Abbildungen der Seite

my hand, which trembled for very joy. My Bible came from him, my Shakspeare, my first writing-table, my first handsome writing-desk, my first Leghorn hat, my first silk dress. What, in short, of all my small treasures did not come from him *

My sisters, according to their wants and tastes, were equally thought of, equally provided for. Our grandfather seemed to read our hearts, to see our invisible wishes, to be our good genius, to wave the fairy wand, to brighten our young lives by his goodness and his gifts. But I have written enough for this time—and indeed what can I say hereafter, but to repeat the same tale of love and kindness. . .

I remain, my dear Mr. Randall,
Very truly yours,

A younger grand-daughter of Mr. Jefferson wrote to her husband:

Sr. SERVAN,” May 26th, 1839. Faithful to my promise, dearest , I shall spend an hour every Sunday in writing all my childish recollections of my dear grandfather, which are sufficiently distinct to relate to you. My memory seems crowded with them, and they have the vividness of realities; but all are trifles in themselves, such as I might talk to you by the hour, but when I have taken up my pen, they seem almost too childish to write down. But these remembrances are precious to me, because they are of him, and because they restore him to me as he then was, when his cheerfulness and affection were the warm sun in which his family all basked and were invigorated. Cheerfulness, love, benevolence, wisdom, seemed to animate his whole form. His face beamed with them. You remember how active was his step, how lively and even playful were his manners. I cannot describe the feelings of veneration, admiration and love that existed in my heart towards him. I looked on him as a being too great and good for my comprehension; and yet I felt no fear to approach him, and be taught by him some of the childish sports that I delighted in. When he walked in the garden and would call the children to go with him, we raced after and before him, and we were made perfectly happy by this permission to accompany him. Not one of us in our wildest moods ever placed a foot on one of the garden beds, for that would violate one of his rules, and yet I never heard him utter a harsh word to one of us, or speak in a raised tone of voice, or use a threat. He simply said, “do,” or “do not.” He would gather fruit for us, seek out the ripest figs, or bring down the cherries from on high above our heads with a long stick, at the end of which there was a hook and a little net bag. . . . One of our earliest amusements was in running races on the terrace, or around the lawn. He placed us according to our ages, giving the youngest and smallest the start of all the others by some yards, and so on, and then he raised his arm high with his white handkerchief in his hand, on which our eager eyes were fixed, and slowly counted three, at which number he dropt the handkerchief and we started off to finish the race by returning to the starting-place and receiving our reward of dried fruit—three figs, prunes or dates to the victor, two to the second, and one to the lagger who came in last. These were our summer sports with him. I was born the year he was elected President, and except one winter that we spent with him in Washington, I never was with him during that season until after he had retired from office. During his absences, all the children who could write corresponded with him. Their letters were duly answered,' and it was a sad mortification to me that I had not learned to write before his return to live at home, and of course had no letter from him. Whenever an opportunity occurred, he sent us books, and he never saw a little story or piece of poetry in a newspaper suited to our ages and tastes, that he did not preserve it and send it to us; and from him we learnt the habit of making these miscellaneous collections by pasting in a little paper book made for the purpose, anything of the sort that we received from him or got otherwise.” On winter evenings, when it grew too dark to read, in the half hour that passed before candles came in, as we all sat round the fire, he taught us several childish games, and would play them with us. I remember that “cross questions,” and “I love my love with an A,” were two I learned from him; and we would teach some of ours to him. When the candles were brought, all was quiet immediately, for he took up his book to read, and we would not speak out of a whisper lest we should disturb him, and generally we followed his example and took a book—and I have seen him raise his eyes from his own book and look round on the little circle of readers, and smile and make some remark to mamma about it. When the snow fell we would go out as soon as it stopped to clear it off the terraces with shovels, that he might have his usual walk on them without treading in snow.” He often made us little presents. I remember his giving us “Parents' Assistant,” “ and that we drew lots, and that she who drew the longest straw had the first reading of the book—the next longest straw entitled the drawer to the second reading—the shortest, to the last reading and the ownership of the book. Often he discovered, we knew not how, some cherished object of our desires, and the first intimation we had of his knowing the wish was its unexpected gratification. Sister Anne gave a silk dress to sister Ellen. Cornelia [then eight or ten years old] going up stairs, involuntarily expressed aloud some feelings which possessed her bosom on the occasion, by saying, “I never had a silk dress in my life.” The next day a silk dress came from Charlottesville for Cornelia—and (to make the rest of us equally happy) also a pair of pretty dresses for Mary and myself. One day I was passing hastily through the glass door from the hall to the portico; there was a broken pane which caught my muslin dress and tore it sadly. Grandpapa was standing by and saw the disaster. A few days after he came into mamma's sittingroom with a bundle in his hand, and said to me, “I have been mending your dress for you.” He had himself selected for me another beautiful dress. I had for a

