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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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UNIVERSITY 
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LIBRARIES 



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RECOLLECTIONS 



A LIFETIME, 



OP. 



MEN AND THINGS I HATE SEEN 



IX A SERIES OF 



FAMILIAE LETTEES TO A FRIEND, 

HISTORICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL, AXECDOTICAL, AND 
DESCRIPTIVE. 



BY S. G. GOODRICH 



VOL. IL 



XEW YORK AXD AUBURX : 
MILLER, O R T O X AXD M U L L I G A X. 

NewToek,25 Park Eow: — Aueurx, 107 Genesee-st. 
• M DCCC LVI, 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S5€, 
By S, G. GOODKICII, 
In the Clerk-s Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 
District of New York. 



R. C. VALENTINE. c. A. ALVoUIM'..:---.. 

STCIIICOTTPIR AND ELECT ROT Y PI BT. 

17 Du'xh-st.. cor. Falton, No. If. Vai.dewai. r statl, .N . V 



New Tori. 



CONTEXTS. 



LETTER XXXI. 

Tlie Hartford Convention — Its ori^^in — Testimony of Noah "Webster — 
Oath of Kotrer M. Sherman — Gathering of the Convention — Doings 
of democracy thereupon — Piiysiognomy of the Convention — Sketclies 
of some of ttje members — Colonel Jessup — Democracy in the streets 
— Keport of the Convention — Reception of the doings of tlie Conven- 
tion by Madison and liis party — Its efiect and example — Compar- 
ison of the Hartford Convention with the nulliners — The Union for- 
ever 9 

LETTER XXXII. 

The Count Value — Lessons in French, and a translation of Eenc' — Se- 
vere retribution for imprudence — The end of the pocket-book factory 
— Napoleon returns to Paris and upsets my affairs — Divers experiences 
and reflections upon dancin<^ — Visit to New York — Oliver "VVolcott and 
Archibald Oracle — Ballston and Saratoga — Dr. Payson and the three 
rowdies — Illness and death of my uncle— Partnership with George 

. Sheldon — His illness and death , 61 

LETTER XXXIII. 

The famine of ISIG and 1S17 — Panic in New England — Miirrations to 
Ohio — T'otlicr side of Ohio — Toleration — Downfall of federalism — Ol- 
iver Wolcott and the democracy — Connecticut upset — The new Con- 
stitution— Gov. Smith and Gov. Wolcott— Litchfield— Uriah Tracey— 
Frederick Wolcott — Tapping Fteeve — Col. Talmadge — James Gould — 
J. W. Huntington — The Litchfield centennial celebration 73 

LETTER XXXIV. 

Stephen E. Bradley— My pursuit of the vocation of bookseller and pub- 
lisher—Scott's poems — General enthusiasm — Byron's poems — Their 
reception — The Waverley novels — Their amazing popularity — I pub- 
lish an edition of them— Literary club at Hartford— J. M. Wain- 
wright, Isaac Toucey, AVilliam L.Stone, &c.— The Round Table— Ori- 



* CONTEXTS. 

ginal American works— State of opinion ns to American literature— 
Piiblicutioi) of Tniiiibiiir.s poems— liook.s for cdiiculioii— Kev. C. A. 
Goodrich— Dr. Coin.^l.jck — Woodbridge's Geograpij y KG 

LETTER XXXA'. 

Sketches of the " Hartford Wits"— Dr. Hopkins— Trumbull, author of 
McFingal — David Humphries — Dr. Strong — Theodore Dwight — 
Thomas n. Gallaudet— Daniel Wudswortli— Dr. Coggswoll — Mrs. 
Sigourney 114 

LETTER XXXVL 

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 Kcw 
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 \\ ibconsin — His 
death — Esiiniate of his character liil 

LETTER XXXVIL 

A few wayside notes— The poet Drainard— His first introduction— Rip- 
ley's tavern — Aunt Lucy — The little back-parlor — Brainard's oflice— 
Anecdote— The devil's dun— The lines on Niagara — Other poems — 
Onetliat is on the Sea— The sea-bird's song— Publication of Brainard's 
poems — General remarks — His death 141 

LETTER XXXVII I. 

My first voyage across the Atlantic— En<:land—London—My tour on 
the continent— Return to England— Visit to Barley-wood— Hannah 
More — Inquiries as to books for education — Ireland — Dublin — Tlie 
Giant's Causeway— Scotland— Scenery of the Lady of the Lake— Glas- 
gow — Edinburgh 101 

LETTER XXXIX. 

Edinburirh- The Court of Sessions- Cranstoun, Cockburn, Moncrief— 
Lockhurt— JellVey— Sir Waller Scott 170 

LETTER XL. 

Preparations for a ride— Mr, JellVey in a rough-and-tumble— A glance 
at Edinburgh from Braid's Hill— A shower — The maids of the mist — 
Durable iuipressions 177 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER XLI. 



TVilliam Blackwood — The Magazine — A dinner at Blackwood's— James 
Biiliantyne — Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb — Tlie General As- 
sembly of Scotland — Dr. Chalmers ISi 

LETTER XLIL 

A dinner at Lockliart's— Conversation about Byron — Mrs. Lockhart — 
Irving — Professor Ticknor — Music — The pibroch and Miss Edgeworth 
— Anecdotes of the Ladians — Southey and second sight — Cooper's Pi- 
oneers — The Pilot — Paul Jones — Brockden Brown — Barns— Tricks of 
the press — Charles Scott — The "Welsh parson — Tiie Italian base-viol 
player — Personal appearance of Sir Walter — Departure for London — 
Again in Edinburgh in lSo2— Last moments of Sir Walter — The sym- 
patliy of nature liJo 

LETTER XLin. 

Journey to London — Remarks on England, as it appears to the Amer- 
ican traveler — The climate — The landscape — Jealousies between tho 
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 — Ilounslow Heath— Parliament — 
Canning — Mackintosh — Brougham — Palmcrston — House of Lords — 
Lord Eldou — Rhio Rhio — Catalini — Signorina Garcia — ^Edward Ir- 
ving — Byron's coffin 223 

LETTER XLV. 

Return to America — Removal to Boston — Literary position of Boston — 
Prominent literary characters — The press — Tlie pulpit — The bar — 
Kew York now the literary metropolis — My publication of various 
•works — The Legendaiy — N. P. T\'illis — The era of Annuals — The 
Token — The artists engaged in it — The authors — Its termination. 252 

LETTER XLYI. 

The contributors to the Token — X. P. Willis — N. Hawthorne — Miss 
Francis — Mr. Greenwood — Mr, Pierpont — Charles Sprague — Mrs. 
Sigourney— Miss Sedgwick — Mrs. Osgood, and others — Quarrels 
between autliors and publishers — Anecdotes — The publishers' 
festival 26i 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER XLYII. 






The first of the Parley books— Its reception — Various publications — 
Tkreatcning attack of illness — Voya<^e to Europe— Consultation of 
physicians at Paris — Sir Bcnj. Brodie, of London — Abercrombie, of 
Edinburgh — lieturn to America — Eesidence in the country — Prosecu- 
tion of my literary labors — Footing up the account — Annoytaices of 
authorship — Letter to the New York Daily Times 279 

LETTER XLVIIL 

Eepublicalion of Parley's Tales in London — Mr. Tegg's operations — 
Imitated by other publi.slicrs — Peter Parley Martin— Letter to Mr. 
Darton — An edition of the false Parleys in America — Tiie conse- 
quences -jiiii 

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 — Halloweirs Kursery Rhymes of England — Dialogue between 
Timothy and his mother — Mother Goose — The Toad's Story — Books 
of instruction 808 

LETTER L. 
Journey to the S<nUh — Anecdotes— Reception at Xew Orleans 822 

LETTER LI. 

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

LETTER LIT. 

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 
18-10- Hard cider and log cabins — General bankruptcy — Electinn 
of Harrison — His death — Consequences — Anecdotes— The " Small-tail 
Movement" — A model candidate — "William Cpp, or shingling a 
barn 'oZ^i 

LETTER LI II. 

International copyright — Mr. Dickens's mission — His failure and liis 
revenge — The Boston convention — Inquiry into the basis of copyriglit 
— Founded in ab.-.olute ji;stice — "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 hnv— Inter- 
national copyright demanded by justice— Scheme for international 
copyright with Great Britain— Keasons for it 355 



LETTER LIV. 

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

LETTER L^'. 

Eecollections of Washington— The House of Representative?— Missouri 
compromise— Clay, Randolph, and Lowndes — Tiie Senate— Rufus 
King— ^Villiam Pinkney— :Mr. Macon— Judge Marshall— Election of 
John Quiney Adams— President Monroe— Meeting of Adams and 
Jackson— Jackson's administration— Clay— Calhoiuj— Webster— An- 
ecdotes gf^3 

LETTER LVL 

London and Paris compared- Paris thirty years a-o— Lcuis XVIIL— 

The Parisians— Garden of the Tuileries— Washington Irving— Mr. 

Warden, tlie American consul— Societe Philomatique— Baron Larrey 

— Geolfroy St. Hilaire— The Institute— Arago— Lamarck— Gay-Lussac 

—Cuvier—Lacroix— Laplace— Laennec—Lapu}tren— Talma — Made- 
moiselle hilars ' 40^ 

LETTER EVIL 

Death of Louis XVIIL— Charles X.— The "Three Glorious Days"— 
Louis Pliilippe— The revolution of February, 1843 '. 449 

LETTER LYIIL 

Events wliich 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 [ ^3Q 



O CONTENTS. 

LETTER EX. 

Character of the French repuhlic— Its contrast with the American re- 
public — Aspect oftiie iroverninent in France — Loni.s Napoleon's ambi- 
tious designs — He flatters the army — Spreads rumors of socialist plots 
— Divisions in the National Assembly — A levee at the Ely>ee— Tho 
Coup d'Etat— Character of this act— Napoleon's govcrnnieut— Feel- 
ings of the people 4S9 

LETTER LXL 

Meeting of Americans in Paris to commemorate tlie death of Clay and 
^Vebster — Termination of my consular duties — Character of the French 
nation — The " black-coat"' circuhir 504 

LETTER LXIL 
Visit to Italy — Florence — KoUiC— Naples 521 

LETT'ER LXIir. 

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

APPENDIX 507 

INDEX 554 



RECOLLECTIONS OF A LIFETI31E. 



LETTER XXXI. 

Tlie Hartford Convention — Its Origin — Testimony of Xoah Webster — Oath 
of Roger M. Skerman — Gathering of the Convention — Doings of Democ- 
racy thereupon — Physiognomy of llie Convention — Sketches of some of the 
Members — ColonelJessup — Democracy in the Streets — Report of the Con- 
tention — Reception of the Doings of the Convention hy Madison and 
his Party — Its Jiftct and Example — Comparison of the Hartford Con- 
vention with the XuUifiers — The Union forever. 

My dear c ***** * 

Iconic 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 ^vhich 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, wdiat I know, what I believe, in relation to it? 
The Hartford Convention w^as 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 lie had promised to make me one of 
his aids. Accordingly, H. L. Ellsworth— afterward Indian Agent and 
Commissioner of Patents— and myself were appomted, with the rank of 

1* 



10 ■ LETfEES BIOGEAFIIICAL, 

persons constituting that fomous body, at liis 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 Avas a congregation of con- 
spirators — traitors — and I shall invite 3'ou to abandon 
this delusion. It may not be pleasant to hear your 
cherished opinions controverted : it is ahvays 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 3-ou will not silence me on any such' nar- 
row ground as this. The time has come when one 
may speak freelj^ on this subject, and surely without 
offense. Forty 3'ears have passed since the gathering 
of that far-famed body. Every member of it is dead. 
I will not insist that you shall sa}^ notliiiig of them 
which is not good ; but I claim the privilege of sav- 
ing of them what I know to be true. I am sure you 
will listen to me patiently, if not approvingly. 

major, April 17, 1S15. I was not very ambitious of my title, for not 
lon.fr after '•'•Major Goodrid/je,'''' of Bantror, Maine, acquired an infamous 
notoriety, in consequence of a trial (December, 1S16) in which Daniel 
Webster made a celebrated pica, unmaskinii one of the most extraordi- 
nary cases of i!nf)licity and hypocrisy on record. This Major (Joodridcre 
pretended to have boi-n robbed, and the crime was charired upon two 
persons by the name of Kenniston. In the defense of these, Mr. Web- 
ster proved that tiie ehar^'C was fal>c, and that tlie accuser had himself 
faViricatcd the whole story of the robbi-ry. (Sec Webster'* Works, vol. 
V. page 441.) 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 11 

You may perhaps suppose that there is but cue 
opinion in the country as to the character of that as- 
sembly ; but let me observe that there are tvro opin- 
ions upon the subject, and if one is unflivorable, the 
other is dianietrically opposite. In Xovr England, 
the memories of those v.dio constituted tlic Conven- 
tion are held' in reverence and esteem, by the great 
bodv of their fellow-citizens, including:: a hir^e ma- 
jority of those whose opinions are of weight and 
value, and this has been so from the Ijciiinning. 

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 tlieir lives and characters. I ask your 
attention to the historical fact, that in every instance, 
this has been a eidogy — not fur talent only, but the 
higher virtues of humanity. Of the twejity-six mem- 
bers who constituted the Convention, everij one has 
jjassed to an Iwnored (jravc. The members of the Hart- 
ford Convention Vv'cre, in elfect, 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 Kew England, 



12 LETTER?? BIOGRAPniCAL, 

the enlightened generation amonG^ wlioni ihry llvcrl, 
estimated them according to their true merits. These 
never behcved them to l)e conspirators ; they knew, 
indeed, the fact to be otherwise. Even the blinding 
influence of party spirit lias never made tlic better 
class of democrats in New l^igland 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 av/are, 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, 
di^mocracv is the dominant party. Tiie 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 baflle 
it — at least durini]^ the conflict. There were many 
rciisons why the Convention was an unpardonable 
siu 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 
retributiiju from the h"ails of the war-makers, it was 
considered politic to charge every miscarriage to the 
war opposoi*s. In short, it was deemed the best wav 
for self preservation, by the democratic leaders, to sink 
the -federalists in undying infamy. Ib-nce they per- 
sisted in denouncing the Convention as an assembly 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 ]\IassachuseLts — 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 Xorth — 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 fhings the most likely 
to obtain democratic belief, and to excite democratic 
horror. 

Here was the germ of that chnging scandal against 
ISTew England, which has been perpetuated for fort}^ 
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 tbis work. Also Hildreth, second 
series, vol. iii. pp. 79, 117. 



14 LETTKRS BIOGKAPIIICAL, 

It hc\d created such an impression, that ^ladison — 
when President — had only to be tuld hy 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 dijlkii's for it out of the 
pubHc treasury.* Xo doubt he really ex])ected 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. J(jhn Henry dupfd the Presi- 
dent, who seized the hook, because it was baitjcd 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 develoi^ed. 
He was then called seriously to account, f and sucli 



* In March, 1S12, Madison sent to Con^TOss cortiiiii documents, pre- 
tcndinor to disclose a pcerot plot, for tlie disnienibermeiit of tlie Union, 
and tlie f-jrinution of the Eastern States into a political connection 
with Great Britain. It seems that in the winter of 180'J, Sir J. II. 
Craiff, Governor-peneral of Canada, employed John Henry to undertake 
a secret mission to the United States for this ohject. Henry proceeded 
tlirouL'h Vermont and New IIamp>l\irc to Bo>ton. He, liowever, i;cver 
found a person to whom he could broach the subject! As he stated, 
the British government refused the promised compensati-Mi, and there- 
fore he turned traitor, and sold his secret to our government. Tiie 
bubjeet wa.s fully discussed in Parliament, and it appeared that Ilcn- 
rv'b sciieme was not known to or authorize.l by the I'.ritish govern- 
ment. Tiie whole substance of the matter wa.**, that our ^'ovemment 
was duped by a miserable adventurer. The conduct of .Maaison, in 
this evident greC'liticss to incnlpa»o the fedcrali>ts, was a la>tin;.' ground 
of dislike and ho>tilily to him. See Younfjs Amer. Statestnan, j.. '24S. 

t I wa.s living in Bor,ton at the time ^Oetober, IS'JSj when the public 
first became fully aware of the fact, that, twenty years before, .Mr. Ad- 
ums had planted the seeds of tliis accusation against the northern fed- 



15 

was the effect, that from that time he ^vas 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 pointed!}' remarked that all, save 
one," were dead. Yet these even seemed to rise up 

erali^ts in the eaeer soil of Mr. Jefferson's mind, wlierc it had flourished 
ill 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, 
wliom he liad thus maligned — themselves or their descendants — wore 
now his supporters. The election was permitted to pass, and Massa- 
chusetts gave lier vote for Mr. Adams; lie was, however, defeated, and 
Jackson became his successor. 

And now came the retribution. 'Mr. Adams was addressed by II. G. 
Otis, T. 11. Perkins, William Prescott, Charles Jackson, and others — 
men of the highest standing, and representing the old federal party, 
charged with treason by him — demanding the proofs of the accusation 
for which he stood responsible. I have not space to give here the dis- 
cussion which followed. Those who wish can find the case clearly stated 
in Young's American Statesman, page 442, &c., &e. 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 lii-s 
opinion, it referred to an earlier date, and to other individuals, and 
could not, by any shov,' 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 tlie purpose of seducing the Boston federalists, by the British 
governor, Craig, never found an individual to v/hom he dared even to 
open his bu.-iness 1 

At all events, such was the shock of public feelings, caused by the 
disclosure of Mr. Adams's charge made to JefiV-rson, that for a long 
time, when he walked the streets of Boston, which lie occasionally vis- 
ited, he was generally parsed 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 1803 and 1804, he was himself in favor of 



10 LFTTERS 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 h\\ to see that Mr. 
Adams either invented his story— which, however, 
is by no means to be presumed — or that, accordnig 
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, foirly viewed, furnished not the slightest 
ground even 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. Kot one i)article 
of evidence, calculated to satisfy an honest inrpiirer 
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 ]U'ove, to estab- 
lish this allegation of treason. Public documents, 
newspaper articles, private correspondence, personal 

forming a separate povcrnmont for New KntrlaiKl, but lie aban.loned 
the?e i.leas, nn.l used liis influence njraiti.-t tlicm, wlien, as lie says, they 
were revived in ISO'.t and 1S12. lie, too, underwent a close examina- 
tion, and it appeared that he was unable to produce any rcluible evi- 
dence whatever, that any plot for disunion was formed, or that any in- 
dividual, connected with the Hartford Convention, couutenunoed such 
ft sehcmc. Sec Vfini/'s Amtr. StaUsvian^ p. 4r.5, «fcc. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 testif}", 
on oatJi, 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 noAV — after forty 3^ear3 
of discussion, thus urged by hostile parties — sober 
histoiy 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 I.ETTEKS RIOGRAPniCAL, 

dor demands, and I here present you Avitli direct 
testimony from a source that ^vill 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, jiroper, patriotic. I sliall licreafter 
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, 
b}' Noah Webster* — a man perhaps as universally 

* It is certainly not necessary for me to write the bioL'raphy or cer- 
tify to the character of Noah Webster : tliesc have been carried all over 
our country by his Spelling-book and his Dictionary, erecting nioiiu- 
monts of gratitude in the hearts of the niillions whom he has tauglit 
to read, and tlie millions wliom he still teaches, in the perfect use of 
our language. It has been said, and with much truth, tliat he has held 
communion witli more minds than any other author of modern times. 
His learning, his assiduity, his piety, liis patriotism, were the ground- 
work of these successful an<l beneficent labors. It is the privilege of a 
great and good man to speak, and when he speaks, to be listened to. 
Tlic passage here quoted is comprised in his "Collection of Essays," 
publishcil 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. 1753. Among his classmatesat Yale College were Joel 
Barlow, Uliver Wolcott, Uriah Tracy, Zcpheniah Swifl, and otlier men 
of eminence. His life wa.s spent in various literary pursuits. I knew 
liim well, and must mention an incident respccling him, still fresh in 
my memory. In the summer of 1824, 1 was in Paris, and staying at the 
Hotel Montmoreticy. 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 beliind it, and evidently in a state of meditation. 
It was a curious, quaint, Connecticut looking apparition, strangely in 
contrast to the prevailing forms and a.spcct.s in thi* gay metropolis. I 



HISTORICAL. ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 19 

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

Few transactions of the federalist?, during the early periods 
of our government, excited ?o 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 resolve ; and further, as I have copies of the doc- 
uments, which no other person may liave 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 
afi:air3 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 Xew London, and to intercept our coasting- 
trade ; one town in Maine was in possession of the British 
forces ; the banks south of ^ew 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 afiairs, a number of gentlemen, in North- 
paid to myself— "If it were possible, I should say that was Noah Web- 
ster I" I went up to him, and found it was indeed he. At the age 
of sixty-six, he had come to Europe to perfect his Dictionary ! It 
is interesting to know tliat 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, afrer consultation, determined to in- 
vite some of the i)rincii)al inhabitants of tlie tliree counties on 
the river, formerly comjjosing 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 the 
letter: 

Northampton, Jan. 5, 1814. 

Sir: In consequence of the 'alarinin:: state of our public affairs, and 
the doubts whioli have exi.->ted as to the correct course to be pursued 
by the friends of peace, it lias been thouglit advisable by h number of 
gentlemen in this vicinity, who have consulted tonrether on the subject, 
that a meeting should be called of some few of the most discreet and 
intelligent iidiabitants 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 wisiies 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 at 
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 tlie above time and place for the purpose before stated. 
"With much respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

Joseph Lvhan. 

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 atfairs. agreed to send to 
the several towns in the tiiree 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 elfectuiil remedy, ilis excellency, the Governor of 
the Commonwealth, in his address to the General Court, at the last and 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 21 

present session, has stated, in temperate, but clear and decided lan- 
guage, his opinion of the injn>tioe of the present war, and intimated 
that measures oui^ht to be aJoptcd by the leiri.-^latiire to bring it to a 
Bpeedy close. lie also calls tlie attention of the legislature to some 
measures of the general government, which arc 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 
npon 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 thouglit it a duty we owe to our country, to 
invite the attention of the gootl people of the counties of Hampshire, 
Hampden, and Franklin, to the radical causes of these evils. 

We know indeed that a ne<rotiation ibr ]ieace has been recently set 
on foot, and peace will remove many public evils. It i>^ an event we 
ardently desire. But when we consider liow often the people of the 
country have been disappointed in their expectations of peace, and of 
wise measures ; and when we consider tlie terms which our adminis- 
tration has hitherto demanded, some of which, it is certain, can not be 
obtained, and some of wiiich, 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 (•)Ccur5, whether, without an amend- 
ment of the Federal Constitution, the northern and commercial States 
can enjny 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, ha.s increased the southern 
interest, which has appeared so hostile to tlie peace and commercial 
prosperity of the Northern States. This power assumed by Congress 
of bringing into the Union new States, not comprehended witliin 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, Tiiis 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 iu the exercise of this 



22 LETTERS — EIOGRAPIIirAL, 

power ? To what consequences would it lca<l ? How can the people of 
the Northern States answer to themselves and to their posterity for an 
acquiescence in the exercise of tliis power, that auirinents 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 emhargo appears not to be constitutional, but an encroach- 
ment on the riglits 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 tlie 
interest of the farn)er 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. Tiie trade coastwise between diftorent ports in tlic same State is 
arbitrarily and unconstitutionally proliibited, and the subordinate of- 
fices of government are vested with powers sUtogether inconsistent with 
our republican institutions. It arms the President and liis airents with 
complete control of persons and property, and authorizes the emfJoy- 
ment of military force to carry its extraordinary provisions into execu- 
tion. 

We forbear to enumerate all the measures of the federal government 
•wliich we consider as violations of the Constitution, and encroachments 
upon the rights of the people, and which bear particularly liard upon 
the commercial people of the North. But we would invite our fellow- 
citizens to con.sider whether peace will remedy our public evils, without 
home amendments of tlie Con>titution, wliich 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 bo protected in the enjoyment of their commercial rights. 
These stipulations have been repeatedly violated ; and it can not be ex- 
].ected that the Northern States should be willing to bear their portion 
of the burdens of the federal government without enjoying the benefits 
Btipuhited. 

If our fellow-eilizcns should concur with us in opinion, we would 
suggest whetlicrit would not be expedient for the people in town meet- 
ings to address memoriuls to the General Court, at their j-resent session, 
petitioning that lionora'ole body to propose a convention of all the North- 
ern and commercial States, by delegates to be appointed hy their re- 
spective K';.M>latures, to cons\ilt upon measures in concert, for procuring 
such alterations in the federal Constitution as will give to the Northern 
Slates a due proportion of representation, and secure them from the fu- 
ture exerc'ise of powers injurious to their commercial interests ; or if the 
(.lenerul Court shall sec fit, that they should pursue such other cour^e, 



HTSTOmCAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. tjo 

as ther, in their wisdom, shall deem best calcuhited to etiect 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. 

We request 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, 

JosLPu Lyaian, Chainnan. 

In compliance with the request and suggestions in this circu- 
lar, many town meetings were held, and Avith 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 Xorthern 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 Cotirt 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 Ayas represented as a treasonable combi- 
nation, originating in Boston, for the purpose of dissolving the 



if 

f 
24: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Union. But citizens of Boston had no concern in originating 
the proposal for a convention ; it Avas wholly the project of tlie 
people in old Ilampshii-e county — as respectable and patriotic 
republicans as ever trod the soil of a fvt'e country. The citizens 
Avho fH>t assembled in Northampton, convened under the 
authority of the hill of rifjhts^ whic-li declares that the jK'Ople 
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 liave 
never been surpa^^sed by any assembly in the United States, and 
beyond a question the appointment of tlie Hartford Convention 
had a very favorable eliect in hastening the conclusion of a treaty 
of peace. 

All the reports whicli have been circulated respecting the 
evil designs of that Convention, J know to be the foulest niis- 
rejtresentations. 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 falseliood than trutli. I speak of 
facts within my own personal knowledge. We may well say 
with the i)roj)het — " Truth is fallen in the street, and c'luity can 
not enter." Party spirit i)roduces an unwholesome zeal to de- 
preciate one class of men for the purpose of exalting another. It. 
becomes rampant in ])ropagating slander, which engenders con- 
tempt for personal wortli and superior excellence ; it blunts the 
sensibility of men to injured reputation; im|»airs a sense of 
lionor ; banishes the cliarities 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 exjjoses it to the scorn of the civilized 
world. 



25 

Such is tlie testimony — direct, positive, documen- 
tary — of Koah Webster, as to the origin of the Hart- 
ford Convention. " Tliis, 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 histor}^ 

[From the Nor v\'alk GazeUe, January, 1S31.] 
To the Editor of the Gazette : 

Previous to the trial of "Whitman Mead, on the charge of hbel, 
of which you gave a brief notice in your htst number, the i)ris- 

■" This statement, on the part of Mr. Webster, docs not exclude the 
supposition that the idea of a convention of the New Ensrland States 
may have been previously suggested by others. Such a thing was very 
likely to occur to many minds, inasmucli 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 tiie 
proceedings of the Convention, and all otlier 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 pur[)Ose 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 intende<l by those who voted for it, as a safety- valve, by which the 
Vol. TT.— 2 



26 LKTFERS BIOGKAIMIKWL, 

oner moved the Court for a suhi»o'na, to ^Ir. Slierinan, of Fair- 
fielil, Mr. Goddard, of Xorwidi, and otliers, as witnesses in 
his behalf. It was allowed by the C'oiirr, and was served on 
Mr. Sherman, but could not be, seas(»nably, on Mr. Goddard, ou 
account of the lateness of his ai»i)lication. One of the articles 
charged as libellous, compared a recent political meeting at llart- 
f(.rd with the Hartford Convention, and the i>risoner supposed 
that a full development of the proceedings of that Convention 
wouhl furnish a legal vindication of the article in (piestion. "With 
a view to such development, ho wished the testimony of the gen- 
tlemen above naiiiLd. At the instance of the prisoner, Mr. Sher- 
man testified on the trial of the case, and the inclosed i)aper con- 
tains his testimony, exact in substance, and very nearly in his 
language— which you are at liberty to publish. — [The trial took 
jdace at Fairfield, Connecticut, the place of Mr. Sherman's resi- 
dence, in January, 1831. J 



inectiout, ) 
Mead. ) If"n. Roger Mh 



State of Connecticut, 
r.f. 
Wliitmau Mead. ) Unn. Iio>j(r Mi not Sherman\s Tfsinnonij. 

QueHion h;/ the Primmr. ^Vllut was the nature and object of tliu 
Jlartford Convention? 

Answer. I was a member of that Convention. It met on the 15th of 
December, Isll. Tiie United States were then at war with Great Brit- 
ain. Tlicy liad, in their forts and armies, twenty-seven thousand ef- 
fective men : of these about thirteen hundrcl only were employed in 
New England. The war had been in operation two years and a luiif. 
We liad a seacoai^t of ahnost seven hundred miles to protect, and with 
the exception of about thirteen hundred men, had the aid of no mili- 
tary force fronj tlie United States. By internal taxes, all others liavinjj 
become unproductive by reason of the war, the national government 
rai.-cd large .sums from the people within our territory. Direct t;ixaliou 
wa.s the only resource of the State governments, and this had been car- 
ried to as great an extreme in Connecticut as could be sustained. Tho 
banks, which furnished all our currency, cither withheld their accom- 
modations or stopped payment, and the people were embarrassed by a 
general Htngnation of business. Powerful fleets and armies lay ott" our 



steam arising from the fermentation of the times might escape, not as 
a boiler by which it is generated." (See Willard'a History of the United, 
ii't'itfn, p. :i.'>l.) 



f^7 

eonsts, 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 our 
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 Concrress 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 Stiites, 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 BIOGKArniCAL, 

hut they appear on tlic printed report of the Convention, of which I 
have a copy at my oflice, which tlie prisoner may use on the trial, if he 
ploivses. A oommittce, of whom I was one, was appointed by the Con- 
vention to draw up that report to present to tlieir respective legislatures. 
The proposal of Mr. Otis was adopted witli 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 Wasliington, and 
lodged in tlie 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 Hartford, by Mr. Babcock. Tlie 
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 
juurnal or report. If any further particulars are requested, I will state 
them. 

Question bij the 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 ettcctual 
co-operation in that war, as to the defense of the New England States. 

Question hy 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 efFcet, 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 witli their obligations to the United States, nor was any such 
act ever contemplated by them. 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 29 

Here is the testimony of a great and good man — a 
member of the Convention — under oatli. Who ^vill 
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 jSToah Webster and Roger !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 not in 
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 3'ou 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 
loth of December, ISl^t — 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 mufiled drums 
and inverted arms, and all this in token of the qua- 
king terror of the public mind, at the ominous gath- 
ering of a committee of some two dozen mild, respect- 



30 ' LETTERS BIOOKAPIIICAL, 

able, gray-haired old gentlemen, mostly aj^pointed 
by the legislatures of Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
and Rhode Island, to investigate and report upon 
the state of public aflairs ! Such, I recollect, was the 
]iicture 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 Ilartfurd — Dec. 18, 1815, a year after the Convention. There 
C;in be little doubt that, at tlie outset, many of the democrats really felt 
tliut the Convention meditated treason. I have already shown that the 
leaders of democracy had been made, V)y 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. 
Tliey 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. 

"Tlie fiftcentli of December is an epoch in tiie history of America 
which can never be passed over by Hepublicans, 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 alrea<ly bleeding country, and to at- 
tempt to subvert the liberties of tiie peoi»Ie ; of exultation, that the grand 
designs of these hellisii conspirators have been frustrated with infamy, 
and that the Union has triumphed over their mischievous maciiiiuitions I 

"Imjiressed with these sentiments, the Hepublicans of Hartford, on 
Friday last (being the day of the first meeting of the Convention), dis- 
played the flag of the Union at half-ma.st duritig the early part of the 
day, as expressive of their sorrow for the depravity of those, who, one 
year sine •, wire j»lotting in our city, in conjunction with Britain, the 
destruction of the liberties of the Kepublic. In the afternoon, the flag 
wius raised to the masthead, as emblematical of the eomi>letc discom- 
fiture of tlieir designs, and the triumph of the Constitution. In the 
rueful counteiuuicc of the feilerali.-ts, it was plain to<liscover the morti- 
fication und chagrin whieli they experienced. They say, let us bury in 
c»l>Hvion*s dark ba.stile all bitter recollection ! But so loner as New Kng- 
laiiil is cursed with federal rulers, till sho emer^'cs from the darkness 



^/ 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 31 

scene of action. The whole is ver}^ 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 
Kew 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." 

Xow I perfectly well remember the day of the 
gathering of the Convention. f There was in the city 

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

* " Histoncal Shetcli of the Second War hetioeen tlie United States and. 
Great Britain, by Charles Jared IngersoU." 

t The following are the names of the members of the so-called Hart- 
ford Convention : those from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Ehode 
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 "/o?' t7i£ 27urpose of devising and recommending such measures for the 
safety and welfare of these States as may be consistent with our oUigations 
as memhers of the National U'nioji.^'' 

From Massachusetts — George Cabot, Nathan Dane, William Pres- 
cott, Harrison Gray Otis, Timothy Bigelow, Joshua Tlioma?, Samuel 
Sumner Wikle, Joseph Lyman, Stephen Longfellov/, Jr., Daniel Waldo, 
Hodijah Baylies, George Bliss. 

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



32 i.i:Tri':Ks — niOGRAniicAL, 

a small squad of L'nitcJ States recruits — I think some 
two dozen in iiiiiiil)fr. These, assisted no doubt by 
others, ran u]) the American flag at their rendezvous, 
■with the British flag at half-mast, beneath it. They 
also — these two dozen, more or less — marched throui^h 
the streets with reversed arms and muffled drums. A 
few persons, I believe, got hold of the bell-rope of 
the Baptist mceting-liouse, and rang a funereal chime. 
All this — chiefly the work of the rabble — was the 
scoil* 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 rt'sj)C(jt, esteem, and confidence. 

Let us take a sketch of what i'olluwed from tlie 
prophet Jared : " On the loih of December, 1814, 
with excited sentiments of apprehension, mingled 
approval and derision, the inhabitants of Hartford 
awaited the nefand(;ns ConN-cntion, which takes its 
bad name from that (piiet town." " One of their 
number, Chauncey Goodrich, was mayor of Hartford, 
hy ivJiose arrangements the Convenlwn tvas tUi^posed of 

From lihoJe Island — Daniel Lymiiu, Suimiel WurJ, Edward Man- 
ton, Bcnjiiinin Hazard. 

From New Jlafiij'xhlre—Vtvw'yMu'wx West, Mills Olcott. 
Fr(/m Vtnnonl — William lluU, Jr. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 33 

in the retirement of the second story of an isolated stone 
huilcling, in tvJiich tJte little State Senate or Council sat, 
when, in 'rotation, Hartford icas the seat of government. 
Locking themselves up stairs, there, in awfully obscure 
concealment, for three iveeJcs, twice every day, except Sun- 
day, Christmas and New ITear's-day, they were continu- 
ally in conclave,^'' kc. 

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 Kembrandt 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. E. Hinman, the historian of Connecticut during the 
Eevolutionary 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 IngersoU's his- 
tory, came into the oflBce of the Secretary, and desired to be shown the 
place where the Hartford Convention sat. Mr. Hinman accordingly 

2* . 



oi 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 ahva3's done the same, at periods of difficulty and 
danger. The Convention that f]"amcd 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 Kevolution. 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 j^ortraits 
of the Father of liis Country. 

Tiie 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 tlie countenance of Washington, in the picture — " well, 
ril be d d if he's gut the blush off yet !" 

This is a sharp joke ; but yet, it is natural to ask — if Washington's 
picture sliould 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, 
1S3-2, which resulted in an open, avowed opposition to the Union, and 
has perhaps laid the foundation for its overthrow, in establiahiug the 
doctrine of Seeession ? 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 35 

port in all other similar bodies, was ^' Jie/andous' in 
the Hartford Convention I 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 \va.s a native of Ma.-sachu.-etts, and was born in 
1766. He studied law, and settled at Greenfield about 1794, where he 
erected a house, noted for its arohiteetural 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 countenaoce. His nose was bony and prominent, and in con- 
nection with a strongly defined brow, gave his fiicc an expression of 
vigor and sagacity. His eye was gray, liis hairliglit brown, and at the 
time I speak of, was slightly grizzled. He 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, he 
set a good example of dignity of style and gentlemanly decorum, though 
he was drawn into some violent altercations with Cheetham and Duane. 
It is snfficient eulogy of Mr. Coleman to say that he enjoyed the con- 



36 *^ 



LETl'EKS BIOGKAPHICAL, 



New York Evening Post, Theodore Dwight, sec- 
retary of the Convention, my cousin, Elizur Good- 
rich, now of Ilartford, 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, liis hair was white — for he was past 
sixty — his eye blue, his complexion slightly florid. He 
seemed to me like WashiuLfton — as if the ^reat man, 



fiJence of Hamilton, King, Jay, ami other notabilities of that day, and 
that he made the Evening Post worthy of the editorial 8ucce!<sor»hip of 
Leggett (ISiilt) and of Bryant ( lJ!i;30). 

* George Cabot was a native of Salem, Mass., born in 1752. He was 
originally a shipmaster, but he rose to various stations of eminence. 
He became a senator of the rnited States, and in IT'JS was apj.ointed 
tlie first Secretary of the Navy, hut declined. His personal inliuence 
in lioston was unbounded, llriifid in that city, 1S2:J. 




George Cabot. Vol. 2, p. 36. 



i 



lilSTOKICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 Kevolution — of the spirit of truth, honor, and 
patriotism. In aspect and general appearance, he 
was strikingly dignitied, and such was the eftect 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 towerin<T above other mountains 

o 

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 Satnnel A. Otis, the first Secretary of 
the Senate of the United States, was born in 1765, and died 1848. He 



3S I-KTTKKS BIOGRAPIIICAJ., 

the zenith of his years and liis 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 accomplisliments. lie was 
doubtless the most conspicuous political character in 
Kow England — for the sun of Webster Avas 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 Kew 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 
bv constitution as training. To suppose him a ])lot- 
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 inlluence, it was delayed, long 
after it was proposed and almost clamored for by the 



was one of the most cminrait oftlic MnsHncliUHCtts bar, even by the side 
of Aiiu-H, rarsons, Lowell, unJ Gore. He succee<leJ Ames in Contrress, 
in 171'7. In 1317, he bccatne a pciiator of the United Slntcs. To learn- 
injr and vi^ror of intellect, lie added pnat powers of oratory, captivating 
alike to the sini])k' and the ryfnied. He held various other offices, and 
in these, discharged his duties with di>tinjrnished ability. Ills resi- 
denQC was at Boston. He retained his mental faculties, his cheerfulness, 
and his aincnitv of demeanor, to the last. 



HISTOEICAL, AXECDOTICAI., ETC. 6d 

people. He objected to being a member of it, and 
only yielded at last, that lie 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 Chaunccy Goodrich ; 
he was, in fact, of quite a different type — easy, pol- 
ished, courtl}^ — 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 beins: classi- 
call}^ 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- 
p]e of the finished gentleman of the assiduous and 



40 LFITEKS — BIOGKArmCAL, 

courtly scliool. lie lowered liiinself, no doubt, in tlie 
public estimation by Lis somewhat restive and quer- 
ulous — though masterly and conclusive — vindica- 
tions of the Convention ; w^hile all the other members, 
conscious of rectitude, scorned to jiut themselves in 
the attitude of defense. We may forgive what seemed 
a weakness in Mr. Otis, wdiile 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 Trcscott was a uative of Pepperell, Mass., boru 1762. His 
father, (Julonel Prescott, coininanded at the battle of Bunker Hill. He 
became one of the most eminent lawyers in the State, and tilled various 
public stations. Mr. Webster said of him at tiie time of his death, in 
Ibi-i : " No man in the community, durinpr the last quarter of a centu- 
ry, felt himself too liif^h, either from his j)Osilion or his talents, to ask 
counsel of Mr. i'rescott." 

+ Stej>hen Lonfffi-Ilow, of Portland, Maine, was an eminent lawyer, 
and ranked anion;,' the most distinijuished and estimable citizens of New 
Knirland. He was noted for unsnllied purity of life and character, an 
iiiHc-xihle devotion to his convictions, frreat powers of conversation, 
and winniiijr amenity of maimers, always minirlin^' an elevated piety 
with a kindly charity to all other sects. While Maine was a part of 
Massachusetts, lie exercised t'reut 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 1840. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 41 

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

One of the oklest, 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 Ipswicli, 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 (^ongfress under 
the Confederation, and was the framer of the famed ordinances of 
1787, for the government of the territory of the United States north- 
west of the Ohio river; an admirable code of law, by which the priii- 
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 Kepresentatives. His residence was at Medford. Mrs. 
Abbott Lawrence was one of his dauiirhters. 

Joseph Lyman, of Xorthampton, was born in 1767, and died in 1S47. 
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. He never failed to attend the polls, and deposited his fifty- 
ninth ballot the year of his death ! 

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

Samuel Sumner Wilde, born 1771 and died 1S55, 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. He 
was the father-in-law of Caleb Cushing — the present Attorney-general 
of the United States. 

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

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



42 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

markable member of the Convention, was Mr. West,^ 
of New Hampsliire. 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 hi<jh 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 liim. In person, he was a large 
man, with a grave countenance, but with an expres'^iou 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 
AVashiugton. 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 1813. 

The four members from Rliode 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 Quel)oc. After the peace he devoted 
himself to commerce. As a soldier, patriot, and citizen, liis character 
was without a stain. 

Benjamin Hazard was among the ablest lawyers of his day, enjoying 
tlie liigLest esteem for his private worth. He was very swarthy, with 
l(»ng frizzled hair, and I particularly noticed him, among the other mem- 
bers, for the sintrularity of his nppearancc. He was often called by the 
people of his neighborhood " Black Ben." He was born in 177G and died 
in 1841. He was elected to the Assembly of Rhode Island sixty-two times I 

Edward Maiiton was u merchant of Jolinston, and distinguished for 
liis probity and moral worth. He was born in 1700 and died in 1820. 

* Benjamin AW'st was a native of iMassacliusetts, son of Rev. T. 
"West, and born in 1746. He was graduated at Harvard College, studied 
law, and settled ut Charlestown, N. H., wliere he died, July 27, 1817. 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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. Ilis 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 difiiculty and dan- 
ger, and he felt that duty called upon him to sacrifice 
hi^ 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. 2i5. 



