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other occasion. “ Five times have I been sold into slavery in Washington-three times on the block, and twice with the ball and chain on my feet; and now I am free, and all my
children, and their children's children.”
And what could John M. Langston, the law professor of the Howard University, say? The son of a gentleman of Virginia by his own slave, he lives to represent the intellect of his father as his accepted offspring, and to honor and bless his mother.
But on this sacred day other memories are revived. I recall as I write the face, the form, the character, and history of James S. Jackson, of Kentucky, who sleeps with the blessed Union martyrs. The readers of these hasty anecdotes will perhaps recollect my reference to him on the night of my Mazeppa speech on Missouri Avenue, after I had been elected Clerk of the House of Representatives in December of 1859. Jackson was afterward a Whig Representative in the Thirty-seventh Congress from Kentucky, and when elected was about forty. He was chosen as a pro-slavery man, with intense attachment to Henry Clay, John J. Crittenden, and the old leaders of that school of politics, but also with intense attachment to the Union. I never met him until I met him as a Representative in the great Congress preceding the rebellion. His genial nature, his extremely handsome face and athletic form, his eloquence of speech and magnetism of manner, attracted me; and yet, although somewhat differing in politics—he as the ideal of the old Whig Party in its best days, and I as the ideal of the better days of the Democracy—we coalesced in ardent devotion to the Union. He was against me for Clerk, yet he was glad I was elected—not because he cared for me, but because he desired to rebuke the administration of Mr. Buchanan, whose course on the Kansas Question he did not hesitate to denounce as unutterably bad.
On this Decoration day, as I look out upon Arlington Heights and hear the guns thundering over the graves of those who perished that their country might live, I think of handsome Jackson, and of an incident related to me by one of his devoted Kentucky friends, now holding a high and honorable position under General Grant's administration. Jackson left his seat in the House to offer his life to the Republic. In doing this he felt that he was separating from many near and dear friends in Kentucky, all of whom, equally devoted to the Union, were also devoted to slavery. He had served several months in the war when slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia. His old associates, believing they could swerve him from his fidelity to his country, conceived that emancipation would greatly disappoint him, and one of their number wrote him a letter, stating now that the Yankees had shown that this was simply an abolition war, he ought to leave the “Federal” army and come over to his old friends, in which case a better position awaited him. This letter, owing to circumstances unnecessary to relate here, fell into the hands of his brave wife, a Kentucky
She was so indignant at the attempt to debauch her husband that she tore it up, but immediately after, believing that he had better see it, womanlike, gathered the fragments and sent the missive forward to her husband. He received it in the company of friends, laughed heartily at it, and referred to the Confederate who had written it as a capital good fellow, but as one who had wholly misunderstood his character. Among those who heard of the letter was the well-known Brigadier-General William Nelson, subsequently killed by General Jefferson C. Davis in a personal rencontre at the Galt House, in Louisville, on the 29th of September, 1862. Nelson remarked, after the letter to Jackson had been read, that the writer seemed to know his man or he never would have written it. This observation was reported to Jackson by some convenient friend, who belonged to the order of men who always report unpleasant remarks, and resulted in a challenge from Jackson to Nelson. Nothing prevented a mortal meeting but the inter
vention of the venerable John J. Crittenden, the friend of both, who came from Louisville to the camp and stepped between the young Hotspurs. But they never spoke until after one of the subsequent battles, in which Nelson displayed almost superhuman bravery. Jackson's cavalry regiment could not be called into the fight, and he lay chafing at a distance from the field. But when he came into camp and found that praise of his adversary was in the mouth of every soldier, he rushed up to him, and threw his arms around his neck, and said: “I never can be the enemy of a man who has fought so bravely for the old flag."
