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Autobiography
of Lemuel Sawyer,
Formerly Member of Congress from North Carolina:

Electronic Edition.

Lemuel Sawyer (1777-1852)


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First edition, 1997.
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1997.

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Call number CCB S371s 1844 (North Carolina Collection, UNC-CH)


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Library of Congress Subject Headings,
19th edition, 1996


AUTO-BIOGRAPHY
OF
LEMUEL SAWYER,

FORMERLY MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM NORTH CAROLINA.

AUTHOR OF
The Biography of John Randolph


NEW YORK:
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR,
1844.


        IT is due to the reader, to assure him that no ingredient of vanity has entered into the publication of this trifle. I never imagined my own life of sufficient notoriety and consequence to entitle it to the especial favor of the public, in the shape of a separate and independent chronicle. I had prepared an enlarged and improved volume of the Life of JOHN RANDOLPH, and intended to prefix to the second edition, a brief account of my own. In composing it, I found it grew on my hands, and although "curtailed of many of its proportions" yet it threatened to intrude too far upon the prohibited grounds of the main work. The intended edition is a heavy and expensive undertaking, and I have postponed it to a more convenient season. In the mean time I have been advised by a friend, in whose judgment I place implicit confidence, to advance this pamphlet into the world as a precursor, instead of an accompaniment of that projected work. Should I be fortunate enough to receive the countenance of this enlightened community, it will afford an encouraging presage of its success, and expedite its future appearance. Should it fail, it will at least afford a salutary admonition to withdraw it altogether.

LEMUEL SAWYER.

             Brooklyn, July 1, 1844.


AUTO-BIOGRAPHY

OF

LEMUEL SAWYER.


        So far as my course has become a part of the history of the country, connected as it has been with many of its leading events, as the non-intercourse, embargo, and war, a personal memoir may be justifiable as a small link in the intricate chain of national affairs. A somewhat full and particular detail of a life under such circumstances, if it were found not destitute of eventful interest, and, as it is hoped, not an ignoble one, it would present still stronger claims to the reader's acceptance. In the Sunday Atlas of New York, of the 13th of August last, was given a sketch of the writer, under the head of Portraits of the People, and it is intended to make that the groundwork of this memoir, with the alterations and additions that the occasion requires, by which it will necessarily be extended to much greater length. The Atlas stated truly, "that the subject of this memoir was the youngest of nine children by the first wife, all of whom arrived at years of maturity, and most of whom reared numerous families, thrived well, and rose to independence and consideration in their several spheres of life. Although he was the most delicate of all his brothers, and has been heard to declare that he could not safely assert that he was ever well a day in his life, but suffered some ailment, local or general, yet has he survived all his brothers and sisters, and has been for six years the sole survivor. His situation is a deplorable one, and deserves the commiseration of every feeling heart. He lost his parents in early life, his mother dying in childbirth, before he was a month old, by which he was deprived of the blessing of that maternal affection, nurture, and moral discipline so necessary to his well- being, to which he may add the death of his father in his fifth year, by which he was left an orphan, unprotected and almost unsupported, to blind chance, to make his way through the world - devious and difficult at all times, dangerous under the untoward circumstances in which he was placed. It is no wonder, then, that his life has proved unfortunate and unhappy, from the want of parental instruction and authority, aid, and advice. Having no brother nor sister, having lost his two first wives, with "all their little ones, at one fell swoop," he stands like a solitary pillar in the desert, tottering on its base, ready to tumble amidst the ruins that surround it.

        He was born in Camden County, N. C., in the fall of 1777, at the new family mansion on the banks of the river Pasquotank, the location of the ferry since established by the erection of a floating bridge. He received his Christian name Lemuel from his father, as the favorite child of his old age, and as large a share of his property as any of his brothers, except Enoch the oldest, to whom was devised the family seat, with its extensive domain, and where the first custom-house for the district was established. Enoch


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was appointed the collector in 1791, under Washington, and filled the office satisfactorily till the day of his death, in March, 1827.

        In August, 1793, in his sixteenth year, after reaping such benefits as common country schools afforded from the period of his tenth year, he was taken by one of his brothers by sea to Flatbush Academy on Long Island, then in the meridian of its renown under the direction of Dr. Peter Wilson. He was placed there, not more for the purpose of education than for the restoration of his health being then afflicted with a tertian ague, following a bilious fever, and of eighteen months standing. It had reduced him to the brink of the grave. It was hoped that the sea voyage, with the change of air to a more salubrious climate, with good medical treatment would, by their benign influence, conquer this most obstinate form of chronic fever. For the benefit of all similar invalids we may mention, that by the end of three months he was restored to health, except the remains of a swelled spleen. A physician of New York was consulted. He prescribed flannel next the skin, and an emetic divided into portions, to be taken upon the accession of the chill, which never failed to occur every third afternoon. The advice was followed; as soon as the symptoms supervened, the doses were taken, and repeated till they operated. The patient then went to bed as usual, waiting for the recurrence of fever; but after an hour's expectation of his unwelcome visitor, he arose from his bed, went about his business, and never had another fit of the disease. In May, 1796, at the repeated solicitation of his brother-in-law, Demsey Burgess, the member of Congress from his district, then in session at Philadelphia, he reluctantly and unadvisedly left his numerous class, standing at its head, which is paying no small compliment to his proficiency, when such distinguished scholars and eminent men as the two brothers, Wm. and John Duer, the Rev. Peter Vanpelt, lately of Staten Island, Governors Troup and Telfair, of Georgia, were his colleagues. While he resided at Flatbush, he was very properly subjected to a rigid economy, his pocket money being limited to a shilling a week, which proved sufficient, where there was no temptation to dissipation or extravagance. But on arriving at Philadelphia the scene was reversed. He was ushered at once into gay and fashionable society, and his brother-in-law's purse being almost forced upon him, he spent more in six months than he had the whole time he was at Flatbush. But that was not the least of the evils entailed upon him by that ill-advised visit. He acquired habits of extravagance and recklessness in money matters, that followed him through life, and has occasioned many bitter pangs and vain regrets in after life. He attended awhile, though not regularly, as an honorary student of mathematics, under Professor Robert Patterson, of the University of Pennsylvania, occasionally occupied a seat in the gallery of Congress, and heard the debates in which John Nicholas, William B. Giles of Va., Mr. Gallatin, and R. G. Harper bore the leading parts. He was frequently gratified with the sight of the great Washington, and has been at the theatre on one occasion, the first appearance of Cooper in Richard the Third, when Washington entered the box assigned him, and the audience rose simultaneously, and saluted him with three cheers. As he boarded opposite to Andrew Ellicot, the astronomer, in North Sixth street, he was soon introduced to him and became intimately acquainted with the family. He was much attached to Andrew the son, and felt more than common friendship for the eldest daughter, Jane, which unfortunate attachment was the only cause of his refusing the offer by Mr. Ellicot, to take him in his suite at thirty dollars a month, with a horse found, as his secretary, on his mission to Florida as commissioner to run the boundary between this country and the Spanish colony of Florida. He regretted much afterwards, of the loss of that excellent opportunity to gain a knowledge of the country by travel, to acquire a practical knowledge of surveying and


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astronomy by a master, and one of the kindest and best of men, as well as of learning the value of various tracts of unoccupied lands, and the opportunity thus afforded of making up for his expenditures by successful speculation. He, however, did not remain long after Mr. Ellicot had left Philadelphia for Pittsburg, to descend thence down the rivers Ohio and Mississippi to Baton Rouge or Natchez, where he was to land. and begin the line of survey through to the head of the St. Mary's, on the Gorgia frontier. His attachment cooled by degrees, and his pockets collapsed as rapidly, and he returned to his native home in August, by a coasting vessel belonging to an old schoolmate and neighbor, and entered the State through an inlet near Roanoke Island, which has long since filled up, and left not a vestige of its former site. He had grown so much, and was so improved in personal appearance, that some of his nearest relatives and old playmates did not know him. On reaching the court-house, the court then sitting, he saw a very handsome young gentleman in the crowd, and upon asking who he was, he learned it was his youngest brother Wilson, born of a second wife. They had been separated when children, and had not met before. His patrimonial estate consisted of a farm, much exhausted and dilapidated, and a dozen slaves, which he took possession of, though but twenty years of age, to gratify the hands, who were tired of being, hired out, and wished to be put to work upon the farm, under the direction of their master. But he knew little or nothing of the business, was too easy and careless, and did not exact from them that full amount of labor, which they were not disposed voluntarily to render, and for three or four successive years the loss was so considerable that one of the gang had to be disposed of annually, to supply the deficiency. He took sides with the democratic party, entered with zeal against the administration of' John Adams and was elected a member of Assembly in the summer of 1800. Though the youngest man in the House, being barely eligible, he was the first to deliver a speech, soon after the house was organized, and succeeded in defeating the usual resolution to continue the old officers of the house, and substituted one by nomination and ballot, by which means he was enabled to promote a young friend from the ranks of private life, to a clerkship, from which he rose to be Secretary of State, and has filled that office with fidelity ever since. William Hill, the gentleman alluded to, acknowledges with gratitude that he was indebted to this decided step of Mr. Sawyer, in abolishing this unfair monopoly, and introducing the more just and liberal one by election. The Speaker's chair was filled by a Frenchman, Stephen Cabarus, a respectable and wealthy farmer from Edenton, from whom the County of Cabarus, the first where a gold mine was discovered, was named. Although he had lived among us from boyhood, yet his pronunciation had much of the foreign accent, and his reciting the captions or titles of bills and resolutions, invariably forced a smile from the members. On his return from the usual short session of two months, he divided his attention between his farm and his studies, which he now directed mainly to the acquisition of the law. Even then he had an eye to a seat in the national councils, and he made that profession a stepping-stone to mount to that post of honor. In the course of three years, he obtained a license to practice at the bar, which in that State, costs something besides hard study - a fee of twenty-five dollars to the examining judges. His first appearance in the forum was in defending a criminal on a trial for murder. He had volunteered on the case, and had fully prepared himself. He of course was enabled to make a powerful appeal to the jury, his client was acquitted, or, what is tantamount, was brought in guilty of manslaughter only, which is seldom visited by the moderate penalty of the law by branding the letter M on the brawn of the thumb of the left hand. His fame as a counsellor immediately spread, but there was not much business in the courts of that district. Though the reapers were


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many, the harvest was poor. A county court fee was only four dollars, and a Superior Court fee only ten, and there was no charge allowed for intermediate services, by long attorney's bills for preparing the case for trial. The large accumulation of fees and costs, seen and felt here, and "the law's delay," which frequently place the suitor in the predicament of Gulliver, who was ruined by a suit in chancery going in his favor with costs, are unknown there. The laws are few and simple, and justice speedy among that pure and unsophisticated people, nor was it ever heard of, as in New York, that a husband could not claim and receive his wife's personal property, though standing in her maiden name. It remained for the sapient conscience of Vice-chancellor H----n to introduce the interpolation upon all precedents in equity, but which will be no more regarded by future chancellors than the decisions of preceding ones were by him. The bench, however, has since got rid of him by a removal, and a happy riddance it was. We may conclude from its effects, as well as its etymology, that a chancery is a court wherein the causes are decided by chance, and wherein the goddess Fortune, perfectly blind, presides. Would it not save much time, costs, and trouble, instead of the present mode of bill and answer, and all their interlocutory proceedings, to adopt the more summary, popular, and just mode of appealing to her by the usual tools and implements, a raffle, a pack of cards, or heads and tails. Let the parties accommodate their difference by the fashionable game of old sledge, or whist, or brag, or a throw of the dice, and I will warrrant they will have as fair a chance at least, and save thousands in money and years in time, consumed by the present system. It is a monstrous excrescence on the fair face of our jurisprudence, and ought to be lopped off.

        In October, 1804, Mr. Sawyer was elected one of the electors of President And Vice President for the district of Edenton, composing six counties, notwithstanding he lost the vote of Currituck, by the sheriff failing to attend with the returns, at the appointed place. The college met at Raleigh, the December following, during the sitting of the Legislature, and he then made a lengthy and able speech in favor of the republican candidates, which was listened to with earnest attention by the members of the Legislature; after which he deposited his vote for Thomas Jefferson and George Clinton, who received eight votes each, out of the twelve. This introduced him so favorably to the majority, that he was immediately afterwards chosen one of the seven counsellors of State, a post more of honor than profit, for they were not once convened during the whole period, and, of course he received nothing.

        In the spring of 1806, upon his return from a visit to Washington, he learned that Col. Thomas Wynns, the representative in Congress, had declined a re-election, and he thus found the opportunity he had much desired, of becoming a candidate under favorable circumstances. He had some weeks the start, a no inconsiderable advantage in an election race, of his opponent, William H. Murfree, of Murfreesboro, and gained the victory by over a thousand majority. Mr. Murfree succeeded him, however, six years afterwards, Mr. Sawyer, having declined in consequence of ill health which debarred him from the house a whole session.

        Congress was convened on the 26th of October, 1807, by the proclamation of President Jefferson, on account of the irritation of the public mind arising from the attacks of the frigate Leopard upon the Chesapeake within our waters, and the imprisonment of four seamen from her crew, on the pretence of their being deserters. Mr. Sawyer gave his hearty support to the administration both by his votes and his speeches, through its long and arduous struggle with Great Britain, in the successive measures of embargo, non-importation, non-intercourse, and war, and vindicated the rights of his country against the insults and oppression of that domineering power. In


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August, 1810, Mr. Sawyer married Miss Mary Snowden, a beautiful young lady, of the vicinity, the niece of his brother Enoch's wife, and grand-daughter of General Isaac Gregory, who commanded the militia at the battle of Camden, on Gates' defeat, when, on endeavoring to rally his men, he was wounded. They lived with her parents for the present, and until Mr. Sawyer returned from Congress, to which he was again elected over his old opponent by the usual large majority. When his time of departure arrived, Mr. Sawyer took a most affectionate leave of his wife, whom he left in tears and proceeded to a friend's that afternoon, at a distance of ten miles on his rout, intending to remain with him that night, and start for Norfolk the next morning. He loved his wife so dearly, he felt the pain of separation so severely, that he found it impossible to go without her. He therefore returned before night to the family, and persuaded his father and mother-in-law, to allow their daughter to accompany him. She was their favorite, but his wife and sister joining with him, their consent was obtained. The next day they visited his brother Enoch, for the purpose of prevailing on his eldest daughter Sarah to accompany them to Washington. The family agreed that Sarah should accompany them, as there were four daughters left to console them in her absence. They remained a few days with their relations in Norfolk, and thence proceeded by a packet to Baltimore and reached the seat of government the next day.

        Mr. S. engaged board in the same mess with Mr. Clay, and his amiable wife on Capitol Hill. Their families became inseparable, and joined in all the numerous parties, of which not a week passed that they were not invited to two or three, by the heads of departments, the President's levees graced by Mrs.' Madison and of the foreign ministers. Vice President Clinton was also a member of our mess, and showed such marked attention to the ladies, that my niece was joked upon her mighty conquest, and nick-named Mrs. Vice. My wife divided with her the admiration and attention of the young members, and the military officers, several of whom were in the suite of General Wilkinson, who was then present attending a court of inquiry, ordered at his own request for charges made against him by Mr. Randolph. It was universally agreed, that they were two of the most beautiful women in the city, and my niece having been educated at a female seminary in Philadelphia, added to her personal charms a highly cultivated talent for music, which was on every evening that we remained at home, called into requisition by a numerous and attentive audience, with V. P. Clinton at their head. My wife among others made a conquest of the French Minister, General Tureau, who was an old widower, and who called upon us frequently for the purpose of meeting with the ladies in the drawing room. - In fact, we passed a most delightful season till the 4th of March, when we broke up, and I look back upon that winter as the happiest in my life, since those gay, innocent, playful school-boy days, which are always excepted. The house where we boarded on Capitol Hill, belonged to Thomas Law, the brother of Lord Ellenboro who had laid out a fortune of $100,000 and upwards on lots and improvements in Washington. He boarded (being separated from his wife, the niece of Mrs. Washington, Miss Custis) a part of the session with us. He was an eccentric man. of great nervous excitability and quick impulse. He often joined us in a game of whist, and though the rapidest player that probably ever was seen, he was one of the best. His stake never exceeded one dollar, while that of the members generally were from 5 to $10 on the game. Had it not been for Mr. Law, my expenses would have exceeded my pay, and I should have been straightened for means to get home. I agreed with him to stake $5 or $10 on every game he played, I would risk the balance and what he lost over his stake, I would make good, and what he gained he should give me. That relieved him of


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the embarrassment which his low bets occasioned. Upon retiring early in the evening, I offered him on that occasion $20 as a fund to start with, but he refused to take it, saying he had enough to meet all his losses. The next morning after breakfast, he handed me thirty dollars as my share of the gains of his skill and good luck, and frequently afterwards, on his return from Whist parties, he would give me sums from 5 to $20, and not more than once or twice, had I to make good any trifling loss. His son John, was a very respectable counsellor, and was engaged by Wilkinson to defend him in the court of inquiry. He had a most beautiful daughter about 15 years old, and although she was with her mother, she frequently called on him at his room. She seemed to be an angel of light and appeared as a peacemaker between them, and I never saw her leave the door without being suffused with tears. But it all would not do - He remained irreconcilable to the day of his death.

