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commonly successful in his mode of importing and preserving them. Among others we found the following, which are very rare in this country, and apparently not at all injured by transportation: L'Ednau, Muscat, Samian, and Blanchette de Limoux. Dinner is served in half Virginian, half French style, in good taste and abundance. No wine is put on the table till the cloth is removed.
“In conversation, Mr. Jefferson is easy and natural, and apparently not ambitious; it is not loud, as challenging general attention, but usually addressed to the person next him. The topics, when not selected to suit the character and feelings of his auditor, are those subjects with which his mind seems particularly occupied ; and these, at present, may be said to be science and letters, and especially the University of Virginia, which is coming into existence almost entirely from his exertions, and will rise, it is to be hoped, to usefulness and credit under his continued care. When we were with him, his favorite subjects were Greek and Anglo-Saxon, historical recollections of the times and events of the Revolution, and of his residence in France from 1783–4 to 1789.”
Mr. Webster represents Mr. Jefferson as describing Patrick Henry somewhat as we have seen him described in Mr. Trist's Memoranda." He thus gives Mr. Jefferson's observations on Wirt's Life of Henry:
“His biographer sent the sheets of his work to me as they were printed, and at the end asked for my opinion. I told him it would be a question hereafter, whether his work should be placed on the shelf of history or of panegyric. It is a poor book, written in bad taste, and gives so imperfect an idea of Patrick Henry, that it seems intended to show off the writer more than the subject of the work.”
And thus on the character of General Jackson:
“I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President. He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place. He has had very little respect for laws or constitutions, and is, in fact, an able military chief. His passions are terrible. When I was President of the Senate he was a senator; and he could never speak on account of the rashness of his feelings. I have seen him attempt it repeatedly, and as often choke with rage. His passions are, no doubt, cooler now ; he has been much tried since I knew him, but he is a dangerous man.”
These descriptions appearing to us to lack some of those gradations and qualifications in expression which are essential to convey accurate impressions, we sought an opinion on them from one as familiar with Mr. Jefferson, with his views and modes of expression, as any person ever was, and received the following reply:
—, 1857. MY DEAR MR. RAND ALL :
. . . . . . First, on the subject of Mr. Jefferson's personal appearance Mr. Webster's description of it did not please me, because, though I will not stop to
quarrel with any of the details, the general impression it was calculated to produce seemed to me an unfavorable one ; that is, a person who had never seen my grandfather, would, from Mr. Webster's description, have thought him rather an ill-looking man, which he certainly never was. * + * * * * * * * + “It would be, however, very difficult for me to give an accurate description of the appearance of one whom I so tenderly loved and deeply venerated. His person and countenance were to me, associated with so many of my best affections, so much of my highest reverence, that I could not expect other persons to see them as I did. One thing I will say, that never in my life did I see his countenance distorted by a single bad passion or unworthy feeling. I have seen the expression of suffering, bodily and mental, of grief, pain, sadness, just indignation, disappointment, disagreeable surprise, and displeasure, but never of anger, impatience, peevishness, discontent, to say nothing of worse or more ignoble emotions. To the contrary, it was impossible to look on his face without being struck with its benevolent, intelligent, cheerful, and placid expression. It was at once intellectual, good, kind, and pleasant, whilst his tall, spare figure, spoke of health, activity, and that helpfulness, that power and will, “never to trouble another for what he could do himself,’ which marked his character. “His dress was simple, and adapted to his ideas of neatness and comfort. He paid little attention to fashion, wearing whatever he liked best, and sometimes blending the fashions of several different periods. He wore long waistcoats when the mode was for very short, white cambric stocks fastened behind with a buckle, when cravats were universal. He adopted the pantaloon very late in life, because he found it more comfortable and convenient, and cut off his queue for the same reason. He pmade no change except from motives of the same kind, and did nothing to be in conformity with the fashion of the day. He considered such independence as the privilege of his age. “You ask me if Mr. Webster had not ‘too strongly colored the Jackson portrait.' I cannot pretend to know what my grandfather said to Mr. Webster, nor can I believe Mr. Webster capable of misstatement. Still I think the copy of the portrait incorrect, as throwing out all the lights and giving only the shadows. I have heard my grandfather speak with great admiration of General Jackson's military talent. If he called him a “dangerous man,” “unfit for the place' to which the nation eventually called him, I think it must have been entirely with reference to his general idea that a military chieftain was no proper head for a peaceful republic as ours was in those days. I do not myself remember to have heard him say anything about General Jackson in connection with this subject, except that he thought his nomination a bad precedent for the future, and that a successful soldier was not the sort of candidate for the Presidential chair. He did not like to see the people run away with ideas of military glory. “In like manner, I never heard him speak of Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry with the amount of severity recorded by Mr. Webster. My impression is that here too, Mr. Webster, from a very natural impulse, and without the least intention of misrepresentation, has put down only those parts of Mr. Jefferson's remarks which accorded with his own views, and left out all the extenuations—the “circonstances attendantes,' as the French say. This, of course, would lead to an erroneous impression. Of Mr. Wirt's book, my grandfather did not think very highly, but the unkind remark, as far as Mr. Wirt was personally concerned, unaccompanied by anything to soften its severity, is, to say the least, very little like Mr. Jefferson. “Mr. Webster's account of his visit to Monticello, seems to me written in no unfair or unfriendly spirit, but was rather hasty, superficial, and never intended for the public eye.”
