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Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White

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the professorship of history and English literature in the
University of Michigan.



Arriving at the University of Michigan in October,
1857, I threw myself into my new work most heartily.
Though I felt deeply the importance of the questions
then before the country, it seemed to me that the only
way in which I could contribute anything to their solution
was in aiding to train up a new race of young men who
should understand our own time and its problems in the
light of history.

It was not difficult to point out many things in the past
that had an important bearing upon the present, and my
main work in this line was done in my lecture-room. I
made no attempts to proselyte any of my hearers to either
political party, my main aim being then, as it has been
through my life, when dealing with students and the public
at large, to set my audience or my readers at thinking,
and to give them fruitful historical subjects to think
upon. Among these subjects especially brought out in
dealing with the middle ages, was the origin, growth, and
decline of feudalism, and especially of the serf system,
and of municipal liberties as connected with it. This, of
course, had a general bearing upon the important problem
we had to solve in the United States during the second half
of that century.

In my lectures on modern history, and especially on the
Reformation period, and the events which led to the
French Revolution, there were various things throwing
light upon our own problems, which served my purpose
of arousing thought. My audiences were large and attentive,
and I have never, in the whole course of my life,
enjoyed any work so much as this, which brought me into
hearty and close relations with a large body of active-
minded students from all parts of our country, and
especially from the Northwest. More and more I realized
the justice of President Wayland's remark, which had so
impressed me at the Yale Alumni meeting just after my
return from Europe: that the nation was approaching
a ``switching-off place''; that whether we were to turn
toward evil or good in our politics would be decided by the
great Northwest, and that it would be well for young
Americans to cast in their lot with that part of the country.

In the intervals of my university work many invitations
came to me from associations in various parts of Michigan
and neighboring States to lecture before them, and these
I was glad to accept. Such lectures were of a much more
general character than those given in the university, but
by them I sought to bring the people at large into trains
of thought which would fit them to grapple with the great
question which was rising more and more portentously
before us.

Having accepted, in one of my vacations, an invitation
to deliver the Phi Beta Kappa Commencement Address
at Yale, I laid down as my thesis, and argued it from
history, that in all republics, ancient or modern, the worst
foe of freedom had been a man-owning aristocracy--an
aristocracy based upon slavery. The address was circulated
in printed form, was considerably discussed, and, I
trust, helped to set some few people thinking.

For the same purpose I also threw some of my lectures
into the form of magazine articles for the ``Atlantic
Monthly,'' and especially one entitled ``The Statesmanship
of Richelieu,'' my effort in this being to show that the
one great error of that greatest of all French statesmen
was in stopping short of rooting out the serf system in
France when he had completely subjugated the serf owners
and had them at his mercy.

As the year 1860 approached, the political struggle
became more and more bitter. President Buchanan in
redeeming his promise to maintain the Union had gone to
lengths which startled and disappointed many of his most
devoted supporters. Civil war had broken out in Kansas
and Nebraska, with murder and massacre: desperate
attempts were made to fasten the hold of the pro-slavery
party permanently upon the State, and as desperately were
these efforts repelled. A certain John Brown, who requited
assassination of free-state men by the assassination
of slave-state men,--a very ominous appearance,--began
to be heard of; men like Professor Silliman, who, during
my stay at Yale had spoken at Union meetings in favor of
the new compromise measures, even including the fugitive
slave law, now spoke publicly in favor of sending rifles to
the free-state men in Kansas; and, most striking symptom
of all, Stephen A. Douglas himself, who had led the
Democratic party in breaking the Missouri Compromise, now
recoiled from the ultra pro-slavery propaganda of President
Buchanan. Then, too, came a new incitement to
bitterness between North and South. John Brown, the
man of Scotch-Covenanter type, who had imbibed his
theories of political methods from the Old-Testament
annals of Jewish dealings with the heathen, and who had in
Kansas solemnly slaughtered in cold blood, as a sort of
sacrifice before the Lord, sundry Missouri marauders who
had assassinated free-state men, suddenly appeared in
Virginia, and there, at Harper's Ferry, with a handful of
fanatics subject to his powerful will, raised the standard
of revolution against the slave-power. Of course he was
easily beaten down, his forces scattered, those dearest to
him shot, and he himself hanged. But he was a character
of antique mold, and this desperate effort followed by his
death, while it exasperated the South, stirred the North to
its depths.

Like all such efforts, it was really mistaken and
unfortunate. It helped to obscure Henry Clay's proposal to
extinguish slavery peaceably, and made the solution of the
problem by bloodshed more and more certain. And in the
execution of John Brown was lost a man who, had he
lived until the Civil War, might have rendered enormous
services as a partizan leader. Of course, his action aroused
much thought among my students, and their ideas came
out in their public discussions. It was part of my duty,
once or twice a week, to preside over these discussions, and
to decide between the views presented. In these decisions
on the political questions now arising I became deeply
interested, and while I was careful not to give them a partizan
character, they were, of course, opposed to the dominance
of slavery.

In the spring of 1860, the Republican National Convention
was held at Chicago, and one fine morning I went to
the railway station to greet the New York delegation on
its way thither. Among the delegates whom I especially
recall were William M. Evarts, under whose Secretaryship
of State I afterward served as minister at Berlin,
and my old college friend, Stewart L. Woodford, with
whom I was later in close relations during his term as
lieutenant-governor of New York and minister to Spain.
The candidate of these New York delegates was of course
Mr. Seward, and my most devout hopes were with him,
but a few days later came news that the nomination had
been awarded to Mr. Lincoln. Him we had come to know
and admire during his debates with Douglas while the
senatorial contest was going on in the State of Illinois;
still the defeat of Mr. Seward was a great disappointment,
and hardly less so in Michigan than in New York. In the
political campaign which followed I took no direct part,
though especially aroused by the speeches of a new man
who had just appeared above the horizon,--Carl Schurz.
His arguments seemed to me by far the best of that whole
campaign--the broadest, the deepest, and the most convincing.

My dear and honored father, during the months of July,
August, and the first days of September, was slowly fading
away on his death-bed. Yet he was none the less interested
in the question at issue, and every day I sat by
his bedside and read to him the literature bearing upon
the contest; but of all the speeches he best liked those of
this new orator--he preferred them, indeed, to those of his
idol Seward.

I have related in another place how, years afterward,
Bismarck asked me, in Berlin, to what Carl Schurz's great
success in America was due, and my answer to this question.

Mr. Lincoln having been elected, I went on with my
duties as before, but the struggle was rapidly deepening.
Soon came premonitions of real conflict, and, early in the
following spring, civil war was upon us. My teaching
went on, as of old, but it became more direct. In order
to show what the maintenance of a republic was worth,
and what patriots had been willing to do for their country
in a struggle not unlike ours, I advised my students to read
Motley's ``History of the Dutch Republic,'' and I still
think it was good advice. Other works, of a similar
character, showing how free peoples have conducted long and
desperate wars for the maintenance of their national existence
and of liberty, I also recommended, and with good effect.

Reverses came. During part of my vacation, in the summer
of 1861, I was at Syracuse, and had, as my guest, Mr.
George Sumner, younger brother of the eminent senator
from Massachusetts, a man who had seen much of the
world, had written magazine articles and reviews which
had done him credit, and whose popular lectures were
widely esteemed. One Sunday afternoon in June my
uncle, Mr. Hamilton White, dropped in at my house to
make a friendly call. He had just returned from Washington,
where he had seen his old friend Seward, Mr. Lincoln's
Secretary of State, and felt able to give us a forecast
of the future. This uncle of mine was a thoughtful
man of affairs; successful in business, excellent in judgment,
not at all prone to sanguine or flighty views, and on
our asking him how matters looked in Washington he
said, ``Depend upon it, it is all right: Seward says that
they have decided to end the trouble at once, even if it is
necessary to raise an army of fifty thousand men;--that
they will send troops immediately to Richmond and finish
the whole thing at once, so that the country can go on
quietly about its business.''

There was, of course, something reassuring in so
favorable a statement made by a sensible man fresh from
the most accredited sources, and yet I could not resist
grave doubts. Such historical knowledge as I possessed
taught me that a struggle like that just beginning between
two great principles, both of which had been gathering
force for nearly a century, and each of which had drawn
to its support millions of devoted men, was not to be ended
so easily; but I held my peace.

Next day I took Mr. Sumner on an excursion up the
beautiful Onondaga Valley. As we drove through the
streets of Syracuse, noticing knots of men gathered here
and there in discussion, and especially at the doors of the
news offices, we secured an afternoon newspaper and drove
on, engaged in earnest conversation. It was a charming
day, and as we came to the shade of some large trees about
two miles from the city we rested and I took out the paper.
It struck me like death. There, displayed in all its horrors,
was the first account of the Battle of Bull Run,--
which had been fought the previous afternoon,--exactly
at the time when my uncle was assuring us that the United
States Army was to march at once to Richmond and end
the war. The catastrophe seemed fatal. The plans of
General McDowell had come utterly to nought; our army
had been scattered to the four winds; large numbers of
persons, including sundry members of Congress who had
airily gone out with the army to ``see the fun,'' among
them one from our own neighborhood, Mr. Alfred Ely,
of Rochester, had been captured and sent to Richmond,
and the rebels were said to be in full march on the National

Sumner was jubilant. ``This,'' he said, ``will make the
American people understand what they have to do; this
will stop talk such as your uncle gave us yesterday
afternoon.'' But to me it was a fearful moment. Sumner's
remarks grated horribly upon my ears; true as his view
was, I could not yet accept it.

