Infomotions, Inc.Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell / Grigsby, Hugh Blair, 1806-1881



Author: Grigsby, Hugh Blair, 1806-1881
Title: Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): tazewell; norfolk; virginia; waller tazewell; littleton waller; bar
Contributor(s): Cram, Alan Gilbert [Illustrator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 54,690 words (really short) Grade range: 15-18 (college) Readability score: 42 (average)
Identifier: etext16906
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Discourse of the Life and Character of the
Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell, by Hugh Blair Grigsby

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell

Author: Hugh Blair Grigsby

Release Date: October 19, 2005 [EBook #16906]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LITTLETON WALLER TAZEWELL ***




Produced by Mark C. Orton, Martin Pettit and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net









DISCOURSE

ON THE

Life and Character

OF THE

HON. LITTLETON WALLER TAZEWELL,

DELIVERED IN THE

FREEMASON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH,

BEFORE THE

BAR OF NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, AND THE CITIZENS GENERALLY,

ON THE 29th DAY OF JUNE, 1860,

BY

HUGH BLAIR GRIGSBY, LL.D.,

MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, OF THE HISTORICAL
SOCIETIES OF VIRGINIA, PENNSYLVANIA, ETC., ETC.

NORFOLK:

PUBLISHED BY J.D. GHISELIN, JUN.,

No. 6 WEST MAIN STREET.

1860.




DISCOURSE.

GENTLEMAN OF THE BAR:


When the sad event occurred which has drawn us together this morning,
you met in your accustomed hall, and expressed the feelings which such
an event might well inspire. You then adjourned to assist in performing
the last solemn rites over the bier of your departed friend. Clad in
mourning, you attended his remains from his residence to the steamer,
and, embarking with them, transported them over the waters of that noble
bay which our venerable friend had crossed so often, and of which he was
so justly proud as the Mediterranean of the Commonwealth; and, in the
deepening shadows of the night which had overtaken you, and which were
rendered yet deeper by the glare of the solitary candles flickering in
the wind, more touching by the ceremonies of religion, by the grief of
his slaves, and by the smothered wailing of his children and
grandchildren, and more imposing by the sorrowing faces and bent forms
of some of our aged and most eminent citizens, you deposited the honored
dust in its simple grave; there to repose--with two seas sounding their
ceaseless requiem above it--till the trump of the Archangel shall smite
the ear of the dead, and the tomb shall unveil its bosom, and the old
and the young, the rich and the poor, the statesman who ruled the
destinies of empires, and the peasant whose thoughts never strayed
beyond his daily walk, shall rise together on the Morn of the
Resurrection.

But you rightly deemed that your duty to the memory of your illustrious
brother did not cease at his grave. You knew that, whatever may be the
estimate of the value of the life and services of LITTLETON WALLER
TAZEWELL, it was never denied by his contemporaries that he was endowed
with an extraordinary intellect, and that in popular assemblies, at the
Bar, in the House of Delegates, and in the Senate of the United States,
if he did not--as it was long the common faith in Virginia to believe
that he did--bear away the palm from every competitor, he had few
equals, and hardly in any department in which he chose to appear, a
superior. And you thought that such a life, so intimately connected with
your profession, deserved a special commemoration; that its leading
facts should be recalled to the public mind; and that you might thus not
only refresh your own recollections by the lessons presented by so
remarkable a career, but hand down, if possible, whatever of instruction
and encouragement and delight those lessons may contain, for the eye of
those who are to succeed you. Your only error--and I speak from the
heart--is in the hands to which you have confided the task.

The time for performing this duty has arrived; and I rejoice to see
associated with you the Mayor and the Recorder of the City, the
gentlemen of the Common and Select Councils, the officers of the army
and navy, the President, Professors, and Students of William and Mary
College, his venerable _alma mater_, and various public bodies
distinguished by their useful and benevolent purposes. It is meet that
it should be so. At the call of your fathers, gentlemen, he was ever
prompt to render any service in his power; and on two occasions
especially, when important interests affecting Norfolk were in jeopardy,
at great pecuniary sacrifices on his part, he was sent abroad to protect
them. On another occasion, when a foreign fleet was in our waters, he
undertook the errand of your fathers, and performed it with unequalled
success. It was in the service of your fathers that he won his great
reputation as a lawyer; and to them and to you, disregarding the obvious
dictates of personal interest and ambition, he clung for almost
two-thirds of a century, as to his friends and neighbors, and to your
city as the abode of his brilliant manhood, and the home of his
declining years; and he has left his children and grandchildren, those
dear objects of his love on whom his eyes rested in the dying hour, to
live and to die among you. Indeed, so intimately connected was his name
with the name of your city for sixty years, the first words that rose on
the lips of travelled men in our own country and in England, were
inquiries respecting Mr. Tazewell. The generation of men who smiled at
his wit, whose tears flowed at his bidding, who relished his wonderful
colloquial powers, who regarded with a sense of personal triumph his
marvellous displays at the Bar and in the public councils, and who
looked up to him in the hour of danger as their bulwark and defence,
have, with here and there a solitary exception, long preceded him to the
tomb. Those men were your fathers. He performed the last sad rites at
their graves, as, one by one, year after year, they passed away; and
you, their sons and successors, and, I rejoice to add, their daughters
and granddaughters, have now met to pay a tribute to his memory. To
honor the illustrious dead is a noble and a double office. It speaks
with one accord and in a language not to be mistaken, the worth of those
who have gone before us, and the worth of those who yet survive.

In contemplating a human life which is older than the Commonwealth in
which we live--a life stretching almost from century to century, and
that century embracing the American Revolution, and sweeping yet onward
with its unexpired term beyond the present moment--even if the humblest
figure filled the canvas, the review of its history would far exceed the
time allotted for my present office; but if that figure be prominent, if
he made his mark upon some of the great events of his age, or influenced
the opinions of masses of men, or moved before them in any remarkable
attitude of genius, of massive intellect, or of public service, the task
is proportionably enlarged. And the only method that is left us is to
point out the striking traits of the general portraiture, and to let the
minor incidents take care of themselves. It is in such a spirit I shall
treat the theme you have assigned me.

It appears to me that the life of Mr. Tazewell may be divided into three
striking periods: The first, extending from his birth to his settlement
in Norfolk in 1802; the second, from the settlement in Norfolk to the
close of his term as Governor of the Commonwealth; and the third, thence
to his death.

It is common to associate the birth of an eminent man with the
memorable events that were contemporaneous with it, and to dwell upon
the influence which those events may be supposed to have exerted upon
his life and character. In this respect the life of Mr. Tazewell was
remarkable. Four months before the seventeenth day of December, 1774,
when he was born, his father had been present at the August Convention
of 1774, the first of our early conventions, which deputed Peyton
Randolph, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edward Pendleton, Benjamin
Harrison, and Richard Henry Lee to the first Congress which met in
Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, and but two months had elapsed since the
adjournment of the Congress; and while the infant was in the nurse's
arms, his father was drawing, probably in the same room with him, a
reply to the conciliatory propositions of Lord North, to be offered in
the House of Burgesses. His youthful ears were stunned by the firing of
the guns of the Virginia regiments drawn up in Waller's Grove, when the
news of the passage by Congress of the Declaration of Independence of
the Fourth of July, 1776, reached Williamsburgh; and, as he was
beginning to walk, he was startled by the roar of cannon when the
victory of Saratoga was celebrated with every demonstration of joy
throughout the land. As a boy of seven he heard the booming of the
distant artillery at Yorktown; and he might have seen the faces of the
old and the young brightening with hope, when the Articles of
Confederation, which preceded the present Federal Constitution, having
been ratified at last by all the States, became the first written
charter of the American Union. In his ninth year the treaty of peace
with Great Britain, which acknowledged the independence of the United
States, was ratified by Congress; and in his fourteenth, when he
remembered with distinctness current events of a political nature, the
Commonwealth of Virginia adopted the present Federal Constitution.

The first of the Tazewells, who emigrated to the colony of Virginia, was
William, a lawyer by profession, who came over in 1715, and settled in
Accomack. He was the son of James Tazewell, of Somersetshire, England,
and was born at Lymington in that county, and baptized, as appears from
an extract from the register of that parish in my possession, on the
17th day of July, 1690; and was twenty-five years old on his arrival in
the colony. Wills of wealthy persons, which are still preserved in his
handwriting, attest his early employment; and his name soon appears in
the records of Accomack, on one or the other side of every case in
court. Within the precincts of Lymington church, whose antique tower and
rude structure, typifying in the graphic picture struck off by the
Camden society what the old church at Jamestown probably was, may be
seen the tomb of a Tazewell, who died in 1706, on which is engraved the
coat of arms of the family,--a lion rampant, bearing a helmet with a
vizor closed on his back; an escutcheon, which is evidently of Norman
origin, and won by some daring feat of arms, and which could only have
been held by one of the conquering race. A wing of the present
manor-house of Lymington, built by James Tazewell, the father of
William, who died in 1683, is still standing.

The orthography of Tazewell, like that of the earlier Norman names which
were forced to float for centuries on the breath of the unpolished
Anglo-Saxon, has been spelt at various times in various ways by members
of the same family, and in various ways in the same writing; as the name
of Shakspeare, though a plain Anglo-Saxon name, was spelt in four
different ways in his will. Thus, in the parish register of Buckland
Newton, in the county of Dorset, the name is spelt in four different
ways; and one of the spellings, which is still popular in England, is
Tanswell, and opens up to us the true original of the name in
Tankersville, the name of one of the knights who came over with William
the Norman, and whose name is inscribed on the roll of Battle Abbey. The
process was evidently Tankersville, which, contracted, and marked by the
apostrophe, became Tan'sville; and, as the Norman blood became, in the
course of centuries, more intimately commingled with the ruder but
steadier Anglo-Saxon stream, the Norman _ville_ gave way to the Saxon
_well_, and Tan'sville took the form of Tanswell; and Tanswell and
Tazewell, variously spelt, have been used indifferently by father and
son of the same family for more than three hundred years, and are so
used at the present day.[1] The late Mr. Tazewell thought that his name
was originally spelt Tazouille, and that the ancestor emigrated from
France to England before the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and I
leaned to this opinion on another occasion; but, apart from the absence
of all evidence to sustain this opinion, it is now certain, from the
autobiography of the Rev. William Tazewell, translated from the original
Latin by his grandson, the Rev. Henry Tazewell, Vicar of Marden,
Herefordshire, and published by the Camden Society in 1852, that the
family of Tazewell flourished in England at least a century before
religious disputes drew to a head in the reign of Louis the Fourteenth.
I have been particular in stating these facts, as they illustrate the
history of races, especially of those races which composed the people of
Virginia at the date of the Revolution; and it is something to know,
that a descendant of one of those men, who, under William the Conqueror,
wrested the empire of England from the successor of Alfred, and trod
down beneath their iron hoofs the Anglo-Saxon people, aided in rescuing
the colony of Virginia from the tyranny of George the Third, the
inheritor of the blood as well as of the crown of the Norman robber.

Soon after the arrival of William Tazewell in Virginia, he married
Sophia, daughter of Henry Harmanson and Gertrude Littleton, who was a
daughter of Col. Southey Littleton, and the son of that marriage was
called Littleton, after the surname of his grandfather. This Littleton
was brought up in the secretary's office, under Secretary Nelson, and
married Mary Gray, daughter of Col. Joseph Gray, of Southampton. With a
view of being near the relations of his wife, he sold his estate in
Accomack, which has long been the property of his grandson, Littleton
Waller, and purchased land in Brunswick, of which county he became clerk
of the court, dying at the early age of thirty-three. The son of this
marriage was Henry, the father of our departed townsman, who also
studied law, became a judge of the general court, a judge of the court
of appeals, a senator of the United States, and twice president of the
senate.

The mother of Mr. Tazewell was Dorothea Elizabeth Waller, a daughter of
Judge Benjamin Waller, of Williamsburg. We are told by Dr. Johnson, in
the Lives of the Poets, that Benjamin, the eldest son of the poet
Waller, was disinherited by his father as wanting common understanding,
and sent to New Jersey. It was not, however, from this Benjamin--a name
still popular in the family--that the Virginia Wallers derive their
origin. The first person of the name in Virginia was Edmund Waller, who
bore the name of the poet, and was probably his grandson, and who came
over in the beginning of the eighteenth century. His son Benjamin, the
future judge, was born in 1716, was probably educated at William and
Mary, and entered a clerk's office, in the duties of which he was
profoundly versed. He was appointed clerk of the general court before
the revolution, and attained to such distinction as a judge of law, that
he was frequently consulted by the court, and is said to have given more
opinions as chamber counsel, than all the lawyers of the colony united.
He was appointed chief of three commissioners of admiralty under the
republic, and as such was a member of the first court of appeals. It is
said that his decisions were always sound law, but that he would never
assign reasons for them. On the subject of the law of admiralty, his
opinions were equally conclusive with the court and with clients. He
died in 1786, at the age of 70. His influence, after the death of his
daughter, on the mind of his grandson, will presently be seen.

Dorothea, the mother of our Littleton, was a lovely girl. Her name,
which, from the ugly abbreviation of Dolly, has gone out of vogue, was
popular with our fathers. It was borne by the brides of Patrick Henry,
of James Madison, and of Henry Tazewell. It was honored in the strains
of Spenser, in the sparkling prose of Sir Philip Sidney, and in the
flowing verse of Waller; and finely shadows forth what a true woman
ought to be and is--the gift of God. It was a favorite name in England,
and evoked the sweetest measures of the poet Waller; and has ever been,
probably from this circumstance, a family name among the Wallers of
Virginia. A sweet portrait of Dorothea Waller, one of the finest
productions of the elder Peale, always adorned the parlour of her
distinguished son. In less than three years after the birth of
Littleton, she died suddenly, and Mr. Tazewell had no recollection of
his mother. It has often occurred to me that the true secret of the
early retirement of Mr. Tazewell from the bar, might be found in the
shortness of the lives of his progenitors. His grandfather Littleton
died at the age of thirty-three, and his mother at the age of
twenty-three; and when Mr. Tazewell retired from the bar, vigorous as
he was, he was some years older than his father was at the time of his
decease. It is believed that this same conviction was an element in that
love of retirement which was the characteristic of Washington.

In a long, low wooden house, which may still be seen with its roof of
red shingles, at the head of Woodpecker street, on the south side, in
the city of Williamsburg, the residence of Judge Waller, and still owned
by his grandson Dr. Robert Page Waller, and in a small room up stairs,
at the north-east corner, looking on the street, in which his mother was
born before him, on the seventeenth day of December, 1774, Littleton
Waller Tazewell first saw the light. He was a healthy child, and, like
all the children who were born about that time between the waters of the
York and the James, was destined to frequent locomotion to avoid the
marauding parties of the British, who for several years afterwards
infested that region. As his mother died when he was in his third year,
and as his father, who was engaged during the youth of Littleton in the
Conventions, in the House of Delegates, or on the bench, was rarely at
one place for any length of time, he lived, excepting a short interval
in Greensville, with his grandfather Waller, who regarded with intense
affection the beautiful orphan boy, preparing a trundle-bed for him in
his own chamber, and watching him with parental solicitude. Until 1786
he lived with his grandfather, who taught him the rudiments of English
and Latin, and superintended his studies at the school of Walker Murray;
and when in that year the judge was on his death-bed, he sent for his
old friend Mr. Wythe, and committed his grandson, then in his twelfth
year, to his care; and with Mr. Wythe young Tazewell lived until that
gentleman removed to Richmond, when he resided with Bishop Madison
during his college course. The love which the child bore to his
affectionate grandfather has been commemorated by a single fact. When
Littleton came home from school and learned the old gentleman was dead,
he was inconsolable, and finding that, in the painful anxieties of such
a time, he was comparatively overlooked, he left the house, and went out
into Col. Bassett's woods, where he had well-nigh perished. When he was
missed, search was made for him, and he was found and brought home, but
not until the funeral was over.

The following extract of a letter, addressed by Mr. Tazewell, in 1839
to William F. Wickham, Esq., the son and executor of the celebrated John
Wickham of Richmond, and written on the death of that eminent lawyer,
presents a sketch of his own early youth, not the less attractive as it
embraces an interesting period of the youth of Mr. Wickham also:

"So much of my life," writes Mr. Tazewell, "was spent in the freest
intercourse with your dear father, and during this intercourse mere time
effected changes in our relations so gradually and imperceptibly, that,
until they were matured into their last state, I was often at a loss to
determine what was their true character. We first met in the year 1780,
at the house of your grandfather, in Greensville county, (who was also
the paternal grandfather of Mr. Tazewell), to which I had been sent to
get me out of the way of the British army, then invading Virginia. I was
a child not six years old, and he was a youth of about seventeen. Here
he became my tutor; and during the course of about two years, he taught
me first to read English better than I could do before; next, the
rudiments of Latin, and lastly, to write. During this period I
contracted for him that respect which children naturally feel for their
seniors, and the ignorant for those much better informed than
themselves; while he regarded me with the affection usually bestowed by
a patron upon his protege, who manifests no bad propensities, and a
disposition, at least, to profit by instruction and advice.

"In 1782 we parted; and well do I remember the tears we both shed at our
separation. In the winter of 1785-6 we again met at Williamsburg, at the
house of my father, who then resided there. Here our intercourse was
renewed upon a footing somewhat different than it had been maintained
before, but with greater pleasure to both. He became a student of law in
my father's office, and I was a boy in the first class of a celebrated
grammar-school. To the careful instruction of my excellent
grandfather.[2] I had been indebted for greater proficiency in my
classical learning than is usually acquired by boys of my time of life.
My grandfather died within a very short period after the return of your
father to Virginia. Of the distress which I suffered at this
deprivation, he was the sole comforter; and he immediately took upon
himself the tasks which my poor old grandfather had been so delighted in
performing for me. He heard and corrected my recitations--availed
himself of every opportunity they offered to improve my taste and to
inspire me with the wish of acquiring more information concerning the
subjects to which they related. For all the pleasure which I have since
derived from classical learning, I am indebted to his judicious
instruction and advice.

"In 1787 your father commenced the practice of the law in Williamsburg,
and mine shortly after removed from thence to Kingsmill, leaving me in
Williamsburg under the care of your father to complete my education.
Under his kind and useful advice, my rapid advance in my studies, both
at school and in college, and my increased age, began to qualify me as a
companion for him. By confiding to my discretion matters not often
entrusted to those so young as I was, he taught me prudence; and, by his
excellent precepts and example, he contributed much to the improvement
of both my mind and manners."

As a boy of quick parts, Littleton doubtless observed with more or less
attention the events that were passing around him. One proof of his
recollection at an early age may be found in that shadowy notion which
he carried to his grave, of the personal appearance of the venerable old
treasurer, Robert Carter Nicholas, whom, as he died in 1780, he could
only have seen when he was six years old. His father, as before
observed, was constantly engaged in public life; and it is certain that
young Tazewell had frequent opportunities of seeing the statesmen of
that era. I well remember hearing him describe a visit he made to
Patrick Henry, when the orator lived at Venable's Ford in Prince Edward,
and his finding him in the shade of an oak playing the fiddle for the
amusement of a group of girls and boys.

His first regular teacher was Walker Murray, with whom he prosecuted the
study of Latin. At this school he began his intimacy with John Randolph.
They were in the same class, and studied Cordery together; and here they
formed a friendship which lasted without abatement until it was ended by
the death of that eloquent but eccentric man. At parting--for Randolph
went over to Bermuda--the young friends, who had no other property
under their control, exchanged Corderys with each other; and nearly half
a century afterwards, when one of them had become a Senator of the
United States, and the other Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia.
Randolph stated at a public dinner in Norfolk, that he still possessed
the Cordery of Tazewell. I have heard Mr. Tazewell say that Randolph was
very idle at school, that he was flogged regularly every Monday morning
and two or three times during the week, and that he was the most
beautiful boy at this period he ever beheld.

Young Tazewell at an early age entered the college of William and Mary,
then under the presidency of Bishop Madison, and was, as may be presumed
from his own statement, and as we learn from other sources, a diligent
and accurate scholar. He was probably stimulated to exertion by the
presence of several young men who were members of the institution at
various times during his college course. Among these were James Barbour,
of Orange, afterwards the colleague of Tazewell in the House of
Delegates and in the Senate of the United States, Governor of Virginia,
Secretary of War, and Minister to England, and renowned for his splendid
eloquence and glowing patriotism; William Henry Cabell, also the
colleague of Tazewell in the House of Delegates, Governor, and President
of the Court of Appeals; George Keith Taylor, another colleague in the
House of Delegates, a lawyer almost unrivalled at the bar, a patriot
without fear and without reproach, who went down to an early grave;
Robert Barraud Taylor, then in the flush of his brilliant youth, whom
Tazewell was to meet at a memorable session on the floor of the House of
Delegates, and who was to be his able and accomplished rival at the bar
throughout his whole forensic career; John Randolph, and John Thompson.

Of John Thompson I have heard him say, in his latter years, that he was
an extraordinary young man--the most wonderful he had ever seen.
Thompson died young, at an age not exceeding twenty-three, and now lives
only in the letters of Curtius. Mr. Tazewell always recounted in a
tender tone his last interview with Thompson, who lived in Petersburg,
but hearing that Tazewell was in Richmond, came over to see him, with a
determination to return in the stage which left Richmond at twelve at
night. He arrived at dusk, called on Tazewell, and told him that he had
only from that time till midnight to talk with him; and in a few moments
the friends were lost in pleasant converse. The night was dark and cold;
and when the stage was announced, Thompson, who was thinly clad, bade
his friend adieu. He took cold on his return, and died after a short
illness.

Tazewell took the degree of Bachelor of Arts on the 31st day of July,
1792, though it is probable that he attended some of the classes at a
later period. His diploma, written on a sheet of foolscap, and signed by
Bishop Madison, Judge St. George Tucker, and others, is still preserved
in his family. It speaks well for his attention and regularity, that of
all his classmates he alone took a degree at the appointed time. Having
finished his college course, he began the study of the law in Richmond
under the auspices of Mr. Wickham,[3] living in his house as a member of
his family, and of his father, who was then a Judge of the Circuit
Court, but was soon after transferred to the Court of Appeals. That he
entered with great zeal into the study of his profession, his subsequent
familiarity with all the philosophy as well as the practice of the law
fully shows. While engaged in the study, he regularly attended the
courts of Richmond in which Wythe presided as sole chancellor, and
Pendleton as the president of the Court of Appeals. The bar of the
metropolis, which consisted mainly of men who had served during the
Revolution, and subsequently, in camp and in council, was large in
numbers and abounding in talents. Alexander Campbell, whose voice, says
Wirt, "had all the softness and melody of the harp; whose mind was at
once an orchard and a flower garden, loaded with the best fruits, and
smiling in the many-colored bloom of spring; whose delivery, action,
style, and manner, were perfectly Ciceronian," and who, I am grieved to
say, was shortly to fall by his own hand; Munford, known to the
profession by his Reports, and to scholars for the skill and elegance
with which he has invested Homer in an English dress; Warden, the theme
of many a joke, a sturdy lawyer of the old school, his name perpetually
occurring in the early Reports; Call, whose aged form might occasionally
be seen in Richmond in my early days, and familiar by his Reports; Hay,
afterwards a judge of the federal district court, which he held in this
city thirty-five or forty years ago, but better known as the prosecuting
attorney in the trial of Burr; and besides and above these were Edmund
Randolph, who, having filled the most prominent posts in our own and in
the federal government, and with whom it is believed Mr. Tazewell
studied for a short time in Philadelphia, was to return to the bar,
where he had the largest practice, according to Wirt, of any lawyer of
his time; Wickham, then holding at or near his meridian as he did at his
setting, the front rank; and John Marshall, a name that spoke for itself
then, speaks for itself now, and will speak forever. These and such men
composed the Richmond bar of that day.

An able bar is the best school of law. If the leaders be strong, they
will be apt to have worthy successors; for of all lessons for a student,
the contests of able men with each other in the practical game of life
are the best. In such a school Tazewell applied himself closely; and in
truth he had rare advantages. In a physical view he is said by one who
knew him at this period of his life, to have been the most elegant and
brilliant young man of his age. His tall stature, which reached six
feet, his light and graceful figure, his blue, wide, intellectual eye,
his features noble and prominent, though not yet developed to the
sterner mould of latter years, those auburn ringlets, which curled about
his head in childhood, which he shook at midnoon in the stress of some
high argument, and which, turned to a silver hue, flowed down his marble
neck in his shroud,--and a winning address, which, though slightly and
insensibly tinged with hauteur on a first acquaintance, grew urgent and
cordial, fascinated every beholder; while his intellectual faculties,
which even thus early his habitual study of the severer sciences had
sharpened, and which impelled him to venture fearlessly even with
experts on vexed questions in law and morals, and his truly generous
nature, made him the delight of the social circle, and endeared him to
all. Then, as at a later day, he was not averse from manly sports, was
fond of the gun, and was a fearless horseman. One of his youthful feats
was to ride his horse to the second story of the Raleigh Tavern; and
when his income from the Norfolk bar reached thousands, and his dicta
were deemed the infallible utterances of Themis, he has been known in a
country frolic to leap from a horse's back into a carriage in full
motion; and at a later day, when the country sprang to arms to avenge
the insult upon the Chesapeake, and he might have taken what civil or
military post he pleased, he chose the command of a troop of cavalry. He
understood at this early day, however, the art of sacrificing pleasure
at the shrine of duty; and he preserved his youth pure from those
flattering vices which please for the present, but which bring disgrace,
disease, and death in their train.

His position gave him decided advantages of observation and improvement.
His father, who was a prominent politician, and long a judge of the
General Court, was now a judge of the Court of Appeals, and was soon
elected to the Senate of the United States. In his society he saw
Pendleton, Carrington, Roane, Fleming, and Lyons, who composed the Court
of Appeals at that day, and all of whom I heard him recall in living
colors a few months before his death. It was the custom of the judges of
the Court of Appeals to put up at the Swan, where they might easily
consult with Pendleton, their chief, whose injured limb prevented him
for the last thirty years of his life from going abroad. It was at the
Swan the judges kept their black cloth suits during the recess of the
courts; for in those days there were no public conveyances; and all the
judges, except Pendleton, who drove into Richmond from Caroline in a
slow lumbering vehicle, nicknamed, after the wild driver of the coursers
of the sun, a Phaeton, came into town on horseback, and were often clad
in the cloth of their own looms. I mention these details of the early
times of Mr. Tazewell, as they may serve to explain that stern
simplicity of manners, of taste, and of general living, to which he
resolutely adhered through life. Although fond of agriculture, and the
owner of large landed estates, as he did not reside on them he did not
require vehicles for the use of his family; and, at his residence in
Norfolk, I think I may say that, for the last forty years at least, he
never kept a carriage above the dignity of a gig, and I have doubts
whether during that time he even kept a gig. The last time I saw him
riding, some ten or twelve years ago, he was on horseback, accompanied
by his son. I well remember when to take a drive in a carriage, or to
use an umbrella, was deemed effeminate by some of the wealthiest
planters in Virginia.

It was on the 14th day of May, 1796, that he received his license to
practice law. The license, written in a bold hand on paper, was signed
by judges Peter Lyons, Edmund Winston, and Joseph Jones, and is
preserved by his children as a family relic. His first fee was derived
from a warrant trying, in which a Mr. Taliaferro, who was his landlord,
was a party, and was fifteen shillings, which helped to pay the rent of
his office. His first important criminal case was the defence of a man
on a charge of murder. Whether his client was innocent or guilty, I know
not; but Tazewell got him clear of the law; and the man was so thankful
for his services, that half a century afterwards he confessed his
gratitude to a daughter of Mr. Tazewell, whom he chanced to see in the
streets of a neighboring town.

The keen eye of John Marshall saw at once the caste of Tazewell's mind,
and pronounced him an extraordinary young man. And I may say here, that
the subdued manner and tone in which Mr. Tazewell spoke of Judge
Marshall would convey a stronger impression of the character of the
judge than any mere words of eulogy could well do. For his person and
abilities he cherished the most profound respect and admiration. Even of
the Life of Washington, which it was the fashion of the young democrats
of my day to laugh at for the grammatical blunders and inverted English
that marred the first edition of that work, Tazewell, who, though never
eminent in elegant composition, always wrote good English, and saw all
the faults of the work, still put a high value upon it as I certainly
now do myself; and within a year of his death, when he was told an
author was about to publish a history of the administration of
Washington, he observed: "What can _he_ tell that Judge Marshall has not
told a great deal better already?" Yet, from the beginning of Mr.
Tazewell's career to its close, they differed from each other on most of
the great constitutional questions of their times. Candor compels me to
say, however, that the decisions of the judge in the case of Maculloch
against the Bank of Maryland, and in the case of Cohens against the
State of Virginia, greatly disappointed him; and after their
promulgation, though he still entertained feelings of high respect for
his abilities, he would hardly have offered in honor of the judge that
famous sentiment which he proposed at the Decatur dinner, and which
elicited so much remark at the time.

But it was probably in his association with Chancellor Wythe, who loved
and petted the promising boy, the son of his old neighbor in
Williamsburg, whom he had taken from the dying bedside of another old
neighbor, that Tazewell formed his taste for profound research, and his
determination to master the law as a science. Wythe, above all our early
statesmen, was deeply learned in the law, had traced all its doctrines
to their fountain-heads, delighted in the year-books from doomsday down;
had Glanville, Bracton, Britton, and Fleta bound in collects; had all
the British statutes at full length, and was writing elaborate decisions
every day, in which, to the amazement of county court lawyers, Horace
and Aulus Gellius were sometimes quoted as authorities. And it is worthy
of note, that Tazewell, affectionately attached as he was to Wythe, did
not adopt his prejudices or antipathies, nor those peculiarities of
punctuation and the disuse of capital letters at the beginning of
sentences, which even Mr. Jefferson copied from his old master, but
cherished a proper and becoming admiration for Pendleton, as will
presently appear, between whom and Wythe there had been a life-long
rivalry, and more recently some sharp judicial passages at arms, which
we could wish were blotted out forever, but which, embodied in
ever-during type, posterity must read and deplore. And, although he was
in every material respect the architect of his own reputation, it has
occurred to me that it was in memory of his affectionate relations with
Wythe and Wickham, and with a view of paying the debt which he owed
them, as well as from the natural goodness of his heart, that Tazewell
was fond of the society of young men, and was ever ready to advise them
in their studies, or to argue with them a difficult head in the law, and
freely to assist them in other respects. An eminent counsel still
living, though among the seniors of the Virginia bar, told me that once,
when he was young, Mr. Tazewell, who had not opened a law book for
years, explained to him the law respecting fine and recovery, and
springing uses, so fully and with such ability as filled him with
wonder; and that his discourse, could it have been transferred to paper,
would be an invaluable guide on that topic of the law. And many other
young men have the same story to tell of his generous teachings on
difficult questions. If all his personal attentions to the students of
law were forgotten, the four letters which he prepared with infinite
skill as a code of legal morals, and of the philosophical study of the
law, would attest his sympathy and affection for his youthful friends.