        We left Alexandria the 5th of March, 1811, in the packet for Norfolk, attended by a number of young gentlemen, the fruits of Sarah's conquest, to see the last of us, and bid us adieu. We reached home in good time, meeting the smiling spring, the croaking music of the frogs (always grateful to me, but now seldom enjoyed,) and passed, a part of our way, under festoons of yellow jessamine, suspended from the highest trees and perfuming the whole atmosphere with a delicious incense. Soon after our return, my wife from prematurely leaving off her flannel, took a cold, and had a violent attack of inflammatory fever, with congestion of the lungs. Nothing but the most unwearied attention and the best medical experience saved her. She was bled, during the fever, three times copiously, the two last at my suggestion because I perceived that her pulse indicated it, though strongly opposed by her parents. Before she finally recovered, her kind, affectionate, and attentive mother was taken sick, no doubt from great excitement at the danger of her daughter, and exhaustion upon setting up by her. Her disease was nervous fever, and her end was hastened by depletion while I happened to be out of the way, she having seen its good effect upon my wife, requested the doctor to bleed her, and he was fool enough to do it, though her pulse was then weak and rapid, and of a typhus grade. She sunk rapidly, and in three days, we lost our dear parent, and best and steadiest friend we had in the world. I have dwelt somewhat upon the particulars of Mrs. Sawyer's illness, and my constant attendance on her from which I derived the gratification of having done my duty, and aided in her recovery, for the purpose of contrasting it with a future occasion, on which I have to reproach myself with a want of this conjugal tenderness, and which above all other sins I ever was guilty of, was heaviest on my conscience.

        In the fall of 1811, my health suffering from the effects of that sickly season, I travelled to the north as far as Baltimore, and among the hills in that neighborhood, from thence I went to Philadelphia, where I had a niece at school. I recovered my health before the end of September, but delayed my return, without any assignable reason, till the middle of October, when I was attacked with my tedious and distressing complaint, gastro-enteritis, or dyspepsia with nervous irritation. I immediately gave up all hopes of returning home, and would have compromised with fate for a safe arrival at Washington before the session commenced.

        I placed myself under the care of my old physician, Doct. Benjamin Rush. After a few days attendance, I discovered the drift of his remedy, and it immediately lost its charm. He invariably began by asking questions, and introducing political subjects, to draw my attention from my disease by making me think of something else. But I could not be led away from the sore point, but sat brooding over my ills, and venting my complaints and discontent, and would not be comforted. The Doctor applied few or no prescriptions but mental ones. I was not confined, however, and as the


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term approached I felt great anxiety to escape the severity of the winter and enter a more genial climate, and he encouraged my intention of endeavoring to reach Washington by easy stages, in company with some travelling friend. I reached Baltimore by moderate journeys, and after a few days' rest, started with a horse and gig for the city. It is the nature of the disease to render the patient restless, impatient and to urge him on beyond his strength. I can compare him to nothing more suitable than a mad dog, who the moment the symptoms appear, starts off in a brisk trot, and never stops till he is knocked in the head or falls exhausted. I named it restphobia. The nearer I approached Washington, the more anxious was I to reach it. I arrived at Rossburgh to dinner without suffering much from fatigue, and had I remained there all night, and the next day, all would have been well, and it would have saved me much of suffering, besides other dreadful consequences arising from my imprudence. I was irresolute for some moments after dinner, whether to remain or not. But at last I hastily decided by a sudden impulse, without any new light of reason or cause, to go on that night. After proceeding four miles, I began to feel overcome, but there was no comfortable quarters on the road from Bladensburg, and a kind of fatality which had before led me into such predicaments, or wilful obstinacy urged me on, and although I did not proceed out of a walk, when I reached my quarters I was completely exhausted. My symptoms were aggravated two-fold. I was a miserable invalid the whole winter, and never once took my seat during the session. I employed a doctor and took a great deal of physic, but nothing did me any good. Were I to be put on my oath, I do not know but that I should be obliged to swear on my conscience, that I never took a dose of medicine while laboring under these chronic diseases, that did me any good, but that in many instances they have done me harm. I depended on exercise and diet, and as soon as the river was clear of ice, the first of March, I took passage for Norfolk. My wife found me there in a few days. The sight of her revived me. By the advice of Doct. Rush, I put myself on a milk diet, and as I could not endure travel, (I will not say fatigue) by land, we took the water route, by the Dismal Smamp Canal, which saved me all jolting for more than half the journey. It took me three or four days however, to accomplish the journey of forty miles. I gradually regained my health by a milk and vegetable diet, and exercising much on horseback, and by the first of June, I had serious thoughts of returning back to my seat. But upon making a demonstration on a very hot day, of twelve miles, I was completely cured of my travelling fit and was glad to get back next day alive. My little farm was flourishing. It was a beautiful and central location, and now belongs to my successor, W. B. Shephard, whose land adjoined, My wife was six months advanced in the family way. I thought the house (which was a mere shell, and low pitched,) an uncomfortable one, I persuaded her to return with me to her father's roof in August, much against her will, and as it appeared afterwards against the judgment of her father, who wished to see me do well and to apply my time steadily to the business of the farm. I afterwards perceived my error, when it was too late to correct it, and was sorry I did not remain over and run the risk of a relapse, or a billious attack; rather than incur the displeasure of my wealthy father-in-law by such childish and fickle conduct. I soon afterwards, feeling some unpleasant symptoms, took a trip down to the sea-shore to fortify myself against the insalubrity of the approaching fall. When I returned after a week's absence, my father-in-law received me coldly, and my wife was not in the best humour. She required as much attention and caressing to retain her affection as she did to gain it, and I was not a person to submit to such terms. I was getting unwell as the month of September progressed, (the most sickly


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month in the year,) I felt myself uncomfortably situated, and I concluded to take the sea-shore on my route to Washington, and though a few miles out of the direct way, to stop a while at Curntuck Court House. It is situated on a high shore on the sound, which is there ten miles across to the inlet and the sea-shore. Before I left, my wife grew ill, but not so much so as to require particular attention, and she kept an obstinate silence from me of the state of her feelings. The night before I left, she lay quiet, and never complained once. Only that her sister declared she was sick, while she was carrying a hearty breakfast to her, I should not have known it. She did not make any objection to my excursion, and I started in a horse and gig, having a neighbor with me to bring them back, should I conclude to go on. Our family physician being on the route, I called on him to request him to visit my wife, but not finding him at home I left order to that effect which he complied with. Had I seen him, I should have bethought me to get him to promise to send for me, should she grow worse. I remained there four or five days, but heard nothing from my wife. When I started in the morning, I was so divided in my opinion what course to pursue whether to return, or go on, that I stopped to deliberate before I entered the main road, which was the Rubicon in my destination. I asked the advice of my nephew, a lad about sixteen, but he was undecided too, but I think rather inclined to visit Norfolk. In this state of indecision, bordering on distraction, I determined to submit the event to chance, and starting the horse in a gentle trot, I threw the reins down, and left it entirely to his decision. On what trifles do the most important events hang. He turned into the road for Norfolk, and I was a ruined man. I went on about twenty miles, and stopped for the night at a friend's. I was only twenty-five miles from home. My wife grew worse. She sent an express after me which went to the court house; but not finding me there, instead of pursuing me, and he might have come up with me that night, he returned home. I reached Norfolk the next day, and sent the gig back, remaining in total ignorance of the sad change which had taken place at home, which for ever blasted my hopes of happiness in this world. I had been at my sister's in Norfolk at least a week before we had any tidings from Carolina. She had learned from a market man the account of my loss, and imparted it to me in such a delicate way, with such an air of doubt, that I immediately went to the market to learn the particulars. I there found the man a neighbor of mine, who informed me that my wife was dead and buried, and that he was at her funeral. She had been delivered of a seven-month daughter, and expired from the exhaustion, preceded by ten days illness. I was overwhelmed with sorrow, remorse, and a most guilty conscience that whispered in my heart, that I had been negatively guilty of murder. I returned to the house so overcome, that I was taken violently ill, so that my sister called in the aid of a physician. It was a week before I retained sufficient strength to attempt a fulfilment of my resolution to return home. My sister accompanied me. I had a brother living near the Dismal Swamp Canal which was about half the distance, and by going by water I was enabled to reach there the second day, but found my strength entirely insufficient to enable me to reach home, without resting and recruiting several days. My sister consented to go on, as she felt much interest in seeing my daughter, and she had a sister and brother in the neighborhood, whom she had not seen for a year or more. She found my little daughter with a wet nurse employed, and the old gentleman devoted to the little grand-child. Everything was explained to the family, and my unfortunate ignorance to the last, of the real condition of my wife. She remained a week with her relatives, but before she returned my dear little infant had expired, it is supposed from being overlaid by the nurse, and thus one major inducement for


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my visit to the family was destroyed. I, therefore, mending but slowly, and being half way on my journey to Norfolk, concluded to retrace my steps, and by the tenth of November I again took shelter under my sister's roof. My father-in-law, as he had a right to do, and as there was no one there to take care of them, carried the negroes back to his house, together with the stock and furniture. I have since been very sick and thought myself at the point of death; and upon a retrospect of the black catalogue of a long life of sin and shame, this act of mine towards my wife presses heaviest upon my soul. It overbalances all the rest, although I have repented in tears, although I have confessed the odious offence to my confessor, and received his absolution, which I have prayed may be ratified in heaven. I never shall be able to clear my conscience of the stain of cruelty, inhumanity, and a want of conjugal affection in thus abandoning my wife at such a critical moment. None of the circumstances attending the case can afford the least excuse or palliation on my part. I ever shall believe, had I remained with her, had I nursed her with the tenderness I did on a former occasion, had I watched her symptoms, and I have much medical skill and experience, had I manifested that anxious concern and kind sympathy which was due to her and which she had a right to expect, she would have recovered or at least she should have had the consolation of dying in my arms. But by that one false step, I was deprived of wife and child, and an ample fortune, and committed such a heinous sin, that a whole life spent in penitence can never atone for. Mr. Snowden lived only two years afterwards. His whole estate, worth at least $40,000, fell to the surviving daughter. She had married, against her father's advice, a dissipated and insolvent Englishman by the name of Charles Bowring, a relation of Doct. Bowring of London, and in less than three short years the whole estate was squandered. They moved to the neighborhood of Norfolk, and undertook market-gardening, with one or two slaves all that remained out of forty. But he kept constantly drunk. The neighbors' castle got in and destroyed all the vegetation, and as a last refuge they moved to Norfolk. Here the scenes soon ended. He had neither money nor credit left. He died a miserable sot in the street, and she soon followed in a state of degradation, little short of starvation, and broken-hearted. I proceeded to Congress and served my term out, which ended in the year 1813. Feeling that I ought not to press my claims for a re-election, after losing the whole of the preceding session from indisposition, I wrote to my principal friends, that if Mr. Murfree would again declare himself a candidate, I would yield the field to him. He did so, and was elected the May following. I returned home in tolerable health, and retired to my little farm. I felt rather solitary and unhappy, and preferred more society and busier scenes. In the course of two years I sold my place at a very great price, and with the avails, about $2,000, went to Norfolk with a view of engaging in some other business. I consulted a friend there, who had been an extensive shipping merchant, and he advised me to enter into the book and stationary line. I entrusted him with the money to invest in that merchandise, and in the meantime became an inmate of his family. He became embarrassed and failed to procure the goods I wanted. A young man whom I saw daily in attendance for the purpose of obtaining means to set up a country store, I thought would meet with success, in case he succeeded in obtaining the capital; he went to Carolina, and opened in my old neighborhood, at a place called Sawyer's Creek, where my guardian had lived, and where I was admitted as one of the family and received as full a share of affection and partiality as either of my companions, their son and eldest daughter, nearly of my age. He had a store here before I left him for Flatbush, in 1793, where he made considerable money. But both himself and wife were dead when I returned home


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in August, 1796, and I was ushered into the world in my 20th year, and put in possession of my little property, without their sage advice and direction, and without any knowledge of the world, or judgment to manage my pecuniary affairs.

        After some persuasion my friend entered into my views, and equiped the young adventurer with a small assortment of dry goods, groceries, and hardware; and he arrived at the spot with his cargo in a lighter through the Dismal Swamp Canal, and opened his store without competition for ten miles around. He had a good run of business, and kept the boats steadily employed in bringing through the Canal, the grain, lumber, and other produce he received. I was charged with the sale of the produce which came to my order, and the purchase of all the supplies necessary to keep up the assortment at the store. We continued the business until March, 1817, when the store-keeper, after long complaining, grew worse, and was incapable of managing the concern. Being a Jersey man, the climate disagreed with him, and he determined to return home as soon as the warm season advanced. I willingly consented to accept the commission of visiting the store, and taking charge of the business, as it again threw me into the arms of my old playmates and schoolfellows, and recalled the pleasing associations of my boyhood, by returning to a shop endeared to me by a thousand recollections. On my arrival, I found our partner laid up with the rheumatism, and as the busy season was nearly over, and the stock of goods wanted replenishing, we came to the conclusion to sell out, by auction, for cash, and wind up the concern. We accordingly put up advertisements, and about the middle of April fixed the day of sale. A large concourse of people attended; goods were scarce, and money plentiful, and the stock went off briskly at fair rates. I received the avails, settled with the store-keeper, who soon left for his former home, and I indemnified myself for the loan of $2000 and interest, out of the avails.

        Among the company in attendance, was the sheriff of the county, a next door neighbor of my brother Enoch, and an energetic and popular man. I had been absent from the district fifteen months, and could not be fairly deemed a resident. I learned that Mr. Murfree had refused to serve any longer, alledging that he lost more money by it than he gained honor. There were two candidates for his place. But it seemed the people generally did not like either. My presence, in the centre of my old constituents awakened all their predilections, and revived feelings similar to those aroused by Bonaparte on landing from Elba at Frejus. The sheriff solicited me to declare myself a candidate. It never for a moment entered my head, when I left Norfolk, a few weeks before, that I should find an occasion, or the wish of the people, to renew my former political connection with them. But I found I had hit upon the lucky moment, and I determined to seize it. The multitude gathered around me, I made them a short address and concluded by declaring I should be proud and happy to serve them again, if they thought me worthy, and was greeted with loud huzzas.

        I then commenced my electioneering tour, with the requisite funds, as an election in that State is a very expensive undertaking, and every cent a member can save out of his earnings, out of his pay and mileage, is consumed in the next campaign - an election, a week before the general one, was held in the uppermost county, Hertford, that I was not aware of, and of course did not attend, so my two antagonists divided the vote there nearly equally. But I met them in the next county, Gates, where I was less known than in the middle and lower counties, but where one of the candidates stood the strongest. I received only 80 votes there, however, out of 500, and being quite unwell, stopped at the public inn at the Court House, to rest and take some remedies against the bilious symptoms which


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affected me. As the court was about to set, which would collect the greater portion of the people, I concluded to stay until its adjournment, in order to learn the result of the election before I left, and to form a better acquaintance and strengthen my influence in that county. For four days we had not heard a syllable from the rest of the district; and from the returns in these two counties, my chance appeared desperate. In the afternoon of that day, the sheriff of Pasquotank, one of my strong holds, and the backbone of the district, rode up to the door, having business in the county above. We met him as he entered, all anxious to hear the news. He remained silent for some minutes on the subject, and talked on indifferent matters. When he did commence to open his budget, he merely asked me how I came on in Gates, and how many votes I had got there. I told him. What said he, 80 votes. Then, by G-d, you are elected. It was so close, that I only cleared my nearest antagonist by about that majority - or plurality over the two, as a majority over all is not required there. A loud huzza was raised; the largest bowl on the premises, and it was a monster, was filled with the best of toddy, composed of that most delicious of spirits, the apple brandy of the county, was handed to the sheriff, who did ample honor to my success, and thence circulated. It was drained and refilled, till they all had sufficiently manifested their cordial approbation of my triumph. I received the congratulations of many who voted against me, which I took in good part, and to which I knew how to make suitable acknowledgments. The next morning, though a little feverish, I started on my return. I had but 60 miles to go, to reach my home, Elizabeth City, which was the centre of my popularity, but on arriving at my brother Frederick's, who lived on the canal, and about half way to Norfolk, I was obliged to lay by, and concluded to give up my visit to the lower part of the county, where my friends expected me. I felt too unwell to perform the journey there and back. I feared I should be seriously attacked with bilious fever. After a few days' rest, I took passage by water, through the Dismal Swamp Canal, being too weak to ride, and arrived at Norfolk close upon the news of my election. It was news indeed to my numerous friends and relatives there, who had no thought upon my going out to Carolina, five months before, that I could become a candidate. Among the first persons I met, was a young lady, with whom I had fell, not head and ears, but about up to the middle in love, and to whom I had sent through a friend, on the eve of my departure an offer of my affection, or if that was too strong a dose, my friendship. She refused to receive either. She was now radiant with smiles, but by a cold, frosty look, and a formal stiff bow, I "nipp'd these blushing honors thick upon her," and let her know if she could not love the man, she should not have the Congressman. I ought to confess that I had previously given her cause of offence, by giving her name' to our lighter, which she thought degraded her. To regain my health. I chose a sea voyage, and took passage, in a small packet, only 80 tons, with about 30 passengers, for New York, about the 26th of August. Upon going on board, and witnessing so many persons embarked, men, women, and children, it occurred to me that some of them would have to go without berths, and I immediately entered the cabin and secured mine. It was well I did, for when night came, six or eight of them had to pick out the softest plank, or to lay on the cabin floor. We, however, had a short passage, having a fair wind, and were only two nights subjected to the hard trial of a soft plank. I arrived as soon as the news of my new honor, and passed a few most pleasant weeks between Flatbush, my old Alma Mater, and the city. I regained my health, enjoyed the hospitalities of my old, and made acquaintance with many worthy new friends, and left the city in November, with very favorable impressions, to arrive at the seat of government


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a few days before the meeting of the house, in order to choose a good seat in the Hall, and obtain a choice lodging room: both of which I happily accomplished.

