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he did not cease to pursue, with industry and with high reputation, his proper profession — resisting the frequent and urgent solicitations of his fellow-citizens to become a candidate for the Legislature.
In the year 1802, death deprived him and a numerous family of a father, respected through life for his integrity and manly virtues ; and on him, the eldest child, devolved the duty of aiding his excellent mother in the management of the estate, at that time a very good one. He became the sole executor ; and, to his honor be it mentioned, not only refused all fees and commissions, but declined receiving any part of the real or personal property left by his father.
In January, 1806, he was induced, principally by the unhealthiness of Lower Marlboro', to remove to his present residence, Rosemount, in Prince George's county. There he continued to combine, as before, a successful profession with his agricultural operations, from which he has accumulated the rich avails of sagacious management and indefatigable industry. It was not long, however, before he was prompted, by a sense of duty and the demands of his fellow-citizens, to take an active part in the political discussions, which had now become more excited, in consequence of the repeated insults and injuries heaped upon us by France and England -- and especially by the latter power; and, in 1810, he was elected a member of the twelfth Congress, which assembled on the first Monday of November, 1811. During this eventful session, war was declared against Great Britain, for which Mr. Kent gave his vote, as well as for all subsequent measures deemed necessary to its successful prosecution. In that body he spoke but seldom, but always with discretion and effect — commanding attention for the soundness of his views, and respect for the obvious candor with which they were avowed. These were freely given, in respect to the war, and the causes which rendered it necessary, as well as in regard to the manner in which it should be prosecuted, especially in a speech delivered in the House of Representatives, eleventh of February, 1913. He was reelected to the thirteenth Congress, and served till the conclusion of the war.
To the fourteenth Congress he was not elected — though a candidate — owing, as it may be said, partly to a change of opinion, at that time amongst the people, on the great questions of public policy ; and in a degree, as it was said by his political associates and supporters, to the number of friendly voters absent at the time (1814) on militia duty, at Baltimore. In 1815, ’16, he served a session in the Senate of Maryland ; and, in November of the latter year, was chosen elector of president and vicepresident. In 1818, he was again elected, without opposition, to Congress, where he continued, always an attentive and useful member, until December, 1925, when he was chosen governor of his native State. On reaching Annapolis, he undertook to reform the too careless manner in which the executive duties had been sometimes discharged ; and his measures resulted in that order and regularity so essential to the despatch of business. His arrangement to meet for business on the first Monday of every month, in the recess of the Legislature, has been found highly useful and acceptable to the people. In what estimation his services were held — in this, to him new, and, in itself, important station — may be judged by the very favorable manner in which his administration at its close was noticed by the public journals, as well as by the fact of the members of the Legislature giving, when his term had expired, a public entertainment, in token of their confidence and esteem. For the proceedings of that occasion, and the sentiments elicited by it, reference may be made to Niles's Register, (vol. 35, page 314) the Maryland Republican, and other public journals of the day.
In 1830, to prevent his nomination, Mr. Kent declared, by letter to his friends in convention, that, under no circumstances, could he consent to be a candidate for Congress. In 1832, he was again elected an elector of president and vice-president; but severe illness prevented his meeting the electoral college, at Annapolis.
At the session of 1832, he was chosen a Senator to represent the State of Maryland in the Senate of the United States, for six years from the third of March, 1833. During the late session, his health was precarious, being in fact ill a part of the time. He delivered his sentiments on the deposite question concisely, but with force, in a speech which was well received, though made under the most disadvantageous circumstances. He introduced a resolution, of importance — and one which is probably destined to be revived — to amend the Constitution in a manner to curtail the executive power under the veto privilege ; but, such was the peculiar character of the late session as to prevent its being called up.
From 1808 to 1825, he filled the various appointments, under the State authorities, of surgeon's mate and surgeon, of major, lieutenant colonel and colonel of cavalry; and presided at the first canal convention assembled at Washington, serving as a director of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, from its origin until he declined a reelection.
Those who have best known him have observed that his favorite pursuit, in the midst of his various engagements, has been that of an agriculturist ; in which he has been eminently successful — increasing his estates in fertility and dimensions, notwithstanding the time and devotion given to public concerns and
affairs of duty, which no temptation of private interest has ever led him to neglect.
One fact may be added, as a remarkable instance of abstinence in not using his political influence for selfish and family purposes; that, whilst with every administration since 1811, except the present, his intercourse has been on the most confidential terms and friendly footing, and with a numerous connexion, yet his blood runs not in the veins of a human being that holds an office !
More valuable, even than their particular services, is the example of men, who thus rise from comparative obscurity to the highest stations, unsustained by avarice, and owing nothing of their success to stratagems suggested by envy, nor advantages gained by indirectness or falsehood.
EZEKIEL F. CHAMBERS.