44: LETTERS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

believe that mim to have been a consi)irator, or thai 
the people who designated him for this place were 
traitors ? 

As to the Conncctieat 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 tlie Connecticut delegation stood his honor, 
Chauncey Goodrich,* whose blanclied locks and noble features 
had long been couspicuoun 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 ])]ayfully 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 tlie great linancier of the 



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

t Jatncs Hillliou^je was one of llie most rcin:irkablo men of liis time. 
lie was born in 1754, entered upon the practice of the law, enframed in 
the Revolutionary war, became a member of Cun^rress, and was sixteen 
years a senator. He j)ossessed an iron frame, and his industry and de- 
votion to bis duties knew no bounds. Ho usually slept but four or five 
hours in twenty-four. His personal appearance was remarkable. He 
wa-s over six feet hiijh, of a large bony frame : his complexion wa.>* 
Bwarthy, and his eye black and keen. He \va> lliought to have boinetbing 



HISTOEICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 4:5 

State, who found our School Fund in darknes?, 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 bright 
and glorious intellect, which in the bowers of ' Sachem's AYood' 
saw, as in a vision, the magnificent scenes of Hadad, and re- 
ceived as guests in western groves, the spirits of oriental oracle 
and song ; Hillliouse — the man of taste, who planted the New 
Haven elms ; the native American, with Irish blood in his veins 
— the man who, like Wasliington, never told a lie. 

"John Treadwell* was tlie third delegate, wliose life was filled 

of the Indian in his pliysiognouiy and his \valk, and lie huiuurouoly 
favored this idea. He was once clialleuged 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 tliat one day, as he was starrding on the 
steps of the Capitol with Kandolph, 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 I" said Eandolnh. "Yes," said 
Hillhouse ; " they are going to be schoolmasters in Virginia I" 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, he 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 I owe you a debt of 
gratitude. So I have selected your paper as the object of my patronage. 
1 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 1S23. 
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- LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

with honors and nsefulness." He was then on tlie 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 httle republic, of whom no lawyer in the 
United States would dare to feign ignorance, lest he should put 
at risk his professional reputation. 

" ISTathaniel Sraithf was the fifth, whom the God of nature 
chartered to be great by the divine prerogative of genius ; a 
jurist wiser than tlie books ; whose words were so loaded with 
convincing reasons that the}" 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 silth was Calvin Goddard,J who long enjoyed the repu- 

eign Missionary Society, and for thirty years was deacon of the church 
— thus min.sling the humble with the higher oflflces of life, and dis- 
charging the duties of each with the most exemplary fidelity. In per- 
bon, 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. 

* Zephaniah 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. 

X Calvin Goddard was born 17^8, and died 1842. He filled various 
public ofl&ces, 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 January, 1315, 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 more competent. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 47 

tation of being the most learned and successful la"W}-er east of 
the Connecticut river: an upri,:;ht judge, a wise counselor, an 
honest man. 

"Last, but not least of the Connecticut delegation, was Roger 
Minot Sherman,* a profound metai)hy>ician, a scholar e.jual 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 titly than any other man to represent the lawgiver, lioger 
Ludlow, and to inhabit the town which he had planted, w1k>.>o 
level acres he had sown witii the quick -eeds of civil liberty, and 
then left the up-springing crop to be harvested by the sickle of 
his successor." 

This is the verdict — iiut of the apoloirist, not of 
the partisan — hut of the historian, in a sober review^ 
of the past, with all the light which time lias thrown 



* Roger Minot Sliernian, neplicw of tlio cclcbnited Kofjer Sherman, 
wa.H a native of Woburn, Mass., niul br.rii in 1773. He cstablisln-d 
himself as a hiwvcr at Fairticid, ("<»nn., and rose to the lir>t rank ot" lii^ 
profession. He was di.>tin!?ui>hed fur acute loLfical powers, and L'reat 
elegiuice of diction — words and sentences secmin:^: to flow from his hps 
as if he were readinir from the Spectator. He wa.s a man of refined per- 
sonal appearance and manners ; tall, and stooping a little in his walk ; 
deliberate in his movements and speech, indicatinfj circumspection, 
which was one ot his characteristics. His countenance was pale and 
thouyrhtful, his eye remarkable for a keen, penetrating expression. 
Thoujjrh a man of grave i^enerul 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 lie came from, 
whither he was going, &q. 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 1" The landlord 
stared. " I am deacon in a Calvinistic church." The landlord was evi- 
dently shocked. " 1 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 1S40, became judge of tlie 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, 184-4. 



48 ' LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

upon the lives of those Avhoin lie thus eharaeter- 
izes.'* 

And now, mv dear C , let me ask you to look 

at the Hartford Convention, through these Connec- 
ticut delegates — all grave and n'vcrend seigniors — 
one of them sixty-nine years of ago, 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- 
spirac}^, dismemberment of the Union, either in tli'-ir 
hearts, or the hearts of the people who elected them ? 
If there be any thing holy in ti'utli, any thing sacred 
in justice, degrade not the one, desecrate not the 
other, by calling these men traitors! Say ratlier 
that their j)rcsence in the llartfjrd Convention is 
proof — clear, conclusive, undeniable, . in the utter 
absence of all evidence to the contrary' — that it was 
an a^^semljly of patriots, chosen by a patriotic peo])lc, 
wiselv seeking the best pjood of the countrv. 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- 

* IloUistcrV History of Connecticut, vol. ii. p. 3u3. 



HISTORICAL, A^T:CD0TTCAL, 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. 

Bat 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 assemblv of 2freat 
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 fne 
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 thinsfs 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 
and confirm my own recollections. This v>^as hastily 

Vol. II.— 8 



00 LETTERS BIOGRAPniCAL, 

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. Elijali Boardnian ^vas his lieu- 
tenant, and Owen lianson — afterward Mnjor Kanson — was cor- 
net. AVhen war was declared, and an army was to he raised, 
the first thing was to appoint officei's, and the reapcctahhs — 
that is, the federalists — being to a man opposed to the war, none 
of them applied for commissions; so tliat the administration 
was compelled— nothing loth— to officer tlie army from tlie dem- 
ocrats. Having a great number of appointments to make, and 
little time to examine the qualifications of tlie applicants, and, as 

1 have remarked, having only tlie democrats to select from, many 
men received conmiissions v,-ho were hardly qualilied to carry a 
musket in the ranks. Among the appointments was a general 
of brigade in the Vermont militia— Jt>iias Cutting, a boatman 
on the Connecticut river— who obtained his appointment of 
colonel through the intluence of J. and E. L . . . ., good demo- 
crats, for whom he boated. He was ordered to Hartford on 
recruiting service, wliere he established the liead-quarters of tho 
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, sr.r- 
cessful in raising recruits. After a time he was sent to the hiies, 
and was succeeded by Lieutenant-cokmel Jos. L. Smith, of l^er- 
lin— a large, handsome man, of some talent<, but a good deal 
of a fire-eater. He assumed the command at Hartford, but was 
not kindly received by the federalists. There v>as in fact no 
love lost between liim and them. 

'^This brings us near the time of the Hartford Couventiou, 



HISTORICAL, ANFCDOTICAL, ETC. 51 

tlie -s^-intcr of 1 SI 4, preparatory -to nn'.'tlier campnigu on the 
frontier. A very C(>n>i(ler;il>]e foiTO of regular troni)> were in 
cantonment in Hartford. The federalist?, wlio were a hirge 
majority, as you know, liated the democM-at?, denonneed the 
war, and detested the trooi)>! generally, and Lientenani-colonel 
Smith in particular — for lie thought it a part of his duty to make 
]lim^elf a-i t)dious to them as p(».-sil.le. IIi>; recruiting i^arties wero 
constantly parading the city, and monopolizing the sidewalks, 
in all the pomp and (.•ircum^^tance of glorious war. With gun, 
drum, trumpet, bhmderhuss, and thunder, they crowded the 
ladies into the gutters, frightened horses, and annoyed the cit- 
izens. Some of them called on Colmel Smith, as the com- 
manding oilicer, and begged of him, as a gentleman, to keep hia 
recruiting parties from Main-street — our ])rincipal avenue. I 
need not say that hy this time an intensely bitter feeling had 
grown up between the tv.'o jjoliiical jjaiiics, and the democrats 
were overjoyed that Colonel S. took pains to show jiis hatred 
and contemj»t for the anti-war ])ariy, and so they encouraged 
liim to persevere, and do his duty by llouting the feds, and in 
raising recruits for the glorious war. So the more tlie citizens 
requested him to desist, the more he would not. 

'•In this state of things the city council a-^semblcd, and })ass- 
ed and published an ordinance that no military parties should 
be permitted to march on the sidewalks, but should confme them- 
selves to the streets. The democrats and Col. S. scouted the idea 
that the council had the i)ower 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 Xathaniel Terry, Esq., now ])repared 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 g.)vernment recruits not 
heeding the ordinance, Capt. Boardman and some other officers 
and non-commissioned olticers were arrested and imprisoned. 



52 - LETTERS •RIOORAPHICAL, 

Tho United States troop?, reinforced by all the out parties in 
the neighboring towns, now came into the citv, 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 l)a<s-drums, incessantly marched around the Courthouse 
with so much din that the court was obliu'cd to adjourn. This 
was repeated daily, and matters liad arrived at a terrible pass, 
when the administration at "Washington saw the necessity of inter- 
fering. It was ob^■i()Us that the dilljculty arose cliieily from the 
impertinence and vulgarity of the army officers; so they ordered 
Colonel Jessup to come to Hartford and assume the command, 
and ]):icked otf 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, lie was dined and tea'd to liis 
lieart'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, j)ortly, courtly old gen- 
tleman, was the doorkcei)cr and messenger. As it was proper 
that this dignified body should have all ihing-^ done decently and 
in order. Mr. Hull was directed to call on tho i-evcrend clergy, 
in turn, to pray with the Ci)nvention. Dr. Strong made the 
first prayer, and Dr. Perkins aiid other eminent clergymen 
fi)llowed. The Kev. Philander Chase* — afterward Bishop Chase 

* Piiil:in.ler ('!i:i.-*e \vr\s -.i luiiivc of Vermont, h'trn 177"), and dieJ 1352. 
lie wa* a man of imposinL' iM'rso;Kil !ippLMr;in<-o an-1 manners. lie be- 
came bi.sliop ofOiiio in Ibl'J, aU'l atUTward was elected bishop of Illiuois. 



niSTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 53 

—was at this time rector of Clirist Church — a high Church- 
man, who probably never in all his ministry offered an extem- 
poraneous prayer. lie was, in his turn, called on by Mi\ iUiU, 
who in liis blandest manner informed liim of the lionor conferred 
on him, and begged his attendance to pray at the opening of the 
morning session. AVliat must have been his horror, when Mr. 
Chase declined, saying that he knew of no form of prayer for 
rebellion I Mr. Chase himself related this anecdote to me soon 
after. Major J. M. Goodwin was present and heard it. Xever- 
tlieless, I believe this speecli was hardly original : some of tlie 
tory Episcopal clergymen had said the same tiling dui-ing tlio 
Revolution. They had forms of prayer for the king, but none 
for liberty. 

'' Xo annoyance was offered to the Convention. A body of 
United States troops, under connnand of Jemmy Lamb, a face- 
tious old Iri.^^hman, and the toAvn-crier, in a fantastic military 
dress, marched around tlie State-house, while they were in ses- 
sion — the music playing the ' Kogues' March.' Tlie Convention, 
however, excited less attention in Hartford than in other ])laces. 
' 'Tis distance lends enchantment,' etc. Very little more notice 
was taken of their proceedings by tlie people here — exclusive of 
violent partisans — than of those of the Superior Court." 

This sketcii 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-malvcrs, rendered it a matter of prudence for 
the Convention to sit with closed doors. The State 
court liad been braved and insulted, and the far more 



54 LETTERS BIOGKAPniCAL, 

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 
read}" 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 j^ears old. He had recently 
come from the northern frontier, where he had won 
laurels by the side of Scott, Miller, Brown, Ripley, 
and other gallant soldiers. He Avas of modest demea- 
nor, pleasing address, and gentlemanly tastes: it was 
no disparagement to his agreeable appearance that he 

* Thomas S. Josiip was a ii;itive of VirLflnia, and lioMin.tr the rank of 
Major, (listiiij.Miislied iiiniself at ("iiiii]p^-\va, jS'iaL'ara, S:c'., duriiiir tlio 
cainpai.irM of 1814. While lie was at llarlforJ, in the winter of 1S14-15, 
tliere was ii publie ball, in which 1 was one of the nianairt-rs. I recol- 
lect tliat lie was jtresent, and vviis dressed in blue undress military coat 
with epaulettes, white small-clothes, and white billc-stockin^srs, and was 
quite u favorite with the ladies — a proper homage to the brave. 



ITISfoKICAL, ANIXD».)TICAL, KTC. l'^ 

liad his arm in a sling — a touching testimonial of his 
merits brought from the field of battle. He was the 
complete anti]">0(le 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. lie 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. T 
know he took counsel with my uncle and became ac- 
quainted with mendjcrs of the Convention, and thus 
found means not only to smooth away the difliculties 
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 ollicer, 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, cither 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 penetrntcd by him almost from 
*.he 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 tliat 

* Mr. Ingersoll, in liis history of the " Lute War," professes to report 
the substance of Jesup's letters to the President: in one of these he 
says, amonar other tilings, 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 possible. In confirmation of this, Mr. Ingersoll adds : 

" Colonel Jesvp soon ascertained that the Connecticut members of the 
Convention were opposed to disunion, to disorder ; that every throb of the 
people's heart was American,'''' «&:c., &c. Surely no sensible man needed 
a ghost to tell him that ; and yet, strange to say, there are persons who 
still believe that the Convention, pushed on by the people of New Eng- 
land, were a band of traitors, at leust 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 tlie 
adjacent territories, and these, with Canada, should be annexed to New 
England ! That the ardent young lieutenant-colonel should have matle 
t-uch a suggestion, is very possible, but those who knew the parties, will 
smile at the idea that a scheme so utterly preposterous — so hopeless 
in the actual state of the country, so opposed to public sentiment, so 
certain to protract and aggravate the war — should liave been entertai::cd 
for a moment by tlie 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 rocoivc 1. 



' ni.STORICAL, ANKCDOTICAL, ETC. 57 

assembly, but as to matters of fact, I am certain he 
will never famish the slightest su|)port to the charge 
of treason, either secret or open. 

But I must draw tiiis long letter to a close. Tiie 
result of the Hartford C'>nvention is well known. 
After a session of three weeks, it terminated iis labors, 
and, in perfect conformity with public expectation and 
public sentiment at the Ndtli, it issued an address, 
full of lovaltv to the Constitution, reeonuncndiiig 
patience to the people, and while admitting their 
grievances, still only suggesting ])eaceable and C(.ui- 
stitutional remedies. The authors of this document 
knew well the community f >r wliich it was intended : 
their purpose was to allay anxiety, to appease irrita- 
tion, to draw off in harmless channels the lightning 
of public indignation. Tik'V therefore pointed out 
modes of relief, in the direction of peace, and not in 
the direction of civil war. TIh-v were federalists, as 
were the people who supported them ; thev belonged 
to that party who founded the Constitution, in op])o- 
sition to the democracy.''^ Leaving it for democracv, 
which opposed the Constitution in its cradle, to fur- 

* The sincere seeker for truth sliouM read tlic history of tljc parties 
of this period, in connection with their previous annals. " It is a re- 
markable fact," says Noah Web.-tor, in hi.s history of political parties in 
the United States, "that the democratic party, with i'cw or no excep- 
tions, opposed the ratification of the Constitution ; and beyond a ques- 
tion, had that opposition succeeded, anareliy or civil war would liave 
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." 



08 LETTERS BTOGRAPIITCAL, 

nisli the first examples of Xiillilication, Disunion, Se- 
cession — with a discretion and a patriotism wbicii 
does them infinite credit — they found the means of 
removino- tlie cloud from the minds of their constit- 
iients, and3'et 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 prosperit\\ 

It is said Mr. Madison laughed when he heard the 
result : it is yer\' likely, for he had really feared that 
theConyention meditated treason; lie perhaps felt a 
little uneas}' 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, Avhen thc}^ found the cloud 
had passed. Some of the democratic editors satisfied 
themselves with squibs, and some found relief in 
railing. Tln^se 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. Tliere is perhaps no greater ofi'ense to 
a partisan who has predicted evil of his adversar}", 
than for the latter to do v.diat is ri,2"ht, 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 tliat if tlie C)nvention did 
not act treason, they at least foh it I Pcihaps in 
consideration of tln.-ir disa|)})ointment, we may ])ass 
over this obliquity as one of those frailties of hu- 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAI.. F.TC, 59 

man nature, v/hicli time teaches us to fori]!:et 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 
En'jland ; it tauidit the people tlie propriety of calm 
and pru<lent measures in times of diflieulty and dan- 
ger; aii'l more than all, it set an example worthy of 
being followed fur all future time, by holding the 
Constitution of the United States as sacred, an<l Ijy 
recommending the people to seek remedies for their 
grievances by legal and not by revolutionar}- means. 
'' Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God.'' 
I know of no similar benediction up<:)n the |u-omoters 
of civil war. 

And now I have done. The treaty of Ghent 
speedily came to smooth the ruffled waters, ^bjnroe 
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 dem.ocracy, caused some froth 
upon the sea of politics. Connecticut passed through 
the spasms of Toleration, in -which that hard old 
federalist, Oliver AVolcott, 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 BTOGRAPHICAL, 

curious arrangement of partners. Similar movements 
took place in other parts of the countiy — the result 
of which was, a new crystallization of parties, in which 
the terms federalist and democrat lost their original 
sio-nification. I have before adverted to this fact, and 

o 

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 Avar, 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 uudor all circumstances taught the peo- 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, FTC. 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. 

Thp Count Value— Lessons in French, and a Translation of B<nc — Severe 
Ketrihutioa for Imprudence — The End of the Pocl:et-l>f>ol- Factory — 
X'lpoleon returns to Paris and upsets my Afairs — Dirers Experiences 
and Rejiections vpon, Dancimj — Vunt to Sew York — Oliver Wukott and 
Archibald Gracie—Ballston and Saratoaa — Dr. Payson and the three 
Eou'dies — lilneifs and Death of my Uncle — Partnership with George 
Shellon — IIis Illness and Eeath. 

}^l\ DEAR C ****** 

I must now go back and take up a few dropped 
Etitches in my narrative. I have told you that my 
apprenticeship terminated in the summer of 181-i. 
Previous to that time, I had made some advances in 
the studv of the French language under ^I. Value, 
or, to give him his title, the Count Value. This per- 
son had spent his earlv life in Paris, but he afterward 
migrated to St. Domingo, where he owned a large 
estate. In the insurrection of 179 J:, he escaped only 
with his life. AVith admirable cheerfulness and se- 
renity, he devoted himself to teaching French and 
dancing, as means of support. He settled for a 
time at iSTew Haven, where, at the age of seventj^, he 
was captivated and captured hy a tall, red-haired 
schoolmistress of twentv. She accounted to me. for 



62 LI 'JTERS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

her success, by stating that, at the time, she "was 
called the '* Kose 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 assiduit}', and to practice 
myself in French, I translated Chateaubriand's Rene. 
One of m}^ friends had just established a newspaper 
at ]y[iddletown, 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. i\s if by a kind of flitality, I 
seemed to be afterward drawn into a literary career, 
for which I was doubly disqualitled — 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 1 It is indeed well that we 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 63 

do not know, for the prospect ^vould often over- 
whelm us. 

In the autumn of 1814, as already stated, I estab- 
lished, in company with a friend, a pocket-book fac- 
tor}' 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.'' lie forgave' me, 
and would have done the same, had the def dcaiion 
been more considerable — for he was a true friend. 

Early in the following spring, I made an ai'i'ange- 
ment to go to Paris as a clerk in a branch of the im- 
porting house of Richards, Taylor k Wilder, of New 
York. About a month after, the news came that Bo- 
naparte had suddenly returned from Elba, and as busi- 
ness vras 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 
parti V at Berlin,"^ with my parents, and partly at Ilart- 

* I have already said tliat my father, having asked a dismission from 
iiis parochial charge at Kidgefield, was settled — ISll — 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 tlie 
whole country was long supplied by peddlers. The arts of these be- 
came proverbial; not confining tliemselves to the sale of tin-ware, they 
occasionally peddled other articles. In the Southern States, it is pre- 
tended, tliey palmed oiS" 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 



61 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 voun"; men invited the vount^ 
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 

Ptriking intellectual activity, but was marked with great vicissitudes of 
fortune. One of the Berlin peddlers, by the name of B . . . ., chanced 
to be at one of Kiley's book-auction sales, when he bid oft' a thousand 
copies of a cheap edition of Young's Night Thoughts. These he ped- 
dled in the South and West as bad booh', getting five dollars apiece for 
them ! When remonstrated with for imposition, he insisted that it was 
ft 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 nuuiu- 
facturcs. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC A L, ETC. (jj 

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 inliabitants, 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 — fdling 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 nmvhere out of New 
Eno-land. The division of societv 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 ^^outh are delicate, 



modest, conservative ; ami if acquaintance with life 
be made at this j)eriud, these stani[) their relinenients 
upon the feelings, and form a safe, conservative basis 
of future liabits of tliuught and conduct. I do not 
mean to favor latitudinai-ianisni of manners; I do 
not, indeed, say that this system can be adopted in 
barge cities, but I believe that dancing parties, con- 
sisting of young persons of both sexes, under pro|)er 
gui(Lance — as, f »r instance, under tlie eye of i)arents, 
cither in a j>ul)lic hall, or by th(.' domestic fireside — 
have a refining influence, benelicial alike to manners 
and morals. I believe tluxt even public assemblies 
lor dancing, regulated by the })resence of good peo- 
ple, are eminently useful. 

I have be(Mi in Catholic countries, where the svs- 
tern is to ket^) girls in cloisters, or schools resembling 
them, till they are taken out by their parents or 
guanlians to be married ; and it is preciselv in these 
countries, where education is the mo.st 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, qnite as excc})- 
tionable as flancing, were current in soeietv. 1[ in 
the earlier ages of our New England history, a hard, 
self-denying system was prolilable, it is not so in the 
present state of society. AVe are created with social 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 67 

feelings, which demand indulgence. Xo system of 
religion, no code or contrivance of state policy, has 
been able to get over this fact. AVe 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 v/hat is condemned by the good and 
Avise, 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 Avhether it may not be 
v/ell 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 ni}^ observations on 
this subject; hence I offer you my testimony to the 
fact that in the course of three winters, durino- 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 



4- 



68 • LETTERS — BIOGRAPHICAL, 

into mixed society. This modesty is to tlie 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 tliis 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 degrree 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 necessit}^ 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 3'oung j^eople 
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 
man}' 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. Kemember, 



HTSTORTCAL, ANF.CDOTICAL, T.TC. 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- 
Avard, this must be regulated by the judgment of 
parents. One custom may be proper in one place, 
and not in another. In this countiy, our habits are 
different from those of others: in Asia, where woman 
is designed for the harem, and in Kurupe, 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 
conndence 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 b}' 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 LETTTiiKS BIOGRAPniCAL, 

much sense of security aucl 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 Archiljald Gracie, I called on these gentlemen. 
'Mr. Wolcott lived in Pine-street, nearly opposite where 
the customdiouse is now, and at a short distance was 
John Wells, an eminent lawyer of that day. Bat 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 Xo. 1 Broadway; Mr. Gracie in the Octagon House, 
corner of Bridge and State streets. Kear by was his 
son-indaw, 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. Bnyard, Gen. ^lorton, Matthew Clark- 
son, J. B. Coles, Moses liogers, &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 
AVillard. The latter was said never to sleep — night 
or day — for at all hours h" w;is at his post, and never 



niSTOKICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 71 

forgot a customer, even after an absence of t^yentY 
years. 

It was late in the spring, and Mr. Gracie called for 
me and took me to his country-seat, occupymg 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. 
Rhinelander; 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 
thimr more charmim^- — more affectionate, diijnificd, 
and graceful — than the intercourse of the family with 
one another. The sons and daug^htcrs, most of tliem 
happily connected in marriage — as they gathered here 
— seemed, to my unpracticcd 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 ol 
accident. lie is still remembered with affectionate 
respect by all those whose memories reach- back to 
the times in Avhich 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 — BIOGRAnilCAT-, 

whom I saw during this visit to New York. You 
must recollect I was on my travels, and so, as in duty 
bound, I soudit 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 
lirst, 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 fiither's classmate, and formed an early acquaint- 
ance with our famil}^, resulting in a friendly inter- 
course which was maintained throughout his whole 
life. It would be diflicult 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 



♦ Junies Kent wus born in Putnam county, N. Y., 1763. Ho rose to 
eminence in the prolcs.^ion of the law, and was appointed hy John Jay, 
then governor, ju(J(^e of the supreme court. He wa» afterward chief- 
justice, and, in 1^14, clianccllor. He died in Now Yorl\, whicli had 
been hi.-* residence, in 1S47 — an ornnment to human nature, to tlio bnr, 
the bencli, and the Cliristian profe.H>ion. 

t Tliunia.s Addis Eminot, a native of Cork, in Ireland, was born in 
17C4. He waA ono of the Committee of the Society of United Irishmen, 



HISTORICAL, AXECAOTICAL, 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 
Avas eas}^, 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- 



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

* John B. Roraeyn was settled first at Ehinebeck, then at Schenec- 
tady, and finally at New York. He was born in 1769, and died 1825. 

Vol. it.— 4 



74 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

rectly, he maintained the doctrine of election in such 
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 ncAV 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 j^erson, 
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. Miipon, D. D. — .son of Dr. John Mason of tlie Scotch Church 
— was born in 1770, and died in 1829. lie was ahke distinguished for 
his wit, liis intellectual powers, and his eloquence, lie was the author 
of several religious works of great ability. 1 liave heard the following 
anecdote of him : A certain parishioner of his, after the establishment of 
a Unitarian church in New York, juined it. One day, when the Doctor 
chanced to meet liim, the former said — 

" Mr. S . . . ., it is some time since 1 have seen you at Murray-street." 

" I have not been tliere lately, it is true," was the reply — "and I will 
tell you the reason. I think you m;ike religion too difficult; I prefer 
rather to travel on a turnpike, than on a rouerh and thorny road." 

"Yes," said the Doctor; " but you must look out, and see tlmt you 
don't have a Hell of a toll to pay '." 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 75 

verging on wliat 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 I'' — the deep, guttural emphasis giving to 
the repetition a thrilKng cllect. 

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 
tliem the three young men— these, however, with a decided Gallio air 
and manner. Indeed, it was pretty evident that they had come to quiz 
the little parson. The latter soon entered, with a peculiarly noiseless, 
unostentatious step and demeanor. lie sat down and meditated for a 
few minutes, and then rose to pray. The first tones of his voice were 
faint, but they grew in strength ; and as we took our seats, all began to 
look with strange interest upon the countenance of that little, dark, 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 feehngs as passed over their 
countenances— first of ridicule, then of astonishment, then of shame, 
and at last, of consternation and contrition. "And who is this strange 
man— so insignificant in appearance, so seemingly inspired in fact?" 
said the people. It was Edward Payson, afterwards D. D., of Portland, 
one of the most pious, devoted, and eloquent ministers of his day. He 
was bom at Eindge, in New Hampshire, in 1783, and died in 1827. 



76 LETl'EKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

it was now apparent that lie 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 j^rogress 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 iive 
volumes quarto — a considerable enterprise for that 
period, in a place like Hartford. In the autumn of 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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, and 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 arc no knives here ; you are only dream- 
ing." 

"Oh, is it you?" said he. "I am 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 jDallor 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 LETTEKS — BIOGEAPHICAL, 



LETTER XXXIII. 

The Famine 0/ISI6 and 1817 — Pa?iic in New England— Migrations to 
Okio—Totlter Side of Ohio— Toleration— Downfall of Federalism— Oli- 
ver Wolcott and the Democracy— Connecticut upset— The new Constitution, 
—Gov. Smith and Gov. Wolcott— Litchfield— Uriah Tracey— Frederick 
Wolcott — Tapping Reeve— Col. Talmadge— James Gould — J. W. Ewn- 
tir.gton — The Litchfield Cente7inial Celebration. 

My dear g ***** * 

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 oil : 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 flicilities 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- 



UISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC .SX, ETC. T9 

iiig al<:>ng the Connecticut river, in the region of 
Ilanover. It was then June, and the hills were al- 
most as barren as in Xovember. I saw a man at Or- 
fbrJ, who ha<l l)een 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 nuiiiy 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 jSTcw 
England was destined, henceforth, to become a }»art 
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 LETl^ERS- 

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 ilither 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 flxtigue 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 bat painful pictures of 
the accidents and incidents attending this wholesale 
migration. The roads over the AUeghanies, 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 Leathered at niirht in miserable 
siieds, called taverns — mothers frying, children cry- 




Emigration in IblT. Vol. 2. p. 80. 



ft 

HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, KIT. 81 

ing, fathers swearing — were a mingled eomedy and 
tragedy of errors. Even when they arrived in their 
iiL-w homes — along the banks of the Muskingum 
or the Seioto — frequently the whole family — father, 
mother, children — speedily exchanged the fresh eom- 
j>lexiun 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 
teai-s, 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 hap])i- 
ness ! Two incidents, relateil by the traveler, 1 must 
mention — though I do it from recollection, as I have 
not a copy of the work. lie 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." 



82 . LETTERS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

"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 !" 

In another instance the traveler met — somewhere 
in the valley of the Scioto — a man from Hartford, by 
the name of Bull. lie 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 
priest-ridden land. But I've been well punished, 



niSTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 83 

and I'm now preparing to return ; when I again 
cross By ram river, I shall thank God that he has per- 
mitted me to get back again I'' 

^Ir. 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 wa^ eflected 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 ijyrTERS — biographical, 

that liad 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 of 
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 
liand, 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 :it last going over to the enemy. John 
Quiney Adams followed in the footsteps of his father. 
Washington was early withdrawn from the scene of 



IIISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 85 

action: Hamilton was shot : Burr proved treaclieroiis 
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 • ^ LI.Tl'EKS — BIOGKAPIIICAL, 

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 togctlier !" 



IIISTOKICAL, 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 puUic are paying enormous interest for 
money to snpport 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 
tlie books were kept, in which were contained the registers of 
pubhc 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 LKTTEKS BIOGRArniCAL, 

ly virtuous Dexter, lias lately lionored our city with his presence, 
llaviug (lone enough fur his ungrateful country, he is retiring to 
the place from Avhonce he came, to enjoy the otium cum dirjni- 
tate. It is to be hoped be will have enough of the former, to 
afford him an opportunity of nursing what little he has of the 
latter. 

'' This representative of ^Nfr. Hamilton was very fortunate in 
escaping the federal bonfires at Washington ; even his papers and 
private property were providentially saved — but his foir fame 
sustained a slight singeing between the two fires: his friends in 
Congress, it is presumed, will pass a vote which shall ojicrate 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 w^orld 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 
lyl7, he was the champion of the democratic party 
in Connecticut, and the idol of the American Mer- 
cury ! What transformations arc 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- 
I'icHis as well as violent — for we saw lighting side by 
side, shoulder to shoulder, democracy, Metlu)dism, 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDO'nCAL, ETC. 89 

Episcopacy, Peclobaptism, 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 fedenili:<t, lie 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 Koman senator," says the historian, " ho 
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 1S09, and soon after lieutenant-governor; in 1812, he 
became acting-governor, i;pon 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 first 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 LETTEKS — ^BIOGRArHICAL, 

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

I remember that at that time, William L. Stone was 
editor of the Connectieut Mirror. Kearly 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. 
lie 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. Roger, his grandfather, was a native of Wind- 
sor, born in 1679 and died in 1767. He was a clever author, a conspic- 
uouft Christian, and governor of his native State from 1751 to 1754. His 
son, Oliver W., was born about 1727. lie was a member of Congress in 
1776, when the Declaration of Independence was made. Barlow, in his 
(Jolumbiad, thus speaks of him : 

" Bold Wolcott urgcfl the all-important cause— 
With steady hand the solemn scene he draws ; 
Undaxmted firmness with his wisdom join'd— 
Nor king"*, nor worhls, could w<irp his steadfast mind." 

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

His son Oliver was born 1759, and be-cainc Secretary of the Treasury, 
under Washincrton, upon the retirement of Hamilton, in 1795. Ho was 
continued in this ollice till the close of Adams's administration. After 
twelve years of public service, he retired, with but six hundred dollars 
in his pocket I He devoted himself to commerce in New York from 
1801 to lbl5. IILs corrcsi)ondcnce, in two volumes octavo, has Ijcen 



91 

During the period in wliich 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 i^ a valuable and interesting work. 
When he ceased to be governor, he returned to New York, where he 
died, in 1833. He was an able statesman, possessed of considerable lit- 
erary attainments, and in conversation was full of sagacity, wit, and 
keen observations upon the world. 

Ilia sister, Marv'anne, 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 Geortre III. was taken from 
Kew York to Litchtield, and there cast into bullets, aiid 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- 
ary 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 atituble 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. His 



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, liis 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 befure, was pre-eminently that of an enlightened 
and devoted follower of the Lord Jesus. 

"In all the various relations wliich 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 liis 
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 liead of his family. In these 
several relations, his exami)le was noble, beautiful, lovely indeed! 

" The closing scene corresponded with the tenor of his long and use- 
ful lite. It was calm, dignified, of steadfast faith, meekness, patience, 
and Christian hope. lie died in the full possession of his mental fac- 
ulties, leaving behind him a truly enviable reputation, and coming to 
his ;:rave, 'as a shock of corn fully ripe, in its season.' " 

* Uriah Tracy was born in 17.04 and died in I807. 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 oflensive to tlio 
federalists, and Tracy, then of the Senate, being regarded as a skillful 
diplomat, was appointed to go and remonstrate with the President. Ho 



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- 

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

"By the way, we have been tliinking 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 m 1833, 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 BIOGEAPHTCAL, 

gian and eloquent preacTier, 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- 
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 
centary before. Appropriate addresses were made by 
Judge Church, Dr. Bushnell, F. A. Tallmadge, D. S. 
Dickinson, George W. Ilolley, 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. Pie 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 Beccher, 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 liis hand a volume of Kee's 
Encyclopa'dia, 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 he was assailed, rather abusively, 
by a controversialist, and a friend advised the doctor to reply. " No," 
said he — " I once discharged a quarto at a skunk, and I got tho worst of 
it. I do not wish to try it again I" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 05 

the performances was a poem by Rev. J. Pierpont,'^'^' 
alike illustrative of the local history of Litchfield and 
the manners and character of New Enf?land. 

* I can not deny my?elf the pleasure of making a few extracts from this 
admirable performance, vividly portraying my own observations and 
recollections. Having dej^cribed 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 ho soundest sleeps. 

■fc- * ♦ * * 

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 I what, under ITraven, 

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'erseen — o'erseen ! — nay, it is done^ 

By these same Yankee wives : — If you have run 

Thus far without one, toward your setting sun, 

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

Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool, 



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 stojie 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, 

Ilis chestnut whistle, and his shingle dart, 

His elder pop-gun with its hickory rod, 

Its sharp explosion and rebounding wad, 

His corn-stalk fiddle, and the deeper tone 

That murmurs from his pumpkin-leaf trombone, 

Conspire to teach the boy. To these succeed 

His bow, his arrow of a feathered reed. 

His windmill, raised the passing breeze to win, 

His water-wheel that turns upon a pin ; 

Or, if his father lives upon the shore. 

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

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

And waiting, near the 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, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 97 

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



Tlic thing cle.>igiie<l sluill Mirely come to i.a>s; 
For, wlien Iiis hand's u['On it, you may know, 
That there's (jo in it, and he'll make it p)! 
» » * * ♦ 

'Tis not my purpose to appropriate 
All tliat is clever to our native State : 
Tiie children of her si^tcr States, our cousin-*, 
Present their claims :— allow them— thoujih by dozens; 

* * * * ♦ 

But when we've wei^'iied them, in a balance true, 
And given our cousins all that is their due, 
"Will not themselves acknowledge that tho weight 
Inclines in favor of "tlie Nutmeg State f 

****** 

"What if her faith, to which slic clings as true, 
Appears, to some eyes, slightly tinged with bUif? 
"With blue an blue, aside from any um^ 
"^Ve find no fault; the spectrum of a prism. 
The rainbow, and the flowers-de-luce, that louk 
At their own beauty in the glassy brook. 
Show us a blue, that never fails to jilease ; 
So docs 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 >ky. 
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 licr faith, as also in her face, 
Some will insist that blue is out of place ; 
As all agree it would be in the rose 
She wears, and, peradventure, in — her hose. 

Still, for her shrewdness, must the " Nutmeg State" 
As Number One among her sisters rate ; 
And which, of all her counties, will compare, 
For size, or strength, for water, soil, or air, 
"\Vith our good ilother County— which lias sown 
Her children, broadcast, o'er a wider zone. 
Around the globe ? And has she not, by for, 
Outdone the rest in giving to the bar, 
II.— 5 



08 . LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

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



coll 



CCiTS 1 



And to the bench— for half of all her yenrs— 
Tlic brijxhtest names of half the heTiiisphercs? 
Our Mother County ! never shalt thou boast 
Of mighty cities, or a sea-washed coast 1 
Kot tiiine the marts where Commerce spreads her wings, 
And to her wdiarves the wealth of India brings ; 
Ko 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. 
Tlie better honors thine, that wait on Peace. 
Thy nam^.s are chosen, not from martial Greece, 
Whose bloody laurels by the sword were won, 
riatea, Salan-sis, and Marathon— 
But from the pastoral people, strong and free, 
Whose hills looked down upon the Midland sea— 
The Holy Land. Thy Cdnnel lifts his head 
Over thy Bethlehem— thy " house of bread ;" 
Not Egypt's land of Goshen equaled thine, 
For wealth of pasture, or "well-favored kino," 
"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, licckon as thy jewels, then, 
Thy saintly women, and thy holy men. 
^^carce have thine early birds from sleep awoke. 
And up thy hillsides curls the cottage smoke, 
AY hen rises with it, on the morning air, 
Tlic voice of household worship and of i>rayer; 
And when the night bird sinks upon her nest, 
To warm lier fledglings with her downy brea>t, 
In reverent posture many a father stands, 
And, o'er his children, lifting holy hands, 
Gives them to God, the Guardian of their j^lcop; 
AVhilc round their beds their nightly vigils keep, 
Those Angel ministers of heavenly grace, 
Wlio " alwavs do behold their Fatlior's face." 



HISTORICAL, ANFXDOTICAL. ETC. 99 



LTTTEU XXXIV. 

Stephen Ji. Bradl^i/ — J/y Pursuit "fth'- \WaU"n r,/ Bcxyksfller and Puhlith- 
er — So'tCit Pi'ttni — General Enthusiasm— Btfron's Poevis — Their Re- 
ception — The IVaverU-i/ XoreU — Their atwizinij PupuUtritij — I puUish an 
Edition of them — Literary Club at II trtford—J. M. IVuinicright, Isaac 
T'na-ey, William L. Stune^ d\\ — The Round Tahle — Orvjinal American 
Worl-g — State of Opini'm as to American Literature — Publication of 
Trumh'iV's J^oeins — Bo<>l:s for Education — Rev. C. A. Goodrich — ffr. 
Comstoch — Wvodbridije'a Geograph>/. 

My DF.Ai: C ****** 

Early in the yonr 181 S I was married to the 
daughter ofSteplien Howe Bradley," r)r Westminster, 
Vermont. Thus established in lif*, I pursued the 
business of bookseller ami publisher at Hartford for 

* Gcneml BrnJlcy was a iiativo of Cheshire, Connecticut, wliere he 
was horn, Oct. 20, 1754, lie trra-liiatod at Vale CoHcltc in 1775, and as 
before stated, was aid t'j Gon. Wooster, at the; titiic lie fcl], in a skir- 
mish with the Briti>}i, near l>:inl>ury, in 1777. H.' removed to Ver- 
mont about tlie year 17Si», and devotiiiir liini:<elf to liie bar, acquired 
an cxten&ive practice. Ilavincj poi»nl;ir manners, and a keen insiplit 
into society, lie Ijccanic a prominent political leader, and exercised a 
lar^re influence in laying the foundations of the State of Vermont, then 
the Texas of tliis country — Ethan Allen, Ira Allen, Seth AVarner, and. 
Tlioinas Chittenden — all from Connecticut — beins: the Austins and 
Iloustons of its early history. At the j)eriod to which I refer it was 
rising from the chaos of the Kcvolutionary war, and the still more dis- 
oriraniziniT contests with colonial claimants for sovereignty over her ter- 
ritories. In 1701, that State having come into the Union, Gen. Bradley 
was chosen one of its first senators. AVith an interval of six years — from 
1795 to ISOl — he continued in the Senate till 1813, a period of sixteen 
years. He was a member of the democratic party, and called, '■'■ly vir- 
t'le of powers vested in him,'' tiic 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 range of historical knowl- 
edge. His conversation was exceedingly attractive, being always illus- 
trated by pertinent anecdotes and apt historical refereiices. His devel- 



100 " LETTERS — ^BIOGKAPHICAL, ' 

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 poetr}^ — 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 
l^erfect 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. Everj^body 
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-sjdlabic verse, and news- 

opments of the interior machinery of parties, during the times of 
Wasliington, Jefferson, and Madison; his portraitures of the polit- 
ical leaders of these interesting eras in our history — all freely coin- 
niunicated 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. 



HISTORICAI., ANErrxtTirAT,, KTC. 101 

papers, magazines, and even volumes, teemed with im- 
itations and variations insj^red bv the "Wizard Harp 
of the North." Not only did Scotf* liimself continue to 
pour out volume after volume, but others produeod set 

♦ Scoit e.xf.i:rlcncc«i the falc of most etnlneiit writers who huve ac- 
quired a certain mannerism, recognize I by the community at hiri^e — 
ihat ii», he wa* lau^fiicJ at by burlesques of hij* works. (ivoTgc (.'ol- 
nian, the Younger, ihouirh not rj-rv young, travestied the Lnii/ >/ the 
ImI« under tlio title of the Lady of th« HV^vZ-— the latter of about the 
Bame dimcnsiuns a.s the former. It is an Irish stf-ry, fuil of droll e.\- 
travafrancc and Lui;^'hiiblc imitatiun.s of the orij,'iji:il, ut uhioli they are 
aimed. 