        I did not renew my acquaintance with my old fellow members, nor extend it among the new: and few persons were aware of my being in the house. The first knowledge they had of me, was on the occasion of my old friend, Col. R. M. Johnson's commutation bill, when I arose like an apparition before them, and opposed its passage. The Col. among others was amazed, and after I sat down, came up to shake hands with me, and to express his sorrow that my first appearance on the stage, for the last six years, should be on such an occasion. The Colonel answered me with his usual urbanity and good temper, but he lost his favorite measure. Though it is not my intention to detain the reader in the current of his reading of this narrative, by laying in his way any abstraction of a long, dull speech of mine, I trust he will allow a few pages of some of the lighter ones to be strewn in his path. It was on the 17th December, 1817, the bill came up for discussion. The first section contained a provision authorising the government, through its pension agents in the different States, to commute with, or buy from the holders of patents of bounty lands issued to soldiers of the late or present army, by allowing them in four annual payments $140 the acre. The speech as reported in the Intelligencer is a very condensed and brief summary of my observations. It states it thus, - "Mr. Sawyer of N. C. opposed the bill by a variety of arguments, but principally upon the heavy demand it would create upon the treasury. Money he said was power. He did not wish to live to see another empty treasury. We had enough of that the last war. If that had continued another year, I do not know what would have been the consequences arising from "a plenteous lack" of money and credit, (after advancing various illustrations of the advantages of a full treasury) Mr. S. added, that he considered this bill as merely offering a premium in speculation. It was surprising, he said, how industrious we are, as soon as we find we have a balance in the treasury, to get it out again. But of all the schemes contrived for such drainage, the bill appears to be the most ingenious. No prodigal was ever more anxious to lavish a rich inheritance than we do that whenever intrusted to our care by the people. For his part, he wished there could be stationed at the gate of the treasury, an angel with a flaming sword to prohibit entrance to all who had not an order from the genius of economy, countersigned by the hand of justice."

        This is but a skeleton of the speech I delivered. I recollect it was given at length in some of the papers, and that I forwarded several copies among my constituents, not forgetting my useful friend, the sheriff of Camden, among whom it was well received.

        It was not long before I had another opportunity of gratifying my oratorical propensity, though I should not have been so hasty or rash had I known I should have provoked two such champions as Mr. Clay, and Henry St. George Tucker, the half brother of Mr. Randolph. The latter, as chairman of the committee of Roads and Canals, or internal improvement, for the purpose of testing the sense of the House on that doubtful and unsettled policy, introduced some resolutions, with a view of authorising and instructing that committee to report a bill to effect the object of internal improvement.

        Mr. Monroe had but just commenced his first term, and, in his message, had distinctly stated his objections, on constitutional grounds, to any measure or act that might be presented to him for his approbation to any such measure. On the 6th of March, as soon as the house resolved itself into a committee of the whole, and took the resolutions under consideration, I


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moved the committee should rise, with a view of getting the subject immediately in the House, for the purpose of moving its indefinite postponement I stated as my reasons for the motion, that as the President had expressed his insuperable constitutional objections to the policy of internal improvement, I thought, unless we felt confident we could carry the measure by a two-thirds vote, or a constitutional majority, it would be an idle waste of time to discuss it, and urge it forward. It was known also, that there was before the Senate, a proposition to amend the constitution, so as to give this. disputed power to Congress; from which it might be inferred that branch did not conceive the power existed. To prevent a tedious and useless debate, to the delay of more important and practicable business, I felt it my duty to make the motion that the committee rise and report progress, to which I for one should not grant leave to sit again. Mr. Tucker was up in a moment, to protect his offspring. Mr. Clay followed, and expressed an earnest desire that the debate should not be thus early strangled by my motion, but that every member should have an opportunity to express his opinions on this great and important question. He expressed a preference in seeing me come out in a constitutional speech in favor of this wise policy, than to be the first to try to stifle it at its birth. The committee felt disposed to accommodate the gentlemen in their wishes, and my motion was lost.

        A long debate ensued. I had an opportunity of making, if not a constitutional speech, at least (as I said), not an unconstitutional one. I find it reported at length in the Intelligencer of the day.

        Though I am convinced that I took the wrong side of the question then, and have changed my ground, yet as this speech, though upon the whole rather a foolish one, contained so much humor, drollery (and not to say wit), that makes me laugh while I am transcribing it; in hopes the reader may join me in the laugh, not at me, but at my manner of treating the question, I give it, word for word, as I find it.

        "If my opinion should correspond with the President's I shall not think the worse of it on that account. I do not entrench myself behind the President's veto, but as the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Clay), has placed me there, I am perfectly satisfied with my station. While I am defended by his shield I feel safe from the gentleman's attacks. If it were any gratification to the gentleman to notice the cordiality with which the President was received on his Northern tour, I hope another opportunity may be shortly afforded him for a similar gratification in a Southern tour. Like the sun, I hope he will soon visit us, cheer and enliven us in his annual course. I for one will be ready to hail his approach, and give him a warm and hearty welcome, if for nothing else but the very course he has observed with regard to the subject before us, which other gentlemen have thought proper to condemn. I stated on a former occasion, that so far from feeling any repugnance at his interposition on the first instance, I was glad of it, as it was intended to save us all the useless waste of time and treasure which this discussion would necessarily give rise to, and I am only sorry we did not improve the hint. It was for that reason I moved to postpone the subject indefinitely; for as I anticipated the result, that there would not be a constitutional majority in favor of it, I was unwilling to see the commencement of this wordy war, which has been waged for several days, with unabated warmth to the no small entertainment of the audience, but, very little, in my apprehension, to the settlement of this question, or the furtherance of the important business of the nation. And although I may not be able to satisfy the gentleman's (Mr. Clay's) call on me for a constitutional speech, I will promise him it shall not be an unconstitutional one, which is more than I can say of some speeches I have heard.

        "On the constitutionality of this question, I stated that I did no think it


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worth while to enter into a discussion of that point. I have too humble an opinion of my own powers to expect to convince others, and if I can advance enough on that head to satisfy my own political friends, as I can my own mind, of the propriety of the vote I shall give, I throw my javelin of hope no farther.

        "I have a sufficient reason to satisfy my own mind, on the ground that there is no express provision delegating the power to Congress; if there be, let those who assert it point it out. Do they expect to show it by a long course of argument? I, who have sworn to support the Constitution, must have something to satisfy my conscience more positive and clear than any labored attempt at a constructive power, by so fallacious a method as argumentation. Nor shall I feel satisfied with the production of precedent. Precedent without law has no weight with me. If other persons have deemed the right constitutional, that is no reason I should: for that would be to make other's consciences the standard of mine, which I will not do in politics or religion. I must have a proof so clear, that there must be "no hook or loop to hang a doubt upon." Did I understand some gentlemen to say that this government could and ought to exercise this power without the consent of the several States interested? Such language would be more suitable to that of a Nero to a Roman senate, than the occasion to which it was the other day applied by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Mercer.) Strike out the words in the resolution "with the consent of the States," and undertake to enforce this high-handed doctrine, and the constitution will be in a fair way to be cured of that plethora the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Clay) spoke of: for if it requires depletion, it will assuredly be let blood. If such a violent course be attempted, I apprehend it will be met with more arguments than any used here. Those who may come with their pick- axes, spades, shovels, to tear the virgin bosom of our country, in defiance of us, may plant themselves behind the first bank they throw up. The very first hole they dig may prove their grave. Should my State unfurl her banner, I, for one, would plant myself under them, and resist till the flesh was hacked from my bones, before I would submit to such despotism. If the States have a mind to fold their arms, and suffer themselves to be tied and bound together in this cord, like a knot of slaves, let them - but while our hands are free, I trust we shall use them in defence of our rights, from whatever quarter they may be assailed. I was born free, so have I lived, so will I die. It is true as the gentleman from Kentucky stated, it might be prudent "to obtain the consent of the States." Indeed, I think it would. Under what clause of the Constitution is this right conveyed? The 10th article of the amendment declares, that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States themselves, or to the people. This question resolves itself into a syllogism, and they must first prove the major and minor, before they draw the conclusion. They must show that the power is delegated to the United States, or is prohibited by the Constitution to the States, or the category must follow, that it is reserved to the States or the people. Perhaps it may be looked for in the 1st clause of the 8th article, under the terms "general welfare." What would a plain unsophisticated man say was the meaning of the words "general warfare." Political health, the full enjoyment of the constitutional faculties of the whole Union. It is a relative term, and means no more than that the General Government should have a watchful eye over the common weal, and see that each member of it enjoy that portion of political sanity, and maintain that true course around its own axis, imparted to it at its creation. They have all hitherto existed and flourished under this wholesome constitutional supervision of the General Government nor do they now see any occasion for this extraordinary and


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officious care proffered to them by the resolutions on the table. They have gone on very well in their old course. Enjoying a good share of health, they feel no necessity of being obliged to swallow drugs, because their family physician may prescribe them. I have known children being killed with too much care, and I believe it has fared with States as with individuals.. Augustus Cæsar, out of a kind concern for the "welfare" of his country, generously took the management of it into his own hands. Oliver Cromwell promoted the general welfare of England by a similar token of parental kindness. Bonaparte manifested the same disposition, and extended the same fostering hand over his countrymen. I only hope this is the last practical commentary upon the text of general welfare. Let us examine the 8th section of the 1st article: "To establish post offices and post roads" On this head, the gentleman from Kentucky admitted there might be a concurrent jurisdiction, and that the principle might be pushed so far as to produce collision between the State and General Government. Does not this prove that the right is not clearly delegated to the United States? For if it were, this collision could not take place. There is no collision between the parties in the exercise of other delegated powers. The instance the gentleman puts of an excise on the same article by the States and General Government, is not applicable to the case, because the jurisdiction of each might be complete and independent over the subject, and that of the General Government is expressly given. The Constitution does not grant power by halves, it does not. create a partnership between the States and General Government with an equal contribution of political capital. When it professes to make a transfer of power, it does it completely and absolutely. The idea of the United States keeping the roads in repair, and at the same time leaving murders and other felonies committed on them to the State Courts, is entirely irreconcilable to the power and jurisdiction of the United States in analogous cases. Murders committed in forts and arsenals are exclusively under the cognizance of feudal courts: and if the United States had jurisdiction over post roads, their tribunals would be equally exclusively paramount. A great display of etymological learning has been exhibited on the word "establish." The gentleman from Kentucky contends that its meaning is to construct, - to make. I cannot think it can be tortured into such a meaning in regard to roads. Its true meaning will be found in its application to the nature and character of the object expressed. Thus, to establish post roads, is merely designating the transportation of the mail by a certain route. If the framers of the Constitution meant that Congress should make and construct roads, they must have said so in so many words; because they could not find any other expression of such intention. When a new road is about being made, the common definition of operation is to open, run, or cut, but never to establish. How could they mean to make and construct, when they were already made and constructed under the authority of the States. The question has been already so much debated that I shall not detain the committee with such other reasons as occur to me on the constitutional points; I merely meant to show that I, at least, entertain doubts on the subject. When I once doubt on a constitutional point, I cannot give it my support, particularly when it proposes the transfer of power into my own hands. Nor are these doubts to be removed by the uncertain deduction of argument. When I hear a speech of one hour, attempting to establish a constitutional point, I naturally begin to have my doubts about it, and several speeches of two or three hours each, with the same view, may remove them, but in a very different manner from what the speaker intended. If the power be granted, why all this pains to show it? It is only necessary to turn to the clause, and if it be there, we have ocular demonstration, and the question is decided. I have seen so much of the fallacy of human judgment, and of the


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erroneousness of argument, that I begin to admire the policy of one of the kingdoms that Gulliver visited, when, after a politician had made a long speech in favor of a proposition, he is forced to turn about and vote against it. A few words on the expediency of the resolution. As to the detention of the Western mail for several days, which the gentleman so feelingly described, whose fault is that? If the ways of the western people are so bad, it is high time for them to mend them. Do the people of Kentucky mean to look on and see the other States making turnpike roads, and expending their wealth and enterprise in improving the face of the country, and then call upon the General Government to furnish them with means to make similar improvements? Do they wish to tax other States to make their turnpike roads and canals? If the gentleman's wagon sticks in the mud, let him apply his own shoulder to the wheel before he calls Upon Hercules. Look at New York, and behold the noble work she is engaged in? See New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and my own State through her Dismal Swamp Canal, intersected with turnpike roads and canals in all directions. Would it be fair now that they have made such progress in these works by their own means that their money should be taken out of the common stock, and given to other States who have supinely looked on, and made no exertions. The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Clay), has told us of the constant stream of wealth that has flowed from his State into the treasury, without one drop stopping by the way to enrich the soil. I can say the same of my State, with the addition that it flows through channels dug with her own hands.

        "Suppose the gentleman was to obtain a repeal of the acts he enumerated for facilitating our commerce on the ocean by the erection of light houses and buoys, who would he injure most by it. Is not the trade of Kentucky as much benefitted by the patent reelecting lamps of Lewis as any Atlantic State? How is the produce of the West to find a market except through her regular channels' These are the necessary means and instruments for regulating our commerce, indisputably vested in Congress by the 3d Article of the 8th Section of the Constitution, in which Kentucky is as much interested as North Carolina. or any other State of the Union of equal population. But the gentleman, although arguing for the expediency of the measure, confesses, that however expedien t, unless constitutional, it would not be proper to exercise the power, while I am so convinced of the inexpediency of it, that I could hardly vote for it, if I had no doubts of the Constitutionality of it, and if I should hereafter be in favor of the only mode to effect this object, a constitutional amendment, it must he upon the contingency of a conviction of its then expediency. We cannot afford to make the advances or to spare the money required by this measure, which is only the commencement of a system. I am not for giving away our money till we have paid off our national debt. We owe about 100 millions of dollars, besides a large amount of private claims; when they are paid and we have more money in the treasury than we know what to do with, 1 shall have no objection to let it be expended in the manner proposed, under a constitutional amendment. At present, I think the nation would be more benefited by this money remaining in the treasury, than by any use it could be put to in the way of internal improvement. The greatest improvement of the nation is to fill its coffers. Let our improvement, like charity, begin at home. Let us never forget the straits we were put to during the last war, for want of money, and which drove the nation to the very brink of ruin. We don't know how soon we may be involved in another. It behooves us to improve and take care of our resources and be always prepared for the worst. We should be just before we are generous; for besides the national debt, there are private claims on our table to an incalculable amount, and if a fair


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proportion of them only are allowed it will make a sensible diminution of the amount in the treasury. The gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Tucker) seems to apprehend a great deal of difficulty about the disposal of our surplus money. If he will only wait till the end of the session, I will promise him an end of his difficulties on that head. Our conduct puts me in mind of the kings of Sweden and Denmark, when an island rising up between them, each claimed it, and after "note of dreadful preparation" between them to decide the title by arms, the island sunk into the sea again. Though this treasure is now floating above the surface of the treasury, it will before long be swallowed up in the unfathomable gulph of private claims. Three successive Presidents have labored under the same difficulty with the gentleman from Virginia, and have recommended a similar disposition of our money, but the House soon found there was no necessity to torture their ingenuity on that head. We have made some heavy appropriations already, besides several heavy blows aimed at the treasury which missed it by a hair's breadth. There are now before us, two claims alone, which, if allowed, will make a huge void space in our vaults, and cause them to "reverb a hollow sepulchral sound."

        "I deem it the best and the safest policy to wait and see if we have any money to dispose of, before we fall out about the method of disposing of it. If, after a few weeks' contention we should decide in favor of the gentleman's proposition, the tidings should arrive, that the cause of our dispute had disappeared, it would be placing us in rather a ludicrous plight. Wherefore, having my doubts of the constitutionality of the resolutions, and feeling certain of their inexpediency, I am constrained "to vote against them."

        Although the above speech may be deemed somewhat lengthy, but nothing in comparison to several delivered on that occasion, it is hoped that the reader may be sufficiently amused to keep up his attention to the end of it. It is a good joke, to hear me thus talk about economy, and to witness my wonderful care and sharp vigilance over the people's money. One would conclude, that if I were not a miser, I were a most provident and economical house-keeper, and were enjoying the satisfaction of adding daily to my growing "piles of wealth." There never was a greater deception. I was always as reckless and short-sighted in money matters as an Indian, and never knew the blessings, the cheerfulness, after manhood, of independence, except for a few short intervals when fortune in some of her freaks has thought proper to smile on me, but soon bestowed her darkest frowns, on seeing the ill-use I made of her favors. I may say, it was not the failing of any one of my seven brothers, all of whom made fortunes, and the youngest, Wilson, amassed $50,000 by his own industry and enterprise as a merchant, although he did not live long to enjoy it, but died and was buried at Saratoga Springs, in his 40th year, in September, 1824.