While young Tazewell was gradually making his way at the bar, practising
in James City, and in all the neighboring courts, he was called upon to
take his stand in politics at one of the most tempestuous epochs in our
annals. His father was one of that illustrious band of patriots,
consisting of Patrick Henry, George Mason, William Grayson, Richard
Henry Lee, Benjamin Harrison, John Tyler, and others, who believed that
the General Federal Convention, which had been summoned merely to amend
the Articles of Confederation, had exceeded their powers in framing an
entirely new instrument, the present federal constitution, and they
warmly opposed its ratification by Virginia. When the new system was
adopted, they watched its operations with a jealous eye, and opposed
some of the leading measures of the administration of Washington. When
it was foreseen that a new treaty would be negotiated with England, it
was determined by them that, unless that measure made those concessions
and amendments of the treaty of 1783, which Virginia had striven so hard
to obtain, it should be opposed at every hazard; and John Taylor of
Caroline, happening to resign his seat in the Senate just at that time
(1795), Henry Tazewell, then on the bench of the Court of Appeals, was
elected to fill his place; and the first movement he made on taking his
seat in the Senate was to offer a series of resolutions pointing out the
defects of the new treaty with England, which had been negotiated by Mr.
Jay. It was natural that young Tazewell should embrace the doctrines of
the party in which his father held almost the chief place; and his
inclination in this respect was probably strengthened by the opinions of
Judge Pendleton and Chancellor Wythe, both of whom had voted for the
ratification of the federal constitution by Virginia, but who now sided
with his father. On the other hand, his friends Marshall and Wickham
were ranged on the federal side; and though Wickham at no time of his
life took an active part in politics, Marshall, in the House of
Delegates, and by popular addresses, was most active in the cause, and
was reputed the leader of the federal party in the State.

In the spring of 1796, when he had attained his one-and-twentieth year,
he was returned to the House of Delegates from the county of James City,
and continued a member of the body until the close of the century. In
that interval were discussed in the Assembly the leading measures of the
administrations of Washington and the elder Adams; and a better school
for a young politician cannot well be imagined. Of this period, the most
interesting sessions were those of 1798-99, and of 1799-1800. During the
first of these sessions, the famous resolutions of John Taylor of
Caroline, which, it afterwards transpired, were drafted by Mr. Madison,
were discussed with an ability which was honorable to both the great
parties of the day, and which, at this distance of time, is proudly
remembered; and in the last-named session was adopted that still more
celebrated paper, from the pen of Madison, now known and honored as the
Virginia Report. To both of these important papers Tazewell gave a
cordial assent. It was during these two sessions he met with several of
his college mates, as well as with some older statesmen whom he had not
before seen in a public body. Among those who adhered to his side of the
question were James Barbour, of Orange, the late Judge Daniel, of the
General Court, one of the keenest minds of his time, the late Judge
Cabell, president of the Court of Appeals, Wilson Cary Nicholas,
afterwards Senator and Governor, Judge Archibald Stuart, Chancellor
Creed Taylor, Governor Giles, Thomas Newton, Governor Pleasants, Samuel
Tyler, French Strother, and Mr. Madison; and among those of the opposite
side, were George Keith Taylor, his eloquent namesake from Norfolk,
Robert Barraud Taylor, the late venerable John Eyre, Thomas M. Bayly,
John Wise, James Breckenridge, Archibald Magill, and Henry Lee, of the
Legion.

A painful domestic incident happened at this time, which had a material
influence upon the future plans of Mr. Tazewell. Having lost his mother
in his third year, he may be said hardly to have known a mother's love;
and he had fixed his affections on his elegant and accomplished father,
who was his senior by only one and twenty years, who was in the vigor of
manhood, and before whom a long and splendid career seemed to be in
reserve. But this pleasing hope was destined to perish. Judge Tazewell,
on his journey to Philadelphia, where Congress then held its sittings,
had taken a severe cold, but was able to reach the city, and on the 21st
day of January, 1799, took his seat in-the Senate. He was then
evidently ill; and on the 24th, three days after, breathed his last.
Thus, at the age of 45, died Henry Tazewell, when his fame to human eyes
had not reached the zenith; when, though still in the full strength of
manhood, he had received more and higher political and judicial honors
than Virginia had ever before conferred on one so young; when, having
been twice elected president of the Senate, at a time when that honor
was deemed only second to that of the presidency of the United States,
he stood above his Virginia competitors, with only one illustrious
exception, on the lists of fame, and when the expiration of a few months
would have placed his only son in Congress by his side.

While the politics of the stormy period of 1800 were at the height, Gen.
Marshall, as the since illustrious Chief Justice was then called, having
accepted from Mr. Adams an invitation to the department of State,
vacated his seat in the House of Representatives; and young Tazewell,
then in his twenty-sixth year, and younger than John Randolph was when
the orator first took his seat, was elected by an overwhelming majority,
over Col. Mayo, the federal candidate, in his place, and made his
appearance in the House on the 26th day of November, 1800. Of Mr.
Tazewell's short term of service in Congress, I shall pass over all
details in this rapid sketch, except to remark that he was present at
that fearful contest in the House of Representatives, when a deliberate
effort was made by the federal party to elect a man as president of the
United States, who had not received a single vote in the electoral
colleges for that office, over Jefferson, who had received a plurality
of votes for president. The painful excitement of that scene, which
lasted continuously day and night, and during which sick members were
brought in beds to the House and kept there, Tazewell never forgot; nor
do I think the events of that day made a favorable impression on his
mind of the morals of politics. That he, who was a republican, should
have been elected so easily the successor of Gen. Marshall, who had been
elected recently over a democratic opponent, shows how much, even in the
highest party times, the influence of individual character is felt by
the people. I need not say that Tazewell voted for Mr. Jefferson. At the
close of his term in 1801, he returned home, withdrew from public life,
and made his preparations to take up his abode in Norfolk. At this time
he was universally regarded by his political friends as the first young
man in the State, and the most dazzling honors which a victorious party
could confer upon him, seemed to be within his reach. How he fulfilled
the expectations of his party, will presently appear.

When asked in his latter years by a friend who knew his aversion to the
ordinary routine of legislative life, and his devotion to the business
of his clients, what induced him to enter the House of Delegates so
young, and continue in it so long, he said: "_My father made me_:" a
saying characteristic of Mr. Tazewell, who never put any value upon his
own services, and must be taken with many grains of allowance; for,
although it could not be otherwise than grateful to the feelings of a
father who was a senator of the United States, and in many ways
agreeable at that perilous epoch to have such a representative in the
Assembly, yet we must count much on that love of distinction which glows
so warmly in the finest minds, and which Tazewell certainly felt at
times, and continued to feel as long as he lived; and his father knew,
from his own experience and success at the bar, that a year or two in
the popular branch of the Assembly is no mean preparation for active
business, and especially for the pursuits of the forum. It was in the
same spirit, when, visited by the greatest living statesman of New
England, that sterling patriot, and that peerless orator of his whole
country, Edward Everett, who, seeing the faculties of Mr. Tazewell still
vigorous in his 85th year, expressed to him his regret that he had
retired from public life so early, he replied: "_I'm only sorry that I
ever entered it at all_;" when all who knew Mr. Tazewell intimately can
avouch that, even at that moment of his 85th year, if the State of
Virginia had called upon him to defend her right or honor in any
transaction which may have occurred from the settlement of Jamestown to
the late Ohio boundary discussion, he would have had every mouldering
record from the office of the General Court, and every book bearing upon
the subject, clustering in heaps around him in less than sixty hours
after he had undertaken his task.

It was in 1802 that Mr. Tazewell, who had qualified as an attorney in
the Hustings Court of the Borough on the 26th day of June of the
previous year, took up his abode in Norfolk. Whoever would form an
opinion of the Norfolk of 1802 from the Norfolk of 1860, would be apt to
fall into many and capital mistakes. As you entered the harbor of that
day, many sloops, schooners, brigs, barques, and ships obstructed your
way; and you would see the wharves and the warehouses, such as they
were, in full employment. A number of small houses, which were used as
retail shops, sailor-boarding establishments, and for other purposes,
lined Broadwater, which was then not much more than half as long as it
is now, and Little Water, nearly their western length. Market square,
the houses of which were almost wholly wood, and mean and contemptible
in appearance, was the home of the wholesale and more respectable retail
dealers in dry goods and hardware. The larger grocery dealers centred
near the then head of Broadwater. The population ranged between 6,500
and 7,500, and consisted of a large infusion of French from the West
India islands, Scotch and English in considerable proportions, Irish,
and New English. There were some Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese. Our
Norfolk born people, and the people from the neighboring counties,
formed the base--a pretty broad base, but only a base. Everybody was
busy. Wirt, writing a year or two later to a friend, likened the borough
to a hive in which their was no drone. The outward appearance of things
was bad enough. The houses on the wharves and in the business streets
were all of wood, and have since been swept away by successive fires.
There was not a paved street within the bills of mortality. Immense
pools of mud and water were seen everywhere; and it was a favorite
amusement of the boys to watch the attempt of a loaded dray to pass
through those beds of muck. There were three merchants at farthest,
whose wealth, on a most liberal estimate, might possibly average
$100,000, though they thought themselves worth a good deal more. There
was but one brick church, and that was the present St. Paul's, not, as
we now see it, with its tasteful interior, but a rude brickkiln with an
enormous cocked hat stuck upon it. The people heard preaching in the
upper rooms of warehouses, in the court-house, or in some rickety
concern knocked up for the nonce. The clergy fared badly. The rector of
a large brick church, then rising, with a wealthy congregation, received
for his services one hundred pounds, Virginia currency, which equal
three hundred and thirty-three dollars and thirty-three cents of our
money, and both pastor and people seemed to be satisfied with the
bargain. Small houses, some of which may still be seen, straggled out
along Church street, to what is now called Fort Barbour, though not so
called till twelve years later. There was hardly an elegant private
residence in the city. The bricks, of which the best houses were built,
were rough and roughly laid. The houses had no conveniences, except here
and there a closet. They were, however, substantially built, and were
neatly finished within. They invariably had one thing which is fast
passing away. There was the smoke-house in which every housekeeper cured
his meat; and there was the dairy; but how they could put the dairy to
its proper use I could never find out. The people had cows, and the cows
gave milk; but there was no running water, and there was no ice. Long
years passed before ice was introduced. The gentlemen of the bar were
awake, and made out very well--much better than the clergy. The very
youngest of the profession fed freely and voluptuously on the black eyes
and cracked crowns of Little Water street, with an occasional haul from
Exchange alley and the river Styx. A set, rather older, ventured into
the expanse of Broadwater, and talked of the relations of landlord and
tenant, of master and apprentice, and sometimes, in that belligerent
neighborhood, of husband and wife, and not unfrequently of the writ of
breaking the close. But the main harvest of the bar was from the
shipping and from commerce, the daughter of the sea, which was soon to
be vexed by the imperial decrees and orders in council of foreign
powers, and by some retaliatory legislation of our own. The highest
standard of remuneration for the services of lawyers was what we would
now deem low. Wirt, writing from Norfolk in 1805, considered two
thousand dollars to be laid up at the end of the year a fair reward for
the highest talents. One of the ablest leaders of the bar declared,
seven years later, that when he was worth fifty thousand dollars he
would retire from practice; while Wirt declared that he would retire as
soon as he had accumulated a capital which would yield the annual
interest of four thousand dollars. It is certain that all the members of
the bar of that day, as did all of the merchants, died poor with two
prominent exceptions; and when we reflect that those two men held the
front rank at the bar, one of them at least twenty years, the other near
thirty, and neither on his withdrawal could be deemed wealthy, the
inference is irresistible that, though now and then in that interval a
big fee came rolling in from some vessel caught in the act of violating
the embargo, or, at a much later date, from some prize case in the war
between Spain and her South American colonies, the rewards of legal
merit were low.

There was a branch of the old Bank of the United States, whose entire
capital, distributed over the Union, was only ten millions. There was as
yet, and fourteen years later, no daily paper. The _Herald_, then in its
ninth year, was published three times a week, and was the organ of the
democratic party. It was not until two years later that the _Ledger_
appeared in the field, under the lead of that able champion John Cowper,
and gave the federal flag to the breeze. More than fourteen years were
to elapse before a daily paper was established. The equinoctial storms
sadly worried our fathers. From the imperfect filling in of the streets
and wharves, the tides rose high; and then, if we would keep out of
sight St. Mark's, the Rialto, and the palaces of merchant princes,
Norfolk was another edition of Venice. The canoe was our gondola, and
"_yo heave oh_" were our echoes of Tasso. A bold stream, that would
float a vessel of one hundred tons, cut Granby and Bank streets in two,
and just halted on the west side of Church, where it was almost met by
another furious stream from Newton's Creek. At Town Bridge a torrent
raged that was not to be crossed until the tide fell. Freemason, between
Brewer and Granby, presented a sea deep enough to float a vessel of one
hundred tons. Our Rialto on Granby was not erected till eighteen or
twenty years later; and I remember our fathers were so proud of it, that
they invited strangers to see it. It took, for a time, the shine from
the Navy Yard. The health of the town ranked the lowest. The tombstones
in old St. Paul's tell of the number of captains of vessels and trading
merchants who died here. The letters of Wirt show the prevalent belief
that an acclimating process was just as necessary here as at New Orleans
and Havana, or on the coast of Africa. It was the fear of yellow fever,
perpetually dinned in his ears by his country friends, who but echoed
the popular belief, that drove Wirt away. Such was Norfolk, not
enveloped in the mists of tradition, but such as she was, when Mr.
Tazewell came to reside here in 1802.

He lived to behold a very different state of things. He lived to see it
one of the cleanest cities in the world, and to see more miles of paved
streets in Norfolk than any other city south of the Potomac can boast
of; and those streets lighted up every night with a brilliancy equal to
that which a rejoicing people, thirteen years later than 1802, kindled
in commemoration of the victory of New Orleans, and of the peace with
Great Britain. He lived to see the Negro population as well clad, and
the female part of it as fully crinolined, as the great body of the
respectable white people of 1802, and worshipping every Sabbath in
churches of their own, better and more costly than the best church of
that day; while the white people have added, and are adding every day,
church to church and chapel to chapel, some of which are even elegant in
their architecture, and all comfortable in their arrangements beyond the
conceptions of that day. He lived to see, instead of three men worth one
hundred thousand each, three men, one of whom he was, whose united
wealth would reach a million, besides many others with one hundred
thousand down to ten thousand. He lived to see the population increased
from seven thousand to seventeen thousand; and, to say the least, fully
as well clad, as well fed, as their fathers ever were, and living in
better houses than their fathers ever lived in. He lived to see our
banking capital, whether invested in public banks, in savings
institutions, and in the hands of private bankers, swell above the
fragmentary portion which the old Bank of the United States could afford
to allot to us, to somewhat over two millions of dollars, almost wholly
owned by our own people; and to read our monthly bills of mortality,
which attest, beyond the reach of cavil, a condition of general health
without a parallel in the annals of cities laved by the tides. He lived
to see the farmers, who supplied the population of 1802 with vegetables
and fish enough to serve, but none to spare, ship off nearly half a
million's worth to the north every season; and to see land in the
neighborhood, which in 1802 was worth hardly anything more than what the
doctor reaped from its crop of agues, become salubrious, and sell for
fifty dollars an acre. He lived to see our city connected with the West,
the South, and the North, by steamships whose tonnage would in those
days have been pronounced fabulous, by railways, and by the magnetic
telegraph. He lived to see a larger tonnage arriving and departing
annually from our port than ever was seen in our most prosperous days.
The old figure of trade has, indeed, passed away; and some wharf owners,
some warehouse men, and some others do not reap the profits of old
times, though, by the way, we now have more and better wharves, more and
better warehouses, than they had at that day; and the cause and the
necessity of the change are obvious. The trade of our fathers in 1802
was an unnatural trade. It was a fungus that sprung from the diseased
condition of foreign powers. It was not the result of developed
productive wealth, but the accident of the war between the two greatest
commercial nations of the globe, which gave us the carrying trade. It
was born of other people's troubles, and destined to die when those
troubles were appeased. It may be safely affirmed, that the business of
Norfolk, the natural result of enterprise, progress, and development,
and not the offspring of foreign action, at Mr. Tazewell's death,
exceeded, in a large degree, the business of Norfolk in 1802, puffed up,
as it was, by ephemeral causes, and that the present wealth of our
people immeasurably surpasses the wealth of the past.

Whatever may have been the rate of legal compensation in 1802, some
description of the leading members of the bar of that day is
indispensable to the canvas, of which Mr. Tazewell is the principal
figure. Besides Hyott, who lived in the retired mansion in which our
venerable fellow-citizen, John Southgate, now resides, and whose name
has long been extinct, and Marsh, who studied in the famous law school
of Judge Reeves, at Lichfield, where Calhoun was initiated in the
mysteries of the law, who built that handsome wooden house in the
fields, long since burned down, in which the youth of my day were
flogged through the rudiments of Ruddiman, and whose sons are among the
enterprising merchants and sea-captains of our modern city, was, first
and foremost, General THOMAS MATHEWS. There he stands, with the figure
of Apollo and with the spirit of Mars, clad in the blue and buff of the
revolution, wearing that sword which he had worn through the struggle
with the mother country, his well-powdered head surmounted by the old
cocked hat which he had worn when driven from Fort Nelson by the
myrmidons of his British namesake, and at the siege of York, and with
that long queue, the dressing of which was the no mean labor of the
toilet of that era. To his dying day, which happened on the eve of the
late war with Great Britain, though a general of brigade, on all stated
musters he appeared in the field in full uniform, and was greeted by old
and young with applause. He was a native of St. Kitts, left the island
before the revolution, performed his part gallantly through the entire
contest for independence, and had long been a member of the House of
Delegates, of which he was again and again elected speaker, performing
the duties of the chair with a dignity, firmness, and grace still
freshly remembered, and bequeathing his name to a beautiful county
overlooking the waters of the Chesapeake, which it still bears. He
served in the assembly at a memorable period. The questions of the age
were to be settled. He recorded his name in favor of the bill
establishing religious freedom, where it will shine for ever. He voted
for the resolution convoking the meeting at Annapolis, which was the
seminal germ of the present federal constitution. He voted to send
delegates to the Federal Convention, which formed the present federal
constitution; and in the convention which ratified that instrument in
the name of Virginia, he voted for its adoption; and when Norfolk
commemorated the installation of the federal constitution by the firing
of guns, by the display of flags, by civic, mechanical, and military
processions, conspicuous on that great day was the general, who acted as
the Chief Priest of the august ceremonies which honored the birth of a
nation. He was always elected to any office to which the people could
call him. His address had the tinge of the soldier, but was most
fascinating. No familiarity could impair its effect. The bar regarded
him with affection and reverence. All the men about town loved him. The
women almost adored him. A smile from the General on a gala-day, when
mounted on his charger, which he managed well to the last, or the
lifting of his three-cornered hat on the sidewalk, was a trophy which
the prettiest woman, maid or matron, would treasure away among the
_spolia opima_ of her hoard. His social position was of the highest. He
was known far and wide, and played most becomingly the part of host to
distinguished persons from abroad. Some of our old citizens remember the
coaches and four which used to pass down King's lane to his modest
residence at the foot of tide. One of the acts of his life was
characteristic. He was on a visit to his brother at St. Kitts, when the
French fleet lay-to off the island, and levied a sum of money upon the
people, which they paid. The French then levied another sum, which the
people of the island were wholly unable to pay. In this dilemma the
people of St. Kitts had recourse to General Mathews, who, dressed in his
uniform as an American general officer, went on board the hostile fleet,
and induced the admiral to accept an order from him on the American
Consul in Paris, for the sum in question. The fleet then sailed away,
and the island was safe. In due time the order came back protested. Suit
was brought and judgment obtained against him, and the venerable patriot
spent his last days in prison bounds for a debt which the British
Government ought to have paid with gratitude as well as with money. In
1802 he was approaching his sixtieth year, but was vigorous and
attentive to business. He was a fine speaker. His voice was melodious,
and its compass exceeded belief. It could be heard along the line of a
whole brigade, and in the clatter of a skirmish. It is one of the
traditions of the bar, that he could, by condensing his voice as he
approached it, break a pane of glass in pieces. His learning was
respectable; and with the jury he had great weight; and he was heard
with respect by the court; and always having lived and practised in
sea-ports, he had no inconsiderable knowledge of the law of admiralty.
In the Chesapeake war, old as he was, his spirit fired up. He took
command as brigadier, and longed for another crack at the British. His
descendants still survive, and one of them holds an important federal
office in our modern city. With all the demonstrations of public grief,
his remains were committed to the grave in the south-east angle of the
yard of St. Paul's.

Another leader of the bar was the venerable JAMES NIMMO. His tall form,
neatly attired in black, and bent low as in grateful obeisance to the
rapid years which were bringing him nearer to his heavenly home; that
broad belt of baldness that stretched over from his forehead to his
spine, those silver side-locks that ran wild about his collar, that
honest, peculiar voice, which sounded as if virtue and piety, descending
awhile from the upper sphere, were helping the old man out in his
speech; with the freshness of yesterday I see and hear them all. Though
seemingly attended by celestial visitants, and perhaps for that reason,
he had not a particle of Young America about him. He believed that
rogues and scamps ought to be punished as promptly and as condignly now
as in the days of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and as in the days of
his own early youth; and while he was the aid and comforter of the widow
and the fatherless, and of the virtuous poor,--would weep and pray with
them, and help them out of that slim purse, which never held an unworthy
shilling, he was, as Commonwealth's attorney, the terror of evil-doers.
I remember on one occasion, when he was prosecuting a notorious offender
whom he sent to the penitentiary, and who was defended by Gen. Taylor,
as the old man was bald, and the air of the old court-house was damp, he
threw over his head a red bandanna handkerchief, and I hear the laugh
which Gen. Taylor extorted from the bench, from the jury, and from the
old man himself, by calling it a bloody flag. He was of that substantial
class of lawyers, who, having received an elementary grounding in Latin
and mathematics in the schools of the time, entered the clerk's office,
and served a term of duty within its precincts. He was thus well versed
in the ordinary forms of the law, and with the decisions of the courts
in leading cases; and took the hue rather of an attorney than of an
advocate. With such men as a class, there was no great intimacy with the
law as a science, and its higher philosophy was beyond their reach. Like
Mathews, however, he had always lived in sea-ports, and as he studied
his cases well, he was always very impressive with the jury, and was
heard with great respect by the court; and when he had reached the
zenith, a slow shake of the head or even of his finger at an argument
that was too hard for him, went a great way even with the court, and
almost all the way with the jury. As long as the case lay in the old
routine, this class of lawyers would get along very well; but novelties
were unpleasant to them; they hated the subtleties of special pleading;
and they turned pale at a demurrer. Possessed of a high spirit, which
sometimes, even beyond three-score, sent forth a flash as vivid as it
was sudden, he was placable and ever prompt to make an atonement. He was
now in his forty-eighth year, and in the full vigor of a temperate
middle life; but he lived to be the father of the bar for almost the
third of a century, and almost to be the father of the town, which in an
honorable sense he was; dying in January, 1833, at the age of
seventy-eight, and laid away by the hands of descendants among
patrimonial graves at Shenstone Green. He was a true patriot. In the
hour of her fiercest trial he stood by the side of Virginia. While so
many men of wealth and influence in the neighboring counties of Princess
Anne and Norfolk, impelled by their fears, present and prospective, of
British power, and living within the range of British guns, faltered in
their faith to the young republic, and took British protection, Nimmo
clung to the standard of his country; and, having been taken prisoner,
was confined on board the Liverpool frigate when she fired the shot
which, striking the south-eastern angle of St. Paul's Church, has left
its mark for posterity. One recollection personal to myself shows this
fine old man in an amiable view. I had received, at the age of
one-and-twenty, an important trust from the people of Norfolk; and Mr.
Nimmo, meeting me in the street the morning after the election, and
taking in his own pure hands both of mine, said: "My young friend,
remember that you owe a double service--service to your God as well as
to your country; and that he who is faithless to the God of his fathers
can never be faithful to his country." And now, when the day of ambition
with me is long past and gone, and when that day of retribution, which,
as it cometh to all, so it shall come to us, is drawing nigh, I may say
that it ever has been my fervent and steadfast prayer to be able to
illustrate in my humble life the precept of my pious friend.

There was another lawyer, the junior of Nimmo by five years, whose
subsequent intimate connexion with Mr. Tazewell makes it proper to
recall his position here. The name of Col. JOHN NIVISON was pronounced
with pride by our fathers, and deserves to be held in grateful
remembrance. None under seventy can recall him as he pleaded at the bar;
and none under fifty, and very few of that age, can recall him as he sat
in the chair of the Recorder. That office was justly held in high repute
in olden time. Sir John Randolph held it; and at a later day it was held
by the celebrated Edmund Randolph, the great grandson of the knight, and
by the eloquent and accomplished Henry Tazewell. Then it was usually
bestowed upon some prominent lawyer who had retired from the bar, and
within my recollection it has ever been held by upright, intelligent,
and honorable men. I see this old man, too, with the freshness of the
passing hour, as he was driving out in his capacious chariot to
Lawson's, or as he strolled or rather rocked along the sidewalk. He was
very large, weighing between two and three hundred, and was nearly six
feet in height. He said he had no idea of his bulk until, passing a
negro woman in the street with a basket on her head who took a side
glance at him, he heard her unconsciously exclaim: "Good gracious, what
a big white man!" He was born in 1760, in Brunswick as Brunswick then
was, was educated at William and Mary, while Wythe was professor of law,
having as his college associates John Marshall, Spencer Roane, the
amiable and patriotic Samuel Hardy, who was destined to fall too soon,
and at whose grave Virginia sat in mourning, Archibald Stuart, Bushrod
Washington, William Short, our Minister to Spain, _et alii haud
impares_: was one of the founders of the Phi Beta Kappa Society--an
institution which will make his name immortal--and began the practice of
the law in his native county. After the peace of 1783, he took up his
abode in Portsmouth, where he reached the head of the bar; and in the
great hegira from that town on the adoption of the federal constitution
in 1788, he came over to Norfolk, where he had now long held the front
rank in his profession. He too had passed a noviciate in the Clerk's
office, had studied law under the guidance of Wythe, and had been very
successful. Like Nimmo, he was called the honest lawyer; and it was one
of the sly jests of our fathers that there should be two lawyers at the
same bar and in the same generation, whose claims to the title should be
generally conceded by the people. In 1802 he had reached his
forty-second year; and having acquired a competent fortune--for
moderation was the order of those times--he was soon to withdraw from
the bar, and to fill the chair of the Recorder. He is said to have been
very successful in making lawyers eloquent and entertaining while he was
on the bench. Whether he was fond of the classics, I cannot affirm; but
he certainly borrowed a trait from Homer, and nodded occasionally; and
when a tedious speaker began his harangue, having already taken a full
view of the law and facts of the case, he usually fell asleep, waking up
as the counsel finished his harangue, much refreshed at least, if not
instructed by it, and proceeded to give judgment in the case. He was
noted for his tenderness to the poor, and it is said that he had on
their account almost as much business after he withdrew from the bar as
before. He died in 1820, at the age of sixty, and was buried in St.
Paul's, within a few feet of his compatriot Mathews. When Col. Nivison,
in December, 1776, was returning to his lodgings after organizing the
Phi Beta Kappa Society, he might have seen a pretty infant of two years
in the nurse's arms, or toddling in the shade of Waller's grove; but he
could not have foreseen that the same little fellow would in the course
of time worry him with all the art of the special pleader, and finally
receive from him the hand of his eldest daughter; and that when he
should withdraw from the bar, he was to leave all his business in the
hands of that child.

But there was a young man, a member of the bar in 1802, whose elegant
person, whose winning address, whose uncommon abilities, which were
associated with industry and perseverance quite as uncommon, and whose
glowing patriotism, would have made an impression in any country and in
any age, and gained distinction in any sphere. Under such a portrait the
name of one man only can be written--that of ROBERT BARRAUD TAYLOR.
Young Taylor was eleven months older than Tazewell, was born in
Smithfield, attended in Norfolk the school of that elegant scholar, the
late Dr. Alexander Whitehead, became a student of William and Mary
College, where he remained till his duel with John Randolph, in which he
received a ball that he carried to his grave; studied law with Judge
Marshall, and in 1796, at the age of twenty-two, engaged in the practice
of the law in this city. His fine talents attracted universal attention,
and business crowded upon him. His voice, action, eloquence, were all in
fine harmony. As the district court system was then in operation, he had
an opportunity of witnessing the displays of the leading counsel of the
state in the neighboring town of Suffolk; and it was the dictate alike
of interest and ambition to prepare himself for the conflict with his
ablest contemporaries. Politics were the order of the day; and they soon
engaged the attention of young Taylor. I heard many years ago, that when
he came to the bar, and some time afterwards, he sided with his college
mates Tazewell, Randolph, Cabell, Thompson, and James Barbour, and
hailed with rapture the progress of the French revolution; but, shocked
by the barbarities which disgraced the later stages of that moral and
political maelstrom, and indignant at the unprecedented conduct of the
diplomatic agents of France in our own country, he determined to
separate from his early friends, and to uphold with all his influence
the administration of Washington and that of his successor. It is said
that he read with unmixed feelings of admiration and delight the
Reflections of Burke on the French Revolution, which had appeared about
six years before; and, if that work vanquished his early love of France,
he may be said at least to have fallen by a noble hand. At such a crisis
of foreign and domestic affairs, it was impossible that a young man with
such powers of eloquence and such fearlessness of spirit should be
allowed to remain at home, while all his old associates, and the oldest
and ablest politicians of the state were about to assemble in Richmond,
and to battle for the victory. He was accordingly returned, in 1799, by
the Borough of Norfolk to the House of Delegates, on the floor of which
the contest was to be decided. At the session of the previous year, the
Assembly had passed the celebrated resolutions of John Taylor of
Caroline, long since known to have been written by Mr. Madison, which
had been sent to the several states. The leading object of the present
session was to refer the answers of the states to a committee, and to
report an argument in defence of the resolutions of the previous year.
The report, since so well known as the Report of '99, or the Virginia
Report, drawn by Madison, was the consequence. When it was presented to
the House of Delegates, it was discussed by the prominent men of both
parties with eminent ability. Young Taylor performed his part with his
usual zeal and force, and, by the side of his illustrious namesake,
George Keith Taylor, opposed the adoption of the Report, which
prevailed, however, by a decided majority. He also sustained Mr. Adams
for the presidency in preference to Mr. Jefferson; and, when Mr.
Jefferson was elected, he opposed his administration up to 1802, when
Tazewell came to reside in Norfolk. Though opposed then, and as long as
he lived, to the party which, with few and short intermissions, has
controlled, from 1789 to the present day, the political action of the
state, his devotion to our blessed mother was as pure and as ardent as
was ever felt by any son who drew nurture from her bosom; and he was as
prompt to avenge her wrongs as to assert her rights--at once a
D'Aguessau in the forum and a Bayard in the field. Nor was that
affection unreturned. When the clouds of war were gathering round her,
Virginia entrusted her safety and her honor to his sword; and when the
returning light of peace shone upon her hills and valleys and over the
green savannahs of the East, and he had withdrawn from the arena of his
splendid fame, she invested him with her ermine, which he wore with
becoming grace to his dying hour; and she stood in tears at his tomb.

