Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

which appear to have been planted, except at the sides and over the cap of the door. Between the tomb and the bank, a narrow foot-path, much trodden, and shaded with trees, passes round it. Here Mrs. Washington, in gloomy solitude, often takes her melancholy walks. Here every visitor, in slow and solemn steps, approaches this venerable mound. We all of us took boughs from the trees as precious relics of our own and our country's best friend. I shall inclose a twig of the cypress, and a leaf of the holly, from this ever to be revered mound of earth. After we had taken a melancholy leave of the tomb, we rambled over the gardens and shrub

its former owner. . . . I collected a quantity of seeds, which I shall forward by water. . . .

Mrs. Washington urged us to tarry to dine, but we were obliged to return to Washington. She was likewise pressing in her invitation to make her another visit before the close of the session, and was so complaisant as to assure me, after offering any of the shrubbery or young trees, if I would come again toward the spring I should find a very different appearance, and be furnished with whatever I wished to send home.

We tarried till about half after two, and then took our leave. I must acknowledge that I am deeply in debt to the Doctor for kind letters. ... With my affectionate regards to him, and love to the children, be assured that I am your tender parent,

M. CUTLER.”

Jan. 3, 1802, Sunday. The two Houses of Congress were insulted by the introduction of Leland,* the Cheese monger, as a preacher, ... text, “And behold a greater than Solomon is here." Jefferson was present; the allusion was in

* John Leland, clergi man; born at Grafton, Mass., May 14, 1754; died at North Adams, Mass., January 14, 1861. A Baptist preacher in Virginia in 1775–91. From 1792, until his death, he was settled in Cheshire, Mass. Riis literary pr ductions, including essays, etc., published in 1845. He was a man of great eccentricity and shrewdness, and a zalous Democrat. In the latter part of 1801 he went to Washington to present to Mr. Jefferson a mammoth cheese, weighing 1,450 pounds, as a testimonial of the esteem and confidence of the people of Cheshire in the new chief magistrate. - Drake's Dict. Am. Biog.

tended and obliquely directed more to him than the glorious Christ to whom the text refers. . . . His first observation was: “ Solomon was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and a scepter in his hand.”

Jan. 4, Monday. Apportionment bill before the House ; long debate; sat late.

Jan. 5, Tuesday. In Committee of the whole on same. Debates long, warm, and acrimonious. Sat till dark. Committee rose and reported.

Jan. 6, Wednesday. On the question of recommitment, debates still more acrimonious and personal. Political parties took their ground. Sat late. Vote 55 and 34, yeas and nays; not carried. Bill accepted.

Jan. 7, Thursday. Sore throat; did not go out.

Jan. 8, Friday. Mr. Governeur Morris * delivered in the Senate a truly Ciceronian phillipic on the repeal of the Judiciary.

Jan. 9, Saturday. Spent the day in writing letters.

Jan. 10, Lord's Day. Mr. Austin preached a flighty sermon in the Hall.

Jan. 11, Monday. Fine day. Nothing very special.

Jan. 12, Tuesday. An attempt to refer the duty on Salt to the Com. of Ways and Means; not obtained.

Jan. 13, Wednesday. Went with Messrs. Hillhouse, Foster, Read, and Perkins, to wait on the Vice-President, Burr, to pay our respects on his arrival in the city. Letters from Mr. Bartlett, Dr. Torrey and wife.

Jan. 14, Thursday. Judiciary bill before the Senate.

* Governeur Morris, statesman and orator; born, Morrisania, V. Y., Jan. 31, 1752; died, Vov. 6, 1816. King's College, 1768. Son of' Lewis Morris (signer of Declaration of Independence). Member of Continental Congress, 1777-80. In July, 1780, he was colleague of Robert Morris, as Assistant Superintendent of Finance. He was one of the Committee who drafted the Federal Constitution in the Convention of 1787, In 1788–91, he was in France, occupied in selling land. Minister to France, 1792 to October, 1794. Was Unitel Siates Senator, 1800-3; acting with the Federalists, and actively opposing the abolition of the judiciary system, in 1802, in speeches of great ability. The Was prominent in the great canal project of New York. Passed his latter years in munificent hospitality.- Drake's Dict. Am. Bing.

Jan. 15, Friday. Still in Senate. Nothing very interesting in the House. Mr. Read and I found the length of the Capitol, from N.E. corner to S.E., one hundred and twenty paces; the N. end, forty paces; making the end 8 rods, and the front 24 rods—covering more than one acre of ground. But this includes the central area in part; but the part connecting the wings projects back beyond the line of the opposite side, drawn from the two external corners.

Miss Anna gave us some good music this evening, particularly the “ Way-worn Traveler,” “Ma Chere.Amie,” “ The Tea," “ The Twins of Latona” (somewhat similar to “ Indian Chief”), “ Eliza,” “ Lucy, or Selim's Complaint.” These are among my favorites. But “ Denmark,” “Old Hundred,” “St. Martins," and several other old tunes, she plays incomparably well. The foot organ is a prodigious addition to FortePianos...

