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Title: Mysteries of Washington City, during Several Months of the Session of the 28th Congress
Author: Atwater, Caleb
Language: English
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  MYSTERIES OF WASHINGTON CITY,

  DURING SEVERAL MONTHS OF THE

  SESSION OF THE 28th CONGRESS.


  By a Citizen of Ohio.


  Washington, D. C.
  PRINTED BY G. A. SAGE, E STREET, NEAR NINTH

  1844.



Entered according to the act of Congress in the office of the clerk of
the District Court of the District of Columbia, by CALEB ATWATER, in
the year 1844.



DEDICATION.


To the Members of the twenty-eighth Congress, Senators, Representatives
and their officers, this little volume is respectfully dedicated, as a
small token of high regard for them, as officers of the government of
the United States, and as men, devoted to the best interests of their
country, by their old friend and fellow citizen,

            THE AUTHOR.



PREFACE.


This small volume is the first of a series, which the author proposes
to write for the amusement, and he hopes, for the information of
his countrymen. This is “Mysteries,” the next will be “Humbugs of
Washington city” and the third volume if deemed necessary, to reform
the public morals, will be “the crimes of Washington city.” Whoever
reads this little work, will find in it no malice, nor even ill will
towards individuals, whom the author wishes to reform, not to destroy,
by exposing vice and recommending virtue in its loveliness and beauty.
He is happy to be able to say, that the people of this district
have been growing better during twenty years past. Several of the
Departments, perhaps all of them, are better conducted than formerly.
There is in them a better system. We refer more especially to the
Treasury Department--the General Land Office and the Department of
the General Post Office. The State Department is and always was well
enough. All party spirit has been carefully avoided in writing this
little book. Feeling no ill will towards any one, for opinion’s sake,
the author has expressed none towards the good men with whom he has
freely associated during several months past. Treated kindly himself
by men of all parties, he has endeavored to treat them as they have
treated him, during this protracted session of Congress. In his _next
volume_ he proposes to describe the Patent Office, the War Office and
the Navy Department. He hopes to be able soon to begin his visits
to them, and continue his visits until he understands fully what is
in those departments, so that the people can learn correctly whether
_common report_ be true or false respecting them. THE INDIAN BUREAU
WILL BE EXAMINED.

Errors in this first edition of an original work could not be avoided,
and the reader, it is hoped, will correct them as he reads the work
the first time. Unless this volume is soon sold, his next work, “THE
HUMBUGS” will be put to the press when Congress rises. The author will
_take off his gloves_ when he writes that volume during the dog-days.

        The reader’s humble servant,
            THE AUTHOR.
  WASHINGTON CITY, June 1st, 1844.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER I.

  Journey to Washington City.--A day at Wheeling, in Virginia.--
    Ride to Cumberland over the Alleghany mountains.--Extremely cold
    weather in a crowded Stage.--Arrival at Cumberland two hours
    too late to take the Rail-road cars to Baltimore, through the
    management of stage drivers and tavern keepers, on the route.--
    Arrival at Washington City on New Year’s day.--Reflections on the
    change in every thing, in the city, since that day fourteen years.
    --Interviews with the President, Major William B. Lewis, Governor
    Woodbury, and many old friends, at Mrs. Hamilton’s, on Pennsylvania
    Avenue.--Biographical Sketch of Levi Woodbury.


  CHAPTER II.

  Journey from Washington to Philadelphia.--A day at Philadelphia.
    --Journey to New York on the rail-road.--Stop on Broadway.--A
    dinner consisting of ice water and one mouthful of roast beef!--
    Bill of fare, but no fare.--Thefts and burglary.--Broadstreet
    Hotel corner of Broad and Pearl streets.--Fare excellent, but no
    BILL OF FARE on the table at dinner.--Charles A. Clinton and Dr.
    Hosack.--Mrs. Lentner’s on Amity street, where Colonel Trumbull
    lived and died.--Albert Gallatin and his lady on Beekman street.
    --Mr. Gallatin’s eventful life.--How employed in the study of
    Indian languages.--His inquiries concerning his old friends in
    the District of Columbia.--Their feeling towards him and Mrs.
    Gallatin, and the comparisons they are now daily compelled to
    make.--The trade of New York city, its vast amount and probable
    increase, which will eventually render it the greatest commercial
    emporium in the world.--Rail-road to the Pacific ocean and a fair
    prospect of its connecting our Atlantic cities with China and the
    Pacific islands, by means of rail-roads and steam vessels.--The
    future wealth, grandeur and moral glory of this republic.


  CHAPTER III.

  Return to Washington.--The different degrees of temperature in the
    atmosphere at different places seen in the thickness of the ice in
    the rivers from New York to Washington inclusive.--Long interview
    with the President. His misfortunes rather than his faults.--
    His cheerfulness, and his views as to Liberia.--Supernumeraries
    ought to be set to work and sent off.--Beautiful situation of
    Washington.--The Congress library, its officers and the agreeable
    company usually in the library room.--Army of little officers
    in and about the capitol.--Judge Upshur, personal acquaintance
    with him, his character and death.--The tragedy on board the
    Princeton.--Great funeral and a whole city in tears for the loss
    of so many distinguished citizens.


  CHAPTER IV.

  Mr. Dana’s speech against the military Academy.--Objections--
    it is an aristocratic institution.--1st in its selection of
    candidates--2nd in its monopoly of military commissions.--Its
    expenses are enormous and wholly disproportioned to any advantages
    to be derived from it.--Its positive evils, as it operates on the
    officers and on the private soldiers.--Mr. Dana might have added,
    that if this republic is in danger from any quarter, its danger
    lies in this institution.


  CHAPTER V.

  This chapter is serious, grave, gay and mysterious.--Good advice
    to Uncle Sam.--A dream which clears up the mystery of beards and
    mustaches, and accounts for some things, but cannot account for
    others, until the author dreams again; perhaps not even then!--
    Inquiries and doubts, not answered or solved in this chapter.


  CHAPTER VI.

  Officers of both houses of Congress.--Vice President Mangum.--
    Speaker Jones.--Members of Congress, their labors and unenviable
    state.--Eloquence of members.--Senators Choate, Crittenden,
    Morehead, &c. &c.--The Tariff, Oregon and Texas to go down to
    the foot of the docket and be postponed until next session of our
    honorable court.


  CHAPTER VII.

  Visit to Mr. Calhoun, Secretary of State.--Alexandria, its early
    history.--Reminisences of General Washington.--Memoir of Mr.
    Anthony Charles Cazenove; a most interesting tale.--He was the
    old partner of Albert Gallatin, at New Geneva, Pennsylvania.


  CHAPTER VIII.

  Officers of the government.--Remarks on the permanency of the seat
    of government.--No authority in the constitution to remove it.
    --Monomaniacs, one who fancies himself in paradise! and the other
    expects to be elected the next president!--Other monomaniacs
    equally crazy.--LOCAL INFORMATION.



CHAPTER I.

  Journey to Washington City.--A day at Wheeling, in Virginia.--
    Ride to Cumberland over the Allegheny mountain.--Extremely cold
    weather in a crowded Stage.--Arrival at Cumberland two hours
    too late to take the Rail-road cars to Baltimore, through the
    management of stage drivers and tavern keepers, on the route.--
    Arrival at Washington City on New Year’s day.--Reflections on the
    change in every thing, in the city, since that day fourteen years.
    --Interviews with the President, Major William B. Lewis, Governor
    Woodbury, and many old friends, at Mrs. Hamilton’s, on Pennsylvania
    Avenue.--Biographical Sketch of Levi Woodbury.


Leaving Columbus, the seat of government, in the State of Ohio, on
the morning of the twenty-sixth of November, in the stage, in company
with six or seven passengers, we arrived at Wheeling, in Virginia, in
exactly twenty-four hours. The distance is somewhat over one hundred
and thirty miles. We passed over the National road, then in a good
condition for travelling on it. Stopping at the Virginia Hotel in
Wheeling, we ascertained that we were too late for the stage that would
pass over the road to Cumberland, in season for the rail-road cars
next morning; and so we concluded to tarry where we were, until next
day. Resting ourselves here that day, and laying by sleep enough for
the route between Wheeling and Cumberland, we took an early start the
next morning, and passed over the Alleghanies during the succeeding
night. We travelled some fifty miles or upwards on the ridge of that
mountain, which is four thousand feet above the ocean, and on one
point it is nearly, if not quite, five thousand feet in height. It was
extremely cold, and the snow was several inches in depth. The cracks
in the doors and windows of the stage, admitted the piercing cold
more freely than we could have wished. We were nine in number, and
were quite incommoded and uncomfortably stowed away. The stage driver
insisted on stopping at every tavern, that we passed, almost, during
the night, and the tavern keepers themselves were quite importunate,
and strove to induce us to stop and warm ourselves by their large coal
fires in their bar-rooms.

These arts of stage drivers and tavern keepers combined, detained us
so long, notwithstanding all our exertions to prevent it, that they
produced the effect which it was intended to produce: we arrived
at Cumberland, in Maryland, about two hours too late for the cars
that day, and so we were detained at that town until next morning.
If the tavern keepers at Wheeling and Cumberland could be believed,
though we had our doubts, they were excessively offended at all who
were concerned in delaying us on our route, viz.: the stage agent at
Wheeling, and the drivers and tavern keepers on the mountain, from
the top of Laurel Hill, to Frostburgh inclusive. On the last day of
December, 1843, we left Cumberland early in the morning, and in ten
hours we were safely landed in Baltimore, passing over one hundred and
eighty miles of rail-road in that period of time. For such a distance,
of continuous rail-road, this is a most excellent road, and the ride
is a very pleasant one. Our stoppages were neither numerous nor did we
tarry long at any one place. At Harper’s Ferry we stopped to dine, but
prefering to take our refreshment in the cars, we were gratified in
that way, thereby saving one-half the expense and one-half the usual
time of tarrying here to take a regular dinner. The towns through which
we passed, between Cumberland and Baltimore, are small ones, but are
improving in appearance. In Baltimore I stopped at Bradshaw’s, near the
depot, and there found a good, comfortable room, a good bed, and good
breakfast for one dollar. Leaving Baltimore in the cars at 8 o’clock,
A. M., we reached Washington city, at 10 o’clock, in the morning, on
New Year’s day. I had expected to have seen, at least, one hundred
thousand people in Pennsylvania Avenue, on New Year’s day, as I saw,
on that day fourteen years before. Now, I saw no crowd, no bustle, and
heard no noise, and saw no stir. There was, however, as I learned at
supper from some clerks who boarded where I put up, a levee of clerks
and officers, who were dependants on the heads of Departments, and
they called it “a crowd” of officers and office seekers? The nation
had increased in numbers, greatly, since 1830, but only one thousand
officers attended at the White house that day, whereas one hundred
thousand people thronged the Avenue fourteen years before! Such was my
impression from what I saw and heard that day. The change was striking,
and told the different feelings of the people towards the Captain,
from those formerly evinced towards the old General. I leave it to the
reader to decide on the cause, but the fact made an impression at the
time, and forced the comparison on my own mind, on the first day of the
year 1844. Both days, that is, the first day of January 1830, and New
Year’s day 1844, were equally fair, and the Avenue was now in a better
condition than formerly, made so, at a large expense, by the nation.
The officers of the government had doubled in numbers around the Chief
Magistrate, but THE PEOPLE were not here now.

I had been absent from the city ever since early in August 1832,
and it had undergone a change in its exterior appearance, in the
mean time, of some magnitude. Its vacant lots had been built on, in
many places; old buildings had been removed, and new ones, many of
them large and elegant ones, had been erected in their stead. The
improvements about the public buildings: the Capitol, the War office,
the President’s house, &c., were considerable, and had cost the nation
large sums of money. Besides these improvements, a new building of
large dimensions had been built instead of the old Post Office, that
fire had destroyed, since I had been here. A new Patent Office, of
dimensions quite too large for any use to which the nation ought to
devote it, had been built. The structure of this building seemed to
me, to be such, that it will fall down in a few years. A new Treasury
Office of vast dimensions, had also been built, since I had visited the
city. Washington had now assumed more of a city-like aspect, instead
of its old one, of a long straggling village. More churches had been
built, in various parts of the city, and no disgusting sights of
beggars and prostitutes met the eye. These circumstances added much to
my satisfaction on my first day’s visit to the seat of Government. I
met and shook hands with many old friends, residing either here or in
Georgetown. Washington no longer presents the outside of vice, and that
circumstance speaks highly of those, who have so zealously laboured
to improve the morals, and mend the hearts, of the great mass of the
citizens. Their labors must have been great, otherwise such success
would not have followed their works.

I attended, afterwards, divine service in several of their churches
in the city, and once in the Episcopal church, with General Archibald
Henderson’s family, at the Navy Yard, but I always found good
preaching, and orderly, and even devout congregations attending
church. In the streets of the city, I have never seen an intoxicated
person, whereas, twelve years since, I have seen fifty such sights in
a day. Many of them were Members of Congress! During this long visit
of several months, constantly visiting all the public places, I have
not seen one Member of Congress, either intoxicated or in any wise
misbehaving himself, on any occasion.

There may be vice here, but it no longer exhibits its disgusting front
in public, and I have not sought for it, nor wished to find it. It
is true, the passengers see signs in several places on the Avenue,
with the words “BILLIARDS,” or “BILLIARD SALOON,” printed on them,
but otherwise, the stranger would not know without inquiry, where the
gamblers resort for gaining what they call an “honest livelihood.” The
reflections I drew from such premises, assure me of an improved state
of morals, in the nation itself, in many respects. We may hope that
moral feelings and moral principles, will one day govern this great
Republic, through its representatives, in our legislative assemblies.

Let us hope, too, that the day is not far off, when our highest
officers, civil, naval, and military, will be sober, honest, and moral
men. Many, perhaps all, or nearly all, of our older officers are
such men even now--such men as General Henderson, Col. Abert, General
Bomford, General Gibson, Col. Totten, General Towson, Maj. Lewis, Judge
Blake, M. St. Clair Clarke, and many others, are such men now. The high
respect in which these men are held by all who know them, will have a
good effect on all their subordinates. The low estimation, likewise,
in which men in high places, of an opposite character, are held here
and elsewhere, will produce its good effects also. They stand out as
beacons on the ocean of life, to warn off every mariner from such an
iron bound coast. The success which has always attended the sons and
daughters of such good men, and the total ruin which has followed, and
overwhelmed the children of wicked officers of government, teach the
same lessons of prudence, wisdom, and virtue.

It argues but poorly in favor of an aristocracy in this country, to
see, in the offices, as minor clerks, the sons of highly respectable
fathers, unless it be in cases, where a man with a family is reduced by
misfortunes and losses, by untoward events, without any fault of his;
or he may have been a literary man, like William Darby. In such a case,
the government may, on the purest principles of morals, give such a
man some easy place as a shelter in his old age. Such an act ought to
rescue such a head of department from oblivion. Judge Blake deserves
and receives his reward in the good opinion of all good men.

Speaking of clerks, it is to be regretted that the young men of
this district should, early in life, accept of a clerkship, instead
of setting out at once for themselves, whereby they can be more
independent and have a better prospect of rising in the world as
respectable men and useful ones too, than a clerkship can ever afford
them. I was told that it was no very uncommon sight to see in a day one
hundred such young men in office hours, walking the streets, standing
in refectories, drinking spirits, or lounging about the lobbies of the
two houses, or sauntering about the rotundo with an umbrella over their
heads, leading about some female friend! I was told also, that while
these loafers were thus engaged, the older clerks and older men with
families to support, were over worked in their several offices. One
hundred such clerks with high salaries, (often the highest ones) ought
to be dismissed in a day, and substitutes found in the western states,
who have almost nothing here in the departments. Such a state of things
would sink any administration in the estimation of all the West.

I give this story for what it is worth, and for the sake of unity,
in relation to the appointment of clerks, whose residence is in
the District, we relate here another anecdote, which, in order of
time belongs to a more recent era than the early part of our present
visit. On the morning of the day when Messrs. Gilmer and Wilkins were
nominated to the Senate, for the purpose of getting those nominations
made that day, I called at the White House very early in the morning,
and being the first on the spot by half an hour, the President, in
accordance with his usual politeness towards me, directed the messenger
to give to me, as the first one that morning whom he would see, the key
of the door that led to the President’s room, up stairs. I took the key
and opened the door, putting my hand against the door case to prevent
an ugly old woman getting ahead of me, on my way to see the President;
but the old lady stooping under my arm and running before me, cried out
aloud, “W...... ought to be clerk, W...... ought to be clerk.” She kept
before me, running a race, thus proclaiming, at the top of her voice,
until she reached the President’s room, where seating herself without
leave or licence, she continued her clamor for some minutes.--Finally,
finding no opportunity to be alone with the Chief Magistrate, I opened
to him my business, notwithstanding the presence of this old witch
of Endor. She declared that “although they had lived in the District
almost one whole year, yet during all that long period they had
procured no office yet.” They had kept boarders, for which they had
received only thirteen dollars a week for each boarder! They had been
compelled, it seems, to hire a man at ten dollars a month, to wait on
the boarders! yet neither her husband nor her son-in-law had received
any office yet. Hearing that two Secretaries were to be nominated that
day, she modestly insisted on “her husband’s being a clerk under one
of them.” The President told her, “that he had nothing to do with such
appointments, which he left to the Secretaries to make.” It seems,
from the best information I could obtain, that women, belonging to this
District, and parts of Maryland and Virginia near Washington, come
here, constantly soliciting offices for their sons, husbands and other
relatives. That they have often succeeded, is evident enough to the
public injury, and to the injury of the public officers themselves.
Were the same rules adopted now, that Jefferson and Madison adhered to
formerly, a vast deal of personal inconvenience to the President would
be avoided. The Presidents, to whom I have referred, required that all
applications for offices should be made in writing. If the office was
derived from the President and Senate, the application had to be made
to the President; but if the office applied for came from a Secretary,
then he only was addressed, but it must be in writing. A story has been
for some time past running around the whole Union, during the last
year, in relation to the appointment of a clerk. The tale itself is
derived, we presume, from some officer here, yet is doubtless wholly
untrue. Could that officer be believed, a woman, residing in or near
the District, frequently called to see the President, in order to get
her husband appointed a clerk. After many vain attempts to accomplish
her wishes, she is represented as having succeeded at last by informing
the Chief Magistrate, “that her husband was entirely helpless in his
bed from sickness, and that she and her children must come to want
unless her husband was appointed a clerk!”

Having recounted my first impressions on my arrival here, I proceed
in my personal narrative. On the next day, early in the forenoon of
January second, I called on my old friend, Major William B. Lewis,
Second Auditor, located in the War Office building, whom I found
disengaged. After a few minutes’ conversation, he began to tell me
about how my business had been treated in the War Office, by the late
Secretary of War and the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He
spoke an hour, in which time he entirely acquitted President Tyler of
all participation in the oppression, of which I had been the object.
I had been informed quite the reverse by our delegation, on the
authority of the men, who were the only authors of all the injustice
which had been done to me. On the next day I saw the man who had
wronged me; and although I did not even allude to his conduct towards
me, I became entirely satisfied of his guilt, and so made up my mind
accordingly. The next step required me, I thought, to make the proper
apology to an injured man, injured by his worst enemies, who pretended
to be his best friends. On the first day that I called to see the
President, the members of Congress occupied the President’s time so
long, that I could not see him that day. I called again next day, and
through the friendship of Judge French of Kentucky, who spoke to the
western members then waiting to see the President, and more especially
through the aid of the Hon. T. Jefferson Henley of Indiana, I saw
the President and conversed with him about my claim. Mr. Henley lived
opposite Louisville, (when at home,) on the Ohio river. He represented
a part of Indiana with which I was formerly well acquainted. He stood
by me, and insisted on the President seeing me and conversing with me
on my business. The President came out of his room to see me, instead
of inviting _me_ into his room. He seemed not to know what had been
done, and he referred me to Maj. Lewis for information; but as the
Auditor could not originate an account, and, in as much too, as the
then Secretary of War, I well knew, could not pass the Senate, I
preferred deferring my business until another Secretary of War had been
appointed. I therefore deferred the presentation of any claim until a
future day.

Walking along the avenue towards Gadsby’s, I heard a loud voice behind
me, and turning around, I saw following me, with a quick step, Levi
Woodbury, now a Senator from New Hampshire, formerly a Secretary,
first of the Naval, next of the Treasury department. I was happy,
indeed, to meet such an old friend, after a separation of more than
eleven years’ continuance. He was in the best health and spirits, and
exacted a promise from me, that I would spend that evening with him and
his family, at Mrs. Hamilton’s, on the avenue. At early candle light I
went to see him, but, in addition to his family, I found there a large
number of old friends, members of Congress and others. It was a most
agreeable meeting of old friends, who had once been the supporters of
General Jackson. Old scenes were recalled to our minds, and all were
very happy for the time being. Gov. Hill of New Hampshire, was the
only one who did not laugh heartily on that occasion. His nomination
for some little office was before the Senate for confirmation, and his
fears, if he had any, were well founded, because his nomination was
not confirmed, but rejected not long afterwards by the Senate. Among
the ladies present, were Mrs. Woodbury and her three daughters. They
are New England’s best beauties--they have handsome forms, and they are
beautiful in face, body and mind. The whole family, father, mother
and daughters, present one of the best family groups I ever saw in my
whole life. Their persons, minds and manners are in perfect keeping, of
which New Hampshire may well be proud, as ornaments, physical, mental
and moral, of the Granite State. Seeing them, and listening to their
conversation, I thought, though I did not say so, that, unless the
unmarried members of Congress had hearts harder than granite itself,
and colder than northern icebergs, these young ladies would soon have
good husbands and good homes in our delightful Great Western valley.
Give us millions of just such people in the West, to cultivate and
adorn the largest, the best and most fertile valley on the whole globe.