        There were three distinct messes under one proprietor, a desperate black- leg fellow, who in order to monopolise the board on Capitol Hill, rented all Mr. Law's row, containing seven or eight houses, and having entered into an understanding. with other boarding-house keepers in the neighborhood, put up the price of board to 15 dollars a week. In consequence of this ex- action, which members generally would not submit to, some of his partners in extortion, for fear of losing their custom, gave way and reduced their charges. Our Landlord Bailey, in consequence, was not half full, although he had run largely in debt, in furnishing so many houses, and providing servants and a part of his winter's stock of provision. I took the old quarters that I so pleasantly occupied with my family in 1810-11, when we had an agreeable party of a dozen members, some of whom had their families. We fared tolerably well for a month or so. In that time we were joined for a short period by a notable personage, Bailey came into the drawing-room,


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where we were all congregated, and ushered in a gentleman, as Douglass, Earl of Selkirk, the first lord I had the honor of seeing. He was a very modest gentleman, of the light hair, blue eye and fair complexion of the Highlander, and some of us endeavored to smoothe the way to a better acquaintance, by a sociable conversation. He had planted a colony on our North-western borders, called Pembina, at a great expense, but on one of our engineers, Major Long, visiting that spot, in his tour of exploration, shortly afterwards and taking an observation for its latitude, he found it was two minutes or so within our boundary line. Lord Selkirk had to break up, and remove his colony further North, and nearer lake Winnepeg on the Red River of that region. He informed me that he was a partner in a new fur company, called the Northwest, and his traders coming in collision with those of the Old Hudson's Bay, a battle had ensued and several lives lost on both sides. His lordship among others, had been under arrest by the authorities of Upper Canada, for a charge of murder, or manslaughter, but was admitted to bail. After much disturbance, several fights, and a serious appearance of a civil war between them, the matter was finally compromised by a union of the two companies. In these operations his lordship had expended at least £60,000, and seriously, if not ruinously impaired his fortune. We introduced him to the ladies, among whom, the most conspicuous, was Mrs. Hunter, wife of the Senator William Hunter of Rhode Island. She was as agreeable as beautiful, and was the idol of worship to all the gentlemen of the mess, whose attentions she seemed no ways disposed to repel, but maintained a perfect impartiality to all that approached to offer up their incense to her attractions. The Senator did not interfere in the least, and showed no signs of jealousy at the marked, but respectful, behavior which was so generally bestowed on his lady. We had a regular contest every evening, for a seat by her side on the sofa, and it was amusing to observe the tricks played upon each other to obtain the favored place. While two gentlemen were up in a scuffle for that honor, I once slipped behind them and got it myself, to their discomfiture and the merriment of the company. We practised the game of battledore with the ladies, and one of us made it a point to challenge Mrs. Hunter, in order to have an opportunity of gazing on her fine person as she displayed it before us, in every variety of attitude which that graceful game was calculated to show her in. We got his lordship to join in the amusement, and he soon became a good proficient. He however maintained a grave and dignified countenance, though without the least tinge of lordly pride. He escaped the fascination which bound us, and left us very favorable impressions of his correct deportment, great intelligence and pleasing and unaspiring manners.

        Our social enjoyments, however, were soon destined to a painful interruption, and our pleasant company dispersed among other messes. Bailey did not, with all his extravagant charges, meet his expenses. He was himself a gambler and possessed dissipated habits. He was living with a woman, in rather a questionable state of moral propriety, though she officiated as a helpmate in the culinary and other domestic duties of the establishment. Times began to grow hard and pinching among the messes. Sometimes the wood was out, and consequently our fires. The good provision of the table began to diminish and dish after dish disappeared, until we were in danger of being seated at another watery feast of Timon. The creditors applied in vain for their dues, and some of them anticipating the difficulty, had been beforehand with others, obtained judgment against Bailey, and for want of something more convenient took his precious body, and as they could not "coin it into ducats," put it into durance vile. We were for days put on short rations, and had to supply the deficiency by our own means. After Bailey had suffered confinement for a week or so, he contrived to escape, and


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in so doing, made a general jail delivery, for he took nearly the whole broadside of the building with him. Upon viewing the hole whence he made his exit, a chasm in the wall appeared, from the upper story window nearly to the basement, and large enough to drive in a wagon and team. The marshal, Mr. Ringgold, advertised a reward of $500 for the seizure and delivery of the said Bailey, or securing him in any county jail. In a few days afterwards, large placards were everywhere posted up offering a reward of $1000 for the said Ringgold to be paid on delivery of him to Robert Bailey, and a proportionate sum for both or either of his ears - signed by the said Bailey and dated from his retreat in Berkley County. Our sufferings at last became too intolerable to hear. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter looked out for another house, and we soon followed their example, and found not only cheaper, but better fare. The session closed in May, and I returned home and made the usual tour of the district. Whether it was from my invitation in my speech on the internal improvement resolution, or from a laudable desire to make a tour of inspection personally, as Mr. Monroe afterwards stated, in June he did us the honor of paying us a visit. He came out with about twenty gentlemen as an escort, besides four or five as a part of his family, among whom was his and his wife's nephews, James Monroe and Samuel Gouverneur, Esqrs., of New York. We received them as they reached us from Norfolk, by the Dismal Swamp road, they having passed a part of the day in visiting Lake Drummond, and spent that night at a public house on the Canal, about sixteen miles from Elizabeth City. In returning from the lake in a yawl boat, furnished from the Navy Yard at Gosport, and manned by four of the seamen, she struck on a stump, and canting to one side, threw a greater part of the passengers overboard. The water was not over four feet deep, but was plentifully intermixed with mud, and several gentlemen, among them Com. Elliot got a due proportion of both. When they arrived at the hotel, in the carriage, the Commodore hastened to divest himself of his muddy garments and to invest himself with those of a lighter complexion. His mind, however, was ill at ease with the accident, and in giving vent to his discontent, did not spare even his Excellency himself, who happened to be standing near the carriage at the time. The Commodore in loud terms cursed the folly of a President of the United States in attempting such puerile trips in such a place, and throwing his friends into such a ridiculous plight.

        In the midst of his soliloquy, Mr. Monroe put his head into the door of the carriage, and saluted the abashed Commodore with the question, "What is the matter, friend Elliot?" The Commodore laid an injunction of secrecy upon the cause of his complaints, and hastened his toilet in perfect silence. We heard of their approach; and in the afternoon I rode a few miles out to meet the cortege, the dust of which, for near a mile off, gave signs of their approach. The President's carriage, surrounded by a dozen attendants on horseback, was in the van, and Mr. Crowninshield and Calhoun followed, and I fell into the rear, and joined them at the City Hotel. Here I introduced a large number of the citizens, and at their motion I invited Mr. Monroe and his party to remain over the next day, to give our constituents the opportunity of tendering to him the hospitalities of the town, and to become their guest at a dinner the next day. He and his numerous escort accepted the invitation; and accordingly a large number of the citizens united on the occasion, and sat down with them to an excellent repast, in which a fine green turtle presented the most inviting dish.

        My brother Enoch was Collector of the port, and with the other brother, Wilson, composed a part or the company at dinner. My brother's (the Collector's) residence; a spacious mansion, was three miles distance, across his toll-bridge, in Camden County. He invited Mr. Monroe, and all his escort, to spend the evening with him at his house. Upon his assenting, he merely


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wrote three lines, and sent a messenger to his wife, notifying her of the honor of the intended visit. Had the President come, like Lear with his hundred knights, he could have accommodated them. I took Mr. Calhoun in my barouche, and all the rest of the company followed in their carriages and on horseback. Among the number I may mention the Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Crowninshield; Mr. Basset, a member of Congress from York district; Mr. Newton, from Norfolk; Col. James Monroe, and Mr. Samuel Gouverneur, the President's private Secretary, and ten or a dozen private gentlemen, that joined the suite at Norfolk. My niece Mary, a beautiful and accomplished young maiden, entertained the party, after early tea, till bedtime, by some of her best airs on the harp, an instrument on which she excelled, accompanied by a sweet well-trained voice. Col. Swift was the gentleman, usher and cashier to the President. Before tea, it being the month of roses, Mary went to the flower garden, to prepare a bouquet for the President. Col. Swift watched her; and as soon as she came through the gate with a beautiful bunch of flowers, declaring that he must have it, gave chase to her: they had a hard race for it, but she reached the President first and put it in his hands. We passed an agreeable evening. The President appeared highly gratified at his reception, and always made it a point to inquire particularly into the welfare of the family upon meeting me afterwards. The next morning the President took his leave, and the whole cavalcade departed, on their return to Norfolk, and thence on their route homewards. Elizabeth city being the termination of their Southern jaunt that year; but I may state, the same party, with his Excellency, paid us another visit the following year, when I had the honor of meeting them at Educton, and introducing them to my constituents there; my brother, Dr. Sawyer, being among the principal ones to join in honoring the company by a grand ball and supper in the evening, after a sumptuous dinner in the large room of the Court-house. The President thence proceeded in a steamboat furnished by the mail contractor, down the Albemarle Sound, with Col. Swift and others, to make a reconnoisance about the Inlet of Nag's head, and the Narrows at Roanoke Sound: with whom I was especially invited to join, but respectfully declined. Mr. Calhoun concluding to proceed homewards, to S. C., we obtained for him a private conveyance from a friend near Windsor, in Berlin County, to Tarboro, whence he could obtain a seat in a regular stage. On the return of the party from Roanoke, we separated, they returning to the north, through Gates and Nansemond, and I finished my election tour by the end of June. Having "made my calling and election sure," and finding, for the first time, the track clear, I concluded to spend a part of my earnings, thus unexpectedly saved, by a trip up the Bay to Baltimore. I was absent during the day of election in August, a rather dangerous hazard, but it was not much known in the district. I was on my way back homeward, and reached the district on the evening of the same day; but finding all right, I again turned to the sea-shore, and took passage, at Currituck Inlet, in a small coasting vessel, as none other could find water enough over the bar, and made my annual tour from Baltimore to New York. In October I was joined by my brother Wilson, wife and eldest son Julian, then five years old, who came on by sea in a brig of his. We re-established our health, and passed an agreeable season, which that great emporium always presents in the fall, when the climate and the conflux of travellers combine with various other means to please and gratify the temporary resident.

        I may here casually mention, that Jacob Barker was then in his zenith of prosperity; and the first time I had ever tasted of that popular dish, chowder, was at a supper at his house, to which myself and brother were invited. The company consisted of some of the first characters of the State, the Mayor, De Witt Clinton, Judge Smith Thompson, and' Ambrose Spencer.


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I found Mr. Spencer a remarkably pleasant and gentlemanly personage. He asked my advice on the subject of internal improvement, it being then contemplated to hazard a beginning of the Erie Canal, whether it would be worth while, or proper, to apply to Congress for aid in that vast undertakeg. I candidly stated my objections, and the difficulties they would experience, if they waited the tardy and doubtful motions of that body, to commence the enterprise. He was convinced by my reasons, and concluded it the best and most noble policy to rely upon the unaided energies of his own State. His son, John C. was then a member elect, and was to take his seat at the ensuing session of Congress. The Judge was polite enough to commit his youth and inexperience to my more mature judgment and direction. I could but smile at the suggestion, and answered the Judge, that I had too humble a sense of my unworthiness, and thought his son was much more able to advise and direct me than I him. The party passed off pleasantly; though I thought Mr. Clinton rather a dull companion. He said little; and all the observation he made at supper was, that the lawyers, of whom there were two or three distinguished ones present, governed the State. They ruled and controlled the Judges, and the Judges ruled the people; which aphorism, if applied to one branch of the justiciary, the Chancery, would not have been far from the truth. I did not relish Mr. Barker's chowder, which was a villainous compound of offensive tastes; in which artificial fire, in the shape of Cayenne pepper, predominated. The rest of the company thought otherwise; and as there is no disputing about tastes, I let them have their own way, without being convinced by their persuasion and example.

        Early in December we set out on our return, and travelled a part of the way with some distinguished characters: among them Mr. Forsyth, who paid marked attention to Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer and their boy Julian. At Baltimore we separated, he going down the Bay to Norfolk and I proceeding to Washington. On arriving at Rossburg, three miles from Bladensburgh, I left the stage, resolved to rest there that night, for the roads were then so rough and broken, that I was so much jolted as to require a night's repose. Just before night a carriage and four drove up, in which I observed two gentlemen and as many ladies. I took the liberty of waiting upon the ladies, and handing them out. They were remarkably handsome, and one of them, the youngest, particularly. We entered the parlor together; and addressing myself to the youngest gentleman, mentioned the circumstance of my remaining over night, and that I thought it would pass more agreeably if could have the pleasure of forming their acquaintance. For that purpose I begged leave to introduce myself; and Mr. Stoughton immediately introduced me to Don. Onis and his daughters, now on his way to the city, as minister from Spain. The ladies spoke our language as well as natives.

        We established a lasting friendship; and Mr. Onis gave me an invitation to call on him at his residence. Soon after arriving at the city, as the rule is, I left my card, and in three days received Don Onis in return, and was among the first guests invited to dinner; where I had the honor of a seat near the ladies. We frequently met at ball parties, given at their own house, and by the other foreign ministers, especially Mr. Hyde De Neuville, where I had the pleasure of dancing with them as partners in cotillions. I was the best representative from the South, on the floor; and it was no trifling art, but one which rendered me always an eligible partner to the ladies. The figure was not given out then as now, by a leader of the band, nor were there a regular series of them, but every tune had its own particular figure allotted to it, of which scores of promiscuous ones were played in the course of the evening. I have often been amused and flattered to observe the parties in the nearest sets waiting to see me lead off, which I always could do without hesitation. The ladies occasionally visited the sessions of the House,


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when I uniformly joined them in the gallery, Don Onis, owing to the ill treatment of Spain, and the exciting discussion going on between him and Mr. Adams on the subject of the cession of Florida, in 1819, was rather in bad odor when he came within the bar of the House, as the rules allowed, to witness our proceedings; none of the members, except myself, saluted him. I always approached him in a friendly manner, and entered into a sociable conversation. With Mr. Stoughton, who is since the Spanish Consul at the port of New York, and was then attached to the embassy as Secretary of Legation, I have maintained an uninterrupted friendship. The eldest daughter was married by proxy to the Marquis Heredia; and since their return home, about the year 1822, after we had closed the treaty of cession of Florida. I have not heard the fate of the youngest sister, though she deserved a happy one. The Chevalier died a few years since.

        I was laid up the greater part of the session of 1820, at Baltimore, being taken with my old symptoms of gastric and nervous irritation and debility, on the road from the north; and the fatigue of the journey and cold weather aggravating the disease, so that I did not resume my seat till the 20th of April, about the time of the duel between Decatur and Barron. I had lost so much ground in the popular favor by this and other detentions from my seat, and long absence, by which my name was so often out of the list of the ayes and noes on the journals, that it was remarked and made an objection against my re-election. So that by the time I returned home, early in June, I found a competitor in the field against me, Gen. James Iredel, a gentleman at the head of the bar, and one who has had the honor since of being also at the head of the State government, and Senator in Congress. He, however, was not popular on account of his politics, being on the opposite one to the administration, or what was called a federalist. I had only to ride through the country, to associate among my old friends, to remove the unfavorable impression which they had felt, on account of my long and frequent absence from the house, and to turn the current of popular prejudice in my favor. But the course my adversary took against me completely ruined his chance, and that blow which he intended against me, rebounded on his own head. Some malicious personal enemy at Washington had been plying him with letters from that place, with charges and certificates to prove my previous connection with a woman of bad fame, which, though I am ashamed of confessing contained too much truth, yet I was not singular in that offense, though I was singled out as a victim to a base and unworthy motive. Mr. Iredel gave copies to the printers, two of whom were on his side in politics. They seized the food of slander with avidity, and distributed handbills through the district, with an expectation that I would be overwhelmed with the storm of excitement it would create. They fell into their own snare. General indignation was excited, but against themselves, and I rode on the wave of popular favor that engulphed them, while it landed me safe and triumphant in my seat again. My majority was over seventeen hundred. I felt, of course, an additional share of gratitude for this unmerited generosity, by which the people had consigned my offences against good morals to oblivion, and pressed me to their hearts notwithstanding my sin. I determined, however, to give no future occasion for a repetition of the offense, or of the accusation, and on going to Washington I decided to marry the first decent girl I met. I was fated to forego the pleasure of wife-hunting, however, and to suffer that privation among others from the effects of a severe cold caught on board the packet by sleeping near the door of the cabin of the packet on my way to Washington on the 1st of December. The disease settled in my head, and although it did not prevent my daily attendance in the house, yet the pain, which seemed to come on in regular paroxysms at night, was so severe that I could not lie in a recumbent


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posture, nor get a wink of sleep till near midnight. After suffering this till March, a friend called to see me; upon learning the nature of my . complaint, he gave me the pleasing assurance of an infallible remedy, as he had used it frequently in similar cases. It was warm French brandy, well applied at night, on going to bed, by the hands, and continued for half an hour, enveloping the head in flannel. I tried it, and went to bed a well man. A few days afterwards another acquaintance called on me, and hearing me complain of my lonely condition and of my determination quickly to change it, without waiting for the usual tedious process of courtship, informed me that he knew of a good opportunity of my being accommodated, as there were two sisters who occupied a part of the same house with his family. The father had been a wealthy farmer, represented the County of Bedford in the Senate of Pennsylvania, but had met with a great reverse, and was now living in poverty. He offered to introduce me, and I accordingly accompanied him to the house, and was presented to the family. The eldest sister, a most beautiful creature, was put forward to receive my onset. I was satisfied, that time, with a short reconnoisance. I called again the next afternoon, and observing the younger sister, who was refused to me, (as they term it in military phrase, where a wing of the army is not brought into action) busily employed in the labor of the house, I approached her, and after a few preliminary remarks, opened at once the business of my negotiation. I found her innocence personified, very handsome, and possessed of a sweet look and disposition, and though only sixteen years of age, while I was on the wrong side of forty, I at once proposed myself. She at first objected her tender age and inexperience in household affairs, but finally agreed to permit me to ask the consent of her parents. They knew something of me from the partial representation of our mutual acquaintance, and I did not leave their door till they had given their approbation to the match. Thus, within three days after I first saw the young lady, she became my wife I had no time to inquire into her disposition or temper, but I judged very correctly, from the unerring signs her physiognomy exhibited, with the few sentiments I heard from her lips; and knowing as I did that matrimony was a lottery in which the adventurer, no matter how deliberately he may put his hand in the wheel, was as apt to draw a blank as a prize, I ventured at once. I never had occasion to repent of my choice. She was the most gentle, modest, sweet-tempered creature I ever knew. She humored me in all my caprices and irritability of temper, and would never betray the least anger or obstinacy, however much provoked. She led me a quiet, peaceful, and happy life, the three short years she was spared to me. I advanced her parents funds to extricate their furniture from mortgage, and enabled the mother to open a respectable boarding-house on the Pennsylvania Avenue, where we took a room and had an agreeable mess of members for several succeeding sessions. She bore me three children, but they died in early infancy, except a son, who lived to be able to walk and begin to speak, but unfortunately she took; him with her in the summer of 1824, to our residence in N. C., which is a most unhealthy spot at that season, where he was soon after attacked with bilious fever, that settled into a bowel complaint that carried him off, dying in my arms on our arrival in Washington the following November. The year previous, in September, 1823, I had imprudently returned to my district the last of August, and before the close of September was attacked with my old nervous disease, accompanied with an alarming affection of the heart. I lingered till the beginning of November, before I felt sufficiently restored to dare venture on my journey to Washington, and that by short and easy stages. I made out to reach my niece's, living on the canal, twelve miles from Elizabeth City, who was married to a wealthy gentleman by the name of Samuel Proctor; and remained with them several


