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1806, between Jackson and Dickinson, on the banks of the Red River, a long day's ride from Nashville. That duel has been frequently described. It was a tragedy ; two men came to die. Dickinson won the choice of position, and at the word fired. A puff of dust flew from the breast of Jackson's coat; he raised his left arm and placed it tightly across his breast; he then took deliberate aim, first looked at the trigger, took aim a second time, fired, and killed his man; and he did this work after he knew himself that he was seriously hurt by his antagonist. But why recall the long life of this extraordinary man? His figure looms up in history nearly always on horseback. In battle and in private life he loved the noble animal. There is hardly a city in the Union that has not seen him riding along its streets, followed by tumultuous crowds. After him came Martin Van Buren, whose horsemanship was rather that of the quiet gentleman, and who was President four years.
Then came William Henry Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe, in his time familiar with horses, who died in the first month of his administration, and was succeeded by John Tyler, a Virginian, who, although much of a politician, was also a good rider. After him James K. Polk, another four-year President, reared to equestrian sports in Tennessee, though, like Tyler, rather a student, and more accustomed to ride his circuit and to go to political meetings on horseback than to follow the turf. He was succeeded by General Taylor, the hero of Buena Vista, brave as his own sword, familiar with cavalry and artillery and all the dread mysteries of war, who lived only eighteen months after his election, and who, like General Jackson, we find on horseback in canvas and in marble all over the continent. The quiet Millard Fillmore filled out his term. Then came Frank Pierce - gallant, handsome, true-hearted, genial Frank Pierce-soldier and gentleman, one of the most striking men that ever sat in a saddle, and one of the truest of my friends. I lay upon his grave the heartiest tribute of my unfading gratitude. James Buchanan served out the next four years, from 1857 to 1861. In early life he was something of a horseman, and used to tell how, before he was of age, he rode through the blue grass of Kentucky.
Then came the martyred President, Abraham Lincoln, reared among the rough manners and customs of Kentucky, afterwards transferred to the equally rugged experiences of Illinois. A flatboatman on the Ohio, a volunteer in the Indian war, a hard practitioner of the law, four times a member of the Legislature, two years in Congress, his later education made him more a man of books than of sport; but I have often heard him, as he revealed the wealth of his endless humor, relate how he rode through the unsettled prairies of the great State in whose bosom he now sleeps the sleep that knows no human wakening. Of Andrew Johnson's Presidential interval little need be said. He was certainly not addicted to equestrian feats in Washington, though sometimes he rode the high horse of party. Last scene of all comes Ulysses S. Grant. Like Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, and Pierce, his military experience made him a superb horseman; and he who shall write the checkered story of his life will find no anecdotes of his career more instructive than his love of that noble animal, whether on the long march, in the protracted battle, the keen pursuit, or the healthy exercises of private life.
MAKING A CABINET FOR AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT.