Levi Woodbury was born in Francistown, in New Hampshire, in the year
1790. His father, Peter Woodbury, emigrated, when quite young, from
Beverly, in Massachusetts, to the town where Governor Woodbury was
born. We do not propose in this biographical notice of one who has
successively filled, with credit to himself and honor to his native
state, so many high and important public stations, any thing more
than a mere passing notice of one of the most industrious, polite,
kind and useful men in the present Congress. The early education of
Mr. Woodbury was acquired in the common schools of his native town.
During a short period, he was employed, when young, a mere youth of
fourteen or fifteen years of age, in teaching a school in Pepperell, in
Massachusetts. In 1805 he entered Dartmouth college, and was regularly
graduated at that institution. As a scholar, he stood very high in
his class. This circumstance, in addition to his devotion to literary
pursuits, in all probability, induced his alma mater to confer on
him the degree of LL. D. at a subsequent period of his life. After
graduating at Dartmouth college, Mr. Woodbury studied law one year with
Judge Reeve, at Litchfield, Connecticut, and completing his law studies
at other places, was admitted to the bar in 1812, and immediately
opened a law office in his native town. At the time when Mr. Woodbury
began his career as a lawyer, party spirit ran high in New Hampshire;
the majority were opposed to the war and the then administration of
the general government. Mr. Woodbury supported the war, and often
addressed public meetings, and drew up and introduced into them
spirited resolutions, which produced considerable effect on the minds
of his fellow citizens. During several years, the party opposed to the
war, governed the State, until 1816, perhaps. During these four years
Mr. Woodbury rose into a great practice at the bar, and stood high too
as a politician with his party. In 1816, when his party had become a
majority in the legislature, he was elected clerk of the Senate. In the
next January he was appointed a judge of the superior court. Having
at such an early age been appointed to the highest judicial station
in the State, the public attention was naturally turned towards him.
His quick apprehension, his reach of thought, his firmness and moral
courage, rendered him a model, it is said, of judicial deportment. His
judicial decisions are reported and held in high estimation by the
lawyers of New Hampshire. In 1823, Judge Woodbury was elected Governor
of the State, but returned to the practice of the law in 1824. His
law practice was instantly considerable, and he was sought for as a
lawyer by persons in every part of the State. In 1819 he was married
to Miss Clapp of Portland in Maine. In the year 1825 he was elected a
representative from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to the legislature. He
had settled himself as a lawyer, on his marriage, in Portsmouth. By
the legislature, to which he had been elected, he was chosen Speaker
of the House of Representatives, and towards the close of the session
he was elected to the Senate of the United States. We have been the
more careful to notice every step of Mr. Woodbury’s advancement, until
he reached the United States Senate, because, as soon as he appeared
in that body, he was seen by the whole nation; and from that time to
the present moment, he has always been where the whole nation could
see him. His labors on committees, in the Senate, have been great and
useful to his country. As Secretary of the Navy, and subsequently
Secretary of the Treasury department, he has shown talents of a
superior cast. It is a striking fact, that he and his friend Cass, of
the same State originally, are possibly the only men whom their party
could, by possibility succeed in electing at the next presidential
election.

To those who personally know Mr. Woodbury, it is unnecessary to state,
that in his manners he is one of the most agreeable men in the world.
Finally, himself and Mrs. Woodbury, have the most beautiful, well bred
and polite family now attending on this session of Congress. Their
persons are not less beautiful than their minds, their manners and
their hearts. I dismiss them from any further notice in my book, with
the fervent desire that God may bless them.



CHAPTER II.

  Journey from Washington to Philadelphia.--A day at Philadelphia.
    --Journey to New York on the rail-road.--Stop on Broadway.--A
    dinner consisting of ice water and one mouthful of roast beef!--
    Bill of fare, but no fare.--Thefts and burglary.--Broadstreet
    Hotel corner of Broad and Pearl streets.--Fare excellent, but no
    BILL OF FARE on the table at dinner.--Charles A. Clinton and Dr.
    Hosack.--Mrs. Lentner’s on Amity street, where Colonel Trumbull
    lived and died.--Albert Gallatin and his lady on Beckman street.
    --Mr. Gallatin’s eventful life.--How employed in the study of
    Indian languages.--His inquiries concerning his old friends in
    the District of Columbia.--Their feeling towards him and Mrs.
    Gallatin, and the comparisons they are now daily compelled to
    make.--The trade of New York city, its vast amount and probable
    increase, which will eventually render it the greatest commercial
    emporium in the world.--Rail-road to the Pacific ocean and a fair
    prospect of its connecting our Atlantic cities with China and the
    Pacific islands, by means of rail-roads and steam vessels.--The
    future wealth, grandeur and moral glory of this republic.


Having tarried at Washington about eight days, and having visited
all the places and persons that I then desired to see, I left the
city early in the morning, in the rail-road cars, breakfasted in
Baltimore at Bradshaws, and reached Philadelphia about dark in the
evening. Stopping at the Mansion House hotel, adjoining the depot, I
visited Dr. S. G. Morton, on Arch street, not far from my lodgings.
He invited me to call on him the next evening, which I did. Through
the day intervening, I visited some book-sellers and book-binders,
and saw and conversed with several very agreeable and well educated
persons, citizens and strangers. The Philadelphians are a very moral,
well-informed and good people. At Dr. Morton’s I met a small circle
of his friends, with whom I spent agreeably several hours. The Doctor
and his lady have a family of very promising sons and daughters, whom
they are educating in the best possible manner. I saw Dr. Wistar at
the hotel where I put up, and where he boards. He is the son of the
celebrated Doctor of that name, but the present Dr. Wistar does not
wish to follow the practice of his profession, and so he does not
follow it at present; at least, I so understood him to say. Since I had
seen this city, it had greatly increased its dimensions and improved
its exterior appearance. The Girard College buildings, the Merchants’
Exchange and the Almshouse, have been built since I had seen
Philadelphia before, and they added much to its exterior aspect.

The building intended as a residence for paupers, as we passed along
the rail-road, on my return from New York, in a pleasant morning, on
our right hand, across the Schuylkill, standing on elevated ground,
made a splendid appearance. Had we not known that it was the Almshouse,
we might have been tempted to believe it the residence of some retired
monarch of the old world, who had come here, and at the expense of a
million of dollars or more, had erected this splendid palace for a
residence. The traveller is generally treated a little better, and
charged a little less in Philadelphia, than he is in any other Atlantic
city. As a whole, this city has always been celebrated for its good
qualities of all sorts, and yet a few, a very few men here have done
not a little to injure its still fair character. Its banks, bankers and
bankrupts have brought down ruin on many an honest man and covered
themselves, the authors of the ruin, with shame and disgrace. The
ruin has fallen on the innocent only, while the guilty have escaped
condign punishment, except one of them, whose death in all human
probability was occasioned by his mental sufferings, at the loss of his
character.--Peace to his shade.

Early on the morning of January 10th, I left the Mansion house, crossed
the Delaware and passed through the State of New Jersey, in the
rail-road cars, and arrived at New York city about three o’clock in the
afternoon, in season for a dinner at a tavern on Broadway, At dinner
we had a printed bill of fare in French. For drink, I had a glass of
Croton water, with ice in it, and this, after a cold day’s ride, in
the depth of a cold, northern winter! Had I been a frozen turnip, such
water might have thawed my frozen stomach, but as it was, hot coffee
or hot tea would have suited me much better. I called for something to
eat, but the waiter in an insolent tone ordered me in German “to read
my bill of fare,” and he refused to give me any thing to eat. Finally,
after positively refusing to comply with my request a dozen times,
the ruffian gave me a thin slice of roasted beef, which I ate at a
mouthful, and called in vain for more. This mouthful of meat, with some
cold Croton water and some ice in it, was all I got for my dinner! Half
a dollar for such a dinner! kind reader. I had the _bill of fare_ lying
before me, but the _fare itself_ I did not and could not obtain. After
sitting at the table nearly an hour, faint, cold and hungry, I went
to my room, in which a small fire had been made at my request, at the
expense of another half dollar. The room being cold and damp, with so
bad a prospect before me, I locked my door, put the key in my pocket,
and went down Broadstreet, until I came to Thresher’s Broadstreet
hotel, and told the host my story. He agreed to furnish me the best
fare, unaccompanied by a bill of it, a good room to myself, warmed
constantly by a good coal fire, for one dollar a day. Upon these terms
we agreed, and I went back to the Broadway tavern. The Broadstreet
hotel is the same house, which was occupied by General Washington as
his head quarters, when he took possession of the city, after the
British army had left it, at the conclusion of the revolutionary
war. Standing in front of a large opened window in the second story,
his officers standing before him in the street, below him, General
Washington delivered to them his farewell address. From the house, his
officers accompanied him to the wharf, not very distant from this spot,
where he took his final leave of his companions in arms. Having crossed
the ferry into New Jersey, he hastened to appear before the continental
Congress, then sitting in Annapolis, the now seat of government in the
State of Maryland. A painting in the rotundo, represents Washington at
Annapolis delivering his farewell address to Congress.

On the conclusion of my bargain with the landlord of the Broadstreet
Hotel, I returned to my first stopping place, and by dint of argument,
aided by several southern guests, I got a warm supper, with warm
coffee and warm food, a little after ten o’clock that night. I got
some sleep that night and a breakfast next morning, and paid a bill
of three dollars twelve-and-a-half cents, for what I had! Although my
door had always been locked when I was out of it and the key was in
my pocket, yet that precaution had not prevented my room from being
entered, my locked trunk’s being opened, and several articles of no
great value being stolen from it--such as a shirt, a handkerchief and a
quire of writing paper. By ten in the morning I was at my new lodgings,
where I continued some three weeks, while I remained in New York.
This Broadstreet Hotel, on the corner of Pearl and Broad streets, is
within one minute’s walk of the shipping, in the slip; it is one square
from Broadway, and the old Battery. At the Battery there is playing
constantly a splendid, roaring fountain of Croton water. It roars like
a cataract in a still night. This Hotel is near not only to all the
shipping in port, and the principal wholesale stores of all sorts, but
it is the headquarters of most of the captain of vessels, which sail
from this city to all parts of the world. From such a point, I found it
an easy matter to visit every part of this emporium. New York, with its
four hundred thousand people, here, or in Brooklyn, is unquestionably
the first city on this continent. To fully comprehend all the ideas
necessarily belonging to the wealth and resources of the United States,
a man must visit New York and tarry some time there. Its streets,
compared with those of Philadelphia, are narrow, crooked and dirty.

The first person whom I called to see, merely as a friend, was Charles
A. Clinton, the eldest son of De Witt Clinton. Him I found some few
squares above the Park and near Broadway. Here I found too Dr. Hosack,
the son of my old friend Dr. Hosack, now deceased. It was quite
gratifying to see the sons of my old friends, in the enjoyment of good
health and prosperous in the world. Maj. Clinton had been clerk of the
Superior court, for some dozen or more years, but had been removed
from office, to make room for some relative of one of the judges of
the court. This circumstance I had previously learned through the
newspapers, about which Major Clinton said nothing. I called several
times afterwards to see Major Clinton at his law office, nearly
opposite the Customhouse, in Nassau street. He practices in partnership
with Henry S. Towner, Esq., a lawyer, originally from Williamstown,
Massachusetts. The lawyers cluster around the Customhouse and around
the Merchants’ Exchange in Wall street.

If law business is great in the city, the number of those who follow
the legal profession, is great likewise. I became personally acquainted
with several lawyers here, who are highly respectable as men, as
lawyers and as scholars. Among them may be mentioned GEORGE FOLSOM,
Esq., whose office is opposite the Exchange, on Wall street. He is an
author too. A son of Colonel Gibbs, the geologist, is a lawyer whose
office is near the Exchange.

The bustle and crowd, the noise, the anxiety on many faces, and the
vast amount of property of all sorts, such as cotton for instance, in
piles, blocking up streets, or moving to and fro, between warehouses
and wharves--the masts of vessels, standing along the shores of North
river or those of Long Island sound, strike the eye, as one passes
over the lower end of the city. Along Broadway, the goods and the
signs and every thing, indeed, that possibly can catch the eye and
draw the attention of the stranger, are not wanting, for a distance of
two miles from the Battery upwards. The citizens, I believe, do not
patronise the hotels on Broadway, but prefer those in streets farther
eastward, as cheaper, more quiet and better in all respects, than
Broadway houses. The retail stores are many of them on Broadway, but
the wholesale ones are lower down in the city. Wall street is full of
banks and insurance companies. The Harpers’ great book establishment is
in Cliff street, near the old swamp, we believe. At the foot of Fulton
street is the ferry, which crosses the East river to Long Island.
This is the greatest ferrying place in America. We say this, though
we are aware that a place in Kentucky, is called “Great Crossings,”
yet Brooklyn ferry is a greater “crossing” place, than the “Crossings”
in Scott county, Kentucky. I went over to Brooklyn and called on the
editor of the Long Island Star--Alden Spooner, Esq. He is the surrogate
of the county where he resides, and he devotes the most of his time
to the duties of his office. Of the forty thousand people who live in
Brooklyn, not a few of them have stores, shops and offices in New York
city. Such men spend the day in the city and sleep with their families
on Long Island at night. House rent is cheaper in Brooklyn than it is
in New York, and there may be other reasons, such as the comparative
quietness of a village, in Brooklyn, which is not found in New York,
except some three miles up in the city. Brooklyn is therefore nearer
their business than the upper part of New York would be; so Brooklyn is
preferred by men of business, as a family residence, to the city itself.

Soon after my arrival in the city, as soon as it was generally known,
through the newspapers, where I was located, I was carried by Geo.
Folsom, Esq. to the dwelling house of Albert Gallatin, in Beekman
street. He and his lady received me most cordially, as “a man, whom
they had ardently desired to see, (as they assured me) during the last
thirty years.” I found Mrs. Gallatin a most interesting old lady,
surrounded by the neighboring ladies of that vicinity, to whom she
politely introduced me. After a brief interview with these ladies
below stairs, we proceeded (Mr. Folsom and myself) to Mr. Gallatin’s
library room, where we found him engaged in his favorite study of
the Indian languages of America. Perhaps I am in an error, but as I
understood him, Mr. Gallatin had taken the Indian words as spelt by
Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Portugese, Americans, &c. as the true
pronunciation of Indian words, which by the Indians themselves, had
never been written. If he had done so, the true pronunciation of the
Indians themselves had seldom been reached. Having been myself engaged
in writing down the language of the Sioux, I am aware of the difficulty
of catching the exact sound of each word, and the difficulty too, of
expressing the exact sound of the word, by means of our alphabet.
I saw at a glance the difficulty of his position. I hinted at this
circumstance, but Mr. Gallatin did not fully comprehend my meaning, and
so I dropped the subject. No alphabet now in use among men, can convey
all the sounds of any Indian language, now or ever spoken in North
America. Of this fact I feel assured from my own knowledge of Indian
languages. The perfect knowledge of these languages is more curious
than useful, perhaps, in as much as the Indians themselves will soon be
gone, before the Anglo-Americans, whose march and conquests will soon
obliterate every vestige of the aboriginals of America.

Our regrets may and will follow the disappearance of the Indians from
the face of the globe, but their doom is certain, and not far off, in
point of time. Our legislative bodies, from the best of motives, are
endeavoring to preserve Indian names of places, rivers, mountains,
&c., but our gross ignorance of Indian languages, prevents us from
even retaining proper names. _Hoo_, for instance, in some Indian
dialects, means elk, and _uk_ is river, so _Hoosuk_ means “elks river.”
“_Sooske_,” means hunting, and “_hannah_,” in a Delaware dialect, means
river. _Sooskehannah_ means “hunting river,” which we call Susquehanna
river.

No Indian, who heard us pronounce the word _Potomac_ would suspect that
we meant to say the river Potum; so of _Rappa-hannah_, he would not
know that we meant the river _Rappa_. So of the river _Roan_, which
we call Roanoak, instead of calling it simply the river _Roan_. But
enough, perhaps, too much of Indian languages. We give, however, the
names correctly: Hoo, Sooske, Potum, Rappa and Roan. After spending
several hours with Mr. Gallatin in his library, and after conversing
with him on my business, which had brought me to the city, in which he
took an interest, I returned to my lodgings in Broad street. He invited
me to call on him again, and spend some time with him, on his birth
day, when he would be eighty-three years old.

I next visited Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins and their daughter, who boarded
with Mrs. Lentner, No. 15 Amity street, near Broadway. In this house,
kept by the present occupant, Colonel Trumbull spent the last twenty
years of his life. Here he lived and here he died, not long before my
visit. It was in this house that Colonel Trumbull executed his splendid
paintings which now adorn the rotundo in the capitol at Washington
city. These paintings are seen by a great number of persons every
day in the year. The Declaration of Independence, the Surrender of
Cornwallis, &c. &c. will confer an unfading fame on Colonel Trumbull.
MRS. LENTNER will always be remembered for her care of the painter,
which so greatly contributed to preserve his useful life, until he was
more than eighty-seven years old. I saw in Mrs. Lentner’s parlor a
likeness of Colonel Trumbull, painted by himself, in his last years. It
was said to be a very correct one. So said Mrs. Lentner.

After taking dinner and supper with Mrs. Lentner and her family, I
returned in the omnibus to my lodgings. If any persons could prolong
human life and render it happy, Mrs. Lentner, her sister, and the
domestics around her, could certainly effect that object. So it seemed
to me during the six hours that I spent at number 15, Amity street, New
York. She is the MRS. BALLARD of New York.

On Mr. Gallatin’s birth day, when he had arrived at the age of
eighty-three years, I went to see him as early in the morning of that
day as I could, after taking a very early breakfast. I found him up in
his library, busily engaged in his favorite study of Indian languages.
He was quite active, quick in his motions, his cheeks were ruddy, his
eye clear and piercing, his step elastic, his eye sight, by the aid
of his glasses, good. He repeatedly ran up his ladder like a squirrel
to get a book for me. His hearing is unimpaired, and his memory of
past events, wherein he had been concerned, excellent. His reasoning
powers were good, and so was his judgment. On my former visit I had,
at his request, related to him what I had known of the transactions
of his life, in which I had left many blanks, especially when he had
been in Europe as our diplomatic agent. To-day Mr. Gallatin filled
up those blanks and recounted to me what he had done, ever since he
landed at New York, a poor foreigner, ignorant of our language,
unlearned and not twenty years old; but now I saw before me, at the
age of eighty-three, a man of wealth, of learning, of great practical
knowledge and of vast mental powers, whose fame as a diplomatist,
as a man of business and as a statesman, was co-extensive with the
civilized world. He more than once told me that he was relating the
manner in which he had succeeded in life, so that I might profit by his
experience, whereas I expected to die long years before he would. So
I thought, but said nothing, because any remark in reply or by way of
inquiry, seemed to discompose his mind very much. In the course of his
long story of four or five hours in length, he more than once gave the
credit of his success to his wife and her relatives in New York. He had
married a daughter of Commodore Nicholson. She had entered into all his
concerns, political, moral, social and mental with her whole heart. She
even watched the newspapers, to learn what they said of Mr. Gallatin.
He related to me an anecdote of Mr. Gales, who in his Intelligencer
had said of Mr. Gallatin, after his arrival in Washington, “that the
_venerable_ Mr. Gallatin had arrived in the city.” Soon after that
paper appeared, when a party of gentlemen had convened to give Mr.
Gallatin a public dinner, perhaps, the latter gentleman said aloud,
so that all present heard him, “Mr. Gales, my wife says, you make her
husband quite too venerable.” Mr. and Mrs. Gallatin sent by me their
best respects to all their old friends in the District of Columbia,
with a very pressing request, that I would give him an accurate account
of these friends, and what had befallen them since January 1830,
which was the last time Mr. Gallatin had been in Washington city.
On my return to Washington I executed my commission in a way that I
supposed would be satisfactory to all concerned--that is, to Mr. and
Mrs. Gallatin and to their surviving friends in the District. On the
whole, we may safely pronounce Mr. Gallatin a very fortunate man,
who, by his industry, economy, perseverance and sleepless energy, has
acquired honors, wealth and fame. Sixty years ago, he was a surveyor of
wild lands along and near the Ohio river, naming the smaller streams
that run into that river, ascertaining the latitude and longitude of
particular points, and extending his surveys quite into what is now
the State of Kentucky. George Washington was a surveyor in that region
at the same time. Mr. Gallatin spoke of himself, as a man in rather
limited circumstances, whose annual income amounted to only about five
thousand dollars. When he so informed me, I thought that many a man
in the western States would consider himself well off, provided he
had that sum as his whole estate. As to size, Mr. Gallatin is rather
under the common one, extremely well formed in person, and has in his
head a piercing, hazle coloured eye. His memory is remarkably good,
and he is almost infinitely better qualified to be the Secretary
of the Treasury, than the man *******. His old clerks all retain
a warm friendship for him, and so do their families. Mrs. Gallatin
is remembered by them, and all her old neighbors in Washington,
with heartfelt gratitude, on account of her numerous unostentatious
hospitalities and charitable acts. The comparison which all in this
city, who lived here in Gallatin’s time and still reside here, are
compelled to make, is quite mortifying to their feelings. While the
mass of the people of Washington city have become better, some of
the higher officers of the government have become worse--much worse.
Esconsed, malignant, haughty, distant, reserved, lazy, inattentive
to the duties of their offices, one of them, scarcely ever reaches
his office until noon, carrying his gold headed cane, horizontally
suspended in his hand, he signs his name to a few papers, which Mr.
***** and his clerks, *** and others had prepared for his signature,
and he departs to his house to write for the newspapers against the
administration, one of which he is. A President who would dare to
brush off a musquito from his hand, that was biting it, would clear out
such a fellow forthwith.[A] It is an old maxim with me, “to mark the
man, whom God has marked.” When I see a deformed mouth and a cocked
eye, I expect to find their owner a man actuated by malice, treachery
and deceit; a cold hearted wretch, whom no one pities and no one loves.
Under some frivolous pretence, such a creature hides himself in his
house as an owl does in his hollow tree in the day time, and prowls,
like the wolf or the owl, during the night. That man’s father says,
that his son is the worst man in the world.

