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Mountains, to the mouth of Columbia River; and the “Embargo” But comment upon these measures would here be out of place. At the close of his second term, 1809, Mr. Jefferson withdrew from public affairs, and resided at Monticello, his country-seat in Virginia. He did not, however, lead an idle life; he took a deep interest in the cause of education in his native State, and was the means of establishing its celebrated university. It is painful to add that, in the latter years of his life, he suffered from pecuniary embarrassments. In 1815 he sold his library, of about 7000 volumes, to Congress, for twenty thousand dollars. His last days were passed in rural enjoyments, and with powers unimpaired for the enjoyment of mental pleasures; and he passed away calmly on the 4th of July, 1826, just fifty years from the date of his signing the Declaration of Independence.
In person Mr. Jefferson was six feet two inches high, erect and well formed, though thin; his eyes were light, and full of intelligence; his complexion fair, and his countenance remarkably expressive. In conversation, he was cheerful and enthusiastic, and his language was remarkable for vivacity and correctness. His manners were simple and unaffected, combined, however, with much native but unobtrusive dignity.
The chief glory of Mr. Jefferson's character was his ardent love of liberty for all men, irrespective of color. This is clearly evinced in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, which he wrote; in the principles of the Ordinance of 1787, which he originated; and in several passages in his Notes on Virginia, wherein he pictures, in his own nervous language, the demoralizing influences of slavery."
THE RIGHTS OF MAN.”
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government,
* Read articles on Jefferson in N. Am. Rev., xxx. 511, xxxix. 238, xl. 170; Am. Quarterly, vi. 494, vii. 123: also Biographies by Lee, Tucker, and Randolph. A new life, by Henry S. Randall, in three volumes, has lately been published ; but it is of a character so thoroughly partisan, that it never can be regarded by unprejudiced minds as of authority. It quietly assumes that the “Democratic” party of modern times is identical with the old “Republican” party led by Jefferson; than which nothing could be more erroneous. For whatever may have been the errors of Jefferson, and some other leaders of the “Republican” party of that day, they were thoroughly and avowedly anti-slavery. The young men of our country who desire to have a full view of Mr. Jefferson's character should read what is said of him in such works as Fisher Ames's Life and Letters; Goodrich's Recollections; Griswold's Republican Court; Hildreth's United States; Sullivan's Works, &c. &c.
* From the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
PASSAGE OF THE POTOMAC THROUGH THE BLUE RIDGE.
The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature. You stand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Potomac, seeking a passage also. In the moment of their junction, they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the sea. The first glance at this scene hurries our senses into the opinion that this earth has been created in time; that the mountains were formed first; that the rivers began to flow afterwards; that, in this place particularly, they have been dammed up by the Blue Ridge of mountains, and have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that, continuing to rise, they have at length broken over at this spot, and have torn the mountain down from its summit to its base. The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their disrupture and avulsion from their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, corroborate the impression. But the distant finishing which Nature has given to the picture is of a very different character. It is a true contrast to the foreground. It is as placid and delightful as that is wild and tremendous. For, the mountain being cloven asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, to pass through the breach, and participate of the calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes itself; and that way, too, the road happens actually to lead. You cross the Potomac above its junction, pass along its side through the base of the mountain for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in fragments over you, and within about twenty miles reach Fredericktown, and the fine country round that. This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic. Yet here, as in the neighborhood of the Natural Bridge, are people who have passed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and mountains, which must have shaken the earth itself to its centre.
INFLUENCE OF SLAVERY.
The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions; the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive, either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent
storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts
on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to his worst passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one-half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriæ of the other For if the slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another; in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavors to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him. With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate no man will labor for himself who can make another labor for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the #. of God?—that they are not to be violated but with his wrath?
ndeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that, considering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural interference The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.
What an incomprehensible machine is man, who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself, in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment be deaf to all those motives whose power supported him through his trial, and inflict upon his fellow-men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose! But we must wait with patience the workings of an overruling Providence, and hope that that is preparing the deliverance of these our suffering brethren. When the measure of their tears shall be full, doubtless a God of justice will awaken to their distress, and by diffusing a light and liberality among their oppressors, or at length by his exterminating thunder, manifest his attention to things of this world, and that they are not left to the guidance of blind fatality.
Notes on Virginia.
A DECALOGUE OF CANONS FOR PRACTICAL LIFE.
. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. Never spend your money before you have it. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap: it will be dear to you. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold. We never repent of having eaten too little. . Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. How much pain have cost us the evils that have never happened. . Take things always by their smooth handle. . When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
This letter will, to you, be as one from the dead. The writer will be in the grave before you can weigh its counsels. Your affectionate and excellent father has requested that I would address to you something which might possibly have a favorable influence on the course of life you have to run; and I too, as a namesake, feel an interest in that course. Few words will be necessary, with good dispositions on your part. Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence. So shall the life into which you have entered be the portal to one of eternal and ineffable bliss. And, if to the dead it is permitted to care for the things of this world, every action of your life will be under my regard. Farewell.
| Letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith.
Monticello, February 21, 1826.
BENJAMIN RUSH, 1745–1813.
BENJAMIN Rush, M.D., one of the most eminent physicians of our country, was born at Byberry, near Philadelphia, on the 24th of December, 1745. He was early destined by his parents for professional life, and he graduated at Princeton College in 1760. After spending six years in Philadelphia in the study of medicine, he went to Edinburgh for the further prosecution of his studies, and remained there till the spring of 1768, and then went to France. In the fall of that year he returned to Philadelphia, and the next year was elected Professor of Chemistry in the college of that city. In 1791, the college was merged in a university, and Dr. Rush was appointed “Professor of the Institutes and Practice of Medicine and of Clinical Practice” in the University of Pennsylvania. During the prevalence of the yellow fever in Philadelphia, in 1793, the labors of Dr. Rush were as unremitting as they were successful in endeavoring to mitigate the horrors of this scourge. But these labors both of mind and body, by night and day, nearly cost him his life. At the close of the season, he himself was attacked by the disease, and for some days he lingered between life and death. Happily his valuable life was saved, to be devoted yet many more years to the cause of science and philanthropy. It is astonishing how, with such a large private practice, Dr. Rush was enabled to do so much outside of his profession. He was a member of the Congress which, in 1776, published the Declaration of Independence, and of course affixed his name to that memorable instrument. In 1777, he was appointed PhysicianGeneral for the Middle Department of the Military Hospitals, and in 1787 was a member of the Convention of Pennsylvania for ratifying the Federal Constitution, which he advocated with great ability. After the establishment of the federal government, he withdrew himself altogether from public life, and devoted his time to his profession, and to the claims of humanity. The only office he accepted as a reward for his many services, and which he held for fourteen years, was that of Treasurer of the United States Mint. But it is as a philanthropist, and as the friend of every thing that tends to the improvement of man, that his memory will ever be most warmly cherished. He was President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, and as early as 1774 wrote two essays upon the guilt and danger of our national sin, to which he remained inflexibly opposed until the day of his death. He was also Vice-President and one of the founders of the Philadelphia Bible Society, and one of the Vice-Presidents of the American Philosophical Society. He took a warm interest in the establishment of the Philadelphia Dispensary, in 1786, and served