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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Monday, Dec. 7, 1801. DR. TORREY.
Dear Sir :—The House is this instant called to order. Votes for Speaker: Mr. Nathaniel Macon, who is chosen, 53; Mr. James A. Bayard, 26; Mr. Samuel Smith (Maryland), 2. Clerk: Jr. Beckley (a red-hot Democrat), 57; Mr. Oswald (the old clerk and a good Federalist), 29. This may perhaps give you a tolerably correct idea of the strength of parties. The Senate have chosen Mr. Abraham Baldwin as President pro tempore. The Vice-President (Aaron Burr) is not arrived, and it is said will not for several weeks. This is no doubt a political maneuver.
Committee for waiting on the President to inform him that the two Houses are organized and ready to enter upon business—from the Senate, Messrs. Anderson and Jackson; from the House, Samuel Smith (Maryland), Griswold and Davis (Ken.)
Mr. Fearing * (delegate from the North-west Territory) is here from Marietta. I have letters from Ephraim (his sonall well. He is elected a member of the Legislature for the County of Washington, and is now attending their General Assembly.
Your affectionate parent,
* Paul Fearing was born in Wareham, Plymouth Co., Mass., Feb. 28, 1762. Graduated at Harvard University in 1785. On the first of May, 1788, he embarked at Boston for Baltimore, where he arrived on the sixteenth of that month. Here he put his trunk into a wagon and commenced the journey across the mountains on foot. He reached Pittsburgh on the tenth of June, and embarked the same day in a boat for Marietta, where he arrived on the sixteenth. On the fourth of July, he participated in the first proceedings bad on the bank of the Muskingum in honor of the day, and on the twentieth, listened to the first sermon ever preached in the English tongue north-west of the Ohio (by Rev. William Breck—Exodus 19: 5, 6). When the troops left Fort Harmar, his intimate friend Major Doughty, made him a present of his dwelling-house, a well-finished log-building, standing in the south-west angle of the fort. In 1797, he was appointed Judge of Probate for Washington County. He represented the Territory in Congress from 1801-1803. In 1810, he was appointed Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1814, was appointed Master Commissioner in Chancery. He was one of the first in Ohio who paid attention to the raising of Merino Sheep. In his disposition, Mr. Fear
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 1801. P.S. On the inclosed document [the Message of President Jefferson], I have not time to make any remarks, nor is it necessary. You will instantly see that it contains principles and objects, notwithstanding its popular cast, which must arrest the most serious attention of every thinking American.
With what expedition these Democrats do their business! It was in the press, and probably numbers struck off, before it was communicated to Congress, that numerons copies might be forwarded by this day's mail to every part of the country.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 1801. MAJOR BURNHAM.*
Dear Sir :—The time I have been in the House has not been long enough to form much acquaintance, or obtain much knowledge of individual members. But I have the pleasure of assuring you that the truly republican Federalists, though a minority, possess a full proportion of the ability of the House. Connecticut has, in both IIouses, an able and respectable representation. Most of the Federalists from the Middle and Southern States are men of handsome talents. Those from N. Hampshire are good men and true. The decided friends of the Constitution and a free and rational government are : from Vermont, 1; New Hampshire, 4; Connecticut, 7; New York, 3; Pennsylvania, 3; Delaware, 1 ; Maryland, 3 ; ing was remarkably cheerful and pleasant. llis frank, manly civility and sound discriminating mind made him a favorite with the people, as well as the courts, and he had at his command much of the law business of the country. He had great sympathy for the poor and oppressed, and was ever ready to stretch forth his hand and open his purse for their relief. He died August 21, 18:22. — History of Washington County. .
* Major Thomas Burnham graduated at Harvard College, 1772; was appointed teacher of the Ipswich Grammar School in i 774; continued in that office for five years, when he entered the army, in which he attained the rank of Major. After the peace, he resumed the office of teacher, and kept the school six years, 1786-91; again one year, 1793; and afterward eleven years, 1807-17; in all, twenty-three years.- New Eng. Gen. and Hist. Register (April, 1852).
Virginia, 1; N. Carolina, 3; S. Carolina, 3; to which we may add, Mass., 6; in the whole, 35.
You will probably hear little from the Federalists for the present. It is a matter of notoriety that the leading Democrats feel much chagrin in not meeting with a virulent opposition. There is nothing they more ardently wish, but they will not be gratified. In every constitutional measure tending to promote the public good, they will find in the minority a cheerful concurrence. When opposition is necessary, it will be on the ground of just principles and fair reasoning, devoid of passion or the spirit of party. Such is the policy which has been proposed, and has met the full approbation of every individual. It is also certain that the Democrats are not agreed among themselves. Several instances have already occurred, in which many of them have voted on the Federal side. But it is unpleasant to know that Virginia has a decided predominancy in the present legislature, and, having all the Democrats subservient to her political views, will give law to the nation.
[Dr. Cutler to his daughter.]
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 1801. My Dear Betsy :– ... It shall be the subject of this letter to give you some account of my present situation and of occurrences since I left home.
The city of Washington, in point of situation, is much more delightful than I expected to find it. The ground, in general, is elevated, mostly cleared, and commands a pleasing prospect of the Potomac River. The buildings are brick, and erected in what are called large blocks, that is, from two to five or six houses joined together, and appear like one long building. There is one block of seven, another of nine, aird one of twenty houses, but they are scattered over a large extent of ground. The block in which I live contains six houses, four stories high, and very handsomely furnished. It is situated east of the Capitol, on the highest ground in the city. Mr. King, our landlord, occupies the south end, only one room in front, which is our parlor for receiving company and dining, and one room back, occupied by Mr. King's family, the kitchen is below. The four chambers are appropriated to the eight gentlemen who board in the family. In each chamber are two narrow field beds and field curtains, with every necessary convenience for the boarders. Mr. Read and myself have, I think, the pleasantest room in the house, or in the whole city. It is in the third story, commanding a delightful prospect of the Capitol, of the President's house, Georgetown, all the houses in the city, a long extent of the river, and the city of Alexandria.
The air is fine, and the weather, since I have been here, remarkably pleasant. I am not much pleased with the Capitol. It is a huge pile, built, indeed, with handsome stone, very heavy in its appearance without, and not very pleasant within. The President's house is superb, well proportioned and pleasingly situated.
But I will hasten to give you a more particular account of our family, which, I presume, will be more interesting to you than the Geography of this District. Mr. King's family consists only of himself, his lady and one daughter, besides the servants, all of whom are black. Mr. King was an officer in the late American Army, much of a gentleman in his manner, social and very obliging. I have seen few women more agreeable than Mrs. King. She almost daily brings to my mind Dr. Lakeman's first wife. She was the daughter of Mr. Harper, a very respectable merchant in Baltimore; has been favored with an excellent education, has been much in the first circles of society in this part of the country, and is in nothing more remarkable than her perfect freedom from stiffness, vanity, or ostentation. Their only daughter, Miss Anna, is about seventeen, well formed, rather tall, small featured, but is considered very handsome. She has been educated at the best schools in Baltimore and Alexandria. She does not converse much, but is very modest and agreeable. She plays with great skill on the Forte Piano, which she always accompanies with a most delightful voice, and is frequently joined in the vocal part by her mother. Mr. King has an excellent Forte Piano, which is connected with an organ placed under it, which she fills and plays with her foot, while her fingers are employed upon the Forte Piano.
The gentlemen, generally, spend a part of two or three even
ings in a week in Mr. King's room, where Miss Anna entertains us with delightful music. After we have been fatigued with the harangues of the Hall in the day, and conversing on politics, in different circles (for we talk about nothing else), in the evening, an hour of this music is truly delightful. On Sunday evenings, she constantly plays Psalm tunes, in which her mother, who is a woman of real piety, always joins. We have three gentlemen in the family (General Mattoon, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Perkins) who are good singers and extravagantly fond of music, and always join in the Psalmody. Miss Anna plays Denmark remarkably well, and, when joined with the other singers, it exceeds what I have ever heard before. But the most of the Psalm tunes our gentlemen prefer are the old ones, such as Old Hundred, Canterbury, which you would be delighted to hear on the Forte-Piano, assisted by the organ and accompanied with the voice.
We breakfast at nine, dine between three and four. If we happen to be in the parlor in the first of the evening, at the time Mrs. King makes tea in her own room, she sends in a servant with a salver of tea and coffee and a plate of toast, but we never eat any supper.
I can not conclude without giving you some description of our fellow-lodgers, with whom I enjoy a happiness which I by no means expected. We have Mr. IIillhouse, of New Haven, and Judge Foster, of Brookfield, two of the most sensible and respectable members of the Senate; Mr. Davenport,* of Connecticut, who is a deacon and a very pleasant, agreeable man; Mr. Smith, † who is the son of a clergyman, of very sprightly
*John Davenport, lawyer; member of Congress, 1799–1807; born at Stamford, Conn., Jan. 16, 1752; died there, 28th Nov., 1830; Yale College, 1770; Tutor there, 1773; an active Revolutionary patriot and a Major in the Commissary Department.-History of Stamford.
John Cotton Smith, born in Sharon, Conn., Feb. 12, 1765; graduated at Yale in 1783. He was a member of the General Assembly in 1793, and from 1796–1800, member of the Lower House; in 1799, was elected Speaker; member of Congress from 1800-1806; again a member of the Legislature, in 1809. He held the several offices of Gov. ernor of Connecticut, from 1812-1817, Lieutenant-Governor, and Judge of the Superior Court. He received the degree of LL.D. from Yale; was a member of the Northern Society of Antiquaries in Copenhagen; also