網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

theatre, with a salary, and that connection threatened his health and reputation with shipwreck. A happy change soon occurred. He abandoned dissipation, and, on the solicitation of friends, he left the theatre, moved, with his family, to Newburyport, entered the law office of Judge Parsons, became a practitioner, enjoyed reconciliation with his father, and gave his friends great hopes. In 1803, when fortune and bright character were within his grasp, he was again allured to the theatre, its associations and its habits, and he fell to rise no more. He neglected business, became intemperate, and died in wretchedness, on the 14th of November, 1811, when in the thirty-eighth year of his age. It was a sad evening of life, in contrast with the promises of the brilliant morning. His

yon cannot drink until you have added a verse in his honor." The poet paced the room a few moments, and then, calling for pen and ink, wrote with great rapidity :

“ Shonld the tempest of war overshadow our land,

Its bolts would ne'er rend Freedom's temple asunder;
For, unmoved, at its portal would Washington stand,
And repulse, with his breast, the assaults of the thunde:

His sword from the sleep

of its scabbard would leap,
And conduct, with its point, every flash to the deep !"

alles

atel romantiese

And conduct, br

230

THOMAS PINCKNEY.

career is a warning to the gifted to avoid the perils of inordinate indulgence of passions and pleasures, for no intellect is so strong that it may not be bowed in degradation.

THOMAS PINCKNEY. W E have already considered the career of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, one

of the noblest of South Carolina's many noble sons. He had an accomplished brother, four years his junior, who bore a conspicuous part in the great struggle for independence, and honored the diplomacy of his country. Thomas Pinckney was born at Charleston, on the 23d of October, 1750, and at the age of three years was taken to England, with his brother Charles, to be educated. There he grew to manhood, chose his life-pursuit, acquired the proper preparatory knowledge, and, after an absence of twenty years, returned to his native land. In early boyhood he felt a martial spirit stirring within him. It grew with his growth, and his studies were almost exclusively military, on his arrival home. He became a thorough tactician in theory, and, on the organization of a military force in his native city, he was intrusted with the command of a company. He was a rigid disciplinarian, yet his men all loved him. He soon rose to the rank of major, and was very active in recruiting and disciplining the militia, until the arrival of General Lincoln, in 1779, as commander-in-chief of the Southern army. Lincoln appointed Major Pinckney one of his aids, and in that capacity he was engaged in the siege of Savannah, in the Autumn of that year. Several months previously, he had gained great applause for his gallantry in the battle at Stono Ferry, just below Charleston. He was not among the captives at Charleston, in May, 1780; and when Gates took command of the Southern army, Pinckney was appointed his aid. He fought gallantly at the battle near Camden, in August, and there had his leg badly shattered by a musket ball. He could not retreat, and was made a prisoner and sent to New York. His wound disabled him during the rest of the war, and he remained in private lite until 1787, when he was elected to succeed General Moultrie as governor of South Carolina. He displayed statesmanship of the highest order; and, in 1792, President Washington appointed him minister plenipotentiary to the British court. He managed the complicated and important affairs of his mission with great skill. Toward the close of 1794, Mr. Pinckney was appointed minister to Spain, and took up his residence at Madrid the following year. He soon afterward concluded a treaty with the Spanish court, by which the free navigation of the Mississippi was secured to the people of the United States. He returned home the following year, to attend to his domestic affairs, and remained in private life until the proclamation of war with Great Britain, in 1812, called many a veteran hero to the field. President Madison appointed General Pinckney to the command of the Southern Department, and it was under his directions that General Jackson successfully prosecuted the war with the Indians. His forecast and generosity opened to Jackson that military career which he pursued So gloriously. General Pinckney resigned his commission on the return of peace, and he resumed his favorite employment-scientific agriculture. He lived more than thirteen years after the peace of 1815. After a long illness, he died, on the 2d of November, 1828, when a little more than seventy-eight years of age. General Pinckney married a daughter of Rebecca Motte, the patriotic widow of the Congaree, whose portrait and memoir may be found in another part of this work.

