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but save it from the newspapers. My kind regards to your good family and all friends.
Fragment of a letter (no address or date). ... He [Mr. Griswold *] is always modest, cautious, and candid in noticing arguments opposed to his own. Remarkable for giving no member uneasy sensations by severe or sarcastic replies, however fair the opportunity may be, unless he is violently attacked, and extremely happy in the clear and forcible manner in which he conveys his ideas. As he sits next to me, directly behind my chair, I have had opportunity repeatedly to hear the solicitations of several of the Democrats, who came and begged him to take a part in the debates on particular questions. This is a new thing. Sometimes he has complied, but not often-he has said very little in the course of the session. I was told, to-day, some of their leading characters had declared that there was no man in the House who had so much influence as Griswold.
* Roger Griswold was born in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1762. He graduated at Yale College, 1780, and in 1812 received from it the degree of LL.D., which Harvard University had conferred on him in 1811. He was the son of Matthew Griswold, who had filled many important offices in Connecticut, among them Chief Justice of the Superior Court, Lieutenant-Governor, and Governor of the State. Roger Griswold commenced the practice of law in 1783, and soon acquired a high reputation and a lucrative practice. He was a member of Congres írom 1795 to 1805. In 1801 he was nominated by President Adams as Secretary of War, but declined. In 1807 he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut. In 1809 he was chosen Lieutenant-Governor by the Assembly, and in 1811 he was elected Governor by the people. “He was regarded as one of the first men in the nation, in talents, political knowledge, force of eloquence, and profound legal ability.”
In 1798 he became involved in a fight with Matthew Lyou, of Vermont, on the floor of the House of Representatives, the first of a number of similar altercations which have disgraced the National Congress.
He died in Norwich, Connecticut, October, 1812.-Sce Gazetteer of Connecticut, by John C. Pease and John M. Niles.
[T. Temple Cutler.]
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 1802. My Son :-You see by the few lines I send you every day, and the papers, something of the state we are in. Since Monday (Feb. 15th), when the Judiciary bill was called up in the House, I have been obliged very much to desist from answering the numerous letters I have received. I am much behindhand, and must be so until this all-important question is decided.
If I recollect, I have mentioned to you that when we found a postponement could not be obtained, we were determined to meet it in a direct, bold, and dignified manner. The very long debates of the most who have been up have prevented great numbers from speaking on our side, who had intended to do so, and were prepared for it. I had made up my mind to speak on this question before it came into the House, and prepared myself for at least one hour, but an opportunity has not presented. On the last two days, it was proposed that I should be among the number. Our arrangements are made the evening before, but the speakers on our side are always conditional, and depend on who may rise on the opposite side, on account of following them. It is suspected they are aware of our plan, for their best speakers came forward sooner than was expected, and it was necessary that ours should follow them. We have had some new ones up, who have done well. Mr. Henderson,* who opened the debate, has been a member of Congress many years, but never spoke before. His speech was excellent. It is more probable than otherwise, that only two or three more intend to speak on their side ; if so, many on ours must be disappointed. Indeed, the subject is now exhausted; much that I intended to say has been said already, over and over again.
At the close of the debates on Tuesday, there were loud calls for the question. We expected it again Wednesday, but, as Mr. Rutledge had not more than half gone through, they forbore. Yesterday it was the case again. Mr. Griswold was obliged to break off in the midst of his speech, he was so exhausted. Most probably they will take the question tomorrow.
* Archibald Henderson was a member of Congress from North Carolina. He was a lawyer, and stood high in his profession.
Never had I any idea of public speaking until this time. It has far exceeded my conceptions. The great speeches of Bayard, Rutledge, and Griswold are beyond all description. Bayard alone spoke through the whole sitting, and when he sat down, almost fainted away. I was not far from him, and when I turned my eye upon him in his chair, I was struck with the apprehension that he was dying. The next day he went on and spoke two hours and a half. Rutledge has displayed more of finished oratory; his eloquence, his action, his pleasing manner would have done honor to a Roman, but, the first day, he became so faint that he was obliged to stop. On the next, he spoke much longer. Griswold has far exceeded all before him in close, pointed, conclusive reasoning. ...