General EZEKIEL F. CHAMBERS is the son of Benjamin Chambers, who was formerly clerk of the County Court of Kent, and was one of the most influential and respectable citizens of the county. He was born on the twenty-eighth of February, 1788, in Chester town, Kent county, and was educated at Washington College, in Chester town, and passed through his collegiate course with much eclat. He immediately commenced the study of the law, under the direction of the late Judge Houston, and was admitted to the bar before he was twenty-one years of age. His talents and attention to business very soon brought him an extensive and profitable practice. In a few years, he arose to such eminence in his profession, as to be considered one of the most distinguished members of the bar, and this justly acquired reputation he has constantly maintained.
During the late war with Great Britain, he was the captain of a militia company, attached to the twenty-first regiment, commanded by Col. Read, and enjoyed his full share of the high reputation acquired by the officers and men of this regiment. He was most generally selected by Col. Read to carry on negociations with the enemy under flags of truce. This selection, among such men as his brother officers, was no small compliment, especially when it is considered by whom the selection was made; for perhaps there were few, if any, better judges of character than the commander of that regiment. After the close of the war, Mr. Chambers was appointed colonel ; and in a few years, he received a commission as brigadier-general, which he still holds.
In 1821 he was elected a member of the Senate of Maryland; and here his talents sustained him in acquiring a reputation as efsectually as they had done at the bar and in the field. After his election to the Senate, he was appointed, by the executive of Maryland, a commissioner, in connection with two other gentlemen, to negotiate with the authorities of Virginia, in relation to the lines between the two States. Before the expiration of his Senatorial term, he was appointed, by the Legislature of Maryland, a commissioner, together with two of the members of the House of Delegates, to endeavor to arrange and adjust, with the States of Delaware and Pennsylvania, the complaints of the citizens of Maryland, in reference to the delicate and difficult subject of runaway slaves.
During this mission, he and his associates were highly complimented by the citizens of these two States, for their intelligence, and the conciliating and the judicious manner in which they discharged their important trust. The success of their efforts was truly gratifying to their constituents. During his visit to Delaware and Pennsylvania, he was elected to the Senate of the United States, to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Col. Edward Lloyd. To that important station, he has been reelected. It is unnecessary to state with what fidelity and ability he has represented the State in the councils of the Union. The public know and justly appreciate his talents and virtues, as a statesman, as has been evinced by his reelection and well-earned popularity and influence.
Mr. Chambers has at all times taken an active part in the debates of the Senate ; but, during the administration of Mr. Adams, he bore the brunt of the battle in defending him in the Senate. Mr. Chambers seldom makes what is called a set speech; but, in reply, retort, and the tilt of the debate, he is often peculiarly happy. His blade, when sharpened by encounter, is a keen one, and cuts close and smooth. Ever active, ever ready in such a conflict, he always comes off with honor, and often makes his adversary quiver at the shock. But, Mr. Chambers is now lost to the Senate, having been appointed, by the executive of the State of Maryland, chief judge of the second judicial district in that State. His political associates will regret his departure from among them, and the country will feel the loss.
I think if I were to write a book of travels in the United States, it would be more shocking than Captain Hall's, or Major Hamilton's, or even Mrs. Trollope's.
I know of only one book of the sort written by an American — The Notions of a Travelling Bachelor;' and this was by Cooper, whose head has been lately proved to be so full of notions, that nobody minds them now-a-days. A book, of a different kind from his, written by an American, yet telling his countrymen, in sober earnest, that they actually have faults, that their country is great only in size and prospect, that there is more elegant society in older countries, &c. &c., is yet a desideratum, and might do some good ; and I have little doubt that it would be better received too, than the impertinent hints afforded us by foreigners ; for it is always the case with nations as with families, that the members quarrel very contentedly and amicably, and cudgel one another in all good understanding ; but, if any interloper presumes to appear, they all turn upon him en masse -- and it is lucky for him if he comes off without a broken head. It has often occurred to me to ask whether - considering that numerous travelers, from England and other countries, coming here at different periods, unknown to each other and with different objects, some remaining longer, others less time, and still all speaking with nearly the same voice, and condemning, with equal severity the same things, — there may not possibly be some truth in what they say ? — or have they all come here with malice prepense, and instigated by the devil to abuse and misrepresent our unhappy land, and gall the feelings of our skinless people, as Mrs. Trollope calls them?
Having cogitated upon all these things, it came into my head to write a sort of journal of my own wanderings over this country, a few pages of which I offer here for the edification of any who may honor me with a perusal :
(May 10, 193–. Arrived this day in New York. I had visited the city in my childhood, and had some indistinct recollection of the lay of the land — so steered for Broadway ; it was but a short distance from the wharf where I had landed, and I felt sure that I could find it. Turning a corner, I was in a street which I knew ought to be Broadway ; but the houses appeared so low and small, no two of them alike, that it seemed to me I had found my way into a large encampment rather than the principal street of New-York; and it was only upon being assured that this was Broadway, that I could bring myself to believe that I was actually in a scene which had made such a strong impres