In 1S12, aj peurcd the '' Kejeeted Addrcjise.s" of James and llvrnee 
Smith, and in these the j>rijieipal poets of the day were imitated, at>d 
their peculiarities parodied. They may, in fact, b« eon."«i«lered as mas- 
terly criticisms uf the several authors, in which their weak points are 
Btronjfly su'/CTcsted to the reaiicr. The lauirhablo imitations of the "Lake 
Toets" — Wordhwurth, Suulhey, and roIerid;,'C — probal)ly had as mueh 
ell'ecl in curiiiiT them «.f their atVeeliiti'-ns, as the scolKn:? ridicule (A' the 
Edinburjfh Koview. Kven l!_\ ron, wlio actually gained the prize oll'ereil 
by the numai.'er <,f I'mry I^ne Ttieater, on tlie cxc;k.-»icn of its opcnin;^ 
in the new buildi!)/. receivcl a sta^';.'irin«j blow from the imitation ot 
C'hilde Harold, w hicii was s»o dohc in manner as to hccm as if extracted 
from that j -em, while tl:c spirit of the composition is stronjjly and ef- 
fectively ridiculed. The following,' are two characteristic stanzas ; 

'•Sate<l Mith home, with wife nn<l rl.iMrcn tired, 

Thf n»llesH soul is driven hbroad tn roam — 

Sated alirooil, ail set-n, yet naii^'iit a«lmir«Ml — 

Tlie restless soul is driven to ramble lionie. 

^ated with both, beneath new Drury's dome, 

The fiend Knnui a wlii'.e consents to pine— 

Tlit-re CTOwl<and curses like a deadly Gnome, 

Scorning to view fantastic Columljine. 
Viewing wiiii scorn the nonsense of the Nine! 

****♦' 
" For what is Hamlet, but a bare in Marcli ? 

And what is Bnitus, but a cro.ikiiifr owl 't 

And what is Holla? Cupid steep'd in starch, 

Orlam'.o's helmet in Augustine's cowl ! 

Shak^peare — how true thine adaire, 'fair is foul' — 

To him whose soul is with fruition fraught. 

The song of Braham is an Irish howl — 

Thinking it but an idle wiiste of thouglt, 
And nauglit is every thing and every thing is naught 1" 



1 02 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 j List 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 liiL'hest interest in my recollections, that during 
tlie period in wliich 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, tliat the Edinburgh Keview, under the 
leadership of Jeifrey, was at its zenith. His criticisms were undoubt- 
edly the most brilliant and profound that had appeared at that periol ; 
nor has any thing superior to them been written since. About tlie 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 E'llnl)ur:rh Keview found a noble scope for its high- 
est efforts in ilhistrating tlie beauties of the Waverley novels, and setting 
forth as well the faults as the sublimities of Byron, it also gave full ex- 
ercise to its incomparable ridicule and r.ullery, in noticing the harle- 
quinisms of the Lake triumvirate. At this period, u new number of 
" the Edinburgh" created as much sensation as a new instalment of Ma- 
cauly's hi,-,tury, at tiie present day. 



IIISTOKICAL, ANKCDOTICAL, KTC. lU'l 

ready appreciation there, arose in a great degree from 
the fact that the author was a man of lashion 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 — hail become adjusted to his sensuous 
painting of external objects, set in i hynies 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 balhid 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 liimsclf — 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 dav — havincc <]feneral]v purified itself 
from the poisons infused into it by the spirit of tlie 
French Eevolution — was alike conservative in man- 
ners and morals. Campbell's Pleasures of Hope and 
Rogers' Pleasures of Memory, were favorite poems 
from ISOO to lSbi> ; and during the same period, 



104 LETTERS BIOGRAPniCAL, . .' ' 

Thaddeus of Warsaw, the Scottish Chiefs, the Pas- 
tor's Fireside, b}' Jane Porter ; Saiidford and Merton, 
bj Day ; Belinda, Leonora, Patronage, by Miss Edge- 
worth ; and Coelebs in Seareh of a Wife, by Han- 
nah More — were types of the popuhir 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 sanctiiV 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 BjTonic. Aspiring young rhymers now aflVot- 
ed the Spenserian stanza, misanthropy, and skepti- 
cism. As Bvron 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 
Bvron added greatly to his influence over the pul)lic 
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 fliscination, however — ■ 
that which creates an agonizing interest in his prin- 
cipal poems — is the constant idea presented to tlic 
/ 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 ^vorks — as if we were listening to the 
moans of Prometheus struofoflins: with the vultures, 
or of Ixion toiling at his wheel. We could not, if 
Ave would, refuse our pity for such suffering, even in 
a demon ; how deep, then, must be our sympathy, 

5* 



I. . .. ' . 

105^ LETTKRS BTOGKAPHICAL, 

when this is spoken to us in the thrilling tones of 
hiimanitv, usinii: as its vehicle all the music and niel- 
ody of the higlicst lyrical ait I 

In vain, therefore, was it that the moralist resisted 
the dilVusion of Byron's poems over the country. 
The pulpit opened its thunders against them — teach- 
ers warned their jDUpils, 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 bav, 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 lact, 
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 Tui-pin into popular heroes. He lowered the 
standard of public taste, and prepared a ])ortion of the 
people of Kngiand and America to receive with favor 
the blunt sensualities of Paul de Kock, and the subtle 
infiltrations of deism by ]^[adamc George Sand, llap- 
pilv, society has in its bosom the elements of conserva- 
tism, and at the ])rt'seiit day the ll<;od of license has 
subsided, or is subsiding. P)yr«jn is still read, but his 
immoralities, liis 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 cai-eer was doomed by the rising genius of 
Byron. He now turned his attention to prose fiction, 
and in Jul}-, 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 Antiquaiy, Black Dwarf, Old 
Mortality, Bob Boy, 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. 



lOS LETTETcS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

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 mvself, but I found friends to read 



* It is a fact worthy of being noted, that wliile tlie 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 ratlier an vncertain — Dr. Grcentield, etc. 
The subject was discussed with prreat vehemence, and something like 
partisan bitterness. It was proved to demonstration, over and over 
jigain, by some of these wiseacres, from internal, external, moral, reli- 
gious, and political evidence, tluit Sir Walter Scott could not be tlio 
autlior. Tlie foundation of all this was that envy, inherent in some 
minds, which isoffcnded by success. Persons of this class invented, 
and at last believed, the al)surditics which they propiigatcd. The fact is 
instructive, for it teaches us the danger of following the lead of littleness 
and MiHiignity. fandur is a s;ifrr giilh^ than envy or niaiioc. 



HISTORTCAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 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, ;in<l among others, 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 ISIO — I was one of a literary 
club, of which J. ^f. ^\'ainwright,•■' Isaac Tuucey, 
William L. Stone, Jonathan Jjaw, S. II. Huntington, 
and others, were members. The first meeting was at 
my house, and I composed a poem for the occasion, 

* Dr. Wain Wright was born at Liverpool, in IT'.':.', of parents who 
were citizens of tlie United States, but who at that date were on a visit 
to England. He came to this country at tlic age of 11, was educated at 
Cambridtre, and was in.»tituted rector of Chri>t Cliurch at Hartford, in 
1815. lie came to New York about 1820, and after tilling various im- 
portant stations, was in 1^52 elected provisional bishop of the diocese of 
New York. IIu was an accomplislied scholar and gentleman, and an 
earnest and successful laborer in the various fields to wliich his life was 
devoted. 

Mr. Toucey studied law at Newtown, and came to Hartford about 
lSi2, and has since resided there. He is an eminent lawyer, and has 
filled the offices of govern<:>r and seuutur of the United States. The 
hitter place he still holds. 

"William L. Stone, born at Esopu?, New Y^ork, 1702, 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 tlie Connecticut Mirror, left for Albany, in 
1S16, Mr. Stone succeeded liim. In 1821, he succeeded to the editorship 
of the Commercial Advertiser, at New Y^ork, which place he filled till 
his death, in 1S44. He published various works, among which were the 
Life of Brant, Memoir of Red Jacket, Letters on Masonry and Antima- 
sonry, &c. He wrote with great rapidity and fluency, and had a re- 
markable talent in collecting materials and making compilations. In 
pjersonal character he was exceedingly amiable, giving his warm sym- 
pathy to all things charitable and religious. 

Jonathan Law was tl;e j.'ostmaster of Hitrtford ; 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 " Round Table," the 
articles of which were written by different members of 
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. ISTeither of them 
had acquired a positive reputation. Ilalleck, Perciva], 
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 Beview — 
"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, Becd, Kirk c^ Mcrcein, Whiting k Watson, of 
New York ; Beers k Howe, of Xew Haven ; O. D. 



a man of refiru-d fi.olini:^, Wu!i a scn>itlve, sljiinking: ilclicacy of manners 
in the intercour>c of life. 

Mr. liunlington lias been judfje of tlie county court, and h'ls filled 
otlier responsible offices. He is now clerk of the Court of Claims, at 
"Wasliington, thoupli lie resides at Ilartford. — Such were some of the 
members of our little club. 



IIISTOKirAL, AXKCDOTICAL. ETC. 1 I 1 

Cooke, of Hartford ; West *Sc RicharcLson, Cummiiigs 
k Hilliard, R. P. »fc 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, 
Watts' Psalms and Hymns, or something of that class. 
Xevertheless, 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. lie illustrated, with 
great cleverness, the handsome edition of the Echo, published by Isaac 
Eiley — brother-in-law of Dwightand Alsop, two of the principal authors 
— thcugii it professes to be from the Porcupine Press, and by Pasquin 
Petronius. 



112 LF.TTERS ■BIOGEArHICAL, 

I did not press it, but putting a good fiice 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 here 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, kc, upon plans which I pre- 
scribed — all of which I published ; but none of these 
were very successful at that time. Some of tliem, 
passing into other hands, are now among the. most 
popular and profitable school-books in the country."^ 

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

Another was an educational treatise on Xd*>iral Phihsophy, by J. L. 
Comstock, which is now a popular and standard work in the schools, 
and has been republished in England. Dr. (,'omstock also wrote, upon 
plans which I indicated, an educational work on Chemistry, another on 



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 geograpluL'S, both in this countrv and 
in England. 



Mineralogy, &c., -niiieh I published. Thus tliis excellent and useful 
autlior began that series of treatises, designed to popularize science, 
which has placed his name among the eminent benefactors of education 
in this countr}-. 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, 1 may add, in the enjoyment also 
of that independence which is but a just comj^ensation of well-directed 
industry and talent. 

Mr. Woodbridge was born in 171^5, graduate'! at Yale in ISll, 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 lie deemed 
liis duty, viewed through a religious light. He gave his attention to 
education, and may be considered as one of the pioneers in the great 
improvements lately made in the art of instruction. He traveled in 
Europe, visiting the most celebrated educational establishments, and 
holding intercourse with the most enlightened friends of educational 
progress and improvement. The result of his researches and reflections 
he gave to the public in numerous valuable and profound treatises. 
He was a little too much of a perfectionist to be iminediately 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 viduable ideas to others. His first geography I 
took to England in 1S23, 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 1S45, when he expired, at 
Boston — loved and admired bv all who knew Lim. 



114 LEriEKS BIOGR AnilCAL, 



LETTER XXXV 



ShtrJies of the ^^ Hart/urd Wits''— Dr. Hopkins— Trurnhull, author of Afc- 
Fingal— David Huviphries-Dr. Strong— T'neodore D wight— Thorns* H. 
Gallaudet— Daniel Wadsworth—Dr. Coggswell—JIrs. Sigourney. 

My DEAR C ****** 

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 beconie 
conspicuous by their words or works. I have ah 
ready said that Hopkins,- who in point of genius 
stood at the head of the noted literary- fraternity of 
" Hartford Wits," was not hving when I went to re- 
si<le at that pkace. Trumbull, the author of McFin- 
gal, was still living, and I knew liim well. He wiis at 
that time an old man, and — always small of stiiture — 
was now bent, emaciated, and tottering with a cane. 
His features were finely cut, and he must have been 

* Dr. Leimicl Hopkins w;\s born at AVatorbury, IT.jO : he practiced 
physic at Litclifield, and afterward at Hartford, wlicre lie died in ISOl. 
lie left a strong' impression upon the public mind, as well by the eccen- 
tricity of his personal appearance and habits, as by his learnincr and ge- 
nius. He was often described to nie as long and lank, walking with 
spreading arms and straddling Ices. 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 wiLs intimate with Theodore l)wiglit, and his daughter has told me 
tliat she recollects his coming to tlicir house, and being very much fa- 
tigued, he laid liimsclf down on the floor, and put a log of wood under 
bis head for a pillow. Here lie began to dictate poetry, which her fa- 
ther wrote down, being very likely one of those poems which Las placed 
his name among the njuat vigorous of our .^uliribls. 



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 — belongeJ to one of those remarkable 
families in Connecticut which, through several generations, have pos- 
sesseJ talents that carried them to the highest stations in society. Jona- 
than Trumbull, of Lebanon, born in 1710, was elected governor in 1709, 
and continued to be annually elected till 17S3, when he resigned, having 
been thirty years, without interruption, in public employment. Ilis ser- 
vices, rendere'lto 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 1783. His 
son Jonathan, born at Lebanon, 1740, wa* Wasliington's scorelary and 
aid, member of Congress in 17S9, speaker of the House in 1791, in 1794 
f.enator, and in 1793, governor of the State. He died in 1309. Joseph 
Trumbull, nephew of the preceding, and still living, has filled variou.s 
offices, and been senator of th.e United States and governor of the State. 
Benjamin Trumbull, the distinguished historian — born in 1735 and died 
in 1S20 — was nephew of the first Gov. Trumbull. Jonathan Trumbull, 
son of the second governor of that name, and aid to Washington, was 
an eminent painter and elegant gentleman, and died in 1S43, aged 87. 
A collection of his paintings, valuable as historical and biographical 
mementoes, belongs to Yale Coliecre. 

John Trumbull, the poet, son of the Rev. John T. of AVatertown, a 
connection of this family, was born 1750. At seven he was admitted at 
college, but did not enter upon his studies there till tiiirteen. I have heard 
him say that wh.en he went to enter at Yale, he rode on horseback behind 
his father, and wore his mothers 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 countr}-. I published a revised edition of 
liis works in 1820, as elsewhere stated. His society was much sought, 
and he was the nucleus of a band of brilliant geniuses, including 
Dvvight, Hopkins, Alsop, Humphries, &c. 

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



116 

Dr. Strong was the minister of the ^[icldle Brick 
Church — the principal Congregational church in the 
city. lie was now near threescore and ten — large, 
infirm, and shuflling along as if afflicted with gout 
in the feet. His life and character had been marked 
with eccentricities — with worldliness, wit, and social 
aptitudes. Kevertheless, 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. lie was indeed fast approaching that bourne 
whence no traveler returns. AVith all his earl}^ 

was then old, an<i living in his native town of Derby, where he had es- 
tablished a woolen jnanufactory. lie had been one of the handsomest 
men of his time, and was now large, portly, powdered, with a blue coat 
nnd briglit buttons, a yellow waistcoat, drab breeches, auJ white-top 
boots. His complexion was florid, showing a little more appreciation 
of Sherry than was orthodox in Connecticut — a taste he brought witli 
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. 
Tliough past sixty, he still allccted poetry, and on one occasion — per- 
haps about ISIO — 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. Ho 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 lie could pull it, 
And cut, from cur to ear, his gullet!" 

This completed the fable, and it so stands to this day. This anecdote 
was told me by Trumbull himself, and I gave it to Kettell, who inserted 
it in the notice of the poet, in his "Specimens of American I'oetry." 
Humphries died in ISIS; Trumbull in 1S41, having been a judge of the 
•Superior ("ourt from ISOl till 1S19, when he was distpialilied by age, 
under a law of the State. 



niSTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 s.agacity, especialh^ 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, 1743, and graduated 
at Yale : during tlie Kevolution, lie was a chaplain in the army. After 
he was settled as a minister, he became a partner in the firm of Strong 
& Smith, and engaged in the manufacture of gin. As was fit and proper, 
one of liis deacons, good old Mr. Corning, was a grocer, and sold New 
England rum. As this article was frequently wanted after the store 
was shut, he kept a barrel ou tap at his house, so that the people need 



11 8 LETTEHS BIOGKAnilCAL, 

Theodore Dwight, a younger brother of Dr. Dwight, 
Avas born at Northampton, in 1704. His early lite 
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 aftcr- 

iiot suIIVt t'.ir tlic ^vallt of this staff of life I Tiie firni of Stroiiir tt Smith 
failed, and the mhii^ter shut liirasclf up in his house to avoid tlie sheritf, 
but as no writ could be served on Sundays, he then went forth and 
preached to his con?recration. 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 tlie numerous anecdotes of Dr. Strong, I give you one or two 5>pe- 
cljneiis. Tlie first of these is connected with the Missionary Society of 
Connecticut, of which he was a principal founder. The Kev. 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 
Eeserve. Some deeply interesting letters, detailing his operations, had 
been received, and on the Sabbath, after the service. Dr. Strong invited 
Tlicodore Dwight into the pulpit, to read them. Tins 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 V 

Dr. S. had issued a prospectus for his sermons, when one day lie met 
Trumbull 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 allu-ion to TrumbuH'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 tiic door-steps. " Why don't yon mend your ways?" 
said he, somewhat peevishly. "I was waiting for a Masi^n,'' was tho 
ready reply. 

One of Dr. S.'s deacons came to him with a difliculty. " Pray, doc- 
tor," said lie, " tell me how it liappens: all tny hens liatch on Sunday." 
'• The re:i.soii is," said the doctor, " that you set them on Sunday 1" 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 119 

time. "When nearly twenty, lie injured liis 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 

* Wlien I went to reside at Ilurtford, Mr. Dwijjht was livini^ next 
door to my uncle, and was on intimate terms with him. IIo 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 ofanecdote, 
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, lie had written sentimental poetry, specimens of which 
may be found in " American Poems,"' published at Litchfield, in 1793. 
Tiie lines, "Alfred to Philena,"' are liis — 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, 1S03 — beginning as follows, and consist- 
ing of some dozen similar stanzas— v.-ere said and sung all over the 

country. 

Yc tribes of Faction, join — 

Yonr danchters and your wives : 
Moll Gary's come to dine, 
And dance with Deacon Ives. 
Ye ragged throng 
Of democrats, 

As thick as rats, * 

Come join the song. 

01(1 Deacon Bishop stands. 

With weli-befrizzled wig, 
File-leader of the band. 
To open with a jig— 

With parrot-toe j 

The poor old man 
Tries all he can 
To make it go, &c. 

When the Xon-intercourse act — the last of the so-called " Jiestridice 
Measures,"' and which by way of ridicule had been nick-named the 



120 LEITF.KS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

wrote verses and political essays. Such was the rep- 
utation he soon acquired, that lie was selected by 
Wolcott, Hamilton, and others, to preside over the 
Evening Post, established in ISOl. This offer was 
declined, and William Coleman iilled the place. ^h\ 
Dwiijht was elected a member of the State Couii- 



*■' Terrapin ^//stcm,'''' was repealed — Dwi^'iit wrote the following. It pre- 
tends to be a lyrical lament sung by the democrats at Washington, with 
wliotn this system had been a great favorite. 

DIRGICAL IIYMX. 
Mourn! sons of democratic, woo ! 
* In sadness bow the head : 

Bend every back with sorrow low — 
Poor TEUKAPIN is dead. 

And see bis dying bed, around 

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

Ilis father drops a tiar. 

Old Clopton begs the twentieth god, 

'J'he victim's life to spare : 
Calhoun and Johnson kiss the rod, 

And Troiip 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 ptace annoy, 

Xor dread their ribs his snout 

•Mud-turtles, paddle at your ease 

In every pond and pool ; 
Ye tadpoles, settle on your ]ec%. 

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 talo: 

Amid Ilis dire ofTences. 
Periiaps 'twill light his visage pale, 

An<l bring him to Ids ?iMi5es. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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, wlien we 

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

But death's cold Gerrymander! 

The "Gerrymander'' liere alluded to, oriirinated iu 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 a.s a specimen of ilr. Dwight's New-Year's 
Carrier's verses, wiiich 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 — 
Our arts and industry depress'd, 
The wralthj' cramp'd, the poor distross'd: 
Our cities wrapp'd in deepest gloom. 
Our commerce buried in the tomb. 
No hum of business meets the ear, 
No songs of .joy the bosom cheer ; 
The sailor hears the whistling blasts 
Murmur through sullen groves of masts — 
The billows dash, the useless sail 
Flap mournful to the rising gale — 
Then turns and views the dismal shed 
Where his young oflFspring 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.TT.-6 



122 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

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 iSTew 
York, where he died, in 1846. 

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

The harvest of its hopes devour. 

Where is that virtuous patriot banJ, 

The pride, the bulwark of our land, 

Form'd to uphold the nation's sway — 

Pinckney, and Strong, and King, and Jay — 

Whose counsels mi<:ht our country shield, 

And guide our armies in the field? 

By party zeal and passions base, 

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

Read the bright list — exult and read I 

Alston and Johnson, Fisk, Desha, 

Porter and Piper, Pond and liliea, 

Grundy, and Ilufty, 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, 

F.'en (III i)erdition"s awful brink, 

When such a constellated train 

Her highest interests sust in ? 
I have already alluded to the " Ilarribrd wits,"' of whom Mr. Dwiizlit 
was one. Their reputation was chiefly founded upon a series of arti- 
cles wliich appeared in various papers, and were collected and published 
in 1807, under the title of the Eclio — including other pieces. Tliey 
consisted of satires, mostly in the form of parodies and burlesques — 
with occasional passaj,'es of a more serious character. They attracted, 
great attention at the time, and had a wholesome clfect in curing tho 
public of u taste for ridiculous bombast, which then prevailed. The 
principal writers were Mr. Dwight, his brother-iii-law Richard Alsop, 
of Middletown, and Dr. Hopkins, of Hartford. Mr. Tiieodore Dwight, 
now of New York, the son of the author 1 am noticing, has shown me 
a volume in which the lines contributed by each of tiiese persons arc 
marked, in tho liandwriting 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 arc clearly indicated, in compcsitions having a 
general aspect of homogeneity. 



HISTOEICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 memorandura in his father's handwriting, in relation to tho 
Echo : 

" In the year 1829 a work was publislicil in Boston, called ' Specimens of Amer- 
ican Poetry,' &.C., by S. Kettell. In a bio<:raplilcal sketcli of Kichard Alsop, a 
minute and circumstantial account is dven 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 TTartford, 
in August, 1791. It was written at Middletown, by Richard Alsop and Theodore 
Dwi£,'ht. The authors, at the time of writin;; it, had no expectation of its being 
published; their sole object was to amu^e themselves, and a few of their personal 
friends. The general account of its origin is given in the preface of tlie volume in 
wliich the numbers were afterward colkcted, and published in New York. A few 
lines in the course of it were written hy three of their literary friends, viz.: Dr. 
M. F. Cogireswell, Elihu II. Smith, and Lemuel Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins wrote 
more than thise t\vo others; a considerable i)art 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' was written by Alsop, Hopkins, and Dwight, in 
unequal proportions." 

I think it may be remarked tliat, in these compositions, Dwight sliows 
the most brilliant flmcy 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, and licentiousness, is 
the especial object of attack tliroughout, and is justly and unsparingly- 
ridiculed. 

Though Mr. Dwight is perhaps chiefly known as the author of satirical 
verses, and as a somewhat severe though able political writer, he was in 
private life one of the most ptire, disinterested, and amiable of men. Ho 
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 



124: LETTEKS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

adelpliia 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 
frequent!}^ saw her brother, Coh 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 tha* 
she was the dauo^hter of an Eno-lish earl, but her 
name and lineage were never divulged.^^ 

of liumaii kindness. He had great abilities, and only missed a perma- 
nent reputation by setting too light a value upon liis 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. Ho 
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 TalcoLt'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 
cultivated fields, all seen through the enchanting azure of distance. To 
the east is the Connecticut, rolling proudly through its borders, crowned 
with the richest cultivation, and dotted with towns and villages, pre- 
senting some thirty spires in u single view. 

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

"Rocks, mounds, and knolls, confiisodlj' hurled, 
The fragments of an earlier world" — 
suggesting a resemblance to the wild borders of Loch Katrine, consii- 



mSTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 125 

It was, T believe, through Mr. Wadsworth's influence 
that Miss Huntly, now Mrs. Sigournev, was induced 
to leave her home in Norwich, and make Hartford 
her residence. This occurred about the 3'ear 1814. 
Xoiselessly 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 our social gatherings, and in no re- 
spect clouding their festivity, she led us all toward 
intellectual pursuits and amusements. We had even 
a literary coter}' under her inspiration, its first meet- 
ings being held at Mr. "Wads^'orth'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 
refinins; effect. It could not but be beneficial thus to 
minc]jle in intercourse with one who has the ang^elic 
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. Wadsworth 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, 

111 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 "Ilartford 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 
b}' her sweetness of character, manners, and ajipear- 
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 phj^siognomy — irradia- 
ted, however, by a remarkably large, expressive eye, 
rolhng 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 percci)tions, 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 — greatl}' beyond its condition when 



HISTORICAL, A.XECDOTICAL, ETC. 127 

he entered upon it. TLis principle in the liead was 
impelled to action Ly anutlier 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 lield may be harvested by a good man, even 
though he may not be a giant or a genius ! 

1 must here tell you an anecdote still fresh in my 
recollection. AVhen President Monroe made his tour 
thr<jugh the Xew-England States, in the sunnner of 
IblT, the asylum was a novelty, and naturally enough 
\vas 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 
tlirone, for tliL- 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 tlie 
manner and facility of conversation by signs." 



128 T.I-TIKKS EIOGRArilTCAL, 

Tlic President, who was exceedingly jaded l)y Ids 
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 of 
the greatest nation on the flicc 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 w^ill be so kind as to ask some 
question, I will repeat it on my fingers to Mr. Clerc, 
and he ^vill 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 w^as 
leveled at the oracular lips, al)out 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 w^as 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, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 129 



LETTER XXXYI. 

Dr. Percival — Els early Life — His Father''s attempt to cure Jiis Shyness — 
Colkge Life— His First Love— His Medical Experience- His Poetical Ca- 
reer — An axokward Position — The Saddle on his own Back — Cooper 
and Percival at the City Hotel — P uUicat ion of his Poems at Xeio 
TorJc — The Edition in England — Other Literary Avocations — His Sta- 
tion at West Point — His great Learning — Assistance of Dr. Wehster in 
his Dictionary — State Geologist in Connecticut — In Wisconsin — His 
Death — Estimate of his Character. 

My dear q ***** * 

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 thousrh thev 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- 

6* 



130 "* LE'ITERS BIOGKArHICAL, 

troduction, especially suited to tliis cliapter, for I am 
now going to sj^cak 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 
f.ither was a phj'sician — a man of ability, and of res- 
olute and energetic character. Ilis 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. 
lie early manifested a morbid shj-ness 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 consi>ts of llirce parishes — Wortliiiipton, where my lather 
resided, Mew Brilain, and iveiisiuifluu. The laUer was Percivul's birth- 
phice. 



131 

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 fathers 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 
avidit}' 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 mv moth- 
er's timely couusel and other kindly offices. 

About this time he was frequenth' in the society 
of a beautiful and accomplished young lady of the 
neighborhood ; he botaniz<^d with her in the fields, 
and poetized witli 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 tlie first 
part of his Prometheus. 

Having studied medicine, he went to South Caro- 



132 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

lina 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, adlictcd 
with sore lips. lie prescribed a dose of salts, gratis, 
and this was a prctt}^ 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 w(jrld 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 




Peucival. Vol '2. |>. 1S3 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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. Ilis trunk was consequent!}' 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 BIOGEArillCAL, 

animal's back, tlirew it over his own shoulder, and 
thus trudged home. I was familiar wiih this and other 
similar anecdotes. Thus knowing his imbecility in 
the common afi'airs of life, it did not surprise me to 
find him now without money, and in a slate 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 ali\3ction. 

Percival, on the contrary, was tall and thin, his 
chest sunken, his limbs long and feeble, his hair silk- 
en and sandy, his conn)lexion 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 



mSTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 135 

Avine 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 v/ith delight and surprise. 

I had a desisrn in brino-ingj these two men to<2^ether, 
and this was to have a handsome edition of Pcrcival's 
poems published for his benetit, 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 contiTict between 
Percival and the publisher, Charles AViley, 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 activelv pushed. The fliirest 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 LF/ITERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

room, and had fled to New Tlavcn. There he had 
entered into anotlier eontract for the publication of 
his poems! 

It required some weeks to disentangle the affixir 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 resrarded me as one of his best friends, but 
as we shook hands, and I bade him farewell, he said 
coldly, " Good-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. 

TTie Canada. — We never sjiw a sliip spread lier broad wings 
to the breeze and /^o out to sea in finer style tlian did the sliip 
Canada yesterday. We received tliis morning tlie following 
cfFu>ion tVoiii a goiitletnan who acconii)anied a friend on board. 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 137 

and had watclied 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 CAXADA OX 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 far 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. 
And 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 ! 

They parted not for eternity — 

Our hands shall soon be link'd together ! 

The sea was smooth and the sky was blue. 
And the tops of the ruffled 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 
goocl-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 



5 

138 LEITEES — BIOGEArniCAL, 

tlie publication uf the poems in two volumes 12mo — 
half the profits to go to the author. I also wrote for 
it a brief biogra2)hical 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 w^ere man}^ 
persons ready — nay desirous — to render him efficient 
service, but they did not know how to approach him. 

In 182-i he was appointed assistant surgeon in the 
United States army, and professor of chemistry in 
the ]\rilitary Academy at AVest 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, kc. About tliis time he was 
employed and liberally paid by Mr. Samuel Walker, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 })eriod 
he was also engaged in assisting Dr. "Webster, in pre- 
paring his quarto dictionary. In lSo6, he received 
from Connecticut a government appointment to assist 
in a geological survey of the State. He entered upon 
tliis dut}-, 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. lie 
was still engaged in this duty, when his career was 
suddenly terminated by death, which took place at 
Hazelgreen, in the State of "Wisconsin, ^lay, 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 understandiuc; was even of lar- 
ger scope and measure than his fanc}', 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 displaj^ed in philological in- 
quiries, and the exactitude w^ith which he rendered 



1 40 LETTEES 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 of 
knowledge — such power of exact as well as vast com- 
bination — are indeed marvelous. When we consider 
him in this aspect, and at the same time remember 
that thirty years ago he was captivating the world 
with his imaginative efi\isions, 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 B3^ron's 
works, at that precise age when his soul was in all 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. lil 

the sensitive bloom of spring, and its killing frost of 
atheism, of misanthropy, of pride, ^nd 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 XXXVll. 

A ftw Wayside Xotes — The Putt Brainard — His Jlrd Introduction — Kip- 
ley's Tavern — Aunt Lucy — T/ie Utile back-parlur — Brainard^ s Office — 
Anecdote — The Dtvifs Dun — The Lines on Niagara — Other Fotmn^ 
One that is on the Sea — The Sea-bird's Sony — Publication of Brainard' .-i 
Poems — General Remarks — His Death. 

Mr DEAK c ***** * 

I have told you that in the autumn of 1828 I 
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 Rev. Royal Robbins, 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 all the qualifications requi- 
site to give interest and value to such a work. 



142 - LKTTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

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 j^outhful 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 tlice 
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 wann 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 I 

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 pityiiig tear from thee i 

Ah, human woes are not thy care ! 

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

Tlie buzzing insect in its path I 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 
Ilartford in February, 1S22, to take tlie 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 thu^i we mourn 

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

With all its clinging ties of love ! 

One bright, blest spot of sunshine played 

Upon the landsc^ipe's varied breast^ 
Yet there the clouds have east their shade 

And there the deepest shadows rest ! . •' 

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



?r 



144 LETIEKS EIOGKArHICAL, 

which. I had seen and admired. A smile, yet shaded 
with something of melancholy, came over his face, as 
he 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 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 Eip- 
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 
side 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 sym2)athy. He 
i^oon got into the habit of depending upon me in 
many things, and at last — especially in dull weather, 
or when he was sad, or somethinoj went wronor with 



niSTORICAL, AXECDOTTCAL, 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 tocrether. 

Brainard's life has been frequently written. The 
sketch of him in Kettell's "Specimens," I furnished, 
soon after his death. ^Ir. liobbins, of Berlin, wrote 
a beautiful biographical memoir of him f jr Hopkins' 
edition of his poems, jv.iblished at Hartford, in 1S42. 
A more elaborate notice of his life, character, and 
genius, had been given in Whittier's edition of his 
"Remains," 1S32. To this just and feeling memoir, 
by a kindred spirit — one every way qualified to ap- 
preciate and to illustrate his sul)ject — 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 hickor}^ fire. It is a cliill 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, 
and he has not written for it a line. How the days 

Vol. II.— 7 



146 LKTTEES — BIOGKAriTICAL, 

have gone he can hardly tclL 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. ISTo further delay is i)o?sible. He is 
now not well ; he has a cold, and this has taken the 
shape of a swelling of the tonsils, almost amounting 
to quinsv, as was usual with liim 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 ofQce, and we sit 
down. Brainard, as Avas his Avont, especially wdien 
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, with a good master, has a good time 
of it. The responsibilit}' of taking care of himself — 
the most terrible burden of life — is put on his mas- 
ter's shoulders. Madame Koland, with a slight altera- 
tion, would have uttered a j-trofound truth. She 
should have said — ' Oh, liberty, liberty, thou art a 



HISTORICAL, anp:cdotical, etc. 147 

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. Xow, if I could 
only be flogged, and settle the matter that way, I 
should be perfectly happ}'. 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 I*' 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. lie 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. AVhen 
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 w^ould give no reason for 
his conduct. At last, he took his daughter aside, and 
said — ' Now, Sarah, I think pretiy Avell 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 LETIKKS BIOGKArillCAL, 

is lliis : he whittles and whittles, and never ma"kcs 
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 
Brainard turned suddenly, took up his pen and be- 
gan to write. I sat apart, and loft 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. 

'• T!ic tliouglits are sti"an;xe that crowd into my brain, 
AVliile I look nj)war(l to lliec. It would seem 
As if God pouril thee from his ' hollow hand,' 
And hung his bow upon thy awful front; 
And sj)()kc in that loud voice that seemM to him 
Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake, 
'The sound of many waters;' and had bade 
Thy llood to chronicle the ages back, 
Ami notch his cent'ries in the eternal rocks 1" 

lie had hardly done reading, wdien the boy came. 
Brainard handed him the lines — on a small scrap of 
ratlicr coarse paper — and told him to come again in 
half an hour. Before this time had ela}isetl, he had 
rmi.>he(l, and read me the jollowing stanza : 

'• Oocp calleth unto deep. Ami what are we, 
'I'hat hear the question of that voice sublime? 




Brainard writing " The Fall of Niagara." Vol. 2, p. 14b. 



niSTOniCAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 149 

Oh I Nvhat are all the notes that ever rung 
From -war's vain trumpet by thy thundering side? 
Yea, Avhat is all the riot man can make. 
In his short life, to thy unceasing roar i 
And yet, bold babbler, ^vhat art thou to Ilim 
Wlio drown'd a world, and hea])\l the waters far 
Above its loftiest mountains ? A light wave. 
That breathes and whispers of its Maker's might." 

These lines having been farni.slied, Brainurd left 
his office, and we returned to Miss Lucy's jntrlor. lie 
seemed utterly unconscious of what he luid 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 tlie whole coun- 
tr3\ Almost every exchange })aper 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 permed. Brainardhad 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 LK'rrKRS — biographical, 

— that i?, suggested by passing events or incidents in 
the poet's experience. The exquisite lines beginning, 

" The (lend leaves strew the forest walk, 
And wither'd are tlie i»ale wild-tlowers'' — 

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 lieart, wliich tlie linos, mournful and touehing 
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 eflVct of each — this, how- 
ever, being more noticeable in his conversation tlian 
his writings. It was sometimes amazing to watch 
the operations of his mind — even in moments of fa- 
miliaritv, often starting from some trivial or ]>crhaps 
lu<licrous incident, into a ti-aiir of the most lofty and 
sublime thought. I havu ompared 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 cath.-dral, lays his linger u})on the 
clavier of the organ, and falling uj^on the key-note of 



AXECDOTICAL, I-HC. 151 

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

I trust YOU v/ill pardon me if I give the history of 
one or two otlier 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 mj^ 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. 
AVithout saying a v/ord, 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 daj^s before, 
and pointing to the lines — which I extract below — 
he left me. Ilis reply, thus indicated, was indeed 
gratifying. You will understand that at the time, 
Lafayette had just arrived in the country. 

OXE 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 welconied prow to lave : 

What are the ship and freight to rne? 

I look for One that's on the sea. ^ 

' "Welcome Fayette," the million cries : 

From lieart to heart the ardor iiies, 



152 LLTTKIiS BIOGKArillCAL, 

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

!^[using on One lliat's dear to me, 

Yet bailing 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 Avill. 
llis languid limbs and feverish head 
Are laid upon a sea-sick bed : 

Perhaps his thoughts are fix'd on me, 

Y>'hile 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 shoul that freemen raise — 
Let jiatriots gra^j) thy noble hand, 
And Welcome thee to Freedom's land — 

Alasl I iliink of none Init he 

AVho sails across the foaming sea! 

So when the moon is shedding light 
Upon the stars, and all is briglit 
And beautiful; when every eye 
Looks upward to the glorious sky ; 
', How have I turned 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 Pereival, under 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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, lie 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 car 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 



for reciting the lines, and asking you to get some 
good ballad-singer to give it to you, 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 tlie dot'p is the mariner's danger — 
On the deep is the mariner's death : 
"Who, to fear of tlie tempe>t a stranger, 
Sees the last bubble burst of his breath? 
'lis the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird. 

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

"Who Avatches their course, "who so mildly 

Careen to the kiss of the breeze? 
"Who lists to their shrieks, Avho so ■wildly 

Are clasped in the arms of the seas? 
'Tis the sea-bird, tte. 

^Vho hovers on high o'er the lover. 

And her Avho has clung to his neck? 
TMiose Aving is the Aving that can cover 

"With its shadow the foundering wi'eek ? 
^Tis tlie sea-bird, t^jc. 

Wy eye in the light of the billow, 

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

The slirond of the fair and the brave! 
'Tis the sea-bird, A;c. 

My foot on the iceberg has liglited 

^Vhen hoarse the wild winds veer about; 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 155 

My eye, when the bark is benighted, 
Sees the lamp of the hghthoiise go out ! 
Fm the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird, 

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

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

These stanzas were Avritten 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 11, 1825 — I induced 
him to siirn a contract, authorizing: me to make ar- 
rangements for the work. lie 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 Xew York 
with me, to settle the matter with a publisher. I 
introduced him to Bliss k AVhite, 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, 'Xot so;' 
Some said, 'It might do good' — others said, 'Xol' " 

I must note a slight incident which occurred at 



I ."jO ij:T'n:r:s — BiOGnAniiCAL, 

New York, illustrative of Brainard's character. He 
v,-as keenly alive to every species of beauty, in natuie 
and art. His ai)])reciation of the beauties of literature 
aniountc'd to pas.-ion. ''J'hat ho had a cravin;^ fur 
}>athos anil 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, 
lie Was hence a special admirer of Ilallcck, 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 }K'rsons, both 
natives of Connecticut, and peculiarly fitted to appre- 
ciate and admire each other. (Jne morning, how- 
ever, fortune seemed to favor me. As we entered 
the bookstore of Messrs. Bliss k White — then on the 
eastern side of Broadway, near Cedar-street — I saw 
Ilalleck at the further end of the room. Incautiously, 
I told this to r^rainard. lie 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 turiu'd on his heel, 
and I could nnt lind him f)r the rest of the day I 

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



mSTOKICAL, AXECDOTICAi, ETC. 157 

poet. These effusions, however, Avere regarded rather 
ill 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- 
1}^ 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. ITe 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 
hoard 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, ISTathan Smith, an eminent lawyer, was at 
Ripley's tavern, in the midst of a circle of judges and 
lawj-ers, 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 BTOGKArniCAL, 

that persuasion, now clamoring for a sum of money 
from the State, to Lay the foundation of a "Bishf)ps' 
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 barbers 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. 
AVliat 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. Ilis 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, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 159 

sudden and marvelous. At one moment he looked 
stupid and then inspired. His face Avas like a re- 
Yolvinsf liQ'ht — 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, 3'et 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 
beamincf with lio-ht. 

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, dilator}', 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- 
ful 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, cliivah^ous 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 sj^int he resigned himself to his doom, 
and, in pious, gentle, cheerful faith, he departed on 
the 2Gth of September, 1828. 

"Weep not for liim, wlio liath laid liis head 
On a pillow of eartli in the cypress shade ; 

For the sweetest dews that the night airs shed, '• 

Descend on the couch for that sleeper made. 

AVeep not for him, though the wintry sleet 

Throw its chill folds o'er his manly breast — i^ 

That spotless robe is a covering meet 

For the shrouded soul in its home of rest! 

"Weep not for him, thougli 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 I 

The diamond gathers its purest ray 

In the hidden grot where no sun is known — 

And the sweetest voices of music f)lay *■ 

In the trembling ear of silence alone: 

And there in the hush of that starless tomb 

A liolier light breaks in on the eye, 
And wind-liar[)S steal through the sullen gloom, 

To woo that sleeper away to the sky! 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAI,, ETC. ICl 



LETTER XXXVIII. 

My first Voyage across the Atlantic — Englmd — London — Aly Tovr on the 
Continent — lieturn to England — Visit to Barley Wood — Hannah More 
— Inquiries as to Books for Education — Ireland — Dublin — The Giant's 
Cautitway — Scotland — Scenery of the Lady of the Lake. — Glaagow — Ed- 
inburgh. 

My DEAi: C****** 

It was, as I have already told you, on the IGth 
of November, 1S23, that I set sail in the Canada, 
Captain ^lacy, 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, pei'haps, have ventured to pub- 
lish them when they wore 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 
3'ear — 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 sliip plying between 2se\v York and Liv- 
erpool. She sailed from the former port April 1, 1S22, and went ashore 
on the 22d of the same month. She had twenty-four seamen and 
twenty-eight passengers : seven of the former and two of the latter, 
onlv, were saved. 



102 LETTER? ^BIOGRAPHICAL 

headland of Kinsale — at the southeast extremity oi 
Ireland — an event which had spread general gloom 
throughout the United States. As night set in, we 
were struck with a s-^uall and with diiiiculty 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, souu'iing like reports of artillerv, made her 
reel and stasr^rer like a drunken man. The mornins: 
came at las:, and the weather was fair, tut our deck 
was swept of its boats, bulwarks, and hen-coops. Our 
eld cow in her hovel, the covering of the steerage, 
and that of the companion-wav. were saveil. "We 
had, however, some gratis sea-bathing in our berths 
— ternblj suggestive of the chill temperature of that 
abyss which might soon be our grave. The next 
morning we took a pilot, and on the S:h of December 
entered the d'?ck at Liverpool. 

As this was my ilrst experience a: sea, I hez vou 
to forgive this brief description. I had suffered fear- 
fu:!v bv sea-sickness, and Lai scarce strenarth to walk 



Amone the per5<.n5 lot* was Alexander W. Fisher, Professor of Math- 
eziatics. in Ysle Collere. Ke wa? a yoxing man — n^eury-e'.ght }ear> o'A 
^-of fin* geulos. an i ^rea: expecuuions were entertained as- to his future 
•chievemen:*. A p<rs-;>n wLo e^capoi frK>r:i the wreck, wiiom I chaiiceJ 
to meet, to!d me tnat the l::^l be saw of Mr. Fi>her, he wa^ in Lis benii 
w".ih a p«ocke:-c«->mpias« ia Lis hand, watcLln^ tae coarse of the ve«*eh 
A r.:->mrnt after =: e ^trs;k. ani he saw h'.:a no more. 

Tr;e ^hip wen: :o j ic'.e? on the rocks in fice of high perpendicular 
eul->. The people of the xic-eLV^rho^d renlereJ all p>fr»ioIe assistance, 
bat their ef.jrts were ba: p.irtL»lIy ^aeoe-^fuI. The struggle* of the b :f- 
fcrer*, ciinfine to ropes, vards, and po'mta of the rockis iu the verj >\^hx. 
of persons on shore, were fcarf-I, and the detiil* giveu of these* 6C*nes, 
rcnicrtd the event one of L-c n.-.^: ijiulzing on record. 



ni5TORICAL. A^TECDij-nCAL, ETC. it'-:; 

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 
a^.v?y like a dream : my strength revived, and even 
my constitution, shattered by long sulierir.g. seemed 
to Ije renovated. With the return of health and spir- 
its, my journey to London seemed like a triumphal 
m-arch. Though it was December, the landscape was 
intensely green, while the atmosphere was dark r-S 
twilight. The canopy of heaven seemed to have 
come half way dov.'n, as if the sky had actually t^e- 
gun to fall. Yet this was England I Oh. what emo- 
tions lilled my breast as I looked on Kenilwonh, 
TTarwick. and Litchneld. 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 Rhine to Cologne. Thence I traveled through 
Flanders and Holland, and taking a s\oop at Eotier- 
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 Druidical ruin 
o: Stonehenge in my way. Having reached that city 
and seen its sights. I hired a post-coach, and vrent to 
Barley-wood — some ten miles distant. Hannah More 
was siiil there ! The house consisted o: a small thatch- 
ed edince — half cottage and half viiia — tidhv ken:. 
and carnished with vines and trellices. ^hvini: i: a 



1C4 LE'ITKRS- 

chcerful 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 vallej 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 Ilospes^ 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 : " 2o John 
Locke, horn in this village, this monument is erected hy 
Mrs. }[ontarjue, and presented to IFannah 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. 

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



* II:viiiiali .More wiw born at Stiiplcton, in 17-14. She and licr bihtcrd 
cstabllshctl u boardintr-Kcliool in lliis vilhifre, but uftcrwunl it was re- 
iriovcd to Bristol, and became very successtul. llannali More early be- 
came u writer, uml at the a^'c of t^cveutecn, she pul)li.shcd a j)astonJ . 
drama, entitled "S4,arch after llaj.pinesd." Beini,' intimate with Gar- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 
recrretted these works, her new religious views leading her to condemn 
the stage. She amassed, a handsome fortune, and purchasing Barley- 
wood, she fitted it up as I have described it. Soon after I was there, 
in consequence of the frauds of her servants, her means were so di- 
minished, tiiat she was obliged to leave it. She removed to Clifton, 
near Bristol, and died September, 1333. 



A > 



106 LETTERS BIOOKAPIIICAL, 

and two million copies were sold the first year. She 
showed mc 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 Wilberforcc 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 Ih'itain. 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 ])eace 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 



niSTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 167 

greatest benefactors of tlie 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 b}^ which the 
torrent of vice and licentiousness, emanating from 
the French Eevolution 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 divinit}^ "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 Dihvorth and Mothe) Goose had 
done all that could be done. In this interview with 
the most successful and most efficient teaclier of the 
ag(,^, 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 respect-s. the 



ins LKTTERS — EIOGliAPillCAL, 

example I had just contemplated was difTerent from 
my own selieme. Hannah More had written chiefly 
for the gTown-up masses ; I had it in contemplation to 
begin fiirtlier 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, tlien, 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 n(jt children love truth? If so, 
was it necessary to feed them on fiction ? Could not 
histor}', 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 inrpiirics 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 edificcs,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 " Roderick'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 
w^ater — 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 Ben venue, 
Vol. II.— S • 



1 TO LE'ITEKS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

For ere lie parted he Avonlcl say, 
Farewell to Lnely Loch Achray. 
AVhere shall he find, in foreign land. 
So lone a lake, so sweet a strand I" 

But I must forbear. I have pledged myself not 
to weary yoa -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. 

J-Jdinhurgh — The Ckmrt of Sessions — Cranstoun, Coclcburn^ Morwr'uf— 
LocJchart — Jeffrey — Sir Walter Scott. 

My DEAR C****** 

Tliink of being in Edinburgh, and Scott, Jeflrey, 
Chalmers, Dugald Stuart, Lockhart, there! 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 Edinburgli Eeview was the type of Scot- 
tish genius ; the heavy Quarterly represented Lon- 
don. I had several letters of introduction — among 



■HISTOKICAL, AXZCDOTICAL, 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 mitrht 
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. Tlie 
twilight did not wholly disappear till twelve, and the 
dawn was visible at one. If nature, in these high 
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 LiriTKIiS — lUOUKAlMlICAL, 

more especially the okler niernbcrs of llio bar, wore 
gowns and wigs; others wore gowns only, and still 
others were in the ordinary dross. I afterward was 
told that it was wh«jlly at the o])tion 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 roof 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, lie was walking apart, and there was a certain 
look of coldness and haughtiness about him. Never- 
theless, for some undefmablc 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, lie carried his head erect, its largely 
developed corners behind, giving him an air of self- 
appreciation, llis features were small, but sharply 
defined; his lij)S were close, and slightly disdainful 
an<l sareiLstic 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 j)ride. Upon his face, expressive of 
vigor and activity — mental and physical — there WJis 
a visible tinge of discontent. 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 yerj sound lawyer. His father. 
Sir Harry Moncrief, is one of the most celebrated di- 
vines in Scotland." 

"ISTo, 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- 
flicted with deafness, which withdrew him much from society. He died 
in 1854 : his wife had died in London, 18S7. His son, John Hugh Lock- 
hart, to whom Scott dedicated his History of Scotland, under the title 
of Hugh Littlejohn, died early. Lockhart had a daughter, who also 
has a daughter, and these two are now the only living desceudaiits of 
Sir Walter. 



174 LETTKIJS — ■niOGKAPHICAL, 

Scott himself. Though a Lawyer by profession, lie 
had devoted liimself to literature, and was now in the 
very height of his career. "IVter's Letters to his 
Kinsfolk," "Valerius,'' and otlicr w<jrks, had given 
him ii })rominent rank as a man of talent; and he- 
sides, in 1820, he had married the eldest daugliter of 
the "Great Unknown." My conversation with liini 
was brief at this time, but I afterward became well 
acquainted with liim. 

My guide n(jw led me into one of the side-rooms, 
where I saw a judge and jur}^, 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. lie was of dark 
complexion, with an eye of intense blackness, and 
almost painfully piercing expression. Uis motions 
were quick and energetic, his voice sharp and pene- 
trating—his general aspect exciting curiosity rather 
than aiTection. He was speaking cnergeticalh', and, 
as we approached the bar, my conductor said to mc 
in a whisj)er — "Jeffrey!" 

We ])ause<l, and I listened intently. The case in 
itself seenied (by enough — something, I believe, about 
a slojipfirjc in transHu. But Jellrey's pleading was ad- 
mirable — clear, progressive, logical. Occasionally, in 
fixing upon a weak point of his adversary, he display- 
ed aleo])anMike spi-ing of energy, altogether startling. 
He seized upon a certain point in the history of the 
case, and insisted that the })roi»erty in question rested 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 175 

at tliat period in tlie 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 ^yhich 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 v/as 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 Eobert- 
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 I.K'ITEKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

orous frame. He was very nearly six feet in heiglit, 
full chested, and of a farmer-like aspect, llis com- 
plexion seemed to have been originally sandy, but 
now his hair was gray, lie 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 flice, howxver, 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.* 

lie greeted tie 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 Wiis fifty-threo 
yearn old, at tlic liifrhest point of his fatne, and in the full vigor of liis 
genius. In 182t) he was involved in the failure of the Bitllantynea — 
printers and i>ublishers— to an extent of $700,<iOO. He made prodit,M0U8 
efforts to liquidate this immense debt, and had laid the foundation for 
its payment, when his overwrouirht brain gave way, and he died of 
paralysis, September 21, 1832. IJe married Miss Carpenter in 1797, and 
had four children: WaUer, Sophia, who married Lockhart, Ann, and 
("'liarles. All are now dead. Abbotsford remain?- in the family. 



v. 






^[R Walter Stott. as ("t.erk of tttf. roiKT of Sfsston?. Vol. 2. p. K 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 177 

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

"I am from Hartford, in Connecticut — of ^Yllich 
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 Glance 
at Edinburghfromthe Braid Hills— A Shower — The Maids of the Mist — 
Durable Impressions. 

My dear q * =f= * * * * 

I found a note — May 81st — 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, 

8* 



178 i.irrTKKs — iu< »r,HAriii( at., 

anil puttinir on a liat an«l collar — both of rather nias- 
culino goiulor, yot not nnconicly — wo went forth, AVc 
were in Quoen-stroot, No. 48; passing along a shc»rt 
distance, wo turned a (x>rner to the left, mounted the 
steps of a fine house, and rang. We entered, and I 
was introduced to the proprietor, Mrs. Kussell. Slio 
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 Jelfrey !* Think 
of the lirst lawyer in Scotland — the lawgiver of the 
great Kepublic of Letters throughout Christendom — 
having a rough-and-tumble on the floor, as if he were 
himself a boy I Let others think as they will — I 
loved him from that moment ; and ever ai\er, as I 
read his criticisms — cutting and scorching as they 
often were — I fancied that I could still see a kind and 
genial sj^rit shining through them all. At least it is 
certain that, behind his editorial causticity, there was 
in private life a fund of gentleness and geniality 

♦ Mr. JetTroy wiu» born in EJinburirh in 1778. He \vu.s a«hnittcd to 
the bar at the ji^c of twenty-one; having; little practioo for a time, lio 
eeJuluu^ly pnrsuoil the study of belle.-*-lL'tlres, liistory, ethic-s, critici.sin, 
<tc. In 1>^«>L', at the a^re of twculy-nine, ho fonnJcJ the Edinburgh 
Review, of which ho Continued as principal editor till I'^'JO — placinp it 
above every other work of the kind which had over appeared. In 1S16 
he wju* acknowlod|.''od to be ut the hoad of tho Scottish bar as an advo- 
caite. Having heM other high !*tations, he was appointed, in 1S30, Lord- 
Advocate of So<jtland, and bocatne a nioinbcr of Parliament. In 1S34 
he wan raised to the bench a.s one of the judges of the Court of Se.'i.sions. 
He died at Ktiinburgh in l^^O. He married in 1n18, at New York, Mis* 
Wilkes, grand-niece of the celebrated John Wilkes of England. In 
1515 he became the occupant of tlio villa of Cruigcrook, near Edinburgh, 
anciently a mona>tcry, but improved aud beautified. Here ho wa* re- 
siding at tho Ume I imw 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 intimac}', but 
it was, of course, not only idle, but absurd. We 
found Mrs. Eussell 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 T, 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 
behind, 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 " UriTKliS IJIOGKArHUAI.. 

steadily, noting a few objects as we passed, until at 
liust, reaching an elevated niound, we j)aused, and the 
ladies direeted my altentiun to the seenes around. 
We were sonic two miKs s«>ulh ul'lhe t<Mvn, uj)on one 
oi' the slopes of the liiaid Hills. Ah, what a view 
waiJ before us! 'J'he city, a vast, smoking hive, to 
the north; and to the right, Arthur's Seat, bald and 
blue, seeming to rise up and alnic^st i>eep 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 liills and dimpling valleys, threaded 
bv 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 (jf varied beauty and in- 
terest. The natural site of Kdinburgh is remarkable, 
consisting of three roeky ledges, steepling over deep 
ravines. These have all been modilied by art; in 
one place a lake has been dried up, and is now eov- 
cred with r. -ads, bridges, tenements, gardens, and 
lawns. 'J'he sides of the clills are in some instanees 
covered with masses of buildings, the edifices occa- 
sionally rising tier upon tier — in one jdace present- 
ing aline of houses a dozen stoiies in height! 'J'he 
city is divided by a deep ehasm into two distinet 
parts, the Oltl Town, dun and smoky, and justifying 
the popular appellation of "Auld Keekie," or Old 
Smoky; the other the New Town, with all the fresh 



niSTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 181 

architecture and all tlie 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 clifP, above whose 
bosky sides peer out the massive ruins of Eoslin 
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 " Gandercleus^h" 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 



1 >>2 I.K'ITKRS mOGKArilK" \I., 

the very spot where that iuimituble colloquy took 
l)lace between Peggy aiul \wr conijKinioii, Jenny — 

" Gae farer up the burn to llalibic's How, 
AVhere a' llio swoct:> o' spriii;^ an' siuniuer grow: 
Between twa birks, out oVr a little linu, 
Tlio water fa's and makes a siugan din : 
A jtool, breast tleep, beneatli as dear as glass, 
Kisses wi' easy wliirN tlie l»(irtlering grass. 
^Ve'll end our wa>lung wbile the morning's cool, 
And when the day grows hcU, we'll to the pool, 
There wash oursels — it's Ijealthful 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 shrltcr : 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 — s})outing in torrents 
from our stirrups. In all my days, I had never such 
an adventure. And tho coolness with which the la- 
dies took it — that was the most remarkable. Indeed, 



IIISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 183 

it was provoking — for as tliey 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. TVe 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, coming 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. 



^ 



184 LElTEliS — BIOGRArUICAL, 



LETTER XLI. 

William Blachcood — T7ie Magazine — A Dinner at Bl^ichwood' 8 — James 
BaUantyne — Ijord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamh — The General As- 
sembly of Scotland — Dr. Chahners. 

My dear C ***** * 

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 Miv^azine was founded in April, 1817, the office of pub- 
lication beinj^ the proprietor's bookstore, 17 Prince-street. The found- 
er, William Blackwood, died sorno years since, and the Magazine is 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 185 

and of course a part of its radiance shone on him. 
He was a man of e2:cellent 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 k 



continued by his sons. In general, its tone has not been friendly to 
America, and while I was there an article in tlie May number, 1824, 
upon our country, then just issued, excited some attention, and 1 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 — the 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 before him in such 
dress, proves to be the President of the United States himself!" 

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



186 ^ LETl'ERS BIOGRAPniCAL, I 

Fields of Prcscott 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 liim tlie next day. His 
house was on the south of the okl 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. 
lie 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- 
lantyne said to me, in the course of a conversatioii 
which turned upon the popularity of authors, as indi- 
cated by the sale of their works — " 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, adniiiiistcrcd with hospitality, and dis- 
cussed with relish. There was a certain seriousness 
and preparation about it, common in Europe, but un- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 1S7 

common in our country. "We rush to the table as if 
eatiug 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. lie 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 lie 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 Redans 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, tlie attention of the compan}^, 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 olTer 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 lY. was 
then upon the throne. Mr. Blackwood was living 
in a plain but comfortable style, and garnished his 
entertainment with a plain, simple hospitalit}^ — 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. " Jamm}', dear, tak some wine your- 
sel, iind 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, 
luibitual C(jurtesi{;s. 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 })roduced 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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, 
and 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 LLTTKKS lilOGKAl'lllCAL, 

consisted of a rli3'ming list of liis acquaintances, at the 
period of liis highest fashionable success, in London — 
dashed olf with amazing power — yet in such terms of 
profanity as to forbid repetition, at least in ])rint. 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 conuiiitted 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 de})arture. As I was getting into my 
carriage, ]Mr. Lr)(jkhart 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 eas}-, 
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 miglit have been supposed to exist be- 
neath the haughty armur which he sqemed to wear 
toward the world. 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 191 

The next day I went to St. Giles's Cliiircli,'^ 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 Ilead of the Church : the mod- 
erator then opens it in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the only true Head of tJie Cliurch ! 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, called Victoria Hall, was erected for the meet- 
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 LETTERS BIOGKAl'IIICAL, 

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, })rin- 
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, Princi])al 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 Sound 
— 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 l)cnefices was both corrupting 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 193 

to the Church, bv making it suhservieiit to patronas-e, 
and destructive of the apo.stolic 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. 
lie 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 wdiich 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, 
gratefully to the movement. Sentence after sentence 
fell from his lips, thought accumulated upon thought, 

Vol. II.— 9 



194 LETTKKS- 

illustration upon illustration, and yet tlie listener com- 
passed every conception and treasured every word. 
Tliere -was something in his voice so musical, so 
touchiuLr, that the whole sank into the soul like a 
hymn. ^J'he general eileet was aided by his gestures 
and movements, for thougii hy 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 crov/d was 
so great, however, that I saw and heard verv imper- 
fectly. It seemed to me that he was rather calculated 
to produce an effect by his oratory, than his writings. 
lie 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 higliest 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 tlic 
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 ecjnvertin'ji;i'vrn the sand and stones of the des- 
ert into imagt's oi' lile and power; but it appeared 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, JJTC. 195 

to me that in order to do this, the voice nnd 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 speech I heard 
from him in the Assemblv. 



LETTER XLI I. 

A Dinner at Loci-hart's — Conversation ahoat Byron — Mrs. Lockhart — Ir- 
ving — Professor Ticknor — Music — The Pihrock and Miss Edgeworth — 
Anecdotes of the Indians — Sontheyand Second Sight — Cooper^s Pioneers — 
The Pilot — Paul Jones — Brockden Brown — Burns — Tricks of the Press 
— Charles Scott — The Welsh Parson — The Italian Base-viol Player — 
Personal Api^earance of Sir Walter — Departure for London — Again 
in Edinburgh in 1832 — Last Moments of Sir Walter — The Sympathy of 
Suture. 

My deai: 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 Avho 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 lonsf 
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- 



106 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

iiig or reflecting the blushing honors of genius and 
fame, falling around thcni — 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 tliem as living, and — lh(jugh thuir history, their 
works, their fixme, arc familiar to you — it may still 
interest you to go back and participate in recollec- 
tions of them — their persons, speeeh, manner — and 
thus, in some degree, see them as they were seen, and 
know them as they were known. I pray 3'ou 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 AVednesday, June 2, I dined with Mr. Lock- 
hart — 25 Northumberland-street. Besides the host 
and hostess, there were present Sir AValter Scott, his 
son, Charles Scott, Mr. Blackwood, Mr. liobinson, 
and three or four other persons. At dinner I sat next 
Sir Walter — an arrangement made, I believe, in com- 
pliment to m3-self. Kvery thing went off pleasantly 
— v.ith the usual case, hospitality, and heartiness of 
an Knglish 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. 



mSTOPJCAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 
Ensrland, and seemed to clorv alike in his exile and 
his shame. Yet all this time his heart was devoured 
with " the fiend ennui." lie went to Greece, in the 
hope of doing some gallant deed that would wipe out 
his disgrace, and create for him such sympatliy in the 
breasts of his countrymen, as would enable him to 
return — his "faults forgiven and his sins forgot." 

Lockhart 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 ns go and see the la- 
dies." And so we gathered to the parlor. 

Mrs. Lockhart was nov,^ apparently about tvv^o 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 

— indicating a lively, appreciative nature and the finest 
breeding. She had a son, four years old, and at my 
request, he was brought in. lie was a fine boy, 
" Yevy 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 be;it 
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, Dee. 15, 1831 ; his mother followed him, May 
17, 1SC7. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 Staflfa, 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 lloor, while he should sing the song, 
an<l perfjrm 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 tall, stately lady, and announced 
herself as Miss Ed tre worth ! 

o 

^Irs. Lockliart asked me about the American In- 
dians — expressing great curiosity concerning them. I 
told the stor}' 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. 

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



200 lkttp:rs — biographical, 

had read an account of an Indian, Avho was in a boat, 
approaching a cataract; by some accident, it was 
drawn into the current, and the savage saw that his 
escape was impossible. Upon this he arose, wrapped 
liis 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 with dignity !" 

" 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 if, however," said Sir AVal- 
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 diflicult 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 tins I said nothing; but paus- 
ing and looking up v.-ith an inspired expression, I 



201 

said to Southcy — ' I have a gift of second sight : we 
shall have a stranger to dinner !' 

" 'And v.'hat 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 mattv>r 
previously agreed upon 1' 

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

'■ AVhen we i^^ot home, I was told that Mr. Scott, a 
farmer livincr 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 lie 
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 ^Ir. Scott's hoj-se 
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. '• I have 
lately been reading an exceedingly clever American 
novel, entitled the Pioneers, by Cooper. His descrip- 

9* 



4 
2'')2 LKTTEPwS — BIOGRAPHICAL. 

tive power is very great, and I think he lias opened 
a new field of romance, especially in the hunters 
alons: the frontiers, who, in their intercourse with 
javaii^es, have become half savaL^e thcnisclves. Tliat 
border life is full of incident, adventure, poetry; the 
character of Leatherstocking is original and striking." 

" I have not seen the Pioneers," said Scott ; " but 
I have read the Pilot by the same author, which has 
just been published. It is ver}^ clever, and I tliink 
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 se.a, 
and the language of sailors is so technical as to be 
hardly understood by people generally. It seems to 
nic that sea-tales can never excite the sympathy of 
the great mass of readers, because the}' have had no 
experience of its life and manners." 

"It is no doubt a task of some difficulty," said Sir 
AValter, "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- 
\\vr and adventure with the sea and those who have 
made that element their home. And besides, tliis 
book to which I refer — the Pilot — connects its story 
with the land. It is perhaps more interesting to me, 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 Solway in 1778 in 
the Ranger, though I was then less than ten years old. 
lie 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 Radclifie 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 AValter, "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- 
ive manner of treating every subject, aims at keeping 
the mind constantly on the rack of uncertaint}'. This 
trick of art was long ago exhausted. Brown had 
wonderful powers, as many of his descriptions show ; 
bat I think he was led astray by falling under the 
influence of bad examples, prevalent at his time. 



204: LEITERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Had lie written his own thoughts, he would have 
been, perhaps, immortal : in writing those of others, 
his fame was of eourse ephemerah" 

The conversation turned upon Burns. Scott knew 
him welL lie said that Tam O'Sliantcr 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 dillerent 
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 d(jne, and the 
archit<^ct declared, that, as the pillars were of iron, 



^, HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 3'our 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 ? iSTo, sir ; this is a n:iatter of interest to you : 
you can aftbrd 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 clerg3'man. This subject 
being mentioned, Blackwood asked Mr. Robinson — a 
very sober, clerical-looking gentleman — to give the 
company a sample of a AYelch sermon. Two chairs 
Avere 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 seems he was familiar with the Welch lan- 
guage, and an admirable mimic. His performance w^as 



206 LETTERS BIOGKAPniCAL, 

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 inimitabl}^ 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 3^ou the half of what is indicated in 
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 3'ears ago. You will readily suppose 
that my e3'e 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 
liis portraits, for they have all a general resemblance. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 eflect 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 alYection 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, lie 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," " nw 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 BIOGRAmiCAL, 

his eye dwelt upon her, his ear catching and seeming 
to relish every tone. Frequently, when she was si- 
lent, his eye rested upon lier, and the lines came to 
my mind — 

"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 -svould not stain an angel's cheek — 

'Tis that Avhich pious fathers shed 
Upon a duteous daughter's head I" 

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, I 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 ITtli, he woke from a paralytic slumber — 
his eve clear and calm, evcrv trace of delirium havin"- 
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 nian. Nothing else will irive you an}' com- 
fort, when you are called upon to lie here I*' 

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, AXfXDOTICAL, 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 
halfmast, 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 fur 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 sj^ray. All around seemed 
to v\'ail and weep, as if some calamity had fallen upon 
nature itself He who had endowed these scenes with 



210 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

immortality, was dead ; liis 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 sa}', that ^vhen the poet dies, 

Mute nature mourns her worshiper, 
And celebrates his obsequies ; 

"Who say, tall cliif and cavern lone. 

For the departed bard make moan ; 

That mountains weep in crystal rill ; 

That iiowers in tears of balm distill; 

Through his loved groves that breezes sigh. 

And oaks, in dee[)er groans, reply ; 

And rivers teach their rushing wave 

To murmur dirges round his grave!" 



LETTER XLIII. 

Journey to Tendon — Remarks on England^ as it appears to the American 
Traveler — The Climate — The Landscape — Jealousies between the English 
and Ajnericans — 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 
tliirty miles on both sides of the road. We were 
constantly meeting objects which revived historical 
or poetic reminiscences. Among these was Cockj^cn, 




•• Flower*. Pebble.^ Ixsf.cts. Birds os \Vi\r;v_ 

Thf-e arc Cop's Spei.i.txg Bock "" Vn!. "2. p. ?Ait 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 pennyloss lass with a lang pedijiree;" .♦ 

and who was so daft a5 to reject his oiler, although 

"His wig was well jjowthered and as gude as new; 
His waistcoat Avas red, and hi> coat it Avas blue; 
A ring on liis finger, his sword and cocked hat — 
And who could refuse the auld laird wi' a' that?" 

AVe crossed the Galawater and the Ettrick, and 
traveled along the banks of the Tweed — formed by 
the union of these two streams. AVe passed Abbots- 
ford, rising at a little distance on the left — -its baronial 
dignity being lost in the spell of more potent associa- 
tions. Farther on, we saw the Eildon Hills, "cleft in 
three" by the wondrous Avizzard, Michael Scott — as 
duly chronicled in the Lay of the Last ^linstrel. '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 Ramsay. ^Ve saw 
Xetherby Ilall, 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 
progi ess in the stage-coach. Scotland is indeed a 
charn ed land I 



212 LKTTEKS — BIOORAI'IIICAL, 

One day's journey brought me to Carlisle : tlicnce I 
traveled westward, looking with all due delight upon 
Wendermere, and Kydal, and Grassniere, and Ilelvel- 
lyn, and Derwentwater, and Skiddau. Tlien turning 
eastward, I traveled over a hilly and pieturesque 
country, to the aneient and renowned eity of Yoik. 
Having lingered, half entranced amid its antiquities, 
and 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 
v/ithin 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 

" Xo sun, no moon, no morn, no noon. 

No (lusk, no (lawn — no jjroper time of dny; 
No -ky, no ciirtiily view, no tlistanoo looking hlno ; 
No road, n(» street, no t'otlier side tlio wayl" 

I take her as I do any other beauty who sits for her 
portrait — in her best attire; that is, in summer. Tlie 
sun rises here as high in .luno, as it does in America. 
Vegetation is just about as fir advanced. The mead- 
ows, the wheat-fields, the orchards, the forests, are ia 



V 

4« i^ 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 213 

There is one difference, however, be- 
tween the two countries — the sun in Enghmd is not 
so hot, the air is not so highly perfumed, the buzz of 
the insects is not so intense. Every thing is more 
tranquih 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 cou- 
traiy, there seems to be a confidence in the seasons, 
as if there were time for the ripening harvests; as if 
tlie 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 mind even, I doubt not, 
are more intense. A clover-iield 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 BIOGRAPniCAL, 

breathed upon the heart, morning and evening, is, I 
think, more full and fragrant. And yet, if we take 
the summer through, this season is pleasanter in 
England than with us. It is longer, its exeitcmcnts 
are more tranquil, and, being spread over a larger 
spaee, 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, 3'ou 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 counse, less beautiful. Hence it will be per- 
ceived that European pictures of trees diifer in this 
respect from American ones — the f:)liage in the for- 



.^.^ 



K' :^. 




Scene in England. Vol. 2, p 21^ 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 215 

mcr 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 Avith 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 

scene, its teeming crops, its fat herds, its numberless 
and fQll-fleeccd sheep. 

Nor must the dwellings be overlooked. I pass by 
the cities and the manuflicturing villages, which, in 
most parts, are visible in every extended landscajDC — 
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 unknown to us. An Enolish castle 

o 

would sv/allow 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 n:iiles 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 Avhich the 
highest art could suggest! There is certainl}^ a union 
of unrivaled beauty and magnificence in the lordl}^ 
estates of England. We have nothing in America 
which at all resembles them. 

And then there is ever}- 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 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 jDreserved. 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 wm- 
tcr, with a drapery of mourning woven of the faded 
Vol. IL— 10 



218 LETTERS — BIOGRAPHICAL, 

glories of summer. Nothing can indeed be more dis- 
mal than theasjK'Ct of England, when the black, crum- 
pled leaves are falling in the forests — some yet flut- 
terrnu: 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, Derbvshire, 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 w^aters 
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 asi)ect of England, as it meets the 
eye of an American traveler. The English, with all 
their egotism, do not a]>preciate that wonderful dis- 
play of wealth and refinement, wdiich the surface of 
their country pr(\s('nts. 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 insteacl 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 eveiy- 
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 BIOGKAPIIICAL, 

of great interest to both countries. It would neein 
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 eagh 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-wall 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 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 221 

not, in tlieir hearts, clierish hostility toward this 
country ? 

It may, indeed, be said that the American press is 
as httle 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 
very 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 personifi.cation 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 



- LETTER XLIV. 

London Tldrty 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 — Can- 
ning — Mackintosh — Brougham — Palmerston — House of Lords — Lord 
Eldon — Rliio Rhio — Catalani — Signorina Garcia — Edward Irving — By- 
ron'^s O'ffin. 

My dear (;****** 

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 token 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, 



HISTUEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 
Rome — 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 182^? King George IV. 
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 Races. 
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 BIOGRAPHICAL, 

a rather soirr and discontented countenance. All 
the arts of the toilet could not disguise the wrin- 
kles of age, and the marks of dissipation and dila})- 
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 juwl. 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 b}' stays, to keep his flesh in 
place and shape. It Avas said U) be the labor of at 
least two hours to prepare him i'ur a jmblic 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 ha})py than his majesty — - 
the monarch of the thn-e kingdoms. 

I not only saw the Duke of Wellington on this, 
but on many subsequent occasions. I think the por- 
traits give a fal.-c idea of his personal aj^pearance. 
lie was reallv a rather small, thin, insignilicant look- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 225 

ing 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 PerkiDS, 
was astonishing London with his steam-gun. Ho 
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* 



22 b LICTTERS 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 3'oungest 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 tliat 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 \v:is a native of Newburyport, Mass., born in 1776. 
He 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, wliich had a great etfcct over 
the whole world. lie next invented a st'imp for preventing counterfeit 
bills, and tlien 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 



TIISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 227 

The whole performance was indeed c[uite formida- 
ble, and the Duke of Sussex — who was an enormous, 
red-faced man — seemed greatl}- 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 — " Wonder- 
ful, wonderful — d d wonderful ; wonderful, won- 
derful — d d wonderful ; wonderful, wonderful — 

d d wonderful !" and so he went on, without va- 
riation. It was in fact, save the profanit}', a very 
good commentary upon the performance. 



engraving for fine pictures, wa=; another, and this led to the Souvenirs — 
making books the most desirable articles for presents — instead of rings, 
uecklaces, 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 liis death in 184!.'. 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 steum-gun, that he sent 
balls through eleven planks of deal, an inch thick I A report of his ex- 
periments iu 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 kiiidness 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 fomiliar gathering 
place of Am-erieans in London — his char?ning daughters giving a sort 
of American life and grace to all around them. His son, Angler M. 
Perkins, a gentleman. of great talent, worth, and kindliness, continues 
his father's establishment in London. 



228 LKITERS BIOGKAPIIICAL, 

Having tlius spoken of tlic Duke of Sussex, I must 
say a few words of bis 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 IMoses, 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 
kino; 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 Avere grenadiers, and their 

* It is a curious item in eccle«iu.sticul history, that the Duke of York 
was Jii^hoj} of Oi'nahu'ijh, a 'listrict in the kingdom of Hanover. 



niSTOKICAL, AXECDOTICAL, 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 not 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 gTOUp of foir ladies and bravo 
men, gathered upon a grassy knol], 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 at 
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 LETTERS BIOGKAPIIICAL, 

those habits of exercise and training, to which their 
full rounded forms and blooming countenances gave 
ample testimon}-. 

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 o£S.cers 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 
liis horse and fell to the ground. A hundred hoofs 



niSTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 231 

passed over him, and trampled him into the sod. On 
swept the gaHant host, as heedless of their fallen 
companion, as if only a feather had dropped from 
one of their caps. The conflict of cavalr}^ in real 
battle, must be the most fearful exhibition which the 
dread drama of war can furnish. On this occasion both 
the kirig and the Duke of York were present, so that 
it was one of universal interest. About fifty ladies 
or»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 Julv, 1S24, 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 nearl}' 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 hes- 



232 LEITEKS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

itatecl, 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, Imp- 
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 philosoph}^, flxct and argument, history 
and anecdote, as if lie 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 Canuiu<^ 
evidently felt them. As he rose to reply, I tot)k 
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, shinin^ir 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 Avas 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 l.KTTKKS 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. lie was a 
tall, slender person, with a singularly prominent fore- 
head, the rest of his face being comparativel}^ 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 liistory of tliis 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 inereaised by his marrying, in 179:', 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 tlie sherilfs. In 1807, while he was disabled by a duel, he 
WHS chosen fur 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 
fur his arrest, thus creating an excitement in which several lives were 
lost. When the scrgeant-at-arms went to liis house to arrest him, ho 
fuund liira alfcctcdly 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 wjis a thorough aristocrat, at least in 
feeling. This opinion was cunfiriiicd in lS3o, when he totally changed 
liis politics, and vehenu-iitly supported the lory side, lie 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 eminentl}^ grave and dignified. Eldon 
was the chancellor — a large, heavy, iron-looking 
man — the personification of bigoted conservatism. 
He Avas 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 ofiicial 
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- 

they seporatecl, 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 tLat 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. 



mSTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 237 

Madame Catalani was a lai^'e, 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 tiie 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 ap}n"cciatc, 
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, Eule 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. 



238 ■ LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

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 Ehio-Rhio — 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, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 239 

was short, but otherwise of ample dimensions. Be- 
sides these persons, the party comprised five or six 
other members of the king's household. They had 
all large, round, flat faces, of a coarse, though good- 
humored expression. Their complexion was a ruddy 
brow^n, 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 chan.ije in their habits of liv- 



* The chief whom I have here noticed was Tamehamaha II. Hid 
uame is now generally spelled Kamehamaha, 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 
aJid 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, wliich 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 ii. 
raw, probably finding it the sweetest morsel tliey had tasted since they 
left home. In June, 1824, the whole party were attacked by the mea- 
sles, Manui, the steward, first, and the king next. On the evening of 
the 8th the queen died, having taken an affectionate leave of her hus- 
band. His heart seemed to be broken, and on the 14th he breathed his 



240 LETTERS BIOGRAPniCAL, 

One or two items more, and this cliapter shall be 
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. lie 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 ujDon 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 tlioir native islands, 
and there interred with prcat pomp. The remainder of the party re- 
turned to their home, one of them, however, Kapihc, dying on the way, 
at Valparaiso. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 241 

expression of his face — lialf 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 stranc^e mixture of saintliness and 
dandyism, in the whole appearance of this man. His 
prayer was affected — strange, quaint, peculiar, in its 
phraseology — 3'et 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 
succeeded 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 Richard 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- 



. HISTOKICAL, 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 — peojole ; 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 offal — 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 reacliing 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 Avealth, 
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 u23on 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 sbriveled husks and unsatis- 
fying straw. 

" IIow 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 accomphsh 
wdiat we may. To-day, I ask you hero 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 
lustray. The mother, uncertain of bread, alike for her- 
self and her offspring — the father, anxious lest he shall 
nut have a shelter for those whom God has given him 
— how can these think of aught but the immediate 
pressing cares of the body ? Uow 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. 



247 

ISTone are too liigb, 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. Eelieve 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 LKITERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ever heard from the 2>ulpit; jet 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 faitli, can attain to the working of mira- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 249 

cles and speaking vriih unknown tongues, as in tlie 
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 ]^roj)riety — is very 
apt to become a misguiding and bewildering light to 
his fellow-men, just in proportion as his abilities may 
surpass those of other persons. A large observation 
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 

of the infidelity of mankind lias its origin in the 
foibles of those who are set u^:* 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. Ilaving been transferred to the coffin, it was 
exliibited 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 cof&n 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 with 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. 

BoBN IN London, 22d January, 1788 : 
Died at MiaeoLoNom, April IOtij, 1824." 




Byron's Coffix. Vol. 2. \i *2on 



HISTOKICAL, x\NECDOTICAL, 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 LETFERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER XLV. 

Rtturn U> Ai/i-ricu — liiiiujiai to Boston — Literary position of Boston — 
Prainiufnt literary cfiaracters—The Pn^s—The Pulpit — the Bar — New 
York now the literary metropolis — Afy publication of various works — 
The Lefjendary—X. P. Willis— The era of Annuals— TJie Token— The 
artint^ engaged in it — IVie autlwrs — Its termination. 

My i.kau C ****** 

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, howeverj 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 Review,* and though he had now just left 
the editorial chair, his spirit dwelt in it, and his fame 
lingered around it. RichM U. Dana, Edw'd T. Chan- 
ning, Jared Sparks, George Bancroft, and others, were 
among the rising lights of the literary horizon. The 

* The North Amcricun wu» founded in 1815, by William Tudor, wlio 
liad l.reviou^ly been one of tlie princii)ul supporters of tlie Monthly 
Anthology. Mr. Kverelt, however, may bo said to have given perrnu- 
nency to the publieatiou by his masterly administration of the editorial 
dt'p.-irlini'iit 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 253 

newspaper press presented the witty and caustic Gal- 
axy, edited by Buckingham ; the dignified and schol- 
arly Daily Advertiser, conducted by Kathan Hale ;'^ 
and the frank, sensible, manly Centinel, under the ed- 
itorial patriarch — Benjamin Russell. Channing was 
in the pulpit and Webster at the forum. Society was 
strongly impressed with literary tastes; genius Avas 
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, Avith 
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. 
R. Curtis, among the younger. The day had not yet 
come when it Avas glory enough for a college profes- 
sor to marry a hundred thousand dollars of stocks, 
or Avhen it was the chief end of a lawyer to become 

* The Boston Daily Advertiser was founded in March, 1S14, and Mr. 
Hale began his editorial career with it. It may be taken as the model 
of the highest class of newspapers in the United States — able, calm, 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 LETl'ERS ^BIOGKAPHICAL, 

the attorney of an insurance company, or a bank, or 
a manufacturing corporation. Corporations, without 
souls, had not 3'ct 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 iu the 
concern, served liis time as apprentice to the trade of printing to Abm. 
Paul, of New York ; he and his brother John commenced as printers 
iu Dover-street, 1S17 ; 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 iu the world in its extent and the perfectness of its organization. 

t The present eminent publishing house of Applcton & Co., consisting 
of Mr. W. Applcton and his four brothers, was founded by their father, 
Jjaiiiel Applcton, who came from New England to New York about the 
year l'^2G. He died in lS4'.t, agerl fifty-eight. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOIICAL, ETC. 255 

acknowledged metropolis of American literature, as 
well as of art and commerce. Nevertheless, if we 
look at Boston literature at tlie 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 N. 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- 
ver. 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- 
tory of the Kings and Queens of France, Beauties of the "Waverley Nov- 



2o0 Li:rn:i:.s- 

In 1S28, I published a lirst, and soon after a second, 
volume of the Legendary, designed as a periodical, 
and to consist of original pieces in prose and verse, 
])rincipallj illiL^trative of American history, scenery, 
and manners.* This was edited by N. P. Willis, and 
was, I believe, his first editorial engagement. Among 



cls, Bluir's Outlines of Ancient History, Blair's Outlines of Chrouolog'y, 
Bluir'H Llistory of England, ('. A. Goodrich's Outlines of Modern Geotr- 
raphy, the American Journal of Education, issued monthly, Poems by 
Mrs. Sigouruey, liecords of the Spanish Inquisition, translated from 
the original documents by S. Kettell, Comstock's Mineralogy, Child's 
Botany, Sad Talcs and Glad Tales by G. Mellcu, 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 tho 
productions of popular authors at that time, by a noted critic; they will 
also show a state of tilings 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, bome thirty in number. This was tho 
day of great things in criticism, and small things in the production of 
materials for criticism. 

" KKVIEW.— THE LEGENDARY. 

" 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 tho 
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 weje to suffer by the enterprise. 
If we are to have a literature of our own, we must pay for it; and they 
who are tho first to pay for it, deserve to be the first to be repaid for it 
— with usury. * » * 

"The first of the tides, by the author of ' Hobomok,' is called the 
'Church of the \Vilderne>s.' Here we have the serene, bold, and beau- 
tiful i-\\\i: of writing which bad 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. Eockwell, 
Miss Seclgewick, 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 

' Hobomok' — no, not of ' Hobomok,' of some otber 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 
play for any author to repeat the same idea more than eighty times, or 
that HUSHixG and kushes-g 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 i * * * 

"'Unwritten Poetry,' by N. P. W., the editor of the Legendary, 
There are touches of exquisite beauty in this paper, and not a little of 
what, to speak reverently of a brother poet, I should call heavenly non- 
sense. * * * 

'"Descriptive Sonnets,' by Mr. H. Pickering. I hate sonnets; I 
never saw a good one, and never shall. 