* In France.

Of the letters addressed to Mrs. Bankhead, we know nothing. She died early, and they are probably lost. Those addressed to the next grand-daughter were numerous, No copies were kept of them, and they were all lost at sea—while following their owner to a Northern city. The younger grand-daughters were too young to receive more than one or two apiece from him. For specimens of these, addressed to children five or six years old, see AppENDix, No. 23. * Some of these harmless scrap-books were mistaken by a visitor (or writer in the newspapers, who claimed to derive his information from a visitor) for collections by Mr. Jefferson of all the attacks made on him in the public journals There was not a trace of truth in the statement. Mr. Jefferson very rarely read, and never took pains to preserve an attack on himself. * The writer of the above, assured us personally, that the task here described was too eagerly coveted to be permitted to a domestic—and that it would have been a gratification to the little shovellers, to sweep the long terraces with their hair, to express their love for him for whose feet they were preparing them. * Miss Edgworth's works were collected as they appeared, and given to the children.

Mr. Jefferson was a hearty admirer of Miss Edgworth—notwithstanding the very few novels he ever read.

long time a great desire to have a guitar. A lady of our neighborhood was going to the West and wished to part with her guitar, but she asked so high a price that I never in my dreams aspired to its possession. One morning on going down to breakfast, I saw the guitar. It had been sent up by Mrs. for us to look at, and grandpapa told me that if I would promise to learn to play on it I should have it. I never shall forget my ecstasies. I was but fourteen years old and the first wish of my heart was unexpectedly gratified. . . . .

Pages more might be filled with written and oral recollections of the same tenor. The flight of years has not dimmed the love with which all those of his household regarded him ; and the impression which he left on their memories, is far too deeply stamped for anything but death to efface. But, as one of the narrators has asked, “what can be said hereafter but t repeat the same tale of love and kindness?”

[ocr errors]

