• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Table of Contents
 George Washington
 John Adams
 Thomas Jefferson
 James Madison
 James Monroe
 John Quincy Adams
 Andrew Jackson
 Martin Van Buren
 William Henry Harrison
 John Tyler
 James Knox Polk
 Zachary Taylor
 Millard Fillmore
 Franklin Pierce
 James Buchanan
 Abraham Lincoln
 Andrew Johnson
 Ulysses S. Grant
 Rutherford B. Hayes
 James A. Garfield
 Chester A. Arthur
 Grover Cleveland
 Benjamin Harrison
 Cleveland's second administrat...
 William McKinley
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: The presidents of the the United States
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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086477/00001
 Material Information
Title: The presidents of the the United States
Physical Description: 199 p. : ill., ports. ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rugg, Henry W
J.A. & R.A. Reid (Firm)
Publisher: J.A. & R.A. Reid
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1897, c1888
Copyright Date: 1888
 Subjects
Subject: Presidents -- Juvenile literature -- United States   ( lcsh )
Presidents -- Biography -- Juvenile literature -- United States   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- United States   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1897   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1897
Genre: Biographies   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: sketches by Henry W. Rugg.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086477
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002224614
notis - ALG4880
oclc - 35816654

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
    Title Page
        Page 4
        Page 5
    List of Illustrations
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
    George Washington
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    John Adams
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Thomas Jefferson
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    James Madison
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    James Monroe
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    John Quincy Adams
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Andrew Jackson
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Martin Van Buren
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    William Henry Harrison
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    John Tyler
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    James Knox Polk
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Zachary Taylor
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Millard Fillmore
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Franklin Pierce
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    James Buchanan
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
    Abraham Lincoln
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    Andrew Johnson
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
    Ulysses S. Grant
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    Rutherford B. Hayes
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    James A. Garfield
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
    Chester A. Arthur
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    Grover Cleveland
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Benjamin Harrison
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
    Cleveland's second administration
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
    William McKinley
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
    Back Cover
        Page 200
        Page 201
    Spine
        Page 202
Full Text













A




















































































The Bald*mU LhriTn
UrC~ verSrv cKy
f~rn~3 ~di








THE PRESIDENTS OF THE
UNITED STATES-:':- SKETCHES
BY HENRY W. RUGG, D. D.


S llustratre

BY TWENTY-FOUR PORTRAITS.


*~f 0 ~0 ?( ?( '( ?< ~0 ?< OO K~


BOSTON, MASS.


1897.







































COPYRIGHT,
BY J. A. & R. A. REID,
1888.













LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


GEORGE WASHINGTON,

JOHN ADAMS,

THOMAS JEFFERSON,

JAMES MADISON,

JAMES MONROE,

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,

ANDREW JACKSON,

MARTIN VAN BUREN,

WILLIAM H. HARRISON,

JOHN TYLER, .

JAMES KNOX POLK,

ZACHARY TAYLOR,

MILLARD FILLMORE,

FRANKLIN PIERCE,
JAMES BUCHANAN,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

ANDREW JOHNSON,

ULYSSES S. GRANT,

RUTHERFORD B. HAYES,

JAMES A. GARFIELD,

CHESTER A. ARTHUR,

GROVER CLEVELAND,

BENJAMIN HARRISON,

WILLIAM McKINLEY, .


PAGES
8

16

24

32

S 40
48

56
S.64

S72

80

88

. 96

104

112
120

128


136

144

S152
16o

168

S 176

184
196














CONTENTS.


GEORGE WASHINGTON, -
JOHN ADAMS, -
THOMAS JEFFERSON, -
JAMES MADISON,
JAMES MONROE, -
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, -
ANDREW JACKSON,-
MARTIN VAN BUREN,
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON,
JOHN TYLER,- -
JAMES KNOX POLK, -
ZACHARY TAYLOR, -
MILLARD FILLMORE, -
FRANKLIN PIERCE, -
JAMES BUCHANAN, -
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, -
ANDREW.JOHNSON, - -
ULYSSES S. GRANT, -
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES,
JAMES A. GARFIELD, -
CHESTER A. ARTHUR, -
GROVER CLEVELAND, -
BENJAMIN HARRISON, -
CLEVELAND'S SECOND ADMINISTRATION,
WILLIAM McKINLEY, - -


8-15
16-23
24-31

32-39
S- 40-47
48-55
56-63
64-71
72-79
80-87
88-95
96-1o3
- 104-111
II2-II9
112-119
- 120-127
128-135
36-I43

144-151
1 52-159
160-167
-168-175
176-183
184-190
193-195
196- 99





















































GEORGE WASHINGTON,

FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














GEORGE WASHINGTON.


PRESIDENT, APRIL 30, 1789-MARCH 4, 1797.


BOYHOOD LIFE AND SURROUNDINGS--RESPONSIBILITIES EARLY ASSUMED--THE
,YOUNG COMMANDER- MILITARY SERVICES DURING THE FRENCH WAR -
DOMESTIC LIFE- AMERICAN REVOLUTION COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF COLO-
NIAL ARMY-WASHINGTON AS GENERAL-CLOSE OF THE WAR--PRESIDENT
OF THE FEDERAL CONVENTION PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES--
CLOSING SCENES AT MOUNT VERNON--SUMMARY OF CHARACTER.

THE hero, like his humbler brother, cannot choose his
birthplace. ,The great man, however, may make the
place of his birth what he will by virtue of its associa-
tion with his genius and fame, for the most unattractive spot
on earth may thus arouse a human interest more wide-spread
and abiding than any sentiment inspired by mere beauty of
situation or surroundings. So it is that.the tract of land on
Bridge's Creek, in old Virginia, has a charm for the Ameri-
can, and many another, because here, in the one-story farm-
house overlooking the Potomac, was born, February 22, 1732,
George Washington, the first President of our United States.
The homestead has disappeared, but the place in Westmore-
land County where the famous general was a "baby new to
earth and sky" is still pointed out to the inquiring traveler.
The family removed from this farm-house soon after the new
life had been added to the circle, to another farm near Fred-
ericksburg, and on high ground overlooking the waters of the









GEORGE WASHINGTON.


Rappahannock River. Here and at Mount Yernon, then
owned by his half brother, Lawrence Washington, and at
Belvoir, the home of William Fairfax, all situated compara-
tively near together and close to Fredericksburg, the lad spent
his boyhood days. The youth, George Washington, was very
much as other boys are, if a pure-minded, healthy, intelligent
lad be a type. He lived an out-door life, had a perfect physical-
being, a manly frame and bearing, and added to this was a
training of books and the influence of a refined home, so that
the boy, while lacking some of the advantages offered the
youth of to-day, had much to help him in his preparation for
the future, whatever that might bring. Doubtless his admira-
tion for William Fairfax, and the frequency with which he vis-
ited,that cultured home, instilled into his heart a love for books
and study, and a desire to form a literary style-as correct and
polished as that of his friend, who had been a comrade of
Addison and a contributor to the columns of the Spectator.
Washington could never have been the great man he was, had
not this foundation been laid; and his country and the world
owe a debt of gratitude to his family and friends who trained
the boyish frame and the boyish mind to meet the trials and the
emergencies which great leaders are called to endure.
Washington was not long allowed to remain a boy; he took
upon himself responsibilities at an early age. Lord Failfilx,i
owning vast lands, unexplored, in the region around the Blue
Ridge Mountains, suggested that young Washington should
make a survey of the district and report its condition. This
was done, and he gained much knowledge concerning the
country, Indian life, and many other things useful in the war-
fare and campaigns which followed. Then came the time when
a person was chosen to be sent on a mission to the French out-
posts and among the Indians on the frontier, and Governor
Dinwiddie selected George Washington, though he had but










GEORGE WASHINGTON. I

recently attained his majority. The mission required discretion,
courage, and skill on the part of its leader, and the demand
was met. The young man showed tact and wisdom, and the
expedition, perilous to the extreme, was successful, besides
revealing the capabilities and powers of the man, and preparing
him by another step for his life-work.
The French aggressions continued throughout the year
1754, and Colonel Washington, in command of Virginia troops,
rendered excellent service, displaying military genius and the
essential qualities of successful leadership, remarkable in a
young man but twenty-two years of age. Declining the chief
command, Washington volunteered as aide, and accompanied
General Braddock on his expeditions. This English officer, a
man of some renown, and possessed of much technical mili-
tary knowledge, was utterly unskilled in the methods of Indian
warfare, and being somewhat opinionated, listened to no advice,
and pursued his own plans, so unsuitable to the country and
the foes to be encountered. Washington warned Braddock
against the dangers of Indian ambuscades, but the warning
of the colonial colonel was unheeded, and when the English
army was near Fort Duquesne, on the shore of the Mononga-
hela River, July 9, 1755, Braddock's command was surprised
by the French and Indians, and suffered a terrible and humili-
ating defeat, Braddock himself being killed and the greater
part of his officers killed or wounded. Washington showed
great courage and skill, seeming to bear a charmed life, for
bullets passed through his garments and two horses were shot
under him, leaving him unhurt. By his coolness after the
catastrophe, he saved the forces from absolute ruin, and prac-
tically assumed command of the disorganized remnant of the
troops. Soon after, Governor Dinwiddie, never very friendly
to Washington, appointed him commander of the Virginia
forces, and he remained in command until the close of the









GEORGE WASHINGTON.


French and Indian War. During this part of his military
career he met with many troubles, could not carry out his
desired plans, suffered in bodily health, endured hardships and
fatigue, was misunderstood and at variance with Governor
Dinwiddie and others. He yet proved himself a distinguished
military leader, and was the most popular officer in Virginia.
The victory of Wolfe at Quebec, September 13, 1759,
practically closed the French war, and ended for a time
Washington's military career.
In the midst of this busy existence Washington found
time to woo and win a wife, the beautiful Mrs. Custis, of Vir-
ginia. They were married January 6, 1759, and soon after took
possession of Mount Vernon, where they resided for nearly
sixteen years, probably the happiest period of Washington's
life. Although fond of out-door living and agricultural pur-
suits, it must not be inferred that-Washington withdrew him-
self from all public affairs and patriotic interests. During all
the time of his so-called retirement from political life, he was
a member of the House of Burgesses and associated with
Patrick Henry and other foremost patriots in resisting the
claims of Great Britain. England, however, paid no atten-
tion to these warnings, and soon the situation became serious,
and armed resistance was necessary. In 1774, the first Conti-
nental Congress was convened at Philadelphia, and the year
following George Washington, representing Virginia, was
unanimously elected commander-in-chief of the American
Army, forces having already been gathered and blood already
shed in the cause of American Independence.
Washington accepted the responsible position to which he
was called, and proceeded as expeditiously as possible to
Cambridge, Massachusetts, where, under the shadow of the
great elm, now standing, he read his commission and assumed
command of the American forces. It is difficult to sum up in










GEORGE WASHINGTON.


a few words his conduct and generalship during the war,
which lasted between eight and nine years. No meteor
flashes of military glory make Washington's name famous.
His was the steady courage, the facing of all obstacles, the
unassuming yet determined action, the just dealings, which
made the true man and the true soldier, the successful general
and the Nation's hero. He was criticised, as all reformers
and leaders must be; he had no wealthy government, and but
few supplies of war to aid in his movements; he had to con-
tend with ignorance and incapacity on every side, with
jealousies of his associates and the interference of Congress.
It was the thousand small victories instead of the one grand
triumph, the unwavering patriotism and forgetfulness of self,
that made George Washington the hero and the leader, whose
name the American people reverence, and all other nations
respect.
The war of the Revolution virtually came to an end with
the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, October 19, 1783.
The closing scene of the war was the withdrawal of the
British troops from New York, November 25, 1783. A few
days later Washington took farewell of his troops, and in the
course of a fortnight formally surrendered his commission as
general to the Congress then sitting at Annapolis, Maryland.
In accepting the resignation, the president of the Congress,
in his address to Washington, closed with these prophetic
words: The glory of your virtues will descend to remotest
generations."
At the close of the war Washington retired to Mount
Vernon, and lived there a quiet, peaceful life for nearly three
years, all the time keeping up his interest in A herican politics
and watching the struggles of the young nation to establish a
form of government. At last affairs were in such a condition,
that a convention composed of delegates from the states was









GEORGE WASHINGTON.


held at Philadelphia, and Washington represented Virginia,
as a matter of course. He was made president of this con-
vention, which framed the Constitution of the United States.
The year following he was elected President of the Nation,
and was inaugurated in New York, April 30, 1789. He was
re-elected in 1792, and served eight years as President, refus-
ing re-election for the third term, as he felt unable to bear
longer the trials and duties of a public life. His administration
showed a wise statesmanship at a time when the Nation was
testing a new form of government, and there were many diffi-
culties in the way. The Pennsylvania riots, the Indian
troubles along the frontier, the influence of the French
Revolution, the criticism and distrust, oftentimes, with which
he was regarded by his countrymen, these, and many other
troubles came upon Washington, and with all his courage and
steadfastness, it is reported that he once said in desperation:
"I would rather be in my grave than be President of the
United States." At the close of his administration affairs
were comparatively smooth in the land, but it has remained
for later years to testify of the wise judgment and the firm
hand which guided and ruled our Nation in its infancy, and
placed it upon such a foundation of permanence and strength.
In the year 1797, on the 3d of March, Washington gave
a farewell dinner to his friends, and among the distinguished
guests were the newly-elected President, John Adams, and
his wife. Washington at once went to his home at Mount
Vernon, and for a brief time enjoyed the tranquil pleasures of
a country life in the place he loved so well. His domestic life
was singularly happy, and was a soothing balm for the many
trials endured in his public career. Death came to him quickly,
as he would have chosen, for, with a brief illness of only forty-
eight hours, the glorious spirit sought its new and better home,
after having, "fought a good fight" here on earth and being









GEORGE WASHINGTON.


entitled to the rest and glories of the immortal state. Wash-
ington died at Mount Vernon, December 14, 1799.
A thoughtful and just estimate of the character of George
Washington reveals a man having the right balance of mind,
more valuable as an attribute of successful leadership than
brilliant traits of one kind offsetting defects and lack of
character in one form or another. Washington's faculties and
attributes were evenly developed, and his greatness did not
lie in any one form of achievement. He had a noble purpose,
a confidence in his own judgment, and while he listened to
advice from others, and consulted the accumulated wisdom of
the world, he carried out his own plans in the face of all opposi-
tion, if they seemed to him best for the prosperity of his
beloved nation. Washington had many traits of character
which endeared him to those around him, and make his
memory precious to the American people. He was manly,
and not effeminate; he was true and straight-forward, knowing
no deceit and capable of no subterfuges; he was an angler and
a hunter, a polished writer and a statesman, a genial host, an
agreeable companion, and an affectionate husband and father.
When history writes and shall write her praise of George
Washington, as President and General, she need not shun the
open page that tells of his home life, nor cover it with charity;
but she may picture the rounded, symmetrical man, the well-
balanced mind, and the life, crowded with duties, yet showing
no neglected talents.



















































JOHN ADAMS.

SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.















JOHN ADAMS.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1797-MARCH 4, 180I.


BIRTHPLACE AND ANCESTRY-HIS COURSE AS A STUDENT-TEACHES SCHOOL IN
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -PRACTICES LAW IN BOSTON- CHAMPIONS THE
CAUSE OF LIBERTY MARRIAGE AND DOMESTIC LIFE CONNECTION WITH
INDEPENDENCE -COMMISSIONER TO FRANCE-VICE-PRESIDENT UNDER WASH-
INGTON ELECTED PRESIDENT- HIS ADMINISTRATION RETURN TO QUINCY
PERSONAL WORTH AND CHARACTER.