And now preparations for war, and, indeed, for repelling
invasion, began in earnest. My friends all about me
were volunteering, and I also volunteered, but was rejected
with scorn; the examining physician saying to me,
``You will be a burden upon the government in the first
hospital you reach; you have not the constitution to be
of use in carrying a musket; your work must be of a
different sort.''

My work, then, through the summer was with those who
sought to raise troops and to provide equipments for
them. There was great need of this, and, in my opinion,
the American people have never appeared to better
advantage than at that time, when they began to realize their
duty, and to set themselves at doing it. In every city,
village, and hamlet, men and women took hold of the work,
feeling that the war was their own personal business. No
other country since the world began has ever seen a more
noble outburst of patriotism or more efficient aid by
individuals to their government. The National and State
authorities of course did everything in their power; but
men and women did not wait for them. With the exception
of those whose bitter partizanship led them to oppose
the war in all its phases, men, women, and children
engaged heartily and efficiently in efforts to aid the Union
in its struggle.

Various things showed the depths of this feeling. I
remember meeting one day, at that period, a man who had
risen by hard work from simple beginnings to the head
of an immense business, and had made himself a multi-
millionaire. He was a hard, determined, shrewd man of
affairs, the last man in the world to show anything like
sentimentalism, and as he said something advising an
investment in the newly created National debt, I answered,
``You are not, then, one of those who believe that our
new debt will be repudiated?'' He answered: ``Repudia-
tion or no repudiation, I am putting everything I can rake
and scrape together into National bonds, to help this
government maintain itself; for, by G--d, if I am not
to have any country, I don't want any money.'' It is
to be hoped that this oath, bursting forth from a patriotic
heart, was, like Uncle Toby's, blotted out by the recording
angel. I have quoted it more than once to show how
the average American--though apparently a crude materialist--
is, at heart, a thorough idealist.

Returning to the University of Michigan at the close
of the vacation, I found that many of my students had
enlisted, and that many more were preparing to do so. With
some it was hard indeed. I remember two especially, who
had for years labored and saved to raise the money which
would enable them to take their university course; they
had hesitated, for a time, to enlist; but very early one
morning I was called out of bed by a message from them,
and, meeting them, found them ready to leave for the
army. They could resist their patriotic convictions no
longer, and they had come to say good-bye to me. They
went into the war; they fought bravely through the thickest
of it; and though one was badly wounded, both lived
to return, and are to-day honored citizens. With many
others it was different; many, very many of them, alas,
were among the ``unreturning brave!'' and loveliest and
noblest of all, my dear friend and student, Frederick Arne,
of Princeton, Illinois, killed in the battle of Shiloh, at the
very beginning of the war, when all was blackness and
discouragement. Another of my dearest students at that time
was Albert Nye. Scholarly, eloquent, noble-hearted, with
every gift to ensure success in civil life, he went forth
with the others, rose to be captain of a company, and I
think major of a regiment. He sent me most kindly messages,
and at one time a bowie-knife captured from a rebel
soldier. But, alas! he was not to return.

I may remark, in passing, that while these young men
from the universities, and a vast host of others from
different walks of life, were going forth to lay down their
lives for their country, the English press, almost without
exception, from the ``Times'' down, was insisting that we
were fighting our battles with ``mercenaries.''

One way in which those of us who remained at the
university helped the good cause was in promoting the
military drill of those who had determined to become soldiers.
It was very difficult to secure the proper military instruction,
but in Detroit I found a West Point graduate, engaged
him to come out a certain number of times every week to
drill the students, and he cheered us much by saying that
he had never in his life seen soldiers so much in earnest,
and so rapid in making themselves masters of the drill
and tactics.

One of my advisers at this period, and one of the
noblest men I have ever met, was Lieutenant Kirby Smith,
a graduate of West Point, and a lieutenant in the army.
His father, after whom he was named, had been killed at
the Battle of Molino del Rey, in the Mexican War. His
uncle, also known as Kirby Smith, was a general in the
Confederate service. His mother, one of the dearest
friends of my family, was a woman of extraordinary abilities,
and of the noblest qualities. Never have I known a
young officer of more promise. With him I discussed
from time to time the probabilities of the war. He was
full of devotion, quieted my fears, and strengthened
my hopes. He, too, fought splendidly for his country, and
like his father, laid down his life for it.

The bitterest disappointment of that period, and I regret
deeply to chronicle it, was the conduct of the government
and ruling classes in England. In view of the fact that
popular sentiment in Great Britain, especially as voiced
in its literature, in its press, and from its pulpit, had been
against slavery, I had never doubted that in this struggle,
so evidently between slavery and freedom, Great Britain
would be unanimously on our side. To my amazement
signs soon began to point in another direction. More and
more it became evident that British feeling was against
us. To my students, who inquired how this could possibly
be, I said, ``Wait till Lord John Russell speaks.'' Lord
John Russell spoke, and my heart sank within me. He was
the solemnly constituted impostor whose criminal carelessness
let out the Alabama to prey upon our commerce,
and who would have let out more cruisers had not Mr.
Charles Francis Adams, the American minister, brought
him to reason.

Lord John Russell was noted for his coolness, but in
this respect Mr. Adams was more than his match. In
after years I remember a joke based upon this characteristic.
During a very hot summer in Kansas, when the
State was suffering with drought, some newspaper proposed,
and the press very generally acquiesced in the suggestion,
that Mr. Charles Francis Adams should be asked
to take a tour through the State, in order, by his presence,
to reduce its temperature.

When, therefore, Lord John Russell showed no signs
of interfering with the sending forth of English ships,--
English built, English equipped, and largely English
manned,--against our commerce, Mr. Adams, having
summed up to his Lordship the conduct of the British
Government in the matter, closed in his most icy way with
the words: ``My lord, I need hardly remind you that this
is war.''

The result was, that tardily,--just in time to prevent war
between the two nations,--orders were given which prevented
the passing out of more cruisers.

Goldwin Smith, who in the days of his professorship at
Oxford, saw much of Lord John Russell, once told me that
his lordship always made upon him the impression of
``an eminent corn-doctor.''

During the following summer, that of 1863, being much
broken down by overwork, and threatened, as I supposed,
with heart disease, which turned out to be the beginning
of a troublesome dyspepsia, I was strongly recommended
by my physician to take a rapid run to Europe, and though
very reluctant to leave home, was at last persuaded to go
to New York to take my passage. Arrived there, bad news
still coming from the seat of war, I could not bring myself
at the steamer office to sign the necessary papers, finally
refused, and having returned home, took part for the first
time in a political campaign as a speaker, going through
central New York, and supporting the Republican candidate
against the Democratic. The election seemed of
vast importance. The Democrats had nominated for the
governorship, Mr. Horatio Seymour, a man of the highest
personal character, and, so far as the usual duties of
governor were concerned, admirable; but he had been
bitterly opposed to the war, and it seemed sure that his
election would encourage the South and make disunion
certain; therefore it was that I threw myself into the
campaign with all my might, speaking night and day; but
alas! the election went against us.

At the close of the campaign, my dyspepsia returning
with renewed violence, I was thinking what should be done,
when I happened to meet my father's old friend, Mr.
Thurlow Weed, a devoted adherent of Mr. Seward through
his whole career, and, at that moment, one of the main
supports of the Lincoln Administration. It was upon the
deck of a North River steamer, and on my mentioning my
dilemma he said: ``You can just now do more for us
abroad than at home. You can work in the same line with
Archbishop Hughes, Bishop McIlvaine, and myself; everything
that can be done, in the shape of contributions to
newspapers, or speeches, even to the most restricted
audiences abroad, will help us: the great thing is to gain
time, increase the number of those who oppose European
intervention in our affairs, and procure takers for our
new National bonds.''

The result was that I made a short visit to Europe,
stopping first in London. Political feeling there was
bitterly against us. A handful of true men, John Bright and
Goldwin Smith at the head of them, were doing heroic
work in our behalf, but the forces against them seemed
overwhelming. Drawing money one morning in one of
the large banks of London, I happened to exhibit a few
of the new National greenback notes which had been
recently issued by our Government. The moment the clerk
saw them he called out loudly, ``Don't offer us any of
those things; we don't take them; they will never be good
for anything.'' I was greatly vexed, of course, but there
was no help for it. At another time I went into a famous
book-shop near the Haymarket to purchase a rare book
which I had long coveted. It was just after the Battle of
Fredericksburg. The book-seller was chatting with a
customer, and finally, with evident satisfaction, said to him:
``I see the Yankees have been beaten again.'' ``Yes,'' said
the customer, ``and the papers say that ten thousand of
them have been killed.'' ``Good,'' said the shop-keeper,
``I wish it had been twice as many.'' Of course it was
impossible for me to make any purchase in that place.

In order to ascertain public sentiment I visited certain
``discussion forums,'' as they are called, frequented by
contributors to the press and young lawyers from the
Temple and Inns of Court. In those places there was, as
a rule, a debate every night, and generally, in one form
or another, upon the struggle then going on in the
United States. There was, perhaps, in all this a trifle
too much of the Three Tailors of Tooley Street; still,
excellent speeches were frequently made, and there was a
pleasure in doing my share in getting the company on the
right side. On one occasion, after one of our worst
reverses during the war, an orator, with an Irish brogue,
thickened by hot whisky, said, ``I hope that Republic of
blackguards is gone forever.'' But, afterward, on learning
that an American was present, apologized to me in a
way effusive, laudatory, and even affectionate.

