friend, and 
who had drunk deep at the same fountain that of 
the Revolution of the spirit of truth, honor, and 
patriotism. In aspect and general appearance, he 
was strikingly dignified, and such was the effect of 
his presence, that in a crowded room, and amid other 
men of mark when you once became conscious that 
he was there, you could hardly forget it. You seem 
ed always to see him as the traveler in Switzerland 
sees Mont Blanc towering above other mountains 
around him, wherever he may be. And yet he was 
easy and gracious in his manners, his countenance 
wearing a calm but radiant cheerfulness, especially 
when he spoke. He was celebrated for his conver 
sational powers, and I often remarked that when he 
began to converse, all eyes and ears turned toward 
him, as if eager to catch the music of his voice and 
the light of his mind. He came to my uncle s al 
most every morning before the meeting of the Con 
vention, and I have never felt more the power of 
goodness and greatness, than in witnessing the inter 
course between these two men. 

The next person as to prominence, in the Massa 
chusetts delegation, was Harrison Gray Otis,* then in 

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



3?5 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the zenith of his years and his fame. He had a name 
honorable by tradition, and a position social as well 
as political due to his great wealth, his eminent tal 
ents, and his various accomplishments. He was 
doubtless the most conspicuous political character in 
New England for the sun of Webster was but just 
rising in the horizon. He was deemed ambitious, 
and hence was regarded by the democrats as the 
arch instigator of the traitorous Convention. Such 
an opinion, however, shows the greatest ignorance of 
his character and the actual state of things. Mr. 
Otis was a far-seeing politician, and knew there was 
no treason in the hearts of the people of New Eng 
land : he stood at the highest point to which am 
bition could lead him, and any step in that direction 
must be downward. Besides, he was of the cau 
tious, not the dashing school of statesmanship, as well 
by constitution as training. To suppose him a plot 
ter of treason, is to divest him of all his attributes 
inherent and conventional. It is, furthermore, his 
torical and beyond dispute, that he was averse to the 
Convention. By his influence, it was delayed, long 
after it was proposed and almost clamored for by the 



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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAI,, ETC. 39 

people. He objected to being a member of it, and 
only yielded at last, that he might use his influence 
to secure to it a safe and tranquilizing direction. 
At the very opening of the Convention, he signal 
ized himself by proposing the safe and discreet meas 
ures which were finally adopted. Hence, he always 
felt, with a keen sense of injustice, the imputation 
which long hung about him, as being the leader in a 
treasonable enterprise. 

The impression he made on my mind upon the oc 
casion I am describing, was deep and lasting. He 
had not the lofty Washingtonian dignity of George 
Cabot, nor the grave suavity of Chauncey Goodrich ; 
he was, in fact, of quite a different type easy, pol 
ished, courtly passing from one individual to an 
other, and carrying a line of light from countenance 
to countenance, either by his playful wit or gracious 
personal allusions. He seemed to know everybody, 
and to be able to say to each precisely the most ap 
propriate thing that could be said. He was one of the 
handsomest men of his time ; his features being classi 
cally cut, and still full of movement and expression. 
To me who had seen little of society beyond Connec 
ticut, and accustomed therefore to the rather staid man 
ners of public men Mr. Otis was an object of strange, 
yet admiring curiosity. I knew him well, some 
years after and when I was more conversant with the 
world, and he still seemed to me a very high exam 
ple of the finished gentleman of the assiduous and 



40 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

courtly school. He lowered himself, no doubt, in the 
public estimation by his somewhat restive and quer 
ulous though masterly and conclusive vindica 
tions of the Convention; while all the other members, 
conscious of rectitude, scorned to put themselves in 
the attitude of defense. We may forgive what seemed 
a weakness in Mr. Otis, while we must pay homage to 
that dignity in his associates, which would not stoop 
to ask in life, the justice which they knew posterity 
must render them, in their graves. 

Of the other members of the Massachusetts dele 
gation, I have less distinct personal reminiscences. 
Mr. Prescott, father of the historian,* and Mr. Long 
fellow, f father of the poet worthy, by their talents, 
their virtues, and their position, of such descendants 
I only remember as two grave, respectable old 
gentlemen, seeming, by a magic I did not then com 
prehend, to extort from all around them peculiar 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 41 

marks of deference and respect. Since I have known 
their history, I have ascertained the secret.* 

One of the oldest, and in some respects the most re- 

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

Few names in our history are more honorably remembered than that 
of Nathan Dane. He was a native of Ipswich, Massachusetts, born in 
1754. He was a lawyer of great eminence, and a statesman of distin 
guished patriotism and wisdom. He was a member of Congress under 
the Confederation, and was the framer of the famed ordinances of 
17 8, for the government of the territory of the United States north 
west of the Ohio river ; an admirable code of law, by which the prin 
ciples of free government, to the exclusion of slavery, were extended 
to an immense region, and its political and moral interests secured on 
a permanent basis. He published some useful works, and founded 
a professorship of law in Harvard University. His life is a long record 
of beneficent works. He died in Feb. 1835. 

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

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

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

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

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

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



42 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

markable member of the Convention, was Mr. West,* 
of New Hampshire. I recollect him distinctly, partly 
because of his saintly appearance, and partly because 
of the terms of affection and respect in which my 
uncle spoke of him. He, too, was often at our house, 

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

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

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

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

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

Samuel Ward, son of Gov. Ward, of that State, was born in and 

died in . In the Revolution he was a soldier, and accompanied Ar 
nold in his perilous march against Quebec. After the peace he devoted 
himself to commerce. As a soldier, patriot, and citizen, his character 
was without a stain. 

Benjamin Hazard was among the ablest lawyers of his day, enjoying 
the highest esteem for his private worth. He was very swarthy, with 
long frizzled hair, and I particularly noticed him, among the other mem 
bers, for the singularity of his appearance. He was often called by the 
people of his neighborhood " Black Ben." He was born in 1776 and died 
in 1841. He was elected to the Assembly of Rhode Island sixty-two times 1 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 43 

and seldom have I seen a man who commanded such 
ready love and admiration. He was then sixty-eight 
years old : his form tall but slender, his hair white, 
long, and flowing, his countenance serene, his voice 
full of feeling and melody. His appearance indica 
ted the finest moral texture ; but when his mind was 
turned to a subject of interest, his brow flashed with 
tokens of that high intellectual power which distin 
guished him. His character and his position were well 
displayed in a single passage of his history : "He was 
chosen a member of Congress under the old Confedera 
tion ; a member of the convention which framed the 
Constitution of his adopted State, and a member of 
Congress under the Constitution ; he was appointed 
Attorney -general and Judge of Probate, and yet all 
these offices he refused, owing to his aversion to pub 
lic life, and his sincere, unambitious love of domestic 
peace and tranquillity." His great abilities, however, 
were not hidden in a napkin. He devoted himself to 
the practice of the law, which he pursued with eminent 
success, for the space of thirty years. It was in the 
evening of his days that he accepted his first prom 
inent public station, and that was as member of the 
Hartford Convention. This he did, under a convic 
tion that it was a period of great difficulty and dan 
ger, and he felt that duty called upon him to sacrifice 
his private comfort to public exigencies. Who will 

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



44 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

believe that man to have been a conspirator, or that 
the people who designated him for this place were 
traitors ? 

As to the Connecticut members of the Convention, 
I could easily gather up pages of eulogy. There are, 
indeed, few such men now ; I am afraid that in this 
age of demagogism, there are few who can compre 
hend them. I shall, however, present you with brief 
delineations of their lives and characters from the 
sober records of the historian. 

" At the head of the Connecticut delegation stood his honor, 
Chauncey Goodrich,* whose blanched locks and noble features 
had long been conspicuous in the halls of national legislation ; a 
gentleman whose character is identified with truth and honor in 
all parts of the Union ; a gentleman of whom Albert Gallatin 
was wont to say, that when he endeavored to meet the argu 
ments of his opponents, he was accustomed to select those of Mr. 
Goodrich, as containing the entire strength of all that could be 
said upon that side feeling that if he could answer him, he 
could maintain his cause; a man whom Jefferson no mean 
judge of intellectual strength used playfully to say, That white- 
headed senator from Connecticut is by far the most powerful 
opponent I have, to my administration. 

" Next to him was James Hillhouse,t the great financier of the 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 4:5 

State, who found our School Fund in darkness, and left it in 
light ; the scholar and the father, who superintended the early 
culture of that poet-boy, and laid the foundation of that hright 
and glorious intellect, which in the bowers of Sachem s Wood 
saw, as in a vision, the magnificent scenes of Ifadad, and re 
ceived as guests in western groves, the spirits of oriental oracle 
and song ; Hillhouse the man of taste, who planted the New 
Haven elms ; the native American, with Irish blood in his veins 
the man who, like Washington, never told a lie. 

" John Treadwell* was the third delegate, whose life was filled 

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

Hillhouse always scoffed at the abuse heaped upon the Hartford Con 
vention. Several years after the meeting of this body, lie had some busi 
ness at Boston, which required several advertisements in a newspaper. 
These he had inserted in the Patriot a democratic paper, which had 
been furious against the Convention. When he went to pay the bill, 
he desired to see the editor. Being introduced to him, he said " Sir, 
my name is Hillhouse, and I was a member of the Hartford Conven 
tion. You inserted the names of the members for several years, and 
promised to keep them in eternal remembrance. I am very proud of 
having been a member of that body, and feel that 1 owe you a debt of 
gratitude. So I have selected your paper as the object of my patronage. 
I owe you sixteen dollars and sixty-seven cents, and there, sir, is the 
money. I have to remark, however, that for several years you have 
neglected your promise to keep us before the world." This led to a 
hearty laugh, and the two gentlemen parted. The history of Connecti 
cut is full of this man s good works. He died in 1832. 

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



46 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

with honors and usefulness." He was then on the verge of 
threescore and ten, and the oldest man in the Convention. 

"The fourth was Chief-justice Swift,* the first commentator 
upon the laws of our little republic, of whom no lawyer in the 
United States would dare to feign ignorance, lest he should put 
at risk his professional reputation. 

" Nathaniel Smithf was the fifth, whom the God of nature 
chartered to be great by the divine prerogative of genius ; a 
jurist wiser than the books ; whose words were so loaded with 
convincing reasons that they struck an adversary to the earth 
like blows dealt by a hand gauntleted in steel; to listen to 
whom, when he spoke in the Convention, Harrison Gray Otis 
turned back as he was leaving the chamber, and stood gazing in 
silent admiration, unconscious of the flight of time. 

"The sixth was Calvin Goddard,f who long enjoyed the repu- 

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOT1CAL, ETC. 47 

tation of being the most learned and successful lawyer east of 
the Connecticut river : an upright judge, a wise counselor, an 
honest man. 

" Last, but not least of the Connecticut delegation, wa? Roger 
Minot Sherman,* a profound metaphysician, a scholar equal to 
the younger Adams, one of the principal oracles of the New 
York city bar for the last twenty years of his life, who seemed 
more fitly than any other man to represent the lawgiver, Roger 
Ludlow, and to inhabit the town which he had planted, whose 
level acres he had sown with the quick seeds of civil liberty, and 
then left the up-springing crop to be harvested by the sickle of 
his successor." 

This is the verdict not of the apologist, not of 
the partisan but of the historian, in a sober review 
of the past, with all the light which time has thrown 



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



48 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

upon the lives of those whom he thus character 
izes.* 1 

And now, my dear C . . . ., let me ask you to look 
at the Hartford Convention, through these Connec 
ticut delegates all grave and reverend seigniors 
one of them sixty-nine years of age, and having been 
governor of the State ; one of them, at the time, 
chief justice of the State ; another a judge of the Su 
perior Court ; two of them grown gray in the Senate 
of the United States : all past fifty, all distinguished 
for prudence, caution, sobriety ; all of the Washington 
school in politics, morals, manners, religion. Look at 
these men, and then tell me if there was treason, con 
spiracy, dismemberment of the Union, either in their 
hearts, or the hearts of the people who elected them ? 
If there be any thing holy in truth, any thing sacred 
in justice, degrade not the one, desecrate not the 
other, by calling these men traitors! Say rather 
that their presence in the Hartford Convention is 
proof clear, conclusive, undeniable, in the utter 
absence of all evidence to the contrary that it was 
an assembly of patriots, chosen by a patriotic people, 
wisely seeking the best good of the country. If this 
be not so, then there is no value in a good name, no 
ground for faith in human virtue. Treason is the 
highest crime against society : is there not something 
shocking to the universal sense of decency in char 

* Hollister s History of Connecticut, vol. il p. 303. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 4:9 

ging this upon men thus signalized for their virtues ? 
Such perverse logic would make Judas a saint, and 
the eleven true disciples, betrayers. 

But I must leave discussion, and proceed with my 
narrative. As the Convention sat with closed doors, 
the world without, despite their eager curiosity, were 
kept in general ignorance as to their proceedings. 
There was a rumor, however, that Mr. Otis opened 
the debate, and was followed, first by Chauncey Good 
rich and then by Nathaniel Smith the latter making 
one of those masterly speeches for which he was re 
nowned, and which shook even this assembly of great 
men with emotions of surprise and admiration. The 
first day s debate was said to have brought all minds 
to a general agreement as to the course to be adopted 
that of mild and healing measures, calculated to 
appease the irritated minds of their constituents, to 
admonish the national government of the general feel 
ing of danger and grievance, and thus to save the 
country from an example either of popular outbreak 
or organized resistance to the laws. Subsequent 
events showed that these rumors were well founded. 

While such was the course of things in the Con 
vention, some curious scenes transpired without and 
around it. I cannot do better, in order to give you 
an idea of these, than to transcribe part of a letter, 
which I recently received from a friend in Hartford, 
to whom I had written for some details, to refresh 
arid confirm my own recollections. This was hastily 

VOL. II. 3 



50 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

written, and with no idea of its publication ; but it 
is, nevertheless, graphic, and coming from an old 
democrat, will be received as good authority for the 
facts it presents, even by the contemners of the Con 
vention and its federal supporters. 

" Previous to the war, Captain Morgan recruited in Hartford 
a company of light dragoons. Elijah Boardman was his lieu 
tenant, and Owen Ranson afterward Major Ranson was cor 
net. When war was declared, and an army was to be raised, 
the first thing was to appoint officers, and the respectables 
that is, the federalists being to a man opposed to the war, none 
of them applied for commissions ; so that the administration 
was compelled nothing loth to officer the army from the dem 
ocrats. Having a great number of appointments to make, and 
little time to examine the qualifications of the applicants, and, as 
I have remarked, having only the democrats to select from, many 
men received commissions who were hardly qualified to carry a 
musket in the ranks. Among the appointments was a general 
of brigade in the Vermont militia Jonas Cutting, a boatman 
on the Connecticut river. who obtained his appointment of 
colonel through the influence of J. and E. L . . . ., good demo 
crats, for whom he boated. He was ordered to Hartford on 
recruiting service, where he established the head-quarters of the 
25th regiment. He was a rude, boorish, uncouth man, and re 
ceived but little attention from the citizens generally, and none 
from the respectables the federalists : he was, however, suc 
cessful in raising recruits. After a time he was sent to the lines, 
and was succeeded by Lieutenant-colonel Jos. L. Smith, of Ber 
lin a large, handsome man, of some talents, but a good deal 
of a fire-eater. He assumed the command at Hartford, but was 
not kindly received by the federalists. There was in fact no 
love lost between him and them. 

u This brings us near the time of the Hartford Convention 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 51 

the winter of 1814, preparatory to another campaign on the 
frontier. A very considerable force of regular troops were in 
cantonment in Hartford. The federalists, who were a large 
majority, as you know, hated the democrats, denounced the 
war, and detested the troops generally, and Lieutenant-colonel 
Smith in particular for he thought it a part of his duty to make 
himself as odious to them as possible. His recruiting parties were 
constantly parading the city, and monopolizing the sidewalks, 
in all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war. With gun, 
drum, trumpet, blunderbuss, and thunder, they crowded the 
ladies into the gutters, frightened horses, and annoyed the cit 
izens. Some of them called on Colonel Smith, as the com 
manding officer, and begged of him, as a gentleman, to keep his 
recruiting parties from Main-street our principal avenue. I 
need not say that by this time an intensely bitter feeling had 
grown up between the two political parties, and the democrats 
were overjoyed that Colonel S. took pains to show his hatred 
and contempt for the anti-war party, and so they encouraged 
him to persevere, and do his duty by flouting the feds, and in 
raising recruits for the glorious war. So the more the citizens 
requested him to desist, the more he would not. 

" In this state of things, the city council assembled, and pass 
ed and published an ordinance that no military parties should 
be permitted to march on the sidewalks, but should confine them 
selves to the streets. The democrats and Col. S. scouted the idea 
that the council had the power to regulate the march of United 
States troops, and so the troops persisted in this annoyance. 
The Governor s Foot Guard, one hundred muskets strong, com 
posed of our most respectable young men, and all federalists, 
commanded by Nathaniel Terry, Esq., now prepared a quantity 
of ball cartridges, which, with their arms, were deposited in 
the old Hartford Bank. The men were required to be always 
ready to act when necessary. The government recruits not 
heeding the ordinance, Capt. Boardman and some other officers 
and non-commissioned officers were arrested and imprisoned. 



52 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

The United States troops, reinforced by all the out parties in 
the neighboring towns, now came into the city, and completely 
monopolized the streets by night and by day. 

" The Superior Court was in session at this time, and each day 
during the session, the military bands, with divers supernume 
rary bass-drums, incessantly marched around the Courthouse 
with so much din that the court was obliged to adjourn. This 
was repeated daily, and matters had arrived at a terrible pass, 
when the administration at Washington saw the necessity of inter 
fering. It was obvious that the difficulty arose chiefly from the 
impertinence and vulgarity of the army officers ; so they ordered 
Colonel Jessup to come to Hartford and assume the command, 
and packed off Smith to the lines or somewhere else. 

" Colonel Jesup on his arrival called at once on Chauncey 
Goodrich, the mayor, and begged him to let him know how 
matters stood. Jesup was a man of sense and a gentleman, 
and all difficulties speedily vanished. The troops were kept in 
their cantonments, a certain distance out of town ; and only a 
few at a time, of the most orderly, were permitted to come into 
the city, and without military parade. Colonel Jesup was re 
ceived into society, and caressed by the better class of citizens, 
and became a great favorite. He was dined and tea d to his 
heart s content by the federalists, after which the democracy 
rather cut him. So ended this little war. 

" The celebrated Hartford Convention assembled here about 
this time, and Mr. Thomas Bull, a large, portly, courtly old gen 
tleman, was the doorkeeper and messenger. As it was proper 
that this dignified body should have all things done decently and 
in order, Mr. Bull was directed to call on the reverend clergy, 
in turn, to pray with the Convention. Dr. Strong made tho 
first prayer, and Dr. Perkins and other eminent clergymen 
followed. The Rev. Philander Chase* afterward Bishop Chase 

* Philander Chase was a native of Vermont, born 1775, and died 1852. 
He was a man of imposing personal appearance and manners. He be 
came bishop of Ohio in 1819, and afterward was elected bishop of Illinois. 



53 

was at this time rector of Christ Church a high Church 
man, who probably never in all his ministry offered an extem 
poraneous prayer. He was, in his turn, called on by Mr. Bull, 
who in his blandest manner informed him of the honor conferred 
on him, and begged his attendance to pray at the opening of the 
morning session. What must have been his horror, when Mr. 
Chase declined, saying that he knew of no form of prayer for 
rebellion ! Mr. Chase himself related this anecdote to me soon 
after. Major J. M. Goodwin was present and heard it. Never 
theless, I believe this speech was hardly original : some of the 
tory Episcopal clergymen had said the same thing during the 
Eevolution. They had forms of prayer for the king, but none 
for liberty. 

" No annoyance was offered to the Convention. A body of 
United States troops, under command of Jemmy Lamb, a face 
tious old Irishman, and the town-crier, in a fantastic military 
dress, marched around the State-house, while they were in ses 
sion the music playing the Rogues March. The Convention, 
however, excited less attention in Hartford than in other places. 
Tis distance lends enchantment, &c. Very little more notice 
was taken of their proceedings by the people here exclusive of 
violent partisans than of those of the Superior Court." 

This sketch, gives a clear insight into the state of 
popular feeling at this period, in Hartford, which has 
been the theme of much discussion and gross mis 
representation. It is obvious that, had there been 
no other reason for it, the danger of intrusion and 
interruption from the irritated United States recruits, 
led by incendiary officers and encouraged by reckless 
mischief-makers, rendered it a matter of prudence for 
the Convention to sit with closed doors. The State 
court had been braved and insulted, and the far more 



54 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

obnoxious Convention would doubtless have expe 
rienced still more emphatic demonstrations of rude 
ness. Had the sessions been open, a guard of a hun 
dred men would scarcely have protected them from 
interruption, perhaps violence. 

It is creditable to all parties that Col. Jesup was 
sent thither : it showed a disposition on the part of 
the administration to afford no ground of offense ; 
it proved that the citizens the federalists sought 
no quarrel, and would interpose no difficulties to 
the government troops or their officers in the lawful 
discharge of their duties. It showed, moreover, .that 
they could appreciate gentlemanly qualities, and were 
ready to bestow honor on a gallant soldier who had 
fought and bled in battle for the country, even al 
though they disapproved of the war. 

As to Colonel Jesup* Brigadier-general Jesup 
now I must say a few words. At the time I speak 
of, he was some thirty years old. He had recently 
come from the northern frontier, where he had won 
laurels by the side of Scott, Miller, Brown, Kipley, 
and other gallant soldiers. He was of modest demea 
nor, pleasing address, and gentlemanly tastes : it was 
no disparagement to his agreeable appearance that he 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC A L, ETC. 55 

had his arm in a sling a touching testimonial of his 
merits brought from the field of battle. He was the 
complete antipode of the J. L. Smiths and Joseph 
Cuttings who had preceded him, and who thought 
it a part of their democratic duty to be conspicuously 
vulgar. He did not seek to promote democracy by 
rendering it disgusting to all who held opposite opin 
ions. He mingled in amicable intercourse with the 
citizens ; sought interviews with the leading inhabit 
ants with the mayor of the city, and the governor of 
the state when he chanced to be on a visit there. I 
know he took counsel with my uncle and became ac 
quainted with members of the Convention, and thus 
found means not only to smooth away the difficulties 
which had been engendered by his rude and reck 
less predecessors in the military command of that 
station, but gained correct information as to the ac 
tual state of things. 

It was perfectly well understood, at this time, that 
he was not only a military officer, but that he was 
the diplomatic agent of the government at "Washing 
ton, and communicated his observations to the Exec 
utive. He was not, for this reason, either shunned or 
depreciated. It is evident, from his letters sent almost 
daily to Madison and the substance of which has 
transpired, at least in part that the real intentions of 
the Convention were penetrated by him almost from 
tfie beginning. It is evident that he never found the 
lightest proof of treasonable intentions on the part 



56 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

of that assembly.* It has been reported that he in 
tends publishing his personal memoirs, and that in 
these he will give some interesting revelations re 
specting the Convention : I trust he will fulfill his 
design, and I am equally confident that his report 
will be in unison with the views I have here pre 
sented. As a matter of principle regarding it from 
his point of view he will doubtless condemn that 

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 57 

assembly, but as to matters of fact, I am certain he 
will never furnish the slightest support to the charge 
of treason, either secret or open. 

But I must draw this long letter to a close. The 
result of the Hartford Convention is well known. 
After a session of three weeks, it terminated its labors, 
and, in perfect conformity with public expectation and 
public sentiment at the North, it issued an address, 
full of loyalty to the Constitution, recommending 
patience to the people, and while admitting their 
grievances, still only suggesting peaceable and con 
stitutional remedies. The authors of this document 
knew well the community for which it was intended : 
their purpose was to allay anxiety, to appease irrita 
tion, to draw off in harmless channels the lightning 
of public indignation. They therefore pointed out 
modes of relief, in the direction of peace, and not in 
the direction of civil war. They were federalists, as 
were the people who supported them ; they belonged 
to that party who founded the Constitution, in oppo 
sition to the democracy.* Leaving it for democracy, 
which opposed the Constitution in its cradle, to fur- 

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



58 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

nish the first examples of Nullification, Disunion, Se 
cession with a discretion and a patriotism which 
does them infinite credit they found the means of 
removing the cloud from the minds of their constit 
uents, and yet without in any degree shaking the pil 
lars of the Union, which was their ark of the cove 
nant of national honor and glory and prosperity. 

It is said Mr. Madison laughed when he heard the 
result : it is very likely, for he had really feared that 
the Convention meditated treason ; he perhaps felt a 
little uneasy in his conscience, from a conviction that 
his administration had afforded serious grounds for 
discontent. He, as well as those who shared his views, 
were no doubt relieved, when they found the cloud 
had passed. Some of the democratic editors satisfied 
themselves with squibs, and some found relief in 
railing. Those especially who had insisted that the 
Convention was a band of traitors, seemed to feel 
personally affronted that it did not fulfill their evil 
prophecies. There is perhaps no greater offense to 
a partisan who has predicted evil of his adversary, 
than for the latter to do what is right, and thus turn 
the railer into ridicule. At all events, so bitter was 
the disappointment of the fanatical portion of the 
democrats, on the occasion in question, that they 
sought relief in declaring that if the Convention did 
not act treason, they at least felt it ! Perhaps in 
consideration of their disappointment, we may pass 
over this obliquity as one of those frailties of hu- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 59 

man nature, which time teaches us to forget and for 
give. 

As to the general effect of the course adopted by 
the Convention, no reasonable man can deny that it 
was eminently salutary. It immediately appeased 
the irritation and anxiety of the public mind in New 
England ; it taught the people the propriety of calm 
and prudent measures in times of difficulty and dan 
ger ; and more than all, it set an example worthy of 
being followed for all future time, by holding the 
Constitution of the United States as sacred, and by 
recommending the people to seek remedies for their 
grievances by legal and not by revolutionary means. 
" Blessed, are the peacemakers, for they shall see God." 
I know of no similar benediction upon the promoters 
of civil war. 

And now I have done. The treaty of Ghent 
speedily came to smooth the ruffled waters. Monroe 
succeeded to Madison, and an era of good feeling 
seemed to dawn upon the country. It is true the 
promised millennium was not fully realized : the dy 
ing flurries of the old federal party, under the har 
pooning of triumphant democracy, caused some froth 
upon the sea of politics. Connecticut passed through 
the spasms of Toleration, in which that hard old 
federalist, Oliver Wolcott, became the candidate of 
democracy, and overturned the Charter of Charles II., 
and with it all his early political associations public 
and personal. It was a strange dance, and with a 



60 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

curious arrangement of partners. Similar movements 
took place in other parts of the country the result 
of which was, a new crystallization of parties, in which 
the terms federalist and democrat lost their original 
signification. I have before adverted to this fact, and 
have stated that in application to present parties 
they are little more than names to discriminate be 
tween conservatives and radicals. 

I have thus deemed it due to truth, in giving my 
recollections of the war, to give them frankly and 
fearlessly. Believing the old federalists especially 
those of Connecticut, for with them my acquaint 
ance was personal to have been honest and patri 
otic, as I knew them to be virtuous and wise, so 
I have said, and given my reasons for the faith 
that is in me. While doing them this justice, I 
do not affirm that in all things their measures were 
right. I contend, however, that they were true 
men, and, on the whole, have left memories behind 
them which every dictate of virtue and patriotism 
teaches us to cherish. By the side of their oppo 
nents and the very best of them they may claim 
at least equal respect. As time advances and the 
mists of party are cleared from the horizon, I doubt 
not their images will be seen and recognized by all, 
as rising higher and higher among the nobler monu 
ments of our history. One truth will stand they 
were of those who reared the glorious fabric of the 
Union, and under all circumstances taught the peo- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 61 

pie to regard it as sacred. Before any man presumes 
to call them traitors, let him see that his own hands 
are equally pure, his own spirit equally exalted. 



LETTER XXXII. 

The Count Value Lessons in French, and a Translation of Rene Severe 
Retribution for Imprudence The End of the Pocket-book Factory- 
Napoleon returns to Paris and upsets my Affairs Divers Experiences 
and Reflections upon Dancing Visit to New York Oliver Wokott and 
Archibald Grade Ballston and Saratoga Dr. Payson and the three 
Rowdies Illness and Death of my Uncle Partnership with George 
Sheldon His Illness and Death, 

MY DEAR C****** 

I must now go back and take up a few dropped 
Btitches in my narrative. I have told you that my 
apprenticeship terminated in the summer of 1814. 
Previous to that time, I had made some advances in 
the study of the French language under M. Value, 
or, to give him his title, the Count Value. This per 
son had spent his early life in Paris, but he afterward 
migrated to St. Domingo, where he owned a large 
estate. In the insurrection of 1794, he escaped only 
with his life. With admirable cheerfulness and se 
renity, he devoted himself to teaching French and 
dancing, as means of support. He settled for a 
time at New Haven, where, at the age of seventy, he 
was captivated and captured by a tall, red-haired 
Rchoolmistress of twenty. She accounted to me, for 



62 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

her success, by stating that, at the time, she was 
called the " Rose of Sharon" she being a native of 
a town in Litchfield county bearing the latter name. 

The Count finally established himself at Hartford, 
and I became one of his pupils. I pursued my 
studies with considerable assiduity, and to practice 
myself in French, I translated Chateaubriand s Rene. 
One of my friends had just established a newspaper 
at Middletown, and my translation was published 
there. About this time my health was feeble, and 
my eyes became seriously affected in consequence 
of my night studies. Unaware of the danger, I per 
severed, and thus laid the foundation of a nervous 
weakness and irritability of my eyes, which has since 
been to me a rock ahead in the whole voyage of life. 
From that time, I have never been able to read or 
write, but with pain. As if by a kind of fatality, I 
seemed to be afterward drawn into a literary career, 
for which I was doubly disqualified first, by an im 
perfect education, and next, by defective eyesight. 
Oh ! what penalties have I paid for thus persisting 
in a course which seems to have been forbidden to 
me by Providence. After a long and laborious life, 
I feel a profound consciousness that I have done noth 
ing well ; at the same time, days, months, nay years, 
have I struggled with the constant apprehension that 
I should terminate my career in blindness ! How 
little do we know, especially in the outset of our ex 
istence, what is before us ! It is indeed well that we 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 63 

do not know, for the prospect would often over 
whelm us. 

In the autumn of 1814, as already stated, I estab 
lished, in company with a friend, a pocket-book fac 
tory at Hartford ; but the peace put a speedy termina 
tion to that enterprise. We got out of it with a small 
loss, and my kind-hearted partner pocketed this, " for 
he had money, and I had none." He forgave me, 
and would have done the same, had the defalcation 
been more considerable for he was a true friend. 

Early in the following spring, I made an arrange 
ment to go to Paris as a clerk in a branch of the im 
porting house of Eichards, Taylor & Wilder, of New 
York. About a month after, the news came that Bo 
naparte had suddenly returned from Elba, and as busi 
ness was prostrated by that event, my engagement 
failed. For nearly a year, my health continued indiffer 
ent, and my eyes in such a state that I was incapable of 
undertaking any serious business. I spent my time 
partly at Berlin,* with my parents, and partly at Hart- 

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

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



64 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ford. I read a little, and practiced my French with 
Value and his scholars. I also felt the need of disci 
plining my hands and feet, which about these days 
seemed to me to have acquired a most absurd develop 
ment giving me an awful feeling of embarrassment 
when I entered into company. I therefore took les 
sons in dancing, and whether I profited by it or not, 
as to manners, I am persuaded that this portion of 
my education was highly beneficial to me in other 
points of view. 

As many good people have a prejudice against 
dancing, I am disposed to write down my experience 
on the subject. In the winter, our good old teacher 
had weekly cotillion parties, for the purpose of practi 
cing his scholars. The young men invited the young 
ladies, and took them to these gatherings, and after 
the exercises, conducted them home again. I know 
this will sound strange to those who only understand 
metropolitan manners at the present day ; but let 
me tell you that I never knew an instance, in my 
own experience or observation, in which the strictest 
propriety was departed from. These parties took 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 65 

place in the evening : they began at eight o clock, and 
continued till ten or eleven sometimes till twelve. 
The company consisted entirely of young persons 
from fifteen to twenty years of age : they included 
the children of the respectable inhabitants, with a 
number of young ladies from the boarding-schools. 
Some of these I have since seen the wives of bish 
ops, senators, and governors of States filling in 
deed the first stations to which the sex can aspire in 
this country. 

I have had enough experience of the world to know 
that such things could not be in the great cities of 
Europe or America perhaps nowhere out of New 
England. The division of society into castes in mo 
narchical countries, no doubt involves the necessity 
of keeping young ladies jealously aloof from compan 
ionship with the other sex, because they might en 
tangle themselves in engagements which would de 
feat the system of building up families and estates by 
politic marriages. In this state of society, it might be 
found dangerous for young persons of opposite sexes 
to be left even casually together, for a spirit of intrigue 
is always indigenous under a system of restraint and 
espionage. But however this may be, I am satisfied 
that these Hartford parties, under the auspices of 
our amiable and respectable old teacher, were every 
way refining and elevating : not only did they im 
part ease of manner, but, as I think, purity of senti 
ment. The earlier emotions of youth are delicate, 



66 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

modest, conservative ; and if acquaintance with life 
be made at this period, these stamp their refinements 
upon the feelings, and form a safe, conservative basis 
of future habits of thought and conduct. I do not 
mean to favor latitudinarianism of manners ; I do 
not, indeed, say that this system can be adopted in 
large cities, but I believe that dancing parties, con 
sisting of young persons of both sexes, under proper 
guidance as, for instance, under the eye of parents, 
either in a public hall, or by the domestic fireside 
have a refining influence, beneficial alike to manners 
and morals. I believe that even public assemblies 
for dancing, regulated by the presence of good peo 
ple, are eminently useful. 

I have been in Catholic countries, where the sys 
tem is to keep girls in cloisters, or schools resembling 
them, till they are taken out by their parents or 
guardians to be married ; and it is precisely in these 
countries, where education is the most jealous, and 
discipline the most rigorous, that intrigue is the great 
game of life especially with the upper classes of 
both sexes. I have seen society where Puritan ideas 
prevailed, and where religious people held dancing 
to be a device of the devil ; and here I have often 
found that practices, secret or open, quite as excep 
tionable as dancing, were current in society. If in 
the earlier ages of our New England history, a hard, 
self-denying system was profitable, it is not so in the 
present state of society. We are created with social 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 67 

feelings, which demand indulgence. No system of 
religion, no code or contrivance of state policy, has 
been able to get over this fact. We can not kill the 
voice of God and nature in the soul : we can only 
regulate it, and by using common sense and the lights 
of religion, give it a safe and beneficent development. 
Is it not time for society to cast off prejudice, and to 
be governed by truth and experience ? It must be 
remembered that what is condemned by the good and 
wise, often thereby becomes evil, though in itself it 
may be beneficial. Has not this wrong been done 
among us ? It seems to me that good people, pious 
people, may at least inquire whether it may not be 
well for them to take under their patronage, that 
branch of education which proposes at once to per 
fect the manners and refine the sentiments of youth. 
It is not to dictate, but to aid in this inquiry, that I 
give you with some minuteness my observations on 
this subject; hence I offer you my testimony to the 
fact that in the course of three winters, during which 
I attended these cotillion parties at Hartford, I never 
saw or heard of an instance of impropriety in word 
or deed. 

Let me further suggest that there is a principle here 
which it is important to recognize and appreciate. 
These young people were brought together at a period 
when their emotions were still sheltered in the folds 
of that sensitive and shrinking modesty, designed to 
protect them at the period of their first adventure 



68 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

into mixed society. This modesty is to the heart of 
youth, like the envelope in which nature enshrines 
the choicest products of the vegetable kingdom, till 
they are ripened and prepared for the harvest. This 
shrinking delicacy of feeling is conservative ; to this, 
license is offensive, and if suggested, is repelled. If 
young people associate together at this period under 
the restraints which necessarily exist in an assembly 
such as I am contemplating habits of delicacy, in 
thought and manner, are likely to be established. 
A person who has been thus trained, seems to me 
armed, in some degree at least, against those coarse 
seductions which degrade, and at last destroy, so many 
young persons of both sexes. To young men, an 
early familiarity with the refined portion of the gen 
tler sex, placing them at ease in their society and 
making this a sort of necessity to them, I conceive to 
be one of the greatest safeguards to their morals and 
manners in after life. And as a preparation for this 
as an introduction, an inducement to this I conceive 
that the art of dancing, practiced by young people 
of both sexes, together, is to be commended. 

I am aware that I am treading upon delicate 
ground. You may share the idea entertained by 
many good, pious people, that dancing is always de 
grading and vicious in its tendencies. This, however, 
I think, arises from considering it in its abuses. I am 
not contending for juvenile balls, as a pursuit fit to 
absorb the whole thought and attention. Remember, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 69 

I am speaking of dancing as a part of education to 
be conducted with propriety in order to train young 
people of both sexes to habits of easy and delicate 
intercourse. As to the practice of dancing, after 
ward, this must be regulated by the judgment of 
parents. One custom may be proper in one place, 
and not in another. In this country, our habits are 
different from those of others : in Asia, where woman 
is designed for the harem, and in Europe, where she 
is trained to be the make- weight of a bargain, jeal 
ousy becomes the sentinel of society ; in the United 
States, woman is comparatively free, and here confi 
dence must be the guardian of society. I am inclined 
to think, in this respect, our system has the advan 
tage, provided it be not abused by license on the one 
hand, nor bigotry on the other. 

In respect to the case I am describing in my early 
experience, in which the young gentlemen conducted 
the young ladies to and from the dancing hall the 
confidence of parents, thus reposed in their children, 
fortified and recommended by the purer suggestions 
of the heart appealed to motives of honor, and was 
usually responded to by scrupulous rectitude of de 
meanor. If you doubt the justice of this philosophy, 
I ask your attention to the fact that, at this day 
forty years subsequent to the period to which I refer 
in this very city of Hartford, with a population of 
twenty thousand people, women, young and old, of 
all classes, walk the streets till midnight, with as 



70 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

much sense of security and propriety, as at noonday ! 
Where will you find higher evidence of a refined 
state of society than this ? 

In the spring of 1815 I paid a visit to New York, 
and having letters of introduction to Oliver Wolcott 
and Archibald Gracie, I called on these gentlemen. 
Mr. Wolcott lived in Pine-street, nearly opposite where 
the custom-house is now, and at a short distance was 
John Wells, an eminent lawyer of that day. But a 
considerable number of the higher aristocracy was 
gathered toward the lower part of the city, the Battery 
being pretty nearly the focus of fashion. Streets now 
desecrated by the odor of tar and turpentine, were then 
filled with the flush and the fair. Nath l Prime lived 
at No. 1 Broadway ; Mr. Gracie in the Octagon House, 
corner of Bridge and State streets. Near by was his 
son-in-law, Charles King, now president of Columbia 
College, and his son, Wm. Gracie, who had married the 
second daughter of Oliver Wolcott. In this quarter, 
also, were Wm. Bayard, Gen. Morton, Matthew Clark- 
son, J. B. Coles, Moses Rogers, &c., all eminent citizens. 

My lodgings were at the City Hotel, situated on 
the western side of Broadway, between Thames and 
Cedar streets the space being now occupied by ware 
houses. It was then the Astor House of New York, 
being kept by a model landlord, whose name was 
Jennings, with a model barkeeper by the name of 
Willard. The latter was said never to sleep night 
or day for at all hours ho \vns at his post, and never 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 71 

forgot a customer, even after an absence of twenty 
years. 

It was late in the spring, and Mr. Gracie called for 
me and took me to his country-seat, occupying a 
little promontory on the western side of Hurlgate a 
charming spot, now cut up into some thirty city lots. 
Contiguous to it, toward the city, were the summer 
residences of J. J. Astor, Nathaniel Prime, and Win 
Ehinelander ; on the other side were the seats of Com 
modore Chauncey, Joshua Jones, and others. 

Here I spent a fortnight very agreeably. Mr. Gra 
cie was at this period distinguished alike on account 
of his wealth, his intelligence, and his amiable and 
honorable character. Never have I witnessed any 
thing more charming more affectionate, dignified, 
and graceful than the intercourse of the family with 
one another. The sons and daughters, most of them 
happily connected in marriage as they gathered here 
seemed, to my unpracticed imagination, to consti 
tute a sort of dynasty, something like the romance of 
the middle ages. Not many years after, Mr. Gracie 
lost his entire fortune by the vicissitudes of com 
merce, but his character was beyond the reach oi 
accident. He is still remembered with affectionate 
respect by all those whose memories reach back to 
the times in which he flourished, and when it might 
be said, without disparagement to any other man, 
that he was the first merchant in New York. 

I must not omit to mention two other celebrities 



72 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

whom I saw during this visit to New York. You 
must recollect I was on my travels, and so, as in duty 
bound, I sought to see the lions. Of course 1 went 
to the court-house, and there I saw two remarkable 
men Judge Kent, and Thomas Addis Emmet the 
first, chancellor of the State of New York, and the 
latter one of the most eminent lawyers in the city, 
perhaps in the United States. 

Judge Kent* I had seen before, at my uncle s 
house. He had been educated at Yale College, was 
my father s classmate, and formed an early acquaint 
ance with our family, resulting in a friendly inter 
course which was maintained throughout his whole 
life. It would be difficult now to point to a man so 
universally honored and esteemed. To the most ex 
tensive learning, he added a winning simplicity of 
manners and transparent truthfulness of character. 
All this was written in his countenance, at once irre 
sistible by its beaming intelligence, and its not less 
impressive benevolence. The greatness and good 
ness of his character shone full in his face. 

I remember perfectly well the scene, when I saw 
Emmetf and the judge together. The former was 



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

t Thomas Addis Ernmet, a native of Cork, in Ireland, was born in 
1764 He was one of the Committee of the Society of United Irishmen, 



HISTORICAL, ANECAOTICAL, ETC. 73 

arguing a case, but there were only half a dozen per 
sons present, and it was rather a, conversation than a 
plea. Emmet was a somewhat short but very athletic 
man, with large, rosy cheeks, an enormous mouth, 
and full, expressive eyes. His Irish brogue, rich and 
sonorous, rolled from his lips like a cataract of music. 
Kent listened, but frequently changed position, and 
often broke into the argument with a question, which 
sometimes resulted in a dialogue. His whole manner 
was easy, familiar, and very different from the statue- 
like dignity of other judges I had seen. The whole 
spectacle left on my mind the impression that two 
great men were rather consulting together, than that 
one was attempting to win from the other an opinion 
to suit an interested client. I recollect to have seen, 
listening to this discussion, a large, florid, handsome 
man, with a dark, eloquent eye ; I inquired his name, 
and was told that it was John Wells, the renowned 
lawyer, already mentioned. 

As I thus saw the lions of the town, I also heard 
the thunderers of the pulpit. On one occasion I lis 
tened to a discourse from Dr. J. B. Komeyn * a tall, 
thin, eloquent man I think in Cedar-street. He was 
celebrated in his day ; and, if I understood him cor- 



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

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

VOL. II. 4 



74 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

rectly, he maintained the doctrine of election in sucK 
rigor as to declare that if he knew who the elect were, 
he would preach only to them, inasmuch as it would 
be useless to preach to other persons ! 

In a new church in Murray-street, I heard Dr. 
Mason,* then regarded as the Boanerges of the city. 
Instead of a pulpit which serves as a sort of shelter 
and defense for the preacher he had only a little 
railing along the edge of the platform on which he 
stood, so as to show his large and handsome person, 
almost down to his shoe-buckles. He preached 
without notes, and moved freely about, sometimes 
speaking in a colloquial manner, and then suddenly 
pouring out sentence after sentence, glowing with 
lightning and echoing with thunder. The effect of 
these outbursts was sometimes very startling. The 
doctor was not only very imposing in his person, but 
his voice was of prodigious volume and compass. 
He was sometimes adventurous in his speech, occa 
sionally passing off a joke, and not unfrequently 

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

" Mr. S . . . ., it is some time since I have seen yon at Murray-street." 

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

"Yes," said the Doctor; " but you must look out, and see that you 
don t have a Hell of a toll to pay !" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 75 

verging on what might seem profane, but for the 
solemnity of his manner. When I heard him, in 
speaking of some recent Unitarian point of faith, he 
said, " This is damnable doctrine I say it is damna 
ble doctrine!" the deep, guttural emphasis giving to 
the repetition a. thrilling effect. 

Early in the ensuing summer, my uncle, Chauncey 
Goodrich, being in bad health, paid a visit to Sara 
toga* and Ballston for the benefit of the waters, and 
I accompanied him. We soon returned, however, for 

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



76 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

it was now apparent that he had a disease of the heart, 
which was rapidly tending to a fatal result. Expe 
riencing great suffering at intervals, he gradually 
yielded to the progress of his malady, and at last, on 
the 18th of August, 1815 while walking the room, 
and engaged in cheerful conversation he faltered, 
sank into a chair, and instantly expired. " His 
death," says the historian, "was a shock to the whole 
community. Party distinctions were forgotten, un 
der a sense of the general calamity ; and in the sim 
ple but expressive language which was used at his 
funeral, all united in a tribute of respect to the man 
who had so long been dear to us, and done us so 
much good. " To me, the loss was irreparable 
leaving, however, in my heart a feeling of gratitude 
that I had witnessed an example of the highest intel 
lectual power united with the greatest moral excel 
lence and that, too, in one whose relationship to me 
enforced and commended its teachings to my special 
observance. Alas, how little have I done in life that 
is worthy of such inspiration ! 

Not long after this, my friend George Sheldon hav 
ing established himself as a bookseller and publisher, 
he invited me to become his partner and this I did, 
early in the year 1816. We pursued the business for 
nearly two years, during which time we published, 
among other works, Scott s Family Bible, in five 
volumes quarto a considerable enterprise for that 
period, in a place like Hartford. In the autumn of 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 77 

1817 I had gone to Berlin, for the purpose of making 
a short excursion for the benefit of my health, when a 
messenger came from Hartford, saying that my part 
ner was very ill, arid wished me to return. I imme 
diately complied, and on entering the room of my 
friend, I found him in a high fever, his mind already 
wandering in painful dreams. As I came to his bed 
side he said " Oh, take away these horrid knives ; 
they cut me to the heart !" I stooped over him and 
said 

" There are no knives here; you are only dream- 
ing." 

"Oh, is it you?" said he. "lam glad you have 
come. Do stay with me, and speak to me, so as to 
keep off these dreadful fancies." 

I did stay by him for four days and nights but 
his doom was sealed. His mind continued in a state 
of wild delirium till a few minutes before his death 
I stood gazing at his face, when a sudden change 
came over him : the agitated and disturbed look of 
insanity had passed a quiet pallor had come over his 
countenance, leaving it calm and peaceful. He open 
ed his eyes, and, as if waking from sleep, looked on 
me with an aspect of recognition. His lips moved, and 
he pronounced the name of his wife ; she came, with 
all the feelings of youth and love aye, and of hope, 
too, in her heart. She bent over him : he raised his 
feeble and emaciated arms and clasped her to his heart: 
he gave her one kiss, and passed to another life ! 



78 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER XXXIII. 

Tfiv Famine 0/1816 and 1817 Panic in New England Migrations to 
Ohw T other Side of Ohio Toleration Down/ all of Federalism Oli 
ver Wolcfttt and the Democracy Connecticut upset The new Constitution 
Gov. Smith and Gov. Wokott Litchfield Uriah Tracey Frederick 
Wolcott Tapping Reeve Col. Talmadge James Gould J. W. Hun- 
tir.gton The Litchfield Centennial Celebration. 

MY DEAR 0****** 

I must now ask your attention to several topics 
having no connection, except unity of time and place : 
the cold seasons of 1816 and 1817, and the conse 
quent flood of emigration from New England to the 
"West ; the political revolution in Connecticut, which 
was wrought in the magic name of Toleration, and 
one or two items of my personal experience. 

The summer of 1816 was probably the coldest that 
has been known here, in this century. In New Eng 
land from Connecticut to Maine there were severe 
frosts in every month. The crop of Indian corn was 
almost entirely cut off : of potatoes, hay, oats, &c., 
there was not probably more than half the usual 
supply. The means of averting the effects of such a 
calamity now afforded by railroads, steam naviga 
tion, canals, and other facilities of intercommunica 
tion did not then exist. The following winter was 
severe, and the ensuing spring backward. At this 
time I made a journey into New Hampshire, pass- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 79 

ing along the Connecticut river, in the region of 
Hanover. It was then June, and the hills were al 
most as barren as in November. I saw a man at Or 
ford, who had been forty miles for a half bushel of 
Indian corn, and paid two dollars for it ! 

Along the seaboard it was not difficult to obtain a 
supply of food, save only that every article was dear. 
In the interior it was otherwise : the cattle died for 
want of fodder, and many of the inhabitants came 
near perishing from starvation. The desolating ef 
fects of the war still lingered over the country, and at 
last a kind of despair seized upon some of the people. 
In the pressure of adversity, many persons lost their 
judgment, and thousands feared or felt that New 
England was destined, henceforth, to become a part 
of the frigid zone. At the same time, Ohio with its 
rich soil, its mild climate, its inviting prairies was 
opened fully upon the alarmed and anxious vision. 
As was natural under the circumstances, a sort of 
stampede took place from cold, desolate, worn-out 
New England, to this land of promise. 

I remember very well the tide of emigration through 
Connecticut, on its way to the West, during the sum 
mer of 1817. Some persons went in covered wagons 
frequently a family consisting of father, mother, and 
nine small children, with one at the breast some on 
foot and some crowded together under the cover, with 
kettles, gridirons, feather-beds, crockery, and the fam 
ily Bible, Watts Psalms and Hymns, and Webster s 



80 LETTERS BIOQEAPIJICAL, 

Spelling-book the lares and penates of the house 
hold. Others started in ox-carts, and trudged on at 
the rate of ten miles a day. In several instances I 
saw families on foot the father and boys taking 
turns in dragging along an improvised hand- wagon, 
loaded with the wreck of the household goods occa 
sionally giving the mother and baby a ride. Many of 
these persons were in a state of poverty, and begged 
their way as they went. Some died before they 
reached the expected Canaan ; many perished after 
their arrival, from fatigue and privation ; and others, 
from the fever and ague, which was then certain to 
attack the new settlers. 

It was, I think, in 1818, that I published a small 
tract, entitled " T other side of Ohio" that is, the 
other view, in contrast to the popular notion that it 
was the paradise of the world. It was written by 
Dr. Hand a talented young physician of Berlin 
who had made a visit to the West about these days. 
It consisted mainly of vivid but painful pictures of 
the accidents and incidents attending this wholesale 
migration. The roads over the Alleghanies, between 
Philadelphia and Pittsburg, were then rude, steep, 
and dangerous, and some of the more precipitous 
slopes were consequently strewn with the carcases 
of wagons, carts, horses, oxen, which had made ship 
wreck in their perilous descents. The scenes on 
the road of families gathered at night in miserable 
sheds, called taverns mothers frying, children cry- 



J >JJJ 




EMIGRATION IN IblT. Vol. 2, p. 8U. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 81 

ing, fathers swearing were a mingled comedy and 
tragedy of errors. Even when they arrived in their 
new homes along the banks of the Muskingum 
or the Scioto frequently the whole family father, 
mother, children speedily exchanged the fresh com 
plexion and elastic step of their first abodes, for the 
sunken cheek and languid movement, which marks 
the victim of intermittent fever. 

The instances of home-sickness, described by this 
vivid sketcher, were touching. Not even the captive 
Israelites, who hung their harps upon the willows 
along the banks of the Euphrates, wept more bitter 
tears, or looked back with more longing to their na 
tive homes, than did these exiles from New England 
mourning the land they had left, with its roads, 
schools, meeting-houses its hope, health, and happi 
ness ! Two incidents, related by the traveler, I must 
mention though I do it from recollection, as I have 
not a copy of the work. He was one day riding in 
the woods, apart from the settlements, when he met 
a youth, some eighteen years of age, in a hunting- 
frock, and with a fowling-piece in his hand. The 
two fell into conversation. 

" Where are you from ?" said the youth, at last. 

" From Connecticut," was the reply. 

" That is near the old Bay State ?" 

"Yes." 

" And have you been there ?" 

" To Massachusetts ? Yes, many a time." 

4* 



82 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

"Let me take your hand, stranger. My mother 
was from the Bay State, and brought me here when 
I was an infant. I have heard her speak of it. Oh, 
it must be a lovely land ! I wish I could see a 
meeting-house and a school-house, for she is always 
talking about them. And the sea the sea oh, if I 
could see that ! Did you ever see it, stranger ?" 

" Yes, often." 

" What, the real, salt sea the ocean with the 
ships upon it ?" 

"Yes." 

" Well" said the youth, scarcely able to suppress 
his emotion " if I could see the old Bay State and 
the ocean, I should be willing then to die 1" 

In another instance the traveler met somewhere 
in the valley of the Scioto a man from Hartford, by 
the name of Bull. He was a severe democrat, and 
feeling sorely oppressed with the idea that he was no 
better off in Connecticut under federalism than the 
Hebrews in Egypt, joined the throng and migrated to 
Ohio. He was a man of substance, but his wealth 
was of little avail in a new country, where all the 
comforts and luxuries of civilization were unknown. 

" When I left Connecticut," said he, " I was wretch 
ed from thinking of the sins of federalism. After I 
had got across Byram river, which divides that State 
from New York, I knelt down and thanked the Lord 
for that he had brought me and mine out of such a 
Driest-ridden land. But I ve been well punished, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 83 

and I m now preparing to return ; when I again 
cross Byram river, I shall thank God that he has per 
mitted me to get back again !" 

Mr. Bull did return, and what he hardly anticipa 
ted had taken place in his absence : the federal dy 
nasty had passed away, and democracy was reigning 
in its stead ! This was effected by a union of all the 
dissenting sects Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists 
co-operating with the democrats to overthrow the 
old and established order of things. Up to this pe 
riod, Connecticut had no other constitution than the 
colonial charter granted by Charles II. This was a 
meager instrument, but long usage had supplied its 
deficiencies, and the State had, practically, all the 
functions of a complete political organization. It 
had begun in Puritanism, and even now, as I have 
elsewhere stated notwithstanding gradual modifica 
tions the old Congregational orthodoxy still held 
many privileges, some traditionary and some statu 
tory. Yale College an institution of the highest 
literary standing had been from the beginning, in 
its influence, a religious seminary in the hands of the 
Congregational clergy. The State had not only char 
tered it, but had endowed and patronized it. And 
besides, the statute-book continued to give preference 
to this sect, compelling all persons to pay taxes to it, 
unless they should declare their adhesion to some 
other persuasion. 

All this was incompatible with ideas and interests 



84 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

that had now sprung up in the community. The 
Episcopalians had become a large and powerful body, 
and though they were generally federalists, they now 
clamored as an offset to the endowments of Yale Col 
lege for a sum of money to lay the foundation of a 
" Bishops Fund." The Methodists and Baptists had 
discovered that the preference given to orthodoxy, 
was a union of Church and State, and that the whole 
administration was but the dark and damning machi 
nery of privileged priestcraft. To all these sources 01 
discontent, the democracy added the hostility which 
it had ever felt toward federalism now intensely em 
bittered by the aggravations of the war and the Hart 
ford Convention. 

It was clear that the doom of federalism was at 
hand, even in Connecticut. Many things had con 
spired to overthrow it in other parts of the country. 
Jefferson had saddled it, in the popular mind, with a 
tendency to monarchy and a partiality for England 
a burden which it was hard to bear especially near 
the revolutionary period, when the hearts of the peo 
ple still beat with gratitude to France and aggravated 
hostility to Great Britain. John Adams, the candidate 
of the federalists, gave great strength to this charge 
by his conduct, and having thus nearly broken down 
his supporters, did what he could to complete their de 
struction, by at last going over to the enemy. John 
Quincy Adams followed in the footsteps of his father. 
Washington was early withdrawn from the scene of 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 85 

action : Hamilton was shot : Burr proved treacherous 
and infamous. The pillars of federalism were shaken, 
and at the same time two mighty instruments were at 
work for its final overthrow. The great body of the 
people had got possession of suffrage, and insisted, 
with increasing vehemence, upon the removal of ev 
ery impediment to its universality. The conserva 
tives, in such a contest, were sure to be at last over 
whelmed, and this issue was not long delayed. One 
thing more the foreign element in our population, 
augmenting every year, was almost wholly democratic. 
Democracy in Europe is the watchword of popular 
liberty ; the word is in all modern languages, the idea 
in all existing masses. This name was now assumed 
by the radical or republican party, and to its stand 
ard, as a matter of course, the great body of the Euro 
pean immigrants little instructed in our history or 
our institutions spontaneously flocked, by the force 
of instinct and prepossession. And still further as I 
have before intimated, nearly all foreigners hate Eng 
land, and in this respect they found a ready and active 
sympathy with the democratic party the federalists 
being of course charged with the damning sin of love 
for that country and its institutions. 

To these and other general influences, which had 
shattered the federal party in the Southern and Mid 
dle States, was now added, in Connecticut, the local 
difficulties founded in sectarian discontent. But it is 
probable that a revolution could not have been speed- 



86 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ily consummated, but for an adventitious incident. 
Oliver Wolcott, who had been one of Washington s 
cabinet, and of the strictest sect of federalism, had re 
sided some years in New York, where he had acquired 
a handsome fortune by commercial pursuits. For a 
number of years he had taken no part in politics, 
though I believe he had rather given support to the 
war. No doubt he disapproved of the course of the 
federalists, for I remember that shortly before the 
Hartford Convention he was at my uncle s house 
the two being brothers-in-law as I have before sta 
ted. In allusion to the coming assembly, I recollect 
to have heard him say, interrogatively 

"Well, brother Goodrich, I hope you are not about 
to breed any mischief?" 

"Sir," said my uncle, somewhat rebukingly, "you 
know me too well to make it necessary to ask that 
question !" 

I recollect at a later period, when he was governor 
of Connecticut, to have heard him speak reproachfully 
of both political parties in New York. Said he 

" After living a dozen years in that State, I don t 
pretend to comprehend their politics. It is a laby 
rinth of wheels within wheels, and is understood only 
by the managers. Why, these leaders of the opposite 
parties, who in the papers and before the world 
seem ready to tear each other s eyes out, will meet some 
rainy night in a dark entry, and agree, whichever way 
the election goes, they will share the spoils together 1" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 87 

At all events, about this time Oliver Wolcott re 
moved to Litchfield, his native place, and in 1817 
was nominated for governor by the malcontents of 
all parties, rallying under the name of Toleration. 
To show the violent nature of the fusion which uni 
ted such contradictory elements into one homogene 
ous mass, it may be well to quote here an extract 
from a Connecticut democratic organ the American 
Mercury. This paper, with others, had charged Oli 
ver Wolcott with burning down the War and Treas 
ury Departments at Philadelphia, in order to cover 
up the iniquities he had committed while Secretary of 
War. The following was its language, Feb. 3, 1801 : 

" An evening paper asks the editor for his knowledge : the 
editors of that paper, if they will apply to Israel Israel, Esq., 
may have full and perfect knowledge of the accounts published. 
To conceal fraud and rob the public; to conceal dilapidation 
and plunder, while the public are paying enormous interest for 
money to support wicked and unnecessary measures ; to conceal 
as much as possible the amount and names of the robbers, and 
the plans and evidences of the villainy these the editor believes 
to have been the true causes of the conflagration. When did it 
take place? At the dusk of night, and in the rooms in which 
the books were kept, in which were contained the registers of 
public iniquity!" 

A short time after this February 26 the same 
paper copies ftom the Philadelphia Aurora an article, 
of which the following are extracts : 

" The Honorable Mr. Wolcott, ex-Secretary of the Treasury, 
successor to the virtuous Hamilton and predecessor to the equal- 



88 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ly virtuous Dexter, has lately honored our city with his presence. 
Having done enough for his ungrateful country, he is retiring to 
the place from whence he came, to enjoy the otium cum digni- 
tate. It is to be hoped he will have enough of the former, to 
afford him an opportunity of nursing what little he has of the 
latter. 

" This representative of Mr. Hamilton was very fortunate in 
escaping the federal bonfires at Washington ; even his papers and 
private property were providentially saved but his fair fame 
sustained a slight singeing between the two fires : his friends in 
Congress, it is presumed, will pass a vote which shall operate as 
a cataplasm to the burn. 

" Our federal worthies, justly appreciating the services of this 
valuable man, and wisely considering that nothing can afford more 
pleasure than eating or drinking, resolved to treat him to a din 
ner ; and as it is proper the world should know that Mr. Wolcott 
had something to eat in Philadelphia, their proceedings on the 
occasion, at least such parts of them as will bear the light, are 
published in the federal prints." 

Such were the opinions at least such were the 
representations of the leading democratic organs, 
respecting Oliver Wolcott, the federalist, in 1801. In 
1817, he was the champion of the democratic party 
in Connecticut, and the idol of the American Mer 
cury! What transformations are equal to those which 
the history of political parties, for the short space of 
twenty years, brings to our view ? 

It is needless to tell you in detail what immediately 
followed. The struggle was one of the most violent 
that was ever witnessed in Connecticut. It was cu 
rious as well as violent for we saw fighting side by 
side, shoulder to shoulder, democracy, Methodism, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 89 

Episcopacy, Pedobaptism, Universalism, radicalism, 
infidelity all united for the overthrow of federalism 
and orthodoxy ; and Oliver Wolcott was the leader in 
this onset ! The election took place in April, 1817, 
and the federalists were routed, according to the es 
tablished phrase, " horse, foot, and dragoons." John 
Cotton Smith,* the most popular man in the State, 



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

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

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

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



90 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

was defeated : federalism was in the dust, toleration 
was triumphant ! 

I remember that at that time, William L. Stone was 
editor of the Connecticut Mirror. Nearly the whole 
paper, immediately preceding the election, was filled 
with pungent matter. I think I filled a column or 
two myself. The feelings of the federalists were 
very much wrought up, but after it was all over, 
they took it good-naturedly. A new Constitution 
for the State 1818 and a very good one, was the 
first fruit of the revolution. Wolcott continued gov 
ernor for ten years, and taking a moderate course, 
in the end, satisfied reasonable men of both parties. 
He was no radical, and inasmuch as a political change 
in Connecticut was inevitable, it is probable that no 
better man could have been found, to lead the people 
through the emergency.* 

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

" Bold Wolcott urged the all-important cause 
With steady hand the solemn scene he draws ; 
Undaunted firmness with his wisdom join d 
Nor kings, nor worlds, could warp his steadfast mind." 
He was elected governor in 1796, but died the next year. 

His son Oliver was born 1759, and became Secretary of the Treasury, 
tinder Washington, upon the retirement of Hamilton, in 1795. He was 
continued in this office till the close of Adams s administration. After 
twelve years of public service, he retired, with but six hundred dollars 
in his pocket ! He devoted himself to commerce in New York from 
2801 to 1815. His correspondence, in two volumes octavo, has been 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 91 

During the period in which Oliver Wolcott was 
governor, I was several times at Litchfield, and often 
at his house. My sister, Mrs. Cooke, had married his 
brother, Frederick Wolcott, living in the old family 

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

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

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

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

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



92 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

mansion near by, and as I have intimated, my uncle, 
Chauncey Goodrich, had married his sister thus 
making a double connection in the family. Uriah 
Tracy,* one of the most distinguished men in the 

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

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

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

" The closing scene corresponded with the tenor of his long arid use 
ful life. It was calm, dignified, of steadfast faith, meekness, patience, 
and Christian hope. He died in the full possession of his mental fac 
ulties, leaving behind him a traly enviable reputation, and coming to 
his grave, as a shock of corn fully ripe, in its season. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECUOTICAL, ETC. 93 

history of Connecticut, had been dead for several 
years, but others of great eminence were still living- 
giving to Litchfield a remarkable prominence in the 
State. Among these were Tapping Reeve,* at one 
time chief-justice of Connecticut, and founder of the 
law school, which was long the first institution of the 
kind in the United States ; Colonel Talmadge, distin 
guished as a gallant officer in the Revolution, and a 
manly, eloquent debater in Congress ; James Gould, 
a learned judge, an elegant scholar, and successor of 
Reeve in the law school ; Jabez W. Huntington law 
lecturer, judge, senator and distinguished in all these 
eminent stations; Lyman Beecher,f an able theolo- 

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

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

The President thrust his hands into his breeches pockets, and strode 
fiercely across the room : then coming up to Tracy, he said " No, sir, 

no that Boston Junto will never be satisfied till they drive me and 

my family back to Braintree to dig potatoes. No, sir I ll not with 
draw it !" 

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

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



94: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

gian and eloquent preacher, and even now more wide 
ly known through his talented family, than his own 
genius. Litchfield Hill was in fact not only one of 
the most elevated features in the physical conforma 
tion of Connecticut, but one of the focal points of litera 
ture and civilization. You will readily suppose that 
my visits here were among the most interesting events 
of my early life. 

In August, 1851, there was at Litchfield a gather 
ing of distinguished natives of the county, convened 
to celebrate its organization, which had taken place a 
century before. Appropriate addresses were made by 
Judge Church, Dr. Bushnell, F. A. Tallmadge, D. S. 
Dickinson, George W. Holley, George Gould, Henry 
Dutton, and other persons of distinction. Among 

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

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

At the time I was in Litchfield I heard the following anecdote of Dr. B. 
He was one evening going home, having in his hand a volume of Roe s 
Encyclopaedia, which he had taken at the bookstore. In his way, ho 
met a skunk, and threw the book at him, upon which the animal re 
torted, and with such effect that the doctor reached home in a very 
shocking plight. Some time after lie was assailed, rather abusively, 
by a controversialist, and a friend advised the doctor to reply. " No," 
said he" I once discharged a quarto at a skunk, and I got the worst of 
it. I do not wish to try it again 1" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 95 

the performances was a poem by Eev. J. Pierpont, * 
alike illustrative of the local history of Litchfield and 
the manners and character of New England. 

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

Here dwells a people by their leave I speak 

Peculiar, homogeneous, and unique 

With eyes wide open, and a ready ear, 

Whate er is going on to see and hear; 

Nay, they do say, the genuine Yankee keeps 

One eye half open, when he soundest sleeps. 

* * * * * 

He loves his labor, as he loves his life ; 

He loves his neighbor, and he loves his wife: 

And why not love her ? Was she not the pearl 

Above all price, while yet she was a girl ? 

And, has she not increased in value since, 

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

Not love a Yankee wife ! what, under Heaien, 

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

So fair, so faithful, so intent to please, 

A " help" so " meet" in health or in disease ! 
* * * * * 

And then, such housewives as these Yankees make ; 

What can t they do ? Bread, pudding, pastry, cake, 

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

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

Parlor and kitchen, company and curds, 

Daughters and dairy, linens, and the lunch 

For out-door laborers instead of punch 

The balls of butter, kept so sweet and cool 

All the boys heads, before they go to school, 

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

That she has wound and covered for them all, 

All is o ersceu o erseen ! nay, it is don*, 

By these same Yankee wives: If you have run 

Thus far without one, toward your setting sun, 

Lose no more time, my friend go home and speak for one I 
***** 
The Yankee boy, before he s sent to school, 

Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool, 



96 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL. 

I think it may be safely said that there are few 
counties in the United States, which could furnish 
either such a poet or such materials for poetry, as this 

The pocket-knife. To that his wistful eye 

Turns, while he hears his mother s lullaby ; 

His hoarded cents he gladly gives to get it, 

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

And, in the education of the lad, 

No little part that implement hath had. 

His pocket-knife to the young whittler brings 

A growing knowledge of material things. 

Projectiles, music, and the sculptor s art, 

His chestnut whistle, and his shingle dart 

His elder pop-gun with its hickory rod, 

Its sharp explosion and rebounding wad, 

His corn-stalk fiddle, and the deeper tone 

That murmurs from his pumpkin-leaf trombone, 

Conspire to teach the boy. To these succeed 

His bow, his arrow of a feathered reea, 

His windmill, raised the passing breeze to win, 

His water-wheel that turns upon a pin ; 

Or, if his father lives upon the shore, 

You ll see his ship, " beam-ends" upon the floor, 

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

And waiting, near the washtub, for a launch. 

Thus by his genius and his jack-knife driven, 

Ere long he ll solve you any problem given; 

Make any gimcrack, musical or mute, 

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

Make you a locomotive or a clock, 

Cut a canal, or build a floating-dock, 

Or lead forth Beauty from a marble block; 

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

From a child s rattle to a seventy-four : 

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

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

And, when the thing is made whether it be 

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

Whether on water o er the waves to glide, 

Or upon land to roll, revolve, or slide, 

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

Whether it be a piston or a spring, 

Wheel, pulley, tube sonorous, wood or brass 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 97 

It has not only produced the eminent men already 
noticed, but it has been the birthplace of thirteen 
United States senators, twenty-two representatives 

The thing designed shall surely come to pass ; 
For, when his hand s upon it, you may know, 
That there s go in it, and he ll make it go ! 
***** 

Tis not my purpose to appropriate 
All that is clever to our native State : 
The children of her sister States, our cousins, 
Present their claims : allow them though by dozens ; 

***** 
But when we ve weighed them, in a balance true, 
And given our cousins all that is their due, 
Will not themselves acknowledge that the weight 
Inclines in favor of " the Nutmeg State ?" 

***** 

What if her faith, to which she clings as true, 
Appears, to some eyes, slightly tinged with blue? 
With blue as blue, aside from any ism, 
We find no fault ; the spectrum of a prism, 
The rainbow, and the flowers-de-luce, that look 
At their own beauty in the glassy brook, 
Show us a blue, that never fails to please ; 
So does yon lake, when rippled by a breeze; 
In morning-glories blue looks very well, 
And in the little flower they call " blue-bell." 
No better color is there for the sky, 
Or, as /think, for a blonde beauty s eye. 
It s very pretty for a lady s bonnet, 
Or for the ribbon that she puts upon it ; 
But in her faith, as also in her face, 
Some will insist that blue is out of place ; 
As all agree it would be in the rose 
She wears, and, peradventure, in her hose. 

Still, for her shrewdness, must the "Nutmeg State" 
As Number One among her sisters rate ; 
And which, of all Tier counties, will compare, 
For size, or strength, for water, soil, or air, 
With our good Mother County which has sown 
Her children, broadcast, o er a wider zone, 
Around the globe ? And has she not, by far, 
Outdone the rest in giving to the bar, 

VOL. II. 5 



98 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

in Congress from the State of New York, alone, fif 
teen judges of the supreme courts of other States, 
nine presidents of colleges, and eighteen professors of 
colleges ! 

And to the bench for half of all her years 
The brightest names of half the hemispheres? 

Our Mother County ! never shalt thou boast 
Of mighty cities, or a sea- washed coast ! 
Not thine the marts where Commerce spreads her wings, 
And to her wharves the wealth of India brings ; 
No field of thine has e er been given to fame, 
Or stamp d, by History, with a hero s name ; 
For, on no field of thine was e er displayed 
A hostile host, or drawn a battle-blade. 
The better honors thine, that wait on Peace. 
Thy names are chosen, not from martial Greece, 
Whose bloody laurels by the sword were won, 
Platea, Salamis, and Marathon 
But from the pastoral people, strong and free, 
Whose hills looked down upon the Midland sea 
The Holy Land. Thy Carmel lifts his head 
Over thy Bethlehem thy " house of bread ;" 
Not Egypt s land of G-oslien equaled thine, 
For wealth of pasture, or "well-favored kine," 
While many a streamlet through thy Canaan flows, 
And in thy Sharon blushes many a rose. 

But, Mother Litchfield, thou hast stronger claims 
To be called holy, than thy holy names 
Can give thee. Reckon as thy jewels, then, 
Thy saintly women, and thy holy men. 
Scarce have thine early birds from sleep awoke, 
And up thy hillsides curls the cottage smoke, 
When rises with it, on the morning air, 
The voice of household worship and of prayer ; 
And when the night-bird sinks upon her nest, 
To warm her fledglings with her downy breast, 
In reverent posture many a father stands, 
And, o er his children, lifting holy hands, 
Gives them to God, the Guardian of their sleep ; 
While round their beds their nightly vigils keep, 
Those Angel ministers of heavenly grace, 
Who " always do behold their Father s face." 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 99 



LETTER XXXIV, 

Stephen R. Bradley My Pursuit of the Vocation of Bookseller and Publish 
er Scoffs Poems General Enthusiasm Byron s Poems Their Re 
ception The Waverley Novels Their amazing Popularity I publish an 
Edition of them Literary Club at Hartford J. M. Wainwright, Isaac 
Toucey, William Z. Stone, &c, The Round Table Original American 
Works State of Opinion as to American Literature Publication of 
TrumbuWs Poems Books for Education Rev. G. A. Goodrich Dr. 
Oomstock Woodbridge s Geography, 

MY DEAK 0****** 

Early in the year 1818 I was married to the 
daughter of Stephen Rowe Bradley,* of Westminster, 
Vermont. Thus established in life, I pursued the 
business of bookseller and publisher at Hartford for 



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



100 LETTEKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

four years. My vocation gave me the command of 
books, but I was able to read but little, my eyes con 
tinuing to be so weak that I could hardly do justice 
to my affairs. By snatches, however, I dipped into a 
good many books, and acquired a considerable knowl 
edge of authors and their works. 

During the period in which Scott had been enchant 
ing the world with his poetry that is, from 1805 to 
1815 I had shared in the general intoxication. The 
Lady of the Lake delighted me beyond expression, 
and even now, it seems to me the most pleasing and 
perfect of metrical romances. These productions 
seized powerfully upon the popular mind, partly on 
account of the romance of their revelations, and 
partly also because of the pellucidity of the style 
and the easy flow of the versification. Everybody 
could read and comprehend them. One of my 
younger sisters committed the whole of the Lady 
of the Lake to memory, and was accustomed of an 
evening to sit at, her sewing, while she recited it 
to an admiring circle of listeners. All young poets 
were inoculated with the octa-syllabic verse, and news- 

opments of the interior machinery of parties, during the times of 
Washington, Jefferson, and Madison; his portraitures of the polit 
ical leaders of these interesting eras in our history all freely com 
municated at a period when he had retired from the active arena of 
politics, and now looked back upon them with the feelings of a philos 
opher were in the highest degree interesting and instructive. He re 
ceived the degree of LL.D., and having removed to Walpole, in New 
Hampshire, a few years before, died Dec. 16, 1830, aged 76. His son, 
W. C. Bradley still living, at the age of 74 has also been a distin 
guished lawyer and member of Congress. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 101 

papers, magazines, and even volumes, teemed with im 
itations and variations inspired by the "Wizard Harp 
of the North." Not only did Scott* himself continue to 
pour out volume after volume, but others produced set 

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

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

" Sated with home, with wife and children tired, 

The restless soul is driven abroad to roam 

Sated abroad, all seen, yet naught admired 

The restless soul is driven to ramble home. 

Sated with both, beneath new Drury s dome, 

The fiend Ennui a while consents to pine 

There growls and curses like a deadly Gnome, 

Scorning to view fantastic Columbine, 
Viewing with scorn the nonsense of the Nine! 

***** 
" For what is Hamlet, but a hare in March ? 

And what is lirutus, but a croaking owl ? 

And what i* Holla? Cupid stocp d in starch, 

Orlando s helmet in Augustine s cowl! 

Shakspeare how truo thine adage, fuir is foul 

To him whose soul is with fruition fraught, 

The song of Brahjim is an Irish howl 

Thinking it but an idle waste of thought, 
And naught is every thing and every thing is naught P 



102 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

poems, in his style, some of them so close in their 
imitation, as to be supposed the works of Scott him 
self, trying the effect of a disguise. At last, however, 
the market was overstocked, and the general appetite 
began to pall with a surfeit, when one of those sud 
den changes took place in the public taste, which re 
semble the convulsions of nature as a whirlwind 
or a tempest in the tropics by which a monsoon, 
having blown steadily from one point in the compass, 
for six months, is made to turn about and blow as 
steadily in the opposite direction. 

It was just at the point in which the octa-syllabic 
plethora began to revolt the public taste, that Byron 
produced his first canto of Childe Harold s Pilgrim 
age. In London, the effect was sudden, and the 
youthful poet who went to bed a common man, woke 
up in the morning and found himself famous. This 



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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 103 

ready appreciation there, arose in a great degree from 
the fact that the author was a man of fashion and a 
lord. In this country,, these adventitious attributes 
were less readily felt, and therefore the reception of 
the new poem was more hesitating and distrustful. 
For some time, only a few persons seemed to com 
prehend it, and many who read it, scarcely knew 
whether to be delighted or shocked. As it gradually 
made its way in the public mind, it was against a 
strong current both of taste and principle. 

The public eye and ear imbued with the ge 
nius of Scott had become adjusted to his sensuous 
painting of external objects, set in rhymes resonant 
as those of the nursery books. His poems were, 
in fact, lyrical romances, with something of epic dig 
nity of thought and incident, presented in all the 
simplicity of ballad versification. A person with 
tastes and habits formed upon the reading of these 
productions, opening upon Childe Harold s Pilgrim 
age, was likely to feel himself amid the long-drawn 
stanzas and the deep, mystic meditations in some 
what of a labyrinth. Scott s poems were, moreover, 
elevating in their moral tone, and indeed the popular 
literature of the day having generally purified itself 
from the poisons infused into it by the spirit of the 
French Eevolution was alike conservative in man 
ners and morals. Campbell s Pleasures of Hope and 
Kogers Pleasures of Memory, were favorite poems 
from 1800 to 1815 ; and during the same period, 



104 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Thaddeus of Warsaw, tlie Scottish Chiefs, the Pas 
tor s Fireside, by Jane Porter ; Sandford and Merton, 
by Day ; Belinda, Leonora, Patronage, by Miss Edge- 
worth; and Ccelebs in Search of a Wife, by Han 
nah More were types of the popular taste in tales 
and romances. It was therefore a fearful plunge 
from this elevated moral tone in literature, into the 
daring if not blasphemous skepticisms of the new 
poet. 

The power of his productions, however, could not 
be resisted : he had, in fact in delineating his own 
moody and morbid emotions seemed to open a new 
mine of poetry in the soul ; at least, he was the first 
to disclose it to the popular mind. By degrees, the 
public eye admitted to these gloomy, cavernous re 
gions of thought became adjusted to their dim and 
dusky atmosphere, and saw, or seemed to see, a ma 
jestic spirit beckoning them deeper and deeper into its 
labyrinths. Thus, what was at first revolting, came 
at last to be a fascination. Having yielded to the 
enchanter, the young and the old, the grave and 
the gay, gave themselves up to the sorceries of 
the poet-wizard. The struggle over, the new-born 
love was ardent and profound, in proportion as it 
had dallied or resisted at the beginning. The very 
magnitude of the change in passing from Scott s 
romantic ballads to Byron s metaphysical trances 
when at last it was sanctioned by fashion, seemed to 
confirm and sanctify the revolution. Thus in about 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 105 

five or six years after the appearance of the first canto 
of Childe Harold s Pilgrimage the others having 
speedily followed the whole poetic world had be 
come Byronic. Aspiring -young rhymers now affect 
ed the Spenserian stanza, misanthropy, and skepti 
cism. As Byron advanced in his career of profligacy, 
and reflected his shameless debaucheries in Don Juan, 
Beppo, and other similar effusions, the public se 
duced, bewildered, enchanted still followed him, and 
condescended to bring down their morals and their 
manners to his degraded and degrading standard. 

The secret of the power thus exercised lay in va 
rious elements. In England, the aristocratic rank of 
Byron added greatly to his influence over the public 
mind, and this was at last reflected in America. 
With little real feeling of nature, he had, however, 
an imagination of flame, and an amazing gift of po 
etic expression. The great fascination, however 
that which creates an agonizing interest in his prin 
cipal poems is the constant idea presented to the 
reader that, under the disguise of his fictitious heroes, 
he is unconsciously depicting his own sad, despairing 
emotions. We always feel whether in perusing 
Childe Harold, or Manfred, or Cain, or any of his 
more elaborate works as if we were listening to the 
moans of Prometheus struggling with the vultures, 
or of Ixion toiling at his wheel. We could not, if 
we would, refuse our pity for such suffering, even in 
a demon; how deep, then, must be our sympathy, 

5* 



106 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

when this is spoken to us in the thrilling tones of 
humanity, using as its vehicle all the music and mel 
ody of the highest lyrical art ! 

In vain, therefore, was it that the moralist resisted 
the diffusion of Byron s poems over the country. 
The pulpit opened its thunders against them teach 
ers warned their pupils, parents their children. I 
remember, even as late as 1820, that some booksellers 
refused to sell them, regarding them as infidel publi 
cations. About this time a publisher of Hartford, on 
this ground, declined being concerned in stereotyping 
an edition of them. It was all in vain. Byron could 
no more be kept at bay, than the cholera. His works 
have had their march over the world, and their victims 
have been probably not less numerous than those of 
that scourge of the nations. Byron may be, in fact, 
considered as having opened the gates to that tide of 
infidelity and licentiousness which sometimes came out 
boldly, as in the poems of Shelly, and more disguisedly 
in various other works, which converted Paul Clifford 
and Dick Turpin into popular heroes. He lowered the 
standard of public taste, and prepared a portion of the 
people of England and America to receive with favor 
the blunt sensualities of Paul de Kock, and the subtle 
infiltrations of deism by Madame George Sand. Hap 
pily, society has in its bosom the elements of conserva 
tism, and at the present day the flood of license has 
subsided, or is subsiding. Byron is still read, but his 
immoralities, his atheism, have lost their relish, and 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 107 

are now deemed offenses and blemishes, and at the 
same time the public taste is directing itself in favor of 
a purer and more exalted moral tone in every species 
of literature. Longfellow, Bryant, and Tennyson are 
the exponents of the public taste in poetry, and 
Hawthorne, Dickens, Thackeray, in romance. All 
the varied forms of light reading are taking a corre 
sponding tone of respect for morals and religion. 

Scott speedily appreciated the eclipse to which his 
poetical career was doomed by the rising genius of 
Byron. He now turned his attention to prose fiction, 
and in July, 1814, completed and published Waverley, 
which had been begun some eight or ten years before. 
It produced no sudden emotion in the literary world. 
It was considered a clever performance nothing 
more. I recollect to have heard it criticised by some 
veteran novel-readers of that day, because its leading 
character, Waverley, was only a respectable, common 
place person, and not a perfect hero, according to the 
old standards of romance. Guy Mannering came out 
the next year, and was received with a certain degree 
of eagerness. The Antiquary, Black Dwarf, Old 
Mortality, Eob Roy, and the Heart of Mid-Lothian, 
followed in quick succession. I suspect that never, 
in any age, have the productions of any author created 
in the world so wide and deep an enthusiasm. This 
emotion reached its height upon the appearance of 
Ivanhoe in 1819, which, I think, proved the most 
popular of these marvelous productions. 



108 

At this period, although, there was a good deal of 
mystery as to their authorship, the public generally 
referred them to Scott.* He was called the " Great 
Unknown" a title which served to create even an 
adventitious interest in his career. The appearance 
of a new tale from his pen, caused a greater sensation 
in the United States than did some of the battles of 
Napoleon, which decided the fate of thrones and em 
pires. Everybody read these works ; everybody 
the refined and the simple shared in the delightful 
trances which seemed to transport them to remote 
ages and distant climes, and made them live and 
breathe in the presence of the stern Covenanters of 
Scotland, the gallant bowmen of Sherwood Forest, 
or even the Crusaders in Palestine, where Coeur de 
Lion and Saladin were seen struggling for the mas 
tery ! I can testify to my own share in this intoxi 
cation. I was not able, on account of my eyes, to 
read these works myself, but I found friends to read 



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



109 

them to me. To one good old maid Heaven bless 
her! I was indebted for the perusal of no less than 
seven of these tales. 

Of course, there were many editions of these works 
in the United States, and among ethers, I published 
an edition, I think in eight volumes, octavo inclu 
ding those which had appeared at that time. About 
this period that is, in 1819 I was one of a literary 
club, of which J. M. Wainwright,* Isaac Toucey, 
William L. Stone, Jonathan Law, S. H. Huntington, 
and others, were members. The first meeting was at 
my house, and I composed a poem for the occasion, 

* Dr. Wainwright was born at Liverpool, in 1792, of parents who 
were citizens of the United States, but who at that date were on a visit 
to England. He came to this country at the age of 11, was educated at 
Cambridge, and was instituted rector of Christ Church at Hartford, in 

1815. He came to New York about 1820, and after filling various im 
portant stations, was in 1852 elected provisional bishop of the diocese of 
New York. He was an accomplished scholar and gentleman, and an 
earnest and successful laborer in the various fields to which his life was 
devoted. 

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

William L. Stone, born at Esopus, New York, 1792, was first a printer, 
and afterward became distinguished as an editor first in conducting 
a political paper at Albany, and then at Hudson. When Theodore 
Dwight, who had founded the Connecticut Mirror, left for Albany, in 

1816, Mr. Stone succeeded him. In 1821, he succeeded to the editorship 
of the Commercial Advertiser, at New York, which place he filled till 
his death, in 1844. He published various works, among which were the 
Life of Brant, Memoir of Red Jacket, Letters on Masonry and Antiina- 
Bonry, &c. He wrote with great rapidity and fluency, and had a iv- 
markable talent in collecting materials and making compilations. Irx 
personal character he was exceedingly amiable, giving his warm svm 
pathy to all things charitable and religious. 

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



110 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

entitled "A Vision" afterward published, with other 
poems, in 1836. I also published three or four num 
bers of a small work entitled the " Bound Table," the 
articles of which were written by different members ot 
the club. 

About this time I began to think of trying to 
bring out original American works. It must be re 
membered that I am speaking of a period prior to 
1820. At that date, Bryant, Irving, and Cooper 
the founders of our modern literature a trinity of 
genius in poetry, essay, and romance had but just 
commenced their literary career. Neither of them 
had acquired a positive reputation. Halleck, Percival, 
Brainard, Longfellow, Willis, were at school at least, 
all were unknown. The general impression was that 
we had not, and could not have, a literature. It was 
the precise point at which Sidney Smith had ut 
tered that bitter taunt in the Edinburgh Eeview 
" Who reads an American book ?" It proved to be 
that "darkest hour just before the dawn." The 
successful booksellers of the country Carey, Small, 
Thomas, Warner, of Philadelphia ; Campbell, Duyc- 
kinck, Keed, Kirk & Mercein, Whiting & Watson, of 
New York ; Beers & Howe, of New Haven ; 0. D. 



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

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



IIISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. Ill 

Cooke, of Hartford ; West & Eichardson, Cummings 
& Hilliard, E. P. & C. Williams, S. T. Armstrong, of 
Boston were for the most part the mere reproducers 
and sellers of English books. It was positively in 
jurious to the commercial credit of a bookseller to 
undertake American works, unless they might be 
Morse s Geographies, classical books, school-books, 
devotional books, or other utilitarian works. 