M ASSACHUSETTS has furnished two Presidents of the
United States, John Adams and John Quincy Adams,
father and son. The old town of Quincy was the birth-
place of both, although when the elder Adams was born, Octo-
ber 30, 1735, the settlement formed a part of Braintree, and so
remained till incorporated under the name of Quincy, in 1792.
John Adams, the second President of this Republic, inherited
something of firmness and strength of character from his father,
a hard-working, God-fearing man, and from his earlier ances-
tors, Henry Adams and John Alden, both prominent among the
Pilgrim founders of Xew England. Brought up with farmers,
and living an out-door life, the boy became impressed with the
idea that he would follow agricultural pursuits, and would not
spend his life among books and in the seclusion of a library.
A few days of hard work on the farm, even in the midst of the
natural beauties which had so attracted himin his hours of idle-
ness, satisfied the lad, and he was quite willing to go to school,









JOHN ADAMS.


where he applied himself diligently to his studies, so that he
entered Harvard College when sixteen years old, graduating
four years later with a record for ability as a student and for
straightforward and manly characteristics. Having received a
good education, all that the father was able to give the young
man, he must now support himself and lean upon his own
resources. He studied law in Worcester, Massachusetts, and
paid his expenses by teaching school. He was admitted to the
bar of Suffolk County in 1758, and began the practice of law in
his native town soon after, showing early in his career ability in
his profession, and acquiring a reputation for his talents as a clear
thinker and able counsel. Devoted to his profession, young
Adams spent some of rare leisure in wooing Miss Abigail
Smith, of Weymouth, whom he married in October, 1764.
This clergyman's daughter possessed the qualities of a noble
womanhood, and was a helpmeet to her husband in every
sense of the word. The name of Abigail Adams is honored
and respected, not only because she was the wife of the illus-
trious President, but by reason of her womanly graces, her
rare force of character, and her intellectual and moral endow-
ments.
Shortly after his marriage he removed to Boston, where
wider fields were opened to him for the exercise of his abilities
as lawyer and citizen. At this period the exactions of England
upon the American colonies became intolerable, and Adams,
who had always maintained his interest in public affairs, came
to the front as a patriot, and, in company with James Otis and
other distinguished men, held councils as to what course their
country should pursue in resisting the arbitrary encroachments
of Great Britain. His first prominent connection with a move-
ment to resist England's hard rule was at a public meeting
held in Braintree to oppose the Stamp Act. Adams, whose
writings had already excited favorable comment for their liter-









JOHN ADAMS.


ary style and clear presentation of subjects discussed, prepared
and offered resolutions condemning the act. These resolu-
tions were unanimously adopted, and were so timely and for-
cible, and so well expressed the popular feeling, that forty
other towns in Massachusetts adopted them without a single
change.
Although Adams was an ardent patriot, he was large-
minded and tolerant; several of his acts at this period show
both his natural force of character and that he did not blindly
follow the popular will. After the Boston Massacre, in 1770,
he acted as one of the counsel to defend Captain Preston, who
ordered the soldiers to fire upon the citizens of Boston, and
Mr. Adams was of course censured by the populace. Although
criticised by many, he was generally popular, as before, and
was sent as representative from the town of Boston to the
Massachusetts Legislature. He held to his bold convictions
and antagonized many of the measures of the Provincial gov-
ernor, Hutchinson, while serving in the legislature, and con-
tinued to write able articles for the press, condemning the
course pursued by the British Government. In 1774 he was
appointed to represent Massachusetts in the Continental Con-
gress at Philadelphia, where he took foremost rank as an able
advocate of liberty, a leader well equipped for his position.
His mind had grasped already the idea of independence, but
the people were not ready for it, and popular feeling was
against those, Adams among the number, supposed to be in
sympathy with the thought. England showed no disposition
to relent; Boston Harbor was filled with armed ships, and the
port was closed; and Adams and a few others felt that no
longer was it a question of redress of grievances: it was time
for independence. In 1775 Mr. Adams successfully used his
influence in Congress to procure the appointment of Washing-
ton as commander-in-chief, and the next year he was called









JOHN ADAMS.


to aid in the framing of the Declaration of Independence.
Although Jefferson drafted the important document, it was
John Adams who supported it in Congress with so much of
eloquence and power. Jefferson wrote of his friend and col-
league: "The great pillar of support to the Declaration of
Independence, and its ablest advocate and champion in Con-
gress was John Adams." How Adams himself regarded the
Declaration and the results sure to follow, is shown by a letter
which he wrote to his wife on the day following its adoption:
"Yesterday, the greatest question was decided that was ever
debated in America; a greater, perhaps, never was or will be
decided among men. A resolution was passed that these
United States are, and ought to be, free and independent
states. The 4th of July, 1776, will be a memorable epoch in
the history of America. I am well aware of the toil and blood
and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and
support and defend these states; yet through all the gloom I
can see that the end is worth more than all the means, and that
posterity will triumph, though you and I may rue, which I
hope we shall not."
In December of 1777, Mr. Adams was appointed commis-
sioner to the court of France in place of Silas Deane, recalled.
In February of '78 he embarked on the frigate Boston, to
undertake as soon as possible the duties imposed. The voy-
age was made in rough and stormy weather, and was an event-
ful and perilous trip. Several British ships were sighted, and
the Boston gave chase to and captured one, which proved
to be a privateer, the Martha, carrying fourteen guns.. It
is said that Mr. Adams took part in this engagement, carry-
ing a musket, and doing excellent service, till he was forcibly
removed from danger by his friends. Although Mr. Adams
was respected in France, he showed little talent for diplomacy,
and his dignity, his stiff manners, and unflinching honesty









JOHN ADAMS.


were not offset by the tact of a skillful embassador. Franklin
had already concluded a treaty of alliance with France, and
by his gracious bearing had made himself popular in the
country where so much attention was paid to the politeness
and the minor courtesies of social life. In 1779 Adams
returned to his native land, and found congenial occupation in
helping frame the new state constitution of Massachusetts.
While he was engaged in this work he was appointed minister
to Great Britain for the purpose of negotiating a treaty of
peace and commerce. He reached Paris in 1780, and finding
much to annoy him in the motives which caused France to
enter into the American alliance, and, feeling himself alienated
from the views held by Franklin, Adams decided to go to
Holland, where he worked successfully to establish an alliance
of amity and commerce. Holland recognized the United States
as a free and independent nation, and Adams, as its acknowl-
edged minister, was welcomed in the diplomatic bodies of The
Hague. He also succeeded in obtaining large sums of money
as loans for his country from the bankers of Amsterdam.
Returning to Paris, he was associated with Franklin, Jay, and
Laurens in a commission to conclude treaties with the several
countries of Europe; and under their direction, Adams ren-
dering important aid, the treaty of peace with Great Britain
was signed September 3, 1783, the provisional treaty having
been agreed to November 30, 1782. The services which
Adams rendered for his country during the war of the Revolu-
tion were no less important in the light of history than those
of Washington, though they were of a different character. Of
this Washington of negotiation," one of his biographers says:
"As we ascend the mount of history, and rise above the vapors
of party prejudice, we shall all acknowledge that we owe our
independence more to John Adams than to any other created
being, and that he was the great leader of the American
Revolution."









JOHN ADAMS.


Peace having been proclaimed, Mr. Adams was appointed
minister to Great Britain to represent the Republic of the
United States, an office justly held to demand the utmost
ability and discretion. At that time, 1785, he was living in
Paris, but at once crossed the channel to assume the arduous
and delicate responsibilities imposed. He met with a court-
eous reception from the king, but felt himself hampered in
thought and action, and soon asked leave to return to his own
country, coming back in 1788, and receiving from Congress
recognition and thanks for his services. He then repaired to
his home, applying himself to professional and literary pursuits,
and sought to encourage art, science, and letters. In that same
year he was given honorable preferment by being chosen Vice-
President. and in that office he was closely associated with
Washington during the eight years of his administration. At
its close, after a hotly-contested election, Adams was chosen
President, and inaugurated at Philadelphia, March 4, 1797.
The administration of John Adams is more justly estimated
in the light of history with the progress of years, and a proper
value is placed upon the man, his strict integrity of purpose
and life. He was never very popular among his contempo-
raries, though many of them realized his worth and patriotism.
He did not know how to conciliate his party or personal op-
ponents, and the four years of his administration were years
of struggle and trial. The French Revolution caused strife
among the American patriots, and they became alienated from
each other because of their intense partisanship with either
France or England. Some of Mr. Adams' measures were suc-
cessful, however, and he maintained the dignity of his country
among the foreign powers. He served only four years, being
defeated at the election in 1801, when Jefferson was chosen
President, being more popular than Adams on account of his
more tolerant and sympathetic views. Mr. Adams retired to









JOHN ADAMS.


his home in Quincy, and lived there till the time of his death.
He maintained, throughout his long life, the full possession of
his mental faculties, and enjoyed reviewing his triumphs and
living them over again in the successes of his son, John Quincy
Adams. In 1818 the noble wife who had shared the sorrows
and joys of her husband for over half a century passed away,
and the eight years longer which Mr. Adams spent on the
earth were tinged with a sadness never quite overcome. On
the 4th of July, 1826, his mortal career was ended, and that
same day is made memorable by the death of Thomas Jeffer-
son, his friend and fellow-worker for the principles of inde-
pendence.
The outward attractions of gracious manners and magnetic
personality, John Adams never possessed. The sterling qual-
ities of his inner self rang true in every instance, however, and
the "Duke of Braintree," as he was frequently termed, was a
man to rule, and, by force of his powerful intellect and his judi-
cial mind, to sway the destinies of a nation. He was something
of a scholar, and a writer of considerable skill and elegance of
expression. His family-were very dear to his heart, and his
friends, once gained, enjoyed his confidence and esteem ever
after. Many there are who can be courteous and genial; few
who can possess the enduring virtues which made John Adams
capable of doing so much for his country, and his own deeply-
imbued principles of right and justice. History dismisses with
a single word, and oblivion hides the man whose claim for
attention is a gracious manner, while true merit is always
acknowledged, if but slowly, and wins an ever-deepening
regard from a world that, in spite of all its follies and errors,
respects virtue and truth wherever found. So the generations
of the American people reverence the name of John Adams, an
honest gentleman, and a clear thinker; an able writer, and a
conscientious President of the United States.



















































THOMAS JEFFERSON.

THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














THOMAS JEFFERSON.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, I8oI--MARCH 4, 1809.


BOYHOOD X CULTURED HOME -HELPFUL INFLUENCES AND SURROUNDINGS AN
ARDENT STUDENT A SUCCESSFUL ADVOCATE--RESIDENCE AT MONTI-
CELLO --MARRIAGE- MEMBER OF THE GENERAL CONGRESS --AUTHOR
OF DECLARATION OF 'INDEPENDENCE-- GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA--SECRE-
T&RY OF STATE VICE-PRESIDENT PRESIDENT FOR EIGHT YEARS--
CLOSING SCENES-RECORD FOR ABILITY AND SERVICE.
T HE thoughts of manhood always return in fond remem-
brance to-childhood's home and surroundings, and it is
a cause for congratulation when such memories bring to
mind the outward beauties of natural scenery and the tender
recollections of a happy family gathered under the sheltering
roof-tree. So the lad, Thomas Jefferson, born April 2, 1743,
in Shadw'ell, Albemarle County, Virginia, must have been
influenced by the attractive scenes which met his view, the far-
reaching undulations of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the encir-
cling forests and the peaceful valleys and slopes of a well-
cared-for and prosperous farming district. The home was a
cultured one for those times, the husband and father, Peter
Jefferson, possessing some wealth and considerable education;
quite a prominent man in the hamlet where he lived, and be-
lieving in the helps of acquired knowledge for his children.
Thus the boy Thomas Jefferson was encouraged in his stu-
dious tendencies, had a private tutor for Greek and Latin,
and was well-prepared to enter an advanced class in William
and Mary College in 1760, graduating from that institution in
3









THOMAS JEFFERSON.


1762, when but nineteen years of age. The quiet youth pur-
sued his studies in an earnest love for the acquirement of
knowledge, and had a rare faculty for the languages, an almost
equal ability for science and mathematics, so that his mind was
well-balanced and equipped for mature efforts. Having many
advantages of position, and the wealth to make his college life
a gay one, Jefferson was a student from the love of learning,
and his simple, regular habits, his upright principles, his court-
eous manners, early developed, characterized him throughout
his entire life.
When Jefferson decided to enter the legal profession he
began the study of law with Mr. George Wythe, then holding
foremost rank among the lawyers of Virginia. Jefferson was
admitted to practice in 1767, and won immediate success at the
bar. Although possessing a weak voice and an unimpressive
manner, which kept him from being an effective and eloquent
speaker, he had the quick perceptions, the power of applica-
tion, the learning, which made him a skillful and successful
advocate, as he soon came to be regarded among the profession
and elsewhere. He acquired some means in the practice of
law, thus adding to the considerable property which had been
left him by his father, who died in 1757. Thus he prospered,
until the plantation of 1,900 acres, which came to him by in-
heritance, was increased in 1774 to 5,000 acres, owned with-
out incumbrance.
Jefferson's public life may be said to have begun with his
election to the House of Burgesses in 1768, an office which he
continued to fill by repeated elections until the Provincial
Legislature was closed by the Revolution. Before his election
to the House of Burgesses, he had been aroused by the op-
pressions of the British government in dealing with the Amer-
ican colonies, and was ready to aid in a resistance of the
mother country to the utmost of his ability. When a law stu-









THOMAS JEFFERSON.


dent, in 1765, he had listened to Patrick Henry's celebrated
speech against the Stamp Act, in the Virginia House of Dele-
gates, and from that time he was committed heart and soul to
the cause of American independence and linked to the band
of patriots in Virginia and Massachusetts, working so enthusi-
astically for their country's rights. His first decisive action
of a public nature was taken in 1769, when the governor dis-
solved the Virginia Legislature five days after its organiza-
tion, and the members, Jefferson among them, meeting in a
hall, signed their names to a.document, agreeing to stand to-
gether and co-operate with Massachusetts in her resistance of
the Stamp Act.
During the next two or three years Jefferson was busily
occupied in preparing a residence at Monticello, a beautifully
situated home, afterwards a historic place, whose walls ever
held a reputation for the graceful and abundant hospitalities
of its owner. On the first day of the year, 1772, Mr. Jeffer-
son married Mrs. Martha Skelton, a beautiful, highly-accom-
plished, and wealthy widow of Williamsburg, Virginia.
The events that gave rise to the American Revolution fol-
lowed each other in quick succession. Great Britain contin-
ued her harsh measures in dealing with the colonies, and so
encouraged the growing feeling of resistance in the hearts of
the people. The patriotic leaders in the new world, Jefferson
among the number, at first thought to avoid an actual conflict
of arms with England, but when it was seen that war was
inevitable, these men were soon convinced that the colonies
must make a bold push for freedom. As early as 1774 Jeffer-
son was in correspondence with able patriots, advocating the
making of a common cause by the colonies in vigorously resist-
ing the pretensions of the British Crown. At this time and
shortly after, when the crisis was still impending, he wrote and









THOMAS JEFFERSON.


published several notable articles bearing upon the condition
of affairs in his country.
Under the intensified feeling aroused by the passage of the
Boston Port Bill and the harsh enforcement of its provisions,
a convention was called in Virginia to consider and act upon
the alarming situation. Jefferson, who was a member of this
body, gave intelligent advice which was regarded in almost
every action that was taken. He was soon after elected to the
General Congress then sitting at Philadelphia, taking his seat
in June, 1775, eight days after Colonel George Washington
had been chosen Commander-in-Chief of the American armies.
Jefferson soon identified himself with the measures and
movements in that Congress, which culminated in the Decla-
ration of Independence. As the coercive action of England
increased, the delegates in Congress, together with their con-
stituents generally, felt more in favor of independence. After
the battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775, the common feeling
became manifest that there was only one course to pursue -
the Colonies must strike for complete freedom and seek to
establish a nation. Congress had already passed a resolution
declaring "that these United Colonies are, and of right ought
to be, free and independent States," and soon a committee was
appointed to draft a resolution in accordance therewith. This
committee was composed of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams,
Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Living-
ston. Jefferson wrote the declaration, though a few of its
sentences were suggested by other members of the committee.
It was adopted July 4, 1776, and received throughout the
country with great rejoicing.
Jefferson participated in efforts to reorganize the Govern-
ment of the Confederation, and prosecute the war of independ-
ence to a successful issue. He was an important factor on
the American side in the long, hard contest. At the darkest









THOMAS JEFFERSON. 29

period he was elected governor of Virginia, succeeding Pat-
rick Henry. Soon after Virginia suffered greatly from the
English troops that, with General Tarleton in command, were
seeking to capture Governor Jefferson, at Monticello. He es-
caped, but his' estates at Elk Hill were seized by the enemy
and left a waste. The conduct of Jefferson, as governor, was
criticised in many respects, but it has been shown that he tried
to act in harmony with Washington's policy; and on his re-
tirement, the thanks of the Assembly were voted him in ac-
knowledgment of his services while holding the gubernatorial
office.
In 1782, he was appointed member of a commission to ne-
gotiate a treaty with Great Britain, but the negotiations ad-
vanced so rapidly that he was not called to go abroad; he
reported in Congress the next year the treaty, which was
shortly afterwards ratified. During the year 1784 he visited
several of the capitals of Europe, and was associated with
Adams and Franklin in attempting negotiations, efforts which
were not at the time completely successful. In March, 1785,
he succeeded Dr. Franklin at the Court of France, retaining
the position till 1789, when he returned to the United States,
4 entering, the year following, upon the duties of Secretary of
State in Washington's Cabinet, a position which he held till
December 31, 1793. At that time he resigned the office and
retired to private life at Monticello. While Secretary he an-
tagonized many of .the measures approved by the President,
especially those originated by Mr. Hamilton, Secretary of the
Treasury, between whom and himself there were great differ-
ences of opinion on political matters. Mr. Jefferson led the
opposition to the Federal Administration, and helped form the
party called Republican by its friends, and Democratic by its
enemies. In 1796, he was candidate for the presidency
against John Adams; the latter was elected, and Jefferson


AIwp









THOMAS JEFFERSON.


was inaugurated as Vice-President, March 4, 1797. In 1800,
Jefferson was again nominated for the presidency and, after a
hotly-contested campaign, was successful; he was inaugurated
at Washington as third President of the United States, March
4, 1801. He was re-elected to a second term, serving eight
years in all, and conducting an administration marked by sig-
nal events, and by increasing prosperity and progress through-
out the country.
Among the important events which illumine the adminis-
tration of Jefferson are the closing of the African slave-trade,
the extermination of the Algerine pirates, the exploration and
development of the Western territories, and especially the pur-
chase of Louisiana. President Jefferson was greatly criticised
by his contemporaries for his course in buying this vast tract
of land, including a region of nearly nine hundred thousand
square miles, extending westward from the Mississippi to the
Rocky Mountains and northward from Mexico to British
America. The President mayhave exceeded his constitutional
authority in securing this immense territory for the United
States, but he showed a wise and far-seeing statesmanship in
this transaction, for which he assumed the responsibility, and
which now stands as the crowning achievement of his admin-
istration.
President Jefferson, although urged by his party and many
friends to be again a candidate for re-election, refused the
honor, and on March 4, 1809, after a continuous public service
of more than forty years, laid aside the duties of President,
and retired to his home at Monticello. He lived there for
more than seventeen years as a private citizen, yet regarded
as one of the most illustrious personages in the Republic.
His advice was frequently sought and followed in political and
other matters. Thus his usefulness to the Nation and the com-
munity continued through these declining years of his life.









THOMAS JEFFERSON.


Although President Jefferson had suffered many reverses of
fortune during his public career, losing most of his property
and coming in these later years to comparative poverty, having
experienced family sorrows in the loss of wife and daughter,
and failing in many of his cherished plans and undertakings,
his noble character sustained and gave him courage, so that
he was cheerful and brave-hearted to the end of life.
'The illness of Mr. Jefferson was a brief one. He died at
Monticello, July 4, 1826, his life-long friend, although some-
times his political opponent and rival, John Adams, dying on
the same day. This date is memorable as the fiftieth anni-
versary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence,
in the framing of which Jefferson and Adams were both inter-
estbd, Jefferson drafting the famous document and doing so
much for its support. In estimating the character of Jeffer-
soi it may be truly said that a love of freedom and toleration
sark deep into his nature, and to promote the cause of liberty
he was willing to work with brain and hand, to endure opposi-
tion and hardships, to hold office, or, at the call of duty, relin-
quish honors, that his country might win in the struggle for
truth and the right. A nation lives in such heroic souls as
these, and, as his more enlightened countrymen of to-day pay
their tributes to the hero and patriot, they think with wonder
of Jefferson's abilities as student and statesman; as philan-
thropist, when the humanities' were not encouraged as now;
as founder of a university at Charlottesburg, Virginia, when
education was by no means the ruling power it is to-day, and
realize the security and strength of the Republic as it em-
bodies the life-principles of such men as these, such pillars of
mighty thoughts and giant deeds.




















































JAMES MADISON.

FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.















JAMES MADISON.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1809-MARCH 4, 1817.


BOYHOOD AND STUDIOUS HABITS- COLLEGE LIFE EARLY PUBLIC SERVICES -
"FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION"- MARRIAGE AND LIFE AT MONTPELIER
SECRETARY OF STATE--PRESIDENT DURING THE WAR OF 1812 SEC-
OND TERM -TREATY OF PEACE- QUIET LIFE IN HIS VIRGINIAN HOME -
TRANQUILITY AND USEFULNESS OF LATER YEARS- HIS DEATH TRIBUTES
TO HIS CAREER AND GREATNESS.

ACH human life, however much of individuality it may
possess, owes something in the shaping of its thought
and action to outward influences of condition or sur-
roundings. What men call inherent beliefs are but the
consequences of early training, of custom, or of circumstance,
such important factors in the development and upbuilding of
character. Born in Virginia, March 16, 1751, at a time when
the State was filled with patriotic ardor, James Madison, the
fourth President of the United States, was early influenced by
the atmosphere of culture and intelligent thought which sur-
rounded him. Although his parents lived in Orange County,
at Montpelier, his birthplace was in King George County,
where, at the time of his birth, his mother was paying a visit
to some of her relations. His father, a man of wealth and
distinction, owned a large estate in the region of the Blue
Ridge Mountains, and was a neighbor as persons living within
a radius of fifty miles were neighbors in those days- of
Thomas Jefferson, then residing at Monticello, twenty-five









JAMES MADISON.


miles away. Although the lad was a iil'n!lll of a family con-
sistiln.g of seven ,hilil.iei, he was never \ver fond of boyish
sports or out-door play, but pi-rei'lrrt study and his books to
al.I!ii-n, elise, and under thel direction of a private tutor,
applied. himself dilig i.itlyt tohe ;i.quisiti',n of kniiwledge,
l:.'oi ,nl, ing proficient in the ancient and some of the modern
l:-!ii:ng.'s. DPurin', his .,llegh life at Princeton he applied
lim-elft so closely to his books that his health suffered in con-
Ir:i.le ,. and the effects of this .vIr-indulglnce in the way of
study continued tlirougli.hiut his whole lit'-, for, il.l!'-nugh never
a feeble tiian, his naturally -tring- eon-rinltiui suffered a seri-
ous and nildirin' loss ot it 'ar. He graduated 1f'rom Priice-
ton in 1771, and after a v-,i i more of siutid under the able Dr.
With'.-p'ol 11.. prlc-llnt1 of ihe ,lleit. he retr-ned to Tir-
ginia and bI- g.;a' the tuiidy of law, cml-.ini.h ni it with research
and re';ilinu in the lines of phil'.onphy and hlit.--r. His
r!'-liliu-.d boiin-, his tiltii'urel minil. his 'igli. :i 1 manners, his
i'r~'inl-s and a;ss,.-it!- all these were T e;i h-ie-Ce ealii.r: him
into the paths of a pli. service ad (.,-,u".. il' to his :,fttr
character as statesman -and able d -tti. :, 1-y word ;nm pen, o- f
the 1i n'iple-,- he advocated t iti such abi iry .,d power.
P.-ihig *i[>idly over this p"rk4;"l of the yx: n.hun-'.Ws career,
a time whenhe was e -archiai-'into ,il--,og- and tii.:,-L, and
"'graIsping the truths ever atV'." rt'ily 1 hL a time w .- -, he
was associated wi li .Tei'T .f. in '.r..-'.."- the claims of the
Chl.i-h of Et .'1;n l, in .lt-ean.i."" and tri-i. to eqAtuiI.L'.h
r'Plii.'_".- 1"red...' in mV irii-I.theyear 177.V ii;.rks in-d, :fak]ar-
anee in pl,.iti.l affairs. H. was Rhs-t at tlh.iT time 1l.-..-
to the convention iivhi .it- was i 1-, *i,- t -..in.tUI--r' for the
ST. Alt 'f V 1n'I:. I is :'10i'ry an'i le'arni were T .,- ,'-Z,:
thus :inrly in 1i- career; his a:d:n-.. as s~.ni'I" in the < 'rl.-i
of Siatc where he -,v-d as a n: .- uner PTX.inq,.k ih.m y
an i Tib ,ma- Jj, r'! ,-!, the ifi s :i-d second governors *"t XTjr-









JAMES MADISON.


ginia, made him a valued supporter of these ardent patriots.
Sitting at the feet of the illustrious leaders who appreciated
the worth of the young man, Madison doubtless gained much
that was to help him in later years, and probably, this recogni-
tion from men of admitted character and standing, assisted
him to more quickly attain a well-deserved position of honor
and dignity. In the year 1780 Madison became a member of
the Continental Ci'ni.'-re,. S 'rving three years with conspicu-
ous ability, during the period which included the l'..;ing events
of the Re.volution, the nI-t'linig difficulties in the government
crlling for a wise guidance of the new Republic.
As a delegate to the Convention of St ii. which adopted
the Con-tit Ation, Se-ptiul -ier 17, 1787, Madi.-r i liI.i1 most
earnestly in ielairte and had more to do with ,I,'biliih- the
form in which the provisions of the Constittiion finally took
shape than any other man. Hi. work was not ended with its
atolitii-n, however; the I:I ppl must :~csj-pir and the states
r tif- it. So Madison rendered important service in its behalf,
arguing its claims, xApi:in, -its -B tt.r,. di-;blln;-i, the obj' ,-
t'H-Ls aring in the public mindj, finlmly, in 17, uniting wili
Hamilton and Jay, in wri- in articles, ':-l'..r4all-id ti .-iJ as now,
djise.iiaiii and deJilbnii, the merits of the Ct,,n-.ittirtot.
These arrii-ie.- in collected forii were known by the name of
Thel, Frdsra W., while by these writings and his other 4fl;ir-
in this dre-c.ion. Madison r.-An:ed ifhi W-l-'lese,#r-d title of
Father of the C.r',i:it ri.'.i.. Temporarily this earnest :,..1,-
e:-. alienated him from tY- support of the :,.. Vrlty of the
people in his Statt-e and he was re-.a- a aa aL..:.iilra- for the
United S.tatsi. .S- .:-iat.-, ,i,. was -]c.:i''.l. from the District in
whic-h he resided, a :pYr.e-dnt.atIe to the lower takw, tak-
ing hi.- seat in the y:-Jr 1'7.59 and rdn'-ring important aid in
organizing the new government. As a rule he did not fi ,or
the measures of W.h;_n,'i'.fl., :adelii-tiralin. but sided with









JAMES MADISON.


the opposition, becoming their acknowledged leader in the
House of Representatives.
Having met with a disappointment in his affections during
his early life, it was not until he was forty-three years old that
Mr. Madison again lost his heart, this time to the charming Mrs.
Dolly Paine Todd, a young widow who had been the reigning
belle of New York and Philadelphia. His suit was success-
ful, and theywere married in the year 1794. Mrs. Madison was,
in beauty of person and character, well fitted for the dignity
and honors of her position. She was charming in her home
life, sought after as a shining light in society, was a brilliant
conversationalist, contributing not only to her husband's do-
mestic happiness, but to the eminence and popularity of his
public career.
When Madison's term in Congress expired, in 1797, he
returned to his home at Montpelier, to private life, in spite of
the entreaties of his friends who urged him to be a candidate
for the presidency. During the administration of Mr. Adams
the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed and aroused dis-
sensions throughout the country, causing the Republicans and
Federalists to be more bitterly antagonistic than before.
Through the influence of, Jefferson, Madison became actively
interested in the opposition of these acts, drawing up res-
olutions which were carried in the Virginia Legislature, and
his masterly writings during this period in favor of "strict
construction," served as a text-book for his party, while some
thirty years after they were used by Calhoun and others in
advocating the principles of nullification, although Madison,
much annoyed by such perversion, had repeatedly repudiated
the idea that his arguments could be used in supporting a doc-
trine, so opposed to his belief and judgment.
In the year 1801 Jefferson was elected President and soon
appointed his friend Madison as Secretary of State, a position









JAMES MADISON. 37

which he held during the eight years of Jefferson's adminis-
tration. Madison was eminently fitted to fill this honorable
position which called for intellectual ability, the cool and fair
decisions of an able diplomat. The correspondence of Madi-
son as Secretary of State, shows his polished style as a writer,
together with his abilities as statesman and scholar. It was
after this preparation that Mr. Madison was elected as Presi-
dent and inaugurated into his high office March 4, 1809. He
followed for a time the peaceful policy of his predecessor,
Thomas Jefferson, but soon became aroused by the action of
Great Britain in her impressment of American sailors, so that
in 1812 he signified his approval of the action of Congress in
declaring war against the mother country.
In 1813 Mr. Madison was re-elected to his second term, and
showed wise administrative abilities in the conduct of affairs,
though he had not the bold, aggressive powers of leadership
necessary to the carrying out of his own wise theories and
plans. He did the best of which he was capable, but the qual-
ities wherein he excelled, the impartial judgment, the calm
reason, the dislike he had to forcing his opinions upon others,
were not the attributes to make the greatest President in time
of war, though they did contribute to the renown which he
achieved as a statesman and constitutional authority. During
the war, lasting nearly three years, the town of Washington
was captured by the English, the public buildings destroyed,
the President narrowly escaping capture by the British troops.
None rejoiced more than Madison at the Treaty of Peace,
signed at Ghent, December 24, 1814, which ended the war of
1812, made memorable by the victories won by the American
navy, offsetting the numerous losses and defeats on land.
The later years of Madison's administration were tranquil and
pleasant ones; the country increased in prosperity, its popula-
tion grew rapidly, its revenues were larger, and more than









JAMES MADISON.


twenty-two thousand immigrants arrived in 1817, an enormous
number for those early days.
Throughout the administration of Madison, the labors and
influence of his cultivated wife played no small part. As a
recent writer says: She had the great gift of healthy beauty,
arid much clear common sense as well as quick wit; but her
crowning talent was her charm of manners. She had what
the French term courtoisie de coeur, as well as the courtesy of
form also." Speaking of Mrs. Madison at her receptions in
the White House, the same writer adds: She always moved
about the rooms as a lady would in her own house, and in her
own bright, natural way said something to every one, especially
to those shy and nervous people, which made them glow with
the pleased feeling that they were welcome and made to be
part of her reception."
At the close of his second term, 1817, Mr. Madison retired
to his home at Montpelier, Virginia, spending his closing years
quietly and happily, interested in agricultural pursuits, con-
sulted as an authority upon political affairs, entertaining his
friends and neighbors and maintaining his interest in study
and education. He was once again called to act in the public
service by becoming a member of the State Convention of Vir-
ginia, which met to revise its constitution in 1829.' He also
delivered several addresses and speeches in these later years,
maintaining his reputation as a gifted writer, a logical thinker,
to the close of life. His death took place June 28, 1836,
when he had reached the age of eighty-five years.
The quiet, studious boy in the home at Montpelier, the
courteous, gentle youth at college, the learned counsel and
impartial statesman, the, dignified Secretary of State, the firm
yet peaceful President of the Republic, the dearly-loved hus-
band and friend.in the quiet of his declining years, these are
the pictures which the life of James Madison most vividly









JAMES MADISON.


presents. The hints of character shown in boyhood devel-
oped through middle life and age into a harmonious, rounded-
out existence, marked by no bursts of genius, no wonderful
ideas or startling actions. America has reason to be proud of
producing a man so scholarly and tolerant, so conciliatory and
judicial, so courteous a gentleman, although he had never vis-
ited the old world or hardly traveled beyond the borders of
Virginia. He was criticised, perhaps justly, for his timidity,
and certainly he had not the qualities of a bold leader in poli-
tical opposition, yet his quiet, analytical arguments, above
all, his own calmness of judgment, often convinced men and
helped his cause as much as more aggressive movements might
have done.
Madison's married life was very happy: he was a husband,
she a wife, whose examples make domestic felicity the sublime
state here on earth, and teach humanity what a true marriage
may mean. The dutiful son, caring so tenderly for his mother
throughout her long life, could not fail to be otherwise, and
the respect for old age which ever characterized Madison was
a striking attribute of his noble nature. As a writer he was
wonderfully gifted; his literary style is excellent; his language
and form of expression models in their special lines of compo-
sition. These documents which he carefully prepared are val-
uable studies for the statesman and political leaders of to-day,
not only for their literary merits, but also for the products of
intellect and learning which they embody. The great talents
of Madison, his distinguished position, his long and honored
life have given him a place forever in the pages of history;
his manly attributes, his sterling virtues, his gracious disposi-
tion, his pure, unsullied character have given him a higher
rank in the hearts of the American people.



















































JAMES MONROE.

FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














JAMES MONROE.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1817-MARCH 4, 1825.


DISTINGUISHED ANCESTRY- STUDENT AND SOLDIER COMMISSIONED AS COLONEL
-IN LEGISLATURE AND COUNCIL DIPLOMATIC CAREER GOVERNOR OF VIR-
GINIA EMINENT POSITIONS AS SECRETARY OF WAR AND STATE FIFTH
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC -" MONROE DOCTRINE" --THE STORY OF
HIS OLD AGE -A TRIBUTE TO HIS NOBLE CHARACTER.

THE most democratic of men must derive a certain amount
of pleasure in tracing his ancestry to the distinguished
leaders of a past age, to the honest, courageous souls,
sometimes of noble name, always of noble nature, who played
important parts in shaping the destinies of nations or commu-
nities. Certainly it must be admitted that biographers are
prone 'to touch upon the family distinctions of their subject,
while readers are always delighted to think of their hero as
descended from a notable and historic line of ancestors.
Although it is true that great men have sprung from very lowly
beginnings, from obscure families of almost unknown origin,
it is equally a fact that, even in democratic America, the his-
tory of some of her ablest leaders brings them into view as
only sharing in the triumphs and distinguished careers of a
race born to influence men and affairs. Thus it is that James
Monroe, the fifth President of these United States, belonged
to an honorable and somewhat influential family, one of his
ancestors, Hector Monroe, being prominent among the Scottish
cavaliers of the seventeenth century, an officer ardently devoted









JAMES MONROE.


to the fortunes of that ill-fated monarch, Charles I. The
descendants of this Scottish cavalier were prominent among
the early settlers of the New World, and the Monroe family,
living in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where James was
born April 28, 1758, were prosperous and well-known people.
It is of interest to note the fact that four of the early Presi-
dents of our Republic, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and
Monroe, were born and reared in the same region, lying in the
vicinity of the Blue Ridge Mountains; were doubtless affected
by the same influences, imbibed the common principles of
'patriotic zeal, and shared in a like service for their country's
prosperity.
James, the subject of this sketch, was a bright, intelligent
boy, a thoughtful student, yet not so devoted to his books
as to neglect the sports of boyhood or the enjoyments of
out-door life. After an excellent preparation in a classical
school, he entered William and Mary College when he was
sixteen years of age, having already learned to appreciate
the value of the best possible education, as a foundation
for life-work in any direction. This was an eventful time
in the history of the country. The air was filled with !rumors
of impending war and it was with difficulty that young
Monroe could properly attend to his work as a college student.
At length his patriotic ardor so impelled him to take active
service in defense of his country that he left college in 1776,
at once going to General Washington's headquarters in New
York, there taking his place as a volunteer in the ranks of the
American army.
Monroe, after following the army in its retreat through
New Jersey, taking part in several engagements, was wounded
at the battle of Trenton, where he so distinguished himself
that he was promoted, receiving a commission as captain. He
accepted, a little later, a position on the staff of General Arm-









JAMES MONROE. 43
strong, doing creditable service in the battles of Brandywine,
Germantown, and Monmouth. He was regarded with favor
by General Washington, who gave him a conunission as colo-
nel, together with the authority to raise and equip a regiment
of Virginia volunteers. This undertaking was for many
reasons, none of them reflecting upon his ability or patriotism,
however, unsuccessful, so that Colonel Monroe decided to
carry out his early plan of entering the legal profession, thus
ending his military career, although he volunteered, at a later
period, in defense of Virginia, and stood always ready to
engage in the scenes of battle, whenever his services should
be required. He studied law in the office of Mr. Jefferson,
then governor of Virginia, who probably did much towards
forming the character of the young man, as well as directing
his professional studies.
It was but a short time after Monroe began the practice of
law that he was called into public life, to take part in the leg-
islative councils of his country. He assumed the responsibil-
ities and duties of a member of the Virginia Legislature in the
year 1782, and was a little later chosen by that body as a mem-
ber of the executive council. He was called to represent Vir-
ginia in the Continental Congress of 1783, taking his seat as a
member of that body, in time to be a witness of the memorable
scene at Annapolis, Maryland, when General Washington
resigned his commission to that authority which he always rec-
ognized as a supreme power. In the debates of Congress,
Colonel Monroe took part with ability and judgment, soon
gaining a position of prominence and, young as he was, exert-
ing a very considerable influence. Under a law then in force,
he was ineligible for re-election, and retired from the legisla-
ture at the expiration of his term of service, in the year 1786.
It was during the closing year of his membership in Congress
that Monroe met Miss Kortright, whom he married, after a









JAMES MONROE.


comparatively brief courtship, and with whom he lived hap-
pily throughout the half-century of their earthly existence.
While serving in Congress, Mr. Monroe became impressed
with the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation as a form
of rule for the government of the new Republic. He deemed
these articles unsuitable to the prevailing modes of thought
and life among the American people, so he favored the forma-
tion of a new constitution which should augment the dignity
and power of the central government. When, however, the
constitution, framed in 1787, was offered for the public adop-
tion, Monroe opposed its ratification, in the convention of Vir-
ginia, where he was a member, because he believed that it
would grant too much power to the government, and for other
reasons was not what the people required. In following out
this course of action, based upon his best judgment, he antag-
onized the views of Mr. Madison, who had earnestly argued
in behalf of the new constitution, and of many others among
his associates and friends. The Virginia convention finally
adopted the constitution as presented, Mr. Monroe finding
himself in the minority. His opinions upon this matter did
not seem to affect his popularity among his constituents, for,
in 1789, he was elected a United States Senator by the Vir-
ginia Legislature. He actively opposed many of the lead-
ing features of Washington's administration, but that great-
minded and tolerant President saw only the integrity and
honest purpose of Monroe, and retained him in his confidence
and friendship, notwithstanding these important differences of
opinion. This is shown by Washington's act in appointing
Monroe as Minister to France in 1794, in the place of Gover-
neur Morris, recalled in accordance with the request of the
French Government. Monroe, who belonged to the party
sympathizing, to a large degree, with the rulers and people of
France, was welcomed in that country with great rejoicings









JAMES MONROE.


and enthusiasm. His course at Paris, however, was not in
conformity with President Washington's ideas as to the strict
neutrality which his administration ought to maintain, as
between France and England, and in 1796 Mr. Monroe was
recalled. In the year 1799, he became governor of Virginia
and was twice re-elected to that office. Soon after Jefferson's
accession to the presidency, he was again sent abroad in a
diplomatic capacity as Envoy Extraordinary to France, there
aiding Mr. Livingston, minister to that country, in his negoti-
ations for the purchase of New Orleans and contiguous ter-
ritory. Having concluded this special business, he pro-
ceeded to England, acting under a commission as minister to
that country in place of Rufus King. At this time, also, his
services as diplomat were called into requisition to aid in set-
tling a controversy with Spain. This attempt was unsuccess-
ful, as was also the chief purpose he had in view in his rela-
tions with England, namely, that of negotiating a treaty with
Great Britain, which should be more favorable to the interests
of the United States.
Mr. Monroe, who refused to antagonize Madison as a can-
didate for the presidency, was again elected governor of Vir-
ginia, in 1811, but hardly had he entered upon the duties of
that office before he was invited to take the place of Secretary
of State, that office having been made vacant by the retirement
of Robert Smith. Mr. Monroe accepted the appointment and
held the office during the remainder of Mr. Madison's admin-
istration. As Secretary of State he took a bold, decided stand
against the encroachments of England, and advocated a policy
which resulted in an open rupture with that country in 1812.
After the capture of the capital, Mr. Monroe assumed the
duties of the war department, in addition to those devolving
upon him as Secretary of State, evincing much energy and
ability in obtaining supplies and applying measures requisite








JAMES MONROE.


for a vigorous prosecution of the war. His patriotism was
specially shown by pledging his private credit, as subsidiary to
that of the government, to provide the needful outfit and
equipment for the army defending New Orleans. By this act
New Orleans was successfully defended, the British army
defeated, and an honorable peace was soon brought about.
Mr. Monroe was elected President in 1816, and re-elected
almost unanimously four years later. His administration of
the government was marked by a liberal and progressive
spirit, and was generally satisfactory. Although a disciple of
Jefferson and elected by the Democratic party, he yet chose a
course of public action which commended him to the Federal-
ists, while it did not take from him the support of his own
party. At that time, however, party lines were well nigh
obliterated, old issues had lost their bitterness, and new lines
of difference had not yet been marked out. It was indeed an
" era of good feeling" when the President found it compara-
tively easy to bring into his Cabinet prominent men represent-
ing both parties, and to pursue a course of administrative
action approved by a large majority of the American people.
At first he was too strict in his construction of the Constitu-
tion, as defining the powers of the general government, to
favor a system of internal improvements, but finallyhe yielded
his own scruples in this respect in order to advance the nation's
welfare. His administration was distinguished by the acquisi-
tion of Florida, obtained from Spain, in 1819, by the payment
of $5,000,000, the admission of five new states, the avowal
and insistence of a policy relating to foreign nations, since
known as the "Monroe Doctrine," under which no European
interference on this continent was to be allowed, and the pas-
sage of the "Missouri Compromise," after a prolonged struggle
over the admission of Missouri, during which the "era of good
feeling" was disturbed by the growing hostility manifested









JAMES MONROE.


between the Slave States and the Free States, and the strife
of each section to obtain increase of power. Notwithstand-
ing the feeling thus awakened, the country greatly prospered
during the eight years of President Monroe's administration,
marked by many evidences of his wise, patriotic, and states-
manlike career. After leaving the presidential office, he took
up his residence at Oak Hill, Loudoun County, Virginia, where
he passed the remainder of his years in an honorable retire-
ment. His death occurred July 4, 1831, at the residence of
his son-in-law, Samuel L. Goveneur, of New York, with whom
he was temporarily residing as guest and visitor.
The men who founded this Republic were influenced in
thought, were roused to action, by the self-same principle of
patriotic devotion, impelling them to active service in behalf
of their native land. With this one motive as a basis for the
formation of character each of these early leaders worked out
his own personality, exercising his various talents to further
the prosperity of his country along individual lines of well-
defined, persistent effort. President Monroe was lackiiig in
some of the qualities which distinguished the other patri-
otic leaders of his time, yet he was a man of intelligent thought,
of varied intellectual powers, of dignified bearing, a true
patriot and an illustrious statesman. He was thoroughly reli-
able, an honest gentleman, conducting himself as such in all
the high positions of public trust which he was called to fill.
He was a true friend to those who enjoyed his confidence,
was utterly unselfish, desired his country's good above all per-
sonal considerations, and was a singularly pure-minded product
of the best American civilization.




















































JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

SIXTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


PRESIDENT MARCH 4, 1825-MARCH 4, 1829.


CROSSING THE OCEAN IRREGULAR EDUCATION IN EUROPE THE YOUTHFUL
SECRETARY RETURN HOME AND GRADUATION AT HARVARD -STUDY AND
PRACTICE OF LAW APPOINTED BY WASHINGTON MINISTER TO THE HAGUE -
HIS MARRIAGE- IMPORTANT DIPLOMATIC SERVICES- SECRETARY OF STATE
UNDER PRESIDENT MONROE ELECTED PRESIDENT SEVENTEEN YEARS'
CONGRESSIONAL SERVICE--HIS DEATH AT THE CAPITOL ILLUSTRATIONS
OF CHARACTER.

ARLY in the month of February of the year 1778, the
good ship Boston lay at anchor in Massachusetts Bay.
The frigate was waiting for its distinguished passenger,
America's Ambassador to France, John Adams, who, in com-
pany with his son, John Quincy, a boy of ten years, went on
board the Boston one stormy winter day, leaving his brave
wife and little family in the shelter of his native land, while he
devoted himself to serving his country's interests, enduring
risks and hardships, sacrificing all personal ambitions at the
call of patriotic duty. It was this lad, born in the quiet town
of Quincy, Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, separated from his
mother and childhood home at so early an age, who after-
wards, in the course of events, was called to fill the honored
position of Chief Magistrate of this Republic.
Born at too late a period to take part in the Revolutionary"
War, at a time when the government of the Republic had
already been founded, John Quincy Adams early acquired a
love of freedom; received as a boy lasting impressions of the









JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


meaning of war, the principles of liberty, the resistance of
oppression, and the defense of the right. He never forgot the
sight he witnessed when only eight years old, the spectacle of
burning Charlestown, the smoke from the battle of Bunker
Hill, the sounds of war which at that time he heard. On
board the Boston, also, there were British frigates encountered,
and a prize taken, so that the boy quickly learned the import-
ance attached to his country's welfare and the services which
must be rendered in her behalf. Naturally an intelligent lad,
this life of travel and intercourse with distinguished men
taught him in ways not possible to the average youth, while to
offset this he lost something of the advantages connected with
home training and a systematic education.
When John Adams again crossed the ocean in 1779, being
empowered by the President to negotiate a treaty of peace
with Great Britain, John Quincy accompanied his father, trav-
eling with him from Spain to Paris, beginning on this journey
to keep a diary, as a record of daily events, a practice which
he continued throughout his life. The elder Adams resided
for a time in Holland, so the boy was sent to school in Amster-
dam, afterwards studying for a brief period in the University
of Leyden. When a youth of fifteen, he accompanied Mr.
Francis Dana in his unsuccessful mission to St. Petersburg,
acting in the capacity of a private secretary. After the journey
back to Holland, which he took alone, he joined his father,
entering the best society of The Hague and profiting by an
intercourse with the diplomats there assembled. When John
Adams was appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James
in 1785, his son preferred to return to America, relinquishing
the brilliant life in London for the student career of an Amer-
ican college, as he already felt the love for his country and its
institutions which afterwards impelled him in his performance
of all public service. He graduated from Harvard College
with honor, in July, 1787.









JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


The young law student was admitted to the bar in 1791,
after having pursued his legal studies under Theophilus Par-
sons, of Newburyport, afterwards Chief Justice of Massachu-
setts. He took an interest in public affairs early in life, writ-
ing articles upon political subjects, showing very quickly the
abilities of a rising young man. In a series of articles pub-
lished about this time, Mr. Adams argued in favor of the strict
neutrality which he thought it was the duty of the United States
to maintain in the war impending between France and England.
These ideas, in conformity with the thought and policy of
President Washington, doubtless influenced him in his choice
of Ambassador to The Hague, an appointment which he gave
to Adams in the year 1794. Although John Adams was Vice-
President at this time, he exercised no influence in securing the
appointment of his son, Washington acting in the matter with-
out his counsel or even knowledge. Thus it is that we find
John Quincy Adams enjoying the confidence of Washington,
honorably identified in carrying out the foreign policy of the
United States when only twenty-seven years of age. For two
years Mr. Adams remained in Holland. At the expiration of
that time, he was appointed Minister to Portugal, but while
proceeding to undertake his duties there, he received a new
commission, changing his destination to Berlin. His father,
at that time President, felt some hesitancy in appointing him,
fearing public criticism, as personal motives might be thought
to influence the action. President Adams asked counsel in
this matter of his friend, George Washington, then retired
from public office; who replied in a letter bearing testimony to
the high esteem in which he held both father and son, one of
its clauses being as follows: I give it as my decided opinion,
that Mr. Adams is the most valuable public character we have
abroad; and that there remains no doubt in my mind, that he
will prove himself to be the ablest of all our diplomatic corps."









JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


Just before proceeding to the Court of Berlin, Mr. Adams,
waiting in London for instructions from his government, mar-
ried Miss Louisa Catherine Johnson, daughter of the American
Consul in that city. Mrs. John Quincy Adams would have
been a notable woman in any position; as the wife of the
distinguished American statesman, she received the respectful
homage to which, because of her beauty, accomplishments, and
intelligence, she was entitled.
While serving in the capacity of Ambassador to Berlin
Mr. Adams conducted negotiations with skillful diplomacy,
concluding a commercial treaty with Prussia before he was
recalled to this country by President Jefferson in the year
1801. He returned to this country with a reputation already
established for a scholarly statesmanship, while, on resuming
his law practice in Boston, he added to the renown already
won by the judicial learning which he displayed. Soon called
to public life again, he served one term in the Massachusetts
Senate, afterwards, in 1803, he was elected United States
Senator. Although in general sympathy with the opinions of
the Federal side in politics, Mr. Adams held to more moderate
political views; he separated himself almost entirely from his
party in supporting the Embargo Bill, which had been recom-
mended by President Jefferson. He was censured for this
course by the Massachusetts Legislature, consequently he
resigned his place in the Senate, and retired to private life.
During the three years which followed, Mr. Adams not
only attended to the duties of his profession, but also ably
filled the Chair of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres at Harvard
College, giving lectures which were received with approbation
by the students and other scholarly men. These lectures were
published, attracting favorable notice in the literary as well as
the social world. Mr. Adams returned to public life soon
after the accession of Mr. Madison to the presidency, receiving









JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


an appointment, in 1809, as United States Minister to Russia.
He soon gained the confidence of the Russian Emperor, a
valuable influence of good at the time when war broke out
between England and the United States, for, as a result of this
confidence, Russia offered her mediation to both belligerent
nations. Thus it was that, though England declined this
offer of mediation, she was led to signify her willingness to
deal directly with the United States, and so peace was brought
about. Mr. Adams was at the head of the commission which,
after six months of negotiation, came to an agreement with
the English Commissioners, the treaty of peace being signed
at Ghent, December 24, 1814. Shortly after this date Mr.
Adams was promoted to fill the office of Minister to England,
well performing the duties of this important diplomatic posi-
tion until he was recalled to his native land in the year 1817 to
assume the responsible place of Secretary of State under Pres-
ident Monroe. He acted in this capacity for eight years,
helping to shape the foreign policy of Mr. Monroe's adminis-
tration, and deserving credit for many of the measures which
distinguished that period.
The candidates for the presidency to succeed President
Monroe were Andrew Jackson, William Henry Crawford,
Henry Clay, and John Quincy Adams. There was no choice
made by the electoral college, so the election was by the House
of Representatives, voting by states, Mr. Adams being elected
as a result of the first ballot.
The administration of President Adams was decidedly
unpopular, especially among the friends of General Jackson,
whose increased popularity resulted in his election as President
over Adams in the campaign of 1828. John Quincy Adams
seems to have inherited something of the austerity, coupled
with the cold manners, which characterized his father, so that
his personality drew towards him few personal or party









JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


friends. The younger Adams was not an intense partisan;
followed his individual thought to whatever distances it might
lead away from. his political party, but he was always true to
his own best convictions as to his country's interests and wel-
fare. During his administration there was great material pro-
gress throughout the country, the President being foremost
to promote all national improvements.
When General Harrison was inaugurated in March of the
year 1829, Mr. Adams retired to his home in Quincy, thinking
to spend his remaining years on earth quietly as a country
gentleman, enjoying the competency afforded him by his
father's fortune in addition to his own. But Massachusetts
needed his services; he was.elected from his district to Con-
gress, and kept there by repeated re-elections until the time of
his death. In Congress he maintained his independent posi-
tion, holding aloof from both parties to a great extent. He was
scholarly, judicial, and able, possessing rare acquisitions for
congressional leadership. He struggled persistently for the
right of petition," and witnessed, in 1845, the abolition of
the "gag rule," restricting the right to petition Congress on
the subject of slavery.
It was when the old man eloquent" was gaining more
and more of his associates' respect and love that he was
stricken down, while in the Hall of Representatives, with a
paralytic attack, February 21, 1848. He was. carried to the
Speaker's room in the Capitol, where, under the roof which
had echoed with his ringing speeches in behalf of human
rights, he breathed the last feeble words, so consistent with
the whole tenor of his life, "This is the end of earth; I am
content'
There are two or three notable pictures in the career of
this distinguished patriot that come into the mind whenever
his name is mentioned. One is of the youthful traveler and









JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.


associate of celebrated men, early trained into the forms of
cultivated society, yet never accommodating himself to the
ceremonies foreign to his nature, nor assuming those graceful
manners which might have been expected from his education
so cosmopolitan in its surroundings.
The second picture is that of the man advanced in life,
who, with blazing eyes and a heart beating so warmly in
defense of what he thought was the right, stood up in the
House of Representatives, making that grand speech which
silenced all antagonisms, as he argued in behalf of the petition,
objected to by the Hou'se, because several of its signatures
were those of women.
Again another picture presents itself as the pages of his-
tory are reviewed. When, in the reorganization of the
Twenty-sixth Congress, December, 1839, the disputed seats of
New Jersey occasioned trouble in the choice of speaker, it
was John Quincy Adams, who in response to repeated calls,
rose, and made a speech advocating decisive action in the
matter. When it was asked how the question should be put,
as the clerk refused to act, amid tumultuous applause, Mr.
Adams replied, I will put the question myself." Mr. Wise,
of Virginia, in commending this speech said, "If; when you
are gathered to your fathers, I were asked to select the words
which in my judgment are the best calculated to give at once
the character of the man, I would inscribe upon your tomb
this sentence, I will put the question myself."' The world
has accepted this epitaph as expressing the force of character
possessed by John Quincy Adams, which showed itself, not
only in that one memorable act, but in the whole course of his
long and useful public career.






















































ANDREW JACKSON.

SEVENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.















ANDREW JACKSON.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1829-MARCH 4, 1837.


A SETTLER'S HOME A BOY OF FOURTEEN IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR PRAC-
TICES LAW IN NASHVILLE ROMANTIC MARRIAGE --UNITED STATES SENA-
TOR JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT--INDIAN CAMPAIGNS BATTLE OF
NEW ORLEANS PRESIDENT FOR TWO TERMS HIS ADMINISTRATION NUL-
LIFICATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA RETURNS TO PRIVATE LIFE DEATH -
HIS TRUE CHARACTER.

E VERY man owes something to his fatherland. A nation
has no favoritism to bestow; she gives to all her chil-
dren the same virgin soil, out of which grow the weeds,
or the useful plant, as individuality asserts itself in the devel-
opment of character. Men may be trained in lines divergent
as the poles, yet they will still possess certain characteristics
common to all their countrymen; there is a vein of similarity
running through every child of the same nationality, however it
may be concealed in the expansion of individual life. It is this
thought which is forcibly presented as the life of Andrew
Jackson is reviewed. He represents a type of the American
character, widely differing from the earlier Presidents of the
Republic, presenting a specially marked contrast to his imme-
diate predecessor in office, John Quincy Adams. Andrew
Jackson was born amid the humblest surroundings, in a log-
cabin, of a Carolina settlement, enduring privation and want,
early thrown upon his own resources; while Adams had all
the advantages of foreign culture, together with a college
education, the influences of a refined home and intelligent
5









ANDREW JACKSON.


friends. Both men inherited something in common from
their mother country, enabling them to serve her equally well,
though aided by such different resources and possessing capa-
bilities of so opposite a nature.
The life of the seventh President of the United States began
on March 15, 1767. -His family was numbered among the
early settlers of Waxham, situated near the line which divides
North from South Carolina. They had a hard struggle to
obtain the necessities of life, and the father, broken down by
overwork and privation, died in the year 1767. The widow
abandoned the desolate log-cabin, and, with her two sons, was
sheltered in the family of her married sister, living near by,
until after the birth of Andrew, which occurred amid the sur-
roundings of destitution and sorrow. Removing at a little
later period to the home of another relative, Mrs. Jackson
worked early and late to maintain her boys in respectable cir-
cumstances. Andrew was sent to the rough school in the set-
tlement, where he obtained the little education which he
received. He was not an attractive boy; one could hardly
expect him to be, subjected as he was to rough usage, and the
influences which surrounded that hard frontier life. He was
undisciplined, quick to resent a supposed injury, passionate in
speech and action, showing, however, one redeeming virtue in
his love for the mother who sought in her humble way for his
welfare, laying the foundation of that filial devotion and re-
spect, which continued until her death, and gave rise, probably,
to his well-known chivalric opinions in regard to woman.
The courageous lad of fourteen years bore a slight part
in the Revolution, fighting gallantly the Tories and troops
under General Tarleton, who had invaded the Carolinas. His
brother Hugh, when only eighteen years old, had lost his life
at the battle of Stono; while Robert and Andrew Jackson,
taken prisoners by a party of dragoons in 1781, suffered cruel









ANDREW JACKSON.


treatment from their captors, the effects of which caused the
death of Robert, while Andrew's life was only saved by the
extraordinary strength of his constitution. After his recovery
he studied law at Salisbury, North Carolina, being admitted
to the bar, and beginning a law practice in Nashville, Tennes-
see, where he afterwards made his home. In this vicinity, then
on the borders of civilization, he made many friends, and
gained reputation as a lawyer. Here he met Mrs. Rachel
Robards, whom he married in the year 1791, both parties sup-
posing that her divorce from Louis Robards had been granted.
Through some technicality it was not legal, and they were
re-married in the year 1791. Mr. Jackson was always sensi-
tive on this subject, thinking so highly of his wife that he
resented any imputation upon her character. Their married
life was exceedingly happy, though Mrs. Jackson's position
was made painful at times, and her husband annoyed, by their
union becoming a cause for public discussion and scandal.
Mr. Jackson began his public career in 1797, when he was
appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate, where
he served during the winter session of 1797-8. It was at this
time, in the year 1798, that he was elected Judge of the Su-
preme Court of Tennessee, holding this position for a period
of six years. During the next seven or eight years we find
Judge Jackson enjoying a quiet home-life in his residence,
the "Hermitage," situated near Nashville. Here he found
opportunities to engage in business transactions, combining
them with his pursuit of farming. It was during this time that
he became involved in many disputes by reason of his quick
temper and hasty judgment in the difficulties arising from the
conditions of society as it then existed. He fought several
duels, mortally wounding his antagonist, Charles Dickenson, in
one of them, and receiving severe injuries himself in another
encounter.








ANDREW JACKSON.


When the War of 1812 broke out, General Jackson, who
had already acquired some military skill and experience, offered
his services to President Madison, pledging himself to raise a
supporting force of twenty-five hundred volunteers. His offer
was accepted; he became a skillful military leader, manifest-
ing early in the campaign those qualities of endurance, strength,
and will power, which earned for him the suggestive title of
"Old Hickory." His attributes made him a specially success-
ful commander in the campaigns against the Indians the
powerful Creek and other tribes, who, under their famous chief,
Tecumseh, had been won over as British allies. Jackson's
troops gained' decisive victories, so that the power of these
formidable tribes was forever broken.
General Jackson was appointed major-general in the reg-
ular army of the United States, May 31, 1814, and was im-
mediately ordered to the defense of New Orleans, where the
British were then concentrating their forces. Acting under
his new commission, Jackson's first move was one of peace.
He succeeded in making a treaty with the Indians of Alabama
and vicinity, so that they should not enter into an alliance
with the enemy. It was as early as November of the year
1814, that he captured Pensacola, used by the British as a
base of operations, and only a few months later, January 8,
1815, he fought and won the memorable battle of New Or-
leans. The defeat of the well-disciplined English troops,
whose experienced commander, General Pakenham, was
killed on the field of battle, was a:signal victory for Jackson,
made more apparent when, very quickly after the battle, the
British were forced to evacuate New Orleans. The country
was wild in its rejoicings over this event, and General Jack-
son became the Nation's hero.
Idleness was not possible to General Jackson, so in the
year 1818-19 he was active in the Seminole War, fighting the









ANDREW JACKSON.


Indians and entering upon Spanish territory, an act for which
he was much criticised. The purchase of Florida, however,
put an end to the diplomatic questions suggested by the
course of this impulsive commander. In the year 1821 he was
appointed governor of Florida, but soon after resigned this
office, not approving of the powers with which he was vested.
Again, General Jackson took his seat in the United States
Senate, in 1823. The year following he was a candidate for the
presidency, receiving the largest number of votes from the
electoral college. There was, however, no choice, and the
House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams, Feb-
ruary 9, 1825. General Jackson firmly believed this to be the
result of collusion between Henry Clay, one of the candidates,
and Mr. Adams; this thought was confirmed by the fact that
Mr. Clay afterwards held office in the Cabinet of President
Adams. General Jackson wrote and said many harsh, bitter
words at this time, his hasty judgment leading him to utter-
ances characteristic of his impetuous temperament -.utterances
made with little regard for the consequences which might
ensue. One of his letters, concerning the matter, contains the
following sentence: I have been informed that Mr. Clay has
been offered the office of Secretary of State, and that he will
accept it; so you see the Judas of the West has closed the
contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver."
In the fall of 1825 General Jackson resigned his seat in the
Senate of the United States, returning to his home near Nash-
ville, where he lived as a private citizen until he was elected
to the presidency in 1828. The political campaign of that
year was carried on in a bitterly personal manner. General
Jackson was assailed .with unsparing severity, but triumph-
antly elected, the vote in the electoral college being one hun-
dred and seventy-eight for him, against seventy-eight for Mr.
Adams. In 1832 he was re-elected by a large majority over









ANDREW JACKSON.


Henry Clay, his chief competitor for the place, and served
until March 4, 1837 eight years in all.
The administration of General Jackson, extending over a
period when political strife was most violent, was of a notable
character in many respects. It was characterized by some
important acts which met with popular favor. The general
conduct of foreign affairs was commended, and measures,
such as the removal of Indian tribes to the more distant terri-
tories, and the settlement of the French spoliation claims, were
received with a good degree of public approval. Other meas-
ures, however, were unsparingly denounced by one party, al-
though enthusiastically commended by the other. Thus it was
in regard to his course respecting the establishment and re-
chartering of the United States Bank, and other matters relat-
ing to the financial policy, while much the same divided judg-
ment was passed by the people on his appointments to and
removals from office.
President Jackson's prompt resistance of nullification,
when South Carolina in 1832 proposed to withdraw from the
Union, merits special recognition. He declared the United
States to be a Nation, and that no state had the right to secede
from the Union, and sent General Scott to South Carolina with
troops and vessels of war to repress any movement of secession.
His firmness and patriotism thus manifested soon brought
about acquiescence to the law on the part of the dissatisfied
people of South Carolina, and the danger that had appeared
so threatening, was, for a time, averted. Better now than
then can the American people appreciate the bold stand taken
by President Jackson in this matter, and the emphasis which
he put upon the words, The Union, it must and shall be pre-
served."
SWhen public opinion puts an estimate upon character it
sometimes seems that many noble qualities are left entirely out









ANDREW JACKSON.


of account, just because they lead to actions not in harmony
with the prevailing thought. History presents a broader view
with the progress of civilization, and men like Andrew Jack-
son are more wisely judged, as their petty differences of opinion,
their minor. faults, their lack of culture or attainments sink
into oblivion, while the enduring record of the positive attri-
butes which made their influence felt upon the destiny of the
Nation, grows brighter with each succeeding year.
It is good for us to remember Andrew Jackson for his
honesty of purpose and life, the integrity of his nature, which
betrayed itself amid the rough surroundings of the new world
settlers, in the camp of the American Army, as well as during
his eight years of service as the honored President of the
United States. That the rough soldier, the stern leader, the
passionate opponent, had yet another, more gentle side to his
nature, those of his contemporaries who knew him best bore
testimony. He was never too busy to entertain or watch over
a little child, never too careless of another's suffering to leave
a beggar in distress, never willing to listen to any adverse crit-
icism of a woman, while he always reverenced the memory of
his devoted mother, and gave to his wife the whole affection of
his noble, warm heart. Quick to resent an injury, he would
turn aside from any pursuit in order to confer a favor upon
one of his many friends whom his personal magnetism drew
towards him in an enduring association. This is a type of
manhood that America does well to honor in these days when
the simple republican virtues are sometimes forgotten as men
celebrate the scholar and the distinguished statesman.























r *..;

.3 .wP '


MARTIN VAN BUREN.

EIGHTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.













MARTIN VAN BUREN.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1837-MARCH 4, 1841.


INFLUENCE OF PARENTS --ACADEMY AT KINDERHOOK INCREASING LAW PRAC-
TICE IN THE SENATE GOVERNOR OF NEW' YORK EFFICIENT HELPFUL-
NESS IN THE ELECTION OF JACKSON SECRETARY OF STATE MINISTER TO
THE COURT OF ST. JAMES- REJECTION BY THE SENATE--ELECTED VICE-
PRESIDENT -ATTAINS THE PRESIDENCY HIS ADMINISTRATIVE COURSE -
PLEASANT OLD AGE ELEMENTS OF A JUST POPULARITY.

IN the story of the Presidents of the United States there
occur several chapters which record fewer stirring events
or memorable issues than are found in the other, perhaps
more interesting pages. These lives, less notable in their
attainments, influence, however, the progress of nations, just
as the constant dropping of a tiny, noiseless stream eventually
wears away the rock which the volcanic eruption had left un-
touched in its path of destruction. So a nation needs the
quiet lives to weave into its history; the men of earnest con-
victions and wise statesmanship who impress their individuality
upon epochs, just as much as it requires its dashing, military
heroes, who appeal more strongly to the admiration of the gen-
eral public. Thus the life of Martin Van Buren, eighth Pres-
ident of this Republic, affords. little material for the graphic
writer to indulge in romantic, sensational biography, if he seeks
truthfully to depict the career of one who most distinguished
himself in intellectual and political achievements.
Mr. Van Buren, Martin's father, kept the village tavern in
the old town of Kinderhook, on the banks of the Hudson









MARTIN VAN BUREN.


River, and made that inn a popular resort of the traveler
because of the hearty good-humor displayed by the genial
proprietor, whose ancestors were numbered among the earliest
settlers of the region, the well-to-do families from Holland who
made their homes on the shores of that noble stream. The
mother of the future President was also of Dutch origin, hav-
ing an intelligent, well-trained mind- a superior woman for
those early times. The boy, Martin, born December 5, 1782,
was educated amid these influences, and inherited, doubtless, a
love for mental acquirements, as well as that imperturbable
good humor which characterized the father and descended to
the son, although, perhaps, in a more refined form. There
was a basis of character inherited, good habits early incul-
cated, and all liking for study encouraged, so that Martin Van
Buren early developed a quick perception, a ready wit, schol-
arly tendencies, and a genial, pleasant manner. He attended
the academy of Kinderhook, making such rapid progress
while there that he was fitted to enter college, in an advanced
class, at an unusually early age. He decided not to do this,
however, but devote himself entirely to his law studies and
enter upon the profession which he had chosen. At first he
studied in a law office at Kinderhook; afterwards he went to
New York City, where he continued his student life under the
direction of William P. Van Ness, until the year 1803, when
he returned to his native town, beginning there his practice in
the legal profession.
Although as a lawyer Mr. Van Buren was energetic,
prompt, and suave, soon gaining the reputation as an able
advocate which he highly prized, he was a natural politician,
having political instincts and likings from the first. The tav-
ern-keeper of Kinderhook had been an ardent Republican, so
that the son imbibed a strong attachment to Jefferson, to the
political principles and policy of that great leader, together









MARTIN VAN BUREN.


with the feeling that every true man must hold opinions and
be actively interested in whatever pertains to the good of his
country. The intelligent knowledge thus acquired upon the
great questions of the day, while not interfering with the pur-
suits of his profession, prepared him for the career of public
service which he was soon destined to undertake.
His growing reputation as a lawyer led him to seek larger
opportunities for the use of his talents, so he removed, in the
year 1809, to Hudson, the shire-town of his county. In this
year he had. assumed the responsibilities of a married man,
his talented wife contributing much to his happiness during
the twelve years longer allotted her on earth. Her death, of
consumption, after this comparatively brief period of married
life, was a great blow to Mr. Van Buren, and the unusual
buoyancy of his earlier nature failed to entirely reassert itself.
During the period of his life in Hudson, certainly a happy
time for the young husband and successful lawyer, Mr. Van
I3uren won many friends, attracted to him by his talents, his
intellectual abilities, his courteous, affable manners.
In 1812 his public career may be said to have had its
beginning in an election to the State Senate. He was ap-
pointed Attorney-General in 1815, soon after moving his
residence to Albany, a more central location for the perform-
ance of the duties incident to that honorable position. While
undertaking these services of public trust, Mr. Van Buren was
actively interested in political affairs, exerting upon them a
somewhat powerful influence. He was not a strict adherent
to party, and received, in consequence, the accusation of
inconstancy. He was, however, always true to his ardent demo-
cratic principles, which sometimes carried him away from his
party associates, and what appeared to be the popular feeling.
Thus he warmly favored restricted suffrage," maintaining that,
while the privilege of voting should be open for the acquire-









MARTIN VAN BUREN.


ment of every citizen, there ought, however, to be pre-requisite
qualities of intelligence, morality, and the possession of, at
least, a small amount of property. A division of the Demo-
cratic party occurred in 1818, and Mr. Van Buren became a
leader of the majority section, often designated as the Albany
Regency," which was a controlling force in New York politics
for a quarter of a century.
When, in the year 1821, Mr. Van Buren was elected United
States Senator, his abilities as a statesman brought him speedy
recognition among the foremost leaders of political affairs. He
was unrelenting in opposition to the administration, in favor of
" state rights," as antagonistic to the federal views entertained
by President Adams. Mr. Van Buren showed himself a wise
legislator, possessed of a sound judicial mind, throughout his
services in the Senate, being re-elected to that body in 1827.
He resigned his seat soon after, in the year 1828, to assume
his duties as governor of New York, having been elected to
fill that responsible position.
In the presidential contest of 1828, the name of Van Buren
had prominent place. He was influential in forming and
carrying out plans to defeat President Adams, giving all the
force of his attainments and talents to aid in the election of
General Jackson. None were more instrumental in pressing
the claims of "Old Hickory," as opposed to the so-called
' effeminate "John Quincy Adams, than Mr. Van Buren; none
were able to render more intelligent, well-defined assistance.
General Jackson, appreciating the value of these services,
invited his warm adherent to accept the position of Secretary
of State.
During the administration of President Jackson the pow-
erful influence of Mr. Van Buren made itself felt. The Sec-
retary of State was affable to friend and foe alike, capable of
quickly grasping the bearings of any measure, or understand-









MARTIN VAN BUREN.


ing any situation of affairs, so that his services were of great
value to the government. His extraordinary talents and energy
displayed at this time, made evident his fitness for the office
of President, and the idea of his candidacy became probable.
Mr. Jackson, as a matter of course, urged the claims of his
friend Van Buren, who had so aroused, however, the enmity
of Mr. Calhoun and others, that when he was appointed by
the President in 1831, Minister to England, the Senate refused
to ratify the nomination. Before this Mr. Van Buren had pro-
ceeded to England and had been received there with much en-
thusiasm. After his rejection he returned to his native land
and became a candidate for the office of Vice-President, to
which office he was elected at the time President Jackson
was chosen for a second term. Thus he was soon called to
preside over the Senate which had refused to confirm his ap-
pointment as Minister to England.
In 1836 Mr. Van Buren received the Democratic nomina-
tion for President, and was elected by a considerable majority.
His inauguration, on the 4th of March, 1837, specially brilliant
in its various features, was witnessed by an immense concourse
of people. His inaugural address, which gave general satis-
faction, was particularly pleasing to the friends of the retiring
President, as it indicated the purpose of Mr. Van Buren to
continue the line of policy marked out by his immediate pre-
decessor. The whole country had confidence in the conspicu-
ous abilities of President Van Buren, whose experience and
acquisitions made him so eminently fitted for the duties he was
called to discharge. But times of trial and peril were at hand,
for soon there swept over the land a financial storm of unprec-
edented severity. There was a revulsion of national prosper-
ity, and a dark and threatening condition of affairs. Foreign
complications, Indian wars, the growing excitement in regard
to the slavery question, added to the depression of business,









MARTIN VAN BUREN.


the suspension of specie payments by the banks, and the clamors
of the extremely poor then out of employment, created a feel-
ing of dismay throughout the country. President Van Buren,
called to fill the presidential office at a time beset by so many
and such great difficulties, was unable to make his administra-
tion fruitful in the ways he desired. He was a candidate
for re-election; but public sentiment grew strong against him,
and his rival, William Henry Harrison, was chosen in the ear-
nest campaign of 1840. Four years later the many friends of
Mr. Van Buren pressed his name upon the Democratic nom-
inating convention, but Mr. Polk bore off the honor. In 1848
the Free-Soil" party placed him in nomination, and he
received a considerable popular support in the Northern States.
His life was that of a private citizen, however, from the time
of his retirement from the presidency, but not by any means
unduly limited or unpleasant. He died at Lindenwald, July 24,
1862.
While serving in the capacity of Minister to the Court of
St. James, Mr. Van Buren was presented with a silver gilt
dessert service, which was afterwards used in administering
the hospitality of the White House. This President of the
Republic was often criticised because of his liking for lux-
urious appointments, and his well-known fondness for the
refinements of cultured society. One of the men whom he
frequently entertained at the Executive Mansion, joined in
the attacks, laying great stress in his speeches against the
President, upon the gold spoons." Some one asked Mr. Van
Buren if he really used, as had been alleged by the speaker,
gold spoons." He ought to know," was the answer, for
he has often had them in his mouth."
Another incident, connected with Mr. Yan Buren's Minis-
try to England, illustrates his calm, urbane bearing, which no
calamity, reverse of fortune, or unexpected defeat, could change.









MARTIN VAN BUREN.


When the news reached him that the United States Senate had
refused to ratify his appointment, he was enjoying the social
pleasures of a large gathering in one of the prominent London
homes. He showed no traces of the disappointment he must
have felt at such a proof of enmity, or at least disapproval of
his political views, but moved through the rooms with his
usual gracious manner, his friendly words for all, his tact in
selecting topics of conversation, always betraying his wonted
self-possession.
Popularity is gained when one assumes or feels an interest
in the affairs of all human beings. Mr. Van Buren had that
suave manner, as he listened to the most uninteresting details,
that spoke of sympathy in whatever was being said, so that
each man felt himself honored by personal regard and concern.
Another element entered into the popularity which distin-
guished this illustrious man: it was that trait of joyousness
which, descending from the genial tavern-keeper of Kinder-
hook to his eldest born, clung to his life throughout all its
changing scenes of joy or sorrow. The world always admires
this happy nature, one of heaven's greatest gifts. As a mod-
ern poet truly writes:
"Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone."

There is much that is agreeable to linger over in a con-
templation of this statesman who occupied the presidential
chair, but it must not be forgotten that these outward gifts
which made charming a personality, had a foundation of up-
pright character, good habits, a pure life, an active intelli-
gence, and talents of a high order. Without this basis of
real worth, President Van Buren would never have occupied
the high office as President, or commanded the respect which
his name inspires.






















































WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.

NINTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1841- APRIL 4, 1841-


INFLUENTIAL FATHER COLLEGE LIFE AND MEDICAL STUDIES SUCCESSIVE PRO-
MOTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY PRIVATE LIFE SERVICES IN CON-
GRESS EFFICIENT GOVERNOR OF INDIANA -VICTORIES IN THE BATTLES OF
TIPPECANOE AND THE THAMES DEFEAT AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE -
ELECTION IN 1840 BRILLIANT INAUGURATION DEATH OF THE PRESIDENT
AFTER AN ADMINISTRATION OF ONE MONTH HIS PRINCIPLES AND INFLUENCE
UPON NATIONAL AFFAIRS.


T HE State of Virginia has often formed a picturesque back-
ground for important events in the history of the American
nation. The reader of colonial records quickly learns to
associate this region with some of the most striking episodes
connected with the progress of this republic, while the truth
becomes apparent that many of the scenes connected with the
founding of the nation were laid among the Blue Ridge
Mountains or in the fertile valleys of Virginia. The subject
of this sketch, William Henry Harrison, although elected from
Ohio to fill the office of ninth President of the United States,
was born at Berkeley, Charles County, in Virginia, February
9, 1773. His father was one of the group of intelligent and
thoughtful men who were leaders in the patriotic struggles of
those early days; men distinguished for ability and culture,
who were prominent in the best society of Virginia at that
period. To this little circle, so influential in revolutionary
times, belonged General Washington, with whom Benjamin
Harrison enjoyed a confidential friendship. The elder Mr.
Harrison was Governor of Virginia for several terms, and his
6









WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.


signature was affixed to the Declaration of Independence.
Thus the boy, William Henry, inherited a love for country and
was early taught in the principles which ever afterwards were
inseparable from his nature.
The residence of the Harrison family was a Virginia home-
stead, whose interior was brightened by all the evidences of a
refined taste. There was the good cooking and skillful man-
agement of the numerous servants that prevailed in the best
Virginia households of that day, while the exercise of a
generous hospitality made the group, gathered about the
blai:iUg- back i''gs always a large one. William Henry Har-
rison was a favorite ;ini.:wg, his young associates as well as
among his teachers and the older family' friends. He had, as a
:oy, an active, enquiring mind, which gave him a fondness for
books and a desire for wide information concerning men and
things. Hte had acquired the basis of a thorough education
when he entered T-Hampdi-ni Sidney College, where he devoted
himself closely to his studies, graduating therefrom when nine-
teen years old. During the time of his college life his father
had died. so the young man. thrown somewhat upon his own
responiiibilitiies decided to go to Philadelphia, where he could
pursue to best adv\nMtage the study of medicine. Several of
his father's friei'nds took an interest in the youthful medical
studuint. among them his in uitructor. Dr. Riiush. who had been
an associate of the elder Htrri~in-, in si"lhiilng the Declaration
of Independence.
At this time, during the Presidency of Wi, slhington, the
Indians oh the fiionier were rc.mmittinL! the greatest outrages,
and riig:liteiin'i;' by their depredations the settlers throughout
the northwestern territory. These Indian tribes were power-
ful because of numbers and the abundant suppli-s and mun-
iri:'Ans of war tirnishedl them by the British provincial officials.
Young Harrison felt the patriotic ardor running thflili h his









WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.


veins as he learned of one and another of the atrocities which
had been committed along the frontier, so that he abandoned his
medical studies and gladly accepted the commission of ensign
offered him by President Washington, who was then engaged
in organizing an army against these hostile tribes. Harrison
soon reported for duty to the officer in command, General St.
Clair, at Fort Washington, on the Ohio River, and was at once
actively engaged in the fortunes of the campaign. He speedily
developed the traits of a good soldier, showed physical endur-
ance unlocked for in so slight a frame, and won renown for
courage and military skill unusual in so young a man. He
received special commendation from General St. Clair, who
recognized the soldierly characteristics of the youthful ensign.
It was thus early in his military career that Mr. Harrison took
a strong position in favor of the principles of temperance,
adopting for himself the rule of total abstinence from all strong
drink, a habit which he maintained to the end of his life. It
was no easy matter for a young man to keep from drinking in
those days of army service, when intemperance was the rule
among the soldiers, and temptations were offered on every
side; but Mr. Harrison was true to his own convictions of
right, and could not be turned aside by any allurement which
might be offered.
The services of this faithful soldier merited and soon re-
ceived recognition by a promotion in the army, and, under
General Wayne, Lieutenant Harrison fought efficiently in the
bloody battles which followed one another during the Indian
warfare. As aide-de-camp to General Wayne, he gave proof
of courage, coolness and military skill, as displayed on the
field of battle. He was again promoted in 1797 to the rank of
captain, and it was about this time that he became interested
in and married the daughter of one of the earliest settlers on
the banks of the Maumee River.









WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.