No member of Mr. Jefferson's family ever heard him mention Wirt's Life of Henry in the tone attributed to him by Mr. Webster. His family often heard him speak of that work, and of Mr. Henry himself, with playful freedom—laugh at what he conceived the artificial “dressing up " the latter had received at the hands of Wirt. But they always understood him to admire both of the men far too much to feel any inclination to allude to them, or to anything which had emanated from them, with intentional disrespect. Wirt was notoriously a marked favorite with him, through life. His whole correspondence, and his Memoir written at the age of seventy-seven, exhibit his unbounded admiration of IIenry in certain particulars, and his dislike or severe animadversion in none. Henry and he came to differ very widely in politics, and the former literally died leading a gallant political sortie against the conquering Republicans. On one occasion at least, his keen native humor was directed personally against Jefferson. With his inimitable look and tone, he with great effect declared, that he did not approve of gentlemen’s “abjuring their native victuals.” This gave great diversion to Jefferson. He loved to talk about Henry, to narrate anecdotes of their early intimacy; to paint his taste for unrestrained nature in everything; to describe his bonhomie, his humor, his unquestionable integrity, mixed with a certain waywardness and freakishness; to give illustrations of his shrewdness, and of his overwhelming power as an orator. But he never closed an amusing account of Henry's exploits among overseers, wild hunters, and the like, in the “piny woods,” without saying: “I never heard anything that deserved to be called by the name of oratory, compared with his *-* we could not have got along in the Revolution without him "-" he produced our unanimity"—“he was a man of enlarged views”—“he was a truly great man.” That Mr. Jefferson favored Mr. Crawford's election over
* The Republicans were accused of being adherents of France—the cookery of Monti. cello was French :
* These were, in substance, his habitual expressions in regard to Mr. Henry. The conversation which we have quoted from Mr. Trist's Memoranda (vol. i. p. 40), was but a sample of hundreds of conversations with his family and with others in their hearing.
General Jackson is certain. The main reasons have been stated in the letter last quoted. It is true that with all his attempts to maintain neutrality, he did not invariably avoid expressions which indicated his views. A good many persons can recollect the local excitement produced by his declaring to some one in conversation, that it was “poor policy to select a cock for a sailor, or a goose for a fighter.” Nor is it impossible that he retained certain disagreeable recollections of Jackson's course on Burr's trial. Burr, on his first western journey, had thoroughly insinuated himself into the General's good graces. The latter detested Wilkinson. His likes and dislikes were vehement, and he came on to Richmond to flame and fulminate against the principal witness, the prosecution, and finally against the Administration. He is reported to have expressed himself much more vigorously than elegantly on the occasion!' Mr. Jefferson did not, perhaps, sufficiently understand how far twenty years had tamed the early fires of that great man's character. But it would be most extraordinary that, to a known and very decided political opponent, like Mr. Webster, he should express himself with a severity towards a Republican candidate, that those most absolutely in his confidence never heard him employ. Not a shadow of intentional misrepresentation is here imputed to Mr. Webster. His statements are regarded as rapid outline jottings, made, probably, only for private reference, but however made, giving the sum of the impressions the writer formed of Mr. Jefferson's opinions and feelings, rather than an actual report of his words. The remark in the last quoted letter that the writer (long a resident of Monticello), never saw an expression of anger or impatience on Mr. Jefferson's face, recalls to mind two anecdotes. Older members of his family had seen such expressions on his face, and they remembered and related them as marvels. The first occasion was serious—the second ludicrous. Martha Jef. ferson used to say that once when travelling with her father,
1 It should in justice to General Jackson be remarked, that he subsequently changed his views of Burr's character—that on coming to the Presidency he substantially turned his back on him—though Burr and his friends claimed that he had been materially instrumental in bringing Jackson forward for the Presidency. Burr's agency in the latter consisted in being one of the first, possibly the first, to name the General for that office. But there never was a moment after Burr's return from Europe, when his efforts in favor of any man's elevation to a popular office would not have proved damaging.
they came to a ferry, and found the two boatmen engaged in a violent quarrel. They took the travellers on board, however, and rowed silently to the middle of the stream, when chancing to catch each other's eyes, the contention at once broke out afresh. They ceased to use their oars or to steer the boat, which drifted swiftly towards some dangerous rapids. Mr. Jefferson spoke to them calmly, and then sternly, but they paid no attention to him. Martha said that her father suddenly started up with “a face like a lion,” and with a hand over each of the boatmen, bade them, “in tones of thunder,” to row for their lives or he would pitch them into the stream. They did pull for their lives, occasionally stealing a fearful glance upward at the form which remained rigid and immovable above them until they reached the shore. On the other occasion, Mr. Jefferson directed one of his serwants to take a horse and go to the Charlottesville post-office for his letters and papers. The boy replied that there was not a horse out of use but those belonging to the carriage. “Go, then,” said Mr. Jefferson, “and tell Jupiter [the colored coachman] to lend you one of his horses.” The boy soon returned, saying “old Jupe” sent back word that nobody could have his horses for that business. Mr. Jefferson looked amused, and told the boy to go again to Jupiter and tell him that the case was urgent, as he was expecting important letters. The sable Olympian, however, replied flatly that “neither of his horses should go for anybody.” “Tell Jupiter to come here,” said his master, evidently in a passion. The pampered coachman soon arrived to meet a look and hear a tone never before or afterwards witnessed at Monticello—never witnessed by any member of Mr. Jefferson's family, except by Martha in the boat. Jupiter at once prudently took in a good deal of sail, but he firmly declared that he must not be expected to keep the carriage horses in the desired condition, if they were to be “ridden round by boys.” Mr. Jefferson admitted this, but he told his coachman that he had better never again take quite so blunt a method of “telling his mind.” And here the matter ended. Jefferson's correspondence in 1824 contains, we believe, but one expression in regard to the Presidential candidates. It appears in a letter (October 13th) to Mr. Rush, the American minister in England. He wrote: