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Full text of "Union League Club of New York, proceedings in reference to the death of Hon. John A. King, July 11, 1867"

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No. 29 East Seventeenth Street. 




NEW YORK. ^ ::.* 





No. 29 East Seventeenth Street. 




TRIBUTE - ,Vj'j 






A SPECIAL meeting of the Union League Club was 
held at the Club House on Wednesday evening, Novem- 
ber llth, in pursuance of a written request to the 
President, numerously signed, to do honor to the 
memory of Governor John A. Andrew. 

The President, MR. JOHN JAY, upon calling the meet- 
ing to order, spoke as follows : 


This meeting, gentlemen, has been called in com- 
pliance with the request of many members, " that the 
Club," in the words of their letter, "may give fit 
expression to its sentiments on the irreparable loss 
sustained by the country in the death of Gov. John A. 


The shock so widely conveyed by that sudden and 

sad event, was felt in no spot beyond the limits of his 

own State, more deeply than in this Club, where Gov. 

'^Lndr6w*^as: ^cfcustomed to come with the confidence 

'lhat' atta'cne*s *to a home; assured that all whom he 

MU^nt Biqet }ver friends actuated by kindred sentiments 

and a common motive. It is thus peculiarity fitting 

that this body, whose roll prominently represents this 

National Metropolis, and whose record illuminates the 

same historic page the saddest yet brightest in our 

annals that now bears the name of Andrew, should 

assist in giving form and expression to the national 

sentiment in regard to one whom we cherished as a 


To us, Gov. Andrew was not simply the foremost 
statesman of the land, wise, fearless, and energetic, 
fathoming from the first the meaning of secession, and 
prompt to prepare for the shock of war, which, with 
the connivance of the Buchanan administration and 
the ready sympathy of our European foes, was expect- 
ed to blot us from the roll of nations. 

To a judgment that no dangers could disturb, a 
resolution that no difficulties could shake, a love of 
country which grew in intensity as that country's 
danger became more imminent, and a vigilance that 
never slept, he added principles of action so right and 
pure, that expediency or necessity, those convenient 
pretexts, left no shadow on their brightness. 

We who knew him so well knowing him not only 
by his public acts and speeches, but by his personal 
conversation : who have followed him from the Execu- 
tive chamber to the camp, the war office and the 


hospital, and have often listened to his cheering words, 
melodious as verse, uttered in tones inspiriting like 
a strain of music, and read in his transparent coun- 
tenance the harmonious features of his character; we 
knew that his lofty patriotism was untainted by a 
thought of self ; that he scorned the indirection which 
calls itself finesse ; . that he wielded the powers of a 
statesman, with the conscientiousness of a Christian 
and, as his heroic troops have testified, that he joined 
to his resistless energy as a commander, the thoughtful 
tenderness of a woman. 

We recognized in Gov. Andrew all that is most 
excellent in the traits usually attributed to New-Eng- 
land, blended with a breadth of thought, a largeness of 
aim, and an absence of everything like provincial or 
sectarian prejudice, that raised him to the full height 
of the American ideal, and will make his name honored 
wherever the history of our country shall be read, as 
an illustrious and classic example of the noblest phase 
of the American character. 

Though he filled no national office, that name will 
have place in coming ages among the master statesmen 
of the world. But no lapse of time, gentlemen, is 
necessary to enable us to appreciate the dignity, the 
beauty, and the blessing of such a life, in its far-spread- 
ing and abiding influence. 

Even now, while his spirit is joining above those of 
Washington and the Fathers of the Revolution, whose 
Constitution we have saved from overthrow : while he 
greets again in a better country Lincoln and Wads- 
worth, the dead of Massachusetts, and the hundreds of 
thousands who have died for their country on the battle- 


fields of the continent, the memory of his life has for 
us lessons of duty and of faith. 

He rests from his labors, but for us the contest is far 
from being ended. To us belongs the work of recon- 
structing in strength, harmony, and beauty the Repub- 
lic we have preserved, and of protecting the South 
from the miseries we suffer in New York, in being plun- 
dered and overborne by an unenlightened constituency, 
by promptly providing universal education, not alone 
for the freedmen, whom the necessities of the position 
have enfranchised in advance, but for the rest of our 
countrymen of the South, whom as non-slaveholders 
the masters regarded as " mean whites," and allowed to 
remain in ignorance. We are to restore the good will 
between the sections which the policy of slavery has 
so long alienated, and kind relations between the 
peoples that together are to occupy the Southern 
States, and whom a malignant philosophy threatens 
with a war of races. We have, lastly, to equalize 
and lighten by financial skill and rigid economy, the 
war debt imposed upon American industry by the 
traitorous policy of a once national party. 

These are among the stern tasks left us to perform, 
and should we find ourselves delayed in their accom- 
plishment by the defection of a President whom we 
trusted: or temporarily impeded by the, consistent and 
inevitable opposition of those who during the war, were 
faithless to the flag, and gave aid and comfort to its 
enemies ; or if betrayed and disgraced by corrupt 
legislators calling themselves Republicans, politicians 
buoyant with putrefaction, who have risen to the sur- 
iace while the nation was reposing after its struggle, 
we see their infamy tarnishing the principles, impair- 


ing the prestige, and sapping the strength of the great 
Union organization to which to-day the nation owes its 
existence ; we have but to remember the counsels, the 
courage, and the career of our friend, recall the mili- 
tary and moral triumphs that resulted from Bull Run, 
recall the Presidential election that followed the defeat 
of Wadsworth, and renew our energies, our resolves, 
our hopes, and our confidence at the grave of Andrew. 

That earnest eye is closed, those eloquent lips are 
mute, the hands that did with their might, and with 
such wondrous success, the work they found to do, 
are folded forever ; but as we look around and be- 
hold his monument in a free and undivided' country, 
we feel that though dead, he yet speaks, and that his 
works do follow him. 

I am glad, gentlemen, to see assembled on this 
mournful but interesting occasion, so many members 
of the Club who knew Gov. Andrew well, and 
whose own position before the country and conspicuous 
devotion to her cause, will give weight to their tributes 
to his life and character. 

On motion of Colonel Le Grand B. Cannon, it was 

Resolved, That a committee of ten be appointed to prepare a 
series of resolutions appropriate to the occasion. 

The following gentlemen were named as members of 
the committee : 







Pending the report of the committee, the following 
letter was read to the meeting : 


NEW YORK, November 11, 1867. 

MY DEAR SIR : An engagement for the anniversary dinner of 
the Mercantile Library Association will prevent my attendance at 
the meeting of the club this evening to pay a tribute of respect to 
the memory of Ex-Gov. Andrew. 

I had a delightful interview with our deceased friend on the 
morning of the 28th ultimo, two days -before his death. He was 
then apparently in the glow of health, and his face bore that sunny 
smile which made him so companionable always. His heart was 
cheerful, and he was evidently feeling gratified at the prospective 
success of his efforts to convince the authorities and people of his 
, State that moral influences are more potent than restrictive legis- 
lation to promote habits of temperance and virtue. Referring to 
some of the pulpit utterances of the preceding day, he good- 
naturedly remarked that there were other forms of intemperance 
besides that of the appetite, for which an enlightened public 
opinion would find a readier cure than the ingenuity of our law- 
givers could devise. 

He spoke most cordially of our Club, and manifested a warm 
interest in its prosperity and perpetuation. He inquired as to the 
opinions of its members on public affairs, evincing anxiety that 
they should appreciate the grave responsibilities which current 
events were combining to impose upon the dominant party. He 
gave expression to his own views in his usual terse and forcible 
style. As thoroughly radical as he was seven years before, when, 
on the eve of the exciting campaign that made him Governor of 
Massachusetts, he uttered the manly sentiment that " John Brown 
was right," a truth which it has cost four years of terrible strife 
to burn into the conscience of the nation he nevertheless com- 
prehended the difference between the party of the minority strug- 
gling to achieve the triumph of a great principle, with nothing to 
lose and everything to gain by aggressive warfare, and the party 


of the majority striving to save what it has gained " to take no 
step backward " whose mission it is to intrench itself in power 
by tranquillizing the nation, restoring confidence, promoting 
industry, and conserving the general welfare by judicious financial 
and political measures, broad and statesmanlike in their scope, and 
embracing every section of the country and all classes of men. He 
earnestly deprecated any agitation of the subject of impeachment, 
remarking, that it must be a very poor government that could not 
live out the Presidential term of the worst possible incumbent. He 
regarded the scheme as essentially revolutionary, and calculated 
to array against the party initiating it the hostility of the indus- 
trial and commercial classes, whose interests would be disastrously 
affected through every step of its progress. He felt also that it 
would tend to place us in the eyes of the world on a level with 
Mexico and those other republics of America which dispose of 
their chief magistrate with as little cermony as if the voice of the 
people possessed no especial sanctity ; whereas, in the minds of 
all true citizens of a republic, it ought to rank next in authority to 
the voice of God. He asked me what was likely to be the result 
of our State election, and I gave him my opinion frankly that we 
not only should be beaten, but that we deserved to be, for while 
we had nominated an excellent State ticket, our local leaders had 
forced upon us such a number of disgraceful nominees for senators 
and assemblymen (though the memory of the shameless corrup- 
tions of the last legislature was still clinging to us), as to disgust 
many of the most steadfast and faithful adherents of the party, and 
take away every element of enthusiasm from the canvass. He 
deplored the failure of the effort to obliterate caste from the Con- 
stitution of Ohio. His allegiance to the great principle of equal 
rights, which this untoward event has hindered, was firm and un- 
faltering. Lamenting deeply every reverse that had befallen the 
Republican party, he took courage in the belief that events were 
so shaping themselves as to render it probable that the nomination 
of our next President would emanate from the people and not from 
the politicians, and that the candidate would be one who bad 
carved his platform with his sword in such living characters that 
there was no need to make it clearer or stronger to his grateful 


countrymen. Eloquent voices will speak to-night in favor of Gov. 
Andrew's great talents, his inspiring eloquence, the urbanity 
of his disposition, the purity of his character, and the beauty of 
his private life. No words can exaggerate the simple worth of 
the noble spirit thus untimely summoned hence. History will 
assign him a rank among the foremost statesmen of America. 
Very truly yours, 


Colonel Cannon, the Chairman of the Committee of 
Ten, reported that a series of resolutions, prepared by 
Mr. Henry T. Tuckerman, would be presented on be- 
half of the Committee by Colonel Frank E. Howe, to 
whom, as the warm personal friend of Gov. Andrew, 
they had assigned that duty. 


It is unnecessary, Mr. President, for me to remind 
you of my affectionate relations with our lamented 
friend, Gov. Andrew ; and in presenting these resolu- 
tions I beg the indulgence of the Club for a moment. 

This bereavement is one which we cannot and should 
not soon forget. He has been taken from us in the 
midst of activity, usefulness and honor. His frequent 
presence among us, his delight at being here, and the 
fact that he was intending to spend this very week with 
us, and in the immediate associations of the Club, 
make this an hour of real sadness and mourning. We 
almost feel the warmth of his hand, so recently given 
that words, however fitly spoken, seem inadequate to 
express the grief that now fills our hearts. 


We miss him all the more at a moment when events 
are pressing on to that future into which he looked so 
wisely. In the political firmament he was our star in 
the East. We esteemed him for his great abilities. We 
loved him for his sweet temper, his joy in simple things, 
his modesty and manliness, his fidelity to duty, his 
firmness in support of unpopular truths, his loyalty to 
freedom, justice and humanity, at a time when many fal- 
tered. We loved him because long ago he took the 
side of the oppressed against the oppressor ; for his 
boundless confidence in the issues of the battle of free- 
dom ; for that ability which he never abused ; for his 
devotion to his family and home; for that indepen- 
dence of character which power could not corrupt ; and 
for his integrity, which was proof against the temptation 
of high places. His predictions were verified, and we 
trusted him. His counsels were wise, and we followed 

He uttered to the Secretary of War in 1862 the 
earliest words on behalf of the colored man, and fol- 
lowed it up by the organization of the first regiment of 
colored soldiers. 

All this has passed into history, but, Mr. President, 
his memory can never pass from our hearts. 

When his great heart ceased to beat, the world was 
made poorer. In the presence of his example, let us 
each and all renew our pledges to sustain the great 
cause in which he labored, and the Union which he 
loved. Let us forget all partisan and personal issues 
and differences, and press on in the path in which he 
was so faithful a leader. 


Mr. President, with your permission and tlie permis- 
sion of the Club, I now offer the resolutions : 

Whereas, One of our most pure, consistent and efficient citizens, 
John Albion Andrew, of Massachusetts, has been suddenly re- 
moved by death from his honored sphere of loyal activity, in the 
prime of his life and usefulness ; and 

Whereas, He was personally endeared, by his civic virtue and 
genial traits, to many members of this Club, and highly esteemed 
by them all ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with our fellow-citizens 
of Massachusetts in this national bereavement, and earnesly unite 
with them in a heartfelt tribute of respect, gratitude and affection 
to the memory of their late peerless chief magistrate. 

Resolved, That in the darkest days of the war, his magnetic 
cheerfulness and confidence, and, in the hour of victory, his 
gentle and generous spirit were to us an inspiration the remem- 
brance of which we shall ever cherish with pride and gratitude. 

Resolved, That in the official sagacity, vigilance and self-devo- 
tion of John A. Andrew, while Governor of our sister common- 
wealth during the war, in the national scope of his views and 
sympathies, in his parental care of the soldiers he sent to the field, 
his anticipation of their wants, his provision for their comfort and 
honorable record, and his eloquent recognition of their claims and 
services, we behold and honor an invaluable example of adminis- 
trative fidelity. 

Resolved, That the rare combination in the character and career 
of Gov. Andrew, of intrepid zeal, profound convictions, and 
comprehensive insight, with the most benign temper, genial com- 
panionship and natural benevolence, rendered his influence, while 
living, most effective and salutary ; and while the vivid memory 
of these gifts and graces endears his name, it deepens our grief 
that the future councils of the nation are bereft of so precious an 

Resolved, That the public appreciation of such worth and wis- 
dom, as manifest in the wide and deep sorrow occasioned by the 
death of our illustrious Rapublican brother, renews our faith in 


the absolute power of disinterestedness and integrity in political 
life, and our unwavering trust in the ultimate triumph of those 
principles of justice and freedom, which the life and labors of 
John A. Andrew so eminently illustrate. 

The President then called upon Mr. Parke Godwin, 
who made the following address : 


Our human life has been compared, by the poets and 
writers, to whatever is most insubstantial and fleeting 
of sublunary things. Calderon likens it to a dream, or 
to that vague, uneasy, half-waking motion of thought 
which occurs between two sleeps ; Burns, to the fall of 
a snow-flake upon a river, " A moment here, then gone 
for ever ; " Young, to a brook, which rushing rapidly 
along meadowy banks and by human habitations, is 
suddenly swallowed up by the all- whelming sea ; and 
Thompson, in accord with his great theme, to the swift 
changes of the seasons first, the flowering Spring, 
then the ardent Summer ; next sober Autumn, fading 
into age, till " pale concluding Winter comes at last 
and shuts the scene." Or, as an old author sums it 

" Grass, smoke, a flower, a vapor, shade, a span, 
Serve to illustrate tliis frail life of man." 

But of all these emblems none has seemed to me 
more apt and touching than that spoken of by Southey, 
I think, in his Book of the Church, as used by an old 
man during a midnight assembly of the aboriginal 
Britons, summoned to consider the question of accept- 
ing Christianity. During the debate, a little bird flew 


into the room from an open widow, and passing quickly 
through the light, made its exit by another open win- 
dow on the other side. Like the flight of that bird, 
said an aged speaker, is this our human life ; a moment- 
ary flash in the midst of two abysses of darkness ; and 
he argued therefrom, that whatever cast a gleam of 
hope on the future it was wise to receive. 

Like the flight of that bird, in some respects at least, 
was the life of the noble man whose untimely death 
we are gathered here to deplore. A little while ago, 
obscure and unknown, he was lifted to illustrious 
heights of renown, and then is wrapped away from us 
in the silence and gloom of the grave ! 

But it is a consolation that the emblem is not uni- 
versally true. His transit, though short, has left be- 
hind it more than the mere furrow of the passage. It 
has left behind it the memories that are eternally dear 
to private affection ; a fame that ever-widening circles 
of patriotic hearts will delight to cherish ; a record of 
good work well done, that the history of his country 
will embalm among its choicest and worthiest memo- 
rials. Gov. Andrew had lived only a little while, but 
he had lived a great deal; his life, like that of all 
electric men, is not to be measured by the straight line 
of its duration, but by the broad circle of its radiation. 
He was not a shooting-star, that flits from one horizon 
to another and is gone, but a magnetic globe, which 
reflected his soul on every side, and became a* centre 
of influences ; and when he died, " though still young, 
he was full of days." 

Gov. Andrew always seemed to me one of those 
unusual combinations of inteUect with heart that con- 


stitute the ground-work of a truly great individuality. 
His intellect was clear, sagacious and strong ; and his 
heart was at once tender and sympathetic, yet brave, 
hopeful and manly ; both equally comprehensive and 
capacious. Simple as a child in his manners ; gentle 
as a woman in his affections ; earnest as the enthusiast 
in his persuasions of truth, and steadfast as the martyr 
to his own interior faith ; he was yet prudent, moderate 
and wise as the statesman in his action. Indeed, with- 
out disparagement of others, I may say that Gov. 
Andrew exhibited, in a higher degree than most men, 
the rare qualities that distinguish the statesman from 
other forms of human character. He was the states- 
man, as the statesman differs from the mere politician, 
on one side, and the simple philanthropist on the other. 
With none of the politician's spirit of intrigue or .self- 
seeking, he had more than the politician's sagacity and 
foresight. With all the philanthropist's benevolence 
and zeal, he had more discernment, providence and 
wisdom, than ordinarily falls to that manner of men. 
His sensibilities enticed and ennobled his judgment, 
but his judgment never surrendered the reins to his 
sensibilities. The fire of his love blazed high, showing 
the path on every side of him, but never so high as to 
confuse the pure light of his reason. 

"The perfect lawgiver," says Macaulay, "is a just 
temper between a mere man of theory, who can see 
nothing but general principles, and the mere man of 
business, who can see nothing but particular circum- 
stances." In Gov. Andrew the two extremes were 
happily blended. He had faith in the ideal, the infinite, 
the perfect, and, therefore, was a man of principle ; 


but lie had knowledge also of the actual, the limited, 
the circumstantial, and, therefore, he was a man of 
methods. His aims were never too lofty to be prac- 
ticable, and his actions never so low as to swerve from 
the direction of his aims. Politics with him was a 
science of truth, but it was at the same time an art of 
adjustment, of the adjustment of that which is to that 
which ought to be, but by processes that are sure, and 
therefore steady in their results, and not by jerks and 
leaps, which exhaust themselves in the very effort. 

Inflexibly honest in his own convictions, his sincerity 
always identified him with his cause ; while his kindli- 
ness and justness won him the respect and esteem of 
those who hated his cause. "I detest your party," 
said a Bostonian to me once, " yet there is one of your 
men for whom I always vote it is John A. Andrew." 
This was because he worked by persuasion, not blows ; 
by the persuasions of argument and character, and not 
force ; by the law of love, and not the love of law or 
rule. In these respects he often struck me as a man of 
the ancient mould, of that grand pattern framed in our 
earlier days ; of the stamp and rank of the revolu- 
tionary statesmen the Madisons, the Hamiltons, the 
Jays who saw truth, and clung to it with their inmost 
hearts, but who did not overlook or disdain the means 
of making that truth effective in institutions and 
measures. Men whose clear-sighted and far-reaching 
vision, penetrating the difficulties of the present, 
expanded into a prescience of the developments of the 
future, for which they provided. 

How nobly were all these qualities exhibited dur- 
ing the brief official career of Gov. Andrew ! With 


what marvellous foresight he had prepared his State 
for the war, while others were yet debating whether 
there would be a war ! With what magnetism a single 
word in hia despatch, concerning the Massachusetts 
soldiers who fell in Baltimore, that their bodies should 
be " tenderly " cared for and sent home, touched all our 
hearts, even to tears! How, through all the dreary and 
protracted struggle, he was always equipped, always 
ready, always cheerful, and always in the advance ! 
How the good Lincoln knew that there was one shoulder 
at least upon which he could ever lean his weary hands 
for support ! And how, when the deadly strife was over, 
was the sense of justice tempered by the spirit of mag- 
nanimity, so that he prosecuted peace with the same 
ardor that he had prosecuted war. Oh ! what a loss 
is such a man to his personal and political friends ! 
What a greater loss to his State, which he had ruled, in 
Milton's words, "with a mind extended and of the 
divinest mettle." What an incomparably greater loss 
still to the nation, to whose future councils he would 
have brought so much of insight, prudence, generosity, 
courage and justice. May we not say of him, as 
Fisher Ames said of Hamilton, that if we weep to 
think of what he was, the very soul grows liquid at 
the thought of what he might have been. 

It was only a few days since I saw Gov. Andrew at 
his home, hospitable, kindly and merry merry with 
the mirth of a guileless consciousness but with his 
massive, well-rounded brow none the less freighted with 
thoughts, both high and deep, of the destinies of his 
country. I could not look upon his serene, genial, yet 
earnest face, without saying to myself, " There is one 



of the brains that sees through all the intricacies of 
our problems, and there is one of the hearts that takes 
in all our people, the humblest even more than the 
highest. But now, in the fulness of his vigor, in the 
flush of his manhood, with his past illumined by 
traces of brightness, and his future gilded by the glow 
of a still brighter day to come that noble brain and 
noble heart have ceased to beat. They will work no more 
for us on the earth, but in the loftier sphere to which 
he is withdrawn, his spirit and its influences survive ; 
and, in ways as yet mysterious and unknown, they will 
continue to work for what was so dear to him here 
the elevation and redemption of all mankind. 


ME. PBESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN : I can hardly hope 
to add anything to what has been so properly, so justly, 
and so eloquently said by yourself, expressed in the 
resolutions which we have heard, and enforced upon us 
by the speaker who has just taken his seat. But my 
estimate of the character and the conduct of Gov. An- 
drew, my appreciation of the great services which he has 
rendered to his country, my feeling of the pleasure and 
advantage and honor which I have enjoyed in a some- 
what intimate personal acquaintance and association 
with him, are such that I should not wish to omit any 
share or part that, in the judgment of others, it would 
"be supposed I might fitly take upon this occasion, in 
. which we honor his memory and lament our bereave- 

I first met Gov. Andrew upon the public occasion 
of the laying of the corner-stone for the Pilgrim 


Monument, at Plymouth, I think eight years ago, the 
last summer. His repute as a lawyer, his zeal as a 
philanthropist, his eloquence, were not unknown to me ; 
but I had never seen him before, and was introduced 
to him by a distinguished citizen of Massachusetts, 
who added to the announcement of his name this prog- 
nostic of his future distinction that he was destined 
to be the Chief-Justice of Massachusetts when the 
great lawyer and judge who then filled that place 
should, in the course of nature, be removed. If our 
country had remained at peace ; if Governor. Andrew 
had been at liberty to devote himself wholly to the 
labors and the successes of our profession, this prog- 
nostic for his future would probably have proved true, 
and he would have worn the ermine of the Justice of 
Massachusetts, instead of having wielded, through a 
heroic period, the sceptre of her power. ."Justice," 
Mr. Burke says, " is the main policy of all human so- 
ciety ;" and a sense of justice a love of justice not - 
confined to justice for himself, for his friends, for his 
section, for his class, for his race but justice for men, 
justice for all men, was at the bottom the great trait 
upon which the public career and the private virtues of 
Gov. Andrew found their firm support. Lifted by 
the circumstances of the war, and the strenuous civil 
preparation which immediately preceded it, on a noble 
pedestal, and exposed to a strong light, his fellow-, 
citizens, whether of his own State or of the nation, 
found, earlier perhaps than in a peaceful course of life 
would have been manifested, the great traits of Gov. 
Andrew. I may, perhaps, be partial to Massa- 
chusetts, as the State where I was born and bred ; but 


it seems to me that there, better than elsewhere in our 
country, in the ill courses of our politics of recent 
years, have the true relations between the State and its 
worthy and able men in the public service been pre- 
served. No public position has been purchasable in 
Massachusetts ; and, as none, filling those positions, 
acquired by purchase, so none have ever offered for 
sale any of its repute, its services, its means, its pow- 
ers. We knew Gov. Andrew not only as a man of 
great ability, of great force of character, of great public 
talents, of great public power and usefulness, but we 
knew him as the head of a Cornrnonweath having these 
equal traits. 

It is Gov. Andrew as the leader of Massachusetts 
it is Massachusetts, as under the lead of Gov. Andrew, 
that fills a great space which a great leader and a 
great following always make in the affairs of men. 

Gov. Andrew was highly fortunate in the com- 
position of his character, as leading liim into, and 
placing him forward in the public life of his State and 
of the country. We seem to labor under two difficul- 
ties in getting the right man in the right place, under 
our system of politics. First, that there are so many 
having but little to contribute to the public service, 
that yet have something that is showy and attractive, 
and are impelled by a strong personal sense of their 
own fitness to crowd upon the constantly - shifting 

Another and an opposite difficulty is that men who 
may be supposed by those who, while knowing are not 
known to them, to have the traits, the attributes of 
honor and distinguished public service, yet from too 


great sensitiveness, or from too great absorption in 
private pursuits, are inaccessible to public favor. Gov. 
Andrew, let us know and understand, most admirably 
avoided either of these defects. The glow and the heat 
so noticeable, so fervid, so beautiful, so bright, con- 
necting himself instantly, electrically, with all observers 
and with all associated or connected with his action, 
was, indeed, not superficial ; it came from the strong 
central fires within, and manifested itself by trans- 
lucence and transpiration, and not by a mere superficial 
radiation of. incidental light. Now it is common to 
speak in praise of great men, who, in arts or arms, in 
science or literature, as orators or as poets, have shed 
lustre upon the communities in which they live, as 
making their fame a part of the fame of their country. 
"Without adulation and without extravagance, we may 
say, looking at the actual career of Gov. Andrew, and 
at the public course of Massachusetts under his lead, 
that what Massachusetts did and what Massachusetts 
was during the years of our war, was a part of the 
fame of Gov. Andrew : for he was the leading spirit, he- 
was the preparing influence, his was the controlling 
mind, and his the unfailing energy though it needed, 
of course, the great power and resources of the State 
for its manifestation. 

Now, Mr. President, we do not, I fear, sufficiently 
appreciate the very great position which Gov. Andrew 
had gained for himself at the age which he had reach- 
ed. In this country, in whatever pursuit we attempt 
success, to whatever we devote our abilities and our 
labors, we all do our own climbing. It will be found 
that in the vast area of public influence in national 


affairs, no man fairly gains the position which can 
make him known until he reaches the age of fifty. 
Mr. Webster, than whom no other man in our time has 
made a greater personal impression of talents and of 
power, was of the age at which Gov. Andrew died 
when he made his speech in the Senate in reply to 
Hayne. And how large a proportion of the admirers 
of Mr. Webster as an orator, a statesman and a man 
of intellect, date their whole knowledge and apprecia- 
tion of his eminence, not to say his preeminence, from 
that manifestation of his authority and his power. 

Gov. Andrew led a life, the importance and the value 
of which up to this time cannot be over-estimated. 
Besides his direct authority in his own State, who caa 
measure the influence which he exerted over the colder 
natures or the duller intelligences of the public men of 
other States, with whom lie was brought in contact ? 
Yet we do not err at all, when we say and feel that up 
to the time of his death, to human observation, he had 
been preparing himself and gaining that opinion of 
.mankind, that fame which after death is superior to 
power in life which was to enable him to fill a greater, 
a wider, and a more useful part in the future of our 

All this is now disappointed. We see that what 
seemed preparatory, what seemed to be but a collec- 
tion of means and power for the greatest need of 
statesmanship in this country, was not so designed by 
Providence, unless his mantle may fall upon, unless his. 
influence may guide, unless his spirit may imbue, his 
countrymen for this severe trial of public virtue and 
ability the process of reconstruction. 


"Whatever may happen to us or to our country, we 
are sure that Gov. Andrew's name and fame are safe. 
He will go down with the whole, complete, genuine, 
heroic fame of Gov. Samuel Adams of the Be volution, 
and of James Otis. Nobody shall divide his honors 
none shall disparage his repute. Fortunate in his 
life, complete in the distinction which he has gained, 
usefully for others, gloriously for himself, he has lived 
and he has died. 


MB. PRESIDENT : We are all convinced, and we all know 
that the many noble attributes of the character of Gov. 
Andrew, which have been so fervently enumerated here 
by three eloquent speakers, were really the charac- 
teristics of him whose death we deeply deplore. We 
all agree in this, sadly and sincerely, and it may be 
best, therefore, to restrict myself to the following out 
of some hints which the gentleman who spoke imme- 
diately before me has given about the deeds and aspira- 
tions of that exalted public man who now lies low. 

Gov. Andrew was one of the most prominent char- 
acters developed in our heroic period. He was more. 
Like Stanton, the fearless and greatest war minister 
we know of in modern times like Gov. Morton of 
Indiana, Gov. Andrew was one of the very heroic 
elements of that period ; one of those men without 
whom that period would not have been or have 
become what it was and what it became. Gov. Andrew- 
was a hero. What is heroism ? Is it not a combination 
of lofty purpose, of persevering tenacity, of a cheerful 
combativeness, Which delights in contest for a dignified 


cause, of courage which waxes in proud defiance as 
dangers thicken and perils crowd, and withal of that 
organizing and evoking spirit which possesses the 
faculty to call forth in others similar feelings, a similar 
enthusiasm, and similar efforts to climb the path of 
worthy deeds ? Is this not heroism ? And if it is, 
were not all these elements and attributes combined in 
him? We are right, then, in. calling him a hero, and it 
is our duty to remember him as such. He did not gain 
a victory on the battle-field, but he prepared many ; 
and many a victory would not have been gained had he 
not organized it for the generals commanding in the 

Mr. President, it is in history as it is in nature ; 
those phenomena which attract universal attention by 
their flashing effulgence or by the thundering noise 
with which they burst forth, are by no means, on that 
account alone, the most important phenomena in nature. 
That pulse which throbs here in my wrist, and beats in 
every warm and living thing on earth, is a greater phe- 
nomenon, and spreads throughout nature more bless- 
ings and contributes more to the continuance of things 
than the eruption of the southern volcano seen far out on 
the sea, or the thunder which rumbles under the ground 
for many long and distant miles. And so it is in his- 
tory. If a victory is gained on the battle-field, trumpets 
sound its fame over the land and over the globe. But 
those weavers at the great loom of humanity, where 
that tapestry is woven, which, when spread before us, 
we call history those faithful, steady, anxious, and 
skilful weavers take, often, a far greater part in the 
production of the events which constitute history, and 


which lead men onward in the path of civilization, and 
spread it in wider circles than the victories of bloody 
strife. Such a weaver at the loom of history, skilful 
and indefatigable, was our departed and our honored 
friend the greatest governor of Massachusetts our 
fellow-citizen, Andrew. 

We ought to take heed not only to keep the memory 
of such men bright for ourselves and within ourselves, 
but to let it go down as a living and lofty memory to 
our children and children's children. 

The memory of great and good men is the seed of re- 
newed greatness and future goodness. In this consists 
the wealth of great nations ; this gives the nourishing 
character to their history, and this is the reafeon why 
no people can be great in act or thought that does not 
keep in honorable memory the good men who have 
been vouchsafed to it. 

Let us then in every way take care of the memory 
of John A. Andrew. 


who seem to have been born for an emergency. When 
a great crisis has arisen hi affairs a crisis that calls at 
once for prudence and for courage, for prudence in the 
cabinet, for courage, perhaps, in the field a crisis 
that imperils the welfare of a nation, the institutions 
of liberty, the progress of humanity a kind Providence 
brings forward men who seem to be born for just that 
emergency ; men who comprehend it, who rise to it, 
who grasp it, who master it, who guide it to successful, 
triumphant issues. And yet it often happens that such 


men subside with the occasion that called them forth. 
Born of the opportunity and for the opportunity, they 
die with it. The very pressure that brought them out 
was needed to give them further motive ; and that be- 
ing withdrawn, they subside into the quietude of private 
life. Perhaps they have made for themselves a name 
in history but because the emergency itself, which 
they thus met and guided, is passed into history. And 
yet they are hardly of that class whom our wise and 
learned friend [Dr. Lieber] has characterized as the 
weavers of history itself. 

There is another class of men more rare, men 
moulded after what Mr. Matthew Arnold, speaking of 
poetry, calls " the grand style " men who were not 
born /or an emergency, but born of an emergency and 
for history ; men whom the emergency wakens to a 
consciousness of themselves, brings to the realization 
of powers in themselves, before latent or but partially 
exercised because never fully evoked, and whom the 
emergency also lifts into the wider knowledge of their 
fellows. But these, when the crisis is past, do not sub- 
side with it. They stand at the elevation they had 
gained ; stand to guide the issues of the future ; stand 
to incorporate the results of the struggle in laws, in 
principles, in institutions. Born of an emergency, 
they were born for humanity, born for history, born for 
the ages. So when some Titanic commotion of phy- 
sical forces shakes the sea and the dry land, it will 
sometimes happen that, parting the rolling, foaming 
waters, there comes up from beneath a mighty rock, 
bearing on its crown the surface of an island. It is 
born of the commotion ; it is heaved up by volcanic 


fires ; it rises bald and bare, and stands there breasting 
the waves ; but when the commotion is allayed and the 
waves have subsided, it takes its place quietly but firmly 
in the physical geography of the globe ; and that sur- 
face, so stern and bjare, gathers to itself more and more 
of soil, till by-and-by it is covered with verdure. The 
birds of heaven light upon it, the mariner sights it as a 
landmark ; and ere long the great ships heave into its 
coves for the sake of its tempting fruits and its beau- 
teous fountains. Such was John A. Andrew ; of the 
grand style of character ; made for history made for 
the ages. A great crisis called forth all his powers ; 
roused him to the full consciousness of his strength and 
work. The upheaval of the nation 'lifted him high in 
the notice of his fellows made him a man of mark, 
with energy and skill for the terrible emergency. But 
we saw further, that this bold, decisive character was 
clothed with all manly graces and beauties a charac- 
ter to be trusted and loved. 

The distinction of this class of men, Mr. President 
that which gives to them a permanent life, lies in the 
principles that form their character. If we briefly 
analyze the public life of our departed friend, we shall 
see certain salient principles which mark him in our 
personal thoughts and affections as a man to be ever 
cherished and remembered, and which place him ever- 
more in the history of his country and of his time. 

First among those principles is that which Mr. 
Evarts has so aptly stated and illustrated bis strong 
sympathy with justice. We read it in that firm, manly 
countenance of his. You heard it in every utterance 
of his lips where principles were involved. There are 


some natures so delicately attuned that justice seems to 
be instinctive, and nothing of wrong can come within 
their reach without rousing the spontaneous repug- 
nance of their souls. Such a natuf e was that of John 
A. Andrew. But more than thig that which was 
instinctive in the delicate, exquisite constitution of his 
soul, was with him also a matter of cherished prin- 
ciple of intelligent conviction. He avowed himself on 
the side of justice, wherever that was, at whatever cost 
to himself, without consideration as to what might 
come to his person or his name. It was an expression 
of this innate sense of justice this intelligent, persist- 
ent conviction of the right, and devotion to it, that first 
made for him a mark in the history of his State ; and 
has spread that mark over the whole page of our 
national affairs. 

When the most infamous statute of the nineteenth 
century one of the most despicable that ever dis- 
graced the law-books of a so-called Christian people 
the Fugitive Slave Law, was enacted, and it was 
attempted to make the soil of Massachusetts the hunt- 
ing-ground for slaves, and to degrade the sanctuary of 
justice in Boston into a jail for the holding of a man 
for the crime of color no matter what webs of so- 
phistry were woven about the enactment, no matter what 
array of jurisprudence, of legal learning, of political in- 
fluence, or of military power were brought in its defence, 
John A. Andrew went over on the other side, and stood 
by the black man ; for he saw that notwithstanding all 
this array for a legalized outrage against humanity, 
here was right, justice, truth ; and with that innate con- 
viction, and the far-reaching, prophetic sagacity that 


the sentiment of justice inspires, he knew that on that 
side, by the outraged negro, would be found God also, 
and the Future. 

With this was associated a comprehensive devotion 
to humanity. As Mr. Godwin has so well said, with 
him philanthropy was no mere sentiment. It was a 
principle, underlying his statesmanship underlying his 
whole public career. He loved man, not with an affec- 
tation of sentiment, not with an abstract theory of phi- 
lanthropy, but man as a brother, man in his every 
interest ; and his love of man was not discharged when 
slavery was abolished. There were other men to care 
' for the men of Massachusetts the poor, the needy, 
the workingmen, and every interest of humanity dear 
to him as the friend of his race And by this prin- 
ciple as with the principle of justice, he allied 
himself with that which is most enduring in human 

Along with these, we note as another feature of his 
success in life, and one secret of that grand power to 
which he attained, a sagacious and intelligent compre- 
hension of the principles and functions of government. 
He was one of the few men who, in these later years, 
have been in public life, that were worthy of the name 
of statesman. Not every lawyer, however skilful, able 
and learned in his profession, and entitled to respect 
and honor in that regard, has also the qualities essen- 
tial to the statesman. Not every politician but I need 
not carry out the contrast in that direction. John A. 
Andrew had made the science of government his study. 
Government was not to him a mere system of passing 
expedients, devised for the hour ; it was based upon 


broad and intelligent principles. While he knew how 
to adapt those principles to various occasions, and 
knew also how to deduce further principles from the 
changes of affairs, he always applied in every practical 
measure, the science of government, in which he was 
so aptly trained. And I am bold to say, here, though 
perfectly aware that, in saying it, I shah 1 make myself 
liable to misconstruction and misinterpretation in cer- 
tain quarters I am bold to say, that of late years, no 
argument of statesmanship has been submitted, in the 
hearing of the people of these United States more 
sound, more true, more certain to commend itself, in 
the long run, to the intelligence and the conscience of 
the American people, than the very argument which I 
hold in my hand the last great plea of Gov. 
Andrew, for which he suffered no little verbal 
abuse ; his argument in the Kepresentative Hall 
in Boston against the " Errors of Prohibition." An 
argument as sound in the interest of morality as in 
the interest of legislation ; an argument of wonderful 
grasp of facts, an admirable marshalling of fact and 
opinion from learned sources touching the question at 
issue ; an argument founded upon deep, broad princi- 
ples, of the very highest morality, proceeding from 
a thoroughly conscientious soul, and imbued with the 
spirit of religion. And, though I have been of this way 
of thinking for very many years, an argument which 
has brought new conviction to my mind upon these 
points that we cannot absolve ourselves from the 
great duty that the Creator has imposed upon us, of 
maintaining our virtue and morality in a personal con- 
test of will against the temptations of the world ; that 


we cannot absolve ourselves from that, and take refuge 
under a statutory morality enjoined by the voice of the 
majority. An argument showing that it is not the 
function of government to regulate all domestic and 
private life, nor the function of a republic to a- sume to 
be a Theocracy, and then to enact, as in the name of 
God, laws which He did not see fit to enact under the 
Mosaic Theocracy. 

I only add, in conclusion, that Gov. Andrew's life 
was pervaded and this was its main, underlying fea- 
ture with a sincere conviction of the Divine govern- 
ment over men, and faith in that government for the 
right ordering of human affairs. When Gov. Andrew 
spoke to you, you felt that it was not words alone that 
reached you, but a soul ; that here was a man who had 
convictions, and who believed what he said ; that here 
was a man whose sentiments of justice, of humanity, of 
right, of duty, whose principles of statesmanship were 
drawn from the highest sources a man who linked his 
personal -life with the infinite life a man who drew his 
wisdom and his strength from the Word of God. I 
think, sir, there was no man, not even in the pulpits of 
the loyal States, who did so much to keep up the moral 
tone of the nation during the war as John A. Andrew. 

How full were his proclamations and appeals of the 
religious sentiment, in the broadest, deepest, truest 
sense of the word ; an utter absence of cant he was 
incapable of that ; an utter absence of technical the- 
ology he would not obtrude that on such occasions ; 
but the presence, the pervading power of the moral 
and religious sentiment of faith in God and His order- 
ing of affairs. Often during the war did I long for the 


faculty in our beloved and revered President, which 
was not given him, that of coining proverbs for the 
people of compressing in a few words the great 
issues of the war, which words could be taken up as 
rallying cries all over the land. John A. Andrew sup- 
plied that deficiency of the President. Every procla- 
mation of his was copied into every newspaper, was 
read in every family, was quoted by every man. And 
how many things he said, like that which has been 
recalled to us to-night " treat them tenderly " that 
touched every heart. 

I remember once in the darkest hours of the war, 
when the hearts of many were failing them for fear, 
and times seemed doleful indeed, I took up the morn- 
ing paper and read a new Thanksgiving proclamation 
of John A. Andrew, which closed with these words : 
" Let us go forward, then, with the high praises of 
God in our mouth, and a two-edged sword in our 
hand." To me it was like an army with banners ; it 
was like a trumpet of resurrection ; it brought a new 
host into the field. It reminded us that we were serv- 
ing God in serving our country, and that this was a 
work in which we should go forward with the spirit of 
praise and holy song, while lifting up the sword, not of 
vengeance, not of retaliation, not of aggrandizement, 
but the sword of liberty and of justice ; and so we 
went marching on " with the high praises of God in 
our mouth, and a two-edged sword in our hand." 

Under the inspiration of those words I went into my 
own pulpit and transformed them into a sermon, to 
stir the hearts of my people. And though I have 
reason to believe that there was a little of the magnet- 


ism carried over to them, I know that I made no 
such impression upon those who listened to the echo 
of the words, as was made upon my own soul, when 
they came from the lips of the Governor of Massachu- 

This is not the place ever to speak of the personal 
convictions of men in matters of religious faith ; and 
yet I cannot forbear to recall an incident which will 
always be to me one of the most cherished of iny life. 
A few years ago, it happened to me, as the presiding 
officer of the National Council of our Congregational 
Churches, then in session in the city of Boston a 
body which had brought together from the whole 
country the most conspicuous and influential men in 
the churches of our order, some five or six hundred in 
all it devolved upon me, as the presiding officer on 
that occasion, to welcome the Governor of Massachu- 
setts to the platform and present him to the body. 

Of course there was but little in common between us 
in the mere technics of theological opinion, but I was 
most happy to pour forth to him from a full heart, the 
grateful recognition that we, as Christian men, had of 
his services as a Christian man worthily filling that 
office which has never been dishonored in the State of 
Massachusetts, and inspiring us so often with his noble 
words. His reply was one of manly modesty, and, in 
some passages, of tender beauty. I am sure that you 
will hear with pleasure the closing sentences which I 
have recalled for this occasion : " I know not," said 
Gov. Andrew, " how far I agree or how far I differ with 
the majority of the gentlemen, or any one of the gen- 
tlemen present, upon questions of dogmatic theology, 



and I suppose that neither you nor any one else cares, 
but I do know that you, as faithful citizens and 
Christian men, do care whether the people of Massa- 
chusetts, and those to whom for a time it is given, 
in any measure, to represent Massachusetts, are 
grounded in those doctrines, principles, and methods 
of the Bible ^ upon which were originally founded the 
free commonwealths of America. In a common pur- 
pose, with a common hope, encouraged by the expec- 
tation of good in this life, and the promise of supernal 
good in that which is to come, let us devote ourselves, 
with one heart and one mind toward the realization of 
the highest hopes of humanity, toward the perfection 
of all that which distinguishes and characterizes us as 
a free people that which inspires the songs of angels 
and adds to the beatitudes of heaven." And every man 
who knew Gov. Andrew knew that these were the utter- 
ances of his deepest soul. 

In closing, let me give his own words from the argu- 
ment that I have in my hand : " It is only in the strife 
and actual controversy of life, natural, human, .and free, 
that robust virtue can be attained or positive good ac- 
complished. The evils of this world are too great to 
render exaggeration any more consistent with wisdom 
than with truth. What we need is courage, not cow- 
ardice, for the controversy against them. This world 
is a trying one to live in at all ; but when its discipline 
is complete, we shah 1 go hence." 

Yes, Mr. President ; this is a trying world to live in, 
at times a sad world. The more sad, the more trying 
to live in, when such as he are taken out of it ; the more 
trying for us, who can no longer have his words of cheer 
and counsel, his notes of courage, to inspire us. 


And yet the world is less sad and less trying for us, 
because such as he have lived in it, and have mastered 
it. Less trying, less sad, because though an instan- 
taneous stroke has divided him from our presence 
the memory of his grand example lives and walks on 
with us. The principles that he labored for, the 
victory he won, "not by cowardice, but by courage," 
will survive for our encouragement and strength here- 
after ; for, Mr. President and gentlemen, these princi- 
ples that shaped and guided the life of our friend, and 
which alone have been thought worthy of remembrance 
here this evening these principles of justice, of human- 
ity, of devotion to country, to duty, and to God these 
are they that will live after us, when our own disci- 
pline is accomplished and we shall have gone hence. 
These are they, also, that shall go with us into the here- 
after, there to judge us or comfort us. 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted, and on 
motion of Col. Cannon, it was further resolved that the 
proceedings of the meeting be published by the Club, 
and that a copy of the resolutions be sent to the family 
of the deceased. 

The following additional resolution, offered by Gen. 
Bush C. Hawkins, and supported by Mr. Evarts, was 
then unanimously adopted : 



Resolved. That a Committee of Ten be appointed by the Chair, 
with power to add to their number, to co-operate with the 
citizens of Boston, in such further national tribute to the memory 
of Gov. Andrew, as may be deemed appropriate, in view of his 
priceless services to the country. 


The following Committee was appointed : 







On motion the meeting adjourned. 







JULY HTH, 1867. 

No. 29 East Seventeenth Street. 










JULY HTH, 1867. 


No. 29 East Seventeenth Street. 





AT a meeting of the Union League Club, held at the 
Club House in Union Square, on the evening of July 
llth, 1867, the President, Mr. JOHN JAY, in the Chair, 
the following resolutions, prepared by Mr. HENBY T. 
TUCKERMAN, were offered by Mr. FREDERIC PRIME : 

Whweas, Ex-Governor John A. King, of Jamaica, L. I., was 
stricken down on the Fourth of July, while in the act of giving 
expression to the patriotic principles and the noble sympathies 
characteristic of the man and the citizen, and on the following 
Sunday expired, full of years and of honors ; and 

WJiereas, He was one of the earliest members and most devoted 
friends of this Club ; therefore 

Resolved, That in the death of John Alsop King we have met 
with a national bereavement, his example and character being of 
the highest order of civic virtue and republican consistency. 

Resolved, That his prompt and brave protest against the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law, while a member of Congress, his faithful and intel- 
ligent discharge of his duties as a State Legislator, a Governor of 
New York, and a National Representative, his eminent courtesy 


and rectitude in private life, and his kindness and geniality in 
domestic and social relations, endear his memory, and add new 
lustre to the patriotic record of his family. 

Resolved, That his efforts to save the country from the horrors 
of civil war, as a member of the Peace Convention of 1861, his 
earnest loyalty to the Union when war became inevitable, and the 
influence he constantly exerted in behalf of the national cause at 
the most critical period of our history, render complete and har- 
monious his long, honorable, and patriotic career, and entitle his 
name and memory to our grateful and affectionate respect. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family 
of the deceased. 

In presenting the resolutions, Mr. PRIME said that it 
had been his privilege to enjoy during many years 
a considerable intimacy with Governor King, and it 
afforded him a melancholy satisfaction to testify to the 
private virtues of one who throughout life had main- 
tained with simplicity and dignity the character of an 
American gentleman. Compelled in his youth, through 
restricted means, to till with his own hands his little 
farm on Long Island, he never allowed the amenity of 
manners, which was one of the most pleasing features 
of his character, to become blunted by such rough 
experiences. The young man who, as a boy at Harrow 
school, had sat at the same form with Byron and Peel, 
felt it no disgrace to pursue an avocation which in pop- 
ular estimation may not have seemed compatible with 
his education or social position ; but by his cheerful 
submission to circumstances lent dignity to his humble 
labors. The speaker had in his youth seen " Gentle- 
man George" at Ascot Heath in England, tricked out 
with all the finery which BrummeH's taste and the 


tailor's skill could supply, and surrounded with that 
halo of royalty in which even the meanest nature must 
assume some of the attributes of greatness ; and yet, 
he declared, plain John A. King, coming in from his 
daily labor, with the sweat of honest toil upon his 
brow, was incomparably the greater, if not the finer, 
gentleman of the two. 

After briefly sketching Governor King's family his- 
tory, he alluded to his political career, which, if less 
distinguished than that of his honored father, Kufus 
King, of whom he was the eldest son, was marked by 
high probity, consistency, and courage. For many 
years of his life a member of a party hopelessly in the 
minority, he never condescended to become a faction- 
ist, or to oppose for the sake of opposition merely. He 
contended for truth and principle, not victory, and knew 
better than most men how to sustain an unwelcome po- 
sition with patience, moderation, and magnanimity. 
Born in 1788, contemporaneously with the birth of our 
Constitution, of which his father was one of the chief 
framers, John A. King lived to see that instrument sur- 
vive every attack which political chicanery or audacity, 
or open-mouthed treason could direct against it ; and 
to him, also, was accorded the rare good fortune to see 
the States which that Constitution formed into a Union, 
pass through the furnace of civil strife, and become 
welded into a mighty nation, more respected, more 
feared, and of far grander domain than its founders ever 
dreamed of creating. 

Mr. PRIME was followed by Mr. CHARLES P. KIRKLAND, 
who spoke as follows : 


A personal acquaintance with Mr. King of more than 
thirty years justifies me in saying a few words on this 
occasion, and in adding my humble but earnest tribute 
of regard to his memory. We were both members of 
the Harrisburg Convention of 1839, which nominated 
General Harrison for the Presidency, each of us repre- 
senting a district of this State ; and I deem this a fitting 
opportunity to declare that, as a member of that body, 
our departed friend exhibited the elevated and pure 
patriotism for which, perhaps more than for any other 
quality, he has been distinguished through life. He, 
with a large majority of his fellow-members, came to 
the Convention with a strong personal preference for 
Henry Clay as the candidate of the party ; and Mr. 
King, in addition, represented a district which was 
warmly in favor of that eminent statesman, and which 
had emphatically expressed to him its preference. 
But after three days of anxious and friendly consulta- 
tion among the members (every Congressional District 
in the Union being represented), the deliberate conclu- 
sion, though reluctantly arrived at, was, that under the 
existing circumstances the nomination of Mr. Clay 
would result in defeat. It was deemed of vital import- 
ance to the great interests of the nation, that the Whig 
party should succeed in that canvass; and therefore that 
personal feelings and preferences should be yielded to 
the country. Accordingly, the friends of Mr. Clay, in- 
cluding Mr. King, with a patriotism rarely witnessed, 
made the required sacrifice, and General Harrison was 
nominated. I am induced now thus publicly to men- 
tion these facts, because no longer ago than yesterday 
a most worthy member of the Union party stated, in 


my hearing, that Mr. King, at that Convention, faltered 
in his duty, and disregarded the wishes, if not the in- 
structions, of his immediate constituents. I am glad 
of this opportunity of doing justice to his memory in 
this particular, and of declaring that his conduct in 
that Convention was marked by high moral courage, 
and by a spirit of unselfish patriotism. He acted then, 
as he never failed to act in all his public transactions, 
without regard to personal consequences, and with sole 
reference to what he deemed the true interests of the 

Indeed, in the severe and bitter party contests in 
which, in various periods of his career, he was called 
upon to participate, I do not believe that, however his 
views may have been dissented from, any man of any 
party ever questioned his purity or his patriotism. 

In the numerous important official stations he has 
filled, he has never on any occasion been known to 
have acted, or been suspected of acting, under the 
influence of any mercenary or unworthy motive, or of 
seeking to advance his personal interests any further 
than they would be advanced by an honest and honor- 
able discharge of public duty. Had his pure spirit 
pervaded our legislative halls for the last few years, 
this club would never have been required, in the per- 
formance of what it deemed its duty, to send its re- 
monstrances and its memorials to the capitol of our 

Mr. King, by birth, education, and fortune, belonged 
to our aristocracy, if indeed such a thing as aristocracy 
can exist among us of the North, but his heart and his 
sympathies were always with the people and with 


liberty ; and never for a moment did lie have a feeling 
in common with the imperious, overbearing, and selfish 
slave aristocracy of the South. While in Congress, he 
incurred their dislike by his bold and manly attacks on 
their cherished institution ; and as a member of the 
" Peace Congress " of February, 1861, he avowed his 
deep and enduring enmity to slavery and to the slave- 
power, which had for half a century exercised so great 
and so deleterious an influence in the national Govern- 

In private life, among his associates, he was invaria- 
bly the accomplished gentleman, the genial friend, and 
the loved companion, while to all who had not his 
advantages of education and social position, his de- 
meanor was uniformly characterized by courtesy, 
benevolence, and gentle kindness. His funeral, which 
I attended yesterday, was an occasion of deep and 
solemn interest ; the multitudes who crowded to it from 
the village of his residence and from the surrounding 
country, testified the heartfelt sorrow and affection of 
those among whom he had lived for more than a 
quarter of a century : as one of them said to me, ex- 
pressing the universal feeling, " He has been a father 
to us." 

We may feel a just pride that he was one of the 
founders of this club, and that he had continued in full 
and hearty communion and sympathy with us. No 
member of the club was more enthusiastic in approval 
and admiration of our work in raising and sending to 
the field our negro regiments in the gloomiest period 
of the War of the Rebellion. 

He was vouchsafed a long life, and one uncommonly 


free from bodily disease ; indeed, up to the hour of the 
attack which so soon ended in death, he was in excellent 
mental and physical health. His last public appear- 
ance was on the late anniversary of our nation's birth- 
day, and, by a beautiful coincidence, his last words 
were addressed, on that occasion, to the young men of 
his vicinity ; and they were emphatically the words of 
a patriot and a Christian. 

He has departed as full of years as of honors, and has 
left to us who survive the invaluable legacy of his ex- 
ample. Let us study to follow it, and thus pay the 
best and a continuing tribute to his memory. 

Mr. ISAAC H. BAILEY spoke as follows : 

MB. PBESIDENT : It is a grateful task to strew flowers 
upon the grave of a man whose life has been one long 
career of purity, manliness, and useful service to his 
kind. Eulogies upon the dead are worse than valueless 
if they are not truthful ; but what words in praise of 
John A. King could be woven into a panegyric that 
would exceed the measure of his great worth ? He was, 
par excellence, a gentleman of the old school, so called 
of great personal dignity, of courtly bearing, of com- 
manding presence ; but with his dignified address there 
was blended so much geniality and kindness of heart 
that, while he commanded the respect, he also won the 
love of all who knew him. 

He believed in blood ; and if that was a weakness, it 
was in his case a pardonable one, for in his veins flowed 
the blood of an American patriot and statesman of 
noble fame, and it did not degenerate in its transmission 


to his sons, all of whom have reflected honor upon their 

But while Mr. King belonged, by birth, education, 
and sympathy, to the aristocratic element of society, 
he was a life-long and consistent advocate of human 
rights. He espoused the doctrine of the equality of 
man before the law, while it was too generally re- 
garded as a " glittering generality " rather than as the 
corner stone of our republican system. 

He was an early, steadfast, and determined opponent 
of slavery and every form of oppression. In this 
respect he was a DEMOCRAT in the best sense of the 
term. He had no sympathy with that spurious democ- 
racy which vented itself in wordy professions of devo- 
tion to the welfare of the people, but denied not merely 
justice but even common humanity to millions of them 
because of a mere accident of complexion. Beautiful 
as was the character of Mr. King in all respects, it is 
from this point of view especially that I love to con- 
template it. He seems to me to have realized the 
highest ideal of citizenship in a republic, and to have 
had that sublime faith in man on which rests the hopes 
of the world's future. No pride of lineage withheld his 
sympathies from his fellow men, no surroundings of 
wealth and luxury deafened his ear to the plea of the 
humblest of his kind. His public life was marked by 
a strict adherence to the principles of justice, his pri- 
vate walk was one of generous philanthropy and mod- 
est benevolence. He illustrated in his own person the 
sovereignty that inheres in the individual man the 
peer of all his race reared under a government of the 
PEOPLE, where privileged orders are unrecognized and 
caste is unknown. 


His life was prolonged far beyond the period allotted 
to mortality, as if a benignant Providence willed that 
he should witness the fruition of his labors for freedom 
in the purification of his beloved country from that 
hideous stain which made its professions of love for 
liberty a mockery. He lived, too, to see the lowly race 
he had befriended endowed with civil rights, and enter- 
ing, under the sanction of national authority, upon all 
the privileges and responsibilities pertaining to equal 
citizenship in a reconstructed and regenerated UNION. 

The Hon. C. H. PEABODY said : 

MR. PRESIDENT : At this late hour of the evening, 
and after the pleasing remarks that have been 
made, it will not become me to detain you and 
this audience by protracted comment upon a sub- 
ject even so worthy of extended consideration 
as the life and character presented by the resolu- 
tions before us. I am not willing, however, sir, to 
allow the occasion to pass without adding a word to 
what has been already so well said by the gentlemen 
who have preceded me. Mr. King, whose death we 
lament, has gone, full of years and honors, to be gath- 
ered to his fathers. We knew him as a brother 
member of our body, and as a gentleman of much 
general culture, of elevated moral tone and sentiment, 
of great purity and integrity of character, and of 
genial temper and manners. Born in the best circle of 
society, he was blessed in early life with the most 
favorable circumstances of nurture and education. The 
world, therefore, had a right to expect of him many of 


the virtues which all agree that he possessed in an 
eminent degree, and he has, in those respects, fulfilled 
all that could reasonably be expected from opportuni- 
ties of a high order, well improved in practice. Spring- 
ing, as he did, from a family occupying the best position 
in the community, his life has been altogether credit- 
able to his origin. He would have been recreant to 
duty if he had failed to take a place, in reference to 
circumstances dependent upon that fact, like the one 
he did take and occupied through his long and useful 
life. The characteristic which, under these circum- 
stances, was most attractive, was one which, unhappily 
for the world, is not always the concomitant of elevated 
birth and breeding, or of the most finished education. 
Those circumstances do not insure, and, in the minds 
of many, are supposed not necessarily to contribute or 
tend to, a general philanthropy, a catholic comprehen- 
siveness of sympathy and benevolence in practical 
life. It is often supposed that circumstances like 
these tend, by elevating the individual above the 
many, to remove him, in some measure, from a 
regard for and interest in them ; and certain it 
is that instances are not few or of infrequent 
occurrence which seem to lend color to this theory. 
But no such consequences were allowed to follow 
in the case of our deceased friend. The circum- 
stances to which I have alluded were not allowed 
to create a distance between him and his fellow-man, 
however situated in life. With all the virtues so justly 
attributed to him in the remarks already made, admit- 
ted to be his, nothing in his character strikes me with 
more force than his broad and genial sympathy with 


humanity. He was eminently a man of comprehen- 
sive benevolence and unfeigned interest in his fellow- 
man. The humble and lowly found in him a friend 
always studious of their welfare and anxious for their 
advancement. The tribute paid to him by a humble 
neighbor, and alluded to by one of the speakers a few 
moments since, seems to me to suggest a trait in his 
character not less attractive or less deserving of notice 
than any other that has been alluded to. That neigh- 
bor, a plain and lowly man, said of him as he followed 
him mournfully to the grave : " The Governor was a 
father to me. He was always ready to aid me by his 
counsel and encouragement, and I can never cease to 
recollect my obligations to him." 

This kind of practical benevolence, Mr. President, 
to the unpretending and lowly around him, is evidence 
of the intrinsic goodness of heart to which I would 
specially direct attention, and which, to my mind, is 
the most meritorious and amiable trait, and the one on 
which, on this occasion, we may with most propriety 
and benefit remark. It gives me more pleasure, sir, to 
be able to say of him, " He loved and sympathized 
with mankind generally, including those farthest re- 
moved from him by the circumstances of birth, educa- 
tion, and social position, and loved to comfort and en- 
courage them, and support and cheer them on in their 
efforts and anxieties in life," than to dwell on those 
other traits more naturally flowing from the elevated 
station in which he was placed ; and these, sir, are es- 
pecially the traits on which we delight to dwell in con- 
templating his character now that he has passed from 
the scenes of time and entered upon those of another 


life. How happy for us who respected and loved him, 
and how much more so for those more nearly allied by 
ties of family and kindred, that the long life whose 
termination we deplore has furnished abundance of 
matter for contemplation of this kind. 

Mr. JAMES KELLY spoke as follows : 

MR. PRESIDENT : I cannot permit this occasion to pass 
without adding a slight token of respect to the memory 
of so good a man as the Hon. John A. King. My ac- 
quaintance with him was chiefly political. In 1849 I 
first met that distinguished citizen in Syracuse, attend- 
ing a Whig State Convention. In a preliminary meet- 
ing, held in the attic of the Syracuse House, the night 
before the meeting of the convention, and quite fully 
attended, I had taken ground in favor of some of the 
State officers being selected from the southern tier of 
counties. This aroused the opposition of many lead- 
ing Whigs from the canal counties, and a full discus- 
sion took place. John A. King arose and took the side 
of the minority, and with his commanding influence, 
and the ingenuity displayed in his appeal to the dele- 
gates, the minority at this meeting was found to be in 
the majority when the convention met the next day. 

In 1855, when the Whig party met in State Conven- 
tion on the same day with the Free Soil Democrats, 
but in a different hall, John A. King being Chairman of 
the Whig Convention, and Judge Smith Chairman of 
the Democratic Convention, a joint meeting was pro- 
posed and agreed upon; and I well remember Gov- 
ernor King's proposing Judge Smith for presiding offi- 


cer of the joint convention. To Judge Smith's credit, 
be it said, he arose, thanked the convention for re- 
sponding to the proposal, but stated it was more fitting 
that he should name John A. King to wed the old 
Whig party to the Free Soil Democrats. Then it was 
that such men as Preston King, Martin Grover, Thur- 
low Weed, and Horace Greeley, joined hands in the 
good cause of freedom for all mankind, and from that 
time forward the Republican party became a mighty 
power in the land. 

I subsequently met Mr. King at various other State 
and National Conventions, notably at Philadelphia 
in 1856, and Chicago in 1860, and no man could 
have been more earnest in the performance of 
the important duties confided to him. Again I met 
him in the autumn of 1860, in the electoral college 
of New York, with Bryant, Wadsworth, and others. 
Gov. King suggested Wadsworth for president of the 
college, who declined and nominated Bryant, who 
also declined. It was plain to me this high-minded 
man, John A. King, was not thinking of self; the 
noble and generous elements in his nature always 
predominated. With the consent of Messrs. Wads- 
worth and Bryant, I nominated him for this honorable 
position, and he was unanimously chosen president of 
the college. Gov. King's high tone and principle enno- 
bled politics, and his course throughout a long and 
useful life gives our young men an example they may 
well follow. I deem it an honor to have been associ- 
ated with such a man, and regret that I cannot express 
how deeply and sincerely I feel his loss. 


The Hon. E. P. COWLES said : 

MB. PBESIDENT : At the hazard of being somewhat 
tedious after the several eloquent tributes to the mem- 
ory of our deceased friend and brother, to which we 
have listened with so much interest, I will nevertheless 
beg your indulgence for a few moments, while I call 
attention to a single incident, indicating and illustrat- 
ing his political opinions and action, which occurred 
on an interesting occasion in the history of the country, 
and under my own personal observation. 

It was my fortune, sir, to be a member, as a dele- 
gate from this State, of the last National Convention 
which was ever held by the old time-honored Whig 
party. That convention assembled in Baltimore, in 
June, 1852, and its object was the nomination of can- 
didates for President and Vice-President of the United 
States in the coming election. 

With the close of the deliberations of that convention, 
and the election thereafter ensuing, ended the career 
of that great party. From that political death, great 
and momentous consequences followed. You will re- 
member, sir, that on the occasion of that convention 
there were before it for nomination for the Presidency, 
three candidates. They were Millard Fill more, Daniel 
Webster, and General Scott. Throughout the proceed- 
ings of that convention the main contest among its 
members the question of all others which influ- 
enced its action was on the principles which should 
be assumed in its declared platform upon the question 
of slavery. Almost the entire delegation from New 
York, with a large majority of the delegations from the 


other Northern States, resolved to resist all attempts 
to commit the Whig party, in fact or by implication, 
to any dogma of a pro-slavery character or tendency. 

The deliberations of the convention were long and 
anxious, and the feeling of its members intense. The 
South was ably represented by representative men. 
She had sent there delegates of long experience in 
public life, men of great intellect, of strong convic- 
tions, and of stronger rule men determined to commit 
the Whig party to Southern views upon that (to 
them) one absorbing question of slavery. There were 
present there the imperious and self-willed Toombs, 
the cool, wily, and astute Jones, of Tennessee, and 
many others, with national reputations, able in debate, 
and of large parliamentary experience. On the other 
hand, there were also there equally able men of the 
North (among whom I may name Dayton, of New Jer- 
sey, Evans, of Maine, and the then youthful Sherman, 
of Ohio), sturdy lovers of freedom, equally deter- 
mined that the Whig party, as a national political or- 
ganization, should not bear a pro-slavery stamp. The 
Southern delegations, with great unanimity, supported 
Mr. Fillmore. The delegations of the North generally, 
though not with equal unanimity, supported General 
Scott. Some thirty delegates from both sections of the 
country, holding the balance of power, supported Mr. 

In the long contest over the resolutions of the con- 
vention, which preceded the nominations, and in the 
anxiety to secure votes for their favorite, and affected 
probably by the earnestness with which Southern men 
urged their views, some of the Northern delegations 


failed to exhibit their early earnestness in support of 
the generally accepted Northern views on the question 
of the platform. Throughout the contest, however, all 
but six or seven of the New York delegation, among 
the majority of which were Granger, of Onondaga, and 
Draper, and Talcott, and Raymond, stood firmly to the 
very last with the majority from Ohio and New Jersey, 
and with portions of other delegations, in resistance to 
the platform of principles demanded by the South. 

You can well imagine, sir, in the presence of these 
facts, that the conferences of our Northern friends dur- 
ing that long and eventful week a week of depressing 
sultriness and heat, were constant and anxious ; and how 
at times there might be some who would be prone to 
inquire whether our New York delegation should not 
compromise on the platform, rather than remain a unit 
to the end upon the ground it had assumed, to the 
peril of our favorite nominee. It was here that the 
particular circumstances occurred to which I desired 
to call your attention. Our deceased friend was often 
present at those conferences occurring during the 
recess of the convention ; and whenever indications of 
doubt or faltering were exhibited, I well remember 
how the strong will, and courteous but firm and cheer- 
ing words of John A. King, tended to reassure the 
faltering, and confirm the doubting. His constant ad- 
vice was, no wavering, no compromise better political 
defeat than either. Through his personal influence as 
much, if not more, as I believe, than through that of 
any other one man, the unity of the large majority of 
the New York delegation was preserved. And it is 
my pride and pleasure now to recur to that unbroken 


vote, during the three days' discussion upon the reso- 
lutions, and to the subsequent three days' ballotings, 
with the fifty-seven ballots successively thrown for one 
candidate, General Scott, before his nomination was 
secured. Not one of those delegates faltered on a 
single vote throughout, either upon the question of the 
platform or the candidate. 

The effect, sir, of that long and earnest struggle 
between the Northern and Southern elements of the 
Whig party, not alone upon the destinies of that party, 
but upon the future of the nation, has been but 
partially appreciated. Out of it, not intentionally 
perhaps certainly not entirely foreseen by the active 
participants in that convention but as a necessity and 
natural sequence, grew that subsequent political organ- 
ization which has ultimately carried with it the down- 
fall of slavery in these United States. 

The Northern and Southern wings of the old Whig 
party were at irreconcilable differences on the one sub- 
ject of slavery. The South in that convention triumphed 
in the platform, the North in the candidate. All un- 
derstood, however, the inherent disagreement, and that 
this disagreement must be perpetual. The North de- 
rided the platform. The South deserted the candidate. 
As a consequence, the sun of the succeeding day of 
election went down upon one of the greatest political 
defeats which the country had ever witnessed. The 
necessary and inevitable result was the dissolution of 
the Whig party as a political organization, and from 
the ashes of its Northern wing, the resurrection, in 
the Eepublican party, of a new and more loftily in- 
spired political aggregation, based upon resistance to 


the further extension of slavery, and its denationaliza- 
tion as a controlling power in our national politics. 
The successful assumption of that ground by that 
party was made the occasion of war, and out of war 
sprang freedom. 

I do not intend to be understood as implying, that 
none but members of the old Whig party were em- 
braced in the Eepublican ranks on the first formation 
of that party for such was not the fact ; much less to 
assert that all those who, in the Baltimore Convention 
of 1852, resisted the demands of their Southern friends, 
intended or foresaw the vast public consequences 
which were to flow from their action ; but I do mean 
to say that the political dissolution of one of the then 
two great national parties was necessarily, in the des- 
tiny of events, to precede any extended or controlling 
organizations based upon persistent antagonism to the 
slave power ; that to the determined resistance of that 
power in the Convention of 1852, is to be attributed 
the breaking up of the Whig party, and the merging 
of its almost entire Northern element in the Kepublican 
ranks ; and that no one man exerted, in my judgment, 
under a conscientious conviction of the right, a more 
potent personal influence, in combining and keeping 
up to the end that determined resistance in the Con- 
vention of 1852, from which all those vast conse- 
quences to which I have alluded so largely flowed, 
than our deceased friend John A. King, to whose 
memory we are this evening paying the tribute of our 
deep respect. 


The PRESIDENT spoke as follows : 

Before putting the question upon the resolutions, 
although it would seem unnecessary to add to the 
tribute which has been so justly and eloquently 
paid to the memory of our lamented associate, you 
will allow me, I trust, to say a few words, for you 
will appreciate my unwillingness to let this occasion 
pass without a brief expression of my warm apprecia- 
tion of the character and services of Governor King. 

He was one of the few men of high social position 
in New York whose sympathies and utterances during 
our long struggle against the unconstitutional encroach- 
ments of slavery, were uniformly on the side of free- 
dom ; and for this alone we should have felt for him an 
unusual degree of regard and gratitude. Governor 
King's love of liberty was an hereditary sentiment. 
It had nought in common with the false idea of a de- 
generate democracy which limits freedom to the white 
race, granting them an unlimited area for slavery, and 
an unstinted power to buy and sell and flog and work 
their black countrymen, but it was the true idea of 
equal liberty, without regard to nationality or race or 
creed or color. 

Rufus King, in 1785, moved a resolution in the Con- 
tinental Congress, " that there be neither slavery nor in- 
voluntary servitude in any of the States described in the 
resolution of Congress of April, 1784, otherwise than 
in punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have 
been personally guilty ; and that this regulation shall 
be made an article of compact, and remain a funda- 
mental principle of the Constitution between the origi- 


nal States and each of the States named in said re- 

Governor King lived to see that suggestion of his 
father, after more than eighty years, made an article of 
constitutional compact and fundamental principle, not 
only between the States then alluded to, but between 
all the States that now compose our continental re- 

I had the opportunity, during many years, of being 
associated with Governor King. I often met him in the 
Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Church, which, 
you remember, after a struggle of nine years, recog- 
nized, in the admission of the parish of St. Philip, 
the equal rights of their colored brethren, an ex- 
ample which the National Government has followed 
in recognizing the equal rights of our colored country- 
men at the South. Again, I was intimately associated 
with him in the progress of that great national move- 
ment which we inaugurated in this city on the 30th 
of January, 1854, at the meeting of citizens, without re- 
spect to party, to protest against the threatened repeal 
of the Missouri Compromise. That memorable gather- 
ing, at which New York gave tone and expression to the 
deep, loyal sentiment of the country, was followed by 
others of scarcely inferior importance, and resulted in 
the call of a State Convention at Saratoga on the fol- 
lowing August, and an invitation to citizens of other 
States to hold similar conventions, with a view to har- 
monious and united action. 

On the assembling of the enthusiastic and determined 
multitude who met at Saratoga, Governor King was 
appointed temporary chairman, and by that body was 


put forth a declaration of those governmental principles 
which have since been so gloriously vindicated by the 
American people. The Saratoga Convention declining 
to make nominations of its own, adjourned to meet at 
Auburn the following month, to nominate the candi- 
dates of the other parties who should be fully committed 
to their views ; and when they met again at Syracuse 
on the 27th September, 1855, the Whig Convention, 
which had met there on the same day, formally dis- 
solved, and joined the ranks of the Republicans ; so 
that to Governor King belonged the honor of being 
one of the fathers of that Republican party which 
saved our country from the disintegration to which it 
had been devoted by the slave power of the South, 
aided and abetted by Democratic leaders at the North, 
and by an unfriendly aristocracy in Europe. 

Governor King maintained with earnest enthusiasm 
and power the Republican principles of Nationality 
and Freedom which a pseudo Democracy had fought 
to emasculate and dwarf by that pitiful theory of 
petty sovereignties which strikes at the heart of the 
Constitution, denying the sovereignty of the American 
people denying the fact of their nationality, and leav- 
ing no place for national pride or national affection. 

In the so-called Peace Convention held at Washing- 
ton, amid the first convulsions of the rebellion, Govern- 
or King spoke but twice, and then briefly ; but his 
plain words and manly dignity, with those of his asso- 
ciates, General Wadsworth and William Curtis Noyes, 
whom he has now rejoined in a better world, vindicated 
the sovereignty of the Constitution and the loyalty of 
New York ; and though on the great question before 


the Convention the vote of our State was lost, their 
testimony and example relieve the darkness of that 
unpleasant page in our history. 

The insolent and domineering tone assumed by men 
prepared to rush into rebellion, was repelled by Gov- 
ernor King with a spirit that was in strong contrast to 
the servility exhibited by some of his associates. He 
said, in reply to W. Wyckliffe : 

" I am as old as the gentleman from Kentucky. 

" I recognize no right in him to lecture me on my polit- 
" ical duties. I revere the Constitution of my country. 
" I was educated to love it. My own father helped to 
" make it. I cannot sit still and hear such declarations 
" as have been hourly repeated here for the last few 
" days. * * The State of New York at all times, in 
" peace or war, has been loyal to the Constitution ; and 
" although some of her representatives here may un- 
" dertake to make you think differently, she always will 
" be : yes, loyal with all her strength and power ; and 
" as one of her representatives, I shall yield nothing on 
" her part to threats, menaces, or intimidations." 

When the resolution denying the right of secession 
was under discussion, Governor King said : 

" We do not intend to be driven from our position 
" by threats or intimidation. We believe that it is emi- 
" nently proper for the Conference to express its decided 
" convictions upon the question of secession. We are 
" told here that secession is a fact. Then let us deal 
" with it as such. I go for the endorsement of the 
" laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution. I will 


" never give up the idea that this is a government of 
" the people, and possessing within itself the power of 
"enforcing its own decrees. * * This Conference 
" could perform no nobler act than that of sending to 
" the country the announcement that the Union of the 
" States under the Constitution is indissoluble, and that 
" secession is but another term for rebellion. * * I 
" wish to live in peace and harmony with our brethren 
" in the Slave States. But I wish to put upon the 
" record here, a statement of the fact that this govern- 
" ment is a government of the people, and not a com- 
" pact of States." 

Governor King hailed with delight the early and 
stern resolve of this club to maintain that fundamental 
doctrine of our nationality against the organized efforts 
of the partisan leaders in our midst, who, after the 
loudest professions of devotion to the Constitution and 
the Union, deserted the National Government when 
assailed by treachery and war, and who, in furtherance 
of the rebellion, sought to separate the city from the 
State of New York, and in secret interviews with Lord 
Lyons invoked British intervention in our American 

No man rejoiced more heartily when, a few months 
after the murderous riots of July, 1863, we sent forth 
from this club-house our first colored regiment to 
assist in saving the National Government, which the 
Peace Democracy were assisting to destroy ; and when, 
on that occasion, his generous-hearted and eloquent 
brother, Charles King, the late President of Columbia 
College, who is now, as we sadly fear, awaiting the last 


summons in a foreign land, gave to the black soldiers, 
on behalf of the club, a hearty greeting and an affec- 
tionate God-speed, no breast swelled with deeper 
emotion than that of our late associate. 

His well-spent life was singularly beautiful in its 
close. On the birthday of the country he had loved 
and served, while touchingly commending the care of 
its institutions and the culture of Christian principles 
to the younger generation that crowded lovingly about 
him, he received suddenly the announcement that his 
work was ended. 

His countrymen will cherish his memory. History 
will do honor to his name, and we who have known 
him so long and so well, will affectionately recall the 
personal graces that lent to his virtues so bright a 
charm the true heart, the kindly, earnest tone, the 
frank speech, the animated look, the open hand, the 
graceful courtesy and, above all, the genial spirit 
which enabled him, on the verge of eighty years, to 
blend with the experience of venerable age the warm 
sympathies and buoyancy of youth. 

The question was then put by the President, and 
the Kesolutions were unanimously adopted. 




ON JANUAKY 31, 1875 













ON JANUARY 31, 1875 












' Watch ye ; standfast in the faith ; quit you like men, 
and be strong. 1 1 CORINTHIANS xvi. 13. 

IT ( was once remarked to me by a venerable and 
saintly person the late Thomas Ersldne, of Linlathen 
that one of the most striking characteristics of the 
Psalms was their free, unrestrained appreciation of what 
we call nature, whether in the moral or the physical 
world ; that they begin with commending the honest, 
upright man ' the noblest work of God ' and they 
end by calling on every creature, animate or inanimate, 
to praise the Eternal. This sympathy with the 
natural man and the natural creation is the more 
remarkable in the Psalter, because, of all the sacred 
books of the Old Testament, it is the one which is 
confessedly the most spiritual, the most intimate 
in its communion with the Divine. And we learn 
from this, as fmom many like characteristics of the 
Bible, that the modern distinction drawn, from the 
Middle Ages downward, between nature and grace, 
between the secular and the spiritual, between the 
Church and the world however difficult it may be 
altogether to avoid such phrases is not an essential 


part of the Christian religion, and in no way corre- 
sponds to the opposition drawn in the Scriptures between 
the flesh and the spirit, between the holy and the un- 
holy is the product of an artificial condition, whether 
of barbarous or civilised society, which has stunted 
rather than forwarded the upward growth of the spirit 
of man towards its Divine original. To these artificial 
separations the mass of mankind readily accommo- 
date themselves ; it is more easy for the worldly to be 
entirely worldly, and for the religious to be exclusively 
religious, each in the isolated mediocrity, whether 
we call it golden or leaden, which tends to produce 
a false standard of religion and a low estimate of the 
sphere in which our duties are cast. But it is for this 
reason that we ought to prize as among God's best 
gifts any characters, any phenomena, that break through 
this commonplace level, like mountain crags, and coun- 
tersect and unite the ordinary divisions of mankind, 
or, like volcanoes, burst forth at times, and reveal to 
us something of the central fires within and under- 
neath the crust of custom, fashion, and tradition. 
Such are those whom we sometimes see, who appear 
to cynical critics or to superstitious formalists to 
have chosen a position in life apparently alien to 
the bent of their inclinations or their, antecedents 
a religious man, for example, becoming a lawyer 
or a statesman a bold, gallant youth, born to be 
a sailor or a soldier, and yet led by circumstances 
into the career of a clergyman. Such, also, are those 
in whom the inborn flame of genius illuminates, or, 
perhaps, shatters the earthly vessel which contains 
it, and, despite of all surrounding obstacles, claims 


affinity with kindred sparks of light and warmth, 
wherever they exist. 

We all know what and who it is that suggests 
these thoughts. In that multiplied shadow of sorrow 
and death which has for the last few months and weeks 
enlarged its borders beyond usual precedent throughout 
the land, one brilliant light which shone in our dim 
atmosphere has been suddenly extinguished ; and it 
cannot be allowed thus to pass away without Basking 
ourselves what we have gained by its brief presence 
amongst us what we have lost by its disappearance. 
Others have spoken, and will long speak, on both sides 
of the Atlantic, of the literary fame of the gifted poet 
whose dust might well have been mingled with the 
dust of his brother poets in these walls. Others will 
speak, in nearer circles, of the close affection which 
bound the pastor to his flock, and the friend to his 
friends, and the father to the children, and the husband 
to the wife, in that romantic home which is now for 
ever identified with his name, and beside which he 
rests, beneath the yews which he planted with his own 
hands, and the giant fir trees that fold their protecting 
arms above. But that which alone is fitting to urge 
from this place is the moral and religious significance 
of the remarkable career which has left a spot void, as 
if where a rare plant has grown, which no art can 
reproduce, but of which the peculiar fragrance still 
lingers with those who have ever come within its 
reach. To the vast congregations which hung upon 
his lips in this church to -the wide world which 
looked eagerly for the utterances that no more will 
come from that burning spirit to the loving friends 


who mourn for the sudden extinction of a heart of 
fire, for the sudden relaxation of the grasp of a hand of 
iron I would fain recall some of those higher strains 
which, amidst manifold imperfections, acknowledged 
by none more freely than by himself, placed him 
unquestionably amongst the conspicuous teachers of 
his age, and gave to his voice the power of reaching 
souls to which other preachers and teachers addressed 
themselves in vain. 

It has seemed to me that there were three main 
lessons of his character and career, which may be 
summed up in the three parts of the Apostolic farewell, 
which I have chosen for my text ' Watch ye ; quit 
you like men, and be strong ; stand fast in the Faith/ 

1. Watch that is, 'be awake, be wakeful'; have 
yours eyes open the eyes of your senses, the eyes of 
your mind, the eyes of your conscience. 

Such was the wakefulness, such the vigilance, such 
the devouring curiosity of him whose life and conver- 
sation, as he walked amongst ordinary men, was often 
as of a waker amongst drowsy sleepers as a watchful 
sentinel in advance of a slumbering host. The diversity 
of human character the tragedies of human life were 
always as to him an ever opening, unfolding book. 
But perhaps even more than to the glories and the 
wonders of man, he was far beyond what falls to the 
lot of most alive and awake in every pore to the 
beauty, the marvels of nature. That contrast in the 
old story of ' Eyes ' and ' No Eyes ' was the contrast 
between him and common men. That eagle eye 
seemed to discern every shade and form of animal and 
vegetable life. That listening ear, like that of the hero 


in the fairy tale, seemed almost to catch the growing 
of the grass and the opening of the shell. Nature to 
him was a companion, speaking with a thousand voices. 
And nature was to him also the voice of God, the face 
of the Eternal and Invisible, as it can only be to those 
who study and love and know it. For his was no idle 
dreamer's pleasure it was a wakefulness not only to 
the force and beauty of the outward world, but to the 
causes of its mysterious operations, to the explanations 
given by its patient students and explorers. Karely, 
if ever, did he join in the headlong condemnation 
never in the cowardly fear of science and scientific 
men. They seemed to be fellow- workers with himself, 
and he with them. From his noble confidence in the 
results of physical research take comfort, ye of 
little faith; open wide your eyes and ears to every 
breathing of the Divine Spirit, to every accent of the 
Divine Truth. To you, as to him, let everything that 
hath breath praise the Eternal God. Children gather- 
ing shells on the sea-shore fishermen by chalk streams 
huntsmen on the bright days of autumn and of winter 
watchers of the secret growth of plant and insect, 
and penetrating stream and shifting soil fear not to 
learn and to teach those lessons of holy and innocent 
enjoyment which awakened in him the constant praise 
of the Eternal Cause ' for His name only is excellent, 
and His power above heaven and earth.' 

When he spoke in his sermons of the ' cedars of God/ 
or, ' of the lions roaring after their meat from God ' 
when he spoke in his romance of the tropical skies and 
forests, which ' at last ' he saw with the bodily eye, long 
after he had described them with the imagination of 


the poet who does not feel that the contemplation of 
those wonderful works of God became, as it were, part 
of the framework and groundwork of his religion, and 
may. in a measure, become part of ours also ? 

Who that has heard him speak of the Benedicite, 
the Song of the Three Children, can hear it again 
without feeling in it that sanctification of science 
which drew from him such reiterated cries of admira- 
tion regarding it as he did, apocryphal though it be, as 
the very crown and flower of the Old Testament 
the invocation of Nature to bear witness against the 
idolatry of nature ? ' ye works of the Lord, bless 
ye the Lord : praise Him and magnify Him for ever.' 

Who, again, can fail to derive a sense of grim con- 
solation nay, more, of Christian philosophy as he 
encounters, even in the bitter, biting blast of our sharp 
English winter, or yet sharper spring, that moral lesson, 
that living sermon, breathed into it by those exulting 
lines which will hardly grow old as long as the east 
wind blows and the English nation lasts ? 

Welcome, black North-easter, 

O'er the German foam 
O'er the Danish moorlands, 

From thy frozen home ! 
Come, as came our fathers, 

Heralded by thee, 
Conquering, from the eastward, 

Lords by land and sea ; 
Come, and strong within us 

Stir the Vikings' blood, 
Bracing nerve and sinew 

Blow, thou wind of God ! 

2. This leads me to the second part of the 
Apostolic maxim' Quit you like men, and be strong,' 


3* nod xpoLTouova-Qs. Surely, if there was any- 
one of our time with whom this precept was associated, 
even to exaggeration, it was with him who is gone. 
That famous phrase which he indeed repudiated for 
himself, but which became inextricably attached to 
his name, was but the Apostle's word in modern form. 
No doubt the Bible overflows with sympathy for the 
sorrowful, the suffering, the feeble ; but it is also full 
of heart-stirring commands ' to play the man ' ' to be 
men in understanding,' ' to quit us like men,' and * be 
strong and very courageous.' Christianity, if it is to 
hold its own and be what it claims to be, must be not 
only gentle, feminine, and sweet, but masculine, mus- 
cular, and strong. But, in fact, the two sides thus 
represented in the Bible, and certainly as exemplified 
in him, were not inconsistent ; rather in their best form 
they are inseparable. No one was more chivalrously 
respectful towards women more tender to the weak 
and suffering. Of all his songs, of all his utterances, 
that which will live the longest in the mouths of men 
is that which is full, not of the fierce spirit of the Sea- 
kings, but of the wailing and weeping cry of simple 
human pathos 

O Mary, go and call the cattle home, 
And call the cattle home, 
Across the sands of Dee. 

Even in his rude conflict with the superstitions of 
mediaeval times half his force was derived from his 
kindly appreciation of their nobler side. The ' Saint's 
Tragedy ' would have been to him no tragedy had he 
not fully recognised that Elizabeth of Thuringia was 
indeed a true Christian saint. And this gave yet more 

A. 3 


strength to the determined stand which he made, in 
what he deemed an effeminate age, for the vigorous, 
courageous, straight-forward aspect of true religion 
the sense that justice and truth and courage were as 
essentially saint-like as tenderness, beneficence, and 

It was this which roused his chivalrous defence 
in his earlier life of those whom, perhaps in excess, 
he thought oppressed and neglected. It was this 
which roused his chivalrous defence in his later 
life of those whom, also perhaps in excess, he regarded 
as sacrificed to popular prejudice. It was this pro- 
found feeling of the rights of the poor and duties of 
the rich that kindled the fiery pages of ' Alton Locke ' 
and of ' Yeast/ 

It was this just impatience of a sickly sentimental 
theology which denounced alike the monk of the 
13th century and the fanatical preacher of the 
19th. It was this moral enthusiasm which, in the 
pages of 'Hypatia,' has scathed with an everlasting 
brand the name of the Alexandrian Cyril and his 
followers, for their outrages on humanity and morality 
in the name of a hollow Christianity and a spurious 
orthodoxy. Eead, if you would learn some of the 
most impressive lessons of ecclesiastical history read 
and inwardly digest those pages, perhaps the most 
powerful that he ever wrote, which close that wonder- 
ful story by discriminating the destinies which awaited 
each of its characters as they passed, one after another, 
4 each to his own place. ' 

It was this righteous indignation against what 
seemed to him the glorification of a tortuous and ambi- 


guous policy, which betrayed him into the only personal 
controversy in which he was ever entangled, and in 
which, matched in unequal conflict with the most 
subtle and dexterous controversialist of modern times, 
it is not surprising that for the moment he was appa- 
rently worsted, whatever we may think of the ultimate 
issues that were raised in the struggle, and whatever 
may be the total results of our experiences, before and 
after, on the main question over which the combat was 
fought on the relation of the human conscience to 
Truth or to authority. 

It was this passion for gallant deeds and adventurous 
daring that created the characters of Lancelot and 
Thurnall and Arnyas Leigh, that revived the heroes 
of Greece for the young, and the heroes of the Eliza- 
bethan age for the old. 

And it was this sense that he was a thorough 
Englishman ;one of yourselves, working, toiling, 
feeling with you and like you that endeared him to 
you, artisans and working men of London to you, 
rising youth of England. You know how he 
desired with a passionate desire that you should 
have pure air, pure water, habitable dwellings 
that you should be able to share the courtesies, the 
refinements, the elevation of citizens and of English- 
men ; and you may therefore trust him the more when 
he told you from the pulpit, and still tells you from the 
grave, that your homes and your lives should be no 
less full of moral purity and light, that vice and idle- 
ness, meanness and dishonesty, are base, contemptible, 
and miserable. It is for this that he speaks to you with 
especial force, you whom he y, r ould have called the sons 


of Esau the frank, the generous, the self-forgetful ; 
and bids you rise to higher spiritual spheres. It is for 
this, also, that the religious world, the orthodox world, 
the sons of the believing but yet timid, wily Jacob, 
ought to feel that in his presence they had the best, 
because the most severe, of monitors that in his de- 
parture they have lost the most faithful of friends 
because the severest of critics. 

Quit you like men, and be strong strong against 
your vices as well as your weaknesses strong in body 
and strong in understanding strong in spirit. 

As he lay, the other day, cold in death, like the 
stone effigy of an ancient warrior, the ' fitful fever ' of life 
gone, the strength of immortality left, resting as if after 
the toils of a hundred battles, this was himself idealised. 
From those mute lips there seemed to issue once more 
the living words with which he spoke ten years ago, 
before one who honoured him with an unswerving 
faithfulness even to the end. ' Some say ' thus he 
spoke in the chapel of Windsor Castle ' some say that 
' the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance 
' is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long 
' as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth, or a man 
4 or woman left to say, " I will redress that wrong, or 
' spend my life in the attempt." The age of chivalry 
' is never past, so long as we have faith enough to say, 
; " God will help me to redress that wrong, or if not me, 
' He will help those that come after me, for His eternal 
Will is to overcome evil with good." The spirit of 
romance will never die, as long as there is a man left 
to see that the world might and can be better, happier, 
wiser, fairer in all things than it is now. The spirit of 


* romance will never die, as long as a man has faith in 
4 God to believe that the world will eventually be 
' better and fairer than it is now ; as long as we have 
' faith, however weak, to believe in the romance of all 
' romances, the wonder of all wonders, in that wonder of 
' which poets have dreamed, and prophets and Apostles 
4 have told, each according to his light that the earth 
4 shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord that 
' nation shall no more rise in war against nation that 
i wonder which our Lord Himself bade us pray for, as 
4 for our daily bread, and say, " Father, Thy kingdom 
'come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." : 
3. And this leads me to that clause in the Apostle's 
warning which I have kept for the last ' Stand fast in 
the faith.' I have hitherto spoken of our lost friend 
in his natural, God-given genius, not in his professional 
or pastoral functions. He was what he was, not by 
virtue of his office, but by virtue of what God had 
made him in himself. He was, we might almost say, 
a layman in the guise or disguise, and sometimes 
hardly in the guise, of a clergyman fishing with the 
fishermen, hunting with the huntsmen, able to hold 
his own in tent and camp, with courtier or with 
soldier ; an example that a genial companion may be a 
Christian gentleman that a Christian clergyman need 
not be a member of a separate caste, and a stranger to 
the common interests of his countrymen. Yet human, 
genial, layman as he was, he still was not the less 
nay, he was ten times more a pastor than he 
would have been had he shut himself out from the 
haunts and walks of men. He was sent by Providence, 
as it were, ' far off to the Gentiles ' far off, not to other 


lands or other races of mankind, but far off from the 
usual sphere of minister or priest, ' to fresh woods and 
pastures new/ to find fresh worlds of thought and 
wild tracts of character, in which he found a response 
to himself, because he gave a response to them. Wit- 
ness the unknown friends that from far or near sought 
the wise guidance of the unknown counsellor, who 
declared to them the unknown God after whom they 
were seeking if haply they might find Him. Witness 
the tears of the rough peasants of Hampshire, as they 
crowded round the open grave, to look for the last 
time on the friend of thirty years, with whom were 
mingled the passing hunter in his red coat and the wild 
gipsy wanderers, mourning for the face that they should 
no more see in forest or on heath. Witness the grief 
which fills the old cathedral town of my own native 
county and of the native county of his ancestors, 
beside the sands of his own Dee, for the recollection 
of the energy with which he there gathered the youth 
of Chester round him for teachings of science or 
religion. Witness the grief which has overcast this 
venerable church, which in two short years he had 
made his own, and in which all felt that he had found 
a place worthy of himself, and that in him the place 
had found an occupant worthy to fill it. In these days 
of rebuke and faintheartedness, when so many gifted 
spirits shrink from embarking on one of the noblest, 
because the most sacred, of all professions, it ought 
to be an encouragement to be reminded that this fierce 
poet and masculine reformer deemed his energies not 
misspent in the high yet humble vocation of an 
English clergyman that, however much at times 


suspected, avoided, rebuffed, he yet, like others who 
have gone before him, at last won from his brethren 
the willing tribute of honour and love, which once had 
been sturdily refused or grudgingly granted. 

Scholar, poet, novelist, he yet felt himself to be, with 
all and before all, a spiritual teacher and guide. 

We do not claim for him, what he never claimed for 
himself, the character of a profound theologian. For 
the disentanglement of the historical growth of Christian 
doctrine, so indispensable to the right understanding of 
its language and its meaning for the critical researches 
which have in our time endeavoured to trace back to 
their remote origin the sacred books, and have given 
new life to their history, philosophy, and poetry he 
had little inclination, and perhaps rendered scant 
justice to those who ventured on that arduous but 
necessary service of Divine truth, opening the horizon 
and clearing the path for all who would enter on the 
sacred ministry of the Word of God, even as the 
scientific discoveries in which he himself so much 
delighted did the same for the Works of God. 

One fatherly friend and counsellor he followed 
closely, and felt that to him he owed his own self, and 
would sometimes playfully say that it was enough for 
him to be to the outside world the interpreter of 
Frederick Maurice. But with or without that inspiring 
influence, it was still a noble pastoral function that, 
amidst all the wavering inconstancy of our time, he called 
upon the men of his generation, with a steadfastness and 
assured conviction that of itself steadied and reassured 
the minds of those for whom he spoke, ' to stand fast 
in the faith.' ' In the faith/ On what special form of 


the Christian faith did he most insist? In what special 
fastness and fortress of the ancient Catholic faith of 
former times, or of our own English Protestant faith, 
did he plant his foot with this undoubting firmness ? 
Doubtless for him, as for many, the old walls seemed 
sufficient for the coming strife, and he cared not to 
repair their breaches ; the old vessels seemed to him 
strong enough to contain the new wine, and he cared 
not to make new vehicles even for the fermentation of 
the ' yeast * which he himself had stirred. But still 
there were two main doctrines old as eternity, yet for 
ever needing to be renewed with each age of the world 
which he held with a fervour and tenacity all his own, 
with a freshness and a vigour that amounted almost 
to the originality of genius which, in his teaching, 
enlightened and controlled and coloured even the most 
antique and the most trite of the ordinary teachings of 
past or present times. 

One of these fixed, paramount, over-ruling per- 
suasions was the belief often forgotten, often derided, 
sometimes even severely discountenanced that the 
main part of the religion of mankind and of 
Christendom should consist in the strict fulfilment of 
the duty of man, which is the will of God. Alike in the 
Old Testament and in the New, he delighted to bring 
together the golden passages which exalt the law, the 
statutes, the testimonies, the commandments of God ; 
and he set forth their ancient meaning, for our modern 
days, in his own plain, strong English words, which 
none can mistake or forget, and which have the rare 
merit of being perfectly intelligible and perfectly true. 
Nothing can be a substitute for purity or virtue. 


4 Man will always try to find a substitute for it. But 
4 let no man lay any such flattering unction to his soul. 
' The first and last business of every living being, what- 
4 ever be his station, party, creed, tastes, duties, is 
4 Morality. Virtue, virtue, always virtue ! Nothing 
4 that man ever invents will absolve him from the uni- 
4 versal necessity of being good as God is good, righteous 
4 as God is righteous, and holy as God is holy/ 

And this leads me to the other doctrine, which 
also shall be stated in his own words, as we heard him 
from this place, when he delivered his farewell sermon 
before starting for the American continent, in conclusion 
of that brilliant and solemn course to which, Sunday 
after Sunday, the eager multitudes came to hear the 
new preacher of our Abbey. 

4 And now,' he said, ' now friends, and almost all 
4 friends unknown and alas ! never to be known by 
4 me you who are to me as people floating down a 
4 river, while I, the preacher, stand upon the bank and 
4 call, in hope that some of you may catch some word 
4 of mine ere the great stream shall bear you out of 
4 sight oh catch, at least, catch this one word the last 
4 which I shall speak here for many months, and which 
4 sums up all which I have been trying to say to you of 
4 late. Fix in your minds, or rather ask God to fix in 
4 your minds, this one idea of an absolutely good God ; 
4 good with all forms of goodness which you respect 
4 and love in man ; good as you, and I, and every 
4 honest man, understand the plain word good. Slowly 
4 you will acquire that grand and all -illuminating idea ; 
4 slowly and most imperfectly at best ; for who is 
4 mortal man that he should conceive and comprehend 


' the goodness of the infinitely good God ? But see, 
' then, whether, in the light of that one idea, all the old- 
' fashioned Christian ideas about the relations of God to 
< man whether a Providence, Prayer, Inspiration, 
'Eevelation; the Incarnation, the Passion, and the 
' final triumph, of the Son of God whether all these, I 
' say, do not begin to seem to you, not merely beautiful, 
' not merely probable, but rational and logical and 
' necessary moral consequences from the one idea of 
' an Absolute and Eternal Goodness, the Living Parent 
* of the Universe. And so I leave you to the Grace of 

So he spoke, standing here as I stand now, as on 
the banks of this great river of life. So he speaks to 
us still, standing on the farther bank of another vaster, 
deeper, darker river the river of death. Whether 
he sees us or not, we know not ; whether in that light 
into which we trust he has passed those strong im- 
passioned words may have become weak and pale 
how far, ' when that which is perfect has come, that 
which is partial in them shall vanish away,' like the 
half-formed thoughts and inarticulate utterances of a 
child we know not ; but this we cannot and we will 
not doubt, that as they were his last message to us on 
that last parting, so they contain in substance and spirit 
the message which he would have delivered to us down 
to his last moment on earth, and, if possible, beyond it. 
When the shadows of death were closing him round, 
still, we are told, the same beatific vision of that which 
alone makes the blessedness of heaven was before his 
failing sight ' How beautiful,' he said, ' how beautiful 
is God.' 


Stand fast, my brethren, stand fast in that faith 
in the faith that God is good, and that man, to b ; 
well-pleasing to God, must be good also. That faith 
which is indeed the ' Good news of God' to man, ' that 
1 name of the Eternal/ was to him ' a strong tower, in 
which the righteous could take refuge and be safe' 
' the stronghold and the castle to which he would always 
resort/ from which he derived whatever strength and 
force there was in his creed or in his life. 

Stand ye fast in this faith, wavering, per- 
plexed, anxious souls, and you shall not be shaken 
by doubt, nor undermined by superstition. Stand fast 
in this faith, sorrowing, suffering, bereaved friends, 
who feel that in the removal of those whom you have 
loved or admired the splendour of your life is dimmed, 
and you shall not be sorry as men without hope for 
those that sleep in Him who is Perfect Grace and 
Perfect Truth. Stand fast in this faith, and by it cor- 
rect, enlarge, enlighten, strengthen whatever other faith 
you have. 

And not only stand fast in it, but follow it 
onward whithersoever it leads you. 4 Be not only 
steadfast and unmovable, but be also abounding,' over- 
flowing in the ever-increasing work of the Lord which 
lies before us all, * forasmuch as you know and have 
seen in him that his labour was not in vain in the 

In his last journey in America, in answer to one 
who had wished him long life, he replied : ' That is the 
4 last thing that I desire. It may be that, as one 
4 grows older, one acquires more and more the painful 
' consciousness of the difference between what ought to 


6 be done and what can be done, and sits down more 
' quietly when 'one gets on the wrong side of fifty, and 
6 lets others start up to do for us the things one cannot 
' do for ourselves. But it is the highest pleasure that 
' a man can have who has turned down the hill at last 
' (and to his own exceeding comfort) to believe that 
' younger spirits will rise up after him, and catch the 
' lamp of truth, as in the old lamp -bearing race of 
' Greece, out of his hand before it expires, and carry 
' it on to the goal with swifter and more even feet/ 

The lamp has fallen from that hand : it is for us, 
for you, to hand it on, with increased light, to the 
generations yet to come. 
















W lit; 







..^ ;p 








At a special meeting of the HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, 
held at Philadelphia, on Saturday, the 9th of April, 1835: 

It was resolved that the thanks of the Society be presented to J. FRAN- 
CIS FISHER, Esq., for his interesting discourse on " The Private Life and 
Domestic Habits of William Penn," this day pronounced, and that he be 
requested to furnish a copy for publication. 

J. R. TYSON, Secretary. 

- $* 

' *M 



WITH the same spirit in which we visit the residences of 
authors, whose works have been our delight or consolation, or 
of Statesmen and Philanthropists, whose memories we bless ; 
with the same interest we feel while we look at the moulder- 
ing furniture of their chambers, seat ourselves in the chairs 
they have reposed in, or look out upon the gardens which 
were once their recreation, do we collect from letters or dia- 
ries, and the recollections of the aged, the few scattered no- 
tices of their habits and their manners. We try to com- 
plete their picture by combining every circumstance of dress 
or personal peculiarity and even those particulars which 
can have no bearing upon the character of their temper or 
their genius, all deserve a careful preservation ; for like the 
buttons and collar of a painted portrait, they are important 
to perfect the picture, though they form no part of the like- 

When we strive to recollect a great man, seen in former 
years, perhaps the most frivolous particular may first present 
itself; and the fashion or colour of a coat may be remembered, 
while we are unable to recall any trace of his features or a 
single tone of his voice. Yet imperfect as is our reminiscence, 
we value it. Let us not then despise as frivolous the anti- 
quarian research which has been able to present us with a 
description of Charles V. in his furred cap and gown of black 
tafiety, drinking a quart of Rhenish wine at a draught ; or of 


Hobbes smoking ten pipes at a sitting, while composing his 
Leviathan : let us not disregard the account of the great 
Frederick's little greyhound, which he carried with him even 
to battle ; or refuse to listen to Brantome, while he describes 
the table of the Chancellor 1'Hospital, served daily, as he tells 
us, with a single dish of boiled meat. All these things may 
be of no importance in themselves ; yet while matters of more 
moment might escape us, these may perhaps attach them- 
selves to our memory and in some way serve to bind together 
and sustain our recollections of greater things, just as the 
twisting tendrils of the vine serve to support the long branches 
and luscious clusters of the grape. 

