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liever in the whole theory of State rights and secession. Amiable, and generous to a fault, he was sensitive in regard to his enormous size, which undoubtedly shortened his life. He died aged forty-six, having been in Congress a continuous term of nineteen years. Once, on his return from Washington, the steamer in which he was a passenger was wrecked. The small boat was ordered out, but he refused to enter it, fearing that his huge weight would jeopard the safety of others. After they were saved he was rescued, but for a time he was in great danger.
Not unlike McConnell was Mike Walsh, of New York. Born in Youghall, Ireland, and brought to this country when a child, he spent his boyhood as a wanderer. His newspaper, The
ubterranean, printed in New York, was the terror of the politicians, and finally cost him an imprisonment of two years for libel, but this punishment increased his popularity, and he was sent to the Legislature, and for two years to Congress. I was Clerk while he was a member, and found him full of good impulses. He was a satirist by nature. Nothing provoked him so much as a snob. He spared no pretender. He was especially severe upon the airs of the chivalry of the South, and, Democrat as he was, he had no patience with them. He never rose to speak without saying something new or odd. He read 'much and wrote strongly. He disliked Buchanan and loved Douglas. A sad man at times, nothing could exceed his bright humor on occasion. Had he lived, I believe he would have been, like Broderick, James T. Brady, and Sickles, in hearty hostility to the rebellion. After he left Congress he made a tour of Europe, visited the camps of the great contending powers in the Crimea, and was for a time the guest of the Hon. Carroll Spence, American Minister at Constantinople. He reached there from Sebastopol penniless, and without suitable clothing. I have heard Mr. Spence describe his bearing among the polished people of the diplomatic circles. His anecdotes of men and
women, his tenacious memory, his genial nature, and, above all, his dry and irresistible humor, captivated them. Some of his letters, written while he was abroad, were unrivaled in their way. For many years he bore uncontested sway in the politics of New York, especially in the famous Empire Club. He was a proud and honest man, and had he shaped his course by a more moderate standard, he would, I believe, be still living. He was found dead on the 17th of March, 1859. Peace to the ashes of Mike Walsh!
[July 9, 1871.]
WRITING about "public men," I am not willing to exclude myself from the opportunity of saying something about the celebrated women who have figured in American history. First among these, among my own recollections, was the versatile and original Frances Wright, or Madame Frances d'Arusmont, still better known as “Fanny Wright," a Scotchwoman, who visited this country in 1818, 1820, and 1825, and died in Cincinnati on the 13th of January, 1853, aged fifty-seven. She excited much comment by her leveling doctrines and her extravagant language. But she had many followers and courtiers, among them the still living Robert Dale Owen. The well-known Amos Gilbert wrote a memoir of her in 1855, two years after her death, entitled, “The Pioneer Woman, or the Cause of Woman's Rights.” She was a person of immense energy and uncommon versatility. The list of her works is something unusual. She wrote a tragedy called “Altorf,” in 1819; “Views of Society and Manners in America,” which ran through four editions, and was translated into French, published in 1820, and republished, with alterations and additions, in 1821 and 1822; “A Few Days in
Athens,” being a translation of a Greek manuscript found in Herculaneun, and a defense of the Epicurean Philosophy, published in London in 1822, and republished in Boston in 1822. These were followed by a course of popular lectures, spoken in all the leading cities North, West, and South, and printed for circulation, and running through six editions. She was also the author, in company with Robert Dale Owen, of certain popular tracts, and in 1844 her biography was published in England, including her notes and political letters. I shall always remember the effect produced by the lectures of this indefatigable and really gifted woman, as she traveled through Pennsylvania many years ago. Controverted and attacked by the clergy and the press, she maintained an undaunted front, and persevered to the last. That she was a woman of great mind is established by the number of her followers, including some of the best intellects of the country, and by the repeated publication and very general reading of her tracts and essays. It is related that when she came to her death-bed she recanted the most of her free-love and socialistic theories.
Very different from Fanny Wright was the notorious Annie Royall, who died on the ist of September, 1854, on Capitol Hill, in the city of Washington. She was the terror of politicians, and especially of Congressmen. I can see her now tramping through the halls of the old Capitol, umbrella in hand, seizing upon every passer-by, and offering her book for sale. Any public man who refused to buy was certain of a severe philippic in her newspaper, The Washington Paul Pry, or in that which succeeded it, The Huntress. “We have the famous Mrs. Royall here," writes Justice Story to Mrs. Story, on the 8th of March, 1827,"with her new novel, 'The Tennesseans,' which she has compelled the Chief Justice and myself to buy to avoid a castigation. I shall bring it home for your edification.” She wrote and printed a great deal, but seemed to rely almost entirely upon her ability to blacken private character. Among
her productions were “Sketches of History, Life, and Manners in the United States,” published in 1826; the “Black Book," published in 1828, and continued in 1829; and her “ Southern Tour,” the second series of the “Black Book," which appeared in 1830–31; "The Tennesseans," a novel, and Letters from Alabama" on various subjects, in 1830.
Mrs. Royall's career was a rough one, and she seemed to live for the purpose of revenging her misfortunes upon others. She was a native of Virginia, and at an early age was stolen by the Indians, with whom she remained about fifteen years. Shortly after her release she married a Captain Royall, and removed to Alabama, where she learned to read and write, subsequently taking up her residence in Washington. Dying at an advanced age in 1854, she was present during the administrations of John Quincy Adams, General Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Harrison and Tyler, James K. Polk, Taylor and Fillmore. Her newspapers were badly printed and badly written, and her squibs and stories more remarkable for bitterness than for wit. She was a woman of great industry and astonishing memory; but at last she seemed to tire of a vocation which grew more and more unprofitable with better times and milder
There is no better evidence of the sure and permanent improvement of the public press than the difference between the lady writers of the present day and these two memorable examples. Correspondence, and even editorship, has risen to a profession among educated women in the United States; and with the exception of a few, who do not find the circulation of scandal or of socialistic doctrines in any sense a profitable pastime, most of them are generously and substantially rewarded. No Fanny Wright frightens the proprieties in the States;
. no Annie Royall terrifies the statesmen in the Capitol.
The female correspondents of to-day are welcomed and honored in every circle. They write generally from a conscien
DEMOCRATS IN FORTY-FOUR.
tious love of their vocation, and they are popular because their style is more spirituelle than the rough rhetoric of the trained Bohemians. Avoiding all scandal and preserving the delicacy of the sex, they present a contrast to the startling theories of Fanny Wright and the rude vituperation of Annie Royall. Their energy and perseverance are making journalism and correspondence a permanent vocation for their sisters; and as the press grows in influence it will need all sorts of auxiliaries, and none will give it more of the variety, which is the spice of life, than the sparkle, the wit, the grace, and the impulse of intellectual womanhood.
[July 16, 1871.]
The Democratic National Convention which met at Baltimore on the 27th of May, 1844, was one of the most exciting, political conventions I ever attended. I was there as a reporter of my newspaper, the Lancaster Intelligencer and Fournal, and had a seat near the president, Andrew Stevenson, of Virginia, father of the present Senator in Congress from Kentucky, and witnessed the struggle of the two-thirds rule introduced into the convention by Hon. Robert J. Walker for the purpose of defeating Martin Van Buren, who was a candidate for the Presidential nomination of his party. The Hon. Benjamin F. Butler-not the present intellectual giant of that name, Representative from the Fifth Massachusetts district, but General Jackson's Attorney-General from December 27, 1831, to June 24, 1834, after the retirement of Roger B. Taney, who was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
-was Van Buren's champion. Butler was at that time a man of about fifty years of age, with a handsome, intellectual face,