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JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
In 1827, Mr. Legare and other cultivated gentlemen in the South commenced the publication of the “Southern Review," a literary and political periodical, which soon acquired great influence. Mr. Legarè was one of the chief and most popular of the contributors. He was soon called to fill an important public station, by receiving the appointment of attorney-general of South Carolina. Ho performed the duties of that office with great ability, until 1832, when he was appointed minister to Belgium, by President Jackson. There he remained until early in 1837, when he returned to Charleston, and was almost immediately elected to a seat in Congress. He first appeared there at the extraordinary session called by President Van Buren to consider the financial affairs of the country. There he displayed great statesmanship and fine powers of oratory, and was regarded by friends and foes as a rising man. At the end of his congressional term, he resumed the practice of law in Charleston, and was pursuing his avocations with great energy and eclat, when President Harrison, in 1841, called him to his cabinet as attorney-general of the United States. He continued in that station, under President Tyler, until the Summer of 1843, when, on the occasion of a visit to Boston, with the chief magistrate, in June, he was seized with illness, and died there, on the 20th of that month, at the age of about fortythree years.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. THOMSON truthfully says:
" Whoe'er amidst the song
Judged by such a book of heraldry, John Quincy Adams appears a true nobleman of nature, for, in the midst of many wise, and good, and great men, he stood preëminent in virtue. He was the worthy son of a worthy sire, the elder President Adams, and was born at the family mansion at Quincy, Massachusetts, on the 11th of July, 1767. At the age of eleven years he accompanied his father to Europe, who went thither as minister of the newly-declared independent United States of America. In Paris he was much in the society of Dr. Franklin and other distinguished men; and it may be truly said that he entered upon the duties of a long public life before he was twelve years of age, for then he learned the useful rudiments of diplomacy and statesmanship. He attended school in Paris and Amsterdam, and was in the University of Leyden, for awhile. In 1781, when only fourteen years of age, he accompanied Mr. Dana (United States minister) to St. Petersburg, as private secretary; and during the Winter of 1782-3, he traveled alone through Sweden and Denmark, and reached tho Hague in safety, where his father was resident minister for the United States. When his father was appointed minister to England, he returned home, and entered Harvard University, as a student, where he was graduated, in July, 1787.
At the age of twenty years, young Adams commenced the study of law with Judge Parsons, at Newburyport,' and entered upon its practice in Boston. Pol. itics engaged his attention, and he wrote much on topics of public interest, especially concerning the necessity of neutrality, on the part of the United States,
1. While Adams was a student, Judge Parsons was chosen to address President Washington on the occasion of his visit to New England. The judge asked each of his students to write an address. That of Adams was chosen and delivered by the tutor.
in relation to the quarrels of other nations. On the recommendation of Mr. Jefferson, President Washington introduced him into the public service of his country, by appointing him resident minister in the Netherlands, in 1794. Ho was afterward sent to Portugal, in the same capacity, but on his way he was met by a new commission from his father (then President), as resident minister at Berlin. He was married in London, in 1797, to a young lady from Maryland, then residing there with her father. Mr. Adams returned to Boston, in 1801, and the following year he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate. In 1803, he was sent to the Federal Senate, where he uniformly supported the measures of Mr. Jefferson, the old political opponent of his father. Because of that act of obedience to the dictates of his conscience and judgment, the legislature of Massachusetts censured him, and he resigned his seat, in 1806. His republican sentiments increased with his age; and, in 1809, Mr. Madison appointed him minister plenipotentiary to the Russian court. There he was much caressed by the Emperor Alexander; and when, in 1812, war was declared between the United States and Great Britain, that monarch offered his mediation. It was rejected; and, in 1814, Mr. Adams was placed at the head of the American commission appointed to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great Britain. He also assisted in negotiating a commercial treaty with the same government; and, in 1815, he was appointed minister to the English court. There he remained until 1817, when President Monroe called him to his cabinet as Secretary of State. He filled that office with signal ability during eight years, and then succeeded Mr. Monroe as President of the United States.
Mr. Adains' administration of four years was remarkable for its calmness, and the general prosperity of the country. There was unbroken peace with foreign nations, and friendly domestic relations, until near the close of his term, when party spirit became rampant. He was succeeded in office by General Jackson, in the Spring of 1829, and retired to private life, more honored and respected by all parties than any retiring president since Washington left the chair of state. His countrymen would not allow him to remain in repose; and, in 1830, he was elected a representative in Congress. In December, 1831, he took his seat there, and from that time until his death he continued to be a member of the House of Representatives, by consecutive reëlections. There he was distinguished for wise, enlightened, and liberal statesmanship; and, like the Earl of Chatham, death came to him at his post of duty. He was suddenly prostrated by paralysis, while in his seat in the House of Representatives, at Washington, on the 22d of February, 1848, and expired in the Speaker's room, in the capitol, on the following day. His last words were, “This is the end of earth." He was in the eighty-first year of his age.
" PE sure you are right, then go ahead," is a wise maxim attributed to ono
D whose life was a continual illustration of the sentiment. Every body has heard of “Davy Crockett," the immortal back-woodsman of Tennessee-tho "crack shot” of the wilderness-eccentric but honest member of Congresstho "hero of the Alamo"-yet few know his origin, his early struggles, and the general current of his life. History has but few words concerning him, but tradition is garrulous over his many deeds.
David Crockett was born at the mouth of the Limestone river, Greene county, East Tennessee, on the 17th of August, 1786. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent, and took a prominent part in the War for Independence. It was all a wilderness around David's birth-place, and his soul communed with nature in its unbroken wildness, from the beginning. Ho grew to young manhood, without any education from books other than he received in his own rude home. When only seven years of age, David's father was stripped of most of his little property, by fire. He opened a tavern in Jefferson county, where David was his main "help" until the age of twelve years. Then he was hired to a Dutch cattle-trader, who collected herds in Tennessee and Kentucky, and drove them to the eastern markets. This yagrant life, full of incident and adventure, suited young Crockett, but, becoming dissatisfied with his employer, he deserted him, and made his way back to his father's home. After tarrying there a year, ho ran away, joined another cattle-merchant, and at the end of the journey, in Virginia, he was dismissed, with precisely four dollars in his pocket. For three years he was "knocking about," as he expressed it, and then sought his father's home again. He now enjoyed the advantages of a school for a few weeks; and finally, after several unsuccessful love adventures, he married an excellent girl, and became a father, in 1810, when twenty-four years of age. He settled on the banks of the Elk river, and was pursuing the quiet avocation of a farmer, in Summer, and the more stirring one of hunter, in the Autumn, when war was commenced with Great Britain, in 1812. Crockett was among the first to respond to General Jackson's call for volunteers, and under that brave leader he was engaged in several skirmishes and battles. He received the commission of colonel, at the close of the war, as a testimonial of his worth. His wife had died while ho was
in the army, and several small children were left to his care. Tho widow of a deceased friend soon came to his aid, and in this second wife he found an excellent guardian for his children. Soon after his marriage, he removed to Laurens county, where he was made justice of the peace, and was chosen to represent the district in the State legislature. Generous, full of fun, possessing great shrewdness, and “honest to a fault,'' Crockett was very popular in the legislature and among his constituents. In the course of a few years he removed to Western Tennessee, where he became a famous hunter. With the rough backwoodsmen there he was a man after their own hearts, and he was elected to a seat in Congress, in 1828, and again in 1830.2 When the Americans in Texas commenced their war for independence, toward the close of 1835, Crockett hastened thither to help them, and at the storming of the Alamo, at Bexar, on the 6th of March, 1836, that eccentric hero was killed. He was then fifty years of age.
NATHANIEL MACON. TOIN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, made his friend, Nathaniel Macon, one of J the legatees of his estate, and in his Will, written with his own hand, in 1832, he said of him, “He is the best, and purest, and wisest man I ever knew." This was high praise from one who was always parsimonious in commendations, but it was eminently deserved. Mr. Macon was born in Warren county, North Carolina, in 1757. His early youth gave noble promise of excellent maturity, and it was fulfilled in ample measure. After a preparatory course of study, he entered Princeton College. The tempest of the Revolution swept over New Jersey, toward the close of 1776, and that institution was closed. Young Macon returned home, his heart glowing with sentiments of patriotism, which had ripened under the genial culture of President Witherspoon, and he entered the military service with his brother, as a volunteer and private soldier. While in the army the people elected him to a seat in the House of Commons of his native State. Then, as ever afterward, he was unambitious of office as well as of money, and it was with great difficulty that he was persuaded to leave his companions. in-arms, and become a legislator. He yielded, and then commenced his long and brilliant public career. He served as a State legislator for several years, when, in 1791, he was chosen to represent his district in the Federal Congress. In that body he took a high position at once; and so acceptable were his services to his constituents, that he was regularly reëlected to the same office until 1815, when, without his knowledge, the legislature of North Carolina gave him a seat in tho Senate of the United States. During five years of his service in the House of Representatives (1801-1806), he was Speaker of that body. He continued in the Senate until 1828, when, in the seventy-first year of his age, he resigned, and retired to private life. At that time he was a trustee of the University of North Carolina, and justice of the peace for Warren county. These offices he also resigned, and sought repose upon his plantation.
it if he repl. have no c. Crock
1. Many anecdotes illustrative of Colonel Crockett's honesty and generosity have been related. During a season of scarcity, he bought a flat-boat load of corn, and offered it for sale cheap, "Have you got money to pay for it " was his first question when a man came to buy. If he replied yes," Crockett would say, "Then you can't have a kernel. I brought it here to sell to people who have no money."
2. He and the opposing candidate canvassed their district together, and made stump speeches. Crockett's opponent had written his speech, and delivered the same one at different places David was always original, and he readily yielded to his friend's request to speak first. At a point where both wished to make a good impression, Crockett desired to speak first. His opponent could not refuse ; but, to his dismay, he heard David repeat his own speech. The colonel had heard it so often that it was fixed in his memory. The other candidate was speechless, and lost bis election.
Mr. Macon was called from his retirement, in 1835, to assist in revising the Constitution of North Carolina. He was chosen president of the convention assembled for that purpose; and the instrument then framed bears the marked impress of his genius and thoroughly democratic sentiments. The following year he was chosen a presidential elector, gave his vote in the Electoral College for Martin Van Buren, and then left the theatre of public life, forever. The sands of his existence were almost numbered. God mercifully spared him the pains of long sickness. He had been subject to occasional cramps in the stomach. On the morning of the 29th of June, 1837, he arose early, as usual, dressed, and shaved himself, and after breakfast was engaged in cheerful conversation. At ten o'clock he was seized with a spasm, and without a struggle after the first paroxysm, he expired. Peacefully his noble soul left its earth-tenement for its home in light ineffable. As he lived, so he died—a good man and a bright example.
Mr. Macon was a member of Congress thirty-seven consecutive years; a longer term of service than was ever given by one man. He was appropriately styled the Father of the House, and men of all creeds looked up to him as a Patriarch for counsel and guidance.
SAMUEL SLATER. THE man who contributes to the comfort of a people and the real wealth of a I nation by opening new and useful fields of industry, is a public benefactor. For such reasons, Samuel Slater, the father of the cotton manufacture in the United States, ought to be held in highest esteem. He was a native of England, and was born near Belper, in Derbyshire, on the 9th of June, 1768. After acquiring a good education, his father, who was a practical farmer, apprenticed Samuel to the celebrated Jedediah Strutt, an eminent mechanic,' and then a partner with Sir Richard Arkwright, in the cotton-spinning business. Samuel was then fourteen years of age, and being expert with the pen and at figures, he was much employed as a clerk in the counting-room. At about that time he lost his father, but found a good guardian in his master. He evinced an inventive genius and mechanical skill, at the beginning, and he soon became the "favorite apprentice.” During the last four or five years of his apprenticeship he was Strutt and Arkwright's right hand man," as general overseer both in the making of machinery and in the manufacturing department.
Before he had reached his majority, young Slater had formed a design of going to America, with models of all of Arkwright's machines. At that time the conveying of machinery from England to other countries was prohibited, and severe government restrictions were interposed. Slater knew that, but was not disheartened. He revealed his plans to no one, and when he left his mother, he gave her the impression that he was only going to London. With a little money, his models, and his indentures as an introduction, he sailed for New York on the 13th of September, 1789, and arrived in November. There he was employed for a short time, when a better prospect appeared in a proposition from Messrs. Almy and Brown, of Providence, Rhode Island, to join with them in preparations for cotton-spinning. He went there, was taken to the little neighboring village of Pawtucket, by the venerable Moses Brown,3 and there, on the 18th of January, 1790, he commenced making machinery with his own hands. Eleven
1. Mr. Strutt was the inventor of the Derby ribbed-stocking machine.
2. Just as the ship sailed, he intrusted a letter for his moth r to the hands of a friend, in which he gave her information of his destination and his intentions. They never met again on earth.
3. See sketch of Moses Brown.