On every day the gallery and lobby have been crowded. The Vice-President has constantly attended, and most of the members of the Senate. They are admitted on the floor of the House. The members of the House give leave to gentlemen, if they apply, to come on the floor, and great numbers of ladies and gentlemen have attended every day; but the most perfect order has been preserved. The speaking on the opposite side has fallen short of our expectation, that on our side greatly exceeded. Spectators have spoken of this disparity with admiration. It has had great effect on people here. ... When Griswold sat down to-day, it appeared to me that there was not one in the gallery, or lobby, that did not tremble for his country. . . .
Your affectionate parent,
M. CUTLER. [To Dr. Torrey.]
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 1802. Dear Sir:—Since the Judiciary bill has been before the House, every faculty and feeling has been so much arrested that I have hardly been in a state to write letters. ... In the wide field that has been taken, many of the speeches have been desultory and exceedingly protracted ; much has been said which has had no immediate relation to the merits of the question ; but we consider it fortunate that this course has been taken. It has given opportunity to take into view men and measures—to exhibit to the public some of the outlines of the new theory, and to state consequences which otherwise would not have been done. ... Mr. Bayard followed Giles, and astonished his friends, much exceeding their most sanguine expectations. He had prepared himself for the question itself, but, in following Giles between two or three hours, depended on present thought. He has since assured me that he had only from eight in the morning until Congress sat to look over the minutes he had made of Giles' speech the day before.
Mr. Rutledge is a very handsome speaker (and a very handsome man). He never appears so well as when he is speaking. He exhibited a display of parliamentary eloquence far more natural, easy, and graceful than I had ever heardmany fine strokes. In the sublime, and in pathos, he excelled. His speech was admirably calculated for a popular assembly, and yet discovered much classic knowledge and classic taste.
Mr. Griswold has shone upon this occasion with distinguished luster. He outdid himself. In plain, conclusive argument, perfectly to the point, he has given a demonstration of the violation of the Constitution in this bill which will forever remain unanswerable. Ile brings the conviction to the mind in a manner that is irresistible, and has surpassed all that have gone before him...
Indeed, the magnitude of this question grows upon discussion, and the new theory which is begun is every day more and more discovered. The outlines of the plan are to get rid of a written Constitution, which will remove the restraints of fixed principles, increase the powers of the Legislature-let that body become omnipotent, let public opinion be the political constitution, let the elections be the check upon the encroachments of power—then our political freedom and happiness will be secured. You may be assured that the repeal of the Judiciary is only the means to obtain this end. . . . There is no doubt in my mind that every measure comes from the Cabinet prepared to be acted upon, and that, at this mo
ment, the Executive as completely rules both Houses of Congress as Bonaparte rules the people of France. Alas! my dear sir, what are we coming to, if the good sense and wisdom of the people can not be waked up and brought into action. Our hazard appears to me to lie, more than in any thing else, in the imperceptible progress we are making to a state of ruin, or, at least, to some kind of revolution.
It gives us pleasure to find the adulatory address has failed in the Massachusetts Legislature. When the debates in Congress on this question get into the hands of the people, I do flatter myself they will make impressions on the people of the New England States. The Federalists from the Southward, who act with us, place all their hopes on the good sense and information of the Eastern States, but they are much afraid they will withdraw from the Union. Some of them are actually making arrangements to dispose of their interests and move to New England, and all of them are talking about it.
How long the debate will continue is uncertain, ... but not a vote will be altered. The numbers, pro and con, if all the members now here are in the IIall, will be 61 yeas and 35 nays. One member on our side is absent, and another (General Shepard) is sick. It is not impossible the question in committee may be taken to-day, but I believe there are two or three more on their side who intend to speak. Mr. Nicholson began a speech yesterday in favor of the bill, which he will conclude to-day. Hitherto, the debates have been conducted with a dignity and solemnity that has done honor to the greatness of the occasion, but it is growing less so, and I expect the scene to be totally changed.
Your affectionate parent,
[From Ex-President John Adams.]
QUINCY, May 10, 1802. Dear Sir :-I duly received your favor of the 17th of April. The letter from Dr. Mitchell, and the Project of the Society at New York of a National Academy, shall be laid before the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, at their next meeting.