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I will indulge the reader with one article entire from the Jeffer sonian; 1, because it is interesting; 2, because it will serve to show the spirit and the manner of the editor in recording and commenting upon the topics of the day. He has since written more emphatic, but not more effective articles, on similar subjects:
THE TRAGEDY AT WASHINGTON..
THE whole country is shocked, and its moral sensibilities outraged, by the horrible tragedy lately perpetrated at Washington, of which a member of Congress was the victim. It was, indeed, an awful, yet we will hope not a profitless catastrophe; and we blush for human nature when we observe the most systematic efforts used to pervert to purposes of party advantage and personal malignity, a result which should be sacred to the interests of humanity and morality-to the stern inculcation and enforcement of a reverence for the laws of the land and the mandates of God.
Nearly a month since, a charge of corruption, or an offer to sell official influence and exertion for a pecuniary consideration, against some unnamed member of Congress, was transmitted to the New York Courier and Enquirer by its correspondent, 'the Spy in Washington.' Its appearance in that journal called forth a resolution from Mr. Wise, that the charge be investigated by the House. On this an irregular and excited debate arose, which consumed a day or two, and which was signalized by severe attacks on the Public Press of this country, and on the letter-writers from Washington. In particular, the Courier and Enquirer, in which this charge appeared, its chief Editor, and its correspondent the Spy, were stigmatized; and Mr. Cilley, a member from Maine, was among those who gave currency to the charges. Col. Webb, the Editor, on the appearance of these charges, instantly proceeded to Washington, and there addressed a note to Mr. Cilley on the subject. That note, it appears, was courteous and dignified in its language, merely inquiring of Mr. C. if his remarks, published in the Globe, were intended to convey any personal disrespect to the writer, and containing no menace of any kind. It was
handed to Mr. Cilley by Mr. Graves, a member from Kentucky, but declined by Mr. C., on the ground, as was understood, that he did not choose to be drawn into controversy with Editors of public journals in regard to his remarks in the House. This was correct and honorable ground. The Constitution expressly provides that members of Congress shall not be responsible elsewhere for words spoken in debate, and the provision is a most noble and necessary one.
But Mr. Graves considered the reply as placing him in an equivocal position. If a note transmitted through his hands had been declined, as was liable to be understood, because the writer was not worthy the treatment of a gentleman, the dishonor was reflected on himself as the bearer of a disgrace
ful message. Mr. Graves, therefore, wrote a note to Mr. C., asking h.m if he were correct in his understanding that the letter in question was declined because Mr. C. could not consent to hold himself accountable to public journalists for words spoken in debate, and not on grounds of personal objection to Col. Webb as a gentleman. To this note Mr. Cilley replied, on the advisement of his friends, that he declined the note of Col. Webb, because he "chose to be drawn into no controversy with him," and added that he "neither affirmed nor denied anything in regard to his character." This was considered by Mr. Graves as involving him fully in the dilemma which he was seeking to avoid, and amounting to an impeachment of his veracity, and he now addressed another note to inquire, "whether you declined to receive his (Col. Webb's) communication on the ground of any personal objection to him as a gentleman of honor?" To this query Mr. Cilley declined to give an answer, denying the right of Mr. G. to propose it. The next letter in course was a challenge from Mr. Graves by the hand of Mr. Wise, promptly responded to by Mr. Cilley through Gen. Jones of Wisconsin.
The weapons selected by Mr. Cilley were rifles; the distance eighty yards. (It was said that Mr. Cilley was practicing with the selected weapon the morning of accepting the challenge, and that he lodged eleven balls in succassion in a space of four inches square.) Mr. Graves experienced some difficulty in procuring a rifle, and asked time, which was granted; and Gen. Jones, Mr. Cilley's second, tendered him the use of his own rifle; but, meantime, Mr. Graves had procured one.
The challenge was delivered at 12 o'clock on Friday; the hour selected by Mr. Cilley was 12 of the following day. His unexpected choice of rifles, however, and Mr. Graves' inability to procure one, delayed the meeting till 2 o'clock.
The first fire was ineffectual. Mr. Wise, as second of the challenging party, now called all parties together, to effect a reconciliation. Mr. C. declining to negotiate while under challenge, it was suspended to give room for explanation. Mr. Wise remarked-"Mr. Jones, these gentlemen have come here without animosity towards each other; they are fighting merely upon a point of honor; cannot Mr. Cilley assign some reason for not receiving at Mr. Graves' hands Colonel Webb's communication, or make some disclaimer which will relieve Mr. Graves from his position?" The reply was-"I am authorized by my friend, Mr. Cilley, to say that in declining to receive the note from Mr. Graves, purporting to be from Colonel Webb, he meant no disrespect to Mr. Graves, because he entertained for him then, as he now does, the highest respect and the most kind feelings; but that he declined to receive the note because he chose not to be drawn into any controversy with Colonel Webb.' This is Mr. Jones' version; Mr. Wise thinks he said, "My friend refuses to disclaim disrespect to Colonel Webb, because he does not choose to be drawn into an expression of opinion as to him." After consultation, Mr Wise re
turned to Mr. Jones and said, "Mr. Jones, this answer leaves Mr Graves pre cisely in the position in which he stood when the challenge was sent."
Another exchange of shots was now had to no purpose, and another attempt at reconciliation was likewise unsuccessful. The seconds appear to have been mutually and anxiously desirous that the affair should here terminate, but no arrangement could be effected. Mr. Graves insisted that his antagonist should place his refusal to receive the message of which he was the bearer on some grounds which did not imply such an opinion of the writer as must reflect disgrace on the bearer. He endeavored to have the refusal placed on the ground that Mr. C. "did not hold himself accountable to Colonel Webb for words spoken in debate." This was declined by Mr. Cilley, and the duel proceeded.
The official statement, drawn up by the two seconds, would seem to import that but three shots were exchanged; but other accounts state positively that Mr. Cilley fell at the fourth fire. He was shot through the body, and died in two minutes. On seeing that he had fallen, badly wounded, Mr. Graves expressed a wish to see him, and was answered by Mr. Jones-" My friend is dead, sir!"
Colonel Webb first heard of the difficulty which had arisen on Friday evening, but was given to understand that the meeting would not take place for several days. On the following morning, however, he had reason to suspect the truth. He immediately armed himself, and with two friends proceeded to Mr. Cilley's lodgings, intending to force the latter to meet him before he did Mr. Graves. He did not find him, however, and immediately proceeded to the old dueling ground at Bladensburgh, and thence to several other places, to interpose himself as the rightful antagonist of Mr. Cilley. Had he found the parties, a more dreadful tragedy still would doubtless have ensued. But the place of meeting had been changed, and the arrangements so secretly made, that though Mr. Clay and many others were on the alert to prevent it, the duel was not interrupted.
"We believe we have here stated every material fact in relation to chis melancholy business. It is suggested, however, that Mr. Cilley was less disposed to concede anything from the first in consideration of his own course when a difficulty recently arose between two of his colleagues, Messrs. Jarvis and Smith, which elicited a challenge from the former, promptly and nobly declined by the latter. This refusal, it is said, was loudly and vehemently stigmatized as cowardly by Mr. Cilley. This circumstance does not come to as well authenticated, but it is spoken of as notorious at Washington.
"But enough of detail and circumstance. The reader who has not seen the official statement will find its substance in the foregoing. He can lay the blame where he chooses. We blame only the accursed spirit of False Honor which required this bloody sacrifice-the horrid custom of Dueling which exacts and palliates this atrocity. It appears evident that Mr. Cilley's course must have been based on the determination that Col. Webb was no entitled
to be regarded as a gentleman; and if so, there was hardly an escape from a bloody conclusion after Mr. Graves had once consented, however unconsciously, to bear the note of Col. Webb. Each of the parties, doubtless, acted 38 he considered due to his own character; each was right in the view of the duelist's code of honor, but fearfully wrong in the eye of reason, of morality, of humanity, and the imperative laws of man and of God. Of the principals, one sleeps cold and stiff beneath the icy pall of winter and the clods of the valley; the other--far more to be pitied--lives to execrate through years of anguish and remorse the hour when he was impelled to imbrue his hands in the blood of a fellow-being.
Mr. Graves we know personally, and a milder and more amiable gentleman is rarely to be met with. He has for the last two years been a Representative from the Louisville District, Kentucky, and is universally esteemed and beloved. Mr. Cilley was a young man of one of the best families in New Hamp shire; his grandfather was a Colonel and afterwards a General of the Revo lution. His brother was a Captain in the last War with Great Britain, and leader of the desperate bayonet charge at Bridgewater. Mr. Cilley himself, though quite a young man, has been for two years Speaker of the House of Representatives of Maine, and was last year elected to Congress from the Lincoln District, which is decidedly opposed to him in politics, and which recently gave 1,200 majority for the other side. Young as he was, he had acquired a wide popularity and influence in his own State, and was laying the foundations of a brilliant career in the National Councils. And this man, with so many ties to bind him to life, with the sky of his future bright with hope, without an enemy on earth, and with a wife and three children of tender age whom his death must drive to the verge of madness-has perished miserably in a combat forbidden by God, growing out of a difference so pitiful in itself, so direful in its consequences.
Could we add anything to render the moral more terribly impressive?
The year of the Jeffersonian was a most laborious and harassing one. No one but a Greeley would or could have endured such continuous and distracting toils. He had two papers to provide for; papers diverse in character, papers published a hundred and fifty miles apart, papers to which expectant thousands looked for their weekly supply of mental pabulum. As soon as the agony of getting the New Yorker to press was over, and copy for the outside of the next number given out, away rushed the editor to the Albany boat; and after a night of battle with the bed-bugs of the cabin, or the politicians of the hurricane-deck, he hurried off to new duties at the office of the Jeffersonian. The Albany boat of 1838 was a very different style of conveyance from the Albany boat of the present
year of our Lord. It was, in fact, not much more than six times as elegant and comfortable as the steamers that, at this hour, ply in the seas and channels of Europe. The sufferings of our hero may be imagined.
But, not his labors. They can be understood only by those who know, by blessed experience, what it is to get up, or try to get up, a good, correct, timely, and entertaining weekly paper. The subject of editorial labor, however, must be reserved for a future page.
66 TIPPECANOE AND TYLER TOO."
Wire-pulling-The delirium of 1840-The Log-Cabin-Unprecedented hit-A glance at its pages-Log-Cabin jokes-Log-Cabin songs-Horace Greeley and the cake-basket-Pecuniary difficulties continue-The Tribune announced.
WIRE-PULLING is a sneaking, bad, demoralizing business, and the people hate it. The campaign of 1840, which resulted in the election of General Harrison to the presidency, was, at bottom, the revolt of the people of the United States against the wire-pulling principle, supposed to be incarnate in the person of Martin Van Buren. Other elements entered into the delirium of those mad months. The country was only recovering, and that slowly, from the disasters of 1836 and 1837, and the times were still 'hard.' But the fire and fury of the struggle arose from the fact, that General Harrison, a man who had done something, was pitted against Martin Van Buren, a man who had pulled wires. The hero of Tippecanoe and the farmer of North Bend, against the wily diplomatist who partook of sustenance by the aid of gold spoons. The LogCabin against the White House.
Great have been the triumphs of wire-pulling in this and other countries; and yet it is an unsafe tling to engage in. As bluff King Hal melted away, with one fiery glance, all the greatness of