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“The éclat of this [Lafayette's] visit has almost merged the Presidential question, on which nothing scarcely is said in our papers. That question will lie ultimately between Crawford and Adams; but, as at the same time, the vote of the people will be so distracted by subordinate candidates, that possibly they may make no election, and let it go to the House of Representatives. There, it is thought, Crawford's chance is best.”
And he added:
“We have nothing else interesting before the public. Of the two questions of the tariff and public improvements, the former, perhaps, is not yet at rest, and the latter will excite boisterous discussions. It happens that both these measures fall in with the Western interests, and it is their secession from the agricultural States which gives such strength to the manufacturing and consolidating parties, on these two questions. The latter is the most dreaded, because thought to amount to a determination in the Federal Government to assume all powers non-enumerated as well as enumerated in the Constitution, and by giving a loose to construction, make the text say whatever will relieve them from the bridle of the States. These are difficulties for your day; I shall give them the slip.”
It had been arranged that the University should be opened on the 1st of February, 1825. But when that period came, three of the professors had not arrived from England. Jofferson evinced great uneasiness. He wrote Cabell, January 11th, that he was “dreadfully nonplussed.” Then came intelligence of a desolating Atlantic storm, in which shipping had greatly suffered, and his anxiety for the safety of these gentlemen reached a painful point. He subsequently learned from Cabell, however, that they were safe in an English port (Plymouth), on the 5th of December, and this good news, he said, “raised him from the dead, for he was almost ready to give up the ship.” Another of his letters, February 20th, states that the professors have arrived, and that they “excite strong presumptions that they have been judiciously selected.” The opening of the University was then announced for the 7th of March, but it did not take place until April.
His expectations in regard to the professors, were fully satisfied on his first acquaintance with those gentlemen; and he never, subsequently, had occasion to change his mind." His
He wrote the Honorable J. Evelyn Denison, M.P. (of England), November 9th, 1825: “It has been o fortunate that the Professors brought from abroad were as happy selections as could have been hoped, as well for their qualifications in science as correctness and amiableness of character;” and to Mr. Giles, December 26th : “Our University has been most fortunate in the five professors procured from England. A finer selection could not have been made. Besides their being of a grade of science which has left little superior behind, the correctness of their moral character, their accommo
personal relations with them became most agreeable. They were regularly invited to Monticello three times a week, and each understood that if his inclination carried him there oftener, his welcome would be always cordial.
Professor Dunglison—the present well-known Doctor Dunglison of Philadelphia—subsequently, but while the facts remained fresh in his memory, wrote an account of his journey to Charlottesville, and of his observations after his arrival. These memoranda were made currente calamo, merely for the gratification of a near and dear relative. But as they contained the only particular account of Mr. Jefferson's last illness drawn up by his medical attendant, an application for the facts, made under the sanction of Mr. Jefferson's family, scarcely admitted of a refusal—and having opened these private records to us, Dr. Dunglison kindly permitted us to further select at our discretion any passages which would throw light on other parts of our subject. The extracts which follow are given in the order of their occurrence, though they were often widely separated by intervening matter and topics.
After mentioning that he and his wife were welcomed to Richmond, by Mr. Jefferson's son-in-law, ex-Governor Randolph (then in the Legislature), and by Thomas Jefferson Randolph who had been dispatched to Richmond, by his grandfather, to meet the travellers and make suitable arrangements for their journey to Charlottesville, Dr. Dunglison proceeds to say:
“Soon afterwards [the arrival at Charlottesville] the venerable ex-President presented himself, and welcomed us with that dignity and kindness for which he was celebrated. He was then eighty-two years old, with his intellectual powers unshaken by age, and the physical man so active that he rode to and from Monticello, and took exercise on foot with all the activity of one twenty or thirty years younger. He sympathized with us on the discomforts of our long voyage, and on the disagreeable journey we must have passed over the Virginia roads; and depicted to us the great distress he had felt lest we had been lost at sea—for he had almost given us up when my letter arrived with the joyful intelligence we were safe.
* * * * * +
“The houses [the professors' houses or “pavilions” of the University] were much better furnished than we had expected to find them, and would have been far more commodious had Mr. Jefferson consulted his excellent and competent daughter, Mrs.
dating dispositions, and zeal for the prosperity of the institution, leave us nothing to wish. I verily believe that as high a degree of education can now be obtained here, as in the country they left.”
Randolph, in regard to the interior arrangements, instead of planning the architectural exterior first, and leaving the interior to shift for itself. Closets would have interfered with the symmetry of the rooms or passages, and hence there were none in most of the houses; and the only one which was furnished with a closet, it was told as an anecdote of Mr. Jefferson, that not suspecting it, according to his general arrangements, he opened the door and walked into it in his way out of the pavilion! “He was fond of architecture, and anxious that the rotunda, and the different pavilions should present specimens of the various orders; and although from the necessity of building them of brick and wood, the effect was greatly diminished, it was, on the whole, agreeable. The heavy cornices in the interior of the rooms, of the Palladian style, were however anything but pleasing. Undoubtedly, too, the desire for having everything architecturally correct, according to his taste, induced him, in more cases than I have mentioned, to sacrifice convenience. He could not but admit the anomaly of having windows arranged as in modern habitations, but further than this it was difficult to induce him to go, and when I consulted him in regard to a distinct building for anatomical purposes, which he agreed to, he at the same time told me that he must choose the position, and the architectural arrangement externally, whilst all the interior arrangements should be left to ine. • , ** * * * * * “As I have before remarked, the opening of the University, which had been fixed for the 1st of February, was postponed, on account of our late arrival in the country, until the 1st of April, when it took place. All the professors except the incumbent of the Law chair, were on the spot; and the faculty consisted of Mr. Long, Professor of Ancient Languages; Mr. Key, Professor of Mathematics; Mr. Bonny. castle, Professor of Natural Philosophy; Dr. Blaetterman, Professor of Modern Languages; Dr. Emmet, Professor of Chemistry; Mr. Tucker," Professor of Moral Philosophy; and Dr. Dunglison, Professor of Medicine. All the professors were foreigners; for Dr. Emmet was born in Ireland, and Mr. Tucker in the Island of Bermuda. * * * # * * “The fact of all the professors being foreigners, it might be imagined would be unfavorable to discipline, and might lead the disorderly to rebel against the authorities of the University. It is but justice, however, to a highly numerous body of generous young gentlemen to say, that during the whole period of my residence at the University, which amounted to nine years, no single act came to my knowledge of insubordination from that cause; whilst ample evidence was afforded of their great respect for those who had left their homes, and were zealously engaged in instructing them. Mr. Jefferson was, however, severely criticised for having gone abroad for Professors.” + + + * “Not long after my arrival at the University, Mr. Jefferson found it necessary to consult me in regard to a condition of great irritability of the bladder, under which he had suffered for some time, and which inconvenienced him greatly. . . Few perhaps attain that advanced age without suffering more or less from diseases of the urinary organs. On examining the urethra, I found the prostate portion was affected with stricture, accompanied, and apparently produced by enlargement
* Author of the Life of Jefferson.
* The “Philadelphia Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences,” edited by Dr. N. Chapman, at the time the most prominent medical journal in the United States, expressed great indignation on the subject.
of the prostate gland. [After describing the remedies and their favorable effects, the memoranda continue.] “Mr. Jefferson was considered to have but little faith in physic; and has often told me that he would rather trust to the unaided, or rather uninterfered with, efforts of nature than to physicians in general. ‘It is not, he was wont to observe, ‘to physic that I object so much as to physicians.” Occasionally, too, he would speak jocularly, especially to the unprofessional, of medical practice; and on one occasion gave offence, when most assuredly, if the same thing had been said to me, no offence would have been taken. In the presence of Dr. Everett, afterwards Private Secretary to Mr. Monroe, . . . . he remarked, that whenever he saw three physicians together, he looked up to discover whether there was not a turkey buzzard in the neighborhood." The annoyance of the doctor, I am told, was manifest. To me, when it was recounted, it seemed a harmless jest. “But whatever may have been Mr. Jefferson's notions of physic and physicians, it is but justice to say that he was one of the most attentive and respectful of patients. He bore suffering inflicted upon him for remedial purposes with fortitude; and in my visits, showed me, by memoranda, the regularity with which he
had taken the prescribed remedies at the appointed times. * * * *
* * “His daughter Mrs. Randolph, or one of the grand-daughters, took the head of the table; he himself sat near the other end, and almost always some visitors were present. The pilgrimage to Monticello was a favorite one with him who aspired to the rank of the patriot and the philanthropist; but it was too often undertaken from idle curiosity, and could not, under such circumstances, have afforded pleasure to, whilst it entailed unrequited expense on its distinguished proprietor. More than once, indeed, the annoyance has been the subject of regretful animadversion. Monticello, like Montpellier, the seat of Mr. Madison, was some miles distant from any tavern, and hence, without sufficient consideration, the traveller not only availed himself of the hospitality of the ex-Presidents, but inflicted upon them the expenses of his quadrupeds. On one occasion at Montpellier, where my wife and myself were paying a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Madison, no fewer than nine horses were entertained during the night; and in reply to some observation which the circumstance engendered, Mr. Madison remarked, that whilst he was delighted with the society of the owners, he confessed he had not so much feeling for the horses. “Sitting one evening in the porch of Monticello, two gigs drove up, each containing a gentleman and a lady. It appeared to me to be evidently the desire of the party to be invited to stay the night. One of the gentlemen came up to the porch and saluted Mr. Jefferson, stating that they claimed the privilege of American citizens in paying their respects to the President, and inspecting Monticello. Mr. Jefferson received them with marked politeness, and told them they were at liberty to look at everything around, but as they did not receive an invitation to spend the night, they left in the dusk and returned to Charlottesville. Mr. Jefferson, on that occasion, could scarcely avoid an expression of impatience at the repeated though complimentary intrusions to which he was exposed.*
* To understand the point of this remark, it may be necessary to inform some Northern readers that this well-known Southern bird (Cathartes aura of Temminck and Bonaparte—Vultur aura of Wilson) feeds on carrion, disabled animals, etc. . It is the scavenger of Southern cities.