    [A] While this form was passing through the press, the
        President brushed off the musquito from his hand.--Thank you
        Sir.

During the time I was in New York city, the Customhouse officers were
kept very busy. The duties on the imported goods were of great amount,
and the officers were employed all day long in the open air, from
sun-rise till dark, when the thermometer was many degrees below zero.
General Waller was thus employed, weighing iron from Sweden and Russia,
all day long.

Goods by wholesale are sold much cheaper in New York than I had
supposed, and I had no correct idea of the vast amount of its commerce,
until I had been in the city two weeks. Considerable as the amount of
duties on goods received in this city, is, yet the goods not paying
any duty, such as cotton, Orleans sugar, and domestic manufactures, is
still greater. The amount too, of flour, wheat, corn, pork, beef, lard,
&c., brought here, is much more than I had supposed it to be. When we
have a despotism in this country, all these goods will pay a duty to
the government. It might amount to twenty millions of dollars annually,
and would then be a very low duty on domestic products. We say this for
the lovers of low wages and free trade.

As this nation increases in numbers--as the western States fill up with
people--as the amount of agricultural and manufactured goods increases,
and as the foreign goods, consumed in this great and growing nation,
increase, the city of New York will increase its numbers of people, its
commerce, wealth and power. Her ships and commerce will float on every
sea and every ocean, until she will rival London herself in trade,
wealth and power. The position of New York, so near the main ocean, on
an island, laved too by the North river and the Sound, affords every
facility which she needs or could desire, for extending her commerce
not only to foreign countries, but into the interior of this vast
country. She will only need a rail-road to the Pacific, and a dense
population, settled along its whole route, to enliven and animate the
scenery along its way. In that event, steam vessels, running from
Astoria to China and Japan and all the islands of the northern Pacific,
would soon be seen on the Upper Pacific, conveying the productions of
the whole world to a market. Such a rail-road might be made by the
nation, from the land sales in the new regions to be settled by our
people. What a sublime, moral, political and commercial prospect is
held out to our enraptured eyes! Christians, statesmen, Americans and
scholars, look on this picture!

From surveys actually made by Lieut. Freemont, it is certain, that a
rail-road from Cumberland, in Maryland, to the Pacific, is entirely
within our means as a nation, at an expense of only about fifty
millions of dollars or less; and it is equally certain that the new
lands to be brought into market by making the road, would defray
every dollar of the expense of making it. We live in the infancy of
the greatest nation that now exists, ever did, or ever will exist, on
the face of the globe. Looking through the vista of futurity, we can
now behold a nation consisting of five hundred millions of people,
all speaking our language, and governing the world in peace without
a rival in commerce, arts or arms. Should the British lion growl at
us, the Gallic cock would flap his wings and crow at our success,
and the Russian bear smile upon us. The American eagle will yet soar
above both, into his own pure air, where he can revel in the brilliant
beams of his own flaming sun. The trade between the East Indies and
Europe will eventually pass across our territory, east and west, and
the time of passing from London to Canton might not occupy more than
two months. Such a state of things would add to the wealth, numbers,
commerce, agriculture and manufactures of this whole nation. Such a
nation, whose territory extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from
the Icy sea in the north to the Isthmus of Darien in the south, would
present a sublime spectacle. What a vast field in which free government
might exercise its energies! The human imagination is lost in its
contemplation of such a prospect, for the future generations of our
posterity.

Yet, certainly, such is the prospect ahead, unless it be our own fault.
The most difficult portion of the road to be made between the Atlantic
and Pacific oceans, is between Cumberland and Wheeling; and yet that
portion of it could be made in five years after it was fairly began to
be made by the nation. The little questions of policy and of party, now
agitating so many little minds, will be lost in oblivion, and higher,
nobler, better and more extended objects and aims, will occupy higher,
nobler and better minds than are now employed on political affairs. The
little ants and their mole hills, will give place to mammoths and to
Alps, in the intellectual, political and moral world. Our destiny is
in our own hands, and unless we abuse all the gifts of God to us, we
shall be the most powerful nation on earth. Let us hope that our people
will move forward in their career to its ultimate grand end, unimpeded
by factions at home, or by force from abroad. The more States we have
in our confederacy, the stronger we shall be as a nation. As a great
whole, the human mind has always moved forward, and we see no reason
why the American mind should stand still, or stop short of its grand,
final destiny, at the very head of nations--of all nations on earth.
Nature’s God never intended that the people of this great continent,
should be subservient to the people of Europe, more than he did that
the sun in yonder firmament should descend from his orbit to revolve
around a pebble on our sea shore, as his centre of gravity. No. We
inhabit a great and mighty continent, blest with every soil, climate,
plant and animal which the earth contains. Our people, too, derive
their origin from every other people almost who live on this globe. Let
us throw aside as useless, and worse than useless, all low aims, and
soar like our own eagle into purer air.



CHAPTER III.

  Return to Washington.--The different degrees of temperature in the
    atmosphere at different places seen in the thickness of the ice in
    the rivers from New York to Washington inclusive.--Long interview
    with the President. His misfortunes rather than his faults.--
    His cheerfulness, and his views as to Liberia.--Supernumeraries
    ought to be set to work and sent off.--Beautiful situation of
    Washington.--The Congress library, its officers and the agreeable
    company usually in the library room.--Army of little officers
    in and about the capitol.--Judge Upshur, personal acquaintance
    with him, his character and death.--The tragedy on board the
    Princeton.--Great funeral and a whole city in tears for the loss
    of so many distinguished citizens.


Having determined to return to Washington city, I wrote to the
innkeeper of the Mansion house hotel at Philadelphia, to have my room
warm for me at 11 o’clock, P. M. and entering the evening cars at
Jersey city in the evening, we were carried across the State of New
Jersey, and crossing the Delaware with some difficulty, on account of
the ice in the river, I arrived at Philadelphia, and was in a good
warm bed, in a warm room, before eleven o’clock at night, at Horter’s
Mansion house, corner of 11th and Market streets, Philadelphia.--The
ride across the State of New Jersey, in a bright moonlight night,
was as agreeable as it could be, we being able to see each town as
we passed through it. The cars were well warmed by stoves; we were
not too much crowded to be comfortable, and we had agreeable company
enough to render our journey pleasant. Lodging at Philadelphia, next
morning after breakfast I entered the cars for Baltimore, and arrived
at Washington city exactly twenty-five hours after I had left New York.
This last day’s ride was perhaps on the second day of February. The
different degrees of temperature in the atmosphere during the month
of January, was seen in the thickness of the ice in the North, the
Delaware, in the Susquehanna and the Potomac rivers. In the North river
the ice was fourteen inches in thickness, in the Delaware ten inches,
and eight inches in the Susquehanna, but not more than six inches in
the Potomac. The city of New York, located on an island that lies
high, and is exposed to every breath of air that moves in any direction
over the land or the water, is colder than its latitude would seem to
indicate. The current in the river and in the Sound, owing to a tide
of from seven to eleven feet in height, rising and falling every few
hours, prevents any very great inconvenience to ships, either entering
into or leaving the harbor in the coldest winter weather.

I was no more fatigued by my journey, than if I had been sitting in my
room at the Broadstreet hotel. The passage money between Washington
city and New York, is only ten dollars and fifty cents, yet, for
handling trunks, for refreshments on the way, and tavern bills, added
to car fare, we may safely say that it costs the passenger fifteen
dollars between Washington city and New York.

Soon after my return to Washington, I spent an entire evening with the
President, from early candle lighting until after nine o’clock. He had
invited the Rev. Mr. Gurley, and a gentleman from Memphis, Tennessee,
to visit him that evening. These gentlemen tarried an hour or so, when
I was left alone with the President. He conversed very freely on the
colony of Liberia, and expressed a wish to see it become a nation,
independent, but under the protection of the United States and of
England. He dwelt on that subject during an hour. He was quite eloquent
on the prospect when Virginia would send off her slaves to Liberia, and
become a great manufacturing State, and in that way at length assume
her old supremacy, standing at the head of the Union in numbers and
wealth. The President said that he owned some thirteen slaves, which
he bought, to prevent their being carried South. He appeared to be
entirely willing to set them free, and let them emigrate to Liberia.
To him they had been valueless, and so would remain a burden on his
hands. He seemed to think that this Union would last forever, or if it
should be divided, the Alleghenies would be the line of separation. In
this opinion I heartily coincided with him. He was quite cheerful, and
very agreeable in conversation. He appeared to know his position--who
his friends were around him, and who were not his friends. At that
time I thought he had more friends among his officers than he supposed
he had, but subsequently I ascertained the entire correctness of his
information on that matter. He has doubtless been very unfortunate.
Placed in his high station as unexpectedly to himself as to a whole
nation, his first cabinet was not of his selection, and they deserted
him in a critical moment. He was compelled instantly to form a new
cabinet, which unfortunately for him, Upshur always excepted, began
forthwith to help themselves, and their poor, needy, greedy dependants,
and they have continued to help themselves ever since they have been in
office. Two of these heads of department spent their time in studying
how they might gratify either their cupidity or their malice. The
indignation of all honest men in the nation was roused into activity
against the President, on account of removals from office on several
occasions, because they argued that the Chief Magistrate, unless he
approved of such flagrant acts of oppression, in removing from office
such men as Gen. Van Rensellaer, Governor Lincoln, and a long list
of good men, he would at once remove those heads of department who
had been guilty of such high-handed injustice. Thus, the whole blame
fell on the President, instead of falling on the real authors of such
wickedness. The President has been, and is still blamed, for many
appointments of very incompetent men, which I understood him to say, he
never had interfered with at all. So of the accounting officers, who
had in many cases, it is said, done great injustice to individuals, and
then had charged all their enormities on the President. The people in
every part of the Union had become exasperated at these flagrant acts
of oppression and injustice. Claimants, where the case was as clear
as the noon-day, were postponed from day to day, for weeks and months;
their claims were to be acted on, none could say when. It is a fashion
they have here, of putting off the settlement of claims until the
applicant has spent here about all that he gets from the government.
The supernumerary officers, block up every avenue to the treasury.
Congress should either dismiss them altogether, or send them off to
clear out our western rivers, or employ them as far off as possible
from the seat of the national government. Why they are here at all is
a mystery to me, and why Congress permits them to throng their lobbies
and the rotundo, is equally surprising to me. West Point academy was
once useful, but if the cadets are to accumulate as rapidly as they
have of late years, it may lead in the end to an aristocracy in this
country. Whether this institution, on the whole, is an useful one, is
at best quite doubtful in my mind.

Taking a recess, as a legislator would call it, I here say that
Washington city and its surrounding country is delightfully situated
for the seat of the national government.--The ground rising gradually
from the water and extending back in places a mile or more, with the
space occupied by water, between, the ground around it on all sides of
it, presents every variety of aspect, almost, calculated to render it
pleasant as a residence. It has none of the bustle of commerce, none of
its noise or crowd. During a session of Congress, persons of both sexes
are in the city from all parts of the Union, with whom the stranger
can associate, and obtain a great deal of information, topographical,
literary, scientific, general or particular. Every person in the
whole Union being here represented, one can gain correct information
concerning any man of any note in the nation. By going to the library
room of Congress, he can there find and read almost any books which
he desires to consult. He can there see daily, persons of the most
refined taste, polite manners and agreeable conversation. None but
such persons are rarely seen in that room. I have always found reading
people more placid and more agreeable in their manners than others, and
were any whole nation wholly composed of such materials, it would be
the happiest and the best nation in the world. Mr. John S. Meehan the
librarian and Edward B. Stelle, C. H. W. Meehan and Robert Kearon, his
assistants, are among the most polite and agreeable gentlemen in this
city. They are always ready to attend to the wishes of all who call on
them. Personally acquainted with nearly all who call at their room,
they are always ready to introduce a stranger to any gentleman who is
in the room. Fatigued as they sometimes are with the constant labor
of a long day, yet they never complain of their toil, but cheerfully
attend to all the wants of the visiters.--This room is opened very early
in the morning, and not closed until a late hour. If any officers of
the government deserve all their salaries, and more too, they are the
Meehans, father and son, Stelle and Kearon. Their salaries are small
ones, and their labors are great and fatiguing all day long, during the
whole session of Congress. During the intervals between the sessions,
their labors are not so fatiguing, but they are even then constant,
unremitting and useful to the visiters, who are always all day long in
this library. Having known these gentlemen fourteen years and upwards
in their present stations, I take a real pleasure in bearing this
testimony in their favor.

How many messengers, assistant messengers, doorkeepers and assistant
doorkeepers, clerks and assistant clerks, postmasters and assistant
postmasters, paperfolders, pages, &c. &c. there are here, I cannot
tell, because I do not know, but their numbers must be very large,
and they cost the nation a great deal. All the officers of government
in the city must amount to one thousand at least, and their salaries
would support probably all the State governments in the Mississippi
Valley. I make no complaint of this vast expense, but we must not find
fault with the expenses of monarchical government in many of the minor
governments in the old world. Take from those governments, in the north
of Europe, their standing armies, rendered necessary, perhaps, by their
peculiar position, and it is possible that their governments might be
cheaper than ours. That we have many useless officers, many members of
Congress seem to think, but whether they can be cast off, because they
are useless, is doubtful. This army of smaller officers are always on
the alert, when retrenchment and reform are talked of by members--these
creatures crying out: “penny wise and pound foolish.” They have some
influence on Congress, and would be glad to have more. So far as the
House of Representatives are concerned, there is a strong disposition
to reduce the expenses of the government, but the Senate has not yet
acted finally on that subject.

Very soon after my return to Washington, I became personally acquainted
with Judge Upshur, Secretary of State. From the first day I saw and
conversed with him in his office, until the day of his death, I saw
him at least once, often twice a day, and wrote down at night what had
been the subjects of our conversation in our interview. I did this
at his suggestion, so that he could duly consider the subject matter
of our discourse in the day time. He was one of the most agreeable,
sensible and truly good men, whom I ever became personally acquainted
with. Sometimes he has been called a nullifier, perhaps, but no man in
the nation was ever more attached to the Union than he was. We thought
precisely alike on that subject--that it is the highest duty of all our
citizens to use all the means in our power to promote the interests of
all sections of the Union, and of all classes of its people.

The natural cements of our confederacy, consisting of mutual interests
promoted by mutual acts of kindness and affection for each other, Judge
Upshur preferred, as he often told me, to all or even any resorts
to the violent restraints of physical force, such as the despot and
the tyrant employ. He dwelt with rapture on the future prospects of
this nation, when its citizens and its institutions, would cover the
whole of North America, like a mantle, and when our ships would float
on every sea and visit every island and country in the world. When
our steamers would ascend and descend every river of any size that
irrigates the countries of both continents. By such means, he thought,
christianity would be spread from pole to pole, and all the world
become united in the bonds of peace, harmony and brotherly affection.
In this way, wars would cease and the despot and the warrior be laid
aside as useless. “The nodding plume, he said, dyed in blood, would
no more be seen.” Knowing as I did, all his views and all his plans,
and the means which he would have used to carry them into execution, I
felt the overwhelming calamity of his death the more on these accounts.
His plans were all formed, and they were just about to be carried into
effect, otherwise he would have instantly gone into private life.
Laying my own feelings, as to myself, out of the question, and looking
only to the public interest, I felt myself and the country overwhelmed
by an awful calamity. Any successor of Judge Upshur would not have
the time, such as he had devoted to that object, to form and mature
plans of operation. And if he had such plans laid as Upshur had, his
successor might not have the necessary means of effecting his object.
As a nation, we deserved to suffer, but still we may mourn for our
dreadful loss, sustained by his untimely death.

Judge Upshur was a man of good principles and pure morals. He was all
in reality and truth, that any old Virginia gentleman was in the days
of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, an ornament to human
nature itself and of the “Ancient Dominion.” He recalled to my mind
the old patriots of Virginia, for whom from my earliest years I had
entertained a strong and abiding sense of their worth, their intrinsic
value, as men and as citizens of this republic. From three of their
Presidents I had received numerous marks of their confidence in me
and my relatives. This may be one reason almost without my knowing it
why I have always taken such pleasure in doing justice to Virginia’s
favorite sons. I shall always take a melancholy pleasure in remembering
Judge Upshur, and in associating him in my mind with my old friend
Chief Justice Marshall. From the latter gentleman I received a great
deal of aid in the way of information, while I was in Washington, many
years since, when I was preparing for the press my History of Ohio. An
old Virginia gentleman, as he exists in my recollections of Jefferson,
Marshall, Monroe and Upshur--the Randolphs, the Masons, the Lees, the
Pendletons--and what I hear of Archer, Rives and others is as perfect as
human nature can be.

Here I present a very condensed account of the awful calamity on board
the Princeton on the 28th day of February, 1844.--The first announcement
of the event is derived from the Intelligencer of the 29th of February,
and the account of the funeral obsequies is extracted from the Globe of
the 4th of March.

In the whole course of our lives it has never fallen to our lot to
announce to our readers a more shocking calamity--shocking in all its
circumstances and concomitants--than that which occurred on board the
United States ship Princeton, yesterday afternoon, whilst under way, in
the river Potomac, fourteen or fifteen miles below the city. Yesterday
was a day appointed by the courtesy and hospitality of Captain
Stockton, Commander of the Princeton, for receiving as visiters to his
fine ship (lying off Alexandria) a great number of guests, with their
families, liberally and numerously invited to spend the day on board.
The day was most favorable, and the company was large and brilliant,
of both sexes; not less probably in number than four hundred, among
whom were the President of the United States, the Heads of the several
Departments, and their families. At a proper hour, after the arrival
of the expected guests, the vessel got under way and proceeded down
the river, to some distance below Fort Washington. During the passage
down, one of the large guns on board (carrying a ball of 225 pounds)
was fired more than once, exhibiting the great power and capacity of
that formidable weapon of war. The ladies had partaken of a sumptuous
repast; the gentlemen had succeeded them at the table, and some of them
had left it; the vessel was on her return up the river, opposite to the
fort, where Captain Stockton consented to fire another shot from the
same gun, around and near which, to observe its effects, many persons
had gathered, though by no means so many as on similar discharges in
the morning, the ladies who then thronged the deck being on this fatal
occasion almost all between decks, and out of reach of harm.

The gun was fired. The explosion was followed, before the smoke cleared
away so as to observe its effect, by shrieks of wo which announced a
dire calamity. The gun had burst, at a point three or four feet from
the breech, and scattered death and desolation around. Mr. UPSHUR,
Secretary of State, Mr. GILMER, so recently placed at the head of the
Navy, Commodore KENNON, one of its gallant officers, VIRGIL MAXCY,
lately returned from a diplomatic residence at the Hague, Mr. GARDNER,
of New York, (formerly a member of the Senate of that State,) were
among the slain. Besides these, seventeen seamen were wounded, several
of them badly and probably mortally. Among those stunned by the
concussion, we learn not all seriously injured, were Capt. Stockton
himself; Col. Benton, of the Senate; Lieut. Hunt, of the Princeton;
W. D. Robinson, of Georgetown.--Other persons also were perhaps more or
less injured, of whom in the horror and confusion of the moment, no
certain account could be obtained. The above are believed to comprise
the whole of the persons known to the public who were killed or
dangerously or seriously hurt.