In this young man, Tazewell was to find an intimate friend, a fit, an
able, and a lifelong competitor. They were nearly of the same age: they
had been classmates in College, and had been in the Assembly together;
and while Tazewell was studying law in Mr. Wickham's office in Richmond,
Taylor was following suit a few doors off in the office of Gen.
Marshall. Even on the score of physical beauty they were not unmatched.
Though belonging to different models, each in his sphere was, in youth,
in middle life, and in old age, among the finest looking men of their
generation. Sometimes the aspect of Taylor was magnificent. I saw him
one afternoon thirty years ago as he was returning from the court in
Portsmouth. He was passing from Toy and King's corner to Hall's. The
waves of recent debate were sweltering in his breast. His person was
erect; his gait was rapid; with one hand he held his cloak in a graceful
fold, and with the other he grasped his ivory curule staff. I thought of
Cicero hastening up the Capitoline hill to announce in the forum the
death of Catiline on the Picenian plain and the slaughter of the
traitor's band.

There were, however, some differences between them, which, or some of
which, observable at first, grew more distinct in the lapse of years, in
their places of nativity, in their temperaments, in their intellectual
traits, and in their politics. Both were partly of Gallic descent; but
here they differed as in other things. Tazewell was French on the
father's side; Taylor on the mother's. Tazewell's ancestors were from
that city on the banks of the Seine in which the piratical Northmen had
dwelt, which they had made the capital of a warlike empire extorted from
one of the drivelling descendants of Charlemagne, and which they had
called by the defiant title of Normandy. Taylor's ancestors belonged to
that pious and not less heroic race, which, under the name of
Huguenots, battled, not for rapine and conquest, but for the rights of
conscience and for a large public liberty, and which, though defeated
and driven from their ancestral land, the beautiful land of the fig, the
olive, and the vine, to the chalky shores of old England, were more than
triumphant in the virtue of their cause. The music familiar to the ears
of Tazewell's ancestors was the wind from the boisterous North Sea and
the turbulent Bay of Biscay; while Taylor's forefathers were refreshed
by the gentle gales of Araby blown across the blue Mediterranean to the
banks of the Rhone. The blood of both had been strongly mixed with the
blood of that Anglo-Saxon race, which, crushed at times, and even for
centuries, was apt to rise again, and build its fortresses to freedom
out of the ruins of the very temples of its oppressors.

Tazewell was born on the north side of the James, Taylor on the south--a
distinction of no little significance in Virginia politics to this very
hour. Tazewell, insensibly imitating those grave old rovers of the sea
whom he counted among his kin, was, even under great provocation, cool
and wary, and only the more dangerous; Taylor, whose southern blood
coursed in torrents of fire through his veins, though at times in the
highest degree self-poised and calm, had less command of his temper, and
showed more plainly the smart of the hostile shaft; and, though prompt
as lightning to return it, did not always send it back to the enemy as
steadily as he might have done with more deliberation. Their modes of
reasoning differed as widely as their temperaments. Each was a supreme
master of reasoning in his respective department; and, if we look along
their entire course at the bar, it is hard to say which of the two won
the most verdicts. Perhaps, though both of these able men wielded at
times an almost omnipotent sway over juries and over the bench; yet it
may be said that the style of Tazewell was more decisive with the court,
and that of Taylor with the jury. Each seemed necessary to the greatness
of the other; and it is probable that, if Tazewell had not been
constantly pressed throughout his career by such a man as Taylor, he
would never have made those wonderful displays before a jury and in
popular assemblies which form no small part of his fame; and that
Taylor, unless checked by the severe logic of Tazewell, would, indeed,
have been, as he was, the great advocate of his time, but would have
failed to acquire that reputation for profound ability and learning in
the law, which no less a judge than Marshall acknowledged in terms of
high commendation. In a strictly legal point of view, it would have been
best that both these able men had been removed in early life from the
deteriorating influence of inferior courts, and transferred to a higher
sphere. Had they gone together to New York, and had been compelled to
follow their cases through the highest courts as well as the lowest, or
had confined themselves to appellate tribunals, they would in their
daily efforts have reared a legal reputation coextensive with the Union,
and, perhaps, more durable. It is only necessary to state that Taylor
remained at the bar ten years after the retirement of Tazewell; that he
was then called upon to preside in the courts in which he had reaped his
brilliant fame; that, when a long and honored judicial career seemed to
stretch before him, he was snatched away at the comparatively early age
of sixty; and that Tazewell survived him more than a quarter of a
century.[4]

Before we leave the Court-room of 1802, glancing, as we pass, at the
face of young Maxwell, then just returned from Yale, who four years
later was to make a name for himself, and of Arthur and Richard Henry
Lee, brothers, whose sparkling eloquence ruled the fierce democracy of
the day, and bespoke its ancestral source, and of others who were about
to step on the threshold of professional life, the young man, sitting at
the clerk's table, and intent upon his work, raising now and then his
dark chestnut eyes to the Counsel or to the Court, his jet black hair
curling about his tall forehead, his erect port telling of the military
exercises in which he so much delighted and excelled, seems, in vision,
to rise before me. Born in Henrico, within a stone's throw of the
birthplace of Henry Clay, who was his intimate personal friend and
colleague in the clerk's office under Peter Tinsley,--the county-man and
colleague also of our late esteemed fellow-citizen, Thomas Williamson,
another pupil of Tinsley,--he had performed such faithful service in the
General Court, that at the age of twenty-four, he was chosen, in May of
the preceding year, the clerk of the Norfolk Courts. His skill in his
business, the industry and integrity that shone in all his paths, his
cordial and polished manners, his martial spirit, which approached
something too near "an appetite for danger," but which was finely
tempered to the social sphere, conciliated the public esteem; and, while
he acquired the reputation of the readiest and the ablest clerk of his
day, he became, during the excited period from 1802 to 1815, when war
with Spain, with France, with England, was the order and the trouble of
the day, one of the most complete soldiers of our citizen corps. Leaning
to the federal side in politics, he, like the gallant Taylor, knew no
party when the sword was to be drawn. At the early age of twenty-five he
was made Colonel of the Ninth Regiment, was in active service during the
Douglas war, as the affair that grew out of the affair with the
Chesapeake was called, and, during the late war with Great Britain,
commanded in the field the Second and Ninth Regiments, establishing an
exactness of discipline and an _esprit du corps_ which was a favorite
topic of remark in the army. He was the soul of honor. His name was an
authority, his word was a witness, wherever the one was known or the
other uttered; and there were those who predicted for him, whether he
should engage in the field or at the bar, a brilliant fame. Between him
and Tazewell, who were nearly of the same age, the most affectionate
friendship existed--a friendship which, founded on mutual esteem, and
cemented by mutual kindness, has descended already to the third
generation. In 1823, at the age of forty-seven, this excellent man
passed away. I only knew him in his latter years and in my boyish days.
I see him as, when our waters were filled with hostile fleets, he
marched at the head of his regiment, on a horse richly caparisoned,
shining with silver and steel. I see him as he walked along the street,
a tall slim man, quick in his movements, and inspiring, by his air and
gait and benignant eye, respect and even affection. He was early bald on
the upper part of his head; but, by way of atonement, wore to the last,
sometime after it was dropped by others, a long queue, that attracted
the passing glance of the boys. He was, I think, except Seth Foster and
Moses Myers, the last of the queues. He came of an old Anglo-Saxon
stock. His name for centuries in Scotland and in England had been borne
by archbishops and illustrious laymen; and in our own times, in the
earlier part of this century, it was the synonym of British
philanthropy. But neither early nor late, in the Old World or in the
New, was it ever borne by a nobler or a purer man--a man over whose
grave more gentle and more precious memories should hover--than WILLIAM
SHARP.

When, in 1802, Tazewell appeared at the Norfolk bar, party politics were
in a state of active fermentation. The passions of men became involved
in the contests of the day to an extent which has not been reached
since, and entered into the private relations of life. Men of business
who had important cases for trial, and who were, for the most part,
attached to the federal party, called in the aid of the federal members
of the bar; but it was soon seen that the young republican lawyer, who
had voted for the resolutions of '98-'99, and for the report of
'99-1800, and who had helped by his vote in the House of Representatives
to elect Mr. Jefferson president, had introduced a new practice into the
courts, and began to win verdicts in the greatest cases from all his
federal opponents. The result was, as it always will be, that ability
and learning prevailed over prejudice, and Tazewell was soon employed on
the one or the other side of every great question. As an illustration of
the strength of the political prejudices which prevailed, and which
entered into domestic affairs, when Tazewell became a member of the
Norfolk bar, I may mention an incident I heard many years ago. When it
was rumored that Tazewell was paying his addresses to the eldest
daughter of Col. Nivison, who belonged to the federal party, an old and
active federalist observed that the Colonel would never allow a daughter
of his to marry a democrat; and, as an illustration of the bigotry of
the opposite party, I may mention that I have heard old republicans say
that Tazewell's democracy was tainted by marrying into a federal family;
and that his marriage was the true explanation of the change of his
relations with the administration of Jefferson, of which I shall treat
in another place. And here it may be proper to state that, in 1802, Mr.
Tazewell led to the altar Anne Stratton, the eldest daughter of Colonel
John Nivison; a lady with whom he lived most happily for fifty-four
years, and whom, after an interval of eighteen months, he followed to
the grave.

In the fall of 1803, William Wirt, whose brilliant genius has reflected
so much credit on his adopted Commonwealth, came to reside in Norfolk.
Like all his legal compatriots, he had been an active politician, and
had been clerk of the House of Delegates for three sessions, during the
last of which, the session of 1799, the Virginia report was adopted, and
was a warm personal and political friend of Mr. Jefferson. It is from
his pen that the beautiful resolutions of the Virginia Assembly,
approving the administration of Jefferson at its close, proceeded; but
then he was not known even as the author of the Letters of the British
Spy which, though they had been printed in the Richmond _Argus_ in the
early fall, had not been collected into a volume. He was welcomed most
cordially by Mr. Tazewell, by whose persuasion he had come to Norfolk,
and whose business was now so overflowing that he offered, as we are
told by Wirt, to withdraw from several courts purely for his benefit.
The success of Wirt was flattering, but, overcome by the fear of the
yellow fever, and seduced by family attachments, in the early summer of
1806, he removed to Richmond. While he resided in Norfolk, he was
engaged with Mr. Tazewell in the case of Shannon (1804), which was tried
in Williamsburg, and which excited the most intense interest in Eastern
Virginia. Of Mr. Tazewell's speech on the trial Mr. Wirt always spoke in
terms of enthusiastic admiration, which was not the less glowing as
until that time he had looked upon Mr. Tazewell only as a severe
logician, and incapable of the loftier flights of eloquence. The
buoyancy of Wirt's spirits is exhibited in his admirable letters
published in the memoir of Mr. Kennedy; and his gentle courtesy and
generous nature are yet freshly remembered in our city. As a proof of
his playfulness, I have heard Mrs. Tazewell say that when Wirt would
call at her house, on his way to court, he would beg her for a bundle of
newspapers to stuff in his green bag, to make a show of business as he
passed into the court-house. When the Old Bachelor appeared, a series of
essays in imitation of the Spectator, which Wirt published after leaving
Norfolk, he delineated at full length the character of Tazewell, under
the name of Sidney, and of General Taylor under that of Herbert; and I
refer to the number as a gratifying evidence of the estimate which he
placed upon the genius and acquirements of those eminent men. And now
that the grave has closed above Wirt and Tazewell, it is refreshing to
contemplate the cordiality of their friendship, and the substantial
welcome which Tazewell extended to Wirt; and it is proper to say that,
but for the revelations of Mr. Wirt himself contained in his published
letters, and in the statements of his nearest friends, the recollection
of the generous kindness of Mr. Tazewell to Wirt, as may be said of many
other cases, would have remained unknown to his surviving friends.

In tracing the career of a great lawyer, we should follow him through
the courts in which his life was spent; but here, unfortunately, no
records appear which can throw any light upon the subject. The grandest
efforts of counsel are made in the presence of the court and of the
jury, and of those spectators who may happen to be in the court-room at
the time, and are soon forgotten. Many heroes, the poet tells us, lived
before Agamemnon, but are forgotten, because they had no poet to record
their praise; and, before the days of the stenographer, the most
brilliant harangues in our inferior courts perished with the breath of
them who uttered, and of those who heard them. Such has been the fate of
Mr. Tazewell. Of all the speeches which he addressed to the courts and
juries of Norfolk, from 1802 to 1821, not a vestige remains; and all
that we know is, that he was employed on one side or other of all the
important cases of that interval; and that he exhibited abilities which
easily placed him at the head of the bar of the Commonwealth, and
attracted the attention of all who, whether in foreign countries or our
own, held any connexion with our city. I shall pass over his criminal
cases altogether, though they abound in striking passages; and of his
civil cases in the courts of the State during his practice, I shall
select two only, and rather by way of allusion than in full detail, one
of which was tried at the beginning of this period, and the other in
1821 near its close.

About the year 1798, an eccentric individual named John Taylor, but
better known as Solomon John, to distinguish him from two other persons
of the same name living in Norfolk at the same time, a man of wealth and
position, but believed to be slightly deranged in some respects, was
returning from a hunting excursion, and, stopping at Burk's Gardens,
which have long since given way to the houses now composing Hartshorne's
Court, deliberately discharged his piece, which was loaded with small
shot, at a crowd of people, and wounded a man named Rainbow in the leg,
which was at length amputated. Rainbow instituted a suit, an action of
trespass on the case, in the Borough Court, and filed a declaration in
that form. Tazewell, as Taylor's attorney, offered to demur to the
declaration, a mode of pleading which, though old as the English law
itself, was a novelty in the borough; and the Court refused to receive
it. Mr. Tazewell took a bill of exceptions to the District Court at
Suffolk. The point of the demurrer was that the action should have been
trespass _vi et armis_. The District Court affirmed the decision of the
Borough Court; and an appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals, which
reversed the decision of the inferior courts. Until this time the
distinction, which is merely technical, had been hardly perceptible to
the courts of England and of this country, and was by no means settled
law; but thereafter the points of difference were regarded as clearly
defined; and both in England and in the courts of the United States, the
case of Taylor vs. Rainbow has always been cited as conclusive of the
question.

The other case, which was one of the last in which he appeared at the
Virginia bar, was Long vs. Colston, and was argued in 1820, in the Court
of Appeals. His associate in the case was Mr. Wickham, and the opposing
counsel were Gen. Walter Jones and Mr. Stanard; and it was decided by
Judges Roane, Cabell, and Coalter. The arguments of Tazewell are not
stated; but Mr. Gilmer, who reports the decision, laments that no
official reporter was present "to give to the profession even a sketch
of the profound and comprehensive views of the counsel." The question
was on the doctrine of Covenant; and I am told by learned counsel who
have examined Mr. Tazewell's notes in the case, that this was, in their
opinion, the greatest forensic display ever made in this country.

I recall an anecdote which was current at the time, and which shows the
effect of Tazewell's argument on the court. Roane, one of the judges
whose reputation has been held almost sacred in Virginia, was not
prejudiced in favor of Tazewell, in consequence of old political feuds;
but he was so transported by his argument that he could hardly think or
speak of anything else during the day. It is said that, on the day of
the argument, Roane had invited a party to dine with him, and after the
adjournment of the court went to his study at home, where he appeared
moody and abstracted. Meantime his company had arrived, and, as the
Judge still lingered in his office, his wife went to him and informed
him that the company was waiting; but all she could get from him were
such broken sentences as these: "Yes, the first man that ever argued a
law case," "the greatest of all our lawyers," "beyond all comparison our
first lawyer;" while she, abandoning him to his reveries, led the guests
to the table.

An incident which shows the character of Tazewell in an amiable point of
view deserves a passing allusion. When he had retired for some time from
general practice in our courts, he was induced to argue in the Superior
Court in Portsmouth a memorable case of insurance in which he had been
consulted; and, for the benefit of the junior members of the bar, he
discussed all the difficult and leading points of the case at full
length, and with all his ability, and made an impression upon the court,
and upon the bar, which was gratefully and delightfully remembered.

The Cochineal case, rather from the rumors growing out of it, than from
the case itself, which, however, embodied some important doctrines of
the law of prize, and a large sum of money, deserves a passing allusion.
The name of the case is the Santissima Trinidad, and the St. Andre,
which was argued in the Supreme Court of the United States in 1822, on
an appeal from the Circuit Court of Virginia, and is reported in seventh
Wheaton (283-355). This was a libel filed by the Consul of Spain in the
District Court of Virginia, in April, 1817, against 89 bales of
cochineal, two bales of jalap, and one box of Vanilla, originally
constituting part of the cargoes of the Spanish ships Santissima
Trinidad and St. Andre, and alleged to be unlawfully and piratically
taken out of those vessels on the high seas by a squadron consisting of
two armed vessels, the Independencia del Sud, and the Altravida, under
the command of Don Diego Chator, who sailed under a commission from the
Government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata--that
Government having been, or being a dependency of Spain, and its
independence not having been acknowledged by Spain or by the United
States. Tazewell was employed by the Spanish Consul, M. Chacon, whose
person is so familiar to our older citizens; and he gained the case in
the Federal District and Circuit Courts, following it, contrary to his
usual custom, to the Supreme Court. The case was argued in 1822, Winder
and Ogden for the appellants, and Tazewell and Webster for the
appellees. The questions involved were points of the law of prize, and
are too technical for this presence; but the speech of Tazewell,
condensed and mutilated as it is in the report, is an admirable specimen
of argument on purely legal topics which were to be worked out in the
new political relations of the world, and to be settled by the law of
nations. He gained the case in all the courts. John Randolph attended
the trial in Washington, and was evidently alarmed at the trepidation
which was always visible in Tazewell's manner on arising to address a
court in a great case, and especially in a new scene, and felt some
misgivings about the result. The trepidation, however, soon passed away;
and when Tazewell proceeded to establish point after point, and was in
the full headway of his argument--a large audience, consisting of the
ablest lawyers and statesmen of the Union, watching every syllable that
fell from his lips, and following him through the mazes of his mighty
plea--Randolph could restrain himself no longer, but said in a tone
audible to those about him: "_I told you so--I told you so; Old Virginny
never tires._"

It is known that Mr. Pinkney was engaged for the appellants; and much
interest was excited at the approaching contest between two men whose
peculiar province was the law of admiralty; but before the appointed
time, Pinkney was summoned to another and higher tribunal; and among
those who deplored the loss which our whole country suffered in his
death, none was more sincere than Mr. Tazewell. A friend, who had heard
the current rumors concerning the death of Pinkney in connexion with the
case, ventured to ask Mr. Tazewell about the truth of the matter. He
instantly said that it was all a fiction,--that Pinkney, who was of a
full temperament, died of an inflammatory disease (as we all know from
his life by Wheaton); that there were no extremely difficult points in
the case, and that, if there had been, Pinkney feared the face of no man
living. Of Mr. Tazewell, intellectually and physically as he appeared at
this time, an eloquent likeness is presented in the sketch of Francis
Walker Gilmer.[5]

Tazewell had argued the Cochineal case in Norfolk and in Richmond
before it reached the Supreme Court, and had exhibited such an abounding
wealth of argument, it was believed that his last speech would be a mere
reflection of its predecessors in the cause; but he was as wary as he
was able; and, knowing from the magnitude of the case it would be
carried up, and would be maintained by the greatest legal talents of the
age, he wisely reserved some of his strongest points for the court of
the last resort. When General Taylor, who went up to hear the final
argument, returned to Norfolk, he told the bar, that to his surprise
Tazewell had taken six new points in the case.

When M. Chacon, the Spanish Consul, called on Mr. Tazewell to engage him
in behalf of the Spanish claimants, he was informed that he would
undertake it in all the other points, if those connected with the then
recent treaty with Spain, under which he had been appointed a
commissioner by Monroe, were assigned to other counsel; and he suggested
the name of Webster. He ever held the abilities of Mr. Webster in the
highest respect; and when asked, on reaching Norfolk after the argument,
what he thought of Webster, who was then, comparatively, a young man, he
said he was excessively clever, but a lazy dog.

We now approach an epoch in the history of parties which materially
involves the consistency of Mr. Tazewell as a politician. Although he
had not been in public life since his withdrawal from Congress, he held
no unimportant place in popular estimation. His course in the House of
Delegates during four troublous years, and in the House of
Representatives where he had taken an active and fearless part in the
fierce strife for the election of a President, had commended him to the
affections of that majority which has ruled the politics of Virginia
since the adoption of the present federal constitution. He was the son
of a beloved statesman who had fallen while in the innermost councils of
that great party, and whose name was held in honor. His talents had now
gained him a position among the ablest members of the bar; and his old
political associates looked to him for aid in the crisis which was
drawing near; and they looked in vain. This aspect of his political life
it is my office to present before you.

Up to 1805 the administration of Jefferson was floating, to use one of
his own figures, on the full tide of successful experiment. The
obnoxious measures of the federal party, where repeal was possible, had
been repealed. The alien act, which Tazewell condemned not only as
unconstitutional but to the last degree unwise, as tending to repress
the emigration of those who would not only settle our waste lands, but
to serve to defend the country during the crisis which he saw was
rapidly approaching, and the sedition act, had expired by their own
limitation. The judiciary act, which had been passed and carried into
effect in the descending twilight of the late administration, had been
repealed. Economy had been introduced into the public expenditures; and
a considerable portion of the public debt had been extinguished. The
foreign policy of the administration had been as successful as the
domestic. Partly by chance, partly by that wise foresight which
anticipates the possibilities of the future and provides for them, the
administration had acquired from France the vast domain of Louisiana;
and thenceforth the exclusive navigation of that mighty river, on which
hitherto we dared not lift a sail or dip an oar without the consent of a
foreign power, and on the banks of which, since its transfer from Spain
to France, we had been vainly begging a place of deposit, became the
birthright of every American citizen.

But this flattering prospect was soon to be overcast. England and France
had long been at war; and, at the period of which we are treating,
France had become the ruthless bandit of the land, and England the
wanton pirate of the sea. Each desired the cooperation of the United
States in the war--and each determined, in the event of our refusal to
take part in the controversy in its favor, to cripple our commerce by
all means within its reach. That commerce, fostered by our accidental
position as neutrals when the two great commercial nations of the world
were at war, had reached a marvellous height. Its keels vexed every sea.
Its flag was now seen in the frozen circles; and now it reflected from
its waving folds the fervors of the southern cross. Our merchants,
springing, as it were, in a single night from the station of ordinary
dealers and dependents on foreign countries to that of arbiters and
rulers of the commerce of the globe, were equal to their new position;
and our sailors, responsive to their will, gathered with their Briarean
arms the wealth of every realm. Foreign statesmen in the recesses of the
cabinet, and economists in the closet, beheld with amazement the rapid
growth of our marine. They saw a nation, which had not then attained its
seventeenth year, enjoying a commerce which nearly equalled in tonnage
that which England had been gradually forming from the date of the
Norman Conquest to that hour--a period of near eight hundred years. At
such an epoch a strict neutrality in respect of the contending powers
was the dictate alike of duty and interest. But such a policy was
distasteful to England and France; and the result was the issuing of his
successive decrees by Napoleon from Berlin and Milan, and the
promulgation of the successive British orders in council. These
iniquitous measures, the last mentioned of which, the British orders in
council, have been since pronounced illegal by the courts of England
herself, declared our ships with their cargoes forfeitable to England if
they touched a French port, and to France if they touched a port in
England or her dependencies.

In such a conjuncture opinions might well differ in respect of the
proper means of redress. The administration of Jefferson sought it by
long, able, and most urgent appeals to the sense of justice of the
contending parties, but sought in vain. When mere diplomacy, though
managed by the consummate ability and adroitness of William Pinkney at
the court of St. James, and by our ablest men fit the court of Napoleon,
proved fruitless, the administration, at the earnest solicitation of its
representatives at the hostile courts, determined to sustain our
diplomatic action by such legislative measures as were likely to reach
the interests of the contending powers. Non-intercourse and the embargo,
which kept our ships in port, followed; and the administration, still
pressing upon the belligerents the injustice and impolicy of their
conduct, awaited the effect of their restrictive policy. Meantime its
opponents were neither idle nor silent; and one long, universal cry rose
from all the commercial cities. Their ships, the merchants said, were
rotting at the wharf; if kept at home, they would soon become worthless;
if sent to sea, they could but be taken. It was urged by the merchants
that, even if England and France sequestered a number of their ships,
still the profits earned by such as might escape confiscation would
cover their losses on their investments. An able minority in Congress
sustained the views held by the mercantile interest; but a large
majority of both Houses of Congress, and of the people, approved the
policy of the administration.

At this eventful moment a new political party, consisting almost wholly
of Southern men, sprung into being. What added to its importance was,
that, though ridiculously small in respect of the numbers who composed
it, the members possessed great parliamentary eloquence and tact, and
had previously been regarded as among the firmest friends of the
administration. Its numbers were indeed so small both in Congress and
out of it, as to exercise no weight in the call of the ayes and noes, or
at the polls; but its members mingled in every debate, wrote plausible
essays in the papers, and used all justifiable means as well as some
that were questionable, in attaining their ends. Of this party, Mr.
Tazewell, though never a member, and only a casual coadjutor, was
considered to belong; but there was no evidence to show that he approved
the vile scheme of its leaders of embroiling the country in a war with
Spain. On the contrary, he held that the true remedy of existing
grievances in the first instance was an immediate declaration of war
against both belligerents, which, now that the curtain is lifted, we see
was the true remedy of the hour; but that, if from prudence a
declaration of war was withheld, it was unwise, by a total cessation of
our most gainful commerce, to inflict upon our own people all the
injuries which war would produce without any of the advantages that
might accrue from a successful prosecution of hostilities; that the
commercial regulations of England and France, though bearing
disastrously on us, were chiefly designed to injure each other during
actual war; and that, being war measures, they would determine on a
restoration of peace, when we could obtain from the respective powers
full redress for all our grievances.

He accordingly opposed the election of Mr. Madison to the presidency,
whom he regarded as the impersonation of the restrictive policy which he
had defended in his diplomatic writings, and from the press; and which
was deemed the pledge of its continuance; and, in the spring of 1809,
voted for the federal candidate for Congress, in opposition to Newton,
who, though coming from a sea-port, had gallantly upheld the commercial
policy of Jefferson, and who was returned by a decisive majority.

That epoch was the most mortifying in the annals of our country; and
posterity must decide whether any action of ours could have averted the
difficulty, and on whose shoulders the responsibility shall rest. When I
reflect upon the incidents of that day; when I recount the millions of
American capital sacrificed by the remorseless rapacity of England and
France; when I call up from their graves the hundreds and thousands of
American sailors, the sons of the men who had fought at Bunker Hill, who
had led the forlorn hope at Stony Point, who had bled on the sweltering
field of Eutaw, and who had stormed the outworks at York; when I reflect
that such men were forcibly taken from their ships, and were compelled
to fight the battles of England, to be doomed to the prison-ship, or to
be scourged by the lash, and that not one dollar of those pilfered
millions has yet been paid by one of the belligerents; and that all
those injuries are yet unavenged;--passions, which I fondly hoped had
long been quenched in my bosom, flame once more; and I am led to cherish
with still deeper affection that Federal Union which will enable us
henceforth to right such wrongs even though attempted by the combined
navies of the world.

The same reasons which induced Mr. Tazewell to oppose the restrictive
policy of the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, led him
necessarily to oppose the war of 1812 with Great Britain. He believed
that, if a declaration of war had been expedient at any period of the
commercial difficulties with England and France, the proper time for
declaring it was when the offence was given, and when our commerce was
at the height, and our ability to sustain hostilities was proportionally
greater; that the administration, having waived the opportunity of
making a declaration in the first instance, and deliberately adopted the
policy of diplomacy and of commercial regulation as the proper means of
relief, our resources meantime having become crippled and our revenue
almost annihilated, it was bound to adhere to it during the existing
crisis; that the long and expensive war had impaired the resources of
England and France, who would soon be compelled from mere exhaustion to
make peace, and with the restoration of peace our difficulties would
necessarily terminate, and we might demand redress for the grievances
which we had sustained at their hands; that a declaration of war with
England would be substantially, as it turned out to be, a receipt in
full for our enormous commercial losses caused by her orders in council,
which losses must then be assumed by our own government, or fall on the
merchants, who would be crushed by their weight; that peace among the
belligerents might happen at any moment, while a war with one of them
would certainly involve a large expenditure of blood and money, and
might continue at the pleasure of the belligerent long after a general
pacification in Europe; and that, if war was to be waged as a measure of
redress for our violated rights, as both belligerents were equally
guilty, it should be declared against both.