[blocks in formation]

CORNPLANTER. MENTENARY honors crowned Ga-nio-di-eugh, or the Cornplanter, a chief of U the Seneca nation, who, for seventy-five years, held a conspicuous place in the history of his race, as one of the bravest and most eloquent of its warriors. He is supposed to have been born about the year 1735; and he first appears on the page of history as the leader of a war party of the Senecas when that nation was in alliance with the French against the English. He was a participator in the bloody battle in which General Braddock was killed. He was a native of Conewaugus, in the Genesee Valley, and a half-breed, his father having been a white man from the Mohawk region. Cornplanter was a war-chief of his tribe when the Revolution began. Being in the full vigor of manhood, active and brave, he was one of the most distinguished of the dusky leaders who spread destruction over the white frontier settlements in New York, and in the Valley of Wyoming. In the bloody forays at Cherry Valley and Wyoming, Cornplanter was conspicuous; and during the invasion of the Seneca country, by Sullivan, in 1779, and the fearful vengeance therefor inflicted by the Indians afterward, Cornplanter was a chief leader of his people. He was the most inveterate and active foe of the Americans during the whole war, but after the treaty of peace he became the fast friend of the United States. He was chiefly instrumental in the pacification treaty at Fort Stanwix, in 1784, when Red Jacket opposed him with his wonderful eloquence. At the close of the treaty the brave chief said significantly, “I thank the Great Spirit for this opportunity of smoking the pipo of friendship and love. May we plant our own vines, be the fathers of our children, and maintain them.” He was also conspicuous in treaties in Ohio, which gave offence to his nation. Hoping to exalt himself upon the ruins of Cornplanter, Red Jacket fostered the discontent, and the life of the former was placed in jeopardy. He repaired to Philadelphia and applied to President Washington for counsel and relief. Cornplanter laid a most touching appeal for himself and his nation, before the President. The reply was kind, but Washington could not go behind treaties. Relief, however, was promised, and Cornplanter went back, a happier man.

During the troubles with the Indians in the north-west, until Wayne's victory in 1794, Cornplanter remained neutral; and he was at the council held in the Seneca country to treat with Thomas Morris respecting portions of the territory afterward known as the Holland Land Purchase. During the years of reposo which followed, Cornplanter was assiduous in endeavors to improve the moral character of his nation. He made great efforts to stay the progress of intemperance; and he was the first and most eloquent of temperance lecturers in America. He readily assumed many of the habits and pursuits of the white men; and having failed to become chicf sachem of his nation, through the in

1. In his own language, he said, “When I was a child I played with the butterfly, the grasshopper, and the frog..

The Indian boys took notice of my skin being different in color from theirs, and spoke about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that my father lived in Albany. I still ate my victualy out of a bark dish. I grew up to be a young man, and married me a wife, and I had no kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and found he was a white man and spoke the English language. He gave me victuals while I was at his house, but when I started to return home, he gave me no provision to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor bin."

2. Cornplanter made his father a prisoner, at Fort Plain, but shielded him from all harm, and sent him to a place of safety.

3. While speaking upon this subject, in 1822, Cornplanter said, “ The Great Spirit first made the world, next the flying animals, and found all things good and prosperous. He is immortal and everlasting. After finishing the flying animals, he came down to earth, and there stood. Then he mado different kinds of trees, and woods of all sorts, and people of every kind. He made the Spring and other seasons, and the weather suitable for planting. These he did muke. But stills to make whiskey to gire to the Indians he DID NOT make. . ., The Great Spirit has ordered me to stop drinking, and He wishes me to inform the people that they shoult quit drinking intoxicating drinks."

232

SAMUEL L. MITCHILL.

trigues of Red Jacket, he retired to a large tract of land on the Alleghany river, which the legislature had presented to him, and there cultivated a farm in obscurity during the remainder of his long life. When Rev. Timothy Alden visited him, in 1816, he was the owner of sixten hundred acres of fine bottom land. He was a professing Christian,' though very superstitious. There the old chief lived on in quiet obscurity, until he had passed his hundredth year. He died at his residence on the 7th of March, 1836, with a confused notion of being happy in the Christian's heaven, or in the elysian fields, pictures of which came down upon the tide of memory from his early youth.