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

" ' The Pampas of Buenos Ayres,' by I. M'Lellan, jr. Here we have a 
poet ; I do not mean to say that here we have poetry, or, properly 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 wiU never know its depth, nor 
what riches may lie there, till the waters have been troubled — by an 
ano:el — 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. Mellen^— h^y ^. A mere scratch or 



2o8 - 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 II. Nichols. Good poetry 
here, though nut much. The best is — 

' And worthy of their harps was he, 

Worthy to wake with thein, the grand 
Wur-anthem, or the mnsic free 
Of love, with Vurning Up and Jiand.^ 

"'Mere Accident:' N.P.Willis. Eather too Tom Moorish. How- 
ever, let that pass. For, do ye know, ye blue-eyed, fair-haired girls, 
and ye of the dark, latnping 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 naine for 
N. P. W. ? 

"'Koinance in Keal Life:' author of Kedwood. 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 bo 
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. Ileigho ! " Do dreams always prove 
true, lanthe?" 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 guod l)oy, and sec what the ladies will send 
you. And then — ' Do dreams always prove true, lanthe ?'***■ 

" 'The Brucc's Heart,' by t!ie author of 'Moral Pieces.' Very good 
poetry, and very like what a ballad iA our time should be — a ballad of 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 have always a hut in reserve, you -know — wliy 
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 icith princebj Tjeck 

Bound to the heaving swell ; 
And when the conqueror o'er her side 
Crossed meekly, 7'ose icitJt, living pride.'''' 

From the Yankee, June 28, 182S. 
* We are doubtless indebted to the Germans for originating the race 
of Annuals, but Ackerraan's Forget-rae-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, Kogers, 
Campbell, Mrs. Hemans, Moore, &c., in England, and Bryant, Irving, 
Halleck, in America, became contributors to these works ; nay, Bryant, 
Sands, and Verplanck produced in New York an annual entitled the 
Talisman, and which was continued for three years. 



2 GO LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

The success of this species of publication, stimuhi- 
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- 
nots, Kemember-me'ri, «Scc.* Under these seductive 
titles, they became messengers of love, tokens of 
friendship, 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 Enghmd and the United 
States, the following ; 

Gift, Keepsake, Souvenir, Literary Souvenir, Boudoir, Floral Olferinsr, 
Friendship's Ollering, Iris, Laurel, "Wreath, Jewel, Cabinet, Drawing- 
room Annual, Pietorial Annual, Continental Annual, Picturesque An- 
nual, Fancy Annual, Court Album, Anniver,-<ary, Pearls of the East, 
Pearls of the West, Tlie Favorite, The Khododcudron, The Waif, The 
Gleaner, The Kose, 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 lialls of Eng- 
land, Authors of England, Artist's Sketch Book, Book of Art, Book 
of the Passions, Calendar of Nature, Continental Sketches, Etclied 
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 
Kome, and a multitude of others. 

The ell'ect of the circulation of such works as these, in creating and 
extending a taste fur 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 Stales alone, four thousand volumes of one 
of these works, at the price of twelve dollars each, have been sold in a 
single season ! Not live liundrcd would have been sold in the saine 
space of time, twenty years ago. 



HISTOKICAL, A]ST:CD0TICAL, 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 Pilgi'ims of the Rhine, Butler's Leaflets of 
Memory, Christmas among the Poets, and many 
others of similar design and execution. Many of 
the en Q^ra vines 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 bv all the embellishments of art. 



262 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Ilcncc we have such works as the Womei) of the 
Bible, Women of the New Testament, the Republican 
Court, by Dr. Griswold, together with rich illustrated 
editions of Byron, Kogers, Thomson, Cowper, Camp- 
bell, and others, including our own poets — Bryant, 
Halleck, Sigourney, Longfellow, Reed, Sic. Wood- 
engraving has, meanwhile, risen into a fine art, and 
lent its potent aid in making books one of the chief 
luxuries of societ}', from the nursery to the parlor. 

In comj^arison 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, f 

* The prizes were one hiiiKlreJ 'lolhirs for the best piece in pro.se, aiul 
the tsaiiie for llic best in verse. The judj^cs — Charles Spra>,'uc, F. W. 
P. (ircenwood, and J. Pierpont — liesitiited between two pieces for the 
latter: The Soldier's Widow, by Willis, and Connecticut Kiver, by Mrs. 
8igourncy. They finally recommended tliat the prize be divided be- 
tween them, which was accepted by the autliors. 

+ John Cheney, who may be regarded as the first of American engra- 
vcrs in sweetness of expression and delieuey of execution, was a native of 



>• *' 



, HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. . •"263 

Ellis, Smilie, Andrews, Hatch, Kelly, Danforth, Du- 
rand, and Jewett, engraved from the designs of Alls- 
ton, Leslie, Newton, Cole, Inman, 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 made all rich who ^ 
are concerned in it. . '^ 



26 i LETTERS — BIOGRAPmCAL, 

two or three years, it bad only lingered out a poor 
and fiiding 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 
l)ridc which made me reluctant to allow a work to 
die in my hands, with which my name and feelings 
had Ijccome somewliat identified. 



LETTER XL y I. 

The Ojnirihxdors to the Token — i\' P. Willis — X. ITawllioriie—MiSff Francis 
— Mr. G-reenwood — Mr. Pierpont — Charles Sprague — Mrs. Sigourney — 
Miss Sedgwick — Mrs. Osgood, and others — Quarrels between Authors and 
PuUlshers — Anecdotes — The Publishers'' Festival. 

My dearC****** 

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 N. 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 
wore with me ; hence the early portion of his literary 
career fell under my special notice. 

Tie 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 Roy. In 



HISTOKICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 265 

1827, when lie was just twenty years old, I published 
his volume entitled "Sketches.'' It brought out quite 
a shovv^er of criticism, in which praise and blame were 
about equally dispensed : at the same time the work 
sold vrith 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 jDlace 
among the acknowledged gems of our literature, and 
othere, 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 titly 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 otideer 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 execui:ed 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 this lyre of mine: 

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

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

If L-nt and F-nn to Pindus' top aspire, 

I too may blameless beg one spark of fire : 

Not such as warmed the brains of Pope and Swift — 

With less assistance I can make a shift : 

To Giiford's bow and shafts I lay no claim — 

He shot at hawks, but I at insects aim : 

Yet grant, since I must war on little things. 

Just flame enough to singe their puny wings; 

Vol. it.— 1 2 



266 



LETTERS- 



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 env}^, for we have had no other example 
of literary success so early, so general, and so flatter- 
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 tliem down, 
And jiins to stick them in my beaver's crown." 
***** 

Here arc ,-j>eciinens from the body of the work: 

'• The wax still sticking to liis fingers' ends. 
The upstart Wh-tt-r, for example, lends 
The -svorld important aid to understand 
What's said, and sung, and printed in the land." 

***** 
"Tis plain the county Cumberland, in Maine, 
Contains no hospital for folks insane : 
Though never there, the fact I nothing doubt. 
Since N-al and M-ll-n 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 Ilfillcck, Nature's favorite and mine. 
Curst be the hand that plucks a hair of tliine: 
Accept the tribute of a muse jncline<l 
To bow to nothing, save the power of mind. 
Bard of Buzzaris, shall thy native shore 
List to thy harp and mellow voice no more? 
Shall we, with j-kill like thine so nigh at hand, 
Import our mus-ic from a foreign land ? 
While Mirror M-rr-s chants in whimpering note, 
And croaking I)-na strains his screech-owl throat; 
While craay N-al to meter shakes his chains, 
And fools are found to listen to his strains; 
While childi.sh Natty T. the public diddles, 
And L-iit and i:-< kw-ll scrape his second tiddles; 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 2GT 

friends ; for it must be remembered that before be 
was five-and-twentj, 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 fairer 
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 Pha'bus, howl, and yelp, and bark — 
Wilt thou be silent* Wake, Halleck. wake! 
Thine and tliy countrj-'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-i's productions, wheat and chaff 
Are mixed, like sailor's tipf>le, half : nd half; 
But, duly bolted through the critic's mill, 
I find the better part is wholesunie stilL" 

Tlie followinf.' is a part of tlie amiable noticu bestowed uj'oa Willis : 
"Muse, .'•hall we not a few brief lines afford 
T(i give poor Natty P. his meet reward? 
What has he done to be despised by all 
Within whose hands his harmless scribblings fall? 
Wh}', as in bandbox-trim he walks the streets, 
Turns up the nose of every man he meets. 
As if it scented carrion ? Why, of late, 
Do all the critics claw his shallow pate ? 
True, he's a fool ; — if that's a hanging thing, 
Let Pr-nt-ce, Wh-tt-r, M-ll-n also swing." 

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



2G8 

stands in tlie first rank, distinguished for a keen sa- 
gacity in analyzing society, 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, ANECDOTIC AL, 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- 
aginary — 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 Avrote 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, X. r. Willis was the sou of Nal:lianiel Willis, of Boston, origi- 
nally a printer, but for a long time an editor, and much respected for 
Lis industry, his good sense, his devotion to whatever he deemed his 
duty, and his useful services rendered to morals, religion, Christianity, 
and philanthropy. His wife was a woman of uncommon mental 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, 

busliy, his eye steel-gray, his brow thick, his mouth 
sarcastic, his complexion stony, his whole aspect 
cold, moody, distrustfuh 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 Avith 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 "N. 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 
luid tried his hand in literature, and considered him- 
self to have met with a fatal rebulT from the reading 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 271 

world. His raind 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 v.Tote 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, T 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 
stvle, 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 

* Johu Pickering, son of Timothy Pickering, Washington's Secre- 
tary of State, was a distinguished jurist and philologist, and a refined 
and aiDiable gentleman. A good notice of liim is given in Messrs. 
Duyckinck's excellent Cyclopedia of American Literature, vol. i. page 
625. To this, by the way, 1 have often been indebted for assistance in 
the preparation of this work. 



272 LKTTKKS BIOGRAPUICAL, 

lake reflects the earth around it and the sky above 
it : yet lie deemed them too mystical to be popular. 
He was right, no doubt, at that jjeriod, 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 ai;tumn of 1836, was a 
joint-stock company, in which some of the leading hiwyers and literary 
men of Boston engaged, with a view of publishing original American 
works of a high character, and in snch 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 dny supposed to be absurd for Aniericans 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 baukruploy, with thousands of others. Thougii 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 Rev. 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 
aflairs. 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- 
I remember once to have met him, and to have 



ticmg. 



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

12=^ 



2 74 LETTERS BIOGKArillCAL, 

asked liirn to give me a contribution for the Token. 
He stopped and said, reflectingly, " I had a dream not 
long ago, which I have thought to put into verse. I 
will tiy, and if I am successful you shall have it." A 
few days after he gave me the lines, now in ;ill the 
gem books, beginning — 

" Was it the chime of a tiny bell, 

Tliat came so sweet to my di-eamiiig 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 tlie 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 sliips his oar, 
To catch the music that comes from the shore ? 
Hark ! the notes on my ear tliat play, 
Are set to words ; as they float, they say, 
' Passing away, pa^^sing away !' " 

Charles Sprague wrote for me but little, yet that 
was of diamond worth. Next to Willis, Mrs. Sigour- 
ney 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 Sedgwick, 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, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 275 

gifted and goue : to John Xeale, A. II. Everett, Bisli- 
op Doane, Mr. Lollgfello^^^ Caleb Cusliing; to the 
two Sargeiits — Epes and John, thongli masked as 
Charles Sherry or the modest letter E. ; to Miss 
Gould, Miss Leslie, H. T. Tuckerman, 0. W. Uolmes, 
Orville Dewey, J. T. Fields, T. S. Fay, G. C. Ver- 
planck — to all these and to many others, I owe tlic 
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 annoj'ances 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 w'ritten 
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 uot 
been above this historical prejudice. The poet Camp- 
bell is said to have been an admirer of Kapoleon be- 
cause he shot a bookseller. 

Xevertlieless, speaking from my ovv'n experience, 
I suspect, if the truth were told, that, even in cases 
where the world has been taught to bestow all its 
sympathy in behalf of the author, it would appear 
that while there were clav/s on one side there were 



276 LKITKKS BIGG RATI IK A I>, 

teeth on the other. My belief is, that where there 
have been quarrels, there have generally been mutual 
provoeations. I know of nothing more vexatious, 
more wearisome, more caleulatcd to beget impa- 
tience, than the egotisms, the exactions, the unrea- 
sonablenesses of autliors, in cases I have witnessed.* 

* I could give some curious iiistfinces of this. A schoolmaster oarao 
to me once with a marvelously clever grammar : it was sure to overturn 
all otliers. lie had figured out his views in a neat hand, like copper- 
plate. He estimated tliat 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 co{)y for the author — which he insisted was ex- 
ceedingly moderate — this would produce to him five thousand dollars u 
year, but if I would publish the work he would condescend to take half 
that sum annually, during the extent of the copyright— twenty-eight 
years ! I declined, and he seriously believed mo 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 I'arleys, and they had a sudden sale. 
The younir man who had assisted me, and who was under the most sol- 
emn obligations to keep the matter secret, thought he 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 unpriuted 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, 
wlio, while flattering mc to niy 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 
dillicultics come from poor and unsuccessful writers. They have been 
taught tliat publishers and booksellers are vampires, and naturally feed 
upon the vitals of genius; assuming— honestly, no doul»t -that tiny are 
of this latter chiss, they feel no great scruple in taking vengeani-i- upon 
liiose whom they regard as their natural enemies. 



^ 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 277 

That there may be examples of meanness, stupidity, 
and selfishness, in publishers, is indisputable. But 
in D-eneral, 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 bareh^ 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 Za Longue-vue ; the pith of the story consisted in a romantic 
youth's fcilling 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. 

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



278 LETTERS BIOGKAl'HICAL, 

in New York, given by the puLlislicrs to the authors, 
was a happy testimonial to the prevailing feeling that 
both arc 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 i^lace at the Crystal 
Palace, September 27, 1855, and was one of the most gratifying and 
suggestive occasions I ever witnessed. The opening address of the 
president, Mr. W. Appleton, the introductory statistical sketch, by Mr. 
G. P. Putnam, the genial toasts, the excellent letters of Charles Sumner, 
Edward Everett, and R. C. AViuthrop ; 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 tilings 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, 
than myself. Ko one has more cause to feel and remember the illusiveness 
of literary ambition, perhajts I may say of even humble literary success. 
In most cases, these are only oljtained at the expense of shattered nerves 
and broken constitutions, leaving small means of enjoying what Inis 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. l!79 



LETTER XLVII. 

Vie First of the Parley Bools — Its Reception — Various Publication.^— 
Threatening Attach of Illness — Voijage to Europe — Oonsulfution of Phy- 
sicians at Paris — Sir Benj. Brodie, cf London — Alercrotnhie, of Bdui- 
burgh — Return to America — Residence in the Country — Prosecution vf 
my Literary Lahors — Footing up the Account — Annoyances of Author- 
ship— Letter to the Xtio York Daily Times. 

:^[Y DEAK c ***** * 

Thougli I was busily engaged in publisliing 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. Xo 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 liim 
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 thit. profession alone. 



280 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Dickens, Lamartine, Mary Howitt, in Europe, and 
Abbott, Todd, Gallaudet, Miss Sedgwick, Mrs. Child, 
and otliers, in America, 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 of&ces 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 3"'ou with a detail of m}^ proceed- 
ings at this busy and absorbed period of my life. I 
had now obtained a humble position in literature, 
and was successful in such unambitious works as I 
attempted. I gave ni}' self up almost wholly for about 
four years — that is, from 1828 to 1832 — to author- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 2S1 

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 jDublications, 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, 
vihiiAi sctmed 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 
LarroquCjWho, assisted by L'llerminier — 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 brouofht me to the verge of suffocation. 



282 • ' LETTEKS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

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 Di\ 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 
surgeons 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- 
lislicd 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 jjraetitioncr 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, lie was still more distinguished as a writer, his Inquiries 
concerning the Intellectual Towers 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 — liacl been seized 
with palpitation of tlie 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 exi^ericnce 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. It would 

* I make this statement chiefly because I think it may be useful to 
persons, who, like myself, have abused their constitutions l)y sedentary 
habits and excessive mental labor, and who consequently are afflicted 
with nervous attacks, putting on the semblauce 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 1 I in- 
quired his symptoms, which corresponded wdth 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 oifense, 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 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

be tedious and unprofitable to yoa, were I even to 
cinimerate my various works — produced from the 
beginning, as I have described it — to tlie present 
time. I may sum up the whole in a single sentence: 
I am the author and editor of about one hundred and 
seventy volumes, and of these seven millions have 
been sold ! If you have the curiosity to trace my 
literary history more in detail, you can consult the 
catalogue which I herewith inclose.'^' ' ^ 

I have said that however the authorship of Par- 
ley's Tales has made me many friends, it has also 
subjected me to many annoyances. Some of these 
are noticed in a letter I addressed to the editor of 
the Kew 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 lefirned, throiigli a friend, tliat tlie 
editor of the Boston Courier, in noticing the death of the late 
Samuel Kettell,t had said or intimated tliat lie was the author of 
Peter Parley's Tales. I therefore Avrote to tlie said editor on 
the subject, and he lias 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 vohuiie. 

t Mr. Samuel Kcttell was a native of Newburyport, Mass., and born 
A. D. 1800. lie was for the most part self-educated, and without being' 
a critical scholar, was a man of large acquirements, the ma>ter, 1 believe, 
of more tluin a dozen languages. In 1832 be 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 deatii in 1S.')5, 
tliough his active labors were suspended for some months before by his 
l>roti-acted illness. 



mSTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 285 

" Mr. S. G. Goodricli also found work for him — Mr, Ketteil — 
and many of those historical compendinms which came out 
under the name of Peter Parley, were in fact the work of Mr. 
Ketteil. He is the veritable Peter Parley," &c. 

is'ow, Mr. Editor, it happens that for nearly thirty years, I 
have appeared before the pubUc 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 I 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 
Eemainder Man — that is, he bought the unsold and unsalable 
ends of editions, put them in gaudy bindings, and thus disposed 
of them. TVhen he got possession of a defunct juvenile work, 
he galvanized it into hfe by putting Parley's name to it — as 
"Grandfather's Tales, by Peter Parley," &c. This proved a 
tlirifty 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, and also by pubhshing counterfeit ones. 
This matter has gone to such lengths, and has become so mis- 



286 ' LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL 



chievons 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 Amos- 
keag Manufacturing Company for their trade-mark, "A No. 1," 
put upon their cottons, and wliich 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 jSTew York 
bookseller — under the inspiration of a man who writes Eeverend 

• 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 Hcfusehold 
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 pubhc, 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 w^orks, 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 tlie 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 Avho, 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 29(5-306. 



IIISTOEICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 2S7 

was further added by the teacher that he was the fatlier of 
"Dick Tinto!" This man, who was not your humble servant, 
nor, I am happy to say, a reUitive, nor an acquaintance of his, 
still received these honors as his due — and perhaps I shall ere 
long be obhged to defend myself against a claim that he is I, 
and that I am not myself I 

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. KetteD 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 uni)leasant to say of him. 
Ke 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. IJut 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 far 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 geograjjhical 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 these were 



288 LK'ITEKS — BIOGRAPHICAL, 

young men, who liave since risen to fame in both hemispheres. 
If nil who assisted me were now to come forward and claim to 
he original Peter Parleys, there would be a very pretty family 
of us ! 

The writer of the Courier article in question intiniatex that 
Mr. Kettell was ill paid, and by a Latin (juotation suggests that 
I 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 ])ointed 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. K'ay, 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 
Ills 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. llolbrook, for help. This was furnished by the 
contributions of his friends, myself among the number. 

The editor, in enumerating Mr. Kettell's Uterary labors, gives 
him high credit as the editor of the three volumes of Specimens 
t)f 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 w^rong and my advantage. Let us see 
the facts : 

I jirojected the aforesaid work, and employed Mr. F. S. Hill 
as editor. He began it, collected materials, and wrote the tir^^t 
part of it. At his instance, I had purchased nearly one hun- 
dred scarce books for the enterprise. The Avork, thus Itegun, 
the plan indicated, the materials to a great extent at command. 



'"> lilbTOKlCAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC- 289 

with uumeroiis articles actually written, passed into Mr. Kettell's 
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 groj^e in the mazes of a new 
and unexplored wilderness, that Mr. Kettell displaj'ed 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 liave any literature. To include the writings of Tim- 
othy Dwight, Joel Barlow, and Philhs 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 shp as to the authorship of " Hail Colum- 
bia," which stood thus : 

" J. HoPKixsox : 

" We have no knowledge of this author. The popular na- 
tional ode which follows, appeared first, we beheve, in Philadel- 
phia.'^ 

Such ignorance and such carelessness were deemed olfensive 
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 BIOGKAPHICAL, 

(•oi)t wliat I continued to give hiin, despite this failure. It was 
subsequent to this that I supplied him with the means of going 
to Europe, and thus furnished hiui -with the opportunity of ta- 
king a new start in the world. And yet 1 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 j^resent ; and 
yet I am disi)osed to crave a little more of your patience and 
your space, to state more precisely my relations with Mr. Ket- 
tell, and thus remove liim from the disadvantageous light in 
which he is placed by the ill-judged pretenses of his too earnest 
friend. 

I)uring 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 wa}" . 

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 })age for me at his own 
suggestion, nor by his own planning. He wrote on sul)jects 
prescribed by me, and in the manner ])rescribed by me — even 
to the length of paragraphs, verses, and chapters. Moreover, 
what he had thus blocked out, Avas lal>oriously remodeled to 
suit my own taste, to clotlie it in my own style, and to bring it 
hito conformity with my own plan. Often this ])rocess was in- 
finitely mure laborious to me than would have been the outright 
and entire compilation, if 1 could have used my eyes. In this 
wav. hov.-ever, and under tliese circuiastances, Mr. Kettell aid- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 291 

ed me ; lie was also, sometimes, my amanuensis ; but he M'as 
not, nor did lie 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 geo- 
graphical work already alluded to, in which I had the assist- 
ance of Mr. Kettell, as well as of two other persons of great 
ability and reputation, this assistance was duly acknowledged in 
the prefece.* 

Kow, while I thus correct the misrepresentations of this Bos- 
ton editor, I desire to leave no unpleasant impressions iiion ui: 
name and memory of Mr, Kettell. He is, indeed, beyond ti.-e 
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 auy 
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 taculties in high perfection — a marvelous capacity for 
the acquisition of languages, a taste for antiquarian lore, a largo 
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 1332. 
t This letter led to a lengthened controversy, the result of which is 
stated in the Appendix to this volume, page 543. 



292 LETTERS BIOORAl'IIICAL, 



• LETTER XLVIll. 

liepuUicntion of Parley^ 8 Taks hi Loudon — Mr. Tegg's operations — Iml- 
taUd htj otJier pt^^lisliers — Peter Parley Martin — Letter to Mr. Barton 
— An edition of the false Parleys in America — Tlie 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 Talcs. 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 Talcs 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, imiver- 
sally admitted that the works published by him, were the first that 
introduced the name of Peter I'arley 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 said S. G. Goodrich having written and compiled several works, 
as Peter Parley's Talcs 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, <fec., as may be required, and said Tegg is to 
supply the market, and push tlie sales, and take all due measures to 
promote tl)e success of said works. 

" And in consideration of the premises, said Tegg agrees to pay said 
Goodricli, ten pounds sterling on every thousand copies printed of Par- 
ley's Tales of Animals, after the first edition (which consists of four 
thousand copies, and is nearly printed); and for eacli of the other works 
he agrees to pay said Goodrich five pounds on the delivery of the revised 
citpy for thf. same, and five pounds for cxcry tlious:ind copies printed 



HISTORICAL, AxN'ECDOTICAL, ETC. 293 

of these works, which he agreed to jDiibhsh, givino- 
me a small consideration therefor. Four of these 
^vorks I prepared on the spot, and after 1113^ 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 inquirj^, 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 agent. Said Tegg, it is understood, is not bound to publisli any of 
these works which he deems unsuited to the country; but said Good- 
rich is at hberty to dispose of, to any other pubhsher, any work wliich 
said Tegg, on application, declines publishing. 

" Thomas Tegg, 

" S. G. GOODKICH." 

'■'■ London^ June ZO^l^Z^:' . ^ . -^ 



20-1: LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

autlior. TTo liad tlins publislicJ over a dozen vol- 
umes, wliii'li ho was circnlutin,^ as " Potcr Parley's 
Library."' The .^speculation, as I was lokl, had suc- 
ceeded admirably, and I was assured that many thou- 
sand pounds of'})rolit luul 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 I'aet, 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 beneiited 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 sliould not 
be very far from a fair adjustment. 

To this cool answer I made a suitable reply, but 
without obtaining the slightest satisfliction. 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 discussi(jn was not prolonged. At the 
second interview he cut the whole matter short, by 
sayiuL^ — "Sir, I d«> not owe you a farthing ; neither 



HISTOKIOAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 295 

justice nor law require me to p^y you any thing. 
Still, I am an old man, and 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, 
vvdth 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 follovv^ed 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 LKTTERS- 



St. Pauls Coffee-House, London, 
October 18, 1854. 
Mil. Darton, Bookseller, 
HoLBORN Hill, London. 

Sir, — Happening to be in tliis city, I called two days 

since at your counting-room, and while waiting there for an 

answer to inquiiies 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 York : Evans and Dickinson, etc. 

I was informed that this w;is 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 authoi'ship 
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 witliout 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, aiid 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 tbe 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 mnn 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 j^rinciples. 

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 perliaps 
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 Pailey's Tales, 



2 S LETTERS BIOGK A PI IIC A L, 

and am entitled to tlie merit, or demerit, of having given cur- 
lency to that name. You have had intercourse with me for 
the hist fifteen years, and you liave always known and admit- 
ted my claims. You hav>- vindicated your publication of this 
false Annual to me, on no higher grounds than that it was 
begun by other parties, and would be carried on by others if 
you abandoned it. 

I have had apjjlications, as the author of Peter Pai'ley'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 Pailey 
books, and is familiarly known there as "Peter Parley Martin." 
I believe he is the editor of your Annual. Isow 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 cieature, 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 1 am the author of the veritable works 
of ]^eter Pailey. They may not, they cannot always distin- 
guish between llie tiu*^ and the false, and tlierefore buy 



• ' flISTOKICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 299 

both, indiscriminately. Still, tliough thus accessoiv to the 
fraud, it is ignorantly and unwittingly done, and they are not 
chaigeable with wrong, at least toward me. The publishers 
and authors of these counterfeits are the guiliy parties, I 
may complain of these, but not of the people of England, until 
I have lirst 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 undeistand the 
tone and sentiment of the Enghsh 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 wliich i have referred. 

Another thing is plain, that neither the authors nor pub- 
lishers concerned in this system of deception and plunder, 
pm-sue 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 pi'essing 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 pubhsh 
some of mine, which I had just revised and emended. After 
a 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 x\mericanisms, republicanisms, latitu- 
dinarianisms, 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 



P>00 rj;TTi:iis- 

" 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, beautiftilly 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 coui'se the innocent 
public were ignorant of its illegitimate parentage. Not so the 
sci'upulous Mr. T . . . — not so the pious author : they knew^ that 
each page was contaminated w^ith 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 serjDent w^as 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, hy 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 hy the 7ml- 
llon, according to his sign, liecently, I am told, he lias vq- 
tired upon a handsome fortune. 

I think, therefore, that tho plea of ignoi-ance, on the pai't of 



HISTOEICAL, 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 oflfer ? 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 
feelino- in the matter, to let this o-o on ? You must he aware 
that a neio and material fact is introduced into the question : 
you have begun, or are hcginning, this system of fraud in 
America, in New York, at the threshold of my domicile. 
You carry the war into Africa. An examjAe thus set, if not 
resisted, will be soon folloived, and my name ivill be as clieap 
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 of 
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- 
ino- 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. Xeveitheless I endeavor to school myself into a cer- 
tain degree of calmness. As to my course in America, the 



^>0'2 i.i:tti:ks — BioGRAniiCAL, 

lirst step is clear, as I liavo iudicatecl. But how shall I begin 
iu Eugland I Shall I expose the facts, refer to names, point 
out the counterfeits and the counterfeiters, and appeal to the 
moral sense of the peoj^e there ? This is undoubtedly niy 
right, and a natural indignation suggests that it is my duty. 
Yet I shiink from such a proceeding. I know that I may 
bring uj^on 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 Intei'national 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 foi-ce us into the proposed literary partnership. The late 
Mr. Hood stuck me all over with epithets of ridicule. Ilis 
books are still published, and are in the popular libraries of 
the United States, with these passages in full. I have often 
read them mysdf, 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 



HISTUEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 303 

Londou, in 1842 I saw Mr. Hood, and suggested to him that 
there was another side to this question, and he ottered me the 
pages of his magazine for the pubhcation 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 pei^onal 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 afiair 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, licncefortli 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 right and reasonable 
by arbitrators between us. If you must publish an annurd, 
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 your 



304 

success. Your purse, then, and I hope your feehngs, will 
make this suggestion easy. 

If you cannot be persuaded to adopt tliis line of conduct by 
the argument against injustice and fraud ; if you pay no re- 
gard to tlie 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. iVccording to my taste, they are 
full of VTilgarisms, degrading phrases, and coarse ideas. In 
some cases tliey 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 wTote. The "Westminster 
Review, some years ago, criticised the Pailey 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. Pi'e- 
cisely this process of degi'adation must have been going on 
against me, for the last dozen years, in the public mind of 
England, through the influence of your counteifeits. 

Is this fair? Will this do ? W^ill you stand by it here and 
hereafter? Remember, this is a totally diftbrent question 



HTSTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 pubhshed 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 
Avord of complaint. But what I do complain of, is this : that 
you take my name^ to ivhich I have given currency, in order 
to sell hooks I never ivrote. You say to the world, Mr. Good- 
rich, the author of Peter Parley's Tales, 'wrote this: the 
toorld 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. 

K 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 pubhc 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. K, on the con- 
trary, you do not enter into this or some satisfactory arrange- 



306 LETTERS - 

meut, I shall feel that you have been fairly warned, and that 
you can not hold me responsible for any annoyance you may 
suffer from the consecjuences. 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, 1S55, 
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 ivere 
actually in tlie Cudorn-liouse !'■■ I could not but con- 

* These sixteeu 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 
various progresses," &c. * * -^ * 

" It was delightful for old Peter to behold the Queen and the Prince, 
and not fess so to see the young Prince of Wales emulating the British 
Tar, and looking like an embryo Nelson, and his heart beat witli ardor 
at the cheers of the sailors and the roaring of the guns." * <<■ * j^ 

"lie (old Peter) loves the sea-breeze, and he would sing with his 
poor old voice, like a shattered chirionct, ' Rule, Britannia,' and thank 
God that he has lived to see the day when England exhibits to the world 
tluit she is still able to ' rule the waves.' " * * * * 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 30T 

sider this as a defiance on the part of Mr. Darton, 
and accordingly I commenced an action against him, 
as I had told him I should do. 

The case is still undecided. It is, j^erhaps, a ques- 
tion, whether a Xew 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 countrj^ 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 fig-htino- their battles than his own. 

o o 

I have great respect for the Queen of England, for I consider her vii-- 
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 "Eule Britannia" — but it is not pleasant to find these 
things in a book, issued in the name of Peter Parley, the preface of 
which is signed Peter Parley, and which is all written so as to make the 
world believe it is the work of an American. 



308 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 



LETTER XLIX. 

Objections to the Parley Books — My theory as to hooks for children — 
Attempt in England to revive the old nvrsery hooks — Mr. Felix Suinnierly 
— EalloweWs Nursery Rhymes of England — Dialogue hetween Timothy 
and his mother — Mother Goose — The Toad''s Story — Books of instruction. 

My dear (3****** ' 

It is not to be supposed tliat tlie 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 half- 
dozen 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 tlie 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 
I v^ould 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 



HISTOrJCAL, 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 fonr years old, 

Along a meadow stray ; 
Alone she went, unchecked, untold, 

Her home not for away. 

She gazed around on earth and sky, 
Xow paused and now proceeded ; 

HiU, 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 hght. 
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 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

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 tliis 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 soudit to teach 

o 

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 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 311 

starting point. The first line I v\'rote was, " Here I 
am ; my name is Peter Parle}^," 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 w^ell 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 amono- 
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 LETTEKS- 

cliild ill 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 juvenile 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 



313 

was the reverence at the time for tlie old favorites of 
the nursery, that a man by the name of Hallowell"^ 
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 — 
Bnmpety, 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 I mother I 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. Xow don't you laugh ; it's all mine. I didn't get a bit of 
it out of a book. Here it is ! 

" Iligglety, pigglety, pop 1 
The dog has eat the mop ; 

The pig's in a hurry, 

The cat's in a flurry — 
Higglety, pigglety — pop !" - 

M. Well, go on. 

T. Why, that's all. Don't you think it pretty good ? 

M. Eeally, my son, I don't see much sense in it. 

T. Sense? Who ever thought of sense^ in poetry? Why, 

* Nursery Ehymes of England, &c., Collected and Edited by James 
Orchard Hallo well. 
Vol. II.-U 



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. [Reads.] 

'' Hub u dub ! 
Three men in a tub — 
And how do you think they got there ? 
Tlie butcher, 
Tlie 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 bumblebee — 
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 snch things as these, and I 
don't see any meaning in them. 

J/. Well, my son, I think as yon 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 — "' 



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 1" 

M. Timothy! 

T. Ma'am? 

M. Listen to me, or you will have cause to repent it. Listen 
to what I say I I gave you the book to amuse you, and improve 
you in reading, not to form your taste in poetr}*. 

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 I" 

M. Don't say that again, Timothy I 

T. Well, I won't; but V\\ say something out of this pretty 
book you gave me. 

" Doodledy, doodledy, dan I 
I'll have a piper to be my good man — 
And if I get less meat, I shall get game— 
Doodledy, doodledy, dan !" 

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 ! 

-f' ■ , 

" Round aboiTt — round about — 
Maggoty pie — 
My father loves good ale, 
And so do I." 

Don't yoti like that, mother ? 
\ M. ^sTo ; 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 mucli, motlier. And here is a poem, which I think 
very fine. 

" One-ery, two-ery, 

Ziccary zau, 

Hollow bone, crack a bone — 

Ninery ten : 

Spittery spat, 

It must be done, 

Twiddleduni, 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. 

" Ilink, spiuk, the puddings — " 

M. Give me the hook, 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. 1^0. 

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 Uymns, and Original Hymns, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 317 

T. Do you call them sensible things ? I hate 'era. 
" Doodledy, doodledy, dan 1'' 

J/; \Asi(Je?[ Dear, dear, what shall I do ? The boy has got 
his head turned with tliese silly rhymes. It was really a very 
unwise thing to put a book into his hands, so full of nonsense 
and vulgarity. These foohsh 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. 
\Alou(i:\ Timothy, you must give me up this book, and I will 
get you another. 

T. AY ell, 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, spiuk, tlie puddings stink" — 

M. Timothy, you'll have a box on the ear, if you repeat that ! 

T, Well, I suppose I can say, 

" Eound about — round about — 
Maggoty pie — " 

ilT. You go to bed ! 

T, Well, if I must, I must. Good-night, mother ! 

" Higglety, pigglety, pop ! 
Tlie dog has eat the mop ; 
The cat's in a flurry, 
Tlie cow's in a hurry, 
Higglety, pigglety, pop 1" 

Good-night, mother ! 

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 

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 j)resenting 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. 

THE toad's story. 

Oh, gentle stranger, stop. 
And hear poor httle Hop 
Just sing a simple song, 
Which is not very long — 
Hip, Lip, 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, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 319 

But what I say is true — 
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 M'asli my crown, 
And now and then I sip 
A drop Vv'ith 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 yery 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 ! > 



320 LETTERS 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 voh 
i. pa,^e 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 oif ; 
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 kor 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 cherish vulgar ideas ; to erase from the young heart tender and 
gentle feelings, and subsUtute for them fierce and bloody thoughts and 
sentiments ; to turn the youthful mind from the contemplation of the 
real lovehness of nature, and to fill it with the horrors of a debased and 
debauched fancy; to turn the youthful mind from tlie gentle pleasures 



HISTORICAL, A^iTECDOTICAL, 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. But 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 judo-ment of others. One thino' 
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 juve- 

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 criunts, 
grinding the bones of children between their teeth, and satisfying their 
liorrible thirst upon the blood of innocent men and women and infants ; 
in short, had it been said tliat these books were calculated to make crim- 
inals of a large part of the children who read them, I think the truth 
would have been much more fairly stated than in the prece ling notice. 



822 LETTERS BI0GEAP1]ICAL, 

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 — Beceptlon 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 ISttG, I 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 
I was of course Peter Parley himself. 

"Did you really write that book about Africa?" 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 323 

said a black-eyed, dark-haired girl of some eight years 
old, at Mobile. 

I replied in the afiirmatiye. 

" And did jou really get into prison, there ?" 

'' Ko ; I was never in Africa." 

"Never in Africa?" 

"Never." 

" "Well, then, why did you say 3^ou 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 Parle}^ The 
girl rushed up to me, and gave me a ringing kiss at 
once. We were immediatel}' 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 v/ouldn't have any thing to do 
with that man : he ain't Peter Parley." 

'' How do you knov/ 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 '" Parh^/s Method of Tdllng ahont Geogra- 
phy to Childrerbj''^ had a picture, drawn by Tisdtile, representing Parley 



32i LETTEKS 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. GOODPJCil AT NEW ORLEAXS. 

As it may gratify many of our readers, and especially the 
friends of Peter Parley, we give in full the proceedings at i^ew 
Orleans, which took place on the 28th of February last. The 
following is the report as published in the Xew Orleans Com- 
mercial Times of March 2d : 

Compliment to Mr. Goodrich, tlie author of Parleifs Tales. — 
Our fellow-citizens are already aware tliat soon after Mr, Good- 
rich's arrival in our city, a large subscription, by onr leading 
gentlemen, was filled, with a view to give him the compliment 
of a public dinner. But ]\rr. Goodrich's stay being too short 

Bitthig 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 I" Of this work 
two millions were sold, and of course Parley and his crutch were pretty 
generally associated together, in the minds of children. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 325 

to allow of completing these arrangements, advantage was taken 
of the polite otfer of Alfred Hennen, Esq., to give him a public 
reception at his house, under the auspices of the othcers 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 
ha^'e a much more assured knowledge of the reply which you 
are about to make to such remarks as I may oifer, 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 I presume they would say, if all were 
to speak at once. 

''Permit me, then, in behalf of these friends and fellow- 



326 I.^TTERS- 

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 In ew 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 of 
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 'Z' J. ;?ii <^^s ^;i- 
fans: 

"For, sir, who knows into how many thousand habitations 
in the United States Peter Parlej- '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 eye-, or pleasure shook their infant 
frames ? 

"I have just alluded, sir, to the genial influence of 3'our works 
in the United States. The immortal bard of Avon has said — 

" • How far tliat little candle throws his beams ! 
So shines a good deed in a naujGrhty world.' 

But your name has crossed the Atlantic; and, in the hope of 
instiUing 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: 

'• Xiiw OBUiAKs, February 28th, ]846. 
"Dear Sie: Having, with mucli i-)leasure, 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 fame of that distinguished 
character. 



niSTOKICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 327 

" Wheu in London, I rarely ever pa?sed 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 effect 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 liearts with joy. They would jump and frisk 
about, clap their hands, dance and stamp in froiit of these big handbills, 
and sing out in the perfect fuUness 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 
ghstening 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 
dehghtful 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 V 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 has 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 tace, 
with the utmost curiosity, would say — ' Do you know Peter Parley V 

'•Such facts as these were always delightful to an American when 
abroad, it made me feel proud of my country. And while 1 looked 



328 LETTEES BIOGEAPHICAL, 

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. 
" Kespectfully yours, 

" GKEER B. DUNCAN. 
"M. M. Cohen, Pres. People's Lyceum." 

" To this note I will only add that, not a moment aajo, 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. 

" You came, sir, to Xew Orleans unheralded, unannounced — 
nor military guards, nor glittering arms, nor streaming banners, 
nor artillery, accompanied your steps. Xeither 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 witli the pen a better immortality than 
raihtary chieftains achieve with the sword ! There, at Jamaica 
Plain, you were Avriting for young misses and masters little 
Peter Parley stories, and you all the while httle 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 ^vhen you leave us, be sure that when 
' the curfew tolls the knell of parting day' — or in plainer words, 
^[r. 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, ftirewell I ^lay you live long years of hai)pines9, 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 329 

as you must of honor; and when you die, may your 'works,' 
in one sense, not 'follow after' you, but remain on earth, to 
profit and delight, and be, like your fame, immortal!" 
To which Mr. Goodrich replied as follows : 
"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 
httle 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 Xew Orleans, I have been greeted by a succession 
of agreeable surprises ; and nothing has interested me more than 
the enlightened state of pubhc opinion which I find to exist here 
in respect to jJopular 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 Xew Orleans, I have looked with 
peculiar satisfaction upon your public schools. Some of them 
would be deemed excellent in any part of Xew England— nay, 
in Boston itseh: is^or is this aU; 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, between 
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 aDusion, a closer association between Plymouth 



330 LETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Rock and !^ew Orleans than I had imagined. You have here 
both faith and ^corTcs. 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 hy the extent and 
activity of its commerce. 

" Xor is this subject only to be viewed as it respects is'ew 
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 foUow in the boundless West. If we consider the 
ascendency which Isew Orleans has already acquu-ed, especially 
in comparison Avith 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 httle less than de- 
cisive. We may, therefore, consider the Mississippi under the 
image of a mighty tree, Vv^hose foot is on the verge of the tropics, 
while its tops are playing with the snows of the icy north. Xew 
Orleans stands at the root, and must furnish tlie sap, at least to 
some extent, M'hich 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 patriotism 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 



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 hght, from eai'th 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 m 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 tlie 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 Avill 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 ditferent 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 pruning- 
knife in the other, may rear up a whole forest of trees, beautiful 
in form, and productive of the choicest fruits. AYhat 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 fife 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 oifspring. How hopeful, 
how fearful, are her duties now ! Washington and Xapoleon, 
Howard and Robespierre, were children once, and each upon a 
mother's knee. AVhat 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 EIOGRAPHTCAL, 

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 I 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 llglit delay 
What may as well be done to-day — 
Ne'er do the thin^ you'd wish undone, 
Viewed by to-morrow's rising sun. 

" If you wiU 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!" 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 333 



LETTER LI. 