The scene upon the deck may more easily be imagined than described. Nor
can the imagination picture to itself the half of its horrors. Wives,
widowed in an instant by the murderous blast! Daughters smitten with
the heart-rending sight of their father’s lifeless corpse! The wailings
of agonized females! The piteous grief of the unhurt but heart-stricken
spectators! The wounded seamen borne down below! The silent tears and
quivering lips of their brave and honest comrades, who tried in vain to
subdue or to conceal their feelings! What _words_ can adequately depict
a scene like this?

On Saturday the last rites were paid to the distinguished men who laid
down their lives on the deck of the Princeton. The funeral procession
presented the most sad, solemn, affecting scene ever witnessed in this
city of the Union. The President’s House was again--as on the demise
of General Harrison--made the receptacle of death. Instead of one,
five bodies were now laid out in the lately illuminated east room
of that fair mansion, which before the melancholy fate which there
awaited General Harrison in the first month of the first year of his
presidential term, had never known a pall within its precincts. The
first month of the last year of the same term found it again turned
almost into a charnel house. Like “_the Capets monument_,” it became
“_a palace of dim night_,” and gathered within its gloom the blackened
and bloody remains of a most frightful tragedy--the bodies of five
intimate friends of the President, two of them his cabinet associates,
all hurried out of existence while he sat unconsciously, with only a
plank between them, enjoying a song. What a thin partition in this life
separates its scenes of greatest enjoyment and bitterest grief!!

Religious rites were performed over the dead by the Rev. Mr. Hawley
and Mr. Butler, of the Episcopal Church, and Mr. Laurie, of the
Presbyterian Church, before leaving the President’s House. The
bodies were then hearsed, and the procession led off by the military
companies, which filled the avenue in front of the President’s house.
The military array, composed of horse, infantry, and artillery, made
a very imposing appearance; and the train of carriages which followed
extended along the avenue more than a mile. A vast multitude, on foot
and on horseback, from the neighboring cities and adjoining country,
filled the spaces not occupied by the procession. The whole distance
between the President’s and the Capitol square, as far as the vision
could reach through the darkness of the day and the dust, seemed to be
a living current, in slow movement to the wailing and mournful music
of the band, which, with the sound of distant cannon and solemn-pealing
bells, alone broke the silence. The immense crowd was perfectly mute in
its march. The dread quiet that reigned over all; the almost twilight
darkness that dimmed the whole day; the deep mists that shadowed the
surrounding hills and horizon from sight; the cloud of dust that
covered the long and gloomy procession; the sweeping trains of crape
that blackened the closed windows and doors of the dwellings on the
way,--gave, altogether, the most saddened and impressive aspect of wo
ever worn by this city. It was rendered the more deeply affecting by
the contrast of but a few days before, when the warmth of a vernal sun
had shone out, giving light and gayety to our streets, opening the
buds upon the trees and bringing out the tender green upon the grounds
whereon the snow had so recently lain.

The mournful ceremonials had just been concluded, when the city was
alarmed with the apprehension of another fatal accident to the Chief
Magistrate himself. As he returned in his carriage of state from the
place of interment, (the Congress burying ground, about three miles
from the President’s House,) his horses took fright, and ran with
fury along the great thoroughfare, filled with people and carriages.
There was no arresting their wild career; the reins were broken in
the attempt to restrain them, and all that could be done was to give
room to their headlong flight. As they approached the turn in the end
of the avenue, obstructed by the President’s square, they got scared
at something on one side of the street, and shied off in their course
to the curb-stone on the other side, which gave the advantage to an
intrepid colored man on the side walk to seize them by the short reins
and stop them. A little beyond, in the direction they were going, lay
masses of the large stone rejected from the new treasury building, near
the precipitous bank to the south of the President’s wall. Had not the
career of the horses been arrested at the moment that it was, the next
would have wrecked the carriage on these rocks, or precipitated it over
the bank. The President was happy to escape from his state equipage,
over which all guidance and control was lost, and find himself afoot,
by the side of his humble deliverer.



CHAPTER IV.

  Mr. Dana’s speech against the military Academy.--Objections--
    it is an aristocratic institution.--1st in its selection of
    candidates--2nd in its monopoly of military commissions.--Its
    expenses are enormous and wholly disproportioned to any advantages
    to be derived from it.--Its positive evils, as it operates on the
    officers and on the private soldiers.--Mr. Dana might have added,
    that if this republic is in danger from any quarter, its danger
    lies in this institution.


Immediately after the funeral obsequies, Congress took up, on the 6th
of March, the bill making appropriations for the Military Academy at
West Point. Mr. HALE of New Hampshire, one of the best debaters in the
House, moved to strike out the appropriation from the bill. On this
occasion, Mr. Dana of New York delivered a powerful speech in favor of
the motion. The intrinsic value of this speech entitles it to a place
in our book, so that its home truths may be duly considered by all who
read books or public documents. The institution itself should be given
away to the regents of the University of New York, or to some literary
institution, and no longer be connected with the general government.
But we proceed to lay before the reader extracts from this elegant
speech.

Mr. Dana said: My first objection to the academy is, that it is _an
aristocratic institution_. It is aristocratic in its _nature and
character_. It gives to a few individuals privileges which it denies to
the many. Out of a population of eighteen or twenty millions, about one
hundred individuals are annually selected as the exclusive recipients
of the national bounty, and are paid and educated at the public
expense, without making the least return for the benefits they receive.
All other persons who draw pay or salaries from the government, perform
services of some kind--often perhaps very inadequate but the cadets
do nothing for the public; make no return whatever. Their pay and
education are mere gratuities. Is it just, or right, or republican,
thus to pamper a few at the expense of the community?

The institution is aristocratic in the manner of _selecting the
cadets_. They are nominated and virtually appointed by members of
Congress. The privilege of appointing a cadet has become an appendage
of a seat in this House. A member is thus enabled, at the public
expense, to provide for a relative, dependant, or favorite, by
quartering him for life upon the treasury. He thus enjoys a patronage
almost equal to his pay. Why should he have this extra privilege?
Are not members sufficiently compensated for their services? If
not, increase their pay; but do not suffer them to quarter their
dependants upon the public. Such a privilege will be abused; it cannot
exist without abuse. It is not only unjust to the community, but it
is injurious to this House. Congress is called upon to legislate
continually in relation to the academy; and will not such a patronage
tend unconsciously to bias the judgment of members, however pure their
intentions? It is not in the nature of man to be entirely impartial
and indifferent when his own interests are involved. But even if he
succeeds in divesting himself of every improper influence, and acts
with the strictest justice and propriety, his country’s good his
only object, he will be likely to gain little credit by it; he will
still be suspected. Men incapable of acting with the like nobleness
themselves will be slow to believe it of others. I do not doubt that
every member will act on this subject from the purest motives; but if
we would stand well with the country--if we would have full credit for
disinterestedness with the people, we ought to divest ourselves of this
patronage.

Again, sir, if this power be confined without check or control to
members of Congress, will there not be danger of the institution being
aristocratic in the _persons_ selected as cadets? Whom will a member
be most likely to nominate? Will it not be a son or relative, or some
one dependent for support upon the member?--or, if there happens to be
none such, the son or friend of some wealthy or influential constituent
whose influence the member desires to secure? I would rejoice to find
it otherwise. But when we examine the roll of cadets, and compare it
with the lists of members of Congress, we find such a coincidence
of names as I cannot attribute wholly to accident; there must have
been some relationship between them to produce such a striking family
likeness.

[Mr. Giddings. I wish to state a fact for the information of the
gentleman. Some years ago, being applied to to nominate a cadet for my
district, and having at that time a son of the proper age to enter the
academy, I wrote to many of the prominent men of my district to send me
the name of a candidate, and could not procure one.]

Mr. DANA. The district of the gentleman from Ohio appears to a be
very peculiar one in many respects. Unless I am greatly mistaken,
relatives and connexions of many men of wealth and high stations have
been educated at the public expense at West Point, and the privilege
has been highly coveted and eagerly sought by them generally, the
single instance of the constituents of the gentleman from Ohio to the
contrary notwithstanding. I am entirely opposed to the whole system of
educating any person, or class of persons, at the public expense; but
if some must be so educated, let them be selected for their merits--for
their talents and virtues; give the preference to the poor and to the
orphan--they are the most needy and deserving--instead of bestowing the
national bounty on the rich and influential, who have other means of
education. I admit there have been many instances in which members,
waiving all selfish considerations, (and I honor them for it,) have
selected the most meritorious candidate; but as a general rule, in this
contest for patronage between wealth and power on the one side, and
poverty on the other, it needs not the gift of prophesy to determine
which will triumph. If this Academy shall be continued, I hope that, at
least, its organization will be so changed as to secure to the poor a
fair participation in its benefits.

The institution is aristocratic in the _monopoly of military
commissions_ which it secures to the cadets after they have received
their education. It is not sufficient to educate them at the public
expense, but they must also be provided for in the same way ever
after, and that too in the most objectionable form of a monopoly. No
man, whatever may be his talents or qualifications, or his thirst for
military fame, can get into the army unless he enter through the gate
of the West Point Academy, the only portal open to ambition. Thus every
person who has passed the age of 21, without obtaining an appointment
in the academy, and every person under 21 who does not graduate there,
is disfranchised, and rendered incapable of holding a commission. He
may have spent his days in toil, and his nights in study, to qualify
himself for his country’s service; he may have mastered all military
science; the fire of genius may burn bright in his soul; he may be
impelled by the purest patriotism, and be the “bravest of the brave;”
but he comes not through the door of privilege--he has never graduated
at West Point--he is rejected! Is this the equality of your boasted
institutions? If “all men are created equal,” that equality is soon
lost by congressional legislation. It is said that military science
is necessary in the army, and that there is no institution except at
West Point where it is taught. How can it be taught elsewhere? The
science acquired any where but at West Point is of no value to the
possessor. Abolish the monopoly of military commissions, throw them
open for competition to merit and science, wherever acquired, and there
will be places enough for instruction in the art, without burdening
the treasury, and a much wider range for the selection of officers
will be afforded to you. West Point is a beautiful and healthy place,
and a strong military position; but there is nothing in its air or
climate, however salubrious, that in itself creates a soldier. It has
the monopoly of commissions--not of qualifications--the same instruction
at another location would have equal effect in qualifying an officer
to command. I object to the institution, because it is aristocratic,
also, in the _habits and feelings_ which it inculcates. Petted as the
cadets are, it would be surprising if they did not become proud and
vain. It is not their fault--your laws make them so. They are placed
in such a position as to render the adoption of such feelings almost
inevitable. They alone have a public education at the expense of the
nation. They are instructed in things which no other individuals have
any motives for learning--they only are deemed legally competent for
officers of the army; and they naturally reason: “If our services were
not indispensable, we should not be educated at the public expense.
If persons not educated at West Point were capable of performing the
duties of military commanders, we would not be allowed to monopolize
military commissions. If the knowledge we have obtained could be had
elsewhere, the United States would not, at great expense, erect and
maintain the military academy. If our country could dispense with
us, we should not be commissioned and retained for years under pay
without employment. We alone have been educated for officers. All the
military science of the nation centres in us; no others are qualified
to command. We are a caste by ourselves--a military nobility, on whom
the fortunes of the country depend.” Censure not these young men for
their opinions. They are the legitimate fruits of your legislation--fair
and just inferences from your enactments. But they are not, therefore,
the less to be regretted. Such enactments are calculated to draw a wide
line of separation between the cadets and their fellow citizens; to
foster a spirit of pride and arrogance, and self-sufficiency, on the
part of the former, mixed with scorn and contempt of the multitude, to
be returned by the latter with feelings of envy and detestation. Have
not these consequences resulted? Does not, even now, an ill feeling
exist between West Point and the country?

My next objection to the academy is, that the expenses are exorbitant,
and greatly disproportioned to the benefits.

A report made by the Secretary of War at the present session of
Congress, states the expenditures to have been upwards of four million
of dollars. Over seven hundred thousand dollars of that sum is the cost
of the grounds, buildings and fixtures, in the nature of capital, which
cannot be considered as entirely wasted, though they are of little
value in any other respect than as connected with this institution.
The residue amounting to 3,291,500 dollars, is stated as the current
expenses of the institution--the cost of educating the cadets. This
would amount to an annual expenditure of about 130,000 dollars. The
number of cadets who have graduated, including those who are expected
to graduate on the 30th of June next, amounts only to 1,231; each
graduate, therefore, has occasioned an expense to the nation of three
thousand two hundred and fifty dollars; or, if we take only the
current expenses, deducting what may be considered as an investment
of capital, the cost of each amounts to 2,673 dollars. But the amount
thus reported by the Secretary of War, I understand, includes only
the direct and immediate expenditures for the institution, and omits
many expenses which the academy has indirectly occasioned. A friend
who has carefully investigated the matter, and whose general accuracy
I cannot doubt, makes the cost of each cadet who graduates this year
amount to five thousand dollars. All of the expenditures direct and
indirect, by reason of the military academy, I have no doubt, exceed
five millions of dollars, which is the cost of educating 1,231 persons
in military science sufficiently to qualify them for subaltern officers
in the army. A part of them have taken their commissions, and are
employed in the public service. Some have declined to accept, others
have resigned soon after their acceptance, while many have received
commissions, and been placed on the roll of supernumeraries--officers
without men to command, or military duties to perform. Those who have
graduated are by no means all who have entered the academy. Since
1815 the whole number of students has been 2,942. Deducting the 1,231
who have graduated, and are expected to graduate at the close of the
present year, and there will remain 1,711 who have not graduated. Less
than 200 remain at the academy, and between 1,500 and 1,600 must have
left it without completing their education, or rendering any equivalent
to the nation for the expense incurred for them. Perhaps, however,
it is not a subject of regret that so many of the cadets have left
the institution, or been dismissed from it without completing their
education, and claiming their privilege of military commissions, as
many more yet remain than we have the means of employing. The number of
cadets at the academy usually amounts to about 250--the number annually
admitted to about 100, of whom about 40 graduate. The army absorbs 22,
and the remaining 18 are supernumeraries, holding brevet commissions,
without active duties. It is rather a subject of congratulation,
therefore, than of regret, that 60 out of a hundred of the students do
not so persevere unto the end as to entitle themselves to commissions,
and become quartered for life upon the treasury; but it is not on this
account less objectionable in principle thus to educate them at the
public expense, without an equivalent, in service or otherwise. A law
providing, in terms, that 100 students should be admitted annually into
the academy, and educated at the public expense--that 40 of them should
be retained as officers of the army, and the remainder be discharged
from all claims for the instruction they receive, and the expense they
occasion, would be denounced as unjust and unconstitutional; but a law
effecting indirectly precisely the same objects, receives not only
the sanction, but the eulogies of the most strict constructionists.
What cannot constitutionally be done directly, may be accomplished
indirectly, without trenching upon the constitution. Be it so. I shall
not raise a constitutional question here. My observation has taught me
that the constitution is formed of materials very like India-rubber. It
will stretch on the one side so as to admit anything a man desires to
introduce, and close so tight on the other as to shut out everything he
wishes to exclude.

But to return to the question. I hold it to be a less evil to give
the supernumerary cadets a gratuitous education, if the nation can
be thereafter discharged from their support, than to retain them as
officers of the army, when their services are not wanted. Already
the supernumeraries, at the lowest estimate, amount to seventy, whose
support and pay cost the nation nearly 70,000 dollars a year; and the
number will be largely increased at the next examination, which occurs
in June. Prior to the Florida war, the number of unemployed officers
was much greater; but, at its commencement, resignations were “plenty
as blackberries.” It is but justice, however, to those who retained
their commissions, to say, that they fought gallantly and well in the
most unpromising and disagreeable contest.

Not only is the military academy an aristocratic and expensive
institution, but it is also the parent of some _positive evils_. The
first that I shall notice is the jealousies and controversies which it
occasions between the officers of the army. Some of the officers have
been educated at West Point, others have not. Most of the superior
officers have not enjoyed the advantages of that institution: nearly
all of the inferior officers have. Thus they are divided into two
classes--the regular and the irregular. The cadets, having enjoyed
greater advantages than their superiors--served a regular apprenticeship
to their business, and entered the service by the only door the law now
recognises--can hardly fail to look upon their superiors as unlearned,
as mere intruders, the creatures of accident, as usurper of stations
of right belonging to themselves. Is it possible for such feelings
to remain smothered for years in the bosom, like the hidden fire of
a volcano, without occasional eruptions? Will not such sentiments be
very apt to break out in overt acts of disrespect and contempt? And
will not the older officers, annoyed and disgusted by what they deem
the vanity and presumption of the juniors, be likely to meet this
spirit by a haughty and imperious bearing, calculated and intended to
mortify their pride, and check their assumptions? Have not the many
quarrels and controversies, often ending in courts of inquiry and
courts-martial, which have been so frequent in, and so disgraceful
to the army, originated principally in these conflicting sentiments?
Sir, I apprehend the difficulties have been so produced, and under the
same circumstances they will continue to occur, while human nature
remains unchanged. Harmony can no more be expected to exist between
two distinct classes of officers, so differently taught and appointed,
than between different sets of children in the same family, whom all
experience has shown to be irreconcilable.

The second positive evil I shall notice, is the effect produced upon
the soldiery. By means of the Military Academy, the door to promotion
is effectually closed against the men; the cadets having the exclusive
right to preferment, and there being already seventy supernumerary
officers and the number annually increasing. The soldier, thus excluded
from promotion, has no incentive to bravery or good conduct; all he
has to desire is to shirk danger and hardship as much as he can,
without incurring the risk of punishment. Does not this state of things
necessarily degrade and demoralize the army? Who would enlist into such
a service? None but the desperate and the vicious. Having no hopes,
they can be influenced only by their fears--the ties which should unite
them to their leaders are all broken, and their obedience, instead of
the submission of respect or affection, becomes the base servility of
apprehension, and a desire to escape bodily suffering. The officers
can regard such men as little better than brutes, to be controlled by
fear and force, while the men look upon their officers as tyrants, to
whom they are compelled to yield an unwilling obedience. What motive or
feeling in the soldier can be appealed to as incentive to good conduct?
Ambition, hope, pride? All are crushed and blighted. Conscience? Its
voice is powerless with such men. Fear alone remains--the fear of
personal suffering; and to this the officers appeal. Hence, despite
your laws, corporal punishment has been, and continues to be, and, I
fear, will continue to be, inflicted. True, it is prohibited; but has
the prohibition banished it from the army? No; nor can it, until you
so change the organization that the soldier will have other motives
of action besides a fear of punishment. A late court-martial has
exemplified the operation of these feelings in the army. A soldier
who had been committed to the guard-house for some misconduct, was
brought out by an officer and severely beaten with a sword. The
officer was arraigned before a court-martial for unofficer-like
conduct in thus beating the soldier in violation of law and of the
rules and articles of war; and the court-martial, although they found
that the act was committed as charged, decided that no criminality
was attached thereto, and honorably acquitted the accused. When the
proceedings were reported to the commanding general, he disapproved of
the decision, and ordered the court-martial to reassemble to consider
the case, and demanded of the court by what law or order a soldier
could be taken from the guard-house and beaten with a sword; and if
there was none, that then the accused should be punished according
to law. The court reassembled, and reaffirmed its decision; and, the
proceedings being reported to the War Department, were again sent
back for recommendation and reconsideration, and the decision shown
to be entirely erroneous. But the court-martial refused to change its
decision, and I regret to be obliged to say that the department tamely
submitted. Now, it may be considered as an established principle,
decided by a court-martial and acquiesced in by the government, that an
officer may take an unprotected and imprisoned soldier, beat him with
an implement not more dangerous or cruel than a sword, without being
guilty of “unofficer-like conduct,” although it be in direct violation
of law, and of the rules and articles of war; and if the officer be
arraigned for misconduct, he is entitled to an “honorable acquittal.”
Perhaps it is necessary, as an act of justice to other officers, to add
that the accused, and most of the members of the court were graduates
of West Point. Is this the submission to the laws which is there
inculcated?--the respect for the rights of inferiors taught at that
“_democratic institution_?” After all, sir, the fault is as much in
the system as in the men. By excluding every non-commissioned officer
and private from promotion, you so degrade the army, and destroy its
moral power, that is difficult to govern it without the infliction of
corporal punishment. Abolish the West Point monopoly--open the way to
merit for promotion from the ranks--and a new and far better class of
soldiers will enlist in your service, a new spirit will pervade the
army, obedience will be prompt and willing, emulation and hope will
lead to acts of daring bravery, and you will gain in efficiency far
more than you lose in science.

The last evil I shall notice is the want of confidence, respect and
attachment between the army and the people. The main reliance of
this country for defence is, and ever must be, the militia. Anything,
therefore, which tends to prejudice the militia, or the mass of the
people, against the army, should be cautiously avoided, as it is
essential to have them act in concert and harmony. Whether merited or
unmerited, it cannot be denied that the people, and especially that
portion of them which compose the militia, look upon West Point, and
West Point officers, with great disfavor; they are specially unpopular.
If war should occur, and the army and militia be brought in contact,
the most disastrous consequences might ensue from their dissensions.
It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to induce the militia to
volunteer their services when they would be placed under the command
of the cadets. In the objections I have made, and the views I have
taken of West Point, I believe I have expressed the general sentiment
of the militia of my district, and of the majority of the State I have
the honor in part to represent. Located, as the academy is, in the
State of New York, its character and influences must be as well known
and appreciated there as in any part of the Union; yet it has been
repeatedly denounced by military conventions, composed of the most
distinguished and enlightened men of that State. Believing it to be
an expensive, extravagant, and anti-democratic institution of little
use, the occasion of many controversies between the officers, and of
discontent and degradation to the soldiers, I cannot give my vote for
its continuance.