In weighing the reasons on which any measure of public policy is
founded, we must always refer to the time when the deed was done and to
the position of the actors. At the present day, looking at the results
which are believed to have flowed from the war of 1812, and especially
our victories on the sea, we are inclined to blame those who opposed its
declaration, and extol the wisdom and gallantry of those who approved
it. This test, however, is neither philosophical nor just; and, as a
proof of the soundness of Mr. Tazewell's opinions, or that at least they
were not taken up, as has been alleged, from hostility to a democratic
administration, we may state the fact that Madison himself, of whose
administration the war shines as the crowning honor, was, like his
predecessor in the presidency, opposed originally to its declaration;
but was overruled or over-persuaded by the able and gallant young men
whose eloquence carried that measure through Congress; and it should
ever be remembered that, if the declaration had been postponed a few
weeks, the repeal of the British orders in council would have rendered
it unnecessary; and the thousands of precious lives and the millions of
treasure which it cost would have been saved to the country.

If war, with all its possible compensations, be at all times a dangerous
and uncertain measure--if all the treasures and glories which human
hands can hold, and the imaginations of men may compute, in the
estimation of the true patriot as well as the true Christian, sink into
dust, when compared with the unnecessary and wanton sacrifice of the
life of the humblest citizen of the Republic--if the war with England
cost millions of wealth, and the shedding of the blood of tens of
thousands of our fellow-men,--then it is something to say that, if the
policy of Tazewell had been pursued for a few weeks--a policy which, so
far as war was concerned, had been, up to its declaration, the
deliberate policy of Jefferson and Madison--that war which had been
postponed to the dawn of the pacification in Europe, would not have
occurred.

The question for posterity to decide is, not whether, if we judge by
results, Tazewell was right or wrong--a mode of judging too fallacious
and too dangerous in human affairs, and subjecting the responsibility of
human actors to too fearful a test,--but which, even if applied to the
course of Mr. Tazewell, would confirm, beyond question, the wisdom of
the policy which he advised at the time; but the question is, whether
his policy was not such as a great statesman, intent solely upon the
welfare of his country, might not have pursued, not only without
impairing the public confidence in his patriotism, integrity, and
attachment to the cardinal principles of his political faith, but such
as, even with the facts then before him, reflected high credit upon his
sagacity and courage.

But whatever were his views about the policy of declaring war at any
particular time, no sooner was war declared than he gave it a cordial
support. In concert with the administration, and in connection with his
friend and associate, Gen. Taylor, to whom was assigned the command of
the forces at Norfolk, he exerted all his powers to put our port in a
posture of defence. He hailed, especially, our victories on the sea with
enthusiastic applause, and ever rejoiced that the treaty of Ghent was
preceded, at least in this country, by the glorious Eighth of January.

To confirm the remark that Mr. Tazewell, though opposed to the
restrictive policy of Jefferson, was still friendly to that statesman,
and was unwilling to be considered hostile to him, I may recall to the
recollection of my elder hearers an incident which created much
amusement when it occurred. It appears that, in the winter of 1807, when
Tazewell had been sent to the Assembly to attend to some local interests
of Norfolk, a caucus of the republican members had been called in
Richmond with a view of denouncing those who opposed the restrictive
policy as deserters from the party. When the night of the caucus
arrived, Tazewell, who was confined to his bed by sickness, heard of the
gathering for the first time. Ill as he was, he hastened to the place of
meeting, and, with his head bound with napkins, and in haggard attire,
made his appearance in the middle of the caucus. The clever young men
who then managed the machinery of the party were struck dumb by his
presence as by that of an apparition. Then Tazewell spoke. He reasoned
upon the impolicy of forcing a third party into existence, when, while
he was speaking, the winds might bear over the waters the revocation of
the British orders and the French decrees, and all would be well. He
showed that, while he disapproved a single measure of the
administration, he heartily approved its general policy, and the
constitutional doctrines which composed its faith. There was no reply.
The meeting dispersed, and my democratic friends have ever since been
cautious how they undertook to read clever fellows out of the party.

In 1807 occurred one of those painful incidents which roused the people
of that day to madness--which fills the heart, even at this late day,
with pain and sadness, but which has such a connection with Mr.
Tazewell, that I, a Norfolk man, addressing Norfolk men, cannot pass it
by in silence. On the early morn of the 22d of June, a frigate, built by
your own mechanics, in sight of your city, baptized in the waters of
your own Elizabeth, bearing the name of your own noble bay, and under
the command of as gallant a Virginian as ever trod a deck, lifting her
anchor in the Roads, put out to sea on the errand of her country. On the
following day, unsuspecting of danger, she was attacked by the British
frigate Leopard, and became her prize. The commander of the Leopard,
when he had taken from the Chesapeake certain men whom he alleged were
deserters from the British flag, declined to take further possession of
the captured frigate, which returned to the Roads. Three of our men were
killed, and sixteen wounded, during the attack. These wounded men were
brought to the marine hospital, and received every possible attention.
One of them died, and was buried with all the solemnities of public
sorrow.

When the fatal tidings were known, there arose a piercing shriek of
agony and grief, followed presently by the low, touching wail from the
stricken heart of the nation. And then, the louder and the longer for
the delay, came the cry for vengeance, which burst from the lips of a
whole people. The promptness and dispatch with which the British frigate
acted indicated deliberate design; and the suspicion instantly flashed
across the public mind that the consular authorities of England in our
port were privy to its execution. The outbreak in Norfolk was terrible.
Had Col. Hamilton, the consul, not been long and intimately known and
loved by the people, he would have been taken from his house and
gibbeted on the square, as an expiation of the blood of our countrymen,
wantonly shed, in a time of peace, by a British captain. An unfortunate
British officer, who came up from one of the four frigates in the bay,
had well-nigh been torn in pieces by the infuriated people. In such a
conjuncture the ordinary forms of government were overlooked, and the
citizens in full assembly, the venerable Mathews in the chair,
appointed, as in the days of the Revolution, a Committee of Safety. A
preamble, setting forth in becoming terms the outrage on the Chesapeake,
was adopted, and it was resolved that there should be no intercourse
with the British frigates in our waters, or with their agents, until the
decision of the federal government was known, under the penalty of being
deemed infamous; and the Committee of Safety, consisting of fourteen of
our most worthy citizens, some of whose descendants are now within the
sound of my voice, were authorized to take such measures as the
emergency demanded.[6]

As soon as Commodore Douglas read the resolves of the Norfolk meeting,
he addressed an insolent note to the mayor of the borough, in which he
declared that if the resolutions were not _instantly annulled_, he would
prohibit every vessel bound in or out of Norfolk from proceeding to her
place of destination. This letter was written on board the Bellona
frigate, on the third of July. "You are aware," said this haughty
Briton, "that the British flag never has, nor ever will be insulted
with impunity." After some further remarks, he adds: "It therefore rests
with the inhabitants of Norfolk either to engage in a war, or remain on
terms of peace." And he closed his letter by saying that he had
proceeded with his squadron, which consisted of four fifty-gun frigates,
to Hampton Roads, to await the answer of the mayor of Norfolk, which he
hoped would be forwarded without delay.

It is in this stage of the proceedings, which he probably regulated from
the first, that I shall introduce Mr. Tazewell to your notice. No
community was ever placed in a more delicate dilemma. The stoppage of
our commerce would produce great inconvenience, and there was no force
which the federal government could command at all competent to raise the
embargo; and at any moment blood might be shed. The people, meantime,
were in a tempest of rage. I have heard, from men who saw those times,
that, if the British commodore had put his threat in execution--if, in
so doing, as would have been inevitable, he had taken another human
life, or shed another drop of American blood, not only would war have
followed, but something worse than war, which, even at this distance of
time, we tremble to contemplate. The blood of innocent Englishmen would
have been shed everywhere as a propitiation to the manes of our murdered
countrymen. Under these circumstances Tazewell dictated the celebrated
letter of the mayor of Norfolk, which was admired over the whole
country, not only for its spirit, but for the admirable tact with which
it put the British commodore in the wrong. That letter, which was
written on the Fourth of July, begins with this paragraph:

"Sir, I have received your menacing letter of yesterday. The day on
which this answer is written ought of itself to prove to the subjects of
your sovereign that the American people are not to be intimidated by
menace; or induced to adopt any measures except by a sense of their
perfect propriety. Seduced by the false show of security, they may be
sometimes surprised and slaughtered, while unprepared to resist a
supposed friend. That delusive security is now passed forever. The late
occurrence has taught us to confide our safety no longer to anything
than to our own force. We do not seek hostility, nor shall we avoid it.
We are prepared for the worst you may attempt, and will do whatever
shall be judged proper to repel force, whensoever your efforts shall
render any act of ours necessary. Thus much for the threats in your
letter."

Of this letter Tazewell was appointed to be the bearer, and, attended by
a friend whose son is now a leading member of our bar,[7] delivered it
to Commodore Douglas on board the Bellona frigate in the presence of the
captains of the fleet. An account of the scene is fortunately preserved
by his own pen in a letter to the Mayor; and it is plain to see that the
British captains, among whom was Sir Thomas Hardy, to whom Lord Nelson
addressed in his dying moments that affectionate request, surprised and
overwhelmed by the address and ability of Tazewell, recanted all their
threats; and in their letter of the 5th breathed nothing but amity and
peace. Whoever will read the letter of Commodore Douglas of the 3d of
July, and his letter of the 5th, will see the most amusing instance of
backing out in the annals of diplomacy. The federal government now took
the case in hand, and the committee of safety in an eloquent address
resigned the authority with which they had been invested by the people.

One of the obvious results of the peace of 1815 with Great Britain was
the active employment of our commercial marine. During the war the seeds
of new enterprises had been sown, and much of that capital which had
previously been employed in navigation had been diverted, and fresh
capital was required in its place. There was a general desire for the
creation of new banks; and as the principles of banking, which have
become more familiar since, were in 1816 comparatively unknown to those
who composed a majority of the assembly, it was important that Norfolk
should be ably represented in the assembly. At this time the existing
banks, which had suspended during the war, had not resumed the payment
of specie. On the subject of banks, Tazewell though brought up by men
who had been almost ruined by a paper currency and hated the name, his
own father having been one of the most active statesmen in forcing a
resumption of specie payments after the peace of 1783, was not unwilling
that commercial men should employ the agency of banks under proper
restrictions; and having been elected by the people of Norfolk to the
House of Delegates without his knowledge and during his absence from
home, he took his seat in that body in 1816. Let it be remembered, that
when he took this trust from the people of Norfolk, he was constantly
engaged in the highest duties of his profession; that he was not only
employed in courts, but was consulted by foreign clients--by the
merchants of London and by the Court of Rome; and that his absence from
town in the performance of his duties in the assembly would result in
the loss of thousands at a time when he was far from being a wealthy
man; and we will have some idea of the principles which guided his
conduct in respect of the public service. He sought nothing--he asked
nothing from public bodies or from the people, but he recognized the
obligation resting on every citizen to serve his country; and when an
emergent case occurred, and he was called out by the people, he never
declined office, but entered into it at every personal sacrifice,
performing its duties with such success and such ability as to leave an
impression upon the times in which he lived.[8] He practically defeated
the wild banking schemes of the session by the insertion of a specie
clause which was readily adopted by the friends of those measures, but
which, as was designed, made their schemes impracticable.

But his great effort in the assembly of 1816 was his speech on the
Convention bill of that year. He spoke in reply to the late Gen. Smythe
of Wythe; and in an argument of uncommon power, which formed one of the
eloquent traditions of the House when I took my seat in it twelve years
later, he answered the objections urged against the existing
constitution, and sustained that instrument in all its length and
breadth. His speech produced a wonderful effect upon all who heard it.
The late Philip Doddridge, one of the ablest and most decided of all Mr.
Tazewell's opponents in state and federal politics, but ever abounding
in that magnanimity which flourishes most in the finest minds, always
spoke of the argument of Mr. Tazewell in reply to Gen. Smythe as
extraordinary--as surpassing any that he ever heard in a deliberative
assembly. He told me so in conversation, and he afterwards spoke of it
in the same exalted strain in the House of Delegates and in the
Convention of 1829. The result of the Convention discussion was, that,
though a bill calling a Convention passed the House by a small majority,
it was lost in the Senate; and a compromise was effected between the
East and the West by reorganizing the basis of representation in the
Senate on white population according to the census of 1810. In this as
on most other occasions the testimony magnifying the speeches of
Tazewell come from a hostile quarter.

His election to the Senate of the United States in 1824 was one of the
severest trials of his life. Having withdrawn alike from the inferior
and appellate courts, he anxiously desired to spend the reminder of his
days in the bosom of his family, and to mingle no more in public
affairs. To undertake any special service in behalf of his country was
always a grateful employment; but to leave his home for months, and to
be engaged in the monotonous routine of deliberative bodies, was most
distasteful to him; but, true to the great maxim of his life--never to
seek or to decline a public trust--he accepted the appointment; and took
his seat in the early part of January, 1825. A casual view of his career
in that body, which extended from 1825 to 1833--a period of nearly eight
years--during which he held, at least in the estimation of Virginia, if
not of the whole Union, the foremost place, would alone occupy the brief
hour allotted me on the present occasion. The exciting questions of that
exciting period would pass in review; and the ashes are too thinly
spread over the smouldered fires of those days yet to be trodden with
safety, and certainly not with pleasure by some of those who hear me,
and who heartily joined in decreeing a tribute to the memory of Mr.
Tazewell. I will merely allude to two or three speeches and writings,
which the student of history may consult as specimens of parliamentary
ability, and as eminently displaying the caste of Mr. Tazewell's
intellectual character as well as his views on political subjects.

His _debut_ in the Senate was made on the bankrupt bill of that
session--not a regular speech, but a searching examination of the
details of the bill, which he exposed with such effect that its friends
substantially gave it up in despair. His first serious speech was
delivered on the 21st day of the same month in which he had taken his
seat, on his own motion to strike out the third section of the bill for
the suppression of piracy in the West India seas, which had been
reported from the Committee of Foreign Affairs, and had been introduced
by a forcible speech from its chairman, who was also his colleague--a
name to be pronounced with respect by every Virginian--the venerable
James Barbour then the acknowledged head of the Senate. The section
proposed to be stricken out authorized the President of the United
States in a time of profound peace to declare, on the representations of
a naval officer, any of the ports of Spain in the West Indies in a state
of blockade. The bill was likely to pass without serious opposition,
when it arrested the attention of Mr. Tazewell, who, then fresh from his
great discussions of the law of prize, exposed the danger of its
provisions in an argument which at once placed him at the head of the
Senate, and was read, though in a mutilated report, by the whole
country, with admiration and applause. The effect of the speech may be
seen in the fact that the obnoxious section, though upheld by the
eloquent and patriotic patron of the bill, by the gallant Hayne and by
others, was stricken out by the decisive vote of 37 to 10. Had it
remained in the bill, in less than ninety days it might have produced a
war with Spain.[9]

On the election of Mr. John Quincy Adams to the Presidency, and
especially after the delivery of his first message to Congress, he
became hostile to his administration, and opposed its prominent
measures. His most remarkable performance was his speech on the
exclusive constitutional competency of the executive to originate
foreign missions without the advice and consent of the Senate. As a
constitutional thesis, without respect to the time of delivery,--for,
although Mr. Adams asserted the power, he at the same moment waived its
exercise,--as a specimen of his manner of treating a great
constitutional question when numerous authorities and precedents are to
be examined and set aside, this speech deserves to be studied. With the
exception of Gen. Marshall's speech in the case of Jonathan Robbins, it
stands preeminent in our political literature as a model of profound
research, of thorough argumentation, and of overwhelming strength. The
reader at this day feels that he is borne along by a force which is not
only equal to the occasion, but above it, and which it is vain to
resist. The speech is no mean system of logic and of the rules of
evidence in itself. And in connection with this speech I may mention the
speech on the same subject, which he delivered some years later, in
reply to Mr. Livingston, and in which the topic is discussed with new
illustrations. These two speeches alone survive in any fulness of all
his forensic exertions. The speech which Mr. Tazewell himself thought
the best he ever delivered in the Senate, was on some one of the
bankrupt bills of his term of service; but of this speech not a passage
can now be found.

Nor would it be practicable to present here even a condensed view of the
reports which he drew either as the head or as a member of the Committee
of Foreign Affairs. Almost any one of those reports would have built up
a respectable reputation for its author. I shall only specify his report
on the Panama mission, which mainly settled the public mind in relation
to that measure; and his report on the Colonization Society, in which,
incidentally--and by the way, he demonstrated conclusively the
constitutional right of the United States to acquire territory. When it
is remembered that Mr. Jefferson took a different view of this question
at the time of the acquisition of Louisiana, and believed an amendment
to the constitution necessary to the validity of the purchase; the
originality as well as the ability of Mr. Tazewell appear in a favorable
light.

Meantime his reputation had been extending far and wide. In Virginia
some of our older politicians had not become, nor were they ever, fully
reconciled to him in consequence of his course during the
administrations of Jefferson and Madison; but these were gradually
disappearing from the stage, and he now seemed to be regarded by the
great body of the people as the most popular man of his time; and he was
reelected unanimously to the Senate, or, to speak with strictness, with
only four scattering votes. One instance may show the height on which he
stood at this time. His second election to the Senate was made the order
of the day for the 1st of January, 1829: the day had come; the order was
about to be read from the chair; and I was about to rise in my place in
the House of Delegates to nominate him for reelection, when a gentleman,
advanced in life, who had rendered valuable service to his country,
hailing, too, from a central part of the State, came to my seat and
implored me to allow him, as the crowning honor of his life, to nominate
Mr. Tazewell for reelection. I think I may safely affirm, from close
observation at the time both at home and abroad, that the abilities and
character of Mr. Tazewell were held in higher estimation, and even
veneration, in Virginia and out of it, at this period, than those of any
of her statesmen since the retirement of Jefferson and Madison from the
public service. It was a commingled feeling of admiration, awe, and
pride.

It is a coincidence in the lives of Mr. Tazewell and his father, that
the father was elected to the Senate of the United States to fill a
vacancy caused by the resignation of John Taylor of Caroline; and that
the son, after an interval of thirty years from the election of the
father, was chosen to fill the vacancy in the Senate made by the
resignation of the same individual; and that father and son were twice
elected president of the Senate.

The views of Mr. Tazewell on the important topics which arose out of
the efforts of South Carolina in relation to the tariff policy of the
federal government, can only be alluded to in the briefest manner. He
was opposed to the doctrine of nullification as expounded by the South
Carolina school of politicians, and did not regard it as a peaceful and
constitutional mode of redress; while he condemned the doctrines of the
Proclamation of Gen. Jackson as destructive of the rights of the States,
and as opposed to the true theory of our federal system. In a series of
numbers which appeared in the Norfolk Herald and were republished in the
Richmond Enquirer, he traced in the most elaborate of his compositions
extant the history of the formation of the present federal constitution,
and expounded its theory in a strain of argument as nearly approaching a
demonstration as topics of that nature allow. These articles were
published in pamphlet form at the time; and, with the exception of the
numbers of Senex which appeared in the Herald and Enquirer, and were
republished in pamphlet in England, and reviewed in the London
Quarterly, on the policy of Mr. Adams' administration respecting the
West India trade, are the only serial contributions, as far as I know,
he ever made to the periodical press.

The only one of the vexed questions which harassed the administration of
Gen. Jackson that Mr. Tazewell, after his retirement from the Senate,
discussed in public, was the removal of the deposits from the Bank of
the United States by the Treasury order of October, 1833. The reasons of
the Secretary of the Treasury for issuing that order were communicated
in detail to Congress on the 3d of December following; and his report
was discussed in both Houses for several months with an ability and
warmth never before displayed in a congressional discussion. The people
caught the excitement; and public meetings were held in all the
commercial cities; and memorials were forwarded to Congress urging the
immediate restoration of the deposits to the vaults of the bank. Each
memorial, as it was received by a Senator or Representative, was honored
with a speech from some master spirit. And now the most menacing
monetary crisis occurred which the country had ever seen. In a little
less or more than six months the Bank of the United States had shortened
its line of discounts ten millions of dollars; and all the State banks
in self-defence were compelled to follow the example of that great
institution. Confidence ceased to exist. No man in business could look
ahead a single day without fear and trembling. Men spoke in whispers,
and walked doubtfully as if the earth might quake beneath their feet.
The result was a change in the party relations of those who lived in
towns without a parallel in our history. And it was soon seen that a new
party was forming in comparison of which the _tertium quid_ party of
Jefferson's administration was a mere bubble floating on the surface of
the stream. In that tempest was rocked the cradle of that large and
intellectual party, which assumed the appellation of Whig, which won
some splendid victories, which encountered some decisive defeats, which
then slept awhile, and which has recently burnished its armor anew for a
fresh campaign.

Richmond set the example among us of holding meetings of the people,
with a view of urging the restoration of the deposits to the Bank.
Watkins Leigh and Chapman Johnson made on that occasion an appeal to the
people of Virginia in favor of a restoration, which was heard from so
respectable a source with the attention it deserved. The Assembly then
in session, which, when elected, had been favorable to the
administration of Jackson, faltered in their faith, instructed the
senators in Congress to vote for a restoration of the deposits, and on
the resignation of Mr. Rives, who upheld the policy of the
administration, elected Mr. Leigh in his stead. Even the _Richmond
Enquirer_, its polar star momentarily obscured, was tossing helplessly
on that tempestuous sea.

In this state of things, some of the citizens of Norfolk, of both
parties, as those parties had previously stood, highly distinguished by
social position, by talents, by wealth, and by their intimate connection
with our banking institutions, called on Mr. Tazewell, and requested him
to take the chair at a public meeting to be held on the 8th of January,
1834. He consented to do so, and on taking the chair delivered one of
the most graceful, most nervous, and most eloquent speeches that ever
fell from his lips. In language not to be misunderstood, he denounced
the act of removing the deposits from the Bank of the United States,
advised their immediate restoration, and condemned the whole series of
the measures of the President of the United States in relation thereto.
A gentleman happening to be present who had heard Canning, Brougham, and
Sir Robert Peel from the hustings and in the House of Commons, declared
that the speech of Mr. Tazewell fully equalled their grandest efforts on
such occasions; and all who heard it pronounced it a wonderful work of
argument, eloquence, and declamation combined. A few days after the
meeting, Mr. Tazewell was elected Governor of the Commonwealth.

The conduct of Mr. Tazewell on this occasion I leave to history. It was
my misfortune to differ from him, and to strive against him in public
meetings, by resolutions, by speeches, and by essays in the public
prints, and to have been on the side of the victorious party; and I owe
it to candor to say that, after a deliberate investigation of the
arguments and the circumstances of that time with such faculties as God
has bestowed upon me, my views through the twenty-seven years that have
since passed remain unaltered; but now that my illustrious friend is
gone, and as I measure that chasm which his death has made in the
Commonwealth, leaving none equal to him or like him behind, and
especially in my own bosom--a chasm which, at my time of life, can
never, never be closed--I have looked with fear and trembling over all I
said and wrote on that occasion, and I am gratified to find that,
although I spoke with as great freedom of men and things as the
occasion, in my opinion, demanded, I spoke personally of Mr. Tazewell as
a son should speak of a father, and with that exalted respect with which
I ever regarded his colossal character.

Still, if Mr. Tazewell had been a man of narrow mind, our friendship
would have ended, and the instruction and delight which I have derived
from his conversation for the last twenty-seven years--a period in which
I have doubled my own age--would have been lost. But, independent
himself, and the proudest man I ever knew when the faintest shadow of
vassalage was sought to be cast upon him, he valued independence in
others, and his wide experience taught him that the friend who would not
hesitate to stand up firmly against him when he thought him wrong, would
be the last to skulk from his side in the hour of danger, and from the
defence of his memory when his head was low.

While I leave the wisdom of his course in relation to the deposit
question and in the executive chair of the commonwealth to the award of
history, I recall one lesson which may be read from his acts, which is,
that he never was, strictly speaking, a party man; that while he held to
his dying day the theory of our federal system which he had adopted in
his youth, and in defence of which he prepared, as has just been said,
in his old age, with his vast stores of learning and experience unrolled
before him, the most elaborate and conclusive exposition which that
system ever received; his course on the restrictive policy and on the
removal of the deposits, irrespective as it was whether he carried along
with him one or a thousand of his associates, shows that on great
questions involving mere expediency he would burst the trammels of
party, and act with his old and inveterate opponents against the darling
measures of his political friends. I have said that he was not, and
could not well be, in a series of years, the unvarying adjunct of any
party. He looked upon a subject through so many lights,--the lights of
the past, the lights of the present, the lights of the future; he saw
such a tissue of good and evil so inextricably intermingled in human
projects; he saw so much that was questionable in the best party
measures; so much that was not bad in what seemed the worst; and so much
that could be accomplished by doing nothing, that, though he was prompt
above most men in decision, and to the last degree practical, his
enthusiasm was cooled by philosophy, and he was never very much exalted
or depressed by the success or failure of political schemes.

While Mr. Tazewell was engaged in his senatorial career, he was elected
by the Norfolk district a member of the Convention which assembled in
Richmond on the fifth day of October, 1829, to revise the first
Constitution of Virginia. The character of that body is familiar to all;
some of the most illustrious names recorded in our annals were inscribed
upon its rolls,--Madison, Marshall, Monroe, Watkins Leigh, Charles
Fenton Mercer, Chapman Johnson, Philip Doddridge, Robert Stanard, Philip
P. Barbour, Morris, Fitzhugh, Baldwin, Scott, Cooke--that wonderful man
whose train was always tracked by fire, John Randolph, and a host of
younger statesmen who have since risen to eminence, and who, like their
elder colleagues, have, I am grieved to think, nearly all passed away,
were among the members, and were engaged day after day, for three months
and a half, in performing the office which their country had committed
to their hands. The most distinguished men of the Union,--statesmen
whose own names were historical, men of letters, merchants who
remembered that the wealth of the counting-room and the wealth of
statesmanship were indissolubly bound together, old planters, clever
young men from Virginia and from nearly all the southern States, came to
behold its meeting, to see its members, and to hear the debates; and, as
if to invest the scene with a yet lovelier hue, beauty, brightened by
intelligence and glowing with patriotism, shed its softened light over
that imposing spectacle. In that body, in which an ex-president of the
United States presided, in which another ex-president was at the head of
a committee, in which the chief justice of the United States was at the
head of another committee, in which there was no place of honor for
judges, governors, ministers to foreign courts, speakers of the House of
Representatives, and senators of the United States, above their
fellow-members, the eye of the visitor soon singled out Mr. Tazewell. He
was the grandest figure of a man among them all. His fame was then at
the height, and his large stature, his full stern features, lighted by a
wide grave blue eye, his solemn gait, all inspiring awe as he leaned in
his seat or passed through the hall--were in fair keeping with that
intellectual image of him which had previously existed in the mind of
the beholder.

To trace with any minuteness the course of Mr. Tazewell through more
than three of the most anxious months of his life would far exceed my
present limits, and as I have already treated this topic in a separate
work, and have been required to treat it again, I shall simply say here,
that Mr. Tazewell made the opening speech in support of a resolution
which he offered, and which marked out the course of the campaign which
he believed to be best adapted to attain the general end in view. Had
that resolution been adopted, I now believe, as I believed then, that a
constitution would have been formed which would have lasted for half a
century, and that Tazewell, as a skilful and fearless mediator between
the East and West, would have performed the office with glorious
success. But the passions of men raged high; extremes were the order of
the day, and each party stood pledged to its favorite scheme. His first
regular effort on the floor of the Convention was in reply to Mr.
Monroe, and gave him the opportunity of expounding his theory of
interests as the basis of a political system--a system as beautiful as
true. His speech presented a fair specimen of what the discussions on
the basis question ought to have been--not of the elaborate dissertation
which lasted two days, but of the vigorous living speech, which, while
it reviewed critically intermediate points in passing, kept the main
subject steadily in view, and of which the House of Commons has afforded
us so many illustrations. When the house rose, a gentleman, who was
perhaps the most accomplished scholar in the State, said to me that the
speech of Tazewell was the first truly parliamentary speech delivered
during the session, and drew the distinction between a legitimate debate
and a discussion by dissertations. I recall a happy effort of Mr.
Tazewell on the subject of the election of governor by the people, which
was possessed of singular beauty and order. The effect of that speech
was the settlement of the question.

But the occasion which impressed his hearers most deeply with a sense of
his abilities, was a discussion on the tenure of the judicial office, in
which Chief Justice Marshall, Philip P. Barbour, Stanard, Scott, Giles,
and others took part. Each speaker was conscious of the powers of his
opponent; posterity, in the presence of the skilful reporter, as well as
the existing generation represented by some of the ablest men, were the
spectators of the combat; and a visible air of solemnity pervaded the
manner of each. The question was precisely that which sprung from the
repeal of the judiciary act of 1800 by the Congress of 1802, and is the
nicest of all our party questions. It was a magnificent display of
parliamentary tact and intellectual vigor; and I do not think that an
hour of my life ever glided so insensibly away as while I listened to
that debate. Blows fell fast and heavy. I saw Judge Barbour, who, though
president of the Convention, as the house was in committee, engaged in
the debate, fairly reel in his seat from one of Judge Marshall's massy
blows, which he returned presently with right good will; but Tazewell,
if I may use a figure which presented the pith of the argument of one
side, and which was frequently used by both,--Tazewell fairly "_sunk the
boat_" under the Chief Justice. The views of Tazewell prevailed; and in
such a contest, in which all were kingly, and in which the combatants
were _magis pares quam similes_--rather equals than alike--if the
victor's wreath could with propriety be awarded to a single individual,
I do not think I err in saying that it would have been assigned by a
majority of the hearers to Tazewell. As an illustration of the effect of
his manner and argument on the minds of able men who were opposed to him
in State politics, which then raged fiercely, a gentleman from the West,
who held for several years a seat in the House of Delegates and in the
Council, speaking of the debate to me on the day it occurred, said:
"Why, Tazewell trod down those great men as if they had been children."