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days in a state of much debility. Unfortunately, the canal was emptied for the purpose of excavation, except to the first lock, a distance of six miles. I reached there by water, and remained at a friend's over night, the next day I started with a view of reaching Deep Creek, a distance of about twenty miles, but on going about half the distance, though only in a walk, in an easy gig, and frequently stopping to rest, I could reach only the second lock, where I hoped to find enough water to enable me to descend the balance of the way in a canoe or skiff. But I was disappointed. Nor was that the worst of it, for there was no house to stop at, but mere negro huts, without going over a logged road through a swamp, the place called Bear Swamp, two miles distant. It was night when I came there, and though the house was not comfortable, the landlord gave me a hospitable reception, and I lay down, hoping to attain that greatest balm to a diseased and fatigued body, but I found none. As usual in such cases, a reaction ensued, with most distressing symptoms. I arose next morning from a restless couch, and when I looked around and saw myself two miles from the canal, in the midst of a swamp, fit for the habitation of bears, I could not perceive by what infatuation I had got into such a trap, not being in my recollection one of those quadrupeds, though feeling very much like another, of harder hoofs and longer ears. I had to "suffer durance vile" for two weeks before I gained strength to reach the canal again. Then after waiting half the day, the promised skiff came, there being only six or eight inches water to float in. I made out to get to Deep Creek that night, and felt too weak the next day to leave, and was there a week longer before I could venture to be floated down to Gosport, where I landed and stopped at a friend's for a fortnight longer, though only a mile from Norfolk. I was too weak to make the least exertion to cross the river. I received the kindest treatment here for three weeks, during which time my wife joined me from Washington, and bestowed on me her tenderest and holiest care. We made out in December to get to Norfolk, and remain under the roof of my sister. But as the session was advancing, and ended the 4th of March, and my condition too precarious and weak to undertake the completion of my long journey of two hundred and fifty miles by water, and my friends at home writing discontented letters, and threatening me with a loss of my election if I did not go on, my situation was little short of distraction. The jarring of the steam- boat was always very prejudicial to me, especially on a trip when I had to remain all night on board, as I could not sleep for that vile noise of the machinery, and I apprehended the most disastrous consequences upon adventuring on it, the first of January, in my weak state. However, I was so importuned, and my wife being also anxious, I started. We unfortunately encountered a head wind and snow storm, and were thirty-six hours going the trip. Of course, I was taken out of my berth in a state of exhaustion, and carried to my mother-in-law's, where I lay so helpless that I could not turn in bed, and had to be fed with a spoon, like a child. My wife was an angel of mercy hovering over me, with healing in her wings. Her cheerful, soothing voice and constant presence kept me from sinking entirely, although I thought I must go to my long home, not having closed my eyes for nine nights and days. By a milk diet, which I commenced on the tenth day of my confinement, a little sleep was restored to me, and by constant and careful nursing, I began slowly to recover. All kinds of medicine so entirely disagreed with me that I dismissed my physician. It was March before I could leave my room, and the House adjourned without my being able to take my seat. I was able to return home in June, yet on trial I broke down in making the circuit of the district, and was beaten by a small majority. I had no right to calculate on being re-elected under such circumstances, as this was the third session I had entirely lost, besides several intervals and


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days, by indisposition. My wife, whom I accompanied to Norfolk, returned home and remained there the whole of the fall and winter of 1824.

        I vamped up a manuscript comedy that I had laying by me, called Blackbeard, and paid a visit to my wife in Washington in May, 1824. I concluded to publish a small edition of the comedy by subscription, and for that purpose consulted with Mr. Clay, the Speaker of the House. He encouraged me to take that step, and promised to head the list, and give it a motion through the House. I accordingly handed it to him to which he put his name, and by the aid of the boys who attended on the members in the hall the list circulated freely, and the second day after came out of the House with seventy names attached to it, which just paid the cost of publication; so that I had a clear gain in the sale of about four hundred copies, at thirty seven and a half cents each. It does not become me to boast of any merit or praise which rewarded me in addition to the profit of the work. But I received enough of both to satisfy me - in fact, more than I deserved. I returned to my district after an absence of fifteen months, and although it might have been objected to me on the score of non-residence, yet the people disliked my successor, he had made himself so unpopular by voting against General Jackson for the Presidency.

        The election took place in Currituck (the lowest county, and bordering on Virginia), the last week in July, and about two weeks before the general election. I visited the county about a week previous, intending to make a circuit through a part of it, but was unfortunately seized with a bilious remittent, which confined me till the day of the election. I then made a desperate effort, as my election in a measure depended on it, and reached the principal ground of election (there were eight or ten districts) as the polls opened. I resolutely kept on my feet, though quite feeble, until the polls were closed, when I found I had obtained a majority of 40 in that district. Though I learned the next day, my adversary, by the means of treating and other electioneering tricks, succeeded in the county at large by the usual majority of 300. That county always voted against me of late years, in consequence of my having beaten two of their candidates at different times, who opposed me in Congress, and in doing so excited them and their connections and friends against me, and made them my implacable foes. - The next Monday was the court week for Camden County, adjoining Currituck, and the place of my nativity, and the bones of my ancestors rested within a mile of the court house ground - I addressed my old friends, though showing the effects of my disease by a sallow look and sore lips, I concluded by encouraging them to support me, notwithstanding the loss of Currituck, for with their aid, I could easily balance that majority, and return triumphant from the upper counties. They promised to give it. Two days before the election in the district at large, I went to Perquimons, the middle county, where I thought the issue doubtful., where, from my non-attendance at the last election, I imputed my defeat. There was a separate election the Thursday or day before the principal one, in the upper part of the county, which I attended. I was induced to play their own acts upon my adversaries, and treated pretty largely to such entertainment as the place afforded, in the shape of melons and the distilled juice of the apple, which I repeat, is the most palatable in our opinion, of all the products of the still. I obtained a majority there of four-fifths with the news of which I return to Hertford, as a favorable prelude to the battle of the next day. Before the polls were opened on the morning of Friday, I distributed my file leaders at their posts, well supplied with proper ammunition and went up and down the ranks to encourage my partisans. We gained the day by an overwhelming majority, but it nearly cost me my life. I was overcome with fatigue. heat and fever, and had to remain at head quarters a week. Knowing the anxiety


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of my friends to hear the result from the centre where I was, and the upper county where my opponent went. I wrote them, somewhat in this form, and what was droll, sent it by a parson who was passing at the time.

Bulletin of the grand army,
            Head-quarters, Hertfort,August 13, 1825
.

        "I hasten to give you the result of the glorious victory gained over the caucusites. Finding they had made an impression on my vanguard, stationed in Currituck, by their sharp shooters, and in the use of all kinds of missiles, particularly in a large quantity of liquid fire, by which they gained a temporary advantage, and hoped to dispirit my men at the main battle, I determined to oppose them with the same weapons. I took my station in the centre, and having given the proper orders to officer Col. Morgan, commanding the right wing at Murfreesboro, and Gen. White of the left wing stationed at Edenton, I made my dispositions for a general attack of the enemy on the morning of the 10th. Hearing, however, that the enemy was preparing to establish a post at Newby, in the upper end of the county, and to attempt a sortie on me on the 9th, I hastened up there with reinforcements and an ammunition wagon loaded with a fresh supply of white ruin, melons, and gingerbread. We took them by a coup de main within two hours after the firing commenced, we made 120 prisoners, with the trifling loss of only 21 on our part. From thence I hastened to head quarters, at Hertford, to make arrangements for the great battle of the ensuing day. The sun rose bright and warm, and I mustered my officers, after they had partaken of refreshments, and distributed them at their respective posts. At 10 o'clock, I rode up and down the ranks with my aids, and encouraged my troops to maintain their reputation of veterans, which they had so well earned in seven great victories. They responded with three hearty cheers. I felt confident of success, and took my stand, a little in the rear, and near the Inn, where I could see the evolutions and operations of the lines, and be at hand to ply the ammunition as occasion required. I issued my commands to engage, as the hour of ten arrived, and the engagement commenced with great gallantry by my troops, but with an apparent apathy on the part of the enemy. Soon after the action commenced, their ranks were thinned by desertion, and by 4 o'clock the battle was gained in the complete rout of the enemy, horse, foot, and dragoons. Their leader fell in the engagement, while I received a contusion in the breast by a water-melon, which has confined me to my quarters for the present, but I hope to take up my line of march on my return home, there to dismiss my men, and give them their well earned honorable discharge from this war, till it may be necessary to re-enlist them in the sping of 1827, should the enemy then, under some other leader, attempt to rally the scattered forces of the caucusites."

        The reading of the bulletin created as much merriment as gratification to a knot of my friends at Elizabeth city, on the evening of the same day, and they enjoyed the joke also from the circumstance that so ludicrous a communication had been delivered by so grave a personage as an episcopal clergyman. I returned at the day appointed, having entirely recovered from my exhaustion and my wound; which, in truth, proceeded from the effects of the missile internally. My triumph, however, was marred by the dangerous state in which I found my only child Helenus, about sixteen months old, whom my wife had improvidently brought with her in May, from Washington, and who was a fine, promising child, just learning to walk, and to pronounce the endearing names of his father and mother. By proper treatment the fever abated, but the disease settled on his bowels, and became obstinately chronic, under which our dear child gradually sunk. My wife delayed too long her return to the city. Had she started soon after I went home in August, the child might have had strength to bear the journey. But by waiting till November,


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it was too near gone, and the jarring of the steamer from Norfolk to Washington, over two hundred miles distant, completely exhausted him, and he expired, as I stated, in my arms in ten minutes after arrival. Out of four or five born to me by my two first wives, this was the only child that bid fair to live to years of maturity.

        I was always a great reader. Being of a delicate constitution, I seldom ventured out at night in search of amusement or pleasure, and was in a measure forced to supply their place with books, to occupy my mind agreeably on long winter evenings. The library of Congress afforded a rich literary repast, containing the contributions of the highest talents from all parts of the world, too costly for any private collection, and surpassing all other public ones in America for the number and value of its books. I gathered the best specimens and rarest articles from all the different kingdoms of knowledge, which I stored away, having a bad memory, in a manuscript volume, for future reference and use. This enabled me to be always ready, during the discussion of any important question, with some illustration, fact, or argument by which I could enrich my discourse, whenever I thought proper to take the floor. I had the advantage over every other member from this magazine of learning, and was like an armed man meeting a naked adversary in the field of debate. I had levied many contributions from Ross and Parry's voyages for the discovery of a Northwest passage, and fortunately they soon became available on a resolution introduced by Mr. Baylies, of Massachusetts. As great injustice has been done me, by snatching from my hand the honor of being the best projector in this country of a voyage of discovery, in justice to my claim I may here give a detailed history of the proceedings, and my speech on the occasion.

        On the 18th of December, 1825, Mr. Bailies called up his resolution, which was in the following words: - " Resolved, That the Secretary be required to inform this House whether the sloop of war Boston might not be employed in exploring the N. W. coast of America, its rivers and inlets between the parallels of latitude 42 and 48 north, without detriment to the naval service of the United States, and whether the expense incurred on such service would exceed the ordinary expense of such vessel while cruising; and also whether it would be practicable to transmit more cannon and munitions of war in said vessel, than would be necessary for use." I proposed an amendment to the resolution as follows: - "and thence proceed into Behring's Straits, and, if practicable, to continue her route into the Polar Sea, or through the opening of Prince Regent's Inlet, or Barrow's Strait, into Baffin's, Hudson's and Davis' Bays, and thence down said bays to some port in the United States."

        In support of my proposition I arose and observed, "that this amendment was predicated upon that part of the President's message which relates to our contribution of mind, of labor, and expense to the acquisition of knowledge, and has reference to those numerous voyages of discovery of a N. W. passage to China which have been fitted out of late years, particularly by Great Britain. In 1818 a ship was sent under the direction of Capt. Ross, who for the first time made the circuit of Baffin's Bay, and penetrated as far as 77° N., two degrees beyond the place called Red Head, the highest point reached by whalers. He not only enlarged the sphere of geographical science so much as to render the maps of this section of our continent useless, and added many facts and subjects to natural history, but led his adventurous countrymen through fields and mountains of ice to new harbors of the whale, where full cargoes of whale oil are obtained in a comparatively short time. He invented the deep sea clam, an instrument that brings up portions of the soil from a depth of seven hundred fathoms. He was succeeded in 1810, by Capt. Parry, the fearless champion of science, who in three successive voyages


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has discovered no less than three passages into the Polar Seas, that might lead through Behring's Straits into the Pacific. In his final voyage he discovered the openings which he named after his ships the Fury and Hecla; in his second and third, he found those which he called Prince Regent's Inlet, and Barrow's Strait. It is but three months since he returned from his third voyage, which failed from the loss of one of his ships, the Fury, that was wrecked by a flue of ice, while running through Barrow's Straits with every prospect of success. In his second voyage Capt. Parry obtained the bounty of 1000l., granted by Parliament to the navigator who should first reach the 110th degree of West longitude. He also passed over a portion of the magnetic pole, in lat. 74 and longitude 100 west, immediately after which the compass before varied 108. 58' changed to 165.50' east.

        "Capt. Parry has enriched physical science by many valuable contributions. Contemporaneous with the last voyage was a land expedition under Capt. John Franklin, through the United British Fur Company's posts, down the Coppermine river to the sea. He arrived at the Arctic Sea in August, 1820, and navigated it in a NE. direction in canoes for several hundred miles. He discovered the group of Islands which he named King George the Fourth's Archipelago. He is now performing another journey in that direction, and contemplates meeting Capt. Parry at some given point on the Polar Sea. In about the latitude 64°N., he passed the zenith of the Aurora Borealis, which, as he proceeded, appeared in the southern portion of the heavens. He endeavored to ascertain whether this electric fluid emitted any noise, as is alleged by the Indians and factors, but left that problem still in doubt. He made many observations on the intensity of the magnetic forces in different stations, from the oscillations of the needle - and on meteorology, settled the latitude and longitude of many remarkable points, immortalized his friends and patrons by giving their names to them, and brought home immense spoils from the zoological, botanical, and mineralogical kingdoms.

        "The enterprising king of Britain deserves much praise for the lead he has taken, in conjunction with France and Russia, and the perseverance with which he has pursued these hazardous, expensive, and disinterested expeditions for the common benefit of mankind. The time has come for this nation likewise to enter into this glorious career of discovery and human improvement. Are we for ever to remain idle spectators of those splendid exertions to trace our own continent? Will none but kings enlist in the cause of science? I had as soon borrow their money without any intention of repaying it, as to borrow their knowledge that they have been at such great pains to acquire. We ought to feel that unhappiness that Alexander felt, upon learning the conquests of his father, Philip, for fear he would leave him nothing to conquer. These views of policy, however, being new to us, I cannot flatter myself that they will be greeted by a majority of the House, I content myself by proving that I am willing to go as far, if not farther, than the avowed friends of the President on this part of his recommendation. Can it be pretended that a mere reconnoissance of seven degrees of latitude will be received as a discharge of our part of this debt to science, which the President justly pronounces sacred.

        "The ship, according to this resolution, is to cruize within our acknowledged limits, which from the Spanish boundary of 42° to the British of 49° of N. latitude, includes a space of 420 miles. It is with the view of making a tender, on the part of my constituents, of their part of this debt, that I have offered this amendment."

        As I anticipated, the amendment was lost, being opposed by Mr. Bailies himself, who had some fears that his own resolution would not pass, if encumbered with my amendment. His was therefore agreed to, but owing to the stupidity of the mover, in proposing it as a single, instead of a joint resolution,


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the President refused to carry it into effect. My speech was published the next morning in the city papers, and copied and circulated through all parts of the Union, and found its way in some of the magazines of England. The great credit which was awarded me for this effort to originate a voyage of discovery, amply repaid me for the failure, and the censure that Mr. Bailies received, even in his own State, would have atoned for any illiberal treatment towards me, which I might have accused him of. The impulse thus given, however, to the cause of discovery was not suffered to languish, or to cease with this first effort. The nation was aroused and caught fire at the imagination of the glory it might wrest from the grasp of a rival power on this untried field of enterprise, and would not rest satisfied until an expedition was authorized. Although our government thought proper to give its destination a southern direction, and others have arrogated all the credit of the enterprise, yet in truth and in justice it of right belongs to me, as the first originator and supporter of the proposition. I forwarded a copy of my amendment, with the accompanying remarks, and the subsequent defense, to Capt. Parry, and they were published, with handsome comments, in the Westminster Review, and re-copied in the North American. The pride and liberality of Great Britain was again appealed to, and the government entreated to persevere in its determination to find the long-sought NW. passage, before they were outstripped in the race of glory by the infant republic. I received a complimentary, letter from Capt. Parry, which is inserted below, and another expedition was fitted out under Lieut. Ross, which extended very much the field of geographical science, and found the location of the magnetic pole.


[CAPT. PARRY'S LETTER.]

Admiralty. London, Jan. 30, 1826.