SAMUEL L. MITCHILL. 16 A MONG those," says Knapp, “who did not gain all the laurels at home, that

A he should have had, while he was honored by almost every intelligent court, and every learned society abroad, was Doctor Mitchill." He was a native of North Hempstead, Queen's county, Long Island, where he was born of Quaker parents, on the 20th of August, 1764. He was educated by private tutors, supplied chiefly by his maternal uncle, Dr. Samuel Latham, whose namo he bore. That gentleman saw and admired the budding of his genius. Young Mitchill soon became an excellent classical scholar. Nature wooed him; and so enamored was he of her beauties and hidden wealth, that he became her devotee while a lad, and was a philosopher when only twenty years of age.

Young Mitchill chose the medical profession as a life-pursuit, and commenced study with his uncle. In 1780, he was placed under the instructions of Dr. Samuel Bard, and after a little more than three years, he went to Edinburgh, in Scotland, then the seat of science, in Great Britain. There he had Thomas Addis Emmet and Sir James M'Intosh for his class-mates and friends; and when he left the institution, he bore its highest honors. The fame of his acquirements preceded him, and when he returned home he was received into the first intel. lectual circles in New York. The Faculty of Columbia College gave him tho degree of Master of Arts. For awhilo he turned his attention to constitutional law, with the intention of engaging in legislative duties. In 1788, he was one of the commissioners who treated with the heads of the Six Nations, at Fort Stanwix (now Rome), and obtained from them the cession of Western New York. In the meanwhile he practiced his profession, and was indefatigable in his study of the natural sciences. In 1790, he was elected to a seat in the New York Legislative Assembly; and, in 1792, he was chosen Professor of Chemistry, Natural Sciences, and Agriculture, in Columbia College. He was then considered the best naturalist and practical chemist, in America. In 1796, he made his famous report of a mineralogical survey of the State of New York; and the following year he commenced the publication of the Medical Repository, of which he was chief editor for sixteen years. He was the founder (and a long time president) of the Lyceum of Natural History, of New York; and he took & great interest in the New York Historical Society, and kindred institutions. He was a special and efficient friend to domestic manufactures and agriculture, and was the first, in this country, to apply the science of chemistry to the practical pursuit of the latter avocation. As a legislator he was wise, full of forecast, and possessed great boldness and perseverance.” For his efforts in behalf of

[ocr errors]

1. See sketch of Samuel Kirkland.

2. He was a member of the New York legislature, in 1798, when Chancellor Livingston applied for the exclusive right of navigating the waters of the Hudson river with boats propelled "by fire or

[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors]

steam navigation on the Hudson, his name should be associated with that of Fulton, Barlow, and Livingston.'

For about twenty years, Dr. Mitchill acted as one of the physicians of the New York Hospital. Notwithstanding his immense labors in the field of scientific research, and his voluminous publications upon almost every variety of subjects, he found time to mingle in political strife, and share in the labors and honors of official station. He represented the city of New York, in Congress, six consecutive years, and was afterward United States Senator. He was possessed of vast and varied knowledge; and yet, because he sometimes advanced

steam." With his usual forecast, Dr. Mitchill perceived the feasibility of the project, and presented a bill accordingly. Every body ridiculed him. The elder portion of the legislature considered the whole matter too absurd to be seriously entertained, while the younger members, when they desired a little fun, would call up Dr. Mitchill's "hot water bill," and bandy jokes without stint. Yet the Doctor persevered, procured the passage of his bill, and had the pleasure of laughing at his persecutors, a few years afterward.

1. Since preparing the sketches of these three men, printed on preceding pages, I have been furnished with evidence from the correspondence of Barlow (now in possession of one of his descendants, who is arranging them for the press), that Fulton was far more indebted to that friend for pecuniary aid and general encouragement, than to any one else. When Livingston first met Fulton, in France, he was dubious concerning the feasibility of his scheme, while Barlow was sanguine, and was doing all in his power to assist Fulton. When experiments had furnished actual demonstration, and Livingston could no lor.ger doubt, then he lent his wealth and influence to Fulton. Barlow was Fulton's benefactor ; Livingston was his business partner and friend.

« 上一頁繼續 »