When the Convention adjourned _sine die_, every heart melted, and all
animosity soothed by the last words of the president, I saw Tazewell
approach Madison and Marshall, and exchange parting salutations. He
could go no further; the members pressed round him: but, old as he then
was, for he had reached his 56th year, he little dreamed that he was
destined to outlive almost all of those young and gallant spirits that
then loved and greeted him. He was the last survivor of those who sate
in the House of Delegates during the eighteenth century; and of the
Convention of 1829, out of 96 members who composed it, he attained to a
greater age than has yet been attained by any member of the body, not
excepting Madison, whom he exceeded by one month and five days, and
surviving all but twenty; and three of that twenty have come here this
day to honor his memory.[10]

Perhaps the best description of his manner at the bar would be to say
that he had no manner at all. In addressing juries, he talked to them, I
am told, ordinarily as he would converse with the same number of men in
society on the merits of the case; and his gestures were those which
might be used without serious remark in animated conversation. His
postures were sometimes negligent enough; he had a contempt for rant,
and hated show and pomp. His voice was pleasant, and of ample compass
for an ordinary court-room, and he never dealt in vociferations; indeed,
his style of argument to the jury, as well as to the bench, would have
been impossible to a boisterous talker. While his manner was natural,
his matter seemed equally void of art. When by the examination and
cross-examination of witnesses, he had obtained his facts, he formed his
theory of the case, and unfolded it to the jury in the simplest possible
way. It was plain to see, however, that the argument was a continuous
chain of demonstration, every link of which seemed to be of equal
strength. Some of his speeches to the jury, could they have been
preserved as they were delivered, would have been invaluable specimens
of dialectics for the use of students. I heard the late William Maxwell
say, that it was vain and even fatal to attempt before a jury to find
the defective links in the chain of Mr. Tazewell's arguments, for the
process would become too refined for their comprehension; and that his
own mode of argument in such cases was to let the reasoning of Tazewell
pass, and press with all his force some plain views of the case. Some
lawyers are successful in the elenchical mode of argument--to use a
logical term--that is, in demolishing the structure of their opponents,
while they fail in the deictic, that is, in raising on its ruins an
impregnable fabric of their own; but it was difficult to decide which
process was the most thorough in the reasoning of Tazewell. In putting
his arguments before a jury he showed great adroitness. He either knew
himself or learned from others the calling of every juryman; and as he
proceeded with his case, if he saw a dangerous man among them, he drew
his figures from his particular calling, and not unfrequently made the
man believe that his standing in his own business depended upon his
bringing in a verdict in his favor. When the passions were to be
assailed, he indulged in a style of fervid appeal which was the more
effective as it was rare; and his speech in Shannon's case was often
referred to by Wirt as a fine piece of eloquence in the popular
acceptation of the word.

His mode of addressing the bench differed, of course, from his jury
speeches. He was less familiar in his manner and in his talk, and his
argumentation was more severe; and he was evidently more at home, or
rather more congenially employed; and he brought as much learning to
bear upon the case as was politic for the time. Here, too, he showed no
great deference to manner as a means of victory. When Gen. Taylor was
addressing the late judge St. George Tucker, who was deaf, the judge
requested him to come nearer and speak louder; but the General,
observing that a certain space between the judge and himself was
indispensable for the proper exercise of his faculties, declined the
request; Tazewell, however, who replied to Taylor, had no scruples in
the case, but, approaching the judge's ear, poured the stream of his
argument into its inner portal. It sometimes appeared that in addressing
inferior courts he went too much into detail, instead of resting his
case on its great points; but it is probable that Mr. Tazewell had taken
the true gauge of the judge's mind, and was right after all; and it is
certain that in important cases, in which appeals would probably be
taken, he reserved his strong points for the higher tribunal.

Those who heard even his latest speeches at the bar have almost all
passed away. It was thirty-four years ago that I heard him for the first
time in public. At a meeting of the citizens of Norfolk, held in the
Town Hall, to give expression to their feelings on the occasion of the
death of Jefferson, which occurred on the Fourth of July, 1826, he was
called to the chair, and, before taking it, addressed the large assembly
for twenty-five or thirty minutes, on the character of the great man
whose death they had met to commemorate. He was at that time a senator
of the United States, and in the height of his fame; and to hear him
speak was then a great novelty, which attracted hundreds to the hall.
Though then a youth of nineteen, I can recall his manner and the outline
of his speech. He seemed to speak as a man of fine personal appearance
accustomed to public speaking and of a good address, who was deeply
impressed by the solemnity of his theme, might be expected to speak. His
voice was a volume of sweet, full, natural sound, unmarked by any
artistic training or modulation, and such as would flow from a well-bred
man in animated recitation; and his gestures were those which rose
spontaneously and unconsciously with the thought, and were wholly
unstudied; thus presenting an obvious contrast to the manner and action
of his friend Randolph, whose every attitude, the slightest motion of
whose finger, the faintest intonation of whose voice, whose every smile
and frown, natural as they seemed, were the deliberate reflection of the
closet.

Three years later, in the Virginia Convention of 1829, I heard all that
he uttered in committee and in the body; and his manner was such as I
have just described it to be. Although he had full command of the whole
armory of parliamentary warfare, he had none of that violent
gesticulation or loud intonation which fashion or taste has lately
introduced among us, but which would not be tolerated a moment in the
British House of Commons. His first speech, which was in support of his
own resolution proposing a method of procedure in the discussion of the
Constitution, though fine and effective, was delivered under somewhat
unfavorable circumstances. He stood some distance from the Chair and on
a line with it, so that he was compelled to face the audience instead of
the Speaker, and to pitch his voice to a key that could be heard
throughout the length of the hall and the crowded galleries, and an
occasional hoarseness, the result of overstraining, was apparent during
his speech. He mentioned this circumstance to me as we left the hall, as
the first intimation he had of having lost that control of his voice
which had hitherto been equal to every occasion. But when he followed
Mr. Monroe, he happened to be in a better position on the floor; and his
voice retained its usual fulness, and was pleasing to the ear. And
afterwards in the Baptist church, to which the Convention adjourned, in
his speech on the election of Governor, his voice was fresh and musical;
and in the grand debate on the judiciary tenure, when the debaters were
near each other and the Chair, he spoke with full command of his voice,
and with great animation. In fine, his manner, including the management
of his voice and gesture, approached nearer the English model of
debating than that which has been gradually gaining ground in this
country, and was most appropriate to his style of thought and
discussion.

Tazewell, with all his intercourse with the world, with all his habits
of speaking, and with all his marvellous endowments, was a remarkably
modest man. His modesty may unfold a clew to the explanation of his
whole career. He said himself that he never rose to make a speech
without serious trepidation. In the cochineal case, it was obvious to
the court and to the spectators. I have seen him, when he had been
speaking ten minutes, not fully assured. It was only when personal
danger, as in a memorable criminal case, in which even brave men were
for a time appalled, was present, that his trepidation disappeared, and
he became fearless and defiant.

Nor was the modesty of Tazewell confined to the bar. It pervaded his
whole life; and when his fame was coextensive with the Union, and when
his presence inspired awe in companies of able men, a close observer
could detect in his tones or in his manner that he was not wholly at
ease. It was only when the ice of a gathering party was fairly broken,
that he was thoroughly self-possessed. Like Judge Marshall, he had a
profound sense of respect for the female sex; and his attentions to
women were rendered with a delicacy and a gallantry that were enhanced
by the reflection that such a man was not wholly at ease in approaching
them. And nobly did woman repay his courtesy and his affection. As I
dwell upon this aspect of his life, the image of her who was the bride
of his youth, the partaker of his splendid fame, and the delight of his
declining years, rises before me. I behold her as she moved in that
happy household, bestowing not a thought upon herself, but intent on
making others happy. I see her as she enters the room in which her
husband is discoursing on learned topics to those who are grouped around
him, and I see him pause as that "ocean-eye" rests benignantly and
affectionately upon her. I shall never forget the moment when
thirty-five years ago I saw her in her own house for the first time; how
cordially she pressed my hand; how kindly she talked to an orphan boy of
a father he had never known; and how soon she put an awkward youth of
seventeen at his ease. The characteristic grace of that admirable woman
was her love of domestic life. With her the throne of human felicity was
the family altar. Life with her, as it ever was with those elder
Virginia matrons whom she resembled, was too serious a business for pomp
and show. Had she been inspired with a passion for display, had she
coveted the fleeting honors of a residence at a foreign court, or in the
metropolis of our own country, a single word from her lips would have
obtained all she wished. But her heart, like a true Virginia mother as
she was, was in the midst of her family; and though she properly
appreciated the talents of her husband, and was willing that they should
be exerted in the public service, she knew him well, and believed that
he would be happier in his own home than when he was beset with public
cares, or galled by those tortures with which ambition wrings its
victims. And when her last day had come, and the union of more than half
a century had been dissolved, and her husband had seen her beloved
remains put away in that solitary tomb by the sea, the charm of life was
lost to him; and he calmly awaited the hour when he should be laid by
her side. Nor did the generous care of woman cease with her death. When
his hour was come, and he was placed beside her, his daughters, who had
tended him for years with unceasing devotion, were borne in almost a
dying state from his tomb.

He was keenly alive to the pleasures of friendship; and he maintained
his affection for his early schoolmates unbroken to the last. His
reverence for Mr. Wythe passed all words. Randolph loved him through
life; and Tazewell reciprocated his affection with equal warmth. The
tide of his affection for John Wickham from his childhood flowed full
and strong. The relations which existed between them could be seen in
the letter I read some time ago, and were earnest, tender, and
affectionate. The affection which Tazewell cherished for Wickham,
kindled, as we have seen, over the spelling-book and the Latin grammar,
and showing itself in tears in his sixty-fifth year, grew with his
growth, and was enhanced by that elevated sense of appreciation with
which each regarded the other. It was pleasing to see them together when
the descending shadows of age were upon them, and when each had
performed those deeds which are now deemed the greatest of their lives.
It would be hard to say whether they stood to each other in the relation
of father and son, of brothers, or of equals. Wickham was eleven years
older than Tazewell, and had taught him to read. It was evident Mr.
Tazewell regarded Mr. Wickham with the greatest deference. It was,
however, something more than the deference with which one eminent man
advanced in life would show to another eminent man still more advanced;
it was the deference of the warmest friendship to an individual who not
only reciprocated the feelings of affection, but who possessed all the
moral and intellectual qualities that can adorn human nature. He
considered Mr. Wickham not only the most accomplished lawyer this
country ever produced, but the wisest man he ever knew. I have heard him
say that the speech of Mr. Wickham on the doctrine of treason in Burr's
trial would have been pronounced new and able in Westminster Hall; and
that it was the greatest forensic effort of the American bar. Tazewell's
abiding affection for Wickham was such, that he drew upon it in favor
even of his young friends. When, at one-and-twenty, I took my seat in
the House of Delegates, and, not dreaming of mixing in society, was
preparing for a course of study during the long winter nights, one of
the first calls I received was from Mr. Wickham. With me his name had
passed into history. His great speech, which I had read and studied as I
had read and studied the speeches of Chatham and of Burke, was made in
the year I was born. But I soon found that he was a living and breathing
man. His gentle kindness, his incomparable address, his charming talk,
and his cordial hospitality pressed upon me, assured me that his heart
still glowed with its ancient kindness: and when I recall the hours
which I spent at his elegant home; when I recollect the names of
Marshall, Leigh, Johnson, Stanard, Harvie, and others whom I have seen
at his hospitable board; when I recall that living galaxy of beauty
which flashed in his thronged halls, and of which the sweetest and the
brightest were his own household stars,--now, alas! extinct and gone;
and his own noble presence and demeanor, which drew from the spoiled and
fastidious poet Moore the expression of his admiration and applause, it
is with feelings of deep and tender regard, and of grateful veneration,
that I offer this tribute to his memory.

The question has often been asked whether Mr. Tazewell was fond of
literature and had the elements of a literary man. His early
opportunities were not favorable for acquiring a profound knowledge of
classical learning. In his day Latin and Greek, the foundation of all
true taste in letters, were not taught in William and Mary at all,
except in the grammar school. That Tazewell knew enough of Latin to
translate easily a Latin author, and even to write the language
grammatically, is certain; but that he never rose to that excellence in
those tongues to which his old tutor Mr. Wythe attained is equally
certain. But of English literature he had drunk deeply. He had Bacon,
Locke, Burke, Pope, Shakspeare, Swift, Hume, Gibbon, Johnson, Gillies,
Addison, and Roscoe, within three feet of his elbow for the last forty
years of his life. In English political history, such as might be
gathered from the ordinary historians, and from such books as Baker's
Chronicle and Rushworth, he was profoundly skilled. The history of the
law from the days of Magna Charta to the passage of the reform bill of
Earl Grey's administration, was the study of his whole professional and
public life. He not only knew every leading event, every great statute,
but he had the minutest details at command, and was always pleased to
descant upon a British statute, or on an epoch of British legislation.
The excellent volumes of Lord Chancellor Campbell have made a knowledge
of the history of the law an easy accomplishment; but Tazewell never
read them, and drew his information from the original sources. In the
history of Virginia he was, without exception, the greatest proficient
of his time. Whatever was told by Smith, Beverly, Keith, Stith, and Burk
with his continuators, or by Hening in the statutes at large, or in the
journals of the House of Burgesses and of the House of Delegates, or
could be gathered from the living voice for eighty years, he knew
intimately and could recall at a moment's notice. In respect of the
political history of the United States from the adoption of the federal
constitution to the day of his death, his knowledge was accurate, ready,
and profound. Indeed, if we except the first five years of the federal
constitution, it may be said that his actions were a part of that
history. He had discussed, in the House of Delegates, the leading
measures of the Washington and Adams administrations, and sixty years
ago he sate at a stormy period in the House of Representatives of the
United States.

But the excellence of Mr. Tazewell consisted not so much in knowing the
acts and thoughts of other men, as in the philosophy which he drew from
the great facts in all history. He was not in the German, or even in the
English sense, a reader of many books; but there was hardly a topic of
literature or history which he had not studied, and respecting which he
had not elaborated a theory of his own. Even in law he was more apt to
work out a question which required a solution than to turn to the books
of reports. Neither at the bar nor in the senate was he fond of quoting
authorities; but such as he did quote were of the highest merit, and he
made them do him yeoman service. Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and
Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses were favorite books with him. He
thought the report of John Quincy Adams on weights and measures one of
the ablest works in political literature.

The tendency of his mind and character was wholly practical. Common
sense was his polar star. He must be judged not as a scholar or a lawyer
or a statesman merely, but as a man of business who was required to
accomplish a given purpose. If that purpose was to be accomplished by
writing, he took up his pen; if by speech, he rose at the bar and
pleaded the case, or in the senate and made a speech. But when the end
was attained he thought no more about the means which he had used in
attaining it, whether by writing or speaking, than the carpenter who has
finished a house thinks of the scaffolding by which he was enabled to
complete it. Hence Mr. Tazewell never corrected a speech for the press,
if we except two instances; and his greatest speeches are either wholly
lost, or exist in the merest outline. But, looking to the result, he was
almost invariably successful, at least in the sphere in which he acted;
and on the attainment of his purpose forgot the means by which he
reached it. If his speeches such as they are, his reports on public
questions, his legal opinions, his essays and tracts on political and
historical topics, and his private letters, were collected together, the
variety of his powers and his singular abilities would strike every
reader; and that his works ought to be preserved in volumes is a matter
of public interest and is due to his memory.

I have said that Mr. Tazewell should not be considered as a mere
scholar, a mere lawyer, or a mere statesman, but in that most august of
all characters, the citizen of a commonwealth. But to show what manner
of man he was to my younger friends, let us regard him in the aspect of
a lawyer, and as he stood in the three great departments of his
profession. In criminal law he was easily the first. It was the opinion
of a gentleman, his early contemporary at the bar, who has united in
his own person in a more eminent degree than was ever before known in
Virginia the rare qualities of a writer on metaphysics, history, and
literature,--an opinion expressed to me since the death of
Tazewell,--that he was the ablest criminal lawyer of his age, and that
he would sooner confide an important criminal case to him than to any
other living man. This is but an echo of his general reputation in this
department of the law. Analyze the qualities necessary to form a great
criminal lawyer--his various power of speech, his skill in the
evisceration of facts, his tact and ability in arranging the best line
of defence possible in the case, the skill in addressing the jury, and
the skill, of a different sort, in addressing the court, his superior
generalship in the conflicting and unexpected developments during a
trial which threaten instant defeat, his fearlessness, and that perfect
self-possession which not only conceals his own fears and weaknesses,
but avails itself of the fears and weaknesses of others, and of that
deep insight into human passions, penetrating far beyond the eye, or the
ear, or the ordinary reason: count the attainments which such a man must
possess to win supremacy in such a sphere, and we must assent to the
general opinion which places supremacy in such a sphere one of the
highest achievements of human intellect and character. Then contemplate
that excellence which is shown in the conduct of civil cases as
contradistinguished from criminal--that various power here, too, of
speech, in itself the lesson of a life to learn--the skill, too, in
addressing juries and the court with equal effect; that knowledge of the
law in its innumerable doctrines, principles, and decisions, which made
the study even in Lord Coke's day the work of twenty years; the prompt
application of this learning to the rapid matter in hand; the magical
use of the faculties of the mind and the wondrous discipline which they
must have undergone, every hour, every minute demanding a stretch of
thought and an adroitness of discrimination which have justly classed
the dialectics of the bar above all the dialectics of the schools; and
the moral as well as intellectual qualities necessary in an adept in the
varying practice of municipal law; and here, too, we will yield to the
general opinion which places excellence in this single department one of
the highest achievements of mind; and then recall what such a judge as
Spencer Roane, the ablest and sternest judge of the age, and
politically hostile to Tazewell, said when Tazewell pleaded the case of
Long _vs._ Colston before the Court of Appeals. Then let us follow the
profession beyond and above the region of municipal law into the higher
walk of the Laws of Nations, and of that great practical part of those
laws, the law of admiralty. Consider what eminence is, and what it
involves, in this department which the master spirits of ancient as well
as of modern time selected as their peculiar sphere; what the talents
are that may contend with the greatest intellects of the age in that
greatest of all our gladiatorial arenas, the Supreme Court of the United
States, and what various and rare excellencies must unite in forming a
man who may stand forth and share in such generous battle, and, still
more, shall come off victorious from such a field. And when, by blending
all these characters, each great in itself, and worthy of the ambition
of the highest talents and of the longest life, into a single character,
we have made a fame which the grandest intellects of modern times might
glory in attaining, we have but one of the elements, developed during a
comparatively short period only of his career, that make up the
reputation of him whose memory we have met this day to honor.

Then, if you please, regard him as a senator, representing the
sovereignty of Virginia in our more than Amphictyonic Council. Take any
speech which he delivered during his term of service--the speech on the
Bankrupt law; the speech on the Piracy bill, which, as it was delivered
by him, and not as it appears debased and dwarfed in the report, was one
of the grandest displays of pure intellect ever made in the Senate, and
which saved the country from giving cause of war to Spain and, perhaps
and probably, from actual war; the speech on the Census, which his
colleague who sat by his side during its delivery told me gave both
Calhoun and Webster quite as much to do as was grateful to both of them;
the speech on the Admirals; the reports from the Committee on Foreign
Affairs for seven or eight years which controlled the public opinion of
the time; that consummate ability which in its grandest displays
inspired the hearer with the belief that the speaker, great as he was,
was capable of yet greater things-_par negotiis et supra_--his speeches
so settling matters that it seemed almost vain to say anything after him
for or against, and calling the remark from Webster, when Tazewell was
making one of his last speeches in the senate, "Why, Tazewell grows
greater every day." Form your notion of what must enter into the
formation of such a character, and then you have another of those
elements that make up the character of Tazewell.

Then take your model of a man who draws his sustenance from the plough,
a private citizen, who lives privately, not because he cannot obtain
office, but because, having won the highest honors, he withdraws from
the scene and leaves the glittering rewards of public service to be
divided among those who seek them. Look for his name in the newspapers,
and you will not find it from year's end to year's end; look for deep
intrigues in local politics, and you will find no finger of his in the
dirty work. Look at the ill success of those who have engaged in public
affairs, their pecuniary entanglements, their deferred hopes, their
sleepless nights, those poisoned fountains of feeling bitter as aloes
even to the eye that looks on them as they bubble; these and such things
you may find, and find easily, but not at the door of Tazewell. He is
strictly a private citizen, engaged in his private affairs, raising and
selling at fair prices in company with his neighbors his oats and corn
and potatoes, and showing to all that the highest faculties are as
practical as the lowest, and that diligence and attention always have
their reward. Without patrimony, with a moderation in taking fees
without an example in our land, living as became a gentleman of his
position in life and affairs, he yet accumulated a larger fortune than
was probably ever before accumulated by a Virginia farmer or a lawyer
beginning life without patrimony; and when wealth was obtained, living
with that modesty and simplicity so becoming to great genius and great
wealth, ever looking with just contempt on that most piteous of all
spectacles, the spectacle of lofty genius debruised and debased by the
accursed thirst for gold; and presenting in all the private relations of
life an example which may be held up for the imitation of the old and
the young. When you have combined these various characters into one
whole, you may form some general notion of what Mr. Tazewell was.

His head was of the clearest. Horace says of Apollo that he did not
always keep his bow bent; but Tazewell's mind was always on the stretch,
or, in a stricter sense, was never on the stretch at all. The most
intricate combination of figures he saw through at a glance; and in the
arts the most complex machinery was easily understood by him, and
readily made plain to others by his familiar explanations. Processes of
reasoning the most elaborate seemed rather the play of his mind than a
serious exercise of its powers; and in his most refined speculations he
never for a moment lost himself, or allowed the hearer to lose him. When
in a playful mood he chose to use the weapons of the sophist, the ablest
men feared the ticklish game and fought shy, and where the line lay
between truth and error it was impossible to find out; and he was
equally skilful in unravelling the sophistry of others, dissecting it
asunder with the keenest relish and with exquisite skill. When he
seriously undertook to assert and defend the truth, he was irresistible,
and it was vain to oppose him. Excessive ingenuity has been laid at his
door; but, while conceding that his long dallying with inferior courts
was likely to lead to faults in that direction, yet, if we look to the
occasions when he was charged with using it, and its effect at the time,
we may be inclined to believe that his judgment of the line of argument
to be pursued was as likely to be appropriate as that of the critic who
formed his opinion according to some abstract standard of propriety.

He was never out of tune. Call on him when you would, and you found him
self-poised and fresh. Argument or narrative followed at your command.
This part of his character was very apparent to me during the last seven
years of his life. In that interval I called to see him frequently; and,
as my own studies lay in the walks of our earlier history, the talk
usually ran, for a time at least, on the men and things of an epoch in
which the Revolution held the middle place. He seemed to have perfect
command of his stores, not by the mere effort of recollection, but of
memory and reflection combined, eliminating a truth from the facts which
concealed it. A specimen of the talk which actually occurred between us
may illustrate my remark. I would approach him and say deliberately in
his ear--for within a few years past he had become slightly deaf--"Mr.
Tazewell, Col. Richard Bland (who, by the way, died in October, 1776)
wrote tracts in the Parson's cause, a tract against the Quakers, and his
inquiry into the rights of the colonies; did he write any other
pamphlet?" Quick as thought he replied: "Yes, he wrote a tract on the
tenure of lands in Virginia, showing that they were allodial and not
held in fee. I read the tract when I was a boy; and it helped me in my
examination for a license to practise law." He had probably not recalled
this fact before for half a century: no copy of the tract is preserved;
and there was not another human being then living, I may venture to say,
who knew of the existence of such a tract; and so at times with other
facts which he recalled after the lapse of seventy years, and which he
had learned from his father or from Mr. Wythe. On the other hand, when
his earlier recollections were clearly proved to be inaccurate as to
matter of fact, as in the case of what he thought had happened at the
session of the House of Burgesses of 1765, when Henry's resolutions
against the stamp act were passed, and I placed under his eye the
discrepancy between his statement of the case and the entry on the
journals of the House, he would fight manfully in defence of his own
views, but generally ended in cases where the proof was conclusive:
"Well, sir, Mr. Wythe told me so." Dates not common or easily reached
were fixed in his memory by a kind of connexion with his own life; as
for instance, I would ask him whether he remembered the features of
Peyton Randolph? And he would answer: "No, sir; I was born in December,
1774, and he died in October, 1775, in Philadelphia, when I was not a
year old." And it was by questions such as these, which I could answer
with exact precision myself, that I ascertained not only the integrity
and worth of his memory, which we all know in aged persons retains with
freshness the incidents of youth, but his capacity of combination which,
in the degree in which he possessed it, was extremely rare in young or
old; and from the nature of my pursuits for the time in question I may
be said not only to have tested his powers of recollection, but to have
probed the depth of his knowledge in relation to the history of Virginia
and its cognate topics more effectually than it was the privilege of any
one else to do; and my admiration of his talents and of his resources
increased to the last. Let it be remembered that there was no more
reason to look for profound learning on these subjects from Mr.
Tazewell, whose life was crowded with business, than from any of his
eminent contemporaries, some of whom I knew well, but none of whom
approached him in these respects; and I have pointed out, merely for
the sake of example, a single department of knowledge only in which I
happened to take a passing interest, leaving all those untouched on
which I have heard him discourse for thirty years at least, and you will
be able to form an opinion of the nature, variety, and extent of his
acquisitions, and feel with me what a gap the death of such a man has
made in the commonwealth.

From the complexion of his mind he was cautious in bestowing
commendation on men and things. Great speeches in public bodies rarely
came up to his severe and simple standard of taste; and I do not think
that he was sensible in a very high degree of the minor elegancies of
rhythm and the harmony of words. His own style might be defined plain
words in their right places; and he had studied Anglo-Saxon, and drew
largely on the Anglo-Saxon element of our tongue, and especially on its
monosyllables. His logic was generally so severe that not a clause and
hardly a word could be changed or misplaced without danger, and the
merit of his work was rather in the strength and beauty of the
demonstration as a whole, than in the rhetorical grace or effect of its
several parts. I speak of his great arguments. In his letters he
sometimes showed a skill in harmony rarely surpassed. His letter to the
executor of Mr. Wickham is delicately drawn; his letter to Mr. Foote on
the compromise resolutions is a chaste and elegant composition; and his
address from the chair at a meeting of the citizens of Norfolk on the
occasion of the death of Jefferson, which I have already alluded to,
when he proposed a statue to the author of the Declaration of
Independence, was of that rare beauty of thoughts and words in happy
union bound, that, though delivered thirty-four years ago, it is with me
to this hour one of the most refreshing of my memories of the past. But
these were exceptions, and his severe standard was the general rule.
Hence, while he valued the vast and conclusive learning of Gibbon, he
was not taken with his diction; and though he despised the toryism of
Hume, he regarded his style as approaching perfection. He liked the
fervid genius of the elder Pitt, and his brilliant speeches, because
they were effective weapons in their day; but he would look with
contempt at any effort of imitation. While he relished the arguments of
Judge Marshall at the bar, in public bodies, and on the bench, I do not
think that he placed as high a value as they deserved upon the ability
and literary taste which characterize the opinions of Judge Story, and
which have earned for their author the highest legal fame at home and
abroad. From the eloquent parts of such speeches as Webster's in reply
to Hayne he would turn with dislike. Yet when a speech was effective in
the delivery, and, though not remarkable in itself, had accomplished
something, he was liberal in bestowing fair praise upon it. He heard Mr.
Clay deliver his celebrated reply to Josiah Quincy--a venerable
statesman who still survives;--and he ever spoke of it as admirable in
its way. In the same spirit he spoke of Col. Benton's extemporaneous
reply to Mr. Webster in the debate on the bank veto, delivered late at
night in the Senate, as surpassing any thing of the kind that he had
ever heard, or that the speaker ever reached before or after. He said he
thought a speech of Webster's delivered during the war or soon after it,
probably the speech on the currency, superior to his speech in reply to
Hayne, and altogether free from the tinsel of his later speeches. The
speech of Pinkney on the Missouri question, which he heard, he thought
the ablest ever delivered in the senate. For the intellect of Calhoun he
had the highest respect and admiration, and, while differing most
essentially from that statesman throughout nearly his whole career, he
always regarded his speeches and state papers as those of a
master-workman. Strange as it may appear, though exacting so much from
his eminent contemporaries, yet, partly from old affection, partly from
a love of their literature and from a conviction of their political
effect, and partly from the unworthiness of poor human nature, he
listened to the speeches of John Randolph with the relish of a
school-boy, rubbing his hands and laughing heartily as the orator went
along. Aside from the ardent and unquenchable love that existed between
them, the explanation may be found to a certain extent in Tazewell's
love of humor. When Watkins Leigh's amusing letter of Christopher
Quandary appeared in the Enquirer,--a paper, by the way, which, after
the feud in the Jefferson administration, he never took in, thus showing
that, if the democrats remembered his shortcomings, he did not forget
what he deemed theirs--I took the number around to him, and he laughed
heartily at its hits. The last extended work which I know that he read
was Randall's Life of Jefferson, which evidently made an impression upon
him. He spoke of the author as a clever fellow; and he expatiated on the
character of Jefferson, which, as he declined in life, I think he valued
more than ever, pronouncing him the greatest Secretary of State any
country ever had. I may say here, that Mr. Tazewell had no respect for
law schools as an instrumentality of rearing great lawyers. He said if
the student would have lectures, let him read Blackstone; and he ever
maintained the opinion that the popularity of those charming
commentaries had tended to depreciate the standard of legal intellect
since their appearance--an opinion which he shared with Mr. Jefferson.
That he had read them attentively and admired their beauty, though much
in the spirit in which he would admire a poem or a play, I know from
this fact, that once, when he was in a playful mood, he said he believed
he could repeat the heads of all the chapters of the four volumes which
he straightway did. He occasionally read novels, but was quite
indifferent whether he began with the second or the first volume; and I
heard him commend highly the preface of the late novel attributed to Sir
Walter Scott, called Moredun, as a fine piece of special pleading,
declaring that its author would make a good special pleader. I have
spoken already of the hearty praise which he bestowed upon Mr. Adams'
report on weights and measures.