Captain Harrison resigned his commission in the army in
1797, and was appointed secretary of the northwest terri-
tory, rendering important services to the people of that newly-
.organized district, who elected him, in 1799, to represent them
as delegate in Congress. When, in 1801, the northwest
territory was divided, Mr. Harrison was appointed governor
of the section organized under the name of Indiana, which
then included the present States of Indiana, Wisconsin and
Illinois. For a period of twelve years Governor Harrison dis-
charged the duties of his office with notable ability and zeal.
He was specially successful in his treatment of the Indians,
his campaign on the frontier having given him valuable knowl-
edge on the subject of the methods and habits of savage life.
He was able to obtain for his Government vast areas of land,
about sixty millions of acres, ceded in the various important
treaties which he concluded with the Indians. When, in 1811,
hostilities again broke out, Captain Harrison took command of
the troops and was eminently successful in the memorable
battle of Tippecanoe, where his army gained a signal victory
over the Indians who attacked them in greatly superior forces.
After this military success he was commissioned by President
Madison, in 1813, as Major-General and Commander of the
Northwestern Army. Again he conducted his troops to vic-
tory, winning the battle of the Thames over the British forces
and their savage allies, Tecumseh, thle great Indian warrior,
being killed during the encounter.
In the year 1816, General Harrison was elected to Congress
as Representative from the State of Ohio. He was known as
an able, active, influential member; his speeches were effective
and logical, while his energy gave him a well-deserved reputa-
tion for diligence in the conduct of those affairs that claimed
his official attention. While in Congress he supported the res-
olutions censuring General Jackson for his course in the Sem-









WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. 77

inole war. This somewhat reckless military leader had pur-
sued his own policy with but little regard for law or courts,
and, in consequence of his action in the matter, he was cen-
sured by many persons in the expression of public opinion.
General Harrison, in approving of the resolutions, paid a high
tribute to General Jackson's gallantry, at the same time giving
utterance to his opinion that the action of the famous military
commander in disregarding civil laws ought to be disapproved.
In the year 1824 General Harrison served as one of the
Presidential Electors from Ohio, casting his vote for Henry
Clay, and that same year he was elected United States Sena-
ator. It was four years later, in 1828, when he was appointed
Minister to the Republic of Columbia by President John
Quincy Adams. Only for a brief period was he continued in
this diplomatic station, for he was recalled soon after the inau-
guration of President Jackson. While it may not be affirmed
that this action of the newly elected President was altogether
due to a feeling aroused by Harrison's support in Congress of
the resolutions censuring General Jackson it is a fact that the
friendly relations of the two men were never quite the same after
the incident, and it seems but natural that something of personal
feeling should have entered into the quick, positive call to re-
turn which President Jackson issued.
After this period of public service General Harrison re-
turned to his comfortable home at North Bend, Ohio, where
he passed a few years in the quiet pursuits which he enjoyed so
much, indulging in the pleasant duties of a farmer and country
gentleman. But his abilities as statesman and patriot were too
generally known to allow of a private life, so that in 1836 he
became candidate of the Whig party for the Presidency. He
ran against Martin Van Buren, who was successful in the
contest, but in 1840 Mr. Harrison was elected over the same
candidate by an overwhelming majority. The canvass was a









WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.


memorable one. The candidate of the Whig party was from
Ohio, then a region of the Far West, and the log cabin, which
became the emblem of his party, signified the prevailing
thought concerning Western civilization. The campaign was
most lively. With General Harrison was associated, as can-
didate for Vice-President, John Tyler of Virginia, so the
political songs rang with the refrain of Tippecanoe and Tyler,
too," while the hard cider, the appropriate beverage, was drank
enthusiastically to the success of the hero of Tippecanoe."
The inauguration of President Harrison was a brilliant
pageant, and was witnessed by immense throngs of the
American people. The inaugural address of the President
was permeated with that spirit of moderation which ruled his
entire life, which controlled his actions, and which he desired
his countrymen to exercise in the administration of the nation's
affairs. Judging by his former attainments and his success-
ful statesmanship, this policy would have been carried out by
President Harrison in a manner to reflect honor upon himself
as upon his beloved country; but this great and good man did
not long live to enjoy the exalted position to which he was
called. It was only a month after his inauguration that the
death of President Harrison occurred; the echoes of the ani-
mated campaign and the exultant chorus of the triumphant
party still sounded through the country, and the Whigs'
rejoicing over a long-deferred victory was turned into mourn-
ing, not only for the able head of their party, but for the
political situation sure to ensue. The death of President
Harrison, April 4, 1841, was a great blow to the American
nation, and his funeral awakened intense interest throughout
the country, following, as it did, so soon after the imposing
ceremonies connected with his inauguration.
There was a simple dignity in the character and life of
President Harrison that endears his memory to every true









WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.


heart wherever virtue and honest worth are acknowledged as
sovereign factors in the elevation of humanity to the achieve-
ment of its highest ideals. America comes more and more to
realize what great men have been a part of her history, what
a debt of gratitude she owes to those who, in differing degrees,
have rendered such service to establish her upon the solid
foundation which to-day she occupies. These men who have
stood for something in their day, compare favorably with the
leaders and statesmen of other lands and times; viewed from an
impartial position each has played well his part in the drama
of America's establishment. The different talents, the varied
acquirements have been used to make the Nation what it is,
and, though men do not judge alike to-day or ever, they are
more willing in this nineteenth century, as it seems, to value
whatever is good, whatever makes for the prosperity of a peo-
ple, even though the qualities displayed may not be in accord-
ance with their own thought or judgment. So the just esti-
mate of President Harrison makes prominent those principles
of moderation, that temperance in all things, that well-balanced
mind, those qualities of a successful military leader which
were sufficient to distinguish this man above his fellows and
render him capable of valuable service in behalf of his coun-
try's advancement. His was a consistent, manly career, a life
overflowing with benevolence and justice towards all, a respect
for the rights of every human being, however degraded its
condition. He was American to the centre of his personality;
rejoiced in all her prosperity, advocating no reckless measures
while he advised that moderation which the impetuous sons of
the new Republic were sometimes slow to heed. Such men as
William Henry Harrison leave better records for future gen-
erations to admire than the more brilliant heroes of popular
fancy, whose reputation, easily gained, is as easily forgotten
in the progress of time.























































JOHN TYLER.

TENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














JOHN TYLER.


PRESIDENT, APRIL 4, 1841-MARCH 4, 1845.


FAVORED SURROUNDINGS-AT COLLEGE AND STUDENT IN HIS FATI-ER'S LAW
OFFICE INFLUENTIAL MEMBER OF CONGRESS SENT TO THE SENATE -
REFUSED TO OBEY STATE INSTRUCTIONS--RESIGNED HIS OFFICE IN CONSE-
QUENCE-VICE-PRESID PRE-PRESIDENT BY REASON OF GENERAL IIARRISON'S
DEATH UNSUCCESSFUL ADMINISTRATION RETIREMENT FROM OFFICE -
CONNECTED WITH THE CIVIL WAR--CLOSING DAYS-A CHARACTER FULL
OF FAULTS, YET POSSESSING MANY REDEEMING VIRTUES.

T is good for the American people to remember that their
leaders have frequently been men of lowly origin, that the
log cabin fitly represents the humble birth-place of some
heroic ones destined to fill highest offices and win their country-
men's respectful homage. This truth has been so much dwelt
upon that many doubt the genius of a man, unless his early sur-
roundings were those of homespun inheritance, if not of actual
poverty. While paying all honor to any who have made for
themselves a name, coming from obscurity into the full light
of a national reputation, there is much to commemorate in
other prominent lives which have been developed by the
influences of a cultured home, surrounded by the advantages
of wealth and refinement. Some of the presidents of the United
States were thus "born to the purple," tracing their ancestry
to distinguished men, and belonging to families of high social
position. One of these favored ones was John Tyler, born
March 29, 1790, at Greenway, in Charles City, County of
Virginia.









JOHN TYLER.


The tenth Chief Magistrate of the nation was a precocious
lad, devoting himself so assiduously to his studies that he
entered William and Mary College well prepared, at an early
age, graduating from that institution when but seventeen
years old. He studied law for a time under Edmund Randolph,
and afterwards with his father, both of whom were dis-
tinguished advocates, well known and. highly esteemed
throughout Virginia. He rapidly acquired distinction in the
profession, and also gained a reputation for his knowledge of
political matters, so that when he had but just attained his
majority he was elected a member of the Virginia House of
Delegates. Mr. Tyler, in December of the year 1811, took
his seat in the legislature, where his abilities as a ready debater
and eloquent speaker were quickly recognized. He served in
this body for five successive years to the satisfaction of his
constituents, who retained him in his seat by large majorities
at each election.
The military services of Mr. Tyler were not of great
importance, although, at the time when British forces were
threatening Norfolk and Richmond, he raised a company of
soldiers, of which he was placed in command, and with which
he subsequently served in the Fifty-Second Regiment, stationed
at Williamsburg.
When but twenty-six years old, in 1816, Mr. Tyler was
elected to Congress, soon becoming conspicuous for his skill
in debate, as well as for his familiarity with the important
questions discussed. He won distinction during his several
terms of service; he was an intense worker, applied himself
diligently to master the subjects of legislation, that he might
best discharge the duties which devolved upon him. By close
attention to official labors his health became affected, forcing
him to resign his place in Congress. He returned to his home
in Charles City County, and, rapidly regaining his usual








JOHN TYLER.


health, entered with renewed ardor upon the practice of his
profession. Soon after he again accepted an election to the
legislature, exerting in that body a most pronounced influence.
Mr. Tyler was elected Governor of Virginia in 1825, and
re-elected the following year, almost unanimously. His ad-
ministration of this important office was generally acceptable.
He showed rare skill in composing sectional differences and
assuaging the bitterness of party animosity, while he sought
to stimulate the growth and development of his native state.
At this time, when his popularity was greatest, he was elected
to the United States Senate, succeeding Mr. John Randolph,
the regular candidate of the Democratic party for re-election.
Governor Tyler's victory, under these circumstances, was
indeed a proof of the general esteem in which he was then held
by the people of Virginia.
On the third of December, 1827, Mr. Tyler assumed the
duties of Senator, at once allying himself with the opposers of
President Adams' administration, notwithstanding the support
he had received in the Virginia Legislature from its friends.
He was a strict constructionist of the Constitution, disposed
to limit the powers of the general government, and to sustain
the doctrine of state rights. He voted against the tariff bill
of 1828, and most of the measures for internal improvements
which came under consideration about this time. When
General Jackson succeeded to the presidency, Senator Tyler
gave the new administration his support, although often pur-
suing an independent, not to say erratic course. He was
in sympathy with Mr. Calhoun and the nullifiers of South
Carolina, justifying their course on the extreme ground of
state rights, while he was antagonistic to the efficient and
patriotic course of President Jackson in seeking to compel the
people of South Carolina to obey the laws. He gave vigorous
opposition to the force bill, designed to provide for the collec-









JOHN TYLER.


tion of the revenue in the disaffected region, and vesting
extraordinary powers in the President. At a later period,
however, he used his influence in favor of the compromise
and pacification measures introduced into the Senate by his
personal friend, Mr. Clay.
Senator Tyler was re-elected to the Senate for six years,
dating from March 4,1833. Though nominally identified with,
and owing his election to the Democratic party, he severed
himself from such party affiliation by voting to sustain the res-
olutions introduced by Mr. Clay in 1834, censuring President
Jackson for the removal of the public deposits, holding that
he had exceeded his rightful authority in so doing. The Vir-
ginia legislature instructed the senators from that State, in Feb-
ruary 1836, to vote in favor of expunging from the Senate
journal the resolutions censuring President Jackson. Sena-
tor Tyler refused to obey these instructions, but held that it
was not right for him to retain his seat after so refusing;
therefore, he resigned his senatorship, three years only of his
term having expired. His conduct in this matter was gener-
ally commended and he lost nothing of reputation by making
his action in this respect conform with his previous record.
After his retirement to private life, in February, 1836, he
again resumed the practice of law in Williamsburg, where he
had removed his family two or three years previously. In the
presidential campaign of 1836, the name of Mr. Tyler was
associated with that of General Harrison on the ticket sup-
ported by the Whig party in some of the states; but Maryland
was the only State which voted for Harrison that also gave its
electoral vote to Mr. Tyler for Vice-President. He received,
however, other votes from the state rights party of the South
and West, which opposed Mr. Van Buren, so that in all he
obtained forty-seven electoral votes for the office named.
At a convention of the Whig party held in 1839 at Harris-









JOHN TYLER.


burg, Pennsylvania, to nominate candidates for President and
Vice-President, Mr. Tyler, delegate from Virginia, zealously
supported Mr. Clay for the first place. General Harrison,
however, was nominated; then, as a sort of propitiation to the
friends of the defeated candidate, Mr. Tyler was selected as
candidate for the office of Vice-President. This position was
not thought to be specially important, no President having
died in office; the idea of Mr. Tyler's ever succeding to the
presidency was not taken into account. Had it been, the choice
of the convention would probably have fallen on some one
more thoroughly committed to the policy of the Whig party,
one on whom a greater confidence could be placed for his reli-
ability.
The exciting campaign of 1840 has elsewhere been referred
to; it is sufficient in this connection to state that it resulted in
the triumphant election of General Harrison as President and
Mr. Tyler as Vice-President. President Harrison died one
month after his inauguration; Mr. Tyler, in accordance with
the provisions of the constitution, succeeded to the presi-
dency, April 4, 1841. Two days later he took the oath of
office as President and entered upon the responsible duties of
that position. His course during the three years and eleven
months of his presidential service greatly disappointed the
political leaders of the country and almost completely estranged
him from his former friends. It has well been said of him that
he lost the respect of the party by which he was elected
without gaining that of their political opponents." He vetoed
various measures supported by the party to which he owed his
election and for the most part declined to act with the major-
ity in Congress. His successive vetoes of bills to incorporate
a national bank caused great indignation. He was accused of
bad faith, of working for a re-nomination which he thought he
might secure from the opposition, with whom he was most in









JOHN TYLER.


sympathy, though he was not much liked or greatly trusted by
them. His administration was characterized by several impor-
tant acts and measures, one of them being the settlement of
the difficulties with Great Britain, by the adjustment of the
northeastern boundary between Canada and the United States.
Another important negotiation was the treaty with China,
while the annexation of the republic of Texas awakened bitter
opposition, partly because of the expenditure of money called
for in assuming the Texas debt of $7,500,000, partly on
account of the prevailing idea at the North that the new
acquisition of territory was "to uphold the interests of slavery,
extend its influence, and secure its permanent duration."
It was probably a great relief to President Tyler, whose
administration had been so generally unacceptable to the coun-
try, when he could retire from office and enjoy his pleasant
home at Sherwood Forest, Charles City County, Virginia,
where he passed the years of his age in comfort, until the
beginning of the Civil War in 1861. Then his old ideas of
state rights and his advocacy of Mr. Calhoun's doctrines led
him to join the Confederates. He was 'afterwards chosen a
member of the Confederate Congress, but his death occurred
at Richmond, January 18, 1862, and he never served in that
body.
President Tyler was twice married, first to Miss Letitia
Christian, who died in 1842, and was an invalid through much
of her life. During his presidency, Mr. Tyler married Miss
Gardiner of New York, whose father was killed by an explo-
sion which occurred on the steamer Princeton, when Commo-
dore Stockton was giving an entertainment to the government
officials, the President being on board at the time, and two
members of his Cabinet losing their lives by the disaster. The
second Mrs. Tyler was a woman of distinguished appearance,
who assumed more of the outward dignities of her position
than any of her predecessors in the White House.









JOHN TYLER.


History is truth itself, but the records of nations are not
history till time has separated the wheat from the chaff, until
the years have weighed men's actions in an even balance,
adjusting rightly those influences and currents of thought not
taken into account by a hasty judgment or the sentiment of
the hour. While his best friend could hardly justify President
Tyler. for his action in some of the important issues of the day,
his greatest enemy would acknowledge the many praiseworthy
characteristics of his public and private life. He was a man
of the world in the best sense of the phrase; educated, not
only in books, but in the school of experience. He was a firm
friend to the small circle of intimates whom he loved, while he
displayed eloquence and brilliancy, both in his' familiar con-
versation and in his public speeches. His life was beset with
many trials; he forfeited in later years the public confidence
which he had held to so great a degree during his earlier politi-
cal career, and he was tried in ways as unusual as they were
severe. He would have been censured, whatever his course,
even though it followed the best promptings of his nature, for
his position, surrounded by difficulties, allowed of no popular
way to overcome the murmurs and dissatisfaction incident to
his administration. The world, very apt to give publicity to
the failings of great men, will slowly learn to remember Pres-
ident Tyler for the virtues he displayed, those excellent traits
of character which ought to do something towards blotting
out the record of the many errors he so prominently exhibited
during the later years of his public service.






















































JAMES K. POLK.

ELEVENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.













JAMES KNOX POLK.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1845 -MARCH 4, 1849.


FAMILY NAME--PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE-GOOD HABITS--LEGAL STUDIES-
IN CONGRESS SEVEN SUCCESSIVE TERMS--SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE--GOV-
ERNOR OF TENNESSEE- PLEASANT HOME LIFE-MRS. POLK--ELECTED
PRESIDENT OVER HENRY CLAY--NOTABLE ACTS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION -
RETIREMENT FROM OFFICE SICKNESS AND SUDDEN DEATH.