Yet even particulars like these have sometimes an intrin- 
sic interest and importance when they relate to those whom 
we regard as great teachers of philosophy and morals. When 
we find that Aristotle was magnificent in his dress, and that 
his fingers were covered with costly gems or when we learn 
that Epicurus was contented with the simplest fare, " laetus 
plantaribus exigui horti," we have an opportunity of judging 
how far the principles which they have given to others as the 
rules of life, have governed the minds from which they ema- 
nated. But without selecting as an instance, one whose va- 
nity resisted the empire of his reason or him who with a 
cold temperament lived purely in spite of the principles of a 
libertine, even in those cases where the practice of morality 
has been guided by their declared precepts of virtue the 
particulars of private life are worthy of investigation, that we 
may learn the author's application of his own maxims, and 
how far in his practice he could relax the rigour of his own 
laws of life. 

These considerations will perhaps give interest to the pic- 
ture I shall now attempt to sketch of the Private Life of Wil- 
liam Penn. Not only as a distinguished writer on Theology 
and an eloquent teacher of morals, and as one of the Patri- 
archs of a peculiar sect, (separating itself from others on 


grounds of stricter morality, condemning the vices and vani- 
ties of the world, avoiding most of its pleasures, and claiming 
for themselves the character of followers of Christ in primi- 
tive simplicity, humility, and purity,) is it interesting and im- 
portant to know how far he tolerated and practised the cus- 
toms of the world, and what interpretation he put by his own 
conduct on the rules of discipline of his Society. But, as the 
great lawgiver and advocate of our liberties as the friend of 
our ancestors, and their conductor to these shores his man- 
ner of life and personal habits his public carriage as proprie- 
tary, and private demeanour as a gentleman, are surely wor- 
thy of our curiosity. And although I can amuse you with 
but few traits of personal peculiarity or of intellectual excen- 
tricity, I congratulate myself, that, laying aside all considera- 
tion of him as a patriot, a lawgiver, or an author, and direct- 
ing your attention to the retreats of his domestic life, I shall 
be able to offer such a picture of gentleness, benevolence, and 
urbanity ; ^uch perfect consistency of generosity and good- 
ness, that you may all experience, as I have done, a pleasure 
similar to that of the naturalist, who, tearing off the petals of 
a beautiful flower, finds the inmost structure of its core more 
curiously fashioned, more exquisitely delicate than the exter- 
nal tints and graceful form which had at first delighted him. 

The pages which I shall read to you on this occasion con- 
tain the results of an examination, made some time since, of 
the original cash book of William Penn, and his letters of bu- 
siness to his agents in Pennsylvania. The extracts then made, 
together with a few anecdotes and traditions preserved else- 
where, I have endeavoured to weave into a connected ac- 
count of the Private Life and Domestic Habits of the Founder 
of our State and City. 

My narrative may be tedious; my incidents common-place; 
my particulars trivial; but anecdotes are not be extracted 
from a cash book and letters to a steward afford few traits 
of character. So barren were the fields I had undertaken to 


reap, that I resolved to collect the whole scanty product and 
leave nothing for the gleaning of future antiquaries trusting 
that all true Pennsylvanians would pardon my laborious mi- 
nuteness. If writers of travels have thought proper to de- 
scribe the stockings of Queen Elizabeth, preserved at Hat- 
field, and tbe night-cap of Voltaire at Ferney, may I not ven- 
ture to tell you what were the dress, furniture, and equipage 
of a man, at least as worthy of immortality ? 

WHEN William Penn returned from France, in August, 
1664, he is represented by Pepys as " a most modish person 
grown, quite a fine gentleman:" This intimates what we 
have confirmation of elsewhere, that he had acquired at the 
court of Louis XIV. all the external graces for which the so- 
ciety of Paris was at that time celebrated : and although at 
a date three years subsequent, we find in the same diary that 
" Mr. William Penn, who is lately come over from Ireland, is a 
Quaker again, or some very melancholy thing, that he cares 
for no company nor comes into any, which is a pleasant thing 
after his being abroad so long :" yet it is impossible to be- 
lieve that the effects of his fashionable education were alto- 
gether lost. The best results of dancing and fencing are that 
the first gives an easy graceful air ; the latter a noble manly 
carriage of the body : and the most important precepts of the 
education of society are those which teach us to consider the 
feelings and yield to the prejudices of others in small matters 
to correct offensive habits, and to suppress obnoxious opi- 
nions. These little matters are often disregarded by stern 
religionists, and they thus earn odium for themselves and their 
profession. Perhaps we should never hear the taunt of Puri- 
tanism, if they all had the urbanity, the easy grace of man- 
ner which we have reason to think distinguished William 
Penn, who, as he says of himself, " knew no religion that de- 

OF 1 \VILLIAM PEfr N. 7 

fctfoys courtesy, civility, and kindness, which rightly under- 
stood are great indications of true men, if not of good Chris- 

At the time when was painted the Portrait, presented to 
our Society by his grandson, William Penn was a finished 
gentleman, with the solid advantages of education embellished 
by all the accomplishments of the age. His appearance was 
eminently handsome ; the expression of his countenance re- 
markably pleasing and sweet ; his eye dark and lively, and 
his hair flowing gracefully over his shoulders, according to the 
fashion set by the worthless though fascinating Charges the 
Second. How far he adopted the frivolities of the English 
Court, or how long he joined in its dissipations, we do not exactly 
know : but we cannot doubt that his principles were shocked 
and his good taste disgusted by the profanity and indecency, 
the heartless levity, the dishonest prodigality, and the awful 
profligacy which have gained eternal infamy for that mo- 
narch and his courtiers. No one can believe that William 
Penn Was their companion in their -vices; we cannot even 
think of him in " a jackanape's coat with silver buttons,"* or 
changing his suit from velvet to cloth, from silk to camlet, 
with the monthly variation of the mode, or dangling at the 
toilet of " Mistress Nelly," or paying court to the still more 
infamous Castlemaine. Yet did he associate with the nobility 
of England, frequent the court, and was on terms of easy fa- 
miliarity with the gayest and wittiest of the times : And al- 
though, after his final profession of Quakerism, he withdrew 
from the brilliant circles of London and associated chiefly 
with the humble and despised sect whose principles he had 
embraced, though he renounced the vanities and frivolous fa- 
shions of the day, and declined the usages which he deemed 
unworthy of his sense and Christianity ; though he thereby 
astonished his friends and seriously offended his father, and 

* Pepys' Diary, which see for the costume of the times. 


at the same time noj only refused the offers of royal favour 
and patronage, but suffered repeated imprisonments rather 
than yield a point of conscience : yet it is remarkable that 
we do not find he forfeited the respect or even incurred the 
ridicule of his old friends and companions. Whenever he ap- 
peared at court, either in the cause of his own Society or to 
solicit toleration or pardon for others, he was always received 
with kindness and even affection, whether he applied to the 
bigoted James, or the dissolute and witty Buckingham, or the 
corrupt Sunderland, or the crafty Halifax. And when, after 
receiving the grant of Pennsylvania, his solicitude for the af- 
fairs of the colony, as well as the interests of his religious sect, 
induced him to reside constantly in London or its vicinity, we 
do not find that he incurred neglect or satire, though at a 
time when singularity in apparel, sour austerity and formal 
sobriety were the favourite themes of daily epigrams. When 
paying his court at Whitehall, or following the merry mo- 
narch to the races at Newmarket, or accompanying his suc- 
cessor on his tour through England; when surrounded by such 
men as Rochester and Killigrew, Etheredge and Jermyn, a 
stiff carriage and a stern countenance would not only have 
been misplaced, but fatal to the objects of his pursuit. The 
truth is, that William Penn was as courteous and tolerant as 
he was honest and virtuous ; that he was neither affectedly 
plain in apparel, nor sanctimonious in demeanour : while his 
pure morality and noble love of liberty inspired the respect 
of the servile and dissolute, even their favour was secured 
by his cheerful good-humour and his temperate wit. 

That his conversation was distinguished for vivacity and 
humour we have the report of tradition, confirmed by the opi- 
nion of the greatest wit of the age, Dean Swift, who says 
" that he talked very agreeably and with great spirit." And 
by another contemporary testimony still more remarkable, 
that of " Friends of Reading Meeting" who inform us that he 
was " facetious in conversation ;" and it was one of his own 


maxims " that wit gives an edge to sense and recommends it 
extremely." We are thus assured that he was not only 
"grave with the wise," but "with the witty gay:" And 
though he never imitated the licentious jesters of the times, 
we cannot doubt that he was often called upon to exercise his 
humour at the court of Charles and James, either in self-de- 
fence or in the honest hope of making vice ridiculous. 

-So little did he obtrude on the notice of othej-s his religious pe- 
culiarities, that he was by many believed to be a member of the 
society of Jesus, the most accomplished order in the Catholic 
church, and so scrupulously did he avoid offence, that he rare 
ly made use of " thee and thou," if it was possible to form his 
sentences without them : and it is curious to observe in his let- 
ters to persons of high rank or station how gracefully he 
escapes the" use of these familiar and uncourtly pronouns, 
speaking to his correspondent either in the third person or by 
his title. If he refused to put off his hat as a token of respect, 
I may remark, that it was by no means so unusual to wear 
it in company as it is now. Pepys complains of " a simple 
fellow" of a preacher who "exclaimed against wearing of 
hats in church ;" and, speaking of the French service at the 
Savoy, says, " I never before saw the minister preach with 
his hat off." After dining in company, he says, " I got a 
strange cold in my head by flinging my hat off at dinner," 
and in Lord Clarendon's Essay on the Decay of Respect for 
Old Age, he states, " that in his younger days he never kept 
his hat on before those older than himself, except at dinner." 
If William Penn gave no offence in these particulars, I do 
not doubt he also avoided ridicule in the style of his persofei 
attire. His own maxim on the subject addressed to his children 
is, " choose thy clothes by thine own eyes, not another's the 
more plain and simple they are, the better neither unshapely 
nor fantastical, for use and decency and not for pride." With 
such opinions, we may be sure his garments were never un- 
couth. Of his style of dress, we have no other account than 



the tradition recorded by Clarkson, that it was very neat and 
plain ; but if thfc costume of the statue before the Pennsylvania 
hospital be such as he ever wore, (which is highly probable, 
towards the end of his life,) it is certainly far from inelegant, 
and proves that he must have changed the cut of his coat 
when the variation of fashion became striking, for such a dress 
as that was not worn till the time of Queen Anne. While the 
Puritans were preaching against the use of buckles and wigs 
the latter a ridiculous superfluity, if any thing be so William 
Penn made use of both, as we learn by his cash book : and al- 
though it is not probable that, like his contemporary, Sir 
Richard Steele, he ever spent 40 guineas in a periwig : yet, 
even when in Pennsylvania, he purchased four in one year, 
at the cost of nearly four pounds each, and as two of these, 
at least, came from England, and a third was made at New- 
castle, we are to conclude that no perruquier had as yet estab- 
lished himself at Philadelphia. Though we find in the same 
cash book frequent entries of monies paid to Charles Black- 
burn Taylor, no doubt the first in his line at Philadelphia, 
we have unfortunately no description of the garments thus 
charged, nor any other articles of dress specified, except a 
pair of stockings for the Governor at eight shillings, and a pair 
of gambadoes (a kind of leathern overalls for riding or shooting) 
which cost 1. 2sh. and frequent notice of the dressing of the 
Governor's hats of which three at one time, were in the hat- 
ter's hands to be furbished up ;* and on the whole, while I am 

* We have no better means of judging of the style of dress of Hannah Penn 
and Laetitia, then a girl of about 18 ; but we find in the said cash book fre- 
quWt notice of bills paid for them, as for instance, " By expenses paid 
Esther Masters, for making frocks, 14 shillings. By ditto paid Sarah 
Thomson for making caps, 1. 4s. 6d. By Lsetitia, paid Francis Richard- 
son, for a pair of buckles, 2. By ditto paid D. Vaughan, watchmaker, for 
mending Lxtitia's watch, 4s. By expenses paid Cxsar Ghiselin, the gold- 
smith's note, 1. 14s. By expenses paid Johan Nys, goldsmith, his note, 
2. 10*. What article of jewelry, William Penn permitted his wife or 
daughter to wear is not mentioned, but, that ornaments of gold were not 


far from suspecting him of foppishness, I should be much 
more ready to acquit him of the " affectatae sordes," than to 
deny for him the " exquisitae munditise." While on the subject 
of his wigs and hats, I may state, that after he left America, in 
1684 he presented his stock of the former to his deputy 
Thomas Lloyd, and that English beavers were a common 
token from him to his friends in this country. On one occa- 
sion he presents a hat to Edward Shippen, the first mayor of 
this city, " which has," he observes, " the true mayoral brim :" 
by which it seems he was willing that the hat, while on the 
head, might indicate dignity of station, however much op- 
posed to making the taking of it off a sign of respect. 

It is related of William Penn, that when his great friend 
King James asked him to explain the difference between 
their religions, the Roman Catholic and that of the Quakers, 
he answered by comparing the one to the hat then worn by 
himself, which was plain ; the other to that of the King, 
which was adorned with feathers and ribands. " The only 
difference," said he, " lies in the ornaments which have been 
added to thine." Though this anecdote is well worth quoting 
to show the enlarged spirit of Christian chanty which sug- 
gested such an illustration, it is now only repeated to prove 
that William Penn was not, at that period at least, out of the 
fashion in the shape of his hat an article in which fashions 
were so changeable among Christians that an author of 
those times* tells us that the Turks used to curse each other 
with the wish " may thou be as variable as a Christian's hat." 
If it were inquired what was the form then in vogue, it 
would, I think, be found that the beavers then most common 
in the purlieus of the palace had low crowns and broad brims, 
very much turned up and curled at the sides shovel-shaped 

altogether forbidden by the Quakers of those times, we may judge from the 
circumstance, that James Logan wrote to England, for "a fine gold chain 
for his wife, such as young girls use to wear." 
. * Evelyn. 


perhaps on graver characters on men of ton, cocked high or 
low according to the variations of their humour, or to indi- 
cate, as patches did in later times, the political divisions of 
their wearers. 

I may remark, while on the subject of the dress of William 
Penn, that Mr. West, and I believe all other painters who 
have introduced the early Quakers into their pictures, are 
chargeable with great mistakes, in the costumes they have 
selected for them; in many instances, giving them hats and 
coats of a form not even invented for half a century after 
the date of the scene they have wished to represent upon 
their canvas ; and in the celebrated Picture of the Treaty 
under the "Elm, our Pennsylvania Painter, besides his unpar- 
donable misconception, in representing the graceful and ath- 
letic Penn, at the age of 38, as a fat old man, of a very ordi- 
nary appearance ; has put him and his companions in dresses 
which, if they ever wore at all, they certainly did not till 
nearly 30 years after the settlement of Pennsylvania. 

It seems probable, that Mr. West represented in his pic- 
ture from recollection the appearance of his own father, and 
the old Quakers he had known in his youth, without stopping 
to inquire or even think whether they had preserved un- 
changed the costume of their grandfathers, the first colo- 

* The true costume for the picture would have been that in vogue towards 
the end of the reign of Charles II. This (as near as I can ascertain) was 
a collarless coat, perfectly straight in front with many buttons showing- no 
waist, nor cut into skirts, having- only a short buttoned slit behind; the sleeves 
hardly descending- below the elbow, and having- larg-e cuff's, showing- the full 
shirt sleeves. The vest was as long- as the coat, and, except as to the sleeves, 
made apparently in the same way. The breeches were very full, open at 
the sides, and tied with strings. About the hats, I have less certainty, as 
these varied three or four times in this reign, as Butler says, 

Being first high-crowned, like pyramids, 

And next as flat as pipkin lids, 

Sometimes with broad brims like umbrellas, 

And then as narrow as punchinellas. 


The Quakers have certainly never run after fashion, but 
while they disregarded all its minor aberrations, they seem to 
have followed it at a distance in many of its great changes 
and revolutions and I think it would not be difficult to prove 
that from the days of George Fox, to the middle of the 18th 
century, every prominent and continued variation in the 
shape of hats and coats, could be traced in some correspond- 
ing alterations in the costume of the society : these varia- 
tions are surely as consistent with the modesty and plain- 
ness which they aimed at as they were with good taste, and 
though their rules forbade gaudy attire and useless orna- 
ments, I have never heard that they prescribed uniformity 
or the perpetuity of any particular costume. 

I have detained you with these observations, that I might 
put on record a fact, which may hereafter be useful to our 
own society or any of its members, who may have occasion 
to direct the painting of an historical picture, in which the 
founder of our province or the early settlers are to be intro- 
duced. It is to be hoped that a blunder which detracts so 
much from the value of West's Picture of the Treaty, and 
from that of the portrait in the apartment beneath us, may 
never again be committed. 

But to return to William Penn, and to speak next of his 
horses and equipage. What style he maintained in Eng- 
land I know not, but we may judge it was at least equal 
to his stable establishment in Pennsylvania. Here he had 
his coach, a cumbrous vehicle no doubt, and little used ex- 
cept in Philadelphia and its neighbourhood, in consequence 
of the badness of the roads, which even to Pennsbury were 
nearly impassable but for horsemen. A calash probably re- 
ferred to by a contemporary pamphleteer as a " rattling lea- 
thern conveniency," in which he drove about from one country 
meeting to another, and a sedan chair, which Hannah Penn 
might have used on her more sociable gossipping visits among 
her friends in the city. 


When he travelled either to New York, or to the Sus- 
quehannah, and visited the Proprietor of Maryland, on the 
confines of their territories, it was on horseback and as I 
find in the inventory of goods at Pennsbury three side saddles 
mentioned, his wife and daughter Laetitia were doubtless 
often the companions of his rides. When they met the Lord 
and Lady Baltimore, they were followed by a large caval- 
cade, and several of the chief men of the colony accom- 
panied the Proprietor on his visit to the Indian Sachems on 
the Susquehannah; where, according to Isaac Norris, "after 
a roundabout journey, in which they had pretty well tra- 
velled the wilderness, they lived nobly at the king's palace at 

During his first visit to this country, William Penn general- 
ly rode a large white horse; but he had also a "ball nagg," 
which he probably used at Pennsbury when overlooking the 
improvements of his farm : he often inquires about them in 
his letters to James Harrison, and directs especial care to be 
taken, that they should not be injured in his absence. Like 
all English gentlemen, he was fond of horses, and desirous 
to introduce the best stock into America. We find he had, at 
his first visit, three blood mares ; and he promises his steward 
to bring more on his return, as well as a fine horse ; the latter 
promise at least he fulfilled in 1700, by importing the horse 
Tamerlane, probably of Arabian blood, and perhaps a colt of 
the great Godolphin Barb, to which the most celebrated 
horses in England trace their origin. If he had no other 
opportunities of becoming acquainted with horses, his sojourn 
with the Court ajt New-market, must have given him some 
skill, which he could turn to good account, in providing his 
colony with the finest stock of those noble animals. 

But his favourite mode of travelling, seems to have been 
by water. A taste inspired, perhaps, by his father the Ad- 
miral, or acquired at Oxford, where the students of Christ 
Church have been for ages, celebrated as oarsmen, may ac- 


count for his extraordinary solicitude about his yacht and 
barge; of which latter, he thus speaks to his steward: "But 
above all dead things, my barge, I hope no body uses it on 
any account, and that she is kept in a dry dock, or at least 
covered from the weather." This barge, or the one that 
replaced it in 1700, must have been a vessel of some state- 
liness, if we may judge by the sums which appear from the 
cash book to have been spent upon it, of which I may in- 
stance the charge of William Corker for painting it, 3/. 10s. 
It had its regular officers and crew, of whom George Mark- 
ham, was boatswain, and Michael Larzillier, cockswain, re- 
ceiving their wages as such, and required, I infer, six oars. It 
appears to have been provided with a sail and awnings, and 
though there is no mention of a flag, it is not unlikely that 
he spread a broad pennant with the Proprietary's arms, which 
he was not unwilling to display in all his public acts. This 
barge was preserved with great care, after Willliam Penn's 
last departure. James Logan had a house built over it, for 
its protection, and it was not used until the arrival of young 
William Penn, except on the occasion of Lord Cornbury's 
visit to Philadelphia. 

We also find mention of several smaller boats, at Penns- 
bury, in which, on shorter excursions for exercise or pleasure* 
he may have been used, 

"To spread the thin oar, or catch the driving gale." 

or to scull along the banks of the Delaware, with his gun or 
angle. That he was not averse from fishing, and fowling,, 
we know by the mention in the cash book of " the repair of 
the governor's gun," and by his request to James Logan, to. 
give his son occasional amusement in the woods, and upon,, 
the waters ; and, that the field sports which he enjoyed in his 
youth were not condemned in his more advanced age, w$ 
may infer from his particular directions, that his son's stag and 
fox hounds should be well taken care of., " If says he," my 


son sends hounds, as he has provided two or three couples of 
choice ones, for deer, foxes and wolves, pray let great care 
be taken of them, and let I. Sotcher, quarter them about as 
with young Biles, &c." And why may we not suppose, that 
William Penn, occasionally partook of " the heart cheering 
pleasures of the field ?" Why may we not, picture him to 
ourselves, like his virtuous contemporary, Isaac Walton, re- 
laxing from the cares of public business ; 

" And haply on some river's cooling bank. 
Patiently musing, while intent he stands, 
To hook the scaly glutton ?" 

With his family he had occasionally other recreations ; in 
attending a fair, or an Indian Cantico ; of both of which the cash 
book gives evidence, such as these. By my mistress, at the 
fair, 21. Os. Sd. By expenses given to Hannah Carpenter, for a 
fairing, 8s. By ditto to two children for comfits, pr. order, 
Is. Gd. By the Governor going to a Cantico, 11. 18s. 4d. We 
have frequent mention of his visits to the Indians, which gave 
him an opportunity to study their character ; and he con- 
ciliated their favour, by partaking of their feasts, and wit- 
nessing their dances. A respectable old lady, the grand- 
mother of Samuel Preston, related, that in his desire to gain 
the good will of the Aborigines, " he walked with them, sat 
with them on the ground, and ate with them, their roasted 
acorns and hominy. At this, they expressed their great de- 
light, and soon began to show, how they could hop, and jump ; 
at which exhibition William Penn, to cap the climax, sprang 
up and beat them all." I should be loath to doubt the accu- 
racy of the old lady's memory, for is it not a delightful 
thought, that our good founder so grave and dignified, on 
solemn occasions, in the playful joyousness of a good heart, 
could thus o'erstep the bounds of ceremony, lay aside his 
gravity, and join heartily in the innocent sports of the kind 
and peaceful Lenne-Lennape ? 


On public occasions William Penn was not unwilling to 
use all the ceremony suitable in a place, where as yet 

" Pride there was not, nor arts that pride to aid.'* 

He was well aware that, by the ignorant, respect is more rea- 
dily paid to the law, and to the officers who administer it, if 
surrounded by a certain dignity and solemnity of forms. We 
are, therefore, not surprised to find in a scurrilous pamphlet, of 
the day before quoted,* that the "Proprietor's Corps de Garde 
generally consists of seven or eight of his chief magistrates, 
both ecclesiastical and civil, which always attend him, and 
sometimes more, when he perambulates the city: one bare- 
headed, with a long wand over his shoulders, in imitation of 
the Lord Marshal of England, marches gradually before him 
and his train, and sometimes proclamation is made to clear 
the way." And if we make some allowance for probable ex- 
aggeration, we may understand by it, that when the Proprie- 
tor went to open the Assembly, or to hold the High Court of 
the Provincial Council, he was preceded by the members of 
that body and the sheriff and peace officers of Philadelphia, 
with their staves of office. We find, also, in the same pamph- 
let, that " there are certain days appointed for audience, and 
as for the rest, you may keep your distance." And again- 
" The gate of his house, or palace, is always guarded by a 
Janisary, armed with a club of near ten foot long, crowned 
with a large silver head, embossed and chased as a hierogly- 
phic of the master's pride ;" all of which is susceptible of a 
similar interpretation, for, if for convenience sake, he had 
his days and hours of business appointed ; or if, while the 
council was in session, an officer guarded his door, or a por- 
ter held his station there, with a tall silver-headed cane, such 

* " NEWS FROM PENSILVAXIA, or a brief Narrative of several remarkable 
passages in the Government of the Quakers," &c. London, 36 pp. 12mo. 
1703. " Published by the author of the Pilgrim's Progress" (said to b 
written by Francis Bugg.) 



as even now are seen in Europe, the exaggeration does not 
seem a very extraordinary one in a writer anxious to bring 
odium on the government of the Quakers. But lest this tes- 
timony should be esteemed suspicious, I will confirm it by the 
best of evidence, that of William Penn himself. In a note 
written at Pennsbury, in July, 1700, he gives directions to 
James Logan to prepare for the arrival of Governors Nichol- 
son and Blackiston of Virginia and Maryland, and requests 
him to write a circular to the officers of the different coun- 
ties, directing the sheriffs to receive their Excellencies in state, 
with a party of twenty horsemen at least, on the borders of 
each county, and to accompany them through it to meet those 
of the next ; and requiring all the magistrates of each place 
to wait on them some to ride out, and others to receive them 
on alighting, and to lodge them and their servants at their 
private houses : And still further to show the respect which 
even the Quakers of those days were disposed to pay to rank 
and station, I will quote from a letter of James Logan to the 
Proprietor, an account of Lord Cornbury's reception in Phila- 
delphia, in June, 1702. "He (Lord Cornbury, then at Bur- 
lington,) expressed a willingness to give our Province a visit, 
and therefore had an invitation on Second Day morning. 1 
hastened down to make provision, and in a few hours' time 
had a very handsome dinner, really equal, they say, to any 
thing he had seen in America.* At night he was invited to 
Edward Shippen's, where he lodged and dined to-day with all 
his company, near thirty in number. He has just now gone 
off in the barge very handsomely attended, expressing a great 
satisfaction in the place and the decency of his entertainment 
in all its parts." 

Lord Cornbury, on his way back to New York, paid a visit 
to Pennsbury. James Logan writes, " he was attended all 
the way with four boats besides his own, and about ten in 

* The cash book informs us that this dinner cost 10 Is. 8d. 


the morning arrived there with fifty in company. With Ma- 
ry's great diligence, and all our care, we got ready a hand- 
some country entertainment, which, though much inferior to 
those at Philadelphia for cost, &c., yet, for the decency and 
good order, gave no less satisfaction, whteh he expressed -at 
his departure to the highest degree, promising to acknowledge 
it particularly to thee." Such was 'the. defejrtltefr 5fr thi>Se 
days shown to rank and station, even'iri a 'Community 'of Qua- 

But to return to my subject. No one can doubt the plea- 
sure of William Penn in the exercise of hospitality : and we 
find that he frequently entertained at Pennsbury, not only all 
the distinguished strangers who visited Pennsylvania, but most 
of the chief families of the province. Though his house was 
handsomely furnished, and his table plentifully spread, he 
permitted no extravagance in either for it was his maxim 
that " it destroys hospitality, and wrongs the poor." His pas- 
tures, his gardens, and the woods and waters around him, af- 
forded him plenty, and of the best provisions, which, as the 
catalogue of his " batterie de cusine"* proves, must have been 
simply dressed; and his cook, Ann Nichols, could have been 
little learned in the " Book of Cookery, which," as her mas- 
ter says, " hath outgrown the Bible, and, I fear, is read of- 
tener -to be sure it is of more use."t His residence in Paris 
had not inspired him with a taste for the exquisite produc- 

* It includes a Dog-wheel. 

f There is a book of Cookery (printed in 1682,) in the Library of the 
American Philosophical Society, entitled, I believe, -"Ministers of the mouth." 
This might throw some curious light upon the manners and habits of the 
times. Will no one undertake to write a history of cookery, giving us a cata- 
logue raisonne of all the works on the subject, from that of Apicius to Udes, 
with an account of all the distinguishing dishes of each age? The Romans, 
in some respects, certainly had the advantage of us, having established 
schools, not only for cooks but for carvers, where jointed models of every 
dish gave almost surgical skill to the accomplished sewer. 


tions of the French culinary art, as we may infer from the 
following extracts from his maxims : " The sauce is now pre- 
ferred before the meat ; twelve pennyworths of flesh, with 
five shillings of cookery, may happen to make a fashionable 
4is}i ;. plain beef and mutton is become dull food ; but by the 
tihie Us natural .relish, is lost in the crowd of cook's ingre- 
dk^ifc^ajuLthe meat sufficiently disguised to the eaters, it 
passes under a JYeircrr name for a rare dish." Yet he was 
not insensible of the simple luxuries of the country, as ap- 
pears by the following extract from a letter to his steward : 
" Pray send us some two or three smoaked haunches of veni- 
son and pork get them of the Swedes: also some smoaked 
shadds and beef the old Priest at Philadelphia had rare 

The cash book proves that the cellar at Pennsbury was 
well supplied with beer, cider, and wine, of which, the kinds 
mentioned, are Sherry, (then called sack,) Madeira, Canary, 
and Claret. His own maxim, that strong liquors are good at 
some times, and in small proportions, " being better for phy- 
sic, than food, for cordials, than for common use," was con- 
firmed by his practice, for we find little mention in the cash 
book, of brandy or rum, except when expressly designed for 
the entertainment of the Indians: and the tradition of the 
Proprietor's aversion to tobacco is confirmed, by the cash 
book having only one entry of its purchase, and then to the 
amount of ten pence. Notwithstanding the copious supply of 
fuel from the woods, William Penn, at least on one occasion, 
purchased English coal at forty shillings per ton. And the 
repeated mention of Irish and Rhode Island butter, proves 
that our market had not then acquired its reputation for that 
delicious article. Tea, coffee, and chocolate, though at the 
beginning of the last century very common beverages in Eng- 
land, were not much in use in Pennsylvania. The family of 
the Proprietary were occasionally obliged to send to New 
York, by the postman, for coffee ; and on one occasion paid 


IBs. 9d. for a pound of the berry. Chocolate was several 
times procured at Philadelphia but I do not find that any 
tea was purchased for the family, although, as a teapot is 
mentioned in the catalogue of goods at Pennsbury, they had, 
it is probable, brought with them a supply. It appears not 
to have been for sale in Philadelphia during the first years 
of the century, though it was occasionally sent here friftEng- 
land in small quantities by William Penn as presents to his 
friends, and particularly James Logan, who also writes to 
England for a supply, and, as he says, had become a great 
drinker of it as early as 1703. 

In examining the inventory of the Proprietor's effects at 
Pennsbury and Philadelphia, I find that his table furniture 
was of a very handsome description. It includes a great num- 
ber of damask table cloths and napkins; a "suite of Tun- 
bridge ware," besides blue and white china, and a supply of 
silver which even now would be considered remarkable, in 
which even eight silver forks are mentioned, a refinement at 
that time little known in England, though common in Italy 
from the age of the Medici.* I would not, however, repre- 
sent that William Perm brought with him to this country a 
service of plate : That would have been, indeed, incongruous 
with his professions, his position, and his fortune. Dishes and 
plates, not of silver, but of pewter, were spread on the table 
of the Proprietor. The rest of the furniture of the two houses 
was all that comfort required. Mahogany was not then 
known, and the spider tables, and high-backed carved chairs 
were then of solid oak, or of the darker walnut. 

Ilia clomi natas nostraque ex arbore mensas 
Tempora viderunt. 

He had one set of Turkey worked chairs, arm-chairs, and 
couches with cushions of plush and satin : and in the second 
parlour a great leathern chair, no doubt the Proprietor's fa- 

* See Ben Jonson, in one of whose plays a travelled exquisite of the days 
of Elizabeth, is ridiculed for introducing-, from Italy, the use of silver forks. 


vourite seat. Why was it not transmitted to our times, or at 
least the fashion of it? The great leathern chair of Voltaire 
is now imitated all over the world. What a zest it would 
add to our comforts if, while reposing in an easy well stuffed 
chair, we knew we were following a fashion invented, or ap- 
proved by the Founder of our State ? 

CuAjns of satin, or damask, or camlet, or striped linen, 
were hung in each room, according to its dignity. I find, also,, 
mention of a carpet in one apartment, but it appears rather 
to have been the covering of a table than a floor; indeed at 
that period it was a luxury little known in Europe; and at 
the present day, on the continent, is not universal, even in the 
palaces of princes. 

These particulars, which would otherwise be frivolous and 
tedious, are mentioned to prove that while William Perm and 
the contemporary writers of his sect declaim against " inex- 
cusable superfluities," and "unprofitable things of state," they 
did not mean to denounce the liberal expenses of a gentle- 
man, such as became his fortune and contributed to comforts, 
not to enervating luxury. He had heard of the apartments 
of the kings and mistresses at Whitehall, where all the fur- 
niture, even to the tables and bedsteads, were of curiously 
wrought and massive silver.* He had seen, as he says, " a 
ceiling of a room which cost half as much as the house." 
He had seen the national wealth squandered, the monarch 
only supporting his extravagance by the bribes of France. 
He had witnessed the private estates of honourable families 
ruined, in their efforts to vie with the splendours of the court ; 
and both public and private honour sacrificed in this shameful 
career of profligacy and expense. It was by this scene that 

* Vide Pepys' Diary for a description of Casllemaine's chamber. In an 
apartment at Knovvle, in Kent, the ancient seat of the Dukes of Dorset, the 
silver furniture of the time of Charles II. is still preserved. The tables, bed- 
steads, wardrobes, frames of glasses and pictures, &c. are covered with ex- 
quisitely wrought silver representing 1 animals, mythological figures, &c. in 
high relief. 


his good sense and principles were shocked ; it was at these 
vices that his denunciations were aimed ; but his whole life 
shows that he was willing to spend his income liberally in the 
support of his station as a gentleman* and his state as Pro- 
prietor of Pennsylvania. lie knew that the only true use of 
wealth is, to spend it : and though nothing should be wasted, 
he wished to "join with economy munificence;" and he only 
admits " that frugality is good, if liberality be joined with it." 

Of his liberality and charity, his cash book bears the most 
gratifying evidence. His daily movements may be traced by 
some act of benevolence recorded there. Excited by gene- 
rosity, or softened by pity, he thought not of his own neces- 
sities ; he measured not his income. Among his own beauti- 
ful maxims we find, " The saying is, that he who gives to the 
poor lends to the Lord : but it may be said not improperly, 
the Lord lends to us to give to the poor : They are at least 
partners by Providence with you, and have a right you must 
not defraud them of." How satisfactory is it after reading 
this to turn to the record of his daily expenses, and find, on 
every page, some such entry as these : " By charity given to 
a poor sailor in prison, per order, 15s. By expenses given a 
poor negro, per order, 2s. Nor were his gifts limited to sums 
like these. In cases of sickness or peculiar distress, two or 
three pounds, and even larger sums, are ordered to be given. 
There were several poor old persons who seem to have been 
regular pensioners, receiving their 50 shillings a (Quarter, or 
their 6 shillings per fortnight. The poor dependants on his 
bounty were never forgotten.' In his letters from England, in 
the midst of his complaints of the Assembly's niggardliness, 
he breaks off with such hints as these to his secretary, James 
Logan : " Pray remember poor Charles Jones' family in that 
farm, in the midst of other affairs." " Be kind to poor Lucy 
and the Dutchman." I will add but one instance of his cha- 
rity, and it is a striking one. We are told by Thomas-Story, 
that when the Proprietor arrived at Chester, on his return 
from England, some foolish young men wishing to testify their 


joy, by firing off an old cannon which had no doubt remained 
there from the time of the Swedish government the piece 
burst, and one of them lost his arm. His name is not men- 
tioned but, on turning to the cash book, we find in January 
this entry : " By expenses to B. Bevan, of Chester, who lost 
his arm, 10s. 8d." But the poor lad was careless of his wound, 
or unfortunate in his surgeon. Again and again we find him 
noticed in the cash book, and at last, on April 20th, we see 
these melancholy items entered in succession : By expenses 
for a woman watching with B. Bevan, 6s. By ditto to the 
grave digger, 3s. and 4d. By ditto to F. Jervais, in part of 
B. Be van's charges, 2. 10s. We cannot doubt the grief of 
our Proprietor at an event so sad, springing from the very 
joy and gladness diffused by his return to his people. 

His letters mention many poor, but respectable individu- 
als sent by him to this country, and-here supported partly, or 
entirely by him, until their own industry could secure them 
a respectable livelihood, and his own conduct fully exempli- 
fies his beautiful definition of liberality. " She finds out vir- 
tue in a low degree, and exalts it. She eases their burden, 
that labour hard to live. Many kind and generous spells 
such find at her hand that don't quite want, that she thinks 
worthy. The decayed are sure to hear of her. She takes 
one child, and puts out another, to lighten the loads of over- 
charged parents. More to the fatherless. She shows the 
value of services in her rewards, and is never debtor to kind- 
nesses, but will be creditor on all accounts; where another 
gives sixpence, the liberal man gives his shilling, and returns 
double the tokens he receives." 

He was particularly generous to the servants of his friends, 
when they brought from them a present of a deer, or a sheep, 
or a box of oranges, they never left his door, without half a 
crown for their trouble, and when he lodged at the houses of 
others, his presents to their children, and vails to their ser- 
vants, would have done credit to a richer man. After passing 
some time at Edward Shippens, he directed his Secretary to 


divide among four of the servants, 2. 12s. 8d., no incon- 
siderable sum in (hose times ; and, upon his arrival in the Can- 
terbury from England, he distributed among the ship's com- 
pany nearly six pounds, a handsome sum even in our days. 

I esteem these minute particulars both curious and valua- 
ble : while ready, as Proprietary, to make every sacrifice of 
interest or privilege, for the good of his colony, his purse was 
always open to the poor, and whatever he possessed was libe- 
rally shared with those dependent upon him. He may, I ad- 
mit, be charged with improvidence. It is, unfortunately, too 
true that 

of qualities deserving praise, 

More go to ruin fortunes, than to raise. 

Had he closely attended to his estate in Ireland, had he ne- 
glected none of his advantages in Pennsylvania, he would 
have prevented the villany of Philip Ford, escaped the mor- 
tification of imprisonment for debt, avoided many irritating 
difficulties with the colonists, and ended his life in wealth and 
comfort in his beloved province : but, we should have lost 
some of the brightest passages of his history, which relate, 
that neglecting his own affairs, expending lavishly his own 
fortune, he devoted himself, in the first place, to the planting 
of his colony, and securing its liberties and privileges, and, in 
the second, to the cause so dear to him, of liberty of conscience. 
While urging with the King the establishment of universal 
toleration, or pleading the cause of the misguided followers of 
Monmouth, or advocating the claims of Pennsylvania, before 
the Lords of Trade, he left his own affairs in the hands of a 
faithless steward, who, while he supported by his loans the 
generous expenditures of his master, was weaving his meshes 
around him, till at last the unsuspicious Penn was threatened 
with the loss of his mortgaged province ; that province which 
he had planted and reared with so much tenderness, for a 
paltry debt, infinitely beneath the sums he had expended in 
establishing it. He looked to America for relief: I would, for 


the honour of our ancestors, that I could say, he did not look 
in vain. It is truly discreditable to the colonists, that so far 
from easing the burden of debt, or contributing to the sup- 
port of that man, to whom they owed their peaceful homes, 
their religious liberties, and political privileges; so far from 
repaying any part of their obligations to him, who had sacri- 
ficed in their cause the best part of his life and wealth ; they 
were refusing payment of his rents, burdening his private 
estate with the support of public officers, and trying to strip 
him of the few proprietary privileges he had reserved. Listen 
to his own eloquent and touching complaint. 

" When it pleased God to open a way for me to settle that 
colony, 1 had reason to expect a solid comfort from the ser- 
vices done to so many hundreds of people ; and it was no 
small satisfaction to me, that I have not been disappointed in 
seeing them prosper and growing up to a flourishing country, 
blest with liberty, ease, and plenty, beyond what many of 
themselves could expect ; and wanting nothing to make them- 
selves happy, but what, with a right temper of mind and pru- 
dent conduct, they might give themselves. But, alas ! as to 
my part, instead of reaping the like advantages, some of the 
greatest of my troubles have arose from thence : the many 
combats I have engaged in ; the great pains, and incredible 
expence, for your welfare and ease, to the decay of my for- 
mer estate ; of which (however some there would represent 
it) I too sensibly feel the effects ; with the undeserved oppo- 
sition I have met with from thence, sink me into sorrow, that, 
if not supported by a superior hand, might have overwhelmed 
me long ago. And I cannot but think it hard measure,. that 
while that has proved a land of freedom, and flourishing, it 
should become to me, by whose means it was principally made 
a country, the cause of grief, trouble, and poverty." And 
again, after recapitulating some of his services to the colo- 
nists, he thus contrasts them with their return: 

u The attacks on my reputation, the many indignities put 
upon me, in papers sent over hither, into the hands of those 


who could not be expected to make the most discreet and 
charitable use of them; the secret insinuations against my 
justice, besides the attempt made upon my estate ; resolves 
past in the assemblies, for turning my quit rents, never sold by 
me, to the support of government ; my lands entered upon, 
without any regular method; my manors invaded, (under 
pretence I had not duly surveyed them) and both these by 
persons principally concerned in these attempts against me 
here ; a right to my overplus lands, unjustly claimed by the 
possessors of the tracts in which they are found ; my private 
estate continually exhausting, for the support of that govern- 
ment, both here and there ; and no provision made for it by 
that country; to all which I caimot but add, the violence 
that has been particularly shown to my Secretary ; of which 
I cannot but thus far take notice, that, from all those charges 
I have seen, or heard of against him, I have cause to believe, 
that had he been as much in opposition to me, as he has been 
understood to stand for me, he might have met with a milder 
treatment from his prosecutors ; and to think, that any man 
should be more exposed there, on my account, and instead of 
finding favour, meet with enmity, for his being engaged in my 
service, is a melancholy consideration ! In short, when I re- 
flect on all these heads, of which I have so much cause to 
complain, and at the same time think of the hardships, I and 
my suffering family have been reduced to, in no small mea- 
sure owing to my endeavours for, and disappointments from 
that province, I cannot but mourn the unhappiness of my 
portion dealt to me from those, of whom I had reason to ex- 
pect much better and different things." 

Yet, with a patience, which injuries could not exhaust, with 
a benevolence that ingratitude could not chill, he still thought 
with fondness of the flock he had gathered, and led to Ameri- 
ca ; still looked at Pennsylvania, as his haven of rest." 

And still had hopes, his long- vexations past, 
Here to return and fix his home at last. 


All his directions to his Steward, James Harrison, seem to 
look to a permanent establishment at Pennsbury ; and even 
after his second departure, he directs the improvements to 
be continued, and the gardens and house preserved. Though, 
upon the visit of his son, who he hoped would learn to love 
Pennsylvania, and establish himself in the province, which 
was then his destined inheritance ; the proprietor thought of 
resigning the Manor House to his son's family, and placing 
himself nearer to the capital, and hints that it " would be 
acceptable if the Town would be so kind as to build me a 
pretty box like Edward Shippens, upon any of my lots in 
town, or purchase Griffith Owen's, or T. Fairman's, or any 
near healthy spot as Wicaco, or the like, for Pennsbury will 
hardly accommodate my son's family and mine, unless en- 
larged." And in another letter says to James Logan, " Thou 
urgest my return, but alas! how is it good sense to save my 
estate here, to discharge debts, and eat up what I have there, 
as the best returns? But I want water ; launch my vessel ; 
think of that. If I am not worthy of a house,, in or near the 
town, as Griffith Owen's, T. Fairman's, or Daniel Pegg's,. or 
the like, that 500 of your money may purchase for my re- 
ception, and at least 500 per annum, to live there, besides 
my own rents ; I have spent all my days, money, and pains, 
and interest, to a mean purpose. Think of this, and impart 
it ; they will all get by it, as well as myself."* But if James 
Logan ever conveyed the hint to the colonists, it certainly 
was not taken by them. The house built afterwards at 
Springetsbury, was erected at the expense of his sons, and 
no appropriation was made for his relief. It was, perhaps, 
too much, to expect generosity from a community chiefly of 
hard-working mechanics, who had but little money, and lived 

* It was but little that he asked for; the greater shame to the colonists, 
that they complied not with a request so reasonable. Nearly 20 years be- 
fore, he thus wrote to his steward, James Harrison: " The countty thinks not 
upon my supply, and I resolve never to act the Governor, and keep another 
family and capacity, upon my private estate. If my table, cellar, and sta- 
ble, may be provided for, with a barge and yacht, or sloop for the service of 


with the utmost frugality ; who could neither appreciate the 
tastes, nor measure the necessities of those born and educated 
in a higher sphere than their own; but we cannot but be sur- 
prised, that the conduct of the Proprietary had not inspired 
them with unbounded con6dence and gratitude ; that, owing 
every thing to him, they were not anxious to prevent his 
wants, and gratify his every wish. 

During his last visit, William Penn's town residence was 
" the old Slate House," still standing in Second Street, op- 
posite to the bank of Pennsylvania. But he was chiefly at 
his Manor House of Pennsbury, in Bucks county, a building 
which, owing to neglect, went to premature decay, and was 
pulled down a short time before our revolutionary war. Mr. 
Watson, in the second volume of our Memoirs, describes a 
visit made to its site, a few years ago, but he could do little 
more than trace the foundations of the edifice, 

Sunk were its bowers in shapeless ruin all, 
And the tall grass o'ertopt the moulding wall. 

A landscape view of it, is probably preserved in England; for, 
in 1686, William Penn wrote to his steward for " a draught 
of Pennsbury, which an artist would quickly take, w r ith the 
landscape of the house ; out-buildings ; their proportion, and 
distance, one from another ; the river, gardens, and orchards, 
&c." And repeating his request, in another letter adds, 
" there are those there that can do it ;" which may be men- 
tioned as the earliest proof that any of the inhabitants of 
Pennsylvania were skilled in the arts of design. We may, 
perhaps, indulge the hope of procuring from Mr. Penn this 
interesting drawing. In the mean time, some interest may 
be found in such a description of the house, and grounds, as 
1 have been able to collect, from the various manuscript au- 

the Governor, and government, I may try to gett hence. For in the sight of 
God, I can say, I am five thousand pounds and more behindhand, more than 
ever I received or saw, for land in that province, and to be so baffled by the 
merchants, is very discouraging. 


thorities, to which 1 am indebted for the facts in the present 

The principal mansion was about 60 feet in front, facing 
the river. It was two stories in height, and of brick. Its 
appearance was, it is said, stately, and it was entered by a 
handsome porch and steps. On the first floor was a large 
hall, probably the whole length of the house, used on public 
occasions for the meeting of the council, and the entertain- 
ment of strangers, and the Indians ; a little hall, and at least 
three parlors, all wainscoted, and communicating by folding- 
doors. On the roof was a large leaden reservoir, for water, 
to the leakage of which, is attributed, in part, the ruin of the 
mansion. The outhouses, which were uniform, and facing in a 
line with the house, were 1st, a kitchen and larder; 2d, a wash- 
house; 3d, a house for brewing, and baking ; and 4th, a stable 
for twelve horses: all these one story and a half high. The Man- 
sion House was seated on a moderate eminence, made a pe- 
ninsula by the Welcome creek, which was crossed by several 
bridges. A broad walk through an avenue of poplars led to the 
river, descending from the upper terrace to the lower grounds 
by a flight of steps. The house was surrounded with gar- 
dens and lawns ; and the more distant woods were opened in 
vistas, looking down the river, and upwards to the Falls. 
These woods had been laid out in walks, at the Proprietor's 
first visit, and the preservation of the trees is enjoined in 
several of his letters. He had some thoughts " of running 
a pale across the neck, half way towards the south point, for 
the beginning of a park," but, we have no reason to think 
that this plan was executed. He was anxious about the 
rearing, of cattle, and designed the neighbouring island for 
feeding " young cattle, and a studd of mares." But he does 
not seem to have had much of the knowledge of a farmer, 
and his chief care and solicitude are about his gardens. He 
sent out several gardeners, one of them a Scotchman, re- 
commended as " a rare artist." He directs, that he shall 
have three men under him, and, if he cannot agree with the 


old gardener Ralph, is to leave to his charge, the upper gar-> 
dens, and court yards, and to take as his own province the 
lower grounds, The Proprietor sent out from England, wal- 
nuts, hawthorns, hazels, fruit trees, and a great variety of 
the rarest seeds, and roots ; while in this country, (as we 
learn from the cash book,) he procured from Maryland, se- 
veral panniers of the trees, and shrubs, indigenous in that 
province, and he directed, by his letters, that the most beau- 
tiful wild flowers of the woods should be transplanted into 
his grounds. On the whole, his directions indicate a love of 
nature, and elegance of taste, which are very remarkable. 
While we peruse the letters of William Penn, we may be- 
lieve that Pennsbury was truly a delightful seat ; but of its 
charms not one trace remains ; its woods are destroyed, its 
lawns are corn fields, not one shrub, not one " garden flower 
grown wild" survives: a few English cherries, and some stumps 
of ornamental trees, were all that Mr. Watson could trace 
of the glories of the garden.* 

At his manor of Springetsbury, which covered the larger 
part of Penn Township, he had no mansion 5^ the villa, to 
the north of Bush Hill, of which we may all recollect the 
stables, green-house, and shrubbery, was built by his son 
Thomas about a century ago ; but on the same estate, to the 
northward, a vineyard was planted by his directions, which 
gave its name to the estate now covered by the village of 
Francisville ; though, according to old draughts, an eminence 
nearer the Schuylkill (perhaps on the site of Pratt' s Garden) is 
denominated " Old Vineyard Hill." There he established a per- 
son skilled in the culture of the vine, whom he had sent for 
from France, and supported at considerable expense, having 
much at heart the making of wine in his province. The fol- 
lowing are extracts from his letters on this subject : " I writ, 
that regard should be had to Andrew Doze about the vine- 
In 1705, he writes, If Pennsbuiy has cost me one penny, it has cost me 
above 5000/., and it was with an intention to settle there ; though God has 
been pleased to order it otherwise. 1 should have returned to it, in 1686, or 
at farthest, in 1689. 


yard: I know it is a charge ; but if wine can be made, it will 
be worth the province thousands by the year; for many French- 
men are disheartened by the Carolinians.* In seven years 
there would be hundreds of vineyards, if the experiment takes, 
and I understand by Patrick Lloyd and Dr. More, that he pro- 
duced ripe grapes the 28th of the fifth month, '86, when the 
roots were but fifteen or sixteen months planted. 'Tis an high 
character of the country, and Andrew Doze, I am told, sayd 
he deserved the place, paying me only an acknowledgement 
in wine." And, in another letter, he says, "All the vines sent 
in this vessel are intended for Andrew on the Schuylkill for 
the vineyard. I could have been glad of a taste last year, as I 
hear he made some." Whether he long persisted in the ex- 
periment I cannot tell ; it was, however, it seems probable, 
abandoned, at farthest, at his second visit in 1699, and is only 
one of many examples to prove, that, in this country, wine 
is not to be expected from the foreign grapes. 

Thus was the mind of the Proprietor, in the midst of the 
tumults of parties, and the whirlwind of revolution, occupied 
about the advancement of agriculture, in his colony. Most 
of the emigrants were husbandmen, and he esteemed it their 
happiness. He lived a country life, and would recommend 
it to his children, " The country," says he, " is the philo- 
sopher's garden and library, in which he reads and contem- 
plates the power, wisdom, and goodness of God. It is his 
food, as well as study, and gives him life, as well as learning." 
And in his parting instructions to his wife, he enjoins : " Let 
my children be husbandmen, and housewives; it is industri- 
ous, healthy, honest, and of good report. This leads to con- 
sider the works of God, and diverts the mind from being 

* "William Penn also gave the means of emigration to a respectable French 
Protestant, Charles De la Noue, who promised to undertake the culture of the 
vine. Could he have been a descendant of that model of cavaliers, that rare 
union of genius, honour, courage, and piety, Francois De la Noue, the Hugue- 
not captain, more admirable in every particular than Bayard; but, perhaps, 
eclipsed, which the latter was not, by the more brilliant qualities of his 


taken up with the vain arts and inventions of a luxurious 
world. Of cities and towns of concourse, beware. The 
world is apt to stick close to those who have lived, and get 
wealth there : a country life and estate, I love best for my 

With such views, he, in 1703, sent to Pennsylvania his son 
William. During the absence of his father, this young man 
had been drawn into all the fashionable dissipations of the 
day. Distinguished as the eldest son of the Proprietor of 
Pennsylvania, he was sought for, by the first people in Lon- 
don, and as his father says, " he had wit, kept the top com- 
pany^ pretended to much honour, was but over generous by 
half, and sharp enough to get to spend, and must be handled 
with much love and wisdom." In short, the society of coffee- 
houses and taverns, then the usual resort of the Wits,* and 
the fashionable saloons of London, perhaps not less corrupt- 
ing, had formed in him habits, not only inconsistent with his 
father's principles ; but even, perhaps, debasing to him, as a 
gentleman. Distinguished for good nature, and a yielding tem- 
per, he could not withstand the temptations to which he was 
exposed; and when our excellent Proprietor returned to Eng- 
land in 1702, he found his eldest son, the hope of his house, 
travelling rapidly the road to ruin and disgrace. How deeply 
he felt this, may be seen in his letters to his secretary Logan; 
to whose care and guidance he committed this son, when he 
prevailed on him to tear himself away from his dangerous, 
though fascinating associations ; hoping that an honest pride 
of name, good example, simple and virtuous pleasures, and 
an interest in the affairs of the colony, he was then destined 
to govern, might win him back to sobriety and virtue. 

* At Philadelphia, too, it was then the usage of gentlemen to meet their 
friends at a tavern. Business rarely occupied the afternoon, and at the 
White Hart Inn, the most reputable in the place, were generally to be found 
some of the most respectable persons of the province, with their pipes and 
bottle, enjoying that easy and unrestrained conversation, which they would 
perhaps have found no where else. 



" Take him," says he, " immediately away to Pennsbury, 
and there give him the true state of things, and weigh down 
his levities, as well as temper his resentments, and inform 
his understanding, since all depends upon it, as well for his 
future happiness, as, in measure, the poor country's. I pro- 
pose Governor Hamilton, Samuel Carpenter, Isaac Norris, 
young Shippen, and the best, and most civilized of others, 
for his conversation, and I hope Colonel Markham, and cou- 
sin Ashton, and the Fairmans may come in for a share, but 
the first chiefly- Watch him, outwill him, and honestly over- 
reach him for his good. Fishing, little journeys, (as to see 
the Indians, &c.,) will divert him ; no rambling to New York, 
nor mungrill correspondence. Entreat friends to bear all they 
can, and melt towards him, at least civilly, if not religiously ; 
he will confide in thee. If Samuel Carpenter, Richard Hill, 
and Isaac Norris, could gain his confidence, and tender Grif- 
fith Owen, (not the least likely, for he feels and sees,) I should 
rejoice. Pennsylvania has cost me dearer in my poor child, 
than in all other considerations. The Lord direct his ways 
for his honour, his father's comfort, and his own peace ; may 
thou have the religious authority, and persuasiveness with 
him, to balance against passion, levity, and too great open- 
ness. He has excelling qualities, with his lessening infirmi- 
ties." And, again : " He aims to improve his study, this win- 
ter with thee, as well as to know the country, the laws and 
people, and his interests and mine therein ; use thy utmost 
influence upon him, to make him happy in himself, and me 
in him. Pray watch over him for good ; qualify his heats, 
inform his judgment, increase his knowledge; he has a more 
than ordinary opinion of thee, advise him to proper company; 
give him fitting hints how far to go, he being naturally 
too open, and prevent his quarrelling with our enemies, an 
advantage they may improve to our prejudice. In short, 
keep him inoffensively employed, at those times that he is not 
profitably concerned. Let the first be the country, its laws, 
and constitutions, and the settlement of the town, and coun- 


ties ; then study, with intervals, in the woods, and upon the 
Caters. Be as much as possible with him, and let him not 
be at any public house after the allowed hours, nor keep any 
expense at Pennsbury, in entertainments, &c." But alas, his 
good father was in this instance, as in so many others, des- 
tined to have a cruel disappointment. James Logan devoted 
himself to him as his mentor; they went to Pennsbury to- 
gether, the young Proprietor received the affectionate wel- 
come of the Indians, and at Philadelphia established them- 
selves in a good style, at Clark's great house. The principal 
friends of his father noticed him with kindness, letters from 
Philadelphia say " he is generally well received, and seldom 
fails of drawing love where he comes." His natural sweet- 
ness of temper, and inclination to what is good are spoken of; 
but the good influence he was under at first, was not lasting. 
Encouraged by the imprudent and dissipated Governor Evans, 
and a few others, he fell into his old habits, which soon be- 
coming notorious in so small a place, brought him into dis- 
grace and trouble. Having lost the respect of all the better 
parts of society here, he remained not much longer in Ameri- 
ca, but returned with mortified pride to England, where he 
rapidly sank each day deeper into the slough of dissipation; 
and having deserted his wife and friends, and imbittered the 
last years of reason of his excellent father, died a few years 
after him in France.* 

William Penn was not destined to see a son grow up 
an honour to his name and credit to his care. His first born, 
Springet, died at the age of twenty, a youth of the finest 
genius, and most admirable virtues ; the father's beautiful 
memorial of this son is to be found in his works. His three 
youngest sons were still small, when their father's intellect 

* While in Pennsylvania, young- William Penn, openly professed his dis- 
union from the Society of Friends ; on his return to England, to the great 
affliction of his father, he declared his intention of entering- the army, or 
navy, and finally stood as a candidate for Parliament, but failed in carrying 
his election ; all these were doubtless expedients for avoiding his creditors, 
who pressed him sorely, and obliged him to fly to the continent. 


became clouded, and his power of instruction taken away. 
Whether Hannah Penn attended to his admirable directions, 
for the education of his elder children, I know not. Her 
limited means would hardly permit her to follow out his gene- 
rous views, contained in the following extract : " Let their 
learning be liberal, spare no cost, for by such parsimony all 
is lost that is saved." Of the eldest and youngest, John and 
Richard, we know little; Thomas was bred a merchant, and 
had excellent business habits and talents, though he did not 
continue to pursue commerce. By the death and will of 
John, becoming Proprietor of three fourths of the province, 
he was chiefly occupied with its affairs, and he fulfilled his 
charge with good sense, liberality, and honour. 

I could wish, that Clarkson had printed the whole of Wil- 
liam Penn's "Rules for the Regulation of his Family." Though 
they chiefly concern the government and conduct of his ser- 
vants, they would have been altogether interesting, and would 
have assisted me in the faint picture I have presented of his 
domestic life. What is, however, quoted in the Memoirs of 
William Penn is important, and, as rules of conduct, might be 
placed with those of his admirable Enchiridion. Regularity, 
modesty, and temperance, are simply and forcibly enjoined, 
and even in his industrious disposition of hours, the greatness 
of his mind is shown. 

Family devotion commenced and ended every day. We 
can well imagine this patriarchal scene, where this good man, 
surrounded by his family and servants, offered up his daily 
prayers and services to God ; a usage once common in the 
households of country gentlemen in England: I would I could 
believe it had many followers in modern times, and in our 
own country. Our churches are, indeed, crowded on the first 
day of the week, but pride, or the fear of the world, may 
carry thither the modern Pharisee. Our preachers may boldly 
defend the faith, and vehemently denounce the follies and 
pleasures of the world ; but lust of power, vanity, hypo- 
crisy, may lurk in the bosom of the Elder. Prayers may 


be offered in the privacy of the closet, yet is it possible to pro- 
tect them from selfishness 1 But, in the humble offering of a 
whole family, where the master and servant kneel side by 
side, and the world sees us not, neither pride of rank, nor 
vanity of attainments, nor sectarian bigotry, nor single inter- 
ests can enter. Or, if in an exercise so endearing, so knitting 
together of hearts, any thing of selfishness enters, it is so re- 
fined and elevated, that it no longer deserves that name. 

Let it be borne in mind, that three times in every day was 
assembled for religious duties the family of William Penn ; 
and if there be any who have been shocked at the picture of 
his worldliness (if they call it so) that I have presented, I ask 
them only to look into their own hearts, and inquire whether 
they have as often even thought of their Creator in the daily 
revolution of the sun ; to search their own memories, and see 
if in their life they have done half the good to their fellow 

Had William Penn been only a despised and persecuted 
dissenter, I would not boast of his consistency. Had he al- 
ways lived in ascetic seclusion, I would not praise his mode- 
ration and temperance. But, as the associate of statesmen, 
the counsellor of princes, the friend of the worldly and the 
witty, he was neither dazzled by splendour, nor seduced by 
pleasure ; enjoying rank and influence, his heart stood the test 
of prosperity, as well as it sustained the trials of persecution 
and adversity. Concerned in affairs of state, he was guilt- 
less of intrigue ; possessed of power, he was never arbitrary ; 
prodigal in his expenses, but only for the public good ; in 
want of money, he was still a patriot. Such was the Foun- 
der of Pennsylvania. When we turn from his public career 
to his private life, his virtues offer a picture not less delightful, 
which I should haye pride and pleasure in attempting, had I 
not found, in the Testimony of Reading meeting in England, a 
character of William Penn, so beautiful and so complete, that 
I could not hope to equal it ; and as it is the evidence of his 
contemporaries and neighbours, who knew him last and best, 


and has the sanction of a religious society, proverbially scru- 
pulous in their eulogies, I will read it to you entire, and with 
it shall conclude. 

After speaking of his death and funeral, the memorial con- 
tinues : 

" He was a man of great abilities of an excellent sweet- 
ness of disposition quick of thought, and of ready utterance, 
full of the qualifications of true discipleship, even * love, 
without dissimulation :' As extensive in charity, as compre- 
hensive in knowledge, and to whom malice and ingratitude 
were utter strangers ; so ready to forgive enemies, that the 
ungrateful were not excepted." 

" Had not the management of his temporal affairs been at- 
tended with some deficiencies, envy itself would be to seek 
for matter of accusation ; and even in charity, that part of 
his conduct may be attributed to a peculiar sublimity of mind; 
notwithstanding which, he may, without straining his charac- 
ter, be ranked among the learned, the good, and the great ; 
whose abilities are sufficiently manifested throughout his la- 
borious writings, which are so many lasting monuments of 
his admired qualifications, and are the esteem of learned and 
judicious men among all persuasions." 

" And although, in old age, by reason of some shocks of a 
violent distemper, his intellects were much impaired ; yet his 
sweetness and loving disposition surmounted its utmost efforts, 
and remained, when reason almost failed.** 

" In fine he was learned, without vanity apt, without for- 
wardness facetious in conversation, yet weighty and seri- 
ous of an extraordinary greatness of mind, yet void of 
the stain of ambition as free from rigid gravity, as he was 
clear of unseemly levity a man a scholar a friend a 
minister, surpassing in speculative endowments whose me- 
morial will be valued with the wise, and blessed with the 


IF the particulars dwelt on in the preceding pages, now appear 
trivial and of no interest, they will, at least, if preserved in the 
Transactions of the Historical Society, grow into importance, as 
the period and manners they illustrate shall, in the progress of 
time, become more distantly removed; and when William Penn 
and his followers shall be considered as ancient as Columbus and 
his companions are by our generation, we shall, perhaps, be 
thanked by our successors for handing down to them a descrip- 
tion of his dress and a record of his expenses. 

With this view I add, as an appendix, the following additional 
excerpts from the cash book. 

The whole expenses of William Penn from November, 1699, 
to the same month in 1701, amounted to ^62,049, Pennsylvania 

The servants of William Penn, named in the cash book, are 
Mary Lofty, housekeeper; Ann Nichols, cook; John Sotcher, 
steward at Pennsbury; Hugh Sharp, gardener; Robert Beek- 
ham, man servant; Dorothy Mullars, a German maid, and Dor- 
cas, a negrine. These do not appear to have been the whole of 
the establishment. There were evidently no slaves at Penns- 
bury, contemporary with the cash book, except such as were 
hired of their masters for a limited period. 



The following list of prices will give some idea of the relative 
expenses of the times. It consists of extracts from the cash book, 
beginning in November, 1699. 

Coal per ton, . . 

Wood for 10 cords, 

Cheese per pound, 

Cider per barrel, . 

Lime, for 6 bushels, 

Oil per barrel, . . 

A barrel of olives, 

Molasses, 1 hhd. at 
per gallon, . 

Oats per bushel, . 

Load of hay, . . 

Cranberries per bu- 
shel, .... 

Sugar per pound, 

Candles 3 1-2 do- 
zen, .... 

Candles 70 pounds 
wt. from Boston, 

Pr. of leather stock- 

Pr. of stockings for 
Governor Penn, 

Pr. for a servant, 

For dressing the Go- 
vernor's hat, . 

Ton of flour, . 

A quarter of beef 
146lb. per pound, 

A hog, .... 

A labouring man's hire varied from 2s. 6d. to 4s. per diem. 

To judge of these prkes, it is important to know what was the 
provincial currency, and this I cannot exactly ascertain; but 
the guinea of gold usually sold for l. 13s. ; though sometimes 
for 32s. The pound sterling is in one place estimated at 30s. 
currency. The English crown at 8s.; while the dollar varied 
from 6s. to 6s. 2(L; and the piece of 8, from 7s. 4d. to 7s. Sd. 








A deer, .... 






Cocoa nuts for 20 


pounds, . . . 





Sherry wine per do- 


zen, .... 




Canary wine per do- 


zen, .... 



A barrel ofgunpow- 





A horse bought of 


J. Janney, . . 


A boat for the plan- 


tation, . . . 




Cook's wages for a 




year, .... 
Wire cage with a 


cistern, . . /^ 




Six chairs, . . . 



Six cushions to 



Claus Berents, 


A chest of drawers,* 



Coat fora labouring 



man, .... 


A farrier at New 



Castle for cure of 


a horse, . 


A lawyer's fee to T. 


Clark, . . . 





A painted skin, . 


* A wedding present from Lzetitia to Mary Lofty, the housekeeper, on 
her marriage to John Sotcher. 





BERLIN 1872. 

C. G. LODEBITZ'sche Verlagsbuchhandhmg. 

25 Schoneberger Strasse 25. 




14 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. 


67 Rue Richelieu. 

1 HE great national war forced upon us by our restless western 
neighbours, which interrupted so suddenly and unexpectedly the 
quiet intellectual pursuits of our people in so many depart- 
ments of human knowledge and understanding, disturbed them 
also in the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of one of the greatest heroes of German art. Ludwig 
van Beethoven was born 1 , as it is now proved , on the 1 6 th 
December 1770 at Bonn. Our great composer was consequently 
a citizen of that old German territory on the leftbank of the 
Rhine, the possession of which the French, indulging in their 
desire of depredation had set as the goal of their so mali- 
ciously declared agressive war. Beethoven, the youngest bro- 
ther of the three founders and perfecters of German Sym- 
phony; Beethoven, the pupil of Haydn, the friend of Goethe, 
and the composer of Schiller's "Ode to Joy" a French- 
man! It may be said, that the presumption and ignorance of 
the French is the only explanation of the naivete with which 
they wished to incorporate a people, whose inclinations are 
entirely German and who reject every idea of becoming French. 
In this way alone is the audacity to be understood, with which 
they stretched out their hands for a land, which, as the names 
Freiherr von Stein and Goethe 2 (who, it is notoriously known, 

1872. I. 2. (45) A2 

4 Quarterly German Magazine. 

called himself a Rhinelander), Guttenberg, Beethoven, Rubens 
and Cornelius prove, has contributed so much to the ripening 
of the noblest fruits of German and Low German cultivation. 

As we were not able to celebrate Beethoven's hundredth 
birthday at the right time, and as now our German Father- 
land, arising rejuvenized from the clash of battle, drives all 
other interests into the back ground, we can first think of 
celebrating a national festival, such as would be worthy the 
memory of our master, when the storm of war is hushed. Till 
then let us be permitted to discuss in a few words, the im- 
portance of one of the greatest composers of all times, al- 
though the most appropriate manner of honouring him would 
be in musical strains. 

In the first place, we must consider it a peculiar mis- 
fortune, that the master, who fought such victorious battles 
in the sphere of the internal world of melody, should have 
had to suffer so much, not only in life, but after death. We 
often meet with a kind of irony, particularly in the fate of 
those geniuses, who have climbed the highest steps of that 
heavenly ladder which leads to the ideal world. We need 
only call to memory Mozart and Schiller. The life of Bee- 
thoven like that of the above named intellectual heroes, makes 
on us the impression, as if the contemptible working-day world, 
would, as it were, revenge itself on the idealists, and cast a 
stumbling block in all their paths; because those men, setting 
it at defiance, have effected in the minds of mankind, the 
adoption of higher intellectual ideas. "These are the tiny Spi- 
rits, that wait on me," Mephistophiles would say if the dis- 
course turned upon the almost daily untoward events which 
like to confront talent. 

It is well known, that Beethoven was never free from 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 5 

domestic and pecuniary troubles, that his brothers recom- 
pensed his interest in them in the most wicked manner, so 
that even his unfinished manuscripts were not secure from 
their greed of gain. The worst, that could well happen to a 
composer, befell him, his difficulty of hearing increased to 
absolute deafness. The loneliness of his home, in which were 
missing a loving wife and children, the black ingratitude of 
his adopted nephew, for whom he had made the greatest 
personal sacrifices, only to experience disgrace from him, con- 
summate the sad picture of Beethoven's artistical mortal pilgrim- 
age. But this is not all, a fatality rests on everything con- 
nected with the artist's name after his death. 

Schindler must write his life, whilst Otto Jahn, who had 
for twenty years unweariedly collected materials for a bio- 
graphy of Beethoven, died before he had set pen to paper 3 . 
Haehnel 4 , who was in other respects a renowned sculptor, 
must just fail in Beethoven's statue, and carve his most de- 
ficient portrait. In the year 1845, on the unveiling of this 
statue, a Rhine steam boat decorated with Beethoven's name, 
was stranded almost at the beginning ,of its voyage on the Lo- 
relei rock ; and the Hall, which was being erected by voluntary 
contributions to celebrate Beethoven's hundredth birthday, was 
transformed into a hospital for wounded soldiers. And as 
a finishing stroke, the audacity of the Parisians, who the 
serious position of their fatherland has not reformed, lately 
named one of their new camions Beethoven, which was only 
cast for the purpose of being fired on his countrymen. But 
an evil star seems to rule in a more serious and important 
manner over those efforts, which since Beethoven's death 
especially assume the right to unite themselves with his name. 
In order that this allusion may not be misunderstood, it ap- 


6 Quarterly German Magazine. 

pears necessary to keep in view and estimate the powerful 
master's relation to his predecessors as well as to his contem- 
poraries and followers. From this results a general picture of 
his position and importance in the history of Art and Civi- 

Music is certainly the youngest of the arts 5 . Classic 
Antiquity only knew music as the hand-maid of poetry, and 
even when, as in performances of certain Virtuosi, it seems 
to assert itself as an independent art, it is not so in reality. 
We have here more to do with the sensitive charm of sound 
and the playfulness of a developed execution, which is gene- 
rally admired for. its own sake, than with the internal and 
ethical effect of music. 

A new era in the historical growth of Music, began with 
the propagation of Christianity. Notwithstanding the subordi- 
nation of the individual to the community and State, which 
was strictly exacted by the ancients, it was possible, in Greece, 
for a few aspiring men, to retain their independence of mind ; 
whilst the subordinacy under the government of theRomans 
and the Universal State founded by them, increased to abso- 
lutism, which made the individual with all his subjective 
thoughts, intentions and feelings, when opposed to the whole, 
not only almost disappear, but in the majority of cases, en- 
slaved and degraded him both mentally and physically. It 
may with all truthfulness be asserted, that the age of the 
Roman Empire was one of the epochs most unfavourable to 
the development of Music. It is therefore pre-eminently a 
modern art, as it requires less an abstract or theoretic free- 
dom in the State, in order to attain to its full and unrestrained 
perfection, than the unimpeded development of the subject and 
his innate individual and personal perception of the Universe. 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 7 

The propagation of Christianity was the first step to this 
condition. It restored to the individual, even among the most 
servile people under the yoke of Roman despotism, his free- 
dom of mind, action and conscience. 

If we keep this in mind, we can understand, why almost 
immediately after the spreading of Christian influendfc, Music 
began to raise its head in a manner till then unprecedented. 
We may say with full historic right, that the rise in the 
development of Music, which invested it with freedom through 
which it obtained a position equal to that of the other arts, 
almost kept step with the progressive extension of Christianity. 
We see from this, that freedom in its highest sense, freedom 
in the acknowledgement of the ideal laws of Nature, freedom 
of personal development, and therefore of personal conviction, 
perception and volition, is the condition requisite for the real 
growth of Music as an independent art. 

This fact is of great importance with respect to Ludwig 
van Beethoven, for in him we encounter one of those power- 
ful personalities, whose whole being is founded on the idea 
of freedom. He hated intensely every kind of slavery. His 
whole life and artistic labours were a struggle for the realisation 
and representation of high ideals, whether he found them 
in Plato's Republic, in a personal and clear perception of 
the Divine, freed from all rigid dogma, or with Schiller in that 
general love of mankind, which declares itself in the poet's 
dithyrambic outcry 

"Millions take my embrace, 

To mankind I give this kiss ! " * 

"Seid umschlungen, Millionen, 
"Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!" 


Quarterly Oermem Magazine. 

The lofty position, which Music had taken, incited by 
Christian influence, was in course of time, the origin of the 
production of three special kinds of musical art. They are the 
same which we perceive in the nearly allied sister art of Poetry > 
i. e. the epic, dramatic and lyric style. Whilst however Poetry 
has atta&ed its highest importance and position in the epic and 
dramatic style, so that even an epic trait and humour is to 
be recognised in the earliest lyric effusions of the oldest na- 
tions, there appears in the Lyric and the lyrical style of 
Music, that innermost spirit, in which it chiefly differs from 
the other arts. Thence it is also, that Poetry, when it is 
wholly lyrical, as for example in songs, approaches Music as 
nearly as possible, while on the contrary, its nearest relation 
to Poetry consists in the epic and dramatic style. 

It follows from this, that eminent composers stand in 
some respect in a different relation to their art, according to 
whether they exercise their creative talents in the periphery 
of epic and dramatic expression, or move in the world of 
lyrical tone. The first-named composer will appear, if we re- 
gard him from the point of view of an absolute emancipation 
of Music from the other arts , as a less specific musician 
than the latter. On this account it is highly important in order 
to obtain a knowledge of the position, which Beethoven took 
among the heroes of Music, to be able to say of him, that 
he brought the lyrical style and form of expression to their 
widest, loftiest and most powerful eloquence, ) As Music, as 
an independent art (and this it has been, since it attained the 
unimpeded development of its lyrical sentiment), is the ^rnost 
modern of the arts, we may also say, that Beethoven is the 
most modern of the heroes of art, for he has not only in- 
vested with the most affecting expression the artistic senti- 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 9 

merit of each period, which has manifested itself in the most 
eminent manner since one hundred and fifty years, but also the 
inmost purport of this art, which is so suited to the spirit of 
the age. Besides Beethoven, Sebastian Bach is in this respect 
the only composer, whom we can name, and he appears also, 
when compared with Handel, Gluck, Haydn and Mozart, like 
Beethoven especially as a specific musician. 

And now, we must add a few words so as not to be 
unintelligible, in reference to what we call the lyrical sphere 
of Music. To the lyrical department of the science of Music 
belongs all Church, instrumental and vocal music, whether it 
be in its national form, or in that which is perfected and 
extended by art. 6 

It requires no proof, that song, in Music as in Poetry, 
indicates in the most unmistakable manner the lyrical style, 
rather on the other hand instrumental and Church music stand 
in need of proving their prevailing lyrical character. 

It may generally be said, that everything, which obliges 
us to step out of our own inward life into the surrounding 
actual world, or to enter more into the world and to make 
the same subservient to our aims, is opposed to a lyrical 
disposition ; hence also, the representation of Nature, Man and 
historical events, in plastic art. 

The Oratorio and Opera alone oblige the composer to 
dilate his own self and to represent objectively a world which 
surpasses personal perception. The one is therefore regarded 
as the musical epos, and the other as the musical drama. Real 
Church music however is of a lyrical nature, i. e. that, which 
has not like the Oratorio, to do with the representation of 
events tinged with religion, but with the glorifying and mu- 
sical adornment of the services of God's house, and as it 


10 Quarterly German Magazine. 

were with those moments, which presume that the hearer is 
personally affected or has a certain religious confession. 

It is therefore highly characteristic of Beethoven's posi- 
tion, as regards the spirit of his art, that those of his pro- 
ductions, which indicate most clearly his individuality, belong 
to instrumental and Church music, that is to say, the most 
powerful form of musical lyrics. For on one hand we have 
the Symphony, on the other the most developed form of 
Church music, the Mass. 

Here we have an answer to the possible doubt, if to 
give Beethoven the name of a lyrical composer, be not to 
attribute to him, too limited a range. It is true, if we think 
of the notion which we connected with the word lyric during 
the time of our political apathy, or of those gold-edged little 
volumes bound in Morocco, which make a show in the shop- 
windows of fashionable book- and printsellers, and in which 
we seldom find more, than a weak lament of the author, a 
flirtation over the tea table in white kid gloves, or an occa- 
sional tendency to agree with the excitement of a transient 
course of time, they do not at all remind us of the titanic 
Beethoven. To class him with such lyr'cal writers, would be 
to compare a giant with pygmies. But the notion of a lyric 
admits of a still wider definition, if we understand it, as it 
was comprehended in Antiquity, or in ages capable of such- 
like great views. Beethoven is a lyric in the same sense 
as the Psalmist, or as Pindar and Ossian, as -Klop stock in 
his sublime Odes, Goethe in his poems Grenzen der Mensch- 
heit, Prometheus, Harzreise, (Limits of Mankind, Prometheus, 
Journey in the Harz Mountains), and Schiller in his dithy- 
rambs and his "Song to Joy". 

Nevertheless, all doubts do not appear to be removed. 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 11 

Lyrics require, according to their nature, subjectivity and 
idealism in a higher degree than the other departments of art. 
As objectivity is the most valued in art, it could still appear 
from this point of view as an undervaluing of Beethoven, who, 
as the composer of the music to Fidelio and Egmont, is to 
be denoted exclusively as a lyrical writer. To this we may 
reply, that Beethoven also in Fidelio and Egmont only gives 
expression to that which lay subjectively nearest to his heart, 
viz: his efforts for freedom, his hatred of all tyranny, and 
his glowing enthusiasm for heroic self sacrificing love/ On 
this account, in Fidelio the characters of Leonora, Florestan 
and Pizarro are so incomparably conceived, whilst those of 
Rocco, Marcellina, Jaquino and Don Fernando scarcely exceed 
the level of the operas of his time, and there, where humour- 
istic characters are concerned, he is far surpassed by Mozart. 
Yet it is more important to point out, that even when we 
must allow that the lyrical expression and style are most 
immediately connected with the perception and feeling of the 
subject, still its nature and purport cause an infinite difference. 
If it be of a lofty nature, like those of Beethoven, which em- 
braces and represents in itself a whole universe, or which feels 
the power to sympathise and express the sorrows and joys 
of the human race, their hopes and fears, their desires and 
struggles, instead of a frivolous, individual woe; subjectivity 
as well as ideality, lose what may be called their restraints, 
whereas, in case they alone refer to the individual, instead of 
extending, only narrow his intellectual horizon. The poet and 
musician on the contrary, who like Beethoven or Lord Byron, 
can say with Faust : 

My bosom .... 

To every human pang shall opened be, 


12 Quarterly German Magazine. 

Mine inner self with every man shall share 
His portion of enjoyment and of care, 
Their deepest and their highest I will know, 
And on my bosom heap their weal and woe, 
My proper self into their self extend." 

is just as able to raise us above the narrow limits of the in- 
dividual and personal, as geniuses, like Shakespeare and Mo- 
zart, who hold up a mirror to the world, in which is seen a 
picture of the diversified grades of human appearances, glori- 
fied by art. Both methods display art in its full extent, and 
therefore claim a similar right. 

Beethoven harmonises however not only with Lord Byron, 
and with what we may call the Faust-side of Goethe's nature, 
but still more completely with such minds as Michael Angelo 
H^and Schiller. With him as with them, we find a prevailing 
bias towards the pathetic, which becomes almost morbid, and 
which excites in us a feeling of strong compassion. In connec- 
tion with this idea, we need only recall Schiller's early dramas, 
certain groups of Michael Angelo's Day of Judgment, or the 
restless and painful flutterings through every key of sentiment, 
with w T hich the Finale of Beethoven's ninth symphony begins. 
It is just the pathos and passionate boldness of Michael An- 
gelo, Schiller and Beethoven, that secures for them a more 
powerful eifect on the young and adventurous spirits, f than 
the often incredible unpretendingness and modesty, with which 
Mozart, Raphael and Goethe seek to invest their best thoughts, 
the still clearness of which but seldom allows their concealed 
unfathomable depths to be recognised. 'At 110 period of life do 
we feel more deeply than in youth, how well Beethoven ex-* 
presses that longing, which dwells in the heart of the young, 
as an ardent desire for the realisation of his ideal, whether 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 13 

he call it freedom, brotherhood and the happiness of all man- 
kind, or finds its incorporation in the poetically glorified form 
of the beloved, or in heroism and fatherland. / But that phase 
of Schiller, which belongs more to the man than to the youth, 
is wonderfully reflected in Beethoven. When we honour in 
Schiller not only the poet, but equally his character and dis- 
position, when Gosthe could say of his friend, who was so 
early snached away from him: 

^Behind him lay, what does enchain our race, 
Scarce perceptible in him, the common place. 11 * 

no other poetical words exist, which_ apply in such a charac- 
teristic manner to Beethoven, j So intellectually aristocratic 
and powerful, as Beethoven showed himself towards vulgarity, 
whenever it crossed his path (we find this trait also in Mi- 
chael Angelo and Schiller), yet his heart was filled to its 
lowest depths with love, devotion and self sacrifice for the 
happiness of every one, and with the highest idea of per- 
perfection, after which the best have, at all times, striven.;. 

Li the same degree, in which Beethoven shared Michael 
Angelo's and Schiller's greatness, he possesses also the defects, 
from which even the favorites of the Gods are not quite free. 
We have already remarked, that misfortune has attended every 
effort, which has been made since the decease of the com- 
poser by those who presume the right to be called his fol- 
lowers. Though we cannot make the great master answerable 
for the errors of his disciples, who only half or totally mis- 
understood him, and though he has nothing in common with 
those one-sided and exaggerated men, who overrate themselves 

"Und hinter ihm, in wesenlosem Scheine, 
Lag, was uns alle bandigt, das Gemetne.' 


14 Quarterly German Magazine. 

and think, they walk in his footsteps, when at the most they 
learn to imitate, "how he hawks and how he spits", yet we 
cannot deny, that some cause for such misconceptions of his 
lofty nature has been given by the character of his composi- 
tions; in the same manner as Michael Angelo, Schiller and 
the youthful Goethe gave to those poets in the "Sturm und 
Drangperiode" , who did not remark anything in those ge- 
niuses, but that they at times made their own person take 
the first place, instead of the artist. This is the reason, why 
Beethoven has been as much misunderstood, by such clever 
men as Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner, as Michael Angelo was by 
Caravaggio, Salvator Rosa, Bologna and Bandinelli, or Goethe 
and Schiller by Tiek, Novalis, Arnini, Gosrres and Brentano, 
when they cast upon our Dioscuri the reproach, that they had 
not adhered to the romantic tendency of their plays, Faust, 
Joan of Arc and Mary Stewart. 

From what we have already said, it will not be difficult to 
understand the position which Beethoven occupies in reference 
to the other great heroes of German music. 

Joseph Haydn seems allied to him in many respect. First 
as the father of modern instrumental music and of the pre- 
sent style of symphony, and then again because he like Bee- 
thoven takes a central position between the lyric and epic 
styles. But the latter is in Haydn more strongly developed 
than in Beethoven, as is shown by the Oratorios, the Seasons 
and the Creation, whilst Beethoven far excelled the older com- 
poser in lyrical strains, dithyrambic inspiration and a power- 
fully affecting pathos, which reveals the hidden depths of 
man's passionate nature. Thence it follows, that Haydn is 
in general more capable of objective representation of the 
outer world, by which he is surrounded and influenced, than 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 15 

Beethoven, who depicts the inner world of a Titan, of an alter- 
nately Faust like and Prometheus like character. On this account, 
Haydn's Seasons and Creation belong to his most imperishable 
works. They recall to us, by their faithful reflection of a 
rich natural and human existence, over which nevertheless 
a breath of higher ideality flows, the pictures of Ruysdael 
or Claude Lorraine. With Beethoven on the contrary, those 
productions, in which the outer world is reflected on his inner 
self, must be called the least characteristic of him. For ex- 
ample, his Yittoria-Schlacht, or Pastoral Symphony, which 
noble as it is, in the depths of its contents, is much inferior 
to its predecessors, the Eroica, the B flat major and C minor 
Symphonies, as well as to its successors, the A major and the 
8th and 9th symphonies. 

Sebastian Bach has, like Haydn, in many ways a closer 
relation to Beethoven than Gluck, Hsendel and Mozart, Se- 
bastian Bach, so far as his reputation rests on his Church 
and instrumental compositions, has also particularly deve- 
loped the lyrical expression of music, and freed it from 
earlier traditions. Yet there remains still a great difference 
between the two composers, inasmuch as they belong to very 
different ages, and that Bach like Diirer, carried the speci- 
fically Protestant art, and its conception of Christianity, to 
the highest point. 

f Beethoven's ideas on the contrary, were not only nou- 
rished by Christian, but also by antique classical elements, 
so that Plato and Plutarch (avowedly two of his most fa- 
vourite authors), Shakespeare and Goethe stand as close to 
his inner life, as the confession, with which he crowns his ninth 


"Brethren, above the starry tent, 
Must a loving father dwell." 


16 Quarterly German Magazine. 

Yet in his Missa Solennis , as well as in the ninth sym- 
phony, there is something of that spirit of Sebastian Bach, 
which can be most briefly indicated in the words, in which 
the Patriarch cried out to the wrestling Angel: "I will not let 
Thee go, except Thou bless me." That aspiration of Sebas- 
tian Bach's to rise to the pure and elevated sphere of the ideal 
world above the ties and claims of earth, which he carried 
in his heart under the form of the protestant Christian belief, 
and to which he gave utterance so wonderfully in such move- 
ments as the great Kyrie of the Mass in B minor, or the 
introductory chorus of the Passion of St. Matthew ; in Bee- 
thoven is changed into a struggle of the soul of man, for 
Love, Light and Life and in a more universal sense, for 
emancipation from the ties, which as mere earthly matter, or 
under the form of time and space hinder the unfettered flight 
of the soul and its soaring to the ideal. 

Handel's intellectual relation to Beethoven we find in the 

& ' 

faculty with which he was largely endowed of giving heroism 
and the heroic their most powerful and enchanting expression. 
"When Handel makes such a world live in his tones, not 
only universally and as it discloses itself subjectively, but 
resting on the heroic time and the heroes of the sagas, tra- 
dition and history, the lyrical becomes only an episode of the 
whole, whilst the epic stands in the foreground. In that form 
and depth,- with which Handel invested the Oratorio, he 
created the musical epos and has, like Homer, remained un- 
rivalled in this department. 

As Haydn is the father of modern instrumental music 
and symphony, Haendel may be called the founder of the mu- 
sical epos, and Gluck may be represented as the creator of 
the musical drama. All that was current before his time 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 17 

tinder the name of singing play and opera, was anything else 
but the true musical drama. Space and time will not now 
permit us to amplify on this subject. We shall only remark, 
that Gluck, because he was almost exclusively a dramatist, 
stands among the giants of German music , farthest from 
the great lyrical composer Beethoven. Yet we may say with 
certainty, that the great scene and aria in the opera Fidelio, 
"Monster, where hastenest thou!" as well as the whole of the 
scene in the dungeon in the second act of the same opera 
would have been impossible, if it had not been for Gluck's in- 
fluence on Beethoven, though it may have been transmitted 
by Mozart, 

Mozart takes a wonderful central place among the above 
mentioned great German composers, because he is the only 
one of them, in whom the epic, dramatic and lyrical styles 
are almost equipoised. Under the operatic writers, Mozart ap- 
pears as the successor, amplifier and perfecter of the musicaL 
drama, which was in fact first introduced by Gluck, because 
to the tragic he added the comic and romantic opera, as well 
as an intermediate style, of the possibility of which before Mo- 
zart's appearance no one had any idea. Although not in the 
pure epic style (for his oratorio David Penitent is almost 
lost among the number of his productions), yet we find Mo- 
zart represented in nearly as prominent a manner as Haydn 
and Beethoven, and herein lies his principal relation to the 
great master, to whom our words are dedicated. Mozart 
forms the connecting link, both in symphony, sonata and 
chamber music, in the triad, which is known to us by the 
immortal names of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart 
rules and improves Song in a new manner no less than the 
other species of lyric music (we will only mention his Requiem, 

1872. I. 2. (59) B 

18 Quarterly German Magazine. 

his Masses and his Ave verum), and we should not have pos- 
sessed Beethoven's Missa Solennis in its present form, without 
the impression made on him by Mozart's Requiem. 

It is remarkable, how clearly Beethoven was sensible of 
the influence, we have just indicated, which his great con- 
federates among the German musicians exercised over him. 
Schindler tells us, that Sebastian Bach's Wohl Temperirtes 
Clavier lay almost always open on his pianoforte. It is also 
known, that Beethoven was a pupil of Haydn's, and dedicated 
to him some of his earlier works. His boundless admiration 
for Handel and Mozart surprises us still more, as we have 
seen, that they with respect to their capacities were really not 
so suited to him as Bach and Haydn. And yet such a senti- 
ment is quite natural, for when we see in others, what we 
possess to the same degree, it causes in us less astonish- 
ment than those advantages, in which they excel, or which- 
distinguish them from us. Thus Beethoven could not sufficiently 
admire the effect produced by Handel with the simplest means, 
when he said, that by him the change of a few chords signi- 
fies more than the most complicated cadences of more mo- 
dern composers, and that we may learn from Handel, how 
greatness and simplicity go hand in hand. How strongly Mo- 
zart affected him, is shown in much of his chamber music 
especially in the first two symphonies, his noble variations 
on the theme Notte e giorno faticar from Mozart's Don Gio- 
vanni, as well as in his repeatedly expressed admiration of the 
Zauberflote (Magic Flute) by the same master. 

We have seen Beethoven, not only as an equal taking 
his place among the greatest musicians of all ages, but we 
have also learned, that he invests the expression of subjective 
feeling, which is so suitable to o'ur age and so propitious to 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 19 

Music, with its most sublime sense, and that he has led the 
science of instrumental music, which is the only species, in 
which it appears totally independent, to the summit of its ca- 
pability. Taking him all in all, we must call this great man, 
like Plato, Schiller and Michael Angelo, one of the most power- 
ful champions for Idealism, and the longing of our race for a 
realisation of a realm of love, freedom and beauty. He has a 
double importance for our time, in which the flood of realism 
is so strong, because he maintains now-a-days a reverence 
and warm enthusiasm for the ethic pretensions and duties of 
our generation, which he nourishes and elevates through his 
works. On this account, he stands in a very near relation 
to his own countrymen, for we Germans have at all times, 
with all our practical activity, been able to preserve a pure 
and unlimited ideality. 

It would be well worth while, as we have found the cen- 
tral point of Beethoven's productions in instrumental and sym- 
phonic music, to mention in a few words the most sublime 
of his works, we mean his symphonies. By a charming ac- 
cidental coincidence, Beethoven's symphonies attain the num- 
ber, which the Greeks gave to the Muses. It may be added, 
they also vary from one another with respect to their several 
characters, in a scarcely less degree than the Muses differ 
from each other in the diverse, intrinsic importance allotted 
to them by the poetical mind of ^he Grecians, ^s^-* 

^The symphonies No. 1 C major and No. 2 D major, we 
may say, are not specially characteristic of Beethoven, we 
mean, that they do not reflect obviously enough Beethoven's 
personality in those respects which distinguish him from his 
predecessors Haydn and Mozart. On the contrary, we find 

in them many passages reminding us of the two great com- 

6i ua 

20 Quarterly German Magazine. 

posers of Symphony, who were anterior to him, and indeed in. 
a more decided manner a tendency towards Mozart, than to- 
wards Haydn. xThe future self-reliant Beethoven and the de- 
moniacism of his nature, reveal themselves as it were only 
momentarily, or like distant sheet-lightning which precedes a 
thunder-storm. In the third symphony, the Eroica, the spirit 
of Beethoven first rises before us in the full force of its sin- 
gularity and sublimity. It is well known, that this symphony 
originally bore the name of Napoleon the first, in whom Bee- 
thoven thought he recognised not only the hero, but also the 
noble man, who would lead his country, rent by the storms 
of Revolution, to true freedom and greatness, and thus 
give the world a lustrous example of exalted disinterestedness. 
But when the Consul was metamorphosed into the Emperor, 
and it was plain, that he only wished to subjugate the world 
and to lead his people from battlefield to battlefield, because 
he loved nothing on earth but himself, Beethoven tore off the 
title page of the manuscript of his immortal symphony, and 
gave it its present name; a verdict, which our nation has 
since ratified and sanctioned by the dethronement of the se- 
cond Napoleon and its third march towards Paris! 

The Eroica differs from the first two symphonies in that, 
it displays to us for the first time the Scherzo in its full 
splendour and boldness, for which we are indebted to Bee- 
thoven, who inserted it in the place of the Minuet. His first 
symphony contains the minuet; the second certainly has a 
Scherzo, but in such a limited form, that it again has great 
affinity to the Minuet. In the peculiar name given to the 
third symphony, we meet with another innovation of Beetho- 
ven, which disposes our mind to understand, that the sepa- 
rate movements of this work appertain to a particular and 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 21 

characteristic sphere of sentiment, the single passages of which 
are more distinctly marked by the nomination of the second 
movement as a "Funeral March 1 '. 

The Eroica gives us the opportunity of pointing out one 
of the fundamental mistakes, into which the disciples of Bee- 
thoven previously referred to, have fallen; they seem to think,, 
that they alone can understand Beethoven. By these critics, 
Beethoven was constantly pointed out as the composer, who 
besides giving utterance to mere perceptions and feelings, also 
expressed the thoughts in the language of Music. The levity, 
with which by such a verdict, masters like Haydn and Mozart 
are degraded into mere children in Music, is incredible. The 
works of these two musicians are reduced by this idea, 
either into sensual harmony, or into a general and therefore 
for us indifferent exhibition of the feelings, such as hate, love, 
merriment, sorrow etc., which in case they were deprived of 
a deeper connexion proceeding from their artistic personality, 
would certainly sink down to a soul-destroying triviality. The 
propounders of such untenable propositions had better have 
remarked, what rare and remote illusions Beethoven makes 
use of, when he wishes to give us an intimation of the frame 
of mind with which he was especially imbued ! In all the nine 
symphonies of Beethoven, we only find such hints in two, the 
Eroica and the Pastoral, for even the ninth symphony, which 
according to the view of the new romantic musical school for 
the most part requires a commentary, remains until the intro- 
duction of the vocal music without any explanatory words. 
Nevertheless, musicians such as Berlioz and Liszt with their 
"symphonious poesy", furnished with complete explanatory 
programs, trace back to a man like Beethoven the authorship 
of the so-called "idealism" in instrumental music. They do 


22 Quarterly German Magazine. 

not appear to divine, that the interpretation of instrumental 
music, is the denial of its inmost substance. 

If the musician wishes to link artistic effects with a de- 
finite meaning, the union of Poetry with Music, whether it 
be in song, in Church music, in oratorio, or in the opera, 
gives him sufficient opportunity to do so. If, on the contrary, 
he resorts to instrumental music, he directly retreats to that 
innermost sphere, which begins at that point, where words 
and notions no longer suffice and where the unutterable some- 
thing, which dwells in every profound human mind, struggles 
to express itself. To desire to express the inexpressible, is to 
limit and confine music to that department, where it alone 
exists without the aid of any other art, and because it espe- 
cially imparts to the marvellous, mysterious and demoniacal 
voices, which no other art can have the power of following 
with the same effect. 

Beethoven's fourth symphony in B flat major, is of a 
very different character to the Eroica. In the place of a world 
in arms or of a hero, who combating for lofty aims, triumphs 
over death and time, we find here the conflicts which abide 
jn our own hearts and which genius in his inner man has to 
encounter and resist. In the first passages with their "divine 
daring", all the passions of youth surge, contend and rejoice. 
We here meet with the same strife between the contending 
feelings, as that which is expressed in the poet's words : 

'Highly rejoicing, grieving to death, 
"Happy alone is the soul in its love.' 1 * 

; Himmelhoch jauchzend, zum Tode betriibt, 
"Gliicklich allein ist die Seele, die liebt." 

Goethe, Egmont. 


Ltudwig van Beethoven. 23 

Such commentaries on instrumental works must be, to a 
certain extent, always of a subjective character, because the 
actual definition of the ideas running through an instrumental 
piece, is (as we have already said) an absurdity, at which no 
one more ironically shrugged his shoulders, than Beethoven 
himself. Still the inner coherence of such a composition must 
be in a bad state, if at least, the general intention of the 
same could not be indicated. But this is quite different from 
the supposition, that special adventures and transactions of 
known historical or poetical persons, in certain localities and 
times can be heard therein. It is just as impossible, as the 
attempts of clever men like Liszt, Berlioz, and their adherents, 
to render perceptible to the senses, through sound, without 
the help of poetry, certain poetical subjects founded on no- 
tional coherence, or on contemplation and experience, for ex- 
ample Dante's Divina Commedia and Nirvana, which belongs 
to Indian philosophy. Any remarks of this kind made by us, 
have reference only to a certain degree to the design of the 
tone of the lyrical sense, which ruled the composer in this or 
that movement. We beg, that our remarks on Beethoven's 
instrumental pieces may only be understood in this sense. 

Let us now return to the symphony in B flat. The Ada- 
gio is like the calm mountain-lake on the crystal surface of 
which a wonderfully fantastic landscape, filling the mind with 
magical peace, is reflected. The restless passion of the first 
movement is pacified into consecrated and calmly blessed me- 
ditation. Should our minds-eye stray in the distance over 
chains of fragrant azure-tinted mountains, it would not be with 
a consuming longing, but as if from a place of safety, where 
the mind has found that peace of which it had been so long 
deprived, and^ under the glorifying afflation of which the com-* 


24 Quarterly German Magazine. 

poser sees, dissolve in pure harmony the manifold complex 
destinies of the individual and the world. 
The Scherzo reminds us of the verse: 

"Fresh food, new blood 

From the free world I imbibe." * 

And in opposition to this, the Trio recalls another part of 
the same poem: 

"Eye, mine eye, why dost thou close? 
Golden dream, wilt thou return?" f 

We know of nothing more significant to say about the 
last movement, than to exclaim with the same poet: "As if 
scourged by unseen spirits, the fiery horses of time carry 
along the light car of our fate, and nothing remains for us > 
but with firm minds/ to hold fast the reins , and now right r 
now left, to turn aside the wheels from stones and precipices. 
Whither it goes? Who knows! Scarcely does he remember 
whence he came!" 

In Beethoven's C minor symphony the conflict, which in 
the Eroica expresses an armed hero achieving victory and 
triumph, is dilated into a struggle of all mankind for free- 
dom and the fulfilment of its holiest aspirations. The symphony 
could therefore very well bear the motto: "From night to 
light". After having written a prelude in the boldest and most 
sublime style, and after the following gradations through pas- 
sages full of high resolutions and delineations of spiritual 

a Und frische Nahrung, neues Blut 
Saug' ich aus freier Welt." 
"Aug\ mein Aug', was sinkst du nieder, 
Gold'ne Traume, kehrt ihr wieder?" 


Ludwig can Beethoven. 25 

power, which sets fate and diabolism at defiance, Beethoven 
here succeeded in excelling himself.^fThe finale surpasses the 
most daring hopes, excited by the previous inspiriting pas- 
sages, and crowns the whole work in a manner, that over- 
powers and delights usJTThe introduction of the thema in C 
major after the night-chilling horror of the Scherzo, produces 
an impression like the dazzling rise of the sun, when he ap- 
pears after a long night, victorious as a hero, above the level 
of the horizon. We desire to assign to this symphony the 
palm over all the others for which we have to thank Beetho^ 
ven. In spite of all that is noble and new, with which he 
presented us in his later symphonies, he has never again at-^ 
tained a similarly unsurpassable and astonishingly artistic ex- 1 
pression of a Titanic will and sentiment, nor has he succeeded 
in composing a second conclusion of a long struggle of op- 
posing feelings, which he introduces in the Finale, apparently 
so easily and naturally, but which is only possible to be de- 
vised by a genius. 

We should exceed our limits, if we were to dwell on the 
6 th, 7 th and 8 th symphonies, especially as the composer has 
himself given in the Pastoral symphony, indications of its 
purposes, and as the dithyrambic exultation, which characte- 
rises the symphony in A major, or the overpowering excellent 
humour, with which the 8th symphony concludes, are so evi- 
dent as to be capable of being understood without any com- 

But so much the more does the last great orchestral 
work of the composer, the celebrated ninth symphony, require 
an explanation. The song from Schiller's Ode to Joy, which is 
introduced at its close, is far more like a great note of inter- 
rogation, than a solution of the problem, which the composer 

* (67) 

26 Quarterly German Magazine. 

has given us to solve in the preceding parts. And yet, just 
this work shows us, how inadequate and misleading are all 
commentaries on instrumental pieces. No less a man than 
Richard Wagner has written an explanatory program for 
the ninth symphony. We willingly grant, that every thing it 
contains relating to the main idea of the work, seems con- 
genial to what the great master wished^ to express. For 
example, it is not to be denied, that especially in the first 
movement, a similar mood prevails^ as that which seems to 
pervade the monologues of Faust Nevertheless we encounter 
illustrations, which surprise us by their oddity, or astonish 
us by their violence. For instance, how is it possible to char- 
acterise the highly poetic Trio following the Scherzo, which 
especially with the introduction of the trumpets, rises to an 
expression of the most fervent and glorious longing by the 
following words of Goethe : 7 

"These fellows feast their lives away 

In a continual holiday, 

With little wit and much content 

Their narrow ring of life is spent. 

As playful kittens oft are found 

To chase their own tail round and round/' 

The interpreter does not content himself with referring to 
the generally Faust-like tendency of the composition, but forces 
upon the musician and his works the nature and feelings of 
the real Faust of Goethe, and thereby also the views of life 
of Mephistophiles , which reveal to us only the ideas of the 
poet in another light. 

In reality, we can only understand the ninth symphony, 
when instead of grasping at Faust, or similarly far fetched 
explanations either taken from external ideas or subjective 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 27 

proclivities, we absorb our minds in the contemplation of the 
inner personal life of Beethoven. 

What form had that taken, when the ninth symphony 
*-~was first conceived in his mind? Behind him lay a life full 
of the most cruel disappointments. He had found no one, 
whom he could call his real friend. Also Love proved trea- 
cherous to him. His first attachment for Julia, was wrecked 
on the difference of position and prejudice. Later he loved 
another, who was courted at the same time by his colleague 
Hummel, she decided to marry the latter, who had already 
an appointment and had not the misfortune to be deaf like 
Beethoven. His brothers, in which relations man in the majo- 
rity of cases possesses friends bestowed upon him by Nature, 
secluded Beethoven from the world, and made him suspicious 
of all noble and better natures, who wished to approach him; 
in order to be able to misuse and make the most of his ta- 
lents with impunity for their mean purposes. To this was 
added soon after his arrival in Yienna, his increasing deaf- 

How the anticipation of such a fate in his younger days 
agitated him, is best shown by his will executed in his 
brothers' favour, in the year 1802, when he was very ill. In 
that he says : "Little was wanting to induce me to put an end 
to my ow r n life. It w r as Art, Art alone, that held me back! 
Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave this world, until I 
had produced everything of which I felt myself capable. And 
so I granted a reprieve to this wretched existence. 1 ' 

And yet, when Beethoven wrote this painful confession, 
it had fallen to his lot to be generally recognised as a famous 
artist in Vienna. But he was not to enjoy this satisfaction long. 
The envy of his fellow artists not only in Yienna, but else- 


28 Quarterly tier man Magazine. 

where, became greater and greater. It pains us, to be obliged 
to say, that even Carl Maria von Weber belonged to those, 
who publicly attacked and calumniated the composer. As 
the operas of Rossini had become completely the fashion at 
Vienna, Beethoven and his works fell into oblivion. The best 
proof of this is the memorial presented to Beethoven in the 
year 1824, by a small number of artists and friends of art. 
Therein is said: "We perceive with sorrow, that the man, 
whom we must call the greatest among living composers, in 
his department, silently beholds, how foreign Art is encamped 
on German soil, in the seat of honour of the German Muse, 
how German works only please as the echo of foreign favou- 
rite melodies, and how where the most eminent talents live 
and work, a second childhood of taste threatens to follow the 
golden age of Art." The document closes with the petition, 
that Beethoven, in spite of the disfavour of the multitude, 
should come forward with his newest works, und contend for 
the victory with the fashionable spirit of the day. 