But my main work was given to preparing a pamphlet,
in answer to the letters from America by Dr. Russell,
correspondent of the London ``Times.'' Though nominally
on our side, he clearly wrote his letters to suit the demands
of the great journal which he served, and which was most
bitterly opposed to us. Nothing could exceed its virulence
against everything American. Every occurrence was
placed in the worst light possible as regarded our
interests, and even the telegraphic despatches were manipulated
so as to do our cause all the injury possible. I therefore
prepared, with especial care, an answer to these letters
of Dr. Russell, and published it in London. Its fate
was what might have been expected. Some papers discussed
it fairly, but, on the whole, it was pooh-poohed, explained
away, and finally buried under new masses of slander.
I did, indeed, find a few friends of my country in
Great Britain. In Dublin I dined with Cairnes, the
political economist, who had earnestly written in behalf of the
Union against the Confederates; and in London, with Professor
Carpenter, the eminent physiologist, who, being
devoted to anti-slavery ideas, was mildly favorable to the
Union side. But I remember him less on account of anything
he said relating to the struggle in America, than for
a statement bearing upon the legitimacy of the sovereign
then ruling in France, who was at heart one of our most
dangerous enemies. Dr. Carpenter told me that some time
previously he had been allowed by Nassau Senior, whose
published conversations with various men of importance
throughout Europe had attracted much attention, to look
into some of the records which Mr. Senior had not thought
it best to publish, and that among them he had read the

``---- showed me to-day an autograph letter written by
Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, not far from the time
of the birth of his putative son, now Napoleon III. One
passage read as follows: `J'ai le malheur d'avoir pour
femme une Messalene. Elle a des amants partout, et
partout elle laise des enfants.' ''

I could not but think of this a few weeks later when I
saw the emperor, who derived his title to the throne of
France from his nominal father, poor King Louis, but
whose personal appearance, like that of his brother, the
Duc de Morny, was evidently not derived from any Bonaparte.
All the Jrome Napoleons I have ever seen, including
old King Jrome of Westphalia, and Prince Na-
poleon Jrome, otherwise known as ``Plon-Plon,'' whom
I saw during my student life at Paris, and the eldest son
of the latter, the present Bonaparte pretender to the
Napoleonic crown of France, whom I saw during my stay
as minister at St. Petersburg, very strikingly resembled
the first Napoleon, though all were of much larger size.
But the Louis Napoleons, that is, the emperor and his
brother the Duc de Morny, had no single Napoleonic
point in their features or bearing.

I think that the most startling inspiration during my
life was one morning when, on walking through the Garden
of the Tuileries, I saw, within twenty feet of me, at
a window, in the old palace, which afterward disappeared
under the Commune, the emperor and his minister of
finance, Achille Fould, seated together, evidently in earnest
discussion. There was not at that time any human
being whom I so hated and abhorred as Napoleon III.
He had broken his oath and trodden the French republic
under his feet, he was aiding to keep down the aspirations
of Italy, and he was doing his best to bring on an
intervention of Europe, in behalf of the Confederate States, to
dissolve our Union. He was then the arbiter of Europe.
The world had not then discovered him to be what Bismarck
had already found him--``a great unrecognized incapacity,''
and, as I looked up and distinctly saw him so
near me, there flashed through my mind an understanding
of some of the great crimes of political history, such as I
have never had before or since.[1]

[1] Since writing this I find in the Autobiography of W. J.
Stillman that a similar feeling once beset him on seeing this
imperial malefactor,

In France there was very little to be done for our cause.
The great mass of Frenchmen were either indifferent or
opposed to us. The only exception of importance was
Laboulaye, professor at the Collge de France, and his
lecture-room was a center of good influences in favor of
the American cause; in the midst of that frivolous
Napoleonic France he seemed by far ``the noblest Roman of
them all.''

The main effort in our behalf was made by Mr. John
Bigelow, at that time consul-general, but afterward minister
of the United States,--to supply with arguments the
very small number of Frenchmen who were inclined to
favor the Union cause, and this he did thoroughly well.

Somewhat later there came a piece of good fortune.
Having been sent by a physician to the baths at Homburg,
I found as our consul-general, at the neighboring city of
Frankfort-on-the-Main, William Walton Murphy of Michigan,
a life-long supporter of Mr. Seward, a most devoted
and active American patriot;--a rough diamond; one of
the most uncouth mortals that ever lived; but big-hearted,
shrewd, a general favorite, and prized even by those who
smiled at his oddities. He had labored hard to induce the
Frankfort bankers to take our government bonds, and to
recommend them to their customers, and had at last been
successful. In order to gain and maintain this success he
had established in Frankfort a paper called ``L'Europe,''
for which he wrote and urged others to write. To this
journal I became a contributor, and among my associates I
especially remember the Rev. Dr. John McClintock, formerly
president of Dickinson College, and Dr. E. H.
Chapin, of New York, so eminent in those days as a
preacher. Under the influence of Mr. Murphy, Frankfort-
on-the-Main became, and has since remained, a center of
American ideas. Its leading journal was the only influential
daily paper in Germany which stood by us during
our Spanish War.

I recall a story told me by Mr. Murphy at that period.
He had taken an American lady on a business errand to
the bank of Baron Rothschild, and, after their business was
over, presented her to the great banker. It happened that
the Confederate loan had been floated in Europe by Baron
Erlanger, also a Frankfort financial magnate, and by birth
a Hebrew. In the conversation that ensued between this
lady and Baron Rothschild, the latter said: ``Madam, my
sympathies are entirely with your country; but is it not
disheartening to think that there are men in Europe who
are lending their money and trying to induce others to
lend it for the strengthening of human slavery? Madam,

On the Fourth of July of that summer, Consul-General
Murphy--always devising new means of upholding the
flag of his country--summoned Americans from every
part of Europe to celebrate the anniversary of our
National Independence at Heidelberg, and at the dinner given
at the Hotel Schreider seventy-four guests assembled,
including two or three professors from the university, as
against six guests from the Confederate States, who had
held a celebration in the morning at the castle. Mr. Murphy
presided and made a speech which warmed the hearts
of us all. It was a thorough-going, old-fashioned, Western
Fourth of July oration. I had jeered at Fourth of July
orations all my life, but there was something in this one
which showed me that these discourses, so often ridiculed,
are not without their uses. Certain it is that as the consul-
general repeated the phrases which had more than once
rung through the Western clearings, in honor of the
defenders of our country, the divine inspiration of the
Constitution, our invincibility in war and our superiority in
peace, all of us were encouraged and cheered most lustily.
Pleasing was it to note various British tourists standing
at the windows listening to the scream of the American
eagle and evidently wondering what it all meant.

Others of us spoke, and especially Dr. McClintock, one
of the foremost thinkers, scholars, and patriots that the
Methodist Episcopal church has ever produced. His
speech was in a very serious vein, and well it might be. In
the course of it he said: ``According to the last accounts
General Lee and his forces are near the town where I live,
and are marching directly toward it. It is absolutely certain
that, if they reach it, they will burn my house and all
that it contains, but I have no fear; I believe that the Almighty
is with us in this struggle, and though we may suffer
much before its close, the Union is to endure and slavery
is to go down before the forces of freedom.'' These
words, coming from the heart of a strong man, made a
deep impression upon us all.

About two weeks later I left Frankfort for America,
and at my parting from Consul-General Murphy at the
hotel, he said: ``Let me go in the carriage with you; this
is steamer-day and we shall probably meet the vice-consul
coming with the American mail.'' He got in, and we
drove along the Zeil together. It was at the busiest time
of the day, and we had just arrived at the point in that
main street of Frankfort where business was most active,
when the vice-consul met us and handed Mr. Murphy a
newspaper. The latter tore it open, read a few lines,
and then instantly jumped out into the middle of the street,
waved his hat and began to shout. The public in general
evidently thought him mad; a crowd assembled; but as
soon as he could get his breath he pointed out the headlines
of the newspaper. They indicated the victories of Gettysburg
and Vicksburg, and the ending of the war. It was,
indeed, a great moment for us all.

Arriving in America, I found that some friends had
republished from the English edition my letter to Dr.
Russell, that it had been widely circulated, and that, at any
rate, it had done some good at home.

Shortly afterward, being on a visit to my old friend,
James T. Fields of Boston, I received a telegram from
Syracuse as follows: ``You are nominated to the State
senate: come home and see who your friends are.'' I
have received, in the course of my life, many astonishing
messages, but this was the most unexpected of all. I had
not merely not been a candidate for any such nomination,
but had forgotten that any nomination was to be made; I
had paid no attention to the matter whatever; all my
thoughts had been given to other subjects; but on returning
to Syracuse I found that a bitter contest having arisen
between two of the regular candidates, each representing a
faction, the delegates had suddenly turned away from both
and nominated me. My election followed and so began
the most active phase of my political life.



On the evening of New Year's Day, 1864, I arrived in
Albany to begin my duties in the State Senate, and
certainly, from a practical point of view, no member of the
legislature was more poorly equipped. I had, indeed,
received a university education, such as it was, in those
days, at home and abroad, and had perhaps read more than
most college-bred men of my age, but all my education,
study, and reading were remote from the duties now assigned
me. To history, literature, and theoretical politics,
I had given considerable attention, but as regarded the
actual necessities of the State of New York, the relations
of the legislature to the boards of supervisors of
counties, to the municipal councils of cities, to the boards
of education, charity, and the like, indeed, to the whole
system throughout the Commonwealth, and to the
modes of conducting public and private business, my
ignorance was deplorable. Many a time have I envied some
plain farmer his term in a board of supervisors, or some
country schoolmaster his relations to a board of education,
or some alderman his experience in a common council, or
some pettifogger his acquaintance with justices' courts.
My knowledge of law and the making of law was wretchedly
deficient, and my ignorance of the practical administration
of law was disgraceful. I had hardly ever been
inside a court-house, and my main experience of legal
procedure was when one day I happened to step into court
at Syracuse, and some old friends of mine thought it a
good joke to put a university professor as a talesman upon
a jury in a horse case. Although pressed with business
I did not flinch, but accepted the position, discharged its
duties, and learned more of legal procedure and of human
nature in six hours than I had ever before learned in six
months. Ever afterward I advised my students to get
themselves drawn upon a petit jury. I had read some
Blackstone and some Kent and had heard a few law
lectures, but my knowledge was purely theoretical:
in constitutional law it was derived from reading
scattered essays in the ``Federalist,'' with extracts here
and there from Story. Of the State charitable and
penal institutions I knew nothing. Regarding colleges
I was fairly well informed, but as to the practical
working of our system of public instruction I had
only the knowledge gained while a scholar in a public

There was also another disadvantage. I knew nothing
of the public men of the State. Having lived outside of
the Commonwealth, first, as a student at Yale, then during
nearly three years abroad, and then nearly six years as a
professor in another State, I knew only one of my
colleagues, and of him I had only the knowledge that came
from an introduction and five minutes' conversation ten
years before. It was no better as regarded my acquaintance
with the State officers; so far as I now remember, I
had never seen one of them, except at a distance,--the
governor, Mr. Horatio Seymour.

On the evening after our arrival the Republican
majority of the Senate met in caucus, partly to become
acquainted, partly to discuss appointments to committees,
and partly to decide on a policy regarding State aid to
the prosecution of the war for the Union. I found myself
the youngest member of this body, and, indeed, of
the entire Senate, but soon made the acquaintance of my
colleagues and gained some friendships which have been
among the best things life has brought me.

Foremost in the State Senate, at that period, was
Charles James Folger, its president. He had served in
the Senate several years, had been a county judge, and
was destined to become assistant treasurer of the United
States at New York, chief justice of the highest State
court, and finally, to die as Secretary of the Treasury of
the United States, after the most crushing defeat which
any candidate for the governorship of New York had ever
known. He was an excellent lawyer, an impressive
speaker, earnestly devoted to the proper discharge of his
duties, and of extraordinarily fine personal appearance.
His watch upon legislation sometimes amused me, but always
won my respect. Whenever a bill was read a third
time he watched it as a cat watches a mouse. His hatred of
doubtful or bad phraseology was a passion. He was
greatly beloved and admired, yet, with all his fine and
attractive qualities, modest and even diffident to a fault.

Another man whom I then saw for the first time
interested me much as soon as his name was called, and he
would have interested me far more had I known how
closely my after life was to be linked with his. He was
then about sixty years of age, tall, spare, and austere,
with a kindly eye, saying little, and that little dryly. He
did not appear unamiable, but there seemed in him a sort
of aloofness: this was Ezra Cornell.

Still another senator was George H. Andrews, from
the Otsego district, the old Palatine country. He had
been editor of one of the leading papers in New York,
and had been ranked among the foremost men in his
profession, but he had retired into the country to lead the
life of a farmer. He was a man to be respected and even
beloved. His work for the public was exceedingly valuable,
and his speeches of a high order. Judge Folger,
as chairman of the judiciary committee, was most useful
to the State at large in protecting it from evil legislation.
Senator Andrews was not less valuable to the cities, and
above all to the city of New York, for his intelligent
protection of every good measure, and his unflinching
opposition to every one of the many doubtful projects
constantly brought in by schemers and dreamers.

Still another senator was James M. Cook of Saratoga.
He had been comptroller of the State and, at various
times, a member of the legislature. He was the faithful
``watch-dog of the treasury,''--bitter against every
scheme for taking public money for any unworthy purpose,
and, indeed, against any scheme whatever which
could not assign for its existence a reason, clear, cogent,
and honest.

Still another member, greatly respected, was Judge
Bailey of Oneida County. His experience upon the bench
made him especially valuable upon the judiciary and
other committees.

Yet another man of mark in the body was one of the
younger men, George G. Munger of Rochester. He had
preceded me by a few years at Yale, had won respect
as a county judge, and had a certain lucid way of
presenting public matters which made him a valuable public

Another senator of great value was Henry R. Low.
He, too, had been a county judge and brought not only
legal but financial knowledge to the aid of his colleagues.
He was what Thomas Carlyle called a ``swallower of
formulas.'' That a thing was old and revered mattered
little with him: his question was what is the best thing

From the city of New York came but one Republican,
William Laimbeer, a man of high character and large
business experience; impulsive, but always for right
against wrong; kindly in his nature, but most bitter
against Tammany and all its works.

From Essex County came Senator Palmer Havens, also
of middle age, of large practical experience, with a clear,
clean style of thinking and speaking, anxious to make a
good record by serving well, and such a record he certainly made.

And, finally, among the Republican members of that
session I may name the senator from Oswego, Mr. Cheney
Ames. Perhaps no one in the body had so large a prac-
tical knowledge of the commercial interests of the State,
and especially of the traffic upon its lakes and inland
waterways; on all questions relating to these his advice
was of the greatest value; he was in every respect a
good public servant.

On the Democratic side the foremost man by far was
Henry C. Murphy of Brooklyn, evidently of Irish ancestry,
though his immediate forefathers had been long in
the United States. He was a graduate of Columbia College,
devoted to history and literature, had produced sundry
interesting books on the early annals of the State,
had served with distinction in the diplomatic service as
minister to The Hague, was eminent as a lawyer, and
had already considerable legislative experience.

From New York City came a long series of Democratic
members, of whom the foremost was Thomas C. Fields.
He had considerable experience as a lawyer in the city
courts, had served in the lower house of the legislature,
and was preternaturally acute in detecting the interests
of Tammany which he served. He was a man of much
humor, with occasional flashes of wit, his own worst
enemy, evidently, and his career was fitly ended when
upon the fall of Tweed he left his country for his country's
good and died in exile.

There were others on both sides whom I could mention
as good men and true, but those I have named took a
leading part as heads of committees and in carrying on
public business.

The lieutenant-governor of the State who presided over
the Senate was Mr. Floyd-Jones, a devoted Democrat of
the old school who exemplified its best qualities; a
gentleman, honest, courteous, not intruding his own views,
ready always to give the fullest weight to those of others
without regard to party.

Among the men who, from their constant attendance,
might almost be considered as officers of the Senate were
sundry representatives of leading newspapers. Several
of them were men of marked ability, and well known
throughout the State, but they have long since been
forgotten with one exception: this was a quiet reporter who
sat just in front of the clerk's chair, day after day, week
after week, throughout the entire session; a man of very
few words, and with whom I had but the smallest
acquaintance. Greatly surprised was I in after years when
he rose to be editor of the leading Democratic organ
in the State, and finally, under President Cleveland, a
valuable Secretary of the Treasury of the United States:
Daniel Manning.

In the distribution of committees there fell to me the
chairmanship of the committee on education, or, as it
was then called, the committee on literature. I was also
made a member of the committee on cities and villages,
afterward known as the committee on municipal affairs,
and of the committee on the library. For the first of
these positions I was somewhat fitted by my knowledge
of the colleges and universities of the State, but in other
respects was poorly fitted. For the second of these
positions, that of the committee on cities and villages, I am
free to confess that no one could be more wretchedly
equipped; for the third, the committee on the library, my
qualifications were those of a man who loved both to collect
books and to read them.

But from the beginning I labored hard to fit myself,
even at that late hour, for the duties pressing upon me,
and gradually my practical knowledge was increased.
Still there were sad gaps in it, and more than once I sat
in the committee-room, looking exceedingly wise, no
doubt, but with an entirely inadequate appreciation of
the argument made before me.

During this first session my maiden speech was upon
the governor's message, and I did my best to show what
I thought His Excellency's shortcomings. Governor Seymour
was a patriotic man, after his fashion, but the one
agency which he regarded as divinely inspired was the
Democratic party; his hatred of the Lincoln Administration
was evidently deep, and it was also clear that he
did not believe that the war for the Union could be brought
to a successful termination.

With others I did my best against him; but while
condemning his political course as severely as was possible
to me, I never attacked his personal character or his
motives. The consequence was that, while politically we
were enemies, personally a sort of friendship remained,
and I recall few things with more pleasure than my
journeyings from Albany up the Mohawk Valley, sitting at
his side, he giving accounts to me of the regions through
which we passed, and the history connected with them,
regarding which he was wonderfully well informed. If
he hated New England as the breeding bed of radicalism,
he loved New York passionately.

The first important duty imposed upon me as chairman
of the committee on education was when there came
up a bill for disposing of the proceeds of public lands
appropriated by the government of the United States
to institutions for scientific and technical education, under
what was then known as the Morrill Act of 1862. Of
these lands the share which had come to New York was
close upon a million acres--a fair-sized European
principality. Here, owing to circumstances which I shall
detail in another chapter, I found myself in a contest with
Mr. Cornell. I favored holding the fund together, letting
it remain with the so-called ``People's College,'' to
which it had been already voted, and insisted that the
matter was one to be referred to the committee on education.
Mr. Cornell, on the other hand, favored the division
of the fund, and proposed a bill giving one half of
it to the ``State Agricultural College'' recently
established at Ovid on Seneca Lake. The end was that the
matter was referred to a joint committee composed of
the committees on literature and agriculture, that is, to
Mr. Cornell's committee and my own, and as a result no
meeting to consider the bill was held during that session.

