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CITIES OF THE DEAD.
come friends, they at least ceased to be enemies. And in 1856, when Buchanan became the Democratic candidate for President, he had no more hearty supporter than the son of the Great Kentuckian, James B. Clay, who, after having served in the Confederate army, died at Montreal on the 26th of January, 1864.
Benton, who had always opposed Buchanan's aspirations, because he regarded him as weak and timid, powerfully championed him in that year even against his own son-in-law, Fremont. Rufus Choate, Webster's nearest friend, was on the same side; so were John Van Buren and his father, notwithstanding both held Buchanan's friends accountable for the nomination of Polk in 1844. Webster himself, had he lived, would, I think, have voted the same way; and perhaps Henry Clay would have preferred the man who so solemnly pledged himself to put an end to the slavery agitation. They both died, Clay in September and Webster in October of 1852, and so were spared the mortification of Choate, Benton, and the Van Burens, when James Buchanan yielded to the fire-eaters, and tried to force slavery into Kansas.
[September 17, 1871.)
CEMETERIES are of modern origin. One of the oldest is Pere la Chaise, near Paris, the arrangements of which have been generally followed in English and American cities. The dead of the ancients became so numerous at last that the bodies were burned, and the ashes preserved in urns, which it appears from recent excavations had accumulated in incalculable numbers. It is believed that the fine burial grounds of the Turks, extending over large tracts, adorned by cedars and other trees, suggested the prevailing plans of the Europeans. Our places
of interment are surrounded by beautiful and elevating influences, decorated by foliage and flowers, monuments and statuary, and always located in the midst of exquisite natural scenery. Greenwood, near New York; Mount Auburn, Boston ; Laurel Hill, Philadelphia ; Buenaventura, Savannah, may be called the patterns from which many have been copied, so that there is not a considerable town, North or South, that does not boast of one of these cities of the dead. Among the most picturesque is undoubtedly that founded by W. W. Corcoran"Oak Hill Cemetery," at Georgetown, D.C. The marble pile awaiting his own remains is a work of consummate majesty and symmetry. The plan is entirely different from that adopted in other cemeteries. A series of natural ravines have been handsomely terraced and planted with shrubbery. No railings are allowed around the different lots, so that the whole presents the appearance of a handsome private park. Many of the monuments are noted specimens. Prominent among the latest is that erected by the family of Edwin M. Stanton. It is of silver-tinged granite from the quarries near Concord, New Hampshire. The inscription reads: “Edwin M. Stanton, born December 19, 1814; died December 4, 1869."
No modern character possesses more interest than Stanton. The time has not come when his biography may be faithfully and dispassionately written. Up to the rebellion he lived a life of singular tranquillity. Discarding office and avoiding politics, his ambition was in the line of the law, in which he soon became a giant. A close student, a clear, compact logician, a bold and impetuous advocate, his best powers were given to his profession. Sought after far and near, and employed in most of the great cases, his reputation and large influence, in his native State of Ohio and in his adopted State of Pennsylvania, assumed national proportions when he removed to the city of Washington. He towered in the Supreme Court a leader of leaders. An authority of wide acceptation, he was a
genius of his school. Forced finally into public position at the close of Buchanan's Administration, his bearing as AttorneyGeneral was so fearless and conscientious that when General Cameron retired from the War Department, popular opinion pointed him out as the fittest man for that responsible post, and when President Lincoln selected him, the whole country cried Amen.