Can we w r onder, that the much tried man should on re- 
ceiving such a proof of recognition cast his eyes filled with 
tears up to the sky, and lisp: "It is indeed beautiful!" as 
Schindler, who stood by, relates? But even this was only a 
delusion, for he did not succeed in obtaining the acknowledg- 
ment he expected for his new compositions. 

The grief, which he experienced through his nephew, 
whom he had adopted as his son, contributed still more to 
darken his troubled mind, as the frivolous young man repaid 
his love with ingratitude, and showed him ignominy instead 
of honour. It may also be called a misfortune, that Goethe, 
whom Beethoven so deeply respected, made no effort to be- 
come intimate with him. At Carlsbad, where they met, it ap- 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 29 

peared as if an intercourse had commenced; Zelter however, 
to whom Beethoven's genius was incomprehensible, took care 
to convey to Goethe a most unfavourable idea of the talents 
of Beethoven. We refer to the correspondence of Goethe with 
Zelter, in which the latter represents Beethoven as a half 
mad and unaccountable being. This may explain, even though 
it does not justify the fact, why Goethe left unanswered a 
letter of Beethoven's, in which he begged him to procure the 
name of the Duke of Weimar for his Missa Solennis, which 
he intended to publish by subscription. 

And thus even Beethoven's greatest contemporary con- 
tributed to grieve his heart already so deeply wounded. This 
is the more painful, because we may be certain that, if the 
great poet had become Beethoven's friend, he would have 
rendered him as happy, advanced his interests, and reconciled 
him with himself, as he did for Schiller, who in many re- 
spects was so closely allied to Beethoven. 

The last earthly misfortune of the composer was not 
wanting, for we see him, old and sick, in pecuniary embar- 
rassment, which compels him to beg for assistance from 
the London Philharmonic Society through Moscheles, who 
was then in England. But not only in respect to his life and 
fortunes should Beethoven's earthly career be represented as 
a chain of disasters, but he also saw his belief in idealism 
wrecked or obscured. And to this might have contributed 
the high idealistic flight of his mind, which was in such cut- 
ting contrast to a world, that had never answered his hopes 
and expectations. 

He was filled with enthusiasm for Plato's Republic, and 
as may be easily conceived, also for the French Revolution, 
and the heroes which it produced. But neither this revolu- 


30 Quarterly German Magazine. 

tion, which ended in the greatest atrocities, nor its hero, who 
he believed would hand down unimpaired to posterity the 
moral truth of that revolutionary period, fulfilled his expecta- 

He was a good Catholic, when he went from the Rhine 
to the Danube. In merry Vienna, Catholicism presented to 
him on one side such a worldly, and on the other such a 
bigotted aspect, that as A. B. Marx so truly says, he erected 
in his Missa Solennis, the cathedral of his own faith, outside 
the dome of St. Stephen. He became a freemason, but that 
he found in this his last and final satisfaction, is, considering 
Beethoven's remarkable disposition, very doubtful. With this 
the words would agree, in which the dying master took leave 
of those around him: "Plaudite amici, comoedia fiiiita est!" 

The Germans had not then a Fatherland, so that Beethoven 
could not bury his personal sufferings in the great and lofty 
fate of his own nation. The only great event, which made all 
the Germans unite as one , was the War for Freedom from 
1813 to 1815. But it attained much less importance in Vienna, 
than in the North of Germany. Besides Beethoven lived to 
witness the disappointment which the reaction, organised by 
Metternich, and which fell like mildew on the blossoms of 
^national sentiment, effected throughout Germany. - ^^ 

Thus Beethoven, who felt more deeply than most per- 
sons, was disappointed in the cherished ideals of his heart, 
Freedom, Religion and Fatherland, and still more in his love 
towards all mankind, which he placed above everything else, 
for in no way was it returned to him. Misunderstood by the 
world and his colleagues, without a ^oul into whose bosom he 
could pour out his woe, cut off from intercourse with his equals 
by complete deafness, suspected and deceived by mean souls, 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 31 

afflicted with severe bodily suffering, and his inirid more than 
ever cast back on its own resources; in this unhappy condi- 
tion we find Beethoven, when he composed the ninth sym- 
OtjlionyJAnd as this last powerful orchestral work presents to 


us a countenance, like that of the Sphynx, and in its enigma- 
tical character reminds us of the last work of Michael Angelo, 
so does he share with him the lofty loneliness, by which he 
was surrounded at the end of his career. 

If we would form a clear idea of the state of mind, from 
whence proceeded the ninth symphony, it is only possible to 
do so by picturing to ourselves the frame of mind in which 
he was during his latter years, and by referring to those cir- 
cumstances which we have already described. 

From such a point of view, the introduction to the first 
Allegro seems to be a representation of that inconsolable void 
and dreariness, which seizes upon a man, when he sees his 
ideal disappear. How could the composer depict in a more 
affecting manner such an internal deadness, than by that empty 
fifth, with which the symphony begins and which vibrates 
through the stringed instruments and is simultaneously re- 
sounded by the horns. It is true, the musician rouses him- 
self from this brooding over the unsolvable enigmas of Life> 
to mighty deeds and heroic struggles with the powers of 
fate, only at last to raise the veil of mystery, which covers 
the world, and thereby to discover the fruitlessness of human 
efforts. Thus only can we interprete that fearful Basso con- 
tinuo at the end of this part. It depicts, as it were in its per- 
sistent recurrence, the rising consciousness of the brazen 
chains, with which mankind is linked to the origin and ruin 
of Nature, without obtaining an answer to the question, which, 
he has broached thousands of years ago. 


32 Quarterly German Magazine. 

The Scherzo following the Allegro, imbues us with that 
wild humour, which precipitates itself into the whirlpool of 
events, that we meet with in Faust, after he has concluded 
his compact with the devil, and in several poems of Lord 
Byron, as well as in Shakespeare's Lear and Hamlet. It ap- 
pears to us, as if this movement were replete with the sounds 
of a wildly fervent longing to obliviate the remembrance of 
those internal dissensions in battle and storm; as well as an 
imposing self-irony and the unearthly laughter of despair. In 
contradistinction to this, in the Trio the meaning of these 
words of Faust's predominates: 

"This song proclaimed the sports of youth so gay, 

And merry making, when the spring began. 

Now memory holds my soul with potent sway, 

And thoughts of childhood rule the fullgrown man. 

Oh, sound thou on, thou sweet celestial strain, 

The tear doth gush, Earth claims -her truant son again! 

The transition from this tone of feeling to a religious 
frame of mind and a last trustfully believing search after God, 
which we find in the same manner by Faust, is in a certain 
degree necessary for the mind. We meet in the beautiful 
Adagio of this symphony with the most soft and tender tones 
of a devout loving trust in heavenly succour dying on the ear. 
We can fancy, that we hear the ethereal violin tones of those 
charming and graceful Angels, whom we see playing on both 
sides of the Yirgin, who holds the infant Jesus in her arms, 
as is represented in so many pictures of the Italian School as 
also in those of Albert Diirer. We seem now first to com- 
prehend, what Pythagoras meant by the music of the spheres. 
But the bright glorious tones of the world of Melody begin 
to expire towards the close of this movement, and it ends 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 33 

with the feelings of doubt and inquietude, again stealthily 
rising from the most hidden depths of the soul, as we are 
affected by the triplets of the bass-viols and violins, and the 
unearthly hollow beating of the kettle-drums at the close of 
this part. 

The Finale begins as it were with a loud out-cry of de- 
jection from the human soul, which had arrived at the limits of 
its senses. Every struggle, every hope, desire and faith, yes, even 
irony and a determined resignation to that which is inevitable, 
have proved themselves vain and useless to the mind of the com- 
poser, and have not guaranteed for themselves any permanent 
inward support. How distinctly is such a tendency of the soul 
represented and depicted in the light reverberation of the prin- 
cipal motive of the first Allegro, the Adagio and the Scherzo, 
as well as in the recitative solos of the contrabasses and violin- 
cellos, which almost impetuously interrupt every attempt to re- 
turn to the world of ideas of the earlier movement. At length 
sounds, as from afar a first transient similarity to the later prin- 
cipal tendency of the last part, which is soon followed by the 
commencement of the melody to Schiller's Song of Joy, softly 
executed by the instrumental basses. This only rises to a 
triumphant expression, to be ultimately lost in that dissonant 
Fortissimo, which manifests the deepest internal discord with 
which the whole Finale began. The composer has now reached 
a point, from whence there is no further way of escape. A 
feeling of awe seizes us at this moment as if Beethoven the 
assaulter of heaven dare not only say like 'Faust, that he has 
expanded his own Self to the Self of mankind, but also like 
him add: "in order, when all is done, to be wrecked with 
them", with which wild prophecy the verses, we have pre- 
viously quoted, are known to end. 

(75) C 

34 Quarterly German Magazine. 

Therefore the composer grasps at a violent expedient to 
escape from the labyrinth, in which he is lost and bewildered. 
Independent as Alexander the Great, when he severed the 
Gordian knot, he solves the confusion of the problem, which 
he has himself proposed, by interrupting the orchestra, and 
instead of unravelling instrumental^ the development of feel- 
ing, he introduces the human voice. That the previous psy- 
chological development of this wonderful work, is not further 
extended and pursued to its conclusion, but completely broken 
off, Beethoven says himself, when he puts the words (which 
originate from him and not from Schiller) into the mouth of 
the bass singer, who begins with the recitative solo: "Friends, 
let these notes cease, and we will more pleasantly begin our 

Let no one misunderstand us. It is an eternal law of all 
arts, to keep the different departments and styles separate and 
unmixed from one another, as the purest artistic problem is, 
to endeavour, that every species in its peculiarity be enabled 
to solve the problems, which are in accordance with its char- 
acter. Now, it is quite certain, that the Symphony and the 
Cantata are a separate species, and it islicfless sure, that 
the sudden striking up of Schiller's Song to Joy follows with- 
out either mediation or transition in the ninth symphony, as 
the repeated outcry of despair represented by the orchestra, 
is violently interrupted by the improvised words of Beethoven. 

Thus it is clear, that it was not granted to this great 
genius to represent a second time in similar perfection, what 
he so splendidly portrayed in the symphony in C minor, 
namely the natural and organic termination of an heroic sen- 
timent, will and conflict by a final victory and triumph, with- 
out the composer being obliged to forsake that orchestral and 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 35 

symphonic sphere of expression which he had already chosen. 
That the symphony in C minor as the 5 th, takes exactly the 
central place amongst its sisters, appears on this account al- 
most significant, and if we cannot speak of a degeneration in 
the following symphonies, among which are such pearls as 
that in A major and the eighth symphony, yet there exists 
no second symphonic work, in which form and contents coin- 
cide in a similar incomparable manner. 

If the impression excited in us by the symphony in C 
minor is that which we experience on viewing a work of art 
adorned with the loftiness and perfection of the Parthenon 
or the Cathedral of Cologne, then we stand before the ninth 
symphony as if it were a magnificent and overwhelming drama 
of Nature. The same feeling of inexpressible and boundless 
surprise, which seizes upon him, who for the first time stands 
on the brink of a descending glacier, over which tower the 
Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn of the Alps in awful and lonely 
majesty, must seize an impartial musical mind, when for the 
first time that last gigantic symphony rushes upon him with 
its flood of music, roaring over the heigths and depths of hu- 
man feeling. If the delineament of the fearfully beautiful, the 
demoniacal, the extravagant and the sublime be the highest 
summit of art, it is attained in this ninth symphony. 

It is evident, that we do not wish with these words, to 
find fault with Beethoven's unapproachable greatness; the 
same might be said of the last works and the Day of Judg- 
ment of the no less mighty Michael Angelo. We only wish 
to oppose the error of modern romanticism, which proves so 
dangerous to the present school of music, as if the ninth sym- 
phony and Beethoven's last quartetto for stringed instruments 
were those points of his productions, in which he had worked 



36 Quarterly German Magazine. 

up the whole of his creative powers; or, as that party has 
asserted, as if this work and other suchlike compositions of 
the last period of Beethoven's life were the ground from which 
our future art must start. Nothing is more dangerous, than 
when in art a faction of a certain tendency imputes or attaches 
their own opinions to a great genius, to whom it appeals. 
Thus (in order to give an example of the mistakes, to which 
such a reasoning leads) Richard Wagner says, that in this 
ninth symphony Beethoven has blasted for ever the form of 
this kind of composition, and thus decreed in some respect 
its end. But we know, from Schindler, Moscheles and other 
narrators, who had intercourse with Beethoven during the 
last years of his life, that he was just going to commence his 
tenth symphony (a symphony in optima forma, that is, with- 
out an annexed Cantata), when his last sickness and death 
overtook him. 

It will never be possible, to surpass, what Beethoven ac- 
complished during the middle period of his activity, that is, 
the time, w r hich embraces his production from the third to 
the ninth symphonies, and whatever groups itself around 
these central points. The master, has himself given proof of 
this through his ninth symphony_.J And if nevertheless this 
stands there as an astonishing monument of his Titan-like 
greatness, of a greatness, which does not hesitate to shake 
with powerful hands the eternal barriers set for men and art, 
yet persons possessed of more moderate talents should guard 
against imitating the demigod. Phaeton was bold and heroic, 

nevertheless the reins slipped from his hands, and he was 
precipitated into the depths, when he thought he could like 
Helios drive the horses of the sun's car. 

At any rate the symphony, in the form, in which Bee- 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 37 

thoven has left it to us, is not to be surpassed, as little as the 
religious expression of music in Bach, or the pathetic in Gluck. 
And therefore, we may say of our three great symphony writers, 
Haydn laid the foundation of the superb musical struc- 
ture of this form of art, Mozart built and adorned it, and 
Beethoven set a tower thereon; whoever tries to raise it higher, 
will disfigure the building. 

A just pride can fill the hearts of the Germans, when 
they think, that the creation of an independent instrumental 
music, that is, the foundation of a form, in which alone 
music takes the rank of an independent art, is exclusively 
the work of our nation. Such a well justified feeling must in- 
crease, when we say, that also the reigning heroes in this 
sphere belong without exception to our Fatherland. When the 
trumpets of war are silent, and the voice of the cannon is 
dumb, let us celebrate in every province, not only the great- 
ness and unity of our Fatherland so gloriously attained, but 
also the great composer, whose hundredth birthday coincides 
in so significant a manner, with the third war of freedom, 
which we have been forced to wage against Celtic arrogance. 
The same heroic spirit, which dwells in the breasts of our 
brave brothers, and won battles such as the pages of history 
have never before recorded, reigns also in Beethoven's heroic 
symphonies, and in many of his other works. And when such 
a spirit embodies itself to our mind's eye in the closing passages 
of the great Sonata Appassionata as a fighting Saint George, 
who subdues the dragon of darkness under his feet, it appears 
as if in the Finale of the symphony of symphonies, we mean 
that in C minor, a hero returning from great battles were re- 
ceived and greeted by the people with a thousand rejoicings. 
Such cheers we will raise (Deo volente) when the grey- 


38 Quarterly German Magazine. 

headed heroic king, over whose head hovers the German 
Imperial crown, and his invincible host return to us, or when 
we see again all those, to whose perseverance we owe our 
future national greatness. But to those, who have died for 
their Fatherland, we will render the funeral rites with Bee- 
thoven's heroic Funeral March, and thus with him, putting 
aside all that is transitory, edify ourselves with the eternal 
fame, which shines around the memory of the fallen heroes. 
But let us not forget, that to the highest welfare of our na- 
tion has ever appertained that which man calls his Ideal, and 
that Beethoven belongs to the best in Germany, whom the 
goddesses of Freedom and Humanity have carried on their 
shields. Let then his birthplace Bonn, on the bank of the 
sacred Rhine, the Ganges of the Germans, be a Mecca of 
the intellect, to which we all make a pilgrimage to celebrate 
him, who like the heroes of Greece, will give evidence for 
thousands of years of German mind and nature. As the off- 
spring of that left bank of the Rhine, which they tried to 
wrest from us, he shall certify, that the Rhine is not the 
boundary of Germany, but Germany's stream. Then by the 
side of his monument, the statues of Luther, Melanchthon, 
Guttenberg, Goethe and Arndt will form a shining Wacht am 
Rhein (watch on the Rhine), which, though dumb yet calls 
aloud to all: "Guard our Fatherland, the sacred soil, on 
which we lived and worked ! 


Ludwig van Beethoven. 39 


1) Dr. Hennes assigns the 15th December (in No. 196 of the Kolner 
Zeitung of the year 1838) as Beethoven's birthday , whilst it is certain, 
that he was baptized on the 17th of December. 

2) Guttenberg is like Beethoven a child of the left bank of the Rhine. 
Rubens may also be considered the same, his father having belonged to 
Germany,emigrated on account of his inclination to the Protestant religion, 
from Antwerp to Cologne. Rubens was born on this journey, and received in 
Cologne, where he passed his whole childhood, an entirely German education. 
The others who are mentioned, although their birthplaces were on the right 
side of the Rhine, are still so much connected with that life of the Rhine 
land, that knows no separation by its stream, so that its influence has ac- 
tually remained on both shores to the present day. Cornelius was born close 
to the Rhine at Dusseldorf, Freiherr von Stein in the little town of Nassau 
on the Lahn, and therefore like Goethe, only a few hours distant from 
the main stream , and quite in reach of being influenced by the Rhinish 
manner of viewing life. 

3) Fortunately the material collected by Jahn, was used by Thayer, 
in his excellent English biography of Beethoven. 

4) We must in compliance with truth remark, that Hahnel im- 
mediately after his first model had received the prize, sent to the Beetho- 
ven Committee a second far more idealised, with the request, that he might 
be allowed to carry out the latter. He received the answer, that, as the 
earlier model had obtained the prize over all others, this one must be 
executed. The basreliefs on the pedestal, which represent the sym- 
phonic, dramatic and ecclesiastical Muse, belong indeed to the finest of 
flannel's productions. Nevertheless, the artist had such an aversion to 
this statue, which he had discarded in calm judgment, and yet was 
obliged to finish, that once in his humourous way, he said to the 
Author: He used, whenever he came to the Rhine, intentionally to avoid 
Bonn, that he might never see his Beethoven again. 

5) The reasons both rational and depending on the connection of na- 
tural sequence of the history of intellectual life, from which the fact re- 


40 Quarterly German Magazine. 

suits, that music is the last developed of the arts, the Author has endea- 
voured to demonstrate in his work: Music in the History of Civilization 
(Berlin, Behr's publishing office, 1869), and begs to refer especially to 
the 4th chapter of the first volume. 

6) These views are more developed in the Author's Music in the 
History of Civilization, Vol. I, chapter 10. 

7) The passages quoted from Goethe's Faust, have been given accord- 
ing to Prof. Blackie's version. 

Printed by Unger Brothers (Th. Grimm) Friedrichstr. 24, Berlin. 



BERLIN 1872. 

G. G. LUDERITZ'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. 

25 Schoneberger Strasse 25. 




14 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. 67 Rue Richelieu. 

\V HEN one speaks of far-famed poets or artists, of Goethe, 
Schiller, Shakespeare, Raphael, or Rubens, the master pieces, 
by which their fame was gained, at once rise up before us. 
To speak of Goethe is to name Werther, Iphigenia, Faust, 
to mention Raphael is to recall the corridors of the Vatican, 
and the Sixtine Madonna. And so with great scholars and 
warriors, their names are like a brief pen and ink sketch of 
remarkable books and of brilliant battles. 

The artist of whom I now wish to speak to you, Al- 
bert Diirer, is one of those, who can dispense with a tower- 
ing monument. Every one knows, that he was a great and 
celebrated painter, that he has a place in the first rank, but 
where then are his master pieces? By what first rate work 
did he draw the world's attention to himself, as Goethe did 
with Werther, Corneille with The Cid, Michael Angelo with 
the Pieta? Or what was there remarkable in his life and 
career ? 

He lived at Nuremberg. His house there has been care- 
fully restored and is entered with reverence. Diirer appears be- 
fore us as a handsome tall man, with clear eyes, and fair curl- 
ing hair, falling in waves on his shoulders ; and this is pretty 
well all, that we are conscious of knowing about him. We re- 

1872. L 1. (3) A2 

4 Quarterly German Magazine. 

member, that here and there, this or that piece of work has been 
pointed out to us as Durer's, but no one has ever stood before 
one of his pictures, lost in contemplation, as before one of Ra- 
phael's Madonnas. Durer's works appear to us as mere trifles, 
engravings, wood-cuts, drawings, miniature paintings on parch- 
ment, wood and ivory carvings; choice and costly relics, 
rather than great pictures, asserting by their power and beauty 
their claim to an honourable position. And yet no one doubts, 
that Diirer was a great painter. Are then his works lost, de- 
stroyed, or carried away to foreign lands ? on what rests his re- 
putation, and by what is his greatness attested? 

We may say at once, that Durer's fame raising him to 
such a lofty height, and embracing the whole man, is of recent 
date. Durer's name was always honoured, but the tone in 
which it is now uttered, resounds for the first time. And there- 
fore, when we treat of him, we treat also of the characteristics 
of our age, which have made Diirer such a prominent 

Our age is that of enlightened enquiry. Every one who, 
in any way, is in a position to raise himself from the merely 
animal condition of uninterested ignorance, seeks to become a 
participator in the ruling tendency of our generation, devoted 
to the scientific investigation of everything, that exists around 
us. At the present time, the charm of such studies is all power- 
ful. It is not for their material use, although enormous benefits 
have been derived from them, that these labours are undertaken, 
but to determine the laws of Nature. The man, who pursues 
them, on account of their mercantile interest, and thus produces 
results, is respected, but those only are truly noble, who work 
for the work's sake. In the present day, there is no loftier 
patent of nobility, than that of knowledge. Our recent earn- 

Albert Diirer. 5 

paigns are no proof to the contrary. Their issues are un- 
questionably the results of science applied to military subjects^ 
Courage and enduring valour have characterised the German 
race at all times. But the historic sentiment of their position,, 
that inspired the body of the army, the circumspection that 
regulated the plan of the campaign, the perfection of the 
weapons, by which the war was carried on, are all the fruit 
of scientific investigation and are recognised as such with 

Two facts of great significance have sprung from this tend- 
ency of the present generation to scientific enquiry : 1 st a co- 
lossal increase in the number of those, who devote themselves 

to the investigation of things past and present, and 2 nd the de- 
duction, of the most extreme conclusions from the new views. 
A freedom and want of reticence have appeared, which we 
ourselves regard with a certain dubiousness. The seniors 
amongst us (this word is used in its mildest sense) have been 
brought up in the belief that the original progenitors of man- 
kind were in immediate communication with the Deity; now- 
a-days, when man questions, not only the traditionary written 
records, but every thing, which can give an answer (and an 
answer is now given by every stone and every drop of water) 
we are linked with the Apes. A great number of men, more 
perhaps than we are aware of, console themselves in all ser- 
iousness with the thought, that they are descended from these 
animals, only because the connection between mankind and 
the Apes has been to a certain extent, presented in a plausibly 
scientific light. In place therefore, of lofty powerful ancestors, 
ideals, to which we cannot in this after-time attain, appear 
poor Indian-like dwellers in lake villages, whose mounds 
of bones we ransack. No one now dares to throw doubt 

6 Quarterly German Magazine. 

on these tangible records of the oldest history, or to op- 
pose the conclusions drawn from them. The province of re- 
ligion fares no better. What exceeds in purity the aspect of 
ancient Christendom and its records ? Now men investigate these 
occurrences, treating them as if they were events, that happened 
recently, and over which there was no need to become en- 
thusiastic. Anything may be said so long as it is in the 
form of a scientific enquiry. And in a wonderful way, all 
this makes us not more arrogant, but more modest. We as- 
sign to ourselves a lower place. The Earth with all its de- 
stinies we say, is only a small episode in the great Creation. 
We no longer imagine, that the world was solely created for 
man's benefit. The race of man likewise, with all its destinies, 
is only a limited episode in' the Earth's history ; the nationalities 
are only portions of the human race, whom we look upon and 
observe as individuals. Their national proclivities, 'capabilities 
and actions are enquired into, the impress they have left on the 
world's story, is dispassionately determined, and their history 
constructed by taking these qualities into account as the motive 
principles. We seek by all possible means, to come on the track 
of the former and present relations of different races. Formerly, 
when one spoke of history, wars and the fate of dynasties were 
all that was thought of, now endless classes of inter-dependent 
facts must be taken into consideration. There is a hunt for new 
points of view. Formerly it was much, to have found a foot 
path through the wood, now the leaves of every single tree 
must be counted. Every stone is turned over, to see if anything 
unknown lies beneath. Every change of weather is observed 
and registered. For countless years an arrow head, formed 
by the hands of men, remains sticking in the body of a buried 
animal. Layer upon layer of sand and mould collect above 


Albert Diirer. 7 

it. To-day, we dig deep, find the arrow, measure the depth, 
and determine from the style of the work and the position of 
the strata, the existence of different nations, who lived a cer- 
tain number of thousands of years ago. Splinters of bone, 
according to their form, become hieroglyphics, capable of in- 
terpretation. A dozen words inscribed ages ago , without 
being themselves intelligible, show us to-day, the existence 
of a language and give trustworthy indications, as to the 
location and migration of nations. We look round on all 
sides with a sense of perfect freedom, and nothing appears 
any longer unattainable. 

Whilst these researches are directed towards the develop- 
ment of nationalities, and ages are brought near and made 
familiar , whose distance from us in time , we formerly 
dared not measure, there is a negative side to the positive 
results of this most recent aspect of thought. Certainly, 
former historical accounts were laboured at with often the 
poorest tools, facts were seldom known with exactitude, and 
out of shadowy elements indefinite forms were shaped. In 
return for that our passions, which are always excited by any- 
thing that concerns the intercourse of man with man, stepped 
more clearly into the foreground and history, which to-day is 
considered as the result of invincible laws that work together 
in endless variety, was simpler and easier of comprehension. 
To-day, no fact is credited, unless it can produce good evidence, 
that it occurred exactly as it must have occurred. Every 
event must be so luminous, that nothing indefinite remains 
behind. Buckle's celebrated work on the History of Civilisa- 
tion is the most brilliant exposition of the deeds of nations 
according to this method, the comprehensive introduction to 


8 Quarterly German Magazine. 

it (the only part actually completed) forms a foundation for 
the history of all nations. 

So long as Buckle limited himself to the comparison of 
the qualities of the inhabitants of different parts of our planet, 
he made many astonishing and curious observations. But he 
was powerless, when he trenched upon the province, where 
struggles of a spiritual origin take place. To render these 
clear and intelligible, requires not only an appreciation of 
the influences, that impel the masses to a common action, but 
a knowledge of the characteristics of the individuality of the 
leaders of the people. He seized and explained only, what 
relates to the effect of Nature on Man, but his mode of treat- 
ment failed, when it was applied to the active agent. For here 
we can no longer make use of the observations and compari- 
sons, that have served us hitherto, 

It is a striking thought that, whilst we have so vastly 
extended our observations, in the knowledge of all the outer 
conditions of life, we have rather fallen behind in our grasp 
of the inner life, not only in what depends on the keenness 
of observation, but also in the power of pourtrayal. In this 
department no progress has been made. Our earliest records of 
spiritual conditions go back some two or three thousand years, 
during which men have always remained the same. It appears, 
that the old Greeks felt hate, love, ambition and such like pas- 
sions just as we do, and that they heeded them still more, 
that they spoke, wrote, made better poetry, sculptured, built, 
and even thought better, than we do. The riddle of man's na- 
ture has not been solved by all our increased knowledge. Many 
things have now been rendered clear in history, because such 
an enormous amount of aid has been brought to bear upon it. 


Albert Diirer. 9 

One problem, however, still remains unsolved, that is the secret 
of the special growth of each race. 

Thus much we do indeed perceive. One feels, that na- 
tions have intellectual epochs, which are often concealed from 
view by an accumulation of visible facts, and yet it is by 
means of these secret influences, that the nation is carried on- 
ward. Our own experience furnishes us with many examples 
of men, who are the moving and guiding spirits of their age, 
and who, at the same time, faithfully and typically represent 
it. We feel, that these men will, one day, impart to succeed- 
ing centuries the characteristics of our era, and in by-gone 
times we seek after those, who will perform the same service 
for their own age. To find out these men and set them in 
the right light, has been and will continue to be one of the 
chief duties of historical writing. We must see men in their 
age in order to comprehend the age. In this way I come 
back to Diirer: Diirer's fame is of recent date, because in our 
time only has it been recognised, how truly he was the in- 
tellectual representative of his epoch. And so high does this 
attribute place him in our eyes, that he has the credit of be- 
ing a great painter, almost without having given visible proof 
of the fact. 

For certain epochs, these men, whom I call representative 
stand forth, each one alone. Every one knows that Yoltaire in 
the middle of the last century, Rousseau for the time preced- 
ing the French revolution, and Mirabeau at its commencement 
were the mirrors of the intellectual movement going on in 
France. What the names of Goethe, Plato, Pericles, Phidias, 
embrace and signify, is perfectly familiar to us. But let 
us take Italian history, which finds its image in Dante. If 
w r e were obliged to take him alone as the representative of 


10 Quarterly German Magazine. 

the intellectual condition of Italy at the turning point of the 
13th and 14th centuries, the acerbity and sulleimess of his 
nature would give us a conception of his times such as they 
do not fully warrant. We look round for a man who radiates 
with the light side of life, and the painter Giotto stands near to 
Dante and complements him. Little enough has been pre- 
served of his works, as in Diirer's case; almost nothing is 
exstant, which by itself would stamp him as a great painter, 
however his place near Dan^ confers upon him a high 
rank, and renders him a man of historical importance, who 
cannot be dispensed with. 

Let us again refer to Italian history. For the period, 
which marked the change of the 15th and 16th centuries a 
man is wanting, who at the same time comprehended and re- 
presented as much as Dante. Michael Angelo was by far too 
one sided, Macchiavelli, the same; we want a man again for 
the brighter side of the life, and Raphael presents himself. 
These three embrace almost the whole. I know scarcely 
any one, who represents vividly the war like spirit of the 
time. Neither Caesar Borgia, nor Julius the 2nd, nor Bour- 
bon, nor Colonna, and all the other famous soldiers. There 
is too much instability mixed up with their character, and 
that which appears genuinely alive in it, is only a reflection 
of Macchiavelli, without whom the age would remain un com- 
prehensible. He and Michael Angelo and Raphael contain all 
the others. Even Savanarola would disappear, did they not 
form the back ground 

And now let us pass over to Germany at the same epoch. 
A crowd of characters present themselves, and yet when I 
observe them carefully, three only are representative and truly 
living for their own and all succeeding days, Luther, Hutten 


Albert Durer 11 

and Albert Durer. They make everything intelligible. Luther 
displays the power, the will and the selfconsciousness, Hutten 
the restlessness, the tenacity and also the bewilderment, Durer 
the cheerfulness, frugality and honesty of the German nation, 
as it then appeared to the world. 

Let us look around; there stands Giotto next to Dante, 
then Raphael and Michael Angelo, and here at last we come 
to Durer, passing over in silence other artists, who take their 
place in the first rank among the representative men of 
other periods. To investigate these men's works, and from 
them to conceive a true picture of their age, is the task of 
the present science of Art. In olden times the importance of 
this endeavour was recognised and profited by accordingly, 
but more recently its capabilities have either been ignored or 
insufficiently used. 

No where in Germany has the necessary material been 
collected with this object in view, nor has any one made it 
their task, to set to work upon it. 

Albert Durer stands forth possessing in full propor- 
tion all fine manly qualities. When we contemplate Mi- 
chael Angelo, the form of the lonely man charms us, whose 
life in the totality of its functions forms an almost oppressively 
complete whole. If we compare Durer' s and Raphael's exis- 
tences to countries, which at once border on and are bounded 
by others; and while fully occupying their own places, in re- 
lation to the whole, only appear as part, so that ranges 
of mountains, rivers and highways, form common posses- 
sions, which they share with others, Michael Angelo's life ap- 
pears as an island surrounded by the sea. Incomplete in many 
things, but peculiar in all. Standing quite alone. With its own 


12 Quarterly German Magazine. 

vegetation, its own sky, its own inhabitants. External in- 
fluences had little or no effect on Michael Angelo. He had 
no connexion with the other men, with whom he came in 
contact. He was what he was, from the beginning. No man 
pointed out to him the path, which he took and he could 
instruct no one to tread in his foot steps. 

As a whole however he seems poor and sunless. In his 
poems about himself, he prefers to use the metaphor, that he 
was born in gloom and wanders in the night, that he might 
envy others, for what was denied to him. When we see such 
a man, his colossal performances misapprehended and falsely 
judged, we feel constrained to do everything, that is possible 
to be done, to clear away the obscurity, that surrounds him, 
and to set him in the light. But everything, that as yet has 
been done for him, is no more than what a man effects, 
when stepping in at the window of a great hall, he kindles 
a small light at the foot of a great statue that stands there. 
The outlines become a little more distinct, some parts are 
slightly illuminated, but on the whole, we can but guess at 
the form by the great masses that loom out of the general 
darkness. Whoever steps in, perceives enough to understand 
that the image of a mighty man stands there. No one per- 
haps will ever bring it into the light of clear day. 

How different are Raphael and Albert Diirer! It is as if 
we stepped out of obscurity, silence, and loneliness, into the 
middle of a sunny market place, where the windows glitter, 
the fountains spring, and men are engaged in busy traffic. 
Here nothing meets us full of strange mystery. Only one 
thing fails us: we cannot comprehend the whole at one 
glance. One fact must be grasped after the other. As if 
breathing the breath of spring, that seems eternal and inex- 


Albert Diirer. 13 

haustible, we pass through the crowd of friendly living beings. 
How many alluring dark eyes are directed on us from all 
sides, when we glance in memory over Raphael's life and 
works! How the cheerful bustle of the city life, inside and 
outside the walls, crowds upon us, when we turn to Albert 
Diirer! We see Michael Angelo fleeing to Venice once in 
youth, once in old age ; the first time driven forth by a threa- 
tening dream, the second time with the thought of the down- 
fall of his fatherland in his heart. Raphael on the contrary, 
how innocently he travels through Umbria and Tuscany, how 
hopefully towards Rome: Diirer, how briskly he rides over 
the Alps to Venice, and later on journeys with wife and maid 
servant to the Netherlands. To sit at table with Michael An- 
gelo, would have been like supping with the Gods, when 
you would weigh every word you heard and still more scru- 
pulously every one you uttered ; with Diirer and Raphael, you 
would have chatted and taken wine. Pleasing to look at too 
how willingly would you press through the crowd, to grasp 
their hands; whilst it suffices to see Michael Angelo from 
a-far, as when watching a statue drawn in triumph through 
the streets of a town. 

Diirer and Raphael are Italy and Germany side by side 
at the same period. No description makes the difference be- 
tween the two countries so clear, as a glance at these two 
men and their creations. Here as there, a flower suddenly 
shoots up, tall and wonderful as that of an Aloe. In Italy, the 
eon of a poor painter is transplanted to Rome from his small 
provincial town, and there in the space of fifteen years at- 
tains the highest grade of fame, of riches, and of splendour; 
he died with the thought of becoming a Cardinal, and left 
behind him gold, palaces, and a Pope in tears. Men and 

14 Quarterly German Magazine. 

women of the highest rank boasted of associating with him, 
and of the possession of his works, if they were so fortunate 
as to secure any. Rome became extinct, when Raphael passed 
away. And on this side of the Alps, Diirer is the citizen of 
Nuremberg, a German inland town. Never illuminated by 
those concentrated flames of celebrity, in whose midst stood 
Raphael, a soft and penetrating light nevertheless streamed 
forth, whose lustre spread far to the North, and to the South 
extendecHo Rome, so that Raphael exchanged presents of esteem 
and friendship with him. He worked hard, never receiving 
great commissions, never honoured with appointments even 
by the citizens, whom he made famous. But let us observe 
this activity in its own quarters, what a cheerful happy self- 
contained existence he passed from early youth, when he was 
an apprentice to Wohlgemuth, who had much to suffer from his 
workmen, till his death, which his friends ascribed to the ex- 
cessive labour forced upon him by the parsimoniousness of 
his wife. But we cannot believe that Diirer ever felt himself 
oppressed with work, for a Puck-like merry spirit breaks out 
everywhere. One supposes rather, when reading his letters 
from Yenice, that a nature armed with so much humour 
must give him the mastery over a wife's ill temper. His Diary 
in the Netherlands, in which he jotted down every expense, 
seems to confirm this. He often eats and drinks with good 
friends, whilst the wife and maid remain at home ; not rarely 
he mentions, that he had lost at play, and buys whatever 
curiosities come under his hands. Diirer must have had some- 
what of Raphael's "gentillezza". His life was uneventful, and 
when he died , his friends, like Raphael's , missed rather the 
man than the artist: Pirkheimer, in the poetic Elegy on his 
death , dwelt most on Diirer's excellence in whatever he 


Albert Diirer. 15 

undertook, as if Art were only one amongst other qualities, 
which adorned him. Luther writes, whilst giving vent to his 
detestation of the Anabaptist movement, "God seems to have 
taken away Durer, in order that he should no longer live to 
witness it." Diirer left behind him a great void, when he 
died : how few do so, they know, who have seen with asto- 
nishment, how often on the death of the most remarkable 
people not the slightest token remains to indicate the loss. 

What the word of a representative man is worth in his 
time, we experience in these utterances of Luther: Much had 
been gathered to the praise of the city of Nuremberg in those 
days ; many of honourable deeds were recorded, but in spite of 
all, the city took no distinct rank amongst other cities. Now 
however we have Luther's dictum "Nuremberg is the eye 
and ear of Germany" ,,Auris et Oculus Germaniae", and 
this utterance invests Nuremberg with a nobility that all 
the praise of others could not procure for it. Diirer too is 
given his right place in his relation to the heart of Germany, 
and his love for the city, which gave him but little in return, 
is explained. 

Nuremberg must have possessed somewhat of the criti- 
cal acuteness that made Florence, in the height of its glory, 
so feared and so fruitful. In both, we find the citizens 
anxiously beautifying their city out of love for it, nowhere did 
they feel so happy as in their own houses. How carefully do 
we find these houses and streets delineated in the artistic works 
of their artists ! Durer excelled in so doing and his own house 
is also the dearest to him. In his precious, perhaps most pre- 
cious plate, where he has transplanted the holy Hieronymus 
(Jerome) together with the lions into his own small room, 
we notice, that by a few touches he has fitted it up into a 


16 Quarterly German Magazine. 

study for the venerable old man. With what pleasant en- 
joyment has he delineated with tender strokes, even the 
knots and cracks in the boards of the room, that is dear to 
him! How the sun with warm pleasant beams, creeps side- 
ways through the small panes of the wide, subdivided 
windows reaching the ground and just lighting up the 
stout well made table. The lion stretched out blinking 
and sleepy, and the small terrier curled up near it, both 
seem to belong to the chamber. You seem to hear the 
buzzing of the flies and the rustling of the leaves turned 
over by the hand of the bearded old man. How orderly 
everything stands in its place, how brightly shines the 
polished furniture, each piece in its proper position. I think, 
that the plate must seem to one, who has it in his room 
like a piece of sunshine hanging up, that shines through the 
saddest times. 

This composition is only like one verse of an almost in- 
definitely long poem. What a diary of his rich life do the 
engravings drawings and similar studies produced by Diirer's 
hand present to us! His portraits, a perfect illustration of 
German character of every class, from the Emperor whose 
portrait, he limned in the little chamber in the Castle, at 
Augsburg, to the beggar and the peasant in the street. 
Heavy looking monks, distinguished warriors, citizens, country 
people, tramps. Added to these, cities, villages and landscapes. 
The fantastic feature of belief in witchcraft, which had for- 
merly such a powerful sway over men's minds, finds its ex- 
pression in many compositions. The incapacity of realising 
what has passed, except in the costume of the present, and 
of regarding history otherwise than as a romantic mixture of 
truth and fiction, both indications of the prevailing ideas, 


Albert Diirer. 17 

show themselves most unmistakeably. One sees how few, at 
that time, were able to realise the sequence of events con- 
necting what was then occurring with the times of the old 
Roman Empire. Pleasure was taken in the existing state of 
affairs and in the idea, that, what had always been, would al- 
ways remain. Every house was built so indestructibly, as if it 
should last for ever, that is, as long as Church and State. 
And these were Powers, that would endure for ever. There 
was complete satisfaction in the arrangment of this world, res- 
pect for them and submission to the governing powers, earthly 
and heavenly. A childlike reverence for the powers, that be, 
in whatever guise they might present themselves. 

And Diirer also took real pleasure in producing what re- 
lated to his art, and in the sentiment that his own works 
would, to a certain extent, share in his immortality. He took 
the greatest care in the preparation of his colours. All 
the ingredients were as permanent as possible. And this assi- 
duity to render earthly things lasting, he extended with like 
practical sentiment to the existence beginning after death. 
According to his ability he strove to secure on earth a good 
memory and in heaven a good reception and the latter ob- 
ject was never out of his mind. Without any sentimentality 
however. For the old creed presented the world to come as a 
quiet happy dwelling place, certain to be reached and enduring 
for ever, not without some kind of civil order, wherein each 
one's place was ready, where the child should regain its toys, 
and the old man renew his intercourse with his friends. Also 
what seems surprising to us, there was no regret, when a sud- 
den turn seemed to shorten the way to it. Diirer went through 
life as through a garden, where he was locked in, but never 
felt emprisoned. He moves slowly, his eyes rove about, what- 

1872. I. 1. (17) B 

18 Quarterly German Magazine. 

ever he sees, he sees as in a picture, and his hand is un- 
wearied in sketching these pictures. 

And how modestly he prosecutes his charge ! He draws 
so that every line should present to us the very object before 
him. Never has an artist of so much genius observed the world 
with so much candour, none has pourtrayed it in certain 
aspects with so much truth. 

Some may raise objections to this last statement. For 
indeed, the master, who at that time pourtrayed Nature with 
the strictest accuracy, was Holbein. Holbein, younger than 
Diirer, but his contemporary, flourished at Basle, painted there 
some very pretty compositions on walls, but especially por- 
traits and small pictures, then went to England, where he 
died. Holbein is perhaps the man, who in portrait painting has 
most exactly rendered Nature. But there is one thing charac- 
teristic of him, in his portraits : there is something wanting in ex- 
pression, that on longer acquaintance, awakes almost a feeling 
of sorrow. I have not seen all his works, but all I have seen 
confirm this observation. One feels , that there has been a 
fruitless struggle to invest these perfect reflections of Nature 
with a soul. A short time since, I recognised a picture by 
his hand, till then unknown to me*. A work such as this, 
presenting new ground for study,. is observed with the greatest 
impartiality and with the most favourable sentiments. An in- 
comparable work! Colour and drawing unite to produce per- 
fection; the problem, how to transfer the countenance of a 
man to a flat surface with colour, without depriving it of the 
least attribute of life, seems solved. Neither Raphael nor 

* In the Castle at Weimar. The picture has come from Holland, 
and has only recently been exhibited, that is, why I mention it. 


Albert Diirer. 19 

Leonardo could have done, what is accomplished here. All 
these excellencies however, do not replace the want of cheer- 
fulness, which prevents Holbein being for his age, what Durer is. 
Holbein's works betray no individuality. You do not see the 
master behind them, whom you could approach and ask to solve 
the mysteries, that dwell in the picture. Holbein draws fault- 
lessly, he arranges agreeably and tastefully, but intellectually 
he brings us no farther. Holbein's sketches are the studies of 
a painter, Diirer' s the notes of a poet. Diirer' s figures seem 
more animated, the more we observe them. Who knows not 
his portrait of the Jungfer Fiirlegerin, a Nuremberg patrician's 
daughter, whom he painted twice? She is not beautiful, only has 
splendid hair. He lets the light fall intentionally so strangely on 
the face, that a world of clear light and shadows play about 
it, investing the head with wonderful life. And the hair is 
painted, as if he had taken each one singly, and the fingers 
of the hand are rounded with indescribable tenderness. People 
may say that the portrait is brown in the shadows, that it is 
rather a caprice than a work of art; but to me it appears 
as springing from a most loving and impartial view of 

This love for Nature is declared most fully in the por- 
traits, that Diirer painted of himself. I believe no master has 
so often and so carefully painted his own person as Diirer, 
and with such conscientiousness in rendering even the smallest 
detail. Here also he seemed to rejoice in every little hair, 
and to delight himself in the delineation of the hand, which 
he knew so well how to draw. He liked especially to paint 
himself in handsome rich clothing, in fur bordered mantle, in 
a finely embroidered cap, for he had a particular pleasure in 
fine clothes, and French and Spanish mantles, and was quite 

(19) B2 

20 Quarterly German Magazine. 

conscious of his handsome tall figure. In Venice he took 
dancing lessons. 

A portrait of himself begins the series of his works so 
far as they remain. "This I painted as a copy of myself, 
when I was nine years old", is written on the leaf preserved 
at Yienna. Drawn as a child draws, but already bearing 
witness to the endeavour (which Leonardo da Vinci reco- 
gnised as the seal of young people to art), to make the 
head stand out round against strong shadows. In this por- 
trait, the long hair is as straight as a straw, so that the curls 
we see him wear later, may perhaps owe something to ar- 
tificial aid. This vanity accords with the spirit of the age, 
which spread adornment and decoration over everything, even 
the person. 

When Diirer drew that picture, he was still at school. He 
had already ten sisters and brothers, his mother, who hadi 
married very young and whom he took to his own home af- 
ter his father's death, bore eighteen children in all. 

"Now you should know," we read in Durer's Diary, "that 
in the year 1513, on the Tuesday before Passion Week, my 
poor dear mother, whom I took to my home two years after 
my father's death, as she was quite poor, who has been with 
me nine years, one morning early was taken deadly sick, so 
that we broke open the chamber, as otherwise we could not 
get to her, for she could not undo the door: also we carried 
her down into a room, and the two Sacraments were given 
to her, for every one thought she would die, for she was al- 
ways in health after my father's death, and her custom was 
to go much to church, and she always strove with me with all 
diligence, when I was not behaving right, and she always took 
great care of me and my brothers, and as I went out and in, 


Albert Durer. 21 

her saying was: "Go in the name of Christ", and she con- 
stantly gave us holy admonitions, had always great care for 
our souls, and her good works and her compassion, which: 
she showed towards every one, I cannot enough point out to 
her praise. This my pious mother has borne and brought 
up eighteen children, has often had the plague and many other 
heavy remarkable sicknesses, has suffered poverty, derision, 
contempt, scornful words, terror, and great opposition. 
Yet she was never revengeful. A year after the before- 
mentioned day, when she was taken ill, that is in the year 
1514, on a Tuesday the 17th of May, two hours before night,, 
my pious mother Barbara Durerin departed as a Christian,, 
with all the Sacraments absolved from all pain and sin by the 
priestly absolution. She had given me her blessing and wished 
me all godly peace, with much beautiful teaching, that I should 
keep myself from sin. She desired also to drink Saint John's 
blessing, which she then did, and she feared death much, but she 
said, she feared not to come before God. She died hard and 
I remarked, that she saw something fearful, for she wanted 
holy water, and before that she had not spoken for a long 
time, and her eyes grew dim. I saw also, that death gave 
her two great thrusts at the heart, and she closed her mouth 
and eyes and departed in agony. I prayed, that God would 
be merciful to her, for this gave me so much pain, that I 
cannot express it. It has been her great joy to speak of God, 
and she sought after the honour of God, and she was in her 
sixty-third year, when she died, and I have buried her hon- 
ourably according to my means. May God the Lord grant 
that I have also a blessed end, and that God with his hea- 
venly host, my father, mother and friends will come to my 
death bed, and that the Almighty God will give us eternal 


22 Quarterly German Magazine. 

life, Amen. And in death she looked more beautiful than in 

Every one must feel, with what love he clung to his 
mother, of whom no picture so well as I remember is 
extant, although he pourtrayed her more than once. 

Now let us observe his father, whom he painted twice, 
an old sensible looking man with a small cap in his hand. 
And then Wohlgemuth's portrait, reflecting with thoughtful 
care the thin features of the old man. We require no words 
such as those with which Diirer described the death of his 
father before that of his mother. If anything can give an idea 
of the source of the love and truth of his character, it is these 

It is no small thing to pourtray men as they really are 
If we glance over the range of modern painting, we have a 
series of first rate portraits , that exceed a hundred in 
number. There is nothing more instructive than a comparison 
of such works. Nowhere do we see so clearly into the depths 
of an artist's soul, as in portraits. They form the measure 
of his genius, and not less so, because portraits by great 
masters are always regarded as secondary works, in which to 
a certain extent they relaxed in their efforts. Professional por- 
trait painters are not referred to here ; their works are moulded 
by fashion and are generally devoid of soul. 

We spoke just now of Holbein. That want of sympathy, 
which to my mind appears in him in antithesis to the height 
of technical execution, is not found in him alone. Vandyke's 
extraordinary performances in this department suffer from the 
same defect, as well as many of Rembrandt's and Rubens'. It 
appears also in Sebastian del Piombo and Andrea del Sarto, 


Albert Durer. 23 

who in every other quality must be numbered with the best 
masters. Raphael on the contrary, Rubens also, and Titian make 
their portraits look at us with eyes that sink deep into our hearts. 
And Durer as well. Like Shakespeare's characters their por- 
traits represent species, while they depict individuals. Durer' s 
Jungfer Furlegerin is a type of a modest city maiden, his 
woodcutter that of a German citizen and honest fellow. From 
these pictures, that are still kept in the respective families, we 
learn to appreciate the power, on which the German city at 
that time rested, as plainly as what is communicated to us by 
written records. They are historical portraits, that reveal to 
us German citizenhood, just as Raphael shows us the Rome 
of his time, Titian the last splendour of Venetian greatness, 
and Rubens, Vandyke, Murillo, Velasquez, the men by whose 
help the Hapsburg dynasty, in the 16th and 17th centuries, 
was rendered paramount in Spain and the Netherlands. Rem- 
brandt, on the other hand, is the historian of Dutch freedom. 
If we glance over all, that the Napoleonic era brought forth 
in works of Art, we do not find one of the French painters, 
who was able to produce a really historical portrait. 

But Diirer's pictures are poems. His powerful Kaiser 
Charles, whose countenance he has made correspond with the 
magnificent insignia, amongst which it is enthroned: does it not 
realise whatever ideal, poetry, history and the sagas have pre- 
sented to our minds of the great Emperor Charles? Is he not 
a type of the mighty heroes of fable, who like demi gods re- 
present the source of all German power, nobility and history? 
Like a St. Gothardt, from whose secret rocky crevices the 
German Rhine gushes forth, the great central river of Ger- 
many and not as now its boundary. 


24 Quarterly German Magazine. 

If we notice Durer's portraits and paintings only as works 
of art, it would be a delusion to suppose, that we could not 
find defects. His truthfulness often passes into triviality. He 
painted even the minutest details. Rubens with bold strokes 
of his brush, or Titian with the medley of colour of his later 
works produced a splendid semblance of Nature, but when 
we compare the copy and the original, we find great differ- 
ences; Durer went to the other extreme and was almost mi- 
croscopic in his exactness. Diirer displays, not the pedantic 
minuteness of Denner, whose portraits give a punctilious imi- 
tation of the surface of the face, but a conscientiousness, that 
causes him to go too far. As compared with other great mas- 
ters, he failed in the complete command of the technical means 
of his art, and so his figures want animation, they look so 
still, that in some it amounts to* 1 an expression of positive 
anxiety. The cause of this may have been that he was con- 
scious of not always producing at the first stroke what he 
wished to create, so that, when he worked quickly, his ideal 
may not have been attained. It is acknowledged, that his por- 
trait of Erasmus of Rotterdam is far behind that painted by 
Holbein. But certainly he sketched boldly and thus originated 
many works, of which few others were capable. The pen 
and ink drawing of Felix Lautenschlager comes to my mind > 
that Durer in the Netherlands, it may be well said, threw off; 
it is a wonderful study drawn on green paper with a pen and 
touched up with white. If one found fault with some of Du- 
rer's paintings and said, "he paints as if he made pen strokes 
with the colours," the sentence in this case might be turned 
the other way, for these light pen touches are set on, as if 
they were pencil strokes. 

Durer's characteristic of "rather writing than painting" is 


Albert Durer. 25 

a second reason, why his paintings at times fail in technical 
finish. They scarcely seem completely thought out. There is no 
artistic purpose visible. I mean one feels, that he wished at 
the beginning to produce a certain thing, but that he laid 
down the pencil before he had accomplished it. Yet we must 
remember, that this finish is the fruit of years of practice, 
and these Durer did not enjoy, for commissions were scarce. 
That this want was indeed only accidental, and not inherent 
in his character, is shown by a few works. Partially for 
example, in the Strahower Madonna, but specially in the 
Apostles of Munich. Here we see tasteful, well arranged groups 
historically correct, and simple solitary forms, grandly con- 
ceived and depicted as only Raphael and Michael Angelo 
could pourtray them. These Apostles unveil a phase of Du- 
rer's power, that justifies his association with the highest mas- 
ters. No one however, required him when living to give greater 
proofs. We must acknowledge with sorrowful reproach, that 
we had no Emperor, no nobility, no citizens , who understood 
him. Meanwhile the examples given, suffice as regards Diirer's 
fame. Yes! this feeling, with which he inspires us, of having 
known him, enables us almost to see more than real works 
would perhaps have done. To imagine is often more attractive 
than to realise. Thus Goethe, whilst he made use of the most 
diverse poetical forms, has produced in each department only one 
work, properly speaking, which however, is of such a tenor, 
that it seems to represent a whole series of unproduced works 
of similar form. But with Gcethe there were other causes at 
work, he was a poet independent of public opinion, and never 
received any impulse to work from that quarter. 

Durer was most at home when engraving on copper or 
drawing on wood. In the year 1 509 he had to paint the As- 


26 Quarterly German Magazine. 

sumption of the Virgin Mary (a work that was destroyed by 
fire) for Jacob Heller of Frankfort. Durer wrote thus to him, 
"No one shall again persuade me to undertake a picture with 
so much work in it. I should become a beggar, if I did. For 
in a year I can finish a number of ordinary pictures, more 
than it is considered possible for one man to produce, but 
painting ever so diligently stroke by stroke, you never get to 
the end, therefore I will stick to my engraving, and had I 
done so sooner, I should, to-day, be worth 1000 guldens more 
than I am." With the graving-tool, Diirer certainly did not 
work less carefully. What he did in this department of Art, 
succeeded better than his other productions, and laid the foun- 
dation of his celebrity. Here even in the "finest line" he is 
free and full of life. Apart from the very small size, in which 
they are executed, his compositions, if I may so say, stand 
alone. They have their own special greatness. Were they 
enlarged to life size, they would not be greater than they are; 
just as Raphael's cartoons or Michael Angelo's frescoes are 
not less important in the smallest engraving, than on the 
large surfaces covered by the originals. 

Durers fancy is astonishingly creative in these works. 
Whilst now we seek to realise the events of New Testament 
history by introducing interesting foreign scenery and repre- 
senting the landscape with accuracy and artistic firmness till 
the observer lends himself to the illusion and invests the 
figures lightly sketched in against this back ground with a 
like undoubted reality, Diirer plants his figures conspic- 
uously in the fore ground, concentrates the whole of the life 
on them and for the surrounding accessories takes German 
Architecture, dress, and furniture. His scenes from the life of 
Mary are a series of pleasing idyls drawn from the homely 


Albert Dilrer. 27 

landscape around him. He who never had children and whose 
wife had so little that was ideal about her, imparts to these 
scenes a child like poetry, that is very charming. No poem, 
no records of any kind could so well pourtray the life of a 
happy young wife dwelling in the citizen life of that time, 
as Diirer's pictures of Mary. He gives the Angel such a 
fairy like ministering expression, that it does not appear the 
least out of place, and in the surroundings, where his fancy 
produces the most wonderful mixture of German Architecture 
and Italian Renaissance, he shows how unconcernedly the 
strange forms of the past were welded with those of the 
present. This is symbolical of the tendency of his times, for 
in other things there was the same mode of procedure. Hans 
Sachs, who certainly in other matters did not come up to 
Diirer may yet in this respect be compared with him. Hans 
Sachs translated impartially Homer, Pindar, Sophocles and 
others of the same stamp into German doggrel for his Nurem- 
berg public. 

Diirer in his works of this kind represents the German 
life of those times with so much fidelity, that he actually 
transplants us into the midst of it. He had no preferences 
but reproduced whatever offered itself to him, without any 
intention of displaying any one of his powers in particular. 
His figures of the Virgin Mary, have often quite ordinary 
countenances; a number might be counted, that can in no 
way be called beautiful. It appears impossible for him to prop 
up his ideal or to modify in the least the tone of the effects, 
that nature presented to him. He took with a certain pas- 
sivity such as also characterised Goethe, whatever presented 
itself to him. As well as he could, yet without much ado, 
he reproduced it on paper. There are artists, who cannot 


28 * Quarterly German Magazine. 

draw a single line without betraying a consciousness, that their- 
work will be seen by others; Durers pictures look, as if he 
had produced them solely for his own pleasure. It seems to 
be a characteristic of all those, who have done anything good 
in art, in Germany. Goethe's best things flow from the same 
sentiment, and Walter von der Yogelweide's poems , that are 
always recalled to my mind, when I see Durer's works. All 
three seem to wander through life without fixed aim, with a 
loitering or a hurried step as pleases them. Almost without 
knowing what they do, they pluck here and there a flower as 
it comes in their way and returning in the evening they lay 
their nosegay on the table , and from the verdict of the world 
they first realise, that these flowers were not for their own 
eyes alone. 

Hence it comes, that Diirer has left no master-piece. He 
appears never to have entered into rivalry with any one, 
or to have been envied by any one. Thus, in Antwerp the 
artists escorted him home with torches, and did him honour, 
but neither the Venetian ducats nor the Dutch guldens, which 
were offered to him could keep him from returning to Nu- 
remberg, where his friends lived. Of extraordinary incidents 
Diirer had but few in his life, of those, which mark the phases 
of development in his Art, scarcely any. I have on a 
former occasion endeavoured to bring before you his Vene- 
tian journey in the year 1506, as constituting a kind of epoch 
in his life and I abide by this conclusion, but if one reviews, 
all his works from the first to the last, one feels, that this 
man is always the same, and as Goethe said of him, he 
can alone be judged from his own stand point. He was 
born in 1471 ; in 1506 he went to Venice for a year, and in 
1520 to the Netherlands for the same length of time; his 


Albert Diirer. 29 

death took place in 1528. Pirkheimer asserts, that his wife 
scarcely ever allowed him to leave home. At any rate, his 
unwearied assiduity made him a willing prisoner in his studio. 
Then at last he applied himself to writing on anatomical 
and architectural subjects and took a position in the town, 
which in certain respects resembled that of Michael Angelo, 
becoming an indispensable authority in Nuremberg on all 
subjects concerning art, and without his advice nothing of 
the kind was undertaken. More minute accounts are still 
wanting. But he always appears as a clear headed and 
totally unselfish man, and such individuals , when once 
the world recognises their disinterestedness, soon have hon- 
our thrust upon them. The Town-Council had great respect 
for him, and Diirer manifested his gratitude by presenting a 
picture to the city. But he never fought and suffered for 
it, as Michael Angelo did for Florence, no crowd of 
painters thronged around him as round Raphael and the few 
poems from his hand are so unmusical, that in comparison with 
them Hans Sachse's language has quite a Ciceronian ring. 
Yet that Diirer knew how to express deep thoughts is shown 
by the introduction to his book on Proportions and that he 
took an interest in what was happening in the world around 
him, when it was needful, we know from the pages of his Diary, 
where on the news of Luther's imprisonement (when he was 
taken to the Wartburg) he laments over the loss of this 
man. On reading these simple words, which run in the form 
of a prayer, that God will have mercy on the fate of Ger- 
many, one feels from the midst of what nation Luther 

We are accustomed to consider the Reformation as a 
movement chiefly arising from literary beginnings. The 

30 Qiiartfrly German Magazine. 

political economical and moral motives, which united to pro- 
duce the great result, are often passed over in silence. What 
part art played in it, will be first generally recognised, when 
the character of religious art in Germany and its influence 
down to Diirer's time upon history is carefully investigated 
and explained. 

Before the Reformation, the religious idea, and its histo- 
rical purport were to a great degree realised to the people 
by means of art. Painted walls supplied the place of books. 

There is an old Italian copper plate engraving represen- 
ting the painter Apelles with the inscription Apelle poeta ta- 
cente, "Apelles the silent poet". This poetry was at that 
time as valuable and intelligible, as if language had been 
made use of. Buildings for the honour of God and the fame 
of the City filled to overflowing with master pieces of furni- 
ture, statuary and painting were vents by which this mute 
art strove to embody a crowd of ideas; expressing devotion 
power and pride, which it is now considered not feasible to 
give, save by words. A statue raised to a man is now an 
honour, which if it is wanting, does not cause the man to 
be one hair's breadth less respected, but then it was a monu- 
ment, that expressed and manifested really and truly the 
veneration of the people. By no literary means could the pour- 
trayal of a character be so well achieved, as by Raphael's or 
Diirer's pictures. In Rome as in Germany it was considered 
impossible to attain by words, what was accomplished by 
colours, just as impossible does it now seem to us to produce 
Shakespeare's Juliet or Goethe's Iphigenia, by the art of 

Diirer in his scenes from the New Testament was no mo- 
dern illustrator. His compositions give picture and text at the 


Albert Dilrer. 31 

same time. These engravings were spread over Germany in 
great number, and were everywhere copied, and in Italy were 
even engraved by Marc Anton, who otherwise only con- 
descended to engrave Raphael's works, and as they just pre- 
ceded by a year Luther's translation of the Bible, from the 
living fullness of their expression, in a wonderful way prepared 
the people for this book. The towns were soon filled with 
pictures of Bible scenes, and many, naturally, were of decided 
excellence. I need only recall to you Adam Krafft's" Stations", 
full of heart-stirring feeling. Nevertheless no master like Dii- 
rer could pourtray the life of Christ. None could so well show 
the connection of the different parts, and invest them with 
the property of clinging to the memory and assuming a sort 
of power, just as Goethe's and Shakespeare's ideas and char- 
acters cling to the mind, dwell there and carry on an in- 
dependent existence. These readings of the Biblical story 
by Diirer's hand were impressed on the hearts of the people. 
And quite free from the antiquarian Byzantine taste, they 
moved the soul and excited a new and cordial interest in these 
events. And then came Luther's work, the first in the German 
language, that was read by all Germany, and which contained 
the real text to these pictures. For no one doubted but that 
God had dictated the words of the Gospels to those Evange- 
lists, whose names they bear. 

But what constitutes Diirer's special importance, is the 
service he rendered his era, similar to that of Giotto, when 
placed by the side of Dante. We have certainly enough evid- 
ence of the drolleries of his time, but of the gracefulnesses 
of its life, there exists no such monument, as is embodied in 
his works and whole career. We recognise in him the cheer- 
fulness, the youthfulness I might call it, which springing from 


32 Quarterly German Magazine. 

the heart of the German people, so well accords with Luther's 
temper, which explains the childlike playful spirit in Luther 
himself, and which he, the earnest man, knew characterised 
the situation of the moment. 

When Luther describes the "Birds' Parliament 1 ' under his 
window in the Wartburg, and the "Cawing" of the crows, 
that proposed to carry a crusade into Turkey, one might think, 
that Durer had drawn the scene. When we hear Luther re- 
late how, while hunting in the woods round the town, a hare 
took refuge from the eager hounds in his wide sleeve, I see 
the scene, as if Diirer had engraved it. Durer liked to re- 
present child angels playing with little hares, when he de- 
picted the innocent court of the Madonna. When Luther 
speaks of the old men and maid-servants, of his wife, the "Do- 
minus Ketha" as he playfully calls her, and of the children's 
peculiarities, of his colleagues, who went timidly to bed, be- 
cause they feared to take the English Sweating Sickness, and of 
how he persuaded them to get up again, it seems to me, that 
his words flow from the same source, whence spring Durer' s 
strokes on the paper. One man explains the other. A glance 
at the life of that time usually leaves something depressing 
and sad on the picture. Luther's surroundings appear to us 
quarrelsome and often almost vulgar. And in politics, in worldly 
affairs, how cold, narrow and colourless seem these strifes. 
The whole condition of things seems decaying and desolate. 
But whoever recognises Diirer, sees the sunshine beaming 
over it, and the fair green smiling fields of Germany. The 
Emperor Max, who in his old age appeared like a per- 
severing eagle in the rain, doubtful as to whence his next 
meal will come, perching now on one withered branch, now 
on another, catches a cheerful beam from this sun, and looks 


Albert Durer. 33 

in consequence more pleasant. Krafft, Vischer, Sachs, Pirk- 
heimer, all the Nuremberg artists and scholars, look fresher and 
less mechanical. Even Holbein, who is so great in himself, 
cannot dispense with Durer. Without him, there is something 
about him uncertain and cold. 

Holbein has also illustrated the events of the New Tes- 
tament. His compositions evince such skill, that one is tempted 
to fancy, they contain the same deep sentiment, which marks 
Diirer's drawings. But these attempts lead to illusions. 
Holbein has worked with rare taste and wonderful knowledge 
of extraordinary means, but his personality is at variance with 
these terrible events, and the dissonance is so marked, that 
it forms a special token of his nature. Holbein has painted 
nothing, that is inspiring. Immense progress is to be marked 
in him, but no development. His Dresden Madonna throws 
no illuminating light over earlier or later works. It is a 
wonderful piece of painting in itself. Durer was far from be- 
ing able to equal it. Durer never specially sought to paint 
beauty for its own sake, to produce a work to catch the at- 
tention of gazers, as does a Madonna of Raphael's. Durer was 
too childlike for that. He was not only a painter, he was a Nu- 
remberg painter, whilst Holbein was universal, cosmopolitan, 
and his creations like Leonardo's came rather with the power 
of a magician, than with that of a homely human artist. And 
his life was in accordance with the character of his works. He 
withdraws into England, as Leonardo into France. His re- 
sidence in London leaves the city just as unknown and misty, 
as if he had never been within its walls. Diirer's journeys 
to Yenice and the Netherlands on the contrary, seem like 
rifts in the cloud, that even now would almost cover over these 
countries from our eyes. We want warm human sympathy, to 

1872. T 1. (33) C 

34 Quarterly German Magazine. 

apprehend men and eras. Let us place Holbein near Diirer 
however, and it is as if they shared each other's treasures. 
Involuntarily we supply the one with a share of the wealth of 
inner feeling, that wells up and overflows in the other. 

I return now to the statement, that Diirer 's fame as it is 
now understood, is of recent date. 

What Diirer was to his period and his friends, was of 
a transient character. Many, of whom we know nothing more, 
are just as dearly, perhaps more dearly missed and sorrowed 
for, than Diirer was at his death. To-day, we recognise for the 
first time, that Diirer, his works and his times taken together, 
form a work of art, inseparably united and called by the one 
name Diirer, which thus marks an epoch. 

Germany's great men have never been narrow minded. 
Raphael was a painter, Corneille a poet, Shakespeare a poet ; 
but Goethe and Diirer were men. Who will refuse them this 
title? Who till now would have classed the two together? 
Goethe's and Diirer's greatness lies not speciaUy in what they 
produced, but in how they produced it. They left behind 
only a single complete work: themselves. 

Raphael's, Michael Angelo's, Leonardo's and Titian's 
works stand disconnected from their author and apart from 
him. Corneille, Racine, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Milton, and 
many others, have left complete works, full, mature, endued 
with vitality. The works transcend the master as the peach 
the branch, on which it grows. The works however of the 
great Germans take a lower place than their creators, and 
form only a subordinate element of an inseparably connected 
whole, that reaches its highest point in themselves. Men 
of other nations, Michael Angelo and Dante not excepted, 
compared with most Germans, are not so intimately connected 


Albert Durer. 35 

with what they have produced. Their works complement each 
other less, in fact it would be a mistake to place many of 
them near one another. Before tliese one exclaims: What an 
artist ! There one says : Wliat a man ! And the man discovers 
to us the meaning of his works. 

To labour thus seems a feature of the German character. 
We require of an artist, before the name is conferred on him 
as a title of honour, that his whole existence shall be in har- 
mony with his works. We possess a set of men, who have 
a claim to this title, and from the possibility of attaining it, 
a doctrine has been started, that this "artisthood" is easier to< 
reach by means of external help, and therefore it is the duty 
of the State to lend a helping hand. And as much, that has 
been done in this belief, was done in the name of Durer, this 
idea cannot remain unmentioned, when he is spoken of. 

What relation does Durer bear to the art of the present 

All those, who have grown up in the midst of the pre- 
sent busy life, and feel themselves to be men, on whose joint 
labours the existence of the people rests, feel the need of 
identifying themselves visibly with the people. No one can 
base his life on an occupation, which he only endures, or for 
which he requires constant assistance. Such a condition is 
unbearable. We wish to work and to perceive, that this work 
takes effect. Each man desires, that years should give him 
a claim to a place of honour, where his energies can ex- 

What rank in the series of these progressive powers does 
the creative artist take? That, to which the result of this 
energy points out. It is to be feared, that soon men will 
appreciate architects not by the beauty of their buildings, but 


36 Quarterly German Magazine. 

by their technical importance, as well as by the sums they 
have thereby earned; the painter, the musician according to 
their fees, the poet and author by the results of their activity. 
We have the right not only to look at the outer aspect and 
to judge accordingly, but also the duty to make those, who 
desire to turn into this path, attentive to the inevitable results 
of such a proceeding. Lite must be taken as it is and cannot 
be altered. 

But we may also say: Who can deny, that there is a 
kind of work, whose aim rises far above that of common life, 
and whose fruits, although they may bring less than nothing 
to their originator, are nobler than the greatest riches of 
others ? 

Therefore, if we take account of what the world most 
honours, esteems as most manly and as the mark of the 
highest nature, we find it to be, to want nothing from the world, 
and therefore to despise, what it offers. Yes, whenever an active 
mind models a narrative of the fate of great men, does he not 
contrive, that they should fall into misery, or at least never lets 
them be puffed up with riches? What makes Garibaldi so great, 
is that he accepted no title, no elevation of rank, no gift, but 
lives as a poor man on his rocky isle, and that, what he did, 
he did for no reward. 

The number of those, who raise themselves to this height 
of unselfishness, is extremely small. In all cases however, al- 
though it is the highest result of a life's history, it does not 
do to begin with it. The man who, in his younger years, has 
not tried to make himself of value in the world, is sick or 
useless. To pursue something, that brings a livelihood or 
honour, or when fortune's goods are present, to enter into 
public life, is a necessity for well organised natures. We ob- 


Albert Diirer. 37 

serve this everywhere, and where the reverse is seen, it is a 
sign of an unsound state of affairs. Goethe, Raphael, Shake- 
speare, Michael Angelo, Beethoven, and many others, left 
properly behind them and strove to possess it. Durer also left 
a house and a handsome fortune and did his best while living, 
to increase it. All these men attained their position by strenuous 
labour, so that none of them ever required any pecuniary aid 
from high aesthetic considerations. They did receive money now 
and again, and later on Durer obtained an Imperial pension, that 
was paid to him irregularly enough. Great artists were helped 
by giving them important commissions. Some missed these, 
Durer for example, but this was the fault of the people and 
not of the artist. When Diirer had nothing to paint in oil, 
he engraved on copper, or carved or worked at anything else, 
that he liked. The beauty of his works, he always gave gratis, 
gave it into the bargain as it were, for he was certainly not 
better paid for his work, than other masters. What conduced 
to the advantage of Diirer as well as of all the creative ar- 
tists of his time, the good as well as the mediocre, in dis- 
tinction from those of the present day, was the circumstance, 
that Art, as I have already remarked, was the only in- 
tellectual means of expression in common use. The artist was 
as necessary to the people, as the public scribe is to the Ro- 
man peasant of to-day, who tells him, what should be put 
into his letters, and who sets it down for him. 

Now I assert, that the artists reared in our Acade- 
mies cannot without extraordinary good fortune, develope as 
independent men, a happy activity, whilst they themselves but 
for some extraordinary Providence, sink into poverty domestic 
and intellectual. 

Diirer with the highest ideal of his calling was ap- 


Quarterly German Magazine 

parently never more than an artisan. But whether the work 
was great or small, whether it brought in little or much, was not 
such an important object to him, as that it should be a work 
of art. This alone distinguishes the work of the artist from 
that of the artisan, Durer engraved with his whole soul in 
his work, and. what he strove to realise, was to make it 
worthy of the object and of himself which was his best reward, 
and nothing besides compensated for the want of it. This 
feeling of being an artisan did not prevent his associating 
with the learned men of his time, nor exclude him from their 
society. It would he false to set up Durer as a kind of 
model on account of his virtues as a citizen and to make of him 
a pattern artist just, as we now endeavour to construct out 
of the most impossible materials the pattern father of a family, 
the pattern peasant and the pattern shoemaker. Durer was 
in accordance with the good old times. Were such a man as 
Durer now living in Berlin, and desirous of entering the best 
society (because this is and always will remain the most 
cultivated), he would try for the most profitable commissions 
and like Raphael and Michael Angelo, who indeed followed 
this plan, let himself be well paid for them. He would not,, 
however, think it the duty of the State to make work for him, 
any more than Durer considered the Town-Council of Nurem- 
berg bound to give him commissions, or try to spread the 
idea, that the State should found institutions for talented 
young people, who perhaps might turn into Albert Diirer's. 

Academies exist and will not allow themselves to be 
abolished. We not do raze one institution to the ground to set 
another in its place; we reform it. The time has arrived 
for such reformation. Whilst all other institutions of state 
are being remodelled, art academies, still remain intact. 


Albert Diirer. 39 

No better example exists than Diirer's energy, to show 
wherein the art of the present day fails. 

Durer is a worker, who grew up in thorough harmony 
with his era; without confining himself to one department he 
sought to master all species of technical work in order to 
produce whatever was required of him. Raphael and Michael 
Angelo held a similar position in respect to their generation, 
and so did nearly all artists until the close of the last cen- 
tury. Only within the last seventy or eighty years has this 
doctrine of the teaching of genius and urging on art for its 
own high sake been started, that has rendered so many men 
unhappy and not one happy. It is unfortunate, that this 
doctrine has penetrated to the state, which it believes, protects 
art, whilst it brings up young people in the idea, that it is 
possible to make artists of them in public schools. 

What kind of life then did Diirer lead ? First under his 
father he learnt to be a goldsmith. Then he was apprenticed 
to Wohlgemuth, next he went on his travels, from the be- 
ginning showing what he was, and proving his merit. And 
when he was himself master of a workshop, what carried him 
onwards, was his fine character, his resolution to he satisfied only 
with the noblest aims, without that he would have been un- 
happy and his works as valueless as those of the numberless 
dozens of other masters around him. 

Let us never forget, that genius lies only in character. 
We are now able to spread knowledge and correct views 
with extraordinary effect among the people. If the state will 
take a part and in this way do something for art, let it 
awaken in the people the knowledge of what art is, what po- 
sition it occupies as an exponent of thought in this and other 
times. This will give the Museums a useful application, and 


40 Quarterly German Magazine. 

let a few practical ideas flow into the school lessons, which will 
not require many extra words and the sentiment will again 
flourish, from which national art shall arise anew. 

Durer was not a man, who styled himself an artist, who,, 
because he painted and sculptured, believed he was doing 
something extraordinary. He was a Nuremberg citizen and 
master. He painted when paintings were ordered of him, 
engraved on copper and sold his plates singly or in parts, 
worked without much thought about criticism and fame just as 
Shakspeare wrote his pieces to collect full houses. Durer 
did not work because he was cheered on, but because there 
was a power within him, that would manifest itself. Durer is 
like a bubbling fountain, that must gush forth whether it is 
conducted into a marble basin or into a cattle trough. He 
must spring forth and every thing else must take care of itself. 

The opinion entertained by a people of its great men 
varies. For some time men tried to find in Goethe the type 
of an Apollo, then that of Jupiter, then at last that of the 
elegantly attired minister of state, in which dress his statue is 
erected before the theatre of Weimar, standing by the side of Schil- 
ler, who wears a kind of dressing-gown. It would have been more 
correct to bestow the homely garment on Goethe and to 
have let Schiller appear as the elegant. A later time will 
again rise up above all family and household details and 
demand for intellectual greatness more heroic drapery. 

Durer was at first only a famed engraver and towards his 
friends a most cherished and most faithful companion. Pirk- 
heimer writes over his tomb "What was mortal in Albert 
Durer lies under this stone". 

In Sandrart's opinion a hundred years later, this was not 
enough and an epitaph was added, that Durer was celebrated 


Albert Diirer. 41 

as prince of artists. In pictures he was now depicted with 
burning black eyes and heavy beard and curls. Then 
these disappeared. His pictures vanish one by one from 
Nuremberg, most going abroad, at last scarcely anything but 
his engravings remain. 

Through Goethe's sympathy Diirer after many years, 
was again brought into notice. It was Goethe, who first 
looked from the works of the artist to the excellency of the 
man. At the end of the last century many of Diirer's manu- 
scripts came to light. At the beginning of the present, 
when the opposition to the old school in Germany so com- 
pletely broke down, the young men of the newer ideas at- 
tached themselves to Diirer. Now he began to rise into distinc- 
tion, so that at the third centenary of his death at Nuremberg 
and Munich enthusiasm reached its height. A monument was 
erected to him, in his name German art should again arise. 
This enthusiasm has certainly decreased; the worth of 
the man however progressed. Nevertheless, I return to my 
first assertion: Diirer is famous without being known to the 
majority of the people. Only few possess a specimen of his 
work. Photography has made it possible to obtain the 
greater part of his works cheaply. The photo -lithographic 
impressions of the Passion and of the Life of Mary are for 
sale, and are properly speaking only now making their way 
and spreading for a second time the feeling of the truth and 
earnestness visible in Diirer's creations. As yet however no 
one has made a complete collection of the attainable impres- 
sions of his works as a monument for public use; not till 
then shall we be in a position to speak of him in a way, 
that will be productive of good results. For to understand 
an artist one must have seen his works. 


42 Quarterly German Magazine. 

And thus, with all our respect for the man, the full 
knowledge of his greatness lies yet in the future. Those, 
who love him will however maintain, that his highest merit 
lies in his personality. The unsightliness of his works is a 
part of their excellency, the uneventfulness of his outer life 
one of the conditions of his development, who knows him not 
misses the knowledge of part of our history, and for those, 
who know him, his name has a ring in it, as if one called 
aloud Germany! Fatherland! 


Printed by Unger Brothers (Th. Grimm), Berlin, Friedrichsstr. 24. 


The Late Chief -Justice Lefroy. 



THE biography of this distinguished 
member of the Irish Bar will doubt- 
less be warmly welcomed by all who 
take interest in things connected 
with practical jurisprudence on our 
side of the Channel sin^e the close 
of last century. It will be, perhaps, 
received with the greater cordiality 
by those whose fathers, as well as 
themselves, have unflinchingly strug- 
gled to maintain the cause of Con- 
servatism in Church and State, espe- 
cially if imbued with an evangelical 
spirit. For the Right Honourable 
Thomas Langlois Lefroy was from 
his youth a serious and indefatigable 
student of his Bible, an unwearied 
meditator on the relations between 
his CREATOR and himself, and a 
faithful doer of the work which he 
believed he was appointed to per- 

Mr. Lefroy won his way by his 
abilities and steadiness from the 
rank of barrister to that of Chief- Jus- 
tice. In the opinion of his friends, 
he should have enjoyed the style 
and dignity of Lord Chancellor many 
years since. He studied hard, gave 
himself but moderate relaxation, ex- 
perienced the harassing existence of 
a lawyer in good practice, both in 
the metropolitan law-courts and on 
circuit, and, later, the anxious cares 
and responsibilities of a judge. If 
we add his parliamentary labours, it 
might naturally be supposed that 
the wear and tear of such an exist- 
ence, crowded with every imaginable 
annoyance and disturbance, would 
have limited his years to the space 
long ago laid down by the sage. 
But he had learned to look on all 
worldly concerns as things which 
should be engaged in, with care in- 
deed, but not with harrowing anxiety. 
They were mere means to an end, 

and that the only one worthy of a 
Christian's real anxiety, namely, con- 
scientiously discharging his duty to 
his Creator, and thereby insuring 
his salvation. Thus, his life being 
regulated by the dictates of reason 
and religion, and spent in alternate 
healthy exercise and rest, not in 
anxious, fitful, and ill-regulated ef- 
forts, was prolonged to the very ad- 
vanced term of ninety-three year. 

Thomas Langlois Lefroy, son of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Lefroy, 
of the Light Dragoons, was born 
in Limerick (?), on the 8th of Janu- 
ary, 1776. At the age of fourteen 
he endured a long imprisonment in 
the " Fly " stage-coach ; but as every 
human trial has its limits, at the end 
of three days he happily exchanged 
his cribbed and cabined condition 
for comfortable apartments in Trinity 
College, Dublin. 

An intimacy which ensued be- 
tween him and a fellow-student, Mr. 
Paul, of Silver Spring, Wexford, led 
to visits at that gentleman's family 
residence, and to a tender attach- 
ment between himself and Miss Paul, 
and subsequently to their marriage, 
in 1797, and, as the storybooks say, 
to their conjugal happiness ever 
after, *>., a respectable term of years. 
He was called to the bar in Easter 
Term of the same year, but did not 
begin to attend the courts till 1800, 
devoting the interim to severe legal 
studies. In November, 1801, he 
made his first speech in the courts, 
and greatly gratified his family and 
friends by the judgment and ability 
which it evinced. He pleaded with 
great success both in the Four Courts 
and on the circuit for a few years, 
and then entirely devoted himself 
to home practice in the 'Court of 
Equity. Soon after his marriage he 

1 Memoir of Chief -Justice Lejroy. By his Son, Thomas Lefroy, M. A., Q.C. Dublin : 
Hodges. Foster, and Co. 1871. 


The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 


built a house on a vacant spot of 
of ground, in Leeson-street, employ- 
ing his leisure hours in his large and 
well-kept garden. The writer of this 
paper had the honour of a business 
interview with the venerable Judge 
in that same house a few years be- 
fore his death. He was then up- 
wards of eighty years of age, but 
appeared possessed of the mental 
and bodily vigour of a man of fifty, 
who had lived a well-ordered life. 

In 1816 he was appointed King's 
Counsel, and in 1818 King's Ser- 
jeant. Before 1824, he was three 
times offered in succession a seat on 
the judicial bench ; but he preferred 
his profitable home occupation to 
the inconvenience of Circuit jour- 
nies, and the disagreeable duty of 
passing judgment in criminal cases. 
In 1822 he first filled the seat of 
Judge of Assize on the Munster Cir- 
cuit, and at the general election fol- 
lowing the death of King George IV., 
in 1830, he became member for the 
Dublin University, his eldest son 
being elected member for Long- 
ford at the same time. In the end 
of 1841 he accepted the office of 
Baron of the Exchequer, and on the 
first day of term, 1852, he took his 
seat as Chief-Justice. In 1858 he 
was separated by death from his 
amiable and estimable lady. In 
1866, he resigned his office into the 
hands of the Earl of Derby, by whom 
he had been invested with it in 185 2. 
His death occurred at his country 
residence, Newcourt Bray, in the 
beginning of May, 1869, he then 
being in his 94th year. 

The portrait which accompanies 
the volume presents a countenance 
expressive of dignity of character, 
deep reflection, thorough command 
over passion, benignity, and sweet- 
ness of disposition. His possession 
of all these good qualities is esta- 
blished by his biographer, who, in- 
deed, appears unable to detect the 
slightest trace of evil or even weak- 
ness in his loved and revered parent. 
He thus speaks of him as he ap- 

pears to his family, during the inter- 
vals of his judicial avocations : 

" The feature of his character in 
private life which was most generally 
observed by those who enjoyed an 
intimate acquaintance with him, was 
his love for the study of Scripture, 
and the tendency of his mind to lead 
conversation to the discussion or con- 
sideration of scriptural subjects ; and 
perhaps in no way was the close- 
ness of his walk with God so fully 
manifest as in the happiness with 
which he looked forward to the Sun- 
day, and the refreshment he always 
felt in the religious observance of 
the Lord's day. No one who spent 
that day in his society could fail to 
observe that he regarded the sacred 
obligations of its religious duties 
not as a tedious burden, but as n 
high and happy privilege. His 
earnest devotion in public worship 
told plainly that he was engaged in 
no mere form or ceremony, but was 
enjoying communion with his God ; 
and with the exception of an hour, 
or little more, after church, during 
which he was in the habit- of walk- 
ing into the country with his chil- 
dren, the greater portion of the time 
which intervened between morning 
service and his dinner hour was spent 
in the retirement of his study. But 
it was not on the Sabbath morn 
alone that he thus enjoyed holding 
communion with his God in private. 
He never travelled without having 
his Bible at hand in his writing-case, 
and generally some of Archbishop 
Leighton's works, or some book on 
Prophecy or on the Revelation, which 
formed the pastime of his journey." 

Whether such occupation as that 
about to be quoted, of the time 
necessarily spent in carriage or ship, 
is the most profitable that could be 
adopted, may be left an open 
question. We have many instances 
of individuals deriving more injury 
than benefit from the study of 
prophecy. We give the text, as it 
furnishes a special trait of Mr. 
Lefroy's mental workings 

I8 7 2.] 

The Late Chief-justice Lefroy. 


" I laid out the two days of this 
journey for going very minutely into 
the prophecies which Lord Man- 
deville and I had been reading to- 
gether ; and I made it the subject of 
earnest prayer, that I might be 
guided aright, and profit by my 
search. The first day I read 
through my whole journey, but was 
more than ever puzzled. However, 
I was so prepared by my reading to 
ask questions and receive instruction, 
that dear Robert Daly relieved me 
out of my perplexities, and opened 
views of the subject so much more 
clear and satisfactory than any I had 
met with, that I consider myself to 
have had quite a gracious answer to 
my prayer. On landing, Daly came 
home with us for breakfast, and 
read for us in our family worship. 
He is, indeed, a true servant of 

Of Judge Lefroy's attention to the 
beneficial exercise of family prayer, 
.his son gives the subjoined account : 

" It may be truly said of him that 
he considered family prayer to be 
the border which keeps the web of 
daily life from unravelling. When 
holding the first rank at the Chancery 
bar, and overwhelmed with profes- 
sional business, the duties of each 
day were opened and closed by as- 
sembling his whole household for 
family worship, consisting of a por- 
tion of Scripture, which he read and 
accompanied with a few practical 
observations, concluding with prayer. 
Later in life, when occupying a villa 
some miles distant from Dublin, he 
had daily to attend the courts as 
Chief - Justice, his morning hours 
were so regulated as to secure ample 
time for family worship before the 
departure of the train, which carried 
him to his arduous and responsible 
duties . . . I do not recollect 
his ever leaving home to attend 
Parliament, or for his judicial duties 
on circuit, without assembling the 
members of his family to ask for 
God's assistance and blessing upon 
.the discharge of his own duties, and 

committing to his care and guidance 
those from whom he was parting." 

The precious quality of unalter- 
able cheerfulness seems to have been 
possessed by Mr. Lefroy in an 
eminent degree : 

" Though the shadow of a cloud 
might flit past, it could never long 
obscure the sunshine of his temper 
or his countenance. If a wet day 
interfered with some cherished plan 
for a holiday excursion (and he re- 
tained to the very last an almost 
childish enjoyment of such occa- 
sions), we were sure to hear some 
such remark, as ' Well, only think 
of the good this gracious rain will 
do in the country,' or ' Really when 
I come to think of it, 'tis a decided 
advantage to me to have the day at 
home, as I shall have a fine oppor- 
tunity of mastering a difficult case I 
have to look into.' There is a tra- 
dition amongst us that the only time 
grandpapa was ever known to be 
put out by the weather was on one 
occasion during his vacation, when 
he had spent some hours the day 
before in manufacturing for two 
little grandsons a paper kite which 
was to be flown on the lawn to- 
morrow ; but to-morrow was a storm 
of driving rain, and as the party was 
to break up the following day the 
failure of the cherished scheme 
seemed an equal trial both to old 
and young. This habit of always 
looking at the bright side of every- 
thing arose undoubtedly from his 
constant realisation of the overruling 
Providence of God, even in the 
lesser affairs of e very-day life." 

His enjoyment of the society of 
his children revived when Providence 
blessed him with grandchildren : 

" When he was Chief-Justice and 
past eighty, his cheerful habits and 
loving heart so entirely won their 
affections that the greatest indul- 
gence which could be offered them 
at any time, was the promise of a 
visit to dear grandpapa. Nor will 
the cordial welcome be easily for- 
gotten with which he used to greet 


The Late Chief -Justice Lefroy. 

[January - 

the happy group on cur Christmas 
visit to Carrig-glas, when, in the old 
days of posting, my wife and I used 
to arrive with our carriage full of 
children, each little one eagerly press- 
ing forward, as we drove up the 
avenue, to catch the first look at 
dear grandpapa's bright and joyous 
countenance, and ready before the 
carriage-door was open, to jump into 
his arms." 

We could long linger over such 
traits of amiability and domestic at- 
tachment, but can only afford space 
for one other extract : 

" In the evenings his delight was 
as often as possible to gather round 
him the whole family group chil- 
dren and grandchildren. In all 
these gatherings the still fresh flow 
of his natural spirits, the unaffected 
interest which he took in promoting 
the happiness and amusement of all 
around him, ever rendered him the 
great centre of attraction to young 
and old, who alike seemed to regard 
him as the cheerful companion and 
the revered parent; and while he 
never tried to restrain the light- 
hearted spirit of youth, he always 
endeavoured to impart a religious, 
or at least, an intellectual tone into 
whatever might be the subject, which 
occupied the social circle for the 

But we must turn our attention 
from these agreeable traits of cha- 
racter, and happy social scenes, to 
take a glance at such circumstances 
of Mr. Lefroy's official life as we 
judge may interest our readers. 

The following opinions expressed 
by Dr. Burrowes to the father of Mr. 
Lefroy, when the latter was going 
through his academic course, will 
find little favour with modern pro- 
fessors of the utilitarian school, who 
take little note of prosodial longs and 
shorts : 

" A learned education, compre- 
hending perfect classical scholarship, 
ought to be his present object, and 
trifling as it may appear, I would 
rather he employed his time in 

making bad Latin verses, if he can- 
not make good ones, simply with the 
view of making himself master of 
prosody, than in reading Smith's 
" Wealth of Nations " at the present 
moment. It will never be forgotten 
of that able and eloquent speaker, 
Mr. Burke, that he mistook the- 
quantity of vectlgal, and called it 
vediyal. This little instance of 
prosodaical ignorance would in this 
country have damned a young 
speaker for ever, or at least, he must 
have distinguished himself exceed- 
ly afterwards, before he could have 
convinced his hearers that he had 
common sense." 

Our Edmund made the very par- 
donable mistake (Dr. Burrowes not- 
withstanding) in the quotation, Mag- 
num vectigal est parsimonia, while 
animadverting on Lord North's want 
of economy in managing the public 
revenues, that learned, but improvi- 
dent nobleman, nearly asleep on his 
bench at the moment, and heaving, 
backwards and forwards like a great 
turtle. But the sound of a false 
quantity instantly aroused him, and 
opening his eyes he exclaimed, in a 
very marked and decided manner^. 
" vectrgal." ' I thank the noble 
Lord,' said Burke, with happy adroit- 
ness, ' for the correction, the more 
particularly as it affords me an op- 
portunity of repeating a maxim which, 
he greatly needs to have reiterated' 
upon him ; and he then thundered', 
out, ' Magnum vectigal est parsi- 
monia" (A great revenue is parsi- 

Mr. Lefroy was married, as already 
mentioned, to Miss Paul, in 1797. 
Her father and family experienced 
some of the anxieties of the next 
year, the dismal " '98." Mr. Paul,, 
in his letters to his new relatives,, 
expresses no sympathy with the un- 
fortunate chiefs, Bagenal Harvey, . 
John Colelough, and Cornelius 
Grogan, who had been compelled to 
take command of the insurgents at . 
the risk of their lives, and had done, 
all in their power to restrain the ex- 

I8 7 2.] 

The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 


cesses of the misguided people. He 
says not a word of the little Jauxpas 
committed by the yeomen. 

Our young lawyer studied diligent- 
ly and wrote incessantly while keep- 
ing his law terms at Lincoln's Inn. . 
During his stay at the Temple he re- 
sided with his grand-uncle, Mr. 
Langlois, in London, and attended 
daily at Westminster Hall, where, in 
the courts presided over by such 
men as Lord Eldon and Lord 
Kenyon, he had an opportunity of 
imbibing those great fundamental 
principles of law and equity, with 
which his mind in after-life proved 
to be so richly imbued, and which 
marked the able judgments he de- 
livered as Baron of the Exchequer, 
and Chief-Justice of the Queen's 

In November, iSor, after an able 
speech of two hours on a writ of 
error, he apologised for taking up so 
much of their lordship's time, but 
was set at ease by the reply of Lord 
Clare : " Mr. Lefroy, you have no 
reason whatever to lament, for you 
have argued the case with most un- 
common precision, and much satis- 
faction to the Court." 

This was a sort of " Peebles v. 
Plainstanes " case, for it had been 
trying the patience of the Courts for 
about thirty years. The Chief-Baron 
said that day at a large dinner party, 
" It was the ablest argument which 
had been made at the Bar." We 
are not informed of its effect on the 
fortunes of the Irish " Plainstanes 
and Peebles." 

In those "good old times " Lord " 
Chancellors were reckoned among 
Irish importations. Lord Clare dying 
in 1802, the seals were entrusted to 
Lord Redesdale. Mr. Lefroy was 
commended to his notice by Judge 
Burton. The new Chancellor was 
.no more partial to his new home 
than the Dutch Captain who figures 
in the "White Horse of the Peppers." 
He exhaled his ill-humour in a letter 
to Justice Burton, then residing in 
Chester County. A few extracts are 

characteristic of the relative scales of 
comfort, and the value of commodi- 
ties, in the English and Irish capi- 
tal seventy years ago : 

u I have been unable either to pur- 
chase or rent a place tolerably plea- 
sant or commodious, and have been 
compelled to purchase a little farm 
of about sixty English acres, with a 
small house, very quiet, though only 
four English miles from this town (!). 
.... I must be a good economist 
if, after six years, it should replace 
me in my former fortune that is, if 
it should give me back the sum I 
have expended and lost in the 
change of country. 

"Expenses here are very great, 
especially to a stranger. A few arti- 
cles arc cheaper than in England, 
but an Englishman cannot live like 
an Englishman at nearly so cheap a 
rate in Dublin as in London. If he 
can adopt the habits of the country, 
and be content without a thousand 
comforts which he has been used to 
in England, and live in the true Irish 
style, he may perhaps make some- 
thing of external show rather cheap- 
er than he would do in London ; but 
every real luxury and almost every 
convenience is cheaper in London, 
and everything is infinitely better. 
The paper I write on, and the pen I 
write with, remind me how execrably 
bad almost every article of manu- 
facture is, and how abominably dear 
it is at the same time. 

" I must endeavour to make my 
farm a comfortable residence, for I 
cannot submit to live all the year 
in the stew and dust of Dublin. 

"Your friend, Mr. Lefroy, is a 
young man who fully answers your 
favourable description. He is much 
esteemed here, and I think must 
get forward. . . The people in Eng- 
land are generally ignorant of this 
country and its inhabitants. (They 
are nearly as ignorant in 1872 as in 
1802.) At this moment they are 
more than ordinarily ignorant. The 
great thing looked for is purity of 
Government. You might as well 


The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 


consult Sir Robert Walpole (then 
fifty-seven years dead), about the 
proper mode of managing England 
at this moment, as consult any of 
the modern secretaries, even the 
manager of the Union itself, about 
the state of Ireland. He must no 
longer talk, even among Irishmen, 
of making men amiable a term 
which, you will recollect, Sheridan 
handled with much dexterity in 
answer to the noble lord." 

Very few years after his call to 
the bar, Mr. Lefroy was engaged 
for a cause in Wexford, receiving 
one hundred guineas for his trouble, 
a very unusual fee to be given to a 
lawyer so short in practice. 

Out of the heart the mouth 
speaketh. Let affection and world- 
ly business enter as they might into 
the texture of the young lawyer's 
letters to his wife, they were sure to 
be blended with, or overruled by 
pious feeling. Speaking of earthly 
good and comforts, he thus placed 
them in their true relation to celes- 
tial treasures : 

"I include under the head of 
false treasures, every object of earth- 
ly attachment, however innocent or 
even praiseworthy, on which a 
value is set beyond what any 
earthly object is entitled to ; and 
yet this is a point on which we are 
all most sadly and practically going 
astray every hour of our lives, and 
on which nothing can set us right 
but by keeping before us, as in a 
magnifying glass, the great and 
paramount claims to a Christian's 
regard. I do not say that we are 
to extinguish the affections which 
belong to the different relations of 
life : en the contrary, by the pure 
and sincere exercise of them, selfish- 
ness is in seme degree extinguished; 
but the gratification arising from the 
most delighted of these affections, 
should not form the stay, and hope, 
and prop of life. No : therein con- 
sists the excess and the abuse. But 
I'll say no more on this head, lest 
you should tell me that nothing 

but vanity could suggest the neces- 
sity of sermonising with you in this 
manner. . . ." Probably the 
fond husband, devout as he assured- 
ly was, here began to suspect that 
he was giving permission to his 
idolised wife to love him for the 
future a leetle less than she did at 
the moment, so he corrected himself 
after a fashion : 

" But remember, I am not willing 
to part with the least atom of it (her 
affection for him, to wit) to any 
earthly object. Whatever of it ought 
to be pruned away, let it be trans- 
ported to that region where we may 
hope to enjoy it in bliss unfading." 

Out of sundry evangelical effus- 
sions which have come under our 
notice, we could select a few of 
many words, but of marvellously 
few and vague ideas. They are the 
productions of folk to whom Scrip- 
tural phraseology is as familiar as 
the ordinary sneech of social life, 
but who probably are devoid of 
sincere piety, and possessed of un- 
logical minds. In Mr. Lefroy's 
written thoughts and feelings we 
are sensible of a devout spirit, and 
of a power of arranging his ideas so 
that every one is found just where 
it is most appropriate and effective. 

These few sentences of another 
letter to the same are worthy of all 
attention from parents in every 
state of life : 

" If I do not deceive myself very 
much (and God knows how very 
possible this is !) the most fervent 
prayer of my heart in respect to 
them is, that I may be able to say 
at the last day, in giving up my 
charge, ' Of them which thou gavest 
me I have lost none.' When com- 
pared with this, my anxiety in re- 
spect of their worldly welfare sinks 
to nothing, though both duty and 
affection dictate a reasonable share 
of attention to objects essential to 
their welfare and usefulness in this 
life too. ... If ever my dar- 
ling children should be led to think 
that I am unduly anxious about the 


The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 

concerns of a future and distant 
state, let them remember that the 
day and hour must come when all 
the power, riches, or influence of 
the whole world could not purchase 
back one second of misspent time, 
and that it is solemnly and distinctly 
told us, we shall give an account of 
every idle word." 

Mr. Lefroy took much delight in 
keeping his fine garden, at the rear 
of his house in Leeson-street, in or- 
der, in pruning his fruit-trees, and 
looking to the perfection of his 
flowers. Probably the attraction 
which agriculture had for him had 
its share in inducing him to forego 
the circuit work for equity practice 
in the Four Courts. His son thus 
speaks of the family enjoyment on 
the half-acre estate in Leeson-street : 
" I have still vividly before me our 
whole merry-hearted group, parents 
and children, sallying forth into the 
garden after dinner, the youngest as 
well as the eldest taking part in 
weeding borders, watering flowers, 
cutting shreds, or sitting at his side 
while he pruned the fruit-trees, and 
reading the pretty story-book which 
he had bought on his way from 
Court, in order that the evening 
might not pass without profit as well 
as pleasure. He soon acquired such 
a practical knowledge and skill in 
gardening that he more than once 
carried off prizes at the horticultural 
shows, from the proprietors of all the 
suburban villas, many of whom were 
admittedly among the first class of 
practical amateur horticulturists." 

His gardening formed a pleasant 
relaxation from reporting the judg- 
ments of Lord Redesdale, that poor 
banished nobleman from the com- 
forts of London. The cases \vhich 
he reported in conjunction with Mr. 
Schoales, Chairman of the Queen's 
County, have been long popular with 
the English as well as the Irish bar. 
The dates of Mr. Lefroy's advance- 
ment to the offices of King's Counsel 
and King's Serjeant have been al- 
ready noted. 

The most disagreeable portion of 
our Serjeant's existence must have 
been that spent on the Munster Cir- 
cuit, as Judge of Assizes. In 1822 
he entered on that duty, and gave 
the best possible advice to the coun- 
try gentlemen called on juries, and 
to the unfortunate culprits before 
passing sentence on them. These 
advices and expostulations were as 
effective as such things usually are. 
It is to be feared that the good judge 
did not, in his horror of the crimes? 
submitted to his condemnation, give 
sufficient weight to the evil workings 
of long misgovernment, of the penal 
laws, and of the bitterness which 
these things fostered between the 
professors of the dominant and sub- 
jected religions of the country. 

It might naturally be expected, 
from the benevolent disposition of 
Mr. Lefroy, that he would have 
taken a lively interest in the rise and 
progress of the Kildare Place So- 
ciety, which was founded in 1811. 
Roman Catholic noblemen and cler- 
gymen entered cordially into the 
plans of the new society : they evi- 
dently gave mere toleration to the 
reading of the Scriptures in the 
schools ; they saw no evil in the ex- 
ercise when practised under the eye 
of a sincere Catholic or a non-inter- 
fering Protestant teacher ; they would 
make sacrifices in order to obtain 
the blessing of education for the 
poor of their persuasion. However, 
in some cases, the local patrons, and 
their wives and daughters, and an 
over-zealous clergyman, would cross 
the line of non-interference, and Pro- 
testant meanings would be attached 
to scriptural passages ; and appeals 
were consequently made to the chiefs 
of the society to let the obnoxious 
exercise fall out of their discipline. 
The society could not or would not 
dispense with the practice ; pressure 
was brought on Parliament, Catholic 
emancipation having been obtained, 
and the government grant was with- 
drawn. If Mr. Lefroy had had the 
opportunities which more than once 


The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 


occurred to the present writer, to 
witness the irreverent treatment 
given to the Sacred Volume by little 
boys under the charge of a negligent 
monitor, he would never, as far as 
his influence went, allow the Gospels 
or Acts to be made the subject of a 
mere reading -le:-.son, except under 
the eye of a God-fearing teacher or 
monitor of advanced age. 

Whatever might or did happen in 
provincial schools, no charge could 
be made against the mode in which 
country schoolmasters were trained 
in Kildare Place. Religious discus- 
sions were strictly prohibited, and 
every one went to his respective 
place of worship on Sundays. All 
of the Catholic party who pleased 
attended first mass in one of the 
near churches or chapels on week- 
days. The only semblance of com- 
mon worship consisted in the reading 
of a chapter of the Bible by one of 
the community on Sunday evenings 
after supper. The attendance at 
this exercise was completely volun- 
tary, and no notice whatever was 
taken of the absence of individuals. 
As a rule, the Catholics sat and lis- 
tened with their fellow-Protestants. 

From the period of Mr. Lefroy's 
election by our University as its re- 
presentative in" Parliament (1830), 
he continued to accomplish his par- 
liamentary duty with the same dili- 
gence and conscientiousness which 
distinguished his judicial functions. 
He continued to obtain and preserve 
the personal respect of his political 
opponents ; but as it is only at times 
that the populace make a distinction 
between the political tendency and 
personal character of a public man, 
his name was not then, nor is now 
popular with the middle and lower 
classes of the Irish people. How 
could they be partial to one of 
O'ConnelPs strenuous opponents ? 

Whatever faults might be attribut- 
ed to the Government, for eleven 
years after the triumph of the Reform 
Bill in 1832, want of variety was not 
of the number. Our biographer thus 

remarks on the rapid shifting of 
the political scenes of the epoch : 

" It may serve to give some idea 
of the precarious tenure by which 
any minister of the Crown held his 
office, or any member of Parliament 
his seat in the House of Commons, 
when I 'mention that, during the ele- 
ven years for which Mr. Lefroy re- 
presented Trinity College in Parlia- 
ment, he saw no fewer than eleven 
changes in the occupants of the office 
of prime minister of England, and 
he was himself involved in no fewer 
than twelve contested elections, six 
for the University, and six for the 
county of Longford (the latter on his 
son's account)." 

While the Duke of Wellington was 
daily expecting Sir Robert Peel to 
return from the Continent, and as- 
sume the leadership of the House of 
Commons, Mr. Lefroy had the plea- 
sure of an interview with the great 
Captain. He thus alL.des to it in a 
letter to Mrs. Lefroy, dated 28th 
November, 1834 : " I have just been 
sitting with that most wonderful of 
men, the Duke of Wellington, as 
much at his ease and as gay, joking 
about their attacks on the ' Great 
Dictator' as if he had nothing to do 
or to think of; and yet this is not 
the result of levity, for every particle 
of arrear in his office was cleared off. 
Every man who has business gets 
his answer and is despatched ; and 
there is the Duke, having done all 
that was o do, ready to do anything 
more that may occur." 

Sir Robert became, on his return, 
the fourth -prime minister gazetted 
within six months, to give way to 
Lord 1SJ "Ibcurne, a few months later. 

Mr. Ljfroy ceased to be a mem- 
ber of the Imperial Parliament in 
1841, having vigorously opposed 
Government measures for most of the 
time of his public career. He never 
neglected attendance while Irish 
measures were discussed. The mo- 
tives must be very imperative which 
oblige gentlemen, circumstanced as 
Mr. Lefroy was, to resign a large 

I8 7 2.] 

The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 


yearly income, and all social and 
domestic comforts, for a life of strug- 
gle and annoyance in the arena of St. 
Stephen's. It would be unjust to 
omit the following trait, exhibiting 
his innate love of justice : 

" His keen sense of injustice was 
often shown by the indignation with 
which he reproved the habit, too 
often indulged in by some members 
of the House of Commons, .of attack- 
ing absent persons without any rea- 
sonable grounds for the charges 
brought forward, and without even 
giving any notice to the accused. 
It made no difference in such cases 
with him from what quarter of the 
house such attacks proceeded, to 
what party the accused belonged, or 
in what rank of life they stood. He 
was always ready and willing to ex- 
pose the evils of such a practice, and 
to vindicate the characters of those 
who had no means of defending 

The Whig ministry of 1841 exe- 
cuted a slight job, well-disposed as 
they professed to be to the claims of 
Ireland. Sir John Campbell was 
appointed Lord Chancellor of Ire- 
land, instead of Lord Plunket ; and 
he seemed to love a residence in 
Dublin as little as Lord Redesdale. 
We prefer quoting from the text the 
mighty labours of this Hercules of 
.the Exchequer, when cleansing the 
legal stable on the north bank of the 
Liffey : 

" Sir John Campbell was appoint- 
ed Lord Chancellor of Ireland on 
the 23rd of June 1841. The Dublin 
Journals of that period record, 'that 
he took his seat for the first time in 
the Court of Chancery on the 2nd 
of July, that he set in court the fol- 
lowing day to hear motions, and 
gave notice that he would not hear 
long causes till November.' And the 
only other record I can trace of his 
lordship's discharge of the duties of 
his high office is the following caus- 
tic article taken from the Dublin 
Evening Mail, of Monday, 26th July, 
1841 : 

" ' Lord Campbell, the Lord High. . 
Chancellor of Ireland, took his final 
departure from this country on Satur- 
day last, having, during a short so- 
journ of three weeks, and after sit- 
ting without intermission for the 
protracted space of three entire days, 
earned a retiring pension of ^4000 a 
year. His lordship's outlay in money, 
independently of his waste of time 
and labour of mind in qualifying 
himself for the enjoyment of this 
trifling annuity for life, consisted in 
the expense of a ten days' sojourn 
at the Bilton Hotel, and one dinner 
to some half a dozen officers of the 
Court, over which he presided with 
such zeal, talent, and application. 
' Plain Jock Campbell is a lucky 
man !' " 

But very unlucky is the Govern- 
ment which allows the money levied 
on its subjects to be so squandered. 
Such instances of prodigality at the 
expense of the people furnish the 
hands of Messrs. Bradlaugh and 
Odger, and their partisans, with de- 
structive weapons in their detestable 
attempts to subvert religion and the 
Government under which its subjects 
enjoy all rational liberty, and eat 
their bread in peace. 

Mr. Lefroy's friends, and probably 
he himself, considered that he de- 
served to occupy the Lord Chan- 
cellor's seat as much as lucky John 
Campbell. However, he contented 
himself with the office of Baron of 
the Exchequer, conferred on him in 
the end of 1841. 

Mr. Shiel would have been satis- 
fied to see Judge Lefroy raised to 
the peerage and to a seat in the 
House of Lords ; but he feared, from 
his strong political- bias, that his 
selection for the office conferred was 
not a happy one, and spoke in his 
place in Parliament againt it. How- 
ever, the outcry was an idle one. 
None were more forward than 
Roman Catholics themselves, in 
bearing testimony to the judicial 
rectitude and freedom from preju- 
dice of the Lamed judge in discharg- 

The Late Chief- Justice Lefroy. 


ing the onerous duties of his office : 
" This well-known trait in his judicial 
character frequently elicited from 
Roman Catholics of various classes 
the gratifying testimony that there 
was no judge on the Irish Bench 
they would sooner select for the 
trial of any case affecting their 
property, their liberty, or their lives.'* 

In 1852, Baron Lefroy, after sit- 
ting in judgment on John Mitchell, 
and obtaining much approbation for 
his temperate and sound- judging 
charge, was appointed Lord Chief- 
Justice of the Common Pleas, by the 
Earl of Derby. His biographer 
quotes most gratifying congratula- 
tions from the dignitaries of the Bar; 
but the tribute paid by Catholic 
papers to his unswerving rectitude 
and display of even-handed justice, 
whether to Protestants or Catholics, 
must have ; afforded greater and 
purer gratification to his relatives 
and friends. Equally warm and 
friendly addresses continued to be 
presented to him by the Sheriffs and 
Grand Juries of the various counties 
in which he distributed justice, these 
juries consisting indifferently of 
members of the Established Church, 
Roman Catholics, and Dissenters. 

In 1858, after a joyful and nume- 
rous family re-union, this good hus- 
band and father had to lament the 
removal of the loved companion who 
had been his chief comfort and 
solace for upwards of sixty years. 
He continued to exercise judicial 
functious till the year 1866, though 
in that year he had reached the very 
advanced age of ninety-two. Many 
hints were given, in and out of Par- 
liament, that it was more than time 
to give himself rest. However, he 

heeded them not, being convinced 
of no diminution of mental powers. 
However, on Lord Derby's acces- 
sion to office, in the year named, he 
voluntarily tendered resignation of 
office into the same hands which 
had conferred it. On the 4lh of 
May, 1869, he calmly expired at his 
country residence, Newcourt, Bray, 
surrounded by his sorrowing chil- 
dren and grandchildren. 

Few readers of this article, as we 
hope, will require more words to 
prove that the subject of it faithfully 
discharged, during his long career, 
the duties of son, husband, and 
father ; that he was possessed of a 
devout spirit, and faithfully did the 
work of an upright and unprejudiced 
judge. Whatever eulogies are passed 
on him by his biographer are fully 
borne out by the narrative, which 
displays mastery of composition and 
simplicity of style. Much informa- 
tion concerning the history and po- 
licy of the long period of Judge 
Lefroy's life is connected with the 
biography. The views and opinions 
which pervade the work are all what 
used to be called Conservative and 
Evangelical ; but the tone is mode- 
rate throughout. The author is a 
stout partisan for his party, but he 
uses 'none but the recognised and 
loyal arms of political warfare. T^he 
volume is a valuable acquisition to 
Irish biography, a possession in 
which our country is not affluent,, 
and it is produced in a style which 
would do credit to any publishing 
house in London. Indeed, the 
house of Hodges and Co. has long 
been noted for the richness and 
finish of its publications, and the 
care bestowed on their production. 

Forbidden Fruit. 


ship," and so forth, which, in- 
deed, they should do, for the mo- 
dern Egyptians are sadly fallen off 
from the skHLpf the ancients, who, 
beautifully as trH^delineated every 
object which oneSraveller admires 
in the tombs of BemNEassan or of 
Thebes, yet modestly whtie over 
each its name, lest the spfcstotor 
should experience any difficulty 
deciding as to what they strove to 

We do not wish to run the risk 
of wearying our readers with any 
further detailed description of Cairo 
and its environs. For the accounts 
of the rest of the sights of the capitaj 
of Egypt are they not written, " 
the books and the chronicles of 
Eliot Warburton and Harrier Mar- 
tineau ? Of course our Q*fty went 
to the Petrified Forest, \yKich turned 
out not to be a fore/df at all, but 
only the scattered Domains of one, 
turned into hard stone a marvel- 
lous lusus natures; for the desert, 
for a considerable space, is strewn 
with what seem to be rotten blocks 
and splinters of wood. One after 

another, you handle these pieces,, 
and are astounded to find them as 
hard as adamant. You seek out 
some fragment which looks still 
more tinder-like than the rest, and. 
seems to be crumbing into dust- 
Take it up: it is lil^iron : it is not. 
even of the consistency of sandstone. 
It has become/suddenly petrified as 
it lay a-mouj<lering. 

Then, a^ain, they went to see the 
the midst of an orange- 
groveHeliopolis the "On" of 
Scrijfturenistory where the father- 
in/aw of JoSfcDh was priest. And 

a neighbourm^olive-garden they 
saw the huge trunVof an ancient 
tree, under which theNHply Family 
was said to have rested Nluring the 
flight into Egypt. Be the tradition 
true or not, the tree is one of im- 
mense age ; and the traveller can- 
not but feel a thrill as he stands be- 
neath the now scanty shadow of the 
branches which are said once to 
have sheltered the holiest Being who 
ever walked on earth the Example 
and the Saviour of the world. 

(To be continued.) 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 



FROM A.D. 1189 TO 1870. 

DEAR SIR, You will remember 
flie state of Ireland in 1789, and 
the necessity under which we found 
ourselves, of forming some bond of 
honourable connexion, by which the 
-co-operation of even a small number 
.might be secured, in making some 
effort to stem that torrent which was 
carrying everything before it. For 
that purpose our little party was 
.formed ; it consisted of yourself, the 
Duke of Leinster (that excellent 
Irishman), the late Lord Ponsonby, 
Mr. B. Daly, Mr. G. Ponsonby, Mr. 
Forbes, myself, and some very few 
Others. It may not be for us to 
jpronounce encomiums upon it, but 
we are entitled to say, that had it 
been as successful as it was honest, 
we might now look back to it with 
some degree of satisfaction. The 
reason of my adverting to it is, that 
under the sanction of that party, and 
in its presence, it was agreed between 
Mr. G. Ponsonby and me, that if 
any circumstances should arise, un- 
der which it might be honourably 
open to us to accept office, it should 
be on the terms of his taking the 
Jirst, and my taking the second 
j>lace in the course of professional 
-advancement. That this was no 
jtaltry compact, with any view to 
>the attainment of preferment, was 
obvious, for either of us could at any 
.time command it; it was solely a 
^pledge to secure our cd-operation 
and perseverence in what we deemed 
our public duty. With what fidelity 
I adhered to every part of the en- 
gagements we then formed, you well 
know ; and you also know at what 
sacrifices, and under what profes- 
sional persecutions, and what im- 
placable and successful attacks upon 
my person, my character, and my 

fortune. I so acted, as to be fully 
entitled to perfect reciprocity of 
good faith ; and to consider the 
performance of the personal part of 
the compact as a matter, not of 
favour, but of right, which I might 
receive like the payment of any 
common debt, without being crushed 
by the humiliating sensation that I 
must have felt, if my debtor, by such 
payment, could become my patron 
or benefactor. Upon the basis of 
this compact, which was always 
publicly known, and adopted by 
Lord Fitzwilliam, in 1795, Mr- G. 
Ponsonby was then nominated to 
the office of Attorney-General, I to 
the place of Solicitor-General. The 
completion of that arrangement was 
prevented by the change of Irish 
Administration ; the compact itself 
continued, and with increased force 
(if by the continued fidelity of ob- 
servance, compact can be suscepti- 
ble of accessional obligation) till the 
late change in 1806 ; it was again 
acted upon by the parties to it. On 
that occasion, I was the only inter- 
ested member of that party that re- 
mained in Ireland I did not write 
to any of my friends then in London; 
not to Lord Ponsonby ; not even to 
you. I knew your zeal for my in- 
terest ; I knew the friendship and 
purity of Lord Ponsonby I was 
sensible of the warm protection of 
Mr. Fox, to which I had no claim, 
save what might be suggested to a 
noble and generous spirit, like this, 
by my conduct as a public man ; I 
knew, also, the protection my inter- 
ests would have found in Lord 
Moira, Lord Erskine, or Lord 
Howick, had such protection been 
necessary. I felt no solicitude for 
myself ; I remained at home ; the 
event justified my confidence; Mr. 

I8 7 2.] 

Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


G. Ponsonby accepted the seals ; a 
proof, of itself, that I must have 
been appointed to the next attain- 
able situation. That next situation 
could be no other than the office of 
Attorney-General; it was the only 
place in the power of the new Ad- 
ministration to vacate ; from its 
official rank in the Government, it 
was the natural passage to that place 
on the King's Bench, to which, as 
next in professional advancement, I 
had a right to succeed. But on this 
fact I was not left to conjecture. I 
was apprised by letter from you, and 
also Mr. G. Ponsonby, that my in- 
terests had been taken care of; Mr. 
G. Ponsonby communicated the 
same to a relation of mine, then in 
London"; directing him to inform 
me that my place as Attorney- 
general was fixed, and that my 
coming over would be but unneces- 
sary trouble. 

" The Duke of Bedford soon after 
arrived in Ireland, And Mr. G. Pon- 
sonby, as Chancellor, became an 
Irish Minister. At our first meeting, 
he assured me, somewhat in the 
style of his previous letter, that my 
friends had not been unmindful of 
me, and that I would find everything 
perfectly to my satisfaction. In a 
few days, however, I learned that 
the Duke of Bedford had sent for 
Mr. Plunket, the then Attorney- 
General, and assured him that he 
was not to be removed. It soon 
appeared that the report was true. 
To me the fact was incomprehensi- 
ble ; Mr. G. Ponsonby left it in all 
its darkness ; for when we met, 
which was only by accident, he was 
silent upon the subject. I soon re- 
ceived a letter from Lord Ponsonby, 
then confined in London by that 
sickness which was soon to terminate 
his valuable life ; it was conceived 
in such terms as might be expected 
from the friendship and honour of 
the writer. He expressed indigna- 
tion at the delay which had taken 
place in effecting that arrangement 
which he had considered as con- 

clusively settled ; desiring most, 
anxiously to have it explained. 
This letter I showed to Mr. G. 
Ponsonby, but without receiving any 
explanation whatsover. I wrote to 
Lord Ponsonby such an answer as- 
he had a right to expect from the 
affection of a man to whom he had 
endeared himself by so persevering 
a fidelity, and by the uninterrupted 
friendship of so many years ; such., 
facts as I knew, I stated ; but I had 
no explanation to give. It would, 
be affectation in me to say, that, 
under these circumstances, I was- 
perfectly at ease. I might despise 
the triumph of my enemies, I could 
not be insensible to such coldness * 
from a friend. I had, however, one 
great consolation ; deserted, as I 
could not but think myself, I hado 
every reason to be proud of the per- 
fect faith and friendship which you 
and Lord Ponsonby had manifested , 
towards me ; and to feel that the 
disappointment which I prepared 
myself to meet, could be no more 
imputed to you than prevented by - 

" After a lapse of some weeks I- 
waited upon the Duke of Bedford, 
by his Grace's desire ; he apprised : 
me that I was to be Master of the 
Rolls as soon as the necessary 
arrangements were effected. You 
may easily judge of my feelings on 
this communication ; but it was the 
first time I had ever seen the Duke 
of Bedford; I had no shadow of 
claim upon his Grace ; he was not 
the person to whom I could com- 
plain, that I was humbled or ill- 
treated ; I barely said that " I was 
grateful to his Grace for the courtesy 
of the communication ;" and retired 
with an almost decided purpose ta 
decline the appointment. This sub- 
stitution I considered a direct de- 
parture from the compact with Mr. 
G. Ponsonby, and accompanied 
by the aggravation oF withholding 
that consultation and explanation, 
without which, and without my own 
express consent, I ought. not to haver 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


.been so disposed of. As to the 
place itself, it was the last I should 
have chosen ; it imposed upon me a 
change of all my habits of life ; it 
forced my mind into a new course 
of thinking, and into new modes of 
labour, and that, increased labour ; 
it removed me from that intellectual 
exercise which custom and temper 
had rendered easy and pleasant ; it 
excluded me from the enjoyment of 
the honest gratification of an official 
share of an Administration which I 
then thought would have consisted 
principally, if not altogether, of the 
tried friends of Ireland. When the 
party with which I had acted so 
fairly, had, after so long a proscrip- 
tion, come at last to their natural 
place, I did not expect to have 
been stuck into a window, a specta- 
tor of the procession. From the 
station which I then held at the 
Bar, to accept the neutralised situa- 
tion of the Rolls, appeared to me a 
descent, and not an elevation : It 
had no allurement of wealth, for 
diminished as my income had been 
by the most remorseless persecution 
for years, by which I was made to 
expatiate the crime of not being an 
alien to my country, by treachery, 
or by birth, it was still abundant, 
when compared with my occasions, 
and was likely to continue so, as 
long as those occasions should last. 
"To this intended refusal, how- 
ever, my friends in Ireland thought 
there were strong objections ; they 
thought it would look like an accu- 
sation of the party at large, to the 
great majority of whom I had reason 
to be more attached than ever they 
urged other inducements unneces- 
sary to detail, and which I thought 
worthy my attention. There re- 
mained a still superior motive to 
decide me : to have yielded to re- 
sentment, or disgust, and refused 
the offered situation, might be to 
carry disturbance and irritation to 
the bed of a dying friend ; I knew 
the untemporising nature of Lord 
Ponsonby, where he thought his 

honour concerned, and I saw that 
the whole arrangement of the Ad- 
ministration for Ireland, as far as it 
depended upon him, might be dis- 
solved, if he thought me ill-treated : 
I had a similar apprehension from 
the part you yourself would pursue 
upon such an occasion ; and I could 
not but see, that if you and Lord 
Ponsonby were to withdraw your 
support from the Irish Administra- 
tion, that unhappy country would 
have little to hope from any new 
order of things. I resolved, there- 
fore, to submit, and to do so with 
an appearance of as much good 
humour as I could affect. 

"At' my next meeting with Mr. 
G. Ponsonby, which was purely 
casual (for I did not seek it) he 
asked me if I had not seen the 
Duke of Bedford ? I said 'yes ;" he 
said " he hoped everything was to 
my satisfaction." I answered " His 
Grace's reception of me has been 
extremely courteous." Even then, 
not a word of explanation from Mr. 
G. Ponsonby. He merely informed 
me that Sir Michael Smith should 
be treated with on the subject of 
his resignation. And I must con- 
fess that he presented my condition 
in a point of view which excited 
no ordinary sensations : for I now 
saw, that instead of coming into the 
stipulated situation by an undisputed 
claim of right, and without the 
burthen of one shilling expense to 
the country, I was flung upon the 
precarious chance of a place, which, 
if achieved at all, could be obtained 
only by a charge on the public, and 
rendered additionally disgusting to 
me by the appearance of a job. 

"At last, after delays perhaps 
not easy to be avoided, but cer- 
tainly affording ample time for the 
triumph of my enemies and the 
vexation of my friends, both of 
whom looked upon me as insulted 
and abandoned, that treaty took 
place, without any participation of 
mine, and without the remotest hint 
that it could involve any stipulation 


Livis of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 

31 . 

or guarantee on my part. I was in- 
formed by Mr. G. Ponsonby that 
the arrangement was completed ; 
that Sir Michael was to resign, on 
the terms of receiving the retiring 
salary ; and also, upon a promise by 
the Government, that his deputy, 
Mr. Ridgevvay, should get a place 
of ;6oo per annum, if such place 
should become vacant before the 
25th of March ensuing, until which 
time no addition could be made to 
the pension-list; and, if no such 
vacancy should occur before that 
day, he should then be placed on 
the pension establishment for ^500 
a year for his life, and that a pro- 
vision by pension to the amount of 
altogether of ^500 a year, was also 
to be made for three inferior officers 
of Sir Michael's Court. 

" Had any idea of any stipulation 
whatever on my part been sug- 
gested, feeling as I did, I could not 
.have borne it for, see how it would 
have stood : on my part, it would 
have been a purchase of a judicial 
office. The purchase could not be 
made good out of its own income, 
which could last only to my death 
or resignation : for these annuities 
were for the lives of four other per- 
sons, and worth at least ^8000 ; 
with these ^8000, therefore, I was 
eventually to charge my private 
fortune ; for this sum I was to buy 
the disappointment of an expectation 
which I thought certain, and to com- 
mit a breach of the law and the con- 

" But if I could have dispensed 
with the matter of purity, another 
question remained : Was this change 
between my professional and a judi- 
cial situation thus to be obtained, 
worth the sum of ^8000? There 
-would have been, therefore, two 
previous questions to decide a 
^question of crime and a question of 
prudence. If I had consulted a 
moralist upon the one, and a Jew 
upon the other, what would have 
been the answer? I would not, 
therefore, have submitted for a mo- 

ment; I would have snapped the 
thread in such a manner as would 
have made it impossible to splice 
it, and have felt pleasure in being 
restored to my liberty. 

" Sir Michael Smith at length re- 
signed ; and five months after Mr. 
G. Ponsonby accepted the seals, I 
came into my office. Months after- 
wards elapsed no place was given 
to Mr. Ridgeway. I should have 
wished that he were satisfied rather 
by a place than a pension : but upon 
this delay I made no application to 
Mr. G. Ponsonby, because there 
scarcely then subsisted between 
us that sort of intercourse which 
could make such an application 
agreeable to me ; perhaps in those 
feelings I was not just to Mr. G. 
Ponsonby; perhaps my temper 
might have been too hasty or too 
exacting : but I certainly did think 
myself treated, at least, with great 
unkindness ; and you may remember 
I complained of it to you, long before 
the close of that administration. 

" So things rested until a very few 
days previous to the 2 5th of March, 
when Mr. Elliott requested of me to 
find out the names of those belong- 
ing to Sir Michael Smith, and send 
them to him, that their business 
might be settled before the Govern- 
ment should resign. Sir Michael 
happening to come to town that 
very day, I apprised him of Mr. 
Elliott's desire, and accordingly he 
sent him the names. I soon learned 
from mere rumour that the pensions 
were not granted,'though the Govern- 
ment continued till towards the end 
of April. I learned it afterwards 
from G. Ponsonby himself, who 
spoke of it with regret, as a circum- 
stance vexatious to Sir Michael, but 
without the remotest allusion to any 
interest or concern that he himself 
or that I could possibly have in the 
matter; nor did he say anything 
whatsoever as to the cause of this 
disappointment. As to the Duke 
of Bedford, I could not but think 
with everybody else, that the trans- 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


action was merely between Sir Mi- 
chael and the Irish Government, 
without any possibility of relation to 
the person of the viceroy ; and it 
was under this continued conviction 
that, even by the necessity of vindi- 
cation, 1 could allow myself to speak 
of it; even to you, so freely as I now 
do. After some time, I forget how 
many days or weeks, I met a friend 
of ours accidentally ; he introduced 
the circumstance of the disappoint- 
ment of Mr. Ridgeway, and the 
three other persons. In what passed 
he appeared to me to speak merely 
from the casual suggestion of his own 
mind. I had not then, nor have I 
now, any idea that he spoke at the 
instance of Mr. G. Ponsonby, or 
that he meant to convey any distinct 
proposition whatsoever. He ex- 
pressed much concern at the acci- 
dent, as extremely unlucky. I in- 
quired how the disappointment 
could have been occasioned. Of 
this he seemed uninformed; but 
asked me if I did not think that 
something ought to be done by us. 
I answered that I was utterly igno- 
rant upon the subject ; that I con- 
sidered myself, from the moment 
Mr. G. Ponsonby became Chan- 
cellor, as most unkindly treated by 
him, from whom alone I could de- 
rive any information ; that I did not 
see what we should do on the occa- 
sion, or why we should do anything. 
We met a second time in the same 
casual way ; he asked me if I had 
thought any more upon the subject 
of our last conversation. I answered 
that I had heard nothing more about 
it, and, of course, that 1 thought as 
I did before. Had he come to make 
any demand on me, on the part of 
Mr. G. Ponsonby, I should have 
expected to have it made frankly 
and distinctly ; I should have ex- 
pected to find him prepared to give 
the fullest satisfaction as to the na- 
ture of such a demand, and of the 
facts on which it could rest, being 
myself utterly ignorant of them. I 
should have expected to be dis- 

tinctly informed, why the arrange- 
ment made in London, in pursuance 
of my original compact with Mr. 
G. Ponsonby, had not been ob- 
served in Dublin ? Why the hopes, 
of Sir Michael had been disap- 
pointed? Why I had never been, 
consulted upon either subject ? How 
the non-performance to Sir Michael, 
could throw any liability on me ? 
If it had been a proposition to do^ 
something in concurrence with the.- 
party, I should have expected to be 
informed how the liability of Mr. 
Ponsonby's officials acts could be: 
extended to the party, and which of 
the party had' entertained such aa 
opinion ; and in what act it was that 
they required my concurrence ? If 
I had been shown, by any explana- 
tion on these points, that any duty 
whatsoever, in justice or in honour, 
was cast upon me, I would have in- 
stantly performed it ; if I thought it 
doubtful, I would have referred the 
decision confidentially to the party 
itself. But I considered the sugges- 
tion as the mere effusion of good- 
nature ; the mere result of kindness,., 
and not of reflection because, taken 
in any other way, it would have come 
simply to this : ' Sir, you have en- 
tered many years ago into a com- 
pact; you have observed it faithfully;, 
you suffered deeply by that obser- 
vance : when the time of performing 
was to you arrived, it was ratified in 
London ; in Dublin, the substitution 
of something else, supposed to be a. 
performance, was adopted without 
privity or consent ; the substitution, 
too, was accompanied by collateral 
circumstances of much humiliation 
and disrespect towards you. By- 
unforeseen events that substitution 
has been attended with some pecu- 
niary charges ; it is hoped, that 
having so patiently borne this, you 
will take it cum onere, and not think 
it unreasonable to defray those in- 
cidental expenses it is trusted you 
will have no objection to the mode 
proposed, as unconstitutional or 
dishonourable. You have a judicial. 

I8 7 2.J 

Lives of the Lord Chancellors rf Ireland. 


office j all that is required of you is 
to accept a lease of that office from 
the deputy and three inferior officers 
of your predecessor, at the small rent 
of ;Soo a year of these four 
landlords there will be, the former 
Trainbearer, Tipstaff, and Crier of 
your Court. As the rent must be 
for their lives, and not merely for 
yours, you will see the necessity of 
insuring your own or you may re- 
deem the whole for the sum of 
^8000, if so much personal fortune 
has escaped the wreck to which you 
were exposed by your political 
fidelity the entire emoluments of 
your office will be then generously 
left to your disposal. Had therefore 
such a claim been made, I should 
have viewed it exactly in this light, 
and refused it accordingly. In 
some time after, I heard that Mr. 
G. Ponsonby had made a grant of 
^800 per annum to Mr. Ridgeway 
and those three inferior officers, and 
this act has been represented to the 
public as occasioned by want of 
gratitude to Mr. G. Ponsonby, my 
benefactor, and of personal honour 
as a member of the party ; as to the 
first part of the charge, you well 
know how unfounded it is. Thank 
God, I have had many friends I 
am now addressing the most valued 
of them ; but, in the sense intended, 
I never had a benefactor. If I had 
entertained any views of ambition, 
I could have been lifted only 
by a stronger wing than my own ; 
but my journey has been on the 
ground, and performed on foot, and 
I was able to walk without the 
crutches of patronage. As to the 
allegation of any breach of just or 
honourable engagement, the fact of 
such engagement must have been 
with the knowledge of the Duke of 
Bedford, of Mr. G. Ponsonby, and 
of Sir Michael Smith ; and I aver 
that I never was required to take 
any part in guaranteeing to Sir 
Michael Smith that agreement of 
government, or of being liable to him 
in any event for the performance; 

and that I never did, directly or in- 
directly, make any promise on the 
subject; and that I know not of any 
act whatsoever, which, to the best of 
my judgment, after the maturest con- 
sideration, can warrant the allega- 
tions that have been made against 
me. Of these allegations, I now 
feel it necessary to take some farther 
notice : I well know how incapable 
Mr. G. Ponsonby must be of making 
them ; if he had heard them, he had 
too much honour not to repel them 
with indignation ; it is therefore the 
more necessary for me to advert to 
them. It is said, the substitution of 
which I complained was for my 
benefit ; I answer, first, that it was a 
question upon which I alone was 
competent to decide ; a question for 
the feelings of a gentleman, not the 
calculation of a notary public. Had 
it been referred to me, as I think it 
ought, I should have seen, as the 
public did see, and did say, that it 
went to sink me, by excluding me 
from all political confidence. Be- 
tween such discredit and pecuniary 
compensation, no honourable mind 
could balance. But the assertion it- 
self is untrue in fact. The place 
which I hold was as inferior to that 
of Attorney-general, in point of pe- 
cuniary emolument as of political 
consequence. The professional and 
official income I should have derived 
from the latter could not have been 
less than double the amount of what 
I now enjoy. I should have made 
no deduction for any precariousness 
of tenure, for never was there an ad- 
ministration less likely to be chang- 
ed. That income, therefore, I should 
have counted upon as certain, till I 
passed to the chief seat on the King's 
Bench ; a situation of equal certainty 
with that of the Rolls of far more 
dignity ; of, I believe, twice the an- 
nual value ; far more congenial with 
my habits and temper ; and which I 
should have filled with perhaps more 
advantage to the public; certainly 
with much greater pleasure to my- 
self ; and to that place the office of 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


Attorney-general would have led, by 
the course of ordinary usage ; and 
to that place it must have led me, 
because in no other way could 
the compact have been finally 
fulfilled. I say, then, it was not for 
my benefit ; and I say further, it was 
not for the benefit of Mr. G. Pon- 
sonby himself ; as, without some ar- 
^rangement in which I should ac- 
quiesce, his own compact must have 
been an insurmountable bar to his 
acceptance of office. I say, also, 
that if the compact with me had 
been observed, the arrangement 
with Sir Michael Smith could never 
have existed; nor, of course, any 
person be called upon to compensate 
for its non-performance. And yet 
the charge against me is, that, having 
received a part payment of a debt, 
I was bound in honour, out of that 
part payment, to defray the expense 
of the disappointment which pre- 
vented my receiving the whole. 

" It has been said, that the attacks 
made upon me by my enemies 
threw difficulties upon my friends in 
the course of that arrangement ; and 
that, under all the circumstances, 
though the compact was not fully 
performed, I might have been con- 
tent. But what were those who at- 
tached slanders upon me in common 
with themselves slanders provoked 
by a conduct of which my friends, 
as well as myself, have reason to be 
proud; slanders cast upon me by 
the very men whose want of wisdom 
or humanity threw upon me the ne- 
cessity of adopting and pursuing 
that conduct which provoked their 
vengeance and their misrepresenta- 
tion ? Thank God, I did adopt and 
pursue it, under the pressure of un- 
interrupted attacks upon my cha- 
racter and fortune, and frequently 
at the hazard of my life : I trust, that 
while I have memory, that conduct 
will remain indelibly engraven upon 
it ; because it will there be a record 
of the most valuable of all claims a 
claim upon the gratitude of my own 
conscience. But, at most, what 

could the supposed difficulties be? 
Was it more than to say, " a friend 
cannot be less dear, or a compact 
less sacred, because that friend has 
been falsely aspersed ?" I know 
that malice against me was then 
most active, because it was then most 
interested ; but I can scarcely ima- 
gine any distillation of slander so 
highly rectified as to dissolve a com- 
pact. And here, surely, it is not 
very necessary for me to say, that 
had such 'difficulty really arisen, I 
would not have permitted for a mo- 
ment any consideration personal to 
myself to stand in the way of an 
arrangement from which the friends 
of Ireland expected so much ad- 

" It has been said, that at all 
events, I have been a gainer by my 
connexion with the party ; a despic- 
able reproach, if true ; but it is not 
true. I came into parliament at a 
very early period ; having no here- 
ditary fortune, I could have little 
property. During the whole time of 
my sitting there, I never deviated 
from those principles which have 
bound us together; I continued, from 
parliament to parliament, to come in 
at my own expense. It is apparent 
how heavy such a burthen must 
have been ; I was not like other men, 
who came into Parliament without 
any expense ; who had great family 
interest to support them ; I had not 
the same means nor the same in- 
ducements. To this, perhaps, it 
might be objected, that at my first 
coming into the House of Commons 
I did accept a seat from a particular 
friend ; and the fact is so. But it is 
also true, that having soon differed 
on political subjects with that gen- 
tleman, I purchased a seat for a 
friend of his, there being then no 
way of vacating ; though, to do him 
justice, he endeavoured to dissuade 
me from it ; having given me the 
seat on the express condition of 
perfect freedom on my part. From 
the first, I adopted your principles, 
and on those we acted until the 

Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


forming of our party, 1789. In the 
mere personal compact between Mr. 
G. Ponsonby and me, you could 
have no interest ; for it was known 
that you would not accept any 
emolument of office. The compact 
itself was not a stipulation for gain, 
but simply a bond of cohesion in 
the faithful discharge of that agree- 
ment. I made no compromise with 
power ; I had the merit of provoking 
and despising the personal malice 
of every man in Ireland who was the 
known enemy of the country. With- 
out the walls of the courts of justice 
my character was pursued by the 
most persevering slander ; and with- 
in those walls, though I was too 
strong to be beaten down by any 
judicial malignity, it was not so 
with my clients ; and my consequent 
losses in mere professional income, 
have never been estimated at less, 
as you must have often heard, than 
.3o,ooo/. ; and yet for these losses, it 
seems, I am to be considered as 
compensated. It is with no little 
pain that I descend to such paltry 
topics, but when accusation is vile 
.and grovelling, what dignity can be 
expected in defence ? It seems the 
privilege of vulgar calumny, that the 
victim must be humbled by the one, 
if he be not disgraced by the other. 
" Lastly, it has been said, that it 
would have have been a good-natured 
thing to take an accidental loss 
upon myself, instead of letting itf all 
on Mr. Ponsonby. Strange good- 
nature, indeed ! to make myself 
-chargeable with a loss that could 
have been occasioned solely by what 
I consider the reverse of an act of 
kindness. Strange good-nature, as it 
appears to me, to apply ^8000 of 
my fortune in the purchase of an 
imputation on my character, by 
which I should have falsely admitted 
myself to have been a corrupt 
trafficker for a judicial office ! But 
supposing, however, that there could 
subsist such liability, should it not 
appear that every thing possible had 
: been done to orevent its arising ? 

And here, what has been done ? In 
the variety of places which must 
have fallen from June to March, was 
any offer made to Mr. Ridgeway ? 
But when in March the names were 
required to be sent in, as I have 
stated, with the express intent of 
performing the engagements, and 
which requisition was, of itself, an 
acknowledgment of the power to 
perform, why was it not performed ? 
And in this latter view, I am not sur- 
prised to have heard it said, that Sir 
Michael Smith conceived the failure 
to Mr. Ridgeway as an indignity to 

" I know your friendship will ex- 
cuse the painful trouble I have given 
you, but you are the person to whom 
alone I could address this letter. I 
consider myself still, and shall, 
whilst I live, a member of our party, 
and bound by its principles; you 
have a peculiar interest in the 
honour of those with whom you have 
thought it right to act ; and none of 
us can be humbled in looking to 
you as the patron of us all. I feel 
I have trespassed too long upon you 
in justifying my conduct; this justifi- 
cation is, in truth, but one of the 
objects of this letter, and this I trust 
is accomplished. As to these facts, 
however, on which I have placed 
my justification, I may be utterly 
mistaken ; I reason upon them as 
they appeared : Mr. G. Ponsonby 
may think they have been entirely 
misconceived by me ; or he may 
know of other facts, of which I know- 
nothing, that would show his con- 
duct to me perfectly as it ought to 
have been, and that I, on the con- 
trary, have been in error. If so, 
never could I be undeceived with 
more pleasure to myself. The other 
object of my letter, therefore, is, to 
request you will communicate with 
Mr. G. Ponsonby on this subject : 
that you will learn from him if there 
be any claim which he conceives 
himself to have upon me, in justice 
or in honour ; and the grounds upon 

whirli \\e- ronrpivpc cnrh claim tO 

Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


stand. You will see the necessity of 
Mr. G. Ponsonby's having the kind- 
ness to state those grounds specifi- 
cally and distinctly ; for in no other 
way can my justification, or his claim, 
be judged of by me, or by others. 
This, I think, even a stranger might 
expect ; but I cannot think so slight- 
ly of what is due to the recollection 
of our intercourse for five-and-twenty 
years, as not to hope to find in him 
a prompt and generous ardour in 
doing justice to my feelings and my 
reputation. I do not refer the matter 
to his decision it is not for either 
of us to decide. Should my judg- 
ment acquiesce in the claim (if any 
can be made), I will comply with it 
instantly : if it does not, I will con- 
cur in referring it to yourself, Lord 
Moira, Lord Grey, Lord Erskine, 
Lord Holland, or Lord Ponsonby, 
or any other common friend, or 
friends, that may be appointed. I 
wish them to decide, upon the most 
liberal principles of justice and of 
honour, what ought to be done under 
all the circumstances of the case. 

" Whatever that decision shall be, 
I shall comply most promptly. In 
doing so, I shall have the satis- 
faction of acting rightly, and be re- 
lieved from the painful apprehension 
of being thought by any man capable 
of acting otherwise. I am, &c. 

" J. P. CURRAN. 

l, 1808." 

%* Lord Moira, Lord Grey, and 
Lord Holland, were accordingly 
named as arbitrators. 

Copy of the Engagements which Sir 
Michael Smith required in favour of 
his dependants in Office, before he 
would resign his situation of Master of 
the R oils j and which was sent to the 
late Chancellor Ponsonby at his request 

"May, 1806. 

" The Lord Chancellor engages, 
on the part of Government, to Sir 
Michael Smith, as follows, viz. : 

" First, That as soon as con- 
veniently maybe, after the 25th of 
March, 1807, a pension of one 

hundred pounds a year, free and 
clear of all charges for pells, pound- 
age, or otherwise, shall be granted, 
in due form, to John Hevey, the 
late Crier of Sir Michael Smith, to 
hold to the said John Hevey from 
said 2$th of March, 1807, for and 
during his natural life. 

"Secondly, That a like provision 
of one hundred pounds a year shall, 
at the same time, and in like manner 
and form, be granted to James Gar- 
diner, the late Trainbearer of Sir 
Michael Smith, to hold to him from 
said 25th of March, 1807, for and 
during said James Gardiner's natural 
life. ' 

" Thirdly, That a like pension of 
one hundred pounds a year shall, at 
the same time, and in like manner 
and form, be granted to James 
Leonard, the late Tipstaff of Sir M. 
Smith, to hold to said John Leonard, 
from said 25th of March, 1807, for 
and during his natural life. 

"Fourthly, That a pension of 
five hundred a year, or a place 
worth six hundred pounds a year, 
not inconsistent with his profession, 
as a practising attorney, shall, at the 
same time, and in like manner and 
form, be granted to Joseph Ridge- 
way, Esq., the late deputy of Sir M. 
Smith, at the Rolls, to hold to said 
Joseph Ridgeway, from said 25th 
day of March, 1807, for and during 
his natural life. 


"fy Place, May 2%th, 1808. 

" DEAR SIR, I laid before my 
Lord Lieutenant the statement which 
you sent me, as containing the En- 
gagement of Government, respecting 
the provision to be made for those 
inferior officers of your court who 
wish to retire at the same time you 
do, and for whose comfort you ex- 
press so much solicitude ; and I 
am authorised by his Grace to assure 
you that he will comply with your 
wishes, and fulfil the engagement, as 

I8 7 2.] 

Lives oflhe Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 

I, by his permission, have made it. 
I shall be much obliged to you 
(when you have taken a copy of 
the engagement), to send back the 
original, and to write me a formal 
and regular notification of your wish 
to resign, as the letter you have 
just now sent me, though sufficient 
to authorise me to inform the Lord 
Lieutenant of your desire, is not 
sufficient to authorise him to recom- 
mend the acceptance of your resig- 
nation, the grant of your pension, 
and the appointment of your suc- 

" I have the honour to be, 
" With great esteem, 





" Wednesday, i$th June. 
; "MY DEAR SIR, I know you are 
.apprised that Mr. Curran has ap- 
pointed me to represent him in the 
reference between him and you. 
You will have the goodness to ap- 
point some friend of yours, to act 
with me in conducting the business. 
" I am, dear Sir, 
" Your very sincere 

" And obedient servant, 

Right Hon. G. Ponsonby." 


" Monday, June 2oth. 
" MY DEAR SIR, When on Wed- 
nesday last I wrote to you to request 
that you would appoint some friend 
of yours to act with me, in conduct- 
ing the reference between you and 
Mr. Curran, I did suppose that you 
would prefer the good offices of a 
friend to acting yourself in the busi- 
ness ; if, however, you prefer the 
latter, I shall be extremely happy to 
confer with you, whenever you please, 
' on the subject. To me the necessity 

of your co-operation, in a reference 
to which you are a party, appears 
indispensible ; if, however, any other 
mode of conducting it occurs to you, 
I assure you I shall be very happy 
to attend to any suggestion of yours. 
I am the more anxious that this 
business should not be longer delay- 
ed, as the season of the year will 
soon arrive in which we cannot ex- 
pect the presence of the arbitrators 
in town. 

" Right Hon. G. Ponsonby." 


" Tuesday Morning. 
" MY DBAR SiR,~WhenI came home 
last night, I found your second letter, 
which put me in mind how long I 
had suffered your first to remain un- 
answered, for which neglect I beg 
you to excuse me. In truth, I 
opened it when engaged in talking 
over some political affairs ; and, 
putting it into my drawer, forgot to 
write to you. 

" Mr. Daly will be in London in ten 
days ; and, when he comes, he will 
converse with you upon the subject 
you mention ; but I suppose you are 
apprised that I have nothing to say to 
the matter, farther than having, at 
Mr. Grattan's importunity, yielded 
to Mr. Curran's desire of what is 
called a reference. I always felt, 
and feel, that I have nothing to refer. 
" Very truly yours, 


Newlands, Eathcoole, July 25, 1808. 
MY DEAR SIR, Mr. Daly has, I 
believe, reached London, and is, I 
believe, to be found at Batt's Hotel, 
injermyn-street. If the gentlemen are 
in town, and you are disposed to go 
on now with the business, Mr. Daly 
will, I am sure, be ready to attend 
them. As he was the person who 
managed the whole transaction with. 

1 a u/iancellors of Ireland. 

Sir Michael Smith and Mr. Curran, 
lie is the properest to inform them 
upon it. If any statement is to be 
laid before them, I shall be obliged 
to you to shew it to him, and he 
will judge whether it is necessary to 
. send it to me. 

" I am, with much esteem, 
" Yours very truly, 





1 60, Piccadilly, October, 1809. 

DEAR SIR, I write at the instance 
of Mr. Curran, who is here, to re- 
quest that, as the referees are now in 
this country, you will be pleased to 
state in writing the claim on which 
their decision is to be had. If you 
would favour me with a copy of it, 
it would expedite the termination' 
which Mr. C. has felt great pain at 
being so long deferred. I also re- 
quest that you will have the good- 
ness to send me a copy of the agree- 
ment entered into with Sir M. Smith, " 
previous to his resignation. 

" I am, &c. 

"Right Hon. G. Ponsonby. 
" N.B. No copy of the agreement 
required by Mr. Hutchins, was given 
by Mr. Ponsonby; the copies of Sir 
Michael Smith's terms, and of Mr. 
Ponsonby's letter in answer thereto, 
were fortunately obtained long after, 
from the gentleman who has the 
; originals in his possession." 

"Newlands,Rathcoole, Oct. 26,1809. 
"My DEAR SIR, Having been 
from home for some time, I did not 
receive your letter until yesterday, 
which must plead my excuse for not 
sooner answering it. I have no 
claim to state ; I desired no refer- 
ence ; but at the repeated instances 
and importunity of Mr. Grattan 
urged by the desire of Mr. Curran' 


I consented to one ; and, therefore,, 
it is for Mr. Curran to state what 
he wishes to be referred. When he 
shall do so, and when that state- 
ment shall be shown to me, I will 
signify my assent or dissent to it, or 
any part of it. I entered into no 
agreement with Sir Michael Smith, 
previous to his resignation, but what 
related to the amount of the pen- 
sions to be granted by Government 
after the 2 5th of March, 1807; 
everything else was transacted ver- 
bally, and almost, if not entirely, by 
my brother-in-law, Mr. Daly. 
" I am, with much esteem, 

" Yours very truly, 


" 160, Piccadilly, April 20, 1810. 
" DEAR SIR, Ever since the 
nomination of arbitrators on the 
question between you and Mr. Cur- 
ran, he has been most anxious to 
have it decided. He has now, a 
third time, come hither for that pur- 
pose. In your last letter to me, 
you propose that he shall begin by 
laying his case before the referees. 
It appears to him that this would 
put him under strange difficulties, 
indeed; but he is willing, and I 
now propose, on his part, to refer 
your proposition to the arbitrators; 
if they think the statement should 
begin with him, it shall be so. You 
will excuse my earnestly requesting 
an immediate answer to this. 

" I am, dear Sir, &c., 

t( F IT 
"Right Hon. G. Ponsonby."' 


"Friday Morning, May 20, 1810. 
"MY DEAR SIR, I have this 
moment received your favour of this 
date, and lose not a moment in 
answering it. I have now before 
me a copy of the letter which I 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 

wrote to upon the 26th of October 
last, and which contains all that I 
think upon the subject you then 
wrote and now write to me upon ; 
and I have, therefore, only to add, 

" I am, with great esteem 

and regard, 

" Your faithful and obedient 


* % * Mr. Ponsonby having declined 
answering Mr. Hutchins' letter, 
offering to submit to the arbi- 
trators, whether Mr. Ponsonby or 
Mr. Curran should make the first 
statement, the reference thus fell 
to the ground ; and the anxious 
endeavour, to have the question 
privately and amicably adjusted, 
and to avoid the painful necessity 
of anything like publicity, was 

As the head of the magistracy, 
Ponsonby conducted himself with 
great prudence in the midst of many 
difficulties, His anti-Orange leanings 
were far from warping his judgment 
when an unsustainable accusation 
had been made against an Orange 
magistrate. In the County Tyrone 
the Orangemen were accused of 
wrecking the farm-house of the Ca- 
tholic inhabitants, amongst whom 
was a man in humble life, named 
O'Neil. His house was burnt by an 
Orange mob, headed, as it was 
alleged, by the two sons of Mr. 
Vernes, a magistrate for the county, 
and an Orange man. Mr. Wilson, a 
Tyrone magistrate, represented the 
outrage to the Government. His re- 
presentations were so earnest, de- 
manding an inquiry and redress, 
that Serjeant Moore and the Crown 
Solicitor were sent down to conduct 
an inquiry into the facts. The young 
Vernees were accused of being the 
house burners; but nothingwhatever 
came out in evidence to justify the 
opinion that either of those young 
men had been concerned in the out- 

rage. The learned Serjeant, having 
closed his inquiry, immediately re- 
turned to town. 

Some days after, Mr. Wilson was 
summoned to Dublin, and had an 
interview with the Chancellor, who 
then informed him that he was per- 
fectly satisfied with the conduct of 
Serjeant Moore. Wilson next ap- 
plied that his commission for Tyrone 
might be extended to Armagh. In 
his letter of application he accused 
the Government and the Duke of 
Bedford of being either unable or 
unwilling to protect the oppressed. 

The Chancellor, insulted at the 
accusation, thus replied : 

" Ely Place, Sept. 6, 1806. 
SIR, I am very sorry that a 
pressure of business, which could, 
not be postponed, has prevented me 
from sending an earlier answer to 
the letter you did me the honour of 
writing to me in July last. That 
any attempts should be made at 
assassination must be a subject of 
the deepest regret, and will, I am 
sure, excite in the Government the 
most anxious desire to detect and 
punish those who are guilty of them ; 
and I hope that no description of 
his Majesty's subjects in Ireland will 
ever have reason to consider those 
to whom he may be pleased to dele- 
gate his authority as either unable 
or unwilling to protect them. With 
respect to the administration of the 
Duke of Bedford, I can most confi- 
dently affirm, that there never was 
and never will be in this country one 
more sincerely disposed to protect 
with vigour and impartiality all its 
inhabitants ; and that whoever shall 
violate the laws, will find his Grace 
both willing and able to vindicate 
their authority. 

" The application, which you have 
been pleased to make for a commis- 
sion of the peace for the county of 
Armagh not having been seconded 
by the recommendation of the go- 
vernor, or either of the members for 
that county, or of any resident privy 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


counicllor, I am under the necessity 
of forbearing to comply with it. I 
have the honour to be, &c., 


Wilson, having made charges un- 
sustainable, A\ iis removed from the 
commission of the peace on the 3rd 
July, 1807. It must be confessed 
that Ponsonby's conduct concerning 
the magistracy did not win for him 
the estimation of the Catholic party, 
and yet whilst no Orange magistrate 
was dismissed, six Catholic justices 
of the peace were appointed for the 
county Wexford. The coalition 
ministry lasted but ten months, when 
it fell, to give place to a " No- 
Popery," with the Duke of Richmond 
at the head of the Irish Government, 
and Lord Manners Lord Chancellor. 
On the 28th of April, 1807, Pon- 
sonby gave judgment in a case in 
his court of much importance. After 
he had concluded, the Attorney-ge- 
neral (Plunkett) rose, and asked his 
lordship whether he meant to sit on 
the following day ; the Chancellor 
replied in the negative. The At- 
torney-general then addressed him 
as follows : " My Lord, having by 
the desire of the Bar had the honour 
to present you with their unanimous 
congratulations on your appointment 
to the Seals, they cannot be silent on 
the present occasion, and through me 
are anxious to repeat to you the sen- 
timents which they then expressed. 
It must, my lord, be permitted me to 
convey to you the high sense which 
is entertained, by the Bar, of the 
diligence, the zeal, the talents, and 
integrity with which you have dis- 
charged the duties of your office, and 
the deep regret they at this moment 
feel at your separation from them. I 
must also be allowed to express 
their grateful acknowledgments of 
the uniform courtesy and impartial 
attention which you always mani- 
fested towards every member of the 

The Chancellor replied nearly in 
the following words. " I feel most 
sensibly this approbation of the Bar. 

which you have so kindly communi- 
cated ; at the same time I must be 
permitted to ascribe it as much to 
their partiality^as any merit of mine. 
When the King was pleased to ap- 
point me to the high office which I 
had the honour to hold, it was my 
firm intention conscientiously to 
discharge the duties which belong 
to it, to the utmost of my ability ; I 
am inclined to think, I have not 
been unsuccessful, having obtained 
the commendation of a body so cap- 
able of forming a correct judgmer. 
as the Irish Bar. I feel great satis- 
faction from the character of the 
nobleman, who has been appointed 
my successor, that the duties of the 
situation will be discharged by him 
in a manner far beyond that to which 
my humble talents could pretend." 

On the next day Lord Man- 
ners arrived in Dublin, and the 
Great Seal was put into his hands. 
Mr. Ponsonby, having ceased to be 
Chancellor, stood at the ensuing 
election for Parliament, was returned, 
and once more resumed his place 
and duties in the House of Com- 



The accession of the No-Popery 
administration to power, in 1807, 
strengthened rather than diminished 
the exertion of the Irish Catholics 
in the cause of emancipation. Lord 
Fingal, acting on the advice of 
Dr. Milner, an English Apostolic 
Vicar, and author of a learned work 
on controversy, laboured without 
intermission in the Catholic cause ; 
and as Dr. Milner was a kind of 
agent in England for the Irish 
bishops, though not for any such pur- 
pose as this, both those lords spiri- 
tual and temporal took it upon them- 
selves to authorise Mr. Ponsonby 
and Mr. Grattan to reinforce the 
prayer of the Catholic petition, by 
offering to the Crown, in return, the 
mischievious power of objecting to 
the appointment of bishops and 
priests obnoxious to the Govern- 
ment. This power was known a 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


the VETO. Mr. Grattan supported 
the measure ; he said : 

" The influence of the Pope, so 
far, was purely spiritual, and did not 
extend even to the appointment of 
the members of his Catholic hier- 
archy. They nominated themselves, 
and looked to the Pope but for his 
spiritual sanction of such nomina- 
tion. But if it should be supposed 
that there was the smallest danger in 
this course, he had a proposition to 
suggest, which he had authority to 
state, which, indeed, he was in- 
structed to make ; namely, that his 
Majesty may interfere upon any such 
occasion with his negative. This 
would have the effect of preventing 
any Catholic ecclesiastic being ad- 
vanced to the Government of that 
Church in Ireland, who was not 
politically approved of by the Go- 
vernment of that country. 

" Mr. Ponsonby, in supporting the 
petition, made the same proposal; 
and said he did so upon the au- 
thority of Dr. Milner, who was a 
Catholic bishop in England, and 
who was authorised by the Catholic 
Bishops of Ireland to make the pro- 
position, in case the measure of 
Catholic Emancipation should be 
acceded to. The proposition, he 
said, was this : ' That the person 
to be nominated to a vacant bishop- 
ric should be submitted to the 
King's approbation ; and that, if the 
approbation were refused, another 
person should be proposed, and so 
on, in succession, until his Majesty's 
approbation should be obtained, so 
that the appointment should finally 
rest with the King. 

"Mr. Percival, as might have been 
expected, earnestly and prayerfully 
opposed Mr. Grattan's motion, and 
all the other possible concession to 
Papists, whether on the condition of 
veto, or any other condition. Not 
that he would be averse, he said, 
from giving contentment to his 
Catholic brethren, whom he loved as 

a Christian, as much as any man; 
and " should not conceive himself 
precluded from supporting their 
claims uuder different circumstances, 
in the event, for instance, of a change 
taking place in the Cdtholic religion 
itself" On the division upon Mr. 
Grattan's motion, the Minister had a 
majority of 153 128, having voted 
for going into committee, and 281 
against it. Fortunate ! thrice fortu- 
nate, that such was the result of that 
measure, which would have ruined 
the independence of a Church that 
had weathered the storm for thir- 
teen hundred years ; a measure that 
would have fastened upon her tram- 
mels like them with which the 
Church of France was encumbered 
with for centuries gone by; tram- 
mels, ironically called, " The Gal- 
lican Liberties," denounced by Cha- 
teaubriand, and sneered at by the 
Count de Montalambert. 

The alarm and indignation excited 
in Ireland, both amongst clergjfrand 
laity, by the veto project, were quite 
vehement. The conscientious his- 
torian, Plowden, says : 

" The prospective view of a nation- 
al religion, preserved with a virtuous 
hierarchy, without any civil establish- 
ment or State interfereuce, through 
three centuries of oppression or per- 
secution, produced alarm in every 
reflecting mind. The proposed in- 
novation of introducing Royal and 
Protestant connection, influence, and 
power in the constitution and perpe- 
tuation of a Catholic hierarchy, to 
the utter exclusion of which, the 
Irish Catholics ascribed that almost 
miraculous preservation, threw the 
public mind into unusual agitation. 
The laity abhorred the idea of the 
ministers of their religion becoming 
open to Court influence and in- 
trigue, and shuddered at the pro- 
spect of prostituting the sacred, 
function of that apostolic mission 
and jurisdiction, to which they had 
hitherto submitted as of Divine ins- 

1 Grattan's Speeches Plowden Index. 


Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


titution, to its revilers, persecutors, 
and sworn enemies. At the same 
time, the whole Catholic clergy of 
Ireland were driven by a common 
electric impulse into more than 
ordinary reflection upon the stupen- 
dous efficacy of that evangelical 
purity and independence by which 
the spiritual pastors had so long, 
and under such temptations and 
difficulties, preserved their flocks in 
the religion of their Christian ances- 

In the session of 1810, the veto 
was again brought under the con- 
sideration of Parliament. Mr. Pon- 
sonby supported ihe measure: he ad- 
vocated the principle on the ground 
that the Pope was then a ^subject 
of the Emperor of France, and no 
longer a free agent, and that the 
nominations to the Irish Episcopacy 
would thenceforward be in the hands 
of the French. " tut veto or no veto, 
it appeared to him that Government 
wer% inclined to do nothing for 
Ireland. Force would never secure 
Ireland. The resident landlords 
were fewer than formerly, on ac- 
count of the Union ; he therefore 
had better try his hand at a repeal of 
that measure. Ireland had never 
received from Great Britain any con- 
siderable advantage but at the 
moment of British embarrassment. 
If Great Britain went on refusing 
everything to Ireland, the House 
might depend upon it that the 
Irish would think the Union had 
made their situation worse than ever, 
and that what they might have had 
the power of obtaining from their 
own Parliament, they would have 
no chance of procuring from that of 
the Empire. They would look to 
other or less legitimate friends, and 
the activity of the Emperor of France 
would not long leave them without 
the means of availing themselves of 
them, should they be induced to re- 
sort to such a desperate extremity. 
It was the duty of Ministers, and if 

they neglected that duty, it became 
the duty of Parliament, to tell his 
Majesty how he might avoid losing 
Ireland. He would stake his repu- 
tation, if the present system con- 
tinued, that either during the life of 
his Majesty, or that of his immediate 
successor, such a convulsion would 
be experienced in Ireland, as would 
shake it to the centre, or separate it 
altogether from Great Britain." 1 

Great was the indignation again 
awakened in Ireland by the proposi- 
tion of the veto. O'Connell from the 
first opposed it. A Protestant so- 
vereign nominating Catholic bishops 
is thus spoken of by Edmund Burke, 
in his letter to a peer "Never 
were the members of one religious 
sect fit to appoint pastors to another. 
Those who have no regard for their 
welfare, reputation, or internal quiet, 
will not appoint such as are proper. 
The Seraglio of Constantinople is as 
equitable as we are, whether Catholic 
or Protestant ; and, where their own 
sect is concerned, full as religious ; 
but the sport which they make of 
the miserable dignitaries of the Greek 
Church, the faction of the Harem, 
to which they make themselves sub- 
servient, the continual sale to which 
they expose and re-expose the same 
dignity, and by which they squeeze 
all the inferior orders of the clergy, is 
nearly equal to all the other oppres- 
sions together, exercised by Mussul- 
man over the unhappy members of 
the Oriental Church. It is a great 
deal to suppose, that the Castle 
would nominate bishops for the 
Roman Church of Ireland with a 
religious regard for its welfare. Per- 
haps they cannot, perhaps dare not 
do it." And in another letter to 
Dr. Hussey, the Catholic Bishop 
of Waterford, he said : " If you 
(the Catholic bishops) have not 
wisdom enough to make common 
cause, they will cut you off, one by 
one. I am sure, that the constant 
meddling of your bishops and clergy 

1 Plowd en Parliamentary Debates. 

I8 7 2.] 

Livts of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland. 


with the Castle, and the Castle with 
them, will infallibly set them ill with 
their own body. All the weight, 
which the clergy have hitherto had 
to keep the people quiet will be 
wholly lost, if this once should 

The project of subjecting the Irish 
Catholic Church to the English 
Protestant State, was for that time 
defeated ; but it was brought for- 
ward again and again, during the 
struggle for emancipation, and for 
many years, greatly agitated the 
Catholic public. 

In the course of this session, Lord 
Grenville made his motion to make 
Catholic merchants admissible as 
Governor and Directors of the Bank 
of Ireland. Lord Westmoreland 
opposed the motion, on the general 
ground that no further concessions 
whatever should, under the present 
circumstances, be granted to the 
Catholics. But to this not very 
intelligent argument, his lordship 
added a sensible observation. He 
said, " He was surprised to see such 
motions so often brought forward 
by those who, when they were them- 
selves in power, employed every 
exertion to depreciate and prevent 
such discussions." This was true. 
Ireland and her grievances, the Ca- 
tholics and their wrongs, had be- 
come, in the Imperial Parliament, 
a stock-in-trade for Whigs out of 
place; and have so remained ever 
since. When these politicians are 
in power, they still " deprecate such 
discussions." Lord Redesdale, late 
Chancellor of Ireland, was alarmed 
at the danger to the Protestant 
interest which would arise, from 

allowing Catholics to be bank di- 
rectors. He said he had only to 
repeat his former objections to such 
claims, " The more you were ready 
to grant them, the more power and 
pretensions you gave to the Catho- 
lics to come forward with fresh 
claims, and perhaps to insist upon 
them." His lordship then launched 
out into a general invective against 
the Catholics, and particularly the 

The earthly career of George Pon- 
sonby was now drawing to a close. 
Assiduous in his parliamenty du- 
ties, he was struck down by his death- 
sickness (paralysis) in the House to 
Commons. Lingering on, he had 
the satisfaction, before his reason 
left him, of being reconciled to his 
former friend, John Philpot Curran. 
His only child, Martha, the wife of 
Francis A. Prittie, watched by his 
death-bed, and saw him breathe his 
last, on the i8th of July, 1817. His 
remains were interred in the grave- 
yard attached to Kensington Church, 
where a simple stone marks their 

The judgments delivered by this 
Chancellor have not come down 
to our time. Messrs. Schoales and 
Lefroy having ceased to take notes 
of cases in Chancery. At the de- 
parture of Lord Redesdale, their 
places at the reporters' desk re- 
mained unfilled for several years. 

Lord Howick, in his place in the 
House of Commons, on the 3rd of 
July, 1808, thus spoke of the merits 
of George Ponsonby, "Never pre- 
sided in Ireland a more upright and 
efficient judge, or one who had ren- 
dered such universal satisfaction." 

Cruel as the Grave. 



IT has been said that during the 
latter part of the second French 
empire, it was a distinction not to 
wear the riband of the Legion of 
Honour, which had been prodigally 
showered right and left. When 
persons with the smallest modicum 
of literary powers, and very often 
without any, frequently without being 
able to write a sentence of even 
decent English, appear before the 
public as novelists, the time is evi- 
dently approaching when not to have 
written a novel will be considered a 
mark of intellectual distinction. For, 
to say the truth, no kind of compo- 
sition is easier to produce than in- 
ferior fiction. A number of the con- 
ventional puppets, familiar to the 
young ladies who patronise this kind 
of literature, are made to spin page 
after page of dreary platitudes and 
witless dialogue ; a few murders, or 
forgeries, or railway accidents, or 
breaches of the seventh command- 
ment, or other equally exciting 
events are introduced and described 
more or less artistically, the villains 
are punished and the virtuous re- 
warded with no sparing hand; the 
heroes and heroines form their 
partnerships for life, and the book 
comes to an end amidst pictures of 
future connubial bliss. Women 
generally shine in this description of 
novel-making they possess more 
leisure than men ; they have greater 
social ambition, and all those who 
have seen them scrawl away sheet 
after sheet of letter-paper, crossed 
and re-crossed with the rapidity of a 
steam-engine, will not be surprised 
to perceive with how little substance, 
or with what speed they could write 
three, or, for that matter, ten vo- 
lumes. When we peruse sometimes 
some works published by respectable 

firms, we hardly know whether to 
wonder more as to how any sane in- 
dividual could have written them, or 
as to how any rational being could 
be expected to read then> 

We are bound, however, injustice, 
to observe, that Cruel/ as the Grave 
cannot be included in that class of 

Baroness VonBqthmer is no novice 
in literature, and mas produced be- 
fore some creditable and interesting 
stories. Cruel q's the Grai^e contains 
a sufficient plot, and is not devoid 
of well-delineated character, or jof 
strong situations, albeit these are>joi- 
luted by lorig speeches and dialogues. 
There are/two heroines, Ella Dobree 
and LeyAia Lesley. They are, na- 
turally/ both beautiful, though in 
everything else they are as dissimilar 
as two maidens can well be. The 
former is Juno-like in person, stately 
and commanding, resembling more 
a mature woman than a girl in her 
teens, as she is ; imperious and va- 
riable in mood, suspecting all those 
who express admiration for her of 
base and mercenary motives, and 
though at times displaying nobleness 
of mind, and elevation of thought, is 
by no means an altogether agreeable 
young lady. The latter is graceful 
and lovely as a Hebe, of a soft, 
yielding nature, full of tears like a 
Niobe, overflowing with hero-wor- 
ship for her male friends, ready to 
fall into the arms of the first man 
who threw his handkerchief to her, 
and to become his very humble ser- 
vant and submissive slave. More- 
over, the strong-minded Ella is a rich 
heiress, whilst the weak-minded Les- 
bia is a poor orphan. 

When Major Lesley dies in India, 
he leaves his only child to the care 
of his old friend, Mr. Hamilton, of 

1 Cruel as the Grave. By the Baroness Von Bothmer. 3 vols. Henry S. King and 
Co., 65, Cornhill. 



IN the year 1798, on a winter evening, an 
obscure room in the village of Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, presented a scene which we shall do 
well to examine somewhat closely. Some- 
thing like a score of the young men of the 
place are there assembled for the laudable pur- 
pose of mental improvement. They are all 
intelligent, of fair talents, and haunted by 
those visions of young ambition which often 
disturb the souls of youth, and arouse them to 
life and energy. Yet there seems to be among 
them no master-spirit ; no one upon whom the 
rest are accustomed to look with a respect 
bordering upon worship ; no one who rules the 
rest as if he were l born to rule.' They are 
engaged in the discussion of some abstract 
question, in which no one of them feels any 
personal interest; but around which, by the 
power of their own minds, they have thrown 
something of attraction. Still the debate has 
been dull, and is now about to close ; but a 
member, who has never before uttered a word 
at their meetings, casually remarks to his fel- 

for some reason, there is an earnestly express- 
ed eagerness to hear him speak. He is em- 
barrassed and knows not what to do. He is 
young apparently not more than twenty-one ; 
is tall and well built, has a bright eye and a 
fair forehead ; still there is nothing very re- 
markable in his appearance 5 but his fellow 
members are apparently of the opinion that 
from his large and unhandsome mouth may 
flow words it would delight them to hear ; and 
they are urgent that, on the spur of the instant, 
he should make the attempt. He is abashed 
looks this way and that but lacks confidence 
to sit still. So he rises, and the room is hush- 
ed. One who has been in the habit of fre- 
quenting the Lexington Courts may remember 
to have seen him there, for he is a member of 
that bar ; but he has studied and framed in his 
closet far more speeches than he ever pronoun- 
ced in the Halls of Justice ; and his mind is 
full of them now ; and standing thus confused 
before his fellows of that Debating Club, 'Gen- 
tlemen of the JuryJ are the first words that es- 
cape his blundering lips. He repeats them 
several times in a stammering tone, and you 

might think the Society had 

up to 

give them food for mirth. But no one smiles. 
Their courtesy and the sound of his own voice, 
give him confidence ; and now his embarrass- 
ment falling from him, he is pouring forth, un- 
conscious of the effort, a flood of impassioned 
eloquence, which takes captive the ears and 
the hearts of his attentive hearers. He has a 
voice of music and of power ; sentences of fin- 
ished elegance fall from his lips ; the chain 
of logical argument is compact and strong ; 
his action is energetic and graceful; and he 
sits down in their midst, the acknowledged 
master of the assembly. Those were, the first 
tones of that voice, which for more than forty 
years has now thrilled with such music 
through the land ; that silent admiration of 
the little band around him was the foretaste 
of the love and esteem in which the freest na- 
tion on the earth holds the name and the ser- 
vices of HENRY CLAY. 

At this time Mr. CLAY had just come thith- 
er from Richmond, Va., where, in the office of 

lows that the topic seems to him not to have ^fr. Tinsley,' Clerk of the Court of Chancery. 
been exhausted. Hi&jj&els- are^fidieard, andflhe had studied Law. His father, a respecta 

ble clergyman of Hanover County where his 
son was born on the 12th of April, 1777, had 
died many years before and left his orphan 
to his own resources. On removing to Lex- 
ington, although admitted to the bar, he felt 
that he was not sufficiently acquainted with 
the principles of legal science to assume the 
responsibility of its practice ; and he therefore 
devoted himself for some time longer to its 
assiduous study. His mind lacked discipline, 
for he had enjoyed only a common school ed- 
ucation, and he applied himself now to the 
task with earnest and determined energy. 

Soon after his speech in the Debating Socie- 
ty, of which we have made mention, he was 
admitted to practise in the Fayette Court of 
Quarter Sessions ; and, young and inexperien- 
ced as he was, became the successful rival of 
some of the ablest lawyers that noble State has 
ever produced. As he says, in one of his latest 
speeches, he ' rushed at once into a lucrative 
practice.' In addressing a jury he was more 
uniformly successful than any other lawyer in 
the State ; and in all the-elements of greatness 
he placed himself at once at the head of his 



profession. He was fairly versed in the intri 
cacies of the Law, was master of the Science, 
and capable of the closest and most logical 
argumentation. But his great power was in 
his eloquence. He held the sympathies and 
the passions of those he addressed at his own 
disposal ; he threw his whole soul into every 
cause in which he was engaged, and rarely 
failed to carry his point by the persuasive 
power of his oratory. The examination of the 
records of the Courts in which he practised, 
shows that he was almost always engaged for 
the defendant in criminal suits. His generosi- 
ty and warmth of heart inclined him to this 
and his biographer says that he has often been 
heard to regret, more than any other act of 
his life, the conviction of a slave for murder 
which he effected while in discharge of his 
duty as public prosecutor. He was engaged 
incessantfy in criminal cases, and it is men- 
tioned as a singular fact that, of the thousands 
he defended on capital charges, not one ever 
suffered death from the law. 

It is at just about this time that we find the 
commencement of Mr. CLAY'S political career 
The people of Kentucky were preparing to 
form a new Constitution for the State : and one 
of the features of the proposed plan was a pro- 
vision for the gradual emancipation of the 
slaves. The measure was unpopular ; but with- 
out the slightest thought of this, and urged by 
his ardent love of liberty, Mr, CLAY plunged 
fearlessly into the discussion urging the rights 
and defending the claims of those in bondage. 
Regard for the slave had been a marked motive 
in his life ; in his professional practice he al- 
ways volunteered his services in their behalf 
when they were brought into an action at law, 
and never failed to obtain a decision in their 
favor. But the measure he now supported was 
defeated, and he shared its unpopularity. But 
soon came tidings of the passage, by the Ge- 
neral Government, of the famous ' alien and 
sedition' laws : and with all the powers of his 
mind and all his wonderful eloquence, Mr. CLAY 
was found in the front rank of those who de- 
nounced them as subversive of the liberty of 
the nation, and as an insult to the spirit of a 
free people. In 1803 he encountered in legal 
conflict the late Hon. FELIX GRUNDY at that 
time one of the ablest and most prominent 
politicians in the State. The election for Rep- 
resentative in Fayette County partially turned 
upon the policy of repealing the act incorpora- 
ting the Lexington Insurance Company. Mr. 

Clay, as the known opponent of repeal, was 
selected as the champion of the Company : and 
although he did not reach the ground till the 
third day of the election, his opponents having 
exhausted every art and all their eloquence 
before the people to defeat him, by a brief but 
powerful speech he brushed away all their so- 
phistry and was elected by acclamation. In 
1804 he met Mr. GRUNDY in the House upon 
the question of repeal : a contest of exceeding 
interest, and waged with the highest ability on 
both sides, ensued : but Mr. CLAY, though he 
failed in the House, as had been foreseen, pro- 
duced so profound an impression upon the 
Senators who were present, that that body 
immediately reversed the decision, and gave, 
without a division, the triumph to Mr. CLAY. 

During this period Mr. Clay continued his 
attention to the duties of his profession, and 
in 1806 he appeared at the bar in defence of 
Col. BURR, who had been arrested on charge 
of treason to the Federal Government. He 
was induced to undertake his defence by the 
feeling which pervuded the whole State in be- 
half of BURR, and perhaps still more by the 
solemn assurance, over BURR'S own name, that 
in so doing he would not espouse ' the cause 
of a man in any way unfriendly to the laws, 
the government, or the interests of his country.' 
BURR was discharged in the Federal Court at 
Frankfort ; but on afterwards seeing evidence 
against him, which would not admit farther 
credit of his innocence, Mr. CLAY withdrew all 
confidence from him, and refused to receive his 
hand once tendered to him in a public place in 
this city. 

In 1806 Mr. Clay was appointed to fill the 
vacancy of a single session in the United 
States Senate, caused by the resignation of Gen. 
AD AIR. At the time when he first took his 
seat, the topic of debate was the proposed 
erection of a bridge, at the expense of the 
Government, over the Potomac. The general 
principle which it involved, namely, the Con- 
stitutionality of Internal Improvement, had 
awakened in Congress the intensest warmth. 
Mr. Clay's first effort on the floor, where he 
afterwards won such enduring laurels, was in 
defence of this great principle. It was never 
reported, but is spoken of by those who heard 
it as one of his most eloquent speeches. It 
was certainly one of the most successful, for it 
carried a majority of the Senate all of that 
body, indeed, who were not already pledged to 
the opposite policy. His term expiring in 1807, 



he was elected, in spite of powerful opposition, 
by a very large majority to the Kentucky 
Legislature, and was instantly chosen Speaker 
of the Assembly over a very able and popular 
rival. He discharged the duties of this station 
with the highest dignity and ability, and not 
seldom encountered in debate, with all his 
wonted power and effect, the members on the 
floor. In 1809 he was again elected by the Le- 
gislature a member of the United States Senate, 
:o fill the seat of Mr. THURSTON, who then 
resigned two years before his term would have 
xpired. He now left the Legislature of his 
adopted State, to which he never afterwards 

He took his seat in the winter of 1809 ; and 
his first effort was in behalf of that great mea- 
with which his name has ever since been so 
closely connected. The discussion arose on a 
bill to appropriate money to purchase cordage, 
sail-cloth, and other munitions of war, and es- 
pecially on an amendment proposing that pre- 
ference should be given to articles of American 
growth and manufacture. Up to this period, 
the only import duties were for purposes 
revenue ; and the- nation was, in- fact, depend- 
ent upon foreign nations for all the manufac- 
tured articles of which she had an absolute ne- 
cessity. This was endurable at that time, so 
long as peace and prosperity continued. But 
at the date of which we speak, there were 
questions of serious difference pending between 
our Government and that of Great Britain ; 
and every sagacious statesman, who foresaw 
the probability of a speedy war with that pow- 
er, was anxioiss that we might no longer be 
dependent on her for the necessaries of civil- 
ized life. Still, the amendment which looked 
towards this desirable consummation met with 
strong opposition ; but Mr. CLAY threw into 
the scale of PROTECTION his most powerful 
efforts ; and the bill, as amended, was trium- 
phantly passed. The boundary line between 
the United States and the Spanish Provinces 
on our South-western border, at about this 
time, came into dispute, and engaged Mr. 
CLAY'S attention. President MADISON had, by 
Proclamation, taken possession of West Flori- 
da, and had encountered thereby the most vir- 
ulent opposition of the Federal party. Mr. 
CLAY made a strong argument in his defence, 
and the Proclamation was sustained. The 
question of renewing the charter of the old 
United States Bank now came up, and after a 

[ong and warm discussion, a re-charter was 
refused. Mr. CLAY opposed the charter, act- 
ing under instructions from the Kentucky Le- 
gislature, and being strongly opposed, upon his 
own convictions, to the feature of the Bank, 
which, while a large portion of its stock was 
confessedly owned by inhabitants of Europe, 
made no provision against its perversion to the 
most dangerous purposes. 

In 1811 Mr. CLAY was elected a Member of 
the House of Representatives, his Senatorial 
term having expired ; and on the very first day 
of his appearance on the floor he was elected, 
by a vote of two to one, Speaker of that body. 
For many years he discharged with unequalled 
ability the duties of that high office. He was 
always prompt, dignified, and rigid in his en- 
forcement of the rules of Parliamentary deco- 
rum. Not one of his decisions was^ ever re- 
versed. The foreign relations of the country 
had now assumed a threatening aspect. The 
conduct of Great Britain towards the United 
States was overbearing and insulting. She in- 
sisted upon the right which her cruisers con- 
stantly exercised to search our vessels, and 
of to impress our seamen, of whom seven thou- 
sand, in 1812, were thus detained ; proclaimed 
all the ports of France, with whom she was at 
war, in a state of blockade, without the pre- 
sence of any force adequate to maintain it ; 
seized our ships at the mouths of our own har- 
bors for violations of the paper blockade of 
French ports, and usurped the whole dominion 
of the Sea ; treating as an open enemy every 
vessel that paid not deference to her flag. In 
view of these repeated outrages, Congress, was 
convened somewhat earlier than usual by the 
President ; and on the 27th of November, the 
Report of a Committee in the House in favor 
of War was submitted for discussion. A bill 
was introduced to raise a military force of 
twenty-five thousand men. It met the hottest 
opposition of the most powerful men in the 
nation ; but it was sustained by Mr. CLAY, and 
passed by a vote of ninety-four to thirty-four. 
Then came a like struggle on a bill to make 
provisions for a Navy ; this too incurred the 
same hostility, and was defended by the same 
proud champion. Mr. CLAY urged, with all 
his zeal and strength, the policy of building 
up a naval force that would enable us, if not to 
go forth upon the Seas and bid defiance to the 
largest fleets, at least to beat off from our 
shores any squadron that could be sent against 
us, and to protect at all hazards the naviga- 



tion of our internal waters. The measure was 
triumphantly adopted, and in less than two 
years our gallant Navy became the terror even 
of British fleets. In March, the President re- 
commended an embargo of sixty days. This 
measure, too, Mr. CLAY supported against the 
united opponents of the War. He vindicated 
the President from the assults that were heap- 
ed upon him, and showed with logical clear- 
ness that a resort to arms was all that was left 
to America, if she would preserve her honor 
and protect her interests. The policy was tri- 
umphantly sustained, and War was declared 
on the 19th of June, 1812, 

Desirous as she had always been to avert 
the terrible calamities of war, the American 
Government had appealed to the sword only at 
the moment Avhen there seemed to be no pos- 
sibility of otherwise securing her rights, or of 
vindicating her honor from the insults of a 
powerful and haughty nation. The opponents 
of hostile measures had represented, in its 
most exaggerated and dispiriting form, the 
weakness of America, and the power of her 
nemy ; and had been profuse in their predic- 
tions of defeat and disgrace in the event of ac- 
tual war. It would seem that after the war 
lad commenced, these men would have ceased 
their opposition, which could then only cripple 
;heir country, bring ignominy on her arms, 
min to her commerce, and distress upon her 
citizens. But it was not so ; and \vhile enga- 
ged in this strife with a foreign foe, our nation 
had likewise to contend with those who aided 
and apologized for her enemy within her own 
sosom. Upon the floor of the House at this 
crisis of her fate, Mr. CLAY did the state most 
noble service. In opposition to the most pow- 
rful men in that body, to QUINCY, RANDOLPH, 
PITKIN, and a score of others, who seemed 
anxious only, without regard to the weal or 
wo of their land, to verify the predictions of 
her ruin they had made, he bore aloft her 
cause with an eloquence and a power which 
had never been equalled during her brief but 
stirring history. A bill, reported by the Com- 
mittee of Ways and Means, to raise an ad- 
ditional force of twenty thousand men, was 
the immediate cause of the struggle in Con- 
gress ; and the efforts of Mr. CLAY, excelling 
any thing ever witnessed in the councils of the 
nation, did much to redeem the fair fame of 
his country, and to dissipate the gloom cast 
over her face by the disasters that marked the 
commencement of the war. His stirring ap- 

peals to the patriotism of his countrymen, the 
clear light in which he depicted the wrongs 
they had suffered, and the insults they had 
sustained from Great Britain, and the deep 
earnestness which pervaded all his words, giv 
ing to them from his own high spirit u. life and 
a power beyond their own, thrilled the heart 
of the nation, and aroused her to deeds of 
which before she had never dreamed herself 
capable. Throughout its continuance Mr. 

LAY was the soul of the contest, and there is 
not an honest heart in the land at this day, 
who calmly and considerately examines the 
whole history of that eventful struggle, but 
will confess that but for his exertions the 
event of the contest would have stained the 
escutcheon upon which it shed so bright a lus- 
tre. Congress felt the merit of his services, 
and in 1814 gave, in the most marked manner, 
:heir estimate of his worth, by choosing him 
one of the Commissioners to negotiate a treaty 
of peace. He accepted the trust, and in Jan- 
uary of that year resigned liis office as Speaker 

f the House. 

The Commissioners appointed by our Gov- 
ernment to conduct these negotiations, were 
THAN RUSSELL; and they met a like Com- 
mission from the British Government at Ghent. 
By reason of their greater distance from home, 
and the consequent impossibility of ascertain- 
ng, upon the several points in dispute, the 
)recise wishes of their Government, the U. S. 
Commission labored under a much more seri- 
ous difficulty and responsibility thum that from 
Great Britain ; still their discussions were un- 
jsually harmonious, and upon one point only 
vas there any difference of opinion among 
.hemselves. That related to the question 
whether the navigation of the Mississippi 
should be offered to Great Britain in exchange 
or the privilege of fishing on the coasts of 
Newfoundland and Labrador. Three of our 
Commissioners were in favor of the offer ; Mr. 
CLAY and Mr. RUSSELL were opposed to it, on 
he grounds that the United States already had 
a right to the fisheries, that their instructions 
brbade their bringing that right into dispute, 
and that the right to navigate the Mississippi 
was one which might be used greatly to our 
>rejudice. Finding his side out-voted, Mi. 
>LAY declared he would sign no treaty in 
which so dangerous and unjust a privilege was 
granted, and this ended the discussion. The 


right to the navigation of the Mississippi wa 
reserved to ourselves, and in 1818, by a sepa 
rate treaty, our right to the fisheries was satis 
factorily and permanently established. Th 
treaty of peace was concluded, and the Com 
missioners returned to America. 

Mr. CLAY, on his return, was received wit 
the warmest public as well as private expres 
sion of gratitude and esteem. Even before hi 
arrival, so high was the estimation of his ser 
vices and his worth in Kentucky, he wa 
elected to Congress : and on taking his seat h 
was again elected Speaker by an almost unani 
pious vote. The session commenced in 1815 
under circumstances of extreme difficulty am 
embarrassment. The circulating medium wa 
at its lowest point of depreciation j a heav 1 
debt hung over the national energies; pubtii 
credit was seriously impaired ; and the whol 
system of commercial law, established in pros 
pect of or during the Avar, called for thoroug] 
revision and amendment. The embarrassment 
of the nation were severely felt ; and as tb 
initiatory measure of relief, President MADI 
SON, in his opening message, suggested the ne 
cessity of a National Bank. It was referrec 
to the appropriate committee, and in January 
1816, JOHN C. CALHOUN, as chairman, reporte 
a bill for the chartering of such an institution 
In 1811 the Bank proposed would mainly have 
been beneficial to Englishmen, by whom seven 
eighths of its capital was owned ; and it thre\\ 
nto their hands a power which might hav 
ae 1 en used seriously to our disadvantage. Upon 
his ground Mr. CLAY had opposed it. Bu 
now it was a matter of absolute necessity to 
he welfare of the nation. Under the State 
Banking System which had grown up during 
;he war, the amount of bills in circulation had 
ncreased threefold ; their value had of course 
greatly diminished ; the rate of exchange had 
become exceedingly high to the entire destruc- 
ion of all uniformity of taxation, and to 
he derangement of all branches of business. 
Called for as it thus was by the state of the 
country induced by the war and by the neces- 
sities of a rapidly extending commerce, and so 
"nodified as to shut out all danger of foreign 
nterference, Mr. CLAY gave his support to the 
alan of a Bank reported by Mr. CALHOUN, and 
he Bank was established. Its vast, beneficent 
'.Sect upon all the great interests of the nation, 
ts equalization of exchanges, the impetus it 
*ave to commerce and all departments of busi- 
less, the uniform worth and permanency it 

gave to the circulating medium, at once justi 
fied the confidence with which it had beer 
established by its friends in Congress. 

In 1817 the struggle of the Republics oi 
South America for independence engaged th< 
attention of the world, and enlisted the warm 
est sympathies of the lovers of freedom ir 
every part of its broad domain. Spain fo 
three centuries had ruled with a rod of iron th( 
Southern portion of this Western Continent 
Under her domination the beauty of the lam 
had been blasted ; her resources made to serv 
the brutal luxury of a land across the sea, am 
the energies of her people crushed or benumbei 
by despotic and corrupt misrule. They ha< 
taken up the sword in resistance to their ty 
rants, and in a hundred battles had humble 
the pride of their haughty oppressors. The 
had proclaimed their independence, and ha( 
shown an apparent ability to maintain it 
Their cause from the first had enlisted th 
hearty support of Mr. CLAY ; and in 1818 h< 
moved an " appropriation of $18,000 as th 
outfit and one year's salary of a Minister to b< 
deputed from the United States to the inde 
pendent Provinces of the River La Plata, ir 
South America." He was defeated : but th< 
strength with which he vindicated the prin 
ciples on which his motion was based gave tri 
umphant victory to the great cause of Liberty 
in whose sacred service his whole soul was 

In 1820 the same subject again came up, am 
again did he defend it with all his old ability 
and eloquence. The topic was debated for two 
or three weeks, and the independence ef the 
South American Republics, mainly through the 
efforts of Mr. CLAY, was then acknowledged 
The zeal he had shown in their behalf, and the 
whole-souled devotion to the great principles 
of self-government which was thereby evinced, 
had won for Mr. CLAY the ardent admiration 
cf the greatest men of our own land, and the 
undying gratitude of the heroes of that country 
whose cause he had so warmly espoused. His 
peeches were read at the head of their armies ; 
lis name was held in the profoundest venera- 
ion at their Hearths and their altars ; and 
BOLIVAR himself addressed him a letter, ex- 
ressing the highest admiration of his ability, 
and the deepest gratitude for his aid. In re- 
ly to this letter, with the dignified frank- 
less which is so characteristic of his spirit, 
Mr. CLAY thanked him for his compliments ; 
ixpressed the sympathy of the people of the 


Inked States with the cause in which he was 
ngaged ; and administered a lofty reproof for 
lie ambitious designs, so foreign to the spirit 
f true Liberty, which had been- attributed to 
his celebrated man. 

Toward the close of the session of 1818, the 
uestion of the power of Congress to aid In- 
ernal Improvements was again brought before 
hat body, generally by a passage in President 
VIADISON'S Message, but more directly by a 
ill introduced into Congress making an appro- 
riation, for these purposes, of the bonus paid 
or its charter by the Bank of the United States. 
Vlr. CLAY gave his ardent support to the bill, 
ind it was passed, but vetoed, on the ground of 
Constitutional objections, by President MADI- 
ON. Acting, as is believed, under the impres- 
iion produced by this veto, and contrary to his 
)revious convictions, President MONROE, m his 
naugural address, reiterated the unconstitu- 
ionality of the exercise of such a power by 
Congress. In opposition thus to the declared 
>pinion of these two Presidents, a resolution 
svas introduced into the House claiming for 
Congress this disputed power. It was discussed 
or several days, and supported by Mr. CLAY in 
one of his most effective and logical argu- 
ments. It was carried by a vote of 90 to 75 
and thus was deeply laid, by his exertions, the 
bundation for the universal system. 

The Seminole war, which has cost the Nation 
so many millions of money, and involved her 
honor in such ineffaceable disgrace, had its 
origin as early as 1814, in the aid that tribe 
furnished the British during our contest with 
that nation. Gen. Jackson was sent against 
them, and in 1814 a treaty of peace was drawn 
up under his direction, by the terms of which 
that wretched people was subjected to con- 
ditions more odious and oppressive than human 
to say nothing of savage, nature could en 
dure. The treaty was never signed by the 
chiefs of more than one-third of the nation 
and it is not surprising that the others should 
evince their determination not to abide by its 
provisions, by occasional acts of hostility 
Gen. Jackson was again sent against them, and 
signalized his campaign by the massacre of 
Indian prisoners decoyed into his camp by a 
flag of truce, by hanging, in violation of the 
decision of a Court constituted by himself, and 
in defiance of the law of nations and of hu 
manity, two Englishmen found guilty of tra 
ding with the Semmoles, by a spirit of more 
than savage fierceness and bloody disregard oi 

he rights of others, and by acts of general 
utrage and wrong which would have for ever 
[isgraced any man in any age. Mr, CLAY, who 
lad before been on friendly terms with Gen. 
ACKSON, could not look with even the appro- 
)ation of silence upon these unlawful and dis- 
graceful proceedings, and gave his support to 
a series of resolutions of censure upon his con- 
duct, introduced in 181819. They did not 
3ass, however, mainly through the interference 
f the President and his Cabinet. 
At this session of Congress Mr. CLAY re- 
newed his efforts in favor of PROTECTION TO 
AMERICAN INDUSTRY, that great cause, the 
success of which he regarded as essential to 
he completion of our Independence, and to 
which he had already given an earnest of his 
devotion in the temporary tariffs that had pre- 
viously been established. The principle pf 
PROTECTION had never before been clearly re- 
cognized ; but Mr. CLAY now brought it forward 
and urged it with all his power. He based the 
necessity of this radical change in the policy 
of the country on the fact, that the United 
States could never find in Europe a permanent 
market for their productions ; but that to ren 
der herself independent of foreign countries 
who in half a century could not purchase half 
tier surplus products at the existing rate of 
ncrease, she must make markets of her own 
by building up manufactures which should di 
vert part of the industry of her people from 
agricultural pursuits. In the House the policy 
prevailed, but was unexpectedly defeated in 
the Senate. In 1824 the greatly increased dis- 
tress of the country again brought the subjeci 
to the attention of Congress, and Mr. CLA? 
again brought forward, as a measure of relief 
his system of Protection. He rested his argu- 
ment upon experience, and showed by clear 
arithmetical demonstration, that the wealth of 
every nation was in exact proportion to the de- 
gree in which she j/rotected her Home Industry 
He traced the operation of the system in every 
nation where it had been adopted, and exposec 
the poverty and inglorious state of those where 
it had never been tried. He proved clearly 
that by Protection the price of the protected 
article was, in fact, reduced; that a Tariff 
would not diminish, but increase our exports 
by increasing the sources of our industry the 
wants of foreign nations remaining the same 
and demonstrated the necessity of the measure 
to the welfare of every great interest of the 
nation. He fought the battle of Protection 


against powerful men, both of the North and the 
South ; but his cause prevailed, and the whole 
Nation became convinced of its truth and in- 
herent justice by the high prosperity which 
everywhere followed its establishment. 

The question of the admission of Missouri 
into the Union, which arose in 181 8, threatened 
the most serious danger to the land. A condi- 
tion of her admission had been brought for- 
ward in the House, providing for the extinc- 
tion of slavery within her border ; and this 
most inflammatory subject, thus introduced 
into the discussions of Congress, threatened 
the peace and even the safety of the country. 
Mr. CLAY at once opposed the condition, on 
the ground that the Federal Government had 
nothing to do with the question which was 
exclusively within the jurisdiction of the State, 
Still it was insisted upon, and the motion for 
admission defeated. The discussion was then 
transferred from Congress to the People ; and 
was conducted with a bitterness and a violence 
rarely equalled. The debate was renewed at 
the Session of 1819, and it was then found that 
in the Senate there was a majority against the 
restriction, and in the House for it. A com- 
promise was finally agreed upon, by which it 
was provided that Missouri might form a 
State Government and adopt a Constitution, 
which must not be repugnant to that of the 
United States. Still, she could not be admit- 
ted into the Union without another vote 
Congress, A Constitution was adopted, in 
which it was made the duty of the Assembly 
to make some laws to prevent free negroes 
from entering the State. This furnished the 
occasion for another long and angry struggle., 
pending which Mr. CLAY resigned his seat in 
Congress. He returned, Jiowever, just before 
the close of the debate, and, as Chairman of a 
Committee appointed for that purpose, report- 
ed a bill for the admission of Missouri, leav- 
ing the main question in dispute to be decided 
by the legal tribunals of the State. It was 
defeated after an angry debate, and on motion 
of Mr. CLAY, a Committee of twenty-three was 
appointed, himself at its head, to confer with 
a Committee from the Senate. The Joint 
Committee reported a resolution not essential- 
ly differing from that of Mr. CLAY. It was 
adopted ; Missouri was admitted into the Un- 
ion, and thus this vexed question, which, but 
for the efforts of Mr. CLAY, would without 
doubt have plunged the country into new and 
untried dangers, was amicably settled. It was 


during the debate on this topic that Mr. CLAY 
became involved in the personal difficulty 
with Mr. RANDOLPH, which, in accordance 
with the universally prevalent temper and cus- 
tom of the day, was settled by a duel. 

Earnest as was Mr. CLAY'S desire to devote 
himself now to the duties of his profession, at 
the close of the Session of 1819 20, he found 
it impossible to resist the importunity which 
irged him to continue in public life. In 1S21 
certain land claims came into dispute between 
the States of Virginia and Kentucky ; and Mr. 
CLAY was appointed on the part of the latter, 
in conjunction with other gentlemen of well 
known worth and ability, to procure an equita- 
ble settlement. This concluded, he was in 
1823 again persuaded, though against his wish- 
es, to accept a seat in Congress, and he was 
again, on taking his seat, elected Speaker by 
a large majority over Hon. P. P. BARBOUR of 
Virginia, a gentleman of great popularity, am- 
ply justified by commanding talents and per- 
sonal worth. It was at this Session that the 
subject of Grecian Independence came up for 
discussion in the House, The whole land had 
been aroused by the heart-stirring appeals for 
aid and sympathy, made by the descendants 
of the ancient heroes then battling Avith the 
Turk in defence of their rights and their liber- 
ties ; and in January, Mr. WEBSTER presented 
a resolution providing for the recognition of 
of Grecian Independence. To the mighty logic 
of the mover of the resolution, Mr. CLAY 
brought the aid of his trumpet-toned eloquence, 
and, in the same spirit which had animated* 
his efforts in behalf of South American Inde- 
pendence, he urged the cause, depicted the 
sufferings, and pressed the claims of those 
struggling for that freedom which seemed their 
birthright 3 in the distant islands of the ^Egean 
Sea. The appeals of both these great men 
were manly and powerful ; but they failed, and 
the resolution was lost. 

We come now to a portion of Mr. CLAY'S 
life which ; though of quite inferior moment in 
itself, has acquired great importance to him 
personally and to his friends, from the misrep- 
resentation to which it has been subjected, 
and the consequent odium it for a long time 
brought upon his name. It has been said that 
the good deeds of a public servant soon pass 
into forgetfulness, while the slightest error of 
judgment, or the least caprice of untoward for- 
tune, is cherished to his prejudice, and made 
to outweigh years of usefulness and well-de- 



serving. Pity 'tis, there is too much reason 
for the assertion of this general truth : and no 

portion of any man's history furnishes proof Clay. This last acknowledgment he repeated [ 
more directly in point than that of Mr. CLAY, 
which now comes under our notice. Posterity 
will with difficulty believe that an enlightened 


who know how to estimate the merit 

of their -public servants, should for so long a 
time have punished by their displeasure what 
was made a fault only by the wilful and wick- 
ed slanders of bitter personal and political ene- 

For the succession to the Presidency in 1825, 
as early as 1822, Messrs. JOHN Q. ADAMS, 
been named, and in the interim the canvass 
had been conducted with great and enthusias- 
tic earnestness. By a party finesse in the Le- 
gislature of Louisiana, Mr. CLAY'S name was 
excluded from the number of those returned to 
the House since no one was elected by the 
People. The three candidates returned were 
Gen. JACKSON, having 99 votes, Mr. ADAMS, 
with 84, and Mr. CRAWFORD, having 41. Mr. 
CLAY, being a Member of the House, was, of 
course, called upon to declare by his vote his 
preference among the three. He was beset by 
the friends of each j and no measure was left 
untried to influence his decision. He made no 
public declaration of his preference, though 
his intimate personal friends were well in- 
formed of it at an early day. But his reserve 
kerned suspicious to suspicious minds - r and 
finding that they could not flatter him into 
their support, the friends of one of the candi- 
dates, Gen. Jackson, changed their plan, and 
commenced a systematic attack upon him- by 
a well concerted scheme to operate at once 
in every part of the country. As part of the 
plot, a letter was published in Philadelphia, 
purporting to be from a Member of Congress 
from Pennsylvania, dated at Washington, and 
declaring that Mr. CLAY had agreed to support 
Mr. ADAMS, on condition that he should re- 
ceive the post of Secretary of State. He in- 
stantly published a card denying it, and call- 
ing upon the author of the letter to avow him- 
self. Mr. GEORGE KREMER, of Pennsylvania, 
answered the card, and promised to make good 
his allegations. In the House, Mr. CLAY 
asked a Committee of Investigation. But at 
this point Mr. KREMER'S conscience was ill at 
ease. He acknowledged to Mr. CROWNING- 
SHIELD, a Member from Massachusetts, that 

JOHN H. EATON wrote the letter, and that ht \ 
had no charge whatever to make against Mr. I 

to several others, as they have certified. He 
even wrote a note of apology and explanation 
to Mr. CLAY, which was submitted to him as 
the substance of a statement Mr. KREMER was 
willing to make to the House. Mr. CLAY re- 
plied that the matter was in the control of the 
House, and he eould not interfere. Mr. ING- 
HAM, from Pennsylvania, Secretary of the 
Treasury under Gn. JACKSON, got possession j 
of this note pocketed it, and earnestly cau- 
tioned Mr. KREMER to make no explanation of J 
the kind. Mr. K^ however, told Mr. COOKE 
of Illinois that he should offer to Mr. CLAY an 
apology; upon which, Mr. COOKE moved an 
adjournment, and Mr. KREMER was disciplined 
and forced to perform his part in the mockery 
that was played. The next day a Committee 
of seven Members, each one a political opponent 
of Mr. Clay, was appointed, and took the mat- 
ter into their hands. They soon made their 
report, to the effect that Mr. KREMER declined 
to give his testimony, as the case was one 
over which the House had no control ! Thus 
was the matter dropped. The election went 
into the House,, and it so happened that Mr. 
CLAY'S vote, with those he would influence, 
would decide the question. Mr. CRAWFORD 
was, with him, out of the question, for he was 
so enfeebled by disease that he could by no 
possibility discharge the duties of the office. 
For Gen. JACKSON he could not vote, after his 
animadversions on his conduct in the Seminole 
war, and with the estimate which he put upon 
his abilities as a civilian. General JACKSON j 
never expected his vote, and one of his most 
prominent friends had said that if Mr. CLAY 
should vote for the General, it would be an act 
of duplicity. His vote was given for Mr. AD- 
AMS, who was thus elected. The Secretary- 
ship of State was offered to Mr. CLAY, who 
was in fact the only man whose name had ever 
been mentioned in connection with it ; and it 
was accepted. This gave occasion for the re- 
newal of the cry of coalition r which was ren- 
dered still more effective and plausible by a 
statement made by Mr. CARTER BEVERLEY, of| 
the substance of a private conversation to 
which he was privy, in which, in effect, he 
said the bribe had been distinctly offered and 
accepted. Few of our readers need to be re- j 
minded that within the year and a half last 
past, Mr. CARTER BEVERLE* has, over his 


own name, acknowledged his declaration to 
have been entirely destitute of truth, and of any 
foundation whatever. Gen. JACKSON himself 
descended to say publicly, that the friends of 
Mr. CLAY had made overtures to him for the 
consummation of a similar bargain. Mr. CLAY 
demanded through whom they were made. 
General JACKSON gave up the name of JAMES 
BUCHANAN, one of his own friends ; but this 
gentleman hesitated not to contradict at once, 
and decisively, the statement thus sought to 
be supported by an appeal to him. Mr. CLAY 
made an appeal, in an eloquent pamphlet, to 
his fellow-citizens upon this point, and show- 
ed, most conclusively, that the charge against 
him was founded solely in the base and shame- 
less malignity of his political foes. 

For many years this circumstance in the 
life of Mr. CLAY served as the ground of a 
party clamor which, in the eyes of many, dim- 
med the fame of a Statesman whose whole life 
had been most unselfishly devoted to the pub- 
lic service. This prejudice has had its day; 
and we hazard little in saying that there is not 
now a man of candor and honor in the land 
who will publicly acknowledge that he feels 
no shame for ever having given credit, for a 
moment, to so paltry a slander. 