        "DEAR SIR: - I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th of December, enclosing an account of the proceedings of the House of Representatives upon an amendment moved by yourself to a resolution on the subject of discovery on the N. W. coast of America.

        In offering you my warm thanks for the very flattering manner in which you have been pleased to mention my humble services in the cause of science, as well as for your kindness in forwarding to me the account of your proceedings, I beg to assure you of the sense I entertain of the liberal and disinterested motives which have induced you to step forward in the same cause on this occasion. Enterprises of this kind, so liberal in their nature and their object, cannot fail to do honor to the country that undertakes them, even if they do not prove absolutely successful; and I cannot but consider it a proud distinction for you to have been the first individual of your Assembly to propose a measure so creditable as that of promoting science for its own sake. Though your first attempt in this way has failed, I trust, sir, that you will prove more fortunate in any future endeavors in furtherance of that end.

        I believe it is not in contemplation at present to send out any further expedition from this country to the Northwest. It is, indeed, more than probable that we shall await the return of Capt. Franklin, who is now about to proceed down Mackenzie's River in order to determine the actual position of the Northern coast of America. Should any future attempts be determined on, I need scarcely assure you that I am at all times willing and ready to undertake the enterprise, which will, I doubt not, one day or other be accomplished.

Your faithful and obedient servant,
W. PARRY.

To the Hon. Lemuel Sawyer.


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        On the 27th of January, 1826, I had to suffer a most severe domestic affliction in the loss of my faithful, kind and affectionate wife. As if she had a presentiment of her approaching fate, she had occupied a seat by me, every night during the winter, and while I was engaged till bedtime in reading books of general literature, she was intently engaged in perusing the Scripture. We had attended the Jackson anniversary ball on the night of the 8th, where she seemed to enjoy herself and was pronounced one of the handsomest women in the room being then in blooming health and only 20 years of age. In returning from the heated room, the night being cold, it is probable she took cold, for in a day or two afterwards she was troubled with a cough. She showed no serious symptoms, however, till the morning of the 18th, when she was seized with a chill, followed by a fever, and a violent affection, or inflammation of the lungs. Her breathing became quick and difficult, literally panting for breath with her tongue out. I never witnessed so violent a pulmonic affection, and saw at once her imminent danger. I attended her as constantly as I could, and frequently stole away from my seat in the house for that purpose and regretted one day in particular, when being called to the chair in committee of the whole house on a contested election case, I was detained from her till late in the afternoon, and upon flying to her bedside was shocked to find her fever much aggravated with the other symptoms, from the imprudent use of some cordials her relatives had given her. Her sufferings continued unabated and extreme, during the whole progress of the disease. I called in a physician, being a member of the house and a friend of ours, but I fear his remedy did harm. Her pulse was never under 140, and oftener 160 beats in a minute and yet he bled her three times. As it must have been of a typus grade, this depletion was injudicious. I called in another physician of the city of long established reputation, and be applied all the other remedies that suggested themselves, as a blister on the breast and m ild evacuation. But it was all in vain. Though she continued to suffer thus for nine days, such excruciating agony, without a moment's sleep or respite from pain, she never uttered a complaint. The violence of the disease, on the ninth day of its continuance, forced a premature delivery of a male infant which survived only twenty-four hours. She was sensible to the last. She began to sink gradually after the exhaustion from child birth. In the afternoon of the ninth day of her illness, seeing her friends seated around her with sorrow depicted in their countenances, she observed it and read her fate in their looks. I addressed her, and endeavoured to keep up her spirits, by assuring her I did not perceive any danger, and urged her to disregard any tokens of grief she might observe in the countenances of the female attendants and try and compose herself, to get a little sleep. She called me near her and gave the heart-rending sentence, that we must part for ever. She added some wholesome religious advice, on the score of reformation, and which I trust has not been lost on me. Besought me to be a friend of her mother, and to divide her effects between her and her sister. She then called them up end gave them her last commands, and good religious advice. - We were all overwhelmed with grief at this solemn spectacle. I asked her if she was willing to go, and she answered, yes. She rallied a little in the night, and took some soup her mother kept by the fire, and talked on religious subjects, and seemed to join in spirit and devout attention, while two Christian ladies of the neighborhood sung some hymns she requested. In the hope that she might still get some repose, I requested the company to retire, all but her mother and sister, who might rest in an adjoining bed, and to put out the light. - She endeavoured to obtain some sleep, but could not. At 3 o'clock she was seized suddenly with the pangs of death, said she could not see, and called for two candles. I was alarmed by the family, and hastened to her from another room, and found her speechless


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and moaning, and breathing heavy and hurriedly. After about five minutes from the time she was seized in the arms of the king of terrors, she drew a long breath, - it was her last. We followed her corpse, the second day after, to the Congress burying-ground, an appendage to the Presbyterian church, and situated near the eastern branch, not far from the navy yard, where she was deposited, with her infant, among the monuments of the mighty dead. She made so noble an end, that I made a memorandum of the circumstances at the time, and challenge the whole mortuary of philosophers or heroes to produce a more enviable one. But it was in a great measure constitutional. A happy temperament, a good, easy, and tranquil mind, not subject to nervous irritation, both ensure exemplary lives and happy ends. And to crown such blessed characters with the faith and holiness of Christianity in their last trying scene, is all that is required to elevate them to the dignity of angels, and console their surviving friends.

        I continued my course of reading, and filled my Album, or what I called Museum of Literary Curiosities, by transferring to it every remarkable fact and interesting passage, culled from natural science, history, voyages and travels. Humboldt's researches in South America afforded the richest mine of philosophical wealth. Sir Stamford Raffles' account of Java also furnished much novel and curious information. In the course of four or five years, during which I had made extracts from the choicest passages of the works I read, I had compiled two volumes of considerable size. I have to regret the loss of the first one, which was stolen from a room in Elizabeth City, with my trunk and various other articles, but I have the second one, which is full of curious and astonishing facts and circumstances, that would afford a vast deal of information and amusement, without the trouble of wading through a hundred large tomes to obtain them. I propose here, to add a few, taken at random, as specimens from hundreds which the diary contains:

Humboldt, Vol. IV. p. 188.

        The reason that the earth is soon impoverished by the culture of indigo, particularly between the tropics, is because the rays of the sun penetrate freely into the earth, and by accelerated combustion of the hydrurets of carbon, and other accidified principles, destroy the germ of fecundity. Trees and shrubs loaded with branches, such as sugar-canes, vines, &c. draw a part of their nourishment from the ambient air, and the virgin soil augments its fertility by the decomposition of the vegetable substance which progressively accumulates.

        Soil is often accused of being exhausted when in reality it is the atmosphere that is changed by the progress of cultivation and clearing. The air that embraces a virgin soil covered with forests, is loaded with humidity and those gaseous mixtures that serve for the nourishment of plants, and arise from the decomposition of organic substances. When a country has been long cultivated, it is not the proportions between azote and oxygen that vary. The constituent bases of the atmosphere remain unaltered; but, no longer contain, in a state of suspension, those vinary and ternary mixtures of carbon, azote and hydrogen which a virgin soil exhales, and which are regarded as a source of fecundity. The air, purer and less charged with miasma and heterogeneous exhalations, becomes drier, and the elasticity of the vapours undergoes a sensible diminution. - p. 245. The food of plants being already prepared and dissolved, they require no organs of digestion, because the stimulus is applied to these organs directly by the contact of the gaseous fluids which holds the pabulum in suspension; or is the food itself rather


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Too much wet and cloudy weather obstructs the growth of vegetables by preventing the sublimation of the airs in intercepting solar heat, thus causing a condensation of vapors at the surface.

Hot Springs of Trinchera - Humboldt.

        These springs are about three hours' ride from Puerto Cabello. They are the hottest in the world, except those of Urigint in Japan. They are 90° 3 of Reaumur, and boil eggs in four minutes. Notwithstanding their heat, the vegetation around them is luxuriant, and the roots of fig-trees and others have run into the bottom of the spring, at a temperature of 85°. - Hum.

        Note. - In the hot springs of Arkansas small fish exist - a species of aquatic salamander.

The Cow-Tree of Caraccas. - Humboldt.

        The Cow-Tree, Palo de Vaccas, grows at the plantation Barbula, near Puerto Cabello. This fine tree rises like the Broad-leafed Star Apple. Some of the leaves are ten inches. The fruit is somewhat fleshy and contains one and sometimes two nuts. When incisions are made in the trunk of the tree, it yields abundance of the glutinous milk, tolerably thick, destitute of all acrimony, and of an agreeable and balmy smell. It was offered us in the shell of the Calabash-tree. We drank considerable quantities of it in the evening, before we went to bed, and in the morning, without feeling the least injurious effects. The Majordomo told us the negroes grew fat during the season when the Palo di Vaca was in milk. This extraordinary tree appears to be peculiar to the Cordilleras of the coast. A common chain links together all organic nature. This tree is the connecting link between the animal and vegetable kingdoms. The inhabitants of the Andes Quindiu fabricate tapers with the thick layers of wax that cover the trunk of the palm tree. Lately has been discovered in Europe, Caseum, the basis of cheese, in the emulsion of almonds; yet for ages past the milk of a tree on the mountains of the coast of Venezuela, and the cheese separated from that vegetable milk, have been considered a salutary aliment."

Gymnotus Electricus. - The Electrical Eel.

        The electrical eel abounds in the rivers of South America, the Oronoco, the Amazon, and the Meta. In the Plains, particularly in the environs of Calabozo, the basins of stagnant water are filled with electrical eels. They are sometimes taken with the Barbasco, the root of the Piscidea Erythrina, and some pieces of phylanthrus, which, thrown into the pool, intoxicates or benumbs them.

        The Indians told me they could fish with horses - "embarbas car con cavallos" We found it difficult to form an idea of this extraordinary manner of fishing. but we soon saw our guides return from the savannah with about thirty wild horses and mules, which they forced into the water. The noise caused by the horses makes the eels rise from the mud, and excites them to combat. These yellowish and livid eels, resembling large aquatic serpents, swim on the surface, and crowd under the bellies of the horses and mules. A contest between animals of such distinct characters, furnishes a striking spectacle. The Indians, provided with harpoons and long slender reeds, surround the pool closely. Some climb the trees, the branches of which extend over the water. By their cries and their weapons, they prevent the horses from running away. The eels, aroused by the noise, defend themselves by repeated discharges of their electric batteries. During some time they appear to be victorious. Several horses sink beneath the violence of the invisible strokes they receive from all sides, and stunned by the force and


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frequency of the shocks, disappear under the water. Others panting, with mane erect and haggard eyes, raise themselves and endeavor to flee. They are driven back by the Indians, but some escape, When they reach the shore, stumbling at every step, they stretch themselves on the sand, exhausted with fatigue and benumbed by the electric shocks.

        In less than five minutes two horses were drowned. The eel being five feet long, and pressing against the belly of the horse, makes a discharge along the whole extent of its electrical organs. He attacks at once the heart, the intestines, and the plexus callideus of the abdominal nerves. The horses are probably not killed but stunned. They were drowned from the impossibility of rising from the prolonged struggle. By degrees the impetuosity of this unequal combat diminished, and the wearied gymnoti dispersed. They require long rest and nourishment to repair the loss of galvanic force. The mules and horses appear less frightened, their manes are no longer bristled, and their eyes express less dread. The gymnoti approach timidly the edge of the marsh, when they are taken by small harpoons fastened to long cords. When the cords are dry, the Indians feel no shock in raising the eels into the air. In a few minutes we had five large eels. The temperature of the water which the gymnoti inhabit is from 26 to 27° of Reaumur. It is remarkable that animals endowed with electro-motive organs, the effects of which are sensible to man, are not found in the air, but in a fluid that is a conductor of electricity. The gymnotus is the largest of electrical fishes. Two rows of small yellow spots are placed symmetrically along the back to the end of the tail. In consequence, the skin of this eel is constantly covered with a mucous matter, which, as Volta has proved, conducts electricity twenty or thirty times better than pure water. No electrical fish possesses scales They do not suspend their respiration in the air, but absorb the gaseous oxygen like a reptile furnished with lungs. I do not remember ever to have received from the discharge of a large Leyden jar a more dreadful shock than that which I experienced by imprudently placing my feet on a gymnotus just taken out of the water. I was affected, the rest of the day, with a violent pain in the joints. The electric action of the gymnotus depends onits will. They kill at some distance fish put in the same trough.

Edible Birds' Nests.

        Among the interesting subjects which still remain open for research are the habits and constitution of the Hirundo Esculata, the swallow that makes the edible nests, annually exported in large quantities from Java to the Easter Isles, and to China. These birds only abound among the fissures and caverns of several of the mountains and hills in the interior of the country. From every observation which has been made on Java, it has been inferred that the mucilaginous substance of which the nests are formed is not, as has generally been supposed, obtained from the ocean. [He is mistaken, as we shall show presently.] The birds, it is true, generally inhabit caverns in the vicinity of the sea, as agreeing best with their habits, and affording them the most convenient retreats for attaching their nests. But several caverns are found inland, at a distance of fifty miles from the sea, containing nests similar to those on the shore. Dr. Horsfield thinks it is an animal elaboration, perhaps a kind of secretion, but to determine its nature accurately, it should be analyzed. - P. 51. The quantity of birds' nests annually exported to China in junks, is not less than two hundred piculs. Their value as a luxury in that empire has been estimated to be weight for weight in silver; the price for the best being of late years at Canton $40 per katy, or one and aquarter pounds. The quantity of nests obtained from the rocks called Karang Bolang, on the Southern coast of Java, is estimated at a hundred piculs annually, and is calculated to afford an annual revenue to government of $200,000


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The quantity gathered in other parts by individuals on rocks and hills belonging to them is estimated at fifty piculs. The quality of the nests has been improved by European management. The caverns are cleansed by smoking with sulphur, and removing the old nests. The gathering takes place as soon as it is supposed the young are fledged. If they are allowed to remain till eggs are again laid in them, they lose their pure color and transparency. Those collected before the birds have time to lay in them, are superior. The best are those procured from rocks where nitrous damp prevails, where they imbibe a nitrous taste, without which they are little esteemed by the Chinese. The nest cavern will bear two gatherings a year. Those employed in gathering are lowered down with ropes, but it is attended with danger; and the packing away is done by the same persons, carefully.

        Now we conclude by declaring the substance to be no other than the Biche le Mér, found in large quantities among the newly-discovered islands near the shore, in the Pacific Ocean. It is a jelly, supposed to be an inert fish, which is of a delicious flavor, and which Capt. Morrill has brought into notice, in his last voyage. While engaged in preparing a quantity on shore for the China market, on a newly-discovered Island which he called Massacre Island, his party were attacked by a band of the inhabitants, and five or six slain. These the swallows no doubt, collect in their stomachs and bills, as materials well calculated to construct their nests, by its adhesive properties. And as to the five hundred miles, which they have to perform out and in, in the course of a day, it is but a few hours flight, and on their return at dusk with their cargo, they disgorge it as it is required for their mason work. In a few minutes, on alighting upon the substance, which floats on the surface, it is so abundant they can obtain their freight. - P. 51.

Worms for food. or retaliation. - P. 97.

        None of the palms of Java furnish the worms which areused for food in other eastern countries - but similar worms are found in various growths of rotan, solak, &c., which are considered as dainties, not only by the natives, but by the Chinese and some Europeans. They are called Gerdon. Worms of various species, but all equally esteemed as an article of food, are found in the teak and other trees. White ants are the common articles of food in parrticular districts. They are collected in different ways and sold generally in the markets. Their extensive nests are opened to take out the chrysalis. They are also watched, and swarms are taken in basins or trays, containing a little water."

        A picul of rice, 133 1/2 lbs., sometimes sells for only twenty-five cents Generally a katy, 1 1/4 lbs., sells for less than a penny.

Javan Ethics.

        Sir Stamford has given us copious extracts from a popular work, called Niti Sastra, in the Kanir language. We will select a few of their moral aphorisms.

        1. A wise man must on no account listen to the advice of a woman, be he ever so good, for the end of it will be death and shame. But he must always consult his own mind in what he has to do or not to do, never losing aught of the lessons of his instructors

        2. No. man ought to be termed a hero till he has conquered an hundred heroes, nor should any be termed a holy man until he can boast of surpassing in virtue a hundred holy men - for as long as a hero has not conquered an hundred heroes, or a holy man has not surpassed an hundred holy men, he can neither be considered a hero or a holy man. Note. - We fear these rules would prove too rigid in their application to our code of morals.


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        3. The signs of the approaching end of this world will be, all kinds of depravity among mankind. That is to say, the wise will turn foolish, the holy men will become worldly, children will abandon their parents, princes will lose their empires, the little will become great, and commit depredations. In short, every thing will be in confusion." Idem., 254 -

        I ought to stop here, and put my house in order. For if these are the true signs of the end of the world, we have not long to live. I submit them to Parson Miller as powerful aids in sustaining his prophecy, and hope there will be no occasion, after this, of further postponement.

        A bad man is like a fire that enflames all who approach it. We ought never to go near, with an intention to extinguish it. A good man on the contrary is like a sweet scented tree which continues to produce flowers and fruit, pleasant to the smell and taste of every one, and the fragrance of which remains in the wood even after the tree is cut down and rooted out. A perfect man should be in firmness and stability, equal to eight women, and to satisfy a woman, a man must be able to please her in nine different manners.

        4 Public employment is not unnatural in ascent, for there are degrees and regular steps to it; but if ambitious men will needs leap when they may safely walk, or run themselves out of breath when they may take time and consider, the fault is not in the steps, but in the intemperance of the person. - Idem. P. 510.

Java - by Sir STAMFORD RAFFLES. - Vol. ii.

        Tancuban-Prahu, a Volcano, visited by Doct. Horsfield. - Near the centre of the crater, it contains an irregular oval lake, nearly one hundred yards in diameter. The water is white, and exhibits truly the appearance of a lake of milk, boiling with a perpetual discharge of large bubbles, which rise with greatest force on the eastern side. The heat is 112° Farenheit. The apparent boiling arises from a constant development of fixed air. The water has a sulphurous smell, its taste is astringent and somewhat saline. Shaken in a bottle it explodes with great violence." - p. 15.

        "About the centre of this limestone district is a phenomenon. It is discovered by a large volume of smoke, rising and disappearing at intervals. Through this smoke a large hemispheral mass is observed of black earth, sixteen feet in diameter, rising to the height of twenty or thirty feet in a regular manner, as if pushed up by a force beneath, which suddenly explodes with a dull noise, and scattering about a volume of black mud. In two or three minutes it is repeated." - p. 24.

Denman and Clapperton's Travels in Africa, in the years 1822, 23, and 24.

        "The worms so celebrated in the kingdom (Bonou) are found in these lakes (Trona) they are small animalculæ, almost invisible to the naked eye, surrounded with a large quantity of glutinous matter. They are of a reddish brown color, and have a strong slimy smell. When seen through a microscope, the head appears small and depressed, the eyes two large black spots. They are caught in a long hand net, after allowing the net to lay some time at the bottom. It is then drawn a little along the bottom, and when taken up several pints are caught at one haul. By the promise of a dollar, a small basin full was caught for us before breakfast." - p. 44.

        The Trona pond is of inconsiderable depth from evaporation. The Trona (a kind of soda), chrystallizes at the bottom. The cakes of trona vary in thickness from a mere film to several inches. The surface of the water is covered in several places with large thin sheets of salt, of the appearance of ice. In the beginning of winter the trona is the thickest and best, but in the spring it disappears entirely. The size of the lake has diminished considerably


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within the last nine years. There is always sufficient tr onarfe the demand. The quantity annually carried away amounts to four or fivo hundred camel-loads, containing each about four hundred pounds. It is put into square bundles; and sent to Tripoli and Fezzan. The price of each load is two dollars.

Dance of the Girls at Houka, the Capital of Bornou.

        "The Houkowy advance by twos and threes, and after advancing and returning and throwing themselves into various attitudes, accompanied by the music of several drums, they suddenly turn their backs to each other, and suffer those parts which are doomed to endure the punishment of all the offences of our youth, to come together with all their force, and she that keeps her equilibrium, and destroys that of her opponent, is greeted by cheers and shouts, and is led out of the ring by a matron, covering her face with her hands. They sometimes come together with such force as to burst the belt of beads which all the women of rank wear around their bodies, just above the hips, and showers of beads would fly in every direction. Some of the belts are twelve or sixteen inches wide, and cost fifteen or twenty dollars.

        Address is often used in these contests, with better success than strength, and a well-managed feint at the moment of the expected concussion, even when the weight of metal would be very unequal, oftentimes brings the more weighty to the ground, while the other is quietly seated.

Pompeii. - Pompeiena, Vol. 2, p. 106.

        Dice, supposed to be loaded were found in the ruins of Pompeii among other relics of the Romans. Augustus and his court used to play with dice, and they were the instruments of desperate gambling among the Germans, on whose throw the liberty of the adventurer was staked.

        A complete toilet, with combs, thimbles, rings, pins for the hair - Almonds, dates, grapes, eggs, raisins, chesnuts. No forks were found, but all other table and kitchen furniture. Sabinum Rufum - the name of the owner, is constantly found on the door post. A bakers' establishment with ovens, &c., and a loaf of bread, with the bakers name, and the weight and material stamped upon it. - The city was overwhelmed by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius the 24th of August, in the 79th year and in the reign of Titus. The Appian Way, constructed by Appius Audius the Censor, extended from Rome to Capua. It was composed of three stratas - 1st. The lower, of rough stones and flint, cemented together, formed a foundation or stratum. 2d. A middle stratum of gravel. 3d. The upper and well pointed stones of irregular forms. It remains in many places perfect to the present day.

        The loaf of bread found in the house attached to the house of Pansa is now preserved in the Royal Museum at Naples. It is eight inches in diameter. Upon the top is, Siligo, Cranii, E. Cicer. Siligo was a white, but little nutritive flour. A better sort, a mixture of vetch was probably indicated by Cicer, while Oranius was the baker's name. Over the oven was the baker's sign, painted a deep red and motto - Hic habitat felicitas.

        Sir William Gell visited the place twice and gave an account of the progress of the work of exhumation. By a regulation of the government of Naples, visiters at Naples are prohibited from taking drawings of the buildings and other curiosities. But he, being a member of their academy of arts, obtained the privilege. . . . Glass was found, which had lighted the cupola of some of the baths, of good plate glass. It was first brought from Egypt, called valas, from the Coptic. The Romans manufactured allf kinds of jewelry, imitations of precious stones. That they knew the art o glass blowing, the vast number of bottles discovered in Pompeii proves.

        Smegmata, or wash balls. Among the the perfumed oils, were the mendisium,


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the magaliurn, the metopium amaracetium, Cyrprinum, susinum, nardinum, spreatum and jasmine. Heliogabalus never bathed without oil of saffron or crocum. The Cyprian used in baths to put a stop to further perspiration, and its name is still retained. In bathing, according to Lucilius, the bather had to undergo scabor, suppelor, desquamo, pumecorornor, expilor, pingor. By the Turks, the term shampooing is applied, now borrowed by our barbers. At the house of the tragic poet, in the Mosaic pavement was a dog chained, and represented in black and white spots and cave canem, written under him. Among the ornaments found with the ladies' toilet, were two gold necklaces, a twisted gold cord, four braclets, one weighing seven ounces, and formed into serpents. A child's necklace, two small bracelets, four ear-rings and an engraved stone mounted on a large ring, and two gold coins, twenty-two silver coins, a braccierro for fire and a variety of utensils of bronze and earthen ware. In an adjoining house of refreshment, the skeleton of the proprietor was found. He had sought shelter under a stone stair case. His treasure was found near, consisting of gold rings, ear-rings, and 140 pieces of copper and silver coin. The buildings, as the temple of Isis, are fast losing their freshness and beauty, by exposure to the air. The stuccoes, which when first discovered, were fresh, and the paintings on the walls of bright colors, had disappeared on a second visit. The letters A. E. D., which had been supposed to refer to the house, seem, according to Bunocci to signify the Œdile whose favor was invoked by the owner of the shop. . . .

Prickly Pear. - COCKBURN'S Voyage, 1810.

        The prickly pear of Sicily has a peculiar quality. It changes the lava, in a manner breaks it up - and in p rocess of time, pulverises it, though ever so hard, and then it forms the most luxuriant soil. They bring a little earth to any crevise of lava, and plant a prickly pear tree. It spreads and splits the rock in about seven years. A thick growth is formed, and a little earth being added, in ten years more it is pulverised for some inches.

The Dead Preserved. - Idem. p. 362.

        They put the body in a small dry room, in the Capuchin Convent at Palermo, on a sort of large grating. They then close the door so as to exclude the air. By this means, in six months, it is completly dried and quite light, but much shrivelled. They then take out the body, wash and expose it some days in the heat of the sun, after which it is dressed and placed in a niche. A disgusting sight. A visit here might mortify the pride of som e and remind them,


                        "That all which beauty,
                        All which wealth e'er gave,
                        Await alike the inevitable hour.
                        The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

        There are some hundreds of coffins also, on the ground, in which the bodies of the nobility and gentry are deposited in full dress. The relatives keep a lock on their chest or coffin, and occasionally come on a visit to their deceased friend. No woman, Brydon says, is ever admitted into this Convent dead or alive. In this he is mistaken.

The Weichselzoph, or Plica Polonica.

        Cracow is the centre of this singular and revolting disease. It derives its name from its prominent symptom, the entangling the hair in a confused


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mass. Is preceded by violent headache. Attacks the bones, joints, and even the nails of the toes and fingers. It is so obstinate as to defy treatment, it ends in blindness, deafness, or in the most melancholy distortions of the limbs, sometimes all these miseries together. The most extraordinary part of this disease is its action on the hair. The hair begins to swell at the roots, and to exude a fat, slimy substance, frequently mixed with suppurated matter. When the disease has reached a high degree of malignity, not only whole masses, but single hairs will bleed if cut! The hair growing rapidly amidst this corrupted moisture, twists together inextricably - into a clotted, confused, disgusting mass. - Russel's tour in Germany, 1822.

        I have thus ventured to give several pages of these extracts without apprehending any dissatisfaction for their exchange for as many pages of thnarrative. They will be viewed as handsome and valuable mosaic, added as an ornament to the dull uniformity of the work. I will now take up the narrative where I left off, hoping the reader is well refreshed by the agreeable relaxation and repose I have thus afforded him on his journey.

        On my arrival at Norfolk on the 10th of March 1827, on my r eturn home, I was met by the melancholy news of the death of my brother Enoch, the collector, one of the best and kindest of all my relations, a most amiable man and pious Christian. My only surviving brother, Doctor Sawyer, attended him in his last moments, being attacked with gout in the stomach and black vomit. His last end was that of the righteous, the last words he uttered being a quotation from the Bible: "Though I may pass through the dark valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear. The Lord is my rod and my staff. He feeds me in green pastures." His remains had been committed to the tomb of his fathers before I arrived home.

        I did not calculate that any person could find the least chance for success as a candidate against me. I had been in better health than usual, attended more regularly in my place, and as I thought had not been a useless or ignoble member. I met an antagonist, however, at the court house in Hertford, the extreme county, and commenced the campaign. There was always a large party, then called the federal, that maintained a standing opposition against me, and were ready to sustain any candidate that might venture to take their lead. Being fortunately blessed with such bodily health, though by no means robust, as to enable me to attend the public meetings, and to discharge the most irksome and no very reputable duties of electioneering till the day arrived, I succeeded again with a triumphant majority.

        I attended my seat at the commencement of the session, but in March, I was attacked with bilious fever, which was followed by utter prostration and debility, that brought me so low I could not turn in bed. For nine nights, as happened twice before, I did not obtain a wink of sleep, and was so weak, I could neither speak out, nor endure the sound of other's voices. I dismissed my physician, and made a wise exchange for a better one, and on his first visit, we agreed that I should resort to my never-failing soporific, fresh milk and hot rye mush, to which he added a few spoonfuls of limewater. It was the 10th night and day I had passed without a moment's sleep. I made a supper of the milk and mush, I got some sleep - I was saved. I was anxious to arise in time to vote on the tariff-bill, as I knew, after losing so many votes, if I was absent also on that momentous question, it would be noticed, and I should be called to severe account. Towards the last of April, after six weeks confinement, the Doctor ordered me to be taken out of bed, put in a carriage, and rode a mile, or as much as I could bear. A mile was beyond my strength, but the short excursion I took, with a sight of the green trees, and the breath of fresh air, revived me. I began to mend fast, and as I lived near the capitol, about a quarter of a mile, I had left orders


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with a friend, that as soon as the roll was called on the tariff bill, to despatch a hack for me. The debate was kept up till some time in May, and when the ayes and noes were ordered, the back called for me, and I was enabled to reach my seat before the clerk called my name, and thus saved distance and my influence by voting against it. I had heretofore supported these measures for the encouragement of our infant manufactures, and had gone further in the policy than any southern member, and encountered considerable opposition on that account, but as I thought this present tariff bill, of May 1828, went beyond the medium point of protection, I could not vote for it, although it passed.

        In June, I concluded, after so serious a spell, not to return home as usual, but to take a tour to the North, and spend the season at Saratoga Springs. I reached Philadelphia by easy stages by the 12th of June, where I met my sister who had agreed to wait for me there, a few days, that we might travel together to the springs. It was very unfortunate for me, that I found her, as I had passed four days in the vain search, she not having informed me of the house at which she meant to stop, and I had intended to start for Trenton that afternoon, that by broken journeys I might reach New York, without endangering a relapse by the heat and fatigue. I accidentally met her at church, and on waiting on her to her boarding-house, met with a lady from New York, of very respectable family, of considerable wealth. My sister immediately laid her off as a wife for me, and although she was of the order of old maids, was a pious, agreeable, and every way a suitable companion for me. I went on very encouragingly for two days, and from what my sister suggested to her, of our plans, she appeared to lend a favorable ear to the proposition. She allowed me to accompany her, nay, seemed to desire it, to the usual places of fashionable resort, as the academy of arts, the museum, and the rotunda of the hospital, which contained West's celebrated picture of our Saviour healing the sick. As luck had it, another lady from New York who had been indisposed for a few days, recovered sufficiently to join our party. Her brother had been persuaded by her to visit my sister's niece, who was a handsome and really accomplished young lady, and one we thought would be sure to captivate him. I was immediately struck with this lady's personal appearance. She was much younger and handsomer than the first acquaintance. I paid rather too much attention to her to be agreeable to the other, and did not know myself which bundle to choose, like the ass in the fable that hesitated between the two. - Strawberries were in season. I was very fond of them, and made so free with them at all hours, particularly for supper, accompanied with a glass of wine, that they put me much out of order. I had a considerable fever the evening before we were to leave, and did not get a nap of sleep till just before day. Soon after sunrise, I was awakened with a message from my sister to know if I intended to start with them at the hour of six, for New York. I did not reflect upon the impropriety of attempting the journey, in my febrile state and disordered stomach, and on a day in which the thermometer stood 96°. I thought my gallantry would be called in question, if I remained behind, and so I was impelled, by my ill fate, to arise from the midst of a most refreshing and critical sleep, to dress and join them at so early an hour. The hack that was in waiting had been taken by my sister for some little shopping business, and I was compelled to walk fully one mile to the boat, in company with the two ladies, my niece and her new beau being a little ahead of us. Before I got to Trenton, I found my fever increasing, and other very unpleasant symptoms supervening. While sitting on the binnacle in conversation with the youngest of the ladies, the eldest came up from the cabin and in a burst of jealously assailed her with such expressions and charges as confused and astounded us both. I at once saw the difficulty in which I had gotten


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myself, by dividing my attention between the two, instead of adhering to the first. I felt faint and sick all the way through, the travel then was by stage and a very rough road, and by the time I reached the boat at New Brunswick, was sensible that I had done for myself for one while. Yet I could not feel satisfied to stop anywhere on the road. I landed in New York, in a state of almost helplessness. There I found a barouche in waiting for each of the two ladies, and after seeing them off, went with my sister to a fashionable boarding-house in Broadway. As I anticipated, this accursed trip ruined my chance for a rich and respectable wife. I was so unwell for several weeks, that had enough to do to take care of myself, and often felt such horrid affections about the heart, as to make me fear every moment would be my last. It broke up my courtship. The youngest visited a fashionable watering place where she soon after made choice of another suitor much better calculated to make her happy than ever I could be. She however, did not long survive her connubial union, but died in childbirth, within three years. The other lives in single blessedness still. I, however, was determined not to be disappointed in the main object of my visit, and as soon as I gained a sufficiency of strength to adventure into the field of hymen, some friends undertook to make a match for me, and proccured a rich widow, a neighbor of theirs, who they judged would answer my purpose. I yielded to their negotiation. After an introduction and three short visits, we proposed in form, and they conducted the affair with such expedition that in three weeks I became married the third time. It was a desperate chance. I was poor and growing old, but my congressional dignity turned the scale in my favor; for I cannot conceive what other inducements led to the choice on the widow's part. I gained nothing on the score of age, as she exceeded me in that honored degree, and instead of a fortune, I found I had married a law suit, which involved all she was worth.

        I took my seat in December, leaving her to settle the affairs of her late husband, and at the adjournment of Congress, upon the accession of General Jackson to the head of affairs on the 4th of March 1829, I returned home. I had been absent more than sixteen mouths, and being married, and my wife being in another state, it was used as an argument against my re-election, by that party that was always on the watch to seize every circumstance that they could use to defeat me. My wife could not conveniently, or was unwilling to travel on so far south, at that season to join me, by which omission the objection on the ground of residency was much strengthened, and one of my most influential friends being gained over by the other party, I was defeated by my old antagonists, by a small majority. I returned to Brooklyn soon after the election: I found the suit ready for trial. Mrs. Sawyer's counsel demanded an interview with me at New York. On meeting them, they advised me to compromise the suit, or they feared we would lose it. It was on the will of her husband, who had left her the bulk of his estate. The heirs contested it. The surrogate of King's County had confirmed the will. The heirs appealed to the chancellor, Walworth, and he reversed the decision of the surrogate. Upon consulting with my wife on the propriety of compromising, which the other party were willing to do on liberal terms, she utterly refused to listen to the proposal, and forbade me at the risk of her displeasure, to mention it again. Two days before the day set for trial before the Court of Errors and Appeals, her lawyers wrote me a note, informing me that they had not received their fees, amounting to $600, and if they did not get them before the suit was called, they would abandon it to its fate. I had no money to pay them, and Mrs. Sawyer absolutely refused to advance a dollar, though she had thousands in the house at the time, besides stock and funds in the banks to three times the sum. I became alarmed at their threat; called on them and remonstrated at their course, but they persevered in their resolution not to appear.


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        I consulted another lawyer, and we agreed that I could compromise the suit, as far as the personal property was concerned, in defiance of my wife and her counsel, who now took her side against my proceeding without her consent. On the eve before the trial I accordingly entered into an agreement of compromise with the two heirs, one acting as attorney in fact for the brother, by which we agreed to divide the money and stock in the banks, amounting to more than $40,000, between us; she having no children, being entitled to one half. We left the real estate, consisting of houses and lots in Brooklyn, and tracts of land in the central parts of the state, worth $100,000 as it stood, untouched by our agreement, and subject to the future decision of the court under the will. That point has not been settled to this day, as Mrs. Sawyer, being displeased at the course I took, which upon the whole, was a very unadvised and foolish one, as it turned out, would never take any measures to bring it on. I allowed, very improperly, one of the heirs to administer. I received at different times, about $20 000, the first payment being made within a few days after they obtained letters of administration, amounting to $15,000. There were bonds and mortgages and dividends, that raised the assets in their hands to $50,000, but they held back a large part of it on the plea of outstanding debts. I returned to my old district, in December following, as I had promised my constituents, to show them that I had not abandoned them, as I had been charged. It would have been well for me, if I had remained with them. I was then comparatively rich. I had my horses and servant, enjoyed myself among them in hunting by day and the amusement of cards or other social pleasures at night, and had I known what it was to be happy, I then had the boon in my power. There was no possible objection to my abode there, but the climate. It was unhealthy in the fall. That could have been readily obviated by removing to the sea shore. Roanoke and the north Banks were within forty miles, a few hours' sail from Elizabeth City. The place, though of sandy soil. was annually growing up in thick foliage, and trees of considerable size, while the grape and the fig flourished in abundance. There is no place anywhere more salubrious. The inhabitants are stout and athletic, and powerful as mountaineers. It abounded in game, as all kinds of snipe in flocks upon the beach, wild fowl in the sound, and venison in the woods.

        I had spent many pleasant days there, and had recruited my weary body, by bathing in the sea, after an exhausting campaign in the upper counties of the district on my election tour. The inhabitants of Elizabeth City have wisely chosen this place, called Nag's Head, as a retreat in the warm season, where they have built cottages, and a large Inn, and where many families from the neighboring counties join them, and they pass a delightful season, and thus escape the annual scourge, - the bilious fever. To the other advantages of this location, we may add its most suitable one for wrecks. To those who may deem it no harm to speculate on the misfortunes of others, this place affords the best opportunities. Every winter, there are sure to be a wreck or two, and after some autumnal storms, the beach is strewed with goods and hulls of vessels. The bankers are expert in getting off vessels, and frequently buy the hulls of schooners, and other craft of not very burthensome tonnage, for a mere trifle, yet launch them again in the sea, and carry them into a neighboring port, and realize an immense profit. The merchants of Elizabeth City, and monied men from above, make handsome speculations by attending wreck sales. And often handsome funiture, carriages and pianos and harps bound to the south, are wrecked on this coast, and landed with little or no damage. I have known several thousand dollars made at one time, by a relation of mine on the purchase and sale of a quantity of such articles. I made more money while I resided during the winter of 1830 at Elizabeth City, than I expended. But I became discontented


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with my old home. It did did not afford sufficient stimulus to an indolent mind. I had been in New York too much. The country appeared dull to it. I had means to purchase the venal pleasures this great mart afforded.

        In making bargains the southerner has not the tact, the shrewdness, and the perseverance of the northerner. He does not so well see through the whole bearings of the subject, nor calculate the consequences. He is more the creature of impulses and of a sanguine temperament. In the encounter with the well disciplined corps of brokers, he is like contending naked with an armed adversary, and stands as little chance of escaping unhurt. It would be a very imperfect confession, and a criminal concealment, if I were to lay my present poverty to the score of losses or misfortunes entirely. For though I have experienced a full share of both, they are not sufficient to account for the considerable sums that have disappeared, that have taken wings and flown away since my residence here. The faults, follies, or sins which betrayed me into these losses, are fit only for the ear of my confessor. I have lived to see the error of my ways, however, and for years past have, I ttust, reformed them altogether. After all, if I could ever realize the costs of my investment in Texas land stock, the remainder of my days could be spent in the enjoyment of peace and comfort. We must admit, however, that of all the precious gifts that providence can bestow, a sound judgment is the greatest. The want of that has been the principal cause of my failure in discharging properly the purpose for which I was created, the social duties as a citizen, and the moral obligations as a responsible agent to the author of my being. As far as a life, for years past devoted to the performance of those religious duties which I had too long neglected, can compensate or atone for a long career of sinful indulgence, and a determination to discharge the duties which appertain to me as a member of the catholic church with faithfulness in future, I trust I may be secure in the respect and esteem which is extended to me by a numerous class of friends, and that my last days may be illuminated with the pleasing hope of a peaceful exit from this troublesome world to a happier.

        The great source of my discontent is the want of employment. That is a true saying, "quem diabolus non invenit occupatum ipse occupa," the devil employs those that have nothing to do. If not tempted by him to do mischief, he is sure to torment the indolent with ennui, restlessness, and discontent. I have in some measure, overcome these pests to happiness by a passion for reading. I have also relaxed my mind by occasional essays in literature, some of which have appeared in the periodicals and more evanescent daily prints.

        Having seen some notices of John Randolph in some of the monthly and other journals, which seemed only as scraps thrown to the literary public, and having myself contributed a few short numbers to a daily paper, I was encouraged to undertake a more full, connected, and, respectable work, in the form of a pamphlet biography of that celebrated character. As soon as I had collected a bulk of materials, and prepared the introduction, I called on some of the large and popular publishing houses but they all had their hands full, principally of foreign productions, or new editions of old works on which they had no consideration to pay for copyright, and declined the undertaking. I at length found a bookseller, who adventured, but I could obtain no better terms than about one twelfth of the retail price, or two cents a copy for a two shilling pamphlet, payable when the edition was sold, or a given number of copies calculated upon the issue of a second or third edition of 4000 copies each. I had not had proper time to arrange the materials, before they were in the hands of the printer. As he proceeded slowly, having two or three other jobs on hand, I added


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more matter, and put the undigested mass in better form, but did not follow exactly the regular order of time and dates on the principal events. When the impression was made, notwithstanding I corrected the proof sheets, there were many typographical errors; and although I offered a page of errata, the printer refused to prefix it. answering that he could find no room, or that he did not deem it necessary. It was accordingly flung into the face of the public with all its imperfections on its head, with those of the printer superadded. The publisher being possessed of but limited means, and apprehensive of a want of success in the sale of the edition, took a sample of it to another extensive publishing house, and which was the great mart for the sale of periodical and other pamphlets. After improving a night with a consultation over it, by a committee of critics, they accepted the terms, took off the whole edition of 4,000 copies except the few hundred reserved for me, as my share. and got up the pamphlet in a handsome style, making a three shillings work of it instead of the intended and usual price of two shillings. The publisher was thus released from his fears, made something handsome by the job, and the purchasers have, notwithstanding the dangerous experiment of raising the price a third above the fixed standard, I believe disposed of all or the greater part of the copies. Those I had, I found no difficulty in getting rid of in this quarter, but in Virginia such as were sent there to try the market have mostly remained on hand, in consequence of some of Mr. Randolph's relations raising an outcry against the work, either on the score of its want of merit, or from the fact of its having given their relative as he was, his dark side with the bright. It has been severely criticised in the Southern Literary Messenger, of Richmond. I have published an answer to it through the columns of the Daily Whig, of that place, which in order to show some of their grounds of complaint, I have thought proper to give below. An attack was also made as soon as the work made its appearance in Washington, in the Intelligencer, by a nephew of Mr. R's. as I was informed. But I never saw the article nor learned the name of the writer. Surmising, however, the nature of his objections, from an answer to a letter of mine to an old friend of Mr. Randolph's in Richmond, and from the fact that a citizen of that State was engaged in writing a biography of Mr. R. I wrote an answer to the editors of the Intelligencer, but have not seen it in their columns. I have, however, availed myself of the information which I have obtained from correspondents, corrected the errors as to dates and facts, suggested by the friends of Mr. Randolph, extended the work into the respectable size of a common octavo volume, and reduced the materials into a more regular form, ready for a new and I hope more respectable edition.

        I will now give a copy of my answer in the Richmond Whig, to the illiberal criticism of the editor of the Southern (Virginia rather) Literary Messenger.

To the Editors of the Richmond Daily Whig.

NEW YORK, May 1, 1844.

        GENTLEMEN: - Although I have not the pleasure of your personal acquaintance, I had the honor of serving with, in the National Councils, and enjoying the friendship of the father of the senior editor, (James Pleasants, Esq.,) and trust that I may be allowed to claim the protection of your columns, against a wanton and unprovoked attack. It is to afford me only the means of defence, as I wish not to employ those of offence, against the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, from his severe and ungenerous criticismof my Biography of John Randolph, in the April number last. My attention was not called to the article till a few days since, too late to reply in time for the May number of that Magazine, supposing the editor would have deigned to notice it, after the contemptuous manner in which he has treated both me and my pamphlet. At any rate, it would be another


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month before the antidote to his poison could be administered at the centre of the small circle where it has done its mischief, and where it is destined to run its injurious but short career. He has thought proper to head his article by a short quotation at third hand, which he found ready, being the one applied by the subject of the biography, to the Hon. John W. Taylor, of New York, perhaps with as little justice as on this occasion. I presume of course, he meant myself as an ornamental frontispiece, an ass kicking a dead lion. As to my being the ass, if it is his opinion it is my misfortune I cannot help it. He has a right to enjoy it, and is welcome to express it too, but I cannot grant the use of his postulate that I ever kicked the dead lion. I defy the most minute inspection, aided by the most powerful microscope from his apparatus of satire to trace a mark or a scar left by any heels of mine upon the body of the lion. The hoof of his animal is not sufficiently indurated by practice, to become proof against the black and "corrosive ichor" which the author of the Tale of the Tub has pronounced superior to all other vessels for retaining that deleterious juice of "viporous slander." I never had the least cause, I never felt the least provocation, I never had the least motive for such treatment. The editor has classed me among Mr. Randolph's political opponents and from thence deduced the conclusion that I might have felt too much prejudice to deal fairly with my subject. If the privilege of being his biographer be limited to Mr. Randolph's little band of friends, amounting at one time to about half a dozen, the literary appetite of the reading public would have suffered a prolonged fast, for they are dead and gone years ago, Mr. Garnet having been the last survivor. Although Mr. Randolph, after his secession from the ranks of the Republican party under Mr. Jefferson's administration in 1806, voted of necessity with those of the opposition, the editor will hardly class them as Mr. Randolph's political friends, men whom in a published letter to a friend in New York, as late as January 31, 1833, not five months before his death, he described in the following terms: "I leave to General Jackson and the Hartford men, and ultra-Federalists and Tories, the office-holders and office-seekers, their triumph over the liberties of this country. They will stand damned to everlasting fame." In passing this dreadful sentence of condemnation, we will stop only to observe, that had I shown as little mercy to Mr. Randolph, as he has shown towards his old friend, from whom he had but lately received the high official favor of a foreign mission, I should deserve the title I have received at the hands of the editor. The relations of Mr. Randolph from some of whom I have better evidence than my own word (which in the opinion of the editor will not go for much) to prove the ties of friendship in which we stand, have felt a proper delicacy, during the unsettled question of the will, to undertake the task which has devolved on them of writing the biography of their worthy ancestor as the question of his sanity should not be prejudged. After waiting more than ten years for that decision, the community may well be pardoned for manifesting some impatience and to be content with such imperfect entertainment as I can afford them, "though coming from another State." Nor have I attempted to forestall public opinion on the subject of Mr. Randolph's sanity, as I have admitted that he had, at all times a greater share of good sense than ever I was blessed with, and that I should leave the question where it was to the judgment of the high court of errors and appeals.

        On statements of facts, I shall always feel pleased to stand corrected by any person better informed than myself, and thank them for any knowledge they may think proper to communicate, bearing on any of the numerous statements contained in the work. The editor has denied my statement, that there was any such message from the president of the 17th January 1806, proposing an appropriation for the purchase of the Floridas; which he takes for granted that I had offered as the cause of Mr. Randolph's change,


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from a friendly to a hostile attitude towards Mr. Jefferson. I think he is mistaken in my views on both points. I did not say that anything contained in the message was the cause, but the manner in which it was transmitted to the house, by the hands of Barnabas Bidwell, instead of the usual channel of Mr. Randolph. The mere date of the message, therefore, is perfectly immaterial to the main point, but even in that, I do not confess myself wrong. In the 26th page I stated that we are informed that on Friday, the 21st of March, the house sat with closed doors, which ended in the resolution for purchasing the Territory. I added that about the 17th of January, Mr. Jefferson had communicated to Congress a secret message, no doubt containing the proposition for purchasing the Floridas. I have since examined the old files of newspapers, wherever I obtained the information, I have not been able to procure the journals of that date; which is the true source of information to all editors of newspapers, but I have found the statement, just as I had given it, in a volume of the Morning Herald, a New York Gazette. The gentleman should recollect that he himself is the conductor of a magazine, and I am willing to admit, a respectable one, and I would ask him how he would like to have his authority questioned. The circumstance of that message is a part of the recorded history of the country, the measure growing out of it, too notorious to admit of a doubt, or to be called in question at this remote period.

        But the most grave and serious charge has to be met. It seems I have been guilty of an act that should call down upon me the vengeance of the relations of a lady, to whom I alluded as the one to whom Mr. Randolph was engaged to be married, and that I escaped by a mere misnomer. I should be sorry to have to depend upon that circumstance for protection against the personal assaults he has invited them to commit upon me, as from the circumstance related of her marriage with a cousin of Mr. Randolph, the lady is clearly enough pointed out. He has accused me of giving an indecent anecdote of that lady, for which he declares if there is a spark of spirit in the breast of her nearest male relative, he ought to visit me with a severe punishment. He has not thought proper to give the passage. I will do so, and if, after its perusal, any of her chivalric relatives can perceive the least matter of offence, he is welcome to inflict on me whatever punishment he may think I merit. In page 47 is this passage: "The occasion on which he came near being bound in the silken chains of matrimony occurred in Richmond, and not in the country, nor attended with the circumstances narrated by the Washington correspondent of the Tribune in July last. The lady's name was Miss Eggleston, whose father, we believe, was a member of Congress, in 1800 to 1804 - and she afterwards became the wife of Peyton Randolph of Richmond. They had proceeded so far in the ceremony, that a license was obtained, a clergyman sent for, and the happy pair, hand in hand, were about to stand up to be joined together, when the mother handed Mr. Randolph a paper to read, and, if he agreed, to sign. It was a deed of release or assignment of all the young lady's property for her exclusive benefit. Mr. Randolph asked the intended bride if it were a condition with her, or her will, that he should sign it. She answered in the affirmative, upon which Mr. R. saying there was no farther use for the minister, took his leave and departed."

        I will leave that extract to the most vindictive of all the lady's male relatives, to the greatest "fire-eater" among them, to gather one particle o cause for offence or anger. Had it not thus been presented to him, he might have surmised from the editors appeal to his worst passions, that I had used some insulting phrase, or called her chastity in question. The whole passage is perfectly inoffensive to all parties concerned. What is mere customary among the higher ranks, particularly in Great Britain, to make marriage settlements. Nor is it an unusual thing in this country, nor can it be tortured


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into the slightest reproach or dishonor to the lady in this case, if she felt some solicitude as to the disposal of her portion of their joint estates by expressing a wish to have it secured to her. She may blame her want of judgment for entertaining undue fears on that score (for her property could not have been entrusted to safer hands than those of her affianced bridegroom). She gave no possible grounds for improper insinuations on making the proposal, still less can any be deduced from a simple narration. And yet for these words, innocent as they are, the editor could calmly stand by and see me assailed by the cane, or dagger, until I was either maimed or fell covered with wounds and blood, and if I have escaped, it is owing more to the just forbearance and moderation of the party appealed to, than to the good will of the editor of the Messenger.

        What vengeance ought I not to deprecate against the head or the heart of the man who could thus bring my life in jeopardy for such groundless causes? Ought I not to feel wrought up to the highest pitch of fury? Ought I not to resolve upon a full revenge? I do. I will have it. I forgive him from my soul."

        I had also forwarded a defence against another assault, which I learned had been committed on the devoted biography, by a nephew of John Randolph. I did not learn the name of the writer, nor the particular heads of his condemnation, through the columns of the Intelligencer. I had a right to expect, however, as old friends and countrymen, they would act impartially, and allow me the use of their columns on the occasion. They have not done so, and thus the difficulty thrown in the way of the sale of the copies sent there, is unremoved, and for what I know, they may remain on hand. But I have had enough, both in honor and profit, in the sale of the rest to console me for this trifling disappointment. As a compensation for these two instances of anger, in which we may find a cause in my not giving a funeral oration, or a panegyric upon the memory of the honored relative, and the favored son of Virginia, instead of an impartial history, I have to offer the numerous articles of approbation and praise, in the public prints here, and in Washington City also, with the exception of the Intelligencer, whose lips were sealed with fear, probably of provoking the anger of his correspondent.

        I have now brought the history of my life to a close, to which my life itself, in the ordinary course of nature must soon follow. I have drained the bitter cup of existence to the dregs. I have no earthly object to live for nor have I the means to do so, with that comfort and ease which alone ought to reconcile it to superanuated infirmity. I have but to conquer one great and constitutional infirmity, a nervous weakness, a dread of death which has heretofore haunted me in every case of sickness to render the visit of the king of terrors under all the circumstances of the case perfectly welcome. I will try to bring my mind to view him in the light of a friend, beckoning me to follow him through his dark and icy gates, to a brighter and happier life, and not as a horird monster, sent to terminate by the most dreadful pangs, my mortal existence. When I come to reap the fruits of my firm faith, to ascend the regular steps of the catholic religion which I have embraced, to confirmation, and shall have received the last holy rites of the Church, through the hands of my pious and beloved confessor, I trust that the virtue of the unction applied to my eyes will close them in peace and perfect resignation to the will of God, and that a most assured hope of a happy immortality will vanquish the vain tyrant fear, that has heretofore enslaved me, and that I may depart like many others equally timid that I have seen, under such benign influences, without "casting one last lingering look behind," and with a pleasing foretaste of that beatitude which is the inheritance of every true Christian.