CHAPTER V.

  This chapter is serious, grave, gay and mysterious.--Good advice
    to Uncle Sam.--A dream which clears up the mystery of beards and
    mustaches, and accounts for some things, but cannot account for
    others, until the author dreams again; perhaps not even then!--
    Inquiries and doubts, not answered or solved in this chapter.


Should that time ever arrive when the members of our state and
national legislatures practise all the vices which the laws they make
are apparently made to punish and prevent--what influence can their
legislative acts exert on the community? Why enact laws to prevent the
commission of acts, which their own examples encourage and aid, and
even induce? If such legislators are often seen at the card table,
in the race field, or at the nightly debauch, will not men in less
honorable stations continue to follow such blighting examples? Unless
men in the highest, civil, military and naval stations, pay due regard
to the decencies of life, to the strict rules of morality, will persons
in private life and in humble stations do better than their superiors
in office? Because the rich man can afford to live in luxury, will
not his example exert a bad influence on the poor, and on those whose
means do not enable them to live a life of extravagance and wasteful
expenditure? What effect then have high salaries on this or any other
community? Let any observing man look over this district, and then
answer my question. We live in an age of innovation--in an age, when
the passions are let loose, and when the pseudo reformers are busily
engaged in their endeavors to uproot all our old, well-established
forms of government, religion, morals and law. Like the largest oak on
the Alleghanies, which has withstood the fury of the elements during
five centuries, we hope our institutions of all sorts may survive the
furious blasts of demagogues in morals, politics and religion. But
if we wish these institutions to last, we must stand by our colors,
hanging out our banner on the outward wall, and manfully defend our
fortress against all the assaults of innovators--of restless, rash
and wicked men. We must stand to our arms, and dare to meet every
emergency, with blow for blow and gun for gun. Under the care of such
guardians, liberty, religion and law have little to fear for the
result. I thank God, that there are a considerable number of such men
in this district, whom I well know and duly appreciate.

These reflections grew out of my associations, sometimes not voluntary,
but from necessity, where I heard, and was compelled to hear, every
institution in the whole country assailed by several noisy, ignorant
and self-conceited men, conversing together so flippantly as to
resemble the chatterings of so many monkeys, and with less good sense
than is possessed by the animals they so much resembled in their
gestures, noise and frivolity.

During a long session of Congress, as the first session of each
Congress is sometimes called, assembled here from all parts of the
Union, may be seen true and faithful representatives of every party,
sect, faction and even fragments of all these parties and factions.
Democrats, whigs, nullifiers, abolitionists, and all other _crats_,
_isms_ and _ists_. They are all busy, all active, sometimes noisy,
boisterous and persevering. Could each one of them be believed, all the
world will soon come over to their several creeds. Poor fellows! we
suspect that the world will still roll on in its own orbit, around the
sun, and the puny, tiny insects that are now buzzing about here, will
all pass off and be gone far away, before dogdays come.

In this Babel, as it is just now, the people of the district refrain
mostly from entering much into the feelings, interests and views of the
visiters from a distance. The letter writers, the speculators, office
seekers, and the office suckers, the courtiers and the courtezans will
leave the city when Congress rises. While Congress sits, all the crowd
will continue to haunt the public places and the public offices. One
would naturally enough conclude, that in a city, no larger than this,
where some three millions of dollars are annually expended by members
of Congress and by visiters, money would be plenty and the citizens
would be all wealthy; but that is not the case. What becomes of such
a vast sum? Shall I answer my own question? I will answer it, and
confess, that I do not know, and cannot even imagine what becomes of
it. It disappears from our sight, and those who have handled the most
money, appear to be in the greatest distress for the means of paying
their just debts! Perhaps there are exceptions to my general rule,
but the exception proves the general rule to be a correct one. House
rent, being very high, is assigned as the cause of much distress to
renters. Some of these houses were built very cheaply, fourteen years
since, by the joint labors of brick makers, brick layers, joiners and
carpenters, who hired their day laborers at the low price of twelve and
a half cents a day, besides board! So the day laborers used to tell
me, at the time they were thus employed. Their assertions, as to their
compensation, might have been untrue, but circumstances satisfied me at
the time, that they told me the truth. Possibly these day laborers did
not work all day.

In some instances it is possible that quite too many persons follow
some particular calling, to allow it to be profitable to any one of
that calling. Is the competition too great? All the nation, I need
not say, cannot live at the seat of the national government. I should
doubt, too, whether all things being duly considered, this is the
best place in which to rear a family of children, or one consisting
mostly of young people. More or less dissipation and vice will always
surround the seat of this government. Move the capitol where we will,
the turkey-buzzards, perhaps the same birds, will follow it, and build
their nests under the eaves of the treasury building. Their bills will
always be thrust their whole lengths into Uncle Sam’s purse and Uncle
Sam’s pocket.


ADDRESS TO UNCLE SAM.

“Unfortunate old uncle! you have a great many lazy, idle, worthless
pets, whom you do wrong, very wrong, to support in idleness, sloth
and dissipation. Are you sure, Sir, that you are acting the part of a
prudent, discreet and excellent old gentleman, so long as you indulge
such pets in practices so repugnant to your better nature, in your
earlier years and better days? I do not expect you to turn them out to
grass, as Nebuchadnezzar was turned out in days of yore; but certainly,
the prairies of Illinois would afford them a better pasture, than this
sterile district does. Alas! SELDEN’S REFECTORY is preferred by them,
to all the prairies of the West, blooming with tall grasses and the
most brilliant and beautiful flowers, and a mint julep to any other
vegetable. Of all the fowls of the air, some of them prefer the wing of
an ox, whereas others prefer the oyster to every other bird of passage!
Pray, Sir, be wise in time, put all your sons into some honest calling,
whereby they may get an honest living and pay their honest debts, by
their industry, economy and enterprise. Do this forthwith, or you will
become a bankrupt in fame, fortune and resources and be compelled to
take the benefit of the act for the relief of insolvent debtors. You
own a great many large houses here, which cost you a great deal of
money, but are there no mortgages on them which may be foreclosed?
That being done, shall we not soon afterwards see all your household
furniture, your carpets, your tables, chairs, beds and bedding exposed
to a public sale, on some market morning, opposite the market-house, on
the avenue?--Good bye, Sir.”

P.S.--A large lot furniture and a great lottery wheel, from the War
office, were offered for sale at auction the other day on the avenue.

Among the mysteries of this mysterious city, take the following: Soon
after my return from New York, I went all alone into the monumental
square, east of the capitol, to discover what a certain low ill-looking
shanty contained. On entering the building, I saw a statue of _Jupiter
Tonans_, easing himself, without a shirt on his back, holding a
thunderbolt in his right hand! Every wrinkle and every feature of his
face, and his Roman dress, without a shirt, and coated with dust,
proved to me at a glance of the eye, in a moment, that some Italian had
either stolen and brought off the original statue, or he had exactly
copied it; and that some one had placed it here, for the purpose of
setting up the worship of Jupiter here at the seat of the national
government! And this in a christian country, in this nineteenth
century! Until I saw this statue here standing, I did suppose that
christianity, in her onward march, from the banks of the Jordan to our
farthest West, had overthrown the pagan religion, and had erected the
cross wherever Jupiter Tonans and his kindred gods had once stood.
After examining the statue of this heathen deity, I looked, and behold
it stood on a granite rock, inscribed: “WASHINGTON!” That Washington
was well represented by a block of granite, I was not prepared either
to affirm or deny, but that any one could with any sort of propriety
introduce into this square, the worship of Rome’s old pagan gods, I do
deny, and will maintain my denial on substantial grounds of correct
taste. The old story of Jupiter Tonans, if my memory serves me, after
having read it forty-four years ago, for the last time, I believe
is this. Some Roman emperor, perhaps Augustus, was being carried
along in a litter, when one of his bearers was instantly killed by
lightning. The emperor, from a sense of gratitude to “The Thunderer,”
for sparing his own life, promised to erect, and finally did erect a
temple, dedicated to “the thundering Jupiter” and placed his statue
in it, in the very act of darting his deadly bolt. Who would have
thought that that statue would have been transported here, and erected
for the adoration of the pagans in this christian country? Paganism
in Washington, in the nineteenth century! Why not forthwith get up
lectures and send around beggars to crave money in order to stop its
further progress?

To say that Congress ought not to encourage ingenious foreign artists
at all, would be contrary to our feelings and to all our history, but
our own artists should have a preference, all other things being equal.
And I do not say, that our artists may not with great propriety go to
Europe and there study the best labors of the best artists. But let our
Americans carry with them American hearts, and return to us untinged
with European feelings, and not be imbued either with the ideas of
paganism. Washington clad in a Roman dress, instead of his American
uniform! Daniel Boone dressed in a toga, instead of his Western hunting
shirt! An American Indian in a toga, fighting a battle in a personal
contest, instead of his being clad in his simple breech clout! Why such
sights are presented to us here, is a mystery--a mystery of Washington
city which I cannot unfold to the reader. So of the pedestal of a bust
of Mr. Jefferson, resting on the heads of infants, whose mouths are
wide open, rendered so apparently by the pressure on the top of their
skulls. Whose absurd taste produced these abortions? To mingle paganism
with the ideas of christianity in our statues and in our architecture,
is in bad taste, especially in this age. Within about three hundred
years after the death of the Founder of our religion, against the
superstition of Jews and pagans, against the ridicule of their wits and
the reasonings of their sages, against the craft of their politicians,
the power of their kings and the prowess of their armies, against
the axe, the cross and the stake, christianity ascended the imperial
throne, and waved her broad banner in triumph over the palace of the
Cæsars. Her march and conquests extended to every part of the then
civilized world. The idols and all the gods of paganism fell down
prostrate, before the onward march of christianity, and who will now,
set up these idols _here_, for the worship of Americans? Away then with
these gods and goddesses--away with Mercury and his rod, with Minerva
and Venus and Cupid, they are blemishes, not beauties, they are pagan
and not christian, barbarous and not civilized signs of the times. We
want a Congress sufficiently christian to overthrow these idol gods,
and all idol worship in the capitol. The ancient Greeks and Romans have
long since gone down to their graves, and even their gods have perished
from off the face of the earth. Why dig them up and bring them here to
imbue the minds of our youth with pagan ideas?

With a view to learn the mystery of wearing unnatural beards, some
filled with vermin, and some with ginger bread! some resembling those
of Saracens, Turks and Russians, I visited Lipscomb’s near Gadsby’s,
on the avenue, and M’Cubbin’s on Eighth street, and there gravely sat
often for a long time, studying beards and mustaches, but in vain.
At last I came home to my lodgings at MRS. TILLEY’S on Tenth street,
nearly opposite Peter Force’s large library, and falling asleep in my
easy armchair, a form stood before me in my dream, with mild aspect a
sympathising look, she thus addressed me: “Let not thy thoughts about
beards and mustaches trouble thee, because I am sent to reveal to thee
the sublime mysteries of beards and mustaches. All men are created with
certain propensities, and He who made them, has marked them, so that
their propensities may be known as soon as the eye sees them. Euruchs
have little or no beards, but a man whose disposition is Saracenic,
Turkish, Tartarean, Gothic, barbarous or christian, has given him a
beard in accordance with his natural disposition, But if he is like, in
all respects, a goat, in smell and sensuality, a goat’s beard is given
him and he wears it, leading about some frail female, dressed in silk
velvet, while his wife with six small children, and one at the breast
is left to starve at home. Such a man will never buy or read thy book,
otherwise he will buy it. In compassion to thee, I further inform thee,
that as to beards full of vermin, that circumstance is owing to the
poverty of their owners, whose purses do not contain money enough to
pay for a comb! Those beards which contain ginger bread, it is owing
to a fact which is as well known to me, as it is to this whole city,
that many of the bearded race are so poor, that I have seen twelve of
them contribute a cent a piece, to purchase a large roll of ginger
bread; they would then tie a cord around its centre and suspend it to
the ceiling over their heads in the middle of the room, and seating
themselves flat on the floor, in a circle, and in that position each
one of them would catch a bite, as the ginger bread was whirled around
from mouth to mouth. And although every mouth was wide open like an
anaconda’s when swallowing a rabbit, yet, sometimes the roll struck
the beard and got entangled in it, until the mouth was filled with the
delicious morsel. The beard itself retained the roll, until some of the
beard stuck to the roll. The fragments of tobacco in the beard, are to
be accounted for in the same way.” I awoke, refreshed in body and in
mind, having had revealed to me one of the greatest mysteries of this
city. My mind is now at ease about that mystery, because I know every
man I see on the avenue, by the beard he wears, whether he is civilized
or savage, rich or poor. If he is able to get shaved without running in
debt for shaving, he is shaved clean and smooth. Has he a beard like
a goat’s; his beard proves him to be one that will stand on the left
hand. And so of all the other signs, they are all revealed to me, and
I, without fee, tell the reader all about it.

There are other mysteries in this city of mysteries, which I cannot
find out, although I have slept in my easy armed chair and on my
pillow time and again.

What the Senate will do about the Texan treaty? whether they will
discuss its merits public or privately? whether they will stay here,
until they have gone through their long docket of nominations, now
before them? Whether the House will continue to sit until they complete
their business not yet finally acted on? or whether they will go home
soon, and the people thereby lose all the benefit of what has been
begun, I cannot divine in this chapter.



CHAPTER VI.

  Officers of both houses of Congress.--Vice President Mangum.--
    Speaker Jones.--Members of Congress, their labors and unenviable
    state.--Eloquence of members.--Senators Choate, Crittenden,
    Morehead, &c. &c.--The Tariff, Oregon and Texas to go down to
    the foot of the docket and be postponed until next session of our
    honorable court.


OFFICERS OF BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS.

In the Senate, the Honorable WILLIE P. MANGUM presides. John Tyler, the
Vice President, on the death of General Harrison became President of
the United States. The Senate thereafter elected Samuel Southard, their
presiding officer, he dying, they elected Judge Mangum their president.
He lives, when at home, in Orange county, North Carolina. From his
name, I should suppose that his ancestors were from Wales. However that
may be, Judge Mangum’s family is an ancient one in North Carolina,
the name being found among the earliest settlers of that colony. He
presides in the Senate and occupies the Vice President’s room in the
capitol. He is a man above the common size, of fair complexion and
commanding air, rather grave in his manners, but very agreeable and
appears to be kind hearted. His voice is clear, sufficiently loud and
distinct to be heard all over the Senate chamber and its gallery. On
the whole, he is, taking him all and all, the best presiding officer,
that I ever saw in any legislative assembly. He is always at his ease,
always dignified and always agreeable. His appearance is that of a man
about forty years old. He is a whig, unwavering and unflinching, yet,
like the Kentucky Senators, not a persecuting whig, often voting to
confirm men in offices, who are not whigs, nor any thing else--long. He
appears to look more to the interests of his country than his party.
When I say this, I mean to draw no invidious distinctions between Judge
Mangum and others in the Senate. The feelings of senators must have
been often severely tried by having presented to them the names of
very incompetent men. Where the man is not decidedly a bad one, though
wanting _decision of character_, without which no man can be relied on,
in any pressing emergency, the Senate let him pass as Hopson’s choice,
because they expect nothing better. In this way they have confirmed
many nominations which I should have rejected at once, as destitute of
a qualification, without possessing which, no man is fit for any office
or any calling. So far as Ohio is concerned, not even one appointment
of a citizen of that State, has been a good one, nor such an one as
I would have made, during the last two years. I feel no hostility to
any one of these weak men, but wish they had belonged to some other
State, not to ours. Where the imbecility of a country is placed in
the offices, it shows the strength of our institutions and the virtue
of our people, which can get along tolerably well, though such weak
men are appointed to offices. To have found so much imbecility, so
carefully selected from the very surface of society, must have cost
those a vast deal of labor, care and diligence, who have succeeded so
well, so perfectly in hunting it up, and in bringing it forward to the
President and his secretaries for their acceptance and gratification!
It is a strong argument in favor of the permanency of our institutions,
which can bear such appointments. The Senate appear to be as hungry
for the nomination of men well qualified for the offices to which they
are nominated, as any trout ever was for a well baited hook--they jump
at them in a moment and unanimously confirm them. The confirmation of
CALHOUN’S appointment as Secretary of State is a case in point. The
news spread like wildfire, and fell upon the ear like the roar of a
water fall in the ear of a thirsty traveller, in the desert of Sahara.

ASBURY DICKENS is clerk of the Senate, and a better clerk of that body
could not have been found in the Union.

EDWARD DYER is sergeant-at-arms, and he is an excellent officer.

In the House of Representatives, JOHN W. JONES is the speaker. He
appears to understand the rules of the House pretty well, but owing to
the weakness of his voice, or to the structure of the room, perhaps, we
should attribute something to each cause, I cannot hear speaker Jones
at all, on any occasion, from any location in the room which I have
ever been permitted to occupy, by the courtesy of the House.

CALEB J. M’NULTY is clerk of this House, and a better clerk, a more
obliging one, more correct, more industrious, more attentive to all his
duties as a clerk, more obliging, polite, and in all respects capable
and faithful, never filled the clerk’s office. M. St. Clair Clarke,
his predecessor in office, although applauded constantly for his good
qualities of all sorts, yet our Ohio man does, for aught I can see, as
well as M. St. Clair Clarke himself ever did in his best days.

Among the ladies attending on this session of Congress, we mention
with pleasure and pride MRS. M’NULTY, wife of the clerk of the House.
She was born and educated in Ohio. She is beautiful in form and manners
and does honor to our _Buckeye State_.

This handsome couple are young in years, just beginning the world and
bid fair to live long and be useful in the world, and be ornaments of
Ohio. Prosperity and success to them!

DOCTOR LANE of Louisville, Kentucky, is the sergeant-at-arms in the
House, and he is a very gentlemanly, faithful and attentive officer.

The door-keeper, JESSE E. DOW, and the postmaster, JOHN M. JOHNSON, are
as good officers as need be, and they give general satisfaction.

Members of Congress, generally speaking, are not idle men by any means.
Besides their attendance on the daily sessions of the two houses, they
are on committees, which occupy no small portion of the day, and,
sometimes they are in their committees to a late hour at night. The
more laborious part of the members work more hours, than any farmer
does in the country. Some of them have a great correspondence with
their constituents and others. They are obliged to call at the public
offices, on the business of those whom they represent. Some members,
who represent the farmers of the interior, have little to do, and such
members, are not often chairmen of important committees, and they may
lead an easy life. Those who represent large cities, or many commercial
people, have more than they can find time to do it in. The same remark
applies to those who represent manufacturing districts. Delegates from
Territories, like the Dodges, father and son, have an immense amount
of business to do, and a great correspondence to carry on. Such men
labor night and day. Calls on them, made by their constituents and by
others from all parts of the Union, interrupt them a good deal. General
Vance, chairman of the committee of claims, performs daily a very
laborious task. So far as Ohio is concerned, in sending representatives
to both houses, I am sure that we have little reason to complain of
their remissness or inattention to the duties of their station. There
is not a dissipated man among them nor an idler. So far as I know,
they faithfully attend to all their business in Congress. Their per
diem, eight dollars, seems to be a very liberal compensation for their
services, but after paying all their bills for living here, very little
remains. Those who have families here, actually fall in debt, and have
to borrow money to pay a part of their expenses. A very considerable
number of the members have their wives with them--and where they have
daughters and female relatives, their compensation is wholly inadequate
to pay their expenses. The ladies visit the library often and there
read and amuse themselves, or they sit in the gallery of the House,
listening to the debates. The families of such members as are able
to bring them here, appear to be quite happy. By associating with
many respectable, well informed and polite people, they learn a great
deal of the world and its affairs. They become personally acquainted
with the first men in the nation. In this way they can form a more
correct estimate of such men, their character, dispositions, manners,
habits and talents. In vain do we look into newspapers, pamphlets and
periodicals for correct ideas concerning these men. They are much
better, or not so bad, as common report makes them. Though I had known
Mr. Calhoun forty years, by common report, and, although I had seen
him often presiding in the Senate chamber, yet until I sat down beside
him in his office, and had conversed with him sometime, I had never
had any correct ideas of the man at all. I had always been told, that
he was impetuous, sour and morose, but I found him to be the mildest,
kindest and most agreeable man I ever saw. I was truly astonished at
the contrast between the man as he really was, and the one he was
represented to be! I was agreeably disappointed in many others. With
the character of our western men I was in no case deceived, because I
knew them either personally or from correct sources of information.
For instance, although I had never seen the Kentucky senators, yet I
found them, Crittenden and Morehead, as agreeable, as well informed,
as friendly, kind and conciliating in their manners, as I had always
understood they were.

By mingling in such society, our young men may acquire a fund of
information, which may be of great value to them in after life.