The administration of Mr. ADAMS, which 
commenced in March, 1825, though for years 
the subject of vituperation and vague abuse, 
begins to appear, as it will in the view of pos- 
terity, the purest, ablest, and most patriotic, 
since the earliest days of the Republic. Econ- 
omy in the expenditures of Government, toler- 
ation of political opinion, and the maintenance 
of integrity and official purity, characterized 
it from its beginning to its close. The duties 
of the Department of State were discharged by 
Mr. CLAY with an ability and energy which 
commanded the respect and admiration of the 
world. His intercourse with Foreign Minis- 
ters, always dignified, frank, and liberal, im- 
pressed them with the highest esteem for him 
personally, as well as with the profoundest 
respect for the Government he so ably repre- 
sented. During his continuance in office a 
great number of treaties with foreign powers 
were concluded more, indeed, it is said, than 
all previously made since the adoption of the 
Constitution. In all of them may be traced i 
the effects of his devotion to the cause of 
American Industry, which, throughout his 
whole public career, he regarded as the only 
sure basis for high prosperity and permanent 


national welfare. The interests of American 
/ommerce were also with him the object of 
special care. He sought especially to estab- 
ish perfect reciprocity in all the commercial 
regulations between the United States and for- 
ign nations, and though foiled in the endeav- 
or, so far as Great Britain was concerned, he 
manfully vindicated the principle, and 
secured all its benefits from other nations. By 
the London treaty of 1815, it was agreed that 
merchant vessels of the two nations should be 
received into each other's ports on the ground 
of entire equality ; but they were allowed to 
import the productions only of their own land. 
Thus a British vessel could bring to the Uni- 
ted States only articles of British growth or 
manufacture, and vice versa: but these she 
could bring on the same terms as an American 
vessel. Mr. CLAY sought to extend this prin- 
ciple so as to allow the vessels of our nation 
to import into the other goods or produce, 
without regard to its place of groujth or manu- 
facture, on terms perfectly reciprocal; and 
this was the basis of all the treaties concluded 
by Mr. CLAY between the United States and 
the South American Republics. Great Brit- 
ain, however, refused to accede to it ; and out 
of this refusal, connected with negotiations 
concerning the West India Trade, grew a mu- 
tual prohibition of all British and American 
vessels from trading directly between the Uni- 
ted States and the West India ports of Great 

In his official station, Mr. CLAY found a new 
field for the exercise of that ardent spirit of 
Liberty which, while on the floor of Congress, 
had incited him to such splendid efforts in be* 
half of Grecian and South American Indepen^ 
dence. Chiefly through his unremitted exer- 
our Government had resolved to send a 
Minister to Greece, whose independence she 
was the first to acknowledge. This point 
gained, Mr. CLAY addressed a letter to Mr. 
MIDDLETON, our Minister at Russia, dated May 
10, 1825, urging the Emperor Alexander to use 
his influence towards putting a stop to the war 
between Spain and her South American Colo 
nies, as well as in behalf of the struggling 
Greeks. So skilfully did he address the weak- 
nesses of the Emperor, and with such irresist- 
ible force of argument and persuasion did he 
urge the cause of the suffering and oppressed, 
that, through the Emperor's interference, Spain 
acknowledged the independence of her rebel- 
lious Colonies, and a series of measures was 


adopted by which, after the death of Alexan. 
der, the power of Turkey was shivered to 
atoms. In 1825, at the invitation of the South 
ern Republics, it was determined to send a 
deputation to a general Congress of American 
Nations, for the adoption of more definite 
rules with regard to their mutual relations. 
The agents sent by this Government were 
DERSON. The letter of instructions from Mr. 
CLAY to these gentlemen, setting forth the 
principles which were to govern their policy 
and their intercourse with the other contracting 
parties, has repeatedly been cited as one of the 
ablest papers ever penned by any statesman of 
any age. He forbade the idea that the Con- 
vention was to possess any legislative power, 
distinctly stating that nothing upon which they 
might agree should have any binding force 
upon the United States until it should have 
been ratified by Congress. He instructed them 
carefully to abstain from all discussions con- 
cerning the war between Spain and the Southern 
Republics ; to seek to abolish war against pri- 
vate property and non-combatants upon the 
ocean, thus rendering the private possessions 
of an enemy at sea subject to the same humane 
regulations as those upon land ; and to press 
upon the Southern Republics the propriety of 
establishing the most perfect and free tolera- 
tion of religious opinion. Mr. CLAY thus con- 
tinued to discharge the laborious duties of his 
high office during the administration of Mr. 
ADAMS. At its close, in 1S29, he returned to 
his home, where he was received with marks 
of the most ardent esteem and admiration, and 
was immediately importuned to allow himself 
to be a candidate for public office. He de- 
clined, however, a seat in the Kentucky Legis- 
lature, and in the House of Representatives at 
Washington, both of which were pressed upon 
his acceptance. He retired to private life, oc- 
casionally meeting his friends at complimen- 
tary festivals, where he always took occasion 
to thank them for the confidence they had 
reposed in him to vindicate himself from the 
charges of unscrupulous political enemies, and 
to unfold the principles by which his whole 
public career had been governed. In May, 
1829, he thus attended a public dinner at Lex- 
ington, Kentucky ; in March, 1830, another at 
Natchez, Mississippi ; and in July, a third at 
Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In the autumn of the year 1831, Mr. CLAY 
was elected, by the Legislature of Kentucky, 


Senator of the United States from that State, 
his opponent being Col. R. M. JOHNSON, who 
had distinguished himself somewhat by his 
bitter opposition to the Administration of Mr. 
ADAMS, and his general approval of the prin- 
ciples and policy which had elected President 
JACKSON. The principle of PROTECTION, which 
Mr. CLAY had done so much to establish, and 
under the operation of which the whole country 
was now at the height oflts glory and industrial 
prosperity, began to excite the hostility of the 
Southern section. It was a favorite dogma 
with Southern statesmen, that the duties levied 
upon English manufactured cotton stuffs tended 
seriously to injure the production of that great 
staple at the South. They treated with con- 
tempt the proposed creation of a HOME MAR- 
KET for their cotton, and began to regard the 
American System, as it was most properly 
called, as a blow direct aimed at Southern 
prosperity. In the debate which ensued upon 
the revision of the Tariff, all these sectional 
jealousies were sedulously inflamed, and a 
strong feeling was aroused throughout the 
country in favor of a policy known only, on 
the face of the earth, as an abstraction under 
the name of Free Trade. A strong party was 
formed, headed by Southern men, whose fa- 
vorite project was the throwing open all our 
ports to the goods of foreign nations imposing 
only such duties as might provide sufficient 
revenue to defray the expenses of Government, 
and regulating these without the slightest dis- 
crimination among the articles on which they 
were to be imposed. Mr. CLAY, in one of his 
most celebrated speeches, exposed, with the 
clearness of sunlight, the absurdity of their 
schemes. He proved beyond the possibility 
of dispute that the freedom they upheld would 
bring us at once to the basest and most abjeet 
dependence upon foreign nations. Our duties 
ouce thrown off, and their products admitted 
free, we should be instantly at their mercy, 
and might be impoverished or starved at their 
discretion. Their policy, he made it perfectly 
evident, would lead directly to a British Colo- 
nial bondage ; our Country would speedily be 
drained of her gold and silver ; her industry, in 
every department, would droop, and her high 
and increasing prosperity would at once be 
crushed to the earth. Anxious, however, to 
deal the dissensions which he feared would 
endanger, in all its branches, the glorious 
cause he had so long espoused, Mr. CLAY di- 
rected his efforts to a reconciliation of the op- 



posing factions ; and while he maintained in 
all its integrity his leading principle of Protec- 
tion and Encouragement to American Industry, 
he brought forward a proposition for the reduc- 
tion of duties upon those articles which did 
not come into competition with those of Ame- 
rican production, except those upon luxuries, 
such as wines and silks. The Committee on 
Manufactures, through Hon. MAHLON DICKER- 
SON, their Chairman, accordingly, on the 13th 
of March, reported a bill moulded by these 
suggestions, repealing the duties on certain 
specified articles, but maintaining inviolate 
the protective features of the existing Tariff. 

This bill, however, did little to allay the 
feverish discontent of the South. The sec- 
tional prejudices of that portion of the country, 
which are far stronger and more unscrupulous 
than those of any other part of the Union, were 
thoroughly aroused, and nothing that a desire 
for peace and reconciliation could accomplish 
effected any thing towards their removal. 
Their strength may be inferred from the fact, 
that they had seduced from all his former prin- 
ciples and professions one of the greatest and 
most powerful men in the Union : and JOHN C. 
CALHOUN, who had been among the earliest 
and most ardent friends of a Protective Tariff 
in 1816, was now found foremost among those 
rash spirits who declared that the laws of the 
Union, and the Union itself, should be destroyed 
before the established Tariff should be binding 
upon the South. The excitement on the sub- 
ject was becoming fiercely intense. The 
ground was taken by a State Convention in 
South Carolina, held November 24, 1832, that 
the State had a right to nullify, at her dis- 
cretion, any law of Congress ; and the Legis- 
lature immediately after ratified the proceed- 
ings of the Convention, echoed the destructive 
sentiment, and declared that the whole mili- 
tary power of the State should sustain and 
enforce it against the forces of the Federal 
Government. Measures were taken to carry 
this into effect. President JACKSON, though 
his Administration was hostile to the principle 
of Protection, issued his Proclamation enjoin- 
ing obedience to the laws of the land, and de- 
nouncing armed opposition to them as treason 
to the Government ; and this was answered by 
a counter Proclamation from Gov. HAYNE, of 
South Carolina. 

Thus the matter stood at the beginning of 
the session of 1833. The preservation of the 
principle of Protection, in opposition alike to 

the insidious but determined hostility of the 
President and his friends, and to the alarming 
attitude of South Carolina, became at once the 
Teat business of the session. The nullifica- 
tion party in Congress of course, as such, had 
little strength ; and a bill was reported by the 
Judiciary Committee to enforce the collection 
of the revenue. The aspect of affairs was 
now, in the highest degree, serious and alarm- 
ing. Civil war with all its horrors seemed 
impending and about to burst. South Carolina, 
though not formidable by her own power, was 
so closely linked with the other Southern 
States, that war with her would, beyond doubt, 
soon become a war between the North and the 
South ; the beautiful fields of our happy coun- 
try must be drenched with the best blood of 
her sons ; distress and agony, beyond estimate, 
must brood over us for years ; and if the Fede- 
ral Union should finally be preserved, which 
was an issue scarcely to be expected, a dark 
blot, never to be effaced, must have rested upon 
our history for ever. All these considerations 
presented themselves with terrible force to the 
mind of Mr. CLAY. He saw, too, that in the 
threatened event of a bloody struggle, final 
peace could scarcely be hoped without yielding 
for ever tfie great principle of PROTECTION, 
on which, in his view, was to be based all the 
national prosperity and happiness for which 
Americacould ever hope. He addressed him- 
self to the averting of the overwhelming calami- 
ties which now hung over his beloved country. 
His noble heart throbbed with the highest love 
for every portion of the Union. Sectional par- 
tiality, and that narrow, illiberal patriotism 
which bounds its sympathies and exertions by 
the limits of a State, found no place within his 
breast. The American Union was his country ; 
he respected the rights, honored the chivalry, 
and was as tender of the lives and interests of 
the people of South Carolina as of those of his 
own noble Kentucky. He gave to the crisis his 
most attentive thought. He consulted with his 
friends, and invited the counsel of those best ac- 
quainted with all the several interests of the 
nation. After the most deliberate stydy, and as 
the result of the most careful consideration, he 
brought forward, as best adapted to the exist- 
ing state of the country, his celebrated COM- 
PROMISE BILL, settling the policy of the nation 
on the subject of the Tariff upon a conciliatory 
and mutually acceptable basis, until the 30th 
of June, 1842 when the whole subject would 
again become open for reconsideration, and 



when he firmly believed the increased intelli- 
gence and experience of the Country would 
have removed all effective opposition to the 
principles of Protection to American Industry 
and complete Independence of all Foreign 
Powers. By the provisions of the act, the 
rate of duties was to undergo a gradual reduc- 
tion up to the time of its limitation, when 20 
per cent, at a home valuation was to be .its 
lowest point ; and then it was to be left to such 
legislation as the condition of the country, the 
state of her finances, and the necessities of her 
Industry might demand, and the increased in- 
telligence of the people might justify. At the 
time the act was devised, measures had been 
commenced by the Administration party to 
ensure a total abolition of all protective duties, 
and a resort to the policy of what was called 
Free Trade. The Compromise Act, in Mr. 
CLAY'S opinion, would avert this danger from 
his cherished system, and would lead the 
public mind to more considerate and better 
grounded opinions upon this vitally important 

With these views, and actuated by as true 
and self-denying patriotism as ever moved the 
heart of any statesman of any age, Mr. CLAY 
introduced his Compromise Bill, and upheld it 
by the ablest and most eloquent efforts 
was accepted by the Southern members in 
Congress, became a law, and swept at once 
from the political sky of our country that black 
cloud of lowering war which had hidden the 
brightness of its morning star. The storrn of 
more than Apocalyptic horror which was about 
to burst upon the land, rolled away in silence, 
and again the sun of peace, with its gleamings 
of glory and of hope, shed upon the nation its 
brightest effulgence. 

The joy which the adoption of this celebra- 
ted act spread over the land was general, and 
of thrilling intensity. From one extremity to 
the other, the name of HENRY CLAY was ut- 
tered, in connection with it, with the highest 
honor national gratitude could bestow. The 
measure of his glory, for this act of his life, is 
not yet ml}, for the secret history of that act 
has not been written. When it shall be given 
to the world, by the hand of some man, who 
mingled in its scenes, then will shine forth 
from the part sustained by Mr. CLAY, a sacri- 
fice of personal feeling, a zeal for the best 
good of the nation, a love of country, and a 
high devotion to her cause, which, for sublimi- 
ty and worth, will match the proudest achieve- 

ments of ancient or of modern times. It call- 
ed forth the warmest eulogies of men of all 
parties, and from every section of the country. 
For years since it has been a standing theme 
for eloquent applause ; and at the present time 
it will not be regarded, as in other circum- 
stances it might, as a fact of no significance, 
that so lately as in 1839, JOHN TYLER, then a 
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, 
spoke of it in the following emphatic terms : 
It rarely happens," said he, " to the most 
gifted, and talented, and patriotic, to record 
their names upon the page of history in cha 
racters indelible and enduring. But if to have 
rescued his country from civil war if to have 
preserved the Constitution and the Union from 
hazard and total wreck, constitute any ground 
for an immortal and undying name among 
men, then do I believe that HENRY CLAY has 
won for himself that high renown." The feel- 
ings of gratitude entertained by the whole 
Eastern portion of the Union for his services 
were fully proved by the demonstrations of 
popular respect and love which marked every 
step of a visit he paid, in the autumn of 1833, 
to the Eastern States. The time to which, by 
its own provisions, the operation of this cele- 
brated act was limited, has now expired ; and 
though the struggle which, even on its first 
proposal, he saw must attend the revision oi 
the "Tariff, upon the expiration of the act, has 
been rendered fiercer by accidental circumstan 
ces than he hoped, the sense of gratitude for 
his exertions has not been cooled one jot by 
subsequent occurrences. 

In 1832, towards the close of the session, 
Mr. CLAY, being a candidate for the Presidency 
at the next election, surprised his enemies, but 
completely fulfilled the expectation of his 
friends, who knew his unselfish nature and his 
uncompromising love of justice and of right, 
by reporting a Bill referred to an inappro- 
priate Committee of which he was Chairman 
for the express purpose of setting a trap to 

catch his consciencce,' providing for the Dis- 
tribution of the Proceeds of the Public Lands 
to the several States of the Union. That a 
candidate for the Presidency should not, when 
so tempting an opportunity was offered, secure 
,o himself the votes of the Western States by 
advocating the cession to them of the Public 
Domain within their borders, was an act of 

oluntary virtue, of which they certainly had 
never been guilty, and of which they could by 
no means conceive the possibility. But they 



were disappointed. The bill was reported by 
Mr. CLAY, and supported in a speech of sur 
passing power. It passed the Senate, but was 
postponed in the House. At the next session, 
however, it had become so popular throughout 
the country, that it was taken up again and 
passed by an overwhelming majority. It was 
sent to the President for his approval. He 
dared not veto it, for then it would have gone 
back, and, beyond all question, become a law 
by a two- thirds vote. The adjournment 
Congress within the ten days, during which its 
detention was allowed, gave an opportunity for 
its destruction too favorable to be neglected. 
And thus it was lost. In his Message of De- 
cember 4, 1832, President Jackson had recom- 
mended the measure ; and there is every rea 
son to believe that if any other man than HEN 
RY CLAY, his rival for the Presidency, had se 
cured the glory of its passage, it would have 
been signed without scruple or hesitation. 

The question of Currency now began to ex 
cite the deepest interest. As early as 1829 
General Jackson had made suggestions, vague 
and indefinite, concerning the improvement of 
the Currency; and in the year 1832 he had 
vetoed the bill for a re-charter of the Bank 
of the United States. The doctrines of that 
Veto had encountered the warmest condem- 
nation of Mr. CLAY, for he saw involved in 
them principles that must inevitably, if ear- 
ried to their ultimate results, establish a pow- 
er higher than that of the People, and convert 
our Republic into a monarchy of the most ty- 
rannical character In the prosecution of his 
scheme of destroying the Bank, m the Session 
of 1833, the President suggested that the U. S. 
Deposites in the Bank were unsafe. The 
House of Representatives examined the sub- 
ject, and resolved that they were safe. Thus 
thwarted, the President resolved to remove 
them on his own responsibility ; and after 
ejecting from office two Secretaries of the 
Treasury, before he could find a tool sufficient- 
ly pliable for his purposes, through Mr. Taney 
he finally succeeded, and ordered the Public 
Moneys to be removed from the United States 
Bank, the depository selected by Congress, 
and to be distributed among the Banking In- 
stitutions of the several States. Circulars 
were at the same time addressed to these 
Banks, directing them to use the money, thus 
deposited with them, for the stimulating of 
business, and to loan it out to the people, as 
they might desire. 

The arbitrary power thus assumed and ex- 
ercised by the President, created the most 
anxious alarm in Congress. It was a stride 
towards tyranny of the most dangerous por- 
tent, and on the 26th of December, 1833, Mr. 
CLAY introduced resolutions censuring the 
President for his removal of Secretary DUANE, 
because he would not do his unlawful bidding, 
and condemning Mr. TANEY for his remova. of 
the Deposites. He supported them with an 
of eloquence and a power seldom exhibited in the 
Council Chambers of any nation. The funda- 
mental principles of our Government were lu- 
cidly discussed, and their palpable violation 
by General Jackson was most clearly shown. 
He pointed out the dangerous tendency of 
these encroachments on the public liberty, and 
called, with a commanding voice, upon the Rep- 
resentatives of a Free People to crush this at- 
tempt to defraud them of their rights, and to 
set at defiance their will on subjects of the 
highest national interest. The resolutions 
were adopted by a vote of twenty-six to twen- 
ty. President Jackson immediately sent in a 
Protest, declaring that he was responsible for 
the acts of all his Secretaries, that Congress 
has no right to take from him the control of 
the Public Moneys, and that he is to be bound 
in his administration of the government solely 
by his own understanding of the Constitution. 
After a long and most animated debate, in 
which Mr. CLAY made another most powerful 
speech in refutation and utter reprobation of 
the novel and alarming doctrines put forth by 
the President resolutions were adopted, decla- 
ring that the President had no right to protest 
against the doings of either House of Congress, 
and excluding his protest from the journals of 
the Senate. It is worthy of remark, that 
among the names of the large majority by 
whom these resolutions were adopted, is record- 
ed that of JOHN TYLER. 

On the 28th of May, 1834, Mr. CLAY intro- 
duced resolutions reasserting his often repeat- 
ed opinions concerning Executive usurpation, 
and the general policy of the high-handed and 
dangerous measures of President Jackson, and 
providing for the restoration to the Bank of 
the United States of the Public Moneys, then 
scattered, by the command of the President, 
throughout the several States. They were 
adopted in the Senate, but never acted upon m 
the House. This Session of 1833 and '34 was 
distinguished by the ability and earnestness 
with which the usurpations of the President 



were discussed and condemned ; and in all the 
debates, clear, loud, and powerful, above all 
the rest, was heard the denunciation of HEN- 

At the next session, the most important fea- 
ture was the discussion and settlement of our 
Frencli relations. That nation had failed to 
fulfil a treaty stipulation for the payment of 
claims of our citizens for losses sustained by 
aggressions upon our commerce ; and Presi- 
dent Jackson, with blame- worthy rashness, 
had in his Message recommended measures of 
immediate hostility. That portion of the Mes- 
sage was referred to a Committee, in whose 
behalf Mr. CLAY reported a resolution decla- 
ring it inexpedient to adopt any legislative 
measures in regard to the Executive recom- 
mendations. It was supported in a long re- 
port of unequaled force of argument, and was 
perfectly satisfactory to men of every party in 
the Senate, who vied with each other in the 
warmth of their admiration for its temper and 
ability. The resolution was unanimously 
adopted, and in the early part of the succeed- 
ing year the difficulties were amicably ad- 

On the 14th of April, 1836, Mr. CLAY again 
brought his bill for the Distribution of the Pro- 
ceeds of the Public Lands before the Senate. 
It was ably discussed for more than two weeks, 
and passed that body by a vote of twenty-five 
to twenty. In the House, however, it failed, 
as was foreseen, through the influence of the 
President. At the same Session, Mr. CLAY 
made powerful arguments in defence of the 
right of petition, the acknowledgment of Tex- 
an Independence, and upon various questions 
of local or temporary interest which came 
before the honorable body of which he was so 
distinguished a member. 

Upon the adjournment of Congress, on the 
4th of July, 1836, Mr. CLAY returned to Ken- 
tucky, and, in a masterly speech delivered at 
a complimentary dinner given him by the citi- 
zens of Woodford, he reviewed, in a clear and 
eloquent manner, the whole policy of the ex- 
isting Administration, and declared his wish 
to retire from public life. The wishes of his 
friends, however, that he should resume his 
legislative duties, and the large majority by 
which, in the Legislature of his adopted State, 
he was re-elected to the Senate, induced him 
to return ; and he accordingly took his seat at 
the ensuing Session of Congress. The Admin- 
istration of Gen. Jackson was just drawing to 

a close. No candid and considerate man could 
contrast the two conditions of the country 
that in which he found, and that in which he 
left it without acknowledging the sad change 
that had come over every interest, blighted 
the fairest hopes of every patriot) and cast the 
whole country into a deep shade of desponden- 
cy and hopeless suffering. In 1829 the Cur- 
rency was safe and equable ; our Credit, at 
home and abroad, stood upon a level with that 
of any other nation ; Industry and Economy 
were the sure avenues to wealth and happi- 
ness ; the produce of the farmer commanded a 
fair price in every market j the goods of the 
manufacturer and the wares of the mechanic 
found ready sales, and gave employment to 
thousands of industrious laborers in every 
walk of business ; and this great People were 
emphatically, and in the best sense of the 
words, ' prosperous and happy.' 

But the National Bank had now been de- 
stroyed. The country had no practical circu- 
lating medium of equal value in every portion 
of the Union. The Deposites of the Govern- 
ment had been removed from the National In- 
stitution, where never one dollar of the im- 
mense amount committed to its keeping had 
been lost, nor one cent paid for its secure cus- 
tody, and scattered throughout the land in the 
State Banks ; and these Banks, by a Circular 
issued from the Treasury Department, under 
the President's direction, had been instructed 
to loan it out to the People j every man, there- 
fore, who could procure an endorser, good or 
bad, filled his pockets with Bank notes ; new 
and enormous issues were made, and the whole 
nation at once rushed into the most rash and 
extravagant speculations. Land and its pro- 
ducts rose to an enormous price ; purchases 
were made, and debts incurred to an unparal- 
leled extent, and the whole nation finally stood 
still, at the height of the phrensy to which the 
Government had urged her, each man owing 
his neighbor for purchases made at prices he 
could never again hope to realize. The mon- 
ey of the countless Banks that had sprung up 
all over the land began to depreciate, business 
affairs were, of their own accord, tending 
downward, when the catastrophe was hastened 
by the issue from the Treasury of the SPECIE 
CIRCULAR, and the crash of universal suspen- 
ion fell upon the Banks, and all the business 
of the nation was whelmed in ruin, and vast 
numbers of the people into utter and hopeless 
bankruptcy. So ccmplete a scheme, for the 


lestruction of the country's hopes, could 
scarcely have been devised by the ingenuity 
Df man. The derangements of the Currency, 
f course, involved in the eHsuing ruin all the 
lariff regulations of the Compromise Act; 
ur credit became stained abroad, and hooted 
it at home ; the States, stimulated by the pre- 
vailing madness, had plunged recklessly into 
lebt and consequent embarrassment, and the 
whole internal administration of the Govern- 
ment was corrupted to the core by the prosti- 
tution to party purposes of Executive patron- 
age, and the crushing supremacy of the Execu- 
tive will. 

The Session of 18367 did little to ward 
hese gathering ills, for the Administration 
lad a large majority in both Houses of Con- 
gress. His Land Bill was again brought up 
by Mr. CLAY ; but the desire on the part 
hose, who were looking for the Presidential 
Succession, to make political capital out of 
this convenient fund, secured its virtual rejec- 
tion; for it was forced to yield to a direct 
proposition of Mr. CALHOUN to cede the land to 
the States in which it lay; but, fortunately 
for the country, this most extraordinary bill 
failed to reach its third reading in the Senate, 
where it originated. At the same session, and 
in opposition to the ardent efforts of Mr. CLAV 
and his friends, a bill was passed regulating 
the duties on imports; another passed both 
Houses, but was destroyed by the contemptu- 
ous Veto of the President, and a resolution 
offered in a spirit of truckling sycophancy, of 
which few other men in the nation are capa 
ble, by Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, to Ex 
punge from the records of the Senate the reso- 
lution of censure upon the President, passed 
on the occasion of his removal of the Public 
Deposites, obtained the sanction of a majoritj 
of that body. Upon this question Mr. CLAY 
made a powerful speech, exhibiting, in all its 
odium and corruption, this extraordinary pro- 
position, and lashing with a whip of scorpions 
the men who would thus disgrace the honora 
ble body of which they were such unworthy 

Under these circumstances, the Executive 
power having become, through abuse of pat 
ronage, and all the machinery which corrup- 
tion and ingenuity could devise, even stronger 
than that of the people, came on the election 
for President to succeed Gen. Jackson. It re 
suited in the choice of Mr. Van Buren, a man 
pledged, by the most active and influentia 


participation in the iniquities of the Jackson 
dynasty, to carry out that same ruinous poli- 
cy, and who gave, at once, a signal proof of 
his own imbecility and lack of personal inde- 
pendence, and a foretaste of the ' relief the 
jeople might expect from his administration, 
)y a public declaration that he considered it 
glory enough to ' walk in the footsteps of so 
llustrious a predecessor.' Driven to the act, 
by the terrible distress which prevailed 
hroughout the country, he issued his procla- 
mation convening Congress in Extra Session ; 
and on the 1st of September, 1837, that Session 
commenced. His first act was an embodi- 

off ment, in tangible shape, Snd a bold presenta- 
tion to Congress for their legislative sanction, 
of the extraordinary assumptions of his prede- 
cessor. He devised a bill proposing to place 

of in the hands of the President, and officers ap- 
pointed by him, all the Public Moneys of the 
Union thus asking Congress to place in his 
hands by law, what Gen. Jackson had seized 
in defiance of law. The Session at which the 
Message, embodying this plan, was received, 
was signalized by two striking events : the 
defection of a large and most respectable por- 
tion of the Administration party,, and the coa- 
lition of the remainder with the friends of 
JOHN C. CALHOUN, who had, ever since the 
Anti-Nullification Proclamation of Gen. Jack- 
son, opposed that Administration with a bit- 
terness and a power which far outstripped all 
rival denunciation. 

The Sub-Treasury Scheme, as it was called, 
was, of course, the great topic of discussion at 
this Extra Session. Mr. CLAY took the lead 
in an opposition to its doctrines, more able 
and urged with more determined effort, than 
any other measure which for a long time had 
come before Congress. Besides the tyrannical 
control of the funds of the Government, which 
this obnoxious bill proposed to vest in the 
President, it contained also other no less odi- 
ous and dangerous features ; one of these was 
a provision that all duties, and other Govern- 
ment dues, should be paid in gold and silver- 
thus at once creating one Currency for the use 
of the Government, and leaving one, acknowl 
edged by that very act to be worse, for the 
People. The speech of Mr. CLAY in opposi 
tion to the bill, was one of the ablest he had 
ever made. But the bill passed in the Senate 
by a vote of twenty-five to twenty, and was 
sent to the House. 
Here it was fated to encounter a still sterner 



The question of Abolition and the reception 
of Abolition petitions at this time exciting 
great attention throughout the country, Mr. 
CLAY, with the bold frankness which marked 
his whole career, made a most able statement 
and vindication of his views upon this impor- 
tant topic. They were eminently satisfactory 
to all sound and reflecting men, and embraced 
tatives with a force which all the power of the strictest adherence to Constitutional objec- 

ordeal. The defection of a small but able and 
determined body from the Van Buren party, 
who leagued themselves together under the 
name of Conservatives, and based their opposi- 
tion expressly upon the ground of hostility to 
this Sub- Treasury Scheme, and the growing 
manifest disapproval of its principles by the 
People, operated upon the House of Represen- 


the whole people, and suitable checks upon 
the power of such an institution to expand or 
contract the Circulating Medium of the coun- 
try. As to the constitutionality of such a 
Bank, Mr. CLAY avowed his acquiescence in 
the decisions of WASHINGTON, MADISON, MAR- 
SHALL, and the Supreme Court of the United 
States. The Sub-Treasury Scheme was finally 
passed and became a law, < in spite of lamen- 
tations in Congress, or elsewhere,' in the em- 
phatic words of one of its warmest friends. 

Executive blandishment, the influence of Ex- 
ecutive patronage, and the strength of the Cal- 
houn Coalition, could not withstand ; and on 
the 14th of October the bill was laid on the 
table by a vote of one hundred and twenty to 
one hundred and seven. Soon after this, and 
without the transaction of any other business, 
save the rejection, by the Van Buren majority, 
of a resolution introduced by Mr. CLAY, and 
simply declaring that it ' would be expedient 
to charter a National Bank whenever the wish- 
es of a majority of the People, to that effect, 
should be indicated,' and the adoption instead 
of one, by Mr. WRIGHT, declaring that it was 
inexpedient to establish such a Bank, the 
Congress convened in Extra Session was ad- 

At the regular Session of 1838, the Sub- 
Treasury Scheme was again brought before 
Congress in the Message of the President. 
Mr. CLAY opposed it again in a long and pow- 
erful argument, denouncing it as a deliberate 
attempt, on the part of the Executive, to es- 
tablish a Government Bank, which should 
throw into the hands of the Executive a com- 
plete control of the Funds of the nation, and 
which would thus increase, to a tremendous 
and fearfully dangerous extent, the power of 
that officer. He also declared himself de- 
cidedly in favor of a National Bank, and gave 
a clear outline of the principles upon which he 
would have it based. His scheme proposed a 
strict and close limitation of its powers, an 
exclusion of all foreign influence, a careful 

regard for the interests and accommodation of stored. But there was likewise an impression, 

vague and formless, but general and influential, 

tions, and the most earnest regard for popular 
rights. In the summer of 1839 he made a 
journey to the North going into Canada as 
far as Quebec, and returning by way of New 
York. His tour was a continued triumphal 
procession : he was met at every town by the 
most ardent gratulations, and was received at 
every principal place by public demonstrations 
of the highest and most enthusiastic regard. 

The time was now approaching for another 
Presidential Election. For twelve years the 
Whigs had been out of power, and in that time 
the country had been dragged down, by mis- 
rule, from the summit of prosperity to the 
depths of degradation and misery the lowest, 
as it then appeared, that could possibly exist : 
subsequent events, however, to which we shall 
soon refer, have proved that even to this there 
was also a ' lower deep.' The extremity of 
suffering, however, and the darkest hopeless- 
ness seemed to brood over the land. The most 
sagacious politicians had the firmest conviction 
that a great majority of the people of the 
Union were opposed to the principles of the 
party in power. But the fabric of Executive 
patronage and influence had grown to such co- 
lossal dimensions, and had become so rooted 
in the nation, that its overthrow seemed a work 
of despair. The eyes of the whole Nation were 
turned upon Mr. CLAY as the fittest man to 
place at the helm of State, and there was every 
where the most undoubting confidence that if 
once he could be placed in that station, pros- 
perity and Happiness would be speedily re- 

that he could not be elected by the People. 
Twice he had been a candidate, and twice had 
he failed. At the. last election Gen. HARRISON 
had been the candidate, and no strong oppo- 
sition had been raised against him, though the 
popularity of Jacksonism and the power of 
official patronage and party discipline had se- 
cured his defeat. The approaching election 
was one of the very highest moment ; for it 
seemed evident, that if the Whig policy failed 



of success then, it could never hope for it 
again. It was a matter, therefore, of the very 
last importance to select a candidate who 
while he was clearly identified with the great 
principles of the Whig party, should be abl< 
to unite all opposing or dissenting portions of 
that great party, and secure an election by the 

For the purpose of selecting a candidate 
therefore, a National Convention of Delegates 
was chosen to meet at Harrisburg, in Pennsyl 
vania, for consultation. The members were 
chosen not merely to represent the wishes of 
their constituents, as they partially and vaguely 
understood them, but to consult, to canvass the 
probabilities of success, and to determine upon 
the nomination it was expedient, upon all these 
considerations, to make. Never was a body 
of more patriotic, of clearer-headed, or more 
earnest men assembled together. The Con- 
vention lost its party complexion in the fervor 
of their feelings in behalf of the country ; and 
the solemnity and manifest depth of conviction 
which marked all their deliberations, seemed 
at once to identify the principles of the Whigs 
with the true policy of the nation and the fun- 
damental grounds of our Republican institu- 
tions. The deliberations of the Convention 
resulted in the nomination of Gen. HARRISON. 
The announcement carried disappointment into 
the hearts of Whigs throughout the Union ; 
but the developments of the first succeeding 
month swept away all feelings of this nature 
and infused into the great mass of the Whigs 
an enthusiasm never equaled, in the history 
of the Nation, since the first formation of the 
Government. A National Convention was 
called, to meet at Baltimore, to respond to 
the nomination of General Harrison and John 
Tyler, as candidates for President and Vice 
President of the United States. It was an- 
swered by the assembling of more than 20,000 
Whigs from every part of the Union ; and 
its proceedings were characterized by a zeal 
and high-souled determination to succeed never 
witnessed before on any similar occasion. A 
pulsation of hope and energy was sent through 
all the land. Hope sprang up in every heart : 
a burning zeal, worthy the highest and the 
holiest cause that ever engaged the active 
exertion of any people, flamed forth in every 
section of the country. Convention succeeded 
convention, each more numerous and more 
zealous than the last. Every question of pub- 
lic policy was discussed by the living speaker 

before the people. The direct, inevitable ten. 
dency of the doctrines of the ruling party was 
pointed out as with a sunbeam j and every 
noble impulse, which finds a home in the heart 
of man, was aroused to life by the most thrill 
ing and controlling eloquence. The popular 
enthusiasm took every form, and made itself 
manifest by processions, banners, music, mot- 
toes, significant devices, and in all the various 
modes under which, in every age and nation 
it has at some great crisis proclaimed its exist- 
ence and wrought out its high determinations. 
The greatest intellects of the nation mingled 
in the heat of the contest. Senators and Rep- 
resentatives went directly to the People with 
their appeal. At the election in 1840 that ap- 
peal was triumphantly answered, and Gen 
Harrison was elected President, and John Tyler 
Vice President, by an overwhelming majority 
Thus were the leading principles of the Whigs 
adopted by the people of the United States, who 
thereby declared their wish to have them 
established as the law of the land. The leading 
measures proposed by the Whigs throughout 
the contest were briefly these : they proposed 
to restrict and limit the power of the veto, 
which had been so ruthlessly employed by 
Gen. Jackson to the destruction of great mea- 
sures of public policy : to provide for the ineli- 
gibility of the President for a second term 
believing, as they were warranted in believing 
by sad experience, that when this was not the 
case, the official conduct of the Executive 
would be shaped with a direct view to a re-elec- 
tion : to restrict the patronage of the Execu- 
tive, and to regulate its distribution : to retrench 
sxpenditures, reform abuses, and introduce a 
more strict accountability into every public 
office : to establish a uniform currency, on a 
stable foundation, by a National institution 
such as the wisdom of Congress might devise, 
guarded as much as possible against abuse, and 
limited by all expedient restrictions : to dis- 
tribute the proceeds of the Public Lands among 
the several States of the Union to which of 
right they belonged : to establish a Protective 
Tariff on the basis of the Compromise, and by 
he exercise of that further legislation expressly 
contemplated by that law : and to administer 
he Government in all its branches upon the 
same principles of purity, integrity, and liberal 
jolicy which so strongly marked the early 
days of the Republic. These principles had 
jeen deliberately adopted by the people of the 
United States. They were the principles to 



the advocacy of which the whole life of HENRY 
CLAY had been devoted, and in him they had 
found their constant and eloquent champion. 
Their execution was now committed to 
hands but to hands believed to be no less safe 
than his. The President Elect was known to 
be a man of pure heart and the most devoted 
patriotism ; and John Tyler, the chosen Vice 
President, had made the most earnest and sin- 
cere protestations of entire agreement upon all 
these points with the great Whig party by 
whom he was elected. He had given to the 
American People what they considered a sure 
pledge of his entire devotion to Whig princi- 
ples by his strenuous and persevering advocacy 
of the nomination of Mr. CLAY, of whose pa- 
triotism and devotion to these great principles 
no Whig ever entertained for one moment the 
slightest suspicion ; and both came into office 
with the fairest prospects of redeeming their 
pledge, and restoring prosperity to the Ameri- 
can People. 

At the Session of Congress closing the Ad- 
ministration of Mr. Van Buren, Mr. CLAY re- 
peated his declaration of the principles which, 
throughout his life, he had endeavored to es- 
tablish, and again brought before Congress 
all the great measures, to the advocacy of 
which so much of his efforts had been direct- 
ed. The President was inaugurated on the 
4th of March, 1841, and in his Address deliv- 
ered upon that occasion renewed the hopes of 
the People that a new era was opening in 
their political history. In consideration of the 
pressing necessities of the country, he issued 
his Proclamation convening Congress in Extra 

Congress assembled on the last Monday o: 
May, 1841; but the elected President met 
them not j the sacred stillness of the tomb was 
around him ; his soul was in the land of the 
great departed. 

John Tyler, his constitutional successor, 
met the assembled Representatives, and they 
addressed themselves to the business of the 
Extra Session. Mr. CLAY was the great lead- 
er in the Senate, and to him the nation looked 
for those measures of relief which her necessi- 
ties demanded. He was prompt to devise, 
and bold to urge them. Early in June, he pre- 
sented his practical and safe plan for the char- 
ter of a National Bank, as the initial step in 
the great work before him. It was passed by 
both Houses of Congress, and sent to the Pre- 
sident for his approval. It was expected to 

become a law, and the country rang with ap- 
plause of HENRY CLAY. John Tyler heard 
the shout, and it awakened within his bosom 
other jealousies and angry passions, before which 
the weal of his country faded away like a 
thing of nought. He violated the first and 
fundamental principle which brought him into 
power, by vetoing a bill which the Whigs had 
pledged themselves should become a law. 
Mr. CLAY encountered the Veto with a frank 
and eloquent speech, deprecating the exercise 
of this most obnoxious power, and in the most 
moving terms, lamenting the sad prostration 
of the country's new formed hopes foreshad- 
owed by its use. Congress, however, took es- 
pecial pains to ascertain what sort of a Bank 
bill the President was willing to sign, and 
soon presented such a one for his approval. 
This too was vetoed, and the hopes of the na- 
tion sunk. An attempt to establish a Tariff, 
to which Mr. CLAY bent his best exertions, 
was attended with the same success j and it 
became evident that John Tyler, chosen by 
the Whigs to carry into effect their principles, 
had deserted their cause and joined himself to 
their foe. 

Still, every thing was done that could be for 
the welfare of the country, and for the relief of 
the Government from the abyss of insolvency, 
in which it had for years been gradually sink- 
ing. A Loan Bill, Treasury Note Bill, and 
Provisional Tariff were passed, to preserve the 
Treasury from dishonor until full and perma- 
nent provision could be made, at the approach- 
ing regular Session, for the collection of ade- 
quate Revenue, by a careful and enlightened 
revision of the Tariff. A Bankrupt Law was 
f passed for the relief of unfortunate debtors, 
and to secure the effects of dishonest ones to 
their creditors ; and an act providing for the 
Distribution of the Proceeds of the Public 
Lands was passed, but clogged with a condi- 
tion which now renders it inoperative, in order 
to escape the Veto of John Tyler. Congress 
adjourned in September. 

The regular Session, commencing early in 
December, found Mr. CLAY again at his post, 
doing all in his power to preserve what had 
been secured, and to carry on the work of be- 
neficent Reform. By his vote, the Repeal of 
the Bankrupt Law was defeated. By him, a 
series of Resolutions, setting forth the general 
principles on which the Government should be 
conducted, and the specific Reforms which 
should be effected, in the restriction of Execu- 



tive Power, the Retrenchment of Expenditures, 
the adjustment of the Tariff, &c., &c., were 
introduced and advocated with consummate 
ability. They were generally adopted by the 
Senate, some of them without opposition. 

At the end of March, 1842, in fulfilment of 
a long cherished purpose, Mr. CLAY resigned 
his seat in the Senate, and retired to the shades 
of Ashland. For the present, we leave him 
there in the calm enjoyment of all that peace 
and happiness which the memory of a life 
spent in the public service may well confer. 
His name is already before the American peo- 
ple as the Whig Candidate for the Presidency 
in 1844, and the loud enthusiasm with which it 
is hailed from every section of this broad land, 
tells, in eloquent language, of the deep and 
ardent love with which it is cherished in their 
hearts. His is a fame of which any man may 
well be proud, and which few, in the centuries 
that are past, have ever enjoyed. His intellec- 

tual powers are of the highest order. His life, 
a long and most arduous one, has been devoted 
with single-hearted, unselfish earnestness to 
the best good of his country. Every instinct 
of his heart bears the stamp of a lofty nature. 
The political principles which, from his first 
entrance upon political life, to the latest words 
upon matters of public concern he has ever 
uttered, have been cherished with unwavering 
devotion, are those which lie at the very foun- 
dation of our institutions, and which were 
embraced, with all the ardor of thorough con- 
viction, by the early Fathers of the Republic. 
No man ever had warmer friends, or better 
merited their confidence and love. Few have 
had more bitter enemies, and no one ever de- 
served them less. A proud and auspicious day 
will dawn upon the American Republic when 
she shall witness the advent to her highest sta- 
tion of HENRY CLAY. 
September 10th, 1842. 

John Tyler's Opinion of Henry Clay, 

( When John was honest.) 

John Tyler, even after he professed to be- 
come a Whig, expressed the most ardent, de- 
voted admiration of HENRY CLAY. We met 
him at Harrisburg, at the Whig National Con- 
vention, in December, 1S39, where he was the 
most determined advocate of Mr. Clay's nomi- 
nation ; and even after Gen. Harrison had been 
nominated, he tried to upset it, and was one 
of the last to come in to its support. He 
openly proclaimed himself a straight-out Whig, 
said there was a great change in the South in 
favor of Mr. Clay's views of National Policy, 
and declared that he would never have come 
to Harrisburg but in the hope of getting Mr. 
Clay nominated. He was put on the ticket for 
Vice President, as the most ultra Clay man 
there, in order to soothe the wounded feelings 
of the Clay men. At the Whig dinner to the 
Delegates at Washington, a few days after- 
ward, he thus expressed himself: 

"I do declare, in the presence of my Heavenly 
Judge, that the nomination given to me was neither 
solicited nor expected ; / went to the Convention IN 
HONOR OF HENRY CLAY ; and in the defeat of the 
wishes of his friends, I, as one of them, made a sacri- 
fice of feeling, even though my own name was asso- 
ciated with that of Harrison. * * * I AM A TRUE AND 
GENUINE WHIG, and in the Capitol, yonder, I have 
shown my love of Whig principles." 

Senator Benton's Opinion of H. Clay, 

In Benton's better days. 

In 1824, when HENRY CLAY was first a can- 
didate for President. Thomas H. Benton, then 
and still a Senator from Missouri, was an ac- 
tive supporter of Mr. C. for President, a Mem- 
ber of the Clay Central Committee, &c. The 
following extract of a letter from Mr. Benton 
first appeared in the Missouri Intelligencer of 
Oct. 22d, 1824. We only publish it to show 
on what grounds Col. B. supported Mr. Clay, 
and what policy he then considered Republican. 
Here is the document : 

" The principles which would govern Mr. Clay's 
administration, if elected, are well known to the na- 
tion. They have been displayed upon the floor of 
Congress for the last seventeen years. They consti- 
tute a system of AMERICAN POLICY, based on the 
Agriculture and Manufactures of his own country 
upon interior as well as foreign Commerce upon in- 
ternal as well as ea-board Improvement upon the 
independence of the New World, and close commer- 
cial alliances with Mexico and South America. If it 
is said that others would pursue the same system, we 
answer, that the founder of a system is the natmral 
executor -of his own work ; that the most efficient pro- 
tector of American iron, lead, hemp, wool, and cotton, 
would be the triumphant champion of the new Tariff; 
the safest friend to interior commerce would be the 
Statesman who has proclaimed the Mississippi to be 
the sea of the West ; the most zealous promoter of 
Internal Improvements would be the President, who 
has triumphed over the President who opposed the 
construction of National Roads and Canals ; the most 
successful applicant for treaties with Mexico and 
South America would be the eloquent advocate of 
their own independence. 



On his Retiring from the U. S. Senate. 

WAIL for the glorious Pleiad fled 

Wail for the ne'er returning star 
Whose mighty music ever led 

The spheres in their high home afar ! 
Bring burial weeds ? and sable plume ? 

What lift the funeral song of wo 
Such as should o'er the loved one's tomb 

In Sorrow's tenderest accent flow? 

Ah ! Freedom's kindling minstrel, no ! 
Strike ! strike with a triumphant hand 

Thy harp, and at its swelling roll 
Speak, through the borders of our land, 

The might the beauty of that soul 
Whose Genius is our guardian light 
Through sunny ray or darkling night 
A worsliiped Pharos in the sea, 

Lifting on high its fearless form 
To guide the vessel of the Free 

Safe through the fury of the storm. 

PRIDE OF THE WEST ! whose clarion-tone 
Thrilled grandly through her forest lone, 
And waked to bounding life the shore 
Where Darkness only sat before 
How millions bent before thy shrine, 
Beholding there a light divine 
Caught on the golden chain of love, 
From its majestic source above. 

STAR OF OUR HOPE ! when Battle's call 
Had wove the soldier's gorV pall 
When blazing o'er the troubled seas, 
Death came tumultuous on the breeze, 
And men beheld Columbia's frame 
Scorched by the lurid levin-flame 
Thou ! thou didst pour the patriot-strain,* 
And thrilled with it each bleeding vein 
Until the star-lit banners streamed 

Like tempest-fires around the foe, 
Whose crimson cross no longer gleamed 
In triumph where it erst had beamed 

But sunk beneath our gallant blow. 

SUN OF THE FREE ! where Summer smiles 
Eternal o'er the clustered isles 
Where GREECE unsheathed her olden blade 
For Glory in the haunted shade 
W T here CHIMBORAZO stands sublime 
A land-mark by the sea of Timef 
Thy name shall, as a blessing given 

For Man, oh ! never to depart, 
Peal from our gladdened Earth to Heaven 

The warm, wild music of the heart. 

PRIDE OF THE JUST ! what though dark Hate 

Her phtansied storm around thee rolls 
Has it not ever been the fate 

Of all this Earth's truth-speaking souls? 
Lightnings mav play upon the rock 

Whose star-kksett forehead woos the gale, 
While they escape the thunder-shock 

Who dwell within the lonely vale 

* Alluding to his efforts as Republican leader in 
Congress during- the late War. 

t Who can forget Henry Clay's burning eloquence 
in advocacy of Grecian and South. American Inde- 
pendence ? 

Living unnoted ! not so thou. 
Chief of the fearless soul and brow ! 
Yet let the lightning and the storm 
Beat on thy long-devoted form ! 
The silvery day-beam bursts ! and lo ! 
Around thee c-'js the Promise-Bow ! 

Look ! on yon hight Columbia stands 

Immortal laurels in her hands ! 

And hark her voice " RIE ! FREEMEN, RISE ! 

Unloose the chain from ev'ry breast ; 
See ! see the splendor in yon skies 

Flashed from the bosom of the WEST !" 
Roused at the sound, lo ! millions leap 
Like giants from inglorious sleep ! 
What cries are here ? What sounds prevail ? 
Whose name is thundering on the gale ? 
(Far in the mountains of the North 

Far in the sunny South awav 
A winged lustre bounding forth ) 

The deathless name of HENRY CLAY ! 

'He is Xot Fallen.' 


NOT FALLEN ! No! as well the tall 
And pillared Allegany fall 
As well Ohio's giant tide 

Roll backward on its mighty track, 
As he, Columbia's hope and pride, 
The slandered and the sorely tried, 

In his triumphant course turn back. 

IlE is NOT FA LLEN ! Seek to bind 
The chainless and unbidden wind ; 
Oppose the torrent's headlong course, 
And turn aside the whirlwind's force ; 
But deem not that the mighty mind 
Will cower before the blast of hate, 

Or quail at dark and causeless ill ; 
For though all else be desolate, 
It stoops not from his high estate ; 

A Alarms 'mid the ruins still. 

HE is NOT FALLKN ! Every breeze 

That wanders o'er Columbia's bosom, 
From wild Penobscot's forest trees, 
From ocean shore, from inland seas, 

Or where the rich Magnolia's blossom 
Floats, snow-like, on the sultry wind, 

Is booming onward to his ear, 
A homage to his lofty mind 
A meed the falling never find 

A praise which Patriots only hear. 

STAR OF THE WESJ ! A million eyes 

Are turning gladly unto him ; 
The shrine of old idolatries 

Before his kindling light grows dim f 
And men awake as from a dream, 

Or meteors dazzling to betray ; 
And bow before his purer beam, 

The earnest of a better day. 

At.L HAIL ! the hour is hastening on 

When, vainly tried by Slander's flame, 
Columbia shall behold her son 

Unharmed, without a laurel gone, 
As from the flames of Babylon 

The angel-guarded triad came ! 
The Slanderer shall be silent then, 
His spell shall leave the minds of men, 
And higher glory wait upon 

The WESTERN PATBIOT'S future fame. 

[SessioD 1873-4.] No. VII. 

memorial Bulletin 


American Geographical Society 

APRIL 23, 1874. 










memorial meeting 





Thursday Evening, April 23, 1874. 
CHIEF JUSTICE DALY in the chair. 

Notwithstanding the heaviest rain storm of the season, 
more than twenty-five hundred Fellows and guests of 
the Society participated in the proceedings. By the 
courtesy of MAJOR-GENERAL W. S. HANCOCK, U. S. A., 
the United States Army Band, stationed on Governor's 
Island, played dirges at intervals during the evening. 


The connection of DR. LIVINGSTONE with the Society 
extends almost to the period when he commenced his 
careeer as an explorer. His name has been the longest 
upon our list of honorary members. Many years ago, 
we honored ourselves by placing his name on that lim- 
ited list, and he expressed himself honored that we had 

done so. We had hoped that when the work to which 
he had devoted so many years of his life had been accom- 
plished, the tracing out of the great network of rivers 
and lakes, which constitute the water-sheds of South and 
Central Africa, that he would have visited this country, 
and that we would have had the opportunity upon some 
public occasion of expressing to him our appreciation 
and that of the American people of what he had done 
in extending the boundaries of human knowledge, and 
in the great cause of humanity. It was destined that it 
should be otherwise. He is now in his grave, entombed 
with the illustrious dead of England, and all that is left 
us is to unite in the public tribute of respect to his 
memory. You will be addressed by four eminent gen- 
tlemen, members of the Society, upon his life scenes and 
character. Preparatory to their remarks, I will call 
upon Major DANE, who is himself about to commence 
his career as a geographical traveller in the exploration 
of the unknown regions of Central Asia, to point out the 
respective routes of DR. LIVINGSTONE, upon the map of 
Africa, that you may have before you a large portion of 
that great continent that has been opened by his explo- 
rations and discoveries. I should also mention that the 
portrait of DR. LIVINGSTONE which surmounts the map 
of Africa has been painted for the occasion by a Fellow, 
the distinguished artist, MR. RINEHARDT. 


' *i H I** * 3f^ ^ ' ^ ^**^^ 


most highly honored in being invited by the officers 
of the Society to point out upon the map a general 
outline of the several extensive journeys of explo- 
ration made by the remarkable man whose memory 
we honor this night. Time will necessarily compel me 
to be brief and explicit; nevertheless I shall endeavor 
to give you such an understanding of the vast work he 
accomplished, that you may be able to follow him in his 
wanderings, as those who are to address you upon his 
character and achievements, shall recount his labors. 
Thirty -five years ago, all we knew of the great continent 
of Africa was its Northern States bordering upon the 
Medeterranean ; the line of its Western coast as it was 
given to the world by Prince Henry the Navigator, 
whose soul was inspired to discovery by the wonderful 
exploits of MARCO POLO, through the efforts of his naval 
commander VASCO DE GAMA, who coasted down to the 
cape of Good Hope, and pushed across the Indian Ocean. 
On our Geographical maps of twenty years since, little 
more was seen except a few towns along the Eastern 
coast, while all the vast interior was an almost unspotted 
blank, with its inscription in bold type: U THE UNEX- 
PLORED REGION OF ETHIOPIA." The Nile was seen as a 

line running up through Egypt, with its sources lost in 
the vast unexplored region and the dim romance of the 
histories of PTOLEMY and HERODOTUS. 

But it is a singular fact that notwithstanding our blank 
modern maps, we find in a map published by ORTELIUS 
in 1573, a copy of which may be seen in the marvelous 
collection of Geographical Society, two large lakes in 
the midst of the portion that afterwards became a blank. 
The larger one bore two names; its Northern limb that 
of Zaire, and its Southern limb that of Zembre; the lesser 
was called Zaflan. And both lakes are represented as 
being the chief sources of the Nile. 

In 1840 DAVID LIVINGSTONE arrived at Cape Town to 
enter upon his work as a Missionary. Very soon he 
proceeded Northward to the town of Kuruman, where 
he joined DR. MOFFATT and began his labors. There he 
met and married the daughter of DR. MOFFATT, and 
shortly afterwards advanced to Kolobeng and established 
his mission. In 1843 he labored in Mobatza, and in 
1845 in Chaunane. Up to 1847 he continued his labors 
in that vicinity, making various journeys into the sur- 
rounding country, among the BOER tribes, a savage 'and 
treacherous people who were incapable of improvement. 
While he was away from Kolobeng in 1 847 among the 
neighboring tribes, the heartless BOERS made a descent 
upon his mission and utterly destroyed it, burning his 
house and stealing all his property, and murdering 
hundreds of the people. Upon his return he found 
himself almost a beggar, and surrounded by an openly 
hostile people. Most men would have been crushed by 
such a blow, but with DR. LIVINGSTONE it served only as 


an incentive to still greater effort. Gazing upon the 
smouldering embers of his house, and then upon his 
defenceless wife and children, he made his resolve and 
at once set about its execution. He hastened to Cape 
Town with his family, his noble soul animated by a 
purpose that thrills us with admiration as we recall it. 
He saw the immense difficulties before him, and realized 
that he must henceforth be shackled with no domestic 
burdens, and nerved himself to tear from his heart the 
tenderest chords of his nature. He secured a passage 
for his family to England, and with emotions we cannot 
know, bade them God-speed, and smothered his feelings 
in deep and dilligent study of the sciences under the 
Royal Astronomer. Back to Kuruman, back to Kolo- 
beng he went, turning his back upon all he loved, and. 
went to his scientific work on the arid sands of the 
Kalahari Desert in 1849, and was soon rewarded in the 
discovery of Lake Ngami. From there he crossed the 
Tioghe River, and on to Scheletu's Town, where he won 
the chief to his support. He next discovered Lake 
Kalai, and then pushed on to Sesheke in 1851, where 
he won the confidence of another chief. From Sesheke 
he started for the West coast, passing up the Leeba 
River, stopping at Barotze and Shinte, beyond which 
he discovered Lake Dilolo. Leaving Lake Dilolo, the 
bold-hearted wanderer encountered the most trying 
journey he ever made. It was on that journey he 
waded miles through the swamp, in the water up to his 
neck, seeking for a ford. At last he succeeded, and 
forced his way on to Njambi, and Cassange, thence 
down the Coanza River, reaching St. Paul de Loando in 


1854. After a rest of a few weeks to recover his wasted 
strength and health, he turned back with the sublime 
purpose of crossing the continent to the East coast. On 
his way to Sesheke he visited Cabango in 1855. Leaving 
Sesheke he discovered Garden Island, one of the most 
charming spots in the world, for whose marvelous beauty 
he called it the Garden. He next discovered a won- 
derful waterfall, twice the height of Niagara, to which 
he gave the name of Victoria. Forcing his way through 
appalling obstacles, he reached the Zambezi River, and 
then down that to Zumbo, then on to Tette and Sena, 
finally reaching Quilimane in 1856. From there he 
sailed for England after an absence of over sixteen years, 
having traveled in the unbroken wilds of the unknown 
land, over 9000 miles. 

In 1858 he returned to the East coast to enter upon 
his second journey. Passing up the Kongone River, 
the South mouth of the Zambeze, to Sena, he completed 
his equipment and left for Tette, which he reached in 
September. From there he crossed to Chibisa, and 
making that his base, made several journeys, the first 
resulting in the discovery of Lake Shirwa, the second 
to Lake Nyassa and along its Western shore, then back 
to Tette. In May, 1860, he started from Tette for his 
second visit to the Makololo country. He reached the 
Chicova Plains June 1st, where he encountered great 
difficulties. He reached Zumbo on the Loangwa River 
June 26th, and Victoria Falls August 9th. After making 
further explorations in that neighborhood, he passed on 
to Sesheke to visit his old friend Sekeletu. Returning 
and taking a new route from Victoria Falls, he reached 


Sinemane October 5th, and Zumbo November 1st, and 
Tette on the 23d. He journeyed slowly down to the 
Kongone River, reaching his starting place January 4th, 
1861. After a short rest, he made a second journey up 
to Lake Nyassa. Upon his return to Shupanga, he was 
doomed to a sad experience in the death of his devoted 
and beloved wife. The terrible exposures to which she 
had been subjected had sapped her life, and on the even- 
ing of a soft and lovely Sunday, April 27th, 1862, she 
left him in the midst of his vast explorations, and passed 
to her rest. However sad his heart may have been, he 
silently turned his face inland once more and buried his 
grief in the deep shades of the unbroken forests, and 
made several journeys. Having conceived the idea that 
Lake Nyassa might be reached by way of the Rovuma 
River, he sailed for that river August 6th, 1862, reaching 
it the first of September. He at once began its ascent, 
and progressed until the 25th, when he reached cataracts 
at Nyamatolo which impeded his further progress, and 
he returned. Soon after he received orders to return to 
England, and sailed May 19th, 1863, having traveled 
several thousand miles in addition to his former journeys. 
In 1866, he reached Zanzibar for his third journey. 
On the 28th of March he left Zanzibar for Mikindany 
Bay, and began the second ascent of Rovuma River. 
Reaching Nyamatolo, he left his boats and went over- 
land, passing South of Lake Nyassa, and taking an inland 
route among the mountains, passed Northward through 
the Lobisa Country, the home of the Babisa, tribes, who 
were largely engaged in the slave trade. Crossing the 
valley of the Lowangwa, he passed along the Northern 


shore of Lake Liembi, which he thus discovered to be 
separate from Lake Tanganyika. Thence Southward 
again into the Lobisa Country, he changed his course to 
the North-west to Lake Moero, then Southward to Lake 
Bangweolo or Bemba, which he reached in 1868. Ex- 
ploring that Lake and vicinity quite extensively, he 
went back to Lake Moero, passing along the East coast, 
then back to Cazembes, and from there went to Lake 
Tanganyika and explored its Western course up to 
Uguhha. He crossed to Ujiji in May, 1869, and rested 
for a short time. He crossed again to Uguhha, and 
started on a far Western tour, reaching Bambarre in 
July. Making that a base, he explored Lake Kamalondo 
to the South, and then the unbroken regions to the 
North, where he discovered many large rivers. In 
August, 1870, he left Bambarre for the farther West, 
visiting Bakoos and Bagenya on the Lualaba River, and 
discovered a large lake to which he gave the name of 
Lincoln, in honor of our most illustrious and honored 
citizen and Ex-Prjesident. 

From Bagenya, in 1871, he made his way into the 
wild regions to the East, where he found a primeval 
forest with large villages about ten miles apart. He 
returned to Bambarre and began his journey back to 
Ujiji, where he arrived in October, 1871, thoroughly 
exhausted and out of funds. Disappointed and sad, he 
set himself to writing up his journal and otherwise 
busying himself to keep away despair. And while thus 
engaged, and waiting for he knew not what to his 
astonishment and amazement, the intrepid STANLEY, the 
well supplied messenger from the New York Herald, 


presented himself before the well-worn traveler with all 
his heart most desired. MR. STANLEY has given the 
world the account of the travels of the two together, 
and of that I need not speak. 

parted early in 1872, while SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 
was fighting the BARI in the great basin of the Nile, and 
ALVAN S. SOUTHWORTH, another representative of the 
New York Herald, and now the active and enterprising 
Secretary of this honorable Society, was pushing his way 
at the head of an expedition up that mysterious river 
five hundred miles above Khartoum, the junction 
of the Blue and White Niles. Soon after STANLEY 
left him, Dr. LIVINGSTONE started on his last journey. 
Well worn and exhausted, the bold old pioneer started 
once more alone, with his black comrades, for the wild 
interior. His plan was to pass to the south of Lake 
Tanganyika, to the south shore of Lake Bemba, then 
northward to the west of the Conda Irugo mountains to 
Lake Kamolondo, and from there to Lake Lincoln, and 
thence to the large lake at the north, which has never 
been visited. 

He had passed to the south shore of Lake Bemba, when 
he found that his strength was failing, and that he could 
not proceed. The unequaled trials, privations and ex- 
posures through which he had passed during thirty 
years of toil, such as no other man ever experienced, 
together with the malaria of the jungle, had thoroughly 
sapped his constitution, and with a sad heart sad- 
der than we know he realized it. No one will ever 
dare to picture the disappointment he must have expe- 


rienced as he gave up the last hope of his life. Weak 
and helpless he crossed the lake to the north shore and 
started for Unyanyembe, longing for home. But the 
attempt was in vain. He had delayed too long. He 
could continue his journey but a few days on his mules, 
and then abandoned them for a litter which his faithful 
attendants bore through the tangled forests for three 
days, when he was compelled to halt. Then it was that 
the longing of his weary soul for his home, and loved 
ones found utterance. He longed for the comforts of 
civilization. For thirty long, tedious years and what 
years to him ! the damp and poisonous soil of Africa 
had been his couch and the starry vault of heaven his 
canopy, and he had always been satisfied ; but now when 
the long march was drawing to a close he yearned for 
other shelter, and in his agony he cried : u Build me a 
hut to die in." The hut was built, rough and simple, 
and they laid his sinking form therein. 

From the deep, dark, cold valley, into which he was 
slowly but surely slipping, came a chilling wave that 
swept over his broken frame, and pressed out the bitter 
cry: "I am very cold; put more grass upon the hut." 
But neither more grass upon the hut, nor the kind 
attentions of his one devoted and faithful attendant 
could warm his blood. And there, alone, deep in the 
thick forest shades of the land where he had fought so 
long and nobly, a few miles from the beautiful shores of 
Lake Bemba, his long march was ended. There he 
pitched the tent ; there he stacked his arms, and went 
to his rest: 

" Sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, * * 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 



The REV. DR. ADAMS said: 

MR. PRESIDENT : The occasion on which we are con- 
vened is certainly unique and extraordinary. We are met 
to do honor, not to one of our own fellow citizens for dis- 
tinguished, patriotic services to bis native land, but to one 
who was personally a stranger to nearly all who are here 
present, yet nevertheless was known and honored through- 
out the civilized world. Last Saturday his body was in- 
terred in Westminster Abbey. The procession which 
followed his remains, we are told, filed its way through 
crowds of sorrowful men. Men of the highest rank in 
Church and State took part in the funeral pageant. 
The Queen and royal family were represented amid this 
token of general sorrow. And who was the man thus 
honored by those high tokens of respect and assigned a 
resting place in that spot which England has reserved 
for her mighty dead ? He was not one of her own 
statesmen who had charmed the British Senate by his 
eloquence and was brought to sleep by the side of 
CHATHAM, Fox and CANNING. He was not one of her 
great and brave admirals or generals brought to sleep 
by the side of WOLFE and NELSON. He was not one of 
her poets, philosophers or historians, like GIBBON, NEW- 
TON or MACAULAY, whose works will ever be regarded 
as the grand jewels of English literature. No ; he was 
a man of very humble origin and of most singular 


modesty a man who, when he first gained notice, was 
an unpretending Christian missionary going among 
the pagans of Africa. As the opportunities opened the 
sphere of his work enlarged, and he became one of the 
most successful explorers of that mysterious continent, 
which, since the days of HERODOTUS, has been a prob- 
lem to the rest of the world. Having endured great 
pain and following out the path he had chosen, with 
great industry, he has become a contributor to the sum of 
human knowledge in the cause of science, civilization 
and Christianity. It is a good thing for us to honor 
the memory of such a man. Dr. LIVINGSTONE was truly 
a great man. What was his greatness ? That is the 
question ; and it receives an answer from the author of 
our religion. It is well when there is such a struggle 
for political place and power, when there is so much done 
to stimulate ambition, that the question which arose was 
settled. Upon a certain day our Lord and His twelve 
disciples were walking along the road, and He over- 
heard them engaged in a very animated conversation. 
He did not interrupt them at the time, but when 
evening came He recalled the matter, and gave to 
them, and through them to us, a lesson of immortal 
wisdom, which, whenever and by whomsoever it has 
been reduced to practice, has never failed to win the 
approbation of all right-minded men. It seems that 
that group of disciples, supposing that their Lord was 
to found a political dynasty, were in dispute among 
themselves which of them should be the greatest and 
who should hold the highest office in that new political 
empire. They seem to have been the prototypes of 


modern politicians. We do not know the particulars, 
but MATTHEW was a tax-gatherer and familiar with as- 
sessments, and we may suppose that he made claim for 
the administration of the Custom-house. PETER, bold, 
impetuous, noble-hearted, was not going to occupy any 
inferior place ; and there was one man in the crowd 
who undoubtedly looked pretty sharp at the Treasury. 
" Whoever among you will be greatest, let him be your 
minister," he said. A new law was propounded that 
moment that never was dreamed of by Greek or Roman. 
It is well for us assembled in this western horizon to 
meet together and do honor to the memory of a man 
whose life and achievements were among the exam- 
ples of this great law. The object of Dr. LIVING- 
STONE was not to win the things associated with 
greatness ribbons, stars and titles. He subjected him- 
self to trouble and labor in seeking the good of his 
fellow man, and when he entered upon this labor he 
chose the least attractive part of the world. He went 
among barbarians, 40,000,000 of whom had been ex- 
ported and sold into slavery. This was self-sacrifice. 
What an endurance of pain and hardship he underwent 
in this work we can hardly conceive ; but he devoted 
himself to it for the purpose of giving those barbarians 
the light of the Gospel arid lifting them into the dignity 
of Christian civilization. It was, indeed, meet and 
proper that queens, princes, lords and bishops should 
vie in doing honor to such a great man. It is well for 
ourselves to meet together to lift up this one idea, that 
there is a greatness which is not to be measured by an 
earthly standard that there is some greatness other 

than devoting ourselves to making large fortunes ; that 
there is some greatness other than being elected to the 
Board of Aldermen or even to the position of Senator 
of such a State as Massachusetts; that there is some- 
thing greater than to be lifted to a place where one can 
inflate the currency as EOLUS filled his bags with 
wind. Dr. LIVINGSTONE worked at his plan, not 
with spasmodic effort, but with untiring, unremitting 
toil, severing himself from his family and from the civil- 
ized world. He plunged into pestiferous jungles, waded 
through swamps, climbed over mountains, passed 
through regions filled with malaria, and explored dis- 
tricts where he suffered from tropical heat. Fever 
wasted his body to a skeleton, but he never thought of 
going back. He was determined to accomplish all that 
he could all that was within the reach of human indus- 
try. This was heroism of the greatest kind, different 
from that of the man sitting on his charger in the heat 
of battle when his blood was up, with the blast of war 
and the shock of an army around him, knowing that the 
eyes of his country are upon him and feeling that he 
may win all the honors that ambition ever pictured, 
just as Sir GARNET WOLSELEY, who has returned from a 
different embassy in another part of Africa, and has 
been granted titles and all manner of honors. LIVING 
STONE was alone in what he did. He acted in cool 
blood. He had set his mind on a determined purpose 
and he was not diverted from it. He felt he must die 
among savages. He determined to-do all in self-sacri- 
fice for the advantage of the world, I am inclined to 
suggest a thought in this connection, that there must be 


always a union between true science and Christianity, 
which must always walk together in the world. Many 
Americans have done much for the country and the pro- 
motion of its fame by devoting their time to the work 
of exploration and the cause of religion. They have 
shown, in an admirable manner, that there is one re- 
ligion which can be shared in by all mankind. We do 
well to pay our respects to the memory of DAVID 
LIVINGSTONE. It was meet that one of our own coun- 
trymen rescued him when he seemed to be utterly lost 
in the wilderness of Africa it is meet that we should 
pay respect to his memory. His work is done. He 
sleeps in Westminster Abbey. ( He was a true son of 
science a hero of civilization a great missionary of 
the cross. He is gone, but his works follow him.] In / 
that day that prophecy has promised, when Ethropia 
shall stretch out her hands when she shall be redressed 
of the wrongs that prevail in her mysterious regions 
the name of Dr. LIVINGSTONE will shine as bright as the 
stars in the firmament, for ever and ever. 


REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER was loudly cheered by the 
spectators, on making his appearance on the platform. 
CHIEF- JUSTICE DALY said: The audience has introduced 
Mr. BEECHER, so it is, therefore, unnecessary for me to 
do so. 

MR. BEECHER said: 

Mr. PRESIDENT : I observe that there is a generous pro- 
vision for you to night, and that a number of speakers are 
to follow me, and I shall, therefore, be brief in my remarks. 
It is a good sign of the progress of civilization not in 
extent, but in quality that communities are learning 
gratitude ; and they are not learning with the men that 
are dead alone, but are taking living men and giving to 
them the joys of appreciation. For, one of the signs of 
a superior nature is an exquisite susceptibility to kind- 
nesses, to services rendered. It is a good thing for a 
community to call up all its humblest servants and those 
who serve it physically ; those who by invention abbre- 
viate the purposes of industry, making the condition of 
the great common people easier, and who, by condensing 
labor and cheapening it, give time to men for something 
other than physical drudgery. We would not stint the 
praise that goes to them that make life softer, and that, 
in the midst of society, increase the comfort of the non- 
heroic multitude. But there are those who give no 


immediate return, whose lives are fruitful. Such are 
eminently explorers and discoverers. I am met, when 
I speak of those who have so ceaselessly besieged, and 
yet never taken, the fortress of the Northern Pole, with 
the question, " What use is it? Suppose that the Polar 
regions were ransacked and that men shoukl shoot to 
and fro over the imaginary Pole, what then ?" What 
then ! Nothing, if all men's thought of value is some- 
thing to buy or sell. Nothing, if you must have a 
physical equivalent and something tangible and visible. 
Much, if it be a value to add manhood to other man- 
hoods; for he who takes his life in his hand and fights 
against nature, putting skill against force and the irre- 
sistibleness of human will against the irresistibleness of 
nature in her frigid zone, adds little to territory but 
much to manhood, and raises the whole thought which 
we entertain of heroism ; and by fortitude, by patience, 
by endurance, by sturdy courage and by at least a few 
discoveries, brings back to us a treasure which makes 
the whole generation richer. For that which lifts the 
thought of man as with the power divine, that which 
enlarges the sense of being, is itself a gift, compared 
with which silver and gold are as dross. When men, 
therefore, have perilled their lives and laid them down 
in the service of science, they may not have added 
many facts, they may not have discovered and added 
many truths; but they have left a record which will 
make society so much richer that it is worth all that 
they have suffered. And no men are doing more for us 
than those men who, in the study, or in the observatory, 
or in remote parts of the earth, are bringing general 

knowledge to the service of mankind by ways which 
make mankind richer by the examples and the suffer- 
ing and the heroism of those that achieve these things. 
We come to-night, Fellows of the Geographical Society, 
to pay our respect no, to lay the offering of our thanks 
before the name of one simple as a child and great as 
any man in our time has been DAVID LIVINGSTONE an 
honorary member, I believe, sir, of this Geographical So- 
ciety, to which society, if not the very first, at least, per- 
haps the second, communication of his missionary explora- 
tions was made one which, to the very last, we had 
occasion to remember with gratitude and with honor. 
It is fitting, therefore, that this society should make 
mention of his name and appoint an evening for the 
celebration in which we are now actors. That great 
wonder that continent of Africa ! If I had selected a 
place in which to play the hero, that would have been 
the last one suggested to my choice. Until very recently 
its swarming population was not in good odor with 
us. There have been a thousand reasons why we 
praised the European and the Caucasian and were 
tolerant even of the Tartar and the Mongol ; but the 
African has been beneath contempt, or, if at all tolerated, 
it was only as we found him in the far antiquity, the 
mythical African of a remote and improbable civiliza- 
tion. That great continent, which has been known for 
thousands of years and is almost absolutely unknown, 
the wonder of history and a phenomenon of geography, 
near to civilization and on its own borders carrying the 
earliest, surrounded again and again, encircled by fleets 
and yet unpierced, defended by a thousand obstacles to 


discovery, it remains to-day the enigma of geography. 
To have gone forth to explore that continent, had one 
attempted it as a purpose and an ambition, would have 
been remarkable. But DAVID LIVINGSTONE went on no 
such errand. He went as a simple missionary, who .was 
as far from expecting the results which have transpired 
in his life as any person could have been. Going to 
South Africa he went to preach the gospel to the be- 
nighted. He gave himself to this service by almost 
identifying himself with the population. He left civili- 
zation behind him and adopted the manners of the 
natives ; he almost lived as the savages live. He learned 
thus their language, he entered into their sympathies 
and their feelings, he became as one of them. And if 
at that stage of his life one had looked upon it he would 
have asked, "What is all this for? How can a man of 
any sympathy bury himself up in this darkness, and live 
among brutal savages, and experience pleasure or joy ?" 
But he was proving, unknown to himself, the declaration 
that u he that abaseth himself shall be exalted." For it 
was in this school that he was gaining the power to 
achieve the things that afterwards made his name illus- 
trious. He had learned the people and their manners. 
He had learned the language by which his labor was 
facilitated. Then, when disaster came upon him and all 
his missionary hopes of exploration, to open that conti- 
nent to Christianity, to commerce, to civilization, were 
apparently overthrown when he began this second stage 
of his work, at every step of it he reaped the benefit 
which accrued from his (as we might say) humble 
services at a primary school of missionary labor. The 


records of his journey are written, as I think, with exqui- 
site simplicity and truthfulness. I know of no book 
more fascinating, not even, perhaps, " Robinson Crusoe," 
for DEFOE'S style was hardly more simple than was LIV- 
INGSTONE'S. I know it, because for years it has lain in 
my dining-room, and instead of dessert I have taken 
"LIVINGSTONE," reading while others ate, until it has 
become almost as familiar to me as to my boyhood was 
" Robinson Crusoe."' I know of no book that so enables 
one to look into the interior of a man a man with 
vanity, but without improper pride, a man showing 
manhood at every step, and often under circumstances 
the most difficult just such a man in the wilds of 
Africa, self-respecting, energetic, patient, persevering, 
manly in every way, as if he were walking before an 
audience at London or were in the midst of the plaudits 
of New- York. He showed himself more than a man- 
he was a diplomatist. It may be difficult to be a diplo- 
matist among civilized nations when Greek meets Greek, 
where fierce and artful expedients are pitted against 
each other; but to be a diplomatist in the woods or 
among savages is a great thing. To be a diplomatist 
with an army or a nation at your back is one thing ; to 
be alone with a few Makolulu servants about you, with 
no recognized civil Powers near you but the kings and 
princes all through Southern Africa, is another thing. 
In all this he was a master man. Almost alone 
he traversed thousands of miles, first to the West- 
ern Coast, then back to the Eastern Coast, and then 
afterwards that network of travel in the center of Africa, 
at every step relying on his own ingenuity, honesty and 


knowledge of the natives. He persevered where hun- 
dreds of men would have perished by their own want of 
experience or wisdom. Unscathed from out of a thou- 
sand dangers, he persevered until, not by the hand of 
man, but by the insidious encroachments of disease, he 
was laid away forever. This is a man who, if he had 
discovered no lake, if he had measured no mountain or 
revealed no valleys, would have added to the number 
of those by whom our children, looking back upon, will 
feel themselves ennobled, and aspiration will follow the 
reading of the life of LIVINGSTONE as long as a generous 
sentiment remains in the young heart. But in this 
great exploration the man was not seeking merely 
curious things ; he was not prompted by that curious 
vagabondism which inspires many Englishmen to climb 
the Alps or to hunt throughout Southern Africa. His 
eye was perpetually upon the features of nature, loving 
science and adding to her treasure. He surveyed the 
fields and opportunities, and he descried afar the civili- 
zation that was one day to take possession of Southern 
and Central Africa. All the way through he thought 
how to extinguish the abominations, cruelties and inhu- 
manities of the slave trane; everywhere, and higher 
than all these, how the name of his Master should be 
made honorable in the lives and conversion of these 
swarming myriads of Central Africa. Never were nobler 
motives grouped together. Never was a man for so 
many years so successful in conducting an enterprise 
with so few resources, under the inspiration of motives 
so high. When at last he fell he had done a good work, 
and yet, like MOSES, he only saw the promised land, but 


was not suffered to enter it. His geographical pride 
was to discover the sources of the Nile. He died without 
knowing that he had discovered them. 

Fellow citizens, two great expeditions, almost at the 
same time, left the Western and Eastern coasts of Africa, 
wending their way towards Great Britain. On the west 
a British General, who deserves well of his country, 
who had conducted her flag honorably, had sub- 
dued rebellion and maintained the dignity as well 
as the rights of the country; on the east they bore 
the body of the dead explorer the one and the 
other towards the fatherland. As the living hero came, 
all England rose rejoicingly ; the bells rang, the trumpets 
sounded, the streets were thronged and all the people 
acclaimed u Bravo !" and he had deserved it. But a little 
space and the bells were tolled, and again the trumpets 
resounded and the streets were filled and the whole 
people were hushed ; for they followed a bier. It was 
no general, but it was a simple man, who had gone out 
a missionary and had come back a hero. They bore him 
into Westminster Abbey. He lies among the honored 
dead of that national mausoleum, and no nobler form 
ever passed through its portal. Of the two the living 
hero, justly honored and endeared to his country, and 
the explorer who carried at once in his heart the love 
of GOD and the love of man the dead hero lying in 
Westminster Abbey I had rather be than the living 
general. England took with honor the living and the 
dead, and was herself honored in receiving them both, 
but more honored in the reception of the dead than the 
living of this great man, who has been among the 


chiefest of explorers, the noblest of men, the truest of 
Christians among those heroes that have exalted hu- 
manity and made it easier in all time for men to do 
great deeds patiently, humbly and well. 

2 5 


CIETY, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I am here to-night to 
speak of Dr. LIVINGSTONE as a traveler. Mr. BEECHER 
has already pictured to you many of his great achieve- 
ments in that direction, and they have been made the 
more clear to you through the careful geographical de- 
scriptions of Major DANE, while Dr. ADAMS, with his 
usual eloquence, has portrayed the missionary life of 
that extraordinary man whose body was, on Saturday 
last, laid away with the mighty dead in Westminster 
Abbey that mausoleum of the great. 

If I do not feel that I have the power fully to analyze 
the character of Dr. LIVINGSTONE as a traveler, there is 
perhaps one point upon which I may freely dwell with 
justice to the living and the dead. It is the spirit by 
which that great traveler was animated, and with which 
no man of any time was so completely filled since MARCO 
POLO first taught the world what a traveler might be. 
It is the Spirit of Discovery which guided his whole 

I have often asked myself, a Why is it that Dr. LIVING- 
STONE appeals so strongly to our sympathies ? Why is 
it that to-day the thought of the world centres about the 
name of that great man? Why is it that the Royal 
Geographical Society of London and the American 
Geographical Society of New- York should vie with each 
other in paying homage to his memory ? Why is it that 


the great throbbing heart of the whole world has so 
promptly and so earnestly responded to the energetic 
efforts of the New- York Herald to reclaim the lost wan- 
derer and bring him back again to civilization ?" and the 
answer comes : It is because we find in him strongly ex- 
pressed a law of our being which, more or less, governs us 
all. It is that we all seek after hidden things in nature- 
seek to discover something that is new, to experience a 
new emotion in a new triumph, to do something that may 
enlarge our mental and material vision : it may be, 
something that u the world will not willingly let die." 
For are we not all natural born travelers ? True, we 
are governed by different desires. One travels to gratify 
a roving curiosity and satisfy undefined fancies ; one de- 
sires to wander by the sea and listen to what the wild 
waves are ever saying; another to climb some dangerous 
mountain height ; another to ramble through the great 
cities of a foreign land; another to roam among the 
ruins of the past. But LIVINGSTONE'S was a higher, a 
nobler ambition than any of these ; for his ambition was 
to tread the wilds of unknown lands, and bring to light 
that which had been so long hidden from all the world. 
While we readily discover in the ordinary traveler a 
vein of selfish gratification a desire simply to please 
him or herself we find in the traveler LIVINGSTONE 
that which arouses our highest admiration, the noblest 
spirit that ever animated man the spirit of self-sacrifice 
for the benefit of his fellows. That there was a degree 
of pride in all he attempted to do we must admit, 
but it was a pride which claims our sympathy 
and respect. It was the same pride which caused 


COLUMBUS to face the dangers of the great unknown sea ; 
it was the same pride that thrilled MAGELLAN, when in 
the midst of mutiny, as he emerged from the straits 
which bear his illustrious name into the broad, sweeping 
waters of the Pacific, he answered the demand to turn 
back, in dread of prospective starvation, u We will on, 
on to the West; we may eat the skins from our yards, 
but we will not turn back." It was the same pride that 
led the immortal FRANKLIN to crowd his way among the 
crushing icebergs of the North to find the pathway to 
the Pole. 

DAVID LIVINGSTONE was a great traveler; and, my 
friends, that means much. A man may travel all the 
world over ; he may visit every land, he may rest in 
every clime, he may speak every tongue ; he may have 
been entertained by the great of every people, and yet 
not be a great traveler. When ST. PAUL, near the close 
of his unequalled career, after having addressed himself 
to vast throngs of almost every people of his time, 
uttered these words, " I have been made all things unto 
all men," he defined truly the character of the great 

The great traveler is one who leaves no enemies in 
his rear, for he assimilates himself to. the people about 
him. Staff in hand he pushes out into untrodden path- 
ways, fearless and free, recognizing all men as his 
common brethren. Such a man was MARCO POLO, and 
such a man was DAVID LIVINGSTONE. 

For the space of a generation MARCO POLO traversed 
the hitherto unknown regions of Central Asia, passing 
without fear among the Tartar tribes, wherever he went 


making friends, and finding every where unknown tribes 
eagerly awaiting his approach, until at length he reached 
the mighty monarch of the East the great Khublai 
Khan, who, while ruling over countless millions of peo- 
ple, made the traveler his trusted counselor. And now 
in later times we find .another such traveler for the 
space of a generation wandering through Central Africa. 
It is LIVINGSTONE, who, like MARCO POLO, traversed 
hitherto unknown regions, passing from country to 
country and from tribe to tribe, oftentimes in the midst 
of wars and bloodshed, and was, like MARCO POLO, not 
molested in his course by hostile demonstrations ; for he 
was the instinctively recognized friend of all, the faith- 
ful and unquestioned ally of mankind everywhere, and 
with his patent of nobility stamped upon his forehead 
we see him moving freely on his course toward the 
achievement of his great mission. He made himself 
all things unto all men. Adapting himself to their situ- 
ation, always appreciating their condition, abusing none 
of their prejudices, never with violence attacking their 
superstitions, never seeking to instruct them beyond 
their capacity to learn, kind and gentle always, cheerful 
always, loving always, he endeared himself to every 
one he met. 

MARCO POLO and DAVID LIVINGSTONE stand out as the 
typical travelers of different epochs. The one traversed 
the lands of the Orient, grew rich and told the story of 
a life which set the world ablaze with enterprise, and 
brought about the discovery of America. The other 
traversed lands that were poor in what we call wealth, 
but he inaugurated a series of discoveries which led to 


the sources of the Nile, and caused the mystery to clear 
away from the most interesting geographical problem of 
our time. 

The whole secret of success with the traveler rests in 
the heart and not in the pocket. It is the manhood of 
the traveler that achieves success. Above all things, 
the traveler must be sincere. 

In illustration of the self confidence, of sincerity, of 
motive and singleness of purpose in the accomplishment 
of an aim among uncivilized peoples, let me recall to 
you the story of CAPTAIN LYON, who, when about to 
start for Africa, had a protracted consultation with the 
official committee. Leaving them at length to discuss 
in private the outfit with which he was to be supplied, 
CAPTAIN LYON strolled down the street. Returning in 
half an hour, he found them still in consultation. The 
chairman said, " Captain, we have been discussing your 
outfit, but have not yet quite arrived at a conclusion as 
to what it should be; we would be glad to have some 
suggestions." The Captain promptly replied, U 0! don't 
trouble yourselves gentlemen, my outfit is already pur- 
chased." u Indeed!" exclaimed they all in concert. 
u Yes; I bought it while I was out, and here it is," 
whereupon he produced a tin cup. Much wondering, 
they asked what he meant, "Why," said he, U I can 
drink from that, I can cook my meals in that, if neces- 
sary, and as for the rest, I trust to the people. I would 
advise every traveler to buy a silver cup if he can afford 
it, as it will last longer, but I can only afford a tin one." 

Buy a tin cup and trust to the people! Trust to the 
people! The man who did this heartily was never yet 


disappointed. The man who never lied to the people 
by word or manner was never harmed, but has passed 
safely through their lands, were they even the veriest 

A great truth underlies this story. It is this success 
cannot be achieved without the friendship of the people, 
and that once gained is far more than treasures of gold, 
and silver, and precious stones. But in all this, there 
must be natural, unfeigned sincerity. One may be a 
hypocrite in civilized life and succeed in his desires by 
so doing, but he cannot palm off such broken wares 
upon the savage 

DAVID LIVINGSTONE possessed all these qualities of the 
great traveler; and besides a cool courage, he had calm 
judgment and great discretion, but, over and above all, 
he was the embodiment of truth itself. u To ride a 
horse, to bend the bow, to speak the truth," was to be 
a man in ancient Norseland. U A man, a word,' 7 it be- 
came, later and LIVINGSTONE was a true son of his 
ancestors. And he possessed the loftiest bravery. That 
man is not necessarily brave who cuts his way through 
great obstacles at the head of an army, and who takes 
the lives of those who oppose his onward march ; but he 
is truly brave who coolly and calmly encounters what- 
ever lies in his pathway, and by discreet calculation 
makes his way around opposing obstacles, and wins to 
his side all whom he meets, claiming their confidence 
and support, and causing them to become his assistants 
rather than his opponents, and when he has departed, 
leaves behind him a memory of love, and kindness, and 
simplicity, that will cause the barbarous companions of 


his toil to speak of him with tender veneration. This is 
the true hero, and such a hero was he whose memory 
we have gathered here to honor. 

DAVID LIVINGSTONE had a sincere desire to benefit 
mankind. It was not alone that he was kind to the 
ignorant savage who waited on him, and helped him 
forward on his journey; he desired to see the world 
improved by the extension of knowledge. u To diffuse 
knowledge among men," was the purpose of the liberal 
minded SMITHSON; but to create knowledge was the aim 
of LIVINGSTONE ; and in this he saw a halo of light to 
guide coming generations to a higher level of manhood 
and of brotherhood. This, as it seems to me, was the 
guiding star of his life, and his record shall, in conse- 
quence, live through all time. From where the Atlantic 
rolls its hoarse notes along the Western coast, to where 
the spice-laden breezes of the Indies chime their melo- 
dies in the East ; on the borders of the inland seas, along 
the banks of the sluggish streams, throughout the deep, 
dark shades of the almost impenetrable forests, Afric's 
dusky children shall tell from generation to generation, 
of the mighty deeds, the unwavering valor, the daunt- 
less courage, the mild and gentle manners of the great 
white man who passed for a quarter of a century up 
and down along their sunny fountains like an angel of 

I can comprehend and sympathise with the throbbings 
of that great man's soul, as isolated from home and kin- 
dred he wandered among the savage tribes, in the midst 
of trials and obstacles, in search of the great object of 
his restless ambition. I think I can understand his 


feelings as he forced his way through impediment after 
impediment, never* tiring, never fainting, never yielding 
whatever his privations, thinking not of the life he was 
exhausting, forgetting the sacrifices he was making in 
pursuit of his great aim, when from amidst the dark and 
gloomy shades of those unbroken wilds first flashed upon 
his bewildered gaze the waters of the inland sea, which 
he at first believed to be the fountain of the Nile, and I 
think I am not a stranger to the emotions he must have 
experienced, when, upon further exploration, his seem- 
ing success paled into disappointment ; for, when I recall 
that experience of his life, I remember my own emotions 
as I stood upon the shores of the open sea beneath the 
Pole, after three perilous attempts, and realized that my 
ship, which should have taken me to the goal within my 
reach, was frozen fast in the ice hundreds of miles behind 

I think I understand the purpose that animated him 
when he refused to accompany the intrepid STANLEY 
back to civilization, and decided once more, in his old 
age and wasted strength, alone to push out still further 
in search of the dream of his life; for after twenty years 
of struggle and disappointment I have not yet abandoned 
my fixed and steadfast purpose to reach the North Pole 
by way of Smith's Sound. 

I seem to see him as he wends his way, leading his 
savage followers, who cling to him with blind enthusi- 
asm, unable to comprehend why the white man should 
always choose danger and face death, rather than quiet 
and safety. Ah! that man was seeking truth, and he 
knew no other following. 


We know not yet the full measure of his achievements, 
We only know that, steadfast to duty, he had finished 
his work, and had finally turned his face homeward- 
when the grim messenger he had so often thwarted, met 
him on the way and struck the fatal blow, and he fell 
when he had won his victory, leaving behind him an 
example of fortitude and devotion that shall be an ex- 
ample to the latest generations. 

His work is done, and well he did it; and they have 
laid him away 

"In the great Minster's transept, where light like glories fall; 
And the sweet choir sings, and the organ rings 
Along the emblazoned wall." 

And here the curtain drops upon a life. It is not 
given to us to know more than that which we have 
seen, but what we have seen gives us hope and strength- 
ens our courage. We have watched this great man's 
career. We have seen him hand in hand with his two 
guiding spirits the spirit of discovery and the spirit of 
the Christian faith. Future generations only can tell 
the harvest to be gathered for civilization from the seed 
he has sown. He has indeed planted the germ that shall 
yet cause the wilderness to bud and blossom as the rose. 
He has erected for himself in man's affections a monu- 
ment that shall endure long after the grand old pile, 
^ which now enshrines his ashes, shall have crumbled away 
to dust and been forgotten. Empires may rise and fall ; 
nations may be blotted out, and known no more ; rulers, 
statesmen, warriors, lost in oblivion ; but the name of the 
great traveler whom we mourn to-day, shall never fade 
while the spirit of Chistianity and the love of truth 
animate the souls of mn. y 

-/ 34 


Mr. PRESIDENT : I do not flatter myself, that it is at 
all within the range of my poor ability to contribute to 
the interest of this occasion after the eloquent and ex- 
haustive deliverances of the distinguished men who have 
preceded me. Still I would essay the discharge of the 
pleasing duty you have imposed, and weaving into ex- 
pression certain sentiments of appreciation, lay them as 
a wreath of immortelles upon the tomb of LIVINGSTONE. 

The possibilities of human development have no finer 
illustration, than in the story of him whose merit and 
memory we are met to honor. A few days since, the 
noblest of the land gathered in London under the groinec 
arches of 

" that Temple where the dead 

Are honored by the nation," 

to pay the ultimate tributes of earth to all that was left 
of the great African Missionary and Explorer, committing 
in solemn services the body to the ground, and the soul 
to the God that gave it leaving the honored ashes in 
the mausoleum of England's mighty dead, dropping upon 
them the tears of affection, and offering over them a 
reverential Lam Deo that such a man had been given to 
the age and race, not only because of the good he had 
done, but for the illustration he gave of elevated manhood. 


It is less than sixty years ago that DAVID LIVINGSTONE 
was born. He was fortunate in the majestic elements of 
natural grandeur that environed the spot of his nativity. 
It was on the beautiful banks of the Clyde, and near 
where Ben Lomond lifts his u bald and towering crest,'' 
and almost in the shadow of Dumbarton's u castellated 
crag." His father was a poor shopman, of whom there 
is little to say, except the honorable tradition, that " he 
was too honest to get rich." The res august ve domi soon 
compelled young LIVINGSTONE to seek elsewhere for a 
livelihood, and for many years he threw the shuttle as a 
weaver's boy. But his mind meantime was busy, and 
his time was rigidly economised. There were invisible 
threads with which he was concurrently occupied, 
weaving in the warp and woof of character elements of 
beauty and utility, which, when afterward touched up by 
the hand of experience, presented to the world a finished 
specimen of human tapestry. 

When somewhat relieved from the pressure of toiling 
for his daily bread, LIVINGSTONE devoted himself to the 
study of Medicine, and afterward to careful preparation 
for the Christian ministry. He propose! going to China, 
but, upon the showing that his services could be more 
useful in South Africa, he promptly accepted this as the 
scene of his evangelizing labors. And, for one third of 
a century, he has made his home in that land over which 
the pall of barbarism has so mysteriously rested. His 
zeal, modesty, self-sacrifice, and single-hearted devotion 
to the great end contemplated first and last, are unpar- 
elleled in the history of missions and scientific exploration. 
He carried into his missionary effort, in well ordered 


methods, an intelligence and discriminating sympathy, 
which ensured a peculiar and unprecedented success, 
and which has won for his work a world- wide approba- 
tion. But appealing from the rigid conventions of mis- 
sionary administration, LIVINGSTONE proposed and pushed 
the grand idea that Christianity and Science, as the twin 
pioneers of the highest civilization, were necessary for 
the moral redemption of Africa. Under this inspiration 
he threaded the mazes of wilderness and desert, planting 
the foot of exploration along routes never before pursued, 
except by the savage sons of HAM ; telling of CHRIST to 
those who had never before heard the name; and offering 
devotions where the rocks had never echoed the sound 
and the air never been moved by the pulsations of prayer. 
The results of all this are in part matters of history and 
scientific record. But the consequences shall be ever- 
flowing, as a fountain once broken forth and affluently 
fed by hidden but exhaustless reservoirs. But, alas ! the 
hand that touched the rock and opened a way for the 
waters, is paralyzed in death. And the great man died 
with his harness on. He fell upon the field. But they 
have brought him home to sleep. They have laid him 
to rest amidst the best and the bravest. Around him are 
heroes, and statesmen, and poets. Men of art, men of 
letters, and men of sublime philanthropy. But amidst 
the rich memorials of sleeping greatness, there is no 

" Storied urn or animated bust," 

whose legends tell of a nobler life than that of DAVID 

The splendid pageant of his obsequies was a fitting 
close to the story of a career at once so modest and so 


majestic, begun in a little hamlet in the romantic High- 
lands of Scotland, pursued for the whole work- time of 
life in the wilds of Africa, and concluded amidst the 
architectural glories of the great cathedral where society 
and the state, by their representatives of highest worth 
and rank, thronged the historic aisles, and vied with each 
other to do reverence to the honored dead. Hither came 
LIVINGSTONE, ushered by no such Valhalla cry as that 
which is said to have burst from Britain's heroes, and 
spurred the hot desire for fame, when bracing to the 
shock of battle, u Victory, or Westminster Abbey;" but 
hither was he brought from a lonely exile, where in 
silence and solitude he wrought at his life-task, with 
the love of Man for his inspiration, and the love of GOD 
for his reward. 

But, turning from the spectacle of his august sepulture, 
and before the echoes of the great civic requiem have 
floated quite away, may we not profitably inquire into 
the springs of this eminent appreciation of LIVINGSTONE. 
Why is it that England honors, why do we and all the 
world honor him ? The secret of this man's greatness, I 
take to be, was, that he made the most of what was in him. 
He put himself to the best use, and he did his work well. 

The theory of LIVINGSTONE'S life has not been properly 
apprehended in certain quarters. He has been taken to 
task for giving up the simple career of the missionary 
to put on the mantle of the scientific traveler, and enter 
upon the secular engagements of exploration. But how 
partial and prejudiced the judgment of such superficial- 
ists ! How utterly inadequate the scope of such a vision 
to analyze the character or trace the circumference of 


the great sentiment that charged the man ! That senti- 
ment, and it was alike consistent in detail and duration, 
that sentiment was the desire to do the largest amount 
of good in his day to the human race. Actuated by this 
feeling he first accepted the commission of CHRIST, and 
labored zealously as a missionary. And let it be broadly 
published, and everywhere accepted for true, that he 
was not a whit the less a missionary when he became an 
explorer. On the contrary, this was only the widening 
of the field and the augmenting of his own effort, and 
the pioneering and preparing the way for others who 
should follow him. 

For ten or twelve years, LIVINGSTONE, though engaged 
in the ordinary duties of a missionary at Kuruman and 
Kolebeng was, one may say, in reality by this very ex- 
perience, qualifying himself for his subsequent and more 
important work. Early in this period, from 1840 to 1 844, 
he addressed himself not only to the study of the native 
dialects, but even more especially to the ways and wants 
of the people, their peculiar habits of thought, and 
domestic life. To this end he made his home with them, 
and became as one of themselves. Thus securing an 
introduction to and a thorough knowledge of the inner 
life of the natives, he ere long established a sympathetic 
relationship; and, in consequence, a certain magnetic 
mastery. Near the termination of this twelve-year term 
of comparatively stationary work, LIVINGSTONE made sev- 
eral exploring excursions, one extending as far as the Zam- 
bezi, and from the last of which he returned to find that 
Kolebeng had been overrun by the Dutch BOERS ; many of 
his people killed or carried into captivity ; the whole set- 


tlement devastated and left in utter desolation, and the 
mission and its property utterly ruined by pillage^ fire 
and sword. This was the turning-point of his whole 

career. Before him were the wrecks of more than ten 

years of earnest effort. And this because of the greed 
and brutality of men who were of the white race of the 
North, and who had lived under the influences of a 
Christian civilization. One such illustration was enough 
to satisfy this Missionary that the evangelization of Africa 
was not to be accomplished by a few single-handed 
missionary efforts at remote and isolated points; but 
rather that it was to be brought about by introducing 
Christianity at work ; that is, inviting the whole of the 
machinery of our civilization to the wilds of Africa. 
_nd so he resolved to give his life to prepare the way 
for it, by opening up the river highways, and disclosing 
\the inland seas, and investigating the fertility of soil, 
'and cataloguing the natural products of forest, field and 
line. And more than this, to plant the seeds of sym- 
kthy and friendly feeling in the hearts of the tribes he 
Should encounter in his way, preaching the truth of 
Christ not only in the revealed theories, but much more 
Jby the beauty of character and the eloquence of example. 
And so it was, that he returned to the Cape, sent his 
family to England, and, after a brief season of scientific 
study under the Royal Astronomer, set his face to the 
north, and began his wonderful journeys of discovery 
and scientific observation which pursued lines of adven- 
ture reaching out for eleven thousand miles, and which 
covered a period of more than twenty years. Let others, 
better qualified, rehearse the invaluable results to Geo- 


graphical Science, but from my point of observation, I 
am bold to say, that the moral consequences of LIVING- 
STONE'S African embassy are incalculably great. His 
whole career in that land is a gospel epic. Aside from 
his faithful and never suspended oral deliverances of re- 
vealed truth, he preached by life as no man had ever 
done by tongue. His every act was at once a sermon and 
a practical illustration. He has left records which will 
become enduring traditions with the tribes and the 
localities; and long after you and 1, Mr. President, 
shall have passed away, shall the redeemed generations 
rehearse with gratitude to GOD the memories of LIVING- 
STONE, the pioneer and prophet of Africa's civil and 
religious renovation ! 

To the working out of his great undertaking, LIVING- 
STONE invited neither personal co-operation in the field 
nor the backing of state patronage at home. He went 
forth single-handed and alone, like the shepherd boy of 
Israel, but strong in the consciousness of divine benedic- 
tion. He marshalled the forces of his remarkable personal 
character, and with these for the weapons of his warfare 
manfully breasted the perils and the difficulties that 
bristled all along his path. 

I regret that I have only space to speak a word 
of the moral forces which armed and mailed this 
man as he prosecuted his great adventures. It would 
be alike instructive and interesting to cite from the 
abundant illustrations which crowd the eventful record 
of his long and laborious journeyings. But without such 
corroboration, I am free to claim for LIVINGSTONE, first 
of all, and most conspicuously, great singleness of purpose. 


From the hamlet on the Clyde to the rude hut which 
canopied his Ethiopian death bed, the avowed and 
recorded aim and erjd of his life was never for a moment 
blurred or overwritten. Nothing ever diverted him from 
the line of his effort, and if he had no other element of 
distinction, this alone would have signalized his career. 

But to this oneness of idea and effort were appended, 
as agents of execution, a determination and fearlessness 
almost, if not quite, exceptional in the record of bold 
exploration. When we remember that he entered upon 
his expeditions into unknown regions without the possi- 
bility of help in case of disaster ; that he encountered 
the perils of wild beasts and the more fearful craft and 
cunning of the wild and savage aborigines ; that he was 
exposed to the poisonous malaria of swamp and jungle; 
that for months together he was dependent upon the 
precarious products of the forest and stream for the 
means of sustaining life, and, that under a tropical sun 
fatiguing marches and wasting fevers were to be accepted 
of necessity, as enfeebling frictions if not fatal foes ; of 
a surety, nothing less than a sublime heroism could have 
nerved a man lor such threatening and danger-fraught 
ventures. But with LIVINGSTONE one expedition followed 
another with determination undaunted, with a purpose 
and programme into which the element of fear never 

The modesty and, utter absence of self-assertion in 
LIVINGSTONE are entitled to honorable mention. I have 
never read of a man who seemed to claim so little for 
himself. , With him the individual was lost to view in the 
magnitude of the cause. Here we have the crucial test of 


true greatness. There is not a single incident in the 
career before us that conflicts with this. On the contrary, 
recall for illustration, the signal instance of LIVINGSTONE'S 
disappointment, for disappointment it must have been, 
in not being the first to publish the true explanation of 
the geological structure of Central South Africa. Many 
theories had been advanced, all of which LIVINGSTONE 
had by topographical observation found to be inaccurate. 
The true idea he was the first to derive from local investiga- 
tion, and when he came to report the important scientific 
fact that the region of his explorations was a great con- 
cave stratification, he then learned that SIR RODERICK 
MURCHTSON had already demonstrated before the Royal 
Geographical Society, years before, the same conclusion, 
as the result of his own investigations, deduced from 
data previously matters of scientific record. This, in- 
stead of exciting a feeling of antagonism, only served to 
draw these savans in geographical science sympathetically 
together, and paved the way to a friendship between 
them which LIVINGSTONE fondly cherished to the close of 
his life. 

I approach the conclusion of what I have to submit on 
this memorable occasion with a feeling somewhat akin 
to regret. For it is inspiriting, Mr. President, to our 
sentiment of manhood thus to contemplate the career of 
one who gave his life to redeem a continent from barba- 
rism, who has extended the area of Christian homes for 
the world's population, and who, augmenting the com- 
merce and wealth of the race, and contributing to the 
scientific knowledge of the structure and resources of the 
orb we inhabit, at the same time helps to prepare the way 


for the world-wide establishment of revealed truth and 
Christian civilization. 