In respect both of argumentation and style it has often occurred to me
that Mr. Tazewell occupied an intermediate position between Judge
Marshall and Mr. Wickham. He has the strength of Marshall with something
more of refinement in style and imagery, and more vivacity in the play
of his reasoning; while he has a stricter line of demonstration than
Wickham without his very decided elegance. In some physical as well as
intellectual aspects he resembled Chief Justice Parsons of
Massachusetts. Not, indeed, in dress; for Parsons was a sloven, and
Tazewell was neat in his dress, which was in winter, during the last
twenty years, a full suit of black cloth, and in summer he was usually
attired in white drilling with a light linen coat and fancy vest. He
always wore a white cravat, and his linen was spotless. But both Parsons
and Tazewell were men of large stature, at least to the eye, in a
sitting posture; both delighted to drink at the deep fountains of the
law, and were skilled in the lore of their profession in which they held
an easy supremacy; both liked novels as a relief from grave cares, and
were indifferent as to the volume of the novel that first came to hand;
both were so strongly enamored of the exact sciences that it is probable
they would have cultivated them with extraordinary success. But
Tazewell, though a fair scholar in the old way, never attained to that
excellence in classical literature which made the name of Parsons an
authority for a disputed reading in the colleges of Germany. I have
always regretted that Tazewell did not bring his mind to bear upon the
science of language, and especially of comparative philology. Had he
been able to read Bonn, or had mastered the New Cratylus or the
Varronianus of Donaldson, his versatile and sharp intellect might have
sent forth a work of "winged words" of equal interest and infinitely
more profound than the Diversions of Purley.

Tazewell had evidently modelled his mind before the death of president
Pendleton in 1802; and nearly up to that period Marshall and Wickham
were the leaders of the Virginia bar. His reverence for Pendleton was
something more than a shadow. It was, as also in the case of Wythe, a
deep-seated, ever-living and glowing principle. He loved those two
illustrious judges with a warmth of veneration blended with affection
which he never felt for any human being after they were laid in their
graves; and he delighted to speak of them. He held Pendleton's judicial
talents in the highest respect; and I have heard him say that no man
living but Pendleton could have reconciled the clashing laws passed
during the first twelve years of the commonwealth, and made such just
and satisfactory decisions. Speaking of the peculiarities of Pendleton
and Wythe, he said that Pendleton always professed the most profound
respect for British decisions, but rarely followed them; while Wythe,
who spoke disrespectfully of them, almost invariably followed them. But,
on the ground of pure love and affection, Wythe was nearer to Tazewell
than was Pendleton. Wythe was the guide and instructor of his youth, the
old neighbor of his father in Williamsburg; and he always spoke of him
as _Mr._ Wythe, following his father who knew Wythe long before he was a
judge. His reminiscences of Wythe were deeply interesting, sometimes
humorous, sometimes serious, and, in reference to the last illness of
the old patriot, sad in the extreme; and they were always uttered in
that subdued and tender tone which, it grieves me to think, will fall no
more on mortal ears.

The great age attained by Mr. Tazewell makes us curious to know his
modes of life and his habits of study. In youth and early manhood he was
fond of athletic sports and of horsemanship; and he must have possessed
great muscular power. As late as 1802 he accomplished on horseback a
trip of a hundred and odd miles in as short a time as that distance was
ever travelled in Virginia. His form was most symmetrical; and he had
the broad chest and the well-proportioned neck that are so often seen in
those who enjoy a healthful and protracted old age; and that small wrist
and hand that told of his Norman blood. From the time when he became
engrossed in business, it is probable that he rarely took any other
exercise than was inevitable in passing to his various courts; and since
his retirement from the bar, except during his trips to the Eastern
Shore and to Washington and Richmond, he seldom walked more than a few
hundred yards in twenty-four hours. Yet, throughout his career, he
enjoyed fair health, and during the last forty years, when, as man and
boy, I have observed him, he has not had more than one really serious
spell of illness--a pleuritic attack, which he encountered in
Washington. In that interval he has contracted several bilious diseases;
but they soon passed off, and were not thought dangerous. The secret of
his exemption from disease, apart from the healthful structure of his
frame, was the extreme temperance and the regularity of his habits. At
first sight he would seem the most irregular of men, sitting up till two
or three in the morning and rising late; but, in fact, this habit,
persisted in for so many years, became fixed; and, as nature requires
regular periods of rest rather than any special time for taking it, he
suffered no material inconvenience in that respect. But his main source
of exemption from sickness was his temperance in eating. I had an
opportunity of seeing him daily at every meal for many weeks, and he ate
more sparingly than any one of those who sate at the table with him. He
generally took a glass of toddy or a glass of wine at dinner; and the
only form in which he used tobacco was in chewing. If he ever went into
excess in any thing it was in the use of tobacco; but he never appeared
to me to err above ordinary chewers even in that way, though I have
heard one of his clerks say that he could always tell the dignity of a
case by the size of the chew which Tazewell put into his mouth when he
took it up for the first time. His usual remedy for indisposition was
strict abstinence from food, which he could endure as heroically as a
Brahmin, or a disciple of Mahomet.

Many to whom the name of Mr. Tazewell is dear would be inclined to know
his opinion respecting the religion of Christ. Far be it from me to
intimate in the remotest degree that the testimony of any man, however
distinguished, can add the weight of a single feather to the abounding
evidences of the Christian faith, or grave it a line deeper on the heart
of a true believer; but it may close the lips of the ribald, it may
repress the vanity of her who, forgetting what Christianity has done for
woman, aims her feeble shafts against its humblest professor, to know
that such a man as Tazewell, whose whole life was spent in the science
of proofs and probabilities, must henceforth be ranked with Milton and
Newton--the prince of song and the prince of philosophy, and with our
own Pendleton and Wythe--those serene and undying lights of the
law--among the stedfast believers in the truth of the Scriptures of the
Old and New Testaments.[11]

It has been said that Tazewell had no ambition. In one sense he was the
most ambitious man of our times; but his ambition was out of the
ordinary range. To retain a seat in a deliberative assembly, and endure
the routine of daily sessions for months at a time; to take upon himself
a regular foreign mission, or even to accept the presidency itself,
would, I firmly believe, have been most grating to his feelings. Of all
but the last we may speak with certainty. But if some difficult
proposition was forced upon the public mind; if some extraordinary
emergency had presented itself; if he had been called upon to encounter
a national question of the first magnitude, from which others would have
shrunk, and which was susceptible of a definitive adjustment in a given
time, I believe he would have accepted the mission at once. Had Mr.
Madison, on his election to the presidency, called him to the State
Department with a _carte blanche_ as to the terms and mode of settling
the vexed questions which grew out of the Berlin and Milan decrees and
the British orders in council, I do not say that he would have accepted
a seat in the cabinet of a statesman whose election to the presidency he
had opposed,--for I believe he would not; but, if he had accepted it, it
is probable those questions which were afterwards discussed by Mr.
Webster and Lord Ashburton, and which were settled by the treaty of
Washington, would then have received a satisfactory solution. It was
this aspect of Tazewell's character which called from Randolph the
saying in his letter to Gen. Mercer, that, if such a conjuncture in our
affairs were to arise as would call into full play the faculties of
Tazewell, he would be the first man of the nineteenth century.

It has been said by some from whom better things might have been
expected, that Tazewell did not spend his latter years in a manner
altogether worthy of his great talents. To me it appears that such a
sentiment has been expressed without due reflection on all the facts of
the case, and that the retirement of such a man, under all the
circumstances, presents to the contemplative observer one of the
grandest moral spectacles of the age. We have seen that he retired from
the active employment of the bar in his 45th or 46th year, merely
following up afterwards to the appellate courts some important cases
which he had discussed in the lower. At that time he stood almost
without a rival in his profession in Virginia, and, after the death of
Pinkney, in the Supreme Court of the United States; and he might have
received as large an annual income as was ever derived from the practice
of the law in this country; and if he had devoted his time and talents
to his profession for twenty years thereafter--which he might have done,
and yet been younger on leaving off than Webster was when that eminent
lawyer pleaded the great India-rubber case at Trenton, and would still
have had sixteen or eighteen years to spare for repose in old age,--he
would have accumulated the most colossal fortune which has ever been
made by forensic exertions at the American or the English bar. Now this
very aspect of the life of Mr. Tazewell strikes me, and I feel assured
will appear to posterity, as the most imposing, the most eloquent, and
the most sublime picture in his various career. When he retired he was
not wealthy, according to our present standard of wealth, and he had
several children born to him after his retirement; yet, with enormous
wealth within his grasp, and a moderate competency only in hand, he
withdrew from the field of his fame to the bosom of his family,
thenceforth to draw his living from the moderate profits of agriculture.
I have said that Mr. Tazewell's character was formed in the mould of our
early statesmen; and of all those statesmen there was not one who did
not delight in agriculture as the crowning pleasure and pursuit of life,
and more especially as its shadows were falling low. It was this spirit
which impelled Washington, amid all the magnificence of office when
office was held by such a man, to sigh for the shades of Mount Vernon,
and to prefer the simple employments of the farm, where he might behold,
in the words of the "judicious Hooker," "God's blessing spring out of
our mother earth," above the glory of arms, and the fleeting shadows and
shabby splendors of public office.

But the lesson which the example of Tazewell presents to the American
mind is of yet greater significancy. If there be one unpleasant trait
more revolting than another in our national character, it is the
inordinate pursuit of wealth: _rem, quocunque modo rem_. To get money is
the first lesson of childhood, the engrossing purpose of middle age, and
the harassing employment of declining years. Such is the rabid thirst
for money, its effects are seen over the whole moral and intellectual
character of the people. It constitutes wealth as the standard of worth,
and all the noblest qualities of the head and the heart are despised in
the comparison. As wealth is the point of honor, it must be sought at
every hazard, and the mortifying occurrences of the last twenty years,
the dishonest bankruptcies, the numerous forgeries, perpetrated by the
first people in social position, on a scale never known before, the
innumerable defalcations which have crowded the papers, until they have
become a matter of course; the insatiable craving for the money and
lands of others, which seems to have passed from the workshop and the
counting-room to the halls of legislation; the unbounded extravagance of
expenditure which might serve to indicate the possession of the darling
prize, and, above all, that worst sign of all, the almost perfect
indifference with which the most enormous frauds are received by the
public; these and similar things show the bitter consequences of this
vulgar passion. I rejoice that our venerable friend, when in the prime
of his extraordinary powers, and at a period of life when the flame of
ambition glows wildest, turned his back upon the gilded phantoms which
have lured so many to destruction, and sought repose in the bosom of
domestic life.

The conduct of Mr. Tazewell in respect of public office has also been
misunderstood. He would hold no office in perpetuity, and I have already
shown that, whenever called upon to render public service, he obeyed the
call without a thought of the pecuniary sacrifices which he inevitably
must incur;[12] and it would be easy, if it were proper, to show that
Mr. Tazewell, though in retirement, afforded most valuable assistance to
those who held office, and indeed to all who chose to consult him. He
held it as a settled maxim, that it was the first duty of every citizen
to serve his country; and I have no doubt that, if the office of Chief
Justice of the United States had become vacant during the first fifteen
or twenty years after his retirement from the bar, and he had been
called to fill it, as perhaps he would have been, he would have accepted
the appointment; and I further believe that if the presidency of the
Court of Appeals had been tendered him, or even the judgeship of the
Superior Court on the Eastern Shore, provided in this last case he did
not interfere with the expectations of his brethren of that bar, he
would have accepted either, and held it for a certain time, and for a
certain time only; for he had no respect for perpetuities in great
public trusts.

They also misjudge him who say that he ought to have composed a great
historical work for posterity--a task which Jefferson, Madison, and John
Quincy Adams, with every possible motive urging them to its performance,
declined to undertake. In this respect, Mr. Tazewell acted with his
usual good sense; not that he did not write on particular topics of our
history, as, for instance, the difference between the original and
recent surveys, a subject which he has illustrated with a skill in
mathematics, with a beauty of argumentation, and with a minuteness of
historical research wholly unexpected, and altogether admirable; and so
with some other topics. But he acted well in not undertaking the history
of Virginia. To write that history worthily would require a residence of
some years abroad. Of the materials necessary for such a work not a
twentieth part exists in Virginia, or in the United States. Such a work,
and Mr. Tazewell well knew its scope, could not be performed by him in
that retirement to enjoy which he had relinquished wealth and fame.
There is another view of a more personal kind. Whether history is of
higher dignity than speech, whether a Thucydides or a Demosthenes be the
greater intellect, the critics may decide; but one thing is certain,
that the faculties and accomplishments required for writing history and
for oral disputations are not only not the same, but have rarely been
united in a supreme degree in any human being, and certainly not in the
literature of the Anglo-Saxon race. To pass over other languages and
nations, let us look at our own. One of the greatest minds of this age,
and, so far as logical capacity is concerned, perhaps of any age, was
that of Chief Justice Marshall; and yet, from the date of the
publication of his Life of Washington, which is a history of the
colonies and of the United States, until it was rewritten and revised by
him late in life, it hung like a millstone from his neck; and it has
required all his subsequent legal fame, his exalted patriotism, and his
domestic purity, to keep him above water in this country. As for
England, the work sunk instantly and irrecoverably.

The writing of history, difficult at all times, is more difficult now.
Recent history trenches alike upon the epic and the dramatic, and the
narrator must be half a poet and half a player. It is, therefore, a
subject of gratulation that Mr. Tazewell did not undertake a work which,
if done at home, would have been badly done, and which, if done at all,
must have called into exercise a peculiar class of talents which neither
the bar nor the senate tends to develop, but which in their highest
efforts alone can ensure success. I rejoice that the fame of Tazewell is
free from such questionable topics. There he stands, great as a citizen
of a free commonwealth, great at the bar, great in the senate, and
great in his rich, various, and overflowing talk.

Tazewell spent his old age as Washington, Jefferson, Jay, Madison, and
John Adams spent theirs, but with far greater success than them all, in
attending mainly to his private affairs, and in those offices which a
splendid reputation draws in its train. He was exact in all things. If
you inquired what any one of his estates cost him, he would take down a
bound foolscap volume, turn at once to the farm in question, read off
the price, the amount of its outfit, the number of hands engaged in
working it, and, if you pleased to listen, the cost of every improvement
he put upon it, the division of its fields, and their products for every
year since he owned it, and the money value of those products in market.
He knew what fields on his various estates were in cultivation; and in
the spring--for all his crops were annual--he made an estimate of the
probable product of each field, and entered it in the book; and in the
fall, the actual result, which sometimes fell a little short, sometimes
slightly exceeded, and sometimes was identical with the estimate of the
spring. This process was something more than a pastime; it kept him
intimately acquainted with his different estates, and was a severe check
on the management of the overseers. He loved the game of chess, was
always ready to engage in it, and often played alone. He read chess
periodicals, kept an account of his own moves, and, deducting the
employment which it gave him when his eyes were dimmed with reading,
devoted to that fascinating but frivolous game more time and attention
than it deserved.

To form a just opinion of Mr. Tazewell in private life, he must have
been seen again and again. In matters of business he was scrupulously
exact himself, and would be satisfied with nothing less from others. In
this way he may have given offence, and subjected himself to the charge
of closeness; but it was partly the result of his legal habits, and
partly of the rigid system which pervaded his financial schemes. That
the love of accumulation was no element in the case was shown, apart
from the great lesson which his life will read to all, by his large
deposits in the vaults of the banks, by which, in the course of thirty
years, he must have lost thousands; and by the proverbial moderation of
his fees.[13] Such was his care and judgment that I do not think he
ever made a bad investment, or lost a sum of money.

Withal I am inclined to wish that he had devoted the first ten years of
his retirement to a work on the Laws of Nations, and especially of the
Law of Admiralty, which was the favorite science of his venerable
grandfather, and of which, during the preceding twenty years, he had
obtained so perfect a mastery. He loved the Common Law, revelled in its
subtleties, expounded with a richness and a grace ever to be remembered
the leading statutes by which the wisdom of a thousand years had
controlled or modified it, and gloried in it as the living remembrancer
of the liberties of his ancestral land. But he regarded the law of
admiralty with peculiar and almost hereditary affection. It suited the
caste of his intellect. No ordinary horizon bounded its sphere. It
overlooked the limits of any single realm, however proud that realm
might seem. It was the queen of the sea, whose influence, cast far and
wide over the raging billows, breathed peace and safety to the humblest
sailor who trod a deck, and upheld with all the strength of civilized
man the flag of the feeblest power. Amid the changing revolutions of the
human will, amid the fall of empires and the ruin of dynasties, it alone
was immutable. It was the tie of nations, which bound men in one
universal brotherhood, and gathered peoples about a common altar. No
private rule, no immemorial custom, no formal statute, controlled its
operations; but right reason in all its supremacy enacted its
provisions, and justice, with an even hand, in every dominion and on
every sea under heaven, was its pure and equal administrator. Tazewell
was fond of repeating that eloquent and exact definition of the general
law, which Lord Mansfield, plucking it from the fragments of Cicero's
work on the Republic, has made the household thought of our common
nature: _Non erit alia lex Romae, alia Athenis, alia nunc, alia posthac,
sed et apud omnes gentes et omnia tempora, una eademque lex
obtinebit_.[14] Such a science suited the complexion of Tazewell's
genius; and in his practice he had framed a large and liberal system of
his own. The task would have been a work of love, and would have
required little more than the embodiment of his thoughts on paper. But
the engagements and associations of Southern life are hostile to
authorship, and the fortunate time glided by forever.

A hundred years hence, when Norfolk may or may not have become the
commercial seat of a vast Southern empire; when the face of external
nature in this low region, unmarked by mountain ranges, will be wholly
changed in all but in the course of our great river and of our two
glorious seas; and when the rising genius of Virginia, turning from the
sages and statesmen of Greece and Rome, from Socrates and Demosthenes,
and from Cato and Cincinnatus, shall seek to know the details of the
lives of the greater men who have adorned our own annals; it may be
pleasing to know the spot in which Tazewell spent his latter years, and
the manner of his private life. Simplicity marked his dress, his
dwelling and its furniture, and all his accompaniments. His house and
grounds were such as appeared, if you looked into the assessors' books,
of considerable value; but if you looked at the objects themselves, they
were such as any respectable citizen might possess without the
reputation of great wealth. The lot, bounded on the east by Granby
street, included several acres in the heart of the city; and the house,
which, though capacious, had no idle room, was a plain structure of wood
built originally by a private citizen of moderate means as his abode.
Its position in front of a large lawn overlooking the Elizabeth could
not be surpassed. The water came rippling up to the southern enclosure
twice a day from the sea, and presented a broad silvery expanse on which
every arriving and departing vessel of the port was borne in broad view
from the portico. But, aside from the assessed value of the lot, which
was accidental and produced nothing, there was no exhibition of wealth
within. All was plain as became the residence of a man who had those
claims to public respect which no mere wealth could give, and which the
absence of wealth could not impair. As you lifted the knocker of his
door--for he never adopted the comparative novelty of bells in our
region--a black servant, who, with his ancestors of several generations,
had been born in the family, soon appeared, and you entered a broad
central passage which extended through the house, which was the old
sitting place of Virginia families for nine months of the year, and
which is hardly known in the crowded cities of the North. The floor of
the passage was covered with a strip of carpeting in winter, and in
summer presented a smooth polished surface devoid of matting. If you
opened the first door on the left, you entered the office of Mr.
Tazewell, a well lighted southern room, fourteen by twenty, in the
middle of which was a table furnished with writing apparatus and covered
with books and manuscripts. By that table, in an arm-chair, he commonly
sate in cold weather; and the chances were, at least during the morning,
you would find him pen in hand, and sheets of paper freshly written and
full of figures strewn about him. It was rare that you saw any thing
like continuous writing except in the case of a letter. He delighted in
calculations, which kept his mind sweet and clear. At his left hand, and
a little behind him, was a small bookcase containing about two hundred
volumes, neatly bound, of the English classics, all printed forty years
ago and more, the very pith and quintessence of the philosophy, the
politics, the literature of all ages strained through the alembic of the
Anglo-Saxon mind. The office opened by a large folding-door into the
capacious dining-room where the family usually sate, and where he
lingered after each meal, talking, or reading the day's paper, which he
took in to the last, as if loth to retire to his own particular den. In
summer he sate in the passage, or on the broad tessellated pavement of
the portico. On the right hand on entering the front door you saw a
small room in which an aged or invalid guest might repose without
ascending the stairway, and in which Gen. Jackson and Mr. Randolph
lodged at various times. And adjoining this room was the parlor, a
single room of twenty by twenty, containing probably the same furniture
he purchased when he first went to housekeeping, all plain now, though
elegant in its day, and thoroughly kept; and suspended from the walls of
the room were the portraits of his father, Judge Tazewell, a handsome
youth of one-and-twenty though a married man at that age, and his
bride, a sweet face almost perfectly reflected in the features of one of
his own daughters, both well executed by the elder Peale, and in good
preservation. There, too, were the portraits of Col. Nivison and his
wife, the parents of Mrs. Tazewell; of Mr. Tazewell himself by Thompson,
the most intellectual and lifelike of all his portraits, taken at the
age of forty-two; of his wife's two sisters, who were the beauties and
the belles of forty-five years ago, and who have long passed away, and
of their brother, the amiable and beloved William Nivison, whose early
death was long deplored by our people. The general library of Mr.
Tazewell was kept in a separate building, and consisted of his numerous
law books, of the British statutes at large in many thick quartos, and
most of the writers of Queen Anne's time and of the Georges, many in the
original quarto, and few or none later than the beginning of the
century. Some of the books had a history of their own. There was a copy
of the Lectures on History, which Dr. Priestley had presented to Judge
Tazewell, the father of our subject, in memory of the kindness of the
judge to the author when he was flying from the flames of Birmingham.
The beautiful copy of Wilson's Ornithology with Bonaparte's
continuation, which at the date of its publication was one of the most
elegant issues of the American press, had a singular value in the eyes
of Mr. Tazewell as the bequest of his friend John Wickham, an extract
from the will having been pasted on the fly-leaf of the first volume.

As soon as the visitor fixed his eyes on Mr. Tazewell all else was
forgotten. He was without exception in middle life the most imposing,
and in old age the most venerable person I ever beheld. His height
exceeded six feet; and until recently, whether sitting or standing, he
was commonly erect, and always when in full flow. His head and chest
were on a large scale, and his vast blue eye, which always seemed to
gaze afar, was aptly termed by Wirt an "eye of ocean." In early youth he
was uncommonly handsome. In middle life he was very thin though lithe
and strong, with a face the outline of which is very like that of Lord
Mansfield. But for the last thirty-five years, the period during which I
have been familiar with his person, all those traces of early beauty
which had marked his youthful face, and which in middle life may be seen
in the portrait of Thompson, had disappeared, and he was altogether on
a more developed scale. His stature had become large, his features were
massive, his silver hair fell in ringlets about his neck, and his
bearing was grave, and with strangers, until the ice was broken, almost
stern; and he appeared with a majesty which filled the most careless
spectator with veneration and awe. And when we add to these the
overshadowing reputation universally accorded him, we can readily
imagine the solicitude with which the most eminent of his contemporaries
approached him for the first time. But beneath the cold surface flowed a
warm and cordial current of generous feeling, or, as John Randolph said
to Mercer, "his ice rested on a volcano;" and the firm grasp of the
hand, the ready talk on any topic of the time, the quick illustration
which was so frequently borrowed from some characteristic or incident in
the life of the person, or the person's ancestor, with whom he was
conversing, the eloquent disquisition playful or profound, put the
visitor at his ease, and hours flew like minutes in refreshing talk. It
was a mistake to suppose that Mr. Tazewell arrogated all the talk to
himself, and purposely kept others silent in his company. On the
contrary, he delighted in colloquial discourse, and listened with rapt
attention to all that was said; and was then more brilliant and
entertaining than ever in argument, or narrative, or repartee; and on
such occasions he was a most instructive and entertaining companion. I
remember his encountering at dinner-table several gallant captains of
the navy on the subject of the movements of a ship under certain
relations of wind and tide; and although the naval gentlemen combated
his position with much boldness and skill, he worked his ship, at least
in the opinion of the landsmen who were present, safely into her
destined harbor. It was from the fear which even able men felt in his
presence, and which made them averse to venture their remarks, that from
pure good nature Mr. Tazewell sought to entertain and instruct them in
detail on any topic of the time; though it was plain that he courted
inquiry and remark, which to a certain extent was necessary to the full
and pleasant exercise of his faculties. But it was infinitely amusing to
hear him banter an obstinate old lawyer on a point of law, catching at
his arguments before he had half uttered them, and dissecting them with
such wonderful dexterity that the listeners, shaking with laughter,
saw, probably for the first time, that the severest logic and the
deepest learning became in his hands the source of the keenest wit and
of the broadest humor. What was conspicuous to all who had frequent
opportunities of seeing Mr. Tazewell in his own house or in the house of
a friend was, that he had no set topics. His range of reading and
observation had been so wide, his knowledge of men and things was so
vast, his faculties of combination were so active, it was impossible to
state a question to be decided by precedent or reasoning, which he could
not instantly handle with a force of logic which most men could only
have reached by deliberate preparation. But all that humor and wit and
genius are gone: that stream of talk has ceased to flow; and on leaving
the study, where for so many years he delighted his hearers by acts of
personal kindness and instructed them by his wisdom, we pass into
another room--the saddest of all--the chamber of Death.

There, in, that room above the parlor, on the bright Sabbath morning of
May the sixth, at twenty-five minutes past ten, he breathed his last. He
was slightly indisposed the Monday previous; but until the evening of
that day he did not appear to be seriously ill. He complained of no
particular pain, but of a general restlessness and _malaise_. On Friday,
two days before his death, seated in his chair as the easiest position
he could obtain, he engaged in a game of chess with a friend; but his
tremulous hand refused to make the moves, which were made by another at
his suggestion, and were recorded by one of his daughters. He was too
weak, however, to finish the game, which was postponed with his consent
to another time. It was now plain that his disease, which was pneumonia,
could not be conquered, and that his end was nigh. On Saturday morning
his faculties became clouded. He was heard to call a long lost son by
the name known only to the family; then the name of his dear departed
wife was uttered; and presently the name of the master of the steamer
that plies between Norfolk and the Eastern Shore where that son and that
wife were buried; showing that his own burial by their side was passing
in dim review before his failing faculties. In the course of Saturday
his mind was wholly gone. On Sunday morning, a quarter after ten, he
drew a long breath, and it was thought that all was over; but he
rallied, and another long inspiration followed. And then all was still.
His spirit had passed away. An hour later I entered the chamber, and
took a seat by the side of the corpse. His hands were folded on his
chest, which loomed larger than in life; and his extended form looked
like one of those marble effigies which adorn the tombs of his Norman
sires. His features appeared full and natural as if a deep sleep had
come upon him. The massy forehead, the firm aquiline nose, the wide
reliant upper lip which looked as I have so often seen it when about to
put forth a serious utterance, and the broad chin--all were there as in
life; and even his silver hair, curled freshly by daughter's fingers,
clustered about his neck and brow. The "ocean eye" alone was closed.
Death had put his seal upon it. As I gazed upon that majestic form reft
of its mighty spirit and soon to be laid away forever, and as I pressed
the parting salutation upon those lips not yet cold in death, on which
admiring Senates have so often hung, and from which I had so often heard
the words of wisdom and affection, I thought of those who were bathing
his dust with their tears--of the kindest and tenderest of fathers, and
of the bravest and best of friends; and I wept as I felt that a large
and various chapter of my own humble life, written all over with the
memories of this illustrious man,--a chapter running from early youth to
grey hairs--would thenceforth be closed evermore. It was only when the
flood was past, that I thought of our common country.

His time had come. He had disappeared from our sight to take his place
in history. He had attained an age almost double that which his father
had reached when that honored statesman fell in a distant city in the
service of his country; and he had been blessed with a larger share of
health than usually attends extreme old age. His faculties, which had
kindled the admiration of our fathers, shone bright to the last. His
children had reached maturity, and watched and cheered with tender care
his failing hours; and with each revolving morn his numerous
grandchildren came with their infantile ways to win the blessing of
their ancestor. Had he lived, he could not have performed any public
service. The voice whose tones had so often echoed in the forum was
gone, and his feeble limbs could no longer bear his weight. His duty
was done. His orations for the crown had all been delivered; and that
crown had been won and worn for half a century with the modesty which
became a wise and virtuous statesman of a republic; and when it was
about to be taken from his brow to be garnered for the coming ages, its
flowers were fresh, and, like those which the muse of Milton strewed
about the walks of Eden, were without a thorn. He had run a long and
glorious course. His duty was all done. He had taken his place in the
history of his country.

In the contemplation of such a character, when the keen pang of parting
is past, joy should take the place of mourning. Let us rejoice at the
prospect which greeted his closing eyes. In his last days he was cheered
by the greatness of his country. When he first saw the light, his
beloved Virginia was indeed bounded by the Ohio, and had a nominal line
on the Mississippi, the extreme verge of the British claim; but she was
the humble vassal of imperial power. He saw that Virginia, when,
retiring from the Danube of the West, she gave independence and position
to that lovely region, which, under the name of Kentucky, became her
equal in the federal union. He saw that Virginia, beneath the banner of
the gallant Clark, dipping her feet in the waters of the Northern lakes;
and he saw her cede to the confederation that vast North-western domain
with the single provision that states as free and as sovereign as
herself should be carved from its territory; and he saw those states,
one by one, take their station in the American Union. When he was born,
the flag of Britain streamed from the old Capitol in his native city,
and flapped above his head; and in the South the St. Mary's was the
extreme limit of British territory. He lived to see that flag the trophy
of his country, and to see the stars and stripes wave above the waters
of the Mexican gulf, and over those of the Atlantic and Pacific seas. He
lived to see our numbers swell from three millions to more than
thirty-one millions; and our commerce which at his birth was confined to
a few ports of Britain float on every sea, and freighted with the wealth
of every clime. He saw our extended country flourishing, beyond the
example of so young a nation in ancient or in modern times, in the arts
and sciences, in knowledge and in power and in true religion. And, with
such a scene before him, he closed his eyes in peace.

Let us remember ourselves, and inculcate upon our children the lessons
of so august a life. Let us point them to his pure and studious youth,
and his love of those who taught him, weeping at the age of eight in
parting from his young tutor, whom he was to meet again; and later as
his rival and equal at the bar; and later still when both, having
attained the highest honors of the profession, had retired from its
walks; and later still, when half a century had elapsed, he closed a
tender and life-long friendship at his grave. Let us point to him,
unguarded by a parent's care from his third year, that parent one of the
master-spirits of a great Revolution and ever absent in his fearful
work, remarkable for his correct deportment and that perseverance in
well-doing so strikingly shown by the fact that he, alone among his
young contemporaries, finished his studies at college with the
approbation of the faculty, and received the only degree conferred upon
his class. Let us point our youth to the zeal with which he sought
instruction in useful knowledge; how, a mere boy, almost imperceptibly,
it may be in the office of his grandfather, or of Mr. Wythe, or of Mr.
Wickham, or of the General Court, but some how, somewhere, perhaps drawn
on the instant from the philosophy of the law, he acquired a thorough
knowledge of all the mysteries and learning of a clerk of a court--a
mastery so thorough, that in after years he was consulted by the most
eminent clerks in difficult cases in their calling; and how he not only
mastered that department of knowledge, but studied its mere mechanical
details, and learned that beautiful hand which was conspicuous in all
his writings. Let us recall to them the industry with which he, the
heir-apparent of a fortune, which, however, he never received, pursued
the study of the law; how, by his moral purity, his intelligence, and
his becoming deportment, he won, a mere youth, the confidence and the
intimacy of some of the most distinguished men of that age; and how he
heeded the lessons which he heard from their lips, and imitated the
singular virtues which shone in their lives. Let us recall the fact, so
patent in his life, and so cheering to the young and virtuous of every
land, that moral worth and abilities will ever be promptly recognized by
those true patrons of the age--the People--who took the young Tazewell
in charge, who, at the age of one-and-twenty, sent him to the Assembly,
and who, as soon as he was eligible to a seat in the House of
Representatives, conferred upon him that most distinguished honor in
their gift and placed him in the chair of John Marshall. Let us call the
attention of our young men to the next great step in his life, when,
having obtained the highest political honors which could be conferred on
so young a man, realizing that a competent fortune was the solid basis
of independence moral and political, and that the family hearth was the
true home of human happiness; he let the cup of ambition pass from him,
and devoted himself to the practical business of life. And then let us
unfold before our youth his splendid career at the bar--a career radiant
with genius, marked by untiring industry and fidelity to the interests
confided to his care, brilliant with extraordinary displays of
intellect, upheld by dauntless courage, memorable as well by his
triumphant successes as by the moderation of his fees and by the moral
light which he diffused around him, regarding, as he ever did, rapacity,
extortion, and complicity in evil-doing as the worst of crimes, and more
memorable, as blending in a single character, and at an early age, those
uncommon qualities which separately make the reputation of a great
advocate, of a great civilian, and of a great master of the Laws of
Nations; and, more memorable still, when, his high position attained,
and able to add thousands upon thousands to his wealth, he, with noble
self-denial, put another enticing cup away from his lips, and withdrew
with a moderate competence only to the bosom of his family and to the
peaceful pursuits of agriculture, leaving, as an example worthy of all
imitation, a broad margin which Plutus might have condemned, but which
Socrates, Cato, and Cicero would have extolled, between the bar of man
and that supreme tribunal before which we must all appear; how, when in
the retirement which he so much loved, his country called for his
services, he promptly and generously rendered them, serving a long term
of years, speaking, accustomed as he was to speak, rarely, but
effectively and conclusively, so that nothing was to be said after him,
and winning laurels for himself in the high places of the land, and from
the foremost spirits of the age--laurels whose only worth in his eyes
was that he might lay them at the feet of that blessed mother of us all,
our beloved Virginia; how, when he had performed long and distinguished
service abroad, which Virginia and the whole country were anxious to
reward, he again sought retirement, relinquishing without a sigh to
others those personal honors which so fascinate the votaries of
ambition, but which had no charm for him; how, when he had formed with
the utmost deliberation his political creed, he adhered most closely and
conscientiously, and in the face of great temptations, to its cardinal
doctrines throughout his entire course; yet, throning country above
party in the empire of his affections, he did not hesitate to oppose as
readily and as fearlessly his political friends when he deemed them
wrong as he sustained them when he believed them to be right; how,
though a stern upholder of the public honor, he ever sought to avoid
war, when it was consistent with the public interests to defer it, and,
in 1807, when a false step on his part would have brought on an instant
rupture with Great Britain, he, with consummate tact and courage, poured
oil upon the troubled waters, and averted a war which, under the
circumstances, would have been worse than a civil war--_bellum plus quam
civile_--a war to the knife; how, at a later day, when, on the eve of
the conclusion of the war in Europe, it was resolved to commence
hostilities with England, he sought to postpone the struggle for a
season, convinced that a short delay would render it unnecessary, and
how signally his foresight was justified by the result; thus
recommending, in opposition to the pervading sentiment of the State, a
policy which would have saved thousands of valuable lives, and a hundred
millions of money, expended in our contest with England; how, at a still
later day, when the Senate of the United States, unconsciously and
needlessly, were about to involve us in a war with Spain, his eloquence
rescued the country from the impending danger; yet, when war was
declared against his will, ever ready to unite with his countrymen in
prosecuting hostilities with the greatest vigor; how, alone among all
the departed statesmen of Virginia, he managed, with the industry and
attention of an ordinary citizen, his private affairs, into which he
introduced a system which the planter and the merchant might wisely
imitate, and which enabled him to compete with his most skilful
contemporaries in the success which followed all his exertions; how,
unseduced by a love of gold in an age of speculation, he never committed
a dollar to the caprices of fortune, or lost an investment; how, though
affluent with wealth, won mainly by downright industry, and waxing
greater every hour by the force of that wondrous element in the
accumulation of money, a lengthened lapse of years, he constantly and
steadily turned his back upon the extravagance and social follies of the
day, and exhibited in his household and in his life those stern and
sterling virtues of prudence, economy, and thrift, which were the
characteristics of the early fathers of the republic; displaying before
the eyes of the people a model wherein the loftiest genius, the most
varied and profound learning, the most fervid patriotism ever sinking
self in country, the severe simplicity and frugality which should ever
shine along the track of a true republican statesman, and an escutcheon
undebased by a solitary vice, were united in all their fair and grand
proportions; how, in his happy home, he dispensed, freely and without
price, the marvellous stores of learning and experience which he had
amassed during his long and eventful career, turning his modest study
into a chamber of philosophy, and the well-spring of oracles more
practical, more prudent, more profound, and penetrating further into the
abyss of the dark and illimitable future than were ever uttered at the
Pythian fane; and last, though not least, how, in the lingering twilight
of his years as in their earliest dawn, he loved Virginia, not with that
cold feeling which looks to latitude and longitude, to East or to West,
as the limits of affection, but, first, in that tender and household
light, as the home of his ancestry, the sepulchre of his sires, his own
birth and burial-place, and the birth and burial-place of those who were
dear to him, and then in that more majestic aspect as the bride of
liberty, the first born of the colonies of Britain, and the first born
of the States of the new world, as the mother of heroes, statesmen, and
philosophers, "above all Greek, above all Roman fame," as the sole
mistress of his heart, valuing her humblest commission, whether stamped
by the greater or the lesser seal, above the highest honors which a
federal executive could bestow, or the most gorgeous transcript of
imperial praise, as a free, puissant, and perfect commonwealth, as an
integral, independent, and sovereign State, as independent, as
sovereign, as when she struck the lion with his senseless motto from her
flag, and placed in their stead her own Virtue, erect, with a helmet on
her head, a spear in her hand, and a fallen crown at her feet, and that
ever dear and ever living sentiment, "SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS," and
especially and touchingly, with unutterable and inextinguishable
affection, as the beneficent parent who had rocked his cradle, who had
held out to him in youth the helping hand, who had honored his meridian
and his setting years with her greenest bays, and who as he humbly and
fondly hoped, would drop a tear upon his tomb, and hold his name not
unworthy of her remembrance. Let us, gentlemen, recall these and similar
traits of this illustrious man, and holding up before posterity his pure
and bright example, let us not only honor it with our tongues, but
imprint it on our hearts, and imitate it in our lives.

And now, Patron of my youth, Guide and Counsellor of my maturer years,
and ever, ever, ever the Friend of my bosom, HAIL and FAREWELL!

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The various spellings are Tan'swell, Ta'rswell, Tassell, Taswell,
Tazewell. Tarswell is another abbreviation of Tankersville.

[2] Judge Benjamin Waller.

[3] Mr. Wickham married Mr. Tazewell's aunt, a half sister of Judge
Henry Tazewell.

[4] For a sketch of Mr. Tazewell and Gen. Taylor, as they appeared at
this early period of their career, see the graphic picture drawn by the
hand of Mr. Wirt, in the Old Bachelor, Appendix No. 3. Tazewell is the
Sidney, and Gen. Taylor the Herbert of the piece.

[5] See Appendix No. 3.

[6] The committee were Thomas Mathews, Thomas Newton, Jr., Luke Wheeler,
Theodoric Armistead, Richard E. Lee, Moses Myers, William Pennock,
William Newsum, Thomas Blanchard, Daniel Bedinger, Seth Foster, J.W.
Murdaugh, Richard Blow, and Francis S. Taylor.

[7] Tazewell Taylor, Esq.

[8] For his views of public duty see Appendix No. 4.

[9] This speech Mr. Tazewell was surprised to learn from the public
prints, was regarded as a great effort. In a letter dated the 3d of
February, 1825, a few days after the delivery of the speech, he writes
to a friend in Virginia as follows: "The newspapers and my Virginian
friends have done me irreparable mischief in the too lavish encomia they
have bestowed upon my speech, as you call it. Believe me, I was very
much in the situation of him who had been talking prose all his life
without knowing it. I had no conception that I had made a speech, and
really thought I had merely given a clear and distinct exposition of a
matter of public law as familiar to me as the doctrine of dower, and
concerning which I had no more doubt. And it was with infinite
astonishment I first saw the strong panegyric heaped upon my argument
here. So true is this, that on the evening after I had concluded it, I
wrote to my friend Wickham, telling him if his eye should see anything
of it through the newspapers, he would wonder how so much A B C
knowledge could be tolerated here, but that I saw it was necessary to
state it, and therefore he must not think me so much of a pedant as he
might otherwise be disposed to do. Had the thing been suffered to pass
unnoticed, I might have hoped at some time or other to gain some credit
for a speech when I saw an occasion offered to make one; and I have
vanity enough to believe that I could make a much better almost any day
of the week." He complains of the bad Latin the papers put in his mouth,
and of such expressions as "three twins," &c., &c. I grieve to think
that so few specimens of Mr. Tazewell's arguments are to be found in
print. I have heard from him year after year, in conversation, arguments
on current or general topics, which, if emblazoned through the press,
would make a fair reputation for a speaker, and he all unconscious at
the time that he was making any considerable effort.

[10] Ex-President Tyler, who was the third, was unexpectedly prevented
from being present: the Hon. George Loyall and the speaker were the
other two.

[11] In a note to a friend, written Christmas day, 1850, he speaks of
the Bible as "the good book," and says, "it has ever been regarded as
most precious."

[12] From letters in my possession, I could quote a dozen instances in
which he expresses his readiness to accept any office which the State
might confer upon him; but he did not desire any appointment State or
Federal; that he would seek none, but that he could not refuse his
services to Virginia when she required them. See extracts in Appendix,
No. 4.

[13] One case occurs to me. The captain of a French ship with a valuable
cargo, having been deceived by some intelligence about the raising of
the embargo, sailed into the port of Norfolk, and subjected his ship and
cargo to forfeiture. Tazewell got the ship clear; and when he was
informed by the consignee of the ship that the captain had left him a
fee of a thousand dollars, and required his receipt for that sum,
Tazewell would only accept of three hundred dollars. I may also state
that when he retired from the bar, he had several thousand dollars on
his books which could have been collected on application to the parties,
but, whether from inadvertence or procrastination, or mere
indisposition, he let them pass.

[14] Luke et al. _vs._ Lyde, 2 Burrow, 887.




APPENDIX.


No. I.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE BAR OF NORFOLK ON THE DEATH OF MR. TAZEWELL.

No. II.
CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THE PUBLICATION OF MR. GRIGSBY'S DISCOURSE.

No. III.
CHARACTERS OF MR. TAZEWELL, BY THE HON. GEORGE LOYALL; BY THE LATE
WILLIAM WIRT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES; BY THE LATE
FRANCIS WALKER GILMER, ESQ., PROFESSOR OF LAW IN THE UNIVERSITY
OF VIRGINIA; AND BY WILLIAM W. SHARP, ESQ.

No. IV.
EXTRACTS FROM THE LETTERS OF MR. TAZEWELL CONCERNING PUBLIC OFFICE.

No. V.
THE FUNERAL OF MR. TAZEWELL.

No. VI.
PORTRAITS OF MR. TAZEWELL.



No. I.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE BAR OF NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ON THE DEATH OF MR.
TAZEWELL.


MEETING OF THE NORFOLK BAR.

At a meeting of the members of the Norfolk Bar, held in the Court-room,
May 7, 1860, on the motion of Tazewell Taylor, James R. Hubard was
called to the Chair, and Chas. Sharp and John T. Francis appointed
Secretaries.

William W. Sharp offered the following preamble and resolutions, which
were unanimously adopted:

The members of the Bar of Norfolk, having learned that LITTLETON WALLER
TAZEWELL, Esq., died at his residence, in this city, yesterday morning,
in the 86th year of his age, have assembled to express their feelings on
the occasion of the demise of such an illustrious member of their body.
More than the third of a century has elapsed since, crowned with its
highest honors, he retired from the profession; and the reflection is as
apposite as it is solemn, that not a member of the present bar was his
contemporary; but, though he was nominally withdrawn from active life,
his presence in our city, his great accessibility to all who chose to
consult him, the exuberance of his vast stores of knowledge, which came
forth freely at the call of his friends, his splendid parliamentary
career, his overshadowing reputation which, as it was felt and
universally acknowledged by his associates at the Bar of Virginia,
loomed yet larger through the haze of years--these and his fine social
qualities ever kept him fresh in the eyes and in the hearts of his
professional successors. Thus it was, that though so long withdrawn from
the field of his meridian fame, he seemed to be connected with us by a
sensible and living tie; and thus it is that we feel more acutely the
loss which our body, which our city, and which our common country, have
experienced in his death.

It was a severe but touching sentiment of an ancient poet, that no man
ought to be deemed happy before his death; and such is the instability
of human affairs, so sudden and unexpected are human events and
opinions, there is too much room for belief in the mournful reflection;
but, if the case of any individual may be singled out as an exception,
it was that of Mr. Tazewell. He had reached the highest fame that has
been attained at the Bar of Virginia and of the Union; and with the
laurels gathered in forensic contests, he had interwoven those which he
won on the floor of the Senate of the United States. His wise economy,
his financial skill, and his sound practical judgment, had amassed a
fortune which increased with every year: and, as if nothing should be
wanting to his felicity, he was blessed with a large and lovely family,
the bride of his youth, until within a year past, still diffusing around
her the light of her early love, and children and grandchildren awaiting
his blessing. The very seclusion in which he lived was an element of
peace and serenity in his latter days. He interfered with no man's
schemes; he thwarted the ambition of no aspirant; in the vigor of
manhood, and in the prime of his extraordinary powers, he had put the
cup of rivalry and ambition by; and no persuasion or inducement would
have led him to press its lips as his sands were running low. Hence,
unbiassed by the prejudices of the hour, unswayed by the flattering
schemes of personal interests, he brought his great powers to bear upon
current questions with a force that it was hard to resist or elude, and
with a sagacity almost prophetic. But that force will be felt now no
more: that sagacity will cease to sway the judgments of men; and Death
has placed its seal upon his destiny; and it has become our sad office
to lament his loss:--Therefore, be it

_Resolved_, That, while we feel painfully the death of so illustrious a
member of our profession, we are grateful to the Disposer of Events
that, with all his noble faculties unimpaired, and in the midst of
untold temporal blessings, our deceased brother attained to such an
advanced age, and reflected for so many years upon the Bar, upon his
native and beloved Commonwealth, and upon the Union at large, the lustre
of his splendid talents, the pure and unsullied glory of his name and
fame, and his eminent moral and social virtues.

_Resolved_, That the members of the Bar will this day attend his funeral
in a body; and wear crape on the left arm for thirty days.

_Resolved_, That Hugh Blair Grigsby be requested to prepare a discourse
on the life and character of Mr. Tazewell, to be delivered before the
Bar at such time as may suit his convenience.

_Resolved_, That we extend to the family of our deceased brother our
warmest and most heartfelt condolence on the death of its illustrious
head.

_Resolved_, That a copy of these proceedings be presented to the family
of Mr. Tazewell.

_Resolved_, That these resolutions be published in the newspapers of
Norfolk and Richmond.

After the reading of the above resolutions, Messrs. Tazewell Taylor,
Hugh Blair Grigsby, William W. Sharp, and L.H. Chandler, delivered
touching and appropriate addresses.

On motion of William W. Sharp, the blank in the third resolution was
filled with the name of Hugh Blair Grigsby, who, being present, accepted
the appointment.

The meeting then adjourned to enable the members of the Bar to attend
the funeral.


                                           JAMES E. HUBARD, _Chairman_.

CHARLES SHARP,   } _Secretaries_.
JOHN T. FRANCIS, }




No. II.

CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THE PUBLICATION OF MR. GRIGSBY'S DISCOURSE.


                                                NORFOLK, JUNE 29, 1860.
HUGH B. GRIGSBY, ESQ.:

SIR:--On behalf of the Norfolk bar, the undersigned committee desire to
express to you their thanks for the able and interesting discourse on
the life and character of the late Littleton Waller Tazewell, Esq.,
delivered before the bar this morning, and request a copy thereof for
publication.

Expressing the hope that you will find it convenient and agreeable to
comply with the request,

We are, sir, with great respect, your ob't serv'ts,

                                       W.W. SHARP,      }
                                       JNO. S. MILLSON, }
                                       TAZEWELL TAYLOR, } Committee.
                                       HN. ROBERTSON,   }
                                       JNO. T. FRANCIS, }


                                                NORFOLK, JUNE 29, 1860.

GENTLEMEN:--In complying with your request for a copy of my discourse,
delivered this morning, it is proper that I should state the
circumstances under which it was prepared. When I accepted from the bar
the office of delivering a discourse on the life and character of Mr.
Tazewell, I said to the meeting that, from the state of my eyes, I could
not probably prepare it before the fall; but, having been unexpectedly
detained in Norfolk beyond my usual time of leaving it for the country,
and fearing from the state of my own health and from the uncertainty of
human affairs, that, if I postponed the discourse till the fall, I might
be prevented from preparing it then, I determined to do the work, as
well as I could, at once, and the result is the discourse of which I
read a portion to you this morning.

It is hastily written, and written almost wholly from my own mind, and,
I may add, for the meridian of Virginia; but I have ventured to send it
to you, such as it is, and I indulge the hope that, humble as it is, it
may serve to recall, in some slight measure at least, and until some
better memorial be prepared, the recollections of a statesman who was
long the pride of his native commonwealth, and who stood to most of you
in the intimate and endearing relation of a personal friend.

I am, gentlemen, with the highest respect, very truly yours,

                                                     HUGH BLAIR GRIGSBY.

TO W.W. SHARP,         }
   JOHN S. MILLSON,    } Esquires,
   TAZEWELL TAYLOR,    } Committee of the
   HARRISON ROBERTSON, } Norfolk Bar.
   JOHN T. FRANCIS,    }




No. III.

     CHARACTERS OF MR. TAZEWELL, BY THE HON. GEORGE LOYALL; BY WILLIAM
     W. SHARP, ESQ., A PUPIL OF MR. TAZEWELL; BY THE LATE WILLIAM WIRT,
     ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES; AND BY THE LATE FRANCIS
     WALKER GILMER, ESQ., PROFESSOR OF LAW IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
     VIRGINIA.


The sketch of Mr. Tazewell by Mr. Loyall appeared under the editorial
head of the _Norfolk Argus_, on the 8th of May. It was written in haste,
but it shows the impression which Mr. Tazewell made on that able and
accomplished gentleman. None had a longer or a fairer view of Mr.
Tazewell for forty-five years past than Mr. Loyall, and it was mainly
owing to him that Mr. Tazewell was brought forward as a candidate for a
seat in the Senate of the United States.

[From the _Norfolk Argus_ of May 8, 1860. By the Hon. George Loyall.]

DEATH OF EX-GOV. TAZEWELL.

On Sunday, 11 o'clock A.M., LITTLETON WALLER TAZEWELL breathed his last.
It was in the Providence of God to prolong the life of this venerable
and distinguished man beyond the term of four-score years, during which
the beams of his genius irradiated the land of his birth. Among the
last, if not the very last, of a noble and vigorous stock, to whom
Virginia owes so much of her well-deserved fame, the main features of
his character, as was said of an illustrious statesman of the last
century, had the hardihood of antiquity.

It was impossible to behold Mr. Tazewell--his majestic form and massive
brow--without a vivid impression of the superiority of his intellectual
powers; and this impression was invariably deepened whenever a suitable
occasion called for their exercise. It may be truly said that he was
coeval with the outburst of our Revolutionary struggle, the period of
his birth having preceded but a year or two the Declaration of
Independence. After a thorough preparatory discipline, we find his name
inscribed on the catalogue of William and Mary College, contemporary
with those of John Thompson (Curtius) of Petersburg, John Randolph of
Roanoke, Robert B. Taylor of this place, and other kindred spirits. He
entered upon his professional career at a period when the bar of our
State was thronged with men of extensive learning and the highest order
of abilities. His success was not long a matter of doubt or speculation.
Unambitious of distinction, in the commonly received sense, and
unwilling to leave, even for a time, the comparatively humble field of
his habitual labors, yet when summoned away to some new or larger
theatre, (in the meridian of his fame it not unfrequently happened,) his
efforts were marked by extraordinary brilliancy and power. It was
universally conceded that, when roused upon such occasions to put forth
his whole strength, the more strenuous and stern the combat, the more
signal his triumph.

As was remarked of Lord Mansfield, so with Mr. Tazewell, the shackles of
a law education and profession, perhaps, formalized, and, in some
degree, repressed the splendor of his genius; still, whether in the
senate chamber, the hall of legislation, or the court-room, his
"speaking was the full expression of the mighty thought, the strong
triumphant argument, the rush of native eloquence." His calm dignity and
colossal strength, his luminous masculine and searching logic, the vast
extent and variety of his research, the large stores of his affluent
knowledge, marshalled and arranged with consummate skill and judgment,
together with the fascination of his purely unaffected, earnest manner,
the magic power of his unstudied action, and the thrilling intonations
of his deep rich voice, rendered him, in his best days, "before public
assemblies, almost irresistible." He managed his strength to such
advantage, that few men dared to grapple with him "in a pitched field of
long and serious debate." His general tone and style in debate were
marked by an intense earnestness, whilst his narrative, possessing, from
its striking naturalness and simplicity, a high degree of dramatic
interest, was occasionally relieved with splendid passages of
impassioned and stirring eloquence. Intrepid self-reliance, unwearied
activity, far-reaching sagacity, clearness, and fulness, were the
prominent characteristics of Mr. Tazewell's mind. Comprehending with
intuitive glance the whole field of argument, he "launched into his
subject like an eagle dallying with the wind." One of our leading
statesmen declared, upon a memorable occasion, that "Tazewell was second
to no man that breathed." Certainly, it is no exaggeration to say that,
for robust discipline, vigorous reasoning, grasp and amplitude of
thought, he was almost without a rival.

Virginia had conferred upon him her highest official trusts. Her
generous confidence he requited with a deep and fervent devotion, laying
upon the altar of her stern and simple political faith the offerings of
matured wisdom, and upholding, in all seasons, with a lofty patriotism
and the utmost energies of his powerful intellect, her right and honor.
Standing upon the great principles that lie at the foundation of our
institutions, the powers of the Federal Government, as limited and
defined by the Compact, and the rights of the States in all their
integrity, he regarded as vital to the preservation of the Confederacy
and the stability of our republican system. Whether in repelling open
assaults upon the Constitution, or meeting at the threshold covert
abuses of delegated power, no man within our border saw more clearly, or
more directly and firmly trod the path of duty before him. Personal
asperities engendered by political strife, and which too often follow in
the train of collisions of opinion and partisan warfare, were "alien to
his nature." In his retirement from the public arena, during the last
twenty years or more, he sympathized but little with the busy world.

Of most happy temperament, and without a particle of ostentation or
parade, "his spirit was finely touched with the gentler virtues," and
those who enjoyed the privilege of his social intimacy will remember
with delight the unaffected frankness and simplicity of his manners, the
varied range, the breadth and depth and vivacity of his "marvellously
rich and beautiful conversation," whilst they must deeply deplore the
loss of one as remarkable for mildness and the kindliest affections in
his domestic relations, and all the intercourse of private life, as for
profound thought and rare attainments.

It is not the purpose, nor is it within the scope of this brief
memorial, to delineate the character of this eminent citizen. _Clarum et
venerabile nomen_--"a fairer tribute shall one day grace his honorable
tomb." He belongs now to history.


SKETCH OF MR. TAZEWELL BY MR. SHARP.

This sketch appeared in one of the morning papers of Norfolk on the 8th
of May; and though hastily written, deserves to be republished here. Mr.
Sharp is the only member of the bar now living who was a student in the
office of Mr. Tazewell, and who saw him closely while engaged in the two
or three last years of his practice at the bar.


The mortal career of our celebrated townsman, LITTLETON WALLER TAZEWELL,
closed on Sunday morning, at 11 o'clock. He was emphatically one of the
great men of his age, and a just memorial of his life will, no doubt, be
specially prepared in due season. Meantime, we will note, that he was
born in the city of Williamsburg, where his father, Judge Tazewell, of
the Court of Appeals, subsequently resided, on the 17th of December,
1774. After finishing his education at William and Mary College, he
commenced his study of the law, partly under the care of his
grandfather, Mr. Waller, and the late Mr. Wickham, of Richmond. He was
distinguished at once at the bar as scientifically acquainted with his
profession, the principles of which he drew, not from the labor-saving
indexes of the present day, but from the pure and almost sacred writings
of Coke and Mansfield. Such wells of truth were not sounded except by
great intellectual efforts, and it is chiefly owing to the necessity
which then existed of making such efforts, that we boast of the great
lawyers of past times.

In a short time after his appearance in the courts he was elected to the
Legislature, and was one of its members in the great session of '98,
when the resolutions prepared by Mr. Madison were introduced. The next
year he represented the Williamsburg District in Congress, being
successor to Judge Marshall in that body, and was present during the
stormy period of Mr. Jefferson's election to the Presidency over Burr.
Few statesmen have more truly appreciated the grandeur of Mr.
Jefferson's teachings than did the subject of this notice.

He declined a reelection to Congress, and came to Norfolk in 1802, then
a place of extensive foreign commerce, and soon entered upon a large and
important practice. During the same year he married a daughter of the
late Col. Nivison, and from that time to the present continued to reside
among us. With the exception of the interrupting years of the war of
1813-14, and of a short period, during which he represented this city in
the Legislature on a special occasion, he practised his profession with
the honor and success that were to have been expected from one who was,
while yet a young man, pronounced by Judge Marshall and Judge Roane to
be unsurpassed, if equalled, by any competitor of his day. It was indeed
hard to speak in measured terms of a lawyer who, though a resident of a
provincial town, was consulted, at the same time, (1819,) by London
merchants on the "custom of London," and by the priests of Rome on the
canon law.

At the earnest solicitation of Mr. Monroe, he reluctantly accepted the
appointment of one of the commissioners under the Florida treaty,--being
united in that duty with Mr. King and the late Hugh Lawson White; and
after that work was done, he withdrew from the practice of law to the
privacy which he so much, perhaps too much, loved.

In 1825 he was elected by the General Assembly a Senator of the United
States over some distinguished competitors, and soon after taking his
seat was called upon to discuss the celebrated Piracy bill of Mr.
Monroe's administration; and in a speech on that measure, which he
defeated, displayed such extraordinary resources of argument and
learning as threw all his associates of that epoch in the shade, and
established his own reputation as the greatest debater of his age.

He was a prominent member of the Convention of Virginia in 1829-30,
where his compeers were Chief Justice Marshall, John Randolph, Watkins
Leigh, Taylor, Upshur, and others of that brilliant assembly. He was at
the same time a Senator from Virginia in Congress; and was in nothing
behind the great personages of the Senate, where sat Calhoun, Clay, and
Webster, save only in his invincible desire and love of retirement.

In 1833-4 he resigned his seat in the Senate of the United States, and
soon after, and almost without his knowledge, he was elected Governor of
Virginia, the duties of which office he actively and faithfully
performed until his resignation, which took place before the expiration
of his term.

From that time he has continued in private life--but not uselessly, for
he has been consulted from all parts of the Union on almost all
subjects; and by his intimate acquaintances, his opinions have been
regarded as oracular inspirations. He has also attended with care to his
private duties, and these, with his correspondence, have chiefly
occupied his later years.

It has been the subject of deep regret that one possessing such colossal
powers should have been so unwilling to exert them. There is but one
instance in history of a really great man seeking an obscurity which he
could not win,--the case of Chief Justice Wilmot, of England. But Mr.
Tazewell had the right to judge and decide for himself, and that he
preferred private to public life is rather to be lamented than
complained of. Nor must it be supposed that this preference was the
effect of indolence. On the contrary, he was, in his way, a laborious
man, and it may be that the leisure of his latter years may have been
productive of important fruits in literature and science to those who
have survived him.

We will not, and need not, dwell upon the private relations of Mr.
Tazewell, in all of which he had no superior; and although for many
years he has been a stranger upon our streets, yet we feel that even in
a social point of view we have sustained a loss which cannot be
repaired. There is great sadness in our city, which pervades all its
ranks, and which even those who never saw him deeply feel. We add no
more than to offer our unaffected sympathy to his family.


DESCRIPTION OF MR. TAZEWELL, BY THE LATE WILLIAM WIRT, ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF THE UNITED STATES.

This sketch of Mr. Tazewell is taken from the twenty-fourth number of
the OLD BACHELOR, a name given to a series of papers written in
imitation of The Spectator, The Rambler, and their successors, and
designed to improve the morals and elevate the taste of the community.
They appeared in the Richmond Enquirer during the years 1813-14, and
were republished in duodecimo in the latter year. Mr. Tazewell is
represented as a youth of twenty-two, under the name of Sidney; Gen.
Taylor under that of Herbert; the late Judge Parker under that of
Alfred; the late Francis W. Gilmer under that of Galen I believe; and I
suspect Mr. Wirt himself is the Old Bachelor of the piece. But, for
various reasons, I shall only present Mr. Tazewell as he appears in the
character of Sidney. As Mr. Wirt was Clerk of the House of Delegates for
three years of the time during which Mr. Tazewell was a member of the
body, he must have known personally Mr. Tazewell in his twenty-second or
third year; and although the sketch was written fourteen or fifteen
years later, it may have been drawn from actual life.

"On the night of the arrival of the young friends mentioned in my former
number, Alfred, whose signal had drawn them to the parlor, where they
were first met by Rosalie and myself, performed the part of master of
ceremonies by giving us a mutual introduction, which he did in the
following terms:

"'My friends, this is Dr. Cecil, the benevolent censor of the age; and
this is my sister Rosalie. This, sir,' addressing me, 'is the son of a
man whom I have often heard you admire, Mr. Sidney;' presenting a spare
young man of good figure, whose face seemed formed on the finest model
of antiquity, and whose large eye, of a soft deep blue, habitually
expanded, as if looking upon a wide and boundless surface, might well be
called an _eye of ocean_. He advanced with mild and graceful composure,
and saluted me with an unassuming modesty and politeness, blended at the
same time with a manly firmness, simplicity, and dignity, which gave me
the presentiment that he was a superior character."

After describing a conversation in which Van Tromp, Reynolds, Herbert,
and Sidney took part, the narrative continues:

"But Sidney's appeared to be the master-spirit; cool, collected, firm,
vigorous, and self-balanced, he stood, like an eagle upon the rocks of
Norway's coast, defying with equal composure the storm that raved and
rent the atmosphere above, and the surging element that towered and
dashed and roared below.

"This young man was really a prodigy. He was only two-and-twenty years
of age; yet his information seemed already to be universal. He spoke on
every science and every art like one of its ablest professors. There was
no broken lumber nor useless trash in his mind. The materials were all
of the best sort, and in the highest order. The stores of his knowledge
had been collected with so much reflection and hypothetical application,
and arranged in his memory with so much skill and method, that he would
call them into use at a moment's warning; and there was no point which
he wished to illustrate by analogy, or support by a precedent, for which
his memory did not supply him at once with the happiest materials.

"There were one or two important particulars in which he had a manifest
and striking advantage over the generality of young men. Where, for
instance, Herbert, Reynolds, and Van Tromp had, through indolence or
hurry, passed over the Gordian knots which had occurred in the course of
their studies, Sidney seems to have stopped, and sitten deliberately and
patiently down, resolved not to cut but to untie them before he rose, so
as not only to make himself master of the knowledge which they
concealed, but to discover also how the knot came to be tied; whether it
arose from the unavoidable difficulty of the subject, or from the want
of care or of intellectual strength in the author. Thus he trained and
practised his mind to grapple with difficulties and to subdue them; and
thus he gave to his penetration a point of adamant which no difficulty
could stop or turn aside.

"But, besides this temper of superior hardihood and vigor with which he
thus endued his mind, there was this further advantage from this
process: that his knowledge was much superior both in quantity and
accuracy. Sidney's course of study had resembled a cloudless day in
which all was light and every object visible, whether on hill, plain, or
in dale; whereas theirs resembled a coruscation by night, in which only
the most prominent objects are seen, and that, too, only by sudden and
transient glimpses. And hence, I remarked, that very often in the course
of their conversation, when they were under the eclipse of one of those
Gordian knots, lost in valleys, shade, and darkness, Sidney was in broad
and perfect day.

"It was owing, too, as I believe, to the ever-wakeful, intense, and
ardent action of the mind, as well as the collateral meditation and
study with which he had read, that his memory appeared to have possessed
a faculty of discriminating among the subjects offered to its retention,
and rejecting the incumbrance of what was worthless, to have seized and
holden with indissoluble tenacity everything that was useful, _together
with all its roots and ramifications_. He seems to have examined the
historical incidents with which he had met, with all that 'large, sound,
round-about sense,' as Mr. Locke calls it, which was necessary to
combine with it all its causes and consequences, and render it
practically useful to the purposes of life. I was several times struck
with the superior advantages which he derived from these details of
relative and antecedent with which he had recorded in his memory
historical facts. His fellow-students were acquainted with all the
prominent incidents of history; but not having examined them in all
their bearings, as they had read, and impressed them, _with all their
relations of cause and effect_, on their minds, it turned out that they
frequently attempted to borrow aid from historical incidents, which
Sidney, from his more intimate knowledge and mastery of the subjects,
was able to seize and drive back upon them like routed elephants upon
their own army.

"He surpassed them, too, in those powers which are derived from
mathematical study; the power of keeping continually in the mind's eye,
without winking or wavering, the distant proposition which is to be
proven; of advancing to it by steady steps on the shortest route; and
bearing up, with the strength of Atlas, the most extended and ponderous
chain of logical deductions. Such was the habitual steadiness and
strength of his mind, that, unlike his fellow-students, I never saw him
lose sight, for an instant, of the point in debate, much less shift that
point to something else; in advancing to it, I never saw him take one
devious step; nor did I ever see him at any moment oppressed or
entangled by the concatenation of his argument, or indicate even that he
was at all sensible of its weight.

"That there may have been something in the original organization of his
mind or temperament of his character, that qualified him, in a
preeminent degree, for cool, dispassionate, profound, and vigorous
exertion, I will not take upon me to deny; but that he owed much more of
his excellence to that secret and persevering labor to which he had so
nobly submitted, and by which he had given additional tone and power to
his mind itself, I am perfectly convinced. His mind did, now, indeed,
appear in itself the superior one; it had such a power of compression
and expansion, of versatility and strength, that it seemed capable of
anything and everything that he pleased. It was astonishing with what
rapidity and effect he would shift the color, shape, and attitude of the
same object as the emergencies of his argument required. With what
closeness and unanswerable cogency he would maintain truth! and with
what illusion and almost irrefutable sophistry he would disguise and
metamorphose error! At the first sound of the trumpet he could draw a
larger body of forces into the field in favor of an erroneous position
than his adversaries could in favor of a correct one; and even when on
the wrong side, which he seemed just as willing to be as he was to be on
the right, he was generally astute enough to drive his adversaries into
straits and keep the field himself in token of victory. Indeed the
spirit of enterprise and the consciousness of his strength led him
generally to prefer the wrong side to the right, and to support error
with more vivacity and appearance of enjoyment than he did truth. His
fault seemed to consist in the abuse of his strength; in that laxity of
colloquial morals (if I may use the phrase) of which I have, just
spoken, and which led him to triumph, with equal pleasure, in every
victory, right or wrong.

"There was, however, something still more unfortunate in this bold and
commanding character, but which I believe I should never have discovered
had I not endeavored to take the place of the public towards him, and
judge of him as I have seen them judge of others: I mean an apparent
frigidity of manner which I feared the world would consider as the
evidence of a cold and sordid heart.

"The man who is in possession of such talents as Sidney's, is in
possession of a most dangerous gift; and it behoves him to walk before
the public with a circumspection proportionate to the superiority of
those talents. Exorbitant power, whether intellectual or political,
naturally begets distrust and jealousy in the good as well as envy in
the wicked; and it requires on the part of its possessor a constant
display, not only of the most scrupulous integrity and sacred purity on
every occasion, great or small; but a constant display also of the most
disinterested generosity and public spirit, to give such a character
even fair play before the world. People must be satisfied that such an
one will not abuse his power to their injury, and sacrifice their
interests to his own; but that the strong and native tendency of his
character is to disregard his own interests entirely when drawn into
collision with theirs, before they will forgive him his superiority, and
trust themselves in his hands. To such a character, any appearance or
suspicion of coldness, or indifference towards the public good, and much
more any appearance or suspicion of uncommon devotion to self, however
fallacious such appearance or suspicion may be, is political death,
without the hope of resurrection. Such a character must lose sight of
self altogether, compared with the public, or the public will be very
apt to lose sight of him, or seeing, not to trust him. As to Sidney,
knowing him as I do, I know that those appearances of which I have
spoken are entirely fallacious; that his laxity in conversation is only
sportiveness; that his attention to his own interests does not surpass
the bounds of ordinary prudence; that, on a proper occasion, no man is
more charitable, generous, or munificent; none more alive to the
misfortunes and even solicitudes of a virtuous sufferer; that his
apparent coldness is the effect only of mental abstraction and of
judicious caution and reflection; and, in part, of that strong and
exhausting flame with which his friendship burns for those whom he
grapples to his heart. But the world at large can never have that
knowledge of him that I have; and, therefore, though I know that he
looks upon mankind with an eye of benevolence, and upon his country with
the spirit of a patriot; and though, in addition to this, he is
certainly capable of any and every thing that demands fidelity, zeal,
energy, industry the most unrelaxing, and talents the most transcendent;
yet much I fear his country will never know him well enough to do him
justice, or to profit herself of his powers."


SKETCH OF FRANCIS WALKER GILMER.

As the graphic portraiture of Mr. Wirt represents Mr. Tazewell in youth,
so the annexed sketch by Mr. Gilmer represents him as he was about to
retire from the bar. Mr. Gilmer himself was one of the most brilliant
young men Virginia ever produced. That Mr. Jefferson selected him to
choose in England the first professors of the University of Virginia--an
office which he performed with eminent skill and judgment--is a proof of
the estimate which was placed upon his talents by the first men of the
age.

The sketch of Mr. Tazewell is taken from a small volume of Mr. Gilmer's
productions, published in Baltimore in 1828, page 35.

"I hardly know what apology to make to LITTLETON W. TAZEWELL, of
Norfolk, for dragging his name from the obscurity which he seems to
court, but is unable to win. He has shrunk from the great national
amphitheatre, the Olympic games, where it is the glory of Mr. Pinkney to
challenge and to conquer, to an obscure sea-port town. But, more
confident in his powers than he is himself, I do not fear a comparison
with this veteran of the bar of the Supreme Court. His person may be a
little above the ordinary height, well-proportioned, and having the
appearance of great capacity to endure fatigue. His complexion is
swarthy, his muscles relaxed as from intense thought long continued. His
features are all finely developed. His eyes are large, full, and of a
dark blue color, shaded by thick black brows a little raised, as if
looking on a vast expanse of distant prospect. A manner firm, manly,
dignified, and free. _Vox permanens verum subrauca_; its tremulous and
occasionally interrupted accents give unusual tenderness to its tones.
But it is neither the Ciceronian person, nor the Chatham face, nor the
voice of Antony, that we are to admire in Mr. Tazewell. It is the great
and clear comprehension; the freshness and rapidity with which every
thing luxuriates on the generous soil of his mind, which is further
removed from even occasional sterility than in any one I have known.
This soil has no succession of seasons; the sun which warms it is never
for a moment obscured by cloud or eclipse; there reigns a bright, a
genial, a perpetual summer. His perceptions are as intuitive and as
strong as those of Judge Marshall. He has as much intrepidity of
intellect as Mr. Pinkney, and great boldness; but no insolence, no
exultation of manner. He wants only ambition to make him rival, nay,
perhaps even to surpass the accomplished champion of the federal bar.
His fault is subtlety, and a provoking minuteness of detail in his
argument. He sometimes shows legal and rhetorical artifice where there
is not the least occasion for either. These defects, however, have been
acquired in the long habit of addressing subordinate tribunals, where
his genius riots in its strength, and are so little connected with the
original organization of his mind as to be easily cured.

"There is something absolutely painful in reflecting on the destiny of
this extraordinary man. Endowed with the best and most various gifts I
ever knew concur in any individual; possessing a vast fund of
information, and indefatigable in whatever he undertakes; he has a
thousand times exhibited talents equal to any occasion, and is still
unknown to the world, and, until lately, was almost unheard of beyond
the limits of his native State. One may easily reconcile to his
philanthropy that "some mute, inglorious Milton" may rest in every
neglected grove, because it requires a strong effort of imagination to
suppose the clod of the valley ever to have been "pregnant with
celestial fire;" but we have not this comfort to allay our
mortification, when we see talents of the purest and brightest ray,
united to the noblest qualities of the human heart, emitting their
lustre in broad daylight, and to the public eye, unnoticed or forgotten.
The sentiment which it excites in one is not so much sympathy with the
object as regret for the public loss in not appreciating the rarest
gifts of Providence to man. The individual himself seems too elevated to
permit a vulgar pity. The world is too contemptible in his eyes to
render its praise or its censure matter of interest. Perhaps there is
something in this public indifference even congenial to one conscious of
the inexhaustible resources and the unconquerable power of his mind. The
eagle loves the awful solitude of her sublime cliffs, which remove her
far from the importunate chattering and impertinent intrusion of magpies
and daws; but it is truly a misfortune to the country that the imperial
bird should sleep on her lonely eyrie, and leave the supreme dominion to
region kites and mousing owls.

"I had long been curious to see the natural vigor, fertility, and
adroitness of Mr. Tazewell contrasted with the consummate art and
accomplished prowess of Mr. Pinkney; and participated in the public
disappointment, (as I must ever deplore the cause which produced it,)
when the death of Mr. Pinkney rendered it impossible, just at the moment
that the contest was to take place. But a few days before Mr. Pinkney's
death, (a circumstance which probably hastened it,) he had exerted
himself very much in the argument of a cause of great interest to his
client. Immediately the discussion was over, and while the accents of
that _cycnea vox_ reverberated in the ears of all who heard the last
effort of his eloquence, he began the preparation for his argument with
Mr. Tazewell. His application was too intense; his strength, and health,
and life, sunk under it; and they who hastened from a distance to
witness the competition, beheld anticipated victory and triumph turned
into a funeral procession: _O fallacem hominum spem, fragilemque
fortunam, et inanes nostras contentiones!_"

The reader will keep in mind that this sketch by Mr. Gilmer was written
nearly forty years ago, and before Mr. Tazewell appeared in the Senate
of the United States.




No. IV.

EXTRACTS FROM THE LETTERS OF MR. TAZEWELL RESPECTING PUBLIC OFFICE.


Mr. Tazewell kept no copies of his letters to his friends, and I make
the subjoined extracts, explanatory of his views respecting public
office, wholly from those in my own possession. I may state here that
when a commissioner was appointed to Kentucky, in 1823, Mr. Tazewell was
consulted on the subject by some of his friends in the General Assembly,
and he agreed to undertake the office; but when he heard that the
friends of Benjamin Watkins Leigh, his warm personal friend, desired the
appointment of that distinguished jurist, he sent a peremptory
withdrawal of his name, and urged the nomination of Mr. Leigh. When he
believed that the arbiters of the dispute between Kentucky and Virginia
would be chosen at large, he suggested the names of Jeremiah Mason of
New Hampshire, William Hunter of Rhode Island, and Langdon Cheves of
Philadelphia.

In a letter, dated January 1, 1823, he says: "I ask nothing from my
country, but there is nothing she should ever require of me in vain....
As a citizen of Virginia, I hold myself bound at all times to render any
aid which it may be within the compass of my poor abilities to offer in
furtherance of the rights, the interests, and even the wishes of its
government.... Proud as I should be at being selected as the advocate of
my country's rights by the unsolicited voice of her legislature, I could
not purchase even this gratification at the expense of any whom I love,
esteem, or admire."

Under the date of December, 1822, he writes: "If I know myself, there is
no situation within the power of government to bestow which I covet or
desire, nor is there one which I would not accept, if the discharge of
its duties by me was deemed necessary or useful to my country. I have no
ambition to gratify, although I have duties to fulfil."

Under the date of December 9, 1824, he says: "The public interest shall
never be postponed to my individual concerns, although ruin to myself
may result from it."

When once asked for something like a defence of some parts of his
political career, which he declined to give, he said: "There is no act
of my whole life, public or private, which I regret; none that I am
solicitous should not be scrutinized; none the motives or objects of
which I cannot instantly explain, in a way which candor will approve."

On the 1st of December, 1824, he writes: "If I know myself, there is no
office, place, or appointment within the gift of man which I wish, and
none I would accept save from my native State. To her I have never felt
myself at liberty to refuse myself under any circumstances, when she
thought proper to call me to her side. But even from her I want nothing
but that protection which she affords in common to all her citizens. My
gratitude would constrain me to sacrifice everything to obey her
wishes." On another occasion, when his creed was called for, he wrote:
"As a Virginian, I would willingly suffer this inconvenience and make
this sacrifice, and much more, for Virginia; but I should feel myself
unworthy of her name, if I did not scorn to stoop to the meanness of
blazoning to her view my own merits, which, if they exist at all, none
ought to know so well as my countrymen, or to vindicate myself against
suspicions which, if without foundation, they ought not to entertain. I
cannot, therefore, humiliate myself, or degrade my friends, so far as,
at this time of day, and under the circumstances in which I am placed,
to furnish you or any other with a confession of my political faith, to
be read either in the Richmond church or elsewhere, to the end that I
may propitiate its tutelary deity or his ministering priesthood; and as
this seems to be the _sine qua non_ of my success, I must, therefore,
beg leave to decline the nomination."

On the 6th of December, 1826, he writes: "I want no office, place, or
appointment under the sun, nor will I ever have any except from the gift
of my own State."

It thus appears that, though he was not desirous of holding office, he
was always willing and ready to perform at every sacrifice any duty
which Virginia might require at his hands.

I wish it had been in my power to present even a brief glance at the
labors of Mr. Tazewell, as one of the Commissioners under the Florida
treaty of 1819, when, in conjunction with the late Judge Hugh L. White
and Mr. King, some important questions were decided; but I had no
materials within reach while engaged in preparing the discourse; and my
recollections were too vague to be used on such an occasion.




No. V.

THE FUNERAL OF MR. TAZEWELL.

[From the _Norfolk Argus_, of May 8, 1860.]


The funeral obsequies of Mr. Tazewell, yesterday, were solemn and
impressive. An appropriate address was delivered by Rev. Mr. Rodman, of
Christ church, and a large concourse of persons followed the remains
from the family mansion on Granby street to the wharf, whence they were
taken to the Eastern Shore for interment.

Thus a very great man has passed away from our midst--a man who was long
and justly honored for his profound learning; surpassed by few, if any,
in any country. His mind was an immense and well-stored intellectual
repository, whence intelligence, varied, rich, and valuable, was drawn
at pleasure or as occasion required. Powerful as an orator, brilliant as
a writer, scarcely equalled in his knowledge of the great principles of
law, his irresistible grasp of intellect astonished thousands in former
days--bright and clear as "the cloudless azure of the upper sky."

The proceedings of the meeting of the members of the bar were very
appropriate. All the addresses were eloquent and impressive. The
speakers aptly mentioned his splendid and successful career as a lawyer,
his wonderful legal acquirements, and irresistible eloquence. One of the
gentlemen alluded to the fact that the merchant princes of London and
the priests of Rome were among those who sought his opinion upon great
and important questions, that had puzzled the astute statesmen of other
countries.

The last survivor of a noble intellectual triumvirate, of which Norfolk
could boast for a time, surpassing the models of antiquity in power and
splendor of forensic triumph, has passed away. That triumvirate is now
demolished. Taylor, Wirt, and Tazewell have all passed away; this last
and most polished shaft now dimmed--Tazewell--just now gone to the
grave, "venerable with the ivy of age, and eloquent of greater than
classic memories."


To state more particularly the details of the funeral, for future
reference--the religious services were held at the family residence on
Granby street, and a large number of our most respectable citizens were
present on the occasion. Among them were three of our adopted
fellow-citizens, who had been on terms of friendly intercourse with the
deceased for nearly sixty years, and who walked from their respective
abodes in the city to pay the last act of respect to his memory. The
eldest of these venerable men, GEORGE MCINTOSH, Esq., was in his
ninety-second year, and the others, WILLIAM H. THOMSON, Esq., and JOHN
SOUTHGATE, Esq., were over eighty years. When the religious services
were ended, a procession was formed, and the hearse was escorted to the
steamer Northampton, Captain McCarrick, and the coffin was placed on
board. The steamer then left for the county of Northampton, across the
bay of Chesapeake, having on board the Rev. Mr. Rodman and the Rev. Dr.
Okeson, of the Episcopal church, JOHN N. TAZEWELL, Esq., the only
surviving son of the deceased, three of the daughters of Mr. Tazewell, a
number of his grandchildren, the bar of Norfolk and its vicinity, and
many of our most venerable fellow-citizens. From accident, the steamer
did not reach the landing-place on the opposite shore till nearly dusk,
and when the corpse was taken on shore the night had gathered in, and
the burial service was read by candle-light. The last scene was one of
deep and impressive solemnity.

The vault, which was made only large enough to receive the coffin, was
composed of solid slabs of granite united by hydraulic cement, five feet
below the surface, and was covered by another slab of granite. The vault
was then covered with earth, and was ready to receive the monument,
which is soon to be erected. The grave was in an enclosure bounded by
iron rails, and containing the tombs of Mrs. Tazewell, the wife of the
deceased, of HENRY TAZEWELL, Esq., his eldest son, and of LITTLETON
WALLER TAZEWELL, Esq., his youngest son. The burial-ground is on the
estate of King's creek, which was given by the deceased to his son, JOHN
N. TAZEWELL, Esq., who still owns it, and which holds the remains of a
number of the ancestors of Mrs. Tazewell--this last circumstance having
led to its selection as a place of sepulchre for the family.

It was the public wish that the body of Mr. Tazewell should be deposited
in one of the beautiful cemeteries of Norfolk, a city with which his
name had been so long connected, and where the stranger would naturally
seek his grave, and, I may add, where the lesson of such a pure and
illustrious life might be read in the course of the year by thousands of
his countrymen; but the peculiar circumstances of the case rendered the
scheme impracticable. I must, however, still indulge the hope that,
hereafter, when the insecurity of graves on private estates, so signally
represented by our Virginia experience, is fully considered, the
descendants of this great man may in due time consent to the removal of
his remains and those of the family to some more accessible and less
exposed situation.




No. VI.

PORTRAITS OF GOVERNOR TAZEWELL.


1. A miniature of Mr. Tazewell before his marriage in 1802, by an
unknown artist. It could not have been good at any period of his life.

2. The portrait by Thomson, taken in 1816, when he was about forty,
which is a faithful likeness, and the most intellectual of all his
portraits which I have seen.

3. A copy of the above, by Leonard, a pupil of Thomson.

4. A Crayon, by St. Mimin, taken in 1812, from which the engravings of
Mr. Tazewell were taken.

5. A portrait by Theodore Kennedy, taken when Mr. Tazewell was about
seventy. It has some good touches; but it lacks that high intellectual
expression which was always present in the features of the original.

6. A Pastile from the above.

7. A portrait by Bonaud de St. Marcel, taken from a daguerreotype. It
represents Mr. Tazewell in his eighty-fourth year, and is under size. It
is a faithful copy from the daguerreotype, but it fails entirely to
impart that majesty of feature which the face of the original retained
to the last.

8. The portrait by Healy, kit-cat size, taken as Mr. Tazewell was in
1830, and designed to be inserted in the painting of the Senate of the
United States during the debate on the resolutions of Mr. Foote, of
Connecticut. The family of Mr. Tazewell regard this portrait as the
finest ever taken of him. I have never seen it; nor has the family ever
seen the painting into which it was to be introduced. Mr. Tazewell was
fifty-seven or eight at the time.




ADVERTISEMENTS


     "It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and
     which, having so taught us, enable us to recall them with
     satisfaction when old."--LEIGH HUNT.

      "If the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe were laid down at my
     feet, in exchange for my books and my love of reading, I would
     spurn them all."--ARCHBISHOP FENELON.


JOHN D. GHISELIN, JR.,

AGENT,

BOOKSELLER, PUBLISHER, & IMPORTER,

No. 6 WEST MAIN STREET,

(UNDER ATLANTIC HOTEL,)

NORFOLK, VA.,

HAS FOR SALE A VERY COMPLETE AND EXTENSIVE STOCK OF

ENGLISH AND AMERICAN

BOOKS,

IN THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS OF LITERATURE, INCLUDING

STANDARD EDITIONS

OF THE BEST AUTHORS IN

HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, BELLES-LETTRES, ETC.,

WITH

SCHOOL, LAW, MEDICAL, CLASSICAL, THEOLOGICAL, RELIGIOUS, AND
MISCELLANEOUS BOOKS.

IN PLAIN AND FINE BINDINGS.

"" Particular attention is given by the Subscriber to
orders for Private and Public Libraries, for both

AMERICAN AND FOREIGN BOOKS,

having special arrangements for furnishing with despatch, and at
_Publishers'_ prices, any Work published in this country or abroad.


IN STORE,

AND FOR SALE AT THEIR PRICES, THE BOOKS OF THE FOLLOWING HOUSES, &c.,
VIZ:


AMERICAN.

Messrs. HARPER & BROTHERS.
   "    D. APPLETON & CO.
   "    LITTLE, BROWN & CO.
   "    ROBERT CARTER & BROS.
   "    TICKNOR & FIELDS.
   "    J.B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
   "    DERBY & JACKSON.
Mr. CHARLES SCRIBNER.
AMERICAN S. SCHOOL UNION.
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY.
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD.
EVANGELICAL KNOWL. SOCIETY.


FOREIGN.

Mr. HENRY G. BOHN,                London.
 "  JOHN MURRAY,                  London.
Messrs. CHAPMAN & HALL,           London.
   "    GEO. ROUTLEDGE & CO       London.
   "    WARD & LOCK,              London.
   "    J.H. & JAS. PARKER,
    and OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS,  Oxford.
   "    RICHARD GRIFFIN & CO.,
    and GLASGOW UNIVERSITY PRESS, Glasgow.
   "    W. & R. CHAMBERS,         Edinburgh.
   "    BLACKWOOD & SONS,         Edinburgh.
   "    T. & T. CLARK,            Edinburgh.
FIRMIN DIDOT FRERES               Paris.

And many others, including the leading Publishing Houses of note.

WE KEEP CONSTANTLY ON HAND ALSO,

THE NEW AND STANDARD PUBLICATIONS

as they are issued, with the following works of permanent value, viz:

Bancroft's Works, Prescott's Works, Washington Irving's Works, Daniel
Webster's Works, Edward Everett's Works, Alison's Works, Addison's
Works, Dr. Johnson's Works, Dean Swift's Works, Jeremy Taylor's Works,
Dr. Chalmers' Works, Hugh Miller's Works, Dr. Harris' Works, Dr.
Cumming's Works, Longfellow's Works, De Quincey's Writings, Hawthorne's
Works, H. More's Works, Sir E. Bulwer Lytton's Works, Hallam's, Scott's,
Bacon's, Locke's, Shakspeare's, Arnold's, and Butler's Works.


ENCYCLOPEDIAS.

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. (New Edition.)

THE EDINBURGH ENCYCLOPEDIA. Edited by Sir David Brewster.

THE NATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.

THE NEW AMERICAN CYCLOPEDIA. Edited by Dana and Ripley.


THE BRITISH POETS AND ESSAYISTS,

Little, Brown & Co.'s edition, the best published, at only 75 cents per
volume.


THE MODERN BRITISH ESSAYISTS:

Embracing Macaulay, Alison, McIntosh, Jeffrey, Talfourd, Wilson,
Stephen, Carlyle, and Sydney Smith.

Hume's, Gibbon's, Macaulay's, Michelet's, Grote's, Motley's, Prescott's,
Hallam's, and other Histories.

Irving's and Marshall's Life of Washington; Scott's, Henry's, and
Doddridge's Commentaries; Poole's Annotations; McKnight on the Epistles;
Kitto's Daily Bible Illustrations; Harper's Classical Library.


A Large and Select Assortment of the best Works of Fiction, Books of
Travel, Light Literature, &c.,

Together with a great many other valuable works in every department of
Literature.

J.D.G., Jr., respectfully invites the attention of Clergymen and others
to his extensive collection of THEOLOGICAL BOOKS, the largest and best
selected in the city.

His Stock of JUVENILE BOOKS is unsurpassed for variety and extent. Books
for the Closet and the family Circle, of the most attractive and
instructive character.

Catalogues furnished gratis, and sent by mail, on application.

                                           J.D. GHISELIN, Jr., Agent.

               NO. 6 MAIN ST., (_under Atlantic Hotel_,) NORFOLK, VA.


     "If I were to pray for a taste which would stand by me under every
     variety of circumstances, and be a source of happiness and
     cheerfulness to me through life, and shield me against all its
     ills, however things might go amiss and the world frown upon me, it
     would be a taste for reading."--SIR WM. HERSCHEL.


SUBSCRIPTION DEPARTMENT.


In addition to his General Stock, which is by far the largest and best
assorted ever offered for sale in this city, the undersigned has also
the exclusive control and agency (with many others) of the following

IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE

WORKS,

PUBLISHED ONLY BY SUBSCRIPTION.

THE NEW AMERICAN CYCLOPEDIA. Edited by Geo. Ripley and Chas. A. Dana.
Now in course of publication--to be completed in 15 vols.

RIVES' LIFE OF JAMES MADISON. Now in course of publication.

ABRIDGEMENT OF THE DEBATES OF CONGRESS. Edited by Thomas H. Benton.

NATIONAL EDITION OF IRVING'S WORKS. Beautifully illustrated, 21 vols.

IRVING'S LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. Complete in 5 vols.

RANDALL'S LIFE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. Complete in 3 vols.

CAMPBELL'S HISTORY OF VIRGINIA. Complete in 1 vol.

AMERICAN ELOQUENCE. A collection of Speeches and Addresses of the most
eminent Orators of America. 2 vols.

ALSO, AGENT FOR THE

LEADING AMERICAN AND FOREIGN PERIODICALS.


P.S.--Orders for Binding Books, in plain, half calf, and fancy Styles,
promptly executed at Northern prices.





End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Discourse of the Life and Character of
the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell, by Hugh Blair Grigsby

*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LITTLETON WALLER TAZEWELL ***

***** This file should be named 16906.txt or 16906.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
        http://www.gutenberg.org/1/6/9/0/16906/

Produced by Mark C. Orton, Martin Pettit and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
redistribution.



*** START: FULL LICENSE ***

THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK

To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
http://gutenberg.net/license).


Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
States.

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
1.E.9.

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.gutenberg.net),
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
that

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.

1.F.

1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

1.F.2.  LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees.  YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3.  YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
DAMAGE.

1.F.3.  LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.


Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.


Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive
Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
http://pglaf.org/fundraising.  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
business@pglaf.org.  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director
     gbnewby@pglaf.org


Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations.  To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate


Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.


Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.


Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

     http://www.gutenberg.net

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.

Colophon

This file was acquired from Project Gutenberg, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts (http://infomotions.com/alex/) by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is etext16906, and it should be available from the following URL:

http://infomotions.com/etexts/id/etext16906



Infomotions, Inc.

Infomotions Man says, "Give back to the 'Net."