Though I knew Colonel Benton personally well and knew him to be a
man of kind feelings towards his friends, and even towards many who
are not friendly to him, yet, he is often represented as malignant
and overbearing. It is not true, because at the bottom of his heart
there is a great deal of good feeling. He cannot always suppress
the exhibition of his better nature, even towards open and avowed
political opponents. So of our senators, Tappan and Allen, the whigs of
Ohio believe that these senators are their enemies, but I always found
them very friendly to me, doing me many favors and no injury--quite the
reverse. They have their own political creed, differing from mine in
some respects, but they endeavor to serve their constituents when they
come here, even if they are whigs.

Those who have been long in Congress can be much more useful to their
constituents, than those who have had less experience. Understanding
all the rules of proceeding, they know how to take advantage of
circumstances, when to make a motion, and the exact moment when to
oppose an opponent. They say less and more to the purpose. Young men
are quite apt to be impetuous, hasty and rash, and thus often get
overwhelmed by a more cool, deliberate member. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS is
the hardest man to deal with in the House. Understanding all the rules
of legislation, with a large store of information, he is sometimes
sarcastic and witty, sometimes profound and those who attack him always
come off second best. Of all the attacks on Mr. Adams this session,
C. J. Ingersoll’s was the most unfortunate for the assailant. Mr. Wise
related the whole of it to me in the library, immediately after the
assault was made and the chastisement which Ingersoll got. Mr. Wise
condemned C. J. Ingersoll, as every one else did, for his behaviour
towards an aged, respectable man, whose public services, years learning
and talents ought to command and do command the respect of all good
men in the nation. Any member of Congress who respects himself, will
always be treated with respect, because he deserves it. Any young man,
who thinks to obtain any advantage by assailing Mr. Adams, will find
himself to have made a false calculation.

The Senators preserve their own dignity, and do not mingle much
with the turbulence around them. They are often misrepresented by
malignant letter writers, and the falsehoods they invent, have a wide
circulation. These Senators cannot devote up their time to explanations
and contradictions of such misrepresentations. They have something else
to do.

I will state an instance in point. About the time that the speculators
in Texan land scrip, began their operations, to effect an annexation of
Texas to this Union, some letter writer pretended to tell exactly how
all the Senators would vote on that question. A number of the members
of that body told me, “that they had neither made up nor expressed any
opinion on that subject.” I afterwards ascertained from the highest
source of information, that not a few Senators would not vote as the
speculators had predicted they would, but exactly the reverse. Such
miscalculations are daily made by interested or malicious persons,
who hover around the capitol. Seeing the papers from a distance, and
conversing with the members on the subjects treated of by the letter
writers, induced me finally to distrust all I saw, coming from such a
polluted source. These falsehoods do their authors no good, but often
an injury. Placed as members of Congress are on a pinnacle, in view
of a whole nation, unless they possess well ballanced minds, they
are not to be envied. They have rivals at home, sometimes ready to
misrepresent their motives, their services and their talents. There is
always requisite, the constant exercise of one virtue, at least, which
is patience, and they must labor incessantly to gratify friends at
home, who expect at their hands more than they can do for them. To be a
member of Congress, requires talents of all sorts--great industry, great
attention to business, constant care, strength of body and strength of
mind. Members of Congress, who make a figure as orators, can do little
indeed for individuals among their friends. Moving in a higher sphere,
they aim at some high station--to be a minister abroad, a Secretary, or
to obtain some lucrative office. Apparently laboring for the public
good, their real object is frequently very selfish. Such men have
rivals among their own party, and all their political opponents are
opposed to them. If they succeed to their hearts’ content, how long
does their prosperity last? In a few short years their race is run and
they are seldom mentioned, but oblivion covers them from our view and
even from our thoughts. Those who figured on the stage at some great
era in our national affairs, and stood high then, are remembered with
affection and gratitude, but the little party politician is forgotten
as soon as he walks off the stage. In this changing world, how soon is
the mere demagogue forgotten? In his day, he impresses his retainers
with the idea, that, unless some favorite theory is adopted, all is
lost. It is exploded, he disappears from our sight, and the world
moves on in safety. There is an elasticity in the American character,
not existing to the same extent in any other nation. Under any great
national disappointment, there may be, and there is, sometimes a
season of national gloom, but recovering from such a state of mind,
our people rouse up all their wonted courage, and confiding in their
own strength, they move onward to new enterprises, entertain new
hopes, and finally realise, and frequently more than realise all
their most sanguine expectations. In the natural world, the storm and
the tornado may be as necessary as the clear sunshine and the gentle
shower, and why should the mental world differ from the natural one in
this respect? “This is a crisis,” says the demagogue--“a nation’s fate
depends on the issue of this crisis,” but the mighty crisis passes by
as harmless as the Zephyr’s breath in May moves over the meadow. These
getters up of crises are, on the whole, quite a harmless set of beings.
They keep up a ripple on the ocean of human life and prevent a dead
calm in the political ocean. In this session of Congress I have seen
none of these crises and panic makers in the two houses. The debates
on the twenty-first rule, on the Oregon question, on the army bill, on
the tariff and some other topics were ardent, long and exciting, but
they did not produce a very angry debate. These several storms passed
over without doing much harm, like a squall of wind without hail, or
even much rain descending to deluge the earth.

During Dr. HAMMET’S speech on the 21st rule, I had a place, through
the Doctor’s politeness, a seat in the body of the House, from which,
by standing on my feet, I saw every member in his place, and witnessed
the effect on the countenances of members, which that speech produced.
Those passages which turned sixty faces pale, produced convulsive
laughter among the rest of the members. The countenance of Mr. Adams
never changed from a serene aspect, whereas the Ohio members mostly
looked unmoved as marble, in no wise excited by the topics, except when
the speaker alluded to the old maids of Massachusetts. When they were
introduced into his speech, our members were taken by surprise, and
they laughed immoderately. Even Gen. Vance, Judge Dean and all, with
all their usual gravity, laughed heartily, and forgot to be grave. The
hit was a fair one and well deserved. Female fanatics are doing some
harm, and can do no good. On questions, and even doubtful ones of great
national importance, our females would show more wisdom to be silent,
than to press forward on the stage in buskins to show themselves as
players.

Many persons think the members do wrong to indulge themselves in
so much speaking, but better make long speeches than pass many bad
laws. That too many laws are made by state, territorial and national
legislation is certain. The mania for speech making is not as bad
as many suppose it to be--it is the safety valve that lets off the
superfluous steam, otherwise boilers would burst, and blow into
fragments the vessel of state. Viewed in this light, we can tolerate it
from motives of sympathy for the afflicted. Another good effect flows
from these long speeches, while they are delivered, members can go into
the library, the lobby or the rotundo and amuse themselves or converse
with their friends. The speech being made, it can be printed and sent
home to their constituents. They are pleased and thus many ends are
answered by the delivering of a speech.

ELOQUENCE OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.--Under this head I shall not say
much, for several reasons. The chambers are but poorly calculated for
hearing in them; the places occupied by those who wish to hear and
report speeches, are not such ones as they should be, if hearing be the
object of those who sit in them; the noise necessarily made by three
hundred persons, moving about and sometimes talking and whispering;
the opening and shutting of doors and the confused din, attendant on
such an assemblage of men; the many objects, such as the LADIES in the
galleries of the House, naturally draw off the eye from the debater,
the ear from the sound of his voice and the mind from the subject in
discussion. With all these abatements and all these impediments, we
need not wonder if the speeches are not very correctly reported, they
being so imperfectly heard when they are delivered. This circumstance
gives rise to every day explanations, almost, in both houses, to
correct erroneous reports of speeches. But with all these impediments,
there is a very considerable number of good speakers, especially
in the Senate. It is possible, however, that the Senate’s chamber
being a place wherein one can hear better than in the gallery of the
other house, may have had quite an influence on my opinion in this
particular. Senator CHOATE is quite a favorite among his friends, as an
orator. His voice is clear, sufficiently loud and distinct; his method
is clear, his language elegant, often beautiful; the impression which
he makes on the hearer is highly agreeable. He rises neither too high
nor sinks too low for his subject, but flies along over the subject at
a suitable elevation. He looks as if he were a man of great labor, and
not in very good health. He appears to be care-worn, and as if he was
over-worked by the incessant toils of his station. I have no personal
acquaintance with him, and speak merely from what I saw of him a few
moments at Dr. Sewall’s, and from hearing him in the Senate chamber a
few times. He is the brother-in-law of the Doctor and lodges at his
house. Mr. Choate represents the manufacturing and commercial classes
and has a laborious task to perform, in opposition to restless men,
who, it appears to me, mistake their own interest in opposing commerce
and manufactures.

JOHN J. CRITTENDEN, a senator from Kentucky, is a most delightful
speaker. With a melodious voice, clear method, clear sentences, in
which every word is fitly chosen, so that no one could be changed for
any other word in its location that would do as well in its place. His
arguments are lucid, his manner is so fascinating that he is a model of
forensic eloquence in a parliamentary debate. Honest, candid, sincere,
pleasant, sometimes eloquent, always happy in his expressions, it is no
wonder that he is a very popular orator. On hearing him, you esteem him
as a gentleman, and love him as a man. He was nominated by Mr. Adams to
the Senate of the United States as a judge of the United States supreme
court, but was not confirmed, and Judge M’Lean fills the place to which
Mr. Crittenden was nominated. He would have made as excellent a judge,
as he made a member of General Harrison’s cabinet. He has no enemy who
personally knows him, so pure, so sincere and candid is he in all his
intercourse with the world, that even those who disagree in opinion
with him, love the man, his manners and his straight forwardness of
speech and of action. His age may be forty-eight and he is quite grey
headed, of the common size and square built. His lady has a young
look and is still handsome. She is always lady-like and agreeable in
her conversation and deportment. In these respects she resembles the
ladies of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. They always remind me of the
West, and recall to my mind the delightful recollections of a large
integral portion of my extended life, spent among scenes and surrounded
by a people always dear to my heart. No place, time or circumstances
will ever be able to obliterate these impressions from my vivid
recollections of a delightful past. The Western people, possessing
as they do, unflinching courage, pure patriotism, a love of liberty,
of sincerity and truth, decision of character, open heartedness and
sincerity, with broad and liberal views, and possessing too an energy
and a determination to go forward, conquering the forest and the
prairie, they will soon extend our dominion to the Pacific ocean. Such
a people will always go ahead of all national legislation and compel
Congress to come limping and halting along on crutches and stilts
behind them.

JAMES T. MOREHEAD, the other Kentucky senator, was formerly governor
of that State. He is six feet high or upwards, rather spare in flesh,
straight as an Indian, and he is so agreeable in his manners and
address, as to be as he truly is the world’s idol. His words flow along
in a constant stream, sweeter than honey. Sometimes he rises into
sublimity, and soars along on high, and like our own eagle, revelling
in the beams of a clear sun. Sometimes he can be playful, with an
arch leer on his brow when he is ironical. He can captivate with his
witchery of manner and of style. His method is good, his sentences
are clear, sometimes pointed, sarcastic and withering. His manner is
winning and his arguments convincing. He is shrewd, searching and
occasionally severe in his arguments, though not in his language. His
ideas may be hard, but his words are soft, smooth and melodies. He
labors with his pen and his books incessantly, sometimes more than his
body can well bear. Having come over into Ohio and married and carried
off a beautiful, amiable and good lady, the daughter of my excellent
friend, J. M. Espy, of Columbus, I wish I had it in my power to present
the reader a short biographical sketch of Gov. Morehead.

Under the head of eloquence, I will confess, that although I have been
months attending here, sometimes conversing with members of Congress,
sometimes with other persons from all parts of the Union--standing in
the rotundo or sitting in the library, there conversing or reading, I
always found it an unpleasant task to hear speeches, unless some one
was speaking whom I knew or greatly desired to hear. I went to hear Dr.
HAMMET of Mississippi, JOHN Q. ADAMS, GENERAL DROMGOOLE, JUDGE DEAN,
JOHN B. WELLER, SCHENCK, VINTON, FLORENCE, VAN METER, POTTER and a few
others, but I had so much difficulty to get a seat where I could hear,
that I seldom made an attempt to get a seat in the House. HALE of New
Hampshire, when he spoke, could always be heard and understood.

It appeared to me, that our western members were more eloquent on the
Oregon question than the eastern members, and that the eastern members
beat the western ones on the tariff question all hollow. The eastern
members were learned, eloquent and sensible whenever they spoke of
manufactures, commerce or trade. These speeches, properly digested,
would make an instructive and useful volume, that would be read by
every body.

I took an interest in the army bill, and contrived to hear a great deal
of its discussion. M’CAY, CAVE JOHNSON and BLACK of Carolina never
spoke a word in vain. Mr. Black deserves a great deal of credit for his
exertions to reform the abuses of the patronage of the government. The
mad ravings of the pets against him are recommendations of him to his
constituent, as their faithful sentinel in Congress. He represents a
hardy, patriotic race of men, whose ancesters fought bravely and well
for their country in the war of the revolution. The Cowpens, King’s
mountain, and all that country round about them are immortalised by
deeds of arms; and by patriotic devotion to the interests and the glory
of our common country. The nation owes that people a debt of gratitude.

I spent an evening with Mr. Black and Mr. Simpson, of Pendleton, S.
Carolina, at their lodgings in the old capitol, kept by Mrs. Hill.
They are excellent members of Congress, honest, capable and faithful
representatives--none better. They are friendly to Mr. Calhoun. Mr.
Black was born near Mr. Calhoun, that is within five miles of him, and
Mr. Simpson lives where Mr. Calhoun does, and is his near neighbor. He
thinks highly of Mr. Calhoun’s family and says that it is the happiest
and the best one he ever knew. If my memory serves me, I think there is
a sort of relationship by marriage between Mr. Simpson and Mr. Calhoun.

In the Senate are a great many good speakers. I heard Allen, Tappan,
Choate, Benton, Woodbury, Buchanan, Crittenden, Upham, Morehead and
several others, who spoke well and argued clearly, distinctly and
to the purpose. I have not room for a criticism on their manner and
matter, but I was pleased to hear them speak so well on all occasions.
I wished to hear RIVES and ARCHER, but did not get an opportunity
to hear them, or even become personally acquainted with them. As a
Senate, we need not be ashamed of that body, but the reverse in all
respects. M’DUFFIE appears to be out of health, and I fear that he is
in a decline that will carry him off before many years. I should have
been glad to hear BAYARD of Delaware, to ascertain whether he inherits
his father’s talents, but I never heard him. FOSTER of Tennessee, I
know to be a man of talents and an excellent senator, but I had not the
pleasure to hear him. He stands high at the bar as a lawyer, and no one
is more beloved than I know him to be by his neighbors in Nashville,
where he lives when at home. Talented, learned and good, Tennessee may
well be proud of her beloved son.

General KING has gone to Russia, and LEWIS has taken his place. General
King, like his friend Buchanan, is a bachelor; so he can go abroad,
having no family to detain him here.


A DIGRESSION.

The influence of the Christian religion, it appears to me, begins
to operate beneficially on our legislative assemblies, and it is
to be hoped that it will in the end melt down in its crucible our
whole people. That religion is the great fountain-head of republics.
It teaches us that our Creator is our Father, and that we are all
brethren. In some respects, there is a falling off from the practices
of our fathers--for instance, family government is not what it once
was. In former days we had infancy, youth and age, but by the present
generation youth is struck out of human life altogether. A boy or a
girl five years old, assumes the dress, the manners and the airs of
a young gentleman or a young lady. Last January, at my room, in the
Broadstreet Hotel, in New York, after hearing their youngest child read
to me, (she was only about four years old) I inquired of her, if her
sister never curled her hair? which hung in beautiful ringlets on her
head. She replied, that “her sister Sarah would, within a few days,
curl her hair, and then she was to have a beau!” The remark pleased me
greatly, because it was so characteristic of these times. No sooner
is the hippen laid aside, than the pantaloons, and the boots, and the
cocked-up hat follow, as the dress of the boy--and the girl, is dressed
like a young lady. Her locks are curled, and she looks around her for a
beau! Of these things we mean not to complain, but we merely note them
as a change effected in our manners, since the last age, whether for
better or for worse, we do not say. The days of our fathers are gone
by, and this generation assumes to be wiser than the former one was,
but whether a better one, on the whole, is at best doubtful with me.

We prefer Old Virginia, with her old principles to all her new fangled
ideas. In some things she may be behind the age, but that does not
convince me that she is the worse on that account. I prefer the
principles of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Marshall and
Upshur, to those of Aaron Burr and the spoilers. The former are pure
gold, in my estimation, and the latter are mere dross. The sons, and
the descendants generally of the Randolphs, the Lees, the Masons, and
a long list of Pendletons and other revolutionary patriots are true
to the principles of their ancesters and the republic. Long may such
men and such principles shed a lustre on the Old Dominion. Rives and
Archer represent Virginian interest and principles in the Senate of the
United States. In the other house I am ignorant, wholly, as to their
representatives, and so I say nothing of them. Gilmer was quite popular
in the House, but he is no more. SUMMERS is a western Virginian--so
western that he is exactly like an Ohioan in his manners and feelings.
He lives on the Kenhawa, and truly and efficiently represents the
people who send him to Congress.

From our digression we come back to say, on the subject of the tariff,
that the eastern members appeared to us to have the better arguments.
They said, in substance, that the tariff of 1842 had injured no
interest of our country; that agriculture was more prosperous than
before; that manufactures were more flourishing; that our navigation
was more active; public and private credit was restored, both at home
and abroad. These members then enquired, whether it was wise, prudent
and statesmanlike to change a law that worked so well? They contended
that the experience of all nations proved that sudden and frequent
changes in the laws of any country, were highly injurious to all
classes of people. We do not use the very words, but we give the sum
and the substance of what fell from the lips of many friends of the
present tariff law. It appeared to me that those who wished a new
tariff, took a very narrow view of the subject. They looked at what
they considered the interest of their several districts of country,
without looking further around them on the whole Union. It is a matter
of opinion, and feeling as I certainly did, coolly and calmly, I made
up a deliberate judgement, as disinterested as it could be. We in
Ohio are an agricultural, manufacturing and commercial people. These
interests are in reality the same; they prosper or fall together. Mr.
Jefferson, by his embargoes and restrictive measures, made the people
of New England a manufacturing people, against their wills at first,
but following his advice, they became a manufacturing as well as a
commercial people. Their industry, perseverance and energy made them
prosperous and rich. The change in their pursuits ruined thousands
of them at the time, but as soon as their prosperity was everywhere
apparent, there were not wanting those, who envied and wished to ruin
that prosperity by frequent changes in our tariff laws. Those who
wished to check their prosperity, remind us of a private soldier in the
revolutionary war, while he was suffering corporeal punishment. When
the lash fell upon his shoulders, he cried out, “strike lower, strike
lower!” but when the lash struck his loins, he cried out, “strike
higher.” Strike where the corporal would, the culprit was not at all
satisfied with the blows, nor pleased with the corporal himself. Could
all our people be willing “to live and let live,” it appears to us that
we should all be happier and better off, and in that way become an
united people in the bonds of mutual interest and mutual affection.

All laws calculated to affect a whole nation should never be changed
for slight causes, nor changed without giving the people, and the whole
people, time to duly reflect upon such changes, in all their bearings
on the whole people. Such are our ideas of that republican form of
government, which was erected by our fathers, to promote the happiness
of the people, aye, of the whole people. Keeping this great object
in view, the laws should be plain, simple and few, and be changed as
seldom as possible, otherwise no man in any business can make any safe
calculations as to the course he should pursue--what plans he should
form, or how he can execute them. There is an union of interests, not
always duly considered. The farmer, the mechanic, the manufacturer,
the merchant and the mariner have precisely the same interests in the
prosperity of all the great interests of all our people. Destroy or
greatly injure any one class of people, and the whole body politic
feels the wound and suffers by the injury. One class may feel it first,
but in the end, all feel it.

On all great national questions of policy, time, reflection, prudence
and caution seem to be required by the dictates of patriotism and true
wisdom. And our legislators, and indeed all our wise men, should always
remember, and be sure never to forget, that we Americans are a very
exciteable people, more so, much more so, than many nations are in the
north of Europe. Our southern people may be the soonest moved by any
sudden impulse, but get our northern people once fairly started, and
they move like a tornado. Knowing ourselves, and how exciteable we are,
let us endeavor to keep cool, on all the political questions, which
agitate the public mind, from time to time. Our republican institutions
have been dearly bought--with the blood of our ancestors, freely shed,
in the battle fields of glorious memory, and on the mountain waves,
where our sailors fought, bled, died and conquered in the cause, the
holy cause of liberty.--When the liberties of this country go down to
their graves, have we not reason to fear that free government all over
the world, will be overwhelmed in one universal ruin? May my eyes be
closed in death before that day arrives.

Having decided that the tariff case shall be put down to the foot
of our docket, on the principle of want of more time for national
reflection, it follows as a matter of course, almost, that we ought to
put the Oregon question at the foot of our docket also, and continue it
for a trial at the next term of our high court of judicature. Whether
the Texas case shall be disposed of in the same manner, we will not
decide, until we have ascended to our seat on the bench, and there
patiently heard the arguments of counsel learned in the law, on the
motion for a continuance of the cause until the next session of this
honorable court.