May I crave permission at this point to recall your 
minds to a somewhat singular event in the annals of 
exploration which has an incidental bearing upon the 
general topic under remark ? Toward the close of the 
fifteenth century, synchronizing strangely enough with the 
date of the discovery of America, a fleet of Portuguese 
explorers landed a numerous and well armed body of 
men on the east coast of Africa, near to Zanzibar and prob- 
ably not far from the very point, Bagomoyo, where, 
four hundred years after, the embassy of the New-York 
Herald, under the leadership of STANLEY, started for the 
interior on the search for LIVINGSTONE. This Portuguese 
expedition was in quest of that mythical Prince, PRESTER 
JOHN. For two centuries romantic rumors of this half-his- 
toric, half-imaginary personage had floated through Chris- 
tendom. The original idea of his Nestorian priesthood 
and his Persian Principality having been proved to be 
without warrant, upon the foundation of a conjecture 
started, no one knew where or by whom, and having no 
authority or even recognized paternity at the moment, 
an expeditionary force was sent out by the adventurous 
King of Portugal, and the fleet finally came to anchor 
off the Zanzibar coast. Disembarking here, the little 
army, with the impedimenta necessary either for military 
operations or for ingratiating negotiations Avith a king 
and court, reputed to be unparalleled in magnificence 
and state, penetrated the interior for hundreds of miles. 
It is held by many whose opinions are entitled to respect 
that between the sixth and eighth parallels of latitude 


these strange adventurers pressed their way, enduring the 
while with a glad enthusiasm and heroic fortitude the 
terrific heats of a tropical sun, until, at last, when prob- 
ably finding their further progress barred by the lake, 
now named Tanganyika, they became disheartened or 
dismayed, and so returned upon their course and once 
more sought their ships. How remarkable the fact that 
the line of the march of these pilgrim Portuguese was 
so nearly identical with the path that STANLEY trod 
searching for LIVINGSTONE, and that the ultimate camp- 
ing ground of the Portuguese was probably that over 
which the exploring feet of LIVINGSTONE had wandered 
during the very latest journeys of his life. The Portu- 
guese had gone in martial array seeking one, who, they 
imagined, gave lustre and renown by his princely state 
to the religion of CHRIST. STANLEY went bearing a flag 
that symbolized the Christian civilization of a hemi- 
sphere of which these Portuguese had never heard, 
looking for a man who for some time past had been lost 
to view, but who meantime was pioneering paths of dis- 
covery to the heart of a continent, opening up highways 
for the winged feet of science and multiplying facilities for 
the propagation of that glorious religion which at once 
dignifies the Creator and ennobles the creature. The 
Portuguese went on an embassy from an earthly king, 
that they might establish ecclesiastical commerce with 
one who they supposed would aggrandize with pomp 
and circumstance the temporal estate of the Church of 
GOD. On the same strand of Tanganyika which they 
stamped with their footprints, four centuries later strode 
LIVINGSTONE, indenting the sands with knees as well as 


feet, holding before him the grander idea of emancipat- 
ing a race from idolatry and redeeming a continent 
from inutility, and so preparing new kingdoms and 
founding new churches for GOD and His Christ. 

As a matter of excusable national pride will you 
pardon a word more, Mr. President, touching the expe- 
dition which, was projected and prosecuted by the. New- 
York Herald, or (as we may say, without trespassing 
upon the impersonality of its proprietorship) by Mr. 
BENNETT, for the search and aid of LIVINGSTONE. The 
unprecedented enterprise of this great agent of current 
intelligence was crowned with a success which may 
properly be styled renown. I must believe" that the 
author and promoter, as well as his intrepid agent and 
executor, projected and u builded better than they 
knew." What was designed for business resulted in 
honor and fame for themselves and for their country. 
The Herald enterprise accomplished for LIVINGSTONE, as it 
eventuated, more than all that was attempted in this di- 
rection by the British Government. It carried necessary 
supplies to the Explorer in advance of the help ordered by 
England, and so keeping him in the field which he other- 
wise must needs have abandoned, secured to the interests 
of science and religion many months more of active ser- 
vice in exploration and missionary effort. It is not, there- 
fore, saying too much to claim that the expedition of 
the New-York Herald in the search and for the help of 
LIVINGSTONE has connected his name inseparably with 
America and given to our country a large share in the 
glory of his splendid achievements in Africa. 

4 6 

Mr. President, the greatness of the man whose name 
and fame we eelebrate and solemnize in the memorial 
services of this occasion, are not to be segregated for 
the embellishment of any one race or nation. LIVING- 
STONE belongs to the Christian world. Though born in 
Scotland, Scotland does not own him. Though prose- 
cuting his heroic labors under the "meteor flag" of 
England, he belongs not to Britain alone. Though he 
toiled beneath the torrid sun of Africa, Ethiopia cannot 
claim him as peculiarly her son. Though his later sym- 
pathies went heartily forth, gratefully recognizing this 
western land as the home of those who practically vin- 
dicated love and cordial fellowship in the hour of sorest 
need, yet America has no peculiar interest in the glory 
of LIVINGSTONE. Though he has been laid to rest in 
England's proudest minster, that minster does not hold 
him. His character is too great to be the property of any 
race, his work too vast for the ownership of any nation. 
His glory is the possession of the Christian world. His 
Evangely is the inheritance of the brotherhood of man. 
He was too large in purpose, too grand in work for any- 
thing less than Catholic human fraternity. Least of all 
and last of all, may it be said of LIVINGSTONE, as was 
charged upon Britain's greatest statesman 

" Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind, 
And to England gave up what was meant for mankind." 


v 7 / 




Born in Athens, Vermont, October 19, 1812. 
Died in Florence, Italy, January 23, 1873. 





Being Words Spoken at his Burial by Rev. Dr. Stebbins, 

a Sermon Preached on the following Sunday by Rev. 

L. Hamilton, a Sketch of his Life and Character, 

given before the Supreme Court of California, 

by Hon. John W. Dwinelle, 
And lines to his memory from the New York Evening Post. 



Late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of California, 
died in Florence, Italy, January 23d, 1873. The funeral took place 
at the First Congregational Church, Oakland, CaL, Sunday afternoon, 
March 24th, 1873. The rear dais and the organ loft were beautifully 
decked with wreaths and festoons of green leaves, immortelles, 
camelias and white roses. Wreaths were laid on the cover of the 
casket, and at the head was a large cross, composed of camelias 
and evergreens. The pall-bearers were S. W. Sanderson, John Cur- 
rey, A. L. Rhodes, Samuel Merritt, John W. Dwinelle, William T. 
Wallace, Joseph P. Hoge, J. D. Thornton, Edmond L. Goold, 
J. B. Crockett and Henry Durant. The services were conducted by 
Rev. L. Hamilton, of the Independent Presbyterian Church; Rev. H. 
J. McLean, of the First Congregational, assisting. 

The following remarks were made by the Rev. Dr. Siebbins: 

Events in the life of the individual man tend to conclusion while 
society moves on in perpetual process or endless chain. This 
journey over sea and land, taken up in fear and hope, attended by 
hovering anxieties of home and filial love, pursued and borne with 
womanly devotion wherever the Divine signals in cloud by day and 
fire by night directed the faithful footsteps, is ended. So the mari- 
ner, storm-tossed and weary, engulfed in many perils in many seas, 
emerges at length into calm and gentle days, happy winds woo his 
sails, he spies the eternal headlands that have quieted so many 
eyes, the good ship rides into port, "he casts the patient anchor, and 
furls the straightened sail in the haven of his heart." 

Whether we consider life as a journey upon the land, with many 
devious delayings and disappointing passages, or as a stormy voyage 
upon the sea, there be many that are glad when they anive at home. 
Religion surely makes no error when she adopts our deepest human 
satisfactions, carrying them forward to the future, making that a home. 
It was no error, but a firm insight and delicate imagination, that said, 
" I am a stranger on the earth." It is a truly human experience. To 


the man worn by toil, burdened with grief, chastened by disappoint- 
ment, to the man who has lived through this world, gained its mean- 
ing, got its leading idea and suggestion, this is not his abiding place. 
As early ideas of childhood no longer satisfy his mature intelligence, 
so a world whose import and significance he has caught and appro- 
priated to the uses of moral being, must give way to the nobler ideas 
of an ever advancing experience. Whether, then, by the weariness of 
the body, its melted energies, like the rod that is melted by electric 
fire, or by the aspiring mind and soul, we do outgrow the world and 
have done with it. We are weary, and long for rest; we are travellers 
and wish for home. Death is blessing, peace, hope, life. 

This was the experience of our friend and fellow-citizen, Judge 
Shafter. His physical frame had received an irreparable hurt and 
he could no longer grasp the isolated fact, and bind it in eternal fealty 
to its principle. The world was no longer useful. Affection might 
watch with tender fidelity, filial love and gratitude might still find com- 
fort in the happy labors of self-forgetfulness, but life was done, the 
world was done, and death was the faithful friend to rescue him from 
the thrall of dissolved powers. 

A grateful and appreciative estimate of him as a man, is not com- 
mensurate with his external history. An account of any man's circum- 
stances would not be an account of him; for circumstances, powerful 
as they are, are not the chief element in his being. We cannot divest 
ourselves of the feeling that the real quality of a man is will, idea, 
thought, conviction. A man's life and character are in his mind. 
And the nobler a man is, the less consequence it is where he lived or 
where died. A universality above all local origin or event pertains 
to the essential quality of human nature. 

God endowed Judge Shafter with a physical and intellectual con- 
stitution well fitted to strive with the powers of this world. Energy, 
endurance of labor, and a kind of mountainous good sense that sees 
men and things as they are and goes free of all affectation and cant, 
are the sure and trusty qualities of practical excellence and were emi- 
nent in him. He had a kind of human sagacity by which he knew 
man from any other animal. His judgment moved with ease and 
self-reliance amid a great variety of circumstances, from the measure 
of a tree in the forest, to the action of the hour in politics, or the prov- 
idence of God in human life. He was long-headed. He did not affect 


wisdom by much owlish silence, neither did he run to folly through 
talking over-much. He expressed his opinion with that easy firmness, 
without show of independence peculiar to feebler natures, but as one 
to the manor born and at home in the truth. 

But these practical abilities energy, good sense, round-aboutness, 
and integrity of nature were by no means the measure of his 
endowments. His intellectual perceptions were clear, and in his 
statement of principles he could have have had few superiors. He 
had that appreciation of the law of laws, the unity and generalization 
of truth, that gives moral dignity to the intellect and the perspective 
of moral grandeur to all principles, without which the mind itself 
becomes frivolous, a mere popinjay clatter of things unreal. When 
theories of deep human interest were touched, his mind kindled 
along its summits with fine enthusiasm of poetic feeling and insight. 
He did not belong to that class of minds always emphatic never 
forcible, neither to that other class, " small pot soon hot," whose 
enthusiasm is in the blood and not in the idea. His mind some- 
times lay calm, silent, sullen as the summer sea, and rolled with 
sleepy strength, and in all the manifestations of his intellectual 
activity, there was something of that repose which is the measure of 
reserved power and the background of all greatness. He was a pleas- 
ant companion and a good talker. I have seen him very happy in 
the society of children, and touched with true" feeling at little ex- 
pressions of loveliness in the young. 

I had the pleasure a few years ago to spend a day with him on the 
Point Reyes Rancho. I arrived on the ground in the morning, and 
found him sleeping beneath a little bower that he had made to protect 
him from the glare of day or the chill of night. I thought of Jonah 
who built a bower a little way out of the city of Nineveh, and lay there 
impatiently to see what would come to pass. But a better than Jonah 
was here. He awoke, gave me cordial greeting, generous as the 
morning. We shortly took to the saddles and spent the day in riding 
over the domain, wherever interest, curiosity or excitement led. He 
was full of vivacity, observation, reflection, feeling. The hills, the 
valleys, the running water, the shady glen, the wood-bird's note, all 
attracted his attention, awoke his sensibility. The men all liked him, 
from the Spanish vaquero, that lingering remnant of a former civiliza- 
tion, to the American boy, taking his first lessons in throwing the 
stealthy riata. All liked him, yet none were familiar or frivolous 


toward him. I got on that day the flavor of his mind and character. 
A man of great good sense, practical, yet with wide discourse of intel- 
ligence and reason; calm, unimpassioned, yet of fine sensibility and 
true poetic feeling, and his whole nature, by the eternal weight of 
moral gravity, swinging toward the truth. Thus I understood him. 

His religious faith was simple and human. He arrived at his 
conviction of the character of God from the nature of man, and 
the experience of human life. He inferred that justice is God's 
justice, that mercy is God's mercy, that love is God's love; and that the 
expression of these in humanity is the expression of the divine. I 
think, in commending himself to the Almighty maker of men, he 
would, in the devout simplicity of his heart, have forgotten all the hon- 
ors and respect he enjoyed from his fellow men, and thought only that 
he was a man. He would have said, with Martin Elginbrodde: 

" Here lie I, Martin Elginbrodde; 
Hae mercy o' my soul, Lord God 
As I wad do, were I Lord God, 
And ye were Martin Elginbrodde." 

The body was taken to the Oakland cemetery and deposited in the 
family vault. Among those present, besides the relatives of the de- 
ceased, were a very large number of the San Francisco and Sacra- 
mento Bar. 


Delivered March 31, 1873, in the Independent Presbyterian Church, Oakland, by Rev. L. 


Micah VI, 8. He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk hum- 
bly with thy God. 

Once in a decade or two of years, we see a life come to a close 
which has concentrated in itself the progressive thought and expe- 
rience of the time. The great world-history going on without has 
its parallel in that which goes on in a single breast. The man meas- 
ures the time. The features of its progress daguerreotpye themselves 
essentially in his mind and heart. Beginning by force of circumstan- 
ces in something that is crudest, he ends by force of inherent truthful- 
ness and grasp of thought in that which is ripest. The brilliant but 
ephemeral blossoms of spring are soon cast; the more sober but more 
lasting beauty of summer follows; this changes again into the rich ripe 
ness of autumn then winter garners the whole growth of the seasons. 

Such a life is a beacon of progress to common minds. If one falls 
under our observation, we slight God's good providence if we neglect 
to study it. We can see in it if we will, not only where we are, but 
where we shall be. It is a prophecy of what is coming. In it we 
see ruling tendencies reach their accomplishment. The forces that are 
moving in the great complex man we call society, run their course 
and come to their last result in this individual man. The aver- 
age man of the future, when humanity has grown tall enough to see 
as broadly as he sees, will stand where he stood when we last be- 
held him. He throws, light on the questions we debate most in our 
parlors and shops and lyceums. We see the decision of many of them 
reached in him, or at least the discussion carried so far as to point the 
way to their decision. We need not repeat the experiment he has 
made. We can foresee in him how it will result. The thought of men 
can step forward to an advanced position over the ground which he 
has conquered. 

We should not be overhasty, indeed, in falling into the lead of great 


minds, however great they may be. We should be mindful of the fact 
that the greatest thinkers in the whole history of thought have been 
the greatest errorists. So they were honest in purpose we need not re- 
proach their errors. To think in advance of other minds, is to help 
forward human progress, even if the thinking be mingled with error. 
To state a great error with power on an unexplored field of thought 
often leads to the great undiscovered truth that lies directly over against 
that error. It is only a liitle more roundabout way to the good thing 
that humanity needs. So we welcome great honest thinkers, what- 
ever the track their minds take. We need not therefore welcome their 
mistakes. Their mighty conceptions may be but centaurs and hippo- 
griffs: there may be nothing real in nature answering to them. They 
may be the exceptional outgrowths from the idiosyncrasies of the 
thinker. They may be the abnormal vagaries of a wrenched and dis- 
jointed intellect. They may be the voice of God. We should wait for 
the verification of the true test the common consent of minds great 
enough to grasp the subject. Watch the judicial mind as it comes in 
contact with the question at issue, the temper calm, the method wise, 
the process slow and careful, the conclusion deferred until all the evi- 
dence is in. When you see this higher order of thinkers, under di- 
verse circumstances and influences, strike off from the old beaten path 
at different points of departure, and with singular unanimity take some 
new road that leads to a common conclusion, it is safe for you to pre- 
dict that the manv will soon turn into their course of direction. It may 
not lie exactly along the line of absolute truth, but it is more nearly 
parallel to that line than the old track. Humanity never again takes 
its onward march along the old road. A few stragglers may stumble 
on in that way for a time, but their thinning number soon find the 
loneliness intolerable. 

Eminent among this higher order of minds stood the late Judge 
Shafter. He was a type of the time. He ran through the progress of 
the age in his own experience. He began in the crudest thought; 
that he ended in the most advanced I am not competent to say, but 
that he had reached a point far in advance of the multitude, there is 
abundant testimony more conclusive than mine. Hence the special 
public value of his life. Few examples will better repay our study. I 
should not be excused if I failed to use the occasion to gather up some 
of its rich suggestions. 

My object is not panegyric. The Bench, the Bar and the Pulpit 


have united in his eulogy. I fear I should weaken what has been 
said with power by any additions I might attempt to make. Nor will 
I attempt an exhaustive analysis of his character. It would be too pre- 
suming in me. I leave that to more familiar and more skillful hands. 
My object is rather to turn your attention toward those phases of his 
many-sided thought and experience which look towards our work as a 
Christian congregation and our want as Christian men and women seek- 
ing after the truth of God. 

He was born at Athens, Vermont, October 19, 1812. His father 
was a man of much force of character and large influence with his 
neighbors, "successively farmer, merchant, county judge for several 
years, Liberty party candidate for Governor, more than quadrupling 
the vote of his party, then member of the Constitutional Convention of 
1836 and member of the State Legislature." In religious faith and con- 
nection he was a Methodist. His mother was a woman of rare intelli- 
gence and force of character. At an early age death deprived him of her 
counsels, but he cherished her memory with a deep and tender reverence. 
At about fourteen he was placed at a Methodist academy in Wilbra- 
ham, Mass. It was during his several years of study at this institution 
that he was caught in a whirlwind of religious excitement as he 
would describe it afterwards, " was struck with conviction," " went 
forward to the anxious seat," " had great wrestlings with the spirit," 
and " got converted." For six months his zeal knew no abatement. 
He was " instant in prayer and exhortation, in season and out of sea- 
son," prompt at the class-meeting, and was pointed out as a model. 
But his inner life did not run smoothly. He suffered torturing doubts. 
He felt that his religion was artificial a striving after moods, feelings, 
fervors, raptures. Somewhat abruptly he came to the conclusion that 
this was not being honest with himself or with others. He went 
straight to the Church and told them so, and that he could go no 
further with them. Henceforth he will be true to himself if his soul 
is lost for it. If any religion wants him to be less than that, so much 
the worse for the religion. He completed the prescribed course 
in his school, took a tramp into New York State, where, I 
believe, he had a little practice in school teaching, then returned 
and entered the Methodist University at Middletown, Connecticut. 
From this he graduated in due time, studied law at Cambridge, then 
went back to Vermont to commence its practice. His powers soon 


placed him in the foremost rank of his profession in his native State.* 
His coming to this State in the Fall of 1854, the immediate recogni- 
tion of his abilities, his law partnerships with the first legal talent of the 
State, his firm stand as an anti-slavery man when the name of " Black 
Republican" was a reproach, his self-consistent adherence to this stand 

* The following, evidently written calamo currente, is taken from his diary of 
Jan. 26, 1855, and shows that wonderful fertility of mind to which the commonest 
object will suggest a rich train of reflections: 

" There is a thing put into my hand by my friend it is a book. I have never 
read it, nor have I ever seen it before. It at first engages my attention as a mate- 
rial thing merely. In that regard I examine its exterior its binding and letter- 
ing and gilding. I open it and the paper and the typography become subjects of 
inquiry and thought. So far, even what a vast range of knowledge is needful in 
order that I may understand, appreciate and relish the naked facts that I have 
learned. The art of book-binding since books were first known; the progress of 
that art through a long succession of ages terminating in the present. Printing in 
its first discovery or invention; printing in all the modes and styles that have since 
obtained; the names of the printers by whom they have been originated or prac- 
ticed; printing as connected with the presses with which it has been carried on in 
different nations and in the different times, and all the wonderful improvements 
that have been made in the press considered as a means these and a thousand 
other matters are needful for me to know in order that I may comprehend what I 
have already observed, in their great import. Thought as it first arose in the 
mind of the inventor, its slow and labored development in his toiling brain, until 
the ideal that he was struggling for stood revealed in matured conception and 
then the protracted and wearisome endeavor to realize that thought under mate- 
rial forms; the conflict with obstacles never ended, or if ended, still ever to be re- 
newed; the fterce, exhausting strife with human ignorance and human passions; 
the discouragements of penury, the alternations of hope and despair, and the often 
encounters of each with the other the whole biography of the wonderful men who 
in spite of such odds at last achieved for the ages in which they lived the great 
triumph of modern civilization; how their achievements acted upon other minds 
to stimulate them to like endeavor; the effects produced by their inventions or 
discoveries upon the times in which they lived, and the mightier consequences 
that were developed in ages following. These, yes, all this great context if 
known to me, will invest with marvellous interest, I ween, the book considered 
simply as a material thing. To fully compass it in that regard, of how very lit- 
tle of general history can I afford to be ignorant ! 

"But to understand, appreciate and relish the contents of the book, as I peruse 
them, the whole range of history, biography, science, art and general literature, 
should be as familiar to me as early lessons. The new production of human 
thought stands related to all that thought has originated or combined before; and 
the threads that the author has spun, he has woven in a thousand nameless and 
marvellous methods, into the mighty woof of previously associated ideas." 


through all the exciting scenes that followed, his gradual rise into the 
notice and confidence of the people, his election to the Supreme Bench 
of the State in 1863, his unimpeachable and even unsuspected integrity 
as well as ability in that position for four years, then the sudden fail- 
ure of his health compelling his resignation, his efforts for recovery, 
the long wavering of his friends between hope and fear the hope 
growing fainter, the fear verging towards sad certainty till the final 
word flashed under the sea from a foreign -city telling us that the end 
had come and the great soul had taken his place among the Immor- 
tals all this has been made as household matters to you by the pub- 
lic press. 

It falls not in with my purpose to dwell longer in detail upon the 
events of his life. I have now to speak of Judge Shafter's religion. 

Like the Prophet, he had sought to " know the righteousness of the 
Lord" had asked, " Wherewith shall I came before the Lord and 
bow myself before the high God ?" The spirit of " technical" relig- 
ion, busy in our day as in the day of the Prophet, with its arbitrary 
rules and tests and exactions, had told him that it must be with some 
special sacrifice, some self-mortification of the reason, some unques- 
tioning beliefs that commended not themselves to his judgment, some 
special experience, coming in mystery and fed by a faith that he dare 
not criticise. He had thought long and earnestly, with the simple de- 
sire to know the truth. He had come to the same conclusion with 
the Prophet, " He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what 
doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and 
to walk humbly with thy God." Here is the universal religion, good 
for all ages, for all races and ranks of men. We may assure our- 
selves that it will stand good while the world stands. To walk in 
justice, mercy and humility before God, saves the soul. It makes 
the Christian. Judge Shafter believed this. To say that some 
special belief or mystical experience must be added, he held as 
the cant of a technical faith. Justice, Mercy and Humijity are 
the rock. The conceits of formalists and pietists are the ever changing 
mists that hang over it, sometimes, as seen from the dim distance, 
mimicking the rock in form and appearance, but never attaining its 
stability ever disappointing as you approach and attempt to find firm 
foothold thereon. He never returned to the bosom of the Methodist 
Church. And why ? Was it because of prejudices ? These were 


rather in favor of that Church. The memory of his revered mother, 
his dearest educational associations, some of his most intimate friends, 
drew him towards her communion. Was it from personal hos- 
tility to religion ? He was a devout worshipper of God. As 
his writings abundantly showed, he was what the Church would 
call a " man of prayer. " At every piece of good news or in- 
stance of unusual prosperity there is a heartfelt expression of thankful- 
ness to the Divine source of blessing. When sad tidings came or 
calamity befel, he turned to his closet, his Bible and his God for 
strength and comfort. And no puritan with his catechism was more 
diligent in the family than he in inculcating the great truths of religion, 
reverence towards God and love to man. This never ceased till dis- 
ease broke his strength. The world may have given him little credit 
for his religion. He did not wear it on the outside for show. It 
was in the heart, in the honest doing of the work given him to do, 
and in quiet deeds of goodness to men. The Church sometimes 
called him an infidel. His piety did not run in the channel of her 
ceremonies or bear the stamp of her dogmas. Will God reject pure 
love for that reason ? 

It was for none of the causes suggested that he declined returning to 
the bosom of his mother's Church. It was because, as an honest man 
he could not. He loved the truth; he was seeking the truth; he was 
ready to receive it wherever he could find it; he was ready to do what- 
ever it exacted of him ; but he could not find the truth in its highest 
and purest form in that Church. The love of truth kept him out of the 
Church. She exacts much, as he believed, that God does not exact. 
She teaches along with much that is good, some things that are an 
offence to reason and a dishonor to God. His great mind could stop 
short of no other conclusion. And the Methodist Church is not to be 
singled out as peculiar in this. The other sects prominent among us 
occupy common ground with her so far as his objections went. None 
of them could make room for him. 

This is to me the most impressive suggestion of his greatness and 
goodness. The Churches must make room for such a man, or that 
grand day of broader light that hastens on will have no room 
for them.* Educate a people till they love the truth as well, and can 

* "When creeds are employed so that men of blameless lives, of holy and pure 


see as broadly as Judge Shafter did, and they will not go into our 
churches as they are. These churches might easily make room for such. 
They must revise their standards, and purge them of those absurdities, 
which the broadly educated mind can never look upon as other than 
absurdities. Germany is saying this to us to-day; Oxford is saying it; 
Cambridge is saying it; Yale is saying it. Every center of learning and 
superior intelligence in Christendom is saying it. The guild of scien- 
tific men all over the world, with an approach to unanimity that ought 
to be alarming to one who really loves the Church and sees its im- 
portance, are saying it. It is a question of life and death with the 
Church. Her teachers may shut themselves up in their little circle of 
thoughts and deny that there is any broader flow from the Fountain 
of Eternal Truth, but the mightier minds of the world, that, like Judge 
Shafter, have swept through their lines, and out into the ocean that 
rolls all around them, will see their mistake, and will never, never 
strike back towards the centre of darkness and ignorance for the sake 
of sailing in their company. 

Scan the life of this man, put his character under the test of the 
closest scrutiny, make the most of his imperfections common to our 
nature or peculiar to him, and then say in view of the pure and ex- 
alted character you are compelled to confess he bore, whether he is to 
be placed outside the pale of Christianity; or if he is, whether any 
thing ought to be left inside that the world has much reason to value. 
The text seems to me to epitomize his virtues " do justly, love mercy, 
and walk humbly with thy God." His life filled out this 'Table of 

He was a just man. Take this passage from his own writings as 
illustrating the sentiment on which this virtue is based. I shall be ex- 
cused for quoting it although it was intended only for the eye of his 
own family. He is writing for the benefit of his own little boy alas! 
soon after called to another world, blasting the hope and almost 

dispositions, cannot abide in the church, unless they assent to them against their 
convictions, then they are anti-Christian, despotic, and most mischievous. For 
no creed can be rightly held which condemns a man whom God loves, whose life 
is redolent of Divine grace, and whose good will and rectitude are open before 
God and man. If any creed is not large enough to take in such a man, it is the 
worse for the creed, and not for the man." [Extract from a sermon by Henry 
Ward Beecher, preached in Plymouth Church, December n, 1859.] 


breaking the heart of the fond father. He says: "I trust, also, that 
my boy will be a good lawyer, which is the same thing as saying, 'I 
trust he will be a good man' free from all chicanery, honest in his 
dealings with court and jury, and perfectly truthful in all his relations 
to his clients. There is no calling in which a strict obedience to the 
maxim that 'honesty is the best policy,' is more available. A rogue of 
an attorney is sure to reveal himself in his true character, and then 
there comes at once from all honest men a retribution of distrust, aver- 
sion and contempt; and no matter what may be his learning or his 
talents, a withdrawal of business inevitably follows the withdrawal of 
confidence." This was the sentiment upon which he based his prac- 
tice as a lawyer not only, but as a man. If he was rigid in exacting 
what was due him from others (as all successful business men must be 
as a rule) he was equally rigid in giving their dues to others. As a 
Judge his impartiality commanded a confidence that was well nigh 
perfect. The suspicion of a bribe never rested on him. There was 
something in the man that corruption dared not approach. It would 
have instinctively forecast its own discomfiture and stern rebuke. 

He was also merciful. I have no motive for saying that he did not 
love money; by admitting that fact I only strengthen the proof of the 
intensity with which he "loved mercy." He gave without ostentation, 
but liberally and continuously. Worthy want never turned away from 
him empty. Struggling merit had numerous occasions to bless his 
bounty. Sometimes his friends thought he was lavish in gifts where 
the worthiness of the object was questionable. His reply was that he 
feared mistake and would rather give to the unworthy than to let real 
want go unrelieved. It was a maxim with him that, " If you would 
keep the sympathies fresh and the heart green, you must keep giving; 
if you stop you shut up and rust, like an old jack-knife which no one 
can get open." Quaintly put, but a mighty truth. He blessed himself in 
its practice. His generosity did not stop with tens of dollars, nor with 
hundreds, nor with thousands, nor with tens of thousands although 
he took no pains that the public at large should hear of its extent. One 
who had the best opportunity to know writes of him, " I know person- 
ally of tens of thousands of dollars disbursed by him without any hope 
of return." 

I think we may truthfully add, also, that he crowned his other vir- 
tues by walking humbly with his God. We have already said that his 


religion did not run in the channels of the Church. It did not stop 
with duties to man nevertheless; it took direct hold on the Divine Love 
in reverent trust and worship. He has left on record the expression of 
his sense of dependence on God as he entered upon the duties of that 
high position to which the people had called him, and his solemn res- 
olution in their discharge to trust in God and commit the vindication 
of his judgments that might displease, to the Infinite Judge and the 
coming time. That resolution was severely tried when he felt bound 
to decide an exciting question against the interests of his own party and 
against his own personal feelings. But appeal to a higher Tribunal gave 
him an early vindication. At the noon of his powers and after he had 
come to this State, I hear him accusing himself of having too much 
neglected the reading of his bible, and expressing his wonder at the 
power with which its utterances came home to his heart in his peculiar 
circumstances here. He tells us also of a new light of immortality 
breaking in upon his mind on one occasion while he knelt in prayer. 
Here is proof also of the keen appreciation with which he read the Di- 
vine Word, in a comment on that verse of a Psalm which reads, "Stand 
in awe and sin not; commune with thy own heart upon thy bed and be 
still." " Crawl not like a worm stagger not like one in delirium fly 
not like a coward but stand erect and firm. But stand in awe. 
How much is there to awe the heart of man in the visible creation 
in the earth and in the heavens! But in the contemplation of himself 
there may be revealed to him deeper mysteries and a yet greater glory, 
visiting him with an awe yet more profound. But more than for all 
these he should 'stand in awe' for he stand eth ever in the presence of 

Here are words of solemn grandeur, bursting spontaneously from a 
soul that felt all they speak. Was this man an infidel? 

Judge Shafter was thought by some to be a man of hard, cold logic, 
as the chief characteristic of his mental constitution. Nothing could 
be a greater mistake.* He was severely logical in his mental processes; 

*The following is a portion of a letter written to Mrs. Shafter a few weeks after 
receiving the intelligence of the death of his two children. It is given as showing 
the heart of the man and his icligious faith. 

SAN FRANCISCO, July 28th, 1855. 

Your's and E.'s of the 24th of June is received this day, and 
brings me good news, for it assures me that you are all aliVe and well. I 


but along with this went an endowment of the keenest sensibility. At 
the reading of a noble sentiment or a touching incident, this would 
often show itself trembling over into tears. The voice would fail and 
expression rise to the power of a speechless silence from the quivering 
intensity of feeling. When thoroughly roused in his own utterances 
his imagination would glow with true poetic fire. The golden ingots 
of his logic would melt and flow in streams of burning emotion. There 
was a large measure of that "sort of religious sensibility" which is said 
to have marked the greatest speeches of Webster's prime. But it was 
in his own family that these tenderer qualities showed themselves in 
their fullest power. It was there that his exhaustless stores of thought 

have received since I have been here so much of bad tidings from home, that I 
open every letter with fear but I trust that the full measure of chastisement is 
filled and that the residue of wrath will be mercifully restrained, until at least our 
bleeding wounds shall have time to heal, and the failing heart to recover its con- 
stancy, firmness and repose. The bitter agony, the deep, uncontrolled and un- 
controllable wailing, the ceaseless repinings, are over with me but still I remem- 
ber what I never can and never desire to forget. In the hurry of business, in the 
excitements and exhaustion of daily labor, my thoughts are with the dead; and at 
night in the silence of my bed chamber they fly away like the dove from the ark 
of Noah, and seek the babes and strive for communion with them, in the habita- 
tions where they all dwell together. Their deaths, particularly the death of our 
son, have taught me lessons and have suggested and forced upon my attention 
views of life and death, of the present world and of that which is to come, to 
which I have long been measurably inattentive. With my general theological 
opinions you are acquainted they have undergone no essential modification or 
change. They are the opinions which the lamented Doctor Channing has so fully 
illustrated in his sermons, and of the profitableness of which his whole life was a 
beautiful and all but faultless exhibition. Those doctrines reveal God to us as 
our Father our Father in the highest and profoundest import. They further in- 
culcate that he has a will concerning us they give to that will the authority of 
law they recognize human obedience as a duty, and make certain fixed conse- 
quences result from obedience, and another set of consequences the unchangeable 
and inevitable fruit of transgression. They teach us that the conditions of happi- 
ness in the future life are the same as those of the present that death is a natural 
change only, and that the soul enters upon the future life with the same charac- 
ter it bore when it left this; and that in the world to come it will ad- 
vance if it advance at all, by the same means that it works out its own character 
and tone in the world that now is. But these doctrines further reveal to us that 
in the progression of the eternities of God, the soul will of its own intelligent 
election cease from its warfare against its own highest good, and ceasing to do 
evil will learn to do well at last. In these views there are presented most pow- 
erful motives to present obedience; whatever purification from sin and its contam- 


and knowledge poured themselves forth untiringly in streams of wise 
and affectionate suggestion. His children tell me that they came to 
live on his words and to regard their author with an almost idolatrous 
reverence. If the Church was not visited on the Sabbath, as often 
during their early residence in Oakland it was not, they found a richer 
treat at home. The day was made sacred to them by words that kin- 
dled their higher purposes and lifted their souls to God. 

But I must pause. The hour is gone, while the subject is still fresh. 
Poor tribute this that I bring to such worth, but it is an offering that 
the heart cannot refrain from making. We shall think to-day as a re- 
ligious society of our great loss. The memory will run back four years 

inations is accomplished here, but hastens the hour of completed regeneration 
hereafter while every evil act performed here, every evil thought indulged here 
but delays and postpones the period of redemption. This theory of rewards and 
punishments recognizes the great primary truths of human accountability pre- 
sents adequate encouragements to virtue aud discouragements to vice invests the 
soul with all needful powers for the achievement of its own highest good and by 
making the ultimate attainment of that good an universal truth, vindicates at 
once the goodness and the wisdom of God in man's creation. E. asks, "Why 
are the young and beautiful snatched away and the aged permitted to remain?" 
It is a question that has often, very often, been asked before, and the most satis- 
factory answer that I have ever heard is, that it is the will of God. We are born 
to die, and to die is but to live again. We live here then simply that we may 
live hereafte r and that final, that higher, better and truer life is sure to follow 
life here, irrespective of its duration--\\\e little child whose space is told by 
months alone, is as sure of its immortality as the grown man who dies weary and 
worn with the weight of years. The latter dies amid the shadows of evening fol- 
lowing the endeavor and the exhaustion of a lengthened day; the former in the 
dewy freshness and soft effulgence of the early morning this is the only differ- 
ence. God wills it, and my daughter must reflect that He doeth all things well. 
I am more than gratified that you have learned what it is the end of all time to 
teach, the futility of earthly hopes, and that all substance, all reality, are beyond 
the bourne to which we hasten. Yet life here should not be set down as unim- 
portant and valueless, for it is one of the appointments of God, which he has 
brightened with prospects and ennobled with duties, and they should be cheer- 
fully and faithfully performed. They press upon us from day to day; we wake to 
them every morning; they challenge our attention and our efforts every moment, 
and wait patiently upon our slumbers during the silence and darkness of night; 
they should be performed cheerfully, courageously and in the patience of hope. 
There is impiety in saying, "I am weary of life." W T hile it is continued, it 
should be cherished and improved. Viewed in its just relations to that which is 
to come, its importance is magnified and its deeper import fully revealed. 


to the time when this man stood with us in our new enterprise, and 
opened his hand liberally to its wants. We shall connect the thought 
oi him with that other great loss* which we so lately had occasion to 
deplore. We shall think of these two friends, who as they opened the 
doors of their homes each morning looked into each others faces, as 
communing again face to face in a higher home. And if it be true 
that the great and good look back from " The Better Land" upon the 
best interests of earth which they have joined in promoting, with a keen 
sympathy still, we must feel under the watch of such eyes that it will 
not do for us to be laggards in that good work to which they gave hand 
and voice, and then left for us to carry forward, as they went up to 
their reward. 

* Hon. Edward Tompkins. 


At the opening of the Supreme Court on Monday, November 23d, 
1873, Wallace, C. J., and Crockett, Rhodes, Niles and Belcher, JJ., 
being present, Ex-Chief Justice S. W. Sanderson arose and said: 

IF THE COURT PLEASE: At the April term of this court last past, upon 
my motion, a committee, consisting of members of the bar, was ap- 
pointed to take such action as they might deem proper in respect to the 
death of the Honorable Oscar L. Shafter, late Associate Justice of this 
court, and report at the next term. The committee, as appointed, 
consisted, in addition to myself, of Ex-Chief Justices Lorenzo Sawyer 
and John Currey. Ex-Justice W. W. Cope, Attorney General John L. 
Love, and Messrs. Joseph P. Hoge, John B. Felton, John W. Dwinelle, 
Samuel M. Wilson, Edmond L. Goold and Hall McAllister. The com- 
mittee, in discharge of the duty assigned them, came to the conclusion 
that the most fitting and proper notice that could be taken of the death 
of Judge Shafter would be to cause to be prepared a brief biographical 
sketch of his life and an analysis of his intellectual and moral character; 
and ask that it be spread upon the records of this court, and published 
in its reports. Pursuant to this determination, and at the request of the 
committee, the Honorable John W. Dwinelle consented to prepare and 
has prepared such a sketch, which I now have the honor to submit to 
the court; and ask that it be spread upon its minutes and published in 
its reports. 

Ex- Chief Justice Sanderson then read the following 

OSCAR LOVELL SHAFTER, late Associate Justice of this court, was born 
at Athens, Vermont, October igih, 1812. He came of a patriotic and 
cultivated stock. His paternal grandfather, James Shafter, fought at 
Bunker Hill, Bennington and Saratoga, and was afterwards for twenty- 
five years a member of the Vermont Legislature. His own father was 
for several years County Judge; was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1836; and more than once a member of the Legislature 


He is described as being an able, intelligent and upright man. His 
wife, the mother of our deceased brother, was a woman of superior 
endowments; majestic in form, with a countenance of infinite expres- 
sion, and possessing rare conversational and social qualities. She lived 
long enough to mould his character and fix his principles. 

He was prepared for college at Wilbraham Academy, Massachusetts, 
and graduated at the Wesleyan University in 1834. He immediately 
commenced the study of law in a private office in Vermont. But he 
soon became dissatisfied with his progress; probably because the study 
of law, in a practicing office, is generally of a synthetical character, 
where a student, after becoming possessed of a few propositions, which 
to him are rather facts than principles, is at once initiated into the 
routine of practice. Such a method could not suit the analytical mind 
of young Shafter, and accordingly he entered the law school of Harvard 
University, under Judge Story, where he completed his law studies, and 
commenced the practice of the law at Wilmington, Vermont, in 1836 
or 1837. 

He won his way at once to the front rank of his profession. He 
became a member of the Legislature, and was the candidate of his 
party for Representative in Congress, Governor and United States Sen- 
ator. He belonged to what was then known as the Liberty party, yet 
always appreciated the difficulties which encumbered the subject of 
slavery, and the embarrassments which surrounded the position of the 
South. He was consistent in these views to the last; but when the war 
had terminated believed that the militant spirit should subside, and was 
full of sympathy for the distresses of the South. 

He was married to Miss Sarah Riddle in 1840. Of the children of 
this marriage six daughters survive. Two others, a daughter, and a 
promising son of seven years, died in their infancy. 

For reasons which will soon become apparent, we epitomize his 
subsequent history. He came to California in 1854, practiced law with 
great success until January, 1864, when he took his seat as Associate 
Justice of this court for the term of ten years, which position he held 
until December, 1867, when he resigned his place on account of ill 
health, and afterwards went abroad, still failing in mind and body, and 
died at Florence, Italy, January 22d, 1873. 

Judge Shafter arrived at San Francisco on November i3th, 1854, 


without his family, and immediately entered upon the practice of his 
profession in connection with the leading firm of Halleck, Peachy, 
Billings & Park. During the next ensuing year, until the arrival of his 
family, he kept a journal, in which he entered his impressions of the 
climate and the scenery of California; his views of society and of the 
practice in the courts; many current events; some biographical sketches; 
and notices and analyses of the books which he read. But more espec- 
ially is this brief diary remarkable for its manifestations of his deep 
affection for his family and other relations; for his diffidence of his 
own ability; and for the gradual growth of a self-confidence that he 
was equal to contend with the foremost leaders of the bar. It was 
during this period that he received intelligence of the death of two 
children within the period of a month one of them the only son that 
he ever had. He appears to have been wholly inconsolable under this 
double bereavement, and could not refer to it for several years after- 
wards without expressions of almost uncontrollable grief. 

In another place he says: "At home the familiarity that I had at- 
tained with the routine of questions ordinarily litigated, and perhaps 
the firmly-established position that I had secured among the lawyers of 
Vermont, left me, with my easy and sluggish temperament, with no in- 
centive to exertion except a simple desire for further excellence. But 
here constant and unremitted occupation furnish new inducements, 
which supersede all inclination to indolence by intense activity and the 
higher modes of moral and intellectual life." 

In commenting upon a life of Lord Mansfield which he had just 
been reading, he thus describes his own method of studying law: "I 
began with the most general principles of the science of the law, and 
from them proceeded to principles that were relatively subordinate to 
them, and so on through series after series of dependent truths until the 
final details had been examined and exhausted. In other words, I began 
with the genera, from them proceeded to an examination of the differ- 
ent species included in each genus, and from them to individual truths of 
which those species were severally constituted. It will be obvious to 
every one that the memory must be most powerfully aided by this method 
of study. The principles of law, though in one sense their name is 
legion, yet all bear relations to each other, and, taken together, form a 
system; and if once mastered in those relations, so long as one of these 
principles is retained by the mind the principle of association gives sig- 
nal aid in recalling the others. I have for the last fifteen years prose- 


cuted all my professional studies on the above plan, and although my 
memory is not remarkably tenacious, I have had no difficulty in re- 
membering, when once acquired, all the details of legal truth that can 
be brought within the scope of legal principles. When I read a new 
decision I always ask myself the question: 'Whereabouts in the system 
of the law does the result ascertained belong?' In the twinkling of an 
eye its appropriate place is at once suggested to my thought and I put 
it in its place, and then I stop and look at it there, and I find by expe- 
rience that it is very apt to stay there without watching until I want it." 
These remarks were penned in the fulness of parental affection for 
the instruction of the infant son whom he afterwards lost, in case he 
should study law. They are full of matter which may be profitably 
pondered by practitioners as well as students of the legal profession. 
But they are doubly valuable at this time, because they indicate and 
illustrate Judge Shafter's methods and characteristics as lawyer and 

It was sometimes said of him, while at the bar, that he was slow in 
the preparation of his cases. This was only another mode of saying that 
when he encountered a case which presented elements that were new 
to him, he was never satisfied that it was fully prepared for trial, until 
he had subjected those elements to an analysis and classification which 
enabled him to master their minutest details. 

So of his decisions as a Judge it was not seldom remarked that they 
savored ot technical logic. But this was merely confounding logical 
analysis with the logic of the books. If his decisions have any promi- 
nent characteristic, it is that they present constantly the ruling presence 
of that faculty which combines the similar and rejects the dissimilar, 
and descends from the general to the specific. So that, in truth, his 
cases at the bar were not too laboriously prepared, nor his decisions 
from the bench too elaborately wrought. He merely applied to each 
the methods of study which are above described. As a consequence 
he was very successful at the bar, and his decisions from the bench 
have been rarely questioned. 

While at the bar, no one was more scrupulous than he in the respect 
with which he treated the judiciary, both in bearing and in language. 
He regarded it as the palladium of our free institutions, and not to be 
desecrated by thought, word or deed. And when he came to the 
bench, he magnified his high office in the same spirit, and honored his 


associates there. No one was more thoroughly imbued than he with 
that personality which made him identify with himself the highest 
function of the State, and with that impersonality which removed him 
from every influence except a desire for judicial truth. 

He was very successful in gathering the material rewards of his pro- 
fessional labors, and by their judicious investment accumulated an op- 
ulent fortune. 

We have spoken of his strong family affections. He was also an at- 
tached friend. His was not an impulsive nature, but his feelings were 
deep and permanent. He was remarkably genial in his social rela- 
tions; he loved the society of young men, to talk with them, counsel 
them, encourage them in their plans and studies. His religious prin- 
ciples were fixed, and comprehensive enough to embrace all mankind. 
Exact in his business, he was yet bounteous and liberal in his bene- 
factions. The large sums which he disbursed in this manner would 
never have been known, even to those who knew him best, if they had 
not been entered from mere habit in the accounts which he kept of all 
his expenditures. He could not listen unmoved to the cry of distress, 
and when it was sometimes urged that the objects of his bounty were 
probably unworthy, would reply that that responsibility was theirs and 
not his. He was an ardent student of nature, and loved to be a boy 
again amid mountains, forests, fields and waters. And on such occa- 
sions he showed an apt familiarity with the best poets of the English 
language, which caused it to be said of him that "he was a learned law- 
yer of an older school" one whose reading was not of the law-books 
merely, but extensive, tasteful and varied. His sense of humor was 
great, and frequently illuminated his logic with a sudden flash of light. 
His language was generally elegant in its simplicity, but he did not re- 
ject the word which best expressed his meaning, no matter what its ori- 
gin; and the occasional unconscious use of quaint expressions showed 
the extent of his reading among the older writers of our tongue. 

Such is an imperfect outline of the man, the lawyer and the judge. 
It is full of example, of encouragement and of warning. Of example 
to those who are content with the rewards which belong to personal in- 
tegrity, professional fidelity and political consistency. Of encourage- 
ment to those who are willing to win success as the prize of industry 
and perseverance. Of warning that there is a price too dear to be paid 
for great professional success, high position and abundant wealth; that 


mind and body when overworked often react upon themselves and upon 
each other, and present the sad spectacle of a noble column riven from 
capital to base long before it topples to its fall. 

The memorial having been read, and the Judges having signified 
their concurrence, the Chief Justice directed it to be spread upon the 
minutes of the Court, and to be published in the reports. 

A large assemblage of the bar was in attendance during the proceed- 
ings, which were conducted with all the impressiveness and solemnity 
due to the memory of the distinguished deceased. 




[From the New York Evening Post.] 

" Where the west wind blows through the evergreen trees, 

And the fogs go sailing by, 
'Mid the lupine blooms and humming bees, 
'Tis there I fain would lie. 

" These Italian skies are very fair, 

Around are mosaics and sculptures rare, 

And ruins of temples old; 
And here, where the Arno's waters flow, 
The gems of Raphael and Angelo 
These princely galleries hold. 

" But I'd rather sleep on the western shore, 

Where the broad Pacific wave 
In solemn music would grandly roar 
A requiem o'er my grave." 

Then bear him gently across the main, 

And away toward the setting sun, 
Though we never shall hear that voice again, 

And his earthly task is done. 

The eye is quenched that in sympathy glowed 

For the wrongs of the struggling one, 
And still the hand that so freely bestowed 

The aid he denied to none. 

But well he'll sleep on the western shore, 

Where the broad Pacific wave 
In solemn music shall grandly roar 

A requiem o'er his grave. 






JUNE 25, 1852. 


From the Bibliotheca Sacra for October, 1852. 









JUNE 25, 1852. 


From the Bibliotheca Sacra for October, 1852. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 




MEN will cross the sea in order to view a mountain or a water- 
fall; but there is more grandeur in the human spirit, than in all 
material nature. There is a glory of the sun, another of the moon, 
and another of the stars, but the glory of one mind excelleth them 
all. What shall it profit a man, if he gain all worlds, and lose his 
own soul ! And we feel a peculiar interest in the mind which has 
an original, distinctive character. The mass of men copy after one 
another. They lose their individual traits. But when we find the 
man who has a character of his own, and exhibits a marked speci- 
men of human worth, we pause and survey and admire. Especially 
are our hearts drawn toward him, when he may be described, not as a 
philosopher whom men respect, not as a patriot whom they applaud, 
but, in the beautiful words of our text, as that disciple whom Jesus 

The brother who has so recently been called to lean on his Re- 
deemer's breast, had rare traits and a unique history. His character 
was formed by a severe discipline. We may estimate its worth by 
its cost. In proportion to our interest in it, is the difficulty of de- 
scribing it. No man can paint the exact hues of the morning sky. 
In our attempts to portray the delicate features of our friend, we are 
often obliged to fall back on the comprehensive but apt designation : 
He was that disciple whom Jesus loved. Let us hear a broken nar- 
rative of his outer and his inner life. 

BELA BATES EDWARDS was born at Southampton, Massachusetts, 
on the fourth of July, 1802. He had, therefore, nearly completed a half 
century, when, on the morning of April 20, 1852, he was called home. 
It was often a pleasing anticipation to him, that when he died he 
should go to dwell with a long line of godly progenitors. He sprang 
from that old Welsh family, which embraces among its descendants 
the two Jonathan Edwardses and President Dwight. His grand- 

father, Samuel Edwards, was a parishioner of the exemplary divine 
at Northampton. Spiritually born under the instruction of the Presi- 
dent, he loved to consider himself as a son of that great man. He 
removed to Southampton in middle age, and remained deacon of the 
church in that town, until he died, u an old disciple." Not long after 
the death of Samuel, his son Elisha Edwards, the father of our friend, 
was chosen deacon of the church, and he continued faithful in that 
office forty years. He was a vigorous, sedate, discreet man ; a firm, 
well-informed, energetic, self-distrusting Christian. His wife, Ann 
Bates, was perhaps as highly esteemed as her husband, for a saint- 
like life, but was more versatile and sprightly. She died when her 
son, near whose fresh grave we are now convened, was in his twenty- 
fourth year. Those who saw him bending under this affliction, said 
one to another : " Behold how he loved her." He felt a pious joy in 
looking forward to his college vacations, when he might " place some 
greener sods upon her grave." In his thirty-first year, while called 
on official business to a great distance from Southampton, he heard 
of his father's ill health. He resolved to visit, at once, the scene 
where he feared that he was to be again bereaved. One of the par- 
ties interested in the official business, advised him to wait until he 
had completed all his engagements. "You do not know what a 
father I have to lose," was the filial reply of the mourner, who has- 
tened to his desolate homestead. His household ties alone were 
strong enough to hold him back from many a youthful folly. 

The childhood of our friend was a marked one. His baptism was 
a kind of epoch in that Abrahamic household. The rite was per- 
formed by Dr. Samuel Hopkins, of Hadley, Massachusetts. The 
parents, especially the mother, dedicated their infant to God with an 
unaccountable, indefinable impression, that they were offering a pecu- 
liarly rich gift, and that signal blessings would attend the young 
child's life. The child grew, and won the general love by that sweet- 
ness of temper, which, as it cheered those who surrounded his cradle, 
afterwards soothed those who stood at his dying couch. He was not 
a forward nor a brilliant lad ; he was modest and retiring ; but he 
was often pointed at, as a model of conscientiousness and propriety 
to the other children of the neighborhood. His passion for books was 
developed early. He would read when other children played. Their 
gambols did not interrupt him, as he sat or lay upon the floor, with 
his eyes fastened upon the instructive page. Often, he did not hear 
the voice which summoned him from his volume of history to his field- 
work or to his meals. But, although he had his father's sedateness, 

he had also his mother's vivacity. At certain times, he exhibited that 
sportive vein which, in his maturer years, enlivened his converse with 
select friends. He had not a boisterous wit, but a delicate mirthful- 
ness flowed through his intercourse, like the gentle stream that varie- 
gates the fruit-bearing fields. In his tender childhood, his company 
was prized for that quiet humor suggesting more than was uttered ; 
for that half serious smile giving the beholder only a glimpse of the 
innocent thoughts which prompted it ; for that felicitous ambiguity of 
phrases stealing over the mind of the listener, first to surprise and 
then to gladden him. In maturer age, as if without intending it, he 
lighted up his statistical records, here and there, with the gleams of 
his chastened but playful fancy. Even in some of his most serious 
essays, we may detect the scintillation of his sprightly genius, illu- 
mining the dark back-ground. In his last years, the light of his deli- 
cate wit seemed to hide itself more and more under the physical 
maladies and official cares that oppressed him, but it never faded 
entirely from the view of those who watched the last flickerings of 
his life. As he was in childhood the joy of the old patriarchal man- 
sion, so even until the closing year of his half century, he was like the 
sunshine to his smiling household. 

Our friend was not originally earnest for a collegiate training. He 
loved his home so well, that he shrunk from the thought of leaving it, 
even for the sake of mental culture. He already had access to a library 
of four or five hundred volumes, enough to satisfy his incipient thirst 
for information. But his parents were desirous that he should, and 
had a presentiment that he would, become a minister of the GospeL 
He lived in a parish from which about thirty young men have gone 
into the learned professions. At the age of fourteen he began t 
prepare for college. The last summer of his preparatory course he 
spent with his revered friend, Rev. Moses Hallock of Plainfield, 
Massachusetts, a fatherly teacher, who trained during his pastorate 
about a hundred young men for collegiate life. Mr. Edwards entered 
Williams College in 1820, and, having remained there a twelve- 
month, followed President Moore to Amherst, where, after three 
years of characteristic industry, he was graduated in 1824, at the age 
of twenty-two. His early field-labors had so invigorated his consti- 
tution that, without seeming to be fatigued or enfeebled, he could 
devote fourteen hours a day to the improvement of his mind. Even 
in his vacations, he shut himself up in his chamber at home, and thus 
acquired the name, among those who did not know his heart, of being 

unsocial. Through life he kept up so close a companionship with 
the great and good men who communed with him in books, that 
strangers never learned the power of his social instincts. When we 
compare his earlier compositions with the classical and finished essays 
of his later days, we feel what we before knew, the amount and worth 
of his hard work. That polished elegance came not to him by chance. 
His compressed energy of diction he had never attained, but by a 
severe drilling of himself over the pages of Tacitus. His life is a 
commentary on the stubborn truth, that a scholar must make himself, 
and that, with rare exceptions, the Father of our spirits giveth skill 
in all kinds of cunning workmanship to him, and him only who 
endures hardness and presses through much tribulation. 

The great event of Mr. Edwards's college life was not the success 
which rewarded his literary zeal, but it was the apparent renovation 
of his heart by the God of his fathers. In his junior year at 
Amherst, he heard that some friends in his native town had become 
especially earnest for the welfare of their souls. His quick sympa- 
thies were aroused, and he began to meditate on his own relation to 
God. The world would have predicted, that the seemingly harmless 
tenor of his former life would prepare him for a tranquil conversion, 
and that a confidence in his own beautiful morality would gently fade 
away into a trust in Christ, as the starlight loses itself in the shining 
of the sun. But the depths of sin that lay hidden under the apparent 
simplicity of his aims, were uncovered before him by the Spirit of 
grace. He saw the abysses of his depravity, and he recoiled from 
them. His iron diligence in study was now relaxed. At this time 
the first revival in Amherst College was in progress. He was unable 
to endure the power of that revival. His pent-up feelings drove him 
for relief to his old paternal roof. His father's voice had been often 
heard at midnight in prayer for the son who, in despite of all the 
reputed innocence of his life, had now come home like the down- 
stricken prodigal. One whole night that father and mother had 
spent in anxious entreaty for this their youngest surviving child, 
their Benjamin, whom they had consecrated to God with a prophetic 
faith. All the waves of the Divine judgment seemed now to be roll- 
ing over that cherished youth, and out of the depths was he crying, 
night and day, and all in vain, for one gleam of peace. Through ten 
successive days it seemed to him and to others, that he would faint 
under the sad revelations which he had received of his own enmity 
to God. His feet had well nigh slipped. His constitution broke 
down almost. We long to know the details of that dark scene. 

But they are now among the secrets of the Almighty. Our friend 
was never able to describe them. Scarcely ever did he allude to 
them. He kept his classmates ignorant of them. All but two or 
three of his bosom friends supposed him to have been transformed 
in a comparatively placid way. The records of his Christian feeling 
he destroyed, for he was too lowly to think them fit for perusal, and 
it was his plan through life to conceal even the most interesting parts 
of his own history. One loose paper escaped him, and this probably 
marks the day when light from on high first dawned upon his soul. 
He writes : 

"FEB. 24, 1823. 

Til go to Jesus, though my sin 

Hath like a mountain rose, 
I know his courts, I'll enter in, 

Whatever may oppose.' 


" God, in view of the worth of the soul, and the importance of the 
present time, I have made the above resolution, not, as I hope, in my own 
strength. O Lord, remove the blindness and stupidity which covers my 
soul, and enable me to carry my determination into effect, and to Thee shall 
be the glory forever." 

Previously, our friend had been a scholar from taste and, as he 
would say, from ambition. He now became one from Christian prin- 
ciple. His piety gave new impulse and direction to his literary zeal. 
So it should be. A student's religion will prompt to a student's life. 
Six weeks after his self-dedication to God, this faithful man penned 
a series of resolutions, to remember that every moment is precious, 
to rise very early in the morning for his daily toils, to be punctual in 
attending the public and social religious exercises of the college, to 
keep the Sabbath holy, to spend a certain time every morning, noon 
and evening in secret devotion, to be benevolent and kind in all his 
intercourse with his fellow students and the world. The year after 
he was graduated he spent in superintending the academy at Ashfield, 
Massachusetts. Here, too, he made and resolutely followed another 
series of resolutions, to spend six and a half or seven hours of the 
twenty-four in sleep, six hours in his school-room, five hours, at least, 
in severe study, two hours in miscellaneous reading, the first and last 
hours of each day in prayer, and some time in physical exercise. 
To this last resolve he was no less religiously faithful than to the 
others. " Ashfield," he writes, five years afterward, " is one of the 


cherished spots in my recollection. That little rivulet, I know all 
its windings and all the murmurs which it makes ; and the place 
where I read in the summer evenings, with no auditors" but those 
that lived in the branches of the trees. 

It was in part by gratifying his love of nature, that our friend sus- 
tained his health amid the studies of his early manhood. In the 
rural scenes of his youth, he cultivated that sense of beauty, which 
ever afterward guided his thoughts and, in some degree, formed his 
character. Hour after hour did he regale himself at Amherst Col- 
lege, in looking out upon the fields which are spread along the banks 
of the Connecticut, and are bounded in the horizon by the wooded 
hills, and then in applying the words of a favorite Psalm, to express 
his adoring gratitude : " Thou visitest the earth and waterest it, thou 
greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water." 
" Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and thy paths drop fat- 
ness ; they drop upon the pastures of the wilderness, and the little 
hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks, 
the valleys also are covered over with corn ; they shout for joy, they 
also sing." " I love," he writes from Amherst, " to sit at my third- 
story window about sunset, and read aloud the 65th, 104th, 145th 
and 147th Psalms, imagining that David once sung these sweet 
strains to his lyre, as he stood on Mount Zion, or wandered along the 
vale of Cedron, or heard the ' birds sing among the branches ' on the 
sides of Carmel. In the one hundred and fourth Psalm, after survey- 
ing the heavens and the earth i satisfied with the fruit of thy works, and 
the great and wide sea,' with what transport does he exclaim : 1 1 will 
sing unto the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praise unto my God 
while I have my being/ To be able to utter such an exclamation in 
the sincerity of one's heart, would be the perfection of happiness. If 
you will notice these animated Psalms, the description usually begins 
in heaven, an invocation to the angels, etc., exemplifying what Dr. 
Brown says, that the eye which looks to heaven seems, when it turns 
again to the objects of earth, to bring down with it a purer radiance, 
like the very beaming of the presence of the Divinity." 

In 1825 Mr. Edwards entered the Andover Theological Institution. 
Here, at once, his poetic soul dilated itself in " surveying the wide 
heavens that are stretched out over us." In the depth of winter, he 
writes to a friend : " We have been living for two or three days past, 
in a world illuminated with gold and diamonds and all manner of 
unearthly things. I wish I could show you our sunsetting at this 

moment. It surpasses all description. The whole frame of nature 
looks like a mass of liquid gold. A flood of fire is poured from the 
* fount of glory,' and a thousand forms of fleecy clouds are skirting 
the whole western horizon. Well may we exclaim, ' O Lord, how 
manifold are thy works ! In wisdom hast thou made them all. The 
spreading out of thy glory is in the earth and the heavens.'" 

But when our friend came to this Seminary, he found a richer 
treasure than the sun, moon or stars could proffer him. He then 
entered on the Elysium of his life. As he devoted his first year to 
the Greek and Hebrew Bible, he was fascinated every day with its 
simple, artless idioms, its mysterious, exhaustless suggestions. And 
when we reflect that he was called away from earth in less than a 
third of a year after his first teacher at the Seminary, we find a sad 
pleasure in remembering, that his earliest letters from this hill, and 
also the latest letters which he ever wrote, with his hand emaciated 
by the touch of death, breathed a spirit of admiring gratitude to the 
man who first astonished him with the wealth that lay hidden in the 
field of sacred philology. Deeply was he moved, when he heard that 
his venerable friend had gone before him to converse with the He- 
brew sages. " Professor Stuart," he said, " appears to me as a great 
and noble man. I should be really glad to pronounce his eulogy." 
He made this last remark, because he had been requested, months 
before, to edit the posthumous works and to write the personal history 
of his revered instructor. Nobly would he have performed this ser- 
vice. A distant age would have blessed God, for sending to us such 
a teacher, to be embalmed by such a pupil, for allowing the strong 
features of our Luther to be sketched by the classic pencil of our 
Melanchthon. Still, it was better that the affectionate disciple should 
go up to a higher school, and be welcomed by his early friend with a 
heartier enthusiasm, and be led through the glories of the upper tem- 
ple by the same generous hand which had guided him here below 
into the sanctuary of biblical learning. So has God ordained it ; and 
we rejoice that if our two friends must be severed from our commu- 
nion, they may unite with each other in a companionship of sacred 
study. How natural, to suppose that "the old man eloquent" was 
among the first to expound the dark sayings of the prophets to that 
meek learner, who heard, and loved, and was silent, and adored ! 

At the close of his first Seminary year, in 1826, Mr. Edwards was 

called to a tutorship in Amherst College. For two years (between 

1826 and 1828), he discharged the duties of this office with all that 

devotion to his Alum Mater which might have been expected from 



his filial and reverent spirit. He felt a deep interest in the religious 
welfare of the students ; and several ministers of the Gospel ascribe 
the great change of their life to the instrumentality of his prudent 
and affectionate counsels. He was the tutor to whom Mr. Abbott 
alludes in the tenth chapter of his Corner Stone, as making an effec- 
tive address to a circle of irreligious students who had invited him to 
meet them, ostensibly for their improvement, but really for their 
Sport. In the twenty-sixth year of his age, he had become so well 
known for his active Christian sympathies, that he was invited to 
several stations of commanding influence. On the eighth of May, 
1828, he was elected Assistant Secretary of the American Education 
Society. The duties to be devolved upon him at that time were, to 
edit the Quarterly Journal of the Society, to conduct the more impor- 
tant correspondence, to superintend the arrangements of the Society's 
office, and occasionally to visit the beneficiaries at our literary insti- 
tutions. About the same time he was selected to become an Assistant 
Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- 
sions, and, among other duties of that office, to edit the Missionary 
Herald. While these two solicitations were dividing his mind, he 
was asked to prepare himself for a Professorship in Amherst College. 
His nearest friends importuned him to take the Professor's chair. 
Born to be a scholar, how could he refuse to spend his meditative life 
amid the groves of the institution which, from its infancy, had been 
among the most cherished objects of his care, and hard by the old 
family mansion which he continued to love with a child's tenderness. 
But he cut the strings which bound him to the old familiar scenes of 
his youth, and accepted the Secretaryship of the Education Society. 
In 1828 he commenced the duties of that office, residing at Andover 
meanwhile, and for two years pursuing his studies in this Seminary. 
That he should have essayed to combine the toils of so important 
an office, with the severer toils of a theological student, was not wise. 
In his amiable desire for immediate usefulness, he failed here to 
exercise his wonted sagacity. It was afterwards one of his princi- 
ples, that the appropriate duties of the divinity school are more than 
sufficient to engross the attention of its members ; that no extraneous 
care should be allowed to interrupt the pupil's investigation of that 
science which would claim the undisturbed attention of a seraph; 
that our ministerial candidates will be, in the end, more practical 
workmen, and render a better service to the mass of mankind, by 
humbly and patiently, for three or more years, learning to preach 
the Gospel, than by hastening from their preliminary seclusion into 


a course of public effort ; that it were better economy for our indigent 
youth to spend several months in some lucrative employment before 
or after their seminary course, than to break up the evenness of that 
course by the onerous duties of a teacher, agent, or public speaker. 
He had a reverence for the initiatory studies of a theologian, and 
dreaded every influence which could impair the taste or narrow the 
capacity for them. He prized this Seminary, as a retreat for young 
men who were in danger of sacrificing the permanent influence of 
their life, to a restlessness for contact with the bustling crowd. His 
own experience had made him grieve over any tendency in his pupils, 
to superadd foreign toil to their prescribed duty. He had learned 
that the superadded services would encroach upon the more appro- 
priate business of the scholar, or else the effort to be faithful in the 
two spheres, would endanger the physical system. The tone and 
vigor of his body and mind, suffered under the divided cares of his 
Middle and Senior years at the Seminary. He became despondent 
under their pressure. A dark veil was drawn between himself and 
his Saviour. He saw his own sins with unwonted vividness, and he 
trembled in view of them. For many weeks, he struggled and prayed 
and wept, without the least hope of his final salvation. He resided 
in what is now the office of our Treasurer, and were its walls to speak 
of all that has been endured within them, they would resound with 
many a plaintive groan which they have heard, amid the watches of 
the night, from that meek sufferer. There, when all his companions 
in study were locked in slumber, he was compelled to cry out, mild 
and genial as was his nature, " Save me, O God ; for the waters are 
come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no stand- 
ing ; I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I 
am weary of my crying ; my throat is dried ; mine eyes fail while I 
wait for my God." Pie did not speak of his griefs, as he never loved 
to expose his inner life, but they afterward gave a peculiar tinge to 
his aspect and mien. That look of self-abasement, those semitones 
of subdued grief, that retiring, shrinking attitude before strangers, 
that deferential treatment of other men known to be his inferiors, 
that quick sympathy with all who were unrighteously oppressed or 
despised, that promptness to relieve the sorrows of the poor and 
forsaken, these and such as these winning traits in our brother, were 
mementos of the sad discipline which he had undergone, while 
combining study with business. In some degree these traits were 
natural to him, but his inward affliction revealed while it purified 
his nature. One sentiment of penitence and self-distrust seems to 


have formed his manners, and moulded the very features of his 

It was an interesting trait in the character of our friend, that he 
was hopeful in regard to himself in all his relations, except those of 
a probationer for eternity ; and even while mourning over his own 
religious prospects, he was enthusiastic in the service of other men. 
During the very months of his spiritual darkness, he wrote with 
buoyancy of hope for the Education Society, with which he was 
grieved to regard himself as altogether unfit to be connected. His 
labors were said by his fellow Secretary, Mr. Cornelius, to be " indis- 
pensable for the Society." Whenever he attempted to release him- 
self from them, he was assured by the Directors, that the cause of 
eleemosynary education would suffer without his counsels and perti- 
nacious diligence. At that period the Society was in the hey-day of 
its triumph. Our friend writes of sixty thousand dollars collected 
within two months, of eighty new beneficiaries received, and a hundred 
new applicants expected at a single quarterly meeting. He looks 
forward to the day when he shall be called to provide for two thou- 
sand scholars, destined to preach the word of life to two million souls. 
Mr. Cornelius, he writes, "will not be satisfied till the Education 
Society has four thousand students under its patronage, and the Gos- 
pel of Christ is published unto the ends of the earth." 

But the bounding spirit of Mr. Cornelius was soon transferred 
from the cause of ministerial education. In 1832 he died, and Mr. 
Edwards, inconsolable for his loss, wrote a careful memoir of him, in 
1833. The churches of our land had become involved in financial 
embarrassments, and the Society shared in the common disaster. 
Still, having loved that Society at the first, our brother, always con- 
stant in his attachments, loved it unto the end. He stood true to it 
and firm in its defence, when some of his friends forsook or assailed 
it. And the last years of his life, when he needed cheerfulness and 
repose, were often harassed with anxiety for the cause which he be- 
lieved to be essential for the growth of our churches. He remained 
a Secretary of the Society until May, 1833. In 1850, he was chosen 
one of its Directors, and continued such until all his labors on earth 

It was as an Editor, as well as Secretary, that Mr. Edwards first 
made an impression upon the community at large. While in the 
tutorship at Amherst College, he had m part the editorial care of a 
weekly journal, called the New England Inquirer. He devoted about 


one third of his time to the religious and poetical departments of that 
paper. He was afterwards occasionally employed in superintending 
the Boston Recorder. From the autumn of 1828 until the spring of 
1842, he retained his editorial connection with the Quarterly Register 
and Journal of the Americal Education Society. The plan of the 
work in its most important features was his, as was also the spirit in 
which it was conducted. He designed to make it a great store-house 
of facts for the present and future generations. It gave a new impulse 
to statistical inquiries in our land. It contains indispensable mate- 
rials for our future ecclesiastical history. Those elaborate descrip- 
tions and tabular views of the academies, colleges, professional schools, 
public libraries, eleemosynary associations in this country and in, 
Europe; those historical and chronological narratives of parishes, 
states, kingdoms, sects, eminent men, philanthropic schemes ; those 
calm and trustworthy notices of our current literature ; those choice 
selections and chaste essays were, in great part, either prepared by 
himself, or at his suggestion, or revised by his discriminating eye. 
In his superintendence of those fourteen, and more especially of the 
first ten octavo volumes, so much more useful to others than the care 
of them could have been to himself, he had melancholy occasion to 
say, Aliis in serviendo consumer. We cannot repress a sigh, when 
we read in his modest, familiar letters : " I have spent six hours to- 
day in correcting one page of a proof-sheet ;" and again : " After the 
rest of the Sabbath, my wrist troubles me less, it having been some- 
what inflamed by the incessant writing of the last two or three weeks ;" 
and still again, as early as 1835 : ' I have written eight hours to-day, 
four sheets of literary notices. I feel something wrong in my side, 
I suppose on account of my position in writing." For all these toils 
in accumulating the materials for this Journal, he received no ade- 
quate recompense. They were, in great part, labors of love. 

While making his tours of observation among our colleges and 
theological schools, Mr. Edwards became satisfied that more effort 
must be made for the mental and moral culture of our pastors, as 
well as ministerial candidates. He desired to foster the continued in- 
terest of our clergy in all good learning, by opening an avenue through 
which they might -communicate their thoughts to the world. It was 
partly for the purpose of calling out their hidden energies, that he 
established, in July, 1833, the American Quarterly Observer. He 
continued this periodical three years, when it was united with the 
Biblical Repository, which had been during the four preceding years 
conducted by Prof. Robinson at Andover. He remained sole editor 


of these combined periodicals, from January, 1835, to January, 1838. 
Six years after he withdrew from the Repository, he became the 
principal editor of the Bibliotheca Sacra and Theological Review; 
and, with the exception of two years, he had the chief care of this 
work from 1844 to 1852. In the year 1851, the Biblical Repository 
was transferred from New York to Andover, and united with the 
Bibliotheca Sacra; so that this veteran editor was entrusted the second 
time with that Review, which he had already done much to sustain 
and adorn. For twenty-three years he was employed in superin- 
tending our periodical literature ; and, with the aid of several asso- 
ciates, he has left thirty-one octavo volumes as the monuments of his 
enterprise and industry in this onerous department. What man, liv- 
ing or dead, has ever expended so much labor upon our higher Quar- 
terlies? A labor how severe! and equally thankless. 

He combined facility of execution with great painstaking and care- 
fulness. He often compressed into a few brief sentences, the results 
of an extended and a prolonged research. In order to prepare him- 
self for writing two or three paragraphs on geology, he has been 
known to read an entire and elaborate treatise on that science. His 
industry surprised men ; for while he had two periodicals under his 
editorial care, he was often engaged in superintending the American 
reprints of English works. Besides attending to the proofsheets of 
his own Quarterlies, he would sometimes correct more than a hun- 
dred pages every week, of the proofsheets of other volumes, and 
would often compose for them prefatory or explanatory notes. And 
amid all the drudgery of these labors for the press, his rule was, 
never to let a day pass by, without refreshing his taste with the peru- 
sal of some lines from a favorite poet, such as Virgil or Spenser. 

It was his patriotic aim in his various periodicals, to encourage a 
national literature, to guard the reputation and elicit the talent of 
American authors, to lay the treasures of British, German and French 
learning at the feet of his own countrymen, and stimulate them in 
this way to a more vigorous and independent activity. His belief 
was, that the light of other nations would enkindle our own, and that 
we should become the more versatile, and even the more original, by 
the quickening influences of transatlantic mind. 

It was also his aim, especially in the Quarterly Observer, to com- 
bine the good men and true of all evangelical sects in one literary 
brotherhood, and to call forth their associated activity in aid of the 
great principles which were dear to them all. He therefore raised 
the Journal above sectarian influences, and concentrated upon it the 


choice talent of varying parties. Ever was it his joy, to see the 
scattered rays of genius converge to one point. Some of his reviews 
w^re published amid the stir and the noise of ecclesiastical warfare ; 
but how serene is the spirit of Christian science which beams forth 
from his pages ! Who would ever suspect, that those catholic words 
were written for partisans agitated with the polemics of theology, 
and clamorous, often, against the divine who stood aloof from their 
strife. He knew the temptation of reviewers to gratify an envious 
spirit, and to malign mew, under the pretence of opposing error. It 
was no feeble effort of our friend, to save his journals from the very 
appearance of a morose, querulous temper, and to keep out those per- 
sonal or sectional jealousies, which are the most baneful of heresies. 
To all reckless critics he has taught a wise lesson. Of the numerous 
authors whom he has reviewed, has a single one ever accused him of 
an unfair, an unscholarlike, an ungentlemanly criticism ? Once when 
he received an article exposing the grossest literary blunders of a 
divine whose faith he disapproved, he refused to publish the article, 
for the mere purpose of checking the tendency to assail the character 
of men, in order to supplant their doctrines. Again, he was impor- 
tuned to make a display of the literary plagiarisms which had been 
detected in a theological opponent. But so sensitive was he to the 
evils of personal strife, especially among divines, that he spared his 
foe at the risk of displeasing his friend. I have used the word foe. 
I ought not to have used it. For the honor of our race, I would 
trust that he had no personal enemies ; and if he had, Father for- 
give them, for they know not what they have done, if he had per- 
sonal enemies, they would have been safe in his hand. Probably he 
never published a word against a man who had injured him. The 
reputation of others he looked upon as a sacred treasure. He studied 
that true dignity, which consists in sustaining a principle and forget- 
ting the persons of his antagonists. He had a passion for true and 
kindly words. Would God, that the mantle of this editor, as harm- 
less as he was wise, not less free from envy than from vanity ^ might 
fall upon every man who ventures upon the work, so hazardous to 
his own soul, of being a censor over his brethren ! 

It was another favorite aim of Mr. Edwards, in his various period- 
icals, to combine learning and taste with true religion. As he re- 
coiled from an unsanctified literature, so he struggled for a higher 
good than unlettered pietism. He digged deep, that he might enrich 
his reviews with the costliest gems of beauty. His creed was, that a 
refined sensibility to the graceful and the noble gives ornament and 


and aid to virtue. He shrunk from all coarse and vulgar criticisms, 
as out of harmony with the genius of the Gospel ; and he frowned 
upon every expression of irreverence and ungodliness, as at variance 
with the spirit of true philosophy. Hence his periodicals were wel- 
comed to libraries which had been wont to receive no books of cleri- 
cal aspect. He lamented; in his later years, that he had given so 
much of his time to our serial literature ; but he did not know how 
much he had achieved thereby, in liberalizing the studies of good 
men, and in purifying the tastes of those who had previously no fellow- 
ship with the Gospel. Several features of his reviews have been 
copied not only by American, but also by European journals. He 
did not reflect, that he had found access to minds which would never 
have perused the more lengthened treatises of systematic theologians ; 
that he had insensibly stimulated authors to be more generous in their 
culture, more candid in their decisions, less flippant and unthoughtful 
in their words ; that he had breathed the spirit of the peaceful Gos- 
pel into the hearts of men more belligerent than wise. If his thirty- 
one octavo volumes of periodical literature had been superintended 
by a man of indelicate taste and of confined learning and litigious 
spirit, how disastrous would have been their influence upon the com- 
fort of godly and discreet men ! 

It was as a Philanthropist, that Mr. Edwards began his editorial 
course. He never would have withdrawn his mind from classical 
learning to the statistics of schools and charitable funds, had not the 
same bosom which glowed with the love of letters, been warmed with 
a still more active zeal for the welfare of men. Animating the pages 
of his Reviews, is found the liveliest sympathy for' the feeble, the 
troubled, the ignorant, the perverse. In his zeal to conduct well the 
correspondence of the Education Society, he attended a writing school 
when he was thirty years old, for the sake of improving his chirog- 
raphy, which before was good enough. He became so deeply inter- 
ested in the culture of the young, that in 1832 and 1835 he published 
two school-books, The Eclectic Reader, and an Introduction to the 
Eclectic Reader ; both of them filled with the choicest selections from 
English arid American literature, and both of them showing the fruits 
of his multifarious reading and delicate moral taste. He also pre- 
pared, but never printed, a series of questions on President Edwards's 
History of Redemption, and designed them to be used in academies, 
as an aid to the recitation of that treatise. In 1832 he published his 
Biography of Self-taught Men, which was designed, as it was adrni- 


rably fitted, to wake up the dormant powers of the youth who are 
most tempted to neglect them. While residing in Boston, he was one 
of the most enterprising members of Pine Street Church ; he was 
enthusiastic in teaching its Sabbath School. He wrote and published, 
in 1835, for his own adult class, a small volume on the Epistle to the 
Galatians, and he assisted in preparing several other books for Sab- 
bath School instruction. His labors for Amherst College, during its 
infantile sufferings, were earnest and faithful. In 1845, he was soli- 
cited to become President of the Institution. In 1848, he was chosen 
one of its Trustees, and he fatigued himself in care and toil for its 
library, at a time when his health demanded entire rest. He loved 
his country ; and while making the tour of Europe in 1846-7, he 
collected materials for a large (and it would have been a strikingly 
original) volume, which he was intending to publish, on the recipro- 
cal influences of the old world and the new, and the methods in which 
we may give as well as receive good, in our intercourse with trans- 
atlantic nations. It would have been an opportune treatise on moral 

Few persons have reflected more than he, on the Missionary enter- 
prise. For several months he examined the question, with an hon- 
est, self-sacrificing heart, whether it were his duty to spend his life, 
where he was entirely willing to spend it, among the heathen. He 
kept himself familiar with the details of missions established not only 
by the American Board, but by other Societies. In 1832, he pub- 
lished the Missionary Gazetteer, containing a succinct account of the 
various attempts made by all Christian sects to evangelize the world. 
With the hope of deepening the public sympathy for the heathen, he 
edited in 1831 the Life of Henry Martyn, prefixed to it an Introduc- 
tory Essay, and appended to it a series of notes, compiled, as the 
essay was written, after a most extensive research. The character 
of Henry Martyn was ever dear to him. He resembled that beloved 
man, in the refinement and generousness of his philanthropy. 

From the beginning to the end of his public life, he labored for the 
African race. The first pamphlet which he ever printed was a plea 
for the slave. While he was pursuing his theological studies, he 
heard that a colored youth had come hither to enjoy the privileges 
of the seminary. Some of his fellow-students had an instinctive reluc- 
tance to be in company with the stranger, but our self-denying friend, 
sensitive as he was to the ridicule of men, shrinking from all appear- 
ance of eccentricity, scrupulous in his regard to all the rules of neat- 
ness and refinement and seemliness, invited the sable youth to reside 

in the same room with him. For several weeks this man, so digni- 
fied, so delicate in his sensibilities, studied at the same table with the 
poor African. This was the man ! What would he not do for his 
degraded fellow-sinners ! Like his great Exemplar, he chose to suf- 
fer with and for the publican, rather than to sit in the halls of kings. 
In 1835, he aided in forming the American Union for the Relief and 
Improvement of the Colored Race. He was among the most zealous 
and persevering of all the members of this society. He wrote, pub- 
lished, lectured, and gave liberally, too liberally, in its behalf. His 
great aim was to elevate that race, so as to make it respected, instead 
of merely pitied. For twenty-six years, he was an unwavering friend 
of the Colonization Society, in its reverses as well as in its triumphs. 
He prayed for it. He toiled for it. He meditated plans for it. He 
suffered for it. He was willing to suffer more. The Secretary of 
the Massachusetts Colonization Society writes : " I do not know how 
this society could have been kept alive, for two or three of its first 
years, but for the aid of Mr. Edwards." He was one of its Board of 
Managers, from its foundation in 1841, until 1845, and was one of its 
Vice Presidents during the last seven years of his life. No man had 
a more intense aversion than he, to the system of slavery. He had 
seen its evils. He had felt them. He bore his last pain among them. 
He sighed at the very thought of an innocent man in chains. His 
spirit was burdened within him, by every new wrong inflicted on a 
race already bleeding. In his very make, he was a lover of freedom. 
By his dearest instincts, he recoiled from every form of injustice and 
harshness. But he restrained the expression of his feelings, when- 
ever the expression seemed to threaten harm. He guarded his tongue 
with bit and bridle, wherever he feared that his warm sensibilities 
would rush out in words tending to irritate more than reform his 
opposers. And as he disciplined himself to be meek and forbearing 
toward the friends of slavery, so he fostered a patient spirit toward 
those of its enemies who passed the bounds of what he deemed a safe 
discretion. He knew, in the depths of his soul, how to sympathize 
with their abhorrence of the unrighteous bondage, but he knew that 
undiscriminating rebuke might aggravate the ills which it was in- 
tended to heal, and he studied on this subject, more than almost any 
other, to adopt wise as well as efficient methods for removing the 
evil under which he groaned. 

The whole truth is, that our brother loved man as man ; and noth- 
ing that touched the welfare of one of the least among his fellow- 
sufferers, was alien from him. Not a few of us can remember how 


he spoke, it was in the strains of a second Cowper, when the 
Choctaws and Cherokees were compelled to leave the graves of their 
fathers ; how he sighed, as if he had been personally bereaved, at the 
ravages of the Seminole war ; how indignantly, for his gentle spirit 
would rouse itself at fitting times, he spoke in this pulpit, against 
the British invasion of China ; how deeply and personally grieved 
he ever felt at the reports of disasters by land or sea ; how carefully 
he studied to assuage the griefs or fears of the widow and the orphan ; 
how faithfully he taught German to a servant in his house ; how 
thoughtful he was to search out the sick student, to provide raiment 
for the young men who were poorly clad, and to take such as were 
desponding to his own home, and attend to their good cheer. So did 
he live, and how rare for a man to live so, that we feel even now 
the rich meaning of the sentence which will one day be uttered be- 
fore him : " I was an hungred and ye gave me meat ; thirsty, and 
ye gave me drink ; sick, and ye visited me ; in prison, and ye came 
unto me." 

As a Preacher, Mr. Edwards next appeared before the churches. 
During his first Senior term at Andover, he writes to his father: 
" Our class will, I suppose, preach in vacation. I think I shall not. 
I cannot do it conscientiously, and no one would advise me to do it 
against my conscience." . Again he writes : " As I am borne on to- 
wards the Christian ministry, I shrink back almost with terror. It 
sometimes seems to me, that I shall be upheld till I reach the sum- 
mit, only to fall the lower." Still again : " My heart and my con- 
science fail, when I look forward to such a work [as the ministerial]. 
If I take it upon me, I do not know but that it will be said : Better 
for that man if he had not been born." 

Under the inspiriting influence of Mr. Cornelius, however, our 
friend was -persuaded in 1831 to enter the pulpit. He often regretted 
afterward, that he had ever done so. " It is," he writes, u a dreadful 
thought to me, very often, that God is more displeased with me for 
my prayers than for anything else ; they are so heartless and hypo* 

His excessive diffidence in the pulpit arose, not altogether from 
his severe introspection of his own heart, but in some degree alsoj 
from his want of certain gifts for public address. His voice was not 
commanding ; his gestures were not graceful ; his attitudes not easy. 
He was near-sighted, and compelled to lean his head over and near 
his manuscript. Still, in a small house 5 or before a learned audience* 

his outward manner, though wanting in some of the graces, was 
singularly winning. Few men in this Chapel have ever equalled 
him, in holding their auditory spell-bound. He spoke with a cautious 
accent and a guarded emphasis, which betokened the selectness of his 
thoughts. He recited passages from the Bible, with such a glowing 
countenance and marked inflection, as gave a living commentary on 
the text. There was frequently a plaintiveness in his tones, that 
harmonized well with the sentiment breathed forth in them. Some 
of his attitudes in the pulpit would furnish a sculptor with a good 
model of self-distrust and self-abasement. In his lowly way, he ex- 
pressed a reverence and an awe of God, which must have come from 
a heart broken under a sense of guilt. When he raised his frame 
from its inclined position over his manuscript, and when for a moment 
he stood erect and gazed so honestly and earnestly at Ms hearers, 
he drew them to him as to a friend in whom they might confide, and 
whose sympathies were ever with his Redeemer and with all good 
men. Then there was a classic purity in his style, which fascinated 
the hearers who were trained to discern it. Then there were the 
terse, sententious, apothegmatic utterances, which startled and de- 
lighted the men who were able to understand them. He did not 
care so much about the logical form of his discourses, as about their 
inmost heart, They were free from common-places ; and had a 
luxuriance of thought and feeling, which reminded one of trees with 
their branches bending and breaking under their fruit. They were 
not so remarkable for an obvious unity, as for a pathos that swelled 
through them, or a vein of sentiment original, delicate, graceful, 
intangible, enchanting* Our brother had the artlessness of George 
Herbert, whom he loved so tenderly. His simple-hearted suggestions 
reminded one of the " meek Walton," to whom he had a rare likeness. 
Where he was known, he gained the ear of his auditors by their 
reverence for his general character, so congruous with the preacher's 
calling, and also by their sympathy with his interest in all parts of 
Divine worship. They perceived his studious care in selecting and 
in reading the hymns, or rather the psalms, which were his favorite 
lyrics. He sometimes was so earnest as to specify the tunes in which 
his select stanzas were to be sung. He had formed the plan of col- 
lecting and publishing two or three hundred of the most exquisite 
songs of Zion, for those worshippers who loved to offer praise in rich 
words full of choice sentiment. 

One might infe'r from the native sweetness of his temper* that he 
would be refined in his treatment of men who had no spiritual interest 


in the truths which he dispensed. While a theological student he 
writes ; " I would preach the law in all its strictness and spirituality, 
and terrible denunciations, but only to lead men to fly to the city of 
refuge ;" and after noticing a volume of sermons which had begun to 
receive the applause of his brethren, he says: "I cannot help think- 
ing that there is an unfeeling and vindictive spirit in these discourses. 
If I am not mistaken, they will drive the sinner to rage and mutiny, 
sooner than to self-condemnation. By these sermons, I should think 
their author lived when Agag and Ahitophel, Ahab and Jezebel 
were enemies to the church, rather than under the Gospel of mercy." 

He was of so contemplative a habit, and his general intercourse 
with men was so courteous and deferential, that he was less inclined 
to make a direct and impetuous onset upon the feelings, than to pre- 
sent before them a faithful and vivid delineation of biblical truth. 
Here, as elsewhere, his private character disclosed itself in his public 
labors. He was pungent and severe and uncompromising in his ap- 
plication of the law to himself, but he deemed it wise to address other 
men in a general rather than personal, in an instructive rather than 
hortatory way. He may have been too exclusive in his preference 
for the didactic style ; but it was a preference founded on mature 
consideration. Long before he entered the pulpit, he wrote : " You 
must have noticed, that truth presented in an indirect manner is more 
touching than when presented in the way of direct assertion and ad- 
vice. For instance, it has a much more powerful effect in exciting 
me to duty, to hear a preacher describe particularly the love of Christ, 
giving minute instances of it, than to exhort me to awake, or to pre- 
sent to me the most pointed appeals. When I was living in entire 
forgetfulness of God, I was not half so much convinced of the reality 
of religion by the pathetic exhortations in the letters of my friends, 
as from some occasional and altogether incidental remarks of my 
father. It seems to me, here is a field for doing good that is in a 
great measure unexplored. In writing a letter to an unconverted 
friend, it seems to me that it will be much more effectual, as a gene- 
ral thing, to present two or three real instances of the value of reli- 
gion or the evils of wanting it, and to let him make the inference, 
than to warn or exhort. Also, when in company of a promiscuous 
kind, a Christian can relate an incident, or make a passing remark, 
more deep and lasting in its effects than a formal conversation. If 
I am ever permitted to preach, I think I shall take this course as the 
general one." 

The most conspicuous feature in the sermons of our friend, waa 

the tenderness of sensibility which they developed in regard to the 
redemptive system. His tones of voice, his expression of counte- 
nance, the arrangement of his words, all changed as soon as he 
touched this theme. He felt, as few men have ever felt, the worth 
and power of that grace by which the sensitive conscience is eased 
of its pains. The waves of trouble flowing from a sense of guilt had 
rolled over him, and he had found a shelter behind the rock that was 
higher than he. He had heard the deep call unto the deep, and his 
soul would have been swallowed up amid the surges that threatened 
him, had not the voice of his Redeemer cried to the waves : " Peace, 
be still." His discourses were a sign of his breathing a higher and 
purer atmosphere than that of the world ; of his intense personal sym- 
pathy with the Man of Sorrows ; of his living in Christ, while Christ 
abode in him ; of his being himself offended with all that could dis- 
please the Head of the church, as our sympathizing Head is offended 
with all that disturbs the peace of his members, even of the little ones 
that abide in Him. 

And if our friend may be thus described as a preacher, how shall we 
speak of him as a hearer of the Gospel ? He seemed to keep up an 
incessant dialogue with the minister to whom he listened. Was there 
ever a man who expressed a livelier sympathy with the truths which 
he heard ? lie could not endure to sit in the vicinity of hearers, who 
did not feel as he felt toward the preacher. He has been seen to leave 
his appropriate seat among his companions in middle life, who, as he 
feared, would dislike a sermon from which he anticipated pleasure, 
and to take a seat among young men, who, as he foresaw, would share 
in his delight. A few years ago, in attempting to recapitulate the 
substance of a discourse which he had recently heard, on the riches 
of atoning love, his emotions checked his utterance, and he could not 
proceed in rehearsing even the schedule of the sermon. Such in- 
stances Were common in his life. Have not all his friends discerned 
the smile playing on his lips, at the gracious words which came from 
the pulpit ; or the tear which suffused his eye at every tender senti- 
ment which was uttered ; or the frown and hanging head which be- 
tokened that he had heard a phrase tending to dishonor his Maker ; or 
the turning of his countenance this way and that way, to catch the 
sympathies which seemed to be floating around him? And who, 
that has ever seen the light and shade of sentiment thus alternating 
over his visage and attitude, has not felt that a spirit so delicate and 
sensitive was not formed for a lengthened sojourn in a tabernacle of 
flesh and blood ? It is a sad reminiscence, that during the last two 


years of his worship in this Chapel, he has perhaps never heard an 
allusion to the grave and to bereavement, without casting a pitiful 
eye to those who might soon be clothed in weeds at the side of his 
own burial-place. 

Immediatejy after leaving the Theological Seminary, Mr. Edwards 
removed from Andover to Boston, and remained in that metropolis 
from the autumn of 1830 until the spring of 1836. He then trans- 
ferred his residence to Andover, and in the autumn of 1837 was 
appointed Professor of the Hebrew language in the Seminary. At 
the resignation of Mr. Stuart, he was elected, in 1848, to the chair 
of Biblical Literature, which devolved upon him instruction in the 
Greek as well as the Hebrew Bible. As a biblical teacher, he spent 
the last fifteen years, the most valuable period of his life. As a 
Biblical Teacher, therefore, he deserves to be noticed at this time. 

We are first reminded of the great labor which he spent upon the 
sacred text, and of his exertions to qualify himself for teaching it. 
His earliest studies were biblical. He had read the Bible through 
seven times, and all of Dr. Scott's Notes twice, before he was eleven 
years old. He began the Hebrew language at the age of twenty- 
two, and pursued it regularly, almost daily, as long as he lived. 
He had studied the old Saxon tongue, chiefly for the purpose of 
being able to appreciate more correctly the merits of our English 
Bible. Through life it was his rule, to peruse no book which would 
impair his taste for the sacred volume. During his editorial career, 
he had corrected proofsheets of Hebrew and also of Greek works 
then in press, andhad submitted to this drudgery, alas ! how much 
of literary drudgery did he not perform ! for the sake of familiar- 
izing himself with the minutiae of the sacred languages. In order 
to gain a more thorough mastery of the Hebrew idioms, he began, in 
1839, the study of the Arabic, and in subsequent years, the study of 
other cognate languages. If we will but examine his essays in the 
Reviews which he edited, and the volumes which he was engaged in 
publishing during the last fifteen years, we shall see that they all 
indicate his design- (for he was eminent for acting on a plan matured 
with forethought), to qualify himself more and more for expounding 
the original Scriptures. Thus, in 1839, he aided in translating a 
volume of Selections from German Literature ; and his chief design 
in preparing this work was, to familiarize himself with the German 
tongue, that key to the biblical literature of the world, that instru- 
mental tongue without which no one, at the present day, will be an 

adept in sacred learning. In 1843, he united with Professors Sears 
and Felton in publishing the " Classical Studies." But his ultimate 
aim in this work was, to imbibe more deeply the spirit of the old 
Greek and Roman authors, to refine his taste for elegant letters, and 
thus to fit himself for worthier comments on the inspired page. He 
was associated, in 1844, with Mr. Samuel H. Taylor ? in translating 
the larger Greek Grammar of Dr. Kiihner. He deemed this a wise 
discipline for acquiring a minute acquaintance with the structure and 
genius of the Greek language, and for capacitating himself thereby 
to examine the New Testament more profoundly. All these studies 
he made tributary to his one comprehensive aim. They were not 
miscellaneous in the sense of planless, but were the wide-reaching 
efforts of an enterprising, concentrative mind. 

And when, in 1846 and 1847, he made the tour of Europe for his 
health, he did not forget his one idea. He revelled amid the trea- 
sures of the Bodleian Library, and the Royal Library at Paris ; he 
sat as a learner at the feet of Montgomery, Wordsworth, Chalmers, 
Messofanti, Neander, the Geological Society of London and the 
Oriental Society of Prussia, and he bore away from all these scenes 
new helps for his own comprehensive science. He gleaned illustra- 
tions of Divine truth, like Alpine flowers, along the borders of the 
Mer de Glace, and by the banks of " the troubled Ar,e," and at the 
foot of the Jungfrau. He drew pencil sketches of the battle-field at 
Waterloo, of Niebuhr's monument at Bonn, and of the cemetery 
where he surmised that he may have found the burial-place of John 
Calvin. He analyzed the causes of the impression made by the 
Rhine and the valley of Chamouni. He wrote tasteful criticisms on 
the works of Salvator Rosa, Correggio, Titian, Murillo, Vandyke, 
Canova, Thorwaldsen; he trembled before the Transfiguration by 
Raphael, and the Last Judgment by Michael Angelo ; he was re- 
freshed with the Italian music, " unwinding the very soul of har- 
mony;" he stood entranced before the colonnades and under the 
dome of St. Peter's, and on the walls of the Colosseum by moonlight, 
and amid the statues of the Vatican by torchlight, and on the roof of 
the St. John Lateran at sunset, " where," he says; " I beheld a pros- 
pect such as probably earth cannot elsewhere furnish ;" he walked the 
Appian way,' exclaiming: "On this identical road, the old pave- 
ments now existing in many places, on these' fields, over these 
hills, down these rivers and bays, Horace, Virgil, Cicero, Marius 
^ and other distinguished Romans, walked, or wandered, or sailed. 
Here, also, apostles and martyrs once journeyed, or were led to their 


scene of suffering. Over a part of this very road, there is no doubt 
that Paul travelled, when he went bound to Rome." He wrote 
sketches of all these scenes ; and in such a style as proves his inten- 
tion to regale his own mind with the remembrance of them, to adorn 
his lectures with descriptions of them, to enrich his commentaries 
with the images and the suggestions, which his chaste fancy had 
drawn from them. But, alas ! all these fragments of thought now 
sleep, like the broken statues of the Parthenon, and where is the 
power of genius that can restore the full meaning of these lines, and 
call back their lost charms ! Where is that more than Promethean 
fire, that can their light relume ! 

The assiduity of Mr. Edwards in exploring so many sources of 
knowledge, enabled him to impart various instruction in a chaste, 
elegant style. His editorial labors had required of him a multifarious 
reading, and still had disciplined him to be scrupulously exact. In- 
deed, some have supposed him to be a mere sharp-sighted, punctilious, 
painstaking, wary chronicler of facts. His moral principles, also, 
made him correct in his studies. It was one of his favorite maxims, 
that a rigidly honest heart exerts a reflex influence upon the mental 
habits. In his conversation he cherished a delicate regard to truth, 
so that he might be incited to new carefulness in his professional 
inquiries ; and as he was exact in his life, in order to become the 
more exact in his study, so he was cautious as a scholar, in order to 
become the more exemplary in his life. His dress,. room, manners, 
evinced his love of neatness, and his taste for just thought and fit 
words. Writing far more than the majority of scholars, he still wrote 
with a degree of painstaking, which men who do not sympathize with 
his love for the precise truth, would think unworthy of him. He 
conformed to the principle, which he has often reiterated, that " after 
all which may be said respecting unstudied nature, the outbreaking 
of natural eloquence, the happy disregard of rule and formality, of 
which we so frequently hear, it is yet refreshing and instructive be- 
yond expression, to listen to well-composed sentences, which have 
been subjected to the revision of a severely disciplined mind." 1 His 
style became so well-adjusted, so affluent in thought, that Professor 
Stuart pronounced it to be "just about perfect for a commentary." 
But with all his nice care, he combined a singular beauty. His fine 
taste for nature and art, gave every day the most promising first- 
fruits of a rich harvest, to be gleaned from his future labors. Other 

. e. 

1 American Quarterly Register, Vol. IX. p. 13. 


men have broken up the fallow ground and have levelled the waste 
places, and have fought with beasts at Ephesus ; but our friend had 
a rare fondness and an almost instinctive aptitude for detecting the 
latent beauties of the Bible, for setting in a good light its numberless 
minor graces, for clothing its loftier thoughts with their own befitting 
majesty. Here was to have been his excelling power as a commen- 
tator. His biblical notes are now like a garden of fruits just budding 
into life. His classes hung upon his words uttered with a lowly 
accent, and will now labor to fill out the etchings which were drawn 
for them by his breathing pencil. He had not the masculine tones, 
the strong, impetuous, overpowering utterance of Mr. Stuart ; he did 
not compel the attention of the indolent, and force men to hear when 
they would forbear ; but he insinuated his thought into the love of his 
pupils, and he wound their affections around him with silken bands. 
He had another excellence as a teacher. It was his sympathy 
with the truths and characters delineated in the Bible. He was, 
indeed, familiar with the geography and archaeology of the Scrip- 
tures. He could have threaded his way thrpugh the lanes of Jeru- 
salem, as easily as through the streets of Boston, and he did not know 
the windings of the roads in his own New England, better than he knew 
the paths along the hills and valleys of Judaea. But he was not so 
eminent for his knowledge of the outward circumstances in which the 
patriarchs, prophets and apostles lived, as for his cordial fellowship 
with their inmost life. His home was in the heart of the sacred pen- 
men, amid their tenderest sentiments. He brought the enthusiasm of 
a poet to the study of the volume, so large a part of which is written in 
poetry. Abraham was a father to him, as to the faithful of old. He 
looked up to Moses with a reverence like that of the ancient tribes. 
He lingered over the Psalms of David, as if he could never let them 
pass out of his sight. When he perused them in course for the last 
time at family prayer, he could "not afford to read many verses on 
any single day ;" they were so precious that he dreaded to reach the 
end; and the few lines which he regaled himself with in the morn- 
ing, were his refreshment until the glad return of his hour for house- 
hold devotion. Few men had ever a clearer insight into the book of 
Job than he, or a deeper sympathy with the emotions that swelled the 
bosom of the old patriarch. And, had he lived to finish the commen- 
taries which he had begun on this book and on the book of the Psalms, 
he would have uncovered new gems of sentiment, and bequeathed un- 
told treasures to a late posterity. Not his lips only, but his entire 
frame would sometimes quiver with feeling, as he explained before his 


pupils a sentiment of the old prophets. Were it not for his reverence 
for the inspired penmen, we should say that he had a fellow-feeling 
with them, and this quickened his eye to discern the shades of ex- 
pression too faint for the notice of cold, verbal critics. He felt the 
philosophy which lies hidden under the poetic forms of the Bible. 
His taste for the inspired beauties was like a magnet attracting them 
to itself. To him the sacred words were written in illuminated letters. 
He enjoyed the delicate graces imperceptible to heartless inquirers. 
His was an elect mind. 

The merits of a teacher do not lie entirely in his general character. 
He needs a particular interest in the school which he instructs. 
While a tutor in Amherst College, Mr. Edwards identified himself 
with it. During the fifteen years of his residence at Andover, he 
loved this Seminary with an intenseness which wasted his frame'. It 
was his terrestrial Zion. His joy was to go round about her, telling 
her towers and marking well her bulwarks. Before her gates he 
scattered the flowers of his various learning, and at her altars, with 
a grateful heart, he threw down the laurels with which a world had 
crowned him. No arrow that was hurled at her could ever reach 
her, without first passing through his own soul. He will not be re- 
membered here as fully as he would have been, if a mysterious Provi- 
dence had not broken him off from his labors. But his memory will 
wave before distant generations of students, as the memory of that 
disciple whom Jesus loved. They will walk with a tender interest 
around the classic stone that is to mark his resting place. They will 
write and speak of the star that rose mildly in the east, and attracted 
the gaze of distant observers, and men were turning their glasses to 
it, and watching its upward progress, when it vanished out of their 

Shall 1 speak of our friend as a Theologian ? I have hesitated 
long, before consenting to associate his name with a word w^hich has 
come to be regarded as a symbol for wrangling and logomachy ; for 
dry, fruitless theories, marring the simplicity of the Gospel, confusing, 
and therefore exasperating the very men who strive for them. His 
soul turned away from ecclesiastical pugilism. He never descended 
into the ambitious and envious quarrel about the shibboleths of a 
party. He never soiled his white raiment in those contests for per- 
sonal or sectional preeminence, which have been so often waged over 
the interminable jargon of scholastic metaphysics, misnamed divinity. 
Men have not been wont to speak of him as a theologian. They 


have called him a student of the Bible. They have talked about him 
as a pure-minded inquirer for the truth. They have termed him an 
Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. They have spoken of him as 
that disciple whom Jesus^ved. But as a technical theologian he has 
been named so seldom, that perhaps I shall disturb the sacred asso- 
ciations that cluster around his memory, if I allude to him in this 
sphere of his labor. 