Gradually I accumulated a reasonable knowledge of
the educational interests intrusted to us, but ere long
there came in from the superintendent of public
instruction; Mr. Victor Rice, a plan for codifying the
educational laws of the State. This necessitated a world of
labor on my part. Section by section, paragraph by
paragraph, phrase by phrase, I had to go through it, and
night after night was devoted to studying every part
of it in the light of previous legislation, the laws of other
States, and such information as could be obtained from
general sources. At last, after much alteration and revision,
I brought forward the bill, secured its passage,
and I may say that it was not without a useful influence
upon the great educational interests of the State.

I now brought forward another educational bill. Various
persons interested in the subject appeared urging
the creation of additional State normal schools, in order
to strengthen and properly develop the whole State
school system. At that time there was but one; that one at
Albany; and thus our great Commonwealth was in this
respect far behind many of her sister States. The whole
system was evidently suffering from the want of teachers
thoroughly and practically equipped. Out of the multitude
of projects presented, I combined what I thought
the best parts of three or four in a single bill, and
although at first there were loud exclamations against so
lavish a use of public money, I induced the committee
to report my bill, argued it in the Senate, overcame much
opposition, and thus finally secured a law establishing
four State normal schools.

Still another duty imposed upon me necessitated much
work for which almost any other man in the Senate would
have been better equipped by experience and knowledge
of State affairs. The condition of things in the city of
New York had become unbearable; the sway of Tammany
Hall had gradually brought out elements of opposition
such as before that time had not existed. Tweed
was already making himself felt, though he had not yet
assumed the complete control which he exercised afterward.
The city system was bad throughout; but at the
very center of evil stood what was dignified by the name
of the ``Health Department.'' At the head of this was a
certain Boole, who, having gained the title of ``city
inspector,'' had the virtual appointment of a whole army
of so-called ``health inspectors,'' ``health officers,'' and
the like, charged with the duty of protecting the public
from the inroads of disease; and never was there a
greater outrage against a city than the existence of this
body of men, absolutely unfit both as regarded character
and education for the duties they pretended to discharge.

Against this state of things there had been developed
a ``citizens' committee,'' representing the better elements
of both parties,--its main representatives being Judge
Whiting and Mr. Dorman B. Eaton,--and the evidence
these gentlemen exhibited before the committee on municipal
affairs, at Albany, as to the wretched condition of
the city health boards was damning. Whole districts in
the most crowded wards were in the worst possible sanitary
condition. There was probably at that time nothing
to approach it in any city in Christendom save, possibly,
Naples. Great blocks of tenement houses were owned by
men who kept low drinking bars in them, each of whom,
having secured from Boole the position of ``health
officer,'' steadily resisted all sanitary improvement or
even inspection. Many of these tenement houses were
known as ``fever nests''; through many of them small-
pox frequently raged, and from them it was constantly
communicated to other parts of the city.

Therefore it was that one morning Mr. Laimbeer, the
only Republican member from the city, rose, made an
impassioned speech on this condition of things, moved a
committee to examine and report, and named as its members
Judge Munger, myself, and the Democratic senator
from the Buffalo district, Mr. Humphrey.

As a result, a considerable part of my second winter
as senator was devoted to the work of this special committee
in the city of New York. We held a sort of court,
had with us the sergeant-at-arms, were empowered to send
for persons and papers, summoned large numbers of
witnesses, and brought to view a state of things even worse
than anything any of us had suspected.

Against the citizens' committee, headed by Judge Whiting
and Mr. Eaton, Boole, aided by a most successful
Tammany lawyer of the old sort, John Graham, fought
with desperation. In order to disarm his assailants as
far as possible, he brought before the committee a number
of his ``health officers'' and ``sanitary inspectors,''
whom he evidently thought best qualified to pass muster;
but as one after another was examined and cross-examined,
neither the cunning of Boole nor the skill of Mr.
Graham could prevent the revelation of their utter unfitness.
In the testimony of one of them the whole monstrous
absurdity culminated. Judge Whiting examining
him before the commission with reference to a case of
small-pox which had occurred within his district, and to
which, as health officer it was his duty to give attention,
and asking him if he remembered the case, witness answered
that he did. The following dialogue then ensued:

Q. Did you visit this sick person?

A. No, sir.

Q. Why did you not?

A. For the same reason that you would not.

Q. What was that reason?

A. I did n't want to catch the disease myself.

Q. Did the family have any sort of medical aid?

A. Yes.

Q. From whom did they have it?

A. From themselves; they was ``highjinnicks'' (hygienics).

Q. What do you mean by ``highjinnicks''?

A. I mean persons who doctor themselves.

After other answers of a similar sort the witness
departed; but for some days afterward Judge Whiting
edified the court, in his examination of Boole's health
officers and inspectors, by finally asking each one whether
he had any ``highjinnicks'' in his health district. Some
answered that they had them somewhat; some thought
that they had them ``pretty bad,'' others thought that
there was ``not much of it,'' others claimed that they
were ``quite serious''; and, finally, in the examination of
a certain health officer who was very anxious to show that
he had done his best, there occurred the following dialogue
which brought down the house:

Q. (By Judge Whiting.) Mr. Health Officer, have you
had any ``highjinnicks'' in your district?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Much?

A. Yes, sir, quite a good deal.

Q. Have you done anything in regard to them?

A. Yes, sir; I have done all that I could.

Q. Witness, now, on your oath, do you know what the
word ``highjinnicks'' means?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What does it mean?

A. It means the bad smells that arise from standing

At this the court was dissolved in laughter, but Mr.
Graham made the best that he could of it by the following
questions and answers:

Q. Witness, have you ever learned Greek?

A. No, sir.

Q. Can you speak Greek?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you understand Greek?

A. No, sir.

``Then you may stand down.''

The examination was long and complicated, so that
with various departments to be examined there was no
time to make a report before the close of the session, and
the whole matter had to go over until the newly elected
senate came into office the following year.

Shortly after the legislature had adjourned I visited
the city of New York, and on arriving took up the evening
paper which, more than any other, has always been supposed to
represent the best sentiment of the city;--the
``New York Evening Post.'' The first article on which my
eye fell was entitled ``The New York Senate Trifling,''
and the article went on to say that the Senate of the
State had wasted its time, had practically done nothing
for the city, had neglected its interests, had paid no
attention to its demands, and the like. That struck me
as ungrateful, for during the whole session we had
worked early and late on questions relating to the city,
had thwarted scores of evil schemes, and in some cases,
I fear, had sacrificed the interests of the State at large
to those of the city. Thus there dawned on me a knowledge
of the reward which faithful legislators are likely
to obtain.

Another of these city questions also showed the sort
of work to be done in this thankless protection of the
metropolis. During one of the sessions there had
appeared in the lobby an excellent man, Dr. Levi Silliman
Ives, formerly Protestant Episcopal Bishop of North
Carolina, who, having been converted to Roman Catholicism,
had become a layman and head of a protectory
for Catholic children. With him came a number of
others of his way of thinking, and a most determined
effort was made to pass a bill sanctioning a gift of one
half of the great property known as Ward's Island,
adjacent to the city of New York, to this Roman Catholic

I had strong sympathy with the men who carried on
the protectory, and was quite willing to go as far as
possible in aiding them, but was opposed to voting such
a vast landed property belonging to the city into the
hands of any church, and I fought the bill at all stages.
In committee of the whole, and at first reading, priestly
influence led a majority to vote for it, but at last, despite
all the efforts of Tammany Hall, it was defeated.

It was during this first period of my service that the
last and most earnest effort of the State was made for
the war. Various circumstances had caused discourage-
ment. It had become difficult to raise troops, yet it was
most important to avoid a draft. In the city of New
York, at the prospect of an enforced levy of troops,
there had been serious uprisings which were only
suppressed after a considerable loss of life. It was
necessary to make one supreme effort, and the Republican
members of the legislature decided to raise a loan of
several millions for bounties to those who should
volunteer. This decision was not arrived at without much
opposition, and, strange to say, its most serious opponent
was Horace Greeley, who came to Albany in the
hope of defeating it. Invaluable as his services had been
during the struggle which preceded the war, it must be
confessed, even by his most devoted friends, that during
the war he was not unfrequently a stumbling block. His
cry ``on to Richmond'' during the first part of the
struggle, his fearful alarm when, like the heroes in the
``Biglow Papers,'' he really discovered ``why baggonets is
peaked,'' his terror as the conflict deepened, his proposals
for special peace negotiations later--all these things
were among the serious obstacles which President Lincoln
had to encounter; and now, fearing burdens which,
in his opinion, could not and would not be borne by the
State, and conjuring up specters of trouble, he came to
Albany and earnestly advised members of the legislature
against the passage of the bounty bill. Fortunately,
common sense triumphed, and the bill was passed.

Opposition came also from another and far different
source. There was then in the State Senate a Democrat
of the oldest and strongest type; a man who believed
most devoutly in Jefferson and Jackson, and abhorred
above all things, abolitionists and protectionists,--Dr.
Allaben of Schoharie. A more thoroughly honest man
never lived; he was steadily on the side of good legislation;
but in the midst of the discussion regarding this
great loan for bounties he arose and began a speech
which, as he spoke but rarely, received general attention.
He was deeply in earnest. He said (in substance), ``I
shall vote for this loan; for of various fearful evils it
seems the least. But I wish, here and now, and with the
deepest sorrow, to record a prediction: I ask you to note
it and to remember it, for it will be fulfilled, and speedily.
This State debt which you are now incurring will never
be paid. It cannot be paid. More than that, none of the
vast debts incurred for military purposes, whether by
the Nation or by the States, will be paid; the people will
surely repudiate them. Nor is this all. Not one dollar
of all the treasury notes issued by the United States will
ever be redeemed. Your paper currency has already
depreciated much and will depreciate more and more; all
bonds and notes, State and National, issued to continue
this fratricidal war will be whirled into the common
vortex of repudiation. I say this with the deepest pain, for
I love my country, but I cannot be blind to the teachings
of history.'' He then went on to cite the depreciation
of our revolutionary currency, and, at great length
pictured the repudiation of the assignats during the French
Revolution. He had evidently read Alison and Thiers
carefully, and he spoke like an inspired prophet.