Jefferson's Correspondence in 1810—Anticipates a Financial Crash in England–Russian Ambassador and Jefferson—Publications suggested by Jefferson—Correspondence of 1811—Letter to Eppes—Views on Colonization and on Duties of Government in relation thereto—Misunderstandings in Madison's Cabinet—Duane's Attack on Gallatin—His Appeals to Jefferson for Aid—His Attack on the President—Jefferson's Views on proper Sacrifices to Party Unity—His Toleration to Individual Differences of Opinion in his Party—Gallatin—Thomas Ritchie—South American Revolt—Jefferson advises Barlow how to address Napoleon–His Views on War and Peace—“Gives Glory” to Gerry for “Rasping down” Traitors—The Conduct of the New England Federalists—Quincy's Declaration that it was the Duty of some States to prepare for a Separation of the Union—Resolutions of Federal Caucus in Boston–Gerry pronounces their Doctrines Seditious—Legislature go further—Jefferson's Illness—His Letter to Rush–Correspondence of 1812–His Reconciliation with John Adams—War declared between United States and Great Britain—Jefferson's Views of the kind of War it was Expedient to wage—His Suggestions to the President–Sanguine Hopes—Views after Hull's Surrender—A Glimpse of Jefferson's Pecuniary Affairs—He is urged to become a Candidate for the Presidency—Urged to enter Mr. Madison's Cabinet–General Result of the War in 1812–Conduct of the New England Federalists—Disunion instigated from the Pulpit—Quincy's Attack on the War and on Jefferson in Congress— Tallmadge's Speech—Clay's Reply to Quincy—Presidential Election—Progress of the War in 1813—Jefferson's Remarks and Suggestions thereon—Massachusetts Legislature resolve that it is “unbecoming a Moral and Religious People” to express Approbation of the Military or Naval Exploits of the War—Massachusetts Officials do not attend the Funeral of Lawrence—Quincy's Resolution in regard to Admission of States formed from Louisiana—Remonstrance of Massachusetts Legislature against the War—False Statements of the Document in regard to Impressment, etc.—Smuggling and Selling Supplies to the Enemy—How fostered in New England–Evasions of the Revenue Laws—British Blockade extended—The portion of New England still Exempted–Governor of Vermont attempts to Recall the Militia of that State from Canada–Proceedings in Congress thereon—Resolves of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey– Commodore Decatur's Account of the “Blue-light.” Treason–Jefferson's Correspondence in 1813—Dirge of the Indian Race—Jefferson's Letters to Eppes on the Banks and Currency—Attempt of Boston Banks to prevent the Government from obtaining Loans—Their Run on Banks of Middle and Southern States—Purchase of English Government Bills—The Massachusetts Press and Pulpit denounce those who lend Money to our Government—A new Rupture between Adams and Jefferson threatened—Reconciliation between Jefferson and Mrs. Adams—Jefferson's Views of Style in Writing.

WE again recur to Mr. Jefferson's correspondence during

1810. His indignation at the conduct of both Great Britain and France remained unabated. He wrote Dr. Jones, a Virginia member of Congress, March 5th :

“Our difficulties are indeed great, if we consider ourselves alone. But when viewed in comparison with those of Europe, they are the joys of Paradise. In the eternal revolution of ages, the destinies have placed our portion of existence amidst such scenes of tumult and outrage, as no other period, withing our knowledge, had presented. Every government but one on the continent of Europe, demolished, a conqueror roaming over the earth with havoc and destruction, a pirate spreading misery and ruin over the face of the ocean. Indeed, my friend, ours is a bed of roses. And the system of government which shall keep us afloat amidst this wreck of the world, will be immortalized in history. We have, to be sure, our petty squabbles and heart burnings, and we have something of the blue devils at times, as to these raw-heads and bloody-bones who are eating up other nations. But happily for us, the Mammoth cannot swim, nor the Leviathan move on dry land: and if we will keep out of their way, they cannot get at us.”

Commenting in a letter to Mr. Law on “the miserable policy” pursued by England “of teasing and embarrassing us by allying itself with a faction here, not a tenth of the people, noisy and unprincipled,” he thus met the charge of having been influenced by enmity in his own official conduct towards that country:

“With respect to myself, I saw great reason to believe their ministers were weak enough to credit the newspaper trash about a supposed personal enmity in myself towards England. This wretched party imputation was beneath the notice of wise men. England never did me a personal injury, other than in open war; and for numerous individuals there, I have great esteem and friendship. And I must have had a mind far below the duties of my station, to have felt either national partialities or antipathies in conducting the affairs confided to me. My affections were first for my own country, and then, generally, for all mankind; and nothing but minds placing themselves above the passions, in the functionaries of this country, could have preserved us from the war to which their provocations have been constantly urging us.”

In two or three letters during the year, he expressed anticipations of “a crush” in the “internal structure” of England, owing to the remarkable state of her monetary affairs. These views were not confined to him or his party; and in looking back over the circumstances of the times, it only appears wonderful that they were not realized."

* The Bank of England had suspended specie payments in February, 1797, and they were not resumed until 1823, a period of twenty-six years. The bank had, we think, about a million and a quarter of specie in its vaults at the time of suspension. Its circulation prior to that event, was eleven or twelve millions of pounds. In 1810, when Mr. Jefferson wrote, its circulation had reached eighteen millions; and before 1820, it had reached thirty millions, or one hundred and fifty millions of dollars. The notes of

vol. III.-23

« ZurückWeiter »