ANGUAGE, in maintaining a continuity of existence,
has merged within itself varied elements; the English
tongue has assimilated words and phrases from all cor-
ners of the earth. Many familiar names, common in America,
are corruptions, referring back to the time of the Norman con-
quest, or to the lands of the Celtic kings. Whenever the sons
of this new world can trace their ancestry through many gen-
erations, they may be sure that their name, perhaps in some
different form, has crossed the ocean from its former European
home, probably France or Great Britain. The ancestors of
James Polk were of Scoto-Irish origin; they bore the name of
Pollok, easily contracted into Polk by the family that left Ire-
land and settled in America some time during the eighteenth
century. The father of the future President was a farmer,
living in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, when James
Knox Polk was born, November 2, 1795.
There were ten children to be reared in this home, removed
soon after the birth of the eldest son, James, to the region of
the Duck river in Tennessee. Samuel Polk, though a man of
7









JAMES KNOX POLK.


small resources, possessed the spirit of enterprise, combined
with energy, in all his pursuits. He actively engaged in the
work of farming, occupying himself also with the duties of a
surveyor, thus being able to comfortably provide for his large
family, and, in later years, to amass a considerable fortune.
The son James gained experiences connected with both these
occupations, learned to endure the hardships of journeys
through the wilderness of that region, as well as to conform to
the more prosaic discipline connected with a boy's life on a
farm. He early developed a fondness for nature, was also inter-
ested in his studies, while from both parents he received lessons
of industry, thrift and promptness, necessary requisites for
success in life.
The lad was a bright scholar, but not being physically
strong, it was thought best that he should be fitted for some
trade or business; accordingly he became a clerk, although
having no liking for such occupation. He was so unhappy
during a few weeks' trial of this kind of work, that his father
decided to send him to Murfreesborough Academy, where he
remained about two years, until prepared for the Sophomore
class in college. He entered the University of North Caro-
lina, on Chapel Hill, receiving high honors when he graduated
therefrom in the year 1818.
When Mr. Polk left college his health was impaired, as a
result of the close attention he had given to his studies, rest
and change being needed that he might gain physical strength.
After a brief period of leisure, he resumed his studies, this
time those of law, under Mr. Felix Grundy of Nashville. He
was admitted to the bar in 1820, and shortly afterwards began
the practice of his profession in Columbia. At once success
attended his efforts. His abilities, his logical powers of rea-
soning, his methodical habits, helped him greatly in becoming
an eminent lawyer; not more-: so, perhaps, than that gracious









JAMES KNOX POLK.


charm of manner, that winning personality, which made him
popular among his associates in society and business circles.
Mr. Polk's entrance into politics dates from the year 1823,
when he was chosen to represent his county in the state legis-
lature. He identified himself with the Republican party, and
as a personal as well as a political friend of General Jackson,
helped in the election of that distinguished man to the United
States Senate. In August, 1825, Mr. Polk was chosen to rep-
resent his district in Congress, to which position he was re-
elected every succeeding two years until 1839. He advocated
the ideas of Jefferson and Jackson, being ranked as a demo-
cratic Republican of the strictest sect, holding persistently to
his opinions throughout all party mutations. He opposed the
administration of President John Quincy Adams, while he
ardently supported in Congress the policy of President Jack-
son during his terms of service. Mr. Polk's reputation and
influence were undoubtedly great, by reason of his extraordi-
nary energy, his indomitable will, his powers of close applica-
tion to whatever engaged his earnest attention.
His ten years' service in Congress fitted him for the ele-
vated position of speaker, to which he was twice chosen by
his associates, in the years 1835-7. In this important station
there was opportunity to display all the skill of politician and
statesman. Popular with his own party, Mr. Polk's abilities
were recognized by many of his opponents; and his decisions
as speaker upon questions of parliamentary law, many of them
complex and difficult, were uniformly sustained.
In the year 1839, after fourteen years' service in Congress,
during which time Mr. Polk was never absent from the sittings
of the House, except on a single occasion, he declined to be a
candidate for re-election. That same year he was elected
governor of Tennessee; he served one term, but was defeated
for re-election, and, on becoming a candidate, in 1843, again









JAMES KNOX POLK.


failed to secure the executive chair. He now enjoyed for a
little time the quiet home life in the family circle where he dis-
played so many of the charming characteristics of his nature.
He had married in his early manhood Miss Sarah Childers, of
Tennessee, a woman of dignified personal appearance, who
possessed much executive ability; was a notable housekeeper
as well as an intelligent companion and admirable hostess.
There were no children born to this couple, and when they
occupied the White House it offered few attractions for youth-
ful visitors, though it afforded cheerful surroundings for many
older guests. Mr. Polk drew towards him numerous warm
friends, for he possessed ready sympathies, had always a kind
word of greeting, was courteous to everyone, betraying an
honest interest in the well-being of his neighbors.
These uneventful years of Mr. Polk's life were followed by
his nomination as a candidate for the presidency, Henry Clay
being the opposing candidate. Mr. Polk was elected by a
majority of sixty-five electoral votes. One of the main issues
of the campaign was the annexation of Texas, a measure
strongly advocated by Mr. Polk, and consummated by Presi-
dent Tyler just before the close of his presidential career. The
new administration found itself confronted with many and
serious difficulties growing out of this measure, and war with
Mexico soon ensued. Mr. Polk felt the embarrassment of the
situation, and much regretted the disruption of friendly rela-
tions with that country which occurred shortly after his inau-
guration. As a strong advocate of the annexation of Texas,
he did not hesitate to join issue with Mexico in the alternative
presented. He was in thorough accord with that section of
the Democratic party which had done so much to bring about
the result accomplished in the closing days of the administra-
tion of his immediate predecessor, and he was resolute to keep
and defend the acquisition thus gained at all hazards. Presi-









JAMES KNOX POLK.


dent Polk was sustained in his war policy against Mexico by
a large majority in Congress, the whole force of the United
States being placed at his disposal to enable him to prosecute
the war to a speedy and successful termination.
In the Northern States the Mexican war was regarded with
much disfavor, and the Presidentlost popularity from this cause.
In the Southwestern States, however, a different feeling pre-
vailed; volunteers came readily to the aid of General Taylor,
who led an army of some ten thousand soldiers across thebor-
der, fought several battles and gained signal victories. At a
later date, General Scott, at the head of a victorious army,
entered the capital and took possession of the city of Mexi-,..
This was on Sept. 14, 1847. Negotiations for peace resulted
in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo," by which Mexico ceded
New Mexico and California to the United States and agreed
that the Rio Grande river should be the boundary line between
herself and Texas, thus giving up a vast territory to this coun-
try. The United States government, however, by the terms
of the treaty, agreed to pay to Mexico $15,000,000, besides
paying all the claims of citizens of this country against Mex-
ico. That President Polk was greatly elated over the results
of the Mexican war cannot be doubted. We may well believe
that he justified to himself the course pursued by this country
in its aggressive dealings with Mexico, and wresting from her
as the "spoils of war" such immense grants of territory; but
had he been a less ardent upholder of slavery he would prob-
ably have been somewhat less enthusiastic both as regards the
annexation of Texas and the prosecution of a war which was
disapproved by so many of his countrymen.
Another act of his administration was of quite a different
character. This was the settlement of the Oregon boundary
dispute between Great Britain and the United States. Presi-
dent Polk believed the American title to be good to the whole









JAMES KNOX POLK.


territory, but favored a compromise, which was finally brought
about, the boundary line being fixed at the forty-ninth degree
of north latitude. In this adjustment of a long standing dif-
ference between the two nations the wise and conciliatory
thought of the President was conspicuous. While he did not
actually direct the negotiations resulting in the treaty made at
Washington in June, 1846, and ratified by the Senate the same
month, he yet made the influence of his own good judgment,
not less than his official position, felt in the determination thus
reached.
There were other acts belonging to the administration of
President Polk that were of a most important and creditable
character, and during the four years in which he held the high-
est office in the gift of the American people, our country
gained wonderfully in many of the elements which mark mate-
rial progress and prosperity. Three new states, Texas, Iowa
and Wisconsin, were added to the Union; there were immense
territorial acquisitions, together with a gratifying increase in
wealth and population; and the influence of the President was
recognized as a factor in many movements that tended to
advance the Nation's glory and strength. He was an ardent
upholder of slavery, however, and his views and acts had much
to do with the deepening of feeling on that question a feel-
ing which in the North became so prominent in the last year
of Mr. Polk's administration as to lead to the formation of the
" Free Soil party, out of which grew the Republican organ-
ization which finally obtained control of the government.
At the inauguration of President Taylor, Mr. Polk was a
prominent figure. After joining heartily in the celebration
incident to this occasion, the ex-President left Washington,
intending to reach his home in Nashville, Tennessee, by a
somewhat circuitous route. During his journey through sev-
eral of the States he received ovations from his countrymen,









JAMES KNOX POLK.


as they honored, with appropriate demonstrations, the man of
sterling worth who had given the best proof of his love for
American.institutions by rendering such efficient aid in their
behalf during the long years of his public service.
His many friends at Nashville cordially welcomed Mr.
Polk and his devoted wife, and the future seemed to hold in
store for them many temporal blessings. The former Presi-
dent was comparatively a young man, but fifty-four years of
age; with erect frame and great intellectual powers, he seemed
destined to exert a helpful influence for a long period of time,
although retired from the activity and anxieties attendant upon
the holding of public office. His death, however, occurred
shortly after his return to Nashville, June 15, 1849, when he
sank peacefully to sleep at the close of several days of intense
suffering. All through the Nation there was mourning for the
death of so true a man; the honors paid to the distinguished
dead were no empty tributes or meaningless forms, but ex-
pressed a sense of personal bereavement as well as grief for
the Nation's loss. a
The distinguishing characteristics of President Polk, shown
in his student life, were as prominent during his later man-
hood as in the college days, when it was said of him that he
was always prompt at every recitation, and gave the best atten-
tion possible to whatever was the occupation of the hour.
These qualities of punctuality, promptness, and the power he
possessed to concentrate his attention distinguished his career
as a statesman, and made possible the best results of his un-
tiring, well-directed energy. He was conscientious in fulfill-
ing the tasks which lay nearest him, however unimportant they
might seem to the casual observer, always showing that
faithfulness to duty which was a part of his nature, revealed
in his private life as well as during his term of service as
President of the American Nation.





































... *
*h 4ft
r-^ A^l~


v I


ZACHARY TAYLOR.

TWELFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.














ZACHARY TAYLOR.


PRESIDENT, MARCH 4, 1849-JULY 9, 1850.


LIFE UNDER PRIMITIVE CONDITIONS-A SOLDIER FROM THE BEGINNING- LIEU-
TENANT IN THE AMERICAN ARMY CONFLICT WITH THE INDIANS THE
SEMINOLES IN FLORIDA- OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF PATRIOTIC SERVICES -
HERO OF BUENA VISTA UNEXPECTED NOMINATION ELECTED PRESIDENT-
ONE YEAR'S RECORD HIS DEATH HONORABLE PLACE IN AMERICAN
HISTORY.

IN looking backward to the men foremost .in establishing
this Republic, they compare favorably with those promi-
nent in the American history of to-day. It is only when
we regard the outward conditions of this new world, then and
now, that we come to realize the great progress of the Nation
in all that makes for the best civilization. Men were heroes
and leaders in those early days; but the material resources,
now available for the service of American interests, were not
theirs to command, while the story of early struggles in the
wilderness indicates the great strides which comparatively few
years have witnessed in the material prosperity of our coun-
try. With a foundation into which has gone the sacrifice and
work of men honored in every time, the future results could
not fail to be those of successful achievement; but the rapid
growth in,all the advantages of civilization has far exceeded
the limits prophesied of by the fathers. Up to the life time of
the twelfth President of this Republic the West and South
were lacking in many extrinsic aids to prosperity. Although









ZACHARY TAYLOR.


Zachary Taylor was born November 24, 1784, in Orange
County, Virginia, his parents, the year following, removed to
Louisville, Kentucky, and the lad was brought up in this little
settlement, the humble beginning of the prosperous city which
now bears the name.
This rough life, combined with the inherited tendencies from
his father, a trusty soldier of the Revolution, brought out the
military qualities and likings which were so soon apparent in
the boyish nature. He was a soldier from the very beginning,
not as all boys are who play with toy-drums and wear a min-
iature sword, but as one who fully realized what duty t6 his
country meant, the hardships it involved. In the training as
a farmer's boy, as well as during the little school education
which he received, he was decisive and quick in his actions,
somewhat blunt, yet frank in speech, honest in thought and
deed, impetuous, ready to encounter personal risk, yet obedi-
ent, as he felt every true soldier ought to be.
Colonel Taylor was as much delighted as his son Zachary,
when, in 1808, the young man, then twenty-four years of age,
received a commission as Lieutenant in the United States army.
There was no question in his mind as to whether or not he
should accept the position; he felt that he was fitted for a sol-
dier, and applying himself diligently to the duties required, he
soon came to be regarded as a capable, trustworthy officer. It
was about this time that he married Miss Margaret Smith,
whose home was in Maryland.
The Indian attack led by the famous chief Tecumseh
against Fort Harrison was an opportunity for Captain Taylor,
who, in defense of the fort, gained distinction for his courage
and skill. He was publicly complimented by General Hop-
kins for his conduct of this affair and was promoted to the rank
of Major. His energy and coolness characterized his leader-
ship in the various movements against the British and Indians,









ZACHARY TAYLOR.


which were terminated by the restoration of peace with Great
Britain, in 1815. At that time Major Taylor resigned his com-
mission, his intention being to engage in agricultural pursuits
for a time at his home in Louisville. After a year spent in
this way he was re-instated in the. army, resuming his duties
with renewed ardor, rendering such efficient service that he
was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1832. He was ex-
tremely popular among the soldiers because he cheerfully bore
his part with them in any danger or hardship, and had a stock
of sound common sense which they could respect. His early
opportunities had been few, but he had profited by his expe-
riences; was skilled in Indian warfare; his habits of disci-
pline and study still aided him, and he became an intrepid,
wise commander.
The conduct of the Seminole war aroused much criticism
in the United States because of an alleged undue harshness in
dealing with that ferocious tribe of Indians. Its result, in the
dispersion of the Seminoles to the west banks of the Missis-
sippi caused general satisfaction, however, and was a signal
victory for Colonel Taylor, who, by reason of his military skill
and services in this connection, was elevated to the rank of
Brigadier-General and appointed to the chief command of the
army of the Southwest. During this time, while faithfully, yet
in a very quiet manner, discharging his military duties, he
bought a plantation near Baton Rouge, La., where he estab-
lished his family in a comfortable, well cared for home.
It was not possible, however, for a military man like Gen-
eral Taylor to remain in obscurity while his country was agi-
tated by the difficulties brought into prominence during the
,presidential campaign of 1844. Mr. Polk, a friend of slavery,
and a pronounced champion of the annexation of Texas, was
the successful candidate for election as President, and in this
state of affairs it became apparent that war with Mexico was









ZACHARY TAYLOR.


inevitable. General Taylor was directed to hold his troops in
readiness for service along the frontier. He did this, but re-
fused to enter upon aggressive measures to bring about a col-
lision with Mexico, or to undertake any forward movements
upon his own responsibility. As a good soldier he waited for
instructions and obeyed orders. In March, 1846, in accordance
with a command from President Polk, General Taylor ad-
vanced his army to the banks of the Rio Grande, claimed as
the boundary line between Texas and Mexico. The Mexican
government had already ordered its troops to the same local-
ity, so that it was evident a conflict must soon take place.
During the months of April and May, 1846, the American
army met the enemy in several severe engagements, being vic-
tors in every case. In his official reports concerning these
battles General Taylor said: Our victory has been decisive.
A small force has overcome immense odds of the best troops
that Mexico can furnish veteran regiments perfectly equipped
and appointed. Eight pieces of artillery, several colors and
standards, a great number of prisoners, including fourteen
officers, and a large amount of baggage and personal property
have fallen into our hands. The causes of victory are doubt-
less to be found in the superior quality of our officers and
men."
The conduct of the commanding officer in all these engage-
ments was worthy of the praise it called forth from military
men and those in authority. Congress conferred the rank of
Major-General upon the successful commander, and compli-
mented his bravery by appropriate resolutions. So much of
confidence was felt in his abilities as a military leader that his
troops were reinforced by volunteers, money and supplies were
voted him, and he was thus prepared for the encounters which
quickly followed.
The battle of Monterey was won by the Americans after


100




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