As Senator Allaben thus spoke, Senator Fields of New
York quietly left his seat and came to me. He was a
most devoted servant of Tammany, but was what was
known in those days as a War Democrat. His native
pugnacity caused him to feel that the struggle must be
fought out, whereas Democrats of a more philosophic
sort, like Allaben, known in those days as ``Copperheads,''
sought peace at any price. Therefore it was that,
while Senator Allaben was pouring out with the deepest
earnestness these prophecies of repudiation, Mr. Fields
came round to my desk and said to me: ``You have been
a professor of history; you are supposed to know something
about the French Revolution; if your knowledge
is good for anything, why in h--l don't you use it now?''

This exhortation was hardly necessary, and at the close
of Senator Allaben's remarks I arose and presented
another view of the case. It happened by a curious coin-
cidence that, having made a few years before a very careful
study of the issues of paper money during the French
Revolution, I had a portion of my very large collection
of assignats, mandats, and other revolutionary currency
in Albany, having brought it there in order to show
it to one or two of my friends who had expressed an
interest in the subject.

Holding this illustrative material in reserve I showed
the whole amount of our American paper currency in
circulation to be about eight hundred million dollars, of
which only about one half was of the sort to which the
senator referred. I then pointed to the fact that, although
the purchasing power of the French franc at the time of
the Revolution was fully equal to the purchasing power
of the American dollar of our own time, the French
revolutionary government issued, in a few months, forty-
five thousand millions of francs in paper money, and had
twenty-five thousand millions of it in circulation at the
time when the great depression referred to by Dr. Allaben
had taken place.

I also pointed out the fact that our American notes were
now so thoroughly well engraved that counterfeiting was
virtually impossible, so that one of the leading European
governments had its notes engraved in New York, on this
account, whereas, the French assignats could be easily
counterfeited, and, as a matter of fact, were counterfeited
in vast numbers, the British government pouring them
into France through the agency of the French royalists,
especially in Brittany, almost by shiploads, and to such
purpose, that the French government officials themselves
were at last unable to discriminate between the genuine
money and the counterfeit. I also pointed out the
connection of our national banking system with our issues
of bonds and paper, one of the happiest and most statesmanlike
systems ever devised, whereas, in France there
was practically no redemption for the notes, save as they
could be used for purchasing from the government the
doubtful titles to the confiscated houses and lands of the
clergy and aristocracy.

The speech of Senator Allaben had exercised a real
effect, but these simple statements, which I supported by
evidence, and especially by exhibiting specimens of the
assignats bearing numbers showing that the issues had
risen into the thousands of millions, and in a style of
engraving most easily counterfeited, sufficed to convince the
Senate that no such inference as was drawn by the senator
was warranted by the historical facts in the case.

A vote was taken, the bill was passed, the troops were
finally raised, and the debt was extinguished not many
years afterward.

It is a pleasure for me to remember that at the close
of my remarks, which I took pains to make entirely
courteous to Dr. Allaben, he came to me, and strongly
opposed as we were in politics, he grasped me by the hand
most heartily, expressed his amazement at seeing these
assignats, mandats, and other forms of French revolutionary
issues, of which he had never before seen one,
and thanked me for refuting his arguments. It is one of
the very few cases I have ever known, in which a speech
converted an opponent.

Perhaps a word more upon this subject may not be
without interest. My attention had been drawn to the
issues of paper money during the French Revolution, by
my studies of that period for my lectures on modern
history at the University of Michigan, about five years
before. In taking up this special subject I had supposed
that a few days would be sufficient for all the study
needed; but I became more and more interested in it,
obtained a large mass of documents from France, and then
and afterward accumulated by far the largest collection of
French paper money, of all the different issues, sorts,
and amounts, as well as of collateral newspaper reports
and financial documents, ever brought into our country.
The study of the subject for my class, which I had hoped
to confine to a few days, thus came to absorb my leisure
for months, and I remember that, at last, when I had
given my lecture on the subject to my class at the university,
a feeling of deep regret, almost of remorse, came
over me, as I thought how much valuable time I had given
to a subject that, after all, had no bearing on any present
problem, which would certainly be forgotten by the
majority of my hearers, and probably by myself.

These studies were made mainly in 1859. Then the
lectures were laid aside, and though, from time to time,
when visiting France, I kept on collecting illustrative
materials, no further use was made of them until this debate
during the session of the State Senate of 1864.

Out of this offhand speech upon the assignats grew a
paper which, some time afterward, I presented in
Washington before a number of members of the Senate and
House, at the request of General Garfield, who was then
a representative, and of his colleague, Mr. Chittenden of
Brooklyn. In my audience were some of the foremost
men of both houses, and among them such as Senators
Bayard, Stevenson, Morrill, Conkling, Edmunds, Gibson,
and others. This speech, which was the result of
my earlier studies, improved by material acquired later,
and most carefully restudied and verified, I repeated
before a large meeting of the Union League Club at New
York, Senator Hamilton Fish presiding. The paper thus
continued to grow and, having been published in New
York by Messrs. Appleton, a cheap edition of it was
circulated some years afterward, largely under the auspices
of General Garfield, to act as an antidote to the ``Greenback
Craze'' then raging through Ohio and the Western

Finally, having been again restudied, in the light of my
ever-increasing material, it was again reprinted and
circulated as a campaign document during the struggle
against Mr. Bryan and the devotees of the silver standard
in the campaign of 1896, copies of it being spread
very widely, especially through the West, and placed,
above all, in nearly every public library, university,
college, and normal school in the Union.

I allude to this as showing to any young student who
may happen to read these recollections, the value of a careful
study of any really worthy subject, even though, at
first sight, it may seem to have little relation to present

In the spring of 1864, at the close of my first year in
the State Senate, came the national convention at Baltimore
for the nomination of President and Vice-President,
and to that convention I went as a substitute delegate.
Although I have attended several similar assemblages since,
no other has ever seemed to me so interesting. It met in
an old theater, on one of the noisiest corners in the city,
and, as it was June, and the weather already very warm,
it was necessary, in order to have as much air as possible,
to remove curtains and scenery from the stage and throw
the back of the theater open to the street. The result
was, indeed, a circulation of air, but, with this, a noise
from without which confused everything within.

In selecting a president for the convention a new
departure was made, for the man chosen was a clergyman;
one of the most eminent divines in the Union,--the Rev.
Dr. Robert Breckinridge of Kentucky, who, on the
religious side, had been distinguished as moderator of the
Presbyterian General Assembly, and on the political side
was revered for the reason that while very nearly all his
family, and especially his sons and nephews, including
the recent Vice-President, had plunged into the Confederate
service, he still remained a staunch and sturdy adherent
of the Union and took his stand with the Republican
party. He was a grand old man, but hardly suited
to the presidency of a political assemblage.

The proceedings were opened with a prayer by a
delegate, who had been a colonel in the Union army, and was
now a Methodist clergyman. The heads of all were
bowed, and the clergyman-soldier began with the words of
the Lord's Prayer; but when he had recited about one half
of it he seemed to think that he could better it, and he
therefore substituted for the latter half a petition which
began with these words: ``Grant, O Lord, that the ticket
here to be nominated may command a majority of the
suffrages of the American people.'' To those accustomed
to the more usual ways of conducting service this was
something of a shock; still there was this to be said in
favor of the reverend colonel's amendment,--he had faith
to ask for what he wanted.

This opening prayer being ended, there came a display
of parliamentary tactics by leaders from all parts of the
Union: one after another rose in this or that part of the
great assemblage to move this or that resolution, and the
confusion which soon prevailed was fearful, the noise of
the street being steadily mingled with the tumult of the
house. But good Dr. Breckinridge did his best, and
in each case put the motion he had happened to hear.
Thereupon each little group, supposing that the resolution
which had been carried was the one it had happened
to hear, moved additional resolutions based upon it.
These various resolutions were amended in all sorts of
ways, in all parts of the house, the good doctor putting
the resolutions and amendments which happened to reach
his ear, and declaring them ``carried'' or ``lost,'' as the
case might be. Thereupon ensued additional resolutions
and amendments based upon those which their movers
supposed to have been passed, with the result that, in
about twenty minutes no one in the convention, and least
of all its president, knew what we had done or what we
ought to do. Each part of the house firmly believed that
the resolutions which it had heard were those which had
been carried, and the clash and confusion between them all
seemed hopeless.

Various eminent parliamentarians from different parts
of the Union arose to extricate the convention from this
welter, but generally, when they resumed their seats, left
the matter more muddled than when they arose.