I knew him well. Long before his name was cited in the catalogue of great lawyers, I met and learned to love him, wondered at his mind, and gathered instruction from his counsels. He had strong convictions. He hated slavery from the start, although co-operating with the Democratic party. Once he was sent to Columbus as a delegate to a Young Men's State Convention, and when the chairman endeavored to disregard the sentiment to which the majority were pledged, Stanton, who was in the second or third tier, made several efforts to obtain a hearing. At last he caught the chairman's eye, and commanded his attention by beginning his speech as follows: “I address you to-day as the meanest man among the thousands of
young men of Ohio whom you have attempted to betray.” When he accepted the portfolio of War Minister it was in the spirit of the generals of Cromwell's Puritan army. The first thing he did was to put himself out of sight. In the long catalogue of calumnies heaped by bad men upon his honored name, not even a suspicion of personal ambition is found. They hated him because he loved his country—because that love was sincere, vigilant, exacting. He was rough in his manners to those he had reason to believe corrupt, but he was sweet as summer to the poor, the humble, and the brave. By his own example he conquered. Asking nothing for himself, he refused every thing to others that was not just. After several generals had failed, I heard him say, more than once, “I will find a leader for these armies, if he must be taken from the ranks.” The intensity with which he was identified with his client's cause was in accordance with his intense devotion to the Republic. I have seen him more than once order back the laggard to camp in tones of stern rebuke, and immediately afterward take the mother of a private soldier by the hand and cheer her for the
. loss of her son. Utterly regardless of social pleasure, he had no hope, no object, no time but for the cause. He worked harder than any of his subordinates, and stayed longer in his Department. It was astonishing how this man, who had never participated in party warfare, comprehended the political situation. Fertile of suggestion, he was a mine of information to an editor. He thought quickly and wrote strongly. He would give a key-note for a campaign, which, sounded in the columns of a newspaper, would thrill a continent. He was no respecter of persons. Frequently, to prove his iron impartiality, he reproached his nearest friends when he feared they were faltering. He studiously abstained from public speaking. His reports were brief, but clear and cogent; his letters few and simple; his gazettes announcing a victory were marked by all the Covenanter's fire. I reproduce that in which he promulgated the decisive victories of Grant before Richmond :
“War DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.,} “ Lieutenant-General Grant :
9 "Thanks be to Almighty God for the great victory with which he has this day crowned you and the gallant army under your command! The thanks of this Department, and of the Government, and of the people of the United States, their reverence and honor, have been deserved, and will be rendered to you and the brave and gallant officers and soldiers of your army for all time.
EDWARD M. STANTON, Secretary of War.”
In these two sentences you have an insight into the character of Edwin M. Stanton. Every word seems to have been coined out of the pure gold and weighed in the nicest scales of grati. tude. They are short, but how ponderous! Written for the living millions, they will be read by the coming millions. As we ponder them, and recollect that in five little days Abraham Lin.
DR. GEORGE MCCLELLAN.
coln slept in death, and that a little more than five years laterafter that terrible struggle with Andrew Johnson, which may be said to have literally crushed the heart of the great statesman“ Stanton himself was summoned to his last account, let us never cease to cherish and follow his matchless example. Had he lived to take his seat upon the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, the words of Daniel Webster, applied to the illustrious John Jay, would have been equally true of Edwin M. Stanton : "When the spotless ermine of the judicial robe fell upon him it touched nothing less spotless than itself.”
[September 24, 1871.]
GENERAL MCCLELLAN's father, the famous Philadelphia surgeon, Dr. George McClellan, was one of the most devoted of Whigs, and one of Henry Clay's sincerest friends. His lectures at our great Philadelphia Medical College, in which he was an eminent professor, were models of terse statement and lucid analysis. His influence in society was large and commanding. Shortly after the defeat of Mr. Clay, in 1844, I was the guest of my friend, Hon. Morton McMichael, the present editor of the Philadelphia North American, who then resided in Filbert Street, near Broad, in that city. Like Dr. McClellan, he had fervently supported the Kentucky statesman. At that time I was the editor of the Democratic organ at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and bore a very near relation to James Buchanan. Politics had never interfered with my intimacy with Mr. McMichael, which, beginning when we were both very young, has continued without pause to this hour. One day after dinner there was a quick, sharp ring at the door-bell, when my host said with a laugh, “Look out! there is Dr. McClellan;" and with that the