I NEVER had anything to do with making a Cabinet, at least with my own full consent; but three times I have been compelled to take a hand in it-once in 1852, after the election of Franklin Pierce; once in 1856, after the election of James Buchanan; and once in 1860, after the election of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, I knew these three gentlemen very well, certainly after two of them were made President. I am concluding this series of letters in the midst of a new struggle for Cabinet positions, and perhaps these little incidents may be interesting to the competitors. Franklin Pierce was elected President in November of 1852 by an overwhelming majority, and the name of Hon. James Campbell, of Philadelphia, was urged for Postmaster-general. I was despatched to Concord, New Hampshire, where the President-elect resided, to protest against this appointment by some of the Democratic politicians, and went there in company with a dear old friend, now dead and gone-George H. Martin, of the firm of Martin & Smith, hardware men on Market Street, near Third. When we got to Boston, I had a despatch from the President-elect telling me that he would meet me at the railroad-station at Concord, New Hampshire; and at the station we found him on our arrival, handsome, bright, cordial, and most receptive. His first greeting was: “Well, I have appointed James Campbell, of Pennsylvania, Postmaster-general of the United States, so that part of your mission is disposed of. But, in the next place, you are to be retained as one of the editors of the Washington Union, which, with your salary as Clerk of the House, ought to be sufficient.” And that was all. Nothing was said afterwards; and when General Pierce's administration was organized, I had no sincerer or more unselfish friend during his career of four years in the Postal Department than James Campbell, of Pennsylvania; and I am glad to say this of him nearly twenty-five years after he took possession of that important office. The next experience was that under my old friend James Buchanan in 1856. I never thought, after his election, about taking part in the choice of his constitutional advisers. But one day I met a shrewd politician, since dead, who was anxious to know what I was doing about Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet. My reply was, “Nothing. He knows the country, he knows its public men, and he ought to be able to select his own immediate political family.” “But don't you want Howell Cobb, of Georgia, who stood by you on the Kansas question, and pledged Old Buck that he would not interfere between the friends of freedom and slavery in that Territorydon't you want Howell Cobb, of Georgia, to be in Buchanan's Cabinet?” “Certainly I do," was my quick and eager answer. “Well, then, take my advice and write to him, and tell him that he must not hesitate about taking the post of Secretary of the Treasury if it is offered to him. He wants to be Secretary of State, but I assure you that is going to Lewis Cass, of Michigan." Upon this hint, like unsuspicious Othello, I spoke to Governor Cobb, and myself and Governor Cobb interchanged three or four letters. One day, at the close of this correspondence, the politician to whom I refer asked permission to take it with him and read it, knowing that I had kept copies of my letters to the kindly Georgian. I handed them over without the slightest hesitation, and some time after, when I met the President-elect in a large company, he upbraided me, with a good deal of emphasis, about as follows: “So, sir, I find you are trying to make a Cabinet for me. Mr.
has done me the honor to hand me your extraordinary correspondence with Governor Cobb, of Georgia.” I was completely overwhelmed, and answered with a surprised defiance that startled the bachelor President-elect. There was nothing in the letters that could not have been written by any one gentleman to another ; but their betrayal, and the manner in which they were received by Mr. Buchanan, really opened a chasm between us that never was closed. It was, in fact, the beginning of the great treachery which led to the attempt to make Kansas a slave State. The next and last experience was some time in November of 1860, after the election of Abraham Lincoln. I had done my utmost to elect him President of the United States by the only way in my power, and that was by supporting the straight Douglas electoral ticket in Pennsylvania. He wrote me a kind letter, thanking me for what he was pleased to call my independent action, and asking me what he could do for me.
I replied by recommending Horace Greeley for Postmaster-general, because dear old Horace, four years before, without knowing that I had fallen from grace under Mr. Buchanan, recommended me for that office. But as Lincoln had selected William H. Seward for Secretary of State from New York, he could not, of course, appoint Horace Greeley Postmaster-general from the same State, and so he replied, and that proposition fell. I did not conceal this correspondence, but I confess that it pleased me. It pleased me to find the most conspicuous man in the Republican party, even the President-elect, had remembered what I claimed to have been the most unselfish service of my life--that of unfearing hostility to the Southern Democratic aristocracy. But the same politician who had called upon me to write to Governor Cobb in November of 1856 now called upon me to write in favor of General Cameron in 1860. I did so in that spirit which, unless great principles are involved, will never leave me as long as I live—that of oblivion to every personal animosity, and an utter abnegation of self. Mr. Lincoln received my letter while General Cameron's claims for his Cabinet were being hotly contested by his enemies from this State, at Springfield, Illinois, and I am quite sure it did no injury to the subsequent Secretary of War, Minister to Russia, and for several years senior Senator in Congress from Pennsylvania. Such is one page of my unconscious part in Cabinet-making, and I give it for the benefit of those who are now engaged in the same business. It is not a very encouraging experience, but it may be useful. Coming Presidents ought to be glad to have the advantage of the experience of others, and will, no doubt, come to the conclusion that while it is always right to consult the people who make them, the best judge of the