A very near approach to success was made by my dear
friend George William Curtis of New York, who, in
admirable temper, and clear voice, unraveled the tangle,
as he understood it, and seemed just about to start the
convention fairly on its way, when some marplot arose
to suggest that some minor point in Mr. Curtis's exposition
was not correct, thus calling out a tumult of conflicting
statements, the result of which was yet greater
confusion, so that we seemed fated to adjourn pell-mell
into the street and be summoned a second time into
the hall, in order to begin the whole proceedings over

But just at this moment arose Henry J. Raymond, editor
of the ``New York Times.'' His parliamentary training
had been derived not only from his service as lieutenant-
governor of the State, but from attendance on a
long series of conventions, State and National. He had
waited for his opportunity, and when there came a lull
of despair, he arose and, in a clear, strong, pleasant voice,
made an alleged explanation of the situation. As a piece
of parliamentary tactics, it was masterly though from
another point of view it was comical. The fact was that
he developed a series of motions and amendments:--a
whole line of proceedings,--mainly out of his own interior
consciousness. He began somewhat on this wise: ``Mr.
President: The eminent senator from Vermont moved
a resolution to such an effect; this was amended as follows,
by my distinguished friend from Ohio, and was
passed as amended. Thereupon the distinguished senator
from Iowa arose and made the following motion, which,
with an amendment from the learned gentleman from
Massachusetts, was passed; thereupon a resolution was
moved by the honorable gentleman from Pennsylvania,
which was declared by the chair to be carried; and now,
sir, I submit the following motion,'' and he immediately
followed these words by moving a procedure to business
and the appointment of committees. Sundry marplots,
such as afflict all public bodies did, indeed, start to their
feet, but a universal cry of ``question'' drowned all their
efforts, and Mr. Raymond's motion was carried, to all
appearance unanimously.

Never was anything of the kind more effectual.
Though most, if not all, the proceedings thus stated by
Mr. Raymond were fictions of his own imagination,
they served the purpose; his own resolution started the
whole machinery and set the convention prosperously on
its way.

The general opinion of the delegates clearly favored
the renomination of Mr. Lincoln. It was an exhibition
not only of American common sense, but of sentiment.
The American people and the public bodies which represent
them are indeed practical and materialistic to the
last degree, but those gravely err who ignore a very
different side of their character. No people and no public
bodies are more capable of yielding to deep feeling. So
it was now proven. It was felt that not to renominate
Mr. Lincoln would be a sort of concession to the enemy.
He had gained the confidence and indeed the love of
the entire Republican party. There was a strong
conviction that, having suffered so much during the
terrible stress and strain of the war, he ought to be retained
as President after the glorious triumph of the Nation
which was felt to be approaching.

But in regard to the second place there was a different
feeling. The Vice-President who had served with Mr.
Lincoln during his first term, Mr. Hamlin of Maine, was
a steadfast, staunch, and most worthy man, but it was
felt that the loyal element in the border States ought
to be recognized, and, therefore it was that, for the Vice-
Presidency was named a man who had begun life in the
lowest station, who had hardly learned to read until he
had become of age, who had always shown in Congress
the most bitter hatred of the slave barons of the South,
whom he considered as a caste above his own, but who
had distinguished himself, as a man, by high civic courage,
and as a senator by his determined speeches in behalf of
the Union. This was Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, a
man honest, patriotic, but narrow and crabbed, who
turned out to be the most unfortunate choice ever made,
with the possible exception of John Tyler, twenty-four
years before.

The convention having adjourned, a large number of
delegates visited Washington, to pay their respects to the
President, and among them myself. The city seemed
to me hardly less repulsive than at my first visit eight
years before; it was still unkempt and dirty,--made indeed
all the more so by the soldiery encamped about it,
and marching through it.

Shortly after our arrival our party, perhaps thirty in
number, went to the White House and were shown into
the great East Room. We had been there for about ten
minutes when one of the doors nearest the street was
opened, and a young man entered who held the door
open for the admission of a tall, ungainly man dressed
in a rather dusty suit of black. My first impression was
that this was some rural tourist who had blundered into the
place; for, really, he seemed less at home there than any
other person present, and looked about for an instant, as
if in doubt where he should go; but presently he turned
toward our group, which was near the southwestern corner
of the room, and then I saw that it was the President.
As he came toward us in a sort of awkward, perfunctory
manner his face seemed to me one of the saddest I had
ever seen, and when he had reached us he held out his
hand to the first stranger, then to the second, and so on,
all with the air of a melancholy automaton. But,
suddenly, some one in the company said something which
amused him, and instantly there came in his face a most
marvelous transformation. I have never seen anything
like it in any other human being. His features were
lighted, his eyes radiant, he responded to sundry remarks
humorously, though dryly, and thenceforward was cordial
and hearty. Taking my hand in his he shook it in the
most friendly way, with a kindly word, and so passed
cheerily on to the others until the ceremony was finished.

Years afterward, noticing in the rooms of his son, Mr.
Robert Lincoln, our minister at London, a portrait of
his father, and seeing that it had the same melancholy
look noticeable in all President Lincoln's portraits, I
alluded to this change in his father's features, and asked
if any artist had ever caught the happier expression.
Mr. Robert Lincoln answered that, so far as he knew, no
portrait of his father in this better mood had ever been
taken; that when any attempt was made to photograph
him or paint his portrait, he relapsed into his melancholy
mood, and that this is what has been transmitted to us by
all who have ever attempted to give us his likeness.

In the campaign which followed this visit to Washington
I tried to do my duty in speaking through my own
and adjacent districts, but there was little need of
speeches; the American people had made up their minds,
and they relected Mr. Lincoln triumphantly.



During my second year in the State Senate, 1865,
came the struggle for the charter of Cornell
University, the details of which will be given in another

Two things during this session are forever stamped into
my memory. The first was the news of Lee's surrender
on April 9, 1865: though it had been daily expected, it
came as a vast relief.

It was succeeded by a great sorrow. On the morning
of April 15, 1865, coming down from my rooms in the
Delavan House at Albany, I met on the stairway a very
dear old friend, the late Charles Sedgwick, of Syracuse,
one of the earliest and most devoted of Republicans, who
had served with distinction in the House of Representatives,
and had more than once been widely spoken of
for the United States Senate. Coming toward me with
tears in his eyes and voice, hardly able to speak, he
grasped me by the hand and gasped the words, ``Lincoln
is murdered.'' I could hardly believe myself awake: the
thing seemed impossible;--too wicked, too monstrous, too
cruel to be true; but alas! confirmation of the news came
speedily and the Presidency was in the hands of Andrew

Shortly afterward the body of the murdered President,
borne homeward to Illinois, rested overnight in the State
Capitol, and preparations were made for its reception. I
was one of the bearers chosen by the Senate and was also
elected to pronounce one of the orations. Rarely have I
felt an occasion so deeply: it has been my lot during my
life to be present at the funerals of various great rulers
and magnates; but at none of these was so deep an
impression made upon me as by the body of Lincoln lying
in the assembly chamber at Albany, quiet and peaceful at

Of the speeches made in the Senate on the occasion,
mine being the only one which was not read or given from
memory, attracted some attention, and I was asked
especially for the source of a quotation which occurred in
it, and which was afterward dwelt upon by some of my
hearers. It was the result of a sudden remembrance of the
lines in Milton's ``Samson Agonistes,'' beginning:

``Oh, how comely it is, and how reviving
To the spirits of just men long oppressed,
When God into the hands of their deliverer
Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the earth, the oppressor,
The brute and boisterous force of violent men,'' etc.[2]

[2] Milton's ``Samson Agonistes,'' lines 1268-1280.

The funeral was conducted with dignity and solemnity.
When the coffin was opened and we were allowed to take
one last look at Lincoln's face, it impressed me as having
the same melancholy expression which I had seen upon it
when he entered the East Room at the White House. In
its quiet sadness there seemed to have been no change.
There was no pomp in the surroundings; all, though dignified,
was simple. Very different was it from the show
and ceremonial at the funeral of the Emperor Nicholas
which I had attended ten years before;--but it was even
more impressive. At the head of the coffin stood General
Dix, who had served so honorably in the War of 1812, in
the Senate of the United States, in the Civil War, and who
was afterward to serve with no less fidelity as governor
of the State. Nothing could be more fitting than such a
chieftaincy in the guard of honor.

In the following autumn the question of my renomination

It had been my fortune to gain, first of all, the ill will
of Tammany Hall, and the arms of Tammany were long.
Its power was exercised strongly through its henchmen
not only in the Democratic party throughout the State,
but especially in the Republican party, and, above all,
among sundry contractors of the Erie Canal, many of
whose bills I had opposed, and it was understood that
they and their friends were determined to defeat me.

Moreover, it was thought by some that I had mortally
offended sundry Catholic priests by opposing their plan
for acquiring Ward's Island, and that I had offended
various Protestant bodies, especially the Methodists, by
defeating their efforts to divide up the Land Grant
Fund between some twenty petty sectarian colleges, and
by exerting myself to secure it for Cornell University,
which, because it was unsectarian, many called ``godless.''

Though I made speeches through the district as formerly,
I asked no pledges of any person, but when the nominating
convention assembled I was renominated in spite
of all opposition, and triumphantly:--a gifted and honorable
man, the late David J. Mitchell, throwing himself
heartily into the matter, and in an eloquent speech
absolutely silencing the whole Tammany and canal
combination. He was the most successful lawyer in the
district before juries, and never did his best qualities
show themselves more fully than on this occasion.
My majority on the first ballot was overwhelming, the
nomination was immediately made unanimous, and at the
election I had the full vote.

Arriving in Albany at the beginning of my third year
of service--1866--I found myself the only member of the
committee appointed to investigate matters in the city of
New York who had been relected. Under these circumstances
no report from the committee was possible; but
the committee on municipal affairs, having brought in a
bill to legislate out of office the city inspector and all his
associates, and to put in a new and thoroughly qualified
health board, I made a carefully prepared speech, which
took the character of a report. The facts which I
brought out were sufficient to condemn the whole existing
system twenty times over. By testimony taken under oath
the monstrosities of the existing system were fully revealed,
as well as the wretched character of the ``health
officers,'' ``inspectors,'' and the whole army of underlings,
and I exhibited statistics carefully ascertained and tabulated,
showing the absurd disproportion of various classes
of officials to each other, their appointment being made,
not to preserve the public health, but to carry the ward
caucuses and elections. During this exposure Boole, the
head of the whole system, stood not far from me on the
floor, his eyes fastened upon me, with an expression in
which there seemed to mingle fear, hatred, and something
else which I could hardly divine. His face seemed to me,
even then, the face of a madman. So it turned out. The
new bill drove him out of office, and, in a short time, into
a madhouse.