Nevertheless, about this time I published an edi 
tion of Trumbull s poems, in two volumes, octavo, 
and paid him a thousand dollars, and a hundred 
copies of the work, for the copyright. I was seriously 
counseled against this by several booksellers and, in 
fact, Trumbull had sought a publisher, in vain, for 
several years previous. There was an association 
of designers and engravers at Hartford, called the 
" Graphic Company,"* and as I desired to patronize 
the liberal arts there, I employed them to execute the 
embellishments. For so considerable an enterprise, 
I took the precaution to get a subscription, in which 
I was tolerably successful. The work was at last 
produced, but it did not come up to the public ex 
pectation, or the patriotic zeal had cooled, and more 
than half the subscribers declined taking the work. 

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



112 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

I did not press it, but putting a good face upon the 
affair, I let it pass, and while the public supposed I 
had made money by my enterprise, and even the au 
thor looked askance at me in the jealous apprehension 
that I had made too good a bargain out of him I 
quietly pocketed a loss of about a thousand dollars. 
This was my first serious adventure in patronizing 
American literature. 

About the same period I turned my attention to 
books for education and books for children, being 
strongly impressed with the idea that there was he^e a 
large field for improvement. I wrote, myself, a small 
arithmetic, and half a dozen toy -books, and published 
them, though I have never before confessed their au 
thorship. I also employed several persons to write 
school histories, and educational manuals of chemis 
try, natural philosophy, &c., upon plans which I pre 
scribed all of which I published ; but none of these 
were very successful at that time. Some of them, 
passing into other hands, are now among the most 
popular and profitable school-books in the country.* 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 113 

William C. Woodbridge, one of the teachers of the 
Deaf and Dumb Asylum, at this time projected a 
school geography, in which I assisted him mostly in 
preparing the details of the work for the press, and in 
the mechanical department. When an edition of it 
was finally ready after long and anxious labor, both 
on his part and mine the state of my health com 
pelled me to relinquish it. This work acquired great 
popularity, and became the starting-point of a new 
era in school geographies, both in this country and 
in England. 



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

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



114 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER XXXV. 

Sketches of the " Hartford Wits" Dr. Hopkins Trumbull, author of Mc- 
Fingal David Humphries Dr. Strong Theodore Dwight Thomas II. 
Gallaudet Daniel Wadsicorth Dr. Coggswell Mrs. Sigourney. 

MY DEAR 0****** 

In order to complete the panorama of my life at 
Hartford, I must give you a brief sketch of some of 
the persons whom I knew there, and who had become 
conspicuous by their words or works. I have al 
ready said that Hopkins, * who in point of genius 
stood at the head of the noted literary fraternity of 
" Hartford Wits," was not living when I went to re 
side at that place. Trumbull, the author of McFin- 
gal, was still living, and I knew him well. He was at 
that time an old man, and always small of stature 
was now bent, emaciated, and tottering with a cane. 
His features were finely cut, and he must have been 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 115 

handsome in his younger days. His eye was keen and 
bright, his nose slightly aquiline, his mouth arching 
downward at the corners, expressive of sarcastic hu 
mor. There was something about him that at once 
bespoke the man of letters, the poet, and the satirist.* 

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

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

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



116 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Dr. Strong was the minister of the Middle Brick 
Church the principal Congregational church in the 
city. He was now near threescore and ten large, 
infirm, and shuffling along as if afflicted with gout 
in the feet. His life and character had been marked 
with eccentricities with worldliness, wit, and social 
aptitudes. Nevertheless, he was an eloquent and 
devout preacher: it was said of him that when in 
the pulpit, it seemed that he ought never to leave it, 
and when out of it, that he ought never to go into it. 
All his levity, however, had passed when I knew 
him. He was indeed fast approaching that bourne 
whence no traveler returns. With all his early 

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

" Drew razor swift as he could pull it, 
And cut, from ear to ear, his gullet 1" 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 117 

faults, he had a very strong hold of the affections 
and confidence of his people. His face was remark 
ably expressive, his eye keen, his lips firm, his 
nose arched, and his long, thick, gray hair turned 
back and rolled in waves upon his shoulders. I am 
not sure that his reputation as a man of wit and 
worldly taste, now that these were cast aside, did not 
deepen the impression made by his preaching at this 
period. I am certain that I have never heard dis 
courses more impressive, more calculated to subdue 
the pride of the heart, and turn it to religious sub 
mission, than these. He was considered a man of 
remarkable sagacity, especially in penetrating the 
motives of mankind, and he was at the same time 
esteemed by his clerical brethren as a very able di 
vine. He published two volumes of sermons, but 
they furnish little evidence of the genius which was 
imputed to him. His reputation is now merely tra 
ditional, but it is impossible not to perceive that, 
with such eccentricities, he must have been a man 
of remarkable qualities, inasmuch as he gathered into 
his congregation the first minds in the city, and left 
a name which still seems a bond of union and strength 
to the church over which he presided.* 

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



118 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Theodore Dwight, a younger brother of Dr. Dwight, 
was born at Northampton, in 1764. His early life 
was spent upon the farm, and at that period when 
the wolf, wild-cat, and Indian were occasionally seen 
in the forest furnishing him with ample materials 
for interesting descriptions of adventure in after 

not suffer for the want of this staff of life ! The firm of Strong & Smith 
failed, and the minister shut himself up in his house to avoid the sheriff, 
but as 110 writ could be served on Sundays, he then went forth and 
preached to his congregation. All this took place toward the close of 
the last century. There was nothing in it disgraceful , then. Let those 
who deny that society has made progress in its standard of propriety, 
compare this with the universal tone of public sentiment now. 

Of the numerous anecdotes of Dr. Strong, I give you one or two spe 
cimens. The first of these is connected with the Missionary Society of 
Connecticut, of which he was a principal founder. The Eev. Mr. Bacon 
father of the present celebrated Dr. Leonard Bacon, of New Haven had 
been employed, as a missionary to that part of Ohio called the Western 
Reserve. Some deeply interesting letters, detailing his operations, had 
been received, and on the Sabbath, after the service, Dr. Strong invited 
Theodore Dwight into the pulpit, to read them. This he performed, 
and the letters made a deep impression upon the audience. One old 

man, by the name of Z ... P , who was not only hard of hearing, but 

hard of head and heart, actually wept. As Mr. Dwight was about to 
descend, the doctor whispered to him " You have done in thirty min 
utes what I have not been able to accomplish in thirty years : you have 
made old Z... P.... cry!" 

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

Dr. Mason, of New York, once called on Dr. Strong, and as he was 
about to depart, he stumbled, and almost fell, in consequence of a de 
fect in one of the door-steps. " Why don t you mend your ways?" 
said he, somewhat peevishly. "I was waiting for a Mason," was the 
ready reply. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, EfC. 119 

time. When nearly twenty, he injured his wrist, 
and being disqualified for the labors of a farmer, he 
turned his attention to study, and finally selected the 
profession of the law. He established himself at Hart 
ford,* and rose to eminence in his profession. He 
had, however, a strong bias toward literature, and 

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

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

country. 

Te tribes of Faction, join- 
Tour daughters and your wives : 
Moll Cary s come to dine, 
And dance with Deacon Ives. 
Ye ragged throng 
Of democrats, 
As thick as rats, 
Come join the song. 

Old Deacon Bishop stands, 

With well-befrizzled wig, 
File-leader of the band, 
To open with a jig 
With parrot- toe 
The poor old man 
Tries all he can 
To make it go, <fec. 

When the Non-intercourse act the last of the so-called " Restrictive 
and which by way of ridicule had been nick-named the 



120 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

wrote verses and political essays. Such was the rep 
utation he soon acquired, that he was selected by 
Wolcott, Hamilton, and others, to preside over the 
Evening Post, established in 1801. This offer was 
declined, and William Coleman rilled the place. Mr. 
D wight was elected a member of the State Coun- 

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

DIEGICAL HYMN. 

Mourn ! sons of democratic woe ! 

In sadness bow the head : 
Bend every back with sorrow low 

Poor TEEEAPIN is dead. 

And see his dying bed, around 

His weeping friends appear : 
Low droops his grandsire to the ground ; 

His father drops a tear. 

Old Clopton begs the twentieth god, 

The victim s life to spare : 
Calhoun and Johnson kiss the rod, 

And Troup and Johnson swear. 

Good old Long Tom stands sniveling by 

His dying eyes to close ; 
While Jemmy heaves a bitter sigh, 

And wipes his mournful nose. 

Let sharks exult with savage joy, 

The wallowing porpoise spout: 
No more his fangs their peace annoy, 

Nor dread their ribs his snout 

Mud-turtles, paddle at your ease 

In every pond and pool ; 
Ye tadpoles, settle on your lees, 

And in the slime-bed cool. 

Ye British weavers, shout and sing; 

Ye tinkers, join the chorus ; 
Cobblers and tailors, make a ring, 

And dance a jig before us! 

Tell old King George the glorious tale: 

Amid his dire offences, 
Perhaps twill light his visage pale, 

And bring him to his senses. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 121 

oil, and in 1806, a member of Congress. Soon 
after he established the Connecticut Mirror, and 
from that time followed the career of an editor. 
He was secretary of the Hartford Convention in 
1814. In 1815, he removed to Albany, and con 
ducted the Albany Daily Advertiser: in 1817, he 

The time will shortly come, when we 

Like Terrapin must wander ; 
And our poor eyes will nothing see 

But death s cold Gerrymander! 

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

The following will serve as a specimen of Mr. Dwight s New- Year s 
Carrier s verses, which appeared annually, and acquired great popu 
larity. This extract is from the Connecticut Mirror, January 6, 1813. 
* * * * * 

Survey our desolated shores. 

Our gra-s-grown wharves and empty stores 

Oar arts and industry depressed, 

The wealthy cramp d, the poor distress d: 

Our cities wrapp d in deepest gloom, 

Our commerce buried in the tomb. 

No hum of business meets the ear, 

No songs of joy the bosom cheer; 

The sailor hears the whistling blasts 

Murmur through sullen groves of masts 

The billows dash, the useless sail 

Fhip mournful to the rising gale 

Then turns and views the dismal shed 

Where his young offspring cry for bread. 

And as the nightly breezes blow, 

Curses the authors of his woe! 
Naught but exterminating war 

Could all this nation s blessings mar- 
Naught but an arm of Vandal power 

Vor. 1I.-6 



122 LETTERS BIOGEAPHICAL, 

established the Daily Advertiser in New York, of 
which he was the chief editor till 1836, when he re 
moved to Hartford. He afterward returned to New 
York, where he died, in 1846. 

Among the Hartford notables was Daniel Wads- 
worth, son of Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth, who had 

The harvest of its hopes devour. 

Where is that virtuous patriot band, 

The pride, the bulwark of our land, 

Form d to uphold the nation s sway 

Pinckney, and Strong, and King, and Jay 

Whose counsels might our country shield, 

And guide our armies in the field? 

By party zeal and passions base, 

Exiled from power, and driven from place! 
Who fill the void ? What names succeed ? 

Eead the bright list exult and read! 

Alston and Johnson, Fisk, Desha, 

Porter and Piper, Pond and Ehea, 

Grundy, and Hufty, and Lefevre, 

Sammons and Stow, and Shaw, and Seaver, 

Newton, McCoy, McKim, McKee, 

Smilie, and Troup, and Widgery! 

And shall our nation s courage sink, 

E en on perdition s awful brink, 

When such a constellated train 

Her highest interests sustain ? 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 123 

been a distinguished member of Congress. He had 
traveled in Europe, and was not only a man of large 
wealth, but he had a taste for literature and art. His 
wife was daughter of the second Governor Trumbull, 
and a very excellent example of the refined and dig 
nified lady of the olden time. She had been at Phil- 

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

" In the year 1829 a work was published in Boston, called Specimens of Amer 
ican Poetry, &c., by 8. Kettell. In a biographical sketch of Richard Alsop, a 
minute and circumstantial account is given by Mr. Kettell, and which has been 
frequently referred to as a correct narrative of that publication. It seems no 
more than an act of justice to individuals, that a true history of it should be 
published. 

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

"The Political Green-House 1 was written by Alsop, Hopkins, and Dwight, in 
unequal proportions." 

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

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



LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

adelphia when her father was member of Congress, 
and recited many interesting anecdotes of Washing 
ton and Hamilton, and other great men, whom she 
had there seen. I was often at the house, and here 
frequently saw her Uncle, Col. Trumbull, the artist, 
with his European wife, about whom there was an 
impenetrable mystery. She was a beautiful woman, 
and of elegant manners : her features are well pre 
served in her husband s portrait of her, in the Trum 
bull Gallery, at Yale College. It was rumored that 
she was the daughter of an English earl, but her 
name and lineage were never divulged.* 

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

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

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

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

"Kocks, mounds, and knolls, confusedly hurled, 

The fragments of an earlier world" 
suggesting a resemblance to the wild borders of Loch Katrine, conati- 



125 

It was, I believe, through Mr. Wadsworth s influence 
that Miss Huntly, now Mrs. Sigourney, was induced 
to leave her home in Norwich, and make Hartford 
her residence. This occurred about the year 1814. 
Noiselessly and gracefully she glided into our young 
social circle, and ere long was its presiding genius. 
I shall not write her history, nor dilate upon her lit 
erary career for who does not know them both by 
heart ? Yet I may note her influence in this new re 
lation a part of which fell upon myself. Mingling 
in the gayeties of eur social gatherings, and in no re 
spect clouding their festivity, she led us all toward 
intellectual pursuits and amusements. We had even 
a literary cotery under her inspiration, its first meet 
ings being held at Mr. Wadsworth s. I believe one of 
my earliest attempts at composition was made here. 
The ripples thus begun, extended over the whole 
surface of our young society, producing a lasting and 
refining effect. It could not but be beneficial thus to 
mingle in intercourse with one who has the angelic 
faculty of seeing poetry in all things, and good every 
where. Few persons living have exercised a wider 
influence than Mrs. Sigourney; no one that I now 
know, can look back upon a long and earnest career 
of such unblemished beneficence. 



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



126 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

In the immediate vicinity of Mr. Wadsworth, lived 
Dr. Coggeswell, a renowned surgeon and excellent 
physician. He was, withal, a man of refined tastes, 
and exceedingly easy and gracious address. In early 
life he had been associated with the "Hartford wits," 
and occasionally wrote verses, though more frequently 
of the sentimental than the satirical kind. His daugh 
ter, Alice, was deaf and dumb, if we speak of the ear 
and the lip ; yet her soul heard and spoke in her eyes 
and her countenance. She excited universal interest 
by her sweetness of character, manners, and appear 
ance ; she was, in truth, an eloquent and persuasive 
lecturer upon the language, and beauty, and immor 
tality of the soul that lives above and beyond the 
senses. 

Mr. Gallaudet, the founder of the Deaf and Dumb 
Asylum at Hartford, was a person of very diminutive 
stature, with a smooth, placid physiognomy irradia 
ted, however, by a remarkably large, expressive eye, 
rolling at you over his spectacles. Of a frail and 
feeble constitution, and a mind of no great compass, 
he still possessed two faculties which rendered his 
career glorious. He had a clearness and precision in 
his perceptions, which rendered his mental opera 
tions almost as exact and certain as the movements 
of mechanism. It was this which enabled him to 
master the elements of the art of teaching the deaf 
and dumb, and to carry that art in its uses as well 
as its philosophy greatly beyond its condition when 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 127 

he entered upon it. This principle in the head was 
impelled to action by another in the heart a deep 
conviction that it was his duty to be useful to his 
fellow-men. It is pleasing to observe how wide and 
ample a field may be harvested by a good man, even 
though he may not be a giant or a genius ! 

I must here tell you an anecdote still fresh in my 
recollection. When President Monroe made his tour 
through the New-England States, in the summer of 
1817, the asylum was a novelty, and naturally enough 
was the pride of the good citizens of Hartford. Of 
course, the President was invited to see the perform 
ances of the new institution. He was scarcely out of 
his carriage, and delivered from the noise and confu 
sion of his reception for all the world turned out to 
see him before he was hurried down to the place 
where the school was then kept. 

A high central platform was prepared, like a 
throne, for the great man, and here he took his seat. 
Around were the spectators; on one side was Mr. 
Gallaudet, and Mr. Clerc, the well-known deaf and 
dumb professor from the school of the Abbe Sicard, 
in Paris. Mr. Gallaudet was a man of admirable ad 
dress, and all being ready, he said to the President, 
in his smooth, seductive way 

" If your Excellency will be so kind as to ask some 
question, I will repeat it to Mr. Clerc on my fingers, 
and he will write an answer on the slate, to show the 
manner and facility of conversation by signs." 



128 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

The President, who was exceedingly jaded by hia 
journey, looked obfuscated ; but he changed the 
position of his legs, showing a consciousness of the 
question, and then fell into a very brown study. 
Everybody expected something profound equal to 
the occasion, and worthy of the chief magistrate ol 
the greatest nation on the face of the globe. We 
waited a long time, every minute seeming an hour, 
through our impatience. At last it became awkward, 
and Mr. Gallaudet insinuated 

" If your Excellency will be so kind as to ask some 
question, I will repeat it on my fingers to Mr. Clerc, 
and he will write an answer on the slate, to show the 
manner and facility of conversing by signs." - 

The President again changed the position of his 
legs, and again meditated. We all supposed he was 
at the very bottom of the abyss of philosophy, hunt 
ing up some most profound and startling interroga 
tion. Expectation was on tiptoe ; every eye was 
leveled at the oracular lips, about to utter the amaz 
ing proposition. Still, he only meditated. A long 
time passed, and the impatience became agonizing. 
Again Mr. Gallaudet, seeming to fear that the great 
man was going to sleep, roused him by repeating his 
request. The President at last seemed conscious ; his 
eye twinkled, his lips moved, sounds issued from his 
mouth 

"Ask him how old he is!" was the profound 
suggestion. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 129 



LETTER XXXVI. 

Dr. Percival His early Life His Father s attempt to cure his /Shyness 
College Life His First Love His Medical Experience His Poetical Ca 
reer An awkward Position The Saddle on kin own Back Cooper 
and Percival at the City Hotel Publication of his Poems at New 
York The Edition in England Other Literary Avocations His Sta 
tion at West Point His great Learning Assistance of Dr. Webster in 
his Dictionary State Geologist in Connecticut In Wisconsin His 
Death .Estimate of his Character. 

MY DEAR ****** 

I am glad to find, by your recent letter, that you 
approve of my hasty sketches of the men I have seen 
and known even though they are not all of that 
general celebrity which creates, in advance, an inter 
est in their behalf. No doubt the portrait of a man, 
whose renown has filled our ears, is more gratifying 
than one which merely presents the lineaments of an 
unknown, unheard-of individual. Yet every picture 
which is life-like which possesses an obvious veri 
similitude is pleasing, especially if it seems to repre 
sent a type of some class of men, which we have seen 
in life. It is mainly upon this principle that the ficti 
tious heroes and heroines of romance, interest us as 
deeply as even the celebrities of history. As I describe 
things I have seen, I hope my delineations may have 
so much seeming truth as to amuse you, even though 
they possess only that interest which attaches to all 
true pictures of humanity. I say this, not as an in- 



130 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

troduction, especially suited to this chapter, for I am 
now going to speak of names that are familiar to you : 
I make these reflections upon your letter, only as a 
precaution against any criticisms you may offer upon 
the less pretentious miniatures scattered through these 
pages. 

The news comes, even while I write, that Percival, 
the poet, is dead ! Yes one by one, those I have 
known and cherished, are falling around me. Few 
of my early acquaintances are left, and I am but a lin 
gerer among the graves of early friendship and love ! 

James Gates Percival was a native of Berlin,* the 
residence of my family, and I knew him well. His 
father was a physician a man of ability, and of res 
olute and energetic character. His mother was by 
nature of a susceptible and delicate organization, and 
she seems to have imparted to her son these qualities, 
with a tendency to excessive mental development. 
He early manifested a morbid shyness and shrink 
ing sensitiveness, which his father sought to cure by 
harsh measures. On one occasion he put the child 
behind him on horseback, and rode into the thickest 
of a sham fight, during a regimental muster. The 
result was, that the boy was almost thrown into con 
vulsions. 

Dr. Percival died when James was still young, and 



* Berlin consists of three parishes Worthington, where my father 
resided, New Britain, and Kensington. The latter was Percival s birth- 
place. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 133 

after a time his mother married a respectable farmer of 
the village by the name of Porter. The young Perci- 
val made extraordinary progress in his studies, but was 
little understood by those around him. He entered col 
lege at the age of sixteen, and speedily attracted atten 
tion by his acquisitions and his compositions. At this 
period he was often at my father s house, in Berlin, and 
being subject to paroxysms of great depression of spir 
its, he deeply excited the interest of my mother. Al 
though, on the whole, he pursued his education with 
avidity and ambition, yet he often wandered forth in 
lonesome places, nursing a moody melancholy, and 
at one period, he actually contemplated suicide. From 
this he was diverted mainly, I believe, by my moth 
er s timely counsel and other kindly offices. 

About this time he was frequently in the society 
of a beautiful and accomplished young lady of the 
neighborhood ; he botanized with her in the fields, 
and poetized with her in the library, and at last he 
thought himself in love. Months thus ran pleasantly 
on, when one day he made up his mind to give her 
a delicate hint of his condition. He did so, I believe, 
in verse. The young lady replied in plain prose, 
that she was engaged, and was speedily to be mar 
ried ! The poet came to the conclusion that this was 
a deceitful world, and wrote Byronic verses. In 1820 
he published a volume of poems, including the first 
part of his Prometheus. 

Having studied medicine, he went to South Caro- 



132 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

iina the same year, and established himself at Charles 
ton, as a physician. He told me afterward, that, at 
the end of some months, he had one patient, afflicted 
with sore lips. He prescribed a dose of salts, gratis, 
and this was a pretty fair example of his practice. 

" I had got my name up for writing verses," said 
he, " and found myself ruined." 

"How so?" said I. 

" When a person is really ill, he will not send for 
a poet to cure him," was his answer. 

Having little else before him, he directed his at 
tention to literature, and published the first number 
of his Clio, 1822. Soon after, he returned to the 
North, and produced some miscellanies in prose and 
verse. At this period, he had excited a deep interest 
in the public mind, as well by his writings as his 
somewhat eccentric life and manners. The melan 
choly which pervaded his poetry, with fugitive pieces 
of great feeling and tenderness, together with a certain 
wildness in his air and manner, rendered him an ob 
ject of general curiosity, and in many cases of deep 
sympathy. Of all this he seemed unconscious, and 
walked the world like one who neither accepted nor 
desired its friendship. 

In the spring of 1823, I was walking up Broadway 
in New York, and met him. I had been intimate 
with him for several previous years, having often 
seen him at my father s house ; but I now observed, 
that on seeing me, he turned aside, and evidently 











[ KRC VAL Vol . , p. 132 






HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 133 

sought to avoid me. This was what I expected, for 
such was his habit of shrinking shyness, that it embar 
rassed him to meet even an old friend. I put myself 
in his way, and, after a few words of recognition, 
perceiving something more than usually downcast in 
his appearance, I asked him what was the occasion 
of it. At first he denied that any thing had hap 
pened, but at length, with some reluctance, he told 
me he had been making a tour to the North, and 
was out of money. His trunk was consequently de 
tained on board the packet in which he had come 
down from Albany ! 

Percival had some patrimony, and though his means 
were narrow, they might have been sufficient for his 
comfort, with good management. But common sense 
-in the economy of life was, unhappily, not one of 
his endowments. When he was about fifteen years 
old, his friends gave him fifty dollars, mounted him on 
a horse, and told him to ride till he had spent half his 
money, and then turn about and come home think 
ing him competent to fulfill this simple programme. 
He rode on for two or three days, when he found that 
the horse s back was sadly galled. Shocked at what 
seemed an inhumanity for his feelings were exquis 
itely tender he resolved immediately to return. He 
would not mount the animal, for this would but ag 
gravate its misery ; so he set out on foot, and led the 
creature behind him. The saddle, however, still irri 
tated the wound, and Percival, taking it from the 



134: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

animal s back, threw it over bis own shoulder, and 
thus trudged home. I was familiar with this and other 
similar anecdotes. Thus knowing his imbecility in 
the common affairs of life, it did not surprise me to 
find him now without money, and in a state of com 
plete bewilderment as to what should be done. 

I gave him ten dollars, which he received and put 
into his pocket, making no reply for such was his un 
demonstrative habit and manner. I asked him to dine 
with me the next day at the City Hotel, to which he 
agreed. I invited Mr. Cooper the novelist to meet 
him, and he came. It is not easy to conceive of two 
persons more strongly contrasting with each other. 
As they sat side by side at the table, I noted the dif 
ference. Mr. Cooper was in .person solid, robust, 
athletic : in voice, manly ; in manner, earnest, em 
phatic, almost dictatorial with something of self- 
assertion, bordering on egotism. The first effect was 
unpleasant, indeed repulsive, but there shone through 
all this a heartiness, a frankness, which excited con 
fidence, respect, and at last affection. 

Percival, on the contrary, was tall and thin, his 
chest sunken, his limbs long and feeble, his hair silk 
en and sandy, his complexion light and feminine, his 
eye large and spectral, his whole air startled, his atti 
tudes shy and shrinking, his voice abashed and whis 
pering. Mr. Cooper ate like a man of excellent ap 
petite and vigorous digestion : Percival scarce seemed 
to know that he was at the table. Cooper took his 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 135 

wine as if his lip appreciated it : Percival swallowed 
his, evidently without knowing or caring whether it 
was wine or water. Yet these two men conversed 
pleasantly together. After a time Percival was drawn 
out, and the stores of his mind were poured forth as 
from a cornucopia. I could see Cooper s gray eye 
dilate with delight and surprise. 

I had a design in bringing these two men together, 
and this was to have a handsome edition of Percival s 
poems published for his benefit, and under such influ 
ences as to make it profitable to him. The matter 
was talked over between us, and before we parted, it 
was all arranged. I at once drew up a prospectus, 
and had it printed. I wrote a contract between 
Percival and the publisher, Charles Wiley, and had 
it duly signed. Mr. Cooper took the prospectus in 
hand, and aided by the powerful assistance of Mr. 
Bronson, Percival s college classmate, the subscrip 
tion was actively pushed. The fairest ladies of New 
York gave a helping hand, and before I left the 
city, three hundred subscribers were secured. Pro 
vision had also been made for Percival s immediate 
comfort ; lodgings were furnished, and he was forth 
with to prepare the copy, for the promised volume. 
I returned to Hartford, but in a fortnight, got a letter 
asking me if I knew what had become of our poet ? 
Some weeks passed, during which time he was among 
the missing. At last it was discovered that he had 
been annoyed by a fiddling Frenchman, near his 



136 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

room, and had fled to New Haven. There he had 
entered into another contract for the publication of 
his poems ! 

It required some weeks to disentangle the affair from 
all these difficulties. At last, however, after many 
delays and annoyances, the copy was furnished, and 
the book printed. At that time I was on the point 
of going to Europe. I delayed a fortnight to get a 
perfect copy, so that I might take it with me in or 
der to secure its publication in England, for Perci- 
val s benefit. At last I departed, having obtained the 
unbound sheets of a single copy. I sailed from New 
York in the packet ship Canada Percival accompa 
nying me in the steamboat Nautilus, from White 
hall, to the vessel, which lay out in the stream. I 
believe he regarded me as one of his best friends, but 
as we shook hands, and I bade him farewell, he said 
coldly, " Grood-by" his pale and spectral counte 
nance showing not a ray of emotion. 

Soon after reaching London, however, I received a 
copy of the New York Commercial Advertiser, dated 
Nov. 17, 1823, in which I read the following there 
being a small " P." in ink, at the bottom. I copy it 
from the file of the New York Spectator of Nov. 17, 
1823 then edited by W. L. Stone. 

The Canada. We never saw a ship spread her broad wings 
to the breeze and go out to sea in finer style than did the ship 
Canada yesterday. We received this morning the following 
effusion from a gentleman who accompanied a friend on board, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 187 

and had watched the vessel from the steamboat till she was lost 
in the blue distance, and have no doubt that our friends will rec 
ognize the author. 

TO THE CANADA ON GOING TO SEA. 

The gallant ship is out at sea, 

Proudly o er the water going ; 
Along her sides the billows flee, 

Back in her wake a river flowing. 
She dips her stem to meet the wave, 

And high the toss d foam curls before it : 
As if she felt the cheer we gave, 
She takes her flight, 
Where the sea looks bright, 
And the sun in sparkles flashes o er it. 

Gallantly as she cuts her way 

And now in distance fur is fleeting, 
There are some on board whose hearts are gay, 

And some whose hearts are wildly beating. 
Loud was the cheer her seamen gave, 

As back they sent our welcome cheering 
Many a hand was seen to wave, 
Arid some did weep 
And fondly keep 
Their gaze intent, when out of hearing. 

They have parted, and now are far at sea 
Heaven send them fine and gentle weather I 

They parted not for eternity 

Our hands shall soon be link d together 1 

The sea was smooth and the sky was blue, 
And the tops of the ruflled waves were glowing 

As proudly on the vessel flew 
Like the feather d king 
On his balanced wing, 

To a distant land o er the ocean going. 

I knew Percival too well to feel hurt at his cool 
good-by nevertheless, it was a pleasure to have this 
evidence of his feeling and his friendship. On reach 
ing London, I made a contract with John Miller for 



138 LETTERS BIOGE APHIC AL, 

the publication of the poems in two volumes 12mo 
half the profits to go to the author. I also wrote for 
it a brief biographical notice. A very handsome 
edition soon appeared, and attracted some attention, 
but excited no enthusiasm in London. On the whole, 
the publication was a failure. The edition of one 
thousand copies was not sold, but I subsequently in 
duced Miller to send to Percival one hundred copies, 
as his share of the proceeds. This was all he ever 
received from the English edition. 

After my return to America, I frequently met Per 
cival, but never under circumstances which renewed 
our intimacy. Indeed, by this time he had become 
confirmed in his habits of abstraction in life and 
manner, which rendered it difficult to enter into his 
thoughts or feelings. He even seemed misanthrop 
ical, and repelled, as an offense, every thing that 
jealousy could suspect to be either interested or in 
tended as a gratuity or a favor. There were many 
persons ready nay desirous to render him efficient 
service, but they did not know how to approach him. 

In 1824 he was appointed assistant surgeon in the 
United States army, and professor of chemistry in 
the Military Academy at West Point. This station 
he soon abandoned, being disgusted, as he told me, 
with one part of his duty which was to examine 
recruits, by inspection of their persons, and ascertain 
ing their weight, height, &c. About this time he was 
employed and liberally paid by Mr. Samuel Walker, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 139 

of Boston, in editing an extensive edition of " Elegant 
Extracts," both in verse and in prose ; and afterward 
in editing Malte Brim s large Geography, adding 
thereto numerous useful notes. About this period 
he was also engaged in assisting Dr. Webster, in pre 
paring his quarto dictionary. In 1836, he received 
from Connecticut a government appointment to assist 
in a geological survey of the State. He entered upon 
this duty, and his report was published in 1842. In 
1852, he received a similar appointment for the State 
of Wisconsin, and made his first report in 1855. He 
was still engaged in this duty, when his career was 
suddenly terminated by death, which took place at 
Hazelgreen, in the State of Wisconsin, May, 1856. 

With all the knowledge I possess of Dr. Percival s 
life and character, he is still, to me, somewhat of an 
enigma. That he was a man of powerful imagina 
tion and an intellect of great capacity, is manifest : 
his poems prove the one his amazing acquisitions, 
the other. That his understanding was even of lar 
ger scope and measure than his fancy, is, I think, 
apparent, for he not only had a vast range of knowl 
edge precise and reliable obedient to recollection 
as the stores of a cyclopedia yet his powers of com 
bination, his judgment, were of the very first order. 
This was evinced, not only in his connection with 
Dr. Webster s Dictionary, already alluded to, by the 
nice discrimination he displayed in philological in 
quiries, and the exactitude with which he rendered 






140 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the shadings of sense and meaning, in giving the 
definitions of words, but in the larger and grander 
surveys of geology the largest and grandest of prac 
tical sciences. Such compass and such precision oi 
knowledge such power of exact as well as vast com 
bination are indeed marvelous. When we considei 
him in this aspect, and at the same time remember 
that thirty years ago he was captivating the world 
with his imaginative effusions, we have indeed a 
character of remarkable and almost contradictory ele 
ments. 

Yet it must be added that, on the whole, his life 
was a complete shipwreck. He lived to excite admi 
ration and wonder ; yet in poverty, in isolation, in a 
complete solitude of the heart. He had not, I think, 
a single vice ; his life was pure, just, upright. How 
then did he fail ? The truth seems to be, that he was 
deficient in that sympathy which binds man to man, 
and hence he was an anomaly in the society among 
which he dwelt a note out of tune with the great 
harmony of life around him. He was a grand in 
tellect, a grand imagination, but without a heart. 
That he was born with a bosom full of all love 
and all kindness, we can not doubt ; but the golden 
bowl seems to have been broken, almost at the fount 
ain. By the time he was twenty, he began to stand 
aloof from his fellow-man. I think he had been deep 
ly injured nay ruined by the reading of Byron s 
works, at that precise age when his soul was in all 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 141 

the sensitive bloom of spring, and its killing frost of 
atheism, of misanthropy, of pride, and scorn, fell upon 
it, and converted it into a scene of desolation. The 
want of a genial circle of appreciation, of love and 
friendship, around his early life, left this malign influ 
ence to deepen his natural shyness into a positive and 
habitual self-banishment from his fellow-man. Such 
is the sad interpretation I put upon his career.* 



LETTER XXXVII. 

A few Wayside Notes The Poet Brainard His first Introduction Rip- 
ley s Tavern Aunt Lucy The little back-parlor Brainard 1 * Office- 
Anecdote The Devil" 1 * Dun The Lines on Niagara Other Poems 
One that is on the Sea The Sea-bird s Song Publication, of Brainards 
Poems General Remarks His Death. 

MY DEAR C****** 

I have told you that in the autumn of 1823 1 
set out to visit Europe ; but a few previous events 
are needful to bring my narrative to that epoch. In 
1821, clouds and darkness began to gather around my 
path. By a fall from a horse, I was put upon crutches 

* The notice of Dr. Percival in Kettell s Specimens of American 
Poets, was written at my request by Kev. Eoyul Bobbins, of Kensing 
ton parish, Berlin, in which the poet lived. It is a beautiful and just 
appreciation of his character at that time. I know of no person so com 
petent as he to give the world a biography of Percival. He is familiar 
with the details of his whole career, and especially with the earlier por 
tions of his life, and is, moreover, master of till tbe qualifications requi 
site to give interest and value to such a work 



for more than a year, and a cane for the rest of my 
life. Ere long death entered my door, and my home 
was desolate. I was once more alone save only that 
a child was left me, to grow to womanhood, and to 
die a youthful mother, loving and beloved* leaving 
an infant soon to follow her to the tomb. My affairs 
became embarrassed, my health failed, and my only 
hope of renovation was in a change of scene. 



* Sweet Spirit passed ! Tis not for thee 
Our bitter tears unmeasured flow 
Thy path to Heaven is traced, but we, 
With grieving heart, must writhe below ! 

We mourn thy lost yet loving tone, 
That made endearing names more dear, 

And touched with music all its own 

The warm fond hearts that clustered near. 

We mourn thy form thy spirit bright, 
Which shone so late mid bridal flowers 

And yet could pour angelic light 
Across the last tempestuous hours ! 

We mourn for thee so sudden-flown, 
When least we thought from thee to sever 

As if some star we deemed our own, 
At brightest hour had set forever 1 

Unpitying Fate ! thy dark designs 
Can spare the weary, wasted, bent, 

Yet crush the fairest thing that shines 
Where peace and joy have pitched their tentl 

Could not the youthful mother claim 
Exemption from thy stern decree ? 

Could not the child that lisped her name, 
Extort one pitying tear from thee ? 

Ah, human woes are not thy care ! 

The lightning, in its plunge of wrath, 
Turns not, with heedful thought, to spare 

The buzzing insect in its path 1 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 143 

But before I give you a sketch of my experience 
and observations abroad, I must present one portrait 
more that of my friend Brainard.* He came to 
Hartford in February, 1822, to take the editorial 
charge of the Connecticut Mirror Mr. Stone, as I 
have stated, having left it a short time before. He 
was now twenty-six years old, and had gained some 
reputation for wit and poetical talent. One day a 
young man, small in stature, with a curious mixture 
of ease and awkwardness, of humor and humility, 
came into my office, and introduced himself as Mr. 
Brainard. I gave him a hearty welcome, for I had 
heard very pleasant accounts of him. As was natu 
ral, I made a complimentary allusion to his poems, 

Forgive us, Heaven ! if thus we mourn 

The lost on earth the blest above 
So rudely from our bosom torn, 

With all its clinging ties of love 1 

One bright, blest spot of sunshine played 

Upon the landscape s varied breast 
Yet there the clouds have cast their shade 

And there the deepest shadows rest ! 

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



144 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

which I had seen and admired. A smile, yet shaded 
with something of melancholy, came over his face, as 
be replied 

" Don t expect too much of me ; I never succeeded 
in any thing yet. I never could draw a mug of cider 
without spilling more than half of it I" 

I afterward found that much truth was thus spoken 
in jest : this was, in point of fact, precisely Brain- 
ard s appreciation of himself. All his life, feeling 
that he could do something, he still entertained a 
mournful and disheartening conviction that, on the 
whole, he was doomed to failure and disappoint 
ment. There was sad prophecy in this presentiment 
a prophecy which he at once made and fulfilled. 

We soon became friends, and at last intimates. 
I was now boarding at " Kipley s" a good old 
fashioned tavern, over which presided Major Rip- 
ley, respected for revolutionary services, an amiable 
character, and a long Continental queue. In the 
administration of the establishment he was ably 
supported by his daughter, Aunt Lucy the very 
genius of tavern courtesy, cookery, and comfort. 
Here Brainard joined me, and we took our rooms 
eide by side. Thus for more than a year we were 
together, as intimate as brothers. He was of a child 
like disposition, and craved constant sympathy. He 
soon got into the habit of depending upon me in 
many things, and at last especially in dull weather, 
or when he was sad, or something went wrong with 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 145 

him he crept into my bed, as if it was his right. 
At that period of gloom in my own fortunes, this 
was as well a solace to me as to him. After my re 
turn from Europe we resumed these relations, and for 
some months more we were thus together. 

Brainard s life has been frequently written. The 
sketch of him in Kettell s " Specimens," I furnished, 
soon after his death. Mr. Bobbins, of Berlin, wrote 
a beautiful biographical memoir of him for Hopkins 
edition of his poems, published at Hartford, in 1842. 
A more elaborate notice of his life, character, and 
genius, had been given in Whittier s edition of his 
"Eemains," 1832. To this just and feeling memoir, 
by a kindred spirit one every way qualified to ap 
preciate and to illustrate his subject I have now 
nothing to add, except a few personal recollections 
such as were derived from my long intercourse and 
intimacy with him. 

Perhaps I cannot do better than to begin at once, 
and give you a sketch of a single incident, which will 
reflect light upon many others. The scene opens in 
Miss Lucy s little back-parlor a small, cozy, carpet 
ed room, with two cushioned rocking-chairs, and a 
bright hickory fire. It is a chill November night, 
about seven o clock of a Friday evening. The Mirror 
Brainard s paper is to appear on the morning of 
the morrow, it being a weekly sheet, and Saturday its 
day of publication. The week has thus far passed, 
und he has not written for it a line. How the days 

VOL. II. 7 



14:6 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

have gone he can hardly tell. He has read a little 
dipped into Byron, pored over the last Waverley 
novel, and been to see his friends ; at all events, he 
had got rid of the time. He has not felt competent 
to bend down to his work, and has put it off till- the 
last moment. No further delay is possible. He is 
now not well ; he has a cold, and this has taken the 
shape of a swelling of the tonsils, almost amounting 
to quinsy, as was usual with him in such attacks. 

Miss Lucy, who takes a motherly interest in him, 
tells him not to go out, and his own inclinations sug 
gest the charms of a quiet evening in the rocking- 
chair, by a good fire especially in comparison with 
going to his comfortless office, and drudging for the 
inky devils of the press. He lingers till eight, and 
then suddenly rousing himself, by a desperate effort, 
throws on his cloak and sallies forth. As was not 
uncommon, I go with him. A dim fire is kindled 
in the small Franklin stove in his office, and we sit 
down. Brainard, as was his wont, especially when 
he was in trouble, falls into a curious train of reflec 
tions, half comic and half serious. 

" Would to heaven," he says, " I were a slave. I 
think a slave, witli a good master, has a good time 
of it. The responsibility of taking care of himself 
the most terrible burden of life is put on his mas 
ter s shoulders. Madame Eoland, with a slight altera 
tion, would have uttered a profound truth. She 
should have said Oh, liberty, liberty, thou art a 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 14:7 

humbug ! After all, liberty is the greatest possible 
slavery, for it puts upon a man the responsibility of 
taking care of himself. If he goes wrong why he s 
damned ! If a slave sins, he s only flogged, and gets 
over it, and there s an end of it. Now, if I could 
only be flogged, and settle the matter that way, I 
should be perfectly happy. But here comes my tor 
mentor." 

The door is now opened, and a boy with a touseled 
head and inky countenance, enters, saying curtly 
" Copy, Mr. Brainard !" 

" Come in fifteen minutes !" says the editor, with a 
droll mixture of fun and despair. 

Brainard makes a few observations, and sits down 
at his little narrow pine table hacked along the edges 
with many a restless penknife. He seems to notice 
these marks, and pausing a moment, says 

" This table reminds me of one of my brother Wil 
liam s stories. There was an old man in Groton, who 
had but one child, and she was a daughter. When 
she was about eighteen, several young men came to 
see her. At last she picked out one of them, and 
desired to marry him. He seemed a fit match enough, 
but the father positively refused his consent. For a 
long time he persisted, and would give no reason for 
his conduct. At last, he took his daughter aside, and 
said Now, Sarah, I think pretty well of this young 
man in general, but I ve observed that he s given to 
whittling. There s no harm in that, but the point 



148 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

is this : lie whittles and whittles, and never makes 
nothing! Now I tell you, I ll never give my only 
daughter to such a feller as that ! Whenever Bill 
told this story, he used to insinuate that this whit 
tling chap, who never made any thing, was me ! At 
any rate, I think it would have suited me, exactly." 

Some time passed in similar talk, when at last 
Brain ard turned suddenly, took up his pen and be 
gan to write. I sat apart, and left him to his work. 
Some twenty minutes passed, when, with a radiant 
smile on his face, he got up, approached the fire, and 
taking the candle to light his paper, read as follows : 

"THE FALL OF NIAGARA. 

" The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain, 
"While I look upward to thee. It would seem 
As if God pour d thee from his hollow hand, 
And hung his bow upon thy awful front ; 
And spoke in that loud voice that seem d to him 
Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour s sake, 
The sound of many waters ; and had bade 
Thy flood to chronicle the ages back, 
And notch his cent ries in the eternal rocks ! 1 

He had hardly done reading, when the boy came. 
Brainard handed him the lines on a small scrap of 
rather coarse paper and told him to come again in 
half an hour. Before this time had elapsed, } * v 4 
finished, and read me the following stanza : 

" Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we, 
That hear the question of that voice sublime ? 




llRAINA lD WRITING "THE FALL OK NIAGARA " Vol. 2, p. .48. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 14:9 

Oh ! what are all the notes that ever rung 
From war s vain trumpet by thy thundering side ? 
Yea, what is all the riot man can make, 
In his short life, to thy unceasing roar ? 
And yet, bold babbler, what art thou to Him 
Who drown d a world, and heap d the waters far 
Above its loftiest mountains ? A light wave, 
That breathes and whispers of its Maker s might." 

These lines having been furnished, Brainard left 
his office, and we returned to Miss Lucy s parlor. He 
seemed utterly unconscious of what he had done. I 
praised the verses, but he thought I only spoke warm 
ly from friendly interest. The lines went forth, and 
produced a sensation of delight over the whole coun 
try. Almost every exchange paper that came to the 
office had extracted them : even then he would scarce 
believe that he had done any thing very clever. And 
thus, under these precise circumstances, were com 
posed the most suggestive and sublime stanzas upon 
Niagara, that were ever penned. Brainard had never, 
as he told me, been within less than five hundred 
miles of the cataract, nor do I believe, that when he 
went to the office, he had meditated upon the sub 
ject. It was one of those inspirations which come to 
the poet and often come like the lightning in the 
very midst of clouds and darkness. 

You will readily see, from the circumstances I have 
mentioned, that I knew the history of most of Brain- 
ard s pieces, as they came out, from time to time, in 
his newspaper. Nearly all of them were occasional 



150 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

that is, suggested by passing events or incidents in 
the poet s experience. The exquisite lines beginning, 

" The dead leaves strew the forest walk, 
And wither d are the pale wild-flowers" 

appeared a few days after he had taken leave of a 
young lady from Savannah, who had spent a month, 
at our hotel, and had left an impression upon his sen 
sitive heart, which the lines, mournful and touching 
as they are, only reveal to those who witnessed his 
emotions. Many were struck off in the extreme exi 
gencies of the devil s dun his very claws upon him. 
In these cases, he doubtless resorted to the treasures 
of his mind, which seems to have been largely stored 
with the scenery of his native State, and the legends 
connected with them. Two elements, in nearly equal 
proportion, seemed to fill his soul the humorous and 
the sublime and often in such contiguity, or even 
mixture, as to heighten the effect of each this, how 
ever, being more noticeable in his conversation than 
his writings. It was sometimes amazing to watch 
the operations of his mind even in moments of fa 
miliarity, often starting from some trivial or perhaps 
ludicrous incident, into a train of the most lofty and 
sublime thought. I have compared him, in my own 
mind, to a child playing upon the sea-beach, who by 
chance picks up and winds a Triton s shell, or wan 
dering into some cathedral, lays his finger upon the 
clavier of the organ, and falling upon the key-note of 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 151 

his heart, draws from the instrument all its sound 
ing melody. 

I trust you will pardon me if I give the history of 
one or two other poems, connected with my own ob 
servation. I have told you that in the autumn of 1823, 
I went to Europe, and was absent for a year. On 
parting with Brainard, we mutually promised to write 
each other, often. Yet I received not a line from him 
during my absence. I knew his habits and forgave 
him though I was certainly pained by such neglect. 
On meeting him after my return, I alluded to this. 
Without saying a word, he went away for a short 
time : on his return, he put into my hands a copy of 
the Mirror, which had appeared a few days before, 
and pointing to the lines which I extract below 
he left me. His reply, thus indicated, was indeed 
gratifying. You will understand that at the time, 
Lafayette had just arrived in the country. 

ONE THAT S ON THE SEA. 

With gallant sail and streamer gay, 

Sweeping along the splendid bay, 

That, throng d by thousands, seems to greet 

The bearer of a precious freight, 

The Cadmus comes ; and every wave 

Is glad the welcomed prow to lave : 

What are the ship and freight to me? 

I look for One that s on the sea. 

" Welcome Fayette," the million cries : 
From heart to heart the ardor flies, 



152 LETTERS BIOGB APHIC AL, 

And drum and bell and cannon noise, 
In concord with a nation s voice, 
Is pealing through a grateful land, 
And all go with him. Here I stand, 

Musing on One that s dear to me, 

Yet sailing on the dangerous sea. 

Be thy days happy here, Fayette ! 
Long may they be so long but yet 
To me there s one that, dearest still, 
Clings to my heart and chains my will. 
His languid limbs and feverish head 
Are laid upon a sea-sick bed : 

Perhaps his thoughts are fix d on me, 

While toss d upon the mighty sea. 

I am alone. Let thousands throng 
The noisy, crowded streets along : 
Sweet be the beam of beauty s gaze 
Loud be the shout that freemen raise 
Let patriots grasp thy noble hand, 
And welcome thee to Freedom s land 

Alas ! I think of none but he 

"Who sails across the foaming sea ! 

So when the moon is shedding light 

Upon the stars, and all is bright 

And beautiful ; when every eye 

Looks upward to the glorious sky ; 

How have I turn d my silent gaze, 

To catch one little taper s blaze : 
Twas from a spot too dear to me 
The home of him that s on the sea. 

Ought I not to have been satisfied ? If you will 
compare these lines with those by Percival, under 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 153 

circumstances not altogether dissimilar, you will have 
the means of comparing the two poets the one feel 
ing through the suggestions of his imagination, the 
other exercising his imagination through the impulse 
of his feelings. Percival was a poet of the fancy 
Brainard, of the heart. 

Still one more passing note. The " Sea-Bird s Song" 
appears to me one of the most poetical compositions 
in Brainard s collection, and the history of it can not 
be uninteresting. It was written some time after my 
return from England, and when I was again married 
and settled at Hartford. He was a frequent almost 
daily visitor at our house, and took especial pleas 
ure in hearing my wife sing. He had no skill in 
music, but, as with most persons of a sentimental 
turn, his choice always fell upon minors. One even 
ing his ear caught up the old Welsh tune of " Taffy 
Morgan," which is, in point of fact, a composition of 
great power, especially when it is slowly and seri 
ously executed. He was greatly affected by it, and 
some one suggested that he should compose a song 
to suit it. I remarked that I had often thought the 
song of a sea-bird, if treated with ballad simplicity 
and vigor, might be very effective. He began to 
ponder, and the next day brought a verse to try its 
rhythm with the music. This being approved, he 
went on, and two days after, came with the whole 
poem, which he slightly altered and adapted upon 
hearing it sung. Having said thus much, pardon me 

7* 



154: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

for reciting the lines, and asking you to get some 
good ballad-singer to give it to yon, in the cadence 
of the old "Welch melody I have mentioned. Thus 
sung, it is one of the most thrilling compositions I 
have ever heard. 

THE SEA-BIRD S SONG. 

On the deep is the mariner s danger 
On the deep is the mariner s death : 
Who, to fear of the tempest a stranger, 
Sees the last bubble burst of his breath ? 
Tis the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird, 

Lone looker on despair : 
The sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird, 
The only witness there ! 

Who watches their course, who so mildly 

Careen to the kiss of the breeze ? 
Who lists to their shrieks, who so wildly 

Are clasped in the arms of the seas ? 
Tis the sea-bird, &c. 

Who hovers on high o er the lover, 

And her who has clung to his neck? 
Whose wing is the wing that can cover 

With its shadow the foundering wreck ? 
Tis the sea-bird, &c. 

My eye in the light of the billow, 

My wing on the wake of the wave, 
I shall take to my breast, for a pillow, 

The shroud of the fair and the brave ! 
Tis the sea-bird, &c. 

My foot on the iceberg has lighted 

When hoarse the wild winds veer about ; 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 155 

My eye, when the bark is benighted, 
Sees the lamp of the lighthouse go out ! 
I m the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird, 

Lone looker on despair ; 
The sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird, 
The only witness there ! 

Where is there a song of more wild and impressive 
imagery exciting more deep and touching emotions, 
than this ? 

These stanzas were written in the spring of 1826. 
The year before I had persuaded Brainard to make a 
collection of his poems, and have them published. 
At first his lip curled at the idea, as being too preten 
tious ; he insisted that he had done nothing to justify 
the publication of a volume. Gradually he began to 
think of it, and at length March 14, 1825 I induced 
him to sign a contract, authorizing me to make ar 
rangements for the work. He set about the prep 
aration, and at length after much lagging and many 
lapses the pieces were selected and arranged. When 
all was ready, I persuaded him to go to New York 
with me, to settle the matter with a publisher. I 
introduced him to Bliss & White, and they readily 
undertook it, on the terms of joint and equal profits. 
Thus appeared the little volume, with Bunyan s 
quaint rhyme for a motto 

" Some said, John, print it others said, Not so ; 
Some said, * It might do good others said, ]STo ! " 

I must note a slight incident which occurred at 



156 LETTERS - BIOGRAPHICAL, 



York, illustrative of Brainard s character. He 
was keenly alive to every species of beauty, in nature 
and art. His appreciation of the beauties of literature 
amounted to passion. That he had a craving for 
pathos and sublimity, is manifest from his works ; 
yet he seemed to feel the nicer and more latent 
touches of wit and humor with a greater intensity of 
delight, than any other species of literary luxury. 
He was hence a special admirer of Halleck, and more 
than once remarked that he should like to see him. 
I proposed to introduce him ; but he was shy of all 
formal meetings, and seemed indeed to feel that there 
would be a kind of presumption in his being pre 
sented to the leading poet of the great metropolis. 

I was therefore obliged to give up the idea of 
effecting a meeting between these two persons, both 
natives of Connecticut, and peculiarly fitted to appre 
ciate and admire each other. One morning, how 
ever, fortune seemed to favor me. As we entered 
the bookstore of Messrs. Bliss & White then on the 
eastern side of Broadway, near Cedar-street I saw 
Halleck at the further end of the room. Incautiously, 
I told this to Brainard. He eagerly asked me which 
was the poet, among two or three persons that were 
standing together. I pointed him out. Brainard 
took a long and earnest gaze, then turned on his heel, 
and I could not find him for the rest of the day ! 

His little volume was very favorably received by 
the public, and he was universally recognized as a true 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 157 

poet. These effusions, however, were regarded rather 
in the light of promise than fulfillment, and there 
fore people generally looked forward to the achieve 
ment of some greater work. I felt this, and frequent 
ly urged him to undertake a serious poem, which 
might develop his genius and establish his fame. He 
thought of it, but his habitual inertness mastered him. 
I returned to the subject, however, and we frequently 
conversed upon it. At last, he seemed to have re 
solved on the attempt, and actually wrote a consider 
able number of stanzas. After a time, however, he 
gave it up in despair. He told me, frankly, that it 
was impossible for him to sustain the continuity of 
thought and consistency of purpose indispensable to 
such an achievement. What he had actually done 
was merely an introduction, and was afterward pub 
lished under the title of " Sketch of an Occurrence on 
board a Brig" Whoever has read these lines, can 
not fail to lament that weakness in the author con 
stitutional and habitual which rendered him incom 
petent to continue a flight so nobly begun. 

One anecdote in addition to those already before 
the public and I shall close this sketch. Brainard s 
talent for repartee was of the first order. On one 
occasion, Nathan Smith, an eminent lawyer, was at 
Eipley s tavern, in the midst of a circle of judges and 
lawyers, attending the court. He was an Episcopa 
lian, and at this time was considered by his political 
adversaries unjustly, no doubt as the paid agent of 



158 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

that persuasion, now clamoring for a sum of money 
from the State, to lay the foundation of a " Bishops 
Fund." He was thus regarded somewhat in the same 
light as O Connell, who, while he was the great patriot 
leader of Irish independence, was at the same time 
liberally supported by the "rint." By accident, Brain- 
ard came in, and Smith, noticing a little feathery at 
tempt at whiskers down his cheek, rallied him upon it. 

" It will never do," said he ; "you can not raise it, 
Brainard. Come, here s sixpence take that, and go 
to the barber s and get it shaved off ! It will smooth 
your cheek, and ease your conscience." 

Brainard drew himself up, and said, with great dig 
nity as Smith held out the sixpence on the point of 
his forefinger " No, sir, you had better keep it for 
the Bishops Fund !" 

I need not I must not prolong this sketch. 
What I have said, is sufficient to give you an insight 
into the character of this gifted child of genius. In 
person he was very short, with large hands and feet, 
and a walk paddling and awkward. His hair was 
light-brown, his skin pallid, his eye large and bluish- 
gray, his lips thick, his forehead smooth, white, and 
handsome ; his brow beautifully arched, and edged 
with a definite, narrow line. His general appearance 
was that of a somewhat clumsy boy. His counte 
nance was usually dull, yet with a wonderful power of 
expression wit, drollery, seriousness, chasing each 
other in rapid succession. Its changes were at once 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 159 

sudden and marvelous. At one moment he looked 
stupid and then inspired. His face was like a re 
volving light now dull and dark now radiant, and 
shedding its beams on all around. His manners were 
subject to a similar change ; usually he seemed un 
couth, yet often have I seen him seductively cour 
teous. In short, he was a bundle of contradictions : 
generally he was ugly, yet sometimes handsome ; for 
the most part he was awkward, yet often graceful ; 
his countenance was ordinarily dull, yet frequently 
beaming with light. 

Thus with a look and appearance of youth with in 
deed something of the waywardness and improvidence 
of boyhood, even when he had reached the full age 
of manhood he was still full of noble thoughts and 
sentiments. In his editorial career though he was 
negligent, dilatory, sometimes almost imbecile from a 
sort of constitutional inertness still a train of inex 
tinguishable light remains to gleam along his path. 
Many a busy, toiling editor has filled his daily col 
umns for years, without leaving a living page behind 
him ; while Brainard, with all his failings and irregu 
larities, has left a collection of gems, which loving, and 
tender, and poetic hearts will wear and cherish to im 
mortality. And among all that he wrote be it re 
membered, thus idly, recklessly, as it might seem 
there is not a line that, " dying, he could wish to blot." 
His love of parents, of home, of kindred, was beauti- 
ul indeed; his love of nature, and especially of the 



160 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

scenes of his childhood, was the affection of one never 
weaned from the remembrance of his mother s breast. 
He was true in friendship, chivalrous in all that be 
longed to personal honor. I never heard him utter a 
malignant thought I never knew him to pursue an 
unjust design. At the early age of eight-and- twenty 
he was admonished that his end was near. With a 
submissive spirit he resigned himself to his doom, 
and, in pious, gentle, cheerful faith, he departed on 
the 26th of September, 1828. 

Weep not for him, who hath laid his head 
On a pillow of earth in the cypress shade ; 

For the sweetest dews that the night airs shed, 
Descend on the couch for that sleeper made. 

Weep not for him, though the wintry sleet 
Throw its chill folds o er his manly breast 

That spotless robe is a covering meet 

For the shrouded soul in its home of rest ! 

Weep not for him, though his heart is still, 
And the soul-lit eye like a lamp grown dim 

Though the noble pulse is an icy rill, 

By the hoar-frost chained Oh, weep not for him ! 

The diamond gathers its purest ray 

In the hidden grot where no sun is known 

And the sweetest voices of music play 
In the trembling ear of silence alone : 

And there in the hush of that starless tomb 

A holier light breaks in on the eye, 
And wind-harps steal through the sullen gloom, 

To woo that sleeper away to the sky ! 



161 



LETTER XXXVIII. 

My first Voyage across the Atlantic England London My Tour on the 
Continent Return to England Visit to Barley Wood Hannah More 
Inquiries as to Books for Education Ireland Dublin The Giant s 
Causeway Scotland Scenery of the Lady of the Lake Glasgow Ed 
inburgh. 

MY DEAB C****** 

It was, as I have already told you, on the 16th 
of November, 1823, that I set sail in the Canada, 
Captain Macy, on my first visit to Europe. I have 
now before me four volumes of notes made during my 
tour; but be not alarmed I shall not inflict them 
upon you. I might, perhaps, have ventured to pub 
lish them when they were fresh, but since that period 
the world has been inundated with tales of travels. 
I shall therefore only give you a rapid outline of my 
adventures, and a few sketches of men and things, 
which may perchance interest you. 

Our voyage was as usual at that season of the 
year tempestuous. As we approached the British 
Islands, we were beset by a regular hurricane. On 
the 5th of December, the captain kindly informed us 
that we were almost precisely in the situation of the 
Albion,* the day before she was wrecked on the rocky 

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



162 LETTERS- BIOGRAPHICAL, 

headland of Kinsale at the southeast extremity of 
Ireland an event which had spread general gloom 
throughout the United States. As night set in, we 
were struck with a squall, and with difficulty the ves 
sel was brought round, so as to lie to. The storm was 
fearful, and the frequent concussions of the waves upon 
the ship, sounding like reports of artillery, made her 
reel and stagger like a drunken man. The morning 
came at last, and the weather was fair, but our deck 
was swept of its boats, bulwarks, and hen-coops. Our 
old cow in her hovel, the covering of the steerage, 
and that of the companion-way, were saved. We 
had, however, some gratis sea-bathing in our berths 
terribly suggestive of the chill temperature of that 
abyss which might soon be our grave. The next 
morning we took a pilot, and on the 8th of December 
entered the dock at Liverpool. 

As this was my first experience at sea, I beg you 
to forgive this brief description. I had suffered fear 
fully by sea-sickness, and had scarce strength to walk 



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

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



HISTORICAL, ANEODOTICAL, ETC. 163 

ashore. I felt such horror such disgust of the sea, 
that I could easily have pledged myself never to ven 
ture upon it again. Strange to say, this all passed 
away like a dream : my strength revived, and even 
my constitution, shattered by long suffering, seemed 
to be renovated. With the return of health and spir 
its, my journey to London seemed like a triumphal 
march. Though it was December, the landscape was 
intensely green, while the atmosphere was dark as 
twilight. The canopy of heaven seemed to have 
come half way down, as if the sky had actually be 
gun to fall. Yet this was England ! Oh, what emo 
tions filled my breast as I looked on Kenilworth, 
"Warwick, and Litchfield, and at last on London ! 

I remained at the latter place about a month, and 
then went to Paris. In April I departed, and visit 
ing Switzerland, and a portion of Germany, followed 
the Ehine to Cologne. Thence I traveled through 
Flanders and Holland, and taking a sloop at Rotter 
dam, swung down the Maese, and in May reached 
London, by way of the Thames. 

I soon after departed for Bristol taking the re 
nowned cathedral at Salisbury and the Druid ical ruin 
of Stonehenge in my way. Having reached that city 
and seen its sights, I hired a post-coach, and went to 
Barley-wood some ten miles distant. Hannah More 
was still there ! The house consisted of a small thatch 
ed edifice half cottage and half villa tidily kept, 
and garnished with vines and trellices, giving it a 



164 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

cheerful and even tasteful appearance. Its site was on 
a gentle hill, sloping to the southeast, and command 
ing a charming view over the undulating country 
around, including the adjacent village of Wrington, 
with a wide valley sloping to the Bay of Bristol the 
latter sparkling in the distance, and bounded by the 
Welch mountains, in the far horizon. Behind the 
house, and on the crown of the hill, was a small copse, 
threaded with neat gravel walks, and at particular 
points embellished with objects of interest. In one 
place there was a little rustic temple, with this motto 
Audi Hospes, contemnere opes ; in another, there was a 
stone monument, erected to the memory of Bishop 
Porteus, who had been a particular friend of the pro 
prietor of the place. A little further on, I found an 
other monument, with this inscription : "To John 
Locke, born in this village, this monument is erected by 
Mrs. Montague, and presented to Hannah More" From 
this sequestered spot, an artificial opening was cut 
through the foliage of the trees, giving a view of the 
very house about a mile distant in which Locke 
was born ! In another place was a small temple built 
of roots, which might have served for the shrine of 
some untamed race of Dryads. 

Mrs. More was now seventy-nine years of age,* and 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 165 

was very infirm, having kept her room for two years. 
She was small, and wasted away. Her attire was of 
dark-red bombazine, made loose like a dressing-gown. 
Her eyes were black and penetrating, her face glow 
ing with cheerfulness, through a lace-work of wrin 
kles. Her head-dress was a modification of the coif 
fure of her earlier days the hair being slightly friz 
zed, and lightly powdered, yet the whole group of 
moderate dimensions. 

She received me with great cordiality, and learn 
ing that I was from Hartford, immediately inquired 
about Mrs. Sigourney, Mr. Gallaudet, and Alice Coggs- 
well : of the latter she spoke with great interest. She 
mentioned several Americans who had visited her, and 
others with whom she had held correspondence. Her 
mind and feelings were alive to every subject that was 
suggested. She spoke very freely of her writings and 
her career. I told her of the interest I had taken, 
when a child, in the story of the Shepherd of Salis 
bury Plain, upon which she recounted its history, 
remarking that the character of the hero was mod 
eled from life, though the incidents were fictitious. 
Her tract, called "Village Politics, by Will Chip," 
was written at the request of the British Ministry, 

rick, she wrote several plays, which were performed. Afterward she 
regretted these works, her new religious views leading her to condemn 
the stage. She amassed a handsome fortune, and purchasing Barley- 
wood, she fitted it up as I have described it. Soon after I was there, 
in consequence of the frauds of her servants, her means were ao di 
minished, that she was obliged to leave it. She removed to Clifton, 
near Bristol, and died September, 1838. 



166 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and two million copies were sold the first year. She 
showed me copies of Coelebs in Search of a Wife 
the most successful of her works in French and 
German, and a copy of one of her sacred dramas 
"Moses in the Bullrushes" on palm-leaves, in the 
Cingalese tongue it having been translated into that 
language by the missionary school at Ceylon. She 
showed me also the knife with which the leaf had 
been prepared, and the scratches made in it to receive 
the ink. She expressed a warm interest in America, 
and stated that Wilberforce had always exerted him 
self to establish and maintain good relations between 
Great Britain and our country. I suggested to her 
that in the United States, the general impression 
that of the great mass of the people was that the 
English were unfriendly to us. She said it was not 
so. I replied that the Americans all read the Eng 
lish newspapers, and generally, the products of the 
British press ; that feelings of dislike, disgust, ani 
mosity, certainly pervaded most of these publications, 
and it was natural to suppose that these were the 
reflections of public opinion in Great Britain. At all 
events, our people regarded them as such, and hence 
inferred that England was our enemy. She express 
ed great regret at this state of things, and said all 
good people should strive to keep peace between the 
two countries : to all which I warmly assented. 

My interview with this excellent lady was, on the 
whole, most gratifying. Regarding her as one of the 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 167 

greatest benefactors of the age as, indeed, one of the 
most remarkable women that had ever lived I look 
ed upon her not only with veneration but affection. 
She was one of the chief instruments by which the 
torrent of vice and licentiousness, emanating from 
the French Kevolution and inundating the British 
Islands, was checked and driven back : she was even, 
to a great extent, the permanent reformer of British 
morals and manners, as well among the high as the 
humble. And besides, I felt that I owed her a special 
debt, and my visit to her was almost like a pilgrim 
age to the shrine of a divinity. When I left Amer 
ica, I had it in mind to render my travels subservient 
to a desire I had long entertained of making a reform 
or at least an improvement in books for youth. I 
had made researches in London, France, and Ger 
many, for works that might aid my design. It is true 
I had little success, for while scientific and classical ed 
ucation was sedulously encouraged on the continent 
as well as in England, it seemed to be thought, either 
that popular education was not a subject worthy of 
attention, or that Dilworth and Mothei Goose had 
done all that could be done. In this interview with 
the most successful and most efficient teacher of the 
age, I had the subject still in mind; and discerning 
by what she had accomplished, the vast field that was 
open, and actually inviting cultivation, I began from 
this time to think of attempting to realize the project 
I had formed. It is true that, in some respects, fche 



168 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

example I had just contemplated was different from 
my own scheme. Hannah More had written chiefly 
for the grown-up masses ; I had it in contemplation to 
begin further back with the children. Her means, 
however, seemed adapted to my purpose : her suc 
cess, to encourage my attempt. She had discovered 
that truth could be made attractive to simple minds. 
Fiction was, indeed, often her vehicle, but it was not 
her end. The great charm of these works which 
had captivated the million, was their verisimilitude. 
Was there not, then, a natural relish for truth in 
all minds, or at least was there not a way of pre 
senting it, which made it even more interesting than 
romance ? Did not children love truth ? If so, 
was it necessary to feed them on fiction ? Could not 
history, natural history, geography, biography, be 
come the elements of juvenile works, in place of fai 
ries and giants, and mere monsters of the imagina 
tion ? These were the inquiries that from this time 
filled my mind. 

Taking leave of Barley-wood and its interesting 
occupant, I traversed Wales, and embarking at Ho- 
lyhead, passed over to Ireland. Having seen Dublin, 
with the extraordinary contrasts of sumptuousness in 
some of its streets and edifices, with the fearful squalid- 
ness and poverty in others I passed on to the North. 
Having taken a wondering view of the Giants Cause 
way, I returned to Belfast, embarked in a steamboat, 
and went over to Greenock. Thence I proceeded 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 169 

toward Dumbarton, and in the early evening, as I ap 
proached the town in a small steamer, I actually real 
ized, in the distance before me, the scene of the song 

" The sun has gone down behind lofty Ben Lomond, 
And left the red clouds to preside o er the scene." 

On the morrow I went to Loch Lomond, crossing 
the lake in a steamboat ; thence on foot to Callender, 
and spent two days around Loch Katrine, amid the 
scenery of the Lady of the Lake. With a copy of 
that poem in my hand, which I had bought of a peas 
ant on the borders of Loch Lomond, I easily traced 
out the principal landmarks of the story : " Ellen s 
Isle," nearly in the middle of the lake ; on the north 
ern shore, "the Silver Strand," where the maiden 
met Fitz James ; far to the east, Benain, rearing its 
" forehead fair" to the sky ; to the south, the rocky 
pyramid called " Koderick s Watch-tower ;" and still 
beyond, the " Goblin s Cave." Leaving the lake, I 
passed through the Trosachs, a wild rocky glen, and 
the scene of the most startling events in the poem. 
At last I came to Coilantogle Ford, where the deadly 
struggle took place between the two heroes of the 
poem Roderick and Fitz James. Finally, I went 
to the borders of Loch Achray a placid sheet of 
water beautiful by nature, but still more enchant 
ing through the delightful associations of poetic art. 

" The minstrel came once more to view 

The eastern ridge of Benveuue, 
VOL. II. 8 



170 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

For ere he parted he would say, 
Farewell to lovely Loch Achray. 
Where shall he find, in foreign land, 
So lone a lake, so sweet a strand !" 



But I must forbear. I have pledged myself not 
to weary you with descriptions of scenery, and espe 
cially with that which is familiar to you in twenty 
books of travels. Forgive me this instance of weak 
ness, and I will try not to sin again at least till I 
get out of Scotland. Having spent two days in this 
region of poetry and romance, I left for Glasgow, and 
at last reached Edinburgh. 



LETTER XXXIX. 

Edinburgh The Court of Sessions Cranstaun, CocHurn, Mbncrwf 
LockUart Jeffrey Sir Walter Scott. 

MY DEAR C****** 

Think of being in Edinburgh, and Scott, Jeffrey, 
Chalmers, Dugald Stuart, Lockhart, there I It was 
then decidedly the literary metropolis of the Three 
Kingdoms not through the amount of its produc 
tions, but their superiority. The eloquent, sparkling, 
trenchant Edinburgh Review was the type of Scot- 
tish genius ; the heavy Quarterly represented Lon 
don. I had several letters of introduction among 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 171 

them one to Blackwood, another to Constable, an 
other to Miss Y . . . . The latter proved fortunate. 
Her father was a Writer to the Signet an elderly 
gentleman of excellent position, and exceedingly fond 
of showing off " Auld Reekie." Well indeed might 
he be, for of all the cities I have seen, it is, in many 
respects, the most interesting. I am told it is gloomy 
in winter, but now it was the zenith of spring. The 
twilight did not wholly disappear till twelve, and the 
dawn was visible at one. If nature, in these high. 

/ O 

latitudes, falls into a harsh and savage humor in win 
ter, it makes ample amends in summer. 

The very day after delivering my letters, Mr. Y 

called on me, and showed me the lions of the town. 
Many of them, all indeed, were interesting, but I pass 
them by, and shall only linger a short time at the 
Court of Sessions, which is the supreme civil court 
of Scotland. This, with the High Court of Justi- 
tiary the supreme criminal court forms the Col 
lege of Justice, and constitutes the supreme judicial 
system of Scotland. Their sessions are held in the 
old Parliament House, situated in the center of the 
Old Town. 

We entered a large Gothic hall, opening, as I ob 
served, into various contiguous apartments. Here I 
saw a considerable number of persons, mostly law 
yers and their clients some sauntering, some medi 
tating some gathered in groups and conversing 
together. I noticed that many of the former, and 



172 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

more especially the older members of the bar, wore 
gowns and wigs; others wore gowns only, and still 
others were in the ordinary dress. I afterward was 
told that it was wholly at the option of individuals to 
adopt this costume, or not ; in general, it was regard 
ed as going out of fashion. There was a large num 
ber of people distributed through the several apart 
ments, and in the grand hall there was a pervading 
hum of voices which seemed to rise and rumble and 
die away amid the groinings of the r>of above. 

Among the persons in this hall, a man some thirty 
years of age, tall and handsome, dressed in a gown 
but without the wig, attracted my particular atten 
tion. He was walking apart, and there was a certain 
look of coldness and haughtiness about him. Never 
theless, for some undefinable reason, he excited in me 
a lively curiosity. I observed that his eye was dark 
and keen, his hair nearly black, and though cut short, 
slightly curled. He carried his head erect, its largely 
developed corners behind, giving him an air of self- 
appreciation. His features were small, but sharply 
defined; his lips were close, and slightly disdainful 
and sarcastic in their expression. 

There was a striking combination of energy and 
elegance in the general aspect of this person ; yet 
over all, I must repeat, there was something also 
of coldness and pride. Upon his face, expressive of 
vigor and activity mental and physical there was 
a visible tinge of discontent. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 173 

"Who is that gentleman?" said I, to my guide. 

" That large, noble-looking person, with a gown 
and wig? That is Cranstoun, one of our first law 
yers, and the brother-in-law of Dugald Stuart." 

"No: that person beyond and to the left? He is 
without a wig." 

" Oh, that s Cockburn a fiery whig, and one of 
the keenest fellows we have at the bar." 

" Yes : but I mean that younger person, near the 
corner." 

"Oh^that small, red-faced, freckled man? Why 
that s Moncrief a very sound lawyer. His father, 
Sir Harry Moncrief, is one of the most celebrated di 
vines in Scotland." 

"No, no: it is that tall, handsome, proud-looking 
person, walking by himself. 

" Oh, I see : that s Lockhart Sir Walter Scott s 
son-in-law. Would you like to know him?" 

"Yes." 

And so I was introduced to a man* who, at that 
time, was hardly less an object of interest to me than 

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



174: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Scott himself. Though a lawyer by profession, he 
Imd devoted himself to literature, and was now in the 
very height of his career. "Peter s Letters to his 
Kinsfolk," "Valerius," and other works, had given 
him a prominent rank as a man of talent ; and be 
sides, in 1820, he had married the eldest daughter of 
the "Great Unknown." My conversation with him 
was brief at this time, but I afterward became well 
acquainted with him. 

My guide now led me into one of the side-rooms, 
where I saw a judge and jury, and a lawyer address 
ing them. The latter was a very small man, without 
gown or wig, apparently about forty years of age, 
though he might be somewhat older. He was of dark 
complexion, with an eye of intense blackness, and 
"almost painfully piercing expression. His motions 
were quick and energetic, his voice sharp and pene 
trating his general aspect exciting curiosity rather 
than affection. He was speaking energetically, and, 
as we approached the bar, my conductor said to me 
in a whisper "Jeffrey !" 

We paused, and I listened intently. The case in 
itself seemed dry enough something, I believe, about 
a stoppage in transitu. But Jeffrey s pleading was ad 
mirable clear, progressive, logical. Occasionally, in 
fixing upon a weak point of his adversary, he display 
ed a leopard-like spring of energy, altogether startling. 
He seized upon a certain point in the history of the 
case, and insisted that the property in question rested 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 175 

at that period in the hands of the defendant s agent, 
for at least a fortnight. This he claimed to be fatal to 
his adversary s plea. Having stated the facts, with a 
clearness which seemed to prove them, he said, turn 
ing with startling quickness upon his antagonist 
"Now, I ask my learned brother to tell me, what was 
the state of the soul during that fortnight?" To a 
jury of Scotch Presbyterians, familiar with theological 
metaphysics, this allusion was exceedingly pertinent 
and effective. 

We passed into another room. Three full-wigged 
judges were seated upon a lofty bench, and beneath 
them, at a little table in front, was a large man, bent 
down and writing laboriously. As I approached, I 
caught a side-view of his face. There was no mis 
taking him it was Sir Walter himself! 

Was it not curious to see the most renowned per 
sonage in the three kingdoms, sitting at the very feet 
of these men they the court, and he the clerk? 
They were indeed all "lords," and their individual 
names were suggestive to the ear : one was Robert 
son, son of the historian of Charles Y. ; another was 
Gillies, brother of the renowned Grecian scholar of 
that name; another, Mackenzie, son of the author 
of the Man of Feeling. These are high titles but 
what were they to the author of Waverley ? 

Mr. Y introduced me to him at once, breaking 

in upon his occupation with easy familiarity. As he 
arose from his seat, I was surprised at his robust, vig- 



176 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

orous frame. He was very nearly six feet in height, 
full chested, and of a farmer-like aspect. His com 
plexion seemed to have been originally sandy, but 
now his hair was gray. He had the rough, freckled, 
weather-beaten skin of a man who is much in the open 
air ; his eye was small and gray, and peered out keen 
ly and inquisitively from beneath a heavy brow, edged 
with something like gray, twisted bristles the whole 
expression of his face, however, being exceedingly 
agreeable. He wore a gown, but no wig. It would 
have been a sin to have covered up that wonderful 
head, towering, as we have all seen it in his portraits 
the throne of the richest intellect in the world.* 

He greeted me kindly the tone of his voice being 
hearty, yet with a very decided Scotch accent. I told 
him I had been to the Highlands. " It is a little too 
early," said he ; "I always wish my friends to wait till 
the middle of June, for then the ash is in its glory. 
Here in the north, summer, as you know, is a laggard. 
In America it visits you in better season ?" 

" I am from New England, and our forests are not 
in full leaf till June." 



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




Sin WALTER SCOTT, AS CI.EKK OK THE COURT OK SESSIONS Vol ,2. p. 1 f 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 177 

"Yes, jour climate there is somewhat like ours. 
Are you from Boston ?" 

"I am from Hartford, in Connecticut of which 
you have perhaps never heard." 

" My American geography is not very minute ; yet 
Connecticut is a familiar name to my ear. Do you 
know Mr. Irving?" 

" I have never seen him but once." 

"Mr. Cooper?" 

" Yes, I know him well." 

" Do you stay long in Edinburgh ?" 

"A few weeks." 

"We shall meet again, then, and talk these matters 
over." 

So I had seen the author of Waverley ! I leave 
you to guess my emotions, for I could not describe 
them. 



LETTER XL. 

Preparations for a Ride Mr. Jeffrey in a Rough-and-tumble A Glanct 
at EdinburghfromtheBraidHdlsASlwwerTke Maids of tJie Mistr 
Durable Impressions. 

MY DEAR C ****** 

I found a note May 31st at my hotel, from 

Miss Y , inviting me to breakfast. I went at ten, 

and we had a pleasant chat. She then proposed a ride, 
,and I accepted. She was already in her riding-habit, 



178 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and putting on a hat and collar both of rather mas 
culine gender, yet not uncomely we went forth. We 
were in Queen-street, No. 48 ; passing along a short 
distance, we turned a corner to the left, mounted the 
steps of a fine house, and rang. We entered, and I 
was introduced to the proprietor, Mrs. Russell. She 
led us into another room, and there, on the floor, in 
a romp with her two boys, was a small, dark man. 
He arose, and behold, it was Francis Jeffrey !* Think 
of the first lawyer in Scotland the lawgiver of the 
great Eepublic of Letters throughout Christendom 
having a rough-and-tumble on the floor, as if he were 
himself a boy ! Let others think as they will I 
loved him from that moment; and ever after, as I 
read his criticisms cutting and scorching as they 
often were I fancied that I could still see a kind and 
genial spirit shining through them all. At least it is 
certain that, behind his editorial causticity, there was 
in private life a fund of gentleness arid geniality 

* Mr. Jeffrey was born in Edinburgh in 1773. He was admitted to 
the bar at the age of twenty-one ; having little practice for a time, he 
sedulously pursued the study of belles-lettres, history, ethics, criticism, 
&c. In 1802, at the age of twenty-nine, he founded the Edinburgh 
Keview, of which he continued as principal editor till 1829 placing it 
above every other work of the kind which had ever appeared. In 1816 
he was acknowledged to be at the head of the Scottish bar as an advo 
cate. Having held other high stations, he was appointed, in 1880, Lord- 
Advocate of Scotland, and became a member of Parliament. In 1834 
he was raised to the bench as one of the judges of the Court of Sessions. 
He died at Edinburgh in 1850. He married in 1813, at New York, Miss 
Wilkes, grand-niece of the celebrated John Wilkes of England. lu 
1815 he became the occupant of the villa of Craigcrook, near Edinburgh, 
anciently a monastery, but improved and beautified. Here he was re 
siding at the time I saw him. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 179 

which endeared him to all who enjoyed his intimacy. 
I was now introduced to him, and he seemed a totally 
different being from the fierce and fiery gladiator of 
the legal arena, where I had before seen him. His 
manners were gentle and gentlemanly polite to the 
ladies and gracious to me. 

Jeffrey s house was some two miles from town. 
His custom was to come to the city on horseback 
and Mrs. Russell being his friend, he frequently 
stopped at her house, leaving his horse in her stable. 
Some gossiping scandal arose from this intimacy, but 
it was, of course, not only idle, but absurd. We 
found Mrs. Bussell in a riding-dress, and prepared to 
accompany us in our excursion. Taking leave of 
Mr. Jeffrey, we went to the stable, where were nearly 
a dozen horses, of various kinds and adapted to va 
rious uses. Miss Y . . . . chose a shaggy gray pony, 
half savage and half pet; Mrs. Russell mounted a 
long, lean, clean-limbed hunter; and I, at her sug 
gestion, took Mr. Jeffrey s mare a bay, rollicking 
cob, with a gait like a saw-mill as I found to my 
cost. 

We walked our steeds gently out of town, but on 
leaving the pavements the ladies struck into a vigor 
ous trot. Up and down the hills we went, the turn 
pike gates flying open at our approach, the servant 
hrh hid, paying the tolls. We passed out of the city 
by Holy Rood, and swept round to the east of Ar 
thur s seat, leaving Portobello on the left. We rode 



180 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

steadily, noting a few objects as we passed, until at 
last, leaching an elevated mound, we paused, and the 
ladies directed rny attention to the scenes around. 
We were some two miles south of the town, upon one 
of the slopes of the Braid Hills. Ah, what a view 
was before us! The city, a vast, smoking hive, to 
the north ; and to the right, Arthur s Seat, bald and 
blue, seeming to rise up and almost peep into its streets 
and chimneys. Over and beyond all, was the sea. The 
whole area between the point where we stood and 
that vast azure line, blending with the sky, was a 
series of abrupt hills and dimpling valleys, threaded 
by a network of highways and byways honeycomb 
ed in spots by cities and villages, and elsewhere sprin 
kled with country-seats. 

It is an unrivaled scene of varied beauty and in 
terest. The natural site of Edinburgh is remarkable, 
consisting of three rocky ledges, steepling over deep 
ravines. These have all been modified by art ; in 
one place a lake has been dried up, and is now cov 
ered with roads, bridges, tenements, gardens, and 
lawns. The sides of the cliifs are in some instances 
covered with masses of buildings, the edifices occa 
sionally rising tier upon tier in one place present 
ing a line of houses a dozen stories in height ! The 
city is divided by a deep chasm into two distinct 
parts, the Old Town, dun and smoky, and justifying 
the popular appellation of "Auld Keekie," or Old 
Smoky ; the other the New Town, with all the fresh 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 181 

architecture and all the rich and elaborate embellish 
ments of a modern city. Nearly from the center of 
the old town rises the Castle, three hundred and 
eighty feet above the level of the sea on one side 
looking down almost perpendicularly, two hundred 
feet into the vale beneath on the other holding com 
munication with the streets by means of a winding 
pathway. In the new town is Calton Hill, rich with 
monuments of art and memorials of history, and sug 
gesting to the mind a resemblance to the Acropolis 
of Athens. From these two commanding positions, 
the scenes are unrivaled. 

But I forget that I have taken you to the Braid 
Hills. The panorama, from this point, was not only 
beautiful to the eye, but a rich harvest to the mind. 
My amiable guides directed my attention to various 
objects some far and some near, and all with names 
familiar to history or song or romance. Yonder mass 
of dun and dismal ruins was Craigmillar s Castle, once 
the residence of Queen Mary. Nearly in the same 
direction, and not remote, is the cliff, above whose 
bosky sides peer out the massive ruins of Roslin 
Castle ; further south are glimpses of Dalkeith Pal 
ace, the sumptuous seat of the Duke of Buccleugh ; 
there is the busy little village of Lasswade, which 
takes the name of " Gandercleugh" in the " Tales of 
my Landlord ;" yonder winds the Esk and there the 
Galawater both familiar in many a song; and there 
is the scenery of the " Gentle Shepherd," presenting 



182 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the very spot where that inimitable colloquy took 
place between Peggy and her companion, Jenny 

" Gae farer up the burn to Habbie s How, 
Where a the sweets o spring an summer grow : 
Between twa birks, out o er a little linn, 
The water fa s and makes a singan din : 
A pool, breast deep, beneath as clear as glass, 
Kisses wi easy whirls the bordering grass. 
We ll end our washing while the morning s cool, 
And when the day grows hot, we ll to the pool, 
There wash oursels it s healthful now in May, 
An sweetly caller on sae warm a day." 

While we were surveying these unrivaled scenes, 
the rain began to fall in a fine, insinuating mizzle : 
soon large drops pattered through the fog, and at last 
there was a drenching shower. I supposed the ladies 
would seek some shelter : not they maids of the 
mist accustomed to all the humors of this drizzly 
climate, and of course defying them. They pulled off 
their green vails, and stuffed them into their saddle- 
pockets; then chirruping to their steeds, they sped 
along the road, as if mounted on broomsticks. I was 
soon wet to the skin, and so, doubtless, were they 
if one might suggest such a thing. However, they 
took to it as ducks to a pond. On we went, the wa 
ter accelerated by our speed spouting in torrents 
from our stirrups. In all my days, I had never such 
an adventure. And the coolness with which the la 
dies took it that was the most remarkable. Indeed, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 183 

it was provoking for as they would not accept sym 
pathy, of course they could not give it, though my 
reeking condition would have touched any other heart 
than theirs. On we went, till at last coming to the top 
of a hill, we suddenly cropped out into the sunshine 
the shower still scudding along the valley beneath 
us. We continued our ride, getting once more soak 
ed on our way, and again drying in the sun. At 
last we reached home, having made a circuit of fifteen 
miles. Scarcely a word was said of the rain. I saw 
my mermaid friends to their residences, and was 
thankful when I got back to the hotel. What with 
the shower, and a slight cold which ensued I did 
not get the trot of Jeffrey s mare out of my bones for 
a fortnight. Indeed, long after, during rough weather, 
when the gust and rain dashed against my window, 
the beast sometimes visited me in sleep, corning in the 
shape of a nightmare, carrying me at a furious rate, 
with two charming witches before, beckoning me on 
to a race. As a just moral of this adventure I 
suggest to all Americans, who ride with Scotch ladies 
around Edinburgh, not to go forth in their best dress- 
coat, and pantaloons having no straps beneath the 
boot. 



184r LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER ILL 

William Blackwood The Magazine A Dinner at Blackwood? s James 
Ballantyne Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb The General As 
sembly of Scotland Dr. Chalmers. 

MTDBABO****** 

One or two more selections from my journal, and 
we will leave Edinburgh. I had delivered my letter 
of introduction to Blackwood, and he had treated me 
very kindly. He was, professionally, a mere book 
seller and publisher a plain, short, stocky person, with 
a large head, bald and flat on the top. He spoke broad 
Scotch, or rather sang it, for although all spoken 
language, in every country, has its cadences, in Scot 
land it is a veritable song. This is more noticeable 
among the illiterate, and especially the old women. 
I sometimes thought they were mocking me, so em 
phatic were their inflexions and modulations. I have 
since observed similar intonations in other countries, 
especially in Italy, where the rising and falling of the 
voice is so marked as to appear like an affectation 
of musical cadenzas, even in conversation. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Blackwood was an exceedingly 
intelligent and agreeable gentleman. The Maga 
zine* which bears his name, was then in its glory, 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 185 

and of course a part of its radiance shone on him. 
He was a man of excellent judgment, even in literary 
matters, and his taste, no doubt, contributed largely 
to the success of the Magazine. He was in familiar 
intercourse with the celebrities of the day and a 
bright constellation they were. He spoke as famil 
iarly of great names Scott, Lockhart, Hogg, Wilson 
- -sacred to me, as Appleton and Putnam and the Har 
pers do of Irving, Halleck, and Bryant, or Ticknor 



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

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

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



186 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Fields of Prescott and Longfellow. Was not that a 
time to be remembered ? 

Of course I was gratified at receiving from him a 
note, inviting me to dine with him the next day. His 
house was on the south of the old town nearly two 
miles distant. The persons present were such as I 
should myself have selected : among them Lockhart 
and James Ballantyne. I sat next the latter, and 
found him exceedingly agreeable and gentlemanlike. 
He was a rather large man, handsome, smooth in 
person and manner, and very well dressed. You will 
remember that at this time, it was not acknowledged 
by Scott or his friends that he was the author of the 
Waverley novels. Perhaps the mystery was even 
promoted by them, for, no doubt, it added adventi 
tious interest to his works. However, the vail was 
not closely preserved in the circle of intimacy. Bal- 
larityne said to me, in the course of a conversation 
which turned upon the popularity of authors, as indi 
cated by the sale of their works u We have now 
in course of preparation forty thousand volumes of 
Scott s poems and the works of the author of Waver 
ley" evidently intimating the identity of their au 
thorship. 

There was nothing remarkable about our meal : 
it was like an English dinner, generally ample, 
substantial, administered with hospitality, and dis 
cussed with relish. There was a certain seriousness 
and preparation about it, common in Europe, but un- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 187 

common in our country. We rush to the table as if 
eating was an affair to be dispatched in the shortest 
possible time : to linger over it would seem to be an 
indecency. The Englishman, on the contrary, ar 
ranges his business for his dinner ; he prepares his 
mind for it ; he sets himself to the table, and adjusts 
his legs beneath, for it ; he unfolds his napkin and 
lays it in his lap, or tucks a corner within his waist 
coat, for it ; he finally qualifies himself the better to 
enjoy it, by taking a loving survey of the good things 
before him and the good friends around him. He be 
gins leisurely, as if feeling that Providence smiles upon 
him, and he would acknowledge its bounties by pro 
longing the enjoyment of them. As he proceeds, he 
spices his gratification by sips of wine, exchanges of 
compliments with the ladies and convivial chat, right 
and left, with his neighbors. The host is attentive, 
the hostess lends a smiling countenance, the servants 
are ubiquitous, and put your wishes into deeds, with 
out the trouble of your speaking to them. 

The first half hour has a certain earnestness about 
it, apparently occupied in reducing the Malakoffs of 
beef, Mamelons of mutton, and Eedaris of poultry 
that come one after another. The victory is, at last, 
substantially won : all that remains is to capture 
the pies, cakes, tarts, ices, creams, fruits, &c., which 
is usually done with a running artillery of light wit. 
Conversation ensues ; now and then all listen to 
some good talker; perhaps a story-teller catches, 



188 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

for a time, the attention of the company, and then 
again all around resolves itself into a joyous and 
jovial confusion of tongues. An hour is past, and 
the ladies retire. The gentlemen fill their glasses, 
and offer them a parting toast ; then they drink 
" The Queen," and give themselves up to social en 
joyment. 

And so it was on this occasion only that we drank 
the King, instead of the Queen, for George IV. was 
then upon the throne. Mr. Blackwood was living 
in a plain but comfortable style, and garnished his 
entertainment with a plain, simple hospitality which 
lost nothing by his occasional interjections of very 
broad Scotch. It was delightful to see the easy inti 
macy of the persons present : they frequently called 
each other by their Christian names using terms of 
endearment, which with us would seem affected, per 
haps absurd. " Jammy, dear, tak some wine your- 
sel, and hand it to me !" said Blackwood to Ballan- 
tyne, and the latter answered in a similar tone of 
familiar kindness. The whole intercourse of the com 
pany seemed warmed and cheered by these simple, 
habitual courtesies. Our own manners, I think, un 
der similar circumstances, must appear bald and chill 
ing, in comparison. 

Nor was there any thing remarkable in the conver 
sations save only what related to Byron. The news 
of his death at Missolonghi, on the 19th of April, had 
reached Scotland a few weeks before, and produced 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 189 

a profound sensation. Even while I was there, the 
interest in the subject had not subsided. Mr. Lock- 
hart had not known Byron, personally, but he was in 
London soon after his departure for the continent, 
and at several subsequent periods, and he gave us 
many interesting details respecting him. He was fre 
quently at Lady Caroline Lamb s soirees, where he 
met the literary celebrities of London, and especially 
the younger and gayer portion of them. Her ladyship 
had flirted with the lordly poet in the heyday of his 
fame, and it was said, condescended to visit him in 
the guise of a page her reputation being of that 
salamander quality, which could pass through such 
fire and suffer no damage. Her lover proved fickle, 
arid at last ungrateful, and she retaliated in the novel 
of " Glenarvon" venting her rage upon him by 
depicting him as " having an imagination of flame 
playing around a heart of ice." 

At the time Lockhart thus mingled in Lady Caro 
line s circle, Byron was the frequent theme of com 
ment. She had a drawer-full of his letters, and inti 
mate friends were permitted to read them. She had 
also borrowed of Murray the poet s manuscript auto 
biography given to Moore, and had copied some of 
its passages. This was soon discovered, and she was 
obliged to suppress them but still passages of them 
got into circulation. The work was written in a dar 
ing, reckless spirit, setting at defiance all the laws of 
propriety, and even of decency. One of the chapters 



190 LE1TERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

consisted of a rhyming list of his acquaintances, at the 
period of his highest fashionable success, in London 
dashed off with amazing power yet in such terms of 
profanity as to forbid repetition, at least in print. It 
was obvious, from what was said by Mr. Lockhart and 
others, that such were the gross personalities, the 
shameful outrages of decorum, and the general licen 
tiousness of this production, that it was impossible 
for any respectable publisher to be concerned in giv 
ing it to the world. The consignment of it to the 
flames, by his friends, was as much dictated by re 
gard to their own characters, as to the fame of the 
author, which was in a certain degree committed to 
their keeping. 

We sat down to dinner at seven, and got up at 
eleven. After a short conversation with the ladies, 
we took our departure. As I was getting into my 
carriage, Mr. Lockhart proposed to me to walk back 
to town, a distance of a mile and a half. I gladly 
accepted this proposition, and we had a very interest 
ing conversation. Upon intimacy, Lockhart s cold 
ness wholly disappeared. He spoke in an easy, 
rattling way, very much in the manner of the freer 
portions of Peter s Letters. The good dinner had 
doubtless cheered him a little ; but not only on this, 
but other occasions I had evidence of a more genial 
nature than might have been supposed to exist be 
neath the haughty armor which he seemed to wear 
toward the world. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 191 

The next day I went to St. Giles s Church,* to see 
the General Assembly, then holding its annual ses 
sion there. This body consisted of nearly four 
hundred members, chosen by different parishes, bor 
oughs, and universities. The sessions are attended by 
a Commissioner appointed by the crown, but he is seat 
ed outside of the area assigned to the assembly, and 
has no vote, and no right of debate. He sits under a 
pavilion, with the insignia of royalty, and a train of 
gaily-dressed pages. He opens the sessions in the 
name of the King, the Head of the Church : the mod 
erator then opens it in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the only true Head of the Church ! It appears 
that the Scotch, in bargaining for a union with Eng 
land, took good care to provide for their religious in 
dependence, and this they still jealously preserve : 
the Irish, on the contrary, were sold out, and treated 
like a conquered people. The commissioner, at this 
time, was Lord Morton who, according to all the 
accounts I heard, was a disgrace to human nature. 

The aspect of the Assembly was similar to that of 
the House of Commons though somewhat graver. 
I observed that the debates were often stormy, with 
scraping of the floor, laughing aloud, and cries of 
"hear, hear!" The members were, in fact, quite dis 
orderly, showing at least as little regard for decorum 



* In 1844 a fine church, culled Victoria Hall, way erected for the nice*- 
ings of the General Assembly. It is of rich Mediaeval Gothic archi 
tecture, with a spire two hundred and forty-six feet in height. 



192 

as ordinary legislatures. Sir Walter Scott once re 
marked, in my hearing, that it had never yet been 
decided how many more than six members could 
speak at once ! 

The persons here pointed out to me as celebrities 
were Dr. Chalmers, the famous pulpit orator, Dr. 
Cook, the ecclesiastical historian, and Dr. Baird, prin 
cipal of the University, and caricatured in the print- 
shops under a rude portrait of his large face, nearly 
covered with hair, the whole labeled, Principal Beard. 
The first of these was now at the height of his fame. 
He had already begun those reforms which, some 
years later, resulted in a disruption of the Scottish 
Church. At this period the Assembly was divided 
into two opposite parties, the Moderate, and the Souna 
the former contending for the old doctrine, that 
presbyteries were bound to receive and accept every 
qualified preacher, presented by the crown, or others 
exercising the right of such preferment, and the lat 
ter opposing it. The importance of the question lay 
in the fact that a large number of the places in the 
Church were in the gift of the crown, and many others 
in the hands of lay -patrons, and these were frequent 
ly bestowed in such a manner as to accumulate 
two or more benefices in the hands of one person. 
The great point made by Chalmers was, that one 
church, one congregation, however small, was enough 
to occupy and absorb the attention of one minister ; 
and that a plurality of benefices was both corrupting 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 193 

to the Caurch, by making it subservient to patronage, 
and destructive of the apostolic spirit, which demands 
the devotion of the whole soul to the work of the 
ministry. 

I had the good fortune to hear Chalmers speak for 
a few moments, but with great energy and power, so 
as to give me an idea of his appearance and manner. 
He was a large man, and as he rose he seemed rather 
heavy, slow, and awkward. His face was large, its 
outline being nearly circular. His lips, when closed, 
were thin, giving a certain sharpness and firmness to 
his countenance. His forehead was large and expan 
sive, his brow finely arched, his eye gray, and its 
expression ordinarily heavy. Altogether his appear 
ance, as he first rose to my view, was unpromising. 
His speech, his articulation, was even worse, at the 
outset, for he had the Fifeshire dialect the harshest 
and most unintelligible in Scotland. He had, how 
ever, spoken but a few sentences, when the whole man 
was transformed. That heaviness which marked his 
appearance, had wholly passed away. Upon his coun 
tenance there was an animated yet lofty expression 
firm and fearless, benevolent and winning while 
his voice, pouring out a vast flow of thought, had in. 
it a tone at once of love and command, of feeling and 
of authority, absolutely irresistible. I felt myself borne 
along in the torrent compelled, yet lending myself 
grjiU-fiilly to the movement. Sentence after sentence 
fell from his lips, thought accumulated upon tliougut, 

VOL. II. 9 



194: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

illustration upon illustration, and yet the listener com 
passed every conception and treasured every word. 
There was something in his voice so musical, so 
touching, that the whole sank into the soul like a 
hymn. The general effect was aided by his gestures 
and movements, for though by no means graceful, 
they harmonized so well with the emotions of the 
speaker as at once to illustrate and enforce the gen 
eral tenor of his address. 

On another occasion I heard Dr. Chalmers preach, 
in one of the churches of the city. The crowd was 
so great, however, that I saw and heard very imper 
fectly. It seemed to me that he was rather calculated 
to produce an effect by his oratory, than his writings. 
He had evidently wonderful powers of amplification : 
he often started topics apparently barren and unsug- 
gestive, but soon he called around them a crowd of 
thoughts and associations of the highest interest. The 
common labors of the minister of the Gospel enter 
ing into the hearts and homes of the rich and the 
poor ; now leading to the stately hall, and now to the 
squalid dens of vice, poverty, and crime ; now to the 
administration of baptism, and now to the sacrament 
this hackneyed routine, by force of his vivid imagi 
nation and ardent spirit, presented pictures to the 
mind and awoke emotions in the heart, quite over 
whelming. He seemed, indeed, like a magician, capa 
ble of converting even the sand and stones of the des 
ert into images of life and power ; but it appeared 



HISTORICAL, AJUECDOTICAL, ETC. 195 

to me that in order to do this, the voice and gesture 
and presence of the sorcerer, were indispensable. I 
have never, in reading any thing he has written 
noble as are his works at all realized the emotions 
produced by the brief, but startling speach I heard 
from him in the Assembly. 



LETTER XLII. 

A Dinner at Lockharfs -Conversation about Byron Mrs. Lockhart Ir 
ving Professor Ticknor Music The Pibroch and Miss Edge-worth 
Anecdotes of the Indians Southey and Second Siglit Cooper s Pioneers 
The Pilot Paul Jones Brockden Brown Burn* Tricks of the Press 
Charles Scott The Welsh Parson The Italian Base-viol Player- 
Personal Appearance of Sir Walter Departure for London Again 
in Edinburgh in 1832 Last Moments of Sir Walter The Sympathy of 
Nature. 

MY DEAR C****** 

I hope you fully comprehend that, in these 
sketches I am only dipping into my journal here 
and there, and selecting such memoranda as I think 
may amuse you. Most of these passages refer to 
individuals who have now passed to their graves. 
It is mournful to me it is suggestive of feelings inex 
pressibly sad and solemn to reflect that of the long 
list of distinguished persons who, at the period I 
refer to, shed a peculiar glory upon Edinburgh, not 
one survives. Scott, Lockhart, Jeffrey, Chalmers 
these, and others who stood beside them, either shar- 



196 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ing or reflecting the blushing honors of genius and 
feme, falling around them all are gone from the 
high places which they then illumined with their pres 
ence. I am speaking only of the dead yet I remem 
ber them as living, and though their history, their 
works, their fame, are familiar to you it may still 
interest you to go back and participate in recollec 
tions of them their persons, speech, manner and 
thus, in some degree, see them as they were seen, and 
know them as they were known. I pray you to ac 
cept these passages from my journal, as glimpses only 
of what I saw, and not as pretending at all to a reg 
ular account of my travels and observations, at the 
time referred to. 

On Wednesday, June 2, I dined with Mr. Lock- 
hart 25 Northumberland-street. Besides the host 
and hostess, there were present Sir Walter Scott, his 
son, Charles Scott, Mr. Blackwood, Mr. Robinson, 
and three or four other persons. At dinner I sat next 
Sir Walter an arrangement made, I believe, in com 
pliment to myself. Every thing went off pleasantly 
with the usual ease, hospitality, and heartiness of 
an English dinner. The house and furniture were 
plain and handsome such as were common to people 
of good condition and good taste. 

The meal was discussed with the usual relish, and 
with the usual garnish of wit and pleasantry. After 
the ladies had retired, the conversation became gen 
eral and. animated. Byron was the engrossing topic. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 197 

Sir "Walter spoke of him with the deepest feeling of 
admiration and regret. A few weeks before, on the 
receipt of the news of his death, he had written an 
obituary notice of him, in which he compared him 
to the sun, withdrawn from the heavens at the very 
moment when every telescope was leveled to discover 
either his glory or his spots. He expressed the opin 
ion that Byron was " dying of home-sickness" that 
being his phrase. For a long time he had flouted 
England, and seemed to glory alike in his exile and 
his shame. Yet all this time his heart was devoured 
with " the fiend ennui." He went to Greece, in the 
hope of doing some gallant deed that would wipe out 
his disgrace, and create for him such sympathy in the 
breasts of his countrymen, as would enable him to 
return his " faults forgiven and his sins forgot." 

Lockhaft and Blackwood both told stories, and we 
passed a pleasant half hour. The wine was at last 
rather low, and our host ordered the servant to bring 
more. Upon which Scott said " No, no, Lokert" 
such was his pronunciation of his son-in-law s name 
" we have had enough : let us go and see the la 
dies." And so we gathered to the parlor. 

Mrs. Lockhart was now apparently about two and 
twenty years old small in person, and girl-like in 
manner. Her hair was light-brown, cut short, and 
curled in her neck and around her face. Her cheeks 
were blooming, and her countenance full of cheerful 
ness. Her address was at once graceful and gracious 



198 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

indicating a lively, appreciative nature and the finest 
breeding. She had a son, four years old, and at my 
request, he was brought in. He was a fine boy, 
" very like his father," but alas, doomed to an early 
death. * 

Mrs. Lockhart spoke with great interest of Mr. Ir 
ving, who had visited the family at Abbotsford. She 
.said that he slept in a room which looked out on the 
Tweed. In the morning as he came down to break 
fast, he was very pale, and being asked the reason, 
confessed that he had not been able to sleep. The 
sight of the Tweed from his window, and the con 
sciousness of being at Abbotsford, so filled his imagi 
nation so excited his feelings, as to deprive him of 
slumber. She also spoke of Professor Ticknor lay 
ing the accent on the last syllable as having been 
at Abbotsford, and leaving behind him the most 
agreeable impressions. 

Our lively hostess was requested to give us some 
music, and instantly complied the harp being her 
instrument. She sang Scotch airs, and played sev 
eral pibrochs all with taste and feeling. Her range 
of tunes seemed inexhaustible. Her father sat by, 
and entered heartily into the performances. He beat 
time vigorously with his lame leg, and frequently 
helped out a chorus, the heartiness of his tones ma 
king up for some delinquencies in tune and time. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 199 

Often he made remarks upon the songs, and told an 
ecdotes respecting them. When a certain pibroch 
had been played, he said it reminded him of the first 
time he ever saw Miss Edgeworth. There had come 
to Abbotsford, a wild Gaelic peasant from the neigh 
borhood of Staifa, and it was proposed to him to 
sing a pibroch, common in that region. He had con 
sented, but required the whole party present, to sit in 
a circle on the floor, while he should sing the song, 
and perform a certain pantomimic accompaniment, in 
the center. All was accordingly arranged in the great 
hall, and the performer had just begun his wild chant, 
when in walked a small but stately lady, and an 
nounced herself as Miss Edgeworth ! 

Mrs. Lockhart asked me about the American In 
dians expressing great curiosity concerning them. I 
told the story of one who was tempted to go into the 
rapids of the Niagara river, just above the Falls, for 
a bottle of rum. This he took with him, and having 
swam out to the point agreed upon, he turned back 
and attempted to regain the land. For a long time 
the result was doubtful : he struggled powerfully, 
but in vain. Inch by inch, he receded from the shore, 
and at last, finding his doom sealed, he raised himself 
above the water, wrenched the cork from the bottle, 
and putting the latter to his lips, yielded to the cur 
rent, and thus went down to his doom. 

Mrs. Lockhart made some exclamations of mingled 
admiration and horror. Sir Walter then said that he 



200 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

had read an account of an Indian, who was in a boat, 
approaching a cataract ; by some accident, it wag 
drawn into the current, and the savage saw that his 
escape was impossible. Upon this he arose, wrapped 
his robe of skins around him, seated himself erect, 
and with an air of imperturbable gravity, went over 
the falls. 

" That is sublime," said Mrs. Lockhart : " as if he 
were preparing to meet the Great Spirit, and he 
thought it proper to enter his presence wit<h dignity 1" 

11 The most remarkable thing about the American 
Indians," said Blackwood, " is their being able to fol 
low in the trail of their enemies, by their footprints 
left in the leaves, upon the*grass, and even upon the 
moss of the rocks. The accounts given of this seem 
hardly credible." 

"I can readily believe it, however," said Sir Wal 
ter. " You must remember that this is a part of their 
education. I have learned at Abbotsford to discrim 
inate between the hoof-marks of all our neighbors 
horses, and I taught the same thing to Mrs. Lockhart. 
It is, after all, not so difficult as you might think. 
Every horse s foot has some peculiarity either of 
size, shoeing, or manner of striking the earth. I was 
once walking with Southey a mile or more from 
home across the fields. At last we came to a bridle 
path, leading toward Abbotsford, and here I noticed 
fresh hoof-prints. Of this I said nothing ; but paus 
ing and looking up with an inspired expression, I 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 201 

said to Southey I have a gift of second sight : we 
shall have a stranger to dinner ! 

" And what may be his name ? was the reply. 

" Scott, said I. 

" Ah, it is some relation of yours, he said ; you 
have invited him, and you would pass off as an ex 
ample of your Scottish gift of prophecy, a matter 
previously agreed upon ! 

" Not at all, said I. * I assure you that till this 
moment I never thought of such a thing. 

" When we got home, I was told that Mr. Scott, a 
farmer living some three or four miles distant, and a 
relative of mine, was waiting to see me. Southey 
looked astounded. The man remained to dinner, and 
he was asked if he had given any intimation of his 
coming. He replied in the negative : that indeed he 
had no idea of visiting Abbotsford when he left home. 
After enjoying Southey s wonder for some time, I 
told him that I saw the tracks of Mr. Scott s horse 
in the bridle-path, and inferring that he was going to 
Abbotsford, easily foresaw that we should have him 
to dinner." 

Mrs. Lockhart confirmed her father s statement, 
and told how, in walking over the country together, 
they had often amused themselves in studying the 
hoof-prints along the roads. 

Mr. Lockhart returned to the Indians. u I have 
lately been reading an exceedingly clever American 
novel, entitled the Pioneers, by Cooper. His descrip- 

9* 



202 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL. 

tive power is very great, and I think he has opened 
a new field of romance, especially in the hunters 
along the frontiers, who, in their intercourse with 
savages, have become half savage themselves. That 
border life is full of incident, adventure, poetry ; the 
character of Leatherstocking is original and striking." 

a l have not seen the Pioneers," said Scott ; " but 
I have read the Pilot by the same author, which has 
just been published. It is very clever, and I think 
it will turn out that his strength lies in depicting sea 
life and adventure. We really have no good sea- 
tales, and here is a wide field, open to a man of true 
genius." 

" But, papa," said our hostess, " I should think it 
rather a narrow field. Only a few persons go to sea, 
and the language of sailors is so technical as to be 
hardly understood by people generally. It seems to 
me that sea-tales can never excite the sympathy of 
the great mass of readers, because they have had no 
experience of its life and manners." 

" It is no doubt a task of some difficulty," said Sir 
Walter, " to bring these home to the hearts of the 
reading million ; nevertheless, to a man of genius 
for it, the materials are ample and interesting. All 
our minds are full of associations of danger, of dar 
ing, and adventure with the sea and those who have 
made that element their home. And besides, this 
book to which I refer the Pilot connects its story 
with the land. It is perhaps more interesting to me, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 203 

because I perfectly well recollect the time when Paul 
Jones whose character is somewhat reflected in the 
hero of the story came up the Sol way in 1778 ID 
the Ranger, though I was then less than ten years old. 
He kept the whole coast in a state of alarm for some 
time, and was in fact the great scarecrow of that age 
and generation." 

" Mr. Cooper is a man of genius," said Lockhart : 
" no one can deny that ; but it seems to me that 
Brockden Brown was the most remarkable writer of 
fiction that America has produced. There is a similar 
ity in his style to that of the Kadcliffe school, and in 
the tone of mind to Godwin s Caleb Williams ; but in 
his machinery, he is highly original. In his display 
of the darker passions, he surpasses all his models." 

" That may be true," said Sir Walter, " but it is 
neither a wholesome nor a popular species of literature. 
It is almost wholly ideal; it is not in nature; it is in 
fact contrary to it. Its scenes, incidents, characters, 
do not represent life : they are alien to common ex 
perience. They do not appeal to a wide circle of 
sympathy in the hearts of mankind. The chief emo 
tion that it excites is terror or wonder. The suggest- 
ivr manner of treating every subject, aims at keeping 
the mind constantly on the rack of uncertainty. This 
trick of art was long ago exhausted. Brown had 
wonderful powers, as many of his descriptions show; 
but I think he was led astray by falling under the 
influence of bad examples, prevalent at his time. 



204: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Had he written his own thoughts, he would have 
been, perhaps, immortal : in writing those of others, 
his fame was of course ephemeral." 

The conversation turned upon Burns. Scott knew 
him well. He said that Tarn O Shanter was written to 
please a stonecutter, who had executed a monument 
for the poet s father, on condition that he should, 
write him a witch-story, in verse. He stated that 
Burns was accustomed, in his correspondence, more 
especially with ladies, to write an elaborate letter, 
and then send a copy of it to several persons 
modifying local and personal passages to suit each 
individual. He said that of some of these letters, he 
had three or four copies thus addressed to different 
persons, and all in the poet s handwriting. 

The tricks of the London newspapers were spoken 
of, and he mentioned the following instance. A pop 
ular preacher there, had caused a church to be built, 
in which he was to officiate. The time was fixed for 
its dedication ; but two days before this, an article 
appeared in one of the city prints, describing the 
building, and speaking well of it, but suggesting 
that the pillars which supported the gallery were 
entirely too slight, and it must be exceedingly dan 
gerous for any congregation to assemble there ! This 
of course produced a general alarm, and to appease 
this, the proprietor found it necessary to have a sur 
vey made by an architect. This was done, and the 
architect declared, that, as the pillars were of iron, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 205 

there was not the slightest danger. The proprietor 
took this statement to the editor of the paper, and 
begged him to retract his false and injurious state 
ment. The reply was 

" This is doubtless an important matter to you, but 
not of the slightest interest to me." 

"But, sir," was the reply, "you have stated what 
is not true : will you not correct your own error ?" 

" Yes, but we must be paid for it." 

" What, for telling the truth?" 

" That depends upon circumstances : do you sup 
pose we can tell every truth that everybody desires 
us to ? No, sir ; this is a matter of interest to you : 
you can afford to pay for it. Give us ten guineas, 
and we will set it all right." 

The proprietor of the church had no other resource, 
and so he paid the money. 

Charles Scott, Sir Walter s second son, a rosy- 
cheeked youth of about eighteen, was present. He had 
recently come from Wales, where he had been under 
the teaching of a Welch clergyman. This subject 
being mentioned, Blackwood asked Mr. Robinson a 
very sober, clerical-looking gentleman to give the 
company a sample of a Welch sermon. Two chairs 
were placed back to back : Blackwood sat in one his 
bald, flat pate for a desk, and the performer mounted 
the other taking one of Mrs. Lockhart s songs for his 
notes. It seerns he was familiar with the Welch lan 
guage, and an admirable mimic. His performance was 



LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

exceedingly amusing. When he became animated, 
he slapped the music down on Blackwood s bald pate, 
and in capping his climaxes, gave it two or three 
smart, thumps with his fist. Blackwood must have 
had a substantial skull, or he could? not have borne 
it. At last, even he had enough of it, and when he 
perceived another climax was coming, he dodged, 
and the sermon was speedily brought to a close. 

Mr. Robinson was then called upon to imitate an 
Italian player on the bass-viol. He took a pair of 
tongs for his bow, and a shovel for the viol, and 
mounting a pair of spectacles on the tip-end of his 
nose, he began imitating the spluttering of the instru 
ment by his voice. It was inimitably droll. Sir 
Walter was quite convulsed, and several of the ladies 
absolutely screamed. As to myself, I had the side- 
ache for four-and-twenty hours. 

And thus passed the evening till twelve o clock. 
I have not told you the half of what is indicated io 
the notes before me. These specimens will suffice, 
however, to give you some idea of the manner in 
which good people unbent in the family circle of Ed 
inburgh, thirty years ago. You will readily suppose 
that my eye often turned upon the chief figure in this 
interesting group. I could not for a moment forget 
his presence, though nothing could be more unpre 
tending and modest than his whole air and bearing. 

His features are doubtless impressed upon you by 
his portraits, for they have all a general resemblance. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 207 

There was in Mr. Lockhart s parlor, where we were 
sitting, a copy of Chantry s bust of him since re 
peated a thousand times in plaster. I compared it 
again and again with the original. Nothing could 
possibly be better as a likeness. The lofty head, the 
projecting brows, the keen, peering glance of the eye, 
the long, thick upper lip, the dumpy nose, the rather 
small and receding chin each feature separately 
homely, yet all combined to form a face of agreeable 
expression. Its general effect was that of calm dig 
nity ; and now, in the presence of children and 
friends, lighted by genial emotions, it was one of the 
pleasantest countenances I have ever seen. When 
standing or walking, his manly form, added to an 
aspect of benevolence, completed the image at once 
exciting affection and commanding respect. 

As to his manners, I need only add that they were 
those of a well-bred English gentleman quiet, un 
pretending, absolutely without self-assertion. He ap 
peared to be happy, and desirous of making others so. 
He was the only person present, who seemed uncon 
scious that he was the author of Waverley. His in 
tercourse with his daughter, and hers in return, were 
most charming. She called him "papa," and he 
called her "my child," "my daughter," "Sophia," 
and in the most endearing tone and manner. She 
seemed quite devoted to him, watching his lips when 
he was speaking, and seeking in every thing to anti 
cipate and fulfill his wishes. When she was singing, 



208 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

his eye dwelt upon her, his ear catching and seeming 
to relish every tone. Frequently, when she was si 
lent, his eye rested upon her, and the lines came to 
my mind J 

" Some feelings are to mortals given, 
With less of earth in them, than Heaven : . 
And if there be a human tear 
From passion s dross refined and clear, 
A tear so limpid and so meek 
It would not stain an angel s cheek 
Tis that which pious fathers shed 
Upon a duteous daughter s head!" 

After a stay of about three weeks in Edinburgh, 
I took a reluctant leave of it, and went to London. 
Eight years later, September, 1832, 1 was again there. 
Scott was on his death-bed, at Abbotsford. Over 
burdened with the struggle to extricate himself from 
the wreck of his fortunes, his brain had given way, 
and the mighty intellect was in ruins. On the morn 
ing of the 17th, he woke from a paralytic slumber 
his eye clear and calm, every trace of delirium having 
passed away. Lockhart came to his bedside. "My 
dear," he said, " I may have but a moment to speak 
to you. Be a good man ; be virtuous be religious : 
be a good man. Nothing else will give you any com 
fort, when you are called upon to lie here!" 

Oh, what a bequest were these words, uttered by 
the dying lips of the mightiest genius of the age! 
We may all do well to heed them. Few more words 
did he speak ; he soon fell into a stupor, which, on 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 209 

the 21st, became the sleep of death. Thus he ex 
pired, all his children around him. " It was a beau 
tiful day," says his biographer "so warm that every 
window was wide open, and so perfectly still that 
the sound of all others most delicious to his ear, the 
gentle ripple of the Tweed over its pebbles, was dis 
tinctly audible as we knelt around the bed, and his 
eldest son kissed and closed his eyes !" 

The signs and symbols of mourning that spread 
over Great Britain on account of the death of the 
great and good man, were like those which com 
memorate the decease of a sovereign. Bells were 
tolled, sermons were preached, flags of ships were at 
half-mast, nearly every newspaper was clothed in 
black. In Edinburgh, every lip trembled in speak 
ing of the melancholy event. 

Two days after this, I departed with my com 
panion for the Highlands. On reaching Stirling, we 
found it enveloped in the drapery of dark, impene 
trable clouds. We passed on to Callender ; we pro 
ceeded to Loch Katrine. All around seemed to be in 
mourning. Huge masses of dim vapor rolled around 
the pinnacle of Benain; the shaggy brows and rocky 
precipices of Benvenue were all shrouded in gloomy 
mist. The hoary forests of the Trosachs heaved sad 
and moaning in the breeze. The surface of the lake 
was wrinkled with falling spray. All around seemed 
to wail and weep, as if some calamity had fallen upon 
jature itself. He who had endowed these scenes with 



210 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

immortality, was dead ; his body was now being borne 
to its tomb. While a nation wept, it was meet that 
the mountain and the lake, the stream and the glen 
which his genius had consecrated should also weep. 

" Call it not vain ; they do not err 
Who say, that when the poet dies, 

Mute nature mourns her worshiper, 
And celebrates his obsequies ; 

Who say, tall cliff and cavern lone, 

For the departed bard make moan ; 

That mountains weep in crystal rill ; 

That flowers in tears of balm distill ; 

Through his loved groves that breezes sigh, 

And oaks, in deeper groans, reply ; 

And rivers teach their rushing wave 

To murmur dirges round his grave!" 



LETTER ILIIL. 

Journey to London Remarks on England, as it appears to the American 
Traveler The Climate The Landscape Jealousies between, the English 
and Americans Plan for securing Peace. 

MY DEAR C****** 

Early in June, I set out for London. My route 
led me through the village of Dalkeith, and the pos 
sessions of the Duke of Buccleugh, extending for 
thirty miles on both sides of the road. We were 
constantly meeting objects which revived historical 
or poetic reminiscences. Among these was Cockpen, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 211 

the scene of the celebrated ballad, and as I rode by, 
the whole romance passed before my mind. I fan 
cied that I could even trace the pathway along which 
the old laird proceeded upon his courtship, as well 
as the residence of 

"The pennyless lass with a lang pedigree;" 
and who was so daft as to reject his offer, although 

"His wig was well powthered and as gude as new; 
His waistcoat was red, and his coat it was blue 
A ring on his finger, his sword and cocked hat 
And who could refuse the auld laird wi a that?" 

We crossed the Galawater and the Ettrick, and 
traveled along the banks of the Tweed formed by 
the union of these two streams. We passed Abbots- 
ford, rising at a little distance on the left its baronial 
dignity being lost in the spell of more potent associa 
tions. Further on, we saw the Eildon Hills, "cleft in 
three" by the wondrous wizzard, Michael Scott as 
duly chronicled in the Lay of the Last Minstrel. We 
proceeded along the banks of the Teviot a small lim 
pid stream, where we observed the barefooted lassies 
washing, as in the days of Allan Eamsay. We saw 
Netherby Hall, and a little beyond CannobieLea, the 
scenes of the song of Young Lochinvar. All these, 
and many more localities of legendary name and 
fame, were passed in the course of a forenoon s 
progress in the stage-coach. Scotland is indeed a 
charned land! 



212 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

One day s journey brought me to Carlisle : thence I 
traveled westward, looking with all due delight upon 
Wendermere, and Eydal, and Grassmere, and Helvel- 
lyn, and Derwentwater, and Skiddau. Then turning- 
eastward, I traveled over a hilly and picturesque 
country, to the ancient and renowned city of York. 
Having lingered, half entranced amid its antiquities, 
arid looked almost with worship upon its cathedral 
the most beautiful I have ever seen I departed, and 
soon found myself once more in London. 

As I shall not return to the subject again, allow 
me to say a few words as to the impression England 
makes upon the mind of an American, traveling over 
its surface. I have visited this country several times 
within the last thirty years, and I shall group my 
impressions in one general view. The whole may be 
summed up in a single sentence, which is, that Eng 
land is incomparably the most beautiful country in 
the world ! I do not speak of it in winter, when in- 
cumbered with fogs ; when there is 

" No sun, no moon, no morn, no noon, 

No dusk, no dawn no proper time of day ; 
No sky, no earthly view, no distance looking blue 
No road, no street, no t other side the way!" 

I take her as I do any other beauty who sits for hei 
portrait in her best attire ; that is, in summer. The 
sun rises here as high in June, as it does in America 
Vegetation is just about as far advanced. The mead 
ows, the wheat-fields, the orchards, the forests, are in 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 213 

their glory. There is one difference, however, be 
tween the two countries the sun in England is not 
so hot, the air is not so highly perfumed, the buzz of 
the insects is not so intense. Every thing is more 
tranquil. With us, all nature, during summer, ap 
pears to be in haste, as if its time was short as if it 
feared the coming frost. In England, on the con 
trary, there seems to be a confidence in the seasons, 
as if there were time for the ripening harvests ; as if 
the wheat might swell out its fat sides, the hops am 
plify its many-plaited flowers, the oats multiply and 
increase its tassels each and all attaining their 
perfection at leisure. In the United States, the pe 
riod of growth of most vegetables is compressed into 
ten weeks ; in Great Britain, it extends to sixteen. 

If we select the middle of June as a point of com 
parison, we shall see that in America there is a spirit, 
vigor, energy in the climate, as indicated by vegeta 
ble and animal life, unknown in Europe. In the 
former, the pulse of existence beats quicker than in 
the latter. The air is clearer, the landscape is more 
distinct, the bloom more vivid, the odors more pun 
gent, the perceptions of the rnind even, I doubt not, 
are more intense. A clover-field in America, in full 
bloom, is by many shades more ruddy than the same 
thing in England its breath even is sweeter: the 
music of the bees stealing its honey is of a higher 
key. A summer forest with us is of a livelier green 
than in any part of Great Britain ; the incense 



214 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

breathed upon the heart, morning and evening, is, I 
think, more fall and fragrant. And yet, if we take 
the summer through, this season is pleasanter in 
England than with us. It is longer, its excitements 
are more tranquil, and, being spread over a larger 
space, the heart has more leisure to appreciate them, 
than in the haste and hurry^ of our American climate. 
There is one fact worthy of notice, which illus 
trates this peculiarity of the English summer. The 
trees there are all of a more sturdy, or, as we say, 
stubbed form and character. The oaks, the elms, the 
walnuts, beeches, are shorter and thicker, as well in 
the trunks as the branches, than ours. They have 
all a stocky, John Bull form and stature. The leaves 
are thicker, the twigs larger in circumference. I have 
noticed particularly the recent growths of apple-trees, 
and they are at once shorter and stouter than in 
America. This quality in the trees gives a pecu 
liarity to the landscape. The forest is more solid and 
less graceful than ours. If you will look at an Eng 
lish painting of trees, you notice the fact I state, and 
perceive the effect it gives, especially to scenes of 
which trees constitute a prevailing element. All 
over Europe, in fact, the leaves of the trees have 
a less feathery appearance than in America ; and in 
general the -forms of the branches are less arching, 
and, of course, less beautiful. Hence it will be per 
ceived that European pictures of trees differ in this 
respect from American ones the foliage in the for- 




SCENE IN F.KUI.A.NU. V 1 2. p. i 



HISTORICAL, ANEODOTICAL, ETC. 215 

mer being more solid, and the sweep of the branches 
more angular. 

But it is in respect to the effects of human art and 
industry, that the English landscape has the chief ad 
vantage over ours. England is an old country, and 
shows on its face the transforming influences of fif 
teen centuries of cultivation. It is, with the excep 
tion of Belgium, the most thickly-settled country of 
Europe nearly three hundred and fifty inhabitants 
to the square mile, while in the United States we 
have but seven. Massachusetts, the most thickly- 
settled State in America, has but one hundred and 
thirty. 

England, therefore, is under a garden-like cultiva 
tion ; the plowing is straight and even, as if regulated 
by machinery ; the boundaries of estates consist for 
the most part of stone mason- work, the intermediate 
divisions being hedges, neatly trimmed, and forming 
a beautiful contrast to our stiff stone walls and rail 
fences. The public roads are nicely wrought, the 
sides being turfed with neat and convenient foot 
ways. The railway stations are beautiful specimens 
of architecture ; the sides of the railways are all sod 
ded over, and often are blooming with patches of cul 
tivated flowers. In looking from the top of a hill 
over a large extent of country, it is impossible not to 
feel a glow of delight at the splendor of the scene 
the richness of the soil, its careful and skillful cul 
tivation, its green, tidy boundaries checkering the 



216 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

scene, its teeming crops, its fat herds, its numberless 
and fall-fleeced sheep. 

Nor must the dwellings be overlooked. I pass by 
the cities and the manufacturing villages, which, in 
most parts, are visible in every extended landscape 
sometimes, as in the region of Manchester, spread 
ing out for miles, and sending up pitchy wreaths of 
smoke from a thousand tall, tapering chimneys. I 
am speaking now of the country, and here are such 
residences as are unknoAvn to us. An English castle 
would swallow up a dozen of our shingle or brick 
villas. The adjacent estate often includes a thousand 
acres and these, be it remembered, are kept almost as 
much for ornament as use. Think of a dwelling that 
might gratify the pride of a prince, surrounded by 
several square miles of wooded park, and shaven 
lawn, and winding stream, and swelling hill, and all 
having been for a hundred, perhaps five hundred 
years, subjected to every improvement which the 
highest art could suggest ! There is certainly a union 
of unrivaled beauty and magnificence in the lordly 
estates of England. We have nothing in America 
which at all resembles them. 

And then there is every grade of imitation of these 
high examples, scattered over the whole country. 
The greater part of the surface of England belongs to 
wealthy proprietors, and these have alike the desire 
and the ability to give an aspect of neatness, finish, 
and elegance, not only to their dwellings and the 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 217 

immediate grounds, but to their entire estates. The 
prevailing standard of taste thus leads to a universal 
beautifying of the surface of the country. Even the 
cottager feels the influence of this omnipresent spirit ; 
the brown thatch over his dwelling, and the hedge 
before his door, must be neatly trimmed ; the green 
ivy must clamber up and festoon his windows, and 
the little yard in front must bloom with roses and 
lilies, and other gentle flowers, in their season. 

And thus cold, foggy England is made the para 
dise of the earth at least during this charming 
month of June. Nature now, in compensation for 
her ill humor at other seasons, aids in this universal 
decoration. Through the whole summer nay, in au 
tumn, and even in winter the verdure of the Eng 
lish landscape is preserved. Not in July nor August, 
not even in December, do we here see the grass 
parched with heat or grown gray in the frost. It is 
true the leaves of the trees fall, as they do with us, in 
November not having first clothed the hills in red 
and purple and gold as in America, but, as the Eng 
lish poet tells us 

" the fading, many-colored woods, 



Shade deep ning over shade, the country round 
Imbrown; a crowded umbrage, dusk and dun, 
Of every hue, from wan, declining green, 
To sooty dark" 

thus, for a time, seeming to prelude the coming win 
ter, with a drapery of mourning woven of the faded 
VOL. II. 10 



218 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

glories of summer. Nothing can indeed be more dis 
mal than the aspect of England, when the black, crum 
pled leaves are falling in the forests some yet flut 
tering on the branches, and others strewn on the 
ground. But even then the sod retains its living 
hue, and when at last the leaves have fallen, there is 
still a universal mantle of verdure over the fields 
thus redeeming winter from a portion of its gloom. 

So much for the common aspect of England as the 
traveler passes over it. The seeker for the pictu 
resque may find abundant gratification in Devon 
shire, Derbyshire, Westmoreland, though "Wales and 
Scotland, and parts of Ireland, are still more renown 
ed for scenic beauty. So far as combinations of na 
ture are concerned, nothing in the world can surpass 
some of our own scenery as along the upper waters 
of the Housatonic and the Connecticut, or among the 
islands of Lake George, and a thousand other places 
but these lack the embellishments of art and the 
associations of romance or song, which belong to the 
rival beauties of British landscapes. 

You will notice that I confine these remarks to a 
single topic the aspect of England, as it meets the 
eye of an American traveler. The English, with all 
their egotism, do not appreciate that wonderful dis 
play of wealth and refinement, which the surface of 
their country presents. They do not and can not 
enjoy the spectacle as an American does, for they are 
born to it, and have no experience which teaches 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 219 

them to estimate it by common and inferior stand 
ards. Having said so much on this subject, I shall 
not venture to speak of English society of the lights 
and shadows of life beneath the myriad roofs of towns 
and cities. The subject would be too extensive, and 
besides, it has been abundantly treated by others. I 
only say, in passing, that the English people are best 
studied at home. John Bull, out of his own house, is 
generally a rough customer : here, by his fireside, with 
wife, children, and friends, he is generous, genial, 
gentlemanly. There is no hospitality like that of an 
Englishman, when you have crossed his threshold, 
Everywhere else he will annoy you. He will poke 
his elbow into your sides in a crowded thoroughfare ; 
he will rebuff you if, sitting at his side in a locomo 
tive, you ask a question by way of provoking a little 
conversation ; he will get the advantage of you in 
trade, if he can ; he carries at his back a load of pre 
judices, like that of Christian in Pilgrim s Progress, 
and instead of seeking to get rid of them, he is always 
striving to increase his collection. If he becomes a 
diplomat, his great business is to meddle in every 
body s affairs ; if an editor, he is only happy in 
proportion as he can say annoying and irritating 
things. And yet, catch this same John Bull at home, 
and his crusty, crocodile armor falls off, and he is the 
very best fellow in the world liberal, hearty, sin 
cere the perfection of a gentleman. 

The relations of America to England are a subject 



220 LETTERS BIOGRAPHIC AL, 

of great interest to both countries. It would seem 
that by every dictate of prudence, as well as of pro 
priety, they should remain friends. We are of the 
same kith and kin, have the same language, the same 
faith, the same moral and social platform, the same, 
or at least similar institutions. All these ties seem 
to bind us in the bonds of peace and amity. To this 
may be added the myriad relations of commercial in 
terest. To do good to each other is virtually to earn 
and bless our daily bread. And yet we have been twice 
at war. There is a social war always being waged be 
tween us. The presses of England and America seem 
to conceive that they say their best things when they 
say their worst, of the two countries. We must not, 
then, put too much faith in consanguinity. Family 
quarrels are proverbially the fiercest. It is a mourn 
ful truth that the first murder was a fratricide. 

What then is to be done ? One thing could and 
should be done, in England. The press there is in 
the hands of the ruling people. If, as is asserted in 
England, there is a general feeling of good-will there 
toward America, that should be made manifest by 
the common vehicles of public opinion. Certainly 
this has never yet been done. From the very be 
ginning, the British press has been supercilious, hy 
percritical, condemnatory of our country, its manners, 
principles, institutions. Is it possible so long as 
this state of things shall continue for the Amer 
ican people to believe that the English nation do 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. ^21 

not, in their hearts, cherish hostility toward this 
country ? 

It may, indeed, be said that the American press is 
as little conciliatory toward England as that of Eng 
land toward America. But, certainly, the good ex 
ample should come from them. They are the older 
people the mother country : their journals are more 
immediately within the control and influence of lead 
ing minds and influential men, than ours. And be 
sides, all that is wanted on our part, to a good under 
standing, is an assurance, a conviction of good- will, 
toward us on the other side of the water. Amid all 
our scolding at England, there is at the bottom of the 
American heart, a profound respect for her. We care 
/ery little what the French, or Dutch, or Germans, or 
Eussians, or Chinese, or Japanese, say or think of us ; 
but if the English say any thing bad of us, we are 
sure to resent it. Why can not something be done 
to bring this mischievous war to an end ? 

And yet how can it be effected? Let me ven 
ture upon a suggestion : if the London Times that 
mighty personification of John Bull would always 
be a gentleman, when he speaks of America, such 
would be the influence of this high example, that I 
should have some hope of seeing, even in my life 
time, a millennial spirit in the intercourse of the two 
countries. 



222 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL. 



LETTER XLIV, 

London Thirty Years Ago Its Great Increase George IV, Ascot Races 
The Duke of Wellington Jacob Perkins and the Steam-gun The 
Duke of Sussex Dake of York Hounslow Heath Parliament Can 
ning Mackintosh Brougham P aimer ston House of Lords Lord 
Mdon Rhio Rhio Catalani Signorina Garcia Edward Irving By- 



MY DEAK C****** 

It is said that Mr. "Webster remarked, while in 
London, that his constant and predominant feeling 
was that of wonder at its enormous extent : fourteen 
thousand streets, two hundred thousand houses, fif 
teen hundred places of public worship, three millions 
of human beings all crowded within the space of 
seven miles square ! 

Yet London, when I first knew it, was not what it 
is now. Its population has at least doubled since 
1824. At that time Charing Cross was a filthy, tri 
angular thoroughfare, a stand for hackney-coaches, a 
grand panorama of showbills pasted over the sur 
rounding walls, with the king s mews in the immediate 
vicinity : this whole area is now the site of Trafalgar- 
Square one of the most imposing combinations of 
magnificent architecture and tasteful embellishments 
in the world. This is an index, of other and similar 
changes that have taken place all over the city. Lon 
don has been nearly as much improved as New York 
within the last thirty years. I know a portion of it, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 223 

nearly a mile square, now covered with buildings, 
which consisted of open fields when I first visited the 
city. At the present day, London not only surpasses 
in its extent, its wealth, its accumulations of all that 
belongs to art the richness of its merchandises, the 
extent of its commerce, the vastness of its influence 
all the cities that now exist, but all that the world has 
before known. What were Nineveh, or Babylon, or 
Eome even if they had an equal population when 
their relations were confined to the quarter of a single 
hemisphere, and their knowledge did not embrace 
the telescope, the mariner s compass, the steam-engine, 
nor the telegraph neither railroads nor the printing- 
press ; what were they in comparison with the me 
tropolis of a kingdom, whose colonies now belt the 
world, and whose influence, reaching every state and 
nation under the sun, extends to the thousand mil 
lions of mankind! 

But what of London in 1824? King George IY. 
was then on the throne, and though he was shy of 
showing himself in public, I chanced to see him sev 
eral times, and once to advantage at Ascot Eaces. 
This was a royal course, and brought together an 
immense crowd of the nobility and gentry, as well as 
an abundant gathering of gamblers and blacklegs. 
For more than an hour his majesty stood in the pa 
vilion, surrounded by the Duke of Wellington, the 
Duke of York, the Marquis of Anglesea, and other 
persons of note. He was a large, over-fat man, of 



224 LETTERS BIOGEAPHICAL, 

a rather sour and discontented countenance. All 
the arts of the toilet could not disguise the wrin 
kles of age, and the marks of dissipation and dilap 
idation. His lips were sharp, his eye grayish-blue, 
his wig chestnut-brown. His cheeks hung down 
pendulously, and his whole face seemed pallid, bloat 
ed, and flabby. His coat was a blue surtout, but 
toned tight over the breast ; his cravat, a huge black 
stock, scarcely sufficient to conceal his enormous, 
undulating jowl. On his left breast was a glittering 
star. He wore a common hat, the brim a little broad 
er than the fashion. But for the star and the respect 
paid to him, he might have passed as only an over 
dressed and rather sour old rake. I noticed that his 
coat set very close and smooth, and was told that he 
was trussed and braced by stays, to keep his flesh in 
place and shape. It was said to be the labor of at 
least two hours to prepare him for a public exhibi 
tion, like the present. He was a dandy to the last. 
The wrinkles of his coat, after it was on, were cut out 
by the tailor, and carefully drawn up with the needle. 
He had the gout, and walked badly. I imagine there 
were few among the thousands gathered to the spec 
tacle, who were really less happy than his majesty 
the monarch of the three kingdoms. 

I not only saw the Duke of Wellington on this, 
but on many subsequent occasions. I think the por 
traits give a false idea of his personal appearance. 
He was really a rather small, thin, insignificant look- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 225 

iDg man, unless you saw him on horseback. His 
profile was indeed fine, on account of his high Ro 
man nose, but his front face was meager, and the 
expression cold, almost mean. His legs were too 
short, a defect which disappeared when he was in 
the saddle. He then seemed rather stately, and in a 
military dress, riding always with inimitable ease, he 
sustained the image of the great general. At other 
times, I never could discover in his appearance any 
thing but the features and aspect of an ordinary, 
and certainly not prepossessing, old man. I say this 
with great respect for his character, which, as a per 
sonification of solid sense, indomitable purpose, steady 
loyalty, and unflinching devotion to a sense of public 
duty, I conceive to be one of the finest in British 
history. 

At this period, our countryman, Jacob Perkins, 
was astonishing London with his steam-gun. He 
was certainly a man of extraordinary genius, and was 
the originator of numerous useful inventions. At 
the time of which I write, he fancied that he. had dis 
covered a new mode of generating steam, by which 
he was not only to save a vast amount of fuel, but to 
obtain a marvelous increase of power. So confident 
was he of success, that he told me he felt certain of 
being able, in a few months, to go from London to 
Liverpool, with the steam produced by a gallon of 
oil. Such was his fertility of invention, that while 
pursuing one discovery, others came into his mind, 

10* 



226 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and, seizing upon his attention, kept him in a whirl 
of experiments, in which many things were begun 
and comparatively nothing completed. 

Though the steam-gun never reached any practical 
result, it was for some time the admiration of London. 
I was present at an exhibition of its wonderful per 
formances in the presence of the Duke of Sussex, the 
king s youngest brother, and the Duke of Welling 
ton, with other persons of note. The general purpose 
of the machine was to discharge bullets by steam, 
instead of gunpowder, and with great rapidity at 
least a hundred a minute. The balls were put in a 
sort of tunnel, and by working a crank back and 
forth, they were let into the chamber of the barrel 
one by one and expelled by the steam. The noise of 
each explosion was like that of a musket, and when 
the discharges were rapid, there was a ripping uproar, 
quite shocking to tender nerves. The balls carried 
about a hundred feet across the smithy struck upon 
an iron target, and were flattened to the thickness of 
a shilling piece.* 



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



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 227 

The whole performance was indeed quite formida 
ble, and the Duke of Sussex who was an enormous, 
red-faced man seemed greatly excited. I stood close 
by, and when the bullets flew pretty thick and the 
discharge came to its climax, I heard him say to the 
Duke of Wellington, in an under-tone u Wonder 
ful, wonderful d d wonderful ; wonderful, won 
derful d d wonderful ; wonderful, wonderful 

d d wonderful 1" and so he went on, without va 
riation. It was in fact, save the profanity, a very 
good commentary upon the performance. 



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

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

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

The house of Mr. Perkins, at this period, was a familiar gathering 
place of Americans in London his charming daughters giving a sort 
of Aincrii-au lilt: and grace to all around them. His son, Angier M. 
Perkins, a gentleman of great talent, worth, and kindliness, continues 
his father s establishment in London. 



228 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Having thus spoken of the Duke of Sussex, I mus f 
say a few words of his brother, the Duke of York, 
whom I had seen, dressed in a green frock-coat and 
white pantaloons, at Ascot. He was there interested in 
the race, for he had entered a famous courser by the 
name of Moses, for one of the prizes. Some person 
reflected upon him for this, inasmuch, as among other 
titles, he held that of bishop.* His ready reply was, 
that he was devoted to Moses and the profits. De 
spite his disgrace in the Flanders campaign, and his 
notorious profligacy, both as a gambler and a roue, 
he was still a favorite among the British people. 
There was about him a certain native honorable- 
ness and goodness of heart, which survived, even in 
the midst of his debaucheries. English loyalty has 
the faculty of seeing the small virtues of its princes 
through the magnifying power of the telescope ; 
their vices are dwindled into comparative insignifi 
cance by being observed with the instrument re 
versed. And besides, the Duke of York was now 
heir-apparent to the throne, and thus stood next the 
king himself. 

I saw him not only at Ascot, but on other occa 
sions especially in a review of the first regiment 
of foot-guards, at Hyde Park, and again at a re 
view of four thousand horse-guards, at Hounslow 
Heath. The foot-guards were grenadiers, and their 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 229 

caps were of enormous height. The duke himself 
wore the same kind of cap, with a red coat of 
course. Like all his brothers, he was a large man, 
and of full habit, though riot up to the dimensions 
of the Duke of Sussex. He had a red, John Bull 
face, without expression, save that of good feeding. 
The Duke of "Wellington, at this time, was among 
the spectators. He was now in military dress, on a 
fine chestnut-colored horse. His motions were quick, 
and frequently seemed to indicate impatience. His 
general aspect was highly martial. Several ladies 
as well as gentlemen on horseback, were admitted to 
the review and within the circle of the sentries sta 
tioned to exclude the crowd. I obtained admission 
for a crown five shillings, I mean for I had learned 
that in England cash is quite as mighty as in Amer 
ica. The privileged group of fair ladies and brave 
men, gathered upon a grassy knoll, to observe the 
evolutions of the soldiers, presented an assemblage 
such as the aristocracy of England alone can fur 
nish. Those who imagine that this is an effem 
inate generation, should learn that both the men 
and women, belonging to the British nobility, taken 
together, are without doubt the finest race in the 
world. One thing is certain, these ladies could stand 
fire for, although the horses leaped and pranced a,t 
the discharges of the troops, their fair riders seemed 
as much at ease as if upon their own feet. Their 
horsemanship was indeed admirable, and suggested 



230 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

those habits of exercise and training, to which their 
full rounded forms and blooming countenances gave 
ample testimony. 

The review at Hounslow Heath, some eight miles 
from London and at the present day nearly covered 
with buildings comprised seven regiments of caval 
ry, including the first and second of the horse-guards. 
The latter were no doubt the finest troops of the kind 
in the world all the horses being large and black, 
and finely groomed. The caparisons were of the 
most splendid description, and the men picked for 
the purpose. All the officers were men of rank, or 
at least of good family. 

The performances consisted of various marches 
and countermarches sometimes slow and sometimes 
quick across the extended plain. The evolutions 
of the flying-artillery excited universal admiration. 
When the whole body about four thousand horse 
rushed in a furious gallop over the ground, the clash 
of arms, the thunder of hoofs, the universal shudder 
of the earth all together created more thrilling emo 
tions in the mind than any other military parade I 
ever beheld. I have seen eighty thousand infantry 
in the field, but they did not impress my imagina 
tion as forcibly as these few regiments of cavalry at 
Hounslow Heath. One incident gave painful effect 
to the spectacle. As the whole body were sweeping 
across the field, a single trooper was pitched from 
his horse and fell to the ground. A hundred hoofs 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 231 

passed over him, and trampled him into the sod. On 
swept the gallant host, as heedless of their fallen 
companion, as if only a feather had dropped from 
one of their caps. The conflict of cavalry in real 
battle, must be the most fearful exhibition which the 
dread drama of war can furnish. On this occasion both 
the king and the Duke of York were present, so that 
it was one of universal interest. About fifty ladies 
on horseback rode back and forth over the field, on 
the flanks of the troops, imitating their evolutions. 

You have no doubt heard enough of Parliament ; 
but I shall venture to make a few extracts from my 
note-book respecting it, inasmuch as these present 
slight sketches of persons of eminence who have now 
passed from the scene. I have been often at the House 
of Commons, but I shall now only speak of a debate 
in July, 1824, upon the petition, I believe, of the city 
of London, for a recognition of the independence of 
some of the South American States. Canning was then 
secretary of foreign affairs, and took the brunt of the 
Battle made upon the ministry. Sir James Mackintosh 
led, and Brougham followed him on the same side. 

I shall not attempt to give you a sketch of the 
speeches : a mere description of the appearance and 
manner of the prominent orators will suffice. Sir 
James then nearly sixty years old was a man 
rather above the ordinary size, and with a fine, phil 
anthropic face. His accent was decidedly Scotch, and 
his voice shrill and dry. He spoke slowly, often has 



232 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

itated, and was entirely destitute of what we call elo 
quence. There was no easy flow of sentences, no gush 
of feeling, no apparent attempt to address the heart or 
the imagination. His speech was a rigid lecture, rather 
abstract and philosophical, evidently addressed to the 
stern intellect of stern men. He had a good deal of 
gesture, and once or twice was boisterous in tone and 
manner. His matter was logical, and occasionally 
he illustrated his propositions by historical facts, hap 
pily narrated. On the whole, he made the impres 
sion upon my mind that he was a very philosophical, 
but not very practical, statesman. 

Brougham, as you know, is one of the ugliest 
men in the three kingdoms. His nose is long, and 
the nostrils, slightly retreating, seem to look at you 
sometimes to mock you. The mouth is hooked 
downward at either corner; the brow is rolled in 
folds, like the hide of a rhinoceros. And yet, strange 
to say, this odd composition of odd features makes 
up a face of rather agreeable, and certainly very effec 
tive expression. His figure is a little above the com 
mon size, and at the time I speak of, was thin and 
wiry a characteristic which time has since kindly 
converted into a moderate degree of portliness. He 
had abundance of words, as well as ideas. In his 
speech on the occasion I describe, he piled thought 
upon thought, laced sentence within sentence, min 
gled satire and philosophy, fact and argument, history 
and anecdote, as if he had been a cornucopia, and 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 233 

was anxious to disburden himself of its abundance. 
In all this there were several hard hits, and Canning 
evidently felt them. As he rose to reply, I took 
careful note of his appearance, for he was then, I im 
agine, the most conspicuous of the British statesmen 
He was a handsome man, with a bald, shining pate, 
and a figure slightly stooping in the shoulders. His 
face was round, his eye large and full, his lips a little 
voluptuous the whole bearing a lively and refined 
expression. In other respects his appearance was not 
remarkable. His voice was musical, and he spoke 
with more ease and fluency than most other orators 
of the House of Commons; yet even he hesitated, 
paused, and repeated his words, not only in the be 
ginning, "but sometimes in the very midst of his argu 
ment. He, however, riveted the attention of the mem 
bers, and his keen observations frequently brought 
out the ejaculation of "hear, hear," from both sides 
of the house. Brougham and Mackintosh watched 
him with vigilant attention, now giving nods of as 
sent, and now signs of disapprobation. 

The difference between the manner of speaking in 
the British Parliament and the American Congress, 
has frequently been the subject of remark. There is 
certainly great heaviness, and a kind of habitual 
hesitation, in nearly all English public speakers, 
strikingly in contrast to the easy and rapid fluency, 
so common with us. I have heard not only the fa 
mous men just mentioned in the British Parliament, 



234 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

but Peel, Palmerston, O Connell, and others, and all 
of them would have been considered dull speakers 
so far as mere manner is concerned here in the 
United States. I could never perceive in any of 
them an approach to the easy and melodious flow of 
Everett, the melting earnestness of Clay, or the ma 
jestic thunderings of Webster. 

On the occasion I am describing, Sir Francis Bur- 
dett* then a man of notoriety, but now almost 
wholly forgotten made a short speech. He was a 
tall, slender person, with a singularly prominent fore 
head, the rest of his face being comparatively thin and 
insignificant. He was rather dandily dressed, and did 
dled from right to left as he was speaking, in a very 
curious fashion. His voice was small, but* penetra 
ting. His attacks upon the ministry were very di 
rect, but he evidently excited no great attention. It 



* The history of this individual is curious. He was born in 1770 
and though the youngest son of a youngest son, by a series of calamitous 
deaths, he succeeded to the title and estates of his affluent and ancient 
family. His wealth was increased by his marrying, in 1793, the daugh 
ter of Coutts, the banker. In 1802, after a hot contest, he was returned 
to Parliament for Middlesex, but the House found the election void, and 
imprisoned the sheriffs. In 1807, while he was disabled by a duel, he 
was chosen for Westminster, and continued to represent that borough 
for nearly thirty years. He was of a turbulent disposition, and having 
quarreled with the House of Commons, resisted the speaker s warrant 
for his arrest, thus creating an excitement in which several lives were 
lost. When the sergeant-at-arms went to his house to arrest him, he 
found him affectedly teaching a young child the Magna Charta ! He was 
for some time imprisoned in the Tower. The general impression is that, 
while professing democracy, he was a thorough aristocrat, at least in 
feeling. This opinion was confirmed in 1835, when he totally changed 
his politics, and vehemently supported the tory side. He died in 1844. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 235 

seemed to me astonishing that he should ever have 
been a popular leader, for his whole appearance 
was that of the affected and supercilious aristocrat. 
The populace have very often been made the dupes 
of men whose hearts were full of despotism, and 
who, in flattering the masses, only sought the means 
of gratifying their unprincipled love of power. Ev 
ery careful observer has seen examples of this hollow 
and base democracy, and one might easily suspect 
Sir Francis Burdett to have been one of them. 

Of course I visited the House of Lords paying 
two shillings and sixpence for admittance. The 
bishops wore their surplices ; a few of the lords had 
stars upon the breast, but most of them were without 
any badge whatever. The general aspect of the as 
sembly was eminently grave and dignified. Eldon 
was the chancellor a large, heavy, iron-looking 
man the personification of bigoted conservatism. 
He was so opposed to reforms, that he shed tears 
when the punishment of death was abolished for 
stealing five shillings in a dwelling-house ! When 
I saw him, his head was covered with the official 
wig : his face sufficed, however, to satisfy any one 
that his obstinacy of character was innate. 

While I was here, a committee from the House of 
Commons was announced; they had brought up a 
message to the Lords. The chancellor, taking the 
seals in his hands, approached the committee, bow 
ing three times, and they doing the same. Then 



236 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

they separated, each moving backward, and bowing. 
To persons used to such a ceremony, this might be 
sublime ; to me, it was ludicrous and all the more 
so on account of the ponderous starchness of the chief 
performer in the solemn farce. There was a some 
what animated debate while I was present, in which 
Lords Liverpool, Lauderdale, Harrowby, and Grey 
participated ; yet nothing was said or done by either 
that would justify particular notice at this late day. 

A great event happened in the musical world while 
I was in London the appearance of Catalani at the 
Italian opera, after several years of absence. The 
play was Le Nozze di Figaro. I had never before seen 
an opera, and could not, even by the enchantments 
of music, have my habits of thought and my common 
sense so completely overturned and bewitched, as to 
see the whole business of life intrigue, courtship, 
marriage, cursing, shaving, preaching, praying, lov 
ing, hating done by singing instead of talking, 
and yet feel that it was all right and proper. It re 
quires both a musical ear and early training, fully to 
appreciate and feel the opera which aims at a union 
of all the arts of rhetoric, poetry, and music, enforced 
by scenic representations, and the intense enthusiasm 
of congregated and sympathetic masses. Even when 
educated to it, the English, as well as the Americans, 
have too practical a nature and are too much grooved 
with business habits, to give themselves up to it, as is 
done in Italy, and in some other parts of the continent. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 237 

Madame Catalan! was a large, handsome woman, a 
little masculine, and past forty. She was not only a 
very clever actress, but was deemed to have every 
musical merit volume, compass, clearness of tone, 
surpassing powers of execution. Her whole style 
was dramatic, bending even the music to the senti 
ments of the character and the song. Some of her 
displays were almost terrific, her voice drowning the 
whole soul in a flood of passion. I could appreciate, 
unlettered as I was in the arts of the opera, her ama 
zing powers though to say the truth, I was quite as 
much astonished as pleased. Pasta and Garcia 
both of whom I afterwards heard gave me infinitely 
greater pleasure, chiefly because their voices pos 
sessed that melody of tone which excites sympathy 
in every heart even the most untutored. Madame 
Catalani gave the opera a sort of epic grandeur an 
almost tragic vehemence of expression ; Pasta and 
Garcia rendered it the interpretation of those soft and 
tender emotions which haunt the soul, and for the 
expression of which God seems to have given music 
to mankind. It was, no doubt, a great thing to hear 
the greatest cantatrice of the age, but my remem 
brance of Madame Catalani is that of a prodigy, 
rather than an enchantress. On the occasion I am 
describing, she sang, by request, Rule Britannia, 
between the acts, which drew forth immense ap 
plause, in which I heartily joined not that I liked 
the words, but that I felt the music. 



LETTERS BIOG K APHICAL, 

It was about this time that a great attraction was 
announced at one of the theatres nothing less than 
the king and queen of the Sandwich Islands, who 
had graciously condescended to honor the perform 
ance with their presence. They had come to visit 
England, and pay their homage to George the Fourth ; 
hence the government deemed it necessary to receive 
them with hospitality, and pay them such attentions 
as were due to their rank and royal blood. The 
king s name was Tamehamaha, but he had also the 
sub- title or surname of Rhio-Bhio which, being in 
terpreted, meant Dog of Dogs. Canning s wit got the 
better of his reverence, and so he profanely suggest 
ed that, if his majesty was Dog of Dogs, what must 
the queen be ? However, there was an old man about 
the court who had acquired the title of Poodle, and 
he was selected as a fit person to attend upon their 
majesties. They had their lodgings at the Adelphi 
Hotel, and might be seen at all hours of the day, 
looking at the puppet-shows in the street with in 
tense delight. Of all the institutions of Great Bri 
tain, Punch and Judy evidently made the strongest 
and most favorable impression upon the royal party. 

They were, I believe, received at a private inter 
view by the king at Windsor ; every thing calculated 
to gratify them was done. I saw them at the thea 
tre, dressed in a European costume, with the addition 
of some barbarous finery. The king was an enor 
mous man six feet, three or four inches ; the queen 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 239 

was short, but otherwise of ample dimensions. Be 
sides these persons, the party comprised five or six 
other members of the king p household. They had 
all large, round, flat faces, of a coarse, though good- 
humored expression. Their complexion was a ruddy 
brown, not very unlike that of the American Indians ; 
their general aspect, however, was very different, and 
entirely destitute of that mysterious, ruminating air 
which characterizes our children of the forest. They 
looked with a kind of vacant wonder at the play, 
evidently not comprehending it; the farce, on the 
contrary, seemed greatly to delight them. It is sad 
to relate that this amiable couple never returned to 
their country ; both died in England victims either 
to the climate, or the change in their habits of liv 
ing.* 

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



240 LETTERS BIOGEAPHIOAL, 

One or two items more, and this chapter shall oe 
closed. Among the prominent objects of interest in 
London at this period was Edward Irving, then 
preaching at the Caledonian Chapel, Cross-street, Hat- 
ton Gardens. He was now in the full flush of his 
fame, and such was the eagerness to hear him that it 
was difficult to get admission. People of all ranks, 
literary men, philosophers, statesmen, noblemen, per 
sons of the highest name and influence, with a full and 
diversified representation of the fair sex, crowded to 
his church. I was so fortunate as to get a seat in the 
pew of a friend, a privilege which I appreciated all 
the more, when I counted twenty coroneted coaches 
standing at the door some of those who came in 
them, not being able to obtain even an entrance into 
the building. The interior was crowded to excess ; 
the alleys were full, and even fine ladies seemed 
happy to get seats upon the pulpit stairway. Persons 
of the highest title were scattered here and there, and 
cabinet ministers were squeezed in with the mass of 
common humanity. 

Mr. Irving s appearance was very remarkable. He 
was over six feet in height, very broad-shouldered, 
violently cross-eyed, with long black hair hanging in 
heavy, twisted ringlets down upon his shoulders. 
His complexion was pallid yet swarthy, the whole 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 241 

expression of his face half sinister and half sancti 
fied creating in the mind of the beholder a painful 
doubt whether he was a great saint or a great sinner. 
He wore a black-silk gown, of rich material and am 
ple, graceful folds. His hair was sedulously parted 
so as to display one corner of his forehead, which a 
white hand and a very pure linen handkerchief fre 
quently wiped, yet so daintily as not to disturb the 
love-locks that inclosed it. 

There was a strange mixture of saintliness and 
dandyism, in the whole appearance of this man. His 
prayer was affected strange, quaint, peculiar, in its 
phraseology yet solemn and striking. His reading 
of the psalm was peculiar, and a fancy or feeling 
crossed my mind that I had heard something like it, 
but certainly not in a church. There was a vague min 
gling in my imagination of the theatre and the house 
of worship : of foot-lights, a stage, a gorgeous throng of 
spectators an orchestra and a troop of players and 
side by side with these there seemed to come a psalm 
and a text and a preacher. I was in fact seeking to 
trace out a resemblance between this strange parson 
and some star of Drury Lane or Covent Garden. Sud 
denly I found the clew : Edward Irving in the pulpit 
was imitating Edmund Kean upon the stage ! And he 
siK .Lvo<lt d admirably his tall and commanding per 
son giving him an immense advantage over the little, 
insignificant, yet inspired actor. He had the tones of 
the latter his gestures, his looks even, as I had often 

VOL. II. 11 



242 

seen him in Eichard the Third and Shylock. He had 
evidently taken lessons of the renowned tragedian, 
but whether in public or private, is not for me to say. 

The text was Genesis iii. 17, 18. I will extract 
from my notes, for your entertainment, a rough sketch 
of the discourse. 

" This malediction Cursed is the ground for thy 
sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of 
thy life ; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth 
to thee : and thou shalt eat the herb of the field 
this was the charter under which man held his exist 
ence till the birth of Christ, when the benediction 
Peace on earth and good-will to man, was pro 
nounced. Since that time, these two principles and 
powers the malediction and the benediction have 
been at strife. To trace some of the consequences 
of this conflict is our present business. 

" Moses discriminates between the two natures of 
man, by first stating the creation of his body as the 
completion of one distinct part or portion of his na 
ture, and then the Creator breathing into him a liv 
ing soul, or more literally the spirit of lives, thus 
completing the other portion of his being. 

" I can not but pause a moment to note the stri 
king coincidence between the statement of Moses 
and the result of philosophic speculation, which now 
makes the same discrimination ; the study of the 
structure of the body, or physiology, being one 
branch of science, and the study of the mind or spi- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 243 

rit, called metaphysics, being another. The French 
school, some time since, blended the whole nature of 
man in one physical organization, and Helvetius 
found in the sensibility of the fingers, all the rudi 
ments the entire foundation of the moral and in 
tellectual faculties of man. This crept into English 
philosophy, until the immortal mind was degraded 
into a mere tool of the body : the crumbling, earthy 
tenement alone was regarded, while the godlike in 
habitant was made its servant and its slave. 

" Let us do justice to the truth ! The spirit con 
sists of three parts : the understanding, which dis- 
courseth of sensible ideas and powers the basis of 
what is called knowledge ; the reason, which dis- 
courseth of insensible objects and insensible ideas, 
and has relation to principles and abstract science ; 
and conscience, which discourseth of duty, and hath 
regard to the relations between man and man, and 
also between man and his Maker. 

" Now the proper vocation of the body is to min 
ister to the spirit in this threefold character. 

"Yet, I grieve to say it the conduct of mankind 
reverses this system : it is the faculties of the spirit, 
debased from their high mission, which are every 
where made subservient to the body. I am loth to 
pain and disgust you with pictures in evidence of 
this, but every speculation should be supported by 
fact. I beg you therefore to consider the state of 
things in this city the Babylon around us. Divest 



244 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

yourselves of that magic influence which is exercised 
by the term people of that morbid fashion of see 
ing in low vice and humble misery, only matter for 
mirth and song ; of that cruel taste which haunts the 
dark and dismal courts and lanes and labyrinths of 
labor, of want and wretchedness, for subjects for the 
pencil and the stage. Stand all aloof from the sad 
jollity with which unthinking men survey such scenes. 
Wrap the mantle of immortality about thee and go 
forth, and in the scales of eternity, weigh the things 
thou seest ! 

" In the gray of the morning, you hear beneath 
your casement the heavy tread of the laborer plod 
ding to his toil. This gradually increases, till one 
pervading volume of sound shakes every part of the 
city. Go forth and study the scene the producers 
of this mighty uproar the wagoner plodding by the 
side of his heavy wain, the porter staggering beneath 
his burden, the scavenger picking and prowling among 
the ofM the hundreds, the thousands, pouring along 
in a tide, and bent on their various labors. Survey 
them as they pass, and how fearfully is the heart smit 
ten with the fact that these are reversing the true order 
of human destiny : not one among them is subjecting 
the body to the mind all are subjecting the mind 
to the body all are submitting themselves to the 
Malediction of the outcasts of Eden, as if the Bene 
diction of the gospel had never been pronounced. 
From the gray dawn to the deep night, these beings, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 245 

to whom is offered the bread of immortal life, are 
occupied with the poor thought of gaining a few 
crusts to feed the mortal body ! 

" If we turn to the higher classes, the picture is 
equally dark, and perhaps even more discouraging. 
Whatever we may here find of spiritual culture or 
intellectual tastes, we still see that the cares, the pas 
sions, the desires of the body, though they may often 
be disguised and refined, still master the soul. The 
being, whose imagination is capable of reaching the 
stars, and whose power of faith might carry him to 
the throne of God and the companionship of angels 
and just men made perfect those whose ample means 
raise them above the groveling necessities of life 
still cling to this earthly footstool, still think only of 
the pleasures of this fleeting animal existence. What 
ever there may be of soul, in their pursuits, is a sub 
jugation of it to the senses. A subtle epicureanism 
pervades the whole atmosphere they breathe. Pleas 
ure, ambition, pride, the desire of honor, of wealth, 
of name, fame all hopes, all fears center in the 
little narrow kingdom of these poor five senses. 
These which were given only as windows from which 
the soul might look out upon immortality, are used 
as doors and avenues by which the soul passes into 
its prison-house of earthly enjoyments. Thus the 
gifted, the rich, the exalted, the favorites of fortune 
are, after all, forgetful of the bread of life, and 
while pampering the body with oil and wine, are 



246 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

starving the soul with shriveled husks and unsatis 
fying straw. 

" How hard, how disheartening is the steep ascent 
of duty, which calls upon us to contend with a world 
thus embattled against the truth. And yet, as sol 
diers of the cross, we may not ground our arms. If 
we can not do all we would, let us at least accomplish 
what we may. To-day, I ask you here to join me, not 
in the impossible, but the possible. If the poor re 
ject the bread of life, it is perhaps not altogether by 
choice : the heavy sin of Dives, who, being rich and 
able to choose, preferred a sensual life, is not laid 
upon their souls the groveling necessities of Lazarus 
have subdued them, crushed them, mastered them. It 
is through ignorance, through peculiar temptations, 
through the cares and needs of life, that they thus go 
astray. The mother, uncertain of bread, alike for her 
self and her offspring the father, anxious lest he shall 
not have a shelter for those whom Grod has given him 
how can these think of aught but the immediate 
pressing cares of the body ? How can these slaves of 
mortality put on immortality? Let Christianity kneel, 
mourning and penitent, at the throne of grace, and 
confessing that these things are so, rouse itself, and 
say they shall be so no longer. I see around me the 
great, the powerful : let them speak, and the work is 
done. Let us carry Comfort to the poor, and as that 
enters one door, the Gospel with its glad tidings, will 
come in at the other. Each may do something. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 24:7 

None are too high, none too humble, to assist in this 
glorious work. The rich, the proud, the strong, in 
the confidence of their strength, may reject even the 
bread of life ; the poor will welcome it. Believe the 
famished body from its suffering for the want of daily 
bread, and the soul, delivered from its humiliation, 
will ascend to the throne of grace, and God will bless 
it, and he will bless you also who have ministered to 
the good work." 

This is a mere outline of the discourse, and only 
gives an idea of its general drift and argument. The 
phraseology which was rich, flowing, redundant, and 
abounding in illustration, and seemed to me carefully 
modeled after that of Jeremy Taylor I did not at 
tempt to preserve. In spite of the evident affectation, 
the solemn dandyism, the dramatic artifices of the 
performer for, after all, I could only consider the 
preacher as an actor the sermon was very impres 
sive. Some of the pictures presented to the imagi 
nation were startling, and once or twice it seemed 
as if the whole audience was heaving and swelling 
with intense emotion, like a sea rolling beneath the 
impulses of a tempest. The power of the thought, 
aided by the deep, sympathetic voice of the speaker, 
and still further enforced by his portentous figure 
and emphatic action, overrode all drawbacks, and 
carried the whole heart and imagination along upon 
its rushing tide. Considered as a display of orator 
ical art, it was certainly equal to any thing I have 



248 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ever heard from the pulpit; yet it did not appeal 
to me calculated to have any permanent effect in 
enforcing Christian truth upon the conscience. The 
preacher seemed too much a player, and too little an 
apostle ; the afterthought was, that the whole effect 
was the result of stage trick, and not of sober truth. 

The character and career of Edward Irving present 
a strange series of incongruities. He was born in Scot 
land in 1792 ; he became a preacher, and acquired 
speedy notoriety, as much by his peculiarities as his 
merits. He attracted the attention of Dr. Chalmers, 
and through his influence was for a time assistant 
minister in the parish of St. John s, at Glasgow. 
From this place he was called to the Caledonian 
Chapel, where I heard him. His fame continued to 
increase ; and having published a volume of dis 
courses, under the quaint title, " For the Oracles of 
God, four Orations ; for Judgment to come, an Ar 
gument in nine Parts" three large editions of the 
work were sold in the space of six months. Where- 
ever he preached, crowds of eager listeners flocked to 
hear him. His eccentricities increased with his fame. 
He drew out his discourses to an enormous length, 
and on several occasions protracted the services to 
four hours ! He soon became mystical, and took to 
studying unfulfilled prophecy, as the true key to the 
interpretation of the scriptures. From this extrava 
gance, he passed to the doctrine that Christians, by 
the power of faith, can attain to the working of mira- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 24:9 

cles and speaking with unknown tongues, as in the 
primitive ages. Such at last were his vagaries, that 
he was cut off from communion with the Scottish 
Church ; in consequence, he became the founder of a 
sect which continues to the present time in England, 
bearing the title of Irvingites. Worn out with anx 
iety and incessant labors, he died at Glasgow, while 
on a journey for his health, in 1834, at the early age 
of forty -two. 

The history of this extraordinary man teaches us 
various important lessons. It shows us that genius, 
even though it be allied to sincerity, is easily led 
astray by flattery and personal vanity ; that eccentri 
city naturally ends in extravagance; that fanaticism is 
not superior to the use of artifice and affectation, even 
when they invade the pulpit and assume the badge 
of the preacher of the gospel ; in short, that a man of 
great gifts, if so be he is not controlled by common 
sense if he do not conform his conduct to that 
every-day but safe regulator, called propriety is very 
apt to become a misguiding and bewildering light to 
his fellow-men, just in proportion as his abi^^es may 
surpass those of other persons. A large oreervation 
of mankind has satisfied me that a great man, even 
though he be a preacher, if he despises the sugges 
tions of good sense, decency, congruity, usually be 
comes a great curse. Nearly all the religious vaga 
ries which have led the world astray, have originated 
with individuals of this character. A large portion 

11* 



250 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

of the infidelity of mankind has its origin in the 
foibles of those who are set up as the great lights of 
Christianity. 

One more event I must notice the arrival in Lon 
don of the mortal remains of Lord Byron, and their 
lying in state previous to interment. His body had 
been preserved in-spirits, and was thus brought from 
Greece, attended by five persons of his lordship s 
suite. Having been transferred to the coffin, it was 
exhibited at the house of Sir Edward Knatchball, 
No. 20 Great George-street, on Friday and Saturday, 
the 9th and 10th of July, 1824. It caused a profound 
sensation, and such were the crowds that rushed to 
behold the spectacle, that it was necessary to defend 
the coffin with a stout wooden railing. When I ar 
rived at the place the lid was closed ; I was told, 
however, that the countenance, though the finer lines 
had collapsed, was so little changed as to be easily 
recognized by his acquaintances. The general mus 
cular form of the body was perfectly preserved. 

The aspect of the scene, even as I witnessed it, 
was altogether very impressive. The coffin was cov 
ered witn a pall, enriched by escutcheons wrought in 
gold. On the top was a lid, set round with black 
plumes. Upon it were these words 

"GEORGE GORDON NOEL BYRON. 

BORN IN LONDON, 22n JANUARY, 1788 : 
DIED AT MISSOLONGHI, APRIL 19TH, 1824." 










liVKO.N s COKKIN. Vol 2, |). 250 



V; 



;:** 















HISTORICAL, ANKCDOTICAL, ETC. 251 

At the head of the coffin was an urn containing the 
ashes of his brain and heart this being also covered 
with a rich pall, wrought with figures in gold. The 
windows were closed, and the darkened room was 
feebly illumined by numerous wax-tapers. 

And this was all that remained of Byron ! What 
a lesson upon the pride of genius, the vanity of rank, 
the fatuity of fame all leveled in the dust, and de 
spite the garnished pall and magnificent coffin, their 
possessor was bound to pass through the same pro 
cess of corruption as the body of a common beggar. 
And the soul the soul ? 

Ah, what questions rose in my mind as I stood 
beside that coffin ! Where art thou, Byron ? What 
art thou? I have never seen thee I have never 
known thee, face to face : yet hast thou often spoken 
to me, and in words that can never die ! Thou art 
not dead that were impossible : speak to me, then ! 
Tell me for such as thou might break the seal of 
the grave what art thou? where art thou? Whis 
per in my ear the dread secret of the tomb ! Thou 
art silent even thou. How fearful, how terrible is 
that spell which holds lips like thine Childe Harold, 
Manfred, Cain in the bondage of perpetual stillness! 
This, indeed, is death ! 



252 



LETTER XLV. 

fieturn to America Removal to Boston Literary position of Boston 
Prominent literary characters The Press The Pulpit the Bar New 
York now the literary metropolis My publication of various works 
The Legendary N. P. Willis The era of Annuals The Token The 
artists engaged in it The authors Its termination. 

MY DEAR 0****** 

Having made a hurried trip to Paris and back 
to London, I departed for Liverpool, and thence em 
barked for the United States, arriving there in Octo 
ber, 1824. I remained at Hartford till October, 1826, 
as already stated, and then removed to Boston, with 
the intention of publishing original works, and at the 
same time of trying my hand at authorship the latter 
part of my plan, however, known only to myself. 

At that time, Boston was notoriously the literary 
metropolis of the Union the admitted Athens of 
America. Edward Everett had established the North 
American Keview,* and though he had now just left 
the editorial chair, his spirit dwelt in it, and his fame 
lingered around it. Kich d H. Dana, Edw d T. Chan- 
ning, Jared Sparks, George Bancroft, and others, were 
among the rising lights of the literary horizon. The 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOT1CAL, ETO. 253 

newspaper press presented the witty and caustic Gal 
axy, edited by Buckingham ; the dignified and schol 
arly Daily Advertiser, conducted by Nathan Hale ;* 
and the frank, sensible, manly Centinel, under the ed 
itorial patriarch Benjamin Kussell. Channing was 
in the pulpit and Webster at the forum. Society was 
strongly impressed with literary tastes; genius was 
respected and cherished : a man, in those days, who 
had achieved a literary fame, was at least equal to a 
president of a bank, or a treasurer of a manufactur 
ing company. The pulpit shone bright and far, with 
the light of scholarship radiated from the names of 
Beecher, Greenwood, Pierpont, Lowell, Palfry, 
Doane, Stone, Frothingham, Gannett: the bar also 
reflected the glory of letters through H. G. Otis, 
Charles Jackson, William Prescott, Benjamin Gor- 
ham, Willard Philips, James T. Austin, among the 
older members, and Charles G. Loring, Charles P. 
Curtis, Richard Fletcher, Theophilus Parsons, Frank 
lin Dexter, J. Quincy, jr., Edward G. Loring, Benj. 
E. Curtis, among the younger. The day had not yet 
come when it was glory enough for a college profes 
sor to marry a hundred thousand dollars of stocks, 
or when it was the chief end of a lawyer to become 

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



254: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the attorney of an insurance company, or a bank, or 
a manufacturing corporation. Corporations, without 
souls, had not yet become the masters and moulders of 
the soul of society. Books with a Boston imprint had 
a prestige equal to a certificate of good paper, good 
print, good binding, and good matter. And while 
such was the state of things at Boston, how was it at 
New York? Why, all this time the Harpers, who 
till recently had been mere printers in Dover-street, 
had scarcely entered upon their career as publishers,* 
and the Appletons,f Putnam, Derby, the Masons, and 
other shining lights in the trade of New York at the 
present time, were either unborn, or in the nursery, 
or at school. 

What a revolution do these simple items suggest 
wrought in the space of thirty years ! The scepter 
has departed from Judah : New York is now the 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 255 

acknowledged metropolis of American literature, as 
weTTas of art and commerce. Nevertheless, if we 
look at Boston literature -at the present time, as re 
flected in the publishing lists of Messrs. Little, Brown 
& Co., Ticknor & Fields, Philips, Sampson & Co., 
Crocker & Brewster, Gould & Lincoln, we shall see 
that the light of other days has not degenerated. 
Is it not augmented, indeed for since the period I 
speak of, Prescott, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Whipple, 
Holmes, Lowell, Hillard, have joined the Boston con 
stellation of letters ? 

It can not be interesting to you to know in detail 
my business operations in Boston at this period. It 
will be sufficient to say, that among other works I 
published an edition of the novels of Charles Brock- 
den Brown, with a life of the author, furnished by 
his widow, she having a share of the edition. I also 
published an edition of Hannah More s works, and 
also of Mrs. Opie s works these being, I believe, the 
first complete collections of the writings of these sev 
eral authors. In 1827 I published Sketches by 1ST. P. 
Willis, his first adventure in responsible authorship. 
The next year I issued the Common-place Book of 
Prose, the first work of the now celebrated Dr. Chee- 
VQT. This was speedily followed by the Common-place 
Book of Poetry and Studies in Poetry, by the same 
author.* 



* Among my lesser publications were Beauties of the Souvenirs, His- 
x>ry of the Kings and Queens of France, Beauties of the Waverley Nov- 



LETTEES BIOGKAPHICAL, 

In 1828, 1 published a first, and soon after a second, 
volume of the Legendary, designed as a periodical, 
and to consist of original pieces in prose and verse, 
principally illustrative of American history, scenery, 
and manners.* This was edited by N. P. Willis, and 
was, I believe, his first editorial engagement. Among 

els, Blair s Outlines of Ancient History, Blair s Outlines of Chronology, 
Blair s History of England, C. A. Goodrich s Outlines of Modern Geog 
raphy, the American Journal of Education, issued monthly, Poems by 
Mrs. Sigourney, Kecords of the Spanish Inquisition, translated from 
the original documents by S. Kettell, Comstock s Mineralogy, Child s 
Botany, Sad Tales and Glad Tales by G. Mellen, Mary s Journey, Memoirs 
of a New England Village Choir, Specimens of American Poetry, 3 vols., 
edited by S. Kettell, Universal History, illustrated, copied, with addi 
tions, from Straus, the Garland of Flora, Balbi s Geography, edited by 
T. G. Bradford, Historical Cyclopaedia, edited by F. A. Durivage, and 
doubtless some others, which I have forgotten. These were mostly 
original works. After 1835, I ceased to be a publisher, except for my 
own works ; since 1845, these have been entirely published by others. 

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

"KEVIEW. THE LEGENDAKY. 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 257 

the contributors I find the names of Halleck, Crosby, 
Lunt, W. G. Clark, H. Pickering, J. 0. Rockwell, 
Miss Sedge wick, Miss Francis, Mrs. Sigourney, Wil 
lis, Pierpont, Cutter, I. M Lellan, Jr., J. W. Miller, 
and other popular writers of that day. It was kind 
ly treated by the press, which generously published 



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

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

" Unwritten Poetry, by N. P. W., the editor of the Legendary. 
There are touches of exquisite beauty in this paper, and not a little of 
what, to speak reverently of a brother poet, I should cull heavenly non- 



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

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

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

" The Haunted Grave: E. P. Blount. Never heard of this writer 
before. Who is he? He shows talent strong, decided, peculiar talent. 

" Extract from a Journal, &c. Mellenr-hey ? A mere scratch or 



258 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

without charge, the best pieces in full, saving the 
reading million the trouble of buying the book and 
paying for the chaff, which was naturally found with 
the wheat. Despite this courtesy, the work proved 
a miserable failure. The time had not come for such 
a publication : at the present day, with the present 

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

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

And worthy of their harps was he, 

Worthy to wake with them, the grand 
War-anthem, or the music free 
Of love, with burning Up and hand? 

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

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

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 259 

accessories, and the present public spirit, I doubt not 
that such an enterprise would be eminently successful. 
I believe I have already -alluded to the Age of An 
nuals * the first work of the kind, entitled the For 
get-me-not, having been issued by the Ackermans of 
London, in the winter of 1823, while I was in that city. 
It was successfully imitated by Carey & Lea, at Phil 
adelphia, in a work entitled the Atlantic Souvenir, 
and which was sustained with great spirit for several 
years. In 1828 I commenced and published the first 
volume of the Token, and which I continued for fif 
teen years, editing it myself, with the exception of 
the volume for 1829, which came out under the aus 
pices of Mr. Willis. In 1836 the Atlantic Souvenir 
ceased, and after that time, by arrangement with the 
publishers, its title was added to that of the Token. 

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

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

Stands he upon the narrow deck 

Of yon lone caravel, 
Whose tall shape as with princely beck 

Bound to the heaving swell ; 
And when the conqueror o er her side 
Crossed meekly, rose with living pride" 

From the Yankee, June 28, 1828. 

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



260 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

The success of this species of publication, stimula 
ted new enterprises of the kind, and a rage for them 
spread over Europe and America. The efforts of the 
first artists and the first writers were at length drawn 
into them, and for nearly twenty years every autumn 
produced an abundant harvest of Diadems, Bijous, 
/Pearls, Gems, Amethysts, Opals, Amaranths, Bou 
quets, Hyacinths, Amulets, Talismans, Forget-me- 
uots, Kemember-me s, &c.* Under these seductive 
titles, they became messengers of love, tokens of 
i riendship, signs and symbols of affection, and lux 
ury and refinement ; and thus they stole alike into the 
palace and the cottage, the library, the parlor, and the 
boudoir. The public taste grew by feeding on these 

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 261 

luscious gifts, and soon craved even more gorgeous 
works of the kind, whence came Heath s Book of 
Beauty, Lady Blessington. s Flowers of Loveliness, 
Bulwer s Pilgrims of the Rhine, Butler s Leaflets of 
Memory, Christmas among the Poets, and many 
others of similar design and execution. Many of 
the engravings of these works cost five hundred 
dollars each, and many a piece of poetry, fifty dollars 
a page. In several of these works the generous pub 
lic spent fifty thousand dollars a year ! 

At last the race of Annuals drew near the end of 
its career, yet not without having produced a certain 
revolution in the public taste. Their existence had 
sprung, at least in part, from steel-engraving, which 
had been discovered and introduced by our country 
man, Jacob Perkins. This enabled the artist to pro 
duce works of more exquisite delicacy than had ever 
before been achieved ; steel also gave the large num 
ber of impressions which the extensive sales of the 
Annuals demanded, and which could not have been 
obtained from copper. These charming works scat 
tered the very gems of art far and wide, making 
the reading mass familiar with the finest specimens 
of engraving, and not only cultivating an appetite 
for this species of luxury, but in fact exalting the 
general standard of taste all over the civilized world. 

And thus, though the Annuals, by name, have per 
ished, they left a strong necessity in the public mind 
for books enriched by all the embellishments of art. 



LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Hence we have such works as the Women of the 
Bible, Women of the New Testament, the Republican 
Court, by Dr. Griswold, together with rich illustrated 
editions of Byron, Rogers, Thomson, Cowper, Camp 
bell, and others, including our own poets Bryant, 
Halleck, Sigourney, Longfellow, Reed, &c. Wood- 
/engraving has, meanwhile, risen into a fine art, and 
lent its potent aid in making books one of the chief 
luxuries of society, from the nursery to the parlor. 

In comparison with these splendid works, the To 
ken was a very modest affair. The first year I offered 
prizes for the best pieces in prose and poetry. The 
highest for prose was awarded to the author of 
" Some Passages in the Life of an Old Maid." A 
mysterious man, in a mysterious way, presented him 
self for the money, and, giving due evidence of his 
authority to receive it, it was paid to him, but who 
the author really was, never transpired, though I had, 
and still have, my confident guess upon the sub 
ject* Even the subsequent volumes, though they 
obtained favor in their day, did not approach the splen 
dor of the modern works of a similar kind. Never 
theless, some of the embellishments, by John Cheney, j 

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

t John Cheney, who may be regarded as the first of American engra 
vers in sweetness of expression and delicacy of execution, was a native oi 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 263 

Ellis, Smilie, Andrews, Hatch, Kelly, Danforth, Du- 
rand, and Jewett, engraved from the designs of Alls- 
ton, Leslie, Newton, Cole, Jnman, Fisher, Doughty, 
Chapman, Weir, Brown, Alexander, and Healey, 
were very clever, even compared with the finest 
works of art at the present day. 

The literary contributions were, I believe, equal, 
on the whole, to any of the Annuals, American or 
European. Here were inserted some of the earliest 

\ 

productions of Willis, Hawthorne, Miss Francis, now 
Mrs. Child, Miss Sedgewick, Mrs. Hale, Pierpont, 
Greenwood, and Longfellow. Several of these first 
made acquaintance with the public through the pages 
of this work. It is a curious fact that the latter, 
Longfellow, wrote prose, and at that period had 
shown neither a strong bias nor a particular talent 
for poetry. 

The Token was continued annually till 1842, 
when it finally ceased. The day of Annuals had, in 
deed, passed before this was given up, and the last 



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



LETTEES - BIOGRAPHICAL 



two or three years, it had only lingered out a poor 
and fading existence. As a matter of business, it 
scarcely paid its expenses, and was a serious draw 
back upon my time and resources for fifteen years 
a punishment no doubt fairly due to an obstinate 
pride which made me reluctant to allow a work to 
die in my hands, with which my name and feelings 
had become somewhat identified. 



LETTER XLVI. 

The Contributors to the Toker^-N. P. Willis N. Hawthorne Miss Francis 
Mr. Greenwood Mr. Pierpont Charles Sprague Mrs. Sigourney 
Miss Sedgwick Mrs. Osgood, and others Quarrels between Autftors and 
Publishers Anecdotes The Publisliers 1 Festival. 

Mr DEAR 0****** 

As to the contributors for the Token, you may 
expect me to say a few words more. The most prom 
inent writer for it was 1ST. P. Willis ; his articles were 
the most read, the most admired, the most abused, 
and the most advantageous to the work. I published 
his first book, and his two first editorial engagements 
were with me ; hence the early portion of his literary 
career fell under my special notice. 

He had begun to write verses very early, and while 
in college, before he was eighteen, he had acquired an 
extended reputation, under the signature of Koy. In 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 265 

1827, when he was just twenty years old, I published 
his volume entitled u Sketches." It brought out quite 
a shower of criticism, in which praise and blame were 
about equally dispensed : at the same time the work 
sold with a readiness quite unusual for a book of 
poetry at that period. It is not calculated to estab 
lish the infallibility of critics, to look over these no 
tices at the present day : many of the pieces which 
were doubly damned have now taken their place 
among the acknowledged gems of our literature, and 
others, which excited praise at the time, have faded 
from the public remembrance. 

One thing is certain everybody thought Willis 
worth criticising.* He has been, I suspect, more writ- 

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

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

Far-darting Phoebus, lend my strain a sting; 

Much-courted virgins, long-enduring Nine, 

Screw tight the catgut of tliis lyre of mine: 

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

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

If L-nt and F-nn to Piiidus top aspire, 

I too may blameless beg one spark of fire; 

Not such as warmed the brains of Pope and Swift 

With loss assistance I can make a shift: 

To Gilford s bow and shafts I lay no claim 

lit- shot, at hawks, but I at insects aim : 

Yet grant, since I must war on little thlngi, 

Just flame enough to singe their puny wings; 

VOL. IL 12 



266 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ten about than any other literary man in our history. 
Some of the attacks upon him proceeded, no doubt, 
from a conviction that he was a man of extraordi 
nary gifts, and yet of extraordinary affectations, and 
the lash was applied in kindness, as that of a school 
master to a loved pupil s back ; some of them were 
dictated by envy, for we have had no other example 
of literary success so early, so general, and so natter 
ing. That Mr. Willis made mistakes in literature 
and life at the outset may be admitted by his best 

A feather besom, too, to bring them down, 
And pins to stick them in my beaver s crown." 
***** 

Here are specimens from the body of the work: 

"The wax still sticking to his fingers ends, 
The upstart Wh-tt-r, for example, lends 
The world important aid to understand 
What s said, and sung, and printed in the land." 

***** 
" Tis plain the county Cumberland, in Maine, 
Contains no hospital for folks insane : 
Though never there, the fact I notidng doubt, 
Since N-al and M-ll-n run at large about. 
When the moon waxes, plaintive M-ll-n howls; 
But Johnny, like a bull-dog, snaps and growls; 
Or strikes his brother poetasters mute 
With harsh vibrations on his three-stringed lute." 

***** 
"Dear Halleck, Nature s favorite and mine, 
Curst be the hand that plucks a hair of thine: 
Accept the tribute of a muse inclined 
To bow to nothing, save the power of mind. 
Bard of Bozzaris, shall thy native shore 
List to thy harp and mellow voice no more ? 
Shall we, with skill like thine so nigh at hand, 
Import our music from a foreign land ? 
While Mirror M-rr-s chants in whimpering note, 
And croaking D-na strains his screech-owl throat; 
While crazy N-al to meter shakes his chains, 
And fools are found to listen to his strains; 
While childish Natty P. the public diddles, 
And L-ut and K-ckw-11 scrape his second fiddles; 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 267 

friends; for it must be remembered that before lie 
was five-arid-twenty, he was more read than any 
other American poet of his time; and besides, being 
possessed of an easy and captivating address, he be 
came the pet of society, and especially of the fairei 
portion of it. Since that period, his life, on the 
whole, has been one of serious, useful, and successful 
labor. His reputation as a poet has hardly advanced, 
and probably the public generally regard some of his 
early verses as his best. As an essayist, however, he 

While Brooks, and Sands, and Smith, and either Clark, 
In chase of Phoebus, howl, and yelp, and bark 
Wilt thou be silent? Wake, O Halleck, wake! 
Thine and thy country s honor are at stake! 
Wake, and redeem the pledge thy vantage keep; 
Tis pity, one like thee so long should sleep!" 
***** 
" One bard there is I almost fear to name, 
Much doubting whether to applaud or blame. 
In P-rc-v-1 s productions, wheat and chaff 
Are mixed, like sailor s tipple, half ;;nd half; 
But, duly bolted through the critic s mill, 
I find the better part is wholesome still" 

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

"Muse, shall we not a few brief lines afford 

To give poor Natty P. his meet reward? 

What has he done to be despised by all 

Within whose hands his harmless scribblings fall? 

Wtiy, as in band box-trim he walks the streets, 

Turns up the nose of every man he meets, 

As if it scented carrion ? Why, of late, 

Do all the critics claw his shallow pate? 

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

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

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



268 LETTERS BIOGEAPHICAL, 

stands in the first rank, distinguished for a keen sa 
gacity in analyzing societ} 7 , a fine perception of the 
beauties of nature, an extraordinary talent for en 
dowing trifles with interest and meaning. As a trav 
eler, he is among the most entertaining, sagacious, 
and instructive. It is within my knowledge, that 
Mr. Webster was an admiring reader of his itinerary 
sketches. 

, His style is certainly peculiar and is deemed af 
fected, tending to an excess of refinement, and dis 
playing an undue hankering for grace and melody 
sometimes sacrificing sense to sound. This might 
once have been a just criticism, but the candid reader 
of his works now before the public, will deem it hy 
percritical. His style is suited to his thought ; it is 
flexible, graceful, musical, and is adapted to the play 
ful wit, the spicy sentiment, the dramatic tableaux, 
the artistic paintings of sea, earth, and sky, of which 
they are the vehicle. In the seeming exhaustlessness 
of his resources, in his prolonged freshness, in his 
constantly increasing strength, Mr. Willis has refuted 
all the early prophets who regarded him only as a 
precocity, destined to shine a few brief years, and 
fade away. 

As to his personal character, I need only say that 
from the beginning, he has had a larger circle of 
steadfast friends than almost any man within my 
knowledge. There has been something in his works 
which has made the fair sex, generally, alike his lite- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 269 

rary and personal admirers. For so many favors, he 
has given the world an ample return ; for, with all 
his imputed literary faults^ some real and some im- 
aginaiy I regard him as having contributed more 
to the amusement of society than almost any other 
of our living authors.* 

It is not easy to conceive of a stronger contrast 
than is presented by comparing Nathaniel Hawthorne 
with N. P. Willis. The former was for a time one 
of the principal writers for the Token, and his admi 
rable sketches were published side by side with those 
of the latter. Yet it is curious to remark that every 
thing Willis wrote attracted immediate attention, and 
excited ready praise, while the productions of Haw 
thorne were almost entirely unnoticed. 

The personal appearance and demeanor of these 
two gifted young men, at the early period of which I 
speak, was also in striking contrast. Willis was 
slender, his hair sunny and silken, his cheek ruddy, 
his aspect cheerful and confident. He met society 
with a ready and welcome hand, and was received 
readily and with welcome. Hawthorne, on the con 
trary, was of a rather sturdy form, his hair dark and 

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



270 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

bushy, his eye steel-gray, his brow thick, his mouth 
sarcastic, his complexion stony, his whole aspect 
cold, moody, distrustful. He stood aloof, and sur 
veyed the world from shy and sheltered positions. 

There was a corresponding difference in the wri 
tings of these two persons. Willis was all sunshine 
and summer, the other chill, dark, and wintry ; the 
one was full of love and hope, the other of doubt 
and distrust ; the one sought the open daylight sun 
shine, flowers, music, and found them everywhere 
the other plunged into the dim caverns of the mind, 
and studied the grisly specters of jealousy, remorse, 
despair. It is, perhaps, neither a subject of surprise 
nor regret, that the larger portion of the world is so 
happily constituted as to have been more ready to 
flirt with the gay muse of the one, than to descend 
into the spiritual charnel-house, and assist at the psy 
chological dissections of the other. 

I had seen some anonymous publication which 
seemed to me to indicate extraordinary powers. I 
inquired of the publishers as to the writer, and 
through them a correspondence ensued between me 
and "1ST. Hawthorne." This name I considered a dis 
guise, and it was not till after many letters had pass 
ed, that I met the author, and found it to be a true 
title, representing a very substantial personage. At 
this period he was unsettled as to his views; he 
had tried his hand in literature, and considered him 
self to have met with a fatal rebuff from the reading 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 271 

world. His mind vacillated between various pro 
jects, verging, I think, toward a mercantile profession. 
I combated his despondence, and assured him of tri 
umph, if he would persevere in a literary career. 

He wrote numerous articles, which appeared in 
the Token ; occasionally an astute critic seemed to 
see through them, and to discover the soul that was 
in them ; but in general they passed without notice. 
Such articles as Sights from a Steeple, Sketches be 
neath an Umbrella, the Wives of the Dead, the Pro 
phetic Pictures, now universally acknowledged to be 
productions of extraordinary depth, meaning, and 
power, extorted hardly a word of either praise or 
blame, while columns were given to pieces since to 
tally forgotten. I felt annoyed, almost angry indeed, 
at this. I wrote.several articles in the papers, direct 
ing attention to these productions, and finding no 
echo of my views, I recollect to have asked John 
Pickering* to read some of them, and give me his 
opinion of them. He did as I requested ; his an 
swer was that they displayed a wonderful beauty of 
style, with a kind of double vision, a sort of second 
sight, which revealed, beyond the outward forms of 
life and being, a sort of spirit world, somewhat as a 



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



272 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

lake reflects the earth around it and the sky above 
it : yet he deemed them too mystical to be popular. 
He was right, no doubt, at that period, but, ere long, 
a portion of mankind, a large portion of the read 
ing world, obtained a new sense how or where or 
whence, is not easily determined which led them 
to study the mystical, to dive beneath and beyond 
the senses, and to discern, gather, and cherish gems 
and pearls of price in the hidden depths of the soul. 
Hawthorne was, in fact, a kind of Wordsworth in 
prose less kindly, less genial toward mankind, but 
deeper and more philosophical. His fate was simi 
lar : at first he was neglected, at last he had wor 
shipers. 

In 1837, I recommended Mr. Hawthorne to pub 
lish a volume, comprising his various pieces, which 
had appeared in the Token and elsewhere. He con 
sented, but as I had ceased to be a publisher, it was 
difficult to find any one who would undertake to 
bring out the work. I applied to the agent of the 
Stationers Company,* but he refused, until at last I 



* The Stationers Company, organized in the autumn of 1836, was a 
joint-stock company, in which some of the leading lawyers and literary 
men of Boston engaged, with a view of publishing original American 
works of a high character, and in such a way as to render due compen 
sation and encouragement to authors. One of the works which then 
sought a publisher, without success, was Prescott s Ferdinand and Isa 
bella it being at that day supposed to be absurd for Americans to pre 
sume to write general histories. This was in fact one of the first works 
issued by this concern. In 1838 the country was suffering under a state 
of general commercial panic and paralysis, and this company was pre 
cipitated into the gulf of bankruptcy, with thousands of others. Though 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 273 

relinquished my copyrights on such of the tales as I 
had published, to Mr. Hawthorne, and joined a friend 
of his in a bond to indemnify them against loss ; and 
thus the work was published by the Stationers Com 
pany, under the title of Twice Told Tales, and for 
the author s benefit. It was deemed a failure for 
more than a year, when a breeze seemed to rise and 
fill its sails, and with it the author was carried on to 
fame and fortune. 

Among the most successful of the writers for the 
Token was Miss Francis, now Mrs. Child. I have not 
seen her for many years, but I have many pleasant 
remembrances of her lively conversation, her saucy 
wit, her strong good sense, and her most agreeable 
person and presence. To Eev. F. "W. P. Greenwood 
the author of "Niagara" and the "Sea" -articles 
which are still admired by all tasteful readers I was 
indebted not only for some of the best contributions, 
but for excellent counsel and advice in my literary 
affairs. He was a man of fine genius, gentle manners, 
and apostolic dignity of life and character. 

To Mr. Pierpont, I was indebted for encouragement 
and sympathy in my whole career, and for some of 
the best poems which appeared in the work I am no 
ticing. 1 remember once to have met him, and to have 

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

12" 



274: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

asked him to give me a contribution for the Token. 
He stopped and said, reflectirigly, " I had a dream not 
long ago, which I have thought to put into verse. I 
will try, and if I am successful you shall have it." A 
few days after he gave me the lines, now in all the 
gem books, beginning 

" Was it the chime of a tiny bell, 

That came so sweet to my dreaming ear 
Like the silvery tones of a fairy s shell, 

That he winds on the beach so mellow and clear, 
When the winds and the waves lie together asleep, 
And the moon and the fairy are watching the deep > 
She dispensing her silvery light, 
And he his notes, as silvery quite, 
While the boatman listens and ships his oar, 
To catch the music that comes from the shore ? 
Hark ! the notes on my ear that play, 
Are set to words ; as they float, they say, 
Passing away, passing away ! " 

Charles Sprague wrote for me but little, yet that 
was of diamond worth. Next to Willis, Mrs. Sigour- 
ncy was my most successful and liberal contributor ; 
to her I am indebted for a large part of the success 
of my editorial labors in the matter now referred to. 
To Miss Scdgwick, also, the Token owes a large 
share of its credit with the public, % Grenville Mellen 
a true poet, and a most kind, gentle spirit, doomed 
early to " pass away" was a favorite in my pages, 
and to me a devoted friend. To B. B. Thacher also 
among the good and the departed ; to Mrs. Osgood, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 275 

gifted and gone ; to John Neale, A. H. Everett, Bish 
op Doane, Mr. Longfellow, Caleb Gushing; to the 
two Sargents- Epes and John, though masked as 
Charles Sherry or the modest letter E. ; to Miss 
Gould, Miss Leslie, H. T. Tuckerman, O. W. Holmes, 
Orville Dewey, J. T. Fields, T. S. Fay, G. C. Yer 
planck to all these and to many others, I owe the 
kind remembrance which belongs to good deeds, 
kindly and graciously bestowed. 

It is not to be supposed that in a long career, both 
as bookseller and editor, I should have escaped alto 
gether the annoyances and vexations which naturally 
attach to these vocations. The relation of author and 
publisher is generally regarded as that of the cat and 
the dog, both greedy of the bone, and inherently jeal 
ous of each other. The authors have hitherto written 
the accounts of the wrangles between these two par 
ties, and the publishers have been traditionally gib- 
eted as a set of mean, mercenary wretches, coining 
the heart s blood of genius for their own selfish prof 
its. Great minds, even in modern times, have not 
been above this historical prejudice. The poet Camp 
bell is said to have been an admirer of Napoleon be 
cause he shot a bookseller. 

Nevertheless, speaking from my own experience, 
I suspect, if the truth were told, that, even in cases 
whore the world has been taught to bestow all its 
sympathy in behalf of the author, it would appear 
that while there were claws on one side there were 



270 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

teeth on the other. My belief is, that where there 
have been quarrels, there have generally been mutual 
provocations. I know of nothing more vexatious, 
more wearisome, more calculated to beget impa 
tience, than the egotisms, the exactions, the unrea 
sonablenesses of authors, in cases I have witnessed.* 

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 277 

That there may be examples of meanness, stupidity, 
and selfishness, in publishers, is indisputable. But 
in general, I am satisfied that an author who will do 
justice to a publisher, will have justice in return. 

In judging of publishers, one thing should be con 
sidered, and that is, that two-thirds of the original 
works issued by them, are unprofitable. An eminent 
London publisher once told me that he calculated that 
out of ten publications, four involved a positive, and 
often a heavy, loss ; three barely paid the cost of pa 
per, print, and advertising ; and three paid a profit. 
Nothing is more common than for a publisher to pay 
money to an author, every farthing of which is lost. 
Self-preservation, therefore, compels the publisher to 
look carefully to his operations. One thing is cer 
tain he is generally the very best judge as to the 
value of a book, in a marketable point of view : if he 
rejects it, it is solely because he thinks it will not 
pay, not because he despises genius. 

Happily, at the present day, the relations between 
these two parties authors and publishers are on a 
better footing than in former times : the late Festival* 

My editorial experience also furnished me with some amusing anec 
dotes. An editor of a periodical once sent me an article for the Token, 
entitled La Longue-vue ; the pith of the story consisted in a romantic 
youth 1 s falling in love with a young lady, two miles off, through a, tele 
scope ! I ventured to reject it, and the Token for that year was duly 
damned in the columns of the offended author. 

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

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



278 LETTEKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

in New York, given by the publishers to the authors, 
was a happy testimonial to the prevailing feeling that 
both are partners in the fellowship of literature, and 
that mutual good offices will best contribute to mutual 
prosperity. Indeed, a great change has taken place 
in the relative positions of the two classes. Nothing 
is now more marketable than good writing at least 
in this country whatever may be its form poetry 
or prose, fact or fiction, reason or romance. Star 
ving, neglected, abused genius, is a myth of bygone 
times. If an author is poorly paid, it is because he 
writes poorly. I do not think, indeed, that authors 
are adequately paid, for authorship does not stand 
on a level with other professions as to pecuniary 
recompense, but it is certain that a clever, industri 
ous, and judicious writer may make his talent the 
means of living.* 

ers Association to Authors and Booksellers, took place at the Crystal 
Palace, September 27, 1855, and was one of the most gratifying and 
suggestive occasions I ever witnessed. The opening address of the 
president, Mr. W. Appleton, the introductory statistical sketch, by Mr. 
G. P. Putnam, the genial toasts, the excellent letters of Charles Sumner, 
Edward Everett, and E. C. Winthrop ; the admirable speech of W. C. 
Bryant, the eloquent addresses of Messrs. Milburn, Allen, Chapin, Os- 
good, Beecher, together with the witty and instructive poem by J. T. 
Fields all together marked it as an era of prodigious interest in our 
literary annals. 

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



HISTORIC AL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 279 



LETTER XLVII. 

The First of tfte Parley Books Its Reception Various Publications 
Threatening Attack of Illness Voyage to Europe Consultation of Phy 
sicians at Paris Sir Benj. Brodie, of London Alercrombie, of Edin 
burgh Return to America Residence in the Country Prosecution of 
my Literary Labors Footing up the Account Annoyances of Author- 
ship Letter to the New York Daily Times. 

MY DEAR C****** 

Though I was busily engaged in publishing va 
rious works, I found time to make my long meditated 
experiment in the writing of books for children. The 
first attempt was made in 1827, and bore the title of 
the Tales of Peter Parley about America. No per 
sons but my wife and one of my sisters were admit 
ted to the secret for in the first place, I hesitated 
to believe that I was qualified to appear before the 
public as an author, and in the next place, nursery 
literature had not then acquired the respect in the 
eyes of the world it now enjoys. It is since that pe 
riod, that persons of acknowledged genius Scott, 

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



280 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Dickens, Lamartine, Mary Howitt, in Europe, and 
Abbott, Todd, Gallaudet, Miss Sedgwick, Mrs. Child, 
and others, in America, t have stooped to the composi 
tion of books for children and youth. 

I published my little book, and let it make its way. 
It came before the world untrumpeted, and for some 
months seemed not to attract the slightest attention. 
Suddenly I began to see notices of it in the papers, 
all over the country, and in a year from the date of 
its publication, it had become a favorite. In 1828, I 
published the Tales of Peter Parley about Europe ; 
in 1829, Parley s Winter Evening Tales; in 1830, 
Parley s Juvenile Tales, and Parley s Asia, Africa, 
Sun, Moon, and Stars. About this time the public 
guessed my secret it being first discovered and di 
vulged by a woman Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, to whom, 
by the way, I am indebted for many kind offices in 
my literary career yet I could have wished she 
had not done me this questionable favor. Though 
the authorship of the Parley books has been to me a 
source of some gratification, you will see, in the se 
quel, that it has also subjected me to endless vexa 
tions. 

I shall not weary you with a detail of my proceed 
ings at this busy and absorbed period of iny life. 1 
had now obtained a humble position in literature, 
and was successful in such unambitious works as 1 
attempted. I gave myself up almost wholly for about 
four years that is, from 1828 to 1832 to author- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 281 

ship, generally writing fourteen hours a day. A 
part of the time I was entirely unable to read, and 
could write but little, on .account of the weakness 
of my eyes. In my larger publications, I employed 
persons to block out work for me ; this was read to 
me, and then I put it into style, generally writing by 
dictation, my wife being my amanuensis. Thus em 
barrassed, I still, by dint of incessant toil, produced 
five or six volumes a year, mostly small, but some of 
larger compass. 

In the midst of these labors that is, in the spring 
of 1832 I was suddenly attacked with symptoms, 
which seemed to indicate a disease of the heart, rap 
idly advancing to a fatal termination. In the course 
of a fortnight I was so reduced as not to be able to 
mount a pair of stairs without help, and a short walk 
produced palpitations of the heart, which in several 
instances almost deprived me of consciousness. There 
seemed no hope but in turning my back upon my 
business, and seeking a total change of scene and cli 
mate. In May I embarked for England, and after a 
few weeks reached Paris. I here applied to Baron 
Larroque,who, assisted by L Herminier both eminent 
specialists in diseases of the heart subjected me to 
various experiments, but without the slightest advan 
tage. At this period I was obliged to be carried up 
stairs, and never ventured to walk or ride alone, 
being constantly subject to nervous spasms, which 
often brought me to the verge of suffocation. 



282 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Despairing of relief here, I returned to London, 
and was carefully examined by Sir B. C. Brodie.* He 
declared that I had no organic disease, that my diffi 
culty was nervous irritability, and that whereas the 
French physicians had interdicted wine and required 
me to live on a light vegetable diet, I must feed well 
upon good roast beef, and take two generous glasses of 
port with my dinner ! Thus encouraged, I passed on 
to Edinburgh, where I consulted Abercrombie,f then 
at the height of his fame. He confirmed the views 
of Dr. Brodie, in the main, and regarding the irregu 
larities of my vital organs as merely functional, still 
told me that, without shortening my life, they would 
probably never be wholly removed. He told me of 
an instance in which a patient of his, who, having 
been called upon to testify before the committee of 
the House of Commons, in the trial of Warren Hast- 



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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 283 

ings from mere embarrassment had been seized 
with palpitation of the heart, which, however, con 
tinued till his death, many years after. Even this 
somber view of my case was then a relief. Four and 
twenty years have passed since that period, and thus 
far my experience has verified Dr. Abercrombie s 
prediction. These nervous attacks pursue me to 
this day, yet I have become familiar with them, and 
regarding them only as troublesome visitors, I re 
ceive them patiently and bow them out as gently as 
I can.* 

After an absence of six months I returned to Bos 
ton, and by the advice of my physician took up my 
residence in the country. I built a house at Jamaica 
Plain, four miles from the city, and here I continued 
for more than twenty years. My health was partially 
restored, and I resumed my literary labors, which I 

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



284: 

continued, steadily, from 1833 to 1850, with a few 
episodes of lecturing and legislating, three voyages 
to Europe, and an extensive tour to the South. It 
would be tedious and unprofitable to you, were I 
even to enumerate my various works produced 
from the beginning to the present time. I may sum 
up the whole in a single sentence : I am the author 
and editor of about one hundred and seventy vol 
umes, and of these seven millions have been sold !* 

1 have said that however the authorship of Par 
ley s Tales has made me many friends, it Las also 
subjected me to many annoyances. Some of these 
are noticed in a letter I addressed to the editor of 
the New York Times in December, 1855, a portion 
of which I here copy, with slight modifications, as 
the easiest method of making you comprehend my 
meaning. 

SIR : Some days since I learned, through a friend, that the 
editor of the Boston Courier,- in noticing the death of the late 
Samuel Kettell,f had said or intimated that he was the author of 
Peter Parley s Tales. I therefore wrote to the said editor on 
the subject, and he has this day furnished me with the paper 
alluded to December 10th in which I find the following 
statement : 

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

t Mr. Samuel Kettell was a native of Newburyport, Mass., and born 
A. D. 1800. He was for the most part self-educated, and without being 
a critical scholar, was a man of large acquirements, the master, 1 believe, 
of more than a dozen languages. In 1832 he visited Europe, and wrote 
some clever essays in the British magazines. In 1848 he assumed the 
editorship of the Boston Courier, and so continued till his death in 1855, 
though his active labors were suspended for some months before by hi 
protracted illness 



HISTORICAL, ANKCDOTICAL, ETC. 



285 



" Mr. S. G. Goodrich also found work for him Mr. Kettell 
and many of those historical compendiuins which came out 
under the name of Peter Parley, were in fact the work of Mr. 
Kettell. He is the veritable Peter Parley," &c. 

Now, Mr. Editor, it happens that for nearly thirty years, I 
have appeared before the public as the author of Peter Parley s 
Tales. It would seem, therefore, if this statement were true, 
that I have been for this length of time arrayed in borrowed 
plumes, thus imposing upon the public, and now wronging the 
dead. It was no doubt the amiable purpose of the writer of 
the article in question to place me in this position. I am, how 
ever, pretty well used to this sort of thing, and I should not 
take the trouble to notice this new instance of impertinence, 
were it not that 1 have a batch on hand, and may as well put 
them all in and make one baking of them. 

To begin. There is a man by the name of Martin, in London, 
and who takes the name of Peter Parley Martin. He writes 
books boldly under the name of Peter Parley, and they are 
palmed off as genuine works by the London publishers. These, 
and other forgeries of a similar kind by other writers, have been 
going on for fifteen years or more, until there are thirty or forty 
volumes of them in circulation in England. 

Among these London counterfeiters, there was formerly a 
bookseller by the name of Lacey. He was what is called a 
Pvemainder Man that is, he bought the unsold and unsalable 
ends of editions, put them in gaudy bindings, and thus disposed 
of them. When he got possession of a defunct juvenile work, 
he galvanized it into life by putting Parley s name to it as 
"Grandfather s Tales, by Peter Parley," &c. This proved a 
thrifty trade, and the man, as I have been told, has lately re 
tired upon a fortune. 

It is indeed notorious, that handsome sums have been realized 
in London by authors and publishers there, in republishing the 
genuine Parley books, artd also by publishing counterfeit ones. 
This matter has gone to such lengths, and has become so mis- 



286 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

chievous to me as well as to the public, that I have brought an 
action against Darton & Co.,* one of the principal London houses 
concerned in this fraud, and I hope to have it decided that an 
author who gives value to a name even though it be fictitious 
may be protected in its use and profit, as well as the Arnos- 
keag Manufacturing Company for their trade-mark, " A No. 1," 
put upon their cottons, and which the courts have decided to be 
their property. 

In general, my rights in regard to the use of the name of 
Parley, have been respected in the United States ; but it appears 
that about two years ago, when I was in Europe, a New York 
bookseller under the inspiration of a man who writes Reverend 
before his name undertook to follow in the footsteps of these 
English counterfeiters; so he put forth two volumes, naming 
the one Parley s Pictorial, and the other Parley s Household 
Library, &c. I understand that these are made up of old plates 
from Parley s Magazine, with slight alterations so as to disguise 
the real nature and origin of the works. In order more com 
pletely to deceive the public, he attached the above titles, which 
imply that these works are by me, and are issued, in their present 
form, by my sanction. 

Thus the innocent public is duped. In point of fact, there is 
not, I think, a page of my writing in these volumes, excepting 
passages taken from my works, in violation of my copyrights. 
The credit of originating these productions belongs, I believe, to 
the reverend gentleman above alluded to, and not to the pub 
lisher though the latter, knowing the character of the works, 
aids and abets their circulation. 

A still more recent instance of this borrowed use of Peter 
Parley s name has been brought to my notice. A few days 
since a man named 1 who, it is said, has been a govern 
ment employe abroad, and has lately got leave to return, was 
introduced to one of the public schools in this city as the verita 
ble author of Peter Parley s Tales. To certify his identity, it 

* See pages 296-806. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 287 

was further added by the teacher that he was the father of 
a Dick Tinto!" This man, who was not your humble servant, 
nor, I am happy to say, a relative, nor an acquaintance of his, 
still received these honors as his due and perhaps I shall ere 
long be obliged to defend myself against a claim that he is I, 
and that I am not myself! 

To pass over these and other similar instances, I come now to 
the latest, if not the last the declaration of the editor of the 
Boston Courier, that Mr. Kettell was the real author of Parley s 
Tales. If Mr. Kettell were living, he would even more readily 
contradict this assertion than myself, for he would have felt 
alike the ridicule and the wrong that it would attach to his 
name. Were it my purpose to write a biographical notice of 
this gentleman, I should have nothing unpleasant to say of him. 
He was a man of large acquirements, a good deal of humor, and 
some wit, with great simplicity, truth, and honor of character. 
He was not, however, thrifty in the ways of the world. Among 
all his writings there is not, I believe, a book of which he was 
the designer, or, strictly speaking, the author. But he was still 
a ready writer when he had his task set before him. So much 
is due as a passing notice to the memory of a man with whom 
I had relations for twenty years, always amicable, and I believe 
mutually satisfactory, if not mutually beneficial. 

But as to the statements of the editor of the Boston Courier 
above alluded to, as well as some others in his obituary of Mr. 
Kettell, there is great inaccuracy. Let me lay the axe at the 
root of the main statement at once, by declaring, that of the 
thirty or forty volumes of Parley s Tales, Mr. Kettell never wrote 
a line or sentence of any of them, nor, so for as I now recollect, 
did any other person except myself. The Parley series was be 
gun and in the full tide of success before I ever saw Mr. Kettell. 

It is quite true, that in my larger geographical and historical 
works some of them extending to over one thousand royal 
octavo pages I had assistants, as is usual, nay, indispensable, 
in such cases, Mr. Kettell among others. Some of those were 



^88 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

young men, who have since risen to fame in both hemispheres. 
If all who assisted me were now to come forward and claim to 
be original Peter Parleys, there would be a very pretty family 
of us ! 

The writer of the Courier article in question intimates that 
Mr. Kettell was ill paid, and by a Latin quotation suggests that 
T made use of him to my own advantage, while he, the real au 
thor of books which I published, was robbed of his due ! This is 
a serious charge, and it may be well to give it a pointed answer. 

As to the statement that Mr. Kettell was ill paid let me ask 
the reason, if such were the fact ? In general, things will bring 
their value literature as well as any other commodity. Why 
was it, then, that he accepted this insufficient pay ? If I did not 
compensate him adequately, why did he serve me ? The world is 
wide, the market free; Mr. Kettell was familiarly acquainted 
with every publisher in Boston : if he wrote for me, the infer 
ence is that I paid him better than anybody else would have 
done. Nay, if the editor of the Boston Courier does not 
know, there are others who do, that I was for years his only 
reliance and resource. He went to Europe without a dollar in 
his pocket except what I gave him for his writings. While at 
Paris, being in a state of absolute destitution, he wrote home to 
his friend, S. P. Holbrook, for help. This was furnished by the 
contributions of his friends, myself among the number. 

The editor, in enumerating Mr. Kettell s literary labors, gives 
him high credit as the editor of the three volumes of Specimens 
of American Poetry, which I published. This is no doubt one 
of the instances, according to this writer, in which I sponged the 
brains of another to his wrong and my advantage. Let us see 
the facts : 

I projected the aforesaid work, and employed Mr. F. S. Hill 
as editor. He began it, collected materials, and wrote the first 
part of it. At his instance, I had purchased nearly one hun 
dred scarce books for the enterprise. The work, thus begun, 
the p..an indicated, the materials to a great extent at command, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 289 

with numerous articles actually written, passed into Mr. KettelFs 
hands. I think, with the editor of the Courier, that considering 
the extent of the undertaking, and that it was then a new en 
terprise, compelling the editor to grope in the mazes of a new 
and unexplored wilderness, that Mr. Kettell displayed a tolera 
ble degree of patience and research, and a fair share of critical 
sagacity. But nevertheless, the work was a most disastrous 
failure, involving me not only in a pecuniary loss of fifteen hun 
dred dollars, but the mortification of having the work pass into 
a kind of proverb of misfortune or misjudgment. More than 
once I have heard it spoken of as " Goodrich s Kettle of Poetry !" 
This arose, no doubt, partly from the idea then encouraged by 
the critics, that it was the height of folly for us, Americans, to 
pretend to have any literature. To include the writings of Tim 
othy D wight, Joel Barlow, and Phillis Wheatley in a book call 
ed Poetry, was then deemed a great offense at the bar of criti 
cism. It is true that these notions have passed away, and Dr. 
Griswold and Messrs. Duyckinck have found in the mine 
wrought so abortively by Mr. Kettell, both gold and glory. 
There were, however, other reasons for his failure, and among 
them an unfortunate slip as to the authorship of " Hail Colum 
bia," which stood thus: 

" J. HOPKINSON : 

" We have no knowledge of this author. The popular na 
tional ode which follows, appeared first, we believe, in Philadel 
phia. 1 

Such ignorance and such carelessness were deemed offensive 
by the friends of Judge Hopkinson, son of the well-known author 
of the " Battle of the Kegs," and other popular effusions, and 
himself a somewhat noted poet. Mr. Walsh made this, and other 
blunders, the occasion of a stinging castigation in his National 
Gazette. The result was injurious to Mr. Kettell in many ways : 
it injured his rising literary reputation, and so shattered his nerves 
that for some years he lost courage as well as encouragement, ex- 

VOL. II. 13 



290 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

cept what I continued to give him, despite this failure. It was 
subsequent to this that I supplied him with the means of going 
to Europe, and thus furnished him with the opportunity of ta 
king a new start in the world. And yet I sponged this man s 
brains, and stole his fair fame according to this Boston writer ! 

I suppose, Mr. Editor, that this is enough for the present ; and 
yet I am disposed to crave a little more of your patience and 
your space, to state more precisely my relations with Mr. Ket- 
tell, and thus remove him from the disadvantageous light in 
which he is placed by the ill-judged pretenses of his too earnest 
friend. 

During a space of twelve or fifteen years, and that the most 
active and engrossed portion of my life, I suffered greatly from 
a disease in my eyes, which threatened blindness : sometimes 
for weeks together I was confined to a dark room. At that 
period I wrote almost wholly by dictation, my wife being my 
amanuensis. I wrote several of the Parley books, she sitting on 
one side of a green curtain in the light, and I on the other side, 
confined to the darkness. Several volumes of the Token were 
mostly edited in this way. 

It is quite obvious that in such a condition, and being at the 
time busily engaged in writing, as well as publishing books, I 
must have needed assistance. At this time, Mr. Kettell was 
useful to me, especially as he was familiar with libraries, and 
had a remarkable tact in finding facts. And yet it is equally 
true that Mr. Kettell never wrote a page for me at his own 
suggestion, nor by his own planning. lie wrote on subjects 
prescribed by me, and in the manner prescribed by me even 
to the length of paragraphs, verses, and chapters. Moreover, 
what he had thus blocked out, was laboriously remodeled to 
suit my own taste, to clothe it in my own style, and to bring it 
into conformity with my own plan. Often this process was in 
finitely more laborious to me than would have been the outright 
and entire compilation, if I could have used my eyes. In this 
way, however, and under these circumstances, Mr. Kettell aid- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 29 J 

ed me ; he was also, sometimes, my amanuensis ; but he was 
not, nor did he ever claim to be, in any proper sense of the word., 
the author of a single page of a book which was published un 
der my own name, or that of Peter Parley. In the large gee 
graphical work already alluded to, in which I had the assist 
ance of Mr. Kettell, as well as of two other persons of grea 
ability and reputation, this assistance was duly acknowledged in 
the preface.* 

Now, while I thus correct the misrepresentations of this Bos 
ton editor, I desire to leave no unpleasant impressions upon the 
name and memory of Mr. Kettell. He is, indeed, beyond the 
reach of praise or blame; but still truth has its requisitions, and 
it would be a violation of these, were I to cast upon him any 
reproach. He certainly was deficient in the art of devising seri 
ous and extended works ; he had not the steady, penetrating 
judgment necessary to such performances. Still, he possessed 
certain faculties in high perfection a marvelous capacity for 
the acquisition of languages, a taste for antiquarian lore, a large 
stock of historical anecdote, a genial humor, a playful though 
grotesque wit, and, withal, a kind, gentle, truthful heart. He 
was so much a man of genius, that his fame could not be bene 
fited by the reputation of the humble authorship of Parley s 
Tales. Certainly his honest nature would have revolted at the 
pretense now set up that he was in any manner or degree, enti 
tled to it.t 

* See preface to Universal Geography, published in 1832. 
t This letter led to a lengthened controversy, the result of -which is 
stated in the Appendix to this volume, page 543. 



292 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER XLVIII, 

Republication of Parley" 1 s Tales in London Mr. Tegg^s operations Imi 
tated by other publishers Peter Parley Martin Letter to Mr. Dartor. 
An edition of the false Parleys in America The consequences. 

MY DEAR C****** 

When I was in London, in 1832, I learned that 
Mr. Tegg, then a prominent publisher there, had 
commenced the republication of Parley s Tales. I 
called upon him, and found that he had one of them 
actually in press. The result of our interview was 
a contract,* in which I engaged to prepare several 

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

London, and S. G. Goodrich, of Boston, United States of America: 

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 293 

of these works, which he agreed to publish, giving 
me a small consideration therefor. Four of these 
works I prepared on the spot, and after my return to 
America, prepared and forwarded ten others. Some 
time after, I learned that the books, or at least a por 
tion of them, had been published in London, and were 
very successful. I wrote to Mr. Tegg several letters 
on the subject, but could get no reply. 

Ten years passed away, and being in pressing need 
of all that I might fairly claim as my due, I went to 
London, and asked Mr. Tegg to render me an ac 
count of his proceedings, under the contract. I had 
previously learned, on inquiry, that he had indeed 
published four or five of the works as we had 
agreed, but taking advantage of these, which passed 
readily into extensive circulation, he proceeded to set 
aside the contract, and to get up a series of publica 
tions upon the model of those I had prepared for 
him, giving them, in the title-pages, the name of Par 
ley, and passing them off upon the public, by every 
artifice in his power, as the genuine works of that 

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

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

" THOMAS TKOO, 
" S. G. GOODKICH." 
" London, June 30, 1832." 



294 



LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



author. He had thus published over a dozen vol 
umes, which he was circulating as "Peter Parley s 
Library." The speculation, as I was told, had suc 
ceeded admirably, and I was assured that many thou 
sand pounds of profit had been realized thereby. 

To my request for an account of his stewardship, 
Mr. Tegg replied, in general terms, that I was misin 
formed as to the success of the works in question ; 
that, in fact, they had been a very indifferent specu 
lation; that he found the original works were not 
adapted to his purpose, and he had consequently got 
up others ; that he had created, by advertising and 
other means, an interest in these works, and had thus 
greatly benefited the name and fame of Parley, and, 
all things considered, he thought he had done more 
for me than I had for him ; therefore, in his view, 
if we considered the account balanced, we should not 
be very far from a fair adjustment. 

To this cool answer I made a suitable reply, but 
without obtaining the slightest satisfaction. The 
contract I had made was a hasty memorandum, and 
judicially, perhaps, of no binding effect on him. And 
besides, I had no money to expend in litigation. A 
little reflection satisfied me that I was totally at 
Tegg s mercy a fact of which his calm and collected 
manner assured me he was even more conscious than 
myself. The discussion was not prolonged. At the 
second interview he cut the whole matter short, by 
saying " Sir, I do not owe you a farthing ; neither 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 295 

justice nor law require me to pay you any thing. 
Still, I am an old man, arid have seen a good deal of 
life, and have learned to consider the feelings of 
others as well as my own. I will pay you four hun 
dred pounds, and we will be quits ! If we can not do 
this, we can do nothing." In view of the whole case, 
this was as much as I expected, and so I accepted the 
proposition. I earnestly remonstrated with Mr. Tegg 
against the enormity of making me responsible for 
works I never wrote, but as to all actual claims on 
the ground of the contract, I gave him a receipt in 
full, and we parted. 

Some years after this Mr. Tegg died, but his estab 
lishment passed into the hands of one of his sons, 
with another person, by whom it is still continued ; 
the false " Parley s Library" having been recently 
enlarged by the addition of other counterfeits.* An 
example so tempting and so successful as that I have 
described, was sure to be followed by others, and ere 
long many of the first publishers of juvenile works in 
London, had employed persons to write books under 
the name of Peter Parley every thing being done in 
the title-pages, prefaces, advertisements, &c., to make 
the public receive them as genuine works. The extent 
to which this business was carried, and the position in 
which it placed me, may be gathered from a letter I 
addressed to a publishing house in London some two 
years since, and which was substantially as follows : 

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



296 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



ST. PAUL S COFFEE-HOUSE, LONDON, 

October 18, 1854. 
MR. DARTON, BOOKSELLER, 
HOLBORN HILL, LONDON. 

SIR, Happening to be in this city, I called two days 
since at your counting-room, and while waiting there for an 
answer to inquiries I had made, I was attracted by a volume, 
glowing in red and gold, lying upon the table. I took it 
up, and read in the title-page 

PETER PARLEY S ANNUAL: 

A Christmas and New- Year s Present for Young People. 
NEW YOKK : EVANS AND DICKINSON, ETC. 

I was informed that this was one of your publications, de 
signed for the coming winter sales, and I had no difficulty in 
discovering that there was to be, not only an edition for Eng 
land, but one for the United States. 

Now I have long known that among the various books that 
had been got up in London, under the pretended authorship 
of Peter Parley, you have issued an annual volume, with the 
above, or a similar title. Some dozen years ago, I remonstra 
ted with you upon this, and threatened that I would show 
you up in the London Times. You replied, " I will give you 
fifty pounds to do it." " How so ?" said I. " Because you 
will sell my books without the trouble of my advertising 
them," was your answer. " But it will ruin your character," 
I added. " Poh !" said you ; " London is too big for that." 

So the matter passed, and might still have passed, had it 
not been for the above-named New-York imprint. This has 
forced me to a reconsideration of the whole subject of these 
London impostures, and I have come to the conclusion, that 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 297 

duty to myself, as well as to the public on both sides of the 
water, makes it indispensable that I should attempt to put an 
end to this great wrong. The course I propose to pursue is, 
immediately on my return to the United States, if I find your 
edition has been on sale there, to bring an action against the 
venders of it, and I have no doubt it will be suppressed. It is 
a counterfeit, injurious to me, and fraudulent towards the pub 
lic. Our courts have decided that it is unlawful for a man in 
the United States to counterfeit even British labels or trade 
marks upon British manufactures, these being deemed private 
property, which the law holds sacred. If they will thus pro 
tect a foreigner, I think they will of course protect an Ameri 
can citizen in a case involving the same or similar principles. 

If I fail in an attempt at legal remedy, I shall appeal to the 
American public, and I cannot doubt that any vender of these 
fraudulent publications will be so rebuked as to put an end to 
such practices, there. On a former occasion, it was proposed 
to issue a work at New York, under the name of Peter Parley. 
I simply published the fact, that this was without my concur 
rence, and a hurricane of denunciation from the press, all over 
the country, silenced the project forever. 

So far my course is clear : as to the British public, I pro 
pose to publish the facts, and make an appeal to their sense of 
justice. In respect to the past, there is perhaps no remedy. 
No doubt I have too long neglected this matter, and perhaps 
my silence may be urged by interested and unscrupulous par 
ties as having sanctioned the fraud which has consequently 
grown into a system. Nevertheless, the fact certainly is, that 
it has always been known and admitted, in England as else 
where, that I am the original author of Peter Parley s Tales, 



298 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and am entitled to the merit, or demerit, of having given cur 
rency to that name. You have had intercourse with me for 
the last fifteen years, and you have always known and admit 
ted my claims. You have vindicated your publication of this 
false Annual to me, on no higher grounds than that it w r as 
begun by other parties, and would be carried on by others if 
you abandoned it. 

I have had applications, as the author of Peter Parley s 
Tales, from various publishers in England, and interviews with 
still others, but never, in a single instance, have I known these 
claims to be questioned. I have seen my name circulating, 
for the last dozen years, in the London papers, as the author 
of Parley s Tales. All over Europe I have met with English 
people, who recognized me as such. 

I am aware that there is in London a man by the name of 
Martin, who has written many of these counterfeit Parley 
books, and is familiarly known there as "Peter Parley Martin." 
I believe he is the editor of your Annual. Now we know it 
to be proverbial, that a man may tell a falsehood so often as to 
believe it ; and hence it is quite possible that this Martin 
thinks himself the real Peter. Still, if it be so, he is only one 
self-duped monomaniac: neither you nor any other publisher 
in London is deceived by it. How honorable men can have 
intercourse with such a creature, and even become accessory 
to his impostures, passes my comprehension. 

It is plain then, that if I have thus delayed to rectify this 
wrong, the real facts of the case are not obscured. The Brit 
ish public know that I am the author of the veritable works 
of Peter Parley. They may not, they cannot always distin 
guish between the true and the false, and therefore buy 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 299 

both, indiscriminately. Still, though thus accessory to the 
fiaud, it is ignorantly and unwittingly done, and they are not 
chargeable with wrong, at least toward me. The publishers 
and authors of these counterfeits are the guilty parties. I 
may complain of these, but not of the people of England, until 
I have first stated to them, authoritatively, the facts, and 
pointed out the true and the false publications. When I have 
done this, if they still encourage the perpetrators of this 
wrong, they will become its participators. If I understand the 
tone and sentiment of the English people, they will be quite 
as ready to rebuke this system of piracy as were the people of 
the United States on the occasion to which I have referred. 

Another thing is plain, that neither the authors nor pub 
lishers concerned in this system of deception and plunder, 
pursue it in doubt or ignorance of the facts. You will not 
pretend this for yourself. Other cases are equally clear. 
Some dozen years ago, being in London, and in pressing need 
of the avails of my literary labor and reputation, I was intro 
duced to Mr. T . . ., then in active business, and taking the 
lead in juvenile publications. I proposed to him to publish 
some of mine, which I had just revised and emended. After 
<i week s examination, he returned them, saying that they were 
clever enough in their way, but they would not do for him. 
They were tainted with Americanisms, republicanisms, latitu- 
dinaiianisms, in church and state. He could only publish 
books, orthodox according to British ideas. If I could re 
model them, or allow them to be remodeled, so as to conform 
to this standard, we could do a good business together. 

This I did not accede to, and we parted. Yet within about 
a twelvemonth, this same Mr. T... published a book entitled 



300 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

" Peter Parley s Lives of the Apostles, etc" It was written 
in a pious strain ; it was thoroughly orthodox, according to 
the British platform. It was, moreover, beautifully bound, 
printed, and illustrated. No doubt it was a capital specula 
tion, for besides its artistic and mechanical recommendations, 
it was suited to the public taste, and of course the innocent 
public were ignorant of its illegitimate parentage. Not so the 
scrupulous Mr. T . . . not so the pious author : they knew that 
each page was contaminated Avith falsehood, and all the more 
base, because from the beginning to the end, there was a sed 
ulous and, I might add, a skillful effort to make it appear that 
the book was written by me. Would the British people buy 
even such embellished orthodoxy, if they knew that the " trail 
of the serpent was over it all ?" 

I recite this, not because it is the worst case, but rather be 
cause it is a fair example of the conduct of British authors and 
British publishers in this matter. Examples of practices more 
mean, if not more wicked, might be cited. At the period 
above-mentioned, there was a bookseller in London, whose 
sign was "Books for the Million" a "remainder" man, who 
bought unsold sheet-stock of publishers, put it in gaudy bind 
ing, and sold it at a cheap rate. As I ascertained, he was ac 
customed to tear out the original and true titles of these de 
funct publications, and put in new and false ones, such as 
" Grandfather s Tales, by Peter Parley" or something of that 
kind. Peter Parley thus fathered quite a library and thus, 
galvanized into new life, this man sold his works by the mil 
lion, according to his sign. Recently, I am told, he has re 
tired upon a handsome fortune. 

I think, therefore, that the plea of ignorance, on the part o- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 301 

the British authors and publishers in this system of counter 
feits, will not avail, even if it be made. And what other ex 
cuse can they offer ? If by way of palliative, rather than de 
fense, they say one has done it, and another has done it, and 
therefore I did it, and it has hitherto passed with impunity 
though I cannot believe this will satisfy either the consciences 
of the wrong-doers, or British public opinion ; still, I feel dis 
posed to let it pass as a sort of excuse for the past. But as to 
the future, is it not my manifest duty to deprive them of this 
plea? Is it right, supposing I had no personal interest or 
feeling in the matter, to let this go on ? You must be aware 
that a new and material fact is introduced into the question : 
you have begun, or are beginning, this system of fraud in 
America, in New York, at the threshold of my domicile. 
You carry the war into Africa. An example thus set, if not 
resisted, will be soon followed, and my name will be as cheap 
in the United States as in the Three Kingdoms. Can I be 
held innocent, if I remain silent, and permit the American 
public to be abused and debauched by the introduction ot 
this system there ? 

It appears to me there can be but one answer. And even 
supposing I could waive these considerations, may I not, must 
I not, as a man having some self-respect, and being besides de 
pendent upon my literary exertions and reputation, resist this 
inroad upon my rights, and endeavor to throw off this grow 
ing incubus upon my name and fame ? Such a burden in 
one hemisphere is enough : must I bear it in both ? 

It is difficult to reflect on such a subject as this without ir 
ritation. Nevertheless I endeavor to school myself into a cer 
tain degree of calmness. As to my course in America, the 



302 LETTEKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

first step is clear, as I have indicated. But how shall I begin 
in England ? Shall I expose the facts, refer to names, point 
out the counterfeits and the counterfeiters, and appeal to the 
moral sense of the people there ? This is undoubtedly my 
right, and a natural indignation suggests that it is my duty 
Yet I shrink from such a proceeding. I know that I may 
bring upon myself many an envenomed shaft ; for there may 
be a powerful interest aroused into activity against me. We 
all know that in London, as elsewhere, there are mercenary 
presses, which can be hired to defend a bad cause, and such a 
defense generally consists in vengeful recrimination. 

Now I may not nay, I do not fear the result. I will not 
suspect for a moment, that in so plain a case, the verdict of 
public opinion in England could be otherwise than favorable 
to me. Nevertheless, I am a peace-loving man, and do not 
court the process. I have been often attacked sometimes 
very unjustly ; yet I have seldom made a reply. 

Many years ago, I presided at a convention in Boston, 
which passed resolutions against International Copyright. 
As president I signed the proceedings, and thus became the 
target of many a bitter shaft, hurled at me personally, by the 
London press, which was then somewhat rabid in its attempts 
to force us into the proposed literary partnership. The late 
Mr. Hood stuck me all over with epithets of ridicule. His 
books are still published, and are in the popular libraries of 
the United States, with these passages in full. I have often 
read them myself, and laughed at them, too, notwithstanding 
their intrinsic malevolence. Yet, though I had and have an 
answer to make, and I believe an effective one, I have never 

% 

thought it Worth while to give it to the public. Being in 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 303 

London, in 1842 I saw Mr. Hood, and suggested to him that 
there was another side to this question, and he offered me the 
pages of his magazine for the publication of my views. Yet 
I did not accept of this ; my conviction was that the venom 
of his attack would die out, and I should be spared the irrita 
tion and annoyance of a controversy, necessarily in some de 
gree personal, inasmuch as I had been personally assailed. 
Events have shown that I judged rightly. I may add, too, 
that I am constitutionally anti-pugnacious, and instinctively 
recoil at the idea of a personal and public discussion. I have 
no doubt indulged this to the extent of weakness, in respect 
to the matter in hand, and hence the evil has assumed its 
present enormity. 

And, in addition to this, I dislike to disturb the amicable 
relations which have long subsisted between you and me ; I 
dislike exceedingly to arraign you before the world, as one of 
the very leaders in point of fact, the head and front offender 
in what I consider a great public and personal wrong. 
What I desire is, if possible, to conduct this affair so as to 
avoid any direct notice of yourself in the appeal to the British 
public, if I conclude to make it. What I have to propose is, 
that you now enter into an engagement, henceforth to issue 
no volume and sell no volume whatever, with Parley s name, 
of which I am not the acknowledged author ; and further 
more, that you make such indemnity to me, and such expla 
nations to the public, as may be deemed light ana reasonable 
by arbitrators between us. If you must publish an annual, 
put Mr. Martin s name to it, or any other name you choose, 
only not mine. I am told that you have thriven in business, 
and that " Parley s Annual " has largely contributed to youi 



304 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

success. Your purse, then, and I hope your feelings, will 
make this suggestion easy. 

If you cannot be persuaded to adopt this line of conduct by 
the argument against injustice and fraud ; if you pay no re 
gard to the influence which a public declaration of the facts 
may have on your reputation, still, reflect on my position. 
Many of these counterfeit Parley books are to me nauseous in 
style, matter, and purpose. According to my taste, they are 
full of vulgarisms, degrading phrases, and coarse ideas. In 
some cases they advocate principles which are not mine, and 
manners and customs I disapprove. This very volume of 
yours, for 1854, in spite of its gold edges, colored engravings, 
and embossed binding, is mainly written in a low, bald, and 
vulgar style ; and withal is ridiculous from its affected Parley 
isms. Rich outside, it is within smitten with poverty. Yet 
I am obliged to bear all this. Is it fair, is it neighborly, to 
treat any one thus ? 

Remember, I am not speaking hypothetically. My reputa 
tion has been attacked, my literary rank degraded, by being 
made responsible for works I never wrote. The Westminster 
Review, some years ago, criticised the Parley Books, as sullied 
by coarse phrases and vulgar Americanisms. Extracts were 
made to verify this criticism, and yet every extract was from 
a false book, or a false passage foisted into a true one. Not 
one line of the damnatory examples did I ever write. Pre 
cisely this process of degradation must have been going on 
against me, for the last dozen years, in the public mind of 
England, through the influence of your counterfeits. 

Is this fair ? Will this do ? Will you stand by it here and 
hereafter? Remember, this is a totally different question 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 305 

from that of International Copyright. I have never com 
plained that you or any other foreign publisher has reprinted 
my books as I wrote them. Do this, as much as you please ; 
so long as the law remains as it is, such a course is inevitable, 
on both sides of the water. Alter my books, if you please, 
and publish them, only stating distinctly what you have done. 
This is lawful, and I shall not complain of it. In point of 
fact, you have published at least one book for that I chanced 
to see made up nearly, if not quite, of extracts from my 
works, yet a man by the name of Greene figured in the title- 
page as the author. I have also seen whole pages of my wri 
tings, in your other various publications, the same, by the 
manner of insertion, appearing as being original there. Of all 
this, however I might disapprove it, I have never uttered a 
word of complaint. But what I do complain of, is this : that 
you take my name, to which I have given currency, in order 
to sell books / never wrote. You say to the world, Mr. Good 
rich, the author of Peter Parley s Tales, wrote this: the 
world buy it, and judge me accordingly. And thus I am 
robbed of what to me is property, and at the same time I suf 
fer that other and greater calamity, the loss or damage of a 
good name. That is my complaint. 

If upon this appeal, you assent to my proposition though 
I must carry on the proposed prosecution in the United States, 
if the edition referred to has been sent there I shall feel that 
I can afford, so far as the British public are concerned, to 
make a general and not a particular and specific declaration 
of the facts herein alluded to. I shall not then need to direct 
attention personally to you, or to anybody. If, on the con 
trary, you do not enter into this or some satisfactory arrange- 



306 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ment, [ shall feel that you have been fairly warned, and that 
you can not hold rne responsible for any annoyance you may 
suffer .from the consequences. I shall, moreover, consider my 
self at liberty, should I deem it best, to give publicity to this 
letter. However hastily written, it embodies the substance 
of my views, and though further publications would doubt 
less become necessary, this might serve as one link in the 
chain of my statement. 

I am yours truly, 

S. G. GOODRICH. 

This letter was forwarded from Paris, where I was 
then residing, some weeks after it was written. Re 
ceiving no reply, I addressed a reminder to Mr. Dar- 
ton, but that also was unanswered. In July, 1855, 
I returned to New York, and on inquiry, found that 
sixteen hundred copies of the Parley s Annual, referred 
to in the preceding letter, had been sent there, and were 
actually in the Custom-liouse /* I could not but con- 

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

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

" Peter Parley loves our good Queen, and delights to follow her in her 
rarious progresses," <fec. * * * * 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 307 

eider this as a defiance on the part of Mr. Barton, 
and accordingly I commenced an action against him, 
as I had told him I should do. 

The case is still undecided. It is, perhaps, a ques 
tion, whether a New York court has jurisdiction in 
the case, the defendant being a foreigner, but if it 
has, I trust it will be settled by our courts that an 
author is entitled to protection in the use and behoof 
of a name however it may be fictitious with which 
he has become identified in the public mind, and to 
which he has given a commercial value. This prin 
ciple has been fully established in this country as well 
as in England, in application to manufacturers and 
merchants, and it is not to be supposed that an author 
shall be denied the same protection. 

Now, you can not suppose, from the facts here 
stated, that these things do not give me great annoy 
ance. But one thing I am bound to say, which is, 
that I feel no personal hostility to Mr. Darton. He is 
a most amiable man, and I believe would be the last 
person in the world to do an intentional wrong. In 
the present case, he has probably yielded to the guid 
ance of other parties, implicated like himself, and is 
rather fighting their battles than his own. 

I have great respect for the Queen of England, for I consider her vir 
tuous example, in her high station, as beneficial, not to her own bound 
less realms alone, but to the whole world; I have no objection to Eng 
lishmen singing "Rule Britannia" but it is not pleasant to find these 
thiiiL s ill a book, issued in the name of Peter Parley, the preface of 
which is signed Peter Parley, and which is all written so as to make the 
world believe it is the work of an American. 



808 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL. 



LETTER XLIX, 

Objections to the Parley Books My theory as to books for children 
Attempt in England, to revive the old nursery books Mr. Felix Summerly 
HallowdVs Nursery Rhymes of England Dialogue between Timothy 
and his mother Mother Goose The Toad s Story Books of instruction. 

MY DEAR C****** 

It is not to be supposed that the annoyances 
arising from the falsification of the name of Parley, 
which I have just pointed out, have been the only 
obstacles which have roughened the current of my 
literary life. Not only the faults and imperfections of 
execution in my juvenile works and no one knows 
them so well as myself have been urged against 
them, but the whole theory on which they are found 
ed has been often and elaborately impugned. 

It is quite true that when I wrote the first hali- 
d.ozen of Parley s Tales, I had formed no philosophy 
upon the subject. I simply used my experience with 
children in addressing them. I followed no models, 
I put on no harness of the schools, I pored over no 
learned examples. I imagined myself on the floor 
with a group of boys and girls, and I wrote to them as 
1 would have spoken to them. At a later period I had 
reflected on the subject, and embodied in a few simple 
lines the leading principle of what seemed to me the 
true art of teaching children and that is, to consider 
that their first ideas are simple and single, and formed 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 309 

of images of things palpable to the senses ; and hence 
that these images are to form the staple of lessons to 
be communicated to them. 



I saw a child, some four years old, 

Along a meadow stray ; 
Alone she went, uncheck d, untold, 

Her home not far away. 

She gazed around on earth and sky, 
Now paused and now proceeded; 

Hill, valley, wood, she passed them by 
Unmarked, perchance unheeded. 

And now gay groups of roses bright 
In circling thickets bound her 

Yet on she went with footsteps light, 
Still gazing all around her. 

And now she paused and now she stooped, 

And plucked a little flower ; 
A simple daisy twas, that drooped 

Within a rosy bower. 

The child did kiss the little gem, 

And to her bosom press d it, 
And there she placed the fragile stem, 

And with soft words caressed it. 

I love to read a lesson true 

From nature s open book 
And oft I learn a lesson new 

From childhood s careless look. 

Children are simple, loving, true 

Tis God that made them so ; 
And would you teach them ? be so, too, 

And stoop to what they know. 



310 

Begin with simple lessons, things 

On which they love to look ; 
Flowers, pebbles, insects, birds on wings 

These are God s spelling-book ! 

And children know his ABO, 

As bees where flowers are set : 
Wouldst thou a skillful teacher be ? 

Learn then this alphabet. 

From leaf to leaf, from page to page, 

Guide thou thy pupil s look ; 
And when he says, with aspect sage 

"Who made this wondrous book?" 

Point thou with reverend gaze to heaven. 

And kneel in earnest prayer 
That lessons thou hast humbly given. 

May lead thy pupil there ! 

From this initial point I proceeded to others, and 
came to the conclusion that in feeding the mind of 
children with facts, with truth, and with objective 
truth, we follow the evident philosophy of nature and 
providence, inasmuch as these had created all chil 
dren to be ardent lovers of things they could see and 
hear and feel and know. Thus I sought to teach 
them history and biography and geography, and all 
in the way in which nature would teach them that 
is, by a large use of the senses, and especially by the 
eye the master organ of the body as well as the 
soul. I selected as subjects for my books, things ca 
pable of sensible representation, such as familiar an 
imals, birds, trees, and of these I gave pictures, as a 




FLOWERS, PEBBLES, INSECTS, BIRDS ON Wmus 

THESE ARE GOD S SPELLING Boon " Vol 2. p 31!) 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 311 

starting point. The first line I wrote was, " Here I 
am ; my name is Peter Parley," and before I went 
further, gave an engraving representing my hero, as 
I wished him to be conceived by my pupils. Before 
I began to talk of a lion, I gave a picture of a lion 
my object being, as you will perceive, to have the 
child start with a distinct image of what I was about 
to give an account of. Thus I secured his interest 
in the subject, and thus I was able to lead his under 
standing forward in the path of knowledge. 

These views of course led me in a direction ex 
actly opposite to the old theories in respect to nursery 
books, in two respects. In the first place, it was 
thought that education should, at the very threshold, 
seek to spiritualize the mind, and lift it above sensi 
ble ideas, and to teach it to live in the world of im 
agination. A cow was very well to give milk, but 
when she got into a book, she must jump over the 
moon ; a little girl going to see her grandmother, 
was well enough as a matter of fact, but to be suited 
to the purposes of instruction, she must end her ca 
reer in being eaten up by a wolf. My plan was, in 
short, deemed too utilitarian, too materialistic, and 
hence it was condemned by many persons, and among 
them the larger portion of those who had formed their 
tastes upon the old classics, from Homer down to 
Mother Goose ! 

This was one objection ; another was, that I aimed 
at making education easy thus bringing up the 



312 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

child in habits of receiving knowledge only as made 
into pap, and of course putting it out of his power to 
relish and digest the stronger meat, even when his 
constitution demanded it. The use of engravings in 
books for instruction, was deemed a fatal facility, 
tending to exercise the child in a mere play of the 
senses, while the understanding was left to indolence 
and emaciation. 

On these grounds, and still others, my little books 
met with opposition, sometimes even in grave Quar 
terlies and often in those sanctified publications, en 
titled Journals of Education. In England, at the pe 
riod that the name of Parley was most current both 
in the genuine as well as the false editions the feel 
ing against my j uvenile works was so strong among 
the conservatives, that a formal attempt was made to 
put them down by reviving the old nursery books. 
In order to do this, a publisher in London reproduced 
these works, employing the best artists to illustrate 
them, and bringing them out in all the captivating lux 
uries of modern typography. A quaint, quiet, scholar 
ly old gentleman, called Mr. Felix Summerly a dear 
lover of children was invented to preside over the 
enterprise, to rap the knuckles of Peter Parley, and 
to woo back the erring generation of children to the 
good old orthodox rhymes and jingles of England. 

I need hardly say that this attempt failed of suc 
cess : after two bankruptcies, the bookseller who con 
ducted the enterprise finally abandoned it. Yet such 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 313 

was the reverence at the time for the old favorites of 
the nursery, that a man by the name of Hallo well* 
expended a vast amount of patient research and an 
tiquarian lore, in hunting up and setting before the 
world, the history of these performances, from Hey 
diddle diddle to 

" A farmer went trotting upon his gray mare 
Bumpety, bumpety, bump !" 

To all this I made no direct reply ; I ventured, how 
ever, to suggest my views in the following article 
inserted in Merry s Museum for August, 1846. 

DIALOGUE BETWEEN TIMOTHY AND HIS MOTHER. 

Timothy. Mother ! mother ! do stop a minute, and hear me 
say my poetry ! 

Mother. Your poetry, my son ? Who told you how to make 
poetry 1 

T. Oh, I don t know ; but hear what I have made up. 

M. Well, go on. 

T. Now don t you laugh ; it s all mine. I didn t get a bit of 
it out of a book. Here it is ! 

" Higglety, pigglety, pop I 
The dog has eat the mop ; 
The pig s in a hurry, 
The cat s in a flurry 
^ _ T Higglety, pigglety pop !" 
M. Well, go on. 

T. Why, that s all. Don t you think it pretty good ? 
M. Really, my son, I don t see much sense in it. 
T. Sense f Who ever thought of sense, in poetry? Why, 

* Nursery Rhymes of England, &c., Collected and Edited by Jame 
Orchard Hallowell. 
VOL. II. 14 



314: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

mother, you gave me a book the other day, and it was all poet 
ry, and I don t think there was a bit of sense in the whole of it 
Hear me read. [Beads. ] 

" Hub a dub ! 

Three men in a tub 
And how do you think they got there ? 
The butcher, 
The baker, 

The candlestick-maker, 
They all jumped out of a rotten potato : 
Twas enough, to make a man stare." 
And here s another. 

" A cat came fiddling out of a barn, 
With a pair of bagpipes under her arm ; 
She could sing nothing but fiddle cum fee 
The mouse has married the humblebee 
Pipe, cat dance, mouse 
"We ll have a wedding at our good house !"_, 

And here s another. 

" Hey, diddle, diddle, 

The cat and the fiddle, 
The cow jumped over the moon 

The little dog laughed 

To see the craft, 
And the dish ran after the spoon." 

Now, mother, the book is full of such things as these, and 1 
don t see any meaning in them. 

M. Well, my son, I think as you do : they are really very ab 
surd. 

T. Absurd? Why, then, do you give me such things to read? 

M. Let me ask you a question. Do you not love to read these 
rhymes, even though they are silly? 

T. Yes, dearly. 

M. Well, you have just learned to read, and I thought these 
jingles, silly as they are, might induce you to study your book, 
and make you familiar with reading. 

T. I don t understand you, mother ; but no matter. 

" Higglety, pigglety, pop ! 
The dog has eat the mop ; 
The pig s in a hurry " 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 315 

M. Stop, stop, my son. I choose you should understand me. 
T. But, mother, what s the use of understanding you ? 

" Higglety, pigglety, pop !" 

M. Timothy! 

T. Ma am? 

M. Listen to me, or you will have cause to repent it. Listen 
to what I say 1 I gave you the book to amuse you, and improve 
you in reading, not to form your taste in poetry. 

T. Well, mother, pray forgive me. I did not mean to offend 
you. But I really do love poetry, because it is so silly ! 

" Higglety, pigglety, pop 1" 

M. Don t say that again, Timothy ! 

T. Well, I won t; but I ll say something out of this pretty 
book you gave me. 

" Doodledy, doodledy, dan ! 
I ll have a piper to be my good man 
And if I get less meat, I shall get game 
Doodledy, doodledy, dan I" 

M. That s enough, my son. 

T. But, dear mother, do hear me read another. 

" We re all in the dumps, 

For diamonds are trumps 
The kittens are gone to St. Paul s 

The babies are bit, 

The moon s in a fit 
And the houses are built without walls." 

M. I do not wish to hear any more. 
T. One more ; one more, dear mother ! 

" Bound about round about 

Maggoty pie 
My father loves good ale, 
And so do I." 

Don t you like that, mother ? 

M. No ; it is too coarse, and unfit to be read or spoken 

T. But it is here in this pretty book you gave me, and I like 



316 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

it very much, mother. And here is a poem, which I think 
very fine. 

" One-ery, two-ery, 

Ziccary zan, 

Hollow bone, crack a bone 

Ninery ten : 

Spittery spat, 

It must be done, 

Twiddledum, tweddledum, 

Twenty-one, 

Hink, spink, the puddings stink " 

M. Stop, stop, my son. Are you not ashamed to say such 
things ? 

T. Ashamed? No, mother. Why should I be? It s all 
printed here as plain as day. Ought I to be ashamed to say 
any thing that I find in a pretty book you have given me ? Just 
hear the rest of this. 

" Hink, spink, the puddings " 

M. Give me the book, Timothy. I see that I have made a 
mistake ; it is not a proper book for you. 

T. Well, you may take the book ; but I can say the rhymes, 
for I have learned them all by heart. 

" Hink, spink, the puddings " 

M. Timothy, how dare you ! 

T. Well, mother, I won t say it, if you don t wish me to. But 
mayn t I say 

"Higglety, pigglety, pop !" 

M. I had rather you would not. 

T. And " Doodledy, doodledy, dan" mayn t I say that ? 

M. No. 

T. Nor "Hey, diddle, diddle?" 

M. I do not wish you to say any of those silly things. 

T. Dear me, what shall I do ? 

M. I had rather you would learn some good, sensible things. 

T. Such as what? 

M. Watts s Hymns, and Original Hymns. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 317 

T. Do you call them sensible things? I hate em. 
" Doodledy, doodledy, dan !" 

M. [Aside.} Dear, dear, what shall I do? The boy has got 
his head turned with these silly rhymes. It was really a very 
unwise thing to put a book into his hands, so full of nonsense 
and vulgarity. These foolish rhymes stick like burs in his mind, 
and the coarsest and vilest seem to be best remembered. I must 
remedy this mistake; but I see it will take all my wit to do it. 
[Aloud."] Timothy, you must give me up this book, and I will 
get you another. 

T. Well, mother, I am sorry to part with it ; but I don t care 
so much about it, as I know all the best of it by heart. 
" Hink, spink, the puddings stink" 

M. Timothy, you ll have a box on the ear, if you repeat that . 
T. Well, I suppose I can say, 

" Bound about round about 
Maggoty pie " 

M. You go to bed ! 

T. Well, if I must, I must. Good-night, mother 1 

" Higglety, pigglety, pop ! 
The dog has eat the mop ; 
The cat s in a flurry, 
The cow s in a hurry, 
Higglety, pigglety, pop 1" 

Good-night, mother 1 

I trust, my friend, you. will not gather from this that 
I condemn rhymes for children. I know that there is 
a certain music in them that delights the ear of child 
hood. Nor am I insensible to the fact that in Mother 
Goose s Melodies, there is frequently a sort of humor 
in the odd jingle of sound and sense. There is, fur 
thermore, in many of them, an historical significance, 
which may please the profound student who puzzles 



318 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

it out ; but what I affirm is, that many of these pieces 
are coarse, vulgar, offensive, and it is precisely these 
portions that are apt to stick to the minds of chil 
dren. And besides, if, as is common, such a book 
is the first that a child becomes acquainted with, 
it is likely to give him a low idea of the purpose and 
meaning of books, and to beget a taste for mere 
jingles. 

With these views, I sought to prepare lessons 
which combined the various elements suited to chil 
dren a few of them even including frequent, repeti 
tious rhymes yet at the same time presenting rational 
ideas and gentle kindly sentiments. Will you ex 
cuse me for giving you one example my design 
being to show you how this may be done, and how 
even a very unpromising subject is capable of being 
thus made attractive to children. 



Oli, gentle stranger, stop, 
And hear poor little Hop 
Just sing a simple song, 
Which is not very long 
Hip, hip, hop. 

I am an honest toad, 
Living here by the road ; 
Beneath a stone I dwell, 
In a snug little cell, 
Hip, hip, hop. 

It may seem a sad lot 
To live in such a spot 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOT1CAL, ETC. 319 

But what I say is trne 
I have fun as well as you ! 
Hip, hip, hop. 

Just listen to my song 
I sleep all winter long, 
But in spring I peep out, 
And then I jump about 
Hip, hip, hop. 

"When the rain patters down, 
I let it wash ray crown, 
And now and then I sip 
A drop with my lip : 
Hip, hip, hop. 

"When the bright sun is set, 
And the grass with dew is wet, 
I sally from my cot, 
To see what s to be got, 
Hip, hip, hop. 

And now I wink my eye, 
And now I catch a fly, 
And now I take a peep, 
And now and then I sleep : 
Hip, hip, hop. 

And this is all I do 
And yet they say it s true, 
That the toady s face is sad, 
And his bite is very bad ! 
Hip, hip, hop. 

Oh, naughty folks they be, 
That tell such tales of me, 
For I m an honest toad, 
Just living by the road : 
Hip, hip, hop ! 



820 LETTP:RS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

These were my ideas in regard to first books toy 
books those which are put into the hands of chil 
dren, to teach them the art of reading. As to books 
of amusement and instruction, to follow these, I gave 
them Parley s tales of travels, of history, of nature, 
and art, together with works designed to cultivate 
a love of truth, charity, piety, and virtue, and I 
sought to make these so attractive as to displace 
the bad books, to which I have already alluded 
the old monstrosities, Puss in Boots, Jack the Giant- 
killer, and others of that class.* A principal part 

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 321 

of my machinery was the character of Peter Parley 
a kind-hearted old man, who had seen much of the 
world and not presuming to undertake to instruct 
older people, loved to sit down and tell his stories 
to children. Beyond these juvenile works, I pre 
pared a graduated series upon the same general plan, 
reaching up to books for the adult library ; and thus 
I attained one hundred and seventy volumes. 

It is true that occasionally I wrote and publishe 1 
a book, aside from this, my true vocation ; thus I edit 
ed the Token, and published two or three volumes of 
poetry. Bat out of all my works, about a hundred 
and twenty are professedly juvenile ; and forty are 
for my early readers, advanced to maturity. It is 
true that I have written openly, avowedly, to attract 
and to please children ; yet it has been my design at 
the same time to enlarge the circle of knowledge, 
to invigorate the understanding, to strengthen the 
moral nerve, to purify and exalt the imagination. 
Such have been my aims ; how far I have succeeded, 
I must leave to the judgment of others. One thing 
I may perhaps claim, and that is, my example and 
my success have led others of higher gifts than 
my own to enter the ample and noble field 



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

U* 



322 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

nile instruction by means of books ; many of them 
have no doubt surpassed me, and others will still 
follow, surpassing them. I look upon the art of wri 
ting for children and youth, advanced as it has been 
of late years, still as but just begun. 



LETTER L. 

Journey to the South Anecdotes Reception at New Orleans. 

MY DEAR C****** 

If thus I met with opposition, I had also my 
success, nay, I must say, my triumphs. My first pa 
trons were the children themselves, then the mothers, 
and then, of course, the fathers. In the early part of 
the year 1846, 1 made a trip from Boston to the South, 
returning by the way of the Mississippi and the Ohio. 
I received many a kind welcome under the name of 
the fictitious hero whom I had made to tell my stories. 
Sometimes, it is true, I underwent rather sharp cross- 
questioning, and frequently was made to feel that I 
held my honors by a rather questionable title. I, who 
had undertaken to teach truth, was forced to confess 
that fiction lay at the foundation of my scheme ! My 
innocent young readers, however, did not suspect me : 
they had taken all I had said as positively true, and 
1 was of course Peter Parley himself. 

" Did you really write that book about Africa ?" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 323 

said a black-eyed, dark-haired girl of some eight years 
old, at Mobile. 

I replied in the affirmative. 

" And did you really get into prison, there ?" 

" No ; I was never in Africa." 

"Never in Africa?" 

" Never." 

" Well, then, why did you say you had been there ?" 

On another occasion, I think at Savannah, a gen 
tleman called upon me, introducing his two grand 
children, who were anxious to see Peter Parley. The 
girl rushed up to me, and gave me a ringing kiss at 
once. We were immediately the best friends in the 
world. The boy, on the contrary, held himself aloof, 
and ran his eye over me, up and down, from top to 
toe. He then walked around, surveying me with the 
most scrutinizing gaze. After this, he sat down, and 
during the interview, took no further notice of me. 
At parting, he gave me a keen look, but said not a 
word. The next day the gentleman called and told 
me that his grandson, as they were on their way 
home, said to him 

" Grandfather, I wouldn t have any thing to do 
with that man : he ain t Peter Parley." 

" How do you know that ?" said the grandfather. 

" Because," said the boy, " he hasn t got his foot 
bound up, and he don t walk with a crutch !"* 

* The little book entitled "Parley s Method of Telling about Geogra 
phy to Children" had a picture, drawn by Tisdale, representing Parley 



324: LETTEltd BIOGRAPHICAL, 

On my arrival at New Orleans I was kindly re 
ceived, and had the honors of a public welcome. The 
proceedings were published in the papers at the time, 
and I here inclose you a copy of them, which I take 
from the Boston Courier of March 21st, 1846. You 
will readily perceive the egotism implied in placing 
before you such a record as this ; but if I chronicle 
my failures and my trials, must I not, as a faithful 
scribe, tell you also of my success? If you reply that 
I might do it in a more modest way than thus to 
spread the whole proceedings before you, I answer, 
that in sending you this document, I by no means 
require you to read it. If you do read it, you will 
have a right to laugh at my vanity : if not, I trust 
you will hold your peace. 

S. G. GOODRICH AT NEW ORLEANS. 

As it may gratify many of our readers, and especially the 
friends of Peter Parley, we give in full the proceedings at New 
Orleans, which took place on the 28th of February last. The 
following is the report as published in the New Orleans Com 
mercial Times of March 2d : 

COMPLIMENT TO ME. GOODRICH, the author of Parley s Tales. 
Our fellow- citizens are already aware that soon after Mr. Good- 
rich s arrival in our city, a large subscription, by our leading 
gentlemen, was filled, with a view to give him the compliment 
of a public dinner. But Mr. Goodrich s stay being too short 

Kitting in a chair, with his lame foot bound up, and a crutch at his side, 
while he is saying to the boys around "Take care, don t touch my 
gouty toe ; if you do, I won t tell you any more stories !" Of this work 
two millions were sold, and of course Parley and his crutch were pretty 
generally associated together, in the minds of children. 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 325 

to allow of completing these arrangements, advantage was taken 
of the polite offer of Alfred Hennen, Esq., to give him a public 
reception at his house, under the auspices of the officers of the 
People s Lyceum, and some of our most prominent citizens. 
Accordingly, the ceremony took place on Saturday the 28th, 
between twelve and three o clock. During this period there 
was assembled an immense crowd of children, mothers, teachers, 
and friends of education, eager to give the author of Parley s 
Tales a hearty welcome. Among the throng we noticed Mr. 
Clay, the Governor and Lieutenant-governor, Mayor, Recorder^ 
Speaker of the House, and several members of the legislature. 
The scene was one of the most cheerful and agreeable we ever 
witnessed. While the leading visitors were present, the follow 
ing address, in substance, was made by M. M. Cohen, Esq., 
President of the People s Lyceum : 

" Mr. Goodrich, or, as we all love to call you, Peter Parley 
The too kind partiality of indulgent friends of yours, has induced 
them to select me as their organ to address you on the present 
occasion. Their request was this morning conveyed to me on 
my way to the Commercial Court, where I have been engaged in 
a very dull, dry law case. The judge of that court has been 
pleased to allow me a few minutes to run up here and to say 
something to you, though what that something is, I have not 
yet any very clear perception. I can only hope, sir, that you 
have a much more assured knowledge of the reply which you 
are about to make to such remarks as I may offer, than I have 
at present of what my remarks may be. Yet, though I am 
wholly unprepared for the occasion, I should pity the heart that 
could remain so cold and callous to every noble emotion, as not 
to gather warmth and inspiration from the beaming eyes of 
beautiful mothers and the glad faces of happy children, smiling 
around us. But, sir, I am here as the representative of others, 
and will say to you what 1 presume they would say, if all were 
to speak at once. 

"Permit me, then, in behalf of these friends and fellow- 



326 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

citizens, and what is more, and much better and brighter in 
behalf of our better halves the ladies, God bless em! to 
express the pleasure they derive from your visit to New Orleans, 
to welcome you to this hospitable mansion of our enlightened 
host, Mr. Hennen, on this the last day of your sojourn in our 
city. Let me assure you how glad and grateful they all are ot 
this opportunity, which enables them as is the expression in 
some parts of our country to put your face to your name, 
and to say to your face what they have so often said behind 
your back. that they regard you as a blessed benefactor to the 
youth of the rising generation, as one who has emphatically 
earned the proud and endearing appellation of VAmi des En^ 
fans: 

" For, sir, who knows into how many thousand habitations 
in the United States Peter Parley s works have found their way, 
and made the hearts of the inmates glad, and kept them pure ? 
"Who can tell how oft, in the humble cottage of the poor, sorrow 
has been soothed and labor lightened, as the fond mother read 
to her listening child Peter Parley s Tales, while tears of pity 
started in their glistening eyes, or pleasure shook their infant 
frames ? 

" I have just alluded, sir, to the genial influence of your works 
in the United States. The immortal bard of Avon has said 

" How far that little candle throws his beams ! 
So shines a good deed in a naughty world. 

But your name has crossed the Atlantic ; and, in the hope of 
instilling into the minds of the youth now present a salutary 
proof how far good works will travel, permit me to read to them 
the following note, which has just been handed to me : 

"NEW ORLEANS, February 28th, 1846. 

"DEAR SIR: Having, with much pleasure, this moment understood 
that you, as the President of the People s Lyceum, have been requested 
to say something to-day to the universal friend of Children, Peter Par 
ley, perhaps it would be interesting to you that I should state one or 
two anecdotes in reference to the name and fume of that distinguished 
character. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 327 

" When in London, I rarely ever passed a place where notices are 
allowed to be pasted up, without having my eyes gladdened with the 
sight of the name of Peter Parley. These announcements were made 
to carry gladness to the hearts of children. On such occasions, I often 
amused myself by stopping to witness the erfect upon the children as 
they passed along in the streets. Such as the following scene was of 
frequent occurrence. When they cast their eyes upon these announce 
ments it really appeared as though they had been touched by an electric 
spark which filled their hearts with joy. They would jump and frisk 
about, clap their hands, dance and stamp in front of these big handbills, 
and sing out in the perfect fullness of delight, begging their mothers or 
nurses to go away to the bookstore and get them the new Peter Parley. 
Sometimes I have heard them thus answered : Oh no, you can not have 
Peter Parley, because you have been a bad little child, and none but 
good children are allowed to read Peter Parley. The child, with tears 
glistening in its eyes, would reply: Oh, indeed, indeed, ma, if you will 
only get me Peter Parley this time, I will never be bad again. I con 
cluded, from what I saw, that all children in that country were taught 
to feel that it was a privilege and luxury to read Peter Parley. 

" On more than one occasion, when spending a few days among the 
delightful cottages of our fatherland, have I witnessed the congrega 
tion of children called from the nursery to the drawing-room, when 
they would come bounding and shaking their locks, singing out Oh, 
mamma, why did you send for us so soon ? we were reading such a pretty 
story from Peter Parley ! A new work from Peter Parley was always 
welcomed as a species of carnival among children. I thought, here is a 
grateful answer to the question once bitterly and tauntingly asked 
What man in England ever reads an American book? Availing my 
self of the prerogative of my countrymen, I answer by asking What 
child is there in England so unfortunate as not to have read Peter 
Parley ? 

"A short time after his return from England, Mr. Webster said to me 
These are the American names which are better and more universally 
known and admired in England than all other American names put to 
gether, and he asked me if I was Yankee enough to guess who they 
were. I answered, Washington, and Chief-justice Marshall. No, said 
he, I mean living persons and they are Judge Story, and Peter Parley ; 
for while the former is known to every lawyer in England, and generally 
among the educated classes, the latter lias the entire possession of the 
young hearts of old England. He added that whenever he went into an 
English family, and the children were brought in and presented to him 
as Mr. Webster, an American gentleman they would be sure, with 
scarcely a single exception, to approach him, and looking him in the face, 
with the utmost curiosity, would say L)o you know Peter Parley ? 

"Such facts as these were always delightful to an American when 
abroad. It made me feel proud of my country. And while I looked 



328 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

upon scenes which must be ever interesting to every right-thinking 
American, and acknowledged with gratitude my obligations to the land 
of Shakspeare and Milton, of Burke and Junius, I felt that we were fast 
compensating that debt by worthy productions from the pure and classic 
pens of Irving, Prescott, Bancroft, and Peter Parley. 
" Respectfully yours, 

" GKEEK B. DUNCAN. 
"M. M. COHEN, Pres. People s Lyceum." 

" To this note I will only add that, not a moment ago, a gen 
tleman from Greece assured me that your works were well 
known in his country, and one from England has just declared 
that although he learned to-day, for the first time, that Peter 
Parley was an American, yet that his books were known and 
admired all over Great Britain. 

u You came, sir, to New Orleans unheralded, unannounced 
nor military guards, nor glittering arms, nor streaming banners, 
nor artillery, accompanied your steps. Neither trumpets 
clangor, nor cannon s roar, nor ear-piercing fife, nor spirit- 
stirring drum gave token of your arrival. A plain citizen you 
had been in your beautiful brown cottage near Boston 
at once the cradle of liberty and of literature in slippers and 
night-cap, carving out with the pen a better immortality than 
military chieftains achieve with the sword ! There, at Jamaica 
Plain, you were writing for young misses and masters little 
Peter Parley stories, and you all the while little dreaming of 
what a great man you were becoming 

" Great, not like Caesar, stained with blood 
But only great as you are good. 

" Farewell, sir, and when you leave us, be sure that when 
the curfew tolls the knell of parting day or in plainer words, 
Mr. Parley, when little boys and girls have had their bread and 
milk and are going to bed, and when church-bells ring to Sun 
day-school then will 

" Infant hands be raised in prayer, 

That God may bless you and may spare. 

" Once more, farewell ! May you live long years of happiness, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 329 

fts you must of honor ; and when you die, may your works, 
in one sense, not follow after yon, but remain on earth, to 
profit and delight, and be, like your fame, immortal!" 

To which Mr. Goodrich replied as follows : 

u Mr. President It would be idle affectation in me to pretend 
that this cheerful spectacle, your kind and flattering words, the 
welcome in these faces around, are not a source of the liveliest 
gratification to myself personally. Yet, if I were to regard this 
occasion as designed merely to bestow upon me a passing com 
pliment, on my first visit to the Crescent City, I should feel a 
degree of humiliation for it would force me to consider how 
little I have achieved, compared with what remains to be done, 
and how disproportioned are these manifestations of regard to 
any merits which I can presume to claim. From the moment I 
set my foot in New Orleans, I have been greeted by a succession 
of agreeable surprises ; and nothing has interested me more than 
the enlightened state of public opinion which I find to exist here 
in respect to popular education. I am at no loss to discover, in 
the hospitality with which I have been greeted, a lively appre 
ciation of the great subject to which my humble labors in life 
have been directed ; and it adds to my gratification to find this 
deeper meaning in the present scene. 

" Considering the position of New Orleans, I have looked with 
peculiar satisfaction upon your public schools. Some of them 
would be deemed excellent in any part of New England nay, 
in Boston itself. Nor is this all; these institutions, as I learn, 
are mainly supported by the popular vote by self-taxation. 
This marks a great advance in civilization, and insures, from this 
time forward, a constant progress toward perfection. There is 
always a sharp contest between light and darkness, bi/hvtvn 
ignorance and knowledge, before the mass of society will come 
up to the work, and support public instruction at the public 
expense. That battle has been fought here, and it has resulted 
in the triumph of truth and humanity. There is, if I may be 
permitted the allusion, a closer association between Plymouth 



330 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Kock and New Orleans than I had imagined. You have here 
both faith and icorks. Your schools declare that the wise and 
philanthropic social principles of the Pilgrims have taken root 
in the midst of a city signalized over the world by the extent and 
activity of its commerce. 

" Nor is this subject only to bo viewed as it respects New 
Orleans itself. If I rightly judge, you have a mission to perform 
even beyond this. The Crescent City is indeed the favorite 
daughter of the great Father of Waters, into whose lap he 
pours his unmeasured harvests. It is the commercial empo 
rium of the finest valley on the globe, receiving a tribute which 
no one can estimate who has not looked upon your wondrous 
levee. Yet it is and is to be, perhaps for centuries to come, 
even something more the metropolis of opinion, of fashion 
giving social law to the millions of to-day, and the millions 
which are to follow in the boundless West. If we consider the 
ascendency which New Orleans has already acquired, especially 
in comparison with the infancy of many of our southwestern 
settlements, it is surely not extravagant to regard her influence 
and example, in many things, as likely to be little less than de 
cisive. We may, therefore, consider the Mississippi under the 
image of a mighty tree, whose foot is on the verge of the tropics, 
while its tops are playing with the snows of the icy north. New 
Orleans stands at the root, and must furnish the sap, at least to 
some extent, which circulates through branches that spread over 
a surface equal to one-half the extent of Europe, and thus giving 
character, for good or ill, to the fruit that may follow. In this 
view, your position becomes intensely interesting, and it may 
serve to give added impulse to that patr:;otism and philanthropy 
which are at work among you. 

"As I see around me some of your public functionaries the 
master-minds of the State and as, moreover, the subject of 
public instruction is occupying the attention of the legislature, 
assembled under your new constitution, I may be excused for 
saying a few words, of a general nature, upon this topic. It 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 331 

might sound trite and common-place, if I were to say that edu 
cation is the only ladder by which mankind can ascend from 
barbarism to civilization, from ignorance to knowledge, from 
darkness to light, from earth to heaven. Yet, if this be true, 
can public men rulers and lawgivers be excused, if they seek 
not to furnish this ladder to every individual in the State? And 
let them bear in mind that the controlling lessons of life are given 
in childhood. Men are hard, and repel instruction. Youth is 
plastic, and readily takes the impress of the die that is set upon 
it. If a giant should undertake to give symmetry of form to the 
aged oak, he might momentarily subdue its gnarled and jagged 
branches to his will ; but if they fly not back and strike him in 
the face, ere to-morrow s sun every limb and fiber will have 
returned to its wonted position. Thus it is that, in dealing with 
grown-up, obdurate men, the highest talent exerted for their 
good is often baffled, and perhaps repaid by ingratitude or re 
proach. On the other hand, how different is it with youth! 
Like saplings in the nursery, they readily take the form or char 
acter which a kindly hand may bestow. The humble gardener, 
only able to carry a watering-pot in one hand and a priming- 
knife in the other, may rear up a whole forest of trees, beautiful 
in form, and productive of the choicest fruits. What field so 
wide, so promising, in every point of view so inviting, so worthy 
the attention of the patriot and statesman, as the national nur 
sery, budding by millions into life and immortality ? 

" I should not be excused, were I to omit saying a few words 
to the mothers here present. From the moment that a woman 
becomes a mother, we all know that dearer interests than houses 
or lands are henceforth invested in the offspring. How hopeful, 
how fearful, are her duties now ! Washington and Napoleon, 
Howard and Robespierre, were children once, and each upon a 
mother s knee. What mighty issues for good or ill are before 
the mother, in the possible consequences of the education she 
may give her child ! Yet I would not lay upon her heart a 
responsibility which might seem too great to bear. The best of 



332 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

books, as well as universal experience, are full of encouragement 
to the faithful mother. If she performs her duty, God and na 
ture take her part. She is the first divinity before which the 
budding spirit worships. The lessons which are gathered then, 
are likely to exert a controlling influence upon its after destiny. 
The child may be compared to a stream, and the parent to the 
mother earth over which it flows. She may not, can not stop 
its progress, but she may guide its course. She may trace out a 
channel in which it will be prone to flow, and after having fer 
tilized and blessed its borders, it will find its way in peace to the 
great reservoir of waters. If, on the contrary, the mother neg 
lect or misguide her offspring, it may, like a torrent, rush on, 
and after spreading desolation on every side, disappear in some 
sandy desert, or lose itself amid dreary and pestilent marshes. 

" And now, one word to my juvenile friends those who have 
received me with such winning smiles one word to them. I 
dare not begin to tell them stories in the character of their old 
friend Peter Parley, for I should not know where to leave off. 
But let me repeat what I said to those whom I met the other 
day on the celebration of Washington s birthday come and 
see me when you visit Boston ! You will find me in a brown 
house, some four miles out of town, in a pleasant village called 
Jamaica Plain. Come one and come all, and be assured of a 
hearty welcome. And that you may bring some sign that we 
have met before, please remember these lines 

"Ne er till to-morrow s light delay 
What rnuy as well be done to-day 
Ne er do the thing you d wish undone, 
Viewed by to-morrow s rising sun. 

" If you will practise according to these verses, you will not 
only gratify your old friend who addresses you, but you will win 
the world s favor. Farewell!" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 333 



LETTER LI. 

Retrospection Confessions Tlw mice among my papers A reckoning 
with the past. 

MY DEAR C****** 

In the three preceding letters I have spoken 
chiefly of the books I have written for children, and 
the true design of which was as much to amuse as 
to instruct them. These comprise the entire series 
called Parley s Tales, with many others, bearing Par 
ley s name. As to works for education school- 
books, including readers, histories, geographies, &c., 
books for popular reading, and a wilderness of prose 
and poetry, admitting of no classification I have 
only to refer you to the catalogue already men 
tioned. Let me cheer you with the statement that 
this is the closing chapter of my literary history. I 
have little indeed to say, and that is a confession. 

In looking at the long list of my publications, in 
reflecting upon the large numbers that have been 
sold, I feel far more of humiliation than of triumph. 
If I have sometimes taken to heart the soothing flat 
teries of the public, it has ever been speedily succeed 
ed by the conviction that my life has been, on the 
whole, a series of mistakes, and especially in that por 
tion of it which has been devoted to authorship. I 
have written too much, and have done nothing really 



334: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

well. You need not whisper it to the public, at least 
until I am gone ; but I know, better than any one 
can tell me, that there is nothing in this long cata 
logue that will give me a permanent place in liter 
ature. A few things may struggle upon the surface 
for a time, but like the last leaves of a tree in au 
tumn, forced at last to quit their hold, and cast into 
the stream even these will disappear, and my name 
and all I have done will be forgotten. 

A recent event, half ludicrous and half melan 
choly, has led me into this train of reflection. On 
going to Europe in 1851, 1 sent my books and papers 
to a friend, to be kept till my return. Among them 
was a large box of business documents letters, ac 
counts, receipts, bills paid, notes liquidated compri 
sing the transactions of several years, long since passed 
away. Shortly after my return to New York some 
three months ago in preparing to establish myself 
and family here, I caused these things to be sent to 
me. On opening the particular box just mentioned, 
I found it a complete mass of shavings, shreds, frag 
ments. My friend had put it carefully away in the 
upper loft of his barn, and there it became converted 
into a universal mouse-nest ! The history of whole 
generations of the mischievous little rogues was still 
visible ; beds, galleries, play-grounds, birth-places, 
and even graves, were in a state of excellent preser 
vation. Several wasted and shriveled forms of va 
rious sizes the limbs curled up, the eyes extinct, the 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 335 

teeth disclosed, the long, slender tails straight and 
stiffened testified to the joys and sorrows of the 
races that had flourished here. 

On exploring this mass of ruins, I discovered here 
and there a file of letters eaten through, the hollow 
cavity evidently having been the happy and innocent 
cradle of childhood, to these destroyers. Sometimes 
I found a bed lined with paid bills, and sometimes 
the pathway of a gallery paved with liquidated ac 
counts. What a mass of thoughts, of feelings, cares, 
anxieties, were thus made the plunder of these 
thoughtless creatures! In examining the papers, I 
found, for instance, letters from N. P. Willis, written 
five and twenty years ago, with only "Dear Sir" at 
the beginning and "Yours truly" at the end. I 
found epistles of nearly equal antiquity signed N. 
Hawthorne, Catharine M. Sedgwick, Maria L. Child, 
Lydia H. Sigourney, Willis Gay lord Clark, Grenville 
Mellen, William L. Stone, J. G. C. Brainard some 
times only the heart eaten out, and sometimes the 
whole body gone. 

For all purposes of record, these papers were de 
stroyed. I was alone, for my family had not yet 
returned from Europe ; it was the beginning of No 
vember, and I began to light my fire with these relics. 
For two whole days I pored over them, buried in 
the reflections which the reading of the fragments 
suggested. Absorbed in this dreary occupation, 1 
forgot the world without, and was only conscious oi 



336 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

bygone scenes which came up in review before me. 
It was as if I had been in the tomb, and was reckon 
ing with the past. How little was there in all that I 
was thus called to remember save of care, and strug 
gle, and anxiety ; and how were all the thoughts, 
and feelings, and experiences, which seemed moun 
tains in their day, leveled down to the merest grains 
of dust ! A note of hand perchance of a thousand 
dollars what a history rose up in recollection as T 
looked over its scarcely legible fragments : what 
clouds of anxiety had its approaching day of maturity 
cast over my mind! How had I been with a trem 
bling heart to some bank-president* he a god, and 
I a craven worshiper making my offering of some 
other note for a discount, which might deliver me 
from the wrath to come ! With what anxiety have 
I watched the lips of the oracle for my fate was in 
his hands ! A simple monosyllable yes or no 
might save or ruin me. What a history was in that 
bit of paper and yet it was destined only to serve 
as stuffing for the beds of vermin ! Such are the ag 
onies, the hopes, and fears of the human heart, put 
into the crucible of time ! 



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



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 337 

I ought, no doubt, to have smiled at all this but 
I confess it made me serious. Nor was it the most 
humiliating part of my reflections. I have been too 
familiar with care, conflict, disappointment, to mourn 
over them very deeply, now that they were passed ; 
the seeming fatuity of such a mass of labors as these 
papers indicated, compared with their poor results 
however it might humble, it could not distress me. 
But there were many things suggested by these let 
ters, all in rags as they were, that caused positive 
humiliation. They revived in my mind the vex- 
ations, misunderstandings, controversies of other 
days; and now, reviewed in the calm light of time, I 
could discover the mistakes of judgment, of temper, 
of policy, that I had made. I turned back to my 
letter-book ; I reviewed my correspondence and I 
came to the conclusion that in almost every difficulty 
which had arisen in my path, even if others were 
wrong, I was not altogether right: in most cases, 
prudence, conciliation, condescension, might have 
averted these evils. Thus the thorns which had 
wounded me and others too, as it seemed, had gener 
ally sprung up from the seeds I had sown, or had 
thriven upon the culture my own hands had un 
wisely, perhaps unwittingly bestowed. 

At first I felt disturbed at the ruin which had been 
wrought in these files of papers. Hesitating and 
doubtful, I consigned them one by one to the flames, 
At last the work was complete ; all had perished, and 

VOL. II. 15 



338 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the feathery ashes had leaped up in the strong draft 
of the chimney and disappeared forever. I felt a 
relief at last; I smiled at what had happened; I 
warmed my chill fingers over the embers ; I felt that 
a load was off my shoulders. " At least" said I in 
my heart " these things are now past ; my reckon 
ing is completed, the account is balanced, the respon 
sibilities of those bygone days are liquidated. Let me 
burden my bosom with them no more !" Alas, how 
fallacious my calculation ! A few months only had 
passed, when I was called to contend with a formi 
dable claim which came up from the midst of trans 
actions, to which these extinct papers referred, and 
against which they constituted my defence. As it 
chanced, I was able to meet and repel it by docu 
ments which survived, but the event caused me deep 
reflection. I could not but remark that, however we 
may seek to cover our lives with forgetful ness, their 
records still exist, and these may come up against us 
when we have no vouchers to meet the charges which 
are thus presented. Who then will be our helper? 
" I will think of that I will think of that I" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 839 



LETTER III. 

Speech at St. Allans Lecture upon Ireland and the Irish The Broad- 
street Riot Burning the Charlestown Convent My Political Career^- 
A. H. Everett The Fifteen Gallon Jug The Harrison Campaign of 
1840 Hard Cider and Log Cabins Universal Bankruptcy Election, 
of Harrison His Death Consequences Anecdotes The Stnall Tail 
Movement A Model Candidate William Cpp, or /Shingling a Barn. 

MY DEAK C****** 

The first public speech I ever made was at St. 
Albans, England, in June, 1832, at a grand celebra 
tion of the passage of the Reform Bill,* having ac 
companied thither Sir Francis Vincent, the represen- 



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

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



34:0 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

tative in Parliament of that ancient borough. More 
than three thousand people, men, women, and chil 
dren, gathered from the town and the vicinity, were 
feasted at a long table, set out in the principal street 
of the place. After this feast there were various 
sports, such as donkey races, climbing a greased pole, 
and the like. At six o clock, about one hundred and 
fifty of the gentry and leading tradesmen and me 
chanics, sat down to a dinner, Sir Francis presiding. 
The President of the United States was toasted, and 
I was called upon to respond. Entirely taken by sur 
prise, for not a word had been said to me upon the 
subject, I made a speech. I could never recall what 
I said : all I remember is a whirl of thoughts and 
emotions as I rose, occasional cries of " hear ! hear !" 
as I went on, and a generous clapping of hands as 



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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETO. 34:1 

I wound off. Whether this last was because I really 
made a good hit, or from another principle 

" The best of Graham s speeches was Jiu last" 

I am totally unable to say. 

My next public appearance was in a lecture at the 
Tremont Temple, in Boston my subject beinglreland 
and the Irish. Although my discourse was written, 
and pretty well committed to memory, yet for several 
days before the time appointed for its delivery ar 
rived when I thought of my engagement, my heart 
rolled over with a heavy and sinking sensation. 
When the hour came, I went to the door of the room, 
but on seeing the throng of persons collected, I felt 
that my senses were deserting me : turning on my 
heel, I went out, and going to Smith, the apothecary 
fortified myself with some peppermint lozenges. 
When I got back, the house was waiting with impa 
tience. I was immediately introduced to the audi 
ence by Dr. Walter Channing, and stepping upon the 
platform, began. After the first sentence, I was per 
fectly at my ease. I need only add that I repeated 
the same lecture more than forty times.* 

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



342 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

In the autumn of 1836 there was a large evening 

party at Jamaica Plain, at the house of Mrs. G , 

the lady patroness of the village. Among the nota 
bles present was Daniel Webster, whom I had fre 
quently seen, but to whom I was now introduced for 
the first time. He spoke to me of many things, and 
at last of politics, suggesting that the impending pres 
idential election involved most important questions, 
and he deemed it the duty of every man to reflect 
upon the subject, and to exert his influence as his 
conscience might dictate. 

Since my residence in Massachusetts, a period of 
nearly eight years, I had been engrossed in my busi 
ness, and had never even cast a vote. Just at this 
time I was appointed, without any suggestion of my 
own, one of the delegates to the whig convention to 
nominate a person to represent us the Ninth Con 
gressional District in Congress. This was to take 
place at Medway, at the upper end of the district. I 
went accordingly, and on the first ballot, was the 
highest candidate, save one Mr. Hastings, of Men- 
don. I declined of course, and he was unanimously 
nominated. 

The canvass that ensued was a very animated one, 



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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 343 

Mr. Van Buren being the democratic candidate for 
the presidency. He was considered as the heir- 
apparent of the policy of Gen. Jackson, and had in 
deed promised, if elected, to walk in the footsteps of 
his illustrious predecessor. Without the personal 
popularity of that remarkable man, he became the 
target for all the hostility which his measures had 
excited. He was, however, elected, but to be over 
whelmed with a whirlwind of discontent and oppo 
sition four years after. 

The candidate for Congress in our district in oppo 
sition to Mr. Hastings, was Alexander H. Everett, 
who had been hitherto a conspicuous whig, and who 
had signalized himself by the ability and the bitter 
ness of his attacks on Gen. Jackson and his admin 
istration. He had singled out Mr. Yan Buren for 
especial vehemence of reproach, because, being Secre 
tary of State at the time, Mr. Everett was superseded 
as Minister to Spain without the customary courtesy 
of an official note advising him of the appointment of 
his successor. To the amazement of the public in gen 
eral and his friends in particular, on the 8th January, 
1836, Mr. Everett delivered an oration before the de 
mocracy of Salem, in which ignoring the most prom 
inent portion of his political life he came out with 
the warmest eulogies upon Gen. Jackson and his ad 
ministration ! About the first of May, the precise 
period when it was necessary, in order to render him 
disable to Congress in the Ninth District, he took up 



344: LETTEKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

his residence within its precincts, and, as was easily 
foreseen, was the democratic candidate for Congress. 

The whig district committee, of which I was one, 
and Charles Bowen, Mr. Everett s publisher, anoth 
er issued a pamphlet, collating and contrasting 
Mr. Everett s two opinions of General Jackson s 
policy, and especially of Mr. Van Buren the one 
flatly contradicting the other, and, in point of date, 
being but two or three years apart. This was cir 
culated over the towns of the district. It was a ter 
rible document, and Mr. Everett felt its force. One 
of them was left at his own door in the general dis 
tribution. This he took as a personal insult, and 
meeting Bowen, knocked him over the head with his 
"umbrella. Bowen clutched him by the throat, and 
would have strangled him but for the timely interfe 
rence of a bystander. 

I had been among Mr. Everett s personal friends, 
but he now made me the object of special attack. 
A paper, then conducted by B. F. H . . . ., circu 
lated a good deal in the district, and here, under the 
name of Peter Parley, I was severely lashed, not 
because I was a candidate for office, but because I 
was chairman of the whig district committee. I rec 
ollect that one day some rather scandalous thing came 
out against me in the editorial columns of this journal, 
and feeling very indignant, I went to see the editor. 
I did not know him personally, but from occasionally 
reading his paper, I had got the idea that he was a 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 34:5 

very monster of violence and vandalism. He was 
not at the office, but such was m}^ irritation and im 
patience that I went to his house. I rang, and a 
beautiful black-eyed girl, some eight years old, came 
to the door. I asked if Mr. H. was in ? " Mother," 
said the child, in a voice of silver, " is father at 
home ?" At this moment another child, and still 
younger its bullet-pate all over curls came to the 
door. Then a mild and handsome woman came, and 
to my inquiry she said that her husband was out, 
but would return in a few moments. 

My rage was quelled in an instant. " So," said I 
to myself, " these children call that man father, and 
this woman calls him husband. After all, he can not 
be such a monster as I have conceived him with 
such a home." I turned on my heel and went away, 
my ill-humor having totally subsided. Some two 
years after, I told this anecdote to Mr. H., and we 
had a good-humored laugh over it. Both of us had 
learned to discriminate between political controversy 
and personal animosity. 

The attacks made upon me during this canvass had 
an effect different from what was intended. I was 
compelled to take an active part in the election, and 
deeming the success of my party essential to my own 
defense, I naturally made more vigorous efforts for that 
object. Mr. Everett was largely defeated, and the whig 
candidate as largely triumphed. At the same time I 
was chosen a member of the legislature for E-oxbury 

15* 



34:6 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Jamaica Plain, where I resided, being a parish oi 
that town. The next year I was a candidate for the 
senate, in competition with Mr. Everett,* and was 
elected. In this manner I was forced into politics, and 
was indebted mainly to opposition for my success. 

During the ensuing session of the legislature, the 
winter of 1837-8, the famous " Fifteen Gallon Law" 
was passed that is, a law prohibiting the sale of in 
toxicating liquors in less quantities than fifteen gal 
lons. The county I represented was largely in favor 
of the measure, and I voted for it, though I was by 
no means insensible to the agitation it was certain to 
produce. I had determined not to be a candidate for 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 347 

re-election, and therefore considered myself free to 
engage in the discussion which preceded the next 
election, and which, of course, mainly turned upon 
this law. Among other things, I wrote a little pam 
phlet, entitled " Five Letters to my Neighbor Smith, 
touching the Fifteen Gallon Jug" the main design of 
which was to persuade the people of Massachusetts 
to make the experiment, and see whether such a re 
straint upon the sale of intoxicating drinks would 
not be beneficial. This was published anonymously, 
and my intention was to have the authorship remain 
unknown. It, however, had an enormous sale a 
hundred thousand copies in the course of a few 
months, and curiosity soon guessed me out. 

Now in the village of Jamaica Plain, I had a neigh 
bor, though not by the name of Smith a rich liquor 
dealer, who did his business in Boston a very re 
spectable man, but a vehement opposer of the Fifteen 
Gallon Law. As the election approached, the citi 
zens of the State were drawn out in two camps, the 
men of Israel those in favor of prohibition on one 
side, and the Philistines the men in favor of free 
liquor on the other. My neighbor was rather the 
Goliath of his party six cubits and a span, and all 
helrneted in brass by which I mean that he was the 
wealthiest, the most respectable, and the most valiant 
of all the soldiers of the Philistine camp ! He insist 
ed that by " My Neighbor Smith," I meant him, and 
though I had said nothing disagreeable of that per- 



34:8 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

son age, but, on the contrary, had drawn his portrait 
in very amiable colors, he held that it was a mali 
cious personal attack. In vain did I deny the charge, 
and point to the fact that the residence, character, 
qualities of my fictitious hero, were inapplicable to 
him. Anxious, like Mawworm, to be persecuted, 
he insisted upon it that he was persecuted. 

At the county convention, which took place some 
two months prior to this election, I declined being a 
candidate. The members present, however, clearly 
discerning the gathering storm, refused to release me, 
and I was forced to accept the nomination. The 
election was to take place on Monday, in November. 
On the Saturday previous, there was issued in Boston 
a pamphlet, entitled the " Cracked Jug," a personal 
and political attack upon me , written with great mal 
ice and some ability. It was scattered like snow- 
flakes all over the county, and was, I suspect, the 
Sunday reading of all the tipplers and taverners of 
the county. The bar-room critics esteemed it supe 
rior to any thing which had appeared since the letters 
of Junius, and of course considered me as annihilated. 

On Monday, election-day, my family were insulted 
in the streets of Jamaica Plain, and as I went into 
the town-hall to cast my vote, I heard abundance of 
gibes cast at me from beneath lowering beavers. The 
result was that there was no choice of senators in 
the county. The election, when the people had thus 
failed to fill their places, fell upon the legislature, and 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 

I tvas chosen. The storm gradually passed away. 
The fifteen gallon law was repealed, but it nearly 
overturned the whig party in the State, which, being 
in the majority, was made responsible for it.* I 
deemed it necessary to reply to my Neighbor Smith s 
Cracked Jug, and he rejoined. What seemed at the 
time a deadly personal struggle, was ere long forgot 
ten neither party, I believe, carrying, in his charac 
ter or his feelings, any of the scars inflicted during 
the battle. Both had in some sort triumphed both 

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

Governor Morton, who always gets in. by one I 

It is needless to say that the sentiment, as well as the governor, was 
hailed with acclamation ; and it may be stated incidentally, that, inas 
much as a railroad had passed through the governor s own town, lie, 
and I may add his party, thenceforward were .ulvoc-utes of railroads. 
The next year (1840), in the whirlwind of the Harrison campaign, Gov 
ernor Morton gave place to " honest John Davis," a nume known and 
honored throughout the whole United States. 



350 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

in some sort been beaten both could, therefore, afford 
to return to the amicable relations of village neigh 
borhood. 

The presidential canvass of 1840 presented the 
most remarkable political spectacle which has ever 
been witnessed in the United States. Gen. Jackson s 
measures in regard to the currency and the tariff re 
sulted in a tempest, which was precipitated upon the 
administration of his successor Mr. Yan Buren. 
Bankruptcy* and ruin had swept over the country, in 
volving alike the rich and the poor, in their avalanche 
of miseries. In the autumn of this year, the whigs nom 
inated William Henry Harrison, as the candidate for 
the presidency, in opposition to Mr. Yan Buren. He 



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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 351 

had held various civil and military trusts, in which 
he had displayed courage, wisdom, and patriotism. 
His personal character was eminently winning to the 
people, being marked with benevolence and simpli 
city. He had long retired from public life, and for 
several years had lived as a farmer on the " North 
Bend" of the Ohio, near Cincinnati. The democrats 
ridiculed him as drinking hard cider and living in a 
log cabin. The masses, resenting this as coming from 
those who having the government spoils were riot 
ing in the White House on champagne, took these 
gibes, and displayed them as their mottoes and sym 
bols upon their banners. They gathered in barns, as 
was meet for the friends of the farmer of North Bend, 
using songs and speeches as flails, threshing his ene 
mies with a will. The spirit spread over mountain and 
valley, and in every part of the country, men were 
seen leaving their customary employments to assem 
ble in multitudinous conventions. Many of these 
gatherings numbered twenty thousand persons. 

During this animated canvass, I was not a candi 
date for office, yet I took part in the great movement, 
and made about a hundred speeches in Massachusetts 
and Connecticut. Everybody, then, could make a 
speech,* and everybody could sing a song. Orators 

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



352 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

sprang up like mushrooms, and the gift of tongues 
was not more universal than the gift of music. 
Towns, cities, and villages, were enlivened with 
torch-light processions and with long, bannered phal 
anxes, shouting for the hero of Tippecanoe ! The 
result of the election was such as might have been 
anticipated a most emphatic rebuke by the people 
of that policy which had spread disaster and ruin 
over the country by the election of Harrison, giving 
him two hundred and thirty-four votes, leaving only 
sixty for Van Buren ! The death of Harrison, how 
ever, which took place thirty days after he had en- 

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

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

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

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

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

" No : go on." 

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

The relntor of the nnecdotc says that it was quite impossible for him 
to overcome the eft ect of this speech, and we are left to conclude that 
the vote of that vicinity was given to Van B:rn. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 353 

tered upon the duties of his office, with consequent 
divisions among the leading members of the whig 
party at Washington, deprived the country of nearly 
the whole benefit due to a change so emphatically 
pronounced by the voice of the people. 

From this period, I have taken no active part 
in politics. In reviewing the past while duly ap 
preciating the honor conferred by the confidence 
bestowed upon me by the citizens who gave me their 
suffrages, I still regard my political career as an un 
profitable, nay, an unhappy episode, alien to my lit 
erary position and pursuits, and every way injurious 
to my interests and my peace of mind. It gave me 
painful glimpses into the littleness, the selfishness, the 
utter charlatanism* of a large portion of those poli 
ticians who lead, or seem to lead, the van of parties ; 
and who, pretending to be guided by patriotism, are 



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



354 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

usually only riding issues, principles, platforms, as ser 
vile hobbies which may carry them into office. As 
some compensation for this, it has also led me to a 
conviction that the great mass of the people are gov 
erned by patriotic motives though even with these 
I often noted curious instances in which the public 
interests were forgotten in a desire to achieve some 
selfish or sinister end.* 

* About these days, in a certain town not far from Boston, there was 
a large family, of several generations, by the name of Cpp. At one of 
the elections for members to represent the place in the General Court, it 
appeared that among the votes distributed at the polls were a large 
number for William Cpp, and the whole family were present, like 
swarming bees, actively engaged in promoting his election. One of 
them came up to the person who told me the story, and asked him to 
vote for William. He naturally desired to know the reason for such a 
measure, and the more particularly as he had never heard of any pecu 
liar claims or qualifications, for the office in question, which the said 
William possessed. "Well," said the Cpp, "I ll tell you how tis. 
William s got a little behindhand, and wants to shingle his barn. This 
will cost about a hundred dollars. Now, if he can go to the General 
Court one session, he ll save a hundred dollars, arid so, you see, he can 
shingle his barn 1" I have seen a good deal of this barn-shingling, even 
in New England. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 355 



LETTER LIII. 

International copyright Mr. Dickens s Mission His failure and his re 
venge The Boston Convention Inquiry into the basis of copyright 
Founded in absolute justice What is property? Grounds -upon which 
government protects property History of copyright Present state of 
copyright law Policy the basis of local copyright law International 
Copyright demanded by justice Scheme for International Copyright 
with Great Britain JReasonsfor it. 

MY DEAR C****** 

In the winter of 1842, Mr. Charles Dickens ar 
rived in Boston, where he was received with open 
arms. A complimentary dinner* was got up for him, 
and fine speeches were made by many of the first 
citizens, all in a strain of welcome to the distin 
guished stranger. The ball thus set in motion rolled 
over the country, and wherever Mr. Dickens went, he 
was received in a similar manner that is, with wel 
come, with feasting, with compliments. I remember 

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



356 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

to have seen him at one of the President s levees at 
Washington, there being many distinguished guests 
present Washington Irving, the Earl of Carlisle, &c. 
These were totally neglected, while a crowd of curi 
ous and admiring followers, forming a gorgeous train 
of fair women and brave men, glittered behind Mr. 
and Mrs. Dickens. They were, in truth, the observed 
of all observers. 

It appeared in the sequel, that the author of Pick 
wick had crossed the Atlantic for a double purpose 
to write a book, and to obtain international copy 
right. In the first he succeeded, in the latter he 
failed. Since that time, however, the subject of in 
ternational copyright has been a theme of animated 
discussion in this country, and has even been made 
a matter of diplomatic conference between Great 
Britain and the United States. A treaty has been, 
I believe, actually agreed upon between the agents of 
the two governments, for the purpose of establishing 
international copyright, but it has never been con 
summated ; the subject was referred to the Senate, 
and there it has remained in suspense for the last 
two years. 

You will, no doubt, expect me, in giving my rec 
ollections, to say something upon this subject. I 
cou^l, indeed, hardly pass it over. I beg, however, 
instead of writing a new essay upon the subject, 
to copy what I wrote about three years ago, at 
the request of a senator in Congress, but which was 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 357 

never forwarded. With slight modifications, it was 
as follows : 

INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT is altogether a modern idea. The 
conception appears to have been formed, or at least matured, 
about twenty years ago, when the subject of a revision of the 
law of copyright was before the British Parliament.* At that 

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

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

" That your petitioner is the proprietor of certain copyrights, which 
the law treats as copyhold, but which in justice and equity should be 
bis freehold. He cannot conceive how Hood s Own, without a change 
in the title-deed as well as the title, can become Everybody s Own 1 
hereafter. 

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

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

Among these petitions is one from John Smith, bookseller of Glasgow, 
who says that about the year 1820, he wrote an essay in behalf of per 
petual copyright, as demanded by justice and equity. 1 have seen no 
assertion of this principle prior to this date. 

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



period, the leading authors of Great Britain combined to obtain 
an extension of the privileges of authorship. In the course of 
the discussion, it was suggested that authors had an absolute 
right to the use and behoof of the products of their labor and 
consequently that British authors might claim copyright, not 
only in Great Britain, but in all other countries Having ob 
served that the American market absorbed a \ery larg<. amount 
of popular English literature, an eager desire sprang up among 
the principal British writers to annex the United States to Great 
Britain in this matter of copyright. Accordingly, a general act 
was passed by Parliament, to the effect that the privileges of the 
copyright laws in the Three Kingdoms should be granted to all 
countries which should extend to Great Britain the privileges of 
their copyright laws. In this state of things, Mr. Dickens came 
to America to consummate an international arrangement on 
this subject. His writings being exceedingly popular here, it 
was deemed that we could hardly resist a demand, regarded as 
reasonable in itself, and urged by a universal favorite, who might 
add to the requisitions of justice the argument and the feeling of 
personal gratitude to himself. 

As you are aware, Mr. Dickens s mission proved abortive, and 
he took his revenge upon us by his Notes on America, in which 
he plucked out the feathers of the American Eagle, and then 
called it a very unclean bird. It is quite as easy to explain his 
failure as his anger. The demand of International Copyright 
was suddenly made and rudely enforced. Mr. Dickens brought 
with him letters and petitions to individuals, to Congress, and to 
the American people from eminent British authors, some of 
them couched in offensive terms, and demanding copyright on 
the principle of absolute justice. In order to carry the point at a 
blow, the whole British press burst upon us with the cry of thief, 
robber, pirate, because we did precisely what was then and had 
been done everywhere we reprinted books not protected by 
copyright ! We resemble our ancestors, and do not like to be 
bullied. The first effect, therefore, of this demand thus urged, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 359 

was resentment ;* to this, reflection added apprehension. About 
this time there was a Convention in Boston of persons interested 
in the production of books : booksellers, printers, paper-makers v 
type-founders, book-binders, and others connected with the book 
manufacture. Their chief object was to petition Congress for a 
modification of the tariff a reconstruction of the entire tariff 
system being then under consideration so as to afford addi 
tional protection to their various interests ; but, alarmed at 
the demand of the British authors, they took the occasion to 
remonstrate, earnestly, against this proposed international 
compact. 

Discussion of course followed, and has been continued to the 
present time. Authors in the United States have generally 
favored the measure ; booksellers and publishers resisted it for a 
time, but many of them now favor it. The manufacturing in 
terests connected with the book-trade have generally opposed it. 

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



360 LETTERS BIOGK APHIC AX, 

So far as the people at large are concerned, I believe that a great 
majority also take an unfavorable view of the scheme. 

Now, where is the right of this question ? What ought we 
to do ? What ought our government to do ? 

If, as has been and is asserted, the abstract right of the author 
to the fruit of his labor is absolute, and if governments recognize 
the obligation to protect all abstract rights, then the question is 
settled: justice, morality, conscience, and usage require us to 
give what is asked. In this state of the case, we have no right 
to consider what is convenient or expedient; we must yield, 
whatever may be the coa c equence, to a claim which rests upon 
such foundations. 

Let us then inquire, first, is this abstract claim of absolute 
right, on the part of authors, well founded ; and, second, do 
governments recognize the obligation to protect and enforce alj 
such abstract rights ? 

It is indisputable that the author has just as good, and in fact 
the same right, to the use and behoof of the fruit of his labor, 
as the farmer and the mechanic. In general, it may be said, 
that what a man makes is his, and that if it is valuable to him 
and useful to the community, he is entitled to protection in the 
possession of it. The farmer produces corn, the cabinet-maker 
a chair, the wheelwright a cart. The right of the producers of 
these things to use them, sell them, to control them, absolutely, 
according to their will and pleasure, is so familiar to the mind 
as to seem self-evident. 

The author asks to be put upon the same footing. He writes 
a book ; in its first stage it is in manuscript. To this his claim 
is undeniable; but it is a barren right, for in this condition 
it is unproductive of value. It consists of material signs 
letters, words, sentences conveying ideas. It is susceptible of 
being copied arid multiplied by print, and these copies can be 
sold, and a reward for the author s labor may be thus realized. 
The value of the author s work, therefore that, is, the means of 
obtaining compensation for his labor lies in selling copies of it ; 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 361 

and what he claims is the right, and the exclusive right, thus to 
copy his book or, in other words, copyright. The commodity 
of the author, as well as the method of recompense, are different 
from those of the farmer, but his claim to the fruit of his labor 
rests on the same principle. The farmer s commodity is his corn,, 
and he claims the right to control it; the author s commodity is 
copyright, and he claims the right to control it. The farmer s 
property is corporeal, the author s, incorporeal ; but the right 
to the one is the same as that to the other. No ingenuity 
has been able to show any distinction whatever between the 
principle on which the author s copyright is founded, and that 
on which the farmer s right to his crop is founded.* 

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

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

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

His inferenci s seem as ill<><rieal as his premises are unsound. If union 
makes salt from the sea, which is a common reservoir, is ht a reason 

VOL. II.- 16 



362 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

This is clear, but now comes the other question, does govern 
ment hold itself bound to secure every abstract right ? In gen 
eral, it may be said that civilized governments protect property : 
to do this is in fact one of the chief functions of government 
What, then, is property? 

In looking at learned authorities, we find two distinct defini 
tions : one regards property as a certain inherent, abstract right ; 
the other the legal interpretation a possession secured by law. 
This is, in fact, the general notion of property : it is ownership 
the right to possess, enjoy, and control a thing, according to 
law. It has been asserted that property, even in this sense, 
rests upon an abstract right, and that the principle of this is, 
that what a man produces is his own. And yet, when we come 
to look at property, as it is distributed around us, we shall see 
that by far the larger portion of it, throughout the world, is not 
in the hands of the producers.* The present distribution of land, 
in all countries, has been made to a great extent by violence, 
by conquest, usurpation, robbery. The foundations of the great 
estates throughout Europe, is that of might and not of right. 
And hence it is impossible to base the idea of property, which 
government actually does protect, on abstract right. Indeed, in 
looking at the great authorities on this subject Cicero, Seneca, 
Grotius, Montesquieu, Blackstone the idea is traceable through 
them all, that property is a possession according to law. They 
all admit that there is such a thing as abstract right, natural 
right, and insist upon it, and upon this they base what is called 



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

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






363 

common law ; but yet no one lays down the principle that 
abstract right or natural right is either a complete and perfect 
right, in itself, or that it is essential to the idea of property. 

Such is authority, as we find it, with the conservatives ; there 
is a new school which denies this individual right, and claims 
every thing for society. Bentham lends some countenance to 
this : he denies altogether the doctrine of abstract right as the 
foundation of property, and insists that in its principle it is 
the gift of law. What the law gives a man is his : nothing else. 
Proudhon goes further, and declares that " property is robbery * 
in other words, not only is the present distribution of prop 
erty the result of artifice, fraud, violence, but, in the nature of 
things, property belongs to the community, and not to individ 
uals. According to him, a man who appropriates a thing to 
his own use and behoof, robs society of what belongs to them.* 

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



364: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Thus vague, confused, and contradictory are the ideas which 
attach to the principle of property, even among the learned. 
The fact certainly is, that in its distribution very little respect 
has been paid to abstract rights. Nearly all laws, by all gov 
ernments, from the Romans downward, have been based upon 
considerations of policy, or what they call the public good. 
Some deference has no doubt been paid to the common in 
stincts of men, and as justice is one of these, the theory of 
abstract rights has been recognized ; but yet how rarely have 
kings, and princes, and potentates molded their laws or their 
acts in obedience to the rights of man.* 

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 365 

If we look at the history of copyright, we shall see that 
authors have heen, from the beginning, treated according to 
these principles of government which shape all things with a 
primary and controlling regard to policy or the public good. 
Knowledge is power, and this was as well understood by tho 
despotisms of the middle ages as it is by those of the present 
day. They sought therefore to keep it in their own hands. 
"When the art of printing was discovered, some four centuries 
ago, and threatened to diffuse knowledge among the masses of 
mankind, the governments became alarmed, and immediately 
subjected it to supervision and restraint. 

Hitherto the right of copy had been worthless to the author ; 
his works could only be reproduced by the pen, and writing for 
publication was never practiced. Now a mighty change in his 
position had taken place : the press multiplied his works as by 
magic. A r.ow idea, a new interest, was thus created, ^fan- 
kind had already learned to prize books : a copy of the Bible 
would command the price of a farm. The power to multiply and 
vend copies of books, was seen at once to be a mighty power. 
This was naturally claimed by the printer as to old works, and 
as to new ones, by the author. Thus arose the notion of copy 
right the direct result of the discovery of the art of printing. 
Yet it does not appear that this natural, abstract, absolute right 
of authors was at all regarded. They were, in fact, looked 
upon with suspicion ; the press was deemed by governments 
as well as the people, a device of the devil. Kings, princes, 
and potentates, therefore, immediately seized upon it, not as 
a thing to be encouraged, but to be dreaded, watched, restrain 
ed. They suppressed whatever was offensive, and licensed 
only what was approved. This license was a grant of the 
sovereign, and it was the first form of actual copyright. It 
was founded on privilege alone. The licenses granted were du 
ring the lifetime of the author, or in perpetuity, according to the 

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



366 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

good pleasure of the king. These were deemed property, and 
were bought and sold as such. Thus copyright, in its origin, 
was the gift of government, or in other words, of the law. 

This was the practice of all civilized governments. In France, 
the ordinance of Moulins, in 1566, a decree of Charles IX., in 1571, 
and a patent of Henry III., constituted the ancient law on this 
subject. The king always - egarded himself as at liberty to grant 
or refuse the license, and to impose such conditions and restric 
tions as he pleased. Generally the right of the author was per 
petual, unless he assigned it to a bookseller, in which case it was 
thrown open to the public at his death. 

The early history of copyright was similar to this, in England. 
It was illegal to print a book without the government imprima 
tur. This continued to be the law until the time of Queen 
Anne, when a general law 1710 was passed, giving the au 
thor an interest of twenty-one years in his work. 

Thus it appears that for nearly three hundred years after the 
origin of printing, copyright rested upon privilege granted by 
the crown. During the latter part of this period it had become 
familiar to the mind that the farmer and the mechanic were 
entitled to the use and behoof of the fruits of their labor. These 
held their right at common law ; but no such right was accord 
ed to the author, nor was he permitted to print and sell his 
book, but by license, by privilege. Even so late as 1774, and 
long after the passage of a general act on this subject, the House 
of Lords, upon solemn adjudication, decided that the right of an 
author to his copy was the gift of the statute, and not one flow 
ing from principles of justice. This doctrine has been substan 
tially affirmed by the recent decision in England that of the 
House of Lords reversing Lord Campbell s opinion. 

And one thing more is to be regarded, that when more liberal 
ideas had begun to prevail when the author was emancipated 
from the censorship, and his claims were based on a general law, 
and not on privilege the perpetual right of copy was taken away, 
and it was limited to twenty-one years ! Since that tune the 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 367 

number ot authors has increased, and the press has risen into 
a mighty interest, and yet, to this day, in no country on the 
face of the globe, is the author placed on the footing of the 
farmer and the mechanic : these enjoy, by the common law, and 
the acknowledged principles of justice, the absolute right to 
their products, while the author has only a limited protection, 
dependent entirely upon the statute. The present copyright 
laws of all civilized governments are nearly the same ; except in 
Great Britain, the United States, and a few other countries, the 
press is under a censorship, the governments suppressing what 
they choose : the protection given is generally for about forty- 
two years, after which time, the works of authors are thrown 
open to the public. 

It is thus obvious that from the beginning to the present time, 
the fundamental idea of copyright in all countries has been and 
is, that protection iii the enjoyment of it is the gift of statute 
law of an enactment of government. Nowhere does it rest 
on abstract right ; in no country is the doctrine recognized that 
an author has the same right to the fruit of his labor, as has 
the farmer or the mechanic to the fruit of his. Material prop 
erty everywhere is protected by common law : everywhere is 
literary property the gift of statute law. 

And yet, International Copyright is urged by its advocates, 
upon principles of abstract justice, principles of common law, 
principles rejected in the practice of every civilized government 
on the face of the globe ! 

It is, I think, one of the great misfortunes of this question, 
that it has been thus placed on a false basis, and for this obvi 
ous reason, that where a claim rests on principles of justice, 
the denial of it implies moral obliquity. In such a case, hard 
names, harsh epithets, bitter feelings, are likely to be engen 
dered: irritation rather than conviction is the result. What 
ever may be the abstract right of the matter, the fact is, that all 
governments have hitherto founded local copyright on policy 
alone. When, therefore, the people of Great Britain ask us to 



368 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

enter into a partnership of international copyright, we very nat 
urally test the question by the principles which govern them, as 
well as other civilized nations, in dealing with local copyright. 
If they call us pirates, because we reprint books not secured by 
copyright, it is inevitable that we retort by saying that they do 
the same. If they say, we are holier than thou, because we 
offer you international copyright, we are tempted to reply, 
that in the mean time your attitude is no better than this : you 
say to us " We will stop stealing when you do, and not before !" 
If they insist that we are robbers in not giving copyright to 
Mr. Dickens, because no law protects him at the distance of 
three thousand miles we reply that you are robbers, because 
you give no copyright to the heirs of Dryden, or Pope, or Swift, 
or Scott, or Chalmers, nor do you give copyright to anybody 
after a lapse of about forty -two years. 

All this we have said, and with some show of reason, and yet 
I think, if the subject be fairly considered, it still leaves us in a 
false position. Though, it may be, and no doubt is, true that 
ah 1 governments have denied the claim of the author to an ab 
solute and perpetual right of copy, still no civilized government 
has assumed that he has no claim. All such governments have 
in fact given him a limited protection, and this has been gradual 
ly extended with the increase of light and justice among mankind. 

If we scrutinize the motives of governments in the more 
recent legislation on this subject, we are at no loss to discover 
that these consist of two considerations : one is, that the au 
thor, like every other laborer, is worthy of his hire; as he 
contributes to the public amusement and instruction, he is en 
titled to compensation ; and the other is, that it is for the pub 
lic good to encourage those who thus promote the happiness of 
society. Here, then, the right of the author to the fruit of his 
toil, is at least partially recognized ; society admits it, but in un 
dertaking to protect him in this right, society assumes the liberty 
of prescribing certain conditions in view of the public good. As 
it might tend to limit the beneficent influence of genius, and to 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 369 

restrain the full light of literature in after-times, to entail upon 
the author and upon his heirs, forever, the exclusive control of 
his works, it has been deemed best to limit that control to a pe 
riod of about forty-two years. 

This is, I think, the theory of local copyright law, among 
the most enlightened nations of the present day. Now. let 
us Americans consider our position in relation to living Brit 
ish authors. Their books come among us ; they are published 
and circulated among us. You and I and everybody read them, 
and profit by them. And do we pay the author any thing for 
all this ? Not a farthing ; nay, when he asks us for compensa 
tion, we say to him, you live three thousand miles off, and the 
laws of honesty and morality do not extend so far ! 

Now, is that an honorable position ? Is it an extenuation to 
say that other people do this ? Does it not enhance the un 
fairness of our conduct to consider that the British government 
stands ready to remedy this wrong ? 

Let us suppose that two farmers live on opposite banks of a 
river ; and it occasionally happens that their flocks and herds 
cross this stream, and stray into the neighboring grounds. What 
is the true principle of conduct between these two parties : is 
it that each shall confiscate to his own use the property that 
thus strays into his premises ? That certainly is a barbarous 
practice. But suppose one says to the other, " I am satisfied 
this is wrong let us come to an understanding : if you will re 
store to me such of my flocks and herds as stray into your 
grounds, I will do the same to you, and thus peace and justice 
will be established between us." And let us suppose that the 
other refuses this reasonable proposition, and says, " No ; we 
have both been accustomed to this kind of stealing, and I am 
determined to continue it." Is not this farmer in the wrong? 

And in our refusal to make British authors any compensation, 
are we not in the precise attitude of this ungenerous farmer ? 

The truth undoubtedly is, that in refusing International Copy 
right altogether, we are wrong : we cannot vindicate ourselves 



370 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

by saying that we follow the example of governments in their 
local copyright law, for although, as I have shown, these do not 
recognize the absolute and perpetual claim of authors to the right 
of copy, yet all allow that they have a right to some compensation 
for their works. Our wrong lies in this, that we deny all com 
pensation. This, if it is voluntary, is not very far from robbery. 

Now I do not believe the people of the United States are to 
be charged with this willful wrong: I am persuaded that the 
subject has not been well understood. It has appeared to them 
that a questionable right lias been urged, as the means of forcing 
us into an unreasonable bargain. The general idea of the pro 
posed international copyright, has been a mutual extension of the 
local copyright laws to the authors of the two countries ; that is 
to say, the British author shall avail himself of our copyright law, 
and the American author shall avail himself of the British copy 
right law. In this sense, the two countries would be thrown 
into one market, available on the same terms to the authors, 
publishers, and booksellers of each. 

For myself, it seems hardly worth while seriously to discuss 
such a scheme as this, and for the plain reason that it never 
can be enacted by our government, or if enacted, it would 
speedily be repealed by the people. This claim to international 
copyright, as I have said, has been urged in such a spirit by 
British writers, that the public mind here has been prejudiced 
against it. It may be remarked, that the discussion of the sub 
ject, by its advocates on this side of the water, has added to 
this feeling of aversion, a very extended conviction that sound 
policy forbids such a measure. 

The grounds of objection to the scheme thus presented are 
various, but the most formidable one is this : if the two coun 
tries thus become one market, it will he mainly to the advan 
tage of the British publishers. The British are a nation of sell 
ers, not buyers. They preach free trade to all the world, but 
when a market is open, they rush in and engross it. It is free 
trade, but only to them. If we enter into the proposed part- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 371 

nership, they will buy few of our copyrights those only of 
our first authors, and few books beyond samples. We may per 
haps be permitted to purchase some copyrights of them, and pub 
lish the works here ; but the general course of things will be this: 
the London publishers, having the control of British copyrights, 
will send their agents to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, 
or they will here form branch establishments. Through these 
we shall be supplied with Britsh looks from British type, on 
British paper, and with British binding. 

This is the great objection, and if we are permitted to settle 
the question by a regard to the interests of the country, it is 
fatal to the scheme. Yet if we examine the case more closely 
we shall see that the difficulty is not with British authors, but 
with British publishers; it is not against foreign copyright, but 
foreign booksellers. We have an immense interest involved in 
the diversified industries employed in the manufacture of books, 
embracing thousands of families and millions of dollars. This 
naturally revolts at a scheme which threatens to paralyze, possi 
bly to ruin it, in many of its branches. But no difficulty of this 
nature could arise from an arrangement giving copyright to 
British authors, provided their works be published by American 
citizem, and be manufactured in the United States. Nay, I think 
it is easy to suggest a plan of this nature, which would be ben 
eficial to all the interests concerned those of American authors 
as well as American book producers. 

The scheme I propose is this : 

1. An author, being a citizen of Great Britain, shall have 
copyright in the United States for a period not exceeding four 
teen years, on the following conditions : 

2. lie shall give due notice, in the United States,* of his inten- 



* Tliis notice should be recorded in some one office, say in a regis 
ter, kept tor tli;it purpose, at the Smithsonian Institute, so that by ref 
ercuce to this, any person may know if copyright of a work which is 
announced, is to be copyrighted, and also may see whether this roqui 
Bition of the law has been complied with. 






372 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

tion to secure his copyright in this country, three months before 
the publication of his book ; and this shall be issued in the United 
States within thirty days after its publication in Great Britain. 

3. His work shall be published by an American citizen, who 
shall lodge a certificate in the office of the clerk of the court 
of the district where he resides, stating in whose behalf the 
copyright is taken, and this shall be printed on the back of the 
titlepage. 

4. The work shall be printed on American paper,* and the 
binding shall be wholly executed in the United States. 

5. This privilege shall extend only to books, and not to pe 
riodicals. 

6. The arrangement thus made in behalf of the British authors 
in America, to be extended to the American authors in Great 
Britain, and upon similar conditions. 

This is a mere outline of the general principles of the scheme, 
by no means pretending to be complete in its details, or in the 
technical form of an enactment. To such a plan I can conceive 
no serious objections ; not only the authors of this country, but 
the publishers would favor it. I am confident it would meet the 
feelings, views, and wishes of the country at large. My reasons 
for these views are briefly as follows : 

1. This plan gives us the pledge of one of our own citizens, 
living among us, and responsible in his person, character, and 
position, for a faithful conformity to the law. Without meaning 
to cast invidious reflections, it may be said that it would be a 
strong temptation to any foreigner, under the circumstances 
having various inducements and many facilities for imposing upon 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 373 

us books manufactured at home to commit this wrong ; it is 
wise, therefore, to make provision against it. And besides, this 
plan, securing the publication in the hands of American citizens, 
will prevent the encouragement of British agencies and branch 
establishments, so much apprehended among us. 

2. A still more important point is this that, as the books 
will be issued by American publishers, they are likely to con 
form to American ideas in respect to price. One of the ap 
prehensions of international copyright, as heretofore proposed, 
has been that, inasmuch as British books would be to a great 
extent supplied to us by British publishers either directly from 
London or through their agents here that they would be in 
expensive and unsuitable forms, and at all events would come 
to us at exaggerated prices. The plan proposed evidently re 
moves all reasonable grounds for these apprehensions. 

3. It is true that British works, thus copyrighted and pub 
lished in this country, would be somewhat dearer than they are 
now, without copyright. But how much ? The common rate 
of copyright for an author, in the United States, is ten per cent, 
on the retail price. Let us double this, and we have twenty per 
cent, as the increased cost of the English book to the retail 
purchaser. Thus, instead of paying one dollar for a work by 
Dickens or Bulwer or Macaulay, we shall pay one dollar and 
twenty cents half of this addition going to the author, and half 
to the publisher.* 

4. Will the American reader object to this ? Let him consider 
the reasons for it. In the first place, it is not pleasant, even 
though it be lawful, to read Mr. Dickens s book, and refuse to 
make him any return for the pleasure he has given us. In the 
absence of any arrangement by which we can render to him this 
compensation, we may lawfully peruse his works; but when ;i 

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



374 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

plan is proposed to us, and that a reasonable plan, and compati 
ble with the best interests of the country- -then such refusal be 
comes voluntary and designed on our part, and is a willful taking 
without liberty, which is a plain definition of a very disreputable 
act. No American can be gratified by such a state of things ; 
on the contrary, I believe that every truly American heart would 
rejoice to make ample compensation to British authors, for the 
privilege of perusing their works. The English language being 
our mother-tongue, we claim, as our birthright, free access to 
the great fountain of British literature, that has become the 
common property of the Anglo-Saxon race; but we will not 
seek to rob the living author of the fruit of his genius or his toil. 

5. Besides, we Americans should remember two other things: 
first, that in consideration of the proposed arrangement in behalf 
of Mr. Dickens and his brethren of the British quill, our Irvings, 
Prescotts, Longfellows the brotherhood of the American quill 
would receive a corresponding compensation on the other side 
of the water. This would be something. Would it not be 
agreeable to every American thus to certify his gratitude to 
those of his countrymen who not only bestow upon him his most 
exalted sources of pleasure and improvement, but eminently con 
tribute to the best interests of society ? 

But, in the second place, there are considerations infinitely 
higher than those of a personal nature. Literature is at once a 
nation s glory and defence.* Without its poets, orators, histo- 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 375 

riaiis the liberty, the arts, the genius of Greece would have 
perished ages ago. These, being recorded and reflected by its 
literature, she became immortal surviving even conquest and 
oppression and the lapse of time. Would you that our national 
glory should be exalted that our liberty should be vindicated, 
extended, perpetuated? Would you that arts should arise and 
flourish among us : that a noble and lofty pitch be given to the 
national mind, and that a noble and lofty destiny achieved, at 
last be recorded, reflected, and carried down to after-times ? 
Whoever has these aspirations, thereby pleads for a national 
literature. 

To such I present the consideration that this, like every thing 
else, must live by encouragement. That literature is encouraged 
in this country, and, in some respects, as it is encouraged no 
where else, I admit. That we surpass all other nations in our 
periodical press, in our books for primary education, in the liter 
ature of the people, in manuals for the various arts and profes 
sions, is undeniable. Nor are we wholly delinquent in the higher 
forms of literature science, history, romance, poetry, eloquence. 
In these things we have made a good beginning, but yet we are 
only at the threshold of what we can do and should do. In pro- 

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

" But granting a native literature to be essential to our character and 
who is there to deny it ? for books travel the earth over ; books are 
-ead everywhere ; and every great writer, every renowned author con 
fers a dignity upon his native country, of more worth and of more dura 
bility than the warrior does granting it, I say, to be so important tor 
the character and safety of a people in time of peace, how are we 10 
have it? By paying for it. By making it worth the while of our young 
men to give up a portion of their time to the study of writing, not as a 
boyish pastime no, -nor even as a trade, but as an art a science." 
John Neal. 



376 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

portion as we love and honor our native land ; in proportion as 
we feel desirous that our country should be honored by the 
world just in that proportion, by every logical consideration, 
should we feel bound to protect and encourage its literature. 

And yet, our actual position is opposed to this. We allow 
untaxed British authorship to come into this country to the 
detriment, the discouragement of our own. American authors, 
in competition with British authors, are in the position that our 
manufacturers would be, if British merchandise were gratuitously 
distributed in our markets. The scheme herein proposed reme 
dies these evils ; it taxes British literature, and thus withhold 
ing the encouragement it receives from being freely given away 
prevents it from being a fatal and discouraging competitor of 
our own literature. 

For these reasons, as well as others which need not be sug 
gested, I believe the proposed scheme, or something resembling 
it, would be acceptable to the country. If the arrangement is 
made by treaty, it may be stipulated that it is to be terminated 
after five years, at the pleasure of either party. In its nature, 
therefore, it will be provisional and experimental, and may be 
terminated or modified, as time and experience may dictate. If 
it be said, either in this country or in Great Britain, that this is 
not all that may be desired, let us consider whether, as a prac 
tical question, it is not as much as it is now possible to obtain. 
It is to be considered that International Copyright is a modern 
idea ; and it is not altogether unreasonable that in dealing with 
it especially in this country, where so many and so important 
interests are at stake we should follow the cautious steps of the 
mother country in granting copyright to her own citizens, which 
at first was limited to twenty-one years. 

Such are tlie views I had formed three years ago. 
I was then in Europe ; since ray return, I am con 
firmed in them by various considerations, and espe- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 377 

cially by finding that some enlightened publishers, 
who have hitherto doubted the expediency of inter 
national copyright, in view of some such arrangement 
as is here suggested, are now earnestly in favor of it. 
Why, then, should we not try it ? 

One thing is certain the subject will never rest, 
until International Copyright is adopted, in some form 
or other. It is based on the same abstract but still 
manifest right, by which every laborer claims the use 
and behoof of the fruits of his toil; admitting that 
governments may regulate and modify these rights, 
according to the public good, still they may not alto 
gether annihilate them. I have taken the ground 
that governments, in local copyright laws, deny the 
absolute and perpetual claim ; they refuse to base 
their protection on common law ; but still one thing 
is to be considered, and that is, that local copyright every 
where does in fact make some compensation to the author, 
and thus substantially admits his claim. We, who 
refuse international copyright, must reflect that so 
far as we are concerned, we deny all compensation to 
the foreign autJior, and thus are manifestly in the 
wrong.* We may pretend, indeed, that local copy- 



* In France, copyright was regulated by royal decrees, till 1789, when 
a general law was passed, establishing the old practice, which gave tlio 
author copyright in perpetuity, except that in case of sale to a publi.^her, 
it terminated at his death. At present, by acts of 1798 and 1S10, the 
author has copyright during his life, and then his children twenty years 
after. If there are no children, the actual heirs enjoy it for ten years. 

The copyright law of England is stated elsewhere. 

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



378 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

right affords all needful encouragement; but is it fair 
for us, refusing ourselves to contribute to this, to take 
to our use and behoof the articles for which we thus 
refuse to pay and that against the protest of those 
whose toil has produced them ? Is that honorable 
is it fair play ? 



The law is similar in Prussia, and also in the Zollverein, the heirs en 
joying the right, however, for thirty instead of twenty years, after the 
authors decease. 

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

Sardinia adopted the French law in 1846. 

In Portugal the law is similar to that of Prussia. 

Spain formerly gave unlimited copyright, but often to religious com 
munities, and not to the author. At present, the author has copyright 
during his lifetime, and his heirs fifty years after his death. 

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 379 



LETTER LIV, 

Statistics of the Book Trade Its Extension The Relative Increase of 
American Literature, as compared with British Literature. 

MY DEAR C****** 

In my last letter I presented to you some sug 
gestions respecting International Copyright. In do 
ing this I have naturally gathered up my recollections 
of the book trade in the United States for the last 
forty years, and compared the past with the present. 
I am so impressed with certain prominent and re 
markable results and inferences, that I deem it proper 
to present them to you. These may be grouped un 
der two general heads : 

1. The great extension of the book production in 
the United States. 

2. The large and increasing relative proportion of 
American works. 

Unfortunately we have no official resources for 
exact statistics upon this subject. The general fact 
of a vast development in all the branches of industry 
connected with the press, is palpable to all persons 
having any knowledge on the subject ; but the de 
tails upon which this is founded, and the precise de 
gree of increase, are to a considerable extent matters 
of conjecture. Nevertheless, there are some facts 
within our reach, and by the grouping of these, we 



380 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

may approach the results we seek, with a sufficient 
degree of certainty, for all practical purposes. 

I. As to the extension of the book manufacture. 

THE BOOK PRODUCTION OR MANUFACTURE IN 1820. 
Let us go back to the year 1820, and endeavor to estimate 
the gross amount of this trade in the United States at that 
period. The following statement, it is supposed, may approach 
the truth: 

Amount of books manufactured and sold in the United States in 1820. 

School books $750,000 

Classical books 250,000 

Theological books 150,000 

Law books 200,000 

Medical books 150,000 

All others 1,000,000 

Gross amount $2,500,000 

$-0 The space between 1820 and 1830 may be considered as the pe 
riod in which our national literature was founded ; it was the age in 
which Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Halleck, Faulding, J. R. Drake, John 
Neal, Brainard, Percival, Hillhouse, and others, redeemed the country 
from the sneer that nobody read American books. During this period 
we began to have confidence in American genius, and to dream of lit 
erary ambition. The North American Review, already established, 
kept on its steady way, and other attempts were made in behalf of 
periodical literature, but with little success. 

THE, BOOK MANUFACTURE IN 1830. 

If we take 1830 as a period for estimating the product of the 
book manufacture, we suppose it may stand thus : 

School books $1,100,000 

Classical books 350,000 

Theological books 250,000 

Law books 300,000 

Medical books 200,000 

All others 1,300,000 

Gross amount $3,500,000 

, UST" This shows an increase of production of forty per cent, in ten years. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 381 

From 1830 to 1840 was an era of great and positive development, and 
the foundation of a still more active era of progress and expansion in 
the book trade. It may be considered as the point at which our litera 
ture became established in our own confidence, and to some degree, in 
the respect of the world. During this period, the following names 
either first appeared or became eminently conspicuous : 

In History Prescott, Sparks, Bancroft, Irving. 

In Mathematics Day, Farrar, and the self-taught Bowditch, whose 
translation of the Me"chanique Celeste of Laplace, is admitted to be su 
perior to the original, by reason of its happy illustrations and added dis 
coveries. 

In Philology Webster, whose quarto Dictionary is now admitted by 
high British authority to take precedence of all others. 

In Theology Bush, Barnes, Norton, Stuart, Woods, Jeuks, Robin 
son, Spring, A. Alexander, Durbin, Hodge, Bangs, Olin, L. Beecher, 
Tyng, Thornwell. 

In Political Economy, Philosophy, &c. H. C. Carey, Colton, Lieber ; 
Wayland, Uphain, Tucker. 

In General Science, Natural History, &c. Silliman, Henry, Morton, 
Rogers, Redfield, Espy, Audubon, Olmsted, Dana, Gray, Nut-tall, Bur- 
ritt. 

In Jurisprudence, International Law, &c. Kent, Story, Wheaton, 
Duer, Cowen. 

In Medicine and Surgery Dunglison, N. Smith, N. R. Smith, Bige- 
low, Dewees, Beck, Doane, Wood, Mott, Eberle. 

In Travels, Geography, &c. Schoolcraft, Ruschenberger, Stephens, 
Farnham. 

In Essay and Criticism Channing, the two Everetts, Emerson. 

In Fiction Cooper, Ware, Simms, Bird, Kennedy, Poe, Miss Sedg- 
wick, Mrs. Child, Miss Leslie, Fay, Hoffman. 

In Poetry Bryant, Sprague, Pierpont, Dana, Willis, Longfellow, 
Whittier, Mrs. Sigourney, Mellen, Morris, McLellan, Prentice, Benjamin. 

In Educational and Church Music Lowell Mason, probably the most 
successful author in the United States. 

JgF" This period is to be noted for the effective labors of W. C.Wood- 
bridgc, James G. Carter, Horace Mann, Henry Barnard, and others, in 
behalf of common-school education, and an immense improvement in 
school-books, both in literary and mechanical execution, by means of 
which geography, grammar, and history, very extensively became com 
mon school studies. During the same period, history, chemistry, natural 
philosophy, moral philosophy, rhetoric, geology, were all popularized, 
and introduced into the public high-schools. The change in school- 
books during this period amounted to a revolution, and resulted in that 
!im:i/ing expansion in their use and distribution, which now murks tho 
subject of education in the United State;.-. This also was the era of An 
nuals, which added largely to the amount of the book-trade. 



382 

This is the era of the establishment of the Penny Press, wh .t is at 
once a sign and instrument of progress. Its home is in the wiidst of 
business, education, literature in the very breathing and heart-beating 
of life and action; and it gives impulse -and vigor to all these inter 
ests. So powerful an instrument must sometimes seem to produce 
evil, but on the whole it must be regarded as a great civilizer. We may 
advert to a single illustration of its expanding influences : the three 
principal penny papers of New York, at the present day, 1856 the 
Herald, Tribune, and Times each of them is a political paper, with 
political opinions, yet each treats politics as a matter of general informa 
tion, and publishes the principal doings and documents of all parties. 
This is not so in any country where the penny press does not exist. 

This is also the era in which monthly and semi-mothly Magazines 
began to live and thrive among us. Among the most noted, are the 
Knickerbocker, Merchants Magazine, Graham s, Southern Literary Mes 
senger, all continued to the present time, with others which have ceased 
to exist. 

THE BOOK MANUFACTURE IN 1840. 

The book production for 1840 may be estimated as follows :* 

School books $2,000,000 

Classical books 550,000 

Theological books 300,000 

Law books 400,000 

Medical books 250,000 

All others 2,000,000 



Gross amount $5,500,000 

This calculation shows an increase of about sixty per cent, for ten 
years. 

From 1840 to 1850 was a period of general prosperity in the country, 
and the full impulse of the preceding period continued through this. 

American authorship was more appreciated at home and abroad a 
ci re;. instance greatly due to the enlightened and patriotic labors of Dr. 
Griswold, who may be considered as among the first and most influential 
of our authors in cultivating a respect for our own literature. New Amer 
ican publications became very numerous during this period ; the style 
of book manufacture was greatly improved ; numerous magazines were 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 



383 



founded ; the penny press was diffused, and became more elevated in its 
character and more enlarged in its scope several of the editors connected 
with it marking the age by their sagacity, vigor, and largeness of view. 

This era is also marked by the production of numerous works richly 
illustrated by steel and wood engravings. The Harpers entered upon the 
publication of handsome editions of books in all departments of litera 
ture, many of them embellished by fine wood engravings ; the Apple- 
tons of New York, Butler of Philadelphia, and others, gave to the public 
those luxurious volumes, successors of the annuals, already alluded to. 
The success of these rich and costly works signalizes the advance of 
public taste. Putnam gives us Washington Irving s works in a guise 
suited to their excellence, and a little later, the Homes of American 
Authors, also in a style suited to the subject. About the same time the 
writers for the Knickerbocker present its veteran editor with a Memorial 
an exquisite volume as much a sign of the public appreciation as 
their own. 

The immense development of the school-book trade is a feature of 
this era ; we now see editions of five, ten, twenty thousand copies of 
geographies, grammars, spelling-books, readers. Spelling-books count 
by millions, and geographies by hundreds of thousands. The mechan 
ical character of these works is changed ; they have cast their brown- 
paper slough, and appear in the costly dress of fine paper, fine illus 
trations, and good binding. Twenty thousand dollars are paid for the 
getting up of a school geography! 



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



EMPLOYMENTS, &c. 


No. of per 
sons 
employed. 


Amount of 
business 
annually. 


No. of books, 
&c., annually 
produced. 


Capital in 
vested. 


Publishing and Bookselling. 
Periodicals, exclusive off 


4,000 



$7,000,000 
500,000 


1 2,000,000 vols 
3,000,000 Nos. 


4,000,000 
200,000 


Bookbinders , 


3,060 


1,646,000 




800,000 


Type & Stereotype Found- | 


i700 


426,i 00 




400,000 


nirr:iviiig. Wood, Steel, & | 
Copper, includ. Designs j 
Plate Printing 


500 
500 


250,000 
400,000 






Newspapers . . . ... 




6 000 000 


j 300,000,000 


2 200,000 


Printing, including News- | 


25.li-} 


7,126,912 


j sheets ann y. 


3,000,000 


Paper of all kinds used for i 
printing f 


8,000 


5,000,000 




5,000,000 



At the present time, 1856, it will be safe to double most of these 
estimatea, to represent the presoat state of the game interests. 



384: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Most of the authors which we have named as belonging to the pre 
ceding era, shed their luster upon this. An.ong those who now first 
entered the lists, we may name 

In History Hildreth, Ingersoll, Eliot, Hawks, T. Irving, Frost, 
Headley, Abbott, Brodhead, Mrs. Willard, Lossing, C. A. Goodrich, 
and soon after, Motley, who, at the very outset, has attained a high 
reputation. In political history Young, Benton. 

In Jurisprudence Greenleaf, George T. Curtis, W. W. Story, and 
soon after, B. R. Curtis, T. Parsons, Edwards, Dayton, Dean, E. F. 
Smith, Dunlap, Waterman, Willard. 

Mathematics Pierce, Davies, Courtenay, Millington, Hackley, Loomis. 

Philology Prof. C. A. Goodrich, editor of Webster s Dictionary ; 
Worcester, Pickering. ^ 

Political Economy, Philosophy, &c. E. P. Smith, Mahan, Tappan, 
Hickok. 

Theology Bushnell, Hawes, Cheever, Wainwright, Wines, Hunting- 
ton, Spring, Wisner, J. A. Alexander, Taylor, McClintock, E. Beecher, 
Williams, Stevens, Fisk, Dowling, Cross, Conant, Choules. 

Medicine and Surgery J. C. Warren, Greene, Parker, Bartlett, Cly- 
mer, Drake, Pancoast, H. H. Smith, Harris, Carson ; and since 1850, 
Bedford, Watson, Gross, Flint, Lee, Blackman. 

General Science, Natural History, Geography, &c. Agassiz and 
Guyot whom we now claim as citizens ; with Bartlett, Squicrs, Maury, 
Mitchell, J. D. Dana, Baird, Hall, Emmons, Mahan, D. A. Wells, 
Wood, St. John, Wilkes the latter giving us a new continent by dis 
covery ; Lynch, who has furnished the best account of the Dead Sea and 
its environs ; and, we may add, Com. Perry, who introduces us to Japan. 

In Classical Literature Leverett, Anthon, Andrews, Gould, Brooks, 
McClintock, Owen, Kendrick, Sophocles, Johnson, Thacher. 

Essay and Criticism Prescott, Chapin, Giles, Sprague, Hague, Charles 
Simmer, Whipple, Palfrey, Winthrop, Beecher, Cheever, Milburn. 

Travels, Geography, &c. Catlin, Stephens, Curtis, Bayard Taylor, 
Uartlelt, Willis, Southgute, Robinson, Olin, Kendall, Fremont, Kidder, 
Parkrnan, Coggshall, Colton. 

In light, racy writing, full of life-pictures and luscious fancies Curtis, 
Cozzens, Mitchell, Bayard Taylor, Willis, Matthews, Baldwin. 

In Miscellaneous Literature Ticknor. Tuckcrinan, Longfellow, Gris- 
wold, Mrs. Child, Hall, Headley, Mrs. Kirkland, Grace Greenwood, Mrs. 
Ellet, Mrs. Hale, Seba Smith ; and in 1856, E. A. and G. L. Duyckinck. 

In Fiction Melville, Kimball, Mayo, Mrs. Stowe, Miss Mackintosh, 
Alice Carey, Elizabeth Warner, Mrs. Southworth, Miss Wormley, Mrs. 
Oakes Smith, Minnie Myrtle. 

In Poetry Holmes, Lowell, Buchanan Read, Bayard Taylor, Saxe, 
Epes Sargent, W. R. Wallace, T. W. Parsons, Cranch, Fields. 

Books of Practical Utility Miss Catharine Beecher, Miss Leslie, Fanny 
Fern, G. P. Putnam, J. L. Blake, Downing, Haven, and many others. 



385 

It is not possible to give all the names of those who have distinguished 
themselves in Educational Manuals ; among them, however, are the fol 
lowing : Mitchell, Olney, Smith, Morse, Willard, Monteith, McNully, 
Fitch, Miss Cornell, Mrs. Willard, in School Geographies ; in Keaders 
ind Spellers, Emerson, Parker, Town, Saunders, Swan, Sargent, Tower, 
McGuffie, Cobb, Lovell ; in Grammars, Kirkham, Clark, Brown, R. C. 
Smith, Weld, Wells, Dalton, Greene, Pineo; in Arithmetics, Emerson, 
Davies, Greenleaf, Thomson, Stoddard, E. C. Smith, Adams; in various 
other works, Hooker, Gallaudet, Comstock, Burritt, Mrs. Phelps, Page, 
Mansfield, H. N. Day, Boyd, Miss Dwight, Darley, Gillespie ; in Maps 
and Atlases, Mitchell, J. H. Colton. The latter has in progress, and 
nearly completed, the best General Atlas ever published in any country. 

THE BOOK MANUFACTURE IN 1850. 

The era of 1850 affords the following estimates : 

School books $5,500,000 

Classical books 1,000,000 

Theological books 500,000 

Law books 700,000 

Medical books 400,000 

All other books 4,400,000 

Gross amount $12,500,000 

This shows an advance of one hundred and twenty-five per cent, in 
ten years. 

From 1850 to 1856, the momentum of preceding periods was 
reinforced by the quickening impulse of a host of female writers, 
whose success presents a marked phenomenon in the history of 
our literature at this time. 

To this era belongs Mrs. Stowe, who, so far as the sale of her works is 
concerned, may be considered the most successful woman-writer ever 
known; Miss Warner, Fanny Fern, Mrs. Stephens, Miss Cummings, 
Marion Harland (Miss Hawes), and others, produce books of which 
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty thousand are sold in a year. 

About this time is the successful era of monthly magazines, as Har 
pers , Putnam s, &c. The former outstrips all other works of the kind 
yet published, issuing one hundred and seventy thousand numbers a 
month ! 

The last ten years have been noted for the production of local, state, 
town, and city histories, as well as genealogical histories. Many of 
these are of great interest, going back to the lights and shadows of 
colonial periods. Here are the future resources of historic poetry and 
romance, of painting and sculpture. 

VOL. II. 17 



386 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

During this period there have also been produced numerous valuable 
and costly works by the General Government, relating to navigation, 
geography, &c., and also local, State surveys, under State patronage, 
of great interest and utility. 

During this period, pictorial-sheet literature is brought to a climax 
in every form, up to the blanket-folio. This is the age of vigorous ad 
vertising, by means of which "fifty thousand copies are sold before a 
book is printed." 

This is also the millennial era of Spiritual Literature, which has now 
its periodicals, its presses, and its libraries. 

It is also the climax of the Thrilling, Agonizing Literature, and which, 
by the way, is thus rather wickedly mocked by the poet of the " Fruit 
Festival" already alluded to : 

"This is the new Sensation 1 Book 

A work of so much force 
The first edition all blew up, 

And smashed a cart and horse! 
A friend who read the manuscript 

Without sufficient care, 
"Was torn to rags, although he had 

Six cables round his bair ! 

" The Eggs of Thought I ll recommend 

As very thrilling lays ; 
Some poets poach but here is one 

That all the papers praise. 
The school commissioners out West 

Have ordered seventy tons, 
That widely they may be dispersed 

Among their setting siins ! 

"And here s a most Astounding Tale 
A volume full of fire; 

The author s name is known to fame- 
Stupendous Stubbs, Esquire ! 

And here s The Howling Ditch of Crime, 
By A. Sapphira Stress: 

Two hundred men fell dead last night 
A working at the press!" 

THB BOOK MANUFACTURE IN 1356. 

The amount of the production of our American book-trade at 
this time that is, for the year 1856 may be estimated at about 
sixteen millions of dollars ; and the annual increase of this in 
terest at about a million of dollars a year. 