Jan. 16, Saturday. No session.

Jan. 17, Sunday. At the Hall. Chaplain Parkinson preached. . . .

Jan. 18, Monday. Little done in the Ilouse. Walked to Georgetown. Spent part of the evening at Mr. Balch’s.

Jan. 19, Tuesday. . . . Little done in the House. Report for repeal of Judiciary in the Senate.

Jan. 20, Wednesday. Not much done in House. Mr. Balch, of Georgetown, dined with us.

Jan. 21, Thursday. Attempts to bring forward a motion to inquire whether it be expedient to reduce duties on Bohea Tea, Brown Sugar, and Coffee-to no effect.

Jan. 22, Friday. Very little done. Adjourned to Monday.

Jan. 23, Saturday. Wrote letters. Delivered Spofford's papers to Clerk of the Court, Mr. Forsyth. Obtained an order or a check on the bank at the Treasury ofice for $230, and in cash, $10....

Jan. 24, Lord's Day. Preaching very indifferent in the Hall, by Mr. Parkinson. Few members of Congress, many ladies, and full gallery.

Jan. 25, Monday. Question to inquire into the expenditures in collecting each duty of the internal tax-Yeas and Nays, lost—Salt, loaf Sugar, Tea, and Coffee. The Demos

all silent; not a word from their side of the House on any of the questions, nor a word offered in answer to any on our side. Thus business goes much against us.

Jan. 26, Tuesday. Weather still very fine.

Jan. 27, Wednesday. House passed several bills. Thermometer, 58o.

Jan. 28. Ther., 65o .. .
Jan. 29, Friday. Ther., at sunrise, 60°.

Jan. 30, Saturday. Went early in the morning to Georgetown, where Mr. Frank Dodge, Mr. Tenney, and myself, took horses, and went up to the great falls, about 12 miles. Visited on our way the cannon foundry; saw them boring the solid cast-iron cannon. Viewed the locks at the lower falls, where the boats pass with ease. The canal is about 2 miles in length. Passed the great bridge, which is a very handsome one, and well built, in the form of the bridge over the Merrimac above Newburyport. The river very narrow near and at the bridge, but said to be deep. Arrived at the great falls, and put up at Mr. Myers'. The appearance of the river is singular; filled with rocks about three-fourths mile—no large cataracts, but frequent falls, and brought into a narrow bed with high rocky banks at the locks. At the lower locks, appeared about 40 feet wide; said to be 35 feet deep. The work of the locks, 6 in number, very neat. The lower lock cut through a solid rock, by blowing, about 47 feet deep and 12 feet wide. The water was to have passed this day; but, not being quite completed, is to be opened for the passage of boats on Tuesday. The canal is three-fourths of a mile. It is a place capable of much business by water-works, but indolence reigns, and the country through which we passed the picture of laziness, negligence, and poverty. Old fields and woods. Returned.

Jan. 31, Sunday. Attended Mr. McCormick in the Capitol. Preached a pretty good sermon on forbearance.

WASHINGTON Jan. 4, 1802. Rev. Dr. Dana.

Dear Sir:- ... Some trying questions have been agitated. An attempt to appoint Duane the printer of the House, and to constitute him an officer of government with

a salary, was as much a trial of the strength of parties as any thing which has yet taken place. Though a majority in this instance was on the right side, it affords no ground of dependence in future. This day the Judiciary business was broached for the first time in both Houses. ... The Judiciary system was formed with much deliberation and wisdom, and when viewed in all its parts and relations, is perhaps as good a one as can be expected. It costs only 30,000 dollars per annum to support the Judiciary in all its branches, and gentlemen of the law say, it appears by the document on our table that the quantum of business is far greater than they had conceived. But the objection is not to the system, as such, but to its independence. The blow will be directed to the foundation of this bulwark of our liberties—of equal and impartial justice—of our lives and property. Of what value will be our Constitution, when this vital principle is destroyedthe independence of the judges ? When they become the creatures of the Executive, or of the Legislature, or of the combined powers of government, they will become the sport of caprice and the spirit of party. As the Senate are more obsequious to the views of the Executive than the House, the business goes through the ordeal of that body first, and notice was given this day that a motion for leave to bring in a bill for the repeal of the last Judiciary laws, and certain clauses in all preceding laws made under the present government, on the day after to-morrow. My dear sir, this is a trying moment. How seriously critical and alarming is the state of our country! How extremely difficult to awaken the attention of the people! May kind Heaven interpose, as in time past, in the hour of extremity! How necessary the 'exertions and prayers of all good men!

The friends of the Constitution find that they have a very critical and delicate part to act. If they meet their opponents upon the ground of fair reasoning, and dispute them inch by inch, it will probably be the thing they wish for ; it will afford them opportunity for displaying themselves in long speeches, which they can give to the public under advantages denied to the other party, who have no Federal stenographer on the floor. Speeches from Democratic members generally appear

« VorigeDoorgaan »