* This seems to us obviously an account of the same incident, in which another eyewitness (Professor Tucker) describes Mr. Jefferson as “coldly replying” to his visitor that “he did not know what privilege he alluded to"—and then as “showing no dispo“In Mr. Jefferson's embarrassed circumstances in the evening of life, the immense influx of visitors could not fail to be attended with much inconvenience. I had the curiosity to ask Mrs. Randolph what was the largest number of persons for whom she
been called upon unexpectedly to prepare accommodations for the night, and she replied fifty In a country like our own, there is a curiosity to know personally those who have been called to fill the highest office in the Republic, and he who has attained this eminence must have formed a number of acquaintances who are eager to visit him in his retirement, so that when his salary as the first officer of the State ceases, the duties belonging to it do not cease simultaneously; and I confess I have no sympathy with the feeling of economy, political or social, which denies to the exPresident a retiring allowance, which may enable him to pass the remainder of his days in that useful and dignified hospitality which seems to be demanded by the citizens, of one who has presided over them.
* * * + * *
“At all times dignified, and by no means easy of approach to all,' he was generally communicative to those on whom he could rely; in his own house he was occasionally free in his speech, even to imprudence, to those of whom he did not know enough to be satisfied that an improper use might be made of his candor. As an example of this I recollect a person from Rhode Island visiting the University, and being introduced to Mr. Jefferson by one of my colleagues. The person did not impress me favorably; and when I rode up to Monticello, I found no better impression had been made by him on Mr. Jefferson and Mrs. Randolph. His adhesiveness was such that he had occupied the valuable time of Mr. Jefferson the whole morning, and staid to dinner, and during the conversation Mr. Jefferson was apprehensive that he had said something which might have been misunderstood and be incorrectly repeated. He therefore asked me to find the gentleman, if he had not left Charlottesville, and request him to pay another visit to Monticello. He had left, however, when I returned, but I never discovered he had abused the frankness of Mr. Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson took the occasion of saying to me how cautious his friends ought to be in regard to the persons they introduced to him. It would have been singular if, in the numerous visitors, some had not been found to narrate
sition to relieve him” from his obvious embarrassment, “ or to encourage his probable urpose of visiting the interior of the mansion,” whereupon, after a short pause, says Mr. Tucker, the speaker “withdrew in disappointment, and the carriages immediately descended the mountain.” Professor Tucker says in the same paragraph. that “Mr. Jef. ferson was as remarkable for the general urbanity of his manners, and his good temper, as for his hospitality.” Conceding the great accuracy of this writer generally in stating facts, and his utter indisposition to misrepresent Mr. Jefferson, still we cannot doubt that I}r. Dunglison's version is the correct one. Did the urbane, good-tempered, and hos. pitable Jefferson so suddenly resent an intrusion of every-day occurrence, as, in the jo. of the guests of his dinner-table, to sharply repulse a party from even entering is house, and that, too, when the party was o in part of ladies 2 To mis. remember an “expression of impatience,” made in the hearing of two or three familiar friends after these free-and-easy guests had got out of hearing, into an expression made to the spokesman of the party, would be the most natural thing in the world. And this we have no doubt is the fact. The matter is of very trifling importance, and is only mentioned because those who knew Mr. Jefferson more than ten times as long and far more familiarly than either of the above writers, are fully satisfied that he never could ło, been guilty of the rudeness or harshness which a casual misrecollection imputes to hirn. 1 Dr. Dunglison (as he informs us personally) does not here mean that it was difficult for any person, of whatever degree, to respectfully approach or address Mr. Jefferson— but that very few felt disposed, or found it practicable, to assume anything like famili
arity with him.