They both died in 1862—Jackson at the head of his regiment in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, and Nelson, as I have said, by the hands of Jefferson C. Davis, a brave and noble soldier, now in New York, whom Nelson had grossly insulted. Jackson and Nelson were both men of strong convictions; they were men of storm and tempest, but of noble hearts; they loved Clay, Crittenden, Breckinridge, Preston, and Prentice of the Louisville Fournal. To go into the Union cause against all their social prejudices and friends was a great struggle, but go they did. They died young, but they had lived a long experience. Nelson was a commander in the navy, and died a brevet major-general in the army. Jackson had just got into Congress when the war broke out, and died before he finished his Congressional career.
[June 4, 1871.)
LOOKING back along more than half a century of the varied, brilliant, and useful works of Adolphe Thiers, the present virtual head of the French government, who is now seventy-four years old, the thought occurred to me what an interesting chapter
could be written of other venerable men still living. Brougham lived to his ninetieth, and Palmerston survived to his eighty
Earl Russell is eighty. Lyndhurst died in his ninety-first year. The French historian and publicist, Guizot, is eighty-four. The civic and martial chieftains of Germany, who figured most prominently in the late terrific campaign, are many of them
old. Philadelphia has an unusual share of remarkable men still living between seventy and eighty, and a number even beyond that great age. The posterity of the well-known merchant, Daniel Smith, presents a record rarely paralleled. The mother died in 1799, leaving seven children, five of whom are now living. The oldest brother, James S., died in 1861, in his eightyfirst year. Francis Gurney Smith is still living, in his eightyeighth year; also Richard S. Smith, president of the Union Mutual Insurance Company, who will be eighty-two in August; Daniel Smith, Jr., was eighty last February; William S. Smith is seventy-nine; and Charles S. Smith, seventy-two in April. Mrs. Poulson, the sister, died last year, aged seventy-six. The six brothers have lived over fifty years each with their wives. They have lived blameless, useful, and honorable careers as merchants and as leaders in great public works. What is most delightful of all is that the wives of four of these gentlemen survive at nearly the same age as themselves. They have all celebrated their “golden weddings.” It is not often that a single family can present such longevity and such unstained and even distinguished reputations. Like their ancestors, they are truehearted Philadelphians; and he who would gather some of the most interesting memoirs of the city founded by William Penn, could do nothing better than to interview the eldest of these five brothers at his residence on Pine Street, Philadelphia. I have several times referred to Horace Binney, in his ninety-first year-in his day among the ripest and ablest lawyers in the world. General Robert Patterson is the evergreen of his time
-still vigorous in his eightieth year. Prominent on every great occasion, ready of speech and wit, hospitable in his own home, patriotic and public-spirited, one of the most active cotton merchants in Philadelphia, rising with the lark, working at his counting-house without eating a morsel until his dinner at five in the afternoon, frequently closing the day as the most active and genial guest at a social gathering; he is a rara avis. William D. Lewis, former Collector of the Port, also in his eightieth year, is one of the same school, preserving in his old age a youthful and generous heart and an undaunted spirit. He will tell you of St. Petersburg nearly sixty years ago, which he visited as a youth, regale you with incidents of Philadelphia in the olden time, and fill your memory with anecdotes of the good and great men whose confidence he shared.
Few persons know that Thomas Sully, the eminent portraitpainter, is yet among us, on the eve of his eighty-eighth year. The visitor to his studio is impressed by the remarkable brightness and activity of the venerable man, who is still inspired with the true fire of his art.
He was born in England. Originally the family came from France. His father's name was Matthew Sully. His mother was English, and came first from England to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1794. Mr. Sully took his first lessons in Charleston, from a coach-painter. He began as a miniature-painter when only seven years old. From Charleston he came to Philadelphia, then to New York, by advice of Cooper, the actor, then back to Philadelphia about 1810, where he has ever since remained. He twice visited England, once in 1837, to paint Queen Victoria. He also took lessons at different times of West, Lawrence, and Stuart, the last named not even surpassed in certain qualities by Vandyke.
Mr. Sully is a musician of considerable proficiency. He played the flute in the orchestra of the Musical Fund Society for many years, and he is now its vice-president. His charac