But he was a theologian, in the best sense of that abused word. 
He was versed in the science of the great God, and this science is 
theology, and it is the noblest of all sciences. He was a divine. As 
a logician, he may have had no signal preeminence, although he was 
familiar with the books and the rules of dialectics, nor did he under- 
value them. When he left his home for the last time, he took with 
him 'the Port Royal Logic, for his entertainment amid the scenes 
where he was to close his studies on earth. But he was a biblical, 
if not peculiarly a logical divine. He explained the Scriptures ac- 
cording to the canons of a sound, strong, plain common-sense. He 
was remarkable for his cautious, discreet, circumspect analysis of the 
text, his patient waiting before he made up a judgment, his humble 
inquiry, and the good Spirit promises to show the truth to a lowly 
seeker, his readiness to discern and to shun the absurdities, which 
a spurious logic derives from the letter, rather than from the mean- 
ing of the inspired words. He had the rare merit of taking his faith 
from the general import of the Bible, rather than from a few of its 
detached, " picked phrases.'' He had a large comprehension of its 
main scope, and he watched its decided drift, and was candid, for 
he prized candor as among the chief, and perhaps the very hardest 
of a scholar's virtues, and was conscientious, it was indeed his 
daily prayer that he might have a pure, sensitive conscience, in 
treating the Bible as a consistent whole, instead of seizing at a few 
of its terms, and wresting them from their adjuncts, and despoiling 
them of $Jieir simple, wholesome sense. It was the distinction of his 
creed, as he affirmed it to be the glory of Protestantism, that "it has 
no favorite chapter and verses ; it stands or falls on the spirit of the 
entire volume, on the widest induction of particulars, on the consen- 
taneous support of all the sacred writers, and of all which they de- 
clare. It pretends to no darling Apostle, to no artfully culled sym- 
bols ; it shrinks from no argument, is afraid of no catechizing, never 
arrays faith against reason, and relies" on a broad, common-sense 
interpretation of the Bible. 1 

i Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. V. p. 621. 


As our friend was a biblical, so was he a practical divine. It was 
common to speak of him as an intellectual man. He was such, but 
a man of feeling, likewise. He was led into the truth by his expe- 
rience of its power. He did reason concerning it, but with the help 
of his instincts and his Christian sympathies. He did not learn the 
native character of man by abstruse inference, or by observation of 
his neighbors ; but while he confesses his unfitness " for standing at 
the door and introducing others to the momentous work of preaching 
the Gospel," he adds : " Of whatever else I am ignorant, I do most 
fully believe the utter and enormous depravity of the human heart, 
and the absolute necessity of Almighty grace to subdue it ; and what- 
ever else I neglect to preach, if ever I am permitted to preach, I 
shall endeavor not to neglect Jesus Christ and him crucified." The 
divinity of the Saviour, also, he did not learn from a merely gram- 
matical comment on the letter of the Bible ; but his own deep grief 
gave emphasis to that letter, and he interrupts his expressions of de- 
spair in himself, by exclaiming : " If there is one ray of hope, which 
ever visits the darkness of my soul, it is when I think of the Saviour 
as Almighty, and ever present to hear and to help." 

Having learned the truth in this impressive way, it was natural 
that he should be a kind-hearted, generous divine. Bigotry and in- 
tolerance come of a spirit that knows not its own frailty. Those 
great facts of the evangelical scheme, which are made so prominent 
and so lovely in the Divine word as to draw all men unto them, he 
prized as the substance of the Gospel. And if men believed those 
great facts with the heart and from the heart, he bore their philoso- 
phical errors with a serene indulgence. Was he too catholic ? That 
were an ungracious criticism, but he was more liberal and kindly 
in his estimate of others, more lenient toward their mistakes, and 
more hopeful of their improvement, than any man whom I have ever 
known in our uneasy and uncomfortable race. He felt that he had 
enough to do in mourning over his own foUbles, without wasting his 
probation in exposing the faults of his fellow-men. How sadly shall 
we need his mild counsels, when we gird on our armor and go out to 
meet a challenge of the Philistines. How sorrowful shall we be, 
when we come back from the dust and clamor of the warfare, that 
we shall no more be greeted by his words of peace and sweet charity. 
Were there ten such men as he among our divines, then would the 
churches have rest. 

Let it not be inferred that, because he was tolerant of unessential 
error, he therefore had no fixed belief in unessential truth. He had 

his predilections for one sect, unworthy as this assertion may sound 
of his expansive sympathies. He delighted to reflect on himself as 
belonging to the same church with Clement and Jerome and Augus- 
tine and Chrysostom and Bernard, and Pascal and Fenelon, and Lu- 
ther and Zinzendorf, and Leighton and Heber, and John Foster and 
Robert Hall, and Whitefield and the Wesleys ; and he loved his own 
denomination, because it fitted him to fraternize with all good men 
and to call them all his own. He was among the very straitest and 
most unyielding of his se^ct, if I may use that sharp and narrow 
word, because its genius is, to leave the inquirer free and untram- 
melled ; and still, among his most cherished authors were such men 
as Wordsworth and Coleridge, the very men who had the strongest 
repugnance to some of his own ecclesiastical partialities. Men think 
of him, and should think of him, as a large-hearted Christian, and 
may dislike to have him styled a Calvinist, rather than a Lutheran. 
I should not render him entire justice, if I should insinuate that he 
loved to make the severer features of Calvinism prominent in his in- 
tercourse with men. Still, in a peculiar degree, his life developed the 
true spirit of a Calvinistic divine ; not the spirit which has been com- 
monly ascribed to the admirers of the Genevan creed ; not the spirit 
which has been always harbored by them ; but the spirit which is fos- 
tered by the reasonable and biblical expositions of that sublime faith. 
He looked up to Jehovah as a Sovereign, and trembled before him. 
He would not boast, nor be egotistical ; for all hie powers and attain- 
ments he traced up to the everlasting decree, to the love which planned 
them before the foundation of the world. He stood with awe at the 
foot of the throne, which, resting on its own strength, is firm, change- 
less, unmovable. He repeated with marked reverence the name of 
the great " I Am." He walked softly before the Monarch who elects 
one and abandons another. In the near prospect of seeing the Arbi- 
ter of his destinies face to face, he paused, and was thoughtful, and 
bowed his head, and hisgjords were few. He was not dogmatical, 
how could he be, if he valued his creed? for he knew the littleness 
of his powers, and counted himself to have no more than an insect's 
eye, and to be shut up to the vision of a mere, small surface ; and 
can such a man utter assuming and presumptuous and overbearing 
words ? He did not calumniate his brethren could he do so, if he 
fostered a hearty trust in the doctrines which he professed? for he 
had learned his own vileness, as well as that of his fellow-men, and 
he felt that both he and they deserved alike to be driven from before 
the Lord, as grains of chaff; that instead of upbraiding his com- 


panions in evil, he should beg, from his place in the dust : " God be 
merciful to me a sinner." He knew and he felt, that his heart was 
searched by the Ruler who killeth and who maketh alive, and that 
he was under the dominion of a Monarch who giveth no account of 
his matters to his servants, " nor borrows leave to be ;" and with these 
thoughts of his Judge, he was humble, and subdued, and still ; he 
went to his grave, meditative and penitent, nor did he strive nor cry, 
nor was his voice heard in the streets ; and this is the true spirit 
of a Calvinistic divine. 

The honor which we pay to our friend is a peculiar one ; for his 
excellence was more conspicuous in his private than in his public 
life. As a Scholar, he gained the profoundest respect from those 
who saw him in his every day walks. By the fact that he wrote or 
edited, alone or with coadjutors, forty-three volumes, and several 
pamphlets, the world have known that he was industrious. But the 
exposed fabric is often less interesting, than the secret machinery 
with which it was wrought. When we inspect the private habits of 
this student by nature, we see him absorbed in thought as he moves 
along the road-side, and he does not notice his most intimate com- 
panions, who may chance to meet him ; or we see him on a journey 
in his chaise, and he is reading "Wordsworth's Excursion aloud to 
the friend at his side ; or we see him at his family repasts, holding a 
conversation or a recitation in German or French or Latin; and all 
this is not a labor but a pleasure, and it is all smoothed with his 
quiet humor. His delight was in books. When he needed relaxa- 
tion, he would change the topics or the order of study, but study was 
like his breath itself, a vital function. After the labors of the day 
were closed, he appeared as ready as in the morning, to begin a new 
toil. In the time of his firm health, he seemed untiring. He was 
the scholar everywhere. Even his home-bred associations were with 
literary themes. He purchased a half-acre of land adjoining his 
house, partly for the sake of getting possession of an aged oak tree 
that grew on the land ; for he had long desired to own such a tree J 
for the oaken wreath is rich with the memories of the old Greek and 
the Roman ; and angels of the Lord came and sat under the oak, in 
the days of that Covenant People whom our brother loved; and 
many an elegiac sermon did he hope to write, under the shade of that 
venerable wood. 

As he was a man of multifarious reading, some might infer, that 
he did not keep himself familiar with the few select, standard authors^ 

and that he lost in definiteness as much as he gained in comprehen- 
sion. But he never allowed a year to pass, without disciplining his 
mind on the works of Pascal, Bishop Butler, John Foster and Robert 
Hall. He had the virtues of a man of one book. The poems of 
Homer he often carried with him in his pocket for his refreshment 
as he stopped by the wayside. When the near approach of death 
had taken away his power to read the volumes which he had carried 
from this place to his distant sick-room, and he had slowly consented 
to send back the volumes to their old shelves, he requested that his 
Homer might be spared him ; for he still hoped to enliven some of 
his lingering hours with the winged words of his chosen bard. Be- 
cause he was a man of books, it might be surmised that he took only 
a stinted interest in the scenes of daily life. But he always seemed 
to have the latest news from the German Diet and the British Par- 
liament, and our National Congress and State Legislature, and our 
metropolis, and our tranquil village. The question has been often 
put by one class of his admirers : When does he find any time for the 
studies which we know that he pursues ? arfd by another class : When 
does he find any time for the general intelligence which we see that 
he amasses ? He was a man of quick and strong memory ; and the 
adage is, that such a man fails in judgment ; but perhaps our friend 
enjoyed a better name for his accurate judgment, than for his capa- 
cious memory, even. He had a passion for statistics, and a plain 
critic, who had wearied himself over some of the tables in the Quar- 
terly Register, pronounced its editor to be " without a particle of 
imagination." But to those who knew his fove for the Greek poets, 
his reverence for their genius, his sympathy with their tenderest ex- 
pressions, it seemed amazing that he could ever have found a plea- 
sure in accumulating the driest details of local history. He was a 
Grecian, not only in his love of the beautiful, but also in his self- 
control; yet by no means did he always attune his life to the Dorian 
mood. He wept over the pages of the tragedy ; ' he lost his sleep 
over those historical realities which are often more harrowing than 
fiction. He was catholic toward the literary parties which differed 
from him ; yet he felt a personal union with his favorite authors, 
and a tear would often suffuse his eye when he listened to ungene* 
rous criticisms upon Plato or Socrates. He felt such criticisms, as if 
made upon himself* 

A living enthusiasm for good letters was the soul of his literary 
enterprise. " I feel sometimes an unaccountable desire," he writes 
in one of his youthful epistles, " to accomplish some things which 


man has not attained ; yet I consider it right to strive after a perfec- 
tion in literary pursuits, which is probably beyond my reach;" - 
this was the high aim ever animating and exalting his mind. It 
made him a man of progress* It gave him a fixed purpose, in re- 
liance on Heaven, to go on improving to his grave. He strove to 
perpetuate in his mind the fresh sympathies and aspirations of youth. 
He continued) even in his last hours, to cherish his early desire of 
conferring "great and endless blessings" on the learned world. The 
power of his character lay, somewhat, in these noble contrasts of en- 
thusiasm and discretion, delicate sensibility and sterling sense, lofty 
enterprise and meek wisdom* 

As a Christian, he was more admirable than as a scholar. His 
religious feeling was mirrored forth in his literary essays. His life 
was a rich lesson, as it illustrated the power of Christian principle 
over the constitutional sensibilities. He was by nature so gentle, 
that he would sometimes be taken for a timid man ; but when a re- 
ligious interest was assailed, he became bolder than his compeers. 
His amiable temper predisposed him to yield his own opinions and 
preferences to those of his associates ; but if he suspected that the 
claims of learning or virtue would suffer, by one iota of change in 
any one of his plans* no man was more inflexible than he. Nothing 
could move him. He would sacrifice his comfort, or his health, or 
friends, anything, everything, to the scheme which was demanded 
by his conscience. He would have been sure that he was right ; he 
would have petitioned to Heaven for a sound opinion ; yet for a wor- 
thy end, he would have died a martyr. In these days his life has 
been a timely lesson, as it has illustrated the union between a literary 
enthusiasm and a depth of piety. He had theoretical arguments, but 
in himself he was a living argument, against the policy of dwarfing 
the intellect for the sake of nourishing the affections. His interest 
in the pliant language, the beautiful images, the nice distinctions, the 
wise maxims of the Greeks, prepared him to admire the higher sub-* 
limity and the broader wisdom of the inspired Jews. The progres- 
sive delicacy of his taste quickened his zeal for Christian truth, of 
which all the beauties of earth are but types and shadows. His re- 
ligious progress is well delineated in those three words inscribed on 
Herder's tomb-stone : " Light, Love, Life." For as he gained the 
more light, he caught the more glowing love ; and as his love flamed 
out in a new ardor, he enjoyed the truer life. In the autumn of 
1837, he was bereaved of a child, his first-born* Often had he felt 


the chastisement of the Lord ; but now it seemed to him, he said, 
" as if the heart, the physical organ itself, would be moved out of its 
place." For a twelvemonth, he could not apply his mind to tranquil 
and consecutive study. Just two months after the day of his bereave- 
ment, he was inaugurated a Professor in this Seminary. At the 
close of his Inaugural Address, he cast his mild eye toward that little 
grave, and uttered the modest words : " The experience of almost 
every day warns us, that the fairest earthly hopes bloom only for the 
grave." From that grave he learned his best lessons. He studied 
it daily, through life. In nearly all his sermons there is some word 
or phrase, which indicates that he was preparing to meet his absent 
child. He loved more and more to preach on the rewards of the 
blessed, and especially on the resurrection of the just; when, as he 
said, " those little ones, millions of whom fell asleep in Christ's dear 
arms, shall spring to new life in their Father's house." 

"We shall do injustice to Mr. Edwards, as a scholar, unless we re- 
gard him as a Christian ; and we shall fail to honor him aright either 
as a scholar or as a Christian, unless we consider him as a Man. 
He was a man. The qualities of a meek disciple underlay the 
excellence of the student ; and the qualities of the man underlay the 
excellence of the student and Christian both. He acted and reacted 
upon himself in those varying capacities ; his virtues in each relation 
blossomed out of his virtues in the other. There was a concinnity 
in him as a man ; yet he was versatile and generously endowed. He 
combined the varying physical temperaments, in an uncommonly 
unique system. The even tenor of his life was cheerful ; but cer- 
tainly he was given to pensive and sombre moods. He had a kind 
of reverence for that melancholy which is so often the attendant of 
genius. He loved the poet Homer for speaking of " tearful war." 
He sometimes queried, whether there were not an intensity of mean- 
ing which we cannot fathom, in the phrase "pitying angels," 
whether the spirits of the blessed, those ministers of grace, must not 
feel a tender and profound sorrow for human sin and woe. He was 
pliant in his intercourse, but on important themes he had a manlike 
tenacity of his opinions. How many have been overpowered by his 
modest ways ! but he yielded to no one in a just self-respect. He 
was honest, simple-hearted, but wise and far-seeing. The world did 
not know him. Like his blessed Lord, he passed through the crowds 
whom he served, and in his inner life was a stranger to them. There 
was a depth of feeling in him, and such a quiet self-possession 


there was an energy of will in him, and such an accommodating tem- 
per ; there was such a sensitiveness and yet so cool a judgment, 
that he baffled men who would fully analyze his worth. And here 
was the secret of his power over his associates. They trusted in him ; 
they leaned upon him ; they often yielded their opinion to his ; for 
they revered the spirit which had a depth, a width, a variousness, a 
compass, an extent of information, not exactly intelligible to them. 
They did not deem him faultless, for he was too lowly to suffer such 
a mistake ; but as they became more minute in observing his private 
life, so much the more did they confide in the purity and rectitude 
of his aims. 

And there was one sphere where he moved aloof from the gaze of 
men, and where he cultivated the virtues whose influence diffused 
itself silently through his public life. There was one temple, where 
he ministered as a high-priest of the God of Abraham and Isaac and 
Jacob. There was one altar, where he bowed with a dignity and a 
grace which we are not to describe in this sad presence. Who shall 
tell of his serene walk through the chambers, that are now darkened 
because he is taken up from them ! With what reverence did he 
bend over the cradle of his sleeping infants ! In what phrases can we 
describe the veneration which he felt for the character of woman. 
Let us not venture behind the veil which hangs, with so sacred a 
beauty, before his domestic life. The words of a stranger are but 
unmeaning sounds, in the ear of those desolate ones who know more 
than even they can express. 

" What practice howsoe'er expert 
In fitting aptest words to things, 
Or voice the richest-toned that sings, 
Hath power to give thee as thou wert 1 ?" 

As a man, our friend was mortal. That activity of mind which is 
a rest to him where he is now, overpowers the flesh and blood which 
cannot enter the kingdom of God. The seeds of consumption sprang 
up in his body, which had been leaning so long over the learned 
page. For seven years he was yielding, inch by inch, to that insid- 
ious disease. He could not be persuaded that he had any serious 
malady. He refuted the intimations of his friends, with a tranquil 
smile. He still cherished his plans for a long life. He persevered 
in cultivating such habits (for this was his singular forethought), as 
would make his old age benignant and attractive. He persisted in 
accumulating new materials for new commentaries. He was just 

ready to finish for the press his Expositions of Habakkuk, Job, the 
Psalms, arid the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Fifteen years had 
he spent in amassing the treasures for these works ; now had come 
the time for putting the gems into their caskets. Sudden was his 
disappointment, when he heard, a year since, that his disease was 
beyond all cure. Still, having consumed the vigor of his life in 
bringing together from afar the stones of the temple, it was hard to 
give up the hope of rearing the sacred edifice. He repaired to Athens 
in Georgia, with the desire of pressing onward to their fulfilment his 
long cherished schemes. He could not endure the thought, that men 
should look at him as a doomed man, should point at him with the 
finger of sympathy, as given over to the grave. He would fain keep 
his doom as a secret in his own breast. But while he was taciturn, 
death hurried on. He became too feeble for study. He was com- 
pelled to shut his books. This was a new rebuff to his enterprising 
mind. He seemed like a man bereaved of his children. He looked 
like one who was soon to die of a broken heart. His loftiest ideals, 
the most comprehensive scheme of his life waved before him in his 
last hours. His frame was attenuated ; it was almost a shadow ; but 
his mind continued, as it had been wont, to engross itself with great 
themes. Socrates would have referred to him as a sign and pledge 
of the soul's immortal life and youth. On the Sabbath before he 
died, he asked that the doors of his room might be thrown wide open, 
so that he might see the fields glistening in the sunlight, and might 
inhale the fresh breeze of spring. He was enchanted with the vernal 
scene, with the boughs putting forth their tender leaves. His soul 
was alive with happy thoughts, all the happier because it was the 
Sabbath morning. He recited the words : 

"As when to them who sail 
Beyond the cape of Hope, and now are past 
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow 
Sabean odors from the spicy shore 
Of Arable the blest," 

" Take out Milton," he added, " and read that figure." It was read. 
" It is one of the grandest in the language," he remarked, " and an- 
other like it is in those lines : 

' Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood, 
Stand dressed in living green.' 

At one season of the year, the hills of Judaea may be distinctly noticed 
clothed in green, beyond the river." And then he meditated on the 


scenes beyond the river. It had been his hope, to spend that very 
season of the year in Palestine ; but he was hastening onward to a 
holier land than Canaan of old, fields greener than those which 
line the Jordan. After he had read the one hundred and fiftieth 
Psalm, at family prayer, he rose to lead the devotions of the circle 
around him ; he poured out the affluence of his imagination and his 
heart, in the seraphic spirit of that Psalm, calling on everything that 
hath breath to praise the Lord ; " praise him with the sound of the 
trumpet, with the psaltery and harp ;" but when he came to the 
individual petitions for himself and household, his voice broke down 
at once, his whole style sunk from that of an angel to that of the 
publican, and all his words and tones were those of a stricken, bruised, 
crushed penitent. No other man can repeat the thoughts which he 
uttered, more than the sentiments of Plato can be transferred into 
our ruder speech. Words could not express them. They over- 
flowed the appointed channels. They came out in the trembling lip, 
the curved frame, the tremulous, broken, whispering voice. While 
thinking of himself he never cried out with the Apostle : " I have 
fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith ;" 
but when he heard the words quoted : " Lord, remember me, when 
thou comest into thy kingdom," he seized at them ; those were just 
the words ; " Yes," he said, " I can put myself in the place of the 
thief." Less than the least of all saints, not worthy to be called an 
heir of heaven, a poor child of sin, almost fainting under the burden 
of his guilt, so did this disciple whom Jesus loved ever represent 
himself. And all his words were measured and cautious. Pie would 
ask to be left alone, that he might meditate with a composed mind. 
Over and over did he reiterate the phrase : " I renounce myself ut- 
terly, I renounce my past life." Even his aptness in the choice 
of phrases failed to express his lowly temper. 

He did not suppose that he was soon to die; he expected, his 
malady made him tenacious of his expectation, and some medical 
advisers did not abandon the hope, that he might live to complete 
the volumes, with the plan of which his soul had been charmed. 
But a sudden alteration came over him, on the morning of the nine- 
teenth of April. At the break of the next day, about five hours be- 
fore he died, it was announced to him that his end was near. The 
thought was new to him. But he believed it. Neither then nor 
ever before in his sickness, did he utter one word of murmuring. 
He felt no terror. When asked if all was peace, he answered with 
his wonted caution : " So far as I can thi?ik, it is." With a clear 


mind, he sent his love, his ardent love, to his old friends, expressed 
his unmeasured confidence in the Bible, the first and last book of 
his life's study, and then he breathed out his spirit, just as an in- 
fant falls asleep. He died as he had lived, and as we expected that 
he would die, humble, self-distrustful, considerate, loving. He 
walked thoughtful along the banks of Jordan ; he stepped his feet in 
the waters, carefully and silently ; he reserved his triumphs, until he 
had pressed the solid ground of the other shore. 

" One does not perhaps fear," he said in this pulpit four years ago, 
" one does not perhaps fear so much the pains of death, what is often 
incorrectly termed, the agonies of dissolution, as he does the launch- 
ing out on an unknown sea, alone, plunging into darkness, enter- 
ing into a boundless space, where there is nothing tangible, local, or 
visible, where the soul leaves behind all the warm sympathies of life, 
all which can communicate with other beings. However fortified by 
faith, it seems to be a dread experiment. We cling instinctively to 
gome sure support, some familiar surrounding objects. But is it not 
a thought full of comfort, that to the believer, his Redeemer stands 
at the very threshold of death, the other side of that thin curtain 
which hides mortality from life ; stands there, not as an abstract 
form, or an impalpable vision, but as a dear friend, with his heart 
overflowing with human sympathies. It is like meeting on a foreign 
shore, our best earthly friend, perfectly familiar with the language 
and all the objects there, a guide most intelligent, most faithful, who 
\vill anticipate every desire, and in whose society we find the sweetest 
contentment, and the largest accessions of knowledge and delight." 

So, we doubt not, was our brother ushered into that home of 
elect scholars, for which all his previous discipline had prepared 
him. He had written short memoirs of many illustrious saints, 
whom he expected to meet in that spiritual world. He had learned 
their history by heart. It seems as if he must instantly have felt 
at home among them. It appears to us natural, that he should be 
in their company. In our simple way, we think of him as beatified 
and perfected ; yet as changed less than other men, and as retaining 
more of his familiar features, and, above all, his grateful smile. 

After a becoming religious solemnity * at Athens, the remains of 
our friend were brought hither. He had been wont to choose a pri- 

1 The time of this solemnity was Wednesday. April 2 1st, the day succeeding 
Prof. Edwards's decease. The remains readied Andovcr on Thursday, April 29th, 
and were interred on Friday afternoon, April 30tli. The funeral discourse was 


vate funeral, and a few sorrowing friends met around his bier. He 
loved to regard a funeral in its more cheerful aspect, and to console 
the mourner's heart with descriptions of the tender mercy of God, 
and the sure hope of a resurrection. He preferred that the obsequies 
of the dead should be performed with low and gentle accents. And 
so it was done for him. 

The day of his burial was the birth of spring. It was precisely 
such a day as he would have chosen. In the still and balmy atmos- 
phere, we bore him along his favorite walk, under the trees then 
budding, as if in sign of the resurrection of the good. We bore him 
through the avenue which he had so often trod, on his way to meet 
his pupils, and to comment on the words : " Like as a father pitieth 
his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him ; for he knoweth 
our frame, he remembereth that we are dust." We came slowly 
toward this Chapel, where, for the first time in his life, he celebrated 
the dying love of Jesus, and where he partook of the sacred emblems 
for the last time before he drank the new wine in his Father's house. 
We came near to his Lecture-room, where he had so often explained 
the words : " We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, iu 
a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump ; for the 
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and 
we shall be changed." These halls were deserted of their inmates. 
His pupils were scattered ; but, in spirit, they seemed to come to- 
gether, and to hear from him the words which he once uttered in this 
place, and which he now repeated with the emphasis of silent death : 
" There is no land of forgetfulness. The grave is vital now. It is a 
region of soft and pleasant slumbers. There is an almighty and an 
omniscient Watcher, over all these sleepers." Onward we bore him 
toward his grave, so pleasant to him, in that field of God where 
the corruptible is planted, that it may spring up incorruptible. We 
passed the new resting-place of his venerable colleague, who was not 
disturbed by our sobs and sighs. We laid him down by the little son 
whom he had loved so tenderly, and at whose side he had in his last 
will charged us to bury him, and over whose grave he had inscribed 
the stanza: 

" These ashes few, this little dust, 

Our Father's care shall keep, 

Till the last angel rise and break 

The long and peaceful sleep." 

deferred until Friday, June 25th, because the day of the interment occurred dur- 
ing the Seminary vacation, and the students were therefore absent. This circum- 
stance explains some of the allusions in the subsequent parts of the discourse. 


We sung his old family hymn, which had been sung by his own re- 
quest, at the grave of his mother whom he so much resembled ; and 
then the faithful tomb unveiled its bosom, and took the new treasure 
to its trust. And so we buried him; and wended our way back 
slowly and sadly, passing these desolate halls, to his house, yet more 
desolate. There we watched, as he had so often watched there, the 
setting sun. It went down in more than its wonted glory. A few 
clouds were floating about in liquid amber, reminding us that the 
most cheering light comes sometimes from the darkest dispensations. 
The beauties of the world fade not away, when our strong staff 
is broken and our beautiful rod. The government of Jehovah 
moves on as it moved aforetime, and he will sustain his own cause, 
and is dependent on no child of mortality. And, far beyond that 
setting sun, our brother live's and speaks the language of Canaan. 
All his germs of thought have blossomed out and are bearing fruit. 
All his treasured hints have expanded into a science, of which he 
had no conception in this dark world. The plans from which he was 
cut off have ripened into unexpected means of joy. His endeavors 
are rewarded as if they had been accomplished. With his Redeemer, 
a good intention is a good deed, and baffled efforts are as a glorious 
consummation. A disappointment here, is but a preparative for new 
service there. 

I can utter, my brethren, no words of instruction, in this reverend 
and afflicted presence. But there is one, who, being dead, yet speak- 
eth. He whose form has now vanished from us, once taught us the 
lessons to be learned from the grave of pious men. " When the wise 
and good," he said in this Chapel, " when the wise and good are taken 
from the earth, their surviving fellow-disciples may well obtain a 
more impressive idea of the reality of Christian communion, of the 
living links which still bind them to all who have won the prize, or 
who are yet on the field of conflict. If the grave is becoming popu- 
lous, so is the region of life and light beyond its confines. Ten thou- 
sand chords of sympathy, invisible except to the eye of faith, connect 
our world with that better land. In one sense it is becoming less 
and less unknown. The distance diminishes as the avenues are mul- 
tiplying, along which throng holy desires, earnest sympathies, longing 
aspirations. The illumined eye can, occasionally, gain glimpses of 
its cloudless horizon ; the quick ear catch a few notes of its invitations 
of welcome. That is not the world of doubts and phantoms. It is, 
by eminence, the land of life and of conscious existence. Its happy 


shores are even now thronged by earthly natures, perfected in love, 
happy in final exemption from sin ; who still, from the very necessity 
of the sympathizing remembrances with which their -bosoms overflow, 
cast down looks of loving solicitude to their old friends and compan- 
ions, and would, if it were possible, break the mysterious silence, 
and utter audible voices of encouragement, and reach forth signals of 
welcome. These, in the view of faith, are undoubted realities, facts 
which have a stable foundation, truths most comprehensive and fruit- 
ful, the distant contemplation of which ennobles the soul, and fits it 
for its long-desired and blessed society. This, therefore, is one of 
the uses of these dispensations, to give new vigor to faith, a fresh 
reality to that communion of which Christ is the source and the cen- 
tre ; to enable one to feel that, however weak and unworthy he may 
be, he is still a citizen of a mighty commonwealth, an inmate of an 
imperial household, connected by bonds over which chance and time 
and death have no power, with those who are now pillars in the tem- 
ple of God." 


















" Severitatem istam pari jucunditate condire, summseque 
gravitati tantum comitatis adjungere, non minus dif- 
ficile quam magnum est." 

PLIN. Epist. IV. 3. 

" Insectatur vitia, non homines ; nee castigat errantes, 

sed emendat." 

Ibid., I. 10. 


AN unusual spectacle presents itself within these 
walls. A crowd assembles to do honor to the 
memory of departed genius, virtue, and usefulness, 
under circumstances such as rarely prompt to such a 
tribute. No vacancy has been suddenly made in 
some high place of public service, aggravating the 
disinterested sense of the worth that is removed, by 
the sense of present loss and disaster. No sect or 
party, seeking to make account of the death of its 
champion, when it may no longer profit by his living 
labors, calls public attention to the loud lamenta- 
tions which it utters over his bier, and endeavours 
to awaken a sympathy in his principles, under color 
of extolling his deserts. A great and good man has 
gone down quietly, in advanced age, to the tomb. 
Years have passed, since for him the term of active 
life was closed by the visitation of God ; and yet, so 
crowded was that distant period with right and be- 
neficent deeds, that the veneration and gratitude 
they won survive in undiminished vigor, resisting 


not only the influence of time, but what might be 
thought the more disturbing influence of new asso- 
ciations that had gathered round their object. We 
read that " the memory of the just is blessed," and 
the meaning is, that it is blessed when they die ; 
but there seems a still richer blessing in that ad- 
hesive memory, which, overleaping a long interval of 
retirement and infirmity, contemplates freshly still 
the cherished image of past days of activity and 

We do not meet - to-day, fellow-students and 
friends, for the purpose of discharging, or of begin- 
ning to discharge, the debt of this community to the 
memory of one of its eminent guides and benefac- 
tors. His mortal remains were followed to the grave 
by a numerous concourse of those who had loved 
and honored him, who had themselves enjoyed the 
benefit of his discipline and instructions, or were 
sensible to the worth of his contributions to great 
public interests. His praise has been fitly spoken in 
the sacred desk, whence he was used to dispense the 
word of life ; and the good service has already been 
diligently done, of collecting the incidents of his not 
uneventful history.* But it has seemed fit to the 

* Of numerous pulpit discourses occasioned by the death of President 
Kirkland, two, by the Rev. Dr. Parkman and the Rev. Mr. Young, have 
been given to the public, the latter containing a full sketch of his life. 

twentj-one classes of students of Harvard College, 
who enjoyed his supervision during the whole or part 
of their academical course, to assemble for a joint 
public expression of their sense of obligation, and 
their feelings of affectionate reverence ; and the 
University unites with them in this tribute to its late 
distinguished head. And surely nothing can be more 
reasonable, than that, while the churches hear with 
cordially approving assent the praise of one in whose 
light they were used to rejoice, and while, in the 
circles of society, the recovered image of the genial 
wisdom which once so enlightened and cheered 
them is contemplated with tender remembrance, the 
institution to whose interests the ripest strength of a 
great life was devoted, and the young men, who, now 
no longer young, can therefore all the better estimate 
the merit and the value of the faithful guidance which 
once so attached them, should bear their separate 
testimony to what they best can know, and do some 
justice to their own feelings in attempting to do it to 
the memory they revere. 

While generation after generation since the settle- 
ment of our New England has paid its funeral 
honors to the Presidents of Harvard College, there 
could be little danger of doing wrong to any of the 
successive worthies in that venerable line, should we 
say, that no one was remembered with a truer affec- 

tion of his pupils, than he whom we have lately at- 
tended to the tomb. And yet there is even less 
danger than on common occasions of eulogy, of our 
being tempted to extravagance in speaking of his 
deserts. The usual excitements of bereavement are 
not now acting on our minds. To many, who here 
and elsewhere listen to the praises which it were 
unnatural for us not to love to .utter, he whom 
they describe is no more than an historical charac- 
ter. And even in those of us who knew him in 
his days of fullest vigor, the enthusiasm then in- 
spired has had time to cool during the period of 
his retirement from public life ; and our estimate 
of the value of his labors no longer needs to be 
what it might necessarily be at the moment of 
their interruption, but has been long subject to be 
qualified by that commentary which the issues of 
subsequent events write out upon the abilities, prin- 
ciples, and achievements of men who have acted a 
conspicuous part. The earliest pupils of Dr. Kirk- 
land have already the experience of age, and they 
who were most recently objects of his official cares 
are arrived at the mature and responsible term of 
life ; so that, while there are few persons, in the es- 
timation of whose character the partiality of friend- 
ship would be so likely to interfere with a fair de- 
cision under the common conditions of bereavement, 

the circumstances of his departure were such as to 
favor the exercise of that discrimination, without 
which eulogy would be as unkind to its subject, as 
dishonorable to its author. 

Dr. Kirkland's origin was in a sphere of life not 
unpropitious, as all our New England experience 
shows, to the vigorous developement of native talent, 
and the formation of meritorious qualities. His 
father, Samuel Kirkland, born in Norwich, Con- 
necticut, and graduated at Princeton College, was 
an unambitious minister of the Gospel. From his 
youth, he had dedicated himself to the office of a 
missionary to the Indians ; and with this purpose 
received part of his education, preparatory for col- 
lege, at the school of the Reverend Mr., afterwards 
President, Wheelock, at Lebanon, in Connecticut. 
His first essay, as a preacher to the natives, was in 
western New York, among the Seneca Indians, with 
whom he passed two years ; after which he devoted 
himself to the Oneida tribe more than forty years, 
and to the close of his life. Having married, in 
September, 1769, a niece of his preceptor, Dr. 
Wheelock, he established himself, with his wife, at 
what was then called the Oneida Castle, in the heart 
of the Indian country. In the following year, Mrs. 
Kirkland went on a visit to the family of General 
Herkimer, near what is now the village of Little 


Falls ; and there, on the 17th day of August, with a 
twin brother (the late George Whitefield Kirkland, 
who, after a life of uncommon enterprise and ad- 
venture, died in the West Indies, in or about 1808), 
John Thornton Kirkland was born. His baptismal 
name was a token of the reverence entertained by 
his parents for a bountiful patron of Dr. Wheelock's 
school. The Indians always knew the boy and man 
by the name of " Agonewiska," or Fair Face. 

In the second following year, that disorderly con- 
dition of the tribes which preceded our Revolution 
having made his longer residence among them un- 
profitable and hazardous, Mr. Kirkland removed his 
family to Stockbridge, then one of the frontier towns 
of Massachusetts, assuming there the spiritual charge 
of a small aboriginal settlement ; and in that place the 
childhood of his son was passed, within reach only 
of such advantages abroad as the imperfect common 
schools of that day afforded for mental culture, but 
privileged at home by excellent influences of that 
enlightened and devoted maternal care, to which, in 
after years, he, like other men who have become 
illustrious, was accustomed gratefully to acknowledge 
his large debt. He had what often proves better 
than the most splendid patrimony, the excellent 
training of a poor country minister's home ; com- 
bining the influences of love r piety, intelligence, and 

refinement in the domestic circle, with the necessity 
of those habits of self-denial and labor, which in- 
vigorate the frame, quicken the faculties, inspire self- 
reliance and self-respect, and make the man. 

When twelve years old, he was removed to the 
Academy at Andover, then under the charge of that 
distinguished teacher, Dr. Eliphalet, afterwards Pro- 
fessor, Pearson. Here he was a member of the fam- 
ily of Lieutenant-Governor Samuel Phillips, who, 
blessed with an affluent fortune, from his benevolent 
interest in the young and in the cause of education, 
was accustomed to receive a small number of youths 
into his house, for the satisfaction of watching over 
their progress, and of lightening the expense of an 
education to such as were in circumstances to render 
the relief desirable, and at the same time seemed to 
bid fair to do the State some service. In the spring 
of 1786, he entered the Freshman class at the Uni- 
versity at the beginning of the third term, and took his 
Bachelor's degree in due course, at the Commence- 
ment of 1789, with the second highest honors of the 
day. A singular episode in this period of his life is 
his having borne arms, in the winter vacation of his 
Sophomore year, during the campaign against the 
Western rebels, commanded by Shays. His school 
and college companions, who survive, speak of him 
as already distinguished by irreproachable morals, by 


commendable diligence in study, by literary acquire- 
ments beyond his age, by a delicacy of taste which 
adorned and availed him alike in cases of criticism 
and of conduct, and by that rare union of amiable- 
ness and sagacity which afterwards gave him such a 
mastery over the minds of men. He judged himself 
less partially ; and especially he was accustomed, to 
the end of his days, to speak with profound regret 
of having taken up, early in his college course, false 
ideas of the importance of system in the arrange- 
ment of time and engagements, and of having conse- 
quently fallen into immethodical habits, from which 
he had never found power sufficiently to recover ; a 
capital error, into which impetuous youth, with 
imaginations liable to be bewildered by the bril- 
liancy of some sudden achievement, and with a 
narrow experience, which has made them rather ac- 
quainted with a few unconnected and to them unex- 
plained results, than with the solid fruits of a steady, 
persevering energy, have too often been known to be 
beguiled ; and an error, which, to many otherwise ex- 
cellent men, has made life a weary course of unneces- 
sary vexations, mortifying defeats, and impotent re- 
pentance. Happy, when, as in the present instance, 
the defect is found in a character, which, through 
the abundance of some excellencies, is less harmed 
by failure in others. 


A short account, by Mr Kirkland, of his early life 
has been preserved, written at Andover, in the au- 
tumn of 1789. It has a peculiar interest, both as 
affording some indications of the kind and degree 
of developement of his mind and character up to 
that important period, and as expressing his own 
judgment of himself, and of the conduct of his youth. 
It is marked with the bold and discerning, and at 
the same time benevolent and cheerful estimate of 
things, which distinguished his later years. It 
dwells with expressions of a warm and manly grati- 
tude upon the care of his parents, and the kindnesses 
of other friends and patrons. He appears to have 
looked back upon the time preceding his college life, 
with unmingled pleasure, as a period of innocent 
enjoyment, of dutiful and conscientious behaviour, 
and of diligent endeavours after improvement. The 
retrospect of the years passed at Cambridge afforded 
him less satisfaction. He laments having fallen into 
some of what seem to be the besetting follies of such 
institutions. Arrived at an age when he could better 
estimate than before the extent of responsibility, and 
the worth of opportunities dismissed without profit, 
it is likely that he did less than justice to the degree 
of energy exerted by him in resistance to the tempta- 
tions of which he speaks. But he represents him- 
self as having been led to a blamable relaxation of 

diligence, partly by the attractions of society, and 
partly by that mischievous conceit of regular appli- 
cation being a sign of deficiency of genius and spirit, 
which is so apt to infatuate the minds of college 
youth ; and he refers with pain to having failed, from 
this cause, to meet the naturally high expectations of 
his venerated father. 

From Cambridge, Mr. Kirkland went to Andover, 
where he passed a year as assistant teacher in the 
Academy. By letters written at this time, it ap- 
pears that his mind was as yet undecided whether 
his future profession should be that of the Christian 
ministry or of law. 

In 1790, he paid a visit to his widowed father, and 
made some observations on the state of the Oneida In- 
dians, which he recorded a few years after, in a Me- 
moir published in the " Collections of the Massachu- 
setts Historical Society." Returning to Cambridge, 
he devoted himself to the study of theology, and, in 
1792, was appointed Tutor in the branches of Logic 
and Intellectual Philosophy, which office he sustained 
two years with distinguished honor to himself, and to 
the great satisfaction of both the government and stu- 
dents of the University. They who were connected 
with him at this time, either as associates or as 
pupils, testify that his instructions were singularly 
valued, that his abilities had already come to be ac- 


knowledged as eminent, and that his character, at- 
tainments, and manners conciliated a confidence and 
attachment, which were an earnest of the rich har- 
vest of good men's respect and love, to be reared 
and reaped by him in after years. The sciences in 
which he gave instruction were congenial to his 
taste, and to the constitution and habits of his mind ; 
and he taught them with a corresponding zeal, 
quickened by his kind interest for the welfare and 
improvement of the rising hopes of society. His 
familiar lectures on the successive subjects of in- 
quiry are represented as having been instructive and 
engaging to an extraordinary degree. 

In 1793, Mr. Kirkland began to preach as a candi- 
date for the ministry, and on the 5th day of February 
of the following year, having received a unanimous 
invitation from the New South Church in Boston, 
then recently left vacant by the resignation of the 
Reverend Oliver Everett, was ordained as the pastor 
of that society. It is not too much to say, that 
from his appearance here in the sacred desk, may be 
dated an improved style of preaching in the Con- 
gregational churches. It would be most unjustifiable 
to speak otherwise than with respect of the good and 
able men who at that period occupied the pulpits of 
the New England metropolis. But, to whatever 
causes we are to trace the fact, whether partly to 


the influence of those then recent public events 
which had dislocated the frame of society, and partly 
to that of the transition which had been begun, but 
was yet in imperfect progress, from the old formal, 
technical, and authoritative administration of religion, 
which had lost its power over the public mind, to a 
more appropriate and effective form of address, 
certain it is, that, in point of richness and power, the 
preaching of that day was decidedly beneath the 
standard of the capacity of the minds devoted to it. 
The resources of the pulpit were not well under- 
stood ; its proper efficacy was not felt ; and it was 
with delight and admiration that all classes, and most 
of all the most intelligent, saw a young man, his eye 
lighted with the fire of genius, his whole aspect 
bespeaking loveliness of soul, and all his speech and 
mien harmonizing with the beauty of holiness, as- 
cending the seat of the elders, to expound the high- 
est truths with a clearness which made them familiar 
and permanent subjects of knowledge, with a vigor 
which carried them home to the heart, and with a 
range and exactness of thought, and an opulence of 
illustration, which at once gave the mind enjoyment 
in what it was made to possess, and excited its appe- 
tite, while it enlarged its capacity, for further instruc- 

The reputation of Mr. Kirkland as a minister of 


the Gospel, proved as solid and durable as it had 
been suddenly acquired. The situation was suited 
to give the fullest exercise to his admirable qualities 
of mind and disposition. The New England pastor 
has always been the confidential friend of his flock ; 
and in this relation the characteristic benevolence of 
his temper, disposing him to a prompt interest in the 
concerns of all of his charge, making him apt to 
every office of sympathy, and manifesting itself to 
friend and to stranger in a singularly attractive ameni- 
ty and grace of manners, gave him sure access to the 
minds which it belonged to him to influence, while it 
was an unfailing source of the highest satisfactions to 
his own. He was a diligent writer of sermons, and 
those no perfunctory effusions of unseasonable and 
exhausted hours, but elaborated with a patient toil, 
which crowded them with w r eighty thoughts, clothed 
in perspicuous, condensed, and animated language. 
Had the habits of the time so determined or per- 
mitted, there is no reason to suppose, that he would 
have been averse to addressing an audience, after due 
meditation of a subject, without any preparation of 
words, from the fulness of a well-furnished mind ; 
but he had too much respect for his office, his sub- 
jects, and his hearers, to bring into the desk those 
extemporaneous productions of the closet, which fore- 
go alike the advantage of that deliberation which 


retired study admits, and of what alone can compen- 
sate the want, that intense intellectual action which 
the view of a listening assembly may stimulate. 
During all the period of his professional service, he 
made diligent use of the pen. One fact, in relation 
to this, may be thought of a singular character. He 
has been heard to say, that for many years it was 
his constant practice to prepare himself carefully, by 
writing, for public devotional services on whatever 
occasion ; and his perseverance in this practice helps 
to account for the extraordinary richness of devotion- 
al thought and language for which he was always re- 
marked. The selection of subjects for pulpit dis- 
course, was somewhat influenced at that period, as 
it always will be, by existing circumstances. While 
society had hardly settled down from the throes of 
the struggle for Independence into a tranquil state, 
opinions imported from revolutionary France, of a 
character alike hostile to private morals, to social 
order, and to religious faith, had insinuated them- 
selves into the minds of a portion of this people. 
The task of the friends of religion and of the public 
Welfare was one demanding equal firmness and wis- 
dom ; and Mr. Kirkland was in the number of those, 
who met the emergency with the resources and spirit 
it required, and who, recommending the Christian 
faith to the popular mind by the power alike of argu- 


ment and of example, averted the worst part of the 
mischiefs which had been not unreasonably feared. 
It cannot be doubted, that the generous and concilia- 
tory temper of his ministrations of the truth greatly 
aided its impression and influence. In one of his 
printed discourses may be found some remarks, main- 
taining the right and obligation of a preacher to dis- 
cuss questions of political duty ; * but no instance is 
mentioned of his having done this, in that time of 
high party ferment, in a way to excite any hostile 
feeling on the part of advocates of opinions opposed 
to his own, or to impair in any quarter the friendly 
confidence so essential to the usefulness of a Chris- 
tian teacher. 

Dr. Kirkland (he received in 1802 from Princeton 
College the degree in divinity, which gave him this 
title,) f was averse throughout his ministry, and 
indeed through his whole life, to giving to the 
public the fruits of his mind in print. He could 
never be induced to undertake any extended work, 
and it was with difficulty that he was prevailed 
upon to publish a few occasional discourses. Com- 

* Sermon on the Ordination of the Rev. Mr. Pipon, at Taunton, Jan- 
uary 5th, 1806. 

f Dr. Kirkland was early chosen a Fellow of the American Acade- 
my, and was its Vice-President for several years. He was also a Fel-. 
low of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 



position was always a severe toil to him, and the 
delicacy of his taste disinclined him to submit to 
criticism any thing not elaborated with that careful 
revision, for which the always pressing duties of an 
active life left him small opportunity. While good 
writing must necessarily be the result of excited 
mental action, there is no doubt a great differ- 
ence in the degrees of effort which it requires of 
different able men. Some minds tend to fasten 
themselves on some prominent view of a subject, 
and, grasping this vigorously, pay little attention to 
any related trains of thought. It is not disparaging 
this class of minds, which, having less to perplex 
their attention, are so far susceptible of the most 
fervid excitement, and to which accordingly the 
praise of eloquence is oftenest awarded, to say that 
the narrowness of the view which they take, with the 
consequent freedom from the task of comparisons 
and qualifications, makes the labor of composition 
less severe. There are other minds not so much dis- 
posed to an excited conception and vehement en- 
forcement of a single subject or thought, as to a 
comprehensive and philosophical exhibition of it in 
its relations to others. They distrust first impres- 
sions. Whatever they contemplate, expands itself 
widely before them ; and they are not satisfied that 
they have the truth concerning a subject, till they 


have looked at it from the different points of view, to 
which a variety of connected subjects invite. 

Extensive as the range of observation and inquiry 
is with such minds, still, unless there be also a strict 
taste dictating a selection from the mass of topics pre- 
sented, an assignment to each of its due prominence, 
and an exhibition of it in condensed and significant 
language, the toil of composition is not necessarily 
great, though, in the absence of such a taste, the work 
produced, encumbered and embarrassed by the rich- 
ness of its materials, acquires that ungraceful, point- 
less, unimpressive character, so common with patient 
thinkers, whose productions may reward readers, but 
do not much attract them. Other minds yet there 
are, whose habits make it necessary for them to take 
wide excursions around the confines of a subject 
before they can approach its separate discussion ; 
which, this work finished, must make a fastidious 
choice from among the stores amassed, and must see 
the selected topics in their true place and propor- 
tions ; and which, when all this is done, must pro- 
ceed to invent a rhetoric strong and compact enough 
to carry such a weight. The danger with such 
minds is, that the comprehensiveness of the view 
which they aim to take, will leave it marked with a 
degree of generality and vagueness. Their best ef- 
forts, in which they succeed in avoiding this tenden- 


cy, are abundantly worth the labor they cost. But 
that labor must unavoidably be severe ; and he who 
must go through it before he can satisfy himself, 
and whose position in society is at the same time 
such as to afford him little opportunity for long-con- 
tinued, solitary application, cannot be expected to 
hold much communication with the public through 
the press. 

The intellectual propensities and habits of Dr. 
Kirkland were of the character which it has been 
last attempted to describe. He had extraordinary 
quickness of perception ; the outline of a subject at 
once revealed itself to his view ; but the rapid 
action of mind which thus disclosed it, presented it 
at the same time in multiform and complicated rela- 
tions, which it became to him a task to remark and 
unravel, to estimate and expound. This habit of 
mind naturally grew upon him with increasing years 
and knowledge ; and with it increased his indisposi- 
tion to write for the public eye. Seven occasional 
discourses, with his name, appeared within the first 
seven years of his ministry. During the nine fol- 
lowing years, up to the resignation of his parochial 
charge, nothing whatever was published with his 
name, except (in 1810) the Biography of his friend, 
Fisher Ames, prefixed to the works of that distin- 
guished statesman and orator ; and, from that time to 


his death, the list of his acknowledged publications 
was increased only by four occasional discourses. His 
earliest compositions, especially the Sermon before 
the Artillery Company in 1795, and the Discourse 
upon the Death of Washington in 1799, are marked 
more than any of later date, with that animated and 
fervent character, which, accompanied with a suit- 
able elocution, achieves what is recognised as the 
peculiar effect of eloquence. The latter discourse, 
rapidly composed under the first impressions pro- 
duced by the event, is as remarkable for its anima- 
tion and pathos as for its truth and polish ; and, from 
a written testimony of an intelligent witness, it ap- 
pears that the former, when pronounced, was receiv- 
ed with enthusiastic expressions of approbation, of a 
kind unprecedented in our places of worship. 

Dr. Kirkland's weight of character, combined with 
his position in the community, qualified him for the 
promotion of a cause always near his heart. At the 
time when he came forward into life, there was per- 
haps less of literature, or even of respect for it, in 
this community, than at any previous period of its 
history. In the early age of New England, Har- 
vard College, administered by men thoroughly bred 
in the schools of England, did not need to fear a 
comparison with those schools themselves ; and in 
fact youth of Puritan connexions were, in not a few 


instances, sent hither for instruction from the parent 
country. The strictness and completeness of the 
ancient discipline were very slow in giving way before 
the demands of a comparatively poor people for 
more popular and superficial processes. The schol- 
arship of Massachusetts maintained itself well down 
to the period, when, even at the cost of great dam- 
age to what, in common times, are the highest pub- 
lic interests, it became necessary to secure that in- 
comparable blessing of liberty, without which every 
thing else is insecure. Some of the eminent men of 
the Revolution in this quarter were distinguished for 
their attainments in classical learning. The great mind 
of John Adams had been well imbued with the spir- 
it of the writers of Greece and Rome. James Otis 
saved time from the cares of a laborious profession 
to write an excellent treatise on Latin Prosody ; and 
the Pietas et Gratulatio of Harvard College, the 
swan-song of primitive New England literature, was 
but of little earlier date than the Stamp Act. But 
inter arma silent Mmie. The troubles of the Revolu- 
tion broke up the regular routine of patient study. 
There was little wealth to buy learning with, still 
less to patronize it. The generous ambition of youth 
was necessarily diverted into other channels ; other 
paths to distinction held out more flattering promise ; 
the public mind was universally more occupied with 

other concerns. At the time of Dr. Kirkland's en- 
trance upon public life, few of the scholars educated 
in the old tranquil times remained ; and it is no dis- 
paragement to those who succeeded them to say, 
that, reared under inferior advantages, they did not 
make good the places which had been vacated. The 
beneficent influences of the Federal Constitution, 
lately adopted, had begun to be felt, and already a 
vigorous action of the public mind had succeeded 
to the torpor which had followed the revolutionary 
spasm ; and there was a great influx of physical 
prosperity. But the mind of Dr. Kirkland was too 
just to be satisfied with such a condition of things, 
and too sagacious not to discern in it the elements of 
great danger to a state, whose popular institutions 
committed it without other safeguard to the care of 
popular intelligence ; so that, while valuing the ele- 
gant enjoyments of letters for himself, his benevo- 
lence led him to desire for all a participation in them ; 
and while, as a friend to the race, he felt bound to 
concern himself for the cultivation of those faculties 
in which lie its glory and its power, as a patriot he 
owned an obligation to do what he might to save his 
country from the degradation of a mere barbarian 
greatness, and, by diffusing knowledge among its 
citizens, to qualify them for their perilous trust. 
Dr. Kirkland was yet young, when the state of 

things suggesting such reflections came under his 
notice ; but it was not many years before he found 
sympathy in a circle of men (most of them his sen- 
iors), some of whom are still adding to the excellent 
public services of their youth, while only the precious 
memory remains of the elegant attainments of Gardi- 
ner, the literary enthusiasm of Emerson, the brilliant 
endowments of Buckminster, the premature wisdom 
of Thacher, and the rich titles to honor belonging 
to other names worthy to be repeated along with 
theirs. Considering the excitement, which, in the 
intimacy of their brotherly intercourse, the members 
of the Society for conducting " The Monthly Anthol- 
ogy " imparted to each other's minds, as well as the 
sound and important views communicated by them 
through that work to the public, and the generous 
ambition awakened by them in younger men, rich 
fruits of which have since been ripened, it cannot be 
thought too much to date from the labors of that 
association the revival of learning in this community. 
One definite and excellent result alone of its intelli- 
gent forethought is enough to entitle its memory 
to perpetual honor. The Boston Athenaeum, en- 
larged by later endowments to its present importance, 
is an institution of the Monthly Anthology Society. 
Dr. Kirkland took a particular interest in the estab- 
lishment, arid the Memoir addressed to the public in 

1807, soliciting additions to the contributions of the 
original projectors, was furnished by his pen. 

With the progress of knowledge and the influence 
of truth is intimately connected the maintenance of 
freedom of thought. In the movements of certain 
sectaries of the day, Dr. Kirkland believed himself 
to see an effort of the narrower spirit of former times 
to maintain itself against the better views of intel- 
lectual and religious liberty that had been introduced; 
and he was sensitively alive to the obligation of the 
friends of that liberty to watch and defeat such an 
attempt. The occasion does not call for a defence 
of the views, which he was led to assert in that con- 
troversy. What is proper here to be said, is, that, as 
as he believed and felt, so he acted; and some of the 
most striking productions of his pen, arising from his 
interest in the great question thus pending, graced 
the pages of " The Monthly Anthology," 

But it was not only in such definite modes, that 
the action of Dr. Kirkland's mind upon the commu- 
nity was salutary and efficient. The man, who in 
the communications of intimate friendship gave the 
lights of his understanding to so many of the chief 
direct agents in the measures of the time, and who 
was everywhere the delight, one is almost tempt- 
ed to say, the oracle, -of the social circles in the va- 
rious walks of life, had he never discoursed from the 


pulpit, or written for the press, could not fail to 
stamp an impress of himself upon the world. Most 
men, who are capable of instructing or moving others, 
find themselves impelled to do it in methods enabling 
them to address large numbers at once. But the 
thought, which they care to utter to an assembly or 
illustrate in a book, is the same thought, which, by 
force of their interest in it, they are accustomed to 
express in the street and by the fireside, in various 
connexions, in different moods of feeling, and with 
the advantage of the endlessly diversified opportuni- 
ties of private intercourse. Some wise men are 
averse to public exhibition of their minds, of any sort. 
Others are sparing of their private conversation. 
But by those who are prompted by a spirit of useful- 
ness to communicate their thoughts in every suitable 
way, who shall say whether most fruit is commonly 
sown in the highways or the by-ways of life ? Who 
shall say, whether the most eloquent speaker or 
writer effects more by what he bequeaths to histo- 
ry, than by the unrecorded influences of suggestion, 
or even by the undefined influence of character, and 
of general tone of thought and feeling? 

Such, at all events, was the high consideration, to 
which, in the fortieth year of his age, Dr. Kirkland 
had attained at the time of the decease of Dr. Web- 
ber, President of Harvard College, in 1810, that the 


minds of its government and of the public were im- 
mediately turned to him as the successor to that ele- 
vated office. In his zeal for the cause of letters ; in 
his intelligent perception of the wants of this com- 
munity; in his genial spirit of kindness, patriotism, 
and philanthropy ; in that cheerful courage, which 
disarmed the embarrassments of official duty of all 
power to irritate or depress him ; in that calm and 
penetrating wisdom, which selected, as if by intui- 
tion, the right, the fit, and the practicable ; in that 
experience of and sympathy with men, w 7 hich quali- 
fied him to conduct a satisfactory and useful inter- 
course with the associates of his administration, to 
attract to it the necessary support from abroad, and 
to act on the minds of the young with an influence 
more cogent than the coercion of authority ; and in 
the conscientious purpose which had marked the 
course of his previous public services, it was felt 
there were sufficient pledges that this great public 
interest might be safely committed to his hands ; 
while it was equally manifest, that the lustre of his 
abilities and accomplishments would attach new 
honor for the future to that long-honored station. 

Dr. Kirkland was elected President by the Corpo- 
ration on the 7th day of August, 1810 ; the choice was 
confirmed by the Overseers on the 23d of the same 
month ; and on the 14th day of November, he was 


installed in the office with all the forms of academi- 
cal ceremony. It must be owned, that there were 
those, who, from party predilections, would have pre- 
ferred that a trust admitting the exercise of such an 
influence over the rising generation should be com- 
mitted to other hands. But, with this exception, the 
public approbation of the choice was unanimous and 
cordial ; and to all but those, whose feelings were af- 
fected by such considerations, it seemed that a day 
of the brightest promise was opening upon the Col- 

The place of head of a College is one requiring a 
rare combination of qualities, especially in this country, 
where such institutions have neither that connexion 
with the government, which enables them to maintain 
their internal order and their place in the social sys- 
tem by force of mere constitution and law, nor that 
patronage by which they can act upon their pupils 
through views to future advancement. The authori- 
ty of the presiding officer of such an institution is to 
be exerted over persons arrived at an age of honora- 
ble and generous impulses, but at the same time 
an age confident, impetuous, imperfectly instructed 
in the rules of conduct and the conditions of life, 
impatient of any control, because recently emancipat- 
ed on the one hand from the restraints of childhood, 
and as yet without experience, on the other hand, of 

the stricter restraints of manhood and society; an 
age the more exposed, indeed, for its very generosity, 
because the theories of independence and disinterest- 
edness, which have made part of its education, have 
not yet acquired sobriety and definiteness by practice 
and reflection; and requiring a very judicious care to 
save it from the ill consequences of a hasty application 
of its good but partially understood principles, without 
cooling its commendable enthusiasm for those princi- 
ples themselves. 

The relation of the head of a college to the im- 
mediate associates of his cares is not without its 
delicacy. They are his equals, yet his inferiors ; 
his inferiors, as sustaining individually a less share 
in the common responsibility, and subject in some 
respects to his supervision; his equals, as called 
by the public voice to be connected with him in 
the administration of a great public interest, as be- 
longing to the same rank in society, and as his fel- 
low-citizens of the commonwealth of letters. If 
they have a right to be where they are, they have a 
right to be treated with consideration and respect; 
and such undoubtedly needs to be the spirit of the 
intercourse maintained with them, if it concerns the 
public that their places should not cease to be at- 
tractive to such men as the public service requires. 
The President of Harvard College is associated in 


the highest attributes of control over that institution 
with a few individuals of distinction in active life; 
and devoted, as for the most part the time and 
thoughts of such individuals must be presumed to be, 
to the pursuits by which their eminence has been 
acquired, pursuits not closely connected with the 
subject of education, they will naturally look to 
him for the suggestions on which their own opinions 
are to be made up, and those suggestions must be 
made by him in a manner to fall in with their habit- 
ual modes and materials of judgment. 

The College is under the further supervision of a 
large body, composed of leading men in church and 
state, whose favorable judgment must be secured, 
and their good-will conciliated, by frank, intelligent, 
and intelligible expositions of its affairs and policy. 
And a personal confidence in the head of its admin- 
istration is necessary to obtain for it the favorable re- 
gard of the Commonwealth, and the continued pa- 
tronage of its public-spirited citizens. Its sons, and 
all the friends of learning, wish it well, and may be 
supposed to have some capacity to serve it. But 
they are liable to entertain different views respecting 
its policy, and so to have their friendly purposes dis- 
tracted, wasted, and mutually opposed ; and noth- 
ing can be supposed to go further towards keeping 
their interest in its concerns strong, and making it 


available, than such personal qualities in its head as 
attract respect and affection, inspire confidence, rec- 
oncile dissent, guide opinion, and make a common 
reverence and love for him a bond of union to the 
whole. And at the time now in question some cir- 
cumstances existed, calling for peculiar discretion, 
capacity, and address. Political and religious dissen- 
sions ran high. It was natural for the conflicting 
parties, if not to aim at securing, for their own ends, 
such an influence as the management of the College 
afforded, at least to suspect and accuse one another 
of entertaining that purpose. And no common wis- 
dom was required, to devise the means of avoiding 
all pretext for such a charge on the part of any who 
were willing to make it, and of instilling principles 
of patriotism and religion into the minds of the 
young, without involving them in controversies which 
were agitating the surface and the depths of the 
public mind. 

The President surveyed the field of his future la- 
bors with a penetrating and comprehensive intelli- 
gence. At the head of the oldest and best endowed 
literary insitution of the country, an institution, 
from the earliest age of the Commonwealth, a favorite 
object of the bounty, the labors, and the prayers of 
its great and good men, an institution identified, 
throughout its honorable history, with the history of 

New England and of America, of knowledge and 
of freedom, he saw himself to have assumed ob- 
ligations less commonly appreciated, doubtless, than 
some others, but scarcely less momentous than any. 
From year to year, a band of youth, the hope of 
society, were to be committed to his care, to be 
trained to wisdom and virtue, to receive those 
communications of knowledge which would give 
them an eminent capacity to be useful, and to form 
those principles, habits, and tastes, which would 
make usefulness their study, and the pure happiness, 
which belongs to it, the object of their first ambition. 
Year after year, numerous parents were to rest on 
his discretion and faithfulness much of their con- 
fidence and hope, under the intense feeling of that 
hour when they dismissed from the safe home of an 
innocent childhood him, whom they trusted to receive 
back again a man fit for the tasks and trials of re- 
sponsible life. Great interests of the community 
were to be worse or better watched over, according 
as his care of those, who at no distant time were to 
be summoned to the public service, should prove 
more or less judicious and successful. The cause of 
human well-being and improvement, the cause of 
freedom and justice, of truth and righteousness, 
would demand some of its distinguished champions 
at his forming hands. 


If the obligation and the task were great, so were 
the advantages and encouragements under which 
they were assumed. The President was in the 
prime of life, and the full vigor of his faculties. His 
ambition contemplated no objects which could expose 
the employment he had undertaken to become a 
subordinate object of concern, or interrupt the zeal- 
ous steadiness of his devotion to its duties. Nei- 
ther his past pursuits, nor his plans for the future, 
subjected him to embarrassment from the necessi- 
ty of seeking the favor of any sect or party. Well 
studied in books and systems, he was at the same 
time a man used to the ways of men. He had lived 
no hermit's life, but one which had instructed him in 
the wants of society, and imparted to him the large 
benefit of the experience of other minds exercised in 
the cares of public station ; and the circumstances 
of his own rise to prosperity and distinction had 
given him a personal acquaintance with difficulties 
which often beset the earliest steps in the progress 
of meritorious youth. However firmly, there was 
no danger that by him authority would be vexatious- 
ly and offensively exerted. With his dispositions 
and sentiments, it was impossible that the govern- 
ment of young men should appear to him a mere 
summary process of peremptory and inflexible coer- 
cion. He loved the young with a frank and sympa-^ 


thizing affection, which rarely is known in such 
strength to survive their own age ; and that keenly 
sagacious dissection of character and motive, which 
to so many, of less happily constituted natures, is but 
a temptation to harshness of construction and acerbity 
of temper, instructed him rather to discern the less 
obvious good under an unpromising exterior ; to per- 
ceive reasons for allowance and lenity, blended with 
occasions of blame ; to be slow to despair of frailty ; 
and to detect the almost hidden point of honor, which 
might yet be touched to beneficial issues. No 
austere censurer of youthful folly and sin better 
knew than he, their symptoms and their mischiefs ; 
but to him folly and sin were not things to wonder 
and be enraged at, but things to be somewhat ex- 
pected, and, at all events, to be studied, understood, 
treated, and cured. 

The President had other resources, not so strictly 
in himself, though properly called his own, in the 
sense of being of his own honorable winning. The 
earnest and solicitous attachment borne by the best 
men of this community to the College received anew 
impulse from their confidence in the qualifications 
of its new head ; and, without doing any violence to 
that modesty which was one of his excellent virtues, 
it was impossible for him not to be sensible of the 
advantage he possessed in his extraordinary personal 


influence over the minds of the most eminent citi- 
zens, recommending to their judgment whatever he 
preferred, and to their energetic cooperation, what- 
ever he projected. And, as to those whose different 
sentiments and connexions deprived him of the bene- 
fit of such sympathy on their part, rarely will an 
instance be found, where opinions on controverted 
matters are so freely and firmly professed, while so 
little excuse is given to opponents for personal dis- 
content. They who were loudest in their expres- 
sions of dissatisfaction with some of his views, did 
not yield to other persons in their professions of es- 
teem and love for the man. 

The official policy of President Kirkland, nowhere 
perhaps expressly expounded, is to be inferred from 
his personal qualities and from the course of his ad- 
ministration. The character to which he proposed 
to form his pupils, was that of the Christian scholar 
and gentleman ; and to this character he conceived 
that they were to be elevated by an encouraging in^ 
fluence, and not to be broken down to it by stern- 
ness and force ; that they were to be reared to it by 
a training which would teach self-reliance and self- 
respect, and not by one which should make them 
self-ashamed and feeble, for the sake of making them 
regular and harmless. Courage he seems to have 
considered as, on the whole, the great safeguard of 


virtue ; and accordingly the discipline, which, by in- 
sisting on the adoption of another's unexplained will 
as a rule of conduct, teaches self-abandonment and 
cowardice, would be, in his view, the capital fault in 
education. His benignant nature concurred with his 
sound and generous theory, in enabling him, in his 
intercourse with his pupils, to take advantage of an 
efficient impulse of the youthful mind, in presenting 
virtue to it as a graceful and honorable thing. Au- 
thority, in his administration, lost much of its un- 
avoidable offensiveness, while it accomplished far 
more than its usual work, through the indulgent and 
feeling spirit in which it was exerted, avoiding not 
only all suspicion of injustice, but, as far as possible, 
all provocatives of wounded pride, and appealing to 
whatever was ingenuous in the culprit, by letting 
him see that he had made his judge a fellow-sufferer 
with himself. A sour and suspicious temper is not 
exclusively the vice of those, who have had time to 
experience the disappointments of life. Some young 
men, otherwise meritorious, carry to college the feel- 
ing, engendered in the difficulties of their early con- 
dition, that others care little for their welfare, and 
would even feel satisfaction rather than regret, should 
they be disappointed in their hopes of rising. It 
was the President's delight to relieve such persons 
of this noxious delusion, and win them back to good- 


nature, and to the capacity of confiding, respecting, 
and enjoying, both by those occasional well-timed 
hints, which (assuming no form of reprimand or 
counsel, and allowing the hearer to take to himself 
as much or as little as he would,) often were 
worth a volume of discourse, and by showing, in all 
such ways of word or work as opportunity permitted, 
an interest in their prospects, a respect for their aims, 
and a disposition to aid their rise. With a wonder- 
ful address, which betrayed no study or effort, his 
discipline was adapted to those peculiarities of charac- 
ter which his quick and sure insight discerned. His 
weighty rebuke came with a force all its own, from 
the familiar and unexpected acquaintance which it 
discovered with the offence and the offender ; and 
the encouragements which, in tenderness to timid 
minds, he knew how to insinuate rather than urge, 
were all the more prized because of the flattering 
evidence which they gave, that he to whom they 
were addressed had been the object of previous in- 
terest and attention. 

To say, that, at the period of President Kirkland's 
accession, the system of discipline and study at Cam- 
bridge was not altogether such as to give the insti- 
tution its due measure of efficiency, would be to do 
no injustice to the deserving men who immediately 
preceded him in office, and who, in undertaking any 

important change, would have had still greater diffi- 
culties to contend with, on account of the less set- 
tled character of their times. The fact was so ap- 
parent, that to most men under his circumstances, 
spurred on by public encouragement, and conscious 
of power in themselves, it would have presented a 
strong temptation to a course of hasty innovation and 
crude experiment. The President had that quality 
so very freely attributed, and so very seldom pos- 
sessed, the wisdom which justifies the undertaking 
of a work of reform. While he infused a kind and 
courteous spirit into the old forms of academic inter- 
course, and had no indulgence for any such transmit- 
ted relations between different ranks, as implied or 
encouraged tyranny on the one side, or degradation 
on the other, he was yet somewhat precise in prac- 
tising and exacting those observances which the 
ancient customs of the place had associated with 
sentiments and habits of mutual respect, method, and 
subordination, and which, while they in no way 
debased the inferior, gave him a stimulating sense of 
the dignity of the stations which were before him. 

In respect to reforms in a course of study, while 
he recognised the principle that a well-conducted lit- 
erary institution is not to propose to itself any foreign 
standard of scholarship, but to study the intellectual 
wants of the community for which it is to make pro- 


vision, and adapt to them its methods, still it did 
not escape him, that this principle is not one capable 
of being well applied, except by much skill, exerted 
after much observation and thought ; that a superficial 
education is precisely that which a superficially in- 
formed community, though most apt to clamor for it, 
does not require; and that often they, who have most 
to say of the character and demands of the spirit of the 
age, are without the remotest conception what the 
object in education is, or how it should be pur- 
sued. Without extraordinary attainments in any de- 
partment of book-learning, the President's various 
reading had mapped out in his mind the several pro- 
vinces of study ; his prompt and acute discernment 
acquainted him with the appropriate value of each, and 
the great value of all ; and experience, which to few 
men taught so much, had made him familiar with 
the actual deficiencies and capacities of American 
culture, and of the nature of the work which scholar- 
ship in America had to do. His practical good sense 
told him, that the wisdom of ages could not wisely 
be disputed, in respect to the regimen which it has 
devised for giving to the young mind its gradual, ro- 
bust, and well-proportioned developement. To the 
studies selected by long experience for that purpose, 
he gave peculiar encouragement, and most of his 
projects for improvement were directed to a more 


thorough initiation in these ; and, if he went further 
than some might approve, in introducing into the 
course of study what might be called accomplish- 
ments of the rnind, rather than its essential nutri- 
ment, this was done in no surrender of his individual 
judgment, but out of deliberate deference to what 
he esteemed the fair temporary claims of a state of 
society, more exclusively intent, than in a more ad- 
vanced condition it will be, on attainments of imme- 
diately and palpably practical usefulness. 

In the offices of instruction, it was his anxious 
desire to secure the best aid that was accessible, and, 
to this end, to offer all possible encouragement to 
the most competent persons to undertake them. If 
the public is to be properly served in those places 3 it 
must be by men of such ability, as in other depart- 
ments of action would command much better pe- 
cuniary compensation than the College can afford. 
What it could afford, he judged that its best interests 
required it liberally to devote to that object ; but he 
well saw, that, to recommend the offices to the ac- 
ceptance of worthy candidates, it was at the same 
time more material and more practicable to make 
their duties and conditions such, as to attract and re- 
ward him who has a sense of the honorableness of a 
scholar's vocation. Money, could much more of it 
be had, is not all, nor the most, of what must be 


offered, to buy the services of such a man. He 
wants to see opportunity to be useful, fair and free 
opportunity to impart the learning which he loves. 
He wants reasonable leisure and facilities for en- 
larging its stores. He wants congenial society, of 
those who sympathize with him in his liberal pur- 
suits. He wants that the dignity of scholarship 
shall be respected in his person, and that he shall not 
be in danger of being confounded with the drudges 
who are bargained with for some narrowly and 
punctiliously defined measure of service. He wants 
to feel that he is occupying an honorable position in 
society, and one in which his deserts will be reason- 
ably estimated in all the good that he may do. 
President Kirkland thoroughly understood these 
feelings. He would not have had them any less 
strong. He respected them spontaneously, and he 
well knew too that he must respect them, or the 
kind of aid which he coveted was not at his com- 
mand. His intercourse with his coadjutors made 
their places such as men of character and delicacy 
might well aspire to fill. His own society was an 
effectual attraction, and his spirit a congenial im- 
pulse, to them. To be associated with him, was an 
honor and a pleasure. Thus he gathered beneath 
the shades of Harvard a conclave of choice spirits, 

Names not destined soon to die, adorned the circle 
in which he sat as chief. 

Year after jear of his administration brought im- 
portant contributions to the resources and the repu- 
tation of the College. The number of students was 
enlarged far beyond all precedent. The standard of 
scholarship was raised, not only by an increased 
amount and improved kind of instruction, by the ap- 
plication of personal influence, and a judicious use of 
the principle of emulation, but by extending the con- 
ditions of admittance, thus securing a qualification 
at the preparatory schools for further acquisitions, 
and more time at college to make them. This last 
measure, the President thought that Harvard Col- 
lege, though at some sacrifice of present populari- 
ty, at least of the number of its students, owed it 
to less affluently endowed institutions, and to the 
general cause of education in the country, to adopt. 
What, better than any other such establishment, it 
could afford to do, because less dependent on the num- 
ber of its pupils for means of support, he conceived 
that it was bound to do, in demanding that its pupils 
should give themselves time to prepare for, and to 
receive, an education of some thoroughness. Its 
example, in this respect, he was persuaded would be 
gratefully regarded by the intelligent conductors of 
other institutions, as encouraging and urging them to 

do what otherwise, under the opposite pressure ex- 
erted on them from without, would have been be- 
yond their ability. The channels of public and pri- 
vate munificence poured their tribute into the College 
treasury. The Commonwealth gave ten thousand 
dollars annually, for ten years ; and the aggregate 
fund of contributions from this and individual 
sources, including such as, though then provided for, 
were not received till later, amounted to not much 
less than half a million of dollars. Holworthy Hall 
and University Hall were added to the buildings with- 
in the ancient enclosure, while Divinity College was 
erected in another part of the town, and the Medical 
College in Boston, for the accommodation of students 
in those faculties. The Law, Medical, and Theolog- 
ical Libraries were instituted, and the General Li- 
brary was increased to nearly double its size, by large 
gradual additions, and by the splendid gifts of the 
collections of Palmer, Ebeling, and Warden, while, 
what was not less important, arrangements were 
made for extending its advantages to a greater num- 
ber of persons, and keeping it constantly open for 
such as wished, by consultation on the spot, to 
avail themselves of its treasures. The Medical 
School was renovated, and the old academical insti- 
tution was converted into a University in fact, by the 
full organization of Faculties of Medicine, Theology, 

and Law. In the academical department, which be- 
fore had reckoned only four professorships, were es- 
tablished the chairs of Chemistry and Mineralogy, 
of the Greek Language and Literature, of the Ap- 
plication of Science to the Arts, of Natural Theolo- 
gy, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, and of the 
French and Spanish Languages and Modern Litera- 
ture ; while other large prospective endowments of 
the same nature, since become known, were made 
by testamentary provision. The Cabinet of Mine- 
ralogy was founded, and those in the Medical de- 
partment, and that of Natural Philosophy, were great- 
ly enriched. Nor ought it to be omitted, as a circum- 
stance having important relations to the sense of char- 
acter as well as the comfort of the students, and the 
general good order of the institution, that its econom- 
ical arrangements underwent a thorough revision, 
and were placed on a satisfactory basis ; decency 
and comfort in the habits of living being studied, 
with a due regard to moderate expense. 

But all these are but appliances for the attaining 
of an end. The amount of their actual efficacy 
cannot yet all be estimated, for a testimony is to be 
borne to them by future times ; but part of it may 
be. How then does the fact appear to stand ? 
Thirty years are nearly completed, since the admin- 
istration of President Kirkland began* Has the 


literature of New England and of the country as- 
sumed a higher character during that period ? and 
has Harvard College exerted any influence towards 
its elevation ? and, of any influence exerted by it, is 
any part to be traced to a source in the President's 
own mind ? Have any elaborate works in science or 
literature, honorable to the country, and destined to 
live, been produced by scholars whose youth he 
trained ? Among his pupils, have there appeared 
men eminent in the walks of professional duty ; 
in the halls of legislation and of learning ; men 
who have contributed to keep up and heighten 
the intellectual and moral tone of the community ; 
who have been signalized by an intelligent devotion 
to good objects ; who, by action and example, 
have well served the cause of morals, manners, and 
letters ? Who doubts that there have been and are 
some such ? and, if there are, there are so many 
bright jewels in his crown. There were twelve 
hundred graduates of the College who enjoyed his 
care, nearly one quarter part of the whole that the 
College has ever reared ; and of this number two 
thirds or three quarters survive, and they at an age 
when the work of life, whatever it be, must needs 
be doing, and the character it affects, displayed. 
What are they doing, those eight or nine hundred 
men in the middle age of life ? Are they making, 


on the whole, their fair contribution to the well- 
being and intelligence of society? Considering 
their advantages, are they doing their part ? are they 
exerting a reasonable amount of beneficial influence ? 
Whatever may be the answer, fellow-students, given 
to these questions by those to whom it belongs to 
pass judgment upon us, certain it is, that they can 
never give us any credit for capacity and disposition 
for worthy conduct, which we shall not feel bound 
to regard as a tribute to the guide of our forming 

The public career of the President was destined 
to be prematurely closed. It pleased Heaven that 
his sun should be obscured at its high noon, and sink 
to its setting, pale and shorn of its radiant beams. 
A few weeks before Commencement in the year 
1827, he suffered an attack of paralysis, which dis- 
abled him from presiding at the public exercises of 
that occasion. His constitution seemed to rally in 
the autumn, and the hope was fondly cherished for 
a time, that it might yet prove superior to the dis- 
ease. But, in the following spring, some of the 
friends who had stood by him too long and faithfully 
to desire any thing but his good and honor, found 
themselves compelled to the painful conclusion, that 
it was best that his health should henceforward be his 
sole care. In his letter of resignation, communicated 


to the Corporation on the 28th of March, he repre- 
sents himself in general terms, as led to that measure 
by " considerations in his judgment imperative." 
His pupils and the public were agitated and distress- 
ed by the currency of a report, to the effect that the 
step was precipitated by his not having been treated, 
in every quarter among those who had acted with 
him, with the delicacy and respect due to his greatness 
and his infirmity. But if, among the good men who 
shared with him the highest places of college au- 
thority, any one could for a moment so unhappily 
forget himself as to offer disrespect to that vener- 
able excellence, which in better days it was impos- 
sible for disrespect to come near, it is not a wrong 
which history has recorded, and it is not one there- 
fore, which history has to right ; and as, whatever 
private grief he may have had, his magnanimity did 
not permit him to proclaim it, he would not have us 
choose this occasion for its redress. The Corpora- 
tion took the position which might have been as- 
suredly expected, when, at a meeting at which every 
member was present, a vote was passed, expressing 
a " full sense of all the benefits conferred by him on 
the Institution, over which," it is added, " he has 
presided for so many years, with singular dignity and 
mildness, highly raising its reputation, and increasing 
its usefulness, by his splendid talents and accom- 


plishments, his paternal care, and his faithful ser- 


The Overseers, in like manner, on receiving from 
the Corporation intelligence of the President's retire- 
ment, adopted a resolution, expressing their "deep 
and grateful sense of the benefits which religion and 
learning have derived from his distinguished talents, 
his beneficent virtues, and his unwearied zeal in dif- 
fusing the advantages of education, and promoting 
the welfare of the University." And addresses, 
composed in the warmest terms of respect, grati- 
tude, and sympathy, were transmitted by the Faculty, 
the students, and numbers of alumni in different 
parts of the country. 

In the autumn subsequent to his resignation, 
Dr. Kirkland, who in the preceding year had mar- 
ried the daughter of his late distinguished friend, 
George Cabot, set off on a journey of several 
months, through the southern and western parts of 
the United States ; and, in the assiduous hospitalities 
which were everywhere extended to him, had new 
proofs, of the most gratifying description, of the es- 
teem which his services had won, and especially of 
the attachment of his pupils. In the spring of the 
following year, he embarked for Europe ; and, after 
making the usual western tour, proceeded to visit 
some of the Mediterranean Islands, the Barbary 


coast, Egypt, the Holy Land, and some parts of 
Turkey in Europe, Greece, and Austria. In his ab- 
sence of three years and a half, he conducted a very 
large correspondence. In this it is remarkable, that 
it was often employed in a vast accumulation of mi- 
nute facts, an exercise for which in other days he 
had decidedly less relish than most men, and that 
his memory appeared to have attained an altogether 
new capacity for such details. Others, however, of 
his letters, in their traits of philosophical acuteness 
and comprehension, of dignified, instructive, and co- 
gent eloquence, bear the happiest stamp of the 
before well-known attributes of his extraordinary 

Between seven and eight years longer, Dr. Kirk- 
land moved among us, enjoying a comfortable measure 
of bodily health ; disabled by no definite mental in- 
firmity, though indisposed, for the most part, to con- 
tinuous thought or conversation ; finding happiness 
in his books, and imparting as well as receiving 
pleasure in the society of his troops of friends. Not 
seldom would remarks proceed from him, which 
were not only instinct with the pristine vivacity and 
vigor, but which showed that trains of thought con- 
ducting to them had been successfully going on ; 
and for a long season the change which had taken 
place was to be observed rather in the less frequency 


of his flashes of wit and brief utterances of rich and 
crowded meaning, than in the abatement of their 
brilliancy and fulness. But what was brave and 
touching, perhaps almost beyond a parallel, was, that 
the man who, wherever he went, had been accustomed 
to precedency, and who knew as well as others did, 
that now the rare brightness of his glory was depart- 
ed, yet did not, in act or word, repine at the change, 
nor seek to withdraw from doing all in his place 
which it had pleased God still to spare him power to 
do. He found no difficulty, he felt no shame, as a 
man feeble enough to be proud would have done, in 
passing to a lower step in social estimation. His 
true dignity was equal to that trial. He has been 
known to speak, in a way which showed that he had 
nothing to learn from others, of the change that had 
passed upon him ; but he never volunteered a hint 
upon the subject, and, in what he did say, there was 
no querulousness, no abasement, no appeal to pity, 
no bait for compliments to take off the bitterness of 
the calamity. " A driveller and a show," thank 
God ! he never would be. It might be doubted, 
whether any thing was ever grander in the grand 
sweep of his master mind in the old days of its con- 
sciousness of mastery, than in the watchful control 
which he held over his weakened faculties ; giving 
them cheerful exercise as far as they could be trust- 


ed, and stopping short when he saw, that, if he ad- 
vanced, it was at peril of appearing less than his for- 
mer self. 

The stroke, which no friend could have wished 
to delay, at last came, in the tender providence of 
God. On the twenty-sixth day of April, after two 
or three months of obvious physical and intellectual 
decay, the over-laden spirit was relieved from its 
earthly burden, and departed to its higher destiny. 

What has been hitherto said of President Kirkland 
has been, for the most part, in the way of acknowl- 
edgment of distinguished excellence ; and that it 
ought to be so, is implied in the existence of the 
feeling which has convened this assembly. Are 
there any qualifications to be made, in order to a 
just delineation ? Without doubt there are. There 
can never be room for hesitation in replying to that 
inquiry. Should any be forward to deny, that he 
whom we extol possessed all capacities for his sta- 
tion in the excellent degree in which he possessed 
almost all, we are in no way concerned to contradict 
them. Had it been otherwise, he would have been 
" that faultless monster, which the world ne'er saw ; " 
and the last service which he would be willing to 
receive at our hands, and the worst kind of proof 
that we had profited by his influence, would be a 
willingness to assert for him an unfounded preten- 

sion, or to seek to underrate any virtue, grace, talent, 
or attainment, because it was not eminently his. 

Still it deserves to be said, that his defects, such as 
they were, stood before the view in the light of his 
services. Had the sphere and abundance of the lat- 
ter been less, so much the less would there have been 
opportunity for the former to attract notice. It was 
the brightness of the luminary, that revealed its spots. 
Had he lived and labored in some inferior place, 
there would not have been the same occasion for the 
remark, that the magnificence and liberality of his 
administration of a high trust were not united with 
a punctiliously methodical attention to the details of 
business. It is pity that they were not. Such de- 
tails have great importance ; they have a valuable 
subserviency to the purposes of a generous policy ; and 
it is unquestionably to be wished that he had sought, 
with more success, the benefit of the added efficien- 
cy which they afford. Occupying a position which 
caused the failure to be, more than it would have 
been in private life, a subject of observation and an 
occasion of regret, he failed in respect to that exact 
system in the distribution of time and engagements, 
which no man, except with a great affluence of other 
powers, can with any safety omit, and without 
which no man whatever is as happy or as useful as 
he ought to be ; though, on the other hand, the ab- 


sence of that particular system, which we ourselves 
adopt, is very apt to pass with us unreasonably for 
a rejection of all order ; and certain it is, that, in some 
particulars which came under the notice of his pu- 
pils, the punctuality of the President was remarka- 
ble ; and certain it is, further, that if, in the course 
of the multifarious occupations of his place, as they 
were then prescribed, and injudiciously prescribed, 
in some respects, as we may freely say, since the ar- 
rangement has subsequently been altered, if, under 
these circumstances, aught was omitted to be done, 
which might have received primary attention from 
persons trained in a different sphere of life, certain it 
is, that the great results produced were such as it 
belonged to a good and wise administration of the 
College to contemplate, and such as the most pre- 
cisely systematic proceedings might well be satisfied 
to effect. 

There was in him an appearance of physical 
indolence ; and there can be no doubt that exertion 
was less easy to him than to many other men. 
But only the more is the wonder, that the amount of 
his labors in a series of years was so great, and that 
single important tasks, falling to him from time to time 
in the course of his administration, were executed 
with such toilsome care. To say, that, in a guide 
of youth, it were to be desired that there had been 

more of enthusiasm, or, rather of the external ex- 
pression of that quality, would be to say what per- 
haps cannot be contradicted. But it amounts to no 
more than that, being a great man of one type, he 
was not of another. Commonly, the best that can be 
done is, to make a choice between prominent excel- 
lencies. Some classes of them do not easily sub- 
sist along with others, in equal ripeness. In the 
order of Providence, one man possesses one, and 
another another ; and so, in the agencies of life, they 
turn out to be each other's complement. It may be 
right, that a man should confine his regards to some 
one subject, or class of subjects, instead of many. 
But, whether right or not under the given circum- 
stances, he, whose habits incline him to do this, will 
ordinarily be the subject of stronger excitements, than 
he whose more capacious view embraces a larger 
prospect. In other words, the philosophical temper- 
ament has some repugnancy to the enthusiastic, 
and the former was peculiarly that of President 

The tendency may have been increased in him 
by a just perception of the dangers of the time 
when he lived. Inasmuch as he loved truth, he 
was disinclined to cant, which is its most subtle 
enemy ; and he who eschews cant is very likely to 
fall into a style of remark, which, to others, not 


following the discriminations of his mind, may appear 
like indifference to that truth, of which it is often 
the most availing defence. The period was one of 
excited party spirit, in politics and in religion. To 
hint to either party, that it did not possess the truth 
completely and exclusively ; that in it there was 
some imperfection, and something praiseworthy or 
plausible in the other ; that there was some abate- 
ment to be made from the reputation of sentiments 
which were approved, and some allowance for those 
which were condemned ; this was not the part of 
enthusiasm, certainly, but it was a part conducing to 
charity and to peace. The soothing influence, which 
it exerted upon passion, was liable to be complained 
of as a chilling influence ; and undoubtedly it must, 
after all, be owned, that the habit of seeking for 
something valuable in what is mainly worthless, or 
for extenuating traits or circumstances in what is 
blameworthy, or for defects in what is precious, may 
lead, with feebly discerning minds, to the loss of a 
proper love for what is amiable, and a proper aversion 
for its opposite. There are those, whose flow of 
right feeling must be a heady torrent, or else dry up. 
But he of whom we speak was not one of them. 
A more enthusiastic temperament than his might, no 
doubt, by its natural contagion, have communicated 
more of impetuosity to the young ; but impetuosity, to 


the young, is not what most requires to be communicat- 
ed. Calmness, caution, and forbearance make much 
more of their need. A more enthusiastic tempera- 
ment might have had a certain effect in infusing more 
of ardor into the love of truth and of letters, which 
was exemplified and enjoined ; and this would have 
been well. But it would hardly have refrained from 
another office ; a zealot honestly presses his opin- 
ions ; and this would not have been well. Scarce- 
ly any thing was more remarkable in President Kirk- 
land, than his scrupulous respect for the rights and 
freedom of the mind in young as well as in old. 
With a more zealous temper, he could hardly have 
been so tolerant, and such a steady champion of 
toleration. Those claims of free inquiry which so 
ably he defended before he assumed his academical 
charge, his practice allowed afterwards, and secured, 
to all who came under his official superintendence. 
No one of them could pretend to say, that he ever 
attempted to bend them to an influence in favor of 
his own views on the debated questions of the time ; 
and this forbearance, right in itself, was also, in the 
existing divisions, of the first importance to the pros- 
perity of the institution, through its enjoyment of 
the public confidence. 

The President's mind, less inclined to system than 
to excursiveness and freedom, to individual action 


than to influence, to fervors than to realities, was 
undoubtedly one of rare penetration, sagacity, and 
extent and vigor of grasp. No wordy subtilties 
foiled his keen, shrewd, just observation ; no affecta- 
tions of profession or of conduct perplexed it. Seeing 
so clearly as he did, and so many things, he could 
not fail to have, at easy command, rich resources 
for illustration in the mutual analogies which they 
presented, and so to be able to flash into another's 
mind a conviction of truths, which many might have 
understood as well, but would have known no better 
how to combine arid set forth than by weaving them 
in a colorless tissue of abstractions. Human nature 
was, above all, perhaps, his study and his science ; 
and it was wonderful how, in single weighty periods 
of a set discourse, or in the playful freedom of con- 
versation, he would throw light upon its mysteries, 
reconcile its contradictions, disentangle its blended 
impulses, lay bare the structure of the soul, and ex- 
pose its morbid anatomy and its disordered func- 
tions. Nor less was this true of his perceptions of 
the diseased structure and action of institutions, and 
of the distemperatures of society, than of those of 
individual men. The conditions of social well-being, 
and the prevailing infringements of those conditions, 
stood clear before his view ; and, in many an exi- 
gency of the state, did those who guided its affairs 


borrow light from his pregnant exhibitions of the 
causes and consequences of what engaged their con- 
cern. Scarcely was it possible for any one to part 
from him, after the most hasty interview, without 
carrying away something well deserving to be re- 
membered, A sportive wit continually conveyed 
sense of the most solemn wisdom ; and, indeed, one 
might hesitate to deny, that it was to the action of 
his mind in social intercourse, that its influence, and 
the estimate of its greatness among those who un- 
derstood it best, are chiefly to be ascribed. And, as 
he taught and acted in society, so he studied there. 
While he was conversant with books, he also under- 
stood the valuable secret of making others, of more 
recluse habits, do much of his studious labor for him. 
Nor, while he made their minds tributary, were they 
less gainers than himself, more than repaying, as 
he did, the knowledge of recent acquisition which 
he extracted from them, by those comments which 
showed them, in turn, how to regard it in interest- 
ing relations, and apply it to advantageous use. 

As far, it would seem, as man could well be, the 
President was free from selfishness. His disinterest- 
edness was alike manifest in every form that can be 
named. He had no love of gain, none of advance- 
ment, none of display ; and, if he had love of ease, 
he constantly denied it indulgence. Hence came 


the singular naturalness of his character. There 
was no consciousness to perplex and disable himself, 
and annoy the beholder with the artifices by which 
affectation applies for esteem and applause. There 
was no part to act, and therefore the part which the 
moment required was acted freely and well. There 
was no thought of exhibition, and therefore the facul- 
ties always wrought with their whole, easy, unem- 
barrassed, graceful power. Hence, too, it was, that, 
while there was no parade of courage, nothing was 
ever done, or left undone, under the slightest influ- 
ence of fear. Calculation of personal consequences, 
bad or good, is a thing, which they who knew the 
President do not think of as dictating any part of his 
course ; and this perfect disembarrassment from the 
pursuit of personal objects, in a man high in public 
station, may be thought, in self-seeking days, a qual- 
ity the more attractive for its rareness, and for its 
use as an example. 

To a man so disinterested, it was, of course, all 
the easier to be actively benevolent. Through its 
steadiness, and its study of occasions and means, 
his benevolence was seen to be a principle. In 
its promptness, ease, and universality, it looked 
rather like an instinct. To say that he was a 
liberal giver, is to say what is consistent with the 
rest, but every way less remarkable. His bosom 


was a perennial fountain of gentle, generous, joyous 
affections. There are those who have seen him, for 
a moment, annoyed and unbalanced ; but they told 
of it with astonishment, and were listened to with 
incredulity. His was the benevolence of hearty 
communion with associates ; of genuine sympathy 
with the happy and the sad ; of gracious condescen- 
sion to the humble ; of patience with the perverse 
and the tiresome ; of fitly-chosen encouragements to 
the dispirited ; of prudent counsel to the perplexed ; 
of seasonable, wholesome warning to the tempted ; 
of courteous manners, and kind thoughts, words, 
and deeds, as varying occasion allowed, to all. It 
was an agreeable accident that brought any man in 
his way for a service, an interview, or a passing salu- 
tation. A perfect trust in the divine goodness, 
oftener expressed, and with as much glow and cheer- 
fulness, as ever, in the time of his calamity, and a 
faithful application of that Christian discipline, which, 
in one of his early letters, he declares himself to be 
directing to this special end, these, added, no 
doubt, to an uncommonly happy natural constitution 
of mind, gave him a rare capacity for enjoying the 
good of life, and superiority to its evils and anxieties. 
And how far from superficial that discipline was, how 
thoroughly that temper had been kneaded into the 
soul, was seen, when, in the grasp of a disease which 


peculiarly is wont to make the years of its aged vic- 
tim years of labor and sorrow, the temper was un- 
ruffled, the aspect was serene, the interest in others' 
welfare was quick and considerate, and, if the slow 
voice labored, it was but struggling for a greater 
fulness of placid and kind expression. 

So tranquil and self-possessed, so sustained in 
great affliction by sufficient resources stored in other 
years, went down our master to the tomb, which 
has seldom received a trust so precious. So many 
of those, who in other times sat at his feet, never 
assembled before to commune together upon his ex- 
cellences and their debt to him, nor ever will again. 
He would not that such an interview should be 
profitless; nor, brought together to-day by our de- 
sire to do him honor, is it possible we should separ- 
ate without being reminded, that honor will be most 
effectually rendered to him by the honorable course 
of those whom he studied to form to usefulness ; 
by their labors, rendered in the spirit of his own, 
for the promotion of those objects which were dear 
to his heart ; by their faithful attachment, and, as oc- 
casion or ability may permit, their substantial ser- 
vices, to the institution, to which the best of his life 
and energies were devoted, and to which, through 
his fidelity, they owe so much. To speak of other 
claims of that nursery of our minds to our veneration 


and gratitude, tempting as is the theme, would now 
be out of place ; but, standing together for a last 
joint tribute to his excellence, it is not unfit we 
should remember, that we owe it our best wishes 
and services for his beloved sake. His honor is con- 
cerned in the accomplishment of the objects, for 
which he labored to make provision ; and whatever 
they may do towards the accomplishment of those 
objects is due, from those who loved him, to his 
fame. To the friends of Harvard College, and of the 
learning and virtue which it was founded to diffuse, 
already the name of Kirkland is justly and greatly 
dear. Dearer still, doubtless, will it be to the coming 
ages, according as, on the list of those whom he 
reared, they shall be able to point to names eminent 
among the friends to its interests, the champions of 
its principles, the promoters of its work. 

Page 24, line 3, for seniors, read juniors. 










y J 











JANUARY 4 T H, 1861. 




WHEN the melancholy intelligence of his death reached the city, 
on the following day, it was announced in feeling terms in the 
various Courts which were then in session, all of which adjourned, 
in token of their respect for his memory, and of their sense of the 
great loss sustained by the public. . 

A meeting of the Bar, called to express the feelings of the 
profession on the death of their distinguished brother, was held in 
the General Term room of the Supreme Court, on the 12th day of 
January, 1861. The following record of its proceedings is publish- 
ed by its order. 

NEW-YORK, 1861. 


THE meeting was called to order by E. L. FANCHER, 
Esq., on whose motion (pursuant to request of the Com- 
mittee of Arrangements appointed at a previous informal 
meeting of the Bar) the following gentlemen were unani- 
mously appointed as officers : 



of the Supreme Court. 

$ite- JJresibeitis. 


of the U. S. District Court. 


of the Superior Court, 


ex-Judge of the Supreme Court. 


of the Superior Court. 


of the Court of Common Pleas. 


of the Court of Common Pleas. 





Judge INGRAHAM, the Chairman, said : 

We are convened, on this occasion, for the purpose of 
paying a tribute to the memory of one long known and 
honored in the midst* of us, the late Judge Kent ; and 
probably there was no one at the Bar of New- York whose 
loss will be more deeply felt, and whose death more sin- 
cerely lamented, than his. A long acquaintance with 
him, commencing more than a quarter of a century ago, 
and continued with unabated kindness on his part, down 
to the period of his death, taught me to love and respect 
him, and I doubt not, the feelings which I entertain will 
find a response in the heart of every one who had the privi- 
lege of his friendship. Immediately after his admission to 
the Bar, Judge Kent entered into the practice of the pro- 
fession in this city, and early obtained a rank which older 
practitioners had failed to reach. In the year 1841, he 
was appointed a Judge of the First Circuit Court, then a 
branch of the Supreme Court, and so discharged the duties 
of that station, that his resignation, in 1845, was received 
with universal regret. Slight attacks of that disease which 
has since prostrated him, induced by an ardent desire, on 
his part, to break down a long calendar left to him by 
his predecessor, caused his retirement from the bench. I 
well remember, when remonstrated with, in reference to the 
excess of labor which he was, at that time, performing, 
that he expressed the utmost confidence in his strong con- 
stitution and uniform good health ; but a few months taught 
him, as it has others of us who have succeeded him, the 
error which he was committing, and his resignation soon 
followed. To those who knew Judge Kent, it would be 
needless for me to speak of his uniform courtesy and kind- 
ness, of his great simplicity of character, of his high literary 

attainments, of his legal learning, of his judicial ability, 
and of his undoubted integrity. In all these respects he 
was pre-eminent. As a judge, as a lawyer, he displayed 
eminent ability, and I think I may say, without hesitation, 
there never was on the bench of the Supreme Court, in this 
State, a judge more courteous to the Bar, and more kind 
to the young practitioner, or more acceptable to the pro- 
fession, than Judge Kent. But I forbear to speak in detail 
of his character and virtues. It is sufficient for me to say, 
that in private life, Judge Kent was a Christian gentleman, 
without reproach. As a lawyer, he was an ornament to the 
profession. As a judge, he was able, learned, and upright. 
No man could see him but to respect him. None could 
know him but to love him. In all the relations of life he 
was honored ; in death he will be mourned. We do well, 
then, to pay honor to his memory, and to record our esteem 
of his character and of his works, that others may be in- 
duced to imitate his example, and to emulate his virtues. 

Hon. JOHN VAN BUREN said : 

Mr. PRESIDENT : The Bar of the City of New- York have 
received, with emotions of unaffected grief, the sad and start- 
ling intelligence of the death, in the meridian of his life 
and usefulness, of one of their most interesting, accom- 
plished, and distinguished members ; and an informal com- 
mittee of their number have asked me to propose to this 
meeting, called by them, resolutions expressive of our feel- 
ings upon this occasion. Summoned to this melancholy 
duty, I have supposed I should best consult the proprieties 
of my position by presenting for their consideration an ex- 
pression, in the most simple and unadorned phrase, of the 
sense we entertain of the character of our lamented brother, 


and of the loss we have experienced. Intimately associa- 
ted with him in the latter years of his life, admiring his 
brilliant intellect, thorough and general learning, rare ac- 
quirements, and high personal qualities, it is to the native 
diffidence of his character that I offer tribute in the sim- 
plicity of the resolutions I propose ; and upon my assurance 
of what his own modest nature would have preferred, that 
I venture, when I confine the proposed general expression 
by us within such limited terms. Those present, who will 
speak in detail of the life and character of William Kent, 
will be unable to restrain themselves within such narrow 
bounds. Dwelling upon the incidents of his judicial and 
professional career, and lingering over the recollections of 
his charming personal life, enthusiasm becomes natural and 
eulogy just. And if the veil should be drawn aside which 
conceals from public observation his domestic life, and we 
should stop to contemplate the happy relations of dependence 
and love which this death has severed, it would almost 
cause a murmur at the decree of Providence that occasions 
an affliction so sad for a purpose so inscrutable. 

Mine be the more humble office of presenting, for your 
unreserved disposition, resolutions touching the more gene- 
ral and striking features in the character of William Kent, 
appropriate, as it seems to me, for adoption by this meeting, 
dictated in sincerity and truth by those who respected and 
loved him while living, and will ever honor his memory. 

Resolved, That the members of the Bar of the city of New- York are 
profoundly sensible of the loss sustained by them in the death of their 
late associate, William Kent. 

That, in contemplating the character of our deceased brother, we 
naturally and fondly revert to those qualities of his mind and heart 
which graced his personal demeanor and intercourse ; to his ever- 
cheerful temper, his warm affections, and genial sympathies, his fresh 


and playful spirit, and to the rare, varied, and extensive literary and 
classical acquirements which he possessed in such richness, and held 
in such ever-ready command. 

That, while thus mindful of the personal attractions now lost to us 
forever, we should not omit to testify our high appreciation of the 
professional learning, the clear and persuasive method of reasoning, 
the nice power of discrimination, unvarying industry, strict sense of 
justice, inflexible integrity, and great practical wisdom, which illus- 
trated and adorned his career as a leading member of the Bar, and as 
a distinguished Judge of this Circuit, reflecting additional honor upon 
the great name he inherited, and placing his memory justly by the 
side of that of his illustrious father. 

That we tender the expression of our sincere condolence to the 
afflicted family of the deceased, and that a copy of these resolutions, 
signed by the officers of this meeting, be transmitted to them, and be 
also published in the newspapers of this city. 

BENJAMIN D. SILLIMAN, Esq., spoke as follows : 

Mr. PRESIDENT : I move the adoption of the resolutions 
which have been presented by Mr. Tan Buren. They ex- 
press, I am sure, the feelings and the judgment of this 
numerous meeting of the Bar, which is not convened in 
mere accordance with the usage of rendering the tribute due 
to the honored dead, but the spontaneous impulse of our 
hearts has brought us together to give utterance to our 
grief at the loss of one whom we have long loved as well 
as honored. 

It might, perhaps, be difficult to say whether Judge Kent 
was more remarkable for his intellectual and professional, or 
for his moral superiority ; but that which, in this hour of 
bereavement, touches us most nearly, is the surrender which 
we must make to the remorseless grave of oiie whose gen- 
erous and gentle nature, whose genial sympathy, whose warm 
affections, had so endeared him to us, that our admiration of 
the lawyer, the jurist, and the scholar, was even exceeded 


by our attachment, by our love for the man. He is cut off 
from us in the very glory of his manhood, with his facul- 
ties and his affections in the fullness of their strength and 
action ere age had dimmed their brilliancy, or impaired 
their power, or chilled their ardor. 

Judge Kent was born in Albany, in 1802. He had the 
best advantages of education. After being graduated at 
Union College, he pursued the studies and entered the 
professsion in which his father, the great Chancellor, stood 
pre-eminent. He commenced his career as a lawyer, in one 
respect, under a disadvantage that of the shadow of a 
great name. The world is apt to measure the son of a great 
man by an unfair standard. Instead of passing on his 
merits and talents by comparison with those of other young 
men his cotemporaries and peers it withholds its com- 
mendation unless he displays ability which would add to 
his father's fame. But Mr. Kent quickly showed himself 
equal even to such a test. He was early engaged in very im- 
portant causes, in which he manifested powers and learning 
that placed him at once in the foremost rank of the profes- 
sion ; and well did he sustain his place there, adding new 
lustre to the illustrious name he bore. 

His natural gifts were of the highest order, and his at- 
tainments were such as would have rendered a man of 
merely common mind distinguished. He possessed remark- 
able power of analysis, and saw, with the quickness of intu- 
ition, the right and morality of a case, and the principles of 
law involved, and he was ever ready with the learning of 
the law requisite for their illustration. The force of his 
argument was aided by the singular felicity and purity of 
the language in which it was always clothed. So beautiful 
and attractive was his style, so happy his illustrations, so 


abounding in wit, and grace, and learning, and thought, 
that, whether he was arguing a case or trying a cause, not 
only the court or jury which he was addressing, but all who 
were present, having no concern with the subject, including 
alike the members of the bar and mere spectators, were 
always eager and delighted listeners. 

The time and occasion hardly warrant me in adverting 
in detail to the leading cases in the arguments of which 
Judge Kent was distinguished. There are present many 
who were engaged with him, either as associates or oppo- 
nents, in those cases, and none can be more earnest than 
they in commendation of the power and learning manifested 
by him in their discussion. 

He continued in the active practice of the profession until 
1841, when he was appointed, to the office of Circuit Judge, 
on the retirement of the Hon. Ogden Edwards, and "when 
the ermine rested on his shoulders, it touched nothing less 
spotless than itself." Never were the high duties of a judge 
performed with more of purity or fidelity. Never were the 
scales held by a more even hand. Never were the kindly 
and charitable impulses of a gentle nature more entirely 
restrained and subordinated to the duty of an inflexible and 
impartial administration of the law, whether in criminal or 
in civil cases. In 1844, his health having been impaired by 
too close application to his judicial duties, he resigned his 
station on the bench, to the great it is not extravagant 
to say the universal regret of the profession and of the 

He then visited Europe, aiid while there, in 1846, received 
the invitation, which he accepted, from Harvard University, 
to succeed Judge Story in the Law School at Cambridge. 
The same industry, and success, and usefulness, which had 


marked his previous career, attended his services in the Law 
School, until the close of 1847, when he resigned his pro- 
fessorshipy that he might be with his venerable father, whose 
twilight was then fast fading into night. 

Judge Kent then resumed the practice of the law, and 
from that time forward continued it in this city with emi- 
nent success. Among the remarkable cases in which he bore 
a distinguished part, was that of Clarke vs. Fisher (re- 
ported in 1st Paige E.\ in which were considered the nature 
and degree^ and condition of mental power of the testator, 
requisite to make a valid will. His argument was one of 
singular ability and learning. It was one of the earliest 
cases in which he was engaged, and one in which, in the 
judgment of the bench and the bar, he achieved just, as well 
as great, distinction. 

I may also mention the case of the State of Illinois vs. 
Delafield (8 Paige), as to the power of State officers to 
bind the State in borrowing money for its use, and the 
limitations of such power ; the cases of Warner vs. Beers, 
and Bolander vs. Stevens (2M Wendell), involving the 
momentous and vital question of the constitutionality of 
the General Banking Law ; the great case, so universally 
known in the profession, and out of it, of Curtis vs. Leavitt 
(17th Barlour and 1 Smith), in which many most im- 
portant principles were discussed, and an immense amount 
of property was at stake ; and that of BeeJcman vs. The 
People (27th Barbour), involving the law and recondite 
learning of charitable uses. In these cases (not to speak of 
very many others) Mr. Kent exhibited ability of the highest 
order and the rarest learning, and earned a reputation which 
(in the language of one of the resolutions before us) placed 
Ms memory justly by the side of his illustrious father. 


The great men of the bar were engaged in the learned 
discussions of those cases. I may not name those of them 
who are still among us, and most of whom are now present, 
but of those who are gone were Jones and Jay, and Ogden 
and Webster, and Griffin and Sandford, and Spencer and 
Beardsley, and Hill and Butler. Such were the allies and 
the adversaries of our departed brother such were his 
friends and compeers such were the great intellects with 
which his own found congenial intercourse. 

He had latterly withdrawn somewhat from his practice in 
the courts, but still continued in the active duties of the 
profession. His opinion and advice were sought in im- 
portant cases. Difficult and intricate cases were constantly 
referred to him for decision, and weighty and responsible 
trusts, embracing vast interests and amounts of property, 
were eagerly confided to his charge and guidance by indi- 
viduals and by the courts. 

Judge Kent possessed, as did his father, a most remarkable 
memory. He forgot nothing. Every fact, every rule, every 
principle, when once attained, remained with him always. 
He combined what are, perhaps, rarely combined, large 
general knowledge with great accuracy of knowledge. As a 
belles lettres scholar he had few equals in this country. His 
reading was not limited by the ordinarily wise rule, " non 
multa sed multum" but it was both multa et multum. 
Whatever he studied he studied thoroughly. He read 
everything, and he remembered everything. What he read 
did not remain with him a mere accumulation of knowledge 
and ideas, but became part of his mental nature, storing 
and strengthening his mind without impairing its origi- 
nality. A mind thus enriched, and with such resources, 
could never have suffered from solitude. It would find 


within itself abundant and choice companionship. Emi- 
nently was this the case with our departed friend and with 
his venerable father. 

Chancellor Kent, during his last illness, passed many 
silent watches of the night without sleep. When asked if 
in those long, sleepless hours, he suffered from depression 
and sad feelings, he replied that he did not but that, on 
the contrary, he then derived great satisfaction in reviewing 
in his mind sometimes some leading principle of the law 
going back to its origin to the reasons from which it 
sprang and then recalling in their order the subsequent 
cases, in England and in this country, in which it had been 
considered, shaped, enlarged, or qualified down to the final 
settled rule ; at other times he would select some period of 
history perhaps some English reign and recall its politics, 
its law, its eminent men, its military acts, and its literature, 
in connection with the cotemporaneous history and con- 
dition of other countries ; sometimes a campaign, perhaps 
of Alexander, or Csesar, or Marlborough, or Napoleon, with 
its plan 5 its policy, its incidents, and its results. 

Judge Kent's general reading was but little inferior to his 
father's. I doubt whether the Chancellor, at the same 
period of life, had been able to devote so much of his time 
to other reading than of Iaw 3 as his son had done. 

One of the early symptoms of the disease which termi- 
nated Judge Kent's life, was the loss (some months ago) of 
vision of one of his eyes. He had reason to fear that he 
should become entirely blind, but when he spoke of it he 
added, that it would not make him sad or unhappy, for he 
remembered all the books he had read, and when he could 
no longer see he should mentally re-peruse them all. 

It is a grateful reflection that, until his last illness, his 


life had been one of almost unclouded happiness, save in the 
loss of his parents. Honors sought him, prosperity at- 
tended him, friends loved him, and now deeply lament his 
loss. I have never known a man whose happy temper, and 
warm heart, and kind and genial sympathies, so won and 
attached to him all, of all classes, who came in contact with 
him, or so conduced to the happiness of all about him. I 
have never known a man whose wit, and humor, and know- 
ledge, and wisdom, were so abounding and so blended, and 
the instructiveness, and beauty, and grace, and simplicity of 
whose conversation, so attracted and fascinated. I have 
never known a man more fearless in asserting the right, and, 
in the performance of what he deemed his duty. I have 
never known a man more inflexible in principle, or more 
strictly upright. Though to a stranger what I have said 
might appear the strained language of eulogy, yet this 
meeting is full of witnesses of its truth. 

Mr. President, death has of late swayed his scythe 
fearfully through the ranks of our profession. How many 
familiar faces have disappeared how many voices of the 
learned, the wise, the brilliant, the good, to which we have 
listened within these walls, are stilled forever. Of your 
honored companions who dispensed justice from the Bench, 
Jones, and Morris, and Edwards, and Sandford, and Paine, 
and Oakley, and Duer, and Mason, have gone in close pro- 
cession ; and, among others from the Bar whose learning, and 
talents, and virtues, adorned our calling, the grave nowliides 
forever from us the forms of Hoffman, and Ogden, and 
Griffin, and Sandford, and Spencer, and Hill, and Wood, 
and Butler, and Miller, and him to whose memory we are 
now assembled to pay this last tribute of affection and 



His death, was one of peace, as his life had been one of 
uprightness. He had so lived and so believed, that when he 
came to walk through the dark valley he " feared no evil ;" 
but, leaning on the rod and the staff which can alone sup- 
port man in that dread hour, he was 

" sustained and soothed 

By an unfaltering trust, and approached his grave 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 

I will not trust myself to speak of the personal relations 
and almost life-long intimacy that make his death to me 
indeed a calamity, nor of the hopeless sorrow of that home 
of which he was the light, the pride, and the joy ; but, with 
the same beautiful invocation which he so lately uttered on 
the death of Mr. Butler, let me say : " Tread lightly on his 
ashes, ye men of genius, for he was your kinsman ! Weed 
clean his grave, ye men of goodness, for he was your 

Ex-Judge FOOT said : 

Mr. CHAIRMAN : The duty of seconding the adoption of 
the resolutions which have been presented to the meeting, 
has been assigned to me. That duty is freely discharged, 
as I fully concur in the sentiments expressed in the reso- 
lutions, and it is moreover grateful to my feelings to have 
so suitable an opportunity to manifest my regard for the 
memory of our deceased brother, with whom I have stood 
in intimate relations of business and friendship for a life- 
time. After graduating with credit at Union College, he 
was placed by his distinguished father, Chancellor Kent, at 
Kinderhook, under the instruction of Peter Van Schaick, 
one of the most learned and accomplished lawyers of this 


State, and who had then been compelled to retire from 
active service by reason of his impaired sight. There he 
passed, I think, two years, studying and acquiring a knowl- 
edge of the principles of his profession. He then came to 
Albany, where his father resided, and, in the year 1822, 
entered my office to complete his clerkship, and more espe- 
cially to acquire a knowledge of pleading and practice. He 
remained with me until the autumn of 1823, when his 
father removed to this city, and he came with him. While 
in my office he was active, attentive, and studious. He 
finished his clerkship in this city with the Hon. Josiah 
Ogden Hoffman, and, on being admitted to the Bar, entered 
into copartnership with him. I removed from Albany to 
this city in May, 1828, and entered into copartnership with 
our deceased brother. We continued in copartnership for 
two years, and occupied offices in connection with his father. 
In June, 1828, the Franklin Bank failed, and Chancellor 
Walworth appointed Chancellor Kent receiver. The affairs 
of that bank were greatly extended and complicated, which 
gave our firm of Foot & Kent a large and lucrative busi- 
ness. My nephew, Henry E. Davies, the present Judge of 
the Court of Appeals, having removed from Buffalo to this 
city, a new business arrangement was made in the spring of 
1830. Mr. Davies entered into copartnership with me, and 
Mr. Kent formed a connection with William S. Johnson. 
The partnership of Foot & Davies continued till the spring 
of 1847, when I removed to Geneva, and then our deceased 
brother took my place, and formed a copartnership with 
Mr. Davies. This connection continued for several years. 
On my way home from this city to Geneva, near the end 
of the month of September last, I stopped at Fishkill to 
pass a Sabbath with my relative, Judge Davies, and visit 


my friend, Judge Kent. At the close of the Sabbath, 
Judge Davies and I called upon Judge Kent. We found 
him walking in his lawn. As soon as he saw me he ap- 
proached and met me. It was our first meeting since his 
illness. Enfeebled by sickness, he could not command his 
feelings, nor could I entirely command my own. After 
walking with him some time over his beautiful grounds, 
conversing sparingly, and on topics least calculated to excite 
our sensibilities, we entered his house. A pleasant conver- 
sation with him and his family ensued. Fearing to prolong 
my visit, though urged by him to do so, I took leave of 
him, apprehensive that it would be, as it was, our last meet- 
ing. Thus closed an intimate business and social inter- 
course, which lasted for thirty-seven years, without an inci- 
dent or a remark to interrupt or mar its happiness. This 
enables me to speak of our deceased brother with knowledge, 
and to say, what simple truth requires me to say, that he 
was an honest man, a good lawyer, a learned and upright 
judge, a ripe scholar, and a finished gentleman. In one 
respect he excelled all men I have ever known, and that was, 
in the care and watchfulness with which he avoided inju- 
ring the feelings of others. No person, high or low, rich or 
poor, ever heard him make a rude, harsh, or unkind re- 
mark. It was a lovely trait of his character, and one which 
rendered him so acceptable, as he was, to all. I could 
recall and dwell for hours on pleasing incidents of his 
well-spent life, but they are more appropriate for the social 
circle, or retired contemplation, than public exhibition. My 
feelings lead me rather to think than to speak of him ; and 
I will close my remarks with the observation that we may 
justly be proud of our country and institutions, when in the 
one, and under the fostering influence of the other, men 
like William Kent are raised, live, and die. 


Judge THOMAS W. CLERKE said : 

Mr. CHAIRMAN : At the request of the Committee, I rise 
most cheerfully, and yet most sorrowfully, to concur in 
the resolutions. 

For the period of thirty years, during which I have been 
engaged at the Bar, and on the Bench, in the adminis- 
tration of the law in this city, this is the first time I have 
felt justified to speak to a resolution upon an occasion 
of this kind. Not that all the individuals, whose death 
summoned assemblages of their brethren to testify their 
respect and grief, were unworthy of eulogy, but because I 
could not, with truth say, that I personally knew enough 
of their characters and manner of life to enable me to offer 
any satisfactory comments concerning them. Besides, on 
some of those occasions, I imagined a disposition to bestow 
praise without discrimination, to give credit for qualities 
not possessed ; or, at least, to exaggerate the merits of the 
deceased. But, on the present occasion, I may truly say, I 
speak that which I know ; and, although I had not frequent 
opportunity of very familiar intercourse with Judge Kent, 
I have been rather intimately acquainted with him during 
the whole period of my professional and judicial career. His 
sagacity, his suavity, and his legal learning, attracted my 
early notice and regard ; and I have not been inattentive 
to the incidents and course of his professional and public 
conduct. Therefore, the trifling and imperfect tribute 
which I am able to offer on this occasion, is not offered 
in obedience to frigid custom is not the tribute of dry 
routine is not the hollow adulation of the lips, but is the 
voluntary homage of the heart, founded on sufficient knowl- 
edge of the man, and fortified by the unhesitating voice of 
the community in which he lived. 


To say that William Kent was a gentleman of integrity, 
of unblemished life, of elevated and honorable sentiments, 
of great discernment and intelligence, exhibiting affable 
manners, and possessing professional skill and knowledge, 
would only be saying what could, with equal truth, be 
said of many others. These qualities, indeed, he possessed 
and exhibited in an eminent degree. But I should be 
doing injustice to my subject, if I did not mention the 
characteristics which, I think, distinguished him from ordi- 
nary men. To a profound knowledge of the principles and 
history of the law, he added the graces of superior literary 
culture, and a thorough and extensive acquaintance with 
the classic authors of our language. This infused into his 
mind a taste, which manifested itself in all his compo- 
sitions, legal or general. In these you discover no cum- 
brous redundancy, no attenuation of the thought, no strain- 
ing for display, no useless parade of authorities, no abortive 
attempts at high rhetorical flights, which the subject did 
not require, or which the writer could not sustain. His 
style was lucid, complete, and elegant. He disdained un- 
necessary words and meretricious ornament. In short, he 
was learned without pedantry, precise without ostentation, 
and copious without prolixity. 

As we all know, he was the son of one of the most emi- 
nent jurists whom this country has produced, and although, 
in some respects, it is an advantage to inherit the name 
of a distinguished parent, yet it is not without its draw- 
backs and difficulties. Too much is generally expected 
from a person inheriting such a name, and everything he 
does in his profession, even when he exhibits considerable 
attainment and capacity, is apt to be severely criticised, 
and unfavorably contrasted with the riper endowments of 


his father. This is often accompanied by a popular opin- 
ion, founded on something savoring of a superstitious no- 
tion, that great abilities are seldom transmissible to a man's 
descendants a notion undoubtedly at variance with the 
teachings of experience and of mental science, but, never- 
theless, like a host of other errors, very generally held. 
The subject of our remark, I suppose, encountered those 
difficulties, but he successfully surmounted them ; and al- 
though he was not as extensively known as the Chancellor, 
all who did know him, capable of forming an opinion, 
believed that the ability and learning of the son were not 
inferior to those of the father. He was only a short time, 
comparatively, on the bench, and he never wrote a volumi- 
nous work, like the Commentaries on American Law ; but 
I am sure, if he remained long enough on the bench, or if 
he chose to employ his talents in the production of a legal 
treatise, his reputation would not suffer in comparison 
with that of his father. Indeed, he could have attained 
fame and the highest position in any pursuit requiring the 
exercise of high intellectual qualities ; but his ambition 
was chastened and moderate, and he seemed to have no 
aspirations for place or popular applause. He was one of 
those, of whom the poet says, 

" Although he could command, he slighted fame." 

All who knew him, I am persuaded, feel this day that 
the Nation, the State, and the local community in which 
he lived, have sustained a serious bereavement. But our 
loss is, I trust, his gain. He has left us in the height 
of a fearful crisis in our country's history. In the words 
of the evangelical prophet, I may say : " The righteous 
perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart ; and merciful. 


men are taken away, none considering that the righteous 
are taken away from the evil to come." Our departed bro- 
ther is spared, probably, the necessity of witnessing what 
to him would be worse than many deaths the dread catas- 
trophe which, we have too much reason to fear, is now 
impending over us which I pray God, even now, in His 
infinite mercy, to avert. Judge Kent would rather have 
died, if it were left to his option, than to behold the great 
Republican Empire of the West shattered into miserable 
fragments freedom's brightest hopes obscured, perhaps 
forever blighted the utter and shameful failure of the 
most goodly and most complete experiment of self-govern- 
ment ever designed. No, he loved his country too fervently 
to desire that he should survive her downfall. To such a 
mind as his there is something agonizing in the thought 
of the extinction of this nation ; and, if such a direful 
calamity should be approaching, many a patriotic heart 
in this land would consider William Kent a happy man 
in dying before its consummation. 

I conclude, sir, by cordially concurring in the resolutions 

SAMUEL E. LYON, Esq., said : 

Mr. PRESIDENT : The custom of meeting, as a body, to 
testify our respect for the memory of a departed brother, 
obtains only, so far as I have observed, among our own 
profession, and the havoc that death has made among us 
within a few years, has called us together with painful 
frequency. These meetings are characteristic of our pro- 
fession ; for any one who is familiar with our traditions, or 
has noticed the daily incidents of our lives, must have seen 
that we are more closely allied to each other, and more 


really interested in the success and advancement of each 
other, than is the case in most other callings in life ; and 
when death comes among us, it seems to me that we 
really feel that we have had, in the kindly language of 
our guild, a brother taken from us. To-day, no term less 
near would symbolize our feelings, for our departed friend 
was in truth beloved by all who came within the sphere of 
his attraction. To-day, we think only of his heart, and that 
great flood of warmth which he shed upon those whom 
he loved. To-day, we forget that luminous mind and 
exhaustless memory, and pay our tribute to the true man 
and cordial friend, the grasp of whose hand will meet ours 
no more. At a future time some fitting pen will do justice 
to his intellect for the present we commune over his ashes 
in view of the things which the head did not fashion, the 
recollection of which almost makes children of us, and seeks 
to express itself in words and forms as simple as children 
would use, grieving over a lost companion. 

No one realizes a great loss at the moment the blow falls. 
Grod, in his mercy, has made this to be so : but those of us 
who have known Mr. Kent for many years, and have been 
admitted into the inner temple of his friendship, and have 
passed that period of life after which men make few new 
friends, will realize, with a consciousness deepening day by 
day into our hearts, that no inconsiderable part of our store 
of interest and affection has gone down with him into his 
grave forever. Yet the memory of his kindly smile and 
genial tones will stay with us as long as we have a memory 
to hold the precious gifts of life. 

But, outside of this small circle, and still outside of that 
larger circle who esteemed and admired him from the most 
casual acquaintance, Mr. Kent held a peculiar relation to 


all the lawyers, and, indeed, I might say with truth, to all 
the people of this State. 

We held him as one of the heir-looms of the law, and 
cherished him as a birthright of the profession. There 
was not a law student, in the most remote county in the 
State, with whom the name of Kent did not become asso- 
ciated with his first lesson in jurisprudence, and who knew 
that down in the city of New- York there was one upon 
whom the name had descended, worthy to bear the great 
and spotless mantle that had fallen upon his shoulders. 
As the only son of him who may be said almost to have 
created that branch of our jurisprudence upon which es- 
pecially he shed the light of his intellect, and bestowed the 
labor of the best part of his life, we considered the child 
of his loins, in one sense, a co-heritage with that monument 
of his judicial life, and while we gave to the one our admi- 
ration, we added for the other our esteem and love. Even 
at this moment we rejoice to know that they will go down 
to the coming years together, and that, joined as they were 
in life, in death they are not severed. 

I do not believe there is a name connected with the his- 
tory of this State, whose work commenced after the adoption 
of our Federal Constitution, which is held in the same 
degree of affectionate regard, even among laymen, as that 
of Kent. Its inscription upon the roll, where we preserve 
our honored names, stands in more clearly defined characters 
now, than on the day when his life passed into the domain 
of history. It is the best tribute that, in this hour of 
bereavement, we can render to the memory of our departed 
friend, that he never sullied that name, or darkened one ray 
of its conspicuous lustre ; and we cling the more fondly 
to the memory of our brother, for that he did maintain the 


high standard of his inheritance, in spite of his eminently 
good fortune. With such a name to fall back upon, with 
ease, if not affluence, always at his command, and never 
feeling the spur of necessity, why should he enter the arena 
of that hard struggle, which begins with its summons upon 
a wearied brain as the new year dawns, and does not end 
when the old year goes out ? the soreness of which you, my 
brethren, alone know, and which these faces around me, 
pallid with toil, and seared with tracks not made by years, 
too well attest. 

That he did so, and made a record for himself that would 
have been honored and loved if his father had left him 
obscure in name and poor in purse, is one of his highest 
claims to our respect, and while we will pay a proper hom- 
age to his lineage, we will cherish his memory in our heart 
of hearts, for those best things which he himself bestowed 
upon us. 

WM. FULLERTON, Esq., said : 

Mr. PRESIDENT : In speaking to the resolutions offered, I 
shall not enter into any detail of the life or character of 
William Kent. That would be but a repetition of what has 
been so well said by those who have preceded me. In 
offering my feeble tribute to his memory, I shall ask your 
attention, therefore, but for a moment. 

This saddened audience recalls to our minds the many 
occasions on which we have been assembled, within the past 
few years, to honor the worthy dead. 

How many shining lights of the Bench and the Bar have, 
within a brief period, been extinguished by the hand of 
death ! 

Judges Jones, Edwards, Oakley, Duer, and Ingersoll, no 


longer adorn their wonted places, and the voices of Sandford, 
Wood, Butler, and Hill, are no longer heard in the peaceful 
conflicts of our Courts. 

Thus, one after another, the good and the great are 
passing from among us, 

" To keep 
That calm sleep 
Whence none may awake." 

No man would be more missed by his circle of friends 
than Judge Kent. For, who of them has not been the 
recipient of his kindness ? Who of them has not felt 
the magic of his presence, and been charmed by his 
genial wit and humor ? Who of them has not profited 
by his counsel, and enriched himself from the treasures 
of his learning ? And above all, who of them has not 
been strengthened by that unbending integrity, that strong 
sense of justice, which marked his whole life, whether 
he held the scales between contending parties, or moved in 
the less conspicuous sphere of private or professional duty ? 

He will be missed by judges: for he had an experience 
from which they could learn wisdom. 

He will be missed by lawyers : for whose name was so 
readily agreed to, to determine the rights of litigating 
parties, in that important class of cases which are tried out 
of court, as his not more for his great learning, than be- 
cause his name was a guarantee that those rights would be 
judged, not only by a sound and discriminating mind, but 
by one whose integrity was above every earthly temptation. 

He will be missed by his personal friends : for his winning 
manners, amiable temper, and kind and affectionate nature, 
made him a companion never to be forgotten. 

There is another place where he will be missed, of which 


it is scarcely proper for me to speak. But who that has 
seen him surrounded by the sweet attractions of a home, 
where he was the beloved and honored head, can fail to 
contemplate the desolation which has fallen there ? 

Judge Kent's death, though sudden, was not unexpected. 
The character of his disease was such, that for many months 
past it has been certain that his active usefulness was at an 
end, and his days numbered. 

I have a painfully vivid recollection of the day when 
his physician, for the first, communicated to him the fatal 
nature of his malady. Up to that time it had not been 
suspected. Surrounded as he was by everything that could 
contribute to human happiness, and possessing an exquisite 
taste for the world's innocent enjoyments, the announcement 
was a blow as severe as it was unexpected. He yielded to 
his fate with a becoming submission, but from that time he 

" yet so calm and meek, 

So tearless, yet so tender kind, 
So grieved for those he left behind," 

that the close of his life was a continued exhibition of those 
graces which were so prominent in his character. 

In honoring such a man we honor ourselves. 

I will not consume the time which belongs to others, but 
close my brief remarks by adverting to the moral beauty, as 
well as propriety, of these proceedings. 

As a class, we have paused for an hour, arrested the busi- 
ness of our offices and courts, that the death of one of our 
number, eminent for his virtues and noble life, may make its 
suitable impression upon our own hearts, to the end. that we 
may, to some extent, imitate those virtues, and follow his 


Nothing would so much, honor the memory of him whom 
we all deplore. For thus would our lives become his living 
monument, and the principles which guide us, his appro- 
priate epitaph. 

Happy will it he for us, and for those around us, if the 
contemplation of the character of Wiliam Kent shall enable 
us to shed around our path some of the many blessings 
which ever irradiated his. 

Mr. MAXWELL said : 

After what has been said so eloquently and so well, little 
remains to illustrate the character of our lamented friend 
and brother. The young and the aged meet together to do 
honor to the memory of Kent. I come to claim the privi- 
lege of lamenting, in common with my younger brethren, the 
death of our friend ; and though our eyes be somewhat dim 
though the words flow less readily from the tongue than 
they were wont to do we are not less deeply affected than 
younger men who deplore the death of the good and the 
wise one whom we loved and honored for his excellence of 
mind and heart ; and we come, on this occasion, impressed 
with the sentiment of the great English moralist, " Far from 
us be that frigid philosophy that would conduct us, indiffer- 
ent and unmoved, over any ground ennobled by wisdom, 
learning, or virtue." 

We have heard from eloquent gentlemen a just eulogium 
on the professional and moral character of Judge Kent. 
They have referred to the overshadowing influence of his 
father's name, and how the son persevered, with modest 
views of his own personal merits, relying upon them alone 
for professional success. 

Undoubtedly there might have been a drawback, from the 


fact that the public attributed to the illustrious Chancellor 
acquirements which were scarcely to be obtained by the ex- 
ertion of the son. This may, in some degree, be true; 
but I think the young men at the Bar will not fail to 
recognize and do honor to the moral beauty and courage 
in the character of Kent, as exemplified by the unaffected, 
simple demeanor of his life and manners. At an early age 
he was thrown into frequent intercourse with many dis- 
tinguished men, who frequented the house of his honored 
father. This brought with it the danger of an exaggerated 
self-esteem a false estimate of one's self, under such cir- 
cumstances too often the infirmity of common men. But, 
gentlemen, from this trial Kent came forth unscathed. He 
came forth without a taint of affectation, without a taint 
of arrogance or presumption. Was not such an ordeal more 
hazardous than that trial which attends so many young men 
of the profession who are obliged to fight the battle of life 
to attain a position only to be won by nights of study and 
days of toil, and often amidst the ills of adverse fortune ? 

My friend, Mr. Silliman, has spoken of the genial temper 
and of the kind feelings in social life by which Judge Kent 
was endeared to his friends. There are some here who have 
seen him in moments when he threw off the cares and anxi- 
eties of judicial and professional life : some of us alas ! 
how few have met him in the brotherhood of the Bar, 
when " the feast of reason and the flow of soul" consecrated 
and ennobled the " scoence nodes quis deorum." 

Allusion has been made to the literary character of our 
lamented friend. He was eminently distinguished as a 
scholar of highly cultivated taste. In the range of French 
and English literature, few professional men excelled him 
in the extent and variety of his reading. He was well versed 


in the classics of Greece and Kome. From such sources we 
may conclude that he acquired, cherished, and honored the 
glorious sentiment of Eobert Burns : 

" The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 
The man's the gowd, for a' that." 

Mr. President, you have referred, in eloquent terms, to 
Kent as a lawyer and a judge ; others have united in simi- 
lar terms of eulogy. The gentlemen and scholars of Cam- 
bridge have testified to the high estimate you have ex- 
pressed, accustomed to judge others by the standard of 
their Websters, their Everett s, and their Story s. Kent was 
thought worthy of distinguished professional honors of Har- 
vard. Then, what shall be said of him in his judicial 
character? You have said, Mr. President/ that the ermine 
he wore was pure and untainted. You may say, too, with 
truth, that he came upon the bench with sentiments without 
which the character of a judge, under our present system, 
is hardly respectable. He came upon the bench with a just 
appreciation of the dictanter of Lord Mansfield : "I wish 
popularity popularity which follows, not that which is run 
after popularity which, sooner or later, will not fail to 
accomplish noble ends by noble means." He felt the truth 
and force of the sentiments of the great Koman magistrate : 
" Ego hoc animo semper fin ut invidiam virtute partam 
gloriam non invidiam putorem." 

Sir, he was honored and beloved for his intellectual excel- 
lence, and for the best impulses of a pure and noble nature. 
He has left an example which, I trust, will find many imi- 
tators among the young men of the profession. After a 
long sickness, the command of Heaven was heard : " Set 
thy house in order ; thou shalt die, and not live." We 


have reason to believe, Mr. President, that the voice of God 
fell not upon heedless ears. We have reason to believe and 
to rejoice, that Kent died in the full fruition of Christian 
faith and hope. 

JAMES T. BRADY, Esq., said : 

You may be surprised, Mr. President, that I should 
rise to address this meeting of my brethren at so late an 
hour of the day, and after the touching display that has 
been already made in doing justice to the memory of the 
worthy man whose loss we now deplore, and whose virtues 
we commemorate. He has been spoken of in fitting terms 
of eulogy by his opponents, his associates, his intimate 
friends ; by the young with reverence, by the old with 
grief and, of these latter, by one who comes among us 
almost from a past generation,* in the full fruition of the 
honors he so deservedly wears. We hear his welcome voice 
proclaiming, in words of truth, the great merit that belonged 
to the deceased, and the solemn duty we owe his memory. 

This, sir, would be enough for any man in any period 
of the world's history. It would have been an adequate 
tribute if offered in behalf of that great orator who nour- 
ished in the palmiest days of Kome, and to whom our friend, 
Mr. Maxwell, referred, when he quoted to our delighted 
ears a beautiful passage in that grand old tongue which, 
it would seem, no worldly change can eradicate, no lapse of 
time efface. 

I am compelled to say, that I feel reluctant to disturb 
the harmony of these proceedings by the unconsidered 
phrases which I must employ at this time. In endeavor- 
ing to express myself as I should wish, I feel not less 

* Hon. Hugh Maxwell. 



hopeless than did poor Ruth, when she " stood amidst the 
alien corn." There is, in truth, no gleaning to be done 
here. All that I can attempt, is to take the thoughts 
and words that He scattered in my intellect, or rise unbid- 
den to my tongue, and lay them as a heartfelt offering, 
and with all sincerity, on the grave of my departed friend. 
His exquisite taste, his matured judgment, would enable 
him, were he here, to estimate their truthfulness, and to 
say whether there was any beauty in the sentiments they 
expressed. He might exclaim : 

" We perish as the flowers do, 

And breathe away 
Our lives upon the passing wind, 
Even as they !" 

When I was engaged, while yet a boy, in the study of 
the law, it was one of my pleasures to attend before the 
good and gifted Hiker, in the Criminal Court, where he 
presided with so much dignity, and which he quitted amid 
the regrets of all who had experienced his amenity, or 
knew his love of truth and right. Our good friend, Mr. 
Maxwell, in speaking of those of our brethren who have 
gone before us, reminds me, that in those days when he 
was so deservedly eminent, there were among the men who 
appeared in the same tribunal, the lamented Graham, the 
warm-hearted Blunt, the eloquent Hoffman, and many 
more whom it is needless to recall all gone, but still re- 
membered for their genius, their acquirements, and their 

Fortunately or unfortunately, there was then a throb of 
hope in my breast, that the time would come when even 
so great and solemn a responsibility as that of defending a 
man whose life was in jeopardy, should devolve upon me. 


The time at length arrived. It so happened that a poor 
Irishman was charged with the crime of murder. He was 
an humble person, with few friends and no money. Of 
his friends, the fondest, most devoted and persevering, 
was a true-souled little woman, born like her husband, and 
my own ancestors, in that beautiful country on whose 
bosom so many generations of noble beings have laid them- 
selves down in the last repose. She sought my aid in 
the hour of peril to him she loved, and I could not re- 
fuse it. None of my profession would. But it was with 
fear and trembling that I undertook the duty. If I had 
known the future terrors it was to bring upon my heart 
and brain, I would have faltered long ere I engaged in the 
cause. If ambition alone had impelled me to the under- 
taking, I would have dashed that impulse upon the ground 
and smiled upon the fragments of its ruins. 

Without considering at large how the fortunate result in 
that case was accomplished, I may say that, in purely legal 
contemplation, the act proved was in any of its aspects a 
clear case of murder. It had not that awful feature, how- 
ever, in its moral bearings, and my aim was, of course, to 
present, with whatever slender experience I possessed, all the 
extenuating circumstances that could be urged in behalf of 
the unhappy prisoner. I remember, with painful distinct- 
ness, that on the eve of the trial I walked homeward with 
the clerk of the court, and the then vigorous and effective 
District Attorney, who informed me that the guilt of the 
accused was so flagrant that it would be his solemn duty to* 
make all legitimate efforts to secure his conviction. I leave 
my impressions, under the circumstances, to be estimated by 
those who have ever incurred an equal responsibility. Had 
I been obliged to undertake this defence where I should not 


have received that kindness that was so delicately and so 
thoughtfully extended to me in that court, I know not what 
the result would have been to me personally. If there be 
anything in this life dreadful to contemplate, it is the anni- 
hilation of the fondest hopes we hug to our bosom the 
destruction of the means by which we strive to attain even 
temporary distinction, and the laceration of the heart by 
which great disappointments, affecting our destiny or pros- 
pects, are sure to be attended. The trial proceeded, and, in 
its progress, it would seem that the jury were influenced, in- 
sensibly, by the exercise of that kindly nature which, ra- 
diating its benignity on me, and then bestowing its beam 
and its fructifying influence on the jurors, disposed their 
minds in his behalf. The judge charged, and charged in a 
kindly spirit, but omitting no part of the duty exacted by 
the law, of which he was the exponent. The man was not 
convicted of murder, but of manslaughter. I can see the 
jury now, in that room of the City Hall one of the apart- 
ments now occupied by that court over which my friend, 
Judge Daly, presides I can see in that dimly-lighted cham- 
ber the prisoner, his frame heaving with convulsive sobs, and 
the handkerchief in which he buried his face saturated with 
the perspiration that streamed forth in his agony. I can see, 
as they entered, the foreman, as he delivered the verdict that 
restored the trembling criminal to life and hope, and the 
mild and approving look of the judge as that verdict was 
announced. Above all, I can never forget the speechless joy 
of my client, and the features of his poor wife, imbued with 
the tenderness and fervor that inspires the humblest peasant 
girl that treads the green surface of the old land never 
shall I forget her as she fell on her knees, and with clasped 
hands and in a voice choking with emotion, breathed in low 


tones a prayer for the eternal preservation of him whose de- 
parture you are here to mourn. 

We are told that the ocean, being in absolute repose, if a 
pebble were dropped in its centre, it is possible that the 
whole deep would be affected, and that the ripple thus 
created would reach the remotest shore. It is even supposed 
by some that in the transmission of a message over the 
electric wire, each particle of the metal, from end to end, is 
moved whils the current is being sent forward. Nay, 
whether it be an effort of profound reasoning or of strong 
imagination, we have been assured that every word we utter 
so agitates all space, as to exercise an endless influence over 
the affairs of the world, and to be felt in some way through- 
out the universe. Imagination need not carry us so far to 
afford an assurance that the prayer of that poor woman, in 
that moment of heartfelt supplication and blessing, is even 
now pleading in behalf of our friend for the enjoyment of 
the infinite pleasures which crown a good life. 

My poor client was sent to the State prison for a long 
term of years. His wife almost daily presented herself in 
my office to learn from me what could be done to effect his 
deliverance by a pardon. The time at last came when 
Judge Kent benevolently interfered, and the man was set 

There came a bright, sparkling, Christmas day and on 
its glorious morning that poor couple, with joyful and 
grateful hearts, wended their way to St. Patrick's Cathedral, 
and there, kneeling side by side, and joining in the solemn 
rites of that old faith, made dear to me by so many sacred 
memories the faith in which I live, and in which I mean to 
die repeated, with gratitude, with piety, with fervor, the 
prayer she had before uttered, from the depths of her pure 
and eloquent heart. 


The characteristics of Judge Kent have been described 
to-day. May I recur to the subject ? A prominent and 
striking feature in his intellectual organization, considered 
in reference to the ordinary demands of our profession, with- 
out confining myse]f to any particular department of it, was 
his gentleness of character. I do not mean that his mind 
had not intrinsically a power to develope all its energies, 
and to attain success, but it partook of all his nature. It 
was retreating, rarely satisfied with itself, not endowed with 
that confidence which we know is so useful to the advocate. 
He dreaded rude collision of thought not that he was 
afraid of anything that might be said of him, but that he 
shrank from those assaults which men of hardier natures are 
accustomed to receive with coolness, repel with vigor, or 
treat with indifference. 

I remember a case, when the community were in a state 
of ferocious excitement, clamoring for the life of an unfortu- 
nate man, whom I believed then to be, and still believe to 
have been, an innocent one ; but who was sacrificed, in nay 
judgment, to the blood-thirsty passions that sometimes sway 
the public mind. Judge Kent presided at his trial, and, on 
review, all his rulings were sustained. It occurred, however, 
to some gentlemen of the Bar, that one step might have 
been sanctioned in behalf of the accused, without any viola- 
tion of the strictest legal requirement. That step was not 
allowed, and the community was loud in its approval of the 
refusal ; and we, who differed from the public, took the 
liberty of expressing our dissent. At a public meeting of 
some members of the Bar, I took occasion to express my 
opinion to that effect ; though, in my allusions to the 
judicial action of the deceased, I did not fail to speak of 
him with that respect which his high character, his position, 
and his learning, commanded. 


Now, this sensitiveness to censure, allied with courage, 
exhibited itself in Judge Kent. The next time we met he 
called me to him, and addressed me in a tone and manner 
that I shall never cease to remember, and in terms that it 
would be ill-timed and indecorous, perhaps, for me to men- 
tion ; but his words impressed me with the conviction that 
he had a yet nobler character than even, with my high 
regard for him, I had before ascribed to him. In all my 
future intercourse with him, from that moment, I could see 
that if his bearing had changed to me, it was only to become 
more friendly, and seemed to manifest still more the femi- 
nine grace and gentleness which so largely entered into his 
nature the natural attendant of his soft tones, and kind 
manner, his quiet speech, and thought, and feeling. 

By some of the gentlemen who have already spoken, we 
have been informed as to his state of mind when he felt that 
the hand of death was upon him, and I am happy to hear 
that he was well prepared to take his leave of earth, and 
descend to that grave toward which we are all hastening. 
I do not regard the mere circumstance of physical death 
with any poignant emotion of grief or sorrow ; but I do 
contemplate with awe the destruction of an intellect. I can 
never bear to think, that when the body returns to dust, 
the mind which animated, vivified, and controlled it, is for- 
ever lost. I say, with a great writer 

" Shall that alone which thinks 
Be, like the sword, consumed before the sheath, 
By sightless lightning ?" 

I think the great dramatist made no greater failure than 
in his scene where he represents Hamlet holding in his hand 
the skull of the poor jester. It was an occasion which 
should have been surrounded with intense feeling, and made 


eloquent with profound and elevating thought. Shakespeare 
must here defer to Byron, whose memorable lines you may 
not regret to hear : 

" Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall, 
Its chamber desolate, and portals foul ; 
Yet this was once ambition's airy hall 
The dome of thought the palace of the soul. 
Behold, through each lack-lustre eyeless hole, 
The gay recess of wisdom and of wit, 
And passion's host, that never brooked control ; 
Can all saint, sage, or sophist, ever writ, 
People this lonely tower this tenement relit 1 
Well did'st thou speak, Athena's wisest son : 
' All that we know is, nothing can be known.' " 

We do not believe that this intellect perishes, though 
the frame may decay and dissolve into its elements. We 
hold ourselves to be dignified, as we are enlightened and 
sustained, by that faith to which the older gentlemen who 
addressed this meeting might more properly refer. We 
believe in the sweet assurance and the promise so sweetly 
expressed by that other great poet, Whittier, of whom our 
country may so justly boast : 

" And Thou, oh, most compassionate ! 
Who didst stoop to our estate, 
Drinking of the cup we drain, 
Treading in our path of pain. 

" Through the doubt and mystery, 
Give us but thy steps to see, 
And the grace to draw from thence 
Larger hope and confidence. 

" Show thy vacant tomb, and let, 
As of old, the angels sit 
Whispering by its open door, 
Fear not ! for HE has gone before." 


Mr. WM. CURTIS NOTES said : 

Mr. CHAIRMAN : It is impossible to avoid, on such an 
occasion as this, some repetition, and it is to be hoped 
that any error of that sort may be excused. 

In 1822, an obscure law student, living in a country town, 
presented to the great Master of Equity Jurisprudence, in 
this country, an order for the purpose of obtaining his 
fiat, so that it might be entered by the Kegister. He ap- 
proached him with awe and diffidence. The order was 
perused, the magic words written on the back, and kindly 
he was told, " Young man, now take that to Brother Moss/' 
There was something so familiar in the manner and mode 
of the address, that it led to conversation, and was follow- 
ed, on his part, by words of encouragement and kindness, 
which left an impression and produced an effect that 
never can be forgotten. He was at that time sitting in a 
small rear room, in his dwelling in Columbia street, in Al- 
bany, his table loaded with books and papers, the walls 
covered with books ; and it was there, undoubtedly, that 
the great legal opinions which have furnished guides for 
you, and for the Judiciary generally, ever since that period, 
were prepared and sent forth to the world. 

At the same time, there was another law student dis- 
tinguished a son of the Chancellor of the State of New- 
York, studying law in a town adjoining that already re- 
ferred to ; sitting every day at the feet of one of the 
wisest men I have ever known, the greatest common lawyer 
of his day a man to whom "wisdom, at one entrance, was 
quite shut out" and whose teachings were sought by 
others, like this young law student, anxious to drink in the 
words of wisdom and learning from his lips. 

We know very little of the student life of the one last 


referred to ; but we do know that he led afterward a life 
of purity, of high professional attainment, of unaffected 
and unobtrusive piety ; that he became a distinguished 
judge ; that he received and laid down academic honors 
and professorial places ; and that, at last, he closed his 
career by a Christian's death. 

These two students followed different paths one sought 
the interior of the State, the other its commercial metro- 
polis. They met for the first time, at the first Young 
Men's Political Convention ever held, I believe, in the State 
of New- York, in the year 1828 ; and he who presided over 
that body, twelve years afterward, when Governor of the 
State (now, as is generally understood, to be the premier 
of this country, and who is to be " the pilot to weather the 
storm" to which allusion has been made, and I trust, suc- 
cessfully), conferred upon one of them the office of Circuit 
Judge of the First Circuit of the State of New- York. 
That judge was William Kent, whose memory we have now 
met to honor. A friendship then commenced between 
these young men (for they were still young men) which 
has lasted until it has been unfortunately severed by death. 

It is not necessary to speak here, and in this presence, 
particularly of the life of one so well known and so uni- 
versally esteemed in this community. His large learning, 
his professional industry, the unspotted integrity which dis- 
tinguished him in all he did, in public and private, his 
social worth, his legal qualifications, have all been adverted 
to in terms of proper commendation. 

It may be allowed to speak of his professional integrity 
here, with a view to its practical uses and the benefit of 
his example, more in detail. He seems to have fashioned 
his life, in that respect, upon the model given by the good 
Bishop Saundeson, in his advice to Pleaders : 


"Not to think, because he has the liberty of the Court, and per- 
haps the favor of the judge, and that, therefore, his tongue is his 
own, and he may speak his pleasure to the pupjudice of the adver- 
sary's person or cause ; and not to seek preposterously to win the 
name of a good lawyer by wresting and perverting good laws; or, 
the opinion of the best counsellor, by giving the worst and the 
shrewdest counsel ; and not to count it, as Protagoras did, the glory 
of his profession, by subtlety of wit, and volubility of tongue, to 
make the worst cause the better ; but like a good man, as well as a 
good orator, to use the power of his tongue to shame wit and impu- 
dence, and protect innocency ; to crush oppressors and succor the 
afflicted ; to advance justice and equity, and to help them to right 
that suffer wrong ; and to let it be as a ruled case to him, in all his 
pleadings, not to speak in any cause to wrest judgment." 

A careful observation of his life for more than thirty 
years (a truth which my brethren will attest), authorizes 
the remark that, in no case, did he go beyond or fall short 
of these principles. His mental qualifications, so far as his 
professional course was concerned, are evident from what 
has been already said. He was too gentle in his feelings 
and sympathies for the rough and harsh methods of trial 
by jury. He had a great distaste for efforts of that descrip- 
tion, and never sought, but rather declined them. But in 
the argument of cases at Bar, in the discussion of strict 
legal questions, no man was more thorough, none more 
honest, none more sound and logical, than he. 

Allusion is undoubtedly allowable to some of the extra- 
ordinary cases in which he was engaged. They have been 
already mentioned ; but a participator in some of them may 
be allowed to speak of him in reference to them. He was 
engaged, in 1840, in an argument before the Court of 
Errors, then consisting of the Lieutenant- Governor, the 
Senate and the Chancellor, of the cause involving the con- 
stitutionality of the general banking law. He had for his 


associates and antagonists such men as Ogden, and Spen- 
cer, and Sandford, all of whom have gone down to the 
grave* covered with* professional honors and in the discus- 
sion of the important questions in that case, upon which, 
so far as he was concerned, the existence of the Bank of 
Commerce depended, and the continuance of the hest bank- 
ing system this State has ever known, depended in the 
discussion of these questions, he was fully equal to any who 
were engaged in the case. A reflection was produced by 
that argument which may have arisen in the minds of 
some of his brethren here assembled. He said everything 
so pleasantly, so gently, with so little effort, that he seemed 
to give scarcely any evidence of the power he possessed, 
and of the industry he had employed in making himself 
master of the subject. He never appeared to put forward 
his whole strength ; there seemed to be always behind a 
reserved power, which he could command at any time, but 
which he did not think it necessary to bring forward. It 
was obvious, too, that he made no parade or pretence of 
learning. Everything flowed naturally. A beautiful allu- 
sion took its proper place without effort. Nothing was 
strained, nothing forced all was natural; showing that 
what he had acquired had become a part of himself; was 
a portion of the man, and had been incorporated thoroughly 
into his mental constitution. 

At a later period of his life, and just four years before 
the day on which his death was announced, he commenced 
in the Court of Appeals, with others, the argument of what 
has been mentioned as the a Million Trust Case." There 
he had associates and antagonists with whom, if he was 
unsuccessful in presenting his views of the case, or in- 
ferior in power or learning, the contrast would have been 


most unfortunate. Of the dead, he was associated with 
Mr. Butler ; and of the dead, among his antagonists, Mr. 
Hill and Mr. Beardsley all honored names in our gar- 
ner of legal worthies were ready to watch, and to ex- 
pose anything omitted, or improperly urged. By an ar- 
rangement between the counsel engaged in that cause, 
a particular department of it had been assigned to him 
in the Court below, and was, with a confidence that had 
no doubt, again intrusted to him in the Court of Ap- 
peals. He presented it, during an argument of two days, 
occupying some twelve hours in the whole, in the most 
forcible, in the clearest, and in the most satisfactory 
light. It was the mercantile part of the case, the integrity 
of the accounts, some questions of usury, the nature of 
the relations between this country and England, in regard 
to exchange, and the financial rules which regulate dealings 
in exchange the whole question of commercial accounts 
and mercantile usage : and he presented everything regard- 
ing them with a fullness of knowledge, not only of mer- 
cantile and general law, but of the financial history of the 
time, in such a manner that it left none of us the slight- 
est doubt of the success of the cause in that particular. 

He was subsequently engaged, as I believe has been 
already mentioned, in what is known as the Barthrop Will 
Case. Having been present when he made a portion of 
his argument, and having gone over the same ground as 
his substitute in the case, after his health failed him, I 
may be permitted to say that there the reputation ac- 
quired by him was not only not lessened, but increased. 
It involved the entire doctrine of charitable uses, the origin 
and history of the law upon that subject, an inquiry into 
the civil and ecclesiastical law, as well as the common and 


statute law of England and of this State ; and he made 
himself master of the subject. Happy will he be who re- 
presents the same interest, when the next discussion shall 
take place, if he can approach to the power and success of 
the argument which William Kent presented when the 
cause was in his hands. 

And now, Mr. President, nothing is left us but the 
melancholy duty of paying our tribute of respect to the 
memory of a good and great man. He has suffered in con- 
trast with his father, having, as has been said, had the mis- 
fortune (and in some respects it is a misfortune) of " in- 
heriting a great name/' Doubtless, it has its advantages 
the advantages of early association of imbibing, from such 
a father, day by day, and week by week, almost insensibly, 
the knowledge which he possesses, and which he willingly 
pours forth for the benefit of his son. But it has also its 
disadvantages. If he had been the son of one less distin- 
guished he would, doubtless, have shone with a greater 

It has been said, in reference to meetings of this de- 
scription, that they are almost entirely eulogistic. In some 
sense the remark is a true one ; but it would be difficult, 
if not impossible, to select the person who, in reference to 
him whom we now mourn, would suggest any fault in his 
character, except that which is common to every one, as a 
portion of the lot of his humanity. 

Happy should we all be that he was one of our number 
happy may any Bar be, that has among its members 
such a man as WILLIAM KENT ! 


Ex-Kecorder TILLOU said : 

May I add a few words to the memory of this excellent 
man ? I knew him for many years. I held for him senti- 
ments of respect and admiration. All that has been, on this 
occasion, said of him, is true. He was, really, a gentleman 
of many virtues, of extensive learning, of extraordinary abil- 
ities. Yet in the picture of his character, which has been 
so eloquently presented, all its hues and blendings may not 
have been fully delineated. 

His qualities of mind, of thought, of feeling, of judg- 
ment ; his refined delicacy and sensibility ; his modesty ; 
his good sense, and his devotion to truth and fidelity, shone 
forth in his conduct and his actions. While his talents, his 
industry, and erudition, produced admiration his kindness 
of heart, his gentleness, his benevolence of disposition, and 
his unvarying and graceful affability, secured to him esteem 
and affection. 

Many years ago, when he was Circuit Judge, I was offi- 
cially associated with him, in the Court of Oyer and Ter- 
miner. The profound learning in criminal law which he 
then displayed, the ready promptness with which he applied 
legal principles and decided important questions, and his 
easy reference to authorities, manifested, as it seemed to me, 
a rare accuracy of memory and judgment. But, more than 
these, the candor, compassion, and impartiality, the dignity, 
and the uniform suavity, with which he presided, compelled 
respect and attachment. Even the condemned were dis- 
armed of all sense of injustice by his gentleness and kind- 

It is said that the education of Judge Kent, his training, 
and the good influences which were around him, essentially 
contributed to form his character. So far as this is ap- 


plicable to his mental acquisitions, his habits, his profes- 
sional pursuits, and the direction of his literary tastes, it, 
no doubt, is true ; but his amiable disposition, his affability, 
his gentleness and pure impulses, were gifts of nature which 
no art could create, no training could bestow. From these 
flowed the grace and beauty of his manner ; from these, his 
power over the hearts of others. 

It is related of Petrarco, that, upon the trial of a case, he 
was summoned as a witness, and after the examination of 
the other witnesses he was called, and- that on his offer- 
ing to be sworn, the magistrate shut the Book, and said, 
" No, Petrarco, your word is sufficient." However question- 
able may have been the legality of the act, this public 
homage to that distinguished man was a high honor. Ages 
have passed, and yet the record of it remains ; generations 
have read it ; ages and future generations will come, and 
still the record will be read, and the great virtue of truth 
will, for all time, be known as one of those of which that 
fascinating poet and scholar was possessed. And this high 
quality belonged also to Judge Kent : he was its votary, its 
worshipper, its practiser ; he was tenacious in his strict 
adherence to it, in spirit as well as letter, and therefore was 
candid in all his statements : no suppression of a fact, no 
equivocation, no vague, ambiguous statements, would be 
tolerated by him ; the truth he regarded as the basis of 

Judge Kent, in his friendships, was fervent, constant, and 
unfaltering, as is verified by all those who stood in that 
relationship to him. On an occasion similar to this (the 
decease of his friend, Judge Edwards), in this same room, 
he pronounced a eulogy to the memory of the deceased, emi- 
nently impressive and eloquent long rememembered for its 


elegance and its taste, and for the deep and exquisite feeling 
which he then manifested. 

Again : Judge Kent was not only eminent as an advo- 
cate, but as Chamber counsel. And herein he was not only 
a legal adviser, but also a pacificator. Not only did he 
place before his client a legal view and exposition of his 
rights and remedies, but presented to him also a statement 
of the consequences of litigation, whether successful or un- 
successful, and candidly advised him what was best for his 
interests, his comfort, or his reputation : his advice was that 
of a kind friend, as well as counsel. 

He was opulent in all that is opulent. He was wealthy 
in mental acquisition, in a vast store of learning, in a mul- 
titude of happy recollections, and in the respect, friendship, 
and attachment of the good, the virtuous, and the talented. 
He was pure in mind, in thought, in impulse. His was an 
uncommon union of great virtues and great abilities. His 
life is now a vision of the past but one which presents a 
beautiful and interesting episode in human history. 



Increase Allen Lapham, LLIX 








MlFAVAl K.KK. \VlS., DKCKM I5KR II, 1875, 

C ID R. 2VI -A. 3ST . 




* > 

II Libra* 



We recall, with painful distinctness, the profound 
sorrow occasioned by the sudden death of Dr. Lap- 
ham. Every intelligent citizen felt the shock , and 
every Old Settler's heart beat with a muffled throb, 
as the sad tidings spread through the city. The 
press announced that a great calamity had befallen 
Wisconsin, and spoke, briefly, of his rare talents, his 
warm heart and his noble, unselfish life. And much 
satisfaction has been expressed by his personal and 
scientific friends, that you, gentlemen, who knew 
him longest and best, who were his pioneer com- 
rades and co-laborers in building a city and found- 
ing a state, propose to make a 'more permanent 
record of that useful and blameless life ; for there 
is not only a vacancy in your ranks, one name more 
stricken from the Old Settlers' roll, but there is a 
void in our city and state, which none can fill. 
Science also mourns the loss of a faithful and loving 
disciple, and friendship would lay a garland on an 
honored bier. 

The material for the following brief sketch of the 
life of Dr. Lapham, has been collected, mainly, from 
his private papers and correspondence and from his 
11 tuner ous publications. It is not my purpose to pro- 
nounce his eulogy; let his works praise him. 

INCREASE ALLEN LAPHAM was born in Palmyra, 
Wayne County, N. Y., on the 7th day of March, 1811. 
His family subsequently removed to Rochester, and 
in 1824 settled in Lockport. His father, Seneca 
Lapham, was a contractor on the Erie Canal, and 
built the arches of the first aqueduct at Rochester, 
and constructed the wood-work of the combined and 
double locks at Lockport. He had contracts also on 
the Schuylkill, the Miami and the Louisville canals, 
and on the Black River improvement. 

The business pursuits of the father determined the 
profession of the son. With such elementary educa- 
tion as common schools of the times afforded, he 
entered what Hugh Miller calls "the noblest and 
best of all schools, save the Christian one, in which 
honest labor is teacher, in which the ability of being 
useful is imparted and the spirit of independence is 
communicated, and the habit of persevering effort is 
acquired, and which is more moral than the schools 
which profess to teach only the art of enjoyment." 

"My Srhool> ami School Masters.'' page 147. 

Miller was a stone-mason until self-discipline and 
the greatness of his own genius, made him a philo- 
sopher; Lapham earned his first money by cutting 
stone for canal-locks and by making plans of 
those locks for curious and observant travellers. 
Miller took his first science-lessons in the stone 
quarries of Cromarty; the beautiful minerals found 
in the deep rock-cuts at Lockport, gave Lapham his 
first ideas of Mineralogy, and initiated that habit of 
patient observation which accompanied him through 
life. Both studied Nature in field and forest, before 
they sought information in books; and both laid the 
foundations of their respective characters in early life 
and in the severe and exacting school of manual 
labor. Well may the brilliant Scotch Geologist 
exclaim, "noble, upright, self-relying Toil! who that 
knows thy solid worth and value, would be ashamed 
of thy hard hands, thy soiled vestments, thy obscure 
tasks; thy humble cottage, and thy hard couch, and 
thy homely fare!" 

Young Lapham entered the engineer service as 
rodman for his brother Darius, who was older and 
had attained the position of Assistant Engineer. In 
1826, he assisted his brother in laying out a road 
down the steep banks of the Niagara Kiver, below 
the Falls, on the Canada side, and was employed, I'm 


a short time, on the Welland Canal. In August, of 
the same year, his father secured for him a position 
on the Miami Canal under Byron Kilbourii, who was 
then an Assistant Engineer. The acquaintance thus 
formed, ripened into a lasting friendship, and in after 
years, when both became residents of Milwaukee, 
intimate business relations were renewed and Mr. 
Kilbourn gave the strongest proof of his confidence 
in the business capacity and integrity of his friend, 
by appointing him the Executor and Trustee of his 
large estate, without bonds. 

In 1827 he went to Louisville, Ky., and during the 
two following years, he was employed on the Canal 
then in process of construction around the "Falls of 
the Ohio." Here he found some leisure for study, 
and the natural history and geology of the surround- 
ing country gave him congenial occupation. The 
rich and abundant flora of the south led him to study 
the vegetable kingdom, and botany soon became his 
favorite pursuit. At this time he began that valua- 
ble collection of plants, which, with some native and 
foreign exchanges, now contains about 8000 species. 
He also collected the river shells of that region, and 
sent to Isaac Lea, of Philadelphia, several new 
species, which that eminent conchologist described 

and named, but inadvertently gave the credit of their 
discovery to another, instead of the young naturalist. 

In 1827, when only sixteen years of age, he wrote 
his first scientific paper, "A Notice of the Louisville 
and Shippingsport Canal, and of the Geology of the 
Vicinity." It was illustrated by plans, geological 
sections, and a map all executed with that artistic 
skill which characterized the productions of his 
pencil in later years. The paper also contained the 
first published notice of the occurrence of Petroleum 
in the cavities of limestone rocks. It was published 
in the American Journal of Science and Art,* and 
was highly commended by Prof. Silliman, whose de- 
votion to science led 'him to sympathize with his 
youthful correspondent and encourage him in his 
habits of observation, and of committing the results 
to the press. 

On the completion of the Canal at Louisville, Mr. 
Lapham became Assistant Engineer on the Ohio 
Canal, and was employed at Portsmouth and vicinity, 
some three years. In 1832 he published, in the 
above named Journal,! another article on the Geol- 
ogy of Ohio. In 1833 he was appointed Secretary 
of State Board of jC anal Commissioners, and removed 

^American Journal of Science and Art, Vol. 14, Page 65. 
t Do. Vol. 22, p. 300. 


to Columbus, O. This office afforded MM more time 
for scientific pursuits, and he prosecuted the study 
of botany with increased ardor, and added largely to 
his Herbarium. He became also an officer and active 
member of the Historical and Philosophical Society 
of Ohio. It was, in part, through his influence and 
persistent efforts, that the Legislature of Ohio was 
induced to entertain the idea of a thorough geolog- 
ical survey of the state. He was a member of the 
committee appointed to investigate and report on the 
subject;* but his removal from the state soon aft ex- 
terminated his connection with the survey. 

On the first of July 1836, Mr. Lapham arrived in 
Milwaukee, then a village of 1200 inhabitants, in the 
Territory of Michigan. Its shipping list for that 
year reports the arrival of nineteen steamboats and 
less than two hundred sailing vessels; its imports 
amounted to a little more than half a million, and its 
exports to less than fifty thousand dollars. The 
Territory of Wisconsin was organized in the same 
year, with a population of 11,680. He lived to see 
a straggling village, in which the red man still 
lingered and exchanged his furs for the products of 
civilization, transformed into a thriving city of 100,- 

*Ohio State Doc. 1837, p. 31. 


000 inhabitants, the commercial emporium of a large 
and populous state. 

At that time all the lands were* a part of the public 
domain; new comers entered upon and improved 
them, expecting to purchase them, in due time, at 
the minimum government price. But there were no 
adequate pre-emption laws then, as now; the tenure 
by which every one held was uncertain; encroach- 
ments became frequent, serious disputes were com- 
mon and bloodshed was imminent. Yet these first 
settlers were a law-abiding people, only there were 
no laws to abide by, for the Territorial government 
was in a transition state. Instead of resorting to 
"Judge Lynch" to right their wrongs, they made an 
original and unique code for themselves, instituted a 
tribunal for adjudication of all disputes, and appointed 
Mr. Lapham "Eegister of Claims." The records of 
his pro tempore office are still extant, and show when 
and by whom, every quarter section in the county 
was entered and every transfer made, prior to the 
day of the public land sale. Lapham's "certificate of 
title" filed with the "Judiciary Committee," or quasi 
Court of Claims, was duly accredited as valid against 
all the world; and every "squatter" felt as secure in 
his possession, as he could have felt witli a patent 
from the United States Land Office in his pocket. 


Under it homesteads were pre-empted, forests 
cleared, fields cultivated, houses built, transfers 
made ; and when, by the cumbrous and slow machin- 
ery of the general government, these lands were 
offered for sale, that certificate was thoroughly res- 
pected, and justice impartially administered. These 
and all other public duties imposed by his fellow 
citizens were performed without fee, or reward.* 

Mr. Lapham was Chief Engineer and Secretary of 
the company which commenced the first great inter- 
nal improvement undertaken in the interests of the 
city and state "The Milwaukee and Rock River 
Canal;" but the enterprise was inaugurated too late 
to insure its successful prosecution. The era of rail- 
roads had come and the canal was abandoned. 

The duties of his profession brought him into inti- 
mate business relations with the more enterprising 
settlers, and he rendered efficient service in almost 
every public enterprise. But his gentle and retiring 
nature shrank from active participation in the more 
stirring events of frontier life. He had no political 
aspirations to gratify, and he lacked the brilliant 
dash of the successful operator. His friends and 
neighbors made, 'and lost, fortunes in a day, and 

* Annual Address before the Old Settlers' Club of Milwaukee 
County, January 4th, 1875, by I. A. Lapham, LL.I)., President. 


enjoyed the excitement of the game, but he never 
ventured upon the surging tide of speculation. "Only 
a few months ago he wrote, "My progress, in a busi- 
ness way, has been steady and uniform, avoiding 
poverty on the one hand and the burden of super- 
abundant wealth on the other. This has enabled me 
to devote portions of my time to other matters of 
interest and importance." 

' Other matters of interest and importance . " What 
were they? Among his unpublished papers are 
voluminous records of careful observations on the 
topography and physical features of the state, its 
climate and soil, its fauna and flora, its mineral 
deposits and other industrial resources, on the com- 
merce and navigation of the lakes! Even the daily 
temperature, the rain-fall and the direction and force 
of the wind, were matters of interest to him; and 
through him and others of similar tastes and pursuits, 
they have now become matters of national "interest 
and importance." These observations were fre- 
quently published in local papers, and sometimes in 
a more permanent form, for the information of 
others, especially of those who were following west- 
ward the "Star of Empire" to find a home for them- 
selves, or a profitable investment for their capital, in 
the great "North West." 


In 1838, he printed -a catalogue of the plants and 
shell's found in the vicinity of Milwaukee,* and in 
1844, he published a volume of 250 pages, en- 
titled " A Geographical and Topographical Des- 
cription of Wisconsin, with brief sketches of its 
history, geology, mineralogy, natural history, popula- 
tion, soil, productions, government, antiquities, 
etc.,"f and which was intended "to furnish new 
corners and others, in a cheap and convenient form, 
a large amount of useful information, which -it would 
be difficult for them to obtain from any other source ; 
and to preserve, for the future historian, many facts 
which might otherwise soon be forgotten."* For 
many years "Lapharn's Wisconsin" was a reliable 
"hand-book" and' had much influence in directing 
the attention of intelligent men to the state, many 
of whom subsequently informed its author, that the 
accurate information obtained from his book and 
maps had much influence in deciding the question of 
their emigration hither. His maps of Wisconsin 
have kept pace with our increasing population and 

*Printed at the office of the Milwaukee Advertiser. 

f Published by P. C. Hale, Milwaukee, Wis., 1844; a second 
edition was published in 1846. In 1855, he re-wrote and greatly 
enlarged the work, but this revision was never printed. 



made our people acquainted with its geographical 
features ; his map of the city, revised and republished 
.annually, for nearly thirty years, is still the cttdc 
mecum of every dealer in real estate, and a standard 
of reference and authority in every public and private 
office. His geological maps of the state, compiled 
largely from his own personal examinations, made in 
the interests of science and without the hope of 
pecuniary reward, have been widely distributed 
among scientific men in this country and in Europe. 
During the past twenty five years he made many 
valuable contributions to the "Transactions of the 
Wisconsin State Agricultural Society." .Among 
these are papers on the Agricultural Condition and 
Capacity of the State ; on its Geology ; on the Eela- 
tions of the Geological Survey to Agriculture; on 
the Fauna and Flora of the State; on its Forest 
Trees. The first volume of these Transactions con- 
tains an admirable treatise of nearly one hundred 
pages, on The Grasses of Wisconsin and Adjacent 
States, of which the American Journal of Science 

Mr. Lapham's faithful and excellent account of the Grasses of 
Wisconsin, is prefaced by a general account of the family and a con- 
venient artificial arrangement, or key to the genera of the grasses of 
the North Western States. The species are well described in plain, 


botanical language, their qualities and uses indicated; good 8vo. 
plates of eleven species are given, each accompanied by magni- 
fied analyses of the parts of fructification, and similar analyses of as 
many more- species are given on another plate. These are credit- 
ably executed from original drawings by Mr. Lapham himself, and 
they will afford invaluable assistance to students in this. difficult, but 
very important, natural order of plants; most important to the 
agriculturalist, since it furnishes the principal sustenance of man and 
the domesticated animals.* 

Dr. Laphain also contributed valuable papers to 
the Collections of the -Wisconsin Historical Society; 
to the Transactions of the Illinois State Agricultural 
Society ; to the Proceedings of the Chicago Academy 
of Sciences, and of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, etc. 

After, exhausting the Grasses of Wisconsin, and 
adjoining states, he suggested to the Commissioner 
of Patents, (the Hon. Charles Mason of Iowa,) the 
desirableness and utility of a descriptive catalogue of 
all the native, naturalized and cultivated grasses of 
the United States, and that the Agricultural Depart- 
ment of the Patent Office might appropriately under- 
take the preparation of such a catalogue.! Through 
the prompt and efficient agency of the Hon. Daniel 
Wells, who then represented this district in Congress, 

* American Journal Science and Art, Vol. 19, p. 242, 2d Series, 
f Appendix A. 


the House Committee on Agriculture reported in 
favor of the proposed work, and an appropriation 
was made to defray the expense attending it. Dr. 
Lapham was invited to Washington, and under an 
arrangement with the Commissioner, he undertook 
to collect specimens of all the species and principal 
varieties of grasses in the United States and Ter- 
ritories, and to arrange them in books suitable for 
distribution among State Societies and Agricultural 
Colleges; to make drawings of each, with enlarged 
illustrations of its flowers; to collect seeds for dis- 
tribution and experimental purposes, and to make a 
report that should include the botanical description, 
geographical distribution, time of flowering, sowing 
and harvesting, in different latitudes; the culture, 
soil and climate best suited to each species, and all 
other facts relating to its economic value. He was 
also to conduct an expedition to the West Indies and 
South America, for collecting improved varieties of 
sugar cane, for the use of the planters of Louisiana, a 
liberal appropriation- having been made for that pur- 
pose. The work which he contemplated was of 
national utility ; every intelligent farmer would have 
been interested in it, for the family of grasses 
employs much the greater part of all agricultural 


labor, as it includes all our cereals, sugar cane, sor- 
ghum, etc. 

Several months were devoted to preliminary labor, 
but when the account for the first quarter's salary 
was presented, it was found that the appointment 
had not been recognized by the Secretary of the In- 
terior, without whose approval there could be no 
expenditure of agricultural funds. In fact, that 

high official peremptorily refused to confer so useful 


and responsible a trast upon one whose political 
sentiments were not, in all respects, in accord with 
those of the party in power. The sugar cane expe- 
dition sailed without him, the labor he had already 
performed was utterly ignored, and Dr. Lapham 
found himself one thousand dollars out of pocket, by 
his patriotic endeavor to serve his country and 
science, at the same time. 

But his purpose of cataloguing and describing the 
grasses of the country was not wholly abandoned. 
Perhaps he hoped that the Secretary might, in time, 
relent, or give' place to another, w r hose political con- 
science would be less scrupulous, and that justice 
might eventually be done to himself and to the 
grasses of the country. He, therefore, labored 
patiently on and compiled a complete catalogue of all 
the grasses of the United States and Territories, so 


far as they had been previously described and named, 
with, their localities, geographical distribution, time 
of flowering, and with references to his various 
authorities, etc., making a manuscript volume of 
574 pages, which, neatly bound and labeled, "Gram- 
inese of the United States," is found on a shelf in 
his library. He also collected much valuable material, 
which he was gradually working into shape, for 
future use. 

But he was not destined to realize his hopes of 
government aid, without which he could neither 
complete the work he had marked out, nor publish 
the results of what he had already done. ' In -the 
early part of President Lincoln's administration, the 
subject was again brought to the notice of the Agri- 
cultural Bureau, and received favorable consideration, 
but the exigencies of the war soon absorbed all minor 
interests, and Dr. Lapham turned his attention "to 
other matters of interest and importance." 

In 1867, the Legislature of Wisconsin passed an act 
relating to the growth of forest trees, and Dr. Lapham 
was appointed chairman of a committee "to ascertain 
and report upon the injurious effects of clearing land of 
forests, and the duty of the state in relation to the 
matter. " He presented an able and exaustive report, 

* Appendix B. 


which was published in a Legislative 8vo. volume of 
over one hundred closely printed pages. This report 
gives, in a condensed form, the experience of other 
countries, ancient and modern, whose forests fcave 
been improvidently destroyed, with many illustra- 
tions from our own country, and some from our own 
state. It discusses the effects of clearing land of 
forest trees, upon springs, streams and rainfall; it 
shows how they temper winds, protect the earth, 
purify the air, enrich the soil and modify the climate ; 
it discusses the economic value of forests in their re- 
lation to cheap houses, cheap fuel, cheap bread, 
cheap motive power, cheap transportation and- cheap 
freights; and demonstrates their incalculable value 
to a state which, like ours, posseses no large deposits 
of mineral fuel. It also treats of the propagation 
and culture of trees, the comparative value of diifer- 
ent kinds for fuel, shade, and other economic uses, 
and concludes with a descriptive catalogue of such 
as are best adapted to the climate and soil of Wis- 
consin. The report contains evidence of laborious 
research and thorough knowledge of the subject, and 
is replete with those practical suggestions which 
eminently characterize all the productions of his pen. 
Instead of being consigned to the attic with other 
Legislative Documents, it ought to be re-issued in a 


more attractive form, and placed in the hands of 
every thoughtful farmer. 

His botanical studies were much remitted in later 
years, because he had become so familiar with the 
flora of Wisconsin and adjacent states, that he found 
nothing new, and he did not possess the means to in- 
dulge his tastes by exploring new and remote fields. 
Yet botany was his favorite study, his speciality. 
In it he took great pleasure, and attained much 
eminence. It was his greatest joy to escape from the 
dusty paths of every day life, and 

"Go abroad 

Upon the paths of nature, where all 
Its voices whisper, and its silent things 
Are breathing the deep beauty of the world, " 

gathering dewy freshness from the early morn, 
lessons of wisdom from the humblest flower that 
"sheds its fragrance on the desert air," and from 
the insect that crawled at his feet or filled the air 
with busy life. 

The last paper he published was on "The Law of 
Embryonic Development, the Same in Plants as in 
Animals ; "* a paper which shows a careful study and 
profound knowledge of the perpetuation of life in the 
vegetable world. It is a well known law in the 

* American Naturalist, Vol. 9, May, 1875. 


animal kingdom, that the higher orders of animals, 
in their embryonic state, resemble the full grown 
animals of lower orders ; a discovery which has done 
much to correct and improve classifications in 
zoology. It is the object of this paper "to show that 
the same laiv of resemblance, between the immature 
of one order and mature of a lower order of animals, 
is equally true in the vegetable kingdom, where its 
study may lead to equally important results." 

The idea here suggested is an original one ; it may 
be only'the fanciful conception of a thoughtful brain, 
and again it may prove the cell-germ of a theory that, 
with skillful nurture, shall hereafter develop more 
graceful proportions and bear fruit for the garners of 

I make 110 apology, except to the distinguished 
author, for introducing in this connection, a letter 
from Prof. Asa Gray, the most eminent of American 
botanists. It is fragrant with the breath of flowers, 
and I will not mar its beauty by extracts : - 


MY DEAR SIR : It was with much sorrow that I heard of the death 
of my old friend and correspondent, Mr. Lapham. We had corres- 
ponded for about forty years, and, although we had met personally 
only three or four times, I had always entertained for him a great 
regard. In former years, when he was more occupied with botany 
than of late, our correspondence was frequent. After he had done 


nearly all he could with Wisconsin botany, and had nothing new to 
collect, or examine, among the ph?enogamous plants of his region, 
letters between us became fewer. He was the pioneer botanist of 
your state, and his name will be inseparably connected with its 
flora. The Botanic Garden here still contains plants and shrubs, 
which, many years ago, he most kindly sent us. 

His published catalogue and its supplements, most carefully and 
conscientiously drawn up, were of authority in determining the 
known geographical range of our species. You 'and others know 

better than I, how much he did for the development of the mineral 


resources, the fossils and the aboriginal antiquities of Wisconsin. 
In recognition of his scientific merits and services, I had the 
pleasure, in 1852, to dedicate to him a new genus of plants, Lap- 
hamia, of five species, belonging to our southwestern frontiers. I 
am glad to know that the genus holds as a very distinct one, so that 
his name will remain upon the annals of one of the sciences which 
he loved to prosecute, and which he furthered to the extent of his 
means and opportunities. The impression I have of him is that of 
a man thoroughly to be respected, and implicitly to be relied upon : 
a modest, retiring, industrious, excellent man; one who might have 
made a greater mark, or held a more prominent position in science, 
if he had been more ambitious, or if he had been placed in other 
circumstances ; but who did well and faithfully the work which was 
given him to do. I have the idea that he had a happy, as well as a 
useful and honored life. What more could be asked ? 

One thing his scientific comrades may ask of his fellow pioneers, 
who survive him, and of his townsmen, viz: that his collections 
may be cared for and permanently preserved in and for the state 
which he helped to found. It is there that they will be most useful, 
and in future times they will be more valuable than ever. Their 


loss, or dispersal, would be a sad thing; their preservation, either 
by themselves, or as the nucleus of a state, or city museum, would 
be a most appropriate tribute to Mr. Lapham's memory. 
Believe me to be, 

Yours very truly, 



Fluctuations in the level of Lake Michigan en- 
gaged his attention at an early day, as appears from 
observations recorded in 1836, and continued, with 
occasional interruptions, during the rest of his life. 
In 1847, we find him writing in the FARMER AND 
MECHANIC: "These fluctuations are due to three 
distinct causes, viz : the force and direction of wind, 
the change of seasons, and certain periodical changes , 
erroneously supposed to occur once in seven years. 
The question of a tide on the Great Lakes is yet un- 
determined. To decide this interesting point, obser- 
vations will have to be made at least three times a 
day, for a sufficient period to embrace all the changes 
of the moon, the variations of the wind and weather, 
and perhaps at different points and different seasons 
of the year. " 

From his observations, the highest, lowest and 
mean, or average height of the water, was determin- 
ed, facts that have been of great practical value in 
river and harbor improvements and to engineers of 


Milwaukee and Chicago, in establishing the grades of 
streets, and systems of sewerage, and in laying the 
foundations of all works in any way connected with 
the lake and rivers emptying into it. His observa- 
tions were also used by Capt. George G. Meade, 
of the U. S. Lake Survey, since Gen. Meade of 
Gettysburg fame, in fixing the zero from which 
soundings are made, and their importance is acknowl- 
edged, in the Report of the Lake Survey for 1861.* 

On the 3d of September, 1849, he published in a 
city paper, t the following announcement: 

"An important question settled. By a series of 
observations made every three hours, during the 
month of August, I have ascertained that there is a 
slight lunar tide on Lake Michigan." He also com- 
municated his discovery to the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, with his meteorological observations for August. 

This announcement appears to have escaped the 
notice of Col. J. D. Graham, U. S. Engineers, who 
made the same discovery at Chicago nearly ten years 
later, while in charge of the River and Harbor Im- 
provements, in 1858. 

The latter ungenerously questioned the correct- 
ness of Dr. Lapham's observations, and denied his 

* Message and Documents, 1861-2, p 362. 
f Sentinel and Gazette, Sept. 3d, 1849. 


claim to priority of discovery;* but both the record 
of those observations, and the calculations from which 
the altitude of the tidal wave was deduced, are still 

Dr. Lapham's most elaborate work, the one for 
which, he is best known abroad, 'is his "Antiquities of 
Wisconsin. " At an early day, he became much inter- 
ested in the aboriginal earthworks which abound 
along the borders of our crystal lakes, and near the 
banks of many streams. He was the first to notice 
that many of these mounds are "gigantic basso- 
relievos of men, beasts, birds and reptiles, all wrought 
with persevering labor, on the surface of the soil." 
In 1836, he called attention, through the newspapers, 
to a turtle shaped mound at Waukesha, and to 
several other animal effigies at other places. 

As many of these must soon be obliterated by the 
progress of settlement and cultivation, he carefully 
surveyed and plotted such as his opportunities per- 
mitted. The American Antiquarian Society having 
proposed to pay his traveling and other necessary ex- 
penses, he devoted much time to a systematic and 
thorough survey of these interesting memorials of a 

* Message and Documents, 1861-2, pp. 44~5- 
f Appendix C. 


pro-historic r*ace. Tt was a congenial labor, and he 
prosecuted it with rare devotion and intelligence. 

The results were published in 1855, by the Smith- 
sonian Institution, in a handsomely printed quarto 
volume, with 55 plates and nearly 100 wood engrav- 
ings, all from drawings made by himself. "Beyond 
the necessary expenses,' 1 says Prof. Henry, "he 
desired and received no other compensation, than the 
scientific* enjoyment which the prosecution of the 
work afforded." 

This publication secured to ])r. Laphani an honor- 
able rank among men interested in pre-historic 
studies ; it is frequently quoted by Sir John Lub- 
bock, in his well known work on " Pre-Historic 
Times," and must always remain a standard of 
authority and reference on the subject which he has 
so fully and ably illustrated.! 

He found peculiar pleasure in the study of these 
memorials of a perished race, and one of his last 
labors was, the preparation of a series of bas-relief 
models of some of the more characteristic mounds, 
for the Centennial Exposition of 1870. 

* Antiquities of Wisconsin, p. 3. 

f Pre-Historic Times, by Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M. P., etc., pp. 
250, 264, 281, 285, etc. 

ee, also, Pre-Historic Races of the United States, by J. VY. 
Foster, LL.D., pp. 99, 101, 155, 290, etc. 


In 1808, his attention was especially called to 
meteorites, by learning that fragments of meteoric- 
iron had been found some thirty miles northwest of 
the city. He immediately visited the locality, but 
failed, at the time, to secure the object of his search. 
Soon afterwards the Wisconsin Natural History 
Society, which had been more fortunate, and obtained 
a fragment weighing sixteen pounds, generously 
gave him a part of their find.* Ever willing to 
divide with his friends, he immediately sent his speci- 
men to Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, of Louisville, an ex- 
pert in this species of lore. Dr. Smith cut it into 
several pieces, which he polished and etched, and 
returned two of them to the donor. A microscopic 
examination of these, revealed to the quick and 
observant eye of Dr. L., not only the well known 
crystalline markings called Widmannstattian figures, 
but also another set of linos, of which Dr. Smith 

* NOTE. MILWAUKEE, Dec. 16, 1868. Dear Sir: In con- 
sideration of the many valuable services you have rendered the 
"Wisconsin Natural History Society," the Board of Directors, at 
their regular meeting on Monday, Dec. yth, adopted a resolution to 
donate to you a piece of the meteoric iron recently found in Wash- 
ington County, which piece shall not exceed two pounds in weight 
and shall, if possible, be cut oft' in this city. The undersigned is in- 
formed that arrangements have been made to execute the latter 
part of the resolution. 

Very respectfully, 



says: "There is something peculiar about the -mark- 
ings on this iron, which is doubtless common to 
other irons, but which has heretofore escaped my 
observation, arid I cannot discover that it has been 
noticed by others. My attention was called to this 
peculiarity by Mr. Lapham, on a slice of the meteorite 
I sent him etched. Should these markings be entitled 
to a separate notice, I propose calling them LAPHAM- 

Unwilling to appropriate credit due to others, and 
anxious to deal liberally with his scientific associates, 
he writes to Dr. Smith: "In any account you may 
give of this meteorite, it should be stated that Mr. 
Doefiinger first called my attention to the discovery 
of meteorites in Wisconsin. I have given the 
Natural History Society one of the polished pieces 
you sent me, and divided with them the beautiful 
crystals of Kosaniline Salts." 

In the American Journal of Science for November 
last, Dr. Smith describes a meteorite found many 
years ago in Tennessee, and preserved in the cabinet 
of the late Prof. Troost, and says: " In connection 
with these (Widmannstattiaii) figures, I will call 
attention to the delicate parallel lines inside these 

American Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. XL VII, p. 271. 


figures, which I pointed out several years ago, as being 
peculiar to certain of the irons, and which I designate 
by the term Lapliainite Markings."* Thus the 
name of Dr. Lapham will be permanently associated 
with another "of the sciences which he loved to 
prosecute, and which he furthered to the extent of 
his means and opportunities." 

He also prepared a list of North American Mete- 
orites, which is thus alluded to by Col. J. W. Foster, 
in the Lake Bide Monthly for August, 1871 : "I. A. 
Lapham, LL.l)., of Milwaukee, has laboriously in- 
vestigated the history and mapped the position of 
every known meteorite, that has fallen within the 
limits of the North American Continent. We trus-t 
that he will publish that list, with all the references 
to authorities, as well as the map, in some scientific 

Prof. C. U. Shepard, writes him, (April 10, 1869) : 
"You have undertaken a very useful labor, and 1 hope 
you will commit the results to the American Journal 
of Science, when it is finished." This and several 

* American Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. X, p. 350, jd series. 

See, also, American Encyclopedia, ( New Kd., ) article .Krolite, 
an engraving from a photograph of the section of the meteorite pre- 
pared by Dr. Smith, and preserved in the cabinet of Dr. Lapham. 
showing both the Widmannstiittian figures and the Laphauiite Mark- 


other papers and notes on meteorites, exist in 
manuscript, but I do not find that he ever published 
any of his researches in this department of his scien- 
tific labors. 

Dr. Lapham was also a thoughtful observer of 
atmospheric phenomena. We do not claim for him 
great merit as an original discoverer in Meteorologi- 
cal Science; but he was patient and accurate, skill- 
ful in working out obscure problems, and sagacious 
in applying their results to practical uses. From a 
series of reports, in relation to a great storm which 
swept over the lake region in 1859, collected by the 
Smithsonian Institution, and published without any 
attempt at a generalization, he constructed a chart 
showing its origin, track and rate of motion. He 
found that it first struck our coast in Southwestern 
Texas, and thence moved northward and eastward, 
reaching Lake Michigan in twenty-four hours, the 
Atlantic in forty-eight hours, and Nova Scotia in one 
day more, "thus allowing ample opportunity, with 
the aid of the telegraph, to prepare for its dangers 

upon the lakes and the sea-coast." He also worked 

out and mapped, from observations made by himself 
and Dr. Horr of Dubuque, the great storm of March, 
1801, and found that it traveled from the Mississippi 
to Lake Michigan, in eight hours. 


Dr. Lapham was not the first to trace the path of 
the tempest, or to forecast 

"The sad genius of the coming storm.'' 

Others had preceded him in this department of 
meteorological research, and prepared the way for 
the important service he was instrumental in render- 
ing. Dr. Franklin ascertained that, in this country, 
storms usually travel towards the north arid east; 
Kedfield demonstrated the progressive motion of 
storms, and studied their velocities; Espy showed, 
by a series of weather maps, extending over a num- 
ber of years, that ''storm predictions are perfectly 
possible." In 1847, Prof. Henry suggested the use 
of the telegraph u as a means of warning northern 
and eastern observers to be on the look-out for the 
first appearance of an advancing storm." In 1808 
and 1869, the astronomical observatory, at Cincin- 
nati, with the co-operation of the telegraph com- 
panies, issued a daily . weather bulletin and chart, 


containing such predictions as the^ii^^vould war- 
rant. This bulletin was recei^j^P^v'th^B-eat favor 
in commercial circles, but was discontinued for want 
of funds to meet the necessary current expenses. 
Prof. Cleveland Abbe was then, as now, the oracle 
from whose mysterious adytum issued the weather 

predictions, and he often acknowledged his obliga- 



tions to Dr. Lapham for valuable suggestions in aid 
of his novel enterprise. 

The eminent English meteorologists, Keid and 
Fiitz-Roy, had induced the British government to 
establish a system of storm signals that was saving 
hundreds of lives and millions of property annually, 
and meteorologists on the Continent, had interested 
their governments in similar experiments. More 
than twenty years ago, when the allied fleets of 
France and England, were besieging Sevastopol, the 
French Minister of War sent a dispatch to their 
commanders, that a furious storm was moving east- 
ward, and they had better prepare for it. The fleets 
immediately put to sea, and escaped one of the most 
destructive cyclones that ever swept over the Crimea. 
Dr. Lapham resided at one of the most important 
shipping ports on the Great Lakes, where the fre- 
quent occurrence of severe storms is attended with 
great loss of life and property. As early as 1842, lie 
collected and published a list of such losses on Lake 
Michigan, for the information of those interested in 
lake navigation, and to induce Congress to make a 
liberal appropriation for the improvement of harbors 
of refuge. With the increasing commerce, the an- 
nual list of disasters had rapidly increased, and he 
wrote, as he felt, "that the interests of commerce 


and humanity demanded that something should he 
done, if possihle, to prevent the fearful loss of life 
and property which fill so many newspaper columns 
with their appalling details." 

At first, he did not hope to interest the general 
government in the enterprise. Supposing that the 
money must come from those most directly henefited, 
especially from men interested in the navigation and 
commerce of the lakes, he first appeals to them. In 
December, 1858, he addressed a letter to C. J. 
Bridges, Esq., then General Manager of the Detroit 
and Milwaukee Railroad, suggesting the importance 
of procuring knowledge of approaching storms, as a 
means of guarding against the dangers incident to 
crossing Lake Michigan, with the new and splendid 
steamers which that company was about placing on 
its line between Milwaukee and Grand Haven. The 
letter was courteously answered, but the writer in- 
timated that he had more confidence in the size and 
speed of his boats than in storm signals. At a later 
date, he addressed a similar letter to Capt. E. B. 
Ward, of Detroit, enclosing some papers on the sub- 
ject, and assuring him that a "a knowledge of coming 
storms can be obtained, in very many cases, at least 
twelve hours 'in advance;" and suggesting that per- 
haps he "would be willing to aid in establishing an 


observatory, where knowledge could be collected and 
forwarded to the several lake ports." To this the 
great Lake Captain and sagacious man of affairs, 
replies, that he has " little time to investigate mete- 
orological papers, and has never been impressed with 
the opinion that our changeable and fickle climate can 
be put under any rules by which mariners may be 
guided with any certainty, or much profit." Yet 
strange as it may seem, this proverbially " changeable 
and fickle climate" of ours has been put under rules, 
by which mariners are often guided with much 
certainty and great profit ; for as large a proportion of 
storm predictions are verified at the lake ports, as in 
any other part of the United States, except New 

Though repulsed, he was not discouraged; he had 
faith in the ultimate triumphs of Science, and faith 
in patient, persevering effort in a good cause. He 
continued to work and to write, in hope of creating 
a public sentiment in favor of so beneficent an enter- 
prise, and thus, eventually, enlisting the capital 
necessary to its success. 

At length a ray of cheerful sunshine pierced the 
clouds; the sky began to brighten. Men of faith 
and means, in the city of Chicago, were maturing- 
plans for an organization, that should put his theories 


to a thorough practical test. One gentleman writes 
thus: "I can see how a joint stock company can pay 
handsome dividends on the investment. My only 
query is, where can I get the men competent to 
secure reliable information, at different points? 
Clear up this point for me, and I will furnish you 
$100,000 to operate with. Business men see money 
in it." 

But the end was nearer than he supposed. Dr. 
Laphanrs immediate, personal agency in procuring 
the act of Congress which led to the organization of 
that efficient department of the Signal Service known 
as " the Division of Telegrams and Keports for the 
Benefit of Commerce," we are able to give in his own 
language : 

The inception of the particular movement, which resulted in the 
adoption of the present system of storm signals, was the occasion of 
meeting my friend, the Hon. E. D. Holton, on the street, in Nov- 
ember, 1869, just after he had been appointed one of the delegates 
to the National Board of Trade, then about to meet in Richmond, 
Va. I explained to him the possibility of preventing some of the 
great losses of shipping on our lakes, a very formidable amount of 
which had recently occurred ; that storms from the South and West 
could be predicted by telegraph, before they reached the lakes, or 
the sea coast. 1 told him that it was the duty of such bodies as the 
National Board of Trade, to take some action in the matter ; that 
Congress ought to adopt some measures to make the experiment at 


least; and that, if nothing is done now, when the losses have be- 
come so great and when the facts are so well known, it might be 
deemed a criminal neglect of duty on the part of government and 
of influential men, who could put the matter in motion. His reply 
was, "prepare for me a statement of these things, in writing, and I 
will see what can be done at Richmond. " Accordingly I addressed 
to him a brief and hastily prepared paper, which he presented and 
caused to be referred to the Executive Council of the Board, on the 
third day of its session. Mr. Holton said : "I hold in my hand a 
communication, which I will not read, from Dr. Lapham, of my 
city, a man eminent in science. I will say, briefly, that it relates to 
scientific investigations touching the late storm on the lakes, which 
destroyed, in twenty-tour hours, from one to two millions of property 
and many lives. Now this learned gentleman claims that it is with- 
in the scope of science to communicate to shipmasters and naviga- 
tors a knowledge of the approach of storms, hours before they reach 
a certain point. " * 

A few days later the Executive Council reported: "That it is 
expedient to initiate in the United States a system of meteorological 
observations, to be communicated by telegraph, with a view to pre- 
dicting the occurrence of destructive storm-winds, and thus prevent- 
ing much of the present loss of life and property upon the ocean 
and the lakes; and that the Executive Council be empowered to 
recommend to Congress to afford such aid to the different Observa- 
tories of the country, as will enable astronomers in charge. of them 
.to give the necessary time to the subject, "f 

I was much encouraged in this movement by the very successful 

* Proceedings of the National Board of Trade, 1869, pp. 146-7. 
f Appendix D. 


experiment of Prof. C. Abbe, of the Cincinnati Observatory, m pre- 
dicting weather changes in 1868 and 1869. The experiment also 
proved that commercial men felt an interest in the subject, and that 
persons competent to carry into effect the measures could be found. 
The delegates from the Chamber of Commerce of Cincinnati, in 
the National Board, also took an active interest in the subject, and 
it was, perhaps, at their suggestion, that the allusion was made to 
"observatories and astronomers in charge of them," in the report of 
the Executive Council. 

On the 8th day of the same month, ( December, ) the Milwaukee 
Daily Sentinel published a list of 1914 lake disasters, causing da'm- 
age to the amount of $4,100,000. This list had been carefully 
compiled by Mr. Louis Bleyer, Marine Editor of. that paper. I im- 
mediately sent copies of it to Gen. H. E. Paine, member of Con- 
gress from Milwaukee, with a letter calling his attention to the sub- 
ject, and suggesting that the appalling magnitude of these disasters 
made it 'the duty of the national government to see if any thing 
could be done to abate them.* 

Soon after Mr. Holton left for Richmond, I had the good fortune 
to meet Mr. C. W. 'Jenks, who had recently established, in Chicago, 
a commercial 'paper called "The Bureau." He immediately took a 
deep interest in the matter, and through his paper aided materially 
in bringing it before the public, and to the attention of members of 
Congress. In "The Bureau" for January, 1870, is a map prepared 
by me, showing, in a clear and comprehensive manner, the course 
and progress of a great storm from the Gulf of Mexico, over the 
western plains and region of the lakes; and thence to New Found- 
land, and showing how it might have been anticipated by aid of the 

*Misc. Doc. No. 10, 4ist Congress, 2d Session. 


telegraph. Copies of this paper were liberally distributed among 
members of Congress, and doubtless aided in securing the prompt 
action of that body. 

The press generally approved of the movement ; Boards of Trade 
in the chief commercial cities, expressed, by resolutions, their con- 
fidence in its usefulness; Surgeon General J. K. Barnes, Prof. 
Joseph Henry, Prof. E. Loomis, and, especially, Chief Signal Officer 
Gen. A. J. Myer, encouraged the measure by letters to Gen. 
Paine, which were published for the information of the members of 

These are the measures, which secured the passage of the Bill " to 
authorize the Secretary of War, to provide for taking meteorological 
observations at the military stations in the interior of the continent, 
and for giving notice, on the northern lakes and Atlantic sea-board, 
of the approach and force of storms." ( MSS.)* 

This Bill was introduced into the House of Rep- 
resentatives by G-en. Paine, on the 16th of Decem- 
ber, 1869, and passed on the 2d -of February follow- 
ing. It passed the Senate on the 4th, and was 
approved on the 9th of the same month.! 

On the 15th of March following, an order was 
issued from the War Department, charging the Chief 
Signal Officer of the army with the special duties of 
this branch of the service. Under the able and effi- 
cient management of Gen. Myer, "the Division of Tel- 
egrams and Eeports for the Benefit of Commerce," 

* Appendix E. 
f Appendix F. 


was speedily organized; officers were instructed in 
meteorology and the use of instruments; and "on 
Nov. 1st, 1870, at 7:35 A. M. the first systematized, 
synchronous meteoric reports ever taken in the United 
States, were read from the instruments, by the 
observer- sergeants of the Signal Service, at twenty- 
four stations, and placed upon the telegraphic wires 
for transmission. With the delivery of these reports 
at Washington, and at the other cities and ports, to 
which it had been arranged they should be sent, 
which delivery was made by 9 A. M., commenced 
the practical working of this division of the Signal 
Service of this country.'" 

The great satisfaction with which these new and 
peaceful labors of our army officers were welcomed, is 
still fresh in our memories, and it will add to the 
interest with which every citizen of Milwaukee reads 
the weather reports in his morning paper, to recall 
the thoughtful face and modest mien of that neigh- 
bor and friend, to whose patient, persistent, unselfish 
labors, not only our merchant marine, but "you and 
I and all of us," are so much indebted. He is the 
guardian genius of our lake commerce, and on that 
crimson flag which so often flutters in the rising 

* Report of the Chief Signal Officer, 1871, p. 6. 


breeze, the herald of the coming storm, should be 
inscribed LAPHAM ! 

Dr. Lapham was often consulted by Gen. Myer, 
while putting into working order the Storm Signal 
Bureau, and the valuable services which he rendered, 
are recognized in private letters, and in the First 
Annual Report of the Chief Signal Officer, to the 
Secretary of War. He was also tendered the ardu- 
ous and responsible position* now occupied by his 
friend and meteorological correspondent, Prof. Abbe, 
who receives and reduces the observations, and makes 
those deductions which are given to the country, 
under the name of "Weather Reports." But the 
night labor was too much for his advancing years ; 
he had accomplished what he undertook to do, and he 
declined the offer. In November, 1871, he accepted, 
temporarily, the office of Assistant at Chicago, 
with special reference to the supervision of the 
Signal Service on the lakes ; but these duties ceased 
with the close of navigation.! 

He sent the draft for his first month's salary to 
his family, with this remark: "I send, enclosed, the 
first considerable sum I have ever received, as salary, 

* Milwaukee Sentinel, Nov. i6th, 1870. 
f Report of Chief Signal Officer, 1871, p. 7. 


for any scientific work, being a draft for my pay for 
November." This considerable sum was $166.67! 

While engaged in these duties, at Chicago, he 
suggested important improvements in the methods 
of doing the w^ork, some of which resulted in saving 
the time and labor of observers and in securing greater 
accuracy of results. .He also prepared a series of 
valuable tables for the use of the office at Washington, 
and wrote the papers on Atmospheric Electricity, on 
Lake Disasters, and on the First Storm Predictions, 
published in the Report of Gen. Myer for that year. 
The papers on the Great Fires in the Northwest in 

1871, and the List of Great Storms, Hurricanes and 
Tornadoes of the United States, in the Report of 

1872, were prepared by him. 

We have given, as nearly as the facts in our pos- 
session will permit, the nature and extent of Dr. 
Lapham's agency in originating and procuring the 
passage of the act of Congress, creating this new 
and beneficent department of the public service. 
Many articles published in the literary and scientific 
journals of this country and of Europe have entirely 
ignored his labors; others have credited them to 
individuals who had little or nothing to do with the 

When the history of the Storm Signal Service of 


the United States is written, it will appear that Pro- 
fessors Redfield, Espy, Henry, Loomis and Abbe, by 
many years of patient and studious labor, prepared 
the way for the law of 1870; "that its framing and 
advocacy are wholly due to Prof. I. A. Lapham and 
the Hon. H. E. Paine, both of Milwaukee, Wiscon- 
sin; and that to Prof. I. A. Lapham must be given 
the credit of having brought to a successful con- 
clusion this long line of efforts.'" 

In March, 1873, the Legislature of Wisconsin 
passed an act providing for a "Thorough and Com- 
plete Geological, Mirier alogical and Agricultural 
Survey of the State." On the 10th of April follow- 
ing, Gov. Washburn appointed Dr. Lapham Chief 
Geologist, with authority to select his subordinates. 
This prompt action of the Governor was received 
with great satisfaction by the press and the people. 
It was considered a just tribute to the ability and 
scientific attainments of one of our oldest and most 
esteemed citizens; one whose knowledge of the 
geology and natural history of the state, and of other 
kindred departments of science, qualified him, in an 
eminent degree, for the work; and whose patient, 
laborious industry and inflexible integrity afforded 

* Prof. S. F. Baird in Science Record for 1873. See Appendix F. 


the surest guarantee that the work would be faith- 
fully and honestly done. 

United States geologists, at an early day, surveyed 
portions of the lead regions bordering the Mississippi, 
and of the iron and copper districts of the north, and 
the results were published in the reports of Owen, of 
Whittlesey, and of Foster and Whitney. 

In 1853, the Legislature provided for a further 
examination of the lead-bearing districts by Prof. 
Edward Daniels, who was succeeded in the following 
year by the poet and scholar, J. G. Percival. Dr. 
Percival's reports, like those of his predecessor, were 
short, and confined mainly to the same districts. In 
1857, a "Geological and Agricultural Survey of the 
State" was authorized, and liberal appropriations were 
made to defray the expenses. But the commission 
appointed to do the work was inharmonious and 
inefficient ; some money was drawn from the public 
treasury, but nothing of value was accomplished. 
In 1860, Prof. James Hall, of New York, was made 
Geologist-in- Chief, and required to employ, as asso- 
ciates, Messrs. Whitney and Whittlesey, the former 
to complete the survey of the lead district, the latter 
to continue the explorations of the mineral regions 
of the north. The results of their labors have been 
published in part only, the second volume being lost 


to the state and to science, through failure of the 
Legislature to provide for its publication. After 
the expenditure of upwards of $30,000, the Com- 
mittee on State Affairs "are forced to the conclusion 
that the State has derived comparatively little bene- 
fit from so large an expenditure of money ; " * further 
appropriations are refused, and, for the next ten 
years, the survey sleeps quietly. 

During all this time, and before Owen and his 
associates set foot on our soil, Dr. Lapham had been 
busy, in his own quiet way, working out the geology 
of Wisconsin. He traversed the length and breadth 
of the state, noted its elevations, its water-sheds, its 
river systems and other topographical features. f 
Unaided and alone, he had solved most of the ele- 
mentary problems of our geological system, identi- 
fied and described most of its characteristic forma- 
tions, and determined their relations to each other 
and to those of other states, especially of New York, 
which had taken the lead in this department of 
applied science.]: 

* Senate Journal, i4th Annual Session. 

f American Journal of Science and Art, Vol. 46, p. 258, 1844. 

t NOTE. -In many particulars, Wisconsin bears a close analogy 
to the state of New York. We have a similar elevated primary 
region at the north; on the south of us, is the coal basin of Illinois, 
corresponding to that of Pennsylvania. We have the same Silurian 


He studied the eastern portion of the state, to 
which his residence in Milwaukee gave him easiest 
access, so thoroughly that the various official geolo- 
gists relied mainly upon him for information concern- 
ing it. In 1851, he supplemented the report of the 
United States Geologists, on the Lake Superior dis- 
trict, by an article, of which Messrs. Foster and 
Whitney say : " To illustrate still further, the succes- 
sion of palaeozoic groups, as developed in the north- 
west, we introduce the subjoined section and des- 
cription by Mr. I. A. Laphain, of Milwaukee, a gen- 
tleman who has made numerous and extended obser- 
vations on the geology of this portion of the Silurian 
basin. This contribution of Mr. Lapham is the 
more valuable, since it fills up a blank between the 
Lake Superior and the Chippewa districts.'" 

He never ostentatiously paraded his acquisitions, 
biit cheerfully gave them up for others to use.