The idea that the American people are to be taken by surprise, and that
six large States ought to be added to this confederacy by legerdemain,
without notice and without sufficient time for reflection on all
the consequences of such an addition to our territory, calls for
deliberation, reflection and a solemn pause, like the stillness of a
Quaker’s silent meeting, before we decide this question--especially in
the affirmitive. Let us hear it discussed openly in the Senate, and in
all places of public resort.

Our right to Oregon, up to the fifty-fifth degree of north latitude, is
quite clear and our people will occupy that territory forthwith, and
then Congress will limp along after them, carrying our laws to them. In
the mean time, villages, towns and cities will rear their spires along
the rivers, the stage driver’s horn and the steam boat’s bell will be
heard there. The sound of the axe, the hammer and the saw, will rival
in speed the roaring of the waters rushing over mill dams, or dashing
against the rocks in the streams of Oregon. All these things will soon
be heard and seen there, but we can wait a little time yet, until the
nation is ready to rush in one mass of men, to wash their feet in the
waters of the Pacific, as they roll their briny waves on to our great
western boundary. As Mr. Owen said, in the house, “the Pacific is our
destination and our destiny.”

Lay the question over, gentlemen, till next session of Congress.
The prancing steed and the nodding plume shall be seen there and the
star spangled banner shall wave, and rustle in every breeze that
moves over the prairies, the hills and the plains of our own farthest
West. A rail-road from Astoria to Boston can transport the salmon of
the Multnomah to our farthest East. Between the salmon of Penobscot
and those of the Columbia river, let the Bostonians decide which is
preferable. We will wait, sitting with gravity in a wig and gown in our
court, until the Bostonians are called into it, to give their testimony
on a point of so much delicacy, in a matter of taste, too, about
which old Horace has said there is no disputing.--“_De gustibus non
disputandum._”



CHAPTER VII.

  Visit to Mr. Calhoun, Secretary of State.--Alexandria, its early
    history.--Reminisences of General Washington.--Memoir of Mr.
    Anthony Charles Cazenove; a most interesting tale.--He was the
    old partner of Albert Gallatin, at New Geneva, Pennsylvania.


On the fifth day of April, I went early in the morning to see Mr.
Calhoun, the new Secretary of State. I found him already in his office,
attending to his official duties. It was long before office hours,
and I had a long conversation with him. He received me most cordially
and entertained me most agreeably for an hour or two. When it was
announced to him that Mr. Chilton, a member of Congress, had called to
see him, I retired to call on Mrs. Murphy, of Ohio, and her son, who
were putting up near the Secretary’s office. After spending an hour or
two with them, I called again at the Secretary’s office, but found him
engaged with the Texan ministers, Mr. Henderson and Mr. Van Zandt.
The messenger brought me a slip of paper with Mr. Calhoun’s place
of residence written on it, “at Mrs. King’s, between 13th and 14th
streets, on F st.” I went thither, and waited not long but until Mr.
Calhoun and his son had arrived and dined. The Secretary came into the
parlour where I was sitting, and we conversed together several hours,
until General Anderson of Tennessee came, when I took my leave of Mr.
Calhoun. During these interviews I had in my mind two regrets: first,
that I had never before in my lifetime had an opportunity to converse
with him so freely on a great variety of matters, deeply interesting to
the people of these United States; and secondly, that my _first_ was to
be my _last_ opportunity of conversing with Mr. Calhoun.

Mr. Calhoun, in conversation, is as great as he is in every thing else.
He can say a great deal in a few words. His language is appropriate
and as beautiful as one could possibly imagine it to be. He is in the
full possession of all his corporeal and mental powers, he sees every
thing at a glance of his mind, and he can speak as easily as he thinks.
He is unquestionably one of the most talented men in the nation. It
is quite possible that he has been treated very ungratefully by the
men, who have been raised into high places by Mr. Calhoun himself.
Without a particle of intrigue in his composition--unacquainted entirely
with the machinery of party management and party drill, he has stood
no chance of success among such men. He appeared to know and to feel
this, though he has always scorned to stoop to such low means of
rising into the highest office in the Union. He has not a particle of
ill will towards his enemies, and, he said, that he had taken a real
pleasure in doing good to those who were employing themselves in their
endeavors to injure him, although he well knew what they were doing
at that moment when he was serving them. He has come here, merely to
treat with England and Texas, and having finished his intended labors,
he will resign his present office, and retire to the high ground where
he dwells, there to spend the remainder of his days. Just back of the
country where he lives, the Alleghany mountains rise to an altitude
of seven thousand feet above the sea, which is higher than the White
mountains in New Hampshire.

In the vallies of the Alleghany, near him, Indian corn grows and comes
to perfection four thousand feet above the sea. Though I did not ask
him, yet, I suspect that at such an elevation it is the New England
corn, and not our gourd seed corn. He tells me, that on his elevated
ground, where he lives the climate is nearly the same, as that of
the District of Columbia. He has no ambition for public life, its
cares and responsibilities. After being thirty-five years in office,
he desires to retire from it, and be at peace at home, surrounded as
he is by a family endeared to him by all the ties which none but a
parent can feel. He has five sons and two daughters. The son with him
here, is an officer in the army--a promising young man. He appeared
to think that his part of the Union had been wholly neglected by the
general government. If that be the fact, and I am sure he thinks so,
the representatives from South Carolina, should use their endeavors to
obtain their due share of the public patronage. To strengthen the bonds
of our Union by mutual aid and mutual affection, should be the constant
aim of all our national legislation. I told Mr. Calhoun that Ohio had
paid twenty millions of dollars for her lands, into the United States
treasury, whereas the people of the Atlantic States had gotten their
lands originally, merely for settling on them. Mr. Calhoun in reply
stated that Wayne’s war, with all its expenditures, must be charged on
Ohio and Indiana.

I told Mr. Calhoun that within ten years from this time, the national
government would be in our hands in the West for safe keeping, and so
will remain thenceforth and forever. This idea, I told him, had its
full weight on our minds--it made us bear and forbear--bear our evils
and forbear to use any violent means now, to acquire what would, of its
own accord soon fall into our possession, and be forever ours.

General Anderson of Tennessee, coming in here, I left Mr. Calhoun with
the most friendly impressions towards him, which will never wear off
from my mind during my life-time. Devoid of all intrigue, he is too
honest a man to compete with the little men, who have always opposed
him. He will only be called for, when great and commanding powers of
mind are imperiously demanded by some great emergency. Like a great
lamp, he shines to give light for the benefit of others, who see by the
aid of its lustre. Perhaps it is best that the greatest talents are
unemployed, except in cases of emergency. They are the army in reserve,
upon which a defeated party in advance can fall back and be saved from
destruction. Why so many incompetent men should rise into high places
of trust, while the greatest and the best ones should be passed by, is
not always seen. Envy of living merit may be the cause.

Mr. Calhoun’s private character is pure and spotless. He never had any
vicious habit of any sort, nor indulged in any vice. There are very
few such public men in this nation, or even in this world, and there
is no better one anywhere. Whether he belongs to any church, I do not
know but that he practises all the christian virtues is certain. His
hair is grey, but his step is strong and elastic, and his body like
his mind is as strong and as active as it ever was. For strength of
thought, deep, vigorous, keen, searching, discriminating, methodical,
logical and clear Mr. Calhoun has no superior in this nation. His
feelings are mellowed down by years and by a large experience in the
affairs of the world and all its vicissitudes. His great learning,
derived from books--his agreeable manners, derived from a good heart
and from his associations with the best society in the nation; his
business talents; his industrious habits, and all his other great
qualifications, eminently fit him for his present high station, and for
even the highest station in this republic. The Senate did but yield to
the unanimous desire of all our citizens here, when they unanimously
confirmed the nomination of JOHN C. CALHOUN, as Secretary of State. In
whatever station he is, we may always feel assured that a talented,
patriotic and good man occupies it, who will faithfully, honestly and
correctly do his duty at all times and in all emergencies.

  ALEXANDRIA, APRIL 10th.

I came here yesterday, to spend a few days--to rusticate. This city
of ten thousand people is made up of an agreeable, well informed and
industrious population. The streets all cross each other at right
angles, like those of Philadelphia. It is free from the dust, which
loads the air of Pennsylvania avenue at this time, and is, on the
whole, a better place for me than capitol-hill, where I was so happily
located, at Mrs. Ballard’s, within two minutes’ walk of the capitol,
its rotundo and library. This spot is more retired from company, so
agreeable to me as to take off my mind from my business. On attending
the market here, the most prominent object in it, was the fishes, such
as shad, herring, &c., just taken in this river, and brought here
for sale. I saw yesterday three large shad sold for a quarter of a
dollar, and single ones, large, fresh and fair, for ten cents each! The
quantities taken are great, and a great many wagons from the country,
back of this city, and from Maryland and Pennsylvania were here for
the purpose of carrying them away. Before I came here, I heard much
of the decay of the city, but on my arrival I found none of it. I
found signs of thrift, but none of decay. Houses were repairing, the
people were all employed in some useful calling; the streets are all
paved, with good side-walks, and what surprised me, was, that I saw no
coffee-houses where spirits are retailed, in this city of ten thousand
people. There are only two taverns in it, and one of the innkeepers
sells no ardent spirits in his house. I am now writing these lines in
his inn. I doubt much, whether such another town of the size of this
can be found in America, where no more intoxicating liquors are drank
in it. I have now lying before me, a record of the first town meeting
in this old American town, and I extract from it the following, viz.

“At a meeting of the majority of the trustees of Alexandria town, July
13th, 1749. Present: Richard Osborn, Wm. Ramsay, John Carlyle, John
Pagan, Garrard Alexander and Hugh West, Gent.”

What a record! Ninety-five years almost since this was a frontier
town, and then the majority of the trustees held their first meeting,
of which any record remains. Before that time, the place must have
been occupied by settlers, and must have been laid out as a town,
into lots, because the same record shows that John West, junior, was
appointed a clerk of the town, and the proceedings of the meeting were
recorded by their clerk, and his book, in manuscript, lies before me!
John West, junior, was “appointed cryer to sell the lotts at publick
sale, within five minutes, from the time they are set to sale.” The
price of the lots is given in the record, in pistoles. No. 36 was the
first lot sold at the public sale, and John Dalton was the purchaser,
at 19 pistoles. Among the purchasers of the lots, we find the names of
Lawrence Washington, W. Fairfax and Geo. Fairfax, Nathaniel Harrison,
Wm. Fitzhugh, Wm. Ramsay and Major Henry Fitzhugh, besides the names of
the trustees first named, and their clerk and Roger Lindon and Allan
McRae.

I visited the printing office on Saturday morning, April 13th, and
introduced myself to the editor, a pleasant sensible and obliging man.
The Alexandria Gazette was established by Samuel Snowden in 1800. It
was continued by the original proprietor until his death in 1831. Since
that time it has been conducted and owned by his son, Edgar Snowden--it
is therefore one of the oldest newspaper establishments in the United
States.

Between this place and Washington there are two steam boats running,
starting almost every hour of the day from each city, and passing each
other about half-way between Washington and Alexandria. They start
at five in the morning, and their last trip commences at five in the
evening. They charge twelve and a half cents for the passage. Some of
the officers of the departments live here, and daily pass the distance
between the two cities. A stage coach runs between them also several
times daily.

The citizens of Alexandria often attend the debates in Congress, and
know what is doing in Washington as well almost as those who live there.

I visited the Alexandria museum over the market house, and among
the collection there, I saw the mantle in which George Washington
was christened; his masonic robes, apron and gloves; his pistols,
presented to him by Louis XVI; a model, in stone, of the Bastile,
presented to him by the national assembly of France; his pack-saddle,
used in the revolutionary war; his flag, borne by his body guard in
that war; the first British flag, captured in that war, called Alpha
by Washington; the last flag taken in that war from Cornwallis; La
Fayette’s flag--blue; Decatur’s flag; Paul Jones’ flag, on board the
Bonne Homme Richard, in his battle with the Serapis; Gen. Morgan’s
flag, borne by his Virginia regiment; and a great many other relics
of revolutionary times. General Washington’s letter to the cotillion
party, which used to assemble in the house where I am located, is in
the museum. In this letter the General declines to meet with them, on
account of Mrs. Washington’s age. What thrilling recollections of times
gone by, do these relics stir up within us? What a crowd of emotions,
of all sorts, rush upon the mind, when looking on these memorials of
former days, former ideas and opinions? of old customs and ancient
manners, compared with modern ones? We live in a world that is passing
away--in its habits, customs, dress, weapons of warfare; all is changed,
changing and never will be stable, scarcely an hour! Ninety-four years
ago, this spot, where this city is, was surrounded by a dense forest,
on the verge of civilization, now it is quite on the eastern side of
our domain.

There is a large market house here, of brick, over which are rooms
for the several public offices, and in the third story is the museum.
The mayor, clerk, auditor, &c. have their offices in the first story
above the market house. The market is well supplied with meat, fish and
vegetables. I saw too in it many flowers and small evergreen trees, in
a proper state for planting them. The vegetables, flowers and trees
were offered at very low prices--hardly sufficient to pay for bringing
them to market. Those who brought them appeared to be poor, with
families to support.

The rail-road from Cumberland to Baltimore has injured Alexandria, by
taking some of the trade of the upper country away from this district.
An extension of the canal to this city will bring back some of the
trade which it has lost temporarily. The water in the wells of this
city is not good, except a few in the suburbs, from which the city is
well supplied. By taking the water out of the canal, it can be easily
conveyed to the houses and supply all the citizens with healthful water.

RELIGIOUS SECTS.--There are episcopalians, presbyterians, methodists,
catholics, baptists, and perhaps some other denominations of
christians. They appear to live together in unity, and agree to
disagree in opinion about their several forms of worship. To the
community at large it matters little what may be their several forms,
so as they have the same great fundamental principles of charity and
benevolence towards each other and towards God and man. There are too,
some quakers, as I perceive by their dress and conversation.--They are
the same industrious, neat, quiet, friendly people every where.

On Sunday April 14th I attended church in the morning at the first
presbyterian church, and in the afternoon at Christ church, the oldest
episcopalian church. In the forenoon I heard the Rev. Mr. Harrison.
Calling at Mr. Cazenove’s to accompany him, he being absent, I went
to the dwelling of his son-in-law, expecting to find him there, but,
learning the object of my calling, a daughter of my deceased friend,
the late Colonel FOWLE, came forward, and accompanied me to the church;
she was a child nine or ten years old. She behaved perfectly lady-like,
and conducted me to her mother’s pew, where her parent was already
seated. The congregation was not a large one, though a very serious
and devout one, to whom the preacher addressed a very good discourse.
Colonel FOWLE was lost in the MOSELLE, when that vessel was blown up
at Cincinnati, a few years since. I shook hands with him, and bid him
farewell, only fifteen minutes before his death. I had been personally
well acquainted with the Colonel for many years, and had spent many
happy hours at different places in the West with him, on many a day,
and I always had a high regard for him. His little daughter resembles
him very much in her looks and manners. I could not refrain from
thinking how happy he would have been, had he seen her, and noticed how
lady-like his daughter was, in her behaviour, while conducting his old
friend to church, in this city. If spirits hover around those friends
whom they have left behind them in this world, and take a peculiar
pleasure in any thing that relates to them in this life, the spirit of
my departed friend, Col. Fowle, must have been pleased to see me seated
in his pew, yesterday, at church, with his widow, her father and his
daughter.

In the afternoon I went to the church where Washington used to attend
divine worship, and found in it but two persons--ladies, dressed in
mourning. I stated to them my case, that I was a perfect stranger, who
wished to attend their meeting at that time. One of them offered me
a seat in her pew, which I accepted. It was near the pulpit, and she
pointed out to me the pew in which General Washington used to sit; it
was the largest one in the church. At the proper time, the congregation
assembled, some three hundred people perhaps, and three-fourth of them
were females. The weather was warm and it was after dinner. Where the
men were I did not know, but they were not in the church. Two preachers
at last appeared, and began the service. The regular minister read the
service, but another clergyman preached the sermon. I soon discovered
that this was an old school episcopalian church.--Their creed told me
so, because it stated what Jesus himself has contradicted on his
cross. The creed said, he descended into hell, but he himself told the
thief by his side suspended on the cross, that on _that day_ he would
be in paradise! The sermon was an eloquent one, and so far as I could
judge, very correct in its doctrinal points. As a literary composition,
it was good too, and its delivery occupied an hour perhaps. The regular
preacher was Mr. Dana and the one who officiated, was the Rev. Mr.
Johnson. Young, or middled aged at most, tall, erect, active and well
educated, they may yet live long to be useful and successful preachers.

Forty-five years since, General Washington attended this church and sat
in the pew now occupied by a square built, heavy man, fifty years old,
possibly. To me every person in the church was an entire stranger. The
church has a good organ, and on each side of the pulpit are printed on
boards the ten commandments on the south, and the Lord’s prayer and
their creed on the north, or right hand side of the minister in his
desk.

Reuben Johnson is the present clerk and auditor of the city. From him
I obtained leave to inspect all his records. Joseph Eaches, Esq., is
the present mayor, from whom I have derived very useful information,
concerning this city.

The people of Alexandria have in their manners the simplicity and
straight-forwardness of a people in a rural village.--They have the
hospitality of their ancesters of Charles II. time, when the Scotch,
under Lord Fairfax settled the northern neck of Virginia. The pure
morals and pure principles of those primitive times have been handed
down unsoiled and uncorrupted to the people who now dwell here. Should
the seat of the national government be removed farther west, Alexandria
would not suffer much by that change. The Potomac, broad, deep and
navigable, would still roll its tide from Georgetown to the sea. The
industry, enterprise, economy, morals, religion and patriotism of the
people would remain, and render prosperous, useful, good and happy,
a thriving people. An increasing city will forever remain here an
ornament of the nation. This is a nucleus, around which men of good
principles may rally, and from this point spread far and wide, sound
morals and sound principles of all sorts. Near this town Washington was
born and died, and his spirit hovers over this people. His example, his
precepts and his principles govern Alexandria still. We see it in every
thing all around us.

The stage house, where I am, is kept by Mr. GEORGE WISE, and it is
the best in the city. As such I take pleasure in recommending it to
travellers.

I cannot conclude my remarks on Alexandria better, than by introducing
to the reader Mr. A. C. CAZENOVE, a native of Geneva, Switzerland,
but now and for many years past an enterprising merchant and importer
of foreign goods. Mr. Cazenove is as stirring a man, as there is in
Alexandria. At my request he drew up a short memoir of his life, which,
in his own words, I present to the reader. Gen. ARCHIBALD HENDERSON
married Mr. Cazenove’s eldest daughter and Colonel Fowle his youngest
one.


MEMOIR OF MR. CAZENOVE.

The cradle of the Cazenove family was Nismes in France, though it is
probable, from their name and coat of arms, that they were originally
from Italy or Spain, where you find some Casanovas and Casanuovas.

Being protestants, they had to fly at the revocation of the edict
of Nantes, and took refuge in Geneva, in Switzerland, from whence
some of them afterwards branched off to Lausanne, in Switzerland, to
Holland, England, France, and lastly to the United States. This last
event took place during the summer of 1794, when the leaders of the
dreadful French revolution fomented one of a similar character, only
on a smaller scale, in the little republic of Geneva, then not one of
the cantons of Switzerland, but in close alliance with that ancient
and admirable confederation. The object of the French being the
geographical situation of Geneva, being fortified and by nature one of
the gate-ways into France, Switzerland and Italy, besides its great
wealth for an inland city, and the high state of information possessed
by the generality of its inhabitants, being acknowledged to be one of
the luminaries of the world.

Although France had succeeded in overturning their old form of
government, and substituting in a population, then amounting to about
25,000 souls in the city and about 15,000 in the surrounding villages
and country, a national assembly as democratic as it could well be.
They were attached to their independence and desirous so to remain. It
therefore became necessary for Roberspierre and the leading jacobins
of France, to find some pretext for taking possession of Geneva, for
which purpose they surrounded it (being then in possession of Savoy and
having military posts close by) with the worst of their jacobins, and
such Genevans as had been banished from it for any cause, and in one
night, with the help of their sattelites in Geneva and their own people
which they had introduced into the city, took possession of the three
gates of the city, arsenal and powder magazines. They armed the most
desperate amongst them, to intimidate others, and early next day went
and dragged the heads of our best families and distinguished citizens,
into two large warehouses, used before that for public granneries, to
the number of about 400 persons, and established a national tribune,
before which they brought several of the best, most virtuous and
patriotic citizens of Geneva, but ranked by them as aristocrats,
which they pretended to have conspired against the independence of
the republic; the very thing they had themselves in view, and were
aiming at. Nor could they have had the reign one single day, but for
the knowledge that France was ready to pounce upon Geneva, if any
thing like a scuffle had taken place, to avoid which the people of
Geneva thought it best to submit for a while to the tyranny of their
own jacobins. As it was impossible to substantiate any charge against
such men, however depraved their revolutionary tribunal was, they were
necessarily acquitted and sent to the common jail for safe keeping.
This however so enraged their blood-thirsty Marseillois, (the worst
of jacobins) that they forced the jail during the night, and by torch
light shot sixteen of the best men Geneva ever possessed, and so
overawed the revolutionary tribunal itself, as to compel it to take on
itself the responsibility of so atrocious a deed.

In order, however, to appease in some respects public indignation, the
revolutionary tribunal brought before them forty of the prisoners,
amongst whom were Mr. Paul Cazenove, myself, and his two and only sons,
John Anthony and Anthony Charles, when, after having charged them
also of conspiracy against the republic, and threatening them in an
awful manner if they persisted, they were allowed to return to their
respective families, where I found seven jacobins guarding my mother at
her country seat, not allowing her to leave her own room, and I was not
even allowed to go in and see her, nor have I seen her since; for my
brother and myself, under cover of the night, with the help of a Swiss
boat, escaped the second night, through the lake to Copet, the nearest
town in Switzerland, on the lake of Geneva, where we were joined by
our cousin Fazy, one of the defenders of Lyons when beseiged by order
of the French national convention. Having long felt that we could not
live in peace in Geneva, under the sway of the jacobins, we and several
other Genevans had determined to leave it, for a while at least, and
under the impression that the jacobinical principles of revolutionary
France were destined to go through Europe, we determined to come to
America, where the revolution had happily terminated, and where we had
already friends and relatives. In order, therefore, to avoid the French
armies, which were then making their second incursion into Flanders
and Germany, we proceeded through the interior of Germany to Hamburg,
where we were met by other Genevans, who had formed the plan of
emigrating to America. There we heard of the death of Roberspierre, and
were all on the point of abandoning our project, but we determined to
persevere in it, because every leader of the French convention having
been heretofore succeeded by one still more sanguinary than the last,
we did not expect any change for the better. We all, to the number of
eight, therefore, embarked together with our four Swiss servants, for
Philadelphia, where we landed in November 1794, and were soon after
joined by three other Genevans, two of whom, with their wives, had left
Geneva after us for the United States. There I found my cousin, Mr.
Theophilus Cazenove, the same after whom Cazenovia, in the State of
New York, is called, who had made in that State and in Pennsylvania, as
agent of wealthy capitalists of Holland, the extensive purchase of the
Holland company. Also my cousin Odier of the house of Odier & Bousquet
Brothers, and soon after Mr. Albert Gallatin, then a distinguished
member of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, joined us.

A number of Genevans having, while yet in Geneva, much approved our
intention of removing to the United States, and desired that we should
remember them and also prepare a retreat for them. We formed the plan
of a large landed company, in which a number of influential individuals
became interested. But having ascertained during the spring of 1795
that, justly adverse to emigrate, the French revolution and that of
Geneva having assumed a somewhat milder course, after the fall of
Roberspierre, we were not likely to be joined by other Genevans as
we expected, we relinquished the plan of our landed company, and I
formed a co-partnership with Mr. Albert Gallatin, his brother-in-law,
Mr. J. W. Nicholson, and two other gentlemen, under the firm of Albert
Gallatin & Co., and purchased a tract of land at the mouth of George’s
Creek, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, where we located the town of
New Geneva, on the Monongehela river, and established stores, built
mills, glass-works, &c. I remained there until having married in
Alexandria, where I then settled myself for life. Some years after
that, the Swiss government, having thought it desirable, for the first
time, to establish consuls in the United States, unexpectedly to me,
knowing nothing of their intentions, I received from the federal
government of that country, their appointment of Swiss consul for the
middle and southern States, with a very kind and obliging request
from them to accept it; which was the more flattering, as it had been
unsought by me, and though it was impossible for me to forget the
country of my birth, or my attachment for Switzerland ever to be
weakened, still it was very pleasing for me to see that I had not been
forgotten by her, and had such agreeable opportunities afforded me of
keeping up an intercourse with that excellent government and equally
excellent people, which it is the delight of all travellers to exalt
above all other nations.



CHAPTER VIII.

  Officers of the government.--Remarks on the permanency of the seat
    of government.--No authority in the constitution to remove it.
    --Monomaniacs, one who fancies himself in paradise! and the other
    expects to be elected the next president!--Other monomaniacs
    equally crazy.--LOCAL INFORMATION.


The chief clerks, such as M’Clintock Young of the treasury department,
Mr. Moore of the general land office, Wm. B. Randolph of the
treasurer’s office, Mr. Pleasants, Thos. L. Smith the Register, and M.
Nourse, his chief clerk, are always at their posts, attending to their
duties. Without just such men, the public business could not be done.
In the state department, Messrs. Winder and Carroll and Pleasonton are
always engaged in their proper business. Perhaps there is not an idler
in that department. Major Lewis and all his clerks, James Eakin, his
chief clerk, Josiah Polk and all, are very industrious and attentive to
their duties. So in the general post office, M. St. Clair Clarke and
all his clerks, the several assistant postmasters general, and Judges
Smith and Hotchkiss, S. B. Beach, Stone, Gen. Allen and all the clerks
labor hard all day long. In the offices of the war department and in
the naval office, I am not sufficiently informed to tell the reader
anything about them. Generals Towson, Abert, Bomford, Gibson and all
the officers of their grade are always industrious, always attentive
to their business. In all these stations no changes could be made for
the better I am sure. Judge Blake of the general land office deserves
an honorable mention, for having appointed Wm. Darby and several others
like him, clerks; and for his kind treatment of all his subordinates.
The changes of heads of department, which are more and more frequent of
late years than formerly produce changes among the clerks. No sooner
is any new head of department inducted into his office, than he seeks
forthwith a place for some relative or dependant. If there be any
vacancy, this creature fills it; if there be no vacancy, the new head
of department creates a vacancy and puts his creature in it. When
any secretary leaves his office, he endeavors to keep his dependant
still on the list of office holders. James Madison Porter left three
relatives in offices, two Porters and a Wolf. These secretaries being
changed very often of late years, renders the tenure of office very
uncertain, very precarious. In looking back on the last few years, we
see changes of heads of department so frequent as to render it almost
ludicrous for a secretary to undertake to get personally acquainted
with his clerks, before he goes back into private life again. Why is
it the ambition of any man in this country to be a secretary or a head
of department? And yet, it is evident enough that those who fill these
stations, think highly of them--their gait, their air and address prove
this. Looked these gentlemen on their stations, as the whole nation
does, these offices would not be coveted at all. Such men as Calhoun
are exceptions, because they act as if they knew what they were doing
and felt all their responsibility and all the cares of office. In his
manners and industry Mr. Calhoun naturally reminds one of old times,
when men in high stations were beloved by all who had any business
to transact with them. From all I see and hear, I doubt whether the
frequent changes in our highest officers operate beneficially on
the public interest. However, if the chief clerks are not changed,
perhaps, the head of the department being often changed does no great
harm, because the chief clerk is in reality the head of department.
M’Clintock Young has been in reality the secretary of the treasury for
four years past. Without him every thing would have gone to ruin, long
ago, in the department over which he presides.

Former presidents, from Jefferson downward, used to visit the rooms of
clerks and inspect the offices very often, but his Excellency John
Tyler is not so hard on clerks and heads of bureaus. He never visits
them--at least I have not seen him on any such tours of duty. General
Jackson has often gone with me to the rooms of secretaries and clerks,
to inspect their books and to ascertain how they kept their accounts.
Having doubled and trebled the force in the offices, renders such tours
of inspection unnecessary, in order to do all the business of the
several departments faithfully, correctly and well. Two families hold
four clerkships each; so I hear from an authentic source.

Should any citizen of the United States wish to know exactly what is
done with every cent of Uncle Sam’s money, let him call on Thomas
L. Smith, the register of the treasury, and he can there see it at
a glance. Maj. Smith holds the purse strings. If any one wishes to
see models of all the light-houses in the world, let him call on Mr.
Pleasanton in the state department and there he will find them, and
a perfect gentleman to explain every thing that relates to these
light-houses. If any one wishes to see all the books, for which
American authors claim a copy-right, let him call on the Messrs. Winder
and Carroll in the state department, and he will find the books, and
the gentlemen in whom Judge Upshur most confided, as his confidential
clerks. Mr. Calhoun will extend to them the same confidence as Judge
Upshur did. The former is the son of General Winder and the latter
is the descendant of Daniel Carrol of Duddington, a signer of the
declaration of independence.

To those who visit the city from a distance, local information may be
useful, and we give such as we suppose may be of service to them. If
the stranger wish to tarry only a few days, having no business but
to see the city, perhaps Brown’s or Gadsby’s will best suit him; but
if his business be with Congress, capitol hill will best suit him,
and he can put up with Mrs. Ballard, Mrs. Owner, Mrs. Hill or some
other keeper of a boarding house--Mrs. Whitney for instance. I prefer
Mrs. Ballard’s, although the others are all good houses, with good
accomodations. If the stranger’s business is with the departments, he
can stop at Fuller’s, or Mrs. Galabrun’s on the avenue, or Butler’s
on F street, or Mrs. Tilley’s on Tenth, near the avenue. But there
are a hundred other boarding houses, as good as need be, such as Mrs.
Hamilton’s, Miss Polk’s, Mrs. Arguelles’ and a long list of good
houses. Five thousand persons can be well accommodated in Washington
city. For the size of it, this has more and better accomodations for
travellers, than any other city with which I am personally acquainted.
I prefer it to any other east of the Alleghanies, but until the late
riots, Philadelphia stood highest with me. It may be owing to my long
acquaintance with this to me delightful city, that I prefer it.

However much we may loathe occasional loafers, who come here, and
quite too many of them do come here, yet the people themselves are
as good, as the people of any other section of the Union. As a whole,
they are more polished in their manners than any other people in the
confederacy. Trusting to the constitution itself, in accordance with
which, and the laws made under its express provisions, this district
was selected for the PERMANENT seat of government, many persons settled
here, and fixed on the District of Columbia as _their permanent_
residence. Their all is here, their families and their whole fortunes.
Until the seat of government was fixed here, it never had been fixed
permanently any where. Those who had the power delegated to them,
having expended all the power over the subject, that ever was delegated
to any persons to fix on the site of the general government, no power
to change it, remains in the constitution. That vast regions have been
acquired and added to the Union, without a particle of constitutional
authority for the acquisition or addition to the original States, is
true; but that fact cannot change the constitution itself, so far as a
permanent seat of government is concerned in the question.

However, let us change this serious subject for one serio-comic. We
have heard of two maniacs to-day--monomaniacs. One of them seriously
believes himself in paradise! and the other believes that he will be
the next president! Paradise was a place of innocense, the abode of
happiness, a bed of roses, but the presidency is a bed of thorns.
Reposing on such a bed, who could sing, with Thomas Moore,

    “Will you come to the bower I have shaded for you,
    Where your bed shall be roses bespangled with dew?”

We hear to-day also, that a monomaniac, another one altogether, thinks
that if he can get a certain man elected president in 1844, he, the
maniac, will be elected president in 1848! Still other maniacs expect
to be foreign ministers! What strange delusions in this deluded and
deluding world are all these vagaries of the brain? Shall we call in
Dr. MAYO, or shall we import forthwith all the helebore which both the
Anticyras produce and administer it all to these afflicted patients? or
what shall we do to restore these men to a sound state of mind? Who can
calculate the chances of the next election? We cannot tell by 400,000
individual votes, and we suppose we know just as much about it as the
voters themselves do at this moment.

Sanguine politicians think they know, but they do not know more than we
do, whose minds are not made up yet what we shall do, or how we shall
vote--perhaps, not at all this autumn. Instead of “a light house of the
skies” and buildings for “storm kings,” telegraphs, &c. &c. why not
appropriate money for a lunatic asylum of such large dimensions that
it could accommodate thousands who come here with their humbugs of all
sorts, asking for national aid and support?

Perhaps we ought to have added a chapter on HUMBUGS, in addition to our
MYSTERIES, of this city. Kind reader, it is too late now for such a
chapter, our whole little volume being all filled up and nearly all its
contents are already printed.


LOCAL INFORMATION.

MEETING OF COURTS.

Supreme Court of the United States, second Monday in January.

Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for Washington county, fourth
Monday of March, and fourth Monday of November.

Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for Alexandria county, first
Monday in May and first Monday in October.

Criminal Court of the District of Columbia for Washington county,
second Monday of March, first Monday of June, fourth Monday of October,
and last Monday of December.

Criminal Court of the District of Columbia for Alexandria county, first
Monday of April, and first Monday of November.


BANKS.

Bank of Washington--corner of Louisiana avenue and D street--
discount day, Tuesday, Wm. Gunton, President; James Adams, Cashier.

Bank of the Metropolis--Pennsylvania avenue, between F and G streets,
opposite the Treasury Department--discount day, Friday, John P. Van
Ness, President, Richard Smith, Cashier.

Patriotic Bank--7th street, between C and D streets--discount day,
Thursday, G. C. Grammer, President; Chauncy Bestor, Cashier.


INSURANCE OFFICES.

Firemen’s Insurance Company of Georgetown and Washington--office in
the Hall of the Perseverance Fire Company’s building, Centre Market
Square. Jas. Adams, President; Alex. McIntyre, Secretary.

Franklin Insurance Company--office corner of 7th and D streets, next
door to the Patriotic Bank. G. C. Grammer, President; Alex. McIntyre,
Secretary.

Potomac Fire Insurance Company--office on Bridge street, Georgetown.
John Kurtz, President; Henry King, Secretary.


CHURCHES.

Baptist, Rev. O. B. Brown, 10th street, between E and F.

Baptist, Rev. Mr. Samson, Aldermen’s room, city hall.

Baptist, Rev. Mr. Tindell, corner of 4th street and Virginia avenue.

Baptist, Shiloh, Elder Robert C. Leachman, on Virginia avenue, near 4½
street.

Catholic, St. Patrick’s, Rev. Mr. Mathews, F street, between 9th and
10th.

Catholic, St. Matthews, Rev. J. P. Donelan, corner of H and 15th
streets.

Catholic, St. Peter’s, Rev. Mr. Van Horseigh, 2d street, between C and
D, Capitol Hill.

Friends, l street, between 18th and 19th.

Lutheran, English, Rev. Dr. Muller, City hall.

Lutheran, German, Rev. Ad. Biewend, corner of G and 20th streets.

Methodist Ebenezer, Rev. Messrs. Phelps and Hanson, 4th street, between
F and G, navy yard.

Methodist Foundry, Rev. Mr. Tarring, corner of 4th and G streets.

Methodist Wesley, Rev. Mr. Wilson, corner of F and 5th streets.

Methodist Protestant, Rev. Mr. Southerland, 9th street, between E and F.

Methodist Protestant, Rev. Thomas M. Flint, pastor, 6th street east,
between G and I streets south, near navy yard.

New Jerusalem, Council chamber, City hall.

Presbyterian, Rev. Dr. Laurie, F street, between 14th and 15th.

1st Presbyterian, Rev. Mr. Sprole, 4½ st. between C and D.

2d Presbyterian, Rev. Mr. Knox, corner of H street and New-York avenue.

3d Presbyterian church, on F, between 14th and 15th streets, near the
Treasury Department. Pastor, Rev. Dr. Laurie; Assistant Pastor, Rev.
Septimus Tuston.

4th Presbyterian, Rev. J. C. Smith, 9th street, between G and H.

Christ, Episcopal, Rev. Mr. Bean, G st. between 6th and 7th, navy yard.

St. John’s, Episcopal, Rev. Dr. Hawley, corner of 16th and H streets.

Trinity, Episcopal, Rev. Mr. Stringfellow, 5th street, between
Louisiana avenue and E street.

Protestant Episcopal Mission, Rev. Mr. French, Apollo hall.

Unitarian, Rev. Mr. Bulfinch, corner of D and 6th streets.


CIRCULATING LIBRARIES.

Washington Library--room on 11th st. between Pennsylvania avenue and
D street; open daily from 3 to 5 o’clock, P. M.

Jefferson Apprentices’ Library Association--room west wing City hall;
open every Wednesday and Saturday evenings, from 6 to 9 P. M.


FIRE COMPANIES.

Union--located at the corner of H and 20th streets; W. B. Magruder,
President; Charles Calvert, Secretary.

Franklin--located on 14th street, near Pennsylvania Avenue; regular
night of meeting the first Tuesday in every month. Robert Coltman,
President; William Durr, Secretary.

Perseverance--located on Pennsylvania avenue, Centre market square;
regular night of meeting, the first Thursday in every month. Samuel
Bacon, President; Geo. S. Gideon, Secretary.

Northern Liberties--located on the corner of Massachusetts avenue
and 8th street; regular night of meeting, the first Wednesday in every
month. John Y. Bryant, President; Augustus Brown, Secretary.

Island--located on Maryland avenue, between 10th and 11th streets;
regular night of meeting, the first Thursday in every month. William
Lloyd, President; William T. Doniphan, Secretary.

Columbia--located on South Capitol st., near the Capitol; regular
night of meeting, the first Thursday in every month. James Adams,
President; R. Bright, Secretary.

Anacostia--located on Virginia avenue and L street south; regular
night of meeting, the first Friday in every month. Thos. Thornley,
President; Wm. Gordon, Sec’y.


ARMORIES.

Washington Light Infantry--west wing City hall; regular night of
meeting, the first Monday in every month.

National Blues--east wing City hall; regular night of meeting, the
first Monday in every month.

Columbian Artillery--west wing City hall; regular night of meeting,
the first Tuesday in every month.

Union Guards--hall of the Union engine house; regular night of
meeting, the first Wednesday in every month.


MASONIC.

Federal Lodge No. 1.--room corner of 12th street and Pennsylvania
avenue; regular night of meeting, first Monday in every month.

Potomac Lodge, No. 5, Georgetown--room in Bridge street, opposite
Union hotel; regular night of meeting, fourth Friday in every month.

Lebanon Lodge, No. 7--room corner of 12th street and Pennsylvania
avenue; regular night of meeting, first Friday in every month.

New Jerusalem Lodge, No. 9--room corner of 4½ street and Pennsylvania
avenue; meets on third Tuesday in every month.

Hiram Lodge, No. 10--room over West market, first ward; regular
meeting, first Wednesday in every month.

Grand Lodge of District of Columbia--annual communication first
Tuesday in November, semi-annual, first Tuesday in May. Installation
meeting, St. John’s day.


I. O. O. F.

Central Lodge, No. 1--room City hall; night of regular meeting,
Friday.

Washington Lodge, No. 6--room City hall; night of regular meeting,
Tuesday.

Eastern Lodge, No. 7--at present occupying a room in Masonic hall,
navy yard; night of regular meeting, Friday.

Potomac Lodge, No. 8--Odd Fellows’ hall, Alexandria; regular night of
meeting, Friday.

Harmony Lodge, No. 10--room City hall; regular night of meeting,
Thursday.

Union Lodge No. 11--Odd Fellows hall, navy yard; regular night of
meeting, Wednesday.

Friendship Lodge, No. 12--room over West market, first ward; night of
regular meeting, Thursday.

Covenant Lodge, No. 13--Odd Fellows hall, Jefferson street,
Georgetown; regular night of meeting, Monday.

Columbian Encampment, No. 1--room City hall; regular night of
meeting, last Wednesday in every month.

Marley Encampment, No. 2--Odd Fellows’ hall, Alexandria; regular
nights of meeting, second and fourth Mondays in every month.

Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia meets annually on the second
Monday in November, and quarterly on the second Mondays of January,
April, July and Oct.


SONS OF TEMPERANCE.

Timothy Division, No. 1--room Buckingham’s hall, on C street, between
10th and 11th; night of meeting, Wednesday.

Harmony Division, No. 2--room St. Asaph street, Alexandria; night of
regular meeting, Monday.

Freemen’s Vigilant--room Carusi’s saloon; regular night of meeting,
Friday.


BENEFICIAL SOCIETY.

Island Beneficial Society of the city of Washington--night of regular
meeting, the first Thursday in every month. John W. Martin, President;
W. T. Doniphan, Sec’y.


TYPOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY.

Columbia Typographical Society--Buckingham’s room, on C street,
opposite Carusi’s Saloon. Regular night of meeting, first Saturday in
every month; President, Ferdinand Jefferson; Recording Secretary, James
Wimer; Corresponding Secretary, James N. Davis.

The studio of C. B. King is on 12th street between E and F streets.



ERRATA.


On page 73, for John H. read _John S. Meehan_.

On page 119 for Sellons read _Selden’s refectory_.

On page 124 for a statue of Marshall, read _a bust of Mr. Jefferson,
resting &c._

On page 145 for Zephur, read _Zephyr_.

On page 163 read _Strike higher, strike higher, Oh! strike higher!_

There are a few literal errors which the reader will correct as he
reads the work.



Transcriber’s Notes


Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.
This book was published in 1844, so some words may have been spelled
differently than they are now.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained; occurrences of
inconsistent hyphenation have not been changed.

Most of the _Errata_ on the last page of the book have been corrected
within the text; the change to page 163 was not made because it was
ambiguous.

Page 132: “Hopson’s choice” probably is a misprint for “Hobson’s
choice”.

Page 153: “smooth and melodies” was printed that way.

Page 168: “De gustibus non disputandum” is a misquotation for “De
gustibus non est disputandum”.





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