This sum may be distributed as follows : 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 



387 



Produced in New York city in the year 1 856 $6,000,000 

In other parts of the State Albany, Schenectady, Utica, Sy 
racuse, Cazenovia, Ithaca, Rochester, Auburn, Buffalo, &c. 600,000 

In Boston 2,500,000 

In other New England towns New Haven, Hartford, Prov 
idence, Springfield, Northampton, Salem, Newburyport, 

Portland, Keene, &c 600,000 

In Philadelphia 3,400,000 

[The operations of the book-trade in this city are enormous, but a 
large amount of the books distributed from this point are manu 
factured elsewhere. The house of Lippincott, Grambo & Co. does 
a larger book business than any other in the world. They are 
very extensive publishers, but they often order whole editions of 
other houses.] 

In Cincinnati 1,300,000 

[This city is less than a century old, from its first log-cabin ; yet an 
excellent authority says: " In 1860 this western city, with a pop 
ulation of 116,000, has twelve publishing houses, which give em 
ployment to seven hundred people. The value of books and 
periodicals published here is $1,250,000 a year. I consider that 
there is more reading of books in Ohio than in Germany. The 
chief works in demand are religious and educational."*] 
In the Northwestern States Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee.. . 100,000 

In the District of Columbia by the Government 750,000 

The Southern and Southwestern States consume a consider 
able amount of books, though small in comparison to the 
rest of the United States. Their production of books and 
of literature is still less in proportion. Baltimore, Rich 
mond, Charleston, Columbus, Savannah, Macon, Mobile, 
New Orleans, St. Louis, and Louisville, are considerable 
markets for the sale of books, and a few works are pub 
lished in some of these places. In Baltimore and Louis 
ville, the publishing interest is extensive. We may esti 
mate the whole book production in this section at 750,000 

Total in the United States $16,000,000 

You will bear in mind that this estimate, throughout, regards only books 
manufactured in the United States, the amount of books imported is 
probably about a million of dollars a year. If so, the whole consump 
tion of books in this country is probably not far from seventeen millions 
of dollars annually! 



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



. 



388 LETTERS BIOGBAPHICAL, 

Now, my dear C , you must remember that the 

details of these estimates are not founded upon pre 
cise official statistics, but are only inferences from 
general facts tolerably well established. Considering 
these as estimates merely, they may still be such 
probable approximations to the truth as to give us 
a general view of the amount and movement of the 
book production of the United States. This, of 
course, leaves out the newspaper and periodical press, 
which circulates annually six millions of copies, and 
five hundred millions of separate numbers ! I do 
not dilate upon the fact that we have two hundred 
colleges, a hundred thousand elementary schools, 
fifty theological seminaries, twenty law schools, forty 
medical schools, and that our public and school libra 
ries number five millions of volumes ;* yet these are 
to be taken in connection with the tabular views 1 
have given. Then, I ask, have we not a literature ? 
I now invite your attention to another topic : 
II. The large and increasing proportion of American 
productions that is, productions of American mind in 
the books published in the United States. 

Taking, as before, certain prominent facts as the basis of cal 
culation, we arrive at the following conclusions : 

In 1820, the book manufacture of the United States was based 
upon works of which thirty per cent, was the production of 
American authors, and seventy per cent, of British authors. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 389 

From 1820 to 1830, as we have seen, a considerable impulse was 
given to American literature, which now began sensibly to diminish the 
relative proportion of British works among us. 

In 1830, the book production of the United States embraced 
forty per cent, of American works, and sixty per cent, of British 
works. 

^~ From 1830 to 1840, still greater activity prevailed in American 
authorship, and school-books were extensively multiplied ; we shall see, 
therefore, during this period, a corresponding relative increase of Amer 
ican works. 

In 1840, we estimate the proportion of American works to be 
fifty-five per cent., and that of British works forty-five per cent. 

t^ m From 1840 to 1850 has been the most thriving era of American 
literature, and during this ten years we find that the balance has turned 
largely in favor of American works. 

In 1850, we estimate the proportion of American works to be 
seventy per cent, and of British works to be thirty per cent. 

In 1856, it is probable that the proportion of American works 
is eighty per cent, and that of British books twenty per cent. 

53F" It will be understood that we here speak of all new editions of every 
Icind : of the works of living British authors, the proportion is much less 
than twenty per-cent. 

Some general observations should be made by way of explanation. 

1. School-books constitute a very large proportion of the book 
product of the United States ; probably thirty to forty per cent, of the 
whole. Sixty years ago we used English readers, spelling-books, and 
arithmetics ; forty years ago we used English books adapted to our 
wants. Now our school-books are superior to those of all other coun 
tries, and are wholly by American authors. More than a million of Web 
ster s Spelling-books are published every year. We produce annually 
more school-books than the whole continent of Europe ! 

2. The classical works in use, formerly altogether British, are now 
aeven-e:ghthfl American. 

3. The elementary treatises on law, medicine, theology, and science, 
are mostly American. 

4. The dictionaries in general use are American. 

5. The popular reading of the masses is three-fourths American. 

6. Three-fourths of the new novels and romances are American. 

7. The new foreign literature, reproduced among us, consists mainly of 
works of science, philosophy, jurisprudence, medicine and surgery, di 
vinity, criticism, and general literature. Thirty per cent, of the works of 



390 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

these classes constituting the higher walks of literature generally 
are of foreign origin. See Note IL^p. 552, vol. ii. 

Now, not insisting upon the precise accuracy of 
these estimates, but still regarding them as approaches 
to the truth, we have the basis for some interesting 
observations. 

Though, as an independent nation, we are less than 
a century old, and though we have been busily en 
gaged in exploring wildernesses, in felling forests, 
founding States, building cities, opening roads ; in 
laying down railways, in teaching steamboats to 
traverse the waters before only known to the Indian 
canoe ; in converting lakes and rivers the largest in 
the world into familiar pathways of commerce, and 
as a consummation of our progress, in netting half a 
continent with lines of telegraph still, we have found 
time, and courage, and heart, to outstrip all that the 
world has before seen, in the diffusion of knowledge, 
by means of the periodical press; in the number and 
excellence of our common schools ; in the number, 
cheapness, and excellence of our books for elemen 
tary education. 

Though not claiming comparison with the Old 
World in the multitude of new works of the highest 
class in literature and science, we have still made a 
good beginning, and have many readers in the other 
hemisphere, under the eaves of universities and col 
leges, which have been founded for centuries. 

Tn the midst of the haste and hurry of life, induced 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICALj ETC. 391 

by the vast fields of enterprise around us and beck 
oning us on to the chase we still find a larger por 
tion of our people devoted to education, and read 
ing, and meditation, and reflection, than is to be met 
with in any other land ; as a corollary of this, we 
find, relatively, more hands, more purses, more heads 
and hearts, devoted to the support of literature and 
the dissemination of knowledge, than in any other 
country of equal population. 

It is also to be observed that, after all that has 
been said and surmised as to the dependence of Amer 
ican literature upon the British press, that the ele 
ment of British mind, in the production of American 
publications, is really but about twenty per cent., 
and this proportion is rapidly diminishing. Of the 
new books annually produced in the United States, 
not more than one-fifth part are either directly or in 
directly of foreign origin. 

It is, however, to be at the same time admitted and 
reflected upon, that our deficiency and our depend 
ence lie chiefly in the higher efforts of mind and 
genius those which crown a nation s work, and 
which confirm a nation s glory ; and it is precisely 
here that we are now called upon, by every legitimate 
stimulus, to rouse the emulation, the ambition, the 
patriotism of our country.* It is, as tributary to such 

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



392 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

a consummation, that I would earnestly urge upon 
our people, and those whom they have placed in au 
thority, to adopt the modified but still desirable 
measure of International Copyright, already suggest 
ed. Just at present this would be a little against us, 
that is to say, we should buy more copyrights of the 
British than they of us ; but, at the rate of progress 
hitherto attained by American literature, before twen 
ty years probably before ten years are past, the 

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

K P. Whippk. 



HISTOEICAL, AJSTECDOTICAL, ETC. 393 

scales will be turned in our favor, and they will buy 
more copyrights of us than we shall of them. At 
all events, an immediate and powerful stimulus would 
be added to authorship, and to some of the trades and 
professions connected with the production of books 
in this country, if we could have the British market 
opened to us on some such plan as is herein pro 
posed. Nearly every new work would be stereotyped, 
and a set of plates sent to England ; and these, in 
view of the increased sale, and the high and im 
proving standard of taste, abroad, would be got up 
in a superior manner, in all respects. Let us think 
well of these things ! 



LETTER LV. 

Recollections of Washington The House of Representatives Missouri 
Compromise Clay, Randolph, and Lowndes The Senate Rufus King 
William Pinkney Mr. Macon Judge Marshall Election of J. Q. 
Adams President Monroe Meeting of Adams and Jackson Jaclcsoii s 
Administration Clay Calhoun Webster Anecdotes. 

MY DEAR C****** 

In the autumn of 1846, I went with my family 
to Paris, partly for literary purposes, and partly also 
to give my children advantages of education, which, 
in consequence of my absorbing cares for a series of 
years, they had been denied. Here they remained 
for nearly two years, while I returned home to at 
tend to my affairs, spending the winters, however, 

17* 



394: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

with them. Leaving my observations upon Paris to 
be grouped in one general view, I pass on with my 
narrative. 

Toward the close of 1849 I removed to New York, 
to execute certain literary engagements. These com 
pleted, I went, in December, 1850, to Washington, 
taking my family with me. Here we remained for 
three months, when, having received the appoint 
ment of United States Consul to Paris, I returned to 
New York, and after due preparation, sailed on the 
5th of April, 1851, to enter upon the official duties 
which thus devolved upon me. 

I invite you to return with me to Washington. 
I had often been there, and had of course seen and 
observed many of the remarkable men who had fig 
ured in the great arena of politics, through a space 
of thirty years. I shall now gather up and present 
to you a few reminiscences connected with this, our 
national metropolis, which still linger in my mind. 
Avoiding political matters, however, which are duly 
chronicled in the books, I shall only give sketches 
of persons and things, less likely to have fallen un 
der your observation. 

My first visit to Washington was in the winter of 
1819-20. Monroe was then President, and D. D. 
Tompkins, Vice-president ; Marshall was at the head 
of the Supreme Court ; Clay, Speaker of the House 
of ."Representatives. In the latter body, the two most 
noted members, exclusive of the speaker, were Wil- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 395 

Ham Lowndes of South Carolina, and John Ran 
dolph of Virginia. 

At the period of my visit, the clouds were mus 
tering in the horizon for that tempest which not only 
agitated Congress, but the whole country, in conse 
quence of the application of Missouri for admission 
into the Union. A few weeks later, the " Compro 
mise of 36 30 , was passed by both houses, but the 
actual admission of the State did not take place till 
the ensuing session. I was at Washington but one 
day, and of course could only take a hurried view 
of the principal objects of interest. I was in the House 
of Representatives but a single hour. While I was 
present, there was no direct discussion of the agita 
ting subject which already filled everybody s mind, 
but still the excitement flared out occasionally in 
incidental allusions to it, like puffs of smoke and 
jets of flame which issue from a house that is on fire 
within. I recollect that Clay descended from the 
speaker s chair, and made a brief speech, thrilling 
the House by a single passage, in which he spoke 
of "poor, unheard Missouri" she being then with 
out a representative in Congress. His tall, tossing 
form, his long, sweeping gestures, and above all, his 
musical, yet thrilling tones, made an impression upon 
me which I can never forget. Some time after, in the 
course of the debate, a tall man, with a little head and 
a small, oval countenance like that of a boy prema 
turely grown old, arose and addressed the chair. He 



396 LETTP:KS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

paused a moment, and I had time to study his ap 
pearance. His hair was jet black, and clubbed in a 
queue ; his eye was black, small, and painfully pen 
etrating. His complexion was a yellowish-brown, 
bespeaking Indian blood. I knew at once that it 
must be John Randolph. As he uttered the words, 
"Mr. Speaker!" every member turned in his seat, 
and facing him, gazed as if some portent had sud 
denly appeared before them. " Mr. Speaker" said 
he, in a shrill voice, which, however, pierced every 
nook and corner of the hall " I have but one word 
to say ; one word, sir, and that is to state a fact. 
The measure to which the gentleman has just allu 
ded, originated in a dirty trick !" These were his 
precise words. The subject to which he referred I 
did not gather, but the coolness and impudence of 
the speaker were admirable in their way. I never 
saw better acting, even in Kean. His look, his man* 
ner, his long arm, his elvish fore-finger like an excla 
mation-point, punctuating his bitter thought showed 
the skill of a master. The effect of the whole was to 
startle everybody, as if a pistol-shot had rung through 
the hall.* 



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

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



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 397 

Soon after Lowndes arose, and there was a general 
movement of the members from the remote parts of the 
room, toward him. His appearance was remarkable. 
He was six feet two inches high slender, bent, ema 
ciated, and evidently of feeble frame. His complex 
ion was sallow and dead, and his face almost without 
expression. His voice, too, was low and whispering. 
And yet he was, all things considered, the strong 
man of the House ; strong in his various knowledge, 
his comprehensive understanding, his pure heart, his 
upright intentions, and above all, in the confidence 
these qualities had inspired. Every thing he said was 
listened to as the words of wisdom. It was he who 
gave utterance to the sentiment that the " office of 
president was neither to be solicited nor refused." 
I was unable to hear what he said, but the stillness 
around the intent listening of the entire assembly 

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

The "Coalition," so much talked of at the time, charged Mr. Clay 
with giving Mr. Adams his influence in the election to the presidency, 
in consideration that lie was to be Secretary of State. This was Hive 1 
with great vehemence and effect, both against Mr. Adams s administra 
tion and Mr. Clay, personally. Randolph s endorsement of the charge, 
at this time, fiendish as the manner of it was, seemed a staggering blow, 
and Mr. Clay thought it necessary to call him to account for it. The 
duel took place on the banks of the Potomac, but Randolph fired in 
the air, and the difficulty was appeased. 

No man in our history has been more discussed than John Kan- 
el ol ph. lie was undoubtedly a man of genius, but, on the whole, both 
in public and private, was an exceedingly dangerous example. !! 
said some good things, and sometimes seemed almost inspired, bin h:-> 
mind and heart were soured and narrowed by inherent physical defects, 
which at last led to occasional lunacy. He died at Philadelphia in 1838, 
aged 60. 



398 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

bore testimony to the estimation in which he was 
held. I never saw him afterward. About two years 
later, he died on a voyage to England for the benefit 
of his health, and thus, in the language of an emi 
nent member of Congress, "were extinguished the 
brightest hopes of the country, which, by a general 
movement, were looking to him as the future chief- 
magistrate of the nation." 

These sketches, I know, are trifles ; but as this was 
my first look at either branch of Congress, and as, 
moreover, I had a glance at three remarkable men, 
you will perhaps excuse me for recording my im 
pressions. 

In the Senate, the persons who most attracted my 
attention were Kufus King, of New York, then hold 
ing the highest rank in that body for able states 
manship, combined with acknowledged probity and 
great dignity of person, manner, and character ; 
Harrison Gray Otis, whom I have already described ; 
William Hunter, of Rhode Island, noted for his 
agreeable presence and his great conversational pow 
ers; William Pinkney,* of Maryland, the most dis- 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 399 

tinguished lawyer of that era a large, handsome 
man, and remarkable for his somewhat foppish dress 
wearing, when I saw him, a white waistcoat, and 
white-top boots ; and Mr. Macon, of North Carolina, 
a solid, farmer-like man, but greatly esteemed for 
combining a sound patriotism with a consistent polit 
ical career. On the whole, the general aspect of the 
Senate was that of high dignity, sobriety, and refine 
ment. There were more persons of that body who 
had the marks of well-bred gentlemen, in their air, 
dress, and demeanor, than at the present day. In 
manners, the Senate has unquestionably degenerated. 
During the half hour in which I was present, there 
was no debate. I went to the hall of the Supreme 
Court, but the proceedings were without special in 
terest. Among the judges were Marshall and Story, 
both of whom riveted my attention. The former was 
now sixty-four years old, and still in the full vigor of 
his career. He was tall and thin, with a small face, 
expressive of acuteness and amiability. His per 
sonal manner was eminently dignified, yet his brow 
did not seem to me to indicate the full force of his 

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



400 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

great abilities and lofty moral qualities. I saw him 
many times afterward, and learned to look with rev 
erence upon him, as being the best representative 
of the era and spirit of Washington, which lingered 
among us. 

I pass over several visits which I made at different 
periods to the capital, and come to the winter of 
1825, when J. Q. Adams was elected President by the 
House of Eepresentatives. I was in the gallery of 
that body at the time the vote was declared. The 
result produced no great excitement, for it had been 
foreseen for some days. The popular sentiment of the 
country, however, was no doubt overruled by elect 
ing to the chief- magistracy the second* of the three 
candidates eligible to the office, and this was severely 
avenged four years afterward at the polls. Mr. Ad 
ams, with all the patronage of the government, was 
displaced by his rival, Gen. Jackson, in 1828, by an 
electoral vote of one hundred and seventy-eight to 
eighty- three. 

But it is not my purpose to load these light letters 
with the weightier matters of politics. I only give an 



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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 401 

outline of public events, which may serve as frames 
to the personal tableaux which I wish to present to 
your view. Let me take you, then, to the President s 
levee, the evening of the 2d of February, 1825 in 
the afternoon of which Adams had triumphed and 
Jackson had been defeated. 

The apartments at the White House were thronged 
to repletion for not only did all the world desire to 
meet and gossip over the events of the day, but this 
was one of the very last gatherings which would take 
place under the presidency of Monroe, and which 
had now continued for eight years. It was the first 
time that I had been present at a presidential levee, 
and it was therefore, to me, an event of no ordinary 
excitement. 

The President I had seen before at Hartford, as I 
have told you ; here, in the midst of his court, he 
seemed to me even more dull, sleepy, and insignifi 
cant in personal appearance, than on that occasion. 
He was under size, his dress plain black, and a little 
rusty ; his neckcloth small, ropy, and carelessly tied ; 
his frill matted ; his countenance, wilted with age 
and study and care. He was almost destitute of 
forehead, and what he had, was deeply furrowed in 
two distinct arches over his eyes, which were small, 
gray, glimmering, and deeply set in large sock 
Altogether, his personal appearance was owlish and 
ordinary without dignity, either of form or expres 
sion; indeed, I could scarce get over the idea that 



402 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

there was a certain look of meanness in his counte 
nance. The lowness of his brow was so remarkable 
that a person in the room said to me, in looking at 
him " He hasn t got brains enough to hold his hat 
on !" His manners, however, which were assiduously 
courteous, with a sort of habitual diplomatic smile 
upon his face, in some degree redeemed the natural 
indifference of his form and features. I gazed with 
eager curiosity at this individual seeking, and yet 
in vain, to discover in his appearance the explana 
tion of the fact that his presidency had been consid 
ered as the era of a millennial truce between the great 
parties whose strife had agitated the country to its 
foundations ; and also of another fact that he had, 
like Washington, been elected to the presidency a 
second time, almost without opposition. I could, 
however, find no solution of these events in the 
plain, homely, undemonstrative presence before me. 
History has indeed given the interpretation for we 
know that, despite these traits in his personal ap 
pearance, Mr. Monroe possessed a quiet energy of 
character, combined with a sound and penetrating 
judgment, great experience, and strong sense, which 
rendered his administration in some respects emi 
nently successful. 

Mrs. Monroe appeared much younger, and was of 
very agreeable manners and person. During the 
eight years of her presidency over the sociabilities of 
the White House, she exercised a genial influence in 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 403 

infusing elegance and dignity into the intercourse of 
the society which came under her sway. 

I shall pass over other individuals present, only 
noting an incident which respects the two persons in 
the assembly who, most of all others, engrossed the 
thoughts of the visitors Mr. Adams the elect, Gen. 
Jackson the defeated. It chanced in the course of 
the evening that these two persons, involved in the 
throng, approached each other from opposite direc 
tions, yet without knowing it. Suddenly, as they 
were almost together, the persons around, seeing 
what was to happen, by a sort of instinct stepped 
aside and left them face to face. Mr. Adams was by 
himself; Gen. Jackson had a large, handsome lady on 
his arm. They looked at each other for a moment, 
and then Gen. Jackson moved forward, and reaching 
out his long arm, said " How do you do, Mr. Ad 
ams ? I give you my left hand, for the right, as you 
see, is devoted to the fair : I hope you are very well, 
sir." All this was gallantly and heartily said and 
done. Mr. Adams took the general s hand, and said, 
with chilling coldness "Very well, sir: I hope Gen. 
Jackson is well !" It was curious to see the western 
planter, the Indian fighter, the stern soldier who had 
written his country s glory in the blood of the enemy 
at New Orleans genial and gracious in the midst of 
,1 court, while the old courtier and diplomat was stiff, 
rigid, cold as a statue ! It was all the more remark 
able from the fact that, four hours before, the former 



404 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

had been defeated, and the latter was the victor, in 
a struggle for one of the highest objects of human 
ambition. The personal character of these two indi 
viduals was in fact well expressed in that chance 
meeting : the gallantry, the frankness, and the hear 
tiness of the one, which captivated all ; the coldness, 
the distance, the self-concentration of the other, which 
repelled all.* 

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

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 4:05 

I pass over several years, and come to the period 
when Jackson was President, at which time I was 
often at Washington. It was a marked epoch, for 
Webster, Calhoun, and Clay were then in the Senate. 
It is seldom that three such men appear upon the 
theater of action at the same time. They were each 
distinct from the other in person, manners, heart, 
constitution ; they were from different sections of the 
country, and to some extent reflected the manners, 
habits, and opinions of these diverse regions. They 
were all of remarkable personal appearance: Web 
ster of massive form, dark complexion, and thought 
ful, solemn countenance; Clay, tall, of rather slight 
frame, but keen, flexible features, and singular ease 
and freedom in his attitudes, his walk, and his ges 
tures. Calhoun was also tall, but erect, and rigid 
in his form his eye grayish blue, and flashing from 
beneath a brow at once imperious and scornful. All 
these men were great actors, not through art, but na 
ture, and gave to the effect of their high intellectual 
endowments, the added power of commanding per 
sonal presence and singularly expressive counte 
nances. They have passed from the stage, and all 



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



406 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

that survives of them belongs to the domain of his 
tory. Many of the speeches, now recorded in their 
books, I heard and remember, with their lofty images 
still painted in my eye and their thrilling tones still 
echoing in my ear. Those who never heard them, 
never saw them, will hereafter read and ponder and 
admire the glowing words, the mighty thoughts they 
have left behind ; but they can never compass the 
conceptions which linger in the minds of those who 
beheld them in the full exercise of their faculties, and 
playing their several parts on their great theater of 
life and action the Senate of the United States. 

Calhoun was educated in Connecticut, first gradu 
ating at Yale College, and then at the Litchfield law 
school. I have often heard his classmates speak of 
him as manifesting great abilities and great ambi 
tion, from the beginning. He was particularly 
noted for his conversational powers, and a cordiality 
of manners which won the hearts of all. He was 
deemed frank, hearty, sympathetic. One of his inti 
mates at Yale, told me that about the year 1812 he 
was elected to Congress. Mr. Calhoun was then a 
member, and one of the greatest pleasures his class 
mate anticipated, was in meeting his college friend. 
He was kindly received, but in the first interview, 
he discovered that the heart of the now rising poli 
tician was gone. He had already given up to am 
bition what was meant for mankind. 

Mr. Calhouii had, however, many friends in New 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 407 

England, partly from the favorable impression he 
made while residing there, and partly also from his 
conduct during the earlier portion of his public career. 
He had, indeed, promoted the war of 1812, but in 
many of his opinions especially in the support of 
a navy he coincided with the North. His admin 
istration of the war department from 1817, during 
the long period of seven years, was singularly suc 
cessful, and everywhere increased his reputation as 
a practical statesman. It is a curious circumstance, 
explained by the facts I have just mentioned, that in 
the election of 1824, while Jackson was defeated for 
the presidency, Calhoun was still chosen vice-presi 
dent, and mainly by northern votes.* Thus far his 
measures, his policy, had been national ; but he soon 
changed, and frequently shifting his position, lost the 
confidence of his own party and of the country. For 
the last fifteen years of his life, " he was like a strong 
man struggling in a morass : every effort to extricate 
himself only sinking him deeper and deeper." He has 
passed away, leaving abundant evidences of his abil 
ities, but with the sad distinction of having success 
fully devoted the last years of his life to the estab 
lishment of the doctrine in his own State and among 
many of his admirers, that domestic Slavery is a good 
and beneficent institution compatible with the Con 
stitution of the United States, and entitled to pro 

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



408 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

tection and perpetuity beneath its banner ! What 
a departure is this from the views and opinions of 
the founders of our National Independence and the 
Federal Union Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, 
and Madison I 

Mr. Clay was also a supporter of the war of 1812, 
and probably was, more than any other individual, 
responsible for it. During its progress, he was the 
eloquent defender of the administration, through its 
struggles and disasters, and was hence the special 
object of New England hostility. He, however, join 
ed Mr. Adams, in 1825, and having contributed, by 
his commanding influence, to his election, became his 
Secretary of State. His policy upon the tariff after 
ward brought him into harmony with the North, and 
he was long the favorite candidate of the whigs for 
the presidency. But he, too, like Calhoun, was a 
man of " positions," and with all his abilities with 
all his struggles he slipped between them, and fell, 
without realizing the great object of his eager am 
bition the presidency.* 



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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 409 

The first time I ever saw Mr. Webster was on the 
17th of June, 1825, at the laying of the corner-stone 
of the Bunker Hill Monument. I shall never forget 
his appearance as he strode across the open area, en 
circled by some fifty thousand persons men and 
women waiting for the " Orator of the Day," nor 
the shout that simultaneously burst forth, as he was 
recognized, carrying up to the skies the name of 
"Webster!" "Webster!" "Webster!" 

It was one of those lovely days in June, when the 



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

VOL. II. 18 



410 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

sun is bright, the air clear, and the breath of nature 
so sweet and pure as to fill every bosom with a grate 
ful joy in the mere consciousness of existence. There 
were present long files of soldiers in their holiday 
attire ; there were many associations, with their mot- 
toed banners ; there were lodges and grand lodges, 
in white aprons and blue scarfs ; there were miles of 
citizens from the towns and the country round about ; 
there were two hundred gray-haired men, remnants 
of the days of the Revolution ; there was among them 
a stranger, of great mildness and dignity of appear 
ance, on whom all eyes rested, and when his name 
was known, the air echoed with the cry " Welcome, 
welcome, Lafayette !"* Around all this scene, was a 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 4:11 

rainbow of beauty such as New England alone can 
furnish. 

I have seen many public festivities and ceremoni 
als, but never one, taken all together, of more general 
interest than this. Every thing was fortunate : all 
were gratified ; but the address was that which 
seemed uppermost in all minds and hearts. Mr. 
Webster was in the very zenith of his fame and of 
his powers. I have looked on many mighty men 
King George, the " first gentleman in England ;" 
Sir Astley Cooper, the Apollo of his generation ; 
Peele, O Connell, Palmerston, Lynd hurst all nature s 
noblemen ; I have seen Cuvier, Guizot, Arago, 
Lamartine marked in their persons by the genius 
which have carried their names over the world ; I 
have seen Clay, and Calhoun, and Pinkney, and 
King, and Dwight, and Daggett, who stand as high 
examples of personal endowment, in our annals, and 
yet not one of these approached Mr. Webster in the 
commanding power of their personal presence. There 

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

In Mr. Webster s discourse, which I have been noticing 1 , there was 
a pasture addressed to Lafayette, which, I believe, is slightly altered in 
the present printed copy. It was told as an anecdote, some years ago, 
that he composed the discourse while fishing for cod off Nantasket 
Beach. It would seem that as he came to the point of addressing La 
fayette, he had a vigorous bite, and from habit, more than attention 
to the business in hand, began to haul in. Just as the fish emerged 
from the water, Mr. Webster went on thus " Fortunate man ! the rep 
resentative of two hemispheres welcome to these shores !" where 
upon the huge fish was safely jerked into the boat. I can not vouch 
for the authenticity of the story, but I tell it as too good to be lost. 



412 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

was a grandeur in his form, an intelligence in his deep 
dark eye, a loftiness in his expansive brow, a signifi 
cance in his arched lip, altogether beyond those of 
any other human being I ever saw. And these, on 
the occasion to which I allude, had their full ex 
pression and interpretation. 

In general, the oration was serious, full of weighty 
thought and deep reflection. Occasionally there 
were flashes of fine imagination, and several passages 
of deep, overwhelming emotion.* I was near the 
speaker, and not only heard every word, but I saw 
every movement of his countenance. When he came 
to address the few scarred and time-worn veterans 
some forty in number who had shared in the bloody 
scene which all had now gathered to commemorate, he 
paused a moment, and, as he uttered the words "Ven 
erable men," his voice trembled, and I could see a 
cloud pass over the sea of faces that turned upon the 
speaker. When at last, alluding to the death of 
Warren, he said 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 413 

" But ah, Him ! the first great martyr of this 
great cause. Him, the patriotic victim of his own 
self-devoting heart. Him, cut off by Providence in 
the hour of overwhelming anxiety and thick gloom : 
falling ere he saw the star of his country rise how 
shall I struggle with the emotions that stifle the ut 
terance of thy name !" Here the eyes of the vet 
erans around, little accustomed to tears, were filled 
to the brim, and some of them "sobbed aloud in their 
fullness of heart." The orator went on : 

"Our poor work may perish, but thine shall en 
dure : this monument may molder away, the solid 
ground it rests upon may sink down to the level ot 
the sea ; but thy memory shall not fail. Wherever 
among men a heart shall be found that beats to the 
transports of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations 
shall claim kindred with thy spirit !" 

I have never seen such an effect, from a single pas 
sage : a moment before, every bosom bent, every 
brow was clouded, every eye was dim. Lifted as 
by inspiration, every breast seemed now to expand, 
every gaze to turn above, every face to beam with a 
holy yet exulting enthusiasm. It was the omnipo 
tence of eloquence, which, like the agitated sea, car 
ries a host upon its waves, sinking and swelling with 
its irresistible undulations. 

It was some years subsequent to this that I be 
came personally acquainted with Mr. Webster. From 
1836, to the time of his death, I saw him frequently, 



414: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

sometimes in public and sometimes in private. I 
have heard some of his great speeches, as well at 
Washington as elsewhere, but I must say that his 
conversation impressed me quite as strongly as his 
public addresses. I once traveled with him from 
Washington to Baltimore. During a ride of two 
hours, he spoke of a great variety of subjects agri 
culture, horticulture, physical geography, geology 
with a perfectness of knowledge, from the minutest 
details to the highest philosophy, which amazed me. 
One thing I particularly remarked, he had no half 
conceptions, no uncertain knowledge. What he knew, 
he was sure of. His recollection seemed absolutely 
perfect. His mind grasped the smallest as well as 
the greatest things. He spoke of experiments he 
had made at Marshfield in protecting trees, recently 
planted, by interposing boards between them and the 
prevailing winds, observing that these grew nearly 
twice as rapidly as those which were exposed to the 
full sweep of the blasts. He spoke of the recent 
discoveries of geology which had converted the 
rocky lamina of the earth, hidden from the begin 
ning, into leaves of a book, in which we could trace 
the footprints of the Creator with perfect knowl 
edge of the subject, and a full appreciation of the 
sublimity of its revelations. 

At Baltimore, while sitting at table after tea, the 
conversation continued, taking in a great variety ot 
subjects. One of the ladies of our company asked 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 415 

Mr. Webster if he chose Marshfield for a residence 
because it was near the sea. 

" Yes, madam," was the reply. 

"And do you love the seashore?" 

" Yes, I love it, yet not perhaps as others do. I 
can not pick up shells and pebbles along the shore. 
I can never forget the presence of the sea. It seems 
to speak to me, and beckon to me. When I see the 
surf come rolling in, like a horse foaming from the 
battle, I can not stoop down and pick up pebbles. 
The sea unquestionably presents more grand and 
exciting pictures and conceptions to the mind, than 
any other portion of the earth, partly because it is 
always new to us, and partly, too, because of the 
majestic movement of its great mass of waters. The 
mystery of its depths, the history of its devastations, 
crowd the mind with lofty images. 

" * The armaments which thunderstrike the walls 
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, 
And monarchs tremble in their capitals 
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make 
Their clay creator the vain title take 
Of lord of thee and arbiter of war : 
These are thy toys, and as the snowy flake, 
They melt into the yeast of waves, which mar 
Alike the Armada s pride or spoils of Trafalgar. 

" Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty s form 
Glasses itself in tempests : in all time, 
Calm or convulsed in breeze or gale or storm, 
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime, 



416 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Dark-heaving : boundless, endless, and sublime 
The image of Eternity the throne 
Of the Invisible ; even from out thy slime 
The monsters of the deep are made : each zone 
Obeys thee thou goest forth dread, fathomless, alone ! 

I know of few descriptions of nature equal in sub 
limity to that." 

It is impossible to give any impression of the effect 
of this passage, recited in low, solemn tones like the 
bass of an organ, the brow of the speaker seeming to 
reflect the very scenes it described. 

Yet Mr. Webster was not always serious. In the 
circle of intimate friends he was generally cheerful 
and sometimes playful, not only relishing wit and 
repartee, but contributing to it his proper share. I 
have heard of one occasion in which he kept a full 
table in a roar for half an hour with his sallies. 
Many years ago there was a contested election in 
Mississippi the seats of two sitting members being 
claimed by a Mr. Word and the famous orator, S. S. 
Prentiss.* The two claimants came to Washington, 



* S. S. Prentiss was a native of Maine, but removed to Mississippi, 
where he soon distinguished himself as a brilliant orator. In the Har 
rison Campaign of 1840, " he took the stump," and made a series of most 
effective speeches, crowds gathering from many miles around, to hear 
him. One day he met with a caravan of wild beasts, and it was suggested 
that he should speak from the top of one of the wagons. He mounted 
that of the hyenas, and as he was lame, and carried a strong cane, occa 
sionally he poked this through a hole in the top and stirred up the hyenas 
within. Prentiss had scathing powers of denunciation, and he was 
unsparing in his sarcasms upon the administration of Jackson and his 
ucces5or Van Buren, which, as he insisted, had caused the ruin then 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 417 

and argued their case before the House, but it was 
dismissed, and they were sent back for a new elec 
tion. Prentiss, however, had sustained himself with 
so much ability, that before his departure a few of 
his whig friends concluded to give him a dinner. 
This was private, though some thirty persons were 
present. Late in the evening, when all were warmed 
with the cheer, Preston, of South Carolina, rose and 
proposed this sentiment : 

" Daniel Webster a Northern man with Southern 
principles !" 

Mr. Webster, after a moment s hesitation, said : 
" Mr. Chairman, I rise in obedience to the flattering 
call of my good friend from South Carolina : Daniel 
Webster a Northern man with Southern principles ! 
Well, sir, I was born in New Hampshire, and there 
fore I am a northern man. There is no doubt of that. 
And if what the people say of us be true, it is 
equally certain that I am a man of southern princi 
ples. Sir, do I ever leave a heel-tap in my glass ? 
Do I ever pay my debts? Don t I always prefer 



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

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

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

18* 



418 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

challenging a man who won t fight?" And thus he 
went on in a manner more suitable to the occasion 
than to these pages until at last, amid roars of laugh 
ter and shouts of applause, he sat down. 

The countenance of Mr. Webster was generally 
solemn, and even severe, especially when he was ab 
sorbed in thought : yet when relaxed with agreeable 
emotions, it was irresistibly winning. I have heard 
an anecdote which furnishes a pleasing illustration of 
this. At the time Mr. Wirt was Attorney-general, 
Mr. Webster, having some business with him, went 
to his office. Mr. Wirt was engaged for a few mo 
ments at his desk, and asked Mr. Webster to sit down 
a short time, when he would come to him. Mr. Web 
ster did as requested, and for some moments sat look 
ing moodily into the fire. At length one of Mr. 
Wirt s children a girl of six or eight years old 
came in, and thinking it was her father, went to Mr. 
Webster, and putting her elbows on his knee, looked 
up in his face. In an instant she started back, 
shocked at her mistake, and appalled by the dark, 
moody countenance before her. At the same mo 
ment Mr. Webster became aware of her presence. 
His whole face changed in an instant : a smile came 
over his face ; he put out his hand, and all was so 
winning, that the child, after hesitating a moment, 
also smiled, and went back and resumed her confiding 
position, as if it had indeed been her father. 

That Mr. Webster had his faults, we all know ; 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 419 

but the general soundness of his heart and character, 
as well as the soundness of his intellect, are demon 
strated by his works. These are an indestructible 
monument, attesting alike his greatness and his good 
ness. Among all these volumes, so full of thought, 
so pregnant with instruction, so abounding in knowl 
edge, there is not an impure suggestion, not a mean 
sentiment, not a malicious sentence. All is patriotic, 
virtuous, ennobling. And the truths he thus uttered 
how are they beautified, adorned, and commended 
by the purity of the style and the elegance of the dic 
tion ! In this respect there is a remarkable difference 
between him and his great rivals, Clay and Calhoun. 
Mr. Webster s works abound in passages which convey 
beautiful sentiments in beautiful language* gems of 

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

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

"One may live as a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate, but he must 
die as a man. The bed of death brings every human being to his purw 
individuality; to the intense contemplation of that deepest and most 
solemn of all reiulions, the relation between the Creator and the cre 
ated." 

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

" Kelitriou is the tie that connects man with his Creator, and holds 
him to his throne. It that tie be all sundered, all broken, he floats 
n way, a worthless atom in the universe its proper attractions all gone, 
its destiny thwarted, and its whole future nothing but darkness, des 
olation, and death." 

Speaking at Valley Forge of the sufferings of the American army 



420 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

thought set in golden sentences, fitting them to be 
come the adornments of gifted and tasteful minds, 
for all future time. With these other orators it is 
not so : there is an earnest, direct, vigorous logic in 
Calhoun, which, however, can spare not a sentence 
to any subsidiary thought ; there is a warm, glowing, 
hearty current of persuasion in Clay, yet he is too 
ardent in the pursuit of his main design, to pause for 

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

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

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

Against the wind, against the tide, 
Still steadies with an upright keel. 

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 421 

a moment to gather or scatter flowers by the wayside. 
In all the works of these two great men, it is not 
easy to select a page which may challenge admiration 
on account of its artistic beauty, or because it en 
shrines general truth and philosophy, so happily 
expressed as to enforce them upon the worship of the 
heart. 

Of Mr. Webster s magnanimity, there are abundant 

and destiny, he knows that he is to die. Then comes that most urgent 
and solemn demand for light that ever proceeded, or can proceed, from 
the profound and anxious breedings of the human soul. It is stated, 
with wonderful force and beauty, in that incomparable composition, the 
book of Job : For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will 
pprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease ; that, 
through the scent of water, it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a 
plant. But if a man die, shall lie live again T And that question noth 
ing but God, and the religion of God, can solve. Religion does solve it, 
and teaches every man that he is to live again, and that the duties of 
this life have reference to the life which is to come. And hence, since 
the introduction of Christianity, it has been the duty, as it has been 
the effort, of the great and the good, to sanctify human knowledge, to 
bring it to the fount, and to baptize learning into Christianity ; to gath 
er up all its productions, its earliest and its latest, its blossoms and its 
fruits, and lay them all upon the altar of religion and virtue." 

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



4:22 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

evidences. His whole course in the House as well as in 
the Senate evinced it. He never displayed, because he 
never felt that littleness of soul, which signalizes itself 
in envy, and malice, and uncharitableness. Nothing 
can be finer than the uniform dignity of his con 
duct through a congressional period of more than 
twenty years. But there are two instances of his 
greatness of soul, which have appeared to me re 
markable, and especially worthy of being recorded, 
because they refer to those individuals, Clay and Cal- 
houn, who of all others he might have been sup 
posed to regard with feelings of aversion, if not of 
hostility. 

It is well remembered by all those who are con 
versant with the history of the times, that Mr. Web 
ster, then acting as Secretary of State in the Tyler 
Cabinet, thought fit to continue in his place, when the 



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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC A L, ETC. 423 

other members resigned. This conduct drew upon 
him attacks from various quarters, and especially 
from those who were known to take counsel of Mr. 
Clay. It was manifest, as well from the bitterness as 
the persistence of the onslaught, that the purpose was 
to effect Mr. Webster s destruction as a public man. 
This object was not accomplished, for it soon ap 
peared to the world that he had been governed by 
the highest motives of patriotism, in the course he 
had adopted, and that he had indeed made it the 
means of accomplishing a great national benefit the 
settling of the irritating and threatening question of 
the " Maine boundary." In fact, Mr. Webster rather 
gained than lost in the confidence of men whose opin 
ions are of value, in spite of this conspiracy which 
sought to overwhelm him. 

In the spring of 1844, Mr. Clay, having been on 
a trip to the South, came to Washington. He was 
already indicated by public opinion as the whig can 
didate for the presidency, and it seemed highly prob 
able that the time had now come for the realization 
of his known and cherished aspirations, in respect to 
that high position. He was himself sanguine of suc 
cess. On the 1st of May he was nominated at Bal 
timore, by a whig convention, for the office in ques 
tion, and the next day there was to be a grand rally 
of young men, to ratify the nomination. It was sug 
gested to Mr. Clay that it was eminently desirable 
that Mr. Webster should add his influence in behalf 



424 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

of the nomination ; but he is said to have felt that 
he neither needed nor desired it. His friends, however, 
thought otherwise, and a message was dispatched to 
Mr. Webster, begging him to come on to the conven 
tion, already gathering at Baltimore. This reached 
him while he was dining at the Astor House, in New 
York. He immediately left the table, and after a 
brief communion with himself, departed, and arrived 
in time to join his voice in a powerful speech, to the 
enthusiasm of the occasion. 

A very short period after this, the clouds began 
to thicken in the political horizon. Mr. Polk had 
been nominated, and the important State of Penn 
sylvania was seen to be in danger of giving him her 
vote. In this emergency, Mr. Webster was besought 
to go there and address the people at Philadelphia, 
and in the mining districts, where large masses were 
congregated. Perfectly well knowing Mr. Clay s 
sentiments and conduct toward him, he still went, 
and made a series of addresses, among the most elo 
quent that he ever uttered. In the course of these, 
he had occasion to speak of Mr. Clay. It was a 
delicate task, therefore, to do justice to his position, 
as an advocate of Mr. Clay s candidacy, while at the 
same time Mr. Clay s treatment of him was fresh in 
the public mind. Yet with a tact, which does infi 
nite credit to his good taste, and a magnanimity which 
equally honors his heart, he spoke of Mr. Clay in the 
following words : *( 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 425 

" There are two candidates in the field, Mr. Clay of Kentucky, 
and Mr. Polk of Tennessee. I shall speak of them both with 
the respect to which their character and position entitle them ; 
and at the same time with that freedom and candor which 
ought to be observed in discussing the merits of public men, 
especially those who are candidates for the highest office in the 
gift of the people. 

" Mr. Clay has been before the country for a long period, 
nearly forty years. Over thirty years he has taken a leading 
and highly important part in the public affairs of this country. 
He is acknowledged to be a man of singular and almost univer 
sal talent. He has had great experience in the administration 
of our public affairs in various departments. He has served 
for many years with wonderful judgment and ability, in both 
houses of Congress, of one of which he performed the arduous 
and difficult duties of its presiding officer, with unexampled skill 
and success. He has rendered most important services to his 
country of a diplomatic character, as the representative of this 
government in Europe, at one of the most trying periods of our 
history, and ably assisted to conduct to a satisfactory conclusion 
a very delicate and important negotiation. He has performed 
the duties of the department of State with ability and fidelity. 
He is a man of frankness and honor, of unquestioned talent and 
ability, and of a noble and generous bearing. 

" Mr. Polk is a much younger man than Mr. Clay. Pie is a 
very respectable gentleman in private life; he has been in Con 
gress ; was once Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 
United States, and once Governor of the State of Tennessee." 

We may not only refer to this passage as evidence 
of Mr. Webster s magnanimity of soul, but as a high 
example of gentlemanly dignity in the very heat of 
an animated party discussion, not forgetting to render 
justice even to an adversary. 



426 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

In respect to Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Webster displayed 
similar elevation of mind. It is matter of history 
that, in the earlier periods of their congressional life, 
these two men were drawn together by mutual ad 
miration. But party exigences have no respect for 
private feelings, and accordingly Mr. Calhoun joined 
the conspiracy, which, in 1832, was formed to crush 
Mr. Webster ; a measure which it was hoped to accom 
plish through the eloquence of Mr. Hayne, assisted 
by the united talent of the democratic party, at that 
time powerfully represented in the Senate. That he 
escaped, was owing to his own matchless abilities* 
for there is hardly an instance on record in which a 
man, single-handed, has withstood and baffled and 
punished so formidable a combination. For several 
years immediately following, Mr. Webster was called 
into an almost perpetual conflict with Mr. Calhoun 
from this point his stern, unflinching adversary. By 
general consent, others stood aloof, almost in awe 
of the conflict between these two champions. The 
struggle furnishes some of the most remarkable pas 
sages in our political history. But an event at last 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 427 

arrived which was to put an end to the strife. Mr. 
Calhoun, who had gradually been sinking under a 
decay of health and constitution, expired at Washing 
ton on the 31st of March, 1850. It was then that 
Mr. Webster rose in the Senate and pronounced upon 
him a eulogium, in which all his merits were beauti 
fully set forth, without one of the many shadows 
which truth might have furnished. 

" Sir," said Mr. Webster, " the eloquence of Mr. Calhoun, or 
the manner of his exhibition of his sentiments in public bodies, 
was part of his intellectual character. It grew out of the quali 
ties of his mind. It was plain, strong, terse, condensed, concise ; 
sometimes impassioned, still always severe. Rejecting ornament, 
not often seeking far for illustration, his power consisted in the 
plainness of his propositions, in the closeness of his logic, and in 
the earnestness and energy of his manner. These are the qual 
ities, as I think, which have enabled him through such a long 
course of years to speak often, and yet always command atten 
tion. His demeanor as a Senator is known to us all is appre 
ciated, venerated by us all. No man was more respectful to 
others; no man carried himself with greater decorum, no man 
with superior dignity. 

" Sir, I have not in public or in private life known a more 
assiduous person in the discharge of his appropriate duties. He 
seemed to have no recreation but the pleasure of conversation 
with his friends. Out of the chambers of Congress, he was 
either devoting himself to the acquisition of knowledge pertain 
ing to the immediate subject of the duty before him, or else he 
WM< indulging in some social interviews in which he so much 
delighted. His colloquial talents were certainly singular and 
eminent. There was a charm in his conversation not often 
found. He delighted especially in conversation and intercourse 
with young men. I suppose that there has been no man among 



4:28 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

us who had more winning manners, in such an intercourse and 
such conversation, with men comparatively young, than Mr. 
Calhoun. I believe one great power of his character, in general, 
was his conversational talent. I believe it is that, as well as a 
consciousness of his high integrity, and the greatest reverence 
for his talents and ability, that has made him so endeared an 
object to the people of the State to which he belonged. 

" Mr. President, he had the basis, the indispensable basis, of 
all high character and that was, unspotted integrity, unirn- 
peached honor and character. If he had aspirations, they were 
high, and honorable, and noble. There was nothing groveling, 
or low, or meanly selfish, that came near the head or the heart 
of Mr. Calhoun. Firm in his purpose, perfectly patriotic and 
honest, as I am sure he was, in the principles that he espoused 
and in the measures that he defended, aside from that large re 
gard for that species of distinction that conducted him to emi 
nent stations for the benefit of the Republic, I do not believe he 
had a selfish motive or selfish feeling. However, sir, he may 
have differed from others of us in his political opinions or his 
political principles, those principles and those opinions will now 
descend to posterity under the sanction of a great name. He 
has lived long enough, he has done enough, and he has done it 
so well, so successfully, so honorably, as to connect himself for 
all time with the records of his country. He is now an historical 
character. Those of us who have known him here will find that 
he has left upon our minds and our hearts a strong and lasting 
impression of his person, his character, and his public perform 
ances, which while we live will never be obliterated. We shall 
hereafter, I am sure, indulge in it as a grateful recollection, that 
we have lived in his age, that we have been his contemporaries, 
that we have seen him, and heard him, and known him. We 
shall delight to speak of him to those who are rising up to fill 
our places. And, when the time shall come that we ourselves 
shall go, one after another, to our graves, we shall carry with us 
a deep sense of his genius and character, his honor and integrity, 



HISTORICAL, AJSTECDOTICAL, ETC. 429 

his amiable deportment in private life, and the purity of his 
exalted patriotism." 

Was there not something grand and at the same 
time affecting in a scene like this a great man all 
selfish thought rebuked, all passed bitterness forgot 
uttering words like these, over the now prostrate 
competitor with whom it had been his lot to wrestle 
through long years of the bitterest party conflict ? 

But I must draw this chapter to a close ; yet my 
memory is, indeed, full of the images of other men 
of mark whom I have seen upon the great stage of 
action at Washington. Among them was William 
Wirt, an able lawyer, an elegant writer, an accom 
plished gentleman and, at the time I knew him, 
Attorney-general of the United States ; Mr. Forsyth, 
Gen. Jackson s accomplished Secretary of State, at 
whose house I remember once to have dined when 
Mr. Benton, Isaac Hill, John M. Niles,* and others 

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

f must give a sketch of a scene in Mr. Forsyth s parlor, on the occasioii 



430 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

were present; "John Taylor of Caroline," an able Vir 
ginian statesman, and the very personification of old- 
fashioned dignity and courtesy; Albert Gallatin, a 
dark, swarthy man, with an eye that seemed to pene 
trate the souls of all who approached him ; Henry R 
Storrs,* a native of Connecticut, but a representative 
from New York one of the ablest debaters of his 
day ; Hayne of South Carolina, the gallant but unsuc 
cessful j ouster with Mr. Webster ; Burgess of Khode 

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

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

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

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 431 

Island a man of prodigious powers of sarcasm, and 
who made even John Kandolph quail ; Silas Wright 
of New York, ever courteous, ever smiling a giant 
in strength, conquering his antagonists with such an 
air of good-humor as to reconcile them to defeat : 
these, and still others among the departed, live in my 
memory, and were there time and occasion, would 
furnish interesting themes of description and com 
ment. Of those among the living Crittenden, noted 
for his close argument and polished sarcasm ; Benton 
of Missouri, who has fought his way through many 
prejudices, till he has attained the reputation of un 
rivaled industry, vast acquisitions, and an enlarged 
statesmanship ; Bell of Tennessee, always dignified 
and commanding respect these linger in my memory 
as connected with the senate-chamber, where indeed 
their chief laurels have been won. In the other house, 
I have often seen and heard Winthrop, Gushing, Wise, 
T. Marshall all brilliant orators, and accustomed to 
"bring down the House," when the spirit moved. 

In the White House, I have seen Monroe and Ad 
ams, and Jackson and Van Buren, and Harrison and 
Tyler, and Taylor and Fillmore. How many memo 
ries rise up at the mention of these names associated 
as they are in my mind with the brilliant throngs I 
have seen at their levees, or with the public events 
connected with their names, or the whirlpools of 
party strife which I have seen fretting and foaming 
at the periods of their election ! 



432 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

But I must forbear. A single domestic event 
claims to be recorded here, and I shall then take 
leave of Washington. I have told you that I had 
come hither with my family. Among them was one 
to whom existence had hitherto been only a bright, 
unbroken spring. Gifted, beautiful, healthful, happy 
loving all and loved by all he never suggested by 
his appearance, an idea but of life, and enjoyment, 
and success, and prosperity. Yet he was suddenly 
taken from us. We mourned, though remembrances 
were mingled with our grief which softened, if they 
could not wholly remove it. His simple virtues, 
faintly recorded in the following stanzas, are still 
more indelibly written on our hearts : 

A MEMORIAL. 

Oh, tell me not that Eden s fall 

Has left alike its blight on all 

For one I knew from very birth, 

Who scarcely bore the stains of earth. 

No wondrous bump of skull had he 

No mark of startling prodigy ; 

His ways were gentle, tranquil, mild 

Such as befit a happy child 

With thoughtful face, though bland and fair 

Of hazel eye and auburn hair. 



When with his mates in mirthful gl 
A simple, joyous boy was he, 
Whose harmless wit, or gentle joke, 
A laughing echo often woke. 



HiSTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 4:33 

He gaily joined the ardent chase, 
And often woii the bantering race. 
His sled, endowed with seeming skill, 
Flew swiftest down the snowy hill; 
And o er the lake his gliding skates 
Left far behind his panting mates. 
Yet mid the strife the gentle boy 
Caught only bliss, and no alloy. 
The vulgar oath th offensive word 
The lie, the jeer, the scoff, he heard 
Yet none of these e er soiled his tongue, 
Or o er his breast their shadow flung ; 
No hidden vice, no lurking sin, 
Told on his brow a curse within ; 
And still, as years flew lightly o er, 
The stamp of truth and peace he bore. 

If thus he loved the sportive mood, 
Still more he loved alone to brood 
Along the winding river s brim, 
Through arching forests hoar and dim ; 
Beside the ocean s shelly shore, 
And where the surly cataracts pour. 
Yet not an idle dreamer he, 
Who wasted life in reverie ; 
For ocean, forest, fall, and brook 
Each was to him a speaking book : 
And thus, untaught, he gained a store 
Of curious art and wondrous lore. 
I oft have seen him in the wood, 
Wrapt in a meditative mood 
Now gazing at the forest high, 
Now searching flowers with heedful eye, 
Now watching with inquiring view, 
Each feathered craftsman as he flew 
VOL. II.- 19 



434 LETTERS BIOGftAPHICAL, 

Now studying deep the spider s thread, 
With wondrous cunning twined and spread- 
Now tracing out the beetle s den, 
"Where sturdy insects work like men ; 
Now on his knees o er ant-hill bent, 
Upon the bustling town intent ; 
Now snatching with a skillful swoop, 
From out the brook, a wriggling troop 
Of tadpole, frog, and nameless wight, 
O er which he pored in strange delight. 
And thus, all nature s varied lore 
He loved to ponder o er and o er 
To watch alike, with studious gaze, 
The insects and their wondrous ways: 
The forest, with its flush of flowers 
The landscape, with its bloom of bowers 
The river, winding far away 
The ocean, in its ceaseless play 
The trembling stars, that seem to trace 
God s footsteps o er the depths of space ! 

And as in years lie older grew, 

Still sterner science won his view : 

From books he gathered hidden lore, 

Though none saw how he gained his store. 

Yet most he loved to break the seal 

Of nature s secrets, and reveal 

The wondrous springs that hidden lie 

Within her deep philosophy 

In pulley, axle, wedge, and beam 

In trembling air and flowing stream. 

His mind, with shrewd invention fraught, 

His hand, with ready practice Avrought 

Constructing engines, sped by steam, 

That flew o er mimio rail and stream ! 







Olt h:\ve I seen him in th" wood, 
riipi in a iiii-ilitauve niooj Vol 2. p. 434 



I I I (. . 






HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 435 

Meanwhile his room a shop became, 
With lathe and bellows, forge and flame ; 
And in the midst, as each could see, 
Mechanic chemist all was he. 

And thus with knowledge he was fraught, 
Not by an instinct, but by thought 
Patient and tranquil bent with care 
O er many a book a student rare. 
And while he thus the useful knew, 
He still was just and truthful too : 
He loved the good, the dutiful 
The tasteful, and the beautiful ; 
Still modest simple was his air ; 
Still found he pleasure everywhere ; 
Still found he friends on every hand : 
The humble loved, for he was bland ; 
The high admired, for all refined, 
His look and manner matched his mind. 
No envy broke his bosom s rest 
No pride disturbed his tranquil breast 
No praise he heeded, for he knew 
To judge himself by standards true ; 
And words to him were vain and waste, 
If still unsatisfied his taste. 

With rapid hand his pencil drew 
Light sketches of the scenes he knew, 
Which told how well his studious eye 
Had traced the hues of earth and sky 
The playful change of light and shade 
O er rippling wave or spreading glade. 
And music from his fingers swept 
So sweet so deep the listener wept. 
The tutored and untutored round, 
In trembling trance, alike were bound ; 



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HISTORICAL, AOTCDOrJCAL, ETC. r";7 



1ETTER LTI. 

mm i P*rif 1U*f fm 




About the middle of April, 1851, I arrired in 
Paris, and soon after took charge of the Consulate 
there. As you know, I hare fivfwattj been in tins 
gay city, and I now propose to gather up my recol 
lect ions of it. and select therefrom a few hems which 
may fill np the blank that yet remains in my story, 
and in some degree contribute to yor amosement. 

I first visited Paris in January. 1524, as I hare told 
you. I had spent a month in Tondoa, which is always 
a rather gloomy place to a stranger, and 
peculiarly depressing. The people who hare 
there, burrow into them, and Kgh*"^ their coal fires, 
make themselves happy ; bat the 
country, shut out from these cheerful 
forced into the streets, grimed with dirt 
below and incam.be red with bituminous logs abore, 
feels that he is in a dreary wilderness, where man 
and liiiiiM conspire to make him 
melancholy. In most great cities, there 



438 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

to cheer the new-comer : it is precisely the reverse 
with London, and particularly at this dismal season. 
Its finest streets, its most sumptuous squares, even 
its noble monuments, which are not few, have al 
ways a rather dull aspect, and in the pitchy atmo 
sphere of winter, they seem to be in mourning, and 
communicate their gloom to all around. St. Paul s, 
incrusted with soot and dripping with an inky de 
posit from the persistent fogs ; Nelson s monument, 
black with coal-smoke, and clammy with the chill 
death-damp of the season, all these things the very 
ornaments and glories of the city are positively 
depressing, and especially to an American, accus 
tomed to the transparent skies, the white snow-drifts, 
the bracing, cheering atmosphere of his own winter 
climate. 

Paris is the very opposite of London. The latter 
is an ordinary city, impressed by no distinctive char 
acteristics, except its gloom and its vast extent. It is 
little more than twenty Liverpools, crowded together, 
and forming the most populous city in the world. 
Paris, on the contrary, is marked with prominent and 
peculiar traits, noticed at once by the most careless ob 
server. On entering the streets, you are struck with 
the air of ornament and decoration which belongs 
to the architecture, the effect of which is heightened 
by the light color of the freestone, the universal 
building material. The sky is bright, and the peo 
ple seem to reflect its cheerfulness. The public gar- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 439 

dens and squares, surrounded with monuments of art 
and teeming with men, women, and children, inclu 
ding abundance of rosy nurses and plump babies, all 
apparently bent on pleasure, and this, too, in mid 
winter are peculiar and striking features of this gay 
metropolis. To an American who has just left Lon 
don, his heart heavy with hypochondria, Paris is in 
deed delightful, and soon restores him to his wonted 
cheerfulness. 

At the time I first arrived here, this city was, how 
ever, very different from what it now is. Louis 
XVIII. was upon the throne, and had occupied it for 
nine years. During this period he had done almost 
nothing to repair the state of waste and dilapidation 
in which the allies had left it. These had taken down 
the statue of Napoleon on the column of the Place 
Yen dome, and left its pedestal vacant ; the king had 
followed up the reform and erased the offensive name 
of the exiled emperor from the public monuments, 
and put his own, Louis XVIIL, in their place; he had 
caused a few churches to be repaired, and some pic 
tures of the Virgin to be painted and placed in their 
niches. But ghastly mounds of rubbish the wrecks 
of demolished edifices scattered heaps of stones at 
the foot of half-built walls of buildings, destined 
never to be completed, these and other unsightly 
objects were visible on every hand, marking the re 
cent history of Napoleon, overthrown in the midst 
of his mighty projects, and leaving his name and his 



440 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

works to be desecrated alike by a foreign foe and a 
more bitter domestic adversary. 

The king, Louis XVIII., was a man of good sense 
and liberal mind, for one of his race; but he was 
wholly unfit to administer the government. He was 
a sort of monster of obesity, and, at the time I speak 
of, having lost the use of his lower limbs, he could 
not walk, and was trundled about the palace of the 
Tuileries in a cripple s go-cart. I have often seen 
him let down in this, through the arch in the south 
eastern angle of the palace, into his coach, and re 
turning from his ride, again taken up, and all this 
more like a helpless barrel of beef than a sovereign. 
Had the allies intended to make legitimacy at once 
odious and ridiculous, they could not better have 
contrived it than by squatting down this obese, im 
becile extinguisher upon the throne of France, as the 
successor of Napoleon ! 

The Parisians are, however, a philosophic race : as 
they could not help themselves, they did not spend 
their lives like children, in profitless poutings. They 
had their jokes, and among these, they were accus 
tomed to call Louis Dix-huit, Louis des hidtres a tol 
erable pun, which was equivalent to giving him the 
familiar title of Old Oyster Louis. Deeming it their 
birthright to have three or four hours of pleasure 
every day whoever may be in power they still fre 
quented the promenades, the Boulevards, and the 
theaters. When, therefore, I first visited the gardens 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 

of the Tuileries of a bright Sunday afternoon, and im 
mediately after quitting the "dull fuliginous abyss" 
of London, the scene seemed to me like enchant 
ment. I find my impressions thus chronicled in my 
notes : 



" Weather fine, bright, and mild ; some shrubs still 
green, and many flowers yet in bloom ; jets of fount 
ains playing in the sunshine ; too early in the day for 
a great throng, yet a great many people here ; all have 
a quiet, sauntering look ; hundreds of tidy nurses, 
with bare arms and neat caps on their heads, the 
children they carry about being richly dressed, their 
little rosy cheeks imbedded in lace ; the ladies taste 
fully attired, and walking with a peculiar air of grace 
very sentimental and modest in their countenances 
never look at you, as they do in London ; very 
provoking. There is no Sunday air in the scene, 
but rather that of a calm pleasure-day ; children are 
rolling hoops ; one boy making a dirt pie ; two dogs, 
which have probably been shut up for a week, hav 
ing a glorious scamper; wild-pigeons cooing above in 
the tree-tops ; sparrows hopping about on the green 
sod at the foot of the statues of Flora and Diana, 
and picking up crumbs of bread thrown to them by 
the children ; a number of old men in the sunshine, 
sheltered by a northern wall, reading newspapers ; 
several nurses there, sunning their babies ; palace of 
the Tuileries of an architecture never seen in America, 
but still imposing ; the Hue de Rivoli on the north, 

19* 



442 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

superb ; the Place Louis Quinze,* fine ; the mint and 
other edifices along the opposite bank of the Seine, 
beautiful. Wonderful place, this Paris; different 
from any thing I have seen. It seems devised, in 
its sky, its edifices, its decorations, its ornaments, 
for a tasteful and pleasure-loving people. Even I, a 
wanderer, feel no sense of solitude, of isolation, here. 
London is repulsive, and seems continually to frown 
upon the stranger as an outcast ; Paris smiles upon 
him and welcomes him, and makes him feel at home. 
The genial spirit of the French nation speaks in this, 
its capital : just as the temper and spirit of John Bull 
seem to be built into the brick and mortar of the 
streets of London." 

I can not, perhaps, do better than to give you a 
few more passages from the hasty jottings I made at 
the time. 

" February 6 Washington Irving returned our 
call. Strikingly mild and amiable ; dress claret 
coat, rather more pigeon-tailed than the fashion at 
New York ; light waistcoat ; tights ; ribbed, flesh- 
colored silk stockings ; shoes, polished very bright. 
This a fashionable dress here. He spoke of many 



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



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 443 

things, all in a quiet manner, evidently with a fund 
of feeling beneath. 

" February 14 Went with Mr. Warden* to a meet 
ing of the Societe Philomatique, composed of mem 
bers of the Institute ; saw Fourier, the famous geo 
metrician and physician ; he accompanied Napoleon 
to Egypt ; wears a great brown wig ; a dull, clumsy 
speaker : Thenard, a famous chemist, associated with 
Gay-Lussac ; looks about forty : Larrey ; has long 
black hair parted on the forehead, with an air of 
gravity and solidity, mingled with simplicity ; spoke 
slowly, but with great clearness. Bonaparte said he 
was the most honest man he ever knew. He ac 
companied the expedition to Egypt ; is still a dis 
tinguished surgeon, and in full practice. Poisson, 
one of the first mathematicians in Europe ; he has a 
very fine head and splendid eye seems about forty- 
eight : Geoff roy St. Hilaire, a zoologist, second only 
to Cuvier ; a bustling, smiling man, of very demon 
strative manner ; he had two huge fish-bones, which 
he used for the purpose of illustrating his observa 
tions. He was also in the Egyptian expedition, and 
contributed largely to its scientific results. He seem 
ed about forty-eight, and was listened to with great 



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



44:4: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

attention. Bosc, a celebrated agriculturist, botanist. 
&c., old, respectable, gentlemanly. 

" The proceedings were conducted with order and 
simplicity, forming a striking contrast to the pomp 
ous declamation I heard in London, in the Academy 
of Arts, upon hatching eggs. 

" February 16 Went with Mr. Warden to a meet 
ing of the Institute, held in the Hotel Mazarin : one 
hundred and fifty members present. Arago, presi 
dent ; he is tall, broad-shouldered, and imposing in 
appearance, with a dark, swarthy complexion, and a 
black, piercing eye. Lamarck, the famous writer on 
natural history old, infirm, blind was led in by 
another member a distinguished entomologist, whose 
name I have forgotten ; Fontaine, the architect tall, 
homely, and aged : Gay-Lussac, a renowned chemist, 
under forty, active, fiery in debate : Cuvier, rather a 
large man, red face, eyes small, very near-sighted ; 
eyes near together and oddly appearing and dis 
appearing ; features acute, hair gray, long, and care 
less ; he spoke several times, and with great perti 
nency and effect : Lacroix, the mathematician, old, 
and looks like a 76er : Laplace, the most famous 
living astronomer, tall, thin, arid sharp-featured re 
minded me of the portraits of Yoltaire ; he is about 
seventy -five, feeble, yet has all his mental faculties. 

"The principal discussion related to gasometers, 
the police of Paris having asked the opinion of the 
Institute as to the safety of certain new kinds, lately 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 445 

introduced. The subject excited great interest, and 
the debate was quite animated. Thenard, Gay-Lus- 
sac, Girard, Laplace, Cuvier, and others, engaged in 
the debate. Nearly all expressed themselves with 
great ease and even volubility. They were occasion 
ally vehement, and when excited, several spoke at 
once, and the president was obliged often to ring his 
bell to preserve order. 

" It was strange and striking to see so many old 
men, just on the borders of the grave, still retaining 
such ardor for science as to appear at a club like this, 
and enter with passion into all the questions that 
came up. Such a spectacle is not to be seen else 
where, on the earth. The charms of science gen 
erally fade to the eye of threescore and ten ; few 
passions except piety and avarice survive threescore. 
It is evident, in studying this association, that the 
highest and most ardent exercises of the mind are 
here stimulated by the desire of glory, which is the 
reward of success. One thing struck me forcibly in 
this assembly, and that was the utter absence of all 
French foppery in dress, among the members. Their 
attire was plain black, and generally as simple ;is 
that of so many New England clergymen. 

" In the evening, went to the Theatre Francais, to 
see Talma in the celebrated tragedy of Sylla, by Jouy. 
Did not well understand the French, but could see 
that the acting was very masterly. Had expected a 
great deal of rant, but was agreeably disappointed. In 



44:6 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the more passionate parts there was a display of vigor, 
but at other times the performance was quiet and nat 
ural without any of the stage-exaggeration I am ac 
customed to. Most of the scenes were such as might 
actually take place, under the circumstances indicated 
in the play. Talma is said to resemble Napoleon in 
person ; he certainly looked very much like his por 
traits. His hair was evidently arranged to favor the 
idea of resemblance to the emperor. He is a very 
handsome man, and comes up to my idea of a great 
actor. 

"February 20th Went to see a new comedy by 
Casimir Delavigne, " L Ecole des Yieillards." Talma 
and Mademoiselle Mars played the two principal parts. 
The piece consisted of a succession of rather long dia 
logues, without any change of scenery. The whole 
theater had somewhat the quiet elegance of a parlor. 
There were no noisy disturbers ; there was no vul 
garity no boisterous applause. The actors appeared 
like groups of genteel people, conversing, as we see 
them in actual life. There was nothing very exciting 
in the situations, nothing highly romantic in the plot 
or denouement. The interest of the play consisted in 
playful wit, sparkling repartee, and light satire upon 
life and society represented by the most beautiful 
acting I have ever seen. Talma is inimitable in the 
character of a refined but somewhat imbecile man, 
who has passed the prime of life ; and Mademoiselle 
Mars is, beyond comparison, the most graceful and 



HISTORICAL, ANEODOTICAL, ETC. 447 

pleasing of actresses. I am struck with the strict 
propriety, the refinement even of the manners of the 
audience. The whole entertainment seems, indeed, 
to be founded upon a very different idea from that of 
the English stage, which is largely adapted to delight 
the coarse tastes of the pit. Here the pit called the 
parterre is rilled with people of refinement. 

"February 21st Went to the Hospital of La Cha- 
rite. Saw Laennec, with his pupils, visiting the pa 
tients. He makes great use of the stethoscope, which 
is a wooden tube applied to the body, and put to the 
ear : by the sound, the state of the lungs and the vital 
organs is ascertained. It is like a telescope, by which 
the interior of the body is perceived, only that the ear 
is used instead of the eye. It is deemed a great im 
provement. Laennec is the inventor, and has high 
reputation in the treatment of diseases of the chest. 
He has learned to ascertain the condition of the lungs 
by thumping on the breast and back of the patient, 
and putting the ear to the body at the same time. 
He is a little man, five feet three inches high, and 
thin as a shadow. However, he has acute features, 
and a manner which bespeaks energy and conscious 
ness of power. 

" The whole hospital was neat and clean ; bed 
steads of iron. French medical practice very light ; 
few medicines given ; nursing is a great part of the 
treatment. Laennec s pupils followed him from pa 
tient to patient. He conversed with them in Latin. 



44:8 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

One of the patients was a handsome, black-eyed girl, 
not very sick. All the young men must apply the 
stethoscope to her chest ; she smiled, and seemed to 
think it all right. 

" Same day, went to the Hotel Dieu, a medical and 
surgical hospital. Saw Dupuytren and his pupils, 
visiting the patients. He is a rather large man,, of a 
fine Bonapartean head, but sour, contumelious looks* 
He holds the very first rank as a surgeon. His op 
erations are surprisingly bold and skillful. Edward 

C , of Philadelphia, who is here studying medicine, 

told me a good anecdote of him. He has a notion that 
he can instantly detect hydrocephalus in a patient, 
from the manner in which he carries his head. One 
day, while he was in the midst of his scholars at the 
hospital, he saw a common sort of man standing at a 
distance, among several persons who had come for 
medical advice. Dupuytren s eye fell upon him, and 
he said to his pupils Do you see yonder, that fellow 
that has his hand to his face, and carries his head al 
most on his shoulder ? Now, take notice : that man 
has hydrocephalus. Come here, my good fellow ! 

u The man thus called, came up. * Well, said Du 
puytren I know what ails you ; but come, tell us 
about it yourself. What is the matter with you ? 

" I ve got the toothache! was the reply. 

" Take that said Dupuytren, giving him a box 
on the ear and go to the proper department and 
have it pulled out ! " 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC 449 



LETTER LVII. 

Death of Louis XVIIL Charles X.The " Three Glorious Days" Louis 
Philippe The devolution, of February, 1848. 

MY DEAK C****** 

I was again in Paris in the summer of 1832. 
Great changes had taken place since 1824 : Louis 
XVIII. was dead ; Charles X. had succeeded, and 
after a brief reign had been driven away by the rev 
olution of the " Three Glorious Days." Louis Phi 
lippe was now on the throne. On the 29th of July, 
and the two following days, we saw the celebration 
of the event which had thus changed the dynasty of 
France. It consisted of a grand fete, in the Champs 
Elysees, closed by a most imposing military spectacle, 
in which eighty thousand troops, extending from the 
Arc de Triomphe to the Place Vendome, marched be 
fore the admiring throng. Louis Philippe was him 
self on horseback as commander-in-chief, and such 
was his popularity among the masses that, in many 
instances, I saw men in blouses rush up and grasp 
his hand, and insist upon shaking it. Sixteen years 
after, I saw him hustled into a cab, and flying from 
the mob for his life his family scattered, and he but 
too happy to get safe to England in the disguise of a 
sailor 1 

As I have told you, I established my family in 



4-50 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Paris in 1846 ; that winter and the following I was 
also there. I remember that on a certain Monday in 
February, 1848, I went up to see our countrywoman, 
the Marchioness Lavalette, to arrange with her about 
an introduction she had promised me to Guizot. She 
was not at home, but as I was coming down the hill 
from the Place St. George, I met her in her carriage. 
She asked me to walk back to her house, and I did 
so. I observed that she was much agitated, and 
asked her the cause. " We are going to have 
trouble!" said she. "I have just been to the Cham 
bers : the ministry have determined to stop the meet 
ing of the liberals to-morrow ; the proclamation is 
already being printed." 

"Well, and what then?" said I. 

" Another Three Glorious Days ! " 

To this I replied that I conceived her fears ground 
less ; that Louis Philippe appeared to me strong in 
the confidence of the people ; that he was noted for 
his prudence and sagacity; that Guizot, his prime 
minister, was a man of great ability ; that the whole 
cabinet, indeed, were distinguished for their judg 
ment and capacity. The lady shook her head, and 
rejoined 

" I know Paris better than you do. We are on 
the eve of an earthquake 1" 

Soon after this I took my leave. What speedily 
ensued, may best be told in a letter I addressed to a 
friend in Boston, and which was as follows : 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 451 

PARIS, March 14th, 1848. 

As it has been my fortune to be in Paris, and an observer of 
many of the most stirring and striking occurrences during the 
late revolution, I propose to give you a brief consecutive narra 
tive of what I saw and heard, embracing a sketch of other lead 
ing events. My purpose will be to take you with me, and make 
you a participator, as far as possible, in the scenes witnessed and 
emotions experienced by one who was on the spot. 

Before I begin, it may be well to state a few particulars as to 
the political condition of France at the moment of the revolt. 
It is well known that Louis Philippe accepted the crown at the 
hands of Lafayette, after the struggle of July, 1830, the latter 
saying, as he presented the king and charter to the people 
" We give you the best of monarchies the best of republics!" 
The circumstances, all considered, pledged Louis Philippe to a 
liberal government, in which the good of the people should be 
the supreme object, and the popular will the predominating 
element. 

He commenced his career under fair auspices, and for a time 
every thing promised a happy fulfillment of what seemed his 
duty and his destiny. But by degrees a great change came over 
the monarch ; the possession of power seduced his heart, and 
turned his head ; and forgetting his pledges, and blind to his 
true interest, he set himself to building up a dynasty that should 
hand down his name and fame to posterity. 

It seemed, at a superficial glance, that he might realize his 
dream. He had acquired the reputation of being the most saga 
cious monarch of his time. He had improved and embellished 
the capital ; on all sides his " image and superscription" were 
seen in connection with statues, fountains, edifices, and WOfka 
of beauty and utility. France was happier than the adjacent 
countries. The famine and the pestilence, that had recently 
desolated neighboring states, had trod more lightly here. The 
king was blessed with a large family. These had all reached 
maturity, and were allied to kings and queens, princes and prin- 



452 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

cesses. The upholders of the crown in the parliament, were 
men whose names alone were a tower of strength. Peace 
reigned at home, and the army abroad had just succeeded in 
achieving a signal triumph over an enemy that had baffled them 
for seventeen years.* 

Such was the outward seeming of affairs; but there were 
threatening fires within, which might at any moment produce a 
conflagration. Many thinking people were profoundly disgusted 
with the retrograde tendency of the government, with the cor 
ruption of its officers, the gradual subsidizing of the legislature 
by the crown, and the concentration of all the powers of the 
state in the hands of one man, who was now using them for 
family aggrandizement. Although the inarch of despotism had 
been cautious and stealthy, the plainest mind could see, and in 
deed the people generally began to feel, many galling evidences 
of the tyranny to which they had become actually subjected. 

Among these grievances, were the constant increase of the 
national debt, and consequent increase of taxation, with the 
restraints put upon the liberty of the press and of speech. By 
a law of some years standing, the people were prohibited from 
holding stated meetings of more than twenty persons, without 
license; and reform banquets, or meetings for the discussion of 
public affairs of which about seventy had been held, in differ 
ent parts of the kingdom, within the last year were now pro 
nounced illegal by the ministry. Finally, a determination to sup 
press one of them, about to be held in the twelfth ward of Paris, 
was solemnly announced by them in the Chamber of Deputies. 

It is material to bear in mind, that there are always in this 
metropolis at least one hundred thousand workmen, who live 
from day to day upon their labor, and who, upon the slightest 
check to trade, are plunged into poverty, if not starvation. At 
the moment of which we are speaking, this immense body of 

* Abd-el-Kadir, who had been the indomitable leader of the Arabs 
of the Desert, against the .French, who had conquered Algiers, surren 
dered to Gen. Lamoriciere, December 22d, 1847. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 453 

men, with their families, were suffering sorely from the stagna 
tion of business in the capital. There were not less than two 
hundred thousand persons who, for the space of three months, 
had hardly been able to obtain sufficient food to appease the 
cravings of hunger. How easy to stir up these people to rebel 
lion ! how natural for them to turn their indignation against 
the king and his government ! The opposition members seized 
the occasion now afforded them, to excite these discontented 
masses against the ministry; and it may be added that the 
latter, by their rashness, did more than their enemies to prepare 
the mine and set the match to the train. 

The crisis was now at hand. The opposition deputies declared 
their intention to attend the proposed meeting ; and in spite of 
the threats of the ministry, the preparations for the banquet 
went vigorously on. A place was selected in the Champs Ely- 
sees, and a building was in progress of erection for the celebra 
tion. The programme of the same was announced, the toast for 
the occasion was published, the orator, 0. Barrot, selected. The 
day was fixed an ominous day for tyranny an auspicious one 
for human freedom. It was the 22d of February, the birthday 
of Washington! Whether it has received a new title to its place 
in the calendar of liberty, must be left for the decision of time. 

The evening of the 21st came, and then proclamations were 
issued by the co-operation of the ministry and the police, prohib 
iting the banquet. This act, though it had been threatened, still 
fell like a thunderbolt upon the people. It was known that an 
immense military force had been quietly assembled in Paris and 
the vicinity eighty thousand troops, with artillery and ample 
munitions and that the garrisons around the Tuileries had 
been victualed as if for a siege. But it had not been believed 
that an attempt to stifle the voice of the people, so bold as this, 
would really be made. Yet such was the fact. The leaders of 
the opposition receded from their ground, and it was announced, 
in the papers of the 22d, that the banquet, being forbidden by 
the government, would not take place 1 



454: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

The morning of this day was dark and drizzly. I had antici 
pated some manifestation of uneasiness, and at half-past nine 
o clock went forth. Groups of people were reading the procla 
mations posted up at the corners of the streets, but all was 
tranquil. I walked along the Boulevards for a mile, yet saw no 
symptoms of the coming storm. 

The designated place of meeting for the banquet was the 
square of the Madeleine. This is at the western extremity of 
the Boulevards, and near the great central square, called the 
Place de la Concorde a point communicating directly with the 
Chamber of Deputies, the Champs Elysees, the gardens of the 
Tuileries, &c. At eleven o clock, A. M., a dark mass was seen 
moving along the Boulevards, toward the proposed place of 
meeting. This consisted of thousands of workmen from the 
faubourgs. In a few moments the entire square of the Madeleine 
was filled with these persons, dressed almost exclusively in their 
characteristic costume, which consists of a blue tunic, called 
House a garment which is made very much in the fashion cf 
our farmers frocks. 

The opening scene of the drama had now begun. The mass 
rushed and eddied around the Madeleine, which, by the way, 
is the finest church and the finest edifice in Paris. Such was 
the threatening aspect of the scene, that the shops were all sud 
denly shut, and the people around began to supply themselves 
with bread and other food, for " three days." In a few moments, 
the avalanche took its course down the Rue Royale, swept 
across the Place de la Concorde, traversed the bridge over the 
Seine, and collected in swelling and heaving masses in the Place, 
or square, before the Chamber of Deputies. This building is 
defended in front by a high iron railing. The gate of this was 
soon forced, and some hundreds of the people rushed up the long 
flight of steps, and pausing beneath the portico, struck up the 
song of the Marseillaise a song, by the way, interdicted by law 
on account of its exciting character. The crowd here rapidly 
increased ; shouts, songs, cries, filled the air. East and west, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 455 

a 7 ~>ng the quays, and through the streets behin the Chamber, 
came long Hues of students from the various schools. Standing 
upon one of the pillars of the bridge, I commanded a view of 
the whole scene. It was one to fill the heart with the liveliest 
emotions. A hundred thousand people were now collected, 
seeming like an agitated sea, and sending forth a murmur resem 
bling the voice of many waters. From the southern gate of the 
Tuileries now issued two bodies of troops one, on horseback, 
coming along the northern quay. These were the Municipal 
Guard, a magnificent corps, richly caparisoned, and nobly 
mounted. Being picked men, and well paid, they were the 
chief reliance of the government, and for that very reason were 
haled by the people. The other body of troops were infantry 
of the line, and crossing the Pont Royal, came along the south 
ern bank of the river. Both detachments approached the mul 
titude, and crowding upon them with a slow advance, succeeded 
at last in clearing the space before the Chamber. 

The greater part of the throng recrossed the bridge, and 
spread themselves over the Place de la Concorde. This square, 
perhaps the most beautiful in the world, is about five acres in ex 
tent. In the center is the far-famed obelisk of Luxor ; on either 
side of this is a splendid fountain, which was in full action du 
ring the scenes we describe. To the east is the garden of the 
Tuileries ; to the west are the Champs Elysees. This vast area, 
so associated with art, and luxury, and beauty, was now crowd 
ed with an excited populace, mainly of the working classes. 
Their number constantly augmented, and bodies of troops, foot 
and horse, arrived from various quarters, till the square was 
literally covered. The number of persons here collected in one 
mass was over one hundred thousand. 

At the commencement, the mob amused themselves with 
songs, shouts, and pasquinades ; but in clearing the space before 
the Chamber, and driving the people across the bridge, the 
guards had displayed great rudeness. They pressed upon the 
masses, and one woman was crushed to death beneath the hoofs 



456 LETTPJKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

of the horses. Pebbles now began to be hurled at the troops 
from the square. Dashing in among the people, sword in hand, 
the cavalry drove them away; but as they cleared one spot, 
another was immediately filled. The effect of this was to chafe 
and irritate the mob, who now began to seize sticks and stones 
and hurl them in good earnest at their assailants. 

While this petty war was going on, some thousands of the 
rioters dispersed themselves through the Champs Elysees, and 
began to build barricades across the main avenue. The chairs, 
amounting to many hundreds, were immediately disposed in 
three lines across the street. Benches, trellises, boxes, fences 
every movable thing within reach were soon added to these 
barricades. An omnibus passing by was captured, detached 
from the horses, and tumbled into one of the lines. The flag 
was taken from the Panorama near by, and a vast procession 
paraded through the grounds, singing the Marseillaise, the Pari- 
Bieune, and other patriotic airs. 

Meanwhile, a small detachment of footguards advanced to 
the scene of action ; but they were pelted with stones, and took 
shelter in their guard-house. This was assailed with a shower 
of missiles, which rattled like hail upon its roof. The windows 
were dashed in, and a heap of brush near by was laid to the 
wall and set on fire. A body of horse-guards soon arrived and 
dispersed the rioters ; but the latter crossed to the northern side 
of the Champs Elysees, attacked another guard-house, and set it 
on lire. A company of the line came to the spot, but the mob 
cheered them, arid they remained inactive. The revel proceeded, 
and, in the face of the soldiers, the people fed the fire with fuel 
from the surrounding trees and fences, sang their songs, cracked 
their jokes, and cried, "Down with Guizot!" "Vive la Ke- 
forme!" &c. In these scenes the boys took the lead perform 
ing the most desperate feats, and inspiring the rest by their 
intrepidity. A remarkable air of fun and frolic characterized 
the mob wit flew as freely on all sides as stones and sticks; 
every missile seemed winged with a joke. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 457 

Such was the course of events the first day, so far as they fell 
under my own observation. It appears from the papers that 
similar proceedings, though in some cases of a more serious 
character, took place elsewhere. Great masses of people gath 
ered at various points. They made hostile demonstrations be 
fore the office of Foreign Affairs, crying out, "Down with 
Guizot!" Some person called for the minister. "He is not 
here," said one; "he is with the Countess Lieven" a remark 
which the habitues of Paris will understand as conveying a 
keen satire. At other points, a spirit of insubordination was 
manifested. Bakers shops were broken open, armories forced, 
and barricades begun. Everywhere the hymn of the Marseil 
laise, and Dumas touching death-song of the Girondins, were 
sung often by hundreds of voices, and with thrilling effect. 
The rappel, for calling out the National Guard, was beaten 
in several quarters. As night closed in, heavy masses of 
soldiery, horse and foot, with trains of artillery, were seen at 
various points. The Place du Carrousel was full of troops, and 
at evening they were there reviewed by the king, and the Dukes 
of Nemours and Montpensier. Six thousand soldiers were dis 
posed along the Boulevards, from the Madeleine to the Porte 
>St. Martin. Patrols were seen in different quarters during the 
whole night. About twelve, tranquillity reigned over the city, 
disturbed only in a few remote and obscure places by the build 
ing of barricades, the arrest of rioters, and one or two combats, 
in which several persons were killed. Such was the first day s 
work the prelude to the mighty drama about to follow. 

Wednesday, the 23d, was fair, with dashes of rain at intervals, 
as in our April. I was early abroad, and soon noticed that 
companies of National Guards were on duty. Only regular 
troops had been called out the day before a fact which showed 
the distrust entertained by the king of the National Guards. 
This was remarked by the latter, and was doubtless one of the 
causes which hastened the destruction of the govermn. nt, 

At nine o clock, I passed up the Boulevards. Most of tho 



4:58 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

shops were shut, and an air of uneasiness prevailed among the 
people. At the Porte St. Denis, there was a great throng, and 
a considerable mass of troops. Barricades were soon after 
erected in the streets of St. Denis, Clery, St. Eustache, Cadran, 
&c. Several fusilades took place between the people at these 
points and the soldiers, and a number of persons were killed. 

Some contests occurred in other quarters during the morning. 
At two o clock, the Boulevards, the Rues St. Denis, St. Martin, 
Montmartre, St. Honore in short, all the great thoroughfares 
were literally crammed with people. Bodies of horse and 
foot, either stationary or patrolling, were everywhere to be 
seen. It was about this time that some officers of the National 
Guard ordered their men to fire, but they refused. In one in 
stance, four hundred National Guards were seen inarching, in 
uniform, but without arms. It became evident that the soldiers 
generally were taking part with the people. This news was 
carried to the Palace, and Count Mole was called in to form a 
new ministry. He undertook the task, and orders were imme 
diately given to spread the intelligence of this through the city. 

Meanwhile the riot and revel went on in various quarters. 
The police were active, and hundreds of persons were arrested 
and lodged in prison. Skirmishes took place, here and there, 
between the soldiers and the people; long processions were 
seen, attended by persons who sang choruses, and shouted, 
" Down with Guizot !" " Vive la reforme 1" 

About four o clock, the news of the downfall of the Guizot 
ministry was spread along the Boulevards. The joyful intelli 
gence ran over the city with the speed of light. It was every 
where received with acclamations. The people and the troops, 
a short time before looking at each other in deadly hostility, 
were seen shaking hands, and expressing congratulations. An 
immense population men, women, and children poured into 
the Boulevards, to share in the jubilation. Large parties of the 
National Guard paraded the streets, the officers and men shout 
ing, "Vive la reforme!" and the crowd cheering loudly. Bands 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 459 

of five hundred to fifteen hundred men and boys went about 
making noisy demonstrations of joy. On being met by the 
troops, they divided to let them pass, and immediately resumed 
their cries and their songs. 

Toward half-past six o clock in the evening, an illumination 
was spoken of, and many persons lighted up spontaneously. 
The illumination soon became more general, and the populace, 
in large numbers, went through the streets, calling, "Light up!" 
Numerous bands, alone, or following detachments of the Na 
tional Guards, went about, shouting, " Vive le roi I" " Vive la 
reforme!" and singing the Marseillaise. At many points, where 
barricades had been erected, and the people were resisting the 
troops, they ceased when they heard the news of the resigna 
tions, and the troops retired. " It is all over!" was the general 
cry, and a feeling of relief seemed to pervade every bosom. 

There can be no doubt that, but for a fatal occurrence which 
soon after took place, the further progress of the revolt might 
have been stayed. Many wise people now say, indeed, that the 
revolution was all planned beforehand ; they had foreseen and 
predicted it ; and from the beginning of the outbreak every thing 
tended to this point. The fact is unquestionably otherwise. 
The " Opposition," with their various clubs and societies dis 
tributed through all classes in Paris, and holding constant com 
munication with the workmen, or blousemen, no doubt stood 
ready to take advantage of any violence on the part of the gov 
ernment which might justify resistance; but they had not anti 
cipated such a contingency on the present occasion. It is not 
probable that the Mole ministry, had it been consummated, 
would have satisfied the people; but the king had yielded; 
Guizot, the special object of hatred, had fallen, and it was sup 
posed that further concessions would be made, as concession 
had been begun. But accident, which often rules the fate of 
empires and dynasties, now stepped in to govern the course of 
events, and give them a character which should astonish the 
world. 



460 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

In the course of the evening, a large mass of people had col 
lected on the Boulevard, in the region of Guizot s office the 
Hdtel des Affaires Etrangeres. The troops here had unfortu 
nately threatened the people, by rushing at them with fixed 
bayonets, after the announcement of the resignation of the min 
istry, and when a good feeling prevailed among all classes. This 
irritated the mob, and was partly, no doubt, the occasion of the 
large gathering in this quarter. For some reason, not well ex 
plained, a great many troops had also assembled here and in the 
vicinity. At ten o clock, the street from the Madeleine to the 
Rue de la Paix, was thronged with soldiers and people. There 
was, however, no riot, and no symptom of disorder. 

At this moment, a collection of persons, mostly young men, 
about sixty in number, came along the Boulevard, on the side 
opposite to the soldiers and the Foreign Office. It is said that 
the colonel anticipated some attack, though nothing of the kind 
was threatened. It appears that the soldiers stood ready to fire, 
when one of their rnuskets went oft ,* and wounded the command 
er s horse in the leg. He mistook this for a shot from the crowd, 
and gave instant orders to fire. A fusilade immediately followed. 
Twenty persons fell dead, and forty were wounded. The scene 
which ensued baffles description. The immense masses dispersed 
in terror, and carried panic in all directions. The groans of the 
dying and the screams of the wounded filled the air. Shops 
and houses around were turned into hospitals. " We are be 
trayed ! we are betrayed!" "Revenge! revenge!" was the 
cry of the masses. 

From this moment the doom of the monarchy was sealed. 
The leaders of the clubs, no doubt, took their measures for 
revolution. An immense wagon was soon brought to the scene 
of the massacre ; the dead bodies were laid on it, and flaring 
torches were lighted over it. The ghastly spectacle was para- 

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



HISTORIC A I,, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 461 

ded through the streets, and the mute lips of the corpses doubt 
less spoke more effectively than those of the living. Largo 
masses of people, pale with excitement, and uttering execra 
tions upon the murderers, followed in the train of the wagon, 
as it passed through the more populous streets of the city, and 
especially in those quarters inhabited by the lower classes. The 
effect was such as might have been anticipated. At midnight, 
the barricades were begun, and at sunrise, the streets of Paris 
displayed a net-work of fortifications from the place St. George 
to the church of Notre Dame, which set the troops at defiance. 
More than a thousand barricades, some of them ten feet in 
height, were thrown up during that memorable night ; yet such 
were the suddenness and silence of the operations, that most ot 
the inhabitants of the city slept in & curity, fondly dreaming 
that the tempest had passed, and that the morning would greet 
them in peace. 

On Thursday, the decisive day, the weather was still mild, 
and without rain, though the sky was dimmed with clouds. 
At eleven in the morning, I sallied forth. I can not express my 
astonishment at the scene. The whole Boulevard was a spec 
tacle of desolation. From the Rue de la Paix to the Rue Mont- 
martre the finest part of Paris, the glory of the city every 
tree was cut down, all the public monuments reduced to heaps* 
of ruins, the pavements torn up, and the entire wreck tumbled 
into a succession of barricades. Every street leading into this 
portion of the Boulevard was strongly barricaded. Such giant 
operations seemed like the work of enchantment. 

But my wonder had only begun. At the point where the 
Rue IContmartre crosses the Boulevard, the entire pavement 
\va> torn up, and something like a square breastwork was form 
ed, in which a cannon was planted. The whole space around 
was crowded with the populace. As I stood for a moment, 
surveying the scene, a young man, about twenty, passed through 
the crowd, and stepping upon the carriage of the cannon, cried 
out, "Down with Louis Philippe!" The energy with which 



462 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

this was spoken sent a thrill through every bosom ; and the 
remarkable appearance of the youth gave additional effect to 
liis words. He seemed the very demon of revolution. He was 
short, broad-shouldered, and full-chested. His face was pale, 
his cheek spotted with blood, and his head, without hat or cap, 
was bound with a handkerchief. His features were keen, and 
his deep-set eye was lit with a spark that seemed borrowed from 
a tiger. As he left the throng, he came near me, and I said, in 
quiringly, " Down with Louis Philippe?" "Yes!" was Lis re 
ply. " And what then?" said I. U A republic!" was his an 
swer ; arid he passed on, giving the watchword of " Down with 
Louis Philippe!" to the masses he encountered. This was the 
first instance in whicl I heard the overthrow of the king, and 
the adoption of a repub ic proposed. 

In pursuing my walk, I noticed that the population were now 
abundantly supplied with weapons. On the two first days they 
were unarmed ; but after the slaughter at the Foreign Office, 
they went to all the houses and demanded weapons. These were 
given, for refusal would have been vain. An evidence of the 
consideration of the populace, even in their hour of wrath, is 
furnished by the fact, that in all cases where the arms had been 
surrendered, they wrote on the doors in chalk, u Armes don- 
nees 1 " 1 arms given up so as to prevent the annoyance of a sec 
ond call. 

It might seem a fearful thing to behold a mob, such as that 
of Paris, brandishing guns, fowling-pieces, swords, cutlasses, 
hatchets, and axes ; but I must say that I felt not the slightest 
fear in passing among their thickest masses. Some of them, 
who had doubtless never handled arms before, seemed a little 
jaunty and jubilant. The Gamins, a peculiar race of enterpri 
sing, daring, desperate boys the leaders in riots, rows, and re 
bellions were swarming on all sides, and seemed to feel a head 
taller in the possession of their weapons. I saw several of these 
unwashed imps strutting about with red sashes around the 
waist, supporting pistols, dirks, cutlasses, &c. ; yet I must state 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 463 

that over the whole scene there was an air of good-breeding, 
which seemed a guaranty against insult or violence. I may also 
remark here, that during the whole three days, I did not ob 
serve a scuffle or wrangle among the people ; I did not hear an 
insulting word, nor did I see a menace offered save in conflicts 
between the soldiers and the populace. I can add, that I did 
not see a drunken person during the whole period, with the 
single exception which I shall hereafter mention. 

I took a wide circuit in the region of the Rue Hontmartre, 
the Bourse, the Rue Yivienne, St. Honore, and the Palais Royal. 
Everywhere there were enormous barricades and crowds of 
armed people. Soon after that is, about twelve o clock 
I passed the southern quadrangle of the Palais Royal, which 
lately the residence of the brother of the King of Naples 
was now attacked and taken by the populace. The beautiful 
suit of rooms were richly furnished, and decorated with costly 
pictures, statues, bronzes, and other specimens of art. These 
were unsparingly tumbled into the square and the street, and 
con.-igned to the flames.* At the distance of one hundred and 
fifty feet from the front of the Palais Royal, was the Cha 
teau d Emi, a massive stone building occupied as a barrack, 
and at this moment garrisoned by one hundred and eighty 
municipal guards. In most parts of the city, seeing that 
the troops fraternized with the people, the government had 
given them orders not to fire. These guards, however, attacked 
the insurgents in and about the Palais Royal. Their fire was 
returned, and a desperate conflict ensued. The battle lasted for 
more than an hour, the people rushing in the very face of the 



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



4:64 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

muskets of the guard, as they blazed from the grated windows. 
At last the barrack was set on fire, and the guard yielded, though 
not till many of their number had fallen, and the rest were near 
ly dead with suffocation. The Chateau d Eau is now a mere 
ruin, its mottled walls giving evidence of the shower of bullets 
that had been poured upon it.* 

No sooner had the Chateau d Eau surrendered, than the 
flushed victors took their course toward the Tuileries, which was 
near at hand ; shouting, singing, roaring, they came like a surge, 
bearing all before them. The Place du Carrousel was filled with 
troops, but not a sword was unsheathed not a bayonet point 
ed not a musket or a cannon fired. There stood, idle and mo 
tionless, the mighty armament which the king had appointed 
for his defense. How vain 1iad his calculations proved ! for, 
alas ! they were founded in a radical error ! The soldiers would 
not massacre their brethren, to sustain a throne which they 
now despised ! 

But we must now enter the Tuileries. For several days pre 
vious to the events we have described, some anxiety had been 
entertained by persons in and about the palace. The king, how 
ever, had no fears. He appeared in unusual spirits, and if any 
intimation of danger was given, he turned it aside with a sneer 
or a joke. Even so late as Wednesday, after he had called upon 
Count Mole to form a new ministry, he remarked, that he was 
so " firmly seated in the saddle, that nothing could throw him 
off." 

Mole soon found it impossible, with the materials at hand, to 
construct a ministry. Thiers was then called in, and after a 
long course of higgling and chaffering on the part of the king, 
it was agreed that he and Barrot should undertake to carry on 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 465 

the government. This was announced by them in person, as 
they rode through the streets on Thursday morning. These 
concessions, however, came too late. The cry for a republic 
was bursting from the lips of the million. The abdication of 
the king was decreed, and a raging multitude were demanding 
this at the very gates of the palace. Overborne by the crisis, 
the king agreed to abdicate in favor of the Duke de Nemours. 
Some better tidings were brought him, and he retracted what 
he had just done. A moment after, it became certain that the 
insurgents would shortly burst into the palace. In great trepi 
dation, the king agreed to resign the crown in favor of his 
grandson, the young Count de Paris yet, still clinging to hope, 
he shuffled and hesitated before he would put his name to the 
act of abdication. This, however, was at last done, and the 
king and queen, dressed in black, and accompanied by a few 
individuals who remained faithful in this trying moment, pa-vd 
from the Tuileries to the Place de la Concorde, through the sub 
terranean passage constructed many years previously for the 
walks of the infant king of Rome. They here entered a small 
one-horse vehicle, and after a rapid and successful flight, landed 
safely at Dover, in England.* 

Meanwhile, the mob had seized the royal carriages, fourteen 
in number, and made a bonfire of them, near the celebrated 
arch in the Place du Carrousel. Soon after, they forced the 
railing at several points, and came rushing across the square to 
ward the palace. Scarcely had the various members of the 
royal family time to escape on one side of the building, when 
the mob broke in at the other. 

I have not time to follow the adventures of these several in 
dividuals. We can not but sympathize with them in their mis 
fortunes ; but we may remark, that the fall of the Orleans dy- 

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



466 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

nasty was not broken by a single act of courage or dignity on 
the part of any one of the family. Their flight seemed a vulgar 
scramble for mere life. Even the king was reduced to the most 
common-place disguises the shaving of his whiskers, the 
change of his dress, the adopting an " alias!" I may add here, 
that they have all escaped ; and while everybody seems glad of 
this, there is no one behind who mourns their loss. None are 
more loud in denouncing the besotted confidence of the king, 
than his two hundred and twenty-five purchased deputies, who 
were so loyal in the days of prosperity. 

We must now turn our attention toAvard another scene the 
Chamber of Deputies. This body met on Tuesday, at the 
usual hour twelve o clock. While the riotous scenes we have 
described were transpiring during that day, in full view of the 
place where they had assembled, the deputies, as if in mockery 
of the agitation without, were occupied in a languid discussion 
upon the affairs of a broken country bank. Toward the close 
of the sitting, Odillon Barrot read from the tribune a solemn 
act of impeachment of the ministers. The next day, Wednes 
day, the Chamber again met, and Guizot in the afternoon an 
nounced that Count Mole was attempting to form a new min 
istry. It does not appear that Guizot or his colleagues were 
afterward seen in the Chamber. It is said that they met at the 
house of Duchatel on Thursday morning, and after consultation 
adopted the significant motto of Napoleon after the battle of 
Waterloo " Sauve qui pent /" Save himself who can. I am 
happy to add that the fugitives seem to have made good their 
retreat. It is said that Soult, disdaining to fly, remains at hi? 
house. I need not say that he will not be molested, for there ie 
no sanguinary feeling toward any one, and Napoleon s old fa 
vorite, the victor in so many battles, would more readily find 
a Parisian populace to protect than injure him. 

A short time after the king and queen had passed the Place 
de la Concorde, I chanced to be there. In a few moments Odil 
lon Barrot appeared from the gate of the -. uileries, and, follow- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 467 

ed by a long train of persons, proceeded to the Chamber of 
Deputies. It was now understood that the king had abdicated, 
and that Thiers and Barrot were to propose the Count de Paris 
as king, under the regency of his mother, the Duchess of Or 
leans. The most profound emotion seemed to occupy the im 
mense multitude. All were hushed into silence by the rapid 
succession of astonishing events. After a short space, the Duch 
ess of Orleans, with her two sons, the Count de Paris and the 
Duke de Chartres, were seen on foot coming toward the Cham 
ber, encircled by a strong escort. She was dressed in deep 
mourning, her face bent to the ground. She moved across the 
bridge, and passing to the rear of the building, entered it thcough 
the gardens. Shortly after this, the Duke de Nemours, attended 
by several gentlemen on horseback, rode up, and also entered 
the building. 

The scene that ensued within, is said to have presented an 
extraordinary mixture of the solemn and the ludicrous. The 
duchess being present, O. Barrot proceeded to state the abdica 
tion of the king, and to propose the regency. It was then that 
Liimarrine seemed to shake off the poet and philosopher, and 
suddenly to become a man of action. Seizing the critical mo 
ment, he declared his conviction that the days of monarchy 
were numbered, that the proposed regency was not suited to 
tin- crisis and that a republic alone would meet the emergency 
and the wishes of France. These opinions, happily expressed 
and strenuously enforced, became decisive in their ellect. 

Several other speeches were made, and a scene of great con- 
fu-ioii fallowed. A considerable number of the mob had broken 
into llie room, and occupied the galleries and the floor. One ot 
;h -in brought his firelock to his shoulder, and took aim at M. 
Sauzet, the president. Entirely losing his self-possession, he 
abdicated wit.h great., speed, and disappeared. In the midst of 
the hubbub, a provisional government was announced, and the 
leading members were named. Some of the more obnoxious 
deputies were aimed at bv the muskets of the mob, and skulk- 



463 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ing behind benches and pillars, they oozed out at back doors 
and windows. A blouseraan came up to the Duke de Ne 
mours, who drew his sword. The man took it from him, broke 
it over his knee, and counseled his highness to depart. This he 
did forthwith, having borrowed a coat and hat for the purpose 
of disguise. A call was made for the members of the provi 
sional government to proceed to the Hotel de Ville. The assem 
bly broke up, and the curtain fell upon the last sitting of the 
Chamber of Deputies the closing scene of Louis Philippe s gov 
ernment. 

It was about three o clock in the afternoon, that I retraced 
my steps toward the Tuileries. The Place de la Concorde was 
crowded with soldiers, and fifty cannon were ranged in front of 
the gardens. Yet this mighty force seemed struck with paraly 
sis. Long lines of infantry stood mute and motionless, and 
heavy masses of cavalry seemed converted into so many statues. 
Immediately before the eyes of these soldiers was the palace of 
the Tuileries in full possession of the mob, but not a muscle 
moved for their expulsion ! 

Passing into the gardens, I noticed that thousands of per 
sons were spread over their surface, and a rattling discharge of 
fire-arms was heard on all sides. Looking about for the cause 
of this, I perceived that hundreds of men and boys were amu 
sing themselves with shooting sparrows and pigeons, which 
had hitherto found a secure resting-place in this favorite resort 
of leisure and luxury. Others were discharging their muskets 
for the mere fun of making a noise. Proceeding through the 
gardens, I came at last to the palace. It had now been, for 
more than an hour, in full possession of the insurgents. All de 
scription fails to depict a scene like this. The whole front of 
the Tuileries, one-eighth of a mile in length, seemed gushing at 
doors, windows, balconies, and galleries, with living multitudes 
a mighty beehive of men, in the very act of swarming. A 
confused hubbub filled the air and bewildered the senses with 
ts chaotic sounds. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICA^, ETC. 469 

At the moment I arrived, the throne of the king was borne 
away by a jubilant band of revelers ; and after being paraded 
through the streets, was burned at the Place de la Bastille a 
significant episode in this tale of wonders. The colossal statue 
of Spartacus, which faces the main door of the palace, toward 
the gardens, was now decorated with a piece of gilt cloth torn 
from the throne and wreathed like a turban around his head. 
In his hand was a gorgeous bouquet of artificial flowers. It 
seemed as if the frowning gladiator had suddenly caught the 
spirit of the revel, and was about to descend from his pedestal 
and mingle in the masquerade. 

I entered the palace, and passed through the long suites of 
apartments devoted to occasions of ceremony. A year before, 
I had seen these gorgeous halls filled with the flush and the 
fair, kings, princes, and nobles, gathered to this focal point of 
luxury, refinement, and taste, from every quarter of the world. 
How little did Louis Philippe, at that moment, dream of u coin 
ing events !" How little did the stately queen a proud obelisk 
of silk, a;id lace, and diamonds foresee the change that was at 
hand ! I recollected well the effect of this scene upon my own 
mind, and felt the full force of the contrast which the present 
moment oifered. In the very room where I had seen the 
pensive and pensile Princess de Joinville and the Duchess de 
Montpensier the latter then fresh from the hymeneal altar, 
her raven hair studded with diamonds like evening stars whirl 
ing in the mazy dance, I now beheld a band of creatures like 
Calibans, gamboling to the song of the Marseillaise ! 

On every side my eye fell upon scenes of destruction. Pass 
ing to the other end of the palace, I beheld a mob in the cham 
bers of the princesses. Some rolled themselves in the luscious 
beds, others anointed their shaggy heads with choice pomatum, 
exclaiming, "Dieu ! how sweet it smells!" One of the gamins, 
grimed with gunpowder, blood, and dirt, seized a tooth-brush, 
and placing himself before a mirror, seemed delighted at the 
manifest improvement which he produced upon his ivory. 



470 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

On leaving the palace, I saw numbers of the men drinking wine 
from bottles taken from the well-stocked cellars. None of them 
were positively drunk. To use the words of Tarn O Shanter, 
They were na fou, but just had plenty" perhaps a little more. 
They flourished their guns and pistols, brandished their swords, 
and performed various antics, but they offered no insult to any 
one. They seemed in excellent humor, and made more than an 
ordinary display of French politesse. They complimented the 
women, of whom there was no lack, and one of them, resem 
bling a figure of Pan, seized a maiden by the waist, and both 
rigadooned merrily over the floor. 

Leaving this scene of wreck, confusion, and uproar, I pro 
ceeded toward the gate of the gardens leading into the Rue de 
Rivoli. I was surprised to find here a couple of ruthless-looking 
blousemen, armed with pistols, keeping guard. On inquiry, I 
found that the mob themselves had instituted a sort of govern 
ment. One fellow, in the midst of the devastation in the pal 
ace, seeing a man put something into his pocket, wrote on the 
wall, "Death to the thief!" The Draconian code was imme 
diately adopted by the people, and became the law of Paris. 
Five persons, taken in acts of robbery, were shot down by the 
people, and their bodies exposed in the streets, with the label 
of " Thieves" on their breast. Thus order and law seemed to 
spring up from the instincts of society, in the midst of uproar 
and confusion, as crystals are seen shooting from the chaos of 
the elements. 

Three days had now passed, and the revolution was accom 
plished. The people soon returned to their wonted habits the 
provisional government proceeded in its duties the barricades 
disappeared, and in a single week the more obtrusive traces of 
the storm that had passed had vanished from the streets and 
squares of Paris. A mighty shock has, however, been given to 
society, which still swells and undulates like the sea after a 
storm. The adjacent countries seem to feel the movement, and 
all Europe is in a state of agitation. What must be the final re- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 471 

suit, can not now be foreseen ; but I fear that, ere the sky be 
cleared, still further tempests must sweep over France and the 
surrounding nations. The day of reckoning for long years of 
tyranny and corruption has come, and the sun of liberty can 
hardly be expected to shine full on the scene, till a night of fear, 
and agitation, and tears has been passed. 



LETTER LVII1. 

Events which immediately followed the Revolution Scenes in the streets of 
Paris Anxiety of Strangers Proceedings of the Americans Address 
to the Provisional Government Reply of M. Arago Procession in the 
streets Inauguration of the Republic Funeral of the Victims Presen 
tation of Flags Conspiracy of the 15th of May Insurrection of June 
Adoption of the Constitution Louis Napoleon President, 

MY DEAR C****** 

It is quite impossible to give you any adequate 
idea of the state of things in Paris, immediately after 
the revolution described in my preceding letter. The 
Provisional Government, at the Hotel de Ville, con 
sisting of persons who had seized the reins of author 
ity which had suddenly fallen from the hands of the 
now prostrate monarchy, was as yet without real 
power. Every thing was in a state of paralysis, or 
disorganization. There was no effective police, no 
visible authority, no actual government ; every man 
did what seemed good in his own eyes. Boys and 
blackguards paraded the streets with swords at their 
side, muskets in their hands, and sashes around their 



472 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

waists. Enormous processions of men, sometimes 
mingled with women, moved along the thorough 
fares, singing the Marseillaise and "Mourir pour la 
Patrie." It was a general jubilee and, strange to 
say, without riot, without violence, without fear. I 
walked freely abroad in the streets, taking my wife 
and children with me; we were constantly saluted by 
men and women offering us tricolored rosettes, which 
they pinned upon our breasts with the utmost good- 
humor, expecting, of course, a few sous in return. 
This state of things continued for some weeks the 
people being a law unto themselves, and refraining 
alike from turbulence, from outrage, and from pil 
lage. It is probable that in no other great city of 
the world could the masses be let loose from the 
restraints of government and law, and yet keep them 
selves within the bounds of order and propriety, as 
did the Parisians during this remarkable era. 

Of course, there was a general feeling of anxiety 
among all reflecting people in Paris, and especially 
those whose minds reverted to the first French revo 
lution. This disquietude extended particularly to all 
foreigners, and they naturally cast about for the 
means of safety. It was difficult to leave Paris, for 
some of the railroads were broken up, and all the 
modes of conveyance were deranged. It was almost 
impossible to get money for the purposes of travel, 
and even if one could escape from Paris, more danger 
ous agitation might exist in the country. The lead 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 4/T3 

ing Americans took counsel together on this subject, 
and finally concluded to proceed, in procession, to 
the Provisional Government, and congratulate them 
upon the revolution.* A message was sent to inquire 
if this would be acceptable ; the answer was favora 
ble, and, indeed, they were desired to hasten the 
proceeding, as it was thought such a demonstration 
might contribute to give support to the trembling 
authority of the self-elected rulers. 

In the preliminary meeting for bringing about the 
proposed address, I was chosen to preside, and was 
also selected as chairman of the committee to draw 
up the address itself. I had some curious counsel 
given me by my countrymen, while I was preparing 
this document. The Americans looked upon the 
revolution, not only as the overthrow of monarchy, 
but as the birth of that liberty which we are taught 
to cherish as one of the greatest boons of existence. 
The example of Paris extended like an electric shock 
to the adjacent countries. Italy, Austria, Prussia, 
seemed on the point of emancipating themselves from 
the yoke which had bound them for ages. With a 
generous sympathy, our countrymen wished success 
to these efforts. The formation of a republican gov 
ernment seems to us so easy, so obvious a work, that 

* Mr. Kush, who was tlieu our ambassador to France, proceedi-d in 
his official capacity to the Hotel dc Ville, three or four days after the 
completion of the revolution, and recognized the government, congratu 
lating them upon a change which had resulted hi the establishment of 
a republic. 



474 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

we suppose every nation which undertakes the task, 
will of course accomplish it. It was natural, there 
fore, for an American in Paris to believe that the 
good time had actually come, and that the people 
had only to inaugurate and establish it. I had 
several plans of addresses sent to me founded upon 
this idea ; one a declaration of principles, of seven 
foolscap pages, drawn up pretty much after the man 
ner of our Declaration of Independence. Conceiving 
it, however, no time to be magniloquent, I prepared 
the following brief address, which was adopted : 

" Gentlemen, members of the Provisional Government of the 
French People As citizens of the United States of America, and 
spectators of recent events in Paris, we come to offer you our 
congratulations. A grateful recollection of the past, and the ties 
of amity which have existed between your country and ours, 
prompt us to be among the first to testify to you, and to the 
people of France, the sympathy, the respect, and the admiration 
which those events inspire. Acknowledging the right of every 
nation to form its own government, we may still be permitted 
to felicitate France upon the choice of a system which recognizes 
as its basis the great principles of rational liberty and political 
equality. 

" In the progress of the recent struggle here, We, have admired 
the magnanimity of the French people, their self-command in the 
hour of triumph, and their speedy return to order and law, after 
the tumult and confusion of revolution. We see in these circum- 
stances, happy omens of good to France and to mankind assu 
rances that what has been so nobly begun will be consummated 
in the permanent establishment of a just and liberal government, 
and the consequent enjoyment of liberty, peace, and prosperity, 
among the citizens of this great country. Accept this testimo- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 475 

nial of the sentiments which fill our hearts at the present mo 
ment, and be assured that the news of the revolution which you 
have just achieved, will be hailed by our countrymen on the 
other side of the Atlantic, with no other emotions than those of 
hope arid joy for France and for the world." 

All things being duly prepared, the Americans, 
about two hundred and fifty in number, marched in 
procession to the Hotel de Ville, the striped bunting 
and the tricolor waving together in harmony over 
our heads. The citizens of Paris looked upon us 
with welcome, and frequently the cry arose "Vive 
la Republique Americaine!"* 

The Hotel de Ville is one of the most sumptuous 
palaces in Europe; and here, in the magnificent 
apartment called the Hall of Reception, we were 
received by the Provisional Government all dressed 
in their tmiform of blue, ornamented with gold lace, 
and rich sashes around the waist. Lamartine was ill, 
and was not present ; Arago presided. I began to 
read the address, in English, when a tipsy French 
man, who had squeezed into the hall with the pro- 

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

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

The chief marshal was \\ rhrlit Ilawkes, Esq., of New York, assisted 
by Kobert Wicklifte, Jr., of Kentucky, E. C. Cowden, of Boston, <fcc. 

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



476 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

cession, came forward and insisted that it should be 
read in French. He was pacified by being told that 
it would be read in that language after I had con 
cluded. When the address was finished, M. Arago 
replied on behalf of the government, in appropriate 
terms. M. Poussin* then seized the two flags, and 
waving them together, pronounced an ar.imated dis 
course, in which he acknowledged with gratitude the 
sympathy of the Americans in the recent revolution, 
and expressed the hope that France had now entered 
upon the long-hoped-for millennial era of equality, 
fraternity, and liberty. 

It is not my design to give you a detailed history of 
the revolution, but I may sketch a few of the promi 
nent events which followed. For this purpose, I make 
an extract from an account I have elsewhere given : 

For several weeks and months, Paris was a scene of extraordi 
nary excitement. The Provisional Government had announced 
that they would provide the people with labor. Consequently, 
deputations of tailors, hatters, engravers, musicians, paviors, 
cabinet-makers, seamstresses, and a multitude of other trades 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 477 

and vocations, flocked in long lines to the Hotel de Yille, to 
solicit the favor of the government. Vast crowds of people 
perpetually haunted this place, and, in one instance, a raging 
multitude came thundering at the doors, demanding that the 
blood-red flag of the former revolution should be the banner of 
the new republic ! It was on this occasion that Lamartine ad- 
dressed the people, and with such eloquence as to allay the 
storm which threatened again to deluge France in blood. The 
members of the government were so besieged and pressed by 
business, that for several weeks they slept in the Hotel de Ville. 
They proceeded with a bold hand to announce and establish the 
republic. In order to make a favorable impression upon the 
people, they decreed a gorgeous ceremony at the foot of the col 
umn of July, on Sunday, February 27th, by which they solemnly 
inaugurated the new republic. All the members of the Provis 
ional Government were present on horseback ; there were sixty 
thousand troops and two hundred thousand people to witness 
the spectacle. 

Another still more imposing celebration took place on the 4th 
of March. This was called the u Funeral of the Victims." After 
religious ceremonies at the Madeleine, the members of the gov 
ernment, with a long train of public officers, and an immense 
cortege of military, proceeded to the July column, conducting a 
superb funeral-car drawn by eight cream-colored horses. This 
contained most of the bodies of those slain in the revolution 
about two hundred and fifty. These were deposited in the vault 
of the column, with the victims of the revolution of 1830. 

Nothing can adequately portray this spectacle. A tricolored 
flag was stretched on each side of the Boulevards, from the Ma 
deleine to the July column a distance of three miles. As this 
consisted of three strips of cloth, the length of the whole was 
eighteen miles! The solemn movement of the funeral procession, 
the dirge-like music, the march of nearly a hundred thousand sol 
diers, and the sympathizing presence of three hundred thousand 
souls, rendered it a scene never surpassed and rarely equaled, 



478 



LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



either by the magnificence of the panorama, or the solemn and 
touching sentiments excited. 

Still other spectacles succeeded, and in the summer four hun 
dred thousand people assembled in the Champs Elysees to wit 
ness the Presentation of Flags to the assembled National Guards 
eighty thousand being present. Such scenes can only be wit 
nessed in Paris. 

Events proceeded with strange rapidity. A Constituent As 
sembly was called by the Provisional Government, to form a 
constitution. The members were elected by ballot, the suffrage 
being universal that is, open to all Frenchmen over twenty-one. 
The election took place in April, and on the 4th of May the first 
session was held, being officially announced to the assembled 
people from the steps of the Chamber of Deputies. On the 15th 
of May a conspiracy was disclosed, the leaders of which wero 
Raspail, Barbes, Sobrier, Caussidiere, Blanqui, Flotte, Albert, 
and Louis Blanc* the two last having been members of the 
Provisional Government. Caussidiere was prefect of police. 

The Assembly proceeded in the work of framing a constitution, 
administering the government in the mean time. On the 24th of 
June, a terrific insurrection broke out, promoted by the leaders 
of various factions, all desiring the overthrow of the republic 
which had been inaugurated. Cavaignac, who was minister of 
war, was appointed dictator, and Paris was declared in a state 
of siege. The insurgents confined their operations chiefly to the 
faubourgs St. Jacques and St. Antoine. They got possession of 
these, and formed skillful and able plans of operation, which had 
for their ultimate object the surrounding of the city and getting 
possession of certain important points, including the Chamber 
thus securing the government in their own hands. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 479 

Cavaignac proceeded to attack the barricades, thus clearing 
the streets one by one. The fighting was terrible. For four 
days The battle continued, the sound of cannon frequently filling 
the ears of the people all over the city. Night and day the in 
habitants were shut up in their houses ignorant of all, save 
that the conflict was raging. The women found employment in 
scraping lint for the wounded. All Paris was a camp. The 
windows were closed; the soldiers and sentinels passed their 
watchwords ; litters, carrying the dead and wounded, were seen 
along the streets ; the tramp of marching columns and the thun 
der of rushing cavalry broke upon the ear ! 

At last the conflict was over ; the insurgents were beaten 
Cavaignac triumphed. But the victory was dearly purchased. 
Between two and three thousand persons were killed and among 
them, no less than seven general officers had fallen. The insur 
gents fought like tigers. Many women were in the ranks, using 
the musket, carrying the banners, rearing barricades, and cheer 
ing the fight. Boys and girls mingled in the conflict. The 
National Guards who combated them, had equal courage and 
superior discipline. One of the Garde Mobile Hyacinthe Mar 
tin, a youth of fourteen took four standards from the tops of 
the barricades. His gallantry excited great interest, and Ca 
vaignac decorated him with the cross of the Legion of Honor. 
He became a hero of the day, but, sad to relate, being invited to 
f&tes, banquets, and repasts, his head was turned, and he was 
soon a ruined profligate. 

The leaders in this terrific insurrection were never detected. 
It is certain that the movement was headed by able men, and 
directed by skillful engineers. The masses who fought were 
n>u>ed to fury by poverty and distress, by disappointment at 
finding the national workshops discontinued, and by stimulating 
excitements furnished by socialist clubs and newspapers. It is 
computed that forty thousand insurgents were in arms, and eighty 
thousand government soldiers were brought against them. It 
may be considered that this struggle was the remote but inevila- 



4:80 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ble result of the course of the Provisional Government in adopting 
the doctrine of obligation, on the part of the State, to supply 
work and wages to the people, and in establishing national 
workshops in pursuance of this idea. Still, it may be said, on 
the other hand, that nothing but such a step could have enabled 
the Provisional Government to maintain itself during three 
months, and give being to an organized Assembly from which 
a legitimate government could proceed. 

The constitution was finished in the autumn, and promulgated 
on the 19th of November, 1848. On the 10th of December fol 
lowing, the election of President took place, and it appeared 
that Louis Napoleon had five million out of seven million votes. 
He was duly inaugurated about a week after the election, and 
entered upon the high duties which thus devolved upon him. 



LETTER LIX. 

The Duties of a Consul Pursuit of a missing Family Paying for Ex* 
perience. 

MY DEAR C****** 

Let us now come to the period of 1851, when I 
entered upon the consulate. Of the space during 
which I was permitted to hold this office, I have no 
very remarkable personal incidents to relate. The 
certifying of invoices, and the legalizing of deeds 
and powers of attorney, are the chief technical duties 
of the American Consul at Paris.* If he desires to 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 481 

enlarge the circle of his operations, however, he can 
find various ways of doing it, as for instance, in sup 
plying the wants of distressed Poles, Hungarians, Ital 
ians, and others, who are martyrs to liberty, and sup 
pose the American heart and purse always open to 
those who are thus afflicted : in answering questions 
from notaries, merchants, lawyers, as to the laws of the 
different American States upon marriage, inheritance, 

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

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

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

While I was in Paris, a very wealthy and rather aged gentleman from 
Virginia consulted an eminent surgeon there, as to hydrooele. Au oi>- 

VOL. II. 21 



482 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and the like ; in advising emigrants whether to settle 
in Iowa, or Illinois, or Missouri, or Texas ; in listening 
to inquiries made by deserted wives as to where their 
errant husbands may be found, who left France ten or 
twenty or thirty years ago, and went to America, by 
which is generally understood St. Domingo or Mar 
tinique. A considerable business may be done in lend 
ing money to foreigners, who pretend to have been 
naturalized in the United States, and are therefore en 
titled to consideration and sympathy, it being of course 
well understood that money lent to such persons will 
never be repaid. Some time and cash may also be 
invested in listening to the stories and contribu 
ting to the wants of promising young American art 
ists, who are striving to get to Italy, to pursue their 
studies such persons usually being graduates of the 
London school of artful dodgers. Some waste lei 
sure and a good deal of postage may be disposed of 
in correspondence with ingenious Americans invent 
ors and discoverers as for instance, with a man in 
Arkansas or Minnesota, who informs you that he has 

eration was recommended and performed, entirely against the advice of 
a Virginia physician who chanced to be in Paris, and was consulted. 
In thirty days the gentleman died. He had intrusted his affairs to me, 
and I paid his bills. The charge of the surgeon was five thousand francs ! 
The bills of the nurses, hotels, attendants, &c., were of a similar char 
acter. A young physician, who had been employed fourteen days as 
nurse, estimated his services at fifteen hundred francs ! 1 make these 
remarks, that my countrymen going to Paris for medical or surgical ad 
vice, may be duly warned against placing themselves in the hands of 
rash and unprincipled practitioners. A great name in Paris is by no 
means a guarantee of that care, prudence, and conscientiousness, which 
to the physician at home. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 483 

contrived a new and infallible method of heating and 
ventilating European cities, and wishes it brought to 
the notice of the authorities there, it being deemed 
the duty of the American Consul to give attention to 
such matters. These monotonies are occasionally di 
versified by a letter from some unfortunate fellow- 
countryman who is detained at Mazas or Clichy, and 
begs to be extricated ; or some couple who wish to be 
put under the bonds of wedlock, or some enterprising 
wife, all the way from Tennessee, in chase of a run 
away husband, or some inexperienced but indignant 
youth who has been fleeced by his landlord. 

Mixed up with these amusements, there sometimes 
comes an order from the government at home, to ob 
tain a certain document, or to give information as to 
some institution, or perhaps to make some investiga 
tion. The following copy of a letter to the State De 
partment at Washington describes an instance of the 
latter : 

PAEIS, February 10, 1853. 
To HON. EDWARD EVERETT, Secretary of State. 

Sir Your letter of the 30th December, inclosing one from 
Hon. Jeremiah Clemens, asking information as to the family of 
Andre Hentz, was duly received. 

Soon after its receipt, I proceeded to No. 9, Rue St. Appoline, 
Paris, the last known residence of Madame Hentz, but I could 
obtain no traces of her or her family. I then wrote to the Mayor 
of Conflans St. Honorine, where she once lived, and received a 
reply which directed me to make inquiry at the neighboring vil 
lage of Grenelle. Thither I proceeded, and applied as advised, 
to No. 5 Rue Fondry. Here I failed, but was led to suppose 



484 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

that I might get a clew at No. 115 Kue Yieille du Temple, 
Paris. I returned thither, and on application at the place in 
dicated, was told that no person by the name of Ilentz had ever 
lived there. On going out, I observed that the numbering over 
the door was freshly painted, and soon discovered that the 
whole numbering of the street had recently been changed. I 
now sought the old No. 115, and was here informed that I 
might perhaps find the person I was looking after at No. 6 Kue 
Thorigny. I proceeded thither, but was informed that M. Hentz 
was not there, but perhaps might be found at No. 4. Finally, 
at No. 4, on the fifth story, I found Henry Hentz and his 
mother, in rather humble but very neat apartments, and appa 
rently in comfortable circumstances. I told them the object of 
my visit, and they promised immediately to write to Mr. Andre 
Hentz, of whom they had lost ah 1 trace, and of whom they were 
rejoiced to receive intelligence. 

I write these particulars, supposing they may be interesting 
to Mr. Clemens s client. 

I am, with great respect, yours, &c., 

S. G. GOODEIOH. 

Another incident may amuse you. I one day re 
ceived a number of a Journal published in Paris, en 
titled " Archives des Hommes du Jour," that is, 
Memoirs of Men of the Time, accompanied by a 
polite note saying that the editors would be happy to 
insert in their pages a biographical memoir of myself. 
They had taken the liberty to sketch the beginning 
of the desired article, but the particular facts of my 
life they politely begged me to supply. 

Supposing this to be one of those applications 
which are by no means uncommon, I handed to my 
friend, M. Jules Delbriick, the letter, with two or 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 485 

three American books, which contained notices of 
myself, and asked him to write the memoir as de 
sired. This he did, and it was duly sent to the edit 
ors of the Hommes du Jour. In due time a proof 
was sent, and at the same time one of the editors, a 
very smiling gentleman, came and desired to know 
how many copies of this memoir of myself I should 
desire ! I replied, very innocently, that I should 
like one or two. The gentleman lifted his eyebrows, 
and said suggestively 

" Five hundred is the usual number !" 

I now for the first time began to suspect a trap, 
and replied 

" You expect me to take five hundred copies?" 

" Every gentleman takes at least that ; sometimes 
a thousand." 

" And you expect me to pay for them ?" 

" Oui, monsieur 1" 

" Well, how much do you expect for five hundred 
copies ?" 

" A franc each is the usual price ; but we will say 
three hundred and fifty francs for the whole." 

" I understand you now : I furnished the article in 
question at your request ; it was for your benefit, not 
mine. It is of no advantage to me. If you expected 
to be paid for it, you should have told me so ; you 
would then have been saved the trouble of pursuing 
the matter any further." 

The stranger remonstrated, but I firmly refused to 



486 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

give him an order for any copies of the publication 
in question, and supposed I had got rid of the appli 
cation. A few days afterward, however, I received 
a long letter from the editors, to which, after some 
reflection, I sent the following answer : 

PARIS, February 7, 1853. 
To the Editors of the " Archives des Homines du Jour." 

Gentlemen I have received, besides several other letters from 
you, one of the 3d instant, which seems to demand an answer. 

Some weeks since, you addressed me a complimentary note, 
saying that you proposed to insert in the Archives des Homines 
du Jour, a biographical sketch of myself, and desired me to fill 
up with facts an outline which you sent me. 

You gave me no intimation that you expected me to pay for 
the proposed insertion. Nothing in the specimen of the Journal 
you sent, led me to suspect that there was any lurking signifi 
cation beneath your polite proposal. I judged of the matter by 
my own experience, and very innocently supposing that I was 
merely fulfilling a comity due to men of letters, I complied with 
your request by getting a friend to furnish the facts you desired. 

I have since learned that my experience in the United States 
has not instructed me in all the customs of Paris. 

When the article in question was in proof, a gentleman, pro 
fessing to be your representative, called on me, and proposed to 
furnish me with five hundred copies of the sketch, u at the ex 
ceedingly low price of three hundred and fifty francs !" I replied 
that I did not require nor desire any copies of the work ; that 
while I appreciated the politeness of the editors of the Journal, 
I had not sought the insertion of the biography, and knew of 
no earthly interest of mine that could be promoted by it. I fur 
ther stated that my sense of propriety would be shocked at the 
idea of rendering pecuniary compensation for a eulogistic notice 
of myself. For all these reasons I declined accepting the propo- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 487 

sition, and the more emphatically, as it was very strongly urged 
upon me. 

All this was of course communicated to you : nevertheless, in 
the letter referred to, you insist upon my paying for the inser 
tion, and for five hundred extra copies, printed by you, after I 
had positively refused to take them. 

Your claim is urged on two grounds : first, that you have 
expended money, and conferred on me a benefit ; and, second, 
that what you ask is sanctioned by high example, and the prac 
tice of years, and has therefore the force of an agreement be 
tween you and me. 

To this I beg to reply, of course judging from my point of 
view, that I can not admit that you have done me a service. It 
seems to me rather an occasion of humiliation to see one s self 
praised in a journal, which must be regarded as a collection of 
eulogistic biographies, paid for by the parties eulogized. What 
ever may be the rank of the names, by the side of mine, the im 
pression upon my mind is that of degradation. 

In reply to your argument that I am bound by usage, permit 
me to say that in order to make your logic effective, you should 
show that the usage referred to is public and not secret, and 
furthermore that it is a commendable usage. 

Now, in this case, the practice of your journal is not stated, nor 
intimated, either in the title-page or preface, or upon the cover, 
nor did you state any thing of the kind in your note to mo. My 
literary experience has never furnished me with an example of 
a work conducted on these principles. 

Perhaps it would be inconvenient to label your work accord 
ing to its true character, and that may be a reason with you 
for concealing it, but at the same time it excludes all idea of 
mutuality of understanding between you and me, and puts an 
end to your claim founded upon implied agreement. The con 
sent of both parties is essential to a compact : in this case, you 
have only the consent of yourselves. 

As to the character of the usage you adopt, I am aware that 



488 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

you cite high authority. You assure me that the " Emperor of 
France," the " Queen of Spain," " Our holy Father the Pope," 
" Ministers of religion, Marshals of the empire, Councillors ot 
State, with others down to the pettiest Consul," have all com 
plied with your custom, and paid for their eulogies which appear 
in your ten annual volumes of the " Archives des Homines du 
Jour !" Had you not asserted this as a matter of fact, I should 
have denied it as impossible, as a shame to literature, a scandal 
against great names, a defamation of society and civilization in 
France and in Europe. As you affirm it, however, I pronounce 
no harsh judgment, and content myself by saying that while I 
allow others to form standards of conduct for themselves, I must 
claim and exercise the same privilege for myself. 

The custom you insist upon, therefore, can form no rule for 
me. I can not consent to pay for the insertion of the memoir, 
as done in my behalf; certainly not for any extra copies of the 
article itself. I inclose to you, however, one hundred and fifty 
francs as penance for my ignorance and simplicity in this trans 
action, with the request that, if convenient, my name may be 
altogether obliterated from your journal. 

I beg you to observe that in all this, I do not seek to impugn 
your principles or your conduct : I simply state my own opinions, 
and explain myself by reference to these, without insisting that 
from your point of view you may not be as correct as I am, 
from mine. Men s principles may differ, yet there is no neces 
sity that irritation should follow. 

I am sorry that any occasion should arise for so long and so 
formal a letter as this : I trust, however, that it will prove sat 
isfactory, and I am, very respectfully, yours, 

S. G. GOODRICH. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 489 



LETTER LX. 

Character of the French Republic Its Contrast with the American Repub 
lic Aspect of the Government in France Louis Napoleon s ambitious 
Designs He Flatters the Army Spreads Rumors of Socialist Plots 
Divisions in the National Assembly A Levee at the Elysee The Coup 
cPEtat Character of this Act Napoleon s Government Feelings of the 
People. 

MY DEAK C****** 

From the memoranda furnished in my prece 
ding letter, you will comprehend the duties which 
devolve upon the American Consul at Paris, and will 
have glimpses of some of the particular incidents 
which befell me while I was there in that capacity. 
I must now give you a rapid sketch of certain public 
events which transpired at that period, and which 
will ever be regarded as among the most remarkable 
in modern history. 

I have told you how Louis Napoleon, in conse 
quence of the Kevolution of 1848, became President 
of the Republic. When I arrived in Paris, in April, 
1851, he was officiating in that capacity, his residence 
being the little palace of the Elysee Bourbon, situated 
between the Faubourg St. Honore and the Champs 
Elysees. The National Assembly, consisting of sev 
en hundred and fifty members, held their sessions at 
the building called the Chamber of Deputies.* The 

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

21* 



4:90 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

government had been in operation somewhat over 
two years. 

At this period France was a republic, but you will 
not understand that its government bore any great 
resemblance to our own, save in name. The Consti 
tution had indeed been framed by a Convention, 
called a Constituent Assembly, chosen for that pur 
pose by the people : this had been submitted to them 
and ratified by them ; and furthermore, the members 
of the executive and legislative departments had all 
been elected by general suffrage. The government, 
therefore, rested upon the principle of popular sov 
ereignty, but still, it was without those checks and 
balances belonging to our system, and to which we 
attribute its success. Ours is a Federal Eepublic, 
a union of States, each a distinct, independent, and 
sovereign power, save only as to national matters, 
which are given over to the charge of a General 
Government. This cantonal arrangement, which is 
the great bulwark of our liberty, was wholly want 
ing in the French Constitution. All the powers of 
government legislative and executive for the en 
tire kingdom, were centralized at Paris. There were 
no safeguards interposed between this supreme, un 
checked authority, and the people, and the result 
showed that this defect was fatal. Our general gov- 



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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 491 

ernment may attempt usurpation, but it will imme 
diately be arrested by the State governments ; our 
general government may go to pieces, but the fabric 
of State government remains to shelter the people 
from anarchy. Our legislative department is further 
more divided into two bodies the House and the 
Senate, and these operate as checks upon each other. 
Unhappily, the French system had neither of these 
provisions, and as the republic had swallowed up 
despotism, so despotism in turn speedily devoured 
the republic. 

To the casual observer, the external aspect of things 
was not very different from what it had been under 
the monarchy of Louis Philippe. It is true that the 
palace of the Tuileries was vacant ; no royal coaches 
were seen dashing through the avenues ; no image 
and superscription of majesty frowned upon you from 
the public monuments, which, on the contrary, every 
where proclaimed " liberty, equality, fraternity." But 
still, the streets were filled with soldiers as before. 
Armed sentinels were stationed at the entrances of 
all the public buildings. The barracks were as usual 
swarming with soldiers, and large masses of horse 
and foot were frequently trained at the Champ de 
Mars and at Satory. Martial reviews and exercises 
were, indeed, the chief amusement of the metropolis. 
The President s house was a palace, and all around it 
was bristling with bayonets. It was obvious that what 
ever name the government might bear, military force 



492 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

lay at the bottom of it, and if to-day this might be 
its defense, to-morrow it might also be its overthrow. 

It is now ascertained that Louis Napoleon, from 
the beginning, had his mind fixed upon the restora 
tion of the empire. In accepting the presidency of 
the republic, and even in swearing fidelity to the 
Constitution, he considered himself only as mount 
ing the steps of the imperial throne. The French 
have so long been accustomed to military despotism, 
that they have no idea of government without it. The 
people there have not the habit, so universal with us, 
of obeying the law, through a sense of right ; they 
must always have before them the cannon and the 
bayonet, to enforce obedience. The framers of the 
new Constitution, either having no conception of a 
government unsupported by an army, or having no 
faith that the French nation would observe laws rest 
ing only upon moral obligation, gave to the chief 
magistrate the actual command of a large body of 
troops. With a view to prepare them to serve him, 
in time of need, the President flattered the officers 
and cajoled the men in various ways, even ordering 
them in one instance to be served with champagne ! 

In order to prepare the nation for the revolution 
which he meditated, Louis Napoleon caused agitating 
and alarming rumors to be circulated, of a terrible plot, 
planned by the democrats, republicans, and socialists 
of France, the object of which was to overturn the 
whole fabric of society, to destroy religion, to sweep 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 4:93 

away the obligations of marriage, to strip the rich 
of their property, and make a general distribution of 
it among the masses. Other conspiracies, having sim 
ilar designs, were said to exist in all the surrounding 
countries of Europe, and the time was now near at 
hand when the fearful explosion would take place. 
The police of France, subject to the control and di 
rection of the President, were instructed to discover 
evidences of this infernal plot, and they were so suc 
cessful, that the public mind was filled with a vague 
but anxious apprehension that society was reposing 
upon a volcano, which might soon burst forth and 
overwhelm the whole country in chaos. 

The National Assembly conducted in a manner to 
favor these deep, sinister schemes of the President. 
They were divided into four or five factions, and 
spent their time chiefly in angry disputes and selfish 
intrigues. A portion of them were monarchists, and 
though they had acquired their seats by pledges of 
devotion to the republic, they were now plotting its 
overthrow, a part being for the restoration of the 
Orleanists and a part for the Bourbons. Another fac 
tion was for Louis Napoleon, and actively promoted 
his schemes. By the Constitution he was ineligible 
for a second term, and his friends were seeking the 
means of overcoming this difficulty, and giving him 
a re-election, by fair means or foul. The liberals 
were divided into several shades of opinion, some 
being republicans, after the model of General Ca- 



494: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

vaignac ; some being democrats, like Victor Hugo ; 
and some socialists, after the fashion of Pierre Le- 
roux. In such a state of things, there was a vast 
deal of idle debate, while the substantial interests of 
the country seemed, if not totally forgotten, at least 
secondary to the interests of parties, and the passions 
and prejudices of individuals. 

Thus, although France was a republic, it was ob 
vious that the government had fallen into selfish 
hands, and must perish. Louis Napoleon was only 
waiting a favorable moment to enter upon his schemes 
for its destruction. His plans rapidly advanced to 
maturity. The terror he had excited of a grand so 
cialist convulsion, naturally prepared the people of 
property to look with favor upon any strong arm 
that might save them from such a catastrophe ; the 
people at large, even the masses, the friends of the 
republic, were disgusted at the useless discussions, 
frothy declamations, and factious intrigues of the 
Assembly. Louis Napoleon watched his opportu 
nity, and at last, every thing seeming to favor his 
scheme, he entered upon it with a degree of boldness 
which has few parallels in history. 

I remember that on a certain Monday evening, the 
1st of December, 1852, I was present at the Elysee, 
and was then first introduced to Louis Napoleon. I 
found him to be an ordinary-looking person, rather 
under size, but well formed, having a large nose, 
ratber large fishy eyes, and a dull expression. The 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 495 

room was tolerably full, the company consisting, aa 
is usual in such cases, of diplomats, military officers, 
and court officials, with a sprinkling of citizens in 
black coats for hitherto the requisition of a court 
uniform had not been imposed. This, you will re 
member, was under the Republic ; the rule which 
raised the black coat to a question of state, grew out 
of the Empire. Nevertheless, I was forcibly struck 
by the preponderance of soldiers in the assembly, 
and I said several times to my companions, that it 
seemed more like a camp than a palace. The whole 
scene was dull ; the President himself appeared preoc 
cupied, and was not master of his usual urbanity; 
Gen. Magnan walked from room to room with a ru 
minating air, occasionally sending his keen glances 
around, as if searching for something which he could 
not find. There was no music, no dancing. That 
gayety which almost always pervades a festive party 
in Paris, was wholly wanting. There was no ringing 
laughter, no merry hum of conversation. I noticed 
all this, but I did not suspect the cause. At eleven 
o clock the assembly broke up, and the guests de 
parted. At twelve, the conspirators, gathered for 
their several tasks, commenced their operations. 

About four in the morning, the leading members of 
the Assembly were seized in their beds, and hurried 
to prison. Troops were distributed at various points, 
so as to secure the city. When the light of day 
came, proclamations were posted at the corners of the 



496 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

streets announcing to the citizens that the National 
Assembly was dissolved, that universal suffrage was 
decreed, that the Kepublic was established! Such 
was the general unpopularity of the Assembly, that 
the first impression of the people was that of delight 
at its overthrow. Throughout the first day, the 
streets of Paris were like a swarming hive, filled 
with masses of people, yet for the most part in good- 
humor. The second day they had reflected, and be 
gan to frown, but yet there was no general spirit of 
revolt. A few barricades were attempted, but the 
operators were easily dispersed. The third day came, 
and although there was some agitation among the 
masses, there was evidently no preparation, no com 
bination for general resistance. As late as ten o clock 
in the forenoon, I met one of the republicans whom I 
knew, and asked him what was to be done. His re 
ply was : 

" We can do nothing : our leaders are in prison ; 
we are bound hand and foot. I am ready <to give my 
life at the barricades, if with the chance of benefit ; 
but I do not like to throw it away. We can do 
nothing!" 

Soon after this, I perceived heavy columns of 
troops, some four thousand men, marching through 
the Eue de la Paix, and then proceeding along the 
Boulevards toward the Porte St. Denis. These were 
soon followed by a body of about a thousand horse 
I was told that similar bodies were moving to the 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 497 

same point through other avenues of the city. In a 
short time the whole Boulevard, from the Hue de la 
Paix to the Place de la Bastille, an extent of two 
miles, was filled with troops. My office was on the 
Boulevard des Italiens, and was now fronted by a 
dense body of lancers, each man with his cocked 
pistol in his hand. Except the murmur of the horses 
hoofs, there was a general stillness over the city. The 
sidewalks were filled with people, and though there 
was no visible cause for alarm, there was still a vague 
apprehension which cast pallor and gloom upon the 
faces of all. 

Suddenly a few shots were heard in the direction 
of the Boulevard Montmartre, and then a confused 
hum, and soon a furious clatter of hoofs. A moment 
after, the whole body of horse started into a gallop, 
and rushed by as if in flight ; presently they halted, 
however, wheeled slowly, and gradually moved back, 
taking up their former position. The men looked 
keenly at the houses on either side, and pointed 
their pistols threateningly at all whom they saw at 
the windows. It afterward appeared, that when the 
troops had been drawn out in line and stationed 
along the Boulevard, some half dozen shots were 
fired into them from the tops of buildings and from 
windows ; this created a sudden panic ; the troops 
ran, and crowding upon others, caused the sudden 
movement I have described. In a few moments, 
the heavy, sickening sound of muskets came from 



498 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

the Porte St. Denis. Volley succeeded volley, and 
after some time the people were seen rushing madly 
along the pavements of the Boulevard as if to escape. 
The gate of our hotel was now closed, and at the 
earnest request of the throng that had gathered for 
shelter in the court of the hotel, I put out the " Stars 
and Stripes" the first and last time that I ever 
deemed it necessary. The dull roar of muskets, with 
the occasional boom of cannon, continued at intervals 
for nearly half an hour. Silence at last succeeded, 
and the people ventured into the streets. 

About four in the afternoon, I walked for a mile 
along the Boulevard. The pavements were strewn 
with the fragments of shattered windows, broken 
cornices, and shivered doorways. Many of the build 
ings, especially those on the southern side of the 
street, were thickly spattered with bullet-marks, espe 
cially around the windows. One edifice was riddled 
through and through with cannon-shot. Frequent 
spots of blood stained the sidewalk, and along the 
Boulevard Montmartre, particularly around the door 
ways, there were pools like those of the shambles; 
it being evident that the reckless soldiers* had shot 
down in heaps the fugitives who, taken by surprise, 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECPOTICAL, ETC. 499 

strove to obtain shelter at the entrances of the hotels 
upon the street. It was a sight to sicken the heart, 
especially of an American, who is not trained to 
these scenes of massacre. Toward evening a portion 
of the troops moved away; the rest remained, and 
bivouacked in the streets for the night. At ten 
o clock, I again visited the scene, and was greatly 
struck with the long line of watch-fires, whose fitful 
lights, reflected by dark groups of armed men, only 
rendered the spectacle more ghastly and gloomy. 

Of the whole number killed in Paris during this, 
the third day of the Coup d Etat, we have no certain 
account : it is generally estimated at from one thou 
sand to fifteen hundred. I have told you that the 
press was silenced, save two or three papers, which 
told the whole story so as to justify the conduct of 
Louis Napoleon. These represented that the Na 
tional Assembly were plotting for his overthrow by 
violent means, and thus would make it appear that 
his conduct was not only justifiable as an act of 
self-preservation, but necessary in view of the public 
good. It is important to state, however, that al 
though the agents of the usurper seized upon the 
papers of the suspected members at their own houses, 
and at a moment of surprise, no sufficient proofs have 
yet been adduced of the alleged treason of the Assem- 

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



500 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

bly. The apologists of the Coup d Etat have further 
declared that the massacre along the Boulevards 
which I have described, was a measure of stern ne 
cessity, in order to repress the insurgent socialists. 
The fact seems rather to be that it was a cool and 
calculated slaughter of innocent persons, in order to 
show the power and spirit of the Dictator, and to 
strike with paralyzing fear those who should venture 
to oppose him. 

The morning came, and the triumph of the reign 
of terror was complete. What was enacted in Paris, 
was imitated all over France. Nearly every depart 
ment was declared in a state of siege; revolt was 
punished with death, and doubt or hesitation with 
imprisonment. Forty thousand persons were hurried 
to the dungeons, without even the form or pretense of 
trial. All over the country the press was silenced, as 
it had been in Paris, save only a few obsequious prints, 
which published what was dictated to them. These 
declared that all this bloodshed and violence were 
the necessary result of the socialist conspiracy, which 
threatened to overturn society ; happily, as they con 
tended, Louis Napoleon, like a beneficent providence, 
had crushed the monster, and he now asked the 
people to ratify what he had done, by making him 
President for ten years. In the midst of agitation, 
delusion, and panic, the vote was taken, and the 
usurpation was legalized by a vote of eight millions 
of suffrages 1 The nominal Kepublic, but real Die- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 501 

tatorship, thus established, was soon made to give 
way to the Empire ; the ambitious plotter reached the 
imperial throne, and now stands before the world as 
Napoleon III. ! 

It is impossible for us Americans to look upon the 
conduct of the chief actor in this startling drama, 
but with reprobation. "We regard constitutions, rat 
ified by the people, as sacred ; we consider oaths to 
support them as pledges of character, faith, honor, 
truth all that belongs to manhood. We look upon 
blood shed for mere ambition, as murder. The Amer 
ican people must be totally changed in religion, mor 
als, feelings, and political associations, before they 
could cast their votes for a ruler whose lips were 
stained with perjury, and whose hands were red 
with the slaughter of their fellow- citizens. But the 
French nation is of a different moral constitution ; 
their tastes, experience, souvenirs, are all different. 
They are accustomed to perfidy on the part of their 
rulers; violence and crime, wrought for ambition, 
have stained the paths of every dynasty that has ruled 
over them for a space of fourteen centuries. France 
is trained to these things, and hence the public taste, 
the prevailing sentiments of society, are not greatly 
shocked at them. The people there do not reckon 
with a successful usurper as they would with an or 
dinary man acting in the common business of life ; 
when they see him installed in the Tuileries they 
forget his treacheries and his massacres the means 



502 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

by which he attained his power and cry "Yive 
1 Empereur!" Even the Church now looks upon 
Louis Napoleon s conduct with approbation, and 
burns incense and sings Te Deums in his behalf, as 
the savior of religion, family, society. 

And it must be admitted that, since his acquisi 
tion of a throne, Louis Napoleon has conducted the 
government with ability, and he has certainly been 
seconded by fortune. He married a lady who, after 
becoming an empress, shed luster upon her high 
position by her gentle virtues and gracious manners. 
He engaged in the Eastern War, and has triumphed. 
He has greatly improved and embellished the capital, 
and made Paris the most charming city in the world ; 
nowhere else does life seem to flow on so cheerfully 
and so tranquilly as here. He has gradually softened 
the rigors of his government and though some noble 
spirits still pine in exile,* he has taken frequent ad- 

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

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



A " .* . : , /. 
* /* .j.,j i -.:*,; :/. 




fT 1 : 



* *, 






HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 503 

vantage of opportunity to diminish the number. The 
people of France, at the present time, appear to be 
satisfied with the government, and probably a very 
large majority, could the question be proposed to 
them, would vote for its continuance. 

Beneath this smooth and tranquil surface there 
may be, and no doubt is, a smouldering fire of dis 
content, and which will seek the first opportunity to 
explode. Louis Napoleon rules only by the vigorous 
and watchful "power of despotism, and it is not in the 
nature of the French people to endure this for a long 
period of time. The existing empire can hardly be 
perpetuated beyond the life of him who has created 
it ; indeed, its present strength lies much more in the 
fear of anarchy, which is certain to follow if that be 
removed, than from any love for the system itself, or 
of him who has imposed it upon the country. 

a captivating 1 orator, an elegant writer, and withal a man whose heart is 
full of every noble sentiment, escaped the indignity of imprisonment, 
and he too is allowed to live in his native land. But his lips are sealed 
as to every political question, and his only communication with his 
countrymen and with mankind is through literature, carefully divested 
of every thought and feeling pertaining to current politics. Every au 
thor in France, indeed, wears a muzzle which only permits him to 
breathe such thoughts as cannot offend the powers that be. 



504 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER LXI. 

Meeting in Paris to commemorate the Death of Clay and Webster Termi 
nation of my Consular Duties Character of the French Nation The 
Black-coat Circular. 

MY DEAR 0****** 

As this chapter must bring me to the end of my 
residence in Paris, you will permit me to crowd into 
it a variety of topics, without regard to chronological 
order or continuity of narrative. 

In the autumn of 1852, the news came that Daniel 
Webster was no more. Under any circumstances, 
the decease of such a person would cause a deep and 
pervading emotion, but the manner of Mr. Webster s 
death imparted to it a peculiar degree of interest. 
The closing scene was, in fact, appropriate to his 
character, his noble person, his gigantic intellect, his 
great fame. It was remarked by an eminent states 
man in England, that Mr. Webster s was the most 
sublime death of modern times. The European pa 
pers were filled with details of the event. The 
Americans in Paris, on hearing the tidings, deemed 
it proper to assemble for the purpose of giving ex 
pression to their emotions. As Mr. Clay had died 
only a few months before, it was resolved at the same 
time to pay due homage to his memory. 

The meeting, consisting of several hundred persons, 
mostly Americans, was held in the splendid salon of 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 505 

the Cercle des Deux Mondes, Boulevard Montmartre. 
Mr. Kives, our minister, made an eloquent and touch 
ing address, delineating the remarkable qualities of 
these two men, and comparing Mr. Clay to the Mis 
sissippi, which spreads its fertilizing waters over the 
boundless regions of the West, and Mr. Webster to 
the resistless Niagara, emptying seas at a plunge, and 
shaking all around with its echoing thunders. Mr. 
Barnard, our minister to the Court of Berlin, paid a 
full and hearty tribute to the memory of Mr. Webster ; 
he was followed by Mr. George Wood, of New York, 
and Franklin Dexter, of Boston, who also made el 
oquent and feeling addresses. M. Bois Lecompte, 
former minister of France to the United States, and 
well acquainted with the two great men whose death 
we had met to commemorate, closed with a beautiful 
eulogy upon each. 

In the summer of 1853, 1 was politely advised from 
the State Department that President Pierce had ap 
pointed my successor in the consulate. Thus, having 
held the place a little over two years, on the 1st of 
August, 1853,* I was restored to the privileges of 

* I shall, I trust, be excused for inserting in a note the following, 
which I take from Galignuui s Paris Messenger of December 15th, 1854: 
MR. GOODRICH, THE LATE CONSUL OF THE UNITKD STATES OF AMERICA AT 
PARIS. The Americans in Paris lately presented to Mr. Goodrich a 
medallion executed in vermeil, by the distinguished artist, Adam-Salo 
mon, with the following inscription encircling an admirable portrait of 
the consul, in relief 

" To S. O. Goodrich, Consul of the United States of America at Paris, 
presented by his countrymen in that City, August 1st, 1858." 

VOL. II. 22 



506 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

private citizen life. As I had various engagements 
which forbade me immediately to leave France, I 
hired a small house in Courbevoie, which I made my 
residence till my departure for America in the sum 
mer of 1855. 

This naturally brings me to the close of my story, 

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

"PARIS, September 5th, 1854. 
"To S. G. GOODRICH, ESQ. 

"It is my very agreeable duty to present you, herewith, a medal 
lion, executed at the request of a number of your American friends at 
Paris. It is destined alike as a token of personal respect, and an expres 
sion of the universal gratification among your countrymen at the manner 
in which you discharged your duties while consul of the United States 
here. Not content with a merely formal fulfillment of your official obli 
gations, you made your position eminently agreenble and useful to your 
countrymen, and at the same time rendered it subservient to the best 
interests of our common country. On these points there is but one 
opinion; and, therefore, in making this offering, in behalf of your nu 
merous friends, I am instructed to add their congratulations that noth 
ing can deprive you of the good-will and good opinion so legitimately 
obtained. I am, sir, respectfully yours, 

" FRANCIS WARDEN." 

" PARIS, September 16th, 1354. 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 507 

so far as it relates to France. Were it pertinent to 
my design, I should give you some sketches of the 
French people of their character and manners, 
which, in their minuter shadings, are not well ap 
preciated in the United States. We readily compre 
hend England and the English people, because their 
language, their institutions, their genius, are similar 
to our own ; but in France we find a different lan 
guage, a different religion, different institutions in 
short, a different civilization. In England, Sunday 
is a holy day, in France a holiday, and this fact is a 
sort of index to the difference between these two 
countries in regard to opinion, society, life. In Eng 
land, the future exercises a powerful influence over 
the mind ; in France, it is thought best to enjoy the 
present ; England would improve the world, France 
would embellish it; England founds colonies, plants 
nations, establishes the useful arts; France refines 
manners, diffuses the fine arts, and spreads taste and 
elegance over Christendom. In England the people 
live in separate buildings, apart from one another, each 
man claiming that his house is his castle ; in France, 



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

" With great respect, yours, &c., 
" FRANCIS WARDEN, ESQ. " S. G. GOODRICH." 



508 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

they live congregated in hotels, one family above 
another, like the different layers of honeycomb in 
a hive. The Englishman finds his chief happiness at 
his fireside, the Frenchman in the sympathy of con 
gregated masses. In England, the best points of 
the people are seen in the domestic circle ; in France, 
in the salon. In all these things, English ideas are 
germain to our own, and hence we readily under 
stand them, enter into them, appreciate them. As to 
France, it is otherwise ; words there have a different 
sense, things a different use from that we are accus 
tomed to, and hence, in order to understand the ge 
nius of the French nation and to do full justice to it, 
it is necessary to consider them from their point of 
view. After all that has been said and done, a work 
describing French society, manners, and institutions, 
is still a desideratum. This can not be supplied by 
the hasty sketches of racing travelers ; it must be the 
work of a laborious and careful student, who unites 
experience and observation to a large and liberal 
philosophy, which on the one hand can resist the 
artifices of taste and the blandishments of luxury, 
and on the other, appreciate good things, even 
though they may not bear the patent-mark of his 
own prepossessions. Of course, you will not expect 
me to begin such a work in the closing pages of these 
fugitive letters.* 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 509 

I duly received your letter asking my opinion upon 
the " black-coat question." Mr. Marcy s celebrated 
circular respecting diplomatic and consular costume 
was not issued, or at least did not reach me, till 
after I had ceased to exercise the consular functions ; 
nevertheless, as I had some opportunity to form a 

subject I find it too extensive. I may, however, name in a single par 
agraph, Alexandre Dumas, whose versatility, fecundity, and capacity 
for labor are without parallel, and whose genius has placed him at the 
head of living novelists and dramatists, in spite of his notorious charla 
tanry and love of publicity ; Adolphe Dumas, his son, whose three plays 
illustrative of the manners of equivocal society and of the life of aban 
doned women has made him rich at the age of thirty-one a fact \ cry 
suggestive as to the state of Parisian society; Lamartine, whose humble 
apartments in the Eue de la Ville I Eveqne are constantly filled with the 
admiring friends of the impoverished poet and the disowned politician ; 
Alphonse Karr, whose caustic satires upon vice, folly, and prevalent 
abuses, published once a week, have made him a valuable reformer; 
Ampere, the traveler and linguist, whose work upon the United States is 
perhaps the most just that has yet been written by a foreigner ; Eiuile de 
Girardin, whose innovation in editorial writing consisting of the con 
stant recurrence of the aUnea, or paragraph, each one of which contains a 
distinct proposition, deduced from the previous one and leading directly 
to that which follows was one of the features of the Presse which pro 
duced its immense popularity; Scribe, the indefatigable playwright and 
librettist ; Mery, the poet-laureate or court poetaster; Ponsard, whose two 
comedies in verse, " L Honneur et 1 Argent" and "La Bourse," are rap 
idly carrying him to a chair in the Academy; Beranger, hale and active 
at the age of seventy-six, and the most popular man in France; Gustavo 
Plane-he, the critic and the terror of authors; Jules Janin, the dramatic 
critic, whose long labors have been totally unproductive of good to either 
actor or dramatist ; Madame de Girardin recently deceased whose 
one act drama of " La Joie fait Peur" is the most profound piece of 
psychological dissection in existence ; and Madame Dudcvant, alias 
George Sand, whose power of painting the finer and more hidden 
emotions of the soul is unrivaled. 

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



510 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

judgment of the measure, I freely give you my im 
pressions upon the subject. 

You understand that the State Department, at dif 
ferent periods, lias made certain regulations in re 
spect to the diplomatic and consular service, so far 
even as to prescribe their official dress. The main 
body of these rules, as they had existed for many 
years, was drawn up, I believe, by Mr. Livingston, 
while Secretary of State under Gen. Jackson. The 
diplomatic dress consisted of a blue coat and blue pan 
taloons decorated with gold embroidery, and a white 
waistcoat. It had a general resemblance to the diplo 
matic costume of other countries, though it was of 
the simplest form. The consular dresf was similar, 
though the naval button of the United States was 
prescribed, and the whole costume had a sort of naval 
air. Diplomats and consuls wore sma 1 ! swords, but 
no epaulets. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Marcy, soon after his accession to 
the State Department, under President Pierce, issued 
a circular requiring consuls to give up these costumes 
altogether ; as to diplomats, it was recommended, 
though not enjoined, that they should appear before 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, KTC. 511 

foreign courts in simple black. This was urged on 
the ground that plainness of attire was proper to 
the representatives of a republic, and it was to be re 
gretted that we had ever departed from the simplicity 
adopted by Dr. Franklin in appearing before the 
court of Louis XVI. 

It would seem that these are very narrow grounds 
for a departure from the usages of the civilized 
world, our own government among the number, and 
in which Jefferson and Monroe, Adams and Jay, 
Ellsworth and King, had participated. All these, 
aye and Dr. Franklin* too, notwithstanding the cur 
rent notion that he forced his Quaker clothes upon 
the court of Louis XVL, wore their court costume, 
simply because custom required it. There is no 
doubt that they were more respected, and served 
their country with more effect than they would have 
done, had they insisted upon shocking the public 

* It is said, and I believe truly, that Dr. Franklin s appearance at 
the court of Louis XVI. in a plain suit of drab cloth, and which for a 
brief space intoxicated the giddy beau monde of Paris, was accidental: 
his court suit not arriving in time, and the king, who waited anxiously 
to receive him, requesting that he would come as ho was. Whether this 
was so or not, I believe there is no doubt that Dr. Franklin afterward 
adopted a court suit, consisting of a black velvet embroidered coat, and 
black small-clothes, with a small sword. Dr. Franklin was a man of 
too much sense to undertake to shock established tastes by an otii-n-ivi 1 . 
departure from what was esteemed propriety. All the portraits of him 
taken while he was cur ambassador at the French court, show that he 
was accustomrd to drc-s handsomely. I have a copy of one by (irou/.c, 
which represents him in a green silk dressing-gown, cd^ -d with fur, a 
light-colored satia waistcoat, with a frill at the bosom. Such a dress, 
for an elderly gentleman in his study, would now-a-days be considered 
almost foppish. 



512 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

taste by what would have been deemed an indecorum 
if not an indecency that is, appearing in common 
clothes on occasions in which etiquette demanded a 
special and appropriate attire. 

As to the assumption that simplicity of attire is 
characteristic of republicans, I think there is less 
of reason in it than of cant. It happens that the 
particular form of our government excludes all dis 
tinctions of rank, and hence the badges which desig 
nate these, would be without meaning among us. 
But with this single exception, we in the United 
States are as much given to display in dress and 
equipage as any other people on the globe. We have 
our military and naval costumes, and these are among 
the richest in the world: foppery is one of the noto 
rious qualities of all our militia companies. Both our 
men and women think more of display in dress than 
those of other nations. When our people get to Eu 
rope, they distinguish themselves by going to the 
height of fashion in all things. At the court introduc 
tions in Paris, I always remarked that the Americans 
men as well as women were more sumptuously, 
and it may be added, more tastefully, attired than 
most others. Even at the new imperial court of Paris, 
the American ladies not only stood first in point of 
beauty, but also in the display of mantles, trains, and 
diamonds. New Orleans, Virginia, Pennsylvania, 
New York, Boston, had each its representative, and 
splendid specimens they were If the American 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 513 

Minister had come to introduce these, his countrywo 
men, to their imperial majesties, and had claimed the 
privilege of wearing a black coat because simplicity 
belongs to republicans, I imagine that every observer 
would have marked the contrast between the pretense 
and the performance. 

Thus, though we may be republicans, we are in fact 
a sumptuous people, addicted to display, and exceed 
ingly fond of being in the midst of stars and garters. 
We think the more of these things, doubtless, for the 
very reason that they are strange to our manners. 
Every American who goes to London or Paris, wishes 
to be introduced at court, and seems to feel that this 
is his privilege. It is not so with any other nation ; 
no English man or woman, in Paris, asks to be pre 
sented at the Tuileries, unless it be a person of high 
social or official rank. 

These being characteristics of our people, and per 
fectly well understood abroad, Mr. Marcy s black- 
coat circular created no little surprise. It was gen 
erally regarded as a mere appeal to the lower classes 
in America, who might be supposed to entertain the 
sentiments of the sans-culottes, and as such, it was 
treated with little respect. Nevertheless, had the gov 
ernment prescribed a black dress, for its diplomats, no 
court in Europe would have made the slightest ob 
jection. Such a measure would no doubt have sub 
jected us to criticism, perhaps to ridicule, as a matter 
of taste ; it would have been offensive, inasmuch as it 

22* 



514 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

would have seemed designed as a rebuke of the man 
ners and customs of older and more refined nations 
than ourselves. We should have been considered as 
reading a lecture to European courts, in this wise 
" Look at us, republicans, and behold how we despise 
the trappings of royalty, and the gaud of courts ; look 
at our black coats, and go ye and do likewise!" Nev 
ertheless, it is perfectly well understood in Europe 
that any government may regulate the costume of its 
representatives, and had Mr. Marcy s circular made it 
obligatory upon the American diplomatic corps to 
wear black, or white, or red, or any other color, not 
the slightest exception would have been taken to it 
by any court in the world. 

This, however, was not the course adopted by the 
government ; they merely recommended, they did not 
prescribe, the black coat. The situation of all our min 
isters, charges, and secretaries, therefore, at once be 
came extremely awkward.* The diplomatic business 

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

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



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 515 

of all countries is transacted between the ambassador 
and the ministers, and when these persons meet, 
there is no ceremony. They come together like mer 
chants or lawyers, in their ordinary dress. All the 
actual business of a foreign minister may therefore be 
transacted without any particular costume. 

But sovereigns surround themselves with a certain 
etiquette, and they require all who approach them to 
conform to this. When Queen Victoria invites per 
sons to visit her, it is of course upon condition that 
they adopt the usages of the court. No one, what 
ever his rank or station, can claim exemption from 
this rule. It must be remembered that on all such 
occasions, the invitation is considered a compliment, 
and hence well-bred persons, who take advantage of 
it, feel constrained, by self-respect and a sense of pro 
priety, scrupulously to regard and fulfill the condi 
tions upon which this invitation is bestowed. 

Now, it must be remembered that what is called a 
court costume, is only required of a minister on 
occasions of mere ceremony or festivity, when he 
appears by invitation of the sovereign. If he comes, 
it is not to transact business, but for amusement. He 

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



516 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

may stay away, and nothing belonging to his diplo 
matic affairs will suffer. Why, then, if he accepts 
the invitation, should he not conform to the pre 
scribed usages of the court ? It is generally consid 
ered evidence of a want of gentlemanly breeding, an 
act of positive vulgarity, for any person to take ad 
vantage of a polite invitation, and refuse to conform 
to the conditions imposed by the host. Above all, 
it would seem that an ambassador, representing a 
nation before a foreign court, should be scrupulous 
to observe the known and established rules of deco 
rum. 

It must be remembered that propriety of costume 
that is, a dress suited to the taste and fashion pre 
vailing where it is worn, is in all civilized countries 
a matter of decency. It has been so among all re 
fined nations, and from the earliest ages. One of the 
most solemn of our Saviour s parables is founded 
upon a breach of decorum in regard to costume the 
appearance of a man at the wedding of the king s son, 
without a wedding garment. Similar ideas are just 
as current among us as elsewhere. If a clergyman 
were to go into the pulpit dressed in a military coat, 
it would shock the whole audience, and be considered 
an insult alike to them and to the clerical profession. 
If a lady issues cards of invitation to a ball, and a 
man, who takes advantage of the invitation, comes 
in a sailor s roundabout, he would be held as an ill- 
bred fellow, and as such would be turned out of 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 517 

doors. He may plead that he had simply cut off 
the tail of his coat, and as he considered an artificial 
appendage of this kind derogatory to a free-born 
man, his principles forbade him to wear it. The an 
swer is, you are welcome to carry out your principles, 
but if you accept an invitation given to you out of 
politeness, it is expected and required that you con 
form to the known usages and decencies of society. 

Now in monarchical countries long usage has es 
tablished it in the public mind, that to appear at 
court* without a court costume, would be a species of 
indecency, an offense against the company present, as 
well as the parties giving the invitation. We may 
rail at it as much as we please in this country, yet 
we can not alter the fact I state. 

Taking the matter in this point of view, let us 
consider the situation of our diplomatic representa 
tives under Mr. Marcy s circular. Had the black 
coat been prescribed, as I have said before, there 
would have been an end of the matter. Our minis 
ters and charges would have been dressed in black, 
that is, like the servants of a cafe, while all around 

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



518 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

them would have appeared in appropriate costumes ; 
and thus, in the midst of an assemblage, consisting 
of the most exalted rank, the highest refinement, the 
most distinguished ability the representative of the 
United States would either have passed unnoticed as 
a servant, or been remarked upon as an object of 
ridicule, perhaps of contempt. That would have 
been all. 

But this condition of things was not vouchsafed to 
our ministers : if they obeyed the circular, and car 
ried the black coat to court, it was known to be in 
some degree voluntary, and was so far the more 
offensive on the part of the individual wearing it. 
Mr. Sanford, our Charge at Paris, acting from a just 
regard to the wishes of his government, tried the ex 
periment under many advantages. He was a young 
gentleman of good address, and held a respectable 
position in the higher circles of society connected with 
the court. He was admitted to the Tuileries in his 
black suit, but was of course an object of much ob 
servation and comment. His character personal 
and official protected him from indignity, either of 
word or look, but the act was considered offensive 
as well in the palace as in the various branches of 
society in connection with it. About this time Louis 
Napoleon was forming his new imperial court, and 
seeking to give it every degree of splendor. He 
had prescribed rich costumes for his officers, mili 
tary and civil, and had directed that their wives 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 519 

should appear in their most splendid attire. All 
the persons connected with the court entered into 
this spirit. For the American Charge to present 
himself in simple black, at this particular time, 
looked like rebuke, and was, I believe, regarded in 
this light. Had Mr. Sanford continued in his office 
at Paris, and had he persevered, he would, perhaps, 
by his amiable personal character and pleasing ad 
dress, have removed these difficulties, though it is 
quite as possible that he might have found his situa 
tion intolerable, not from open affront, but from those 
sly yet galling attacks, which the polished habitues 
of courts know so well how to make, even in the midst 
of smiles and seeming caresses. As it happened, Mr. 
Mason soon after arrived in Paris as full minister, 
and appreciating the result of Mr. Sanford s experi 
ment, adopted the usual diplomatic costume. 

For my own part, I can not see the utility of ma 
king ourselves disagreeable, and at the same time 
jeoparding the real interests of our country, in such 
a matter as that of the dress of our diplomatic repre 
sentatives. Our policy should be to cultivate peace 
with all the world, but it would seem of late that our 
desire is rather to array all the nations against us. 
"Within the last three years we have lost nearly all our 
friends in Europe. The Ostend Congress, with its start 
ling doctrines, produced a deep and pervading feeling 
of reprehension, and the circulars of " Citizen Saun- 
ders" created still more lively emotions of irritation 



520 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and resentment.* The character and conduct of sev 
eral of our consuls and diplomats, in different parts 
of Europe, together with our Secretary s well-meant 
attempts to improve the taste of the European courts 
in the matter of dress, have all contributed to degrade 
the American name in foreign countries. 

Such are, briefly, my views of Mr. Marcy s diplo 
matic circular. It seems to have been ill advised, and 
though its motive was no doubt good, it must have 
been adopted without full inquiry into the subject. 
Had the State Department taken the precaution to 
address our ministers and consuls on the subject, the 
answer would have been such as to have prevented 
the ridicule brought upon the country by this meas 
ure. The present state of things is embarrassing to 
our foreign ministers, and derogatory to the country. 
The true plan is to adopt some simple and appro 
priate costume, and make it obligatory. If the black 
coat is to be preferred, then let it be prescribed, so 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICA.L, ETC. 621 

that the responsibility may fall on the government 
and not on him who wears it. And one thing more : 
let us be consistent ; if republicanism requires sim 
plicity, and black is to be our national color, let the 
" fuss and feathers" of the army and navy be dis 
missed, and the general as well as the private soldier 
appear in " the black coat !" 



LETTER LXII. 

Viiit to Italy Florence Rome Naples. 
MY DEAR C****** 

In the autumn of 1854 I set out with my family 
for a brief visit to Italy. With all my wanderings I 
had never seen this far-famed land, and as I was not 
likely ever to have another opportunity, I felt it to 
be a kind of duty to avail myself of a few unappro 
priated weeks, for that object. 

It is not my purpose to give you the details of my 
travels or my observations. A mere outline must 
suffice. Embarking in a steamer at Marseilles, we 
soon reached Genoa. Here we went ashore for a few 
hours, and then returning to our vessel, proceeded on 
to Leghorn. Taking the railroad at this place, we 
wound among the hills, and, having passed Pisa, 
catching a glimpse of its Leaning Tower, arrived at 
Florence. In this journey of five days, we had 
passed from Paris to the center of Italy. 



522 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Florence* is situated in a small but fertile valley, 
on either side of which rise a great number of precip 
itous hills ; behind these is a succession of still great 
er elevations, with rocky summits reaching at last to 
the Apennines on the north, and other ranges on the 
south and west. A narrow stream, poetically called 
the "yellow Arno" or u golden Arno," but in honest 
phrase, the muddy Arno, flows nearly through the 
center of the city. This is bordered by stone quays, 
leaving a space of about three hundred feet in width, 
sometimes full and sometimes only a bed of gravel, 
along which winds the stream shrunken into an insig 
nificant rivulet. The Arno is in fact a sort of mount 
ain torrent; its source is nearly five thousand feet 
above the level of the sea, yet its whole course is 
but seventy -five miles. The steep acclivities around 
Florence suddenly empty the rains into its channel, 
and it often swells in the course of a few hours to in 
undation ; it subsides as speedily, and in summer al 
most disappears amid the furrows of its sandy bed. 

If we were to judge Florence by a modern stand 
ard, we might pronounce it a dull, dismal-looking 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 523 

place, marred by dilapidation, degraded by tyranny, 
and occupied by a degenerate people. But when we 
enter its galleries of art,* when we survey its monu 
ments of architecture, and when we view all these in 
connection with its history, we speedily discover it 
to be an inexhaustible mine, alike instructive to the 
philosopher and the man of taste. 

I dare not begin upon the curiosities with which 
this city is filled : I must leave them to be described 
by others. The hills around the city are equally 
interesting, studded as they are with edifices, con 
nected with the names of Michael Angelo, Galileo, 
Dante, Lorenzo de Medici, and others, all full of his 
torical associations or recollections of science and art. 
At the distance of about five miles is Fiesole, now an 
insignificant village, situated on the top of a steep hill, 
rising a thousand feet above the bed of the valley. 
This you ascend by a winding road, built with im 
mense labor, a portion of it cut in the solid rock. 
This place was the cradle of Florence, its history 
reaching back three thousand years, into the thick 
mists of antiquity. 

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



524: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Here are Cyclopean walls, constructed by the early 
inhabitants to protect themselves at a period when 
all Italy was in the possession of bands of brigands 
and robbers, and when every town and village was a 
fortress. From this point you look down upon Flor 
ence, which almost seems at your feet ; you have 
also a commanding view of the whole adjacent coun 
try. If you inquire the names of places that attract 
your attention, you will be carried back to periods 
anterior to the building of Rome. The guide will 
point you to the track of Hannibal through the 
marshes of the Arno, then a wilderness without in 
habitants, amid which the Carthaginian general lost 
a number of elephants, and whose tusks are even at 
this day dug up from their deep beds in the soil. 
Allow me to give you a somewhat prosy description 
in rhyme of this wonderful and suggestive place 
the best in the world to study early Roman geogra 
phy and history which I wrote on the spot, and 
which has at least the merit of being brief : 

This is Fiesole a giant mound, 
With fellow-giants circling phalanx d round ; 
Hoary with untold centuries they rest, 
Yet to the top with waving olives dress d, 
While far beyond in rugged peaks arise 
The dark-blue Apennines against the skies. 
In this deep vale, with sentried hills around, 
Set foot to foot, and all with villas crown d, 
Fair Florence lies its huge Duomo flinging 
E en to Fiesole its silvery ringing. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICALj ETC. 525 

Ah, what a varied page these scenes unfold 
How much is written, yet how much nntold ! 
Here on this mound, the huge Cyclopean wall 
Its builders lost in Time s unheeding thrall 
Speaks of whole nations, ages, kingdoms, races, 
Of towers and cities, palaces and places 
Of wars and sieges, marches, battles, strife, 
The hopes and fears the agonies of life 
All pass d away, their throbbing weal and woe, 
E er Rome was built, three thousand years ago ! 

On the twenty-second day of February we entered 
Kome, and found the peach-trees in blossom. The 
modern city is in no respect remarkable. Its walls 
are of some strength, but readily yielded to the at 
tack of the French army in 1849. Its present popu 
lation is one hundred and seventy-five thousand. 
All the streets are narrow, and even the far-famed 
Corso is not over fifty feet wide. In general, the 
buildings appear to be of modern date, with here and 
there some grand monument of antiquity peering out 
from the midst of more recent structures. On the 
whole, the aspect of this " Queen of the World" is 
eminently sad, degenerate, and disheartening. 

The more imposing relics of antiquity, the Forum, 
the Palace of the Caesars, the Coliseum, the Baths of 
Caracalla, though within the walls, are still on the 
southern side of the city, and beyond the present cen 
ter of population. All these are gigantic structures, 
but mostly of a barbarous character. They show the 
amazing power and wealth of the emperors who con- 



526 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

structed these works, but they also display the actual 
poverty of art, for there is not one of them that can 
furnish a useful suggestion to even a house-carpenter. 
The vain and transitory nature of the ideas and insti 
tutions which gave birth to these miracles of labor, 
strikes the reflecting mind with a deep and painful 
sense of humiliation. The Coliseum, the most sublime 
monument of accumulated human toil, regarded as to 
its gigantic proportions, was erected for amusements 
now held to be alike cruel and revolting ; the baths 
of Caracalla whole acres covered with mounds of 
brick were constructed to minister to fashionable 
luxuries, which at the present day would be regarded 
as infamous. In modern times, the same accommoda 
tions would be obtained with one-twentieth part of 
the labor expended upon these establishments. The 
vanity, the boasting, the ostentation of conquerors, 
which gave birth to the triumphal arches, would at this 
day be looked upon with universal contempt. The 
temples were erected to gods, which have vanished 
into thin air. The Aqueducts, whose ruins stretch 
across the gloomy Campagna, looking like long lines 
of marching mastodons, were erected in ignorance of 
that familiar fact, visible to any one who looks into 
a teapot, that water will rise to its level ! 

The great lesson to be learned at Rome is that of 
humility. I know not which is most calculated to 
sink the pride of man, pagan Rome, sublime in the 
grandeur of its tyranny, its vices, and its falsehoods, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 527 

or Christian Kome, contemptible in its littleness, its 
tricks, and its artifices, which would disgrace the 
commonest juggler. 

I speak not now of the treasures of art,* collected 
to repletion in the public and private galleries of this 
wonderful city. These are endless in extent and va 
riety. Among them are the finest paintings of Ka- 
phael, and the best sculptures of Michael Angelo, as 
well as the Dying Gladiator and the Apollo Belvidere. 
Here, also, is that rich, gorgeous palace, called St. 
Peter s Church. But still, Rome, on the whole, seems 
to me the most melancholy spot on earth. Here is a 
city which once contained three or four millions of 

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

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



528 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

inhabitants, now shrunk and wasted to a population 
of less than two hundred thousand, and these living 
upon the mere ruins of the past. The Christian 
Church is but little better than a collection of bats 
and owls, nestling in the ruinous structures erected 
for the gods and goddesses of heathen antiquity. 

Nor is this the most appalling fact here presented 
to the traveler. Around this place is a belt of un 
dulating land called the Campagna, eight or ten 
miles in width, fertile by nature, and once cov 
ered with a busy population ; this has become deso 
late, and is now tenanted only by sheep and cattle. 
The air is poisoned, and man breathes it at his peril. 
To sleep in it is death. And this change has come 
over it while it claims to be the very seat and center 
of Christianity, the residence of the Successor of the 
Apostles, the Head of the Catholic Church, the Rep 
resentative of Christ on earth, the Spiritual Father of 
a hundred and fifty millions of souls ! Is not this 
mysterious, fearful ? 

We reached Naples about the first of April. Here 
the character of the climate and of the people be 
comes thoroughly Italian. The Bay of Naples can 
not be too much praised. Not only do the promi 
nent objects the crescent-shaped city, rising terrace 
above terrace on the north ; Vesuvius, with its double 
cone in the east, and the islands of Capri and Ischia 
at the south form a beautiful boundary to the view, 
out the water and the sky and the air have all a live- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 529 

liness, a cheerfulness, which calls upon the heart to 
be gay. The Neapolitan is, in truth, constantly 
preached to by nature, to sing and dance and be 
happy. It is impossible for any one to resist this 
influence of the climate of the earth and the sea 
and the air in this region of enchantment. It ap 
pears that the ancient Eomans felt and yielded to its 
force. In the vicinity was Puzzuoli, a renowned wa 
tering-place, the hills around being still studded with 
the vestiges of villas once inhabited by the Eoman 
patricians ; near by was Cumae, long a seat and center 
of taste and luxury ; close at hand was Baiae, the 
Baden Baden of fashion in the time of Cicero its 
ruins abundantly attesting the luxury as well as the 
licentiousness of those days. In the mouth of the 
bay was Capri, chosen by Tiberius as the scene of 
his imperial orgies, in consideration of its delicious 
climate and picturesque scenery. The whole region 
is indeed covered over with monuments of Home in 
the day of its glory, testifying to the full apprecia 
tion of the beauties of the sky and the climate, on 
the part of its patrician population. 

As to the city of Naples itself I shall not speak ; 
though its people, its institutions, its repositories of 
art, its Museum of vestiges taken from the buried 
cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, would furnish 
interesting subjects of description. I have only to 
add that after a stay of a month, I left it with reluct 
ance, and returned to Paris. When I arrived, the 

VOL. II. 28 



530 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Great Exposition was on the eve of being opened. 
I remained till July, and had several opportunities to 
examine this marvelous array of the world s art and 
industry. On the fourth of the same month I de 
parted for the United States, and arriving in New 
York, found anchorage for myself and family in that 
city. 



LETTER LXIIL 

Leave-taking Improvement everywhere In Science Geology, Chemistry, 
Agriculture* Manufactures, Astronomy, Navigation, the Domestic Arts 
Anthracite Coal Traveling Painting Daguerreotypes The Electric 
Telegraph Moral Progress In Foreign Countries : in the United States. 

MY DEAR C****** 

I have now come to my farewell. Leave-takings 
are in general somewhat melancholy, and it is best to 
make them as brief as possible. Mine shall consist 
of a single train of thought, and that suggestive of 
cheerful rather than mournful feelings. Like a trav 
eler approaching the end of his journey, I naturally 
cast a look backward, and surveying the monuments 
which rise up in the distance, seek to estimate the 
nature and tendency of the march of events which I 
have witnessed, and in which I have participated. 

One general remark appears to me applicable to 
the half century over which my observation has ex 
tended, which is, that everywhere there has been im 
provement. I krow of no department of human 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 531 

knowledge, no sphere of human inquiry, no race of 
men, no region of the earth, where there has been re- 
trogradation. On the whole, the age has been alike 
fruitful in discovery, and the practical, beneficial re 
sults of discovery. Science has advanced with giant 
strides, and it is the distinguishing characteristic of 
modern science that it is not the mere toy of the phi 
losopher, nor the hidden mystery of the laboratory, 
but the hard-working servant of the manufactory, the 
workshop, and the kitchen. Geology not only in 
structs us in the sublime history of the formation of 
the earth, but it teaches us to understand its hidden 
depths, and to trace out and discover its mineral treas 
ures. Chemistry, the science of atoms, teaching us 
the component parts of matter, as well as the laws of 
affinity and repulsion, has put us in possession of a 
vast range of convenient knowledge now in daily and 
familiar use in the domestic arts. We have even ex 
press treatises upon the "Chemistry of Common Life." 
Astronomy has not only introduced to us new planets 
and the sublime phenomena of the depths hitherto 
beyond our reach, but it has condescended to aid in 
perfecting the art of navigation, and thus contributed 
to make the sea the safe and familiar highway of the 
nations. 

We can best appreciate the progress of things around 
us, by looking at particular facts. Take anthracite 
coal, for instance, which, when I was a boy, was un 
known, or only regarded as a black, shining, useless 



532 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

stone; now six millions of tons are annually dug 
up and distributed. Think of the labor that is per 
formed by this mass of matter, that had slumbered 
for ages hidden, senseless, dead, in the bosom of the 
earth ! It now not only cooks our food and warms 
our houses so as in winter to give us the climate of 
summer, but the sleeper, waked from its tomb, like a 
giant impatient of the time he has lost, turns the whiz 
zing wheel of the factory, sends the screaming locomo 
tive on its way, drives the steamboat foaming through 
the waves. This single mineral now performs, every 
day, the labor of at least a hundred thousand men ! 

On every hand are the evidences of improvement. 
What advances have been made in agriculture in 
the analysis of soils, the preparation of manures, the 
improvement of implements, from the spade to the 
steam-reaper; in the manufacture of textile fabrics 
by the inventions of Jacquard and others in weaving, 
and innumerable devices in spinning ; in the working 
of iron cutting, melting, molding, rolling, shaping 
it like dough, whereby it is applied to a thousand 
new uses ; in commerce and navigation, by improved 
models of ships, improved chronometers, barometers, 
and quadrants in chain-pumps and wheel-rudders ; 
in printing, by the use of the power-press, throwing off 
a hundred thousand impressions instead of two thou 
sand in a day ; in the taking of likenesses by the da 
guerreotype, making the Sun himself the painter of 
miniatures ; in microscopes, which have revealed new 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 533 

worlds in the infinity of littleness, as well as in tele 
scopes which have unfolded immeasurable depths c* 
space before hidden from the view How has travel 
ing been changed, from jolting along at the rate of six 
miles an hour over rough roads in a stage-coach, to 
the putting one s self comfortably to bed in a steam 
boat and going fifteen miles an hour; or sitting down 
in a railroad car at New York to read a novel, and 
before you have finished, to find yourself at Boston ! 
The whole standard of life and comfort has been 
changed, especially in the cities. The miracles of 
antiquity are between each thumb and finger now ; a 
friction-match gives us fire and light, the turn of a 
cock brings us water, bright as from Castalia. We 
have summer in our houses, even through the rigors 
of winter. We light our streets by gas, and turn 
night into day. Steam brings to the temperate zone 
the fresh fruits of the tropics ; ether mitigates the ag 
onies of surgical operations ; ice converts even the 
fires of Sirius into sources of luxury. 

These are marvels, yet not the greatest of marvels. 
Think instead of dispatching a letter in a mail-bag, 
with the hope of getting an answer in a month of 
sending your thoughts alive along a wire winged with 
electricity, to New Orleans or Canada, to Charleston or 
St. Louis, and getting a reply in the course of a few 
hours ! This is the miracle of human inventions, the 
crowning glory of art, at once the most ingenious, the 
most gratifying, the most startling of discoveries. I 



531 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

know of nothing in the whole range of human contri 
vances which excites such exulting emotions in the 
mind of man, as the electric telegraph.* It is giving 
wings of light to the mind, and here on earth impart 
ing to the soul, some of the anticipated powers which 
imagination tells us the spirit may exercise in the 

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

It would be interesting, if I had space, to trace this invention through 
all its alternations in the mind, feelings, and experiments of its producer. 
I can only say that after encountering and overcoming innumerable ob- 
Btacles, the instrument was made to work on a small but decisive scale, 
in 1835. In 1837 he established his apparatus at Washington, and, as 
every thing seemed to promise success, he made an arrangement with a 
member of Congress (F. 0. J. Smith) to take an interest in the patent, 
and to proceed forthwith to Europe to secure patents there. This was 
done, and Mr. Morse soon joined his associate in England. The expe 
dition resulted only in long embarrassment and disaster to the inventor. 
Having returned to the United States, and successfully Wriggling with 
obstacles and adversities, he finally obtained the assistance of the gov 
ernment, and aline of telegraph was built from Washington to Balti 
more. After some mistakes and many failures, the work proved suc 
cessful, effective experiments having been made in 1844. The first 
sentence sent over the line is said to have been dictated by Miss Anna 
Ellsworth, daughter of II. L. Ellsworth, then commissioner of patents 



HISTORICAL, ANKCDOTICAL, ETC. 535 

world above ! Having achieved so much, who 
shall dare to set limits to the power of human in 
vention ? 

And in the moral world, the last fifty years appear 
to me to have shown an improvement, if not as 
marked, yet as certain and positive, as in the material 
world. Everywhere, as I believe, the standard of 
humanity is more elevated than before. About a 
century ago, an eminent New England divine, after 
ward president of Yale College, sent a barrel of rum 
to Africa by a Khode Island captain, and got in re 
turn a negro boy, whom he held as a slave, and this 
was not an offence. I know of a distinguished D. D. 
who was a distiller of New England rum half a cen 
tury ago, and with no loss of reputation. The rules 
by which we try candidates for office are much more 
rigid than formerly. Church discipline among all 
sects is more severe, while sectarian charity is greatly 
enlarged. Christian missions are among the estab 
lished institutions of society; education is every 
where improved and extended. If in some things, 
with the increase of wealth and luxury, we have de 
generated, on the whole there has been an immense 

" What lititli God wrought?" It was indeed a natural and beautiful 
idea, at the moment that man had opened a new and startling develop 
ment of the works of the Almighty. The means of instantly transmit 
ting intelligence through space, seems to illustrate not only the omnipo 
tence, but the omniscience and omnipresence of God. 

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



536 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, ETC. 

advance, as well in technical morals as in those large 
humanities which aim at the good of all mankind. 

If we cast our eyes over foreign lands, we shall see 
a similar if not an equal progress in all that belongs 
to the comforts and the charities of life. Despotism 
still reigns over a large part of the world, but its 
spirit is mitigated, its heart softened. Dungeons and 
chains are not now the great instruments of govern 
ment. There is everywhere more especially in all 
parts of Christendom a feeling of responsibility on 
the part of even kings and princes, to the universal 
principles of justice and humanity. There is a moral 
sense, a moral law among mankind, which tyrants 
dare not set at defiance ! 

Such has been the tendency of things within the 
half century which has passed under my observation. 
If, then, I am an optimist, it is as much from reason 
and reflection as from sentiment. In looking at the 
political condition of our country, there are no doubt 
threatening clouds in the sky, and mutterings of 
ominous thunders in the distance. I have, however, 
known such things before ; I have seen the country 
shaken to its center by the fierce collisions of parties, 
and the open assaults of the spirit of disunion. But 
these dangers passed away. Within my memory, the 
States of the Union have been doubled in number, and 
the territorj^ of the Union has been trebled in extent ! 
This I have seen ; and as such has been the past, so 
may be, and so I trust will be, the future. Farewell ! 



APPENDIX. 



NOTE I. 

List of Worlcs of which S. G. Goodrich is the Editor or Author. 

My experience, as an author, has been not a little singular, in one re 
spect. While on the other side of the Atlantic my name has been largely 
used, as u passport to the public, for books I never wrote attempts have 
been made in this country to deprive me of the authorship of at least a 
hundred volumes which I did write. It requires some patience to reflect 
upon this with equanimity ; to see myself, falsely, saddled with the pa 
ternity of things which are either stupid, or vulgar, or immoral or per 
haps all together; and then to be deprived, also by falsehood, of the 
means of effectually throwing them off by appealing to genuine works 
which have obtained general favor through a suspicion cast into the 
public mind, that I am a mere pretender, and that the real authorship 
of these works belongs to another person. 

This, however, has been, and perhaps is my position, at least with 
Borne portion of the public. I have thought it worth while, therefore, 
to print a catalogue of my genuine works, and also a list of the false 
ones, issued under my name, with such notes as seem necessary to set 
the whole matter clearly before the public. 

The following list comprises all my works to the best of my recol 
lection. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Date of No. 
publicntion. roll. 

The Token A New Year s and Christmas Present 1828. . .14 

[The first volume was issued in 1S28, and it was continued, 
yearly, till 184215 years. ISrao. and 12mo. Edited 
by me, except that In 1829 it was edited by N. P. Wil 
lis. Among the contributors to this work were, E. Ev 
erett, Bishop Doane, A. H. Everett, J. Q. Adams, H. 
W. Longfellow, I. McLellan, Jr., N. Hawthorne, Misa 
Sedgwick, Mrs. Sigourney, Willis Qaylord Clark, N. P. 
Willis, J. Nealo, Grenville Mellen, Geo. Lunt, John 
Pierpont, Caleb CusMng, H. Pickering, Miss Leslie, T. 
H. Gallaudet, Mrs. Child, F. W. P. Greenwood, Rev. T. 
Flint, H. F. Gould, W. L Stone, H. T. Tuckerman, Ma 
dame Calderon de la Barea, O. W. Holmes, Mrs. 8eba 
Smith, Mrs. Osgood, Mrs. Lee, J. Ininan, Horace Gree- 
ley, I. C. Pray, Orville Dewey. O. W. B. Peabodj, 
James Hall, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Hoffliind, J. T. Fields, 
Miss M. A. Browne, R. C. Waterston, Nath. Greene, 
H. H. Weld, G. C. Verplanck, T. 8. Fay, J. O. Book- 
well, Charles Sprague, etc.] 



538 APPENDIX NOTES. 

Date of No. 
publication. rol 

A History of All Nations, from the Earliest Period to 
the Present Time In which the History of every 
Nation, Ancient and Modern, is separately given. 

Large 8vo., 1200 pp 1849 1 

[In the compilation of this work I had the assistance of 
Kev. Royal Bobbins, of Berlin, Conn., Rev.W. S. Jenks, 
and Mr. 8. Kettell, of Boston, and F. B. Goodrich, of 
New York.] 

A Pictorial Geography of the World. Large 8vo., 

1000 pp 1840 ... .1 

[The first edition of this work was published in 1831, but 
being found imperfect, was revised and remodeled at 
this date. In the original work I had the assistance of 
J. 0. Sargent and S. P. Holbrook, Esqs., and Mr. S. Ket 
tell : the new edition was mainly prepared by T. S. 
Bradford, Esq.] 

Sow Well and Reap Well, or Fireside Education. 12mo. 1838 1 

A Pictorial History of America. 8vo 1845 .... 1 

Winter Wreath of Summer Flowers. 8vo. Colored 

Engravings 1853 .... 1 

The Outcast, and other Poems. 12mo 1841 1 

Sketches from a Student s Window. 12mo 1836 1 

Poems. 12mo 1851 1 

Ireland and the Irish. 12mo 1842 1 

Five Letters to my Neighbor Smith 1839 1 

Les Etals Unis d Amerique. Svo 1852. . . .1 

[This was published in Paris.] 

The Gem Book of British Poetry. Sq. Svo 1 854 1 

Recollections of a Lifetime : or, Men and Things I have 
Seen. In a series of Familiar Letters Historical, 
Biographical, Anecdotical, and Descriptive : address 
ed to a Friend. 12mo. (In press.) 1857 2 

The Picture Play-Book 1855 1 

SCHOOL BOOKS. 

Ancient History, from the Creation to the Fall of 

Rome. 12mo 1846 1 

Modern History, from the Fall of Rome to the present 

time. 12mo 1847.... 1 

History of North America Or, The United States and 

adjacent Countries. 18mo 1846. ...1 

History of South America and the West Indies. 18mo. 1846 1 



APPENDIX NOTES. 539 

Date of No. 
publication. TO!I. 

History of Europe. 18mo 1848 1 

History of Asia. ISmo 1848 1 

History of Africa. ISmo 1850 1 

[In the compilation of the preceding six volumes, exclu 
ding North America, I had large assistance from Mr. S. 
Kettell.] 

a. Comprehensive Geography a,nd History, Ancient and 

Modern. 4to 1849 1 

rhe National Geography. 4to 1849 1 

A Primer of History, for Beginners at Home and 

School. 24rno 1850 1 

A Primer of Geography, for Home and School With 

Maps 1850 1 

A Pictorial History of the United States. 12 mo 1846. . 

A Pictorial History of England. 12mo 1846. . 

A Pictorial History of France. 12mo 1846. . 

A Pictorial History of Greece. 12mo 1846 .. 

A Pictorial History of Rome. 12mo 1848.. 

[In the preparation of the preceding five volumes, I had as 
sistance from Dr. Alcott, Mr. J. Lowell, <fcc. I was large 
ly assisted in the preparation of Rome by Mr. S. Kettell.] 

A Pictorial Natural History. 12mo 1842 1 

The Young American : Or, A Book of Government and 

Law. 12mo 1842 1 

The Malte-Brun School Geography. 16mo 1830 1 

Maps for the same. 4to 1830 1 

The Child s Own Book of Geography ; or the Western 

Hemisphere With Maps. Sq. 12mo. (Out of print.) 1834 1 

The Child s Own Book of Geography ; or the Eastern 

Hemisphere With Maps. Square 12mo. (Out of 

print.) 1834 1 

Goodrich s First Reader. 18mo 1846 1 

Goodrich s Second Reader. 18mo 1846 1 

Goodrich s Third Reader. 18mo 1846 1 

Goodrich s Fourth Reader. 12mo 1846 1 

Goodrich d Fifth Reader. 12mo 1846 1 

TALES UNDER THE NAME OF PETER PARLEY. 

Fhe Tales of Peter Parley about America. Square 16mo. 1827 .... 1 

Do. do. Europe. do 1828 1 

Peter Parley s Winter-Evening Tales. do 1 829 1 



5 40 APPENDIX NOTES , 

Date of No. 
publiaation. vols. 

Peter Parley s Juvenile Tales. Square 16mo 1830 1 

The Tales of Peter Parley about Africa. Square 16mo. 1830 1 

Do. do. Asia. do 1830 1 

Peter Parley s Tales about the Sun, Moon, and Stars. 

Square 16mo 1830 1 

Peter Parley s Tales of the Sea. Square 1 6mo 1831 1 

Peter Parley s Tales about the Islands in the Pacific 

Ocean. Square 16mo 1831. ...1 

Peter Parley s Method of Telling about Geography. 

Square 16mo 1830 1 

[This work was remodeled and reproduced in 1841, under 
the name of "Parley s Geography for Beginners, at 
Home and School." Two millions of copies of it ware 
sold : the publisher paid me throe hundred dollars for 
the copyright, and made his fortune by it] 

Peter Parley s Tales about the World. Square 16rao. 

(Out of print.) 1831 1 

Peter Parley s Tales about New York. Square 16mo. 

(Out of print.) 1832 1 

Peter Parley s Tales about Great Britain Including 

England, Scotland, and Ireland. Square 16mo. 

(Out of print.) 1834 1 

Parley s Picture Book. Square 16mo 1834 1 

Parley s Short Stories for Long Nights. Square 16mo. 1834. . . .1 

Peter Parley s Book of Anecdotes. do 1836 1 

Parley s Tales about Animals. 1 2mo 1831 1 

Persevere and Prosper : Or, The Siberian Sable-Hunter. 

18mo 1843 1 

Make the Best of It : Or, Cheerful Cherry, and other 

Tales. 18mo 1843 1 

Wit Bought: Or, The Adventures of Eobert Merry. 

18mo 1844 1 

What to do, and How to do it : Or, Morals and Man 
ners. 18mo 1844 1 

A Home in the Sea: Or, The Adventures of Philip 

Brusque. 18mo 1845 1 

Eight is Might, and other Sketches. 18mo 1845 1 

A Tale of the Revolution, and other Sketches. 18mo. . 1845 1 

Dick Boldhero, or the Wonders of South America. 

18mo 1846 1 

Truth-Finder: Or, Inquisitive Jack. 18mo 1846 1 



APPENDIX NOTES. 541 

Data of No. 
publication, foil. 

Take Care of No. 1 : Or, The Adventures of Jacob Karl. 

18mo 1850 1 

Tales of Sea and Land 1 846 1 

Every-Day Book. Sq. 16mo. (Out of print.) 1835 1 

Parley s Present for All Seasons. 12mo 1853. . . .1 

Parley s "Wanderers by Sea and Land. 12mo 1854. . . .1 

Parley s Fagots for the Fireside. 12mo 1854 1 

Parley s Balloon Travels of Robert Merry and his Young 

Friends in various parts of Europe. 12mo 1856. . . .1 

Parley s Adventures of Gilbert Goahead. 1 2mo 1856 1 

Parley s Adventures of Billy Bump, all the way from 

Sundown to California. (In press.) 1857 ... .1 

Parley s Balloon Travels of Robert Merry and his Young 

Friends in the Holy Land and other parts of Asia. 

12mo. (In press.) 1857 1 

PARLEY S HISTORICAL COMPENDS. 

Peter Parley s Universal History on the basis of Geog 
raphy. Large sq. 16m o 1837 2 

Peter Parley s Common School History. 12mo 1887 1 

The First Book of History for Children and Youth. 

Large sq. 12mo 1831.... 1 

The Second Book of History Designed as a Sequel to 

the First Book of History. Large sq. 12mo 1832 I 

The Third Book of History Designed as a Sequel to 

the First and Second Books of History. Sq. 12mo. . 1833 1 

[The two preceding volumes were compiled under my di 
rection, and were then remodeled by me, but were not 
published, nor were they intended to appear, as by Pe 
ter Parley ; they have, however, passed under that name 
for several years.] 

Parley s Tales about Ancient Rome, with some account 

of Modern Italy. Sq. 16uio 1832 1 

Parley s Tales about Ancient and Modern Greece. Sq. 

16mo 1833 1 

Histoire des Etats-Unis d Ame"rique. Published in Paris 

and the United States. 12mo 1858.... 1 

Petite Histoire Universelle. Published in Paris and the 

United States. 12mo 1858 1 

[In the preparation of some of these, I had the aid of N. 
Hawthorne, and J. O. Sargent, Esqs., Ac.] 



54:2 APPENDIX NOTES. 

PARLEY S MISCELLANIES. 
PARLEY S CABINET LIBRARY: 20 vols., small 12mo., as follows: 

BIOGRAPHICAL DEPARTMENT. 

Pate of No. 
publication, rols. 

1. Lives of Famous Men of Modern Times 1844-5 .... 1 

2. Lives of Famous Men of Ancient Times 1 

3. Curiosities of Human Mature " 1 

4. Lives of Benefactors " 1 

5. Lives of Famous American Indians " 1 

6. Lives of Celebrated Women " 1 

HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT. 

f. Lights and Shadows of American History * 1 

o. Lights and Shadows of European History " 1 

g. Lights and Shadows of Asiatic History " 1 

10. Lights and Shadows of African History " 1 

11. History of the American Indians " 1 

12. Manners, Customs, and Antiquities of the Ameri 

can Indians " 1 

MISCELLANEOUS. 

13. A Glance at the Sciences " 

14. Wonders of Geology " 

15. Anecdotes ot the Animal Kingdom " 

16. A Glance at Philosophy " 

17. Book of Literature, with Specimens " 

18. Enterprise, Industry, and Art of Man " 

19. Manners and Customs of Nations " 1 

20. The World and its Inhabitants " 1 

Parley s Panorama: Or, the Curiosities of Nature and 
Art, History and Biography. Large 8vo., double 
columns 1849. 1 

Parley s Geography for Beginners. Sq. 16mo 1844 1 

[This is a reproduction and remodeling of "Parley s 
Method of Telling about Geography, for Children."] 

Parley s Farewell. Large sq. 16mo. (Out of print.). . 1836. . . .1 

Parley s Arithmetic. Sq. 16mo 1833 1 

Parley s Spelling- Book. (Out of print.) 1833 1 

Parley s Book of the United States. Sq. 16mo 1833 1 



APPENDIX NOTES. 543 

Date of No. 
publication, roll. 

Gtfographie E16mentaire. 8vo 1854. ...1 

[Published at Paris.] 

Elementary Geography. 8vo. With Maps 1854 1 

[Published in London.] 

Parley s Present. Small 24mo. (Out of print.) 1836 1 

Pai ley s Dictionaries Of Botany, of Astronomy, of the 

Bible, of Bible Geography, of History, of Commerce. 

Six vols., large sq. lOino 1S34. . . .6 

Three Months at Sea (an English book, with additions 

and modifications). Sq. 16mo 1832 1 

The Captive of Nootka Sound. Sq. 16mo 1832 1 

The Story of Capt. Riley. do 1832 1 

The Story of La Peyrouse. do 1832 1 

The Story of Alexander Selkirk, do 1833 1 

Bible Stories (a London book, with additions). Sq. 16mo 1833.... 1 

Parley s Magazine. Began 1832. Large sq. 12mo 1833. . . .1 

[This work was planned and established by me; but after 
about a year I was obliged to relinquish it, from ill 
health and an affection of iny eyes. It was conducted, 
without any interest or participation on my part, for 
about twelve year-, when ii ceased.] 

Merry s Museum and Parley s Magazine. Large sq. 

12mo. Commenced 1841 1841... 28 

[This work was begun and established by me, under the 
title of Merry s Museum, but after the discontinuance 
of Parley s Magazine, the latter title w;is added. The 
work continued under my exclusive editorship until I 
left for Europe in 1850; from that time, while I I. ad a 
general charge of the work. Rev. S. T. Allen was the 
home editor. At the close of the fourteenth year (the 
twenty-eighth semi-annual volume, 1854), my connec 
tion with the work entirely ceased.] 

Remarks. 

I thus stand before the public as the author and editor of about 
one hundred and seventy volumes one hundred and sixteen bear 
ing the name of Peter Parley. Of all these, about seven millions of 
volumes have been sold : about three hundred thousand volumes 
are now sold annually. 

A recent writer in the Boston Courier, has affirmed that the late 
Mr. S. Kettell was the " Veritable Peter Parley" thereby asserting, 
in effect, and conveying the impression, that he being the author of 



544 APPENDIX NOTES. 

the Parley Books, I, who have claimed them, am an impostor. He 
has, moreover, claimed for him, in precise terms, the actual author 
ship of various works which have appeared under my own proper 
name. For reasons which will appear hereafter, I deem it neces 
sary to expose this impudent attempt at imposture absurd and 
preposterous as it appears, upon its very face. 

First, as to the Parley Books it will probably be sufficient for 
me to make the following statement. In respect to the thirty-six 
volumes of Parley s Tales, in the preceding list, the earlier numbers 
of which began and gave currency to the entire Parley series, no 
person except myself ever wrote a single sentence. 

As to Parley s Historical Compends some nine or ten volumes 
I had the assistance of N. Hawthorne, and J. 0. Sargent, Esqs., and 
others ; but Mr. Ketlell never wrote a line of any one of them ! 

As to Parley s Miscellanies about fifty volumes I had some 
assistance from several persons in about a dozen of them. Mr. 
Kettell wrote a few sketches for five or six volumes of the Cabinet 
Library, which I adapted to my purpose, and inserted : this is the 
whole extent of his participation in the entire Parley series one hun 
dred and sixteen volumes ! 

Jgfp He never wrote, planned, conceived, or pretended to be the au 
thor, of a single volume, bearing Parley s name. The pretense thus 
set up for him, since his death, is as preposterous as it is impudent 
and false. It would be, indeed, about as reasonable to claim for him 
the authorship of Don Quixote, or Gil Bias, or Pilgrim s Progress, 
as thus to give him the title of the " Veritable Peter Parley." 

The writer above noticed also claims for Mr. Kettell the chief au 
thorship of Merry s Museum, extending to about thirty volumes 
large octavo. This claim is disposed of by the following letter from 
Rev. S. T. ALLEN better qualified than any other person to be a 
witness in the case. 

NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 1856. 
S. G. GOODRICH, ESQ : 

Dear Sir I have read the several articles in the Boston Courier, sign 
ed " Veritas," claiming for the late Mr. Kettell the authorship of Peter 
Parley s Tales, Merry s Museum, &c. As you request from me a state 
ment, as to iny knowledge on the subject, I cheerfully give it, which 
you can publish if you please. 

I purchased, with an associate, the entire Merry s Museum in 1848 or 
1849, from the beginning in 1841, and have been its publisher until Oc 
tober last ; that is, over six years. I have nearly, from that time to the 
present, been its editor,wholly or in part. During this period, Mr. Kettell 



APPENDIX NOTES. 54-5 

has never written any thing for the work. It is within my knowledge 
that he wrote gome articles in the earlier volumes, probably in all not ex 
ceeding one hundred and eighty to two hundred pages. Ilis principal 
articles were the "Travels of Thomas Trotter" and " Michael Kastoff;" 
these possessed no particular merit, and did not aid or advance the rep 
utation of the work. 

The articles by you, extending through fifteen volumes, nearly all of 
which have since been separately published as Peter Parley s Tales, gave 
life, circulation, and character to the work. I have had large opportu 
nity to judge of this matter, as I have been, for more than six years, in 
constant communication with the subscribers (ten or twelve thousand 
in number), and I say, unhesitatingly, that your articles in the Museum 
have fully sustained your reputation as the ablest, best known, and most 
popular writer for youth in this country. 

1 may say, furthermore, that I have lately been in Europe, and it is 
within rny knowledge that Parley s works have been published there, 
in various languages, and are highly esteemed. 

I further state that I have read your reply to the Boston Courier and 
" Veritas" of January 13th, and so far as my knowledge extends, and 
especially in respect to Merry s Museum, it is strictly correct. 

I need hardly say, in conclusion, therefore, that I consider these claims 
of the Boston Courier and " Veritas," in favor of Mr. Kettell, as wholly 
without foundation. All that can properly be said is, that out of Jive or 
six thousand pages of Merry s Museum, he contributed about two hun 
dred pages, marked with no particular excellence. The only qualifica 
tion that need be made is, that I have understood that Mr. Kettell hk.d 
some general superintendence of the work for about six months, whne 
you were absent in Europe ; that is, from September, 1847, to March, 
1848. Even during this period, Mr. Kettell s labors seem to have been 
confined to writing a few small articles, and reading the proofs. 

Yours respectfully, STEPHEN T. ALLEN. 

$3JT Here, then, are eight and twenty volumes of Merry s Museum, 
in addition to eighty-eight volumes of Parley s works, rescued from 
the claims of this wholesale literary burglar. 

Another claim in behalf of Mr. Kettell is, that he was the author 
of various valuable and important school-books, such as the Picto 
rial History of the United States, a Pictorial History of Greece, Ac., 
<fec ., <fee. The subjoined letter from Mr. George Savage, of the late 
firm of Huntington <fe Savage, and now associated with Mr. J. H. 
Colton A Co., Map and Geography Publishers in New York, will 
settle this claim, also. 



546 APPENDIX NOTES. 

NEWYORK, Jan. 81, 1856. 
MR, GOODRICH : 

Dear Sir: I have looked over the several attacks made upon you in 
the Boston Courier by " Veritas," claiming that Mr. Kettell was the au 
thor of several books which bear your name. I am acquainted with the 
history of several of these works, and, so far as my knowledge extends, 
the statements of " Veritas" are entirely destitute of foundation. I can 
speak positively as to four of the books the Geographies " Parley s," 
the " Primer," the " National," and the " Comprehensive," for I am, and 
have been for some years, their proprietor and publisher. I have also 
been interested in them from the beginning, and it is within my knowl 
edge that you wrote them wholly and entirely. The statements of " Ver 
itas" as to Mr. Kettell s authorship of the Pictorial History of Greece and 
the United States, are equally untrue. 

"Veritas" quotes a contract between you and Mr. Kettell of May 26, 
1846, to show that^Hr. Kettell had written some of the "Parley s Com- 
pends of History." If he will look at the books referred to in this 
contract, he will see that your name is given as the author, and not 
Parley s. 

I speak of these works, because I have been engaged in publishing 
them, or most of them. It is evident that the articles in the Courier 
are written, throughout, with great rashness ; and though I do not im 
pugn the motives of the writer, I feel free to say that so far as they 
depend upon him, they seem to me entirely unworthy of confidence. 

I have seen your replies, and having had a large knowledge of your 
operations, I think your statements have been exact, reasonable, and 
just, and have no doubt the public will think so. 

Yours truly, GEORGE SAVAGE. 

Another claim, in behalf of Mr. Kettell, made by this adven 
turous writer, is, that the History of All Nations a work of 1200 
pages, royal 8vo which appears under my name was published, 
with the exception of a few dry pages, " as it came from Mr. Ket- 
telVs graceful and flowing pen !" In reply, I offer the following let 
ter, to which I invite the special attention of the reader, inasmuch 
as it not only refutes this audacious pretense, but it explains the 
nature of my connection with Mr. Kettell, the reason why I em 
ployed him, and the nature and extent of the services he rendered 
me. 

NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 1856. 
To the Editor of tTie Boston Courier : 

SIB I have read the controversy which has been progressing for 
some weeks, in your journal, as to the alleged claims of Mr. Kettell tc 
the authorship of several works which have appeared under my father s 



APPENDIX NOTES. 547 

These claims, urged after Mr. Kettell s death, and by a person totally 
irresponsible, seem hardly to merit serious consideration, but as they 
have been pressed in a spirit of evident hostility and malice, it may be 
well for me to state what I know upon the subject. 

For the last ten years I have been familiar with my father s literary 
labors. I have seen the greater part of the manuscripts sent to the 
printing-office, and have read the greater part of the proofs returned, 
And can bear witness to the accuracy of the statements made in this 
connection, in my father s letter, published in the New York Times of 
the 31st December. Having suffered severely from weak eyes for the 
past twenty-five years, he has been obliged to use the services of others 
in consulting authorities, and sometimes in blocking out work to be after 
ward systematized and reduced to order by him. In this, Mr. Kettell 
was his principal assistant. He wrote always, as I understood it, as an 
assistant, and in no sense as an author. His manuscripts were never fin 
ished so as to be fit for the press. Their publication, as they were, would 
have lee n fatal to the reputation of any man who should have taken, the 
responsibility of them. It was my father s task, after having planned 
these works, to read and remodel the rough drafts of Mr. Kettell, to 
suit them to his own views, and to prepare them for the public eye. 
This was, in some cases, a more serious and fatiguing labor than it 
would have been to write the work from the beginning. I may add 
that at one period Mr. Kettell s manuscripts were referred to me for ex 
amination, and that I was empowered to accept or reject them. Some 
what later I had, for a time, occasion to remodel, adapt, and partly to re 
write such portions as were accepted. 

I have, naturally, no wish to detract from the merits of Mr. Kettell. 
But in regard to the History of All Nations, a work attributed by " Ver- 
itas" to the " graceful and flowing pen of Mr. Kettell," I must state that 
five persons (Mr. Kettell, Rev. Mr. Robbins, of Berlin, Conn., Rev. Mr. 
Jciiks, of Boston, myself, and my father) were engaged upon it; the 
heaviest share the plan, the fitting, the refining, the systematizing, 
and the general views falling upon the latter. Perhaps " Veritas" will 
pardon me if I claim for myself the entire authorship of seventy-five 
pages, so confidently attributed by him to the "graceful and flowing 
pen of Mr. Kettell." 

Take notice, Mr. Editor, that I append my real name to this communica 
tion. In, controversies of this kind, where honor, truth, and the mainte 
nance of a good name are invoiced, anonymous correspondence in lull 
ly the community to aryue in Us author meanness, treachery, and cow 
ardice. I think Mr. Kettell, were he living, would be the first to disavow 
this eager service in his behalf, by his irresponsible advocate. 

1 am yours respectfully, F. B. GOODRICH. 

I believe I may now leave this matter to the judgment of the 
public, with a few brief observations. 



548 APPENDIX NOTES. 

The enormous claims in behalf of Mr. Kettell, set up by the Bos 
ton Courier and its anonymous correspondent " Veritas," have been 
disposed of as follows : 

1. Mr. Kettell never wrote a line of the thirty-six volumes of Par 
leys Tales ; never a line of the ten volumes of Parley s Historical 
Compends, expressly and repeatedly claimed for him ; and of the fifty 
volumes of Parley s Miscellanies, he only wrote a few sketches in 
half a dozen of them. To pretend, therefore, that he is the "Veri 
table Peter Parley," is as gross an imposture, as to call him the 
" Veritable Author" of Pickwick, or Guy Mannering, or the Spec 
tator. 

2. The claim for Mr. Kettell, of the authorship of Merry s Museum, 
thirty volumes is reduced to the writing of about two hundred 
pages of indifferent matter, as a correspondent. 

3. His claim to the authorship of the History of Greece, History 
of the United States, Parley s Geography, the Primer of Geography, 
National Geography, Comprehensive Geography and History posi 
tively asserted by " Veritas" is shown to be false, in the beginning, 
the middle, and the end. 

4. The audacious claim of the entire authorship of the History of 
All Nations, comes to this, that Mr. Kettell was one of four persona 
who assisted me in the compilation of that work. 

6. It appears, inasmuch as my eyes were weak for a series of twen 
ty-five years, rendering it sometimes impossible for me to consult 
books, that I employed Mr. Kettell to block out several works, 
according to plans minutely and carefully prescribed by me and 
that the materials thus furnished, were reduced to method, style, 
and manner by me, so as to suit my own taste ; and that the works 
were published, as thus remodeled, and not as they were written by 
him. It appears, furthermore, that all this was done, with Mr. Ket- 
tell s full consent, upon written and explicit agreements, and that 
he never did plan, devise, contrive, or finally prepare any book pub 
lished under my name, nor was he, nor did he ever claim to be, the 
author of any book thus published. 

6. It is material to state, distinctly, that while " Veritas" claims 
for Mr. Kettell the entire authorship of over one hundred and twen 
ty volumes of my works, he (Mr. Kettell) never assisted me, in any 
way or in any degree, in more than twenty volumes, and these 
only in the manner above indicated that is, in blocking out works, 
mostly historical, under my direction, and to be finished by me. 

7. I do not mean by this to depreciate Mr. Kettell s abilities ; but 
inasmuch as these audacious claims, in his behalf, have been perti- 



APPENDIX NOTES. 549 

naciously and impudently urged, it is proper for me, in this formal 
manner, to reduce them to their true dimensions. 

8. While I thus acknowledge the assistance rendered me by Mr. 
Kettell in my historical compilations, it is proper to state that I had 
the aid of other persons some of them of higher name and fame 
than he. Among my assistants were N. Hawthorne, E. Sargent, 
J. 0. Sargent, S. P. Holbrook, Esqs., Rev. Royal Robbins, Rev. E. G. 
Smith, Rev. W. S. Jenks, and others. The claims of " Veritas," if 
admitted, would not only rob me of the authorship of a hundred 
volumes, which I wrote, but would transfer to Mr. Kettell about 
twenty volumes, to which several other authors contributed, with 
greater ability than he. 

9. I think it may be safely assumed, that in the history of litera 
ture, there is not a more impudent attempt at imposture than this, 
which originated in the Boston Courier. It is easy to comprehend 
why the author has not dared to give his name to the public, but 
has continued to make his attacks behind the mask of an anonymous 
title. That I deem myself called upon thus to notice him, arises from 
the fact that he derived a certain color of authority from the Editor of 
the Courier, and from publishing papers and documents belonging to 
Mr. Kettell s heirs though these contributed, in no degree, either 
to refute the statements here made, or to substantiate any portion 
of the claims here referred to. 

10. Literary history is full of instances in which littleness, al 
lied to malignity, has signalized itself by seeking to deprive au 
thors of their just claims and while thus doing wrong to their 
literary labors, attempting also to degrade them in the eyes of the 
world, as guilty of appropriating to themselves honors which are not 
legitimately theirs. It is also a vice of base minds to believe imputa 
tions of this sort, without evidence, or even against evidence, when 
once they ha-ve been suggested. I do not think it best, therefore, to 
leave my name to be thus dealt with by future pretenders, who may 
desire to emulate this Boston adventurer. 



SPURIOUS PARLEY BOOKS. 

AMERICAN COUNTERFEITS AND IMPOSITIONS. 

In the United States, the name of Parley has been applied to 
several works of which I am not the author, though for the most 
part, from mistake and not from fraudulent designs. The following 
are among the number : 



550 APPENDIX NOTES. 

Date of No. 
publication, roll. 

Parley s Washington. 18mo 1832 1 

Parley s Columbus. do 1832....1 

Parley s Franklin. do 1832. . 

[The name of Parley is not in the title-page of any of 
these works, but is put upon the back, and they nre 
sold as Parley books, but without authority, though, at 
the outset, as I believe, with no improper design.] 

Parley s Miscellanies. ISmo . ... 1 

Parley s Consul s Daughter, and other Tales. 18mo. . . . . . .1 

Parley s Tales of Humor. 18mo ....1 

Parley s Tales of Terror. do . ... 1 

Parley s Tales for the Times. 18mo 1 

Parley s Tales of Adventure. do . . . .1 

[The publication of this series, under the name of Parley, 
is, I believe, abandoned, as I remonstrated with the pub 
lishers against it, as a fraud upon the public.] 

Parley s Picture Books 12 kinds ...12 

[These I have not seen ; they are, however, impositions.] 

The Rose, by Peter Parley 1 

The Bud, by Peter Parley 1 

The Mines of different Countries. By Peter Parley. . . . . . .1 

The Garden, by Peter Parley 1 

The Gift, by Peter Parley 1 

The Flower-Basket, by Peter Parley 1 

Fairy Tales, by Peter Parley 1 

[The preceding seven volumes I have not seen, but I find 
them in some of the American catalogues. They are 
all spurious.] 

Parley s Book of Books. Sq. 1 6mo .... 1 

[This book, I believe, consists of extracts from Parley s 
Magazine. Its publication in this form, so far as it may 
convey the idea that it is written by me, is deceptive.] 

Parley s Pictorial A book for Home Education and 

Family Entertainment. 8vo . ... 1 

Parley s Household Library. 8vo . . . .1 

[These two works are from old altered plates of Parley s 
Magazine, and are designed to deceive the public, by 
making it believe that they are original works, and by 
the author of Parley s Tales. They are a gross and 
shameful imposition.] 



APPENDIX NOTES. 551 

ENGLISH COUOTERFEITS AND IMPOSITIONS. 

[Tho London publishers and authors have made a larse 
business of preparing and publi hing Parley books. 
Some of these are refaublications, without change, from 
the genuine American editions to which I make no 
objection ; some are tire genuine works, more or less al 
tered ; and many others are counterfeits, every means 
being used to pass them off upon the public as by the 
original author of Parley s Tales. Among the most 
notorious of these are the following : 

Date of No. 
publication. Tola. 

Peter Parley s Annual A Christmas and New Year s 

Present. Published by Darton & Co 1841... 14 

[This is a large 16mo., with colored engravings, and has 
been continued from 1841 to 1855 14 volumes.] 

Peter Parley s Royal Victoria Game of the Kings and 

Queens of England. 18mo. Darton <5c Go 1834. . 

Parley s Book of Gymnastics. Sq. 16mo. Darton & Co. 1840.. 

Parley s Parting Gift. do. do 1846.. 

Parley s Book of Industry. do. do 1855.. 

Parley s Book of Poetry. do. do 1843. . 

Parley s Ireland. do. do 1843.., 

Parley s Wonders of Earth, Sea, and Sky. 

Square 16mo do 1853.... 1 

Parley s Odds and Ends. Square 16mo. do. .... 1840. 1 

Parley s Peeps at Paris. do. do 1848 1 

Parley s Prize Book. do. do 1848 1 

Parley s School Atlas, do. do 1842 1 

Parley s Canada. do. do 1839 1 

Parley s China and the Chinese, do. do. 1844 1 

Parley s Child s Own Atlas. Square. do 1853 1 

Parley s Life and Journey of St. Paul. Square 16mo. 

Sitnpkins 1845. . . .1 

Peter Parley s Lives of the Twelve Apostles. Sq. 16mo. 

1844 1 



Peter Parley s Visit to London during the Coronation. 

Sq. 16mo. Bogue 1838 1 

Peter Parley s Tales of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

Sq. 16mo. Tegg 1842 1 

Peter Parley s Mythology of Greece and Rome. Sq. 

16mo. Tegg 1841 1 

Peter Parley s Tales of Greece, Ancient and Modern. 

Square 16mo. Tegg 1842 1 



552 APPENDIX NOTES. 

Date of No 
publication, voli 

Peter Parley s Tales of Ancient Rome and Modern Ita- 





v 


. . A 


Peter Parley s Tales about Christmas. Sq. 16mo. Tegg. 


1839.. 


..1 


Peter Parley s Shipwrecks. do. do. 


1846.. 


. .1 


Parley s Plants. do. do. 


1839.. 


..1 


Parley s Modern Geography. do. do. 


1837.. 


..1 


Parley s Bible Geography. Sq. I6mo. /. S. Hodson. . 


1839.. 


..1 


Parley s Child s First Step. Sq. 16mo. Clements 


1839.. 


..1 



[There are still other counterfeits of Parley s works, issued 
by various parties in London. The utter disregard of 
truth, honor, and decency, on the part of respectable 
British authors and publishers, in this wholesale system 
of imposition and injustice, is all the more remarkable, 
when we consider that the British public, and especially 
the British authors and booksellers, are denouncing us 
in America as pirates, for refusing international copy 
right 

The conduct of all these parties places them, morally, 
on a footing with other counterfeiters and forgers : pub 
lic opinion, in the United States, would consign persons 
conducting in this manner, to the same degree of repro 
bation. Can it be that, in England, a man who utters a 
counterfeit five-pound note is sent to Newgate, while 
another may issue thousands of counterfeit volumes, 
and not destroy his reputation ?] 



NOTE II. 

Messrs. Low and Co?s Catalogue. 

Since the preceding pages were in type, I have been favored by 
Messrs. Samson Low, Son & Co., of London, with the proof-sheets of 
their new "AMERICAN CATALOGUE OF BOOKS," in the preface of which 
are some interesting statistics of the book-trade in the United States. 
From this I make the following extract : 

" It seems to be generally agreed that in the twelve years ending 
1842, nearly half the publications issued in the United States were 
reprints of English books," <fec. 

"There are no means of verifying this, but the increase and com 
parative nationality of the literature during the last five years (1850 
to 1856) are very striking, testifying at once by its progressive char- 



APPENDIX NOTES. 553 

acter to the position, strength, and value of the literature of the 
country at the present day. 

"During 1852, unavoidably including many really published in 
the preceding six months, we find there were 966 new books and 
new editions; 312 of which were reprints of English books, and 56 
translations from other countries. 

"During 1853, 879 new books and new editions, including 298 
reprints of English books, and 37 translations. 

"During 1854, 765 new books and new editions, of which 277 
were reprints of English books, and 41 translations. 

"During 1855, 1,092 new books and new editions, including 250 
reprints of English books, and 38 translations. 

"During the six months to July, 1856, 751 new books and new 
editions, of which but 102 were reprints of English books, and 26 
translations." 

This statement, made with great care from published catalogues, 
notices, and titles of books, coincides in a remarkable degree with the 
conclusions at which I had arrived, as will be seen at page 389, vol. ii. 
According to this catalogue of the Messrs. Low, the proportion of 
British books in our book production is now about twenty to twenty- 
five per cent. It is to be remarked, however, that a great many new 
editions of school-books, and popular works of constant and largo 
sale, are produced, of which no public notice is given, and which, 
therefore, are not included in their estimate, above quoted. If we 
allow for these editions, we shall see that my estimate of twenty per 
cent, for tho proportion of British literature in our publications at 
the present time, is fully sustained. The rapid relative increase of 
American over British mind in our literature, is equally manifest 
from both statements. 



NOTE III. 

" Old Humphrey" or George Mogridge, the first Counter 
feiter of the Parley Books. 

I have just met with a book recently issued by the London Reli 
gious Tract Society, entitled " Memoirs of Old Humphrey," that is, 
the late George Mogridge, a well-known writer of religious books 
end essays, especially for the young, for the last thirty years. By 

VOL. II. 24 



554 APPENDIX NOTES. 

a list of his writings, inserted in this volume, it seems he was the 
person employed by Mr. Thomas Tegg, to write the counterfeit 
Parley books, of which I have given an account at page 292, vol. ii. 

Until now, the real authorship of these volumes has been kept a 
secret. Tegg disguised the matter by encouraging the idea that he 
wrote them himself. It appears by the Memoir, above alluded to, 
that the real author of this imposition, was a person claiming to be 
very pious, and now that his fraud is known, he becomes the hero 
of a religious tract society 1 

The false books which he wrote, and which have been palmed 
off upon the public for twenty years, as written by me, were as 
follows : 

Peter Parley s Tales of Great Britain. 

Greece, Ancient and Modern. 

Rome and Modern Italy. 

Mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome. 

Geography. 

Tales about Christmas. 

Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea 

Some of these are founded upon genuine books, and some are 
wholly original ; but they are all written with a sedulous attempt 
to make them pass as by the veritable author of Parley s Tales. 
This was the first example of counterfeiting these works, and led to 
that system of fraud which has caused me so much injury and an 
noyance. 



INDEX. 



ABD-EL-KADIR, ii. 452. 
ABERCKOMBIE, Dr. John, ii. 282. 
ADAMS, John, i. 119 ; ii. 92, 510. 
ADAMS, J. Q.,i. 274; ii. 13, 80, 185, 

400, 403, 404, 408. 
ADAMS, Samuel, i. 162. 
ALBERT, Prince, ii. 840. 
Albion, Ship, ii. 161. 
ALFRED, King, i. 94. 
ALLEN, Ethan, ii. 99. 
ALLEN, Ira, ii. 99. 
ALLEN, John, i. 851. 
ALLEN, J. W., i. 852. 
ALSOP, Kichard, ii. 123. 
AMES, Fisher, ii. 38. 
AMP&RE, author, ii. 509. 
ANDRE, i. 518. 
Annuals, The, ii. 259. 
APPLETON, D. & Co., ii. 254, 888. 
APPLETON, Wm., ii. 278. 
ARAGO, Astronomer, ii. 444, 475. 
ARNOLD, Benedict, i. 469. 
ASBURY, Rev. Francis, i. 205. 
ASHBURTON, Lord, i. 508. 
ASTOR, John Jacob, ii. 71. 
AUSTIN FAMILY, i. 370. 

B. 

BABCOCK, Elisha, ii. 28. 
BACON, Dr. Leonard, i. 876. 
BACON, Rev. Mr., ii. 118. 
BACON, Rev. Dr. Leonard, ii. 118. 
BAILEY, Mrs. i. 478. 



BAINBRIDGE, Com., I. 454. 
BAIRD, Dr., ii. 192. 
BAKER, Dr., i. 522. 
BALDWIN, Granther, i. 82, 284, 522. 
BALLANTYNE, James, ii. 186. 
Baltimore Riot, i. 439. 
BANCROFT, George, ii. 252. 
BANGS, ii. 381. 
Barley-wood, ii. 163. 
BARLOW, Joel, i. 274 ; ii. 18. 
BARNARD, Henry, i. 541 ; ii. 381. 
BARROT, Odillon, ii. 453, 466, 467. 
BARTLETT, Rev. J., i. 181, 540. 
BAYARD, J. A., i. 128. 
BAYARD, W., ii. 70. 
BAYLIES, Hodijah, ii. 42. 
BEDDOES, Dr., i. 377. 
BEECHER, Catherine, ii. 94. 
BEECHER, Edward, ii. 94. 
BEECHER, Henry Ward, ii. 94 
BEECHER, Lyman, ii. 93. 
BENEDICT, Aunt Delight, i. 34, 224. 
BENEDICT, Deacon John, i. 148, 223, 

522. 

BENEDICT, Noah B., i. 878. 
BENEDICT, Rev. Noah, i. 878. 
BENTON, Thomas H., ii. 430, 481. 
BERANGER, Author, ii. 509. 
Berlin, Conn., ii. 63. 
Berlin, Decree of, i. 446. 
Bethel Rock, Legend of, i. 881. 
BIDDLE, Com., i. 488. 
BIGELOW, Timothy, ii. 41. 
BISHOP, Abraham, i. 122. 
lii-iiiir, Deacon Samuel, i. 122. 
BISHOP, Sarah, llenuitess, i. . 



556 



INDEX. 



Blackwood s Magazine, ii. 184. 
BLACKWOOD, William, ii. 184, 196. 
BLANC, Louis, ii. 478, 502. 
BLATCHFORD, Eev. Dr., i. 180. 
BLISS, George, ii. 41. 
BLISS & WHITE, ii. 155. 
Blue-Lights, i. 481. 
BOARDMAN, Elijah, ii. 50, 51. 
BONAPARTE, Jerome, i. 111. 
BONAPARTE, Napoleon, i. 260. 
BONAPARTE, Pauline, i. 113. 
BRADLEY, Col. P., i. 229, 522. 
BRADLEY, Stephen E., i. 448 ; ii. 99 
Book-Trade, ii. 879. 
Bosc, Agriculturist, ii. 444. 
BOWEN, Charles, ii. 844. 
BRODIE, Sir B. C., ii. 282. 
BRONSON, Mr., ii. 135. 
BROOKS, Eev. C., i. 541. 
BROUGHAM, Lord, ii. 232. 
BROWN, Dr. John, i. 377. 
BRYANT, W. C., ii. 110, 278. 
BUCCLEUGH, Duke of, ii. 181. 
BUCHANAN, J., ii. 514, 520. 
BUCKINGHAM, J. T., ii. 35, 253. 
Buffalo, i. 444. 
BULL, Thomas, ii. 52. 
BURDETT, Sir F., ii. 234. 
BURNETT, Eev. Dr., i. 177, 539. 
BURNS, Eobert, ii. 204. 
BUSHELL, Dr., ii. 94. 
BYRON, Lord, i. 154; ii. 101, 105, 
188, 197, 250. 



C. 



CABOT, George, ii. 28, 36. 
CALHOUN, J. C., i. 514 ; ii. 405, 406, 

420, 427. 

CAMPBELL, Lord, ii. 366. 
CAMPBELL, Thomas, ii. 275. 
CANNING, George, ii. 233. 
CAREY, H. C., ii. 361. 
CARLYLE, Thomas, ii. 359. 
CARTER, J. G., i. 144, 540 ; ii. 381. 
Castine, ii. 27. 
CATALANI, Madame, ii. 236. 
CAUSIDIEKE, ii. 478. 



CAVAIGNAC, ii. 478, 502. 

CHALMERS, Dr., ii. 192, 248. 

CHAMPION, Henry, ii. 27. 

CHAMPOLLION, i. 863. 

CHANNING, W. E., ii. 253, 841. 

CHARLES II., Charter of i. 63. 

CHARLES IX., King, ii. 366. 

CHARLES X., King, ii. 449. 

CHARTRES, Duke of, ii. 467. 

CHASE, Bishop, ii. 52. 

CHAUNCEY FAMILY, i. 369. 

CHEEVER, G. B., ii. 255. 

CHENEY, John, ii. 262. 

Chesapeake, Frigate, i. 275 ; cap 
tured, 456. 

CHILD, Mrs., i. 173. 

CHITTENDEN, T., ii. 99. 

CLARK, Eev. Mr., i. 520. 

CLARKSON, Matthew, ii. 70. 

CLAY, Henry, i. 511 ; ii. 325, 394, 
397, 405, 408, 420, 504. 

CLAYTON, J. M., ii. 476. 

CLEMENS, Jeremiah, ii. 483. 

CLERC, Laurent, ii. 127. 

CLEVELAND, Eev. Mr., i. 130. 

CLIFFORD, J. H., ii. 439. 

COCKBURN, Mr., ii. 349. 

COGGESWELL, M. F., ii. 123, 126. 

COHEN, M. M., ii. 325. 

Cold Friday, i. 393. 

COLEMAN, Henry, ii. 475. 

COLEMAN, William, ii. 35. 

COLES, J. B., ii. 70. 

COLMAN, George, ii. 101. 

COLERIDGE, S. T., ii. 101. 

COLT, Samuel, i. 534. 

Communists, ii. 363. 

Conservatives, i. 119. 

Convention, Hartford, ii. 9. 

Convention, Hartford, Members of, 
ii. 81. 

COOKE, Amos, i. 823, 830. 

COOKE, Col. J. P., i. 326. 

COOK, Dr., ii. 192. 

COOPER, J. Fenimore, ii. 110, 184, 
201. 

Copyright, Laws respecting, ii. 
877. 



INDEX. 



557 



CORBIN, Mr. P. H. ii. 475. 
Cotton, History of, i. 365. 
Courant, Connecticut, i. 411. 
Courbevoie, i. 418. 
Courier, Boston, ii. 284, 543. 
COWDEN, E. C., ii. 475. 
CRAIG, Sir J. H., ii. 14. 
CRANSTOUN, Mr., ii. 173. 
CRAWFORD, W. H., ii. 400. 
CRITTENDEN, J. J., ii. 481. 
CULLEN, Dr. William, i. 377. 
CUSHING, Caleb, ii. 41, 275. 
CUTTING, Col. Jonas, ii. 50. 
CUVIER, Zoologist, ii. 444. 

D. 

DALLAS, George M., ii. 514. 
DANA, R. H., ii. 252. 
Danbury, i. 323, 327, 395. 
DANE, Nathan, ii. 41. 
DARTON & Co., ii. 286, 296, 307, 551. 
DAVIS, John, ii. 849. 
DEARBORN, Gen., i. 455. 
DECATUR, Com., i. 457, 487. 
DEKAT, Com., i. 374. 
DELBRUCK, M., ii. 481, 484. 
DELIGHT, Aunt, i, 84, 224. 
Demagogism, i. 120. 
DEMMING, H. C., i. 898. 
Democratic Clubs, i. 117. 
DEWEY, Orville, ii. 275. 
DEXTER, Franklin, ii. 505. 
DICKENS, Charles, ii. 355, 359, 878. 
DICKINSON, D. S., ii. 94. 
Domingo, St., ii. 61. 
Dow, Lorenzo, i. 200, 205, 206. 
Dow, Peggy, i. 208. 
DOWNIE, Com., i. 497. 
DUCHATEL, Min., ii. 466. 
Duciii, Dr., i. 162, 192. 
Puck Island, i. 42. 
DUDEVANT, Madame, ii. 509. 
DUMAS, Alexandra, ii. 509. 
DUMAS, Adolphe, ii. 509. 
DUNCAN, G. B., ii. 828. 
DUPUYTREN, Surgeon, ii. 448. 
Durham, i. 868. 



DUTTON, Henry, ii. 94. 

DWIGHT, Dr. Timothy, i. 94, 179, 

191, 847. 

DWIGHT FAMILY, i. 850. 
DWIGHT Theodore, i. 435, 454 



Echo, Poems, ii. 128. 
Eclipse of the sun, 1806, i. 267. 
EDGEWORTH, Miss, ii. 199. 
Edinburgh, ii. 170. 
Edinburgh Review, ii. 170. 
EDWARDS, Pierpont, i. 136. 
ELLIOT, Rev. Mr., i. 179. 
ELLSWORTH, H. L., ii. 9. 
ELLSWORTH, Mrs., i. 43. 
ELLSWORTH, Oliver, i. 94, 536 ; ii. 

511. 

ELY, Col. John, i. 16, 466, 538. 
ELY, Grandmother, i. 88. 
Embargo, i. 446, 499. 
EMMETT, Thomas Addis, ii. 72. 
England, Scenery of, ii. 212. 
Episcopacy, i. 189. 
Erie, Lake, victory of, i. 456. 
ERVING, G. W., ii. 475. 
EVERETT, A. H., ii. 348, 346. 
EVERETT, Edward, ii. 252, 278, 849, 

417, 483. 
EYRE, Col., i. 469. 

F. 

Famine in New England, ii. 78. 
FAY, T. S., ii. 275. 
FIELDS, J. T., ii. 275, 278. 
FILLMORE, Millard, ii. 382. 
FISHER, A. W., ii. 162. 
FISHER, Rev. Mr., i. 179. 
FONTAINE, Architect, ii. 444. 
FORSYTH, Secretary of State, ii. 429, 

480. 

FOURIER, Geometrician, ii. 443. 
FBANKHN, Benjamin, i. 94, 41-i ; ii. 

611. 

Fruit Festival, New York, ii. 277. 
FULTON, Robert, i. 288. 



558 



INDEX. 



G. 

GALLATIN, Albert, i. 448, 510. 
GALLAUDET, Thomas H., i. 202; ii. 

126. 

GAY-LUSSAC, ii. 444. 
GENET, French Minister, i. 117. 
GEOFFROY ST. HILAIRE, ii. 443. 
GEORGE IV., ii. 223, 238. 
Ghent, treaty of, i. 501 ; ii. 59. 
Giant s Causeway, ii. 168. 
GIBBS, Col. George, i. 360. 
GILLIES, Judge, ii. 175. 
GIRARDIN, Emile, ii. 509. 
GIRARDIN, Madame, ii. 509. 
GLASS, Eev. John, i. 398. 
GODDARD, Calvin, ii. 26, 46. 
GOODRICH FAMILY, i. 370. 
GOODRICH, Elizur, D.D., i. 523. 
GOODRICH, Chauncey, i. 16, 417, 526 ; 

ii. 32, 44. 
GOODRICH, Elizur, LL.D., i. 16, 

122, 530. 
GOODRICH, Rev. Samuel, i. 16, 17, 

516, 531. 

GOODRICH, C. C., i. 533. 
GOODRICH, Professor C. A., i. 43 ; ii. 

384. 
GOODRICH, Charles A., i. 151, 533 ; 

ii. 112. 

GOODRICH, Elizur, Jr., i. 43. 
GOODRIDGE, Major, ii. 10. 
GOODWIN, George, i. 410. 
GOODWIN, J. M., ii. 53. 
Gospellers, i. 195. 
GOULD, George, ii. 94. 
GOULD, James, ii. 93. 
GRACIE, Archibald, ii. 70, 71. 
Graham s Magazine, ii. 382. 
GRATTAN, T. C., ii. 342. 
Greenfield Hill, i. 49. 
GREENWOOD, F. W. P., ii. 273. 
GREGORY, Molly, i. 72. 
GRELLET, Peter, i. 256. 
GRISWOLD, Dr. Rufus W., ii. 262, 

382. 

Griswold, Fort, i. 468. 
GRISWOLD, Roger, i. 461. 



Groton, village, i. 406. 

GUIZOT, Minister, ii. 450, 457, 466. 

H. 

HALE, Nathan, ii. 253. 

HALE, S. J., ii. 280. 

HALLECK, F., ii. 156. 

HAMILTON, Alexander, i. 275. 

HAND, Dr., ii. 80. 

HANSON, Alexander, i. 441. 

HARDY, Com., i. 457, 469. 

HARPER, James, ii. 254. 

HARPER & BROTHERS, ii. 254, 383. 

HARRISON, Gen., i. 455. 

Hartford, City of, i. 436. 

Hartford Convention, i. 450. ii. 9. 

HATCH, Moses, i. 331. 

HAVEN, Franklin, ii. 336. 

HAWES, Dr. Joel, ii. 384. 

HAWES, Miss, ii. 385. 

HAWKES, W., ii. 475. 

HAWLEY, Deacon Elisha, i. 72, 225, 

519. 

HAWLEY, Irad, i. 521. 
HAWLEY, Rev. Thomas, i. 183, 516. 
HAWLEY, Elijah, i. 137 
HAWLEY, Stiles, i. 521. 
HAWLEY, William, i. 519. 
HAWTHORNE, N., ii. 269. 
HAYNE, Col., i. 511 ; ii. 426. 
HAZARD, Benjamin, ii. 42. 
HENNEN, Alfred, ii. 825. 
HENRY III., King, ii. 366. 
HENRY, John, ii. 14. 
HENTZ, Andre, ii. 483. 
Herald, New York, ii. 382. 
HILDRETH, Historian, i. 123, 451. 
HILL, Isaac, ii. 429, 430. 
HILLHOUSE, James, ii. 44. 
HINMAN, R. R., ii. 33. 
HOLBROOK, Josiah, i. 541. 
HOLLEY, G. W., ii. 94. 
HOLMES, 0. W., ii. 275. 
HOOD, Thomas, ii. 302, 357. 
HOPKINS, Lemuel, i. 435 ; ii. 114. 
HOPKINSON, Francis, i. 282. 
HUBBARD, S. D., i. 374. 



INDEX. 



559 



HUDSON & GOODWIN, i. 410. 
HULL, Com., i. 454. 
HULL, Gen., i. 453. 
HUMPHRIES, David, i. 404 ; ii. 116. 
HUMPHRIES, H., D.D., i. 539. 
HUNTER, William, ii. 398. 
HUNTING-TON, J. W., ii. 93. 
HUNTINGTON, S. H., ii. 109. 

r. 

INGERSOLL, Eev. Jonathan, i. 249, 

516. 

INGERSOLL, Jared, i. 518. 
INGERSOLL, Jonathan, Judge, i. 254. 
INGERSOLL, Joseph, i. 250. 
INGERSOLL, Moss, i. 250. 
INGERSOLL, Grace, i. 255. 
INGERSOLL, R. I., i. 254. 
INGERSOLL, C. J., ii. 31, 56. 
International Copyright, ii. 355. 
IRVING, Rev. Edward, ii. 240. 
IRVING, Washington, ii. 442. 
IZARD, Gen., i. 496. 



J. 



JACKSON, Gen., i. 502 ; ii. 400, 403. 

JACKSON, Judge, Charles, ii. 15. 

JAGGER, Beggar, i. 60. 

JAY, John, ii. 511. 

JEFFERSON, Thomas, i. 63, 108, 115, 

273 ; ii. 13. 

JEFFREY, Francis, ii. 174, 178. 
JENNKR, Dr., i. 42. 
JENNINGS, Hotel -keeper, ii. 70. 
JESUP, Gen., ii. 52, 54. 
JOHNSON, Cupt. N., i. 464. 
JOHNSON, Dr. S., i. 272. 
.IUINVII.LK, I riiu-uss de, ii. 469. 
JONES, Com., i. 454, 488. 
JONES, Paul, ii. 208. 
JOUY, Author, ii. 445. 

K. 

Kalewala, Poem of, i. 50. 

KEELER, Squire Timothy, i. 20, 522. 



KENT, Judge, ii. 72. 

KETTELL, Samuel, ii. 284. 

KEY, F. S., i. 490. 

KING, Charles, ii. 70. 

KING, Family of, i. 517. 

KING, Gen. Joshua, i. 120, 239, 517. 

KING, Kufus II., i. 147, 247 ; ii. 898. 

KNATCHBALL, Sir E., ii. 250. 

Knickerbocker Magazine, ii. 882, 

883. 
KNOX, Gen., i. 536. 



LACEY, Bookseller, ii. 285. 
LACROIX, Mathematician, ii. 444. 
Lady of the Lake, ii. 169. 
LAENNEC, Physician, ii. 447. 
LAFAYETTE, Gen., ii. 451. 
LAMARCK, Naturalist, ii. 444. 
LAMARTINE, ii. 467, 502, 509. 
LAMB, Lady Caroline, ii. 189. 
LAPLACE, Astronomer, ii. 444. 
LARREY, Baron, ii. 443. 
LARROQUE, Baron, Hiyaician, ii. 281 . 
LAW, Jonathan, ii. 109. 
LAWRENCE, Abbott, i. 94, 542. 
LAWRENCE, Amos, i. 542. 
LAWRENCE, Capt., i. 456. 
LAWRENCE, William, i. 542. 
LECOMPTE, Bois, ii. 505. 
LEDYARD, Col., i. 468. 
LEE, Dr. S. H. P., i. 485. 
LEE, Gov. Henry, i. 442. 
Leopard, British ship, i. 275. 
LEWIS, Rev. Dr., i. 176, 539. 
LEWIS and CLARKE S Expedition, i. 

278. 

L HujMiMi.!:, Dr.,ii. 281. 
Lino-Lino, Kiug, ii. 289. 
LING AN, Gen., i. 442. 
LIYINUSTON, Chancellor, i. 404. 
LmiWROX, K<h\ard, ii. 510. 
Loch Katrine, ii. 169, 209. 
LOCKE, John, ii. 164. 
LOCKHABT, J. G., ii. 178, 190, 196, 

208. 
LOCKHART, Mrs., ii. 197. 



560 



INDEX. 



LOCKWOOD, H. N., i. 388. 
London, Progress of, ii. 222. 

M. 

MACDONOUGH, Com., i. 497. 

MACKENZIE, Judge, ii. 175. 

MACKINTOSH, Sir J., ii. 231. 

MACOMB, Gen., i. 497. 

MACY, Capt., ii. 161. 

McGEE, Messrs., i. 205. 

MADISON, James, i. 448, 498 ; ii. 14, 

58. 

MANN, Horace, ii. 381. 
MANTON, Edward, ii. 42. 
Maple sugar, i. 68. 
MARCT, William H., ii. 509, 513. 
MAKS, Mademoiselle, ii. 446. 
MARSH, Rev. Dr., i. 221, 258. 
MARSHALL, Judge, ii. 327, 394. 
MARSHALL, T., ii. 431. 
MARTIN, Ilyacinthe, ii. 479. 
MARTIN, Peter Parley, ii. 285, 298. 
MASON, J. M., ii. 74, 118. 
MASON, Lowell, ii. 881. 
MEAD, Jerry, i. 116. 
MEAD, Eev. Mr., i. 18. 
MEAD, Whitman, ii. 25. 
MELLEN, Greuville, ii. 274. 
Merchants Magazine, ii. 882. 
Mercury, American, ii. 30. 
Merino sheep, i. 404. 
MRY, Author, ii. 509. 
Meteor of 1807, i. 277. 
Methodism, i. 195. 
Milan Decree, i. 446. 
MILLER, John, ii. 137. 
Mirror, Connecticut, ii. 121, 143. 
MITCHELL, Eev. Mr., i. 179, 539. 
MOLE, Count, ii. 458, 466. 
MONCRIEF, Sir H., ii. 173. 
MONROE, Mrs., ii. 402. 
MONROE, President, ii. 127, 401, 402, 

511. 

MONTPENSIER, Duchess of, ii. 469. 
MOORE, Thomas, ii. 189. 
MORE, Hannah, i. 172 ; ii. 163, 168, 

255. 



MORGAN, Capt., ii. 50. 
MORGAN, Lady, i. 113. 
MORSE, S. F., ii. 534. 
MORTON, Lord, ii. 191. 
MORTON, Marcus, ii. 349. 
MOSELY, Charles, i. 464. 
MURRAY, Eev. John, i. 189. 

N. 

NAPOLEON, Emperor, i. 112. 
NAPOLEON, Louis, i. 113 ; ii. 489, 

503. 

NEAL, John, ii. 275, 357, 375. 
NEALE, Joseph C., ii. 359. 
NEMOURS, Duke of, ii. 457, 465, 467. 
Newark, i. 455. 
New Bedford, ii. 349. 
New Haven, i. 339. 
New Orleans, ii. 324. 
New Orleans, battle of, i. 502. 
NILES. J. M., ii. 429. 
Non-importation Act, i. 446. 
Norfolk, i. 444. 

North American Eeview, ii. 252. 
No YES, Eev. Mr., I 178. 
N unification, ii. 58. 

O. 

O CoNNELL, D., ii. 158. 
Ohio, Emigration to, ii. 79. 
OLMSTEAD, Deacon N., i. 114, 222, 

522. 

OLMSTEAD, Lewis, i. 38. 
OLMSTEAD, Matthew, i. 265. 
OLMSTEAD, Stephen, i. 38. 
OLMSTED, David, i. 27. 
OPIE, Mrs., ii. 255. 
ORLEANS, Duchess of, ii. 467. 
OSGOOD, Mrs., ii. 274. 
OTIS, H. G., ii. 15, 25, 27, 87, 898. 

P. 

PACKENHAM, Gen., i. 502. 
PAINE, Thomas, i. 117, 118. 
PALMERSTON, Lord, ii. 234. 



INDEX. 



561 



Panama Mission, ii. 896. 
Paris, City of, ii. 438. 
PARIS, Count de, ii. 467. 
PARK, Mungo, i. 275. 
PARSONS, Judge, TbeophiluB, ii. 38. 
PATTERSON, Miss, i. 111. 
PAULINE BONAPARTE, i. 113. 
PAYSON, Eev. Edward, ii. 75. 
Peace, i. 496, 501. 
PEEL, Sir Robert, ii. 234. 
PERCIVAL, J. G., ii. 130. 
PERKINS, Eev. Dr., i. 258. 
PERKINS, Thomas H., i. 542; ii. 

15. 

PERKINS, Jacob, ii. 225, 226, 261. 
PERRY, Dr., i. 522. 
PERRY S victory, i. 456. 
PIERPONT, J., ii. 95, 278. 
PICKERING, John, ii. 271. 
PIKE, Gen., i. 455. 
PINKNEY, William, ii. 898. 
PLUMER, William, ii. 15. 
POISSON, Mathematician, ii. 443. 
POLK, J. K., President, ii. 424. 
POPE Pius VII., i. 118. 
PONSARD, Author, ii. 509. 
PORTER, Jane, ii. 104. 
POUSSIN, G. T., ii. 476. 
PRENTISS, S. S., ii. 416. 
PRESCOTT, William, ii. 15, 40. 
PRESCOTT, William H., ii. 881. 
PRIME, Nathaniel, ii. 70. 
PROVOST, Gen., i. 496. 
PROUDHON, ii. 863. 
Puritans, i. 195. 
PUTNAM, G. P,, ii. 278, 383. 



RACHEL, Actress, Ii. 509. 
Radicals, i. 119. 
RAMSAY, Allan, ii. 211. 
RANDOLPH, John, i. 440, 448 ; ii. 45 

896, 397, 431. 
REEVE, Tapping, Judge, i. 890 ; ii 

93. 

RESSEQUIE, A., i. 516. 
Revival, The Great, i. 205. 
24* 



devolution, French, of 1848, ii. 451. 
Ridgefield, Town of, i. 16, 57, 800, 

515. 

RILEY, Isaac, ii. 63. 
RIPLEY, Rev. Dr., i. 149, 176. 
RISTORI, Madame, ii. 509. 
RIVES, "William C., ii. 505. 
ROBBINS, Rev. R., ii. 141, 145. 
ROBERTSON, Judge, ii. 175. 
ROCKWELL, J. O., ii. 257. 
ROGERS, John, i. 67. 
ROLAND, Madame, ii. 146. 
ROLLIN, Ledru, ii. 502. 
ROMEYN, Rev. Dr., ii. 78. 
Ross, Gen., i. 490. 
RUSH, Richard, ii. 478. 
RUSSELL, Mrs., ii. 178. 
RUSSELL, William, i. 541. 



SAND, Madame George, ii. 509 
SANDAMAN, Robert, i. 398. 
SANFORD, Ezekiel, i. 141. 
SANFORD, H. S., ii. 518. 
SARGENT, E. and J., ii. 275. 
SAUNDERS, George, ii. 519. 
SAUZET, Deputy, ii. 467. 
SCOTT, Charles, ii. 196. 
SCOTT, Sir Walter, ii. 100, 107, 175, 

196, 208. 

SEABURY, Bishop, i. 132, 190. 
SHELDON, George, i. 410 ; ii. 76. 
SHERMAN, Roger, i. 94. 
SHERMAN, Roger M., ii. 25, 47. 
SIGOURNEY, Mrs., ii. 125, 274. 
SILLIMAN, Gen., i. 826. 
SILLIMAN, Professor, i. 68, 855. 
SKELLINGER, J. J., i. 137. 
Small-pox, i. 43. 
SMITH, Horace, ii. 101. 
SMITH, J. L., ii. 50. 
SMITH, James, ii. 101. 
SMITH, John, ii. 857. 
SMITH, John Cotton, i. 62, 461, 589 ; 

ii. 89. 
SMITH, Lieutenant, i. 21, 152, 27 J, 

276. 



562 



INDEX. 



SMITH, Nathan, i. 392; ii. 157. 

SMITH, Nathaniel, i. 378, 388 ; ii. 46, 

SMITH, Eev. Mr., i. 181. 

SMITH, Sydney, ii. 110. 

SMITH, Truman, i. 392. 

Smithsonian Institute, ii. 371. 

SNELLING, JV, ii. 265. 

SOULE, Pierre, ii. 514. 

SOULT, Marshal, ii. 466. 

South Carolina, Nullification, i. 511, 

Southern Literary Messenger, ii, 

382. 

SOUTHEY, Eob., i. 196 ; ii. 101, 200. 
SPARKS, Jared. ii. 252. 
Spotted fever, i. 376. 
St. Albans, ii. 339. 
Star-spangled Banner, i. 490. 
Stationers Company, ii. 272. 
STEBBINS, Samuel, i. 140, 522. 
STONE, Wm. L., ii. 90, 136. 
STOKES, Henry W., ii. 430. 
STORY Judge, ii. 327. 
STOWE, Mrs., ii. 94, 885. 
STRONG, Dr. Nathan, ii. 52, 116. 
SUMMERLY, Felix, ii. 312. 
SUMNER, Charles, ii. 278. 
SUSSEX, Duke of, ii. 226. 
SWAN, Eev. Mr., i. 177, 509. 
SWIFT, Zephaniah, ii. 18, 46. 

T. 

TALMA, Actor, ii. 445. 
TALMADGE, F. A., ii. 94. 
TAMEHAMAHA, King, ii. 233. 
TAYLOR, Bayard, ii. 361. 
TAYLOR, Jeremy, ii. 247. 
TECUMSEH, i. 455. 
TEGG, Thomas, ii. 292. 
TERRY, Gen. Nathaniel, ii. 28, 46, 51. 
THAOHER, B. B., ii. 274. 
THENARD, Chemist, ii. 443. 
TIIIERS, ii. 467. 
THOMAS, Joshua, ii. 41. 
TICKNOR, Professor, ii. 198. 
TILESTON, Mr., ii. 382. 
Times, London, 
Times, New York Daily, ii. 382. 



TISDALE, Elkanah, ii. 111. 

TODD, Dr., i. 376. 

Toleration, ii. 84. 

TOMPKINS, Vice-President, ii. 56, 394. 

TOUCEY, Isaac, ii. 109. 

TRACY, Uriah, ii. 18, 92. 

TREADWELL, John, i. 114; ii. 45. 

Tribune, New York, ii. 382. 

TRUBNER & Co., London, ii. 887, 

388. 

TRUMBULL. Col. John., ii. 115, 124. 
TRUMBULL, John, i. 435; ii. Ill, 115, 
TRYON, Gen., i. 326. 

U. 

Unitarianism, i. 188. 

V. 

VALUE, Count, ii. 61. 

VAN BUREN, Martin, ii. 343, 431. 

Vermont, ii. 99. 

VERPLANCK, G. C., ii. 275. 

VICTORIA, Queen, ii. 340, 515. 

VINCENT, Sir F., ii. 839. 

W. 

WADSWORTH, Daniel, ii. 122. 
WADSWORTH FAMILY, i. 870. 
WADSWORTH, Jeremiah, ii. 122. 
WAINWRIGHT, J. M., ii. 109. 
WAITE, T. B., i. 541. 
WALDO, Daniel, ii. 41. 
WALKER, Samuel, ii. 138. 
War of 1812, i. 438. 
WARD, Samuel, ii. 42. 
WARDEN, D. B., Consul, ii. 443. 
WARDEN, Francis, ii. 506. 
WARNER, Miss, ii. 885. 
WASHINGTON, President, i. 106, 118. 
WATERMAN, Eev. Mr.,i. 181. 
WEBSTER, Daniel, i. 94, 95, 508, 510 ; 

ii. 10, 222, 827, 342, 400, 405, 409, 

414, 504. 
WEBSTER, Noah, i. 863 ; ii. 18, 57, 

189, 381. 



INDEX. 



563 



WELLINGTON, Duke of, ii. 224, ? 
WELLS, Dr. S., i. 376. 
WELLS, John, ii. 70. 
WEST, Benjamin, ii. 42. 
WHIPPLE, E. P., ii. 392. 
WHITE, Ebenezer, i. 402. 
WHITNEY, Eli, i. 864. 
WHITTIER, J. G., ii. 145. 
WICKLIFFE, R., Jr., ii. 475. 
WILBERFORCE, William, ii. 166. 
WILDE, S. S., ii. 41. 
WILEY, Charles, ii. 135. 
WILKINSON, Gen., i. 455, 496. 
WILLARD, Mrs. Emma, ii. 25. 
WILLIAM IV., King, ii. 339. 
WILLIAMS, Roger, i. 187. 
WILLIS, N. P., ii. 256, 264. 
WINCHESTER, Gen., i. 445. 



WINTHROP, R. C., ii. 278. 

WIRT, William, ii. 418, 429. 

WISE, Henry, ii. 404. 

WOLCOTT, Frederick, ii. 91. 

WOLCOTT, M. A., ii. 91. 

WOLCOTT, Oliver, i. 113; ii. 18, 59, 

70, 87, 88. 
WOOD, George, ii. 505. 

WOODBRIDGE, W. C., U 113. 

Woodbury, Town of, i. 378. 
WOOSTER, Calvin, i. 206. 
WOOSTER, Gen., i. 827, 898. 
WRIGHT Silas, ii. 431. 

Y. 

YABACOMB, Mrs., i. 60. 
YORK, Duke of, ii. 228. 



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