Retrospectio)i—Cotifessiom—The mice among my pai)evs—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 Parle}' '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 



o3-i 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, recei|)ts, 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 



335 

teeth disclosed, the long, slender tails straight and 
stiffened — testified to the jovs 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 Gaylord 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 jDurposes 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 lesidrng of the fragments 
suggested. Absorbed in this dreary occupation, I 
forgot the world without, and was only conscious of 



336 LETTERS — BIOGEAPIIICAE, 

bygone scenes whicli 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 I 
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 monosjdlable — 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 stufiing 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 v/as Franklin Haven, pres- 
ident of tlie Merchants' Bank at Boston — who found it in liis lieart, 
while administering liis office with signal ability and success, to collect 
a library, cultivate letters, leani languages, and cherish a respect for 
literary men. It must be one among other sources of gratification, 
arising from liis liberal tastes, that he long enjoyed the confidence and 
friendship of Daniel Webster. . . 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 337 

I ought, no doubt, to have smiled at all this — but 
1 confess it made me serious. Nor was it the most 
humiliating part of my reflections. I have been too 
famihar 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- 
wisel}^, 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 
reUef at L^st; I smiled at what had happened; I 
Avarmed 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 b3^gone 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 forgetfulness, 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!" 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL. ETC. 839 



LETTER LII. • 

Speech at St. Albans — Lecture vpon 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 Banlcruptcy — Election 
of Harrison — His Death — Consequences — Anecdotes — The Small 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 Yincent, the represen- 



* The Keform Bill was a popular measure, which swept away the 
rotten boroughs, and greatly extended the suliVage. After a long 
and violent struggle, it passed the House of Lords on the 4th of June, 
1S32, 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 nad favored it ; in consequence, he was insulted 
by a mob, while passing on horseback through "t)ne of the streets of 
London, June 18th, the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. A few 
days after this, there was a military review in Hyde Park, and King 
William being present, a large concourse of people assembled ; among 
them was the Duke of Wellington. After the review was over, he was 
encircled by an immense mass of persons, indignant at the insult he 
had received, and desirous of testifying their respect and affection. 
Most of them condemned his opposition to the reform bill, but this could 
not extinguish or diminish their sense of his great merit. I was 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 lie bade adieu to his shouting escort. 

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



340 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

tative in Parliament of that ancient borougli. 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 i^lacc. 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 spe-ech. 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 aflfection of the people. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 341 

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 Ms last'''' — 

I am total!}' unable to say. 

My next public appearance was in a lecture at the 
Tremont Temple, in Boston — my subject being Ireland 
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 
Eiot" — June 11, 1839 — in which the Irish, who gathered in that quar- 
ter, were attacked, their houses rifled, their beds ripped open, and the 
furniture destroyed to the amount of two thousand dollars ; and also 
in burning down the Catholic Female Seminary — a species of Convent, 
where it was said there were evil doings — in the adjacent town of 
Charlestown. My purpose was to allay this excitement by presenting 



34:2 LETTERS- 

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- 

m 

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 uj)per 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 asfreeable traits thnt had survived, amid all 
tlie 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. 



343 

Mr. Yan 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 illastrions 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 v/ith 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- 
mocrac}^ of Salem, in v/hich — 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 
eli2;ible to Congress in the Ninth District, he took up 



344 - LETTERS 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 j ournal, 
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, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. Stto 

very monster of violence and vandalism. He was 
not at the office, but such ^Yas my 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 Eoxbury 

15* 



34:6 ". LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

— Jamaica Plain, where I resided, being a parish of 
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 i.-, 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 Kussia. 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 Eiigland, where he spent some months. He now took 
part with the democrats, and wrote against the Hartford Convention and 
in favor of the war. Soon after the peace he was appointed secretary 
of legation to Governor Eustis, in his mission to the Netherlands. 
Here he continued several years, the latter part of the time as 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 m3'self 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 ojDposer of the Fifteen 
Gallon Law. As the election approached, the citi- 
zens of the State were drawn out in two camps, the 
men of L^raei — 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 
helmeted 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- 



348 , I,F;rTEKS BIOGKAPrilCAL, 

sonage, but, on the contrary, liad drawn liis portrait 
.in ver}' amiable colors, he held that it was a mali- 
cious personal attack. In vain did I deii}' the charge, 
and point to the fact that the residence, character, 
Tonalities of my fictitious hero, Avere inapplicable to 
him. Anxious, like ^fawworm, 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, howev^er, clearly 
discerning the gathering storm, refused to release me, 
and I Avas 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 llie " 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 count}', 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 an}^ thing which liad appeared si ace the letters 
of Junius, and of course considered me .'.s 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 le,gislature, and 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. S49 

I was chosen. The storm gradually passed awa}-. 
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, Tranton, 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^ tclio always gets in by one ! 

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



350 I,KTTEKS BIOGRArniCAL, 

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. Van 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. Van 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 th? 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 a 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, and almost destitute 
of bread, found relief in swelling the Harrison processions and gather- 
ings, in singing patriotic songs, and shouting for reform. 



HISTOKICAL, A:s^ECDOTICAL, ETC. 351 

had lielcl 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 " ISTorth 
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 
Avas 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 speechmaker, 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 mil'tary commander. While in the midst 
of his discourse, a tall, gaunt ma x — who was probably a schoolmaster in 



352 LETTERS BIOGEAPniCAL, 

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 Yan Buren ! The death of Harrison, how- 
ever, which took place thirty daj^s after he had en- 

tliose parts — arose from the crowd, and said, in a voice which penetrated 
the wliole assembly — 

"Mister — Mister I I want to ax you a question." To this the orator 
assented, and the man went on as follows ; 

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

The speaker declared his utter ignorance of what tlie 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 111 read what it says : 'At this critical moment, Gen. Harrison 
executed a novel movement !' Does the gentleman deny that V 

" 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 P And this was the kind of movement 
Gen. Harrison was guilty of. Now, I'm no soger, and don't know much 
of milentary tictacks — but this I do say : a man who, in the face of an 
enemy, is guilty of a Small Tail Movement, is not fit to be President of 
the United States, and he shan't have my vote !" 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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, 07i the ground that he was in favor of 
the repeal of the laiv. He insisted that it was an extreme measure ; and 
although he was a temperance man — God forbid that he should be any 
thing else — he still thought it would do harm to the good cause ! There- 
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 oflB.ce. 



354: LE ITERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

•asuallj 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, tliere 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, and so, you see, he can 
shingle his barn !" I have seen a good deal of this barn-shingling, even 
in New England. 



HBTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 



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 laio — Policy the basis of local copyright laiv — Inter mitional 
Copyright demanded by justice — Scheme for International Copyright 
xoith G-reat Britain — Reasons for it. 

My dear c ***** =iJ 

In the winter of 18^1:2, 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 Avelcome 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 

* This dinner took place on tlie 1st of February, 1S42. It was deemed 
a matter of sufficient importance to have the whole proceedings — 
speeches, letters, and toasts — reported, and published in a book. la 
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 
t)]unt adulation, as we now know, laughed at it in his sleeve at the 
time, and openly afterward, when he bad got safe back to En: :;;;d. 
This should be a lesson to us for all future time. Foreigners wih ;Jge 
us somewhat according to their own standard. They regard al! .xces- 
sive demonstrations of the kind here alluded to as proceediii_ 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 BIOaRAPHICAL, 

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 ^vere 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 
discu.ssion 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 
could, 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 : 

IxTERXATioxAL 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 Parhament* At that 

* The first English parliamentary statute in regard to copjTJglit, 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, 
tlie heirs may have an extension of the time for seven years from the 
date of his death. 

During the disctission 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 tlie proprietor of certain copyrights, which 
the law treats as copyhold, but which in justice and equity should be 
his freehold. He cannot conceive how 'Hood's Own,' without a change 
in the title-deed as well as the title, can become 'Everybody's Own' 
hereafter. 

" That cheap bread is as desirable and necessary as cheap books, but 
it hath not yet been thought just or expedient to ordain that after a 
certain 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 Jieirs ; 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. I have seen no 
assertion of this principle prior to this date. 

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



358 LETTERS' BIOGEAPHICAL, 

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 very large 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, Avho 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 ISTotes on America, in which 
he jjlucked 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 otTensive 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, 



HISTOKICAL, •A^sECDOTICAL, I:TC. 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, 
type-founders, book-binders, and others connected with the book 
manufacture. Their chief object was to petition Congress for a 
modification of the tarift' — a reconstruction of the entire tariii 
system being then under consideration — so as to atford 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 
Eob Eoy's cattle-stealing; while at the same time British publishers 
had done and continued to do the same thing in respect to American 
books. The British government had indeed offered to go into a mutual 
interchange of copyright law, but in the mean time their publishers 
went on reprinting American works, without compensation, as before. 
Their position, therefore, was only this : they would stop thieving when we 
would ; and the condition of their giving up ivhat they held to be piracy, zvas 
a bargain in which they ivould get a thousand pounds, where xve 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 ! lu 
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 its 
consequences. But these diflaculties are now past, and it ii time to con- 
sider the subject in a calmer and wiser spirit. 



360 ^ LETTERS — BIOGRAPHICAL, 

So far us 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? AVhat 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 consequence, to a cluuu 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 all 
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 unproductiv^e of value. It consists of material signs — 
letters, words, sentences — conveying ideas. It is susceptible of 
being cojjied and nniltiplied 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 ; 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. . 361 

and what he claims is the right, and the exclusive right, thus to 
copy his book— or, in other words, cojnjright. The commodity 
of the author, as well as the method of recompense, are different 
from those of the fiirmer, 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 autlior's commodity is 
copyright, and he claims the right to control it. The former'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 former's right to his crop is founded.* 



* Various su.srgestions 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 with the other by publication. 
This objection is fully answ-ered by a suggef^tion 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. IT. C. Carey, to this effect, 
that a book consists of two parts— facts and ideas, wliich he calls the 
body, and the language, which he considers Llie clothing. Now, he 
says, facts and ideas are old, and have become common property ; tliey 
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 tliis 
theory is founded, and the other in respect to the inferences drawn from 
it. Mr. Carey lias 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 tliat there is nothing new 
in the facts and ideas of the histories of Prescott, Bancroft, and Ma- 
caulay; 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, which Mr. 
Carey considers as wholly barren and unproductive of thought. 

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

Vol. TT.~- 1 6 



362 LETTERS- 

This is clear, but now comes the otlier questioa, 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 proi)erty 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 aroimd us, we shall see 
that by far the larger i)ortion of it, throughout the world, is not 
in the hands of the producers.* The i)resent distribution of land, 
in all countries, has been made to a great extent by violence, 
by conquest, usurpation, robbery, TIjo 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, wliich 
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 j^ossession according to laic. 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 liis labor i A 
man has a right to the fruit of his toil ; the public may and will fix a 
price upon his products, according to the amount of labor, skill, and 
capital bestowed, but they may not deny his right to them, or confiscate 
them or any portion of tlieni. 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, an actual production by 
mainial labor. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 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. "^hat 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 as 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 sr^ek his own happiness by promoting 
the happiness of others. That is Christianity, which is above Commu- 
nism — though the latter has certainly taught us, in some respects, 



8Gi LEITERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Thus vagiie, confused, and contradictory are the ideas which 
attach to the principle of property, even among the learned. 
The foct certainly is, that in its distribution very little respect 
has been ])aid to abstract rights. Xearly 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, in 1360, " the Stat- 
ute of Laborers" punished workmen wdio left their usual abodes, by 
being branded in the foreheads with the letter F. ; it required persons 
not worth forty shillings to dress in the coarsest russet cloth, and to be 
served once a day " with meat, fish, or the offal of other victuals." Tu 
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 buyiug of 
lean and stinking meat." 

During these periods, laborers who removed from place to place must 
have letters-patent granting them this privilege, or be put in the stocks. 
In 1406, children of poor parents must be brought up in the trade or 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 coUieries in wdiich 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- 



HI6T0KICAL, ANECDOTIGAL, ETC. 365 

If we look at the history of copyright, we shall see that 
authors have been, from the beginning, treated according to 
these principles of government — which shape all things with a 
primary and controhing regard to policy or the public good. 
Knowledge is power, and this was as well understood by the 
despotisms of the middle ages as it is by those of the present 
day. They sought therefore to ketp it in their ow^n 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. ISTow a mighty change in his 
position had taken place : the press multiphed his works as by 
magic. A new^ idea, a new interest, was thus created. Man- 
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 — ErOGPwAPHICAL, 

irood pleasure of the king. Tliese were deemed property, and 
were bought and sold as such. Thus copj'right, 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 regarded himself as at liberty to grant 
or refuse the hcense, 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 connnon laAV ; but no sucli 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 solenm adjudication, decided that the right of an 
autlior 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 jjerpetual right of copy was taken away, 
and it was limited to twenty-one years ! Since that time the 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTIGAL, 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 throw^n 
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 in the enjoyment of it is the gift of statute 
law — of an enactment of government. Xowhere 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 L I- TTERS BIUU 1{ A PI I IC A L, 

enter into a partnership of international copyright, we very nat- 
urally test the question by the princii>les 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, h thty 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 coi)y right to 
Mr. Dickens, because no law protects him at the distance of 
three thousand miles — we rejjly 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 gue copyright to anybody 
after a lapse of alout forty -tii-o 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 
all 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 2:>rotection^ and this has been gradual- 
ly extended icith the increase of light andj ustice among manTcind, 

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 otber 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 
itmiglit tend to limit the beneficent influence of genius, and to 



.- HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 369 

restrain the full light of literature in after-tiuies, 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. Xow, 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 everybod}" 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. AVhat 
is the true principle of conduct between these two parties : is 
it that each shall confiscate to his own use the property tliat 
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, " Xo ; 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 
16* 



370 I.KTTERS BIorrKAlMIICAL, 

by saying that we follow tlie example of governments in tlieir 
local copyright law, for although, as I have shown, tliese do not 
recognize th-e ahmlute and per2')etual claim of authors to the right 
of coyy^ yet all allow that they have a right to some comijeiisation 
for their icorls. Our wrong lies iii this, that we deny all com- 
pensation. This, if it is voluntary, is not very far from robbery. 

Xow 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 has 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 Avriters, 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 lecome one marlet, it icill he mainly to the advan- 
tage of the British puMishers. The British are a nation of sell- 
ers, not buyers. They preach free trade to all the world, but 
when a markt-t is ojien, they rush in and engross it. It is free 
trade, but only to th. in. 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 pubhshers, having the control of British copyrights, 
will send their agents to Xew York, Boston, and Philadelphia, 
or they will here form branch establishments. Through these 
tee shall he supplied with Britsh tool's from British type^ on 
British paper^ and with British Mnding. 

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 icith British authors^ h.it 
9.oith British puhllshers ; it is not against foreign copyright^ hut 
foreign hoolsellers. We have an immense interest involved in 
the diversitied 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 icorlcs he p)uhlished hy American, 
citizens^ and he marmfo.ctured in tlie United States. IN'ay, I think 
it is easy to suggest a plan of this nature, which would be ben- 
eficial to ail the interests concerned — those of American authors 
as Avell as American book producers. 

Tlie 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. He shall give due notice, in the United States,'^ of his inten- 



* This notice should be recorded in some one office, say in a regis- 
ter, kept for that purpose, at the Smithsonian Institute, so that by ref- 
erence to this, any person may kno~^' if copyright of a work which is 
announced, is to be copyrighted, and also may see whether this requi- 
sition of the law has been complied with. 



872 LETTERS BIOGEAPHICAL, 

tion to secure liis copyright in this country, three months before 
the pubhcution of his book ; and this slinll be issued in tlie United 
States within thirty days after its pubHcation in Great Britain. 

3. His work shall be published by an American citizen, who 
shall lodge a certiticate in the office of the clerk of the court 
of the district where he resides, stating in whose behalf the 
copyriglit 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. 

(). 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 tlio 
advantage of all concerned, to permit the use of foreign stereotype 
plates, inasmuch as there will ofren 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 enera- 
vers and type-founders even, will be best consulted by letting the ar- 
rangement be made as here proposed. 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 373 



US books manufactured at home — to commit this wrong ; it is 
Avise, tlierefore, to make provision against it. And besides, this 
plan, securing the pubhcation 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, inasmuch as the 
books will be issued by American publishers, they are hkely to 
conform to American ideas in respect to price. One of the 
apprehensions 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 Bidwer 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 a 

* 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 Engrlish 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 



IJ:TTEKS BIOGRAPHICAL, 



l)lan is proposed to iis, and that a reasonable plan, and compati- 
ble ^vith the best interests of the country- -then such refusal be- 
comes voluntary and designed on our i)art, and is a willful takini; 
without liberty, which is a plain definition of a very disreputable 
act. Xo American can be gratilied by such a state of tilings ; 
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 Uterature, that has become the 
common property of the Anglo-Saxon race; lut ice irAll not 
seeh to roh the living author of the fruit of his genius or his toil. 

5. Besides, we Americans should remember two other things : 
first, tliat 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 ^'C to liave — onglit we have — a literature of oar own? I 
say yes— we not only are to have, but wo 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 ofa 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 flutl\, 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 tlie 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 -woul'l be cheaper to buy s<->lfli(>rs ready-marlfi, 



ETC. o I 

" rians — 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 yon 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 tlie 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. Xor are we wholly delinquent in the higher 
forms of Hterature — 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 mercenaries of Europe to defend ns in time of war, than it would be 
to make soldiers of our fathers and brothers and sons — cheaper in the 
outj^et, 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 
read 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 for 
the character and safety of a people in time of peace, how are we to 
have it ? By paying for it. By making it worth the while of our young 
men to give up a portion of their time to the study of writing, not as a 
boyish pastime — no, nor even as a trade, but as an art — a science." — 
JoJi77 Xeal. 



376 LETTEES BIOGBAPmCAI-, 

portion as "we love and honor onr Dative land ; in proportion as 
wfc feel dej^iroos tbat our country should be honored by the 
•world — jnst in t?jat 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 Britfeh authorship to come into this country to the 
detriment, the discouragement of our own, American authors. 
in comj>etilion with British authors, are in the jXisition that our 
manulacturfers vrou]'! be. if British mercljandise were gratuitously 
di«rtribut<?d io our markets. The scheme herein prop^^^sed 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 comj>etitor of 
our own literatare. 

For these reasons, as well as others which nee^l not be sug- 
gestfc'l, I believe the y>rojx;sed scheme, or something resembling 
it. would be a/^>f;ptabl6 to the country. If the arrangement is 
made by treaty, it may l>e stipulate] that it is to be terminated 
after five years, at the pleasTire of either party. In its rxature, 
therefore, it will Ixs provisional and ezj>erimental, and may Ix? 
tfjrminatfjd or m'yjified, as time and exj>erience may dictate. If 
it be said, either in this conntry or in Great Britain, that this is 
not all tliat may be d<«ired, let us consider whether, as a prac- 
tical ^^uestion, it is not as much as it is now pos-sible to obtain. 
It is t/^ l>e considered that Jnteriiational Copyright is a modern 
idea; and it is not alU-fgether unreasonable that in dealing with 
it — especially in this ountry, where so many and b^> important 
interests are at stake — we should ff^llow the cautious steps of the 
mf/i}MiT country irj granting c^jpyright to her own 'Mtizens, which 
at first was YmnXAA to twenty-one years. 

Such are iLe ^'i^;w.^ I had ionucA three years ago. 
1 was then in Kurojjfi; since inj return, I am con- 
firm e^l in them by various con .'n derations, and espe- 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, EIW 377 



., ^^^A^^^l-■^J.x^^^^LJ^ 



ciallj by finding tluit some enlightened publishers, 
who have hitherto doubted the expedieney of inter- 
nntional 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 hiborer 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 
tliat governments, in local copyright laws, deny tlie 
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 copy riglii every- 
ivlteredoes in fact make some compensation to the avthor^ 
and thus substantially admits his claim. We, who 
refuse international copyright, must reflect that so 
far as we are concerned, ive deny all compensation to 
the foreign author^ and thus are manifestly in the 
wrong.'^ We may pretend, indeed, that local cop}^- 

* In Fniuce, copyright was rei,mlutecl by royal decrees, till 17S9, when 
u general law was passed, establishing the old practice, which gave the 
author copyright in perpetuity, except that in case of sale to a piiblishei-, 
it terminated at his death. At present, by acts of 1798 and 1810, the 
autiior has copyright during his life, and then his chiMren twenty years 
afier. If there are no children, the actual heirs enjoy it for ten years. 

The copyright law of Kngland is stated elsewhere. 

In Holland and iiulgiuni, the copyright laws of France arc adopted. 



^ 37S LKrricFJs — biogkaimikal, 

right aflords 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 th(; 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 
author's decease. 

In Kussia, the law gives copyright during the lifetime cf 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 liis death. 

Prussia was the first nation to pass a general act, offering International 
Copyright to all countries that would reciprocate the same. Tliis was 
incorporated into her copyright law of 1837. England followed tiiis 
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 proliibiting 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 States, generally having difierent languages, and trifling interests 
at stake, is very easy and natural ; it is practically a very difierent matter 
between England and the United States, which have the same language, 
and immense industrial arts, trades, and professions, directly comiected 
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 reasonaljle 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 m}^ last letter I presented to yon 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 o-eneral heads : 

o 

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 BIOGKAPHICAL 



may approacli the results we seek, with a suJB&cient 
degree of certainty, for all practical purposes. 

I. As to tJie cxlension of tlie hooJc manufacture. 

TiiK r.ooK Pkoductiox or Manufacture in 1820. 
Let us go l);i(k to the year 1820, and endeavor to estimate 
the gross amount of tliis trade in the United States at that 
period. Tlie t't^llowing statement, it is supposed, may ajjproaeh 
tlie truth: 

Amount of books iiiamifuctureJ and sold in the United States iu 1820. 

Scliool books $750,000 

Classical books 250,000 

Theoloirical books 150,000 

Law books 200,000 . •, 

Medical books 150,000 » 

All others ] ,000,000 

Gross amount $2,500,0u0 

^:^" 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, Paulding, J. R. Drake, John 
Neal, Brainard, Percival, Ilillhouse, and others, redeemed the country 
from the sneer that nobody read American books. During this period 
we began to have confidence iu 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 Manufactukk ix 1830. 

If we take 1830 as a period for estimating the product of tlie 
book manufacture, we suppose it may stand thus : 

School books >;1. 100,000 

Classical books ;350,000 

Tiieologicul books 250,000 

Law books 300,000 

Medical books 200,000 

All others 1,300,000 

Gross amount 5;3,50i.',000 

^ gs^ This sliows au increase of production of forty per cent, in ten years. 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 381 

From 1880 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 Bowditeh, whose 
translation of the Mechanique 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, Jenks, Robin- 
son, Spring, A. Alexander, Durbin, Hodge, Bangs, Olin, L. Beecher, 
Tyng, Thornv/elh 

In Political Economy, Philosophy, &c. — II. C. Carey, Colton, Lieber, 
Wayland, Upham, Tucker. 

In General Science, Natural History, &c. — Sillimau, Henry, Morton, 
Eogers, Eedfield, Espy, Audubon, Olmsted, Dana, Gray, Nuttall, Bur- 
ritt. 

In Jurisprudence, International Law, &c. — Kent, Story, Wheaton, 
Duer, Cowen. 

In Medicine and Surgery — Dunglison, N. Smith, N. K. Smith, Bige- 
low, Dewees, Beck, Doane, TVood, Mott, Eberle. 

In Travels, Geography, &c. — Schoolcraft, Euschenberger, Stepiiens, 
Farnliam. 

In Essay and Criticisn*— Channing, the two Everetts, Emerson. 

In Fiction — Cooper, Ware, Simms, Bird, Kennedy, Poe, Miss Sedg- 
wick, Mrs. Child, Miss Leslie, Fay, Hofiman. 

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. 

l^^ This period is to be noted for the eifective labors of W. C. Wood- 
bridge, 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 scliool 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 
amazing expansion in their use and distribution, which now marks the 
subject of education in the United States, This also was the era of An- 
nuals, which added largely to the amount of the book-trade. 



382 



LE'rrKirS BIOGKAPHICAL, 



This is tlie era of the establishment of tlie Penny Press, which is al 
once a sign and instrument of proorress. Its liome is in tlie midst of 
inisiness, education, literature — in the very breathiuj? and heurt-beatinj^ 
of life and action; and it f^ivcs 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. AVc may 
advert to a single illustration of its expanding influences: the three 
principal {)enny paj)crs of New York, at the present day, 185(3— the 
Herald, Tribune, a!id 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 fs also tlie era in Avhich monthly and semi-mothly Magazines 
began to live and thrive among us. Among the most noted, arc the 
Knickerbocker, Merchants' Magazine, Graham's, Southern Literary Mes- 
senger, all continued to the present time, with others which have ceiused 
to exist. 

The Book Manxfacture in 1840. 

The book production lor 1840 may be estimated as follows :* 

School books ^2,000,000 

Classical books 550,000 

Theological books 300,000 

• ^ Law books . . : 4(:i0,t:'00 

Medical books 250,0i'0 

All others 2,000,000 

Gross amount $5,500,000 

t^" 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 
circumstance 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 tabic of estimates of the various Industrial Inter- 
ests connected with the press, presented to Congress in behalf of the 
Convention wliich met at Boston in 1S42. Mr. Tileston, of Dorchester, 
and myself were the «onimittee appointed to proceed to Washington to 
enforce the wishes of the petitioners, founded upon this exhibition. 
Llr. Fillmore, the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, then 



;S3 



founded ; the penny press was diffused, and became more elevated in its 
cliaracter and more enlarged in its scope — several of the editors connected 
■svith it marking the age by their sagacity, vigor, and largeness of view. 

Tins 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 lumdreds of thousaixls. 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 
law, gave us a patient hearing, and the views of the petitioners were 
duly considered and acceded to. 



EilPLOYMEXTS, &e. 



No. of per- 
sons 
i employed. 



Publishing and Bookselling 
Periodicals, exclusive of i 

Newspapers ] 

Bookbinders , 

Type & Stereotype Found- i 

ers ] 

Engraving, Wood, Steel, & ] 

CoppeiCinclud. Designs j 
Plate Printing ^ 

Newspapers 

Printing, including News- i 
papers i 

Paper of all kinds used for j 
printing j 



Amount of 
business 
annually. 



4,0(Xi 



3,060 
700 

500 
500 



25,0S8 
8,000 



$7,000,000 

500,000 

1,646,000 

426,<i00 

250,000 

400,000 

6,000,000 

7,126,912 

5,000,000 



No. of books, 

&c., annually 

produced. 



12,000,000 vols 
8,000,000 Nos. 



•300,000,000 
sheets ann'y; 



Capitil in- 
vested. 



4,000,000 
200,000 
800,000 
400,000 



2,200,000 
3,000,000 
5,000,000 



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



384 LETTERS RIOGRAPIIICAL, 

Most of the authors whicli we liavc named a.s belonering to the prc- 
ccdintr em, shed their luster upoji this. Aniuiig tliosc who now tir-t 
entered the lists, we may name — 

In History— Ilildreth, Intrersoll, llWot, II:iwks, T. Irving, Frost, 
Headlcy, Abbott, Brodhead, Mrs. Willard, lx)ssing, C. A. Goodrich, 
and soon atter, Motley, wlio, at the very outset, lias attained a high 
reputation. In politieal history — Young, Benton. 

In Jurisprudence — Greenleaf, George T. Curtis, W, W. Story, and 
Boon atler, B. E. 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, Philosopliy, &c. — E. P. Smith, Mahan, Tappau, 
Hickok. 

Theology — Bushnell, Ilawes, Cliecvcr, Wainwrigjit, Wines, Hunting- 
ton, Spring, Wisner, J. A. Alexander, Taylor, McCTmtoek, E. Bcecher, 
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, Squiers, Maury, 
Mitchell, J. D. Dana, Baird, Hall, Enunons, Mahan, D. A. Weils, 
Wood, St. John, Wilkes — the latter giving us a new continent by dis- 
covery ; Lynch, who has furnished the best account of tlie Dead Sea and 
its environ.•^ ; 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— Preseott, Chapin, Giles, Sprague, Hague, CLarko 
Suraner, Whipple, Palfrey, Winthrop, Beecher, Cheever, Milbum. 

Travels, Geography, &c. — Catlin, Stephens, Curtis, Bayard Taylor, 
Bartlett, Willis, Southgate, Robinson, Clin, Kendall, Fremont, Kidder, 
Parkman, 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, Tuckcrman, Lontrfellow, Gris- 
wold, Mrs. Child, Hall, lleadley, Mrs. Kirkland, Grace Greenwood, Mrs. 
Ellet, Mrs. Hale, Seba Smith ; and in lSr>6, E. A. and G. L. Duyckinek. 

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, Lowill, Biicliatian Head. Bayard Taylor, Saxe, 
Epcs Sargent, W. K. Wallace, T. W. Parsons, Cranch, Fields. 

Books of Practical Utility— Miss Catharine Beecher, Miss Leslie, Fanny 
Fern, G. P. Putnam, .1. L. Blake, Downing, Haven, and many otliors. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 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, McNally, 
Fitch, Miss Cornell, Mrs. Willard, in School Geographies ; in Readers 
and Spellers, Emerson, Parker, Town, Saunders, Swan, Sargent, Tower, 
McGuffie, Cobb, Lovell; in Grammars, Kirkham, Clark, Brown, K. 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, Darlcy, 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 Manufacturb in 1S50. 
The era of 1850 affords the following estimates : 

School books $5,500,000 

Classical books I,0<:i0,000 

Theological books 500,000 

Law books 7<X>,000 

Medical books 400,000 

• All other books 4,4(>0,000 

Gross amount 81-,o0< >,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 pubUshed, 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. it.— it • . . 



386 L K'lTEKS niOG K A PH IC A L, 

During tliitj periuJ there have also been produccJ nuuierouss valuable 
and costly works by the General Government, relating to navigation, 
geography, &c., and also local, Stale surveys, under State patronage, 
of great interest and utility. 

During this period, pictorial-slieet literature is brought to a climax 
in every form, up to the blanket-folio. This is the age of vigorous ad- 
vertising, by mcana of which "fifty thousand copies arc sold before a 
book is printed." 

This is idso the millennial era of Spiritual Literature, which has now 
itB 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 : 

" Tills is the new ' Pen-ation' 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 

AVithout sufficient care, 
Was torn to rags, although he had 
Six cables round his hair ! 

• " ' The Ejrgs of Thought' I'll recommend 

As very thrilling lays ; 
Some poetf jioach — but here is one 

That all tlie papers praise. 
The school commissioners out West 

Have ordered seventy tons, 
That wiflely they may be dispersed 

Among their setting wms ! 

"And here's a most Astounding Tale — 
A volume full of Are; 
The author's name is known to fame — 
Stupendous Stubbs, Esquire 1 
^ And here's ' The Howling Ditch of Crime,' 

By A. Sai)phira Stress: 
"» Two hundred men fell dead last night 

A working at the press! ' 

Thk Book Manufacture in 1856. 

The amount of the production of our American book-trade at 
this time — tliat is, f(jr the }-ear 185G — may be estimated at about 
sixteen millions of dulhirs; and tlie annual increase of this in- 
terest at about a milHon of dollars a year. 

This sum mav be distributed tis fullo\v.s: 



HISTOEICAL, 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, Itliaca, Eochester, Auburn, Buifalo, &c. 600,000 

In Boston 2,500,000 

In other New En,2:land 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-trarle 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 1850 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 mure 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 $1 6,000,000 

You will hear in mind tTmt this estimate, througTiout, regards only hoohs 
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. 
Tmbner & Co., London — an interesting work, abounding in curious and 
startling yet gratifying facts, in respect to the literature of the United 

States. 



388 LE'lTEKS BIOGRAPIJICAL, 

■ Now, my dear C , you must remember that tlic 

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 
live 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. Tlie large and increasing proiiortion of American 
productions — that is, productions of American mind — in 
the hooJcs 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 autlu)rs. 



* See Triibncr'ft Bibliographical Guide, before quoted, page xxvii. It 
is there estimated that in 1860 the public libraries will amount to ten 
niillions of volumes. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 3S9 

From 1820 to 1330, as we have seen, a considerable impulse was 
given to American literature, whicii 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 shaU 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. 

[;^° 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 eiglity per cent, and that of British books twenty per cent. 

^^ It ivill he understood that we here speak of all new editions of every 
Tcind: of the tcorks of living British authors, tlie 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 
wiiole. 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 
seven-eighths 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 Uterature. Thirty per cent, of the works of 



390 LETTERS BIOGRArniCAL, 

these chisses— constituting the hifrhcr walks of literature generally— 
are of foreign origin. — A't<^ ^ote 11.^ p. 552, tol. 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. 

In the midst of the haste and hurry of life, induced 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 loet 
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- 
dhectly 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 eflorts 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 tliat America may take its due ranlv in the commouwealtli 
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 



a consummation, lliat I would earnestly urge upon 
our i)eople, and those whom they have placed in au- 
thority, to adopt the modilied 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 

ppeech, with the gulf which separates principles from actions. Men are 
btruggVmg to realize dim ideals of ri;j:ht and truth, and each failure adds 
to the desperate earnestness of their etforts. Beneath all the shrewd- 
ness and selfishness of the American character, tliere is a smoulderinj^ 
enthusia.sm which flames out at the first touch of tire— sometimes at tho 
hot and hasty words of party, and sometimes at the bidding of great 
thoughts and unselfish principles. The lieart 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 wliolly 
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 thougli they often aj.poar, are founded on sonio 
aspiration or reality which deserves a better form and exjiression. Tliere 
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 kindliiitr truths. We want a poetry which shall speak in 
clear, loud tones to the people ; a poetry which shall nrnke us more in 
love with our native land, by convertim; its ennobling scenery into tho 
images of lofty thoughts; which shall give visible fonn and life to tho 
abstract ideas of our written cun>titutions ; which shall confer upon 
virtue all the strcntrth of principle and all the energy of pjission ; which 
shall disentangle freedom from cant and senseless liyporbole, and ren- 
der it a thing of such loveliness and grandeur as to justify all self-sacri- 
fice ; wliich shall make us love in; ii by the new consecrations it slieds 
on his life and destiny ; which shall force tiirough the thin partitions of 
conventionalism and expediency ; vindicate the majesty of reason ; give 
new power to tho 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 n)on.'" 

£. r. WhippU. 



* ' > 

HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 thino^s ! 



^ LETTER LV. 

Eecollections of Was}iingt07i — 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 — Jackson'' s 
Administration — Clay — Calhoun — Webstet'— Anecdotes. 

My deae q ***** * 

• In the autumn of 184:6, 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^ 



394 

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. Ilere 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- 



mSTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 395 

liam Lowndes of South Carolina, and Jolin Ran- 
dolph of Yirginia. 

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 SB"" 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 w*as 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 counteuance like that of a boy prema- 
turely grown old, arose and addressed the chair. He 



396 ijrnr.RS — biogkapiiical, 

paused a muincnt, and I had time to 'study his ap- 
pearance. His hair was jet bUick, and clubbed in a 
■* queue; his eye was black, small, and ])aini"ull3' pen- 
etrating. His complexion was a yellowish-brown, 
bespeaking Indian blood. I knew at once that it 
must be John liandolph. As he uttered the words, 
"Mr. Speaker I'' — every member turned in his seat, 
and lacing him, gazed as if S(jme 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 iu 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 w^ay. I never 
saw better acting, even in Kean. His look, his man- 
ner, his long arm, his elvish fore-fmger — 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 tlie license whicli Mr. KanJolph allowed 
to himself, occurreJ in the Senate, of which lie was then a member, 
Bcon after Mr. Adams's accession to the presitlcncy. In a discussion 
which took place upon the " Panama Mission," Kandolph closed a very 
intemperate speech with the foUowinij words, on their face referrins: to 
events which liad occurred at a recent race-cour>e, but, in faet, plainly 
?iieanin£» tlie alliauco between Mr. Adams and .Mr. Tlay : 

'• I wiie defeated, liorse, foot, and drasjuons — cut up, clean broke down 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 897 

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. Everything 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 comUnatian^ unliearcl 
of till then, of ike Puritan with the Black-leg /" 

The " Coalition," so much talked of at the time, charged Mr. Clay 
with giving Mr. Adams his influence in the election to the presidency, 
in consideration that he was to be Secretary of State. This was urged 
with great vehemence and effect, both against Mr. Adams's 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 Eandolph fired in 
the air, and the difficulty was appeased. 

Ko man in our history has been more discussed than John Ean- 
dolph. He was undoubtedly a man of genius, but, on the whole, both 
in pubUc and private, was an exceedingly dangerous example. He 
said some good things, and sometimes seemed almost inspired, but his 
mind and heart were soured and narrowed by inherent physical defects, 
which at last led to occasional lunacy. He died at Philadelphia in 1S33, 
aged 60. 



398 I.K'ITERS BTOGRAPmCAL, 

Lore testimony to the estimation in wliich he was 
liekl. I never saw him afterward. About two years 
later, lie 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 llhode 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. lie was 
appointed to various European missions by tlic United States govern- 
ment, and lield oilier eminent public stations. His ^^reatest celebrity, 
however, was attained at the bar, where lie was distinguished alike tor 
learning and eloquence. He was a great student, and prepared himself 
with the utmost care, though he atfected to rely chiefly on his native 
powers. A member of Monroe's Cabinet once told me that he heard 
I'inknoy, about live o'clock of a winter morning, reciting and commit- 
ting to memory, in his room, the peroration of a i)k'a which he heard 
delivered liie saniu day before the Su)>rcmc Court! 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 399 

tinguislied 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 Avith 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 amiabilit}^ 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 tlian 
profound. Soon after first taking bis seat in tbe House of Eepresenta- 
tives be made a speech, which was very brilliant, but rather pretentious 
and dictatorial. John Eandolph gave him a hint of tbis. He said: 
" Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland" — then pausing, and 
looking toward Pinkney, added — "I believe tbe gentleman is from 
Maryland?" As Pinkney bad been ambassador to several courts in 
Europe, and was tbe most conspicuous lawyer at tbe bar of the Supreme 
Court, he felt this sarcasm keenly. When I saw him, he had just taken 
bis seat in tbe Senate ; two years afterward be died, aged fifty-seven. 



400 LLTTERS- 

great abilities and lofty mural qualities. I saw liim 
many times afterward, and learned to look with rev- 
erenee upon him, as being the best representative 
of the era and spirit of Washington, which lingered 
anionic 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 Heprcsentatives. I was in the gallery of 
that body at the time the vot-e 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 pur[X>se 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, eiglity-four ; Mr, Crawford, forty-one; Mr. Clay, thirty-seven. 
It was perfectly constitutional to elect Mr. Adams, but the event showed 
the ditliculty of sustaining a President who has less than one-third of 
tlie popular vote in his fuvor. 

The vote in the House of Representatives wa.-^ first declared by Daniel 
Webster, and then by John Kandolj)h. At the annoinicement that 
Adams wan ele.cted, there was some clappinjj of hands and there were 
some hisses, whereupon the galleries were cleared. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 401 



outline of public events, wliich 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 w^orld 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 carelessl}^ 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 sockets. 
Altogether, his personal appearance was OAvlish 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 !'' llis manners, however, Avhich were assiduously 
courteous, with a sort of habitual diplomatic smile 
upon his face, in some degree redeemed the natural 
indillcrence of his form and features. I gazed with 
eager curiosity at this individual — seeking, and yet 
in vain, to discover in his a}»pearance 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 wo 
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. ^[onroe appeared much younger, and was of 
very agreoaV)le manners and person. During the 
eight years (jf her })resi(U'iiev over the sociabilities of 
the White House, she exercised a genial inlluencc in 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 403 

infusing elegance and dignity into the intercourse of 
the society whicli 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 — "Yery 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 
a 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 hitter 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 somewliat severe but still acute analyst of Mr. Adams's character 
Bays : " 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 
lie went, and while there many persons were introduced to him, and 
among the rest a farmer of tlie 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 
liead." 

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

Mr. Adams's course in the House of Kepresentatives — to which he 
was elected for a series of years, after he had been President — was liable 
to great and serious exception. His age, the high positions he had 
hold, his vast e.xperience and unbounded stores of knowledge, might 
liave made him the arbiter of that body. Such, however, was liis lovo 
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 I" Tliere was a 
terrible yarring tone in his voice, which gave added eflfect to the 
denunciation. Every i»crson present seemed to be thrilled with a tiort 



HISTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 405 

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 
AYebster, 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 
countr}^, 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 dehght was to be the hero of a 
row." There is no doubt that the rude personal passages which often 
occur in the House of Representatives, derived countenance from Mr. 
Adams's example. It is melancholy to reflect how a great intellect, and, 
on the whole, a great life, were marred and dwarfed by inherent personal 
defects. 



40G 

that survives of them belongs to the domain of liis- 
toiy. Many of the speeches, now recorded in their 
Looks, I heard and remember, with their lofty images 
still painted in my eye and their thrilling tones still 
echoing in my car. 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 Cons^ress. 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 fur mankind. 

^fr. Calhoun had, however, many friends in New 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 407 

England, partly from the favorable impression lie 
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 1821, 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- 
elaveholding States, and sixty-eight only from the others. 



408 LETTERS— BIOGRAPHIC A I., 

tection and perpetuity beneatli 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 ! • ' 

Mr. Cla}^ 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. lie, however, join- 
ed Mr. Adams, in 1825, and having contributed, by 
his commanding influence, to his election, became his 
Secretary of State. His pohcy 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 



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 Banker 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 witli liis 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 Mai 
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 v/as 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 Tariif, 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, and the People. They have been erased 
from our policy, and their history is chiefly memorable for the ability 
with which their great originator promoted them, and yet only to insure 
the defeat of his own ambition. After a few brief years, Henry Clay will 
be only known to the student of history, who looks beyond existing 
monuments for testimonials of the giants of bygone generations. Even 
his speeches, stirring as they were on those who heard them — having 
no eminence in literature, no body and soul of general truth, reflection, 
and philosophy, and little connection with current politics — will soon 
be among the traditions of the past. Tlie fallacy of Mr. Clay's career 
lay in this — he created issues, founded schemes, planned systems, as 
the ladders of ambition ; the truer plan, even for ambition, is to make 
truth and duty and principle the polar star of life and action. 
\0h. I [.—IS 



410 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

pun is brisrlit, 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 man}^ associations, with their mot- 
toed banners ; there were lodges and grand lodges, 
in w^hite 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 ej^es rested, and when his name 
was known, the air echoed with the ory — " 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 depnty from the Grand 
Lodge of Connectifut. I recollect that when the lodges assembled at 
Boston, Gen. Lafayette was amon? them. I had seen him before in Pariu, 
at a dinner on Washington's birthday, a. d. 1S24, when he first an- 
nounced his intention of coming to America. I afterward saw him, 
both at Wasliington 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 Yoi'k. 
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 immodiately, and go to 
his friends, and I agreed to accompany him. It was necessary that 
this should be communicated to Lafayette. I went to hiui and told him 
the story. He was very much affected, and went with me to see Mr. 
Morse. He took him in hijj arms and kissed him, and wept over him, 



. ' HISTORICAL, AXECBOTICAL, ETC. 411 

rainbow of beauty sncli as New England alone can 
furnish. 

I have seen many public festivities and ceremoni- 
als, but never one, taken all togetber, 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 man}^ mighty men — 
King: Georo-e, the "first o-entleman in En2fland:" 
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 Avorld ; 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 he had been his own child. Nothing could be more sootiiing 
than this affectionate sympathy. 

In Mr. "Webster's discourse, which I have been notieinor, there was 
a passage addressed to Lafayette, which, I believe, is slightly altered in 
the present printed copy. It was told as an anecdote, some years ago, 
that he composed the discourse while fishing for cod off Nantasket 
Beach. It would seem that as he came to the point of addressing 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 LKTTEKS IJIOGKAriilCAL, 

was a grandeui- In liis 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 1 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 povnd P'' While Mr. Webster 
was in Europe in 1S39, 1 wrote a series of anecdotical sketches of liini, 
published in the National Intelligencer, and among other things, reci- 
ted this incident. It found its way to England, and tlie London Tinu-s, 
in describing Mr. \\'cl)ster's nuimier in the speecli he made at the Ox 
ford Cattle Show, repeated tliis anecdote as particularly descriptive of 
his massive and weighty elociuence. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 413 

" But all, Him ! — ^the first great martyr of tliis 
great cause. Him, the patriotic victim of his own 
self-devoting heart. Him, cut off bj 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 of 
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, 



41 i LE'rrEKS 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 particularl}^ 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 kiiowl- 
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 of 
subjects. One of the ladies of our company asked 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 4:15 

Mr. Webster if he chose Marsh held, for a residence 
because it was near the sea. 

" Yes, madam," was the reply. 

"And do you love the seashore ?" 

" Yes, I love it, jet 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 
aii}^ 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 tlmnderstrike 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 i.!;rrERS — biookapiiical, 

Dark-henviiig : boundless, endless, and sublime — 
The imaii'e of Eternity — tlie 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 
ba.ss 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 Washin<zton, 



* 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, " lie took the stump,'' and made a series of most 
effective speeches, crowds gathering froin many niiies 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 tlie hyenas, and as he was lame, and carried a strong cane, occa- 
sionally he poked this through a bole in the top and stirred up the hyenas 
within. Prentiss had scathing powers of denunciation, and lie was 
unsparing in his sarcasms upon the administration of Jackson and his 
successor Van Bur6n, which, as he insisted, had caused the ruin then 



HISTOKICAL, 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 jy/'inciples I 
Well, sir, I was born in New Hampshire, and there- 
fore lam a northern man. There is no doubt of that. 
And if Avhat 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 bowlings 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 Prentiss. 
The one seemed like the fountain of Velino playing amid Grecian sculp- 
ture ; the other, a cataract of the Far West, fed from inexhaustible 
fountains, and lighting whole forests with its crj'stals and its foam. 

Mr. Prentiss died in 1S50, greatly lamented, at the early. age 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 
np 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 : 



HISTOIilCAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. -il9 

but tlie general soundness of his heart and eharacier, 
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 beautitied, 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 this sort : the 
ibllowiug, taken at raudoin fruui 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. Whcro 
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 pure 
individuality ; to the intense contemplation of that deepest and most 
solemn of all relations, the relation between the Creator and the cre- 
ated.^' 

"Eeal goodness does not attach itself merely to this life; it points 
to another world." 

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

Speaking at Valley Forge of the sufferings of the American army 



420 



l::iters — biographical, 



thought set in golden seDtcnces, fitting them to be- 
come the acloiiimeiits of gifted and tasteful minds, 
for all future time. AVith these other orators it is 
not so : there is an earnest, direct, vigorous logic in 
CallioLin, which, however, can s})are 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 Wasbiugton, in the winter of 1777-8, he described tliem 
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 luunan hands, 
to an extent that astoulshes 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, 

' xigainst the wiml, 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 eartli's 
surface ; it i^ in the mill, and in the workshops of the trades. It rows, 
it pumps, it excavates, it carries, it draws, it lifts, it hanuners, 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 hiui capable of k-urniiig lliis. Before he knows his urigin 



•• < 



IIISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 421 

a moment to gather or scatter flowers by the wayside. 
Ill 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 
h.eart. 

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 broodings 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 
t-prout asain, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease ; that, 
tlirough the scent of water, it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a 
phint." But if a man die, shall Tie live again P And that question noth- 
incr but God, and the religion of God, can solve. Keligion does solve it, 
and teaches every man that he is to live again, and that the duties of 
tliis 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 
tlie 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 
i. Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill ; and there 
they ^^\\ remain forever. The bones of her sons, falling in the great 
.tru<^o-le for Independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every State, 
from" New En<^land to Georgia; and there they wiU lie forever. And, 
sir wliere American Liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth 
was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its 
manhood and full of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall 
wound it, if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk at and tear it, 
if fully and madness, if uneasiness under salutary and necessary re- 
str dnt shall succeed in separating it from that Union by which alone 
its existence is made sure, it will stand, in the end, by the side of that 
cradle in which its infancy was rocked ; it will stretch forth its arm, with 
whatever of vigor it may still retain, over the friends who gather round 



4:22 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

evidences. His wliolo course in tlie House as well as in 
the Senate evinced it. He never displayed, because be 
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 fall it must, amid the proudest monuments 
of its own glory, and on the very spot of its origin." 

It is known that some of these fine passages 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 daily 
with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England." 

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



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 of&ce 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 lie 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 

" Tliere are two candidates in the field, Mr. Clay of Kentucky, 
n;id 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 
aud highly important part in the public affiau's of this country, 
lie is acknowledged to be a man of singular and almost univer- 
sal talent. He has had great experience in tlie administration 
of our public aifairs 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 
aud difficult duties of its presiding officer, with unexamj)led 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, 
lie is a mail of frankness and honor, of uutjuestioued talent aud 
ability, and of a noble aud generous bearing. 

" Mr. Polk is a much younger man than Mr. Clay, He is a 
\'ery 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 liigh 
example of gentlemanl}^ dignity — in the very heat of 
an animated party discussion, not forgetting to render 
justice even to an adversary. 



426 LETTEES 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. Bat 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 wiiole politiciU life. The reply was triumphant and 
overwhelming, and is justly considered the greatest forensic etibrt which 
our history sup})lies. 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 completenc.-is 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 81st 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 pubhc 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, liis 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. !N"o man was more respectful to 
others ; no man carried himseh: 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 
was indulging in some social interviews in whicli 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 



128 LE'rrERS — biogkapii ic al, 

lis \vlio had inoi-e Avlnning manners, in sucli an intercourse and 
such conversation, Avitli men comparativeh' young, than Mr. 
Calhoun. I beheve 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, unim- 
peached honor and character. If he had aspirations, they were 
high, and honorable, and noble. There was nothing groveling, 
or low, or meanly selfish, tliat 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 difliered from others of us in his political ppinions 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 Avith the records of his country. He is now an historical 
character. Those of us who have known liim here will find that 
lie 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 
licreafter, I am sure, indulge in it as a grateful recollection, that 
we have lived in his age, that we have been his contemporaiies, 
that we have seen him, and heard him, and known him. We 
shall delight to speak of him to tliose who are rising up to fill 
our places. And, when the time shall come tliat we ourselves 
shall go, one after another, to our graves, we shall carry with us 
a deep sense of his genius and cliaracter, his lionor and integrity. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 429 

liis amiable deportment in private life, and the purity of his 
exalted patriotism." 

Was there not sometliing 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 part}^ conflict ? 

But I must draw this chapter to a close ; yet my 
memory is, indeed, full of the images of otlier 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. Kiles,^ and others 

* John M. Kiles was a native of Windsor, Conueeticnt. He studied 
law, and settled at Hartford, devoting himself, however, to politics. 
He w^as of small, awkward, and insignificant personal appearance, and 
for this reason, probably, was for many years treated and regarded with 
some degree of contempt, especially by the federalists, to whom he was 
politically opposed. I knew him well, and early learned to appreciate 
the logical force of his understanding. He was associated in the Times 
newspaper, and was probably, more than any other single person, the 
instrument of overturning the federal party in the State, in 1817. He 
now rose to various eminent pubhc 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 reasoniiig powers, which 
operated with the precision of cog-wheels. Mr. Webster regarded his 
speech upon the tariff, while he was in the Senate, as one of the very 
■ ablest ever delivered upon that subject. 

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



430 LETTERS ETOGRAPniCAL, 

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 jouster with Mr. Webster ; Burgess of Rhode 

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, Tlill, and Niles came from the dining-room 
together, and stopped to converse with Mr. Forsyth. Mr. Hill, who was 
very lame, said good-uiglit to his host and went straight to the dour, 
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. 
Kilcs 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 185(5, aged sixty-nine. 

* Mr. Storrs was a native of Middlctown, Connecticut, and brotiier 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- 
crimiiuition, remarkable logical exactness, and a ready and powerful 
elocution. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 431 

jslnnd — a man of prodigious ^lowers of sarcasm, and 
who made even John Randolph 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, Vv^ise, 
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 Yan 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 witli 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 LiriTEKS BIOGRAl'illCAL, 

Bat I luusi forbear. A single domestic evdit 
elaiiiis to be recorded here, aud I shall then take 
leave of Washington. I have told you that I had 
come hither with my flxmily. Among them was one 
to whom existence had hitherto been only a bright, 
unbroken spring. Gifted, beautiful, healthful, happy 
— loving all and loved b}^ all — he never suggested by 
his appearance, an idea but of life, and enjoyment, 
and success, and prosperit3\ 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. 

oil, tell nie not that Eden's fall 
lias lel't alike its blight on all— 
For one 1 knew from very birth, 
Who scarcely bore the stains of eartli. 
No wondrous Inimp of skull had lie — 
No mark of startling prodigy ; 
His ways were gentle, tranquil, mild — 
' Such as befit a hai)py child — 

AVith thoughtful face, though bland and fair — 
Of hazel eye and auburn liair. 

AVhen ^vitll his mates in mirthful glee — 
A simj>le, joyous boy was he, 
AVhose harmless wit, or gentle joke, 
A lauf.diinir echo oficn woke. 



5«;r_ -^ 



^_ 



-*fc42-*-'^ 







The Sti-dent. 



f*n. hive I seen liim in llie wood. 

Wrapt in a meditative mood.'" Vol. 2, p. 43:j. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. .433 

He gaily joined the ardent chase, 
And often won 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 ahoy. 
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; 
Ko Ijidden 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 v/ood, 
Wrapt in a meditative mood — 
" Kow gazing at the forest higli, 

jSTow searching flowers with heedful eye, 
Now watching with inquiring view, 
Each feathered craftsman as he flew — 
Vol. n.- 19 



# 



4:34 . IJ-ITERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Is'ow studying deep the spider's tliread, 
"With wondrous cunning twined and spread- 
Now tracing out the beetle's den, 
Where sturdy insects work like men; 
!N'ow on his knees o'er aut-hill bent, 
Upon the bustling town intent ; 
ISTow snatching Avith a skillful swoop, 
From out the brook, a wriggling troop 
Of tadpole, frog, and nameless wight, 
O'er which he pored in strange deligljt. 
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 I 

And as in years he 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 liand, with ready practice wrought — 

Constructing engines, sped by steam, 

That flew o'er mimic rail and stream : 



HTSTOEICAL, ANECDOTTCAL, 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, 
ISTot 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. 
]S"o envy broke his bosom's rest — 
iN'o pride disturbed his tranquil breast — 
Xo 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 ; 



-JiSG LETTERS BIOGRArillCAL, 

For not alone with hand jind heart, 
He mastered all the gems of art, 
But bade the soft piano's key 
Reveal unwritten melody — 
A flowing fount of playful feeling, 
O'er which a plaintive tone was stealing — 
*_ , . As twilight oft is seen to throw 

.^'•J . Its saddening shade o'er sunset's glow. 

j' 'Tis said, alas ! that those who love 

Sad melodies, go soon above ; 
And that fair youth — that gentle boy — 
So full of light, and love, and joy — 
Sixteen bright summers o'er his head — 
He sleeps, companion of the dead ! 

How vain are tears ! but memory's art, 
' * While yet it wrings, still soothes the heart : 

For if it bring the lost to sight, 
He comes in some fond robe of light. 
Of all his sports in hfe's fair day. 
He loved the best down yonder bay 
To speed his boat with shivering sail, 
Or glide before the whispering gale ; 
For in the presence of the sea 
He found a quiet ecstasy. 
As if it came with mystic lore, 
And beckoned to some happier shore. 
And when his last sad hour was nigh, 
And clouds were gathering o'er his eye, 
* " His mother asked, " How now, my boy ?" 

He answered, with a beam of joy — 
"I'm in my boat!" and thus he passed — 
*" * These simple, meaning words — his last! 



HISTOKIOAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 437 



LETTER LVI. 

London and Paris compared — Paris thirty years ago— Louis XVIIL— 
The Parisians— Garden of the TuiUries— Washington Lrving—Mr. 
Warden, the American Consul— Sociite Philomatique— Baron Larrey 
—Geoffroy St. Hilaire—The Institute— Arago— Lamar ch— Gay- Ltissac 
--Cuvier — Lacroix — Laplace — Laennec—Dupmjtrenr— Talma— Made- 
Mars. 



Mt deae C ***** * 

About the middle of April, 1851, I arrived in 
Paris, and soon after toojv charge of the Consulate 
there. As you know, I have frequently been in this 
gay city, and I now propose to gather up my recol- 
lections of it, and select therefrom a few items which 
may fill up the blank that yet remains in my story, 
and in some degree contribute to your amusement. 

I first visited Paris in January, 1821:, as I have told 
you. I had spent a month in London, which is always 
a rather gloomy place to a stranger, and in winter is 
peculiarly depressing. The people who have houses 
there, burrow into them, and lighting their coal fires, 
make themselves happy ; but the wanderer from his 
country, shut out from these cheerful scenes, and 
forced into the streets, grimed with dirt and drizzle 
below and incumbered with bituminous fogs above, 
feels that he is in a dreary wilderness, where man 
and nature conspire to make him miserable and 
melancholv. In most great cities, there is something 



438 

to ciieer the new-comer : it is precisely the reverse 
Avith 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 ink}^ 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, ANKCDOTICAL, ETC. 439 

dens and squares, surrounded with monuments of art 
and teeming witli men, women, and children, inclu- 
ding abundance of rosy nurses aad 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 
XYIIL 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 
Vendome, 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 ever}" hand, marking the re- 
cent history of Napoleon, overthrown in the midst 
of his mighty projects, and leaving his name and his 



4t0 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

woi'ks to be desecrated alike by a foreign foe and a 
more bitter domestic adversary. 

The king, Louis XYIIL, was a man of good sense 
and liberal mind, for one of his race; but he was 
wliolly 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, Low's des liuitres — 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 — Avhoever may be in power — they still fre- 
quented the promenades, the Boulevards, and the 
theaters. When, therefore, I first visited the gardens 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 4:41 

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 ni}' 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 earh^ in the da}^ 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 boj^ making a dirt pie ; two dogs, 
which have probably been shut up for a week, hav- 
ing a glorious scamper; Vv'ild-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 nn architecture never seen in America, 
but still imposing ; the Rue de Rivoli on the north, 

19^ 



4:4:2 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 yon 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 
ISTew York ; light waistcoat ; tights ; ribbed, flesh- 
colored silk stockings ; shoes, polished very bright. 
This a feshionable dress here. He spoke of many 



* This is now tlie Place de la Concorde, and is one of the most beau- 
tiful squares in the world. In the center is tlie famous obelisk of Lux- 
or : from this point four superb works of architecture are seen at the 
four cardinal points— to tlie west, through the avenue of the Champs 
Elisees, is the Arc de Triomphe de I'Etoile ; to the north, the Church of 
the Madeleine ; to the east, the Palace of tlie Tuileries ; to the south, tho 
Chamber of Deputies. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 443 

things, all in a cjuiet manner, evidently with a fund 
of feeling beneath. 

" February 1-4 — Went with Mr. AYarden^ to a meet- 
ing of the ' Societe Philomatique,' composed of mem- 
bers of the Institute ; saw Fourier, the famous geo- 
metrician and phj^sician ; 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 : Geoffroy St. Flilaire, 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 fortj^-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 
Tniced States at Paris. He was a native of Ireland, but had become an 
American citizen. He was a corresponding member of tlie Institute, 
and was a man of considerable scientific and literary acquirements. He 
wrote a clever History of the United States. He died at Paris in 1845, 
aged 67. 



4:4:4: L1:TTEES BIOGEAPIIICAL, 

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, and sharp-featured — re- 
minded me of the portraits of Voltaire ; 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 



HISTOKICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 44:5 

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 ail 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 glorj^, 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 as 
that of so many Kew England clergymen. 

" In the evening, went to the Theatre Frangais, to 
see Talma in the celebrated tragedy of Sjdla, by Jouy. 
Did not well understand the French, but could see 
that the acting was Yerj masterly. Had expected a 
great deal of rant, but was agreeably disappointerh In 



446 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. Ilis 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 plaj^ed 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 filled 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 Latm. 



us 

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, Avent to the Hotel Dieu, a medical and 
surgical hospital. Saw Dupuj^tren and his pupils, 
visiting the patients. He is a rather large man, of a 
line 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 hydrocejDhalus 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!' 

" The man thus called, came up. ' Well,' said Du- 
puy tren — ' 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 Dupuytreu, giving him a box 
on the ear — 'and go to the proper department and 
have it pulled out !' " 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 449 



LETTER LVII. 

Ltatk of Louis XVIIL— Charles X.—The " Three Glorious Days''— Louis 
Philippe— The Revolution of February^ 1848. 

My dear c ***** =i= 

I was again in Paris in the summer of 1832. 
Great changes had taken j^lace since 1824 : Louis 
XYIII. 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 daj^s, we saw the celebration 
of the event which had tlius changed the dynasty of 
France. It consisted of a grand fete, in the Champs 
Elysees, closed b}^ a most imposing military spectacle, 
in which eighty thousand troops, extending from the 
Arc de Triomphe to the Place Yen dome, 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 flvino: 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 ! 

As I have told you, I established my family ii- 



450 LETTERS BIOGEAPIilCAL, 

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 countrjMvoman, 
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!" 

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 : 



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 Latayette, 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 works 
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 an4 queens, princes and prin- 



452 LETTERS— BIOGRAPHICAL. 

cesses. The npholders of the crown in the parhament, 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 withm, 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 march 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. 

AmoDg 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 l)anqiiets^ 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-Kudir, who liad been the indomitable leader of the Arabs 
of the liesert, against tlie French, who liad conquered Algiers, surren- 
dered to Gen. Lainoriciere, December 22d, 1S47. 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 453 

men, with tlieir 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 aftorded them, to excite these discontented 
masses against the ministry; and it may be added that tlie 
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 ministrj^, 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, O. 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 ! AVhether 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 Avas 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, w^ould not take place ! 



454: LETTERS r.IOGRAPHICAL, 

The morning of this day ^vas dark and drizzly, I liad antici- 
pated some manifestation of uneasiness, and at lialf-past nine 
o'clock went forth. Groups of people were reading the procla- 
mations posted lip at the corners of the streets, but all was 
tranquil. I Avalked along the Boulevards for a mile, yet saw no 
symptoms of the coming storm. 

Tlie 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 Avith 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 
Mouse — a garment which is made very much in the fashion of 
our farmers' frocks. 

The opening scene of the drama had now begun. The mass 
rushed and eddied around the Madeleine, which, by the Avay, 
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, 
tlie avalanche took its course down the Paie 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 rajjidly 
increased ; shouts, songs, cries, filled tlie air. East and Avest, 



HISTORICAL, ANKCDOTICAL, ETC. 455 

along the quavs, and through the streets behind the Chamber, 
came long lines 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- 
bhng 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 
hated 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 tlie 
masses, and one woman was crushed to death beneath the hoofs 



4:50 LETTEKS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

of the horses. Pebbles now began to be hurled at the troops 
from the square. Daslnng in among the i)eoi)le, sword in hand, 
the cavalry drove them away; but as they cleared one spot, 
another was innnediately filled. The etfect 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 Avar was going on, some thousands of the 
rioters dispersed themselves through the Cham})S 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- 
sienne, 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. Tlje windows 
were dashed in, and a heap of brush near by w^as 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 fire. A company of tlie line came to the spot, but the mob 
cheered them, and they remained inactive. The revel ])roceeded, 
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 Ee- 
Ibrme!" 6:c. In these scenes the boys took the lead — perform- 
ing the most desperate feats, and inspiring the rest by their 
intrepidity. A remarkal)le air of fun and frolic characterized 
the mob — wit flew as freely on all sides as stones and sticks; 
exevy missile seemed winged with a joke. 



HISTOEICAL, 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 deaionstrations be- 
fore the otiice of Foreign AtFairs, crying out, "Down with 
GuizotI" 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 
simg — often b}' hundreds of voices, and with thrilling effect. 
The rappel, for calling out the Xational Guard, was beaten 
in several quarters. As night closed in, heavy masses of 
soldiery, horse and foot, with trains of artillery, w^ere 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 Xemours 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 whicli 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 tliat 
companies of ISational 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 latt-er, and ^^-as doul|tless one of the 
causes which hastened the destruction of the government. 

x\t nine o'clock, I passed up the Boulevards. Most of ih:^ 



458 LETTERS — TlTOrrRArTITCAL, 

shops •were slmt, and an air of uncasineps prevailed among tlic 
l)e()ple. At tlie Porte St. Denis, there was a great throng, and 
a considerable mass of troops. Barricades Averc soon after 
erected in the streets of St. I)enis, Clery, St. Eiistache, Cadran, 
itc. Several fr.~ilades took place between the people at these 
points and the soldiers, and a nnnil)er of persons were killed. 

Some contests oecnrred in other quarters during the morning. 
At two o'clock, the Boulevards, the Rues St. Denis, St. ^fai-tin, 
]\r()ntinartre, St. llonore — in short, all the great thoroughfares 
— were literally crammed with people. Bodies of horse and 
foot, either stationary or i)ati'olling, were everywhere to be 
seen. It was about this time that some officers of the iJs'ational 
Guai'd ordered their men to fire, but they refused. In one in- 
stance, four hundred National Guards were seen marching, in 
uniform, but without arms. It became evident that the soldiers 
generall}' were taking part with the people. This news was 
carried to the Palace, and Count Mole was called in to form a 
new ministry. lie undertook the task, and orders were imme- 
diately given to spread the intelligence of this through the city. 

[Meanwhile the I'iot 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 !" 

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 hostihty, 
were seen shaking hnnds, and expressing congratulations. An 
immense p()])ulation — men, women, and children — poured into 
the Boulevards, to share in the jubilation. Large ])arties of the 
National (iuiird ]>ar;ided the streets, the officers and men slioiit- 
mg, "Vive la reforme!" and the crowd cheering loudly. IJands 



mSTOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 459 

of five himdred to fifteen hundred men and boys went abont 
making nois}' 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 hghted up spontaneously. 
The illumination soon became more general, and the populace, 
in large numbers, vv^ent through the streets, calling, "Light up!" 
JSTumerous bands, alone, or following detachments of the ITa- 
tional Guards, went about, shouting, " Yive le roi!" — " Yive la 
reforme!"' and singing the Marseillaise. At many po*mts, 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 I" 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 blouseraen, 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 BIOGKAI'HICAL, I 

i 
In the course of tlie evening, a large mass of people had col- I 

lected on the Boulevard, in the region of Guizot's office — the * 

Hdtel des Affiiires Etrang^res. The troops here liad unfortu- j 

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. Tliis 
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 
Eue de la Paix, was thronged with soldiers and people. There 
w^as, 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 muskets went off,* 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!" — "Kevenge! 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. 






. HTSTORTCAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 461 

ded through the streets, and the mnte h'ps of the corpses doubt- 
less spoke more effectively than those of the living. Large 
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 Xotre 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 security, 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 hke the work of enchantment. 

But my wonder had only begun. At the point where the 
Rue Montmartre crosses the Boulevard, the entire pavement 
w^as 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 BIOGEAPHICAL, 

this was spoken sent a thrill througli every bosom; and the 
remarkable appearance of the youth gave additional effect to 
his vv^ords. 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- 
qmringly, " Down with Louis Philippe?" "Yes!" was his re- 
ply, "xindwhat then?" said I. "A republic!" was his an- 
swer ; and he passed on, giving the watchword of " Down with 
Louis Philippe!" to the masses he encountered. This was the 
first instance in which I heard the overthrow of the king, and 
the adoption of a republic 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 tlie 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, '-'■ Amies don- 
nees''' — 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 nmst state 



HISTOKIOAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 463 

that over the whole sceue there was an an* 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 1 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 Montmartre, 
the Bourse, the Rue Vivienne, 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 
consigned to the flames.* At the distance of one hundred and 
fifty feet from the front of the Palais Royal, was the Clia- 
teau d'Eau, a massive stone buflding 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 revokition, served to display, on tlie 
part of the people, commonly, but injuriously, called the mobj senti- 
ments not inferior in beauty and elevation to those handed down for 
centuries in the histories of ancient Greece and Rome. During tlie 
sacking of the Palais Royal, the insurgents found an ivory crucifix. In 
tlie very heat of their fury against tyranny, they reverently paused, and 
taking the sacred emblem of their faith, bore it to the old church of St. 
Roch, where it was safely deposited. 



4 fJ-i I.KTTERS BIOGR APIITCAT,, 

muskets of tlie gnnrd, as they l)lazc<l from tlie j^rntcd windows. 
At last the barrack was set on ih-e, and tlie guard yielded, though 
not till many of their number had fallen, and the rest were near- 
ly dead with sufl'ocation. 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 Carrijusel was filled with 
troops, but not a sword was unsheathed — not a bayonet [joint- 
ed — not a musket or a cannon fired. There stood, idle and mo- 
tionless, the mighty armament which the king had appointed 
for his det^nse. How vain had liis 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 AVednesday, 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 kin-j-, 
it was agreed that he and Barrot should undertake to carry on 

* In the recent improveinent?> in Pari?, tlie ruins of the Chateau d'Eiui 
h:ivo been removed, and a square lias been opened upon their site from 
the Palais Royal to the new portions of the I>ouvre. These aixl other 
alterations have rendered this one of tlie most beautiful quarters of tlie 
city. The Louvre and the Tuileries have been united, and now form 
one of the most ma<T;nififf'nt palaces in Europe. 



niSTOETCAL, ANECDOTTCAL, ETC. 465 

the government. This was announced by thera in pefson, as 
they rode through the streets on Thursday morning. These 
concessions, however, came too late. The cry for a republic 
was bursting from the hps of the milHon. 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 cHnging 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, dre>sed in black, and accompanied by a few 
individuals who remained faithful in this trying moment, passed 
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 
rafling 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 budding, 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 Ave 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 this time. Louis Philippe died there the 22d of 
Aucrnst. 1850. 

20* 



466 L^:TTEKS- 

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 toward 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 aflairs 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 Cliamber 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 peut P'' — Save himself who can. I am 
Lappy to add that the fugitives seem to have made good their 
retreat. It is said that Soult, disdaining to fl}^, remains at his 
house. I need not say that he will not be molested, for there is 
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 Tuileries, and, follow- 



HISTORICAL, ANEODOTICAL, ETC. 467 

ed by a long train of j^ersons, 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 ra})id 
succession of astonishing events. After a short space, the Ducli- 
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 iicross the 
bridge, and passing to the rear of the building, entered it through 
the gardens. Shortly after this, the Duke de Xemours, 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 
Lamartine 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 
the 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 effect. 

Several other- speeches were made, and a scene of great con- 
fusion fohowed. A considerable number of the mob had broken 
into the room, and occupied the galleries and the floor. One of 
them brought his firelock to his shoulder, and took aim at M. 
Sauzet, the president. Entirely losing his self-possession, he 
abdicated with 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 by the muskets of the mob, and skulk- 



46 S LETfERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

ing behind benches and pillar?;, they oozed out at back doors 
and ^vindo^YS. A blouseinan caino up to the Duke de Xe- 
mours, who drew his sword. The raau took it from him, broke 
it over his knee, and counseled his highness to depart. This he 
did forthwitjh, having borrow^ed 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 Avas 
crowded with soldiers, and fifty cannon were ranged in front of 
tlie 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. 
Lnmediately 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 ratthng discharge of 
fire-arms was heard on all sides. Looking about for the cause 
of this, I perceived that hundreds of men and boys w^ere amu- 
sing themselves w^ith shooting sparrows and pigeons, which 
had hitherto found a secure resting-place in this tavorite resort 
of leisure and luxury. Others were discharging their muskets 
for the mere fun of making a noise. Proceeding througli 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 tlie very act of swarming. A 
confused hubbub filled the air and bewildered the senses with 
its chaotic sounds. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. -^nO 

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 tlie 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 " com- 
ing events !" How little did the stately queen— a proud obelisk 
of silk, and lace, and diamonds — foresee the change that was at 
hand ! I recollected well the eflect of this scene upon my own 
mind, and felt the full force of the contrast which the present 
moment ofi:ered. 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, gambohng to the song of the Marseiflaise ! 

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 ■ LKTTEKS BIOGKAPIIICAL, 

On leaving the palace, I saw numbers of the men drinking wine 
from bottles taken fi-ora the well-stocked cellars. None of them 
were positively drunk. To use the words of Tam 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 
rigaduoned 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 
Kivoli. 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 
l)eople, 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- 
})lished. 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, ANECDOTIOAL, ETC. 4'71 

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 
tyramiy 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 LVIIl. 

Events which immediaUly folloioed the Revolution — Scenes in the streets of 
Paris — Anxiety of Stranger's — Proceedings of the Americans — Address 
to the Provisional Government — Reply of M. Arago — Procession in the 
streets — Inauguration of the RepuUic — Funeral of the Victims — Presen- 
tation of Flags — Conspiracy of the loth of May — Lisurrectloti of June 
— Adoption of the Constitution — Louis Napoleon President. 

My ueak c ***** * 

It is quite impossible to give you any adequate 
idea of the state of things in Paris, immediately after 
the rev^olution 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 fi^om the hands of the 
nov/ 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 aud 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^scape from Paris, more danger- 
ous agitation might exist in the country. The lead- 



HTSTOHTCAL, ANECDOTTCAL, ETC. 473 

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 then our ambassador to France, proceeded in 
his official capacity to the Hotel de Ville, three or four days after the 
completion of the revolution, and recoofnized the government, congratu- 
lating them upon a change which had resulted in the establishment of 
a republic. 



474 LETTEES- 

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 fehcitate France upon the choice of a system which recognizes 
as its basis the great principles of rational liberty and political 
eijuahty. 

"In the progress of the recent struggle here, w^e have admired 
tlie 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 revohition. We see in these circum- 
stances, ha[)py omens (jf good to France and to mankind — assu- 
rances that what has been so nobly begun will be consummated 
in the permanent estabhshment of a just and liberal government, 
and the consequent enjoyment of hberty, peace, and prosperity, 
among the citizens of this great country. Accept tliis testimo- 



IIISTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 475 

nial of the sentiments ^vhich fill onr 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 and joy for France and for the world." 

All tilings being duly prepared, the Americans, 
about two hundred and fifty in number, marched in. 
procession to the Hotel de Yille, 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 Eepublique Americaine!"^ 

The Hotel de Yille 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 uniform 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, v.'ell 
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 Wright Hawkes, Esq., of ISTew York, assisted 
by Eobert Wickliife, Jr., of Kentucky, E. C. Cowden, of Boston, &c. 

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



476 LETTERS ETOGRAPHTCAL, 

cession, came forward and insisted that it should bo 
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 animated 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 Poussiii came to the United States many years a^o, 
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 ho 
highly praised our institutions. When the French Republic was organ- 
ized, he 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. 



47T 

and vocations, flocked in long lines to the Hotel de Ville, to' 
solicit the favor of the government. A^ast crowds of people 
jjerpetually 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 I 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 A'ille. 
They proceeded with a bold hand to announce and estabhsh the 
republic. In order to make a favorable impression upon the 
l»eople, they decreed a gorgeous ceremony at the foot of the col- 
umn of July, on Sunday, February 27th, by which tliey 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 '• 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 ^BIOGRArniCAL, 

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 Elags to the assembled National Guards 
— eighty thousand being present. Such scenes can only be Avit- 
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 loth 
of May a conspiracy was disclosed, the leaders of which were 
Paspail, Barbes, Sobrier, Caussidiere, Blanqui, Flotte, Albert, 
and Louis Blanc* — the two last having been members of the 
Provisional Government. Caussidiere was prefect of police. 

Tlie Assembly proceeded in the work of framing a constitution, 
administering the government in the mean thne. 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 mio-]it bring into effect their peculiar schemes. 
They were sliortly afterward tried at Bourges, and sentenced to long 
imprisonment or banislmient. Louis Blanc and Caussidiere escaped to 
England. The former remains in London ; tlie latter rs 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. ISIight 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 hnt 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 colunnis 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 otficers 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. Tlie 
National Guards who combated them, had equal courage and 
superior discipline. One of the Garde Mobfle — Ilyacinthe 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 
fetes, 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 skiDful engineers. The masses who fought were 
roused 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 inevita- 



480 LETTEliS BIOGKAl^HICAL, 

Lie 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, 18-i8. On the 10th of December fol- 
lowing, the election of President took place, and it appeared 
that Louis Xapoleon had five miUion out of seven million votes, 
lie 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 Fa mibj — Paying for Ex- 
perience. 
My dear c ***** * 

Let us no\Y come to the period of 1851, when 1 

entered upon the consulate. Of the space during 

which 1 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 geofrraphical, historical, commercial, and 
statistical iiitbruiution, I fuund niv>tjlf constantly applied to by editor:< 



481 

eiilargti 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 hberty, and sup- 
pose the American heart and purse always open to 
those who are thus afilicted : in answering questions 
from notaries, merchants, lawyers, as to the laws of the 
different American States upon marriage, inheritance, 

of papers, authors, bankers, mercbaDts, government otfieials, 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, v.'as put into French, and pub- 
lished — it being an octavo volume of about three hundred and seventy- 
five pages, entitled Les Etats- Unis d? 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 oflicials abroad to take advantage of 
their opportunities to satisfy and gratify tliis 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 b.ir 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 diflieulty, the Consul is the natural resource of 
his countrymen, especially for those who are without acquaintance. In 
case of the death of an American, if there is no friend or relative pres- 
ent upon whom the duty devolves, the Consul gives directions as to the 
funeral, and takes charge of the eflects 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 tliere 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 ai-e usu- 
ally about double the ordinary rates. 

While I was in Paris, a very wealthy and rather aged gentleman froia 
Virginia consulted an eminent surgeon there, as to hydrocele. An op- 
YoL. TL— 21 



482 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

and the like ; in advisin": emi^Tants wlietlier to settle 
ill 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 
Avell understood that money lent to such persons will 
never be repaid. Some time and cash may also be 
invested in listeninof 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 recorameuded aud performed, entirely against the advice of 
a Virg:inia 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 live thousand francs ! 
Tiie 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 
jash and unprincipled practitioners. A great name in Paris is by no 
means a guarantee of that care, prudence, and conscientiousness, which 
belong to the physician at home. 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. -183 

coutrived 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 : 

Paris, February 10, 1853. 
To Hon. Edward Everett, Secretary of State. 

Sir — Yonr 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 Xo. 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 apphed as advised, 
to No. 5 Rue Fondry. Here I failed, but was led to suppo>e 



484 LETTERS BIOGKArmCAL, 

that I might get a clew at ^"0. 115 Rue Vieille du Teiiiple, 
I*aris. I returned thither, and on appHcation at the place in- 
dicated, was told that no person by the name of Hentz 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 ISTo. 6 Rue 
Thoriguy. I proceeded thither, but was informed that M. Hentz 
was not there, but perhaps might be found at ISTo. 4. Finally, 
at ^o. 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 all 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. Goodrich. 

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, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 485 

three American books, wliicli 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 da 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, yery innocently, that I should 
like one or two. The gentleman lifted his eyebrows, 
and said suggestiyely — 

" Fiye hundred is the usual number!" 

I now for the first time began to suspect a trap, 
and replied — 

" You expect me to take fiye hundred copies?" 

" Eyery 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 fiye 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, jou should haye told me so ; you 
would then haye been sayed the trouble of pursuing 
the matter any further." 

The stranger remonstrated, but I firmly refused to 



4S6 

give him an order for any coj^ies 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 tlie " Arcliives 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 tlie Archives des Hommes 
du Jour, a biographical sketch of myself, and desired me to fill 
np 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 signiii- 
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 Avas 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, " 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 biograph}'^, 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 render hi g pecuniary compensation for a eulogistic notice 
of myself. For all these reasons I declined accepting the propo- 



487 

tirion, 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- 
tvv'een you and me. 

To this I beg to reply, of course judging from my point of 
vievv', 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 3'our logic effeotive, you should 
show tliat the usage referred to is public and not secret, and 
furthermore that it is a commendable usage. 

Xow, 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 me. My 
literary experience has never famished 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 ma}^ 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 "Eraperor 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 Hommes 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 simphcity 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- 
si:y that irritation should follow. 

1 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- 
istactory, and I am, very respectfully, yours, 

S. G. GooDEicn. 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 489 



LETTER LX. 

CharacUr of fhe French, Re-public — Its Contrast with the Arnerican Eepiib- 
lic — Aspect of the Government in France — Louis Napoleoii's ambitious 
Designs — He FIMters the Army — Spreads Rumors of Socialist Plots — 
Divisions in the National Assembhj — A Levee at the Elysee—The Coup 
d'Etat — Character of this Act— Napoleon's Government — Feelings of the 
People. 

Mt deae 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 w^as there in that capacity. 
I must now give you a rapid sketch of certain public 
events w^hich transpired at that period, and which 
wdll ever be regarded as among the most remarkable 
in modern history. 

I have told you how Louis Napoleon, in conse- 
quence of the Eevolution of 18-iS, became President 
of the Eepublic. 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 

0|* 



490 LETTEKS BIOGKAPHIOAL, 

government liad been in operation somewhat over 
two years. 

At ttiis period France was a republic, but jou 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- 



wa8 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, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 491 

eminent 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 swallo'wed 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 monarch3^ 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, everj"- 
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 Kapoleon, 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 ofiicers 
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 destrov religion, to sweep 



HISTOEICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 493 

away tlie obligations of marriage, to strip tlie 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 w^ere 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 
intrio-ues. 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 dif&culty, and giving him 
a re-election, by fair means or foul. The liberals 
were divided into several shades of opinion, some 
being repubhcans, after the model of General Ca- 



4:94: LETTERS BIOGEAPHICAL, 

vaignac ; some being democrats, like Victor Hugo ; 
and some socialists, after the feshion 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, 
rather large fishy eyes, and a dull expression. The 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 495 

room was tolerably fall, the company consisting, as 
is usual in such cases, of diplomats, military officers, 
and court officials, with a sprinkling of citizens in 
Llack 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 Eepublic was established! Such 
was the general unpopularity of the Assembl}^, 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, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 497 

same point tliroiigli other ciA^enues of the city. In a 
short time the whole Boulevard, from the Rue cle la 
Paix to the Place cle la Bastille, an extent of two 
miles, was filled with troops. :My office was on the 
Boulevard des Italiens, and was noAV 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. Yolley 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 pat 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 tho 
innocent peojole passing along the Boulevard ; shots were fired at the 
windows of private houses; seven persons were killed in a bookseller's 
shop. One of my friends saw seventeen dead bodies in one gutter. 



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 sufiicient 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 called the massacre of 
the "kid gloves." The soldiers had undoubtedly been stimulated by 
liquor to qualify them to perform this work of butchery. 



500 

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 |)ersons, in order to 
show the power and spirit of the Dictator, and to 
strike with jDaralyzing 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 ! The nominal Eepublic, but real Die- 



HISTORICAL, AXECDOTICAL, ETC. 501 

tatorsliip, 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, 
bat 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. AVe 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 
furo-et his treacheries and his massacres — the means 



502 LETTERS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

bj whicTi he attained his power — and crj "Yive 
I'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 has continued to make the 
island of Jersey his residence. Two other exiles of some note arc 
Ledru RoUin 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 ati'airs. Lamartine, a fine poet, 




1 



9>W^ 



HTSTOEICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 captivatinar orator, an elesrant 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. 



604 



LETTER LXI. 

Meeting in Paris to commemorate the Death of (jlay and Webster — Termv- 
nation of my Consular Duties — Character of tice French Nation — The 
Black-coat Circular. 

My deak q ***** * 

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 
'^Y'ebster 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 hearins^ the tidingrs, deemed 
it proper to assemble for the pur[)ose 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 



1II3TOKICAL, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 505 

the Cercle des Deux Moudes, Boulevard Montmartre. 
Mr. Eives, 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. AYebster 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, I 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 Gahgnani's Paris Messenger of December 15th, 1854: 

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

'' To S. G. Goodrich, Consul of the United States of America at Paris, 
prtsmted hj his countrijoim in that City, August 1st, 1853.'' 

Vol. it.— 22 



506 LEITEIIS- 

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, whicli 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, lierewith, 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 
iu 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 tlie 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 ojfi'ering, 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 AVAEDEN." 

" Paris, September 16th, 1854. 
" J/y 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 
1 lield the consulate in Paris. During that period, a space of little over 
two years, more than five hundred letters of introduction were presented 
to me, and I received at my house several thousands of my countrymen, 
strangers in this city; yet the instances were extremely rare in which an 
Auievican trespassed either upon uiy time or my feelings. On the eon- 



507 

so far as it relates to France. Were it pertinent to 
my design, I sliould 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. AYe 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 flict 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 colonics, plants 
nations, establishes the useful arts; France refines 
manners, difiuses 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., 
'• i KA>;cis Warden, Esq. " S. G. GOODKICH." 



50S LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

thc}^ 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, a23preciate 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 tlie 
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 tlie 
artifices of taste and the blandishments of luxur}^, 
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.* 

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



i ^ 

HISTOEICAL, 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 reacli 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 sin.o-le par- 
agraph, Alexandre Duma?, whose versatility, fecundity, and capacity 
for labor are without parallel, and whose crenius 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 very 
suggestive as to the state of Parisian society ; Lamartine, whose humble 
apartments in the Eue de la Ville I'Eveque 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 ; Emile de 
Girardin, whose innovation m editorial Avriting — consisting of the con- 
stant recurrence of the allnm^ 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 I'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 ; Gustave 
Blanche, the critic and the terror of authors ; Jules Janin, the dramatic 
critic, whose long labors have been totally unproductive of good to either 
actor or dramatist ; Madame de Girardin — recently deceased — whose 
one act drama of " La Joie fait Peur" is the most profound piece of 
psychological dissection in existence ; and Madame Dudevant, alias 
George Sand, whose power of painting the finer and more hidden 
emotions of the soul is unrivaled. 

I must add a word in respect to Madame Eistori, the Italian tragedienne 
who has recently caused such a thrill of excitement in Paris. She is in 
nothing more remarkable than in her contrast to Eachel. The latter is 
the pupil of art, the former of nature. Eachel 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, has 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, thou2:h it was of 
the simplest form. The consular dress 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 small 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. Eistori enters into 
the play with her wiaole soul, and acts as her feelings dictate. She is of 
somewhat light complexion, with hazel eyes and brown hair; she has 
correct features, and off the stage is of grave, lady-like manners and ap- 
pearance. On the stage she seems to work miracles. I have seen her in 
ilarie Stuart, while on her knees at confession, by a slight continued 
movement upward make the audience feel as if she were actually as- 
cending to heaven, personally and before their eyes ! 



511 

foreign courts in simple black. This v,^as urged on 
tlie ground tlaat 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 simplicit}^ 
adopted by Dr. Franklin in appearing before the 
court of Louis XYI. 

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 XYL, wore their court costume, 
simply because custom required it. There is no 
doubt that they were more respected, and served 
their countrv with more effect than they would have 
done, had they insisted upon shocking the public 

* It is said, and I believe truly, that Dr. Frankliu's appearance at 
the court of Louis XVI. in a plain suit of drab cloth, and which for a 
brief si^ace intoxicated the giddy beau monde of Paris, was accideutal : 
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 offensive 
departiu-e from what was esteemed propriety. All the portraits of him 
taken while he w^as cur ambassador at the French court, show that lie 
was accustomed to dress handsomely. I have a copy of one by Greuze, 
which represents him in a green silk dressing-gown, edged wdth fur, a 
light-colored satin waistcoat, with a frill at the bosom. Such a dress, 
for an elderly gentleman in his study, would now-a-days be considered 
almost foppish. 



5 1 2 r.ETTEES BIOGRAPHICAL, 

taste by what would liave 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 w^ell as women — were more sumptuousl}^, 
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 



HISTOFJCAL, ANECDOTIC AL, 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 Englisli 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 j)rescribed 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, inasmucli as it 

22* 



514 

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 dijDlomatic business 

* The desire of our ministers to satisfy tlie 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 
chapeau 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 Euro^^e, I believe our diplomats have adopted the 
t^imple black coat. 

] nnd(!rstand that the Consul of Alexaiulria, whose fuuctions are part- 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTICAL, 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 v/hat 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 

It diplomatic, wears a blue coat with tbirty-one stars, wrougbt 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 realiy 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, aud of the nations 
among whom they officiate. 



516 LETTERS BIOGKAPHICAL, 

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 decencj^ 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, lie would be held as an ill- 
bred fellow, and as such would be turned out of 



HISTOFJCAL, 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 in\dtation given to you out of 
politeness, it is expected and required that you con- 
form to the known usages and decencies of society. 

Xow in monarchicoal 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. Ilad 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 sliouid attempt to enter at a court recep- 
tion, without a proper costume, would be stopped at the door : if he 
should, by accident, gain admittance, he would probably be invited to 
leave the' room. A professional dress, as that of a soldier, a clergy- 
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 whieli 
he is introduced The British minister will introduce no one at a fur- 
eiffn court, whu 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 of&cial — protected him from indignitj^, 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 
liad prescribed rich costumes for his ofl&cers, mili- 
taiy and civil, and had directed that their wives 



IIISTOrJCAL, AXECDOnCAL, ETC. 519 

should appear in tlieir most splendid attire. All 
tlie 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 difficuhies, though it is 
quite as possible that he might have found his situa- 
tion intolerable, not from open affront, but from those 
sly vet 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. 
:Nrason 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 sec 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 poliey^ 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 feehng 
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 Departm_ent 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 tlie 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 SaflB, in wliich 
he stated that the writer. Citizen Saunders, was Consul General of tlie 
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 aU this, let us consider what 
would be the feeling of our people, if some foreign official should un- 
dertake to teach us our duty, and should even call upon us to cut the 
tliroats of our rulers ! 



HISTOKICA.L, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 521 

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 Avell as the private soldier 
appear in " the black coat !"' 



LETTER LXII. 

Visit to Italij — Florence — Eome — Naples. 

MydeaeC****** 

In the autumn of 185-4: 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 live 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 whicli rise a great number of precip- 
itous bills ; 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 "j^ellow Arno" or " golden Arno," but in honest 
phrase, the muddy Arno, flows nearl}^ 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, ANECDOTICAL, ETC. 523 

place, marred by dilapidation, degraded by tyranny, 
and occupied by a degenerate people. But when Ave 
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, Gralileo, 
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 prhicipal gallery, the Ufizzi, contains the statue of the Venus 
de' Medici, the group of jSTiobe, 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, x\merican sculptors, celebrated for their busts in marble, 
are established in this city. Here we met Buchanan Eead, who had 
just finished his charming poem, The New Pastoral ; at the same time 
he was acquiri.iu' hardly less celebrity by his pencil. 



5 2 J: LETTEKS- 

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 everj^ town and village Avas 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 Eome. The guide will 
point 3'ou 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 rhj^me 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: 

o 

This is Fiesole — a giant mound, 
With fellow-giants circling phalanx'd round ; 
Hoary with untold centuries the}^ rest, 
Yet to the top with waving olives dress'd, 
TTliile far beyond in rugged peaks arise 
The dark-l)lue Apennines against the skies. 
In tliis 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. 



525 

Ah, what a varied page these scenes unfold — 
How much is written, yet how niach nntold I 
Here on this mound, the huge Cyclopean wall — 
Its builders lost in Time's unheeding thrall — 
Speaks of w^hole 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 — 
AU 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 
inodern 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 sevent3^-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 Csesars, 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 BIOGKAPHICAL, 

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, re^'arded 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 1 

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 Eome, contemptible in its littleness, its 
tricks, and its artifices, whicli 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 Ea- 
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, Eome, on the whole, seems 
to me the most melancholy spot on earth. Ilere is a 
city which once contained three or four millions of 

■ Eome is not only a depository of exhunstlcss 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 xVngel of the Kes.urrection 
in the studio of Tenerani, is tiie most beautiful and sublime piece of 
sculpture I ever beheld. Gibson, an Englishman, takes the lead among 
foreigners, his best things consisting of reliefs, -w-bich 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 
has shown a capacity beyond any other American sculptor, for groups 
on a large scale. Bartholomew, of Connecticut, is a man of decided 
genius, and is rapidly attaining fame. Ives, Hosier, Eogers — all our 
countrymen — are acquiring celebrity. 

Among the foreign painters, the most celebrated is Overbeek, a Ger- 
man. He chooses religious subjects, and is a little pre-Eaphaelitish in 
liis 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- 
oigraver. He has studied laboriously of late, and his pictures are 
beautiful. When he was a boy, he painted a picture, the first he ever 
finished, Isaac P. Davis, of Boston, a well-known amateur, called to 
see it, and asked the price. Brown meant to say fifty cents, but in his 
confusion said fifty dollars. It was taken by Mr. Davis at this price : 
so l:;e wood-cutter became a landscape painter I 



528 • LETTERS- 

iiiliabitanls^ now slirunk 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 peiil. 
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 Rc})- 
resentative of Christ on earth, the Spiritual Father of 
a hundred and fifty millions of souls ! Is not this 
m3^sterious, 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, 
Imt the water and the skv 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 vicinit}' 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 Cumas, long a seat and center 
of taste and luxurj^ ; close at hand was Baia?, 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 Avas Capri, chosen by Tiberius as the scene of 
his imperial orgies, in consideration of its delicious 
climate and picturesque sceneiy. The whole region 
is indeed covered over with monuments of Eome in 
the day of its glor}^, testifjdng to the full apprecia- 
tion of the beauties of the skj^ and the climate, on 
the part of its patrician population. ' ' ' 

As to the city of [N'aples 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- 
unce, and returned to Paris. When I arrived, the 

Vol. II.— 23 



530 LETTERS BIOGRAPHICAL, 

Great Exposition was on the eve of Ijeing 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 
citv. 



LETTER LXIIl. 

Leave-taHng — Improvement everyioliere — In Science — Geology, Chemidri/, 
Agriculture^ Mamifactures, Astronomy, Kaagation, the I)i>mestic Arts — 
AntJtracite Goal — Traveling — Painting — Daguerreotypes — The Electric 
Telegraph — Moral Progress — In Foreign Countries : in the United States. 

My deak 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 know of no department of human 



ITTSTOEICAL, Als^ECDOTICAL, ETC. 5dl 

knowledge, no spliere of linman inquiry, no race of 
men, no region of the earth, where there has been re- 
trogradation. On the Yv^hole, 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 histor}^ 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 BIOGKArmCAL, 

stone; now six millions of tons are annually dag 
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 noAv^ 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 factor}^, 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 a2:riculture — 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 o±f 
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, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 533 

\Yorlds in the infinity of littleness, as well as in tele- 
scopes whicli have nnfoldecl immeasurable depths of 
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, 
wnth the hope of getting an answer in a month — of 
sending 3^our thoughts alive along a wire v/inged 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 



534: LEITEES BIOGKxVPHICAL, 

know of nothing in the whole range of human contri- 
vances ^yhich 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. Eeflecting 
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- 
stacles, the instrument was made to work on a small but decisive vscale, 
in 1835. In 1837 he established his apparatus at Washington, and, as 
every thing seemed to promise success, he made an arrangement with a 
member of Congress (F. O. J. Smith) to take an interest in the patent, 
and to proceed forthwith to Europe to secure patents there. This was 
done, and Mr. Morse soon joined his associate in England. The expe- 
dition resulted only in long embarrassment and disaster to the inventor. 
Having returned to the United States, and successfully struggling with 
obstacles and adversities, he finally obtained the assistance of the gov- 
ernment, and a line of telegraph was built from Wasliington 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 H. L. Ellsworth, then commissioner of patents — 



HISTORICAL, ANECDOTIC AL, ETC. 535 

world above ! Having aclaieved so rnucli, who 
shall dare to set limits to the power of human in- 
vention ? 

And in the moral world, the last lift}' 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 ISew England divine, after- 
ward president of Yale College, sent a barrel of rum 
to Africa by a Ehode Island captain, and got in re- 
turn a neo'ro bov, whom he held as a slave, and this 
was not an offence. I know of a distinguished D. D. 
who v/as 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 ofiice 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- 
w^here 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 hath God wrought?" It was indeed a natural and beautiful 
idea, at the moment that man had opened a new and starthng 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. 

Tlius the telegraph was established, and though Mr. Morse ha^ eu- 
co.untered 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 LE'JTERS B^pGRAPHTCAL, FTC. 

aclvancej as well in teclinical 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 b}^ 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 territor}^ 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 WorTcs of wliich 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 a passport to the public, for books I never wrote — attempts have 
beeti 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 tliis 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 tiie 
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 
some 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 
tlie whole matter clearly before the public. 

The following list comprises all my works to the best of my recol- 
lection. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Date of No. 
publication, vols. 

The Token— A New Year's and Christmas Present 182S . . . 14 

[The first volume was issued in 1S23, and it was continued, 
yearly, till 1S4'2 — 15 years. 15mo. and 12mo. Edited 
by me, except that in 1S29 it M-as 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. 
%Y. Longfellow, I. McLellan, Jr., N.Hawthorne, Miss 
Sedgwick, Mrs. Sigourney, AVillis Gaylord Clark, N. P. 
Willis, J. Xeale, Grenville Mellen, Geo. Lunt, John 
Pierpont. Caleb Cashing, H. Pickering, Miss Leslie, T. 
H. Gallaudet Mrs. Child, F. W. P. Greenwood, Rev. T. 
Flint, IL F. Gould. W. L. Stone, IL T. Tuckerraan, Ma- 
dame Calderon de la Carca, 0. W. Holmes, Mrs. Seba 
Smith, Mrs. Osgood, Mrs. Lee, J. Inman, Horace Gree- 
ley. I. C. Pray, Orville Dewey, O. W. B. Peabody, 
James Hall, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Hoffland, J. T. Fields, 
Miss M. A. Browne, Pv. C. Waterston, Natb. Greene, 
H. H. Weld, G. C. Yerplanck, T. S. Fay, J. O. Eock- - 
well, Charles Spragne. etc.] 



538 APPENDIX NOTES. 

Datp of No. 
publicalion. vols 

A History of All ISTations, 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 , , 

Eev. Eoyal Eobbins, of Berlin, Conn., Kev.W. S. Jenks, 
and Mr. S. Kettell, of Boston, and F. B. Goodrich, of 
New York.] 

A Pictorial Geography of the World, Large Svo., 

1000 pp 1840 1 

[The first edition of this work was published in 1S31, but ■ ,. 

being found imperfect, was revised and remodeled at 
this date. In the original work I had the assistance of 
J. O. 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. Svo 1845 1 

Winter Wreath of Summer Flowers. 8vo. Colored 

Engravings , 1 853 .... 1 

The Outcast, and other Poems. 12mo 1841 1 

Sketches from a Student's Window. r2mo 1836. . . .1 

Poems. 12mo 1851 1 

Ireland and the Irish. 12mo 1842 .... 1 

Five Letters to my ISTeighbor Smith 1839 1 

Les Etats Unis d'Amerique. 8vo 1852 .... 1 

[This was published in Paris.] 

The Gem Book of British Poetry. Sq. Svo 1854 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.) 185*7. . . .2 

The Picture Play-Book 1855 1 

SCHOOL BOOKS. 

Ancient History, from the Creation to the Fall of 

Rome. 12mo 1846 1 

Modern History, fi'om the Fall of Rome to the present 

time. 12mo 1S47 1 

History of North America — Or, The United States and 

adjacent Countries. 18mo 1846. . . .1 

History of South America and the West Indies. ISnio. 1846. . . .1 



APPENDIX NOTES. 539 

Dale of No. 

publication, vols. 

History of Europe. 18mo 1 S-iS .... 1 

Ilistory of Asia. ISmo 18-18. . . .1 

History of Africa. ISmo 1850. . . .1 

[In the compilation of the preceding six vulumes, exclu- 
ding North America, I had kirge assistance frooi Mr. S. 
Kettell.] 

A Comprehensive Geography and History, xineient and 

Modern. 4to 1849. . . .1 

The National Geography. 4to 1849 1 

A 'Primer of History, for Beginners at Home and 

School. 24mo 1850 1 

A Primer of Geograph}', for Home and School — JVith 

Maps 1850 1 

A Pictorial History of the United States. 12mo 1846. . . .1 

A Pictorial History of England. 12mo 1846 1 

A Pictorial History of France. 12mo 1846. . . .1 

A Pictorial History of Greece. 12nio 1846. . . .1 

A Pictorial History of Rome. 12mo 1848. . . .1 

[In the preparation of the preceding five volumes, I had as- 
sistance from Dr. Alcoct, Mr. J. Lowell, &c. I was large- 
ly assisted in the preparation of Rome by Mr. S. Kettell.] 

A Pictorial Natural History. 1 2mo 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. ISmo 1846 1 

Goodrich's Second Reader. 18mo 1846 1 

Goodrich's Third Reader. 18mo 1846 1 

Goodrich's Fourth Reader. 12mo 1846 1 

Goodrich's Fifth Reader. 12mo 1846 1 

TALES UNDER THE NAME OF PETER PARLEY. 

The Tales of Peter Parley about America. Square 1 Gmo. 1827 1 

Do. do. Europe. do 1828 1 

Peter Parley's Winter-Evening Tales. do 1829 1 



540 APPENDIX ITOTES 

Date of No. 
publijntion. vols 

Peter Parley's Juvenile Tales. Square IGmo 1830. . . .1 

The Tales of Peter Parley about Africa. Square 16rno. 1880 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 IBmo 1831.... 1 

Peter Parley's Tales about the Islaiids in the Pacific 

Ocean. Square l6mo 1 831 ... .1 

Peter Pr.rley's Method of TelUng about Geography. 

Square 16mo 1830.... 1 

[This work vras remodeled and reproduced in 1S44, under 
the name of "Parley's Geography for Beginners, at 
Home and School.'" Two millions of copies of it wore 
sold: the publisher paid me three hundred dollars for ' ; 

the copyright, and made his fortune by it.] 

Peter Parley's Tales about the World. Square 16mo. 

(Out of print.) 1831 . . 

Peter Parley's Tales about JSTew York. Square 16mo, 

(Out of print.) 1832. . 

Peter Parley's Tales about Great Britain — Including 

England, Scotland, and Ireland. Square 16mo. 

(Out of print.) 1834. . 

Parley's Picture Book. Square IBmo 183-i. . 

Parley's Short Stories for Long IS'ights. Square IGmo. 1834, . 

Peter Parley's Book of Anecdotes, do 18H6. . 

Parley's Tales about Animals. 12mo 1831.. 

Persevere and Prosper : Or, The Siberian Sable-Hunt(er. 

18rao 1843. . 

Make the Best of It: Or, Cheerful Cherry, and other 

Tales, 18mo 1843.. 

Wit Bought: Or, The Adventures of Rr.bert Merry. 

18mo 1844. . 

VvHiat to do, and How to do it: Or, Morals and Man- 
ners. 18mo 1844.. 

A Home in the Sea: Or, The Adventures of Philip 

Brusque. 18mo 1845. . 

Plight is Might, and other Sketches. ISino 1845. . 

A Tale of the Pievolution, and other Sketches. ISmo. . 1845. . 
Dick Boldhero, or the Wonders of South America. 

18mo 1846. . 

Truth-Finder : Or, Inquisitive Jack. 1 Brno 1846. . 



- APPEXDIX — NOTES. 5il 

Date of No. 

publication, volt. 

Take Care of Xo. 1 : Or, The Adventures of Jacob Karl. 

1 8mo 1850 1 

Tales of Sea and Land 1 846 1 

Everj-Day Book. Sq. 16mo. (Out of print.) 1835 ... .1 

Parley's Present for All Seasons. 1 2mo 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 

Parle^-'s Adventures of Gilbert Goaliead. 12mo 1856.... 1 

Parley's Adventures of Billy Bump, all the way horn. 

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. 

12nio. (In press.) 1857 1 

PARLEY'S HISTORICAL COMPEXDS. 

Peter Parle3''s Universal History on the basis of Geog- 
raphy, Large sq. 16mo 1837.... 2 

Peter Parley's Common School Histor}^ 12mo 1837 ... .1 

The Fir^t 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 1SS2, . . .1 

Tlie Third Book of History — Designed as a Sequel to 

the First and Second Books of History. Sq. 1 2mo . . 1833 1 

[The two precedinir 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 MoJern Italy. Sq. 16mo 1832 1 

Parley's Tales about Ancient and Modern Greece. Sq. 

16mo • 1833.... 1 

Histoire des Etats-Unis d'Amerique, Published in Paris 

and the United States. 12mo 1853 1 

Petite Histoire Universelle. Published in Paris and the 

United States. ]2mo 1853 1 

[In the preparation of some of these. I had the aid of X. 
Hawtliorne, and J. 0. Sargent, Esqs.. &c.] 



54:2 ' APPENDIX 2J0TES. 

- , PARLEY'S MISCELLANIES. 
Parley's Cabinet Library: 20 vols., small 12mo., as follows: 

BIOGRAPHICAL DEPARTMENT. 

Pate of No. 
publicstion. vols. 

1. Lives of Famous Men of Modern Times 1844-5 1 

2. Lives of Famous Men of Ancient Times " 1 

3. Curiosities of Human A'ature " 1 

4. Lives of Benefactors " l 

5. Lives of Famous American Indians " 1 

6. Lives of Celebrated Women " 1 

HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT. 

1. Lights and Shadows of American History •< 1 

8. Lights and Shadows of European History " 1 

9. 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 

MISCELLANEODS. 

13. A Glance at the Sciences " 1 

14. Wonders of Geology " 1 

15. Anecdotes of the Animal Kingdom " 1 

16. A Glance at Philosophy "■ i 

Vl. Book of Literature, with Specimens " 1 

18. Enterprise, Industry, and Art of Man " 1 

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 1 849 .... 1 

Parley's Geography fur 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. I6mo. (Out of print.). . 1836 1 

Parley's Arithmetic. Sq. 16mo 1833 .... 1 

Parley's Spelling-Book. (Out of print.) 1 833 .... 1 

Parley's Book of the United States. Sq. 16mo 1833. . . .1 



APPENDIX NOTES. 543 

- ' Dato of No. 

Geographie EMmentaire. 8vo 185-i 1 

[Published at Paris.] 

Elementary Geography. 8vo. With Maps 1854:. . . A 

[Published in London.] 

Parley's Present. Small 24mo. (Out of print.) 1836 .... 1 

Parley's Dictionaries — Of Botany, of Astronomy, of the 
Bible, of Bible Geography, of History, of Commerce, 

Six vols., large sq. l6mo 1834 6 

Tliree Months at Sea (an English book, Avith additions 

and modifications). Sq. 16mo 1832 

The Captive of Nootka Sound. Sq. 16mo 1832 

The Story of Capt. Riley. do ] 832 

The Story of La Peyrouse. do 1832 

The Story of Alexander Selkirk, do. 1833 

Bible Stories (a London book, with additions). Sq. 16mo 1833 

Parley's Magazine. Began 1832. Large sq. 12mo 1833 

[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 my eyes. It was conducted, 
without any interest or participation on my part, for ■ - 

about twelve year-, when i; cease !.] 

Merry's Museum and Parley's Magazine. Large sq, 

12mo. Commenced 1841 1841... 28 

[This work was begun and establijhed by me, under the 
title of Merry's Museum, but after the discontinuance 
of Parley's Magazine, the latter title was added. The 
work continued under my exclusive editorship u'ltil I 
left for Europe in 1850 ; from that time, while I iiad a 
general charge of the work, Eev. 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 laie 
Mr. S. Kettell was the ''■Veritable Peter Parley'^ — thereby asserting, 
in effect, and conveying the impression, that he being the author of 



5-14- APPENDIX NOTES. 

the Parley Books, T, -who have claimed them, am an impostor. He 
lia'^, moreover, claimed for him, iu 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- 
sar}' to expose this impudent attempt at imposture — absurd and 
preposterous as it appears, upon its very face. 

First, as to the Parle}' 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 seri(?s, no 
person except inyseJf ever wrote a single sentence. 

As to Parley's Historical Compends — some nine or ten volumes — 
I had the assistance of X. Hawthorne, and J. O. Sargent, Esqs., and 
others ; hut Mr. Kettell 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 volione.i ! 

^W He never wrote, planned, conceived, or pretended to he the au- 
thor, of a single volume, bearing Parley's name. The pretense thus 
set lip for him, since hi.-i death, is as preposterous as it is inipudent 
and false. It would he, indeed, about as reaso7iable to claim for him 
the authorship of Bon 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 Merrfs Museum, extending to about thirty volumes — 
large octavo. This claim is disposed of by tlie following letter from 
Rev. S. T. Allen — better qualified than any other person to be a 
witness in the case. 

New Yoke, Jan. 28, 1856. 
S. G. Goodrich, Esq : 

Dear Sir — I have read the several articles in the Boston Courier, sicrn- 
ed "Veritas," claiming for the late Mr. Kettell the authorship oi Peter 
Parley'' s Tales, Merrfs Museum., &c. As you request from me a state- 
ment, as to my 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 Hs editor, wholly or in part. During this period, Mr. Kettell 



APPKXDIX NOTES. - 54-5' 

has never written any thincr for the work. It is within my knowledge 
that he wrote some articles in the earlier volumes, probablvi'n all not ex- 
ceeding one hundred and eighty to two hundred pages. ' His 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, nearlv all of 
which have since been separately pubhshed 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 countiy. 

1 may say, furthermore, that I have lately been in Europe, and it is 
within my 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 froperly he said is, that out of Jive or 
six thousand lyagea of Merry's Museum, he contributed alout two hun- 
dred pages, marled with no jMrticular excellence. Tiie oiily qualifica- 
tion that need be made is, that I have understood that Mr. Kettell had 
some general superintendence of the work for about six months, while 
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. Allex. 



\^° Here, then, are eight and trventy volumes of Merrfs Mnseufn, 
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 Histor}" of the United States, a Pictoiial History of Greece, &c., 
ti:c , (ire. The subjoined letter "from Mr. George Savage, of the late 
firm of Huntington & Savage, and now associated with ]\Ir. J. H. 
Colton & Co., Map and Geography Publishers in Xew York, will 
settle this claim, also. 



64:6 "^ APPENDIX NOTES. 

Ktw YoEK, Jan. 81, 185G. 
Me. Goodrich : 

Dear Sir: I have looked over the several attacks made upon you in 
tlie 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, KettelPs 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 2G, 
1846, to show thatllr. Kettell had written some of the "Parley's Com- 
pends of History." If he will look at the books referred to in this 
conti*act, 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 publishiug 
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 tf the Boston Courier : 

Sir— I have read the controversy which has been progressing for 
some weeks, in your journal, as to the alleged claims of Mr. Kettell to 
the authorship of several works which have appeared under my father's 
name. 



APPENDIX NOTES. 547 

These claims, urged after Mr. Kettell's death, and by a person totally- 
irresponsible, seein 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. 1 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 manuscrij)ts icere never Jin- 
ished so as to he fit for the press. Their puhlication, as they were, would 
have leen fatal to the rej^utation. of any man who should have talen the 
respomibility 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 Xations, a work attributed by " Ver- 
itas" to the " graceful and flowing pen of Mr. Kettell," I must state that 
five persons (Mr. Kettell, Kev. Mr. Bobbins, of Berlin, Conn., Eev. Mr. 
Jenks, 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 fiowiug 
pen of Mr. Kettell." 

Tal-e notice, Mr. Editor, tliat I append ray real navie to this communica- 
tion. Ill controversies of this kind, lohere honor, truth, and the mainte- 
nance of a good name are involved, anonymous correspondence is held 
ly the community to argue in its author— meawness, treachery, and cow- 
ardice. I think Mr. Kettell, were he Uving, would be the first to disavow 
this eager service in his behalf, by his irresponsible advocate. 

I am yours respectfully, F. B. GooDPacH. 

I believe I may now leave this matter to the judgment of the 
public, with a few brief observations. 



54:8 AFPT^NDTX ?^"OT^:S. 

Tlie enormous claims in behalf of Ish: 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 oi Par- 
leys' Tales ; never a line of the ten volumes of Parley\s Historical 
Co)/ipends, expressly and repeatedly claimed for him ; and of tlie fifty 
volumes of Parley s 3Iisccllanies, 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 Mauuering, or the Spec- 
tator. 

2. The claim for Mr. Kettell, of the authorship of Merry's Musntm, 
— 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 b}- " 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 persons 
who assisted me in the compilation of that work. 

6. It appears, inasmuch as my eyes were weak for a series of tweii- 
t^'-five years, rendering it sometimes impossible for me to consult 
books, that I emploj^ed 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, stjde, 
and manner by me, so as to suit my own taste ; and that the woi-ks 
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 prepai*e 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 
onl}'- in the manner above indicated — that is, in blocking outworks, 
mostly historical, under my direction, and to be finished by me. 

7. I do not mean hy this to depreciate Mr. Kettell's abilities ; but 
inasmuch as these audacious claims, in his behalf, have been perti- 



APPENDIX NOTES. 51'} 

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 safel}^ assumed, that in the histozy 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 anon3-mous 
title. Tiiat 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 have 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, vols. 

Parley's Washington. ISmo 1S32....1 

Parley's Columbus. do 18.32 .... 1 

Parley's Fratiklia. do 1832 1 

[The name of Parley is not in the title-page of any of 
these works, but is put upon the back, and they are 
. - 9ol(l as Parley books, but without an iiority, though, at 

tho outset, as I believe, with no improper design.] 



Parley's Miscellanies. ISmo 

Parley's Consul's Daughter, and other Tales. ISmo. 

Parley's Tales of Humor. ISmo 

Parley's Tales of Terror, do 

Parley's Tales for the Times. ISmo 

Parley's Tales of Adventure. do 



[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.] 

Parleys Picture Books — 12 kinds . . . 12 

[These I have not seen ; they are, however, impositions.] 

The Rose, by Peter Parley — 

The Bud, by Peter Parlej^ _ 

The Mines of different Countries. By Peter Parley. . . — 

The Garden, by Peter Parley — 

The Gift, by Peter Parley — 

The Flower-Basket, by Peter Parley — 

Fairy Tales, by Peter Parley — 

[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. 16mo 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, Svo . , . . 1 

Parley's Household Library. Svo . , . . 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 ai*e a gross and 
shameful imposition.] 



APPENDIX XOTES . 



551 



EXGLTSH COrXTERFEITS AXD IMPOSITIONS. 

[The London publishers and authors have made a large 
business of preparing and publi-hing Parley books. 
Some of these are republications, without change, from 
the genuine American editions — to which I make no 
objection ; some are the 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 
publication 

Peter Parley's Annual — A Christmas and Xew Year's 

Present. Published by Barton & Co 1841 . 

[This is a large 16nio., with colored engravings, and has 
been continued fi-om 1841 to 1S55 — 14 volumes.] 

Peter Parley's Royal Victoria Game of the Kings and 

Queens of England. ISmo. Barton <k Co 1834, 

Parley's Book of Gymnastics. Sq. 16mo. Barton d: Co. 1840. 

Parley's Parting Gift. do. do 1846. 

Parley's Book of Industry. do. do 1855. 

Parley's Book of Poetry. do. do 1S43. 

Parley's Ireland. do. do 1843. 

Parley's Wonders of Earth, Sea, and Sky. 

Square 16mo do 1853. 

Parley's Odds and Ends. Square 16mo. do 1840. 

Parley's Peeps at Paris. do. do 1848. 

Parley's Prize Book. do. do 1848. 

Parley's School Atlas- do. do 1842. 

Parley's Canada. do. do 1839. 

Parley's China and the Chinese, do. do 1)S44. 

Parley's Child's Own Atlas. Square. do 1853. 

Parley's Life and Journey of St. Paul. Square 16mo. 

Svnpkins 1845 . 

Peter Parley's Lives of the Twelve Apostles. Sq. 16mo. 

Bogue , 1844. 

Peter Parley's Visit to London during the Coronation. 

Sq. 16mo. Bogue 1838. 

Peter Parley's Tales of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

Sq. 16mo. Tegg 1&12. 

Peter Parley's Mythology of Greece and Rome. Sq. 

16mo. Tegg 1841, 

Peter Parley's Tales of Greece, Ancient and Modern. 

Square 16mo. Tegg 1 842 . 



No. 
vols. 



..14 



do. do. 


1846. 


do. do. 


1839. 


do. do. 


183Y. 


J. S. Hodson . . 


1839. 


Clements .... 


1839. 



OOli APPENDIX KOTES. 

Date of No. 

publicaiion. vols. 

Peter Parley's Tales of Ancient Rome and Modern Ita- 
ly. Sq. 16mo. Tegg 18 10. 

Peter Parley's Tales about Christmas. Sq. 16mo. Tegg. 1839. 

Peter Parley's Shipwrecks. 

Parley's Plants. 

Parley's Modern Geography. 

Parley's Bible Geography. Sq. 16mo. 

Parley's Child's First Step. Sq. 16mo. 

[There are still other counterfeits of Parley's works, issued 
by various parties in London. The utter disregard of 
. trutli, 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, 
wlien 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 i.- sent to Newgate, while 
another may issue thousands of counterfeit volumes, 
and not destroy his reputation ?] 



NOTE II. . - 

Messrs. Low and Co.h 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," tfcc. 

"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- 



L 



APPENDIX NOTES. 553 

after 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 Avere 966 new books and 
new editions; 812 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 Enghsh 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 pubhshed 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 mj' estimate of twenty per 
cent, for the proportion of British literature in our publications at 
the present time, is fully sustained. The rapid relative increase of 
x\merican over British mind in our literature, is equally manifest 
from both statements. 



NOTE III. 



'' Old Hwn2)hr€y,^^ or George Mogridge^ the first Counter- 
feiter of the Farley 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 
and 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 vohime, it seems he was tlie 
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 ! 

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 au 
noyance. 



INDEX 



Abu-el-Kadir, ii. 452. 
Aberceombie, Dr. John, ii. 282. 
Adams, John, i. 119 ; ii. 92, 510. 
Adams, J. Q., i. 274 ; ii. 13, 30, 185, 

400, 403, 404, 408. 
Adams, Samuel, i. 162. 
Albert, Prince, ii. 340. 
Albion, Ship, ii. 161. 
Alfred, King, i. 94. 
Allen, Etlian, ii. 99. 
Allen, Ira, ii. 99. 
Allen, John, i. 351. 
Allen, J. W., i. 352. 
Alsop, Richard, ii. 123. 
Ames, Fisher, ii. 33. 
AmpLre, author, ii. 509. 
Andre, i. 518. 
Annuals, The, ii. 259. 
Appleton, D. & Co., ii. 254, 383. 
Appleton, Wm., ii. 278. 
Arago, Astronomer, ii. 444, 475. 
Arnold, Benedict, i. 469. 
AsBURY, Rev. Francis, i. 205. 
AsHBVRTON, Lord, i. 508. 
AsTOR, Jolin Jacob, ii. 71. 
Austin Family, i. 370. 



B. 



Babcock, Elisha, ii. 28. 
Bacon, Dr. Leonard, i. 376. 
Bacon, Rev. Mr., ii. 118. 
Bacok, Rev. Dr. Leonard, ii. 118. 
Bailey, Mrs. i. 473. 



Bain-bridge, 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. 
Bap.nard, Henry, i. 541 ; ii. 881. 
Barrott, Odillon, ii. 453, 466, 467. 
Bartlett, Rev. J., i. 181, 540. 
Bayard, J. A., i. 123. 

Bayard, W., ii. 70. 

Baylies, Hodijah, ii. 42. 

Beddoes, Dr., i. 377. 

Beegher, Catherine, ii. 94. 

Beecher, Edward, ii. 94. 

Beegher, 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. 378. 

Benton, Thomas H., ii. 430, 431. 

Beranger, Author, ii. 509. 

Berlin, Conn., ii. 63. 
I Berlin, Decree of, i. 446. 
I Bethel Rock, Legend of, i. 381. 

BiDDLE, Com., i. 488. 
j BiGELow, Timothy, ii. 41. 
I Bishop, Abraham, i. 122. 
' Bishop, Deacon Samuel, i. 122. 
! Bishop. Sarah, Hermitess, i. 292. 



556 



INDEX. 



Blackwood's Magazine, ii. 184. 
Blackwood, William, ii. 184, 196. 
Blanc, Louis, ii. 478, 502. 
Blatchford, Kev. Dr., i, 180. 
Bliss, George, ii. 41. 
Bliss & White, ii. 155. 
Blue-Lights, i. 481. 
BoARDMAN, Elijah, ii, 50, 51. 
Bonaparte, Jerome, i. Ill, 
Bonaparte, Napoleon, i. 260. 
Bonaparte, Pauline, i. 113. 
Bradley, Col. P., i. 229, 522. 
Bradley, Stephen K., i. 448; ii. 99. 
Book-Trade, ii. 379. 
Bosc, Agriculturist, ii. 444. 
BowEN, Charles, ii, 344. 
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. 
BucoLEUGH, 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. 



'Cabot, George, ii. 28, 86. 
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. 
Causidiere, ii. 478. 



Cavaignac, ii, 478, 5u2. 

Chalmers, Dr,, ii. 192, 248. 

Champion, Henry, ii. ii7. 

Champollion, i. 863. 

Channing, W. E,, ii, 253, 341. 

Charles IL, King, ii, 864, 

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. 

Clare, 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. 180. 

Clifford, J. H., ii. 439. 

Cockburn, Mr., ii. 849. 

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. 31. 

Cooke, Amos, i. 328, 830. 

Cooke, Col. J. P., i. 826. 

Cook, Dr., ii. 192. 

Cooper, J. Fenimore, ii. 110, 134, 
201. 

Copyright, Laws respecting, ii. 
377. 



INDEX. 



557 



CoKBiN, Mr. P. H. B., ii. 475. 
Cottou, History of, i. 365. 
Covirant, Connecticut, i, 411. 
Courbevoie, i, 41S. 
Courier, Boston, ii. 284, 543. 
CowDEN, E. C, ii. 475. 
Craig, Sir J, H., ii. 14. 
Cranstoux, Mr., ii. 173. 
Crawford, W. H., ii. 400. 
Critte>-dzn, J. J., ii. 431. 
CuLLEN, Dr. TTilliam, i. 377. 
CusHixG, Caleb, ii. 41, 275. 
CuTTrNG, Col. Jonas, ii. 50. 
CuTiER, Zoologist, ii. 444. 



Dallas, George M., ii. 514. 
Dana, E. H., ii. 252. 
Danbury, i. 323, 327, 395. 
Dane, Nathan, ii. 41. 
D.VRT0N & Co., ii. 2SG, 296, 807, 551. 
Davis, John, ii. 349. 
Dearborn, Gen., i. 455. 
Decatur, Com., i. 457, 437. 
Dekat, Com., i. 374. 
Delbruck, M., ii. 481, 484. 
Delight, Aunt, i. 34, 224. 
Demagogism, i. 120. 
Demming, H. C, i. 398. 
Democratic Clubs, i. 117. 
Dewey, Orville, ii. 275, 
Dexter, Franklin, ii. 505. 
Dickens, Charles, ii. 355, 3>59, 373. 
Dickinson, D. S., ii. 94. 
Domingo, St., ii. 61. 
Dow, Lorenzo, i. 200, 205, 206. 
Dow, Peggy, i. 208. 
DowNiE, Com., i. 497. 
DrcHATEL, Mill., ii. 466. 
DucHE, Dr., i. 162, 192. 
Duck Island, i. 42. 
DuDEVANT, Madame, ii. 509. 
DuiiAs, Alexandre, ii. 509. 
Dumas, Adolphe, ii. 509. 
Duncan, G. B., ii. 328. 
DupuYTREN, Surgeon, ii. 448. 
Durham, i. 368. 



DuTTON, Henry, ii. 94. 

DwiGHT, Dr. Timothy, i. 94, 179, 

191, 347. 
DwiGHT Family, i. 350. 
DwiGHT Theodore, i. 435, 454. 



Echo, Poems, ii. 123. 
Eclipse of the sun, 1806, i. 267. 
Edgeworth, Miss, ii. 199. 
Edinburgh, ii. 170. 
Edinburgh Eeview, ii. 170. 
Edwards, Pierpont, i. 136. 
Elliot, Eev. Mr., i. 179. 
Ellsworth, H. L., ii. 9. 
Ellsworth, Mrs., i. 43. 
Ellsworth, Oliver, i. 94, 536 ; ii. 

510. 
Ely, Col. John, i. 16, 466, 533. 
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, 
Ervesg, G. W., ii. 475. 
Everett, A. H., ii. 343, 346. 
Everett, Edward, ii. 2o2, 278, 349, 

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. 
Fisuer, a. W., ii. 162. 
Fisher, Eev. Mr., i. 179. 
Fontaine, Architect, ii. 444. 
Forsyth, Secretary of State, ii, 429, 

430. 
Fourier, Geometrician, ii. 443. 
Franklin, Benjamin, i. 94, 414 ; ii. 

511. 
Fruit Festival, New York, ii. 277, 
Fulton, Eobert, i. 283. 



558 



INDEX. 



G. 



Gallatin, Albert, i. 448, 510. 
Gallaudet, Thomas H., i. 202 ; ii. 

126. 
Gay-Lussao, ii. 444. 
Genet, French Minister, i, 117. 
Geoffeoy St. Hilaike, ii. 443. 
Geokge 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, Eniile, 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, Eev. 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. 48. 
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. 882. 
Grattan, T. C, ii. 842. 
Greenfield Hill, i. 49. 
Greenwood, F. W. P., ii. 273. 
<tRegory, Molly, i. 72. 
Grellet, Peter, i. 256. 
Griswold, Dr. Rufus W., ii. 262, 

382. 
Griswold, Fort, i. 468. 
Grtswold, Roger, i. 461. 



Groton, village, i. 466. 

GuizoT, Minister, ii. 450, 457, 466. 



H. 



Halk, 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. 

Hatch, Moscs, i. 331. 

Haven, Franklin, ii. 336. 

Hawes, Dr. Joel, ii. 384. 

Ha WES, Miss, ii. 385. 

Hawkes, W., ii. 475. 

Hawley, Deacon Elisha, i. 72, 225, 

519. 
Hawley, Irad, i. 521. 
Hawley, Eev. 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. 325. 
Henry III., King, ii. 366. 
Henry, John, ii. 14. 
Hentz, Andre, ii. 483. 
Herald, New York, ii. 382. 
HtLDRETH, Historian, r. 123, 451. 
Hill, Isaac, ii. 429, 430. 
HiLLHOusE, James, ii. 44. 
HiNMAN, E. E., 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. 8H. 



INDEX. 



559 



Hudson & Goodwin, i. 410. 
Hull, Com., i. 454. 
HcLL, Gen., i. 453. 
HoiPHRtEs, David, i. 404 ; ii. 116. 
HcMPHBiES, H., D.D., i. 539. 
Hunter, William, ii. 398. 
HUNTES'GTON, J. "W., ii. 93. 
Huntington, S. H., ii. 109. 



r. 



Ingersoll, Kev. Jonathan, i. 249, 

51G. 
Ingersoll, .Tared, i. 518. 
Ingersoll, Jonatlian, Judge, i. 254. 
Ingersoll, Joseph, i. 250. 
Ingersoll, Morse, i. 250. 
Ingersoll, Grace, i. 255. 
Ingersoll, K. I., i. 254. 
Ingersoll, C. J., ii. 31, 56. 
International Copyright, ii. 355. 
Irving, Rev. Edward, ii. 240. 
Irving, Washington, ii. 442. 
Iz.\RD, Gen., i. 496. 



J. 



JACK30N, Gen., i. 502 ; ii. 400, 403. 

Jackson, Judge, Charles, ii. 15. 

Jagoer, Beggar, i.