I have always thought upon the fate of this man with a
sort of sadness. Doubtless in his private relations he
had good qualities, but to no public service that I have
ever been able to render can I look back with a stronger
feeling that my work was good. It unquestionably resulted
in saving the lives of hundreds, nay thousands, of
men, women, and children; and yet it is a simple fact that
had I, at any time within a year or two afterward, visited
those parts of the city of New York which I had thus
benefited, and been recognized by the dwellers in the tenement
houses as the man who had opposed their dramshop-
keepers and brought in a new health board, those very
people whose lives and the lives of whose children I had
thus saved would have mobbed me, and, if possible, would
have murdered me.

Shortly after the close of the session I was invited to
give the Phi Beta Kappa address at the Yale commencement,
and as the question of the reconstruction of the
Union at the close of the war was then the most important
subject before the country, and as it seemed to me
best to strike while the iron was hot, my subject was
``The Greatest Foe of Republics.'' The fundamental
idea was that the greatest foe of modern states, and
especially of republics, is a political caste supported by
rights and privileges. The treatment was mainly historical,
one of the main illustrations being drawn from the
mistake made by Richelieu in France, who, when he had
completely broken down such a caste, failed to destroy its
privileges, and so left a body whose oppressions and
assumptions finally brought on the French Revolution.
Though I did not draw the inference, I presume that my
auditors drew it easily: it was simply that now, when the
slave power in the Union was broken down, it should not
be allowed to retain the power which had cost the country
so dear.

The address was well received, and two days later there
came to me what, under other circumstances, I would have
most gladly accepted, the election to a professorship at
Yale, which embraced the history of art and the direction
of the newly founded Street School of Art. The thought
of me for the place no doubt grew out of the fact that,
during my stay in college, I had shown an interest in art,
and especially in architecture, and that after my return
from Europe I had delivered in the Yale chapel an address
on ``Cathedral Builders and Mediaeval Sculptors''
which was widely quoted.

It was with a pang that I turned from this offer. To all
appearance, then and now, my life would have been far
happier in such a professorship, but to accept it was
clearly impossible. The manner in which it was tendered
me seemed to me almost a greater honor than the professorship
itself. I was called upon by a committee of the
governing body of the university, composed of the man
whom of all in New Haven I most revered, Dr. Bacon,
and the governor of the State, my old friend Joseph R.
Hawley, who read to me the resolution of the governing
body and requested my acceptance of the election.
Nothing has ever been tendered me which I have felt to be a
greater honor.

A month later, on the 28th of August, 1866, began at
Albany what has been very rare in the history of New
York, a special session of the State Senate:--in a sense,
a court of impeachment.

Its purpose was to try the county judge of Oneida for
complicity in certain illegal proceedings regarding bounties.
``Bounty jumping'' had become a very serious evil,
and it was claimed that this judicial personage had connived
at it.

I must confess that, as the evidence was developed, my
feelings as a man and my duties as a sworn officer of
the State were sadly at variance. It came out that this
judge was endeavoring to support, on the wretched salary
of $1800 a year allowed by the county, not only
his own family, but also the family of his brother, who, if
I remember rightly, had lost his life during the war, and
it seemed to me a great pity that, as a penalty upon the
people of the county, he could not be quartered upon them
as long as he lived. For they were the more culpable
criminals. Belonging to one of the richest divisions of
the State, with vast interests at stake, they had not been
ashamed to pay a judge this contemptible pittance, and
they deserved to have their law badly administered. This
feeling was undoubtedly wide-spread in the Senate; but,
on the other hand, there was the duty we were sworn to
perform, and the result was that the judge was removed
from office.

During this special session of the State Senate it was
entangled in a curious episode of national history. The
new President, Mr. Andrew Johnson, had been induced to
take an excursion into the north and especially into the
State of New York. He was accompanied by Mr. Seward,
the Secretary of State; General Grant, with his laurels
fresh from the Civil War; Admiral Farragut, who had
so greatly distinguished himself during the same epoch,
and others of great merit. It was clear that Secretary
Seward thought that he could establish the popularity of
the new administration in the State of New York by
means of his own personal influence; but this proved the
greatest mistake of his life.

On the arrival of the presidential party in New York
City, various elements there joined in a showy reception
to them, and all were happy. But the scene soon changed.
From the city Mr. Seward, with the President, his
associates, and a large body of citizens more or less
distinguished, came up the Hudson River in one of the finest
steamers, a great banquet being given on board. But on
approaching Albany, Mr. Seward began to discover his
mistake; for the testimonials of admiration and respect
toward the President grew less and less hearty as the party
moved northward. This was told me afterward by Mr.
Thurlow Weed, Mr. Seward's lifelong friend, and probably
the most competent judge of such matters in the
United States. At various places where the President
was called out to speak, he showed a bitterness toward
those who opposed his policy which more and more
displeased his audiences. One pet phrase of his soon excited
derision. The party were taking a sort of circular tour,
going northward by the eastern railway and steamer lines,
turning westward at Albany, and returning by western
lines; hence the President, in one of his earlier speeches,
alluded to his journey as ``swinging round the circle.''
The phrase seemed to please him, and he constantly
repeated it in his speeches, so that at last the whole matter
was referred to by the people at large, contemptuously, as
``swinging round the circle,'' reference being thereby
made, not merely to the President's circular journey, but
to the alleged veering of his opinions from those he professed
when elected.

As soon as the State Senate was informed of the probable
time when the party would arrive at Albany, a resolution
was introduced which welcomed in terms: ``The
President of the United States, Andrew Johnson; the
Secretary of State, William H. Seward; the General of
the Army, Ulysses S. Grant; and the Admiral of the Navy,
David G. Farragut.'' The feeling against President Johnson
and his principal adviser, Mr. Seward, on account of
the break which had taken place between them and the
majority of the Republican party, was immediately evident,
for it was at once voiced by amending the resolution
so that it left out all names, and merely tendered a
respectful welcome, in terms, to ``The President of the
United States, the Secretary of State, the General of the
Army, and the Admiral of the Navy.'' But suddenly came
up a second amendment which was little if anything short
of an insult to the President and Secretary. It extended
the respectful welcome, in terms, to ``The President of
the United States; to the Secretary of State; to Ulysses
S. Grant, General of the Army; and to David G. Farragut,
Admiral of the Navy''; thus making the first part, relating
to the President and the Secretary of State, merely
a mark of respect for the offices they held, and the latter
part a tribute to Grant and Farragut, not only official,
but personal. Most earnest efforts were made to defeat
the resolution in this form. It was pathetic to see old
Republicans who had been brought up to worship Mr.
Seward plead with their associates not to put so gross
an insult upon a man who had rendered such services
to the Republican party, to the State, and to the Nation.
All in vain! In spite of all our opposition, the resolution,
as amended in this latter form, was carried, indicating
the clear purpose of the State Senate to honor
simply and solely the offices of the President and of the
Secretary of State, but just as distinctly to honor the
persons of the General of the Army and the Admiral of
the Navy.

On the arrival of the party in Albany they came up to
the State House, and were received under the portico
by Governor Fenton and his staff. It was perfectly
understood that Governor Fenton, though a Republican,
was in sympathy with the party in the Senate which had
put this slight upon the President and Secretary of State
and Mr. Seward's action was characteristic. Having
returned a curt and dry reply to the guarded phrases of the
governor, he pressed by him with the President and his
associates to the ``Executive Chamber'' near the entrance,
the way to which he, of all men, well knew. In that room
the Senate were assembled and, on the entrance of the
visitors, Governor Fenton endeavored to introduce them
in a formal speech; but Mr. Seward was too prompt for
him; he took the words out of the governor's mouth and
said, in a way which thrilled all of us who had been
brought up to love and admire him, ``In the Executive
Chamber of the State of New York I surely need no
introduction. I bring to you the President of the United
States; the chief magistrate who is restoring peace and
prosperity to our country.''

The whole scene impressed me greatly; there rushed
upon me a strong tide of recollection as I contrasted what
Governor Fenton had been and was, with what Governor
Seward had been and was: it all seemed to me a ghastly
mistake. There stood Fenton, marking the lowest point
in the choice of a State executive ever reached in our
Commonwealth by the Republican party: there stood
Seward who, from his boyhood in college, had fought
courageously, steadily, powerfully, and at last triumphantly,
against the domination of slavery; who, as State
senator, as governor, as the main founder of the Republican
party, as senator of the United States and finally as
Secretary of State, had rendered service absolutely
inestimable; who for years had braved storms of calumny
and ridicule and finally the knife of an assassin; and who
was now adhering to Andrew Johnson simply because he
knew that if he let go his hold, the President would relapse
into the hands of men opposed to any rational settlement
of the questions between the North and South. I
noticed on Seward's brow the deep scar made by the
assassin's knife when Lincoln was murdered; all the
others, greatly as I admired Grant and Farragut, passed
with me at that time for nothing; my eyes were fixed upon
the Secretary of State.

After all was over I came out with my colleague, Judge
Folger, and as we left the Capitol he said: ``What was

Book of the day: